A Sashurai’s Review: Supernatural – Season 11×16 (I want to see a Juon vs Ring fight in Supernatural, and you do too)

SN 11x16

 

SUMMARY

Two concurrent storylines overlap detailing the same supernatural entity better known as a soul eater. While in the present, Sam and Dean investigate the sudden comas of a mother and her child while remodeling a home, and in the past, Bobby and Rufus investigate the same home but with different victims in a coma. Following similar routines and discoveries, both Bobby’s and Dean’s soul are pulled into a “nest” where souls reside and are devoured by the entity. Rufus and Sam attempt to banish the soul eater with an intricate seal and are attacked by a possessed Dean and Bobby. Both manage to finish the seal and expel the soul eater and also returning the families back to normal. In a split moment before returning, Bobby and Dean see one another. Both reflect on the incident as Bobby returns to the Winchesters of his time while Sam and Dean of the present move on to Bobby’s location when he inadvertently faced a soul eater to make sure it’s properly warded away.

 

INITIAL THOUGHTS

A worthwhile throwback, tonight’s episode deals with a bit of nostalgic investigating and brought back a pair of favored old heroes doing what they were best at. The concurrent plots mirror each other in almost a seamless single story, pitting the 4 against a ghost-like foe who eats the souls of the living. Though the monster of the week was a bit bland, what mattered was the connection Bobby and Rufus still had while playing off of Sam and Dean’s on-going journey as brothers. Though the older pair are no longer with the world of the living, their legacy lives on. It was a generic plot mixed in with some sentimental vibes that helped elevate this into an above average performance, if not for giving us one more glance into the lives of hunters, then to tease with a reunion that never came to be.

 

THE GOOD

Rufus and Bobby are classic characters and putting them in an episode like this to shine on their personalities and deductive reasoning, or lack thereof was a smart approach. We don’t always need to see them in the present as withered spirits, hard-pressed to move on or in some ghostly state of awareness. By showing them their better days we get to relive those moments that made the first 5 seasons a memorable experience. As always, their banter and what passes as philosophical differences were a keen contrast to Sam and Dean’s eternal struggle be aligned on all things.

 

THE BAD

The monster in question was a strong let down. It and what it inhabited was a device to put Dean and Bobby in the same room together for half of a second and outside of that, it served very little purpose or threat beyond hurting a pair of families. I realize it’s sometimes hard to introduce new variations on old, well-known ghostly types, but the lore of the creature and the danger it brought wasn’t entirely an exciting venture. And with a cool name like “soul-eater” I would have hoped for more actual soul eating. That would have been vicious to see such devouring take places and probably would have helped elevate this episode even more.

 

FAVORITE MOMENT

It’s short, but when Bobby and Dean locked sights on each other and then disappeared. The entire time the two of them searched the nest, I fully expected them to cross paths ever since Sam mentioned time and space. I thought the set up was perfect for them to interact outside of time, but they only did it for a short moment, a moment that had no intention of disrupting the flow of time. While I respect that route, I still would have preferred a scene where they could at least trade insults and lament on the lives they’ve had.

 

CHARACTER MVP

This was more of a Rufus and Bobby catch-up episode, so I’m giving it to them both. I’ve always liked Rufus and the actor (Steven) who played him ever since his days back on the X-Files. They play old but “still got it” quite well, and it was good to see them roll with the evil one more time. Even Rufus’s “oldest rule” was haunting to hear every time he told it knowing the two of them are both deceased. Very satisfied with their performances all around.

 

ENDING THOUGHTS

I appreciate the effort to keeping with the continuity that these one-off monsters every so often will reference The Darkness. The soul eater offered to keep Sam and Dean safe from Amara, which Sam dutifully declined. Small scenes like that are good to stay in direct continuity with the evil that persists outside of Amara’s presence.

 

The way Bobby kept saying how he didn’t feel comfortable with how the events unfolded made me think there was more to the story, but sadly there wasn’t. It was just a means to remind us that the present still had to go through this scenario.

 

Making Bobby and Rufus use the aliases Riggs and Murtaugh was perfect. I can’t imagine anything else would have worked as well, yet it was Dean who echoed the popular phrase “I’m too old for this s**t”

 

If there really is a Celtic pendant that is a “in case of emergency” device, why doesn’t Sam and Dean each have one on hand? I feel this was glossed over a bit too easily and warranted some more information. Most of the time you have to stick with the lore and culture involved in that lore in order to stop the evil in question. This was an opportunity missed and likely on purpose.

 

OVERALL SCORE

8 out 10. The road leading to Amara appropriately diverted into a tale told by four hunters, all trying to do right in the world. When this world is as large as it is, sometimes we can afford hearing more of the unsung adventures of popular supporting characters. I would even be for an anthology tale that went over this kind of storytelling. So often we see flashbacks and or moments that take places decades or a few hundred years in the past. Nothing wrong with that premise, I’d be interested to watch. Aside from a poor creature to battle against, I was pleasantly surprised by the throwback and glad they managed to bring Rufus and Bobby back one more time. We should be on our way to Amara’s final run over the next few weeks as well as Lucifer’s path to them all. Stay watchful on those dates, it’ll catch up in no time. Thanks for reading.

 

 

No more words

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