‘Supernatural’ 13×04 Review: The Big Empty

Supernatural’s “The Big Empty” saw the Winchesters go to therapy and the long-awaited return of Castiel. We cried over Jack’s reunion with his mother, Dean asking Sam to keep the faith, and Castiel having the worst moments of his life brought back to him. It was a turning point for all the characters that sets them on the next step of their journey, getting Mary back, and working through their grief.

So without further ado, let’s talk about Supernatural‘s “The Big Empty”!

Understanding Dean Winchester


From the very first episode of Supernatural season 13 I’ve been hard on Dean. He’s been angry and uncooperative. He’s wanted to kill Jack off without hesitation because he thinks this young Nephilim is a monster and it’s the only way he knows how to deal with his grief. At a certain level I understood why he was acting the way he was. But I couldn’t understand why he wasn’t budging an inch towards recovery.

“The Big Empty” cracked Dean open and let us see the man inside. This was especially true when he was talking to Sam at the end of the episode about keeping the faith for both of them. Dean has always come off as the stronger of the two brothers. But in this moment you realize that Sam is the stronger one and that Dean is barely holding on.

If it wasn’t for Dean burying himself in his work and hunting down monsters, he would shatter like the most delicate of glass. The Dean Winchester that we know and love hasn’t disappeared and I take back what I said about him reverting back to the man he was in season 1. He’s just in pain, barely holding on, with his little brother’s hope keeping him afloat.

Jack Gets Closure


*looks at gif and starts ugly crying cuz family feels* I loved that this scene was all about Jack. It wasn’t so Dean could accidentally see it and look at Jack differently. It was all about this young man getting closure from a mother he would never meet.

It speaks to the kind of man Jack is and the kind of man he wants to become, that this is what he wanted from the shapeshifter. Despite being surrounded by Sam and Dean, his protectors, he feels lonely and guilty for what he has done in this world in the short time he’s been here.

Seeing his mother and hearing her calming words gave him strength and fortitude to keep moving forward in trying to make his own life and his own choices. When it comes to nature versus nurture, I’m not going to lie, nature is a big part of it. But we get to decide who we want to be in this life.

Jack has decided who he wants to be. And it’s not going to be what the angels or demons think he will. He chooses to be good for himself and for the person his mother believed he could be.

Castiel and The Big Empty


It was really fun seeing Misha Collins act against himself and rid himself of the Broody Castiel voice. It was also really nice seeing where angels go long after they die. Sure, it look like the upside down from Stranger Things, but it was a peaceful place where angels can sleep and not suffer after their long years of service.

But then Castiel woke up.

Whatever this Darkness was that lived in The Big Empty, tried to twist Castiel into staying and only remembering the bad in his life. The Darkness wanted to easily define Castiel and put him away in a little box that easily defined the angel. But Castiel isn’t a normal angel and he has a family despite all those sad memories the Darkness brought up.

Now we wait and hope that the reunion between Castiel and the Winchesters doesn’t take episodes. Castiel has grown from the naive angel he was way back when he was first introduced. He knows what grief looks like and wouldn’t want to worry his family by dilly-dallying or delaying their reunion. 

Additional Thoughts:
  1. Who decided that the Darkness that Castiel would encounter in The Big Empty would have that accent? Either way, love it.
  2. I enjoyed that this shapeshifter was using her gift to help people. Despite what hunters have always thought of her kind, she was choosing to be different. It was a great reminder to us that not all monsters are evil and that despite our nature we can choose to be better.
  3. The Big Empty complaining about liking his sleep makes him the most relatable character.
  4. “That’s our little brother Jack,” made me think of Adam…you know…the Winchesters brother. *wince*
Favorite Scene from Supernatural’s “The Big Empty”:

Look at our nougat son being happy that Dean thinks he did well. Fantastic development that gives me the feels. Fangirl down!


Check out the trailer for next week’s Supernatural titled “Advanced Thanatology”:

Supernatural airs Thursdays at 8/9c on The CW.

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