‘Advanced Thanatology’ Review
By Annie Kenney
I’ll start by confessing I had no idea what Advanced Thanatology means so I looked it up on the internet (as you do) and found out it is the scientific study of death. Funnily enough finding that out made last night’s episode make a lot more sense so I’m glad I decided to consider it further.
Secondly, I want to say that I started off enjoying the episode a lot, then I got a bit confused and concerned and then I was all what the…? It was a funny episode (not funny ha ha) and somehow it left me feeling a tad ‘meh’. It lacked something but I’m not sure what and it threw a lot of odd things into the mix. Not one for the classic’s file and I am starting to wonder just where this season is going.
I loved the first twenty minutes or so; the ghost doctor with his mask and drill was super scary and very creepy and when he appeared in that poor boy’s room it made me jump. I also adored the brother’s interactions, Sam trying desperately to appease Dean by, firstly, leaving Jack at home and secondly suggesting the brothers go on ‘an old-fashioned hunt’ together for the first time in ages. This led to beer, bacon and Sam actually asking Dean to come to a lap dancing club with him (which he’d researched – bless him). It was all going so well and then…well then Dean started acting very oddly and everything went a bit pear-shaped.
There were a few things in the episode that confused me. 1. Where did those syringes full of death juice come from? 2. Have we seen the boys use them before? If we have I can’t remember when. I know there was a doctor who killed Dean for a while, so he could talk to Death (Season 6 – Appointment in Samara) and Pamela helped both brothers talk to a dead boy in Season 4, but I’ve never seen them use these syringes before so that jarred a little…and why did Dean suddenly want to die so he could talk to ghosts? The old Dean would have probably just burned the house down! It was all a bit fast and a lot confusing and the mood of the episode was lost.
It was great to see Billie back and what a wonderful Death she makes. She is a strong character and I’m hoping we see more of her. I liked her library of possible Dean deaths too but the conversation she had with Dean went against what had come before. Instead of throwing him into the Empty, she told him that he and Sam had important work to do. Where did that come from? And what is the work? We will no doubt find out, but when? Who knows!
At the end I really wanted Sam and Dean to have a heart to heart but instead Sam went to sleep, and Dean got a call from Castiel. Now the brothers have found their missing angel Dean might cheer up a bit but I’m wondering how it is all going to work out. It is going to change the brother’s relationship with Jack for a start. Also, it seemed that Sam’s purpose so far, this season was to help and support Jack. Now Cas is back will he take that role? If he does what is Sam going to be doing for the next 18 episodes? I’m not hopeful at the moment and everything feels a bit contrived and flat. I do like Jack and I am interested in seeing what happens with the alternate world but I’m just not excited anymore and that worries me.
So, a rather ‘meh’ 6/10 for this episode; most of the marks for the first half!
What happens next could either change my mind or plunge me deeper into despair!