Supernatural: The Scorpion and the Frog

"I've seen this movie a thousand times."

A nice little standalone semi-comic heist episode featuring pretty much what I watch Supernatural for, which is Dean and Sam in an interesting situation.

Meet Barthamus "Call me Bart," a recently promoted King of the Crossroads. How does one advance in Hell, come to think of it? Are there resumes and phone interviews? At least Bart was, albeit briefly, a better character than Evil Colonel Sanders, and he did his homework: he knew Sam was the smart one and Dean likes pie. And he had a fun team: Smash the safecracker, and Grab, a demon specializing in supernatural security.

The heist plot was a lot of fun, although I kept nitpicking my way through it because it felt like someone didn't do their Supernatural mythology homework. The best bit was Dean's blood as a dowsing rod, which gave Jensen Ackles some lovely comic scenes to do. But why didn't Bart know that Sam had been to Hell and back, too? Maybe Sam's time in the Cage isn't as well known in the demon community, and Dean declined to enlighten him?

I also really enjoyed Dean very reluctantly putting his hand in the stone mouth, too. Not to mention the rolling chair through the Raiders of the Lost Ark room with the poisonous darts, which was indeed awesome. And the Winchesters managed to save the girl, too. Alice lived, and she's grateful. If they ever need a safe cracked again, they have someone they can call.

Sam was great undercover. He knew the difference between a basilisk fang and a gorgon tooth, which I think that was a test of sorts by Shrike. Although why did Shrike think Sam was a demon? Didn't Sam walk on the devil's trap in the hallway? Shrike's story turned out to be a good one, though, poor headless guy; he'd traded his soul for his son's life, which sounded like something a Winchester would do.

Of course Bart was lying, and he got his in the end. But the boys didn't get the nephilim locator spell, the point of the whole thing. Why didn't anyone take a quick photo of it before it went up in flames? For that matter, why did they leave all that other good stuff in Shrike's vault? Who knows what the guy had stockpiled in there.

Bits:

-- "The Scorpion and the Frog" is supposed to be a famous fable, but apparently it might have been made up by Orson Welles. I assume Bart was the proverbial Scorpion. Who was the Frog?

-- The museum heist in Cambridge was 7:45 p.m. on a Friday. How did Bart get to the Smile Diner by 12:45 U.S. central time? Teleportation, I guess? I honestly don't remember who teleports these days and who doesn't, except that angels can't anymore. Angels can't anymore, right?

-- The librarian in me was cringing every time Bart folded and twisted that manuscript, not to mention when he stuffed it into his coat pocket. It was supposed to be three thousand years old.


-- Sam used the alias John Dortmunder, a fictional character in a book series by Donald E. Westlake.

-- Next week is the midseason finale. That came fast, didn't it?

Quotes:

Bart: "What about your nephilim? Word on the street is he's gone rogue."
Dean: "Yeah, what street is that?"
Bart: "Hell Street. Hell Avenue. Just Hell, really."

Bart: "I've been following your careers for a long time. You're real pain in the pitchfork. And the halo. Natural disrupters, we have that in common."
Dean: "Yeah. We're twinsies."

Dean: "So what you're saying is that King Solomon created a spell so that he could stalk his girlfriend?"

Dean: "Hey, Winona, the nineties called. They'd like their shoes back."
Making me wonder how many years Alice had been enslaved to Bart.

Sam: "Don't get dead."
Dean: "You too."

Dean: "So what are we looking at here? Some sort of ancient hoodoo disco floor?"
Sam: "No, I think it's like a giant keypad."

Sam: "Wing it? Dean, these aren't like the lasers in Entrapment. There are infinite possible combinations and pressure-released darts."
Dean: "Did you just say Entrapment?"
Sam: "I don't know. I mean, I don't watch a whole lot of those kinds of movies."
Dean: "But you saw Entrapment?"
Sam: "Catherine Zeta-Jones."

Not bad for a standalone, but I don't think it was a keeper. Two and a half out of four pressure-released darts,

Billie
---
Billie Doux has been reviewing Supernatural for so long that Dean and Sam Winchester feel like old friends. Courageous, adventurous, gorgeous old friends.

5 comments:

Dragonfire said...

Liked this episode, thought it was a little too light for being so close to the midseason finale. And as for why Shrike through Sam was a demon even though he stepped on the devil's trap, that thing's kind of obvious. A demon wouldn't step on it, and he probably didn't see that Sam did. Liked Alice, hope we see her again.

Shari Houtman said...

At first, I thought Bart was speaking to both the boys about going to hell and back. How could he not know about Sam? It was the apocalypse!

I'm assuming the Winchesters were, collectively, the frog. They got burned in the end.

And you don't have to be a librarian to be upset by the way the spell was treated. The book lover and history buff in me wanted to smack Bart. Although it was in fairly pristine condition for being nearly 3,000 years old.

Fun episode.

percysowner said...

I'm the odd man out, because I thought the Winchesters were the Scorpion. They kill demons and protect people. Not threatening to kill Bart would have gotten them the spell, instead they made it obvious that they were going to kill him. Until then he was going by his nature, to honor the deal. So the Winchesters kill Bart and lose the way to locate Jack.

OTOH, I didn't understand Sam suddenly trying to blow out the fire, instead of stomping on the paper. I guess John taught them to start fires, but left out any instructions on how to put them out effectively.

magritte said...

Yes, I think you're right that the Winchesters are the Scorpion, since they broke the agreement, despite the fact that it lost them the object they were trying to get in the first place.

In addition to attempting a stupid way to put out the fire, I thought they were rather slow to react to the problem. Still, it was a fun episode, MUCH better than last week's. A little sorry Crowley-lite died, since he was more fun than any of the opposition we have this year, except maybe Michael.

Patryk said...

Definately the Winchesters were the scorpion. Some laughs were had, but a famous immortal collector is bound to have something that might help in his collection, but I doubt any of that will ever be mentioned again.