Warning: Spoiler Alert
There’s never been a long running dramatic series on network Television that’s been anywhere near as effective presenting “Meta-Episodes” than the CW show “Supernatural,” a technique the series has successfully employed for years. Although the hyperlink’s provided above, Dictionary.com provides meanings for the word as an adjective and a noun. Among definitions for Meta as a noun the site states, “a consciously and playfully self-referential story, conversation, etc.” When used as an adjective, “pertaining to or noting an abstract, high-level analysis or commentary, especially one that consciously references something of its own type.”
Throughout the years Sam and Dean Winchester have found themselves as Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles, in a world in which the Titanic didn’t sink to prevent Celine Dionne from becoming famous. Dean once met his future self in a post-apocalyptic world, that also introduced us to a mortal Castiel who now indulged in drugs and orgies and Sam’s the meat-suit for Lucifer. Chuck Shirley made a good amount of money writing a series of pulp paperbacks about “THE BOYS” adventures entitled “Supernatural.” Chuck knew about their exploits because he was God’s Messenger, a position that’s since been abolished.
Because of the loyalty and passion of the fans the story’s able to feed off itself and that aspect’s provided some of the most entertaining episodes in the series’ history. The episode that brought the show back from its holiday hiatus entitled “The Devil In The Details,” proved among the best uses of the vehicle as Lucifer played a kind of evil Clarence out of “It’s A Wonderful Life” for Sam. Taking the younger Winchester brother on a tour of his life pointing out moments Sammy could take pride in and the moment when Satan claims that things fell apart for Sam.
An enjoyably cute then macabre opening scene took place with Crowley wearing a onesie set of pajamas with the feet as he ogles the Christmas tree and the presents around it. Rowena comes down the stairs with antlers on her head and a flashing red nose and wearing a look of kill me now. Crowley’s acting like a toddler and he gets incredibly excited when he opens a present and finds he received a collectable figurine of Sam.
There’s someone pounding so hard on the front door it shakes. After a few more pounds the door falls onto the floor and Lucifer dressed as Santa Claus with a big sack of presents walks in chortling ho, ho, ho. Crowley’s all excited and asks Santa what he brought him? Lucifer pulls out a large plastic candy-cane and then skewers Crowley with it the pointed edge protruding from his back. Crowley cries he’s been a good boy and falls dead to the ground.
Lucifer then looks at Rowena and asks her if these are her dreams and she replies she’s in a reoccurring nightmare she’s had every night for weeks. However she says to Santa that he’s different and Lucifer pulls down his beard and she recognizes him. They struck a deal that night to betray Crowley and the Winchester’s leading to Sam getting trapped with Lucifer in his cage.
Now back to the present as Crowley snarls at Rowena that she betrayed him in his own domain and says he should kill her. She taunts him and he starts choking the life out of her, but she stops him by saying Lucifer will avenge her death. The Evil Angel promised Rowena that when he defeated the “Darkness” and ascends to his throne in Heaven she’ll be by his side. She tells her son that Lucifer defeated Amara once and shall do it again, Crowley responds that either scenario they’ll all still die human and demon alike.
Down in Hell Lucifer’s attempting the soft-sell approach to get Sam to agree to become his vessel top-side. He says they can defeat the “Darkness” and save the world. Sammy tells him to do his worst and torture him as long as he wants but he won’t give his consent. Lucifer smiles and says he’s not going to hurt Sam he’s going to show him some stuff and puts his hand on Winchester’s forehead. Suddenly they’re standing in a park and Lucifer asks him if he remembers this place? We see a teenage couple and Sam realizes the boy’s him at about 16 and he’s talking to this really cute girl about the Aztecs.
Dean’s driving down the highway and tries calling Sam but gets his voicemail and just says call me and hangs up. He then dials Crowley’s phone and gets the voicemail but suddenly Dean sees the air distorting as waves of energy are pulsating towards him. Winchester pulls the Impala over and gets out and barfs up. Castiel arrives what looks like seconds later but apparently was a while after Dean pulled over.
He tells Dean that he’s infected with Smiting Sickness and he’s got to drive away from Ground Zero where the Angels got together and combined their powers to destroy Amara. Castiel says he’ll go there alone as he’s immune to the poison, Dean reluctantly agrees to head the other direction and try to find Sam. He tells Castiel if Amara’s dead then bring her body back, if she’s alive he best run.
Back in Sam’s memory Winchester says the trip down memory lane’s not impressing him when Lucifer says hold on this is the best part. While young Sam’s still talking about the Aztecs the young lady tells him she didn’t ask him to take her to the park to study. She says she thinks he’s smart and funny and cute and if he’d like to make out… she doesn’t get to finish her sentence as young Sam’s lips meet hers. Lucifer’s jazzed saying that Sam proved he was bold and decisive and got the girl.
Dean arrives back at the Men Of Letters building and his phone rings, Crowley’s on the other end and Winchester curses the King Of Hell to begin the conversation. Crowley tells Dean that Sam’s in Hell with Lucifer and gives him a place to meet him.
We see a sign that reads “Stull Cemetery” and Lucifer cackles as he says this is where it went down the Championship Fight. Sam quickly recognizes they’re back at the spot where Sam averted the apocalypse, Lucifer then asks Sammy if he’s ever told him how much he respects him? Winchester looks shocked and the Devil says he doesn’t like him he thinks he’s prissy but he respects his bravery. That’s what it took to defeat Lucifer at the moment they’re watching. Then he says he still doesn’t understand what this meant and we see Dean and Castiel arrive and Cas shouts to Michael “Hey Ass-Butt” before he blows the Arch-Angel up.
Dean arrives at the house Crowley sent him to and we see a familiar face open the panel on the front-door and she asks Dean the password. Dean rolls his eyes and says that Crowley sent for him and the woman once again asks for the password. Dean then speak-sings the first stanza of “Camp Town Races” and the woman smirks and says nice job Bieber. Winchester makes some derogatory comment about demons and she tells him she’s not a demon.
The woman’s identity pops into Dean’s head and he realizes she’s the Reaper named Billie that Sam met at the beginning of the season. She’s angry that they killed Death and Dean says you want us dead but she corrects him. She tells him she doesn’t want them dead but she’ll guarantee when they exit it’s for the last time. She then tells Dean she’s working with Crowley that it never hurts to have the King Of Hell owing you a favor. She then gives Dean a metal case and tells him to bring it to Crowley then opens the door that will lead Dean to Hell.
Castiel’s arrived at Ground Zero and he finds a smoking crater but sees no sign of life. Then he hears some rustling, there’s another Angel that’s arrived from Heaven’s Front Office to assess the situation. She knows who Castiel is and asks rather than killing her can they work together? Cas asks if they say that he kills other Angels and the woman named Amriel informs that’s one of the nicer things they say about him.
She then tells Castiel that it’s good that the two of them ended up at Ground Zero as they’re both expendable. She describes herself as an insignificant drone and that while Castiel’s done a lot everybody knows the Winchesters are the real heroes. That statement stops Cas in his tracks and she asks him if he’s coming he tells her he’ll catch up with her.
Crowley and Rowena sit down for tea and the lackey asks how they take it and they both at once state with honey and a touch of milk. Rowena smiles at Crowley and says like mother like son and the King Of Hell excuses himself to go and vomit. She pats him on the side and hopes he feels better.
Amriel finds Amara unconscious on the ground and makes the mistake of touching her and she awakens. We hear Amriel scream and Castiel calls her name and starts running towards her screams. He arrives too late as Amara consumed the Angel’s grace, spark and memories so she know who Castiel is when she sees him.
We return to Sam’s memory of averting the apocalypse and we watch him from the episode in Season Five tell Dean that he’s strong enough to defeat Lucifer and Michael then grabs him as he jumps into the Devil’s Trap and they get locked back in Lucifer’s cage in Hell. The Devil boasts about how heroic Sam used to be however he says that he’s not like that any longer, he’s now soft.
Castiel pulls out his Angel-Blade and Amara chuckles at the gesture, then says to him the Angels just hit her with their entire armory and barely scratched her paint-job. He thinks he’s going to take her out with his shiny knife? She then derisively says she wonders what her brother saw in an insignificant being like him that made him believe Cas was special? He says he’s not afraid to die and she practically shrieks back at him he’s terrified that he reeks of fear and self loathing. She then says he’s not worth the effort to kill him and says she’s got a job for him. She then puts her palm on his chest and he screams in pain and disappears in a ball of light.
Lucifer and Sam make their third stop and the Devil says this was the worst decision Sam ever made. We realize we’re back in Texas when we see Sam sitting and talking with Amelia Richardson the veterinarian that he lived with and loved while Dean got trapped in Purgatory. Lucifer said that instead of living with Amelia he should have done everything to get Dean back.
Then Lucifer starts lecturing Sam how he and Dean used to be consumed with saving the world but now all they want to save is each other. He says they’d let all of humanity perish to ensure that they both survive, that’s why Sam unleashed the “Darkness” on the planet. His only concerns were keeping Dean safe.
Dean meets Crowley in one of Hell’s corridors and the King Of Hell opens the case and shows Winchester the contents. He says that the contraption’s a witch-catcher that nearly all of them got destroyed after the Inquisition however Billie came through for him. He says that Rowena will be helpless to disobey anything he says once they put it on her.
Billie’s sitting in the same room she talked to Dean in reading a graphic novel when we hear a scream and a flash of light and Castiel lands in a heap on the floor holding his chest. She looks up at him nonchalantly and says hey then returns to reading. Cas looks like he’s about to lose it.
Crowley returns to Rowena drinking tea and she asks how Dean’s doing and he says pardon? She says when he goes on a secret mission he should check his pockets. He feels his jacket pockets and finds she slipped a Hex-Bag in there when she patted him before he left. She heard their whole conversation. Dean walks in with the witch-catcher and says that really doesn’t matter, Crowley smiles and tells her he spiked her tea.
She laughs it off but then starts coughing and choking and Dean slams the wooden and metal collar around her neck and she shrilly screams to get the bloody thing off her. Crowley smiles and says he’d love to except that bloody thing makes her his slave and then tells her to hop on one foot. Rowena starts chastising her son for his foolish talk until she starts hopping up and down on one foot and can’t stop.
Lucifer’s restored reality and Sam and he are back in the cage and the Devil’s really trying to get Sam to agree to team up with him and save the world that they together can save the world. He says that Sam’s not strong enough to do it without him. Sam sneers at him and asks him why he’s so sure that he’s up to defeating the “Darkness” and Lucifer spits back cashing checks and snapping necks that’s what I do.
Crowley Rowena and Dean are gathered for Rowena to prepare the spell to put Lucifer back in his cage, she tells them it will take about five minutes to prepare and as long as Sam hasn’t granted him permission he’ll get set back to his prison. Castiel shows up and Dean asks if he’s okay and Cas says Amara’s alive and she’s angry. He then says look what she did to me and he opens his trench-coat to reveal his torso all ripped up. Amara carved the words you are done it’s over into the Angel’s chest and stomach.
Lucifer says that he’s the only one who can stop the “Darkness” Gabriel and Rafael are dead and God went out for a pack of smokes and never came home. He says that prison hasn’t agreed with Michael, that these days he sits in a corner singing show tunes and touching himself. He tells Sam that he’s the only option available.
Sam smiles and looks the Devil in the eyes and says that he’s really good but his answer’s still no. First of all it took Lucifer and three of his brothers and God to defeat the “Darkness” the first time. Then he says that bottom line whether it’s the “Darkness” or Lucifer humanity’s doomed. Sam asks Lucifer what happens if he wins and the Devil says maybe he’ll move to Los Angeles and solve crimes, a reference to a new show on another network. Sam derisively laughs and says if Lucifer wins he’ll start the apocalypse all over again.
The Devil smiles slowly and says then onto Plan B and he starts hitting Winchester. Dean and Castiel hear Sam screaming and they run to help even tough Rowena has yet to cast the spell. Crowley tells them to wait however they just take off. Lucifer sees them and smiles and Castiel once again yells Hey Ass-Butt! The Devil says Dean and uh the other one and they are now inside the cage with he and Sam.
He tries playing diplomat but that fails and the three of them start attacking him and as he throws one off another one takes over. Dean makes sure Sammy’s okay and he says to Dean they can’t win, the older brother says all they have to do is hold on for a while.
Rowena’s started to invoke the spell so the clock’s started. However Lucifer decides at that point that it’s been far too long since he killed and sets his sights on Castiel. Suddenly we hear the old disco hit “Heaven Must Be Missing An Angel” blasting away as the Evil Angel starts ripping Castiel apart. He grabs the Angel by the throat and shouts any last words? Just then Rowena finishes the spell and fire starts blazing and Lucifer disappears. Castiel looks badly shaken up but he’s okay.
The trio starts heading back to the room they left when they’re met by the King Of Hell and his mother the witch. She smiles and says you’re welcome and gets met by silence. She asks none of you and Dean says to bite him and Crowley says he can make her do that! He then says that teaming up resulted in a train-wreck so they’re through working together. Dean asks Crowley what about Rowena and he replies she stays but the rest of them are to get the Hell out of Hell.
Castiel and Dean talk before Winchester gets into the Impala and Dean asks the Angel if he’s okay? Cas says no but he will be soon. Dean asks him if they can give him a lift and the Angel smiles and declines but thanks him he says he’ll catch up with them. Sam and Dean head back to Men Of Letters building.
Crowley’s making the most of having Rowena as his personal slave, she’s massaging his shoulders and rubbing his temples. Knowing she has to tell the truth he asks her why she hates him and we finally see a little of the real Rowena. She says she hates him because every time she sees him it reminds her of the weak poor girl she used to be before she became a witch and joined the coven.
She says she hates him because every time she looks at him she remembers his father telling her he loved her before he returned to his grand wife and his grand family while she lie there with blood on her thighs. She then says she hates him because if she didn’t she’d love him and love’s a weakness.
Surprisingly Cas walks in but something’s amiss. He’s clean-shaven he looks like he’s back to being as healthy as he was when we first met him, he even kind of looks kind of buff! Crowley says Castiel and he smiles and says guess again, then flings Crowley against the wall. Lucifer’s taken over Castiel’s meat-suit and we flash-back to see what took place. When Lucifer asks him if he’s got any last words, Cas asks if he can really defeat her and the Devil says he can. Castiel then says then the answer’s yes and gives Lucifer permission to take over his vessel.
Rowena’s all excited that Lucifer survived and at first it looks great for her as he removes the witch-catcher and leans in to kiss her. However he says he needs to ask her a question and asks if anyone else can open his cage and she smiles and says she’s the only one. Lucifer/Castiel then smiles and snaps her neck and as she drops to the floor he says to Crowley let’s chat.
I can’t wait to see Misha Collins play this new role. In the seconds that we saw him as Lucifer he certainly looked intriguing. Once again Supernatural has taken the series back to a level this season that we hadn’t seen from this show in the last few seasons. Glad to have it back roaring on all eight-cylinders.