With the movie industry abuzz about the lack of inclusiveness in movies and, by extension, award shows, people have been citing television as a small screened standard for diversity. Admittedly television has always been far more progressive than cinema--now with hundreds of shows between broadcast, cable, premium channels and streaming services--it has to be. But truthfully even television's not that much better.
Supernatural has always been pretty light in terms of race and quality female and LGBTQIA characters. Having stupidly killed off one of the only female and the only gay recurring character in series history, there has been a gaping hole in both departments since the demie of Charlie Bradbury. As a longtime fan and a black woman, it’s been a constant point of frustration with the show. It’s not about checking boxes or filling quotas, but when a show regularly references saving the world, all of factions of it should be represented.
After last week’s devilishly disappointing episode, I had no expectations for “Into The Mystic," a monster-of-the-week case about people who die after hearing a primal scream. Fortunately, thoroughly enjoyed this episode! Grab your favorite vinyl, and let’s dive in, shall we?
*GOOOOOOOOOOOOORE! “The Devil In The Details’” cage-match between Sam and the universe’s greatest foe, Lucifer, should've been one of the most terrifying and gut-wrenching episodes since "Swan Song." Instead, they went for the loathsome “Just Kidding!” gags I hate about winter finales, and featured the devil dancing to disco music, fist-fighting and playing "This Is Your Life" with a captive Sam. “Into the Mystic” returns to Supernatural’s horror roots, thanks to a terrifying leather-skinned banshee that kills with its maddening cry and buckets of blood. The cold open featuring a badass mother and Men Of Letters’ legacy and buckets of blood. Later, when Dean is cursed by the banshee's song, he bashes his head into the wall so convincing, it makes my stomach hurt. That's the Supernatural I love!
*Dean’s getting old. It’s hard to believe that when Supernatural began Dean (Jensen Ackles) was 26 years old. Eleven years and a few lifetimes later, Dean is stealing a dead dude's Viagra, letting his little brother (who has flecks of gray in his hair himself) finish digging the graves, and using this week’s case to shop for a retirement home for him and Sammy in a few decades. It’s awesome to see the change in his “I’m-Gonna-Die-With-A-Gun-In-My-Hand” deathwish. I’m sure doing it a few times has helped to sway that mentality.
*Mildred Baker. One of the resident’s of Oak Park Retirement Living is a lovely woman named Mildred (veteran actor Dee Wallace). With her statement necklaces, ghost stories, and unabashed flirting, she’s proof that life doesn’t end at 60. Dean, who admits to having a crush on Golden Girls' Blanch Devereaux, seems both delighted and overwhelmed by her overt advances, which just makes for great television. Even better, she’s instrumental in saving Sam and Dean’s booties, which gives her the right to objectify them later.
*Eileen Leahy. This week's episode takes one badass woman and ups the ante with another. Not only is Eileen (Jericho’s Shoshannah Stern) the baby from the cold open, she’s a full-on Women Of Letters legacy, and a hunter seeking revenge on the banshee that killed her parents. Eileen was rendered deaf from the banshee attack. The cool thing is Eileen’s deafness is that it never is a hindrance for anyone. There’s no teeth-chomp or serious moment music at the reveal. It’s just another aspect of her personality like glasses or a tattoo. More importantly, Sam and Eileen connect on a deeper level—revenge missions, college studies and trust issues. They make a kickass duo, and I really hope to see her again. I also need Sam and Dean to jank her cool paralyzing sigil trick.
Sam. After encountering Lucifer, Sam (Jared Padalecki) is understandably traumatized, and while I don’t see how Lucifer’s “highlight reel of his biggest failures” could effect someone who’s endured centuries of torture, but I'm a sucker for continuity. Sam’s not leaving the bunker. He’s barely sleeping. He’s field-stripping his gun for hours on end, and the last time he did that was season 7’s “Hello Cruel World” to stave off Lucifer hallucinations. Sam is haunted by his failures—namely not finding Dean when he was blasted into Purgatory. Even though he has every reason too, Sam hasn’t lost his faith, he just transferred it to the man who’s always there for him, who came screaming into The Cage for him—his brother. And now he’s revealing that he’s never forgiven himself for not looking for Dean when he was stuck in Purgatory.
I understand the guilt, but I hate that for whatever reason the show’s writers never stressed that Sam thought Dean had died. That his entire family was dead. I'm a little miffed Sam’s struggles aren’t about his own traumas but those that specifically relate to his duty as Dean's little brother (and not that he tried to kill him with a scythe that one time). But it speaks to Sam as a human being that his greatest fear, his greatest pain comes from letting his brother down.
Dean has already forgiven him. “All that matters is that now, all that’s ever mattered, is that we’re together now, so shut up and drink your beer.” The state of the brotherhood appears fortified by all the ridiculously cute broments. However, I'm terrified it'll inevitably could come crashing down once Sam learns of his connection to Amara (the one that makes him vulnerable to the banshee, and Mildren mistakes pining). Will Casifer tell him? Will Dean, who’s now struggling with the weight of his secret, crack and spill the beans? Place your bets in the comments section.
*Sam's box of memories. I know there was the amulet from the 200th episode, and then the other items were blurry because it was raining on my face.
"Into The Mystic" is an entertaining and well-done episode, and my favorite of 2016 thus far. Hee!
I’m still not finished counting the sheer number of sharks jumped by Castiel deciding to let Lucifer possess him. It would have made more sense to have Rowena hex him so Lucifer could force his way in or have Cas say yes to Michael, not Lucifer. For sanity's sake, I'm focusing on how grateful I am that Misha Collins finally has a new challenge to channel his underused talent.
What did you think of the episode? Let me know!
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Small Screen Girl
I am an unabashed pop culture and TV-aholic with no plans to ever seek treatment. Explore this blog and see just how deep my obsession goes.