Supernatural: ...And Then There Were None

Rufus: "If anything crawls out of anybody, somebody step on it."

Just a bit heavier than the last episode, huh?

Six hunters and a monster that can possess any of them without warning, trapped in a deserted building. What's not to love? With the monster worm completely invisible and no giveaways that someone was possessed, it was like the characters themselves were expressing their own genuine rage with each other: Sam killing Samuel for betraying Dean, Bobby killing Rufus because Rufus wouldn't forgive him for what happened in Omaha.

Did they have to kill Rufus, though? I liked Rufus. I liked him a lot. I liked the backstory on him and Bobby, too, although just hearing them talk about it early in the episode signaled loud and clear that this was Rufus' swan song. The Johnny Walker Blue Label was a nice touch, since that was our introduction to Rufus in the first place. Why did they bury Rufus instead of burning his body to ash, though? Was it because of Rufus' religious beliefs?

I love Mitch Pileggi. X-Files, Stargate Atlantis, he's a science fiction icon. But I never liked what they did with the resurrected Samuel Campbell and just felt relieved that he was finally dead. (And I mean really dead; he was shot, cranial-sawed, and electrocuted.) Samuel Campbell could have been real family to the boys, because he was. But as it turned out, he wasn't. Bobby and Rufus are family. Were family. Samuel never was.

(Third cousin Gwen Campbell, we hardly knew ye. It's a shame, because I would have enjoyed learning more about her. Plus, see above re: possible real family.)

Horrible death, demons ruling the earth, blah blah blah, the Khan worm's threats didn't mean a lot because, even though we got a masterful performance by Jim Beaver when Bobby was possessed, and even though this episode was basically about hunters never making it to enjoy their golden years, it's what the boys have always faced: horror, loss, misery, early death. I'd be surprised if the series doesn't end with Dean and Sam dying finally, at last. Hopefully together, and in their right minds, and maybe with a heaven they can occasionally share instead of experiencing separately. And hopefully there won't be a heavenly war going on then, either.

And boy, did I digress. Or maybe I didn't. That's what this episode was about, wasn't it? The terrible life and early death of the hunter? At least Bobby survived the episode. I think that at this point, if Bobby or Castiel died, the fans would revolt. I know I would. And I have to say, too, that I am loving that Dean and Sam have regained their early closeness. It's like the way they were pre-demon-blood addiction. I also really liked Dean's pre-emptive, pre-death blanket forgiveness speech. He has a point.

Bits and pieces:

— The title of the episode is also the title of a famous Agatha Christie novel. It made me think that one of the deaths wasn't really a death. But no.

— The "Mother of All" is calling herself Eve. So now we have an Adam, an Eve, and a Lilith in the story. How does Eve mother these things? The first thing she wanted to do with poor Rick the religious trucker was have sex with him. But then she bit his ear, and there was a worm. I'm confused.

— The moment I saw the ear monster, I thought about Star Trek 2: The Wrath of Khan. And that's what Dean started calling it. Very Whedonesque of him to do that.

— I particularly loved the visuals of five hunters pulling guns on each other, and the scene where the four of them all put their fingers in their ears. I looked for the screenshot of that last and didn't find it. If you see it, could you post a link? (Wow, ask and ye shall receive! See below. Thank you so much, Michal Dvorak.)


— Now that Samuel is gone, Sam may never know what happened to him this past year. Fine with me. Probably good for Sam, considering what happened in Rhode Island. But I doubt they'll completely drop such a rich plot thread.

— Many euphemisms for brain. Grapefruit, melon and walnut. Did I miss one?

— What a euphonious name: the Starlight Cannery. Great decor, too; early cheap lunchroom. ("I love to polka.")

— Bobby was Agent Willis in a suit and tie. He's been "agent Willis" before.

— What exactly happened in Omaha? I bet we'll never know. But as Dean said, does it matter?

— Hiatus time again. The next episode airs April 15. I don't usually mention previews, but I loved this one. It was all sound effects. And I think it was for multiple episodes.

Quotes:

Dean: "Looks to me like it's a Sherman march monster mash."

Rufus: "Come on, that's not rocket surgery."
Was that a cross between rocket science and brain surgery?

Bobby: "So you're Samuel."
Samuel: "You must be the guy pretending to be their father."
Bobby: "Somebody oughta."

Bobby: "So we're talking about, like, a monster that gets in you?"
Dean: "It's like a Khan worm on steroids."

(Rufus sticks his finger in Dean's ear)
Dean: "Hey, why don't you buy me a drink first?"
Rufus: "Second date. Oh, yeah. We're goo positive."

Rufus: "You got a cranial saw in the car?"
Bobby: "Of course."
And it was a tattered, battered cranial saw with frayed wires. Just loved it.

Rufus: "This can't be the afterlife, because the three of you are here."

Dean: "Hey there, you little herpe."
Sam: 'Why do you keep talking about herpes?"
Dean: "What? I don't. Shut up."
Why does Dean talk about herpes? It was Sam who had to do a commercial about them.

Not perfect, and certainly not as moving as the last time we lost multiple continuing characters, but definitely a strong episode. Three out of four tattered cranial saws,

Billie
---
Billie Doux loves good television and spends way too much time writing about it.

19 comments:

pucklady said...

Rufus was Jewish. That's why they kept showing the headstone with the Star of David.

Billie Doux said...

Thanks, Pucklady. I guess I needed to get hit over the head with it because it didn't seem that obvious to me.

Anonymous said...

After last week's fantastic episode, this one fell a little off to me.

To begin with, the moment Rufus' face appeared in the "previously on", I *knew* he was going to die. Don't ask me how, I don't know myself. I thought him dying under Bobby's hands was a bit cruel (worm and all).

But what really didn't work for me was that I think that even if Rufus deserved a more dignified death, so did Samuel and Gwen. Yeah, I didn't like what they did with Samuel this season, but both characters deserved a lot more. And so did Mitch Pileggi. This was a waste of all they had been building, even if I didn't like it. BAM!. Both dead. Goodbye.

And finally, I thought that for a group of six hunters (or let's say five once it was clear what was happening), they looked like a bunch of newbies, they practically gave the worm a blank check to do whatever he (it?) pleased. It looked like lazy writing to me to end up with the desired result.

Despite all of that, I'm more inclined to give it 3 start than 2, so I must have liked something else. But if we have to suffer through the hiatus now, I feel that last week's episode would have been SO much better to remember during the wait.

PS.- I missed Chekov too.

Anonymous said...

fell -> felt

Someday I'll learn English, dammit.

Mark Greig said...

Dammit, now I’ll never get to see a Bobby/Rufus spin-off.

zob said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Felipe said...

Not a great episode but pretty good none the less. Rufus was a great character, sad to see him go. I don't feel like Samuel is actually dead, I mean they didn't even bury him or show what they did with the body. I have a feeling he'll be back.

Jess Lynde said...

Well, damn. I just lost my comments. Grrr. I guess Blogger doesn't want to hear anything negative about this episode. Bugger.

I'm surprised to see positive reactions to this episode. It made me actively angry. Not only did they kill off three recurring characters (two of them major, and one they never bothered to explore the potential of), but Dean got awfully preachy and self-righteous at the end, and it really ticked me off.

As Anon @ 12:38 noted, Gwen, Samuel, and Rufus deserved better. I especially think Samuel deserved better. That character had so much potential. He may have made the wrong call in screwing over the boys, but his primary motivation was love for his daughter. Family. Sure, I doubt she would have wanted him to trade her sons' lives for hers, but I totally get why he made that choice, and think the possibility of uneasy alliance, if not forgiveness, was possible. (See Rufus and Bobby.) It was something they could have gotten a lot of story mileage out of. And I think Dean was a real SOB to give Bobby blanket forgiveness for whatever went down between him and Rufus, when he couldn't even attempt to forgive or understand his grandfather's position. (A grandfather, by the way, who had just spent a disturbing year with Robo-Sam and who barely knew Dean --- is it any wonder he'd be willing to screw them over for the daughter he knew and loved?)

Sigh. Ultimately, I doubt Dean would have come around (and maybe that's completely justified), but I wish they had given it a lot more exploration before going for the cheap Shocker death. I hate to lose Mitch Pileggi. And Steven Williams. (Man. Skinner and Mr. X in one fell swoop!)

For me, not a good way to end this run of episodes.

Anonymous said...

I felt meh about this episode. I was upset about the short shrift they gave Gwen and Samuel--relatives of Dean and Sam-- especially since Gwen never did anything wrong. I loved Rufus, and making him one of my people tickled me, it really did. I cried over Bobby's Johnny Blue tribute to him. I also wondered if Dean's promise to forgive included his grandfather or not. Samuel wanted Mary brought back; surely Dean recalls how badly he wanted to do the same for Sam!

Sure, this ep had some funny and sad moments, but the worm seemed derivative and Mother of All not much compared with the apocalypse. I do love the idea of Rufus and Bobby on the road together!

J said...

I was never a fan of X-Files, but this episode reminded me one creepy X-Files episode I'm afraid will stick with me until the day I die. The worm. I remember one X-Files ep where there were some kind of worms in people's necks. OK, this Khan worm came out of ears, but still. Gross. I really really really don't like when they mess with parasites.

And possessed Bobby was creepy. The way he moved his head, the way he talked. Like he WAS the worm. Very creepy.

Usually Supernatural doesn't freak me out. I don't even flinch, the last time it was bit scary was season one Provenance. But this week's episode was just nasty.

I still liked it. I can't help it. There's nothing that would make me not like Supernatural. There's always something that saves the day. So, it was gross and we lost some people, but it's still Supernatural, the best show in the world.

Anonymous said...

agreed with whoever said its lazy to put six of the best hunters around in one building and not one thinking about taping their ears...until the last minute of course. I did like it because it reminded me so much to the eternally awesome The Thing. Surprised they didnt reference it

Nitewoman said...

Just knew this would be an angst episode. Loved it though. Loved seeing Bobby and Rufus in suits. (Bobby is very spiffy in a suit! Is this the first time we’ve seen him in one? Don’st recall any other time. Loved the look and first words Dean said to Gramps “Welcome to next time”. Think it was a good idea Sam shot Samuel than Dean. BUT don’t see the point in killing Gwen and Samuel at this time. Samuel had important info he never shared and what was the point of bringing him back period? This story wasn’t finished. Sorry Gwen got caught in the middle. Another female bits the dust! And Rufus, don’t even get me started on him. Don’t see why he had to die either. Loved him from the start and Bobby and Rufus were funny and great together. Reminded me of grumpy old men Bobby and Dean, Bobby and Rufus were the same and that was funny. RIP Rufus I will truly miss you. BAD MOVE WRITERS another great opportunity missed (again). Was ROFLMAO in the scene of everyone checking to see if yuck worm was in their ears, hilarious. Regarding The Mother of All Monsters or as we know her as Eve, he character is a great idea and can certainly be “A Big Bad”, not crazy with the casting. IMHO she would have been much better as someone like “Mother Nature” only not as pleasing to look at but a more mature woman.
Jim Beaver was awesome. His performance as possessed Jim was terrific. Like the boys he hit it out of the park!
Alice I so agree with “a sexy moment” Dean and Sam kicking in the door together. What a wonderful way to show the boys are back on the same page without stating it. So much more effective.
Side note: the graveyard scene was wonderful but seeing the rain and knowing how cold it was from their breaths showing just how cold it was and knowing at that time Jim and Jensen were sicker than a dog at the time. Such trouper our guys are, I appreciate their sacrifices!
Here’s to “Hunting thinks, saving people, the family business”. I love the fact for most of us someone just has to say “Kahn” in reference to that creepy crawly thing coming out of the ear for us to remember and make the connection. I concur “Ugly Bug – icky!

You said:
I'd be surprised if the series doesn't end with Dean and Sam dying finally, at last. Hopefully together, and in their right minds, and maybe with a heaven they can

I don’t totally disagree with your conclusion – BUT MHO I hate it when a show ends with my favorite characters dying (sam in books I read). For me it’s too final, there’s no imagination for what the characters are doing after the series ends and makes viewing or rereading the series or book hard to continue watching when I know they are dead, just doesn’t work for me, but then that’s me. I can live with Sam dieing or sacrificing himself for the greater good but Dean still carrying on the family business (hopefully with his son Ben.) Again MHO.
Boo to hellatus again, but can’t wait for “Frontierland Episode.

Henrik Bennetter said...

Anonymous: I too thought immediately about The Thing, but also that golden little movie The Hidden! Surprised they didn't reference that one either! All kinds of awesome!

Harry Earle said...

I'm surprised there wasn't more disappointment about Samuel's death - for me it was fairly significant that the writers decided to bring him back from the dead and so to just kill him off along with Gwen suggests that they:
Had no plan for the characters or
Realised the fans weren't invested in the characters or
Couldn't think of anything sufficiently interesting to do with them plotwise. But really, what was the point of Gwen, writers? You already gave us one cannon fodder cousin!

Anonymous said...

Just want to say that I agree with Nitewoman on the whole killing off of main characters in the end deal. When Xena ended, I was completely done with the show. I had no interest in watching the repeats because the ending was so final. I know it shows artistic integrity to kill off main characters who live by the sword, but I think it's a bad way for the writers to go financially speaking. Just take a look at the shows that have long after-lives in syndication. S.L.

Anonymous said...

It was tense, dark and a bit sad. A hunter´s life really sucks! Either you die young or your loved ones do.

Patryk said...

"And then there were three" more like. Unless you count that Sam, Dean and Bobbyy are already dead. Since they are, Sam for almost 4 seasons now. Dean 3 seasons and Bobby almost a season.

ChrisB said...

What a way to clear out a call sheet! Gwen was the sacrifice to kick off the story. They needed someone in whom we were not emotionally invested, so she goes.

Samuel? What he did was unforgivable, but I still think there was a lot of story to tell there. I was interested that Sam was the one who killed him, and not Dean. I actually thought Sam might try to get some answers from him. However, I think we should all keep in mind Billie's Rule #10.

I was very sorry to see the end of Rufus. I liked him from the beginning and I think he added a lot to the show. Not to mention that he and Bobby were a wonderful counterbalance to our boys. I thought the tribute at the end was lovely.

Dean's speech at the end seemed a bit out of character to me. I wonder if he really meant it or if he were just trying to make Bobby feel better.

Meesh said...

This episode was okay. I didn't love it and I didn't hate it. I'd probably give it 3 out of 4 herpe worms.

I didn't care that they killed Gwen. I didn't find her arc so far or lack thereof interesting in the least.

I was happy to see Samuel go (and I do love Mitch) but never felt his story was worth anything either. I never bought the I'm going to bring my daughter back now that I'm resurrected. From all the flashbacks/time travel I just never believed in thte strength of their relationship for me to believe he would pick her over his grandchildren. It just seemed weak.

It was a huge bummer to see Rufus get ganked. I loved seeing him and Bobby all 'spiffed' out as Nitewoman mentioned. Yes, I think it was the first time we saw either of them in suits and Bobby without a hat. I also loved how they all just made themselves at home in the police station. They get away with so much.

I wondered if Starlight Cannery was a play on Starkist Tuna?

Many complained about the lazy writing to kill off 3 recurring characters but I somehow rationalized it as it being a brand new monster that no one had a clue how to deal with or trap without hurting the host too badly. So, it was okay in my book. I just hope they name it and write out a description in their diary for any future hunters that my need it.