Supernatural returned after winter hiatus and it wasn’t long before Sam and Dean found themselves in a world of hurt all over again. Before the hiatus, fans were left with a sense of doom as the Darkness, claimed a bond with Dean, had a make out session with him, and then dealt with a smiting by the Angels of Heaven. Sam, along with the help of both Castiel and Crowley, designs a plan to do away with Amara, aka the Darkness.
Of course that plan goes to hell in a handbasket, literally, when Rowena is invited to play. While Dean is dealing with all things Darkness, Sam, Crowley and Rowena find a way to open the cage so that Sam can have a conversation with Lucifer. And then it all hits the fan. Angels try to smite Amara, Rowena double-crosses Sam and Lucifer manages to pull him into the cage for a little one on one time.
Be warned, if you haven’t seen the midseason premiere, stop reading. There are spoilers ahead so if you don’t want the episode ruined, turn away now. However, if you want to have seen the episode and you are looking to discuss all that went down, please by all means, continue.
So Sam is now standing face to face with none other than Lucifer, in the middle of Hell mind you. After five years in the cage, thanks to the Winchester brothers, Lucifer is understandably a bit cranky. Last time the two were together, they were one and the same. Lucifer reminds Sam, as if he would ever forget, that Sam is the only one who was strong enough to fight. Sam was able to put Lucifer back in his cage by jumping in himself to prevent the apocalypse.
In a show of support for Sam’s cause, Lucifer tells him that while he doesn’t like Sam, he does admire him for his strength. At this point, Lucifer starts trying to persuade Sam that the only way to stop Amara from taking over the earth is for Sam to become the vessel. Lucifer take Sam for a walk down memory lane to make Sam see how weak he has become.
Meanwhile, Dean is dealing with Smiting poisoning, kinda like radiation poisoning but without the Fallout style dystopia. Castiel, of course, comes to his aid and offers to head to ground zero. When Dean argues, Cas explains that the sickness will only get worse the closer to the smiting site he gets. Dean gives in and decides to head back to help out Sam.
At the site Cas meets up with another angel sent from Heaven. While she is the equivalent of a bean counter, she does say some things to Cas that make him rethink his decisions and helpfulness to the boys. After telling Cas that he is helpful but expendable, they separate while Cas deals with his feelings on the matter. He later finds her being ‘eaten’ by Amara. When he asked what happened to her, Amara explains that she has absorbed her being and that doing so has given back her strength. She then uses Cas to send a message back to the Winchesters. After sending Cas away, Amara shows signs of weakness from the smiting the angels gave her.
Crowley decides that he is going to get even with Rowena and calls in Dean and a ‘witch catcher’. Once Rowena is tethered with the witch catcher, Crowley can essentially get her to do what he wants. After a few minutes of fun and games, they have her start the spell that will allow her to send Lucifer back to the cage. Of course, that is when Sam decided to tell Lucifer to go to hell, and gets a beat down for his trouble. Dean and Cas charge into the room and end up in a cage match, three against one, with Lucifer. It seems like Rowena finishes the spell just in time, and Lucifer disappears.
The boys all exit the cage and Crowley informs them that the partnership has ended. Sam and Dean, along with Cas who still seems to be deal with issues of self-worth, head out. Cas tells them he will catch up. The boys have a heart to heart, like only the Winchester brothers can. Meanwhile, Cas reenters Hell. Only it isn’t Cas. Lucifer found himself a vessel in the shape of a trench coat wearing geek boy. Crowley feels a bit of his wrath when he gets knocked across the room. It looks as if Rowena and Lucifer/ Cas are going to have a bit of romance, but he decides to break her neck instead. Lucifer turns to Crowley to discuss the future of Hell.
First it should be noted that fans everywhere will miss Ruth Connell, aka Rowena. She was one badass witch and kept the boys on their toes. There could have been a great alliance between Lucifer and Rowena, but Lucifer has always worked alone. Or at least has always tried to work alone. Sam pointed out that Lucifer didn’t beat the darkness on his own the first time, it took him and several arch angels along with God himself to get the job done.
The most upsetting part of the episode is arguably when Cas gives in to Lucifer and becomes the vessel. He can be seen struggling throughout the whole episode with doubts about his worth to both the boys and Heaven. It is doubtful that his choice to allow Satan a vessel will improve his opinions of himself. Or Heaven’s opinion of him. Wonder what it is like to share a body with the devil? What thoughts go through his head? Shall I summon the horsemen before lunch or after?
It should be noted that having Lucifer back as a villain/ savior will be met with both joy and distress. Undoubtedly he will find a way to stop Amara from taking over the world, making him a savior, but it will not be in the most pleasant way. Lucifer is sure to make life miserable for Dean and pure Hell for Sam. But the most concern must fall on Crowley. He has been running Hell for five years, changed the way Lucifer had it established. Crowley runs Hell like a bureaucrat. Somehow, Lucifer doesn’t seem like the type to wear a three piece suit and drink lattes.
How hurt is Amara really. She took quite the beating from the suicide angels. It seemed like all it took to get her motor running again was a quick little soul snack. However, once Cas was no longer a witness, she show unmistakable signs of weakness. It begs the questions, how much damage did the angels really do, and what will it take for her to gain full power again. Will she have to go on another soul stealing rampage to get her strength back? And what exactly is the plan for all those she has left without their souls? At first she was killing them, then she started leaving them alive. Is there a reason other than hiding her tracks from the Winchesters and Crowley?
Truthfully the episode was light on action. Sam and Dean spent more time huddled together in the cage, being sick or worrying about feelings then they did actually solving the problem of Amara or Lucifer. Castiel ended up carved like a Thanksgiving turkey and send along like some disturbing form of email. Instead of leaving Sam’s rescue up to Crowley and Rowena, Dean charges into the cell to help and ends up captured himself. There are only so many times someone can sacrifice themselves before it becomes redundant.
The same can be said for Castiel. How many bad choices will he make before it finally sinks in that he shouldn’t be making choices at all? He is almost like a toddler at times, with no concept of right and wrong. Fans will be wondering how this latest rash decision will affect the overall outcome of saving the world. It begs to question why the writes seem to be stuck in a rut with Castiel’s character. After all, he is an angel, shouldn’t he learn faster than your average three year old.
One question on everyone’s mind, will God make an appearance by the end of the season? If not to help with destroying the Darkness, what about putting Lucifer back in the cage? Can Lucifer be put back without Castiel going with him? Will we see Michael return and if so, what does that mean for Dean?
“The Devil in the Details” overall grade – B
‘Supernatural’ airs every Wednesday at 9 PM EST on the CW
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