In the sixth episode of the third season of Supernatural, Dean and Sam track a group of mysterious drownings on land and come across their current least favorite person, who is MY favorite person because SHE’S AMAZING. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Supernatural.
So, this is a neat episode! I think the pacing is odd, the plot wanders for a bit, but I really love the characters so much that I’m willing to excuse some of the more egregiously off moments than not. No surprise: I adore Bela as a character, and I love how she acts as a foil to the Winchesters. But it’s more than that; I tend to love morally ambiguous women like Bela here, and this episode BRILLIANTLY hints at her past in a way that might inform why she’s so cutthroat and brutal. But even if it doesn’t? I don’t need that explanation. She’s fascinating enough as it is.
Anyway, the actual mystery here wasn’t that interesting until it affected Bela and we learned why the ghost is randomly targeting people for drowning. Even then… I don’t get the drowning part. He was hanged for treason? So… was the water just because… he was a sailor? That wasn’t exactly clear to me, and it’s one of the reasons this wasn’t as good of an episode as those before it this season. It’s a bunch of neat ideas thrown together but without much to hold it all together.
However, SAM AND DEAN. ARGUING. It needed to happen, but oh my god it’s so uncomfortable. And really, it wasn’t lost on me that Dean was furious with Sam for doing something he would probably have done himself. And isn’t that a big part of what we saw last season? Dean was willing to do anything to save his brother, and now that the dynamic is reversed, Dean can’t bear to see Sam put himself at risk for him. Granted, Sam is… very enthusiastic about his desire to save Dean. Which is a nice way of saying that he is SCARILY DETERMINED. I mean, the guy murdered the Crossroads Demon just because.
I admit that it’s jarring to watch this show go from that conversation – which is MANPAIN FOREVER – to the sillier moments once Bela arrives. And I’m glad she’s here! I don’t think this episode would have worked without her, but this cycles through humor and seriousness in a way that just feels… weird. I don’t know any other way to describe it! It works sometimes, and it doesn’t work others. Even then, it was extremely fun to watch Bela set up an obvious scam involving Dean and Sam. Seriously, did they honestly think she was going to let Dean have the Hand of Glory? Didn’t she just demonstrate that her own desire for money outweighed the moral implications of her actions? So I expected her to cross Dean and take the Hand of Glory. Regardless, y’all, it was SO MUCH FUN to watch Dean and Bela work together, and now I want a buddy heist show starring these two where Dean bumbles his way through Bela’s increasingly complex thefts and there’s lots of sexual tension and Bela is in my life all the time. THIS IS AN EXCELLENT PLAN, YES? YES. (On a less positive note, I found all of the scenes with Ms. Case funny at the time, but not that funny once I realized I basically watched someone get groped against their consent for 15 minutes. That was… uncomfortable, to say the least.)
So, while this all was fairly amusing, it wasn’t until Bela saw the Ghost Ship Thing herself (right when the Winchesters deduced that all the victims caused the death of a family member) that I felt like “Red Sky at Morning” found the narrative that truly mattered. Here was the story I cared about! Because WHAT THE FUCK. Who did Bela kill? Why does she insist that they won’t understand why? Whatever, give me Bela’s backstory as soon as possible. God, even the summoning at the end of the episode is made a thousand times more thrilling because of the emotional context of it all. I DIDN’T EXPECT THEM TO SUMMON THE ACTUAL CAPTAIN WHO KILLED HIS BROTHER. Holy shit, what a great plan. It was about giving that spirit closure, you know?
So how will Bela’s relationship with the Winchesters change after this? I’ve been wrong about this before, but I really think she’ll show up again. They saved her life, and she’s gracious about it in her own way. Which means she pays them. BLESS. But y’all, THIS IS SO INTRIGUING. I WANT TO KNOW MORE.
Of course, since this is Supernatural, we aren’t allowed to feel good things for very long. So that means the end of the episode has to drive yet another dagger through our heart. Oh my god, I had already mentally prepared this entire thing about how mature it was of Dean to apologize to Sam, to try and understand what his brother was doing, and then Sam immediately rejects it all. And for a good reason, too: he wants Dean to start caring about his own life for a change. Oh, god, they made it worse. SO MUCH WORSE. My heart hurts too much for this.
The video for “Red Sky at Morning” can be downloaded here for $0.99.
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