In the fourteenth episode of the sixth season of Supernatural, haunted kidneys. Goddamn. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Supernatural.
Trigger Warning: For body horror and some uncanny valley shit that is not okay, as well as misogyny/fridging.
WELL, THAT HAPPENED.
YEAH, NO THANK YOU. I’LL PASS.
I will admit to y’all that I found the main plot of this story to be… well, kind of boring. With few exceptions, this episode follows the vengeful spirit trope to a T, so much so that I was able to guess Rose Brown’s motive by the time we got to the second murder. This show so often takes horror tropes and twists them, playing off of our expectations, that it’s strange when it’s played so straight. There is a hell of a twist after Sam burns Rose’s bones and she still manages to kill Johnny. WITH HIS OWN REAL DOLL. Which, by the way, this show just casually revealed that Johnny’s got some Lars and the Real Girl shit going on here. what the fuck.
But then part of me thinks that this was the whole point of this episode. At the end of “Mannequin 3,” the Winchesters consider how badly they “solved” this specific case and how absurd their lives have become in the last six years or so. So in that sense, I think this episode had to feel like something that belonged back in the first or second season. It needed to be simpler than what they’ve been dealing with lately so that it would cause them to reflect on their lives. Of course, that means that Isabel was fridged for the boys’ development, so that is kind of shitty. I also think there’s a glaring mistake in the episode: Rose never goes after the fourth man who was behind the prank that killed her. There was another dude in that room, the older guy! How come Rose never tries to kill him? She does such a good job of killing everyone else, but not that guy? I’m confused???
The cruel, tragic end here is shocking, but it’s not… affecting? Meaningful? It happens, and it’s for the furthering of the Winchester angst and nothing else. I just cannot think of how to analyze something that’s so straightforward. Honestly, if it weren’t for haunted kidney, that whole Christine-esque sequence with the Impala, and the RealDoll segment, this plot would have been completely forgettable.
What does make this episode so compelling is the brilliant choice to have Dean mirror Sam’s journey from “Unforgiven.” Goddamn, y’all, just like that episode, the writers do not give Dean an easy journey, and they do not give him a joyful sense of closure either. I like this because while what Dean’s done is nowhere near as bad as what Sam did, it gives us a balance to the overarching narrative. Both of these men are forced to deal with the repercussions of their actions in the year after Sam went to Hell.
AND IT’S NOT PRETTY AT ALL.
I, like Dean, fell completely and totally for Ben’s trick, and I was so worried that some horrible thing had followed Lisa to their home. (I should point out that in the video for this episode, I proudly stated that Ben clearly thought Dean didn’t like him because that was the only way he could interpret Dean’s behavior, since Ben didn’t know about the whole hunter thing. Mark, lord, that is so wrong. YOU ARE WRONG.) It’s no secret that I really like both Lisa and Ben, and I was worried that we’d have no reason to ever see them again. (HAHAHA OH GOD, I WASN’T READY.)
So when Dean shows up and discovers that Ben’s idea of a disaster is Lisa’s third date with someone, I figured that this would be relentlessly uncomfortable, and that still didn’t help me prepare for the onslaught of awkwardness. I think that this episode establishes quite clearly that Lisa and Ben are not dragging Dean along; it’s the reverse. If anyone is causing hurt, it’s him. Initially, this centers on Lisa, who has to remind Dean that every time she gets closer and closer to getting over him, he pops back in her life. Now, obviously, all these people love and care for each other a great deal, so that’s not the issue here. Lisa would have Dean in her life permanently if she could, but it’s Dean who doesn’t let her. I mean, what is she supposed to do? Just wait around for whatever random moment Dean might feel safe? Keep her life on hold until then? I’m willing to bet that when she told Dean to try to stay in her life, she expected that he’d do that way more often than he did.
But it’s Ben who is the most torn up about this, and I’m thankful that the writers consider his viewpoint in this. Imagine if you were Ben, and you spent all that time bonding with a father figure. Well, even that is probably selling Ben’s affections short. He considers Dean his father, and that means, in a tragic twist of irony, that Dean has been unable to escape the same problem his own father had with him: choosing hunting over him. That’s not to suggest that Dean would rather hunt than be with Ben, but that’s how it appears to Ben. What else is Ben supposed to think? Dean simply isn’t there for him anymore.
Between Cas scolding Dean about Sam’s soul and Ben’s absolutely brutal line about family here, Dean’s got a lot of shit being directed towards him, LORD. So I’m guessing that this episode is probably going to be the last appearances of these two, since they’ve both rejected him from their lives. Pity! I adore the Braedens, but I don’t see how they could ever be a part of this again.
The video for “Mannequin 3: The Reckoning” can be downloaded here for $0.99.
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