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‘Supernatural’ Season 11, Episode 18 Recap: ‘Hell’s Angel’

On the latest ‘Supernatural,’ Lucifer returns to Heaven, Crowley returns to make a deal with Sam and Dean, Amara is back to full strength and Rowena is once again back from the dead, plus so much more!

This might come as a surprise, and perhaps it’s an unpopular opinion, but the most delightful part of the episode was seeing Ruth Connell’s name in the credits. I really tried to enjoy it. I watched it twice before I sat down to write the recap but I still couldn’t shake a few feelings.

The first was Amara only showing up when the plot calls for it is really making it hard to “fear her.” I understand that she was wounded from the angels’ attempt to stop her and Rowena was playing the odds by helping her. But earlier on in the season, the monsters were aware of her presence and now she just feels like another way that Sam and Dean are going to find themselves at odds. I was glad that there wasn’t another Amara and Dean scene and the bigger moments worked because Cas’ well-being took priority for once.

Jensen Ackles as Dean Winchester in Supernatural Photo: CW Gif: deaninhamilton via Tumblr

I can say that I did like that this wasn’t turning into some sort of battle royale between relatives. I did think for a moment that Rowena and Crowley were going to end up at odds, but she approached him and the boys and they did work together to trap Lucifer. But luckily, mother and son can be guaranteed to look out for themselves first and they high-tailed it out of there when things started to look bad.

And I did like seeing Crowley try to rescue Cas. The last few minutes were fun just because Mark Pellegrino showed up to bring on some fresh Hell for Crowley!

Jensen Ackles as Dean Winchester in Supernatural Photo: CW Gif: fuckitykidneys via Tumblr

But what really bothered me is all this stuff about Cas. Because when we turn around and look back at this episode, there’s something really upsetting. Sam and Dean have been working to find him and send Lucifer back to the cage. And I do believe that they Winchesters care about him but this show has mistreated the angel baby far too many times for me to truly let my guard down. And when we got to see Cas again, my fears were confirmed. He’s still being mistreated. It’s why I haven’t used the “Casifer” nickname because it’s clear now they’re two very separate deities…I mean entities.

But Cas was already a bit of an outsider in Heaven. Not just for all the other times he’s attempted to “play God” but because in the end he will always choose Sam and Dean. And what was bothering throughout the entire episode is just like Amara only shows up when the story needs her to, the boys only choose Cas when they need him. And it makes me really sad.

I happen to like the story being told. I wanted the boys and Rowena and Crowley to win this one. But it’s only episode 18 and that was an unlikely hope. Which is exactly why getting everyone in the same room with a Hand of God should have been exciting. I should have been shrieking my head off like I was last week over Sam’s “death.” But I couldn’t because there’s a really strong part of me that feels like nobody realizes why Cas made the choice to let Lucifer in. Nobody wants to acknowledge that Cas feels like this was how he could do the best good. He was so broken prior to that and he so desperately wants to stop the Darkness that he took himself out of the equation completely.

Jensen Ackles & Misha Collins as Dean Winchester & Lucifer/Castiel in Supernatural Photo: CW Gif: fuckitykidneys via Tumblr

And I do think Sam and Dean love him albeit very differently. And I did feel extremely heart-broken when Dean just watched in horror at everything unfold. All he could manage to say was Cas’ name with a big giant question mark at the end. And that’s pretty much an exemplary way of expressing exactly what I’m feeling. Which, after two watches and lot of hesitation about the overall episode, I think we’re meant to feel this way by design at least a little bit. There’s a hopeless, powerlessness to all of it.

It’s not that something bigger is coming. That threat is already there. That threat reached Heaven. It’s the fact that in the end, Cas will have paid the biggest sacrifice and it could very well cost him everything. He’s not just under Lucifer’s control, he’s broken. And my heart is broken for him.

However, I do hope that if Chuck is God, then Amara is messing with the wrong angel. Lucifer might have been God’s favorite at some point. But that hasn’t been the case for a very long time. And if Amara can bring, in his own words the, “cruel capricious God” on her, he’ll show up to save Cas. And then, there will be Hell to pay!

Stray Observations:

  • Rowena and Amara was actually the first time I found myself tolerating the latter because it wasn’t all about being bonded and what not. I think the mystery around her has prevented her from being more fleshed but I think, as long they keep away from Dean/Amara pairing she intrigues me. Or maybe I was just thrilled wasn’t actually dead and that it was  purely a scene between two women! That never happens!
  • Dean has his priorities basically set in stone: Save Cas, stop Amara, stop Lucifer and that he won’t let Sam make it a more logical list in the name of “getting the job done” makes it that much more important. There are only a few things the boys well do to defy each other…Mmmm okay there are a lot of things they boy will do to defy each other and it’s kind of why they’re this situation with Amara in the first place but basically Cas is already a causality of that and they won’t let him become and even bigger one. Dean choosing Cas over Amara made me want to crawl back to the mid-season finale and grab the trench coat wearing fool and drag his butt from the Cage before he could make a horrible decision!
  • There was a lot of characters doing what they do best in the episode and that definitely made it easy to tune out a little. Crowley was making deals, Sam and Dean thought they’d got a lead on saving Cas – and the world, Rowena was using magic and she was looking as flawless as ever and Lucifer was in Heaven pitching a new marketing plan.
  • I have the same plaid shirt Dean was wearing in the last scene and it was really distracting because it looks way better on him!
Jensen Ackles as Dean Winchester in Supernatural Photo: CW Gif: padalecki via Tumblr

I don’t want to alarm anyone, but we’re heading into the homestretch and season finale territory. Next week brings…aliens?

Supernatural airs Wednesday 9/8c on The CW. Be sure to tune in!

What did you think of the episode? Do you miss Cas? Or is it amazing that even with him barely being there they’re still managing to mistreat him? Are you happy Rowena is back? Were you surprised the Hand of God didn’t work? Share you thoughts in the comments!