“RAISING HELL” NOT AS INTENSE, BUT THE SITUATION IS SERIOUS!

In the opening scene, we see a young mother who has sneaked out of the Winchester’s ‘protective custody’ and their cover story of a dangerous Benzine leak and gotten back home to pick up some things for her child. She runs into a neighbor, who has a kind of evil expression and proceeds to disembowel her with several brutal knife stabs to the gut! Then, we see a ghost get up from the assailant’s meat-suit. We later learn that he is none other than “Jack the Ripper!” (Left in upper photo: and Yes! That’s Kevin Tran! ) That’s about as evil and intense as we ‘d get this episode! That’s fine. There was something really brutal about that scene!  Meanwhile, Ripper calls a ghost-town meeting to update everyone on what’s going on, telling them it was indeed God himself who freed them from hell! Meanwhile, Belfagor the demon, is still claiming he is on hand and wearing Jack just to help our heroes return hell to what it used to be! We know this slick-talking character has more to his agenda than he’s letting on. (Bring back Crowley? I wish!)

Meanwhile, “Ripper” is a kind of surly Brit, armed with extreme intelligence and physical ‘earthly’ power for a ghost. He is trying to rally all of the trapped spirits to bring their power together to burst a hole through the warding that keeps them in and thousands of ghosts out of Harlan, Kansas. He is always 2-3 steps ahead of everyone else! Why he is privy to information others are not is beyond me.

The pleasant phases of the episode are the many reunions we had with the good and not-so-good of the past. Ketch returns to save Dean and Cas with a MOL weapon that releases ghosts from possessed people by firing what looks like confetti! It was great to see Kevin Tran return, although a bit confusing! Last we saw him, God had sent this former prophet straight to Heaven, but not so! God lied and sent him to hell…and since Kevin was downstairs on special arrival from the creator himself, it carried some extra weight with all the souls that dwell below. Anyway, we learn that Kevin can not go to Heaven without “The Big Guy’s” direct order…so once again, our poor hero is trapped and tormented, just as he was when he was alive and helping our guys decipher the Angel and Demon tablets as a prophet of the Lord.

Rowena returns at the request of Dean to construct the same kind of “Soul Bomb” that was intended to damage Amara when Dean finally confronted her in season 11. Rowena does admit she doesn’t have the juice or ingredients to make a weapon to suck up as many souls as the last time. It was entertaining to see the sexual foreplay that she and Ketch enjoyed. Rowena has already had a taste of Gabriel, and would have done Lucifer if she could have, so why not? She and Ketch come close to ‘getting busy’ while she is combining the ingredients for the “soul-catcher” as Dean would call it!

The best ‘reunion’ had to be the return of Amara, played by Emily Swallow. Now with brunette colored hair, she is holed up in Reno, a place she has fallen in love with. She loves the craps tables! Chuck finds her there, and is trying to reunite with her because ultimately, the wound he took from Sam’s firing of the ‘Equalizer’ has weakened him to the point where he is Earth-bound and can’t leave without her assistance. Amara, the weary big sister, eventually figures this out. She knows she has to be around, but just doesn’t want to be near her ‘dick’ of a brother! God tries to make a power play, saying “I’m the lead singer! You’re the background!” It fails miserably! Amara, wearing other than black for the first time ever, reminds God that he couldn’t force her hand when he was at full strength…so she leaves, knowing Chuck is bound here! A kind of ‘tit-for-tat’ for his locking her away for billions of years! Poor Chuck! Nothing seems to be going as he planned! Apparently, he can’t simply snap his fingers and make stuff happen so easily right now. He did touch his wound and Sam would feel the pain as well. Hmmm.

All the while, I never felt the dread like I did at the end of last season, wondering what our guys were going to do to get out of their pickle! We knew this time, they would figure it out. The episode had enough playful, yet serious moments to allow viewers to feel that. Dean and Cas had a powerful talk about if all they’ve done up to now is even worth the effort. Cas says “Yes!” Even though God orchestrated it, their lives are REAL! Dean disagrees, and once again, is made as hell at everything! Rowena’s soul catcher worked, capturing the ghosts inside the warding zone. Ripper had possessed Ketch, but Dean forced him out with a couple of well-placed bullets made of iron.  Kevin, with the choice of returning to hell for torture, or roaming the earth and going crazy, like most ghosts do who decide not to move on, is freed from the warding by Belfagor, but we end with multiple ghosts making an effort to break in from outside. The warding is weakening!

I’m sure we’re not done with Kevin! What reason would God have to send him to hell? What’s Belfagor’s end game? It’s not “Make Hell Great Again!” Is every episode going to be “Ghost-Busters?” Two or more billion souls left hell, with God minus the power or will to send them back! We slowly turn the pages as we unveil the big finale’ in this 15th and final season. Through 2 episodes, I’m enjoying the ride!

Feeling Supernatural

Photos: The CW. All rights reserved

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