Supernatural: Sharp Teeth

"I'm gone for two weeks and you're like an episode of Teen Mom."

As supporting characters on Supernatural go, Garth is pretty much okay. I like him enough that I was hoping… that his adoption by a conclave of church-going non-violent werewolves would work out for him, but that never happens on Supernatural. Except this time, it sort of did. After the requisite death, suffering and mayhem, that is.

For me, the best part of the werewolf plot was the religious trappings: the silver bullet they wore around their necks like a crucifix, the home worship, the Ragnarok werewolf-supremacist cult. It was nice that Garth's new wife Bess, second generation werewolf, turned out to be exactly what she said she was. Although why anyone would marry someone whose favorite movie was Rocky III is beyond me.

So everything turned out sort of semi-okay for Garth, just with fangs every now and then. And things are sort of semi-okay between the Winchester brothers -- except Sam doesn't feel he can trust Dean any more. Dean, the big brother who raised him, who went to Hell to save his life, who has always put Sam first before himself. Okay. I assume Sam is still trusting Dean to have his back while they're hunting. Maybe it's because we're in the ninth season and the boys have fallen out so often, but I found their conversation at the end and its resolution somewhat unsatisfying.

Even worse, Dean still isn't smiling. Not that Kevin doesn't deserve a lengthy period of mourning and I get the state of funk over Sam choosing death, but Dean almost doesn't feel like "my" Dean. Maybe the Mark of Cain is making him gruffer and grimmer than usual. (Although he did let Garth hug him.)

And ... you'd think Sam would at least mention his former honey Madison, who died simply because she was a werewolf. Were these Wisconsin werewolves just better able to control themselves than the ones in San Francisco? Was it just because it was Garth sprouting fangs? Am I just hung up on the awesome Emmanuelle Vaugier? Okay, to be fair, the boys have indeed become more monster-tolerant in the past few after Amy and Benny, but it still bugged me.

Bits and pieces:

-- Dean has serious knife-throwing skills. Have we seen Dean throw a knife before? Dean got werewolf step-mom right through the heart, too.

-- Raw cow guts. It's what's for dinner.

-- Bess called Garth "Honey bunny". That always makes me think of Pulp Fiction.

-- Dean left Sam to clean up a huge mess. Here's a question I don't think I've ever asked. What do the Winchesters do with all the dead bodies?

-- Apparently, Ragnarok is often mentioned in Japanese role playing games. Live and learn.

-- This week: Grantsburg, Wisconsin. Sam was "Agent Perry".

Quotes:

Sam: "He's a skinny… Ichabod Crane-looking kind of guy."
That felt like a nice acknowledgement of Sleepy Hollow, a show that with very little adjustment could take place in the Supernaturalverse. Orlando Jones from Sleepy Hollow is a big Supernatural fan, too.

Dean: "Anything on Gadreel?"
Sam: "Actually, yeah. Turns out he, uh, he left some grace in me before he bolted."
Dean: "You know how wrong that sounds, right?"

Garth: "Everything's kosher."
Sam: "Right. Minus the part where your wife attacked me."
Garth: "Yeah, because you two came busting in here like a house on fire. Guns waving, the jawlines and the hair, it's very intimidating. What'd you expect?"
Guns waving, the jawlines and the hair. Best line in the episode.

Sam: "Truth be told, I'm more interested in murders and 'X-files'-y stuff."

Dean: "Don't you two have a chew toy or something to go play with?"

Sam: "This is the ground zero for their movement?"
Dean: "Freaking Wisconsin, man."

Not bad, but not great. Two out of four chew toys,

Billie

9 comments:

robinv123 said...



To be fair, Billie, Dean made a huge decision on Sam's behalf--to let him be possessed by Gadreel, an angel who was double-crossed by Metatron. It got Kevin killed. If the angel had been a truly good angel who had not been evilly used by Metatron, Sam might have been healed, as promised, and Dean's good intentions would have had a happy ending. But this is the Winchesters, and they always get screwed. Cas had a similar experience with Metatron; he trusted him and ended up losing his grace and being forced to live as a human for a while. Truth be told, Metatron is the real villain here. Maybe Gadreel would have even done the right thing had Metatron not intervened, but we will never know. Sam wants Dean to stop lying to him, even if it means he has to die. But Dean can't lose Sam, period, and will always choose the option that results in Sam's survival, even if it means allowing an angel, demon or fairy possession. Trust goes out the window for Dean when it comes to his little brother staying alive and that will never change. Sam has to understand that Dean's love for him transcends trust and rationality. If he can do something to ensure Sam's life, Dean will do it, and the end will forever justify the means. Sam must accept that. SAM might be ready to die, but Dean will never, ever accept the loss of his baby brother. Because from the moment John Winchester placed six-month-old Sam into four-year-old Dean's arms the night Mary burned on the ceiling, Dean was forever responsible for his brother's life. And that is a birth rite Dean Winchester will take to his grave! Love, Robin

Jess Lynde said...

I don't fault Sam for having some serious issues with Dean at the moment. I understand why Dean does what he does, but I also completely understand why Sam feels like things are broken between them. It's easy to view Dean always saving Sam's life at all costs as a noble, loving thing. But you can also view his latest efforts in a very selfish light.

Sam was ready to die. He was ready and willing to sacrifice himself for the greater good (permanently closing the gates of hell). Then when Dean derailed that plan (because he couldn't accept it), and Sam was still dying anyway, Sam made peace with letting go. He viewed it as his way of ensuring that no one else would die because of him, and that's what he wanted. It was his choice. But Dean completely elided Sam's agency --- again --- and decided that Sam had to live, not because it was the best or noble or right thing, but because that's what Dean needed.

Again, I get that "putting Sam first" and "protecting his baby brother" are Dean's primary motivating factors, and I understand why he does what he does. (I certainly teared up a good bit when Young Dean gave up that shot at a normal life to stay with his brother.) But I also understand why his methods have left Sam with serious trust issues at this point, which strikes me as completely reasonable reaction.

All of which is my way of saying that the final conversation worked for me. :) I think I would have been a bit ticked if Sam just said, "Okay. Let's just get back together like nothing's wrong." I'm good with the new, "Okay, we can work together, but we both have to acknowledge that things on the brother front are broken and we've got some trust to rebuild. Again."

Overall, I was glad that this episode left Garth with a somewhat happy resolution for the time being. Could it be that a Winchester associate makes it out the other side to tell the tale? Maybe? I've got some trust issues of my own on that score.

LaureMack said...

I sqarely fit on Team Sam on this one.
Poor Sam.
After realizing Lucifer's demons had been interjected into his whole life and compromised his choices, he now realizes his brother basically does the same thing over and over again. :(

Sarah-Jane Crawford said...

I'm squarely on team Dean here. I can't quite believe that Sam has decided to turn his back on the brother who has devoted his life to him, for the high crime Of doing everything in his power to save Sam's life. I think that it's rather churlish of Sam to not forgive Dean, considering the amount of times Sam has screwed up. I understand Sam's agency to die was taken away, but I've always felt this was akin to saving someone who wants to commit suicide - we usually are on the side of saving the person, not allowing them to die when an alternative is available. I hope this gets fixed soon.

Jess Lynde said...

I wouldn't say that Sam has turned his back on Dean. He's willing to hunt with him, and I did not get the impression in this episode that he wants Dean out of his life. He wants to move forward together.

BUT things can't be just as they were. Sam is merely asking Dean to understand how things look from his perspective. And to understand that this isn't something he can just brush away under the "that's what you do for family" umbrella. He has very good reasons to have trouble trusting that Dean won't lie to him or override his agency again. Whether Dean's reasons for lying were good or not, if you are the person getting lied to all the time, it's got to be very, very hard to keep putting your trust in the person that lies to you. And to forgive them.

(I'm sure I'm forgetting all kinds of cases where the shoe was on the other foot and Dean got over it just fine. After 9 years, with no re-watch, it is sometimes hard to keep the full arc of the series fresh in one's mind. I'm just basing my reaction to the current set of circumstances on recent events.)

LaureMack said...

Jess, That last bit you said about forgetting after nine seasons is so true, and probably why I'm always flipping from one side to other when new issues arise!

Billie Doux said...

I'm not saying that Sam doesn't have a good reason to feel the way he does. My sister was six years older and babysat me; I spent my childhood following her around. Even as adults, she tended to occasionally pull rank and tell me what to do. So I identify personally with Sam. But Dean did what he did because he loves his brother more than himself, and that just carries a lot of emotional weight for me.

Jess Lynde said...

That's where I come at it from a slightly different angle. I see the situation in the premiere from more of a "if you love someone, set them free" perspective. Sam had suffered mightily, and was tired, and was ready to go. And I think the more loving thing for Dean to do in that circumstance would have been to let his brother go to the rest he'd earned. Dean saved Sam for himself. Because Dean couldn't live without him. It was love of family, yes, but more of a selfish impulse than a selfless one. Unlike the time where he gave up his shot at happiness to be there for his brother. That to me, was a completely selfless act of love, and that one carried more emotional weight for me.

I like that they've given us another good "reasonably people can disagree" situation. :)

ChrisB said...

We've seen it so many times. The brothers fall out, come back together, fall out, come back, lather, rinse, repeat.

This time feels different to me and I can see both sides of the story. While I do think that Dean should have at least considered what Sam might want, I also believe that because of their history, he is entirely unable to. He is going to protect Sam and "save" him as long as he is able to.

I noticed Dean's gruffness in this episode as well. His attitude towards Garth new family was rude and dismissive. Frankly, after Benny, I think he needs to be a bit more open minded. I do think, however, that he is struggling under an intense emotional burden right now. Sam's comments didn't help. The look on Dean's face as Sam got into the car broke my heart.