Damn Misha Collins for eternity for making me love Lucifer and turning my Cas!Girl heart for even a moment. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Welcome to the Supernatural recap of “Hell’s Angel” which was written by Brad Buckner and Eugenie Ross-Lemming and directed by Phil Sgriccia. Last week was an emotionally exhausting week for Sam, and especially Dean, and this week doesn’t seem to be pulling any punches for our boys.
In this episode we go back to the larger story arc of the season, defeating The Darkness, as we open on a tent in the middle of a Saudi Arabian desert with several men sitting down for a relaxing evening. Just as they’re settling in, a whoosh announces the arrival of none other than the dethroned and disgraced King of Hell, who immediately goes to the bedside of an ailing older man. Turns out buying souls has more than one advantage, as the old man tells Crowley that he has a Hand of God: the horn of Joshua, which Crowley can have for the low, low price of returning the man’s soul to him. Crowley verifies that this is, in fact, The Big Gun before agreeing and giving the old man his soul. And here is where we are reminded of the key thing to remember with Crowley: Always read the fine print. Crowley promptly snaps the man’s neck, takes the horn, and then when the guards try to stop him, he forces them to turn their guns on each other and vanishes. BOOM. Title Card.
So, if you’re an escaped pretender to the throne of Hell, who do you call? Why, the Winchesters, of course! I mean… I’d call them for any reason, really… but Crowley is calling Dean to tell him that not only is he free, he has the horn of Joshua, but hey ho, all the demons of Hell are hunting him, so can the boys come and meet him? This is proven true when we see a flock (Gaggle? Pod?) of demons cruising the streets of St Louis, ready to take Crowley out. They’re all but snapping their fingers and singing ‘When You’re a Jet’. Dean agrees to work together to take out Amara and Lucifer, and the boys head to St Louis.
Next we see Amara, still smarting from the fury of Heaven and needing to heal, resting in what looks like an abandoned warehouse, because this is Supernatural, so of course there’s an abandoned warehouse. She isn’t alone, however, as her vessel is being healed by none other than Rowena! Now, I can’t lie, I wasn’t surprised to see Row Row here, but that doesn’t mean I wasn’t excited to hear Ruth Connell’s lovely brogue as she waxes poetic about Amara. Like mother, like son, as Rowena sucks up to Amara, while admitting that at least part of her reasons for helping Amara are self-serving. Lucifer did kill her, after all. We get a brief flashback to Rowena’s supposed demise and she explains that, having made enemies everyone in creation, Rowena cast a powerful spell to revive her, should she die. This feels a little too close to the Mark of Cain for me, and we don’t know if this spell is a one-time thing or recurring, but I’m so happy to see her that I’m willing to overlook the logistics of the spell. Rowena tells Amara she wants to be by her side when she kicks God’s ass, and a new ‘ship is born! Amena? Rowara? Amara?
The boys find Crowley in his hiding place and sass ensues. Crowley updates them on Lucifer and offers them the horn to stop Amara. Not being as foolish as they’ve been in past years, the boys don’t respond until Crowley tells them what he wants in return. Crowley finally admits that he wants them to exorcise Lucifer from Cas’ vessel and put him back in the cage. Because that was really simple to do last time. Some have said something about how Crowley must be softening to Cas by saying “exorcise” rather than “kill,” but I think this is more a case of knowing your audience. Crowley knows the boys aren’t going to kill Cas. An argument between Dean and Crowley begins because Dean points out that they need Lucifer to beat Amara and besides, they can’t get Lucifer back in the cage without Rowena or the Book of the Damned, neither of which they can find right now. Crowley reminds Dean that he didn’t say it would be easy and hey, to add to the fun, Rowena is actually dead so they better find a new way to skin this particular cat.
Things are going to pot on Earth, as it is in Heaven, as we pop up on the angel Jophiel measuring soul power…? Harvesting soul power? I’m not sure, but it’s a big old scanner thing he’s working with when lookit there, it’s Lucifer! Jophiel proves that not all angels are blessed with forethought when he decides to snark at Lucifer about being Heaven’s most hated angel all tucked up inside Heaven’s most wanted angel’s vessel and all I can think is “Well, he’s my most wanted angel, too.” Lucifer tells him that he wants to help, but Jophiel is hearing none of it and bursts into a cloud of smoke before he has a chance to warn his brothers and sisters that the devil is literally on their doorstep.
Lucifer then channels his inner Tony Robbins as he does his damnedest to convince the remaining angels that they need him. I mean, he’s not wrong, clearly the smiting was no good, but his younger siblings have reservations about accepting the help of “evil incarnate.” This may be my favorite scene in the episode, if for no other reason than how obvious it is that Misha Collins is just having so much fucking fun. “You exploded Jophiel…” an angel timidly says to him, to which Lucifer responds, “Or… did Jophiel explode himself? Just sayin’…” One of my favorite things about this show’s portrayal of Lucifer, and Misha’s in particular, is that he doesn’t seem like a bad guy. As he’s making his points about marketing and God’s propaganda, it’s easy to see why someone would be lured by him. He’s seductive and seems so reasonable as he explains (while straddling some laps, mind you) to his angel brethren that while he can’t reason with Amara, he can lock her away, and he’s done it before. The angels rightly assume that, should he defeat Amara, Lucifer is going to want to hang out for a while, and Lucifer comforts them by saying “Hey… you could call ME God…” which, as the highest ranking angel… actually makes a little sense.
While Lucifer is winning (or taking) over both Heaven and Hell, our trio of conspirators are still negotiating terms. Because if there is one thing they have, it’s time. Dean has a very specific order in which he wants to get this done. He wants to get Lucifer out of Cas and into a new vessel, let Lucifer beat Amara and then put Lucifer back in the cage. Sam disagrees with Dean saying that Cas’ vessel is strong, and it can contain Lucifer for the battle. That, however, is not Dean’s concern. Cas is in there. He could get hurt. Dean can’t separate Cas’ vessel from Cas and it creates an impasse for the brothers. Sam once again tries to argue that Cas “wanted this” and Dean ignites the imaginations of fanfic writers around the globe by replying “Well, sometimes I like to get slapped around during sex by a girl wearing a Zorro mask, but that don’t make it a good idea!” Sam then proves that the bunker has self-help books as well as lore when he accuses Dean of making “The heart choice, not the smart choice!” And Crowley helpfully reminds them that they don’t hold the cards here. He has set his terms and either they play his way, or not at all.
Everyone but Dean and Sam seem to be moving forward in this episode as we go back to Rowena playing sycophant to Amara, explaining that she wants revenge on Lucifer, yes, but that she also wants to be by Amara’s side when she wins. Rowena offers to use her witch powers to spy on the Winchesters and Lucifer and says she could be Amara’s confidante and friend, neither of which the goddess has ever had. Amara decides to keep her, and pats her like a little pet.
Lucifer has dismissed his meeting, and if he didn’t say “synergy” somewhere offscreen, I’ll be shocked. The angels are scurrying out and heading to their respective offices, or rooms… or clouds… when down on Earth Crowley is insisting he’s still the king, and Amara decides to test Rowena’s abilities by stomping her foot and literally yelling to be heard. We hear her, alright. The world trembles, and Heaven itself is shaken, filled with black smoke, and hearing her wrath. If I didn’t know better, though, I would think she and Luci were working together, as this display is the final push the angels need to follow Lucifer, since “God doesn’t care” and this was just a taste of what Amara is capable of.
Rowena has now seen what Amara is capable of, and she’s scared. While Crowley, Dean, and Sam are still bickering about how to defeat Amara, Rowena is spying on them. When Amara asks, though, Rowena lies and says that they’re not conspiring, they’re too afraid to be of any threat at all. I don’t think that “afraid” is the right word here, so much as “can’t agree on the color of the sky, let alone a plan about how to save the world again.” Crowley insists that Lucifer isn’t the only way to defeat Amara, while Dean argues that it’s a moot point because they can’t lock away Lucifer anyway, since Rowena is dead and the Book of the Damned is missing. Sam and the boys then learn that they’re never actually alone, when a message is burned into the side of some scrap metal reading “Back from the dead, Fergus.”
Team Don’t Want To Die meets up in an old church, with plans to trap Lucifer and get Cas back. It’s decided that they have to be fast, though, as the trap only lasts a moment, as Dean summons the Prince Himself, and Rowena, survivalist that she is, hides and listens. Lucifer appears for the Horn of Joshua and is disappointed that he’s not part of the team! The combo of Luci and the horn should be enough to beat back The Darkness! Dean has no time for this shit as he ignites another trap to suppress Lucifer and bring Cas to the surface. We finally get a glimpse of Cas, who is confused and unaware of what is happening around him. Dean’s voice softens as he sees his friend, telling him there isn’t much time, overestimating even that as Lucifer once again takes over the vessel before Dean could tell Cas to expel him. Lucifer rubs salt in Dean’s wounds by telling him that Cas is pretty happy with the arrangement, having invited Lucifer in. Dean calls for Cas again, and is horrified and shocked to see the face of his best friend yelling “Cas!” back at him to mock his pain… and my heart breaks. Lucifer warns Dean to give him the horn, or, when the warding inevitably fails, he will take it from Dean. Which doesn’t bode well for Dean’s life expectancy. Watching all this go down is Crowley, who, upon Dean’s failure to reach Cas for more than a moment, leaves his vessel and enters Cas’. So that is a count of three beings sharing one vessel.
Having entered into Castiel’s mind, Crowley is surprised to find himself in the bunker’s kitchen. He’s even more surprised to see Cas complacently watching TV, waiting for the battle, completely passive. This makes me wonder what all Lucifer was doing to him before, since, not long ago he was able to break through Lucifer and save Sam. That couldn’t have ended well, but perhaps Lucifer is leaving him alone because Cas’ depression is prison enough. He clearly doesn’t see himself as having anything of worth to bring to the effort, other than the body he provides. When Crowley tells him that Dean is trying to get him to expel Lucifer, Cas perks up a bit, not realizing that his seeing Dean had been real, and then decides that getting rid of Lucifer isn’t a good idea, although Dean thinks it is, and he’s more objective. What kills me about this whole bit is, we as viewers have been watching up til now, and Dean is anything but objective. He is focused on saving Cas above all else, even if that means allowing someone else to be possessed by Satan himself. Dean is not thinking logically, he’s thinking like a man trying to save his family. And it’s heartbreaking to think that Cas thinks Dean would be able to coldly calculate what would be the best advantage to them.
Crowley is begging Cas to expel Lucifer “before it’s too late” and then promptly learns that that ship has sailed. Lucifer is home. And he’s not happy to see Crowley. Outside of Castiel’s mind, the wards are failing and Dean is screaming for Cas to expel Lucifer, while inside his mind Lucifer is kicking the shit out of Crowley, and Cas is mostly worried that they’re going to “break things.” I think this season has done a really great job of showcasing Cas’ depression, and this scene does a good job of showing his indifference to the damage done. It’s heart-wrenching to see Cas brought so low.
Crowley is getting beaten to a pulp, and sends a message to Dean and Sam, by burning “help me” into the forehead of his vessel. Sam goes to work exorcising Crowley, while Dean looks on, splashing holy water and fruitlessly hoping for his friend to overpower the devil. Crowley barely escapes, and tells the boys that Cas is “useless, Lucifer’s hold is too strong.”
Just as the words are leaving his lips, the warding fails, Lucifer is free, and Crowley is out of the picture, vanishing into the ether. Lucifer tells them that he could have been their warrior, but he was tricked and betrayed. He then takes the horn and (forcibly) sits Dean and Sam down for a chat. Well, not a ‘chat’ so much as a ‘painful death.’ Amara comes in and interrupts Lucifer, however, because she was “tracking Rowena” since she’d (still hiding) vamoosed. Lucifer immediately takes the Horn of Joshua and tries to kill Amara, which, unsurprisingly, doesn’t work. Amara pulls Lucifer to her and they have a small moment before Dean desperately calls for Cas once more. I find this whole scene interesting on a couple fronts: Amara says she was tracking Rowena, and that is why she’s there. She didn’t sense that Dean was in danger and come to help him. Dean is not in thrall with Amara despite his “strong bond” to her, unlike other times that he’s been in her presence, instead calling for Cas and being concerned only for his friend. I’m not sure if this is a mistake on the writers’ part, or if their bond is weakening, or if the bond of love and family between Dean and Castiel is just stronger because of years of trust and familiarity. The last two of these makes my interest piqued, however. What I do know, is that Amara is surprised that Dean is calling for Cas, as is Lucifer. She releases them from Lucifer’s hold and vanishes with her nephew. The Winchesters have failed on all fronts. They didn’t free Cas, they didn’t kill Lucifer, and Amara is more powerful than ever.
Back at the bunker, Dean and Sam talk about the fact that Rowena will play both ends against the middle, and MAYBE an angel cast out of Heaven isn’t God’s chosen one (I have my theories for that and maybe we’ll talk about them during the hiatus). Then the boys have a moment as Sam apologizes for thinking that Cas (or his vessel) fighting Amara was a good idea, but Dean tells him it’s okay, it’s what Cas wanted, right? They then spend a few minutes talking about how people should “have a choice and we should respect that choice” before Dean pointedly chooses to “ find that idiot and bring him home.” I won’t argue with that. Cas’ home is with Dean and Sam, and he needs to get back there.
Amara and Lucifer are having a little bit different of a family moment, however, as Lucifer tries to convince her that he can be helpful; they both have a beef with God, after all. Amara, while saying she doesn’t trust Lucifer after his last betrayal (WAY back before the time of man), thinks that, as God’s first born and favorite son, Lucifer might be of some use yet. As bait. And we close out with Lucifer being a blast of light as Amara tries to draw out her brother for a long overdue family meeting.
BAMF of the week: Misha Fucking Collins*
*So… normally I try to pick a character who I think just kicks so much ass during the ep, but this one was hard for me. I was torn at first between Rowena, Amara, and Lucifer when I realized that the real BAMF this week was an actor, not a character. Misha Collins has been hitting it out of the ballpark, acting wise, all season long, and this week proved just what an amazing asset he is to this show. His ability to take on Mark Pellegrino’s character, and make it his own, while keeping the essence of his predecessor’s portrayal is truly impressive. This isn’t about this week, but since I wasn’t here then, I also wanted to mention how fantastic it was to watch Misha play Lucifer pretending to be Castiel. It was just off enough that we the audience could tell, but so close that it would be hard to spot. The seamless and heartbreaking transitions between Cas and Lucifer in this episode were amazing, and sealed the deal for me that Misha is this week’s, and maybe this season’s MVP. It doesn’t hurt that he just clearly is having so much fun in this role. Next time I’ll be back to characters, but none of them really stood out to me this week.
It was nice to see the big players all together, and well done moving the plot along. My shipper heart loves this ep, but there was a lot of “telling” and not as much “showing” as I like this week.
SO- what did you think of Hell’s Angel? Did you fall in love with the devil, too? Do you have ship feelings? Hit me up in the comments or on Twitter!!