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Sweatpants & TV | Supernatural, Season 12, Episode 12: “Stuck in the Middle (With You)”

Ever wonder what it would be like if Quentin Tarentino guest directed an episode of Supernatural? Wonder no more, my friends. Richard Speight (you know him better as The Trickster…I mean Loki…I mean Gabriel) directed this amazing style homage in which the gang finds out what it means to take on a Prince of Hell.

Touched by an Angel

“Tell me a story,” says Mr. Ketch, and, like many for Sam and Dean, it begins in a diner with a pretty waitress. Only this time? She’s only got eyes for Cas. Mary and her hunter friend Wally intend to join Sam, Dean and Cas for supper and then go a demon slayin’, but first? Cas has to have a sexy teachable moment. Dean and Wally agree that the best part of waitresses is that they always smell like food (weird compliment, but whatever) but before they can say much more, Mary tells them: screens down, eyes up, shut up. She wants to talk about the job and only the job. Before we can have much more flirtatious fun, the time cuts to hours later and Cas is brutally injured, Mary is dragging him to safety, Sam and Dean are fighting demons and Wally? Well, Wally’s getting ganked. So what the hell happened between 5 and 9?

Walk Tall

Flashback to pre-burgers: Mary introduces Wally to our favorite trio and they briefly discuss that impending Nephilim mama Kelly Kline is still MIA. “All right, ramblers. Let’s get ramblin’,” says Dean, and then there is a slow walking montage that would have been right at home in a spaghetti western. This episode, written by Davy Perez, was masterful in how it handled the time jumps, keeping the viewer on their toes but not making things difficult to follow. Bravo to him, and the direction Speight gave that pulled it all together.

He Was All Yellow

After more diner time, we flashforward to evening, when Cas is questioning Mary, who is mysteriously ducking out of the basement, claiming a bathroom run. “Urination,” Cas deadpans. “I understand.” Everyone steels themselves, and we are treated to the long whistling walk of the demon as he approaches the house and slowly opens the door, only to be shot by Dean with demon trap bullets that…do nothing. And neither does the demon blade. And neither does anything, apparently. Because…get this…it’s a YELLOW EYED DEMON, and that stops Mary cold. We see the fights, again, except this time we see what caused Cas’ bloody wound—he was stabbed by the YED with a magical spear of some sort—and how they got away—Mary hit the YED with her car. She drags Cas to a farmhouse down the road and Sam calls, asking if they’re okay. She answers truthfully: “No.”

Mother Mysterious

Sam and Dean catch up with Mary and Cas, and she tells Sam that their run-of-the-mill black eyes was, in fact, like Azazel of old. “Mom? What the hell did you get us into?” Sam asks, and then we flashback to earlier that morning when Mary and Wally were out stalking the demon. Wally knows Mary is working with the British Men of Letters and is skeptical, but Mary says they have taken out massive amounts of monsters and saved a lot of lives. She refuses to say she trusts them. But the question is, should we trust her? As we flashback to evening, everyone is prepping for the kill. Everyone except Mary, who has gone into the basement to retrieve something from a wall safe. She opens the box it is contained in and a glowing light emerges (just like Pulp Fiction!) She takes it and we’re left to ask, like Brad Pitt before us, “WHAT’S IN THE BOX?”

Audience with the King

Back to evening. Mary is texting with the BMoL, asking what the hell they sent her to. Dean goes to Cas and sees he’s bleeding out, and black streaks are climbing up his body. The spear was somehow poisoned. And then? Crowley arrives and chastises them for what they’ve done. Apparently, they’ve disturbed Ramiel, a Prince of Hell (“It’s catchy—it rhymes!” says Crowley). Six years before, Crowley made a deal with Ramiel that he would be King in exchange for insuring that Ramiel (who apparently, like his brother Asmodeus and sister Dagon, only wants to be left alone) was guarded and left to live his life as he sees fit. He even gifted Ramiel with both the mystery object and the spear, which is apparently the lance of the arch-angel Michael. The lance kills demons instantly and angels slowly. And one look at Cas proves it: the lance is working just fine. And, surprisingly? Crowley looks bummed about that.

Family, Feud

Dean argues that there must be a cure, and he as Sam will beat it out of Ramiel if they have to. Crowley takes off to try to bargain with Ramiel, saying that Cas and the Winchesters are an asset they cannot afford to lose. Ramiel? Couldn’t care less. While this is going on, Cas tells the Winchesters to run. “Thank you…thank you. Knowing you has been the best part of my life,” he tells them. “You’re my family. I love you.” And Misha Collins shines as he delivers these words, filling them with a raw, earnest pain as, eyes tearing up, he begs them not to make his last moments be spent watching them die. Of course, they refuse to go, because they would never leave family behind. And he is family. In the truest sense of the word.

Ring of Fire

The boys try to trap Ramiel within a ring of angel fire, but the Lance of Michael blasts the fire away. Ramiel doesn’t care about anything (although he teases—foreshadows?—that sister Dagon has taken an interest in the Nephilim) except for the fact that they have stolen from him, a fact that the boys are unaware of. A brawl ensues and ultimately Sam makes sure Ramiel is on the wrong end of the lance and he is blasted away in a puff of smoke. This doesn’t help Cas, who is now gagging up black goo from his mouth while the Winchesters look on, helpless. It is Crowley that figures it out: the magic is in the lance’s craftsmanship. Break it? And Cas is healed. (Side note: Dean taking the pieces of the lance as they leave? SMART!)

“One Last Thing”

So Mary has told Mr. Ketch the whole tale, including that she almost lost “one of her boys” (awwwwwwww). She promises she will bring them down if they ever trap or trick her like that again, and Ketch apologizes. He asks for the object she stole and you’ll never guess what it is. It’s the Colt. THE COLT IS BACK! And that, my friends, is pretty badass.

No Really—Here’s the Last Thing

We cut to Crowley, back in hell, and someone is singing to him the song of the Colt. That someone asks why Crowley works with Sam and Dean in the first place. “Shut your mouth, dog,” Crowley says. “Oh, that’s not my name,” the someone says and of course it isn’t. Because his name is Lucifer.

So…anyone else think that we’ll see Asmodeus and Dagon before the season is done? I know my money’s on it. See you next week for episode thirteen, “Family Feud.”

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About Barbara Doyle (153 Articles)
Barbara Sirois Doyle is a Contributing Editor for Sweatpants & Coffee. She is a writer, mixed-media artist, and, most important, a wife and mother to her boyos three. She is a voracious reader, unapologetic uber-geek, and lover of all types of music, from Public Enemy to Rachmaninoff. If she's not watching Supernatural or Doctor Who, she is likely trolling the internet for amusing cat photos. She takes her coffee light with no sugar.

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