“The Things They Carried” Review
By Annie Kenny
Welcome back Supernatural – and what a welcome – an excellent episode that had me hooked from the start to the finish.
I hadn’t actually realized how much I’d missed Supernatural during this mini hiatus. I’d amused myself by watching old episodes (I’m currently at the end of Season 4) and by reading articles and fan fiction. Today I sat down to watch the first episode for a while and – as soon as it started – I got that familiar tingle of excitement in my belly and I just wanted to sit in complete silence and watch what the Winchester’s were up to.
This week’s episode certainly didn’t let me down. From the extremely gory beginning to the incredibly bitter sweet ending it was gripping and it also concentrated mainly on the brothers (which I love but you know that by now). The plot was simple and engaging and the Winchester’s were their usual complicated selves. The only thing lacking was humor but I guess this particular episode didn’t lean towards the amusing (although Dean’s longing for cake made me laugh).
It’s obvious that the brothers have hit a wall as far as the mark is concerned. Sam’s almost obsessive searching is clearly having an effect on him. He looked tired, worn and almost at the end of his rope. I noticed that we didn’t see Sam smile for the entire episode and that alone made me want to either cry or jump into the TV set and give him a huge hug. Dean, on the other hand, seems to have accepted his fate and just wants to hunt ‘as long as he can’. Its clear Dean thinks that he is going to die and he just wants to get on with his life. Sam isn’t going to accept this and is working hard to save his brother (a clear comparison with Season 3 when exactly the same thing was happening with Sam trying to save Dean from his deal).
The whole episode dealt with the theme of monsters, unsung heroes and the baggage that people carry. The title had a double meaning. The Things They Carried could mean the hideous worms but it also alludes towards the mark and the guilt that both Sam and Dean have. It was exceedingly interesting to hear Cole talk to Dean about heroes. For once someone actually saw Sam and Dean for what they really are and acknowledged that they should be aptly rewarded for all the good things they have done. Cole clearly sees a connection between him and his army buddies and the Winchester brothers and it is fascinating to see Sam and Dean through someone else’s eyes.
I like Cole. He is a good character and the fact that he is an ex-soldier makes him even more thought-provoking. He’s tough and brave and makes a good foil for the Winchesters. He clearly admires them but is obviously a little afraid of them. I hope we see him again because he is one of the better characters introduced to us in this season. He could become another Jodie and help the brothers out on some of their cases.
As for the monster of the week; the Khan worms were truly horrible and I was actually cringing as they crawled out of one person’s mouth and into another’s. They have also gotten a lot bigger since Eve created them and it showed great continuity to have another monster introduced into the mix. Maybe we will see the Jefferson Starships again! On a more serious note I wonder where the worms came from in the first place. Did they just develop into this new strain or have they had help along the way? Only time will tell but I’m secretly hoping that we see the worms again before the end of the season!
The end of the episode had me in bits once again; Sam’s obvious grief at not being able to save the soldier Kit, Dean’s resignation, his speech about not being able to save everybody. Sob…As we reach the end of the season things are getting more and more desperate and if they don’t find a way to remove the mark I’m really scared something terrible is going to happen. As Dean has already died and come back I don’t think we’ll see that again but I still fear for Sam. My mind won’t let go of the story of Cain and Abel and we all know how that ended!
So what is going to happen next? I’m guessing it won’t be long before we see Crowley, Castiel and Rowena again and it will be interesting to see what direction the Season is going to take. I hope we see plenty of brother moments and that the Winchester’s story isn’t tossed aside to make room for other less engaging tales.
I’m feeling a tad uneasy right now because I don’t have a clue as to what is going to happen but – knowing Supernatural as I do – I do know it isn’t going to be pleasant!!
Why do I think we are not heading for a happy ending?