Mark Watches ‘Supernatural’: S11E21 – All in the Family

In the twenty-first episode of the eleventh season of Supernatural, this was a treat. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Supernatural. 

Well, that was better than I expected, considering that my least favorite writing duo of possibly all time penned “All in the Family.” I think it helps that this followed “Don’t Call me Shurley” because much of what was set-up in that episode had to be addressed here. LET’S TALK.


I’ll take a complicated stance at the beginning of this. I think having Chuck be a major force in this episode is brilliant, and I’m glad that “All in the Family” sticks with the promise at the end of the previous episode. And it makes sense that the Winchesters wouldn’t necessarily trust that Chuck was truly there. Let the video below stand as evidence that the appearance of Kevin made me emotional. I get why it happened. Who else would the Winchesters trust?

And that’s precisely why I feel so betrayed by it. Kevin’s appearance here is YET AGAIN for the purpose of someone else. He exists to get the Winchesters to believe Chuck is real and to steamroll the audience. Then, after getting an “upgrade” to Heaven, he’s gone. That’s it. He’s literally a means to move the plot forward. Again. After the last episode, it feels even more glaring when this show relies on the same terrible tropes for Kevin.


Yet I can’t deny that once Sam and Dean sat down with Chuck, this show gave me some damn fine writing and acting. I know I’ve said this before, but I think that every once in a while, this show is able to tap into an emotional source that many of us can understand. Now, matters are complicated because of Dean’s issues with his father, so the scene where he confronts Chuck is layered as hell. But it’s also got a different meaning. Through it, we get a human confronting God about their absence in the world. I am continually surprised that these moments aren’t crass or trite, that Supernatural finds a balance in the writing that can affect me so strongly while also making sense within the canon universe.

Dean crying over God’s absence = TOTAL DEVASTATION. SERIOUSLY.

But it’s an important dynamic to represent within the text. Dean is far less likely to forgive God for that absence, while Sam is mostly ecstatic to have God back. And if they’re going to have Chuck on their side, I think it was necessary that there be a conversation like this before anything could move forward.


I appreciated that we didn’t have to wait too long to learn why Metatron seemed so distraught over the end of God’s autobiography. Actually, I think it’s a brilliant story choice. Instead of keeping a mystery going until the finale, we learn what the endgame is now. Metatron reveals that God plans to offer himself up to be caged by Amara in exchange for her leaving the world. This reveals an uncomfortable truth: I don’t think God knows how pissed off Amara is. Thus, Metatron gains an ally in Dean, since neither character has faith that this will satisfy Amara. She is insatiable, and her continued torment of humanity throughout this episode is evidence of that. She doesn’t just want to end God; she wants to destroy everything he created, too.

So now we’ve got an additional conflict. The Winchesters have to convince Chuck to destroy Amara, rather than sacrifice himself. Well, good luck with that.


Hey, there’s technically a heist here, and while I can’t claim to understand the whole Dean/Amara thing at all, I still thought it was staged well. It was scary, and I assumed someone was going to die. I thought it was Donatello, honestly. The sudden appearance of a prophet in the midst of one of Amara’s fog attacks seemed way too coincidental for me, so I assumed that he was under Amara’s control. (And was I meant to understand that once Kevin left the veil, he was truly “dead,” thereby activating the next prophet?)

You know, I do want to address the Dean/Amara thing a bit. I just don’t get it. I could understand a “connection” because Dean freed her, but the show seems to be trying to get me to accept some weird cosmic love affair, and I don’t buy it. At all. It doesn’t help that Dean visibly does not consent to any of this. His body language during the Amara confrontation screams opposition, he’s vocally rejected her, and yet I’m still expected to think that this is something he wants deep down? What I need is just a bit more definition. Did she put something inside him to make him feel this way? How is this part of some greater plan?

Regardless, Chuck’s presence is responsible for setting off a tense sequence where the Lucifer heist is threatened, which gets Amara pissed, and I EXPECTED LIKE EVERYONE TO DIE. The most surprising aspect of the end of “All in the Family,” though, was Metatron’s sacrifice. Sometimes, he’s one of the best things this show did. (And I’m thinking of his early appearance.s) Other times… well, I’ll just say they relied on him. A lot. But in this episode, he serves his purpose. He notifies Dean of God’s intent, but he also realizes his own futility. What is he anymore? An angel without grace and without much power beyond his own memory. So in a last-ditch effort, he offers himself. He does something unselfish, y’all. I bet he knew his attempt to banish Amara was pointless, but it bought Sam, Lucifer, and Donatello time.

I honestly didn’t expect it, y’all.



The video for “All in the Family” can be downloaded here for $0.99.

Mark Links Stuff

– I will be at numerous conventions in 2016! 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 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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