Supernatural gives us an intense mid-season finale in “O Brother Where Art Thou?” Sam Winchester (Jared Padalecki) convinces his brother Dean (Jensen Ackles) that they need to at least talk to the Devil, even if they don’t make a deal with him. It’s fantastic to see Mark Pellegrino back on Supernatural. Padalecki and Pellegrino, along with the outstanding set designers, transported us during the scene in Hell. The scenes between Dean and Amara (Emily Swallow) brought their own surprises. “O Brother Where Art Thou” also brought our favorite mother-and-son team back together. You can never get too much Rowena (Ruth Connell) and Crowley (Mark Sheppard). It was fun to have so much focus on several different baddies in Supernatural.
Are You There God? It’s Me, Amara.
Amara continues to explore God’s creation. She stands in a crowd listening to a preacher who talks about the end of the world and God. He mentions that God is watching, which Amara questions. The preacher tells her that only the worthy will be raised to Heaven. She tells the man, “Truthfully, I don’t think He’s all that interested. He doesn’t even seem to be around. Believe me; I’ve searched.” When he preaches of God’s ability to create plagues and destruction, Amara shows some of her own stuff, making the fountain behind the preacher spew blood and thunderclouds form in the sky. When the preacher asks if she’s God, Amara tells him, “ No. But let’s just say He’s not the only game in town.” She proceeds to kill the preacher and the crowd by raining down lightning. She looks down and sees a sign amongst all the burnt bodies saying, “the end is near.” She looks up to the sky and yells, Well?!?”
To read our review of Supernatural’s mid-season finale “O Brother Where Art Thou?” click here.
Amara isn’t the only one trying to communicate with God. Sam is having a vision and finds himself face to face with Lucifer. The vision ends and Sam asks, “Is this really the answer? Is this what You want?” Suddenly a bush behind him bursts into flames. It’s a little on the nose for God.
The good news is that Sam is being honest with Dean. The bad news is that Dean thinks anything to do with Lucifer is a horrible idea, but doesn’t have a better plan. Sam explains that when he asked God how to beat the darkness, he received visions of Lucifer and the Cage. When Dean points out that Lucifer is the biggest monster ever hatched, Sam notes, “Until you and I hatched one that’s even worse.” In Sam’s vision, when Lucifer touches him he feels calmer, which isn’t what he would expect. Dean wants to know what proof they have that any of it is real, so Sam tells him about the burning bush. Dean isn’t convinced. Sam tells his brother: “Dean, doesn’t it make sense? I mean, Lucifer would know how God ended the Darkness. He was there.”
Sam and Dean meet Crowley in a creepy underpass. They want to know if it’s possible for Sam to meet with Lucifer. Crowley isn’t interested, but Dean reminds him that eventually the Darkness will destroy everything. Sam taunts Crowley, saying, “Yeah, and you had a shot at taking her out when she was with you, but apparently, you thought that sucking up was the way to go.” Crowley suggests it didn’t work out only because Amara chose Dean. Poor Crowley, always alone. He asks Dean why Amara insisted on saving him, what their connection is. Normally, Crowley revealing that Amara let Dean go would’ve elicited more than a glare from Sam, but there’s no time to fight about Dean’s secret-keeping ways. Also, it seemed that by the end of “Our Little World” that Sam knew that something was up with Dean. Dean tells Crowley that Amara is God’s sister, to which he responds, “God’s sister? He has relatives?” Somehow Mark Sheppard makes this line hilarious. Even though seeing Sam dead is on his bucket list, Crowley suggests that there may be a way to meet with Lucifer without letting him out. Opening the Cage is going to require The Book of the Damned—and we’re guessing a certain red-headed witch to do the spellcasting.
Amara is in a church, looking for God. The priest suggests prayer, but she tells him it’s not working when she doesn’t get a response. When she learns that neither the priest nor any living person has seen God, she asks, “Wait. So only dead people get to see Him? And this makes sense to billions of you?” What the priest refers to as “God’s perfect plan” Amara calls manipulation. She tells the priest that he doesn’t know what God is like at all. The priest responds, “We certainly do. God is the Light. And it is the Light that vanquishes the Darkness.” We suspect it’s the worst possible answer he could’ve given, which is later confirmed when she kills everyone in the church.
The Enemy of My Enemy is My Friend
Crowley’s minions capture Rowena. Does this mean he could have seized her any time he wanted to? They argue for a while, each complaining about the other’s assassination attempts. She isn’t happy to see Sam and Dean and reminds Crowley that the Winchesters are their enemies. Dean jumps in, saying, “All right, Rowena, we get it. We’re all enemies, okay? But right now, we got bigger fish to fry. Then we can go back to killing each other.” They tell her that they need to work together if they want to defeat the Darkness. She asks how she can trust any of them and Crowley says she can’t; it’s a devil’s bargain.
Meanwhile a group of mid-level angels are meeting at a closed auto body shop. One of the angels is advocating they stop all the infighting and go after the Darkness together. Since no one’s going to lead them, they will lead themselves against the Darkness.
Rowena can’t get over God having a sister, pointing out that in her day they’d have been burned at the stake for even thinking such a thing. Crowley offers her a deal. If Rowena pitches in he’ll call off his assassins. She asks what’s in the Cage. Where has she been? Then again, she didn’t seem to even know angels existed before she met Castiel. When she learns that Lucifer is held in the Cage, she can’t help but let out an evil giggle. That doesn’t bode well for Sam.
Amara is snacking on the souls of the priest and the other churchgoers. She yells up at the image of God on the stained glass, asking if He sees what’s happening to all His favorites. She challenges God to show Himself. God doesn’t seem to have time for His sis. Or maybe He’s just taking a nap.
Sam is on Rowena Watch while Dean follows up on the Amara sighting at the church. Rowena suggests that undoing her handcuffs would be a sign of good faith. Dean asks if he looks crazy, to which Rowena responds, “Well, you do have unresolved issues with your domineering brother and the abandonment by your father.” Rowena loves nothing better than a good burn, except for actually burning someone. Sam, ever serious, tells her to get back to work. Moments later she finds something. Rowena tells Sam that Fergus should bring a handcart, because “we are going to Hell.”
Meanwhile, outside of the church, by a playground, Dean can feel Amara’s presence, but he can’t see her. Sam calls, but Dean ignores it when he realizes Amara is standing nearby. Amara approaches Dean, touches his arm and they materialize in a mountain field. He notes that she’s grown up.
Hey Luci, I’m Home!
Sam can’t get in touch with Dean and they have to go to Hell without him. Sam, Crowley and Rowena walk through Hell. The Cage is in the Limbo section of Hell, which is for unruly souls that need a time-out. Crowley tells them, “What it lacks in ambiance it makes up for in security.” They get to an empty cage, which Rowena begins to paint with symbols to ward it against Lucifer’s escape. Crowley tries to banter with Sam, but Sam really hates Crowley and won’t play his fake friend game. The unusually nervous Crowley wants to make sure Rowena can do this without opening the Cage. She says they’ll find out, and casts her spell. The symbols begin to glow and fire springs up all around the cage.
Rowena has succeeded in summoning Lucifer, where he is imprisoned in a cage with her wards. When Lucifer greets Crowley, he responds, “A mere acolyte, carrying your torch.” Lucifer asks what he wants, then sees Sam. Lucifer says, “Sam Winchester. My old roomie. Hug it out? I gotta say, I’m a little in the dark about this meeting. Am I up for parole? Time off for bad behavior? I don’t really get visitors.” Sam tells Lucifer that he’s only come because there’s a crisis topside.
Rowena and Crowley watch from nearby. Rowena is impressed with Lucifer: “He’s so alpha, isn’t he? Probably not relationship material, though.” Well that is one date we would love to see.
Sam tells Lucifer that the Darkness has been released. Lucifer mockingly asks, “How ever did that happen?” Sam ignores his comment and points out that she’s a threat to everyone, including the devil himself. Lucifer asks where God is in all of this, though we suspect he already knows the answer. Sam says that there are no indications of His presence, but that God told him to seek Lucifer out.
Amara and Dean stand in the field. She tells Dean that he misunderstands her purpose on earth. When he asks about all the people she butchered, Amara tells him that she had to in order to try to get God’s attention. She tells Dean that the souls have become a part of her, so in that way they live forever. Yeah, doesn’t sound ideal. They’d probably prefer to live in their own bodies.
She complains that God was so threatened by her, that she would create a more perfect existence, that He exiled her. She tells Dean, “He encouraged religions as monuments to His ego, promised the fearful safety if they’d adore Him. His way or the highway.” Dean points out that some people find comfort in that, adding that it’s God’s universe, His rules. Amara suggests a world where there’s no pain, no prayer, just bliss: “The feeling that you have when you’re with me. For everyone, forever.”
Dean asks Amara what she wants. She tells him that she wants everything: “ I was the beginning, and I will be the end. I will be all there is.” When Dean suggests that would make her God, she disagrees, noting that He was the light, but she is the dark. That’s all she is willing to tell Dean for now. Dean gets out an angel blade and turns around to stab her, but the blade disintegrates upon contact. She tells Dean, “I know that you’re a warrior and your instinct is to resist, but … I can’t be resisted.” She leans forward to consume his soul, but kisses him instead. Apparently Amara isn’t the only one who can’t be resisted.
In Hell, Crowley and Rowena watch Sam and Lucifer talk. Crowley thinks Sam would know better than to cut a deal with the devil, but Rowena points out that sometimes striking a deal, even a painful one, is the only option. Crowley asks, “Like the hit you took out on me, for instance?” Rowena tells him, “It’s not easy being a parent, knowing when to hug your child, when to kill him.
Lucifer explains to Sam why God sent him. God needs his most badass archangel to deal with the Darkness, like he did before, and that he’ll need a ride out of Hell. Lucifer needs a vessel strong enough to hold him and that’s available now.” Sam doesn’t seem that interested in becoming Lucifer’s vessel again, but for a moment we wonder if the Great Deceiver has persuaded him:
Sam: “So, what, I just disappear, while you take my body and get set loose on the world again?”
Lucifer: “I know. I know, Sam. It’s a lot to ask. But desperate times require desperate measures.”
Sam: “That’s not desperate. That’s certifiable!”
Lucifer: “Okay, hold on there a second, cowboy. Take a breath. You have been working with Crowley. You passed certifiable three off-ramps ago. And look, I’m no fan of the ruler of the universe, but here I am, ready to pitch in. Sam, why do you think God sent you to me? To get my help, which I only now just offered. Sam, your visions were the word of God. You can’t say no to that.”
In the sun-touched field, Dean steps back from Amara and asks, “What was that?” We were wondering the same thing. She was just a young thing not too long ago. Not to mention she kills people and consumes their souls. She tells him they’re bonded and meant to be. When he says it’s not going to happen, she asks why he wouldn’t want to become one with her.
The angel brigade arrives to take the Darkness to be judged in Heaven. They tell her that if she resists, every single angel in the skies will smite her with a mighty blow. Dean points out that if they take her down a whole lot of people will die, but the angels are all about sacrifice for the greater good. Dean yells at her to stop, but Amara easily takes care of the three angels, killing each with a wave of her hand. Clouds begin to form overhead and thunder. Dean tells her, “It’s coming. He will smite you.” Amara responds, “Maybe now He’ll hear me.” She moves her hand and Dean finds himself back on the playground. The clouds open and a huge beam targets the waiting Amara.
In Hell, Lucifer asks Sam if he’s going to become his vessel. Sam tells him, “No. I won’t do it. There has to be another way.” Lucifer overcomes Rowena’s enchantments as her wards fail. Rowena tells Crowley to follow her. Sam suddenly finds himself in the cage with Lucifer. Sam tries to remain calm because that’s how God told him he would be. Lucifer tells him that would make sense, had it been God who was communicating with him:
“You see, Sam, when the Darkness descended, the impact on Hell was massive. The Cage was damaged. Through the fissures, I was able to reach out. It wasn’t God inside your head, Sam. It was me. So you see, He’s not with you. He’s never been with you. It was always just … Me. So I guess I am your only hope.”
Sam tells Lucifer, “It’s never going to happen.” Lucifer suggests, in a very menacing way, that Sam get comfortable. Sam appears to be trying to keep his terror in check.
With “O Brother Where Art Thou?” Supernatural gives us great performances, impressive sets, and a story that leaves us on the edge of our seats.