Mark Watches ‘Supernatural’: S01E13 – Route 666

In the thirteenth episode of the first season of Supernatural, I’d rather not. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Supernatural.

Oh my god, WHAT A MESS.

The Good

  • There isn’t much of it because what a mess, but all hope is not lost!
  • Cassie is wonderful FROM BEGINNING TO END. She’s a whole character with her own ambitions and agency, and she ultimately rejects Dean instead of catering to him. Um, yes? Yes, she’s wonderful. And I think it’s fucking awesome that this show made Dean’s first serious love interest a woman of color. That rarely happens in my country!
  • None of the horrible racists are ever portrayed in a positive or sympathetic light. This is good! There’s no tragic backstory to lend a sliver of justification to what Cyrus Dorian did. No, he’s just an awful person who couldn’t deal with rejection and HE WAS A HUGE RACIST WHO MURDERED A CHILDREN’S CHURCH CHOIR.
  • Sam is just delightful in this episode, taking every possible opportunity to poke fun at Dean, and I love it. Also, he saves Dean again. That’s three episodes in a row!
  • That…. that’s it?
  • I think that’s it.

The Bad

  • A racist ghost truck.
  • A racist ghost truck. 
  • I don’t know how anyone thought that was a good idea. Say it out loud! It sounds like a bad idea, like the word “moist.” Someone should have stopped them. Why did no one stop the writers or the producers or anyone ever? We could have had it all, but nope.
  • Look, I understand the framing device in this episode, but when you finally have an episode where there are people of color and you make it about racism and every black person aside from Cassie dies, you’ve got a problem. We do have other parts to our lives, you know?
  • On top of that, the writers handling of racism itself was a mess. Okay, it’s set in the south during a particularly volatile time, and not one person mentions lynching, despite that this is basically what Cyrus did? Well, fine, this doesn’t need to be a history lesson, and I think the writers could have dealt with thematic ideas of racism without it necessarily being super in-depth. But y’all, let me just let you in on something: Anti-racism work is not a Get Out of Jail Free card. Doing one awesome non-racist thing does not excuse the racist things you might do later in life. What Harold Todd did for those black men was wonderful. The way he talks to Cassie in the beginning of this episode is racist and sexist. Do you know how common of a racist trope it is to assume that all women of color, particularly black women, are too emotional for reason? So shut up, Harold. Shut up.
  • I will not forget that the writers gave the tragic backstory about the violent racism in the American south TO THE SOLE WHITE WOMAN IN THE EPISODE. Oh my god, WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING?
  • A racist ghost truck oh my god I actually predicted it in the cold open. Never have I been so horribly prepared for an episode in my whole life.
  • It’s just not scary! Upsetting at times, sure, but what is this? A monster truck rally?
  • I can’t do this. I can’t spend time writing about this! I could be doing literally anything else and it would probably be more rewarding. My god, y’all. You know, I was worried that the billion people who had told me that Supernatural was “problematic” had unfairly biased me so that I’d see things that maybe weren’t there, but IT’S IMPOSSIBLE NOT TO SEE WHAT A HUGE MESS THIS IS.
  • I’m gonna go fold laundry and feel a lot better about my life.

The video commission for “Route 666” can be downloaded right here.

Mark Links Stuff

You can now purchase a personalized Holiday Card from Mark for just $20!
– If you would like to support this website and keep Mark Does Stuff running, I’ve put up a detailed post explaining how you can!
– Please check out the All Mark Watches videos for past shows/season are now archived there!
– My Master Schedule is updated for the near and distant future for most projects, so please check it often. The schedule for Double Features is also updated through the end of the year!

About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
This entry was posted in Supernatural and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Mark Watches ‘Supernatural’: S01E13 – Route 666

  1. lorem ipsum says:

    This review is 100% accurate.

    IIRC, the episode has an interesting/good moment in which Sam & Dean are interviewing a couple of random members of the community about local race relations: a white dude and a black dude. Guess who does most/all of the talking, guess! And the black dude silently gives a sideways look to the white dude as if to say, “Your description of our community reeaaaaally does not match my experience, buddy.”

    Also, I thought it was interesting that the episode alludes to historical events like lynchings and church bombings and then places them into a context that implicitly compares lynchers and bombers with serial killers.

    But if Supernatural wanted to get full credit for that, they should not have done…. EVERYTHING ELSE.

    I’ve watched almost every episode of this show at least twice, so obviously I feel the show is generally worth it (for me), but I don’t in the least blame anyone who finds crap like Route 666 too crappy to deal with.

Comments are closed.