Supernatural: Stuck in the Middle (With You)
March 10, 2017 1:48 AM - Season 12, Episode 12 - Subscribe

Sam, Dean, and Castiel help Mary and her hunter friend Wally on what first appears to be a standard demon case. Mary has her own agenda, as part of her secret work with the British Men of Letters.
posted by cfoxhi (5 comments total)
What an amazing episode! The Tarantino references were pretty fun. Misha Collins was very good in this episode, as was the actor who played Ramiel. What's up with Crowley always helping the Winchesters? At least he kind of provided some kind of explanation in his response to Ramiel. It's kind of fascinating that they brought back Mary Winchester only to make her disaffected (like Buffy after she was brought back) and deceptive. She not a particularly likable character right now. Did not expect that.
posted by cfoxhi at 1:54 AM on March 10, 2017

I didn't realize the episode was referencing Tarantino. I was actually kind of annoyed with the direction, and the scenes split up with time references.
posted by numaner at 9:20 AM on March 10, 2017

I really, really enjoyed this one, even though I'm only just familiar enough with Tarantino to guess that was maybe what they were going for, and not some flaky experimental stylistic thing. (Though for the record, SPN, if you've got some flaky experimental stylistic thing burning a hole in your pockets, go on ahead and let it fly, you pack of glorious weirdos.) I'd honestly lost track of where the Colt was or even when we'd seen it last, but I was more psyched than I expected to have it pop up again, I liked that thing.
posted by jameaterblues at 10:39 PM on March 10, 2017 [2 favorites]


Dean: Cass, here’s the thing you need to know about waitresses, okay? They get hit on all day long, so you gotta bring your A game. But, upside? They always smell like food.
Wally: [nodding along with Dean, then pointing at him] They always smell like food.
Mary: Okay.
Sam: Is that really an upside? They smell like food?
Mary: Okay – okay...
Dean: Right? It’s great.
Sam: Why would you want them to smell like food?

Castiel: Wait a minute, you called us to – to kill a demon that likes to fish?
Wally: Yes, I did. Look, guys. This is all new to me, all right? You got a rugaru problem, hey, I’m your guy. But demons? Hell. Look, I was just passing through and I heard about some cattle mutilations.
Sam: Classic demon sign.
Wally: I started to dig. A lot of virgins go missing around here, too.
Dean: Classic horny demon sign.

Mary: You’re him? The King of Hell?
Crowley: You must be Mother Winchester. Pleasure. I’ve heard so much. [extends a hand for Mary to shake]
Mary: Touch me and I’ll kill you.

Lucifer: [to Crowley] Ah. I know that look. Sam and Dean have got you down. Well, I still can’t believe that you’re working for the Dukes of Haphazard.


This the second episode of Supernatural to be directed by Richard Speight Jr. (Gabriel/The Trickster).

Both Misha Collins and Richard Speight Jr. live tweeted this episode while it was being aired to fans on the West Coast.

At a convention before this episode aired, Misha Collins (Castiel) talked about a scene in an episode directed by Richard Speight Jr. where he had to crawl on a muddy road. He said that during a take, he was waiting for Speight to yell cut, but, as a joke, he never did so he had to keep crawling and ended up going so deep into the mud that there were several inches of mud stuck to his trench coat and had to change between takes. In this episode, Castiel got injured and had to try and crawl away from Ramiel. Misha tweeted about this incident during the episode airing.

During filming of this episode, Jensen Ackles had to be ready to leave at any moment, because his wife, Danneel, was due to deliver their twins. The point where Dean leaves to "check the side yard" is when he left the Supernatural set because Danneel had gone into labour.

This entire episode pays heavy tribute to Quentin Tarantino's films, in particular Reservoir Dogs. Not only does the title of the episode share a name with a song from a pivotal scene from the Tarantino film, but the episode contains many parallel choices in setting, lines of dialogue, plot devices, and artistic composition. In addition to its content, the artistic and musical choices in this episode pay tribute to Reservoir Dogs and other Tarantino films. A few examples of these choices are: the slow panorama shots of the major characters in the coffee shop; the use of black title screens; the use of slow motion, the non-linear sequence of events and replaying of some scenes from different perspectives; the use of classic 1950s and 1960s music; and a box with unknown yellow shining content. The title of this episode is the name of a song by Stealers Wheel that appears in Reservoir Dogs.

Dean's line, "Ok ramblers, let's get rambling" is a quote from Lawrence Tierney's character, Joe, from Reservoir Dogs. George Clooney's character, Seth, in From Dusk Till Dawn says the same line.

Besides the Reservoir Dogs homages, the episode also contains a Pulp Fiction reference. The first few times we are shown the case that Mary steals, only the lid is opened and a golden glow emits from the box but what is inside is not shown. This is very similar to the briefcase in Pulp Fiction which emits a golden glow when opened but the contents are never shown. The only difference in this is that we are eventually shown that the box contains the Colt.

The soundtrack is a clear tribute to the music composed by Ennio Morricone for Sergio Leone's spaghetti western movies.

The song Lucifer sings at the end is part of the theme to the 1957 TV series Colt.45 AKA The Colt Cousins.

When Ramiel returns home and Sam and Dean are waiting for him, he is whistling "la donna è mobile" which comes from the third act of Guiseppe Verdi's opera "Rigoletto". The story is about a man who accidentally kills his own daughter and the song is about how inconsistent and unpredictable people can be, which suits some of the plotting in this episide: the Prince of Hell not caring about anything and just wanting to live a peaceful life; Mary not giving what she stole from Ramiel when he asked for it AND lying to her sons about the mission; and Crowley suddenly caring about Castiel.

At one point Mary asks "Where's Wally?", referring to her Hunter friend. Coincidentally, "Where's Wally?" is also the name of a long-running British children's puzzle book series, known in the U.S. as "Where's Waldo?"

This episode marks the first time we are told who or what Azazel really is: a prince of hell, or the second generation of demons created by Lucifer himself. We are also given all their names: Azazel, who is dead; Ramiel, who is killed in this episode; and Dagon and Asmodeus, both of whom are still alive as of this episode.

The picture that hides the safe where the Colt is located is a depiction of the archangel Michael defeating Lucifer using his lance, which Ramiel wields throughout the episode.

Although it's revealed Castiel is injured by the Lance of Michael, the mention of it potentially being a spear is a possible nod to the biblical artifact known as the Spear of Destiny (aka Holy Lance). After the crucifixion of Jesus, a Roman soldier, Longinus, checked to see if Jesus had died by piercing his side with his lance, to which blood and water came out. According to lore, the Spear of Destiny grants immense divine power to its wielder and has been sought by countless people throughout history including the Knights of the First Crusade and the Nazis.
posted by orange swan at 1:55 PM on January 19, 2022

Mary has to know she's on a bad path here. I don't buy that she'd be this stupid or unprincipled, or rationalize her actions by saying she'll save more lives in the long run.

I wouldn't have expected Crawley to be willing to destroy the Spear of Destiny to save Castiel's life. That thing was invaluable!

I am not familiar with Quentin Tarantino and was meh on the little homages to his work. Having to listen to everyone talk all at once in a scene drives me crazy.

Jensen Ackles has talked about his reaction to the news that he and Danneel were having twins.
posted by orange swan at 2:18 PM on January 19, 2022

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