Spoilers ahead for Episode 17 of Supernatural Season 14, called "Game Night."
The episode that started with the extended Winchester family looking forward to playing some games ended with at least one big character dead and potential disaster ahead... largely because of Jack. After his actions in "Game Night," I have to wonder: is Supernatural setting him up as the next big bad?
"Game Night" featured the return of Nick, who was sprung from prison by demons interested in getting Lucifer back. Lucifer is, of course, in The Empty, but Nick devised a way to spring him. Why? Well, the guy has been severely unbalanced for a while thanks all the years being possessed by Lucifer and the murders of his family, and he decided that the only way to get his son back involved bringing Lucifer back. Nick is just crazy enough to get violent in order to do it.
All things considered, it was a smart (and dastardly) plan, and it very nearly worked. Nick kidnapped the prophet Donatello and claimed to the Winchester bros that he'd poisoned him. Blaming himself for the situation, Sam was ready to kill Nick then and there, but Dean went to interrogate Nick himself. Naturally, that involved lots of punching.
Eventually, Nick and Jack wound up alone in a room together, and Jack went after him in a move that left them both bleeding. Unfortunately, some of that blood got onto Nick. By the time the brothers figured out what Nick was actually up to -- which involved the discovery that Nick had actually juiced Donatello up with angel grace rather than poison -- it was too late to prevent disaster.
The juiced-up Donatello was able to use his powers to make contact with some bad guys at Nick's bidding, and Nick initiated a ritual using Jack's blood along with salt and some of his own blood, and he came very close to bringing Lucifer back. The good news is that Jack and Mary arrived in time to prevent the big comeback, but the bad news is that Jack did something very alarming.
Stopping Nick wasn't enough for Jack. He went on to basically roast Nick alive, killing him in what appeared the be the most brutally painful way he could pull off. As much as Nick was a bad guy and Supernatural fans everywhere probably aren't too broken up that he's gone, the way Jack killed him (especially given how surprisingly sweet he previously was despite his status as Lucifer's son) was troubling.
Mary was certainly alarmed at what she watched Jack do, especially since she tried repeatedly to get him to stop as he was roasting Nick. Afterward, she sent him off to save Sam, who had received a brutal hit to the head and looked like he could actually be dying. Dean was panicking, and that's always a bad sign. When Jack returned from fixing Sam -- burning up bits of his soul with every use of his powers -- he asked Mary to tell him what he did was okay.
Mary declined, and she tried to reach out to him and tell him that Sam and Dean could help him. Bothered by her reaction, Jack asked if she intended to tell her sons. When it became clear that she was going to tell them and she didn't intend to let the issue go, Jack got angry. The screen went dark before viewers could see what Jack did to her, but the last line of the episode was Jack saying "Mary?"
He sounded more frightened and uncertain than angry, but that's almost more troubling. If he did something to Mary -- and he probably did something to Mary -- without meaning to, then he's a powerful and dangerous wild card. At least a bad guy like Michael can control what he does and who he hurts. If Jack continues to escalate, he could do even more damage than he already has.
Between what Jack did to Nick, what he may have done to Mary, and the rift that will grow between the Winchesters and Castiel based on the promo for the next episode, can we expect Jack to become a bad guy? Perhaps even the next big bad?
It would be oddly fitting if the villain for the very last season of Supernatural was somebody who had been important to them. I'm not the only one who could see the Winchester brothers sacrificing themselves to redeem a loved one, then going out in a blaze of glory a la Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, right?
Only time will tell. The promo for next week features Jack and Nick in some form or other, but no Mary. Take a look:
Supernatural obviously wasn't going to give away what actually happened to Mary, especially if Jack killed her. That's a reveal to save for a big moment in an episode. All signs do point toward Sam and Dean finding out that something happened to their mom, though.
Castiel has become the honorary third brother, but Dean can be seen telling Cas that he's dead to him. Dean and Castiel always had a profound bond, and Dean didn't even give up on him after he was seemingly gone for good in Season 7 due to his colossal mistake with the Leviathan.
If anything could have turned Dean on Castiel to the point that Cas is dead to him, it would be something happening to Sam or Mary. Apparently, Cas concealing that something was wrong with Jack qualifies. Castiel keeping secrets must be a sore subject by now, and this isn't the only one he's kept in Season 14. Still, based on Misha Collins' love letter to fans, we can be confident that he'll be around next season.