Seven days ago, I was hoping the cage fiasco wouldn’t cost my favorite witch her life. Today, this cruel, beloved show of mine sent me a poisoned apple just in time for my birthday by killing the fun, fabulous and facetious breath of fresh air formerly known as Rowena. Now I have a tradition: I don’t do anything unpleasant on my birthday if I can help it. In keeping with this tradition, I will ignore this most unwelcome development and focus on the rest of the story. Sleep well, First and Only Lady of the Mega Coven. Over 300 years old, and still pretty as a rose.
Now, on to the Winchester Brother Business. “The Devil in the Details” (11.10), or Part 2 of the Cage Saga, starts where the cliff-hanger from “O Brother, Where Art Thou” left off. Lucifer takes Sam on a twisted trip down memory lane, Dean goes on a “train wreck” of a rescue mission and everybody ends up in the cage. Well, then.
Sam and Lucifer: “You’ve gone soft, Sammy.”
Sam seems to have regained some of his composure during the hiatus. He was in a corner of the cage, tears in his eyes at the end of the mid season finale, but the beginning of “The Devil in the Details” finds him facing Lucifer, and letting him know that the answer is and will continue to be no… no matter what. Torture is “so five years ago”, and Lucifer has a new trick up his sleeve: appealing to Sam’s pride, something Sam has fallen prey to in the past.
Lucifer takes Sam back in time to relieve a series of memories. He builds up the Sam of old, the “bold” and “decisive” “hero” who threw himself into pit to save the world, nothing like the broken man Sam has turned into, who’s too weak and emotionally shackled to his brother to do the right thing. Of course, there’s a quick and easy way for Sam to be the man again, and it can be his, for the low, low price of… giving himself up as a vessel. Ha!
It’s Biff calling George McFly “chicken” all over again, with a tad more finesse perhaps, but the Back to the Past routine does not work on Sam. He rejects Lucifer’s sales pitch and stands up for himself, “You are done. It’s over.” Go Sam! Shut it down.
Dean and the rescue team: “I’m going to Hell.” Must be Wednesday…
Dean is looking for Sam when Crowley informs him that there’s been a hiccup. Together, they force Rowena to work the spell that will send Lucifer back to his cage. Of course, things don’t go as planned. Rowena isn’t finished when Dean hears Sam and goes into protective big brother mode. Lucifer, who’s annoyed that his mental tricks have failed, has moved to Plan B, or Plan, you wouldn’t have any teeth left is this wasn’t TV. Castiel follows Dean and they both get sucked into the cage as soon as they get close to it. And then, “Everybody was kung fu fighting. Hunh!” Oh wait, the song used is actually Tavares’ “Heaven Must Be Missing an Angel”, but that one would have worked too.
Lucifer and his tricks: “Okay. Plan B.”
Carefully crafted visions, a mouse trap that leads to the cage, an association with Rowena… burning bushes! Lucifer spared no efforts to secure a meeting with his true vessel. He also works his angles inside the cage. When Plan A and B fail with Sam, he moves to Plan C, threatening Dean’s life to force a yes out of Sam, before zeroing on Plan D, a vulnerable Castiel going through an existential crisis. At the end of the round 4, just before the spell is cast, Lucifer’s won himself a body. Two humans and… one ARCHangel walk out of the cage.
Overall grade: 8.5/10
I enjoyed it more than Part 1 which earned a 9. The 8.5 is because no matter how much I enjoy an episode I deduct points for ‘moments of unpleasantness’ (I haven’t handed out a 10 since “Werther”). That said, I was thoroughly entertained, from start to finish.
I really enjoyed the Sam and Lucifer moments. Pellegrino was great, as always, and Sam and Lucifer work very well together. I enjoy their scenes now more than I did in season 7 when Sam was defenseless against of Lucifer. In season 11, Sam is not losing his mind. It’s also not his first rodeo and it shows in the confidence he exhibits in his dealings with Satan. Sam now has a ‘and what else can you do to me’ attitude and it suits him.
I loved watching Dean in action. I swear the savior role fits him like a glove. It’s that hero gene. He looks and sounds fantastic when he’s running against the clock, fighting to find the solution to an impossible problem. I also enjoy his current relationship with Crowley. They’ve gone from the nasty “Reichenbach” break up to Crowley looking hurt about it for the rest of S10, to threats exchanged in the beginning of 11. They’ve reached a nice balance.
“You son of a bitch.”
“Miss you too, pudding.”
Aww… That’s the Crown I love.
I’ve been raving about Billie since she appeared “Form and Void” and I put her in the ‘plusses’ of season 11A. I’m very happy to see her back. I love a female reaper, and after Tessa, I’m completely enamored with Billie. I hope she comes back often. And let me be shallow for a moment but lady’s gorgeous and I love that intense reaper stare she has. I remember explaining to lkeke why I loved reapers so much. They have that timeless, inevitable quality about them. All roads lead to them and they know it, that’s why they’re never in a hurry. Tessa embodied that vibe very well and Billie takes it to a different level.
It was also nice to see Colin Ford (young Sam) again. Although I can’t say the same about Amelia, I think her presence was very relevant to the commentary Lucifer made about Sam and his guilt over not looking for Dean.
I have all kinds of bittersweet emotions about Crowley. He’s wondered for centuries why his mother didn’t love him. Do demons cry? It certainly looked like Crowley was about to when he finally received the answer he “pained over” his entire life, and at the end of the episode, my third favorite character looks like he’s in real trouble this time. Let’s go back to happier thoughts with another performance of Crowley’s that I enjoyed, and he wasn’t even on screen. It’s his out going phone message, delivered in that chipper efficient King of Hell voice: “Thank you for phoning Crowley, King of Hell. For demon deals, press one. To report a sighting of that ginger – – – – -, Rowena, press two.”
Speaking of happy thoughts… I consider the brother scene in the cage a personal gift (the good apples) to moi, to compensate for the fact that I’m one year closer to my reaper ;). Loved the two of them teaming up to land a few good punches on Lucifer, and you guys know by now that I live for broments. Throw in some face cradling (“Werther” is not flawless for nothin’) and Vee’s a very happy girl.
Back to Pellegrino. He’s not only good at being chilling and creepy, he’s also funny. From his fantastic HO HO HO Santa laugh to how much fun he was having, “Boom”, watching the memory of teen Sam, the devil was kind of likable. He also had a couple of hilarious and shady comments for Sam.
“The wordly, handsome… ish, Sam Winchester.”
“I don’t like you.” “You’re sort of prissy.”
Finally, I have to mention the unexpected moment, courtesy of the star of the episode, our very own stand up comedian with a psycho edge, where Satan starts shoulder boppin to “Heaven Must Be Missing an Angel” (does Kripke cry sometimes when he sees what’s become of his classic rock show?).
Best Dean moment
Is there such a thing as grumpy singing? Because my goodness, that performance at the door? Epic.
“Sam can’t talk right now cause he’s waxing… like everything.”
I do love teasing big brother Dean. He’s adorable and obnoxious all at once. Does Sam even know what his current out going message sound like?
Best Sam moment
“My brother’s gonna walk through that door and kick your ass”.
Sam was showing that big brother worship and talking tough in the cage. You just wait until my bro gets here. He’s the best and he’s stronger than you. Aww.
“Don’t worry about Sam.”
“Oh, I’m sorry, have you met me?”
Dean’s protectiveness is one of the most beautiful things about him. Can you imagine having someone like that watching your back 24/7? Some find it suffocating. I’d walk in traffic like, I’m metal proof, I’m good, Superman’s got me lol.
“You’re betting on Dean?”
“I always have.”
Now I’m just emotional. Sam’s using his mental Dean shield and Lucifer’s bullet can’t touch him. That’s not walking in traffic but… having that kind of support really gives you strength.
Lucifer brings out the big guns : “You didn’t even bother trying to find him. This is where it all changed, Sammy. ”
“This is the worst thing you’ve ever done. When your brother was trapped in Purgatory, you were here, with a girl and a dog.”
I hear a stadium cheering in the background. Oh the days of season 8 and the concert of angry fans ranting about Sam’s decision. Why is this show making me clap for the devil. Again. My soul’s in danger.
Anybody who knows me and my season 8 related rants knows that for that particular moment, Lucifer was speaking my language. I gave up the show over this storyline. It was terrible and it hurt Sam as a character.
According to Lucifer, this event also changed Sam. His guilt over failing Dean was so overwhelming that he became more focused on making it up to Dean, then on protecting the world, which then resulted in him not closing the gates of Hell because Dean didn’t want him to, and blowing things up to cure the Mark even when he knew the cost to the world could be astronomical.
“You’d do anything to save him and he’d do anything to save you… because of this.”
“You’re so overcome by guilt that you can’t stand to lose Dean again, and he could never, lose you.” “And so instead of choosing the world, you choose each other.”
Lucifer calls it a problem, I call it them being on the same page. They should both be equally invested in keeping each other alive, and I have no issue with what many see as a manifestation of their selfishness. If I want a squeaky clean hero, vintage Superman’s always there in his blue tights.
The reason the Winchesters are so dear to my heart is because they’re messy and love each other more than the job. I wouldn’t care about them half as much if they had an easy time letting each other go. I didn’t like Sam when he did (still loved him), and the fact that it made him semi-suicidal in the narrative drives the point home for me. They can’t really function like normal human beings. They passed normal three off-ramps ago (* winks at Luci *), and there’s no un-ringing the cray bell.
Let’s talk about Amara. And Deanmara.
I’m ready for Amara to start living up to her rep by doing some real damage. She has a plan, and it’s time she started implementing it. In the mean time, I enjoyed the way they depicted her essence in the episode. When she crashed, her darkness literally splattered around, covering so much ground it BLOCKED THE SUN. Then after she gets a boost from poor Amandriel’s soul, she perks up, draws the darkness back into herself (neat effect where some of it goes back into her dress) which allows the sunlight to be seen again. Not bad, missy. It does look that she’s not feeling great however. They’re showing her weakening already. I hope it doesn’t translate into her being killed quickly and easily.
On the topic of Deanmara, I wonder why Dean asked to see her body. Castiel’s word should have been enough and do you guys agree that Dean had this haunted look in his eyes again? Did he really want there to be a body? Did he need to see it as a way to sever his link to her? There was something unsaid in that request. Interesting.
I’ll end the Amara section with a question. Someone please explain how the sentence “My brother always had horrible taste in men” made its way into the dialogue when the show has established that men didn’t exist back when Amara and her brother were still talking. Did she even know men were a thing until she saw Dean? Isn’t Dean supposed to be the first man, or even human, or more, creation she’s ever seen, which is part of his appeal, on top of him being the last bearer of the Mark? How did God have any taste in any men before he created them. Oy.
Definitely enjoyed this one. Thanks Chuck for Mark Pellegrino. I wasn’t jazzed about the Lucifer spoilers when I heard them because I was interested in exploring Michael for a change, but I cannot and will not deny the amazingness that is Mark Pellegrino. He gives his all and knows how to make a scene memorable.
I loved the way Sam went toe to toe with Lucifer. “You’re gonna lecture me about hurting people? You?” Tell him, Sam.
I loved watching Dean doing what he does, being the one you can count on when you’re dangling from a cliff. A hero to the bone.
The cage scene was just fantastic. I love my heroes, and they definitely held their own, but watching Lucifer kick so many butts was incredible.
Lucifer was the star character of this episode for me, no contest. So much fun. The star, period, is always the brother bond. From of Dean’s protectiveness, Sam’s trust in his big brother, and Dean comforting Sam in the cage, this episode gave me everything I needed. Through Lucifer (he really was on a roll), it even brought up loaded issues from season 8, and provided an explanation for those who insist that they’ve seen a shift in the brothers in the form of an alarming escalation of their mutual crazy. Either way, it’s all good to me.
Obviously Sam now knows God is not behind the visions. He still has faith. Dean told him “Don’t count on God, count on us” and Sam is listening. He’s now placing all his faith in his friends and family. “We will find a way.”
I should be freaking out over Lucifer being topside but I’ll do that next week, maybe. For now, I’m just happy with where the episode left our brothers. They’re on the same page, and for me, that’s more than enough.
How do you rate Supernatural’s return from hiatus? Was “The Devil In the Details” worth the wait?
XI : Winchester Brothers Report
11.01 “We Broke It, We Bought It”
11.02 “That Giant, Crazy Fart”
11.03 “And I have a fake badge”
11.04 “We’re home”
11.05 “That whole sensitive verbal massage”
11.06 “She overpowered me, end of story”
11.07 “What do you mean, killer bunny?”
11.08 “The family that showers together”
11.09 “If Sam’s not safe, it’s not happening”
11A Midseason Report Card “So, lock and key?”