Moriah, the finale to season 14 requires some processing. It contains some humor that is typical of our show, but mostly in contains the angst that a finale should have with a set up for season 15 and the end of a great run for Supernatural, the T.V. series. Andrew Dabb stays true to the themes of free will and sacrifice, but with twists and turns that any fan may either find annoying or ingenious. Smartly, the finale is about the central figures and echos from the past 14 years even with a reference to Crowley.
With Jack free from the box, angry with his Winchester dads, he seeks answers from his mother’s side of the family only to be rejected by his grandmother as the reason his Mother, Kelly, is deceased,( which is factual). The disagreement between Sam, Dean, and Castiel as to Jack’s fate is emblematic of the angst as Dean wants to kill Jack, Sam points out how Jack sacrificed hi s soul to save the Winchesters and has doubts as to whether Jack should be killed, and Castiel sees the positive in Jack and goes in search of him.
Jack, meanwhile, has learned to restrain his powers when he has an emotional reaction. Sick of all the lying from the Winchesters, he soon realizes that everybody tells lies and he makes the world stop lying, which creates havoc. The concept does provide for the lighter moments when Dean can no longer tell a fib and pose as a legit FBI agent, Sam reveals his favorite singer is Celine Dionne and not Elvis, and Dean admits to a nightly viewing of Jeopardy, the game show. How one relishes these bits about the Winchesters. Then back to the seriousness that is Chuck.
Dabb goes to town jabbing at the writer’s position as the greatest of liars. Chuck, who admits again that he is a writer, returns to ” help clean up” the loose end that is Jack and even goes meta when he uses the deus ex maquina phrase: that ancient writers would have a god show up to conveniently end the plot lines. And so lying is restored to the human race and time returns to what it was before Jack stopped the lying. All’s right in the world except that Jack is still out there and Chuck wants him taken care of by the Winchesters. Dean confronts Chuck with the truth that He is afraid of Jack, but there is no answer. ( Maybe it is jealousy and not fear but who has time to process while the action plays). There is a quick catch up on Amara who is currently in Reno, and Chuck provides the information that He cannot be the one to gank Jack and that whoever uses the special weapon( which looks like a pistol) will suffer the same fate as Jack.
Dean decides he will sacrifice himself and be the one to kill Jack and thus himself. He attempts to have that conversation with Sam, but our Sammy is having none of it. He expresses his true feelings towards losing Dean and being alone. This dialogue mirrors many of the conversations in the past when either Sam or Dean was about to lose the other to an awful end. And so, Dabb makes the viewer recall all of those past dangers to existence from 14 years of following the adventures-clever insertion, and it was good to see Sam so honest with Dean.
Next you know, the scene is at a brightly lit cemetery -(mental flashback to season 5 finale and Stull Cemetery)- Dean is about to kill Jack with the “pistol”. Jack understands why and kneels down, ready for the sacrifice. Chuck is there as a witness when Sam arrives by car, and sprints across* the cemetery to stop Dean. Using his free will, Dean cannot shoot Jack, and Sam reveals what a douche bag Chuck has been all along-( it’s not like Amara and Metatron didn’t tell them Chuck is self centered, capricious, jealous and sometimes cruel).
While allowing the Winchesters to think they have been exercising free will, Chuck reminds them that he writes the shows- okay another meta moment- and that they are his favorite show. Another reminder of how Chuck creates worlds only to abandon them capriciously- remember Alt Michael saying as much?
Sam shoots Chuck in the shoulder and thus he himself receives a wound. Chuck, infuriated that the Winchesters are truly exercising their free will, decides to write the END. He smites Jack,( guess Chuck lied again), and every damned soul from Hell is released into the world; the lady in white, the clown of John Wayne Gacey, all the evil that the Winchesters sent to Hell- all encircle Cas, a wounded Sam, and Dean- who has managed to get some of the iron gate free to use as a weapon. The VFX is at is best at recreating that moment from All Hell Breaks Lose- remember that one? At this point the finality of the show starts to hit home and The walking dead choreography is in full play. And we have seen Chuck role back time to before a intervention in this episode, but no such luck. The cemetery is dark, the heros encircled by everything they ever defeated. And yet we know season 15 is the true finale, so reason to come back. Meanwhile…. setting up season 15 we go to smart direction decision.
Phil Scriggia, the director, then zooms in close to the burned out eye sockets of Jack to reveal The Empty, Jack, a smiling figure-which may or may not be Lucifer- and Billie. When Jack awakens and inquires if he is dead, Billie responds with,”about that”. End of episode. As a directorial decision, it is certainly shocking and more so than when a similar shot is used to show Kevin burned out by Gadreel. It is effective even if one finds it disturbing. After all this is a horror genre. I know we forget that because we see it as show about family that deals with horrible things. True fandom.
It is not until that moment that the episode title Moriah resurfaces to the conscience. It is the Biblical place where G-od required Abraham to sacrifice his only son, Isaac, as proof of his devotion to God. Only at the last minute does an angel intercede to prevent the sacrifice. Dabb has certainly written sacrifice into this episode in so many ways. Congratulations to Rob Benedict as Chuck who has emerged as the WINCHESTERS’ nemesis. The audience has grown to love the cuteness and vulnerability of this character and now the big reveal that Chuck has been playing humanity hits hard. By a human refusing to sacrifice to a capricious god, Chuck’s choice to undo his creation demonstrates just how correct Amara, Metatron, and Michael were in their characterization of Him. And yet, Death is older than God, so let’s wait to see how Dabb really writes the End.
This episode was scripted and filmed prior to the announcement that season 15 would be the last year, so one wonders if Dabb had a clue when he penned this episode or is it just a natural order of things to lead to the End? Moriah intertwines the series favorite themes into a finale. It does what a finale should do to set up another season and yet knowing this is the penultimate finale, more thought required. Writers lie according to this script or do they? Love it or hate it, Moriah goes by so quickly. Re watch required. Processing required. Thoughts?
*Jared runs faster in that scene then he did when I actually saw him at the Boston Marathon this past April. Of course, he and Gen were running to raise money for a charity. He stopped along the way to take selfies with fans and thus it took him over 4 hours to finish the race. Gen finished an hour prior to his finish. And yes, he is that tall and that nice in person.