Another look at ‘Supernatural’ Stuck in the Middle (With You) review

another look at supernatural stuck in the middle with you review 2017 images

Another look at 'Supernatural' Stuck in the Middle (With You) review 2017 images

I have been looking forward to this Supernatural episode for a while, as our very own Richard Speight Jr. (fka The Trickster or Gabriel) was the director, and it was written by Davy Perez – who also wrote American Nightmare. (See my interview with Davy here)

Onto the episode.

“So. Tell me a story.” ~ Arthur Ketch (David Haydn-Jones)

Mr. Ketch is the (very lovely) bookend to the story. The opener is simply that – “Tell me a story.” That four-word sentence had me very curious at the beginning, to say the least. I had already known that this episode was supposed to be very Tarantino-esque – I must preface this to say that no, I have never seen a Tarantino movie (I know, I know) – however, what I have seen in this episode … I liked. Nay, I loved.

5:20 p.m.

First up we have the diner scene – where Dean, Sam, Mary, Cas and Wally the hunter are discussing the hunt ahead and – of course – having a bite to eat. The look on Cas’s face when both he and the waitress, Mandy, say “Cheese isn’t a carbohydrate,” at the same time … there are reasons why I love Misha, and one of them is definitely his facial expressions.

“We’ve been looking for teachable moments …” ~ Dean Winchester (Jensen Ackles)

This is one spot where Davy’s genius as a writer shines through. This line, that Dean says about Cas, is absolutely spot on. Castiel, albeit without most of his powers, is still an angel – and although he now gets cultural references (thanks to Metatron) his “people skills” can still be “rusty.” Thus, Dean, especially, looks for ways to educate his best friend.

“Hey. Screens down, eyes up. Shut up.” ~ Mary Winchester (Sam Smith)

This line makes me wonder – and others, I’m sure as well – if this is one of the first times that the boys actually hear Mary use the “Mom Voice.” It gets their attention, that’s for sure. In any case, this is where Mary gives us the lowdown on exactly what they’re hunting. Wally had come across this demon while passing through. Classic demon sign – mutilated cattle, missing virgins – but one thing sticks out … this demon goes night fishing. Interesting …

supernatural 1212 castiel smelling woman stuck in middle

Everyone knows the plan, and Mandy returns with some coffee. Cas’s lean in to sniff the waitress is absolutely priceless. Again – it’s these little things in Supernatural that give me such joy to watch the show. I hope to interview Donna Benedicto (who plays Mandy) in the near future – I would love to hear her reaction to Misha leaning in for a sniff.

And … here’s where the time jumping begins.

We go from Mary’s “Everything is going to be fine,” in the bright-lit diner, to a dark, dark scene with Mary half-carrying Castiel through an open door. Obviously, Mary was a little wrong in that assumption …

“Where’s Sam and Dean?”

And we go back in time — but still in the future of the diner scene – where Sam and Wally are fighting a couple of demons, set in the front yard of a small house. Sam dispatches his, but unfortunately, Wally doesn’t …. He gets killed by Ronnie the demon (played by Jennifer Cheon, look for my interview with her soon). Dean arrives just in the nick of time (of course) to save Sam, and kill Ronnie. Her high aspirations of being the one to kill Sam Winchester fell a bit short.

Throughout this entire episode, the storyline of Sam saving Dean, Dean saving Sam, and both of the boys saving Castiel runs rampant. It’s always good to see the proof that Supernatural is, and will always be, about family.

supernatural stuck in the middle with you review

And another time jump. This time to before the diner scene – and from what I’m told, where one of the resemblances to a Tarantino film comes in. The scene starts with Mary introducing the boys and Cas to Wally the hunter (who we first met in First Blood). I must point out Jared’s acting in this scene – as Sam gets out of Baby, Sam says hi to his mom and his eyes flicker to Wally – you can totally read what he’s thinking here – we haven’t seen you in ages, and you bring some other guy with you? We find out that Kelly Kline – who is carrying Lucifer’s child – is still completely off the radar. And then we have …

… the walk …

I love this scene. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU to Davy Perez for writing this scene and Dick the Director for directing the heck out of it. Yeesh.

Anyway … we flick back to the diner scene, with short pieces of the dialogue to remind you what has happened. The plan is this – Dean shoots the demon with a devil’s trap bullet, Sam gets him with the demon blade, Mary and Cas wait in the back in case the demon comes through the back, and Wally acts as a lookout. We, again, end with Mary’s “Everything is going to be fine.”

Flash forward again to the house, this time, before the fight. Everyone is preparing for the eventual arrival of the demon. Sam spray paints a demon trap under the carpet, Dean is loading his gun, and Cas walks in looking for Mary. Who – apparently – was using the washroom. It’s a good thing that Cas is still so trusting … because I’m sorry, but it’s highly doubtful that after the decades of hunting Mary still gets nervous. Alas … our angel is as gullible as he is lovable. Especially because you can obviously tell Mary is walking up steps to get to the door after she opens it. What house doesn’t have a bathroom on the main floor?

“Head’s up Mary. He’s coming back early.” Wally ~ Donavon Stinson

So the demon they are hunting has come back early. And … he whistles. (From something I saw on Twitter, Supernatural hired a professional whistler for this episode. I didn’t know there was such a thing!) Team Free Will starts preparing for the demon – Sam hides by the front door with the demon knife, Dean stands in front of the door gun at the ready …

“You mind explaining why you broke into my house?” ~ Demon (Jerry Trimble)

This demon is different. And stronger. Not only do demon’s trap bullets not faze him at all, the demon blade doesn’t even leave a scratch. The demon leaves Sam and Dean on the ground and goes after Cas … that growl of “Angel …” Wow. Nice work there, Jerry. Sam and Dean get locked away from Mother Mary and Cas as the demon waves the doors closed, and we get one of the more interesting lines of the episode.

The demon – now complete with yellow eyes – says, “Hello sweetheart.” Hmm. We thought Azazel was dead? Mary runs away just as Cas is thrown through the window. (Poor Cas. He definitely got the short stick in this episode.)

Wally comes running in saying, “We got a problem.” There are more demons on the way – so Wally and Sam take care of the demons while Dean helps Mary with Cas.

The yellow-eyed demon goes after Cas … and ends up stabbing him with a silver, shiny pointy stick. (A lance, apparently.) We repeat some of the fight scene with Sam and Wally and the demons … and Cas is crawling across the road, trying to get away from the YED … and then Mary comes to save the day, hitting the YED with an SUV. Mary helps Cas through the door – again – and helps him to a couch. Something is definitely up — Cas isn’t able to heal himself. Sam calls Mary (I’m guessing Dean’s phone still isn’t working? Not sure why Dean was the one Mary went to all the time anyway.) and tells him where they are.

“Are you okay?” ~ Sam

“No.” ~ Mary

Makeup does an absolutely fabulous job in this episode. The first inkling that we see on Cas’s body that things aren’t all as they seem is the lines on Cas’s body around the wound … it reminded me of someone being turned into stone, or the parched lines of dirt on a desert floor. Good job, guys!

And … commercial.

We start at 9:05 p.m. I’m wondering if Dean’s line of the demon arriving at 10:45 a.m. was a mistake – as we’re after the fight now, and Mary originally said that the demon was supposed to arrive at 8:45, which would make sense with the 9:05 p.m. time stamp.

Sam and Dean find Cas and Mary in the barn, and …

“What the hell just happened?” ~ Sam

Mary finds out that Wally is dead, and Sam and Dean discover that Cas has been injured. Sam questions Mary about the extra demons, and that the YED shook off everything they had –Mary mentions that the demon had yellow eyes.

“Mom, what the hell did you get us into?” ~ Sam

And we flash back to Mary’s story, starting at 10:07 a.m.

The music in this episode is awesome. The next scene, which takes place in front of the YED’s house, has “Not for Me,” by Bobby Darin. Never heard of it before, but I quite like it.

This is where it gets interesting. We find out that it wasn’t Wally that asked for help, it was Mary. Mary didn’t want the boys knowing that she was wanting the demon dead because they would ask the “wrong” questions. Mary is going through a file folder with a surveillance picture of the YOD, in addition to the photo of a painting – one of an angel (I’m assuming Michael) with a lance, killing what is more than likely a demon. This file folder is from the British Men of Letters. And the plot thickens …

“I wonder … what’s the catch?” ~ Wally

This line really makes me wonder if there’s more than meets the eye with regard to Mr. Ketch, other than the obvious – that if Sam and Dean step out of line, he’d have no qualms about killing them. Perhaps we’ll get some answers in the next episode.

In this scene, Wally is trying to determine whether or not Mary actually trusts the BMOL. I honestly think she’s on the fence with regard to them – they get stuff done (as she says, they were able to take out over a dozen vamp nests, four werewolf packs and a ghoul) – but as she knows, they tried to kill Sam.

… and we flick to the diner scene again …

At 8:23 everyone arrives at the YOD’s house … which isn’t warded (thanks Cas). Everyone prepares, and we see Jared’s amazing acting once again.

“I just wanted to make sure that you’re okay … I mean, I know you never really wanted this.” ~ Sam

“Since when is life about getting what you want.” ~ Mary

Sam looks down, realizing that Mary never really answered his question. I think Mary is dealing with a lot of things right now, not just the obvious fact that she’s back on Earth after years of being in Heaven. Perhaps she’s rediscovering the joy that she found in hunting again – we do know that she continued to hunt, even after Sam and Dean were born … and discovering that perhaps the entire family would be hunting even if she hadn’t died … it is in the blood, after all.

Sam goes back to spray painting the demon’s trap, and Mary slips downstairs to find a painting that matches the one in the picture from the BMOL’s file. In behind that painting is a safe – which Mary deftly opens using – I’m assuming – a BMOL toy. We don’t at this time see what’s in the box in the safe, but just know that it glows yellow – Mary hides it away in some cloth and tucks it into the back of her jeans.

Mary scampers upstairs to bump into Cas, and we fast forward to the fight scene with the YOD and Cas being stabbed with the shiny pointy thing.

supernatural 1212 castiel love wounds

9:03 p.m.

Mary is doctoring Cas, and then texts “Hobbits” – the BMOL. (The boys must have educated Mary on Lord of the Rings – I know that the book series was out in the 1950s, but how likely was it that Mary had time to read when she was hunting all the time?)

“What the hell did you do? The demon had yellow eyes.” ~ Mary’s text

“Wasn’t us. Bad intel. You can’t stay there. He will find you.” ~ BMOL

Castiel wakes up again, and Sam and Dean come back again through that barn door.

Cas thinks he’s dying, as he believes the demon’s spear was poisoned. Dean refuses to believe – of course, Cas is family, after all – and says that Cas will heal up the old fashioned way.

Jensen’s acting in this scene is superb. From his look of support when he tries to reassure Cas, to his obvious swallow when he realizes things aren’t good … to that last wide-eyed look at Sam and Mary. Jared and Jensen are absolutely wonderful at conveying emotion with facial expressions and their eyes …

“You idiots. You’re all going to die.” ~ Crowley

… and commercial …

“Touch me and I’ll kill you.” ~ Mary Winchester

Damn Sam. Love the flat but emphatic delivery of that line.

So those two demons that Sam and Dean killed – well, they were Crowley’s. Crowley was trying to keep people away from the YOD …

“Does the name Ramiel mean anything to you?” ~ Crowley

“No,” ~ Sam, Dean and Mary.

“Yes,” ~ Castiel.

So our “friend” the YOD is actually Ramiel – a Prince of Hell. Along the same lines of Azazel – who was also a Prince of Hell. Lucifer turned the original line of demons, called the Princes of Hell.

Six years ago

And we go even further back. I love this episode because it digs deep into Supernatural canon and comes up with some new information. Awesome writing, Davy!

This scene is in Ramiel’s house again. Crowley – Mr. Crowley, actually – is just the King of the Crossroads at this time. He gifts Ramiel with the Lance of Michael – the Archangel. Which just so happens to be the same lance that Ramiel uses to stab Castiel. This lance “kills the bad ones fast, and the good ones slow and painful.” And as Ramiel says …

“The magic. It’s all in the runework.”

Crowley also gives Ramiel a second gift – which we recognize as the same box that Mary steals from him …

“Where did you get this?” ~ Ramiel

“It’s amazing what some people just leave laying about. Consider it your coronation present.” ~ Crowley

Crowley comes bearing three gifts – not only the lance and whatever is in the box but the throne of Hell as well. Unfortunately – or fortunately for Crowley – Ramiel isn’t interested.

“You take it.” ~ Ramiel

“I … pardon?” ~ Crowley

That “pardon” – totally in Mark Sheppard’s voice and not Crowley’s … is absolutely perfect. Do we have an amazing cast, or what?

“You seem ambitious enough, conniving enough, slimy enough, so take it!” ~ Ramiel

Crowley … graciously accepts. But there’s a catch – Crowley must ensure that he and the rest of the Princes of Hell – Asmodeus and Dagon – are left alone.

“If anyone, anything, bothers a Prince of Hell, it’s going to be on your head, Crowley.” ~ Ramiel

We return back to current time, and Dean explains well, it’s too late – that Prince of Hell has been bothered.

Poor Castiel is still suffering in the background – yes, it was the Lance of Michael that he was hurt with.

“Nasty bit of business. Kills everything it touches. If you’re a demon, you go up in a puff of smoke. If you’re an angel … you just … rot away.”

Dean figures there’s always a cure – that they’ll trap Ramiel and “beat his ass” until he gives it up. Crowley doesn’t agree – they don’t have enough time to get the information from Ramiel, as Castiel is fading fast.

And again. Jensen’s acting.

“We don’t have time … for your … for you. So either help us or get the hell out of here!” ~ Dean

And of course … Crowley disappears.

9:07 p.m.

The boys are preparing … Dean dons on the BMOL’s brass knuckles, Sam is pouring holy oil, and Mary grabs an angel blade. The whistling of Ramiel gets closer and closer … and the scene moves to the outside of the barn, where Crowley talks with Ramiel.

“Those people, they your friends?” ~ Ramiel

“I don’t have friends. I make deals with people I can use.” ~ Crowley

(Really, Crowley? You expect us to believe you don’t have a heart – especially when it comes to the Winchesters?)

Crowley tries to strike a deal with Ramiel … and well, Ramiel disagrees, as the next scene is Crowley flying through the wall of the barn.

Ramiel walks through the barn door (anyone else notice the saddle in the background there? Nice touch, props!) and looks around. Castiel is getting worse – the rot is now showing on his face – and everyone else looks prepared for well, something.

A real barn burner

Back in the barn — We start with Dean’s awesome line … “Get outta here!”

“Cas, how bad is it?” ~ Dean

Cas opens his shirt to show the rot spreading across his chest (again, kudos to the makeup artists!).

The past few episodes that Cas has been in – this one and First Blood, specifically – has Cas delivering some wonderfully written and wonderfully delivered monologues. Misha does a superb job with this one.

“Thank you. Knowing you … it’s been the best part of my life. The things we’ve shared together … they have changed me. You’re my family. I love you. I love all of you.” ~ Castiel

In this scene, both Jared and Jensen scene put such care, concern and love into their faces … they really do tell a story with their eyes and their facial expressions.

“Please. Just … please. Don’t make my last moments be spent watching you die. Just run. Save yourselves. And I will hold Ramiel off as long as I can.” ~ Castiel

“Cas, no.” ~ Dean

“Yes. You need to keep fighting.” ~ Castiel

“We are fighting. We’re fighting for you, Cas.” ~ Sam

“And like you said, you’re family. And we don’t leave family behind.” ~ Dean

The look on Mary’s face after this exchange … I think she’s finally beginning to realize that Sam and Dean are grown up, and that they have made other ties besides each other. It’s fairly obvious to me, at first, that she was ready and willing to leave Castiel in exchange for having the boys run.

“What’s the play?” ~ Mary

“We hit ‘em with everything we got.” ~ Dean

Sam pours the holy oil (again), Dean grabs the BMOL brass knuckles, and Mary pulls out an angel blade. They’re as prepared as they can be.

Crowley comes flying through the barn door, followed by Ramiel. Sam sets the holy oil on fire … and …

“Toasty.” ~ Ramiel

Dean tries to get Ramiel to disclose how they can heal Castiel, but apparently, there is no cure. And even then – Ramiel doesn’t care who the Winchesters are, he doesn’t care about Heaven or Hell …

“I don’t even care that Lucifer’s got a bun in the oven.” ~ Ramiel

Yup. Apparently many people know about Lucifer’s child – and Ramiel’s sister, Dagon, has taken an interest. Perhaps that little tidbit of information will come up again in a future episode?

“You come … you … steal from me.” ~ Ramiel

Dean looks … curious. Sam looks confused … and Mary, well, Mary just looks scared. As she should be. She’s the one that stole from the big bad Prince of Hell …

Ramiel gives the boys (and Cas and Mary) 30 seconds to give him back what Mary stole, and the boys deny they know anything about what’s been stolen.

“Have it your way.” ~ Ramiel

Did I mention I love the music in this episode? The instrumental that runs through this next scene is apt, beautiful and I want a copy. I do believe Supernatural needs to come out with an album … thoughts?

supernatural 1212 lance put in demon

Ramiel brings out the Lance of Michael and uses it to put out the holy fire … and as usual, this fight scene is fabulous. What’s wonderful about our boys is that they’ve done it for such a long, long time, they only need stunt doubles for the real serious stuff. Our boys – they’ve got GAME. Sam, Dean and Mary fight Ramiel … and Ramiel ends up being skewered with his own lance. So the YOD is gone … but Castiel cries out, and Sam drops the lance. Cas is still in a lot of pain … and some horrible looking black stuff is coming out of Cas’s mouth. (A bit too realistic there.)

Crowley flashes back to six years ago …

“It’s all in the runework.” ~ Ramiel

Crowley snaps the lance in half … a bright light appears on the lance – and in Castiel. Who is now healed.

“The magic’s in the craftsmanship.” ~ Crowley – who promptly then disappears. All hail the King!

… commercial …

Sam and Dean help Castiel up …

“So … you’re good?” ~ Mary

“I guess so. What did he mean about someone stealing from him?” ~ Castiel

“Who knows that crazy man was talking about. Let’s go home.” ~ Dean

Mary looks like she’s about to say something, but doesn’t …. Dean grabs the two pieces of the lance, and everyone exits the barn. But yet … there’s something else.

One last thing

And we’re back to Mr. Ketch and Mary.

I love this scene. Yes, we find out that the Colt is back – but we also find out that Mary considers Cas one of her boys.

“I lost a friend. I almost lost one of my boys …. Anything like that happens again, anything, and I will burn you down. All of you.” ~ Mary

“Is that a threat?” ~ Mr. Ketch

“It’s a promise.” ~ Mary

“We made a mistake. I’m sorry.” ~ Mr. Ketch

The funny thing is Mr. Ketch is a sociopath – but a very, very polite sociopath. He knows that his job is to keep Mary on the side with the BMOLs … and to do that, he has to apologize. Otherwise, I’m sure he could care less as to what happens to Mary, or the boys.

And at the very, very end … we see that Crowley is trying to get his hands on the Colt – again … and we discover that our Luci is back. Hello, Mark Pellegrino!

All in all, this episode was quite good. We got to see some awesome acting all around – Jared, Jensen, Misha, Sam, etc. – and we got some interesting tidbits of new canon and some confirmation of old. We now know where the Colt’s been all this time, and how Crowley became King. Mary, as I mentioned, I think is quite confused in her role with her boys – and she’s trying to protect them in any way she can.

Again. Awesome job to Director Dick and Davy Perez.

So now here’s the trailer for this week’s Supernatural 1213 Family Feud.