Supernatural: Ouroboros
March 9, 2019 5:29 PM - Season 14, Episode 14 - Subscribe

Sam and Dean enlist the help of Rowena to track down a demi-god who feasts on human flesh; the challenge of keeping Michael at bay is proving to be more difficult than originally anticipated.

According to IMDB:

"Ouroboros" is the name for the circular symbol depicting a snake or dragon swallowing its own tail - a sign for wholeness and infinity.
posted by litera scripta manet (16 comments total)
 
So I kind of liked this episode, but it feels super anticlimactic to have that be the end of Michael. All that build up, and he's just gone? What are they going to do for the last 6 episodes of the season?

Also, I'm not sure how I feel about Jack having all his powers back. The show has always struggled with all powerful characters. It just makes things too easy.

When the Michael taking Rowena as a vessel thing was revealed, I figured that maybe this would be how the whole "Sam kills Rowena" thing turns out. It might have been interesting if Sam had to kill Rowena to kill Michael.

But so much for that.

On the bright side, yay, all those extras from Apocalypse world are dead! I was so tired of them hanging around the bunker.
posted by litera scripta manet at 5:33 PM on March 9 [1 favorite]


It did seem anticlimactic but I'm guessing things aren't as good as they appear. Maybe having Michael's grace will do something bad to Jack. Maybe Michael isn't really dead but is actually possessing Jack.

If Jack really does have all his powers back, I guess we don't have to worry too much about Cas getting sent back to the Empty. If Jack brought him back once he ought to be able to bring him back again.

I feel like they need to return to Kaia and her mysterious bad world. If Jack has his powers maybe he can open up a doorway to her world and we can find out more about it. Maybe that's where the next big bad will come from. Another Lucifer maybe, summoned by Nick.

Of course there's also the question of what's going on in heaven and how many angels are left. If I were writing the show I would have it turn out that Jack can turn humans into angels and I would have Mary volunteer to be one. I think they need a way to have her not be around most of the time without dying a tragic death or choosing to ignore her kids, and sending her up to be in charge of improving heaven would be the perfect solution. Apocalypse World Bobby could become an angel too.
posted by Redstart at 7:15 PM on March 9 [1 favorite]


I wasn't pissed off by the super queeny gorgon villain but I could sure understand why some people would be. I mean, he was a bitchy, effeminate, pretty boy (literal) man-eater, and that's a big bucket of tropes that a lot of LGBT people REALLY don't want to see on TV in 2019!

It's easy to picture the show's writers devising this as a sexy lady character and then deciding they'd done that too much and they didn't want to be misogynistic, so they made it a male hustler instead and they thought that was daring and progressive. Well, this episode wasn't misogynistic but it sure won't be winning any GLAAD awards.

This show used to dabble in homophobia a lot without ever quite tipping over into hatefulness. It seemed like it was written by straight people who were kind of squeamish about gay stuff but didn't want to be assholes or anything, so there would be a lot of gags where the bros would be confronted by something LGBT-adjacent and they would kind of look uncomfortable and maybe Dean would say something about how they would never speak of this again and we were supposed to think that was funny. All of that fell away a few seasons ago, thank goodness, but this episode gave me some uncomfortable flashbacks.

I looked up the writer, Steve Yockey, and a few things make me suspect he could be gay. If so, that casts the snake-boy character in a whole other light. It could be a knowing, deliberately campy thing, this guy in a snakeskin jacket who seduces truckers and kills them with a kiss. But jeez, it kind of weirds me out, needing to know if a writer is gay before I can tell if his script is homophobic.

So, Michael is dead?? WTF? He kind of bought it like a chump, well before the season's end, and that's either a fake-out or they have a big twist planned. I think Jack is gonna become the bad guy for the rest of this season, either because he burned out the last of his soul or because absorbing Michael's grace will corrupt him. I'd hate to see sweet little Jack go bad, but he does have good bad guy potential.

Redstart, I really like the idea of some of the human characters becoming angels! It'd be a nice twist and it'd streamline the narrative by kind of shelving some of the characters the writers seem to be flailing with, like Alt-Bobby. It was funny how the alt-hunters were suddenly back, after being kind of AWOL lately, just so they could die in Michael's massacre. I could almost hear the show's creators heave a sigh of relief. "Thank God we don't have to come up with a plot for those guys any more, and we don't have to keep hiring extras!"
posted by Ursula Hitler at 9:55 PM on March 9 [1 favorite]


All that build up, and he's just gone? What are they going to do for the last 6 episodes of the season?

Also, I'm not sure how I feel about Jack having all his powers back. The show has always struggled with all powerful characters. It just makes things too easy.


Well, considering Jack probably burned off whatever was left off his soul in order to defeat Michael, I'm pretty sure that the second problem you mention is both not a problem and also the solution to the first problem.

I kinda liked Maggie but if I haven't learned to expect abrupt deaths for any female characters on this show by now I clearly never will. The rest of the Apocalypse World folks, well, clearly we're pretty much done with Apocalypse World and never going back so it's probably just as well for them.
posted by mstokes650 at 10:02 PM on March 9 [1 favorite]


If I were writing the show I would have it turn out that Jack can turn humans into angels and I would have Mary volunteer to be one.

Yeah, when I was writing about how happy I was to be done with the Apocalypse world extras, I almost said I wish Mary had been dispatched along with them, but then I decided I didn't really want Mary killed. I just don't want her hanging around anymore. There were a lot of interesting things they could have done with her character, but they just don't really seem to know how to deal with her.

Before they had killed off all the Apocalypse world people, then I was hoping that Mary and Alt-Bobby would go back to Apocalypse world with everyone else. Maybe that's still an option now that Jack is powered up? With Michael gone, maybe Mary and Bobby can go back and rebuild Apocalypse world. Or maybe they should go steal some angels from over there. Perhaps a powered up Jack could take over for Michael? Or maybe Naomi can brainwash the Apocalypse world angels into not being total dicks?

I assumed next season would be when they dealt with the Heaven situation, but now that Michael seems to be taken care of, perhaps they plan on tackling that in the last 6 episodes.
posted by litera scripta manet at 10:36 AM on March 10


Oh, or maybe they can bring Chuck back and he can start creating some angels? It would be interesting to see Chuck and Jack interact, since Chuck is technically Jack's grandfather.
posted by litera scripta manet at 10:37 AM on March 10


So what about Billy and her insistence that the only way to have Michael not destroy the world is for Dean to go in that box? Did she just not foresee this happening? Or was she purposefully misleading Dean for some reason?

If it turns out that Billy just didn't predict what Jack would do, then I guess that means that Rowena shouldn't be so confident about the whole "Sam is the that kills her in every timeline" thing.

I do think it's a bit of a missed opportunity that Michael possessing Rowena was dealt with so quickly. It might have been interesting to see that play out a little longer.
posted by litera scripta manet at 10:41 AM on March 10


I did enjoy Jack proclaiming that he is a Winchester.
posted by jenfullmoon at 7:52 PM on March 10


I did enjoy Jack proclaiming that he is a Winchester.

Hmm, let's see:

- Runs headfirst into dangerous situations to protect loved ones...check
- Died and came back...check
- Lost his soul...check (okay, burned away his soul, but close enough)

Yep, definitely a Winchester.
posted by litera scripta manet at 9:50 PM on March 10 [3 favorites]


[By the way, shoutout to litera scripta manet and numaner for getting these posts up every week! I always look forward to them and to hearing from everybody <3]

This was a really weird episode.

@UrsulaHitler, I had the same guess as you about how they ended up doing a male gorgon. A queer-coded devourer is objectively Not Great but I ended up liking him a lot as a monster; with the clothes and the cooking and everything I was getting a pretty strong Hannibal vibe too. (...but I repeat myself.) God love this show's effects department; you tell them you need a dragon, a phoenix, and gorgon, and they don't have any budget but there's a Party City down the block.

I wasn't sure if we'd ever get back around to Rowena being destined to be killed by Sam. I (guiltily) still find her unbearable, but I kind of like that she and Sam have a weird sort of bond going, since Sam hasn't had a ton to do for a while. (Well, except running a hunting operation with all the apocalypse world refugees, but that was always a background thing and now they're all dead, so.) I think they originally connected over what Lucifer had done to them, but I can imagine a shared murder-destiny being sort of reassuring for both of them, in a weird way.

I liked the scene with Castiel and Jack talking about what it meant to be the near-immortal members of a mortal(ish) family and how that's hard to internalize, especially if the humans have all come back from the dead more times than the angels put together. Castiel is so much older than any of these people, and Jack is still basically fresh out of the box in human terms, but there's stuff only they can understand about each other. (I've wondered if Castiel had any experience with humans on an individual level before the Winchesters. I'm not sure whether or not I count Jimmy Novak.)

Dean losing his shit, and then the screaming from the other room and coming out to find everyone dead, was genuinely eerie. So were we supposed to take from that that Michael could have left Dean's head at any time, and that whole time he was just fighting to take Dean over? Or did the broken door mean he finally got out, and decided Dean wasn't worth the trouble?

And yeah, that feels like it still needs to go somewhere; I can't say I'd be sorry if that was the end of the Michael arc, but I have a hard time seeing where they could take that would save such a weak overall story.
posted by jameaterblues at 10:22 PM on March 10 [2 favorites]


I'm in the camp that Michael is surviving in Jack now, and will be fighting Jack for control of a nephilim and all the power that comes with that.

I thought the gay gorgon was done well, with the campiness that this show sometimes delve into. It's a good balance vs the tragic/dramatic scenes later.

I both didn't want the Apocalypse World hunters to die and also wanted them to be around less. I was coming around to liking Maggie though, and like mstokes650 I will never learn to expect women to die on this show.

I also don't know if Billy was deliberately tricking Dean into locking himself and Michael away because she can't stand him herself, or if Fate can't account for nephilims.

I don't think Alt-Bobby would like being turned into an angel after spending so much of his life fighting them. But Mary would! That would be a neat plot. If only because heaven could use someone like her to run things.
posted by numaner at 10:13 AM on March 11


I meant to get this post up earlier but life happened.

Not a whole lot of trivia for this episode:

- This episode marks Jensen Ackles' 300th appearance on Supernatural as Dean Winchester.
- While not fully named in the episode, promotional material lists the gorgon Noah's surname as "Ophis." Ophis is the Greek word for serpent.
posted by numaner at 10:27 AM on March 11


I don't think Alt-Bobby would like being turned into an angel after spending so much of his life fighting them.

Good point. You're probably right. They should just send him back to his world and let him turn it into a better place, which he should be able to do now that Michael is out of it. Cas's vision of Jack bringing about a paradise could come true either through Michael-free Apocalypse World becoming a happy, peaceful place or through Mary turning heaven into something less like a prison.
posted by Redstart at 2:01 PM on March 11


So were we supposed to take from that that Michael could have left Dean's head at any time, and that whole time he was just fighting to take Dean over? Or did the broken door mean he finally got out, and decided Dean wasn't worth the trouble?

My assumption was that it was because of the head trauma. Dean got knocked out, which brought down his defenses, allowing Michael to break free. It's implied that Dean was struggling so much lately because Michael was just fighting to get free/constantly pitching a fit, so I assume Michael would have taken the first opportunity he could find to get out of dodge.

I did really like the Gorgon as the monster of the week. I was a little iffy at first about the gay predator vibe, but I actually think it was handled pretty well. It's definitely better than if we had seen him preying on women. And I guess they've done the female monster preys on a trucker multiple times now (Eve/The mother of all monsters and that trucker; some weird monster that I can't remember who pretended to be a hooker in S7 I believe, maybe others.)

I was almost rooting for the Gorgon to get away, just because I would have liked to see him around again.
posted by litera scripta manet at 8:30 PM on March 11


I was all excited when Michael possessed Rowena, because that would have made for one heck of a fight. So yeah, a little surprised when Jack just killed Michael off. The ending, with jack getting his powers back, felt very Buffy-season-6 to me, especially after the whole talk with Cas about how it's awful that they, being angels, have to deal with the mortal humans they love dying, but that's just the way it is. I feel like it's setting up the finale to be Jack deciding that, since he's now super powerful, he will "fix" the world so that the people he loves won't have to die... but since he is, essentially, a very sheltered and naive child, his plans will go horribly wrong.
posted by sarcasticah at 8:48 AM on March 14


Huh. I’m kinda surprised no one mentioned Jack’s eyes flashing orangey-red instead of blue at the end there.

I’m still in awe of that bit of casting, by the way. Alexander Calvert was simply born to play the half human son of Lucifer with a heart of gold who happens to look a lot like Misha Collins. I hope the casting director got a raise for that.
posted by Ruki at 3:33 PM on June 11


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