Renée (rogueslayer452) wrote,
Renée
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SPN: "The Devil You Know" Episode Review + Meta

Supernatural 5.20 "The Devil You Know"

On their search to find Pestilence, the Winchesters are visited by Crowley who comes to them offering to help aide them in destroying Lucifer, and by that he offers to help them find Pestilence and get the third ring. Sam doesn't trust Crowley, Crowley doesn't trust Sam and thinks he's a moose, but Dean is willing to go along with it despite Sam's blatant disapproval. They locate Pestilence's "handler" so to speak, however some kind of connection is added for the dramatics when it turns out this demon has personal ties with Sam during his college years at Stanford, who introduced him to Jessica...and also is the one who killed her. This enrages Sam, and he almost Hulks out but Crowley interrupts by bringing the awesome, and after a few more confrontations the demon gives the location of Pestilence to the boys, and after that Sam gains his revenge. Towards the end Crowley visits Bobby, telling him about his alliance with the boys about defeating Lucifer, and offers Bobby a deal, a deal that he may or may not be willing to take to ensure the survival of the world....

The episode itself wasn't anything spectacular but it raises a few interesting points, although why they brought them up now than earlier this season is anyone's guess.


The Fantastically Awesome of Crowley: "That's what you get for working with a demon."



Here's the thing, I've always liked the concept of having a demon who aided the Winchesters through certain situations like this, in fact we were given somewhat of a head-start in the third season with what could have been the Ruby storyline until they completely ruined it and decided to go back on that decision. It always seemed odd to me that we have angels who were morally conflicted and could go either way, but the demons were always painted as always being evil and having tendencies no matter what. But finally, finally, we have a demon that understands the stakes and understands that instead of going by the basic demonic instincts a lot of the lower-ranking demons often do and team up with the Winchesters to achieve the same thing. He's not hiding ir sugarcoating anything about his personality, it's not suggesting that the boys rely on him completely since that's not the point of him joining them. The point is about survival; their endgames are similar, defeating Lucifer at all costs. He makes it clear that he's still a demon, he's still can be manipulative, but if they want to achieve this they have to be on the same page, and I like that.

And this is precisely the kind of allies the Winchesters need. Not necessarily meaning they have to start forming their own Scooby Gang, but at least having some familiar faces that they know could help them in the future if they so need to, you know? Backups, instead of being alone. Only Crowley, being a demon, after this is all over who knows where he'll stand regarding the Winchesters. As for right now though, they're definitely on the frenemy level.

One of the interesting things I found was how powerful Crowley is. He can appear and disappear instantaneously like an angel would, he doesn't seem to get hurt that easily, he has plenty of tricks up his sleeve (i.e. those magical coins he used to track down/listen in on the boys) and he has his own hellhound that is bigger than other hellhounds. Nope, Crowley isn't your average black-eyed demon, that's for sure. It's been mentioned that he was once Lilith's right-hand demon, so that could explain a lot about the certain abilities he's able to do, along with his respectable position. It's just fascinating to see a demon of his stature, a demon who cares about his reputation along with his survival, teaming with the boys to fight a common enemy. Being there are advantages to his abilities along with disadvantages, mostly for the boys but nevertheless it's helpful for them either way.

Crowley is an absolutely fantastic addition to recurring roles, and I just really love having this kind of character finally being introduced into the series. I just hope the show isn't going to do the predictable thing they've been doing and kill him off, because again, wasted opportunity. Because really, why get rid of such awesome characters like him?


Sam Winchester vs. Brady: Plot Device or Complete Retconning?

I have to say, while it's an interesting notion I wasn't entirely thrilled with the reveal about the demon Brady, mostly because I generally think it's sloppy retconning only to provide character drama for Sam and further whatever he's thinking about doing. Which, in all honesty, is kinda sad considering it's this late into the season.

I mean, I guess it could work in context of what was said. Demons have been following Sam around even before he realized it or understood what was going on, the Yellow-Eyed Demon always keeping an eye on him, making sure he would someday return to hunting and fulfill his destiny, the fact that YED ordered some lackey to do his dirty work for him. It's not an impossible way of going about these order of events, but I think my major gripe is having some random guy appear and then just now tell us their connection. If anything, they should have gotten someone we'd previously seen, like that guy friend in the pilot episode so there could have been some recognizable connection so it didn't seem like this was completely out of the blue. Instead, this felt like they needed something to really make a personal link between Sam and his anger to what happened to him, which we already know. Sam has anger the size of the Hulk, he has to learn how to control it.

If they were meaning to try to have some development concerning Sam and his rage and what he had previously talked to Bobby about, it could have been handled a bit differently. But I guess it was using something that Sam still was personally affected by to bring that out. I don't know, I guess I can understand where they wanted to go with that, it just didn't execute well in my eyes.

But this also brings me to what Sam had discussed with Bobby earlier in the episode. On one hand, I can certainly see this happening because it's about Sam gaining control over himself and using this opportunity to get amends and redeem himself like he's been attempting to do, on the other hand as evidence in this episode his rage is still going strong. All it would take for Lucifer to bring up one thing, one tiny personal thing like Jessica to tip him over the edge. Bobby is right, how can he control the devil if he can barely control himself? It would take a lot of willpower and strength, and we know that Sam is gung-ho about revenge and he's been trying to redeem that. But still. Angry Sam is big Hulk Angry, and that's the kind of anger and rage Lucifer wants, and unless he learns to really control such a powerful being in order to really do what he's planning on doing there's no way it'll end well. But of course, already knowing that they're ending the apocalypse this season we kinda get the idea that it will.

Though I will say, that's precisely the kind of ending I wanted to see happen. The rings may be somewhat of a deux ex machina but they're not the only contributor of defeating Lucifer and averting the Apocalypse from taking place. I've always believed it would be the power and strength of humanity that would weaken Lucifer because we know how much he hates us, hates humanity, so if Sam overpowers him that would be a complete nightmare for him and also perfect way of sending him back downstairs.

So yeah. This episode provided some useful information, but as far as the Sam and Brady thing I could have dealt without that being added.


Memorable Moments of the Episode:

++ Mostly all of Crowley's scenes, really. Mark Sheppard is just fantastic in the role (as he is in all of his roles, tbh) The right level of sarcasm and snark, his temper tantrum in the beginning which was excellently done, his dialogue (and Britishisms, hee) and interaction with the boys was just spot-on perfection. I hear he's going to be in next week's episode too, so I'm definitely looking forward to that. And if there is going to be a Crowley/Castiel interaction scene which, OH GOD YES PLEASE LET THERE BE ONE!

++ The fact that Crowley did a surprise!appearance in the backseat of the Impala is so much win, and he continually surprised the boys by his random appearing/disappearing acts.

++ Jensen really had spot-on reactions this episode, too. His facial expressions are just hilarious. I loved his "holy crap, we don't care" line to Crowley and his ranting to his visible gulping when talking with Brady and of course, this scene:



++ Aww, Dean getting a little whumped this episode. I kinda wonder why he just didn't use the knife on Brady then instead of getting kicked in the side repeatedly? I don't know. But his visible gulp once realizing his strategy of speechifying his way of getting Brady to compromise wasn't working was very endearing, idky but it was just too cute. Along with him being all, "ooookayy, spinning chair by itself" Hee.

++ "That's what you get for working with a demon." <--- TRUER FACTS HAVE NEVER BEEN STATED, BB. <333

++ I do have to say, Sam is bigger than Dean. How Dean managed to push him back easily when Sam is going all GGGRRR I HULK YOU DIE is amazing to me. I don't know, I think Jared looks much bigger when he's angrier and, I definitely don't want to get in the path of raged!Sammy, no I do not.

++ LOL @ CROWLEY CALLING SAM A MOOSE. XD Does this mean that Dean is Squirrel? lol

++

LOL CROWLEY YOU ARE SO GAY, I LOVE IT!

++ BRINGING HIS OWN BIGGER AND BADDER HELLHOUND TO THE PARTY = OMFG AWESOME SHIT. \O/\O/\O/ THIS IS WHY I LOVE CROWLEY, OKAY? HE DISAPPEARS ONLY TO REAPPEAR WITH BETTER PLANS OF ACTION. AND THAT IS JUST, IDEK, JUST FUCKING AMAZING OKAY? CROWLEY BB NEVER LEAVE ME.

++ Dean and Crowley are ultimate frenemies now, and I love it. I think what I enjoyed most was how despite Sam's objections to teaming up with Crowley, Dean was willing to take all the chances they had offered to them, and even Bobby kind of agreed in a sense. I guess Sam knows what it feels like when your brother chooses a demon over you, so heh. But even so, Crowley is made of awesome, way more than fail!Ruby (Katie!Ruby still rules in my book, and holy shit can you imagine Katie!Ruby and Crowley together in the same room? THE SNARK BB, THE SNARK WOULD BE GLORIOUS!) But I loved the end when they were lining the salt in the alleyway and Crowley looks at Dean and Dean doesn't finish the line until Crowley crosses over it. That right there is a perfect example of how Dean can accept demons when they come through in the end, even if he doesn't outright fully trust him, he believes if what Crowley has to offer. I like that.

++ I honestly thought that Sam was going to leave Brady there instead of kill him, you know? Leave a demon trapped between a wall and a line of salt, and even if he did manage to escape other demons would be coming after him. But then Sam killed him. Oh well.

++ CROWLEY AND BOBBY = FOR THE WIN. \O/ My favorite line, other than Bobby's fantastical snark one?



LOL FOREVER! This kind of reminisces back in S3 when Bobby shot Katie!Ruby with the Colt and she goes, "Ouch!"

++ But this kind of makes me worry that this seals Bobby's fate. :( I have no idea what's gonna happen but I'm fearing that either Bobby or Castiel isn't going to make it in the end, and that's a terrible feeling to have. :(((

++ WHERE THE FUCK IS MY BB CASTIEL?! I MISS CASTIEL! AND THE FACT THAT HE WOULD HAVE BEEN TWO EPISODES MORE THAN LAST SEASON PISSES ME OFF THAT WE WERE PROMISES 17 EPISODES OF HIS CHARACTER THIS SEASON AND WE HAVE YET TO SEE MORE OF HIS CHARACTER IN THESE FINAL EPISODES AND WHAT ARE THEY GONNA DO TO TELL HIS STORY AND REGAINING HIS FAITH IN GOD AND HIS JOURNEY AND ALL OF THIS IDEK. THERE BETTER BE A GOOD FUCKING EXPLANATION FOR HIS ABSENCE OR THERE WILL BE ANGRY LETTERS SET TO KRIPKE, I AM NOT JOKING PPL.


Overall: If Crowley wasn't in this episode it wouldn't have been fun, I'll just put this out there right now. For the last few episodes I've been enjoying the supporting characters rather than our two main guys on the show, and that's kind of sad saying that but hey, it's true. The show has been kind of dragging its heels with this Apocalypse this season that it's getting to the point where we're down to two episodes and there's still nothing that leads up to what is going to happen. This episode was highly enjoyable because of Crowley's involvement, I could have done without the Sam/Brady scenes because that was mostly filler to add the ~character drama for Sam. But it does raise some interesting questions that I hope we get to in these last two episodes and there better be stellar explanations for whatever is going to happen otherwise I'm calling major foul.

This includes explaining where the hell Castiel has been and why it's taken the boys this long to find him because if there isn't something like that in the next episode I am just going to raise some hell.


Can we just forget about a season six and just have a spin-off series with the angels/archangels, preferably with Castiel's personal journey with his family, with some added Crowley to to mix? Perhaps a little Ghostfacers for kicks? As much as I love the boys I find those backstories of such supporting characters much more compelling to watch and to be explored further than the Winchester stuff lately. Just saying.
Tags: meta: supernatural, show reviews: supernatural
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