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Supernatural: Beyond the Mat

"What happened to them? They're all broken."

What a sad little outing, with yet another callback to Dean and Sam's terrible childhood.

It's sad enough that the boys went to a funeral in Missouri just to get out of the bunker. (Come on. Couldn't they have gone LARPing at Moondoor again or something? Because that was awesome.) And of course they stumbled onto a case. A sad case where no one won, except that Gunnar Lawless found the courage to stop killing and help the boys before the hellhounds took him away.

Oh, well. I do prefer Dean episodes, and at least this was a Dean episode. He was like a little boy around the wrestlers that he had idolized, with the sad shabbiness of his childhood reflected in the crappy ring, the mismatched chairs, the artificiality of the wrestling matches. The best parts of the episode, other than Lucifer versus Crowley, were Jensen Ackles playing in the ring (and falling out of the ring), and getting totally smashed with the wrestlers while sneaking holy water into a whole lot of drinks. And I certainly got the comparison of the wrestlers "grinding on" with the life of the Winchesters.

But the rest of this episode was completely lost on me. I've never "gotten" wrestling. It looks so fake and painful, and I didn't know any of the wrestlers who were obviously doing cameos. I did end up liking Harley, who was the obvious possible bad guy. He learned that demons were real and did the math super quickly, refusing to sell his soul when he realized it proved the existence of heaven. His courage made the Achilles' tendon stuff and his ultimate death sad. (I seem to be saying "sad" a lot.)

It would have been nice if Sam had had some screen time with Rio, since he'd had a childhood crush on her. But honestly, the poster thing didn't make sense to me, since the Winchesters were mostly homeless when they were kids. Did Sam carry the poster around and put it up in all of those tacky motel rooms? Maybe he kept it in his room at Bobby's.

The B plot showed that Crowley still has it. He knew that his cute minion Simmons was faking it and he nearly managed to take out Lucifer with double entendres and the too phallic Rod of Aaron, which unfortunately also seemed to be a one-shot like the Hand of God. At least Crowley got away before he wound up back in the dog house, cleaning the floor with his tongue. And bleah.

I'm still very much enjoying Misha Collins doing Lucifer. But come on. How could Lucifer have been fooled so completely? Yes, it's Crowley, but he's freaking Lucifer!


— Bring out a noose in the teaser and you know someone's gonna get hanged. No suspense there.

— Many references to John Winchester in this episode. Please, please, please: couldn't Jeffrey Dean Morgan find time for a guest spot before he starts his new job on The Walking Dead?

— Gunnar's hellhound moment was poignant, because we could see Dean reliving his own hellhound moment.

— As a kid, Dean got his first charge for breaking and entering for stealing cable to watch wrestling. Again, sad.

— Did Crowley have copies of the Supernatural books in his lockup?

— This week: Brimson, Missouri and the MoL bunker. Dean was Agent Roussemoff. There appears to be a Roussemoff Band that I've never heard of.

— There was a card acknowledging the passing of Canece Hanna, graphic production artist.

— Hiatus time. The next episode airs March 23.


Casifer: "You're gonna look high, look low, far and wide, search every warehouse, every farmhouse, every hen house, outhouse, and dog house."
Lucifer has seen The Fugitive? Lucifer can quote The Fugitive?

Dean: "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: "I think I heard my liver screaming at me."

Crowley: "With all due respect, Simmons, I don't think you can handle my rod."

Casifer: "Is it just me, or is it getting a little phallic in here?"

Casifer: "You know I invented the double cross? Like, literally?"
Crowley: "I perfected the double cross. Like, literally."

Crowley: "So this is what it feels like to be God. Not bad. Tingly."

Duke the demon: "With the Darkness out and the Devil running hell, well, it's kind of every demon for him/her/shimself."

Eh. Two out of four sad standalones when they should be advancing the arc,

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


  1. Yeah, not feeling this one. Dean made me laugh, the Casifer and Crowley Show made me smile. Fast forwarded through all the wrestling scenes. JDM is too hot and sexy to be on this show, now, unless he has a gym membership wherever John is supposed to be. 4 week hellatus! Too cruel.

  2. It's kind of funny how defenseless they were against the demon. . I thought they hashed all that out on the first 3 seasons! How many writers do they have on this show? And do they forget the past?. LOVE THE show. But they could if been a little more creative.

  3. I looked up Roussimoff and the only result was that it was Andre the Giant's last name.

    Dean was playing with fire. Rio could know that and been suspicious.

  4. Gus, of *course* it would be Andre the Giant! Thanks. :)

  5. I think it says a lot about the season that that this is one of its weaker episodes , because I actually liked it... probably would have called it a 3. But that's also because I genuinely think season 11 is the best we've gotten since season 5. Sam and Dean aren't obnoxiously keeping secrets from each other, and it's just them against the world again (or more precisely, against the Devil and his mean Aunt). That's when this show's been at its best. Also doesn't hurt that the brothers are as close (and secretless!) as they've been since the end of season three (and last couple episodes of 5). I'm loving it!

  6. Benjamin, I agree that season 11 is the best season in a long time.

  7. Season 11 is my favorite season since season 4 (I'm a Cas fan regardless of how dipshit his decision making process can be), but I thought this episode was boring despite all the cutesie moments (I nearly melted when Sam blushed as he confessed his crush on Rio. That's so Sam! Or when Dean did his stage shtick across the ring.) We've seen dozens of demon deals and there was nothing particularly compelling about this one, except perhaps that it seemed to acknowledge that Dean could still hear hell hounds. The demon wasn't even all that interesting (Kudos to you, Billie, for catching his name.) He was like a watered down version of Guy from Season 7 Time for a Wedding.

    I think I was a bit disappointed because I'm ready to learn more about Amara who we haven't seen or heard from (other than a name drop) since the Devil is in the Details. It just seemed odd to head into a month long hiatus without checking in on your big bad. But the promos for the back end of the season look really good! And Misha Collins continues to KILL it as Lucifer. Sam keeps repeating that maybe Cas doesn't want to be saved and that's freaking me out. I don't want Misha Collins to go, but if they'll kill Bobby, maybe Cas is not verboten either...

  8. I actually loved the episode, even if I really don't get wrestling at all. I thought it was fun, I loved the boys reaction to the fight, Sam and his crush, Dean doing the moves. I didn't care for the demon (he had the charisma of a piece of paper), I fell sorry for Gunnar but liked the redemption story. Over all three out of four Aaron's staff.

  9. I was proud of Crowley for pulling his double cross! I had a suspicion from the get go that the "ever" so helpful Demon was working for Lucifer. Honestly glad when she bit the dust! Felt bad that yet again another "chuck" item was a one off.
    I feel that this season stronger because writing is somewhat stronger, more in line of brothers being brothers vs two brothers supposedly working together. JP is getting more storyline as well I think this is what's making it a stronger season.


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