by Billie Doux
Oh, my. I loved this episode. Not so much for the episode itself (even though it was good), but for all the great stuff they just introduced.
Like a "home" for the Winchesters, finally. And what a home it is, with a research library, nonfunctioning switchboard, scimitars, club chairs and piped in music. Dean was enjoying the water pressure in the shower and the cold beer (and I assume, a comfortable place to sleep -- will we get to see the bedrooms?) but it was obvious that the Men of Letters bunker and all of its contents were meant for Sam. Dean may never be a Man of Letters, but Sam already is.
I looked up Lebanon, Kansas and discovered something cool: it's considered to be the center point of the contiguous United States. Isn't that wonderful? Talk about centrally located. The perfect home base for the constantly traveling Winchesters.
And an evil society of Nazi necromancers? Way cooler than Leviathans. I also liked Aaron Bass, the sole descendant of the monster-hunting rabbis of the Judah Initiative, and his oddly endearing and extremely large golem. (Wouldn't it be like having your very own Terminator?) Reanimating the dead fits well into the Supernaturalverse, too. Hey, Dean and Sam have returned from the dead a time or two, and practically every character we've loved is gone. Too bad it doesn't work if the body's been cremated (yes, I'm thinking about Bobby) although maybe that's a good thing, since at least they can kill the members of the Thule Society. Eckhart may be ashes now, but they kept showing close-ups of his ring so we'll know when the next Thule (or Tool) shows up.
I liked that a lot of this episode took place in a library, too, so I will not bitch about library things that they got wrong, or complain that Rabbi Bass was stealing special collections materials. :) At least Sam knew what a Library of Congress call number was. And hey, typical Winchester division of labor: Sam goes to the library and does research while Dean goes to a bar and interviews pretty girls. Although it was out of character for Dean to freak out when a guy came on to him. I can't quite believe that Dean has never been hit on by a man before.
As Sam said, they needed a break. Maybe they finally just got one. At least the actors just did. Standing set!
Bits and pieces:
-- Aaron Bass may have literally smoked his golem owner's manual, but he was cool about his bequest. He may not have wanted it, but he took the responsibility seriously. Although it was a good thing his grandfather didn't die while Aaron was in high school.
-- Rabbi Bass, Aaron's grandfather who went up in a puff of Nazi smoke, was played by Hal Linden, star of the 1970s series Barney Miller.
-- The exotic key in the box reminded me of the one in Grimm. And Doctor Who did a hilarious episode called "Let's Kill Hitler".
-- The golem was taller than Sam! Nobody is taller than Sam!
-- This week: Vitsyebsk, Belarus in 1944; Lebanon, Kansas; and Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. (I've lived in Pennsylvania and have been in Wilkes-Barre; it's pronounced "Wilkes-Barry". Dean was special agent... was it Bollen?
-- So seriously, what is that building above the bunker? It looked fascinating.
-- Dean got tossed across a parking lot by the golem and didn't break a single bone?
Sam: "I still can't figure out how we have water. Or electricity."
Dean: "Yeah, well, I'm putting that under the 'ain't broke' column."
Is it mystical electricity, perhaps? Does the bunker have wi-fi?
Dean: "I don't think that they knew some big secrets that we don't know."
Sam: "Dean, they were a *secret* society."
Dean: "Which means that they made crap up, and wore fezzes and sashes and swung around scimitars they probably didn't even sharp... it's very sharp."
And fezzes are cool.
Library clerk: "Eight minutes before all materials must be returned to the main desk."
Rabbi Bass (in Yiddish) "I hope they pay you good to keep that bug up your ass."
Sam: "So that's a golem?"
Aaron: "Yes. Shaped from clay and brought to life by rabbis to protect the Jewish people in times of, I don't know, general crappiness."
Bad Guy: "Long live the Thule." (dies)
Dean: "Or not."
Sam: "So, Thule Society of necromancers aside, what's our contingency plan?"
Dean: "You mean, how do we 'oh no Mister Bill' over there?"
I loved that Dean called the golem 'Oh no Mister Bill'.
Dean: "One badass Hummel figurine."
Sam: "That we have no idea how to put back in the box."
And it actually came in a box.
Dean: "So now we know. Paper beats golem, fire beats undead Nazi zombie freaks."
Very cool. Maybe not a four star episode, but the introduction of so much cool stuff in the middle of season eight? Awesome.