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Sweatpants & TV | Supernatural, Season 13, Episode 21: “Beat the Devil”

So the boys have all the ingredients for the rift spell, and even the world’s most powerful witch to cast it. Should be easy-peasy-like-a-breezy, right? Of course not. Here are my favorite moments from this week’s episode.

Oh…Only in My Dreams…

Sam, Dean, Cas, pizza—it was all too delicious to be reality. Sam dreaming of saving his mom and Jack and having a family dinner together was lovely. I wondered if there were going to be flashbacks, but the bittersweet notion that it was all in Sam’s head? Sadness. That said? I love seeing Sam Winchester in bed. Would that it was in person.

Lightweight Load

The idea of Gabriel alone in Dean’s room “extracting his grace” in private (insert Castiel air quotes here) was a moment of levity in what was bound to be a heavy episode. I love this team (Free Will 3.0?) of our trio and Rowena and Gabriel working together.

And the group of them? About to head into the rift that Rowena cast, geared up like warriors, only to have them experience riftus interruptus? Also pretty funny. The fact that it led Cas to tell them they needed Lucifer? Less than amusing.

Team Huddle

Sam made some pretty cogent arguments—involving Lucifer always leads to doom. Dean’s initial confidence (?) was reassuring, yes, but I liked that Cas presented the counterpoint that not only did they need Lucifer for his grace, they were, in fact, responsible for him, since they let him loose on the world.

Sam was bound to come around to “another fun, great choice.” And come up with a seemingly stellar plan.

He Said, She Said

Rowena and Gabriel share a knack for a witty repartee and an appreciation for a fine form, so it was no surprise that they ended up knocking boots. (Side note? Gabriel internally sighing: “She’s so tiny…so angry…” cracked me up. And the boys faces as they interrupted the party? Hilarious.)

What was more interesting? The other way Gabriel and Rowena, uh, performed. I have no idea how they found a sad-sack, trying-to-be-drunken Lucifer (any guesses?) but the way they snagged him was, in fact, magic. Since his grace is so low and her apprehension is so high whod’a thunk they’d work together so well to bind Satan himself? Guess we shouldn’t underestimate them. Lucifer confronted with the archangel blade by two that he “killed”, while “Cat’s in the Cradle” plays in the background? Worked for me. And finding out that Sam’s plan was to keep Luci on tap to keep the rift open for as long as they need it? So smart! Still, leaving only Rowena behind to keep Lucifer on a tether made me nervous. Should’ve made Rowena more nervous, too.

Soft Landing

The landing in Apocalypse World was bumpy, especially when Gabriel ended up face first in Castiel’s angel blade, so to speak. A little chuckle before the storm. I liked that they ended up in a different spot, and that they used a combo of angel powers and good old-fashioned direction sense to figure out where they were headed. 

I was also glad to see Castiel trying to plant the seed in Gabriel’s mind that he could head back to Heaven and save it. Cas may be strictly an earth angel, but his need for Heaven to continue shining a light made total sense.

You Wouldn’t Like Him When He’s Angry

Lucifer trying to bait Rowena was no surprise, and the fact that he sang annoying songs to try to drive her crazy shouldn’t have been either (after all, he tortured Sam that was once, too, remember?) He’d do anything to get into her head, even describing in detail how he’d killed her, reminding her of it. Sadly, she fought back by getting into his, angering him by reminding him of his son’s new papas. And an angry Lucifer? Is a powerful Lucifer. It was no shock that he broke his bonds and almost killed her again. What surprised me was her being able to force him away. Through the rift.

As Rowena said, “Bollocks.” I did love her inability to walk away—save herself. I adore Ruth Connell and her complicated character. Long may she reign.

Saviors Gotta Save

Of course, Sam and Dean fight monsters, even when, as Gabriel so eloquently put it, it’s not their world, not their problem. The discovery that the vampires of Apocalypse world had been starved to utter savagery by the lack of humans (thanks to alterna-Michael and his minions) was an interesting after-effect. Rescuing two of those remaining humans looking for Mary and Jack’s outpost was a bit convenient, but I was willing to go with it to see the boys in fine form. Of course it wasn’t quite so easy—the humans let them know that they’d have to cross a tunnel full of those hype-beasts to get to Dayton. Did they have a choice? Not a good one. So tunnel bound they were.

Wait—WHAT?!

I knew the tunnel was trouble—I’m no fool. But for Sam to DIE IN IT? Never saw that coming. Sam’s death was a huge surprise to me, and Dean watching it happen was heartbreaking (the way they called each other’s names desperately was awful, as was Cas’ shout for Sam as he pursued.) However, I’m gonna call BS on Dean not following Sam where the vamps dragged his corpse away (“..we can’t save him”? Dean would never have accepted that). While I believe Dean still would have done the job and found Jack and Mary, I don’t think he would have ever exited that tunnel without Sam’s body.

Revivalist

Seeing Sam’s glassy-eyed, throat ripped out corpse? Nightmarish. And his resurrection? Just as horrifying.

Jared Padalecki played Sam’s revulsion and terror at seeing it was Lucifer that brought him back so, so well, and Mark Pellegrino as Lucifer milked that for all it was worth. The explanation that Lucifer “ate” some of alterna-Michael’s legion to regain his strength was mostly believable, and the fact that he was going to use Sam to get to Jack or release him back to the vamp hoard was par for the character. I loved Padalecki’s shaking determination to stay strong, but his realization that Lucifer had the upper hand. Again. The chemistry between these two was electric.

(More Than a) Single Man Tear

Again, IMO there is no way Dean would have even left Sam’s body behind, but since he did? Jensen Ackles’ performance was, as always, amazing as he flashed back to Sam’s death, and crushing as (after Gabriel—somehow—melted the angel warding on the camp outskirts singlehandedly) he found Mary and finally let his tears fall for his beloved brother.

Ackles conveyed so many emotions without saying a word. Heartbreak, shame, raw, aching need. And Jack’s painful disbelief that Sam was dead was so sad.

Of course Dean would be going back for the body, now that the mission was accomplished, but when the bells rang? And Sam walked in? The reactions were, at least for one moment, so beautiful. Dean, stunned. Jack whispering Sam’s name and smiling. Mary’s shock.

And for one moment, Sam’s tiny smile at the reunion, before Lucifer walked in behind him and his face fell.

Lucifer’s triumphant, “Hello, son,” before we faded to black made me wonder—how the hell are they getting out of this one?

Only TWO episodes to go, people! See you for the penultimate (“Who wrote this? No one says ‘penulitmate’.”) episode, “Exodus” next week.

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About Barbara Doyle (199 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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