In the eleventh episode of the seventh season ofÂ Supernatural, Sam decides to take a case while in mourning that gives him and Dean a glimpse at their past. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watchÂ Supernatural.
I think it would have been hard for any episode to follow “Death’s Door,” which is probably one of the most memorable (and integral) episodes of this show’s canon, but “Adventures in Babysitting” does a fine job examining the Winchesters’ grief and giving them a path to go forward. There’s a lot here, so let’s jump into it.
I do appreciate when the scripts of episodic television acknowledge what happened in previous episodes even if the show itself isn’t entirely serialized. Granted,Â Supernatural is pretty heavily serialized, and this season in particularly seems to rarely stray from the Leviathan plotline. That’s the case here as well, though in the opening moments, the show doesn’t ignore what a huge loss it was for Bobby to die. Weeks pass before either brother can do much of anything but mope, and when they do get some forward momentum, Dean latches on to the idea of getting revenge. What else does he have to cling to?
That’s an important set-up because it provides Dean with the basis for his interactions with Frank Devereaux. Consumed by grief, Dean surrounds himself with a sole purpose, and that leads him back to Frank, who he paid $15,000 to in order to determine what those numbers Bobby wrote meant. (THAT IS SO MUCH MONEY, OH MY GOD, WHERE DID THEY GET THAT.)Â There are a lot of great moments between these two characters, and I was surprised to see Frank again. It’s interesting to see a paranoid conspiracy theorist within this show’s mythology, particularly in the Leviathan arc, because HE’S TOTALLY NOT WRONG AT ALL. Hell, his paranoia is what enables him to finally crack the code of the numbers Bobby wrote. Er â€“ the number heÂ didn’t write, that is.
While there’s no progress on learning exactly what the Leviathans are building in Wisconsin, the most important aspect of the whole Dean/Frank plot comes not in anything supernatural. Like the last episode, it’s the real-life shit that hit me the hardest. Since this episode is awash in grief and sadness, I appreciated that it played such a huge part inÂ every plot. In Dean’s case, his interactions with Frank inspired Frank to be unbelievably honest about his own coping mechanism: denial. And what’s so crushing about this is that DEAN IS REALLY GOOD AT PRETENDING THAT EVERYTHING’S FINE. Nay, he isÂ very professional atÂ being professional. ARE YOU A WHOLE PERSON STILL, BECAUSE I’M NOT.
True story: Jensen Ackles doing that face thing at the end of the episode is the rudest thing he’s ever done to us. It’s so unfair.
While I think the main point of the Chambers’ story was to show us a family given a chance to stop hunting, I also couldn’t ignore how much this felt like aÂ Supernatural version ofÂ True Grit. SERIOUSLY, KRISSY IS TOTALLY MATTIE AND THAT WOULD MEAN DEAN IS THE OLD COWBOY. Oh, it’s too good, RUN WITH THIS, Y’ALL.
But my god, Krissy is SO WONDERFUL. She’s such a memorable character, one who went toe-to-toe with Dean Winchester AND TOTALLY WON. Which is the point, of course. Dean has to see how she interacts with the hunter world, and he has to have a moral crisis about whether or not she should continue doing this. She’s undeniably good, and I even think she used the fact that no one took her seriously to beÂ better than everyone around her. At the same time, though, the show does not hide the fact that she is fourteen years old. It’s spelled out as plain as can be, and that means it’s openly acknowledged. She’s young, and you can’t ignore that. You can’t ignore that as bad ass as it is for her to be able to pick a lock and kill a vetala, it’s also kind of messed up.
AND WHO KNOWS MESSED UP BETTER THAN SAM AND DEAN WINCHESTER. I honestly expected Sam and Krissy to spend most of the episode together, but I’m pleased that ultimately, it’sÂ Dean and Krissy who bond with one another and discuss the sort of life she’s becoming a part of. Dean often has a hard time expressing empathy, but raw from the death of Bobby, he’s surprisingly open here. He understands the horrific events that led Krissy to want to be a hunter. (Oh, he’s achingly familiar with revenge.) He understands the rush she feels. He understands her excitement. And even when she finally makes her first killÂ and saves her father and the Winchesters, he understands why she’d want to keep going. At the same time, he’s able to recognize that what’s left of this family finally has a choice, one that most hunters don’t. They have the option toÂ quit. While Dean is going to choose to remain a hunter, smiling through his pain and sadness, he urgers the Chambers to give it all up and leave the hunting world behind.
Of course, coming off of “Death’s Door,” this is particularly sad. What if they’d never had to get into a life of hunting? Could Dean or Sam have found happiness? Actually, I’m sureÂ something would have followed them around and ruined their life because let’s be real: these two never get happy moments.
I definitely think this episode benefits from placement, since it makes us reflect on what’s happened recently. Krissy Chambers probably won’t ever come back on the show, but what a treat, y’all. A teenage girl who can verbally kick Dean’s ass. SO WONDERFUL.
The video for “Adventures in Babysitting” can be downloaded here for $0.99.
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