Supernatural: The Trap
January 16, 2020 6:48 PM - Season 15, Episode 9 - Subscribe

Sam and Eileen are faced with the brutal truth. Meanwhile Dean and Cass work together in Purgatory in the hopes of getting a step ahead of Chuck.
posted by oh yeah! (22 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
i chuckled at "come on, Eileen"
posted by numaner at 11:18 AM on January 17, 2020

I didn't buy that "future" from Chuck for one second. Of course it's all a lie. I'm disappointed Sam fell for it.

Sucks for Eileen and Sam though, not sure if their romance was really real or pushed by Chuck. But that was a good kiss. I can't remember the last time Sam kissed anybody on the show.

I was also surprised that Sam didn't think to check Death's books again to see if that's how they really die.
posted by numaner at 12:30 PM on January 17, 2020 [2 favorites]

This episode was a real cracker. It was good, but it made me sad because it had "setup for the finale" written all over it and it drove home that this show is actually gonna END soon. How can Supernatural actually be over? How does that work?

I suspect Chuck was telling the truth about the future, although obviously there's reason to doubt him. We already saw Castiel take on the mark, which is ominous. (Although him going crazy and ending up in a box would be weird, given the dangling threat of him having a moment of true happiness and ending up in the Empty.) I don't know how they can wrap this up without it seeming anticlimactic. They've dispensed with the idea of trapping God. They probably can't kill him. If he just agrees to leave our universe and let the Winchesters live their lives, that probably won't pack much oomph. Although contemplating that possibility does raise the question of what Chuck's plan is here.

In the season premiere he said something like, Welcome to the beginning of the end. So, is he planning to destroy our world? It doesn't sound like it. Does he just want Sam and Dean to kill each other? It seemed like he was hanging around on Earth because he was stuck here from the wound he shared with Sam, but now the wound is gone and he's presumably back to full power... so, what is his next goal? They're walking a fine line here, making Chuck scary while also keeping him recognizable as the mellow Chuck we knew, but his big villain plan is a little unclear for me.

I was also surprised that Sam didn't think to check Death's books again to see if that's how they really die.

Do they have Billie's books, to check them? I thought they had to go to some special Death Library to look at that stuff. They'd also have reason to wonder if Billie's books would tell them the truth. She's not exactly an ally these days.

Hey, Jack's back! I have a hunch Billie has some plan against God, and it involves Jack and probably Lucifer too. Maybe she'll strike some deal with the Winchesters, so she'll reap Chuck and... I dunno. If she became the new God, or there was no God, that doesn't sound good at all. Will Jack be the new God?
posted by Ursula Hitler at 5:56 PM on January 17, 2020

In their vampire deaths, wasn’t that Bobby coming in to kill them with Jodie? How could that be this reality?
posted by Suffocating Kitty at 7:09 PM on January 17, 2020

Alt-universe Bobby, who is still alive. Chuck is probably telling a true future but it seems to be one with no players at or near Chuck's level. I am waiting for Amara to make a move, given her feelings for Dean. I am curious as to what really happened with Castiel and the Leviathans. Is Eve looking forward to the chaos of Marked Castiel? Does Chuck understand what Jack represents?
posted by Ignorantsavage at 10:00 PM on January 17, 2020

I know I was supposed to be horrified by the vampire future but... I could only laugh. The teeth, the hissing, oh my god.
posted by tomboko at 6:22 AM on January 18, 2020

I agree with Ursala's hunch about Billie. I think Billie will be a player and I suspect Chuck has little power over her. Amara has been on the sidelines but she's no longer an ally of her brother. The Queen of Hell loves her "boys" and Prime Michael doesn't trust his father. And I am still holding out hope that the Trickster is still available. If anything, Chuck is outnumbered (and with Amara, outgunned).
posted by Ber at 10:19 AM on January 18, 2020

So I got the bit where Sam and Dean turned into vampires. But what was going on in the scene before that, when they get home from a hunt and you hear a gunshot offscreen, and Sam realizes he can't turn the watch any farther? Was the idea that Sam was secretly a vampire, shot Dean, and then turned him?

I'm fine if we're saving this for a Maximum Feelings moment, but just making sure, Castiel never actually gave Dean his necklace back, did he? Like theoretically he's still walking around with the god-o-meter in his pocket?

That felt like a pretty weaksauce excuse to get Eileen out of the picture for the next little while (much better than killing her again, obviously.) Surely it can't be THAT hard to imagine reasons a basically sensible woman would decide to get the hell out of that cave.

I agree that this really felt like it was setting up for the end, even if I have no idea what that looks like. But it's a good point about the other heavy-hitters who now have really good reason not to like the direction Chuck's heading. It's their universe too, I guess.
posted by jameaterblues at 7:42 PM on January 18, 2020

you hear a gunshot offscreen, and Sam realizes he can't turn the watch any farther?

I don't actually remember that moment. He couldn't fast-forward past when he got killed as a vampire, I know that. But was there a gunshot in the bunker?

Chuck is an interesting and confusing villain, because he's not capital-E evil. When he does bad things, they keep undercutting it with stuff like him telling Becky that he wasn't killing her family when he poofed them away, or making Eileen dig around in Sam's shoulder because Chuck couldn't do it himself. There was that casino full of dead people, that was pretty chilling, but that doesn't really fit the behavior we're seeing from him otherwise. The casino was Big Bad stuff, but otherwise he still doesn't seem that far from the guy we thought we knew.

Next week's preview seemed like a more jokey episode where the bros are having really bad luck. I wonder if that's them trying to live life without Chuck writing lucky breaks for them, like he's revoked his usual help because he's trying to prove that they NEED him. There was an interesting moment in this episode where Chuck made it clear he still thinks of them as his friends, and they're just going through a rough patch. It made me think that there could be a version of this story where they reason with Chuck and come up with a better ending, and that breaks the cycle where he's apparently told this story a million times before and it always ends badly. I kind of doubt the show will go there, but it could be interesting if they defeat Chuck somehow and he's actually happy because his creation has surprised him and come up with something better than he could do.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 1:24 AM on January 19, 2020

So maybe it wasn't a gunshot--they're coming up the stairs, Dean goes on ahead, Sam hesitates a minute, then it cuts to Chuck and real Sam, you hear a bang, and Chuck says something like "I guess Dean should've trusted his gut on that one" and that's when Sam tries actually futzing with the watch. It sounded like a gun to me, but maybe it was a door slamming, and Dean's mad because...they're both vampires now?

(oh god is this like the narrator only I could hear)

The casino of dead people (who are maybe...sleeping? know, just a little...god nap...?) was creepy, but I tend to read Chuck more as squeamish and reluctant to get his hands dirty than actually repulsed by the idea of torture or murder. He's not rampaging around committing violent atrocities like Lucifer/Nick. But if we take him at his word he creates and abandons whole universes once he's bored torturing them for entertainment, maybe "evil" isn't exactly the right word there, but he's at least working from a moral framework way outside (almost) anyone else on the show.

I might actually be okay with an ending where Chuck somehow comes to the belief that being surprised by his creations is better than running a million drafts to get exactly the outcome that will finally feel "right". I've never totally decided how to take Chuck regarding Sam and Dean as his "favorite show," or even how he even conceptualizes individual humans. I think where they aim for Chuck to be sympathetic is that even though he's textually closer to a writer of the show, he's a viewer stand-in, not in the sense he needs exposition constantly explained to him, but in that he understands the rules of the world and at this point is just hanging around for the Winchester melodrama those rules ensure is an endlessly renewable resource. The ending of TPTB choosing to let that go and giving Sam and Dean's future adventures back to them (e.g., fans) actually seems like a plausible, potentially satisfying cap to that whole meta arc that also resolves some of the logistical challenges of having to overpower God.
posted by jameaterblues at 7:23 AM on January 19, 2020 [1 favorite]

I thought the bang was the door slamming. And I lost count of how many times I said "Sam! Don't be an idiot!!" during this episode -- why on Earth would you trust that Chuck is telling the truth??

(Also, I apparently completely missed Cas taking the mark. Did he do that during the spell to make the... whatever that ball was that they were going to use to trap Chuck?)
posted by sarcasticah at 1:18 PM on January 19, 2020

So maybe it wasn't a gunshot--they're coming up the stairs, Dean goes on ahead, Sam hesitates a minute, then it cuts to Chuck and real Sam, you hear a bang, and Chuck says something like "I guess Dean should've trusted his gut on that one" and that's when Sam tries actually futzing with the watch. It sounded like a gun to me, but maybe it was a door slamming, and Dean's mad because...they're both vampires now?

So the way I read that scene is that the loud banging is the door to the bunker slamming, as Dean leaves to go on this hunt with Sam. And Dean is mad because he doesn't want to go hunting anymore, but he's going to do it anyway because he's not going to let Sam go out to do this on his own. The reason that Dean should have trusted his gut is because this hunt is what leads to them both becoming vampires, but I don't think Dean knows that at that point.
posted by litera scripta manet at 8:46 AM on January 20, 2020 [1 favorite]

Also, I was so hoping that we would get to see Benny again when they did that visit to Purgatory. Benny has always been one of my favorite recurring characters.

Unless I'm misremembering, in all the brainstorming about how to deal with Chuck, it seems like neither Sam, Dean, or Cas have brought up the possibility of teaming up with Amara. And that just seems like such an obvious thing to consider! I know it's come up in these fanfare threads multiple times. It's true that the boys don't know that Amara is much more chill than she used to be, but she always did have a soft spot for Dean, and she's the only one with power on God's level, not to mention she's the one who is most likely to know his weaknesses or to have an idea of how to deal with him that the boys (or even Michael) wouldn't be able to come up with.
posted by litera scripta manet at 8:50 AM on January 20, 2020 all of those were fake future forwards, more or less? I started zoning out so hard as all of the doom n' gloom repeated in different ways.

I still think Sam and Eileen at least 50% liked each other, so heck, might as well go for it.
posted by jenfullmoon at 8:28 PM on January 20, 2020

one thing I was confused about: What "Mark" are they talking about? The Mark of Cain? There was no mention of a "mark" in the last episode, and Adam/Michael didn't mention that anyone would have to take on any "mark" using that spell. I double checked. That was really out of left field to me.
posted by numaner at 3:40 PM on January 21, 2020

I think it was an alt-universe Mark of Cain?
posted by jenfullmoon at 5:42 PM on January 21, 2020

I was so hoping that we would get to see Benny again when they did that visit to Purgatory. Benny has always been one of my favorite recurring characters.

Same here. I wonder if they've been showing us unhappy endings for some likeable characters - Kevin, Benny - just to set us up for a happy surprise at the end when we see them again and it turns out there's some way to at least send them to heaven.

It did seem like the Mark of Cain component of the spell just suddenly came out of left field. I guess it does make sense because it was used to lock Amara away. But you'd think Michael might have mentioned it last time. The Supernatural Wiki says, "When the bearer of the Mark receives a mortal wound that would kill them, the Mark transforms their soul into a Knight of Hell, so that it can live on, and never perish." So maybe having it will somehow save Cas from his promised fate of being sent to the Empty.

I didn't completely get why Eileen left. Because she wasn't sure if she and Sam were really into each other or just manipulated into their feelings by Chuck? Where's she going to go? Not that that's ever been an issue for anyone on this show. No one seems to have trouble buying groceries or paying rent even if they've just arrived from another universe and have no source of income.

I've been saying since last year that they should make Jack the next God. Whether or not that happens, clearly he's going to get back in the action somehow. I wonder how they'll deal with his soullessness. Maybe Bobbie can help him get his soul back somehow.
posted by Redstart at 5:04 PM on January 22, 2020 [1 favorite]

Billie, I mean. I keep forgetting her name.
posted by Redstart at 8:35 PM on January 22, 2020

Redstart: yeah, that was about the reason, but good point on where's she going to go.
posted by jenfullmoon at 2:55 PM on January 23, 2020

This one needs some kind of retroactive future-predicting content warning. They jump ahead in time to Jan 6, 2021 to declare that "The monsters are winning"? Too on the nose for me.
posted by Quonab at 9:53 AM on July 21, 2021 [1 favorite]


Leviathan: What do you want?
Dean: Well, it's a little embarrassing saying it out loud, but we're looking for a flower.
Leviathan: A flower? What do I look like, a florist?

Dean: I think we're going 'round in circles. We've seen this corpse before.
Castiel: No, Dean, my sense of direction is excellent; that's a different corpse.
Dean: [Inspects the corpse] I don't know.

Dean: You're right; it is a different corpse.


According to showrunner Andrew Dabb, Dean and Castiel's return to Purgatory was meant to be a "twisted replay" of their season 8 storyline and a way for the two friends to work out their recent problems with each other.

It is revealed that Sam's dreams about him and Dean killing each other were not God's drafts for possible "endings" but alternate-reality versions of Sam and Dean that actually did kill each other.

When Dean and Castiel are tricked by the leviathan in purgatory, he says that Eve is upset with Cass for "swallowing her leviathans". In season 7, the leviathans did not come from Eve but from God, a fact which Edgar uses to disparage the alpha vampire.
posted by orange swan at 5:00 PM on May 8, 2022

I continue to be impressed by the chemistry between Jared Padalecki and Shoshannah Stern. During the scene where Chuck is forcing Eileen to cut into Sam's wound, she is in anguish and Sam's first concern is to reassure her that he knows it isn't her -- the trust and care between them is so apparent. The goodbye scene was well-played too. That was a lovely kiss.

Alas for Benny. The actor seems horrible but I did really like that character.

Where do people/creatures who die in Purgatory go? Hell? The Empty?

Also... no one seems to need to eat or even get a haircut in Purgatory. It's like one's normal biology is in stasis there, and all you do is kill or die.
posted by orange swan at 5:02 PM on May 8, 2022

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