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Recap / Supernatural S 05 E 20 The Devil You Know

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Recap of Supernatural
Season 5, Episode 20

The Devil You Know

Bobby: You know where Death is?
Crowley: No. Haven't the foggiest.
Bobby: [cocks shotgun] Well, then get the hell off my property before I blast you so full of rock salt, you crap margaritas.

Written by Ben Edlund.

Directed by Robert Singer.


Air Date: April 29, 2010.

Sam and Dean are contacted by Crowley, who offers to help capture the demon who knows where Pestilence is.

Body count

For this episode = 4 humans and 2 demons.

For the series so far = At least 391 humans (of which 6 were witches), 62 demons, 33 ghosts, 19 zombies, 13 gods, 11 vampires, 10 angels, 9 hellhounds, 6 changelings, 3 shapeshifters, 2 ghouls, 2 werewolves, 2 dogs, 1 crocotta, 1 djinn, 1 rakshasa, 1 rawhead, 1 reaper, 1 rugaru, 1 shtriga, 1 siren, 1 wendigo, 1 whore of Babylon, and 1 wraith.



  • Animal Testing: White mice and monkeys in the same lab with no droplet/respiratory isolation between animals undergoing testing for the H1N1 virus.
  • Bad Boss: Brady kills an inefficient employee just so he can talk to his boss...who makes it clear that he'll dispose of Brady if he doesn't deliver either.
  • Badass in a Nice Suit: The demons Crowley and Brady.
  • Batman Gambit:
    • Crowley knows Dean's Oh, Crap! reaction when Brady doesn't want the rings is more genuine than if he'd explained his plan.
    • Brady hooks Sam and Jessica up, then kills Jessica, in the hope that they will fall in love instead of not clicking, and that Sam will go on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge when she dies instead of work through it in a healthy way. Brady probably based this on a history of Winchesters falling head over heels for doomed women and never working things through in a healthy way—and he was proved completely right.
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  • Beware the Nice Ones: Sam.
  • Big Bad: Brady, who is planning on spreading the Croatoan virus throughout the country. There's also the Hellhound that comes after Sam and Dean near the end of the episode.
  • Black Eyes of Evil: The possessed janitor and Brady.
  • Camera Abuse: More blood-splattered lens during the hellhound fight.
  • Cliffhanger: Whether or not Bobby takes Crowley up on his offer to find Death if Bobby "lends" him his soul isn't revealed until "Two Minutes to Midnight" (S05, E21).
  • Compensating for Something: Crowley boasts that his hellhound is bigger. We have to take his word for that, of course. This becomes funnier when you find out why Crowley sold his soul in the first place.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • The man Pestilence sneezed on in the previous episode is seen in the hospital waiting room.
    • Brady mentions that Jessica had been baking cookies when he came in and killed her. Right before Sam found Jessica on the ceiling in the pilot, he found a plate of cookies she'd left out for him.
  • Crazy Enough to Work:
    Bobby: Well, look, Sam, I got no love for demons, and, yeah, this whole thing is crazy, but...I don't know. After a year of chasing up zilch, maybe it's time to go crazy.
  • Deal with the Devil: Crowley prides himself on his ability to close a deal with anyone, whether a saint or a demon. Or a gruff, lovable hunter named Bobby for his soul (temporarily) in exchange for Death's location.
    Crowley: Results are 100% guaranteed.
  • Defector from Decadence: Crowley. He, in turn, makes Brady look like one in the eyes of other demons, though Brady is actually loyal to Lucifer...up until it looks like he's going to suffer the same punishment for betrayal as Crowley will.
  • Demonic Possession
  • Depraved Homosexual: Crowley must have a firmly-established reputation as one, considering how easily Hell bought it when he set Brady up as his lover.
  • Dude, Not Funny!: Sam thinks Dean's Michael Jackson joke while wearing the face mask is too soon.
  • Enemy Mine: Dean and Sam reluctantly partner with Crowley to take out Lucifer. Crowley is helpful, but...not exactly a team-player.
    Crowley: That's what you get—working with a demon.
  • Evil Counterpart: They don't appear in the same episode, but Brady could be considered this to Cas. Both were introduced into the story as a supernatural entity sent by its superiors to keep watch over the Winchester important to their plans and nudge them in the right direction. Both were/are that Winchester's handsome, besuited friend. However, Cas chose to rebel and help Dean because of their friendship while Brady never wavered in his cold-blooded manipulation of Sam despite the real Brady and Sam's friendship.
  • Evil Gloating: Brady. About everything, ever.
  • False Friend: Brady to Sam. Well, not the real Brady, who really was Sam's best friend—just the demon who possessed him to manipulate Sam.
  • Fate Worse than Death: What awaits anyone who betrays Lucifer.
  • Flies = Evil: They fly out of the blood-filled chalice Brady uses to talk to Pestilence.
  • Frame-Up: To make Brady spill, Crowley frames him as being his lover and a Reverse Mole against Lucifer and the rest of Hell. It works.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: Blood splatters on the lab door.
  • Having a Blast: When getting steadily more and more worked up, Crowley notices that he is standing directly under a streetlight (or, as he sees it, "a friggin' spotlight") with the Winchesters, and blows the bulb up with a gesture to better hide them from any on-lookers. Taking his frustration out on the poor light seems to calm him down a little.
  • Hellhound
  • Hollywood Darkness: After Crowley blows out the streetlight, the lighting doesn't change all that much.
  • Horrifying the Horror: Dean tells Brady that demons should be more afraid of the Winchesters than anything else.
  • Horsemen of the Apocalypse: Pestilence and Death.
  • How the Mighty Have Fallen: Crowley, according to himself. While Crowley certainly feels sorry for Crowley, Sam and Dean, on the other hand, don't really care and tell him so.
    Dean: Holy crap. We don't care.
  • Ironic Echo:
    • First, Brady yelling at his subordinates:
    Brady: Oh, you're doing your best? You're doing your best? Well, then, do the best of somebody better!
    • Pestilence (through the flies and chalice) to Brady:
    Brady: I know. I'm doing my best.
    [fly buzzes]
    Brady: Yes, sir. The best of someone better.
  • I Shall Taunt You: Brady to Sam, presumably to make Sam kill him quickly.
  • I Told You So: After Crowley seeming ditches the Winchesters.
    Sam: I told you!
    Dean: Ohh, well good for you!
  • It's Personal: Sam re: Brady.
  • Locked in the Bathroom: Sam does this to Dean so he can slice on Brady.
  • Mega-Corp: Niveus Pharmaceuticals.
  • Mind over Matter: Brady closing the doors behind Dean with a casual wave of his hand, not looking up.
  • The Mole: Brady was sent by Azazel to monitor Sam at Stanford and manipulate him back into hunting while pretending all the while to be Sam's best friend. Sam is only just now finding out about this—over five years after it happened.
  • No, I Am Behind You: Brady/Dean, then Crowley/Brady in front of the elevator.
  • Ominous Latin Chanting: Brady over the chalice.
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: Sam finally gets revenge for Jessica's murder when he kills Brady.
  • Percussive Therapy: "I really owe you, Dean, because I feel [starts kicking him] SO! MUCH! BETTER!"
  • Perp Sweating
  • The Plague: H1N1, currently. Demons plan to make the Croatoan virus the next big thing.
  • Plague Master: Pestilence, obviously.
  • Playing with Fire: Crowley starting a fire in the fireplace.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Those infected with the Croatoan virus.
  • The Reveal: Azazel ordered Jessica's death, but he didn't personally kill her—Sam's college buddy got to have all the fun there.
    Brady: That's right. You had a devil on your shoulder even back then.
  • Revenge Before Reason: Explored. Crowley is adamant that Sam not meet Brady, as he's convinced Sam will put personal revenge over getting the critical information Brady alone knows. Dean ultimately decides to trust Sam and tells him...and Sam immediately tries to kill Brady. Averted in that Sam stops himself until they get the information, at which point they no longer need Brady alive and he can take his revenge.
  • Shooting Superman: When Bobby shoots Crowley.
  • Slashed Throat:
    Brady: So what do you say? You ready to enter the cutthroat world of upper management?
    Mitchell: Awesome.
    Brady: [grinning] Awesome. [slits Mitchell's throat]
    • Also, Crowley to the security guards.
  • Smug Snake: Brady. Brady, Brady, Brady, BRADY.
  • Stealth Hi/Bye: Crowley appearing in the backseat and dodging Sam's attempts to stab him with Ruby's knife.
  • Stock British Phrases: "Fancy a fag and a chat?" and "Which, by the way, makes me the most buggered son in all of creation."
  • Strike Me Down with All of Your Hatred: Brady is all too happy to cut short any torture he might get from Crowley and Dean (and then Lucifer, if and when he gets away from them) by using Sam to kill him before he can divulge any information. Of course, this means pissing Sam off enough that Sam isn't thinking straight about needing Brady's information. That means taunting him about having betrayed Sam and killed his beloved Jessica. Sam does get to kill Brady but, by that point, Brady isn't very keen on the idea anymore.
  • Suddenly SHOUTING!: Lots of this from CROWLEY AND PESTILENCE!!!!
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: When a nurse overhears Dean and Sam mentioning statues crying, Dean reassures the nurse that she heard wrong, because only crazy people would say something like that. And they're not crazy. Obviously. [cough]
  • Tailor-Made Prison: Devil's trap on a Bag of Kidnapping.
  • Tears from a Stone: Dean mentions that statues started crying at the same time the plague started.
  • Tested on Humans
  • Token Evil Teammate: Crowley.
  • Tracking Device: Crowley reveals that he planted a magical coin in the Impala to eavesdrop on the brothers, which is how he learns about the Horsemen's rings. Later in the episode, another demon "manages" to plant one on Crowley so that a hellhound follows him back to Sam, Dean, and Brady.
  • Unusual Euphemism: Crowley says that Dean made a "colorful rejoinder about my 'corn chute'," which may or may not be Crowley spicing up what Dean actually said.
  • Villainous Breakdown:
    • Brady upon realizing that Crowley has framed him and there's a hellhound coming. He starts screaming and freaking out and finally breaks and gives Crowley Pestilence's location.
    • Crowley ranting at Sam and Dean about how he's being hunted by demons for helping them. Counts as this trope since, though he's mostly on their side here, he is a demon and will become a flat-out enemy later in the series.
    Crowley: They burnt down my house! They ATE my TAILOR! Two months under a rock like a bloody salamander! Every demon on Hell and Earth's got his eyes out for me!
  • The Virus: Croatoan virus.
  • What Measure Is a Mook?: Dean is rather disturbed when Crowley slits the throats of the human guards.
  • Would You Like to Hear How They Died?: Brady gleefully recounts killing Jessica to rile Sam up, describing how she let him in while baking cookies for Sam and was hurt and surprised when Brady "started in on her".

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