The Winchesters learn the truth about God (and his plan)
Credit: Diyah Pera/The CW
Devil's Bargain
S11 E21
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Ever since the apocalypse story line in seasons 4 and 5, I’ve hoped and, quite fittingly, prayed that this show would eventually get back around to one of the things it does best: using religion to tell its story. And one could make the argument that this season uses it more than any other, considering the official introduction of God. Regardless, this week’s episode was yet another reminder of why those stories work so well for this show. Because if this show specializes in family drama, there’s no better family drama than that of God, his sister, and all of his children.

We start right where we left off last week, with Sam and Dean meeting Chuck in the middle of the road. And when Chuck snaps his fingers and transports them all back to the bunker, the Winchesters get their second sign that Chuck is more than a prophet. (The first sign was the amulet, obviously.)

But knowing that he’d have to convince the brothers, God brought along a bit of back-up: Kevin Tran!!! And because Kevin is the best, the Winchesters have no choice but to trust him when he says that Chuck is the real deal. And to prove it, God decides that Kevin deserves an upgrade, and with the move of a finger, he sends Kevin…to heaven? We’re not really sure, but as Dean so eloquently puts it, “Holy crap.” Yes, Dean. Quite literally, you have once again found yourself in Holy crap.

After Sam gets a bit of fanboy babbling out of his way, it’s Dean who brings the real talk to God. As great as it is that he’s back, Dean wants to know why he stayed away for so long while wars were waged in his name. “I was real hands-on for ages,” Chuck explains. But when his creation refused to evolve, he realized he needed to step away and “let my baby find its way.” And from his perspective, he thinks things did get better.

But when Dean accuses him of trying to justify his decision to abandon his children, God reminds him who’s boss: “I know you had a complicated upbringing Dean, but don’t confuse me with your dad.” Wow, John Winchester felt that one in his grave.

Elsewhere, as the Darkness tortures Lucifer to no avail — he refuses to cry out for God’s help — Chuck informs the guys that she has warded herself against him, which means he can’t find her. Only the Winchesters can. And that means Chuck is going to go take a shower because we can’t have God smelling bad, can we?

But when Sam and Dean ask about the fact that Lucifer helped put Amara away the last time, God quickly informs them that he does not need Lucifer’s help. Oh, and by the way, thanks a lot, Winchesters, for freeing Lucifer from his cage!

Well, to be fair, Lucifer probably isn’t too happy he’s “free” right now either. As Amara takes a brief break from torturing him, she realizes that something has changed. Appearing to Dean, she realizes that her brother has surfaced. She asks Dean to tell her if he crosses paths with God before she uses Cassifer’s debilitating state as motivation. And it sort of works.

The next day, after Dean and Sam have a very important discussion about how Chuck/God is a truly terrible roommate — and how Sam always wanted to ask God about ears? — Dean tells his brother about his visions. But that conversation is quickly derailed when Chuck enters the room in Dean’s robe and then Sam notifies them all about another one of Amara’s fogs killing thousands of people in a town in Oklahoma. As to why God didn’t save the day, he explains that his sister is baiting him, which means he can’t always respond. (In other words, they need to find her now.)

With that, Sam and Dean are off to meet the sole survivor of the fog.

On the road, Dean gets a call from “Scribe,” a.k.a. Metatron, who knows they’ve met Chuck. He asks to meet up later, after Sam and Dean meet Donatello (named after the Renaissance sculptor, not the ninja turtle). It seems Donatello is the newest prophet. If Amara’s fog is her God power, it could’ve triggered the transition. It could also be their way to finding her. (Although finding her doesn’t seem to be a problem when she appears to Dean in a vision and asks to meet…alone.)

NEXT: God answers a prayer

On the drive back to the bunker, Sam and Dean sufficiently freak out the new prophet — formerly an atheist — with all of the happenings in the world, from God’s sister to Lucifer possessing another angel and so on. Think of it as Supernatural CliffsNotes.

By the time they get back to the bunker, where God is enjoying Chinese food in his boxers (and is shocked at the size of Dean’s porn collection), the prophet is ready to accept that God exists. He apologizes for his previous skepticism, but as God puts it, “I did include free will in the kit.”

With that taken care of, Sam and Dean meet up with Metatron at a bar. After Metatron orders them a couple margaritas — which they obviously avoid — he fills them in on their REAL problem. It turns out, God’s autobiography is less of an autobiography and more of a suicide note. God’s plan is to sacrifice himself to his sister.

Going straight to the source, Dean meets up with God at a playground. But as God explains, he won’t be dying. He’ll simply be caged. And based on the deal he’s planning on making with his sister, he will be sacrificing himself for everything he’s created. The one problem? Amara has told Dean about her plans to eliminate God and destroy creation, so there’s no guarantee his surrender will keep her from executing the second part of her plan.

And yet, not even that gives God pause. As he sees it, if his plan doesn’t work, humans will step up. “That’s why I saved you years ago,” he tells Dean. “You’re the firewall between light and darkness.” But Dean won’t go down without a fight. Sure, he can handle a vampire (or 20), but this is above his pay grade. He informs God that “it’s you who has to take her out.”

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Back in the bunker, Metatron is officially joining the team. Dean fills him in on the plan: Rescue Lucifer from Amara, have Lucifer zap them to safety, and then have God use Lucifer to find Amara. As to how they’re going to keep Amara busy while they rescue Lucifer? Well, that’s where Dean’s one-on-one meeting in the woods comes in.

So while Sam and Metatron and Donatello rescue Lucifer, Dean reconnects with his lady love. He tries to explain that “there can be no us,” but she doesn’t go down without a fight. She asks Dean to give up his humanity and “become boundless with me.” As she puts it, “I’m the end of your struggle.” (Wow, she comes on strong.)

However, the moment she touches his face, she knows something’s off. She can sense that Dean has met God. And with that betrayal, she heads back to check on Lucifer, who can’t zap them to safety because he’s been temporarily grounded, leaving Sam and Donatello to throw him in the back of the car while Metatron stays behind to handle Amara. Only, when Metatron’s plan doesn’t work, she…kills him? I really have no idea what happened, but it definitely seems like disappearing in a cloud of black smoke means he’s dead. And who would’ve thought he’d go out in such a selfless way?

Amara then catches up with Sam and company on the road. But before she can hurt any of them, God zaps them back — Baby and all — to the bunker. “Occasionally, I do answer a prayer,” God says just before coming face-to-face with Lucifer, whom he immediately heals. As to whether those two can get along, we’ll see if Lucifer’s “what happens in heaven stays in heaven” outlook will hold up.

In the episode’s final moments, Sam and Dean send Donatello home before Dean tells his little brother that Amara wants him to be a part of her…literally and forever. So that’s one heck of a note to leave things on.

Altogether, I love the comedy that God brings — there’s a sentence for you — and I also love the family drama. This season continues to build on its success, and I can’t wait to see how it ends. What did you think of the hour? Did you love seeing Kevin? Is Metatron dead? Hit the comments with your thoughts, or find me on Twitter @samhighfill.

Episode Recaps

Devil's Bargain

Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki star as the Winchester brothers, hellbent on battling the paranormal forces of evil.

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