“We have been mopping up the world for years. Years! We have been knocked down, we’ve been possessed. We’ve lost friends, we’ve lost family. We’ve lost each other. And we never walk away…ever. And sometimes we should’ve because not every fight everywhere can be won. It just can’t.”
Picking up where last week’s pseudo-cliffhanger left off, Sam and Lucifer enter the Alt-Earth resistance camp, to the surprise of everyone involved. Floored by Sam’s status as persona-now-living and uneasy with Lucifer’s presence, Dean and the others realize that there isn’t much time to make decisions. With 31 hours left until the rift closes, effectively trapping them in the barren wastes of Alt-Earth, they have to act. And when Mary proclaims she won’t leave these people behind, Sam makes the suggestion that everyone follows them back through the rift until they’re able to figure out how to take down this uber-powerful version of Michael.
Though much of “Exodus” involves strategizing about the retreat, this week’s heart lies with a man trying to reconnect with his son. Being that said ‘man’ is the infamous Lucifer and considering everything we know about him, it’s a difficult task to paint the Morningstar in an empathetic light. Yet, that’s exactly what is done here. The dialogue in these scenes, particularly Lucifer’s, is masterful. He comes across as someone who sort of takes responsibility for some of his actions but is also quick to remind any who will listen that it’s not all his fault. Humanity was so weak, so easy to twist. God didn’t give him a chance to make amends. Never once does he say, ‘that was all on me’; instead, there’s always extenuating circumstances. Scarier still, is that much of what he says is palpable and his ability to mix truth, lies, and pseudo-truths into one coherent argument is exactly the reason Cas and Dean are vehemently opposed to Lucifer speaking to Jack.
We are reminded that, despite his power, Jack is still very young (nine or so months old). He wants to know his father, to decide for himself whether the stories about Lucifer are true. Alexander Calvert has, from the beginning, done an excellent job conveying the character’s naiveté. During a montage of memories, both good and bad, Jack recalls a particular message from his mother telling him not to “let anyone choose who you’re supposed to be. You are who you choose to be.” It’s this reminder that gives Jack the courage to listen to what his father has to say.
Back to Lucifer and the wondrous Mark Pelligrino. Were it a lesser actor, much of what Lucifer says and does would come off corny at work, and at best disingenuous. Pelligrino has been able to tap into the sympathetic aspect of his character and, despite oftentimes showcasing the ‘cat that ate the canary’ grin, there is some genuine pain inside Lucifer. We saw a bit of that in Season 11 where he finally got a face-to-face with God. In “Exodus”, it’s a moment with Gabriel. Unlike Jack, or even the Winchesters, Gabriel understands Lucifer in a way that no living being ever truly can. He calls his brother out for his cancerous nature, how Lucifer eternally corrupted humanity in its nascent years. Gabriel’s words are cutting but not out of spite or maliciousness. The truth he speaks is just that, truth. And it’s one that Lucifer can’t ignore, one that even brings a quiet tear to his eye.
Which begs the question; does this Lucifer truly want to change? Does he want to shed the persona that has shackled him for eons? More importantly, can he? It’s a question that no one really knows though the prospects of that after seeing him make a deal with Alt-Michael after Sam leaves him on the other side of the rift is pretty damning. And yet there is the silent hesitation when Michael reiterates the terms: Lucifer gets his son while everything else is left to Michael.
Either way, we’ll have to wait a week to discover the truth.
The Good, the Bad, the Supernatural