Supernatural, Episode 268 “The Big Empty” Broadcast on November 2, 2017
Written by Meredith Glynn
Directed by John Badham
Then: Dean says good-bye to all who’ve died as he, Sam, and Jack watch Castiel’s body burn, though Sam corrects him that their mother isn’t dead. Later, Sam tries to get Dean to believe that Jack isn’t evil. As Dean goes off on Sam, he reminds him off what Jack, in his mother’s womb, did to Castiel. Overhearing his tirade, Jack’s eyes glow and he says the dead angel’s name, who suddenly awakens alone in a black void.
Now: In Madison, Wisconsin, a man comes home to find his dead wife alive. As he leans in to kiss her, she fatally stabs him. Cue opening title card.
This episode dealt with character relationships quite well, with Sam and Dean finally hashing out how they feel about their mother’s death/disappearance. It was handled very naturally, with the brother’s having the expected reactions from the airing of dirty laundry in a “safe place.” Having Jack witness this nasty openness between the brothers gave him an opportunity to see that they’re not exactly the perfect people he might have thought them to be. Jared Padalecki had the most emotional scenes with Alexander Calvert again doing a sweet job of capturing innocence, since he’s technically still a newborn, yet with a simmering fire under that questioning face. The joy of the episode is the triangle of men going out on an adventure. The only down side to this is Sam and Dean being very one note. This does change by the episode’s coda, but their positions are predictable. Enjoyable, but predictable. Getting a good return was Misha Collins as Castiel, who encounters something in a terrible place. Castiel’s solution to his obstacle was nicely done, and I’d be more than welcome to seeing the return of his foe. There’s also a decent monster in the episode, with some good fake outs, and this creature gets a really graphic and gross make-up effect.
The good: The script, Alexander Calvert, Misha Collins’s full return, Jared Padalecki continuing to make Sam the soul of the brothers, and Jensen Ackles continuing to make Dean such a jerk, though he does have a better word for how he’s been acting. I like that Sam does not understand signage at all. The transformation scene is spectacularly grotesque. The final word line from Dean is terrific. And I’m always pleased to see Star Wars referenced in a show.
Fun lines: “Adventures in Babysitting the Antichrist,” “I do like Ahsoka. I kind of hate Anakin,” “You’re using me,” “I’ll give him that,” “What gets burned stays dead,” and “And you are soaking in it.”
The bad: Not enough Rukiya Bernard and Niall Matter. Both were terrific, alone or together, and I hope the survivor returns. Dean had the best one-liners of the show, he often does, but a few came off as really forced. Most occur once out in the field.
The final line: The Winchester brothers plus one go on a monster hunt with some solid character growth. Plus, Cass is back!!! Overall grade: B+