Final Thoughts From the Supernatural Episode "Beyond the Mat"

by StevenHelmer

Thoughts from the season 11 television episode that first aired February 24, 2016.

Synopsis: When they learn their dad's favorite professional wrestler died, Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles) decide to attend the funeral and memorial tribute show. However, after a fan is murdered and they learn there has been a death at every show, they end their short-lived break and begin investigating.

Sam and Dean Are Losing Their Edge

Maybe I'm wrong about this, but it sure did seem that way in this episode. For one, it took them longer to figure out what was going on than usual. And, when they did, they nearly got wiped out by a low-level demon. Heck, if it weren't for some outside interference from a pro wrestler (Aleks Paunovic), I'm not sure they would have survived this episode.

To be fair, they may have just been having an off moment. After all, Dean did say he was feeling burnt out. But, if they hope to defeat Amara (Emily Swallow), they are going to have to up their game considerably.

Why Don't We See Any More Exorcism Attempts?

This is part of the whole "losing their edge" part. In the earlier seasons, if push came to shove, they always had the ability to fight a demon with their words by performing an exorcism ritual rather than simply trying to stab the demon.

This episode would have been a perfect opportunity for them to do that again because, at minimum, attempting to perform an exorcism would have been a distraction. Or, did they forget how to do that?

That Was a Lot of Double Crosses

I kind of figured Crowley's (Mark Sheppard) escape from Hell was staged and Lucifer (Misha Collins) was just trying to set him up. But, I did like the twist with Crowley knowing he was being set up and revealing he was pulling off his own double cross too.

Of course, he did end up wasting his one shot to wipe Lucifer out and used up the power in another "Hand of God" object in the process. But, now that he's free from Hell, it'll be interesting to see how much Crowley helps out Sam and Dean.

I Wonder If a New King of Hell Will Emerge

Two things we learned from this episode. The first is Hell is a mess because Crowley has been kicked off the throne and Lucifer is obsessed with Amara. The second is nobody likes Crowley (which actually isn't new information).

This makes me wonder if maybe we're going to eventually see a change of leadership in Hell since it's probably only a matter of time before Lucifer is sent back to the cage and Crowley will have a hard time taking his throne back with apparently no support from his minions.

My personal pick for the new king would be Castiel (Collins). I'm not saying he needs to be a bad guy even. Instead, much like Lucifer, he was banned from Heaven and hasn't had that much direction in his life lately. I could see him taking over the throne as a way of regaining some purpose with an emphasis on just taking the evil souls so he can punish them.

Why Isn't Anyone Seeking Metatron?

I'll be the first to admit, I don't really like Metatron (Curtis Armstrong) or trust him. But, if everyone involved believes the only way to defeat Amara is with a Hand of God object, then wouldn't it be wise to seek out the man who knows God better than anyone else? I'm sure he has a whole list of objects and their locations at his disposal and could probably explain (with some intense prying, of course) how to get the most use out of them.

Final Opinion

It was somewhat refreshing to see Sam and Dean take on a normal demon case again. But, as I said, I can't help but think they've been burying themselves in books a little too much lately and aren't staying in fighting shape. With the battle lines being drawn and the chaos that is happening, however, I do look forward to future episodes.

My Grade: A

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Updated: 02/26/2016, StevenHelmer
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DerdriuMarriner on 07/20/2022

StevenHelmer, Thank you for practical information, pretty pictures and product lines.

The library system here does not have the Supernatural series among its Blu-ray and DVD collections. It instead has books based on the series created by Eric Kripke.

How would you compare the spin-off books to the television series?

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