Somewhere between Dean’s lack of internet knowledge and Sam’s intelligence on the matter lies a happy medium known as the base watcher of the program. Here we can lol our way through a show attempting to capitalize on ten year old wifi themes mixed with a plethora of online communication profiles, all complete with the tablet to boot. Tonight’s episode of Supernatural relives a “ghost in the machine” tale smashed into a 90’s clichéd horror plot. These are the ghost stories that live on as they get weaved into each season between the good filler episodes and the truly bad ones. Was this one bad? Not necessarily, but there was more emphasis on Dean’s eating habits then there was on bringing in an original ghost tale to the table.
After Dean pushes another case onto Sam to avoid dealing with the mark, they find themselves on the trail of a vengeful spirit after four college students whose careless driving antics while devouring their phone tech caused the death of an innocent man. His wife more or less represents his anchor and he communicates with her until his need for revenge takes him away as he murdered three of the four students by way of wifi-using objects. This is due to Sam’s quick explanation that a spirit is electrical impulses and his caught a signal to travel in. There’s a little back and forth on Dean and the ghost, but after the wife convinces her husband to move on, the brothers leave with Dean realizing he can’t look for a cure for the mark anymore and chooses to ignore it while he does what he knows best, saving people and hunting things.
The ghost plot in itself was very run of the mill. The brothers chased around ideas as they do and finally understand how this particular ghost works before they’re able to defeat it. There was salt and iron throwbacks along with burning objects and of course the ghost-meter-thingy. All in all it fulfilled the purposes of what a ghost plot should be and tried to throw in various bits of technology once more putting Dean in the hall of shame. Only the older crowd gets to understand the “Lawnmower Man” reference, so there’s that. From beginning to end it maintained the production quality and for the most part the guest stars acted well enough. It felt like it was part PSA and part pop-culture required.
To make fun of itself, the college students are meta into their apps and chat. It’s a pet peeve of mine, but somewhere, the show has to reinstill the use of modern or semi-modern technology along with the genX gap that gets thrown around every now and again. It’s more for the sake of Dean than anything, because it’s funny when he doesn’t get it. That used to be Castiel, but now Castiel gets it, he just doesn’t understand it. In any case, the rampant deluge of tech in an episode that normally focuses on an older generation of the world doesn’t always translate well. At least Sam will always be able to bring Dean up to speed even though they do all the same things, Sam is just more attentive.
I also choose to believe that Dean’s earth-shattering snacking was due mostly in part because of the mark and his attempt to ignore it and the young ladies at the college. I’m amazed the show hasn’t done an episode about Dean’s clogged arteries spawning a life of their own. Maybe the mark gives him a higher metabolism. Curses can be freaky.
In regards to Dean’s choice to avoid finding a cure for the mark. I both agree and disagree with the idea. For one, it allows more free flowing filler plots to get their attention since he’s so jazzed about doing cases again, which is the meat and potatoes of the show when it’s not focused primarily on the demon/angel plot. Some good plots have emerged. However, I find it hard to believe that Dean will blatantly ignore an opportunity if it comes up. He’s tired of holding out, I get that, but Sam won’t stop, and if need be, he’ll search in secret because that look he gave Dean at the end says it all. It says he’ll fight to make Dean normal because he loves his brother. Dean’s new way of thinking is short term, I practically guarantee it. Sooner or later, Cain, Metatron, and the Crowly/Rowena pair will make this season come to a head and bring out the worst in Dean yet. Maybe that knight of hell will get one more shot at the title before the end.
It was a mixture of seeing the second and third victims get what they “deserved”. I’m not always a fan of having the rotten human characters get shoved in my face with their unbelievable way of life, but every now and then it’s refreshing to see characters not so innocent get evil’s recourse. You feel bad for the innocent characters but the bad ones, you sometimes tip the hat. And if anyone has seen Lost Boys recently, the third one was death by stereo.
Dean wins by a scene. He’s trying hard to put the mark behind him and now this is officially his last trick in the book. The episodic conversation in the car had some musical flair to it that built on Dean’s revelation that he thinks he can beat it by doing what he knows it right. It was hard for Sam to argue because he kind of missed the point, but again, his look at the end spoke volumes of what he might have to do on his own to save his brother.
LONG TERM THOUGHTS
Sometimes it’s worth putting Castiel in a cameo just to remind us how he’s doing. The run down from the brothers doesn’t always do the angel actual state of mine justice.
Will another witch of notable villainy be dispatched from the grand coven to interfere with the Winchesters? Maybe there’s a wicked witch of the Northeast.
In a way, being stuck traveling through wifi is almost worse than how normal ghosts get to operate. Unless they’re generally only stuck around the object they are attached to.
Not that it matters, but it’s interesting that the husband died practically twenty feet from his address. Was he coming or going and where was his wife at the time?
Who still uses AIM?
6 out of 10. It had it’s moments. Those were mostly reactions from Dean with food, women, and a lack of in depth knowledge of the social communicative structure of the next generation. The ghost plot was subpar as most recent ghost stories are. The ghosts these days are getting more creative with how they exist in the afterlife, that or the Winchesters are finding it harder to keep up with the evolution of the rising spirit. It wasn’t as clever or funny as last week’s episode, but it was nowhere near as abysmal. The ghost plot is usually the safe bet between story arcs but it’s not always the best one. My favorite is still Six from Battlestar. More of those please!
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