Thursday’s episode of Supernatural, titled “The Scorpion and the Frog,” featured the brothers desperately pulling off a heist with the end-all goal of retrieving a Nephilim-tracking spell to eventually track down Jack.
This week’s episode channeled Indiana Jones when the brothers got a call from a demon Barthamus, or "Bart" (David Cubitt). Bart told the brothers that he had a Nephilim-tracking spell, and it could be theirs if they went rogue for the favor. The deal was that the brothers, along with Bart’s team of Smash and Grab (get it?) blackmailed a supernatural collector of sorts, Luther Shrike (Richard Break), to steal a leather trunk that Bart so desperately needed in exchange for the spell.
Dean (Jensen Ackles) teamed up with Smash, also known as Alice (Christie Burke), to summon a demon, while Sam (Jared Padalecki) kept Luther busy by trying to sell him a demon blade.
The crossroads demon said some magic words, which made Dean a human compass to find the safe. Dean led the team to a door where he was to put his hand in a stone dragon’s mouth that would supposedly open the door to the safe.
After much hesitation, Dean did, and his finger was pricked to let a drop of blood fall onto the combination when alakazam! the door opened.
Dean was needed because the safe requires a man who has been to Hell and back. In the meantime, Sam was trying to get Luther to take the bait, but Luther knew better. After a brief fright, Sam stabbed Luther in the stomach with the blade.
However, Bart failed to tell the brothers that he could not be killed on the property, and the scene switched to Dean and Smash staring at the long hallway leading to the safe. Dean saved Smash’s life when he pulled her back just seconds before a dart flew across the hallway. Booby-trapped.
Dean was interrupted by Luther when Sam yelled a caution of Luther’s deal, and Dean knocked the collector out cold. The brothers, after some thinking, strapped Luther to a rolling platform and pushed him down the hallway, taking the darts’ blows but surviving because of the curse. Smash showed up to open the safe and the brothers quickly took the trunk and got the hell out of dodge. But they were not quick enough.
Luther managed to escape and met the Impala down the road in a drag-out race. Dean drove while Sam shot out of one Luther’s tires, which left him immobile. Luther warned the brothers of Bart and pulled out a key and said he had leverage. Once upon a time, Luther’s son was sick, so he made a deal with Bart to save his son. Bart healed Luther’s son, but he died by drowning a couple years later.
Luther threw the key to Sam, and the trunk was full of Bart’s bones. Bart magically appeared behind Luther, sliced off his head and took Smash hostage with a knife to her throat. The brothers agree to the bargain of the woman in exchange for the bones. Smash was released and met eyes with Dean, and she reached down and picked up the light that was laid on top of the bone by Dead. He lit the bones on fire and consequently lit Bart on fire, but not soon enough for the brothers to save the second half of the safe. The episode ended with the brothers back at the bunker cracking open a cold one, counting their losses.
The title of the episode is fitting, given the children’s fable. In the tale, a scorpion convinces a frog to let the scorpion ride on the frog’s back across the river, promising that it will not sting the frog because if so, both would drown and die. The frog agrees and halfway through the ride, the scorpion stings the frog, and they both drown. The frog then asks the scorpion his reasoning to which the scorpion replies that it was of nature to do so. In this way, Bart promised the spell but, in the end, it burned with him. Dean said it best: “Do you know what miracles are called from demons? I don’t know, but I’m pretty sure it’s not miracles”.
The episode, in its entirety, provided some much-needed comic relief. From Dean’s pie-eating escapades to his one-liners, the episode struck feel-good chord by the audience.
“There could be anything in there. There could be spiders, there could be smite-y blade things, snakes, spiders,” Dean said when he tried to buy himself time from putting his hand in the vault.
The episode, as a whole, radiated Indiana Jones vibes, which nonetheless offered a breather from the heaviness of Lucifer and the alternate reality. Also, Dean was shocked that Smash pulled out Nerve Damage, an energy equivalent to Red Bull on steroids. Smash said she got it on eBay and handed Dean one. He took a sip and said he used to grow up on the stuff, exploding the fandom’s creative juices.
Less than twenty-four hours after the episode, there were already fanfiction stories published about John dragging Sam and Dean on hunts at midnight and 2 a.m. when they had school in the morning and Dean chugging the sugar. The scenario only proves the fandom’s passion and drive for the show.
Supernatural airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. on The CW.