Episode: Supernatural 6.17 – “My Heart Will Go On”
Original Air Date: April 15, 2011
Screencaps by rawr_caps.
After a long mid-season hiatus, Supernatural is back and headed towards the home stretch. To lighten up the sadness we were left with last time, this episode instead focused on a more whimsical what-if scenario. But like all episodes of the series, even the lighter episodes tie into the larger mythology and reveal more truths about the characters.
The premise of “My Heart Will Go On” starts out simple. Balthazar didn’t like the movie Titanic, so he goes back in time to unsink the ship. That sounds exactly like something the rogue angel would do, which is why it worked so well in deflecting us from seeing how later developments would emerge. By changing history, he’s started the repercussions of effect. People who were supposed to die were instead saved, thus allowing them to create future generations. That’s 50,000 new souls roaming the world over the years. But as we all know, changing history always turn out for the worst and the balance of the universe must be set right. That’s where fate steps in. And in the world of Supernatural, that’s not merely a concept, but an actual being called Fate. She’s got a list and she’s checking it twice, bound and determined to kill off all those people who weren’t supposed to be born in the first place. So, of course, it’s up to the boys to figure out what’s going on and how to stop the slaughter that seems to be crossing the country.
As we began the episode, the clues were building up little by little and each viewer caught on at different points. Everything seemed to be normal when Dean and Sam were at Bobby’s house. He was mourning the death of Rufus, which he should be, and the boys wanted to help him. However, the first clue that we all got that something was amiss was in the game of Rock, Paper, Scissors. Dean always loses, we’ve known this from the start. He always throws scissors and Sam knows it. But this time, Sam didn’t know it and he lost. And that’s when we knew something was not right. But that could be brushed aside as Sam’s faulty memory, maybe, until the boys leave the house and get into the Mustang. That’s right, you unsink the Titanic and the boys never get the Impala. In fact, as we later learn, the whole line of cars doesn’t even exist. A world without Impalas? How horrible! The Mustang was actually the initial selection for the Winchesters, per early Kripke interviews, so it was nice to get that nod towards what might have been.
Another large change, close to home, was the fact that Ellen is still alive and married to Bobby. I have always said that Ellen and Bobby were the adoptive parental figures for the Winchesters, so it was very nice to see that brought more to the forefront. Also nice to see Ellen and Bobby married, as I’ve enjoyed their relationship throughout the series. Since Jo still exists in this reality, though, I expect this is the second marriage for each and the way they got into hunting remained the same. But Ellen’s existence does put the boys in an impossible situation. If they put right history, Ellen and Jo will die. If they don’t fix history, many more will die. The perfect situation would be to keep Ellen and Jo safe while also putting right the changes Balthazar caused. We know Bobby’s take on it all and we know the boys worked hard to make that a reality, but Fate intervened yet again.
The big twist that we learned through this episode was about Cas and his line of command in heaven. Balthazar didn’t simply go back and change history on a whim, though it would be fitting if he did. No, he was taking orders from Cas. The angel in the dirty trench coat wanted to resupply the world with 50,000 more potential souls that he could use in his army and the coming battle. Quite an underhanded thing to do and it leads us to wonder what it all means. I’m sure we’ll get the answer soon, but until then we’re left to ponder. What we don’t have to ponder about is the allegiance Cas still seems to have towards the Winchesters. He chose their lives over the potential of having the 50,000 soul advantage. However, I’m not sure that devotion can sustain their relationship throughout the coming battle. Cas is making choices he never would have made before and he’s changed. The boys have been left out in the dark again and again. That lack of trust cannot bode any of them well when it comes down to it.
So we’re left with a world made right again. Bobby’s still mourning Rufus, but he’s having to go through his grief on his own rather than being able to rely on Ellen’s support. The boys remember the world has been set right, but they don’t have the whole truth because Cas didn’t tell them. And we’re left marching towards an ending that should tie together all the pieces and make sense for the storyline. What that ending will be is still a big mystery. Whatever the outcome, I’m pretty sure that the relationship between Cas and the Winchesters will never be the same as it once was.
Rating: 4 / 5 Stars