The Vessel is the 14th episode of Season 11. It aired on February 17th, 2016.
Hoping to find a weapon powerful enough to defeat Amara, Dean convinces “Castiel,” who is still Lucifer, to send him back in time to the last reported sighting of the Hand of God. Lucifer sees the potential in getting his hands on this weapon so goes along as Castiel and sends Dean to 1944 to the fated submarine mission that sunk the Hand of God. Meanwhile, continuing his charade with Sam while they wait for Dean’s return, Lucifer plans his next move.
A piece of the original Ark of the Covenant, referred to as the Hand of God, is found by the Nazis' archaeological branch, known as the Ahnenerbe. A Woman of Letters, Delphine Seydoux, is sent undercover to retrieve it from the SS Officer Befehlsleiter Gumprecht. Upon confirming its authenticity, Delphine first stabs Gumprecht in the neck and then the gut, before she steals away with the Hand of God onto the USS Bluefin for transport to the U.S. with the intention of bringing it to the Men of Letters Bunker.
When Sam and Dean discover the existence of the Hand of God in 2016, they have "Castiel" (Lucifer) time travel with Dean to 1943 to retrieve it from the ill-fated USS Bluefin before the sub is lost forever. Due to Delphine placing specialized warding sigils on the sub, Lucifer is not able to get past the hull, allowing only Dean to make it on the sub.
Dean tracks down Delphine on the sub. While talking to her, he says her name, which causes Delphine to put a knife to his neck since no one on the ship knows her name. Dean comes clean to Delphine and the sub's captain about being a member of the Men of Letters from the future, and that the ship will soon be sunk. While the captain dismisses Dean's claims, Delphine continues speaking with him and telling him of the warding she placed on the sub to protect the Hand of God from supernatural interference. Dean tells Delphine they will need to clear the warding to allow him to go back to 2016. He asks Delphine to give him the Hand of God, telling her he is fighting his own Biblical war in the future. Delphine agrees and begins breaking the sigils painted on the ship. However, the final one is carved on her chest, making the spell bound to her heart; the only way to break it is to kill her. Dean refuses, but Delphine insists that it's the only way. As Dean is about to drive the knife into Delphine, the ship is attacked by a German destroyer.
Meanwhile, at the Bunker in 2016, Sam hits the books looking for a way to retrieve Dean. He finds a spell that will clear the warding, but is discouraged when he realizes that it requires the power of an archangel. Lucifer begins the spell despite Sam's protests that "Castiel" is not strong enough to survive the casting. In desperation, he offers to let his friend touch his soul in order to gain the power that Sam thinks he needs. Lucifer realizes that he will have no use for Sam once he has the power of the Hand of God, and therefore no reason to keep him alive or continue to pretend to be Castiel. He reveals his identity, attacks Sam, and is preparing to kill him via soul-touch when Castiel takes control of the vessel and stops him. Sam tells Castiel to expel Lucifer but the angel refuses, saying that they need Lucifer's power to save Dean.
Dean, Delphine, and Petey Giraldi make it to the operations room, where Delphine is shocked to hear the voice of Befehlsleiter Gumprecht over the radio; he survived due to being a member of the Thule Society. Gumprecht offers Captain Deerborn a deal -- Delphine and the Hand of God for the highest of P.O.W. treatment for the Bluefin crew. Dean asks Delphine to show him how he can use the Hand of God to save them. Delphine denies him, out of worry he will be killed and the Hand of God will just end up back in Nazi hands. She tells Dean that the Bluefin crew were meant to die and now they will do it with purpose. Delphine takes the Hand of God into her hand and is imbued with its power, becoming bathed in a blinding white light that destroys the sigil on her chest, allowing Lucifer to retrieve Dean and the Hand of God.
Upon Dean and Lucifer's return to the Bunker, Sam reveals Lucifer's identity. The archangel grabs the Hand of God and tries to power up, but the artifact is now empty of power. Lucifer goes to kill the Winchesters, but Sam is able to use an angel banishing sigil to banish Lucifer from the Bunker. Sam and Dean then vow to save their friend and Sam lets Dean know that while the wreckage of the Bluefin was never found, the German destroyer was, leaving Dean contemplating the sacrifices of the sub's crew.
- Jared Padalecki as Sam Winchester
- Jensen Ackles as Dean Winchester
- Misha Collins as Lucifer and Castiel
- Mark Sheppard as Crowley
Guest cast Edit
- Weronika Rosati as Delphine Seydoux
- Grant Harvey as Petey Giraldi
- Bethany Brown as Simmons
- Darren Dolynski as Captain James Dearborn
- Taylor St. Pierre as Galley Cook
- Richard Stroh as Befehlsleiter (Nazi Command Leader) Gumprecht
Featured Supernatural BeingsEdit
- Sam and Dean discover Lucifer's possession of Castiel.
- First successful use of the angel banishing sigil since I Think I'm Gonna Like It Here. It is also the first time the angel banishing sigil was used on an archangel.
- Marks the first appearance of a member of The Thule Society since Everybody Hates Hitler.
- Crowley's fate after The Devil in the Details is revealed in this episode.
- The last episode to display time travel was King of the Damned, when Abaddon went back in time to retrieve Gavin MacLeod.
- This episode marks the fifth time Dean has traveled to the past. The previous time was in episode Time After Time.
- This is the second occurrence of time travel being employed to retrieve something necessary from the past. The first was in Frontierland to get the ashes of a phoenix.
- Castiel using Bobby's soul to power up in Frontierland is referenced by Sam.
- The episode title, refers the set used in this episode, a submarine.
- When Delphine stabs the German soldier, she says "The Men of Letters send their regards". This can be a reference to "The Lannisters send their regards", the last words Robb Stark hears from Roose Bolton on HBO's "Game of Thrones".
- Production Designer Jerry Wanek reports that the submarine set was built on the Supernatural sound stage and was 100 feet long and took 80 people two weeks to construct. The design was based on USS Cobia submarine, a National Historic Landmark at the Wisconsin Maritime Museum and the USS Bowfin in Hawaii.
- The song in the beginning is "Je ne regrette rien" by Edith Piaf. However, it wasn't published until 1960, 15 years after the ending of the Second World War.
- With the exception of Sam's hallucination, Lucifer has never made an attempt on Sam's life before. His change of heart may be the result of Sam saying "no" to possession.
- Lucifer : It's just, I don't need you anymore. I mean, Dean's the one with the link to Amara. Why have I been trying to spare you? Maybe it's because you're like the girl who kept turning me down at the prom. [slams Sam into a pillar] I will touch your soul, just because you asked so nicely. And I'll use your spell to blast through the warding and retrieve Dean and the, um, Hand of God. And then when Dean comes back and he finds this place decorated with your guts, I will tell him the truth, Sam. I'll just say, "Dean- [switches voice] Dean... he knew the risks, but he wouldn't take no for an answer."
- Sam : Lucifer.
- Lucifer : In the flesh.