This episode is what happens when you take Supernatural, add a pinch of Die Hard, and sprinkle on a dusting of Avengers: Infinity war for good measure.
The episode opens with a beautiful view of Kansas City at Christmas time. Christmas carols are playing, lights are shining, and there is a sense of wonder all around. We enter into a Highrise after hours; the Front office is aglow with Christmas trees, presents, garland and…Blood? Yep, even Supernatural couldn’t just let a Christmas episode be a Christmas episode. The scene starts to turn more and more into a horror movie as an employee runs for his life down a blood-stained hallway. He reaches the elevator but is intercepted by a Vampire named Brett. After noticing that they’re both under the mistletoe, the monster grabs his face, leans in close … and promptly snaps his neck. The Vamp then disposes of the body, tosses away his festive Santa hat.
He then goes to the top floor to inform Michael (now in the meat suit of a fancy corporate woman) that all the employees are dead. Brett was also under orders not to feed so as to be “ready for tomorrow”. We then see Melanie (a werewolf in Michael’s army) bring in two new volunteers; one of which just so happens to be our old pal, turned werewolf, Garth (DJ Qualls!!! You have been missed). Michael immediately recognizes him as a friend of the Winchesters, which he confirms he still is. However, there is a war going on and he needs to be on the winning side in order to protect his family. Satisfied with this, Michael asks if everything else is alright and Melanie confirms; saying that, come tomorrow, “Kansas City won’t know what hit it”.
At the bunker, Jack is sitting alone, in the middle of the night, eating Cookie Crisp (Or rather, the non-copyright-infringing Krunch Cookie Crunch). Castiel interrupts to find out what Jack is doing, being up so late, and tells Jack he understands if he’s having trouble sleeping (because you know he just died, came back to life, and burned up a piece of his soul). While Castiel casually mentions that everyone in the gang has died and come back to life at some point (and that it’s kind of a rite of passage), Jack says that he’s worried about his mom and Castiel assures him that Naomi will protect all of the souls in heaven, no matter what. After a few seconds, Jack asks Castiel why he is keeping his deal with the Empty (which happened in heaven last episode) a secret for the Winchesters. Castiel tells him that he did not want to burden the brothers with that knowledge; and with the crap show that their lives are right now (what with the whole Michael issue and all) it will be a while before he is truly happy, and the Empty can claim his soul. The conversation then devolves into a decoding puzzle on the cereal box, to which Castiel coyly admits that he might have taken the decoder ring prize inside.
We then see Garth, calling Sam to fill him in on everything that is going on with Michael’s operation. Apparently, Michael wants them to take the serum (blood, mixed with Michael’s grace) that will give them the “Upgrade”. Sam is worried, but Garth is convinced he can fake it long enough to spit it out. Before any more arguing can happen, Garth is interrupted by another werewolf calling for him, and he utters that familiar Supernatural curse word… Balls. Cut back to the bunker, and Dean enters the room and reassures Sam that they have a bunch of good things going for them right now; what with knowing Michael’s location and a spy on the inside. Though the odds are pretty good for them, Sam is still shouldering the burden of pulling Garth out of retirement for an undercover mission. Just then, Castiel enters to tell the boys that is Ketch calling from overseas. The good news is, he has the golden egg (the device used in Season 12 to forcefully expel Lucifer from the body of The President); the bad news is, that he could not get it out of the country safely, so he sent it by mail via Certified Priority Express (he paid extra). The package will arrive in Lebanon the day after tomorrow, but the boys need it to go after Michael sooner than that.
Cut back to the Highrise in Kansas City, and Garth and the other werewolf volunteer are getting ready to take the plunge and join Michael’s army. After the other werewolf makes a Fortnite reference (which Garth does not get at all), Melanie walks in with the serums. The first werewolf drinks immediately, and when it’s Garth’s turn, he tries to fake it, but Michael and Melanie are not convinced. So, out of options, he swallows the serum and we see his eyes briefly glow bright white. With his new heightened senses, Garth now can overhear Michael planning on sending her army to go after Dark Kaia and destroy her spear. Michael then begins talking about all the monsters she’s turned, taking their positions throughout the city, waiting for her command. But, just as Melanie asks what that command is going to be…
… we cut back to the bunker, where Dean and Sam are trying to figure out how they are going to get the egg from the mail (which is sitting at a facility in Joplin, Missouri). The team decide to break into the mail center and steel it; but then Garth calls and informs them about the impending attack on Kaia and the spear, as well as the army of monsters ready to take out Kansas City (and on Christmas, of all days). So, they split up, Sam and Jack will go to Joplin to get the egg and Dean and Castiel will go to Omaha to find Kaia and the spear. This way, they can hit Michael from both sides.
As they reach the recycling facility where Garth heard Kaia was located, Castiel comments to Dean about how happy the Winchester brother has been. Dean tells him that having the no-strings-attached win that they got with Jack in the last episode has him fired up (yeah… no strings attached, right Castiel?). We then hear Dean talk about his true feelings about how it felt to be possessed by Michael, drowning in his own body and having no control. He confesses that he won’t truly be happy unless Michael and dead, and he is the one that kills him. At the mail center, Sam disconnects the security system and Jack asks to pick the lock for the front door. When questioned about this new skill, Jack tells Sam that he taught himself (via the Internet), so he could be useful on hunts. The lock pick is successful, and they let themselves in. Cut back to the recycling center, as Dean and Cas search the empty building. They make their way through the old dump and find Kaia’s makeshift camp, but no one is there; though, everything is still warm like she was just there. Castiel worries that they are too late, and Michael already has her, but Dean thinks there would be signs of a struggle if that were the case. Back at the mail facility, Jack and Sam complete their mission. They have the egg, but as they go to leave, they are ambushed. Sam is hit over the head by Vampire Brett and Jack is shoved into the back of a black van that speeds off. Sam comes to, but Michael corners him with the egg in her hand. Deciding that Michael is just going to kill him, Sam rushes the Archangel with an Angel blade, but is thrown back with a flick of her wrist. While Sam is down, Michael’s eyes glow and the golden egg melts like it had been made of putty. She throws Sam back against a delivery van and he is knocked unconscious.
Meanwhile, Castiel and Dean (and Garth) are worried that Sam is not answering his phone. Garth tries to warn them that Michael is ‘joining his forces’, but before he can say anything more, he is suddenly surprised by Michael, who swoops in. Dean and Castiel worry this might be a setup and they try and discuss their next steps before they are greeted by the business end of Dark Kaia’s spear. Kaia asks them what they are doing there, and Dean silently assures Castiel that it’s alright. Dean tells Kaia that they don’t want to fight for the spear, they just want to ask for it. However, if she refuses, then she should just kill Dean right then and there because the spear is the only way to kill Michael, and he does not want to live in a world where Michael wins. She agrees, but only if they get her back to her own world. Although she thought she would be safe here, she is still being pursued by monsters just like in her own world; but at least in her universe, she understood the world and her place in it. She tells them that she wants Jack to open a rift back to her home in exchange for the spear. Dean agrees, knowing that Jack’s powers are gone, and that they won’t be able to hold up their end of the bargain. She reluctantly hands over the spear, telling Dean that if he does not return it, then she will kill him. When Dean asks her how they can find her again, Kaia says that they’ve done it once before and they can do it again; she then promptly vanishes without a trace.
Sam finally wakes up, and calls Dean to let him know that the mail center was a trap, that Michael destroyed the egg, and also has Jack. Garth isn’t answering his phone, but the boys agree that Michael probably took Jack to Kansas City, so they agree to meet up there. As Sam leaves, Cas warns him not to go in alone before they can get there (aww… Cas, that’s cute that you still think a Winchester will listen to something like reason). In the Kansas City Highrise (which is so aptly named Hitomi Plaza… a reference to Die Hard’s Nakatomi Plaza), Jack is unceremoniously dragged into Michael’s office. She tells him the story about what happened to the Kansas City in Apocalypse World. Her garrison attacked the city and humans rebelled against it, making everything messy; So, by turning everyone in the city into a monster, she can ensure they are all loyal and obedient. Jack tells Michael that he hates her, and she reminds him that they are family; though, Jack rejects this by saying his Uncle is trapped in the cage. Michael doesn’t see a difference, and tells him that after a few eons, he won’t either. Michael tells Jack that his attachment to his friends (and the rest of humanity) will fade and, as his power grows, he and Michael will become more alike. Jack dutifully informs her that Team Free-Will will come for him, and she gives him a knowing smile and then walks out the door.
Down on the ground floor, the other werewolf volunteer is getting briefed by Vampire Brett on where he should be stationed as he awaits Michael’s signal (at a cathedral, for Christmas mass). Once he leaves, Brett notices Sam’s car parked in the lot; but when he goes to investigate, Sam beheads him (goodbye, Vampire Brett).
Melanie sees his body on surveillance and calls an elevator, only to be met by the same beheading when Sam steps out of it. He then breaks into the room where Jack is being held and he frees him from his bonds. Just then, they hear sounds coming from the hall and Garth enters the room. All is well as the trio leave the building, but then Garth starts to turn werewolf against his will. Apparently, Michael is in his head and he apologizes to Sam as he attacks.
A fight ensues as Sam tries to reason with Garth, but he is not in control of his body. Just then, Dean and Castiel arrive and Sam is able to get Garth into a choke hold until he passes out; they then tie him up and put him in Baby’s truck. Sam wonders why Garth didn’t tell them that he drank Michael’s serum, and they speculate that that is how Michael knew what they were up to (Michael was spying on the boys while the boys were spying on Michael). Dean hopes that Garth will be healed if they kill Michael, and Sam mentions that other hunters have taken positions around the city, just in case they don’t win. Cas heals Jack of his wounds, and Dean is confident of their chances against Michael with the spear (and makes a fool out of himself trying to imitate Kira’s technique). Because of the lack of monsters being sent to attack them, and the fact that Michael let Sam go, and the fact that Michael can sense Castiel’s grace; they know that going into the building is a trap, and they have no element of surprise, but they decide to do it anyway. Cue badass, slow-motion, hero walk towards immanent death (very awesomely set to Beethoven’s ‘Ode to Joy’).
Back upstairs, Michael is worried that the guys are not there yet, as she doesn’t want them to “miss the show”. Growing impatient, she senses Castiel and goes to investigate; he tries to ambush her from around a corner, but she quickly gets the upper hand. She thoroughly kicks his ass but is attacked from the side by Jack and Sam (and she quickly dispatched them, too). This is all a distraction though, as Dean sneaks out of the closet with the spear to attack her. Michael dodges the attack and gains the upper hand as the spear flies out of Dean’s hands and Michael lifts him up by his neck. As Michael reminds Dean that it was him who let the Archangel in, and that everything is on his failure, Sam crawls towards the spear and throws it back to Dean, who then actually manages to make a cut on Michael’s arm (Dean: “Trust me, that’s going to leave a scar”). Dean points the spear at Michael, backing her up to the window and ready to make the killing blow when… he freezes. His vision blurs and events from when he was possessed by Michael flash before his eyes. Suddenly Michael’s female vessel collapses, and Dean snaps the staff in two. He then turns to face the camera, with his eyes aglow once again. Dean (now Michael) scolds the others for not questioning why he just let Dean go (THANK YOU!!!). It seems that Dean would not stop trying to resist him, so he let him go, but not without leaving a back door open. Michael wanted to crush Dean’s spirit completely before he took repossession and, now that he succeeded, Dean is gone (WHAT??? When was Dean broken!? Did I miss something?). He informs the broken trio of Sam, Jack, and Cas that he now has an army throughout Kansas City all waiting for his signal. Then, just like Thanos, he snaps his fingers… ending the episode on a cliffhanger.
So, let’s recap, shall we? Dean is being possessed by Michael, and the guys have no way to stop him. Essentially, we are back to Season 14 Episode 1. We have officially made NO progress at all this season. Also, too soon for that Marvel allusion, Supernatural; the wounds haven’t healed quite yet. All in all, a fairly weak episode, especially compared to last weeks. Thankfully, I have faith the writers will do something interesting with this plotline because, frankly, I’m kinda bored.