Supernatural: Sympathy for the Devil
August 4, 2021 5:08 AM - Season 5, Episode 1 - Subscribe

Chuck tells the Winchesters that Castiel is dead, that they need to find a mystical weapon called the Sword of Michael, and that he has had a vision that it's in a castle, on a hill made of forty-two dogs.


Zachariah: What, you thought you could actually kill Lucifer? You simpering wad of insecurity and self-loathing? No. You're just a human, Dean. And not much of one.

Dean: What do you mean, I'm the sword?
Zachariah: Michael's weapon. Or, rather, his... receptacle.
Dean: I'm a vessel?
Zachariah: You're "the" vessel. Michael's vessel.
Dean: How? Why? Why me?
Zachariah: Because you're chosen! It's a great honour, Dean.
Dean: Oh, yeah. Yeah, life as an angel condom. That's real fun!

Lucifer: You're dreaming, Nick. But it doesn't mean this isn't real.
Nick: Sarah?
Lucifer: I'm not your wife, Nick. I'm an angel.
Nick: An angel?
Lucifer: My name is Lucifer.
Nick: Sure. Naturally. Um... Could you do me a favour there, Satan, and remind me to quit drinking before I go to bed?

Dean: Where's Cass?
Chuck: He's dead. Or gone. The archangel smote the crap out of him. I'm sorry.
Dean: You're sure? I mean, maybe he just vanished into the light or something.
Chuck: Oh, no. He, like, exploded. Like a water balloon of chunky soup.
Sam: You got a...
Chuck: Right here?
Sam: Uh, the... [indicates other side of Chuck's head]
Chuck: Oh God. Is that a molar? I have a molar in my hair? This has been a really stressful day.

Sam: You okay, lady?
Becky: Sam? Is it really you? [puts her hand on Sam's chest] And you're so firm.
Sam: Uh... do I know you?
Becky: No, but I know you. You're Sam Winchester. and you're... [looks at Dean, is visibly disappointed]... not what I pictured.

Sam: Becky, could you quit touching me?
Becky: No.

Bobby: And how are we supposed to do all this, genius?
Dean: I've got no idea, but what I do have is a GED and a give 'em hell attitude, and I'll figure it out.
Bobby: You're nine kinds of crazy, boy.
Dean: It's been said.

Dean: You think we're talking about the actual sword from the actual archangel?
Bobby: You better friggin' hope so. [opens a book to a Renaissance painting depicting a beautiful and androgynous angelic warrior] That's Michael. Toughest son of a bitch they got.
Dean: You kidding me? Tough? That guy looks like Cate Blanchett.

Meg: Every demon—every single one—is just dying for a piece of you.
Dean: Get in line.
Meg: Oh, I'm in the front of the line, baby. Let's ride. [kisses Dean against his will]
Dean: What is that, peanut butter?


This is the third season premier in a row that had an AC/DC song accompany the recap. In season 3 it was "Hell's Bells", in season 4 it was "You Shook Me All Night Long", and in this season it was "Thunderstruck".

The host that Lucifer takes is named "Nick". In some traditions, the devil is referred to as "Old Nick."
posted by orange swan (6 comments total)
"Becky, it's all real." "I knew it!" is such a great moment.
posted by Pope Guilty at 5:53 AM on August 4, 2021

In this episode, we meet Emily Perkins as Becky Rosen, Sam's obsessed fangirl, Nicki Aycox as Meg No. 2, and Mark Pellegrino as Nick, Lucifer's vessel.

Becky's very funny but good heavens is she ever loosely hinged. It just isn't healthy to be so invested in a vicarious life.

Nicki Aycox does a good job of channeling the first Meg's insouciance, and she has much better hair.

Lucifer is a repugnant character. Of course, he's supposed to be, given that he's literally Satan. And I must admit Mark Pellegrino is rather alarmingly good at playing him, but the thing is... I don't find that repellant quality to be all just an act. He's not appealing as Nick, either. There are some actors who give off something I call the "jerk vibe" (or, in extreme cases, "the asshole siren"). When I get that jerk vibe from an actor, no matter what role they play, even when they're supposed to be playing good, sympathetic characters, I feel such a visceral aversion to them. Tom Cruise, Clark Gable, Richard Dreyfuss, Mel Gibson, and Kevin Spacey are some of the actors I felt this aversion to before I knew anything about them as people, and of course they're all now known to be reprehensible in real life. Basically, what's happening is that the actor is an asshole and isn't a good enough actor to be able to mask it; it's his essential self coming through, and I'm picking up on it. Mark Pellegrino gives off the jerk vibe in spades, and a quick browse through his twitter feed gives me all the confirmation I need that he is someone I would never want to meet -- to give just one reason, he's overbearing and contemptuous towards anyone he's arguing with in exactly the same way one of my abusive older brothers always is.

I'll just say here that I'm not claiming to have some infallible radar for abusive assholes. Not every actor who is an awful person gives off the jerk vibe. There have been plenty of times an actor has turned out to be a monster in real life and I was as shocked as anyone else to hear it. Jared Padalecki comes across as essentially kind, gentle, and thoughtful when playing Sam. Until I went looking, I assumed he was an ordinary, pleasant guy, and I would never have guessed that he would be the kind of person to dox customer service people who had displeased him, or assault three people during a drunken rampage, or make a rape joke to a large audience of young women, and it's not like he's a great actor. In his case, he has enough genuinely good/attractive qualities that he can present quite well, especially under controlled circumstances and/or when on his best behaviour.

I think Dean is being too hard on Sam. It was killing Lilith that freed Lucifer, and both Sam and Dean thought that killing Lilith was a good thing. Sam saw working with Ruby and drinking demon blood as a means to that end. While he should have known that nothing good could come of using those methods -- and his having to force an innocent, terrified, screaming woman into the trunk of a car should have clued him in if nothing else did -- the fact remains that if Sam and Dean had worked together by more legitimate means to find a way to kill Lilith and succeeded in killing her, they would still have kickstarted the apocalypse. But then again, as I commented in the previous episode's thread, Dean is too all or nothing in his relationships.

Bobby telling Sam to lose his number after they dealt with Lucifer should have been a sign to Sam and Dean that something was amiss with Bobby. He would never turn his back on them.

Bobby taking down Dean was quite convincing, but then Jim Beaver is an ex-Marine.

Would Bobby stabbing himself in the stomach really leave him unable to walk?
posted by orange swan at 7:02 AM on August 4, 2021 [1 favorite]

Oh, and Becky being disappointed by Dean's actual looks is hilarious (as well as his reaction to that -- he is NOT used to women finding him physically off-putting). I have to wonder what she was expecting.
posted by orange swan at 7:55 AM on August 4, 2021 [1 favorite]

Mark Pellegrino was also cast as Paul Bennett in 'Dexter,' Rita's abusive husband, "a manipulative rapist and spousal abuser, often harming Rita to express his violent temper."

He was also cast as the voice of Jacob Seed in 'Far Cry 5,' another jerk bastard role.

Not entirely sure about the inability to walk thing. Saying that gut wounds are incredibly painful is a laughable understatement, and normal upright ambulation does involve abdominal muscles. Humans vacated by demons tend to be incapacitated for a while, too, also?

I did find it super curious that Bobby (had the fortitude/ love-for-Dean to fight of demon possession, even temporarily) was able to kill the demon possessing him with a gut stab with the blade, and the demon dying didn't take Bobby with it.

Not sure we've seen this scenario before. The demon definitely sizzled rather than escape.

Why did the boys never gut-stab possessed, and then send the human to the ER? Or stab them in the shoulder blade or arm or other non-lethal part of the body?

If Bobby survives, it will be in a large part because he's eyeballs-deep in antibiotics (for weeks) after the surgeons sew his guts up and lavage his abdominopelvic cavity before closing him up again.
posted by porpoise at 5:53 PM on August 4, 2021

"Do I have a molar in my hair? This has been a really stressful day." Ah, Chuck.

Becky Rosen ends up okay enough, but gosh where she starts off is off-putting. I know what they're trying to do, I think it's dopey but I get it, but it's really hard to look at this episode outside the context of how embarrassingly women are handled on this show in general. Literally the episode before this, every woman with a speaking role and most without got murdered and it's more than I could count on two hands, half of them get called bitches and sluts before they die. now let's meet Becky! It's a bizarre combination of insecurity, snootiness, and contemptuous misogyny in the storytelling.

Nick is sort of tossed like a salad into being 60% of an interesting character, because you know so little about him except that he was in a terrible place when he met Lucifer and the remainder of his life is MUCH WORSE. Was he a normal person who Lucifer shattered? Was he an awful person who had an awful thing happen to him, and Lucifer just took the brakes off? What was it like in there all those years? By the end how much of him was Nick and how much was Lucifer (and how much was Sam?) When he died did he go back to Hell? Did he have a last name? Eternal mysteries.
posted by jameaterblues at 12:03 AM on August 5, 2021 [3 favorites]

Emily Perkins played triplets Dara Kernoff, Paula Koklos, and Roberta Dyer in the "All Souls" episode of The X-Files, and well, those triplets could hardly be more different from Becky, so much so that I had a, "That was her?!" reaction when I saw it on IMDb. She only appeared in four episodes of Supernatural, which is surprising given how memorable the character is. Perkins is clearly very talented, has a gift for comedy, and can disappear into a role. It's a shame she doesn't seem to be acting these days. Since 2014, her only acting job has been a last season episode of Supernatural in 2019. She could be doing theatre, of course, and it wouldn't show up on her IMDb page.
posted by orange swan at 6:24 AM on August 5, 2021

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