Welcome back Supernatural and fandom, I hope everyone had a very happy holiday break. It's been a long Hellatus this time around, but I must say after two watches, it was very much worth the wait.
This episode certainly had my mind swimming with many thinky thoughts, which I'd like to share with you with hope that you might share your thinky thoughts as well. Before I start the theory part of my article, I just want to first sing high praises to everyone involved in tonight's episode. It was an enticing episode that grabbed you by the boot straps and did not let go...not for a second. Everyone brought their A game and every emotion one can feel all at once...I think was felt during this episode. I must confess that for me, the MVP player award for the night belongs to Jared and Mark P, as I saw them as a unit, for what was a gut wrenching, nail biting, stand up and cheer performance that left you in a state of goodness. That being said, I would now like to share with you all my thinky thoughts.
I will admit that I could not make any sense how or why Dean found out about the church murders and then would simply just take off on Sam, given the circumstances. It nagged on me for most of the hellatus. Thanks to Andrew Dabb, what made no sense what so ever now seems plausible and understandable, and Dabb did it in such a subtle way, I wonder if anyone else had noticed. Dean had said to Cas, if it worked then when you go bring back Amara's body and if it didn't run. I believe twice Dean used the term "if it worked" and that got me to thinking....was the angel smiting actually a plan? It seemed odd that Cas wasn't involved in Brother Where Art Though and a lot of people had taken notice to that. After watching tonight's ep and listening to Dean and Cas, it has me believing that there was a plan discussed between all of them. I think Dean and Sam went in knowing that Dean would go off. That it was actually preplanned and I think Cas may have been keeping tabs on the angels and informed Dean off screen of the church murders. Judging from the call from Crowley, it seemed to me that Crowley was supposed to make sure everything stayed kosher on the Luci front. That's my take on it and I'm sticking to it.
Now was anyone else curious by the fact that Cas for apparently no reason stayed behind while Ambriel went off on her own, and ending up having her soul sucked out? I can't help but wonder if Cas might have been affected as well by the smiting sickness, or at the very most by the darkness that had consumed the afternoon. I also wonder if Amara didn't do more than leave a message on Cas's body. This leads me to my theory regarding Luci/Amara.....I thought the message "I am coming" wasn't regarding Amara, but it was regarding Lucifer. I have this theory that Amara and Luci are bonded, as Amara is the Darkness and Luci is the original bearer of the MOC. My theory is that Amara corrupted Luci and the reason banished Amara to wherever she was, and Lucifer to the cage, was to prevent Amara and Lucifer from destroying the world he'd created. I think God didn't banish Luci so much to punish him as it was to protect him and the rest of the world. Lucifer had the lock/key, and under Amara's corrupting influence, Lucifer could've unlocked her from what might have been her cage. If Luci was able to send Sam visions ( though I still don't think the one from Baby is from Luci) and if he can even get to Rowena as we learned he had, then I can't see why Amara and Luci can't have been in contact with each other. I don't think Sam was the one Luci was after....I think Amara/Luci had wanted Cas all along.
There's a lot of debate as to how Luci and Cas can reside in the same vessel, but I don't think Cas and Luci are in the same vessel, I think Cas is in the cage. What got me believing that is Luci asking Rowena if there was anyone else who can open the cage. He killed her because he didn't want to go back in and he didn't want Cas to get out. Cas saying yes to Luci....I can't help but wonder if Amara's touch had something to do with that, because it just doesn't ring true that Cas believing himself expendable would be reason for him to allow Luci free.
I really enjoyed the walk down memory lane and I found this to be so very important. Like Zachariah had tried with Dean, if it was Luci's intent to break Sam to say yes by pointing out all that was deemed weak, Luci in fact proved to Sam the opposite. Luci tried to manipulate Sam into believing he wasn't strong enough to fight the Darkness. He tried to show that Sam was weak and he did so by showing Sam his most decisive moments and the one moment in which Sam had temporarily been damaged...not broken....damaged. He had pointed out that choosing to be with Amelia and Riot was the defining moment in which Sam lost all his fight. By pointing out that Sam hadn't looked for Dean and because of that his guilt took over, and for that reason he moved heaven and earth to save his brother, damn the rest of the world. He tried to make Sam believe that he was weak and he no longer cared about everyone, that he just cared about his own family. Luci thought he had Sam...he thought he broke him, but to Luci's surprise, Sam's rebuttal was a big fat "no". Not only did Sam see through all that manipulation, but Sam, for the first time has come to the realisation, that he is strong enough. He gets that Luci wasn't wrong, guilt did drive Sam and the result was the unleashing of the Darkness. Sam also realises that he'd done what he needed to do to make Dean understand that he loves him, he no longer has to prove or atone to Dean....so Sam is ready to die to make things right, he is ready to watch his family die to make things right...he's proved himself already, he no longer has to fear disappointing his brother or feeling like he failed his brother....The boys are now at a point where there is no need to prove their love...it's there, it's strong and it's unbreakable. Sam's faith in his family, his friends, himself and I still believe even in God, is as strong in him now as it's always been....and Luci has underestimated Sam's strength once again....I think this could very well be foreshadowing of Luci and Amara's downfall....the bad guys never seem to understand the power of the Winchester bond....with the exception of Crowley.
I was sorry to see Rowena get killed. I liked her and her character, but I kind of wonder if we've actually seen the last of Rowena. I mean wouldn't it make sense that once she dies, she would go to hell and ultimately end up a demon? Isn't that what happened to Ruby? She was a witch as a human and then when she died she ended up on hell, where she eventually became a puff of demon smoke? I feel like Rowena might not necessarily be gone gone.
I just kind of wanted to explain too why I don't believe that all the visions were from Luci. While two of the visions were of Sam's torture in the Cage, the one vision with Not John was more of message with a warning. Not John told Sam in the vision that "he could never fool him". It kind of makes sense given what we saw in this eppy and Luci's attempt at manipulating Sam into saying "yes". In the end, Sam wasn't fooled by Luci at all. Plus, Luci is in Cas now, so it stands to reason that Sam, given that he spent a century with Luci, might recognise Luci's attributes in Cas. The message also noted that God helps those who help themselves...which Sam seemed to take to heart as he declared his faith in his brother, his friends and even in himself. I still think there's someone else in play here and I kind of have my money on it being Gabriel.
I really enjoyed seeing Billie again, and I do believe she might be more than she's saying. I do think she's gone out of her way twice now to help the Winchesters. I don't think that the boys will be able to ice the Devil or Amara, which has me sticking to my theory that the only way to stop them is for the boys to somehow send them both to the Empty. Given that strange alliances are being formed, I do think it's possible for the Winchesters to succeed....given that I think Cas is in the cage...my only question is, will Cas ever be reunited with his vessel again?
That about covers it for this week's ep. I hope you all enjoyed it and I would so love to hear your theories as well.
Til next ep....