With over nine seasons worth of content, Supernatural likes to reach back a little and dish out a call out character every now and then. In “Paper Moon” young Kate from season 8’s episode “Bitten” returns as a werewolf who is trying to protect her murderous sister from the judgment of the Winchesters.
It wasn’t hard to spot the parallels between the sisters and how their situation stacked up against Sam and Dean as they just ended a three episode tirade of Demon craziness. Kate tries desperately to control and save Tasha, who wants nothing more than to embrace the strength of being a werewolf, akin to Dean’s want to stay as a demon. Unlike Sam though, Kate swears by her word and ends Tasha’s life with a ritual stab in the gut and disappearing from sight soon after. A very cut and dry episode that listens more closely to the plights of siblings and the hard choices they must make to survive.
This late in the show it gets a little tougher to write old horror genres into fresher plots. We’ve seen near every variation on a ghost, wolf, and vampire plot there is, yet somehow they still find ways to add a little flavor by taking those old situations and applying a different filter. In this case, it was Kate saving Tasha’s life by turning her instead of letting her suffer from the wounds of her car accident. It’s the right way to go with this formula by taking the supernatural plot and sprinkling it over the family drama at hand. It makes it easier to connect to the characters by turning the supernatural into a realistic metaphor as best as possible. Young people can change their outlooks on life all the time, and siblings can try as hard as they must to preserve who they love, often with disastrous consequences. Have we seen the last of Kate? Probably for the time being.
Once again, Sam’s arm wound has been jokingly glossed over leading more and more to the burning question with, how exactly did Sam screw his arm up so bad? If they were going to treat the wound as a natural occurrence, they should have had him healed by now for the sake of moving on. But they didn’t which means there’s something else going on and apparently only Sam knows what really happened. He clearly wanted to open up to Dean but didn’t, as the brothers act most times. I’m still interested in knowing, but if it’s not going to be anything substantial, they need to just drop it now before it becomes a disappointing tangent.
Without a blip from the angels for demons, Sam and Dean were given an ample amount of time to discuss their experiences since the season started and Dean even course corrected himself by saying he wants to do the right things from now on, assuming Sam was right about everything he said throughout the episode. The brothers are aligning again which is generally cause for celebration, because now the monster of the week episodes can resume along with some comedy episodes soon to rise. And of course with that comes the 200th episode of Supernatural, which sadly won’t air until Nov. 11th, but there’s promises of singing involved. Not too excited for that, but it should be something to remember regardless.
I actually really liked how Sam and Dean handled their opening scene after the credits. Just a couple of guys drinking suds and hanging out by a lake with some shades and quiet time. They discuss some brief moments of reflection and decide to get back to business with the report of a murder. They’re both interested in moving on with Sam wanting to take it slow and Dean just pushing forward like he always does. Simple and neat and sets the tone for the rest of the audience to move on along with them.
A standalone episode like this usually goes to the star protagonist because they’re the ones who drive the plot while the Winchesters are backseat in varying degrees. Kate did an excellent job selling her character, but my rule was one of the main four had to win each episode for the total tally. This week, sans Crowley and Castiel, it goes to Dean. He effectively showed his regret with what happened and plays around with his return to more angsty roots. Sam, as always plays the worried face while the two share minor moments of brotherly jabbing. Dean is moving on the best way he knows how and that’s to get back to work. He’s earned his spotlight, again.
LONG TERM THOUGHTS
Kate’s two appearances are exactly two seasons apart. 8×04 and 10×04.
Sooner or later someone is going to notice that Sam isn’t “healing” like he should.
Will Castiel be reforming heaven now that he has more strength back or will be continue to search for rogue angels with Hannah?
Are we ever going to get a chance to see this new hell that Crowley wants to make, or is it all just a metaphor?
The lady introduced at the end of the last episode still hasn’t shown up yet. Is she a major player or just another pawn on someone else’s board?
While the episode was solid top to bottom, it wasn’t anything super new. It gets a 6 out of 10. The brothers needed serious bonding time and while they did get it, the plot of the episode mirrored their situation which is something this show has done a number of times and isn’t having the same impact as it used to. It was a standalone in the old style with a throwback to an older character who has been able to survive two episodes, which these days is a feat. Good job Kate, we’ll probably meet again!
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