The return of several big bads this week, as Crowley procured a ‘hand of God’ in the form of the Horn of Joshua (no sniggering at the the back) and enlisted Sam and Dean’s help in using it to defeat Lucifer and Amara.
While both Crowley and Dean wanted to exorcise Lucifer from Castiel’s vessel (albeit for different reasons), Sam voted in favour of respecting Cas’ choice to host the fallen angel until Amara was defeated. Crowley, however, refused to give up the Horn until Lucifer was removed and safely back in The Cage.
Meanwhile, an unlikely alliance had formed between The Darkness herself, and the not-so-dead-as-we-thought Rowena, who was looking remarkably well considering we last saw her getting her neck snapped by Lucifer. Rowena, it transpired, had kept a little life insurance about her for just such an eventuality, a magic spell buried in her flesh, designed to restore her when her vitals failed. How convenient! In order to prove her loyalty to Amara, Rowena did her cool white-eyed astral projection thing to spy on the Winchesters, and learnt of their plan to help Crowley put the Devil back in his box. Deciding this was in her best interests as well, Rowena let Crowley know she was back from the dead, and switched sides.
And speaking of unlikely alliances, Casifer was in Heaven, using that silver tongue and a spot of impromptu lap dancing (well, nearly) to persuade the angels that they should follow him into battle against Amara, and welcome him back into the celestial fold. He even suggested they might want to start calling him God, the cheeky blighter! While the winged bureaucrats were reluctant at first, a well timed intervention by Amara, flexing her powers after being healed by Rowena from her smiting, shook them up, and they seemed to get on board the Luci train pretty quickly.
Crowley, Dean, Sam and Rowena managed to lure Casifer into a devil’s trap using the Horn, and once they had him, proceeded to try and expel him from Castiel. When Dean’s sigils failed, Crowley took it upon himself to smoke out of his own body and into Cas’ for a little three-way action. He found Cas sitting in what appeared to be a version of the Winchesters’ bunker, unwilling to shove Luci out of his dance space. Crowley and Lucifer did battle until Crowley managed to get an SOS message to the Winchesters and Sam exorcised him out of there.
The holy oil flames diminished, and Casifer claimed the Horn and went after the Winchesters. They were saved by the appearance of Amara, who proved resistant to the power of the Horn (tee hee) and took her errant nephew off for a friendly chat. Determined to have a final showdown with her AWOL brother, Amara reasoned that Lucifer, as God’s first son, might be the one being in all of Creation He still cares about, and began to torture him to test her theory. We know Rob Benedict is due an appearance before the season ends, so I guess the big question is, will we finally get to meet the big man Himself?
While we did see some advancement of the season arc, this episode felt a little hollow to me. I think this may be because while it should have been a huge showdown between some of the most powerful beings in existence, most of the characters were acting in a passive fashion. Sam and Dean didn’t have much to do, and this was illustrated by the moment where Dean stood, flailing, totally out of ideas. Rowena flip-flopped between sides and hid for most of the confrontation, Cas was watching TV, Crowley seemed largely impotent despite his massive Horn (sorry), and even the Hand of God proved pretty powerless in the end. With stakes so high, it’s a shame this felt like a bit of an anticlimax.
Final Grade: D
+ Casifer! I’ve said it before but Misha Collins is clearly loving every second of this ride, and it shows. I loved watching him stalk around Heaven with an air of disturbingly sexual menace.
+ The return of Rowena! Even though her resurrection seemed a bit too easy for my liking, it’s good to have the Scottish witch and her waspish one-liners back to give Crowley Oedipal nightmares.
+ Mark Pellegrino. It was too brief an appearance, but the original Luci was in the house!
– Passive Winchesters. They didn’t have a great deal to do in this episode, and while they may have agreed to respect each other’s decisions, but the brothers’ chats about agency and knowing when to stand aside were pretty superficial.
– The continuity department seems to have nodded off again. It’s been well established that Michael was God’s first angel. It’s always been heavily implied that Lucifer’s issues stem from his ‘little brother’ inferiority complex, and he has always been aligned with Sam as the younger brother, while Dean, as big brother, was intended to be Michael’s vessel.
– After the lengths Crowley went to fetch it, the Horn of Joshua proved to be another flaccid disappointment! These Hands of God are vastly overrated if you ask me!
– I’m slightly concerned about potentially meeting God. While we’ve known of His intentions through prophets before, the whole point of God is that He moves in mysterious ways. While it deals with angels, monsters and everything in between, Supernatural is primarily concerned with what it is to be human. Self-doubt, agnosticism, and faith are recurring themes, and cementing anything too much might be restrictive and problematic for the show in the future.
So what did you think? Was this episode Heaven s(c)ent, or did it have a whiff of sulphur about it? Sound off in the comments or send us your thoughts on Twitter!