The Darkness recuperates amidst the aftermath of the angel smiting while Lucifer attempts to convince Sam to be his vessel once more. Dean and Crowley settle on a plan to keep Lucifer locked away, and Castiel comes face to face with Amara herself. Sam’s reluctance to give in to Lucifer forces Castiel to make the hardest choice of all.
With enough easter-egg references to homage and poke fun at Neil Gaiman’s world of the Endless, the real treasure is both Lucifer’s uncanny performance and Castiel’s brave act that will have those Misha fan’s applauding at yet another tonal change in our fan-favorite angel. Predictable episode, maybe, but overall a welcome sight as Supernatural returns from the holidays charged and ready to see the devil square off against the sister of god. Plenty to discuss, so let’s rock this.
After a recurring dream sequence of Rowena’s unveils how she’s been aiding Lucifer since her return, Lucifer begins showcasing past memories of Sam in an effort to convince him to toughen up like the old days when he last defeated Lucifer. This includes a memory of his teen years engaged with a female interest, his falling into Hell with Michael and living his life while Dean was in Purgatory. None of this convinces Sam to allow Lucifer in his body which forces Lucifer to become violent. During this, Castiel investigates the sight where Amara was smited and encounters an angel sent to discover if Amara survived. Amara awakes and consumes the young angel then transports Castiel with a message to Crowley and Dean. Meanwhile, Crowley sends Dean to Billie, the reaper who attains a restraint to control witches. He brings it to Hell and they capture Rowena with it, forcing her to close Lucifer’s cage. Castiel then arrives with Amara’s message “I am coming” burned on his chest. He and Dean go to the cage but are brought inside by Lucifer. He beats the three of them once more attempting Sam to give in. As Lucifer is about to kill Castiel, Rowena’s spell seemingly returns Lucifer to prison. Sam, Dean, and Castiel leave Hell with Crowley still in control of his mother. After he forces Rowena to tell him why she really hates his, Castiel returns and reveals that he’s in fact Lucifer, an act that Castiel agreed to just before the spell ignited in the hope that he truly can defeat Amara. Lucifer’s first act is killing Rowena after she admits that she’s the only one who can return him to the cage.
With as many iterations of the Devil as their are in the world, Mark’s take is still well grounded on this particular show. In this episode, he attempts to give Sam the kind of pep talk he needs to not only rise above but be willing to sacrifice anything to save the world. When the plan doesn’t succeed, the Devil gets violent and there’s a small moment when you hear the desperation in his voice. He wants the job to once more stop Amara just as he wants to escape Hell. Now he has the Castiel’s blessing to do so, an act that may cost his relationship with the Winchesters should his angelic soul resurface again. This isn’t the first time Castiel has “inherited” the Devil as he absorbed Sam’s hallucination of Lucifer a few seasons back. It’s oddly appropriate that he once more dawn the father of lies and he’s already fitting into the role with the nuances and smiles to boot.
At first I wasn’t sure why the smiting should have had any effect on Amara, but thinking back, it’s necessary to tell this story without making her completely omnipotent. If she can snap fingers and unmake reality, then there’s not much left our human squad to do except let the Devil attempt to have his way. And the anticipation of these two colliding is all the more sweeter now that he’s free.
It’s unfortunate but Rowena’s death is the exclamation point that finalized her purpose on the show considering her history with Crowley. There wasn’t much effort in her wanting to bring about a new age of witchcraft, in fact, they let that dissolve away much like the Frankensteins of last season. Once she told Crowley her reasons for hating him, it seemed a foregone conclusion he death was imminent unless he somehow forgave her. Does this mean we’ve seen the last of Rowena? Tough to say. Death is supposed to be death, and Billie is a reminder of that because she wants to make sure the Winchester’s stay dead, but she’s also a reminder that death is still permanent so if we look at it for what happened, then yes, Rowena is gone. Crowley needs to move on and it looks like he will be.
I half expected Ambriel to have sustained a bit longer than she did. Considering she was enough to resuscitate Amara seemed odd, but Angelic souls are vastly more potent human ones are. Still, these constant “business-like” occupations constantly showcased with the angels are getting more and more overkill. If Heaven is such a business, then why isn’t their motis operandi based on a form of capitalism, or at least a better metaphor with how businesses are run?
As much as I liked how they finally referenced Michael as still being in “a” prison in Hell, I feel they really just threw that line in so they could still have the flashback of Sam falling into hell with Michael and not include him in any future storylines. It’s better than nothing, but still a wasted plot point because we can’t just forget that he’s half Winchester. Or maybe we can and we’re supposed to.
When Castiel is revealed to be Lucifer. You can tell he studied hard to emulate Mark’s manner and even though not seeing Mark as the Devil may suck, I think Misha taking up the mantle is the perfect choice. Sam is a little too deadpan when he tries to be Lucifer. I honestly thought Dean would have done it to save Sam the trouble and then Amara would really be in a fickle since she has a thing for Dean. No poetry this round.
Once more, Lucifer gets the edge, not just in the actor, but the character as well, since he had a short moment at the end in Castiel’s body. There wasn’t a dull line spoken, because the trick with the devil is you know he’ll screw you over, but how is always the guess. Great job, Mark for pulling him off one last time. Let’s hope you’ll get one more shot before the season is done.
Just to reiterate, Billie’s graphic novel was of “Death – The Time of your Life” written by Neil Gaiman. An excellent read though one should consume the entire Sandman series first just out of principle.
Lucifer’s comment of “Moving to LA and fighting crime” is a reference the new show “Lucifer” coming out on Fox next week in which Lucifer…moves to LA and…fights crime. It’s loosely based on the graphic novel series…Lucifer, which was written by Mike Carey, but originated in the Sandman series by Neil Gaiman.
It almost seems anti-climactic that you can just take some stairs down to hell after what Sam and Dean went through to open Hell up with the four rings of the apocalypse back in season 5.
The Xmas themed dream was really off the path of random. We’re into January now, so the timing was a bit late. As far the whether it was a real metaphor for something that should be dissected and analyzed for, I supposed we can…nope, I got nuthin. I would have preferred something more relating to Rowena’s time period when she had birthed Crowley because it would have bookended the episode perfectly considering her confession at the end. All well.
I like how Lucifer’s “plan B” was just punching everyone into submission. Yet, if he could materialize Dean and Castiel into the cell, why couldn’t he just kill them the same way? This begs the question whether Lucifer could actually kill anything from within that cell and maybe the amount of violence was a way to force one of the three to actually relent to being a vessel. If that’s the case, the devil played yet another trick on everyone to get out.
9 out of 10. Most of the theme was around Sam’s loss of passion and the devil trying to bring it back out of him. It worked in the opposite way, but also set the stage for the possibility that the brothers may have to make harder decisions beyond saving one another in the future. As always, and scenes with the devil on this show are truly capitol and now that he’s within Castiel, it takes the arc and pushes it in a fun and interesting direction because now Castiel won’t mope around depressed all the time with Heaven’s continued decline. There are a lot of episodes to get through and hopefully the Devil will be a prominent figure in them. As always, thanks for reading and welcome back.