First off, once again I'm sorry for being late. We are selling our house and that means showings at any time and right now my job is almost literally kicking my ass. Let's just say that if there really is a board room in Heaven, I don't ever want to die. So! I just got a chance to see it, and it's Saturday. So if I don't see as many of you as per usual, I understand.
Also, after such a delay, I may disappoint you guys by not exactly raving about this episode. Some scenes were intriguing, some were hand-wavey, and some were just...clunky. After the last two episodes being so amazing in storytelling method and/or acting prowess, I was a bit disappointed in the form and flow of this one. Still, that said? What transpired was necessary to get us from mid-season to the final six (six, right? there are 23 episodes this season still?) episodes of the season, which, based on the path they carved with this one, have the potential to be emotionally gutting.
And we love being gutted by this show.
Okay, here's what I think happened (at least to me): I was spoiled. Not like...omg how could you tell me something about an episode I haven't seen yet spoiled. More like...pampered. We had a decent run with episodes that were 98% focused on the brothers and the last two episodes had some great bro-bonding moments. I got used to that, in a way. And with this one being rather brother-lite and having the scenes with the brothers being rather...well, less than effective...I think that's one of primary reasons I wasn't quite as engaged.
Honestly, my favorite scene? Was the inner-vessel cage match. The moment Crowley vacated his 'meat suit' and jumped into Castiel's vessel I perked up. That was new. I don't think I've seen three beings contained in one vessel before. And the fact that inside Cas it looks like the Winchester's kitchen is kind of adorable, actually. It's where Cas feels safe, while he's waiting for Lucifer to do whatever it is he's going to do with Amara. However, Cas' detached, "Well, I suppose you have a more informed opinion on the matter," response to Crowley's desperate plea to expel Lucifer from his vessel was a very different Castiel than the one who fought his way to the surface to save Sam.
So...either Lucifer has beaten the resistance out of Cas (in a manner of speaking) or Sam is right and Cas really does want this--he just didn't want Lucifer to kill Sam. Which is also confusing because Lucifer was like thisclose to killing both boys before Amara showed up. Honestly, I'm really not sure what is going on with Cas at the moment--but I was amused by his instinctive protection of the TV while Lucifer and Crowley fought and his this is why we can't have nice things irritation in his tone when he said, "Guys! You're gonna break something."
Jimmy Novak must have been one helluva dude--either that, or when God brought Castiel back from being splattered at the end of Season 5 he coated the vessel with Scotch Guard--because that vessel has some staying power. It's not only held Castiel for all this time, but it's holding Cas and an Arch Angel and for a short time added the King of Hell into the mix. That's some party. Also makes me wonder if Crowley had been successful in convincing Cas to expel Lucifer...where would he have gone? Existed as a non-corporeal entity? Invaded a former vessel? *ponders*
I do like that Sam and Dean were consistent in their arguments on how to handle Castiel--even though choosing to argue about it in front of Crowley was probably not the smartest move. I like that Sam stuck to his "Cas' choice should be respected" guns--a stance he's made and kept for several seasons now. He doesn't want to lose Cas any more than Dean does, but he also knows that Cas willingly and knowingly made that choice because they all thought that having Lucifer go up against Amara was their best shot at winning--and Sam wanted Cas to be able to take that shot.
Conversely, Dean is consistent in his "Cas' choice was short-sighted and puts his life in danger so we have to ignore it and do everything we can to save him" thinking. It's exactly what he did--twice over--with Sam because he didn't want to lose him. And while he probably wants to defeat Amara more than any of them because of how she affects him, he would rather die than see his friend risk his life to aid in her defeat. He doesn't think defeating Amara is worth losing Cas.
I like that they kept the continuity of character approaches there--though the end kind of confused me a bit. It seemed that Sam was, essentially, apologizing for being right: Cas did want to stay there. He knew, though, that the confirmation of that would be hard on Dean, so he apologized to help soften the hurt Dean held constant in his eyes when Cas was brought up. But then Dean says, "Didn't we swear off getting in the way when one person makes a choice the other doesn't agree with?" Which made me think okay, so he's conceding that Sam was right and he isn't going to fight saving Cas if Cas wants to stay. They agree that is their new policy...and then Dean says, "Let's go find him and bring him home." So, wait...they are going to try to save Cas? O_o
I'm going to just ride that one out because I don't get the undercurrents of what transpired there, and that's unusual for me. Even if I don't quite understand the statement, the motivation usually resonates with me. So, I'm writing this off to Real Life distractions complicating the issue and moving on. Especially since Amara wasn't defeated by an Arch Angel wielding the power of God. They're all going to be in for it now--including Rowena, who switches sides more often than my kiddo changes her socks.
Clearly, Rowena is in it for only one thing: herself. Always has been. But I think she might be realizing that hitching her wagon to the biggest power she can find might not work out for her in the end--it certainly did not with Crowley or Lucifer...not sure why she thinks it'll be different with Amara. And she looked downright terrified there in that old warehouse-abandoned church-thing. I'm not sure how Rowena even found Amara when she was weak and vulnerable--unless she did that "warging" thing to find her. Just...the whole thing with Rowena was mildly annoying in that it was just dropped in with convenient writing reasoning and little purpose (or so it appeared) beyond returning a familiar face to the mix.
If she doesn't have a bigger part to play in all of this (which, I'm sure she probably will), I'd rather them bring someone back from the dead who actually supports the boys...like Charlie. Or Bobby. Just saying.
Finally, Amara's tactic to torture Lucifer in an effort to finally grab God's attention. Does Amara not know that Lucifer was cast out of Heaven? I mean, when he helped his brothers and God defeat her and lock her away, he was still God's favorite. He became the lock that kept her contained. But then things went a bit downhill, so I'm wondering if she realizes that using a fallen angel to "lure" God into confronting her may not exactly be the best choice. Not only that, but...what does her torture do to Castiel trapped within that same vessel? Is she just harming Lucifer, or is she harming the vessel and all that are contained within?
As for Sam's logic about why Casifer wasn't successful in defeating Amara with the Hand of God...I liked it. It resonated with me that a fallen angel would not be able to effectively use God's power any more than a demon would. But it made me wonder...would a human being who had died and been revived by the power of a mark once placed by God and who had at one time been identified as a Righteous Man be considered one of God's Chosen able to wield the power in the Hand of God to defeat Amara? *ponders* That would make the whole connection Dean and Amara have--and Dean's belief that he cannot kill her because of that connection--a bit interesting. Says me.
Okay, so...lists. With a slight alteration of category headings.
- The Horn of Joshua being a Hand of God. And that it was located in Saudi Arabia and not conveniently secreted away in some storage unit in Newark or something. Can't wait to see what artifact they manage to find next.
- Watching Crowley be evil -- cashing in on the deals he made as a CRD, forcing the guards to kill each other. He really doesn't have one scrap of care for humanity as a whole, just for the Winchesters. It's good to be reminded that he is, in fact, a demon and not just the grumpiest member of the Scooby gang.
- "Very few of the world's secrets I haven't cracked. Seemed worth a soul. At the time." "It always does."
- "I don't jig."
- Boys saying "If..." to Crowley in unison, waiting for the conditions of his offer to provide the Horn.
- "Did I say this would be easy? No, I did not."
- Dean giving Crowley his "you're smarter than this" speech.
- "Kindness gets you a hug. Not a seat at the big boy's table."
- "What they call destruction, I call renovation."
- "First impressions can be deceiving, Moose. For instance, I once thought you were dull and plodding. Never mind. Bad analogy."
- "We've got the blaster to do it." Always love a Star Wars reference, however small.
- "Guys! You're gonna break something."
- Sam rattling off that exorcism like he was reciting the Pledge of Allegiance. I love it when these guys remind us they've been doing this their whole lives. Bonus points for the trio inside Castiel's vessel all hearing Sam's voice.
- Amara referring to Crowley as 'Uncle Crowley'.
- "Humanity brought us Hiroshima and got a redo. I merely questioned his priorities and got the boot."
- "It's marketing." That actually made me laugh out loud as recently I've used that same argument to explain certain things at work.
- Crowley's expression in response to Dean's: "There are times I want to get slapped during sex by a girl wearing a Zorro mask; that don't make it a good idea." The line itself felt a little forced and oddly placed, but Crowley's expression was funny.
- Sam: "This is exactly how we screw ourselves: we make the heart choice instead of the smart choice." Very insightful, young Winchester.
- "I don't think Aunty Amara appreciated your half-assed smiting." I kinda forgot she would, technically, be his Aunt.
- "So we all saw what happens when she's in a bad mood, which apparently she's been in since the dawn of time."
- The message to Crowley from Mommy Dearest: Back from the dead, Fergus.
- "These mail-order spells aren't what they used to be."
- The fact that the boys decided the only clear choice after Amara took Casifer and left them alive was to go back to the bunker and play beer bowling.
- Rowena's convenient resurrection magic. I can't be the only one who thought that was a bit of a Hail Mary from the writer's room. I mean, yes, Rowena is a witch and has had access to ancient magic for hundreds of years, so sure...I'll buy that it could work. But with zero indication previously that she'd ever had such a thing inside her or even that such a thing was possible, this felt very hand wavey to me.
- Casifer just...showing up...in Heaven. Like it was no big thing. One would think that they'd have extra security knowing that Lucifer was out of the Cage and that their smiting of Amara didn't work. Heaven is really unimpressive right now. Wussy angels, white board rooms, a whole cadre of them quaking in their wings while Casifer insults them and climbs in their laps? No wonder the Earth is in dire straits in this 'verse.
- So, we just skip over the boys' reacting to Rowena not being dead and deciding to work with her again? They really need to stop trusting her, especially since she, um, got Sam locked in the cage with Lucifer.
- Sam saying that the Horn of Joshua doesn't look like much. That felt odd coming from Sam, too. He saw the chunk of wood that was the first Hand and had been from the Arc of the Covenant -- it didn't look like much either. And we're talking about an artifact that was thousands of years old. Didn't feel like something Sam would have thought, let alone said out loud.
- Why has Amara stopped aging? At the rate she grew from baby to now, theoretically she should be bearing a passing resemblance to the Crypt Keeper at this point. I thought perhaps it had something to do with when she was boxed away--but wondered if any of you had theories.
- How did Crowley get the words 'Help Me' to show up on his meat suit? I have always assumed that when the demon vacates their vessel--as Crowley did--the 'meat suit' was an empty vessel...so there really wouldn't be anything left behind inside to carve out such a plea. I mean, don't get me wrong, it was a cool (and effective) trick, but...had me head-tilting with a whoa, wait, how did that happen reaction.
Okay, so we have a mini-break until April 27th. I would imagine that is the last break until the finale, but who knows. I'll be back on the 27th and try to have the Ramble up the next day, as I prefer to do. Hope ya'll have a good April! Thanks, as always, for reading.