This week we are discussing episode 11×21 entitled “All in the Family”. Contributors for this roundtable are Michele Villery, Jackie Bojarski, Debbi Bach and Elizabeth Schweizter. As always, we encourage your feedback, so please leave your comments at the bottom of this post. Here are this week’s topics:
Debbi: So happy to see Kevin one more time and absolutely loved that Chuck released him from the veil and let him ascend to heaven. Kevin more than deserved to be raised. It was also pretty smart on Chuck’s part (I guess he is omniscient after all) to have Kevin on hand to help vet him to the Winchesters. Well played.
Michele: HOLY CRAP!!! I screamed when I saw Kevin. I only wish we got to see him more. If he was in the veil, why wouldn’t he have been vengeful? Wasn’t he with Mrs. Tran also? I hope we find that out. Kevin’s return could have been its own episode! His upgrade has been a long time coming. I hope he plays a part in helping the Winchesters defeat Amara or in Season 12.
Jackie: I honestly don’t know how to feel about Kevin returning because I was kind of confused as to why he was back in the first place. Then, I was confused as to what God did to Kevin. Did he turn him into an angel? Did he send him to Heaven? Wasn’t he in Heaven all along? Basically, it felt like it was tossed in there for no perceivable reason. However, to be fair, the whole episode felt like that!
Elizabeth: The one thing I gleaned from Kevin coming back was for Sam and Dean to just accept it without further discussion that Chuck was, in fact, God. Especially since the reason Kevin was killed in the first place was because Sam was being controlled by an Angel. Also, I agree with Jackie. So Kevin has been in the vail this whole time? Does that mean Heaven is still closed and no one is going up to Heaven? I thought that was resolved? I guess not.
Debbi: Vacillated between thinking Chuck was a douche and understanding why he took a back seat for so many years and now why he was going to walk up to Amara and deal rather than fighting it out. I think Rob Benedict does a kick-ass job playing God. He is at once arrogant and humble, all-knowing and clueless, and certainly self-serving and perhaps self-sacrificing. I think if I was ever to meet the overlord of the universe I’d like him to be a bit Chuck-like. Chuck is certainly more relatable to people of this time.
As far as his plan goes, if it works, he would be sparing his creation and showing a father-like love for humanity by giving up his freedom for theirs. I do however think that it’s been so long that Chuck has underestimated Amara’s anger and her need for revenge. I don’t think it will be as easy as a tradeoff and Chuck may be forced into a more direct confrontation.
Michele: I can’t figure out Chuck and that means Rob Benedict is doing his job very well. He’s arrogant, nerd-like and self-centered. Chuck is a conflicted deity. His talk with Dean Winchester made me cry. I think he realized in that moment and in last week’s episode that he can’t back down. He has to take down his sister once and for all. He has left his creation to be destroyed by a spoiled brat who seems ticked off that her brother and nephews locked her up. His redemption as we found out from Metatron is to be the ultimate sacrifice. It’ll be interesting to see how this goes.
Jackie: Chuck/God continued to act like an immature, selfish douche bag in this episode, and frankly, I’m tired of it. I’m not impressed with how they chose to characterize God and I’m even less impressed with how they are integrating him into the story. If he has no intention to help the Winchesters–if he’s going to leave humanity to its fate–why bring him back at all? Also, Chuck/God seemed to personify the writers’ lack of writing continuity. Blaming Sam and Dean for springing Lucifer? The last time I checked, Castiel was the one who let Lucifer out of the Cage, but I guess it’s too much to ask at this point that the writers take note of these things.
Elizabeth: Chuck has always been one of my favorite characters but now I cannot get over how annoying they have made him. Look, we the viewers all knew he was God, but he was never this petulant and whiny when he was just Chuck. He seemed unsure of himself and awkward around other people, which actually makes sense when you think about how he is trying to pretend to be human. One would expect him to be awkward. Also, after eons of intervening on earth only to make things worse or make people reliant, of course, he could be filled with self-doubt.
Debbi: Dean’s tears during Chuck’s explanation of his disappearance and his faith and love for his creation were absolutely heart-breaking. Ackles, a man of faith, played this perfectly and I could almost feel his pain at Chuck’s words. Although I don’t believe Amara has as much influence over him as she believes she does, I can see how Dean could be tempted to choose Amara’s side and let go of the responsibility for mankind that has been his life’s work. Dean isn’t afraid of Amara, he’s afraid that he could make that choice, that he wants to stop his war.
Sam is just so… Sam. He is every nerd’s hero as he babbles on to Chuck, trying to remember everything he’s ever wanted to ask. He never really gave up on God and is thrilled to have his faith rewarded by Chuck’s presence. Additionally, Sam is the one people instinctively trust since he is so much more open than Dean so having him explain Donatello’s situation to him while Dean had a vision of Amara worked well. I also love it when Sam goes all BAMF and takes control of the situation – his handling of the Impala was so great. You know Sam secretly (or maybe not so secretly) loved being able to put Baby through her paces.
In the end, though, there is no one better than Sam and Dean together to marshal the troops and set a plan in motion. Having Metatron reach out to the Winchester’s and then join the assault on Amara’s hidey-hole using the spells from the angel tablet was Metatron’s bid for redemption. I believe his sacrifice was selfless and I will miss that douchey angel.
Michele: Jensen was FANTASTIC in those first scenes with Rob Benedict. Jared was too, but why wasn’t Sam as angry at Chuck as Dean was? Both have every right to be upset since as God’s “favorites” they have both died, been to Hell and Purgatory, and Chuck still wasn’t satisfied. Sam literally sacrificed himself in Season Five for the world and Chuck dismissed them both. Sam should have been in my opinion, just as angry as Dean. I was surprised that he was so quiet throughout this entire episode. It was very un-Sam like.
However, I did like Sam fangirling over God, but I would have liked to see Sam take Chuck to task as well. Hopefully, he will in the next two episodes.
Jackie: There wasn’t a lot of significant Sam/Dean interaction in this episode; for the most part, they were separated, each charged with completing their own task–Sam to rescue Lucifer (seriously, I cringed as I wrote that) and Dean to distract Amara. I was glad that, at the end, Dean was truthful with Sam regarding what Amara wants from him. I like this trend; let’s keep it up in season 12, ok?
Elizabeth: I like that they are working as a team again and having each other’s backs. Sam is stepping up and supporting Dean through the Amara mind games and Dean is finally being honest with Sam.
Debbi: I can’t decide if Lucifer was playing possum with Amara and coming across weaker than he really was. A part of me desperately wants to believe that Lucifer plus Chuck and the Winchester’s will be able to put Amara away, but at this time, I’m undecided. I do think Amara has Dean’s number and I truly believe that he is fighting to keep himself in the game. There were a couple of times when they were talking in the woods that the look in Dean’s eyes went from abject disdain to longing – just briefly, but that’s where I get the feeling that he may wish to hang up his guns and go into the nothing as part of her.
That said, I think that Amara completely underestimates the will of mankind and particularly the will of Dean Winchester. This underestimation will prove to be her downfall in the end and as she is sent back to her prison she will be cursing the Winchester name.
Michele: Why are they making Lucifer so weak? I know Amara is more powerful than her nephew, but I do wonder if Lucifer is playing people to stay out of the Cage? Amara literally wants Dean to be a part of her. Can Dean (he seems to be fighting as hard as he can) truly fight her off? I think there is a part of him that is getting tired of seeing people die when he could potentially stop it by going with her.
Jackie: I really don’t have a lot to say about this, except that I got a thrill out of watching Lucifer be tortured. He gets no sympathy from me, especially considering the horrors that he put Sam through. I will say that I think the whole “Amara holding Cassifer hostage” plot development was handled poorly from the get-go. It didn’t make sense at the beginning and it didn’t make sense at the end, so I’m glad it’s over.
Elizabeth: Honestly, I think the writers went the wrong direction. I think an Amara and Cassifer team up against God, Sam and Dean would have made for a much stronger storyline. I don’t get the torture of Cassifer. Especially since Chuck himself said he was scared of Amara teaming up with Cassifer!
Debbi: I like that the writers haven’t forgotten the lore they built around prophets. It makes sense that as long as Kevin was trapped on earth, heaven wouldn’t know to create a new prophet to take his place. This was a well-done bit of symmetry and is one of the many reasons the show is so good and has lasted so long. I liked Donatello and although Dean’s line about the Ninja Turtles was kind of corny, it was also very Dean-like and it made me laugh. I would like to see Donatello have a role, even a small one, in the upcoming season. It seems like having a prophet on speed dial would help in certain situations.
Michele: I’m so glad they brought the prophets back. I laughed when Dean thought Donatello’s name was from the Ninja Turtles. It’s so Dean’s character to do that. I hope that Donatello has a bigger role next season. Also, didn’t the boys learn during Season 8 not leave a prophet alone? I personally would have kept him in the bunker. He’s going to be useful to them in the future. That last scene had me shaking my head.
Jackie: Oh, so apparently prophets are still a thing, although it’s still unclear as to whether Donatello is a prophet of God or Amara. Honestly, I’m surprised Sam and Dean just let Donatello ride off into the sunset. One would think they’d want him to stick around….
Elizabeth: So I am assuming this is a prophet of Amara’s because when Donatello inhaled the smoke he immediately unlocked his prophet powers? I am assuming this guy will be back and Sam and Dean will use him to find out where Amara is the same way they used Chuck to find Lilith. Maybe? Who knows.
Debbi: I think that they will succeed in putting Amara away but they are going to need to call on the Demon/witch contingent to help. Having Rowena and Crowley flank Amara from one side; Casifer flanking her on the other while the Winchester’s and Chuck claim her attention in a frontal assault might work. There would be some strong mojo of both the light and dark sides and I’m not sure Amara to stand up to that much power – particularly when combined.
Michele: I think Chuck will finally have to go one on one with Amara and he’ll fail. It’ll be interesting to see both angels and demons merging to fight with the Winchesters to defeat a common enemy. This is going to go well or very badly. (I have a feeling, it’ll be the latter)
Jackie: My main prediction is that Dean is going to sacrifice himself in order to take down Amara. I also think that God is going to continue sitting on the sidelines (annoyingly, I might add) and that Lucifer will probably be granted a pardon for his crimes (although I still have a shred of hope that this won’t happen). As for Sam…who knows! Maybe he’ll help Dean get control of Amara in order to take her down like Dean did for Sam in “Swan Song.”
Elizabeth: I agree with Jackie, I believe Dean is somehow the key to taking down Amara. It is going to have something to do with the sibling connection because that keeps being brought up over and over: Amara and God vs the relationship between Sam and Dean.
I have a feeling if there is a Lucifer and Amara team up, somehow Cas will take control of his body and will help take down Amara.
Debbi: I liked the episode. I think we got to learn a lot about Chuck and his feelings for his creation and I think we got to learn a little more about Amara and her claim on Dean. Plus, there was Metatron’s sacrifice to consider. This isn’t my favorite episode but it is not a bad episode. I am going to give this a B-.
Michele: There were some holes in this that I couldn’t get past. Despite the great acting, I’m giving it a C.
Elisabeth: I am going to give this episode a C.