Mastodon Mastodon Mastodon Mastodon Mastodon Supernatural - Nihilism - Review

SpoilerTV - TV Spoilers

Supernatural - Nihilism - Review

Share on Reddit

Supernatural “Nihilism” was written by Steve Yockey and was directed by Amanda Tapping. It featured the surprise return of Thunderbird Dinwiddie (formerly Traci) as Pamela Barnes. There were plenty of homages to the past to keep long-time fans happy, and somewhat surprisingly, Dean (Jensen Ackles) was able to take control back from Michael a lot sooner and more quickly than I would have anticipated. All in all, I thought this was quite a good, fast-paced episode.

The episode begins in Dean’s mind – in the bar that Michael has created to keep him happy. It’s hilarious that it’s called Rocky’s – and obvious shout out to Crowley always referring to Dean and Sam as Squirrel and Moose from Rocky and Bullwinkle. It’s also a nice shout out to Dean’s infamous lip-synch to the Rocky classic “Eye of the Tiger” in “Yellow Fever.” Including Pamela makes the memory all the sweeter as Dean has carried the guilt of her death for a long time. Here she is neither blind nor dead. Just to keep things interesting, there’s a woman who wants to buy the bar – Dean’s not selling his dream – and there’s a monster attack that Pamela and Dean handle easily.

Back with Michael, he takes great pleasure in torturing and taunting Sam (Jared Padalecki), Cas (Misha Collins), and Jack (Alexander Calvert). However, they does him with flaming holy water – which you think might just damage Dean – and then they slap on the magic cuffs. Michael reminds them that his monster army is still coming. Maggie (Katherine Evans) calls and she really rises to the challenge in this episode leading the other hunters.

When the monsters show up, Sam calls on Jessica – the reaper following them – to help. It turns out that the brothers mess up so many things that the reapers are now taking shifts in watching them, so it’s Violet (Panta Mosleh) who shows up. Only Sam and Michael can see her, however. Michael tells them that they locked Death away and enslaved the reapers on his world. Sam insists that the reapers owe him a favor because of the whole “Rowena” thing. Violet points out that they started that, and besides, she’s not allowed to intervene. They all end up back at the bunker, but Violet denies that she did it.

They chain Michael to a pillar and discuss what to do with him. Sam tells them about Gadreel creating a fake world in his head and Crowley coming in and showing him how to drive Gadreel out. Crowley, of course, is dead, but Sam suggests using the British Men of Letters’ machine that they used to get into Mary’s head. Maggie calls again to tell them that the monsters have left the city and are heading west. Sam asks her to rescue Garth from the trunk of the Impala. It’s clear that the monsters are coming for the bunker, and Michael taunts Sam that everyone is going to die and the last thing Sam is going to see is Dean’s pretty smile…

The opening scene keeps playing in a loop, which felt a lot like “Mystery Spot” too. I did love when Dean realizes he’s having déjà vu.

Michael does his best to get into Jack’s head. Jack reminds him that he’d just been trying to convince Jack that they were family, but Michael’s apparently over it. Jack insists that Sam and Dean will beat Michael. Michael insists that Sam is drowning and that he has Dean under control. Jack insists that Dean is strong, but Michael insists that he’s a God! I did like that Ackles played him so smugly that I wanted to slap him!

Michael insists that he knows everything about Dean – because he’s literally in his head. He tells Jack that Dean was only sad on the outside when Jack died. Inside, he didn’t care because Jack isn’t Sam or Cas. Jack is just a new burden that Dean was handed. Michael tries to convince Jack that he’s nothing more than a job that none of them wanted. Cas interrupts and tells Jack not to believe anything Michael says because he’s lying. Jack doesn’t look convinced.

Michael then tries to get in Cas’ head, telling him he’s nothing like the Cas from his world. Cas tells Michael that he’s mistaking compassion and loyalty for weakness. Cas isn’t fooled by Michael’s questioning and turns it back on him. He asks Michael why he hates this world so much that he wants to burn it to the ground. Cas actually manages to get under Michael’s skin. Michael tells Cas that when he and Lucifer fought on their planet, they thought that God would actually come back. But nothing happened. No God. Nothing. Michael, like Dean, has spent his entire existence feeling abandoned by an absent father.

Michael claims that now he knows why. God – Chuck – is a writer. And like all writers he turns out draft after draft. It was nice to see this meta aspect of the show back again in such a different context. I really liked the way they used this thread that has been so embedded in the show to tie it back to Michael’s motivation. Michael goes on to say that when God realizes that a draft – world – isn’t working, he simply moves on to another one. Michael finally seems to have gotten under Cas’ skin as Cas asks, why would He do that? And Michael supplies “Because he doesn’t care.”

Michael was going to show God up – be more God than God. But now he’s just going to burn all the worlds down. And when he catches up to God – even God can die…

Maggie leads the troops in a blockade against the monsters – but was anyone surprised when Tiger (Lincoln McGowan) went into the woods – and came out a monster?

Jack asks Sam if the machine will work and offers to use some of the magic keeping him alive to help. Sam tells Jack that Dean wouldn’t want to burn off any of his soul to save him. Sam and Cas get ready to go into Dean’s mind. Jack asks what he can do and Sam tells him to pray – and make sure nobody kills them. Michael again tries to get under their skin – “in there” he won’t be chained up….

Sam and Cas end up in a dark space – Dean’s mind, but he’s not there. I did like Cas’ palm lighting up as he searched Dean’s memories for him. We hear numerous clips from previous episodes – Dean’s traumatic events. Sam points out that Dean has been through a lot but he’s strong. Cas says that Dean is more than strong. But Cas isn’t sure what he’s looking for. Sam is the one who questions whether Michael would have buried Dean in trauma. Michael gave up Dean the first time because Dean was fighting so hard. Dean thrives on trauma – it keeps him alert and alive. In order to distract Dean, Sam would give him something he’s never had – contentment. Sam immediately recognizes the memory that’s never happened.

Sam and Cas end up in the bar. Dean just assumes that they are back from the ghoul hunt. There’s a nice little easter egg in Dean being excited about the beer he’s just got from Austin – where Ackles and his family actually run a brewery! And it’s called the Family Business – the FB on the taps – and they do indeed have a Cosmic Cowboy IPA, Ghost, and Fox Rye – which are the other beers on tap.

Sam tries to tell Dean none of it is real – and Cas tells Pamela that she’s just a complex manifestation of Dean’s memories. As soon as Sam says Michael, Dean and Pamela disappear to the next scene in the loop. It’s hilarious when Sam and Cas end up spattered by blood in the vampire loop – which Pamela attributes to their ghoul hunt.

Sam brings up Pamela being blinded – and as soon as Dean remembers, she is. She reminds everyone to thank “Feathers” for it – and Cas quickly reminds Dean that it was an accident. Sam then reminds Dean that Pamela is also dead – and died helping them. As the fantasy starts to fall apart, the jukebox music starts playing on the wrong speed too. The flashbacks to Pamela’s death – when Ackles and Padaleck were SO young! – end up with her vanishing. Cas pleads with Dean that the people in his real life need him to come back. And then Sam says their code word – Poughkeepsie – and it all comes crashing back.

As soon as Dean remembers everything, Michael is also there in the bar. Michael tries to get under everyone’s skin. He accuses Dean of merely tolerating Cas because he saved him from Hell. Michael tells Sam that Dean was happiest when Sam quit hunting, leaving Dean with John, just the two of them, hunting together. Michael tells Sam that deep down, Dean knows that Sam will just abandon him again and again. Michael goes on to say that Dean doesn’t even like them – they are just a weight around his neck.

Cas realizes that Michael is stalling – monologue-ing at its finest! And then Maggie shows up with the rest of the hunters – and the monsters hard on their heels. Michael denies that he needs the monsters to save him. Cas realizes that they are all just mental projections – they are equal! They all fight and it looks like Michael really didn’t need his powers to beat them all! Jack puts an end to the monsters by using up some of his soul. Dean manages to get Michael into the cold room and lock the door, effectively trapping him. Dean declares that he IS the cage.

Once they’ve all woken up, Sam thanks Maggie for stepping up. She tells him that the monsters simply dispersed without Michael controlling them. She also tells Sam that Jack used his angel powers.

We get another great scene between Calvert and Cas. Jack tells Cas that it was an accident, but Cas is adamant that Jack can’t have accidents. He needs his soul to stay alive – and Cas has seen firsthand what the absence of a soul can do. And if Jack has no soul, wouldn’t he be just like Lucifer? Cas tries to impress on Jack that it’s Jack’s soul that makes him “Jack.”

In his room, Dean struggles with Michael trying to get out of the cage. And then Billie (Lisa Berry) show up. Dean tells her that Michael is all locked up. It turns out that it was Billie who got them out of the tower. Billie reminds him that she warned him about the dangers of jumping from world to world. Dean tells her that rescuing his mother and the others was worth it.

      She then reminds him about his visit to her reading room and the shelves of ways he might die. Billie tells him that they’ve all been re-written and all end the same way now – with Michael escaping his mind and using his vessel to burn down this world. Dean is suitable upset. She then tells him all but one end that way – and she gives him the one. He reads it and asks what he’s supposed to do with that – and Dean looks utterly devastated.

No doubt we’ll have a number of filler episodes before we actually find out what that ending is. Does Dean have to kill himself? Kill Sam? Kill Jack? Banish Cas? My best guess is that Dean has to climb into a cage and banish himself to Hell with Michael. And in the meanwhile, we have the 300th episode to look forward to with Jeffrey Dean Morgan guest starring as John. What did you think of the episode? Did Jack do the right thing? Can Dean keep Michael locked up? What do you think the ending is? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

Sign Up for the SpoilerTV Newsletter where we talk all things TV!


SpoilerTV Available Ad-Free!

Support SpoilerTV is now available ad-free to for all subscribers. Thank you for considering becoming a SpoilerTV premmium member!
Latest News