What an episode that was! Jam packed with action goodness and with a creamy seasonal plot arc center! It seemed like a half-hour episode instead of an hour it flew by so quickly (in the best way!) So let’s discuss “War of the Worlds”.
The Road So Far:
As of this episode, the boys are hunting someone who doesn’t want to be found, much like they were in the first season. The very first episode where they were chasing their Dad in season 1, they were fighting a “woman in white”. This episode, the first episode they are chasing Jack, they are fighting a demon in white, even if they aren’t aware just how involved he was in all that they faced this episode. So there’s our season 1 callback. The rest of the action this episode is all based on the events at the end of last season and the beginning of this one, so nothing too far in the past to catch up on, except maybe prophets in episodes 4.18 and 7.21 specifically.
We open with Lucifer talking about God while we see images of our universe and our world. This speech provides us some more insight into Lucifer’s complicated relationship with his father. He praises him while he’s trashing him; hating him at the same time as he admires him. I think there are a lot of people who can relate. (Especially at Thanksgiving!) It turns out that Michael is having a peek inside Lucifer’s head to get an idea of what our world is like. He decides he likes our “paradise world” better than his war-torn one and has plans to relocate. And rule once he gets there, of course. Are there any angels besides Cas who aren’t complete dicks? It doesn’t really seem like it. Maybe Hannah, but she didn’t last long.
We also find out that Luci’s afraid of the cage, which I think we all kind of knew already, and Michael plans to leave Lucifer locked up in his angel Iron Maiden when he leaves for the Good Place (ha ha)! Michael tortures Luci a little by impaling him in the cage which: 1) What is that cage made of that can cause pain to Lucifer? Archangel blade? and 2) Leaves us a nice visual tableau of an impaled Luci behind a statue of Jesus on the cross. Nice work , episode director Richard Speight Jr. (aka Trickster, aka Loki, aka Gabriel)
Back at the bunker, the boys are looking for Jack. (Credits are rolling through this, and I got so excited at seeing Osric Chau’s name come up that I missed the next name, David Haydn-Jones, so I was surprised by his reveal later on! Sometimes I wish they could run credits differently. Anyway…) Castiel is afraid that the lack of any sign of Jack means he’s been captured by either Heaven or Hell, and he wants to go find out from an angel contact if Heaven has him. Dean is wary of letting him go alone, but Cas convinces him it’s best if he goes by himself. We also find out Dean introduces himself to people with a 6-pack. Surprise surprise. But what’s the other person going to drink Dean? Ha ha.
Since Sam and Dean aren’t capable of sitting still if they don’t have to, they find a hunt to occupy them while they wait for word from Cas. It seems someone is killing witches in a non-hunter kind of way, so they’re off to investigate.
We check in on hell, where Asmodeus is sitting on the throne me–….no, not that throne, an actual throne…meditating while creepily chanting his mantra of “Jack, Jack, Jack.” One of his minion demons bursts in saying: “I have news of the Jack!” “What is it?” “There is no news of the Jack!” I found that little exchange charming, but Asmodeus did not. He did however, get some actual news of “the Jack” when he discovers that the Winchesters no longer have him.
We are then transported to another world where we have another visual of Jesus on the cross and suddenly, Lucifer is pulled up in front of him. I’m loving these little moments. Is Lucifer going to become the saviour of our world? I think he might. Though maybe more of an…anti-saviour if he’s going to keep saying things like “Why don’t you wail on Mary Winchester for a while. I’ll go get a latte, ok?” Oh, never change Luci!
Michael says they’ve known about other universes for a while and have been trying to find out how to get to them. Now, the big players in “our” world of the show have also known about other universes for quite a while. Why didn’t someone like Crowley go after them in a power play? Was no one ambitious enough? Is it that they had enough on their plates just trying to gain sole control of this world like Michael has sole control of the other world? Hard to say But this Michael is determined and he has a secret weapon….Kevin Tran. Yay! Kevin’s back! And he’s more Kevin Tran than ever in this world! Turns out Kevin has told Michael he needs archangel grace to make the spell to other worlds work, but Michael wasn’t willing to put his grace where his mouth was, so Lucifer is like a gift from God or something. I get it, who wants to open a portal to take over another world, only to be mostly powerless when you get there? Really hampers your ability to crush the opposition.
Back with the boys, who are looking at video surveillance of the last victim, before she was taken. Suddenly, Dean sees a familiar face. It’s Ketch! What? The boys are trying to figure out if that’s Ketch and how he’s back and why he’s back when they are approached by a witch who seems to be looking for help.
Back in the other world again and Kevin is preparing the spell while Lucifer tries to talk him out of it. To be honest, I don’t think I’d listen to Lucifer either in Kevin’s situation, even if he’s right this time. Kevin says it doesn’t matter, as he has no choice. He’s a Prophet of the Lord and must obey God, or in God’s absence, he must obey the highest ranking deity, who is Michael in this world. This is interesting! God was still around when Kevin was a prophet in this world, even if he wasn’t too active. So was Kevin obeying him? Or one of the other angels? Makes me want to go back and analyze all of Kevin’s actions. It changes the lens of how to view Kevin for sure. And is Donatello following someone’s marching orders? Is it Jack? Or another angel, or is God not as gone as we think? Maybe Donatello’s lack of soul severs him from the chain of command? And what happens when Kevin crosses into our world? Does he continue to take marching orders from Michael, or is he now subject to the God and angel heirarchy of our world? Maybe God isn’t as gone as he seems since Dean’s prayer, maybe Castiel has attained higher status, maybe a reformed Lucifer could outrank Michael? Or, he said highest ranking deity. Could Kevin have to follow another God in our world, even if it isn’t the Christian God? Whoever it is, could it be we could get Kevin back on our side once he crosses over? Whatever the answers, I’m very excited with this tidbit of information!
Kevin does manage to open up a rift, but it turns out it was only able to transport one person and Luci was able to fight off his guards and take that ticket to ride, leaving a very disappointed Michael behind. He now has no rift and no archangel grace to create another. Not sure Michael will want to go by himself if he plans to take over the world, so I’m guessing he’ll have Kevin work on getting more people through a rift, especially if Michael will be weak from providing the grace himself. If Kevin can’t get more people/angels through, Mary better be able to get the next train at the station and beat Michael through the rift again or she may never get back. If they all go through, Mary better be following.
Lucifer ends up falling onto the sidewalk in a city somewhere and while trying to figure out where he is, gets confused for a homeless man. Of course his ego makes him take offence and try to smite the lady who insulted him, telling her just who she insulted, but…he failed to rise to the occasion. It’s ok Luci, it happens to every archangel sometimes. You did just undergo inter-dimensional travel and had some of your grace removed. I’m sure you’ll be fine in a bit. The lady responds “Honey, you’re not Lucifer. My ex-husband’s Lucifer.” I imagine there are a lot of people out there who can relate to that statement! Especially if you remove the “husband” bit and just leave it at “ex”! Also, while we’re here, can I just take a minute to tell you just how much I love Mark Pellegrino! He has said just how much he loves playing this role, and it shows. I love watching him work his Luci magic. Yes, that’s a lot of love, but it is well deserved.
Ok, back with Asmodeus and he seems to be questioning every single person who has had any contact whatsoever with Team Free Will (while Jack was with them), no matter how minor, thinking they are all conspiring to hide Jack. It seems from his questions that he really doesn’t understand what Jack is and who he is. After he has the guy killed after getting no information, Asmodeus feels Lucifer’s return to this world.
The Winchesters follow the witch who approached them to a safe house and hear her story. Apparently the Ketch look-alike (?) is questioning the witches (with torture of course) about Rowena, even though everyone is telling him that Rowena is dead. This witch, Daniela, got away from Ketch and wants to hide and be protected by the brothers. Dean has a different idea, and apparently convinces Daniela to act as bait to catch Ketch. (Hee hee!) The plan works and they get him, Daniela is ok and they take Ketch back to the bunker.
Once back at the bunker, the boys chain Ketch up and start to question him. He explains that he’s not their Arthur Ketch, but is instead his long lost twin, Alexander Ketch. Dean is not buying this at all and asks him “Do I look stupid to you?” When Ketch responds with “Is that a trick question?” Dean lets loose with a punch and a “woo” that is everything I love about Dean. (Told you I was an unapologetic Dean girl, sorry, I will try to keep it under control!) That was a great acting beat from Jensen Ackles.
Ketch gives them all the “evil twin” story details and Sam investigates. His story checks out and Sam is leaning towards buying it. Dean is still all kinds of no with this story. Neither one knows how Ketch could be alive though if this is Arthur. Sam gets a moment to sit with Alex and question him a bit more. Alex kind of defends Arthur’s actions as just being a loyal company man who was following orders. He says that if Arthur were there, he’d probably regret the things he did to them and their family. Hmmm, I’m with Dean on this one. This sounds like an Arthur who is trying to make himself out to be not so bad, and regretful, in order to weasel his way in with the boys.
Cas meets with his contact, Duma (Erica Cerra! Yay!) and is looking to see if the angels have Jack. She says they don’t have him, and explains why they want him so badly. Turns out you need a very powerful being to create angels and God hasn’t made any since creation and with all the losses from the failed apocalypse, the civil war, the fall, fighting the darkness, etc, the angels are going extinct. With God out of the picture, they need Jack to make more. (Or maybe we try a world with no angels and find a way to stop demon production as well. Send them all to the empty.) Duma wants Castiel because he has a connection with Jack they think will help them capture Jack. Seems Duma sold Cas out and a couple more angels show up to grab him. Cas fights and just as Duma has her knife to Cas’ throat, Lucifer appears and seems to know Duma and bluffs well enough the angels run away, leaving Cas. I’m guessing Duma will have a larger part to play this season as you don’t name an angel, and get Erica Cerra to play her just to have her in a 30 second role.
This leaves Cas and Luci to have an absolutely beautiful (for us) reunion. Every scene between these two this episode is just fantastic! Lucifer tell Cas the world is in danger and the two head to the nearest bar so Cas can hear him out. Luci tells him all about the other world Michael and his plans to conquer our world. He tells him to “be the heroic Castiel instead of the butt of heaven’s joke.” “I’m not the…” “I’m, you know, just saying.” Love these two! Lucifer is proposing that he and Castiel and Jack all join forces to repel Michael when he tries to come over. Cas asks just what Lucifer can contribute given his weakened state and Luci says just to give him some time. (Can he regenerate his grace? Can he come back to full strength?) Cas is of course skeptical, given their history. He wants to discuss it with Sam and Dean first. Which is a fantastic idea given how some of the things Cas has decided to do on his own have turned out. (cough*Leviathans*cough) Lucifer, however, thinks the boys won’t be able to work with him against Michael and will spend all their time tying to put Lucifer back in the pit instead of preparing for Michael. Which is fair enough, they probably would, but the boys have shown they can be pragmatic before.
Lucifer learning details from Cas about his son, like that his name is Jack, is actually kind of cute. But while asking questions about Jack, Luci figures out that Cas doesn’t know where Jack is. “He seems to favour the mother.” “Nothing that we can’t fix.” Lol! “Oh my Dad!” More lol! I love Luci!
Back at the bunker, Dean gets a call from the motel manager at the motel they last stayed at in Dodge. (Which they needed to “get outta” after Jack killed a security guard by accident.) Seems their front desk clerk went missing after a guy showed up asking questions about the Winchesters. From the description, Dean figures out Asmodeus is on their trail, looking for Jack. While talking this over with Sam, Alex Ketch appears. Seems soft-hearted Sam let him out (But he’s in chains! Oh Sam.) to use the bathroom and eat. Dean’s okay with Ketch not getting to do either any time soon. Alex says he understands, that his brother treated them and their mother badly. Then he asks how Mary is. Yeah, really not buying the whole evil twin thing. Too much interest in Mary. Dean doesn’t give anything away of course.
Just then, Cas calls Dean to tell him about Lucifer, but Lucifer catches him, so Cas ends the call in a strange way that gets Dean worried. Dean wants to go check on Castiel, but what to do with Alex? They leave him tied up in the bunker, even though Dean feels weird leaving him alone there, tied up or not.
Lucifer seems a bit angry that the Winchesters didn’t do a better job at protecting Jack which is all sorts of weird, him wanting them to be the ones watching Jack. Castiel defends them, though he neglects to mention that it was Jack’s decision to leave and there was nothing the boys could have done to stop him. But Cas does kind of let it slip to Luci just how powerful Jack is. Lucifer is so proud of his son, which is kind of cute in an evil way. Then he wants to know if Jack hurt people and if they suffered…ok, just evil now. All at once the bar is swarming with demons surrounding their leader, Asmodeus. (Luci actually flinches! His power must really be low!) Lucifer tries to bluff his way out of this again, but this time Asmodeus can apparently tell how weak he is and takes Luci and Cas hostage. Uh oh.
Sam and Dean arrive at the bar and find a bunch of demons waiting. They fight them, but it looks like they might be in trouble when Alex comes to their rescue. Sam seems to lean towards trusting Alex after that, but one look at Dean and Sam moves to stand with his brother. Dean is now positive that this is somehow Arthur, from the way he fought, as well as Dean’s earlier suspicions from the bunker, especially how he asked about Mary. Arthur admits Dean is correct, but adds that what he told them of Alexander was the truth of how he’s been living since his “revival”. They ask how exactly that happened and Ketch explains that he was once tasked with tracking down Rowena. He found her and she gave him the same “2nd life” spell she herself had (and used) in exchange for her freedom. Now he’s tracking her down so she can give him a refill on the spell. Can that even happen? I was sure Rowena said a second one wasn’t an option as some point. (Did she? Tell me if you remember if or when this happened! Please!) If it is possible, maybe she is still alive. Especially since when Dean told Ketch that Rowena is dead, he replied: “Is she?” and left it at that. Will Dean end up burned to death by a red-headed witch after all? I actually like Rowena…in small doses…so I’d be happy if she returned.
Ketch tries to convince Sam and Dean that he’s on their side, fighting monsters, a hunter, a good guy. Dean is not on board with Ketch’s characterization of himself. So Ketch again says they were just soldiers on opposing sides before, but now the sides have changed. Dean isn’t interested and goes to end Ketch for good this time, but Ketch is prepared and he gets away from the boys.
Dean calls Cas’ phone to find out what’s happening. Cas tells him he tried to call but had no signal and is on the trail of something interesting and he’ll contact Dean when he knows more. Of course we know Cas isn’t in a position to take calls right now, and of course it’s revealed that it’s Asmodeus impersonating Cas on the phone to get the boys to back off for now. Seriously though, with all the things the boys have fought over the years than can impersonate people, and seeing Asmodeus impersonating Donatello earlier this season, and yet they still don’t have code words to let each other know they are talking to the real them? Sloppy work boys.
Asmodeus starts talking to someone, explaining to
the audience this person why he is keeping Lucifer and Castiel alive and imprisoned. He then explains that he really needs to get his hands on Jack, especially if the news of other world Michael coming to take over is true. The camera pans over to this other person AND IT’S KETCH! Oh my Chuck! Ketch tells Asmodeus not to worry. And that’s it! NO! I need more information! Did Ketch really try to side with the Winchesters first? Was that sincere, then he only went to Asmodeus when they shot him down? Or was he always on Asmodeus’ side? Was the Rowena hunt truly personal, Ketch wanting another spell, or is Asmodeus wanting Rowena for some purpose, or was it bait to draw in the Winchesters or was it some combination of the three? Was the whole interaction with the Winchesters real or just a ploy to get information? On Rowena? On Jack? On Mary? I’m putting my money on always working for Asmodeus. As Dean said, he’s not a good guy. But I also think some of it was sincere, like his questions about Mary, and maybe even the part about regretting what he did to them (especially Mary). But I still have sooooo many questions!
Some things I’m thinking about this episode. (Besides Ketch.) First, Lucifer. I have loved this character since he was introduced in s5e01 “Sympathy for the Devil”. One of the things I love most about the character is how they always try to play him as not really a bad guy. How there might be another side to him. Especially when we now know that it was bearing the Mark that tainted him, turned him into what he now is. So, I love it when they make me feel for Lucifer, and they did it again in this episode. Of course he’s twisted, but I really felt that…love? or whatever it was, caring? for his son. His pride in his skills, his longing to know about this child he hasn’t been able to even see yet. All of that felt genuine and moving, even though you know he wants him to rule the Earth in terror and destruction and suffering. It’s this duality that makes him a compelling character, and I’m loving that he may have to save the world….just so he can rule it himself. It’s going to be a fun season!
And speaking of Lucifer, he told Cas it was a matter of time until his power came back. Was that all bluff, or will it actually come back? I really want to see him put Asmodeus in his place when the time comes.
The other thing I’m thinking about is Jack. How is he managing to hide himself so well from every side? He could barely move the pencil! Is it some kind of instinctual thing? Is he just not using powers at all and that’s enough to hide him? (But not for long, judging by past behaviour.) Maybe he’s found some place or some one who is able to shelter him? If so, who/where might that be and if it’s a person/creature, why are they helping? Whatever the answers are here, I am just loving the way this season’s arc is shaping up. Can’t wait for the next episode!
Also, just a housekeeping note: I’ve decided to post these reviews every Saturday at 8pm. I like the idea of having a solid, reliable posting day and time so everyone knows when and where to find it. I know it’s not ideal, but unless or until something changes, I feel like this is the best option. Until the next post then, here are your discussion questions:
The Road Ahead:
- Will Mary be able to hitch a ride with Michael back to this world?
- Will Kevin figure out a way to bring everyone over?
- Will Team Free Will ever establish code words to authenticate their identities to each other?
- Is Rowena alive?
- If so, does this increase Dean’s chances of being burned to death by a red-headed witch?
- Will Lucifer get his powers back and put Asmodeus down?
- If so, will he keep Cas imprisoned or let him go to be a willing ally?
- Do you love Luci? Or do you love Luci?
- Was Ketch really trying to join the Winchesters or was he just trying to infiltrate for Asmodeus?
- Did Ketch do or take anything while alone in the bunker?
- Could this come down to Ketch’s feelings for Mary causing him to switch sides at a critical moment?
Ugh, I have soooo many questions this week, but I think these (or the ones in the review) are enough for a great discussion this week. Tell me what you think! Until next time, be good to each other! XO