Supernatural – Season 11 Episode 22
“We Happy Few”
Sam and Dean help God form a fighting force to take on Amara as season 11 of Supernatural approaches the finish line.
Arguably the stakes have never been higher throughout the entire run of Supernatural. We not only have God’s sister trying to wipe out all of creation but it has been made clear that she is more powerful than he is so by virtue of the viewer expectations of God being the more powerful being in the universe Amara is already a terrifying prospect. Let’s not forget that Sam and Dean are only human which makes their chances against Amara so slim that they’re not even worth thinking about.
They do have the advantage of God being on their side and he did manage to defeat Amara before but he had a lot of help. The first half of this episode deals with that in a really indirect way by exploring God’s relationship with Lucifer.
I think the best way to describe the father/son relationship they have is Biblically dysfunctional yet the issues they have with one another are oddly familiar. I guess God did create humanity in his own image. The bickering between Lucifer and God was hilarious with Lucifer acting like a petulant child and God acting like a stubborn parent. I really enjoyed how far Lucifer took the immaturity that even includes him shutting himself in his room while playing loud music. I mentioned last week about making the relationships between these powerful beings relatable and this certainly brings the squabbling down to a very human level despite the fact that they are both super powerful beings.
Interestingly Lucifer is looking for something very simple from God. All he wants from him is an apology for everything he had to endure. He wants his father to admit that he was wrong to do what he did and show some compassion towards his son. It may not seem like a lot to ask but it turns out that God is suffering from one of his own deadly sins in the form of Pride and refuses to admit to any wrongdoing because he genuinely doesn’t believe that he should. An insincere apology has no value as far as he’s concerned but Sam and Dean help him apply some human logic to it in that apologising can just be about apologising. There’s a funny moment when Dean admits that he frequently apologises to Sam when he doesn’t mean it just to end the disagreement. Sam’s look when he hears this is priceless but I’m not willing to believe that he hasn’t done the same thing.
Ultimately God and Lucifer are able to meet in the middle and get to the root of their issues. God feels guilty because he had promised to love all of creation equally but couldn’t help thinking of Lucifer as his favourite. He gave Lucifer the Mark of Cain and with it the key to Amara’s cell because he loved him the most and thought he was strong enough to shoulder the responsibility. Seeing the Mark corrupt Lucifer the way it did was too horrible for him and caused him to hate himself which he then took out on Lucifer. When admitting that he is able to sincerely apologise for doing that and that was all Lucifer ever needed.
With that dealt with the problem of dealing with Amara takes focus. According to God and Lucifer she can’t simply be killed because she represents half of an important universal balance. You can’t have light without darkness to compare it to so if Amara was killed then that balance would be irreparably upset. This explains why she was locked up in the first place because, evil or not she is needed. This limits any plan that they can come up with because they can’t fight to kill which means that they are automatically at a severe disadvantage since Amara is planning to throw everything she’s got at them. Considering her objective is to wipe out all of creation then upsetting the universal balance doesn’t really bother her.
Another problem is that it took more than God and Lucifer to defeat Amara before. They also had a lot of Archangels backing them up but most of them are dead now and creating more will take time that they don’t have. Amara is more powerful than God and Lucifer together so they need a lot more in their arsenal to even stand a chance.
This is where Sam and Dean come in and gives them a purpose in this struggle that could easily have them be helpless onlookers. One thing they have done is forged complex relationships with both Crowley and Rowena who are both the most powerful supernatural beings on the planet at this point. Crowley is the king of Hell so commands untold legions of demons and Rowena is an incredibly powerful Witch. Lucifer also lets Castiel out as he will have a better chance convincing the Angels to cooperate.
The scenes where Dean goes to Crowley, Sam goes to Rowena and Cas goes to the Angels make a lot of sense since they match up to the most common interactions. Dean and Crowley especially have a really complex connection that is born out of both respect and loathing and the scene they share illustrates this. Dean understands how to get Crowley to agree because he realises that he has completely lost the respect of the Demons that he rules and one way to regain that is to show them that he can be an effective soldier. Basically a show of strength might be enough to prove his worth rather than simply expecting their allegiance. Naturally appealing to Crowley’s ego works and he agrees.
Sam manages to convince Rowena mostly because the fight will be an exciting one and she really likes the simplicity as well as the insanity of the plan that they have hatched. Rowena likes to be on the winning side and feels that God’s might be especially with really powerful magic helping him. Unfortunately this does lead to a really annoying scene where Rowena is starstruck by meeting God.
Cas convinces the Angels that the fight is more important than their petty feelings and being a part of it is essentially why they were created. He’s a good one to do the convincing as he has seen the struggle from his own as well as Lucifer’s perspective so he has unique insight into exactly what is at stake.
The plan is a fairly simple one as I said. All they will do is throw everything they can at Amara so that she can be weak enough for God to put her back in her cell and the whole thing is over. Dean objects to this because locking her up gives her the potential to get free again and the whole thing starts anew. He wants her dead despite the fact that this would mean the end of reality as they know it. Dean is clearly blinded by his connection to her and isn’t thinking clearly. He is also afraid of that connection and how deep it goes. Amara’s desire to become one with him is clearly still ringing in his ears and Dean is fully aware of the fact that he doesn’t want to hurt her so someone else has to do it.
It’s a really strange connection that is clearly preying on Dean but I’m positive that this will become very important next week otherwise it wouldn’t have been developed over the course of the season. I wonder if Amara is secretly afraid of it too as she seems powerless against him.
The execution of the plan is really impressive. It starts with Rowena and the power of the Witches throwing the first punch followed by the Angel Nuke that we saw before and then the Demons come in to further wear her down which includes a visit from Crowley’s red essence. I really liked that sheer attrition was able to wear Amara down to the point that God could attempt to put her back in her cell.
Of course there’s a catch and in this case it relates to the Mark of Cain. Someone has to be branded with it because it’s the key to Amara’s cell. It is revealed that Sam volunteered for this off screen which comes as an effective shock for both Dean and us as viewers. Dean is unwilling to let Sam sacrifice himself like that and feels that it should be given back to him. This is apparently impossible and I imagine the same is true for Lucifer so Sam seems to be the only one who can be trusted with it. I’m glad that the plan doesn’t quite work as I can’t see Sam dealing with the Mark to be any different to what Dean went through and there’s enough repetition on this show as it is.
Amara’s scene with God when she was in her weakened set was excellent. Rob Benedict and Emily Swallow acted their parts flawlessly and really brought across the complicated sibling relationship they have. Amara doesn’t understand why God locked her away where he thinks it should be perfectly clear. He thinks that creation needed to happen and since she stepped in the way of that then God had to do something about it. Amara sees it differently and thinks that God creating Archangels, Angels and humanity was all one big ego trip. According to her God created “lesser beings” so that he has something that worships him. God accepts her point but also tells her that it’s not all there is. He sees creation as an inevitability that always existed in some form so by his reckoning it should be nourished and protected.
Amara punishes God for his loyalty to creation over her as well as his attempt to imprison her again by marking him for death. He will live long enough to see her destroy everything he created. It’s a really merciless punishment and it’s interesting to note that Amara has essentially won at this point. She has disrupted that universal balance as shown by the light dimming so without God to keep things running smoothly I think the universe is dying. How this will be resolved I can’t even speculate but my thinking is that a new representation of light has to appear to restore that balance.
In many ways this episode felt like a season finale and it easily could have been, particularly with that ending. I’m fascinated to see how this turns out next week because I’m honestly not sure how the show can top this.
An excellent episode that sets things up for the finale next week wonderfully. The exploration of the father/son dynamic between Lucifer and God was really well handed and created some great laughs. God’s relationship with Amara is also brilliantly done and the cliffhanger is appropriately shocking. Roll on the finale next week!
- outstanding performances
- the excellent set pieces
- a shocking ending
- Rowena finding a way to ruin a good thing by being annoying