Supernatural “Form and Void” Review (Season 11, Episode 2)

Supernatural "Form and Void" Season 11 Episode 2 (12)

Winston Churchill once said that to build may have to be the slow and laborious task of years; to destroy can be the thoughtless act of a single day. Never has that statement applied more to anyone than it applies to the Winchesters right now. They’ve spent their entire lives building on the idea that their job is saving people and hunting things, but in one desperate, selfish act they have unleashed a force that could literally destroy everything. They’ve made some poor decisions in the past, but a lot of that was due to both Heaven and Hell’s machinations. However, unleashing The Darkness is the result of Sam and Dean failing to consider the consequences of their actions, and this episode revealed a bit more of those consequences. For the most part, I enjoyed this week’s Supernatural and it made me just a little bit more excited for this season’s possibilities. I apologize in advance ’cause this might get a little long.

What I’m most excited about is The Darkness aka Amara. It’s a force we’ve never seen before and it’s not something that there’s a whole lot of lore about. Unlike with Lucifer, for example, most people don’t have any preconceived notions about her. She can be anyone. She can have any powers. She can have any weakness. At this point, the possibilities are literally endless. I was particularly pleased with the information we discovered about Amara in this episode. Primarily that her chief source of nutrition is human souls. I was excited about that because it presents an interesting problem for the Winchesters. What separates the Winchesters from the bad guys is that they don’t kill humans. The fact that Amara doesn’t kill them either but just leaves them soulless means that if she keeps on eating, there will be a bunch of humans walking around without their souls. They aren’t inherently evil, but the lack of any sort of moral compass or ability to feel makes them highly dangerous. We saw how much damage Sam caused while he was soulless and he was just one guy. So if Amara goes across the country sucking down souls and leaving the vessels behind, how are Sam and Dean supposed fight that? They can’t get the souls back if Amara’s devoured them. They can’t just kill people either. Dean wasn’t forced to make any decision in that regard this time because Crowley killed Jenna first. But going forward, it may be something the Boys will have to confront and I’m interested to see how they solve that particular problem.

Speaking of Crowley, it was refreshing to see him be so delightfully evil. Ever since Sam almost cured him in the season eight finale, Crowley has flirted with humanity to one degree or another. The fact that he no longer had both feet solidly on one side or the other made him more complex as a character but less effective overall. Sam’s failed assassination attempt last season seems to have reminded Crowley that he’s a demon and he needs to start acting like it. He made that fact very clear to Dean, and it looks like their Flickr albums are all that remain of Crowley and Dean’s bromance. I’m excited to see Crowley get back to the snarky, self-centered opportunistic baddie that he is because I’ve actually kind of missed that guy. Although, I don’t believe a partnership with Amara is going to work out as well as Crowley believes it will. He should’ve learned his lesson when he navigated circumstances so that Dean could get the Mark of Cain and ultimately turn into a demon. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see how long it takes before that relationship implodes.

While Dean and Crowley were doing their thing with Amara, Sam was back at the hospital trying to figure out how to cure himself and everyone else of the weird, gross monster vein thing. I never had a doubt that Sam would find some sort of cure, but Sam’s story this week didn’t play out exactly the way I thought it would. First of all, this episode showed us that despite everything he’s been through, Sam hasn’t completely lost his faith. Both Sam and Dean decided a long time ago that God has abandoned humanity, but I’ve never believed that’s the case. My grandmother used to say that a lot of folks miss God showing up because He doesn’t show up the way they want or expect. I think that’s true of the Winchesters. When Dean asked God for help back in season five, God gave him Sam and Cas. When Sam asked for help in this episode, God gave same a vision. Albeit a pretty cryptic one. But Sam is a smart guy, and I’m sure he’ll figure it out. Second, we met Billie the Reaper and she doesn’t seem to like Sam and Dean all that much. I can understand the reapers being upset about Dean killing Death, but it’s still uncool for Billie to show up and inform Sam that when he and Dean die, the reapers are planning to throw them out into nothingness. After everything those Boys have sacrificed, they deserve better than that. Billie also let Sam know that his and Dean’s days of always coming back from the dead are over. That raises the stakes for Sam and Dean in a way nothing has for a good while now. For several seasons it’s felt like Sam and Dean aren’t really concerned about their deaths being permanent because they have so many avenues by which they can bring the other back. However, with Billie’s threat of throwing them into nothingness, it seems that bringing the other back won’t be an option any longer no matter what kind of mojo they find.

Cas certainly had a rough go of it. Not only was he captured and tortured, but he was betrayed by someone he considered a friend. I had actually developed some respect for Hannah when she released her vessel, but that was all wiped away in this episode. She proved herself to be just as manipulative and untrustworthy as all of the other angels have been, and it seemed to open Cas’s eyes to the fact that they aren’t really his family. Not anymore. That realization broke something in Cas. Everything Cas has done since God resurrected him at the end of season five has been, in Cas’s mind anyway, to protect Heaven and save his family. He hasn’t always made the right choices, but I do believe it’s always come from his heart. And in his heart he still thought of all of the angels as his brothers and sisters. So when he realized that not only will they never really forgive him for his past mistakes, but they’ve all voted to kill him, it broke Cas’s heart. It also led him to finally realize that Heaven is no longer his home and the angels are no longer his family. My heart broke for Cas. He still has the issue of the spell to deal with, but I’m glad he’s gone to his real family to ask for help. I’m also hoping that this episode provided some direction for Cas as a character. For the last several seasons, Cas hasn’t really fit into the storyline in an organic way. He doesn’t seem to have much of a purpose, and one of his most interesting story arcs (becoming human) was taken away all too quickly. I’m hoping that this episode laid the foundation for Cas to spend this season discovering who he is as an individual and what his purpose is.

I only have one real complaint with this episode. While Sam and Dean were separated, they checked in with each other, but neither of them were completely forthcoming regarding the true status of their circumstances. The entire time Sam was on the phone with Dean, I kept waiting for him to tell Dean that he’d been infected. I kept waiting for Dean to tell Sam what The Darkness had told him. Sadly, neither of those things ever happened. Sam was all gung ho in last week’s episode that he and Dean need to change the way they operate, but when exactly is that supposed to start? The primary issue that has plagued them pretty much since season four is the fact that they keep things from each other. One or both of them will decide that they need to protect the other, so they’ll lie either outright or by omission about things. It’s that secrecy that has fostered feelings of mistrust between them which has led them both to make horrible decisions that lead to even more horrible consequences. Sam not sharing with Dean that he’d been infected and Dean not sharing with Sam that The Darkness (aka Amara) is somehow connected to him isn’t starting things off very well. I understand that it takes time to change bad habits, but the time to start making that change is now.

As I said, I enjoyed this episode. Team Free Will is finally back together and I couldn’t be happier. I’ve been wanting Team Free Will for a long time. They’re a bit worse for wear right now, but they’ll be ok. Billie’s introduction was wonderfully done. Jen Titus’s version of ‘O, Death’ is still my favorite, but this one was wonderful too. It was haunting and powerful and just the right touch for that scene. Sam’s vision looked like it was a memory from his time in the cage, and I’m hoping that was God’s way of telling Sam he needs to talk to Lucifer. And let me go ahead and say, if Mark Pellegrino doesn’t show up on Supernatural at some point this season, I’m going to be one very unhappy camper. There was a lot of information thrown at us, but the story was very compact and focused. It didn’t unfold exactly the way I thought it would, and that showed some imagination that we haven’t seen for a while on this show. So kudos to Andrew Dabb for a well-written script. I also appreciate the fact that Andrew Dabb reminded everyone (in a subtle but not so subtle way) that Sam and Dean Winchester are actually smart, resourceful guys by having Sam make a taser out of ordinary stuff from the hardware store. Brilliant. Fingers crossed we can keep this kind of tight storytelling and positive momentum for the duration of the season. So what did y’all think of this week’s Supernatural?