Mytharc episodes are hard. Not just for the writers, but everyone, all the way down to the fan. There’s a lot to juggle, like tying in new developments with what’s been done in the past. The story must be moved forward in a way that pleases people, but still remains consistent with the 200 plus episodes before it. Expectations are higher too. Fans tend to nitpick details a bit more in a mytharc episode as opposed to a standalone, just because these type of shows through the years have taught us to be continuity hounds. It’s second nature now!
With that mindset, how did “Hell’s Angel?” fare? Not bad. Trust me, with the writing team of Eugenie Ross-Leming and Brad Buckner penning the script, not bad is actually a compliment. They didn’t raise in this episode a lot of “WTF???” reactions. What happened made sense in terms of the past and moving forward. The true flaws in this episode stayed with the fundamentals of the script but that’s always been a limitation for these two.
How about I take the fan perspective first before digging into the critical elements? There was quite a bit as a fan to love about this episode. Crowley was back on his game for the first time in years and it was freaking awesome. He needs to remain a rogue demon and not be the King of Hell anymore. That job was killing him, and me as well. Sam and Dean did feel like spectators in their own story, but when Sam f***ing Winchester jumps in with a giant cross, perfect hair fluttering in the breeze, spilling out immaculate Latin in one badass exorcism, well, I kind of forget the rest. I’m too busy falling with a thud to the floor.
Heck, I even loved the kitchen scene involving Castiel, Crowley, and Mark Pellegrino’s Lucifer. There’s only one Lucifer in my mind and MP is it! There’s a menace to be reckoned with. I loved as well the return of Crowley’s season nine trick of jumping into a body to get the poor possessed bastard to realize what’s happening and kick out the angel. Awesome that when he got into trouble this time he found a way to signal Sam and Dean. Did I mention how much I loved Crowley this week? Poor Castiel, he is truly lost in his own mind right now, literally. I miss the real Castiel.
I also wasn’t expecting an Amara and Lucifer showdown and I was pleasantly surprised. It worked well. Aunty Amara wasn’t so happy to see her petulant nephew and she gave him a comeuppance that was long time coming. One MAJOR “important for later” tidbit came out of that showdown. Lucifer got his hand on a Hand of God weapon, used it on Amara, and she came out of it without a scratch. The power of an archangel and a Hand of God weapon does not defeat Amara. I’m very glad this reveal came this early. I would have been pissed to find this out in the season finale or even next year (probably because I’m kind of over Cassifer right now).
BUT…Sam and Dean’s conversation in the final act is when it hits us, only God’s chosen can wield that kind of power. Amazing! So, who’s God’s chosen?
The first person that came to my mind was Dean. Remember when he inexplicably slayed the Whore of Babylon in season five’s “99 Problems?” Going back to the transcripts on that one (thanks Supernatural Wiki!), Castiel said the whore could only be killed by a “true Servant of Heaven.” When asked who that could be his answer was, “Not you. Or me. Sam, of course, is an abomination.” But yet Dean did it. Was it because he had decided he was going to say yes to Michael, or was there another reason? A question that was never answered. Perhaps this will be the chance to clean up that plot thread?
The next obvious choice is Sam. Is Dean right when he claimed that Sam has to kill Amara because he can’t? Sam has as much of a storied history as Dean, so there’s no reason to think he isn’t one of God’s chosen. Who knows, maybe Sam’s visions were from God after all. There’s been lots of talk of Sam and faith this season. But yeah, other than that, I’m stretching it in terms of clues. How about Castiel? It’s possible. He’s been God’s chosen before. But he seems so weak right now.
Or, perhaps it has to be both brothers together? Could you just picture the double whammy if both of them touch the item together? Two Winchesters of glowing light. Hmm, glowing Winchesters…sorry, where was I? Either way, they’re mortals. Would touching a Hand of God mean that they would have to sacrifice themselves? Or does the rule not apply to God’s chosen? There’s also the missing quotient, “the empty,” which has been stressed a little too much by Billie. Perhaps that is a key to it all?
Or, God’s chosen could just be someone else, but I don’t believe that. In a story about the Winchesters, how can it not be Sam and/or Dean? I remember the fan outrage in “Swan Song” that the brothers didn’t play an equal role in saving the world. Maybe this is a setup to fix that situation? Ouch, I’m done now. My head hurts from all this over-speculation.
Back to the episode. I was strangely surprised to find that I didn’t mind Rowena’s resurrection. She didn’t annoy me in this episode. The fact that she survived all this years now makes sense with that little “reboot” spell inside her. She is indeed Crowley’s mother in that she works on the side of her own survival, no matter who it is. Healing Amara was an interesting choice, although I think Amara would have eventually healed on her own. Rowena’s problem is that there’s no agenda, no reason for her presence. She’s got to stop freaking switching sides all the time! I think she could be a much better character if she wasn’t just tossed into these situations when Sam, Dean or Crowley needed someone convenient to run a few spells for them. She’s a powerful witch and she’s still very much in terms of development nothing more than an inconsistent cartoon character.
But if we’re going into cartoon character territory, the true champion is Misha’s Lucifer. The scenes of Lucifer in Heaven were painful. The dialogue was awful and the idea that Lucifer could just gather a few angels together in a conference room to work his way back into Heaven is atrocious. This is the f***ing prince of darkness! Remember when Castiel declared himself God and destroyed his enemies in a field of dead angel bodies? THAT! Calling himself God? Makes no effing sense other than to show how much of a dick he is. I’ve always believed Lucifer to be smarter than that.
Another problem is the dialogue was not exceptional, but it rarely is with these two. But the biggest weakness of the episode was the simple construction. The scenes were choppy, random, and didn’t really flow together well. The events didn’t gradually build into anything and there was some missing exposition. How did Sam, Dean, Crowley, and Rowena end up together in that church again? They were in their separated situations and then “boom!” they’re together. The heaven scenes were unnecessary as was Crowley telling Sam and Dean in graphic detail about his humiliation at the hands of Lucifer (TMI Crowley!). Where as Amara all this time, in a rail yard with Rowena? How did their paths possibly cross, especially when Rowena was supposedly dead in Hell? I know we saw Rowena’s resurrection scene but we didn’t get anything after that.
Then, there were just the inconsistencies with Sam and Dean in general. Both brothers agree Lucifer is the only one to take out Amara, but Dean wants Castiel exorcised first while Sam doesn’t think it’s a good idea. After all, Castiel wanted this. I’m not saying either brother is wrong, but does anyone remember that Castiel is Sam’s friend too? Why is Dean only allowed concern (which I think went a little overboard in parts)? I would think that they would be able to get on the same page with this one. I mean, Sam was the one that’s actually been possessed by Lucifer before. Shouldn’t he know what’s happening inside that head right now better than anyone? His position seems off. That ending conversation didn’t make sense at all once they got past the “God’s chosen” thing. I’m not going to spend any energy trying to figure it out though because look at the source.
And yes, there was a major slip. Amara in the final scene with Lucifer called him God’s first born. Um, did Brad and Eugenie watch season five? He’s the baby brother, aka parallels between Sam and Dean, what will be in Heaven shall also be on Earth, all that crap? Michael is the first born, and he’s in the cage lady. The very cage I’m certain you could spring him from with your awesome power. But hey, Lucifer did have torture coming, so I’ll say that at least the end result was just.
The Red Headed Monster
I’m not sure if anyone remembers the ending of The Flash from a few weeks ago, but the final shot was Barry in full red costume standing next to the infamous Dam outside Vancouver (the one all shows shoot at) yelling out of frustration at the top of his lungs. Yeah, that’s me when it comes to scheduling and storyline pacing of this season. I’m so damn tired of the stalling. Get on with it show. Please! What we got in 11.18 just wasn’t enough.
“Supernatural” is going on another three week break. The show now won’t be back until April 27th. In the three weeks since its return, we got two MOTW episodes (one outstanding, one good) and a mytharc episode that had an important confrontation, but it didn’t really move things along all that far. THEN, the next episode, 11.19, is once again a standalone MOTW episode. Does it look good? I don’t care.
At this point in the season, I need movement in the main mytharc. I also don’t need all these breaks. I know it’s because The CW moved out the “Supernatural” and “Arrow” season finales out by two weeks to get them out of harm’s way (aka “Empire”) as well as extend the season a bit, but these gaps are still a big problem. If there are going to be breaks like this, the show needs to do a better job of pacing the stories and dividing the mytharc out throughout the season rather than saving it all for a big bang at the end. With these breaks, it makes it harder for viewers to pay attention, especially in this day of short attention spans with it comes to entertainment. It certainly makes a very good case for binge watching at a later time.
There’s no harm in splitting the season in two and airing them in two contiguous segments, even if they are months apart. That off time when your 8 to 10 episode “Supernatural” spinoff can air! One we want to watch anyway (no Bloodlines!). It should be noted that “Arrow” is suffering from the same problem, but they resorted to the “spectacular death” trope when really cheeses me off. “Supernatural” is guilty of this stunt as well and I’ll at least give them credit for not going there before their break. See, the monster can be reasonable!
Overall grade in this all important mytharc episode, a B-. I swear I’ll have to go back through all my reviews, but that’s probably the best grade I’ve ever given a Brad and Eugenie script (granted I didn’t review “Blade Runners” and “King of the Damned” which I would have gotten higher marks). So, does anyone care about the next episode, or shall we resume the chatter in episode 11.20? That’s in May, so enjoy the rest of your April folks.