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Roundtable Discussion on Supernatural 11×10 “The Devil Is In the Details”

We’re back with our Supernatural Roundtable! As always comments are welcome below. This roundtable features Jackie Bojarski, Michele Villery, Stacy Miller, Tracy Miller and Debbi Bach. Here are our topics:

Lucifer/Sam:

Jackie: This was by far my favorite part of the episode. It’s always a pleasure to get to watch Jared and Mark together on-screen, and this episode was no different. Watching Sam go toe-to-toe with the Devil himself was just as gripping and as nerve-wracking as I thought that it would be, and the walk down memory lane was quite a nice surprise–especially since we got to see Colin Ford as young Sam again. Ford is such a talented young actor and he embodies Sam so much, so I hope we see him in more episodes!

In addition, I literally cheered when Sam told Lucifer “No”, despite the obvious danger he was in. Sam resisted temptation and saw through the Devil’s charade, and I was so proud of him. At this point, I’m just wondering if Lucifer will give up on gaining possession of his favorite vessel or if he has more tricks up his sleeve.

Tracy: The Sam/Lucifer scenes were my favorite part of the episode. Jared Padalecki and Mark Pellegrino both delivered riveting performances rising to the challenge of these dramatically intensive scenes. There was a palpable energy; Jared and Mark complemented each other. The scenes in Stull’s cemetery were effectively balanced with those in the Cage.

Stacy: These scenes were a highlight of the episode. It was interesting seeing ‘Sam’s stroll down memories’ as viewers were reminded of Sam’s sacrifice when he jumped in the hole with Michael. I enjoyed the clips from “Swan Song” and Lucifer’s comments to ‘Assbutt’ and saying how he feels Sam has gone soft when he used to be the guy who saved the world. I loved how it was revealed that Lucifer was trying to coax Sam into saying yes again to being his vessel.

Michele: These scenes were my absolute favorite. Jared and Mark’s performances were simply phenomenal. It was great to see Colin Ford again in the ‘trip down memory lane’ portion. Sam is so strong. Despite Luci’s attempts at manipulating Sam, he is stronger and better than ever because. He’s learned from his past.

Debbi: I am soooooooooo proud of Sam! He held out under some very nasty emotional manipulation by Lucifer. Luci threw everything in his arsenal of emotional traumas at Sam and Sam held his ground. The ‘no’ he ground out through clenched was chilling and Jared Padalecki put his all into showing us how hard Sam was fighting off Lucifer’s influence. I didn’t think Sam would break, but Jared (the writers and director) showed us just how much Lucifer was wounding Sam and just how deep he had to reach inside for that one little word. I loved that Sam found the grace/strength within himself to push Luci away, even before Dean arrived on the scene. I also loved that Sam held on to his absolute faith in his brother, that he knew despite the fact that his brother had recently been ready to kill him, that Dean would come for him, that Dean wouldn’t leave him in the cage. The trust he gave to his brother was just beautiful and will go a long, long way toward healing their past hurts.

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Dean:

Jackie: Watching Dean storm Hell to save his brother gave me so much joy. My favorite Dean is protective, big brother Dean, and we got tons of that in this episode, especially when he and Cas were in the Cage, fighting to save Sam. We also got a taste of prankster Dean in regard to the outgoing voicemail message that he recorded on Sam’s phone, which is something that we don’t get to see that often anymore.

I was also glad to find out that Sam told Dean about Billie and didn’t keep her threats a secret. Now, I can only hope that Dean returns the favor and finally opens up to Sam.

Tracy: Dean was great in this episode. I loved how he immediately went into big brother mode looking for Sam. His interactions with Crowley, Castiel, Lucifer and Billie were top rate. The serious edge of the episode was minimized a little bit by the scene where Dean sings “Camp Town Races” as the password when he meets Billie. Comic gold!

Stacy: He had some great scenes in this episode. I felt as though we were watching Dean from seasons past. The protective older brother who would go to the ends of the earth (or Hell) for his little brother. His interactions with Billie were a hoot especially when she asked the password and Dean proceeded to sing ‘Camptown Races’. I hope Dean will have more scenes with Billie in the future.

Michele: I knew Dean would come back with a vengeance and this episode proved it. There is nothing Dean wouldn’t do for Sam. His interactions with Crowley, Cas, Lucifer and Billie were great. That comic relief with Billie was hysterical. Who knew that “Camptown Races” would be a password?

Debbi: OK, who looks sexy vomiting? Holy mother of God, Jensen Ackles is one beautiful man! I loved this Dean. He was committed to finding and saving his brother. He stayed the course and came riding in on the proverbial white horse to kick some Lucifer/Rowena ass. I loved him being there for Sam, his concern 100% on his brother. This wasn’t so much Dean’s story as Sam’s, but the fact that he showed up and had his brother’s back was THE most important thing he could have done. This is the brother relationship that we’ve wanted to see back at the forefront.

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Rowena/Crowley:

Jackie: Rowena 🙁 🙁 I really enjoyed Crowley and Rowena’s scenes in this episode, especially the poignant scene near the end in which Crowley asks her why she doesn’t love him. That was a particularly emotional scene, and I have to give both Mark Sheppard and Ruthie Cornell props for it. They were fantastic.

With all that said, I wasn’t surprised to learn that Rowena had been working with Lucifer for a while and had plotted with him to lure Sam down into Hell. I was surprised that she was killed off so flippantly and more than a little saddened, since I was starting to really like her character.

As for Crowley, I’m not sure what’s going to happen with him. With Lucifer back, he’s in a precarious situation. I can only hope that he turns to the Winchesters for help getting Lucifer back into his Cage.

Tracy: While Crowley and Rowena profess a deep hatred for each other and crave power, they arguably are very similar. They’re cunning but also seek acceptance and understanding.

Stacy: Their mother/son dynamic is a love/hate relationship and in the episode, Rowena revealed why. As viewers could guess it comes from her feelings of abandonment by Crowley’s father who used her and then left her pregnant and alone to return to his wife. Rowena’s line “If I didn’t hate you, I would love you” as delivered by Ruth Connell pulled at the heartstrings. I believe Crowley cares for his mother as well no matter how much he tries not too.

Michele: Wow, just wow. These scenes between Crowley/Rowena were so fantastic. Especially, when she explained to Crowley why she hated him so much. I was not expecting Rowena’s end to be like that. I honestly don’t think we’ve seen the last of her. (C’mon members of the Mega Coven! Where are you? You’re queen is in need!) Ruthie, we miss you already.

Debbi: This dynamic continued to grow through this episode. I loved that Crowley found a way to put his mother under his control – something that I think he’s wanted forever, even if he didn’t realize it. The fact that he ultimately compelled her to tell him the truth about why she turned her back on him proves that despite his posturing, somewhere deep inside him is a little boy who needed his mother to love and care for him. Someone to put him first, someone to cherish him. I think that this need is also what attracts Crowley to the Winchesters. They are also motherless, but have filled that loss with their love for each other. I believe he envies them and their bond and tried to find that with Demon Dean.
Rowena, man that woman! I was unsurprised to find that she was working with Lucifer. Rowena was always reaching for the highest position and I’m sure felt that freeing Lucifer and having his gratitude would put her in a position over Crowley and the rest of the demons of hell. Bearing that in mind, I believe that she looked almost too calm as Castifer put his hands around her neck while praising her loyalty. I am sure she’s dead, but I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that she knew that her death would be part of the contract that would give her the power that she seeks. We will have to wait and see what the writers have in mind.

Amara:

Jackie: I love Emily Swallow as Amara, but I wasn’t that interested in the Amara portion of this episode, since my main concern was for Sam and what was going on between him and Lucifer. However, I enjoy the scene in which she consumed an angel’s grace and then dissipated the Darkness. I’m really curious as to what the writer’s are planning for her and for her supposed bond with Dean, and whether or not God has arrived on the playing field. As none of these questions are answered yet, I’m expecting that they will be in subsequent episodes.

Tracy: Castiel was no match for Amara. While Amara didn’t do as much in this episode as she had in previous appearances, she did prove that she is a formidable adversary.

Stacy: She survived God’s wrath and consumed the essence of another Angel to get stronger. The message carved to Cass’ chest was ominous. The threat she’s coming hints at a big confrontation. I hope it’ll be with God, but who knows.

Michele: There wasn’t enough Amara in this episode. Although to me, she did show Cas how weak he has become. She is manipulative as well as powerful. He has become so lost, she wouldn’t even kill him. She has more in store than we all bargained for.

Debbi: Too little screen time here to make much of an impact other than its clear that even a world-class smiting can’t take her out. It did, however seem to weaken her just a bit as she seemed to have to take a step back and catch her breath after sending Cas on his way. She is still wrapped in mystery and is definitely someone to keep an eye on going forward. Are they planning to put Amara in the devil’s cage? If so, it stands to reason they may still need their witchy ally….

Billie:

Jackie: There wasn’t enough Billie in this episode; I would’ve liked to have seen more of her. I was surprised that she was working with Crowley, since I thought that she would be above that. However, I can see why she was choose to make that alliance. Now that Lucifer is topside, I wonder if she’ll warm up to the Winchesters a little more.

Tracy: I’m still not quite sure what to make of Billie. Is she friend or foe? She’s a reaper yet she doesn’t come off as intimidating to me compared to other characters in the Supernatural universe. True, she can still toss the Winchesters in The Empty, but I have a nagging suspicion she may help them.

Stacy: It was good to see Lisa Berry again. Her Billie fits in perfectly with the mystery of God, Amara and Lucifer. I think she’s more of a powerful reaper than we know.

Michele: I wanted more Billie. There wasn’t enough. I enjoy Lisa Berry in this role so much. She’s snarky and smart. It fits that she’s helping Crowley, but is she really? She vows to throw the Winchester’s into the empty, but I think when push comes to shove, she’ll break that. Also, why is she the one making this rule? She’s a reaper. Anyone else think there is more to Billie than just being a reaper?

Debbi: Since I believe that Billie is the ‘new death’ or the head reaper, it seems to make some sense that she’d be working with anyone/everyone to try to keep Lucifer from walking the earth. Even Death himself didn’t seem to want to see Apocalypse destroy the earth and I’m sure that he had shared that opinion with his reapers. Billie’s story is not over by a long shot. I’m sure we’ll be seeing more of her.

Castiel:

Jackie: So, Castiel’s storyline in this episode was a little strange for me. The majority of his scenes consisted of people telling him how worthless he is and how expendable he is, which I realize was meant to put him into a state of mind in which he would be willing to become Lucifer’s vessel. However, I found it more than a little irritating that he was gullible enough to believe Lucifer and that he went behind the Winchesters’ backs and freed one of their oldest enemies. More than that, I thought that it was a disservice to his character; Cas should’ve been smart enough to recognize that Lucifer was dangerous and that he was a loose cannon. Furthermore, having Cas say yes to Lucifer after Sam had resisted temptation and stood his ground was like a slap in the face to the Winchesters. It not only disregarded all of their sacrifices, but it felt like a backward slip in Cas’s character development.

Tracy: Castiel agreeing to let Lucifer wear his meatsuit was an unexpected twist. I think that Misha will enjoy tackling this role.

Stacy: I’ve been torn on my feelings of Castiel this entire season. I don’t feel that the character has been an important part of the bigger story. To me, Cas is often useless. The twist with him saying yes to Lucifer and becoming his vessel is interesting but I wonder how it will be pulled off. Evil Cas, Leviathian Cas didn’t work for me so I’m concerned how LuciCastiel will do. The jury is still out on this one.

Michele: I don’t know yet what to think of this. While I understand that he feels useless and wants to help, I do feel that Cas was selfish saying yes to Lucifer. What does he think it will accomplish? If canon is true, Lucifer can’t stay in his body long. All Lucifer will do is taunt and attempt to trick Sam into being his vessel. Granted, the endgame is to kill Amara, but what if that doesn’t happen? I don’t think Cas’ vessel is strong enough for Lucifer to fulfill this. So, I’m going to see how this plays out. I’m sad that Cas’ development has seemed to regress a bit. However, it’ll be interesting over time to see how Misha grows into the role.

Debbi: Was this the right move? Should Castiel have given himself to Lucifer? And having done so, does Castiel have any control over his body? Once Amara is safely tucked away, how does Castiel, et al, get rid of Lucifer? These are the central questions of this episode. I found it fascinating that he was able to offer his vessel to another angel and wanted to cry foul until I remembered that Jimmy Novak had ascended to heaven and so that the vessel and the angel are one and the same. That being the case, it stands to reason that Cas could agree to a demonic (fallen angelic) possession by his brother. It is a very interesting twist to the story and will give Misha a chance to stretch his acting wings a bit. I thought that Misha, as Castifer, did a fantastic job of emulating Mark Pellegrino’s facial expressions and body movements. I am looking forward to seeing how the Winchester’s discover Lucifer is free and how they plan to work with him and/or get rid of him.

Predictions:

Jackie: I’m predicting that we’re going to see a Swan Song situation happen with Cas, in which he will jump into the Empty and take Lucifer with him. In my opinion, that is the only way in which Cas can redeem himself for making this monumentally stupid decision. If the Winchesters do figure out a way in which to remove Lucifer from Cas’s body, I hope that they have another vessel ready so that they can kill Lucifer as soon as possible. Letting him roam free to find another vessel wouldn’t be a smart battle strategy. I also hope that the Winchesters aren’t quick to forgive Cas for this and that they make him work to restore their trust in him.

Tracy: Lucifer wearing Castiel’s meatsuit will likely confront Amara. Will Lucifer be able to defeat her? In addition, what repercussions will the world face caught in the crosshairs between Amara and Lucifer? Sam and Dean will realize there’s something off with “Castiel.”

Stacy: I hope it doesn’t take long for Sam and Dean to discover what Castiel did and deal with their ‘devil of a problem’. I fear that someone will be tossed into the ‘nothingness’ by Billie- Castiel/Lucifer? Sam? Dean? Amara? The finale’s gonna be huge.

Michele: Someone is going into the empty. This is so reminiscent of “Swan Song” that it makes me sad. I think Cas will sacrifice himself to put everyone back in their place. “Swan Song” was the perfect episode that embodied what the Winchester Bros are all about. They fight, they save things. It is the family business. I think Cas/Lucifer will attempt to trick Sam into being his vessel. I think Sam will see through it until Lucifer tries to hurt the most important person to him and that’s Dean. I think Crowley will help get Lucifer back into his cage but they will need the book of the damned to help. Will Rowena rise from the dead? She knows the codex? Remember Lucifer asking her if that was the only way out of the cage? Hmmmm… So many questions,

Debbi: Wow, so much information in 42 minutes of screen time! It’s easy to predict that the Winchester’s aren’t going to be particularly happy with the decision Cas made and I expect that they will once again be allied closely with Crowley in trying to provide damage control should Castifer decide to go on a killing spree. It will be interesting to see how they are able to shake Luci free and give Cas back his vessel.

As I said above, I do not think we’ve seen the last of Rowena. There are so many ways in which this witch could still be a part of the show and a part of the grand plan to shut Amara down. She admits that she is the only capable of opening the cage…. Crowley and the Winchester’s will certainly have to figure out a way to reach her and turn her if they have any hoping of recapturing Lucifer….so, I’m fairly confident that Rowena will make a reappearance in some other state of being.

Sam and Dean’s relationship will continue to recover, there may be speed bumps, but I believe they’ve turned the corner in their game of mistrust and truly believe they are better together. They will of course be instrumental in putting Amara away and re-caging Lucifer, but it’s too early to tell just how this will all go down.

I believe Billie will also be a key player in the end game with Amara and Lucifer. I still believe that she is the ‘new death’ and as such inherited Death’s memories and abilities.

Grade:

Jackie: I give this episode a solid A. Overall, it was an excellent mid-season premiere. I can’t wait to see what happens next!

Tracy: Solid episode. The dialogue was quite memorable and humorous as well as heartbreaking and intense. I like the strength Sam revealed in standing up to Lucifer. Not quite sure how I feel about Castiel saying yes to Lucifer. With Rowena dead (following her quasi “bonding”moment with Crowley), I’m interested in seeing if that changes Crowley in any way. B+

Stacy: I enjoyed “The Devil in the Details” especially the parts with Lucifer/Sam which I felt were the strongest in the episode. I give it a B+, I would have given it an A, but for my issues with the Castiel stuff. I still think the Amara storyline is a little weak, hopefully that will change as we get further into the season.

Michele: I really liked this episode a lot. It’s a solid A for me. It was a great start to the mid-season which looks to be great starting point. Looking forward to what is coming next.

Debbi: This was an outstanding episode! Everyone brought their A game and the writers, director and production crew did a fabulous job across the board. This is an A+ in my book and my favorite episode of this season.

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