Tonight marks the beginning of the end for season 5 of Supernatural. Sam and Dean have a plan (collect the Four Horsemen’s rings and trap Lucifer), so these final three episodes will focus on how to do it.
The search for Pestilence is paved with good intentions, but after five seasons, Sam and Dean still don’t realize that making a deal with a demon isn’t always a good thing. It looks like they’ll find a way to stop the Apocalypse, but the cost will be very, very high.
“The Devil You Know: begins with Sam and Dean trying to follow Pestilence based on outbreaks of Swine Flu, with no success. Their quest is saved when Crowley shows up in their back seat. It’s great to have him back, not just because he’s played by Mark Sheppard, but because he uses cool British expressions like suggesting they step outside “for a fag and a chat.”
Crowley apologizes for the fact that the Colt didn’t work, though Sam doesn’t believe him. Dean is more willing to believe the demon, especially when he says that he knows how to find Pestilence. It turns out Crowley dropped a magic coin in the Impala that can track them and hear everything they say.
The plan is to find a man named Brady, the Horsemen’s stable boy, a demon who controls their schedules. Brady is the president of Niveus Pharmaceuticals, which is a scathing indictment of prescription medication. Brady also kills his underlings and uses their blood to fill a goblet and communicate with the Horsemen, just like Meg and Duane Tanner did back in the early seasons to talk to Azazel.
Crowley takes Dean with him to get Brady but leaves Sam behind for reasons that will become very clear soon enough. While hanging back, Sam calls Bobby to ask how he was able to take back control when he was possessed by a demon back at the start of this season. Why?
Because Sam has come up with the craziest, dumbest plan ever: once they have the rings and open the cage, he wants to say “Yes” to Lucifer then overpower him and jump into the cage. Bobby doesn’t even bother calling him an “idjit” because this idea is so far beyond stupid. On the other hand, it might be the only way.
Dean and Crowley get to Brady’s headquarters and Dean is sent up as a pawn to get his butt kicked until Crowley can throw a bag over Brady’s head and beat him down a few times, calling him “uncle.” I’m still not sure if all demons are actually related or if they just refer to each that way. Then Crowley suggests not taking him back to Sam, but Dean does anyway. The problem is that Brady is actually an old college friend of Sam’s, the guy who introduced him to Jessica.
If you aren’t familiar with the term retcon, it refers to retroactive continuity, when a TV show introduces something new that rewrites the history we thought we knew. In this case, it’s the fact that Sam’s friend was working on orders from Azazel to kill Jessica. So even though we always thought the Yellow-Eyed Demon actually killed Jessica, he didn’t.
Crowley tries to get him to switch sides, but it fails because Brady knows that Lucifer will kill all demons, but that’s better than being kept alive and tortured like Lucifer will do to Crowley for betraying him. So Crowley goes off for Plan B while Sam locks his brother in the bathroom for some one-on-one time with Brady. He almost breaks, but Sam is strong enough not to kill their only chance at finding the third Horseman.
Crowley returns with good news. He found a hive of demons, killed all but one and told that one that he and Brady were lovers working together against Lucifer, damning Brady to an eternity of torture too. Before Brady can switch sides, there are howls outside. Howls from a Hell Hound, led back to their place by a magic coin the demon placed on Crowley.
Once again, Crowley disappears, leaving the Winchesters to try and fight the Hell Hounds. When it looks like they’re done, Crowley returns with a surprise of his own. He brought his pet, a much bigger Hell Hound, and sends him after the others.
What follows is one of the most surreal and awesome action sequences, because the Hell Hounds are fighting and attacking each other, but since they’re all invisible, it’s just furniture being destroyed accompanied by growling sounds.
Sam, Dean, Crowley and Brady make it out alive, and after Brady gives them Pestilence’s location, Crowley leaves and Dean salts Brady inside a room with Sam. While everyone is so scared of angels and demons and gods and Lucifer, the people they should really be afraid of are Sam and Dean.
That’s right, it’s time for Winchester payback, and it’s a bitch. Brady tries to talk Sam down by playing on his fears that Sam listened to him and Ruby because he has demon blood in his veins and he’s just like them. Those head games may have worked a season or two ago, but not now, so Sam kills him.
While Sam and Dean run off to get Pestilence’s ring, Crowley visits Bobby. He offers a deal: he can find Death, the final Horseman, if Bobby gives him his soul. Not being a natural born idjit, Bobby’s response is to shoot the demon with his rock salt shotgun.
But Crowley is persistent, giving Bobby the hard sell and promising to give the soul back when he’s done. The episode ends before Bobby agrees, but it looks like he will. So Bobby wants to give up his soul and Sam wants to say “Yes” to Lucifer and be trapped in the cage. What about Dean’s price for stopping Lucifer?
That will be next week, when Death shows up and Dean has a sit-down with him. That can’t end well.
(Image courtesy of the CW)