Supernatural was full of surprises this week, inducing many high-pitch screams from fans. There were returns of long-lost characters (no ever really dies on this show!) deals made and broken, and the highly-anticipated introduction of Sister Jo, wonderfully portrayed by the lovely Danneel Ackles.
There was A LOT going on in this episode. We first meet Sister Jo and learn that she is a proclaimed faith healer and “business woman” who spends her time healing those who come to her – at a cost. Lucifer, upon hearing of Sister Jo and how she’s the real deal, sets out to find her in hopes that she can help restore his grace.
Meanwhile, Team Free Will are together again in the bunker where Castiel reveals Lucifer’s plans. Jared’s portrayal of Sam reacting to the news of Lucifer was perfect. You could see how haunted he was by the mention of Lucifer and its clear Sam is still haunted by his time in the cage. Sam, Dean and Cass come up with a plan to kidnap Lucifer and use his grace to open up the door to the alternate universe to save Mary and Jack. Donatello also returns to help translate the demon tablet to find the spell in order to open the door. Cass then reveals (via angel radio) that Lucifer has killed a Cupid in order to suck out his grace and the three leave the bunker to track him down. Down in Hell, Asmodeus is also on a hunt for Lucifer and teams up with Ketch (who unfortunately is still kicking) to find him.
Lucifer eventually tracks down Sister Jo where he immediately recognizes her for who she really is. Sister Jo is revealed to actually be an angel by the name of Anael who doesn’t back down to Lucifer’s advances. After the fall, Anael recognized the human need for life and has been using it to her advantage by charging people for her healing abilities. In an attempt to save her life, Sister Jo / Anael offers Lucifer a deal. Instead of killing her, she offers to let Lucifer drain her grace when needed and the two leave together.
The boys then run into who shares that he also heard Lucifer was back and is on a mission to take him down. Since they have the same goal, Ketch offers to team up with the boys and share intel. In response, Cass knocks him out and they throw his body in the trunk of the Impala to deal with him later. Sam then shows Dean and Cass a video of Sister Jo where Cass reveals her true identity as Anael, the boys then set off in the Impala to track her down since they suspect she’s with Lucifer.
This is where things get a little uncomfortable – we cut to Lucifer sucking the grace out of Anael’s neck (flashbacks to Sam sucking demon blood out of Ruby anyone??). They then fall exasperated on the bed, giving hints something more went on. To me, this really seemed like a strong parallel to the relationship between Sam and Ruby. Anael tells Lucifer about her meaningless role in Heaven and tells us that she felt liberated by the fall, like she’s able to achieve something more on Earth. Lucifer shares with Anael about the mission he’s on to find Jack and the concerns he has on being a father.
Asmodeus then learns that the demons have tracked down Donatello, knowing that he’s in the process of translating the demon tablet. Asmodeus then changes into Cass and tricks Donatello into revealing the details of the demon tablet to him once he has translated it.
At this point, they boys have successfully tracked down Anael at a nearby motel where she used her credit card. Sam tricks her into coming out of the motel and the boys confront her about Lucifer. She says she needs help with Lucifer, that she’s being trapped by him so he can drain her grace. Dean agrees to help her but only if she helps them first. Anael leads the boys to where they confront Lucifer at the motel room. Some jokes about Sam’s hair by Lucifer ensue before Anael betrays the boys and helps Lucifer attack Sam and Dean.
Ketch arrives and “saves the day” but allows Lucifer and Anael to escape. Ketch pitches the same deal of working together and reveals that he is working for Asmodeus. He claims that since he’s working for Asmodeus, he can pass crucial information to Sam and Dean in order for them to take down Lucifer. He acknowledges the lack of trust and tries to convince the boys he’s the “lesser of 3 evils”.
Lucifer and Anael then go the other angels and try to convince them to make him the ruler of Heaven and in exchange, Lucifer will create more angels and give the fallen back their wings. We later see Lucifer sitting on a white throne in Heaven with Anael at his side, so we can assume the deal was agreed on. The scene cuts away with Lucifer saying a cryptic, “Hail to the King”.
We cut back to Asmodeus in Hell for the final few minutes of the episode. Now here comes the REAL surprise of the night for we finally learn who that man is in the prison cell! Asmodeus pulls out the archangel blade where Ketch brings up how the blade can only be used by an archangel. Asmodeus, realizing this, pulls back the door on the prison cell to reveal – GABRIEL IS BACK!!
The episode definitely closed out in one of the biggest surprises Supernatural fans have had in a while. It’ll be interesting to see where we go from here! Where was Gabriel? How is he back? Is Sister Jo/Anael really working for Lucifer? Will Jared get his wish of stabbing Jensen’s wife so each of their kids can question why their uncle killed their mom? It was a great episode overall, and I’m excited to see where the story goes now.