caranfindel (caranfindel) wrote,

Initial reaction 11.14: In the flesh

THEN: Men of Letters. Time travel. Soul power. Nazis. Casifer. Amara.

NOW: Now is actually 1943. More Nazis. One in particular, who has a secret weapon and a "collaborator" girlfriend who is pretty obviously more into resistance. Like, for example, the resistence of flesh as you plunge a long hairpin into someone's throat. Joke's on you, Nazi bastard. She's Delphine, and she's with the Men of Letters.

Swirly title card of Darkness!

Sam's reading about Nazi archaeologists in the bunker kitchen, and there are two weird things about this scene. One, why would he drag all of those big heavy books into the kitchen, instead of just taking his coffee into the library? And two, when he asks Dean if he knew the Nazis had a branch dedicated to archaeology, why would Dean not say "Of course I know that; I've seen Raiders of the Lost Ark." In fact, this entire episode is begging for Raiders quotes that Just. Don't. Happen.

Little bit of hand porn to get you going. You're welcome.

But I'm getting ahead of myself. Sam expositions on Nazi archaeology while Dean adorably bitches in the background about being out of coffee and sniffs at sour milk, then puts it back in the fridge, because maybe it will get better. Sam has discovered information about a Nazi superweapon called "the Hand of God" believe to contrain traces of God's power. And maybe they can use this against Amara.

I mean, come on, look at this. It's the Ark of the freaking Covenant, people. Dean couldn't pull up a Raiders quote for this?

Unfortunately for the Nazis, it was stolen by a woman named Delphine, the Nazi-stabbing "le femme de lettre" (yeah, I know that's spelled wrong, whatever) we saw earlier. Dean says who knew the MoL had a European chapter, and Sam says we did, remember? Eileen told us? It was in the "Then?" Weren't you paying attention? (No, he doesn't.) Sam finds a report stating Delphine was on a submarine transporting the Hand of God to the bunker, but the submarine, the USS Bluefin (which I don't think was an actual submarine, but apparently was the name of a ship in the Star Trek universe) was sunk by Nazis and never recovered. So Sam decides the HoG is lost, but Dean's not so sure, because they have a secret weapon.

I like this scene. I like that the guys are sitting on the same side of the table - usually when they're at a table, they're on opposite sides. I like the lighting. I like Dean's profile. I like Sam's soft blue plaid shirt and the sound of his voice. Yep. This is a good scene.

Meanwhile, Casifer playing a video game on Crowley's throne. The demons are restless and want leadership, and the only good thing about this scene is this awesome little demon, whose hair is almost as big as she is, and I want more of this angry, kick-ass little chick. I want her to be another Meg - not later-seasons heroic Meg, but early Bad Girl Meg. But I know we'll never see her again. She is going to be this season's Mickey the Gas N Sip clerk. Farewell, Tiny Demon. We hardly knew ye.

Hold me closer, Tiny Demon.

At this point, The Husband wanders into the room and says "oh, yeah, that's right, he's Lucifer now. And they still haven't figured it out?" In the Winchesters' defense, they haven't spend a lot of time with him. Anyway, we learn that Casifer isn't as prepared to defeat Amara as he thought he was. And he has Crowley on a leash, in shabby clothes, and that Crowley's feigning fear but not very well. And then Casifer gets Dean's phone call. Still not a big fan of Casifer, but I do love his growly "hello, Dean."

Next we see him in the war room with the brothers, and now they're on opposite sides of the table, so I'm sure that's going to signify something. And we've still got the cage-like overlay of shadows.

Guys, really. Those shadows are a bad sign.

Casifer says he can go back in time to retrieve the HoG, and Sam's all, wait, you can't even teleport, you don't have wings. Casifer insists time travel is different, and now I'm going to agree with The Husband - it's kind of ridiculous that one or both brothers don't recognize something is weird here. Because if time travel didn't require wings, Cas could have time traveled anywhere he wanted to teleport. "I'll just show up at the bunker five minutes ago. Easy peasy." And if he time traveled without teleporting, wouldn't he just show up in the bunker in 1943? Nope. I can't believe they fell for this. But they did. Sam at least brings up the inherent issues with time travel, but Dean insists they can't accidentally change history because the ship's going down anyway. He'll just zap in, grab the HoG, and zap back out. And now they're on opposite sides of the argument in addition to being on opposite sides of the table. It's going to be him, not them, because Sam has to stay at the bunker. If Dean's "milk run" goes bad, someone's got to be left to fight the darkness, and it can't be Dean because he can't fight Amara. Oh, Dean. Casifer finds all of this delightful. He smacks Dean on the shoulder and Dean finds himself aboard the USS Bluefin. Without Cas. He does manage to subdue a crew member and steal his uniform, including a dorky white hat that I'm not going to screencap. Sorry guys, I feel pretty strongly about this.

Casifer shows up back at the bunker, dripping wet and without Dean. Turns out the sub was warded against angels and he couldn't enter. He's ultra-snarky to Sam and even refers to Dean as "it." Little hint there for you, Sammy.

Come on, Sam. He took off the coat. Doesn't he look darker and more evil now?

Sam gives him the side-eye but then jumps into action mode, looking for ways to remove the angel warding from the outside, and he's trying to reassure Cas that they'll get him back. Oh, Sam. He does find one spell, but is crushed to see they have all the ingredients except one - it requires the power of an archangel. Huh. I guess it would be convenient if they had one of those hanging around. Casifer says he's going to try it anyway, and Sam still doesn't get it, because Cas is barely even a regular angel, let alone archangel-powered.

Also, I find it amusing that the ingredients they already have on hand include a preserved brain and some kind of flattened lizard.

But when Sam catches Casifer putting the spell ingredients together, while continuing to insist he may have enough power to handle the spell, Sam remembers when Cas sent them back in time for phoenix ashes, and used the power of Bobby's soul to bring them back. Casifer says yes, he could do that, but it could be fatal, and of course Sam offers his own soul. Casifer laughs with delight, and then so do I, because shit's finally getting interesting, folks. Casifer refers to Sam as "the girl who kept turning me down for the prom" and realizes he doesn't need to spare Sam any more (so I guess he's happy staying in his current vessel?), so he's going to use his soul, and when Dean comes back "and finds this place decorated with your guts," Casifer will be all, boo hoo, poor Sam, made the sacrifice. So Sam finally realizes who he's dealing with, and then Casifer sticks a hand in him and does the painful bad-touch of Sam's soul, but then Sam collapses to the floor (and yes, we likes that) as Castiel yanks his hand out and starts to take over.

This isn't how you ask a girl to the prom, Lucifer.

Castiel manages to tell Sam that he chose to let Lucifer in because it's the only way to defeat Amara, and he won't eject him because Lucifer's the only one who can get Dean back.

I'm going to skim over the submarine scenes because honestly I'm just not that much into the submarine scenes. Submarines make me anxious. Perhaps for the same reason flying makes me anxious. But the sub doesn't bother Dean, even though he knows it's going down. He finds Delphine and convinces her he's a time-traveling MoL, and there's a cute thing where another crew member tries to make him prove he's from the future by asking him who won the World Series in 1944, and Dean's all, I have no idea. He tells them the sub's going down and they're all going to die, and there's something essentially not-Dean about this, at least to me. I think Dean "no one's killing any virgins" Winchester would have tried to find some way to save the crew, or at least felt really really bad that they were all going to die, but he's actually kind of matter-of-fact about it. Delphine shows him the HoG, and it's an honest-to-God chunk of the Ark of the Covenant (and Dean finally makes a Raiders comment). Dean's seen the warding and he tells Delphine it needs to be removed so he can escape the sub with the HoG, so she scurries about doing that as they're attacked by Nazis. And the last warding is Delphine herself, but before she can get Dean to kill her, they're summoned by Nazis on the radio (the Nazi Delphine killed earlier, in fact, because he was one of the Thule and she didn't burn his body, and damn, this would have been a good episode to bring Aaron Bass and his golem back, wouldn't it?) and given three minutes to surrender or die. Instead Delphine uses the HoG to destroy the Nazi ship, and I guess this is how the Bluefin is destroyed too? But right before it's destroyed, Casifer shows up and zaps Dean away.

Nazis. I hate these guys.

When Dean and Casifer show up back in the bunker, Sam tells him it's not Cas. Casifer pins Dean to the wall while he monologues evilly, but not Sam. I like the way they're mirroring Delphine and Lucifer here - Lucifer has basically been a collaborator, sleeping with the enemy in order to obtain this necessary weapon, and he finds it as repugnant as Delphine did. While he's whining about this Sam sneaks a knife out of his back pocket and creates the angel-banishing sigil to zap him away - but not before Casifer unwraps the HoG and finds it's been used up - a one-hit wonder.

Snakes. Why did it have to be snakes?

After, the guys are on this huge... dock? Pier? Is it supposed to be connected to the bunker somehow? It's a lovely scene.

Yep. Lovely scenery here.

Dean declares they're going to hunt Lucifer and free Cas, but Sam points out that Cas chose this willingly and may not want out, which Dean refuses to consider. Sam asks how Dean accomplished what he did, and he says he was just a witness, and can't talk about it yet, and we're left with sad Dean and his useless (or not? I'm not giving up on it) chunk of the Ark and French resistance music.

Vive la resistance, boys.

Honestly, this one was pretty "meh" for me until the Lucifer reveal. I didn't expect that to happen until later in the season. When I saw this episode was titled "The Vessel," I figured it would be about Cas, but I expected something more like Cas's POV. (And yeah, double meaning, with the submarine being a vessel as well.) I was pleased that Sam did the angel-banishing sigil, because I don't think we've seen it since 9.01, and I hate it when useful weapons and techniques get forgotten (yes, "Christo," I'm looking at you).

And Amara is apparently still weakened from her near-smiting. It's hard to get worked up about the Darkness as a big bad - it seems pretty weak, honestly.

What did you think? Remember, no spoilers in the comments, please!

Tags: 11.14 the vessel, initial reaction, season 11, supernatural

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