Supernatural: “The Scorpion and The Frog” Recap – Season 13, Episode 8
We open on this week’s episode of Supernatural with a woman walking into a museum. Naturally, we know this isn’t just a normal sight seeing mission. We quickly find out this woman is possessed by a demon, who is stealing something from this museum. An artifact is stolen by the woman/demon. The demon, having changed vessels, is now a security guard standing outside in an alley meeting with another demon. Artifact exchanges hands, alley demon kills security guard demon, then calls Dean Winchester. All this in a matter of 2 minutes? Color me intrigued as to what this episode will entail!
The boys are having a quick recap conversation in the kitchen. Sam tells Dean that there is no news on Ketch, he isn’t in any hospitals. Sam talked to Cas and has no new lead on Jack’s whereabouts either. Except we, the audience, know Cas is locked up in Hell, so Sam must’ve talked to Asmodeus on the phone. Which means that Asmodeus is keeping tabs on the Winchesters in a roundabout way, but that’s a whole other episode.
Phone rings, unknown caller, and it is the mystery demon from the museum heist. He intrigues the boys by mentioning “The Nephilim” aka Jack. He says he has a way to find Jack, and requests the boys to meet up with him at a local diner.
Barthamus, Bart for short, is our mystery demon. He is THE crossroads demon, having been promoted once Crowley took over as the King of Hell. He knows the boys well, has studied them closely, and plays off of them quite nicely. He orders Dean’s favorite, cherry pie, and tells them he can help them track down Jack with a spell that he is willing to give them for their help. He then tells Sam to check it out since that is Sam’s strength.
Back at the bunker, Sam tells Dean that the spell checks out and that Bart wasn’t lying. There is some resistance as to whether it is truly worth it to get involved with Bart, a typical untrustworthy demon. However, after a little bit of discussion, the boys decide it is better to go along with whatever Bart wants in order to get the second piece of the spell to track Jack down.
Sam and Dean head over to a warehouse to assist Bart with his request. They are met there by Bart, as well as two others, Smash and Grab. Smash is a safe cracking expert and Grab is a demon who is an expert in bypassing supernatural security. This is when Dean speculates that they are attempting a heist. Bart proceeds to tell them that he needs the help of the Winchesters in order to break into a safe and retrieve property that belongs to him. The safe is located on Luther Shrike’s farm, who is speculated to be a hoarder of sorts.
So why the Winchesters? Apparently Luther’s farm is warded inside and out, so Bart is unable to get in. Grab is also unable to get in but will be able to guide the boys to the safe. Smash should be able to crack the safe, once found. The kicker? The room that holds the safe has a code that can only be broken with the blood of a man who has been to hell and back. Bart also mentions that aside from specifically needing Dean’s blood, the Winchesters also have a record for being able to “hit curve balls out of the park” in situations like this.
We also find out that Luther is a human who has also been to hell and back, therefore able to access the safe himself. He is not a good human but a murder and a sadist. We do NOT find out what is in the safe, something that Bart refuses to say. This deters the boys from wanting to be a part of this. After more discussion between the two, they decide that getting the second piece of the spell is the priority, and that they can kill Bart one the spell is in hand.
Asmodeus sends a demon to warn Luther that Bart, with others, is on his way to try and retrieve what is in the safe. Luther, having none of it, exercises the demon and sends him back to hell saying he will not take orders from anyone. This really sets the tone for who Luther is.
Sam pulls up to Luther’s farm promising to sell him something he will want, in order to gain access to the farm. It seems that Luther is actually a collector of rare items, not a hoarder. Dean and Smash, hidden in the back under a blanket, await their opportunity.
Side note – Smash seems to bring out Dean’s comedic side during this episode, which is truly a highlight to the episode. It starts with him getting sassy in a reply to Smash stating that ‘smash’ isn’t actually her name. Dean’s behavior is quite humorous once they hit the farm.
While Sam is with Luther, distracting him, Dean and Smash summon Grab in order to locate the special safe. Grab puts a spell on Dean, which makes him an actual tracking device to the safe. He leads the three of them to the storm cellar in which the safe is located. Grab stays above ground to keep lookout while Smash and Dean go down into the cellar.
During this time Luther begins to fight with Sam, having known all along that this was a set up. We find out during this fight, after Sam stabs Luther, that Luther is immortal while on his farm. Luther, under the impression that Sam is a demon, ends up knocking Sam unconscious and then goes to stop the others.
Luther quickly sneaks up on and kills Grab, then goes down to the cellar. Smash, seeing Luther, makes her getaway. Dean is left in the cellar by himself with Luther. He asks Luther where his brother is, which is when Luther realizes the boys are not demons. Luther walks towards Dean and Dean unloads a clip into him, not slowing him down. Sam then pops up behind the both of them, announcing to Dean that Luther is immortal. Dean takes this information and swiftly knocks Luther out with a quick jab to the jaw.
The boys then try to figure out how to solve the riddle in the tunnel that leads to the safe, while Luther, now tied up, watches. Meanwhile, Smash has made it to the entrance of the farm where Bart is waiting. This is when we find out that the reason that Smash is working for Bart is because she made a deal with him. He threatens her, so she returns to the boys to finish the heist.
In a random attempt to make it down the hall, the boys roll Luther down the hall first (in a chair) in order to set off all the traps in the hall. The plan works perfectly… until they reach the safe and realize they can’t go any further. Enter Smash, back to assist and crack the safe. Safe opened and the item retrieved, boys and Smash make their exit. On the way out they notice that Luther has escaped but decide to hightail it out themselves instead of worrying.
On their way down the road they come across Luther waiting for them in a truck. Now begins a short, but decent, car chase. Dean throws Baby in reverse, Luther right on them, Dean spins Baby, Sam shoots out Luther’s truck’s tires, end of car chase. They all get out of the vehicles armed and ready.
This is when we learn the truth and what was in the trunk they stole. Luther begins to tell the boys how he sold his soul to Bart in order to save his son’s life. It worked, his son got better, only to die a few short years later from drowning. When the contract is due, Bart says “things happen” in regards to Luther’s son dying. He takes Luther to hell, where Luther makes another deal to get top side again. Once top side, Luther locates Bart’s bones and keeps them in the trunk. This is what Bart wanted all along. He wanted his bones back so no one could kill him.
Side note – intentional or not, Bart was very much a reminder of Crowley. From being well-dressed in a suit to the accent to being THE crossroads demon, and finally, to his bones being held hostage, it was all very Crowley parallels. A sad reminder of a fan favorite character gone.
It is at this time that Bart beheads Luther, then demands the trunk of bones in exchange for the second half of the spell. The boys refuse to cooperate, which is when Bart takes Smash hostage. The boys agree to not make any moves, as long as Bart lets Smash go. However, Dean sets Smash up for an opportunity to take Bart out on her own. When Bart has Smash go to grab the bones from the trunk, she quickly lights them on fire, also setting Bart on fire. Bart burns up, but also burns the second part of the spell in the process.
Next scene is the boys at a bus stop with Smash. She thanks the boys for helping her out then turns to get on a bus. Dean calls out to Smash to “stay weird”, to which she responds, in a very Charlie type way, with a tongue out and a peace sign. Throughout this episode, there were very many characteristics of Smash, real name Alice, that resembled Charlie. This final moment of her, flashing an almost identical departure to what Charlie did in her very first episode, sealed the deal. This was the second reminder of a fan favorite character gone, in this episode.
We close the episode on the boys in the kitchen of the bunker having a beer. They are upset they’ve lost the spell that would have led to Jack and are essentially back at square one, but happy they were able to help Alice while destroying Bart. They call it a win.