Supernatural “Somewhere Between Heaven and Hell” (12.15) | air date March 9, 2017.
Winchester recap : “And this is why you don’t drive!”
“Back to back to back, that was one for the books!” Sam and Dean have been hunting non-stop, ghouls, wraiths, sirens, and Dean is still covered in blood, and making Sam squirm as he falls into one of the bunker’s chairs and starts flicking dried-up pieces of siren around. Sam demands he go take a shower. “You’ve been wearing the same pair of boxers for four days”. Dean’s response, “It’s two in two, doesn’t count if you flip them inside out”. Sam’s phone rings: he’s found them another case. He blabs about a new computer program to explain how he’s coming up with all those leads, and Dean believes him. “Computers. Monsters, porn, is there anything they can’t do?”
The hunt leads them to Gwen Hernandez, a young woman who swears she and her boyfriend Marcus were attacked in the woods by an invisible wolf. Marcus is dead but Gwen managed to get away after she injured the beast with an ax. She fears she’s next. Thankfully, FBI agents Baker and Clapton land on her doorstep in the nick of time. Dean shoots the hellhound which flees through a window. When the brothers confirm that neither Gwen nor Marcus sold their souls, Dean calls Crowley. “Peaches” is still upset at them because of Gavin but the word ‘hound’ catches his attention. Crowley’s minions admit that Ramsey, “she got out”. Crowley joins the Winchesters and explains that Ramsey is no ordinary hellhound. She’s THE hellhound. The pregnant hellhound Lucifer rescued after God had the dogs rounded up and put down for being too vicious. No one can control her, not even Crowley, as she’s only loyal to Lucifer. He will help them kill her. Mounting the unruly hound’s head on his wall will be good for his “brand”.
They separate into two teams. Sam leaves with Gwen after Dean warns him to “take care” of the Impala, and Dean searches the woods with Crowley. “I mean a few years ago, who would have thought you’d be helping us save the Girl of the Week?” “Maybe we rubbed off on you.” Crowley teases right back and gets the last word. Who would have ever imagined years ago that Dean Winchester would be working with the King of Hell. Maybe Crowley’s the one who has rubbed off “all over” him, to which Dean answers with a shudder. In the Impala, Gwen opens up to Sam and confesses her guilt for not being honest with Marcus before he died. She’s the one who took him camping even though she already knew she wanted to break up with him. “Why couldn’t I just tell him the truth?” “I lied to make things easier.”
Ramsey has found her prey and she jumps on top of the Impala. Sam attacks the dog but is knocked to the ground. Gwen helps him out by hitting Ramsey with a beer cooler. Having lost his glasses, Sam locates the hellhound by following the smoke flaring out of her nostrils and he stabs her to death. Back at the meeting point, Dean comments on the rather upsetting state of his car. Gwen hugs Crowley and thanks him for his help. “He seems nice.” Sam also thanks Crowley. Dean has already thanked him, for his help in saving Castiel, while they where scouring the woods.
Ramsey getting out wasn’t just happenstance. Two disloyal minions suspected the King was hiding Lucifer after he killed everyone involved in the “cage project” and they created a distraction to get him out of the “Palace”. They freed Lucifer, who murdered them in return. Crowley returns to the Palace to find Lucifer sprawled across his throne. Luci lands one punch and starts flexing his wings but Crowley puts an end to the showboating with one snap of his finger. “I’m always ten steps ahead.” Crowley starts breaking Lucifer’s ‘bones’ and he casually explains that the chains were merely an accessory. It’s the vessel, now warded with the runes and spellwork of the cage that is the “true prison”. “I own you.”
Castiel has found his first lead on Kelly Klyne after seeing her with Dagon on a security footage when he bumps into a familiar face. The angel Kelvin is also hunting the nephilim and he has a proposition for Castiel. Help them find the nephilim and earn the forgiveness of Heaven. Joshua will reinstate him.
Back at the bunker, Sam tells Dean the truth. There’s no computer program. All the cases from the last two weeks come from the British Men of Letters and Sam hid it because he knows Dean hates them. “No. We hate them. Us. Together.” Sam still doesn’t like them, but they get results. He apologizes for lying to Dean. “Okay”. Dean still doesn’t trust them but they’ve been working with Crowley whom they don’t trust either. One caveat. The “second” something feels off, they bail. Sam agrees. “Deal.”
Overall grade: 9/10
Where do I start? So much to say about this excellent episode! In doubt, start at the beginning. Nightime. The woods, and two lovebirds who clearly haven’t seen “Wendigo” or they would have known this escapade in the wild wouldn’t end well for them. Then things get meta when the episode gives a nod to Papa Winchester the First, Jeffrey Dean Morgan in the form of a replica of Lucille, the barbed-wire baseball bat Negan, aka JD Morgan, is currently using to kill and terrorize folks on “The Walking Dead”. Jensen and JDM had a chat about Lucille on social media months ago. A sample.
Also very meta? The usage of the expressions “Girl of the Week” (“Monster of the Week”) and “Winchester manpain”. Let’s go to back the bunker where Sam being fussy about his living quarters reminded me of one of my most-rewatched episode of Supernatural ever,“Tall Tales”. “Your dirty socks in the sink, your food in the fridge.” And now Lucille on the table where we eat and your roadkill self stinking up the good seats. When you remember that, based on an unaired scene from season 10’s “Brother’s Keeper”, Sam was the one who was on his knees mopping up blood off the floor, you can understand where he’s coming from.
I never minded the ‘Dean can be a bit of a slob’ trope because it used to be partly true. Their motel rooms where never actually upside down but he was known to leave stuff lying around here and there and not be overly concerned about it. That was before he had a home. Remember how spotless he made his room (and it still is military clean) once he got his own? “I’m making this, awesome.” He was upset when Sam tossed a gum wrapper on his floor (“Trial and Error”). He was making cordon bleu meals in his brand new kitchen, ‘nesting’, and loving and respecting the bunker because it was his home. I kind of feel that the character has grown out of his untidy phase. The last time Dean made a mess in the bunker, he had lost his ever-loving mind to the Mark (“The Prisoner”).
They addressed why Dean was so dirty: “cause I do all the heavy lifting”. I appreciate the realism as the boys most often than not look GQ while hunting but Sam being so clean was a still bit strange. Maybe he brought more clothes because he actually knew the BMOLs could send him on another hunt at any given moment, an information Dean didn’t have at the time. I still enjoyed the scene and the brotherly banter it made possible. “You’ve been wearing the same pair of boxers for four days”. “Weird that you know how much underwear I packed.” This exchange is definitely ending up in my Top 10 of season 12.
The episode had other great brother moments like Dean making fun Sam’s plan to lie to Gwen about what was going on : “My name is Sam Winchester, this is my much handsomer brother Dean. We hunt monsters.” “Since there is nothing for us kill, peace out!”, followed by how fast Dean threw Sam under the bus when things fell apart, “it was his idea”, leaving Sam reeling and rapid-blinking from the betrayal.
There were of course the “take care” of the car dialogue as well as the conversation the boys had about the BMOLs at the end of the episode. More of that in a bit. Great brother moments, great hunt. I love anything connected to the crossroads on this show. The actual crossroads, the red-eyed demons that show up there (I paid them homage in my third piece for this blog), the way you summon them, the whole ten-year deal, and of course, the hellhound.
“Pup like that out and about, it’s not good for business. Makes it look like I’m not in control.”
Save for the part where they ripped Dean apart in “No Rest for the Wicked”, I love the hellhounds. The Supernatural versions of Cerberus are among the best monsters ever ‘shown’ on the show. They’re terrifying. They circle the prey and you’re right there with them, stalking the soon-to-be victim as the camera switches to hellhound-vision. The growling, the suspense, the way they blow on the goofer dust and crash through the doors, the way they scratch the floor, knock out furniture as they’re getting close, and then, the inevitable. They are all the callbacks to “Crossroads Blues”, “Time Is On My Side” (Bela’s death), “Abandon All Hope” (Meg siccing the hounds on the team, “yeah Dean, your favorite”), “Caged Heat” (Meg killing a hound), “Trial and Error” (Sam’s first hellhound kill), and of course “No Rest for the Wicked”. Dean asking Crowley to handle the dog was a callback to “The Devil You Know”, “Mine’s bigger. Sic ’em boy!”, and of course Crowley’s unforgettable “Juliet? It’s Papa.” from “King of the Damned”.
The episode made it clear that Ramsey wasn’t attacking people at random. Marcus and Gwen were on her territory and Gwen wounded her. The hound didn’t eat anyone on her way to Gwen’s house and she didn’t touch Sam and Dean there. Dean shot her, and then stepped into her territory when he found her den in the woods. We know she knew he was there thanks to the houndo-vision camera shots. Still, Ramsey didn’t attack Dean. Was it because he was with the King of Hell? Even if he doesn’t have control over her? She also only attacked Sam because he went after with an angel blade. Could it be that the Winchesters, who were actively antagonizing Ramsey throughout the episode have acquired a reputation in the hound community? Sam killed one in “Trial and Error” and by speed-dialing Crowley, Dean got Juliet to behave in three seconds flat. Maybe even Big Bad Ramsey was like, Daddy’s vessel and his ex demon Knight brother are either off limits, or not even worth the headache. I’m giggling at the idea of a hound summit where after much arguing, barking and eye-rolling, they all decided to agree to just stir clear of the Winchesters.
“The Girl of the Week”
I liked Gwen. She was courageous. She knew to grab the Green Cooler of Brotherly Love to help Sam and she even hugged Crowley. She and I would get along! Gwen also had a nice moment with Sam in the car that motivated Sam to tell the truth to Dean about the BMOLs as soon as possible. Gwen and Sam didn’t start off on the right foot however. Two “Nightshifter” references coming through, and both lead to Ronald RESnick (I always say it in the exact tone Jared delivered it). The first one is the eccentric, conspiracy theory-loving witness who stumbles onto something real with surveillance cameras. Always the eyes. Ronald saw Juan’s eyes flash Shapeshifter-style, and he thought it was “the mandroid”. Castiel’s witness saw Dagon’s eye flash yellow and his outlandish theories about reptilians sent Castiel running out the door. Second reference is the “Get out!”, which is what Ronald told Sam when Sam tried to crush his paranormal explorer aspirations, and Gwen’s exact reaction when Sam tried to tell her what she knew to be an invisible beast was a simple “bear”. As for the Dean-side of things, well, he’s at his most adorable when he’s in a jolly mood and all that hunting was doing wonders for his disposition. He delivered funny moments after funny moments and was only mildly annoyed about his beloved car getting banged up.
So… Agent Beyoncé (Knowles) from “Rock Never Dies” is keeping it in the family and is now Agent Solange (Knowles) in “Somewhere Between Heaven and Hell”. I definitely got a kick out of that one. Agent Solange… was in full wave of celestial intent-mode in this episode and using the same “rusty” air quotes, “people’s skill” air quotes, during his interview with the owner of the diner that he used on that other eccentric he visited at the end of season 7, the H.P. Lovecraft superfan from “Let It Bleed”. I liked Agent Solange’s new travelling companion, Kelvin, and I’m a huge fan of Joshua, the other angel mentioned in the episode. Josh is one of those characters I’ve been obsessed with on the strength of one appearance, kinda like Michael, the Matt Cohen edition. I can’t wait to see the heavenly gardener again. I really liked that Kelvin talked about Castiel’s isolation from Heaven, a recurring theme of his journey and side effect of choosing the Winchesters over and over again. There seemed to be this longing in Castiel to be welcome among is fellow angels. His fear in the park as he was about to take the elevator upstairs touched my cold heart. Miracles, I tell you. I also really liked seeing the sandbox again. Made me think of Gadreel, another angel I like. Last word. Castiel’s angel companions always end up dead. Can we keep Kelvin, show? Can Castiel actually have a steady, interesting friend of the angel variety that he gets to hang out with once in a while?
“I’ll be right… here. You miss me?”
“Soft” and “nice”. He’s one of the most brilliant minds of the show, my friend, the hounds whisperer, the ruler of Hell, the King, the one and only, Crowleeeyyyyyy!! Mark Sheppard is always a gift and his character has the best lines but he was “24K Magic” in this episode. Sitting on his throne, deciding the fate of demon-kind like some twisted Solomon, Crowley still looked bored to tears with the day-to-day running of Hell. His reaction to the tediousness of it all in “Reichenbach” was “Kill me”. To be fair, back then, he was also pretty depressed about the failure of his ‘howl at the moon and then rule together’ thing with Demon Dean. About that boy. Crowley has admitted to having feelings he finds troubling towards Dean (“Form and Void”) and I’ve always loved their dynamic. Sheppard and Ackles are my second favorite acting duo on the show. Their stroll through the woods was amazing to watch from start to finish. Crowley also had one of the funniest moments with his “ew” at the end of Sam and Dean’s car convo and I liked his awkward reaction to being hugged and the way he vanished after being thanked one time too many. Aww, ole Crowley really did get soft on us.
The best Crowley moment was undoubtedly his face off with Lucifer. “Not quaking in my Testonis”. Of course, the demon who only drinks expensive alcohol (maybe he should send Ketch a muffin basket, they should be friends), wears expensive suits (did he get a new tailor after his was eaten in season 5? ), also wears expensive Italian shoes. I loved the way Crowley fake clipped Lucifer’s wings, rose to his feet like a boss and then proceeded to explain to the most feared angel in Creation just how screwed he was. Let’s hear it for the King. Long may he reign.
I tend to like the majority of Crowley’s minions (hey bespectacled Jarvis from last season), and I found his two new lieutenants entertaining. Their scene with Pellegrino!Lucifer who always brings it, was a treat. Lucifer’s moan as Key!minion was going through his list of demands made me laugh out loud as did the moment where Kneeling!minion made things “weird” by accepting his fate with a disturbing eagerness (“Take me! O Fallen One, my life is yours to devour”). Pellegrino’s “mmh”, after he had ended the awkwardness by vaporizing Kneeling!minion was the pitch-perfect way to end the interlude.
One pet peeve. I completely disagree that the Alpha Vamp is dead because of Mick and his guys. Sam is the one who did most of the work, but I guess acknowledging it would also be admitting that yes, the hunter toolkit wins out in the end, and where does that leave the BMOL plot?
Best Dean moments
Dean Glasseschester taking a stroll through the woods with “Peaches”. The entire scene was perfection. Crowley teasing Dean about his glasses, imitating his gravelly voice, and making a flirtatious comment about rubbing off all over him, Dean telling Crowley that he had gotten soft, thanking him for services rendered and ending their talk with a shudder that came across more comical than angry. The familiarity between them was heartwarming. Frenemies for life.
“Fancy. Really bring out your eyes.”
This Dean moment also doubles as ‘Damn, he’s fine’ and ‘Eat your heart out, Clark Kent’!
“Doesn’t count if you flip them inside out.”
I just… Every time I come across this scene, I cover my face and shake my head. Teasing Big Brother Dean is one of my favorite flavors of Dean but he’s just torturing Sam with gory details at this point. And the nerve of him for adding that wink at the end. “ Baby wipes in the car”. Dean honey, there aren’t enough baby wipes in the world to help you right now. Go take a shower, you troll! 😀
Best Sam moments
Sam slaying hound number 2. Now wouldn’t it be poetic if the hound Sam killed in “Trial and Error” was the same that shredded Dean in “No Rest for the Wicked”? I need a moment.
Sam apologizing to Dean. Apologies, lack there of, half-baked apologies, apologies for the wrong thing. Apologies have been an endless source of frustration for me on this show. This one went smooth like vanilla yogurt. It was delivered from a humble, non-combative, non-defensive stand point and it was received in the same spirit. The confirmation of the sincerity of the apology was undeniable when Sam’s phone rang again. He identified the caller, went as far as showing the screen to his brother and then he waited, for Dean to give him the green light, and I believe he wouldn’t have picked up had Dean needed more time to digest the news. My heart is so full you guys.
“You’ve been wearing the same pair of boxers for four days.”
As of March 9, 2017, it is officially canon that Sam has what I consider to be an intimate knowledge of Dean’s boxer-wearing patterns when they’re on the road. That is all. Thank you. Also doubles as Best quote. Haven’t been this rattled since Dean’s “The family that showers together” from “Just My Imagination”.
“I’m using that fancy shampoo you keep hidden from me”.
I’m sure that when Sam, who’s always been shown as frugal, splurges on something, it’s for electronics, organic produce, or his mane. I have two theories as to why he’s hiding his shampoo from Dean. One, we know since “Bugs” that Dean loves a long, luxurious shower and he told us himself that the water pressure in the MOL’s bathrooms is amazing. I’m willing to bet he uses more shampoo than necessary for someone with short hair, just because it feels darn good, which leaves Sam with near-empty bottles on big shampoo days. Two, “Hell House” told us that Dean once laced Sam’s shampoo with Nair. Nuff said.
“Imagine she’s a beautiful woman.”
“Oh come on. Get out of here.”
Dean continues to be psychically linked to his Baby. It’s like he knew something was going to happen to her. Everything about this scene is gold, Sam getting defensive about his driving skills, Dean’s “I’m just saying”, his insisting that Baby must be treated like a “beautiful” he said it thrice, woman, and Sam refusing to entertain Dean any longer and telling him to “get out of here”. Of course, Crowley who never misses a beat, concludes the whole exchange with “ew”. Score!
“We hate them. Us. Together”. In “The Raid” Report, I said that: Dean didn’t stand a chance now that Sam was the recruiter, that Mary was wrong for working with shady people who hurt her son, and that Dean should stay out of the entire BMOL situation because Team Low Budget Mission Impossible was going nowhere good. I also didn’t believe the show would let him.
I really, really appreciate how Dean framed his position about the BMOLs. “No. We hate them. Us. Together”. This fierce loyalty is one of the reasons I adore Dean, and I’m exactly like him when it comes to family. I have dozens of people on my no-fly zone, because of things they’ve done to the people I love, and they will not come off the blacklist until the injured party says so. That’s what’s most important for me: the motivation. Which is why I think Mary is still wrong for siding with people who hurt her son while he still had a problem with it. Which is why, while I don’t understand Sam’s alliance with the incompetent BMOLs, his decision to overcome the torture and pain their operative put him through remains, his prerogative. Dean was calling them “douchebusters” at the beginning of the episode. The second Sam gave him the permission not to hate them anymore, he stopped. Loyalty. His motivation is one I can live with. I still think the BMOLs are not to be trusted, which is why I appreciate Dean setting the terms: we bail if things look fishy. There isn’t a gentler way the show could have made me swallow this bitter BMOL pill. Kudos.
Final verdict: “A beautiful, beautiful woman.”
This is the Supernatural I love. A focus on our heroes, hunting the monster, showing off their skills, their personalities, having fun together, and sharing great emotional moments that would have resulted in drama in previous years but now served to show their growth and maturity.
Hurray also for great hunt, with one of the great monsters of the Supernatural mythos, and one with a very personal connection to the brothers. Throw in an efficient Girl of the Week who held her own and gave Sam the push he needed to talk to Dean, as well as the Green Cooler of Brotherly Love making an appearance.
Funny moments galore, throwbacks to iconic episodes, a new angel I took an instant shine to (hey Kelvin, how do you do?), and the possibility of seeing one of my winged faves, Joshua, in the near future. The King simply dazzled me. He might have gone “soft” enough to be mistaken as “nice”, but he reminded us he’s not to be played with when he smacked Lucifer down in the most satisfying scene since Amara slapped Lucifer around, yanked him out of Castiel and then threw him over her shoulder (miss you girl).
An episode that treated its leads with respect, and brought the very best out of the supporting players. There is something to the choice of a hellhound who birthed a whole new generation of monsters and was under Lucifer’s protection. The possible parallel to Kelly and the nephilim in her oven is hard to ignore and now I see the possibility of a small army of mini-Lucifers running around. Eeh! Lucky season 13? Anyway, I’ll be there.
The Winchester Brothers Report by Vee
12.01: “If he is not in one piece I will take you apart.”
12.02: “The only thing we had was each other.”
12.03: “Family hunting trip.”
12.04: “I hate you so much right now.”
12.05: “What do you think this is? Tickle party?”
12.06: “Where is my brother?”
12.07: “The brothers that rock together.”
12.08: “Impeach LOTUS, find Rosemary’s baby.”
12.09: “We’re the guys who saved the world.”
12.10: “I can’t see, did you get a plate?”
12.11: “It was everything. It was us, it was what we do.”
12.12: “They got gear, but they tried to kill my brother.”
12.13: “Where does that leave us?”
12.14: “Sammy? Lucy, I’m―”