TV reviews

Supernatural 14×20 – ‘Moriah’ – Review

“Carry on my wayward son, there’ll be peace when you are done.”

Once again the #SPNFamily were serenaded by Kansas as the fourteenth season of Supernatural came to an end. As fans are now faced with the long summer hellatus, the fact that the fifteenth season will be the last is weighing on everyone’s minds. Left as usual in a cliffhanger situation, we saw Sam (Jared Padalecki), Dean (Jensen Ackles), and Castiel (Misha Collins) being converged upon by a horde of zombies while hundreds of souls pour out of Hell. Apocalyptic to say the least, doubly so seeing as the reason all of this mess is happening is none other than God, or Chuck (Rob Benedict) as he prefers to be known.

Directed by Philip Sgriccia and written by showrunner Andrew Dabb, ‘Moriah’ kicked off exactly where the last episode finished, with Jack (Alexander Calvert) having broken free of the Ma’lak Box. Obviously angry at the Winchesters he flings all three of his Dads out of the way and flees the bunker. Soulless, angry and feeling betrayed he wanders around a city where he can hear everyone talking, hearing all the lies that people tell on a day by day basis. Jack shouts “No More Lies” and due to the fact that his powers outweigh that of an archangel, his words take effect all over the world.

Photo: Bettina Strauss/The CW

It wouldn’t be Supernatural without some comedy mixed into a crisis situation, and both Padalecki and Ackles delivered as did Dabb with the explosion of truths in an office setting. We see a fist fight break out when someone admits to repeatedly stealing someone else’s yoghurt, a man admitting to sleeping with a colleague’s wife but the colleague revealing he not only knows about the affair but he’s been filming it because he loves it. There is a shout out to the film Office Space as a woman starts taking all the staplers. But the funniest moments of this chaos come about when Dean can’t lie about why he’s there, admitting he’s searching for the son of Lucifer and his FBI badge is fake, and a political dig when a news anchor reports that the President has released all his tax returns and had admitted deep ties with Russia and North Korea.

Dean is now fully behind the idea that they need to take out Jack once and for all, especially given this latest demonstration of the Nephilim’s powers, going so far as to ask Rowena (Ruth Connell) to create another soul bomb that Dean had planned on using against the Darkness (Emily Swallow). This situation gets worse when Cas, who is still wanting to find a way to fix Jack rather than kill him, has Chuck appear before him.

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The deity’s arrival is a surprise, never known for being hands-on nor having been seen since his departure with his sister at the end of season eleven, and it becomes clear he’s of the same feeling as Dean, that Jack has to be stopped. Despite Dean’s frustration at Chuck’s arrival now, expressed by him smashing Chuck’s guitar, and not for any other world-ending scenario the Winchesters have found themselves in he quickly jumps on board with Chuck’s proposed situation on how to solve things. Chuck creates a gun that will take out Jack, but the downside is that whatever damage is inflicted on the Nephilim will also be dealt to the person who pulls the trigger. Given the Winchesters love of fatalistic plans, this seems right up their alley, or Dean’s in this case as Sam is of the same mind as Cas on Jack’s fate. Cas speaks up, saying he doesn’t agree with this. Dean gives him an ultimatum of either get on board or go, and Cas leaves, which Collins plays fantastically. In the past, Cas has gone along with the plans, even when he’s been reluctant, and it’s good character development for the angel to show he is capable of his own free will even when it is not in line with the Winchesters.

Sam also stands up to his brother, and in a moving scene between the two of them, Sam expresses how unhappy he is with Dean’s latest suicidal plan. He won’t give Dean his blessing because he still believes they are able to find another way, they’ve done it so many times in the past with the latest being proving that Dean didn’t need to lock himself away. Sam states he has lost too much, too many people, that he will never be okay with losing Jack and his brother.

Photo: Bettina Strauss/The CW

Already an emotional rollercoaster, the episode doesn’t let up as we move toward the climax. Cas finds Jack, and after a frank and honest conversation, he still believes that Jack can be saved. Jack himself states that all he wanted was to be good, that he knows Cas loves him even though he can’t feel it back. It’s heartbreaking to see what has happened to the Nephilim and it gets worse when Dean shows up with the gun. Jack accepts his fate and goes down on his knees in front of Dean waiting for him to pull the trigger. Before that can happen though Sam shows up.

Back in the bunker, Sam works out from things that Chuck has said, about him and Dean being his favourites, that everything is just a setup. All of it. Chuck himself states he is a writer, and writers lie, and Sam comes to the crushing realisation that his and Dean’s lives have been in constant turmoil because Chuck likes the entertainment they provide him. Although a very cynical view on God as an entity this fits very well in the Supernatural setting. Chuck has been around since season four, but he has only ever stepped in twice, the Winchesters have lost, have sacrificed and died time and again due to the situations, He has created. As Chuck, God became a sympathetic figure, especially when being played by such a fantastic actor and human being like Rob Benedict. This episode serves as a perfect reminder that God is not humanity’s friend, he is their Creator and he created them for his own purposes.

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Dean refuses to shoot Jack, defying God and telling him to go to Hell for all the times he’s messed them over. Chuck responds in a way you’d expect an upset deity to do so, and he kills Jack without a second glance. No happy meeting between Grandfather and Grandson here. Quite rightly enraged by Chuck’s display Sam grabs the dropped gun and shoots him in the shoulder, taking the same damage himself. The vengeful deity responds in kind, welcoming them to The End and creating the situation the episode ends in.

All seems utterly lost as the surviving members of Team Free Will prepare to fight, but there is a possibility of unexpected allies in the final season. Jack wakes up in the Empty and finds the Entity there but also Billie (Lisa Berry), who wants to talk to him. Back in season five, Death (back then played by Julian Richings) stated that one day he would reap God, and Chuck expressed earlier his dislike of the new Death. It’s a lot to take in, but it has certainly provided fodder for discussion as the finale hellatus begins.

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