GUYS. That cliffhanger. Supernatural has finally done it: They found something that makes Jared Padalecki look like a tiny human, and it’s…a dinosaur footprint?! I don’t even know. Also, does King Kong live in The Bad Place?! There are so many questions, but before we get to that, let’s talk about all of Supernatural‘s final hourlong journey in 2017.
We start by catching up with Jack, who’s gone to see an artist to…buy a painting? Well, it’s a painting of Apocalypse World because this guy is a dreamwalker, hence Jack’s visit. Jack pays Derek, the artist, to show him Apocalypse World, and by combining their powers, it seems to work, though it doesn’t seem like a very pleasant experience for poor Derek. Speaking of poor Derek, he shows up dead — eyes burned out — later that day. And that’s when Jody gets word of it and calls Sam and Dean.
Back at the bunker, Dean is leaving Patience voicemail after voicemail asking for her psychic help with finding Jack. But she’s still trying to convince her father that her biggest worry is the fact that she got a C on a test, so she continues to ignore him…for now. That’s when we get a brief Cas update — he’s still looking for Jack — before Jody calls the boys and tells them about Derek’s death, and more importantly, about how Derek’s girlfriend gave the police a description of his killer. The result is a sketch that looks a little like Jack, though I don’t think they have anything to worry about because the sketch is less than impressive, if we’re being honest.
Finally getting a lead on Jack, the guys hit the road and head to North Dakota, where they check out Derek’s studio and find his freakishly accurate paintings of Apocalypse World. That’s when Derek’s girlfriend tells them that Derek was a dreamwalker, which means one thing: Sam needs to do some research!
While Sam looks into dreamwalking, Dean cuts straight to the chase: What if Jack is trying to get to Lucifer? Are they prepared to kill him if he’s gone down a dark path? The answer: No. Right now, Sam needs more information, and he knows where they can get it. After hacking into Derek’s email, Sam discovered Derek had been emailing another dreamwalker named Kaia. Maybe if they talk to her, they can learn more.
And cue the introduction of Kaia (Yadira Guevara-Prip), who’s currently sitting in a support group discussion that she has to attend because of a recent overdose. But Kaia swears she’s not an addict; she just took the pills because they’re the only thing that keeps her awake and “keeps me from the Bad Place.” Of course, that doesn’t mean what her group leader thinks it means, but thankfully for her, she’s about 10 minutes from breaking out of the place.
Let me explain: Jack shows up to the support group, tells her that he’s a “friend of Derek’s” and asks for her help. In exchange, he offers to get her out of jail. So, with Kaia following him, Jack leads her outside, casually knocking her supervisor unconscious as he walks by.
At this point, Sam and Dean pull up and give us a bit of background on Kaia: She never knew her father, and her mother died in an accident when she was 12. She then went to live with her aunt, who later died from cancer. Kaia was then on her own until her overdose and arrest. In other words, Kaia has had to get used to taking care of herself, so it’s not surprising when she punches Jack and runs away.
Jack wants to go after her, but Sam and Dean stop him. They ask him about killing Derek, but Jack says Derek was alive when he left him. As for what Jack wanted with Derek, he tells the boys that he’s been working on getting his powers under control, and in an effort to prove that he can do something good, he’s been working to get the guys “the thing you wanted most.” MARY. Jack has been experimenting with opening doors to other worlds — he’s come a long way from the pencil trick — and he’s almost figured it out. The only problem is that when he gets close to another world, he can’t see what he’s doing. So he needs a dreamwalker to be his eyes, and according to Derek, Kaia’s a very powerful one.
Furthermore, Jack’s visit to Derek proved Jack’s theory: He tells the guys that he could see Apocalypse World with Derek’s help, and yes, he saw Mary. She’s alive, but she’s in danger. To prove it, he shows both Sam and Dean what he saw, and just like that, it’s as if you see a switch flip in Dean’s head. All this time he hasn’t allowed himself to think that Mary’s alive, but now that he knows she is, he has one mission: Find her, no matter what. (Next: Welcome to The Bad Place)
Step one of that plan involves getting Kaia back, which could be a little complicated considering she was just kidnapped by angels (the same angels that killed Derek, by the way). Now, they want Jack, so they’re using Kaia as bait. And it works.
The boys hit the road to try and find Kaia, at which point Jack clears the air about his feelings toward Lucifer. Dean tells him that they thought he might’ve been trying to use Derek to get to Lucifer, but Jack tells them: “He’s no one to me. You, Castiel — you’re my family.” Dean’s response? “Yes we are.” Awww. Don’t you love how the holidays bring people together?! (I realize this isn’t a holiday episode but go with me here!) Jack then overhears on angel radio that they’ve got Kaia, and the rescue mission begins.
Elsewhere, Patience has a vision. Sam and Dean are there, and Jody dies. So, Patience packs a bag and tells her dad that she has to warn her friends that they’re in danger. “If I don’t go, people will die,” she tells her father, but he’s not hearing it. He tells her that if she walks away and chooses that life, she can’t come back. And she leaves anyway. By episode’s end, she’s on Jody’s doorstep. (And the Wayward Sisters pieces start falling into place.)
Back to the rescue mission: Jack wins MVP when he knocks out one angel out and kills the other. He then tells an understandably shocked Kaia that he needs her help getting Sam and Dean’s mom out of another world. Jack wants to take her someplace called the wind caves — he says it’s a sacred site, a place where the walls between worlds are thin and it’s easy to cross over. But Kaia tries to explain that she isn’t a dreamwalker in the way that Derek was. Derek was able to walk freely between worlds, but Kaia only ever goes to “The Bad Place,” which she says is “just blood and death and monsters.” That’s how she got the scar on her arm.
She tells them she’s sorry but she can’t help them. But Dean’s not having it. Turns out, Dean meant what he said when he told Sam they’d get mom back no matter what, so Dean proceeds to pull a gun on Kaia and force her into the Impala.
On the road to South Dakota, Jack apologizes to Kaia and offers to show her what he saw when he was inside Derek’s head. And whatever it is, it gets a smile out of her, so there’s at least one good thing happening here. Just as Jack tells her that they can use their powers for good, they’re nearly run off the road. The angel from earlier is back, and she’s brought backup.
Dean turns down a dirt road that leads to a shipyard. There, Sam takes Kaia and Jack into a ship and starts warding it while Dean stays behind. But when he realizes he’s outnumbered, he joins everyone on the ship.
Things then go from bad to worse when the angels work together to start melting Sam’s wardings. So Kaia suggests she and Jack try to take them all to Apocalypse World. But considering she’s never done this before, it’s not simple. At first, she can only see The Bad Place. Jack tries to redirect her mind to the Apocalypse World, but it’s still questionable when she lets out a scream that gets rid of all the angels and sends all four of them…somewhere.
So where did they end up? Well, Kaia appears to be on the side of the road in our world. And then Jack is the only one who actually made it to Apocalypse World — he wakes up by Mary. As for Sam and Dean, they’re in The Bad Place, where they’re currently standing inside A HUGE FOOTPRINT. Like dinosaur huge. And if that’s not ominous enough for ya, we hear some Jurassic Park-esque footsteps (and roaring) in the background. And now you all know the plot of the Wayward Sisters backdoor pilot!
As far as midseason finale cliffhangers go, this one really shocked me, and I’m very intrigued about what comes next. I’m also a big fan of Kaia and the concept of dreamwalking, so what I’m saying is that this midseason finale felt like a strong end to a strong first half of the season. (And also, if King Kong shows up, my head will explode.)
For more on what to expect in 2018, check out my postmortem with executive producers Andrew Dabb and Robert Berens.