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Recap / Supernatural S 13 E 08 The Scorpion And The Frog

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Recap of Supernatural
Season 13, Episode 9:

The Scorpion And The Frog

Written By: Meredith Glynn

Directed By: Robert Singer

Air date: November 30, 2017

A demon named Bart approaches Sam and Dean with an offer — steal something from a supernatural collector named Luther Shrike for him, and he gives them a spell to track down Jack.



  • Abandoned Warehouse: Sam and Dean meet Bart's heist crew in one of these.
  • Blackmail: Despite Bart being willing to give them something they really need, the brothers initially refuse to work with him because historically speaking, teaming up with demons has always gone poorly for them. However, he threatens to give the nephilim locator spell to Asmodeus if they don't help.
  • Blackmail Backfire: The Winchesters are willing to lose the spell in order to kill Bart and free Alice from her demon deal.
  • Blood Magic:
    • The supernaturally enchanted vault requires blood from a specific type of victim.
    • Grab casts a spell that causes Dean's blood to physically lead his body to the vault. Hilarity Ensues.
  • The Collector: Shrike collects rare supernatural artifacts.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Shrike has an exorcism memorized, has a devil's trap permanently fashioned into the floor surrounding the entrance of his home, and has his entire home magically warded and booby trapped.
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  • The Dog Bites Back: Alice, who Bart basically enslaved, is the one who burns his bones and kills him.
  • Expy: Grab seems to be a supernatural, demonic version of Tom Cavanagh's Harrison Wells — super smart, super capable, and morally ambiguous.
  • Fan Boy: Sam is very enthusiastic about Shrike's collection and even accurately discerns that the basilisk tooth Shrike shows him actually came from a Gorgon, to Shrike's displeasure.
  • Fish-Eye Lens: We're shown Sam through Shrike's security camera POV.
  • Flashback Cut: We're shown brief scenes of Dean's time in hell from the season 3 finale.
  • Genre Savvy: Dean doesn't really want to get sucked into Bart's heist scheme.
    Dean: Alright. Well I've seen this movie a thousand times. Some ass hat too fancy to get his hands dirty plans a job, swears it'll all go smooth, and it does until, bang, and everything goes screaming off the rails and bites our asses.
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  • Gilligan Cut:
    Bart: Shrike will never see us coming.
    Demon: (talking to Shrike) They're coming.
  • Heist Episode: Sam and Dean are roped into stealing a trunk for a Crossroad Demon in exchange for a locating spell they desperately need. However, the trunk is hidden inside the supernaturally warded, physically booby-trapped compound of an extremely paranoid occult collector. Paired with Smash, a master safecracker who has been promised the return of her soul in return for her participation, and Grab, a demon who gets them the detailed blue plans and shows them how to counteract the warding, the Winchesters clear the Indian Jones-style maze and obtain their MacGuffin.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Dean and Sam are trying to get through a room booby-trapped by Shrike. He boasts on how it's packed with pressure sensors that will go off and unleash various darts at them. Remembering how Shrike is immortal in the house, the brothers tie him to a cart, push him into the room and let him set off the traps and take all the darts.
  • Hostage for MacGuffin: Bart threatens to kill Alice if the boys don't turn over his bones.
  • Ironic Fear: Dean, life-long professional monster hunter, is visibly freaked out at the thought of spiders.
  • Meaningful Echo: When asked why he specifically wanted to work with the Winchesters, Bart echoes Crowley's season 12 sentiments, saying that no matter how impossible something seems, the Winchesters always seem to prevail.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: It turns out Shrike is actually a victim, and the object he stole from Bart is the only leverage he has to keep Bart from killing him. Naturally, once the Winchesters steal the bones, Bart murders Shrike.
  • No One Gets Left Behind: Subverted. Facing Shrike, who has a weapon, Smash kicks him and runs for her life, leaving Dean to face him alone.
  • Off with His Head!: Bart slices Shrike's head clean off after Shrike tells his story.
  • The Only One: Bart sought out Sam and Dean because access to the vault requires the blood of a man who has been to hell and back. Sam and Dean have both been to hell, but Dean specifically died, went to hell, and was then resurrected.
  • Safecracking: Alice's speciality.
  • Shout-Out:
    • When Sam mentions the film Entrapment as he's discussing how to get across the booby trapped floor, Dean can't decide if he's impressed that Sam watched a movie for Catherine Zeta-Jones or disgusted that Sam watched such a low-quality film.
    • Dean is pissed to find out the path to the vault is heavily booby trapped and grumbles about not having time for this Indiana Jones crap.
    • Ocean's Eleven: When Bart introduces his heist crew, Dean invokes this movie.
    • Dean refers to Smash, a thief with a quirky fashion sense, as Winona Ryder.
    • Sam introduces himself to Shrike with the alias "John Dortmunder", an unlucky fictional thief created by Donald Westlake.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute:
    • Subverted with Barthamus, who looks at the beginning to be the new Crowley: same job, wheedling personality, wary of other demons. But he manages to get himself killed in the space of one episode.
    • Much like Charlie, Alice is a quirky girl of slim build with a specialize skills who helps the boys pull a caper.
  • Swivel-Chair Antics: Sam and Dean use Shrike, who is nigh-unkillable, strapped to a rolling chair to deploy all his anti-theft measures.
  • Themed Aliases: Bart's heist crew go by the names "Smash" and "Grab"
    Sam: Smash and Grab. Really?
    Smash: Not our real names, obviously.
    Dean: No kidding.
  • Touched by Vorlons: Shrike received his immortality from a second demon deal and it is dependent on his staying inside his home.
  • Two Halves Make a Plot: Bart only gives the brothers half the spell they need for the tracking spell to locate Jack. He promises the other half when they recover his lost item.
  • Unreliable Narrator: Bart's version of why they're robbing Shrike doesn't hold up once the brothers hear from Shrike himself.
  • Walk and Talk: Sam and Dean walk through a city block discussing the particulars of the demon they're about to meet.
  • X Called; They Want Their Y Back: Dean tells Smash the 90's called and they want their boots back. Particularly funny since Dean's beloved car is from the 60s and all his favorite music is from the 80s.
  • You Answered Your Own Question:
    Dean: Wait. Safe-cracking? What is this? A heist? Hold up, is this a heist?!

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