so I finally got to watch 12x12, and something struck me at the end that I haven’t seen anyone else comment on. I mean, yeah, everyone talks about how it was Crowley who saved Cas, and how that means maybe Crowley still has some human blood in him/is turning into the cranky old uncle who claims to hate everyone but still makes sure there’s gifts in everyone’s Christmas stockings. But there’s more to it than that.
That final scene, in Crowley’s throne room? It wasn’t just a reveal that Lucifer’s back there (or that he’s Mark Pellegrino
aka best Lucifer again) - it was an additional, very pointed comment on Crowley’s actions.
After Sam killed Ramiel, Crowley picked up the Lance of Michael while everyone was focused on Cas. No one noticed him take it, no one would have noticed if he just left with it. Crowley knew, at that point, what the lance was and what it could do. He also knew that Lucifer was back in the Cage - meaning, under Crowley’s control - and the tag scene implies that Lucifer’s been up in the throne room
taunting Crowley where Crowley could taunt him for some time.
Last season, Lucifer put Crowley through weeks or months of physical and psychological torment, and even tried to kill him. Crowley has every reason to want him to suffer and die horribly. Yet in that moment in the barn, Crowley looks at the Lance of Michael, aka the lance specifically designed for killing Lucifer slowly and in extreme agony, and chooses to break it to save Castiel.
Crowley didn’t just save Castiel’s life, and he definitely didn’t do it because he’s thinking tactically about what it means to have Cas and the Winchesters in debt to him. (They already are and already ignore that fact anyway.) No, Crowley gave up a chance to kill Lucifer to save Cas. He chose to allow the biggest threat currently in play to remain in play - and yes, Lucifer is in play even while in the Cage - as well as to not take vengeance on the archangel who tormented him, all in order to save someone who can’t even be bothered to thank him.
(tagging @semirahrose because you always have lovely thinky thoughts about the characters and I’m curious if you saw the same thing?)