Episode seven was a dark, depressing and flashy look at the gritty underbelly of Hollywood life in the best way as only Supernatural could achieve. Some great venues reinforced a strong atmosphere all around and delivered a deep, gritty episode for us to enjoy.
That Hollywood Sheen
The sets were interesting throughout the episode – bringing something new without losing the Supernatural feel. Everywhere that Lucifer went was imbued with a menacing feel in the shadows and dark reds – the strongest of these of course in the end between the backstage fight and final confrontation on the stage.
Beyond this, one of the best moments, in this viewer’s opinion, was the limo scene featuring Vince, the PR Agent, Russell and Tommy. The enclosed space, deliberate lighting and horrified expressions from everyone but Vince as they fully realize what is happening with the pen is a truly dark scene - Made more so because Vince, unlike other villains in similar positions, does not really have designs to demonstrate his power, he is not going to release Russell having done so – he is having fun and it’s all about the blood.
"Rock Never Dies" stripped away the LA glamour and was all about examining just how far will you go? How long can you look away and are you willing to ignore to get what you want – it was about selling your soul piece by piece rather than all at once by contract. Somehow, this made Russell’s death, which served as the breakpoint for both the PR Agent and Tommy, that much more significant.
Russell seemed to have an existing relationship with Crowley – perhaps a soul deal himself, but at the very least something where he was selling souls to Crowley in one manner or another. The others, the PR Agent and Tommy were concerned with reputation, success and money and unwilling to compromise those things despite the obvious costs they were witnessing: the PR Agent recognized something in the blood/carving incident and Tommy knew from the first meeting with “Agent Beyonce” Vince wasn’t behaving right. Each of these people had to be pushed further and further until it was simply too much.
Lucifer Burns Out
This was Rick Springfield’s best portrayal of Lucifer to date. Many have commented that his Lucifer is not akin to Mark Pellegrino, which is true: this is a different Lucifer than the one we met seven years ago. Here we have power, pain and a child throwing a tantrum – which, for all his manipulative creativity, his intelligence and his disdain of human kind, has always been the consistent human-like flaw in Lucifer: the hurt child behavior.
“Dear old dad, he finally apologized for abandoning me. And what's the very next thing he does? He ditches me. And you, too, by the way. And rides off into the sunset with Auntie Amara. He needed my help, and he'd say anything to get it. His words, your words, they mean nothing.”
What Lucifer says isn’t even unrelatable. Dean seemed to understand something in the tirade about God and abandonment of parents here. One can’t help but wonder how that plays – if at all – into the grand scheme of the Mary storyline in the later days. Thoughts?
The final fight was well staged to convey the strength of the enemy and desperation of our team: Lucifer shouldn’t be easily contained or destroyed – it took a lot to beat him way back when and we should expect something similar this time around. Or at least, nothing easy. The exchange, on all fronts, captured the truly maniacal state that Lucifer seems to be in – he was, for all intents and purposes – suicidal: burning out his vessel when he could have killed Sam and Dean at the very least, and likely Crowley and Castiel as well (wasn’t “assbut” a nice throwback?).
“Don't you get it? This is all meaningless. Heaven, Hell, this world. If it ever meant anything, that moment is past. Nothing down here but a bunch of hopeless distraction addicts, so filled with emptiness, so desperate to fill up the void... they don't mind being served another stale rerun of a rerun of a rerun. You know what my plan is? I don't have one. I'm just gonna keep on smashing Daddy's already broken toys and make you watch.”
So what is most key about Lucifer now? Besides the fact that we don’t know who we’re looking for anymore? Lucifer is more dangerous than ever before – even more then when he was trying to end the world. Without an endgame, there is no sure way to predict Lucifer’s next move, no plan to foil. It’s a guessing game without a roadmap (if you’ll excuse the mixed metaphor). Today, Lucifer is more akin to a sociopath having had a psychotic break: completely unpredictable with a taste for murder and mayhem.
For all the depression and darkness amid the episode, there was a definite highlight: it was a great team hustle. The episode was full of humour – Cas got some great lines about Dean’s sartorial sense and Crowley’s chattiness. Dean’s continued disgust with the L.A. lifestyle was well done in that it wasn’t overdone; plus, one of the best moments enroute to Hollywood with Sam and Dean in the car:
“You know what? I'm done apologizing. Lucifer possessed Vince Vincente. This is Vince Vincente's music, so listening to it is research… As a matter of fact... [ Raises volume ] Study up, Dean…It'll grow on ya.”
Humour aside, it was truly enjoyable to feature Cas, Crowley, Sam and Dean working in this unified capacity without underhanded manipulations, secret agendas or backroom deals between them. There were some great moments with the characters as individuals as well that can’t be overlooked, Crowley in particular was able to recapture some of that King of Hell attitude we know and love when he threatened Russell in the end – it was wonderful to finally see some of that fire back after so long.
The episode left on notes depression and hopelessness from Sam with Dean declaring they’ll succeed because it’s what they do. Of course, his delivery lacked surety – or is that just me? "Rock Never Dies" was a strong, if dark, episode. Totally atmospheric, operating under an ominous sense from the start and growing deeper by the end. The episode offered interesting perspectives and commentary on the idea of celebrity worship and human needs, and teased at the direction Supernatural may take in the latter half of season twelve.
Buck up, Sammy! We have faith you can beat the devil…. again!
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