Follow TV Tropes


Recap / Supernatural S 07 E 23 Survival Of The Fittest

Go To

Recap of Supernatural
Season 7, Episode 23

Survival of the Fittest

Written by Sera Gamble.

Directed by Robert Singer.

Air Date: May 18, 2012.

After trapping Crowley, Dick talks about making a deal: Crowley gives the Winchesters a vial of the wrong blood, and Dick gives Crowley Canada to do with as he pleases, provided he leaves America for the Leviathans. Sam, Dean, Castiel, and Meg make the final preparations to face off against Dick but soon discover that, with the use of a preserved arm of the real Dick Roman, there are now multiple Leviathans posing as him.


Body Count:

For this episode = 1 human and 1 Leviathan.

For the series so far = At least 808 humans (of which 6 were witches), 99 demons, 58 angels, 47 ghosts, 36 Jefferson Starships, 26 vampires, 19 zombies, 15 gods, 9 hellhounds, 7 skinwalkers, 6 changelings, 5 shapeshifters, 4 ghouls, 4 Leviathan, 3 djinn, 3 dogs, 2 Amazons, 2 arachnes, 2 kitsunes, 2 vetalas, 2 werewolves, 1 crocotta, 1 dragon, 1 fairy, 1 Khan worm, 1 lamia, the Mother of All, 1 okami, 1 phoenix, 1 Purgatory creature, 1 rakshasa, 1 rawhead, 1 reaper, 1 rugaru, 1 shojo, 1 shtriga, 1 siren, 1 wendigo, 1 whore of Babylon, and 1 wraith.



  • Aesop Amnesia: Bobby urges the Winchesters to learn from his experience, and to accept it when it's their time to die. Needless to say, they don't.
  • Baby Factory: Florida has been set aside for breeding purposes.
  • Back for the Finale: The Impala. Complete with Steppenwolf's "Born To Be Wild".
  • Big "NO!": Bobby when he almost kills Sam.
  • Berserk Button: After being temporarily driven out of the maid Bobby balks at possessing her again, until he sees the newspaper headline on Dick Roman.
  • Buffy Speak: Meg dubs Castiel "Emo Boy".
  • Brick Joke: From "Reading is Fundamental" when Crowley says that Meg has no sense of poetry.
  • Call-Back
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Everyone knows they can't trust Crowley, and the Driving Question is which side he will come down on. Turns out he's Playing Both Sides.
  • Cliffhanger: Dean and Castiel are trapped in Purgatory, then Castiel disappears.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Cas is still missing most of his marbles and spends much of the episode rambling about insects, monkeys, and animal testing.
  • Cold Iron: Bobby is driven out of the maid when he tries to pick up a mallet made of iron.
  • Comically Wordy Contract: Leviathan Dick Roman and Crowley come to terms where Crowley gets Canada in exchange for not helping the Winchesters create a weapon that can kill Leviathans. (One of the ingredients is Crowley's blood) Dick tells Crowley that he doesn't do the "sealed with a kiss" thing that Crowley usually does to close his deals. Crowley nods and pulls out an extremely long parchment contract that stretches a good ten feet with unrolled. They then spend a good amount of time painstakingly going over it before agreeing to sign.
    Crowley: Should the party of the first part fail to inform the party of the second part of his intent-
    Dick: Pause right there. Correct me, that should be party of the second part vis-a-vis party of the first part because we just amended Clause 314-Sub A.
    Crowley: Splendid.
  • Conservation of Ninjutsu: A One Meg Army hacks and boraxes her way through Dick Roman's hand-picked security team of Leviathans, only to get blindsided by two of Crowley's demons.
  • Continuity Nod: Sam and Dean uses Charlie's hacker cameras inside Roman's offices to spy on him.
    Sam: Thank you Charlie...wherever you are.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Dick Roman has kept an arm of the human Dick Roman on ice, so he can create copies of himself.
  • Deader than Dead: The flask is finally destroyed.
  • Decapitated Army: "If you'd had just one king since before the first sunrise, you'd be in a kerfuffle too."
  • Double Entendre: So much.
    "Let's bone this nun. Sorry."
    "Here's the thing when dealing with Crowley—he will always find a way to bone you."
  • Downer Ending: Bobby is truly dead, Crowley has Kevin and Meg as prisoners, Sam is alone, Dean and Castiel are trapped in Purgatory, then Castiel disappears leaving Dean alone as well.
  • Dramatic Shattering: Meg smashes the Impala into the Sucrocorp sign to cause the maximum amount of distraction. Or maybe she just did it to piss off Dean?
  • Dynamic Entry:
    • When Crowley fails to appear for his ritual summoning, the boys joke that he's waiting for a suitable dramatic moment. That's not why he's late, but that's exactly what happens.
    • Invoked Trope with Meg driving the Impala because We Need a Distraction.
  • Empty Shell: The test subject for Additive 3.0 barely reacts to anything that's happening. Until she dies.
  • Enemy Mine: Dick is willing to put aside his Fantastic Racism and tolerate the existence of demons, as long as they stay in Canada.
  • Exact Eavesdropping: Kevin listens in horror as Dick briefs the board on their Evil Plan to turn the United States into a giant People Farm.
  • Friend to All Living Things: When fetching ham for the sandwiches, Castiel insists he thoroughly comforted the pig before slaughtering it. He also wonders whether he should free all the monkeys being used for animal testing, but gets stymied over where he would put them afterwards.
  • Flash Step: When Crowley teleports in, Meg runs for the door only for Crowley to be there ahead of her.
  • Friendship Moment: Between Dean and Castiel, who detects a "note of forgiveness" from Dean. In return, Cas agrees to come along on the mission.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: We don't see Bobby burn up as his flask is destroyed.
  • Hairpin Lockpick: Kevin steals a hair pin to escape.
  • Homoerotic Subtext: All over the place in this episode.
    • Crowley tells Dick he's smarter than he looks. Dick purrs, "Oh now you're just flirting."
    • Crowley asks Dick if he wants their deal sealed with a kiss as usual. When Dick refuses: "Your loss."
    • Dean is griping about a Noodle Incident where Castiel teleported in naked and covered in honey bees. Sam says he was disappointed to miss it.
    • Meg is annoyed with Castiel's antics and insists Dean talk to him. "He was your boyfriend first."
    • While babbling on about animal testing, Castiel asks, "How important is lipstick to you, Dean?"
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice/Impromptu Tracheotomy: Dick Roman's fate; he gets stabbed in the neck by the bone, and explodes, taking Dean and Cas with him to Purgatory.
  • Immune to Bullets: Meg grunts in annoyance as her meat suit is struck by bullets fired by the security team, who are expecting the Winchesters.
  • Is That the Best You Can Do?
  • Lame Pun Reaction: Sam doesn't dignify Dean's comment about boning a dead nun with a response.
  • Loophole Abuse: Crowley always keeps his end of a deal. Dick told Crowley to give Sam and Dean a vial of demon blood and tell them it was his, when it was really a random demon's blood that wouldn't complete the weapon that could kill Dick. Crowley did give Sam and Dean a vial of blood, and he did tell them that Dick wanted him to tell them it was really his blood. Crowley has been cutting deals for centuries. Compared to him, Dick's an amateur. You can bet he made sure that loophole was buried in the fine print, or the fine print was worded in such a way to leave that loophole open. It's also telling that Crowley finished the negotiation by saying if anyone broke the deal, they would forfeit any prize in perpetuity. Forfeiting Canada to get rid of the Leviathans and keep the rest of the planet open to him? Crowley's fine with sticking to his word on that.
  • The Mirror Shows Your True Self: Ghost Bobby possessing the maid. When throttling Sam, the ghost sees a reflection of Bobby in the metal surface of the van, and throws himself out of the body in self-disgust.
  • Mood Whiplash: "We should play Twister."
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Bobby nearly kills Sam, so insists they kill him off for real by destroying his flask.
  • Mundane Utility: Cas teleports to Normandy in France to make uncontaminated sandwiches for Sam and Dean.
  • Needle in a Stack of Needles: Dick creates numerous Body Doubles so the Winchester won't know who to kill.
  • Neck Lift: Ghost Bobby vs Sam.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: In-Universe by Meg, after Dean loses his temper at Castiel and he vanishes. Meg points out that Castiel is the only one who can identify the real Dick Roman.
  • No Challenge Equals No Satisfaction: Crowley is eager for revenge on Castiel, but doesn't go through with it as he's too crazy.
    "But where's the fun in clobbering a ball of wet fur? Text me when Sparkles here retrieves his marbles, I suppose."
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Meg when she realizes the boys summoned Crowley and didn't bother telling her.
    • Dean when Castiel teleports in to protect Meg, as Crowley didn't know he'd come back from the dead.
    • Sam when he realizes the maid wielding a large knife is Bobby walking straight into a trap.
    • Dick, when he realizes Castiel can see his true form.
    • At the end, when Dean realizes where they are.
  • Playing Both Sides: Crowley is the only one to get an unambiguous victory out of this mess.
  • Read the Fine Print: Crowley whips out an insanely long contract scroll and a magnifying glass. He and Dick then take an unknown but obviously long stretch of time to go through it, making corrections with a red sharpie. Clause 314 Sub-A is mentioned.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning / Sinister Silhouettes: The monsters in Purgatory.
  • Revenge Before Reason: Ghost Bobby nearly kills Sam and the maid he's possessing in his quest for vengeance.
  • Rule of Drama: If the Winchesters really suspected Crowley's blood sample was fake, they should have insisted that he empty a vein in front of them like the Alpha Vampire did.
  • Screw This, I'm Out of Here!: Meg when she finds out the boys have summoned Crowley. She's too late.
  • Storming the Castle
  • Suicidal Pacifism: Castiel continues to refuse the Winchesters' pleas for them to help fight the Leviathan.
  • Suspiciously Small Army: Crowley boasts that he has an army of demons outside to mop up the survivors. We only see the two who capture Meg.
  • Tampering with Food and Drink: Not happy with just fattening up America, the Leviathans have created a creamer which will kill off the short and thin.
  • Tastes Like Friendship: Crazy Castiel offers Crowley a bag of honey, and the boys a sandwich.
  • Taking You with Me: Dick Roman drags Dean and Castiel to Purgatory with him when he dies.
  • Tempting Fate
    • The boys reassure a panicking Meg that Crowley isn't going to turn up. "Hello, boys."
    • Dick is telling a minion that his success with the killer cream will earn him a promotion! Cue Dean cutting minon's head off. Oh well...
  • Tested on Humans: Additive 3.0.
  • Shiny New Australia: Dick promises Crowley free range for demons in Canada if he helps stop the Winchesters. He insists in return they keep out of the United States.
  • Vengeful Ghost: Defied by Bobby Singer, as he realizes that he's beginning to turn into one when he's about to kill Sam, and in this episode he asks the brothers to destroy the flask that's keeping him tethered to the mortal world, which they do.
  • Wham Episode: Sam and Dean release Bobby from the mortal plane, Crowley kidnaps Meg and Kevin, Dean and Castiel kill Dick Roman, but the resulting effect lands them right in Purgatory.
  • We Need a Distraction:
    • Dick knows the Winchesters are coming to get him, so Meg crashes the Impala through the front gate while Sam and Dean enter elsewhere.
    • Dean stabs Dick in the stomach to no effect. Has Crowley betrayed them? No, the real weapon is wielded by Cas, who stabs Dick in the neck while his back is turned.
  • Walk-In Chime-In
    Meg: Well, I'm sorry about that, but I'm outie. He could still sh—
    Crowley: Show up at any time. Hello, boys.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Dean tells Cas, who doesn't want to fight, to clean up the mess he created at the start of the season.