12.07 Rock Never Dies

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Title Rock Never Dies
Episode # Season 12, Episode 7
First aired December 1, 2016
Directed by Eduardo Sanchez
Written by Robert Berens
On IMDB Rock Never Dies
Outline Realizing the influence he has as Vince Vincente, Lucifer arranges to test out his power on unsuspecting fans by reuniting Vince's original band. Sam, Dean, Castiel, and Crowley bring the fight to Lucifer in Los Angeles.
Monster Lucifer
Timeline One month since 12.01 Keep Calm and Carry On
Location(s) Lebanon, Kansas
Los Angeles, California
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Synopsis

One Week Ago
Two teens, Adam and Gordy, are in Adam's basement attempting to summon Lucifer. Gordy mocks Adam's invocation and his fossilized feather from Lucifer's wings. Surprisingly, Lucifer manifests as Vince Vincente in the basement, and snaps Gordy's neck. Deteriorating from Rowena sending him to the bottom of the ocean, Lucifer tells Adam he only came for the feather, in hopes that it would be enough to heal his vessel. He takes the fossilized feather and places it on his chest, where he is consumed by a white light before revealing a fully healed vessel. A rejuvenated Lucifer then snaps Adam's neck.

Present
At the Bunker Dean is playing Words with Friends with Mary when Sam catches him, annoyed that Dean has been goofing off while he has been looking for Lucifer as well as keeping an eye out for any cases. After revealing that Mary is kicking his ass, Dean gets a call from Castiel, who is sitting at a bar alongside Crowley. He is calling to alert them to the news that Vince Vincente's former band Ladyheart have reunited and signed a new recording contract. With their first lead, the four head off to Los Angeles.

Crowley is the first to arrive, meeting with an associate, Russell Lemmons, who tells Crowley that signing Vince Vincente and Ladyheart is real, as hair metal is due for a comeback, and confirms Crowley's suspicions that Lucifer is still inside Vince Vincente. As Sam and Dean make their way to Los Angeles, Dean is curious to what Sam is listening to, asking him to turn it up to help keep him awake. When Sam tries to tell Dean he's listening to a boring history podcast, suspicious Dean unplugs his earphones to hear "Bloody Messiah" by Ladyheart blaring from Sam's phone, much to Dean's annoyance. Sam defends Ladyheart as legitimate hard rock and research. Dean, becoming more annoyed, tells Sam to turn it off, only for Sam to crank it louder as they continue down the road.

At the Death Siren Records recording studio, Lucifer is with his new manager and groupie Roseleen, when Tommy comes in ready to record. Lucifer is uninterested in working, telling Tommy it's not about the music, but the adoration and the worship. He says he is going to be the next thing to be worshiped by humanity, and points to his band mates, telling Tommy they are enjoying the ride and he should too.

Sam and Dean are waiting in the hotel lobby where Vince Vincente is staying when Castiel arrives, griping to them about all the time he has had to spend with Crowley. Crowley just so happens to show up to confirm to them that Vince Vincente is still Lucifer's vessel. He has the card to Vince's room and leads the way into a trashed hotel room. Sam notices a stack of musicians' biographies, and remarks that it looks like Lucifer is trying to learn how to be famous, while Dean noodles on the guitar.

Lucifer is sitting with Roseleen in the studio; she asks why he is spending so much time with her, when he all but ignored her in the past. He tells her how foolish he was to ignore her devotion and asks her to tell him about Vince. Roseleen tells Lucifer how she fell in love with him the instant she saw the "Bloody Messiah" video and didn't care that people made fun of her love for him and the band -- she'll never stop loving him. When Lucifer asks her what she can do to show him how much she loves him, she tells him she'll do anything. Lucifer then produces a switchblade and hands it to her asking if she will bleed. Roseleen takes the blade and begins carving into her chest as Lucifer looks on.

Learning that Roseleen had carved Vince Vincente's name deeply into her chest, Sam and Dean pay a visit to her in the hospital and ask if Lucifer forced her to cut herself. She maintains she wanted to and defends Vince/Lucifer saying that he must've had a reason. She tells them that all she cares about is attending the secret concert. Lucifer is meeting with his manager, who tells him of the buzz around the reunion show in LA. When the manager tells him the tickets are going to the die-hard fans, Lucifer demands new fans, telling her that if you aren't gaining followers, you are losing them -- just like with Twitter and religion. Sam and Dean tell Crowley and Castiel about the the upcoming concert; they question if Lucifer can even play or sing. Crowley tells them it is irrelevant as what he forced Roseleen to do was all about devotion, which Crowley tells them is intoxicating. Believing the concert is their best shot, the four go their separate ways to attempt to track down the location.

Crowley shows up at Russell's office and tries to intimidate him into giving up the location of the concert, but Russell is steadfast and refuses to talk. Castiel visits Tommy and pleads with him, telling him he knows that Tommy knows Vince is different, to no avail. Sam and Dean meet with Vince's manager under the guise of "brothers that rock together" and tell her they hope she can do for them what she did for Vince. When she shows no interest and begins to leave, Sam and Dean drop the act and tell her Vince is literally the Devil. Not intimidated, she tells Sam and Dean to step back or she will start screaming.

The limo carrying Lucifer, Russell, Tommy, and his manager arrives at the club. Vince's manager is excited about the social media buzz around the show. But Tommy is upset that Vince hasn't shown up to record any new music. Hearing this news, Russell threatens Vince to shape up, or he will take it all away, telling him he owns him. Lucifer, in response to Russell's threat, forces Russell to stab himself in the throat with a pen, to his manager's and Tommy's shock. As Lucifer blithely exits the limo and enters the club, his manager tells Tommy she quits as Tommy looks on in fear.

As the club prepares for the show, Tommy sends a text to Castiel, giving the location of the show. The four arrive as the crowd is being let in. Castiel, believing Lucifer is his responsibility, volunteers to take him on, so Sam and Dean can have time to clear the club. When Sam tells Cas he'll only last three minutes against Lucifer, Crowley chimes in and tells them he'll give them four, much to Sam and Dean's surprise.

In the green room Tommy is sitting with his band mates who are excited about the show, when Lucifer appears and snaps their necks. When Tommy asks who he is, Lucifer tells him it doesn't matter, he's Vince Vincente, "rock god," and he has decided to go solo. Just as he is about to kill Tommy, Castiel arrives and is knocked back by Lucifer. Crowley steps into the room and sends Lucifer flying back with a gesture of his hand. But Crowley is soon overpowered. When Castiel questions if he really believes the crowd out there will bleed for him by choice, he tells him it is irrelevant. He tells Cas that as Lucifer, there is too much Judaeo-Christian baggage, but as Vince he can have fun and be loved, before turning his attention to Tommy and snapping his neck. Disgusted that Lucifer finds what he is doing "fun," Castiel attempts to attack again but is swiftly knocked aside by Lucifer, who proceeds to beat Crowley with a guitar. Meanwhile, Sam and Dean join the crowd and look for an opportunity to save them. Dean begins questioning if anyone else smells smoke and that people should evacuate. He nearly gets into a fight with an audience member, which forces a security guard to break it up, allowing Sam to pull emergency fire switch. Backstage, as Lucifer is beating on Crowley, he notices the alarm and with the wave of his hand silences it and starts the music to the crowd's delight.

As Lucifer takes the stage, Dean fires a gun at the ceiling and screams "he’s got a gun." The crowd starts heading for the exits, as Sam holds the doors open, fighting against Lucifer's telekinesis. When the last person escapes, Lucifer is able to slam the doors shut, trapping Sam and Dean with him. Castiel appears on the stage and attacks Lucifer, but is easily deflected. Dean takes the stage and places the binding handcuffs on Lucifer, who simply throws Dean off the stage and shrugs the cuffs off, gloating to everyone how he could easily kill them with a snap of his fingers. When Sam and Dean question why he is doing this, since he and God made up, Lucifer goes into an impassioned monologue telling the Winchesters how God abandoned him once again and only used him because he needed his help. He says he has no plan, and that he is just going to wreak destruction because none of it matters. Sam and Dean soon notice that the fight and the power he exerted have caused Vince Vincente to begin decaying at a faster rate. Realizing his vessel will not last for much longer, he departs Sam and Dean telling them, "Onward and upward" before exiting Vince's body, which drops to the floor and continues to deteriorate until Vince's face caves in.

In the aftermath, a badly beaten Crowley and Cas are assessing the situation with Sam and Dean. Dean is cautiously optimistic, saying that while they didn't stop Lucifer, they did save the crowd, calling it a win. Sam disagrees, telling them people still died and they allowed Lucifer to use Vince Vincente, who meant something to people, to pervert and twist him. He concludes that Lucifer was bad enough with a motive, but now he is wreaking death and havoc for fun. He says the deaths tonight are on them, and that they are not winning, only losing slowly. Dean simply tells Sam that they will stop Lucifer, because it is what they do.

Characters

Definitions

Music

  • "Bad Dog Blues" by The Rob Donnelly Band (Cavendish Music Library)
(playing in the bar Crowley and Cas are calling Sam and Dean from)
  • "Bloody Messiah" by Ladyheart
(playing on Sam's cell phone as they are driving to LA and later at Club Meteor; song co-written by Jay Gruska and Robert Berens)
  • "Next" by Chapel of Rock
(playing in Club Meteor as the crowd is let in)

Quotes

Dean: You still living out an '80s buddy comedy with Crowley?
Castiel: Unfortunately.
Crowley: Hello boys. Long time. We team up to save the world, and then bupkis. You don't call, you don't write.
Dean: Yeah, we don't care.
Russell: How you been, huh? Health? Family? Hell?
Crowley: Doesn't matter, don't care, and been better.
Dean: Ohh, Sam. Hair rock? Really?

Sam: It's not hair-
Dean: Come on.
Sam: It's not hair rock, Dean. It's hard rock. It's legitimate hard rock.
Dean: Wow.
Sam: Don't judge a book by its cover.
Dean: Yeah, or a dude by his, uh, rainbow wig and leopard prints.

Sam: Rainbow wig? What? You know what? I'm done apologizing. Lucifer possessed Vince Vincente. This is Vince Vincente's music, so listening to it is research.
Dean: Hey. You consider switching up your duds there> Bit stiff for this town.

Sam: He could be an agent or something.
Dean: Yeah, maybe a third-tier agent.

Castiel: At least I don't look like a lumberjack.
Crowley: You little people wouldn't understand, but I've been a king. Having people look at you like you're everything, knowing that once they buy in, you can make them do anything. It's intoxicating.
Dean: Well, that's super creepy.
Sam: Cas, you'll last... Three minutes. Tops.

Castiel: Then I'll buy you three minutes.

Crowley: Make it four. What? I help.
Castiel: You think this is fun?
Lucifer: Oh. I wouldn't expect you to understand. I was inside you. I know what a weak, duty-bound, pleasureless dullard you are. And you. Bad doggy. Sit!
Dean: Why are you doing this?

Lucifer: Why?
Sam: You and God made up. You forgave Him. What would He think?

Lucifer: I'm not especially interested in His opinion. Dear old Dad, He finally apologized for abandoning me and what's the very next thing He does? He ditches me. And you, too, by the way. And rides off into the sunset with Auntie Amara. He needed my help, and He'd say anything to get it. His words, your words, they mean nothing. Don't you get it? This is all meaningless. Heaven. Hell. This world. If it ever meant anything that moment is past. Nothing down here but a bunch of hopeless distraction addicts, so filled with emptiness, so desperate to fill up the void... They don't mind being served another stale rerun of a rerun of a rerun. You know what my plan is? I don't have one. I'm just gonna keep on smashing Daddy's already broken toys, and make you watch.
Dean: Well, we didn't catch Lucifer, but we did save the crowd so I'm gonna call that a win.

Sam: I wouldn't. Vince Vincente is dead.
Dean: We never even hoped to save him. And yes, I know the third album-
Sam: No, he was still a person. And he meant something to a lot of people. And Lucifer just took all that and just twisted all that up and snuffed it out. Lucifer was bad enough when he had a plan, a motive. Now he's just having fun. I mean, how many people died tonight? Them, this, it's all on us. We let him out. We're not winning. We're just losing slow. And you heard what he said-
Crowley: Onwards and upwards. He's gone big.
Castiel: And he'll go bigger.

Dean: And we'll stop him. We will. It's what we do, man.

Trivia & References

While Gordy and Adam are attempting to summon Lucifer, a record is being played in reverse. Backmasking has been alleged to contain Satanist messages, most famously Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven" which alleges to have the message "Here's to my sweet Satan" backmasked.
Gordy: Yeah, like you found that artifact. Face it, Adam, your "Satan feather" is faker than my stepmom's Chinatown Fendi.
Fendi is an Italian luxury brand, known for their expensive handbags, among other items.
Sam: So I've been trying to dig up info on the British Men of Letters, keeping an eye for cases, and you've been goofing off with a game that went out of style five years ago.

Dean: I don't think Mom's quite ready for Snapchat.

Snapchat is a mobile image and message app.
Crowley: What's with all this Maharishi crap?
Maharishi Mahesh Yogi developed the Transcendental Meditation technique, and became a guru to many celebrities, most notably the Beatles and the Beach Boys.
Russell: You have been pleased with our... arrangement so far?

Crowley: Oh, as punch. A soul's a soul. But there is a certain prestige to owning a Swift or Drake.

Taylor Swift and Drake are both very successful musicians.
Russell: Ah. You like that? It's a gift from Dre.
Possibly a reference to hip-hop producer/performer Dr. Dre.
Russell: Yeah, okay. I doubted it, too, but Vince came to me with a killer pitch. The original Ladyheart lineup reunited. Back in the day, those cats sold like 10 mil.

Crowley: So did Hootie & the Blowfish.

Hootie & the Blowfish is an American rock band which enjoyed some mainstream success in the '90s. Their debut album Cracked Rear View sold 16 million copies and was the best-selling album of 1995.
The name Russell Lemmons might be a play on Russell Simmons, the famous record label executive and founder of Def Jam Records.
Lucifer: You know, rock's not the reason. It's just an excuse... To worship, to adore. See, humans have always been desperate to put someone or something above them. And lets face it, God ain't cutting it these days. It takes a Kim Kardashian, a whatever Justin Bieber is. A me. They're enjoying a ride. So should you.
Kim Kardashian, a reality TV star, and Justin Bieber, a Canadian pop star, are both hugely popular celebrities (or they were in 2016 when the episode was filmed).
Sam: Look at this. Rock star biographies. Like, all of them, from Aerosmith to ZZ Top. It's like he's studying how to become famous.

Dean: Well, so what? Lucifer's a dork? That's good to know.

The books in Lucifer's hotel room are: Scar Tissue by Anthony Kiedis and Larry Sloman, My Cross to Bear by Gregg Allman, When Giants Walked the Earth: A Biography of Led Zeppelin by Mick Wall, Watch You Bleed: The Saga of Guns N' Roses by Stephen Davis, Sex, Drugs, Ratt & Roll: My Life in Rock by Stephen Pearcy and Sam Benjamin, No One Here Gets Out Alive: The Biography of Jim Morrison by Jerry Hopkins and Danny Sugarman, Johnny Cash: The Life by Robert Hilburn and Born to Drum by Tony Barrell.
The two in particular that are most relevant to this episode are the Led Zeppelin biography, because of the rumors of Satan-worship surrounding the band, and the Guns n' Roses biography, because the band reunited with three of the original members in 2016 and did a highly lucrative reunion tour. Like Ladyheart in this episode, the Guns n' Roses 2016 reunion began with a much-hyped secret show at a club in Hollywood.
Castiel: Look at this: 'The seeds of a ripe dragonfruit, drizzled with exactly one ounce of acacia honey, prepared in a ceramic bowl (no plastic)...' What is this spell?

Crowley: It's breakfast. It's Vince's rider. I've seen worse.

A rider is a set of requests or demands that a performer sets as criteria for performance. Along with normal stipulations about gear setup and basic backstage amenities, some rock bands have become famous over the years for including ridiculous or extravagant demands in their riders.
Roseleen: You're Vince. Vince Vincente. And I knew I was in love with you the moment I saw you. I was 16, just a normal kid growing up in Arcadia.

Lucifer: Arcadia. Sounds beautiful.
Roseleen: I was watching Headbangers Ball and the "Bloody Messiah" video came on. And I- Oh. It was your voice. And your hair. And your eyes. It was everything. You were everything. And even when people made fun of me -- younger girls at work, shredding on my Ladyheart tattoos and saying you're a joke -- I never stopped loving you. And I never will.

Headbangers Ball was a program on MTV that showed heavy metal music videos. It originally ran from 1987-1995.
In this context, Roseleen is referring to Arcadia a city in Los Angeles County east of Hollywood and downtown Los Angeles. Lucifer may have it confused with Arcadia, the region of Greece that according to legend was the home of the god Pan. Arcadia also refers to a Greek idea of utopia based on pastoralism and harmony with nature, named after the aforementioned region.
Roseleen carves Vince Vincente's name on her chest with a knife. One Slayer fan famously carved the band's name into his skin, on the inside of his forearm. Slayer's music and albums often reference Satanic imagery, and Slayer guitarist Jeff Hanneman once said, "We read a lot from the Satanic bible" for publicity, as lead guitarist Kerry King is an avowed atheist and singer/bass player Tom Araya is a practicing Catholic.
Vince's Manager: Okay, we're building a aura of mystery and exclusivity with tonight's show -- undisclosed location, small select audience. It's as much about who doesn't get a ticket as who does. This could push your social media profile to Kimye levels.
"Kimye" is the coupling portmanteau of Kanye West and Kim Kardashian.
Dean: We're the brothers that rock together. Hmm? We're kind of like the American Oasis.
Oasis was an English rock band which was formed around two brothers, Liam and Noel Gallagher, who were infamous for their public fights.
The Ladyheart bass drum and the shirts at the merchandise stand refer to a possible album title "Theatre of Mercy." This may be a play off of Mötley Crüe's third album Theatre of Pain, which includes one of their signature songs "Home Sweet Home." In the episode, Sam makes repeated references to Ladyheart's third album, though he never says the album title. Mötley Crüe's second album is titled "Shout at the Devil."
When Tommy texts Castiel, he is shown to be texting "Agent Beyoncé." Beyoncé is a famous singer and also the alias Castiel previously used when speaking with Tommy.
Ladyheart Member: Have you seen that crowd? Man, I have not seen an audience this hyped since we headlined Monsters of Rock in '91, man. And the girls? Perfect age.
Monsters of Rock was an annual hard rock music festival held in Castle Donington, England. On the bill in 1991: AC/DC, Metallica, Mötley Crüe, Queensrÿche and The Black Crowes. Songs by AC/DC and Queensrÿche have been played in previous episodes of Supernatural.
AC/DC have been falsely accused of being a Satanic band, though two of their most popular songs are "Highway to Hell" and "Hell's Bells," both featured on previous episodes of Supernatural. One rumor was that the band's name stood for "After Christ/Devil Comes" or "Anti-Christ/Devil's Children."
Lucifer: [Plays off-key chords] Whoops! Guess I should've practiced before tonight. Or, you know, ever.
His inability to play guitar is a possible reference to a gag from Saturday Night Live called The Devil Can't Write No Love Song from Season 25, Episode 5 which aired on November 13, 1999.
Lucifer: Castiel. Took you long enough. Did you bring the rest of the Little Rascals?

Crowley: Just me.
Lucifer: Spanky.

The Little Rascals, also known as "Our Gang," was a series of American short comedy films produced between 1922 and 1944 (and occasionally revived since on TV or in movies) about a group of poor neighborhood children and their adventures.
George "Spanky" McFarland was one of the best-known members of the extensive and ever-changing cast.
Lucifer: Clever girls.
A reference to the famous scene from Jurassic Park.
Lucifer attacking Castiel and Crowley with a guitar is a reference to the long record of rock stars using guitars as weapons. Noel Gallagher, for example, alleged in a lawsuit that his brother Liam attacked him with a guitar. (In this episode, Sam and Dean pretend to be brothers in a rock band that they describe as "the American Oasis") One of the most famous instances was Keith Richards attacking a fan who rushed the stage at a Rolling Stones show.
Dean: Yeah, you got a little something, uh, right there. I mean, face it, rock is dead.
"Rock Is Dead" is the name of a song by Marilyn Manson, who is a fan of Anton LeVey, Friedrich Nietzsche, and Aleister Crowley. He is a member of the Church of Satan, his breakthrough album was titled Antichrist Superstar, and his upcoming album is titled SAY10. (Say the title out loud if you haven't figured it out.)
All four members of Ladyheart are killed/die in this episode. In doing so, Ladyheart become one of the few bands (albeit fictional) to have all of its original members die -- the others being The Jimi Hendrix Experience and The Ramones.

Minutiae

The Ladyheart song "Bloody Messiah" (watch the music video here) was co-written by composer Jay Gruska and writer Robert Berens. This is not the first time that a writer has co-written music for the show. Former writer Ben Edlund co-wrote and performed the "Ghostfacers Theme" in 3.13 Ghostfacers with Christopher Lennertz and former showrunner Jeremy Carver co-wrote "Together (The Supernatural Sitcom Theme)" alongside Jay Gruska for 5.08 Changing Channels.
Dean: All right, 450 miles to LA The land of gridlock, Botox, overtaxing, underachieving, smell of sweaty desperation. I mean you can't breathe, beaches are toxic. You got dudes in skinny jeans wearing sunglasses inside. Image-obsessed narcissists. I do like the yoga pants though. When's the last time we were in LA? Was it ten years ago, doing a vengeful spirit? Man, seems like forever ago. Doesn't it?
Sam and Dean traveled to Los Angeles to fight a vengeful spirit ten years ago in 2.18 Hollywood Babylon. Dean let his opinion be known regarding people who wear sunglasses indoors in 9.05 Dog Dean Afternoon, that opinion being that they are either blind or are "douchebags" (as evidenced by Crowley wearing sunglasses indoors in the episode). Despite this, he can be seen wearing sunglasses indoors when he and Sam were pretending to be a band to talk with Vince's manager. He also had the same opinion on people who wear sunglasses at night in 5.08 Changing Channels, where the concept on his standards on sunglasses probably originated.
When Dean is playing Words with Friends with Mary, the letters at the bottom of his screen can be rearranged to spell Lucifer. Dean's username in the game is 67Impala327 which is a reference to the 1967 Impala and her 327 cubic inch four-block V8 engine. Mary's name is mothermary1983. 1983 is the year Sam was born, and the year Mary died.
The phrase "Mother Mary" appears in the lyrics to The Beatles "Let It Be." In 5.13 The Song Remains The Same, Dean reveals she used to sing The Beatles "Hey Jude" -- her favorite Beatles song -- to him as a child.
When Castiel calls Dean, his name appears on Dean's phone spelled as "Cass," thus re-igniting the age-old argument: is it Cas or Cass?.
This episode shows that Dean is somewhat proficient at the guitar. Dean previously received guitar lessons from Robin when he was 16 in 9.07 Bad Boys.
Legendary bluesman Robert Johnson was rumored to have sold his soul to the Devil in exchange for his guitar-playing ability, a myth which is the subject of 2.08 Crossroad Blues. Lucifer was not able to get a crash course in guitar playing for this episode to write songs and perform with Ladyheart, but he wasn't the Crossroads Demon that made the deal with Johnson.

Sides, Scripts & Transcripts

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