Sam and Dean relive a childhood memory in tonight’s episode of Supernatural. But memory turns to mystery when bodies start to drop. The boys must investigate what is killing people in the towns visited by the amateur wrestling company, Top Notch Wrestling. Is it even their kind of situation? Be warned, there are spoilers beyond this point.
While working to destroy Amara, find a way to save Castiel, and hunting for another Hand of God, the guys get a bit burnt out. Dean sees an obituary for a childhood hero, a wrestler that his father really loved, and they decide that they are going to drive the day to pay their respects. After all, watching this man wrestle was the one time the boys saw their father happy.
Once they arrive at the wake, Sam runs into the woman who was his first crush as a child. Her name is Rio and she manages the whole amateur wrestling group. While talking to her, he finds out that The Hangman is suspected to have committed suicide. Rio doesn’t think that he did and Sam becomes a bit suspicious. Sam reports back to Dean and they decided to go to the wrestling memorial that evening that is being held for The Hangman.
While at the memorial service Sam and Dean get to watch Gunner Lawless, played by Bela Talbot, wrestle. He was Dean’s hero and idol as a child. Dean fangirl’s over watching him. The guys both enjoy the match, acting like children all over again.
Meanwhile, Castifer is also searching for a Hand of God and he has all his demon minions working to help. Crowley is scrubbing the floors with a toothbrush and makes some little sound that alerts Castifer to the fact that Crowley is judging him. After a short communication with Crowley, Castifer makes he continue scrubbing the floors, with his tongue.
Later, one of the minions comes to visit Crowley in his dog cage. She tells Crowley that not all demons are supportive of Castifer and they want Crowley in charge again. She says she wants to help him escape. They head out of the throne room but are stopped by two guards which Crowley dispatches effectively. They head out to get Crowley cleaned and dressed more properly.
Back at the wrestling match, a body has dropped. One of the spectators is murdered behind the venue. When the body is discovered, it is marked with some type of rune like mark. The guys decide that the murder is something in their type of investigations so they are now officially on the clock. Sam decides to head back to the hotel for research and Dean heads out to interview the wrestlers. When he first talks to Rio, she tells him to look for the closest bar that is where everyone will be headed.
Dean walks into a bar…… he and Gunner Lawless start discussing past war wounds, while doing shots. While drinking with Gunner, Sam calls to let Dean know that they seem to be dealing with demon murders. Dean starts doing shots with all the wrestlers in the bar, but he waters down the whiskey with Holy water.
Sam finds Dean in the bar, passed out cold, after doing shots with the wrestlers. Sam forces him up and out of the bar to locate Harley, a young wrestler douche bag on the tour. Harley believes he saw Gunner with a drug dealers and takes a few swings at Gunner in the bar. He is the only wrestler that Dean did not get with a Holy water shot. The guys head to Harley’s hotel room, only to find it destroyed. They get the security footage for that night and discover that Harley was kidnapped. They also find out who kidnapped him so they officially have a suspect.
Meanwhile, Crowley has taken the trader minion to a storage locker that he owns. It is actually one of many that Crowley has around the country. Inside the storage locker, he has the Staff of Aaron, one of the Hands of God. After telling the minion about the Staff, Castifer comes around the corner. There is a fight sequence and Crowley ends up disappearing after expending the power of the Staff. So once again Lucifer has a Hand of God in his grasp, but it has no power.
Sam and Dean return to the venue where they discover that Gunner Lawless is the one murdering people on the Top Notch wrestling tour. He is in the employ of an enterprising demon. Gunner is tasked with collecting the souls of those the demon needs collecting in the cities that Top Notch takes him to. He does this in exchange for keeping his soul a little longer. Gunner made a deal and his ten years are up, but as long as he continues to harvest souls, he stays alive. Dean and Sam dispatch the demon named Duke and Gunner starts hearing hellhounds. Unfortunately, they aren’t able to save Harley.
As painful as it is to say, this episode was on the boring side. The case was solved within minutes by anyone who has watched the show from the beginning. The only part of the show that followed the overall plot was Crowley’s side. It was good to see that Crowley escaped Castifer finally. Here’s hoping that he meets up with the guys in the next few episodes to determine a plan on saving Cas. Also, there is hope that he has another Hand of God stashed in a storage locker somewhere in the country.
How sad is it that the guys can’t take a night off without everything going sideways. It was great seeing Dean turn so childish over Gunner Lawless. It was also nice to find out that Sam had some normalcy as a child, hanging a poster of a beautiful woman over his bed. Unfortunately the trip down memory lane couldn’t last and they had to go back to being hunters with the weight of the world on their shoulders.
So, Supernatural goes into a month long hiatus, due to March Madness. This episode wasn’t exactly something you would expect the writers to use as a cliff hanger. Yes, Crowley is missing, but nothing is known about Amara. There are no leads on a new Hand of God, unless Crowley has yet another Ace up his sleeve, and the guys are showing definite signs of defeat. Could it be that fans are seeing the beginning of the end? As of now, there has been no formal renewal for season 12 and it would be very easy to end the series with Amara. Is that what is happening? Would it really be that shocking? The season hasn’t exactly been as action packed as the past seasons and there are only so many creative ways to kill a demon.
“Beyond the Mat” overall grade – C
‘Supernatural’ will return to the CW on March 23rd at 9 PM EST
Check out a preview of next week’s episode “Safe House”