As well as the reveal that The Darkness is God’s sister, there was plenty more to freak out over in Supernatural’s Season 11 Episode 6 “Our Little World”, that I’m sure made every fan shiver (either with excitement or sheer dread).
I’m talking, of course, about the appearance of Lucifer’s Cage. Whilst Dean refuses to believe him, Sam has been getting mysterious, and cryptic, visions in Season 11 which he believes are from God himself. During this episode, Sam visions dark walls and chains. It’s not until the end of the episode that we find out the whole story; Sam saw Lucifer’s Cage. For those who may not know, or have forgotten (let’s be honest, it has been five years since we last saw Lucifer), Lucifer’s Cage sits deep in the centre of Hell, and was created by God in order to imprison Lucifer after the archangel rebelled against Heaven. In Season 5, after Lucifer escaped from Hell, Sam and Dean trapped him once again in the cage along with his brother Michael and, supposedly, Michael’s human vessel, Adam Milligan, Sam and Dean’s half-brother. Sam’s soul was also temporarily imprisoned in the cage for over a year but he was rescued by Death in Season 6.
Lucifer escapes from The Cage in 5.22 “Lucifer Rising” Sam in Lucifer’s Cage, a flashback from 6.13 “Unforgiven”
Sam’s vision of Lucifer’s Cage in this weeks’ episode was so intense, exciting and an honest blast from the past. Lucifer and Michael are fan-favourite characters who viewers have wanted to return since their departure in Season 5. The apocalypse storyline was incredibly well-received and this episode was a lovely teaser and hint that the writers may be delving back into the biblical story again. Fans went crazy when Lucifer and Michael were mentioned in the Season 11 premiere earlier this year, so imagine the reaction if the characters actually returned.
Not to mention, the show has been criticised, and made fun of, due to the fact that Sam and Dean didn’t even try to rescue Adam from the cage and have apparently completely forgotten that they had a half-brother in the first place. Some fans think Adam has been endlessly tortured in Hell for hundreds of years (as time passes slower in Hell), where as others believe his soul travelled to Heaven after Michael took over his body. Either way, Sam and Dean’s complete disregard for Adam’s ordeal has been viewed as a major plot hole within the Supernatural fan base. Does this small vision of the cage infer that the third Winchester brother may return?
I think Sam’s vision is definitely hinting to Michael and Lucifer’s return and must have something to do with this season’s antagonist, The Darkness. We know, from what we’ve learned from The Darkness already, that God and his four archangels were powerful enough to restrain and trap her using The Mark of Cain as a lock and key. Therefore, as it has already been speculated that the surviving archangels may need to be freed from the cage in order to fight and win against The Darkness, Sam’s vision definitely supports their return.
Now, I know what you’re thinking: Michael and Lucifer were, primarily, antagonists in the show so why would they help Sam and Dean now? This is more relevant to Lucifer who wanted to destroy the world, whereas Michael only wanted the apocalypse in order to kill Lucifer and save the world. However, we learned from Death last season something about The Mark of Cain which may have changed the way we see Lucifer. According to Death, God entrusted The Mark of Cain (which was probably named something else at the time) to his most loyal and valuable lieutenant, Lucifer. The Mark then evolved into a curse, as it presented it’s own individual dark force and corrupted Lucifer. Lucifer became jealous of man and began creating demons. After he was banished to Hell by God he passed The Mark of Cain to Cain who also became corrupted with evil and became a demon. When the Mark was given to Dean, it had the same effect until the witch, Rowena, lifted the curse and released The Darkness from her prison.
This means that Lucifer’s dark and evil nature may all be a result of The Mark of Cain. This creates so much sympathy for the character of Lucifer because, after all, we’ve seen how messed up and twisted Dean became under the influence of the Mark. So imagine Lucifer, always being God’s favourite son, forced to fall from grace because of this evil entity manipulating him. Now that the curse of the Mark has been lifted, it begs the question: Is Lucifer good now that he’s no longer victim to the source of his evil? We learned from Season 10 that, even though Cain passed the Mark to Dean, he still bore the Mark on his own arm which continued to corrupt him. The curse is not really “transferred” to bearers, but rather “infected” or “spread” to victims. This means that Lucifer may still have bore The Mark of Cain which carried on twisting his mind, causing him to continuously turn against Heaven. So, when Rowena lifted the curse and Dean’s mark disappeared from his arm, it’s only logical that Lucifer’s mark (if he did have one) also vanished.
So it is possible that Lucifer, no longer being under dark influence, has seen the error of his ways and is willing to help the Winchester’s win the fight against The Darkness. Additionally to this, the last time the archangels fought The Darkness, Lucifer wasn’t bearing The Mark of Cain and was, supposedly, honest and righteous at that time. It’s only a frank assumption that Lucifer would behave in the same way now as he did prior to the Mark. It may even be that Lucifer will want The Darkness destroyed more so than Michael. I believe this because Lucifer knows first-hand the evil and power of The Darkness through The Mark of Cain. The lock and key itself, that held The Darkness, was so dark and cursed that it turned God’s most loyal soldier into a traitor which led to a chain of events resulting in demons, monsters and the pre-apocalypse. So, Lucifer can only imagine what evil the actual Darkness could do. Lucifer most probably wants The Darkness dead out of fear, or even revenge.
So, I’ve figured out why Michael and Lucifer would make an effort to help the Winchesters but the cage scene in this episode, being such a juicy teaser, sparks so many more questions; Will Sam and Dean release the archangels from the cage despite the events in Season 5? Will Michael and Lucifer try and escape themselves? Will the angels and Winchester’s join forces, knowing their past disputes? Can Michael and Lucifer even overpower The Darkness by themselves? Are the other archangels, or God himself, needed to join forces in order for them to win?
The second two archangels are Raphael and Gabriel. Gabriel was killed by Lucifer in Season 5 and Raphael was killed by Castiel in Season 6. However, many fans favourite the character of Gabriel, and, after an appearance of the quirky, sarcastic angel in Season 9, fans want his return more than ever. The question of whether Gabriel was an illusion created by Metatron in Season 9 was left very ambiguous so there is definitely still hope for Gabriel-lovers. Raphael’s return has never really been anticipated within the fan base but it is possible, especially if the other three archangels are returning. How the dead angels will return is another query. Gabriel was known as a trickster who repeatedly faked death in the past through creating false illusions of himself, so it is hoped by fans that he implemented the same sort of thing when being killed by Lucifer. Raphael, however, never presented this technique. He was also physically exploded to smithereens by Castiel who was, at that time, calling himself the new God and had omnipotent powers. The hope for Raphael’s return is, let’s say, less sizeable.
Does this mean God will return? At first, it seemed that Sam was receiving his unusual visions from God, after seeing the first one straight after praying to God for help, so speculation has already started on his return. However, I think that the visions could just as equally be from Michael or Lucifer. You’d think, if God did want to help Sam and Dean, that he would show himself rather than send Sam encrypted messages. That is, unless God is scared of The Darkness who is looking for revenge after being tricked by God into imprisonment. The fact that God isn’t around physically is why I think Sam’s visions may be coming from Lucifer’s Cage. This would make sense as Michael and Lucifer can not help Sam and Dean properly as they are trapped in the most protective and heavily-guarded part of Hell, and so it may be that the only way they can communicate is to send mental images to aid the brothers. Michael and Lucifer seem to be reaching out to Sam and Dean in hope that they will realise that the only way to defeat The Darkness is to release them from Hell.
Further implications suggest that Sam’s first vision in 11.02 “Form and Void“, of himself being tortured and in great pain, could have been a hint towards his own time in Lucifer’s Cage, in a bid to remind Sam of the prisoners inside. At the time Sam didn’t understand the message at all, but it could potentially have been relating to the cage in some sort of way. The next vision was a bit more unusual as Sam dreamt of his father, in a young body, who was reassuring him and explaining that Sam and Dean must defeat The Darkness but not giving any information on how to do that. Maybe this vision was Michael talking to Sam in his father’s body? I only say this because, in Season 5’s “The Song Remains the Same” when the brothers go back in time to meet their parents, Michael possessed Sam and Dean’s young father and used him as a vessel, showing that the sufficiency of a vessel to an angel runs in bloodlines. Maybe Michael took the form of one of his vessels to speak to Sam.
But, if Michael could only appear in the form of an appropriate vessel, why did Michael choose John’s face to appear as and not Adam’s? We know that Michael can possess Sam and Dean’s half-brother as he possessed him at the end of Season 5 which led to Adam’s entrapment in Hell with the archangels. Michael may have believed that John’s face would have been a better fit because Sam’s bond with his father was a lot stronger than his bond with Adam (which is evident because Adam is still in Hell), so Michael felt that Sam would listen to the face of his father and become comforted and inspired by him, more so than by an image of Adam. Sam also sees his father as wise and hopeful, meaning he will most probably view his words as right. It’s puzzling that Michael didn’t give Sam more information about The Darkness in this vision but it was a lovely scene nonetheless. Personally, I think that all the visions are pointing to the same thing, and are nudging Sam to open Lucifer’s Cage once again in order to defeat The Darkness.
To go even further with this theory: If Sam, Dean, Michael and Lucifer were fighting against The Darkness then I feel that the two archangels would possess the Winchesters. As we learn in Season 5, Dean is Michael’s true vessel and Sam is Lucifer’s true vessel, and, through Lucifer, we know that this means the angels would be at their most comfortable and powerful in Sam and Dean’s bodies. When Lucifer was possessing Nick he was quite weak, his vessel seemed to be falling apart and he had to drink copious amounts of demon blood to even sustain the possession. This trouble never occurred when Lucifer possessed Sam because, like Dean and Michael, Sam and Lucifer are compatible. If the angels are to defeat The Darkness they must be strong and possess a body that won’t fray and break down. Imagine how great it would be to see the two archangels, in the Winchester’s bodies, defeating The Darkness. I really like this idea.
Regarding the actual scene in this episode where Sam visions Lucifer’s Cage for the first time, I thought it was so incredibly well done. Sam looks genuinely terrified, and the silence makes the events even more tense. Sam’s also keeping this vision a secret from Dean which is understandable. Sam knows how scared Dean would be of the idea of freeing Michael and Lucifer. Sam probably doesn’t want to trust it himself, as you can see from the disbelief on the character’s face. After everything Sam and Dean went through to stop the apocalypse and the archangels from destroying the world, they may have to consider risking everything and doing it all over again, to fight The Darkness. I think that this will hit Dean particularly hard because all the years that his little brother spent being tortured in Hell, after sacrificing himself to save the world, will be for nothing and all of their work will be undone. Not to mention that Dean already thinks that Sam’s visions are nonsense so he would most probably, out of fear, disregard the idea that Michael and Lucifer could, in any way, help them kill The Darkness. The brothers were haunted with prophecies that Sam was destined to turn dark and be Lucifer’s vessel and now they may have to risk Sam going dark once again. They will have to put their personal history behind them to do the right thing and stop The Darkness. It may be the Winchester’s only hope to ask Lucifer and Michael for help and information but can they?After everything Lucifer and Michael put them through? The brothers have to bring all of that destruction and corruption back to them and it’s not going to be easy. If this is happening, I can’t wait!
There’s a few other questions that sprung my mind after this reveal. For instance, who’s hands were shown grabbing onto the cage in Sam’s vision? Michael’s? Lucifer’s? Adam’s? Was it a flashback to when Sam was in the cage himself? Does Sam know who it is but the audience doesn’t? Also, where will Castiel and Crowley fit into everything? Will Crowley want the previous King of Hell out of his playpen, and, similarly, will Castiel want his older brothers back? Will Cas and Crowley help the Winchesters open Lucifer’s Cage? There’s so much to talk about from such a short scene which is what makes it so amazing. I haven’t even delved into the issue of how Sam and Dean are actually going to free Michael and Lucifer and what precautions they will take. That’s next week’s discussion. 😉