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The Vessel Recap

Nazi-Occupied France, 1943

At Gestapo Headquarters, Officer Befehlsleiter Gumprecht is on the phone to Hitler assuring him that the artifact has arranged and he has set up a full military escort. His local lover, Delphine Seydoux, comes in and asks what the artifact is. Gumprecht says that it's what brought him to France, and that it's what Germany has been waiting for. Delphine asks to see it, and the officer reluctantly gives in. Gumprecht opens the case, and Delphine stares at the item inside. She closes the box and then takes the pins out of her hair... and stabs Gumprecht in her neck. Delphine then takes his knife and stabs him in the chest, and watches him die. She then picks up the box and says that the Men of Letters send their regards.


In the bunker,Sam has been hitting the books all night. Dean comes in for coffee and discovers that there's out, and his brother explains that he's that Ahnenebbe, a Nazi archaeology group that spread throughout Nazi-occupied territories during World War II. Sam figures references to a superweaponstrong enough to fin the war. The memos refer to it as the Hand of God. Dean is skeptical, but Sam points out that the only beings powerful enough to fight Amara are one. He explains that the Hand of God was stolen en route to Berlin, and the Nazis never found Delphine. The Nazis concludes that she was a Woman of Letters.

Lucifer in Castiel's body is in Hell playing video games. The demons finally ask if he wants to hear the latest soul numbers, and Lucifer says that he doesn't care. The demon admits that they haven't found Amara, and another demon says that they need some demons. She suggests that they deploy a force on the grounds with Lucifer leading the charge, and dismisses Crowley as a fool and a coward. Lucifer releases Crowley from the cage where he's chained up, and Crowley complains that the demons aren't showing respect to Lucifer.

In the bunker, the brothers check the books and find an entry by Clifford Henshaw in 1943. It's in French, and Sam runs it through a translator. Clifford was in contact with Delphine, and made arrangements to get the Hand out of Europe. The Man of Letters had made arrangements to smuggle Delphine and the Hand back to the bunker in a submarine, the U.S.S. Bluefin. It never arrived because of a Nazi attack, and the contents were never recovered. Dean points out that they have something that will allow them to recover it.

Lucifer has the demons bring in a collection of mystic weaponry. He selects a spear and orders the demons out, and Crowley says that his wounds are no worse than he deserves. Lucifer knows that he's playing, waiting for his moment to retake the throne, and asks what treason Crowley is considering. Crowley finally says that Lucifer isn't strong enough to defeat Amara and he knows it. Lucifer admits that he's right, but wonders if he released Crowley too soon. Dean calls and Lucifer answers it.

Lucifer travels to the bunker and figures that the Hand is the perfect weapon against Amara. He offers to transport Dean back in time to 1943, to the Bluefin's last coordinates. Sam worries about the consequences, but Dean figures that there's little he can do to alter history. He refuses to let Sam go, insisting that they can't risk both of them. Lucifer promises that he won't let Dean out of his sight, and Dean says that he needs to do it. Sam reluctantly agreesand Castiel touches Dean on the shoulder.

Dean finds himself on the Bluefin in the torpedo room. There's no sign of Lucifer, and two sailors come in to wake up their reliefs. Dean hides beneath a bunk and notices a mystic sigil written on the wall.

In the present, Sam is charging the Bluefin's corpse when Lucifer comes in, soaking wet. He says that Dean got on but he didn't, because he couldn't make it past the hull.

In 1943, Dean tosses out a 1996 quarter to attract the attention of Petey Giraldi, one of the sailors. When Petey goes to investigate it, Dean grabs him and demands to know where Delphine is.

In the present, Sam figures that Delphine warded the sub against celestial beings. He asks Castiel to get him past the hull as well, but Lucifer points out that it's a bad idea and complains that he lost "it." Sam notices and Lucifer quickly says that he's sorry he lost Dean. Checking the lore, Sam suggests that there's a well to clear the warding from the outside and goes to work.

Dean dons Petey's uniform and looks around the sub.

Delphine is looking for a place to cook, and Harris the galley cook says that the captain wants her to stay put. He takes the cigarette and leaves, and runs into Dean. Dean says that Delphine is a hottie and Harris has no idea what he's talking about, and then confronts Delphine. Before he can explain, Delphine attacks him and says that no one knows her name, and asks who he is. Dean says that he's a Man of Letters, just as Harris comes in with the man who Dean attacked. Captain James Dearborn arrives and has Harris search Dean, and they find his iPhone. Dean tries to explain, and Delphin examines it. He admits that he's from the future and tells Dearborn that within the hour a German destroyer will sink the Bluefin.

Dearborn figures that Dean is a soldier who has gone AWOL, or a spy Delphine says that she needs to speak to Dean alone, As he orders Petey to put Dean under guard, the XO comes in and informs Dearborn that they've picked up a surface ship closing in on them. Dearborn goes to the bridge, and Dean tells Delphine that he doesn't recognize the sigil.

Dearborn confirms with his radar crew that the approaching ship is a German destroyer. He orders everyone to clear the bridge.

Delphine explains that her mentor taught her the sigil before he died. Petey asks Dean who wins the 1944 World Series, but Dean has no idea and tells Delphine that an angel delivered him to the Bluefin. He says that the Allies win World War II, and he needs the Hand to win an apocalyptic war in the future. Shocked, Petey wonders if they all die and Dean admits that they do. Delphine tells Dean that they're both Men of Letters and she trusts him.

Dearborn orders the sub to dive.

Sam finds the Spell of Gathering, which can focus the power of celestial beings against sigils. They have all of the ingredients except one: the power of an archangel. Lucifer suggests that they try anyway, but Sam tells him that he's not strong enough... unaware of who "Castiel" really is.

Delphine shows Dean the Hand: a piece of old wood. She explains that it's a piece of the Ark of the Covenant, and no mortal can survive contact with it. Petey lets her go to remove the warding, but insists at gunpoint that Dean stay. He asks when the Allies win World War II, and Dean says that war ends in 1945. Petey admits that he believes Dean.

The destroyer closes in and Dearborn orders battle stations. His XO points out that their orders were to return home, not engage, but Dearborn overrides him.

The alarms go off and Delphine breaks the first sigil. The crew load torpedoes and they line up for a bow shot. The radar man loses the destroyer's position, and it pings them from 30 yards away. The sub goes to maximum depth and rigs for silent running, and Petey tells Dean to keep quiet. Delphine returns to the ward room and reveals that the last sigil is tattooed on her chest. She gives Dean a knife and asks him to kill her.

The destroyer drops a depth charge.

Delphine says that the sigil is spell-bound to her heart, and the only way to break it is to kill her. Dean puts her knife to her chest... and two depth charges go off.

Sam realizes that Lucifer is preparing the spell and warns that he isn't powerful enough. Lucifer says that his strength may surprise him, and Sam offers his soul to give Lucifer the power that he needs. He insists that Dean needs his help and he trusts his friend, and Lucifer bursts into laughter. Lucifer finally says that he doesn't need Sam and figures that he's only keeping him around because Sam kept turning him down. He slams Sam into the wall and promises to tell Dean that Sam sacrificed himself, and then drives his hand into Sam's chest. However, Castiel manages to retake control long enough to force Lucifer to release Sam.

The bridge crew tells Dearborn that the Germans are sending a message... but for Delphine. Gumprecht is on the radio, and says that he is a Friend of the Thule. He then tells Dearborn that his only chance is to surface and surrender both Delphine and the Hand. Gumprecht gives Dearborn three minutes to surrender.

Delphine tells the crew that the Germans can't have the cargo. Dearborn refuses to reconsider is orders, and Delphine tells Dean that killing her is the only way off of the sub. He asks Delphine to teach him how to use the Hand to save the sub. Delphine warns that the power of God will consume him and then they'll get it anyway. She says that they must die for a purpose, and tells Dearborn to give them every second he can... and she'll give them their first German sub.

Castiel takes control and explains that he chose to let Lucifer possess him. He can't eject Lucifer, and they need him to save Dean.

The three minutes run out, and Delphine takes out the Hand. The destroyer starts dropping depth charges, and the Hand glows. The energy consumes Delphine, and she drops the Hand. Dean picks it up, careful to shield his hands, and fires burst out throughout the sub. Lucifer appears next to dean as the sigil on Delphine is destroyed, and teleports him back to the present. Sam warns Dean that Lucifer is possessing Castiel's body.

Lucifer throws Dean across the room and admits that pretending to be Castiel was a burden. As he gloats, Sam pulls out a knife and cuts his hand. When Dean tries to come at Lucifer, Lucifer pins him to the wall and says that now that he has the Hand, he can defeat Amara. Sam draws the sigil in blood as Lucifer tries to activate the Hand... and nothing happens. They realize that it released all of its energy in 1943, and Lucifer prepares to kill Dean. Sam triggers the sigil and Lucifer is teleported away.

Later, Sam and Dean discuss what they can do next. Dean figures that they have to trap Lucifer and save Castiel. Sam points out that Castiel chose to let Lucifer possess him, but Dean doesn't believe it. He asks Dean how he got through 1943, and Dean says that he didn't do anything. He was just a witness, and says that he'll tell Sam about it later. Sam confirms that the wreckage of the German destroyer was found. Something hit its fuel tanks and burned it to the waterline. Once Sam walks away, Dean looks down at the dead Hand and remembers.

Written by Gadfly on Feb 18, 2016

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