Monsters don't always come from below.
After finding a tip on the Michael's possible location, Sam, Bobby and Mary are off to Duluth while Castiel stays back to babysit Jack and Nick. After arriving at the local morgue, the three of them see that the eyes of the victims have all been burnt out; clearly the work of an angel but there's something more here. It's then that they begin to notice that all of the victims are vampires. What could an archangel like Michael be doing with vampires? Back at the bunker, Jack continues to feel vulnerable now that he has lost his grace. Castiel offers encouraging words that Jack is not alone and can also rely on himself to be strong and get better. On the other side of the bunker, Nick is not faring any better. Still tortured by the memories of what he did as Lucifer, Castiel fears that his psyche may be more scarred than they thought due to Lucifer's influence. Back in Duluth, the hunter crew have tracked the vampire who was last seen fleeing the morgue. They agree to spare her life if she tells them where Michael is. Elsewhere, Michael is meeting with a werewolf master and gives some insight into his plan. He intends to force the evolution of monsters to become far more powerful than they already are. The hunters may soon become the hunted.
Though it retreads some very familiar territory, Gods and Monsters has its moments. To start, we're starting to scratch the surface of Michael's big plan – creating more powerful monsters that will eventually kill the humans and eventually one another. If anything, Michael is playing for his own side and this sets him apart from the demons and the angels. Why have one throne when you can have them all? It also led to some good pacing in the show as there was a back and forth between the mystery of whatever the heck Michael is doing and the emotional struggles back at the bunker. One thing that is still left us all wondering is what Jo said to Sam in her call last week. This was a cliffhanger at the end of last's week episode and it wasn't brought up at all.
While this is starting to get better, the real strength of Gods and Monsters was in Castiel and the small moments he had with Nick and Jack. Nick is a very different character than Lucifer but at this point, we don't know how much of Lucifer remains or is even buried underneath what we can see right now. What may end up hurting his character if Supernatural leans too heavily into the Lucifer excuse of a damaged psyche. We know very little about Nick and it may be more interesting to realize that he couldn't live the grief of what he had done to his family before he agreed to be the vessel for Lucifer. Even at that, it would be just as interesting to learn that Nick's life and tragedy had been the orchestrated acts of demons to prepare him as the eventual host to the devil. There's a lot of way this story can go and if Supernatural just doesn't use the "You weren't yourself" angle, this can be really good.
The shaky part of Gods and Monsters and the first two episodes of season fourteen is still Jack. Having Jack meet his grandparents and then claim that they are his only living family is lame. Season thirteen was largely about Jack finding a family and realizing that he had one in Sam, Castiel, Dean, and Mary. He even had some bonding time with Lucifer before realizing that he was just being used by his dad for his power (also lame). It's not just a worn out story, it's tired and needs to be put to rest. Season thirteen started with Jack choosing Castiel as his father and continues to forget that whenever it's convenient. Jack may be a young child by maturity standards but Supernatural needs to move onto something better for him to be an interesting character again.
Gods and Monsters was a solid episode of Supernatural. It's surprising that Michael left Dean's vessel so early, if that was even the case. Either way, it's sets the stage for next week's episode, The Scar.