Returning from its break with a bang, episode 10 of “Supernatural,” “The Devil in the Details” brings together all the major players from this season.
The episode opens with a montage, as always, which serve to remind the audience of the cliffhanger the midseason finale ended on. And, just in case you forgot that Sam (Jared Padalecki, “Gilmore Girls”) was trapped in Hell with Lucifer (Mark Pellegrino, “The Tomorrow People”), the strains of “Changing Tracks” by Wishbone Ash boldly state: “Can’t get the Devil off my mind / Us either, us either.”
Continuing the show’s long tradition of the meta and the absurd, the opening scene presents an overexcited, onesie wearing Crowley (Mark Sheppard, “White Collar”) opening Christmas presents and proudly proclaiming to his mother, Rowena (Ruth Connell, “Sapphire Strange”), that he received a Funko Pop! Doll version of Sam (I, on the other hand, got a Dean version for Christmas). Rowena is rescued from her nightmare when Lucifer, dressed as Santa, breaks down the door and stabs Crowley with a candy cane. Sam isn’t the only one who has been getting vision from Lucifer.
In the cage, Lucifer explains that Rowena was under his thumb. And when Sam accuses him of planning torture, he instead promises to make Sam an offer he can’t refuse. The two take a trip down memory lane. Lucifer takes Sam inside his own head to the time he had his first kiss. He claims that young Sam, played by fan favorite Colin Ford (“Under the Dome”), was decisive and bold, whereas, now he is neither.
Crowley, doesn’t like to be left out of the loop and threatens to kill Rowena for her betrayal. She claims that she is in Lucifer’s favor and when — not if — he gets out of Hell, Lucifer won’t like Crowley if he hurts her. Crowley lets her live, but warns her that Lucifer isn’t some kind of knight in shining armor.
Back topside, Dean (Jensen Ackles) is calling everyone he knows. Sam and Crowley don’t pick up, but Cas (Misha Collins, “24”), ever faithful, comes running to the middle of nowhere to help Dean. And it is just in time too, since Dean is suffering from what Cas refers to as “smiting sickness.” After his initial examination, doctor Cas recommends that Dean not go back to the place where the angels attempted to Smite Amara (Emily Swallow, “The Mentalist”). Instead, Cas offers to go in and see whether or not the smite was successful.
The next memory Lucifer takes Sam to is the season 5 finale climatic battle between Michael (Jake Abel, “Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief”) and Lucifer. Lucifer notes that he still doesn’t really understand Cas’s iconic “Hey, Assbutt!” battle cry. You don’t have to understand it, Luci. You just have to love it. Lucifer then admits to Sam that while he may not like him, he respects him for having the strength to do what he did that day, when he fought for control of his body and beat back Lucifer, when he was brave enough to sacrifice himself. He says that now, Sam is soft.
Cas isn’t the only angel investigating the smiting site. He runs into Ambriel (Valerie Tian, “Motive”), a pencil pusher in Heaven, who has heard some pretty nasty rumors about Cas. She says that she hasn’t seen anything weird, but Cas points out that it shouldn’t be pitch black out in the middle of the afternoon.
Crowley calls Dean to inform him of the “hiccup” in their plan and Dean agrees to meet him at the entrance to Hell. The entrance is guarded by Billie (Lisa Berry, “19-2”) the reaper who we haven’t seen since the season opener. She reminds Dean that the next time he and Sam die she will make sure they stay that way. She gives him a Witch Catcher to give to Crowley and Dean returns to Hell for the first time, as a human, since he was sent there at the end of season 3.
The last memory Lucifer brings Sam to is one from his time with Amelia (Liane Balaban, “Covert Affairs”) and points to that time as the reason he changed for, according to Lucifer, the worse. He accuses Sam of making bad decisions because he feels guilty about not going after Dean in Purgatory. Lucifer explains that Sam and Dean always choose each other over the world, the opposite of what Sam used to do. Lucifer promises that he can stop the Darkness, and for that to happen Sam has to sacrifice himself and agree to being his vessel again.
Ambriel comments that she doesn’t hate Cas, despite rumors, and that they actually have a lot in common: they are both expendable. They aren’t the big heroes. If the Darkness is still alive and she kills them, it isn’t a big loss. Feelings hurt, Cas lets her go on ahead for a bit. Ambriel finds Amara, who isn’t too happy. Ambriel is killed, more specifically she has her grace eaten by Amara. Castiel confronts Amara, who is unfazed by his angel blade and sends him to find Dean with a message engraved in his chest.
Crowley excuses himself from tea with Rowena to meet with Dean and assures him that Sam is most likely safe, since Lucifer needs him. He needs Dean to focus on Rowena, they can’t kill her since only she knows how to send Lucifer back to the Cage. Instead, they trick her and collar her with the Witch Catcher, forcing her to do their will. They make her perform the spell to send Lucifer back, but it will take some time, and if Sam agrees to be Lucifer’s vessel then it won’t work.
Cas arrives in hell and reveals the ominous and slightly dirty message “I am coming” written on his chest, and the two go to rescue Sam from Lucifer, who has switched tactic to physical violence. Lucifer traps them as well, and spreads the pain around. Lucifer focuses his attack on Cas while Dean protects Sam. It looks as though Cas is done for, when Rowena finishes the spell and a bright white light envelopes them. When it fades, Lucifer is gone.
Crowley kicks the three out of Hell, but Cas stays back. He is acting out of character, and it’s for good reason. He literally isn’t himself; he is Lucifer. Castiel agreed to let Lucifer use his vessel in the hope that Lucifer could stop the Darkness. Misha plays the role well, even down to the facial expressions which exude Mark’s Lucifer. Not many actors can boast of having played an angel, God and the Devil all in the same show. Oh, and he snaps Rowena’s neck. That’s why you don’t make a deal with the Devil.