Supernatural: No Rest For the Wicked
July 12, 2021 5:12 AM - Season 3, Episode 16 - Subscribe

Dean's time is up and he has to pay the devil his due. When Lilith resurfaces in New Harmony, Indiana, terrorizing the family of the little girl she is possessing, Sam, Dean, and Bobby steal Ruby's knife and confront the mother of all demons in a battle to the death.


Bobby: Do I look like a ditchable prom date to you?

Bobby: You're almost hell's bitch, so you can see hell's other bitches.
Dean: Thank you.

Dean: You're not gonna bust out the misty goodbye speech. Okay? I mean, if this is my last day on earth, I do not want it to be socially awkward.

Ruby: Oh. So, you're too stupid to live, is that it? Then fine! You deserve hell! And I wish I could be there, Dean. I wish I could smell the flesh sizzle off your bones! I wish I could be there to hear you scream!
Dean: Yeah, I wish you'd shut your piehole, but we don't always get what we want.

Dean: I'm glad my doomed soul's good for something.

Ruby: [to Sam] I'm telling you. You can save your brother. And I can show you how.
Dean: So, that's you, huh? Our slutty little Yoda.
Ruby: Dean. Charming as ever.


Ruby compares a futile knife attack against Lilith to "hitting Hitler with that exploding briefcase". On July 20, 1944, at a top-level Nazi military conference, a briefcase containing 2.2 pounds of plastic explosives was placed near Hitler's seat. However a sturdy table leg between Hitler and the bomb shielded him from the blast. The meeting was to take place in the Wolf's Lair, a concrete bunker with a steel door and no windows, but was moved to a wooden bunker above ground. Two bombs were set to be used but those involved were only able to arm one. Had the meeting taken place in the concrete bunker the shrapnel would have killed everyone near the bomb, including Hitler.

The cop that pulls over Sam and Dean is wearing a 1960s style police uniform. When they hid the cop car later, you can see the number of 54. Car 54, Where Are You? was a sitcom in the 1960s and starred Fred Gwynne and Al Lewis, both of whom were also in the The Munsters.

"No rest for the wicked" is derivative of a Bible verse: "There is no peace, saith the Lord, unto the wicked." (Isaiah 48:22). It is also an album from Ozzy Osborne released in 1988.

Lilith is in the Jewish Apocrypha. According to the stories, Lilith was Adam's first wife (first story of creation in "Genesis") who was created alongside Adam. She refused to obey Adam and was cast out of the Garden of Eden. In some ways, Lilith is the first demon (a human who goes to hell.) Up to this point all of hell's other inhabitants are fallen angels.

Dean mentions going to Tijuana and catching a donkey show. This indelicate and possibly imaginary show involves a flexible prostitute, a strong bracing frame, and an aroused donkey. Since 1915 there have been vague accounts of a woman dying when the frame collapses, this tragedy witnessed by prominent town leaders who declare they must either ban such deplorable acts or mandate stronger frames. Since the 1930s this act, and many other depraved practices, have been unjustly associated with Tijuana.

Jensen Ackles described the shooting of the final scene of Dean in hell: "It was miserable. I spent about four hours in prosthetics 'cause all those hooks and pieces through the wrists and cuffs and everything, and once I was done I walked on stage and they hooked me up. Cuffs around both wrists and both ankles and then just a belt harness [around my waist] so I was wired up with five different wires. Five guys wrenched me up about 13 feet in the air. I had so much [fake] blood all over me, the harness slipped and the buckle was piercing into my hip. I'm hanging there, all of my weight on this one buckle digging into my hip, and I hung there for what felt like ages and it got so bad that tears were rolling down my face and I was like, 'Let me down; you gotta let me down.' It was tough, but it turned out to be a really cool shot."

The episode takes place on May 1st and 2nd, 2008, so in fact Dean dies on Sam's 25th birthday.
posted by orange swan (6 comments total)
Why would Lilith care to act like a little girl?

It's almost too bad Dean wasn't able to keep his x-ray demon vision, as it would have come in so handy in his line of work.

That was indeed one horrific last shot. And happy 25th, Sam!
posted by orange swan at 5:14 AM on July 12, 2021 [1 favorite]

Lilith's a monster and something horrifying and malevolent and evil that looks (and superficially acts) like a little girl, our culture's paragon of innocence and sweetness, makes what she does even more horrible and traumatic for those she victimizes.
posted by Pope Guilty at 9:19 AM on July 12, 2021

I get that, but why does Lilith want to eat her weight in sugar, have the same storybook read to her time and time again, and take a nap with her mother? You'd think a powerful demon as old as humankind would have different tastes and interests.
posted by orange swan at 10:12 AM on July 12, 2021 [1 favorite]

George Coe!

So they just left Ruby in a demon trap. Do those things slowly expire, or is she stuck there until...?

Lilith's affectations of stereotypical little girl - she's doing it to troll the mortals. Liberal Mortal tears = powerful demon's tastes and interests.

Feels incongruous that Dean knew that Baby had a busted tail light, and didn't fix it at the earliest opportunity both for Baby's sake and also to avoid random LEO harassment. It ain't hard, and he probably keeps spare bulbs (and fuses) in the glove box.
posted by porpoise at 6:20 PM on July 12, 2021 [3 favorites]

Demon shore leave is a hilarious plot contrivance and choosing to spend it as a young girl in a suburban family in Indiana is a hilarious plot contrivance, and honestly, I think there's not a ton more to it than that they find this kind of little girl creepy, which is a Whole Thing unto itself. But if I'm going to work any harder than that on an explanation, I imagine that she's like the Joker or something: she's going to unwind by just picking some random people to terrorize and slowly destroy psychologically, and trapping them in this hellish parody of an idyllic family where they serve the whims of a daughter who leans so hard into cliches of innocent girlhood, while keeping them constantly on eggshells in fear of her casual hyperviolence, is just the flavor of torment she was in the mood for this week. And she gets cake every day.

Bobby spends a lot of his early episodes just kind of helping move the plot along, and for a character who technically is seen to like basically no one, his spiky affection here makes it more plausible to me that he's lashed his fate to these two knuckleheads over all other knuckleheads on earth.

Watching characters sing is unwatchably cringe-inducing for me but the Bon Jovi scene is a nice bit of characterization. I'm not going to do a great job explaining this, but they're both in such dark places. Sam hasn't totally let himself believe yet that this thing is really going to happen, but he's still been slowly going out of his mind with terror for a year, in a couple hours he's going to try and stab a ten year old to death in her bed, but first he gets a last minute of riding in the car with his brother singing a song they've clearly sung a million times and just not being in his head for two seconds. Dean does know he's not getting out, but he can give Sam that minute of lightness which probably no one else on earth could do, and he can't let go in the same way because of course he can't, but he can still do that.

Once they have the knife it really does seem to end any pretense of trying to save possession victims or even acknowledging them as people separate from the demon using their body; Dean makes it sound like they can assume most of the people are effectively dead but that seems like a hell of a stretch sometimes. (Best wishes to whatever cop gets to explain how the entire blood volume of a serial killer who died in both St. Louis and Boulder wound up all over the scene of a mass murder in Indiana.)

I come down on wishing we'd never seen Hell at all, but this makes for a brutal ending and the entire last scene is just tough to watch.
posted by jameaterblues at 11:25 PM on July 12, 2021 [2 favorites]

I just came across an article that says "Katie Cassidy was part of a poorly received wave of female characters in Supernatural's second season, although her portrayal of the demon Ruby was probably the best of the bunch. Due to the negative fan response, however, producers made it clear that they didn't want to cough up extra money for Cassidy. They left it up to her: take less money, or leave the show."

Cassidy opted to leave, and happily has found work elsewhere, but I think she deserved better from the Supernatural producers. I can't help but feel that this poor reception of some of the female characters on this show was due to some disturbing misogyny on the part of the fans. Cassidy's Ruby was a good character, and Bela Talbot was too.
posted by orange swan at 8:47 PM on August 9, 2021

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