Mint Condition
Credit: Dean Buscher/The CW
Devil's Bargain

We did it! We made it to our first real monster-of-the-week episode of the season! And not only that, but we made it to the Halloween-themed monster-of-the-week episode, which really just means that it was even more fun than usual.

We start by meeting Stewart, a comic store employee in Ohio. He’s watching Shocker TV — which is full of callbacks to early episodes, including “Route 666” — while unboxing a new shipment of toys. And just moments after he steals a new Thundercats figurine — Panthro, for those of you that know — his boss, Sam, calls to tell him they got a one-star review on Yelp after Stewart yelled at a customer. Stewart tries to explain himself by saying, “He said I couldn’t beat up Superman!” But Sam’s not having it. She fires back with, “I have seen you get winded eating a taco.” And I instantly love Sam.

Once Stewart agrees to chill, he hangs up with Sam and locks up the store. He heads home with his new stolen toy and proceeds to call and yell at the pizza company for being late with his delivery. So his “chill” didn’t last very long. And apparently, his new toy does not appreciate his attitude, because Panthro comes to life and beats the crap out of Stewart.

Back at the bunker, Dean is holed up in his room eating pizza and watching Hell Hazers III: It Lives Again. (Hell Hazers II, if you remember, is the set that was haunted in season 2’s “Hollywood Babylon.” And much like they did in season 2, they play the trailer for the movie during the episode.) Sam knocks on his brother’s door, and yes, HE SHAVED. “It’s like a dolphin’s belly,” Dean says of Sam’s clean-shaven face. But more importantly, Sam has found a case: A killer toy. Sam shows Dean the video that Stewart posted explaining what happened and of course, Dean is IN. If there’s one thing that will make Dean pause a scary movie, it’s a killer toy. Also, this happened…

Dean: “You don’t even like scary movies.”
Sam: “Our life is a scary movie.”

He’s not wrong. (Also, this is not the first time Sam has expressed this sentiment. Love all the callbacks in this hour.)

The boys head to Ohio, where they pose as insurance workers — maybe their best outfits ever? — and head to the comic store, where they find their twins: Sam and Dirk. Sam is the young girl in a flannel shirt with soft luxurious features and delicate hair, according to Dean, and Dirk is, well, Dean’s twin. The two of them bond over a life-size figurine of Hatchet Man, the star of the All Saint’s Day films.

The female Sam points them to Stewart’s house, where he’s moved back in with his mom. There, Dean wears the world’s best glasses as they pull Stewart away from Fortnite and try to figure out what’s been going on. But really, all we learn is that Sam knows what MIRL means. (Meet in real life.) Stewart claims he made up the attack and asks the guys to leave, so the brothers camp out in front of the house and wait for Stewart’s mom to head out … and it’s a good thing they do, because a bleeding Stewart collapses out of the front door after he’s attacked by a flying chainsaw.

The brothers don’t find any hex bags in the house, only EMF. So they’re dealing with a ghost. They agree to split up: Sam will check out Stewart’s house and the store while Dean stays at the hospital with Stewart and Dean’s twin, Dirk.

At the store, Sam talks to Sam — this is not confusing or anything — about Stewart and finds out that Jordan, the man who owned the store, died recently. Jordan left the store to Sam and Dirk. So why not Stewart? Because Jordan had fired Stewart twice for stealing, and now Sam and Dirk rehired him. Just then, the life-size Hatchet Man figurine comes to life and attacks our Sam before locking both Sams in the store. (Next: Dean lives out a horror movie)

Sam calls Dean, who updates Dirk on the reality of the supernatural: “Unless it’s Godzilla, it’s real,” he tells him as he orders him to stay inside the salt line that he makes around Stewart’s bed. And despite the fact that he’s seen a million horror movies, Dirk still makes mistake number one: He doesn’t listen to the hero. Instead, he runs out of that salt line and straight into Hatchet Man/Jordan the moment he gets scared.

I will say I love what they did here — how what was going on in the show mirrored the All Saint’s Day movie that the hospital security guards were watching. Well played, writers.

While Sam creates a bomb — in a Scooby-Doo lunch box! — out of cleaning supplies, which is something he learned during his “messed up childhood,” Dean goes toe-to-toe with Hatchet Man in the hospital’s morgue. And just as he’s about to lose the fight, the Sams shows up and figure out that Jordan’s spirit must be tied to the Batman keychain with the store keys on it. Sam burns up the keychain, and just like that, Hatchet Man is back to being a life-size figurine that some poor, unknowing security guard is going to find at the end of the day.

Back in the Impala, Dean thanks his brother for getting him out of his funk and for getting him a win. Sam lets Dean know that when they get home, he can’t keep hiding out in his room. Nobody blames Dean for what Michael did while in his body, and he has to stop blaming himself. Dean claims he’ll never get over it, but he understands that he’s not doing anybody any good by staying in his room. So whatever “chief” needs, Dean is there.

But first, Dean has a question: Why does Sam hate Halloween so much? It turns out, in sixth grade, Sam had a crush on a girl named Andrea. She invited him to her Halloween party, and when it was Sam’s turn to bob for apples, his nervous stomach got the best of him, and he vomited all over Andrea. So Sam ended up hiding out in the woods until Dean came and found him.

Dean tells his brother that it’s about time to let that go, so next year, they’re going to do Halloween right, matching outfits and everything. Dean already had a few ideas …

Batman and Robin
Bert and Ernie … nope, that’s weird.
Rocky and Bullwinkle
Shaggy and Scooby, naturally.
Turner and Hooch
Ren and Stimpy
And of course, Thelma and Louise. After all, if anyone puts it in drive and goes, it’s the Winchesters.

I really enjoyed this episode, from the amazing outfits to the callbacks to the good ole horror movie fun. This is what I want out of a Halloween episode of Supernatural.

Related content:

Episode Recaps

Devil's Bargain

Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki star as the Winchester brothers, hellbent on battling the paranormal forces of evil.

  • TV Show
  • 15
  • 327
stream service