By Samantha Highfill
October 24, 2019 at 09:48 PM EDT
S15 E3
B+
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Just when I thought I might get through an episode of this final Supernatural season without crying, THAT happened. And then THAT. Oh, and also THAT. Okay, we’ll get to it all, but first, it’s time for Sam and Dean to work on plan C (or D or E or wherever we’re at with this whole apocalypse thing).

At this point, Sam and Dean have hunters stationed at the barrier, but the ghosts are getting close to breaking out. Thankfully, Rowena has a spell that she says will reinforce the walls. So, the boys escort her back to the crypt where this season started so she can do her thing. Only “her thing” goes terribly wrong.

In order to do the spell, she took communion with the wall, and when she did, she could feel how close it was to collapse, and furthermore, she could feel just how angry the ghosts are. They’re too strong, she tells the boys. “We’re all going to die.”

With Rowena’s plan down for the count, Dean comes up with one of his own: He and Sam are going to go out there and kill every single thing they can before those walls collapse. He’s not going to give Chuck the ending he wants. As Dean puts it, “I’ll be damned if I’m going to let some glorified fan boy get the last word.”

But it’s Belphagor who comes up with the winning idea. Once he realizes that God didn’t open a door or a gate to hell, but rather he stomped his foot and ripped hell open, something clicks for him. Back in the day, it seems Lilith created a crook. (Think: Little Bo Peep’s curvy cane.) Except this is apparently more like a horn? Long story short, when Lilith began sending demons to earth, she needed a way to ensure their loyalty, a way to control her flock. So she forged the crook, which is capable of retrieving all of hell’s lost creatures and bringing them home. And now that all the doors in hell are open, they just need to go and retrieve the thing from Lilith’s chamber.

Once they blow the horn, Rowena believes she can use a healing spell in order to seal up the rift, treating it as if it were a wound. The question is: Who does what? Rowena asks Sam to stay and help her, as he’s the closest to a witch in this bunch. Belphagor will go to hell but wants someone to come along for protection, and Dean is all too quick to volunteer Castiel. As for Dean, Rowena needs someone by the rift. She can light the fuse, but someone has to throw the bomb in. And Dean is certainly the man for that.

Supernatural -- "The Rupture" -- Image Number: SN1504a_0088b.jpg -- Pictured (L-R): Jared Padalecki as Sam and Ruth Connell as Rowena -- Photo: Diyah Pera/The CW -- © 2019 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
Diyah Pera/The CW

Elsewhere, we cut to Ketch waking up in the hospital. The bullets have been removed, and he’s all whole and healed and ready to check himself out ahead of schedule when Ardad shows up at the hospital. Reminder: Ardad was the demon who hired Ketch to kill Belphagor, and when she finds out Belphagor is alive, she’s pissed. She and Ketch fight, and when it becomes clear that he’s protecting his friends and won’t give them up — “not at any price” — she rips his heart out.

Yes, it was a sudden death, but I appreciated it in that every death can’t be some massive production. And as far as this season goes, we can talk about the high stakes all we want, but they’re not going to matter until we feel them. And losing someone in episode 3 is a great way to feel them. Plus, having Ketch die because he’s loyal to Sam and Dean? Talk about character evolution.

As for Ardad, she steals Ketch’s phone and texts Dean — who’s apparently a VERY fast texter — about the plan. He tells her everything.

Back at the rupture, Castiel pushes Belphagor into hell and jumps in after him. Together, in hell, they find Lilith’s chamber and the crook. Of course it’s sealed in a box that’s covered with an Enochian incantation, which Castiel has to SING. (I love that this show still finds ways to implement humor when the world is crumbling, though I wish we’d gotten more of Castiel’s singing.)

Once Cas gets the box open, Ardad shows up to ruin Belphagor’s plan. She tells Cas that Belphagor wants to rule hell, and after Belphagor kills her, Castiel asks for the truth. And here it is: The crook won’t suck the souls back to hell. It will suck them INTO Belphagor, making him incredibly powerful… like a god.

Before Cas can stop him, Belphagor sounds the horn, which means it’s game time back on earth. Sam and Rowena complete the spell, Dean throws the bomb into the rift, and then… something feels off. Back in hell, Castiel fights his way back to Belphagor and tackles the crook out of his hand. Then, through his tears, Castiel burns the body of Jack, whom he considered a son, in order to protect the world from Belphagor. (After all, Cas knows the power that comes with a bunch of souls.)

With another failed plan on their hands, Rowena reveals her backup plan: After removing her last resurrection charm, she tells Sam she has a spell that will allow her to suck all the souls into her body. All she needs is her flowing blood and her final breath. She can absorb the ghosts, return them to hell, and then in time her body will break down and release the ghosts, but they’ll be released where they belong.

She hands Sam a knife and tells him he has to be the one to kill her. After all, in Death’s books, Rowena’s permanent demise always comes at Sam’s hands. “I know this in my bones. It has to be this way,” she tells a reluctant Sam as he starts to cry. And then Rowena, knowing just what to say to convince him, says, “Will you let the world die, let your brother die, just so I can live?” Then Sam hugs her and stabs her, to which she says, “That’s my boy,” and I’m now a puddle of tears.

Just as Castiel returns and tells Dean he killed Belphagor, Rowena walks out, sucking up souls as she goes. With one final “Goodbye, boys” much like the final words of her son, Crowley, she falls into hell. (An image that brings me back to Sam jumping into hell in “Swan Song.”)

Back at the bunker, Dean tells Sam he didn’t have a choice with Rowena, but Sam’s still grieving. As for Castiel, Dean tells him that he always seems to be the thing that goes wrong with their plan. And once it’s clear that Dean still isn’t interested in forgiving Castiel for Mary’s death, Castiel tells him, “I don’t think there’s anything left to say,” as he turns to leave.

Dean asks where he’s going, and he tells him, “Jack’s dead. Chuck’s gone. You and Sam have each other. I think it’s time for me to move on.” And then the angel who raised Dean from perdition and became family… simply walks out. (I’d say I started crying again, but I never stopped.)

Well, it really feels like we’re in the final season now. Not only did we say a quick goodbye to Ketch, but Rowena died a hero’s death and now Castiel is off on his own. That’s one way to wrap up a story line and launch a final season.

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