Supernatural “Hell’s Angel” Review (Season 11, Episode 18)

Usually I watch an episode twice before I write a review. Most of the time that’s enough to catch most of the important story points. However, there was so much happening in this week’s Supernatural that I watched it three times because I didn’t want to miss anything. I’m sure I probably still didn’t get it all, but I did my best. So let’s get down to business.

The big news out of this episode — Rowena lives! Admittedly, her return was completely ridiculous and entirely too convenient, but since I’ve grown to love that character so much I’m going to excuse the ridiculous nature of her resurrection. That being said, it doesn’t really surprise me that she had an “escape plan” should anyone ever succeed in killing her. I said then, and I still believe now that Rowena was uncharacteristically stupid to tell Lucifer that she was the only one who could open the cage. Perhaps she told him because she knew that even if he killed her, she had an ace in the hole. Well, I hope that spell wasn’t a one shooter because it looks like Rowena may have bitten off more than she can chew by attempting an alliance with Amara. I can’t say I’m surprised she tried though. Just before Rowena had the worst chiropractic appointment ever, she told Crowley (and us) why she hates Crowley so much. Learning about Rowena’s past and the less than desirable circumstances of Fergus’ birth make her constant pursuit of power more understandable. However, her power hungry nature has now put her on the wrong side of a couple of extremely powerful beings. Rowena expected to be able to manipulate Amara the way she’s always manipulated everyone else, but it became clear pretty quickly that her old tricks aren’t going to work. She doesn’t really have anything to offer Amara, and although Amara is single-minded in her purpose, she’s obviously not stupid. She knew enough not to trust Rowena. I’m guessing she could sense that Rowena was either lying or hiding something. Rowena very quickly realized that she will not be able to control and/or manipulate Amara, and if Amara decides to kill her there isn’t a spell on Earth that could bring her back. Then on top of that, Lucifer wants her dead because he doesn’t want anyone alive capable of putting him back in the cage. So now Rowena has to run and hide from the Winchesters, Crowley, Lucifer, AND Amara. All I can say is, I hope she travels light.

Speaking of Crowley, he was uncharacteristically foolish in this episode. Maybe foolish isn’t the best word. Maybe laser-focused is a better description. Either way, he wasn’t looking at the big picture which is decidedly un-Crowleylike. He’s anxious to get Lucifer back in the cage. Mostly for his own self-preservation. Naturally, he also wants his kingdom back, but mostly he’s just trying to stay alive. I can’t blame him, and it totally makes sense that neutralizing Lucifer would be his priority. I guess my confusion with Crowley lies with why he went to Sam and Dean in the first place. He had the horn of Joshua and the element of surprise. It’s clear that he was able to harness the power of the Hand of God because he used the rod of Aaron last time. So why go to the Winchesters? The only thing I can figure is that Crowley was afraid. Which also makes sense. We don’t know exactly what Lucifer did to Crowley, but he obviously tortured him. So I can understand not wanting to face his torturer again. But then I had to ask myself, why was Crowley trying to put Lucifer back in the cage anyway? If all he wants is to make sure that Lucifer isn’t a threat to him anymore, why not just power up with the horn, pop into the throne room, vaporize Luci, and take back his kingdom? That would certainly ensure no future threat from Lucifer. It’s not like Crowley was interested in saving Cas or preserving Cas’s vessel. There just didn’t seem to be a legitimate reason for Crowley’s behavior. I mean, Crowley was running from four run of the mill demons. Why? He can vaporize lesser demons with a snap of his fingers. Maybe he didn’t want to kill them because he was trying to stay under the radar? I don’t know. It all just seemed like a contrivance to get us inside Cas’s head.

Cas looks like he’s down for the count. He’s chilling out in a small corner of his mind, and he seems perfectly ok with letting Lucifer run the show. That’s not a good thing. Cas let Lucifer in ostensibly because he wanted to “be of service” in the fight, but he’s pretty much doing the opposite of that. He’s hiding. And I think that’s really why he let Lucifer in. Cas has been excommunicated from the angel ranks and banished from his home. He was betrayed by his friend and tortured by those he called family. That’s not even taking into account everything that happened to him in seasons eight thru ten. To say that Cas has had a difficult last few years is kind of an understatement. So his decision to let Lucifer in may have, on some level, been about winning the fight against Amara. But it seems like it was mostly about a rudderless, homeless individual who felt abandoned by his friends and family not wanting to feel so useless anymore. If Cas hadn’t been so emotionally worn down, he would’ve been able to see (like Sam did) that Lucifer was lying about being able to take down Amara. That’s why it’s so important that Sam and Dean get him back. Cas doesn’t seem to understand that some family you’re born into, but some family you choose. And, as my dearly departed Bobby said, family don’t end with blood. Dean made it perfectly clear that he’s getting Cas back because Cas is family, but he needs to tell Cas that. He needs to tell Cas that he’s got a home at the bunker with him and Sam. Dean’s not so much for words, but he’s going to have to put aside his ‘no chick-flick moments’ rule and spell it out for Cas because Cas is never going to understand the nuance of human behavior. He’s never going to understand that while Dean doesn’t say he loves people, he shows them every day how much he loves them. Cas included. All of that being said, I sincerely hope the show doesn’t let Cas off the hook for the decision he made. He further complicated an already complicated situation when he chose to let Lucifer in, and that needs to be addressed. He shouldn’t just be forgiven without any repercussions. And I’m not talking about him punishing himself like he did in Purgatory. I’m talking about not sweeping this under the rug or minimizing the negative impact Cas’s decision had on everyone around him.

I don’t know what the show is planning to do with Cas going forward, but one thing I can say is that Misha Collins is doing a fantastic job with Casifer. It was jarring to see in that first episode, but he’s settled into it, and he’s just outstanding. He’s got Mark Pellegrino’s facial tics, speech patterns, and general Luciferness (yes, that’s a word because I just made it up) down perfectly. If you didn’t know it, you got to see it on full display in this episode. Watching Pellegrino’s Lucifer performance inside Cas’s head and then watching Collins’ Lucifer performance in the real world demonstrates how much time and effort Collins put into nailing this performance. Don’t get me wrong. I love me some Mark Pellegrino, and he is always going to be my favorite Luci. But Misha Collins deserves props for how much awesome he’s brought to Casifer.

As I said, I am relieved to say that I really enjoyed this episode. Usually Eugenie Ross-Leming and Brad Buckner scripts are way too heavy handed, but that wasn’t the case here. With the exception of Crowley being kind of off, this script was dramatic, witty, and nuanced in a way I don’t usually expect (or receive) from these writers. They did make a mistake with the show’s mythology though. Amara called Lucifer God’s firstborn son, but back in the season five episode ‘The Song Remains the Same,’ Michael said Lucifer is his little brother. Also, Dean rationalizing that Lucifer couldn’t use the horn against Amara because he wasn’t one of God’s chosen doesn’t track either. Crowley used it in ‘Beyond the Mat,’ and I seriously doubt a demon was one of God’s chosen. It kind of bothers me when the writers do stuff like that because it doesn’t take that long to go back and look up that kind of information. But anyways. Moving on. Lucifer was, unsurprisingly, trying to take God’s spot in heaven but it doesn’t look like that’s going to work out for him. Amara is using him as bait and torturing him for good measure. I guess getting locked back in The Cage is the least of his worries right now. Sam and Dean talking to each other is giving me all kinds of warm fuzzies. I honestly cannot tell you how happy I am that they’re not keeping so much from each other anymore. That doesn’t mean they don’t disagree about how to handle things sometimes, but at least both of them are laying all their cards on the table now. It’s truly a beautiful thing. We’re on a break for two weeks, and when we come back it looks like we’re going to get another new monster. Looking forward to it. So what did y’all think of this week’s Supernatural?