'Supernatural' Recap: Double The Winchesters, Half The Fun
I have a love-hate relationship with spoilers. As a television addict who can barely survive the mere seven days between episodes, I covet the irresistible nuggets of coming attractions. As an invested fan, I want to experience the adventure with the characters and be as shocked and awed as the next unspoiled viewer. It’s a pop culture quagmire. I heard about “Slash Fiction’s” awesome premise weeks ago. The episode had a fabulous potential for badassery, gore and the patented fraternal angst that keeps the fangirls swooning after more than 130 episodes. Sadly, “Slash Fiction”—while entertaining—was disappointingly gore-lite and at times, a little dull. Of course, a less-than-stellar episode of “Supernatural” is still better than most shows at their November-Sweeps best, so let’s dive in.
Sam and Dean strolled into the First Bank of Jericho, ready for action. I already knew the Winchesters were actually the Leviathans rocking some sexy disguises just in time for Halloween. They produced menacing machine guns, forced everyone into the narrow vault, and opened fire, literally and chillingly shooting fish in a barrel, yet it was easily the most innocent and bloodless massacre I’d ever seen.
After Bobby’s house had burned down, he relocated to a cabin on the outskirts of Sioux Falls, and that’s where the real Sam and Dean took Chet (Sean O. Roberts), the low-level Leviathan James Marsters’ character had incapacitated in last week’s awesome episode. The spell had sapped Chet’s impressive strength but he was awake to wax sarcastically and defiantly while Bobby experimented on him, searching for weaknesses and trying to torture out the Leviathan’s endgame. Chet spilled some important details for exposition’s sake. The Leviathans copied Sam and Dean from DNA in the hair left in the shower drain of their motel room. Ever helpful, Chet clued the Winchesters in on the plan for them. They watched the news report of their evil dopplegangers shooting-spree at the bank. Now, they are the targets of a nation-wide manhunt.
I randomly wondered how Sam’s college friends and Jessica’s family handled the news that sweet Sammy is a psychotic serial killer.
Enraged, Dean wanted to track them down for payback, and actually uttered the classic action movie phrase, “This is personal.” Bobby wisely explained how idiotic it would be to hunt unkillable creatures and how it was probbably a trap, but they wouldn’t be moved. Bobby reluctantly sent them to Frank, a “jackass and a lunatic,” who owed him a favor. They barely made it without being popped by Five-0.
Kevin McNally (“Pirates Of the Caribbean”) played conspiracy theorist Frank Devereaux with scene-stealing paranoia and whimsy. He advised Sam and Dean to change their entire method of operation: ditch the rock aliases for common ones (Tom and John Smith), use cash, avoid the estimated 200 million security cameras the government can access (apparently, he watches “Person of Interest” and is as wigged out as I am). He suckerpunched both Winchesters by giddily smashing Sam’s trusty laptop and telling Dean to ditch the Impala.
Lastly, Frank presented Sam with a map marking all of the places the Evil Winchesters had hit, seemingly at random, but he assured Sam, “There’s no such thing as a random series of robberies and murders by your evil twins.”
Meanwhile, Bobby’s usually unflappable demeanor crumbled and in a fit of rage, he lopped off Chet’s head. Ah, progress.
Sheriff Jody Mills (Kim Rhodes) arrived at Bobby’s cabin with a six-pack, a smile, and no uniform. She was open and sweet as she sincerely thanked him for saving her from Leviathans a few weeks ago. Bobby was on-edge and incredibly nervous, muttering things like “everyday is a gift,” and shakily taking off his puffy vest when Jody removed her coat and offered to make dinner. Even with his curmudgeonly disposition and beer belly, Bobby resembled a shy freshman at a school dance, unsure of where to put his hands or how to act around the girl of his dreams. It was far too adorable for this macabre science-fiction show, and a much-needed new arc for the amazing Jim Beaver.
Downstairs, resourceful Chet and his severed head had fused. Bobby came downstairs and hacked it off again.
There’s nothing more I love than an angry Dean (except maybe an evil Sam) so watching as Dean vibrated from the wrongness of traveling in a “caboodle” of a car, complete with a My Little Pony squeeze-toy hanging from the rearview mirror, was a delight. “Nobody puts baby in a corner!” he fumed before swiftly whipping out a knife and slashing the toy off its perch. It was weirdly hot until Dean started lipsynching Air Supply, and I feared for his sanity. At least he wasn’t drinking.
Sam stared at the map Frank gave him and began to have flashes of gruesome skeletal monsters. At first I thought his hell-dreams were becoming stronger, thanks to the stress of the “Doublemint twins,” but it was just Sam’s giant brain working to pinpoint the pattern. The Evil Winchesters were hitting the same towns Sam and Dean had worked jobs in after Sam had left Stanford. It was a sly shout-out to season one’s campy, girlfriend-killing goodness.
“Supernatural” has famously worked its magic with meta, ridiculing everything from Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s ridiculous turn as a ghost on “Grey’s Anatomy” to Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles’ real lives, so watching Jared and Jensen play Sam and Dean as Leviathans masquerading as Sam and Dean was an "Inception"-esque bit of meta and my favorite moment of the episode. “It’s nothing but Satan-vision on the inside. How he’s walking around in a jacket with attachable arms is beyond me.” Evil Dean soliloquized about Dean’s obsession with cheeseburgers and hero complex. Then “Chuckles” and “Schizo” murdered everyone in the St. Louis dinner.
Back in Bobby’s basement, Chet transformed into Bobby after he had mistakenly brushed his arm. Evil Bobby’s voice was unsettlingly grumbly as he offered rare insights into Bobby’s past: he’s a Joni Mitchell-loving high school drop-out with raging daddy issues. More importantly, beneath Bobby’s bluster and cynicism, he still hoped for a better life, one that might include Jody Rhodes.
Amazingly, something dripped onto the Leviathans’s arm, and it burned acidically and spread over its body like wildfire. Upstairs, a spilled a bucket of cleanser had leaked through the basement floor. Bobby thanked Jody with a passionate kiss before asking what was in the bucket.
The Winchesters had tracked their murderous twins to Ankeny, Iowa only to be arrested while the Leviathans sat in the tricked-out Impala directly behind the small-town cops who were too stupid to notice the dark doubles just yards away.
At the precinct, the boys were separated and defenseless. Dean used his one call to phone Bobby, who informed him about his breakthrough. The old cop stepped outside to witness the Leviathans eating a deputy before transforming back into Evil Winchesters, thus initiating him onto Team Winchester. He freed Dean before collecting a cleanser that contained sodium borate. The entire sequence felt like a lackluster retread of the epic “Jus In Bello.”
Handcuffed to a table and without a paperclip, Evil Dean entered to “play with his food.” “You’re so caught up with being good and taking care of each other,” the Leviathan sneered and the fangirls squealed. “Dean thinks you’re nutballs, thinks you’re off your game. I guess that’s why Dean never told you that he killed Amy.”
I didn’t see that coming until right before the bomb dropped, and it exploded all over Sam’s face in a mushroom cloud of unspoken, treacherous emotion. Sam looked ill and heartbroken. Evil Dean was elated. “Now I can eat you. I like my meat a little bitter.”
While Evil Dean had tormented Sam, Real Dean and the old cop had dispatched Evil Sam with the borax bath and an axe. They charged into the room to do the same to Evil Sam. I doubt Dean chopping off the heads of monsters wearing his and Sam’s faces is the best thing for his nightmares, Dean found it cathartic.
The old cop volunteered to assist their escape by faking their deaths once more. He fed the FBI agents on the case a cobbled-together story about cremating the bodies early, but one agent seemed pleased by their deaths and the paperwork they wouldn’t have to do, which confirmed that he was a Leviathan. He doubled back to have the old cop and his coroner daughter for lunch.
Back in Sioux Falls, Bobby proved he had no game by gifting Jody with Chet’s severed head and a kiss on the cheek. Somehow Jody was still smiling, and I pray that she’s not disemboweled or shot in the face before Bobby can marry her.
The Leviathan boss was revealed as a swift-talking, slimy politician named Richard Roman (James Patrick Stuart). In a brief phone call, he said they needed to “hit the vision board” to brainstorm a way to quietly kill the Winchesters. He climbed in a tacky oversized limo that should only be used for Vegas bachelor parties, and was joined by Crowley (Mark Sheppard), who offered him a gag-inducing muffin basket made of “100 percent organic baby uvulas,” and a proposal of a partnership. “Don’t roofie me and call it romance,” Dick seethed with a twitchy-eyed whisper. “If I wasn’t busy with better things, I might actively wipe your kind from the face of the universe.” It's a blessing that an unholy alliance between Leviathan and demon will never happen. I predict Crowley will be back on the Winchesters’ side in order to save demonkind.
Dean motored to a picturesque pier dump the Leviathan heads, and Sam revealed he knew Dean had killed Amy and lied about. In a typical little brother hissy fit, he snatched his bags and marched down the pier, “I can’t even be around you right now!” and he urged Dean to leave without him. Dean obliged with a guilty, “Sorry, Sam.”
As competently acted as this scene was, it tainted the entire episode. Sam was understandably upset and with their pathetic lives, all he can do is leave, but that’s all he’s ever done. After seven years of overcoming hellacious obstacles, Sam should’ve lit into Dean for his betrayal, punched him in the face, and got back in the damn car. Because they have survived so much, because Dean has forgiven him for far worse, and because Sam and Dean are not Ross and Rachel. They don’t need a break. I was mostly unaffected by Sam’s tantrum, because it wasn't the character immaturely acting out so much as it was the writers trying and failing to squeeze every ounce of drama out of this arc, but it just felt manipulative and melodramatic.
“Slash Fiction” needed a bigger shot of adrenaline and to utilize the growth the characters have illustrated all season. Despite it all, I loved watching Jared and Jensen’s wink-heavy turns as Evil Winchesters, and Bobby’s flirtation was a shot of sweetness that cut through an otherwise violent, twisted and uneven installment of “Supernatural.”
Was I too hard on this episode? What did you think of Evil Sam and Dean? Did you like Frank as much as I did? Hit up the comments section and share your opinions!
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