Beyond the Mat Recap

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Brimson, Missouri. It's a wrestling match, WWF style. More performance art than an actual match. One the the wrestlers pretends to hang the other with a noose as part of the show.

Later, in the locker room, the younger wrestler shoves the older one up against the locker saying he was almost killed out there with that noose. Another wrestler steps in to stop it. The younger one accuses the "old timers" of sticking together as he angrily walks away.

Later, the "Hangman" is alone is the locker room. Suddenly, he's lifted off his feet by a noose around his neck. He gasps for air (we assume he dies).

In the bunker...
Dean throws Sam the bottle of aspirin. Sam notices that Dean's duffle bag is packed and asks what that's about. Dean asks if Sam remembers Top Notch Wrestling. He does. His dad took them to see the matches when they were kids. Dean tells Sam that he came across the obituary for the "Hangman"; turns out the wrestler was John Winchester's favorite. Dean suggests he and Sam go to the funeral to pay their respects.

Sam thinks the timing is bad; they have a lot on their plates right now. Dean reminds him that they don't know anything on Amara and don't know how to save Cas, even though they've been hitting the lore hard. Sam interjects that maybe Cas doesn't want to be saved. Dean gives him a very determined look and says flatly, "He does, even if he doesn't know it yet."

Dean says he and Sam need a break. He's burned out.

In hell...
Casifer is going over his list of goals. He wants the demons to find him another Hand of God weapon.

Crowley is on the floor scrubbing it with a toothbrush. Casifer calls him his "puppy" and wonders if Crowley knows anything about where another Hand of God weapon might be. Crowley swears he doesn't and asks permission to return to his task. Casifer agrees, but takes away the toothbrush. He wants Crowley to lick the floor clean. Which he does as the demons watch him and seem to enjoy watching.

At the wrestler's funeral....
Dean can't believe all the famous wrestlers who are in attendance (including "Wrecking Ball Calhoun"...our very own Clif Kosterman; Jared and Jensen's real-life bodyguard). Dean can't believe how beaten down they look after all these years and wonders what happened to them. They don't look like he remembers from his childhood, yet he's completely in fan mode and so excited to see them. Especially Gunner Lawless.

Sam teases him about being such groupie. Dean gets up his courage and walks over to say hi to Gunner. He very awkwardly introduces himself and shakes his hand; and won't let Gunner's hand go. Dean tells Gunner that he got his first "breaking and entering" stealing cable to watch one of Gunner's cage matches. Dean is obviously enjoying the memory (Jensen is so great here).

A blonde woman walks past Sam. Sam remembers her as Rio; a manager for one of the wrestlers. Sam tells her he looks great then apologizes for saying that considering they are at a funeral. Sam explains that she was his first crush. She asks if he was one of those guys with her poster over his bed. Sam stammers "no"; obviously lying. He asks if she's still managing. She says she mostly does behind-the-scenes stuff now; she kind of keeps the guys in line; they're like family.

She says lately too many of them have been dying. She can't believe that the Hangman would kill himself. Sam tells her that wasn't in the obituary about his death. She says the family didn't want that information advertised. She excuses herself.

Sam and Dean pay their respects at the casket and they compare notes. Dean brings up that there's going to be a memorial show (wrestling match) that night. He says he knows Sam's itching to get back to the bunker but...Sam breaks in saying they should go to it. Dean is pleasantly surprised and more than a little excited about it. Sam reasons their problems will still be waiting for them tomorrow.

Later, at the match, Dean is like a kid in a candy store. Sam is commenting that everything looks a bit shabbier than he remembers. Rio walks by and Dean notices her smile and wave at Sam. Dean calls Sam a dog and Sam tells Dean he met Rio at the wake. She's nice. Dean asks if Sam told her he used to have a poster of her over his bed.

Sam tells Dean he heard that the exhibition match is only making $25. Dean can't believe it. Going from town to town and getting beaten up for no money and no glory...Sam points out that Dean just described their lives.

A drunk father and his son sit down behind them. Sam remembers that their dad was pretty much the same way; drunk and looking for cheap entertainment for his kids; when he took them to matches. Dean asks if Sam could please not wreck one of the nicest things their dad ever did for them.

The match starts.

Backstage, Gunner is talking to a man who passes him something; maybe drugs. The younger wrestler sees it.

When Gunner comes out, Dean's on his feet cheering like a kid. Dean wants Sam to stand too. Sam is less enthusiastic. Dean wants Gunner to give him his glove, but of course he gives it to a child. Dean's disappointed.

The match progresses...Gunnar lands at Dean's feet and he urges him to get up.

Sam and Dean get into it; cheering the whole way. Gunnar wins.

The drunk dad behind them leaves to take a leak. There's a huge line at the men's room, so he goes outside. Out in the alley, the guy hears something, but doesn't see anything until he's stabbed by an unseen assailant. Blood spatters.

Later, in the alley...
Sam has a photo of the body; it was "marked". Sam thinks the cuts look deliberate; like a ritual. Dean can't believe this might be a case. Sam wonders if maybe it's a witch. Sam heads back to the motel to try to find some lore on the symbol.

Dean says he'll stay at the venue to try to interview some witnesses.

Dean goes into the arena and when no one is in there, he gets into the ring and proceeds to pretend he's a wrestler. It's pretty sweet. Rio walks in on him. He clumsily gets out of the ring. He tells her he's an FBI agent. She doesn't know the guy who died. She wonders if they are cursed. This isn't the first person who died near the wrestling tour. Rio says that if he wants to question the wrestlers, he should try the bar. That's probably where they are.

In hell...
Crowley's cage opens. It appears that a demon is trying to free him; help him escape. She says there are people who want Lucifer gone. She tries to tell him he has dignity; that the devil should be afraid of HIM.

In the bar...
Most of the wrestlers seem to be drinking and partying, but Gunnar is sitting alone. Dean sits down to talk with him and share a drink. Gunnar says it's a rough crowd. Murders sometimes happen. Dean and Gunnar start comparing scars.

Dean is impressed that Gunnar is still out there doing this job. Gunnar tells Dean you have to keep on grinding no matter what's going on. Dean proclaims Gunnar to be "awesome".

Sam calls Dean. He's learned that someone has died at every stop on the wrestling tour and everyone who died had the same symbol on them. Even the Hangman. It's an ancient Sumerian symbol having to do with plucking the spark of life.

They theorize it might have to do with souls.

Sam's on his way to the bar.

At the bar, the young wrestler, Harley, is getting drunk. Gunnar tells him to cool it. They start to argue about past gripes. Harley hits Gunnar and Rio breaks them up. Harley accuses Gunnar of being a junkie. Rio says she'll talk to Gunnar about it tomorrow.

Dean helps Gunnar up. He asks why didn't Gunnar fight back. Gunnar says he has nothing to prove. Dean puts some holy water in Gunnar's drink; but nothing happens. Not a demon. Dean's planning on buying everyone in the bar a shot and spiking it with holy water to see who is a demon.

In hell...
Crowley is out of his cage. The demon who freed him is leading him out. He successfully fights off and kills two demons who try to stop them. He's staring to get some of his dignity back.

Later at the bar, Sam finds Dean passed out on a bench. He drank with everyone. Dean can't believe how much they could all drink; especially Rio. But no one reacted to the holy water.
Dean says he tried everyone but Harley. Sam sets out to find him. Dean doesn't follow until Sam calls for him. Dean stumbles after Sam.

They pull up to the motel and knock on Harley's door. Dean picks the lock when no one answers.

Inside, the room is tossed.

Elsewhere...
Crowley, looking like himself, is standing on the sidewalk topside. He tells the demon who freed him that it's time to go find the ace up his
sleeve.

Back at the motel...
Sam has security camera footage up on the computer. It shows a white van pulling up and Gunnar putting a knocked out Harley into the van. If Harley's a demon, how did Gunnar get the drop on him?

Elsewhere (in what looks like a legion hall)...
Harley is tied to a chair in a room. Gunnar walks up. Harley asks what's going on. He starts to apologize for being a dick. He apologizes for the cheap shot he took at him. He just wants Gunnar not to hurt him. Gunnar says it's not his call.The guy who appeared to be giving Gunnar drugs earlier walks up. He has red eyes.

Sam and Dean check traffic cameras and get an idea of how far the van with Gunnar and Harley got so they can track it down.

In the legion hall...
The demon asks Harley what he wants. What does he want out of life? The demon could give it to him.

Harley guesses he wants his soul. The demon says he might occasionally ask for a favor. He might want Harley to kill someone for him once in awhile. He says he likes how young and brash Harley is. The demon claims Gunnar is a satisfied customer. Harley realizes Gunnar has been killing people for the demon.

Harley turns down the demon. Harley theorizes that even though he never really believed in religion, if demons are real, then there's a hell, and if there's a hell, then there's a heaven and he's not going to deal away his shot at paradise. He's sure he can get everything he wants out of life on his own. No help from the demon.The demon threatens him with a career-ending injury. Gunnar tries to stop him, but the demon cuts Harley's tendon. He tells Gunnar to finish him off. Gunnar doesn't want to. The demon tells him to do it.

Elsewhere...
Crowley and the demon who freed him are in Crowley's "personal locker" where he keeps stuff he doesn't want anyone else getting their hands on. He opens a box...the Rod of Aaron; created by God and given to the brother of Moses. It's a Hand of God weapon. The demon (Simmons) wants to touch it, but Crowley won't let her.Crowley informs her that he doesn't think she can handle his rod. "I can," says Casifer from behind Crowley.

In the old legion hall, Sam and Dean find Harley bloody on the floor. They have their guns on Gunnar, but are thrown to the floor. Gunnar's demon walks out.

In Crowley's locker...
Casifer can't believe Crowley thought he could double-cross him. He invented he double-cross. He gives Simmons credit for leading him right to the weapon. Simmons hates Crowley. Casifer says every demon hates Crowley. Casifer says Crowley is now nothing more than Dean Winchester's number one fan.

In the legion hall...
The demon who's been controlling Gunnar knows who Sam and Dean are. He thought they'd be "more".

The demon tells Gunnar to kill them.

Gunnar throws Dean against the wall, then into another room.

In Crowley's locker...
Casifer says he knew Crowley was hiding something. He let him lead him to the weapon, instead of trying to beat the location out of him. Casifer puts his hands on the box. He says he's going to take the weapon, then he's going to take Crowley and Crowley won't like what comes next.

Casifer opens the box. It's empty. He turns to find Crolwey holding the staff. Crowley says HE'S the one who perfected the double-cross. The staff glows. Crowley feels a surge of power and says this must be what it feels like to be God. Tingly. Not bad. Crowley wonders that if the staff can hurt something as powerful as The Darkness, what it could do to Lucifer?

Crowley's hand glows and he flings a ball of energy at Lucifer who is struck down. Simmons tries to block the blow and is killed.

Back in the legion hall...
Gunnar is tying Dean up. He says he doesn't want to do this. Dean tells him not to do it then. He says he doesn't have a choice. Dean tells Gunnar he knows the guy is a demon and he knows about hell and demon deals. He asks what the demon has on Gunnar. Did he sell his soul?

Gunnar did. Ten years ago. He wanted a shot at the title and fame again. He says he was desperate and dumb. Dean pointed out he only had the title for a week. He repeats that he was desperate and dumb. Dean tells him it's never too late to do the right thing. Gunnar asks Dean if he really believes that. Dean says he has to.

Back in Crowley's locker, he prepares to do Lucifer in with another blast, but nothing happens. All Hand of God weapons are one-shots and Crowley used it up. Casifer is mad. Crowley made him "bleed his own blood". He tosses Crowley over a table and when he goes to follow, Crowley has disappeared.

At the legion hall...
Sam asks the demon if Crowley knows what he's up to. He informs him that Crowley is now Lucifer's b i t c h boy. The demon explains that it's every demon for himself in hell. Stacking up souls is like a nest egg. Gunnar is helping him collect souls. He had to outsource.

Dean shows up and yells to distract the demon. The demon throws him. He prepares to kill Dean, saying this is his favorite part.

Suddenly, the demon is stabbed from behind, by Gunnar. The demon sparks and dies.

Sam thanks Gunnar shakily and goes to help Dean up.

Gunnar starts to hear something. Dean guesses correctly that it's hellhounds. Gunnar says he always wondered what they'd sound like. Dean offers him his favorite gun to defend himself against the hounds. Gunnar declines. He says he's never been a good man. He looks in the mirror and hates the face looking back at him. He's ready to accept his fate. He hands back the demon killing knife too. Dean looks on the edge of ears. Gunnar tells Sam and Dean to leave as the hellhounds try to break down the door.

They leave and the last thing we see is the hellhound view of them running at Gunnar.

Back at the bunker...
Sam asks Dean if he's okay as they walk down the stairs. Deans says not even a little bit. Lawless was a good guy. He didn't deserve to go out like that. Sam says he made a bad decision. They've been there. Dean says Cas is there now.

Dean says they just have to keep grinding. No matter what.

Sam nods.

Dean nods. Dean says that's how they're gonna win. That's how they're going to save Cas, shank the devil, and ice the Darkness. Dean finishes, "And if anyone gets in our way, well God help 'em."

"Damn right," confirms Sam, with a little less conviction than Dean.

"Damn right," echoes Dean, before walking away.

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