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Warning: This post contains spoilers for the Supernatural episode “The Vessel.” If you haven’t watched it yet, hop into the Impala and drive away.

The problem of the Darkness is proving to be a Rubik’s Cube of sorts for the Winchesters. The sister of God, unsurprisingly, is all but impossible to stop. Not even Lucifer can do it, and he’s an archangel. Dean and Sam have combed the lore in the Men of Letters bunker and beyond to search for clues, but they’ve come up short. However, Sam applied a different tactic by looking at the history books in “The Vessel.” Though weird stuff is still very much a part of the story, I like how it was kickstarted by Sam looking outside their world. It’s sort of like if Harry Potter would have learned how to defeat Voldemort by searching for answers in the Muggle realm.

Sam’s research led him to World War II and the Nazis. The parallels to Raiders of the Lost Ark were strong as Sam explained the Nazis’ archaeology hobby to Dean. A Woman of Letters, rare for the 1940s, stole an object believed to be a powerful weapon from the Germans but she and her cargo were destroyed before she could deliver it to the Men of Letters bunker. That weapon? The Hand of God, a piece of the Ark of the Covenant. So, as Dean said, it was “full on Raiders.” At least they didn’t go quite so far as to have melting faces.

The discovery provided the opportunity for a jaunt back in time, courtesy of Castiel/Lucifer, a.k.a. Casifer or Lustiel. Dean went back to the submarine Delphine was on when she met her end to try to get the Hand of God before it was lost to the depths of the ocean. The setting let the show go period in a way it doesn’t get to do often, and I have to imagine the applause in the production design and costume departments when a script like this comes around. Since Supernatural doesn’t hop between time periods regularly, it’s probably not the most authentic of makeovers, but it looked convincing enough.

Weronika Rosati was captivating as Delphine. She reminded me of Peggy Carter, which is one of the highest compliments I can give. She held her own with Dean. She didn’t waste precious time making Dean repeat himself and his mission, and while she didn’t know about things like the existence of angels, she kept focused. She didn’t have trouble believing Dean was from the future. She was focused on her job. Since she used the Hand of God, I don’t think we’ve seen the last of her. It would be odd for them to spend an entire episode on a weapon as cool as this only to never bring it to use again. Maybe she absorbed the power of the weapon? It wouldn’t be the most outlandish twist to happen on the series.

The trip into the past may or may not have been a waste as far as Hand of God was concerned, but it did serve to push one key aspect of the plot forward: the Lustiel secret is out of the bag. I do miss Castiel, but I’m loving seeing Misha Collins embrace the lighter, zanier Lucifer. He gets to bring his voice up an octave or two, and he gets to flex his comedic muscles in a more obvious way than Castiel’s usual deadpan. In short, Collins is killing it as Lustiel. I expect to see more over-the-top wackiness now that Dean and Sam know what’s happened.

Everyone is also on the same page about realizing Lucifer can’t stop Amara by himself. Well, maybe everyone except Castiel. There are times when Cas clearly has a hard time understanding all the goings on around him. However, he’s not really a desperate sort of character. He was convinced Lucifer was up for the job of Darkness executioner, and I believe he saw some sort of potential within Lucifer. Do you think Cas could be charmed by Lucifer’s grand declarations and smooth talk? I don’t. Cas genuinely thought this was their best chance, whether Dean believes Cas willingly became Lucifer’s vessel or not.

“The Vessel” didn’t make any forward progress in the destroying Amara department, but it got close. It’s the most we’ve seen the brothers do as far as actively finding a solution since the whole Cage incident, and we needed to watch them focus fully on the Darkness because the clock is ticking.

Random observations:

  • I appreciate how Dean didn’t beat around the bush about being from the future. The total honesty made sense and was better than him trying to fumble through some story.
  • Poor Crowley! I don’t know if I should sympathize so much with the former King of Hell, but it made me sad to see him locked away and being treated like a dog. Lucifer isn’t Ramsay Bolton, thank goodness, but it’s still cruel.
  • The smile on Dean’s face after he learned Delphine wrecked the German ship was priceless. It was fleeting and spoke volumes, and since Dean was traumatized by what happened, it was a nice up beat to end on.

Do you think the Hand of God mission felt like filler since it ultimately didn’t change anything? Head to the comments and tell me your feelings about the episode.


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