Supernatural “LOTUS” – The Good, the Not, the Hmm and the Mmm


The mid-season finale of Supernatural won’t go down in history as one of my favorites, much to my disappointment. I didn’t hate it – it kept my interest throughout, so there’s that. Some of that sustained interest was me shaking my head and muttering “too soon, too soon,” and some of it was me shaking my head and demanding of my television “what the hell is even happening?” and occasionally it was me going “mmm boys in handcuffs,” but I wasn’t bored.

The episode moved the season’s arc forward, following Lucifer in his vessel-hopping reign of wreaking havoc right into the President of the United States, and eventually managing to drive him out. Yay for a moment of Winchesters success! Crowley and Cas continue to be a team, and Rowena joins in to help, all of them united in their very evident hatred of Lucifer. Along the way, the British Men of Letters reappear to seemingly save the day and Lucifer manages to create a Nephilim who will undoubtedly be a problem going forward. The cliffhanger ending sees Cas losing the Nephlim’s mother to be in a diner and the Winchesters managing to get themselves arrested. That’s a pretty good plot, and I like where we ended up, but there were some frustrations along the way.

Let’s talk about some of those first. The beginning was anviliciously packed with explanations a regular viewer didn’t need, including flashbacks to what had happened approximately ten seconds ago and way too much scene time devoted to people who I don’t care about (ie, who are not the Winchesters, Cas or Crowley).

Then there was the problem, throughout the episode, of what exactly Castiel (and to a lesser extent, Crowley) can do. Cas is an angel again, somewhat powered down but still an angel. I was hoping for more badass Cas this season, while keeping in mind that Cas can’t be at full power and constantly standing by as deus ex machina to save the day. But we seem to be getting this confusing mix of sometimes powerful and sometimes woefully inept and powerless Cas, and I never know which flavor to expect. Also, it makes no sense! He can mind whammy someone one minute and then lose Kelly in the bathroom the next. Huh??

While it was clearly necessary to get where we’re going, I found the Winchesters’ capture hard to believe. Cas and Crowley saunter off without making sure the Winchesters get out safely – why no angel mind whammy, or at the very least Cas could have kept the doors closed until they got away, couldn’t he? Then Sam and Dean just hover not-very-helpfully over the not-dead president, knowing the secret service is right outside? WHAT? Do not give me stupid Winchesters, Show, that is not what I signed up for! Why didn’t Cas mind whammy the agents into forgetting they ever saw Sam and Dean there? Honestly even Jared and Jensen looked a bit confused about why they weren’t running or hiding or something!

Massaging canon into whatever suits the immediate needs of the present episode and ignoring what that does to continuity doesn’t work well on this show. I’d like to just handwave those problems, I really would, but that’s not the kind of fan I am and honestly? It’s not the kind of fandom this is. Logical gaps are going to rankle, especially when the main characters are all doing things that make no sense.



One of the things I worried about when the British MoL were introduced with such a violent and horrible treatment of Sam was that somehow the show would excuse them for the torture they enacted on him – and that even worse, somehow Sam himself would. The fact that he dialed Mick (even if he did hang up) brought back that nauseous feeling that was plaguing me in some of this season’s earlier episodes. Really? Look, I know that Sam is a forgiving soul, and that he tends to put everyone else before himself and his own feelings. I know he gets focused on getting the job done and doing what needs to be done to accomplish that, it’s part of what makes him the hero he is. But this? This didn’t sit well. It’s exactly what I was afraid of, and I really didn’t want to see it happen.

Stealthy Sammy
Stealthy Sammy

I’m ambivalent about some of the other things that happened. Mr. Ketch (David Haydn-Jones) is an interesting villain (please let him remain one, and Lady Toni too), though I hated him saving the day. The actor has some charisma and is suitably annoying while also being menacing, so perhaps he’ll be a worthy adversary for the Winchesters and their friends.


I loved that Sam was able to dispatch Lucifer (to somewhere, though I’m not sure exactly where – is he really in the golden egg thingy or did he escape down the vent?) and I really REALLY loved Jared’s acting in that scene as he struggled mightily to contain Lucifer, so much rage in his voice as he ground out, ‘Go to Hell!’ I loved Dean’s hopeful optimism, so wanting to believe that they got him, too. Sam hates Lucifer for all that he did to him in the cage and all the psychological torment that resulted afterward, but Dean hates him just as much – for what he did to Sam. Seeing the brothers grab a fleeting moment of happiness and sense of accomplishment warmed my heart (even as I immediately went uh oh…)

But as much as I enjoyed those things, the golden egg thingy seemed a bit too convenient. If they’re really serious about doing good and fighting monsters, why didn’t the BmoL pull that out when the apocalypse was brewing? When the Darkness was threatening the earth? Why didn’t they offer that help until now? It was such a big thing back in the day that the ONLY way to send Lucifer back to the Cage was to actually jump in with him inside you – it was the basis of one of my favorite episodes and the whole reason that Sam ended up trapped and traumatized and then soulless.

My feelings about LOTUS were mixed as well. One of the things I love about Supernatural is that the show isn’t afraid to tackle controversial topics and take risks, but this one felt almost TOO topical! President Lucifer casually suggesting that people should be nuked was more chilling than funny. Misha Collins, never one to mince words, live tweeted:
Misha: A man elected as President of the USA turned out to be possessed by Satan (& tonight, the same storyline played out on #Supernatural).


The episode was written well before the election, but I definitely yelled “too soon” more than once.
There were a few things that I out and out liked though. As always, the show looked beautiful, and the VFX was awesome. I loved that we actually got to see someone USE a grenade launcher, while the Winchesters huddled behind Baby, who will always protect her boys.


Baby and her boys
Baby and her boys

And the early scenes of Dean and Sam discovering all the dead priests scattered all over in the darkness was SO creepy and scary – so very Supernatural. You really have to hand it to those boys, they are about a million times braver than I am!
I thought the actor portraying President Jeff (which made me laugh every time because that’s my son’s name and it just struck me as a funny thing to call a president) did a good job making him thoroughly creepy even when he was smiling a kinda-sorta-sentimental smile while contemplating making a baby. David Chisum did an excellent job; however, this was not the shirtless scene fandom has been clamoring for, Show!


I’m not particularly interested in exploring the ins and outs of Lucifer’s psyche – especially if it means much less Sam and Dean on my television – but every actor who has portrayed him has been able to show some nuances. Lucifer’s bratty and has a hot temper and doesn’t care about anyone but himself, but he’s also a wounded child who acts out like a four year old when he doesn’t get his way or when someone wounds his narcissistic pride. I don’t sympathize with him, but he’s not a simplistic character.

That said, I was perfectly happy to see him disappear down the vent or into the magic egg or wherever the hell he went – especially because it gave Sam Winchester a chance to express a lot of pent up rage and then to vanquish him heroically. Go Sammy! (And go Jared, who knocked it out of the park with his acting in that scene).
Clearly Lucifer will be back. After all, there’s his offspring to contend with. That gave Jensen one of the episode’s best lines when Dean finds out about the nephilim.

Dean: I didn’t know he was dating.


We got a tiny bit of humor as Team Free Will Plus Two try to convince the president’s girlfriend (Courtney Ford) that he’s not who he used to be, which means we got one Dean smile at least. And LOTUS showed his true colors soon enough, thanks to more excellent VFX.

That smile though
That smile though


The guest cast (Ford, Chisum and Haydn-Jones) all did a great job and their characters were well written. It’s just that I don’t CARE very much about those characters – write me Sam and Dean and Cas who are believable and recognizable and I’ll care a whole lot more!

But I was talking about what I liked, wasn’t I? I also enjoyed Rowena and Crowley. In my review of last week’s episode, I said that I hoped we’d see more emotionality between Crowley and Rowena – and I got my wish! Rowena’s reaction when Crowley explodes her latest abandoning fiance all over her was delightful – just when you might have expected her to protest, she is touched by her son’s gesture. Only on Supernatural!

Rowena: (splattered in blood and guts) That’s the sweetest thing you’ve ever done for me.


Did you catch how Crowley touched Rowena’s shoulder protectively later? I did. And I liked it. I’m eager to see where their (complicated) relationship goes this season.

In fact, I liked Crowley’s part in this episode throughout. He got some of the best lines too.

Sam: Crowley, could we just get the damn news without the drama?

Crowley: Can I get you without the flannel? No. Still, I endure.



Oh, Crowley.

I’m still enjoying the odd couple team up of Cas and Crowley too, and the Winchesters’ eye rolling at their aliases. Hey, they learned from you, boys.


I generally don’t like anything about the British Men of Letters, but I have to hand it to Show that Mr. Ketch having a grenade launcher was a nice touch, if only because it gave Ackles a chance to show us once again Dean’s mini obsession with them. Mr. Ketch has the potential to be pretty scary – he clearly doesn’t like the Winchesters and he clearly doesn’t like angels. (I did love that Cas stood up for himself though – Misha played that perfectly).

My name is Castiel
My name is Castiel

We end the episode with a cliffhanger, though not the sort of one that has me gasping and yelling “OMG!!” Cas lets Kelly slip out the back door, rather inexplicably. And Sam and Dean are captured and carted off to who knows where. I realize that captured Winchesters in cuffs and chains should probably not be so hot – blame too much fic reading – but I’m intrigued by where that leaves us when we pick up again in January.





There could be the potential for some interesting developments in the future when the show returns from winter hiatus, so I’m hanging onto hope that the 2017 trajectory will be one that really pulls me in!

Until then, get through Hellatus however you can – maybe read a few of our books on Supernatural! Links to check out Fangasm Supernatural Fangirls, Fan Phenomena: Supernatural and Fandom At The Crossroads on amazon are on this page!

Big thanks to @kayb625 for the pretty screencaps.


29 thoughts on “Supernatural “LOTUS” – The Good, the Not, the Hmm and the Mmm

  • I think the arrest thing was planned…. Idk but it seemed like they had a look of dread and I wonder if the Bmol filled them in on something that the fandom doesn’t know yet….hence the cliffhanger! Loved the episode because it was again different and shot the fandom in a different direction

    • I really hope you’re right–otherwise that part of the episode doesn’t make sense to me. It does seem like Cas could have helped the boys out there!

  • I liked this episode a lot. There never is to much of Dean, Sam and Castiel I liked Rowena and Crowley and their parts. I didnt like that the girl got away or that Dean and Sam were arrested. I never thought there were any parts that showed them not being smart. Castiel had to take that girl out of there but yeah maybe it would have been better if he made everyone forget but that is too easy. I will always love them no matter where the characters go or do. I cant wait for the Cas issues but I do want to see him get the boys out. I hope it is him who saves them I loved they were all in it. I dont always agree where the storyline goes but I love it anyways. My best show and I love the guys Cant wait to see what happens next

  • As usual, your review is spot on ( hmmm..picking up British vernacular?) Not one of my favourite episodes and I found the whole president possession thing a bit too much. Jump the shark, anyone? Not subtle, and ridiculous. I can get behind God, the Darkness and all that but the LOTUS thing? Sorry, no. There were some good parts ( as you said) and now we wait. And wait. I think part of the problem-to me-is too many human enemies. Give me ghosts, etc and I’m good. Although the British MoL could still be interesting. Come on January.

  • I didnt hate the episode, it had its moments (and was, as always, beautifully filmed) – but the plot had me saying WT* rather than OMG, and that’s not what I have come to expect of Show, especially for a mid-season finale. I do hope there is some purpose behind it. Honestly, the only one acting smart and in character at the end was Crowley, by taking his Mom and leaving.
    I loved the performances though, as always (sometimes I get the impression the stellar acting makes the writers a little sloppy plot-wise, as it makes inconsistencies less stinging or confusing behaviour of characters we have known for so long more believable).
    And I have to say, kudos to production design/location management (whoever finds/styles/creates the incredible places we get to see (as always!), that motel was one of many I put on my “spn related places I want to visit” list!
    Thanks for putting into words what bothered me about the episode (but didnt make it into intelligible sentences even in my mind), and for spelling out everything I liked about it (in words and pictures 😉 )!

  • Excellent review as always. I very much agree about hating “dumb” Winchesters. I’ve also seen other comments where they think it was planned. I almost hope it was because I can’t for the life of me figure out why the boys felt a need to hover like they did. Don’t make the Boys dumb just to drive the plot!

    I also agree on just how powerful Cas is. All this can he or can’t he is very confusing. Loved the action scene where Mr. Ketch saves them. I’m going to live to hate him.

  • It was an ok episode and my reactions were pretty much the same as yours, with added wincing at the utterly dreadful accents of Mr Ketch and Mike thingy. Really, seriously bad, and very distracting.
    Re: Lucifer’s departure – I thought they said this was an exorcism device, so I was assuming all it does is forcibly expel the angel from its vessel. Which of course leaves it moot as to where Lucifer might go when banished. A demon used to go back to hell, but where would an angel go? Heaven????

    • Right, the holy hand grenade is not the trap from Ghostbusters – it just expels the entity, it doesn’t contain it. Rowena’s spell was supposed to send the vessel-less Lucifer back to the cage. (Hence the “Rowena NOW!!”) Somehow, I doubt that the route to Hell was through a vent though, so let’s see where he really ends up.

  • I love the episode had some good plots to it, I have a feeling Mr Ketch made some kundvof deal with Sam and Dean. That us fans don’t know yet in the cliff hanger, they knew they would be arrested but stayed. As for Cass how could have let her go, knowing she is carrying the spawn of Lucifer. Crowley as always does what he wants but still help the Winchester’s, Rowena kept her end of the deal with Lucifer. Hope they keep the second half of the season with the brothers, working against the bmol doing their own thing hopefully with Mary. Cass and Crowley can stay together doing their own thing.

  • I don’t get why Lucifer going back to Hell (and into the Cage) via the vent is such a bone of contention. Most of the demons they’ve ever sent back went through a vent or the floorboards. No, he’s not a demon, but he was in a very real sense, exorcised. The point is, they all went back to Hell. The light/power from the deus ex machinegg returned to its source and Luci went down vent, back to the Cage, via Rowena’s spell.

  • I agree with most of your points, as always. NOT one of my favorite episodes for sure. Definitely not enough of the Winchesters. The SUV exploding and the boys behind baby and Jensen and Jared’s response was scary!
    My FAVORITE part was Rowena’s line after getting blood and guts exploded all over her. I literally laughed out loud. Oh my, soooo funny! And yes, ONLY on Supernatural would you see something so vile and awful and yet hysterically funny. Cmon January!!

  • I largely agree with your review here–there’s stuff I like, but I wound up scratching my head a lot. Also, I would have enjoyed the Lucifer-as-dad-to-be plotline more if Lucifer had been played by an actor already established in the role when he made the choice to become a father: Mark Pellegrino, Misha or even Rick.

  • I liked the episode. I really did. Presidential topic never too soon for me. But actually I expected they could’ve made something more out of it. And the WTF moments were there nontheless. Sam and Dean getting captured, as much as I hated it was necessary plotwise but writing could have been more careful not to make look so simple. Something should have happened to make it more viable and believable. Cas innocently letting Kelly slip through his fingers came as no surprise. Those things tend to happen to him so I really saw it coming. Yes, I did notice the little touch from Crowley to Rowena. I think those two are growing on each other. But what really annoyed me to no end was the BMOL being depicted once again as those capable know-it-alls saving the day. Sam and Dean are the heroes here and I expect nobody forgets that. Everything else, I can abide, but having these pretentious dicks make it seem like all Sam and Dean have ever done are the sloppy actions of ignorant primitive men falls barely short from an insult. Sorry. Got a little carried away. I hope nobody goes Zero Dark Thirty on my boys. We’ve had our share of human torture.

  • The egg thing was just to pull Lucifer’s Grace out of his host, so he could be returned to the Cage by Rowena’s spell. They established that she was the only one who knew how to do that back when he killed her for that reason. That’s why you hear Dean yelling NOW. It’s her signal that enough of Lucifer has been pulled out of President Jeff for her to do the spell without endangering POTUS. The egg functions the way Sam’s power in S4 did – it separates the possessed from the possessing. Sam suggests that it can do it with angels as well as demons because that is how he took control of Lucifer in Swan Song. I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that Sam was using his power to help along the egg thing – and yes Jared was stunning in that scene, especially considering he was acting against special effects that didn’t exist at the time.
    Cas loses Kelly because while he is physically and spiritually powerful, he is still kind of clueless and trusting. It was frustrating but really out of character. It is true though that abandoning Sam and Dean is inexplicable.

    • I agree with you about acting against the special effects. Chances are they had a fan and that’s it to help give in the moment. One day, I’d like to see what is caught on film before VFX.

  • I don’t like bmol. I feel they are going to cause more problems than really help Sam and Dean. I love supernatural and Never felt so much energy coming from a show. I like the different directions that the boys go through. I have found nothing wrong in any of the episode. Loved the connection between Rowena and Crowley. Both did an awesome job on their lines. I got a huge smile on my face when Crowley took out the fiance. Kelly keeping the baby? A new ep in line dealing with Lucifer? Sam won’t like that.

  • Disliked the whole episode and most of season 12 so far. Thought we were getting back to basics. I love this show and wish they could go back to the kind of story telling they had in better seasons.

  • It wasn’t the worst episode of the season, but it was incredibly underwhelming. I went in so excited for the premise the preview offered: Lucifer is jumping into a high ranking member of the clergy. What we got was that was the bridge to get us from rock star to … a mash up of Rosemary’s Baby and Omen III. (I realize that Omen III was am ambassador and not the president, but close enough for horseshoes and grenade launchers.)

    I understand how within the context of the show Lucifer would’ve jumped into the president: A. Power, B. Protection against mortals, and C. Lucifer said he didn’t have a plan, so he would’ve made that leap without thinking through the endgame first. That said, the entire Vince Vincente arc was built around a desire for devotion and followers. A religious figure gives just that. We already had an example of that with the Whore of Babylon, and again when the angels were using a fringe televangelist to recruit vessels. Well-meaning people hear “accept an angel” and think “oh yes! Spiritual guidance! Of course, Yes!” and the next thing they know their entire motorcycle club has been massacred. Just imagine if Lucifer himself stayed in an archbishop of a major city. He performs a miracle, then another. His flock grows, he switches them from praying with him to praying to him. Now he has his devotion, his followers, and they have witnessed miracles so the *know* that they are in the right, and will follow any orders as a result.

    It may be a reoccurring theme, but it’s a good one, and one of the most compelling aspects of the show. Opting instead to go the political route short-changes that. And honestly, the idea that this is possibly headed toward some sort of “the government knows about hunting” angle is dreadful. The under the radar/off the grid part of the hunting is too big in the mythology to suddenly have a Big Brother moment. Luckily, a lot of my predictions are totally wrong, so I’ll hope this falls into that bucket.

    It’s nice to know that all covert operations in England give you access to Q from Bond, who can whip up some sort of toy for your every spy/monster hunting need. Although clearly something is off there, as that same Mr. Ketch “cleaned up [the Winchesters’] mess” by shooting Magda at the end of American Nightmare, presumably because of a zero tolerance policy. That doesn’t bode well for the psychic ex-blood junkie and his former demon brother.

    I also have to give credit where it’s due. While I do not care for this writing team and one of the reasons is their ill-placed jokes, one line really nailed it this time: “Can I get you without the flannel? No. Still I endure.” was not just funny, but perfectly in character for Crowley.

    I agree with most of the fandom on a few points. Namely, the ever-changing range of powers attributed to Cas and Crowley. You never know what they can do, or why, or which one is more powerful. (Because this relationship is going to end poorly, and it’s going to important to know which one has been pulling punches.) The show runners and writers need to establish that baseline and explain any deviation as a plot point.

    Just leaving the brothers unprotected from the secret service seems completely out of character for, well, everyone. I’m also hoping there was a reason for them to get caught. Sam and Dean had one of their silent conversations at the end (Dean: eyebrow raise. Sam: shakes his head, looks at something) so it’s possible they are timing their next move. Unfortunately that move is to 8pm, when I have no shot at ever watching it live.

    • I agree that setting us up to believe he had entered a high ranking member of the clergy was a bad move. The plot point with the priests could have been summed up with a series of news reports – billionaire to bishop and then POTUS. There was at least 15 minutes wasted with too many flashbacks in the opening (honestly, we remember what happened in the last 2 episodes, really we do) and then with the priests who ultimately added nothing to the plot.
      The pacing was off too and there was just too dang much going on for one episode. I have a serious issue with the stories being written by this team. They need a good editor.

  • I actually liked this episode quite a bit, despite acknowledging the weak points helpfully . . . pointed out above. Castiel, at the end, I like to think was musing over ~his~ first time with mating and may therefore be excused in being inattentive to Kelly. Head canon, my salvation.

  • When the Boys were being carted off in handcuffs in the truck I caught a look from Dean and a small head shake from Sam that I took to mean Dean wanted to get out of said handcuffs and escape, for some reason Sam said no. This makes me consider what you said about the BMoL having some plot that we, the fandom, doesn’t know yet. At least that’s what I hope. I thought the beginning was as scary as S1, and I LOVED the exchange between Crowley and Rowena after he exploded her fiancé. I laughed when she said he had done something sweet for her! And I also noticed their escape, how Crowley touched her shoulder then disappeared.
    Thank you for another great review Lynn.

    • Yeah I agree, Sam and Dean seemed to have some secret conversation going on- and their whole demeanor when captured was kind of deliberately calm and accepting. Let’s see if we all just willed it to mean something (which I truly dont hope), or there’s some interesting huge secret plot going on in the background!
      And yes, Crowley/Rowena really had their moments, a joy to watch as always!

  • This episode seemed to epitomize the season for me. It was servicable. It got us from plot A to plot B. A) Lucifer loose in the world and B) Evil/Not evil spawn baby. I didn’t care for Lucifer and I really don’t want to see another retread of last season with an evil/not evil baby growing rapidly that will be the big story for the balance of the season. I would hate that.

    Sam calling the BMOL’s for help is what a lot of fans were afraid was going to happen. I get that Sam sees the big picture and all but how many times does he have to be duped into trusting the wrong people, people that brutally tortured him for days and almost killed Dean and Mary. They haven’t earned anyone’s trust. Why of all people did Sam trust them?

    The capture at the end was so poorly edited. I can’t believe they meant for Cas to walk out of the motel room just as the SS were walking in yelling ”hands on your heads” as he was looking right at them. He had to know that Sam and Dean were in trouble. But he just scurries away. And he lets yet another girl escape? I think maybe that shouldn’t be his job. That makes 3.

    If there is some sort of point to this season I wish they would make it. Carver loved the slow burn. But this is just glacial.

  • Well, I think you were being generous, because this was one of the worst SPN eps I’ve ever seen. Among the MAJOR failures-
    (1) the silly twee music that played as the allegedly fearsome Mr. Ketch drove up (while everyone just STOOD there),
    (2) the way he used a grenade launcher (four men with guns did nothing?),
    (3) were Cass and Crowley doing the mannequin challenge before Sam & Dean arrived at the morgue? (they just STOOD there),
    (4) the horrible acting of the guy playing POTUS,
    (5) or was it the ridiculous script that had him say stuff like “we could nuke them” and then a LONG pause (as if waiting for the laugh track for a show like Full House or Who’s the Boss?) frankly I had to FF over the POTUS stuff, and I never do that with SPN,
    (6) SAM calls that number and then hangs up? Maybe because he remember the TORTURE while dialing? I can’t even.
    (7) Ruth seemed embarrassed by the ridiculousness of her scene with the sugar daddy(?), I know i was embarrassed for her.

    THE BIGGEST FAIL is yet to come- what exactly are they going to do about this nephalim? You know, where an unborn fetus is now the BAD guys? Whose crazy idea was this?!?!
    Because if they haven’t gotten political ENOUGH yet with this bizarre POTUS craziness- just wait until Team Free Will is driving the Impala with this lady to the Abortion clinic!! Will there be protestors outside? Will lack of protesters be even more pointedly obvious? Are they in that state with the new “funerals for fetus” law? Will they have a beer afterwards? The mind boggles at the possibilities!

    and then minor fails, but still FAIL-
    (9) During the scene where Sam is (already) using the egg (don’t get me started) on Lucifer, and Dean runs in and yells, “SAM!” because . . . why? Because that’s a thing Dean says? It made no sense in that context.
    (10) anyone have any idea what Cas’s powers consist of? Neither do the writers evidently.

    And here I thought that the Asa Fox episode was a sign that things really were getting “back to the good stuff”, but no- it seems it was a fluke among the messiness of this season.

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