Last night's season finale of Supernatural was spectacular. The angels revealed just how dirty their game gets, and monster-hunting brothers Sam and Dean discovered their true roles in Armageddon. Which aren't what you expected. Spoilers!
Written and directed by show creator Erik Kripke, "Lucifer Rising" managed to be smart and philosophical, as well as including some disemboweled nuns and major demon smackdowns. Plus it was funny as hell. Or heaven. Which turn out to be pretty much the same thing in the end.
Last week, we left the Winchester brothers in a tight situation. Dean told Sam never to come back if he was going to keep sucking demon blood - even though Sam was only doing it so he could get strong enough to defeat the boss demon Lilith. And Sam stalked out with his demon buddy Ruby, on the path to more blood-sucking and a showdown with Lilith.
Though he's still pissed, Dean has a change of heart when Bobby yells some sense into him about Sam. In a powerful and cool scene, the normally taciturn Bobby calls Dean a whiny bitch for the way he's moaning about Sam's turn for the monstery. He yells that the boys' father John was a coward because he pushed Sam away, and that if Dean doesn't want to suck like their dad did that he'd better patch things up with his brother. Somehow he manages to get through to the whiny bitch, and Dean is about to call Sam to apologize when he's whisked away to heaven.
Actually, as the irritating archangel Zachariah explains, Dean is in a "green room" in heaven where he is supposed to wait for the armageddon show to start. The angels have helpfully stocked the room with shimmering platters of his favorite burgers and beer. I love how heaven's green room looks exactly like a tacky, Midwestern idea of what a churchy room should look like: White walls, gold-painted accents, and huge paintings in awful frames depicting fights between devils and angels.
Meanwhile, Sam and Ruby have abducted a baby-eating demon who has possessed a nurse's body in a hospital. Sam has gone so far over to the demon side that he's doing the black eye thing as he tortures her. In fact, he's so busy with the torture that he misses Dean's call from heaven to say sorry. Unfortunately, the angels (or the demons?) intercept Dean's call and change the message from (and I paraphrase) "hey I'm sorry" to "you are a monster and I hate you."
So by the time Sam does listen to the message, it's the fake one and it strengthens his resolve to kill nice nursie/demon lady to drink all her blood so he can kill Lilith. Who is apparently hiding out in a church where Azazel the yellow-eyed demon gutted a bunch of nuns back in the early 1970s, thus setting this whole cycle in motion. That original nun-gutting resulted in Lucifer's request that Azazel create a child capable of helping to break the seals.
And it turns out that child is Sam - and Dean. If you'll recall, Dean broke the first seal. But Sam will break the last: It turns out killing Lilith breaks the 66th seal and frees Lucifer to hang out on Earth. And basically, as a smug Zachariah tells Dean, the angels want Sam to do that because they're trying to bring about Armageddon. So yes, the angels lied. Yes, the angels are bloodthirsty bastards. When Dean asks Zach how this can possibly be part of God's plan, the archangel laughs. "God has left the building," he says. He also adds, intriguingly, that "this isn't the first planetary enema we've delivered." Are these angels on other planets, or does he mean previous times in Earth's history? (As I've mentioned before, this whole scenario reminds me a lot of Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy, where God has died and angels are battling for control of heaven and several different worlds.)
When Dean hears this, it basically confirms what he's believed all along: The angels are dicks. In the clip above, you can see the funny and well-written scene he has with Castiel after the truth is revealed. I love how Dean calls the angels "Stepford bitches in paradise" and refers to Castiel being "sent back to Bible school." (He's referring to when Cas was yanked back to heaven and reeducated for being too partial to humans.) His pleas work: Castiel agrees to help him, opening a vein and drawing a bloody angel hex that sends Zach back to heaven and allows the two of them to escape to their fanfic-writing prophet. Who has of course just written a story called "Lucifer Rising," and knows about the church where Lilith is waiting to be murdered and start the End Times. Cas sends Dean to the church while he holds off Zach, which is basically a suicide mission.
Unfortunately, Dean is too late. As you might have guessed, Sam's hottie Ruby has been double-crossing him all along. She was actually Lucifer's very best servant, pretending to betray him so she could earn Sam's trust and get him to kill Lilith. Of course she prevents Sam from hearing Dean screaming through the church doors and Lilith is easily dispatched. That's when her flowing blood starts forming a creepy symbol on the floor and Ruby spills her guts about being Satan's little helper.
As Sam realizes what he's done, Dean bursts into the room and jams his anti-demon knife deep inside Ruby's gut. At this point, it's interesting to note that both Sam and Dean have been promised (by demons and angels respectively) that they'll "get their rewards" after the battle is won. So both Lucifer and Zach are planning to win the battle and will thank their human tools for their help.
Luckily, Sam and Dean want no part of otherworldly rewards - they've got each other, and that's enough. Not so luckily, that blood design on the floor of the church is turning into a giant, gaping maw of light. Not good. Really not good.
AND THEN THE CREDITS ROLLED! CLIFFHANGER! ARGH!!!!!!!!!
Tune in this fall when it's a smackdown between Lucifer's minions and those Stepford bitches from Paradise.