Supernatural season 11 episode 22 review: We Happy Few
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The Winchester brothers assemble a motley crew of Darkness fighters with God on their side in Supernatural's latest episode...
This review contains spoilers.
11.22 We Happy Few
First of all, let me apologise for the slight mix-up in last week’s review as I misread my episode list and thought we were on the penultimate episode. But it wasn’t and now this is the penultimate episode so hooray for slightly more Supernatural!
It means we’ve got a bit more time for the Winchesters to rally the troops, but the trouble is, all of the troops have various familial relations that aren’t exactly on the best of terms. The brothers first have to get Lucifer and Chuck back on the same side and from there, it’s a case of assembling their ragtag bunch of merry men, including angels, Crowley and Rowena to band together to stop Amara. She’s on the move too, going after the new Prophet to find out where Chuck and the Winchesters are hiding in the bunker.
Building into this season finale feels very different from the typical run-up in that having God on their side gives it a bigger feeling than normal. We’re used to just Sam and Dean against the Big Bad, possibly an angel or a demon by their side, but the aspects of the Supernatural world coming together to fight is a good twist on the usual. Like much of the season, it keeps the central focus small, but ensures that the audience is consistently aware of the wider ramifications outside of the more intimate central storyline.
There is also the prospect of upsetting the power dynamics across that world with angels, demons and witches all on a level playing field, something which could be potentially interesting to explore in the next season. Of course, there’s naturally a moment in which one Winchester makes a stupid decision without consulting the other as Sam agrees to take on the Mark when Amara is trapped so there’s still a traditional hallmark to hang on to.
The strength of the episode is keeping it strictly in the family. As with last week’s instalment, the focus on the various sibling and parental rivalries gives it a human element amongst the wider theological debates and apocalyptic warnings. It’s always good to see Rowena back with her trademark snark, but both she and Crowley felt a little underused here in the midst of all of the other family squabbles occurring around them. However, seeing the motley crew of Darkness-fighters band together is a great little sequence and a bonus Cas re-appearance is always a plus.
Despite the family rumblings elsewhere, it’s Chuck’s relationship with his own family that forms the backbone of the episode. The idea of Sam and Dean carrying out family therapy for other people is inherently amusing, but seeing it in practice is even more so as they try to get Chuck and Lucifer to open up as well as revealing a couple of their own issues. The measure of tone is great here, moving from the comedic to the more emotional as father and son finally sit down to have a heart-to-heart. It’s a bizarre scene to witness, God apologising to Lucifer for betraying him and casting out, but it’s a good warm-up for the main therapy scene of the episode when Chuck and Amara finally hash out their own issues.
The season has done a good job of keeping the lines between good and evil blurred, particularly where Amara and Chuck are concerned. She has a solid case for her sense of betrayal, having been locked up for eternity, and equally Chuck rightly feels he has something to atone for in that. Emily Swallow and Rob Benedict are both fantastic as they confront each other, embodying pure rage and guilt respectively. As before, it’s feels both intimate and huge, a sibling argument played out across the landscape of the world and, with an episode to go, it doesn’t end with hugs and cuddles. Unlike his reconciliation with Lucifer, Chuck has simply done too much damage to Amara for her to simply forgive him.
And so Amara is in control with demons, angels and witches in disarray, Lucifer gone, the Winchesters weak and God dying. We all know that God can be reaped so will Sam and Dean be able to find a way to save the world before it’s too late? They probably will, given we have a twelfth season, but what kind of world will be left?
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