In chronological order, six years ago, Crowley give two artifacts to a prince of hell named Ramiel, one being the lance of Michael and the other, the colt. Ramiel refuses to become the new king of hell, giving the opportunity to Crowley himself and wishing for him and his sibling, Dagon and Azmodeus to be left alone. In the present, Mary is instructed by Mr. Ketch to retrieve the colt in a remote location. She conjures a story to distract her sons and a new hunter into killing a demon. Along with Castiel, they set a trap at the house but when the demon arrives he easily deals with the group and reveals his yellow eyes to Mary. With the lance, Ramiel deeply wounds Castiel as other demons sent to watch over Ramiel arrive and kill the new hunter. Mary and the others hold up in a barn where Crowley arrives to try and bargain with Ramiel for the lives of the Winchesters. Ramiel refuses and confronts the brothers, demanding back what was stolen. As they fight, Sam gets the upper hand and stabs Ramiel with the lance destroying him. Crowley then breaks the lance which causes Castiel to instantly heal. He then disappears back to his lair where he talks to an imprisoned Lucifer, once more played by Mark Pellegrino. At a diner, Mary gives the colt to Mr. Ketch after threatening him the next time he puts her and her sons in harms way.
Wow. Just when you thought you knew the hierarchy of hell, they go and give you one more layer to peel off. Where the knights of hell were feared, the princes of hell are even more dangerous, equal to Azazel in position and power. I’m not bothered by the least that these creatures haven’t been mentioned in over 11 years on this show, but relating them to Azazel really does help bring the series into a circular pattern, one that sees a tone and personality akin to the beginning of this show. I can’t help but applaud that kind of return and I’m truly fascinated where this tale goes next, including the natures of our two missing princes, Dagon and Azmodeus. It’s like I’m playing Diablo II all over again, looking for those prime evils and their lesser evil servants.
In the past few years, the demons had been watered down into less than humorous complexions of their former badassness. Now, with the inclusion of the princes, it seems that they can once more take on an evil shape that makes the Winchesters fearful of what they originally hunted way back when. Ramiel is the new template for the old demons that continue to live on Earth, unencumbered by Heaven or Hell’s plans with Earth itself. Ramiel may not be actively evil, but that doesn’t mean his siblings harbor the same idea of retirement. In any case, there can be no greater return to form then to struggle against a new threat likened to Azazel.
Okay, let’s get this one out of the way. The unapologetic association with Tarantino-isms wasn’t necessary to fulfill the episode with its splendor and supernatural awesome-ness. The disjointed chronological plot device mixed with the black and white title bumpers hardly seemed to fit the overall point of the story. The real conundrum was how they wanted to keep Mary at the forefront with her shady background and strange reasoning for keeping her sons in the dark about her alliance with the men of letters. I’m not certain if the ideas were too similar and they just decided to go full-monty with it, or whether that was their intention all along, but in all fairness to Sam and Dean, the box with the golden aura, the slow walk to the diner, the ramblers and the rambling, the ally with the wound in his gut, all of it just felt too distracting and out of place. I get the homage and it was done well, for that I have no complaints, I just don’t think it was needed with exception to Castiel’s development and acceptance with dying.
There was a lot to choose from here, but I favored the part more when we got our initial flashback from six years prior. It was a brief but laced attempt to fill in several gaps such as Crowley’s unexpected rise to the king of hell, and the mysterious reappearance of the colt. Ramiel commanded much of that sequence and rightly so. He set the tone for the power level of the princes of hell and all he had to do was not care about the role he was given freely. It was an excellent set up and again I want to see these two other princes sooner than later.
It was short, but Crowley pulled through for the Winchesters in a way they probably never expected. These are the reasons why he is such a mainstay, because he too has more layers than most villains on this show given his understanding of both a balance to most things and a necessity to keep valuable allies close to heart. He could have very easily let Castiel die, but Crowley enjoys that debt, knowing he does need to matter at times to people like Dean and Castiel. Maybe he’ll never be redeemed, but he certainly can work toward being accepted and maybe that’s enough.
There’s no real way Mary will be able to make her sons understand the choices she’s making behind their backs. At this point, we can’t really ascertain those reasons either. Vetting the Men of Letters is one thing, but handing over powerful artifacts like the colt seems really fishy even though she’s received enough help to save a lot of people.
I may have lamented once about this, but I want to see an episode that details the actual creation of the knife and its path to becoming in Ruby’s demonic hands. Knowing it was forged by the Kurds is one thing, but I want to see it through the ages in a historical backdrop that covers moments we never got to find out until now. Make it happen season 12!
We’ve been given two small glimpses into the other princes namely how Ramiel references Azmodeus’s hobbies and Dagon’s toys. So it would seem they have more active roles in society, probably an evil and playful nature with humans unlike Ramiel who just wanted to be left alone. I’m curious as to who will play them and how powerful they actually are. Two are dead, two remain.
Now that the colt is back, will we be given the remaining things that the gun can’t kill outside of Lucifer himself? One would think Death, God, and the Darkness would be on that list, but since Death is gone, we could still see one or two more entities that can’t be destroyed. I doubt the princes make that list considering Azazel was destroyed by the colt. Still, now that it’s resurfaced, we should know more about its limitations.
9 out of 10. This was undeniably a fun tribute even though it seemed a bit much. Mary’s ordeal, Ramiel’s origin, Castiel’s plea, and Crowley’s quick wit all served a grand purpose and reuniting the devil with Crowley, now in reverse positioning was a great way to end the episode, complete with Mark as the original bad angel. We don’t know yet why he is in that vessel or how it survived, but for now, just savor in the fact that this season is in great shape. The best is yet to come as the ultimate plan of the Men of Letters becomes more clearer as they collect even more powerful objects than before. Thanks for reading.
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