14.18 Absence

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SPN-1418.jpg
Title Absence
Episode # Season 14, Episode 18
First aired April 11, 2019
Directed by Nina Lopez-Corrado
Written by Robert Berens
On IMDB Absence
Outline Sam, Dean, and Castiel race to find out what happened to Jack and Mary.
Monster N/A
Timeline Immediately after 14.17 Game Night
Location(s) Lebanon, Kansas
Longton, Kansas
Heaven
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Synopsis

Characters

Definitions

Music

None

Quotes

Jack: Whatever you are... I don't want your help.
Jackifer: Actually, you do. So I'm gonna give you a little piece of advice, bud, how you can wiggle out of this little pickle you're in. You don't. You won't. You can't. All right? Buddy, you killed Mary Winchester. You cannot come back from that, and you know it. All right? you've been flapping your wings all around trying to run away from what you did, and where'd you wind up? Right here, right back to the scene of the crime. Yeah. Yeah, because somewhere inside, you realize that the sooner you accept it, the easier it'll be.
Castiel: Are you still afraid of me?

Mary: Maybe a little. I haven't been back that long. Angels are real. Angels are friends. Angels can heal you with a wave of a glowy hand. I -- It's all pretty new still. We should get back. Boys will be waiting.
Castiel: I know you know this, Mary, but... Sam and Dean -- they're glad to have you back. Whatever you still have to deal with and however long it takes, you should know they're happy. I mean, finally, they don't have to be so... so alone.

Mary: Castiel. They were never alone.
Dean: Who cares what Jack said? We don't know what happened! But I swear, if he did something to her, if she is... Then you're dead to me.
Castiel: I was scared. I had believed in Jack for so long, I believed that he was good. I knew he would be good for the world. And he was good for us. My faith in him, it never wavered, and then I-I saw what he did. It wasn't malice. It wasn't evil. It was like Jack saw a problem, and in his mind, he just solved it with that snake.

Dean: The snake!
Castiel: What he did wasn't bad. It was the absence of good. And I saw that in him. But we were a family, and I didn't want to lose that, so I thought I could... fix it on my own. Felt like it was my responsibility. So I left and didn't tell you. If I could go back and just -- just talk to him right then and there, I would. But I can't, Dean. I failed you. And I failed Jack. And I failed --

Dean: No, no. Don't even say it. Don't even say her name.
Sam: I feel bad. I've been so busy looking for Dean...

Mary: Sam, everyone here understands what you've been doing and what you've been putting yourself through.
Sam: Yeah, I know, but Jack's been through a lot -- you know, losing his powers. And I haven't really been there for him. Sorry Mom. I don't mean to lay all this on you.
Mary: No. Are you kidding? It's nice knowing I'm not the only one... with parental guilt. How much did the two of you go through when I wasn't there for you? And even when Amara brought me back, and I got a second chance, things got complicated. I got complicated.
Sam: Mom.

Mary: No, I'm just saying... parenting is always a struggle. You always feel like you're failing, but then you look at them, and somehow they're amazing. And somehow, they're literally the bravest, kindest, most heroic men on the planet. Kids. They'll always surprise you.
Sam: Dean, it wasn't just Cas. I wasn't. We knew Jack was dangerous. We always knew. Long before he killed Michael. You more than anyone. I mean, from the very beginning, you knew. But, you know, we fell for him 'cause he had a good heart and a good soul. Then he didn't. And that's on me, too, by the way. I mean, I'm the one that made the call to bring him back. He didn't ask for that. I decided for him. And you warned me.
Sam: You know, after Maggie and the other hunters died... I just left. Just dumped Jack on Cas and left. I knew. I mean, I knew something was gonna... I just didn't know it'd be this.
Dean: I did it, too. When I talked to Donatello about Jack, he said he was good as far as he could tell. But then he talked about how powerful Jack was and that he could never really be sure. And it was a warning. I just couldn't see it.
Jackifer: There's no going back. You realize that now. Cas, Sam, Dean... they're never gonna trust you again. And you know what that means.

Jack: What?

Jackifer: You can never trust them.
Castiel: I saw your mother's Heaven, and she is happy. She's with John, and there's no sorrow. There's no guilt. Just joy.
Sam: I talked to Rowena. She said she thinks what Jack brought back... He just brought back a shell. A body, you know. That it was empty. Just a... a replica. "Incapable of holding life." So what are we supposed to do now?
Dean: What we always do.

Trivia & References

After accidentally killing Mary, Jack travels to Nepal; Lima, Peru; Paris, France; Madagascar; and back to the cabin. Each of these destinations are associated with healing:
  • Nepal is the location of the fictional land of Shangri-La where people lived for hundreds of years.
  • Peru is where the psychedelic brew Ayahuasca is made and used in spiritual and other healing ceremonies.
  • Jack may have stopped in Paris after visiting Lourdes in France, a place many Roman Catholics visit to take in water they believe has miraculous healing powers, due to reported appearances of the Virgin Mary.
  • In Madagascar, traditional healers work closely with the spirit world.
Sam: Kinda sounds like you're bummed about it.

Dean: No. A "get out of jail free" card? I'll take that.

A "get out of jail free" card is used in the board game Monopoly, to avoid the tile marked "Jail" which results in a lost turn. It has become a metaphor for something that allows a person to avoid an undesirable situation.
Dean: He said that Jack went all Kevorkian on his snake.
Jack Kevorkian was a proponent of euthanasia, who assisted a number of people in ending their lives.
Dean: Cas. Cas should have told us. As soon as he saw Jack go all Dahmer on his stupid freakin' snake, he should have told us.
Jeffrey Dahmer was a serial killer who tortured and murdered 17 men and boys.

Minutiae

This is the seventh episode in which no characters were killed, following: 4.18 The Monster at the End of This Book, 4.21 When the Levee Breaks, 10.17 Inside Man, 11.23 Alpha and Omega, and 12.02 Mamma Mia, with Naomi's death in 8.23 Sacrifice having been retconned.
The Jackifer manifestation is similar to Hallucifer, Sam's Lucifer hallucinations throughout Season 7 after Castiel broke the wall in his mind.
In the flashback scene between Mary and Cas, Mary speaks as if it is just after Amara bought her back. We only know of her taking one hunt (during the events of 12.03 The Foundry), before she left the Bunker and Cas and the Winchesters to have some space for herself. Writer Robert Berens confirmed that this was deliberate.
Mary is said to be at peace in a special Heaven with John Winchester, confirming for the first time that John made it to Heaven after escaping from Hell in 2.22 All Hell Breaks Loose: Part Two. While only Mary's name is listed on the door to her Heaven (with her two death dates 1954-1983 and 2016-2019), in 5.16 Dark Side of the Moon, Ash described that while most people had individual Heavens, some "special cases" shared a Heaven like soul-mates, which may be the case for Mary and John. This circumstance was also seen with Jimmy and Amelia Novak in 10.20 Angel Heart. Dumah does describe Mary's Heaven as a "special Heaven" and says that Mary is complete. In 14.19 Jack in the Box she confirms that Mary and John share a Heaven.
While in the present Castiel continues to drive the newer, more modern truck first seen in 14.07 Unhuman Nature, his old truck from Season 12 is seen in the flashback to his hunt with Mary. This is the first time that truck has been seen since it was abandoned outside of Kelly's cabin in 13.01 Lost and Found following Castiel's death.
Although most of the flashback scenes are in fact new scenes filmed especially for this episode, there are actual flashbacks to 13.14 Good Intentions, 13.20 Unfinished Business, and 14.13 Lebanon. These include Jack killing the Apocalypse World Zachariah and his angels, and the Winchester Family dinner from 14.13 Lebanon before John returned to 2003.
The final shot of the episode shows Mary Winchester's initials alongside the initials Sam and Dean engraved there in the 12.18 The Memory Remains

Sides, Scripts & Transcripts

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