Supernatural: The X-Files meets the Brothers Grimm
Dean attempts to wrestle a plot point into submission.
This episode of Supernatural seemed to be less about the plot than the interaction between the brothers. That's not a bad thing: we happily chortled our way through the episode, and wrote down plenty of lines. But it's not one that's going to stick with us, you know? What about you?
The Truth is … on another show, actually
Let's dispense with the plot quickly: After a young man is taken from a cornfield in a burst of light, most of the town is convinced that aliens are at large. The boys know better, of course -- the last time they encountered UFOs, it was the work of the dearly departed Trickster -- but their assumptions are shaken when Dean himself is snatched. He experienced a bright white light, beings that were too incandescent to look at, the sense of being drawn toward a table of some sort… what else could it be?
Well, resident crazy lady suggests this is the work for fairies -- you know, Tinkerbell and her ilk -- but the boys dismiss this out of hand. Then Dean himself is assaulted by a tiny, glowing, bewinged, naked lady that no one else can see. Maybe this fairy thing isn't so weird after all.
We've got deep thoughts and great quotes after the jump -- read on!
After getting some info from Crazy McFairychick (you can strike a deal with fairies by offering bowls of cream, they like snapping up firstborn sons, they don't like iron or silver, then tend to be OCD when confronted with anything countable) Dean realizes he's being stalked by a fairy and Sam goes to confront the likely source of the fae infestation. Dean is tricked into committing what looks like a hate crime (helpful hint: beating up a guy while screaming "take that you fairy!" is not the way to go), and Soulless Sam is left to take care of the banishing the bad guys. He's briefly tempted by a leprechaun who promises he can get his soul back, but he prevails, and the guys go their merry way. The end.
The real story, however, is how Soulless Sam acts now that he's no longer trying to pass as Old Sam. All of a sudden, he's reminding us of all those a-little-bit-off characters on TV today -- Brennan from Bones, Goren from Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Monk, House… the list goes on. But it's pretty darn funny, so we'll ignore the similarities for the moment.
Soulless Sam doesn't self-censor -- he tells Crazy McFairychick that she's bonkers, and we appreciate it. When Dean calls and screams that he's in a potential alien-abduction situation, Sam doesn't panic -- he warns Dean that there may be "a butt thing" in his future, then orders another beer. And after he does as much as he can to find Dean, he decides that sitting in the dark angsting isn't the way to go, so he picks up a hippie chick and gets busy. Hee!
Dean decides that he has to be Sam's conscience, since Sam is completely out of touch with what's appropriate. But here's the thing -- when Sam is left to his own devices, and encounters the leprechaun who tells him he can get Sam's soul back, Sam declines to make the deal. He says it's because he realized that deal-making never works out well, but we're not so sure. On some level, does he still know right from wrong, and even if he's not ruled by emotions, does he care about Dean? Dean fears it means Sam is going back on wanting his soul again, but we prefer our happier interpretation.
But Sam does set up an interesting conundrum -- does having a soul mean suffering? And that's good…. because? We're not sure he's convinced that getting his soul back is the way to go. Heck, when he puts it that way, we're not sure we want a soul sometimes. It sounds a lot like Damon's explanation that being a vampire means you get to flip the switch that makes you not care. Sometimes, that sounds like a good thing. And let's face it, Damon seems to have a lot more fun than Stefan, and Sam is currently having a lot more fun than Dean.
This wasn't a plot-heavy episode, but they didn't skimp on the quotes. Some of our favorites:
Crazy McFairychick: Of course it's not UFOs. It's fairies!
Dean: Fairies. OK, well thank you for your input.
Sam: What, flying saucers not insane enough for you?
Crazy McFairychick: What newspaper did you say you worked for?
Sam: If you want to add glitter to that glue you're sniffing, that's fine, but don't dump your whackadoo all over us. We'd rather not step in it.
Dean: OK, we're done
Sam: The only thing you're missing is a couple dozen cats, sister!
Sam: What do you want me to do, fake it?
Dean: Yes. Absolutely, fake it. Fake it 'til you make it.
Sam: What happened to you wanting to be all honest?
Dean: Hey, you want to be a real boy, Pinocchio, you've got to act the part.
Sam: I was faking it, Dean. Ever since we got back on the road together. It's frickin' exhausting!
Dean: All right, but until we get you back on the soul train, I'll be your conscience. Okay?
Sam: So you're saying you'll be my Jimminy Cricket?
Dean: Shut up. But yeah, you freaking puppet. That's exactly what I'm saying
Dean: But do not engage with, maim or in any way kill Brennan. In fact, I don't want you making any judgment calls all together.If anything happens, call me.
Sam: You know, Jimminy, I was on my own for a whole year. I did fine without you.
Dean: I don't want to know your definition of fine.
Dean: Holy… UFO, UFO!
Sam: Whoa, dude, stop yelling. You're breaking up. I didn't catch that last part.
Dean: Close encounter! Close encounter!
Sam: Close encounter? What kind? First, second?
Dean: They're after me!
Sam: Third kind already? You better run man, I think the fourth kind's a butt thing.
Dean: Empathy, Sam, Empathy!
Sam: So, you've been hunting UFOs for over three decades and you have no concrete data and zero workable leads. Have you considered the possibility that you suck at hunting UFOs?
Patchouli girl: What were they like?
Dean: They were grabby, incandescent douchebags. Good night.
Patchouli girl: Too soon, ok.
Dean: I was abducted and you were banging patchouli.
Sam: I didn't think she smelled that bad.
Dean: I had a close encounter Sam… and I won.
Sam: You're on the case, and your brother gets abducted by aliens.
Dean: Then you do everything you can to get him back.
Sam: Right, you do. But what about when there are no more leads for the night? Are you supposed to just sit there in the dark and suffer, even when there's nothing that can be done in that moment?
Dean: Yes! You sit in the dark and you feel the loss.
Sam: Absolutely, but couldn't I do all that and have sex with that hippie chick?
Sam: It would be in the dark.
Dean: No you couldn't, because you would be suffering, and you can't just turn that off for the night.
Sam: Why not?
Dean: Because if you had a soul, your soul wouldn't let you.
Sam: So you're saying having a soul equals suffering.
Dean: Yes, that's exactly what I'm saying.
Sam: ...So you're saying suffering is a good thing.
Dean: I'm saying it's the only game in town.
Sam: Everyone on the planet believes in UFOs, and they will not stop writing books about it.
Dean: (looking at a blog) Yeah, well, at least books have punctuation.
Dean: It was a little naked lady, okay? It was a little glowing, hot, naked lady, with nipples and...she hit me
Sam: I'm not supposed to laugh, right? (Dean punches the wall.) Right, okay, sure.
Highlights, thoughts and odds and ends
- Nice X-Filesian opening credits!
- We love how no one understood exactly what the boys were getting at when they talked about "hunting" UFOs and "forcefully interacting" with fairies.
- We know that Sam is now unencumbered by regret, angst, and other things a soul brings. But does that really mean that his libido is in overdrive? Why is he suddenly checking out everything in a skirt? Why is he suddenly being so season-one Dean?
- We loved Dean frying the assaulting Tinkerbell in the microwave. We were less thrilled with him leaning in to ogle her nipples. When a small, glowing, flying lady is hovering in front of you, commenting on her unclad bosom seems like missing the forest for the trees.
- "Pewterific" may be our new favorite adjective.
- Mr. Brennan, the original abductee's dad, summoned the fairies, and is feeding them gallons of cream. If his grandmother told him enough stories to gamble that fairies were real, he also should have paid enough attention to the stories to realize that dealing with fairies rarely works out well for the mortal.
- Nice touch, having the crazy UFO hunter being the leprechaun who started the whole thing. However, we're not sure we're ready to buy that leprechauns are the crossroads demons of the fae.
- We loved that a Redcap was stalking Dean. If you know your fairy lore (and of course we do), you know that these guys are bad-ass enforcers that shouldn't be crossed.
- We also liked how Sam was able to improvise, spilling the salt to distract the leprechaun long enough to complete the banishing incantation.
- Being able to pronounce Latin is one thing, but being able to pronounce Gaelic? Impressive!
- Were we the only ones thinking that the writers really seem to enjoy poking the bear this season? Having Dean yell about fairies -- and having it be justified -- seems like a direct response to criticism among some fans that the guys don't deal well with homosexuality. Or are we over-thinking it?
What's your take on the ep? Talk about it in the comments!