Season 11, Episode 22 - "We Happy Few"
Jensen Ackles, Jared Padalecki, Misha Collins, Mark A. Sheppard
Regular airtime: Wednesdays, 8pm
US: 18 May 2016
For a show on the lowliest broadcast network with next to no coverage in the mainstream entertainment press, Supernatural has attained its status of an epic cult hit because of its exceedingly memorable characters. Looking beyond the core cast of Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles) Winchester, Castiel (Misha Collins), and Crowley (Mark Sheppard), the show built an universe full of lovable helpers (hunters, angels, prophets, etc.) and distinctive, occasionally likable villains (demons, monsters, gods, and witches). It’s an actor’s dream, where even guest stars that appear in a handful of episodes end up with their own fanbase and Funko Pop figurines.
So it’s to be expected that in a world where Batman Vs. Superman also features Wonder Woman, and there are now at least a dozen members of Marvel’s Avengers, that this week’s episode of Supernatural would find a way to get most of its cast together to fight one entity. The concept of unlikely allies fighting against one evil has been used many times before on this show (especially around season finale time), but “We Happy Few” still registers as especially ambitious.
Starting with a semi-humorous moment—Lucifer (still played by Misha Collins for the time being) throwing a temper tantrum after hearing Chuck’s (Rob Benedict) non-apology for essentially making him the imprisoned leader of all that is bad in the world—we eventually work our way through the recruitment of various characters for the task at hand: stopping Amara (Emily Swallow). While it’s fun to see Dean play amateur family psychiatrist, it’s kind of hard for a dedicated viewer to see Lucifer, a character who had previously tried to take over Heaven and the world, killed Gabriel (Richard Speight), and drove Sam insane and tricked him into being trapped in a cage in Hell—among other horrible things—portrayed as just a mixed-up kid who reluctantly agrees to help God and the Winchesters save the world. What’s more believable is the scene where he tries to convince the doubting angels of Heaven to help, resorting to letting Castiel speak on his own behalf in order to change their minds.
Have you ever wondered why Crowley (Mark Sheppard) and Rowena (Ruth Connell) seem incapable of staying dead? Chuck/God admits that the two are a “guilty pleasure” for Him, which could be seen as the writers’ nod to the fans who love to hate or hate to love them. Crowley is seen attempting to rally various demons into “making Hell great again” (clearly a jab at Trump’s famous slogan), but after getting laughed at, reluctantly joins team Winchester at the behest of his closest frenemy Dean. Rowena, looking “for a few more centuries” of life on earth, convinces some previously unseen witches, including Clea (Barbara Eve Harris), an interesting voodoo queen, to help as well.
The eventual plan of attack somehow comes across as both simple and complicated. The witches will hit Amara with a blast of power, weakening her enough for an angel strike and another blast of power from Crowley and the demons, then Lucifer will stab her in time for God to imprison her once again. For reasons beyond most of our understanding, all of this also means that Sam will have to carry the dreaded “mark of Cain”. Chuck also explains that Amara shouldn’t be destroyed because she is an essential part of the universe, the “yin” to his “yang”. Is this a quick way of saying that she’ll still be around for season 12? The rest of the episode certainly seems to suggest it.
In what seems like a waste of a potentially interesting character, Amara kills the prophet Donatello (Keith Szarabajka) in order to find out God’s location. After she crushes Chuck’s beloved “World’s Greatest Father” mug, everybody’s attempt to lock her away seems to be working, but in the end, it doesn’t. Amara manages to renew herself after the attack, strikes a possibly fatal blow to Lucifer/Castiel and then zaps God, bringing Him close to death. She vows to keep Him alive long enough to see all of His creation “turn to ash”, leaving us to wonder just what will happen next week.
Fans had been looking forward to this week’s unlikely “dream team” concept, but the jury’s still out on the end result. It’s a little unfair to judge “We Happy Few” without seeing next week’s companion episode, but its moments of highly quotable fan-service raise what we’ve already seen to at least an above average level.