Episode Review – LOTUS

So Satan takes over the president of the United States.  I’m sure that during an election year nobody will have any opinion on that one way or the other…

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So the episode starts off with a priest walking the halls and “oooo” the crosses start turning upside down!  Gee, what a shocking moment.  It’s not like Catholics have a long, ancient history with the upside down cross symbol (if you’re too lazy to click on the link, upside down cross == 1st pope, Apostle Peter).  Seriously people, I’m not even Catholic and I knew that much!  Kudos to the SPN wiki for pointing this out in the trivia.  Then we have Lucifer or his baby mama unable to hold the Bible… fine it’s not a straight contradiction of canon but it’s not in the spirit of the show.

Let me back up.

A lot of times when watching something I’ll ask, ‘why? why is this happening?’  Because it’s awesome, because it’s funny… I’ll accept a wide variety of answers.  Take my repeated complaint about Castiel being “empowered” as an angel again.  If you’re not going to render him mortal, why?  What’s the point of him being an angel?  Is it so he can resurrect Charlie when she gets killed?  Is it he can shrug off the bullets of the secret service agents and kick ass?  (No the boys have to hold him back so we can have the guest star show off.)

Likewise, why?  Why take over the president?  Yeah, the idea is awesome, but what do you do with it?  What was Satan’s plan and what could he have done as the POTUS rather than as the leader of Russia?  North Korea?  What if him and his demon loyalists took over the ruling council of China?  What if he destabilized the Middle East?  Africa?  What if he took over the British branch of the MoL?  Think about it for a minute.  Think about it like you’re a really, really evil bastard who wanted to wreck the world, would the American president really be your first choice?  (I mean we’ve already wrecked the canon on vessels and made the drama of S5 completely pointless, why limit our imagination?)

And what did it accomplish in the show?  Lucifer could have taken over a large street gang and still had a fortress just as impregnable to the boys and “minions” at his disposal without changing a thing in the show.

Then there’s… ok look, regardless of whatever personal feelings and emotions you have on the issue, Castiel as a character should be a bit more reluctant on executing the pregnancy.  Remember, Cas?  Remember how it was just 3 to 4 years ago when you killed another innocent Nephilim and it – oh right – CAUSED SEASON 9!?  What about later on in S9 when you told Sam, “when I was human, I died, and that showed me that life is precious, and it must be protected at all costs”?  What about his struggles with Claire in S10?  Will this child perhaps give him some manner to try and be a father?  To pay forward the debt he feels he owes Claire?  Can we, the audience, see some acknowledgment of his past?  Can we see him experience SOME hesitation?  SOME struggle? No.  Because this is what bugs me so much about the character of late, he doesn’t have arcs, he has loops with the credits of every episode resetting him back to his S4 first appearance.

That’s what annoys me about this episode.  It wasn’t bad.  The canon breaks were no worse than anything from the previous seasons. It was just pointless.  Nothing happened or was accomplished here that couldn’t have happened or been accomplished in the previous episode.  The two episodes could have been merged together without a problem or many changes to either script.  At least the previous episode didn’t give Castiel a new power that I’m sure the show will forget when convenient.  At least the previous episode didn’t give us an “unclear visual” with Lucifer’s angel form disappearing into a vent leaving it up to the audience if he escaped the room or was sent back to the cage.

I know I’ve made jokes about new episodes repeating the stories and structures of earlier episodes, but this is the first time I can remember where the episodes repeated in a row.

This episode does get +1 shell since it has proven, once and for all, that the Winchester brothers are bad enough dudes to save the president.

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5 thoughts on “Episode Review – LOTUS

  1. some of your other ideas (take over China council, North Korea, etc.) are simply impractical given the constructs and limitations of the show. And besides, they showed this president to be a devout Christian person; don’t think you can say the same about Chinese and North Korean leaders. POTUS is general viewed as the most powerful figure in the world so it is a natural place to go with this.

    I’m in no way defending this pile of manure of an episode; I thought the Lucifer storyline had already played out a long time ago and everything we’ve seen about Lucifer since S11 has only done a huge disservice to Kripke’s era, particularly Season 5 and the sacrifices the brothers made.

    Don’t even get me started with the logic of why the brothers stuck around when the Secret Service was right outside; if the president were injured, why didn’t Castiel stay behind to heal him and then mind wipe everyone?

    In regards to Lucifer’s Nephilim spawn, I do think the situation is a little different; this is the child of an archangel and human and is clearly being set up to present itself as a problem for either later this season or future seasons; the child will invariably age rapidly and end up looking like Mark Pelligrino. In Season 8, the Nephilim was innocent and had done nothing wrong; we know that this won’t be the case with Lucifer Jr.

    • Understood, you’re not defending. 😉

      some of your other ideas (take over China council, North Korea, etc.) are simply impractical given the constructs and limitations of the show

      Given the way it turned out, I think “president” was also beyond the limitations of the show. lol

      POTUS is general viewed as the most powerful figure in the world so it is a natural place to go with this.

      That’s another excellent point I forgot. You’re right, and in this moment the show violates its own spirit again where for years it has a very Tolkien-esque motif of the importance of the humble. That the fate of the world can rest on the shoulders of 2 blue-collar boys. That God is a struggling writer living in the middle of nowhere. That a prophet is just a kid hashing out his school careeer. etc etc We had a power conflict in S7 with the Leviathans trying to stand in for the important. Not to mention to a being like Lucifer, the difference between the POTUS and a homeless man should be like us judging the difference between ants. It should all be so small to him.

      In regards to Lucifer’s Nephilim spawn, I do think the situation is a little different; this is the child of an archangel and human and is clearly being set up to present itself as a problem for either later this season or future seasons;

      Yeah, and that’s when you bring up the character conflict even more. When the stakes are higher is when the character’s growth and lessons should most come to a head.

      we know that this won’t be the case with Lucifer Jr.

      Ironically, didn’t they use to say the same about Sam? 😉 For a show that used to have such a strong theme of “you don’t have to be your parents” (or whatever – remember the antiChrist episode?) it sure seems to be abandoning it right now doesn’t it? *sigh*

      • In the show’s defense, Dabb stated in an interview that Sam and Dean will be seriously conflicted on whether to protect or kill the nephilm. My guess is that the BMOLs want to kill it and the brothers want to give it a shot to choose to be good, and the second half of the season will be the Winchesters fighting the BMOLs over this, Daredevil and Punisher style.

      • Sorry! Your comment ended up in spam and took me a moment to dig it out.

        Thx for the info and here’s hoping. There’s a lot of rich story possibilities to be draw from that plot point and I’m just hoping they are executed competently and with the complexity the set up demands.

  2. An inverted crucifix appears in 4×22 when Azazel makes contact with Lucifer in the church. It’s not entirely visible, but the crucifix is inverted.

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