And with "Prophet and Loss" we have another average episode. There was nothing horrible about the episode, it had a few above-average spots, but for the most part was standard stuff. The whole Sam/Dean thing, and Jared Padalecki's speech at the end, were pretty moving. Credit where credit is due: Padalecki and Jensen Ackles can still do the moving-speech, brotherly-love thing when they have to.
A lot of the episode drew heavily on the series mythos with Redfield (Keith Szarabajka). And like the main characters, I had pretty much forgotten about him. To recap: He was left without a soul by Amara, and fell under the sway of Asmodeus last year. This led him to attack the Winchesters while coming up with the spell that would open a rift to Apocalypse Earth. Castiel drew the spell out of Donatello's mind, leaving him brain-dead. And since then we haven't seen or heard anything of him.
"Prophet and Loss" dealt primarily with Sam and Dean preparing to dump Dean at the bottom of the ocean in the Ma'Lak box. They're heading for... some ocean, and we cold-open with Dean imagining himself trapped in the box and ripping out his fingernails trying to claw out of his container. They also answer a question I raised in my last review: yes, Michael can keep Dean alive even in an airtight container at the bottom of the ocean.
The brothers stop somewhere I couldn’t figure out. Even though Sam has promised Dean not to tell Castiel about Dean's suicide plan, Sam is a big ole fibber and tells Castiel anyway. They both try to persuade Dean not to kill himself but Dean is having none of it.
Meanwhile, we see some unknown guy, who we'll later find out is Tony Alvarez (Nick Hunnings) first kill a woman in a tank of salt water, and then kills another guy while muttering about the firstborn. Sam is looking for cases while they drive from Kansas toward Iowa (so they're heading east to the... Atlantic Ocean from Kansas?). He finds out about the two murders, and they visit the twin brother of the first victim. Whose twinishness serves no purpose I could tell. Yes, his dead brother was born four minutes before he was, but could have easily been born a year, or two years, or five years earlier and still would have qualified as "firstborn".
It turns out the aforementioned Tony knew the victim and his twin brother. Tony knows Enochian (angel language) and has become obsessed with reenacting the deaths of the Egyptians during the Exodus. So drowning in salt water = drowning in the Red Sea, and the death of the firstborn = one of the Plagues of Egypt. Tony has kidnapped another victim, Nathan, and is setting him in fire. Fortunately, the Winchesters have found a photo at Tony's apartment that shows he's committing the murders at the Sphinx Motor Shop (heh). They stop him, send the victim away, and Tony grabs Dean's dropped gun and kills himself out of guilt
They figure this has something to Donatello, and when they tell Castiel, he knows Tony was to become the next Prophet of God after Donatello died. Since Donatello is only brain-dead, not dead-dead, he's creating "malformed" Prophets. If they don't kill Donatello dead-dead, the next Prophet will also be malformed and go on a similar killing spree. They go to Donatello's nursing home but realize Donatello still has some brain power, and Castiel manages to heal him.
Sam and Dean go outside and have beers, and Sam complains some more about how Dean is giving up, and they're Winchesters and never give up. He finally punches Dean a couple of times, and Dean agrees to not give up but makes Sam promise to dump him in the box and bury him at sea if Michael does get loose. Which seems like it would be too late by then so either this is incredibly risky or they're figuring Michael will be as easy to capture as he was a couple of episodes ago and the archangel learned nothing from that.
In another subplot, Nick escapes hospital imprisonment and goes to his old house. The ghost of his dead wife Sarah (Jaycie Dotin) is there and her unfinished business is Nick. She can't move on unless he renounces Lucifer, and Nick refuses to do so. And this is all very touching and well-acted and all, but it still feels like a reset of sorts. I thought Nick already went through this, summoning Lucifer out of the void and all. Now he's going through it again, what with the praying to Lucifer and all. And Nick goes off to find the darkest place possible so he can be reunited with Lucifer, leaving his wife's spirit trapped in the house.
So while "Prophet and Loss" was okay, it didn't do anything. Dean's suicide run lasted as long as I predicted last review: one episode. We get an idea of how far Nick has fallen, but we already knew that. The episode brought Donatello back into play, but I've never liked the character that much anyway and he doesn't seem to have anything to do with this season's shenanigans. We find out a little bit about "malformed Prophets", which adds another serving onto the rich smorgasbord that is the Supernatural universe.
However, the whole murder spree/malformed Prophet thing didn't seem to make any sense. Okay the killer is obsessed with the Bible and goes on a series of low-budget Dr. Phibes-style Bible/Egyptian killings, but the victims seem to be targets of convenience. He's not killing them because they're anti-God, or pro--Egyptian, or anti-Prophet, or anything.
As I noted, Padalecki and Ackles turn up the manly tears and they are very good at that. So much so it's hard to imagine them doing anything else at this point. Which could be why they've stuck to horror movies (Friday the 13th and My Bloody Valentine, primarily) and haven't really branched out into anything. Sure, they're not going to undertake another show or movie franchise because of their shooting schedule. One imagines them in 20 years still doing Sam and Dean on Supernatural.
Overall, if you're a big Donatello fan, or you want to see Sam and Dean in full brotherly-man-love mode, "Prophet and Loss" has something for you. Or if you want to enjoy the performances of Padalecki, Ackles, and Mark Pellegrino, which are spot-on as always, you'll enjoy this one. But if you miss this episode, you won't miss anything substantial in the season arc unless they whip out a surprise like Donatello being the key to defeating Michael. That seems pretty unlikely but, hey, the creative team could surprise us viewers.
But that's just my opinion, I could be wrong. What do you think?
Written by Gislef on Feb 1, 2019