Supernatural Review 12.8 – ‘LOTUS’
The Road So Far: Lucifer, inside the body of rock star Vince Vincente, decides he wants to try to kill as many people as possible or at least make them follow him for a bit. Sam, Dean, Castiel and Crowley try to stop him, but he escapes and leaves Vincente dead.
Season 12, Episode 8: LOTUS
Directed By: Phil Sgriccia
Written By: Eugenie Ross-Leming & Brad Buckner
(This review contains SPOILERS for this week’s episode. You have been warned.)
The season opened with a whimper and while this episode once again was a missed opportunity with a bit of an anticlimax, it is still a marked improvement over everything else this season. “LOTUS” manages to resolve the Lucifer arc, put the UK Men of Letters back into focus and introduce some new plot elements, finally giving this season more of a point than it had previously. And there are actual stakes this time, something that I complained about last week.
We pick up about where we left off. Lucifer is hopping into increasingly powerful people to cause havoc and the Winchesters, Crowley and Castiel are on the hunt. You almost wonder what they hope to accomplish since Lucifer has always outclassed them, but they’re the good guys (and Crowley). Lucifer works his way through a priest, top businessmen, etc, before he finally settles on the highest office in the US. That’s where the title comes in, because Lucifer just possessed the President.
This is where the show is a missed opportunity for me. Lucifer in the President is the same kind of story change that reviving Hitler could have been. It could be huge for the show. It could open up a wealth of possible story directions. However, the most that happens is that Lucifer sends the Secret Service after Sam and Dean (along with something that occurs later). The entire thing is over within the span of the episode. I know we’ve done the Sam and Dean on the run from the law story before, but can you imagine if the entire US government was after them? If they were labeled traitors to the country or something? How could they operate then?
We don’t get to explore that, because this episode ends with Lucifer being exorcised and presumably sent back to the cage. It happens so quickly it’s almost as if it wasn’t supposed to work. I kept expecting someone else to pop up with red eyes. But no, thanks to a new gadget from the British Men of Letters, Lucifer is sent packing rather unceremoniously. They weren’t really doing anything with him this season, so he has the same impact on the way out that he had when he was body-hopping in the past seven episodes.
There is a twist, however. During this episode, Lucifer suddenly decides he wants a kid. I guess this would be his second, since we technically had the arrival and disappearance of the Antichrist in season five. They never actually said who Jesse Turner’s father was, but in Biblical mythology he was supposed to be Lucifer’s, right? Just remember that they went immediately for “God’s sister” on this show instead of THE ANTICHRIST. This child is a Nephilim, an unholy abomination made when Angels impregnate humans. The stronger the angel, the stronger the kid. So you can imagine how much bad news this kid could be.
That finally gives us something for the back half of the season, although the worry is that it’ll shift off to the background to give Castiel and Crowley something to do. Meanwhile, Sam and Dean will continue to meander through monster-of-the-week stories and occasional run-ins with the UK Men of Letters. The hope is that maybe things will finally pick up but with the way this lackluster season has been so far I’m remaining cautiously optimistic.
Speaking of the Men of Letters, we meet Arthur Ketch, a charming (and cold-blooded) member of the team. He’s the kind of character I expect to grow on me quickly, because he’s fun to watch in the short time he’s on screen. He killed a telekinetic because the Winchesters didn’t, so we have to keep in mind that he’s still not technically a good guy. But if the UK Men of Letters need a proper representative to act as the heroes’ foil, Ketch would be the one to go with.
He makes his entrance in spectacular fashion, gunning down the Secret Service and blowing up their cars with a rocket launcher. It makes sense the Winchesters would need help against the Secret Service, because they should not win that fight. He then gives them the MacGuffin they need to beat Lucifer and vanishes as quickly as he arrives. When he turns against them it’s going to be great. It also helps that if he has tools that can get rid of Lucifer, not even Crowley or Castiel are safe.
The episode ends with the Nephilim’s mother escaping from Castiel to raise her baby and Sam and Dean being locked up for attempted assassination. My guess is that doesn’t last long, because the show loves its status quo. Anything interesting usually lasts for an episode or two, if that. But hey, at least we have that Nephilim as a possible enemy, and one who could become the Big Bad later on (maybe in season thirteen?).
Come back in January and hopefully the show picks up a bit.