Supernatural “LOTUS” Review (Season 12, Episode 8)

One of the things I’ve appreciated about this season of Supernatural is the return to basics. The show just kept getting bigger and bigger with the Boys facing increasingly more powerful foes, and that’s problematic when you have two humans going up against gods, archangels, and the like. So Sam and Dean getting back to salting and burning ghosts, exorcising demons, and so forth is actually quite refreshing. That being said, last season did leave Lucifer as a loose end, so it stands to reason they would have to deal with that situation at some point. To be honest, I’m kind of glad they did because that aspect of the story was becoming tedious. Lucifer was one of the best villains Supernatural has ever produced. He was simultaneously intimidating, evil, and sympathetic. Lucifer changed a bit when he was Sam’s hallucination, but even then he was still scary. However, the way that they chose to write Lucifer last season and going into this season was disappointing to say the least. They took one of the best foes the Boys have ever faced and turned him into a bitter, whiny brat. Lucifer deserved more than that. And that’s not a sentence I ever thought I would write. However, based upon Lucifer’s final words to Sam and the narrative decision to leave Kelly and the nephilim roaming free, I doubt we’ve seen the last of Lucifer. Hopefully whenever we see him again, he’ll be the Lucifer I’ve come to love. And that’s yet another sentence I never thought I would write.

One of Supernatural’s primary issues for several seasons has been pacing both within episodes but also within the overall story. Storylines like Demon Dean that should unfold over the course of half a season get wrapped up in a few episodes while storylines like the Mark of Cain take entirely too long gain any momentum at all. That’s pretty much how I feel bout the BMoL thus far this season. They started the season as a force to be reckoned with, but we haven’t heard a peep from them since they ordered the murder of that poor psychic girl. Where were they when Hitler was resurrected? Where were they when Lucifer was dropping bodies all across the country? If the show intends for the BMoL to play a larger part in this season’s story, they really need to do a better job of laying more than just the foundation. Despite the BMoL introduction to the Winchesters, it is worth Sam and Dean having a discussion about the BMoL offer of a partnership. Just last week Sam was lamenting the fact that they’re losing the war against evil, and that’s probably due to the relatively small scale on which they must fight. Sam and Dean cannot be in all places at once. Additionally, the American hunter network isn’t as connected as the BMoL network. And as Mr. Ketch said, they’ve had people working for centuries to figure out how to meld science and magic to make hunting more effective. I’m not convinced the Boys should trust that the BMoL are being completely honest or forthcoming, but it is worth considering. And just as an aside, if the BMoL had simply had a conversation with Sam and Dean in the first place instead of kidnapping, torturing, and attempting to murder them, I have no doubt things would’ve gone a whole lot better.

I sincerely hope Sam sneaking off to call Mick isn’t an indication that the show is going to go back down the keeping secrets road. Not only has it been driven into the ground already, it marks a regression of the character growth we saw from the Boys over the course of the last season. I was very proud of Dean in last season’s ‘Love Hurts’ when he admitted to Sam that Amara had some sort of hold over him and he was afraid of what it meant. In the past, that’s something Dean would’ve tried to hide until it was beyond too late. The same thing is true of Sam letting Dean know he was getting visions about The Cage. Pretty much as soon as Sam figured out what they were, he told Dean the truth. Dean and Sam have suffered a lot of unnecessary drama and heartache due to keeping things from each other. Last season both of them indicated that they wanted to try things differently going forward, and behing honest with each other was an important step down that path. For whatever reason, the powers that be seem to believe that drummed up, unnecessary drama between the Boys ups the ante. That’s just not the case though. The show is much more interesting when Sam and Dean are standing together against all the external forces trying to destroy them. Perhaps I’m reading too much into the call and it was really nothing more than a quick and dirty way to bring Mr. Ketch and the soul sucking egg into the mix. I hope so because Sam and Dean just got back on solid footing, and I’m not anxious to revisit animosity between them.

The show really needs to make up its mind about Cass’s angelic abilities. They’ve been playing fast and loose with what he can and cannot do for several seasons now, but basically Cass’s abilities are either more or less depending on where the writer is trying to take the episode. That’s a problem. Once Cass was no longer using “borrowed” grace, it seems he should’ve gone back to full angel status. And I still take issue with the fact that the narrative has never taken the time to explain why Cass’s wings are burned out since he didn’t fall with the rest of the angels. The show also hasn’t taken the time to explain why Cass couldn’t sense Charlie when she ran off despite him telling Claire a few episodes prior how angels can sense people. I found myself rolling my eyes then, and I had the same reaction this time. The writers in general, but these writers in particular, don’t seem to care about consistency. For example, earlier in the episode Cass could sense that Mr. Ketch wasn’t lying, but he couldn’t sense that Kelly was having serious doubts about getting rid of the satan spawn? Why? Is that something Cass has to actively focus to do? Furthermore, the fact that the nephilim was powerful enough to cause such a stir in heaven and on angel radio seems to suggest Cass should’ve been able to track that much power even if he couldn’t actually track Kelly. The point being, the show wanted to leave Kelly and the nephilim as loose ends, so they modified the Cass’s behavior and powers to ensure that end. It’s yet another example of these writers putting story before character.

This mid-season finale wasn’t as much of an emotional gut punch as we’ve had in the past, and I’m not sure how I feel about that. On the one hand, I’m kind of glad not to be emotionally gutted for the next 49 days, but on the other hand I kind of miss not being emotionally gutted for the next 49 days. Once again, Eugenie Ross-Lemming and Brad Buckner wrote an uneven and clunky episode that was saved mostly by the strength of the performances. That’s not to say that there weren’t a few nice moments though. Rowena getting all touched about Crowley murdering her cheating boyfriend; Crowley and Sam snarking at each other; and Dean throwing shade at Sam for not letting him use the grenade launcher were chuckleworty. I can honestly say I wasn’t expecting Sam and Dean to be arrested for treason. That’s problematic for them not just in the immediate, but also going forward. Let’s not forget, as far as the authorities are concerned, Sam and Dean Winchester are dead. When the Boys finally do escape from whatever black site the secret service took them to, it’s going to make doing their job harder if they’re also having to avoid the authorities again. We’re on winter hiatus until January 26th, and when we come back the show moves to 8pm. Also, beginning in January 2017, I will no longer be writing weekly reviews of Supernatural. My reviews will move to once a month, and they will encompass all the episodes that have aired that month. Thanks for reading guys, and I hope you’ll stay with me in the new year. Until then, I hope everyone has a very happy holiday season and a wonderful new year.