We tend to expect a lot from the season premieres. Sometimes we’re rewarded with truly great episodes, as with “In My Time of Dying” and “Lazarus Rising.” Other times, the episode is ok, but because our expectations are high, we’re disappointed. I’m not sure if this was one of those times or not. I confess, I found season 5 lackluster. It was the first season I didn’t buy the DVD set.
“Sympathy for the Devil” had its good points. The entire storyline of Nick coming to accept Lucifer was well written and acted. It actually made sense: a man with nothing to live for except a need for vengeance. Dean’s “What I do have is a G.E.D. and a ‘give ’em hell’ attitude,” has become a classic line; and the words have served him well throughout the series.
During the hotel scenes first with Sam, then Bobby, Dean’s expressions were compelling. Was he thinking the onus doesn’t rest solely on Sam, since Dean broke the first seal? Or was I intrigued simply because Jensen Ackles is so handsome?
The little beefs (which I’d forgotten):
- Becky—the episode loses one beer mug for this obnoxious character, even moreso since it feels like a slap towards the fandom
- New!Meg—Rachel Milner’s slightly nasal voice and Meg’s overly sarcastic comments annoyed me
- Bobby becoming a paraplegic—as soon as Bobby stabbed himself in the stomach, I remembered this whole storyline, and not in a good way
I never understood why the angels wanted Lucifer set free, but didn’t want to stop the apocalypse. It’s seemed more of a plot contrivance than logical thinking.
Dean’s speech to Sam at the end of the episode also felt illogical. “You chose a demon over your own brother.” Sam came to rely on Ruby because Dean was gone. It wasn’t the smartest move he’s ever made, but Ruby new how to play him. And, like Nick, his head wasn’t in a good place. (This doesn’t excuse his behavior. Sam certainly wasn’t blameless, but I understood how it all happened.)
[Photo credit the CW. Screencap of Dean from Oxoniensis.]