The return of Adam Milligan... and the archangel Michael.
It took them a while, but Dean finally has an idea on how they can find god's weakness – the demon tablet. With that, they bring it to the single, soulless prophet of the lord in Donatello. He manages to translate it but the weakness isn't written into the tablet itself but rather, entrusted to someone he is closest too; all roads pointing to the archangel, Michael. Just when things seem like they can't get any worse, Chuck speaks through Donatello and warns the Winchesters that they should leave this one alone. With god scared enough to give them a warning, Dean knows they need to push on. Unfortunately, Michael is trapped in the cage deep within hell and only he has the answers they need. After a quick spell, Castiel and the boys are back in hell and on the search, only to be greeted by three demon women that give them all a beating they won't soon forget. The three of them ae about to be finished off when someone suddenly warns them to stop – none other than the new queen of hell, Rowena. She tells them how she died in the fissure but fought her way to the top to take her new throne. She has her minions scour hell but they come up with nothing. The Winchesters need to Michael before all hope of taking on god is lost.
The final midseason finale of Supernatural, "Our Father, Who Aren't in Heaven" had its moments but wasn't the setup for the back half of the season Supernatural needed. To start, nearly all of moments with Chuck throughout the episode were pointless. The Opening sequence with the terrified server, though interesting, did nothing to add to the overall story that "Our Father, Who Aren't in Heaven" was trying to tell and did more to hurt the episode than anything else. Chuck's reveal should have been saved for the final scene where Eileen and Sam had been led into the trap. This would have saved the moment and not spoiled the surprise that Sue had been Chuck the entire time. Speaking of Eileen, the scene with Sam being overprotective didn't really fit into the episode. Sure – it set up that he cares for her but so did the scene with Dean at the table, only that scene was much stronger and we have never seen Dean give his approval for anyone that Sam has seen before. Dean has given Sam his blessing before when it came to leaving the life of a hunter but never so explicitly as approving of the partner that Sam has chosen. Again, the previous scenes didn't have much of a point when Eileen asked Sam for help with the vampires and he immediately left. Had Eileen took off on her own and been lead into the trap with Chuck, it would prove that attacking the Winchesters directly isn't the only way to hurt them. That isn't to say that "Our Father, Who Aren't in Heaven" was all bad but these moments lead to uneven pacing and the story contradicting itself when it needed to move forward to start putting the pieces into place for the second half of the season.
Without a doubt, the highlight of "Our Father, Who Aren't in Heaven" was the return of Adam Milligan and Michael. Played by Jake Abel, Adam has been in a total of four episodes of Supernatural. Considering how many characters have returned far too many times, Adam's return feels right in the final season of Supernatural when a powerful character like him suddenly becomes a wild card. Each scene where Adam was playing opposite himself as Michael and Adam were fantastic. Both characters shred some overlap but were entirely distinctive, with the subtlety being what Abel played so well. The only thing that threw me off is how everyone has been saying that Michael and Adam had lost their minds after being trapped in the cage for so long with Lucifer yet the Michael and Adam that we saw were probably the most level characters we have seen on Supernatural in years. Lucifer said it, Rowena said, I'm pretty sure even Death said it. It's not the most important thing but it's very unlike Supernatural to say one thing for an entire decade and then do something completely different.
Lastly, the return of Rowena as the new queen of hell felt was premature. Ruth Connell is fantastic as Rowena and it's great to have her back but she only died five episodes ago. At this point, I'm wondering how many times Supernatural can troll us and wouldn't be shocked if she somehow died again and then managed to go to heaven, just for the twist of it.
"Our Father, Who Aren't in Heaven" was a good episode of Supernatural that suffered from pacing problems and a story that was often contradicted itself. Overall, that doesn't detract from how good Jake Abel was as Michael and the potential that has for Supernatural. We'll find out what Chuck has in store for Sam and Eileen and if Dean and Castiel can survive their trip back into purgatory when Supernatural returns on January 16th.