Pestilence has unleashed a swine flu-like virus on the people forcing Sam and Dean to turn to a demon for help in finding the Horseman. This leads the brothers to a "friend" from Sam's Stanford days and before the end of "The Devil You Know" Bobby gets an interesting proposition. How does he react? Will he say yes?
So even though this episode is all about finding Pestilence, Sam and Dean never have a face-to-face with him. I have to say I'm glad we get a reprieve for another week. I totally envisioned me closing my eyes every time Pestilence appeared. The two minutes he was on in "Hammer of the Gods" was so disgusting I couldn't even watch it again. But no worries. The only traces we did see of the deadly horseman in "The Devil You Know" are the victims of the virus he created and those flies that appeared during his "phone call" with Brady. Although those instant flies were creepy, weren't they?
Sam and Dean once again pretend to be part of the Center of Disease Control. They want to know if any of the flu victims are exhibiting signs of homicidal tendencies. They know that some lab guy turned on another after being injected with the deadly virus. Almost two days earlier no one was suffering from the flu, now there are over 70 cases at the hospital. It can't be a coincidence that statues started crying around the same time. This is definitely the job of Pestilence. He's going from town to town leaving victims in his wake.
Crowley, the crossroads demon (CD) we first met in "Abandon All Hope" pops in on Sam and Dean while they're in the Impala. The brothers are rightfully angry with the guy. After all, he's the one that gave them the Colt to take down Lucifer and the Colt didn't do a thing. And even worse, Jo and Ellen died on that mission. Crowley still wants to take down Lucifer and says he knows how to get Pestilence. He's in an even bigger hurry to stop the apocalypse because Lucifer now knows Crowley's out to get him which puts him in a dangerous position. He's now a wanted demon. The CD also knows about the rings of the Horsemen. He knows because he had his valet hide a magical tracking device in the Impala the night the Winchesters broke into his house. He knows everything and has heard a lot but he's not dishing any of that dirt...yet. He does tell the boys they have to track down a demon whose job it is to handle the itinerary for the Horsemen. I love how the writers describe these demons as if this death and destruction business is an office job.
This demon they want works for a pharmaceuticals company. Hilarious. This company holds a vaccine that will "help cure" the recent flu outbreak. After an executive meeting the demon, Brady slits the throat of one of his detractors and uses his blood to call Pestilence. Apparently this "vaccine" will have some grotesque effects. I'm scared already.
An increasingly angry Sam doesn't want to listen to Crowley while Dean doesn't see any reason not to listen to him. I guess Sam feels he's listened to demons one too many times and he's finally learned his lesson. Dean, meanwhile, probably feels these are desperate times and it's time to do desperate things. He believes Crowley which is probably a stupid thing to do but what choice do they have? Crowley takes Dean on the Brady mission leaving Sam behind. Sam's not happy about it. He calls Bobby and the two share a drink while Sam recaps what just happened. Sam then asks Bobby about the time he was possessed and he took back his body. That's how he ended up in the wheelchair. Anyway, Sam wants to know how he did it. Sam's thinking he can say yes to Lucifer but somehow take back possession long enough to lock Satan in the cage. I knew Sam would start thinking about doing something crazy and stupid like this. Sam's got that invincible vibe going again and he's thinking he's stronger than Lucifer. Bobby tells Sam how ridiculous the idea really is. Sam says he won't do it not unless they all agree. We may have just gotten a sense of what will happen in the finale.
As for Dean and Crowley, they show up at evil central (the pharmaceutical company) to get Brady. After Crowley kills a couple of the guards, he forces Dean to go it alone and sends him up to the executive floor. Dean faces Brady who wants nothing to do with the rings. He says he just wants retribution for Dean rendering War and Famine useless. Brady starts taking it out on Dean giving the Winchester his weekly beat down. Dean decides retreating is his best option which plays exactly into Crowley's hands. He's right there to administer his own beat down on Brady. Dean realizes Crowley used him as bait: "That's what you get for working with a demon."
Crowley carves up Brady's chest making sure the demon's locked in the meat suit. He then tells Dean to head in a different direction because they can't take Brady back to his brother because the two have a history. Dean stops the car and demands to know the details. Cut to Sam waiting not so patiently at the cabin. He goes to Dean who's tying up the prisoner. Dean asks Sam to focus and stay on mission. He trusts Sam won't let his anger mess him up because he knows his brother's going to be upset once he finds out who the prisoner is. Sam finds out that tied up before him is a friend of his from Stanford. It's actually the friend that introduced him to Jessica. I kind of love this little turn of events.
I've always wondered why other than Season 1's "Skin" the show has never truly delved into Sam's time at Stanford. I always wanted an episode where the brothers were forced to go back to the university and we could catch a glimpse of what Sam was like while he was there. So this is a cool, cool thing that Brady has ties to Sam's college life. And as it turns out, Brady's been a demon since then. After Crowley fails to get the whereabouts of Pestilence out of Brady, Sam locks Dean in the bathroom and goes after his ex-best bud. Brady explains how the Yellow-Eyed Demon (YED) had Brady possessed after it looked like they were losing Sam. A possessed Brady introduced him to Jessica, waited for them to fall in love and then in his words "toasted her on the ceiling." Wow. Poor Sam. His relationship was doomed from the beginning. Plus the relationship was pretty much engineered. That's beyond sad. Brady goes on to paint the picture of that night he killed Jessica. The youngest Winchester takes the knife to Brady's throat and...he doesn't kill him. Yay Sam!
Crowley comes back and he lets Brady know he's also a marked demon. Unfortunately, right then a hell hound makes itself known. Apparently it followed Crowley back which makes Dean very, very nervous. It's all right though because Crowley has his own pet hell hounds and his are much bigger than the one that followed him back. An invisible hell hound fight ensues and it's actually a pretty cool thing. Nice job, show.
The Winchesters, Crowley and Brady flee the cabin and head to another location. After getting the location for Pestilence out of Brady, Crowley makes himself scarce. Meanwhile, Sam and Dean set up Brady for the kill. But before Sam offs his former college BF, Brady takes a stab at analyzing his soon-to-be murderer. He supposes that the reason why Sam fell for what Brady and Ruby and the YED were shilling was because they all have the same stuff running through their veins and deep down he's just like them. Love Sam's response after the kill: "Interesting theory." And then Sam just walks away.
At Bobby's, the hunter is on the phone with Rufus. Crowley shows up and wants Bobby to make a wish for his soul. Crowley needs a soul in order to work up some magic that'll get him the location for the fourth and final horseman. He says it's only temporary, that he'll give the soul back, but he's a demon. Demons lie. What will Bobby do? He'll probably do what Dean and John did and Sam tried to do, but I hope not. Don't do it Bobby!
Sam's acting real angry again and for the first time since last season's demon blood phase I'm getting that same feeling from him. That he's stronger than everyone vibe and he just may do something real stupid in the coming episodes.
I wonder if the show is going to give us a cliffhanger in the finale or will it do one of those wrap a story arc kind of endings that also nicely sets up the next season.
Playing the demon that leads the brothers to Pestilence is Eric Johnson. He played Whitney Fordman during the first season of Smallville. Whitney dated Lana Lang. Who else with a Supernatural connection played one of Lana Lang's ex-boyfriends? Yes, it was one Jensen Ackles. Whitney was a Season 1 boyfriend while Jensen played Jason Teague, a Season 4 boyfriend. But Eric has another Supernatural connection. He co-starred with Gina Holden in the short-lived Syfy (then Sci-Fi) series Flash Gordon. Gina guest starred in Supernatural episode number 2 "Wendigo." She was Haley. I once interviewed Eric and Gina for the show and they were beyond nice. So it's cool to see Eric pop up on Supernatural. He did a great job.
Did you guys catch the Supernatural promo that aired during Supernatural? It was a promo for the next episode that aired halfway through this one. And it had an awesome song ("O Death") that sounded appropriately apocalyptic especially with this lyric: "My name is Death and the end is near." How awesome was it? I love this show especially when the network goes all out on the promos.
Loved how the first thing Sam and Dean did when Crowley popped up in the Impala was try to kill him. The Winchesters have good reflexes.
Mark A. Sheppard was a welcome return. Crowley was very entertaining in this episode and Sheppard did such a good job with the Ben Edlund script. I really was in sci fi heaven with the appearance of a Battlestar Galactica alum (Sheppard) and a Smallville alum (Eric Johnson).
You can tell it's the end of the season when Robert Singer directs an episode. I'm wondering who's going to direct the finale this year.
Ben Edlund wrote the script. Ben's been a pretty great Dean writer but this time he got to write some Sam angst.
I looked up Niveus (the name of the pharmaceutical company): it means snow-white in color.
Sam proved he could control himself when he didn't kill Brady the first time around. Wonder if he did that in preparation for when he may have to do it to lure Lucifer into the cage?
The Dean-Brady scene at the company: I loved how he prepared the chair for Dean and after Dean sat in it, it twirled back to face Brady.
So happy Dean didn't listen to the CD and take Brady elsewhere. He took him back to Sam. Sam definitely deserved that kill.
Inappropriate Dean is back: "Check me out I look like the King of Pop. Too soon?"
Don't know how the doctor believed Sam and Dean were CDC: "Did you just say a bunch of statues started crying?"
"Who would say that, huh? Crazy people which we're not."
"They burned down my house. They ate my tailor!"
"And last place I should be: in the road talking to Sam and Dean Winchester under a friggin' spotlight."
"He'll tell us where Sneezy's at."
"Are you idjits trying to kill me?"
"Let's face it. You're not exactly anger management."
"Uh crap. Crap. Crap."
"You're not coming?"
"Oh no. It's not safe up there. There's demons."
"Dean Winchester. What? No appointment?"
"It's kind of an 11th hour thing."
"Hey, hot stuff, watch the upholstery."
"That's right, you had a devil on your shoulder even back then."
"So how'd it go? Buy your girl scout cookies?"
"I told you!"
"Well, good for you."
"All those angels, all those demons, all those sons of bitches, they just don't get it. Do they Sammy?"
"No they don't, Dean."
"See Brady? We're the ones you should be afraid of."
"So get the hell off my property before I blast you so full of rock salt you crap margaritas!"
"Then why are you snake oiling me?"
"OK, here's my counter." (Bobby shoots the CD)