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Entertainment Weekly

TV Recaps

Supernatural recap: 'The Scorpion and the Frog'

Jack Rowand/The CW

Posted on

We gave it a B+

Supernatural

9/13/05 - 1/1/70

type
TV Show
image
5913993
genre new
Fantasy, Drama
Cast
Jensen Ackles, Jared Padalecki, Misha Collins
Network
The CW
seasons
14
Rating
TV-14

You know you have a strong season of Supernatural when every type of episode delivers. From the monster-of-the-week hours to the larger mythology stories, this season is firing on all cylinders. Not only has it delivered great stuff for our main characters, but the guest stars have been equally as engaging. And that’s particularly true of tonight’s episode, which was nothing if not a showcase for the comedic talents of Jensen Ackles. After Dean had more of a serious start to the season, the writers aren’t holding anything back when it comes to his one-liners, and when put in Ackles’ capable hands, the result is just flat-out funny.

This week, we start in England, where a demon steals a spell from a museum in order to give it to Asmodeus. However, before they can deliver it to the Prince of Hell, Bart, the crossroads demon, takes it. His first move? To call Dean Winchester.

Back at the bunker, Sam and Dean are discussing the fact that they have zero leads on Ketch and even fewer on Jack, so when Dean gets a phone call from Bart asking to meet, they head to the diner to see what he has to say.

As the “famous Winchesters” sit down with “some random demon,” Sam and Dean get to know Bart, who’s the equivalent of a fangirl demon in that he’s been watching Sam and Dean and actually knows them pretty well. How well? He ordered Dean a slice of cherry pie, so he has at least done a little research (though admittedly, pie is probably the first thing that pops up when you Google Dean).

Bart tells them that after Crowley (R.I.P.) was promoted to King of Hell, Bart became THE crossroads demon, and now, he needs the boys to help him. To incentivize them, he hands over half of the spell from the museum. According to him, the spell — once they have both halves – will help them track down Jack. Dean, of course, isn’t into working with a demon, but Bart, once again showing off his Winchester knowledge, tells Sam to verify the spell. After all, Sam’s “the smart one.”

After Bart leaves, Dean wastes no time in digging into the pie, while Sam gets to work studying the spell. At the bunker, he tells Dean that the spell seems to check out. But now they need the other half. And that means they need to talk to Bart.

At their second meeting, Bart introduces them to his two associates: Smash and Grab. (Get it?) Smash is his safe expert, and Grab is a demon who’s super good at “bypassing supernatural security.” With that, Dean gets a little too excited that this could be a heist. (Spoiler: It is.)

It seems a hoarder named Luther Shrike connects supernatural objects and has something that belongs to Bart. The problem? It’s in a trunk in a safe in a vault room that’s hidden on Luther’s farm, which is warded inside and out. (Say that three times fast.) Grab can find the vault room, and Smash can crack the safe, but there’s one problem: In order to open the vault room, they need the blood of someone who’s been to Hell and back. And I don’t think any of us need to remember the devastating season 3 finale to know Dean fits the bill. Plus, as Bart puts it, there will inevitably be “curveballs” on this job, and Sam and Dean are great at hitting those out of the park.

As for this Luther guy, it seems he’s been to Hell himself. No, he’s not a demon, but Bart says he’s a sadist and a murderer, the kind of guy who will do anything to add to his collection. So what exactly does he have that belongs to Bart? He won’t say. But either Sam and Dean help him recover it, or he hands over the Nephilim-finding spell to Asmodeus. That gives Sam an idea: They help this guy get his trunk, and then they kill him. Dean’s response? “Okay.” Well, that was easy.

Speaking of Asmodeus, he sends one of his demons to warn Shrike about Bart’s attack, but apparently, Shrike is incredibly confident in his security, because he exorcises the demon without a second thought. And he’s more than prepared when Sam pulls up in his driveway to offer him a rare item. (Dean and Smash are stashed in the back.)

Once Sam gets through the gate, Dean and Smash jump out. After the brothers tell each other, “Don’t get dead,” Sam enters the house and starts to try to sell Luther the demon knife while Dean summons Grab. (Next: Can Sam and Dean finish the job?)

The good news is that the spell works and Grab shows up, but the bad news is that the vault room is hidden under a cloaking spell. Thankfully, Grab has been working on a spell that will use Dean’s demon blood — translation: his arm — as a compass. Just like that, Dean unwillingly leads them to the vault room. Now, all Dean has to do is put his hand inside a truly terrifying gargoyle head thing in order to open the door. No big deal, right? Well, unless you’re Dean and you’re scared of spiders, snakes, or spiders.

But in the end, all it takes it Dean getting his finger pricked, which he handles about as well as any 5-year-old would. And once the door opens, they discover that the floor is essentially one big, deadly maze. Fun, right?

Meanwhile, inside, Sam is risking his life by trying some of Luther’s homemade gin. (The guy really never leaves his house. Do they even have grocery delivery services where he is?!) Sam shows Luther the demon knife, but Luther quickly gets down to business: He knows that Bart sent Sam, and after a fight, Luther hits Sam over the head with a rock and knocks him out. He then proceeds outside and kills poor Grab.

Smash manages to run away, leaving Dean to shoot Luther a lot before realizing it’s not working. Sam wakes up and arrives just in time to tell Dean that the guy’s immortal. According to Luther, so long as he’s on his property, he can’t die.

So, instead of killing him, Dean knocks him out and ties him up. Now, they just need to get him to tell them the code to his vault floor, because if they take one wrong step, 1,000 darts filled with everything from holy oil to arsenic are coming their way…or are they?

Sam gets an idea. If this guy can’t die on his property, then they decide to use him as a human dart board. They wheel him through the room and let him take all the hits so that they can get to the safe. And by the time they do, Smash is back. Turns out her real name is Alice and she works for Bart because she made a deal with him, and now, so long as she works for him, he doesn’t collect.

Alice quickly cracks the safe, and the guys grab the trunk and hit the road. But Luther isn’t giving up so easily. Leaving his property for the first time in years, he stops them on the road to share his story. Years ago, his son was sick, so Luther sold his soul to Bart in exchange for his son’s life. But when his son died in an drowning accident, Bart claimed he wasn’t responsible for accidents. So when the Hellhounds came and dragged Luther to Hell, he bartered a new deal using his leverage. That leverage? Bart’s bones, which are in the trunk. (This strategy sound familiar? Remember that time the boys stole Crowley’s bones?)

Luther tells Sam and Dean that they’re on the wrong side of this, and then Bart shows up and proves it by decapitating Luther. Bart then pays Alice and offers the boys the other half of the spell…but they turn it down. So, Bart decides to threaten Alice’s life if they don’t hand over the bones. But when they hand them over, they leave a lighter in the trunk, which gives Alice the chance to light them up. Sadly, Bart’s burning body takes the other half of the spell with him when he goes. (Although, didn’t he mention something about copies earlier?)

Dean and Sam then drop Alice off at a bus station, where Dean tells her to “stay weird,” and I’m suddenly having Charlie flashbacks. They then head home, where they experience a bit of a role reversal: Sam’s feeling a bit hopeless with the search for Jack, but Dean’s confident they’ll keep working until they figure something out. And Sam, for one, is glad to hear Dean talk like that again. They both are.

As far as I’m concerned, this hour was a whole lot of fun and yet another success to add to this season’s impressive roster. But what did you think? Hit the comments below or find me on Twitter @samhighfill.

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