Supernatural: The Vessel

"I was just a witness."

Time travel episodes on Supernatural are usually wonderful. This one was cool but sad, and even grim, because fate was unchanged. Delphine and the sailors on the U.S.S. Bluefin had to die, they did die, and Dean had to let them die. And the Winchesters didn't even get a cool supernatural weapon out of it.

I very much liked that the Men of Letters included Women of Letters as operatives, and I liked Delphine Seydoux. So did Dean, and there was no leering, no flirting, just honesty and collegial respect for her as a Woman of Letters, for her mission and her ultimate sacrifice. (Okay, he called her a 'hottie', but that was because of the gams comment.) I wanted Dean to find a way to save Delphine and all of the sailors in that submarine, but sadly, no. I also liked Giraldi, the sailor who was holding a gun on Dean, who asked all of the questions and who began to believe the outlandish answers Dean was giving him. He made us feel for all of the sailors on the U.S.S. Bluefin who were about to die.

I also liked the way that the angel sigils were used in this episode because it linked the submarine plot to the Men of Letters bunker. Except that I was very disappointed that the spell that required the power of an archangel was an accident. Seriously, I thought Sam had realized Castiel was acting oddly and did the math, and the spell was a very clever Lucifer trap. Instead, Sam trusted "Castiel" with his soul, and only Castiel briefly emerging managed to save Sam.

So now the boys know that they have to defeat Amara and Lucifer. As if they didn't have enough to do. Dean had decided to go on the mission because he is the most expendable, since Sam is needed to take down Amara. But you know, for some reason, this episode made me wonder if Dean is the only one who can kill Amara because she cares about him and is connected to him. Sort of like how Lucifer actually does care a little about Sam, his ultimate choice of vessel. If Lucifer can care about anything.

The claustrophobic old submarine was a great set. Or was it a location? I also liked the brothers scene at the messy old dock at the end, too.

The opener was amusing, but honestly, I found it as sad as the rest of the episode. Castiel's sacrifice of his body to defeat the Darkness was pointless, because Lucifer clearly doesn't have a clue how to beat her if he's hanging around Hell playing video games. And poor Crowley is literally in the dog house, in chains and khaki pants and a tee shirt that says, 'Don't worry, be happy'. Crowley is a monster, but he's the monster we know. Couldn't the boys rescue Crowley, too?

Bits and pieces:

-- The title of the episode, "The Vessel", referred to the submarine as well as Casifer. Nice double entendre. Triple, if you consider the fact that Sam is Lucifer's chosen vessel, too.

-- Sam killed the coffee. Sam, you don't do that. In my house, there is never ever no coffee first thing in the morning. Ever.

-- The Thule were also in the episode that introduced the Men of Letters bunker. Note how we were told that the U.S.S. Bluefin was burned as well as sunk, so that we'd know that Delphine's horrible lover was dead, too.

-- Delphine's angel sigil tatt was in much the same place as Dean and Sam's pentagram tatts.

-- Delphine's last name was Seydoux. That's almost my last name.

-- "Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien" by Edith Piaf is probably one of the greatest female vocals ever recorded. I have a copy and sometimes I just play it over and over. It certainly applied to Delphine, who was ready to sacrifice her life without regrets.

-- I appreciate a Raiders of the Lost Ark reference as much as anyone, but how does a specific weapon get a reputation if it has never been used?

-- In the translation at the bottom of the Henshaw report, one of the paragraphs has a little homage to Mission Impossible. It starts: "Your mission, should you choose to accept it..."

-- I have to mention that Angel did an episode set on board a submarine in World War II, too. Except that it included vampires.

-- This week: Nazi-Occupied France and the Atlantic Ocean, 1943. And the Men of Letters bunker.


Delphine: "The Men of Letters send their regards."

Sam: "So you expect me to sit here and ride the pine while you and Cas go play Jules Verne?"
Dean: "Yes. No. Who?"

Delphine: "It must have been more impressive in its complete form. The Ark of the Covenant."
Dean: "Oh, so full on Raiders. That's... okay."

Casifer: (to Sam) "Why have I been trying to spare you? I mean, maybe it's because you're like the girl who kept turning me down at the prom."
Lucifer went to the prom?

Casifer: "Donning this... Cas mask? This grim face of angelic constipation? Just ugh. And then teaming up with you two? I thought you boys were insufferable as mortal enemies, but working with you? That's the soul crusher."

I enjoyed this episode the second time through, so three out of four Raiders references,

Billie Doux loves good television, especially science fiction, and spends way too much time writing about it.


Juliette said...

I loved the line about "angelic constipation"!

I was disappointed Sam hadn't worked out it was Lucifer too. I was mildly disappointed neither of them had worked out that at the least, it wasn't Cas, but especially disappointed that Sam couldn't spot Lucifer after being tortured by him for hundreds of years. Still, they did know something was up and they got there in the end. And it's nice to see someone fight off a possession to save Sam for once, instead of Dean!

Heather1 said...

As I've said before, I'll go wherever Supernatural takes me. And the show doesn't belong to me. But I had been looking forward to an episode at some point that would be full of hints and mistakes and little things adding up that would make Sam and Dean realize that it wasn't Cas but Lucifer. I had wanted more to be made of that.

That being said, I was glad that much of the time on the sub was spent not on getting people to believe Dean... but in dealing with the very real issue and Dean's obvious regret that he couldn't change history.

Katherine said...

Ah, Madame La Doux, whatever would I do without your reviews?

I try very hard not to go against my husband, but it is times like this I want to stomp my little foot down and say, "Give me back my Supernatural".

Well, I've got you, and you do very well indeed!

Mallena said...

Wasn't that interested in the sub scenes, though I liked the Woman of Letters. She was pretty great. My favorite part was Lucifer as Cas rolling his eyes and acting totally exasperated by what he was doing to help Dean and Sam. He didn't like getting dunked in the ocean or having to put up with Sam who was so concerned and sincere. I didn't think Sam should have figured it out sooner, Cas always acted awkward with him. I loved it when Casifer dropped the act and Sam was confronted with Lucifer once again. All the scenes in the bunker were great. I'm glad Misha Collins now has a good story arc. No more angel wars, please.

percysowner said...

I don't have a problem with Sam not figuring out Cas was actually Lucifer. Cas has spent a good part of this show acting weird. By now having a consistent character would be OOC. The big thing is that as far as Sam and Dean know, there was no way for Lucifer to be free. Sam worked SO HARD to say no to Lucifer in season five and only said yes to put him back in the Cage. He said no to Lucifer again when stuck in the Cage with him. Cas was completely on Team Lucifer Must Be Stopped. Cas saying yes to Lucifer was idiotic and Sam and Dean had no reason to consider that Cas would do anything so lame brained.

Then of course they went on and on in season five about Lucifer needing his One True Vessel. How were Sam and Dean to know that this was all a bunch of hooey? So not recognizing that Cas was Lucifer didn't bother me so much.

jenallday said...

Misha did such a great job switching between Cas and Lucifer I wasn't at all upset that Sam hadn't worked it out! I loved all the bunker scenes

Profe said...

I agree with percysowner. Although Cas has been around for years and we, the audience, have a good feel for his normal behavior, Sam really doesn't. Cas was still calling Sam an abomination and refusing to come when Sam (without Dean) called as of season 7. It was quite a while before Cas even claimed Sam as a friend and he's flat out said he's only around because he feels a connection with Dean. Then because of the plot arc, Sam and Cas spent almost no time together in season 8 and 9. If anybody should have picked up on it, it should have been Dean. Not that super-denial man would have. LOL. But I can't blame Sam, as sensitive and perceptive as he might be. I would love to have a multi-episode arc of Sam and Cas working together. I was very disappointed when the demon Dean arc was cut short for the 200th episode musical. I just knew we were going to get a Cas/ Sam team up since we got Crowley-Dean.

Gus Brunetti said...

What I found most amusing was the fact that they were listening to Piaf 17 years before she released that song. I know it was a time travel episode, but come on!