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Supernatural - Unity - Review

  Supernatural “Unity” was written by Meredith Glynn and was directed by Catriona McKenzie, whose other credits include Riverdale, Bluff City Law and Tidelands. It’s curious that they’d bring in a new director so close to the end when the show has always kept a tight circle of regular directors. Perhaps that helps to explain the uneven tone and pacing of this episode. It doesn’t help to explain the complete disregard for character, however. The lack of connection to the characters long established on the show makes the title of “Unity” particularly ironic. This episode was a mess from start to finish. With only three episodes to go, it’s hard to see any way that this show isn’t going out with an unsatisfactory fizzle rather than a solid wrap up. 

In the opening sequence, Amara (Emily Swallow) is enjoying a book and a glass of wine in a hot tub in Iceland. She’s outside and sees a meteor shower that she knows signals the return of Chuck (Rob Benedict).

Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Cas (Misha Collins) work to find another way – other than letting Jack (Alexander Calvert) die – to kill Chuck. Dean (Jensen Ackles) is disgusted that Sam doesn’t get. There’s no other way than the death of Jack and Amara to kill Chuck – and he’s totally ok with it. Sam is equally disgusted with his brother and asks if he isn’t tired of saying things like this is their last chance. I have to say that I agree with Sam – insofar as I’m tired of the show trotting out the same old dialogue and problems. Having this rift between the brothers so close to the end is also just a stupid way to go – in my humble opinion…

Amara shows up in the Bunker to tell them that Chuck is back. I have finally developed an appreciation for Emily Swallow and she’s really great in these scenes. She wants details on how they plan to cage Chuck. He had four archangels when he caged her – do they? Dean says they have Jack. Amara regrets that she hasn’t gotten to know Jack and suggests maybe they can when it’s all over. Jack says he has a final task to complete.

We get a nice scene between Dean and Amara. He thanks her for helping to save them, and she asks what he needs her to do. Dean asks if they can count on her when the time comes, and she reminds him that she told him when they first met that they’d always help each other. She says it so earnestly, I’m still hoping that even with her stupidly giving in to Chuck, she’ll still be able to help.

Jack asks Sam if he’s angry or disappointed with him. Sam tells Jack that he wished that he’d been up front with them. We all know how much Sam likes secrets (unless he’s keeping them himself…). And then Sam goes on to say that sacrificing himself for a cause takes a lot of courage. And here, I couldn’t help but think that he was patting himself on the back for taking Lucifer into the cage. That said I did think Padalecki was quite good in this scene. He tells Jack he still thinks he’s wrong. 

Dean interrupts to say it’s time to get going on the last task. Sam says he’s not going. Dean’s comment about “taking a knee” makes no sense and is culturally tone deaf (on Glynn’s part not Dean’s). Sam continues to insist that they have choices, while Dean insists that they have to go to Santa Fe and kill Jack and Amara because it’s in Chuck’s Death Book. So, the thing Dean hates the most – being on the hamster wheel, is exactly what he’s insisting on doing? Just me or is this show a hamster wheel????

Dean tells Sam to stay and he’ll be the grown up. Sam insists that someone has to keep fighting for Jack. Dean insists that Jack knows what’s at stake – it’s his choice. Because everyone has choices except Dean. Sam insists that they don’t give up on family, and Dean blurts out that Jack isn’t family. Dean admits that he cares about Jack, but not the way he does Sam or Cas – and of course, Jack overhears. None of this is news to him. 

Awkward car ride to Sante Fe….

Cas arrives back at the Bunker and goes to work helping Sam find another way.

Meanwhile, Chuck drops in Amara. And the episode is suddenly and inexplicably divided up with subtitles. This section is “Amara.” Chuck asks if she enjoyed his light show. She’s unimpressed that he’s been ending worlds. She asks what’s next. Chuck tells her that he has an idea for what happens after ‘the end’ but he needs her help to do a hard re-set. She tells him no, and he immediately thinks that the Winchesters got to him. He tells her that he didn’t write the weird thing between her and Dean – so there’s a little bit of free will and a wild card perhaps. He accuses her of not caring about the world, but she claims she does and he should too. 

She takes him on a walk and points out that he never takes a moment to just enjoy what he’s created. She insists that he’s going to evaporate everything just because the Winchesters won’t do what he wants. He confesses that it’s because all he sees are his failures. He tells her that he needs a fresh start. Begging the question of what about all the other worlds he created as fresh starts? Hasn’t he already gone there? Chuck insists that humans are the worst – they ruin everything they touch and he’s over them. 

Amara asks him about his first children and whisks him off to Heaven – to get a dose of his fans. They all bring him Bibles to sign. He quickly tires of them and makes them go away. He tells Amara – “I guess meeting your idols goes both ways.” He also calls them mouth-breathers. It seems an odd time for the show to return to slamming fans – but I suppose as Chuck is now a villain, it’s ok because only bad people would find fans annoying, right? Amara tells Chuck that she just wanted him to feel their perfect angelic devotion – their love. Chuck tells her that they can go around and around, but he’ll get what he wants in the end. She tells him that she wants balance: light and dark, brother and sister… True balance on this world, the way it was meant to be. She sees that he can’t. That he can only care about his pleasure – his story. That makes him the villain – hammering home what we already know. Chuck insists that the villains get all the best lines.

Amara then takes Chuck to the Bunker. He quickly realizes that it’s a trap. She tells him that the Winchesters have found a way to bind him and he’s furious. He tells her that she can’t hold him there forever, and she tells him she can hold him long enough. 

Back in the car, we get the “Dean” section of the episode. Dean tries to explain what Jack heard, and Jack tells him that he doesn’t need to. Dean doesn’t have to apologize, Jack understands that he’s not like Sam and Cas. 

The two end up at Jim’s Gems (named after Glynn’s father) in Sante Fe. They meet Adam (Alessandro Juliani), who is apparently a stoner hippie. And why would Dean, who has met Eve, think that Serafina (Carmen Moore) was Eve? Stupid plot hole. But really this entire sequence is just off tonally. Saying Jack’s aura is like Skittles? And having the two not be able to keep their hands off each other – why? Adam takes Jack in the back to test him and reveals that killing God is his plan. Billie (Lisa Berry) has kept him alive for 300,000 years so that he could see the plan through. Um. What? She’s only been Death for a couple of years. PLOT HOLE! Honestly, they’re making a graveyard of the story with all these plot holes…

Jack passes the test – to determine which rock has a spark of the divine – all of them, because God is in everything. Serafina, meanwhile, freaks Dean out by saying Jack’s coming was meant to be. Is this still the hamster wheel? Serafina removes one of Adam’s ribs because it’s packing enough punch (God’s divinity) to kill God. It will fuse with Jack’s soul and grace to create a metaphysical supernova. A living black hole of divinity that nothing can escape. So…. Why wouldn’t it pull everything in that God had touched? Plot hole!

On the ride back, Dean pulls over. Jack insists that he doesn’t need to, but Dean tells him that what he said to Sam, Jack didn’t need to hear. Not with the weight that he’s carrying – which is a nice shout out to one of Ackles go to songs. Dean tells Jack that when he found out about Chuck, it was like he’d never been really free his entire life. Now he and Sam have a chance of living a life “without all this crap on our backs.” And what does that mean? Will they go and get houses surrounded by picket fences? Give up the Bunker? How exactly are their lives going to change? And when did he find out about Chuck? When we did? When we got ret-con evil Chuck? Plot holes galore here – even though it is a really well acted scene. And Jack’s sacrifice is going to have no impact on Dean? Dean who was born to feel guilty about everything? Because the Dean I know would be consumed with guilt over this….

He thanks Jack and Jack tells him he’s welcome. They get a message, and it’s go time. Jack absorbs the rib.

Sam and Cas seem to still be oblivious to what’s going on – is this a jump back in time? We get sub-heading “Sam.” Are all the subheadings to indicate that? They discuss feeling hopeless and the possibility Dean is right. Sam wishes that he could talk to Billie. They decide to look for the key to Death. They go through the Bunker’s holdings – because they haven’t been bothering to do that for several years now. Naturally they find it. Ridiculous coincidence. Luckily it works super easily and saying a few words in Latin opens the “door.” 

Sam goes alone and leaves Cas to stall Dean. Cas tells Sam he doesn’t think he’s crazy. Sam enters Death’s library – and all the librarians appear to be dead. Naturally, he enters in the W’s. He hears screaming and follows it. Rachel Miner is back as The Empty – and she’s killing the librarians in an attempt to call Death. Sam mistakes her for Meg. She tells him that Billie is planning on taking over as God. She’s going to put everything back in its place – angels in Heaven, demons in Hell, and she gets to go back to sleep in the Empty. 

She has God’s death book, but only Billie can read it. Billie has told her that she needs Sam and has kept him alive. She starts hurting Sam to try to call Billie. He tells her that Billie sent him – and the Empty calls him on saying dumb stuff – SO DUMB!!! He tells her that he was sent to get the book. Billie can’t leave Earth – something about the plan – and Sam deduces that the Empty can’t go there. She admits that she can’t unless she’s summoned. Clearly, that’s going to be important. Sam tells her that Billie will honor her promise. He convinces her to let him take the book. Sam returns to Chuck telling him that Amara is there with Chuck. Sam tells him that they have to stop it. 

Cas, Sam, Dean, and Jack all end up in the main room of the Bunker at the same time. Jack is about to explode. Chuck asks Amara if she hears Dean – his doubt, his sense of duty, and his rage winning out in the end. Sam tries to tell Dean that Billie is playing them. The plan will work, but it will create a power vacuum, and Billie will take over. Sam gets in front of Dean to try to make him listen. Chuck comments that Sam always has to know everything and can’t leave well enough alone. Amara looks more and more concerned. Chuck tells her that this IS his ending. His REAL ending. And then the show goes completely off the rails when Dean pulls his gun on Sam. WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE???? 

Amara is gob-smacked that Chuck orchestrated it all, and Chuck rightly asks what part of omniscient to they not get? He controls space and time. He’s dismissive of their thoughts that they could kill him. And if we want to walk back to the analogy of Chuck as the writer of this story – he has effectively killed his characters. At least, these writers certainly have. 

Chuck reveals to Amara that she’s been played as Dean cocks his gun at Sam and then the two fight. Sam finally explains that if they do this, everyone gets sent back to where they belong. Charlie and Bobby will get sent back to Apocalypse world which doesn’t exist anymore – all of them will die – and everyone they saved. Dean insists that they don’t have a choice and Sam insists that they always have a choice. Remind me – who came up with the concept of Team Free Will? 

Dean is bent on revenge – he will trade every life just to kill Chuck. What??? I’m not sure that Dean has ever been this out of character. Meanwhile, Chuck plays on Amara’s devastation at being tricked by Dean. She lets Chuck absorb her to create balance to create something peaceful and to forget all the pain.

The final scene between Padalecki and Ackles is quite spectacular from an acting point of view – so kudos to them. Sam tells Dean that Dean has protected him his whole life – from Dad, Lucifer, everything. He admits that he didn’t always like it, but it was the one thing that he could always count on. He begs him to put the gun away. They’ll find another way. Together. Because they always do. Dean puts the gun away.

Chuck bursts open the door. He tells them that he’s absorbed Amara – Cas asks if he consumed her! LOL! And ew! Chuck tells them that they came to an understanding. Chuck is furious that they are all too stupid, stubborn, and broken to follow his story. He tells them that he’s just over them. And you throw out broken toys. Then he tells them to have fun watching Jack die. Jack already doubled over in pain, collapses. The episode ends as Jack’s eyes glow and it looks like they might be burnt out of his head as Chuck did the last time he killed him.

Such a waste of an episode. We lose Amara and discover that Billie is working only for her own power. But most of this episode felt like wheel spinning. Really good performances, despite a lame script, from Swallow, Padalecki, and Ackles. I suppose a nod to Rob Benedict for creating this new evil Chuck and bringing the anger, but it feels like a less nuanced role to me than the real Chuck. Clearly, I didn’t like the episode or this long slide into oblivion that the show is taking. But what did you think? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

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