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Quick Reaction: 11x15 Beyond the Mat

Helloooo....

I am writing to this to the sounds of my neighbour vigerously having sex in her living room. I really wish she'd stop doing that. It's the only room in her house that I can hear EVERY SINGLE THING... ugh. The good news for my neighbour is that her boyfriend has more stamina tonight than he had last time, but that's bad news for me.

Anyway, that's besides the point - the point is, I have watched the episode, once, while drinking. Also, I was having trouble hearing dialogue tonight (I'm not sure if it's my ears or my attention), so yeah, don't correct me unless I ask you to and forgive me if I don't remember things well.

EPISODE!

Wrestlers! They wrestle! I thought that maybe the death was going to be the wrestler actually getting hanged in the ring - and then I worried that might be too shortly after that poor dude in Italy died from accidentally being hanged... but then the wrestler didn't die! And instead the rope killed the drinking-dude instead. And this whole thing really doesn't make sense unless you know what I'm talking about.

To the bunker! Where Sam has just woken up? I'm assuming. He's in need of painkillers... were they drinking? Is it a muscle ache? What was the last episode? Did he hurt himself in that? Oh, Lucifer soul punched him last episode, so I don't think that's it. They must have been drinking.

Anyway, Dean has found the obituary of the Hangman wrestler dude - and he has already started packing a bag to go to the funeral. Apparently the Hangman dude guy was John's favourite wrestler. Awww... memories. Dean thinks they should go pay their respects, and Sam is like "but WE'VE GOT STUFF TO DO!" but Dean wins somehow? Before he wins though, they talk briefly about Cas - Dean is still SUPER UPSET that Cas said yes, and when Sam mentions how it might be hard to save Cas if he doesn't WANT to be saved - Dean is like OF COURSE HE WANTS TO BE SAVED... he just doesn't know it yet. Awww, Dean. Sam's of course not saying that they shouldn't save Cas, he's just being a big downer by pointing out how much harder it's going to be to do it if Cas doesn't cooperate with them.

(Holy crap, I think my neighbour is gearing up for round five.... geeez... they must be on drugs. And omg, how can they live with furniture that squeeky?! I should put on music... but surely they must nearly be done...)

Meanwhile, in Hell (or Hell's offices), Lucifer is having all the demons look for other Hands of God. It makes me wonder if the weapons that Balthazar had in S6 were all Hands of God, and if so, were they all one time use objects too? (But we'll get to that.)

He asks Crowley if he knows anything, and Crowley doesn't - but Lucifer doesn't believe him! You can tell, because he makes Crowley lick the floor clean. Gross.

Back in Missouri, Dean and Sam arrive at the funeral - which is in that fancy house that they use a lot for sets... and Clif is there!  (ie: Tiny from S2. Nice to know he got out of prison. He doesn't have any lines though, because he is no longer in that union.)

Annnnnnyway... Dean immediately and adorably fans out over Gunner Lawless. And he's adorable. I said that already, but it's true. And we learn that Dean's first B&E was done in order to watch a wrestling match on cable. Awww.

Sam, meanwhile, is trying to play it super cool - because he obviously wasn't as into wrestling as Dean was as a kid - but apparently Sam also has a secret weakness in the wrestling world, because his first crush was on Rio, who was a manager for one of the wrestlers back in the day. And he fans out over her, and she laughs, and says that at least he's not the type that had a poster of her over his bed - and Sam's reaction alone is enough to clearly tell us that he did. Awww. Sam... it's not like we weren't all hormone filled 12 year-olds at some point (usually at 12).

(Speaking of, FINALLY some post-coital talk coming from the neighbour's place... I might be saved from anymore squeeky couch.)

Rio let's it slip that the death was a suicide, not an accident or natural causes. Then they find out that there's a memorial show happening that evening - so they decide to go.

At the show, Dean puts the final punchline on the poster-joke, and this is my biggest writing/directing nitpick of the episode. Jared's performance in the scene with Rio was enough to give that joke a punchline on it's own, we didn't need the second one, and as a result it falls flat because it's overdone. So, what they should have done was either cut Dean's reiteration of the joke OR have Jared play Sam actually smooth and cool and convincingly scoffing in the scene with Rio, and then Dean's line serves as the actual punchline where we find out that Sam was totally lying and he WAS a squeezy 12 year-old and is now embarrassed about it. Anyway... sorry, I apparently take my comedy writing seriously. :P

The writers then make up for it by giving Dean a great line about how he doesn't understand why the wrestlers go to all the work they do, when they don't get money or glory - and Sam is like "you just described OUR jobs." Hahaha.

Then a father and his son sits behind them and is awkwardly oversharing about how he loves wrestling because the beer is cheap and his kid is entertained, so it's a fantastic way to half-ass parenting (I don't think he actually says that last part, but implies it). And then Sam is like "oh yeah, I remember that part of our dad too" and Dean is like "don't ruin one of the best things Dad ever did with us." And fair enough - also, by the sounds of their conversation, John never actually brought them to the shows, they just watched them on TV... so, maybe John just drank through the matches while they were home, while Dean and Sam were entertained - but at least they were all watching something together? I don't know...

Gunner comes in and Dean excitedly remembers how he used to give his glove out to "some kid" in the audience - and then Dean tries to cheer loud enough to get it. I love the fact that Dean completely forgets i that moment that he's not a kid anymore - and I love how when he doesn't get the glove (because Gunner, understandbly, gives it to a child), Sam is like "maybe next time!" even though he knows it's never going to happen because Dean is nearly forty.

Anyway, then it's a wrestling match - and you know, I never really understood why people liked wrestling - but I was watching Sam and Dean in the scene and I realized that it's because it's like a pantomime play. It's a play where the audience also gets to act. And I guess watching it at home, it's like watching any TV show.

Then the kid's father goes outside to pee because there's a line up for the bathrooms - and is there EVER a line-up for the men's washroom?! It's true that I've never been to a small venue wrestling match, but I've been to other sporting events and no matter what size the crowd, I don't think I have EVER seen a line for a men's washroom before. (I forget which is the canadian word - washroom? One of the words we use for toilets, they don't use in the states, but I always forget which one. Probably washroom.)

So, now that there has been a death, Sam thinks they might actually have a case - because it's a super suspicious symbol-y death... and also the Hangman's death was super suspicious too, which Sam didn't really find out until he talked to the cops about this death. So, they split up - Sam goes to somewhere, and Dean goes to talk to the wrestlers.

He finds, instead, an empty wrestling ring, and then plays around a ton. I love all the stage rolls he does. When Rio shows up and calls him out on it, he then completely messes up getting out from within the ropes, and that's also amusing. Jensen is so good at physical comedy. (I think Jared is good at comedy that centres around him being SUPER AWKWARD.. but when he has to be like...witty humorous, rater than sarcastic humorous, he is physically awkward about it. Hence why comedy where he has to be awkward is best, because then he can use his comedy awkwardness to his advantage.)

(Sidenote: It annoys me that in Canadaland we spell humour with a u, but when we write humorous, we have to remember to take it out, because it's not spelled humourous. I'm not saying that I want to spell humour like the US does, because I don't - it just looks wrong - but I'd like to be able to spell humorous like humourous and not be wrong.)

Anyway, Rio tells Dean that the company thinks they might be cursed or something, and then informs him that he'll be able to find them all at the local bar. So, off Dean goes!

Meanwhile, the spunky demon - Simmons - is busting Crowley out of his shackles. In my note's, I have written "Don't do it Crowley - It's a trap!!!" But damn, she IS convincing, because I did doubt my initial gut instinct when she was all like "You're Crowley, the devil should be afraid of you!"

Back at the bar with Dean - there is a woman RUINING A POOL TABLE by dancing on it in high heels. Thankfully, you see someone come along in the background and get her down - but GEEZ. DO YOU KNOW HOW MUCH IT COSTS TO REFELT A POOL TABLE!? I bet that bar does.

Dean and Gunner have a drink together and compare scars. Dean has what looks like a bite mark on his leg. I think it would be really cool if there was legitemately an episode where Dean got a chunk taken out of his leg by something - and that we saw it - but I don't think that's happened. Dean rarely gets injured outside of his face and shoulders.

Then Dean is all like "how do you do it?" and Gunner is like "you gotta keep grinding."

(Speaking of grinding - my neighbour is blissfully quiet. Yay! At least she finished well before I am going to bed.)

Sam phones and tells Dean all about how the symbol found on the bodies is ancient Sumarian. (Ah, that was what Sam went to go do - he went to the motel room to research).

Oh hey, fun fact about Brimsom, Missouri - it is like a five street "town" in real life. I looked it up on google maps already.

While Dean in on the phone, wrestling problems break out in the bar - Harley is mad at Gunner, because earlier he saw Gunner take something from a shadey character - so he assumes it is drugs. I forgot to write about that scene earlier, because I did not make not of it in my notes while watching. My notes are not very good notes, by the way.

According to Sam, the symbol is associated with demons and deals and whatnot... so Dean decides to test all the wrestlers for demonhood by cutting tequila with holy water and doing shots with them all. This is a solid plan, until it makes Dean very very drunk.

Meanwhile, Crowley is kicking but with his angel blade and breaking out of Hell's main offices. He is getting back to his old self with the line "I'm Crowley" when Simmons asks how he did the super impressive thing. Ah Crowley, I do love it when you're competent and formidable.

Dean is drunk, and the bar is closing up, but Sam is like WE'RE WORKING. So Dean staggers on.

They find out Harley is missing from his motel room and the plays is quite messed up.

Crowley, meanwhile, finds a suit at a bar? I don't know. I honestly missed the dialogue here - mainly because my friend was like "The Black Rose - they've used that before right?" and I said "Yeah, they have" and then scene was over, and I didn't want to ask my friend to rewind so that I could get the dialogue, because I had already done that a couple of other times for other lines that I missed, and I was beginning to annoy even myself.

Sam finds the security footage of the motel room (and dudes, I don't know, but if I found a motel room that might be a crime scene, I would not sit in it while I got my laptop and hacked into security footage - I would scaddadle and THEN look up security footage where I wasn't putting my finger prints on things.)

Anyway, security footage shows that it was Gunner who abducted Harley.

Sure enough, it was! Harley wakes up tied to a chair with Gunner leaning over him - and man, I feel so bad for the guy, because he's actually an alright dude really - he apologizes to Gunner for causing trouble and asks him (rather nicely) not to hurt him. And Gunner is all like "not my call" and then we get to meet the demon. The demon is dealing in souls and favours - basically, he wants Harley's soul in ten years, but he also wants Harley to bring him people to kill? Or... other people to make deals with? I dunno. Harley, being an actual alright dude, tells him no - because Harley is intelligent enough to use abductive logic. If there are demons, then there's a hell, and if there's a hell, then there's a heaven - and if there's a choice between heaven and hell, then Harley chooses heaven. Then the demon severs his achilles tendon for saying no. But it's okay really, I mean, it's a really bad injury, but you CAN get your achilles re-attached and end up okay.

Meanwhile, Crowley FOOLISHLY takes Simmons to his personal lock-up, where he fetches the Rod of Aaron - which God created on the 6th day, but didn't actually name or do anything with until he gave it to Aaron, Moses' bro, to use for some reason or another. Then Lucifer shows up!

Back with the wrestlers, Gunner has killed Harley - and I'm super sad about it - because I had been hoping that Sam and Dean would save him, because usually they DO save the third person and Harley was actually an okay dude when it came down to it. But hey, at least he probably went to heaven?

Back with Lucifer, he tells us that it was all a double-cross, which I knew as soon as Crowley brought Simmons to the lock-up, because that was just dumb. I like Lucifer's use of "b-t-dubs", because, and I'm not proud of that, but I say that in my head all the time, though I usualy switch it to "by the way" when I speak, because I am TOO OLD FOR SUCH SHANANIGANS REALLY. Anyway, Lucifer tells Crowley that btws, everyone hates him. Because he is no longer the evilest evil to ever evil (yet another phrase that I use a lot - usually when I'm driving "oh my god! You are the slowest slow to ever slow!") .. instead of being evil, Crowlely is not just Dean Winchesters #1 Fan. Awwww...poor Crowley. It's kinda true.

I mean, he had good reason to be - in the first half of S9, he was all craving love because of what Sam did to him in S8, and then he figured out a way to get Dean to be his BFF by turning him into a demon, and I mean, if Crowley could have actually controlled Demon!Dean, then Crowley would have been a VERY formidable evil... but he couldn't, so it was a gamble that didn't pay off at ALL for him, and it's not that it just didn't pay off, it actually damaged him, because the demons all got to see Dean walk right over Crowley. And then there was the business with his mother - and yeah, it's just been a really bad two years to be Crowley.

Sam and Dean have run into the scene and met the demon dude now, and I think he's implying that instead of an "LA 10" Sam and Dean are a "Kansas 5", which is pretty dumb, because given the stereotypes of the midwest US, I can only conclude that Sam and Dean are actually a "Kansas 20" because DAMN.

Anywhoo - back with Crowley and Lucifer, where Crowley COMES THROUGH FOR ME. When he didn't freak out about Lucifer being there as much as I thought he would have - I knew that indeed, Crowley WAS back with us, because it was a double double cross. Crowley uses the rod to attack Lucifer, but Simmons jumps in front and takes the blow - so all that happens to Lucifer is that he's blown back into the wall pretty damn hard. Also, Simmons is now dead, which sucks, because I liked her.

Gunner attacks Dean and... wrestles him into a different room? I totally forget how they become separated from Sam and the demon. Anyway, Gunner tells Dean about how he made a deal in order to win the title. And it's the classic "bad deal" scenario where Gunner got his wish, but only for a week, so it was hardly worth it. Dean then gives him a speech, which... I didn't hear... BUT, I'm guessing he said something along the lines of how there's always a chance to redeem yourself from bad decisions and such, because Dean's been there too, and he has to believe that.. or words to that effect.

Crowley, meanwhile, discovers that Hands of God only work once... now he's got no way to fight back when Lucifer gets up and is a little pissed off about having cracked the back of his head open.

Back with Sam, the demo is telling him all about his motivations - how everything is chaotic now that Lucifer is running hell, so the demon is trying to build up a nest-egg of souls to make himself more powerful. I liked the fact that the demon says that it's "every demon for him-her-shim-self" - nice of the demon to invent a gender-neutral pronoun. :P (ETA: Oops, I've just been told that "shim" is offensive. Learn something new everyday. My apologies. I will amend this to say - I thought it was funny and cute at the time, but obviously there's a history around that word I do not know and I apologize for my misinformed first reaction!)

Dean jumps in and says HEY and then gets blown through a wall, but it's all a diversion for Gunner to knife the demon. And it works! Gunner kills the demon and saves Sam! Yay! It's too bad Harley is still dead.

What's more, we finally find out whether killing the demon that holds your contract will get you released from it - the answer appears to be no (unless Gunner's contract belonged to someone else) - because it seems the demon was actually the only thing keeping the hell hounds away from collecting... because Gunner immediately hears them coming. Dean and Sam are like, "shooooooooot, you want help or something?" (or wtta) and Gunner tells them that he'll accept his fate, because he hates himself. So cheery!

Sam and Dean have learned their lesson with hell hounds and demon deals anyway, so they accept that answer and run away. So, yeah, they really didn't save ANYONE this episode. They just successfully got a demon killed.

Then it's back to the Bunker! Once again, Dean is super honest about his feelings - and that he's not okay, not even a little bit. Sam, I think, is bumbed about that, because it looked like part of the reason he agreed to go to the wrestling things was because he wanted Dean to be happy.

Anyway, they talk about bad decisions and how everyone makes them. And Dean points out that that's all Cas has done too. Then Dean decides that he's going to take the one motivational message he heard during the case and run with it - and they'll "keep grinding" until they "save Cas, ice the devil, and shank the Darkness" - and I find myself wondering how Dean chooses his killing synonyms. Anyway, Dean insists that that's how they're going to win - and I think he's right, because it actually plays to the one strength they have - you can say a lot about the Winchesters, but they very very rarely give-up. They always hammer away at problems until they solve them, even if the solutions are questionable at best.... and that's basically how they beat all their enemies - TENACITY. :P

So, there we have it... now we have a WHOLE MONTH TO WAIT.

As per usual, let me know what you thought in comments.

Comments

( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
liliaeth
Feb. 25th, 2016 08:44 am (UTC)
I really like that the wrestler guy was smart enough to refuse the deal.
Though I do think the demon was stupid, I mean, why make yourself so obvious?
One of the reasons that Crowley was so successful as a crossroads demon, is because half the time, his victims didn't even realize that they'd sold their souls for real until after their wishes suddenly came true.
hells_half_acre
Feb. 25th, 2016 08:48 am (UTC)
Very true, and that's why Crowley is/was the King of Hell, and this demon is now dead. :P

And I also agree about the wrestler dude being smart enough to refuse. :)

Edited at 2016-02-25 08:48 am (UTC)
borgmama1of5
Feb. 25th, 2016 09:41 am (UTC)
I did not expect to like this episode, I figured it was going to be very out-of-character funny with the wrestling fan bit, but I was very surprised by how well it was done and actually loved it! It felt very old-school in that it was humorous but in-character and then bam--tragic ending, like Kripke used to do to us all the time!

The way they created backstory for the boys' love of wrestling was done very organically, by having dad included in the background of the way they explain how they became fans. Dean's behavior at the funeral was funny because we saw the contrast with Dean's usual behavior, but he wasn't an over-the-top fan in his interaction with Gunner in a way that would have been wince-worthy, it was subtly funny. Same with Sam and Rio. And the boys cheering in the ring came across as genuine, not manufactured for just this episode. (How much fun must the boys have had filming this episode!) Dean in the wrestling ring was just too much fun!!!

Also found drunk!Dean amusing--he usually can hold his liquor. Must have been because it was tequila and not whiskey :)

And Harley and Gunner had layers, especially Harley--it was really sad that he died.(What was the point of cutting his Achilles tendon so he'd never fight again if the demon was going to have him killed anyway?)

Also Crowley--I have never been a Crowley fan--no matter how 'cute' he's been written, I can never forget all the evil he's done--especially for killing Sarah! But tonight I was rooting for him and so wanted him to get the best of Casifer! I am glad he got away! I expect him to find the boys really quick...I look forward to the boys and Crowley taking Casifer down, I can't stand how egotistical he is...just like Pelligrino played him...

One of the best eps in my book because it was funny and sad and in character! That's two new writers this season (John Bring (?) tonight and Nancy Won the other week) who know their canon!!!


hells_half_acre
Feb. 25th, 2016 07:07 pm (UTC)
It felt very old-school in that it was humorous but in-character and then bam--tragic ending, like Kripke used to do to us all the time!

Agreed. Despite me worrying that they're going way too epic with this season too quickly, I have to say that I think they're doing a MUCH better job with pacing and mood - and that both make the show feel more like the early seasons (which were very well paced and, usually, kept maintained a very good mood). Though, that's just my opinion of course, I know there are others out there who would disagree with me. :P

Also found drunk!Dean amusing--he usually can hold his liquor. Must have been because it was tequila and not whiskey :)

Haha, yeah, I think he explains it in the episode as it being tequila and also the fact that then the wrestlers wanted him to drink with them - and the wrestlers are all even better at holding their liquor than Dean. :P

(What was the point of cutting his Achilles tendon so he'd never fight again if the demon was going to have him killed anyway?)

Yeah, I thought that the guy was giving him no choice but to say yes to the deal ("heal my achilles and make me rich and famous" sort of thing), but he really didn't talk to him much after that - so it was really just a vindictive torture move to cause him pain and anguish before death. :(

Also Crowley--I have never been a Crowley fan--no matter how 'cute' he's been written, I can never forget all the evil he's done--especially for killing Sarah!

Indeed. I've never liked Crowley as in... LIKED him. But I've liked him in the past as a good villain, mainly because of how clever he is and how, back in the day, he was really good at not getting killed through cleverness. It's why in more recent seasons, when the excuses for not killing him were getting thinner and thinner and also Crowley was getting less and less clever, he started to really annoy me - because they were taking away the only things that I liked about the character - the fact that he USED to be a formidable and slippery foe. Much like Meg, who I also hated but also liked... and who similarly, I think, got a bit lost in characterization once the apocalypse was over.

Anyway, that's all to say that I was VERY happy when the old Crowley seemed to be returning - and he got a few of those clever villain characteristics back that I liked so much.

One of the best eps in my book because it was funny and sad and in character! That's two new writers this season (John Bring (?) tonight and Nancy Won the other week) who know their canon!!!

Yes! Good job on hiring. I think Nancy was brought in, so she's just well studied - but it sounds like John might have been a former writer's assistant who is moving up the ranks? I haven't actually looked into it, that's just the impression I got from twitter.

khek
Feb. 26th, 2016 02:39 am (UTC)
I don't want to wait a month!

I loved watching the boys in this episode, because they were having so much fun. That said, I dislike wrestling immensely, so I kept losing track of the story.

Gunnar looked so familiar to me. He must have been in something I really liked before. Thanks for reminding me I wanted to go to IMDB to see where I've seen him before!
pushistyj_koshk
Feb. 26th, 2016 12:14 pm (UTC)
According to IMDb Gunner was also in two other Supernatural episodes
khek
Feb. 27th, 2016 03:22 am (UTC)
He was also in two Stargate SG-1 episodes, which is where I first saw him.
hells_half_acre
Feb. 26th, 2016 07:23 pm (UTC)
Yeah, one of my theories about why I had so much trouble hearing the show is that it wasn't my hearing, but rather my attention that was lacking. I'm not a fan of wrestling either, so a lot of the time when they were talking about wrestling, or the wrestlers were all yelling at each other, I'd just sort of zone out. :P

As, pushistyi_koshk says below, Gunner is in two other SPN episodes - but I think he's also a local Vancouver actor, so if you watch other Vancouver-filmed shows, he might have popped up in them as well.
khek
Feb. 27th, 2016 03:17 am (UTC)
I would guess that if you put lack of attention versus sound issues...the lack of attention would win. My dad used to watch wrestling when I was a kid, and I learned to completely tune it out. I think that was my problem--and maybe yours! :)

Gunnar was also on a two-part episode of Stargate SG-1. He was the leader of a Jaffa rebellion, and I know that's where I first noticed him! A few of his other credits look familiar, and I do remember him as a demon on an early episode of SPN.
pushistyj_koshk
Feb. 26th, 2016 12:11 pm (UTC)
Oh... Hiatus, again?

I was more entertained by your recap of your neighbour's date than by this episode, tbh. Crowley's story was pretty interesting though.

I wonder, isn't the bunker sort of compromised now? Lucifer knows where it is and knows how to get rid of any warding. I feel like I'm missing something.

ETA: Isn't Tiny dead?

Edited at 2016-02-26 12:14 pm (UTC)
hells_half_acre
Feb. 26th, 2016 07:21 pm (UTC)
Haha, thanks!

Yeah, the bunker is crazy compromised, unless Sam and Dean put up additional warding that we haven't seen - and lucifer is too busy to bother with that spell.

And yes, Tiny is dead, I momentarily forgot that when I wrote this up. Ah well. :P
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )