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'Supernatural' recap: 'O Brother, Where Art Thou?'

Posted on

Liane Hentscher/The CW


TV Show
Current Status:
In Season
run date:
Jensen Ackles, Jared Padalecki
The CW, WB
Sci-fi, Drama

Well, that was intense. I can’t say that I ever imagined an episode where I would not only get Lucifer back, but I’d also get an equally captivating, even more powerful villain in addition to him. But that’s precisely what we got in this revealing hour, in which Sam faced the man he went to Hell to destroy all those years ago and Dean faced…his soulmate? We’ll get to that. 

We start with Amara showcasing her powers for a group of God’s most loyal followers. She figures that striking his chosen ones down with lightning will get his attention. She’s wrong. But, she’s no quitter, so she then makes her way to a church. However, after the priest informs her that she can’t just make an appointment to meet with God, she realizes that none of these people have actually seen God. (The willingness of people to believe what they can’t see amazes her.) So instead of setting up a lunch date with her long-lost brother, she kills everyone in the church by eating their souls. Still, no response from God.

Back at the bunker, Sam insists that God is sending him visions and that they’re telling him to go to the cage and talk to Lucifer. Realizing that there’s no stopping Sam — and also that it’s their only lead — Dean takes Sam to meet with Crowley to see if it’s even possible to open the cage. 

At that meeting, Crowley gets a quick lesson in Darkness 101 — she’s God’s sister, blah, blah — before the Winchesters ask if it’s possible for Sam to meet Lucifer in some sort of safe setting. The answer? It is possible. But considering that God sealed the cage himself, they’re going to need the Book of the Damned…and a witch who can read it.

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Just like that, Rowena finds herself getting caught up on the goings-on of the world, and Crowley promises to call off his assassins if she agrees to open the cage and protect Sam once it’s open. But as it turns out, all they needed to do was mention Lucifer’s name, because as soon as she hears the first syllable, Rowena turns into a teenage girl at a One Direction concert. Looks like Lucy has an admirer.

Dean leaves Sam with Rowena so that he can go investigate Amara’s latest work at that church, but when he finds himself in the presence of the Darkness, he ignores Sam’s call. And that means, the Winchester brothers are alone on their ventures this week. Sam with Lucifer and Dean with Amara.

Before we get to those, I have to give a quick shout-out to this interaction: 

Sam: “I promised Dean I’d call.” 

Rowena: “I promised Lincoln a fun night at the theater. Things change.”

NEXT: Amara said what?


Okay, let’s start with Dean. After the Darkness swoops him away to some unpopulated area, she explains that all she’s trying to do is get God’s attention. She assures him that the souls she’s eating aren’t gone but, instead, are a part of her. Dean’s not really buying it. (And in case you were wondering, no, God and the Darkness don’t have a father.)

The Darkness explains that God was threatened by her. He was fearful that she’d make a more perfect creation, so he exiled her and passed down stories that she was a threat. As Dean puts it, he went all “Kanye, blowing his horn.” Amara, however, doesn’t like God’s religion. She sees it as something he uses to feed his ego. He offers people safety if they adore him. But with her, there would be no rules, no prayer. There would only be bliss. 

“I was the beginning, and I will be the end. I will be all that there is,” she tells Dean. So she’s God? Not so much. “God was the light. I am the dark,” she says, at which point Dean decides to try to stab her. But it turns out, she’s knife-proof. She then seemingly goes to take Dean’s soul but, instead, decides to kiss him. 

As she tells him, they’re bonded because he set her free. (Luckily for her, the man who set her free and with whom she’s bonded is also incredibly attractive.) She claims that destiny brought them together and that they will become one. 

Thankfully, three angels interrupt their chat to try to take Amara. If she doesn’t come, they inform her that all the angels in heaven will work together to smite her. Yeah, she’s not so scared of that. So instead, she kills all three of them with a few moves of her hand and stands by to welcome the massive smiting that awaits her. (What just happened exactly, I have no idea.)

All we know is that Dean finds himself back at the hotdog stand where he saw Amara. 

Now, we move to Sam, who’s dealing less with angels and smiting and more with devils and fire. 

Once in the dark depths of Hell, Rowena performs the necessary spell to bring Lucifer to the stage. Not surprisingly, he’s thrilled to see his old roomie, Sam Winchester, and is more than happy to help. His reaction when Sam mentions the Darkness? “Yikes, that doesn’t sound good.” Oh yeah, I’ve missed Mark Pellegrino’s Lucifer.

Sam explains that God is nowhere to be found but that God told Sam to find Lucifer. Lucifer quickly puts the pieces of the puzzle together. The Darkness might not have God’s experience as a strategist, but she is equal to him in raw power. That means that God must need Lucifer’s help in putting “the cat back in the bag.” Lucifer’s less-than-surprising suggestion: Sam hand over himself as a vessel so that Lucifer can get the hell out of Hell.

But when Sam says no — a word Lucifer has never liked — suddenly, Rowena’s protections begin to fail. Just like that, Sam finds himself in the cage. Turns out, God wasn’t sending Sam those visions. When the Darkness was released, the cage was damaged, which allowed Lucifer to get into Sam’s head. He sent Sam those visions. And now Sam’s trapped.

My biggest question: Are we only seeing Lucifer because of the spell, or has Adam/Michael somehow escaped the cage?

All I know is that the return of Mark Pellegrino just feels right. And the same can be said for the addition of a fully grown Amara. With two big forces — and the inevitable addition of a third in the form of God — this season continues to be one of the show’s most promising in years.