Nazis hunting supernatural artifacts. A piece of the Ark of the Covenant.
It was hard not to think of Raiders of the Lost Ark — even Dean does — during Supernatural Season 11 Episode 14, as the Winchesters latest idea to take on the Darkness involved a weapon that has the power of God.
Next we’re going to learn Indiana Jones was actually a part of the Men of Letters, right?
Surprisingly, “The Vessel” was an engaging episode. It expanded a bit of the Supernatural lore while also revealing to Sam and Dean that Lucifer has been renting out their friend’s meat suit.
The whole time travel angle and heading back to World War II seemed ripe for a one-off that would have plenty of clever jokes but not enough interesting larger story to make it ultimately worthwhile. It just wasn’t one I was looking forward to.
But the episode had a creative concept with the weapon of God as an alternative to God having to show up to take on Amara.
It also made the plausibility of Sam and Dean facing the Darkness that much more realistic with a weapon like that.
And I kind of liked that even after going through everything, the weapon turned out to be out of juice. Crappy for Sam and Dean, sure, but it wasn’t a quick fix.
Granted, that can’t be the last time the brothers pursue a weapon like that, as I’m sure there has to be another one out there.
The submarine setting definitely felt very different for Supernatural, and while not a ton of action happened inside the vessel, there was a decent amount of suspense involved.
Though, I kept wondering if Dean would actually wind up saving the crew.
I also liked Delphine, but I wish she had more to do than just appear and then get to die later in the episode.
If anything, the whole experience was a rough one for Dean. Not only did he get to be around moments before these people were going to die, but the weapon turned out to be a dud. And on top of that, he learned that Castiel let Lucifer in, and they now have to deal with hunting down Lucifer.
The Winchester to-do list is piling up.
But you really got to feel a bit of Dean’s heartbreak at the end, with a fantastic setting of that broken dock. Things definitely did not go the way he had planned…though did they go how they were supposed to all along?
The time travel stuff and the butterfly effect can all get so tricky. In fact, isn’t Crowley’s son still out there after messing with time?
But it was bringing in Lucifer to help with the mission that really upped the episode’s enjoyment.
I’m still impressed with Misha Collins’ portrayal of Lucifer. He really has managed to emulate Mark Pellegrino’s performance of Lucifer, and it’s fun to see Collins get to play something a bit different.
Even Collins playing Lucifer playing Castiel is entertaining.
It was interesting to see Lucifer pretty much drop the act after coming back without Dean, but when he went full-on Lucifer mode, talking about exploding Sam all over the bunker? Chilling.
Lucifer has solidified himself as a great character on Supernatural, and Collins was able to keep him a scary and menacing force when he needed to be.
If anything, it’s great that that secret is all out in the open now.
In a lot of ways, the bigger plot really didn’t move anywhere, especially seeing as the weapon was useless. But the time travel aspect of the episode proved to be engaging, and we finally got that reveal about Lucifer.
So, it still wound up being a solid hour. And now I’m just wondering what Sam and Dean are going to do next. Things are not looking good for them.
Will they hunt down Lucifer? Will they hunt for another weapon? Will they find a new ally? Sound off below, and be sure to watch Supernatural online now.
NOTE: Supernatural Season 11 Episode 15, "Beyond the Mat," airs Feb. 24 at 9 p.m.
Sean McKenna was a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. He retired in May of 2017. Follow him on Twitter.