I must confess that I felt rather resentful and cheated that someone other than Jensen Ackles was going to play Michael. I tuned in to watch the episode most reluctantly, but ended up enjoying it a lot. Felisha Terrell did an excellent job portraying Michael – his calmness, ruthlessness, deadliness, calculation. However, as I watched her putting his monstrous plan into action, I couldn’t get rid of the ever persistent feeling that this was supposed to be Michael!Dean’s storyline – promised but unfulfilled. I couldn’t stop thinking that this was supposed to be Jensen Ackles’ part and that it was incredibly unfair that he didn’t get the chance to truly spread his archangel wings. I knew that he would knock it out of the park and when, at long last, at the very end of the episode Michael took over Dean’s body once again, Jensen Ackles was phenomenal. I swear I could watch the last few minutes of the episode over and over and over again.
His instant transformation from Dean to Michael was mind-blowing and the very last second as he raised his hand and clicked his fingers had me starting and gasping for breath. The chilling manner in which Jensen Ackles delivers Michael’s lines, the way he pronounces and articulates the words, even the way his freaking lips move – there is no trace of Dean anywhere. It is a completely different character, and though I know that he is evil and that he is torturing and taunting Dean as we speak, and that he wishes to turn the whole world into his designer monsterland, I can’t help admiring and enjoying the superb acting and wishing that he could stay for a little while longer. Michael finally explained why he left his true vessel (Dean was too attached to Sam, Castiel and Jack and wouldn't stop fighting him), how he managed to come back and why he waited so long to do it. I was satisfied. I sincerely hope that the writers and the showrunner will give Jensen Ackles an opportunity to play both Dean and Michael in the upcoming episodes. I’m sure it would be heartbreaking, but there’s so much potential and possibilities there!
I have been struggling a great deal with enjoying and accepting this season as more and more of its focus was taken away from the main characters and concentrated on third parties and their stories. I knew that this episode would decide whether I would continue to watch the show with any semblance of interest. I actually dreaded watching it. Especially, considering that I’m not a fan of Robert Berens. In the past I didn’t like his writing; I didn’t appreciate his bias; I resented his treatment of Dean’s character. I prepared myself for the worst and was pleasantly surprised when I actually enjoyed an episode written by him. However, he gave me what I have been looking forward to all along – Dean, Sam, Castiel and Jack working together as a team and balancing the story between the four of them, each one having his own part to play, without one character hijacking most of the story. There were a lot of great scenes with them – funny, sweet, domestic, heartwarming (Jack and Castiel in the kitchen of the bunker), heartbreaking (Dean believes that they got Jack back with no strings attached) – and I loved them all. I would also like to point out that despite the fact that the writers continue to push forward the idea of Sam as the leader (he makes all the calls and sends people on missions), when it’s time to act, Dean is the one who takes charge and Sam is the one who falls in line – and it is the most natural thing in the world.
I was impressed by how the scene between Dean, Castiel and Kaia played out; it was pretty nerve-wrecking and for a while there everything was hanging in the balance; also some lies by omission were exchanged, which could become a problem in future. However, I was surprised that Berens showed Dean as mature and rational human being for one. I loved Ketch’s short but entertaining appearance and his interaction with the boys - it was obvious that he was aiming for their approval and was rather discomfited that despite his valiant efforts and best intentions he still failed them. I never thought I would say this, but I miss having him around. It is a pity that both weapons that the boys were after in order to destroy Michael got – well – destroyed by Michael. Of course, that was precisely what Michael had been planning all along in order to completely crush Dean's spirit and finally subjugate him. I was puzzled by the fact that Michael decided to persuade Jack to join him, knowing full well how much he hates him and that he wants him dead. But I wonder if that was what Michael was truly after or whether he simply used Jack’s capture as the means to ensure that the boys were indeed there. I suppose he wanted Dean to hand deliver him the spear - and himself - two birds with one stone and all that. I mean, if he truly wanted Jack to join him and it wasn’t just a ruse, then it would have made so much sense for that infamous shaman to work for him and provide Castiel with Michael’s grace – with certain modifications already in place – in order to change Jack from within. I’m sure that with so many monsters at his command Michael knew that the boys were desperately looking for a way to save Jack. It would have been so easy to swoop in and trick them and then enjoy the show. Oh well… I am actually looking forward to the next episode.