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Supernatural - Prophet and Loss - Review

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Supernatural “Prophet and Loss” was written by the team of Brad Buckner and Eugenie Ross-Leming and was directed by Thomas J Wright. There was plenty for fans to love in this episode, including two of the best performances from Jared Padalecki (Sam) and Jensen Ackles (Dean) that we’ve seen in a while. I was pleasantly surprised to see the angst over Dean’s current plan of self-sacrifice to be tied up relatively swiftly. As often is the case, the “THEN” sequence tipped off a lot of the reveals later in the episode.

The episode opens with a powerful scene from Ackles as it looks like he’s already gone through with his plan and is at the bottom of the ocean in the Ma’lak box. His terror is palpable as he calls for his brother and his cell phone battery dies – of course, how much of a signal could you get at the bottom of the Pacific?

It turns out that it’s just a bad dream – though Dean has torn his fingers raw scratching at the wall rather than the inside of the Ma’lak box. It very much reminded me of the many really wonderfully acted scenes Ackles delivered after Dean returned from Hell – also plagued by nightmares. Sam is there and tells Dean that he doesn’t have to pretend not to be scared. Sam insists that they can find another way than Dean spending eternity in a coffin with an arch angel. It’s always great to watch these two really deliver scenes and in this case Padalecki delivers a more understated performance to let Ackles take the lead.

The next scene takes us to the monster of the week – who turns out to be Tony Alverez (Nick Hunnings) – the next in line Prophet who is short-circuiting due to Donatello’s (Keith Szarabajka) being in a coma.

Meanwhile, we haven’t seen the last of Nick (Mark Pellegrino) who is in the hospital – under police guard (Sean Campbell). Nick tries reaching out to Lucifer – he owes him! Was anybody surprised when Nick took the bed pan to the guard and escaped?

There are several really great Impala scenes. Dean checks with Sam to make sure he’s still supporting his plan. Sam says he is, but points out that both he and Mary (Samantha Smith) hate the plan. He also reminds Dean that he hasn’t even told Jack (Alexander Calvert) and Cas (Misha Collins) what he’s planning on doing. Dean tells him that it’s because he’s not good with goodbyes – and he tells Sam just to put the end of the trip out of his mind – it’s season three all over again!

Sam covertly calls Cas while Dean goes to the bathroom. Cas has been researching and checking with Rowena. Cas suggests that he try talking to Dean, and Sam tells him that he’s never seen Dean like this – he won’t listen to him… when has Dean ever listened to anybody??? Sam is right that if they don’t present Dean with an alternative, they won’t be able to stop him.

As Dean drives, we see him struggling with Michael beating against his restraints. Dean brings up their childhood – and this has to be a fan favorite scene. Dean admits that he wasn’t always the greatest brother, that it might have seemed like sometimes he took John’s side to keep the peace – and isn’t that a great set up for Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s return to the show in the next episode? He also mentions John sending Dean away when Dean pissed him off. But Sam assures Dean that he was a good big brother – and really was the one who raised him – the one – only one – who was always there for him.

        Ackles brings out the deep-seated hurt of his childhood, and Padalecki’s reactions are perfect. Sam also tells Dean that he left “all of that” behind him a long time ago – but of course, Dean has never really dealt with it. But he also tells Dean it would be easier for him not to think about the end of the trip if they could not have conversations that sound like death bed apologies…

Sam finds them a case – that’s on the way – and if they can help, shouldn’t they? Dean suggests one last case for the Winchester boys – and Sam berates him for “going there.” The tip off that it’s a case for them is the Enochian carved into the victim. Naturally, the victim’s next of kin that they interview is the older brother of the victim. Very much like “Bedtime Stories” in season three, there’s a lot of the case that resonates with Dean asking Sam to let him go.

Dean calls Cas for help with the case – Enochian after all – and Cas is thrilled to hear from him. It’s yet another scene that makes use of the Impala as Dean leans against it and Sam sits half in and half out of the passenger seat as Dean talks on the phone. Cas, as always, immediately puts his foot in his mouth by assuming that because Dean is calling about a case, he’s given up on his insane idea. The insane idea that Cas isn’t supposed to know about. As he talks, Dean shoots Sam a dirty look, and Sam grits his teeth – you can’t ever expect Cas to have any nuance! Dean cuts him off about his plan – he’s fine with it.

Cas recognizes Alvarez’s name as the prophet next in line. Cas wants to talk more, but Dean cuts him off. Sam points out that he had to tell Cas… The two speculate that for a new Prophet to come forward, the old one has to die – but as far as they know, Donetallo isn’t dead. Dean calls to check – and Donatello isn’t dead.

Dean and Sam head to Alvarez’s apartment. They find an entire room covered in Enochian. They also find pictures of the victims. They find clues of who the next victim is going to be and that he’s going to die by fire. They manage to save the victim in the nick of time. Dean and Sam tell him that he wasn’t speaking to God – he’s just a psycho who’s murdered innocent people. He manages to get Dean’s gun and kills himself.

As they drive away, Sam and Dean call Cas. With Donatello neither dead nor alive another Prophet may be born both premature and malformed – like Alvarez. Sam wonders how they end it – but Dean insists that he knows how – Donatello has to die.

Meanwhile, Nick heads back to his old home – and is confronted by the ghost of his wife, Sarah (Jaycie Dotin). Nick, however, calls her Lucifer – and it’s clear that that’s who he was hoping to find. Sarah tells him that she’s held there by unfinished business – her and Teddy’s unsolved murders. Nick tells her that he’s sorry – but she know that he’s not. He insists that he found out who murdered her, killed him/it – he got her justice. But her unfinished business isn’t just about her murder – it’s also that he chose Lucifer – she was there that night and saw. And she knows that he’s there now to find him.

Sarah asks him to show her that she’s wrong. If he rejects Lucifer, she can leave and find peace. Mark Pellegrino once again delivers an amazing performance as he tells Sarah that he can’t renounce Lucifer. He’s clearly tortured – Sarah tells him that he’s doomed himself as well as her – but he knows it. She asks him where he’s going when he leaves, and he tells her – wherever it’s darkest – wherever Lucifer is….

Dean and Sam stop in to have Dr Rashad (Babak Haleky) take Donatello off life support. The discover that coincidentally, Dr Novak – Cas – is also there. Cas hold Dean back. He takes responsibility for what happened to Donatello – it might have been necessary, and he doesn’t regret it, but he does wish there had been another way. Dean tells him he understands – and Cas is angry that Dean would compare what Cas did to Donatello to Dean sacrificing himself. Dean wants to talk about it later – and Cas points out that Dean’s plan means that there won’t be a later.

The two are interrupted by Sam who has video of Donetallo speaking Enochian in his sleep. Cas takes it as a sign that Donatello’s mind is trying to rebuild. If there’s a spark or a hope to bring back Donatello, Cas has to try – and he tells Dean that he learned that from him – regardless of Dean’s giving up hope now.

As Cas works on Donatello, Dean and Sam wait. Sam brings up the fact that if Cas can’t fix him, Donatello will be trapped in his own body, somewhere between life and death – hmmmm, like Dean in the coffin with Michael???? Dean tells Sam not to think about it. Sam throws back, easy for you to say, and for once Dean tells him it isn’t. Dean tells him that they’ll know soon enough about Donatello – and nothing has changed about Dean’s plan.

Cas manages to wake Donatello up, and Dean insists that they turn the machines off. Newsflash guys – and this isn’t rocket science, but if they don’t take the tube out of his throat, he’s going to suffocate. Donatello does wake up fully – or at least as fully as he can without a soul. Dean tells Dr Rashad that it’s a miracle!

Dean leaves Cas with Donetallo to catch him up on what he’s missed and joins Sam for one final, powerful scene at the Impala. Sam is waiting with beer – something we’ve seen them do often, and which always signals a powerful brother-moment. Sam isn’t pulling punches. He tells Dean they’re celebrating – a successful case after all – but not too much because tomorrow they are back on track – no rest for the self-destructive. Dean says he’s counting the case as a win – and it’s nice going out on a high.

Sam again draws a parallel – they go to great lengths to keep Donatello alive, but when it comes to Dean they are just supposed to throw in the towel? Sam repeats a speech he’s made before about copying Dean, looking up to him, followed him around – and now it means nothing. Sam is angry and hurt – Dean wants him to throw away all that they stand for, throw away family. They are the guys that save the world – they don’t just check out.

Dean insists that he only has one card to play – he feels like he has to do this – but Sam clearly has his attention. Sam insists that he only has one card today – but what about tomorrow? Just as Padalecki took a step back from the earlier scene, Ackles plays his part to highlight Padalecki’s emotional moment here. Sam is desperate for Dean not to quit. He tells Dean that he believes in them. And in a moment reminiscent of season four when Dean lost it with Sam and punched him in similar circumstances, Sam punches some sense into Dean. Which quickly degenerates into a hug. And Dean finally gives in and tells Sam, “Let’s go home.”

Dean concedes that Billie might be wrong – but he does believe in them – all of them, as Cas joins them. He tells Sam that he’ll believe in them for as long as he can. But he also insists that when the day comes that they have to stop believing, Sam – and Cas – have to promise to put him in the box. Sam and Cas agree – and the three get in the Impala and head for home.

With a short season, we don’t have very long to wait to see what’s going to happen with Michael and whether Billie is wrong. They’ve beaten death before after all. However, we’ve also got Nick on the loose looking for Lucifer – will he find him? Are we heading toward a Michael/Lucifer show down? Meanwhile, this episode is sure to become a fan favorite if only for the brotherly scenes. And this week is the 300th episode! What did you think of the episode? How long do you think Dean can keep Michael at bay? Will Nick find Lucifer? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

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