In a “Slender Man” meets “Scream” style episode, Sam and Dean reunite with Harry and Ed from the Ghostfacers when a teen girl is killed by an internet myth known as…………………………………………………..Thinman.
I was a part of the Slender Man saga and like to follow it’s incarnations, and even watched a few notably decent fan films. At first I really groaned when this became the parody plot, but as it went on I realized I was more taken in by the story’s attempt at duplicating Sam and Dean’s sibling hardships in the guise of Harry and Ed who are going through similar troubles. What I think works really well is the concept that Sam and Dean need to step outside their shells and see what their problem looks like on the other side of he window. Not only does this work in small doses, but it makes Sam and Dean see this at the same time. I also want to credit Dean for slyly bringing up a childhood memory that caught Sam reminiscing for a moment, before realizing it.
I never have been and still am not a fan of the Ghostfacers concept or characters. Having said that, I do believe Harry and Ed deserved an episode that pulled out some deeper feelings within the two. As bromies go, one can sympathize with either Harry or Ed considering what they both went through although what Harry did is a hard sell in the real world. Manipulation to maintain friendship is “complicated” and a rather defeatist tool to keep those close at heart. Ed’s intentions were honest to a point, but people like Harry deserve to make their own mistakes. Even with Harry and Ed separated, I don’t think it will negatively impact Sam and Dean’s situation. If anything, it should shed better light on the futility of Sam’s push to keep Dean as strictly a hunting partner and not a true brother.
The plot’s mystery touched on a few ideas that I’m not sure which were intended and which were more layered in analysis, but I’ll try and see if I can spot everything I noticed.
Firstly, the concept of cos-real. The internet finds ways to build niche’s that adore and help build interesting lore whether it’s old paranormal, new paranormal, or just good old-fashioned mystique in the unknown. The idea that people can attach their minds to capitalize on viral violence is a scary thought. There’s thousands of viral content produced daily and lately, there’s been more and more pressure with creating videos that are “fake” or set up to fool the casual observer that it isn’t real. This episode showcased the ability to put murder online and treat it as myth and drive its fanbase wild with views and comments. Is that something that could happen or has it already? Scream 4 touched on this concept and I think “#Thinman” represents an extension on how viral video and shock value video can effect those who want to push the envelope. The most relevant point about this episode was when Sam and Dean realized that there were no supernatural forces at work. Humanity can be just as dark as any creature they come across. and Dean still had to put a human down.
On a lighter topic, I think this episode more than any has truly trumped Sam and Dean’s understanding of pop-culture meme’s and current slang. Harry threw words like “feels” and how to pronounce meme and while some were within earshot, you can plainly see that Sam and Dean aren’t getting it. In a way, they’ve become the Castiel’s of awkward lingo being thrown at them. Obviously the pair is going to be out of touch on those types of words, meanings, and subjects, but they also have laptops and still meet a lot of people. I don’t think they need to be painted as that ignorant considering the nerd-culture they come into contact season by season. I’ve read the word “feels” hundreds of times online, but hearing someone saying it outloud…hasn’t happened yet. A lot of Harry’s dialogue seemed to keep him at a strange level of adolescence and often didn’t work for me. The writers haven’t forgotten who the fans are and that’s good, but Sam and Dean, at least Sam, needs to be a little more savvy with the jargon of the now. Just a thought.
Overall, I wasn’t expecting a filler episode so soon, but like the wrap up of Kevin and his mother, it was time to once more close the book, this time on the Ghostfacers. One would think this really is the wrap-up season, but we know better. This episode was designed to showcase Sam and Dean’s problem right in front of them and I think it was successfully accomplished. Sam has to be the one to truly make the effort to return to old roots. Dean’s ready, he’s always been ready. Whether he needs to eat some crow at some point for Sam’s benefit, I’m not sure. I’m hoping the demon plot becomes our next big arc. Abaddon needs some screen time to fill.
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