Lucifer Rising
Production information
Season : 4
Episode : 22
Original airdate : 14 May, 2009
Directed by : Eric Kripke
Written by : Eric Kripke
Preceded by : When the Levee Breaks
Followed by : Sympathy for the Devil

Lucifer Rising is the twenty-second episode and season finale of Season 4 of Supernatural.


"The brothers prepare to fight the forces of the Apocalypse in different camps. While Sam and Ruby hunt down Lilith, Dean joins Castiel and Zachariah to take on Lucifer."[1]

Full synopsisEdit

In 1972, Azazel comes to St. Mary's Convent in Ilchester, Illinois, and possesses the local priest, Father Lehne, in the night. At mass the following morning, the possessed Lehne gives speech to the convent's eight gathered nuns, which starts out as prayers, before Azazel begins to show his true colours to the nuns. Azazel declares that the god he's praying to isn't the nuns' God but a certain fallen angel whom the real God imprisoned (no doubt referring to Lucifer). Azazel's dialogue reveals that after years of wandering, he's found that St. Mary's Convent is in fact built on top of the doorway to Lucifer's cage where the Devil is imprisoned. Azazel then proceeds to lock the nuns in with him, and slaughter them all with a knife.

After killing the nuns, Azazel uses one of the nuns' corpses to make contact with Lucifer. The Devil is able to reanimate the nun from within his cage, using it as a mouthpiece to "whisper through the door" to Azazel. Lucifer tells Azazel that in order to free him from the cage, he must release Lilith (who at this time is trapped deep in Hell) so that she can break the seals. And to free Lilith, Lucifer tells Azazel that he will need to find a certain kind of child. ("A very special child...")

In the present, Sam and Ruby have set up base at a remote abandoned house, and are preparing to go off to try and get Lilith's location. Before they leave, Sam is brooding over his fight with Dean, and he reveals to Ruby that he can feel inside that he's changed so greatly that he doesn't expect there's any going back for him anymore, which is why he feels it's best Dean stays as far away from him as possible. Sam and Ruby then head off to a hospital, where they capture Lilith's demonic chef (who is possessing the local nurse Cindy McKellan and was in the process of stealing a baby for Lilith to eat), and take her back to their base to interrogate for Lilith's location.

Sam brutally uses his powers to torture the demon chef, and after a while, the demon breaks and agrees to give them what they want if they'll let her die afterwards. The demon says that Lilith will be at St. Mary's in Ilchester to break the final seal at midnight tomorrow night, but she doesn't know what the last seal is. However, instead of killing the demon, Ruby insists that they'll need to keep her alive so that Sam can feed on her blood if he wants to be strong enough to kill Lilith. Angered by this double-cross, the demon withdraws into its vessel's subconscious and gives Cindy McKellan back control; leaving Sam confronted with an innocent human. Sam does some research on St. Mary's, and learns from an article about the 1972 massacre and Father Lehne's possession by Azazel, which would suggest the chef demon is telling the truth about the convent being where the final seal will be broken. Sam reluctantly bundles the protesting and then screaming Cindy McKellan into his and Ruby's car boot, before they drive off for Ilchester with a terrified captive innocent in tow.

Meanwhile at Bobby's, a despondent Dean is refusing to call Sam despite how much trouble Sam is in and how he needs his brother; declaring that Sam is gone and that he's sick of chasing Sam around, and doesn't even know if he can still call Sam his brother. Upon hearing this from Dean, Bobby explodes and angrily calls Dean out for his behavior; telling Dean that family are supposed to cause each-other this misery, and that Dean shouldn't push Sam away like John did since he's a better and braver man than John was. Seconds later, Dean finds himself transported away from Bobby's to a beautiful, luxurious suite (known as the Beautiful Room), where Castiel comes to Dean and tells him "it's almost time."

After a while, Zachariah too arrives (also conjuring a platter of Dean's favourite burgers and favourite beer to try and appease Dean), and explains to Dean that the Beautiful Room is meant as a shelter to keep Dean safe before the time comes for him to save the world. With the threat of walking out, Dean makes Zach tell him what the game plan is - Zachariah reveals that there's only one more seal to break, and that Lilith is the only one who can break the final seal. Zachariah refuses to give Dean any details about what his role is or how he's supposed to save the final seal, and when Dean gets agitated with Zach's half-responses and cryptic replies, Zach coldly threatens Dean into obeying by reminding him of the oath of obedience he swore. Cass and Zach afterwards disappear again, leaving Dean anxious, pent-up and alone in the Beautiful Room. As Dean waits, he leaves Sam a voicemail, saying sorry for what he said in their fight and that they're still brothers. Dean calls Cass back to the Beautiful Room to demand that Cass take him to see Sam. Cass refuses to take Dean to Sam, or to let him go anywhere outside the Beautiful Room alone. Fed up with his lack of freedom and the angels' lack of answers for his questions, Dean decides to leave; but Cass seals all the exits in the room and traps Dean, then vanishes.

Dean furiously tries to break the Beautiful Room's walls down, only for them to keep repairing themselves, until Zachariah arrives. Dean demands Zach let him out or give him answers, and makes it clear he's had enough of Zach's lack of straight answers with him. Zachariah finally relents and gives Dean the answers he wants - to Dean's shock, Zach tells him that Dean isn't meant to stop Lilith, and Dean realizes that the angels don't want to save the final seal at all. Zach confirms that he and the other angels among the upper-echelon never wanted to save the seals at all, and had deliberately allowed the demons to break the first 65 seals; and that the angel soldiers like Cass whom they had fighting on Earth were merely sent to make it look to the non-privy 'grunts' as though they were trying to stop Lilith, so as to avoid a heavenly rebellion. Dean is horrified to discover that the angels actually want the Apocalypse to occur. Zachariah elaborates that the angels' motive behind allowing the Apocalypse is so that after Heaven wins the apocalyptic war against Hell, they can create Paradise on Earth; although he does admit, to Dean's disgust, that it will mean an immense loss of human life in the crossfire. Zach also says Sam has "a very important part to play" in the breaking of the final seal. Zachariah tells Dean that the angels weren't lying to him about his importance, and reveals that Dean is in fact destined to be the heavenly warrior who kills Lucifer in the final battle - "You are chosen, you will stop it. Just not Lilith or the Apocalypse, that all!" Zachariah promises Dean that after Dean's killed Lucifer and won the war for Heaven, he will have unimaginable happiness, peace and rewards in Paradise, then turns to leave. Before Zach goes, Dean asks him one last question: "Where's God in all this?!" Zach becomes stone-faced, and replies, "God has left the building."

Meanwhile, as Sam and Ruby are on the road heading for Ilchester, with McKellan pounding and screaming from in the car trunk, Sam is contemplating listening to Dean's voicemail. Sam thinks that Dean might have been right about all of this all along, but Ruby says they have to see this through to the end. Two miles from St. Mary's, Sam and Ruby pull over with the intention of bleeding McKellan so that Sam can drink her demonized blood and be strong enough to succeed in killing Lilith; but Sam is very reluctant and uncertain about whether or not to decide to go through with this, since he'll be murdering an innocent girl. Sam decides to listen to Dean's voicemail; but it's been altered by Zachariah so that instead of the forgiving apology Dean left for Sam, it's Dean's voice coldly labelling Sam as an inhuman monster and claiming to sever all emotional ties with him. Pushed and resigned by Dean's supposed complete rejection of all his brotherly former-ties with Sam, Sam orders Ruby to help him go through with it, and Ruby pulls McKellan screaming out of the trunk...

Back in the Beautiful Room, Dean tries to call Sam to warn him about the angels' true colours, but the angels are blocking his cellphone signal. Castiel arrives to tell Dean it's useless, and that Sam is going to fulfil his "part" by himself. Cass is ashamedly unable to answer Dean's questions about exactly what it that will happen with Sam, and says that he's here to try and tell Dean he's sorry that after what they've been through together it has to end this way. Dean furiously rebuffs Cass's apology; declaring that destiny and prophecy isn't real, and is nothing but lies that the angelic upper-echelons like Zachariah use to keep their grunts and puppets like Cass and Dean under their control, and that family is something that's real and is worth fighting and dying for. Cass argues that he doesn't see how the current world is worth fighting for, since so much of it, Dean included, is full of so much pain and confusion and guilt, whereas Paradise will mean peace and happiness for everyone. Dean completely rebuffs the prospect of Paradise, declaring it's better to be lost, in pain and free than to be happy and subservient in Paradise. Dean also calls Cass out as knowing that the Apocalypse and what the angels are doing is just wrong, and realizes that it's what Cass was going to warn Dean about before the angels reconditioned him. (The Rapture) Dean begs Cass to listen to his conscience over his orders, and to get him out of the Beautiful Room to Sam so they can still get one shot at stopping the Apocalypse before it's too late. Cass fearfully warns that they'll all be hunted down and killed if they do that. Disgusted at Cass's cowardice, Dean declares Cass doesn't even deserve to be called a living or souled being, and orders him out immediately.

At first, it seems as thought Dean is trapped and alone and has no hope of stopping and saving Sam. But just then, Cass suddenly returns to draw his blood and paint an angel-banishing sigil on the Beautiful Room's wall. A furious Zachariah immediately arrives to demand to know what Cass thinks he's doing, but Cass activates the sigil and banishes Zach before he can stop him. Castiel warns Dean that they have to stop Sam from killing Lilith, since Lilith's death is actually what breaks the final seal - "She dies, the end begins!" Cass immediately teleports himself and Dean out of the Beautiful Room, and to Chuck Shurley's house to learn from Chuck where Sam and Lilith are. Abnormally, Chuck isn't expecting Dean and Cass's arrival, as while he's seen most of the events aroundthe final seal that have happened so far, Dean and Cass's presence isn't part of his prophecy. Cass declares that they're "making it up as [they] go." Cass and Dean learn from Chuck about St. Mary's, but moments later, the archangel protecting Chuck descends to stop them. Cass declares he'll hold them all off so that Dean can stop Sam, then apports Dean straight to St. Mary's; leaving Dean to find his way through the abandoned convent to Sam, and leaving Cass and Chuck back at the latter's home to face off against the archangel together.

At St. Mary's, Lilith (having repossessed her adult vessel from The Monster at the End of This Book) and a group of her demons are preparing a (presumably fake) ritual for breaking the final seal, before Sam and Ruby arrive. Sam uses his powers to kill all of Lilith's demon servants, and has Lilith cornered in the convent sanctuary where Azazel committed the 1972 massacre. Sam telekinetically pins Lilith against the altar and prepares to kill her, just as Dean finds his way to the sanctuary behind him. Ruby sees Dean and gives him a wicked and knowing smirk, revealing that she has indeed been working to lead Sam to breaking the final seal, then shuts the sanctuary doors on Dean before Sam can notice Dean's arrival. Completely powered-up on demon blood, Sam directs his powers on the pinned Lilith, and Lilith begins to perish. But just then, Sam manages to, through the demon blood intoxication, hear Dean screaming his name as Dean tries to break the sealed doors down, making Sam halt what he is doing in his tracks. But with Ruby's frantic screams and Lilith's taunting, Sam's hesitation ceases, and he ignores Dean's voice and gives in to killing Lilith. Sam's eyes turn demonic black as his powers are used to their full potential on Lilith. Lilith's vessel emits an internal flash of white light as the first demon perishes, and Lilith then collapses dead before the altar, as Sam's eyes turn back to normal and he begins to calm back down to normal.

As Sam watches in confusion and Ruby in awe, a trail of blood trickles out from Lilith's corpse across the chapel floor, gradually forming a giant, spiral seal shape. Sam's confusion quickly turns to horror when an ecstatic Ruby reveals that Lilith's death has opened the door, and now Lucifer is finally unleashed - "And it is written, that the first demon shall be the last seal." By killing Lilith, instead of stopping her from breaking the final seal, Sam has become the one responsible for setting Lucifer free. Ruby reveals that the entire time, she was part of a top-secret conspiracy between herself, Lilith and Azazel that none of the other demons - not even Alastair - were in on, which was and has always been working since the day of that massacre in 1972 to get Sam here and now so that he could complete the endgame and free Lucifer. Horrified and enraged, Sam tries to kill Ruby with his demonic powers, but he has used up all his energy on Lilith, and collapses to the ground from the effort. Sam realizes the effects the demon blood was having on his mind and judgment, and accuses Ruby of poisoning him, but Ruby retorts that she only gave Sam the options and he always chose the paths that were leading towards this. As the blood seal finishes forming on the floor, Ruby tries to comfort Sam about what he's just done, telling Sam that Lucifer will be grateful to Sam for freeing him and will give him unimaginable rewards. Sam asks why, all this time, it had to be him. Ruby sympathetically replies, "Because it had to be you, Sammy. It always had to be you."

Dean finally breaks in, and while he knows he's too late, he doesn't care and is focused on killing Ruby. As Sam holds a shocked Ruby in place, Dean fatally stabs her with the demon-killing knife, destroying the demon who has manipulated Sam for the past two years once and for all. With Ruby dead, Dean stares at Sam in silence over what Sam has done and over Dean's failure to stop him. Broken and shamed, Sam can only regretfully say, "I'm sorry..." to a stone-faced Dean. The blood seal on the floor then begins to open up, and an expanding column of light bursts out and begins to fill the room as Lucifer's cage opens up. Sam and Dean stare and clutch at each-other, Dean wanting to go now while Sam is rooted to the spot with horror, and Sam declares, "Dean! He's coming!" The intensifying white light then engulfs the chapel, the Winchesters and everything as Lucifer is freed.








  • The name of the priest whom Azazel possessed (Dominic Lehne) is a reference to Frederic Lehne, who played Azazel in Season 2.
  • As Lucifer rises at the end of the episode, the initial credits card is black text against a white background as the white light from Lucifer's true form engulfs the chapel, before the usual white-text, black-background credits sequence rolls.


  1. Supernatural: The Complete Fourth Season DVD episode guide
Supernatural Season 4
Lazarus RisingAre You There, God? It's Me, Dean WinchesterIn the BeginningMetamorphosisMonster MovieYellow FeverIt's the Great Pumpkin, Sam WinchesterWishful ThinkingI Know What You Did Last SummerHeaven and HellFamily RemainsCriss Angel Is a DouchebagAfter School SpecialSex and ViolenceDeath Takes a HolidayOn the Head of a PinIt's a Terrible LifeThe Monster at the End of This BookJump the SharkThe RaptureWhen the Levee BreaksLucifer Rising

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