Jensen Ackles as Dean Winchester and Jared Padalecki as Sam Winchester in "Supernatural" 13x21 "Beat the Devil"
Jensen Ackles as Dean Winchester and Jared Padalecki as Sam Winchester in "Supernatural" 13x21 "Beat the Devil" The CW Television Network

“Supernatural” season 13 episode 21 was a funny, devastating, jaw-dropping and then happy-for-now all at the same time. “Beat the Devil” was a rollercoaster of a ride, starting with phallic and sexual innuendos that were painfully but delightfully obvious.

This article recaps and reviews “Supernatural” 13x21 “Beat the Devil.” Spoilers are ahead. The episode was aired in the US on The CW on Thursday. It will air in Australia on Eleven on Monday.

The episode started with Sam and Dean Winchester (Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles respectively), Castiel (Misha Collins), and Gabriel (Richard Speight Jr) getting ready to enter the alternate world, with Rowena (Ruth Connell) preparing the spell to open the rift. Gabriel, who has apparently already recovered but still hasn’t filled up his archangel grace to the brim, could only give a tiny droplet of his grace. As it happened, it was not enough to open the rift for a few seconds.

There was no other choice but to take Lucifer’s grace. Sam, Rowena and Cas were all torture victims of Lucifer (Mark Pellegrino), but they agreed to take him in so they could rescue Mary (Samantha Smith) and Jack (Alexander Calvert) from the alternate universe.

After subduing Lucifer and bringing him back to the bunker, the boys began their journey to the other side. Rowena stayed to watch Lucifer as they drain him of his grace. This is so they could have longer time in the apocalypse world. But Lucifer annoyed Rowena so much to the point that Rowena goaded him and made him angry. Anger was what drove Lucifer to break from his chains. He was about to snap Rowena’s neck, but she threw him across the room and into the rift.

Rowena, in a rare show of guilt, stayed and searched for a spell to help the boys rather than flee as she would have done in the past.

Saving Mother Mary and Jack

In the apocalypse world, Sam, Dean, Cas and Gab, together with two survivors they rescued from evolved vampires, set out to the camp where Mary and Jack were. The only way was a cave full of vampires. While Cas and Gab were lifting rocks out of their way, the rest were attacked by vampires. Sam was unfortunately bitten and dragged away by vampires. Cas ran after him but returned just after a few seconds, telling a distraught Dean that they couldn’t save him anymore.

The group, minus Sam, was able to reach Mary and Jack later on. Jack was blaming Cas for not saving Sam, but the angel explained that it wasn’t possible anymore. And then came an alive Sam… with Lucifer.

Sam resurrected

Jared Padalecki as Sam Winchester in "Supernatural" season 13 episode 21 "Beat the Devil"
Jared Padalecki as Sam Winchester in "Supernatural" season 13 episode 21 "Beat the Devil" The CW Television Network

Sam woke up alive and not a vampire. Lucifer was able to save him after killing a few angels on the way to regain his strength. And as exchange for his life, the devil wanted Sam to bring him to his son, Jack. He wanted to have a relationship with his son, claiming he has changed. Sam was left with no choice as they were still surrounded with vampires.

SPN 13x21 ‘Beat the Devil’ review

Not since season 7’s Dick (Roman) jokes has there been any episode full of phallic puns. Writer Bobo Berens generously laced the whole episode with sexual innuendos, and even had an archangel and a 300-year-old witch get it on.

Gab landing face first on Castiel’s crotch was another hilarious moment. A stoic Cas and a shocked Gab, not to mention a scandalised Dean, was a comical moment; it’s totally unnecessary but very much appreciated.

But it’s not all fun and games, this episode. Sam’s unexpected death was ang distressing scene. SPN characters don’t stay dead permanently. And if it’s a main character like Sam, they wouldn’t die if it’s not the season finale yet. So Sam was going to be safe, at least fans know that to be true. But it was still a heart-stopping moment.

Dean’s silent anguish when his mum asked about Sam was a heart-breaking scene. Dean had been trying to protect Sam since he was four years old, and that only intensified in the past few weeks. Sam even confronted him about his overprotectiveness. And the moment he allowed Sam to fight alongside him in the dangerous apocalypse world, his little brother died. That was enough to give Dean a new reason to continue being overprotective. And that could ruin whatever progress the brothers made into straying from their co-dependency.

But again, the episode isn’t faultless. There are scenes that didn’t make sense if they were going with canon facts.

An archangel and a seraph weren’t able to save Sam? Gabriel was still not up his full archangel powerful self, but he wasn’t weak as well. Castiel still has broken wings, but he should be back to his strong self again. He has encountered multiple demons at the same time in numerous occasions and he has left unscathed every time. And yet these two together were no match for vampires?

Why is the show making angels weak? Angels started as the most powerful species in the Supernatural universe, and now they are reduced to wounded puppies. It makes for an advanced narrative, but it doesn’t make sense.

The way they tied Lucifer, with only a spell bond to cuff his wrists, was negligent at best. There wasn’t any sigil on the floor or a physical handcuff with insignias. Lucifer wasn’t even trapped in a loop of holy fire to prevent his escape. They relied on one thin binding from a spell to restrain the most powerful archangel alive in their world. It was a sloppy job baffles fans how they could be so careless.