Annoyed by the blind obedience of God's followers, Amara destroys a park based preacher and his congregation while Sam has another vision of being in the cage with Lucifer. He snaps out of it only to see a burning bush behind him. He tries to explain what he saw to Dean but his brother still thinks it's crazy. With nothing else presenting itself, the Winchesters have a meeting with Crowley and tell him that the Darkness/Amara is actually God's sister and that Sam wants to have a meeting with Lucifer somehow. As the cage is a divine creation of God, Crowley doesn't have a key but the book of the damned may have what they need. Elsewhere, Amara enters a church in her search for God. She prays but nothing happens. She asks for a meeting but nothing happens and then she gets frustrated. Through the use of his minions, Crowley has retrieved Rowena. The two exchange some very unkind words but then she agrees to help after Sam tells her that he wants a meeting with Lucifer.
As it turns out, Rowena has found what they were looking for and summons Crowley to take them to hell where they will see the prince of darkness himself, Lucifer. Sam calls Dean but his brother is lured away by something ancient. Dean wanders into a park only to find Amara waiting for him. She takes the two of them to the wilderness and Dean tries to find out what she has planned for the fate of the world. Back in hell, Rowena's spell works and she has brought Lucifer into the cage to speak with Sam. Lucifer says that he helped put Amara away before and he's offering again but he needs help – in the form of Sam as a vessel. Sam denies him and then something happens to the barriers that keep Lucifer in check. They fall and then Sam is suddenly in the cage with Lucifer. Amara's release shook the walls of hell and weakened the cage, allowing him to send messages to Sam in the form of visions. God was never there and now Sam is trapped inside the cage with the original evil they put away many years ago.
It can't be denied, O Brother, Where Art Thou? was amazing. Taking on a much darker tone than we have seen so far, this episode meant business and there wasn't a moment that was wasted or didn't feel relevant in some way. Pacing between Dean's scenes with Amara was slow and uneasy and complimented the shift back to hell with Sam and Lucifer. Sam's scenes with Lucifer in the cage were nerve-rackingly tense. He stood outside the cage while the greatest evil they had ever faced stared right back into him. Dean finally came face to face with an adult Amara and she revealed that her intent so far was just to get a reaction from God but has been met with little success. Only after she killed three angels did we see a reaction that may or may not have been a direct intervention by God himself. Either way, things will be very different this season when Supernatural returns in the new year and O Brother, Where Art Thou? was just the episode to shake things up.
By far, the biggest surprise came in the form of Lucifer. After last week's preview, we knew that he would be coming back but not in the big way that he did. For some time now, we assumed that the visions Sam had been receiving were from God but no one would have guessed they were coming from Lucifer. This also explained the small hints earlier in the episode like why it took so little time for Crowley's men to find Rowena, why she had that smirk on her face when Sam mentioned that he wanted to speak with Lucifer and how quickly she agreed to help. Rowena had been talking with him for a while and knew exactly what to do. Is it possible to say too many good things about one person? I'm not sure and don't care because Mark Pellegrino is phenomenal as Lucifer. Supernatural must keep him as long as they can because he brings out the best in Jared Padalecki in a way we have not seen in years. Pellegrino is able to shoot off his lines so effortlessly but charge them with an underlying malice and hatred that no Supernatural villain has done. Every word has an undertone and it's kind of terrifying but exactly what the show needs. Also, his reveal of glowing eyes behind the wall of fire was badass.
Though Sam and Lucifer definitely stole the show, Dean and Amara can't be forgotten in the mix. We're still left wondering what a confrontation between God and Amara would look like and Amara didn't do anything for us to get excited about yet. It was the final moment when the ray of light came down on her that may signal that she got was she was asking for. How Dean fits into that is another question entirely as Amara stated that God is the light but she is the Darkness. For all we know, bliss for everyone may be to be consumed by Amara as she extinguishes all light of God's creation.
The one issue that I have with the episode is the lack of one angel in particular, Michael. As we saw in the season finale of season five, Michael fell into the cage with Lucifer. This was also confirmed by Death (in season six I believe) when he pulled Sam's soul out of the cage. Death said that Sam was stuck in the cage with both Lucifer and Michael, and even gave Dean the option of saving Sam or Adam's soul. So why did Lucifer say that he doesn't get many visitors and why did no one mention that Michael was there with him? Lucifer and Michael are equals in power and they both hate one another but I still wonder if there was ever a plan to have Michael there at some point. It's a small gripe but as a long-time fan of the series, it still makes me question it.
O Brother, Where Art Thou? was the episode that Supernatural fans have been waiting years to see. The Darkness may be the latest bad but Lucifer will always steal the show. With him in the mix, I'm very excited to see what happens next when Supernatural returns January 20th with The Devil in the Details.