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Quick Reaction: 13x13 Devil's Bargain

And we're back with the midmid-season finale, before we take a short break for winter sports. 

Usual rules apply - I have been drinking (heavily, given the content of this episode) and took poor notes, and I'm going to (probably purposefully) get quotes wrong. Please only correct me if I ask you to (or if you spot like, a date somewhere that could help me timeline this stuff.)

Let's go...

So, as most of you HAVE to know by now, I REALLY don't like Lucifer storylines, or clumsily resurrected villains... or following villain storylines... so, NEEDLESS TO SAY, I actually didn't like this episode very much at all. In fact, except for one or two lines, a few nice visuals and easter eggs, and the reveal at the end, I pretty much hated it. HOWEVER! There are RULES on this journal, and that's that I PREFER to like things, so I take everything I hate and I blanket statement say "I don't like that" and then I ignore it, recap the episode, and only talk about the things that I like. So, THAT IS WHAT WE'RE GOING TO DO!

We begin with Castiel, injured and staggering through the woods. We don't know what happened between him stabbing Lucifer and him staggering through the woods, but apparently it wasn't pretty. In the morning, some young boys find his body - Stand By Me style, but without any coming of age story - just a good fright when suddenly Castiel wakes up and scares the bejeesus out of them after they poke him with a stick. KIDS - THERE'S A LESSON HERE, DO NOT POKE DEAD BODIES WITH STICKS. IT IS DISRESPECTFUL.

This means that we also have a rare teaser where no one dies! Amazing!

Castiel runs back up to Riverview...uh, I mean, the the building in Fall River, MA, that Crowley made his throne room. Lucifer is seemingly gone.

We then switch out perspective to Monroe City, Missouri, where we see a ridiculously tropey meet-cute. Lucifer has found a cupid, who he drains the grace of, pretty much taunts, and then kills. AND I AM SAD, BECAUSE THAT IS SAD.

Finally with Sam and Dean, Cas has made the long-journey home (seriously, it's a long journey when you don't have wings and you have blood on your collar.) He's filled them in on everything that's ACTUALLY going on. Sam does not take the news that Lucifer is alive well, and Jared does a good job of showing this, despite the fact that Sam gets no lines about his emotions in this entire episode... but again, that's pretty much par for the course, and Sam just told us last week that he doesn't have the words for it anyway. But man, Jared is good at acting without words, and Sam is BREAKING MY HEART whenever he is on screen.

Castiel does report that when Lucifer fled the AU, Mary was still alive. So that's a little sliver of hope.

Lucifer, meanwhile, hasn't recovered enough grace not to get hungry and cold.

BUT, before we follow that storyline through, we have to check in with Asmodeus, who apparently has Ketch working for him? Was that introduced before and I forgot or is that new? (You can answer that.) In anycase, Ketch is sassing him, and it's great. Asmodeus steps up to Ketch and for a moment I thought maybe he was going to hurt him for sassing him, but instead he tells him to kill Lucifer while Lucifer is de-powered. 

On the commercial break, my friend tells me that she thought for a moment that Ketch and Asmodeus were going to make out, and was disappointed that they didn't. We both agreed that would have made the episode better - and I start referring to them as "evil boyfriends" in my head, because that makes the storyline a little more palatable for some reason...I guess everything is slightly better when you can fetishize it.

ANYWAY...

Lucifer sees a homeless dude begging in front of a burger joint. At first, I think he's going to kill the homeless dude and steal his money (this would make the most sense) but instead he tries to beg on the bend beside him. He does not have any luck, and the homeless dude (who is actually quite nice) tells him that he's got a bad vibe (he does) then he takes pity on him and asks him if he wants to go eat. Instead of taking him to the restaurant, however, he takes him to the dumpster behind it. We find out that the homeless dude is saving his money in the hopes of getting his bad leg fixed by a local faith healer called "Sister Jo"

This Lucifer finds interesting - especially when the homeless dude describes what the healing looks like, and it sounds vaguely angelic.

Back at the Bunker, Dean apologizes to Cas for being fooled by Asmodeus and not knowing that Cas was in danger. Cas forgives him, as Asmodeus IS a shapeshifter - and also they have bigger problems at the moment. Namely, that Cas promised Kelly he's look after Jack, and so far he's not doing the best job.

Sam returns with Donatello, who is still alive! Yay! They need an archangel's grace for the spell - but are hoping to kidnap Lucifer while he's depowered. And they also need the spell, which is on the angel tablet...which they don't have. But they DO have the demon tablet, and are hoping that the spell is also on it.

Castiel gets an angel radio headache... calling it "angel radio" which always annoys me, but at this point, I just live with. There has been news of the cupids death.

Then we meet the faith healer, who is played by the beautiful Danneel Ackles. She is indeed doing something pretty angelic for $300 a pop.

Sam and Dean investigate the cupid's death and determine that Lucifer is indeed restoring his power by killing angels and eating their grace.

Lucifer then drops in on Sister Jo, who we find out is Aniel? Anael? Anaiel?  She tells us about how she strategized better than the other angels when she fell - she found her vessel by striking a deal with a woman to save her dying husband - then she got into the expensive faith healer game. Lucifer goes to kill her, but she successfully argues that it'd make more business sense to keep her a life - a willing feeder that he could drain a little, let her recover a little, and then drain again, ad infinitum. (I actually think this is a pretty good trick on her part, since we know from Castiel's experience that borrowed grace gets warn out.. so until Lucifer recovers his own grace, he'll actually not last long on borrowed grace at all. Probably, he'll be getting weaker as she gets stronger, until he feeds, and then their positions will reverse, until he needs to feed again... eventually, he'll probably recover enough of his own grace to not need her anymore.)

ANYWAY, while this whole conversation is going on, my friend noticed that the backdrop on the stage behind them both was the backdrop from the 200th episode with the musical based on the Supernatural books... so, whatever community hall or church hall that they're in in Monroe City there's a local theatre troupe that must be putting on Supernatural: The Musical.  And that's a fun fact to have hidden in the background!!

In another part of Monroe City, Sam questions the homeless dude, who gives him the info they need to track down Lucifer. How did Sam get a picture of Lucifer on his phone? We don't know, but he has one.

Lucifer has some of Anael's grace - and then lets it slip that he killed the cupid, and Anael isn't impressed, because she knows that that means either angels or hunters will soon be on their tail.

Sure enough, Sam and Dean and Cas bust into the building not long after, only to find it empty save for Ketch, who was also there trying to track down Lucifer. They try to find out who Ketch is working for, but he won't tell them. Ketch suggests that they team-up, but Castiel puts him to sleep - and it's awesome, I really love bad-ass Castiel who just puts people who annoy him to sleep, and so I loved his return here. They put him in the trunk for now, intending to question him further and eventually kill him. 

Sam finds a video of "Sister Jo" curing people and Cas recognizes her as Anaiel. Then Sam gets a ping on his alert saying that her credit card has been used...

Back with Anaiel and Lucifer, my notes say "GROSS!!!" because they are being make-out-y as he drinks her grace, and while I once did find Mark P attractive after seeing him in person, I have since discovered his personality and therefore find him absolutely revolting and I also hate Lucifer, so basically someone making out with him REALLY IS NOT SOMETHING I ENJOY. But, that's enough complaining...

They do have an interesting talk about humanity, in which Anaiel talks about how when her grace is low, she can feel emotions and sensations that humans must feel. Lucifer says he's experiences them too, and names all the bad ones - but Anael points out that there's also hope and love, and that she admire humans a little. She then explains how she was displeased with her job in heaven, which was "eternal" counting of souls that entered, and that she was liberated by the fall, because in heaven no one would listen to her, but on earth she could be her own boss, etc. 

Lucifer then goes on a pity party about how he always just tried to please God, his father and now that he was a father, he'd probably also screw it up. And then he stops himself from talking, and I am thankful, because Lucifer is the worst.

Back with Asmodeus, he's told that the demons found the prophet. 

He pretends to be Cas and catches up with Donatello outside the chicken-wing place. Asmodeus, believing it to be Cas, tells him that the demon tablet does have the spell for the door - Asmodeus mind controls him with an order to tell Asmodeus everything he learns.

Back with Sam and Dean and Cas, they track down Lucifer and Aniel. Lucifer is lounging around the motel room, reading the bible and discovering how inaccurate it is. Sam pretends he's calling from the front desk and tells Anael that there was something wrong with her card - and can she come down with it so that they can run it again. She comes down and Cas confronts her. She lies and says that Lucifer is still depowered - so when Sam and Dean attack him, they are unprepared to be thrown about the room and force-choked. 

Ketch shows up and throws some sort of supernatural bomb into the room, but Lucifer flies him and Anael away before it can get them.

Ketch, who has escaped from the trunk, makes his plea for a team-up again - with the olive branch of telling them that he's working for Asmodeus and offering to be a double-agent for them. He also points out that he's the "lesser of at least three evils" and that's such a good line that I am momentarily amused. 

Meanwhile, Lucifer and Anaiel visit the angels at the gate - Lucifer offers to make new angels for them if they'll let him rule heaven - they aren't having it, until he offers that he'll also get their wings back. Then you just KNOW they're going to capitulate and I am NOT IMPRESSED. Angels are the worst.

Back with Donatello and the boys, he's nearly done the work. The boys have decided to work with Ketch FOR NOW and then kill him. 

Angels have indeed taken Lucifer's deal - and I am annoyed.

AND THEN, we get something that actually makes me happy... because Ketch goes back to Asmodeus to express his doubt that he'd be able to kill Lucifer on his own now that he's more powerful. Firstly, Asmodeus calls the AU "Michael-land" which I like... and then SECONDLY, Asmodeus tells us that he's recovered an archangel blade (now, part of me wants to point out that Raphael and Michael didn't seem to use these when they had blades - so this is a pretty glaring retcon, but I'll forgive it, because...) when Ketch points out that in all the lore he's read, you need an ARCHANGEL to wield and archangel blade, Asmodeus is like "I have something else..." and then we're taken to a prison cell, where a dirty neglected prisoner raises his head, and we find out that what Asmodeus  has is GABRIEL! 

Yay! 

So, we got through that episode with at least 3 good things! 
1. Supernatural: The Musical lives on
2. lesser of three evils is a good line
3. Gabriel lives!
Bonus: Danneel did a good job with what she was given
Bonus 2: Jared continues to do a good job too, and I really appreciate it.


As usual, let me know what you thought in comments - hopefully you liked the episode more than I did, but if you liked it the same, or even less, please keep in mind the rule of balance, and balance out your negatives with positives!

  This entry was originally posted at https://hells-half-acre.dreamwidth.org/553236.html.

Comments

( 15 comments — Leave a comment )
Elaine McCourt
Feb. 9th, 2018 08:55 am (UTC)
I don't hate Lucifer as much as you do, so the episode wasn't too bad for me. What I particularly liked:

1. Danneel in her role - I like the idea of a morally ambiguous angel who did better after the fall than in heaven (even if she is working with Lucifer).
2. Bad-ass Castiel two episodes in a row! Long may it continue.
3. Gabriel! Can't wait to see how that plays out. But damn, makeup did so good with the injuries that I had to check that it actually was Richard Speight Jr.

And to balance it out, the stuff I didn't like:

1. I still think Asmodeus sucks.
2. Surely as Castiel knows Asmodeus can impersonate him, he might have.. I don't know, set up a code word or something so the boys and Donatello would know?
3. The angels letting Lucifer back into heaven. Cos that's not gonna blow up in their faces or anything.
percysowner
Feb. 9th, 2018 04:08 pm (UTC)
Cas being badass is great, however, even at his most badass he wasn't the sharpest knife in the drawer, at least not when it came to thinking in human terms. They made it clear that angels can identify other angels, no matter what vessel they are in AND when they only see them on video. I think it just isn't in his world view that someone, especially a prophet, can't immediately tell an angel from a demon on sight. Yes, Asmodeus had fooled Jack, but Jack was like 2 weeks old at that point and it could be blamed on him not being able to tell because he's too young.
hells_half_acre
Feb. 10th, 2018 06:33 am (UTC)
This is a really good point! I love things like that, where other creatures don't actually know very well what it's like for humans. Though, you'd think Castiel would have learnt A LITTLE from that time a Reaper seduced and murdered him when he was human...how easily they forget.
hells_half_acre
Feb. 10th, 2018 06:31 am (UTC)
Agreed with all your positives! And also all your negatives!

I'm genuinely glad that you don't hate Lucifer as much as I do!
amberdreams
Feb. 9th, 2018 01:37 pm (UTC)
I wasn't expecting Danneel's character to be an angel, or amoral one either so that was actually a nice surprise. I hadn't been spoiled for either Donatello's return - yay! Love these dorky, snarky prophets SPN throws at us - or Gabe being back!! Nice gruesome lip stitching there too - ew!

I don't hate Lucifer that much, but I've no clue what was supposed to have happened in those weird Cas flashbacks at the start. What, he stabbed Lucifer with reduced AA grace and it had no effect whatsoever? That makes no sense even given the archangel blade reveal - which also raises the question of how Lucifer is supposed to have killed Gabriel back in Thingy of the Gods episode, or maybe we are now meant to think that was a fake because Gabe is back??? In which case, where's Gabe been all this time?

Handwaves and causes an unseasonal tornado in the midwest.
hells_half_acre
Feb. 10th, 2018 06:37 am (UTC)
Agreed agreed.

And yes, if regular old angel blades will work on archangels (as Lucifer must have thought they would, given that he thought Gabriel was dead too), then why the archangel blade? Because that's the thing, maybe it WAS a faked death, but if it didn't have a chance to begin with, then Lucifer would have known it was fake then as well. He didn't, so obviously archangels can kill with any blade, not just archangel blades.

So, the archangel blade has to know have some sort of really involved explanation - like it is literally the ONLY blade that can kill Lucifer - and Michael just never got to the stage to pull it out in Swan Song.
borgmama1of5
Feb. 9th, 2018 01:42 pm (UTC)
I was surprised by the reveal that Sr. Jo was an angel--they kept that a good secret...and Gabriel!!! Though I wouldn't have known that's who it was if Asmodeus hadn't told us!

I wanted to be impressed with Sr. Jo but for some reason the character felt kind of flat to me. Still trying to figure out why...

The angels are so stupid.

Oh, and Danneel confirmed that Sr. Jo will be back one more episode!!!
hells_half_acre
Feb. 10th, 2018 06:38 am (UTC)
It's the writing. Unless you're Jared or Jensen, RossLeming's writing is always going to feel flat, expositional, and/or contrived - except for the occassional witty oneliner.
supernutjapan
Feb. 9th, 2018 01:53 pm (UTC)
I liked it more than you did, but it wasn't special. I noticed that road background too!!! But totally forgot to include it in the review. Better go and add that later 💕
percysowner
Feb. 9th, 2018 04:19 pm (UTC)
Things I liked

1) It's pretty clear we are not getting a redemption arc for Lucifer, even with his moping about God being a bad father and worrying that he will repeat the pattern.

2) Ketch not only for the lesser of three evils line, but for saying "I'm Ketch" when asked how he got out of the trunk. Admittedly I've watched enough shows to know that trunks aren't THAT hard to get out of, they are protected from getting into and back seats can be kicked down without a ton of effort. Still I did like Ketch being cocky and talking back to Asmodeus.

3) Sister Jo being a better business woman than an angel. Also too, her having looked at how Heaven operated and coming up with ways to improve it. I like ambition in an employee.

4) The fact that they actually HAVE had the Angels talking about their dwindling numbers all season. It makes their decision not out of the blue. I don't give BuckLemming credit, but do give credit to the staff for making this issue clear instead of just dropping it in now.

Not an I liked, but I don't think we saw Rafael fight another Archangel, so he had no reason to pull his blade. This was probably a good idea since Angels in general seem to leave their blades all over the place, considering how many people and demons have them handy. I have NO IDEA why Michael decided a fist fight with Lucifer was the way to start the Apocalypse, because by then Kripke HAD established Archangel blades, but Michael's actions were not exactly well explored.
hells_half_acre
Feb. 10th, 2018 06:41 am (UTC)
Agreed agreed.

Did Michael actually ever fist fight Lucifer though? The way I remember it, they just stared at each other and talked, until Dean showed up and Castiel molotoved Michael - and then Lucifer just punched the heck out of Dean.

So, maybe Michael was waiting for the fight to start before he pulled out the archangel blade back then.

Of course, the real handwave here is that you obviously don't need an archangel blade to kill ANY archangel, since Gabriel convinced Lucifer he was dead when Lucifer was only using a regular angel blade... so, the archangel blade has to solely be for Lucifer.
khek
Feb. 10th, 2018 03:37 am (UTC)
I found this episode to be very "meh". But...Gabriel! That more than makes up for everything! (I do hope that Lucifer and Asmodeous get what's coming to them...and I don't want Lucifer to be redeemed.)

A coworker who watches the show came in today and asked me "What's with Colonel Sanders?" I had no idea what he was talking about, so he had to explain that he meant Asmodeus. Heh. I'm calling him that from now on.
hells_half_acre
Feb. 10th, 2018 06:30 am (UTC)
Haha, yeah, I've seen a couple people refer to him as evil colonel sanders!

I'm in agreement with you about everything! I'd like Lucifer and Asmodeus to get what's coming to them, and I REALLY want to be rid of Lucifer for good. I realize, that at this point, that might not happen until the series finale - but UGH, I want it so bad.
madebyme_x
Feb. 12th, 2018 03:26 pm (UTC)
It was mixed bag this episode, but like you said I did love that Jared showed us Sam's emotions, even if the writers couldn't give him the lines, and I did enjoy Sister Jo/Anael; she seems to be an interesting Angel in a sea of boring and unforgettable ones. I can see her ditch Lucifer when it no longer benefits her.

And I was spoiler free for Gabreil's reveal, so that was a plus too!
hells_half_acre
Feb. 12th, 2018 07:22 pm (UTC)
Agreed. :)

I was also spoiler free for the Gabriel reveal, so that was definitely cool!
( 15 comments — Leave a comment )

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