Somewhere Between Heaven and Hell was written by Davy Perez and is only his third outing since coming onboard Supernatural. He has definitely done his research. The ep was directed by one of our favs, Nina Lopez-Corrado, also a relative newbie to the show. I loved one of her previous episodes, Red Meat and this one doesn’t disappoint either. It had a slow burn then wam bam quality to it that I really enjoyed. It was mytharc nestled inside a MOTW ep and it all fit together quite nicely. When the Fab 4 (+1) are involved, sometimes the eps can get a bit convoluted and choppy, but I didn’t find that to be the case this time. Everyone brought their A-game, again. They keep doing that this season. Pretty much every week.
12 seasons and Show is still giving us unexpected twists and turns. Since the moment Mary stepped from death and into episode 1, she’s not been what or who I thought she’d be. Sam and Dean have changed too over the course of all these long years. At the same time, some things have not changed at all.
They still bicker and yes, sadly, they still lie to each other. Oh Sam. I kinda wish you hadn’t picked the Brit’s side and Mary’s side. Fortunately, your big brother isn’t inclined to beat you into the ground for it. Well maybe.
I get ahead of myself. Let’s start with THEN
The alpha vamp is killed with the colt. Dean forgives his mom for lying to her sons. Sam says he’s down with the BMOL.
Supernatural has a habit of breaking and twisting the 4th wall. All the way from the French Mistake where it was shattered, to the latest; a shoutout to another show, the Walking Dead, where Dad’s been on a hunting trip and he’s killing zombies with a bat named Lucille. The bat made an epic appearance in this ep, perhaps as a tribute to the boys favorite tv show dad, Jeffrey Dean Morgan. “Dad loved this thing!” I missed half the dialogue between Sam and Dean, I was laughing so hard.
Still a little ahead of myself; we actually start out in the woods with a couple lovebirds out camping and communing with nature, though Gwen (Angelique Rivera) needs to learn how to split wood. The first 5 minutes of Supernatural fit the meme (don’t be in it!) when boyfriend, Markus ends up a chew toy for an unexpected Hell Hound. According to lore, they only go after those who make a demon deal. Did Markus do it? Did Gwen sell her soul? The hound goes after her too, but she whacks it with the ax, er hatchet, and manages to escape certain death.
Boom. Title card. Cut to Sam and Dean bickering about Dean’s lack of personal hygiene and the oddity of Sam knowing how many pairs of underwear Dean packs.
“You smell like road kill,” Sam admonishes before they set off on another case. A case that Sam mysteriously gets through his phone, which is where the lying starts. Really, the case is from Mick Davies, aka BMOL, aka Frodo, aka the Douchebusters. Ha! Sam doesn’t tell Dean that or that he’s been secretly working with the Brits (for weeks! Gah!). Dean goes off to clean up but he’s stealing Sam’s special shampoo in retribution. (Who else wants to know the brand?) The brother banter is spot on and we are treated to the Sam bitch-face x 2. Sam is definitely exasperated with big brother.
The boys head out and arrive at the tore up campsite. Sam’s on the phone with Mary and Dean is talking to Cas, where we find out that angels are getting killed. Again. (From last week’s ep with two angels getting dusted by Dagon. Cas has caught up.) But sticking with team Sam and Dean, the boys dressed in fed threads investigate and discover that they are dealing with a hellhound right from the jump. Uh oh.
Poor Gwen now has hellhound PTSD, complete with flashbacks. Dean can relate. Sam opts for a comfort talk rather than the bald truth with her. Dean thinks that’s dumb, with a little more banter about Dean being the more handsome of the two, which prompts bitchface #3 from Sam. Heh.
They are so funny, except oh wait! THERE’S A HELLHOUND RIGHT BEHIND YOU!
Seriously the thing acts like it’s stalking Dean first, but no, it’s after the girl. Gwen doesn’t buy into the idea that everything is going to be all right and kicks the boys out. Who does that? First off, these are some damn fine looking federal agents, and secondly, Sam with the puppy-dog eyes is in high form and is it just me or is his voice getting deeper and deeper as the years go on? My Chuck! I was enthralled by comforting Sam.
The boys leave her to it (BF #4 but who’s counting!)
…and leave the hellhound in the house with her. Fortunately, her screams when it attacks get the boys back inside lickety split and Dean shoots the dog enough to get it to run away. Gwen then gets the ‘talk’ and meets the King of Hell.
Crowley, who’s been busy abusing Lucifer, comes with the news that the hellbitch is none other than Lucifer’s first hound. (Created by Chuck! What?) No one can control Ramsey except Lucifer, who Dean thinks is locked up tight in the cage. What a relief! (Not so much Dean!) Gwen takes it all in with remarkable calm. Pretty sure she didn’t get that Crowley is the King of Hell. Crowley agrees to work with Sam and Dean because hey, it looks bad if there’s a hellhound running around loose out there. Bad for the brand. It’s all about the appearance of control. (This might be important going forward. It all looks one way and then turns out another. Hello!)
So they all go off together to the park to hunt the devil dog.
Meanwhile, the Angels are getting into some stuff.
Cas is on his own case trying to track down where Kelly Cline has gotten off too. He hears about her encounter at the diner with the angels who went poof. Cas is still just as awkward as ever, not at all comfortable talking to regular, non-Winchester humans. It’s no wonder since the one he has to talk to is a full on nutjob, tin foil hat wearer who thinks his waitress was taken over by a reptile alien. Cas; uh huh. Thanks for your help. The manager, who makes Cas look really very tall (because he’s so so short) produces proof on a camera tape and they both see the yellow eyed demon, Dagon.
Cas leaves the diner and crazy manager abruptly, and then he runs into … another angel.
And boy is this guy smooth. His name is Kelvin who sweet-talks Cas into listening to the pitch. He’s kinda okay, the new angel guy. He likes earth after all. It’s quirky and smells like hay. Which you know, if you think about it, the little blue marble probably does smell just like that to an outsider angel. But really, I don’t trust Kelvin at all. I don’t trust other angels to not turn out to be jerks. They almost ALWAYS are.
Kelvin pulls out all the stops and names drops probably the only decent angel, other than Cas himself, that we’ve ever met – and that would be Joshua.
I am totally loving all the historic delving the writers are doing this season, digging up quite a few lovely chestnuts. I liked Joshua, even though he couldn’t help Sam and Dean way back during the apocalypse. He was all right. And now, he wants Cas back on the home team and I sure hope it turns out all right but I’m also fairly 100% certain it won’t … because angels are dicks. Cas excluded of course.
Back to the hellhound hunt, everybody splits up. Dean and Crowley, Sam and Gwen. Dean cautions Sam to take care of her, meaning his car, chiding Sam about riding the breaks. Of course, we know from this bit of foreshadowing that something BAD is going to happen to the car. Gah! But we also get Sam bitchface #5 (might be #6. There were a lot of them in this ep, lol).
Sam drives off with Gwen, totally annoyed with his brother, while Crowley and Dean go for a stroll in the park – with the hellhound RIGHT BEHIND THEM!
Holy Chuck, the ep gave me hellhound PTSD just worried about Dean getting mauled. He handled the whole thing way better than I did. Well of course he did. He’s Dean Winchester, who thanked, bee-tee-dubs, the King of Hell for saving his angel. Awwww. They argued back and forth about who had rubbed off more on whom. Heh. I love snarky Crowley just about as much as I love snarky Sam and Dean and the WHOLE ep was laced with delicious snarkiness. Bless.
Dean and Crowley discover that the hellhound is not in her lair. Well where is she?
About to scratch the living shit out of Baby is where. But not before Gwen admits to not really loving Markus the same way he loved her and feels she should have told him the truth. She lied to make it easy.
That one hits Sam pretty hard because he’s doing the exact same thing! He’s lying to Dean to make things easy, so he doesn’t have to explain, so he doesn’t have to argue, so he doesn’t have to put up with Dean’s no way in hell attitude Sam thinks he’s going to get. This is kinda why they always lie to each other, both of them, to avoid dealing with the fallout. The lie, however, also always comes out – usually at the worst possible time, too late for anyone to come clean. This had a devastating effect back in season 9 when Dean lied to Sam about Gadreel for a r e a l l y l o n g t i m e. Same thing when Sam lied to Dean about looking for a cure for the mark. All the bad things happen, so you’d think they’d learn something from it, right? Unexpected wonders ahead…
Anywho, the damn dog dents and scratches Baby all to hell and back (see what I did there 😜 ) and I think Sam got out to take on the hellhound alone because he was super worried about protecting the car from further damage. He had two big reasons to stop this thing; both of them girls. So he goes after the invisible dog he can see wearing the oh so awesome special holy oil doused&fired glasses – looking amazing while he was at it. Special kudos to the fx team because the hellhound was super creepy awesome with its red eyes and red mouth and eeeee gad it was just evil all around. I’m glad it was Sam. I don’t want Dean to ever have to face down a hellhound ever again. Seriously, nope.
Also, really great shots of the hellhound through the special glasses that naturally get knocked off Sam’s lovely face. Loved that.
After an assist from Gwen and the Green Cooler slammed upside Ramsey’s devil dog head! yes, Sam Fucking Winchester slays the beast and ends up coated in hellhound blood. Again.
Coming down to the end, kinda sorta, back at the car all beat up and Dean is very grumpy, but I fully expected him to lose his shit completely, but no – he doesn’t react as expected.
And then Sam does something I never thought I’d hear him do – he thanks Crowley for helping them out. Holy crap-tastic! Sam hates Crowley quite a whole lot, so will wonders never cease! But I thought it was well-deserved and appropriate. Crowley is a frenimy after all. Sure he’s done some terrible (really terrible) things, but he helped save Sam from Gadreel. He absolutely saved Cas (twice) and he kinda sorta helped save Dean by keeping him in check with the MOC and as a demon. He’s an enigma, that one. The devil we know. He gets a lovely, unexpected hug from Gwen, who thinks he seems nice. Heh.
The boys head home after successfully solving the case and saving the girl. Crowley, after Sam’s very nice thank you, heads back to hell and we come to one of the biggest surprises of the entire episode: Lucifer
The whole hellhound loose on the world was the work of tweedle Dee and tweedle Dumb demon #1 & 2, who know Crowley’s got Lucy tied and tressed.
They manage to pick-pocket the special key that unlocks the chains -so many chains- that Lucifer is all bound up in. TD&D live up to their idiocy by attempting to negotiate with Lucifer (how DUMB can you get? Pretty darn dumb!) for all the things, and then they let him loose. Well shit.
They end up snapped into nothing but dust. Seriously, no one does Lucifer quite like Mark Pellegrino. I loved Casifer, but Mark P is all the things. Just all of them.
Crowley, who’s been so cocksure of his plan to hold Lucifer outside the cage, returns to discover the devil sitting on his throne.
I was actually kinda really worried right then that Crowley was going up in a puff of dust like the dumber demon minions. Lucifer knocks him half a room back pretty easy and does the whole awesome, intense, amazing, wow, SUPERDUPER, archangel, Light Bringer, powerup with wings, and really, how the actual hell is Crowley going to make it out of this?
“I’ve got plans out the jacksey,” he once said way back in S8. He proved that he did in this ep. With a snap of his fingers, Lucifer’s angel juice powerup display goes flat. Snap. Lucifer writhes in pain. Snap. He falls to his knees before the King of Hell! HOLY SHIT WHAT IS HAPPENING??? Crowley has one-upped the devil himself. His Nick vessel has been warded and carved with runes and bound up to the molecular level and is now THE CAGE.
WAAAAAA!!! Oh my Chuck, I loved it! The vessel is the cage! Just brilliant. And Crowley pulled off this amazing upset win that I certainly didn’t see coming. Friggin awesome! I’m a little bit concerned, torn, confused over the possibility I might end up feeling sorry for Lucifer. For LUCIFER. I have no idea what’s going to happen again. None at all.
And now for the final very much unexpected turn of events: Sam comes clean.
He’s really very obviously nervous and worried about telling Dean this secret, the lie he’s perpetrated on each and every case they’ve been on for the last two weeks. His phone rings and it’s Mick Davies again, but this time Sam doesn’t answer, facing his brother instead.
And Dean listens to him. He takes in the news of this lie with a range of emotion playing across that handsome face – awareness, hurt, anger that’s buried just under the surface, more realizations keep showing up, all without words. But then the hardness softens when Sam apologizes and admits he should not have lied. Dean doesn’t get angry. And then he tells Sam that he’s right. (Go back and watch how Sam straightens up, standing oh so tall because his big brother just said, you’re right. All Sam ever wants is the approval of his brother and when he gets it, he’s a different Sam.) Dean agrees to back his play, go along with the Brits handing them cases if it means they save more people. If things feel off, they’re out. Unlike previous times when they disagreed or lied to each other, this time they didn’t fight. They didn’t argue. Dean gets it and Sam is the one left surprised and grateful that his brother is going with him.
Or …is he? Because then after that I’ll go along with you agreement, here’s the last shot of the ep.
And now I’m not so sure. I have zero idea what’s going to happen with this, with the Brits, with Mary, with Cas … oh yeah. Cas.
Does this look like an Angel who’s heading home or to what he thinks is an execution?
Is he worried this is the last time he’ll ever talk to Dean?
Oh Cas. Yes Dean, he sounded weird. Hope you boys can figure that one out PDQ cuz I think Cas is heading into big trouble.
We’re out until March 30th when Supernatural returns after a couple weeks of mini-hellatus. They do this to us every year – for a couple reasons. We are catching up to the production of the show. We watched ep 15 while they are still filming ep 19. I recall that it takes about 3 weeks to fully make an episode including post-production where the effects, and music and editing are put in, so 4 eps ahead of us is not enough time for them to do the job. Thus, we get breaks in the air dates while they keep working. They go into ep 20 early next week.20! Already! The second reason is to push the show’s season finale into the critical sweeps month of May. That’s when the ratings for live viewing really count a lot so be sure to tune in, tweet and post on FB to boost ratings.
See you on the flip side…