Mark Watches ‘Supernatural’: S06E06 – You Can’t Handle the Truth

In the sixth episode of the sixth season of Supernatural, no, I absolutely cannot. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Supernatural. 

Trigger Warning: For suicide and misogyny.


Things I Could Do Without

* I think this might be a personal issue rather than me claiming there’s something emblematic of a larger societal problem, but this episode’s treatment of suicide seems needlessly casual. It felt like a plot twist or a method to move the story along and nothing else. But I admit that I’m horribly biased here, and it also wasn’t to the point where I disliked the episode or felt distracted by it.

* The sort of casual and pervasive use of gendered slurs or shame of women is just… come on, Supernatural, you don’t need to call someone an “attention w***e” or have that whole bit about plastic surgery. Which, by the way, openly validated the whole idea that women’s bodies are for the consumption of men! It’s uncomfortable and it didn’t add to the story in any way at all.



* This one is harder to parse, so let me start off by saying that this thought is a work in progress. It is entirely possible that with upcoming episodes, it’s not going to matter, I’ll be proven wrong, and I’ll retract it. I love Sam Winchester a lot, and just thinking about him turns me into a puddle of feelings. I hope I’ve done a decent job of explaining why I tend to relate to him more, since I’m a son with daddy issues because I rebelled against my parents and left home/my family and I have been struggling to find my role in this world and LOOK I PROJECT MYSELF ONTO SAM WINCHESTER A LOT.

I have no problem admitting that Sam has messed up, and I don’t think “You Can’t Handle the Truth” is reluctant in portraying Sam’s actions this season as worthy of criticism. He put his brother in danger, he risked Ben and Lisa’s life, and there was a huge chance that Dean would have drank blood before Samuel could have given him the cure for vampirism. I have no issue with the show exploring this.

I suppose this is a worry I have for what will come next. There’s an aspect to this new development – that Sam is unable to feel much of anything since he came back from Hell – that is similar to Sam’s journey with the Azazel. That dynamic is that, once again, some other force has foisted some disastrous quality onto Sam, one that he had no choice in. This quality causes friction between Dean and Sam. Familiar ground!

What I’m hoping is that we don’t get one aspect of the old story: a severe lack of empathy or sympathy for Sam. It took Dean so long to understand that Sam didn’t choose the fucked up aspects of his life, and the end of this episode seems to hint that Dean, once again, thinks Sam is wholly to blame for what’s happening. I say “seems” because it’s entirely possible that I’m missing the rest of the story and that’s not what’s coming next. But I’m worried because Sam has already been this show’s punching bag before. (Which isn’t to say that Dean hasn’t played that role either, because HAHAHA EVERYTHING IS PAIN.) (Get it? Punching bag? I’m not sorry.) This show is rooted in Dean’s perspective, so I understand why the narrative is biased in his favor, but I just want to Sam to get a fair tale, too.


* Everyone arguing. I could use less of it because I’m selfish and I want Supernatural to turn into my own boring AU where everything is nice.


Things I Could Use More Of

* One thing that’s rewarding about Supernatural is that the show doesn’t string along the audience for so long that the mysteries become annoying or uninteresting. We’re only six episodes into this season, and I feel like “You Can’t Handle the Truth” provided us with a well-timed “answer” to the mythology arc. It’s enough to keep me intrigued without blowing all the tension. On top of that, this is one of those fantastic episodes that is a perfect combination of a monster-of-the-week and a serialized episode. The use of the god of truth as a catalyst to spill forth secrets is so incredible that it then hurts, because that’s what Supernatural does to me.

I am frustrated that it looks like Lisa has turned Dean away from her life, but it’s not like I’m all that surprised. But holy shit, Cindy Sampson gives us a FANTASTIC performance as Lisa here, and I appreciate that this episode was a vehicle for a number of incredible portrayals. The same goes for Jared and Jensen, who get some of the most emotionally-heavy scenes in the whole run of the show. LIKE OKAY, JENSEN’S SCENES WHERE DEAN FINALLY BELIEVES SAM and then DEAN FINDING OUT THAT SAM IS LYING and fuck this show. Fuck it.

* Honesty. Goddamn, I am so glad that Sam lying about himself was not dragged out beyond this point. It worked well in the previous five episodes, and it made this particular one all the more effective, but part of the allure of “You Can’t Handle the Truth” is that the show appears to promise answers, and then WE ACTUALLY GET THEM. I know that this show has routinely pulled the rug out from under me, but they didn’t in this case, and I felt like the writers respected their audience.

So I’m hoping that the next episode deals with all of this immediately? Because this is a HUGE DEAL. Also, how do the Alphas play into this? Is everything connected? Are they actually two separate arcs? When will I ever learn that this show isn’t okay?

The video for “You Can’t Handle the Truth” can be downloaded here for $0.99.

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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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