Reaction: Supernatural (8×04)

Every season has its fillers, and with J2 having put in seven long years and have, y’know, lives outside of Supernatural (gasp), I’d say that they lightened load will become more obvious even outside the negotiated “give the boys a day off” episodes. Going into this one knowing it was what it was made it more palatable.

Yes, it was cliched and predictable (I mean, come on, who didn’t know the poor geek the hot guy felt pity for wanted the girl all along and who didn’t know he’d be the catalyst), and the shaky cam technique is something I would prefer die in a roaring fire, but the episode plugged along pretty well. The guest story was competently played, at least.

I do appreciate that in the end, the girl in the bizarre love triangle walked away. I also get the point of the episode was to highlight the changes in Sam and Dean. The Dean of last year would not have let her walk off so easily; the monster he has discovered in himself has a lot to do with that decision. Sam wants normal, which is his status quo and has been except for a brief soulless stint and a few other blips, so him agreeing not to hunt her unless she hurt someone (like the professor who kept himself contained for years and years) was no surprise.

So, it was an enjoyable fluff episode with cliches aplenty and pretty standard gender roles. Also as Supernatural white as can be. ;)

Comments

  1. Alison says

    I agree that this one did a good job of showing their development. And to be honest I’m not too fussed about the odd episode that has significantly less sam&dean screen time, that wasn’t something I was irate about. There’s lots that I did find frustrating though.

    The camera coverage (hand held, spycams, multiple cameras, etc) meant I kept unconsciously auditing each angle, mentally checking that it was realistic/possible and some of them felt impossible in the context. I was very frustrated with the predictable storyline – surely there’s a greater range of sans-Sam-&-Dean stories? At first I thought the acting was a bit weak (which it was) but really it’s the dialogue that was rotten (and I hesitate to say it might’ve been the direction coz I’d sound like a wanker if I did) (brackets are the way I hesitate). I got the impression a 14 year old wrote what they thought college students would say in this given story. It is a different storyline and structure, but for an absentee-episode it’s not a patch on GhostFacers.

    Unless there was some cultural, textural, pop culture, comic reference I missed, it felt like a flimsy story with its only saving graces being the character steps for S&D and letting the monster-girl walk off into the horizon so to speak (letting her live, not the horizon part).

  2. sbg says

    Alison,

    Yeah, there were several times the shots were clearly not done with a camera we could see. Unless the kid had cameras set up all over. I attributed the dialogue to my now customary “kids these days, get offa my lawn” reaction to the late-teens/early-twenties stuff. This did not have to happen this way? Quite rich of her to type that, when she was the one wanting to protect her wereboyfriend after he murdered someone.

    Honestly, I think the only important thing was the end/beginning, with them choosing to let her go.

  3. MichB says

    Actually there has been one non-white girl in the boys’ lovelives – Cassie I think her name was. She only pops up for one episode early in Season 1 and is Dean’s Booty-Of-The-Week but she’s also unusual. The dialogue tells us that they’d had a pretty serious relationship a while back which Dean (typically) screwed up out of fear, and she (quite rightly!) chews the hell out of him before they both end up reconciling and tumbling into bed, where she takes the lead. Not something I’ve seen since with Dean.

    She totally kicked his ass. He seemed to enjoy it.

  4. sbg says

    MichB,

    I … am not sure why this comment is here. We weren’t talking about love lives, and the general overwhelming whiteness of guest stars stands, even if we saw Dean had a former girlfriend with non-white skin that one time eight years ago. Supernatural doesn’t have a great track record with race or gender.

  5. MichB says

    sbg,

    No I know we weren’t. The point I was trying to make (obviously rather badly!) was that Cassie was the only character I ever saw break the White-Girl-In-Distress-Eye Candy/Cannon Fodder syndrome the show suffers from, and that this one instance DOESN’T redeem the other failures. I wish there had been more female characters who could match the male ones and weren’t pushovers. They seem to have got worse at this over time.

  6. sbg says

    MichB,

    Ah, okay. I didn’t quite make that connection. For as basic horror-flick-of-the-week S1 was, and how they didn’t take themselves too seriously (the overall arc was firmly there, but it wasn’t so broody and heavy), looking back at S1 reveals quite a few damsels that ended up being pretty kick ass. Cat from Asylum was tougher than her boyfriend for sure. Haley from Wendigo I could have easily seen as taking up the hunting life to protect her brothers…

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