With Jack still in the wind, the Winchesters will do just about anything to find him—including stealing supernatural treasure from a strange occult collector and returning it the demon it belongs to. The things we do for spells, am I right?
A Offer He Can’t Refuse
After the intro, Dean is cleaning his gun (not a euphemism) as Sam comes in and they discuss the still missing Jack. Dean takes a call from a crossroads demon, who tells them he knows the nephilim has gone rogue. He wants to meet them at a diner, and really? All he’d need to have is pie to lure Dean to a diner. The boys head to the diner, discussing whether this is all a set-up to a trap. “You said it yourself—we need a miracle, right, and maybe this is it!” Sam insists. “You know what miracles are called from demons?” Dean asks. “I don’t know, but I’m pretty sure it’s not miracles.” They decide to hear the guy out. And then kill him.
He’s My Cherry Pie
“The famous Winchesters,” the demon, Barthamus (aka, Bart) says. “Some random demon,” Dean snarks in return and ha! Bart ordered a piece of cherry pie and see? I told you it would work. Bart tells them he has half of a nephilim tracking spell to trade for a favor. He tells Sam, “the smart one’, to look into the validity of the spell and says he’ll be in touch. Then Dean eats Bart’s pie (again, not a euphemism.)
Smash and Grab
Apparently the spell is legit. Dean reminds Sam that these things usually don’t go their way, but Sam knows that Jack is scared, alone and dangerous, so they have to take the chance.
The boys meet Bart and his associates, a safe-cracker with the alias Smash and a demon named Grab who is an expert on bypassing supernatural security. Bart wants to hire the boys for an old-fashioned heist, stealing back something from a man named Luther Shrike, who has a warded farm full of occulty type collectibles. In exchange for the return of his mahogany trunk? The boys get the second half of the spell. Oh and the “key” to get into the vault? The blood of a human who has been to hell. Dean flashes back to the end of Season Three, when he was a mere tortured lad, and sees that Bart knows he’s got the goods.
Bart knows Shrike will throw curveballs, which the boys always “hit out of the park.” (He ain’t wrong.) Also? If they don’t take the deal? He will give the spell to Asmodeus. Sam and Dean confer, and Dean says he has seen this movie a thousand times and things will go great, until they don’t and then it’s their asses. He also knows Bart will screw them over. Sam agrees, but says they will screw Bart over first, by getting the spell and then killing him. “Okay,” Dean says, immediately. The thought of killing a demon? Crosses the “T”s and dots the “I”s on anything.
Head on a Shrike
Sam serves as the distraction at Shrike’s estate, saying he has a family heirloom to sell, while he sneaks Dean and Smash onto the grounds. “Dean?” he says, as Dean makes to leave. “Don’t get dead.” “You too,” answers Dean, and that’s sometimes as close to “I love you” as they get. Sam enters the house, and meets Shrike, looking at his mislabeled fang of the basilisk (Sam tells him it’s actually a gorgon tooth. “Still really cool, though,” he says, all adorable, and have I mentioned lately that I love him?) He shows Shrike Ruby’s demon killing knife and woah! Taking a chance with that? Brave. Not that it matters, because Shrike figures it out pretty quick and makes to shoot Sam. Sam tries to stab him but apparently? As long as Shrike is on his own property he cannot die. And he knocks Sam out after a bit of a fight.
Smash, who Dean deems “weird”, watches as Dean summons the demon Grab, who uses a spell and turns Dean into a human vault dowsing rod. Jensen Ackles, as usual, handles the comedy deftly as a human compass (though it must be said that the musical cues were a little heavy handed.) At one point Grab infers that Sam might be too stupid to do his part and Dean says, menacing, “What’d you say?” and man, I wouldn’t want to be on the wrong end of that. They find the unlocked vault and Dean says, “That’s never a good sign,” and I’ve never thought of that before but he’s absolutely right. After threatening Grab one last time, he and Smash descend.
Dean has to unlock the vault by sticking his hand in the mouth of a gargoyle on the door. He is hugely reluctant, mostly due to potential spiders, and again is fabulously hilarious as the mechanism extracts one little drop of his blood from his fingertip. Smash makes to enter the vault and is almost hit by a poison dart, which, as Dean says, is the curveball.
Shrike kills Grab and, after Smash flees, Dean tries to kill Shrike. “Dean!” says a come-to Sam as he runs in, “He’s immortal!” Dean pistol whips Shrike in the face and he goes down like a stone. “Good thing he’s got a glass jaw,” Dean says and (again) ha!
The boys get Shrike tied up and he warns them that the darts are tipped with silver and filled with arsenic, holy water and holy oil (he’s thorough.) Sam comes up with the crazy idea that since Shrike is immortal, they can push him through the corridor on a cart and he will absorb all the darts. Which he does. “THAT WAS AWESOME.” Dean says. And he’s right.
NUT—I mean—SAFE CRACKUH!!!!
Smash comes back—she’s willing to crack the safe because Bart controls her after she made a deal with him. They boys offer to help her but she says she needs to take care of herself, and so she does by opening the safe, allowing them to retrieve Bart’s stolen goods. Of course, Shrike has escaped but the boys don’t care. They got what they came for.
The Enemy of My Enemy
Shrike stops them on the road out, and Baby does her job by facing off against his truck, keeping them safe as Sam blows out the truck’s tires. Shrike is disgusted that they would work with Bart after what Bart did to his son. Apparently Shrike’s son was sick and he made a deal to keep him alive, but then he died in an “accidental” drowning. Of course, Bart was behind that. Shrike had the leverage of the item in the trunk to get a new deal—Bart’s bones.
Before the boys can even decide what to do, Bart appears and beheads Shrike, but that seals the deal. The boys and Smash, whose name is actually Alice, decide to turn against Bart. Bart threatens to kill Alice, and the boys surrender the bones with Dean’s beloved Zippo in them. Alice drops the lighter in the box (man, Bart’s bones are flammable) and he goes up like a torch, unfortunately burning the spell with him.
Alice leaves on a bus out of town after Dean tells her to stay weird. (She’s kind of cute. Be nice if she could help them again.) Back at the Bunker, Dean feels good about having helped her, and believes they will find Jack through sheer persistence. “We just keep working. ‘Cause that’s what we do,” he says, and Sam is relived to hear him talk that way again. They clink their bottles in a toast and, despite the fact that Cas is jailed and Mary is missing and Jack is who-knows-where, all is well in the Winchester world, because our favorite brothers are a united front.
Next week is the mid-season finale! Are you ready for the mini-hellatus? Let’s see what kind of note they leave us on next week, as we watch episode nine, “The Bad Place.” See you then!