Filed under: Recaps & Reviews
Some people can't be saved.
Jack snaps up in his bed, safe in the bunker when he suddenly hears Sam and Dean outside the room – talking about how relieved they ae now that he's back. He feels a sense of calm until the alarm begins to sound. Sam and Dean are trapped inside of a burning room and need his help. He pulls on the door and uses his powers but nothing works as he hears the screams of his best friends. Luckily, everything Jack experienced was a dream; a figment designed to trap him and control him by the angel Zachariah. Michael's patience is waning and after the latest failure to have Jack open a new rift into our world, he will only tolerate so much. Speaking of our world, Sam and Dean have Donatello translating the demon tablet as quickly as he can in the hopes that he can find a spell to open a new rift to save Jack and Mary. Everything seems to be going well but Donatello remarks that the tablet has a power that seems to speak with him in some way and as his behavior becomes more and more unpredictable. Back in the parallel world, Zachariah's dreams aren't having the desired affect on Jack that Michael hoped for so they throw him into a cell with Mary Winchester. Jack immediately knows who she is but Mary knows exactly why Jack is there: the angels will torture her until Jack gives them what they want. The two of them quickly manage to escape and have their first bit of luck in this world when they are held at gunpoint by this world's Bobby Singer. Back at the bunker, Donatello takes a turn for the worse as he attacks Sam while Castiel and Dean are off gathering ingredients for the spell to save Jack and Mary. Is this the work of Asmodeus or has the demon tablet taken hold of the prophet of the Lord?
Continuing the trend of most episodes in season thirteen, Good Intentions felt like another episode where that will eventually lead to something better in the season. While normally a show that pays a great deal of attention to continuity Jack's first meeting with Mary Winchester was a lot more relaxed than most people would have assumed. After learning of his true nature, Mary's reaction was quite subdued opposed to the gripping fear that both Sam and Dean felt when they first met Jack. Granted, knowing her death was immediate would focus someone's priorities very quickly while waiting in a jail cell to die in an alternate universe. What Good Intentions is very effective in is transitioning Castiel from the woe begotten angel into the "whatever it takes" state that he is now in. Unlike previous seasons, Castiel knew he was not doing the right thing with Donatello when he stripped the spell from his mind and left him as an empty husk. If a war is coming, the Winchesters will need a soldier that is willing to make the hard choices they are not. How that will land when Jack sees what his adoptive father has become is anyone's guess but sure to add depth to their thinly developed relationship.
Speaking of continuity and basic plot structure with payoff, it was very disappointing that the control that Asmodeus did not have a stronger part in Donatello's demise. While the setup was there when Asmodeus confronted Donatello and bent him to his will, the payoff was entirely lacking. Instead of using that as a plot thread, Supernatural opted for the obscure path and used Amara consuming his soul instead. Creating new lore that prophets need a soul to not become corrupted by the tablets is a great idea but it was too convenient for the story and meant that potentially nothing will come from his time with Asmodeus. Maybe there will be a voice mail or a text message but that would be a weak way to tie it all together.
Another highlight of Good Intentions and season thirteen overall has been Aexander Calvert's turn as Jack. Calvert plays Jack with a childlike hope and earnestness that never makes the character feel forced and still someone that wants to do good but just doesn't understand how to do what is right. Even opposite Samantha Smith, who he has had no scenes with this season until he had all of them in this episode, he brought the same youthful naiveté that Jack has. His growth from a character afraid of his heritage and power to knowing that he has to confront Michael is something I look forward to later in the season.
While enjoyable, Good Intentions didn't go the extra mile that really brought anything new to season thirteen besides Castiel and Jack's scenes. It's a setup for something better down the line but I'm still left to wonder when Supernatural will have a great episode this season.