Supernatural Season 13, Episode 21 review: Beat the Devil

Photo credit: Supernatural/The CW by Dean Buscher; Acquired via CW TV PR
Photo credit: Supernatural/The CW by Dean Buscher; Acquired via CW TV PR /

Last night on Supernatural, all our male characters traveled to Apocalypse World for a rescue mission. [Spoiler] died and was resurrected, and any hope of returning to our real world lies with Rowena.

As the mom of a young child, I don’t get to watch Supernatural live on Thursdays. I have to wait until he’s in preschool on Friday mornings.  This morning I woke up to a text from my sister telling me to text her ASAP. That’s when I knew last night’s episode was going to be a doozy. And boy, it didn’t disappoint.

Capturing Lucifer. The trip to Apocalypse World. Sam dying and Lucifer resurrecting him! So much happened in this episode. I had to check how much I had left a couple times because I didn’t know how they were going to fit everything in! Let’s take a minute, and take a closer look at everything that happened.

“We need Lucifer.”

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The episode opened with a dream sequence. At first I thought I had missed something. Mary and Jack were back, and teasing Dean. Everything seemed normal. Alas, it was just Sam dreaming. Sam wakes up and Rowena is preparing the spell to open the rift. They’re just waiting for Gabriel’s grace. When Gabriel produces his grace, there isn’t much there. Rowena uses the tiny bit of grace and opens the rift. But before the men could go into it, it wilts and closes. Gabriel’s grace is not strong enough. Since they don’t know how long it will take for Gabriel’s grace to replenish, Dean and Cas are insistent they need to find Lucifer.

While Dean, Sam, and Cas are debating about finding Lucifer, Gabriel and Rowena start flirting. Apparently, they’re attracted to each other, and they have this hilarious banter going on. The music changes and it’s full of crooning saxophones. The composer this season has been on point with the music. And when Sam, Dean, and Cas return to the library, they catch Rowena and Gabriel in a compromising position. And thus ends the most lighthearted section of the episode.

“All these people I love to torture in the same room.”

Photo credit: Supernatural/The CW by Dean Buscher; Acquired via CW TV PR
Photo credit: Supernatural/The CW by Dean Buscher; Acquired via CW TV PR /

Lucifer is in a bar. Getting drunk. And “Cat’s in the Cradle” is playing in the background. I have talked about how the music on Supernatural is amazing before. And this is another brilliant example of the use of music in this show. Lucifer is sitting at the bar and lamenting about not having his son around. He tells the bartender that he used to be able to feel Jack around on the planet. But not anymore.

When the bartender slips and says Jack’s name without Lucifer mentioning it, Lucifer knows something is up. The bartender is Gabriel. He’s drugged the drinks. Lucifer doesn’t understand how Gabriel can be there. He killed him. And then Rowena pops into view and apprehends him, dragging him to the bunker.

At the bunker, they have come up with a brilliant plan. They’re just going to continually drain Lucifer’s grace into the bowl to keep the rift open until they can get back. So, Rowena opens the rift, all the men go through, leaving Rowena behind to guard Lucifer.

“Camptown races.”

Lucifer is trying everything he can to get a rise out of Rowena. At first, nothing works. Him singing annoying songs. Pointing out the gender bias on who got to stay and who got to go on the adventure. Finally, it’s him recounting all the minute details of him killing her that drives Rowena to act. She walks over to Lucifer and taunts him. She tells him that Jack will never think of him as a father.

Why should he, since he already has three fathers in Sam, Dean, and Cas? They’re going to go rescue Jack from the other world, and he’s going to be forever grateful. These are the words that cause Lucifer to rage. He breaks free of his magical bonds and attacks Rowena. She defends herself by blasting him, and the only way to keep the rift open, into Apocalypse World.

Rowena almost abandons the bunker after she screws up. But she’s grown soft, which is an amazing character development. Our last scene with Rowena shows her pulling out her magical grimoire to try and find another way to get everyone back.

“Anything moves, kill it.”

Photo credit: Supernatural/The CW by Dean Buscher; Acquired via CW TV PR
Photo credit: Supernatural/The CW by Dean Buscher; Acquired via CW TV PR /

In Apocalypse World, Sam, Dean, Cas, and Gabriel quickly orient themselves and start heading to Dayton where Other Charlie said Mary and Jack are holed up. Along the way, Gabriel laments to Cas that he just doesn’t know what he’s going to do when they get back. Cas fills him in on the status of heaven and suggests that maybe Gabriel can help out. Gabriel doesn’t immediately shut down that idea. Along their way, they run into a couple getting attacked by a starved vampire. The couple tells our crew that they were heading to Dayton, but the shortest route, a tunnel, is now housing a vampire nest. Sam insists that they go through the tunnel and fight off the vampires.

The scene as they walk through the tunnel is brilliantly lit. This show is on top of things this season. It’s mostly dark, and it’s hard to see what is going on. The group is almost all the way through the tunnel when the nest attacks. The vampires have them surrounded. There’s just too many. Sam is bitten and dragged off by vamps. Cas runs after him but comes back empty-handed. “He’s gone,” he says, and he insists they continue on without him.

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“Lazarus Trick.”

Sam is dead. But like every other time on this show, not for long. He wakes up, clutching at his now blemish free neck. He looks around, and guess who? Lucifer is there. He’s resurrected Sam. He used Michael’s angels to recharge his grace and then used his newfound grace to resurrect Sam. Sam knows Lucifer didn’t resurrect him from the goodness of his heart. Lucifer confirms this. He wants a relationship with his son. And if he brings a live Sam Winchester to Jack, he knows Jack will like him. Sam doesn’t want to help Lucifer, however, when he tries to leave his path is blocked by the hungry vamps. Reluctantly, he admits that he needs Lucifer’s help.

“Where’s Sam?”

Dean, Cas, and Gabriel approach the camp, but can’t enter because of the anti-angel wards. Gabriel dismantles the wards. This alerts the people of the camp. Mary comes down and recognizes Dean and Cas. There’s an emotional reunion between mother and son. She looks up at Dean and asks where Sam is. Dean sheds a single tear, and viewers everywhere feel their hearts break.

Back at Camp, Jack is upset by Sam’s death. Just as Dean is getting ready to leave to go get Sam’s body, an alarm sounds. Sam walks into camp. Dean is shocked. Jack smiles broadly and shouts his name. Before anyone can ask the hows, Lucifer walks in and greets Jack, “Hello, son.”

Performer of the week

Photo credit: Supernatural/The CW by Dean Buscher; Acquired via CW TV PR
Photo credit: Supernatural/The CW by Dean Buscher; Acquired via CW TV PR /

Ruth. Connell. Again. I know. I know. But she’s just SO GOOD. The comedy! The drama! She just takes over every scene that she is in. When she and Gabriel were flirting? Hilarious. When she was ignoring Lucifer? Amazing. When she delivered her monologue to taunt Lucifer? Gold. Her character has had the most growth this season, and it’s been amazing to watch.  Her acting has been on par.

I’ve always liked Rowena, okay. But this season she has been probably my favorite character. I’m so glad that they brought her back. And I’m so glad to see Ruth Connell bring her A-game to this show. The writers have given her so much great material to work with. And she has not let me down. I can’t wait to see what she does in the finale, because we all know she’s going to have a big role in the next two episodes.

Next: Supernatural recap: The Winchesters, an angel, and an archangel walk into the Apocalypse World

What did you think of tonight’s episode? With only two episodes left of the season, how do you feel about where things are? Who is your performer of the week? Please let us know in the comments below. 

Supernatural airs on Thursdays at 8/7c on The C.W.