Wow, was this episode of Supernatural ever a waste of an apocalyptic countdown.
After Gabriel's revelation last week that the rings of the Horsemen can help the boys lock Luci back in his hell-shaped prison, they're hot for Pestilence and Death. (Hot for Pestilence and Death might be the most fantastic thing I've ever written.)
Now, Death has been out laying waste to the citizens of the Midwest since November and Pestilence just started snotting on folks last week but who do you think the boys are going to try to stop first? Yeah, a nasty swine flu outbreak puts Pestilence on the top of their list and as luck would have it, Crowley has picked this week to pop back in with some handy intel about how to track down Pestilence.
It seems that there's this demon he knows who is the social director for all of Hell's VIPs so he's privy to the location of the horsemen. Crowley doesn't like Sam so he takes Dean on a mission to barter with the demon and Dean goes along with no alternative plan of his own because apparently Dean and Sam have swapped personalities.
While Dean and Crowley are on their date, Sam is drunk-dialing Bobby with an idea that maybe once they have all the rings, he can let Luci have his body (dirty!), then take back control of it (the way Bobby did that time he stabbed and crippled himself) long enough to walk him into the cell, rather than having to figure out a way to trick the ol' devil back in. Bobby has really had it with the suicidally stupid plans that the Winchesters keep coming up with.
On date night, it turns out Crowley was using Dean as bait to catch and somehow hold the demon in the human body he is currently possessing and then torture Pestilence's location out of him. Once they have the demon, Crowley mentions that it might not be terribly smart to let Sam near the demon as the two have a history. Seems the meat suit this demon is wearing is one of Sammy's old college chums (I'm calling him Trevor because that's a good name for this wad) - the one who introduced him to Jessica, actually - and that the demon has been in charge of Trevor since way back. In fact, it was the demon who facilitated Sam and Jess's courtship and then hoisted her to the ceiling and barbecued her. Oh yeah, he's a charmer!
The Brothers DUMB continue to go along with Crowley's completely shit plan and let Crowley call all the shots. Don't ask why because no one, including Kripke, can answer that question.
Dean and Sam stand around like so much scenery (SO MUCH - I swear to God, I think Padalecki is still getting taller), while Crowley flits off to spread a rumor that he and Trevor are lovers which will then make Trevor the second name on every demon's To Kill list because of how they all hate Crowley...or something. Trevor starts to panic and then a hell hound comes a callin' so Crowley pops out and leaves the idiots to untie Trevor and try to flee before the invisible pit bull rips them all limb from limb.
But just in time, Crowley pops back in with a hell hound of his own who bests the first hell hound and they all live happily ever after. Trevor tells them where Pestilence is and then Crowley is off to tip toe through the tulips while Sam and Dean salt Trevor into an alley and Sam shanks him. The salt in that scene was so completely unnecessary that I really think they only added it to pad the running time of this stupid episode.
In the meantime, Crowley drops in to see Bobby with a suggestion on how they might locate Death - as the manager of Crossroads Demons R Us, Crowley HAS to give a person what they ask for if they give him their soul in return. It's Demon Contract Law 101. So if Bobby will just let Crowley borrow his soul, Crowley will tell Bobby where Death is, and then he'll give the soul right back, he swears. He really says that "I'll give it right back, I swear!" Bobby seriously considers it. Apparently suicidally stupid plans are contagious!
Oh yeah, and then it's implied that Pestilence has been dealt with. But, like, off-screen and without any sort of fanfare. What the fuck?
My biggest beef with the episodes on the back-end of this season is that Kripke has said for over a year that he's had a plan all along for the show's arc and that it would "conclude" this season. That's why he's not sticking around next season even though the show has been renewed. With 5 seasons to suss out this battle, why isn't it tighter? Why the sloppy writing and the senseless deals and the sudden, unbearable stupidity of your leads? Why are we letting Death cut a swath across the heartland while Sam and Dean wait for a flippant demon to hatch a plan? Why isn't this better?
Anyway, despite my annoyance with the slip in quality on Supernatural, I still mostly enjoy the show. I'm not ready to break up with it because at it's worst, it's still getting the job done a hell of a lot better than Gossip Girl these days. What a steaming pile that's become! Off topic? Sorry.
Next week: Sam and Dean vs. Death! Yeah, right! I'll believe it when I see his whithered hand ringless!