Filed under: Recaps & Reviews
What is the world without god?
After playing into Chuck's hands, Sam and Eileen find themselves tied to chairs inside a casino. Chuck has them right where he wants them and intends to sever the connection he shares with Sam. To do that, he needs to cut into Sam's wound with a scalpel. When he hesitates to cut into the wound himself, Sam calls him out and remarks how afraid he is to get his own hands dirty – so he forces Eileen to do it instead. After Eileen manages to sneak a call to Dean, he wants to race to the casino to save his brother but Castiel stops him. They need to be smart and the best way to save Sam and everyone from Chuck is to go to purgatory and complete the spell that Michael gave them; trapping Chuck in a cage like he did to Amara long ago. Back at the casino, Chuck show's Sam glimpses of the future and what eventually happens to him and Dean after Chuck is gone. Before he was trapped, Sam was certain that stopping Chuck was the right thing to do but after seeing what happens after, he's not sure if he's doing the right thing.
Returning from the mid-season hiatus, Supernatural delivers a dud that is more soap opera than Winchester with The Trap. At its onset, The Trap is off to a good start, having both Sam and Eileen strapped to chairs and face to face with god. Almost immediately, Chuck needs to fix the wound that connects him and Sam but he needs to do it with a knife yet it was never clear through The Trap if the knife was intended to do in order to heal the wounds. By the time that Eileen was digging around in Sam's shoulder, I had no idea what Chuck was even to accomplish. Switching back to Castiel and Dean, the pacing and tone were much more consistent and it felt like the trap managed to tell a good story between the two characters. Castiel and Dean's relationship was steadily crumbling since Mary died last season and left broken when Casiel left the bunker. Their scenes and reconciliation were powerful and needed to get the two of them back together as best friends and on the same team once again. As good as the narrative between Dean and Castiel was, it was overshadowed by how dreadful the story was between Chuck and Sam.
Supernatural is generally a pretty consistent show in terms of acting quality and when it's bad, it's usually the guest stars that don't find their footing – that was clearly not the case in The Trap. Tempted by Chuck into seeing visions of the future, Jared Padalecki's performance in The Trap was well under what we've come to expect from him. Wildly overdramatic and all over the place, Padalecki's performance is not what we're used to seeing from one of the stars. To his credit, the writing in The Trap was terrible. After Eileen was forced to dig around in Sam's shoulder, she should have gone back to being tied in the chair. From there, Chuck could have shown both of them visions of the future and how their lives would be great together and continue to get worse over time. That way, we could have seen two different reactions to the same vision. Maybe Sam would have still been broken but that moment and everything leading up to it felt laughably bad. Sam and Dean as vampires and their last stand scene was ridiculous. Even Chuck commented on how the Winchesters deserve a better ending and that is saying a lot in an episode as bad as this one.
To make matters worse, the connection between Chuck and Sam has been severed in probably the most anticlimactic ways we have seen from Supernatural. Chucks remarks that Sam hoped Dean and Castiel would save him are one thing but having hope be the connection between the two of them is a cop out. It's a weak plot convenience that sets the Winchesters back to square one for the second or third time this season and feels like there is no momentum going into the back half of the final season.
Overall, The Trap was easily the weakest episode of season fifteen so far. As good as the bromance revival between Castiel and Dean was, it can't make up for how shockingly bad the rest of the episode was. Next week's episode, The Heroes Journey, can only go up from here.