And so we have a roughly "normal" episode of Supernatural. In which there's a case of the week, and it touches on an issue that Sam or Dean--in this case Sam--has. And there's a subplot with Jack and Dean.
"Peace of Mind" is also a "building suspense" episode of sorts. In which it touches on the presumed Big Bad of the back half of the season. It builds a little suspense and established what's going on, but doesn't do anything with it.
Let's check the main plot. In the town of Charming Acres, a leather-jacketed biker teenager Conrad goes to see his girlfriend Sunny (Caitlin Ashley-Thompson) at the local diner. She refuses to leave town with Conrad. Conrad runs out of town, stops at a gas station, and his head explodes.
Sam is having hallucinations of the dead Apocalypse-World Hunters that Michael killed last week. He finds out about the head exploding and decides to investigate. Castiel suggests that Dean stick with Jack, who is acting weird, and Castiel goes with Sam. They do, and end up in Charming Acres. It's a 50s like town where everyone is just so gosh-darn nice. A local couple Sam and Castiel meet are heading to a bake sale, and the husband, Justin, sees Sam's cell phone and that triggers memories of his old life. Then his head explodes.
Castiel and Sam stay at a boarding house. Sam wanders off and when Castiel finds him, he now thinks he's Justin and is married to Justin's wife. He also has no memory of Castiel or being a Hunter or anything.
After poking around a bit, Castiel figures that Sunny has something to do with it. He accuses her of being a witch, but Mayor Chip (Bill Dow), Sam, and two thugs show up. Chip explains he has mental powers and when the town went to pot, he used his ability to change things so that everyone was happy. Sam and the thugs attack Castiel, Castiel knocks out the thugs, and when Sam threatens his friend with an angel dagger, Castiel talks to him about how he has to deal with the loss of his "army" or he'll lose Dean and Jack. That snaps Sam out of it.
Outside, Sunny and Chip confront each other. Sunny isn't affected by Chip's mental powers since she's his daughter. She finally has enough and when Chip tries to make Sam's head explode, Sunny basically traps Chip in his mental landscape of Charming Acres. Case solved, I guess.
Meanwhile, Dean takes Jack to see Donatello (Kevin Szarabajka), who also lost his soul. Donatello and Jack have an enigmatic conversation, and Jack seems to think he still has a soul. And he may indeed still have bits of it. Donatello advises him to think of what Sam and Dean would do and do that.
Everyone goes back to the bunker, and Sam admits to Dean that he's been running them ragged to avoid dealing with the loss of the other Hunters. He says he's going to take a break and Dean agrees.
Jack has been carting around the snake that belonged to the Gorgon from last week. It hasn't been eating, and in his room Jack figures the snake deserves to be with the Gorgon... in Heaven. Jack turns the snake into ash and Castiel secretly watches.
That's basically it. Jensen Ackles mugs for the camera a bit as Dean. There's a cute scene where he performs his own "test" to determine if Jack is good or evil: let him choose between angel food and evil food snake cake. We also get Dean's fear of snakes.
The MVP of the episode is Misha Collins, since we get to see Castiel do some Hunter type stuff for work. I've lost track of what powers he does and doesn't have. He has trouble fighting two human thugs, but can still rip thoughts out of people's minds and he's immune to Chip's mental powers because he isn't human. Castiel gets most of the good lines, whether it's asking which one when a store clerk says that Conrad's exploded like in Scanners. Or his saying that they've met God and he has a beard when Chip says that he's God. Or his sheepish look when Sam finds out he told Dean all about what Sam was doing in Charming Acres.
What Chip's mental powers are, isn't made clear. He can not only alter people's thoughts and make heads explode, but knock people back and apparently transmute objects since the entire town seems to have lost any post-50s technology. It's also not made clear what happens to Sunny afterward. Do Sam and Castiel just leave her in Charming Acres with her godlike powers?
"Peace of Mind" is as noted a suspense-building place holder. It's a decent case of the week, but they skip over a lot of things presumably because they divide the episode between Sam & Castiel's adventures, and Dean & Jack's roadtrip. It's a bit unsatisfying on both sides: we don't find out much about Charming Acres or how the situation was ultimately resolved. We also don't find out much about Jack's heel turn. Doing what Sam and Dean would do doesn't seem like the kind of thing that would ultimately pit him against the Winchesters. Granted, Jack seems capable of twisting that, since he justifies sending the snake to Heaven because it's what his friends would do. And Lucifer is still waiting off-screen to use Jack's soullessness down the road.
Other than establishing that Jack is a major menace, "Peace of Mind" didn't do much of anything. Every episode doesn't have to do anything, but it seems like Supernatural is treading water to some degree. The creative team spent half a season or so on Michael. Now he's gone, and they're spending time on Jack. It seems long and dragged out, and it's a bit frustrating.
But that's just my opinion, I could be wrong. What do you think?
Written by Gislef on Mar 15, 2019