This review contains spoilers.
15.3 The Rupture
In ‘we don’t play by your normal season arc rules anymore’ news, Supernatural decided to kill off three major characters and not relent with tearing out fan hearts until the credits rolled over sad theme music. Let’s dive in.
The “gate” Chuck opened to hell is actually a rupture (hence the title). The title also echoes The Rapture – another episode directed by Charles Beeson and written by Jeremy Carver. Notably, the mausoleum that the boys and Rowena go back to (same as the premiere) also says Carver above the door. Another interesting titbit? The Rupture was written by Robert Berens, who we learned in our interview with Ruth Connell also wrote her audition sides. Some things truly come full circle. Especially when “the rupture” references a fala wound in the world, in which only a fatal wound can fix it. More on that later.
As a last ditch effort to contain the innumerable ghosts and demons pouring out of Hell, Belphegor suggests they grab “the crook” – Lilith’s special horn that can summon all the spirits back. That leads to a multi-part plan, no less than three major character deaths and a not-too-surprising betrayal.
Belphegor and Castiel’s trip into Hell was the only reprieve for a time of great tension in this episode. Belph got all the fun lines, having a lot of humour at Castiel’s expense. He knows it pains Cass to see his pseudo-son’s body possessed by a demon. This led to lines like Cass saying “It’s quiet” when they enter Hell which Belph quipping, “Too quiet. Sorry, thought we were doing a bit.” Later, when Cass reads the Enochian verse and doesn’t get a result, Belph teases “They’re verses, Cass, I think they need to be sung…. Your voice it’s like an angel.”
Back topside, we’re introduced to Ardat and we don’t have time to get to know this figure before Mr. Ketch meets his untimely death in a very Indiana Jones: Temple Of Doom kind of way. At least he died while still fighting and protecting the Winchesters. Unfortunately, one of Ardat’s skills is catfishing hunters. I’m sorry, Mr. Ketch. I never thought you’d survive this many seasons, but I also never expected you to die in such a gory fashion.Shocking death #2 was none other than Belphegor – a demise that’s made all the more painful as it’s still Jack’s face he’s wearing. Belphegor’s true plan comes to light – yadda yadda Hell domination, absorbing all the souls to be like a God yadda yadda – and Cass has to be the one to end him. And the look of pain on Castiel’s face as he struggles to kill a being who looks like his pseudo-son Jack? That’s a whole death in itself.
Rowena of course had the most jaw dropping moments this episode. From her emotional “We’re all going to die!” admission in the beginning, to her stubborn selfless moment at the end. Rowena showed just how far she has grown and changed over her five seasons of Supernatural. Rowena used to be the epitome of pure evil – a power-hungry witch who didn’t care who was stomped under her magical fabulous boots. But her raw emotional pleas to Sam? It could wreck the hardest of hearts, and we had a few seasons of a softening, more amicable Rowena to lead into that heart wrenching moment. Rowena’s arc was one of the strongest on the show, a redemptive one, and she represents an ally the Winchesters will feel lost without.
Since this particular episode just couldn’t end without one more heartbreak, Dean and Castiel’s at the very end just tipped it to the extreme. If there’s one thing the Winchesters can hold on to in the midst of a ton of tragedy, it’s staying together and continuing to fight. Unfortunately, Dean’s awkwardness around Cass – Dean still blames him for Mary’s death – has caused too great a rift. Their storied bromance is very strained. Cas tried to open up about his problems and Dean won’t hear it. “I think it’s time for me to move on,” Castiel told him. As he walked out of the bunker, the music cue was that famous Supernatural sad theme. I had enough heartbreak by this point, the musical cue just set me over the edge.
With all the tragedy that happened just three episodes into the season, an unlikely time for all this craziness to happen normally, I prefer we rest on Dean’s more uplifting words earlier in the episode: “We’re not giving up. That’s not who we are.”
It’s hard to see such favourite characters in pain or die – but its a testament to the writing and acting on the show that these deaths and plights of the heart have such an effect on its audience. It’s fiction, sure, but it matters. It matters to those who have invested almost fifteen years into this storyline, and it matters to see where it all ends.
Read Bridget’s review of the previous episode, Raising Hell, here.