Supernatural season 15, episode 10 sees Sam and Dean struggle with facing normal people problems when it appears that Chuck has demoted them from their hero status.
Supernatural introduces us to the world of underground monster cage fighting in an unusually violent and balletic sequence in which a wraith battles a werewolf. The wraith wins, and the werewolf looks badly beaten.
Back at the bunker, Sam struggles with making dinner (has he never heard of potholders?) while Dean encounters a string of bad luck in town. Dean starts to believe they’re cursed when Sam starts getting sick, and Baby breaks down on their way to see Garth.
Garth calls, asking for their help. He and his wife Bess have a big family now, a little girl named Gertie and twin boys named Sam and Castiel (sorry Dean).
The werewolf from the cage fight is Bess’s cousin Brad, and he’s been unconscious upstairs since he managed to drag himself out of the swamp they dumped him in.
While they wait for Brad to regain consciousness, Bess gives Sam a cayenne cold cure that has him rolling on the floor while Garth fills Dean’s 17 cavities (allowing for a snazzy tap dance number while Dean dreams under anesthesia).
It doesn’t take Garth long to figure out that the boys are going through something weird.
Sam and Dean catch Garth up on their feud with Chuck. Dean thinks they’re cursed, but Garth thinks it might be the opposite. After their last confrontation with Chuck, they’re maybe not the heroes of God’s story anymore.
Now they’re just experiencing the real people problems that would typically slow down the story.
Brad wakes up and tells them about the cage fighting, but Sam’s puppy dog eyes and furrowed brow doesn’t inspire confidence like it used to. God may have taken the magic horseshoe out of their ass, but they still have a job to do.
Garth volunteers to come with them, but they tell him to stay behind and take care of his family.
Sam and Dean investigate the world of monster cage fighting
Along the way, Dean eats like seven of Bess’s delicious grilled cheese sandwiches. Because he no longer has the hero’s immunity to digestive issues, he finds that he’s developed lactose intolerance and urgently needs to use the bathroom as soon as they arrive at the monster fighting arena.
Meanwhile, the guy who runs the operation gets the drop on them.
Sam and Dean are put in cages and held for that night’s fight. They’re going up against an Alpha Vampire named Maul. They’re so normal now that they can’t even pick a lock, so how are they going to beat Maul in a cage fight?
Do all their years of training and expertise count for nothing? How could all their skills be gifts from God?
Garth, figuring that Sam and Dean would need his help, walks in and sneaks in the back to let them out of their cells. He also planted C-4 explosives and blows the place to smithereens once they’ve escaped, all of which is revealed in an Ocean’s 11 type heist reveal.
However, Maul survives the blast and knocks Garth out. In a cartoony sequence, Sam and Dean hilariously fail to make any impression on Maul as they attempt to fight him.
Garth wakes up and splits Maul’s head oven with a machete. It looks like Garth is the hero of this story!
Back at Garth’s house, Sam and Dean hold the twins (Dean: “This Cass keeps looking at me weird.” Sam: “So kind of like the real Cass!”) and say goodbye to the family.
Garth tells them about a story he heard of a place you can go if you’re luck has gone bad. It’s supposedly in Alaska, so that’s where the boys are going to go. Because whatever happens, they can’t do their job or beat Chuck if they’re just ordinary people.
While the concept of the Winchesters losing their hero status is an interesting direction full of both comedic and dramatic possibilities, this episode seemed like an excuse to throw together a collection of bucket list sequences that couldn’t fit anywhere else.
Jensen’s tap dance segment was a guilty indulgence, while the rest of the episode served as a mixed bag of genre appreciation and homages.
Supernatural returns on Thursday, January 30 at 8/7 C on The CW.