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Supernatural: Bring 'Em Back Alive

Honestly, there wasn't any part of this episode I didn't like. Except the ending.

When it comes to bringing back beloved dead characters, Apocalypse World is the gift that keeps on giving. I was so happy to see Charlie Bradbury again. It was a lovely surprise. And not a shock that she's a resistance leader, because hey, it's Charlie. But it was sad that, of course, she didn't know who Dean was. And that it was a version of Charlie lacking the pop culture references that made her guest star appearances so enjoyable.

I don't usually like it when the boys are split up, but Dean and Ketch as a team "spincycled through space and time" was unexpectedly fun. Maybe a bit coincidental that Ketch just happened to have the cure for that poisoned bullet Dean took. Maybe a bit surprising that Ketch got Dean to talk about his guilt over Charlie. And I have no idea why Ketch would want to stay behind in Apocalypse World and help Charlie.

Okay, I do have one theory. Does Ketch love Mary Winchester? Because that would explain everything he did in this episode, wouldn't it? But if Ketch ends up turning on Charlie and/or the boys, I reserve the right to say I told you so.

Meanwhile back at the bunker, Sam and Castiel tried their best to retrieve archangel Gabriel from the prison of his own mind, and succeeded too well. That was, after Castiel tried unsuccessfully to heal Gabriel, they forcefed him his grace, and Gabriel redecorated one of the bunker bedrooms with his life story in Enochian. All fun stuff.

I always suspected that Gabriel truly liked the Winchesters, even though he kept screwing with them. Or maybe because he kept screwing with them, because that's how Gabriel expresses affection. It was really lovely that, after Sam's inspirational speech about sacrificing for family with the rousing, tragic-Winchester music soaring in the background, Gabriel came back to himself and to the rescue when Asmodeus showed up and started torturing Sam and Castiel.

It's always a happy day when an unsuccessful and much disliked character bites the dust. Goodbye, Evil Colonel Sanders. We won't miss you a bit. Although to be fair to Jeffrey Vincent Parise, he did his best and Mark Sheppard is a tough, tough, and did I mention tough, act to follow. And yes, Gabriel and his grace are inconveniently gone when they need him, but I am relatively certain he'll be back. Couldn't the boys go searching for him amongst the porn stars in Monte Carlo? We rarely get to Europe on this show. I'd be okay with that.

The third and least successful (but still fun) of this episode's storylines was Lucifer and Sister Jo in Heaven, sniping at each other like a divorced couple forced to negotiate visitation rights. Sister Jo observed quite accurately that Lucifer is like a trust fund kid who wants everything Dad has but without actually putting in the work to deserve it, and that he's frightened of actually meeting Jack and failing as both a son and a father. Come on, guys. Lucifer will never change. He's the villain of the piece, not Apocalypse World's archangel Michael, or Evil Colonel Sanders.

Actually, I'm surprised that Lucifer hasn't exploded Sister Jo already, but Mark Pellegrino really needs a good actor to do dialogue with, and I'm enjoying having Danneel Ackles as a continuing character on the show. Plus I love her Instagram feed, with the many candid photos of Jensen and their kids.

And we did get that hilarious take-off of The Exorcist. And Mark Pellegrino in a Blues Brothers suit and David Caruso sunglasses. And that white abstract heavenly throne. Loved it.

So. I would have been surprised if Dean had successfully rescued Mary and Jack this quickly. But as I said at the top, I really did enjoy pretty much every minute of this episode, even though we wound up right back where we were.

And hey, Asmodeus is dead. Yay!


— Felicia Day's credit card was at the end so that they wouldn't spoil us. It worked, because I totally didn't expect it.

— Erica Cerra returned as Duma the angel for about a minute. Come back, Erica Cerra. Especially if Lucifer does indeed explode Sister Jo and needs someone else to do lines with.

— Lucifer admitted to Sister Jo that he cannot make angels. I don't think he will retain his control in Heaven when that gets out.

— Asmodeus got to do Captain Queeg with the beads. That was fun.

— This time, Apocalypse World looked more like Purgatory, but with snow. I was okay with that, though. Purgatory always looked cool. Pun intended.

— Jack and Mary are in the Apocalypse version of Dayton, Ohio. I wonder why? I did a search of my own reviews and found only one reference to Dayton, in 2013's "I'm No Angel," so I don't think there's an historical reason. I'm sure we'll find out.


Castiel: "Sam, I don't think he's gonna open up and let the choo-choo in."

Sister Jo: "Shouldn't you be out doing kingly things? Commanding the angels, inspiring mankind? Stuff?"

Lucifer: "If he said, 'Scour the earth,' they'd say, 'SOS or Brillo?'"

Castiel: (reading the Enochian on the walls) "Everyone believed that Gabriel was gone. And suddenly I was free. No obligation to God or Heaven, or mankind. And so I did what anyone would do. I moved to Monte Carlo and shacked up with porn stars."

Dean: "Impossible and stupid, huh? You say that like it's a bad thing."

Sam: "Welcome to the team."
Gabriel: "Yeah, not so much. I mean, thank you for the rescue and for the redemption arc, but I'm not really a team guy."

Dean: "There's a Charlie over there. She kicks ass."

Fun was definitely had. Three out of four redemption arcs,

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


  1. Loved the episode. A few things:
    . I do think that Ketch loves Mary. I thought he would have sacrificed himself last season.
    . I seem to remember that our Charlie took the name Bradbury (after writer, Ray Bradbury), that it wasn't her actual last name. So to me it's a mistake that Apocalypse World's Charlie is also named Bradbury. However, I'm sure that could be easily explained away by a mutual love of the writer (by both Charlies). I would love to see that addressed.
    . I think the Asmodeus character could have been more successful if they had done more with him. He just seemed to be there for plot purposes, no character development. And of course, any character is going to suffer when compared with Crowley. I really want Crowley back.
    . I hope there is a redemption arc for Ketch and that the catalyst is his feelings for Mary.

  2. ... oh, and they didn't bring back our Gabriel (as we know him) for just a minute or two. That would be a waste. Gabriel will definitely be back. Yes... look for a trail of porn stars... or tempt him with the perfect trick. Sam, Dean and Castiel should make themselves bait for an irresistible prank.

  3. That's right, Heather1. Isn't Charlie's real last name 'Middleton'?

    This plays right into my "why parallel universe stories really don't ring true for me" thing. If everyone makes different choices in other universes, wouldn't they get involved with different mates, have different kids? In a generation or two, wouldn't that world have completely different people in it? I mean, they sort of did that with Mary never marrying John or having the boys, but still.

  4. You are so right Billie. However, the idea that in a generation or two, the parallel/alternate world would be completely different makes too much sense for entertainment. Entertainment demands that we see our favourites with some differences. It's what makes it comforting and intriguing at the same time. But it is certainly a tough nut to crack, no doubt about it. It is a dramatic trick... an opportunity to see the road less travelled... not really a real world that makes cohesive and organic sense on its own. This was also an issue with the Terran Empire Universe on Star Trek. On Discovery, I enjoyed those episodes immensely... because they were opportunities to see how the Prime Universe characters would act, not because it made sense on its own.

  5. I squee'd so hard when I saw Charlie was back, and I loved the scene at the end where Gabriel killed Asmodeus. And Jack still technically has the power to open rifts, so all hope is not lost.
    Did like this episode, and I've been thinking that Ketch actually does care about Mary ever since season 12, where it was kinda-sorta teased.

  6. Its Clear Ketch liked Mary last season but people disliked Ketch and were annoyed with Mary for leaving Dean and Sam.

    There is no way alt world does not crossover at some point..

  7. I guess the explanation of multiple decoys is very plausible so I don't mind they resurrected Gabriel. I also like that he's back to his usual out for himself thing.

    Great to see Charlie again, they should keep her this time. It was one of the worst Supernatural mistakes to kill her.

  8. This is kind of a quickie to cover a lot of episodes; I just finished binge-watching Supernatural with my boyfriend (what a great guy!) and I'm a little bemused by some of the previous reviews. Why does everyone hate Asmodeus? He was no Crowley (who is?) but he was all right. I am a little more concerned with the lack of development on the alternate universe Michael. And I'm surprised by the fact that everyone is peachy with episodes like the Scooby-Doo one... Yes, they handled it well and had some amusing comments, but I was horrified to see my show once again taking itself so lightly that it loses some of its gravitas. I have disliked every episode where they tear at the fourth wall. (Except for the Looney Tunes one... that was great.) And the writers once again coming up with a spin off... not a big fan. At least they had Claire remove some of her eye-makeup, although the goldilocks look is ridiculously impractical. (I've got long hair, too, but if there was a chance on a regular basis that some ghoul could use it as a handle, I'd lop it as short as Dean's.) Ketch... well, the jury is still out. I liked the storyline on the Brits, although I would have liked a stronger arc. On the solid plusses: it's great to see Bobby again. Is there anyone out there who doesn't squeal with delight when he shows up? And it's nice to see Charlie, (and she's extra fun as Supernatural's Princess Leia). Hooray that Rowena's back! I loved her from her first appearance, and like the character development very much, although will like her just as much if she turns out to simply be playing the boys -- specifically Sam -- again. Lucifer is just better and better, although not exactly scary. (Hilarious scene with the Exorcist send-up.) And yea! We got our Trickster back! And I loved Gabriel taking a powder at the end of the episode, although I doubt that will be permanent. Finally, thank you to you and all of your readers. As I've commented before, it's so very wonderful to have conversations, so to speak, with other people who truly enjoy the show!

  9. Ketch likes Mary, a lot. I think it's his all motivation right now, to be able to save her. But maybe she will kill him.. again.
    I would have prefered that alt!Charlie's name was Celeste Middleton, it would have feel more true to me, but I love her character so much, I'm not complaining. Two of my favourites in one ep, what a treat!
    And why the hell Sam and Cas are troubled with Gabriel leaving? That's what he always do! He saves his ass and hide, has been doing it for millenia. But I hope they'll find him again.

    I'm really liking season 13, solid myth arc, solids eps, fun, scary and questioning. And I can finally see the light at the end of these 6 months of binge, so yey!

  10. Louise, LOL. There's no denying now that Supernatural has become the binge to end all binges.

    1. Yes! And to think we started it thinking "oh, it's gonna be fun, a filler series for when we have nothing else to watch" boy were we wrong.

  11. I disagree with the idea that the alternate universe Charlie would have to have a different name, or even be missing the pop culture references. From my understanding the only difference in this alternate universe was that Mary didn't make the deal to bring back John which meant that Sam and Dean were never born. While that could eventually cause significant impacts (and clearly does here with the apocalypse happening), it likely didn't have a substantial difference until that point in time. Obviously they would've had to find another way to get Lucifer out of hell and another vessel for Michael and Lucifer but if the timing was the same (and if the timing reflects real world timing, I never paid super close attention), it would be like 7 or 8 years since that change happened. There could be a few extra or different people alive since Mary presumably would've continued hunting, maybe not saved some of the people the boys/John saved but saved others, ... If nothing significant changed in the timeline prior to that then it's likely that Charlie might be missing around 8 years of pop culture stuff but still have a lot of other stuff to build off (and Ray Bradbury died in 2012 and wrote his final novel in 2006 so that likely wouldn't have been impacted. There are plenty of things you can nitpick about being "realistic" with regards to the show but I strongly disagree with that being one.


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