Supernatural 5.20 “The Devil You Know” Review

Only two more episodes left until the end of season 5 of Supernatural – nay, the end of the bloody Apocalypse – and the writers aren’t wasting time with monsters-of-the-week episodes anymore. It’s all mythology, all the time! This is a good thing, because saving the world isn’t going to just be accomplished in one or two episodes. I liked this evening’s episode, and very much liked the short-lived Brady character, but it sort of felt like filler, didn’t it? This episode was meant to set-up the next big fights – against Pestilence and Death and, finally, Lucifer.

At least up until the last five minutes, when my poor heart started beating at 50,000 miles per hour, because I see where they’re going with Bobby’s storyline and I’m really not happy about it.

The Apocalypse – Now With More Swine Flu!

Pestilence, the gross Horseman we were introduced to at the end of the last episode, is spreading his disease all over the western United States. Specifically, he’s infecting people with swine flu. Okay, it’s several months too late for the real life epidemic, but whatever – it’s still fairly relevant. Of course, the boys investigate the various cases, posing as employees of the CDC in an attempt to try and track down the third Horseman and secure his ring, but they’re always a step behind.

Enter Crowley. We last saw him in episode 5.10 ‘Abandon All Hope’, when he handed the Colt over to the Winchesters to kill Lucifer. You’ll recall that didn’t work out so well – we found out that Lucifer (and likely the Horsemen) were immune to the Colt’s deadly bullets and Jo and Ellen were lost in the cross-fire.

But Crowley is nothing if not into self-preservation and is still bound and determined to help the Winchesters – only now he’s aware of their plan to get the Horsemen’s rings and trap Lucifer, all thanks to a magical tracking device (and bug) that he managed to slip into the Impala the last time they met.

Crowley’s got a plan. Much like Sam and Ruby used one of Lilith’s minions to discover her whereabouts, Crowley intends to use one of the Horsemen’s minions to pinpoint the location of Pestilence so the boys can steal his ring.

Sophomore Year

As it turns out, the Horsemen’s minion isn’t an ordinary demon – he has history with Sam Winchester. Despite the recent reconciliation between the brothers, the crack in their fragile relationship starts to show immediately. Crowley already knows about the history between the demon and Sam, and refuses to take Sam to retrieve the demon (in fact, Sam doesn’t want to work with Crowley period). Dean realizes that they’ve got bigger fish to fry here (read: the Devil), and agrees to go off with Crowley, prompting a big suckfest from Sam, complete with drunk-dialing Bobby to whine about how mean his big brother is.

Enter Brady. He’s the cocky, self-assured, somewhat awesome pharmaceutical manager, who’s actually working undercover for the Horsemen – especially Pestilence. Crowley manages to hide some pertinent information about Brady from Dean, which results in Dean getting his ass kicked, as Brady is all too happy to dish out the pain in retaliation for Dean and his Horsemen ring-stealing ways with War and Famine.

Fortunately, Crowley and Dean manage to capture Brady. Crowley has no desire to take him back to Sam, because he’s certain Sam won’t react well to a little reunion with Brady, but Dean trusts his brother (or, at least, wants to), and is bound and determined to include Sam in the plan.

Abandoned Shack #8,305,935

Dean and Crowley reunite with Sam at the abandoned shack and we discover the backstory between Sam and Brady – as it turns out this particular demon possessed Brady, an old college friend of Sam’s. The same college buddy who just so happened to introduce Sam to Jessica and then later killed her (back in season 1). Sam, as you can imagine, is very much NOT PLEASED about this turn of events.

He immediately wants to go for Brady’s jugular, but Dean drags him out of the room. Crowley goes in for a little talk instead, and tries to convince Brady to turn on the Horsemen, telling him that Lucifer will surely kill him and the rest of the demons if he wins the Apocalypse and takes over the world. Brady will have none of it and refuses to help.

While Crowley goes off to put some plans into motion, Sam manages to lock Dean in a bathroom to go after Brady. My frustration sets in. Okay, yeah, it sucks that Brady killed your girlfriend, Sam, but can we think about the bigger picture here? The problem is that Sam and Dean are much too prone to making unilateral decisions – putting their personal issues ahead of the bigger picture. Their personal emotions bleed into their choices. It’s been like this for a number of seasons now and it always results in one or both of the brothers going off to do their own thing, or turning on each other. Seriously, they need to put their differences aside. End of the freaking world here, boys.

Sam manages to restrain himself – barely. He doesn’t kill Brady and eventually releases Dean just as Crowley returns. As it turns out, Crowley managed to place a rumor in the demon grapevine that he and Brady are lovers and Brady turned on the Horsemen, thereby securing Brady a spot on Lucifer’s ‘torture for all eternity” list. This is enough to secure Brady’s promise to help him and the Winchesters in order to avoid eternal torment.

Sit, Boo-Boo, Sit. Good Dog

Naturally, things are never that easy. As it turns out, some hellhounds were sent after Crowley.

I have this feeling that Dean should be a lot more scared of the hellhounds than he seems to be, as they killed him and dragged him to hell in season 3. If that were me, I would have developed a completely rational fear of everything canine.

Crowley disappears while Dean attempts to hold the hellhounds at bay, but he returns with his own hellhound – who happens to be much bigger than the one currently after Crowley and the brothers. Of course, we don’t actually see the hellhounds but the fight between the two invisible, vicious dogs is actually pretty cool. Blood gets splattered across the floors and walls as the two dogs go at it and the brothers, Crowley and Brady all manage to escape the house.

‘We’re the Ones You Should Be Afraid Of’

Brady’s now cornered in an alley as he gives up Pestilence’s location. For some bizarre reason, they don’t try to secure Death’s location as well, despite the fact that Brady could likely have provided it to them and the fact that they need to get his ring in order to trap Lucifer. But, whatever. Details, surely.

Brady provides an interesting theory – that Sam has so easily followed demons because he is almost one of them, thanks to the demon blood flowing in his veins. This prompts Sam to assume his kung-fu pose, which is actually pretty funny and not at all intimidating.

Dean seems somewhat shaken by this revelation – which, frankly, doesn’t seem all that far off the mark – but Sam just kills Brady. Damn. I kind of liked him.

Back the Hell Away From Bobby

Unlike the boys, Crowley is already thinking one step ahead – he wants to determine Death’s location. In order to do that, he pays a little visit to our good friend, Bobby Singer. Once the two of them are properly introduced, which naturally involves Bobby shooting Crowley, the demon comes straight to the point: he can tell Bobby the location of Death if Bobby offers up his soul. After all, Crowley is a crossroads demon and has the ability to make any deal. He promises to return Bobby’s soul to him, intact, once they locate Death, but one can’t help but question his motives. On the one hand, he’s a demon and seems primarily interested in self-preservation. On the other, he hasn’t abandoned the boys, despite the numerous difficulties they faced.

In any event, I am not liking where Bobby’s storyline is headed. Will Bobby trade his soul for Death’s location? Will Crowley return the soul or collect on the bargain. Is Bobby going to freaking DIE?

Like I said, in the end this was more of a filler episode, leading up to the final showdown between the Winchesters and the remaining Horsemen and Lucifer. But the return of Crowley was welcome. The guy is pretty funny and is a great guest character. It looks like he’s sticking around a bit longer too, so we should see him again next week.

Now, the question remains: where the hell is Cas?

Stray Thoughts

  • One day, when I’m lucky enough to have peons that I manage, my motto is going to be ‘do the best of someone better!’
  • Is it just me, or did Brady sound like he was rocking a Valley Girl accent when he and Crowley first started talking in the shack?

Check out photos and a promo from next week’s all new episode of Supernatural, as well as photos from the upcoming season finale.

Email: clarissa @



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