Supernatural: Beyond the Mat
February 25, 2016 11:59 PM - Season 11, Episode 15 - Subscribe

Sam and Dean attend the funeral of a wrestler and stumble upon a case. Meanwhile, Lucifer continues to torture Crowley.
posted by cfoxhi (10 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
No so crazy about the wrestling storyline. Lucifer redeems this episode, though. Misha Collins is fantastic to watch as Satan.
posted by cfoxhi at 12:13 AM on February 26, 2016

The writers have been a little ham-fisted this season in their ongoing quest for "the Winchesters learn a lesson about life, and show some character growth." Dean can sympathize with an aging wrestler because, like Dean, the wrestler puts his body on the line each and every week with no chance for glory. Even if we ignore the fact that glory is basically the biggest reason a pro athlete might participate in a sport that doesn't pay well... you couldn't have gone with someone who has a job with real world value like a firefighter or a soldier?

(Granted, we'd probably then be complaining about how cliche the plot is. I don't envy writers.)

Still it was a pretty episode. Mostly an old school monster of the week, while advancing the season arc a little bit further. I'm glad to see Crowley out of his dog collar. That was... uncomfortable. And it's shameful to keep such a fun and compelling character (literally) locked away.

Misha Collins must be loving this chance to play Lucifer. He's fantastic.

Are we to believe that these "hands of God" are one-time use only? Or is it something else? I'm banking on something else.

Also, there's a connection between the Ark of the Covenant (the first hand of God), and Aaron's rod. The Ark is supposed to contain the rod, a jar of manna, and the tablets with the ten commandments. I doubt it's the last we've heard of these.
posted by 2ht at 8:20 AM on February 26, 2016 [1 favorite]

Someone refresh my memories, what happened to that cache of heavenly weapons Gabriel (or was it the other one) stole and hid?
posted by numaner at 12:21 PM on February 26, 2016

I think Castiel had them last when he was on his God rampage. We haven't heard from or seen them since.
posted by 2ht at 12:47 PM on February 26, 2016 [1 favorite]

I thought it was kind of a B+ episode, but Dean's wrestling fanboy stuff was adorable and SO DEAN. Even though it was never mentioned before, it suited the guy so well.

I thought the sexy wrestler announcer lady was going to play a bigger part in the story, like she was evil or she'd end up needing to be rescued or something, and I was sure that Sam or Dean was going to end up having a fling with her. I guess you could say she ended up being kind of extraneous to the story, but I kind of like that none of the stuff I was expecting came to be. She doesn't fit any of the tropes!

It did seem weird that Dean's idea of "stretching their legs" was to go to a funeral, but the writers needed some way to get the guys into the wrestling stuff and I guess that was the best they could think of. They must get so sick of coming up with scenes where the boys say, basically, "Yes, we have this big apocalyptic arc we need to deal with, but let's take a break from that and do a MOTW."
posted by Ursula Hitler at 2:12 PM on February 26, 2016 [2 favorites]

"Yes, we have this big apocalyptic arc we need to deal with, but let's take a break from that and do a MOTW."

It has always reminded me of playing a CRPG, realizing I don't have enough XP/items/whatever to attack the big bad, and going out and grinding them. Whenever they do that, I just assume the God of Supernatural made their universe to a similar spec.

On a more serious note: I thought this was fun, but forgettable. The thing that amused me the most is that they burned through another Hand of God instead of collecting it for use against Amara. (Either they're single use, or God is reclaiming their power once they're active again.)
posted by mordax at 9:31 AM on February 27, 2016 [1 favorite]

Kudos for pointing out the hard life of circuit entertainletes and the physical toll it takes on bodies (and minds). All in all, a respectful take on performance wrestlers especially the knock-on good of them providing a bonding thing for fathers and sons. There's also something there, on a darker dive, that the bonding is through kayfabe - agreed upon fictions.

A few episodes back, Dean quipped that Sam should get Castiel to heal him up, and Sam acceded only if Dean got the Cas spa treatment as well.

How does Dean still have scars to share with sold-his-soul wrestler? The "winning a belt" thing, only to lose it a couple of weeks later, is poignant and recalls legalese, contracts, and wishes/ souls.

I wasn't initially sold on Misha Collin's Mark Pellegrino impression, but he's gotten it down by this episode.
posted by porpoise at 7:19 PM on December 28, 2021


Dean: Dude, dude, Gunner freaking Lawless.
Sam: Groupie much?
Dean: Shut up. Should I go say hi? I should go say hi. I'm gonna say hi. [goes over to Gunner Lawless] Hi. I... saw you stand over there and just told my brother that I should come over and say hi. So... I... came over and... hi.

Sam: It's just... you were my first crush.
Rio: You weren't one of those guys that had my poster above their bed were you?
Sam: What? No! [gets shifty-eyed]
Dean: [some time later] Did you tell her you used to have her poster over your bed when you were a kid?
Sam: No.

Dean: Yeah, think about that. Town after town, putting your ass on the line for next to nothing? No money. No glory. Wow.
Sam: You realize you just literally described our jobs.

Dean: Did he get in a tickle fight with Edward Scissorhands?

Lucifer: You made me bleed my own blood!

Simmons: How did you...?
Crowley: I'm Crowley.

Sam: Dude, you okay?
Dean: Yeah. [farts] Ah.
Sam: What happened?
Dean: Mostly tequila... cut with holy water.

Simmons: Can I touch it?
Crowley: With all due respect, Simmons, I don't think you can handle my rod.

Dean: We've got jack on another Hand of God and Amara, and we've got even less jack on how to save Cass.
Sam: Yeah, if he wants to be saved.
Dean: He does. Even if he doesn't know it yet.

Dean: Look, you screwed up. Trust me, I've been there. But it's never too late to do the right thing.
Gunner Lawless: You really believe that?
Dean: I have to.


Dean uses the alias Agent Roussimoff in this epiode. Roussimoff is the last name of wrestling legend Andre the Giant.

When Dean gets in the ring as everyone is gone after the murder, he starts playing up as any big wrestling fan would do when has the chance to be in a ring. At one point after testing the ropes, he does the signature walking/dancing greet act of The Nature Boy, Ric Flair, one of the biggest legends in wrestling history.

Mike "The Miz" Mizanin who plays Shawn Harley is a real pro wrestler for the WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment).

When Lucifer tells the demons to "search every warehouse, every farmhouse, every henhouse, outhouse and doghouse" he is quoting from the 1993 movie The Fugitive, in which Sam Gerard orders his officers to do a hard target search.

Lucifer telling the demons to remember, "A. B. C.; Always Be Closing," is likely a reference to Alec Baldwin's iconic scene in the film Glengarry Glen Ross.

When Dean goes to ask questions at the deserted wrestling arena and encounters only silence, he shouts, "Beuller?" This is an homage to Ferris Bueller's Day Off.

When Crowley goes to open the trunk containing the "Rod of Aaron" he first brushes off a few of Carver Edlund's Supernatural books. When Lucifer then enters the room he can be seen picking up another and looking over its front and back covers.

The scene where Dean and Gunner compare scars in the bar is a homage to the famous scene in Jaws.

After Crowley uses a hand of God against him, Lucifer states, "You made me bleed my own blood!" This is a reference to a line from "Bart the General", an episode of The Simpsons. It may also be a reference to the 2004 movie Dodgeball, in which White Goodman says, "Nobody makes me bleed my own blood! Nobody!"

When Crowley bends down to lick the floor at Lucifer's command after having his toothbrush confiscated, this patch of floor can be seen to have been specially cleaned in advance.
posted by orange swan at 4:34 PM on December 29, 2021

Attending/following wrestling was another thing John Winchester did with his sons for fun -- he did very few things of that kind. I can't help thinking he also probably constituted part of the hunter training he gave his boys.

It was fun to see Dean get so very into that wrestling match, and Sam enjoyed it a lot too.

The hand of God artifacts seem to be one trick ponies, and aren't to be wasted on trivial matters like vapourizing one double-crossing demon.
posted by orange swan at 4:36 PM on December 29, 2021

“They needed to relax mid-apocalypse so they went to the funeral of their dead father’s favorite wrestler” is a sentence that is doing a ton of plot work, but also feels extremely in line with the ways in which Sam and Dean are relentlessly weird individuals in any objective sense. I get a little eyerolly over lifelong passions that have not come up in any way before and will never be mentioned again, but John going apeshit over a regional wrestling promotion would have made Henry Winchester die a little inside so I'll allow it.

“That time when Crowley was Lucifer’s puppy” is one of those things my brain just edited out and I will be editing it out again promptly.

There are just a lot of episodes where I am asked to get invested in scenes establishing the interpersonal dramas of these one-off side characters, and I very much am not going to do that. This was a thing in the past few seasons, but there was more demon and angel stuff to fill in the gaps, which I also didn't care about but at least understood why it was there. I don’t blame JA and JP for wanting a lighter schedule after so many years of having to be in essentially every scene, if that’s even what it was, but with a pretty small supporting cast at the moment there’s only so much the show can do to cover its leads not being around as much.

“You’re nothing but Dean Winchester’s number one fan” intuitively feels like it got rewritten from a line that was (I’m just gonna guess) significantly more homophobic, but at any rate does not quite land as an insult from one of the scariest people in the universe. I can think of like five things Crowley himself is more sensitive about and I’ve already blanked out most of the past few seasons. But the idea that the most cringe thing Lucifer can imagine about Crowley is that he thinks Dean “A Kansas 5” Winchester is cool is, admittedly, extremely funny.
posted by jameaterblues at 8:59 PM on January 25, 2022

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