SUPERNATURAL 6.17 ‘My Heart Will Go On’

Balthazar drops the Winchesters into a world where the Titanic never sank. Which would be great if Fate wasn't trying to kill them.

Blair Marnellby Blair Marnell

Episode Title: "My Heart Will Go On"

Writers: Nicole Snyder and Eric C. Charmelo

Director: Philip Sgriccia

Previously on "Supernatural":

Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean Winchester (Jensen Ackles) went on a mission with their mentor, Bobby Singer (Jim Beaver) to track down Eve (Julia Maxwell), aka the "Mother of All." They eventually encountered Bobby's old partner Rufus Turner (Steven Williams), their cousin Gwen Campbell (Jessica Heafey) and their treacherous grandfather, Samuel Campbell (Mitch Pileggi). Reluctantly the various hunters agreed to work together… until Dean murdered Gwen. The others soon discovered that Dean had been possessed by one of Eve's creatures, which left his body for one of their own.

As the paranoia of the survivors grew, Sam killed Samuel… whose possessed body later attacked them. Then the creature possessed Bobby and murdered Rufus. Sam and Dean tortured Bobby to the point of death to get the creature out of him, but the damage was done. Later, Bobby and the Winchesters buried Rufus and said their final goodbyes to their lost comrade.

Story: 

In a random garage, a man tries to fix his lawnmower blade before fate "Final Destinations" him to his death by decapitation. Back at Bobby's home, the Winchesters note his ongoing depression over Rufus' death with worry before he chases them out to investigate the rash of mysterious deaths. As the brothers get into a car that is not their beloved Impala, they wonder if they should wait for Bobby's wife to get home. And when she does, we see that it's Ellen Harvelle (Samantha Ferris), a formerly deceased monster hunter.

On the case, Sam and Dean can't find any connection between the victims except for the fact that their ancestors all came over to the U.S. in the Titanic… a ship which no one is familiar with. Dean even tries to warn one potential victim, a lawyer named Shawn Russo (Andrew Kavadas), who tells him to leave him alone. Elsewhere, we see time freeze as a blond embodiment of fate known as Atropos (Katie Walder) arranges for the accidental death of another woman. But she leaves behind a gold thread on the floor which allows Sam and Dean to realize that Atropos is specifically targeting people descended from the Titanic passengers.

While researching the Titanic, the brothers spot the rogue angel Balthazar (Sebastian Roché) as the first officer who saved the ship from sinking. They summon him and he admits that he did it to get rid of James Cameron's "Titanic" movie and Celine Dion's career. He also points out that the alternate timeline that was created saved Ellen and her daughter Jo. But he doesn't seem to care that Atropos is killing the descendants before disappearing. They call Bobby to confer and reluctantly reveal that if they force Balthazar to sink the ship, Ellen will die again. 

After some intensely awkward silence, Bobby orders them to make sure that doesn't happen. Trying to catch Atropos in the act, the brothers follow Russo as he chases an ambulance. They narrowly save his life from one car, but he is quickly killed by a speeding bus with his own advertisement on the back. Sam then spots Atropos watching from a nearby restaurant. But when they go inside, she rigs it to explode. Before the Winchesters die in a fire, Castiel pulls them to Russia and explains that Atropos wants them dead for averting the Apocalypse. However, he adds that there may be a way to kill her.

Back at Bobby's home, he is forced to tell Ellen the truth about the threat to her life… and she reacts in a calm, rational way and wonders if that's what was meant to happen. Meanwhile, Sam and Dean walk into danger to tempt Atropos into killing them. Just when they appear to be done for, time freezes and Castiel appears again to Atropos . She challenges him with her knowledge that he ordered Balthazar in order to save the Titanic to create 50,000 potential new soldiers for his war in Heaven. She says that she'll kill the Winchesters if he doesn't set it right. And with some sadness, he does.

When Sam and Dean wake up in the Impala, they still remember the alternate timeline. Castiel visits them and says that he wanted them to remember so that they understand that fate can be challenged. But Castiel doesn't admit to his part in Balthazar's actions. Later, the brothers visit Bobby again and agree to never tell him about the life that he could have had with Ellen.

Breakdown:

You know, no one wants to live in a world without "Titanic" more than I do, but isn't 14 years a little late for this joke?

I'll admit that I did laugh at Celine Dion's fate as a lounge singer and the use of "My Heart Will Go On," but the entire Titanic angle was kind of superfluous to the more interesting aspects of the story. Namely, the fact that Castiel was behind the attempt in order to get more soldiers for Heaven. That's a pretty desperate move which suggests that Castiel's side in the war must be on the losing side if they're willing to go that far.

As a joke, Balthazar said that Castiel loves Sam and Dean. But from his actions here, I'm not sure that wasn't true. Castiel essentially traded in 50,000 lives just to allow Sam and Dean to survive. That's a pretty unequal deal even if they did prevent the apocalypse. And that good will won't stick around once the brothers figure out that Castiel was behind it all along.

Samantha Ferris' return as Ellen was a nice touch, but she barely got a chance to do anything within the story. I really liked seeing Bobby have a shot at happiness with Ellen as his wife, but the impact of her return and subsequent demise didn't play out as strongly as it could have. I think she literally stayed at home with Bobby for the entire duration. If the producers were going to bring back a popular character, why waste her like that?

And for that matter, why wasn't Alona Tal in this episode as Jo, even in a cameo? The entire dramatic tension was about whether Ellen and Jo would survive without the altered timeline. But when we don't see Jo, it's hard to care about her. I actually would have liked it if by some fluke, both Ellen and Jo had survived outside of the new timeline. But I guess that's too much potential happiness for Bobby to deal with.

There were a couple of chuckle worthy moments, such as Dean's amusement at seeing Russo's ad on the bus that killed him and the absolute fear on Sam and Dean's faces as they walked into increasingly absurd situations that could kill them. That said, making an unimpressive blond into the embodiment of fate didn't exactly make for a compelling villain. It would have been more interesting if fate had simply been a force that had no body and couldn't be negotiated with. Instead, the execution of this idea was very… "Charmed."

And I hold "Supernatural" to a higher standard than that.

Crave Online Rating: 6.5 out of 10.