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Rewatch S13: Beat the Devil (13x21)

Totally forgot to do one of these yesterday, not that I had time. So, probably just one this weekend - but I may try to do another on Tuesday. I really want to be done with rewatches before S14 ends

Beat the Devil


Whoa, I forgot that this episode started with a weird dream sequence. And it's Sam's! Dreaming that his family's all together. Awww...

I love Mary's voice becoming the alarm clock.

Sam: "Hey, how's Gabriel"
Cas: "He said he wanted a minute alone. He wanted to extract his grace 'in private'..."

- See, we don't SEE Gabriel extracting the grace from himself. So, it could be that this isn't Gabriel at all.

And then the door fails.

Gabriel: "I, I thought it would be enough"
- And he doesn't produce more, because they go after Lucifer... another point in favour of my Gabriel is Loki theory.

Cas: "We need archangel grace..."
*shot of Sam's face
Cas: "...Gabriel's obviously running a little low and we don't know how long it will take him to recover, so that leaves exactly one sort on earth-"
Sam: "No."
Cas: "I don't like it either, but there's no other way."

- Sam's face there is great, just the change in expression when he clocks on before anyone else what Cas is about to suggest.

Sam: "And every time it ends up the same way! With the devil on the loose again!"
Cas: "Look, Sam, I was used by Lucifer too - it was the worst possible violation, so I'm not taking your reluctance lightly, but he is already out there, and we've been ignoring it, and avoiding dealing with him, because we're afraid. We let Lucifer out of the cage, and he has never stopped being our responsibility."

- Firstly, Cas, yes you ARE taking Sam's objections lightly. Yes, you were possessed by Lucifer and were forced to watch cartoons in your head apathetically... but do you really think that compares with Sam, who was ACTIVELY TORTURED from anywhere from 1.5-160 years? To the point that he was driven to insanity even when he was freed? But please, tell me how that's the same as being bored for 6 months and regretting a bad decision.
-Secondly WE?!?! WE let Lucifer out of the cage?! Castiel - YOU DID. Sam may have been duped into a situation in which Lucifer could get the upper hand, but it was YOU that said yes, like an IDIOT. But go off, I guess.
- Okay, my ranting aside, they ARE family, and they are also the only people on earth equipped to deal with Lucifer, so I actually DO agree that they (all) have the responsibility to try to do something about him again. I mean, technically him being free right now is Crowley's fault, not any of theirs, but someone still has to deal with it, and Crowley's not around anymore (ironically, having died in an attempt to make up for his mistake and trap Lucifer somewhere again.). So, they've all done their "accidentally free Lucifer - have attempt to imprison him again forever thwarted by someone else" moment, and now they collectively have to figure out how to make another attempt, whether they want to or not.
- BUT, I take SUPREME umbrage at the idea that Castiel's experience in ANY WAY compares to Sam's. And I also take umbrage at the idea that Sam should at all feel guilty about Lucifer's current state of freedom. Sam did his part - it's EVERYONE ELSE who has failed Sam.

Gabriel and Rowena...

Oh man, this dumbass "both people in focus" shot that I hate SO MUCH. 

I do like them flirting... I don't like the "hearing thoughts" thing... I think it'd be more effective if we COULDN'T hear their thoughts.

Dean: "So?"
Sam: "You're right, you're right. I don't like it, but it's our only choice - another fun great choice!"

- Ah, this is what happens when you have morals. Technically, it starts feeling like you aren't making active choices.

Dean: "Guys?"
Rowena: "Oh! Ah! We were just-"
Gabriel: "Reading! Books! Here in the uhh...library! Which is the room we're in, right now."
Rowena: "Did you boys arrive, at ah...decision."
Dean: "...Sam has a plan."

- This is SO WELL DONE. I also love Misha's choice to have Cas just immediately stare at the ground, like he has never been more embarrased to exist in his entire life.
- Also, people who are "sex rumbled" are 100x more attractive than normal. Seriously.

I do like how Cat's in the Cradle is playing in the bar Lucifer is in.

Bartender: I'm sure things will work out in the end. Jack will come around.
Lucifer: "Jack? I never told you his name."
Bartender: "You didn't? I swear that you did."

- The bartender is really good! His voice patterns start mimicking Gabriel's/Richard Speight's.

Gabriel: "...powerful enough to bring down any archangel. Even me. Hey, Brother."
- Again, just tracking this, Gabriel roofies Lucifer so that he doesn't need to fight him arch-angel to arch-angel... and he's literally just using the tricks he learned from Loki.

Seriously though, drain him and then kill him. Or drain him, keep him roofied, and then kill him... but no, they're not going to... they're going to put their trust in Rowena's magic holding long enough against an archangel.

Lucifer: "...you're planning a trip to save mother Mary and you need my grace, is that it?"
Cas: "Good guess."

- Holy crap, Cas leaning over to say that in his ear while he slits his throat (while pulling him back by the hair) is uh...VERY INTIMATE.

I like how Sam checks with Rowena before they leave to make sure she'll be okay while they're gone.

I really don't want to write up the scenes between Rowena and Lucifer, so you'll have to forgive me. It's all the usual psychological games that after the last few seasons, I'm pretty bored of. And then annoying singing, which you know... also annoying.

Castiel: "Have you thought about what's next after we get back to earth?"
Gabriel: "Uh, not so much, besides the fact that we still have to find Jack and Mary, not to mention survive Michael and his angel army. Though, I did recently kick off some bucket list items - got some revenge, had sex with a three hundred year-old redhead. What's next for me, I don't really know?"
Castiel: "...you know it's just Naomi and a handful of others. They're trying to keep the lights on, but heaven's dying Gabriel."
[...]
Gabriel: "...hell, as far as I'm concerned, I'm a screw-up."
Castiel: "Well, Heaven's been run into the ground by upstanding angels, perhaps a screw up is just the change we need."

- So, this is where my Gabriel is Loki theory crumbles a little bit. Why would Loki put himself in danger like this, and go to the AU where he could very well die...or, might not die (since no one is going to kill him with a spike dipped in lambs blood), but may get trapped forever?
- Gabriel COULD be deferring Castiel's suggestion here, because Loki didn't know this about Heaven, and realizes his cover will be blown if they actually try to make him run Heaven...
- There's also the fact that technically, Castiel has always been able to recognize an archangel when he sees one... THOUGH, it did take Castiel a while to recognize that Loki was Gabriel, maybe the reverse would also be true?
- It does suck that just as Castiel friends a possible solution to heaven's problem (and Gabriel WOULD make a pretty good leader of Heaven, in my opinion) that option is taken away again.

And we meet Maggie and learn about the infested vampire tunnel to Dayton.

Lucifer: "Come on, Red. I'm just trying to have fun with you. Like last time - remember that, when I surprised you in your hotel room. I mean, I even wanted you to put up a bit of a fight, but you didn't - you froze, you choked. So I choked yeah - what was that like, burning to death."
- So, yeah... anyone else think that sounds like rape? Nope, just me? I mean, I know he's referring to burning her to death... but, choking? Usually done while on top of someone... much like when Lucifer talks to Sam, you could interpret this two ways, 1)this is just the way Lucifer talks, to reference things in the more disgusting figerative language he can. 2)He is being literal.

Rowena: "That's right, you're wee boy is over there - and he'll be so glad to see his three fathers. Because as far as he's concerned, they're his father. And you? You're nothing to him - or me, or anyone now. Nothing."
- And Rowena doesn't know not to make him angry.
- But I absolutely love this speech - because it's the first time that Sam, Dean, and Cas, are directly referred to as Jack's three dads. I also like her use of the plural and singular in "They're his father."

I also love Rowena kicking Lucifer into the apocalyse world to get him away from her, and then realizing just how much this screws up the plan - and how she has no way of letting the boys know that there's now a time-limit.

Rowena: "Fine. This isn't how you wanted things to work out, but, yes, Rowena, thanks to you, Sam and Dean will be trapped in some nightmare universe with the devil himself and you're the only person who might be able to devise a way to keep the door back home open for them, but, sorry boys...au revoir, bon voyage, not my problem."
*turns back around*
"Bollocks!"
*gets out books*
"Bums! Bollocks."

- Again, Rowena going ahead and showing the fact that there is always a choice... but it's our morals that make the decision sometimes, so it feels more like there isn't one. (Sidenote: it's stuff like that that people take advantage of... like, "oh hey, can you help me find this secluded area? I am but a poor lost person, and don't mean to assult you once there at all, I promise!" Sure, sketchy dude, SURE.)

And then Sam is killed.

Cas: "He's gone. Dean, we don't have time. Dean, we can't save him."
- Oh man...

I do wish that fight was edited/shot a little better.

Jensen does dead-eye stare Dean so well.

Maggie: "Dean, about your friend, I'm so sor-"
- Oh Maggie, you don't even know.

Cas: "I can't, this warding is too strong."
- And yet, the warding doesn't seem to be effecting Gabriel... though he CAN destroy it.

Cas: "Mary"
Mary: "Castiel?"
*sees Dean*
Mary: "How did you even find us?"
*hugs*
Mary: "Dean, where's Sam?"
*Dean starts crying*

- Oh man, way to kill me Jensen.

Sam makes a beautiful corpse.

But HE LIVES!

Lucifer: "Boo!"
*Sam scared*

- Jared plays this whole scene SO WELL. And it's lit SO BEAUTIFULLY.

Lucifer: "...I was basically tracking you here. And then I came across a handful of Michael's angels and I drank them."
- Convenient! But I don't care, because it means Sam lives.

Lucifer: "What does anyone want? A personal apology from pop..."
- Didn't he sorta get one of those? I mean, I know Lucifer's whole schtick is that he never changes and never learns, but honestly, it's annoying.

Sam: "WHAT DO YOU WANT?"
- Oh man, I love it when Sam gets angry.

Lucifer: "I want what you already have - a relationship with my son."
- It's every step/adoptive-parent's worst nightmare, when they're shitty shitty biological father who hasn't changed at all and is still shitty shows up and insists on being part of the kid's life, even though nothing good will come of it.

Lucifer: "Okay, there was a time I'd just grab him, but I've grown."
Sam: "Yes, you have."

- The sarcasm is strong in Sam.

Sam: "And what if I say no?"
Lucifer: "Okay, let me make this really really easy - easy enough for you to understand, Sammy - I'm getting the jab, one way or the other, the only question is, you coming with - or that. Your move, champ?"

- I love Sam. I mean, even at the end, he's seriously considering saying no. But the fact of the matter is, that he can probably help the impending crisis more ALIVE than dead - and Lucifer is right in the fact that either way, Lucifer is going to go after Jack and try to win him over. Certainly, resurrecting Sam paints him in a good light that he doesn't deserve, but it's Lucifer, he'd just lie himself into a good light anyway - it doesn't have to be good enough to fool everyone, just Jack, and last time Sam saw Jack, he was still a very naive baby nephilim.

Jack: "Can't be dead, he can't be dead. Can't you bring him back, why didn't you bring him back!?"
Gabriel: "I'm not strong enough"

- Or is he not ANGEL enough?
Cas: "Jack, if we could've, we would've. I'm so sorry."
- :(

And Dean is going back for Sam's body - as he would. 

Then the wards! And SAM IS ALIVE!! And the look on Dean's face is great!

Jack: "Sam!"

And the look on Sam's face when Lucifer steps out from behind him.

Lucifer: "Hello Son"
- Ugh! STAY AWAY FROM OUR BOY.

Anyway, this is a great episode. As for rewrites, I would probably literally just take out the "overheard thought" from the flirtation scene earlier. Everything else is plot essential, and since Lucifer is too important for the plot from here on out, I can't write him out anymore, I don't think.


As usual, let me know if you have any thoughts, or want to go on in my depth about how wonderful a job Jared and Jensen do with facial expressions which is something that's very hard for me to capture in writing, but is nonetheless true. This entry was originally posted at https://hells-half-acre.dreamwidth.org/576939.html.

Comments

borgmama1of5
Apr. 8th, 2019 04:06 am (UTC)
The time allowance in this episode seems kind of wonky as I remember.

Rowena having a conscience--who would have guessed the Winchesters would have rubbed off on her?

The one thing that bothered me--and it could have been fixed with a change of one word--is when Cas tells Dean Sam is 'gone.' Dean would never have walked out of that tunnel without knowing 100% Sam was dead and 'gone' doesn't convince me of that. Cas needed to say 'dead' to make me believe Dean would leave without checking.

The scene when Lucifer brings Sam back to life was one of the best scenes this season IMO--incredibly acted and terrifyingly no-win writing.

I am sorry to say it, but as far as I see it, all your grasps at trying to make it Loki in the AU and not Gabriel really don't work :(
hells_half_acre
Apr. 8th, 2019 04:21 am (UTC)
I like the fact that Rowena has changed after meeting Amara and God and all that. I think it's one of the more realistic character arcs... I don't think it's so much the Winchesters rubbing off on her, as her coming to care for them as she hadn't allowed herself to care for people in the past.

I disagree with you about the "gone" thing - I think Dean knew perfectly well what Castiel meant. But, I understand the character interpretation that Dean would never have left Sam behind... though, he did in S11 when Sam "died" too - and it was probably for the same reason, they had a civilian with them that needed to be protected.

Personally, I don't find it unbelievable that Dean left, but that's me! Neither of us are wrong, just different.

Agree about the Sam and Lucifer scene being one of the best of the season. Everything about it was done to perfection.

Awww, I think my grasps at making Gabriel Loki ARE working...except for the fact that there is absolutely no reason for Loki to have gone with them - and that's a PRETTY BIG PLOT HOLE TO EXPLAIN... so, fair enough... but I also think that nothing Gabriel has done so far has proven that he's an angel. It could all be the acts of a demi-God. BUT, again, why? That's the main thing, and I have to admit that until I can answer that, it might just be that Gabriel is dead this time. In which case, I'll be rewriting the heck out of that, because it's the STUPIDEST. :P

But, that's a complaint for next time. :)