In a continuation of the party celebrating the milestone 100th episode of the hit CW Network series, Supernatural, the good folks at Warner Brothers have sent out a little party treat to some of us journalist types: an advanced look at the S5.18 Point of No Return.
As we saw back in last week’s episode, S5.17 99 Problems, a totally frustrated and mentally and emotionally exhausted Dean Winchester (Jensen Ackles) has begun to think the only way to stop Lucifer and save the planet is to say yes and become Michael’s vessel. Which in turn has his brother, Sam Winchester (Jared Padalecki) deeply worried and looking for a means to keep Dean from making that decision and all of this is widening the rift between the two of them. In my opinion the reason the rift between them is widening is because Dean doesn’t care about what’s going on anymore or about the consequences of saying yes to Michael and he is leaving Sam feeling like he has no back up in his own battle to stay strong against Lucifer.
In the pivotal 100th episode, S5.18 Point of No Return directed by Phil Sgriccia and written by Jeremy Carver, the Winchester brothers find out that unbeknownst to any of them, the angels have been coming up with a shocking and horrifying “Plan B” to bring about the final days of the apocalypse. Together with Castiel (Misha Collins) and Bobby (guest star Jim Beaver) Sam and Dean put aside the widening rift between them, as much as they can, and prepare to take on Zachariah (guest star Kurt Fuller) in a desperate attempt to prevent the beginning of the end on Earth. The episode also sees the return from the dead (in true Winchester fashion) of Dean and Sam’s half brother Adam Milligan (Jake Abel).
Without giving too many spoilers away, here’s what I have to say about the 100th episode of Supernatural.
There is no way a round addressing the fact that Dean and Sam’s younger half brother Adam Milligan is back from the dead in this episode so that’s what I’m going to talk about first.
Adam is the son of John Winchester after all and he wouldn’t be a real Winchester if he didn’t come back from the dead at least once right? So it makes sense that the writers of Supernatural would find good reason to return Adam from the dead. Without getting too spoilery about Adam’s return in S5.18 Point of No Return, I will say that he’s not the same character that we saw in S4.19 Jump the Shark.
That version of Adam Milligan was the construct of the ghoul impersonating him. The Adam Milligan that Sam and Dean and the viewers meet in S5.18 Point of No Return is the real one and he’s not the wide-eyed idealistic kid they expect him to be. He’s a lot more cynical about them, about John Winchester and his own life. He’s not the kid eager to be their brother like the ghoul portrayed him as in order to get Sam and Dean to let their guard down in Jump the Shark.
Sam: Believe it or not, but dad was trying to keep you safe.
Adam: Well I guess the monster who ate me didn’t get the memo.
Yep, Adam Milligan really is a Winchester after all and John Winchester has one more son he isn’t going to win any Father of the Year awards from.
The casting of Jake Abel in this role was, in my opinion, a brilliant choice on the part of the producers of Supernatural. Not only does Abel do an amazing job of playing a character that is a mix of both Sam and Dean, yet at the same time is his own unique person, he also looks like he could be their brother and it’s because his facial structure is an interesting mix of both Sam and Dean. Jeremy Carver also did an excellent job of adding some new dimensions to a character originally created by another current Supernatural writer, Andrew Loflin. All of which combines together to make Adam Milligan more than just a clichéd plot device a character like this could so easily become.
Speaking of characters that are changing in interesting ways, for me Castiel has really hit his stride again in the latter part of season 5. Back when the character was first introduced in S4.01 Lazarus Rising, I was really excited and intrigued by him and I thought that Misha Collins did an excellent job in the role of the angel who started out as a loyal soldier in the ranks but then gradually began to question what his superiors were doing. Yet I have to be honest and admit that Castiel gradually became less intriguing to me and by the middle part of season 5 I felt he had begun to stagnate and he seemed to be becoming Dean Winchester’s comedic sidekick. However in the last few episodes, I real like where they are going with Castiel and especially the fact that the changes taking place in him are from his own learning experiences and not from any comedic based ‘corrupting influence’ on the part of Dean Winchester.
What I like most, especially in this episode, is that we the audience are being reminded that Castiel is a warrior. Misha Collins really rises to the task of taking on this aspect of Castiel and of all the turmoil he feels about the decision that Dean Winchester is thinking about making in regards to saying yes to the archangel Michael. As we have seen from the sneak peek clips of S5.18 Point of No Return, Castiel loses patience with Dean Winchester and vents his anger about what he sees as a betrayal. The knock down, drag out brawl (with Dean mostly getting knocked down and dragged out) between Castiel and Dean is one of several very dramatic and climatic moments in this episode.
Zachariah returns once more in this episode and the first thing we find out about him that adds an interesting dimension to the character is that apparently there is a boss angel higher up the chain of command than he is and that Zachariah was fired by this boss angel for not being able to ‘close the deal’ with Dean saying yes. Kurt Fuller has from the beginning been an excellent choice for the role of Zachariah and he doesn’t disappoint the audience in S5.18 Point of No Return.
Jim Beaver as Bobby Singer is always a plus in any episode and I am glad they chose to include him in this very pivotal and milestone episode. The boys and Bobby are family and Jim Beaver has become a part of making Supernatural the success it has become.
Most of all, and at it’s heart, the 100th episode of Supernatural is about the one thing that has kept Supernatural going strong and has kept it’s audience and fans loyal for five seasons and that is the relationship between the brothers, Sam and Dean Winchester.
Back in S5.14 My Bloody Valentine, we started to see the signs that Dean’s Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome from the time he spent in Hell is starting to catch up with him in tidal wave proportions. We, as the audience, witnessed this most clearly in S5.17 99 Problems when Dean became fixated on the idea that he had no choice but to say yes to becoming Michael’s vessel.
Jensen Ackles has consistently been hitting it out of the ballpark in his portrayal of a man who has literally been to hell and back and is under the kind of stress that is unraveling Dean’s emotional control and that has led him to begging God for help: help that was not offered. In 100 episodes of watching Dean Winchester go from being a young man who idolized and strove to please a father who was emotionally distant from him and to gradually seeing the dad he once idolized for what he really is and watching Dean come to believe he failed at his job of protecting his little brother has been a character journey that might not have been as compelling without the top notch writing in Supernatural and the incredible talent of Jensen Ackles.
In Point of No Return, Dean Winchester is still caught up in thinking so little of his own self worth and being driven ragged by what he perceives as the constant failure to stop Lucifer. That combined with the incredible weight of guilt at being partly responsible for the whole mess in the first place that he thinks the only useful thing he can do is sacrifice himself. Dean is convinced that he has no other choice left but to say yes to Michael no matter what the consequences of that action might be for him and for Sam.
Back in S4.22 Lucifer Rising, Sam Winchester was hit hard by the devastating fact that he has been tricked into breaking the final seal to release Lucifer and that he had chosen to follow the demon Ruby (played in season 4 by Genevieve Cortese) over the warnings and protest of his brother Dean. We watched as Sam came to the frightening realization that he really didn’t have the control over the situation he thought he did and that he was led down a path he didn’t realize had gotten so dark and twisted until that moment when his actions freed Lucifer. Jared Padalecki has been dynamic in this role and even when the writers didn’t tell us what was going on inside of Sam, Jared always managed to show it to us.
In 100 episodes of watching Sam Winchester go from being a slightly self absorbed young man who just wanted to escape the life he grew up in and the controlling father he didn’t agree with to the startling realization that he had become in many ways just like that father and how much he needs to change from that to survive might not have had the character impact it has if not for the writers and for the strength of talent that is Jared Padalecki.
In Point of No Return we see Sam Winchester not only dealing with Dean’s issues and crisis of faith, but also coming to the realization that he can’t do this on his own and that being the guy who always ran away from everything isn’t who he is anymore. That he and Dean need to stay together as a team and as brothers if they are to stand a chance of coming out of this alive.
S5.18 Point of No Return is an awesome 100th episode of what has been a consistently exciting and intriguing television series. I think the opening sequence was a bit too much with Zachariah, but the following scenes of Dean alone in a motel room silently packing up his life and getting ready to make his deal with Michael is heartbreaking in it’s straightforward presentation. As is seeing Sam struggling to reach Dean and pull him out of his narrow focus that only sees sacrificing himself as being the only option left. The interaction between Dean, Sam and Adam is a testament to how well the writers of this series know that the heart and soul of it’s success is the brothers and what family means to them in the end.
S5.18 Point of No Return is a powerful episode for Castiel as well and we see him making some decisions that show us just how far he has come from being an obedient angel to a rebel against his own father much like Dean and Sam have become against theirs.
Oh and we find out where the beautiful room with the beer and the cheeseburgers is really located at. I can tell you that it certainly took Dean by surprise!
Some of the things I really enjoyed in this episode were:
- Dean in handcuffs.
- Sam getting payback by having to lock Dean in Bobby’s panic room.
- Adam is just as sarcastic as Dean is
- Adam’s discussion with Sam about John Winchester
- The ending sequence between Sam and Dean
I guess you could say that overall liked S5.18 Point of No Return and I thought everyone involved with Supernatural from the Creator of the series Eric Kripke to the writer Jeremy Carver, the director Phil Sgriccia and most of all the actors who bring it all to life every week, Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles, Misha Collins along with Jim Beaver, Kurt Fuller and Jake Abel in this episode out did themselves to really make the 100th episode of Supernatural rock the house down.
So let’s party on with the 100th episode celebration by tuning in the CW Network on Thursday, April 15th at 9PM EST to watch Point of No Return.