Another resurrection closes out this week’s Supernatural, just in time for the show to go on a three-week hiatus. Gabriel’s return is a long time coming, although I’m pretty sure this is the result of fan service. Richard Speight Jr. has been an integral part of the Supernatural fan base even after his character’s death in season five, putting in appearances at various Supernatural conventions and working on projects with other Supernatural actors. Technically, “Devil’s Bargain” isn’t even his first return. Gabriel was used as a story telling device in season nine’s “Meta Fiction” and Speight Jr. has also directed many episodes. But this is Gabriel’s first true return since Lucifer killed him, assuming of course that the archangel in Asmodeus’ cell is the real Gabriel. I can’t imagine it isn’t, since he definitely looks like he’s spent some time in an otherworldly dimension, possibly tortured, and at some point, had his mouth sown together? In any case, there’s definitely going to have to be a good excuse for Gabriel returning, especially considering his poetic and tragic end in season five.
However, that’s just the last five seconds of “Devil’s Bargain.” A whole lot more happens before that, although it wasn’t as exciting. Lucifer is on the hunt for angel grace, which means he’s also on the hunt for angels. But angels seem to be in short supply nowadays (did I miss something? was this a previously established plot point I’m forgetting?) and Lucifer grows weaker by the minute. He kills Cupid (such a fitting thing for a week before Valentine’s Day. I approve.) and moves on to a faith healer named Sister Jo (Danneel Ackles). Before he goes in for the kill, Sister Jo makes a deal — take her grace little by little, so she can recharge and help Lucifer keep from creating a body trail. He agrees, and the two share a brief connection about what it’s like to be human. Jo is more sentimental about it than Lucifer is, of course, but it’s a nice moment that gives us insight into Jo’s character. She’s someone who wants power, but there’s also something a little vulnerable about her, too.
Cas catches up with the brothers, who keep apologizing that they had no idea Cas was in danger. Sam and Dean are understandably angry about Lucifer’s return and subsequently excited about officially knowing Mary is alive. But for now, it’s back to hunting Lucifer a la season five. They have another run in with Ketch, who has been given orders by Asmodeus to kill Lucifer. Ketch, always working for himself, strikes a bargain with the Winchesters into being a double agent. This will obviously blow up in everyone’s faces later, but for now, it’s what we’ve got. Through Sam’s magical hacking abilities, they find out where Lucifer and Jo have gone once Jo uses her credit card to rent a hotel room. This is where I get a little confused. Lucifer first went to Cas to ask for help in preventing Michael from coming into their world and restarting the apocalypse. Is it only because he’s now focused on gaining more power that he’s abandoned that approach? In any case, Jo tricks the Winchesters and Lucifer and Jo are able to escape.
This episode certainly isn’t bad, but I do think it suffers a bit when it rushes certain plot points. Lucifer is someone who goes with the flow, sure, but his switch from wanting Cas’ help to defeat Michael to wanting to create more angels and then taking over heaven feels odd. Unless he’s doing this so he has more power to fight Michael, but the execution of his goals isn’t very clear. Still, him sitting on that throne in heaven feels like a monumentally bad idea.
Really, though, the only thing worth noting about this episode is Gabriel’s return at the very end. We’ll have to wait until March 1 to see what comes of it. By then, I really should be back on a regular posting schedule.