Recap / Supernatural S 04 E 22 Lucifer Rising

Recap of Supernatural
Season 4, Episode 22

Lucifer Rising

Written by Eric Kripke.

Directed by Eric Kripke.

Air Date: May 14, 2009.

Sam breaks the final seal: killing Lilith. Ruby is revealed to have been working for Lilith all along. Lucifer's Cage opens, and the Apocalypse begins.

Body count

For this episode = At least 7 humans and at least 11 demons.

For the series so far = At least 318 humans (of which 5 were witches), 28 ghosts, 37 demons, 10 vampires, 6 changelings, 3 gods, 3 shapeshifters, 3 zombies, 2 angels, 2 ghouls, 2 werewolves, 2 dogs, 1 crocotta, 1 djinn, 1 rakshasa, 1 rawhead, 1 reaper, 1 rugaru, 1 shtriga, 1 siren, and 1 wendigo.


  • Barrier Maiden: Lilith is revealed to be one at the most inconvenient of times.
  • Berserk Button: After what happened in the last episode, Sam does not want to be reminded that he is a freak. That only makes Lilith more inclined to call him one and laugh at him.
  • Black Eyes of Evil: Sam's eyes turn solid black when he kills Lilith.
  • Blah Blah Blah: An Azazel-possessed priest skips over the morning prayers with a Blah Blah Blah.
  • Bookends/Cross-Referenced Titles: Season 4's first and final episodes both have titles starting with an "L" name and ending with "Rising".
  • Casual Danger Dialog
  • Changed My Mind, Kid:
    • Subverted in an extremely cruel and painful way with Dean and Sam. Dean does change his mind, and tries to reach out to Sam by making a heartfelt apology and reaffirming that they're still brothers despite how angry he is at Sam, but the voicemail he leaves is altered by an unknown party so that Sam hears Dean telling him that he is a monster, that there is no going back, and that Dean is going to kill him. As a result, Sam thinks he has nothing left and lets Ruby kill the possessed nurse for her blood so they can kill Lilith.
    • Played straight with Cas and Dean, though.
  • Cliffhanger: The last seal has been broken, and Lucifer is free... so the episode fades to white before he makes his appearance.
  • Call Back: Dean finds out what Castiel was going to tell him.
  • Fade to White: It even affects the end credits! Well, the first one. Usually, the credits are white text on black background. For this episode, the first credit card is black text on white background. Season 7's title card bears some resemblance to it.
    • Happens earlier when the Archangel protecting Chuck attacks Castiel.
  • Foreshadowing: "Can't trust anyone these days," quoth the Heel–Face Mole.
  • Gilded Cage: Heaven's "Green Room". Pretty, full of your favorite food, and able to provide you with anything else you want, but Dean isn't allowed to leave because the angels are concerned he might get hurt with the Apocalypse getting closer. They later admit that he's just not allowed to see or speak to Sam, since his doing that jeopardizes Sam killing Lilith.
  • Go Out With A Bang: Foreseeing The End of the World as We Know It, Chuck calls up a call-girl service and places a big order.
  • Hand Gagging: Castiel holds a hand over Dean's mouth to keep him from startling and alerting a presumably listening Zachariah to Cas' scheme to help Dean. It buys them a few seconds.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Ruby meets her demise by her own knife.
  • Humanity Is Infectious: Castiel chooses to help Dean against Heaven's orders, and shows more emotion at Chuck's house than he has practically all season.
  • Indy Ploy: Chuck is shocked to see Dean and Castiel turn up at his house, because he hadn't foreseen it.
    Chuck: You're not in this story.
    Castiel: Yeah, well... We're making it up as we go.
  • Killed Off for Real: Lilith and Ruby.
  • Last Stand: Castiel. Briefly.
  • Leaking Can of Evil: Despite being locked away in his Cage, with a little bit of help, Lucifer can still pass on orders to his demon followers and arrange for the breaking of the seals.
  • Light Is Not Good: Lucifer's arrival is preceded by bright white light. Likewise, the archangel's presence is heralded by a bright white light, but unfortunately he's coming to kill Cas.
  • The Mole: Zachariah and the angels he is working for are actually trying to bring on the Apocalypse.
    • Heel–Face Mole: Ruby has been playing Sam the whole time to trick him into opening the final seal.
  • Mood Whiplash: Chuck ordering prostitutes is an incongruously funny scene in a dark Wham Episode. Also, Chuck putting a hand on Castiel's shoulder and then awkwardly removing it when Cas looks at him is hilarious — right before the archangel shows up to kill the latter.
  • My Death Is Just the Beginning: Lilith's death breaks the final seal, and frees Lucifer.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Sam kills Lilith to prevent her breaking the final seal. Turns out he broke it by killing her.
  • No Sell: Dean slugs Castiel. It only hurts his fist.
  • Oh, No... Not Again!: After his last brush with an archangel, Chuck is not thrilled to relieve the experience, especially since this time all the light and glass-breaking is happening at his house.
    Chuck: Aw, man! Not again! No!
  • Our Angels Are Different
  • Our Demons Are Different
  • Plot-Mandated Friendship Failure: Continued from the previous episode. Sam has betrayed Dean, Dean has rejected Sam, and both are too hurt and too stubborn to swallow their pride and try to contact each other. When Dean does call, the voicemail is changed so Sam thinks Dean wants to kill him.
  • Prophet Eyes: Lilith's eyes roll white when she's watching a guard get murdered.
  • Punk in the Trunk: Sam stuffs the possessed nurse in the trunk of Ruby's car as they're driving to the convent to face off against Lilith.
  • Quit Your Whining: Bobby to Dean. Again.
  • Security Cling: Despite all of the lies, betrayal and abandonment, when Lucifer breaks free Sam and Dean still cling to each other.
  • Sexy Backless Outfit: The little white number Lilith has on.
  • Shoot the Dog: Ruby tells Sam he has to drink another demon dry of its blood so that he can kill Lilith and stop her from breaking the last seal. Unfortunately, the demon they bag decides to psych him out by either letting the innocent woman it's possessing resurface and be completely terrified by what's going on, or doing a really good job of pretending that that's what's happened. Because they don't have any time left, Sam has to decide if they're going to go ahead and bleed her to death anyway.
  • Shout-Out: The Suite Life of Zach and Cas. The angels don't get it.
  • Sound-Only Death: The camera pans away from a locked door while Azazel is slaughtering the nuns.
  • Spoiler Title: Gee, I wonder who the Big Bad will be next season.
  • Supernatural Gold Eyes: The demon from the teaser. Welcome back, Azazel!
  • Tantrum Throwing: "Quit hurling feces like a howler monkey, would you? It's unbecoming."
  • Unwitting Pawn
  • Voice of the Legion: Lucifer when speaking through the Cage.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Shades of it between Azazel and Lucifer.
  • Wham Episode: Lucifer is freed, Armagedddon begins. The angels, previously shown as dicks but ultimately on humanity's side, are revealed to be Knight Templar villains who want the Apocalypse as much as the demons do. Castiel ditches them and joins the Winchesters, and is obliterated by Raphael. Ruby, an ally of the Winchesters for two seasons now, is revealed to be The Mole.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: The above-mentioned voicemail? Never mentioned again.
  • White Shirt of Death
  • Woman in White: Lilith wears a long white dress when preparing to break the final seal, strongly invoking Virgin Sacrifice imagery, so some viewers will realize that this means her imminent demise...not that that helps.
  • You Are Too Late: With Lilith dead and Lucifer rising, Ruby taunts Dean with this knowledge. He kills her anyway.
  • You Have Got to Be Kidding Me!
  • Your Favorite: Zachariah offers Dean his favorite burgers and beer.