After escaping Lucifer (Misha Collins, “24”), Crowley (Mark Sheppard, “White Collar”) has been busy procuring another Hand of God, the Horn of Joshua. Crowley obtains it through a trade. He frees a man from a deal he had previously made, releasing his soul from Hell’s grasp. And then, because Crawley can’t afford witnesses, he kills the man and his guards and immediately calls Dean (Jensen Ackles, “Smallville”) to schedule a meetup.
Amara (Emily Swallow, “Adoptable”) is hiding out, still healing from her brush with an angelic smiting. She is being healed by none other than Rowena (Ruth Connell, “Sophia the First”), back from the dead. Rowena has a magical fail-safe, so when Lucifer killed her she was able to come back. Now she has cast her lot in with Amara because she believes the Darkness will win.
Dean and Sam (Jared Padalecki, “Gilmore Girls”) are cautious about meeting up with Crowley, seeing as he has betrayed them in the past, but for the chance of taking out Amara or Lucifer, they are willing to take him up on his offer for a Hand of God. The problem is that they each want something different. Crowley wants to exorcise Lucifer from Cas’s body and send him to the Cage (something that would be particularly hard to do without Rowena’s help). Sam wants Lucifer to use the Horn of Joshua to kill Amara, and then he wants to send Lucifer packing. Dean wants to exorcise Lucifer into another body (because he is worried about Cas surviving the fight), have Lucifer take down Amara and then send Lucifer back to the Cage.
Sam thinks that Dean has his priorities out of order. He reminds him that Cas wanted to do this and they should honor that, and Cas’s vessel is strong and can hold Lucifer better during a battle than a human body. Dean reminds him that Cas isn’t an “it,” he is family. Sam tells him they can’t make the “heart choice” instead of the “smart choice.” However, Crowley makes the decision for them. He has the horn and he isn’t trading until they agree that they take care of Lucifer first.
Meanwhile, Lucifer is back in Heaven for the first time since he was cast down. His first encounter is with an angel named Jofiel (Graeme Duffy, “The 4400”). Lucifer attempts to convince him that he comes in peace, but when Jofiel cries for help, Lucifer turns him to smoke. He then calls a meeting with some of the higher-up angels and berates them for their failed attempt at smiting the Darkness. One angel (Mik Byskov “The 100”) complains about the explosion of Jofiel and a second (Austin Eckert, “Untold Stories of the ER”) reminds Lucifer that they don’t trust him because of how God cast him from Heaven. Lucifer walks over to sit on his lap and completely ignores the angel’s personal space to remind him and the others that it was all branding. He didn’t want to love humans — and who can blame him because of all the problems they cause — so God called him Evil Incarnate. He calls it marketing, creating a “need in the consumers’ minds.” No need for a “super savior” without evil.
Lucifer promises to lock up Amara and reminds them that he has done it before, only to discover that none of them knew he stopped her the first time. Byskov’s angel asks Lucifer if, upon defeating Amara, he plans to stay in Heaven. Lucifer compliments the idea, and promptly claims that if they prefer, the angels could call him God.
Amara complains that what the Winchester brothers brand as “destruction,” she considers renovation. She wants to build the world in her image instead of God’s. And, since she is feeling better, she decides to send a warning up to Heaven. In Heaven, Lucifer’s meeting has just dismissed. He tells one angel he likes her “spunk” and flirts with another. He also pulls aside Byskov’s angel (much to his dismay) to encourage him to get his people on board as well, because “he who hesitates, disintegrates.” (I want that on a bumper sticker). Amara sends her Darkness swirling up through Earth to Heaven. It only ruffles some feathers, but her point has been made. Lucifer explains things are only going to get worse and “God knows what’s next.” But then he remembers that, no, “God doesn’t care.”
Rowena uses her powers to spy on Crowley and the Winchesters. She overhears them talking about the Hand of God and decides to jump over to their side. She lies to Amara about it and leaves a message for Crowley. She meets them with the Book of the Damned spell book, protections to hold Lucifer and a way for Dean to talk to Cas. Dean summons Lucifer with the promise of the horn and they trap him in a ring of Holy Fire.
Lucifer believes that the brothers called him to work together as a team, but when they refuse to douse the flames he is left nonplused. Dean activates a sigil, which pushes Lucifer down and pulls Cas forward. Cas is confused when he comes to the surface, but the spell doesn’t last long enough for them to talk properly. Dean attempts to get through to him anyway by sheer force of will and volume of voice, but when Lucifer returns he just mocks him with a spot-on Dean impression. First Sam in season five, then Cas, now Dean, who knew Lucifer had a talent for impressions?
The warding is failing, so in a fit of desperation Crowley leaves his vessel to enter Cas’s body and attempt to talk to Cas in his head. He finds Cas sitting in front of a television in what appears to be the Bunker’s kitchen. Cas is content to wait quietly in his mind while Lucifer fights the Darkness. Crowley is flabbergasted at Cas’s behavior. What he doesn’t understand is that it isn’t Lucifer’s fault; Cas was acting like this before he said yes. His emotional and mental state of depression is — in large part — what led to his consent in being Lucifer’s vessel. Crowley tries to snap him out of it by explaining that Dean wants him to expel Lucifer. Cas has a vague recollection of having just talked to Dean and admits that Dean may have a more objective viewpoint of the situation, which is ironic because Dean is probably the least objective party in this whole endeavor.
Lucifer, now mentally represented as his original vessel (Mark Pellegrino, “Quantico”), discovers Crowley and attempts to trap him inside Cas’s head. Crowley is able to send a message outside asking for help. The brothers begin a demon exorcism. This forced Crowley out of the body and back into his own. As soon as Crowley wakes up, he disappears. Lucifer wakes up, traps the brothers and grabs the Horn of Joshua. Then, just in time, Amara shows up. She’d been following Rowena.
Lucifer attacks with the Horn of Joshua. It’s an impressive light show, but it’s ultimately ineffective. Amara drags Lucifer close to her and plans to take her troublesome nephew to have a long chat. But before she acts, Dean calls out to Cas one last time. Amara looks perturbed by this but still releases the brothers from Lucifer’s hold before disappearing with Lucifer (and, by proxy, Cas). Lucifer tries to convince Amara that they could work together because he also hates God. She believes that Lucifer is still God’s favorite and if she hurts him enough then God will come to save him, allowing Amara to destroy him.
Back at the Bunker, the brothers are getting drunk and discussing what the hell just went down. They both believe Lucifer had a shot at beating the Darkness. Dean believes the problem was, since his fall, Lucifer is no longer God’s chosen. The question is, who is? My vote is either Cas (the angel God brought back to life a few times) or Dean (the Righteous Man). Either way, they are back to square one and their new/old goal is to find Cas and bring him home.