After last week’s very solid “Plucky Pennywhistle”, Supernatural delivers a Ben Edlund penned cracker of an episode, “Repo Man.” Edlund uses an interesting conceit, for the Supernatural world, by having the Winchesters re-visit an old case, when it looks like a demon they ganked four years earlier has returned – a demon that should never have been released from hell, as he turned snitch before being exorcised.

On its own, this was a fascinating episode that revisits the idea that sometimes humans can be far more evil than any demon the boys have hunted. In this case, the Winchesters tortured a demon possessing a seemingly innocent man named Jeffrey for information on the whereabouts of Lilith. After surviving the horrors inflicted on him by Sam, Dean, and an evil beastie, Jeffrey is left at a hospital. Four years later the boys return to Idaho when a series of crimes are a match to the earlier incident. The Jeffrey storyline is handled well. Edlund creates a character that evokes sympathy; a man whose life has seemingly fallen apart after the demonic possession. He lives in a halfway house, has recently recovered from drug and alcohol addiction, and has a big moment when he is finally allowed to adopt a dog.

Of course, in true Supernatural fashion, it’s all an act. A very psychotic act. Turns out, Jeffrey was empowered by the demon possession and he wants that demon back. The possession allowed Jeffrey to make real his dreams of murdering women, for which he truly loves the demon.  He wants their beings to be intertwined in the most physical way possible. And so to summon the demon Jeffrey needs the blood of the exorcist – Dean.

Also, any sympathy the audience has for Jeffrey quickly evaporates when he kills his newly-adopted dog. [Insert appropriate swear word of your choice here.]

The Jeffrey storyline is actually the B-plot. It’s another testament to Edlund’s skill that this side plot is so engaging. But, truly, this is an hour for Sam and Lucifer. Edlund gives Lucifer a firecracker wit, with lines brilliantly delivered by Mark Pellegrino (one of the best Supernatural guest stars). Lucifer vacillates between snarky and horrifying, at one point getting so frustrated with Sam that he resorts to invoking a hallucination of innocent bystanders slamming their heads against tables until brain matter seeps from their skulls.

Yet Supernatural has always done a masterful job of portraying the intoxicating way Lucifer can convince you to let him be part of your life. With Sam, Lucifer served as a mentor and partner in his attempt to figure out what was going on with the demon. Lucifer cajoled, prompted, and dropped hints to Sam. In many cases his language and tone were evocative of soulless Sam – for isn’t it most likely that Lucifer is not an embodiment of the dark angel still trapped in the cage but more likely a manifestation of Sam’s darker self? Regardless, Lucifer gained access to Sam’s mind in the one way Sam is unable to fight – fear for Dean’s safety.

Once again, the tie between the Winchester brothers has the potential to lead to the downfall of one of them. Sam, who has been able to prevent Lucifer from gaining a foothold in his brain and who can make the demonic angel disappear by pressing on his scar, can’t stop himself from acknowledging Lucifer’s existence when Lucifer taunts, “Big brother’s probably dead.” With the simple response of “shut up,” Sam has made him more material and in so doing allowed for a temporary partnership, with Lucifer seemingly harmless and excessively helpful. Unfortunately for Sam, once that door is opened, it cannot be closed – pressing the scar no longer works. Lucifer has taken hold of Sam’s mind, and the final image of the episode is a terrifying one, as Lucifer begins to torture Sam by surrounding him with the fires of a hell that he hoped was behind him.