Richard Speight Jr as Archangel Gabriel in "Supernatural" season 13 episode 17 "The Thing"
Richard Speight Jr as Archangel Gabriel in "Supernatural" season 13 episode 17 "The Thing" Dean Buscher/The CW

“Supernatural” season 13 episode 17 has revisited a history of the Men of Letters. In “The Thing,” Sam and Dean Winchester (Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles) attempt to find the Seal of Solomon, one of the ingredients they need to open a portal to the alternate universe.

The following contains spoilers from “Supernatural” 13x17 “The Thing.” The episode aired in the US on Thursday on The CW. It will air on Monday in Australia on Eleven.

Last week’s episode saw Castiel (Misha Collins, absent in this episode) returning from Syria to obtain fruits from the Tree of Life, which were one of the ingredients they needed. Cas, by the way, was technically married again, this time to the queen of djinns.

The brothers also needed the Seal of Solomon, which they found out was in a Men of Letters’ chapter house in another state. When they arrived at the place, they heard a woman strapped to a table and crying for help. They learnt from the woman that her name was Sandy Porter (Magda Apanowicz), and she had been trapped inside since 1925. She hadn’t aged a bit.

Sam and Dean were sympathetic to her after hearing her story. According to Sandy, members of the Men of Letters took her as a sacrifice and opened a rift so some kind of monster with tentacles could come in. People in hoods began cornering the diner where the trio was in, taking a drugged Sam with them.

It turned out Sandy was actually Yokoth, a god the Men of Letters summoned from another universe to cleanse the Earth. However, instead of doing that, Yokoth killed the members and took over Sandy’s body. Yokoth had a partner but the Men of Letters closed the portal before her mate could come in. The group that attacked the diner were actually legacies of the Men of Letters who were keeping Yokoth strapped and starved so she couldn’t hurt anyone.

After feeding off the hooded group, Yokoth took Dean with her so she could open the portal and get her mate. But the Winchesters, with the help of Marco (Ivan Wanis-Ruiz) and Ophelia Avila (Tiffany Smith), the great-grandchildren of a rogue MoL member, they were able to banish Yokoth back to her world. Marco and Ophelia then gave the brothers the Seal of Solomon.

Gabriel and Mr Ketch

Ketch (David Haydn-Jones) found out that Asmodeus (Jeffrey Vincent Parise) had been taking Gabriel’s (Richard Speight Jr) grace for himself to power up. After Asmodeus brutally beat him, Ketch stole the archangel blade from Asmodeus, freed a terrified Gabriel and brought him to the bunker, where Sam and Dean were mulling how they could get the last ingredient: an archangel grace.

An already petrified Gabriel was alarmed once more when he heard that the boys needed his grace. Fortunately, Ketch also took Asmodeus’ reserve of Gabriel’s grace so they didn’t need to extract some from him anymore.

As Sam was unstitching Gabriel’s mouth, Dean said that since they had completed all the ingredients they needed, he would open the portal now. Sam wanted to come, but Dean said it would be wiser if he stayed so Sam could rescue him if things went bad. Ketch, who was hiding from Asmodeus, volunteered to come as well. They had 24 hours before the rift closed.

‘The Things’ review

Everything’s coming up together now. With episode 23 coming in next month, audiences are finally getting all the pieces of the puzzle together.

The British Men of Letters chapter should have ended last season, and it sort of did if not for Ketch. Nevertheless, Ketch proved to be useful this episode, so at least his resurrection has been justified. Unlike the BMoL, what is fun to revisit is bits of history from the Men of Letters. Those librarians have a lot to offer, and it’s just fair that Sam and Dean know more about their legacy.

Dean telling Sam to stay put is another step in the right direction for the brothers who had been co-dependent with one another. While it’s true that they work exceptionally and almost unstoppably together, they are also individuals who are brilliant on their own.

It wasn’t the first time Dean told Sam they had to work separately as well. In season 12 episode 22, “Who We Are,” Dean opted to stay while Sam led an army of hunters in a raid against the British Men of Letters’ compound.