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I’ll also be simul-recapping on Wayward Children.
Sorry about the big delay, but I had a book event last night and lots of errands today. FYI, The Supernatural Codex: Season 1, my collection of recaps and reviews from Innsmouth Free Press (plus some extras) is out on Kindle and will very soon be out in print, too. Check it out.
Anyhoo, we start off with a standard, no-rock recap of the season so far.
Cut to Now in Cambridge, England, at “7:45 pm on a Friday.” A young woman with a red suit jacket and a smug smile enters the Cambridge Museum (there are several, but the show doesn’t say which one this is) and goes down to one of the archival labs, where she enters by busting in the door (after the key card number doesn’t work). She extracts two leafs of manuscript (looks like Greek) after examining them and puts them in her alligator skin (faux?) satchel.
It’s at that point she’s rousted by a puzzled guard. She then opens her mouth and out smokes a demon. As she calmly collapses, it immediately goes into the hapless guard, who goes outside into the alley and meets up with a man in a nice suit and coat. The demon gives the man the satchel, wondering aloud how Asmodeus will reward them. The man responds by killing the demon and the poor guard he’s wearing with an angel blade.
Then the man gets on the phone and calls one Dean Winchester. He tells Dean he has something Dean might like.
Cue title cards.
Cut to Dean cleaning a gun, which never fails to be hot. Sam comes in and suggests the gun is plenty clean, indicating that something is on Dean’s mind. Sam hasn’t been able to find either Ketch or Kevin – sorry, Jack. This missing persons are what’s on Dean’s mind.
The phone rings. It’s Teaser Killer Guy making his Teaser Call. He wants to talk about Jack having gone off on his own. Sam quickly susses out and sotta voce’s to Dean that it’s a demon. Dean rolls his eyes at Sam. Since when are these things not about demons, Sam?
The demon gives them a time and address of a cafe (a public place) and the Brothers discuss the wisdom of coming as they head there. Sam thinks it’s worth a shot. Dean figures it’s risky. They’re probably both right.
Dean says that since Crowley died, he’s “sworn off demons.” It’s just not worth it and dealing with them never ends well. Sam suggests that they at least “hear him out,” to which Dean replies, “all right, and then we kill him.”
Inside, they find a guy who looks like Crowley-lite and head over to his table. Cue the sneak peek. The demon introduces himself as “Barthamus – Bart’s fine.”
Bart: The Famous Winchesters.
Dean: Some Random Demon.
Bart and Dean exchange banter, then Bart gives them one of the manuscript leaves. He says it’s half of a finding spell for a Naphil and also tries to bribe Dean with pie. Sam asks him what he’s about. Bart says he became the new head CRD after Crowley became King of Hell (a hint that the CRD we saw in season two really was Crowley). He says he wants to do a deal with the Brothers (not their souls) for the other manuscript leaf. Dean points out that the Brothers generally just kill demons like Bart, so Bart calls Sam “the smart one” and suggests he have a look at the manuscript to see if it’s real. Then he leaves. I’m a bit weary of demons calling Dean stupid, especially when Dean is calling them out on their game. Calling Sam the smarter brother doesn’t make Sam look good, either, considering the number of times a demon did that to butter up Sam’s ego (at least Sam doesn’t seem to fall for it this time). It feels more like a lazy writer insert than organic.
Anyhoo, Sam is a little shocked when Dean just goes ahead and eats the pie.
Cut to Sam finishing up his analysis and Dean asking him how it went. Sam is surprised to say that it went pretty well. He says it’s Ancient Hittite and that it appears that King Solomon created it so that he could “stalk his girlfriend” (as Dean put it), the Queen of Sheba, who turns out to have been a naphil. Dean points out that dealings with demons never go well with them.
Sam then says that this is true, but that Jack is out there and he needs them. And they ought to take the risk on his behalf (damn, Sam, I actually bought that and I’m not even missing Jack very much), so Dean agrees.
Bart is waiting in what looks like Oliver Queen’s office-dungeon (but with windows), with two nervous associates. He assures them the Brothers will be there. When Sam and Dean arrive, Bart introduces the two as Smash (a safe cracker) and Grab (a demon who is an expert on “supernatural security”).
Dean perks up when he realizes this is a heist. Didn’t know the Brothers quite as well as you thought, eh, Bart? Should’ve led with that.
The target is a man named Luther Shrike. He collects “rare supernatural objects,” as well as something that Bart owns. Bart admits that he can’t get in himself because he needs the blood of a person who has been to Hell and back – literally. Then he pointedly looks at Dean. I could have sworn Sam had been there, too (not just in the Cage, which isn’t the Pit – what Bart may really have meant – but in the execrable “Taxi Driver”), but this is straight-up ignored in favor of targeting Dean and our seeing some flashbacks to Dean’s time there.
Dean says fine, take some blood, but Bart says that he actually needs it still inside Dean. But he also needs the Brothers’ expertise at handling “curve balls.”
Sam’s the one who says no when Bart won’t say what the object is he’s looking for. Bart saying Luther is human, but a very bad man, doesn’t budge the Winchesters on the subject. But Bart says he’ll give Asmodeus the spell if they won’t cooperate, which brings Sam up short.
The Brothers go off to consult. Dean says a double-cross from Bart is a sure thing. Sam agrees, but says they need to play along to keep the spell out of Asmodeus’ hands. And then, once they get it, they’ll double-cross Bart first and kill him. Dean likes that plan, so they come back and agree to Bart’s terms.
Bart’s positively gleeful about the plan, saying Luther will never see them coming.
Cut to Luther hearing that Bart is coming from a demon minion of Asmodeus. The demon asks that Luther give Asmodeus a heads-up once Bart & Co. show up. Luther responds by leading the demon into a devil’s trap and exorcising it, saying he doesn’t need a demon’s help to defend his own house.
Cut to outside Luther’s house as the Brothers arrive. Sam is driving and tells the gate security camera he’s there about an artifact he’d emailed Luther about (and giving a false name).
Dean is hiding in the back of the Impala with Smash under a blanket. Dean’s head is down by her feet. This precipitates a crack based on the famous line near the end of Ocean’s 11 (“Ted Nugent called. He wants his shirt back”): “Hey, Winona, the 90s called. They want their shoes back.”
Anyhoo, Sam is allowed in and drives up the crappy dirt road a bit before stopping and saying “Clear.” Out gets a nervous Smash and a calm Dean. The Brothers exchange a quick “Don’t get dead” then Dean and Smash disappear into the woods to the sound of thunder and rain while Sam drives up to the house. He rings the bell and the door opens on a foyer with a devil’s trap. Luther calls from another room and Sam enters it.
Dean and Smash go into a shed where Dean makes a spell in the dirt. While she waits, Smash drinks from a can. Dean recognizes it as an energy drink (“Nerve Damage”) he used to practically live on as a kid and gets nostalgic. They bond a little when she offers him a can, but she gets grumpy again when he probes her reasons for working for Bart.
Dean finishes the spell, which is to summon in Grab. Grab admits that he doesn’t know where the vault they’re looking for is, but Dean’s blood will lead them to it. Grab then says a spell in Latin (basically, it says, “Infernal blood, show the way”). Nothing happens at first, but then Dean’s flashlight hand gets a mind of its own and drags him after it. Smash and Grab follow.
Inside, Luther offers Sam some homemade gin, which Sam downs with a grimace. Luther shows Sam a basilisk’s fang (a test, maybe?), but Sam says it’s actually a gorgon’s tooth (that basilisk fangs are hollow). Sam says he’d love to see more of Luther’s collection, but Luther just wants to stick to business.
So, Sam shows him the artifact he brought. It’s Ruby’s spork.
Outside, Dean is leading Grab and Smash through a sort of park. They arrive at a cellar door with no lock. As Dean puts it, no lock is “never a good sign.” With a grumpy sigh, Smash opens up the door, but Grab won’t go in. Dean and Smash have to go in without him. Inside, there’s a door with a lion’s head on it. Smash tells him he has to put his hand in the lion’s mouth.
Upstairs, Luther is on to Sam and says he’s with Bart. For a practiced liar, Sam sure does stutter. But Bart has it wrong that Sam is a demon and goes after him with the Spork. Luther gets a shotgun and Sam goes for the Spork, but when he stabs Luther, Luther doesn’t die. Oops. Luther knocks him out.
Downstairs, Dean is dithering over sticking his hand in. Once he finally does it, a mechanism grabs his hand and gets a drop of blood. The door opens, but when an exasperated Smash enters, Dean saves her from a poison dart. As they try to figure out what to do next, Luther stabs Grab and comes down after them.
A freaked-out Smash knees Luther and flees up the stairs. Dean puts a lot of bullets into Luther, but Luther just keeps coming, after admitting that Sam is still alive last he saw him. Sam shows up and warns Dean that Luther is immortal (well…on the property, anyway). Dean punches Luther and knocks him out.
Dean interrogates Luther, but Luther won’t talk, so Dean puts a strip of duct tape over his mouth and the Brothers put their heads together over how to get to the vault. After some babbling that he only ever watched Entrapment, and that was because he had a crush on Catherine Zeta Jones, Sam gets an idea he calls “crazy.”
“I’m good with crazy,” Dean says.
It turns out that Sam wants to put Luther’s situational immortality to their own use. They tie Luther to a chair and shove him through all the traps. He gets darted and the Brothers are able to walk in behind him. Dean is quite impressed.
Smash shows back up, after having fled out to the gate and encountered Bart, who calls her “Alice” and reminds her of her deal. The Brothers note she sold her soul. She says that as long as she does jobs for Bart, he doesn’t collect. The Brothers offer to help, but she doesn’t think they can (honey, did you forget how Dean found the vault?).
So, she cracks the safe and they get the trunk, but Luther has escaped. He comes after them in a pickup. Dean backs up and Sam shoots out Bart’s tires. Once they get him out, he tells them his story. His son was dying and he traded his soul to save him. But his son drowned a few years later, anyway. Once he got down to Hell, Luther negotiated a new deal. Oh, and he found some new leverage – he found Bart’s bones. That’s what’s in the trunk when they open it up.
His infodumping task done, Luther gets beheaded from behind by Bart. He’s off the grounds, you see.
Bart says that Luther was two centuries old and then tells the Brothers to hand over the goods. Dean’s not thrilled, but lets Sam make the decision and Sam says no, the deal’s off. Bart asks if they’re stupid and Dean says no, “We just don’t like you.”
Bart then grabs Smash and threatens to kill her. The Brothers are forced to stand by as Bart takes possession of the trunk and, for added cruelty, insists Smash get in with it. But as she approaches the trunk, she sees that Dean has dropped his lighter in there. She picks it up and lights up Bart’s bones before he can react. Unfortunately, though Sam is able to go after the other half of the spell when Bart drops it, it burns before he can put it out (you just stomp the fire out – oh, never mind).
So, the Brothers see Smash – sorry, Alice – off on a bus, after she thanks Dean for saving her life and soul. Dean tells her to “stay weird” (he called her that earlier) and she sticks her tongue out at him.
Back at the Bunker, Sam is depressed that they lost the second half of the spell. Dean says that at least they saved someone and that they will find another way. Well … also, they kept the entire spell out of Asmodeus’ hands and didn’t Bart say he made copies? But that doesn’t get mentioned.
Anyhoo, they clink glasses over it.