Sam and Dean face off against a Prince of Hell while attempting to help Jack control his powers in Supernatural 13×02
The thirteenth season of The CW’s Supernatural continued this week by picking up about four days after the events of the season premiere. On the way back to the Bunker, Sam (Jared Padalecki), Dean (Jensen Ackles), and Jack (Alexander Calvert), a newborn Nephilim (who is 3 days, 17 hours, 42 minutes old to be exact), stopped for a break from their long drive. While there they ran into the prophet Donatello (Keith Szarbajka) and a Prince of Hell named Asmodeus (Jeffrey Vincent Parise). Despite God’s absence, Donatello still felt Jack’s birth and the power contained within him. That led him, along with Asmodeus and an assortment of demons, directly to Jack.
Over on the parallel Earth, Lucifer (Mark Pellegrino) and Mary (Samantha Smith) ran into several angels. After Lucifer eliminated them, the parallel Earth’s Michael (Christian Keyes) arrived. The two of them fought and Lucifer was soon overpowered. It’s unclear what Michael has in mind for Lucifer but it can’t possibly be good.
A large portion of the episode was devoted to continuing the debate between Sam and Dean about whether Jack will ultimately be a force for good or if he’ll end up leading the world to its doom. Jack continued to demonstrate a childlike curiosity of the world he’s found himself in (amusingly, he was fascinated with a Scooby Doo cartoon) while also showing immense, uncontrollable power. Asmodeus, while disguised as Donatello, attempted to get Jack to free the shedim through a gate of Hell. When Asmodeus turned on Sam, Dean, and the real Donatello, Jack retaliated and appeared to eliminate him. Although his exact fate is unknown.
Like with the season premiere, “The Rising Son” gave us a lot to think about and continued to set up the story arc for the season. So let’s get right into discussing the episode in more detail with our roundtable!
Michelle (@spnxmarvel) – Designerd. Comic con enthusiast
Linda (@facsdown) – A fan that is a bit too emotionally attached to the characters
Cat Bow (@Pathryn34) – Mother, wife, kind, and loving
Chhany (@waywardhunters) – A student who is maybe a bit too much obsessed with Supernatural
Lindsay (@lindieface) – Beleaguered grad student, unrepentant fangirl, whiskey aficionado
1. Jack seems to have taken a liking to Dean despite Dean’s stance about wanting to kill him. Jack was even emulating Dean the way a younger brother might emulate an older brother. Where do you see their relationship going?
Michelle (@spnxmarvel): Jack reminds me a lot of Cas. At first, Dean was distant to Cas and wasn’t sure if he’s one of the good guys. But eventually they became friends. I hope Dean will find a way to look past the fact that Jack is the son of Lucifer since he’s also part human. Dean is acting a lot like John Winchester too, which is worrisome. I think Dean should be open-minded and give him a chance like Sam.
Linda (@facsdown): Jack already considers Dean as a friend, however Dean thinks differently of him. I feel that Jack and Dean will end up forming a good friendship. It possibly would take a few more episodes to see that develop. But Dean showed a moment of concern when Jack was stabbing himself. Dean just goes into the all supernatural things are bad mode, we just need more time to see everything unravel. And more personal time between the two characters.
Cat Bow (@Pathryn34): I honestly believe Dean is going to soften toward Jack, despite his best efforts not to. It’s not that he hates who Jack is now, it’s that life has taught Dean, harshly and repeatedly, not to have hope. He believes Jack will go bad and hurt people. And it will be his fault, again. However, I loved how even though Dean wants to end Jack, he couldn’t help but parent him. Protect him. Teach him.
Chhany (@waywardhunters): Jack’s such an adorable guy and I love how he looks up to the boys, especially Dean. Dean thinks Jack is evil, he is mad at him for no reason just because he’s Lucifer’s son. Jack really cares about Dean, he sees him as a friend even after Dean tried to kill him. Hopefully Dean will finally realize that and accept him as a new member of the team. It is possible that both will end up becoming very close friends like for instance Dean and Kevin.
Lindsay (@lindieface): Given Dean’s somewhat icy response to Jack thus far, I think we may have a while to go before Dean starts to trust him – after all, Dean sometimes takes a while to warm up to people. However, if Jack continues to display shades of Castiel (he obviously picked up some of his traits), that might help Dean see him in a different light. I do understand where Dean’s reservations are coming from, though.
2. Jared Padalecki was given a chance to flex his acting muscles this week. What’d you think of the scenes between Sam and Jack?
Michelle: I can see how Sam relates to Jack and feel that he has to protect him. He believes that Jack can fight what he is. The Winchesters have proven in the past that they make their own destiny. I am proud and happy to see Sam being a father figure to Jack since he doesn’t have anyone by his side. When Sam said that Dean feels like it’s his job to protect everyone, he’s torn about protecting Jack because if something bad happens, him and Dean will be fighting again and so on. Besides that, I support Sam in seeing the good in Jack.
Linda: Jared did a very good job with the scene with Jack. It really showed strong emotions and feelings about the subject. I feel that what Sam was telling Jack was based off his own experiences. The way Sam was talking would be like if a big brother was having a serious conversation with their younger brother. Overall I think Jared did this scene amazingly done.
Cat Bow: I absolutely loved the scenes with Sam and Jack! Sam is such a wonderfully sweet and empathetic person. This shone in those moments. Sam sees the good in Jack and wants to nurture that. It’s so incredibly wonderful. And Jack, confiding in Sam, being vulnerable, and explaining his fears. The dynamic between them is beautiful. I’ve wanted Sam to have someone to be close to, Jack is a great being for this.
Chhany: The Sam and Jack scene was amazing! It showed how understanding Sam is and that he really tries his best to become Jack’s friend and to help him. We’re hopefully gonna see more Jack and Sam scenes in the future!
Lindsay: I thought Jared did a great job this week – Sam plays “good cop” so well against Dean’s “bad cop”, especially in this episode, and his conviction that the kid can still turn out okay is charming. I hope he’s right, and that there’s more goodness in Jack than anything else. He always believes the best in people, which is admirable – I just hope his faith isn’t misplaced. I suppose it all comes down to nature versus nurture?
3. The prophet Donatello returned in this episode. The absence of God/Chuck raises an interesting question about prophets. If Donatello dies, would a new prophet still be activated?
Michelle: I don’t know if I should mention this but *SPOILER ALERT* I read somewhere that Kevin Tran (played by Osric Chau) is coming back this season! I’m not sure if I answered this question or just spoiled people, but I thought I’d share. I can’t really see anyone playing a prophet better than Kevin Tran.
Linda: If Donatello ends up dying which I hope isn’t too soon because I’m really starting to like him. Yes I think a new prophet will be activated. It seems if something big is going down or is happening a new prophet rises and ends up in the hands of the Winchester brothers. With God/Chuck being gone and no sign of him there will be another one. As he works in very mysterious ways.
Cat Bow: This is an excellent question! I believe so. Prophets are here to be the voice of God in his absence. Well, he is very absent right now. Also, Metatron flipping the switch in heaven was why there was not a new prophet after Kevin dies. It’s my opinion that Amara’s power overrode this and flipped the switch back on.
Chhany: A great question that I asked myself already a few times. Crowley (Rest in peace, my lord.) killed all prophets he could find, didn’t he? I still think there will be a new prophet but he’ll probably need to get born first. That may take a few years! (Or decades…)
Lindsay: Good question. I lean towards yes, since Chuck was absent for years over the course of the series, and we still wound up with Kevin’s introduction in season 7. Since there’s always a new prophet waiting in the wings, maybe it’s an automated kind of situation. Am I the only one wondering how Donatello is back to normal after Amara consumed his soul in 11.22, though?
4. Asmodeus tried to get Jack to raise some creatures from Hell. Do you think that was foreshadowing for something terrible Jack will accidentally (or intentionally) do at a later point?
Michelle: It’s possible. But I hope not. When they teach Jack, or when Cas returns, I have a strong feeling he’ll be able to fight it. I hope the writers does his character justice. Random, but that scene somewhat reminded me of the season 5 finale, with the Impala rolling down there with Sam and Dean trying to stop something bad from happening all over again except it’s with Jack this time.
Linda: As of right now Jack wants to do the right thing. The whole trying to raise the creatures of hell was all Asmodeus’ idea when he disguised himself as Donatello whom Jack assumes he can trust since Sam and Dean know him. In the future Jack. I personally think Jack will end up doing something accidentally since he can’t really control his powers and isn’t sure of what he can do.
Cat Bow: It might be! I fear that in opening another rift to the apocalypse world, which they may want to do to bring Mary back, they will let in more than they bargain for. And since Jack is the only one with the ability to open the rift that we know of, he may very well be the one responsible for unleashing horrors into our world. Just like Asmodeus tried to get him to release the Shedim.
Chhany: Those creatures will definitely get out of their cage, otherwise it would make no sense to mention them at all. I’m not quite sure if it’s gonna be Jack raising them, he’s too good and pure for that! IF he’d be the one raising them, it would be accidentally.
Lindsay: I definitely feel like that may be a bit of foreshadowing. No matter how much of a sweet kid Jack is so far, you can’t be that powerful and have everything be smooth sailing all the time. Right now I think it’s more likely to be an accident than intentional wrongdoing, though that could change as we see his powers develop.
5. Jack appears to have the ability to erase a Prince of Hell from existence. We knew he was powerful but that’s a pretty significant development. Do you think there are any limits to his power?
Michelle: It is and I also have a feeling that he will be much more powerful than Lucifer. If not Michael, I hope he’s the one to end Lucifer. It’s kind of wrong since it’s his father, but come on… it’s Lucifer!
Linda: Jack is Lucifer’s son who is an archangel and as we learned from the lore that Sam found that he will be even more powerful than an archangel. Personally I’m not sure if there are any limits of what Jack can do. However we found out last week that Jack can do pretty much anything but can’t bring back people or angels back to life. Since the lore says that Jack is more powerful I’m sure that Jack could eventually bring people back to life, once he figures out what he’s capable of.
Cat Bow: Are you saying he erased Asmodeus? Because I felt it was more Asmodeus teleporting away. He knew Jack could kill him, like he killed Dagon. He could feel the power and wisely fled. After all, Asmodeus was “hurting his friends.” As far as limits, we have already seen that he can’t bring people back to life yet. I feel there are limits, but if an archangel has the ability to bend and create new reality, and he is more powerful than an archangel… The answer to your question is: Not many.
Chhany: Jack’s powerful, we already knew that but in the recent episode they showed us HOW powerful he is. Anyways, I think he couldn’t overpower Amara or Chuck (also Death but you know, Death is dead) since they’re primordial entities.
Lindsay: Something that Sam read in the episode resonated with me – that Nephilim grow to be stronger than the angel who sired them. My first thought was “uh oh.” Given that Lucifer is his biological dad, that makes me think his power is, if not limitless, pretty potent. The little glimpses we’ve seen make it obvious that the kid’s got some serious power.
6. Christian Keyes made a short yet memorable entrance as Michael. What do you think of his portrayal of the character so far? What does Michael want Lucifer for?
Michelle: Keyes is pretty good so far. I wanted to see Jake Abel’s Michael, but I guess his vessel is indisposed as they like to say. Michael is described as a good and loyal son to his father, and the last time we saw him he really wanted to destroy his brother. Not quite sure about his other plans, but archangels are trouble and I don’t trust them that much. I want them to end Lucifer though. Note: Used to be a fan of Lucifer back in Season 5, but not that much anymore. I miss Crowley… I still can’t believe they killed him off.
Linda: Christian Keyes’s portrayal of Michael was outstanding and I felt it left a big impression in a good way. The scene was very short but I think Keyes did a good job with the character. I hope that we get to see more of it. It also makes me wonder if the alternate universe Lucifer that he killed is played by a different actor. I suppose Michael knows that they are in an alternate universe and perhaps wants to get out of it and needs Lucifer in order to leave. Or get God’s attention since it seems like he isn’t present there either.
Cat Bow: That entrance was amazing! I loved how this Michael was strong and decisive. Totally dismissive of Lucifer. I also enjoyed how, after he beat Lucifer handily, he turned Lucifer’s words that he used on Mary against him. As for what he wants for Lucifer, I believe it is information about our world. However, it could be to make an example out him for all the demons still left.
Chhany: Oh I am in love! I didn’t expect to like Michael that much! He seems to be a bit different from the Michael we know but I like it. To be honest, I don’t know what he wants from Lucifer! Maybe some kind of protection? Two archangels are better than one!
Lindsay: I thought he was great. It’s been so long since we’ve seen Michael on the show that it felt like something of a blank slate, and Christian nailed the aura of menace and strength behind his portrayal of Michael. And to be perfectly honest, it was completely delicious to see someone one-up Lucifer. He’s had that coming for a while.
7. Now that you’ve seen more of the Sam vs. Dean debate about whether Jack will be good or bad, how do you feel about it? Does it seem like a natural development or does it feel played out?
Michelle: Jack is just an innocent newborn who wants to be loved. I think they should give him a chance. The writers should make him good, because no one is born evil. Even if he’s the son of Lucifer. I honestly believe the fact that he knew his mother loved him so much is something that will keep him human. He is powerful yes, and he can use his powers for good and bring everything back to the natural order. But who knows, we’ll just have to see.
Linda: Jack wants to be a good person, however I feel that what he is meant to do will eventually come and happen. Lucifer will most likely get a hold of him and manipulate Jack onto the path he wants. Jack isn’t even sure of what he is and what he is able to do. This is a natural development since he seems to be pretty clueless just as Cas was when we were 1st introduced to him. I just hope that Jack stays on the right track.
Cat Bow: I love how this time they are upfront with each other about their beliefs and motivations. They aren’t keeping secrets or going behind each other’s back as has happened so many times before. I love that this is developing naturally, a result of who they are. Dean the pessimistic protector, Sam the optimistic empathizer. Both their recent and previous experiences are fueling their current beliefs. Dean, all the times his instincts to not trust turned out to be right, but innocent people got hurt because he didn’t listen to them. Sam, having been powerful and thought evil, but striving to be good.
Chhany: Oh my lovely boy Jack. Of course he is one of the good ones! If not, the writers would be very very evil people to trick us like that! Jack’s so innocent and in this case I’m definitely team Sam! Jack has to get a chance to show that he’s not evil, come on Dean!
Lindsay: I still see both sides of the debate. It’s not in Dean’s nature to immediately trust what he views as a monster, especially one that he at least holds partially responsible for Cas’s death. On the other hand, Jack has been relatively harmless so far, so I can also see where Sam is coming from. I don’t expect it to play out in just a few episodes – and that wouldn’t be very satisfying story-wise. It’s interesting seeing the brothers at odds over their opinion but still a unified front, so I hope they continue this debate a while longer.
Final Verdict: Supernatural continued to impress this week with the introduction of a new version of Michael and solid character work for Sam, Dean, and Jack
The second episode of the season for any show often has the difficult task of following up on the premiere while also advancing the story and characters just enough to keep viewers interested. How did Supernatural “The Rising Son” fair on these fronts? According to our roundtable’s enthusiastic response to most of the subplots and characters, it did extremely well. While the Sam vs. Dean debate is as old as the show itself, we felt that it was handled relatively organically and didn’t feel forced. Christian Keyes’s debut as the parallel Earth’s Michael was especially notable. The entire main cast was in top form this week as well and Alexander Calvert as Jack has continued to fit in rather nicely with a great mix of Castiel-like delivery and a childlike curiosity/innocence.
Despite the overwhelming praise for the performances of the main cast and the way the characters are being developed, our roundtablers still miss Crowley. There was also some uncertainty about the continued inclusion of Lucifer in the show.
Overall, Supernatural is still in top form after last week’s strong season opener. We’re all looking forward to seeing how Jack continues to develop and how Sam and Dean cope with that development. Will Jack lose control of his abilities and destroy the world? Or will his already strong bond to the Winchesters be enough to keep him grounded? We have no idea where any of that is headed but we’re looking forward to finding out.