“About a Boy” Review
By Annie Kenney
Two weeks in a row! Supernatural was just awesome tonight and I’m just waiting for the other shoe to drop. Again there were no angels but there was a witch! More about that later…
Like last week, this week’s Supernatural tied into a well-known story (this time by the brothers Grimm) and made it into a modern fable. Not only are the writers showing how clever they can be, they are also showing how well read they are and it is all good as far as I am concerned. Not only that, but the story featured just Sam and Dean (granted it was a very different Dean for some of it) and, as a monster of the week story, it worked extremely well.
I thought the beginning of the episode was incredibly poignant. To see Dean wandering around the bunker reading lore, looking at the laptop and researching tattoo removal made my poor heart hurt. Jensen was brilliant expressing his feelings not in words but in looks and it worked. By the time Sam came into the room with news of a case I felt as desperate and as claustrophobic as Dean and I just wanted everything to get better for both brothers.
The banter between the brothers is back; how lovely to see them snarking at each other again, Dean with his one liners and Sam with his quick retorts. It was like watching one of the earlier episodes and it was all the better for it. Seeing the brothers actually working together and not at each other’s throats is very refreshing and it is what I watch for (but I guess you know that by now!)
It was hysterical to see them questioning the man who had been abducted by aliens and their reaction to his tales about probing was classic Winchester. In my opinion these moments have been lost, sacrificed for some complicated story about angels or demons or both! There’s nothing wrong with having a mythology, The X Files is testament to that, but when said mythology almost crushes the rest of the story and smothers the relationship between Sam and Dean then – to be honest – I don’t like it or want to watch it.
One of the best moments for me was seeing how much Sam trusted Dean. He trusted him enough to go into the bar on his own and Dean tried hard to reward that trust. However, Mark or no Mark, Dean wouldn’t be Dean if he didn’t have a drink and chat up women! So it wasn’t surprising to see him doing both. It was fairly obvious where the story was going and when he was caught by Hansel it wasn’t so much of a surprise as a shock.
Let me take this moment to say how excellent Dylan Everett is as young Dean. He impressed me in Bad Boys, but in this episode he was even better. He has Jensen’s mannerisms down perfectly and his chemistry with Jared was brilliant. I really believed that it was a de-aged Dean in the car with Sam and it was funny to see Dean still trying to drive baby even though he was much too short!
I loved that Dean had some teenage feelings; the fact he loved Taylor Swift, was going through puberty and kept being compared to members of a certain boy band (head’s up for One Direction). However at its best Supernatural knows how to move swiftly from comedy to pathos and soon the viewers (and Sam) were shown Dean’s bare arm. The Mark of Cain had gone and Dean was prepared to stay a teenager rather than become a psycho killer again.
Although the episode was about Dean we can’t forget how amazing Sam was. Jared is really knocking it out of the park this season and – like Jensen – he doesn’t need words to show us his feelings and emotions. I loved how easily he recognized his brother even though he had reverted to his fourteen year old self. I loved how he supported and trusted Dean and I almost cried at the end when both brothers’ saw that the Mark (and all of its problems) had returned.
As for the witch – clever idea to tie her to Rowena – she was just how I imagine a storybook witch to be! I liked the fact she chatted about eating children as if it was something that was ordinary and every day. I liked her explanation of why she didn’t kidnap real kids anymore and I thought she was very believable even though she was actually a clichéd witch and fairly removed from the glamorous Rowena. I liked Hansel too although I am worried that he actually liked eating his sister a little too much!!
As I already said the end of the episode was really sad but again the writers turned it around to make it funny. It was interesting to see Tina’s reaction to staying young and it wasn’t hard to think that Dean would have liked to have a second chance. However when he got back into baby and turned on the radio it was pure comedy gold. Sam’s face was a picture (and yay the epic bitch face is back) and Dean looked so contented for a moment it was easy to forget that the Mark is still there and that the brother’s need to work together to remove it.
I guess it would be too much to ask for another episode like this one. We have had two excellent classic monster of the week stories and I have a feeling that we are going to see Crowley, Castiel and the rest pretty soon. I’m not sure I want to but I’m willing to go with it and see what happens. I only hope that the writers don’t complicate things again and leave me with a headache!!