I loved Supernatural’s return from this year’s mid-season hiatus. The episode’s pacing blew me away. I don’t ever rate shows, but I’d give this one a 9.5 out of 10 (at least that’s my 24-hour overnight rating as I’m still reeling from the shock).
Absolutely Wonderful, Amazing, Fantastic Parts of this Episode
Crowley in a Onesie Pajama, and Crowley’s genuinely excited face when he sees Santa!
The very short appearance of a grown-up Colin Ford as Teenage Sam!
The reprise of the “Swan Song” climax. “Swan Song”, and especially the climactic scene therein, is, in my opinion, the nucleus of the entire series. Showing just that brief clip brought its entire emotional impact, and fans’ emotional response, forward into this episode. My throat constricted and my breathing raced. Accompanied by the brothers’ musical theme (“Americana”), slightly different angles, new editing, seeing Adam, younger Sam, younger Dean – all of it - elicited an immense, immediate, emotional connection to this episode. I was thrilled the writers (and the plot) remembered it happened, and that Lucifer acknowledged Sam “stood toe to toe with me and won”. Mostly, I just loved seeing it again. It was a very powerful two minute segment in season 11.
The shot of "Smiting Ground Zero", then later the Darkness being sucked back into Amara. Great visual effects but the future Earth it foreshadowed was even more powerful.
Billie! I’m so happy she has a recurring role (not so happy about her intentions, though). I love hearing her powerful, melodic, threatening voice (speaking as well as singing).
Long shot of Liane Balaban as Amelia, plus their beautiful Aussie.
Mark Pellegrino’s incredible portrayal of Lucifer. “Snapping Necks and Cashing Checks – it’s what I do.” What a great line!
Crowley: “Don’t worry about Sam.”
Dean: “I’m sorry. Have you met me?” - Perfect!
Lucifer mentioned Gabriel and Raphael (claiming they are both dead), and Michael (confirming he is still alive). Bringing their names up in dialog ignites a tiny flame of hope that Gabriel and Michael may come into play again (I accept that being exploded by Castiel when he was the “New God” was a definitive end to Raphael.)
Pellegrino dancing to “Heaven Must be Missing an Angel”! Fantastic!
The CageMatch! The lighting, the drama, protecting each other, the side conversations – everything.
The only time in 11 years when all five of the main characters have been in a scene together. Jared told us about this scene at ChiCon’s Meet and Greet, and it was fabulous to see such a great assembly of characters in one place.
Rowena confessing the root of her hatred of Crowley was a touching and wonderfully executed scene. I’m glad Ruth was given the opportunity to extend her character in her last episode. It was also redemptive for Crowley. He finally has some closure and maybe a path to accepting himself (Crowley being a completely redeemed good guy is part of my vision of the end of the series. I’ll tell you about it sometime.)
Annoying Parts of the EpisodeSam’s guilt over Amelia is what kept him from closing the Gates of Hell (season 8)? Really? I thought it was for love of his brother when Dean begged Sam to not die. Lucifer could have been lying to Sam to taunt him to say ‘Yes’ but I am very, very tired of people throwing that period of Sam’s life back at him like it was an inexcusable, blatant, undeniable mistake.
“We’re both expendable. That’s why we’re here, right? You help, but Sam and Dean Winchester are the real heroes” (- Statistics Angel to Cas). That hurt. Just like Lucifer’s lecture to Sam about being weak, this was the second piece of dialog that was brutally harsh. It’s like Andrew Dabb broke the taboo and said aloud what people were thinking.
Cas: "You think I’m afraid to die?"
Amara: "I know you are. You reek of fear and self-loathing.”
I would never accuse Castiel of being afraid. Poor judgement? Yes, but cowardice? Never. I don’t think Amara would have any reason to lie to Castiel, so do the writers believe Castiel is afraid? Maybe Cas was afraid because he was face to face with God’s sister of immense power, but that’s not the way I interpret her accusation. She then repeated that he was weak and expendable. Was all this character assassination just posturing to get Castiel to make his big sacrifice later? Was it to prove that Amara is blind to strength of character, positioning her for a future downfall? I’m interested in your opinions because this entire dialog was curious, and thus, suspicious.
A split second more and Lucifer would have been back in the cage. A fraction of a second!! UGH!!!
Closed (?) Threads
Sam getting trapped in the holding cell with Lucifer was NOT part of a grand plan. Sam really was shocked when the warding failed. Dean did NOT know that Sam was in the cell with Lucifer until he was told by Crowley.
Rowena DID betray everyone. The warding failure was totally her doing. Crowley was not complicit in the betrayal, proving yet again that he is true to his word. He does not go back on deals.
I’m not yet 100% sure Sam’s visions were from Lucifer…but the chance of them being from God, Gabriel, Billie or anyone else lessened with this episode. In the opening conversation between Sam and Lucifer, Sam specifically repeated “You. The visions, everything…it was all you.” and Lucifer took credit for the parlor tricks. Rowena also said Lucifer came to her in a dream, confirming that Lucifer WAS able to telepathically reach outside his cage. I’m still holding out a tiny bit of hope that he’s lying about Sam’s visions, though (hot dog vendor?). Anyone with me on this?
Rowena is dead. I knew it was going to happen when Lucifer started to talk to her in a sickly sweet tone but I did not have a hint of a glimpse of an idea before that moment that she would die mid-season 11. I was utterly shocked. I am sorry to lose Ruth Connell, but being perfectly honest, I am not sorry to end the Mega Coven and Crowley’s woebegone family plot lines. They were going nowhere, weakened Crowley and slowed otherwise great episodes. Her assurance to Lucifer that she was the only one who could use witchcraft to open his cage (to put him back I presume) may have simultaneously ended the myth arc’s emphasis on witchcraft. For that, I am eternally grateful as well.
New Threads and New Canon“After he stops the darkness, Lucifer will ascend to his throne in Heaven” (- Rowena). So Lucifer sees himself as the new God. Amara also sees herself as the new God. I must have missed the job vacancy notice!
Smiting Sickness – Love it! Lot’s wife turning to salt. That explains so much!
Doorway to Hell – This isn’t completely new canon. The Colt opened a Gate of Hell so there is precedent for doorways to Hell being on Earth (versus in Purgatory). The new part was a reaper opening the gate by touching Enochian symbols (I think it was Enochian). I guess they have to get souls into Hell somehow. The boys now have a local gateway in Nebraska. I bet the show uses that location again! Anyone have any problems or find any contradictions with this canon addendum?
Amara was obviously weakened! Is her new vulnerability a result of the smiting attempt, her consumption of grace, or her contact with Castiel? Does this tie into how the archangels were able to defeat her? This is a significant development in season 11’s myth arc.
The Newest, Biggest, Most Shocking Thread Ever
Castiel is now a host for Lucifer. This might be the biggest twist of the series. What do you think? There have been several other shocking left turns in the Winchesters’ long and winding road but I didn’t pick up on any clues, foreshadowing or speculation that this would happen. It was a sucker punch too. Just when the audience relaxed, believing that Lucifer had been teleported back into his cage and the danger had passed; right after a tender scene meant to trigger sympathetic emotions; after Team Free Will reunited and the “brotherly moment” had passed in the Impala – that’s when the bottom fell out from under us.
Can an angel occupy another angel’s vessel? It is a physical body and its occupant gave consent. It was definitely Plan C but I can’t think of a reason why it couldn’t or shouldn’t have worked. Angels can’t occupy corpses because no one granted consent to use the body but this body was ‘handed down’. Jimmy gave it to Castiel who then gave it to Lucifer. This is worth further examination so let me know what you think. I think this is a first for angel canon!
I’m anxious to hear your input and reactions! What did you think of “The Devil in the Details”? Can you even begin to imagine how Sam and Dean are going to fix the world now?