Season 12, Episode 19 – "The Future"
Jensen Ackles, Jared Padalecki, Misha Collins
Regular airtime: Thursdays, 7PM
US: 2 Mar 2016
“I used to believe in a plan. I used to believe that I had some mission. But I have been through enough now to know that everyone is just winging it. Some of us quite badly.”—Castiel, “The Future”
Is Supernatural “just winging it”? Obviously, there’s a plan in place, with season 12’s two major plots (the impending birth of Lucifer’s son and the British Men of Letters’ plans to destroy all of America’s hunters) slowly coming to a resolution, but this week’s episode contained so many plot-holes, illogical character behavior, and just plain weirdness that it seemed slapped together at the last minute. Yet, it was still watchable, contained a few surprises, and certainly kept me interested in seeing just how the rest of the season will pan out.
The cold open is surprisingly disturbing: the first five minutes of “The Future” is a deeply troubling sequence in which Kelly Kline (Courtney Ford), believing that she’ll die during childbirth and that her baby will grow up to be evil incarnate, slits her wrists in a bathtub suicide attempt. It’s realistically gruesome, and not the sort of thing one wants to watch twice. Regardless, she finds herself waking up unharmed outside of the tub, apparently saved by the superhuman powers of her unborn child. Perhaps this is why Dagon (Ali Ahn), who had been keeping her chained up and force-fed in a basement, was willing to leave her alone for a private bath?
The episode also marks the return of Castiel. After being unreachable for a few episodes (including one that oddly featured his psychically-connected daughter in serious danger), Cass supposedly appears to mention that his phone “didn’t have any bars” and to return a Led Zeppelin-themed mix tape to Dean (Jensen Ackles); however, it should come as no surprise that he has an ulterior motive. When the Winchesters aren’t looking, he vanishes with the all-powerful Colt.
You would think that at this point, Castiel and the Winchesters would realize that things always work out better when they work together, and that only bad things happen when any of them goes behind the others’ backs; instead, we get another “keeping secrets” plot. This time, Castiel’s excuse is that he wants to kill Dagon and Kelly Kline himself, so Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean won’t have to deal with the guilt of killing an innocent person.
I suppose neither he nor his two new angel buddies (Damian Mavis and Nathan Mitchell) don’t know that the gun won’t work on Dagon, because they all meet outside of Dagon’s hideout, preparing for an ambush. As to be expected, Castiel is the only angel left standing, but he and Kelly are able to escape the demon princess. He believes that his best option is to take mother and child to Heaven (via a magic sandbox), which will kill their bodies but save their souls.
Sam’s (Jared Padalecki) major contribution to the episode (other than amusingly determining that Kelly’s due date is on 18 May, a Thursday; aka, the day the season finalé airs) just might be the biggest plot point of the season. He reasons that they can use an angelic essence-removing spell to turn Lucifer’s baby into a normal human being. Once they catch up to Castiel and Kelly, however, Kelly has other plans. With yellow demon eyes that only flash when no one is looking, she steals the Impala with Cass in the backseat. We’ve seen Dean hot-wire various stolen cars throughout the series, so why does he waste time trying to get Castiel’s broken down pick-up to start?
Which leads us to the episode’s big finalé, in which Dagon smokes the gateway-guarding angel Joshua (Paul Barton) just as Cass and Kelly arrive at the sandbox. Dagon flings away the approaching Winchesters and burns their Colt into two smoldering pieces, thereby rendering it useless. This gun was basically the second most important inanimate object in the entire series, so we should be shocked or upset, but does anyone actually thinks that it won’t be returned to original working condition? (After all, if they brought back Lucifer’s Mark Pellegrino vessel, then they can bring anything back.)
Perhaps, however, this episode will be best remembered for the death of Dagon, who was, in truth, starting to get a little annoying. Her main character traits seemed to consist of torturing a pregnant woman and filtering the vocabulary of a spoiled teenager through a veil of sarcasm. Plus, she was pretty much a complete rip-off of Abaddon (Alaina Huffman), the demon queen of season eight. Through a hand-holding transference of power with Kelly, Castiel crackles with red electricity and yellow eyes as he smokes a shocked Dagon into nothingness. Good riddance.
Despite Castiel’s new-found powers, he’s still just as easily duped as ever. Kelly convinces him to temporarily incapacitate the Winchesters so they can run away together. She (supposedly) believes that her baby has the power to help the world, if only he was brought up to be good by Castiel. After putting his hand on her stomach, Castiel says that he sees a beautiful vision of the future and agrees. Shouldn’t he know better by now?
Is Kelly possessed? Is the baby already evil? Can he be saved? We’re not likely to find out next week, as the show devotes an episode to Mary (Samantha Smith), who searches for a lost friend and discovers the true nature of the British Men of Letters.
// Notes from the Road
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