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Review: Supernatural 13×07 “War of the Worlds”

After thirteen years, it’s a well established fact that the dead often don’t stay that way on Supernatural, and this week saw a couple of resurrections and teased some more to come…

In the wake of Jack’s abscondence, Castiel went off alone to meet an angel who he believed might have intel, and Sam and Dean were left alone to work a case of witches being tortured and killed. Things took an interesting turn when some CCTV footage appeared to show that the perp was none other than the late Arthur Ketch.

As luck would have it, the brothers were approached by a woman who had survived her encounter with the sadistic Brit, looking for protection. Dean promptly used her as bait to catch Ketch, and the boys took him back to the bunker for interrogation. Ketch’s claim that he wasn’t Arthur, but actually his twin brother Alex, held no water as far as Dean was concerned. Only on this show would it be deemed more likely that someone had found a way to survive being shot in the head at point blank range and dumped in a waste canal than them having an identical twin! Sam seemed willing to give him the benefit of the doubt but Dean was adamant is was their old foe Ketch chained up in their armory, despite his disappearing tattoos.

Meanwhile, Asmodeus was also searching for Jack, and Castiel met with an angel to discuss the Nephilim, which lead to a startling revelation: The angels are becoming extinct. This may come as a relief to fans who have long since lost patience with the machinations of Heaven, and its host of bureaucratic celestials, but it was bad news for Cas who realised they wanted Jack in order to make more angels. Cas had been lured into a trap by his fellow angel, but his murder was scuppered by a rather surprising saviour.

Yes, Lucifer had returned to Earth, having dived through a rift produced by an alternate world version of Kevin Tran! Fan’s haven’t seen the prophet since he was offed by Gadreel back in Season 9, but this was Kevin as we’ve never seen him before. Hopped up and in league with Michael, Kevin held the key to inter-dimensional travel. But things didn’t go to plan for Michael, who wanted to flee his post-Apocalyptic wasteland for this earthly paradise, and Lucifer managed to zap himself back  to his own world, albeit missing some grace and severely weakened.

We actually got to see a different side to Lucifer in this episode. Via Michael’s hijacking of his temporal lobe, we discovered Luci’s awe for the world and its natural beauty, as well as his fears, insecurities, and abandonment issues. He then had to get by in the human world without his powers to rely on. While Mark Pellegrino did an excellent job of portraying this more vulnerable Satan, I found it hard to reconcile his description of a ‘narcissistic’ and ‘pissy’ God with the character we know as Chuck. I do think that confirming him as God undermined the mystery and gravitas of the Creator. More effective was the dynamic between Cas and Lucifer which was amusing, reminiscent of the Dean and Crowley relationship. Again though, I do kind of miss the days when Lucifer was so scary, Sam had to prod a wound in his palm to get the devil out of his head.

I was almost glad when Asmodeus showed up to kidnap Castiel and Lucifer, preventing the angel from making another terrible decision and lying to Sam and Dean about getting into bed with the devil. Poor Cas seems destined to make the same mistakes over and over again – trusting angels who turn out to be assholes, and letting bad guys rope him into his schemes.

Ketch’s re-emergence also held some surprises. His explanation for being alive being down to Rowena’s sub-dermal charm suggested maybe the witch could have survived being toasted by Lucifer, and the fact he’s now no longer with the British Men of Letters, and actually working for Asmodeus was a nice twist. Having been a self-declared Company Man (remember he killed his best boyhood friend for the cause), I didn’t see his alliance with a Prince of Hell coming.

There was a lot to process in “War of the Worlds”. The main take-away is that everyone wants to find Jack and most of them want to exploit his singular talents. We know that Ketch is back from the dead, and Rowena is possibly still out there somewhere, and also that pretty much anyone could still exist in the post-Apocalyptic dimension. Michael may currently be the biggest threat to the world, and Lucifer is aiming for a team-up with Castiel, although clearly his endgame is being reunited with his son. As far as big, myth-arc episodes go, this one didn’t have the epic feel of the original arch-angel and Apocalypse story, but it did throw up a lot of interesting questions.

Final Grade: C

+ Loved the lighting and overall look of this episode, especially in the scene in which Lucifer was being kept in the iron maiden.

+ I am intrigued by Ketch. He’s one of the more interesting adversaries the boys have had recently.

+ ‘Meth Head’ Kevin was fun!

– I know there’s a finite talent pool in Vancouver, but this episode gave us the least threatening demon ever, a Frank Spencer-esque British-accented creature, and Robin from the Season 6 finale as an angel. If you’re going to recycle, maybe use less recognisable characters, guys!

– I still can’t take Evil Colonel Sanders seriously!

– Both Sam and Dean were a tad peripheral this week, and dumbed down to serve the plot. The line about the room being clear just before they were  jumped by several demons made me roll my eyes!

Extra Thoughts: Now Mary is alone in the Apocalyptic world, presumably being held by Michael, I wonder if we’ll get to find out more about how the world came into being. Is it a parallel world in which Michael won the war and ravaged the land? Are there infinite incarnations? The more ‘locations’ that are added to the mythology of the show, the harder it becomes to track the ‘laws’ surrounding travelling between them.

What did you think? Were you more tweaked than Kevin? Sound off in the comments or over on Twitter!

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Katie Young

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