Misha Collins as Castiel in "Supernatural" season 13 episode 12 "Various and Sundry Villains"
Misha Collins as Castiel in "Supernatural" season 13 episode 12 "Various and Sundry Villains" YouTube/The CW Television Network

“Supernatural” season 13 episode 12 has brought back a beloved witch and freed Castiel (Misha Collins). “Various & Sundry Villains” also saw Dean Winchester (Jensen Ackles) being unnaturally in love, and Sam (Jared Padalecki) almost giving up on life.

The following contains spoilers from ‘Supernatural’ 13x12, which aired in the US on Thursday on The CW network. Australia is behind in airing season 13. It aired episode 6 on Monday on Eleven.

When two sister witches cast a love spell on Dean, he was manipulated into handing them a powerful book of spells, the Black Grimoire, which Sam and Dean took from the Loughlin witch family in season 12. Rowena, who died at the hands of Lucifer (Mark Pellegrino) last season, showed up just as the two younger witches escaped.

Rowena wanted the book for herself so she told the boys they could help each other in getting it back from the Plum sisters (guest stars Jordan Claire Robbins and Elise Gatien). It turned out Rowena was working with the sisters, who agreed because they wanted to bring their dead mother back to life. But because they weren’t knowledgeable enough, they couldn’t read the book properly and brought their mother back but as a zombie.

Rowena and the boys were able to defeat the zombie, which was immune to magic attacks, and the centuries-old witch had the two sisters fighting each other to death. She still wanted the book because, as she told Sam, she feared Lucifer would come back and kill her. The book has a spell that could protect her.

Sam still took the book from the pleading witch, but it was revealed later that he allowed her to tear off a page from the book so she could still have her spell.

Castiel learns his lesson

Before they were captured by Asmodeus (guest star Jeffrey Vincent Parise), Castiel unwisely heard Lucifer out, unintentionally dropping clues that they didn’t have Jack (Alexander Calvert) with them. He spent the final episode of season 12 trying to kill him, so why he didn’t do so immediately upon seeing the weakened Lucifer was a dumbfounding move.

It seems Castiel has truly learnt his lesson now. After Lucifer regained a bit of his powers back (cultivated from intense anger, no less), the two angels were able to escape Asmodeus’ prison, fighting demons together. But instead of helping Lucifer further, Cas knew the fallen archangel would betray him once again, and so he stabbed him with his angel blade.

Rowena, meanwhile, performed a spell from the torn page. And judging from the way her eyes glowed blue in the end, she became more powerful and had been freed from the binding spell cast on her years ago.

‘Various & Sundry Villains’ review

The episode mostly dealt with Sam trying to cope from a low point. When the season started, it was Dean who was about to give up on life. His outlook changed for the better when Castiel turned out to be alive. But now it’s Sam who is in the dark place. Sam now knows that their mother is still alive and yet he can’t do anything to help her. And being helpless is making him lose hope.

And in true Sam fashion, even though he was miserable himself, he still tried to help Rowena in letting go of her fears. Both Sam and Rowena had looked into Lucifer’s true face, and it was keeping them awake at night.

Castiel did indeed stab Lucifer with an angel blade, but it should be noted that archangels can only be killed with an archangel blade, not a standard angel blade that Castiel used. So even if Lucifer’s storyline in the show has been stretched too much to the point of uselessness, it seems that he still wouldn’t go away anytime soon. It’s unfortunate because if there’s a plot that “Supernatural” needed to let go from two seasons ago, it’s Lucifer’s. Granted he is still sadly relevant this season because of Jack, though.

There’s something unbelievable about Rowena asking about Crowley (former cast Mark Sheppard) and actually getting sad. It was a touching scene but also a bit uncharacteristic of her. She had abandoned her son at a young age and even chose her lover over him. She also encouraged his only son to return to his original death timeline just so she could hurt Crowley by making him feel how painful it was to lose a son.

So her whole drama of preferring to have a living son who hated him than a dead heroic one didn’t make sense. Crowley had some issues with his manipulative mother, but he didn’t hate her as much as she hated him.

Next week, Castiel will reunite with the Winchesters as Lucifer appears to gain more of his powers back. Sister Jo (guest star Danneel Ackles, Jensen’s real-life wife) will also make her first appearance.