I feel like the whole mystery surrounding Prometheus’s appearance on Supernatural might have been a little more exciting if whoever writes the official episode descriptions hadn’t let that one out of the bag right there in the blurb. Supernatural’s blurbs seem to run the gamut between telling us nothing and telling us everything and this week, it was certainly the latter. Idk, Sam and Dean’s struggles to figure out Shane’s real identity just had me yelling “It’s Prometheus you morons!” the entire time. Having already been handed the solution to the mystery and not particularly caring about the baggage girlfriend and curse-afflicted kid who we will never see again, I mostly just wanted to get through this so we could go back to our regularly scheduled A-story.
So Prometheus, THAT Prometheus, came down off of ”a mountain in Europe” in an avalanche, totes forgot who he was, banged a chick named Hayley, made a baby named Ollie, and then got hit by a car, mistaken for a zombie, mauled by a bear before winding up in a motel room with a pair of Winchesters and a seriously pissed ex-girlfriend. Dean was under the impression that Sam had found him a good old fashioned zombie case to alleviate the boredom of waiting for Kevin and Castiel to pop back up with some tablet news—or pop up at all, in Castiel’s case—but he soon found that this case of the week was a bit more complicated than that. Only a little, though.
Back in the day, Zeus got mad at humankind and took away our fire. Prometheus stole it back for us (thanks, pal!) and wound up chained to the side of a mountain where an eagle would eat his liver every day for the rest of eternity. With that in mind, the bird noshing on his guts after his first on-screen death made for some terrible, wonderful lulz. I like when Supernatural implies that it knows its classic mythology, even if it inevitably gets butchered later.
Once Shane’s real identity was known, it was a pretty straightforward hunt. Hayley revealed that Oliver inherited Prometheus’s death-resurrection cycle and all things considered, took it very well for a seven-year-old. Dean was immediately on Team Prometheus (and his Little Bastard Child Too) because the Winchesters know a thing or two about (almost) eternal torment in exchange for saving the world.
Blah blah blah negotiating with Zeus to drop Ollie’s curse didn’t go so well and everything looked bleak because Token Dumbass Civilian Hayley fell for the old vengeful-ancient-gods-can-have-hearts-too routine and let Z out of his cage. But in the end, Artemis fell for Sam’s I’m-the-brother-who-wields-empathy-like-a-sword-and-I’m-totally-not-manipulating-you-into-being-a-good-person-at-all routine and put an arrow through Daddy. I mean, she totally put it through Prometheus, but eventually it took Zeus out, too. Teamwork makes the dream work, baby.
Through it all, Sam continued his trend of randomly bleeding, but Dean isn’t nearly as clueless as we were initially led to believe and while he lacks specifics, he’s onto Sam. Sam, to his credit, took a teeny-tiny baby step toward telling Dean what’s been going on when he floated the idea that he might not live through the God trials after all, but I honestly would've rather he just told Dean about the bleeding and the coughing and whatnot instead of going full noble sacrifice. It was such a huge moment in Winchester history for Sam to take on the trials and not only be determined to survive, but to be confident that he COULD survive; to suddenly revert to standard Winchester mentality cheapens the moment. I don’t blame him for being alarmed at the physical toll the trials seem to be taking, but even Dean conceded that they’re flying blind into that particular mission.
The blood looks bad, totally, but right now, Sam’s optimism looks worse, like it was never that strong to begin with... and fine, maybe it WASN’T. I will so not criticize the Winchesters for being eternal pessimists. I mean, look at their lives. LOOK AT THEM. But I thought we had a moment there after the hellhound slaughter! I thought we had grown as people!
Supernatural’s tone can shift at the drop of a dime, from episode to episode, and even within an episode—like THIS episode, which was 90 percent standard monster-of-the-week with a touch of humor followed by 10 percent Winchester angst and that music they always play when someone dies. By shaking Sam’s confidence, even if it was just to give us that almost-honest moment between the brothers in the Impala, the tone of the remainder of the season going into the mythology-heavy tablet-and-trials stuff has suddenly lost its momentum and that’s kind of a bummer. That the Winchesters will somehow succeed is a given. That there will be a big sacrifice required is also assumed. The exciting part about the trials so far, for me, has been the change in everything leading up to the finale. Not gonna lie—sometimes it feels like a chore to watch these two get knocked down and knocked down and knocked down some more. Even when they win, they usually wind up on the floor, and witnessing that becomes even more difficult when the characters themselves seem uneager to save the world yet again. Having Sam declare that they were going to close Hell and they were going to win and they were BOTH going to live flipped a switch. The Winchesters were ready to go, and so was I.
But all is not lost! While Sam seems to be accepting his inevitable death, or at least considering the possibility of it, Dean has, however reluctantly, picked up Sam’s discarded hope and claimed it as his own. Sort of. Whether Dean truly believes that Sam can still finish the trials and survive is certainly up for debate given his desperate plea to Castiel to look out for his little brother (TISSUES. I NEED TISSUES. ALL OF THE TISSUES.,) but at least he’s paying lip service to the idea of life after the trials. He even gave Sam his version of a pep-talk, “If you die, it’s gonna be because of something normal.”
Not exactly a ringing endorsement considering that in the past Sam has died from getting stabbed, struck by lightning, and shot—which okay, aren’t as mundane as like, old age, but also aren’t exactly X-Files storylines either. Even in “Remember the Titans,” Prometheus died from a heart attack that one time, but it’s okay, I’ll take it. Dean tried. Sam may have been quick to return to the Winchester norm, but at least Dean is making an almost-solid effort.
And now we go on a mini-hiatus. Eew.
Catch you March 20th! Kisses!
What did you think of this week’s episode?