‘The Big Empty’ Review
By Annie Kenney
‘Welcome back Castiel’
I say that with some reservations and with a lot of irony. A wise man once said, ‘What’s dead should stay dead’ and he was right. I am sure…no I am certain that this review and my opinion is not going to be popular, but it is my review and it is my opinion, so I feel honest enough to go with it.
Last night’s episode was totally broken up and disjointed simply because of the Castiel scenes. It is something the show does often and – boy – does it get annoying. You get dragged into the main story, you are on the edge of your seat, there is a mad shifter about to shoot Sam and…oops…here we are again in the Empty with Cas. Please, please stop doing this; one story or another but not both and certainly don’t replace what is exciting and relevant for something so boring!
I can hear the angry cries from here, but I really don’t get it. Ok so the Empty is obviously the one that Billie threatened to throw Sam and Dean into. So far so good and at least there is some continuity. Then the revelation that all dead angels and demons go to the Empty to sleep. Again, not a bad idea and makes sense but then…a strange creature comes out of some sort of sludge, turns into Cas and starts pontificating. Why? Who is it? And more importantly – do we care? Frankly I don’t (but I know there are those who do so I beg them to let me have my opinion) and I wish that – like Crowley – Castiel’s death was allowed to stand as his introduction to proceedings is really going to cause a lot of problems both for audiences, writers, and the program itself. Was he bought back because he is integral to the story? Or was he bought back because the fans demanded it? I am going for number two here and I’m wondering what effect this is going to have on this season.
The episode itself would have been awesome as a stand-alone; I really liked the shifter idea and the fact that the good shifter was helping people by giving them closure. I LOVED that she also gave the brothers a chance to really talk out their problems and I wanted to hug Sam the entire time. It was interesting to see that Dean is convinced his mom is dead and that Sam wants her to be alive. It makes you understand both brothers more and it makes you really feel for them as characters.
As for Jack; I adore him, what a great choice of character. It is hard to know just where he is going to go and I’m praying that he doesn’t go bad. He is so sweet and so innocent, and I loved his interactions with both brothers. I like that he saved Sam because Dean urged him to and it was fantastic to see Dean finally warming to him, to see Dean talking to him. It is certainly progress which would be spoilt if Jack does turn.
There was also some amusement to be had; Dean treating Jack as the brother’s intern, making him do all the dirty work such as digging graves and getting food. The whole thing worked, and it was such a shame to keep being dragged out of that story and into Castiel’s Empty.
So, it is easy to see what I liked and didn’t like about the episode; I was perplexed by the odd creature who came from nowhere and who seemed to have no purpose but to torture Cas for a bit before letting him fall back to Earth. Also, I am not overly impressed by Misha’s acting when he has to play evil. As with his performance as Lucifer in Season 11 he does tend to be a bit hammy and over the top. His performance jars and spoils all the good work he has done over the years.
A 7/10 then with marks taken away from disjointed action and constant switching between scenes. I didn’t enjoy it as much as I could have and that is a shame.
Before I sign off let me say again that I am not an acting critic nor an expert in performance art! I am simply a person with an opinion who likes to air her views and be honest. I didn’t like Cas in this episode but there are – no doubt – thousands that did and I hope that I didn’t offend and that anyone who fancies a little debate will give me their honest and – not too unkind – opinion!
Here’s to the next episode – whatever it will bring.