Let me start by saying that 10 seasons is an accomplishment in itself. It’s been one hell of a ride this far, and since there’s going to be a season 11, the ride is not over yet. And God, do I hope it won’t be for a long time!
Now, let’s get to it, shall we? Careful, though: Spoilers ahead!
Quick look back on what happened this season: Dean got the Mark of Cain back in season 9 so he could kill Abbadon, a Knight of Hell. He did, but then he was killed by Metatron, and the last thing we saw in season 9 was Dean waking up with black eyes. So season 10 started out with Dean being a demon for 3 episodes before Sam and Castiel brought him back. And then we had a plot: save Dean by getting rid of the Mark. Which, it turned out, wasn’t so easy. There were a few bumps in the road as Dean for worse and Sam went to extremes to help his brother, using the Book of the Damned with the “help” of Rowena, who, in exchange, asked Sam to kill her son Crowley. That didn’t turn out quite as well as everyone expected, of course, so we get to keep our King of Hell. But we had to say goodbye to one of my favorite characters on the show, Charlie – which I am still pissed about, because she really, really did not have to die. Anyway. The last episode ended with Dean beating up Castiel and almost killing him, before leaving, and telling Cas that he and Sam stay away from him.
So we have Sam, even more desperate to find and save his brother than before, Dean being more and more consumed by the Mark, Rowena angry because Sam couldn’t kill Crowley, Crowley angry because Sam tried to kill him, and Castiel not very happy with the whole situation. Sam reluctantly promises Rowena to set her free and give her the Codex (which is what she decrypted the Book of the Damned with) if she helps cure Dean. But before she can work the spell to do so, she needs 3 ingredients that are anything but easy to find: the Forbidden Fruit, the Golden Calf and something that Rowena loves. Castiel asks Crowley for help to get them, and Crowley actually agrees (that was a bit easy, I thought, but I guess he wants the Mark off Dean as much as the rest of them).
Meanwhile in Nebraska, Dean is working a case with another hunter. He gets him killed, however, and realizes that he really is getting worse. So he decides to summon Death and ask him to kill him, hoping that he would get rid of the Mark that way. But Death explains that that’s not how it works, because the Mark is not only a Curse, it contains the Darkness. The Darkness, he explains, is what existed before the Earth, and God locked it away in the Mark, and gave it to Lucifer. So, even if he could cure Dean of the Mark, it would set free the Darkness. He offers Dean another option: he, Death, could take him far, far away, to a world where he could never hurt anyone again, which is ultimately what Dean wants. But he has to do something first – he has to kill Sam. Because, as Death puts it, Sam would to anything to find and cure his brother, and we can’t have that, can we? So Sam needs to go.
Dean agrees, and asks Sam to come meet him. They talk, and Dean tells Sam what needs to be done – he says some really aweful things in that conversation. He did that a lot this season, come to think of it… Be that as it may, they talk, they fight, they start hitting each other. That was not easy to watch. I hate it when they fight, especially when one of them is being really unfair to the other (and Dean was being really, really unfair.), and I hate it even more when it escalates and gets violent. Sam ends up on his knees, and looks up at Dean and tells him that he understands, and that Dean should do it, because he’s right. But he asks him to take a picture of the two of them and one of them with their parents, as a reminder, and to one day find the way back to the man he was before the Mark. Death hands Dean his scythe, and Dean lifts it up and swings it – and burries it deep in Death’s side.
At the same time, Crowley brings Rowena the ingredients for the spell, including someone she loved: a guy namen Oskar, whose family helped her 300 years ago, and whom she made immortal. For the spell to work, she has to kill him, and she does (that bit almost made me feel sorry for her. No one, not even someone as bad as Rowena, should ever have to kill someone they love). She does the spell – it cuts back to Sam and Dean, and the Mark disappears. Yay, the spell worked! Back with Cas and Crowley and Rowena, she casts a spell to immobilize them both, frees herself of her chains, takes the Book of the Damned and the Codex, and casts another spell that we have seen her use before on the hooker back in the beginning of the season – the one that turns people mad and makes them act like monsters or beasts. Rowena casts it on Castiel, and then makes him turn on Crowley before disappearing.
Sam and Dean are on their way back to the car when there’s suddenly a lightning storm, lightning hitting the floor in a few places where the ground opens up and thick, black smoke gets out – it kinda looks like demons. It’s not demons, though. The smoke – let’s call it by its name: the Darkness – forms a big cloud (on the ground, though, so it’s more like fog) and rolls toward Sam and Dean, who try to get away in the Impala, but they get stuck and the Darkness rolls over the car and we cut to credits and aaarrrgghhh they can’t stop like that! But they did. They always do, don’t they? Cliffhangers. We love to hate them, don’t we?
But this is the second time it ends on the end of the world starting! Because, who are we kidding, they just started the end of the world. Again. But it’s not the biblical Apocalypse this time, so I guess we’ll have to wait and see what happens. Because we don’t know what the Darkness does. It’s called the Darkness, so that doesn’t sound good, but what does it do? Does it devour everything in its path? But that wouldn’t make sense, would it, since they can’t save the world if everything, including them, is gone. So that rules out that option.
There’s still a lot of questions that need answering, though. What happened to Castiel? Can he be saved? Because the girl died when Rowena cast that spell on her. He’s an angel, so the rules of humanity don’t apply to him, but how will they stop him? What’s going to happen to him?
And what about Crowley? Does Castiel kill him? Does Crowley kill Castiel? Do they kill each other? Or does the darkness just swipe in and kill everyone? No, wait, we ruled that out already.
Then there’s Rowena, who’s still alive. I doubt we’ve seen the last of her. Maybe she’ll be the next big bad guy – sorry, bad girl. I kinda like her – you know, in that way that you like bad characters. “Like” is a strong word; let’s go with appreciate. She’s a cool character, she’s witty and just fun to watch. But she’s evil. And I’m pretty sure that should she return, she will not make things any easier for the boys. And things are going to be difficult enough as it is.
Next thing is Metatron. He disappeared a few episodes back with the Angel Tablet, which can’t be good. I hate Metatron about as much as I hate Umbridge in Harry Potter (I think that’s been mentioned before, but I would like to say it again, because I can’t stress it enough), and he’s gonna mess things up again, isn’t he? Who knows, maybe he fell into a hole somewhere and starved to death. He’s human now, so he might. Or maybe he got eaten by a bear. Or hit by a car. A girl can hope, right?
And the last question: what the hell happened to Death? Is he dead? Did Dean actually kill Death? Can one kill Death? And if he really is dead, then what happens next? What’s life like without Death? Does it mean that people won’t die anymore? And what about the reaper? What happens to them? Do they stop existing because their boss is dead? Do they riot and protest? Do they strike? What do they do? I want answers! And I don’t want to wait until October to get them!
So, all in all, you could say that as far as cliffhangers and open questions are concerned, they did a pretty good job here. The episode in itself, though, was not one of the best they ever did. They’ve done a lot worse, of course, but the bar is so high with them what with the finale of season 5, which was amazing, or the finale of season 8, which is one of my personal favorites, that this one is almost disappointing. Yes, the stakes are high, and yes, you want to know what comes next, but it’s Supernatural, so you usually want to know what happens next. And it’s the end of the world – but again, been there, done that. I guess that’s what you get for being a show that has angels and demons and gods and the apocalypse on a regular bases – people like me are not even satisfied when you give them a big bad WTF and ?? and end of the world at the end of a season.
That being said, the acting was, as usual, great. Jensen Ackles delivered a great dick Dean, and then an even better haunted-by-what-he-did-Dean; Jared Padalecki did a great job with playing desperate Sam, as usual; Misha Collins gave us Castiel as we know and love him; Mark Sheppard is still amazing as Crowley; Ruth Connell made us love and hate Rowena; and Death is still (are was? We don’t know!) a really cool character (kudos to Mr. Julian Richings for that). For a second there we were all scared that Dean might actually go through with killing Sam, even though he saved him so, so many times before. The two of them fighting was heartbreaking as ever (but Charlie’s death was a lot worse). And I’m a little glad they finally closed the whole Mark of Cain story arc. It was fun while it lasted, but can we please have them both human and with no demon blood and with their souls next season? Pretty please?
All in all, it was a good episode. But I had hoped for more – so, and I’m a little sad about this because I love this show so much, and there were many great things about this episode, but it still wasn’t as good as it could have been, the finale of season 10 of Supernatural, “My Brother’s Keeper” (loved the title, by the way), only gets an acceptable from me. I’m still reeeaaallyyy excited for season 11, though!