WARNING: This review contains spoilers
‘O Brother, Where Are Thou?’, the mid-season finale for Supernatural‘s 11th season, had one clear theme: Amara’s search for God. However, the main focus of attention ended up being on the Winchester’s search to put an end to Amara and the Darkness by paying a visit to the most feared Archangel in existence. And, as one could expect, that was not a good idea.
Good luck with the God hunting, Amara. God being gone and ‘not listening’ is not news. It’s actually something that we have known ever since Season 4 had everyone (especially Castiel) looking for the Creator to stop Lucifer and the Apocalypse. Her futile search only served to leave a trail of bodies behind, both human and angels. At least she did clarify something that had been worrying me ever since it was revealed that she was God’s sister: “there was no daddy”. Thankfully, God and Amara don’t have parents or any sort of creator. However, I still wonder how exactly Amara is God’s sister. God is supposed to be a single entity: “God is All, God is One”, etc. The writers tried to separate God and Amara by dividing them between light and darkness. God is the light that brings creation, while Amara is the beginning and the end of said creation. This was a nice clarification, but it still leaves us with many questions: When is the Darkness supposed to appear? Who decides what’s the end of the creation? Where is God while this is all happening? Etc. We are still in the middle of the season so I can only hope that it will all be explained soon.
As per the Winchesters, as dangerous as it was, this time Sam and Dean actually had a point in attempting to go to the Cage and asking Lucifer about the whole thing. After all, they thought that it was God talking to Sam and it made sense to think that Lucifer would know how to stop the Darkness, since he was there with God eons ago. They convince Crowley and Rowena to help them for the usual reason (‘bigger fish to fry’). Sam and Dean get separated because it was necessary for the plot for Dean to talk to Amara and for Sam to face Lucifer without him (who are we kidding, we know you too well Supernatural). I wish they would have found a better excuse for it, though, as I didn’t understand why Rowena seemed to be in a rush to go to the cage. One small detail that I liked though, was the fact that, despite being the King of Hell, Crowley still can’t control everything about the Cage. It proves once more how dangerous, feared and mysterious everything about the Cage and Lucifer is.
I will say it over and over again: Lucifer is the most fearful villain this show has ever had. Even though it means bad news, the return of Mark Pellegrino is something that Supernatural fans have been dreaming of since the days of the Apocalypse ended. It also helped that Hell looked way cooler, scarier and more believable than it did in previous depictions of it like Season 8’s ‘Taxi Driver’. Honestly, round of applause to the SFX team of this episode. Back to Lucifer and Pellegrino’s brilliant performance, the archangel suggests that Sam should let him possess him again, as he needs a strong vessel to help fight the Darkness. Lucifer possessing Sam (as well as Michael possessing Dean) was a conflict that dragged out all Seasons 4 and 5, so it would be weird for Sam to have said ‘yes’ so easily in this episode. However, Lucifer is still powerful enough to somewhat weaken the warding and make Sam appear inside the Cage. The plot twist is that it wasn’t God talking to Sam all these episodes, but Lucifer himself. How he could possibly do that from the depths of Hell is something that was left unexplained. Oh, and for the ones wondering where Adam/Michael was in all this, I believe that that wasn’t the actual Cage and that they only brought Lucifer up to talk. Although I do wonder whether we’re going to see him soon now that Sam is back in the Cage (Sam crying about it broke my heart).
Sadly, as intense and interesting the scenes with Lucifer were, the episode kept switching back to Dean and Amara’s conversation. It was supposed to be an interesting talk, but it felt very slow, dull and anticlimatic compared to Hell. And that shouldn’t be the case when you consider that Dean was talking to an equal of God. I have said it before this season but, remember Dean’s talk with Death over pizza? That was also a conversation, but it felt waaay more intense and interesting. Instead of that, it seemed like Dean was just talking to a random demon. Leaving that aside, Amara says that her issue is with God, not with his creation. It’s clear that she’s playing the “misunderstood” card to lure Dean into believing that, with her, there would be no more rules, nor pain, just pure bliss. And I cannot begin to explain how unnecessary that kiss was. Even though it’s true that they’re bonded, I didn’t interpret that “destiny”, or “becoming one” talk as something romantic/sexual, but as something more spiritual. I mean, do you realize that Dean just kissed the equivalent of God (Castiel’s ‘aunt’)?
All in all, this was a pretty strange mid-season finale. It was both slow and fast-paced, both intense and dull. The episode was very rushed in the first half because clearly the writers wanted to get to the parts with Dean/Amara and Sam/Lucifer quickly. And, even though the title of this episode suggests that it was all about Amara, it was all about Lucifer. This season keeps repeating over and over how dangerous Amara and the Darkness are but, so far, we haven’t seen anything more than a few dead bodies to prove that statement. Until then, I’ll choose to focus on other threats like Lucifer, or even Crowley and Rowena.