Salvation Review

By John Keegan

Visit The Shrine of Entil'zha for an archive of John's TV Review archives!

I love mutli-part finales. In fact, shows like “Farscape”, “Battlestar: Galactica”, and “Lost” delivered massive season finales for the same reason that this is a huge event: it’s almost impossible to wrap up a season arc of any weight in the space of an hour. It’s all about delivering a more complex resolution. A good show will use a big finale as a serious moment of transition for everyone involved, and there’s every reason to believe that “Supernatural” is following suit.

Better yet, everything that happens in this episode is the direct consequence of what has come before. Dean’s character has taken quite the turn, to the point where he will openly question his father when the circumstances warrant. And Sam’s abilities, long sitting on the sidelines, flare up in a logical manner that hints at possible answers to the demonic riddle. This seeming predictability takes nothing away from the plot itself, because sometimes it’s even better when you see the train wreck coming.

Someone on the writing staff must have loved “Serenity”, because Meg’s tactics are practically textbook Operative moves. Want to force the enemy to come out of hiding, derailing his intentions in the same moment? Start killing off every ally and making sure that consequence is communicated. I liked Meg a lot more in this episode. Maybe it was just the fact that she delivered her dialogue with a bit more decadent and seductive evil, but I also think the writers took pains to avoid lines that were too cheesy.

Another show might have used this penultimate episode as pure setup, with very little in the way of actual confrontation. But this is “Supernatural”, so that’s not quite the way it works. Sam has his vision, John chooses to make a seriously stupid gamble, and in short order, things go straight to Hell. As useful as it was to force Sam and Dean to face off against the demon alone, as a nice bookend to the season arc, John’s decision doesn’t quite make sense.

As much as the “risk death to save my friends” mentality might be understandable, it doesn’t mesh well with John’s insistence that this be the end of the conflict. Frankly, if John is willing to put his sons in danger (and then ignore it when it seems that one of them is dead) to ensure that the demon is destroyed, then why wouldn’t he be willing to sacrifice some of the other hunters? As harsh as it might sound, if the demon remains but the hunters live, how does that help anyone? On the other hand, if the demon is killed at the cost of some of the hunters, the tradeoff is more than justified. (After all, Meg can only kill a few in the time before the demon is confronted!)

But things don’t go as planned, of course, so there’s plenty of time to see how it will play out in the actual finale. The demon is still out there, but Sam and Deam have broken the pattern. How will that change the situation? Meg and her apparent brother have John, and it’s not looking good for him, though John could be used to draw out the brothers. All in all, a great start to what should be the season finale. Let’s hope CW makes the right call!

 Visit the Episode Discussion Thread to discuss this review.