Nah, that sounds like I have displeasure with the episode. I don’t at all. I quite loved it. Yeah, once again we’re left with some “fudging the rules” headscratchers, but I’m not ready to call a total foul. What we were given works in the terms of pushing the story forward in a mind blowing way. We like mind blowing.
I can be really hard on an Andrew Dabb script. I don’t give him a lot of leeway because he commands a higher standard. He did good this time. I was skeptical over whether he’d continue with Lucifer throwing out rape references while Sam is standing there in fear crying. I was hoping he’d take the high road. He did and I’m so pleased. Sam’s encounter with Lucifer turned out to be his character defining moment and it had me grinning from ear to ear. I’ve never been prouder. Here he is, alone locked in a cage with his greatest nemesis and Sam stood his ground. He didn’t fall for the trip down memory lane, images that were no doubt very haunting to him. He didn’t cower in fear either, which means he’s actually grown from his days in season six and seven. I mean Lucifer’s taunts drove him to insanity in season seven. So to see Sam defiantly utter these words brought tears to my eyes:
“I think whoever wins, you or the Darkness, everyone else loses. So, no. My answer is no. This isn’t about Dean or the past, this is about me. Having faith in my friends, having faith in my family. We will find a way. I’m ready to die, and I’m ready to watch people I love die, but I’m not ready to be your bitch.”
If you look at Sam’s journey through this season so far, it was all a build up to this moment. Sam is going to do things his way. He isn’t going to be anyone’s bitch anymore. And after eleven seasons, isn’t about freaking time? He’s come a long way. Now he just needs to get over that clown thing (don’t Sam, it’s too adorable). Fingers crossed that we don’t have a drastic regression in the rest of the season.
On the flip side is Castiel, who has plenty of growing to do. It’s interesting that the creative choice is to have Castiel walk literally in the same shoes that Sam did back in season five. Not that I’m upset over that because Castiel really hasn’t had much to do. You can only binge watch so much. But the parallels are obvious, especially with the big twist at the end.
Okay, before I get into Castiel’s character analysis, can we get one nitpick out of the way? Mr. Dabb has always been bolder than most with twisting canon. I’m with a lot of you where I was stuck trying to figure out the mere logistics of how Lucifer could possess Castiel. I know there was never a clear rule stated that an angel couldn’t possess another angel. Castiel is also a very rare case where his vessel is empty and the host has moved onto Heaven. So that probably makes Castiel the rightful owner of the vessel, giving him the right to say yes or no. But, wouldn’t a vessel like that with two angels in it, including a very powerful archangel, kind of explode? Although, it did explode a couple of times and Cas came back each time (yes I’m counting the release of the Leviathan in the water in “Hello Cruel World” as an explosion), so this is no ordinary vessel. With his resurrections (revealed to be a curse in season seven), Castiel is definitely no ordinary angel. Still, doesn’t it seem like a bit of a cop out after Sam said no?
Anyway, Castiel is in a vulnerable place right now. He has been for a while. Sam and Dean try to be encouraging, but some things need to be found out the hard way. Talk about finding out something the hard way, running into some random stats angel. She is the bottom of the barrel, lowest order of low, most insignificant angel in Heaven. She is the bureaucrat. She’s also funny, cute, and so brutally honest on her outlook. Heck, I think I took her death harder than I did Rowena’s. Anyway, if this wasn’t ringing in Castiel’s head when he said yes to Lucifer, then I have no idea what he was thinking.
“You help, but Sam and Dean Winchester are the real heroes. So if the Darkness is still alive and she’s pissed, and she kills us, no big loss. So sure, we may not be super important, but we do the job. You know, I think there’s nobility in that.”
Was Castiel trying to be the hero? Or was his low self esteem instead allowing him to be the sacrificial lamb to protect the real heroes? I think it’s both. He was at Stull Cemetery, but he blew up before he saw Sam’s triumphant moment of sacrifice for the sake of the world. He saw nobility in Sam’s act without actually seeing it, and perhaps that’s what he was thinking here too. He also probably thought that Sam and Dean’s work is important and he’s the lesser of the three and should be sacrificed. He’s expendable. (Remember, his thoughts, not mine!).
Castiel is also a strategist. Think about it, from an angel’s perspective, one that just had an encounter with Amara, one who saw one of the greatest angel smitings in thousands of years fail, wouldn’t you think that there’s no way to stop her? Wouldn’t you go with the most desperate option imaginable because you think that is your only one? He probably remembered that Sam did indeed beat The Devil once, so perhaps he can do the same, where Amara cannot be defeated. It’s risky, it’s stupid, but as Cas has so learned from these Winchesters, it’s what you do in desperate times. HOWEVER, we saw Amara getting ill after she sent Castiel away. What was that all about? Perhaps she isn’t as invincible as everyone thinks? Or was it a simple case of the angel she just ingested not agreeing with her? Or, maybe it was because Dean was ill. We’ll just call it something important for later.
Can I say that I loved seeing Misha’s take on Lucifer? He’s obviously been studying Mark Pellegrino and went for the more exaggerated aspects of Lucifer’s character. I liked it anyway. I do wonder how long we’ll be seeing “Casifer” because I hope that Misha feels up to the role. It’s definitely going to give him a new challenge! So, since we are now in Casifer territory, let’s talk this week’s token death.
For the record, I adore Ruth Connell as an actress, but Rowena usually rubbed me the wrong way. Yes, as soon as I saw it was an Andrew Dabb script, I was thinking, “Whose getting killed off this time?” I’m sorry Rowena fans, I thought it was her time. I wish I could say I would miss her, but I won’t. Too many other characters that I was fond of (Gabriel, Kevin, Charlie), have caused me to feel real pain when they bit the dust. I hated the way Rowena was written most of the time, especially those that wrote her too over the top (I won’t name names but we all know who). She was awesome in this episode, downright chilling in parts. The honest confession to Crowley about why she couldn’t love him was perfect and a brilliant swan song so to speak. I’m pleased she went out on a high note rather than an irritated me saying, “Glad the bitch is gone.” She should have known what happens when you deal with The Devil. The guy has no idea what loyalty means.
So farewell Rowena and I’m sure they’ll find a way to bring you back too. I know, how about a soul in Hell? With all she’s done in life, she ain’t getting a ticket to Heaven! Maybe Crowley would actually spend more time in Hell with her down there. Nah, he’d let her rot in chains like everyone else. Speaking of Crowley, can anyone think of a reason why Casifer won’t kill him? What’s the purpose of keeping Crowley around? How will Lucifer prevent him from telling Dean what’s happening? I think Crowley will find a way to escape, he always does. I’m intrigued to see how he gets out of this one.
As for Dean, I’m still waiting for his plot to jump start, but maybe that will come soon now that Sam has had his moment of triumph. As much as I don’t like it, they do tend to shift the main focus between the main characters every half season. I still loved Dean in this episode and thrilled he got to meet Billie. I’m especially impressed that Sam told Dean about Billie. I think she fixed the rogue reaper problem while not losing the canon that was established. They never showed her to be an angel in this episode and she conceded that in this weird time where the reapers are without a leader, it’s good to have the King of Hell owe you a favor. It definitely makes sense given her circumstances. What also makes sense is that she would be able to control the entrance to Hell. No going through Purgatory this time! (Still bitter that they totally invalidated season six when they did that in “Taxi Driver”). If it had been anyone other than a reaper I would have been throwing that penalty flag.
I would really like to see Dean and Sam have that talk about saving each other from this point forward. Sam may be willing to let those he loves die, but can Dean do that? Can he get over that hurdle? It’s always hard to act that way in a “push comes to shove” moment but as Dean said in the end, “The Darkness is bad. Her and the Devil, it’s a nightmare.” They’re in this mess because of both of them have put each other’s survival over the world. Now Castiel is in the thick of this mess too, and it’s all because Sam hit that f***ing dog (oh, I’m kidding).
Welcome back Colin Ford! Wow, you have grown into quite the handsome young man. Glad you got to play young Sam at least one more time.
Remember when Sam asked Lucifer what his plans were after he defeated Amara? Lucifer gave the quick joke, “We move to LA and solve crimes?” That’s the EXACT premise of the new FOX show Lucifer, which premieres next week. It’s a Warner Brothers show, so they’re keeping the references all in the family! I know because I interviewed the cast and producers at Comic Con. Look for that preview on TVFTROU this weekend!
Did anyone see the comic Billie was reading about Death? Was that a shoutout or a clue? Any thoughts on the matter would be most welcomed!
Overall grade, an A-. The episode was meant to push the plot along in a big way and it wildly succeeded, but there were a few hints of the trademark Dabb plot contrivances in there that knocked it down a small peg (Why did Castiel leave the expendable angel alone to find Amara? Why did Dean have to be the one that put on the witch catcher when Crowley drugged her? How can Crowley get cell phone reception in Hell?)