Mark Watches ‘Supernatural’: S06E18 – Frontierland

In the eighteenth episode of the sixth season of Supernatural, cosplaying and roleplaying Dean Winchester. THAT IS ALL THAT MATTERS. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Supernatural. 

Trigger Warning: For mention of sexual assault.

This is my headcanon, and I shall cling to it now and forever.

Goddamn, “Frontierland” was so great. It’s funny when it needs to be (aside from making the only woman in the entire episode a joke that insults both people with STDs and sex workers GOOD JOB WRITERS) and it’s an INCREDIBLE examination of how a person’s perception of the past can be completely divorced from reality.

And cosplaying Dean Winchester. Christ, I’m never going to get over this.

Now that the entire plot with Sam’s soul and the Cooper family is completed, it’s allowed the writers to hone in on the big confrontation between the Mother of All and give us more advancement on the story of the war in Heaven, and this episode gives us a bit of both plots. And I was genuinely surprised that we got any scenes with Castiel after he sent the Winchesters back in time! So let’s talk about Cas.

Castiel Did A *Thing*

What that thing is – whatever Raphael used to convince Rachel to change loyalties – must be something completely awful. I noticed that Castiel never denied that he’d done whatever it was that Rachel ambiguously accused him of; instead, he insists that he had no choice. Look, I feel worried about this because Cas had initially said that Rachel was quite dedicated to him, and we absolutely saw that in the beginning of this episode. She was furious with the Winchesters’ treatment of Castiel, so much so that Cas himself had to show up to get her to stop berating them.

So what the hell happened? What possible weapon was he using to stop Raphael? Was it not a weapon but a technique? Was she referring to him goading on Balthazar to save the Titanic so that they could use human souls? Why is this show teasing me so much?

Visiting the Past

It’s a little strange that time travel is the most integral component of Dean’s plan in “Frontierland,” and yet no one acknowledges the fact that Balthazar just gave them all a perfect reason not to time travel. Regardless, I love how much the writers play up the goofiness of this entire premise. Of course Dean is obsessed with westerns, and of course he would eat up the opportunity to be an actual cowboy. What’s so fantastic about this journey is that Dean has to continually accept that his perception of the Wild West from Hollywood films has not all that much to do with actual reality. But it’s not just that his vision of the cowboy lifestyle is historically inaccurate; the writers cleverly give Sam a story that directly parallels Dean’s. Sam sets out to find Samuel Colt in order to get the phoenix ashes, and he discovers that his own hero is… well, not what he seems either.

This episode examines adoration, since Dean and Sam both adored the things they came into contact with. I wouldn’t say that the events in “Frontierland” forced them to dislike anything, though. It’s clear by the end of this episode that Dean’s fascination with the Wild West is still firmly cemented in his heart, and Sam’s talk with Samuel Colt inspired the man to at least temporarily give up his retirement. At least in the case of Sam, though, he’s got to accept that his view of his hero is flawed. How much of Colt’s journal was a lie, then? How long had he kept up a fiction in that thing? For Dean, he’s constantly shown to have a flawed view of the west. His outfit is too clean and it’s full of inconsistencies, both of which cause others to give him a whole lot of negative attention. Hell, within just a few minutes of arriving in Sunrise, Wyoming, Dean is confronted with the filthy, brutal nature of life at that time. I wouldn’t say that “Frontierland” is a wholly accurate depiction of life then, either. I’ve been to Wyoming (only once, I admit), and I’m fairly certain it doesn’t look like this town. Regardless, I was endlessly entertained by the idea that Dean’s attempts to infiltrate this world and assimilate into it were constantly thwarted.

I don’t know that I feel all that great about Elias and his fate, though. If we believe what he tells Dean, he and his wife were living just fine until the deputy tried to sexually assault Elias’s wife. Elias had every reason to avenge his wife’s death, and there seemed to be no discussion of how messed up it was that Elias was killed. The guy didn’t do anything wrong! I suppose if the judge and the sheriff had no clue that the deputy had lied, then maybe there was some justification here, but even then, that’s pretty shaky ground to start on. Elias dies in this episode because Dean and Sam need his dead body. Er – rather, they need his ashes. Sam doesn’t even try to contest the need to kill Elias; it’s just not acknowledged at all.

I did think it was surprising to have Dean and Sam fail to get the phoenix ashes at the last minute. But I think I was less interested in how this was all resolved and way more into watching Dean act like a fool for forty minutes. It’s a beautiful, beautiful thing. Soon, Dean’s gonna need to go to western cons to do some more roleplaying. Look, it’s all right there on the screen! This is barely a headcanon!

The video for “Frontierland” can be downloaded here for $0.99.

Mark Links Stuff

Mark Does Stuff is now on Facebook! Feel free to Like the page, which I’m running myself, for updates and SILLINESS.
– My older sister needs help with her transition, so I’ve agreed to read all of Fifty Shades of Grey on YouTube if we can help her reach her goal!
– 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. My next three Double Features are now in the schedule! I will be watching In the Flesh, The Sarah Connor Chronicles (complete with Terminator liveblogs!), and then Leverage. Commission away!
– I will be at quite a few conventions and will be hosting events throughout 2014, so check my Tour Dates / Appearances page often to see if I’m coming to your city! I have events in Reno in the next month, and more will be added soon!

About Mark Oshiro

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