Supernatural Season 13 Episode 21 Review: Beat the Devil

The Winchesters and their allies must find the Devil in order to open the portal to another world.

This Supernatural review contains spoilers.

Supernatural Season 13 Episode 21

The Winchesters, Castiel, Gabriel and Rowena team up to create the portal spell again, only to realize they need more archangel grace to keep the doorway open. In an episode that easily could have been a two-parter, both for the tricking of Lucifer and the journey to Mary, we get what is easily my favorite episode of the season.

Having Gabriel a full timer lately has been a breath of fresh air. He’s always been one of my favorites, those Trickster episodes the most rewatchable episodes out there. His personality, comedic timing… he’s a great foil to Castiel and makes for some fun moments. Just his presence lent a comedic air to the first act of the episode, as especially evidenced in the “premature” initial portal.

What helped the jokes land for the more visual humor were the music cues. As the group preps for the first attempt at the portal, we have epic, actiony music heavily laden over a montage. Then, as they stare at the portal and it wilts, the music wilts with it, followed by the visual gag of everyone doing the confused puppy head tilt. Barely a scene later, Gabriel and Rowena make an unexpected love connection. The romantic saxophone music is quickly cut as we check in on Sam, Dean and Cass’s very serious conversation. The music edit makes the moment funnier because it appears that it also wants to hide what they are up to.

Ad – content continues below

Rowena has continued to grow into a more thoughtful person. I guess losing her son really did hit her hard, because she willingly works with the Winchesters, and when given the option to bail, stays to help. When the guys are trapped on the other side, she packs up, talking her self into leaving. But she stops, says “bollocks” (a classic Crowley-ism if there ever was one) and sets back to work. She says “bollocks” when she accidentally kicks Lucifer into the other world, thereby screwing over the Winchesters. We realize she’s annoyed about it, but she knows she has to help them. The old Rowena would have been so out of there.

The journey into the Apocalypse World lent us more interesting factoids about supernatural mythology. With the angels killing so many humans, the monsters in the world are now starving. The vampires have devolved into Bram Stoker-ish ghouls, ravening and insane.

And that cave scene? Holy moly. It was intense and claustrophobic, even from my couch. Sam was flanked by two monstrous vamps, helpless as they ripped his throat out. This, friends, is why the last few episodes saw our angel friends de-powered, especially Gabriel, otherwise this dilemma would have easily been remedied.

There were a few, devastating moments in which Dean has to be turned away from saving Sam, in which Dean has to hear his mother say “Where’s Sam?” and Sam’s lifeless body deep in the caves. His numbing, his devastation is clear on his face. No matter how many times these boys have died (and boy, the number is up there) they are both hit hard when the other brother is taken away.

How fitting that Lucifer himself saves Sam? I thought maybe he’d bring up the whole vessel situation again, but then I recalled he doesn’t need Sam for that anymore. Now Sam is just a bargaining chip to get to Jack. Don’t you hate it when absent fathers spoil their kids like that?

I couldn’t have been more pleased with this episode than if it was served with a side of bacon.

Ad – content continues below



5 out of 5