“The Girl Next Door” Review
By Bekah James
Supernatural 7.03: The Girl Next Door
Written by Andrew Dabb and Daniel Loflin
Directed by Jensen Ackles
Music: “Two Days in February” by The Goo Goo Dolls
Welcome to the first Monster of the Week episode of Season 7! I don’t know about you, but I certainly needed a respite from the emotional beating I took in the first two episodes. Yay monsters! Let’s get right to it.
You know those folks who are in a highly technical field, like firefighters or military personnel, who pick apart inconsistencies in movies and TV shows? That “nuh-unh, that so wouldn’t happen! They need to use the blahblah…”? Okay, so I can’t stand that. But… for some reason, the idea that Dean went in with an open compound fracture of the tibia and cut his cast off three weeks later and was able to walk… yeah, that did not sit so well. I know Dean has balls made of steel and cast in brass, but come on. Dabb and Loflin have already asked us to believe wholeheartedly in kitsune and Leviathans (I can do that), but I would have liked a little diligence in the research on any medical calamity that befalls the boys. I’m going to leave off there, since I know this isn’t Grey’s Anatomy (thank Cas), but if you want to learn more about why I had to shake my head over that crap, google “compound tibial fracture” and check out the treatment protocols. Oh, and I know Dean tossed his crutches in the ambulance during their getaway, so why in the world did he have a Tiny Tim crutch at Rufus’s cabin?
Other than that, I thought Dabb and Loflin did a great job on this script. Bonus points for the Doctor Who reference. For you non-Whovians, Amy Pond is the Eleventh Doctor’s companion. Also, Dean being invested in a telenovela = hilarious. (The fact that Sam got the Doctor Who reference? Freakin’ priceless.) The reference to Jensen’s movie “My Blood Valentine 3D” = equally as hilarious.
I was surprised Dabb and Loflin decided to play up John Winchester’s drinking habit. It made it sound like he was abusive to the kids (I mean, other than his usual gruff stuff). I suppose I never thought of John as an abusive drunk. I thought he’d go all melancholy.
Colin Ford has gotten so… creepily Sam-like. He really nailed Jared’s Sam, in miniature. Colin has this intense quality to him. The scene with him and Young Amy showed his intense eyes and serious face. I was duly impressed and I hope they find a way to bring him back again next Season.
Sam continues to make the mistakes of his past, namely, going off while Dean’s sleeping to take care of something he views as his own problem. Siiiigh. Come ON, Sam. When has keeping secrets and haring off half-cocked ever gone well for you? For someone so smart, he can be remarkably dense. If you think about it, him going off right now with Hallucifer prancing around in his head is downright idiotic.
That being said, I thought The Best Thing Ever in this episode was Dean sucker punching Sam. I must’ve watched that six or seven times, just laughing and laughing. Good call from Jensen Ackles on that bit of directorial choice.
I do feel sorry for Sam (and love him to pieces, too, for those of you who mistake my complaining as lack of love). Every woman they’ve shown him having real feelings about have been monsters. His first kiss was with a freakin’ kitsune. Then there was Madison the werewolf. And who will ever let him live down Ruby the demon? Okay, okay, some of you will point out Jessica as the great love of his life and she was human. Sure… but he was set up with her by one of YED’s demons! One could argue that she wasn’t so much a human as a demonic pawn. So, yeah, poor poor Sam.
After all the sneaking around in this episode (and every Season in the past), Sam goes out on an unbelievable limb and, after admitting to not killing the monster, tells his brother: “You don’t trust her. Fine. But trust me.” Shah. How the hell can he even ask that? Of course Dean doesn’t trust him—which I suppose people will say is Dean’s problem.
I wasn’t a fan of Dean killing Amy, but I think that’s just my love of Jewel Staite talking. In true Supernatural form, they recycled the idea of evil ever being able to overcome itself (See “Metamorphosis” for my favorite episode on this theme). Dean once let Lenore the vegetarian vampire live. He’s worked side-by-side with—and fought to rescue—several demons throughout the series. And he fought like hell to cure Madison. Do I even have to bring up Sam and the other YED kids? So, what’s changed?
This one is easy. He turned his back on his best friend, and then watched him die. He’s been erased from Lisa and Ben’s memory, but he still carries them in his. He has no way of knowing whether Ben is in fact his son, like the demon inside Lisa claimed at the end of Season 6. He’s watching his brother relive Hell in real time and is unable to help him. There are ancient, seemingly unkillable monsters prowling about and trying to find him (and Sam and Bobby). Yeah, okay, Dean has a crap life these days. That kind of pressure can turn anyone darkside.
The Kill Bill-esque conversation with Amy’s son Jacob was fairly awesome. Instead of showing great empathy for the kid like the Dean of old would have done, he gives him the weirdest little pep talk ever. And how creepy was Jacob when he said he was going to kill Dean? It gave me little shivers. The whole scene was the darkest we’ve seen so far in Season 7, at least for me. It truly let me know where Dean is as a person and a hunter these days. I’m not sure how he can recover—short of a miraculous Castiel resurrection and monsters exploding into rainbows and unicorns.
Jensen’s second go at directing was a fantastic success. This one had to be much more difficult than Season 6’s “Weekend At Bobby’s”, what with all the flashbacks and acting in so many scenes. I adored his close up on himself as he navigated the halls of Sioux Falls General in a morphine stupor. The camera bounce on Bobby as he wheeled Sam across the gravel was another favorite. The sepia filter for Sam’s flashback scenes was a nice touch. I also liked the fade out from face to face to signify flashing back.
I like when Jensen directs. It gives the episode a well loved and homey feel to it. Jensen, on screen, seemed to really bring a richer layer to Dean here. The facial expressions looked natural and his movements more sure. I suppose that will happen when you direct yourself.
I am not disappointed in the least by “The Girl Next Door”. Whatever mojo the Supernatural Team has cooked up this Season is proving to be potent and long lasting. Now, if only they’d post the Mojo Recipe online somewhere, I think us fans would do our part to keep a batch always brewing.
So say we all.
Bekah’s (Hardly) Been Drinking:
All of my drinking this week came early in the episode. The Leviathans gave me 9 healthy gulps in 11 short minutes! And then, just when I thought there would be no more drinking (woe), up crops a cheese-loving Leviathan in the last minute. Yay for drinking… boo for killing a guy with Cheese Whiz.
Next week, I’m playing it safe and going back to an old favorite. Let’s drink to the boys’ names. Tip your glass for every Sam or Dean you hear! (Don’t forget to pour a little out for our fallen homies.)