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Supernatural: Malleus Maleficarum

Dean: "So the devil may care, after all."

They just did Fatal Attraction, The Craft, The Witches of Eastwick and Fight Club. (First rule of Book Club is, you do not talk about Book Club.)

I liked a lot about this one. It was rip-roaring and fast-moving, and it grossed me out. And they just expanded the Supernaturalverse again, as they continued to blur the line between human and demon. Apparently, all demons were once humans who were changed by what happened to them in Hell. They even explained what was going on with Sam in a way that made sense: Sam wasn't changed by his death and resurrection, after all. He's just trying to be more like Dean, because he knows he's going to lose him.

They also continued to build up the sense of inevitability about Dean's future trip to Hell. Is this build-up intended to get us emotionally freaked so that when Dean doesn't really go, we'll be relieved and grateful and not bitching that they didn't follow through? Or will Dean actually go to Hell? And even more intriguing, will the audience go with him? (I can hear Xander saying, "You've been to Hell. They have one-bedrooms, right?") This show has made so many original and daring choices. They might actually do it.

Like "Red Sky at Morning" with Bela, this episode was probably intended to get us to like Ruby. Didn't work for Bela. But – surprise – it worked with Ruby, at least for me. I think I like her now. I think she just proved herself in a great big, honking way. She's really on the side of the angels. Or at least the humans.

Bits and pieces:

Malleus Maleficarum is the title of a book written in 1486 that was intended to prove that witchcraft really did exist.

— Ruby was a witch when she was human back "when the plague was big," which would be what? The fourteenth century? She became a demon but continued to care about humans, which she said was rare. Will John Winchester turn into a demon? That would be an interesting way to bring him back, wouldn't it?

— Lots of comparing witches to whores, which would make demons pimps. There was a definite sexual vibe between Tammi and Ruby, too.

— I wanted Elizabeth to make it. Too bad.

— That thing with the teeth. Bleah. That's primal, and absolutely guaranteed to make the audience cringe. Doesn't losing teeth in a dream mean something specific and symbolic, too?

— The lights and/or electrical things always dim when Ruby shows up. Has that happened with other demons? Have I just not really registered it?

— The knife and the gun didn't work on Tammi, at least when she could see them coming.

— Tammi said that there was a new leader rising in the west who hates Sam.

— This episode was written by Ben Edlund, who also wrote "Bad Day at Black Rock." He's fabulous. Super creepy as well as super funny, and very dead on with the characters. He's becoming my favorite Supernatural writer.

— Ah, the Conquistador Motel. Weird pseudo Spanish red stucco hacienda kitsch, with a mural. Detective Bachman and Detective Turner. If Bobby were along, he could have been Detective Overdrive.


Dean: "I hate witches. They're always spewing their bodily fluids everywhere."
Sam: "Pretty much."
Dean: "It's creepy. You know, it's downright unsanitary."

Dean: "Why does a rabbit always get screwed in the deal? Poor little guy."

Sam: "Her house was littered with satanic paraphernalia."
Dean: "It was a regular black sabbath."
Elizabeth: "But she was an Episcopalian."
Dean: "Then we're pretty sure she was using the wrong Bible."

Dean: "We kill her before she kills us."
Sam: "Kill her with what? The gun she fixed for us?"

Sam: "If she wants us dead, all she has to do is stop saving our lives."

Dean: "What was that stuff? God, it was ass. It tasted like ass."
Ruby: "It's called witchcraft, short bus."

Tammi: "Nice dick work, Magnum."

Tammi: "You're really telling me you threw in your chips with Abbott and Costello here?"

Ruby: "It's not philosophy. It's not a metaphor. There's real fire in the pit. Agonies you can't even imagine."
Dean: "No, I saw Hellraiser. I get the gist."
Ruby: "Actually, they got that pretty close. Except for all the custom leather."

Three out of four stars,

Billie Doux adores Supernatural which is a good thing since apparently, it's eternal.


  1. I love this episode. Ben Edlund makes great comedy and also great scary episodes.

    And btw, when you dream about losing teeth, that means you will live longer.

  2. Great review, as always, Billie.

    I'm still not completely sold on Sam wanting to be more like Dean as the reason for his change. There just appears to be something fundamentally different - darker. Just have to wait and see.

    I was astounded when Ruby said there was no way to save Dean. I hate to believe it. Unlike the boys, I live in a state of denial that one of them could actually go to hell, so there is a chance I will end up an emotional wreck at the end of the year.

    Other than passing on this piece of information, I do like Ruby. She seems to genuinely care about the boys and has shown over and over that she wants to help them. I'm not sure I would keen on her as a love interest, but again I will live in denial until something happens - or not.

    I don't think John will come back as a demon. Remember when he died the second time, he was surrounded by a white light - as was Molly from 'Roadkill'. I think this is to symbolise that they have gone to 'Not Hell' - dare I call it 'Heaven'? I'm still not convinced that angels do not exist in this universe - something tells me that Ruby is going to be something like, but that may be too many years of Sunday School.

    Finally, flickering lights? Really? They use them so often on this show that I promise you the next time the lights flicker in my house, I am running screaming into the street! :-)

  3. I'm surprised that my favorite line of this episode didn't make it to your quote section, at least not fully :)

    "It's called witchcraft, short bus."
    "You're the short bus...short bus."

    I just love it when the usually witty Dean has the lamest of all comebacks, it's hilarious.

  4. So, I ignored all the little voices in my head and began an SPN rewatch and made it all the way to here before having any real problems. I've been putting this episode off for DAYS because I remembered what a gross out it was. Having trouble getting through it. Send prayers.

  5. LOL, sunbunny. :) I'm doing a rewatch, too. I'm in season ten.


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