I just want to draw attention to this scene from last week’s episode.
On the table there are two chessboards (apologies that you can’t see one of the boards in this cap), and a game of peg solitaire.
The gameboard for the solitaire has been left, as far as I can tell, in the following position:
Correct me if I’m wrong on this one, but I’m pretty certain that’s an unwinnable board. Peg solitaire is a one-person game. Somebody was playing against themselves, and they were going to lose. But the board hasn’t been left in a finished position. There are still moves that can be made, even if they seem pointless given circumstance. The player gave up because they felt it was pointless to keep fighting.
Oh. Who does that sound like?
But the chessboard is the more interesting one here. I didn’t catch this for a long while.
Chess is often used as a war metaphor. I don’t know for sure which sides were supposed to be represented here. I would hazard a vague guess at humans against demons, but I’m open to suggestions. We haven’t really had a clear S8 villain yet, so it’s more of a generalised war.
But here. Here’s the interesting part. The game is being played between the clear glass and the frosted glass pieces. But there’s another piece on the board. See it?
It’s a piece from the other chessboard. It’s moved to a different game. Because of the position of the pieces, this little wooden pawn here has to be playing on behalf of the frosted glass side.
I apologise that this next one isn’t very clear. Squint with me here.
That big frosted piece near the pawn is the frosted king. He’s halfway out onto the board. In contrast, the clear king is hidden away in the corner. It’s difficult to see, but I think they might have been castled earlier in the game.
The king is the lynchpin of the game. You don’t lead your king into the centre of battle unless you have a very reckless game plan. Or possibly no game plan at all.
Who does that sound like?
Then we have the queen. Arguably the most powerful piece in any game. Usually a key player in the fight. And yet:
The queen is in her starting position. She may have fought, but she is no longer fighting. She has retreated back to the start. Like the solitaire player, she has given up. Despite her ability to fight, she does not.
Oh. Wait. That’s familiar, too.
So we have a reckless king leading the battle; a powerful queen reluctant to fight, and a pawn who was supposed to be fighting on a different chessboard altogether.
I present to you: Team Free Will, S8.
(You could also argue that the pawn is Benny, crossing over from the other chessboard (Purgatory), but given he hasn’t really fought alongside the Winchesters, I personally discarded that theory.)