This Supernatural review contains spoilers.
Supernatural Season 12 Episode 12
This episode was as artistic in style as it was dire in consequences. We also got to meet a new type of villain, the likes of which we’ll probably see again since there was a not-so-subtle hint about his siblings. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
The title “Stuck in the Middle (with you)” refers to the Stealers Wheel folk-rock song that appears in the film Reservoir Dogs. This episode was inspired by the works of Quentin Tarantino. Combine that with the fact that Richard Speight Jr., yes, your one and only Trickster/Gabriel, was the director? We should have known we were in for a treat.
Everything about this episode had a distinct Tarantino cinematic feel. The editing, at once choppy and frenetic, and then smooth and calculated for integral moments, was something ripped out of any of Tarantino’s great works. When the Winchesters and their allies are seated at the diner table, the camera rotates around them at different speeds as it switches between characters. You get the feeling that something big is coming, and it doesn’t disappoint. Another fantastic shot is in the house, as the camera swoops and moves from one person to the next as they ready their weapons.
Part of the unusual format was the non-linear storytelling. The meat of the story was basically three scenes: 1. The diner leading up the the fight, 2. the battle at Ramiel’s house, 3. the aftermath at the barn. The narrative hopped amongst these scenes, interspersed with title cards that announced which characters we would focus on this time. First, “The Wounded Angel” which gave way to “Mother Mary” and “Mr. Crowley.”
Every time a scene is presented again, it’s portrayed in a different light depending on which character we’re following. For instance, when we see things through Mary’s eyes, we get the added narrative color of her talking with the other hunter before the fight. We also get to see her using the Men of Letters secret safe decoder, which no one else in her group is privy to. When we get Crowley’s chapter, we see him six years earlier, when he presented Ramiel with the Lance of Michael and became the King of Hell, is a piece of Crowley’s past we never got to see before.
Ramiel is a great villain, because demons have become old hat to these Winchesters. But what about SUPER demons? Ramiel is one of the first, after Lilith that is. The Princes of Hell all come equipped with kung-fu grip, yellow eyes and a fierce determination not to die. We used to think Ol’ Yellow Eyes (aka Azazel) was a bad guy. Now we get to see his siblings: Ramiel and sooner rather than later, Asmodeus and Dagon.
The music score choices really helped sell the Tarantino-film flavor. There was whistling cowboy-theme for our heroes and a folksy guitar riff for the introduction of “My. Crowley.” I would watch this episode again just for the music cues.
And then, the moment we’ve all been waiting for, the reveal of what exactly Mary stole from the demon’s safe. The Colt. Oh how I missed you. Before the days of angel blades, we had the famous Colt. It’s like seeing an old friend return.