In Review: Supernatural, “Raising Hell”

A ho-hum episode with fantastic moments between two returning characters.

Supernatural, “Raising Hell” Broadcast on October 17, 2019

Written by Brad Buckner & Eugene Ross-Leming

Directed by Robert Singer

The ending from the previous season is shown with the Winchesters telling God to go to Hell. He says, “Fine!” and snaps his fingers, killing Jack.

Then: Sam shoots God and the bullet ricochets off the Lord and slams into Sam’s shoulder. The damned are released from Hell, including one Belphegor who possesses Jack’s recently killed body. The demon proves his worth to the boys by creating a temporary bubble around a town to enclose the ghosts that are killing the citizens.

Now: A citizen foolishly enters the “quarantined zone” that’s part of the “chemical leak.” She spies a neighbor, dressed in this pajamas and talks to him about sneaking off to retrieve her daughter’s medicine since it’s been two days since the locals have been holed up in the nearby high school. The man stabs her repeatedly before revealing he’s possessed by the ghost of Francis Tumblety, aka Jack the Ripper. The show’s logo then explodes onto the screen.

This was an average episode. There’s stuff to like, but the overall threat was fairly predictable. The opening scene with Sam asking if anyone had questions made me laugh. Castiel and Dean have a moment with the angel trying to apologize for past mistakes, but Dean isn’t going to have any of this discussion right now. In the previous episode Rowena was contacted to help them and Ruth Connell returns. She’s great and her pairing with David Hadyn-Jones as Arthur Ketch is the high point of the episode. Their history came up several times with them eventually making goo-goo eyes at one another. The scene with Ketch giving her assistance with a spell was enough for me to hope this pair has a spin-off series after Supernatural comes to a close. They just had to look at each other and I started laughing. Both actors were obviously enjoying their scenes.

The threat of the ghosts is a carry over from the previous episode and it’s meh. With the spell beginning to weaken, as Belphegor said it would, it created a nice countdown and some decent tension. Tumblety was an average villain. He was too formal to be a serious threat and the way he bargained with the boys was predictable and disappointing. Any fan could have written his dialogue. I did like how a relationship with a previous character was stated and I would find a revisiting of it very interesting. Kevin Tran returns and did nothing, save establish new rules on what it takes to get into Heaven. I just didn’t care for anything the character did. I don’t blame Osric Chau, it was the way the character was written. Also not fantastic was God and the Darkness. It’s been firmly established that God is a jerk, which is much more PC than what Dean would say, but his actions in this episode only made him seem weak. The Darkness was a stronger character, and there was a very strong exit speech that featured some fitting karma, but so what? Where is this heading? God is now boring. And being God he could snap his fingers and all returns to normal. I’m hoping the writers have a smart way to get him out of this hole he’s int. What was interesting about God is what he had on his shoulder and how that relates to another character. That reveal could go all season.

Not in many scenes was Belphegor, who doesn’t do much, which was disappointing because he was so good last week. The same can also be said of Castiel, who has one solid scene with Dean and that’s all. The episode was filled with several characters, so some of the travelling buddies had to get the short straw with this episode.

The good: Ruth Connell and David Haydn-Jones crushing their scenes and a clever way to solve the ghost problem.

The bad: Not enough Belphegor and Castiel, a pointless use of Kevin, and supernatural threats without much punch.

The final line: A ho-hum episode with fantastic moments between two returning characters. Now that this town’s troubles have ended, I’m hoping the boys move elsewhere to clean up the mess from Hell. Overall grade: C+

Patrick Hayes was a contributor to the Comic Buyer's Guide for several years with "It's Bound to Happen!" and he's reviewed comics for TrekWeb and TrekCore. He's taught 8th graders English for 20 years and has taught high school English for five years and counting. He reads everything as often as he can, when not grading papers or looking up Star Trek, Star Wars, or Indiana Jones items online.
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