Supernatural – Season 11 Episode 15
“Beyond the Mat”
Supernatural allows Sam and Dean to indulge their childhood as they investigate a case involving some of their childhood wrestling heroes.
I can’t imagine me getting much mileage out of this review as I am not a fan of wrestling so most of this went completely over my head. This episode does little to involve those not interested in wrestling as most of it involves Sam and Dean indulging their childhood memories of going to matches with John.
Allowing the Winchesters some down time to pursue a shared interest is very rare so it is good to see an episode taking the time to do that. Addressing the fact that they need a break because their research is turning up nothing but dead ends is a clever way to tackle the question of them having more pressing matters. Everyone needs a break now and again I’d say. It was good to see Sam and Dean both enjoy themselves equally and really relax as it’s really refreshing. This is particularly true of Sam who is usually so stoic. I’d almost forgotten that the guy had a sense of humour so that was refreshing.
There were some funny moments such as Dean’s embarrassing and painful exit from the ring and comparing injuries with someone he once looked up to but it definitely wasn’t enough to carry the episode and didn’t hold my attention for very long.
The connection made between the wrestlers and the Winchesters was an interesting one. All of the wrestlers featured were once icons who have fallen from grace and are resigned to the low paying part of the industry. This is similar to Sam and Dean who give everything of themselves and get almost no thanks for it most of the time.
I like the idea of a Demon going into business for himself because he feels that Amara is going to wipe everything out anyway so doesn’t have to hold himself to some authority figure. Very little was made of it but it does tell us that Amara’s presence has affected the Demonic community in different ways.
Crowley manages to escape Lucifer’s clutches and goes after another Hand of God weapon to power himself up to be a match for his captor. It all turns out to be an elaborate trick on Lucifer’s part so that he can gain possession of a powerful weapon. It doesn’t benefit anyone as it’s another single use weapon which means that Delphine probably won’t be coming back as a living weapon. I still hope that she does but it’s looking unlikely.
One concern I have is if the next few episodes will be filler so that the B-Plots can focus on Lucifer trying to find other Hand of God weapons to use against Amara. These filler stories are fine now and again but will start to get tiresome if used consistently.
This episode definitely wasn’t for me but I imagine fans of wrestling would really enjoy it. I can’t judge it too harshly as it didn’t do anything especially wrong and had some really good moments but it failed to hold my interest.
• A rare moment of downtime for the brothers that allowed Sam to show his sense of humour for a change
• Dean’s ring exit
• a fairly dull Demon story
• being inaccessible to non-wrestling fans