Warning: This post contains spoilers for the Supernatural episode “Beyond the Mat.” If you haven’t watched it yet, hop into the Impala and drive away.
The Winchesters jumped into a different kind of ring than usual in “Beyond the Mat.” They entered the world of professional wrestling, thanks to that reliable friend nostalgia. Though the episode was a break from the bigger mission of taking down the Darkness and saving Castiel and didn’t make progress on either front, it had sparkling moments. I won’t pretend to know much about wrestling, but for fans of Mike “The Miz” Mizanin and the WWE, Wednesday’s episode of Supernatural was probably more fun.
Sam and Dean stumbled into their next case by attending a funeral for a wrestler their father admired. A few aspects about this pleased me. Before they left, Dean pointed out he was burnt out after a week straight of studying lore and trying to think of ways to save Cas. We all need a break sometimes, and by and large, our problems aren’t as serious as trying to save the world or free our angel best friend from the grips of the Devil—knock on wood.
The diversion made even more sense when you consider Dean’s strong feelings for his dad. Dean’s not terribly sentimental, but that rule doesn’t apply when it comes to his family. It was sweet how he wanted to honor his dad’s favorite wrestler.
Before they realized The Hangman was murdered, Dean and Sam got to experience some joy. Dean cracks a lot of jokes, but the dude carries around stupid amounts of guilt and worry. Here, he got a break. Dean got to play the fanboy and literally jump around a wrestling ring. We don’t see Dean experience unbridled joy often, and it was charming. I was happy for him.
His joy was short-lived, however, as another murder led them to discover Dean’s favorite wrestler, Gunner Lawless, was working with a demon. He sold his soul for fame, glory, etc. The details of the deal, the repercussions, and the demon were forgettable. It wasn’t anything new. Dean did have a memorable scene with Lawless. The wrestler talked about how he always got back up and kept fighting despite hardship, and that’s more or less the theme of Supernatural. Dean took the words to heart, and his renewed energy and dedication to solving all the problems was evident at the end of the episode.
Elsewhere in “Beyond the Mat,” Castiel/Lucifer, a.k.a. Casifer, toyed with Crowley. It shouldn’t be surprising to see the Devil being cruel, but I’m in denial. I like Crowley too much and hate seeing him treated like an unloved dog. Casifer went the extra mean mile by using a demon to play upon the scraps of Crowley’s ego. On one hand, it did snap Crowley back into form. On the other hand, it was a trick to get another Hand of God from Crowley and Casifer regained control. We’re back to square one.
I’m down for a one-off detour episode, but the weaknesses outnumbered the strengths in this particular installment. However, the Winchesters got to revel in some happiness, and that’s a nice change of pace. I’ll take lines like “Is it just me, or is it getting a little phallic in here?” and keep looking forward.
- Few things are more endearing than fanboy Dean. One of those things is Dean having fun and cutting loose like he did in the wrestling ring.
- Casifer is both the best and the worst. I’ve become too protective of Crowley to tolerate Lucifer’s horrendous treatment of him. I hope Crowley gets the opportunity to make him pay.
- When we saw the trailer for the back half of season 11 where Dean talked about how they have to “keep on grinding,” I wondered where the saying came from. It’s not a phrase we’ve really heard in the series as far as I can remember, and I like knowing he picked it up from a childhood idol.
What did you think about Sam and Dean’s foray into the world of wrestling? Share your opinions in the comments.
IMAGES: The CW