In the ninth episode of the first season of Supernatural, NOPE. YOU CAN’T. NOT FAIR. NOT FAIR. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Supernatural.
WOW, HEY, A TRUCKLOAD OF FEELINGS PLUS GENUINELY HORRIFYING THINGS, AND A WONDERFUL STORY. I was not ready for this. I was not ready for this.
In “Home,” it really feels like Supernatural had the chance to show us its voice, to give us a glimpse of not only the potential the show has, but to actually deliver a fantastic story in the process. It’s fitting, then, that the characters return to where their journey started over twenty years prior, back in the same house in Lawrence, Kansas that set them on their path full of killing evil. And so many of the twists and turns provided by “Home” are delicately and expertly hidden from view, and it’s all exciting and shocking and also FEELINGS??? WHY ARE THERE SO MANY FEELINGS?
“Home” isn’t without a couple problems that I’ll get to in the end, but I’m happy that Supernatural felt like genuine fun for me. I didn’t like this ironically, and I didn’t have a good time because it was awful and I yelled a lot at the awfulness. (I did yell a lot in this video, and that’s because it was increasingly not okay. I refuse to apologize for how ridiculous my videos have gotten, for the record.) The cold open was creepy enough all by itself, but the reveal that Jenny and her children are in the Winchester’s old house is NOPE FOREVER. I was eager to see if this meant that “Home” would actually give me more information about what had happened long ago, and I must say, I’m satisfied with what I just saw.
First of all, this episode finally begins to offer an explanation for Sam’s dreams beyond PTSD. Hell, I admit that I didn’t really need much of an explanation for them, even though Sam did appear to predict Jess’s death. But I’m fascinated by the idea that Sam’s empathy has a spiritual or supernatural side to it. It doesn’t dilute his character, for one thing; he’s still quicker to sympathy than Dean is. And I did like that Dean, upon hearing that they were pursuing a case based on a dream, demanded that Sam explain himself a little. It was the start of something I really think this show needs more of: the Winchester brothers actually talking through their problems.
“Home” provides the mechanism through which these brothers can start to have a conversation about the trauma they’ve gone through in their lives. Sam is always the one offering to talk more, and Dean is always the one reluctant to share anything at all because men. Okay, I’m being facetious, but I don’t think I’m entirely off-base by saying that Dean’s overt masculinity is part of the reason why he doesn’t talk about his feelings. He has acted stereotypically dude-like plenty of times in these nine episodes. Seriously, the guy is so intent on not discussing anything that we find out that he never told Sam that he carried Sam out of the house. While I don’t want to ignore how neat it is that these characters can still learn things about one another, it’s also kind of sad that Dean has had to put up so many walls over the years. I mean, yeah, DUDES. But I can’t ignore that Dean witnessed all that shit as a kid, and that can fuck someone up for years, you know?
Clearly, Dean has a lot of internal damage that he’s keeping to himself, and that was obvious to me once he nearly broke down while on the phone to his father. In a lot of ways, Dean is still a little boy, one who adores and venerates his father, and he’s so desperate for that validation. And now, Sam’s weird dream visions have brought him back to this house he swore never to return to, and he doesn’t know what to do. He doesn’t know what to do now that his dad’s not here. It’s not lost on me that it’s only upon returning home that Dean has this sort of reaction. He’s run away from his old home, almost literally, and now he’s being forced back to relive it all.
So the boys go to someone for help, and that person ends up giving them the right amount of guidance and knowledge that they need. Y’all, Missouri Mosely. I want her around FOREVER. Oh, Loretta Devine, you are so wonderful! As much as I loved her and her constant destruction of Dean, I can’t shake the feeling that for the most part, she fits the Magical Negro and the Sassy Black Woman trope. Like, to a T. Like, seriously compare Missouri to other examples of characters in the Magical Negro trope: The Oracle in The Matrix, John Coffey in The Green Mile, Mother Abigail in The Stand, Dick Hallorann in The Shining, Nelson on Life on Mars, etc. etc. At the same time, there are a few neat things that give me hope that Missouri is more than this. It’s nice that she’s onscreen so much, and Loretta Devine plays her with this infectious sort of empathy. She deeply cares about the people around her, even if they are strangers, and her desire to help doesn’t seem born out of some random script writer’s idea of the trope she sometimes fits. And it’s glimpses like that that make me want SO MUCH MORE OF MISSOURI.
Oh, and every time she uses her psychic powers to insult Dean. Brilliant.
Then, there’s the story. “Home” gives us a doozy on the poltergeist tale, especially since it’s so FUCKING creepy. Ritchie getting trapped in the refrigerator? The floating knives? The choking power cord? Yeah, this is all very much in line with what I expect from a poltergeist story, but it’s done so well, y’all. It’s creepy every time, but then “Home” does that thing. IT DOES THAT THING THAT IS NOT OKAY. There are few things worse than thrillers or horror movies “ending” with like twenty minutes left. (Or, similarly, when you’ve reached the dramatic climax of a book, and you can tell there are way too many pages left.) Granted, this is spelled out a bit obviously for the audience, since Missouri mentioned that there were two spirits in the house, and after getting rid of one, Sam is still convinced that something isn’t right. He totally Has A Bad Feeling About This. AND HE IS RIGHT.
Except that didn’t prepare me for the next scene, in which MARY WINCHESTER IS SHOWN TO BE THAT SECOND SPIRIT. Oh my god, it is literally too much to handle. Those boys’ faces? No. No, you can’t do this to me. You can’t do this. It’s joyous, it’s strange, and it’s fucking heartbreaking. Without a doubt, it’s the most striking sequence in Supernatural so far, one that’s both bizarre and emotionally satisfying to watch. I don’t even know if I understand the logistics of how Mary even showed up. Was her spirit always lingering in that house? Regardless, she sacrificed any chance to speak with her sons again just so she could save them. My heart can’t handle this.
AND THEN THE SHOW HAS TO DROP ANOTHER BOMB IN MY LIFE. Y’all, HAS JOHN WINCHESTER BEEN AT MISSOURI’S THE WHOLE TIME? OR ONLY RECENTLY? WHAT THE FUCK. WHAT THE FUCK IS HE DOING. What “truth” is he even talking about? Also, Jeffrey Dean Morgan always looks great with facial hair. Well, maybe not that creepy ‘stache in Watchmen, but you know. He can have one bad-facial-hair day. That’s allowed.
SO YEAH, I DON’T GET IT. AT ALL. But you better believe I totally loved this episode. MORE LIKE THIS, PLEASE.
The video commission for “Home” can be downloaded right here.
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