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So An Angel, The Devil and The King Of Hell Walk Into Jimmy Novak…

April 9, 2016

11.18 5 samdeanlookup

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!

11.18 4 rowena

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.

HEAR ME!

HEAR ME!

Rowena gets a clue

Rowena gets a clue

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.

11.18 2 cas hot

Misha got some great lines, and landed them all.

Casifer: You could call me God…if it makes you comfortable…

11.18 2 casifer

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.

11.18 5 casiferbringit

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.

11.18 8 castvinjimmy

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.

11.18 1 crowley

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.

11.18 8 crowleyhelpme

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…

SamnDean: If…

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.

11.18 7 lucifer deandet

Sam confronted by Lucifer

Sam confronted by Lucifer

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!”

"Cassssss!"

“Cassssss!”

Jensen’s patented Dean affronted look was equally perfect.

11.18 7 deanaffronted

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).

11.18 8 markp

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.

11.18 9 glowcassamhairblow

11.18 5 akf

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.

Set dec appreciation

Set dec appreciation

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.

Deeeeaaaaannnn.....

Deeeeaaaaannnn…..

Uh oh, someone's in trouble with his auntie

Uh oh, someone’s in trouble with his auntie

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.

11.18 9 bunker sam

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).

Is Dean actually giving Sam the puppy eyes?

Is Dean actually giving Sam the puppy eyes?

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…

11.18 9 bunkersam huh

So that’s our policy….

Sounds good….

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.

Sam nods.

I grin.

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

–Lynn
For lots more about Supernatural, and from
Misha, Jared, Jensen and more, check out our
books on amazon.com – links on this page!

21 Comments leave one →
  1. Lynn Scott permalink
    April 9, 2016 3:31 pm

    Best blog title ever! (And best show that makes it possible!) xox

    Lynn Scott

    >

  2. rogue1 permalink
    April 9, 2016 3:39 pm

    I’m confused. My interpretation of Jimmy Novak/Castiel is that Jimmy Novak is in Heaven, and that God recreated Castiel in Jimmy Novak’s image, not reincarnated Castiel in Jimmy Novak’s vessel. Canon position on this that I’ve missed?

  3. Kelly Nichols permalink
    April 9, 2016 4:12 pm

    I agree with most of your review (as usual) but thought Rowena coming back was a bit of shark jumping.
    The comment about Lucifer being Gods favourite rang true to me because that’s exactly what Gabriel said to him in Hammer of the Gods. -We know the truth, Dad loved you the most. More than Michael, more than me.- (Not the exact words). So that rang true.
    I though it was an ok episode but there was too much going on. I will have to watch it another time ( or so) to pick up on everything. As usual, some things answered and some things not. Now another looooong break.

    • robynize permalink
      April 10, 2016 7:12 am

      yes, he did say that!!!

  4. April 9, 2016 4:16 pm

    Did you catch the shout out to Jared and the AKF by the VFX people on the tall building on the left when the guys went outside of the warehouse with Crowley to see what was going on. You didn’t mention it in your review so thought maybe you missed that.

  5. April 9, 2016 4:53 pm

    Excellent review as always. I agree about Misha’s performance being a particular standout.

    As for why God would return? I think he’ll return FOR Amara. I think he loves his sister (as a sister).

  6. April 9, 2016 5:11 pm

    Question raised as to who is the “Chosen One?” “Hell’s Angel” Episode was excellent; very exciting. With 8 episodes left to go, the confluence of protagonists in Eps. 22 and 23 is going to be spectacular: Dean, Sam, Crowley, Rowena, Cas, Lucifer, Spare Angel Vessel, Amara, the Chosen One, and God him/herself mixing it up in what only Supernatural can do for one of its truly cataclysmic finales. And, it will undoubtedly leave SPN fans cursing the wait for Episode 1201 to air next Fall! Another long, painful hiatus, but always worth it! [Note to Chuck: God — I love your Show! Your VFX was truly heavenly!]

  7. Alyndra permalink
    April 9, 2016 7:03 pm

    I’ve been wondering, much as Mark Pellegrino is a joy to watch and much as I know Jared enjoys his time off in Austin, why Lucifer so consistently has been appearing- in ‘non-real’ form when he could be appearing any way he wanted- as the hapless Nick instead of in his ‘true vessel’s’ image, especially when it might really fuck with people’s minds for him to look like Sam (like when Dean barged into the Cage…)

    Just now it finally occurred to me: is Lucifer, possibly, resentful of Sam for being so difficult when there was an Apocalypse to get on with, and for putting him back in the Cage? Is that why he doesn’t want to wear his face any more?

    😂😂😂

    • April 10, 2016 5:00 pm

      Oh Lucifer is resentful of Sam alright. He was his true vessel and he not only refused to cooperate, he managed to make him jump back into the cage and to top the cake he managed to escape it, retrieve his soul and leave Lucifer behind. He cetainly isnt pleased. He already called him the girl who kept rejecting him at prom.

  8. Catherine Abney permalink
    April 10, 2016 12:34 am

    I enjoyed this episode too. I found myself screaming at the T.V CASTIEL WHAT I’D WRONG WITH YOUR IJIOT ASS! Listen to Crowley you dummy.
    Sam and Dean on the same page is awesome!
    Im tired of them fighting & going different directions.
    Amara’s view of God seems strange. I can’t picture him thinking of Lucifer as his favorite. That’s Michael. I hope when God does show up its worth the long long wait!
    Thank you for your review ☺

  9. Ara permalink
    April 10, 2016 12:46 am

    Excellent recap, though… onnnne itsy-bitsy correction. It’s CAS’ vessel now. Not Jimmy’s. ‘Poor Jimmy’ is no longer applicable since Jimmy is in Heaven and he has no connection to it anymore.

  10. robynize permalink
    April 10, 2016 7:19 am

    Ok, so as usual I agreed to all your points. However, the Amara thinking Luci will make god come made perfect logic to me (at least from her pov, which is limited from being locked away.) I was raised Catholic and it was ingrained in me the Lucifer, God’s best loved and brightest angel, the Morningstar, was definitely favored. However, when Adam came along, Luci would not bow down, thus he fell and Hell was created. Here is a blurb I found online:

    According to various scenarios of early Christian Church Fathers (from Cyprus, Armenia, Greece, and France), Lucifer was god’s favorite angel, referred to as the “Morning Star,” as “Light,” as the “Prince of the Power of Air,” or of the Atmosphere. His sin, and the origin of his transformation into the Devil, stems from his envy of man and disobedience to God. Lucifer resented God’s command that all of the angels should worship the image of God in the newly created Adam. When Archangel Michael ordered all angels to worship this image of God, Jehovah, Lucifer refused. Allegedly, he said, “ I will not worship one inferior and subsequent to me. I am prior to him in creation. Before he was made, I was already made. He ought to worship me.” Other angels subordinate to Lucifer similarly refused to obey this command despite Michael’s warning that God will be wrathful with them. Apparently a cosmic battle ensued in which Michael’s legions ousted Lucifer’s and the fallen angels were cast out of heaven into Hell (paradoxically to a place created by God.) Lucifer is transformed into Satan, the Devil, following his fall from grace. The Devil then plans revenge against Adam to expose his weakness of spirit. He blames Adam for being sent out from the glory of heaven, expelled into the world, “…we were pained to see you in such bliss of delights [in Paradise]. So with deceit I assailed your wife [Eve] and made you to be expelled through her from the joys of your bliss, as I have been expelled from my glory.”

    Thus, “The Lucifer Effect” represents this most extreme transformation imaginable from God’s favorite Angel into the Devil. My work has focused on lesser transformations of human character not as dramatic as this one, in which ordinary, even good people begin to engage in bad deeds, for a short time or longer, that qualify as “evil.”

    The best source for these materials about Lucifer and Satan is in the 2006 in-depth analyses by Henry Ansgar Kelly, Satan: A Biography (New York: Cambridge University Press). Click here to read more about fallen angels.

    So, in my own religious search, I have determined that in order for there to be a God, and free will, there must be the alternate Devil, and Hell. So Amara could be onto something. Either way, I am just real damned ready to see Chuck/rob again !!! We know he loves Cas and the boys!

  11. April 11, 2016 1:58 am

    I didnt get the whole picture the first time. I think I was too tired and missed the details but once I rewatched in my right senses, I liked the development. At least so far. It could go sideways really easy too, especially after that final scene. My highlights would be: Amara calling him “Uncle Crowley” LOL. I think Rowena was as amused as I was. By the way, Rowena is one volatile ally. I wouldnt trust her for a minute. She switches sides like nobody’s business. Good timing tho. Crowley’s face at hearing what Dean sometimes wants during sex… priceless. Wish we had seen SAM’s face! Am I the only one picturing an image of Sam wearing a Zorro mask? *slaps herself back to reality*
    In more serious matters, the boys disagree again about saving Cas against his will. Sam is always the one standing up for personal decisions being respected because he has been overruled in the past by Dean’s need to save him. But when it comes to it, Sam does the same most of the time. At the end, while bowling, they somehow agree that the deal of staying out of the way of the other’s decisions is a “no-deal” as Bobby wisely once put it. So Cas’ decision is to be respected, but let’s go rescue him anyway. By the way, bottle bowling? The two of them sparing some time to play a game together… feels so like home, so like family. Acting cant go unmentioned. Everyone did a great job here. Sam’s fear of Lucifer as you said is so real. It reminds me of the times Dean’s run into a hell hound. Jensen always remembers he should be scared to death of them. And of course Misha’s Casifer takes the cake. It cant be easy at all what he’s doing and yet he’s doing it great. So hiatus again? Good thing there is DVDs to survive on.

  12. anafraserlallybroch permalink
    April 11, 2016 4:32 pm

    Reblogged this on Ana Fraser Lallybroch Blog.

  13. Laura in Denver permalink
    April 12, 2016 9:30 pm

    Great review and comments by everyone. I need to go back and watch again, I missed a few things. I did catch the AKF on the building though. This is really shaping up to be an excellent finish to the season. Get that handcart ready again, I think we are all going to Hell!

    • spnfans permalink
      April 16, 2016 3:42 pm

      Handcart is at the ready, fully stocked – and we have room for a few more…

      I didn’t catch the AKF on first watch, your eyes are clearly better than mine🙂

  14. April 16, 2016 4:25 am

    I wanted to get a rewatch in before responding, but that’s clearly not going to happen for at least another week, and I’m just not that patient. For whatever reason, I’m just not that into episodes by this particular writing team. There’s usually some aspect that irks me, that feels like they are trying to have a “hint hint nudge nudge” moment with the fans, but that somehow misses the mark. That off-kilter feeling is heightened on the big myth arc episodes. These episodes don’t have a moment to spare, so these clunky attempts at fandom nods seem particularly awkward. In this episode they had to show Amara, and reveal Rowena, and then Mark Pellegrino Lucifer shows up, plus Sam, Dean, Crowley, and Cas. That’s all amazing, but couldn’t some of that maybe be alluded to previously? I don’t know how a show’s writers room works, so maybe that really isn’t a possibility.

    Admittedly, the biggest hurdle this episode had to overcome is one fans will like: the season has been so solid, with only one or two missteps, that anything less than “holding my breath, edge of my seat, is there dust in my eye?” wonderful is going to pale in comparison. The last two episodes before this one were superb, so, perhaps this episode is a victim of timing.

    All that said, I wasn’t disappointed, I just wasn’t as blown away as I have been for most of this season. Since I’m still riding the high of DCcon, I’ll just run with the stuff I liked and that I don’t think got a shout out elsewhere in the comments. (Sorry, if I missed these in earlier mentions.)

    The Exorcist call out with “help me” was a nice great classic possession tie in, and well executed. It immediately took me to that desperate cry in the movie, and also gave a nice indication of Crowley’s level of panic inside that very crowded Cas vessel. This is especially terrifying considering the sheer power Crowley was demonstrating in the opening of the episode.

    Speaking of Cas and his crowded melon, Cas getting stuck in his own head is consistent with the show, and I love consistency. Gadreel “locked Sam away in a dream” where he thought he was researching a case. If that’s a standard angel trick, than Lucifer convincing Cas he’s hanging out in the bunker isn’t off base. Although there was something that irked me about Cas just hanging out in the bunker as his “locked away” dream, it does fit with what Cas was doing when he was recovering. It’s also possible that this was Lucifer not wanting to bother with Cas at all – giving him a chance to get Cas out of the way and move on with his plans, sort of like The Matrix. In The Matrix, it was easier to get people to fall for the illusion if the illusion was reminiscent of normal, boring, and sometimes just plain awful life. If given too great or poor of an existence, people get suspicious.

    While Rob Benedict wasn’t on this episode, they have been teasing it to no end, and that just makes me smile. While I suspect my long-held head canon regarding Chuck and his prophet (and vessel) status might have to get adjusted, I’ll probably get over that pretty fast if it means seeing more of Chuck.

    • spnfans permalink
      April 16, 2016 3:31 pm

      Ooooh such good points! I agree with you wholeheartedly, especially about the way these episodes somehow manage to miss the mark. Also, why did we not get to hang out at DCCon????!!!

      • April 18, 2016 4:48 am

        I wanted to stop by your seat, but I got autographs this year and had no idea how that would work. (spoiler alert if you haven’t been to a con: There’s some waiting involved.) A lesson learned for next year (and there will be a next year ;)) autograph lines are slow, you can probably risk socializing while waiting to be called.

    • Dawn permalink
      April 21, 2016 8:36 pm

      I also agree that the episodes written by that writing duo tend to miss the mark. I think they’re the weakest writers on the team and hate that they’ve been getting myth arc episodes. It seems like they always mess with established canon.

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