Filed under: Recaps & Reviews
The hunt for the Nephilim has begun but who will get to him first: the demons, the angels or the Winchesters?
With no sign of Jack, Castiel sets out on his own to see what he can learn from his angel contact while the Winchesters decide to work a case where three people were murdered. Meanwhile, in whatever alternate that Lucifer is stuck in, he has become Michael's prisoner and part of the plan to escape into our world using he angel tablet and his very own Kevin Tran. After getting into town, Sam and Dean look into the latest attack. They view the security footage and much to their surprise, the attacker is none other than Arthur Ketch of the British Men of Letters. Just then, a witch named Daniella approaches them, confesses that she is a witch but that she needs their help. Daniella was attacked by this man seeking Rowena, and barely managed to escape with her life. The boys decide to use her as bait and for once, their plan goes off without a hitch and they managed to take Ketch alive. Back in the parallel world, Michael's plan to create another rift sing some of Lucifer's grace succeeds but it's Lucifer that manages to escape. The rift turns out to be a single passenger express and closes immediately after Lucifer jumps through. Back on earth, Castiel meets up with his angel contact but the entire meeting was a trap. The angels want Castiel to convince Jack join them in the hopes that they can use his power to create new angels to bolster their ranks to their former glory. Just as they are about to take him, Lucifer arrives for the rescue. His power is significantly diminished but he manages to fake it long enough for the angels to retreat back to heaven. Before Castiel can attack him, Lucifer manages to convince him that Michael from the other reality is intent on taking theirs for himself. Back at the bunker, Ketch tells the boys that he is not Arthur but rather his disgraced brother Alexander; a former initiate who refused to join the British Men of Letters and is now a nomadic monster killing mercenary. Based on the paper trail, Sam thinks it might be possible but Dean has more than a few doubts about this tale. Meanwhile, Castiel listens to Lucifer's story but things go from awful to sinister when Asmodeus shows up. He can tell that Lucifer has been weakened and insists that the two of them come with him. It's a dangerous game to have their former enemy in the bunker but after the Winchesters get a strange call from Castiel, they may have no other choice but to leave one of their most dangerous enemies alone in their home.
If there was anything that War of the Worlds isn't lacking, it's story. From start to finish, this episode had far more than it needed and even though each story connected to one another at the end, not all of them needed as much attention as they got. To kick things off, the case that the Winchesters was there only to lead them to Ketch. When you keep that in mind and how much story there was in this one episode, it probably wasn't necessary for this arc to even be here. Sam and Dean could have just as easily been in the bunker throughout the show and then gotten the strange call form Castiel and still ended up in the same place. This would have allowed Ketch to be shown at the end of the episode and been a surprise rather than entirely solved in one part of an episode. This brings us to the first scene with Asmodeus did nothing to serve the character but was only there to plant the seed that they had a hunter on their side that was feeding them information that the Winchester no longer had Jack.
Considering that Ketch has had no contact with Sam and Dean in quite some time, it was never established how he knew of this information. Maybe that will be explained later on but it was definitely a gap in the story here. Speaking of Ketch, I'm not sold on the return of such a significant character so soon after his apparent death. After what happened in this episode, there isn't a lot that Ketch can do at this point either. He was likely telling the truth about his resurrection and his character doesn't have much room to grow from here. As he was just recently killed, it doesn't inspire any fear in the audience that his chances of succeeding are any better than they were last time. The one strange thing is how quickly he was willing to join with Asmodeus. As he described himself (in third person as Alexander), Ketch was loyal to a fault with the British Men of Letters and their soldier. He saw the monsters as evil in a very black and white world. So how does he side with a prince of hell? It's likely one of the few mysteries left to the character but if the reason is something as simple as revenge, the answer will be incredibly unsatisfying.
Speaking of characters with strange motivations and little growth, Castiel seems to always be stuck in a continuous loop over the seasons. Every season Castiel trusts the wrong person, gets betrayed, feels bad, tries to redeem himself and the messes up again. It happened with Metatron, the souls in purgatory, Lucifer... and now it's happening again with Lucifer! It's difficult to take the character seriously when it feels like we've just been seeing the same thing every season. I'm hoping that Castiel will find a way to break free of this exhausted ring and hopefully get out of the trope of the dunce with good intentions.
Besides the glaring issues above, War of the Worlds did a great deal to set the season up for a lot of cool things. Michael is still intent on coming to the "paradise world" and hopefully he can bring Kevin Tran since that was the best iteration of him that we have ever seen. Asmodeus is still demon Colonel Sanders but that may eventually work in his favour if Supernatural doesn't take him as seriously as they have been trying to. Besides that, the angels still want Jack and there is the lingering question of Mary Winchester and how she fits into all of this. War of the Worlds was too much story for only forty two minutes but Supernatural definitely seems to have a plan for the rest of the season. Plus, having a weaker version of Lucifer goes a long way to refresh the character. We'll see what happens next week when Sam and Dean try to find Jack in The Scorpion and the Frog.