Supernatural: Let the Good Times Roll

Filed under: Recaps & Reviews

Carry on my wayward son...

Things seem to be settling down for everyone from bizarro world and the latest hunt for Sam, Dean, Castiel and Jack goes so well that the Winchesters think that they may even be able to make a difference in the world after all – that retirement may be a real thing. Of course, there hopes are dashed after Bobby and Mary find Maggie's body, lifeless and covered in blood. It's another person that Jack swore to protect and he takes the loss hard and runs after her supposed aggressor as soon as he has a name. It's at the convenience store that he confronts the kid and almost kills him before the three amigos show up and barely manage to stop him from killing the boy. Jack feels terrible for what he almost did and immediately flies off. It's in the moments that follow that things take a turn for the worst as the ground begins to tremble and Michael appears. The three of them barely manage to stall the archangel before they escape with their lives. Elsewhere, Jack is having a hard time processing his emotions and his tendencies to kill people. That when Lucifer shows up behind him. He tells Jack that it was Sam that left him behind in the rift but admits that he doesn't hold it against him. Lucifer suggests that they leave the planet and Jack agrees but on one condition. Shortly after, Jack and Lucifer get back to the bunker, much to the surprise of Mary and Bobby, where Jack has his father revive Maggie. It works but the two of them leave again as soon as Maggie is revived. After Dean, Castiel and Sam get back, they talk to a very reluctant and shaken Maggie about what happened before she died and if she remembers anything about the person that killed her. They have little time with her before Michael shows up and almost kills Dean when Sam makes a prayer to Jack asking for help. Jack appears and nearly kills Michael without breaking a sweat but he confesses that he and Lucifer had a deal. It's in this moment that Jack learns that his father was willing to let Michael kill everyone on the planet. Before he can confront his father, Lucifer cuts Jack's throat and steals his grace and the immense power along with it. Sam tries to stop him but Lucifer takes him and Jack away in a flash of light. Lucifer has his brother and Jack and is now more powerful than he has ever been. If Dean wants to stop the devil, he needs to make a deal with an angel.

Riddled with clunky storytelling and poor direction, Let the Good Times Roll ends season thirteen on a very low note for Supernatural. Even with a string of strong episodes leading into the finale, Supernatural couldn't resist the wirework fight scene and special effects rather than hold onto a great father son story. To start, the episode gave us no context about the werewolves and why the Winchesters needed to kill them. Mary even mentioned to Bobby how all monsters aren't bad and these ones were drinking beers and talking about the Kardashians. Even a line about what they did to deserve death would have helped quite a bit. It would have been much stronger to use the scene where Mary and Bobby were strolling together, only to find Maggie's body on the ground and then set the episode up from there. It also didn't help that Supernatural continues to contradict its own lore when Dean becomes the one thing that can fight Lucifer but Lucifer had no interest in having Sam as a vessel again. Wouldn't that mean that Lucifer could have been far more powerful if he was in his perfect vessel? Lucifer had even said that he didn't need Sam anymore because of the changes the demons made to his vessel so it didn't seem like that big of a deal. Another problem with Let the Good Times Roll is that the pacing was terribly slow until Michael showed up and then suddenly everything was constant panic unless it was Jack and Lucifer. The constant shifting from one to the other was very jarring and it never got easier until the two stories combined. However, that's when all of the terrible fights started. Sure, Jack beat Michael easily and it was quick but the climactic scene between Lucifer and Dean looked terrible. The shots were too long and it came across like The Matrix except not stylized or good. On top of the predictable twist that Michael would take over Dean's body the final shot at the end where Dean stared directly into the camera felt cheesy and very out of tone with Supernatural.

Though it certainly had its down, Let the Good Times Roll wasn't without a few high points. Since their first meeting, the Jack and Lucifer have had a very organic chemistry and the father son and that all came to a head here. Alexander Calvert and Mark Pellegrino brought out the best in their characters and it elevated that relationship. Lucifer went from doting father to rage filled archangel in a few seconds and Pellegrino pulled it off nicely. After a dramatic, fiery death, I think it's safe to assume that Lucifer is really dead in Supernatural. His dramatic exit was fitting and the character had been taken as far he could go. Pellegrino will surely be missed in the role but Lucifer was overexposed during the last few seasons and the mystique and terror was missing from the character as a result. We saw him nearly destroy the world, almost resolve his issues with God (and then bring them up over and over), become a father, a rebel and then a villain again. Lucifer is a great character and I honestly don't know where Supernatural can go without him.

Overall, thirteen wasn't a lucky number for Supernatural as the show continues to show its age. Jack was introduced as a big player at the start but sat out most of the season while he was trapped in the other world. Castiel learned that heaven is going to collapse but nothing ever came of that. Rescuing Mary was a huge focus of Sam and Dean but it never felt like there was an emotional payoff to that. Asmodeus was set up as a big villain but his story always felt like a time killer before the rest of the story could continue. Supernatural still has great episodes but there seem to be fewer standouts this season besides Scoobynatural, Breakdown, and Beat the Devil. The difficulty here is that Supernatural still tries to have its cake and eat it too by having a lot of monster of the week type episodes and save very little room for the rest of the story. I know I've said this year after year but having both doesn't make the show better. Having a one off is fine but the greater story Supernatural is trying to tell always suffers for it and there were fewer great episodes as a result. It also didn't help that this season was obsessed with glowing eyes and power. Everyone had glowing eyes at some point and the need to be stronger and hit harder overtook the need to develop characters. Supernatural is often at its best when it's just Sam and Dean trying to survive and do the best they can while surrounded by monsters and I feel like that got lost this season.

Well that's it, season thirteen of Supernatural is done. I hope you have enjoyed my reviews this season and we'll see you when Supernatural returns for season fourteen.

Tags: Supernatural, Dean Winchester, Sam Winchester, Jensen Ackles, Jared Padalecki

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