Changing sides, shifting alliances and surprises are all part of the search to find a way to defeat the Darkness….
The show opens with Crowley (Mark Sheppard) showing up at a tent in the desert in Saudi Arabia. An archaeologist he has a contract with is dying but he has something to trade: Joshua’s horn, the horn with which Joshua blew the walls of Jericho down. It is certain to be a Hand of God artifact, and when Crowley gets near it, he says he can feel its power. Crowley tears up the contract, but as he leaves he kills the dying man and turns his guard’s weapons on each other. Which is why Crowley can never be a good guy. He is so often needlessly a jerk. He then calls Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles) while being pursued by demons sent by Lucifer (Mark Pellegrino).
It does make me wonder if someone sold their soul, and then lead an evil life and was dying, wouldn’t it be pointless to be released from your contract? You could end up in Hell anyway. Let’s hope this guy led a good life.
We find out where the Darkness (Emily Swallow) has been all this time-recovering from the angel smiting, which did injure her. And she has a nursemaid. Surprise! It’s Rowena (Ruth Connell). This is good news for those of us who find her entertaining, and bad news for those who just find her irritating. I thought we might see her again since she was bound to show up in Hell as a soul, although it seems neither Crowley nor Lucifer checked. But she is not a spirit or demon, she is alive. She says that she had some powerful magic hidden in her body for just such an occasion that revived her. Amara is unsure as to whether Rowena is doing her any good. She probably should be questioning it. Rowena’s magic often doesn’t work and it could be just be that time is healing her.
Castifer (Misha Collins) shows up in heaven, trying to convince the gray suited, bureaucratic angels that he is the answer to their prayers. They can even call him God, if they like. Amara chooses that moment to test her power by calling out to heaven, causing a rolling thunder in heaven. This helps Lucifer’s cause quite a bit.
Crowley tries to convince our heroes that they need to send Lucifer back to the cage. He won’t give them the horn until they help him. They are uncertain. Dean really wants Lucifer removed from Cas. Sam thinks Lucifer is needed to stop the Darkness and that Cas’s choice should be respected. Another problem is that Rowena and the book are needed to do the spell. Sam and Dean do not know that Rowena is dead. Crowley knows that her neck was broken by Lucifer but not that she was revived. The funny part of this conversation is Crowley passionately trying to persuade them that Lucifer needs to go because of the indignities that he has put Crowley through and meeting complete indifference. “He put me in a kennel! Made me clean the floor-with my tongue!” The boys just don’t care.
They obtain Rowena, because she’s been listening in, and the book. They perform the spell, which is probably good for the angels in heaven. Castifer shows up, trapped by a ward and surrounded by fire. They are hoping that Cas will then try to oust Lucifer from his body, but nothing. Then Crowley puts his demonic red soul into Cas’s body, where he tries to talk sense into him. Cas is in there, but not even watching. He’s watching TV. They missed a bit there. He’s in front of the TV on a desk, looking intently. He should have been in an armchair with a beer. He even sees Dean and hears Sam’s voice and ignores it. Lucifer finds Crowley and beats him up. “Help Me” appears on Crowley’s forehead in stigmata, so Sam exorcises Castifer.
Crowley returns to his body and informs them that Cas is not trying to reclaim his territory. The wards are fading and Castifer goes after Dean and Sam. Amara bursts in, to save Dean, no doubt. Lucifer gives her his best shot, using the horn of Joshua to blast her. Nothing. She tells him that they need to talk and takes off with him. The next we see she has him up against a wall. Her reasoning is that since he was God’s first creation and most loved, God will show up if she threatens him. He is desperately trying to talk her into an alliance. She blasts him anyway.
Joshua’s horn is completely powerless now, still following the rule of being able to be used only once. Sam comments that Hand of God plus fallen angel does not trump God’s sister. Dean speculates that Hand of God artifacts may have to be used by God’s chosen to work and fallen angel might not be good enough.
Thoughts: It’s hard to judge this episode on its own merits. It’s just a plot point in the greater arc, and really did not require Sam and Dean to even be there. All of the manipulations and jockeying for power could have been done without them. They also strangely remind me of the primaries this election year.
I do like that they have another unsuccessful attempt, both at rescuing Castiel and stopping Amara. Too many shows have the protagonists come to the right decision the first time, without allowing for trial and error. I like that we see a desperate Crowley and a subdued Rowena. She has no arrogance or slyness about her. She is terrified of Amara and more terrified of the devil. She hides when Castifer appears, hoping he doesn’t know she’s alive.
Questions: Could Amara and Lucifer become allies? He is her nephew and she has no one. He knows now that he can’t stop her alone, with the weapons on hand. They both hate Crowley.
Is it possible that Castiel is not subdued by Lucifer, but has a plan that he can’t implement until the fight? And really is just waiting? There is no sign of him during the confrontation that Castifer and Amara have in this ep. If he is waiting for the battle, this could have been it.
New info: The Hand of God weapons can be used by Lucifer and Crowley without destroying the user. They cannot, however, stop Amara when used by Lucifer. It’s possible that they can only be used successfully by someone who God likes. This could be a real problem, as God’s chosen are probably few and far between and anyone human will have to sacrifice their lives to use one of the weapons.
Are the boys God’s chosen? The show has said many times that they are Warriors of God, not to mention the fact that they were born to be vessels for archangels. It seems likely that they would be able to wield a Hand of God weapon.
The next episode appears to be a stand alone episode and will not air until April 27th.
Supernatural is shown on the CW on Wednesdays 9pm/8c.