In the twenty-second and final episode of the first season of Supernatural, I was wrong in every way imaginable. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Supernatural.
Eric Kripke, this finale is evil.
Let’s go over how goddamn wrong I was:
- No resolution of the yellow-eyed demon thing whatsoever.
- Clearly this is going to be a big deal in season two
- The story arc isn’t even close to being over.
- Everything still hurts.
- Make it stop.
- I’m not even on topic anymore because DID YOU WATCH THAT EPISODE? THAT IS SOME RUDE FUCKING NONSENSE, AND I AM NOT OKAY.
Kim Manners – rest his soul – brings Supernatural to a whole new realm with his directing in “Devil’s Trap.” I don’t want to give him all the credit, though, as Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Jensen Ackles, Jared Padalecki, and Nicki Aycox all give astounding performances over these forty-five minutes. The writers bring forth the most intense Winchester family crises we’ve ever seen, force Dean and Sam to engage with the reality of demonic possession, and address moral issues that are heavy as fuck. This felt like a season finale in every respect, and I gotta say: This did not disappoint at all.
In terms of character development, though, I think we’re seeing a true distillation of these people, and we’ve reached a point of no return for the Winchesters. Whatever happens next, this is all going to be a defining moment for their characters. Even from the cold open, it’s clear that Dean is breaking. The very thought that his father is dead motivates his desperate desire to fix this, and it’s fascinating to me how the roles of Dean and Sam reverse themselves from what I thought they were in the first episode. I described Dean as “desperate,” but that doesn’t mean he’s sloppy. Risky, sure, but he’s the one who initially wants a plan for going after their father. What’s fascinating to me is how, over the course of “Devil’s Trap,” Dean has to come to terms with what this rescue actually means. Is he willing to do anything to save his father? And how does Sam play into that?
I’m also going to assume that Bobby is actual confirmation that there are other hunters in the world, despite that they never really call him that. Ugh, I really like Bobby? But I also know this show hasn’t really introduced a regular character that isn’t a Winchester or Meg, so I don’t want to get my hopes up about Bobby because he might never appear again. Still, his appearance here is actually vital to the story. He’s the one who provides the boys with the titular devil’s trap that brings about the exorcism (AND ENDLESS HEARTBREAK) of Meg.
Meg. Meg. I had assumed that she was possessed, so Bobby’s reveal that there was an actual human still within Meg wasn’t surprising. However, I really liked the writers’ choice to acknowledge the moral quandary present in this supernatural entity. Meg’s body is still human, which means that the fall she sustained in “Shadow” has real-world implications, namely that the demon within her body is the only thing preventing her from suffering from the injuries she has, which I assume includes the gunshot in “Salvation.” That’s the dilemma they face: If they exorcise the demon from Meg, she will most likely die from injuries from WEEKS EARLIER. It’s through this that we see how willing Dean is to protect his family. There is almost no hesitation on his part as he asks Sam to begin the exorcism, and after Meg provides the information he needs about John, he orders Sam to keep going. He knows that it might kill her. At the same time, I think you could easily read this scene as one of mercy, not dedication. Hell, Dean even says as much to Bobby and Sam. He can’t leave this demon in Meg’s body, even if it can help them in the future.
Bless Nicki Aycox for her performance here. We only get a couple minutes of the “real” Meg before she dies, and IT MADE ME SO SAD. She remembered the last year. She was awake during it! That’s so relentlessly awful to think about, y’all. Plus, now Meg is gone, and even though I’m glad that she isn’t possessed anymore, I’m going to miss her??? Like, I won’t miss her torturing anyone, but her character was just so fascinating, and now she is no more.
But, ahoy! Winchester angst is here to fill the hole in my heart, except who am I kidding? It’s here to make that void even bigger. Y’all, that conversation in the Impala while the boys are headed to Jefferson City? No. Make it stop. Again, it’s so amazing to me that I came into this show believing that Dean was the one most like John Winchester, and I was so wrong. I mean, okay, I’m wrong a lot? But that’s honestly the fun of doing what I do. If you read most of my stuff, this isn’t a new thing, but I love having a space to be wrong, to experience this in as close to real time as possible, and to best demonstrate what this is like. It’s no surprise that I’m not one to be much of a know-it-all when it comes to fandoms I am in, so it’s refreshing to be able to watch a show like this and not get it right? I’m hoping it makes others feel better about starting a show for the first time, too, since it can be a daunting, intimidating thing.
Anyway, THE WINCHESTERS. It’s not lost on me that it’s Sam who is willing to go into the fight unprepared because he wants to end this. It’s a perfect parallel to what John said in the previous episode, that he was here to end this right now, and it’s one of the reasons Sam is able to recognize how reckless his father and brother are being. They are willing to sacrifice themselves to save the rest of the family, but where does that leave Dean? Alone. His story in “Salvation” is crucial to understand his behavior in this episode. After vocalizing his fear of losing his family, it makes sense that he’d disobey Sam and take the Colt with him. If there’s something he can do to protect John and Sam, to keep them alive and in his life, he’s going to do it. It means dressing up as a fireman to save his father. It means shooting the possessed man attacking Sam. And yet, Dean’s willing to admit that he’s worried about the significance of this. He isn’t hesitating to kill humans when it comes to saving his family. What else is he capable of???
OH GOD, I DON’T WANT TO KNOW. (Of course I do. Of course I do.)
I feel like it’s a good thing that I’m sitting down while writing this because I might fall over trying to comprehend the cabin sequence in “Devil’s Trap,” because that shit? That was one of the most suspenseful and genuinely scary things this show has ever, ever done. Kim Manners was brilliant to film all of that in a single room, as it lends to a sense of claustrophobia the second Dean suspects that his father is not his father. Y’all, the writers of this goddamn show hid a plot twist inside character development. Do you realize that Dean could not fathom his father being proud of him for saving Sam with the Colt? THAT’S THE WHOLE BASIS FOR THIS TWIST. John never would have approved of Dean PUTTING HIS OWN BROTHER FIRST. And it’s mirrored just minutes later with Sam, isn’t it? Y’all, I can’t say this enough times, but JOHN WINCHESTER IS SO MESSED UP. And I get his dedication to killing this demon. I do! They finally have it within grasp, and John wants nothing more than to end this, even if that means ending his own life in the process. However, Sam – the very person Dean claimed was willing to sacrifice Winchester life to bring about closure – finds that he’s not able to kill his own father. DESPITE THAT JOHN IS BEGGING HIM TO DO IT. Because this is all about Dean and Sam realizing that the hunt is not more important than their own family. Why? Why must you hurt me this way?
God, there’s just so much here left unresolved. How many children does this demon have??? What the hell connects Sam to all of these victims of the demon’s wrath? Is it just their supernatural abilities, and even if that’s the case, why are Sam’s powers so weak? I expected his anguish at Dean’s near death (NOT OKAY NOT OKAY NOT OKAY) to activate his telekinesis, but it didn’t happen. What is this demon trying to stop? I DON’T UNDERSTAND.
Of course, I’m not meant to. I’m still shocked by how much of a cliffhanger this is, but even before that ending sequence, I was ready to just throw my hands up in the air in concession to this show. But then Eric Kripke has to go and DRIVE A LITERAL SEMI INTO DEAN’S CAR. He fucking blindsided everyone literally. That’s how desperate this network of demons are, and it’s so disturbing. God, what the fuck is going on? Why were there so many possessions this past year? What the hell have the Winchesters stumbled into???
I guess I’ll have to wait to find out. Damn it.
The video commission for “Devil’s Trap” can be downloaded right here for just $0.99. I will post my predictions for season 2 of Supernatural this Friday, and then we start season 2 on Tuesday! I DID IT, Y’ALL. I MADE IT THROUGH A SEASON OF THIS SHOW.
Mark Links Stuff
- You can now purchase a personalized Holiday Card from Mark for just $20!
- If you would like to support this website and keep Mark Does Stuff running, I’ve put up a detailed post explaining how you can!
- Please check out the MarkDoesStuff.com. All Mark Watches videos for past shows/season are now archived there!
- My Master Schedule is updated for the near and distant future for most projects, so please check it often. The schedule for Double Features is also updated through the end of the year!