Supernatural: The Vessel
February 18, 2016 3:18 PM - Season 11, Episode 14 - Subscribe

Dean gets sent back in time by "Castiel" into an American WWII submarine before its fated destruction to recover a powerful weapon to be used against The Darkness. Lucifer, still in Castiel's body, tries to keep the charade up with Sam and Dean.

The archangel is out of the bag! That crazy sigil surely will prove useful in the future, though I think it's implied that you must bond it to your soul like Delphine did. And I'm guessing the "Hand of God" isn't out of juice yet, and perhaps angels can't utilize it. Otherwise the entire episode was basically to expose Lucifer, and that feels pretty wasteful to me.

Fun facts:
- Weronika Rosati who played Delphine, will be in the movie USS Indianapolis: Men of Courage, though she won't be aboard that ship. I just found it interesting she's in two shows/movies surrounding USSes in one year.
- Darren Dolynski, who played captain James Deerborn of USS Bluefin, previously played a demon working for Lilith in episode 4.22, Lucifer Rising
posted by numaner (9 comments total)
It's been so much fun watching Misha doing his Mark Pellegrino impersonation these past episodes, I'm going to miss it when he goes back to being full-time Castiel.

For a minute there, I thought maybe they were going to have Dean bring Delphine back to the bunker with him. She could have been a useful/interesting recurring character, but, oh well, the writers would have killed her eventually anyway.
posted by oh yeah! at 8:33 PM on February 18, 2016 [2 favorites]

Hasn't this season been good? It seems like a real renaissance for the show lately. Last season I remember thinking that it was like they were putting their energy into making individual episodes good and not worrying so much about the arc, and this season it seems like more of a balance, with individual episodes that work well and a pretty good arc going too.

Doggy Crowley is not a pleasant sight, though. Smug badass Crowley is a lot more fun. (Funny that one of the ways they're convincing us that Lucifer is awful and deserves hating is by having him jerk Crowley around. Crowley is an evil bastard too, but he's OUR evil bastard!)

I wonder if they had access to an old sub, or if that was all a set. In any case it looked like they spent some cash on this one. Lots of sets, lots of guest stars and extras, plenty of WWII costume rentals, some pretty good sub CGI exteriors. It wasn't exactly dazzling, but it seemed conspicuously spendy for this show.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 9:39 PM on February 18, 2016 [2 favorites]

For a minute there, I thought maybe they were going to have Dean bring Delphine back to the bunker with him. She could have been a useful/interesting recurring character, but, oh well, the writers would have killed her eventually anyway.

Same here. I thought Delphine might appear at the bunker, glowing with divine fire, and kick Lucifer's ass and join the team for awhile before striking out on her own. Pity that didn't happen.
posted by homunculus at 10:05 AM on February 19, 2016 [1 favorite]

This season has been good and I think it's because they went back to the first four seasons, looked at what worked and made those initial seasons great, and are working hard to replicate it. We've completely ditched the perpetual cycle of 'secrets' and distrust that under minded the strength of brotherhood and family that's central to the early seasons. We've gotten fairly decent one offs and they managed to bring back not one, not two, but three women from previous episodes and not kill them off in some ridiculous manner. (Well, did our witch count?)

The exterior sub shots were incredible. It makes me wonder if they were able to borrow them from some other source. Obviously, the Blue Fin must be some rent-a-set given its multiple rooms (galley, torpedo room, bunks, and bridge, etc). But, there also seemed to be a lot of care put into the sailors that didn't necessarily need to have been put in, and the result was an environment that felt much more rich than it should have been.

One point, they find the wreck of the German destroyer, but not the American sub. We had previously been told the sub had never been found, so it makes me wonder if it really did sink or if the God power under Delphine transported it somewhere else.

Doggy Crowley is definitely not a fun Crowley. At the least, we know he'll end up back on top. He always does.

Watching Misha change characters makes me really love Castiel's character even more.
posted by Atreides at 10:30 AM on February 19, 2016

Is there a type of billfish called a bluefin that looks like the one on their torpedo? 'Cause that looks like a swordfish/marlin.
posted by FallowKing at 12:25 PM on February 19, 2016

I'm the wife of a former submariner so I got a special thrill out of this episode. Jensen in a dixie cup and bell bottoms, be still my heart!
posted by Requiax at 6:27 PM on March 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


Dean: [takes a swig of beer]
Sam: Seriously? Dude, it's like noon.
Dean: Uh, well, you drank all the coffee so what am I supposed to drink, water?

Sam: Hey, did you know the Nazis had a special branch devoted to archeology?
Dean: A little early for Nazi trivia, especially without caffeine.

Sam: So you expect me to sit here and ride pine while you and Cass go play Jules Verne?
Dean: Yes! No. I -- who?


When Lucifer, in Castiel's body, touches Dean, he touches his right shoulder several times; the true Castiel has always touched Dean's left shoulder, which is the side that bears the burn mark of his hand.

Sam says, "I mean, if James Cameron and his Avatar billions can't find it...." He is referring to the seven deep-ocean expeditions that Cameron led to collect forensic evidence from the wrecks of the Titanic and the Bismarck, and to map deep hydrothermal vents in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.

The French song that plays several times throughout the episode is "Non, je ne regrette rien" (or in English, "No, I Regret Nothing"). Although this episode takes place during World War II, the song was written in 1956 and recorded by Edith Piaf in 1959, many years after the end of the war. This is the same song used in the 2010 movie Inception to pull the main characters out of another's subconscious during the mind heist. The song may have been chosen in part because this episode's plot centres around Lucifer inserting Dean into the ship to retrieve the Hand of God and then pulling him out, just as in Inception the members of the heist were pulled out of the person's subconscious. This is further emphasized by the song playing shortly after the explosion that coincides with Dean's removal from the ship.

When Lucifer is teasing Crowley about his defiance he calls him the once and future king of hell. This is in reference to the book by T.H. White, The Once and Future King, which is about King Arthur, who according to legend would one day return to rule over Britain, just as Crowley hopes to rule over hell once more.

While there was no actual USS Bluefin Gato-class submarine, there was one in the 1966 film Pursue and Destroy.

This episode paid homage to the famous Game of Thrones line, "The Lannisters send their regards," in the pre-credits scene. The way Lucifer treats Crowley also resembles how Ramsay Bolton treats Theon Greyjoy (Reek) starting in the third season.

The episode title, "The Vessel", could refer to 3 things: the USS Bluefin, the submarine; the arc of the covenant; and Castiel being a vessel for Lucifer.

This is the first time someone has ever banished an archangel with an angel-banishing sigil.

The Nazi soldier was wearing three US Iraqi Freedom campaign ribbons on his uniform.

There were no "Midshipmen" on board Navy vessels in WWII. A "Midshipman" is a student at the US Naval Academy, Annapolis, MD.
posted by orange swan at 4:13 PM on December 29, 2021

Delphine was a great character whom I wish had lasted longer. And there were women of letters -- we know this from having seen the woman Abbadon possessed -- just not as many as there were men.

The courage and integrity demonstrated by those aboard the sub was pretty moving -- and tragic.

Seeing Dean in a sailor's uniform was a treat. He looked darn cute in that hat.

Misha Collins is channeling Mark Pellegrino in a truly impressive way. He can even play Mark Pellegrino playing Castiel.

Lucifer has Crowley in a tacky, short-sleeved, Hawaiian-type shirt and souvenir t-shirt, which is probably as great a torture method as any other he's managed to come up with. Crowley is always impeccably dressed in a mob boss black suit with a grey silk tie.
posted by orange swan at 4:16 PM on December 29, 2021

I don’t think I’d have wanted Misha Collins as Lucifer right off the bat, he’s still more jokey smarmy Lucifer than scary Lucifer. But the way he manages to sound like Castiel, but also like Lucifer, but also like Lucifer really enjoying selling them the Castiel Show, is kind of impressive to watch. The sub stuff kind of lost me, but Lucifer pausing to really savor the moment with Sam, brrr.

I am completely convinced at this point that JA had at minimum a handshake agreement that he got to dress up in special outfits at least a couple times a season, and you know, good for him I guess.
posted by jameaterblues at 8:44 PM on January 25, 2022

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