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Recap / Supernatural S 04 E 22 Lucifer Rising

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Recap of Supernatural
Season 4, Episode 22

Lucifer Rising

Dean: Hey, it's me. Uh... Look, I'll just get right to it. I'm still pissed... and I owe you a serious beatdown. But... I shouldn't have said what I said. You know, I'm not Dad. We're brothers. You know, we're family. And, uh... no matter how bad it gets, that doesn't change. Sammy, I'm sorry.

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.



  • Antihero: Sam is a full-blown anti-hero in this episode, allowing Ruby to drain the blood of a demon who is possessing a fully alive and conscious vessel who has begged for her life. His behavior is justified in that he thinks it will stop the Apocalypse.
  • Barrier Maiden: Lilith is revealed to be one at the most inconvenient of times.
  • Batman Gambit: Hoooooo boy, Lucifer has one going on for decades...
  • 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.
  • Big Bad: Lilith, Ruby, and Zachariah all manipulate events in order to clear the path for Sam to break the final seal and free Lucifer.
  • 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".
  • Advertisement:
  • 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.
  • Evil All Along:
    • The upper management of Heaven have been willingly allowing, and in some cases helping, Lilith to break seals all season so that she can release Lucifer and they can win the Apocalypse.
    • Ruby is revealed to have been in cahoots with Lilith and has been feeding Sam Demon blood all season so he could be powerful enough to kill Lilith and begin the Apocalypse.
  • Escaped from Hell: The last scene makes it terrifyingly clear that Lucifer has escaped.
    Sam: He's coming.
  • Ethereal White Dress: Lilith's dress is this, as well an example of Light Is Not Good.
  • Evil Gloating: Once Lilith dies, Ruby immediately gets into this, smugly stating how only she was loyal and special enough to be in on the real plan to free Lucifer. Dean stabs her mid-gloat.
  • Facial Dialogue: When Castiel appears to Dean, gazes into his eyes and pulls out of knife, Dean understands Castiel is there to help.
  • 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 Fake Defector.
    • Azazel mentions that "the others" have lost faith in searching for Lucifer. We learn in Season 12 that he was likely referring to his siblings, the Princes of Hell.
  • 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.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: Lucifer was the one who influenced Azazel to find a child in order to free and kill Lilith, so that he may be freed from his cage.
  • 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.
  • Have You Seen My God?: As it turns out, God has "left the building".
  • Heel–Face Turn: Castiel, who had previously been struggling with obedience and was likely tortured into compliance during "The Rapture" decides to join Team Free Will and help Dean.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Cas is killed after he decided to help Dean stop the apocalypse.
  • 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.
  • Ironic Nursery Tune: The possessed nurse sings "Patty Cake, Patty Cake" to a newborn baby she plans to cook for Lilith.
  • It Was with You All Along: A dark example at the end of the episode. After Sam accuses Ruby of manipulating him and making him drink Demon blood she tells him that she just gave him choices and he choose "the correct" ones each time. She then tells him that it wasn't the demon blood that made him do that:
    Ruby: You didn't need the feather to fly. It was with you all along Dumbo.
  • 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.
    • Fake Defector: 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.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Sam is horrified to realize that he was the one who broke the final seal and that by trusting Ruby he ended up dooming the world. At the end when the door to the Cage opens all Sam can do is apologize to Dean.
  • 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.
  • Quizzical Tilt: Zachariah when Dean makes a pop culture reference. See Shout-Out below.
  • 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.
  • Religious Horror: According to Eric Kripke, when they were shooting the scene with the murdered nuns, a crew member told him that they all needed to go to confession. Kripke, who is Jewish, reminded him that they were shooting a horror movie.
  • 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:
  • 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."
  • Then Let Me Be Evil: This seems to be invoked by Sam after he receives the doctored message from Dean warning him that he will hunt him down. Afterward, Sam allows Ruby to kill the nurse so he can drink her blood.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Both Sam and Dean have been played all season, by Ruby specifically and the angels generally, in order to get Sam to the point that he would kill Lilith, break the final seal, and release Lucifer from the Cage.
  • Voice of the Legion: Lucifer when speaking through the Cage.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Shades of it between Azazel and Lucifer.
  • We Can Rule Together: Ruby tries to convince Sam that Lucifer's return is a good thing, as they'll both be rewarded for helping it come about.
  • Wham Episode: Lucifer is freed, Armageddon 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.
  • Wham Line:
    • A few, including this exchange between Dean and Castiel:
    Castiel: You have to find Sam. You have to stop him from killing Lilith.
    Dean: But Lilith's going to break the final seal.
    Castiel: Lilith is the final seal! If she dies, the end begins.
    • Also:
    Dean: Tell me something... Where's God in all this?
    Zachariah: God has left the building.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: The above-mentioned voicemail? Never mentioned again.
  • White Shirt of Death: 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.