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REVIEW: Supernatural 12×08 “Lotus”

There’s no denying that this mid-season finale – aired exactly one month after the presidential election – felt a little on the nose. Having vacated crumbling Vince Vincente, Lucifer decided life in the public eye rather suited him, and possessed a big cheese CEO, an archbishop, and finally the POTUS.

As if having the devil in charge of a major superpower wasn’t bad enough, Lucifer took a shine to the president’s secret girlfriend, Kelly, and knocked her up with a Nephilim baby. We know this is Very Bad News because Castiel was shook (literally), and Angel Radio went haywire. We’ve met a Nephilim before. Jane the waitress, who Castiel killed in one of the trials for sealing Heaven, seemed fairly innocuous until she was under threat, but I guess the spawn of Satan is fairly likely to turn out to be a bad egg.

Sam and Dean joined forces with Crowley, Cas, and Rowena to gain access to the president and send Lucifer back to The Cage, and also got some unexpected assistance in the form of Arthur Ketch, the mysterious British Man of Letters. Rescuing them from the secret service, Ketch told them he was only there to help because Sam had phoned MOL UK HQ, and while Cas confirmed he was telling the truth, we know he’s been trailing the boys since Mick Davies called him in, and Antonia Bevell referred to him as a psychopath. While his motivation remained unclear, he did show the Winchesters an impressive array of weapons for dealing with things that go bump in the night, and lent them a Hyperbolic Pulse Generator, a sort of golden egg capable of driving entities out of their vessels, which enabled them to force Lucifer out of Jeff Rooney for long enough for Rowena to cast him back into Hell.

So Lucifer is finally back in his box (we think) but the Winchesters didn’t get to celebrate for long because they found themselves under arrest for attempting to assassinate the leader of the free world, and Castiel managed to let Kelly slip away with Hell spawn quietly gestating in her spectacularly stupid self. I wonder if the second half of the season will focus on trying to find Kelly or whether the MOL storyline will come into play, because it seems a little early on to have dispensed with our main antagonist.

Supernatural --"LOTUS"-- SN1208a_0067.jpg -- Pictured (L-R): Mark Sheppard as Crowley and Courtney Ford as Kelly Kline -- Photo: Jack Rowand/The CW -- © 2016 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved

For an episode where some fairly major things happened, “Lotus” felt a little sluggish and anti-climactic. I loved the beginning, with the archbishop walking slowly past the spinning crosses. Last season took Lucifer’s edge away, so burning bibles and burnt out eyes were the perfect antidote to having seen him sulking in Sam’s bedroom. I miss badass character sequences such as Death’s faceless introduction, which is still one of the best things the show has ever done, so a reminder that Lucifer is actually evil was much needed. It was also good to see Rowena back, but the presidential story felt a little short-lived and wasted. There’s something deliciously sinister about the notion of Lucifer deciding to inhabit a world leader and the kind of havoc he could inflict on the world using influence rather than demonic powers, especially in light of what’s just happened in the US. But while there was a joke about nuking troublesome countries, and some musing on whether to pardon Charles Manson, Lucifer didn’t really do anything other than impregnate a woman, which he could have done in any old male vessel.

I found Mr. Ketch more intriguing. He seems utterly charming, but then all the best fictional psychos are, so I have high hopes. His use of a grenade launcher to take out the secret service vehicle may have given Dean a boner, but it’s also overkill and the behaviour of someone a tad unhinged!  I can imagine Ketch and Crowley having some wonderful banter. I’m also looking forward to seeing Sam and Dean in handcuffs and locked up again, because it’s been a long time since Folsom, and if there’s one thing I like more than Sam and Dean in priest outfits, it’s Sam and Dean rocking prison chic. I know. I have issues.

Final Grade: C

+ Rowena’s reaction to Crowley smiting her con-artist lover was oddly touching. And even covered in blood and brains, she looked amazing.

+ Sam’s outrage at Crowley being let into the bunker and their subsequent exchange was brilliant. Mark Sheppard continues to bring it every single time Crowley opens his mouth. I never tire of him.

+ I like the idea that the UK MOL are using magic and technology to devise more efficient ways of eliminating monsters. While it shakes up the lore we’ve all grown to know and love over the last twelve years, it does so in a way that feels believable.

– Cas fell for the “I’m just going to the bathroom” trick? Really?! He’s an ANGEL OF THE LORD. And why would the Winchesters stay with the president once they’d ascertained that he was alive? It really bugs me when these characters suddenly become stupid for the sake of a plot point.

– Lucifer’s lack of action seemed like a wasted opportunity. If he simply wanted to be a high profile agent of chaos, he could have done something a lot more outrageous than having some vanilla het sex with his vessel’s squeeze. Where was the imagination?

– Kelly’s decision to go through with her pregnancy was just bizarre. Has the woman never seen Rosemary’s Baby?

Extra Thoughts: I wonder what Jesse Turner, the offspring of a human and a demon, is up to these days. He was a nice enough kid! Maybe Satan’s child will turn out okay after all.

So what did you think? Did this episode leave you feeling touched by an angel, or knocked up by the devil? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter!

Supernatural returns to our screens on 26th January 2017.

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Katie Young

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