What is the one thing that James Cameron doesn't have?
After pulling an all-nighter and drinking the rest of the coffee, Sam may have found something that can help them fight against Amara that's only referred to as the Hand of God. It's kind of a catch all phrase but it's used to describe items on earth that were touched by God that still have traces of his power. Apparently it was on its way back to the Unites States of America from France in a submarine during World War II but it was sunk by a Nazi warship while it was crossing the Atlantic Ocean. It all seems awfully convenient to Dean but then Sam drops the fact that it was actually a Woman of Letters, Delphine Seydoux, that stole the item from the Nazis which is why it was never used during the war. The Hand of God was never recovered but the boys have time traveled before so why not do it again? They give Castiel (now with Lucifer at the wheel) a call for help and once they explain how powerful an item like that would be in their fight against Amara, he's all ears. Castiel takes Dean back in time to the submarine but Castiel is nowhere to be found. Back at the bunker, Castiel walks down the stairs, soaking wet and very disappointed. The ship is warded against angels and he couldn't get passed the hull. Even if Dean finds the Hand of God, he's stuck in the past with no way of getting back and it's only a matter of time before the Nazi warship sinks it. If Sam can't find a way to get Castiel in, Dean will go down with the ship.
After last week's Love Hurts, The Vessel is a welcome shift back to the norm for Supernatural. Functioning very much like a monster of the week episode, the Winchesters are now on the hunt of anything that can help them in their fight against Amara. Surprisingly, the scenes where Dean traveled back in time to find the Hand of God were pulled off quite well and the show really nailed the feeling of being in an enclosed submarine that was about to meet its end. It was really those moments that stole the show and Dean's connection to the sailors that were about to meet their end felt real as they were doomed before he set foot on that sub. With any movie or tv show that plays with time travel there are also a few logical pitfalls that unfortunately can't be avoided and Supernatural is no exception. With Dean being in the past while Castiel and Sam are in the present, the pacing and tension to get Dean out before the ship sinks is immediately void. If they can alter the past, it really doesn't matter when they save Dean as long as they are able to it. So while the episode was generally quite good, anyone that has watched sci fi or fantasy has seen a lot of that before.
The Vessel is pretty good but something needs to be said about Castiel or the wolf in sheep's clothing. Mark Pellegrino is pretty spectacular as Lucifer and Misha Collins is fantastic as Castiel – but Misha Collins is not the best Lucifer. Besides shifting his voice between the normal and the usual rasp and low gravelly sound, Collins can't pull off the charm and menace that Pellegrino threads the needle through with ease. Opposed to the natural feeling when he plays Castiel, his portrayal of Lucifer can feel quite forced and I would almost prefer that he took the character in a different direction rather than try to emulate what Pellegrino has done so well.
The Vessel was a solid episode from Supernatural that furthered season's story without going overboard. Adding the Ark of the Covenant will probably give the Winchesters something to search for in the upcoming episodes but as long as Misha Collins plays Lucifer in the same way that Pellegrino did before him, it may make his time far less compelling than it could be. I guess we'll find out next week when Supernatural goes pro wrestling in Beyond the Mat.