Mark Watches ‘Supernatural’: S11E06 – Our Little World

In the sixth episode of the eleventh season of Supernatural, THIS WAS NOT WHAT I EXPECTED. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Supernatural.
Trigger Warning: PTSD/trauma.

Oh man, I’m not 100% on board with this (mostly due to a reticence about this show following through on what they set up), but I admit that I am wholly surprised by this season’s mythology. How do you go bigger and do better? YOU GO FOR 100% ABSURDITY AND I’M KINDA HERE FOR IT. Let’s discuss!

Castiel / Metatron

It’s true that I think Metatron is one of the more fascinating characters in this show and one of the better parts of the show in recent years. Part of that is due to Curtis Armstrong’s engaging performance, but this newest development shows how the writers of Supernatural continue to give him roles within the changing mythology that matter. At heart, Metatron is obsessed with stories. That’s what we saw of him when he was first introduced seasons ago, and that’s the main impetus for his behavior as an antagonist. He spent years crafting “stories” for God, and then he swooped in on the opportunity to craft that stories on his own. His reign in Heaven continued that obsession with stories, though it obviously was INCREDIBLY HORRIFYING.

So where do you go from there? After Metatron is stripped of his grace and his power to control any story other than his own, how can he ever affect the world of Supernatural? I know I complained earlier about the aimlessness of Castiel’s storyline, and I don’t know that this episode perfectly addresses my concerns. But it demonstrates just how intense Castiel’s trauma was, and it helps us to understand how the events of the previous season have molded the character he is now. I know that he’s an angel and it feels weird to say that an angel has PTSD, but that’s pretty close to what we see on the screen. He’s repeatedly triggered by his past trauma here, so when he comes across Metatron and is consumed by rage and need, it’s like the worst possible situation for him. He wants to destroy this man, but he also needs information on the Darkness from the one person who was probably there, in God’s presence, and could provide some necessary insight.

Thus, Metatron, without any of his angelic powers, seeks out the only way to control a story that is left to him as a human. I mentioned in the video for this episode that what we see here is a “perversion” of his obsession with stories, and I think it’s a good way to describe this. All that’s left for him to do is to control the story of humanity in the most base, violent, and exploitative way. Which makes sense, given that he had a penchant for exploitation long before this current development! But as a nightcrawler, he can control the story of these victims, pass along narratives that are titillating and salacious, and he can feel powerful once more. (If you’ve not had the chance, check out the movie Nightcrawler with Jake Gyllenhaal and Rene Russo AND MY BABY RIZ AHMED for a further look at what a nightcrawler entails. It’s a fictionalized thriller/satire, and it’s IMMENSELY DISTURBING, but I think it’ll help you understand why Metatron’s development is so fascinating to me.)

I’ll talk about what Metatron reveals at the end, though.
LET’S TALK ABOUT THE WINCHESTERS.

Killing The Darkness

There’s a cohesiveness to these last three episodes that I’m impressed by. I don’t think the show has ever started off a season with so much serialization, and it’s a pleasant surprise. Again, I ask the same question: Where does the show go from here? If we know that Amara is interested in little more than chaos, and if she is practically invincible, how do you keep things interesting? How does the show avoid the same repeating motifs and themes? I wouldn’t say that “Our Little World” deviates too far from the traditional format of a season-long arc, but there are so many little things here that excited me. Yes, we’ve gotten a number of episodes dealing with the division between Sam and Dean’s opinions on killing monsters, but this episode actually shows the ramifications of that decision. The two brothers ACTUALLY DISCUSS WHAT THEY’RE GOING TO DO. They decide to spare a demon and attempt an exorcism, but only up until they find out that the demon’s meatsuit is most likely dead. I know it seems a little silly, but it was PROGRESS.
But let’s also talk about the absolute brilliance of having Sam commit to NOT KILLING AS MANY PEOPLE AS POSSIBLE. Holy shit, it made that fight scene in Crowley’s lair a billion times more exciting than usual, and I think it’s one of the coolest things the show has done. Y’all, this is a show where one of the Winchesters is thrown into a wall or into a door once an episode. And somehow, a fight scene felt new, refreshing, and thrilling, and it’s a welcome addition to the show. I WANT TO SEE SO MUCH MORE OF IT.

And what of Dean’s connection to Amara? Robert Berens’s script (as well as Jensen’s and Samantha Isler’s acting) unnerves us on purpose. Here’s a man who has rarely ever resisted killing a villain. He’s frequently the one person who doesn’t even question the ramifications of such an act. While he’s certainly toyed with the ethics of his killings and he seems more willing than ever to follow Sam’s lead, it’s clear that he really did want to kill Amara. As far as he was concerned, it was the easiest solution to a monstrous problem. And yet, some undefined connection between him and Amara prevents that, and it’s SUPER FUCKING CREEPY. I’m glad that the show has avoided making it some sort of romantic thing and instead, it’s as if they’ve sworn an oath to protect one another. But did they? As far as we know, we’ve seen everything of Dean’s interaction with Amara at the opening of the season. But did something else happen? What are we missing?

That idea – that this story is deliberately incomplete – is part of the reason why Crowley bit off more than he could chew. I don’t believe he was naïve enough to believe that he could ever control Amara. He was aware that she would quickly become more powerful than him. So he opts for the symbiotic relationship: He can foster her growth, fulfilling her potential in the process, and possibly gain an ally (and a tool) along the way. He thought he had offered her everything that he needed, but we know that’s not true. She never really needed Crowley, and she knew that he needed her. The reference to Into the Woods in the title of this episode gives us a look at what Berens was trying here: to reference the “parent” locking their child away in order to raise them as they best see fit.

But Amara knows what she wants and needs, and the truth of the matter is that Crowley can provide none of that. So it made perfect sense that she disposed of him so quickly after he offered her his “protection.”

Revenge

Look, Supernatural has done a number of ridiculous, absurd things with its season-long arcs over the years. The world is always seemingly ended, the apocalypse has been averted multiple times, and the Winchesters are constantly involved in a vicious battle to stop the end of the world. How do you go bigger than that? How do you do something to grab interest after all these years? I have no idea what sort of reaction the fandom has had to the huge reveal that Metatron drops in this episode, but for me, despite some reservations, I think this could possibly be one of the better arcs on the show. There’s a grandeur to the revelation that the Darkness is God’s sacrificed sister, who has a singular goal in mind: to destroy God. I mean, the chance for Chuck to come back in a huge way is pretty damn exciting, first of all, but I love that this conflict has absolutely nothing to do with the Winchesters. It is not tied to their own mythology or characterization, and thus, it lends a sense of horror to the reveal. The Winchesters are just tiny fish in a big pond, and this possible battle will most likely occur whether or not they try to stop it.
But how do you even stop something like this? Amara has no apparent weaknesses, and God is not exactly on Dean’s speed dial. These characters are consumed by the shadow cast by God and Amara, and there’s no possible alleviation to it, at least just yet. I hope the show doesn’t go down the route of trying to portray the greatest evil ever to exist as being because of women, though. I mean, the show hasn’t exactly had the greatest track record on this point, and that’s where my main worry is. I don’t want all of humanities problems blamed on a woman, i.e. Eve in the Bible. (Doesn’t this story evoke that a bit? Perhaps not; I’ll have to wait and see.)

Regardless, I found this to be exciting, thrilling, and completely surprising. Bravo, Supernatural. I did not expect this.

The video for “Our Little World” can be downloaded here for $0.99.

Mark Links Stuff

I am now on Patreon!!! MANY SURPRISES ARE IN STORE FOR YOU IF YOU SUPPORT ME.
– I will be at Borderlands Books, Book Riot Live, and Windycon this fall! Check the full list of events on my Tour Dates / Appearances page.
– My Master Schedule is updated for the near and distant future for most projects, so please check it often. My next Double Features for Mark Watches will be Kings, season 1 of Sense8, season 1 of Agent Carter, seasons 1 & 2 of The 100, Death Note, and Neon Genesis Evangelion. On Mark Reads, Diane Duane’s Young Wizards series will replace the Emelan books.
– Mark Does Stuff is on Facebook! I’ve got a community page up that I’m running. Guaranteed shenanigans!

About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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