Category Archives: Live Recaps

The Official Supernatural: “Unfinished Business” (13.20) 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. I’m posting reviews here of North Carolina ghost story books, and notes about my research all month long on Patreon.

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 and is on sale through this Friday. 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. Reviews also help with sales. Just FYI.

Extended recap of Gabriel stuff leading up to his killing Asmodeus and flying off to points unknown a couple of episodes ago. Hey y’all, I wonder if Gabriel’s coming back? [/sarcasm, heavy duty variety]

Cut to NOW and a guy with a kazoo (Louden Swain ref, I’ll bet) who looks a lot like Gabriel calling out a guy named “Fenrir Odinsbane” in a dark alley. Fenrir looks like a scruffy biker and not a world-killing wolf. Oh, Show, honey, you’re not really gonna do that to Fenrir, are ya? ‘Cause that’s just sad.

So, Fenrir is basically a werewolf dude with a glowy face tattoo, big teeth, and extendable claws. Whatever. He’s obviously a Doomed Teaser Monster, so let’s keep rolling.

Fenrir recognizes Gabriel (or is it?), but when they fight (Gabriel claims he always said he’d “do this honorably”), Fenrir is surprised when he bleeds. “Gabriel” then kills him by stabbing through himself into Fenrir’s chest. Then he checks his name off on a list that also includes Narfi (a son of Loki) and Sleipnir (he’s gonna kill Odin’s horse?).

Cue title cards.

Cut to the Brothers in a motel room (oh, here comes the obligatory introductory pre-Hunt infodump to explain what the hell we just saw in the teaser). Dean is getting off the phone and expressing frustration that they can’t find Gabriel. He’s somewhat mollified when he kicks the bed and discovers it has Magic Fingers. Sam is equally impatient, though to do what, I’m not sure. Go to Texas, which is the other place Gabriel would be in, maybe? This is supposed to be Colorado.

As they debate about how they are going to find Gabriel, there’s a knock on their door. It’s Gabriel and he’s wounded. So…looks like the teaser guy who looked like Gabriel is Gabriel.

Cut to Jack and Mary in the alt-SPNverse (which completely kills the momentum). Jack has just come back from killing alt-Balthazar and he has thirty more refugees. Mary points out they barely have supplies for the ones already there. Boy, Jack sure was cocky last season, wasn’t he?

Anyhoo, a guy comes up and tells them that word is alt-Michael’s angels are leaving his fortress. Jack scans out to it (um…wasn’t that Kaia’s ability?) and finds it empty. He’s convinced alt-Michael left because he was afraid of Jack. Mary tries to warn him that it’s a trap, but he’s determined to go. He tells her he’ll keep her (and, by extension, the team with them) safe.

At the motel, it turns out the wound Gabriel suffered was a slash wound from Fenrir. Gabriel sought out the Brothers, hoping to regain some of his grace because he is still weak. They tell him they used what they didn’t give him on a rift. He’s not thrilled and starts to leave, but his wound is pretty deep. So, he takes a nap instead. While they wait, the Brothers infodump – sorry, discuss – the situation.

They may not have much time for rumination. At the scene of Fenrir’s body, an older, bearded biker dude and a younger, nattily dressed boy, are checking out their “brother”‘s corpse. When the biker dude tastes Gabriel’s blood and deems it “archangel” blood (thus apparently confirming the real Gabriel is with the Brothers), the younger one decides to call their “father.” So, I’m guessing this is Narfi and Sleipnir.

They show up at the motel room, just as Gabriel is about to bail. Again.

They show their glowy green face tattoos (Sleipnir’s is a horse head). Gabriel helpfully identifies them as Norse demigods. Narfi attacks Sam and starts choking him. Dean fends Sleipnir off with a chair and manages to throw him over his shoulder. As he turns to help Sam, Gabriel stabs Narfi from behind and scares off Sleipnir.

Back in alt-SPNverse, Jack and Mary check out alt-Michael’s “fortress” and a weird map he left behind on an altar. Their team finds alt-Kevin in a dungeon and brings him in. The team wants to kill him, but when Kevin starts babbling about a spell, Mary gently asks him what he means. It turns out alt-Michael is going to a place down south where the walls between worlds are thin, so he can invade the regular SPNverse.

Back at the motel, the Brothers come back from sticking Narfi in a car crusher and demand some answers from a handcuffed Gabriel. Gabriel is, as usual, evasive, but they’re not going anywhere until he talks. So, in a flashback sequence full of montage, he does.

It turns out (at least, according to Gabriel) that when he ran off to Vegas with the porn stars, he lay low with Fenrir, Narfi and Sleipnir. But they allegedly got frightened that Lucifer would win the Apocalypse and find out they had hidden Gabriel, so they betrayed him. But to make a profit, they sold him to Asmodeus, who apparently didn’t tell Lucifer his brother was still alive. Now, Gabriel is seeking revenge.

More debating in alt-SPNverse as everybody but Jack tries to figure out why alt-Michael is being so obvious.

Cut back to the motel, where it turns out Gabriel actually has four swords, so which other god is he after? Turns out it’s Loki, the Trickster with whom he changed identities. He found Loki in a cave a long time ago, tied down with a snake dripping venom in his eyes (this is from myth) and freed him. In exchange, when the war between the archangels began, Loki helped him disappear. But now they’re enemies, for mumblety-mumblety reasons, and Loki was the one who ordered Gabriel sold to Asmodeus. Gabriel wants revenge.

Sam feels sympathetic toward Gabriel, who keeps acting as though Dean (or, for that matter, Sam) was never tortured in Hell. Dean is less impressed and points out that revenge never got their family much. And when Gabriel shows Dean his “kill list,” and says he’s going to go in order, Dean is very unimpressed. Also, I think, very suspicious. But off they go (after Gabriel agrees to help them if they help him), five minutes down the road to where Loki has turned a dive motel room into a palatial suite from Monte Carlo (yeah, I know I said Vegas before). To the tune of Spanish guitar.

Back in the alt-SPNverse, Mary tries to give the voice of experience to Jack, who still insists on going after alt-Michael. But he’s interrupted by alt-Kevin, who has been turned into a soul bomb by alt-Michael and sold a bill of goods about how he’ll be with his mom in Heaven. He blows himself up and Jack is only able to save Mary. Nice going there, Jack.

The Brothers and Gabriel show up at the motel, right after Sleipnir and a bodyguard. Gabriel is ranting about how the Brothers can kill everyone else, but he wants Sleipnir and Loki, himself. Dean tells him to knock it off with the elaborate plans and sure enough, everything’s blown to hell when the elevator opens and there are Sleipnir and his bodyguard. Sleipnir yells, “Get ’em!” and Gabriel blows the hallway light.

As Sam and Gabriel take the guards out and the lights come on to Gabriel stabbing Sleipnir, Dean has grabbed the bokken for Loki and slipped off to the penthouse suite.

Once there, Dean finds out that Loki wanted revenge for Gabriel getting his father, Odin, killed by Lucifer (in season five’s “Hammer of the Gods”). He had given his face to Gabriel only in exchange for Gabriel giving up being part of the archangel war forever. Once Gabriel got back in the game, he broke that promise.

Dean stabs Loki, but it’s just a projection, albeit a projection that can punch. Sam comes in and shoots it and it disappears.

Meanwhile, in a hallway, Loki is waiting for Gabriel, who doesn’t have the right sword and also doesn’t have his archangel powers back, yet. Loki proceeds to beat the crap out of Gabriel, saying he’s always expected someone to swoop in and save him, but no one will do it now.

The Brothers rush in and Dean tosses the sword to Gabriel, who gets Loki on the pointy end. Loki mocks him, saying he’s always “stood for nothing and in the end, you’ll die for nothing.”

“You first,” Gabriel says, then stabs him.

Afterward, he thanks the Brothers and drives off with them in the car, looking pensive.

In the alt-SPNverse, Jack has gone from arrogance to guilt, blaming himself for what happened. Mary tells him that you can’t prepare for everything (even though she was warning him before). Gotta admit that these alt-SPNverse interludes are quite boring and break up the momentum.

At the very end, Sam infodumps that Castiel is helping Gabriel “settle in,” while Rowena works on a spell, then decides to yell at Dean for going off without him and Gabriel during the fight. Dean says he’s not going to watch Sam die again, the way he did at the end of “Swan Song.” He doesn’t care about his own life and never has, but he’s going to make sure Sam doesn’t die again his watch.

Sam replies that they always do things together and that if they have to die, they’ll die together, too. Which would sound fine if he didn’t say it in that now-patented, pissy, “It’s somehow still all your fault, Dean” voice he’s been using the past 13 seasons, most of which he’s spent trying to ditch his brother like a three-day-old tuna sandwich.

Anyhoo…two more to go and then I’m all caught up for season 14.

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: “Funeralia” (13.19) 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. I’m posting reviews here of North Carolina ghost story books, and notes about my research all month long on Patreon.

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 and is on sale through this Friday. 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. Reviews also help with sales. Just FYI.

Yes, I know. This recap accidentally got released unfinished into the wild months ago and the season premiere is tonight. Well, I still don’t get the CW live, so I won’t be able to recap the season 14 premiere until tomorrow night. But I can recap the rest of season 13 (since I skipped to the season finale) while Hurricane – pardon me – Tropical Storm Michael bad-touches us here in the Carolinas all night long.

Recap of Rowena and the season so far, sort of. As ghost is my witness, I was surprised to look back and realize that I really did recap the previous episode wherein Colonel Sanders got roasted, ’cause it was that unmemorable.

Cut to Now. Rowena is in Portland, OR when she gets a call from the Brothers and Castiel, asking for help in finding Gabriel. Rowena is a bit distracted (and says so) by doing something she’s pretty sure the Brothers wouldn’t like if they found out about it. Sure enough, she hexes a snotty young woman (with the Latin words “Mors lumine” – “Death from light”) a moment or two later, causing her to burst, screaming, into flame.

Title cards.

Unfortunately for Rowena, as Dean (first over coffee and then the inevitable beer) is trying to brainstorm with Castiel ways to find Gabriel somewhere in the SPNverse without Rowena’s help (and really not liking Castiel’s idea of going to the angels), Sam finds an article about Rowena’s hit on the young woman.

Dean is furious all over again with Sam for giving Rowena the page from the Book of the Damned that freed her powers. Sam admits that it may have been a mistake, but it’s one he will make up for if necessary.

So, off the Brothers go to find Rowena and figure out what the heck is going on. And off Castiel goes to talk to the angels. Much against Dean’s advice, but with his reluctant blessing.

Castiel arrives at the playground/portal to Heaven and finds a very depressed (and trying very hard to get drunk) angel named Indra guarding it. Indra is so down that he can’t even maintain any real hostility toward Castiel and basically asks him to put an angel sword through him. Yikes. When Castiel asks why, Indra tells him to go ahead and have a look in Heaven.

Upstairs, Castiel finds some very empty hallways. Then he encounters Dumah (the angel who had previously tried to entrap him) and two other angels. While they watch him silently, he blurts out his situation and requests help.

Then some unnerving happens. The lights flicker and a sound like an engine faltering hums around them.  When the lights come back up, he asks Duma was just happened. And then she does something even more unnerving. She offers him a truce.

As the Brothers are driving down the road, Dean reminds Sam that while Rowena can be a lot of fun and a useful ally, she also has a very, very dark side. The unspoken addition to that is “just like us.” But the a fundamental difference quickly becomes apparent when Jessica (remember the red-headed Reaper Dean met the last time he killed himself?) appears in the backseat.

She disappears as Dean slams on the brakes, but reappears after he pulls off to the side of the road. At first, Dean doesn’t recognize her, but as they approach her, he realizes who she is.  She says she was assigned by Death Herself to watch them. She also points out something pretty relevant – Dean never told Sam about her.

Jessica has arrived to announce that Death has made available as a “resource” to them. It turns out Rowena is killing people before their time and her body count is up to four (I guess that means the Fates are definitely toast). This is the main difference between the Brothers (well…Dean) and Rowena. They help police the Natural Order and fix it. Well, they do say the best way to catch a thief is to recruit one.

Sam turns her down flat and Dean grumps at him about it. But don’t worry. She’s bound to return.

Meanwhile, Rowena is getting a phone call that she grumps a bit to her bodyguard, Bernard, about, while moping over a framed photo of a young boy. The call is from the Winchesters and she refuses to take it while insisting to Bernard that they won’t be able to stop her since is “capable of anything now.” Her eyes glow violet.

At the gallery, the Brothers are investigating Doomed Teaser Gal’s ash shadow, while Sam hacks into her emails to try to find some clue to Rowena’s motivation. He finds something-kind-of-sort-of useful. It turns out the victim was a CFO of a drug company that mislabeled drugs and killed people. The CFO got off on a technicality.

But why would Rowena have killed someone like that? Dean finds a clue when he notices a faint ash pile behind the CFO’s ashes – and Sam finds a handy-dandy fake-medieval illumination of a Reaper turning into ash.

Dean says he’s got an idea. This involves going outside and sensibly asking Jessica for help. She shows up and, indeed helpfully, infodumps for them (after throwing Sam some well-deserved shade for blowing her off earlier). It turns out Rowena is killing people before their time (but, presumably, only bad people like the CFO) and then killing their Reapers when the Reapers show up. Jessica then infodumps to Sam about how there’s a ripple effect if people die before their time and don’t do things they were supposed to do (Dean knows all of this from “Appointment in Samarra,” since it was the main point of the episode, but stands there and listens as if he’s never heard it before).

If the ripple effect becomes too large, the Reapers have to do a system reset, “like the Black Death. Or a midsized war.” Well, the Black Death was considerably worse than even either of the World Wars, but we’ll let that be. The point is that the consequences of letting Rowena continue to mess with the Natural Order are BAD.

In Heaven, Castiel is standing in an empty anteroom while Heaven powers up and down around him. As he waits…and waits…he gets bored and does bored human things (ah, Castiel, bless yer heart).

Finally, Dumah shows up with the other two angels. She says they’ll be happy help him once he brings Gabriel back to Heaven. Castiel reiterates that he doesn’t have Gabriel, that he’s asking for help in looking for him, and Dumah admits this is a problem. When Castiel starts to get irritated at the delay, someone shows up – someone Castiel (and we) thought long dead. Naomi. Heaven’s lead torturer.

Naomi, like the others, is uncharacteristically subdued and relatively non-hostile. She openly admits that they are not refusing help because they don’t want to help him, but because they can’t.

Back in the car, Sam is saying that Rowena’s intended victims are linked – they all worked for Pirodine, the corrupt pharmaceuticals company. There’s only one left alive – the CEO.

Jessica appears in the backseat again (freaking Dean out) and tells them that the CEO is already bound for Hell, but his death date has changed to right now.

In the CEO’s backyard, he’s bleeding to death from a stab wound from Bernard. Rowena leans over him and tells him he’s got some retribution coming, but that’s not why she’s there. As her eyes glow violet, she looks around and sees Bernard’s Reaper, whom she then torches along with Martin, with the Mors Lumine curse, after the Reaper refuses her demand to summon Death.

At the scene afterward, Jessica tells the Brothers the Reaper’s name was Martin. They get a call from Rowena, who agrees to a chat. As she hangs up and asks Bernard if he’s ready (he cracks his knuckles), the Brothers debate, not over whether it’s a trap (obviously, it is), but what to do about it.

In Heaven, Castiel is meeting with Naomi. It’s not quite as violent and coercive as the last time, so there’s an improvement. But it’s the same old Naomi when she admits they never saw “eye to eye” and Castiel gets pissed. He points out that she tortured him and forced him to kill Dean repeatedly. She also killed a lot of people. “An apology would go a long way,” he notes.

She acknowledges that one would, then doesn’t give it, anyway.

Instead, she gets right down to business, explaining that she didn’t die from Metatron’s drill, but she was badly hurt. She had some of her henchangels put out that she was dead so she could recover and “put my thoughts back in my skull.” She’s not quite back up to speed, but she’s come out of hiding because she has no choice.

She then asks Castiel what “powers” Heaven and he says “angels.” Naomi agrees and talks about each angel being “a walking talking battery.”

Umm…no, Dabb & Co.? Season six made it pretty clear that human (and former human) souls powered the various afterlife realms. That would include Heaven. Otherwise, it wouldn’t make sense for Castiel to power himself up with souls in the first place.

Anyhoo, Naomi says that there are only nine angels in Heaven (including her and Castiel) and perhaps one or two more down on Earth. She obliquely refers to Lucifer’s attempted reign as a failed plan by the other angels to bring in an archangel for more power (Castiel wouldn’t have known about that side plot). Then she tells Castiel that if the angels burn out (and it eventually will), Heaven will fall apart at the seams and unless over a hundred billion ghosts upon the world.

Now, it would probably be possible to recruit the human souls into saving their own home, but it doesn’t appear to occur to Castiel and it certainly doesn’t appear to Naomi. As subdued as she is, she’s as arrogant as ever. It’s also pretty hard to say how much she is exaggerating or prevaricating about the situation (we know for a fact she’s dancing around the whole Lucifer-in-Heaven thing from a few episodes back).

In a cocktail lounge, Rowena and Bernard meet with the Brothers. They warn her about pissing off Death (though they don’t mention the consequences thing) and she tells them she’s trying to bring back her son, Fergus (AKA  Crowley). The Brothers set her back on her heels with the info Jessica gave them that the only way she ever dies is at Sam’s hands. When Sam tries to put demonic bracelets on her, though, she turns out to be an astra projection (she and Bernard are actually across the room).

Rowena and Bernard then run out the door into a series of hotel rooms, the Brothers in hot pursuit with guns full of witch-killing bullets. Bernard waits in ambush and lets Sam through, but then knocks Dean down. A pretty kick-ass fight between Dean and Bernard ensues. It turns out that Bernard is not being controlled by Rowena. He just thinks she’s hot and likes the potloads of money she’s paying him. So, he’s a psychopath. There’s an amusing bit where the elevator dings, a young couple appear as the doors open, and then the couple just closes the door and goes to a different floor.

Sam catches up with Rowena out in the alleyway and tries to explain (lamely) about the whole ripple effect thing. Rowena just tells him to shoot her. Predictably, that doesn’t work out. When he finally gears himself up to shoot her, she has turned around and she stops the bullet. Then she appears behind him and speaks a spell to put him to sleep.

Upstairs, Jessica appears to Dean and tells him he has to hurry, but says she can’t help him with Bernard because “clean hands” (i.e., no interference). Dean finally chokes Bernard out. As Jessica comments that Bernard is/was “a highly trained operative” and is impressed that Dean got the better of him, Dean rushes out into the alleyway. But Sam is already gone.

Sam wakes up in a chair (yep, kidnapped and tied to a chair again). Rowena uses an elaborate spell to try to kill him, presumably one where it would be very difficult to bring him back, as Sam tries to talk her out of it. Billie (Death) finally appears.

After recognizing her from the season 11 finale, Rowena demands that Billie bring Fergus back or she’ll kill Sam, saying it’s her fault Fergus became Crowley. Billie tells her to go ahead: “I’m not saying any of us will like what happens next, but I don’t do blackmail.”

Rowena appears to start killing a freaked-out Sam again, but instead, turns on Billie a frustrated blast of violet light. It barely ruffles Billie’s hair. As Rowena collapses to the floor, sobbing, Billie tells her that she would have killed Sam once, but now she’s changed. Some things can’t be changed, though, or taken back, and one of those is Fergus/Crowley’s permanent death.

Rowena asks in a hopeful voice whether Death will kill her, at least, but Death says no. She tells Rowena that she already knows her fate (as opposed to Dean who, as he puts it, has “a whole shelf”).

At this point, Dean bursts in with Jessica, bloody and armed. He sees Billie, who greets him and then tells him, “See you soon.” She and Jessica vanish (though presumably, Jessica is still watching them).

At the Heaven gate in the playground, Naomi once again asks Castiel to find Gabriel and bring him back. Castiel insists they will find a way to fix Heaven, but Naomi is not sure it can be fixed. Everything has to end. Yeah, whatever, Naomi. The show’s not going anywhere for a while. Meanwhile, Heaven is closed for business. At least, as far as Castiel getting in. Pretty sure the Reapers are still going back and forth (oh, but wait, have we already forgotten that they’re angels, too, Dabb & Singer?).

In the last scene, Sam asks an exhausted Dean and Rowena if they’re okay. Rowena feels bad for trying to kill Sam. Sam calls her not actually doing it “progress.” Dean calls it a “miracle.” Rowena admits a lot of her Dark Phoenix power has drained, but it’s pointed out to her that she is still the most powerful witch in the world.

The Brothers then lay on her that Lucifer is back. Rowena is pretty upset, but admits that knowing Sam will be the one to kill her, not Lucifer, is rather comforting. Sam says she can change her fate (not really helping, Sam). Rowena wonders if she can be redeemed. She seems quite touched when Dean says he believes she can.

They then ask her for help in finding Gabriel. We end on her pensive face.

Credits.

Hey, did y’all know I have three new kitties from this past summer named Rowena, Pyewacket and Castiel? Castiel just got spayed and she’s currently running around with a Cone of Shame. She looks like Offred from The Handmaid’s Tale.

On to the next one [cracks knuckles]. Yes, I know y’all are watching the season premiere, but I can’t do that until tomorrow, so….


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: “Let the Good Times Roll” (13.23 – Season Finale) 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 and is on sale through this Friday. 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. Reviews also help with sales. Just FYI.

Yeah, yeah. I skipped ahead. Don’t worry; I’ll do the others. It’s just that this one is a-buzzin’ and I want to watch/live recap it all the way through.

Laissez les bons temps rouler.

Recap of the season so far with, of course, “Carry On, Wayward Son,” which begins with a quick voiceover by Dean (and segues into a quick request from Rowena for music). ‘Cause that’s never ominous in a season finale, or anything. The recap ends with alt-Michael and Lucifer being left in the alt-SPNverse.

Cut to Now, with Sam in the Bunker explaining to the alt-SPNverse refugees how our world sucks so much more normally than theirs. There’s a joke about Trump and alt-Bobby gets to deliver it.

Sam gets a call from Dean, who is with Castiel and Jack near a harbor. It seems to they are celebrating getting everyone (they care about) back from the alt-SPNverse by Hunting some dockside werewolves because … reasons. As you do. Just roll with it, I guess.

Castiel starts off the carnage by stabbing one werewolf who’s outside on a smoking break. The Brothers and Jack then bust into the shack, where two other werewolves are discussing the Kardashians. Jack freezes the werewolves, while Dean and Sam fill them full of silver.

Meanwhile, alt-Bobby (now dressed just like “our” Bobby) is taking a nice walk in the rain with Mary. They infodump that Ketch has taken off, while Rowena and alt-Charlie are on a road trip (as long as anything involving Charlie stays off my screen, I’m good, but I sure hope this doesn’t mean the writers are now going to ruin Rowena to make alt-Charlie Sue look fabulous). Anyhoo, alt-Bobby admits that while they can’t go back home without an archangel, he’s not sure he even wants to. It’s nice here (he says as he makes cow eyes at Mary, who looks flattered).

Sadly, this is Supernatural, so the mood is immediately shattered by their discovering Maggie (remember her? The refugee the Brothers helped through a tunnel a few episodes back?) in the path with her head smashed on a rock.

Cue title cards.

Cut to the sneak peek where the Brothers talking about retiring. Sam is surprised that Dean would want to retire. Dean says that if he knew people were safe from monsters, he’d do it, happily, then go live on a beach with Sam and Castiel, and some umbrella drinks. Yeah, that sort of conversation never ends well.

After Sam goes off to do whatever, Dean hears Jack in his room, having a nightmare. Apparently, this is one of the rare times when Jack sleeps. It turns out Jack has nightmares about people he couldn’t save in the alt-SPNverse. Dean wakes him up (Jack wakes up in a less scary mood than Dean does) and reassures him that he has those dreams, too. Jack said he promised to save those people, but wasn’t “strong enough.” Dean tells him it’s not about being strong. If Jack weren’t strong, he wouldn’t have made it back. You just have to keep going and understand you’ll make mistakes some times. But Jack’s family and that’s all that matters.

Hmm. This is getting a bit worrisome. These are the kinds of conversations main characters have right before they get written off.

Sam comes in with a phone call. It’s about Maggie, whose dead body we see next, still on the ground in the rain. Jack is upset, saying he couldn’t protect her. Everyone tries to figure out what’s going on, since all the usual suspects are back in alt-SPNverse. They interview her friend who came over with her from the alt-SPNverse. The friend is shocked to hear she’s dead, saying she expected they would be safe here. She says Maggie had snuck out the night before to see a boy at a local quickie mart she was sweet on (so, I guess a fair bit of time has passed, then). As soon as Jack hears this, he flies off to the quickie mart. Uh-oh.

At the quickie mart, the kid in question is just putting stuff away, minding his own business, when Jack comes in and slams him into one of the freezer shelves. He starts choking the kid, demanding to know why he killed Maggie. The kid has no idea what he’s talking about. Castiel shows up and tries to stop him, but Jack slams him into some shelves. Sam and Dean come in, and an exasperated Dean shoots Jack to snap him out of it. They quickly show him that the kid didn’t kill Maggie, especially when he looks devastated at finding out she’s dead.

Jack runs back out into the woods and starts hitting himself, crying and wondering why he always hurts people. Then he hears angel wings and Lucifer appears behind him. Jack asks if he’s real and Lucifer hedges about how he got there. Lucifer claims that Sam left him behind and lied when he said alt-Michael killed him. Lucifer is all sweetness and light to Jack, but Jack cuts to the chase and asks how Lucifer got through the closed rift. Lucifer dances around this, too, and tries to tell Jack he’s not really human, that they have a lot in common. Ewww. Jack, I know you’re a baby, but jeez. It’s sad when Lucifer is so obvious that he can only fool an infant.

Lucifer suggests they go to some other planet. Jack compares it to Star Wars, but isn’t so sure about leaving Sam, Dean and Castiel behind.

Back in the quickie mart, the Brothers and Castiel try to cover up what happened with the kid by calling the incident “a training exercise” and saying they’re FBI. This is working pretty well until they hear the whine of an angel. A very, very powerful angel. An archangel, in fact. They tell the kid to run (hate to break this to you, kid, but I think your job’s about to go belly up) and he does.

The whining increases and then they see the impossible. Dean tells them to run outside, just as the windows on the quickie mart blow out. Alt-Michael stalks after them, smug as ever. Dean is already pulling some holy oil out of the trunk, lighting it, and tossing out at Michael’s feet. This makes Castiel’s incipient suicide run at alt-Michael unnecessary, since it temporarily stops the archangel, and they flee in the Impala.

Mary and alt-Bobby are discussing who could have killed Maggie when Jack walks in with Lucifer. It’s not a happy reunion, to put it mildly. Lucifer calls alt-Bobby “Longmire.” Lucifer tries to shmooze everyone by healing Maggie and bringing her back from the dead (while continuing to insult Sam to Jack and in front of Mary), his eyes glowing. Jack is impressed by this, enough to leave with Lucifer. Meanwhile, Mary has sent alt-Bobby to call the Brothers. How does alt-Bobby know how to use a cell phone if he’s been living in an Apocalypse World most of his life?

The Brothers come in, but Jack and Lucifer are already gone. Dean goes to call Jody and the other Hunters (alt-Bobby is impressed that Dean has an entire network of Hunters on speed-dial), while Castiel goes to see if there’s any angel chatter, even though they’re almost all locked up in Heaven now. Castiel later reports that it’s all silent on that front, which is unnerving.

Sam talks to Maggie, who is reluctant to talk at first. Then she says she didn’t see her killer’s face, only his eyes. Cut rather obviously to Lucifer and Jack, ostensibly getting ready to leave on their cosmic voyage.

In the Bunker, things go rapidly downhill as someone “knocks” on the door with an enormous boom. Dean insists Mary and alt-Bobby take Maggie and escape through the garage (overriding Mary’s protests), then he and Sam pull out their guns, as they and Castiel turn to confront alt-Michael busting the door down (dammit, gonna have to fix that door again).

Bullets and attempted angel-blade stabbings have no effect. Alt-Michael tosses Sam and Castiel aside, and focuses on Dean, saying that Dean will be the first soul he purges in his great crusade (this seems like rather a large plothole, considering “our” Michael was well aware of who Dean would be as his chosen vessel long before Dean was born). Dean insults him back, even as alt-Michael chokes him slowly, enjoying it. In the process, alt-Michael admits he made a deal (in flashback, we see it’s with Lucifer) to come through the doorway.

On the floor, Sam desperately prays to Jack, hoping Jack can hear him. Jack is temporarily distracted by Lucifer’s star-trekkin’ BS, though a sour note creeps in when Lucifer slips up and mentions wanting to make some “improvements.” But then Jack hears Sam’s prayer and comes back, just in time to stop alt-Michael from fully choking Dean to death.

Jack slams alt-Michael into a post. Lucifer flies in after him, as Jack starts doing Very Bad Things to alt-Michael, making him bleed from his eyes and ears. But Lucifer gets outed as the villain he is by alt-Michael, who screams, “Lucifer, we had a deal!”

Awkward.

Even Jack can see this red flag. As everyone compares notes, Sam tells Jack that Maggie saw the “red, glowing eyes” of her killer. Yep, it was Lucifer. Jack forces Lucifer to tell the truth. Lucifer killed her because she saw him “scouting out the Bunker.” He “crushed her skull” and thoroughly enjoyed it.

Disillusioned, Jack says, “You’re not my father. You’re a monster.” Lucifer is too weak to do much besides roar impotently and whine (alt-Michael is still hurting too much to do more than let his head loll). At least, until Jack lets him get too close. Then Lucifer springs on him, cuts his throat (not fatally) with his archangel blade, and drains his considerable grace (which takes remarkably little time). I’m honestly not sure from the dialogue, but considering his track record, I’m guessing this was Lucifer’s Plan A all along.

Lucifer then heals up the wound (there’s still some grace there, but Jack looks semi-conscious, at best) and disappears with him in a flash of light. As they do, Sam and Castiel both rush forward to grab them. Castiel is tossed back, but Sam disappears with them. To where, no one knows.

Lucifer lands them in a church, where he beats up first Sam (talking about how they’re going to “break up” permanently now) and then Jack, when Jack tries to stagger to Sam’s aid. Lucifer informs Sam (as if Sam didn’t know) that Jack has killed quite a few people. Sam says it doesn’t matter. As Dean said before, Sam says that Jack is “family.”

Lucifer, always disloyal to his own kin, is unimpressed. He tells Sam that “family blows.” To prove it, he drops his archangel blade in front of them and tells them that one of them can walk out, but not without killing the other (it’s doubtful he intends either of them to survive, but first things first). Lucifer also Evil Overlord monologues about how, if one of them lives, in the seven-to-ten days it would take him to “unravel the universe,” the survivor might figure out how to stop him. Or not. Lucifer fully intends to destroy everything and recreate it in his image.

Sam picks up the archangel blade and hands it to Jack, telling Jack to kill him. Instead, Jack starts to stab himself, telling Sam “I love you. I love all of you.”

Meanwhile, Michael is informing Dean that Lucifer is “juiced up” on Jack’s grace and now powerful enough to destroy the universe. All of the universe (“And you thought I was bad?”). He’s actually all for going to kill Lucifer, but his meatsuit is incapacitated and Lucifer is now much more powerful than before.

Dean has an idea, a horrible, no-good idea that alt-Michael may (or may not, considering he was fully willing to kill Dean before) have already been angling for. What if Michael had his Ultimate Weapon, the Michael Sword? Alt-Michael admits he knows who Dean is (which is a bit puzzling, considering he was just trying to kill Dean and was fully intent on killing Dean first, implying he saw Dean as the greatest threat in this new universe) and further admits that yes, it might be possible, the two of them together, to kill Lucifer.

Castiel starts to protest, but Dean says, “Lucifer has Sam. He has Jack. Cas, I don’t have a choice!”

Ah, but it’s Dean, so Dean has conditions. And before we protest that alt-Michael doesn’t have to honor these conditions, remember Death’s ongoing grumpiness about broken deals. Deals for a major supernaturally powerful being are a big deal in the SPNverse and breaking them has major consequences. So, when Dean calls it “a one-time deal” and flat-out says he will be in charge, with alt-Michael having no say and only providing the power, somewhere, someone with more power than alt-Michael is taking notes.

Just as Jack is slowly, agonizingly stabbing himself to death, a bright light appears behind him. It is DeanMichael (Hunterwings, maybe?), his own archangel sword in hand, just landed and unfolding his wings.

I gotta say, this is a pretty damned awesome image that will surely be copied over and over again this summer. Too bad about the way-over-the-top Ten Commandments music that accompanies it.

Anyhoo, Sam calls Dean’s name and Dean responds in kind, cueing us that this is Dean and not alt-Michael in charge.

Lucifer says, “You let my brother in.”

Dean acknowledges this, saying they had a common goal – “we both want to gut your ass.”

Lucifer charges like a bull and Dean starts off well by kicking him across the room. Unfortunately, the rest of the fight goes less well for Dean, especially once they start flying at each other, though he does quite a bit better than Sam and Jack.

Dean drops his sword and Lucifer starts beating on him in mid-air. Then he decides that stabbing’s too good for Dean (Michael doesn’t even get a mention; Lucifer clearly sees his true nemesis as Dean Winchester) and starts to smite him.

Sam then decides to grab the sword and toss it to Dean in one of the cheesier (and more literal) “wind beneath my wings” moments the show’s produced. Dean grabs it and stabs Lucifer, then falls back to earth as Lucifer blasts light out every orifice, then literally crashes and burns.

Afterward, Lucifer lies amidst the charred and glowing remnants of his wings. Sam and Dean and Jack share a bring “It’s Miller Time!” moment, made temporarily sweeter by Dean correcting Sam’s “You did it!” to “We did it!”

But this is the season finale and we’ve got a few minutes of airtime left, so of course this does not end well.

Dean suddenly doubles over in pain and screams, “We had a deal!” (Remember when alt-Michael screamed that at Lucifer and how that worked out for Lucifer? Just saying.) Then, he straightens up, only what straightens up is no longer Dean.

Sam rather unnecessarily supplies who this new/old being is: “Michael.”

Alt-Michael glances around appraisingly (some really nice acting from Ackles here), then, looking straight ahead, says in a cold and taunting tone to his vessel, “Thanks for the suit.” He flies off, leaving a horrified Sam and Jack.

In the Bunker, Mary and alt-Bobby rush in to find a devastated Castiel.

Later, on a rainy street corner, we see a man walking down the street in 1920s gangster garb (as much as I didn’t care for the Ten Commandments musical cue in the previous scene, I love the hell out of the Untouchables musical cue in this one), looking around him in wonder. He looks like Dean, but … isn’t. Right before the credits roll, the camera freezes on his sinister smile and glowing blue eyes. Michael.

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: “Bring ’em Back Alive” (13.18) 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 and is on sale through this Friday. 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. Reviews also help with sales. Just FYI.

Recap of Gabriel, Mary and Jack in the alt-SPNverse, and the last few minutes of the previous episode.

Cut to Now, where Dean and Ketch appear in the alt-verse and it’s now winter (probably because it was winter in Vancouver when they filmed this). Dean is having trouble getting his bearings, which gives Ketch the opening to suggest he might tag along as “backup.” Dean is skeptical, but lets him.

Ketch starts to realize they’re not in Kansas, anymore, when they pass a charred body tied to a tree as they go under a bridge. Dean tells him to get down when some angels start to cross the bridge then stop. They have prisoners, whom they randomly proceed to execute on the bridge for crimes of rebelling against Michael.

They kill the first two, even as Ketch is restraining Dean from interfering. Then they get to the last one. After they uncover her hood, the head angel actually stops the other one, giving Dean time to get a good look at her and see it’s the alt-SPNverse of Charlie.

SMITE HER. SMITE HER NOW.

Cue title cards.

Look, I get that some fans really loved and missed Charlie (though there’s a good bit of evidence they were and are a minority of the fandom), but I was not one of them. And I can’t say Felicia Day’s acting has improved in the interim. The writing for Charlie (this is a Nepotism Duo ep, so keep your expectations low) certainly hasn’t, remaining so terrible that it belongs in another show.

So, Charlie gets hit on by the head angel, who calls her “not the usual human scum.” Oh, God help us, please move on, Show. After some infodumping about her being in the “inner circle” of the rebellion, which is apparently now being led by Mary and Jack, so Dean can conveniently overhear and get his bearings, they decide to take her back to the “Northern Camp” and fly off with her.

Back at the Bunker, Castiel (remember him?) has returned and is extremely not-thrilled to hear that Dean has gone off to the alt-SPNverse. When Sam tries to reassure him by saying that Ketch went with Dean, Castiel snarks, “Because that’s so much better!”

Sam says that Dean insisted on going alone and that they need to take care of Gabriel. Castiel becomes more subdued when they come to Gabriel’s room and he sees the condition his elder brother is in.

Sam, for some reason, has brought in food (angels don’t need to eat). He explains that Gabriel has suffered from years of torture and having his grace drained. It turns out he hasn’t brought food, per se, but some of Gabriel’s own grace to restore him. When they try to give it to Gabriel, though, he refuses to open his mouth and scrambles away from them in terror.

Up on Heaven, Lucifer is playing Solitaire (literally: He’s playing a card game) when Sister Jo comes in. She is unhappy that he is sitting around, expecting to be worshiped, doing nothing to improve the angels’ situation. When Duma comes in, Lucifer tries to draw her into cowing Jo, but Duma refuses to get involved. Duma also wants to know when Lucifer is going to start doing things to help Heaven, but all Lucifer is interested in is where is Jack. Duma says there are very few angels left and they can’t find him. As his eyes glow threateningly, Lucifer tells her to try harder. Frightened, Duma leaves.

Less impressed, Jo also leaves, telling Lucifer that if he wants to be treated like God, he needs to start acting like Him.

In his demon lair, Asmodeus is grumpy that he can’t find Gabriel, or even sense him. He bullies a terrified demon, rather like Lucifer bullying Duma. Lotta pointless macho posturing in this episode.

In alt-SPNverse, Dean is trying to get to where Charlie is so he can rescue her and (ostensibly) find Mary and Jack. Ketch calls him on it, saying that Dean is making it personal for some reason. Ketch is frustrated by Dean’s lack of stealth (though Dean makes a good point that they need speed over stealth right now) and this catches up to Dean when a human bounty hunter shoots him and tries to capture him to take him to a POW camp. Ketch gets into a fight with the man, but it’s not until Dean gets up and shoots the man in the kneecap that the man talks. They find out where the camp is and head there.

At the Bunker, Castiel tries to talk to Gabriel, who has covered the walls of his room with symbols. It turns out to be Gabriel’s story since his apparent death. He faked it by letting Lucifer stab a fake him and think it was the real him.

Gabriel then moved to Monte Carlo and shacked up with porn stars. So, you could say he took on the persona of Charlie Sheen. He was then captured and sold to Asmodeus, who fed on his grace, going from the weakest of the Princes of Hell to the strongest. When Sam wonders why Gabriel is not speaking, Castiel says that maybe he can’t. Sam wonders if maybe Gabriel won’t speak, because he feels it’s safer.

Up in Heaven, Lucifer thinks a new suit and shades will make him God (has he seen how Dad dressed? Wait – yes, he has!). He then sits back down on his throne to hear the prayers of humans. But they are all begging and he deems them pathetic, not worth his time.

The chant of an exorcism, however, piques his interest, so he goes down to earth to investigate. In a parody of The Exorcist (film, TV show, take your pick), two priests are trying to exorcise a young woman, calling the demon inside her “Satan.” Lucifer points out that it’s just a minor demon named “Anthony” and exorcises it out through a vent. The young woman falls back onto the bed, unconscious.

When the younger priest asks who he is, Lucifer makes the mistake of telling them his true name. They’re shocked and horrified, prompting an annoyed rant from Lucifer about how Chuck made him the cosmic “fall guy.”

The priests freak out and start spattering him with holy water and prayers. Annoyed, Lucifer smites them into black smoke, then is annoyed at himself for doing so.

Back in alt-SPNverse (yeah, as usual with a Nep Duo script, far too many storylines and none of them done properly or in any depth), Dean starts to feel ill, but passes it off as nothing. Considering he doesn’t (and shouldn’t) trust Ketch as far as he can kick him in the nuts, I think that’s still pretty sensible. Unfortunately, his condition quickly deteriorates and he passes out into a tree in the middle of Ketch trying to snark an explanation about Charlie out of him. Ketch shows concern, determines that Dean has a high fever, and quickly discovers the bullet wound is a nasty black color that is spreading across Dean’s shoulder.

Ketch makes up an antidote out of some paste on the fly. As you do. It seems the symptoms are much like a poison the LoL used to incapacitate monsters and if you don’t get the antidote, you die a nasty death. Yay.  Oh, and the cure’s painful, too. Of course.

Back at the Bunker, Castiel is trying to angel-talk to Gabriel or read his mind or something. I dunno. Oh, I see. He’s saying he can’t heal Gabriel. He’s just trying to reach his older brother. Gabriel remains catatonic. Sam then tries to give Gabriel a pep-talk about how they’re both “different” from the rest of their family. Oh, Sam. Still banging away at that crap.

But, Sam adds, even though he got out (or thought he did), he realized that his family needed him, and that their mission is also his. Hunting is his life now. He’s chosen it. It’s how he helps the world. Gabriel can help the world, too, if he wakes up. The world needs him. Sam needs him. Even if it was more fun hanging out with “hookers in Monte Carlo.”

The big speech appears to have no effect. Defeated, Sam turns away toward the door. Behind him, Gabriel says, “Porn stars. They were porn stars, Sam.” And his eyes glow.

Unfortunately, Asmodeus is able to sense that on his throne.

Back in alt-SPNverse, Dean is unable to go on, even after being “cured,” and is forced to stop and rest. When Ketch presses him more about why Charlie is so important, Dean goes on and on and on about how Charlie was a special snowflake and he wasn’t able to save her. He then asks Ketch why he’s so interested. Ketch admits that he’s got a lot of people who died on his watch. Problem was, he didn’t even try to save them. Now he realizes that the “duty” he followed was hollow and he doesn’t know how to find redemption. Dean helpfully points out that this is because Ketch sucks.

Ketch sighs and gets up, then reaches out to help Dean up. He figures that maybe if he can help save alt-Charlie, he can redeem himself a tiny bit. Meanwhile, I’m wishing he and Dean would just leave well enough alone.

Meanwhile, Charlie is getting tortured by the most inept angels ever and being all defiant and stuff. Except, remember how angels can find out whatever they want from a human by “reading” their soul (per “The Third Man”)? Guess the Nep Duo forgot all about that.

Back at the Bunker (I know! It’s dizzying!), Sam and Castiel have given Gabriel the remaining vial of his grace because why the hell not? Not like Dean and Ketch won’t ever get stranded over in alt-SPNverse. It restores him a bit, but not completely.

Right on cue, Sam gets a call from Asmodeus, who demands Gabriel back. Sam says he’s hanging up, but doesn’t, allowing Asmodeus to rant and rave and give TFW a ten-minute warning. Well, alrighty-then. Gabriel, of course, looks terrified.

Up in Heaven, Lucifer is whining to Sister Jo about how nobody deserves his awesomeness, as he yanks off his coat and tie. When Sister Jo suggests he’s “giving up,” Lucifer says no, he’s going to find Jack and use his son to remake the world in his own image, where everyone worships him.

Sister Jo’s not buying it. She basically calls Lucifer a loser (which he is), saying he should “make good on your promises,” like “fixing Heaven” and giving the angels back their wings (hmm, isn’t there a certain archangel still in the Cage who could do that?).

Lucifer then lets the cat out of the bag – he can’t do any of that. Whether he isn’t powerful enough right now (his answer implies otherwise) or was never that powerful, he lied. Furious, Sister Jo berates him, saying he’s not even trying that hard to find his son because Jack will probably regard him with contempt, too. Unfortunately for her, she gets too close and Lucifer grabs her. Eyes glowing red, he nearly chokes the life out of her, but releases her at the last moment.

Backing away, Sister Jo rubs her throat and says, “And now you don’t have me.” Then she stalks out. Oooh, could feel that burn all the way down the multiverse.

Zooming back to alt-SPNverse, Dean and Ketch have found the angel camp, at a surprisingly intact old farmhouse with a silo, where, for who knows what reason, wood fires are burning (I don’t see why the angels would bother to let the prisoners burn fires to keep warm). A small band of prisoners is led out into the courtyard. Again, why would the angels keep prisoners?

Anyhoo, the head torturer angel goes off on a speech about how the Resistance is being broken, blah-blah-blah, and they bring out Charlie to be executed. Instead of the usual smiting, they tie her to a post and (I swear to God I am not joking), out comes a dude in goggles to behead her with a scimitar. ‘Cause let’s add a little dash of Islamophobia to this tonedeaf and rushed crap sandwich of an episode.

Sadly, Dean and Ketch figure out a plan and come in, guns blazing (after Dean tosses in a grenade) before this can happen. They shoot down most of the angels with their angel-killing bullets, except for the dastardly head torturer dude, who ducks into an outhouse and flies away (okay, it’s probably not an outhouse, but it looks like one).

Then Dean rescues Charlie, who appears to be the only human left alive besides him and Ketch. Nice rescue. Go team.

Back at the Bunker (weee! Everybody down a shot!), Gabriel is freaking out as Asmodeus is sending him bad-touch vibes, while Castiel watches him, concerned (remember when Castiel could do angel stuff? I miss that). Or something. Sam comes in and says he’s “warded” the rest of the Bunker, but is unsure it “will be enough.” Suddenly, the emergency lights and klaxons go on. Pretty sure it wasn’t enough, Sam.

[Sorry, needed a brief kitten break from this nonsense. These babies are three weeks old and freakin’ adorable. Been watching them on YouTube since they were born.]

Okay, back we go. Sam and Castiel go to investigate (which is dumb, leaving Gabriel alone), Castiel with an angel sword and Sam with a … machete? Really, Sam? Okay.

Anyhoo, the sigils Sam painted are glowing and fritzing. Then they start to go out one by one. Gotta say that’s a cool effect.

Sam and Castiel get attacked by demons with angel blades. Stabbing and smiting ensues, and they win the fight. But it’s a diversion for Asmodeus to come in and disarm/disable them, while two other demons drag out Gabriel. Asmodeus monologues a bit about how powerful he is, which is nonsense, of course. The archangel grace he shouldn’t be able to survive that’s in his body is what’s powerful, not him. Think Asmodeus is a tad high on his own methane.

But as the demons drag a struggling Gabriel up the stairs, and Asmodeus tortures Sam and Castiel with more monologuing and vaguely shown internal damage, Gabriel rallies. He tosses the demons over the stairs (apparently killing them, though that’s now how you kill demons), insta-cleans himself up, and shows his wings.

Asmodeus rather desperately tries to regain control of the situation by declaring “You’re too weak!” Gabriel responds with a cutting comment (that the entire fandom, plus Dean, has been thinking since Day One) about Asmodeus’ “dumbass suit,” then torches him from the inside.

And there was much rejoicing [yaaaayyyyy].

Unfortunately, after Sam and Castiel bring him up to speed and welcome him to TFW 2.0, Gabriel decides that’s not for him and bails on them (he still has wings, remember). Oops.

Meanwhile, in the alt-SPNverse, Dean is bringing alt-Charlie (who is every bit as obnoxious as “our” Charlie) up to speed on their side of the rift and how he wants to find Jack and his mother. The thing alt-Charlie actually balks at is the idea that Mary is his mother. Umm … odd thing to have issues with, but okay. Nevertheless, when they arrive at the rift, she becomes a believer. Well, that was quick.

But when Dean wants to take her through the rift, she and Ketch balk. Charlie wants to stay and fight for her world and Ketch does, too, because reasons. Dean hands Charlie a gun and goes back. Meanwhile, the evil torturer angel shows up with reinforcements (who walk into the fight because why use their wings, right?).

When Dean gets back, he has to explain why he’s alone. Then Sam and Castiel have to explain all that happened with Gabriel and how he bailed on them. Dean is … displeased.

Jensen Ackles has had to do this type of scene before, but it’s pretty cool (and unsettling) how he manages to wring some new subtext from Dean’s anger this time, and introduce some different body language. And how Sam and Castiel look like frightened lieutenants who have failed their leader rather than equal members of the team.

So, when Dean freaks out, it only seems initially like a repeat of, say, how he freaked out when Kevin died. Then he gets cold. Really cold. And when Castiel promises Dean they will find Gabriel, and Dean looks directly at the camera while saying, “We’d better,” I swear I saw ice crystals forming on the screen.

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: “The Thing” (13.17) 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 and is on sale through this Friday. 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. Reviews also help with sales. Just FYI.

Recap of the MoL and of Asmodeus showing Ketch the captured Gabriel, which reminds us how the writers screwed up those storylines.

Cut to Portsmouth, RI in 1925. Some guys in robes are sacrificing a young blonde flapper on an altar, chanting “Insanidox Koth Munto,” using a cup of angel grace and a crystal amulet. A doorway of purple light appears overhead, triggered by the glow from the grace through the amulet. The girl screams as a tentacle reaches down from the doorway, the cultists chanting, “Yokoth! Yokoth!”

Cue title cards.

Sam is asleep on top of his research in the MoL library.  Since Sam is asleep, this is a perfect time for Dean to stick prank Post-It notes on Sam’s back.

Sam wakes up without noticing his new accessories (or Dean’s guilty look) and they start infodumping about the Seal of Solomon. Apparently, it’s “unearthly.” They go back down to the archives (“I LOVE BOOKS!” Dean declares sarcastically) and go at it.

Later, Sam discovers the notes in the mirror, but at that moment, Dean walks in with a metal box, which contains a story about the Seal, which the MoL found in Israel in 1917. It was later brought to Portsmouth. Dean makes a “jinkies!” comment that irritates Sam. It seems Dean’s been quoting Scooby-Doo a lot lately. Gee, wonder why.

Sam then brings up a new bit of MoL lore. Seems they had “capitula” (which Sam translates as “chapter houses”) all over the U.S., including one in Jamestown (implying they’ve been in North America since the beginning of English colonization). Off the Brothers go on a road trip, where they find a surprisingly intact, square brick building and a rotting car covered in vines. The entrance to the capitulum turns out to be a manhole cover with a lock that readily accepts the Bunker’s key (just roll with it, y’all). Dean goes in first.

Inside, they find very familiar corridors (except for a triangular sign with an eye that Dean points out) and a much-smaller version of the Bunker library, also in surprisingly good condition. This does not thrill Dean, but he does find the first clue. As Sam is saying he’s not sure where to begin (but quickly and conveniently discovers a folder about the Seal), Dean finds some old photographs. One of them, of a Sandy Porter, is of Doomed Teaser Gal.

Sam accidentally knocks some objects off the shelf as he picks up the Seal folder. Shortly afterward, the Brothers hear a woman cry for help from deep inside the capitulum. They go running to help. Me, I’d saunter slowly while trying to figure out if it’s a real person or a trap, but that’s just me.

The Brothers bust through a door, only to discover the same room from the teaser and DTG still chained to the altar, alive and apparently quite well. Still young, too. Dean, recalling the photo, asks her if she’s Sandy Porter, born in 1903, and she says yes. To her, mere moments have passed.

Meanwhile,  Ketch is at Demon Central, being blocked by a henchdemon because, even though Asmodeus summoned him, Asmodeus doesn’t really want to see him right now.

Ugh. I know I was just dying to see more of this storyline. Weren’t you? Yes, it should lead to whatever’s going on with Gabriel, but you just know they’re gonna drag this out. Painfully.

Stuck reading children’s books, Ketch is able to sneak past the demon guards while they’re watching kitten video. Inside, Asmodeus is extracting archangel grace from a helpless Gabriel and … injecting it into himself.

Now, I call bullshit on this. I really do. Just a regular angel’s grace like Anna’s disintegrated the host body of a WED. Even if Asmodeus could survive such an injection, canon has stated over and over again that his host could not.

Anyhoo.

After some back-and-forth banter about how Asmodeus owns Ketch, even as Ketch protests too much, Ketch is sent back to the waiting room. I’m not kidding. Told you they’d drag this out.

Meanwhile, the Brothers explain things to Sandy (mostly offscreen) and then take her to a diner, where Dean puts Jay Ramsey’s “Better Luck Next Time” for her on the table jukebox. She’s fascinated by all the weird technology around her (as one would be), and surprised to be still alive, but what’s especially interesting is that the cook behind the grill appears to recognize her. Hmm. Sporting a rather obvious tat on his wrist like the symbol in the capitulum, he makes a call to a woman who is standing near the altar there. She calls him “Marco” and it seems they “have a problem.”

Sandy explains to them that she met a man who told her he was part of “a secret club … the Men of Letters.” This basically confirms the MoL were willing to engage in human sacrifice, oh, yay. As Sam gets the story out of her in flashbacks, Dean reassures that she is safe. Little, of course, do they know that even the short-order cooks are cultists in this town.

Sandy’s recollection extends a bit past the teaser, to show the tentacle wrapping around her. She insists the MoL were “feeding” her to the “monster.” As the waitress comes in to offer her coffee, Sandy leaves the diner in tears.

Meanwhile, the cook is drugging/poisoning the food and pulling out a short scimitar from the oven.

Back to Ketch and Asmodeus. As Gabriel watches, Asmodeus gets out of Ketch that he knows Castiel was in Palestine, then infodumps (to remind us) that the Brothers are looking for the spell Donatello found in the Demon Tablet. Asmodeus then beats the crap out of Ketch to make him fall in line, which will almost certainly cause Ketch to rebel against him because reasons. And it’s Ketch.

I’m so over Asmodeus.

Back at the diner, the Brothers are trying to figure out what Sandy has become. They don’t appear to believe she could still be human (trapped in a time spell like Dorothy from the Oz ep, for example), while Dean is skeptical that this is the MoL’s doing, since it doesn’t seem to be there style. That’s so sweet and naive after last year’s Psycho LoL storyline, especially with Ketch being in the B plot this week. Personally, I think the MoL are quite capable of engaging in human sacrifice.

Anyhoo, Sam gets his food first and ends up drugged. Meanwhile, a young man who was hitting on one of the other waitresses sees some red-robed cultists outside. He warns the whole diner before Dean eats his food and then Sam passes out. Dean has to fight a diner full of cultists, while Sam is kidnapped. Sandy stabs the last one from behind, “saving” Dean. As soon as he realizes Sam is kidnapped, Dean makes some Molotov cocktails on the fly (as you do), while the cultists cut off all outside contact for the diner.

Meanwhile, the two lead cultists (the cook and the woman he was talking to) take Sam off into the woods and have a talk. In a rather unconvincing (but obviously telegraphed) twist, they turn out to be “good guys.” At any rate, they don’t want to kill Sam. They want to stop Sandy.

It seems that the sacrifice did go through as planned. Their ancestor, an MoL named Diego Rivera, went insane after serving in WWI, went rogue, and formed a cult. He decided to “cleanse” the world by summoning two gods, Yokoth and his mate, from another dimension to bring a new paradise. Instead, after Sandy got possessed, she ate most of the cultists and the survivors managed to trap the god, then put the capitulum on lockdown. The MoL “disavowed” the entire incident.

Meanwhile, Asmodeus is pontificating to Ketch that he wants to be redeemed, but never can be. Even when Ketch points out that he has a soul, Asmodeus is unimpressed, saying that just makes Ketch weak. Predictably, as soon as Asmodeus leaves, Ketch grabs frightened Gabriel and the archangel blade and bails, killing the demon who mocked him at the beginning of the episode, along the way. Yeah, I totally didn’t see that coming, either.

At the diner (while Dean is in back, preparing to rescue Sam), the two waitresses send the young man to find out why the cultists have suddenly disappeared. He finds the dead in the parking lot. Then he’s attacked by Sandy, who finishes eating him just as Dean comes out. This is right after the two cultists with Sam tell him that as long as they’ve been starving the goddess, she’s been kept weak. But if she feeds, well, they’re pretty screwed. Oops. They also say that “when she’s not feeding, she’s breeding.” She kidnaps Dean and the female cultist realizes that when Dean is not among the dead, he must have been taken for the other option. Double oops.

Dean wakes up on the altar. Now he’s the sacrificial maiden (more or less). Sandy is beside him, preparing the goblet. When he calls her Sandy, she says that Sandy has “been dead for a long time.”

Dean: Okay, I’ll play. What’s your name?

Sandy [eyes glowing, in an unearthly growl]: Yokoth. Star of Madness. Ravager of Galaxies. Mother of Faceless Humans.

Yes, in case y’all were wondering, we are indeed in Fake Lovecraft Mythos Land.  In case the tentacles didn’t clue you in.

Even if Dean were not an expert at getting villains to Evil Overlord monologue, Yokoth would be easy to get going. She says that she and her mate Glythur were supposed to both come through, but the rift shut before he could make it. She now intends to open the rift and let him through, whereupon he will possess Dean (because Yokoth has a wee crush on our hot, unstable Hunter Hero) and they will eat their way through the SPNverse. She’s really looking forward to that, since they’ve already consumed most of the universe they come from.

She opens the rift with a concoction of what look like human hearts and the aforementioned angel grace, and a tentacle comes through. Dean manages to head-dodge it a time or two, just as Sam and the others rush in. As they fruitlessly attack Yokoth, Dean manages to pull out his pocket knife and pick his chains. Then he leans over to snatch the Seal of Solomon from Yokoth and toss it to the female cultist. She catches it and shouts a counterspell, closing the rift. As it does, Yokoth is conveniently (and unwillingly) snatched up by her mate and dragged back to the other realm. Which solves the problem of what to do with Yokoth rather neatly.

All I can say is, poor Sandy. I sure hope her soul escaped somehow after she died and wasn’t consumed, or something. Or worse, trapped in the other realm inside Yokoth.

Afterward, the Brothers consult with the two cultists, who hand over the Seal of Solomon pretty willingly, albeit with cautions on its limitations (such as that you need something that was already in the realm you’re seeking, that the spell only lasts for 24 hours, and that you never know quite what you’ll get on the other side). Also, they need archangel grace. The Brothers know most of these limitations, already, which helps persuade the cultists that they know what they’re doing.

Back at the Bunker, Sam and Dean are surprised to see Ketch and pull guns on him. Ketch brings out Gabriel, a vial of archangel grace, and the archangel blade as peace offerings. The only thing he really seeks is sanctuary from Asmodeus (which may be a tall order, the Brothers are the most likely to be able to protect him). Sam is skeptical, but Dean shrugs and agrees. Whatever it takes to get their mom and Jack back.

Later, as Sam is cutting the thread sewing Gabriel’s mouth shut (but Gabriel remains silent), Dean comes in, ready to go to the alt-SPNverse. Sam is shocked, but Dean points out that time is a-wasting and they need to get on it.

He also tells Sam that he’s going alone. Not even Ketch coming in, saying he’s going with Dean, changes Dean’s mind. Dean’s reasoning is actually pretty sound. Someone needs to watch Gabriel. Also, if Dean gets trapped over there, they need someone/thing who’s been over there to open the rift and come get him, which would be Sam. And as for Ketch, Dean doesn’t care if Ketch dies. As a matter of fact, Dean would be pretty okay with that.

So, they open the rift and set their watches. And then Dean and Ketch go through.

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: “ScoobyNatural” (13.16) 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. Reviews also help with sales. Just FYI.

In case you’ve been under a rock all day, the show got renewed.

We begin with Dean getting tossed around a shop by a giant, possessed … uh … green dinosaur. Really. We know it’s possessed by something because its eyes keep glowing. Sam jumps into the fray and tackles the dino. As Sam pins it down, Dean pours holy oil on it, then yells at Sam to get out of the way as he tosses a lighter on it. The dinosaur thrashes around, burning, then explodes into a shower of green and white confetti. Just in case you were expecting this to be a serious episode.

As the Brothers get their breath back, the shopkeeper (named Alan) stands up from behind his counter and asks if it’s over. Sam says yes and apologizes for the mess, but Alan heads him off at the guilt pass.

Alan: You guys just took down an evil plushie that was trying to kill me. We’re all good!

Another guy comes in, whom Alan introduces as owning most of the real estate in the general area. The guy is suspicious of the Brothers, but this doesn’t stop Dean from taking Alan up on his offer to give them anything in his store. Dean chooses a large screen color TV, around which he creates a “Dean cave” back at the Bunker, while Sam tries to research how and by what an evil stuff dinosaur could have been possessed.

When Dean shows Sam the Dean Cave, Sam asks how Dean found the time to organize the room. Dean tells him that you just make time, which probably translates to Dean being totally sleepless and wired on something. But let’s not go down that rabbit hole.

When Dean hits the remote on the TV, something strange happens. The same violet light that appeared in the dinosaur’s eyes lights up the TV screen and then flashes out at the Brothers. They disappear …

… and reappear inside a cartoon.

After an initial mutual freak-out, Sam starts to dither a bit more on his own that maybe it’s a dream. Dean slaps him (leaving a literal, if temporary, handprint) and tells him to focus. Sam’s still stuck on whether they’re inside the TV or what. Dean says that maybe it’s an angel thing, or the Trickster.

Sam: But he’s dead.

Dean: Or … is he?

Obvious foreshadowing is obvious.

Dean quickly boils it down to: In order get out, they have to forge on, so when they discover the Impala right next to them (when Sam questions this, Dean suggests it’s because the keys are in his pocket), they get out on the road and drive to the tune of “Dean’s Dirty Organ.”

They soon arrive at a malt shop, which Sam is rather sarcastic about. Dean says they should just pull in, go inside, ask some questions, and get their bearings. But then they see a shocking sight. The Mystery Machine is parked outside. They are inside a Scooby-Doo cartoon.

Cue animated title cards with the title “Scoobynatural.”

[sigh] We’re gonna get a cartoon spin-off now, aren’t we?

The Brothers enter the malt shop and Dean immediately spots the Scooby Gang dancing, while Scooby himself is drinking a series of milkshakes. Dean fanboys, but Sam is more skeptical. Why would Dean care so much? Dean points out that they watched Scooby-Doo their entire childhood. He calls the Scooby Gang “our role models.”

Dean: Just think about it – we do the same thing. We go to spooky places. We solve mysteries. We fight ghosts.

When Sam points out that their ghosts are real and dangerous, and they don’t have a talking dog, Dean compares Castiel to one.

So, the Brothers introduce themselves to the Scooby Gang and try to get through to them that they’re famous. The Scooby Gang respond rather blankly to this, especially Daphne, who acts like a total airhead when Dean hits on her relentlessly right in front of Fred. Actually (spoiler alert), Daphne acts like a total airhead the entire episode and Dean hits on her relentlessly the whole time, and I can’t say I’m wowed by that dynamic at all, even if Dean is up front about his contempt for Fred.

So, the Scoobies are on a case. It seems Scooby-Doo just inherited a fortune from a mysterious Southern colonel (even in a cartoon episode, we just can’t escape the suckage that is Asmodeus). He saved the guy from drowning, but now the Colonel is dead and they’re off to visit his creepy old house. The Scooby Gang senses a mystery.

When Sam grumbles a bit too loudly about this, Dean pulls him aside for a much-needed attitude-adjustment chat. Sam complains that the cartoon world they’re in is so shallow that there isn’t even any print in the newspaper article about the Colonel’s death. Dean reminds him that the last time they ended up inside a TV (“Changing Channels”), they had to play along until they could get back out. So, he’s playing along. Sam reluctantly comes with as Dean easily weasels his way into riding with the Scoobies. But not before some road food involving Shaggy, Scooby – and Dean – eating their signature absolutely enormous sandwiches. Reportedly, this was Jensen Ackles’ favorite bit to voice in the episode.

Outside, Dean challenges Fred to a drag race, which (alas) the Mystery Machine easily wins when Fred beats Dean on the draw. Sam asks Dean why he hates Fred so much and Dean’s response boils down to “He’s perfect.” Oh, Dean.

Sam: Let it go, dude.

Dean [after a moment of apparent defeat]: NO.

At the creepy old mansion, Dean realizes they’re in the episode, “A Night of Fright Is No Delight.” This is a real episode, btw, from season one.

At the reading of the will (which is on a vinyl record), the Colonel tells his various heirs that each one will inherit a million dollars, but only if they can stay the night at his mansion. If any of them leaves, their share will go to the others who don’t. There’s one catch – the house is haunted. The startles Sam and frightens Scooby.

Sam complains that the conditions are ridiculous and can’t possibly be legal, causing Velma to tell him that ghosts don’t exist and these kinds of situations happen all the time. Sam starts to blurt out that sure, they happen inside a cartoon, but Dean stops him. Dean tells Sam that the Scooby Gang are “pure and good,” and the Brothers aren’t going to blow that for them by messing with their minds by telling them they’re inside a cartoon.

Sam grumbles that Dean just wants to get with Daphne. He has a point (Dean’s obsession with Daphne is pretty messed up), but so does Dean. There really isn’t any positive or beneficial point to destroying the Scooby Gang’s sense of their own reality, any more than Sam and Dean can just skip to the end of the story. After all the fantasy worlds they’ve been in, Sam should know that by now, but maybe Dean’s just more of a veteran of this multiple-worlds deal.

The lawyer, Cosgood, tells them he’ll be back in the morning and leaves with a creepy laugh. Dean tells Sam Cosgood is the bad guy of the episode. Sam rolls his eyes. If they watched Scooby-Doo their entire childhoods, shouldn’t Sam have a good chance of remembering this episode, too?

Anyhoo, one of the side characters (an heir) suggests they all turn in at 10pm, which gives Dean the chance to creep on Daphne some more. Sadly, she notes that “girls and boys don’t sleep together” and goes off to sleep with Velma. In the same bed. Oh, the possibilities. But since it’s written by two straight guys who totally didn’t see the #Metoo movement coming, that doesn’t go anywhere.

Dean and Sam have to sleep in the same room as Fred and Scooby (not sure where Shaggy is). As usual, Dean finds perks to their current situation. He loves wearing a nightshirt. Sam is in pajamas. So is Fred.

Meanwhile, the girls are talking about the Brothers. Daphne likes them and Velma thinks Dean is okay, but thinks Sam is an idiot for believing in ghosts. Daphne calls her on this, pointing out that Sam is just Velma’s type, and Velma blushes.

Meanwhile, what looks like a ghost is roaming the halls, cackling. One of the heirs is brushing his teeth when the lights flicker and his breath fogs up. He turns around to see the ghost, which goes after him with a knife while flaring pink light.

Meanwhile, Sam is complaining about Dean eating another sandwich while the others sleep. Dean uses his knowledge of the episode to note that in a minute or so, someone will go missing and “the Scoobies are gonna think that it’s a ghost. But really, it’s the lawyer, Cosgood Creeps, in disguise.” At that moment, they hear a scream. “Toldja,” Dean says.

Everyone runs toward the room from which emit the screams (note: The animation for this episode is better than the rather bare-bones animation of the original; Hanna-Barbera wasn’t known for sparing no expense). Inside the heir’s room, Daphne finds a body soaked in blood. Dean is confused, saying the “dummy bodies don’t show up until later,” but when Sam pulls off the blanket, the heir is really dead, stabbed to death. The Scooby Gang is shocked.

Fred utters the classic Scooby phrase: “Well, gang, it looks like we got another mystery on our hands.” The Brothers are flabbergasted at how cold-blooded the Scooby Gang is about the murder, as the Scoobies stroll off to look for clues, utterly unconcerned by what they’ve just seen.

Dean is confused, saying that nobody ever dies in Scooby-Doo. Sam worries that if the rules have changed so much that a character has died, they can, too. Dean is more worried about Scooby dying: “I’d take a bullet for that dog.”

In the drawing room, Shaggy and Scooby are frightened by the possibility that ghosts really exist, while Fred and Velma pooh-pooh the idea. But as Velma is taking a page from Sherlock Holmes, a creepy figure creeps past the window behind her. The Brothers get into position to ambush it as it opens the window, but Fred grabs it first, throwing it to the ground wrapped in a curtain. When Dean yanks off the curtain, it’s … Castiel.

Startled, the Brothers help him up and Dean introduces him to the Scooby-Gang. Shaggy and Scooby come right up to welcome him, prompting Castiel to note that Scooby talks. Apparently, the show writers forgot that Castiel can talk to animals and doesn’t find it strange in the least.

Dean asks Castiel how he got into the cartoon. There’s a flashback of Castiel returning from Syria with “fruit from the tree of life.” He recounts an amusing tale of killing most of the djinn who were guarding it, before striking up a bargain with the survivors and accidentally marrying their queen.

He entered the room where the cursed TV was, saw the Brothers starting their drag race with the Mystery Machine, saw pink and purple sparks, and was dragged into the cartoon. There’s previously been a creepy figure as the Impala roared away in the drag race. It turns out that was Castiel.

As the Brothers bring Castiel up to speed, Velma listens in, then mocks Sam for his belief in ghosts. Gotta say that even for simplistic cartoon characters, the Scooby Gang are annoyingly broad here, with the exception of Shaggy and Scooby, who are criminally underused so far. The voicework for them is great, though.

Suddenly, there’s a distant roar, the lights flicker, and the room turns cold, scaring Shaggy and Scooby. Cue a montage of lit lamps and flashlights, and ghost hands on window glass, as everyone investigates. The Brothers hear a side character getting sliced and diced inside a room, and investigate. But all the doors in the very long hallway slam shut and when Sam reaches for a doorknob, a ghostly hand slaps his flashlight aside.

Then the ghost makes its appearance. Shaggy and Scooby jump into each other’s and then Castiel’s arms. Fred tackles the ghost twice, which doesn’t help when the ghost disappears into the wall. The Brothers duck. There’s some discussion from Velma about how this couldn’t possibly be a ghost, then they all open the door to the room and find a side character ripped apart inside, with half of him tied to the ceiling. Dean nearly throws up. The Scooby Gang walks off, totally unfazed.

Sam asks Dean if the Scooby Gang is always this cold-blooded about dead bodies, but Dean is more concerned about the obvious signs of a real haunting. He thinks the cartoon itself is haunted.

Back downstairs, Fred’s plan is for everyone to split up and “go looking for clues.” The Brothers and Castiel think this is a terrible idea and Sam tries to tell the Scooby Gang that he and Dean can’t protect them if they do that. Velma calls Sam “chicken.”

They compromise on Dean going with Daphne (and, unwillingly, Fred), Velma off with Sam, and Castiel guarding Shaggy and Scooby. Up in the attic, Velma both insults and hits on Sam something heavy. Sam tries to give her The Talk, but Velma will have none of it, not even when they find a chest of possessed toys, covered with ectoplasm, that attack them and drive them out of the attic.

[will finish this tomorrow night]

[Back. Sorry, but I just got 12 trees from the Arbor Day Foundation and the only time I have to plant them as they merrily sprout from twigs is after I get home at dusk. It’s been kind of a busy week.]

Anyhoo, in the library, Dean is hitting on Daphne again and asking her what she likes in a man. She says the usual and then adds “an ascot,” which leaves Dean rather taken aback. Not lovin’ this subplot at all, but I do like when Dean notices a book standing out from the bookshelf (all the other books are painted on the background) and calls this to the attention of Daphne and Fred, who are dismissive about it, at least until a trapdoor appears underneath them and throws them down a long, twisty shaft to a cellar. There, in the dark, Dean thinks he’s talking to Daphne, but it turns out to be the ghost, who chases them.

But then, the ghost is also stalking Scooby, Shaggy and Castiel upstairs. And while I don’t mind at all that Castiel is in this story, why have Scooby and Shaggy been relegated to comic relief with Castiel when Scooby’s the actual star of the show? Why all the focus on Fred, Daphne and Velma, who are boring twits because they are the straight-man supporting characters? There’s not enough Scooby and Shaggy in this episode.

Scooby and Shaggy are frightened by the ghost and run from him. Castiel isn’t, at first, but when Scooby and Shaggy grab him, he’s suddenly telling them to run (cartoon logic, I tell ya).

Cue the classic Scooby-Doo theme song (finally), which involves lots of the old running-around gag (Scrappy-Doo even pops up during a run down the hallway through different doors, though the gag is mercifully brief), and Dean alternately protecting and hitting on a clueless Daphne. Think she’s more in danger from him than from the ghost, though she’s kinda into it toward the end of the montage.

The song ends with their boarding up all the doors and tumbling back into the drawing room. But the ghost busts through and tosses the Scooby Gang all over the place. Poor Shaggy even gets defenestrated, though Scooby goes after him and Castiel saves them both. Sam grabs some iron candlesticks, and he and Dean drive off the ghost.

Fred gets a bloody nose and Shaggy breaks his arm, which shocks the Scoobies to no end. Sam’s suggestion to Dean that they give the Scoobies The Talk backfires as the Scoobies totally freak out and turn on each other (Shaggy is especially bitter). Dean is forced to give them a rousing pep talk about how they are “heroes” and have beaten many a bad guy before. They can do this.

They’re game, but Velma points out that the Scoobies know nothing about real ghosts. Sam says that’s okay. And he and Dean show them the Impala’s trunk. Dean is a little horrified, saying giving salt guns and other such weapons to the Scoobies is a “Scooby-don’t.” But Fred finally wins Dean’s admiration when he says that “we have to do something” and that they can help.

Putting a hand on Fred’s shoulder and swearing for only the second time in the episode (at least in the cartoon world,” Dean says, “You’re fucking right you can.”

Cue Fred setting an elaborate, Goldbergian trap in the drawing room. The trap doesn’t quite work as planned. When Scooby, Shaggy and Castiel act as bait, they get the ghost after them, but accidentally get stuck in the trap. But Dean has a Plan B (“Fred’s plans never work”), which involves the ghost chasing the other Scoobies before being distracted by a book-pelting Scooby, who weighs the ghost down with some books and sends it down the trap door.

The ghost finds itself trapped inside a line of salt (there’s a neat effect of the barrier as it thrashes around inside it that the show usually can’t afford to do). After the Brothers and Castiel inform it that it’s trapped, it finally reveals its true form and identity. It’s a little boy. His soul was attached to a pocketknife, which the creepy neighbor guy of the pawn shop owner got hold of. The guy has been using it to force everyone in the area to sell their shops to him for cheap. That’s why he owns almost everything there. It’s why he compelled the ghost to attack Alan, the pawn shop owner, with the green Barney dinosaur plushie.

The ghost is happy to send them back to the real world after they promise to release it once they get there. But first, Dean asks a favor of it. The Scooby Gang is totally freaked out, so the ghost pretends to be Cosgood and the Scooby Gang reveal him. Castiel heals Shaggy on the sly, Velma acts all smug and then kisses Sam, and Dean says a goodbye to Daphne that she promptly forgets as she runs after Fred and the others leave. Then the ghost reappears, and the Brothers and Castiel are sent back to the real world.

At this point, even Sam is willing to admit that they just had a “cool” experience. Dean agrees, though much more enthusiastically, but quickly gets back down to business. He goes out and returns with a blowtorch and a sledgehammer. Smashing the TV, he finds the pocketknife. The little boy ghost reappears and asks if he will be with his beloved father now. The Brothers are gentle with him as Sam torches the pocketknife. The little boy’s ghost disappears in a puff of white light and smoke up to Heaven.

At the shop, Alan is about to sign away his business to Creepy Real Estate Guy (Jay). Fortunately, the Brothers show up with Castiel, Dean wearing an ascot. Sam and Castiel lay out the plan – he used the ghost to scare off all the local business people so he could buy up their property cheap. CREG tries to claim they can’t prove anything about a ghost. Sam agrees, which is why they hacked his accounts and found out he doesn’t pay his taxes.

As they watch him get put into the car, Sam realizes, “Velma was right. It was a shady real estate developer, after all.”

CREG [as he’s being put in the car]: It’s not fair! I’d have gotten away with it if it wasn’t for those meddling kids! [since when are Dean and Sam still kids? Let alone Castiel?]

Dean: [gasp!] He said it! He said the line! [looks straight at the camera] Scooby-Dooby-Doooooooo! [Sam and Castiel walk away in disgust]

Castiel: Dean, you’re not a talking dog.

Credits are in a different font this week and there’s a new theme song.


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: “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.


The Official Supernatural: “Various and Sundry Villains” (13.12) 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.

Starting now.

Then recap of “Regarding Dean” last season and then bringing us up to speed with Lucifer’s depowering subplot this season. I sure hope the last time we see Asmodeus this week is in the recap because bleah.

Cut to Now on I-135 Just North of Wichita, KS. A guy named Dale walks into a liquor store and exchanges grunts with the store clerk (indicating they know each other). He sees two blondes giggling in the security camera and goes over to investigate. They are, of course, pretty blondes. And once one of them slips a hex bag in his coat pocket while the other one says a spell in Latin, he immediately falls in love.

They then ask him where Lebanon, KS is (he says he’s never heard of it, which seems unlikely) and then they con him into robbing the liquor store and giving them all the money and booze. He also kills the clerk, Marty.

When he comes out, they brain him with a sledgehammer, because their mother always told them to make deaths “look non-magical” so as to avoid attracting the attention of Hunters. Which is fortunate, since these two girls don’t look as though they’ve got a lot going on upstairs, in addition to being spree-killer witches. Also, the actresses are overdoing it just a tad.

Cue title cards.

Sam’s working at a table in the Bunker. Dean walks in from another room with some books from the MoL library he’s found on otherworldly dimensions. He struggles with one called “Jour et Nuit,” despite having no trouble with the Latin titles of the others, and Sam has to tell him it’s French and pronounce it correctly. Either this is bad writing or the show’s portraying Sam as pretty naive here, since Dean wouldn’t have been able to determine that any of these books were about otherworldly dimensions unless, y’know, he could read Latin and French (and we already know he can read Latin). Which means he’s just messing with Sam to get Sam to look through the books for a way to find Jack so that he can go out on a beer run.

Oh, and by the way, Sam is still in full-on Negative Nelly mode. Because it’s halfway through the season and reasons.

There is also a brief discussion about how “Castiel” checks in every day, as we see Castiel in prison, being taunted by one of Asmodeus’ demons. The demon (named “Dipper” for Idon’tcarewhatreason) also taunts Lucifer, who is annoyed that his jail cell is too warded for him to escape. For the moment. Boy, demons sure are stupid on this show, aren’t they?

After the demon leaves, Castiel mocks Lucifer (because Colonel Sanders – sorry, Asmodeus – is so “smart” that he allowed his two captive angels to be in adjoining cells so they could plot their escape) and Lucifer tries to get Castiel to give him some of his grace so they can both escape. Castiel’s not buying it, not even when Lucifer brings up his own grace-eating days. Castiel also mocks Lucifer when Lucifer calls Asmodeus his “weakest creation,” even after admitting that Asmodeus managed to learn shapeshifting/illusion on his own. Castiel wonders aloud that if Lucifer is being imprisoned by his weakest creation, what does that make him?

Dean is returning from his beer run when he encounters the witches from the teaser in the parking lot (they sure do hang around liquor stores a lot). One sister is screaming for help for the other sister, then slips a hex bag in his coat pocket when he leans over the other sister to help and says the Latin words (“Aegrota amore”) again. As with Dale, Dean’s eyes glow pink and he becomes putty in the women’s hands, kissing the “injured” sister at the first one’s suggestion.

It turns out they know his name and were looking for him. Being under the spell, Dean does not see this as odd.

Sam greets Dean as he comes back into the Bunker. Dean is giddy and “twitter-pated” (his own words). He talks about being in love and would be charmingly goofy if the show weren’t playing what is basically roofie-rape for laughs. Sam starts to realize this is not one of Dean’s usual volatile moods when Dean takes out the Black Grimoire and starts to walk out with it, declaring that it’s a “gift” for his new lady-love, Jamie.

I gotta give Sam credit here for twigging very quickly something’s wrong and trying to handle Dean with kid gloves (since Dean, already volatile, can be extremely dangerous under a spell of compulsion like this). He mentions Becky and the love spell, but Dean starts to turn scary, all while smiling and sunny and basically channeling Clayne Crawford in Lethal Weapon (no, really; Ackles gets him just about dead-on). Sam manages to snag the keys, so Dean says he’ll just walk. Sam tries to grab his arm, and that’s when Dean whips around and cold-cocks him. Knocks him right out. He does say to an unconscious Sam as he walks off that he will give him an ice pack after he returns. Not even the strongest love spell seems capable of subsuming his brotherly instincts.

I have to laugh at the people who are complaining and wondering since when has Dean been stronger than Sam? Um, I dunno, since always? The only time Sam was able to beat Dean was when he was drunk on demon blood and Dean didn’t want to fight him in “When the Levee Breaks.” In fact, it was a major plot point that Sam was able to beat Dean under those circumstances when he never could, otherwise.

The other thing is that it’s never been fully resolved how fully human Dean remains after a year in Purgatory and having the MoC. Chuck did say that Dean would be forever “tainted” by it and Dean did retain abilities specific to Amara in season 11. And we know Dean is still able to do things like fight multiple demons at once, which ought to be beyond human capacity.

Dean arrives back at the parking lot with the book. The sisters are smiling, though one of the girls grumps that they wanted the Impala, too (no shocker that was a no-go for Dean, even under compulsion). They were just discussing in Valley-speak whether to “make the call” and the younger one says she won’t. They’re just going to use the book for their own purposes and not call whomever they apparently stole it for.

They are about to brain Dean with the sledgehammer when Sam shows up in the Impala and comes out, gun drawn. But Dean attacks him and knocks him over as Sam tries to get the hex bag out (having figured out the situation pretty quickly, despite his concussion).

Then the sisters do a very, very stupid thing for which I lose all respect for them as villains – they just drive away. They don’t try to kill the Brothers. They just leave.

Anyhoo, Sam gets the hex bag out (it’s pink, of course), but before he can burn it, Dean starts to choke him out, while apologizing. But then the bag burns and the spell breaks in a pink flash. And Rowena shows up.

Cut back to Lucifer (because sure, now that Rowena’s back from the dead, what I wanted to see was more played-out Lucifer, but at least we get some Castiel mocking him, so there’s that). Lucifer is trying to make a stick lift, though apparently unable to (hmm). Dipper comes past and tells Castiel Asmodeus has “big plans” for him once he returns.

Lucifer yells after the departing demon that alt-Michael will come over from the other ‘verse and kill them all. We then get a very odd bit of infodump. Lucifer proceeds to As-You-Know-Bob to Castiel that no matter the version of Michael in whatever universe, Michael is ruthless and determined and tunnel-visioned and will get over to the SPNverse by sheer force of will.

This makes no sense for two reasons. One is that Castiel is also an angel and knows perfectly well what Michael is like. Yes, Lucifer has had an encounter with alt-verse Michael that Castiel hasn’t, but Castiel hardly needs to pump Lucifer for info about what all versions of Michael have in common.

Second, if Michael is so scary and determined and blahblahblah, why is this universe’s version of him still in the damned Cage?

Lucifer then starts talking about how much alt-Michael is torturing Mary and how it’s like nothing he’s ever seen. Dear God, I am so tired of this show’s ongoing obsession with comparisons of who got tortured the most.

Anyhoo, Castiel finally shuts him up with talking about Jack, how Jack is a lot like his mother and wants to do good, and how Jack resurrected Castiel from the Empty. Lucifer is so mad that he finally is able to TK the stick into the wall. Which gives him an idea.

Cut back to Rowena at the Bunker with the Brothers. Yes, she’s in the Bunker. Also, she’s pouring the three of them whiskeys. Which the Brothers are willing to drink. And nothing bad comes of it.

They ask her how she’s still alive. She’s cagey about just how (and they don’t mention their encounter with Arthur and what he told her about the resurrection device she gave him). She just says that it took a very long time to heal this time round and she doesn’t want to have to go through it again. She admits to having put a tracking spell on the book (hence why she’s there now) and calls Dean “lover” (at which Dean looks less-than-nonplussed and Sam smiles). A joke about “fifth base” in which Rowena teases Dean about his being roofied and supposed lack of sexual expertise fails, though.

There’s also a sad moment when Rowena finds out that Crowley is dead. It’s a nicely gauged mix of emotions as she reacts with both anger and hurt. The Brothers’ insistence that he died a hero doesn’t comfort her, since she’d prefer a “living” (so to speak) son, “even one who hated me,” to one who is dead and gone forever. Of course, there’s her grandson, but he’s in Heaven. Which she can’t reach.

It turns out that what she’s after is a spell in the book that would break a binding the Grand Coven once put on her. Needless to say, Sam and Dean aren’t too thrilled about the idea of just giving her more power. But they do, in the end, agree to work with her to get the book back. And then they’ll talk.

I should probably refresh everyone’s memories that the Black Grimoire is the book of spells the Brothers “liberated” from the Cajun witches Rowena helped them defeat in “Regarding Dean.”

I like this scene. Everyone in it is a thief, murderer and con artist, and they’re all working angles. And yet, you can tell there’s a shared camaraderie. When Rowena claims she’s “changed,” I find myself hoping she really has and I think the Brothers kind of do, too. The two MOTWs seem quite flat in comparison.

So, naturally, guess where we go next? A hardware store where the witches are trying to read the book they stole (they kinda suck at it) and magicking a staff guy. The younger girl, Jennie, seems to have the magical talent, though that’s not saying much. A young African American woman working there calls them out on shoplifting, to which they respond with some downright nasty snootiness. Ooooh, burn.

They then read that they need a human soul for their spell, so they zero in on an innocent young stock boy. I’m guessing, from “Regarding Dean,” they mean the spell the Cajun witches were using to try to resurrect their brother.

Back at a house, they’re reading the book over the body of an older woman. Jamie shows Jennie a photo. They’re in it with the woman. It’s their mom. They have a discussion over Jennie’s uncertainty whether she can work the resurrection spell and how much they miss their mother. This is probably intended to add some depth to their characterization, but between the Valley-speak and the references to how many people their mother murdered in her lifetime (and how many people they are willing to murder now to bring her back) the scene manages to generate no sympathy for them whatsoever.

We then hear a man’s voice from the other side of the room. It’s the poor stock boy, who is completely enspelled. Coolly asking Jamie if they still need that spell (Jamie, of course, says yes), Jenny strolls over the boy and stabs him to death. Then she walks away.

The Brothers and Rowena (in the backseat) arrive in Stillwater, OK. Rowena says that her tracking spell on the book really only works for general location and when it’s moving – and it’s stopped moving. They have to ask around to find the sisters. She offers to interrogate the locals herself, but the Brothers point out that her methods tend to be extreme and fatal. Or extremely fatal. Take your pick.

Sam offers to babysit Rowena in the car, while Dean goes out and does interviews. Rowena makes a final suggestion – that Dean talk to the woman. She says she’s pretty sure “these girls aren’t popular with other women.” We see Dean quickly process this and nod, taking the suggestion on board. Rowena doesn’t insult Dean by asking him if he knows how to talk to women about other women. She knows he can talk to women about all sorts of things. After all, she (and we) are pretty certain he lied about not remembering the conversation she had with him in “Regarding Dean” about Chuck and Amara.

Cut to Castiel and Lucifer. Castiel is entertaining the demon, Dipper, by insulting Lucifer. But this turns out to be a trick. When Dipper goes to mock Lucifer, Lucifer yanks him up against the bars, then reaches through them (despite the sparks) and stabs him in the neck with the stick. This somehow breaks the warding, both on his door and Castiel’s. The demon turns around and gets smote by Castiel.

Naturally, more demons show up, but Lucifer and Castiel somehow have angel swords now, so this ought to be a short fight.

In the car, Rowena is bored and asks for music. Sam points out they only have Dean’s hard rock collection. Exasperated, Rowena says that surely she can “enslave” a few townspeople to tell them what they need to know.

Sam: I’m pretty sure you can. I’m also pretty sure you shouldn’t.

Rowena: Bless your precious little heart. You just described my entire life.

Ah, Rowena, how I missed thee.

In a surprisingly thoughtful moment, Sam gently tells Rowena that even if she gets hold of the book, it won’t help. She’ll still feel “helpless.” Rowena at first doesn’t want to talk about it (her fear of Lucifer is quite genuine). Then she gets teary and admits the scariest part of Lucifer’s burning her alive and crushing her skull – “he showed me his face. His true face. I’m scared, Sam. All the time.”

At that point, Sam admits that he’s seen it, too, and it “still keeps me up at night.” When she asks him how he deals with it, Sam admits that he really doesn’t. Mostly, there’s always a new world-busting crisis, so he just “pushes it down” (much like his brother with his own traumas). He could talk to Dean, whom he knows would listen, but for whatever reason, he never does. In a weird way, I think Sam may actually find comfort that Dean would listen, even if he never unburdens himself to Dean, just as he and Rowena find some comfort in unburdening themselves to each other in this scene. Awww.

Dean goes into the same hardware store where Jamie and Jennie were earlier and he encounters the same clerk who called them out on shoplifting. She’s skeptical at first of his intentions (though she definitely likes the tall drink of water standing in front of her), but when he makes it clear he’s there for revenge not love, she has no problem whatsoever giving up the address of “the Plum sisters,” whom she also calls “a whole mess of trouble.”

“You going to be really mean?” she asks.

“Yeah,” Dean replies, in a tone with a whole lot of intent.

“‘Cause somebody sure needs to be,” she finishes, giving him the address. Can we see her again? I like her.

Sam is telling Rowena that it doesn’t matter if she gets her power back, she’ll always feel helpless, as Dean returns to the car. At that moment, Rowena gets out, claiming to need some fresh air. But when Dean rather stupidly says he has the address, Rowena gets a look at it and then tosses down a hex bag, shouting, “Manete! (Stand!)” before fleeing.

As the Brothers try to get the hex bag (and Dean calls Sam an idiot for letting Rowena get under his guard), Rowena goes to the address. There the two witches are arguing about their spell having gone wrong (the poor clerk is quite dead at this point, still smiling). Rowena comes in and growls at them about not waiting for her. Turns out she was the one they were supposed to call and she had them get the book for her, after telling them about the Winchesters and where it was. But they double-crossed her. Shocker.

Anyhoo, it turns out they already did the spell on their mother and brought her back as a mindless, violent, magic-proof zombie who goes after Rowena. As she barricades herself in another room, they think this is funny because … well … they’re really dumb.

Sam finally manages to get the hex bag and Dean burns it. Then they go after the witches.

Meanwhile, Castiel and Lucifer are escaping from that old sanitorium the show is always using as a set. Lucifer tries to persuade Castiel to give him his grace, then tries to stab it out of him. Instead, Castiel stabs him, saying “This is me learning from my mistakes.”

At their house, the sisters are still mocking Rowena when the Brothers enter. The sisters aren’t terribly impressed by the Brothers’ guns, but Dean unwisely tells them they have witch-killing bullets, so the sisters use a TK spell (one they just learned, I guess) and then go after the Brothers with a knife and a hammer and superstrength. Sam gets his ass kicked, though Dean holds his own pretty well against Jamie (and is even winning), until Jamie calls for help and Jennie hits him in the leg with her hammer.

But the sisters are distracted by Rowena shouting for advice on how to deal with a magical zombie, and Dean suggesting shooting the mother. When Rowena actually does, though, the sisters inexplicably keep going after the Brothers. This gives Rowena time to recover a bit and use an “Impetus Bestiarum” spell (the one she used on that poor prostitute in her second appearance) on them, then compels them to kill each other. Though looking a bit startled, the Brothers don’t make any effort to interfere.

Still favoring his knee from the hammer blow, Dean insists they take the Black Grimoire back. As Sam goes to get it from Rowena, who whispers desperately to Sam that she can’t “feel that helpless again.” She then appears to leave empty-handed, but Dean watches her go with a considering look.

Back at the Bunker, Dean is still hurting and is disgusted at himself for having fallen for a love spell (didn’t see any choice for him in the matter, but okay). But as they drink beers, Dean points out to Sam, “You do know Rowena is not our friend, right?” He then opens the book. The page with the spell on it that Rowena was seeking is missing, torn out. Dean wasn’t fooled.

Sam admits he let her take it and that if she “breaks bad,” he’ll kill her himself. But he feels that if she encounters Lucifer again, he’s on Team Rowena and wants her to be able to “make him suffer.”

Dean accurately pegs this as part of Sam’s depression. Sam says that Rowena’s not the only one who “feels helpless.” He admits that he started the season with a plan that involved Jack, but with Jack gone, he doesn’t know what to do. Dean says calmly, “We’ll figure it out.” Sam asks how, when they have no plan? Dean just steadily says that the two of them will “figure it out.” Sam looks less sure, but doesn’t argue.

In the last scene, Rowena is kneeling inside a pentacle/devil’s trap with candles. She recites in Latin, asking for her “voice” back and ending with “Fiam invicta!” (I am invincible!). She also cuts her throat vertically, though this doesn’t kill her. As she bleeds from her eyes, glowing purple bonds surrounding her break and the candles gutter out. She smiles, totally healed, and then her eyes glow blue. Possibly not an angelic blue (though who knows? Maybe she said yes to Michael in the Cage and that’s how she resurrected), but still a very unsettling color. Also unsettling is the smile.

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.