So An Angel, The Devil and The King Of Hell Walk Into Jimmy Novak…
If you recall, I barely survived last week’s Supernatural episode. And I absolutely LOVED it. I didn’t expect to be floored two weeks in a row (and possibly might not have survived…) but Hell’s Angel moved the story along quite a bit. And while it won’t go down in history as one of my favorite episodes, there was a lot to like.
1. Rowena! What a perfect scene, as we focus on Amara and an unknown person trying to heal her. I was unspoiled but hopeful, straining to hear whether there’s a bit of a Scottish lilt to the voice, and then the camera pulls up and YES!!! I might have screamed that out loud, I was so happy to see Ruth Connell on my screen again. I suspected she might return, though Ruth was alarmingly sneaky about giving any hints. (Excellent ploy, Ruth, just keep saying you’re too traumatized to talk about it!)
I emailed Ruth as soon as she appeared onscreen to tell her how happy I was and to scream at her for keeping it a secret.
Ruth: Hehe 😉
Not only is Rowena back, but she’s as fascinating a character as ever. Ruth is one of those actors who can show you exactly what the character is feeling just with her facial expressions – which makes it delicious to watch the evolution of Rowena’s shifting loyalties. She’s so good at ingratiating herself, but then Amara shows her true power and intent and hoo boy, you can see Rowena changing her mind!
I thought the scenes with Rowena and Amara were both confusing and charged, thanks to Ruth and Emily Swallow. Like they were facing off but subtly, trying to take each other’s measure. There was a moment there when it seemed like some genuine emotion broke through from Rowena, as she almost reached out to touch Amara’s face telling her she didn’t have to be alone. Isn’t that always how Rowena has felt? Amara rejects her and Rowena plays it off, but for a second? I wonder. (It also spoke volumes about Amara and how damaged she is from literally always having been alone. I had a moment of empathy for her in that scene, so kudos Emily).
Rowena has some realization of her own and boom, she quickly switches sides. I enjoyed Rowena’s dramatic announcement that she was “Back from the dead, Fergus” – it strikes me that she still insists on calling him by her son’s name. Somewhere in there, Rowena does still care about her son. She’s unwilling to give him up completely, or to agree that he’s gone and only Crowley remains. I think that probably drives Crowley up the wall, and yet there’s that little part of Fergus still there who clings to it as tightly as his mother does.
(Total aside, but why does Sam awkwardly point to that message with virtually the same gesture he made in the French Mistake when pointing at ‘the lock’?? That was the first thing I thought and then my timeline exploded with the same question. Cue inappropriate giggle.)
Anyway, I loved watching Rowena’s reactions. In a sense, Rowena was the stand in for the viewer, true fear on her face when Amara shows her power – or when Lucifer is in the room. Well done, Ruth.
2. Casifer. Lustiel. Call him what you will, but Misha Collins gave a tour de force performance in this episode. His version of Casifer continues to be spot on, channeling Mark Pellegrino flawlessly.
He works the monochromatic version of Heaven like a marketing manager, cajoling and wheedling and subtly threatening as he tries to get the angels on board with his plan. He’s unpredictable, keeping the angels nervous and off guard.
When he suddenly straddled the angel who dared to question him and leaned in, face to face with no space between them, I wasn’t sure whether to be terrified or turned on. Or both. Which was probably exactly what Casifer was going for. And damn if Misha didn’t totally sell that.
Misha got some great lines, and landed them all.
Casifer: You could call me God…if it makes you comfortable…
Or this one, maybe my favorite:
Casifer: He who hesitates, disintegrates!
I loved his almost manic expression of glee when Amara sends her “Hear me” rumbling through Heaven – Lucifer’s hubris is going to be his downfall, methinks. Once again, big congrats to Misha for totally selling it.
Misha also did an excellent job of portraying Cas himself, who’s inexplicably more interested in a television sitcom than helping the Winchesters. The contrast between how Cas speaks, his body language, his expressions – and Casifer – was striking. And probably not an easy thing to get across, especially in a single episode.
3. Crowley’s back. As in, he’s really Crowley again. Smiting and snarking and more or less working with the Winchesters even as he’s calling them bitches and trying to strong arm them into doing what he wants. It hurt my heart to see Crowley so seemingly cowed by Lucifer, and I admit (albeit sheepishly) that I’m glad to have him back. Even if he did callously kill those four hapless people who were silly enough to turn their guns on him.
I always love Mark Sheppard’s portrayal of Crowley, but it was delicious in this episode. Crowley and the Winchesters bantering are just my favorite thing. And Crowley running around in the rain ducking demons who look like they’re in a badass music video? Priceless.
They’re not exactly on the same side, but when Crowley goes “inside” to try to convince Cas to break out from Lucifer’s hold, the Winchesters immediately respond when Crowley telegraphs “Help Me” – burned into his vessel’s forehead. Ouch. The Winchesters and Crowley have a weird bond, vacillating between loathing and liking, but they often find themselves in the position of having to help each other.
And is it just me, or is there still some chemistry between Crowley and Dean? At least on Crowley’s part. Did you see his face when Dean confessed the whole wanting to be slapped during sex by a girl wearing a Zorro mask? I might have giggled.
Come to think of it, I probably had an interesting expression on my face too at the time…
4. Winchesters together. No splitting up, and even when they don’t instantly agree (on whether to exorcise Cas first, for example) they’re talking. Hashing it out, neither taking over. We even get a Winchesters in sync moment.
Crowley: I’ll give you the Horn…
Me: I love it when they talk at the same time.
Jensen did a great job of conveying Dean’s desperation in trying to reach Cas, and Jared did a great job conveying Sam’s fear when faced with Lucifer. Sam Winchester is not afraid of much, so it’s extra powerful to see that he’s still terrified of Lucifer. Whatever happened to him in the Cage, it left scars that will clearly never heal. And on a show like this? That’s really saying something. All the kudos to Jared for bringing that out in Sam.
Bonus points for Sam Winchester versus the spider web and the annoyed way Jared attempts to disentangle himself. Made even funnier by the fact that Jensen strolled right on through unencumbered. Hehehe.
And bonus points for both Winchesters reciting Latin – Dean reading it and Sam Fucking Winchester reciting it from memory! Damn. Nothing hotter than a smart Winchester.
5. Everyone come on in, it’s a party! Inside Jimmy Novak’s vessel, that is. [ETA: I do know it’s not Jimmy’s anymore, it’s just Cas in there now, most of the time – I suppose I meant the vessel formerly belonging to Jimmy Novak]. I actually loved the idea of Crowley going inside to search for Cas, and finding him contentedly watching television in the Winchester’s kitchen. Even their spell and Dean’s frantic calling to him doesn’t break Cas out of his self-imposed detachment for long – he has a moment of “Dean?” and then he’s gone again.
Dean desperately calls out for Cas, and Misha’s response was perfection – heartbreaking perfection — when Casifer cruelly mocked Dean for his caring, imitating his “Casss!”
Jensen’s patented Dean affronted look was equally perfect.
If all that wasn’t awesome enough, we also got Mark Pellegrino himself as Lucifer! It must have been mighty crowded inside poor Jimmy – but I loved the whole concept. And loved seeing Mark again! He reminds me just how scary Lucifer is, because damn, can he toss Crowley around like he’s nothing. (The actors have talked about how intimidating it is to do fight scenes with Mark, because he really could kick their asses).
Meanwhile, Cas watches television. Oh Cas, what are you doing in there?? Snap out of it!
6. Damn, this Show is good. VFX, set dec, music, all top notch. From the tent in the desert to the threatening stormy skies to the Indiana Jones-esque black smoke pouring through the halls of Heaven, the VFX team did a bang up job. Not to mention Casifer glowing from the Horn of Joshua and attacking Amara.
The VFX on this show is second to none, and this episode really showed it off.
Same with set dec, from an almost apocalyptic trainyard to the warehouse where the Winchesters met with Crowley to the place where Rowena is curing Amara. Awesome.
There was an interesting use of music at times, with hauntingly beautiful choir vocals adding a spiritual vibe to the scene that gave it added impact. Well done, Show. Well done.
So those were all good things. Lucifer, predictably, breaks out of the holy fire and warding and decides his relationship with the Winchesters has run its course. Before he can kill them, Amara makes a truly spectacular entrance and well, wouldn’t you know it? The Horn of Joshua and Lucifer can’t take her out. Instead, she casts a longing-filled glance at Dean (for which I totally can’t blame her) and then embraces her nephew Lucifer’s face in a way that makes my blood run cold. And then they’re gone.
We also had some interesting conversation between the Winchesters about respecting choices versus saving lives, which has been a recurring theme/argument between them for a long time. But like many things that I didn’t enjoy, the days of the Winchesters staying on different pages is over – like two seasons ago over. Instead, they talk about it. Yes! They talk about it!
Sam: Dean, this is exactly how we screw ourselves. When we make the heart choice instead of the smart choice.
Me: Sam, that’s exactly the show I want to watch. But enough about me…
Sam argues that Cas made a choice and it should be respected. Dean argues that he’s family (and therefore they should save him no matter what).
At least I think that’s what they were arguing, since this scene in particular was a bit unclear. At the end of the day, back at the bunker (as the Winchesters play a round of beer bottle bowling), they continue their discussion.
That’s what Cas wanted, right? That’s what we agreed?
Yeah, we did say that…
So that’s our policy….
The brothers regard each other over the table, speaking volumes without saying anything in that way they have of communicating nonverbally.
Dean: Let’s go find that idiot and bring him home.
We leave off with Casifer pinned against a boxcar, and Amara hatching a plan to get God to show himself.
Oddly, she refers to Lucifer as God’s favorite, his first son, who he may still care about. Most of fandom went, Huh? Pretty sure Michael was God’s first son, but …. Whatever. Canon.
Misha gets to ruin his poor voice again with screaming as we fade to black.
Hmmm. That’s an interesting turn to the mytharc.
My timeline: REALLY? God will reappear for Lucifer but not the destruction of the planet/the apocalypse? That’s what we’re going for here?
More of my timeline: Well, he came back for a high school musical, so…
(One of my all time favorite scenes, just to be clear)
Of course, that may just be Amara’s delusion anyway. It seems hard to believe that God is still so attached to Lucifer that he’d ignore little things like a pending apocalypse and come back to save one angel – even one he most certainly adored at one time. But I guess, as Amara says, we’ll see.
All in all, an episode with some good things and some questionable things, that didn’t make me reach for the tissues or the glass of wine. I suppose I needed the break.
It’s interesting that the mytharc episodes used to be the ones that really made me hold my breath and bite my nails, but after eleven years of loving these characters, that’s not what grabs me and engages my emotions. It’s episodes like last week, with one brother dying and the other trying frantically to save him, that remind me how much I still care.
And now we have a few weeks off to deal with again. Boo!
Maybe that will give me time to post about Seacon and DCCon and finally run those interviews I’ve been promising! Stay tuned…
Big thanks to @kayb625 for the beautiful caps and the title inspiration
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