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Sweatpants & TV | Supernatural, Season 13, Episode 18: “Bring ‘em Back Alive”

Two things I never thought I’d love and yet I do? Apocalypse World and Arthur Ketch. Both irritated me a little a first, but the longer I get to know them? They more they win me over. Hear me out—here are my favorite moments from this week’s episode.

Frosty—the Snow, Man

I actually liked—like, a lot—that the rift spell dumped Dean and Ketch in an empty, cold forest instead of just where they needed to be to rescue Mary and Jack. The spell is just supposed to get them to the world, not pinpoint like Google freakin’ maps. And Ketch’s wanting to be Dean’s backup, even though if they find Mary she will likely kill him (again)? I think it confirms my theory that Ketch is trying to bleach his black hat. Maybe he’s just duping me, but I think he knows he could die any minute and he wants to go out clean. Guess, as things develop, we’ll see.

Charlie Girl

The best part about Apocalypse World is that we can literally get any character back that we want. And I really, REALLY, wanted Charlie Bradbury. So when Dean sees Alterna-Charlie on the bridge, part of the human resistance, I may have whooped a little with glee. Felicia Day is such a charismatic actor that I am thrilled to have her back, even if she’s not quite the little hacker we know and love. And Dean? Of course he wants to save her, even if it’s not…well…her. Losing Charlie, his beloved honorary little sister, was a crushing blow for him. And he, like me, will take her back any way he can get her.

Angel in Your Corner

Gabriel is a mess, and rightfully so. After seeing him so cocky in seasons past it’s almost shocking to see him so helpless and confused. That said? Although I loved that gentle, sweet Sam and concerned Cas wanted to heal him with his own grace I didn’t think it was wise. What about going after Dean if he needs your help, Sam? Did you forget about that? Because something told me, even early in the ep, that Gabriel was no longer going to want to be on tap.

Spare to the Throne

And you thought Melania was a frustrated First Lady? Sister Jo, as played by the gorgeous Danneel Ackles, makes her look satisfied. I liked that Jo had the cojones to tell Lucifer, in so many words, how disappointing he was being, not living up to his promises to the angels. And speaking of frustrated, Mark Pellegrino’s annoyance with how no one treats him like they treated Chuck was just petty and pukey enough without overkill. They are both playing the careful-what-you-wish-for scenario just right.

Be Vewwy, Vewwy Quiet

The Odd Couple of Dean and Ketch was initially very amusing, especially when Ketch was trying for stealth whilst Dean was charging full force (and heavy footed) ahead. Ketch twigging to the fact that Charlie’s rescue was a personal mission was neat—he definitely knows his frenemy. And how he saves Dean from the slave poacher’s poisoned bullet? Not a ghost in the machine. I bought that he would know a poison’s antidote. Dean may call the British Men of Letters dicks, but they sure are smart. (Side note? Ketch saying “You don’t look good,” and Dean responding, “Yeah, well you’re not my type either”? Classic.) Ketch was downright gentle with Dean, calling him a good lad as he healed him, and yeah. I think he’s chosen sides.

Tagging – You’re It

The Enochian story Gabriel wrote all over the walls was definitely in his voice (right down to calling his brother Luci.) The fact that he ditched all responsibilities and went to Monte Carlo to shack up with porn stars? Vintage Gabe. And his story explained how Asmodeus got so strong. Convenient? Maybe. But it worked for me. I know some disagree but I don’t mind it so much when a character is brought back in a way that makes sense. This return may have stretched the credibility a little but I am so happy to see Richard Speight Jr. as Gabriel again I don’t care.

God 2.0

As I said, I liked Lucifer finding that being God sucked. Listening to prayers? Boring and annoying. So when Lucifer goes to an exorcism, recognizing the demon inhabiting the innocent and dismissing it with a snap, but then gets frustrated with the holy men calling Lucifer a beast and trying to cast him out so he smokes them? Perfectly played. Pellegrino commands the scenes he’s in, and while I know some feel that Lucifer is played out (and maybe he isn’t quite as fresh as he once was) I think Pellegrino is playing pathetic and irritated well.

“Gabriel, I need you.”

The speech that Sam gave to Gabriel about how there is no leaving the life—about being put on this earth to do the job and make it better and protect your family—was beautiful, but the moment that got me? When Gabriel didn’t seem to respond, and Sam’s eyes glistened, ever so briefly, with tears of defeat. Jensen Ackles is so talented it’s easy to forget just how affecting Jared Padalecki can be, too.

That little moment said so much with so little that it was palpable relief when Gabriel came to. Sam got a win. For now, at least. Of course Gabriel juicing up? Meant Asmodeus could track him. And that? Was a problem.

Ketching Up

I did like Dean and Ketch talking about Charlie and what she meant. I keep saying it—I know some don’t like Ketch but I find David Haydn-Jones charming, and he’s really selling his road to redemption. Their talk of failing people, and how it breaks you, and ultimately deciding to save Charlie made me like Ketch even more. And Haydn-Jones. (Again with the side note? Love Dean saying to Ketch, “Impossible and stupid, huh? You say that like it’s a bad thing.” Swoon.)

I’d Catch a Grenade for You

Let’s hear it for angel killing bullets! (And a moment of silence for Crowley, their inventor, please.) The saving Charlie action sequence was a satisfying one. While they’re no brothers-in-arms, we were reminded that Dean and Ketch make a pretty good team.

Catching Charlie up on our Earth was adorable, simply because I loved hearing her voice again, and her (and Ketch’s) decision to stay and fight? Perfect. Writers? If you brought Charlie back just to kill her bloody again? We’re gonna have some words.

Bunker Down

Princes of Hell, it seems, are immune to the HuntCave’s many charms. It kind of bugged me that Asmodeus got in so easily, but it was worth it to see the fight. Sam and Cas kicking some demon ass was a thrill, and the resurrection of Gabriel to the sassy, badass he once was? EXCELLENT.

It’s always so cool to see the white eyes glow and the shadow wings unfurl.

So long, Asmodeus. Wasn’t all that nice knowing you.

Looking Out for Numero Uno

It was kind of crushing to see Gabriel just walk away from the fight. I know they are setting it up so that he can come back in a blaze of glory, all ready to take on his responsibility, but hearing Cas’ disbelief and Sam’s begging? Just sad. Sam’s dismay does turn to relief when he sees Dean come back through the rift (and then immediately to worry as he sees that his brother has been hurt) but that’s not long lasting when he sees Dean does not come bearing the gifts of Mary and Jack. Dean explains that there is an Alterna-Charlie and that she and Ketch stayed back to fight, and Sam and Cas explain that Gabriel killed Asmodeus.

And then we are treated to the fine, fine work of Jensen Ackles as he discovers that Gabriel has abandoned them—and, oh yeah, the remainder of his extracted grace is gone, too. Dean’s anger was so raw I actually flinched when he shouted, “SON OF A BITCH!” Ackles portrayed frustrated rage with such finesse—such passion. “Every time we get close,” he spits, hands strafing his hair, “ It always falls apart. Every freakin’ time.” Cas tries to console him, by telling him they will find Gabriel. “We better,” Dean says, as we fade to black and we’re left wondering: how has Jensen Ackles never won an Emmy?

And where’s Death 2.0 (aka: Billie) been in all of this? Looks like we might find out in next week’s episode, “Funeralia.” See you then!

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About Barbara Doyle (189 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.

1 Comment on Sweatpants & TV | Supernatural, Season 13, Episode 18: “Bring ‘em Back Alive”

  1. Thomas W Parrott // April 24, 2018 at 7:48 am // Reply

    What was the name of the song played on the jukebox in season 13 episode 17 “The Thing”?

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