Episode 9.8

“Rock and a Hard Place” Review
By Annie Kenney

I liked two things about this episode – the beginning and the end…

When you love a programme as much as I love Supernatural it is really, really difficult when you have to say something negative about it but last night’s episode was Supernatural at its laziest. Recycled plotlines, another pagan god (who was in no way scary), forced comedy and no tension.

The worst thing about last night’s episode was that I was totally disinterested and really, really bored.

Having got all of those adverse feelings out of the way there were some rare good moments last night and, when I say good, I mean excellent.

The beginning; the scene with Sam asleep almost in his cornflakes was so sweet and so touching. Despite his size Jared often plays Sam as vulnerable and it works so well. Dean’s obvious worry and his need to protect his baby brother is heart wrenching and the actors, as usual, did a sterling job.

Jodie Mills – I really like this character, an older woman who is attractive, strong and intelligent. She isn’t quite old enough to be a mother figure for the boys but she is certainly protective of them. I also adore that she has such a lovely bond with Sam because Sam doesn’t seem to have as many close allies as Dean does. Whereas Dean has (or has had in the past) Castiel, Benny, Bobby and Garth to bounce off, Sam hasn’t really had anyone. (I know he bonded with Ruby but I feel she was more his manipulator than his friend and talking to a hallucination of Lucifer doesn’t count either!). Jodie seems to fill that gap for Sam and they have really good chemistry together.

Dean’s scene during the purity meeting was probably the funniest thing in an episode that tried to be funny but failed miserably. Jensen is excellent at comedy and his expressions are priceless. It was also nice to see the return of Sam’s bitch face – I’ve missed it.

Unfortunately the positives end there. The rest of the story was tame to be honest. The villain wasn’t scary and the fact that her victims were locked away underground could have been much more claustrophobic and disturbing. There was no real tension and it was difficult to know which direction the episode was going. The scenes with the goddess reminded me of ‘You Can’t Handle the Truth’ which was about one hundred percent better and the dénouement was hurried and clumsy. Added to that we had another monster telling Sam that he was ‘dead inside’ and, although that was an important plot device, it is starting to get a little boring.

However the end of the episode saved the whole thing for me; Sam’s confusion at what is happening to him, his concern that he really is sick and dying, Dean’s guilt warring with his worry, it was almost painful to watch. The moment that Dean almost told Sam what was happening to him took my breath away and I almost screamed at the screen. Zeke’s sudden appearance was both unwelcome and shocking.

It threw up a lot of questions; why is it taking Zeke so long to heal Sam? Is Zeke healing Sam? Is Zeke a good guy or has he a hidden agenda? How is Dean going to confess to Sam? Will he?

I literally cannot wait for next week’s mid-season finale. I don’t know whether I’m nervous or excited but I do know I am scared for Sam and I’m really not so sure about Zeke anymore.

So let’s forget this week’s poor filler and look to the future…