Episode 11.23

“Alpha & Omega” Review

By Annie Kenney

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I’ve been staring at an empty page for about ten minutes because I’m not sure what I’m actually going to write! This was – possibly – the most bizarre and strange season finale (of any program) that I’ve ever seen. Low key doesn’t even begin to describe it. Of course that doesn’t necessarily mean that the finale was bad or that I didn’t like it…what it does mean is that I’m fairly dazed and confused.

There was an odd almost disjointed feel to the finale; it felt like a lot of little scenes that didn’t actually fit in with any of the others. There were a lot of questions and not many answers (as usual for Supernatural these days) but there was no sense of urgency, no real tension. I suppose the series has been running for so long that it is hard for the viewer to believe that anything bad will actually happen to the Winchesters because, as much as we love them, the fact the series has been renewed for another year and the main actors have signed on the dotted line means that any real threat of someone dying and staying dead is pretty damn remote.

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There was a lot going through my mind in this episode. Where is Lucifer? How can God die? Is Billie the new death? How come we’ve never heard of the Institution with all those ghosts in and why an earth does everyone in America think people in Britain have cut glass accents, live in the country and have maids that call them ‘M’Lady’? But more of that later!

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So what did I like about this episode? Sam being all ‘Gung Ho’ and getting people to stop stewing in their own juices and actually do something. I love Sam when he gets to be all tough and forceful. It was great to see him so focussed and it was nice to see the rest of the crew listen to him. I also liked that there was still a nice thread of humor running through the episode. I particularly liked the interactions between Rowena, Crowley and Chuck (yes really) and Crowley’s ‘I’m not calling you dad’ made me laugh out loud. I also liked the fact that everyone was together in the bunker and that they all started to work towards saving the world (even though they had their own agendas). As usual though I love the Winchesters together and on the same page. There is nothing that beats a united Sam and Dean and the finale did, at least, give us this.

What didn’t I like? The sudden and unnecessary introduction of this strange new British Woman of Letters – a branch that no one has ever heard of and has suddenly surfaced. Why did she spend, what could have been her final hours on a dying Earth, flying to America to find (and possibly kill) Sam and Dean? And why did she have to be introduced now? These little side stories really take away from the actual action and, as this finale was fairly low key and without many big bang moments we didn’t really need any distractions.

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I was also pretty annoyed that Dean accepted Castiel back without as much as a ‘Why did you say yes to Lucifer after Sam had tried so hard to resist?’ Instead he took Cas on a beer run in Baby and told him that he was like a brother to him. I’m not sure I’m comfortable with that. Castiel has done quite a lot of unsavory things in this season (and in previous ones) but it seems that Dean is more than happy to forgive him without question. It might just be me but that seems a little out of character for Dean and I wish there had been a little more said about what had happened (and also about where Lucifer might actually be…I mean if he is alive then he must be on Earth somewhere…which is worrying.)

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Oddly I really liked the way that they finished off the Darkness’s storyline. She has never really been threatening enough as a big bad so to have her go quietly into the night with her brother by her side was really satisfying. It was also nice to see that Dean was in one piece for once! Now God and the Darkness have gone what is going to happen to Earth? Although we have Sam and Dean (in God’s own words) we might still be in danger from other things (like Lucifer).

The very end left me a bit shell-shocked. What the heck happened? For a start I’m fairly convinced that the English lady (Antonia) didn’t shoot Sam so I’m curious to see what is going to happen there. (While I’m on the subject of Sam – Jared was so wonderful in this episode saying so much without actually opening his mouth and his watery eyes and realization that Dean was probably dead made me want to cry buckets). Secondly where did Mary come from? Is she a ghost? Is she alive? Did Dean go back in time? I haven’t an absolute clue and I can’t even make any guesses at the moment but at least I’ve got five months to have a good think!

So 8/10 for the finale – most of those marks for the acting, the brothers working together, Sam’s dewy eyes, Crowley’s humor and a nice gentle end to the Darkness’s reign of terror. Season 11 has been a pretty good one all in all with some of the best stand-alone episodes I’ve seen in decades. However the main storyline was pretty lame and a bit thin so I think it is time to have a complete change. Maybe go back to monster hunting and possibly a trip to England for Sam and Dean!

Here’s to Season 12…