The Official Supernatural: “A Most Holy Man” (13.15) Live Recap Thread


We need your help!

Contribute monthly via Patreon (which includes perks), make a one-time donation through Paypal, or buy us a coffee.

My collected recaps and reviews of season one, which first appeared on Innsmouth Free Press, are now up (with a few extras) on Kindle. The Kindle version is available through  Amazon. The print version is also up. If you buy the print version, you get a Kindle copy thrown in for free. I also get paid if you get it on Kindle Unlimited (for free), read the Kindle version, or lend it to a friend via the Kindle Owners Lending Library. Just FYI.

Right. So, we start at the convent of the Holy Sisters of Malta. There is no such thing, though Malta has many convents of nuns and monks. To answer CC’s question from the previous episode’s discussion, the terms “convent” or “monastery” can be used interchangeably for monks and nuns. Also, double monasteries of monks and nuns were a big thing in the early Middle Ages, until they were banned more-or-less permanently by the Second Council of Nicaea in 787. Some were even ruled over by abbesses.

But this is not one of those places. The man who sneaks out in the stone corridor after a small group of nuns passes by is in priestly garb (albeit somebody forgot to add the dog collar) and priestly confessors are allowed in convents for nuns.

He goes into a small chapel where a plain skull is on display in a glass case. Hmm, relics of bone are always in reliquaries that are exquisitely decorated with gold and jewels, as are often the relics themselves. This display is set up like a modern museum piece. I also get the impression that setting this teaser on Malta is intended to be a shout-out to the perennially (especially this year) popular Knights Templar via the film, The Maltese Falcon, while failing to realize that the crawl at the beginning of the film (based on Hammett’s own error in the book) is incorrect. The Templars no longer existed as a group by the 16th century and the military religious order that ruled Malta was actually the Knights of St John (the Hospitallers). More absence of pretty much any historical research on the part of this episode’s writers, Singer and Dabb. Not generally a good sign.

Anyhoo, predictably, he is caught out by a disapproving nun after smashing the case and grabbing the skull. Also predictably, he knocks her out (her groans emphasize that she is only stunned) and scarpers. In a double irony, he sarcastically asks for her forgiveness as he goes: As a nun, she can’t grant him absolution and he’s obviously not a real priest (the person who could). But I suspect he’s done far worse things than theft and beating down nuns, so I doubt it matters to him. He’d likely care a lot more if he knew Hell was real.

Cue title cards.

Cut to the Bunker, where we get the obligatory “Where are all the missing recurring characters this week?” wrap-up from Sam and Dean, with Dean taking in processing field reports while Sam does research. Sam can’t find anything about the Seal of Solomon. Dean says Castiel is in Syria, looking for a fruit from the Tree of Life (damn, was hoping we’d get an episode about that). Dean also reiterates that they can’t find Lucifer, so no archangel grace at the moment. That leaves the blood of a holy man on their dance card.

Sam figures they’re talking about a saint. Dean scoffs that this will be hard (try getting a knife and giving up some blood, dude; should work) while he eats cold pizza. Sam then infodumps about how many saintly relics (most of them likely fake) are being sold on the internet. He then mentions a possible seller – Margaret Astor. The Maltese Falcon shout-out No. 2: Mary Astor was the female lead in the film. They head to San Francisco (shout-out No. 3, as that’s where the film is set).

Margaret Astor is an elegant blonde who likes martinis (this is really more a Casablanca shout-out than The Maltese Falcon, but let’s roll with it). When the Brothers (in their regular rather than suits, for reasons I don’t quite understand) show up, she takes an immediate shine to Sam and blows Dean off pretty heavily. Dean rolls with it and Sam, after being initially startled, takes one for the team and flirts with her back. Margaret is flattered enough to ask what they need (even though she only usually takes personal referrals) and is surprised when Sam says they need “the blood of a saint.” When she asks him what that’s for, Sam is cagey, but says he’d be ever-so-grateful (while Dean tries hard not to gag next to him).

Margaret’s attraction to Sam goes just so far. She’ll only give them a name and an introduction to someone who might have some saint’s blood – a Mr. Greenstreet in Seattle. Shout-out No. 4, of course. Sydney Greenstreet played the main antagonist in the film. And, naturally, Mr. Greenstreet also turns out to be fat, like his sorta namesake, Kasper Gutman (Greenstreet’s character in the film). We meet him eating a donut.

For those of you wondering how the show can get away with this, it’s easy. Though the film may or may not still be in the public domain by now (technically, it should be as of two years ago, but it’s still a big moneymaker), it doesn’t really matter, since Warner Bros put out the film version we’re using here (Huston’s wasn’t the first, by far). While I’m pretty meh about the shallowness of historical research in the teaser, Huston’s version of The Maltese Falcon is one of my favorite films ever and Humphrey Bogart’s my favorite all-time actor. So, if the episode pulls this homage off, I’m pretty willing to be sanguine about all the silly history in a … shall we say … most holy way.

So, back to the show. The Brothers wisely put on suits to meet with the Fatman (sorry, Mr. Greenstreet). Dean introduces them as Sam and Dean Vaughn from Rhode Island. He asks them a question that catches them out about a fake family back east. He also calls them out on their cheap suits, especially when he finds out they want his sample of the blood of a saint, for which he paid quite a bit. This information is bought by Dean giving their real names, which Greenstreet doesn’t recognize. Considering the Brothers’ massive reputation in Occult circles, you’d think Greenstreet might have heard of them, but he shows no recognition. A hint that he is an ordinary villain and may not have what he says he possesses.

Nonetheless, he changes his mind and decides they are perhaps “not above a little chicanery.” He decides to hire them to get the stolen skull from the teaser out of the hands of a mob boss named Santino Scarpotti (a name Dean recognizes), who runs the Seattle mob. Dean asks whose skull it is. Greenstreet claims it’s that of St. Peter (yes, that St. Peter). The blood of the saint in question is that of St. Ignatius of Loyola (founder of the Jesuits).

Dean agrees, but all Greenstreet really has to offer is that the exchange of the skull between the thief and the mob occurs the following night. When Dean notes that this not a lot of info, Greenstreet serenely replies, “I have faith.”

Outside, Sam is complaining that they’ve been reduced to thieves (dude, you’ve always been thieves. And grifters. And murderers, too). Dean is unimpressed, pointing out that neither of them is “perfect.”

Dean: Look, this isn’t a perfect world and if I’m not perfect saving it, so be it.

We then get some classic music: “Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive” by Johnny Mercer and the Pied Pipers from 1944 film Here Come the Waves. Dean also meets a girl who is reading a book called “Guarded by Demons.” They’re hitting it off when Sam cock-blocks Dean by calling him over to talk about research. Damn, Sam. Bad timing, much?

But Sam’s just so excited about his research, you see. He’s found Mr. Nun-Smacking Teaser Guy, a small-time criminal whose name is Antonio Miele, and who’s staying at the Patricia Hotel. The hotel name sounds like a huge shout-out to something, but I don’t think it’s to The Maltese Falcon. I think it’s to the femme fatale, Patricia, in Bogart-inspired French New Wave classic À bout de souffle (Breathless).

As the Brothers enter the hotel, Sam accidentally runs into a shifty-looking dude as he’s coming out of the elevator. Not a real shocker, then, that when they get to Miele’s floor, they find his door ajar, his room trashed, and Miele dead.

As the Brothers try to figure out what’s going on, they are rousted by a dodgy detective (or at least a guy pretending to be a detective). But he has a gun, so they have to take his “suggestion” that they handcuff themselves to a radiator while he tosses the room. Even so, they make it pretty clear they’re on to his disguise. He snarks he’s going to “call it in” as he leaves. Sam then quickly pulls out a handcuff key to unlock their cuffs and Dean jokes that Sam is “like the Boy Scouts, always prepared.” No, Dabb and Singer, apparently you don’t watch your own show – Dean is the brother who is a walking arsenal, including lockpicks, and who once got himself out of a set of handcuffs using a car aerial. But thanks for forgetting 13 years of your own damned canon, sports.

On their way out, they pass the guy Sam ran into, lurking behind a newspaper. As they leave (and the police pull up, fortunately oblivious to the Brothers in their respectable suits), Sam and Dean compare notes and bring us up to date because … reasons, I guess? Anyhoo, they round the corner to where the Impala is and run into a bunch of Scarpatti’s men. Who insist on taking them to Scarpatti. In the Impala. Dean gives up the keys under extreme duress. The mysterious man watches them leave, looking worried.

Scarpatti is listening to opera (not an aria I recognize) and stroking a cat as the Brothers come in. Last time I checked, James Bond was not noir, guys. Pretty kitty, though.

So, Scarpatti gets up and is all proud of himself that he’s figured out the Brothers’ true secret identity as the Winchesters and that they’ve supposedly been dead for six years (try 13 for Dean, but hey, who’s counting, amirite?). But he hasn’t doped out their super-sekrit double-sekrit-probation identities in the supernatural world. So, he’s still as lame as any of the other villains in this story so far. Nice cat, though.

Anyhoo, he wants the Brothers to double-cross Greenstreet because he’s a good Catholic (who already had a collection of relics) and Greenstreet is a dirty, low-down dealer in the sacred. Dean cheekily calls him out on his hypocrisy, just to move things along (thank you, Dean, I was looking at my watch an awful lot). Scarpatti admits he hired Miele to steal the skull and paid him half up front. He claims he didn’t kill Miele and tells the Brothers he will pay them if they find the skull and if they don’t, he’ll kill them. Dean looks not even remotely impressed.

Back at the hotel, Dean is convinced the answer they seek is still in Miele’s room, but alas, it’s a guarded crime scene now. So, Dean starts pulling fire alarms. This motivates the cops to evacuate the hotel, giving a skeptical Sam time to toss the room. He does find a note, but then the mysterious guy whacks him over the head with a vase or something because … reasons. This story is as full of poor logic as it is double-crosses.

Anyhoo, the mysterious guy leaves with a box, looking furtive, but is followed by the “cop” in a scene that tries to be noir, but ends up looking more like the camp 60s version of Batman. The fake cop knocks him out and takes the paper.

Meanwhile, Dean finds Sam and wakes him up. Outside, as they’re looking for the mysterious guy, Dean makes a pretty funny crack about how Sam’s “Disney princess hair” acts as like a crash helmet to protect him from concussions. Look at it this way, Dean – at least Sam didn’t get tied to a chair this time.

They find the mysterious guy unconscious in an alley. When he wakes up, they drag him back to a room, rifle through his stuff, and interrogate him. He says his name is Lucca Camilleri. Dean susses out from his ID that he’s a priest and is after the skull.

Lucca says he was commissioned by the nuns to get the skull back. It turns out Miele was a local hood, so when he vanished at the same time the skull did, it wasn’t tough to connect the dots. Lucca has come to the States to buy the skull back. He has a fair amount of money in his briefcase, though it’s probably not enough. Too bad the fake cop didn’t look in there. Why didn’t he look in there, again?

Anyhoo, Lucca is downcast because how he has to go back to his parish and explain how he lost their major symbol that they’ve had for generations (obvious reference to the set-up for Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom is obvious). When Dean points out that the world isn’t perfect, Lucca goes into a rant about how you should try to help, anyway, since the world never will be perfect. This motivates Sam to impulsively offer to help Lucca get the skull back.

Dean asks for a short conference with Sam about how problematical this new quest is. Sam suggests they get the skull, dodge Scarpatti somehow, meet with Greenstreet, get the saint’s blood, and doublecross him. Somehow. Dean is not impressed by this hairbrained scheme, so Sam asks Dean what he would do if someone stole the Impala (well … again) and Dean goes into a scary, homicidal state: “Murder. I’d murder ’em all. There’d be torture, I mean, lot of torture, first, but then there’d, it would end up with death. If I can’t have it, nobody can.”

In the Impala, Lucca still can’t remember the face of the man who hit him, but he does remember the number on the slip of paper. It turns out to be a tracking number for a package from Valetta, Malta. Hmm.

Sure enough, Fake Cop shows up to get the package, but the Brothers and Lucca are already staking him out. They follow him to a dock where another car also pulls up. Out gets Margaret Astor.

Inside a warehouse, she and Fake Cop (who is carrying the package) walk in. Fake Cop wants a raise. She says no. Her intended client? Scarpatti, who is not thrilled to be having to pay again for something he already paid to steal.

So, it turns out Margaret killed Miele – or had him killed – and if Scarpatti doesn’t pay up, she will sell the package to the other bidder. This is, of course, Greenstreet, who shows up with his own goons. After Fake Cop opens the package and pulls out a black velvet bag, revealing a plain skull (actually, a relic like that would be inside a well-decorated reliquary and/or be heavily encrusted with jewels and gold, itself), Margaret then starts the bidding.

In the car, Lucca and Dean are having a conversation about God. Lucca trusts in God. Dean says he really shouldn’t, since he knows for a fact God doesn’t care and won’t help. Lucca says that no, he means that all good things come from God, like what Sam is doing now, which is pretty recklessly coming in with Lucca’s box of money. As soon as he says the words, “Let’s make a deal,” Dean and Lucca go in.

While Lucca creates a distraction (by saying so), Dean chokes out all the guards then goes in alone. Meanwhile, both Greenstreet and Scarpatti whine about how Sam double-crossed them. Margaret cuts this short by saying she doesn’t care. Sam’s cute and he has money, too. She then gives everyone a piece of paper to write down their best price. The best price gets the skull.

Sam doesn’t quite have enough, though he stalls as long as he can. Scarpatti puts up three million, but then Greenstreet throws a wrench into the works by offering Fake Cop a million up front to kill Margaret and sell him the skull.

Unfortunately, Margaret unwisely turns her back on Fake Cop, who does shoot her. This starts a general shoot-out as Scarpatti and his men pull guns, Sam ducks for cover, and Dean comes in, guns blazing. As Lucca prays a Pater Noster and we get Gregorian monk chant on the soundtrack (sounds like a Dies Irae), Fake Cop shoots Scarpatti, tries to shoot Dean, gets blocked by Lucca (who gets shot), and gets shot by Sam. It turns out Lucca was only grazed, so praise be and all that.

The only bad guy left standing is Greenstreet. It turns out his story about having saint’s blood was a porky. Dean punches him out and the Brothers shop him to the police.

Then they send Lucca off at the airport, but (in the least surprising twist of a rather dull entry) it turns out he is the saint they were always looking for. It seems Sam found out that the Pope called Lucca an Apostolic Protonotary Supernumerary and Lucca says it means the Pope thought he was “a most holy man.” Oh, golly (and stuff and nonsense, as Lucca is far too timid and ineffectual to be a saint).

So, of course, they get some blood from him and take it home. Because they are creepy that way.

Back at the Bunker, Dean is looking at the vial of Lucca’s blood (which is strangely still fresh without any anticoagulant in it), while Sam is having a mini-meltdown about how they can’t save everyone and is it possible for there to be a world without monsters. Dean says he doesn’t know, but “I have faith.”

Credits.


Like this column? You can help keep it going by contributing monthly via Patreon (which includes perks), making a one-time donation through Paypal, or buying us a coffee.


The Official Supernatural: “Good Intentions” (13.14) Live Recap Thread


We need your help!

Contribute monthly via Patreon (which includes perks), make a one-time donation through Paypal, or buy us a coffee.

My collected recaps and reviews of season one, which first appeared on Innsmouth Free Press, are now up (with a few extras) on Kindle. The Kindle version is available through  Amazon. The print version is also up. If you buy the print version, you get a Kindle copy thrown in for free. I also get paid if you get it on Kindle Unlimited (for free), read the Kindle version, or lend it to a friend via the Kindle Owners Lending Library. Just FYI.

Whoo, the title to this one was so boring, I kept having to look it up to remember it. Let’s get cracking.

Recap of the Donatello storyline, which does not bode too well for Donatello. Sorry, Mr. Redshirt Prophet. I’m gonna miss you, Keith.

Cut to Jack, who wakes up in the Bunker to hear the Brothers talking about how glad they are to have him back. Then the alarm goes off and smoke comes through the grate in the bottom of the door. He rushes out into the corridor to find that Sam and Dean are trapped inside a room and calling for help. He tries to use his power to break through the door, but he can’t get it open as they plead for their lives.

I’m sure it’s a surprise to no one watching this that it’s a mind game (am getting tired of the whole “Let’s make the protagonists look like fools” trope. It’s greatly overused of late). The only twist is that it’s alt-Zachariah doing some kind of mind control thing on Jack to get him to use his powers to make an interdimensional rift at alt-Michael’s behest. Alt-Michael tells Zachariah to hurry up and get it done, and Zachariah thinks he knows a way to do it. No, sadly, we do not get Kurt Fuller back.

Cue title cards.

Donatello is working on the Demon Tablet, writing down words and phrases: “blood,” “symbols,” “danger,” “open the tear into worlds,” “all will burn,” “the born one.” Comforting messages like that, while distorted voices that kind of sound like Sam and Dean harangue him.

Castiel knocks on the door and asks to come in. He brings breakfast and asks if Donatello is all right. Donatello says sure (as he hides something under a paper), but does comment that the tablet has a lot of power. He also says he’s “making progress.” As soon as Castiel leaves, Donatello uncovers the paper and keeps working on it.

In the kitchen, Dean is eating a plate-ful of bacon, while Sam kvetches. Business as usual on that end.

Dean: Dude, if bacon’s what kills me, I win.

He’s got a point.

So, Castiel comes in and we finally get what the plan was last week – they were going to tap some of Lucifer’s archangel grace for their spell. Okay, whatev.

Meanwhile, Jack finds himself on a misty beach near Vancouver. “Castiel” shows up and says he wanted to show Jack the world before it was ruined by humans. Except, like Apocalypse World has been “saved” by angels and look how that turned out. Hmm. “Castiel” claims that Jack has to use his powers to “save us all,” that Sam and Dean taught Jack to “fear” his powers.

Jack finally buys a clue from Vanna and realized this isn’t Castiel. He wakes up in the grody old church that is alt-Michael’s hideout. Losing patience, alt-Michael tosses Jack and alt-Zachariah into respective corners and then grabs Jack for “my way.” Because that’s been working so well so far.

Back to Donatello, who is writing down “between our world” and “mix thoroughly.” He looks squirrely and then we see him running through the halls into the kitchen with a piece of paper, yelling “Eureka!”

Sam looks at the paper. One surprise is that they have most of the ingredients. Another is that they don’t need archangel grace for this particular spell (Donatello looks shifty at this – hmm). A third is what they do need – “the hearts of Gog and Magog.”

Castiel says he’s “heard rumors,” but didn’t realize Gog and Magog were actual people. Donatello says they were warriors who had “enslaved half the Fertile Crescent” before being locked away beyond space and time. Castiel offers to go fight them and Dean says he’ll come with. As Castiel looks suspicious, Donatello too-cheerfully says he and Sam can stay behind to find the ingredients. I’m sure this will end well.

Cut to Jack getting dragged through a hallway. Remember Dean getting dragged through the angels in season nine premiere, “I Think I’m Gonna Like It Here”? They rip that off. Poorly. Alt-Michael apparently needs a lantern to light his way as he drags Jack to a cell where he tosses him in. There, Jack finds Mary.

To her credit, Mary quickly figures out who Jack is when she hears his name. She tells him she was present at his birth. She’s also relieved to hear her sons aren’t in Apocalypse World.

Jack admits that Michael got inside his head and made him do things. Mary tells him she saw Michael’s grand plan when he got inside her head – he’s going to bring an army to the SPNverse (in other words, alt-Michael is a Bond Villain: Evil Overlord Variant). She explains to Jack that alt-Michael will hurt her to make Jack do what he wants. We also find out from the dialogue that it’s currently six months after Jack’s birth at the end of last season.

As they gear up to go, Dean asks Castiel how he’s doing. Castiel frets that he was brought back for a reason (Dean tells him Jack brought him back and Castiel looks a bit shifty, but doesn’t mention the Empty Entity), but so far, he’s failing Jack, that Michael (he doesn’t specify which one) is all about making war. Dean gives him a pep talk about how they will power through and off they go.

Meanwhile, Sam and Donatello are gathering ingredients, while Donatello runs through a series of Untrustworthy Expressions behind Sam’s back.

In a clearing in a forest in Vancouver, probably somewhere in Stanley Park, Dean and Castiel talk strategy. Castiel says that Donatello said Gog and Magog could only be killed “by a weapon touched by God” and promptly hands Dean an angel blade. Dean casually takes it (remember when angel blades were rare and awe-inspiring? Kinda miss those days) and Castiel does a summoning in Enochian, no spellwork.

At first, nothing happens and Dean gets sassy about Castiel’s Enochian pronunciation. Castiel is snippy in response, which causes Dean to roll his eyes.

Gog and Magog show up (behind Dean and Castiel, of course), making the earth shake with each step. They look more like Vikings than guys from Ancient Mesopotamia and they’re wearing leather diapers. Dean snickers to Castiel that they’re wearing loinclothes. No, man, those are diapers (which Dean finally acknowledges).

Meanwhile, Gog and Magog are commenting in Ancient Canaanite (more or less) on how “pretty” their latest adversaries are. They finally decide which one to attack. One goes after Castiel and the other after Dean.

Dean gets his angel blade shattered by a sword early on. When he yells to Castiel (who is getting tossed to the ground) about what to do next, Castiel shouts back that they can only be killed by weapons “forged by God,” which is different from what he said before.

Dean gets his guy into a headlock, but then gets flipped over. He avoids a sword cut, manages to get hold of Gog (think it’s Gog)’s sword and beheads him with it. Magog is about to make short work of Castiel when Dean stabs him from behind.

Dean [grumpily]: Forged by God; touched by God” – same thing.

But they run into a snag when Castiel goes to retrieve Magog’s heart and finds only sand. It turns out Gog and Magog are not human at all but magical constructs from before the Flood. They have no hearts. The thlot pickens.

Meanwhile, Mary is trying to get Jack to let alt-Michael kill her rather than open the door to the SPNverse. Jack insists he can save them both, but his powers keep going wonky and his head hurts. Mary admits her head hurts, too. She thought it was the torture, but now she wonders if it’s because the angel warding is so strong that even humans can feel it. She finds a place in the cell (conveniently near the only window) where she doesn’t have so much of headache and guesses that’s where the warding is weakest. Jack starts working on breaking through the window.

Back at the Bunker, Donatello is stalking an apparently oblivious Sam, who doesn’t hear a warning call on his cell from Dean. Donatello then smacks Sam in the head with a bottle and keeps on smacking.

So, alt-Michael is, to put it mildly, unhappy about Jack and Mary’s jailbreak. He orders Zachariah to go get Jack back, kill Mary in front of Jack (slowly), and not fail him again.

Meanwhile, Jack and Mary are running around the Apocalypse World set at night, trying to avoid anything on two legs. They quickly get rousted by alt-Bobby. He recognizes her as Mary Campbell and thinks she’s a ghost at first. She mentions Dean and Sam (in that order) and alt-Bobby remembers them. Jack is introduced as “a friend of the family.”

Back at the Bunker, Dean and Castiel arrive to find the place a bit trashed and Sam nursing a large welt on his head. He has a raving Donatello on lockdown in their dungeon. Castiel explains about how Gog and Magog didn’t have hearts, which means the spell was fake – Donatello was trying to send them to their deaths.

Alt-Bobby takes Mary and Jack to his camp and explains that the angels are systematically exterminating humans. As they bond over coffee spiked with whiskey (and Jack does puppet theater for a bunch of kids), alt-Bobby spells out that Mary of his world never made her demon deal, so John didn’t come back from the dead and she never had Dean and Sam (that order again). She says they saved her world. Alt-Bobby says he didn’t go back with them because he’s about the only thing his world has to save it.

He is rather less thrilled, however, when Mary admits that Jack is a Naphil, and insists Jack be out of the camp by dawn. Even when Mary says she’d leave, too, alt-Bobby insists that the angels turned on humans, despite initially seeming to be their allies, and Jack will, too.

Fortunately for Jack, the angels attack in the morning, apparently attracted by Jack using magic in his shadow puppets the night before. Mary tells Jack to run and gets a mission from a grumpy alt-Bobby to rescue as many kids as she can. Jack is running when he hears children screaming and goes back to help.

Meanwhile, Mary has been caught out by Zachariah, who is about to kill her when Jack shows up. Jack kills him, instead, then foils another attack by angels (not impressed by the whole fireball thing instead of wings) by blasting them out of the sky, saving the whole camp. Alt-Bobby is properly impressed.

Yeah, I kinda figured early on that Mary would end up a Mother figure to Jack.

Back at the Bunker, the Brothers try to interrogate Donatello, who cackles that he’s translated the entire Demon Tablet (didn’t Kevin already do that years ago? Why does it need to be translated again?), then does a suffocation spell on Dean. Dean’s okay once Sam gets him out into the corridor (just as a worried Castiel, who was watching on a monitor, shows up), but Donatello is clearly cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs.

TFW tries to figure out what went wrong with Donatello. Castiel insists that Prophets can’t be corrupted by the Tablets. They’re only “conduits” of God’s power. Sam then points out that Donatello no longer has his soul (this didn’t come up before?) and Castiel speculates that without the “filter” of the soul, Donatello was corrupted.

There’s then a flurry of discussion. Sam gets mopey and says they can never get Donatello’s soul back because Amara “ate” it. Dean doesn’t exactly contradict him, even though Amara told him once that all of the souls she ate still existed inside her, apparently as intact souls. So, theoretically, it’s just a case of ringing her up and persuading her to give it back, which, theoretically, Dean could do.

But this doesn’t happen. Instead, Castiel suggests putting Donatello down. That way, another Prophet will come into existence and they can use him/her to finish reading the Tablet. The Brothers aren’t thrilled by this idea, but they aren’t quite fast enough (okay, they don’t exactly rush) to stop him from going into the dungeon and forcibly stripping the spell from Donatello’s mind. It’s pretty clear he does this in large part because Donatello hurt Dean. Afterward, he seems odd and one wonders if he absorbed some of Donatello’s “corruption.”

Donatello isn’t dead, per se, but his mind is wiped and the Brothers are forced to leave him at a nearby hospital in a coma. Castiel tells them that Donatello was working for Asmodeus and that “some people can’t be saved.” Dean still calls him out on it, though Castiel justifies it as necessary because they are at war.

Castiel then gives them the ingredients for the spell: “the blood of an archangel, a fruit from the Tree of Life, the Seal of Solomon, and the blood of ‘a most holy man.'”

The episode closes on Dean’s thoughtful face as Castiel says, “It’s like you said, Dean, ‘Whatever it takes.'”

Credits


Like this column? You can help keep it going by contributing monthly via Patreon (which includes perks), making a one-time donation through Paypal, or buying us a coffee.


The Official Supernatural: “Devil’s Bargain” (13.13) Live Recap Thread


We need your help!

Contribute monthly via Patreon (which includes perks), make a one-time donation through Paypal, or buy us a coffee.

My collected recaps and reviews of season one, which first appeared on Innsmouth Free Press, are now up (with a few extras) on Kindle. The Kindle version is available through  Amazon. The print version is also up. If you buy the print version, you get a Kindle copy thrown in for free. I also get paid if you get it on Kindle Unlimited (for free), read the Kindle version, or lend it to a friend via the Kindle Owners Lending Library. Just FYI.

Yeah, I know. I’ve been putting this off. What can I say? The Nep Duo eps are a huge snore for me.

Starting now.

Boring recap of the Nep Duo storyline so far this season reminding why I’m finding it so tedious. You’d have thought the show could have found somebody more competent to do episode 13 of season 13.

Cut to Now. Castiel is staggering through the woods, bleeding, yelling Lucifer’s name. He passes out and is found the next morning by two pubescent budding serial killers who gloat over finding a dead body – until he wakes up and scares them off.

He goes back to that creepy old mental hospital the show’s been filming since … oh … “The End” in season five, at least, but no Lucifer.

Nope, Lucifer is stalking some poor Cupid, who’s just trying to pair up a young woman on roller skates with a guy who drops a wedding cake to catch her. Lucifer rewards the poor guy by stealing his grace, interrogating him about finding more angels, and then killing him basically for kicks. Lucifer does realize that said angel now has a soul and will go to Heaven, where he can be interrogated by other angels, right (that was the storyline for Castiel)? And that (also per Castiel’s lost grace storyline) this stolen grace will only burn away inside him and eventually kill him, right?

Oh, but wait. It’s the Nep Duo. They don’t do tedious things like check up on canon before writing their dreck.

Also, is anyone else totally over Lucifer by now? I mean, completely for the duration of the show?

Cue title cards.

Oh, hey, look, the show’s actual protagonists. Dean is talking to Castiel, who has turned up at the Bunker and is filling Dean in on his kidnapping. Don’t get me started on how dumb it was for the Brothers not to check up on Castiel and find this out for themselves.

Sam is freaked out by the news that Lucifer is back in town, even depowered. It’s probably also not the wisest thing for Castiel to get so detailed about alt-Michael’s threat to the SPNverse, considering Dean is right there. Sam asks about Mary. Castiel confirms that Lucifer said she was still alive.

Cut to Lucifer having some after-effects from his grace meal. Gee, consequences for that? Do tell. But mostly this is just an excuse for the writers to engage in more tasteless homeless person jokes. Yay.

Also, once again, what the hell happened to Lucifer using his wings to fly anywhere he wants in the world in nanoseconds? Instead, we have Lucifer feeling hungry (um … why?) and begging for money because he can’t just fly into a burger joint and out with a dozen burgers before anyone notices – oh, wait. He can.

Another homeless guy takes him dumpster diving and tells him about a healer named Sister Jo. Lucifer starts to get an evil idea, which means she is probably an angel.

Meanwhile, two characters I have even less interest in (Asmodeus and Ketch) are discussing Lucifer’s escape. Ketch twits Asmodeus a bit about how he was out of town and Asmodeus hedges that it was super-duper important then doesn’t kill Ketch. Instead, he tasks Ketch with killing Lucifer while Lucifer is still weak because apparently, we can kill archangels while they are lacking a bit of grace. How does that work, exactly, when Chuck said in season 11 that archangels are fundamentally different even from angels?

Dean apologizes to Castiel for not realizing he’d been captured. Castiel admits that getting captured was on him (and that he knows Dean would have done something crazy to try to break him out if he’d known), and angsts about Jack and Mary. Good times.

Sam comes back from wherever he was with Donatello in tow. Dean lays out his plan to get Jack and Mary back, and then slam the door before alt-Michael can get through. Then they show Donatello the Demon Tablet which, as a Prophet, Donatello might be able to read, even though his talents are kinda different from Kevin’s. Donatello asks for chicken wings.

Cut to a woman (Danneel Ackles’ character) in a church. She is taking money from an older woman with a walker and then heals her with white light. Yup. Angel. She does this to a bunch of other paying customers, too. This is Sister Jo.

As Castiel and the Brothers find out about the dead Cupid (and Castiel identifies him as an angel), and worry Lucifer might get his mojo back, Lucifer has appeared in the crowd waiting to be healed by Sister Jo. After the session ends and the humans leave, Lucifer approaches her and calls her “Amael.” Yup. An angel. Unimpressed, Sister Jo/Amael easily identifies him as Lucifer, but she’s not scared or repulsed as the other angels have been in the past.

Amael explains that after the angels fell and the others were scrambling to find “housing” (vessels), she was more systematic in her search. She found a woman who was praying for her husband to be healed and they made a deal – the woman became Amael’s vessel in exchange for healing her husband. She was, as Amael puts it, extremely “grateful.” Amael realized that she could live comfortably on humans’ desperation for healing and longer life, and that she was actually a much better “businesswoman” than she had been an angel.

We find out how good a businesswoman she is when Lucifer pulls out his sword and goes after her. She points out that if he gives her “time to recharge” (implying that he will eventually recharge on his own, himself), he can take a little grace from her at a time. He helps her and she helps him. Lucifer looks intrigued.

Back to Sam, Dean and Castiel (bet you forgot all about them, eh?). Sam is casing the neighborhood and runs into the homeless guy who told Lucifer about Sister Jo. He also tells Sam about her, and that he told Lucifer about her. Hey, Sam, maybe get Castiel to heal this guy as a reward? No?

Anyhoo, back at the church (so much friggin’ jumping around), Lucifer is feeding off Sister Jo’s grace in a highly sexualized and vampiric way that is well within the Nep Duo’s usual wheelhouse of tone-deafness. Yuck. So, afterward, Sister Jo has to point out to him, using small words, that his killing of the poor Doomed Teaser Cupid was broadcast all over Angel Radio. Apparently, in addition to losing his grace, Lucifer has lost a few IQ points, because he didn’t figure that one out on his own.

Sure enough, guess who shows up at Sister Jo’s chapel? And all three are armed with angel swords. But when Castiel kicks in the door, all they find is … Ketch.

Ketch appeared to be ready to throw something, but doesn’t elaborate about what. Dean cuts to the chase and demands to know what Ketch is doing there. Ketch protests his innocence, but nobody’s impressed, and for once, Sam and Castiel waste no time backing Dean up, demanding instead to know whom Ketch is working for. None of TFW believes Ketch is just freelancing around the countryside, doing Good. So, Ketch tries to join up with the team.

Instead, after an exchange of disgusted glances, Castiel puts him to sleep, they dump him in the Impala’s trunk, and Dean sketches out a plan to bring him back to the Bunker, interrogate him, kill him, and dispose of his body really, really well. Castiel really likes this plan. So do I, so I’m sure it won’t happen now.

There is also a fly in the ointment. Sam has just found some video of Sister Jo healing people and Castiel immediately recognizes her as Amael. But if Lucifer killed her, too, where’s her body?

As they drive home, Sam gets an alert on his phone (he tapped into Sister Jo’s financials) that she just used her credit card. Hmm, seems she might be alive.

Ooops, here comes another highly sexualized scene of Lucifer feeding on Amael that reminds me (not fondly) of Sam feeding off Ruby’s demon blood. Ugh.

Afterward, Amael tells Lucifer that whenever she’s almost completely drained of grace, she experiences human emotions. Lucifer says he experienced them, too, but didn’t like them. Amael feels a bit differently. In Heaven, she received souls and that’s all she did. A soul would arrive, she would “push a button,” and the soul would be counted. She wanted to do other things, to “fix Heaven,” but none of the higher-ups would listen to her and only sent her back to her job. Gee, I guess the Nep Duo missed watching the episodes in seasons four and five when angels who so much as questioned things got brainwashed and/or turned into cinders.

Anyhoo, Amael doesn’t mind being fallen. Lucifer does and whines about being a daddy. The show continues to ignore that consuming angel grace that isn’t the angel’s is unhealthy for the angel doing the consuming.

Meanwhile, Asmodeus (yes, I know you didn’t miss him) gets news from a demon minion that they’ve found Donatello. Really? When did Asmodeus lose him?

Cut to Castiel accosting Donatello outside a chicken wings place to have a chat. You gotta love a show where you have to worry about the good guys’ intentions even more than the bad guys’.

Anyhoo, Castiel asks Donatello about his progress on the Demon Tablet (didn’t Kevin translate that thing a while back? What new info could it have?) and Donatello says he thinks he’s found a spell to get to the alt-SPNverse. Now why the Demon Tablet would have this sort of thing remains unexplained. Like … not even addressed.

So, Castiel is not really Castiel. He’s actually Asmodeus pretending to be Castiel. And he does some kind of forgetting spell on Donatello that we’ve never seen demons do before, just angels (because LOL!Canon, that’s why), while compelling him to tell him everything about said spell as he finds it out. Because I’m sure this won’t backfire on this pathetic character in any way.

As Donatello leaves, Colonel Sanders – sorry, Asmodeus – grabs one of his chicken wings, sniffs it, and tosses it away in disgust. I’ll bet the Nepotism Duo thought this would be some cute and gently mocking shout-out to the rather loud and negative fan reaction to the character, which just goes to show how clueless these two are.

Meanwhile, TFW (with Ketch still apparently in the trunk) is casing the motel where Amael and Lucifer are. Sam draws Amael out by calling the room and saying her credit card was declined. Once outside, TFW meets with her and establishes she is alive.

Amael is … economical … with the truth. She claims to be scared of Lucifer and that he wants her grace. She does give him up, though, saying he is in the motel room and is still weak. So, TFW goes in, assuming she’s with them, which is too bad. Up to this point, they’ve been smart and there’s nothing smart about trusting Sister Jo, especially once they find out she’s alive and unharmed by Lucifer. One would think they’d at least consider her loyalties iffy.

Lucifer’s indeed inside the room, reading the Bible (not as fun as it sounds, unfortunately). Amael tries to warn him when she knocks on the door by calling him “Lord Lucifer,” but as I said before, he’s pretty clueless. He’s therefore apparently surprised when TFW appear in the doorway when he opens it.

A standoff ensues because really, what does TFW have to take Lucifer down, even if he’s weak? No, seriously, what was the plan here? Sam tries to shoo Amael out the door while Lucifer tries to talk his way into a better strategic position for reasons that, frankly, escape me if he’s, you know, no longer as weak as he was.

So, then Amael breaks the standoff by literally breaking up TFW with TK. Except that she should be too weak to do that, having been drained not too long ago by Lucifer to, by her own admission, almost the point of humanity. So, she and Lucifer toss TFW around and Lucifer tortures them a bit, even as Amael is telling him to run for reasons that escape me and probably a good portion of the audience. If Lucifer’s stronger than they thought, why is he running again? And if he’s still unable to kill them thanks to what Chuck did to him in season 11, now would be an excellent time to bring that up again and spell it out, since the show spells out plenty of things it really doesn’t need to.

Ketch then suddenly appears in the doorway with something in his hand. Fortunately for Lucifer (as Amael runs to his side to protect or hide behind him or something), Ketch pauses dramatically in the doorway, which is plenty of time for even a being of Lucifer’s currently limited intellect to remember he has wings and fly away to some forest with Amael. Even so, once they get there, she still has to point out to him that there is a place, not on earth, they can still go – Heaven. And to think he thinks he’s going to meet up with his son and take over the world. Yikes.

Back in the motel room, Ketch is whining (again) that he just saved the Brothers’ lives and Dean reams him out for taking too long to toss the bomb. Ketch claims it was a demon grenade or something that he found in their trunk while escaping, so it wouldn’t have actually killed Lucifer, anyway. Which again begs the question of why he ran (or flew, if you prefer). If you were holding out a faint hope that this was part of some big plan between Ketch and TFW, sorry.

A pretty awkward discussion ensues as Ketch tries to fend off his impending execution by confessing he’s working for Asmodeus and offering to be a double (or triple) agent for TFW. To their credit, they laugh in his face, pointing out that admitting something they kinda suspected already about him doesn’t exactly make them trust him. Ketch then claims that Lucifer out and about is not something even he wants to see (certainly, his erstwhile demon boss doesn’t), let alone whatever is going on with alt-Michael. TFW looks uncomfortable, since they’re probably going to have to work with him now, even though they can see all the big, red “Danger, Will Robinson!” signs surrounding this idea.

Meanwhile, Lucifer is at that stupid angel gate in the playground, talking his way into becoming the ruler of Heaven by offering them the thing that they desperately want the most – to make new angels – and the other thing they want most – to give them their wings back. Even more reluctantly than TFW letting Ketch cozy up to them, the angels take him on board. I’m sure this will end well. I’m also pretty sure that Lucifer is lying about being able to make new angels, or at least that there is a catch.

Near the end (because we have to have multiple codas), TFW is sitting around the table, discussing whether or not they can trust Ketch (the consensus is “No, but we have no choice. For now”). Donatello is doing something weird with peeling the batter off his chicken wings, which I guess is supposed to be a sign of Asmodeus’ meddling with his mind. Dean is cleaning his guns and Donatello has a freak-out when Sam tries to give him a pep talk. Good times. Great mental health all round.

Up in Heaven, the angels are reluctantly kneeling to a smug Lucifer on his throne, with Amael as his main advisor. He’s going to need her, what with that lobotomy the writers have given him.

Meanwhile, Ketch is claiming to Asmodeus that he could have killed Lucifer, but just missed him (yeah, right). Asmodeus whines that they need to dispatch Lucifer as soon as possible (a feat no one has been able to manage for over 14 billion years, mind you), especially since TFW will try to use him to open the gate to the alt-SPNverse. Except that’s not what they’ve been trying to do. They’ve actually been trying to banish him back to the Cage. But let’s not confuse the Nepotism Duo with facts. We’re almost near the end of the episode, thank God.

Through this cloud of misguided hubris, Asmodeus has two final plot coupons – sorry, surprises – to deliver before we reach the credits, though. He’s found an archangel blade (and oh, look, it looks nothing whatsoever like the blades we’ve seen the archangels use, including on each other). When Ketch points out that even with an archangel blade, you need an archangel to wield it, Asmodeus shows him that he has Gabriel prisoner, with his mouth stitched shut. I’m sure that won’t end badly for Asmodeus, or anything.

Credits


Like this column? You can help keep it going by contributing monthly via Patreon (which includes perks), making a one-time donation through Paypal, or buying us a coffee.