Supernatural “Baby” Review (Season 11, Episode 4)

Supernatural "Baby" Season 11 Episode 4 (2)

Anyone who doesn’t really watch Supernatural would say that the show has two leads. They would be wrong. There are three. Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles, and a 1967 Chevy Impala. The Supernatural fandom sometimes refers to her as Metallicar, but Dean just calls her Baby. Whatever you may want to call her, for the Winchester Boys, she’s always just been home. She’s one of the very few constants they’ve had in their lives, and she’s been there for them through good times, bad times, and even the end of times. She’s been destroyed and rebuilt almost as many times as the Winchesters have, but no matter what happens, she’s always there waiting to give the Boys whatever they need so they can keep fighting for another day.

When I first heard Supernatural was doing an entire episode from Baby’s perspective, I tried not to get my hopes up too high. Oftentimes, we build things up in our heads and then when whatever it is actually happens, it’s kind of a letdown because it can never live up to the hype we’ve created. That being said, this episode delivered on so many different levels and it was even better than I thought it would be. And I already thought it was going to be pretty good. One of the many things that Supernatural has done well over the years is play with form. Going all the way back to season two where they first nudged the fourth wall in ‘Hollywood Babylon.’ They went on to do episodes like season three’s ‘Ghostfacers’ and season six’s ‘The French Mistake’ that took the show in new and interesting directions. This episode was no different. All of the action took place in and around Baby, and that’s a perspective we’ve never seen on the show before. I thought it would be mostly exposition due to the tight quarters and the logistics of filming. But once again, the Supernatural cast and crew have proven themselves resourceful and talented. There were two fight scenes that took place entirely within the car. The fact that the fights were in such close quarters actually added an element of urgency and suspense that I don’t usually feel because this time there was nowhere to run. Everyone involved did a marvelous job. The willingness of the show and the actors to not only poke fun at themselves but to experiment with format is part of what has helped Supernatural carry on while other shows have fizzled out.

One of my frustrations with the show over the last several seasons is the fact that Sam and Dean never seem to have truly meaningful conversations. They may get thirty seconds or so at the end of an episode, but they haven’t had the kind of conversation that they need to have for years. This episode FINALLY provided them with an opportunity to have an actual, honest to goodness conversation. Sam woke up from what was either a dream or a vision (more on that in a minute) and told Dean what he saw. The reason this conversation was so important is that it’s the most honest these two have been with each other for a very long time. Sam finally told Dean that he had been infected by that weird veiny thing, and Dean voiced his displeasure at Sam keeping that from him. Sam didn’t tell him about Billie, but he did admit that he’d prayed asking God for help. Dean’s response to that was pretty much exactly what I thought it would be, but it was also much sadder in a way.

Dean has long felt abandoned by God and has a lot of anger/resentment about it. I happen to think Dean is wrong about God not helping, but that’s another discussion for another day. The point right now is, Dean doesn’t want to get his hopes up about God stepping in to help fight The Darkness when it looks and feels to him like God doesn’t care about them one way or the other. Dean definitely feels guilty about letting The Darkness out, but mostly, I think he’s scared. It’s a force he doesn’t know how to fight or kill. It’s a force that took God and all of His archangels to cage in the first place. And it’s a force that’s already let Dean know that they are somehow bound. This is all new territory for Dean, and for the first time in a long time he has absolutely no idea what to do. So his initial unwillingness to believe that Sam’s vision was anything other than just a dream is due in large part to him trying to find his own footing in this mess and not wanting to get his hopes up that they might actually get some much needed help this time around. I was expecting all of that because that’s Dean Winchester. What I was NOT expecting, and what broke my heart the most about that scene, was Dean’s admission that he dreams about his dad all the time. And in his dream, John does the one thing that he never really did in life which is tell Dean that he did a good job. After all these years and everything that Dean and Sam have been through; after they’ve literally saved the world a few times over, Dean’s recurring dream is just for his father to tell him that he did a good job and that he’s proud of him. Which is the other part of Dean’s refusal to believe that Sam’s vision is anything more than a dream. Sam prayed asking for help, and it looks like they might actually be getting some. Even if it is all terribly cryptic. Dean’s reaction suggests that he believes the only time anything good actually happens to them is in their dreams, so the fact that God might actually be listening and might actually be offering help is obviously just a dream. Because the only place Dean has ever been good enough for John to be proud of him is in his dreams. Because the only place Dean gets the one thing he truly needs is in his dream. So yeah, it had to have been a dream. Thanks, Supernatural, for stabbing me right in the feels.

I’m inclined to believe Sam had a vision, but I don’t think it came from God. In the season premiere, a couple of demons told Crowley that Michael and Lucifer were making all kinds of noise from the cage. We’ve already seen Lucifer communicate with Sam via his dreams, and we also know that Lucifer has a very strong connection to Sam because Sam is his true vessel. My theory is that Lucifer is trying to communicate with Sam and trying to let Sam know that they need to have a conversation. I would love it if God were to show up as well, but since Lucifer was the one originally entrusted with being the lock for The Darkness’s cage, he would probably have more insight into how to fight it and, more importantly, how to stop it. I will say that Sam’s vision provided the pleasant surprise of Matt Cohen showing up on Supernatural again. I tried to remain as spoiler free as possible for this episode, so I had absolutely no idea that young John Winchester would be making an appearance. I think the fact that young John showed up as opposed to the John that Sam really knew is what convinced him that he was having some sort of vision. Also, the throwaway line about “John” never being able to fool Sam pretty much convinces me that it was Lucifer making contact with Sam. This is no doubt the first in a series of visions Sam is going to have, and I sincerely hope that he doesn’t keep them from Dean. The Boys cannot afford to have that kind of drama between them given all the external forces they’re facing.

This will definitely go down as one of my favorite episodes. Robbie Thompson wrote a funny yet emotionally packed script. I knew it was going to be a tough one when the episode opened with the Impala scenes from ‘Swan Song’ complete with Chuck’s voiceover. How dare you sir! I especially liked this episode’s ending. Baby was just as beat up, bruised, and bloodied as the Boys. And just when it looks like she doesn’t have anything left to give, Dean turns the key, gives her a little push, and she digs deep to find a little something more to give her Boys. She keeps on chugging along for as long as her Boys need her. This episode also let us know that the monsters are just as afraid of The Darkness as everyone else. I imagine by the time all is said and done, there will have been some very strange alliances created. That was already hinted at in last week’s episode, so we’ll just have to see how that plays out. I really enjoyed all of Sam and Dean’s BM moments in this episode. Pretty much everything that happened in the car has been my head cannon since the beginning. They’re brothers. Of course they’re going to pick at each other the whole way to wherever they’re going and sing along with the radio. It was kind of odd to me for Sam to go pick up a random waitress and hook up with her in the back of the car though. I’m not saying Sam’s never had one night stands, but it’s usually more Dean’s MO than Sam’s. As is flirting with gas-n-sip cashiers to the point he can’t see his brother fighting a monster outside in the car. But Dean’s reaction to Sam’s hookup was pretty priceless, so all is forgiven. On a much more shallow note, I’m very disappointed in that car wash scene. There weren’t nearly enough wet/missing t-shirts. Such a missed opportunity! So what did y’all think of this week’s Supernatural?