Millennial witches versus an old school coven master in this week's episode.
While trying to get the research momentum going on finding Jack or their mother, Sam has hit a wall. He feels like nothing is going right and their continued perseverance without any plan is getting the best of them. Dean sees that they need a break and decides to go out on a beer run, where he just happens to meet the love of his life. During his run, he encountered a few girl that needed his help and one of them slipped him a love potion hex bag and now he is head over heels. After he gets back to the bunker, he tells Sam everything about Jamie and her sister Jennie and how amazing he feels; now he just needs to give them the Black Grimoire like they asked. Sam, knowing immediately that his brother is under some type of spell, tries to stop Dean but is immediately knocked out by his older brother. Meanwhile in hell, Castiel and Lucifer find themselves locked next to each other in their cells. Still powerless, Lucifer's patience is running thin but then he discovers that his anger may be the key to their freedom. After Dean catches up with the two sisters and hands over the book, Sam arrives moments before Dean was about to get a sledgehammer to the skull. Sam draws his gun but Dean tackles him to defend his true love from harm's way. Jamie and Jennie easily escape and then the original coven witch herself appears, Rowena. Not willing to let something as simple as death slow her down, she asks the boys for their help obtaining the book. Rowena tells them that her power was actually limited when she was younger and she needs the Black Grimoire to unlock her powers and keep safe from Lucifer. The Winchesters know that they can't trust her but whatever Rowena is planning, the devil you know is always better than the one you don't.
Continuing the trend of mixed bag episodes from Supernatural, Various & Sundry Villains never quite found its footing amidst the witches, the Winchesters and the...angels (there was no other W word to describe the angels). Supernatural's usual slasher opening doesn't serve most of the stories the show tries to tell and that was clearly evident here. Jamie and Jennie are introduced by using the love potion hex bag to make someone rob a convenience store and then bash his brains in with a sledgehammer. That psychopathic element of the characters in the opening of the show made them completely irredeemable for the rest of the episode. This made the moments when they talked about their mother and wanting to bring her back entirely empty as they killed someone immediately after that as well, also in a brutal fashion. I get what Various & Sundry Villains was going for by never having them be sympathetic characters but if we aren't supposed to be able to relate, what was the point? Besides the roller coaster of emotions throughout the story, Sam and Rowena's moments together were the unintentional highlight. Sam never discusses that the true face of evil haunts him and having someone to share that with in the impala besides his brother is new for the character. Had there been more time between the Sam, Dean and Rowena, the episode could have been much stronger as the villain of week were quite lackluster. Also, why do everyone's eyes glow this season? It happened three times in this episode alone and is becoming comedic when it happens this often.
Another highlight of the episode were the scenes between Lucifer and Castiel. The two actors have always had great chemistry but now the power dynamic has changed and Castiel stabbed Lucifer with a blade in the closing moments. However this arc turns out, it's certainly not going to lack any surprises.
Overall, Various & Sundry Villains was a slog of an episode. Now that we are halfway through the season, I'm starting to expect more from the story and am wondering when, if ever, Mary Winchester will ever be seen again. For everything that was made about Jack last year, it would be great to see him again. We'll see what happens next week when Dean, Sam and Castiel are united once more in the ir hunter for Lucifer in Devil's Bargain.