Supernatural Review 11×18: The Heart Choice


Managing Editor

So for most of the universe there is no new Supernatural tonight. But for those of us who were buried in real life work and then fighting a monster cold there was! Which is to say, it’s taken me a week but I finally was able to watch last week’s episode! Late is better than never, right? Of course it is. Because if it wasn’t this episode may have fallen a bit flat what with how long we’ve waited for the return of The Darkness, Crowley, and Lucifer.

Right off the bat I feel like I just have to point this out: this was one more episode where the Winchesters landed “back at square one.” All of the footing they gained in the first half of the episode was lost by the end. If there weren’t only 5 episodes left this season I’d be worried about the season’s momentum. Heck, I’m gonna be real right now, I’m worried that 5 episodes is still too many. How many times can the boys and their partners fail at taking down Amara before she just blows up the planet? I’m getting some serious Frieza blowing up Planet Namek vibes from this whole thing.

This show is lucky I love it so much or I’d be way more frustrated than I actually am.

Because with all of the wheel spinning and failed attempts at forward momentum, we still got an interesting and fun outing. And – one that included a few surprises.

First of all: Rowena’s alive?! What?! I’m not sure if this got spoiled ahead of time in the press or on twitter or if people just don’t care, but I waited a week to watch this bad boy and NO ONE spoiled her return for me. Legit the only spoiler I saw was when I spun up the episode and I saw Ruth Connell’s name in the credits. Which, like, cmon guys. If you’re gonna slow reveal a person back from the dead can we keep their name out of the opening? While I love Rowena, it took me a minute to warm up to her being back. It seemed really cheap to bring back an actress everyone likes working with just to have her die again by the end of the season. Because there is no way she’s gonna make it out of this fight alive, magic spell in her thigh or not. But by halfway into the whole thing I was digging it.We got to see a Rowena we haven’t experienced before. After Amara’s shaking the Heavens routine, our witch realized real quick that she was in over her head. And seeing her panicked and disheveled and fearful was a nice change of pace.

So Rowena survived and went into hiding and also somehow found Amara and has been helping her heal her vessel and get back to full strength. How she talked Amara into letting her perform healing magic and didn’t just end up on homegirl’s brunch menu is beyond me but oh well.

Crowley manages to finagle a Hand of God in the form of the Horn of Joshua and is willing to give it to the Winchesters. Except that he won’t hand it over unless Lucifer is first dumped back into the Cage. The Winchesters think it’s a better plan to give the Horn to Lucifer and let him and Amara battle it out first. Erm… scratch that. That’s Sam’s vote. Dean’s deviates slightly in that he wants to exorcise Lucifer from Cas’ vessel first, stick the devil elsewhere, and then move forward. Dean’s plan, while it’s the one my shipper heart votes for, it arguably the worst. They can’t just try to put the Devil in another vessel because another vessel 100% means Sam. Either they box the Devil or they give him the tool he needs. Dean is literally voting with his heart and it’s not the right call.

In my favorite sequence of the episode, we got to see all the groups getting ready to make their moves. We bounced between Lucifer rallying the angels in Heaven, to the boys bickering about the Horn, to Amara testing her power in front of Rowena. And it’s very very clear that Amara could win this round. Handily. God’s sister is a beast.

Rowena’s fear of Amara’s power is what sends her to meet up with Crowley and the Winchesters. And the quartet summons Lucifer under the guise that they are going to give him the Horn, but in actuality they make a really sad attempt at reaching Cas to get him to expel Lucifer. Like it’s such a sad try. It’s only made worse by the 3 seconds that Cas actually gets to talk to Dean before Luci taking control back. And then made 1000% worse again when Lucifer mocks Dean’s concern. Dean yells for Cas one last time and the Devil yells it right back in his face. And I swear you could see Dean’s heart just stop at that moment. Lucifer you salty bitch how dare you.

Not sensing any forward momentum, Crowley also possesses the vessel and we get to see Cas properly for the first time in a long time. And he’s so pitiful. The thought of Cas watching TV in the bunker’s kitchen, whiling away his time, waiting for the final battle and (presumably) his own demise… It was heartbreaking. And since Cas is content to sit back and wait for his doom, Crowley’s needling of him doesn’t work and Lucifer manages to find them.

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Lucifer beats up Crowley, but the Winchesters exorcise Crowley before he dies. The wards fall, but Crowley peaces out qiuckly. Lucifer begins to torture the boys, but just when I was hoping Cas would wake up and save his friends, the more obvious thing happens. Amara shows up. And because this isn’t the season finale, Lucifer using the Horn does not destroy her. She grabs her nephew, takes him back to her lair, and begins torturing him, believing that Lucifer’s screams may be the one thing to get God’s attention.

Insult to injury is, of course, that Amara almost left Dean (and Sam I guess) still bound by Lucifer’s power. It’s not until, at the last second, Dean calls out Cas’ name one last time that she remembers they are there. And the LOOK on her face when she hears Dean call for Castiel. Yikes. That was definitely the all-powerful ancient-evil equivalent of jealous and betrayed. She lifts Lucifer’s hold on them and peaces out with her prize before she can think too hard on anything, but this is going to come back in a later episode. I think Amara is going to be very very interested as to why she is not at the forefront of Dean’s mind when they are occupying the same planet, let along the same room.

There’s one other topic of conversation to get through. And that’s on the “new” rules of Supernatural that Sam laid out for us back in the premiere. That Winchesters have to focus on saving more than just the immediate innocent or their friends. They have to focus on doing what’s right.

Sam: This is exactly how we screw ourselves. We make the heart choice instead of the smart choice.

Dean: OK thank you Dr. Phil. Cas is family.

Sam: Yes! And his choice deserves to be respected.

Dean: Even if it kills him?

We don’t get to hear Sam’s response because Crowley makes a quip. So, unsurprisingly to anyone familiar with this show, Sam brings it up again at the very end of the episode.

Sam: Listen I know I came down on the side of wanting Cas to deal with Amara so-

Dean: Well that’s what he wanted though, right? Besides didn’t we say that we were going to swear off getting in the way when a person makes a choice the other doesn’t agree with?

Sam: Yeah. Yeah we did say that.

Dean: So…

Sam: OK. So that’s our policy.

Dean: Which sounds damn good… … Well let’s go find that idiot and bring him home.

My heart was breaking for the boys here. Dean I think was a little shell shocked over the fact that he couldn’t reach Cas. He thought that yelling for his boyfriend would be enough to get him back. And Sam knows that Dean feels this way because Sam ships it too. So Sam starts to apologize but Dean is so disenchanted that he tries, briefly, to play by the new rules. His conviction lasts only as long as it takes for him to say it out loud though. Because as downhearted and defeated and weary he feels, there is no part of him that could ever give up on his family.

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Of course all of this is to say that even though I waited a whole week to watch this episode, we still have one more to wait before the show comes back. And they’ll be coming back with another filler episode. Yeah. I see you Supernatural. Casting Lt Dualla in a filler ep right at the wire hoping we’ll forget that you promised us freaking God.

OK. Maybe seeing Dee alive and well will tide me over. Maybe.

Quotes and Notes and Other Things:

  • Guys… Misha in this episode. I loved everything he got to do. Everything in Heaven. His stuff with Sam and Dean. His little moments of Cas. He is a gift and we don’t deserve him.
  • What was Jofiel doing when Lucifer surprised him? Scanning the doors with some sort of weird device thing. It was like too Star Trek a device to even be on Star Trek. Was he cataloging the rooms? Was he adjusting the A/C? Does Heaven not have Central Air? That seems kinda cheap of them tbh.
  • Lucifer: “Humanity brought us Hiroshima and got a redo. I merely questioned his priorities and got the boot.” I mean… Devil’s got a point.
  • Dean: “And sometimes I wanna get slapped during sex by a girl wearing Zorro mask but that don’t make it a good idea.” Crowley’s reaction here was perfection.
  • Sam pointed at Rowena’s message with four fingers like he suddenly forgot how to human. Puppy what were you doing here?
  • The TV show Cas is watching sounds like something from the 1950s and I don’t know what it was. But what we can hear is a weird announcer voice asking “Is it going to be alright?” An audience replying “It’s going to be alright!” And the announcer’s reply “You bet dear friends it is going to be alright.” That’s not coincidence. First it’s an in show look at Castiel’s state of mind. Saying yes to Lucifer was probably the hardest thing he’s ever done and even if he seems at peace sitting in his fake kitchen, he probably needs to be constantly assured that things will turn out OK. I think it’s also a meta nod to all the fans worried about their favorite angel. It definitely didn’t make me feel better but I guess I appreciate the effort?
  • Cas: *as Lucifer beats the snot out of Crowley* “Guys you’re going to break something.”
  • It’s been a while since we’ve see a full exorcism. It was a nice throwback.
  • Dean: “But if the thing has to be used by God’s chosen, maybe an archangel that got the boot doesn’t qualify.” DOES THIS MEAN MICHAEL IS COMING BACK TOO?! ADAAAAMMMMMM!
  • If I sounded a little crazy I’m still popping cold medicine like tic-tacs so you’ll have to forgive me. Like I made so many Destiel references but I’m too loopy to feel bad about it.
  • Andrew Gurudata

    The radio station I grew up with in Montreal used to play that same “Is it going to be alright?” audio clip all the time. As soon as I heard it in the episode it kicked a memory for me but they never said where it was from. I’m so curious now!

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