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Fine, I confess.  Back in the 80's, I loved watching Hulk Hogan.  I watched with my brothers the WWF matches avidly, Hogan's rivalries with the Iron Sheik, Andre The Giant, Rowdy Roddy Piper, and loved it all even with all the theatrics, rigged matches and blatant bad acting.  It was pure popcorn entertainment that couldn't be taken too seriously, but yet you still found yourself rooting for the good guy or the villain.  Sure, it got old eventually and my interest faded a lot as other forms of reality TV got more popular, but at the time watching wrestling was pretty damned fun and I look back on it fondly.  So yeah, you better believe I related to the joy of Sam and Dean in "Beyond The Mat."  It’s hard to shake those memories.  

This episode clearly goes in the “midseason filler” category.  It goes up against other mediocre episodes like “Sam, Interrupted,” “Criss Angel is a Douchebag,” “Malleus Maleficarum”, and “#Thinman.”  Compared to all those, it stood up well.  Heck, I liked it just as much as those episodes.  What gives this episode leeway though is behind the scenes factors.  This was the writing debut of SPN writing assistant John Bring.  He shared credit with Andrew Dabb, but first timers usually get paired with a senior writer.  Remember Jeremy Carver’s debut with the slow and uneven “Sin City," co-written with Robert Singer?  Jenny Klein’s debut episode (when she was a writing assistant) “Out with the Old,” also co-written with Robert Singer?  To see Andrew Dabb get this chance to foster a new writer is pretty exciting.

I liked the A plot, but it was the B plot that most impressed me.  No, not Crowley licking the floor (really, you made Mark Sheppard do that?) but after that.  All I can say is it’s about freaking time.  Crowley is free from the lair thanks to his own wits and hopefully this means that him in a lame hideout with stupid minions is done.  Please, more demons like we got this week in the A plot.  That’s the Hell I know and love.  

So this is what it feels like to be God. Not bad. Tingly.

Ha!  That's where an episode succeeds, by giving Crowley those damn good lines.  He's been too saddled with crap lately.  I paused the TV when Lucifer arrived at the artifacts room, telling the hubby, “If Crowley didn’t realize this was a trap, then I’m officially breaking up with this show.”  Luckily, he did.  Whew!  It is so like Crowley to have a secret stash of toys, heck he’s eluded to it a few times (remember when he had Death’s Scythe in “Two Minutes to Midnight”?).  How else in the past was he able to find needed objects so quickly?  The fact that he had a God artifact didn’t surprise me at all.  I'm more stunned he didn’t know its power.  He definitely didn’t know that once you absorb that power, it’s a one and done.  A big shout-out the awesome VFX in that scene. Mark Sheppard actually looks great when he glows!    

s11e15 519

But this all was a great answer to my Red Headed Monster rant last week.  A fresh, renewed, and removed from the throne Crowley is an awesome thing.  Finally, his character is getting a moment of definition.  This is the Crowley that I remember from season five and six.  His declaration of “I’m Crowley” spoke volumes for those of us dying for movement with his character.  Overall the story line was a great follow up on last week’s events and gives us some “good to know” info as we go into the rest of the season. 

I just hope we’re spared of Lucifer trying to deal with the minions in Hell and he’s out on his own trying to get some sort of plan in order. I’m still enjoying Misha Collins as Lucifer, but bottom line, even if Mark Pellegrino was delivering those lines, it still would have been painful.  He’s not menacing.  He’s impatient, sloppy, and underestimating his foes, aka Crowley.  He’s looking like an incompetent, not the chilling and diabolical archangel we’ve seen prior.  It reminds us that Lucifer should be take in small doses.  At this point all someone needs to do is bitch slap him back in to the box.  Bring Michael up, I’m sure he can easily do that.  Wouldn’t that be worth the price of admission? 

Speaking of which, and I’m just throwing this out there, how much could this plot change if Michael was a part of it?  It would probably resolve things too easily but wouldn’t that be cool?  I don’t want Jake Abel (Adam) back as Michael though.  I loved Michael far better when Matt Cohen had that role.  But hey, that’s just my mind wandering, as it tends to do during filler episodes. 

Dean: You know they're having a memorial show tonight. I know you're itching to get back-
Sam: We should go to it.
Dean: Really?
Sam: Why not? The world is still gonna be screwed tomorrow, right?

That leads us to the A plot, aka Sam and Dean in wrestling land.  It was cute.  I LOVED seeing the guys take a break from the end of the world and enjoy themselves for once.  For a pair of guys with few fond childhood memories, to see the re-live one of those good ones got my inner fan girl flailing in joy.  Dean rolling into the ring and pretending to be part of the action was pure gold.  Best part of the episode in my opinion (aside from Crowley absorbing the God power).  Next best was Sam meeting the female wrestler that now runs it all, Rio.  There was a female wrestler in the WWF like that back in the Hulk Hogan days (bonus points to whoever remembers her name).  Sam may have played cool in front of her about confessing his crush and not saying yes when she asked if he had her poster over his bed, but naturally Dean would be the one to out him.  That’s what he does. Good thing for Sam it wasn't in front of Rio.  I only wish that there had been a scene where she and Sam went into a back room together and he got to experience those childhood fantasies.  Ah well, we’ll leave that up to the fan fiction.  


Dean: Town after town putting your ass on the line for next to nothing. No money, no glory. Wow.
Sam: You realize you just literally described our jobs.

There were a lot of parallels between the hunter life and the wrestling life. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn't.  I have a hard time believing that following the script for entertainment works the same as fighting horrible monsters, but no doubt it's a rough life that’s physically punishing with many hours spent on the road either way.  One could take the perspective that warriors aren't always meant to be saving the world, sometimes making people feel better or offering a little inspiration works too.  Another parallel that should have hit a little more close to home but didn’t was the kid behind them whose father was killed by something evil.  He was there with his Dad, despite the fact the man wasn’t a great parent, enjoying the wrestling match, which is exactly what Sam and Dean experienced with John years earlier.  I wish we could have heard what Sam said to the kid.  Meet your future hunter of America folks.  

I've been beat up, spit on, stabbed, roughed up. But I will be damned if I didn't always get back up. One thing I learned, you gotta keep on grinding no matter what's thrown your way.

The plot was clearly meant to address Dean’s latest funk, and it did an effective job.  He meets a childhood hero, wrestler Gunner Lawless, and turns out these two are kindred spirits.  Warriors with stories of woe and the battle scars to prove it. I really enjoyed the spark between them, even when Dean found out the truth.  He didn’t judge or take the truth badly, he understood.  Probably because he’s been there.  Dean has made the same bad decisions out of desperation and had to pay a terrible price. He also could see that Gunner was a good guy underneath it all and was only following through with the terms of the bad deal he made.   

Its Dean’s ability to read people that has gotten him and Sam out of multiple messes, and he did it again here by persuading Gunner to redeem himself before paying the price.  Yeah, it’s a story we’ve seen many times on this show before and it was paint by numbers in execution, but what made it work was the connection between Dean and Gunner.  It played out well on the screen.  I thought it was a nice gesture of Dean to offer his gun to Gunner to avoid the Hellhounds from ripping him apart.  I like that he didn’t accept it and chose to face him punishment because plain and simple, he deserved it.  That’s a guy with real character.  

The important thing was the whole experience was kick in the pants that Dean needed.  Heck, we’ve all been dying to see Dean like this for a while.  Not only is Dean determined to beat Lucifer and The Darkness, but he won’t give up on Castiel. He still believes he can save him, even if he might not want saving.  I'm just wondering how that can even be possible.  Dean certainly doesn't know, and as we know casting out an angel that is possessing you isn't so easy.  Ah well, I still want to know how he plans on defeating the Darkness.  At this point, Lucifer seems like a cake walk.  The vital take away though is that the brothers are united and on the same page, so we all will take this four week breather and come back ready for action.  

The Red Headed Monster

The monster really doesn't want to pick apart or read too much into an episode that was mostly meant for harmless fun, but this episode did bring something to light that has been on my mind for a while.  Sam and Dean both noticed that Top Notch Wrestling shows were once grander more…"Top Notch.”  That's a definitely a statement for people like myself, who often dwell on earlier days of "Supernatural." Heck, I had a rare chance the other morning to watch "Supernatural" on TNT.  I got to see "In The Beginning," "Metamorphosis," and "Monster Movie."  My reaction?  "Wow, I forgot how good this show was."  Point is, "Supernatural" may not be as enjoyable, but it still has some life and entertainment value left, just like the Top Notch shows.  It may not be the same thrill, but we’re still cheering.  We still want more.   

Stray Thoughts

John Bring is a writer after my own heart.  He made a Simpson’s reference!  That instantly makes him a favorite of mine.  Not sure what it was?  It came from Lucifer himself, who was channeling Nelson Muntz.  “You made me bleed my own blood.”  Of course Andrew Dabb has made many Simpsons references in the past, so perhaps it was him?  I caught Lucifer’s line from The Fugitive too, but I was less impressed with that context.  

Dean using holy water in the tequila to see if anyone was a demon?  Fantastic!  He kept up with all those wrestlers, meaning he still can drink people under the table. Okay, maybe not all the wrestlers ultimately, but wasn’t it fun to see the end result? 


I loved how Harley picked Heaven over Hell when given the choice (great appearance from The Miz).  His anger against everyone was that he was actually moral!  It rarely happens on this show, but once in a while someone professes their faith in the most crucial hour.  Harley knew that the choice would get him killed, but he chose Heaven anyway.  "I'm not giving up my shot at a belt I can win on my own."  So bad yet so good!  Those angels better give him the deluxe suite up there in Heaven.  Fine hotels and championship wins galore!  The ultimate winner in the test of faith.   

Overall Grade, a B-.  Not a spectacular way to go into a midseason break, but hey, at least Dean is charged up again.  If anything, maybe this will result in more Sam and Dean wrestling matches in the bunker (crap, my fan fiction voice is speaking again).  See you back on March 23rd!  


# Shante 2016-02-27 16:36
hi alice, i liked it better than last week. im happy with this episode, unlike last week's im happy with it going on break with an ep that to me was much better. anyway, back to my re-watch supernatural schedule for the next 4 weeks
# Shante 2016-02-27 16:40
and other shows*
# Alice 2016-03-01 10:29
I have so many shows to catch up on in this next four weeks. Maybe that'll mean I'll also catch up with my reviews on TV For The Rest of Us. It really is a welcome break, especially when the show comes back it goes all the way to the end non-stop.
# Shante 2016-02-27 16:38
i also agree with your grade. i too LOVED wrestling so i understand and buy that they loved wrestling too :D
# cheryl42 2016-02-27 17:26
The brothers are fans of the Stooges. So I don't think it is a stretch to believe they are pro wrestling fans. I do love that John did take them to a few fun events when they were young. He wasn't a total d**k to his kids.

It was a meh episode. I would watch it again. I just wish that going into a month long break they would have come up with a better cliffhanger than..well basically no cliffhanger.

And yes please can we get out of Hell. I am so glad that Crowley was playing Simmons and Lucifer. He was biding his time until he could get a shot at eliminating Lucifer.

I just can't get behind Misha's Lucifer. It was better last week. This week he was back to over the top camp again.

Yes to Dean being Dean. I could have done without the gag reel ring scenes and gone for Sam and Rio instead but it was funny.

Overall ok episode and hopefully JB continues to improve as a new writer (although not new to the show) for the future.
# Jen 2016-02-27 20:14
Thanks Alice nice review. I know this Epi didn't go out with a big cliff hanger like we are used to but I feel it ended on the right note. Alot of the MOTW or "Filler" episodes have either been a hit or miss this season, but that is looking at the surface, for me these episodes had the main story underneath between the lines. It was to remind Sam & more so Dean of how they got to this point in their lives, how hard they have fought how much they have lost both through friends, and personnally, and they both had lost their way. These episodes where more like a lesson away to help the Boys stop and think and reconnect before the big fight ahead. If they hadn't learnt anything by the end of "Beyond the Mat" the Winchester's and the world would be doomed.
So I feel the next 8 episodes are going to stretch their trust & faith & strength to the limit and the final is going to be epic, but different to what we all think
# Sharon 2016-02-28 04:54
I will be just happy if we come out of this season with Sam not being blamed for something someone else does .
# Luciano 2016-02-28 05:31
I agree most part when your review. I personally loved this episode. What I disagree with, is that you talk about Season 1-5 as the Golden Years. I personally loved season 8 and season 11 is quickly becoming my knew favourite season. Yes its different, and YES I agree I miss the horrible violent bloody (Meg) Demons. It has a different feel but it is an amazing feel!!!!
Plus even in Season 5 we started to see this shift in demons, back then Lucifer hated his demons and even now he is merely using them.
I am still waiting for Lucifer to back to the strength and power he used to have. But lets face it to defeat the Darkness before he had an army and God! He needs an army!!!! In my personal opinion, he needs Abaddon lol
# Luciano 2016-02-28 05:32
Sorry for bad grammar, just woke up and typed this fast.
# Alice 2016-03-01 10:38
Thanks Luciano. I loved Season 8, and I don't dislike the later seasons (except 7 and 9, they were pretty bad), but for me the excitement, suspense, and consistency in stories and tone through the whole season really happened from seasons 2-5. Since then it's been a mixed bag overall. Not as "top notch" but still good.

Lucifer has always hated demons. I would expect he'd use them and then get rid of them when he's done. That's why Crowley has always feared Lucifer. I'm just tired of the Hell scenes no matter who is ruling, Lucifer or Crowley. They're time wasters. Move on and give these guys a real plot! Hell (or Hell on Earth since it's an above ground lair) should have only been done for one or two episodes. If you think about it, Abaddon was a ruthless character and they wasted her potential too. Yes, she'd be great here. She could have been a real terror like demons are supposed to be.
Amruta Karve
# Amruta Karve 2016-02-28 06:32
I'm surprised Alice that you didn't comment on the Demon showing Red Eyes. I thought you would be furious and would rant about it in your Red Headed Monster segment. I know I was. Only Crowley gets to show red eyes, man!
They haven't even explained why Crowley shows Red Eyes. How can they show some random demon flashing Red Eyes?
When I saw it I thought at first this must be Crowley himself, he transfered himself in this demon's body and the one we are seeing in Hell is actually some random demon acting as Crowley. Or maybe some other explanation. But no! Nothing! It was mistake in my opinion, a big one at that, on writers' part.
Barbara Maake
# Barbara Maake 2016-02-28 09:52
Actually I thought crossroads demon have been shown in a number of episodes as having red eyes, or am I crazy?
# cheryl42 2016-02-28 10:02
No you are correct CRD have always had red eyes.
Barbara Maake
# Barbara Maake 2016-02-28 10:08
Thanks Cheryl. I thought I was having another senior moment.:)
# BoGirle 2016-02-29 18:51
No, actually Crossroad's demons have always had red eyes going back to season 2 I's their color. The fact that Crowley has red eyes makes sense as he's a crossroads demon and that color has never been exclusive to Crowley. What weird about Crowley is that he blows red smoke instead of black like all other demons, even high level demons like Azazel and Lilith.
# LEAH 2016-03-03 16:24
Oh right that's what was weird. Still weird.
Barbara Maake
# Barbara Maake 2016-02-28 10:06
Alice, I didn't particularly care for this ep, very little of it worked for me. Although I did enjoy the wrestling scenes since I watched it as a kid. But I really disagree with this part of your review:

Dean has made the same bad decisions out of desperation and had to pay a terrible price. He also could see that Gunner was a good guy underneath it all and was only following through with the terms of the bad deal he made.
I think Dean is a much better man than Gunnar, and I actually thought the sympathy and understanding he expressed for Gunnar was OOC. He has never been sympathetic towards people who have used supernatural means for purely personal gain, whether it is witches or those who use demon deals. The only exception that I can think of off-hand is Ellie in Trial and Error, who made a deal to save her mom's life. Any deals Dean has made have been for life and death reasons, unlike Gunnar's deal to obtain the championship. And Dean never would have blithely (and without much remorse) murdered innocent people for the demon. It was unclear in the ep whether Gunnar was compelled to commit the murders. If so, then how was he able to defy the demon at the end and not only refrain from killing Dean, but actually kill the demon instead? Any sympathy I felt for Gunnar vanished when he killed Harley. In fact, at that point I thought Harley was the one who seemed the most Winchesterish by telling the demon to stuff it. So I did not understand Dean's overly sympathetic attitude towards Gunnar and thought it flew in the face of his attitude in previous episodes.
# AlyCat22 2016-02-28 12:43
Yeah Gunnar was compelled to kill or whatever the demon told him to in order to keep extending his time. By killing the demon he knew he was signing his own death warrant but he knew it had to be stopped.
# percysowner 2016-02-28 14:26
I too had problems with Gunnar being declared a good man who made mistakes. He murdered at least two people and one of those murders left a boy without a father, something Sam and Dean shouldn't forgive. So I had real issues with that.

The Dean getting drunk trying to test people to see if they were demons was cute. Too bad there isn't a word that can make demons reveal themselves. It's a real shame that, oh I don't know, using the name of God in Latin doesn't make their eyes go black.
# LEAH 2016-02-28 14:49
# Vince 2016-02-28 20:22
The father was done by Duke, the crossroads demon. Since Gunner was still in the ring celebrating, while the dad went to take a piss.
# BoGirle 2016-02-29 18:53
Hah! Yeah.... would have saved Dean some major pain there in the end wouldn't it?
# YellowEyedSam 2016-02-28 16:18
He’s not menacing. He’s impatient, sloppy, and underestimating his foes, aka Crowley. He’s looking like an incompetent, not the chilling and diabolical archangel we’ve seen prior.
I've never been so angry this season as to when Crowely made Lucifer look like a fool. Why did they write Lucifer like that? You never saw Azazel or S1 Meg be like that. Speaking of those two, BOY were they true villains. When they were on screen you knew shit was about to get real. So manipulative, evil and clever. Sorry S11 Lucifer you don't come close.

Speaking of which, and I’m just throwing this out there, how much could this plot change if Michael was a part of it? It would probably resolve things too easily but wouldn’t that be cool? I don’t want Jake Abel (Adam) back as Michael though. I loved Michael far better when Matt Cohen had that role. But hey, that’s just my mind wandering, as it tends to do during filler episodes.
Aww... but I want Jake back. I'd settle for Adam but Michael is in his vessel atm.

Overall Grade, a B-. Not a spectacular way to go into a midseason break, but hey, at least Dean is charged up again. If anything, maybe this will result in more Sam and Dean wrestling matches in the bunker (crap, my fan fiction voice is speaking again). See you back on March 23rd!
You.. actually liked the episode? With the negativity I've seen so far I thought Alice is going to butcher it in her review. I gave it a 5/10
# Alice 2016-03-01 10:42
I didn't love it, but yes, it was okay. If I was giving a number grade, I'd say a 6.5 out of 10. I watched and was mildly entertained. This was nothing like a Brad and Eugenie script, which gets my blood boiling the second a character utters a word of their crappy dialogue. This episode actually had good dialogue! Not much of a story (the pacing was slow) but good dialogue. Like I said too, I was going easy on the new writer. We'll see what happens if he gets another script. :)
# Mallena 2016-02-28 20:02
Alice the SPN blogging goddess likes wrestling? To quote Meg...I threw up in my mouth, a little. Just kidding. I'm sure wrestlers and people who like wrestling are nice people, too.
# Alice 2016-03-01 10:44
Yeah, go figure, huh? I know a Brad and Eugenie script is coming soon. So there are still chances for the scathing review!
# njspnfan 2016-02-28 20:09
Just an okay episode for me; because it was John Bring's first writing effort, this is a slightly better grade than if it were a more veteran writer, so I gave it a C. The more interesting part of the episode was the interaction between Casifer and Crowley. I'm glad Crowley's back but they sure had to dumb down Lucifer/Casifer for that to happen. And while some posters here find it hateful to say so, Misha's performance as Lucifer just isn't working for me. I don't know if it's because Mark P. set the bar so high, but it's coming off as a lackluster imitation. Part of that might be the writing; just not sure yet. I understand Mark P. has other acting obligations but, if they worked out a way for Abaddon to reuse Josie's meat suit after it was burned extra crispy with holy oil by Sam at the end of S8, they could come up with a way for Lucifer to do the same with Nick.

I agree with everyone who didn't find Gunnar that sympathetic; he made a crossroads deal for selfish reasons and then starts killing at the behest of a crossroads demon to avoid paying the price for the deal he made? Doesn't sound terribly sympathetic too me. But, ultimately, he did the right thing. And I was surprised; Miz was pretty good in his role. It was also good to see Dean get his head back in the game, too.
# Alice 2016-03-01 10:48
I half expect The Miz to take this experience and launch a huge movie career a la The Rock. Maybe not, but if it happens, we can say we got to see what he could do first!

Misha's performance is probably the difference between your grade and mine. I don't mind it. However, I'm really missing Castiel. I'm hoping they stop with this nonsense soon, but I know they won't. They'll run with it until the end of the season because they don't know what else to do with Misha.
# cheryl42 2016-03-01 13:26
I have to ask....what would you do with Misha if you were writing his role? I think every writer for the last 4 or 5 years at least has been at a loss with Castiel. No matter what they come up with it doesn't seem to work. I can't imagine a story for him either.

Crowley works better as a sometimes ally and enemy but even with his character they are only 50/50 successful.
# percysowner 2016-03-01 13:51
I'm not Alice, but I'll give my opinion here. I think that they can't do anything with Misha that will work now. If he's a fully powered angel, he's too powerful. If he's at lower power he become comic relief. . I read a quote by Misha recently that said he was glad the writers had decided to add his natural geekyness to Cas. I think that may have been the worst decision made about Cas, because they are unable to move beyond Cas, the perpetual fish out of water. I'm in the minority here, but I thought what SG did with Cas in season six worked. He was removed from Sam and Dean because he had bigger fish to fry, but still connected because of his bond with Dean and because he was using Sam and Dean. For me, his exit in season seven was a natural end point for the character. Fan reaction and the Js desire for more time off meant that he was brought back, but he lost the power that was the character. I don't know what they can do with Cas anymore. If i never hear about Heavenly politics it will be too soon. Meg is gone, so that interesting relationship (romantic or not) is off the table. Most, if not all of Cas' angel friends are dead.

Maybe if they had been willing to bite the bullet and have Jimmy return something could have worked. Have Jimmy have his angelic knowledge, but not the power. Kill off Claire and her mother and have Jimmy commit to becoming a hunter, searching for things that the angel wars affected and removing them from earth. That became impossible after last season with the confirmation that Jimmy officially dead.

I'm not thrilled with Misha's portrayal of Lucifer, but a lot of that is the fact that the writers did to Luci what they previously did to Cas. With Cas they depowered him and made him comedic. Wit Luci they took a powerful, terrifying driven character and made him petty and, again, in the comedic vein. And it's not the Crowley being witty kind of comedy. It just doesn't fit for me. I don't know what they do with Misha or Cas. I hope they can find something worth while.
Barbara Maake
# Barbara Maake 2016-03-01 17:04
I thought what SG did with Cas in season six worked.

I completely agree percys. That was the last time Cas seemed truly angelic in his powers and his attitudes towards earthly matters. And I also agree that incorporating some of Misha's geekiness was a terrible mistake. He really has become mostly comic relief, alternating with scenes of him being hapless, helpless and weak. Every so often there is an episode that reminds me why he was originally such a great character. In most of his dealings with Metatron since S 9 Cas has displayed the strength of character and will that is rarely in evidence since S 6. There have been a number of other episodes as well in which I have enjoyed Cas. But his story lines have mostly been terrible lately. I agree that there is no easy solution. TPTB don't want him to be too powerful, but they also didn't want to leave him completely human, so we are left with this hybrid that often doesn't impress as either one. The writers have done an amazing job this year with the plots and characterizatio ns of the brothers, maybe they can now turn their attention to Cas and Crowley. Of the two, I actually think Crowley has had it worse. I would be very happy to see him killed off because even more so than Cas, he is completely unrecognizable as the terrific character that was originally introduced.
# cheryl42 2016-03-01 19:17
Thanks Percy. That would have been a great idea to turn Castiel into Jimmy. It would have solved so many issues with the character (and Misha could talk in a normal voice) in his relationship with the Winchesters. And a Hunter with angelic knowledge would have made a great ally.
S6 Cas was good and if he had gone on to be the S7 big bad that might have worked as well. But to bring him back as crazy (along with ghost Bobby) just to appease his fans was a huge mistake and the character never seemed to recover.
# Dana 2016-03-01 15:49
One of the best things they did with Cas was to make him human. It took away the Ex Machina aspect that they complain about but allows the character some growth. And then they gave him back his grace, big mistake imo. I really looked forward to the boys not having the instant cures and maybe hurt a little more or worry a bit more about the hurts they get. Oh well.
# cheryl42 2016-03-01 19:22
I agree with Percy. I would have liked the idea of Cas turning into Jimmy and becoming a Hunter and ally for the brothers. Cas was still comic relief as a human. Jimmy already knew how to be human. He could have been a tragic figure who had lost everything and wants to set things right. Misha might have killed that role.

I just can't get on board with his Lucifer. Yes the writing isn't very good for that character but Mark P did menacing snark better than anyone.
# BoGirle 2016-02-29 19:28
I didn't find this episode all that great either. I can certainly sympathize with a novice writer and cut him a little slack, but this episode didn't hang together all that well and had many of the lazy tropes that were common to this show in season's 8 and 9 that they've been getting away from lately. I found this episode to be kind of a throw back and not in a good way. Quite a few things here don't track plot wise. Gunnar's motivation for one. I too had a hard time sympathizing with him, although I did a little because the actor was pretty good... so kudos to him, because Gunnar was a pretty lousy and ultimately selfish individual. Why did it take a pep talk from Dean to get him to do the right thing when it was pretty clear to him that he knew what he was doing was pretty reprehensible to begin with? And the Crowley/Casifer scenes didn't really track well either. Why did Casifer leave Crowley alive? Just to mess with him? That wasn't made clear, and now Crowley has bested Lucifer? How'd that happen? Misha's take on Lucifer is not working for me at all; I'm finding it pretty hard to watch. And there are several other lame tropes that I'd hoped we'd left behind in the Caver years: 1). The sending Sam off screen so that the camera can follow Dean around while he does nothing of import trope is one I'd hoped we'd never see again. And I didn't like the "Dean plays in the ring" scene, it didn't fit into the story, it was filmed strangely like the were trying to get material for the gag reel and seemed quite indulgent and unnecessary. I didn't find it funny at all. 2) The perfunctory "we have nothing on X so lets go work a case" conversation at the start of the episode. What a lazy way to shunt your main plot off to one side and basically not deal with it. This show has been doing this a lot lately and I'm tired of it. The Amara storyline has all but stalled out. I've almost forgotten that she's supposed to be a problem. 3). The fact that an offstage Sam figures out the whole plot all by himself in scenes we do not see. I HATE this trope with a bloody passion and it was on full display here. As we basically watched Dean do nothing, Sam was sent off and managed to completely figure out the entire plot only to be relegated to exposition boy, filling us in on stuff we did not get to see. Again, unbelievably lazy writing. I also didn't care for the Sam/Rio connection because it was so superficial and perfunctory. It smacked of "we'd better give Sam a line or two, or the fan's will be pissed." What was the point of Sam connecting with Rio? Nothing at all came of it, they barely spoke, it was treated as a joke and ended up meaning nothing in the grand scheme of the plot. Yeah, I didn't find much to like here. Not as bad as Bad Seed, but probably my second least favorite episode of the season.
Barbara Maake
# Barbara Maake 2016-02-29 19:41
And I didn't like the "Dean plays in the ring" scene, it didn't fit into the story, it was filmed strangely like the were trying to get material for the gag reel and seemed quite indulgent and unnecessary. I didn't find it funny at all.

E, I just watched the video of the Js Gold panel at NashCon and Jensen actually said that most of the moves he did in the "plays in the ring" scene were only done ONCE (like the rolling up onto the mat) but the editors showed it multiple times to extend the scene. I'm assuming that this was done with the blessings of the director, but it struck me as odd that at the time of filming a shorter scene was deemed appropriate, but that in editing, when presumably they're paring things down, they actually extended the scene. I would love to know what scenes were cut from the ep to make room for the longer romp in the ring. Maybe the part where Sam was off working the case?:)
# BoGirle 2016-02-29 21:58
Ugh.... this makes me like the episode even less. I wonder if the writer had a hand in the editing room or if there is an Adam Glass clone handling the editing of the scene. I have to wonder at why they would choose to elaborate on a nothing scene that went no where and did not enhance the plot? Who's decision was that? Did the director think it was funny to watch Dean play? I suppose it could have been but it didn't work for me at all and seeing as how the plot itself was floundering somewhat and we found out later that Sam was off stage actually doing some work and getting things done, I'd have much rather seen that. And the farting scene? Yeah, that was a new low IMO... how incredibly juvenile and unnecessary.
# Didi 2016-02-29 22:44
Wait! What farting scene? There's a farting scene? Way to keep it classy SPN. Not!
# AlyCat22 2016-03-01 05:29
Hopefully THAT scene wasn't adlibbed...
# Dana 2016-03-01 15:44
I understood from a Tweet by one of the crew, that the fart was actually added in post and was not scripted. They just thought it was funny and added the sound later. Based upon Dean's eating habits and manners, it's not really a surprise.
# AlyCat22 2016-03-01 18:14
Yeah I figured it was added in post. What is it with men and toilet humour? It's like they just can't resist if given the chance. Barking spiders indeed. ;)
# BoGirle 2016-03-01 20:05
Ugh... sophomoric toilet humor....great. Totally and completely unnecessary and gross to boot. I wonder how Jensen felt about that?
# njspnfan 2016-03-01 14:32
Hey, we men can't help it if women don't have the same highly refined sense of humor to appreciate fart jokes. :):):)
Barbara Maake
# Barbara Maake 2016-03-01 17:07
It didn't bother me njspnfan, because it was consistent with canon. I believe Sam has made one or two passing references (OK, bad pun is out of the way) to Dean's gassiness.:);)
# AlyCat22 2016-03-01 18:12
Sam's the one who eats a burrito and gets gassy! At least per Deans Yellow Fever rant. :)
Barbara Maake
# Barbara Maake 2016-03-01 20:21
True, but I was referring to Sam's reference in AHBL to having to ride with Dean's extra onions. But also, I was just kidding. One of my poorer attempts at humor, apparently!
# BoGirle 2016-03-01 20:06
And we don't need to hear it happening on screen no matter what the boys are saying. It's just plain gross and a cheap attempt at humor to boot.
Barbara Maake
# Barbara Maake 2016-03-01 20:19
No, I agree with you. I was just joking (not very obviously, I guess :)) about it being canon because that's what we all endlessly dissect here at WFB. It would be interesting, however , if that is yet another addition to the ep made at the editing stage. New editor, perhaps?
# BoGirle 2016-03-02 06:10
I guess I just have a hard time understand that as an after the fact editing choice.....I mean, someone's sitting there saying "hey, hey! let's add a fart sound! Hah, that will be hilarious!" I mean, they are grown men supposedly right? Since when is Supernatural Benny Hill? Ugh and yuck.
# njspnfan 2016-03-02 09:07
Given some of the strong reactions to the fart humor, to quote Shakespeare's Hamlet, " The lady doth protest too much, methinks" . I think we have some closet Three Stooges fans in the ranks :D:D:D