urx unit loader 'Supernatural': Nasty Cough You Have There...
Supernatural-Two-Minutes-to-Midnight-Jensen-Ackles-Jared-Padalecki.jpgIn tonight’s “Supernatural,” called “Two Minutes to Midnight,” we finally have … Matt Frewer! Better late than never!

BTW, I must say that I do truly enjoy the way the show does its recaps, with the Then and Now. Original, neat and stylish.

Onward … we open with Frewer as a kindly doc visiting elderly Celeste, his favorite patient, whom he has infected with a cornucopia of nasties in order to cook up a deadly new brew. She then does the full Linda Blair pea soup routine and expires.

Red splat!

We rewind time one day and cut to Bobby’s, where Dean’s not thrilled about Sam’s plan to have Lucifer jump into the cage inside him. Then, Castiel calls, and he’s in the hospital (what medical coverage do you get in heaven?). Apparently he somehow wound up bleeding and unconscious on a shrimp boat, and now he just woke up, surprising doctors who thought he was brain-dead.

Cas is also several quarts low on angel juice, which makes him just a plain old human, capable of zero zappage. He gives Dean a backhanded compliment and hangs up, leaving the boys to head out after Pestilence, who’s chilling at a depressing old-folks’ home.

Dean punches his way past the guard, and the boys take over the security room and start scanning cameras for … something. And they find it when kindly Dr. Green walks by and messes up the transmission.

He drops in to visit poor old Celeste, and we’ve caught up to ourselves.

And, of course, there’s a cute nurse. And, of course, she’s a Demon Nurse, and she recognizes the boys. Pestilence also isn’t interested in following orders not to kill the “vessels.” And with a twist of his ring, everybody in the hospital stars Linda Blair-ing — and the boys pick up a bad cough.

Sam confronts Demon Nurse, who opens the door to Pestilence, who’s just thrilled to see Sam, who promptly keels over.

Pestilence has infected our boys with a list of bugs, including syphilis (ouch!). And then he adds crushed knuckles, when he prevents Dean from grabbing the angel-killing dagger.

Turns out Pestilence likes bacteria better than humans, which doesn’t stop him from Purell-ing his own hands.

Then Cas bursts through the door! OK, not so much bursts as lurches. He took a bus (where does this boy get his cash?). But as soon as he shows up, he takes ill as well, but not so ill that he can’t grab the knife, cut off Pestilence’s ring finger and kill Demon Nurse.

That’s my Cas!

Announcing they’re too late, Pestilence pops away. Ah, well, I suspect that’s all the Frewer we’re going to get. Bummer.

Back at Bobby’s, he announces to the boys (who seem all better now) that Death is going to be in Chicago, preparing to kick off the storm of the millennium which will flatten the Windy City and set off a daisy chain of natural disasters, killing three million.

Bobby’s reluctant to admit how he knows this, but Crowley pops back in time to take credit. He makes Bobby admit he gave up (OK, supposedly just pawned, but we’ll see) his soul for the info. And yes, it was done with a kiss, and there’s a picture. Blech.

Crowley also explains that as long as he has Bobby’s soul, the boys can’t off him. Gotta say, he’s slimy, but not stupid, that Crowley — not to mention, one handy demon ex machina.

Out in the junkyard, Sam admits to Dean that, although he’s a weak and broken vessel, there really aren’t any alternatives to his plan to take on Lucifer and then leap them both into the cage and then somehow break loose. Crowley then shows up with a newspaper story about a rush delivery of swine-flu vaccine (shades of last week’s episode!).

Turns out good old Demon Brady may be dead, but that hinky swine-flu vaccine that was killing people in the last episode is actually a Croatoan cocktail, about to be sent all over the country at once.

According to Crowley, “this time next Thursday, we’ll all be living in zombieland.” Heh.

Anyhoo, in Chicago, it’s windy, and Death arrives in a sweet vintage ride (with big fins, no less). A dude bumps into him — last bad decision you’ll ever make, dude.

Meanwhile, Bobby’s packing up the ordnance and having a heart-to-heart with Cas, who’s feeling useless. Bobby’s not having any of it. The boys are splitting up — Sam heading out to stop the zombie apocalypse, and Dean off to kill Death. Sam prepares to hand over the knife, but Crowley produces a scythe that kills just about everything, including the big D.

Then Crowley pulls a real rabbit out of his hat. When Bobby gave up his soul in exchange for Death’s location, Crowley slipped in a little something extra — which allows Bobby to rise from his wheelchair. Everyone is suitably astonished.

The crew hits the road, with Bobby, Sam and Cas in the van. Cas finally thinks that Sam might have the wherewithal to resist Lucifer, then he drops the bomb that Michael has found another vessel aside from Dean. Yep, it’s young, unfortunate Adam. Cas informs Sam that if he says yes to Lucifer and fails, all bloody hell will break loose, and the Earth will be toast.

Or, he could just drink some demon blood.

The trio arrives at the pharmaceutical company, where a truck is rolling out, requiring some quick thinking. Cas attacks the driver, busts the security gate, and the demons inside prepare to release the hounds, er, virus. Sam and Bobby attack, free some of the human workers, but others get munched.

Bobby offs one of the demons …

Then we’re with Crowley and Dean, who find Death’s hideout, which is also swarming with Reapers (yeah, the scythe kills those, too). Crowley does a quick rekkie, but oops, Death’s not there. Crowley suggests moving on to the next doomed city. Wow, where’s the love for Chicago?

Back at the drug company, Bobby and Sam keep hunting and pulling out survivors, but Bobby’s got a strange look on his face.

Back in Chicago, Dean is pissed at Crowley, who finally comes through and finds Death in a restaurant. Even a Horseman’s gotta nosh sometime.

In the drug warehouse, Cas splats a demon with a sawed-off just before it gets Sam. I love an ex-angel who’s packin’ heat …

Dean sneaks into the eatery, where Death is lunching — and heating up the handle of the scythe. Turns out it was his after all. Death invites Dean to join him for a nice Chicago deep-dish pizza.

Death is not impressed with Dean. When you’re nearly as old as everything, not much makes an impact. He offers up a slice, and Dean digs in (dang, that pizza DOES look tasty. Love me some deep-dish).

Death claims that he will even get the Almighty in the end, which Dean admits is above his pay grade. Dean also wonders why he’s eating pizza and not dead, and Death admits that Lucifer has got him by the shorties, and he wants out. He’s willing to hand over the ring if Dean can knock Lucifer’s pins out from under him, and stick him back in the box — and he’s even willing to spare Chicago for the pizza (good call!).

And the condition is … Dean must do whatever it takes to imprison Lucifer, even if it means sacrificing Sam. And Dean agrees, and he better mean it, because “you can’t cheat Death.” Now Dean has the ring, and the instruction manual that goes with it.

(Let us not forget that Lucifer and Death had a little off-screen convo in an earlier ep
isode, which was significant enough to be recapped in Then. It might bolster Death’s sad tale … or not. Just FYI.)

Dean heads back to the junkyard and is relieved to see everyone in one piece. Bobby’s enjoying his new mobility, although the whole end-of-the-world thing has put a bit of a damper on the celebration.

Dean demonstrates a little ring magic, starting with mutual magnetism. Then he admits that he lied to Death about giving up Sam, and he doesn’t quite buy the whole Lucifer-holds-my-leash story. He also doesn’t believe Sam can get free afterward.

But Bobby tells the story of Sam saving civilians at the drug plant, thinking maybe they’ve been a little hard on lil’ bro, and maybe he has the stones to pull it off after all.

Bobby believes Sam “will beat the Devil or die trying.” He asks Dean what he really fears — losing the fight or losing his brother.

Next week, the big finale, and it’s not looking good for Deanie. Ouch.

BTW, while I’m enjoying the Crowley quippage and all, doesn’t it seem like he’s just a leetle TOO convenient and handy?

And I stand by my theory that there was a scheduling issue with Frewer, resulting in the Pestilence storyline winding up spread over two episodes and fairly disjointed. I could be wrong, but it looked that way.