- Recap and Review: Supernatural 7.01: Meet the New Boss
- Recap and Review: Supernatural 7.02: Hello, Cruel World
- Recap and Review: Supernatural 7.03: The Girl Next Door
- Recap and Review: Supernatural 7.04: Defending Your Life
- Recap and Review: Supernatural 7.05: Shut Up, Dr. Phil
- Recap and Review: Supernatural 7.06: Slash Fiction
- Recap and Review: Supernatural 7.07: The Mentalists
- Recap and Review: Supernatural 7.08: Season 7, Time for a Wedding!
- Recap and Review: Supernatural 7.09: How to Win Friends and Influence Monsters
- Recap and Review: Supernatural 7.10: Death’s Door
- Recap and Review: Supernatural 7.11: Adventures in Babysitting
- Recap and Review: Supernatural 7.12: Time After Time
- Recap and Review: Supernatural 7.13: The Slice Girls
- Recap and Review: Supernatural 7.14: Plucky Pennywhistle’s Magical Menagerie
- Recap and Review: Supernatural 7.15: Repo Man
- Recap and Review: Supernatural 7.16: Out with the Old
- Recap and Review: Supernatural 7.17: The Born-Again Identity
- Recap and Review: Supernatural 7.18: Party On, Garth
- Recap and Review: Supernatural 7.19: Of Grave Importance
- Recap and Review: Supernatural 7.20: The Girl with the Dungeons and Dragons Tattoo
- Recap and Review: Supernatural 7.21: Reading Is Fundamental
- Recap and Review: Supernatural 7.22: There Will Be Blood
- Recap and Review: Supernatural 7.23: Survival of the Fittest (Season Finale)
By Paula R. Stiles
Recap: Recap of the Leviathans, as well as Frank Deveraux (who gets mentioned a lot without actually appearing in the episode) and Dick Roman (who does appear).
Cut to Wharton State Forest in the Pine Barrens of New Jersey. There, something stalks a husband and wife in what looks like a pre-fab cabin or a very stout and large “tent”, which is stocked up with all the comforts of home, including lights and a TV. Their idea of “camping” is to sleep on a nice, big bed in separate sleeping bags. It seems they call them “glampers” now. Funny, when I was a kid, the rest of us campers just called them “idiots with too much money”.
As if they were back home, the happy, stout, middle-aged couple say goodnight to each other and go to sleep, the husband to a MP3 player’s “Nature Sounds”. Later, the husband wakes up in a tree, upside down in his sleeping bag, in which he is zipped up like a grub. Before he can get his bearings or properly panic, something snatches him down and eats him alive. With sound effects. And body parts.
Cue title cards.
In Hammonton, New Jersey, the brothers are trying to get electricity back on in an abandoned house, using jumper cables (Why the electric company would continue to send electricity to an abandoned house is never explained and there’s no mention of an alternative like a car battery or generator). Briefly, they find success and in comes Bobby with a cooler to set down next to a camping lantern. We then get some infodump about how they’ve been way off the grid for weeks, hiding from the Leviathans. Dean complains that they’ve hit rock bottom in terms of living conditions (which is surprising, since only Dean of these three has seen a postapocalyptic world firsthand). When the lights fritz off, and Bobby turns on the camper lamp, Dean throws up his hands and goes over to the couch, where he’s got his bedroll. He takes the cooler with him. It has (naturally) beer. From there, he wonders if saving the world is worth it, since they’ve done it twice in two years, already (This is a big glitch, as there ought to be two years in between Lucifer’s Apocalypse and Crowley/Castiel/Raphael’s big plan to rob Purgatory of its souls, not just one). Sam and Bobby have little to persuade him otherwise, besides concentrating on the little picture. Yep. After all that talk about how they have to deal with the Leviathans, they decide to do a minor hunt, instead. This time, they’re after the Jersey Devil, a bipedal, winged monster that has reputedly haunted the Pine Barrens since the early 18th century.
Why are they hunting it now (I mean, aside from the fact that this is only the ninth episode of the season and the writers don’t seem to have enough uberplot to stretch for 23 episodes?)? Because of the glamper guy who got eaten out of a tree. Seems his wife is missing, too. But don’t expect to hear from or about her again.
Bobby is all perky about going hunting for real, but has to have the term “glamper” explained to him, by both brothers. His opinion of the phenomenon? “Idiotic”.
At the local Biggerson’s, Dean and Sam are interviewing Park Ranger Rick Evans about the missing camper/glampers, while Evans enjoys a Pepperjack Turducken Slammer sandwich (which sounds vaguely wrong in a biblical way). Ranger Rick is a decidedly mellow fellow who doesn’t much care about the missing people, who happen to include his boss, Phil. He’s been a park ranger for 12 years and he’s never seen anything like this case. When Sam brings up the State Police’s theory that it was a bear attack, he laughs and says that law enforcement actually has no clue what the thing was. Maybe it was Mother Nature. He and Phil have been finding animal parts all over for the past few weeks. Whatever ate them may have eaten the camper – sorry, glamper.
Bobby walks in, dressed in a suit like the brothers, and a coat like Castiel’s. They take their leave of Ranger Rick and go talk to Bobby, who just checked out the dead glamper at the morgue. Bobby is confused. The bite marks are too small for a Leviathan, the heart’s still there (so, not a werewolf) and a Wendigo would have left nothing behind. He’s stumped.
They decide to break for lunch, but when Dean asks one of the waiters, Brandon, if they can just grab a booth, the waiter calls him a “douchebag” and tells him to find a hostess. Sam is amused by Dean’s confused response, but Dean is shocked by Brandon’s strange attitude. Bobby just hopes they don’t get Brandon for a waiter. Of course they do.
Brandon is a very angry young man. Yes, indeed. He brings their orders (a salad for Sam, a Turducken Slammer for Dean, and a healthy Chinese salad special for Bobby), complete with insults. When Dean calls him on it, Brandon flounces off in a rage. Dean is somewhat mollified by his Turducken, which is a chicken inside a duck inside a turkey (How holiday-friendly). He’s enjoying it a bit too much, while the three of them discuss the case. Though they all agree that Ranger Rick seemed a bit off, Dean is of the opinion that the guy was just a pothead. Their conversation is interrupted by the waiter yelling at his manager about how one of the women in the restaurant is “fat”. Then he storms out.
Off the three go hunting. Bobby shows mad tracking skills (like determining that some deer fur left on a leaf is the record of a rutting contest between two bucks). While they go along, we get snippets of all of their childhoods. Bobby grew up a hunter and shot a lot of game as a kid. He also took the brothers deer-hunting when John would go on a supernatural hunt and leave them at Bobby’s. They learned most of their tracking skills from Bobby, even though they refused to shoot any deer. This harkens back to Dean’s dislike of the hunter guide in “Wendigo” in season one. Bobby’s comment to Dean about how you shoot “Bambi’s mother” is both inaccurate (Doe licenses are harder to get than buck licenses, and why would you kill a mother with babies when there are loads of bucks around?) and possibly insensitive. Considering what happened to Mary. But the brothers just laugh it off.
The humour evaporates when they find Ranger Phil, who is in pieces up a tree. They call Ranger Rick, and he does arrive, but he’s so laid-back that he’s dragged off into the bushes in the middle of reporting the body, despite their warnings. They chase the thing through the trees until they corner it. Bobby insists the brothers turn off the lights on their rifles. Then, with his own light turned off, he closes his eyes, fires blind into the tree, and knocks down the creature.
It lands at their feet, still clutching one of Ranger Rick’s arms. It’s human. Or, at least, it’s a zombie with white eyes that used to be human. They are most surprised. They’re even more surprised that all that took it down was an ordinary bullet. But when it revives, they react immediately (Dean first) and put it down for good. Despite his excellent reflexes, Dean seems a little off, commenting that he liked Ranger Rick (He didn’t in the restaurant) and bemoaning the ruined leather of the zombie’s wallet.
The zombie’s name is “Gerald Browder”, according to his driver’s license. Also according to his license, he once weighed 235 pounds. Right now, he’d be lucky to weigh half that. And when Bobby puts a stick through one of the bullet holes in the body, he comes up with a weird grey substance. So, he and Sam decide to do an autopsy (Note to show: Autopsies really aren’t as easy to perform as those anatomical dummies in “Mannequin 3: The Reckoning” make it look). They find all sorts of crap in there, rather like what you’d find inside a shark – parts of Ranger Phil, parts of Ranger Rick (of course), a cat’s skull, and a huge pine cone. Mr. Browder was very hungry. Meanwhile, Dean is drinking booze and complaining about being hungry (in the middle of a very gross autopsy that has Sam about losing his lunch), while looking stoned. The big thing, though, is when Bobby finds what he thinks might have been the adrenal glands, except that they’re supposed to be “bright orange” and about five times smaller.
Back at the Biggerson’s, Sam and Bobby discuss the case while Dean tucks into another TDK Slammer (I pity Jensen Ackles on this one. Lord knows how many bites of sandwich he had to eat, or at least spit out). Sam finds out that Browder disappeared eight days ago, which means he’s probably responsible for all the people gone missing. But what happened to him? Their first clue arises when Dean admits that he doesn’t give “two shakes of a rat’s ass” about the case. As Sam and Bobby look around, they realise that people of all races, both genders, and from all walks of life are sitting in the restaurant, like cows with their cud, over their TDK Slammers, too. Horrified, Sam grabs Dean’s sandwich away from him.
Back at the shack, they open up the swan foil around the sandwich and interrogate Dean on how he feels. Dean says he feels great, that he hasn’t felt this great in months. He doesn’t care that he doesn’t care about anything, which is just awesome. In the middle of this conversation, the half-eaten sandwich belches out a huge bubble of grey goo that looks just like what was on Browder’s organs. Dean, who notices it first, admits that if he weren’t so stoned, he’d puke (since he just ate that). They realise that the killer and some the victims were affected by the same thing.
Later that night, they stake out the Biggerson’s in Bobby’s van. Sam and Bobby are in the front, while Dean sleeps off his “tryptophan coma” in the back (Tryptophan is a natural antidepressant that is found in turkey meat). Sam starts a conversation with Bobby about Dean’s current mental health. Sam thinks it’s very bad. He’s worried that Dean hasn’t got over the loss of Castiel (whom Dean mentioned in his stoned rant) and is “just going through the motions.” Bobby, who ought to know just how bad it is (since he must have got that suicidal phone message from Dean back in 7.02), tells Sam to worry about himself and cuts Sam off in the middle of a “what if”. What if what, Sam? Inquiring minds want to know.
But Bobby doesn’t want to hear it. So, he tells Sam to stop worrying about Dean, that all the brothers ever do is worry about each other and Sam has enough on his plate. When Sam, while rubbing his palm, tentatively admits that maybe being able to see the demons inside your head and tell them to get lost is better and luckier than the lot of some others in life (obviously meaning Dean), Bobby tells him that he’s always been “deep”. Really, Bobby? Really, show? Gimme a break.
This conversation is interrupted by the arrival of a white truck with the letters “Midwest Meat & Poultry Wholesale Distribution” on the outside and a man with white hair who rolls a hand truck loaded with white boxes into Biggerson’s. Taking a deductive leap worthy of Sherlock Holmes, Sam deduces that this all looks odd because why would Biggerson’s be supplied by such a shady-looking company (Sam, have you never worked at a fast food place before?)? They follow the truck to a plain white warehouse (of which there are many in the northeast).
Meanwhile, a young woman coming out of a law office gets attacked by Brandon, who is rabid. He cracks her head against the ground a couple of times, but before he can commence to eat her (Like the glamper wife, we never find out what happens to her), a car pulls up, someone gets out, and that person knocks Brandon out cold. Those boots look awfully familiar…
…and, sure enough, as Sam is watching through binoculars, while a sobering-up Dean is drinking coffee, Sam sees a car pull up alongside the truck at the warehouse and a familiar face get out – Edgar the Leviathan. Edgar then gets a hooded Brandon out of his car and sees him inside with the white-haired truck driver. Despite having seen him only briefly before getting clobbered with a tire iron and suffering brain damage, Sam remembers Edgar just fine. Ah, the wonders of modern medicine. Maybe Dean will do a marathon sometime on that broken leg, too.
Inside, Edgar politely tells the truck driver to put Brandon “with the others”. He also meets up with Dr. Sexy (Remember Sheriff Mills’ surgeon from 7.02?). Dr. Sexy has been doing experiments on local humans. Edgar, however, is concerned about the side effects. It seems that the placid-cow attitude is what Dr. Sexy was going for, but 0.03% of the subjects go rabid (like Brandon), instead. When they visit these unfortunates, Edgar warns Brandon that “The Boss” won’t be happy and then tells Dr. Sexy to burn the zombies alive. When Dr. Sexy protests, Edgar warns him, “Dick is coming.” (Gross, Mr. Edlund. Very gross.) Dr. Sexy immediately changes his tune and tells an attendant to burn the “test subjects”.
Outside, the next morning, Sam is out casing the area (in broad daylight?) while Bobby and Dean sit in the van, Dean drinking more coffee. Bobby asks Dean about his “head”. Thinking he means the sandwich, Dean assures Bobby he’s off the high. Bobby says that’s not what he means. He says that he’s buried a lot of hunters and Dean is talking like one of the dead, with his Let the World Burn attitude.
Dean gets annoyed and tells Bobby to get off it, but Bobby digs himself even deeper by bitching Dean out and telling him he’s not a “person”. Dean already tried to make a normal life with Lisa and Ben (As I recall, both Bobby and Sambot did an excellent job of screwing up that chance for Dean, even if it hadn’t been a case where Dean had felt forced into the situation) and failed at it. Now, he’s just a hunter and he’s whatever the hunt requires. Bobby threatens to kill Dean if Dean dies before him, which is, you know, always motivational. Fortunately, Dean has as much moxie as he did when he was an old coot: “We need to scrape some money together – buy you a condo, or something.” Which reminds me greatly of “Shove it up your ass, Ironsides!”
Sam comes back, telling them that something is going on. A car rolls up and out gets the man with whom Crowley tried to meet – Dick Roman. Bobby recognises him and Sam recognises the name. Since Dean recognises neither, Sam plays him a badly photoshopped documentary called “The Rise of Dick”, that informs us about Roman’s rise to power, from his being a ruthless businessman to a ruthless politician to a ruthless “author” of a bestselling book. Dean may not know how the country’s politicians are, but he does make the immediate connection between “Dick” and the “dick” referred to by Crowley last week. This must be the head Leviathan, who is on the outs with the King of Hell. Bobby pulls out a listening device and goes out to see what he can hear from the roof.
Inside, Dr. Sexy is showing Roman and Roman’s Asian assistant his experiment. He has a portly family in a test living room. They chow down as they watch a graphic documentary on eye surgery without a twitch, oblivious to the fact that the grandmother has died in mid-chew right beside them. Dr. Sexy assures his boss that the test subjects become fat and utterly complacent in no time, and hooked on the burgers, though the effects themselves start to wear off after an hour or so (Hence Dean’s quick recovery).
However, Roman wants to talk about the “failures” – the 0.03% of rabid zombies who came out of the experiment. As Bobby and the brothers try to watch and listen outside, Roman takes Dr. Sexy into his office and informs him that his experiment is being shut down. It is absolutely necessary to the Leviathans’ plans that humans never find out that monsters are real. Why this is so important, when quite a few humans seemed well aware of this fact long before the Leviathans showed up, is not explained. Neither is why Roman thinks it’s smart to show up at an obscure warehouse in broad daylight, if he’s trying to keep Leviathan operations under the radar, either. He then hands Dr. Sexy a bib and orders him to eat himself, right in front of a picture window where anybody could see, while Edgar and the assistant coldly look on. I guess this is one way for Leviathans to die (though, again, it’s never explained how you can completely eat yourself. Wouldn’t at least your mouth be left?). In the process of viewing this, Bobby, who is up on a nearby rooftop, pretty much in plain sight, gets himself captured.
Bobby wakes up in Roman’s office, where Roman’s assistant is filling him in on his itinerary and removing the black-stained bib that’s all that is left of Dr. Sexy (awwww – ew). Bobby pretends to be unconscious, but Roman knows he’s not. Right, so that actually makes Roman even dumber, since he’s so arrogant about his superiority that he allows his enemies to gather all sorts of intel on him without hiding anything. And yet, this is also the Big Bad who is terribly worried that humans might start to believe that monsters are real. [eyeroll]
While loading up one of a brace of pearl-handled dueling pistols, Roman brags about how he’s going to shoot and then eat Bobby, but he’s interrupted. Sam and Dean have been to the rooftop and sussed out that Bobby has been captured. Sam fatalistically says Bobby’s screwed. They can’t possibly go into the warehouse when there are at least four Leviathans in there and they have no way of killing them. Dean then spots a cleaning truck rolling up and starts plotting. Roman’s interruption is the two of them storming the warehouse with improvised supersoakers loaded with Borax solution. They nail Edgar and a few other Leviathan, as well as Roman, when he shows up. Roman mocks them, but the Borax still definitely slows him down.
Bobby, meanwhile, is hurriedly loading the other dueling pistol and searching through Roman’s files. He sees something shocking before making a break for it (because Roman hasn’t even bothered to tie him up). The assistant tries to stop him, but he shoots her (albeit, obviously, not fatally), losing the files in the process. He comes out as Sam is running out of Borax and leading a motivational-speech-spouting Roman into an ambush by Dean with a bucket. Bobby shoots Roman in the back a few times for good measure.
Sam and Dean get the van, but Bobby takes forever to get out to the loading dock, partly because he’s delayed by a henchman, which gives Roman enough time to rush out and shoot wildly at the van in the dark that has suddenly fallen (It was broad daylight not long before), hitting Bobby in the head. Yes, that’s right – not only is Roman’s aim ridiculously good, but a superstrong, superfast, shapeshifting monster that can’t be killed chooses to shoot his adversary with an ordinary handgun. Because that makes so much sense.
As they speed away, Sam and Dean call out to Bobby, but there’s no answer.
Review: While I did enjoy this episode and found it flew by pretty quickly, as soon as the connection between the burgers and both types of victims was firmly established, I wanted to say, “Joss Whedon called and he’d like his plot to Serenity back.” I’m no Whedon fangirl by any stretch, but I did love Serenity and Edlund didn’t even try to file the serial numbers off Whedon’s Pax virus. I mean, come on.
Let’s start with Bobby, who isn’t my favourite part of “How to Win Friends and Influence Monsters”, but he is an important one. So, needs must. The momentous cliffhanger involving his shooting probably would have had more impact on me if Bobby hadn’t suddenly gone from supersmart and competent (ridiculously so) to shuffling along like a 90-year-old pensioner with a walker at the end. Or if the writers hadn’t already threatened to kill him off every season (and even did it at the end of season five, only to bring him back a minute later). Or if “Dick” had been a tiny bit more charismatic while Evil Overlord Monologuing. Or if Bobby hadn’t turned into a complete jerk in the two separate speeches to Sam and Dean about Dean’s mental state (which, for the record, is very, very bad). Then I didn’t much care if he got killed off or not.
Now, I get that Bobby is a drunk (and drunks can be pretty mean) and I also get that Bobby has basically replaced John as the brothers’ daddy figure, which boils down (on this dysfunctional little show) to acting like an abusive douchebag. But it’s still too bad because Bobby was pretty positive and supportive once upon a time. It’s been a while, though. Quite a while.
Telling someone, who left you a phone message (which you never acknowledged) a couple of months ago saying he would commit murder-suicide if you died, that he needs to suck it up, buttercup, is stupid and abusive. Telling his self-absorbed brother that he needs to disappear even further into his own navel is counterproductive (especially since Sam’s attempts to distract himself and heal himself by counting his blessings, helping others, and not brooding are actually very healthy coping behaviours – and yeah, show, there are worse lots out there).
I could add that Bobby tends to act worse around those he loves and can’t afford to lose (like Rufus and Ellen in the Titanic universe), but that doesn’t actually make it better. It makes it worse. It means he isn’t just doing this to Dean, but is generally, all-round douchey to the ones he truly loves. And it implies that he’s easier on Sam because he just doesn’t love Sam all that much. However you slice it, it makes Bobby look like a character I need a break from. Unfortunately, in two weeks, it’s going to be an all-Bobby extravaganza from the sound of things. Way to make me hope you kill him off and to not give a crap about your cliffhanger, show.
I also couldn’t help rolling my eyes at Bobby’s comment that Sam was “deep”. Please. I’ve owned frisbees deeper than Sam Winchester. Case in point – how easily he got roofied last week. What Bobby was just interfering with, there, was Sam’s attempt to achieve some depth. But then, Bobby is the guy who spent an entire season up his own ass and in a wheelchair.
Speaking of characters I can’t stand – I was very happy to see Edgar return and not the least bit happy to see Dick Roman (the slimy, corporate head of the Leviathans). He’s boring, bland, arrogant in an Evil Overlord way we’ve seen too many times, and not the least bit scary. I’ve owned pet rocks with more personality. Make him get off my TV screen. Even better, have Edgar eat him and take over.
Edgar is fun. He’s like a blue collar union boss – clever, cool-headed, sinister. And in this case, I think that the old cliche of some privileged WASP suit being in charge of the blue collar ethnic guy comes off as especially tired and uncreative. Corporate suits don’t scare me, even if they have big teeth. Corrupt politicians don’t scare me, either (and could the anti-Republican satire get any less subtle?). The idiots who vote for them? Yes. I do fear a mob. But some dude who looks as though he’d freak out if he got a spot of mud on his suit? There’s nothing inherently scary, there. Making him a Leviathan doesn’t fix that. I saw another review that compared him to the Mayor in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I’m sorry, but Dick is no Mayor.
One major reason why Dick and his job description made the Leviathans less scary is that the Leviathans we saw inside Castiel had a whackjob sense of humour and no concern whatsoever about what the neighbours might think. Even Edgar didn’t seem terribly concerned about that so much as securing a steady food source. Dr. Sexy was a voracious and childlike idiot, albeit creative and eager to please. And Leveeta combined his work hours with snacking on humans covered with melted cheese.
Now, suddenly, they’re trying to keep themselves out of the papers and turn humans into complacent cattle. Huh? What for? There are hundreds of these creatures, at least. They’re the Sea Lampreys of the Earth. They can eat their way through anything (including each other). And they can’t be killed (except by themselves or each other). So, why do they even give a crap about keeping up with the Joneses when they can just devour them? After such a creepy introduction at the beginning of the season, the Leviathans are rapidly becoming depressingly mundane. I sure hope Dick truly isn’t their ultimate fearless leader.
There were also some silly lapses in logic. Okay, so, Team Free Will is so far off the grid that they can’t stay in a motel and have to find an abandoned shack to hole up in (that somebody has been sending electricity to, even though it’s been abandoned for years. Yeah, right). On the other hand, they have no problems with walking into a major fast-food chain, interviewing a Park Service ranger, and even eating there? What happened to staying off the grid? And what happened to the past few weeks, in which Sam was getting married in Vegas and the two of them were running around a tourist trap loaded with fake psychics? Inconsistent, much? Why not get with the program and acknowledge that sending the brothers as far off the grid as they would really need to go would make for a boring show and almost no fun MOTWs?
Then Dean’s comment about saving the world three times in three years…I guess the showrunners have finally developed permanent amnesia about that missing year between seasons five and six, right?
Okay, moving on to the better stuff – first of all, thank God for the gore! I cheerfully sat through that nasty autopsy, eating ice cream (and soup on rewatch). I even put up with the cat skull (Sheesh, enough with killing the cat), but I found the grey goo coming out of Dean’s sandwich pretty gross (I have a thing about mucus). After a rather dull and bloodless death toll last week, we had gristle and grue galore, which made me very happy. The “Ranger Rick” crack also made me giggle and brought back fond childhood memories. The “Dick” jokes were less funny, but by then, I’d had a good dose of Edgar’s middle management and Dean’s stoner humour, so it balanced out. The Asian power-suit Leviathan who attacked Bobby also looked like potential fun (despite being a dragon lady cliche). I hope she’ll be back, too.
Dean’s stoner attitude served the obvious purpose of acting as truth serum. At the beginning, we see him expressing skepticism about saving the world one more time. He compares the world to a drug addict that keeps trying to OD and maybe they should just let it do that this time round. Sam and Bobby get upset. Not surprising. Sam was that drug addict three seasons ago and claimed it was all Dean’s fault. Bobby was in a wheelchair the following season and spent a good part of it putting the responsibility on Dean for his not shooting himself. Yeah, I don’t think Dean was just talking about the world, there. Or just about Sam post-Hell.
In the middle, Dean is mellowed out of his gourd and admits that, not only does he not care, he doesn’t care about not caring. No wonder he had a case of the munchies. Naturally, since he is not in his usual mood, this means that his usual mood is caring too much and wishing he could turn it off. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that this is even why it’s easier to sympathise with Dean than with Sam or Bobby. If saving the world were down to Sam or Bobby, we’d all be screwed. Those two would be too busy feeling sorry for themselves (Look at “My Bloody Valentine” and “Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid”) and their own issues to get it together. Dean has always been the one expected to go out there and take one for the team. I don’t blame him for getting tired. He’s only human (as the writers keep informing us).
But it does bring to a boil the gravity of the situation. Dean has always been the canary in the coal mine, the character whose inner weather most closely mirrored the SPNverse’s current state of collective mind. And that inner weather is getting ugly.
Which brings us to the third conversation, in which Bobby calls Dean out on being suicidal and then tries to solve it by telling him to suck it up and claiming it’s turning him into a lousy hunter. Yeah, ’cause that works so well with someone who already feels like dog food. Good one, Bobby. Do try to dry out a little before you go on a hunt, next time. But I noticed that this conversation had little resolution (aside from Dean showing some balls and calling Bobby out on his sour attitude with the “condo” comment. Two can play that game, old man). In fact, the end of the episode will undoubtedly make Dean’s frayed state of mind even worse.
This leads me to the question of who is worse off here (since the writers are so stuck on making it a competition rather than different types of very severe mental illness). I’ll tell you what – in psychological triage terms, the person who is eager to check out of Hotel Supernatural first is the one who needs help the most. Sam’s got a handle on his hallucinations and also has Dean to lean on. Bobby’s currently functional in his alcoholism – and he also has both brothers to lean on.
Dean, meanwhile, trusts no one at this point, has no support system left, and has been putting out warning signs all over the place that he is suicidal. Nice to see the writers finally get with the program a little in addressing this, since their previous treatment of the subject indicates none of them has ever had to talk a friend off a ledge, literal or otherwise. Dean seems to be well past the point where he’s using the option of suicide as a safety valve for when he’s just had enough. He’s now in the process of sinking for the third and final time. He doesn’t need to be called “weak”. He doesn’t need to be called a “princess”. He doesn’t need to be told he’s not a “person”, that his life (and afterlife) is guaranteed to be one long, bleak misery on behalf of a world full of ungrateful jackasses who don’t even have the brains to get out of the way of the cosmic bus, let alone the grit to pull someone else out of the way. He doesn’t need a hunt to distract him. He sure as hell doesn’t need to be walking around with a gun in his hands. He needs help. Right now. And lots of it. Dean makes the characters on The Walking Dead look happy and well-adjusted.
Finally, the woods. The tromping through the dark and scary woods was fun, even if the folkloric element ended up far too truncated in favour of a rather blah interpretation of the season’s Old Testament baddies. I liked seeing the brothers and Bobby running around with guns, even if Bobby shooting a zombie out of a tree based on hearing it rustling around was ridiculous. That’s how family members shoot each other on hunting trips (“I thought the husband I just took an insurance policy out on was a deer!”). That said, we really need some information about the Leviathans Big Plot to Take Over the World that makes sense. One could insist that we must surely wait for all the dots before we can truly connect them, but since an uberplot that makes no sense early in the season on this show means an uberplot that will end up making no sense at the end, either, I think it’s okay to start pointing that out now.
Sam: The Motel 6 just ain’t leaving the light on, anymore.
Bobby: I’m taking a page out of Frank Deveraux’s bible on this: If everybody’s out to get you, paranoia’s just plain common sense.
Dean: Weeks, guys…weeks. We’ve been living with cold showers, cold Hot Pockets, cold-friggin’ everything. I mean, this is the bottom that we’re living in. You guys get that, right?
Dean: We’ve steered the bus away from the cliff, what, twice, already?
Sam: Someone’s gotta do it.
Dean: What if the bus wants to go over the cliff?
Sam: You think the world wants to end?
Dean: I think if we didn’t take its belt and all its pins away each year, that yeah, the whole enchilada would’ve offed itself, already.
Headline: CAMPING HIGH SEASON HARSHED BY HUMAN BURRITO.
Dean: When’s the last time you saw a bear string up its own piñata?
Ranger Rick: You gotta respect Mother Nature. You respect her or she’s gonna string you up and eat your ass right through the Gortex.
Brandon: Side one of Stupid Salad goes to Big Bird. TDK Slammer goes to Ken Doll. And a little HeartSmart for Creepy Uncle.
Dean: You’re talking about Bambi, man.
Bobby: You don’t shoot Bambi, you jackass. You shoot Bambi’s mom.
Bobby: Everybody’s lovin’ the Turducken.
Dean: I think you pissed off my sandwich.
Sam: Okay, whatever turned Browder into a Pumpkinhead. And is currently turning Dean into an idiot -
Dean [offended]: I’m right here. Right here.
Bobby: - is in the Turducken Slammer at Biggerson’s.
Dean: Bobby, don’t go all Sigmund Freud on me, right now, okay? I just got drugged by a sandwich.
Bobby [imitating Dean]: The world’s a suicide case, we save it, it just steals more pills?
Bobby: Now I have officially seen it all.
Sam: Bobby, what is it?
Bobby: [Roman]‘s making the doctor eat himself.
Next week (Monday): No Exit: We have a mini-hiatus for Thanksgiving, so we’ll be doing a retro recap about the World’s Fair, Jo Harvelle, and America’s “first” serial killer.
In Two Weeks (Monday): Death’s Door: While Sam and Dean go on a dangerous mission, Bobby is visited by three spirits – I mean, hovers between life and death.