Season 5 Episode 20

The Devil You Know

Aired Thursday 9:00 PM Apr 29, 2010 on The CW
out of 10
User Rating
549 votes

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Episode Summary

To save humanity and demonkind alike, Crowley offers to help the Winchesters find Pestilence so they can get his ring. Dean must learn to trust Sam when Crowley reveals Sam has history with the Four Horseman's demon "Stable Boy."

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  • this was a good ep .

    in this ep the deamon is willing to help them find the third ring but they have to locate the peslances stable boy. and dean goes up there and they bring him back as there bringing him back the deamon says lets take another root but dean insist they go back to were sam is but he does not realized that the stable boy know each other from college. and it was the person that got sam into all this mess he started it all by making sam introudced to jess and then killing jess .and that is what got sam started from thebeging dean learns what the deamon was trying to tell him but sam tricks dean and locks him in the closet they get the info out of him and sam kills the stable boy at the end after they get the locationmoreless
  • The brothers try to hunt down Pestilence with the help of Crowley.

    The brothers hit a snag while hunting down Pestilence, they meet a person that can get them to Pestilence, and that person is Brady, Sam's old college buddy who is now possessed by a demon. Turns out Jess dying was all one big set up to get Sam back to his old way. Brady was possessed when he introduced Sam to Jess only to take her away so he can go back to hunting, another eventful episode definitely. This episode was too similar to what Ruby did to Sam. Sam believed Ruby more than Dean. In this case, Dean left Sam for Crowley. The same situation. So it was kind of out of character on Dean's part to trust a demon. When Sam finds out about Brady, he tries to get his revenge, only to be interrupted by the thought of getting information to get Pestilence. The rest of the episode, they are just interrogating Brady. A hell hound tracks down Crowley, you think Crowley is going to leave them, but he brings his own hell hound to fight the hell hound that tracked them down. Since they saved Brady's life, Brady gives the address where Pestilence is at. Sam ends up killing Brady after getting the information. In the end, Crowley gives Bobby an offer regarding the fourth horseman, that he cannot refuse. He has to sell his soul to get the location of the fourth horseman, before he answers, it cuts to black. A good episode, that was just another step of the way to the Apocalypse. Good episode.moreless
  • The brothers get help from a demon to track down the remaining horsemen and Sam encounters a surprise from his past.

    As we're nearing the finale things are really beginning to get set in motion as Sam and Dean's search for the remaining horsemen. The "Then and Now" bit showed the horsemen and the Croatoan virus implying they would both play large parts here. This unfortunately wasn't the case, as they were barely a framework (especially the virus) to the episode and more of a setup for the final two.

    What we did get here instead was still really good, just not quite what I was hoping for. I do like that Sam and Dean are seen actively searching for Pestilence as opposed to stumbling into the Apocalypse plot which has happened a lot this season. However their search is in vain until Crowley shows up to lend a hand. He was a great character earlier in the season and it was great to see him back. Sam constantly trying to kill him was played with the right balance of action and comedy that it worked nicely. Of course it did have Crowley doing the old off-screen disappearing trick. Obviously it's an artistic choice by the show to do this, but for shots like Sam swinging and Crowley teleporting behind him, not showing it really didn't work.

    So Sam understandably doesn't trust Crowley whereas Dean does (reluctantly though). When Dean went with Crowley instead of Sam it had me thinking of Dean's "You trusted a demon over your own brother" line from earlier this season. However the difference here is that they really are out of options and Dean's questionable choice is understandable. Crowley and Dean's teamup to grab Brady was pretty fun. I was a bit surprised Dean wasn't angrier at Crowley for murdering the security guards, but maybe at this point he's accepted collateral damage. Crowley's trick to use Dean as bait to get Brady was fairly obvious I thought, but brilliant nonetheless! Crowley's "that's what you get for trusting a demon" line actually made him more trustworthy in a weird way. Certainly more honest about his end game which at this point I think we can take at face value.

    Then however came the point of the story I wasn't so huge on. When Crowley said Sam and Brady had history I initially thought he was Meg in another body, but I was just a bit wrong there! Retcons are rarely a good thing. It's understandable that in a long running series the best way to give an emotional connection to a new character is to find a way to tie them into a story but more often than not it just feels forced. Now to be fair retroactively adding Brady into the show's continuity was far from bad. There was always a bit of a question about how or why Yellow Eyes killed Jessica, so having it be one of his lackeys made sense. Also that Azazel would've been keeping an eye on Sam also made sense, so it was done a lot better than similar situations on most other shows. However, it was nowhere near as good as previous tricks like this on the show. Quick examples: last season we found out Sam and Dean's mum had been a hunter. However at the end of season 2 we saw that Mary Winchester recognised the Yellow Eyed demon in Sam's nursery. Similarly this season we found out the Trickster was an Arc Angel, but a mere two episodes after his first appearance they did an episode about the possibility of Angels.

    When rewatching the show seeing these things makes you think that maybe they were set up all along which gives more validity to it. I'm fairly certain Brady wasn't in the first episode (because I would've recognised Smallville's Eric Johnson) so it doesn't tie in well. Also wouldn't Sam have noticed if there was a demon around him for like two years? They seem to ignore it a bit now, but back then demons gave off sulphur as well as various other tells which you'd think Sam would've picked up on.

    Sam eventually killing off Brady was an interesting bit. I'm not sure whether it was the best choice, but it worked for the character. Surely letting him suffer at Lucifer's hands would be a worse punishment (as well as possible save his old friend). But it all worked and was a cool scene. Also glad to see they've improved the demon killing effect, as it didn't look quite as good in the false profit episode a few weeks back.

    The final scene had Crowley try to seduce Bobby. It's a clever trick to use a loophole in the deal making thing. However do any of us trust that Crowley would return Bobby's soul, or if he even can after completing a deal? The scene had me actually saying at the screen "don't do it, Bobby" and for any show to invoke a verbal reaction like that obviously they're doing something right. It was a cool cliffhanger to end on, as while Bobby might realise it's a stupid thing to do it may be the only option they have.

    So this was a decent episode to move us closer to the final episode. While not the best use of a retcon it did still work and didn't hurt the overall story. Maybe a bit more action might've been nice here (still not a fan of the invisible hell hounds) but it all worked. With two episodes to go I'm confident the show can finsh this season with the high quality its had throughout.moreless
  • War makes strange bedfellows so when Crowley comes round with plans within plans to use the boys to save his own behind, well, things could get sticky. then again, blood usually does.moreless

    This was a strong ep chock full of major setups for the finale, as well as a few within the ep itself. **Spoilers ** We see the beginnings of a possible plan for getting Lucifer back into his box, not that Dean would let it happen, but... it's possible. We also see another shoestring being grabbed and ready to be tied in the guise of Bobby being made an offer by Crowley who is an interesting bad guy though not nearly as clever as he thinks he is. The fact that Sam and 'Brady' had some history didn't pack an iota of impact though, don't know why. I think it's because I knew Sam wouldn't let Dean down, so there was no real surprise. (Personally I would've liked it if Sam had indulged a little bit in some carving of his own instead of a little shaving nic) once he had Dean trapped in the bathroom. And for some reason, that Dean enabled Sam to take him out at the end, there just wasn't that satisfaction I was hoping for, maybe cause we figured the whole Jess thing was already resolved with Azazel's death... don't know for sure but. all in all it was a fair ep with some very strong setups. So good work Kast and Krew. And as always, special love to Jensen and Jared.moreless
  • This episode was just okay.

    ***********Spoiler Alert***************************

    I don't know what I was expecting from this episode but it didn't deliver. It felt like one of the longest episodes of Supernatural I had ever watched. I did find it funny that they had demons using a pharmaceutical company to try to spread the Croatoan virus. Other than the surprise with Brady and Sam having a past connection nothing really happened in this episode. I did like the O'Death trailer but I just hope that the final two episodes are much better than this one was. I can't wait to see the Winchesters meet Death and Pestilence.moreless
Carmen Moore

Carmen Moore


Guest Star

Stephen Park

Stephen Park


Guest Star

Bill Phillips

Bill Phillips

Convenience Store Clerk

Guest Star

Mark Sheppard

Mark Sheppard


Recurring Role

Jim Beaver

Jim Beaver

Bobby Singer

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (2)

    • Sam: Where's Dean?
      Crowley: Now... for the record, I'm against this. Negotiating a high-level defection--it's very delicate business.
      Sam: What are you talking about?
      Crowley: I begged Dean not to come back. We should be miles away... from you. He replied with a colorful rejoinder about my "corn chute."

    • Bobby: You know where Death is?
      Crowley: No. Haven't the foggiest.
      (Bobby cocks shotgun)
      Bobby: Well, then get the hell off my property before I blast you so full of rock salt, you crap margaritas.

  • NOTES (1)

    • International Airdates:
      UK: June 16, 2010 on LIVING
      Sweden: September 10, 2010 on Kanal 5
      Spain: January 3, 2011 on AXN
      Germany: March 7, 2011 on Sky Cinema Hits
      Australia: March 28, 2011 on ELEVEN
      Czech Republic: November 25, 2011 on Prima COOL
      Finland: July 22, 2012 on Sub