Supernatural: Beat the Devil
May 5, 2018 9:36 PM - Season 13, Episode 21 - Subscribe

Sam, Dean, Castiel, and Gabriel must work together to bring Mary and Jack home; Rowena's encounter with Lucifer may change someone's life.

Episode highlights:

- Sam's dream, featuring Cas and Dean as an old married couple
- Way too many jokes about grace extraction as a euphemism for masturbation/erectile dysfunction
- It felt like an unusually high number of recurring characters were in this episode - Cas, Gabriel, Rowena, Lucifer, Mary, and Jack. Is that like a record for a non premiere/finale episode?
- Gabriel and Rowena having their own Casa Erotica moment
- Dean, Cas, and Sam's reaction to Gabriel and Rowena's Casa Erotica moment
- Sam died...for five seconds and then Lucifer resurrected him
posted by litera scripta manet (8 comments total)
I know that I shouldn't get into dissecting Supernatural plotholes, but doesn't it seem like it would make way more sense to just take all of Lucifer's grace at once, kill him once he's human, and then leave Rowena behind to tend to the spell and keep the rift open.

It seems like it's been established that it takes awhile for angels to replenish they're grace when some it is extracted, so it's unlikely that Lucifer would have been able to re-stock his grace while they were using him to keep the portal open, unless they were planning on spending weeks/months in apocalypse world.

Oh, and given their terrible track record with keeping Lucifer locked up, shouldn't they have left someone behind to help guard Rowena? Or at the very least, shove an IV in Lucifer's arm with whatever Gabriel used to drug him in the first place.
posted by litera scripta manet at 9:41 PM on May 5, 2018 [2 favorites]

doesn't it seem like it would make way more sense to just take all of Lucifer's grace at once, kill him once he's human, and then leave Rowena behind to tend to the spell and keep the rift open.

I don't think they've ever explicitly spelled this out, but the sense I get is that angelic grace has a very short shelf life once it's been removed from the angel. They wanted the possibility to keep the rift open for multiple days, maybe weeks, which presumably would've meant that Lucifer's grace would've....gone flat, or curdled, or evaporated, or whatever it is that happens to angel grace when you leave it sitting around too long.

They still should've left at least one of either Gabriel or Castiel back to keep an eye on Rowena and Lucifer though (they know that having angels in tow is not going to be a huge asset where they're going), and not done such a half-assed job subduing/securing Lucifer. But they were in a hurry! Why were they in such a hurry? No idea. But they were definitely in a hurry.

Also: after all the shit that Dean has done to save and/or resurrect Sam...I just don't buy that this time, he can be persuaded by Cas to just walk away in under a minute. Again, though, Cas's insistence was that they didn't have time - even though, as far as they know, the Lucifer-on-tap plan was still a go - so once again, where is this mysterious urgency coming from?

I have no objections to the writers spending most of the season on standalone episodes and leaving the main plot on the back burner until the season finale approaches. But you can't have "the season finale is approaching" be the only reason why suddenly the main plot's super-incredibly-urgent.
posted by mstokes650 at 10:38 PM on May 5, 2018

I'm not sure if part of my soul finally died around the fourteenth impotence joke, or if it hung on till the extremely essential, not weird or dull voiceover to ""set" "up"" that Rowena and Gabriel are heading into the bone zone. But not for nothing, if I had to name two currently-alive characters on this show who don't need any particular reason to drop whatever they're doing and bang a total stranger of a different species on somebody else's living room floor, it's Gabriel and Rowena. (Dean, obvious third, but I feel like at this point it's honestly a pretty distant third.)

Man, the pacing of this season is so weird. And I just remembered, didn't it start with a mysterious presence in the void who's never been mentioned again, nor hinted to be relevant in any way?
posted by jameaterblues at 10:53 PM on May 5, 2018 [1 favorite]

I got the feeling that the slow trickle of Lucifer's grace was integral to keeping the rift open. They weren't just bleeding him out to be sadistic. As for the urgency, I guess they were really worried about Michael coming through, and the fate of their mother and Jack, plus they can't be sure how long the rift will stay open. Those are pretty urgent concerns... but yeah, the writers needed to do something to up the urgency a bit before they had the gang abandoning Sam to die!

So, are we just not going to deal with what happened to Lucifer up in heaven? He just up and left, the end? And where's his scrappy angel girlfriend? There's been a lot to like about this season, but sometimes it feels like we're skipping entire episodes of plot. I'd agree that we kind of need to follow-up on Mr. Inky (as I insist on calling the mysterious void entity) but I have a feeling it'll never come up again. Too much time has gone by without a mention. But then again lately they've been digging out old characters I barely remember, so maybe Mr. Inky will make a surprise return.

Leaving just Rowena to watch Lucifer was pretty dopey, but sometimes with a show you just gotta shrug and go with it. I feel like I've been doing that a lot with Supernatural this season.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 5:24 AM on May 6, 2018 [2 favorites]

-They really opened up a ton of space this season for future plots. I'm really curious to see how the season ends and what the cliffhanger will be. I wonder if they will toss any of the stuff they brought in to the spin-off.

-I definitely thought they were going to go for Micheal for a second when they said they needed another archangel to power the spell, instead of Lucifer, but I guess L makes more sense.

-I was thinking about Sam's death, it could have been interesting to show Sam in Heaven, to get an idea of what it's like up there with everything going pear-shaped up top. It seems kind of wasted somehow.
posted by Query at 10:05 AM on May 6, 2018

the brothers and Cas have plot armor, so I couldn't buy Sam really dying for even a second, and I guessed right away that it would've been Lucifer to bring him back somehow. The buffet of Apocalypse World angels on his way to Sam was a good enough reason for me for Lucifer getting his mojo back. I don't think at this point that sequence could be written to be surprising, but it was too hacky to fake Sam's death just to give Lucifer a way to get to them.

My one gripe was that they fell into the usual trope of having the hostage tricking them with words. So many shows do that at some point while also have situations where the mouth is taped shut. Like, even Rowena could've done a spell to shut him up if she didn't feel like looking for duct tape in the bunker. Also, agree about putting him on that IV drip of the drug they used in the bar.

The pacing is ramping up quickly, and I have a feeling there's going to be a lot of questions left open at the end of this season. Probably another crazy cliffhanger.
posted by numaner at 2:45 PM on May 7, 2018

My one gripe was that they fell into the usual trope of having the hostage tricking them with words.

It was weird, when he was literally just singing (badly) to annoy Rowena, it really seemed like they were setting up a joke where she did a spell to make his mouth sew shut or something. But no, they needed her to fall prey to his mind games for plot reasons, so it never occurred to her to just slap some duct tape on him. Lately it kind of feels like this show is lacking somebody in the writer's room to ask the obvious questions that the audience is going to ask. The writers are still capable of fun scripts, but sometimes there will be these weird plot problems they never seem to consider. (But who knows, maybe they're furiously arguing about these very things and what we see is the best compromise they could agree on. Sometimes TV production is messy like that.)

The den of hissing vampire freakos was genuinely spooky, and it was kind of nice to see Lucifer evil it up again. I was glad he didn't kill Rowena again, though.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 4:43 PM on May 7, 2018 [1 favorite]

Same here! I hope she makes it to next season!

The vampire nest was probably the first spooky thing I've seen from the show all season, since they've moved away from MOW stuff.
posted by numaner at 1:31 PM on May 8, 2018

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