This week’s episode of Supernatural not only featured throwback to Dean’s youth, but had the general feeling from earlier seasons that many fans have been longing for. This Dean-centric episode focused on a period of Dean’s life that was absent of both Sam and John’s influence. While the episode was certainly a throwback to older concepts and previous events, it didn’t set the characters back at all, which is always a risk when you revisit old themes. It didn’t advance them either, though, and there were many missed opportunities for character exploration that the writers didn’t bother trying to take.
I’m not one of those fans who wishes the show would return to seasons 1-3 permanently, but I do appreciate a nice throw back every once in a while. The episode had a ghost, a salt and burn, creepy children, the samulet, and even a deep meaningful conversation by the Impala. It’s a nice place to visit and I’m happy to have it on occasion. If the show were like this every week, however, I might feel as though the plot were backsliding. Shows need to move forward in order to stay fresh, but a show that’s lasted as long as Supernatural has can afford to revisit themes from the past once in a while. It’s good to occasionally return to a shows roots and remind people where things began. That was essentially what this episode was all about.
The story itself pulled at the heartstrings. A young boy is being protected by the ghost of his mother. She’s become vengeful in her aim to protect him and has killed people in an effort to keep him safe. When she finally moves on, however, we’re given an incredible special effects shot where the physical signs of her vengeful nature literally evaporate. It’s one of the better effects I’ve seen from this show. Many have noted that the actress they hired for the part resembles young Mary Winchester, which makes the whole moment even more sad. Dean had taken a protective familial role with the child and this physical resemblance only serves as a painful reminder that Dean and Sam have suffered a similar loss.
The ‘secret’ that was built up in the episode was somewhat of a let down. Many felt this ‘secret’ was a perfect opportunity to explore Dean’s sexuality. Perhaps he had relationships with boys as a teenager or something of the like. I’ve never felt this show was really brave enough to go that route, though, so it certainly wasn’t a plot line I was expecting. The actual secret was merely the fact that Dean considered staying at the boys home instead of returning to his life of hunting. While the boys home part was certainly a secret, the fact that Dean has toyed with the idea of leaving hunting isn’t something new. He did it with Lisa and Ben. The fact that he’d give up everything to take care of Sam is also not new information. As far as secrets go this was a pretty minor one.
Overall the episode was okay. It wasn’t something I’m eager to rewatch, but it’s not one I’d skip on a full episode rewatch either. It was simply filler that satisfied the need to revisit the show’s roots, but didn’t offer up anything astoundingly new.
Author: Angel Wilson
Angel is the admin of The Geekiary and a geek culture commentator. They earned a BA in Film & Digital Media from UC Santa Cruz. They have contributed to various podcasts and webcasts including An Englishman in San Diego, Free to Be Radio, and Genre TV for All. They’ve also written for Friends of Comic Con and is a 2019 Hugo Award winner for contributing fanfic on AO3. They identify as queer.
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