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Rewatch S11: Hell's Angel (11x18)

Rewatch!

I remember this one as a particularly weak episode in an otherwise (thus far) strong season. Of course, this was before the last three episodes had aired, which I also think are pretty weak - but we'll get to those! First, let's get through this one... where we see what Lucifer is up to now that he's top-side...

I totally forget this storyline with Crowley and the dude in the desert. I like the tan-line across the guy's forehead. Dude trying to get out of his contract by finding a Hand of God. And then Crowley killing all the dudes... not even necessary, given that Crowley can just snap out of there. Oh, demons, so demony.

I love the travel shots of Crowley - where you see him look up at a staircase and then the camera pans over and he's there. It's cool.

Also, Dean's got a really nice new plaid shirt in this episode.

I also love Dean's yell of SAM! into the bunker. Small domestic thing - but yeah, I love it, because they live in this vast building, so how else are they going to find each other.

And we find out that Rowena has found the Darkness and is trying to engratiate herself... in order to get revenge on Lucifer.

Rowena: "You can destroy your enemies and, I imagine, remake the world anyway you choose. And I will be by your side."
- So, this is where Rowena's logic/knowledge fails her. Because she imagines (even states this is the case) that Amara will get revenge on Lucifer and God and then REMAKE the world, and by being a friend to Amara, Amara will spare her life when she does so. What Rowena doesn't understand is that Amara doesn't create, she consumes - the only creator, in this universe, is God. (That we've seen evidence of anyway.) So, Rowena isn't going to be spared because NOTHING is going to be spared - and I think that's something that Rowena can't quite comprehend. That there's different levels of bad guys - there's bad guys who seek power, control over their creation, or their own creation, and they'll destory in order to achieve that - and then there's bad guys who just seek destruction of everything with nothing to replace it. They don't seek power at all, what they seek is the destruction itself.

Crowley: "Lucifer had me trussed up like a dog in my own palace."
Dean: "Palace? Oh, you mean the abandoned nut house."

- Uh, spoilers for S12 - this is one of my problems with where Lucifer is currently (as of the last aired episode.)
- Anyway... it really says a lot that Sam and Dean know EXACTLY where Crowley hangs out when he's not with them - they know exactly where Hell's seat of power is currently on earth, and they just leave it be. They don't even attempt to go there to attack Lucifer or anything. I know it's not like they have a plan good enough to do so, but I still find it hard to believe they'd just let the demons continue to live in Fall River, completely undesturbed.

Crowley: "Fine, I will help you IF you help me exorcise Lucifer from Castiel's vessel and then return him immediately to the cage."
- It's nice that he wants to exorcise him from Cas first, instead of just throughing him in there again (not that they can, mind, given that they don't have the rings anymore. Actually, what the heck happened to those rings? Dean must still actually have them - unless Death took his back and so they're useless.

Sam: "Do you even know where Rowena is?"
Crowley: "Rotting somewhere I presume. Lucifer snapped her neck."

- I forgot that they thought she was dead. Though, pretty sure that's just temporary in this episode.

Also, I'm wondering if Ross-Leming/Buckner get ASSIGNED the really talky/expositiony-episodes or if that's their writing style and every episode they're given BECOMES mainly exposition speeches.

Jophiel: "So perfect, Castiel one of Heaven's most wanted possessed by Heaven's most hated."
- So, this is where Heaven's position on Castiel confuses me. Because apparently he's their "most wanted" and yet no one is coming to collect him at all. No one is confronting him. When Castiel was helping Hannah bring back strays, it seemed that Heaven was pretty unrelenting on leaving wanted angels (or any angels) on earth. And yet... they seem to have a policy of complete non-involvement with Castiel. Like they've excommunicated him rather than issued an arrest warrent. So, I'm not sure where "wanted" comes from, because it's quite obvious that they don't actually WANT him.

Lucifer: "Humanity brought us Hiroshima and got a redo. I merely questioned priorities and got the boot!"
- I mean, he's got a point. Hahaha... not that I'm arguing against forgiveness, however.

Lucifer: "It's marketing. He's creating a need in the consumer's mind. You can't be a super saviour if you don't have a super villain."
- He's got a point here too, and people - especially leaders - DO this. "I can save you from this threat. I know how to do it. Trust me. I will keep you save from this threat. This threat is what you should be concerned with, not my methods of keeping you safe or your quality of life. You have a life because I'm keeping you safe from this threat..." etc, only the threat doesn't actually exist. It's fabricated and/or exaggerated. Or, it's created by the very methods that are supposed to prevent it. Like, if you don't let a certain type of people have jobs or hold property, than that type of people resorts to crime to survive, and then the criminals are that type of people - and it all becomes self-fulfilling. They're criminals, because you said they were criminals and then made sure that was the only path available to them. They're alcoholics, because you said they were alcoholics, and then made their lives so miserable that alcoholism seemed the only way to cope, etc.

Of course, in this case, we actually do know the backstory on Lucifer - that he was already resentful of humanity when he got the Mark of Cain (or rather, the Mark of the Darkness) and it just excentuated that hatred until Lucifer could ONLY be locked away, all his evil brought to the surface, because God couldn't kill or remove the Mark without unleashing the Darkness, who would then consume all of creation. It's a similar situation to the situation Sam was in last season.

I do love Misha's Lucifer - he does a great job of capturing what Mark did with the character. I honestly kind of like him better, since Mark P's politics are so horrible that I have that "ugh" feeling whenever I see him, even though he's not playing himself. (I have the same reaction to Richard Gere for no reason whatsoever, but that's another problem.)

Dean: Alright, *clap clap*, come on. Is this what this is about? Your stupid ego? The fact that he dissed you infront of a bunch of stupid demons - you're smarter than this, come on!"
- I love the way Dean treats Crowley here - including the clapping to get him to focus. Especially since it's right after Crowley telling them how Lucifer treated him like a dog. Dean basically uses a "focus here, dog and/or small child!" But, he also points out that Crowley should be smarter than to let bruised pride override his intelligence.

Sam: "Dean's right. Priority is to put the Horn in Lucifer's hand and send him after Amara."
Dean: "After we exorcise Lucifer out of Cas and put him in a new vessel."
Sam: "What? Really?"
Dean: "Yes, really. I'm not going to send Lucifer into battle inside Cas - what if he doesn't make it?"
Sam: "Dean, it's a strong vessel. It's held Cas for years, and we know what he's been through. I'm guessing it can hold Lucifer."
Dean: "It? It's not an it, Sam. It's Cas."
Sam: "And Cas wanted to do this!"

- Both Dean and Sam are missing the point of each other's arguments here. Sam isn't saying that they're not going to rescue Cas - what he's saying is that Cas' decision, such as it is, might be an aid in the fight - that Lucifer WILL need a strong vessel if he's going to fight, and Cas has one.
- Dean, meanwhile, just sees it as possibly sending Cas to his death - because Dean doesn't care if Lucifer doesn't come out of the battle alive, but he sure as heck cares about the horse he rode in on.
- Sam, of course, is all about honouring people's decisions to self-sacrifice (and understandbly too, since that's usually Sam's go to).
- What's more interesting to me here though, is that Dean has come to associate Cas' vessel with Cas, whereas Sam hasn't necessarily. Sam is able to view the vessel as something other than the angel - which is why he refers to it as an it. Dean, meanwhile, seems to think of Cas and his vessel as one and the same. It makes me wonder why the possibility of exorcising CAS never crossed Sam's mind, or anyone else's. If you're worried about Castiel, then remove Cas, stick him in a new body, and then let Lucifer have the vessel for himself until after Amara's defeat. But nope! We don't even explore that possibility.

Dean: "And there are times during sex that I want to get slapped by a girl in a zorro mask, that don't make it a good idea."
- Nothing wrong with that, Dean, don't kinkshame yourself.

Dean: "Cas is family."
Sam: "Yes, and his choice should be respected!"

- This is basically the S5 argument, but with Cas instead of Sam as the sacrifice. Sam's still on the same side, which may seem callous to some (and I know I read some Sam-hate over this issue). Dean is very much the "no one sacrifices themselves without my sayso!" and Sam's very much the "Cas has ALREADY made the sacrifice, we have to respect that and use this opportunity he gave us to its full advantage."

Rowena: "But more than that, I want to be there when you remake the universe to your tastes."
Amara: "Oh? I'm told my tastes run towards the catastrophic."
Rowena: "Aye, the Winchesters say you are all about destruction."
Amara: "The Winchesters are right. But, what they call destruction, I call renovation - my blueprints, not God's."
Rowena: "That's my girl. Do things the way you would have done them."
Amara: "I will. And where do you fit into that?"
Rowena: "I can be useful [...] I'm someone you can talk with, confide in. Have you ever had that?"
Amara: "I've always been alone."
Rowena: "Oh, you don't have to be darling."

- Again, I'm not sure about this dialogue, because I'm not sure that Amara CAN create.
- I do think Rowena is smart here, because she offers information - but then quickly sidesteps into offering COMPANIONSHIP. Information eventually runs out, or becomes useless, but companionship is something that has no expiry date and also requires, and therefore guarantees, Rowena's continued existence.

Misha's hair is really distracting in this episode, because they've dyed it too dark and too uniform. I know they're not going to let Castiel go grey, but they should at least get the colouring a little better than that.

I like Ruth's acting when Amara uses her power - because you can see that although nothing really changes in the cavernous room that they're in, that Rowena is terrified of the amount of power that Amara summons, and possibly the feeling of intent behind that power.

And then Rowena lies about the Winchester's plans - because I think she already knows that she's chosen the wrong side on this one already.

And she immediately gets in touch with the Winchesters/Crowley.

Crowley: "First impressions can be deceiving, Moose, for instance, I once thought of you as dull and plodding.... nevermind, bad example."
- Awww... ha haha.

And the first attempt to communicate with Castiel fails.

Dean: "Cas!"
Lucifer *imitating*: "CAS!"

- Dean's face when Lucifer does thast is just brilliantly acted by Jensen, because it's very much the face of someone who was just mocked for their pain - like just had it thrown back in their face, crude and mean.

Castiel: "Oh, Crowley what are you doing here."
Crowley: "Is this the Winchester's kitchen?"
Castiel: "Sort of. I come here in my mind to pass the time. For some reason it has excellent reception."
Crowley: "What's wrong with you. What has Lucifer done to you?"

- It's interesting, because Sam and Dean had Castiel bingeing on Netflix at the start of the season, when Cas had agoraphobia anyway, and here, Lucifer has pretty much used that to his advantage, putting Cas BACK into that mindset of "everything will be fine and you don't need to worry, as long as you just occupy yourself with more TV" - TV IS the opiate of the masses... no wait, I got that quote wrong, it's religion, HOW IRONIC.

Castiel: "Oh, he mostly just leaves me alone. I'm just waiting here, you know, for the battle - the Darkness."
Crowley: "He's really got his hooks in you. Snap out of it. Do you know what's happening out there? The Winchesters have trapped the abomination so that you can expell him, so that they can put him back in the cage."
Castiel: "That doesn't sound like a very good idea."
Crowley: "In your current state you're in no position to judge."
Castiel: "Wait, that was Dean I saw a minute ago, wasn't it."
Crowley: "Yes!"
Castiel: "And he wants me to expel Lucifer?"
Crowley: "Yes!"
Castiel: "Well, he may have a more objective view of the situation. Maybe I should."

- So, I know lots of people take issue with the way Cas is presented here. Because, objectively, it doesn't make sense for him to be so docile and seemingly uncaring. BUT, I kind of like it? Or at least, I understand what they were going for... because Lucifer has put him in a location where he's comfortable (the bunker = home) and he's put him in front of TV... and we've ALL been in front of TV before and said stuff like "well, yeah, I need to go to bed, but I'll just watch one more episode...." So, I kind of like the fact that Castiel AGREES, or at least entertains the idea that maybe Dean knows what's best... but he's in no particular rush to do it. And then as soon as Crowley isn't prompting him, he just goes back to watching TV. Castiel is basically a depressed person watching TV - is I guess what I'm saying here.

*Crowley and Lucifer fighting*
Castiel: "Guys, you're going to break something."

- I just like that line. Because they're fighting IN Castiel's mind/body. So, multiple meanings, I suppose.

*words Help Me appear across Crowley's forehead*
*Sam begins exorcism*

- Pretty awesome.

Crowley: "Useless, Lucifer's hold on him is too strong."

Lucifer: "As much as I get a giggle out of you two, and I do. There comes a time when every relationship has run its course."
*attacks Dean and Sam*
*Amara shows up*

- She says she was tracking Rowena - but I wonder if she didn't step in until Lucifer started hurting Dean.

Amara: "I think you and I need to have a nice long chat."
Dean: "Cas?"
*Amara looks over, frees them, and then leaves with Lucifer.*

- I know the shippers made a big deal about that line - but I do think they weren't totally wrong. I think that there IS something to the fact that when faced with Amara, Dean's main concern remained on Cas, even WITH Amara's weird non-con mojo on Dean. I think that could have been used as excellent foreshadowing for the fact that Amara's hold on Dean doesn't trump the love that he has for his family.

Dean: "But if the thing has to be used by God's chosen - maybe an archangel that got the boot doesn't qualify."
- Which is why it'd have been SO COOL if THEY or you know, CAS, or ALL THREE OF THEM were actually the ones to use a Hand of God and defeat Amara... but nope. Instead we get weird ass ending where they're mostly just bystanders to someone else' family drama.

Sam: "Listen, um, I know I came down on the side of wanting Cas to deal with Amara, so..."
Dean: "But that's what he wanted right? Plus, didn't we say that we were going to swear off getting in the way when one person makes a choice the other doesn't agree with?"
Sam: "Yeah, um, yeah, we did say that."
Dean: "So..."
Sam: "Okay, so that's our policy."
Dean: "Sounds good. So... let's go find that idiot and bring him home."

- This is a great conversation - because Sam recognizes that Dean may be misinterpreting Sam's intentions, or his level of care for Cas - and Dean realizes that Sam is trying to follow a rule they established where they don't interfer with each other's decisions.... just like Dean got mad at Sam for following the "retire and don't look for me" rule back in S8. But in this case, Dean recognizes that that's the policy they established, and Sam agrees. And then Dean, the sneak, with that last line, says "screw that idea, it was dumb." And we know Sam's going to go along with Dean on this one, because of the disappointed way he said "so, that's our policy."
- Or at least, that's one interpretation.


Amara: "As God's favourite. His first son. You may be the one thing in all of creation that he still cares about - the one thing that could finally make him show himself. So that I can confront him, and he can acknowledge the wrongs he's done me...."
- So, yeah, in S5 they implied pretty heavily that Michael was the first son and Lucifer was the beloved yet rebellious younger brother. But *shrug*.

CUT SCENE:

Scene 27
- After Amara casts the spell.
Rowena: "By "back" I assume you mean in the sense of ready willing and able to reshape the universe!"
Amara: "Interesting notion, but I'm feeling more like nothing."
Rowena: "Nothing?"
Amara: "Solitude, me time. Don't you find it all a bit stressful?"
Rowena: "Perhaps a cup of cammomile and a wee nap."
Amara: "I don't know how he could stand it as long as he did. My brother - for all the vastness of his creation, the one thing he cherished most - mankind - is an utter wreck. Noisy, ugly, and from what I can tell, things never seem to change. Imagine the sweet solitude of purest night. Absolute eternal stillness."
Rowena: "Well that sounds extreme."
Amara: "No, just different. My brother's creation thrives on chaos, my version would be calm."
Rowena: "Calm. But still here though, right?"
Amara: "Well, it's all semantics, isn't it?"

- Oh man, I wish they had left this one - because this really does show why Rowena flipped so fast - realized that Amara wasn't going to remake the universe but instead just destory it and replace it with nothingness. This is exactly what I was saying, only we actually get to SEE it. Instead of just assuming. :P

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
borgmama1of5
Feb. 20th, 2017 04:42 am (UTC)
This episode really bothered me. None of it made sense, although I appreciate your efforts to give it some coherence...

The whole argument of getting Lucifer out of Cas before tackling Amara is bogus because where were they planning on getting a replacement vessel??? Why didn't anyone bring that up to Dean???

And Cas being oblivious to the outside--I suppose it was to show he's given up, but I hated it. Wouldn't he hang on for Dean's sake???

And I'm still not sure why they were so ready to do any exorcism in the church, having everything all handy, when they were supposed to be trying to get Lucifer out and angels don't respond to exorcisms...

And Sam and Dean's final conversation made me go 'bwah?' the first time around...I finally decided the point of it was to show that Dean was contradicting everything he agreed with in principle because it was Cas...

Edited at 2017-02-20 04:42 am (UTC)
hells_half_acre
Feb. 20th, 2017 06:01 am (UTC)
Yeah... there are lot of things they SHOULD have explained that they didn't, and a lot of things they did explain that they didn't need to.

where were they planning on getting a replacement vessel??? Why didn't anyone bring that up to Dean???

I assumed they were going to let Lucifer find his own - and the reason they didn't bring it up was because it would make plain how completely amoral that is, as they'd essentially be dooming some poor schmuck, or multiple poor schmucks, to be killed by Lucifer as he burned through vessels (as eventually happens after Amara rips him out of Cas). (I really wish Amara had just killed him, but I recognize that's my own personal opinion on Lucifer's utility as good storytelling beyond S5)

And Cas being oblivious to the outside--I suppose it was to show he's given up, but I hated it. Wouldn't he hang on for Dean's sake???

Again, they obliquely make Crowley reference the idea that Lucifer is essentially drugging Castiel - and/or messing him up and that's how they explain it.

It would have been MUCH more effective (and compelling storytelling) if Crowley had gone into the vessel only to discover that Castiel was too weak to launch any kind of attack - and that he perhaps DID regret his decision but now could do nothing.

And I'm still not sure why they were so ready to do any exorcism in the church, having everything all handy, when they were supposed to be trying to get Lucifer out and angels don't respond to exorcisms...

So this is the other stupid thing. Sam doesn't need the cross or to be in a church for an exorcism. They could have easily just been anywhere and not make it seem "convenient" or premeditated at all. Because either they reserved this as a back-up plan from the jump, or Crowley did it spontaneously. The boys know exorcisms off by heart and I wouldn't put it past them to have holy water on them for no apparent reason. But either placing it in a different location, or having less paraphernalia to show that they weren't necessarily EXPECTING to have to do this, would make it clear that they knew perfectly well that only Castiel could eject Lucifer.

And Sam and Dean's final conversation made me go 'bwah?' the first time around...I finally decided the point of it was to show that Dean was contradicting everything he agreed with in principle because it was Cas...

I honestly think that WAS the point, the problem is in Jensen's delivery of Dean's last line. It's supposed to be said in a manner that suggests that Dean KNOWS he's contradicting everything he agreed with in principle, but Jensen says it like it logically follows from what they agreed upon. Not that I'm laying the blame on Jensen's feet, don't get me wrong, I have a feeling he was just as confused about the conversation as we were - the problem is in the failure to communicate intent between the writer's mind and the final shot - and basically EVERYONE along the way who didn't convey the correct message and didn't ask for clarification.

But yeah, like I said, the writers over explain things that we don't need to have explained to us (Lucifer's motivations and/or intent for heaven) and under explain things that SHOULD be explained (the morality of saving Castiel above whomever Lucifer is going to inhabit next. Whether Rowena was there to shove Lucifer back in the cage or what? What agreement did they finally come to with Crowley? And what EXACTLY Dean and Sam were both trying to say with that last conversation.) And they cut the important conversation between Amara and Rowena and left in a whole bunch that were frankly repetitious.

Blah.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )