Season 12, Episode 8 - "LOTUS"
Jensen Ackles, Jared Padalecki, Misha Collins, Mark A. Sheppard
Regular airtime: Thursdays, 9pm
US: 8 Dec 2016
“Lucifer’s not content with slutting it from one random vessel to the next. He’s moving on to blue chips, celebrities, captains of industry. He just got a lot more dangerous.” - Crowley
This week’s episode of Supernatural started out promising, with the creepy visual of Lucifer possessing an Archbishop (Mark Brandon), complete with red, glowing eyes and crucifixes turning upside down as he walks past them. But, after slaughtering a church full of priests trying to exorcise him, he moves on to a more predictable vessel: the President of the United States.
It’s a little refreshing that the show didn’t try to make any big political statement by making their POTUS a caricature of any current political figure. President Jefferson Rooney (David Chisum) is described as a deeply religious widower who’s in a secret relationship with one of his staffers, but his political party or views are never mentioned.
Perhaps part of the reason why “LOTUS” is so disappointing is that we didn’t see much of our heroes. Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles) briefly discussed the potential benefits/drawbacks of allowing Crowley (Mark Sheppard) into their bunker, and even more briefly feigned surprise at Crowley and Castiel’s (Misha Collins) bad FBI agent acting skills, but most of the episode consisted of Lucifer’s relatively pointless shenanigans.
After much time spent in bed with Kelly (Courtney Ford), the President’s girlfriend, Lucifer decides that what he wants to do is have a baby. Castiel gets intense “angel radio” pains at the moment of conception, and so we’re introduced to the painfully stupid plotline of the anti-Christ.
Supernatural devotees may remember the season five episode, “I Believe the Children Are Our Future”, in which a young boy inadvertently caused fairy tale and prank-related deaths in a small town. It turned out that the boy was fathered by a demon, and was said to be “one of many” half-human spawn. The boy wasn’t interested in being the anti-Christ, and the episode ended with him willing himself away to a deserted island for the benefit of others. Apparently, the show’s writers don’t want us to remember that too much, because now this unborn child is also referred to as an “abomination” (a nephilim, the spawn of an angel and a human, first introduced in the season nine episode “Clip Show”), which must be stopped.
First, however, Castiel, Sam, and Dean are stopped en route to the President, by a mysterious group of men in suits. Are they possessed secret service agents or overzealous Men of Letters? It’s not clear, but regardless, they’re stopped by Mr. Ketch (David Haydn-Jones), who appears here as a type of James Bond character, complete with a jazz-blasting car (The Dave Brubeck Quartet’s “Take Five”) and a trunk full of nifty gadgets. He tells our heroes that they shouldn’t judge the Men of Letters by the Sam-torturing Lady Bevell’s (Elizabeth Blackmore) actions alone; the organization can offer them advanced training and technology. Dean, for one, is intrigued by a golden egg-shaped device that performs radioactive exorcisms. He forms a plan to use it on Lucifer, but they still need Rowena (Ruth Connell) to blast him back to Hell.
Rowena’s cameo, as a gold-digger finding herself duped and dumped by her latest mark, was the highlight of the episode, but the final showdown was also interesting. Sparks fly and heavy gusts of wind by the Men of Letters egg and Rowena’s spell send Lucifer out of the President (who survives but doesn’t remember anything) and apparently, into an air duct on the floor. The Winchesters believe they’ve won.
In true Supernatural fashion, of course, no hiatus ends on a happy note. Kelly, reeling from the news that she’s carrying Lucifer’s baby, runs away from Castiel, saying that she already loves her child. Sam and Dean find themselves handcuffed and shackled in the back of a van being driven by probable Men of Letters.