Supernatural Season 14, Episode 13 review: Lebanon

Supernatural -- "Lebanon" -- Photo: Dean Buscher/The CW -- Acquired via CW TV PR
Supernatural -- "Lebanon" -- Photo: Dean Buscher/The CW -- Acquired via CW TV PR /

This week Supernatural aired its 300th episode, and they gave us an episode that really tugged our heartstrings and gave Sam and Dean what they needed most.

So, I know I normally do these reviews by recapping and analyzing everything that happens in the current Supernatural episode. However, I’m going to do this one a little bit differently, and just review the episode as a whole, since it’s a landmark episode.

The 200th episode of Supernatural was a very meta episode, with an all-girls school putting on a musical version of the books that Chuck wrote about The Winchesters. It was a fun episode and gave us some funny moments and some catchy songs.

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The 300th episode did the opposite. Instead of going meta on us, they gave us an episode with heart, and it gave Sam and Dean something they have been longing for their entire lives: a family.

At first, you think the show is going to go in the meta direction. There are teens gossiping about the rumors about Sam and Dean in Lebanon. And Sam and Dean go to a pawn shop and gain all these occult items, including John Wayne Gacy’s cigar box. However, the show immediately takes a turn.

With the Baozhu pearl, the person holding it can make whatever their deepest heart’s desire is appear. Sam and Dean think this is the ticket to getting Michael out of Dean’s head, because that has to be his deepest heart’s desire, right?

Of course, we as viewers know the truth. What Dean really wants. Which is why when John Winchester appears after Dean holds the pearl, we’re not totally surprised.

All his life, Dean has wanted his family to be whole. He wants what he missed out on after his mother was murdered and his dad went on a revenge mission. It’s been no secret on the show, for the last 299 episodes that John was not the greatest father, and Sam and Dean grew up longing for their father’s love and approval.

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That’s what made this episode so special. John was pulled from 2003 and brought to 2019, and reunited with his sons. And with Mary. Emotions run high as we watch John and Mary reunited after being separated for so long, and you can really feel their love for each other throughout the episode.

But that’s not what the episode was about. Yes, there was the whole temporal paradox, which is why John couldn’t stay, and we had the return of Zachariah and a Castiel who is not close with the Winchester.

But the show was about Sam and Dean finally getting what they needed from their father: his love and approval. Each brother got a moment with their father, and each moment healed wounds that each brother needed healing.

The last time John of 2003 remembers seeing Sam is after they had a huge fight and Sam left to go to Stanford. For Sam that was ages ago, and something he doesn’t even think about anymore. Sam tells John his biggest regret is not being able to say goodbye to him before he died.

John and Sam apologize to each other for their past, and Sam accepts John’s apology. “You fought for us and you loved us.” And then he gets a hug from his dad, who tells him something he’s been longing to hear, that he loves him.

When Dean and John get their moment together, it’s after John knows he can’t stay, he has to go back to 2003 to fix the timeline.  John tells Dean that he’s proud of him and that he’s sorry. He never meant for him to lead this life. He was supposed to get rid of Yellow-Eyes and then Dean was supposed to move on, have a family of his own. Dean tells John that he has a family. John returns Dean’s smile, and they hug it out.

The Winchesters have dinner together, and it’s like a dream come true for Dean. All four of them, around the table laughing, talking, and eating. And we as the viewers can’t help but smile at the first time all four Winchesters are together since the pilot. What a way to celebrate 300 episodes.

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When it’s time to say goodbye to John and send him back to his time, John embraces both of his boys at the same time. “I’m proud of you boys. I love you both.” And just like that, you can feel 299 episodes, 14 seasons, of regret and feeling as if they could never earn their father’s love and approval melt away.

As John disappears from the timeline, you can’t help but feel that maybe, maybe this is what Sam and Dean needed at a time like now. When they’re facing the impossible task of getting rid of Michael. Finally hearing from their father’s lips that he is proud of them and that he loves them just might be the morale boost that they need to go into the back part of this season.

Performer of the Week

Supernatural — “Lebanon” — Photo: Dean Buscher/The CW — Acquired via CW TV PR
Supernatural — “Lebanon” — Photo: Dean Buscher/The CW — Acquired via CW TV PR /

I’m giving performer of the week to Jeffrey Dean Morgan. During the first season of the show, we didn’t get to know John very well. But when he was on screen, he was full of rage and focused on revenge. You could see that he had a one-track mind: get the thing that killed his wife.

And his kids basically came in second to that. He was never around in their childhood.

When pulled into 2019 and filled in on all that has happened, you can see a change in John. The knowledge that he succeeded in his revenge and that, eventually, Mary came back softens him. And he takes this rare opportunity to show a different side of himself. The side that truly loves his children. The one that regrets the way he brought them up.

Jeffrey Dean Morgan brings a nuanced performance to this episode, one that is full of all the emotions, and he doesn’t even need to speak words most of the time. He just has to look at Sam and Dean, and you can see the regret right there in his eyes. And the pride. And the love.

Next. Supernatural Episode 300 recap: How did John Winchester return?. dark

What did you think of the episode? Did you enjoy John’s return? Are you happy they went with an emotional episode to celebrate this milestone? Please let us know in the comments below.

Supernatural airs Thursdays at 8/7c on The CW