Supernatural: The Heroes' Journey

"Yeah. Normal."

I can honestly say that in fifteen seasons, I've never seen a Supernatural episode like this one.

Even the beginning was different. A cage fight between a wraith and werewolf, set to Claire de Lune? I'm not quite sure what that had to do with the "we're normal now" theme of the episode, but it wasn't the typical "innocent people experience a horrible death" teaser we usually get.

Honestly, while it was clever and funny, "The Heroes' Journey" might have been a bit too meta for me. Sam got a cold (the way he writhed on the floor from Bess' cayenne pepper cure had me in stitches). Dean's constant and unrealistic piggy-like eating behavior resulted in cavities and lactose-intolerant chunk-blowing. Charlie's magic credit card was declined. Baby broke down. Baby never breaks down – she's Baby!

The best part was Dean stoned on nitrous oxide, tap dancing to "Let's Misbehave." I mean, did I really just say that Dean was tap dancing to "Let's Misbehave"? Dean said later that he always thought he could be a good dancer if he wanted to be. Can Jensen Ackles dance, as well as sing? Well, of course he can. He's Jensen Ackles. At this point, I'm convinced Jensen can do anything.

I'm not certain yet if going full meta was the thing to do for our final season, but I will not deny that this episode made me laugh – a lot. And I definitely enjoyed it as a lovely goodbye (I assume) to long-running character Garth, who is now a secret werewolf dentist and father of three, because of course he is. Garth was able to step in and save the day at the cage fight venue by not being normal. And he will hopefully live happily ever after with his wonderful wife and kids. Please?



And hopefully, Dean and Sam will find the answer to Chuck's "being normal" curse somewhere in Alaska in the next episode. Of course, as Garth reminded them, there's always a catch.

Bits:

— Garth and Bess named their twin boys after Sam and Castiel. I thought it was sad, Dean looking at the other baby and expecting a namesake, but not getting it.

— Maul the werewolf. Nobody said "Darth," but it was implied.


— Great use of Werewolves of London.

— Okay, super Supernatural fans. The Monday Monster Mayhem commercial used mug shots from which episode? "Folsom Prison Blues," maybe?

— This week: Belgrade, Minnesota, and wherever Garth and Bess live now. I don't remember. Anybody remember?

Quotes:

Dean: "Still a hugger, huh?"
Garth: "You know it. You smell so good!"
Dean: "And we're done."

Garth: "It's not like all the wolves around here can go to a regular doc. Can't, with all the cow hearts we eat. Fang maintenance is a B. You've got to floss all the time."

(Sam is reacting to the cayenne pepper cure)
Gertie: "Mommy, the giant's crying."

Garth: "Oh, no no no. I want to be the guest star. Being the hero sucks. I mean sure, you'll probably win eventually, but until you do, your life blows. Your parents get gunned down in an alleyway, your home planet gets blown up, you interview this good looking rich guy and it doesn't go well so he shows up at the hardware store where you work and man, it starts to get, you know…"
Bess: "It's, um, we love Fifty Shades."
Garth: "Yeah, we do."
Sam: "Who's the hero in that?"

Garth: "You need to get a colonoscopy, stat."

Sam: "Brad, listen. We don't care that you're a werewolf. But you got attacked by a wraith, which is weird. Now, we're just trying to understand what happened. So help us. Please."
Brad: "Wow. I mean, wow. With the furrowed brow and the puppy eyes, did you see that? That never actually works for you, does it?"

What do you think, guys? Four out of four cayenne pepper cures for originality? Or does all the grossness bring down the rating?

Billie
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Billie Doux has been reviewing Supernatural for so long that Dean and Sam Winchester feel like old friends. Courageous, adventurous, gorgeous old friends.

7 comments:

JBA said...

It's a little strange, because I often agree with you on most elements of an episode, and occasionally I disagree, but this may be the first time I actually hated an episode that you liked. This, I think, may be my least favorite episode of the series. I mean, I liked "Bugs" better than this one (though, not much).
I'm not sure what angered me the most. I think I see what they were trying to do, acknowledging that since we never see them doing the mundane things like getting sick, fixing the car, and using the bathroom, they're playing with that trope. But first of all, what does that have to do with being "normal" on a TV show? "Oh, look. Now that they aren't the heroes of Chuck's story, they have to vomit, just like the rest of us." Garth is a guest star, and I don't see him doing those mundane things either. I always assumed those things still happen, only when the camera is not on them. I mean, I don't know about everyone else, but I would rather not have one episode just dedicated to Dean fixing the car or, worse, Sam having stomach problems in the bathroom. This episode makes it sound like they never have to fix the car or go to the dentist, because their whole lives are surrounded by Chuck's impenetrable plot armor. And that kind of makes them less heroic, since they always had Chuck looking out for them, rather than being able to be heroic themselves.
Or maybe that has nothing to do with why I didn't like it. I think part of it might just be that it felt really odd and out of place to do a comedy episode in the middle of such a dark and grim season. I know, they usually do a couple of comedy episodes each season to break the tension, and I'm usually fine with that. But this season feels different, most likely because it's the last season, but also because everything that has occurred from the beginning of the season premier has had a pall over it. You've already said in some of your recent reviews how much bleaker this season seems to be. Death is hanging over everything right now. So to suddenly go with an extended comedy episode (one where the comedy actually carries over into the next one), seems so far out of place, it actually bothers me. I am hoping that they fix this particular problem in the very next episode, because I really hope this isn't the second-half-of-the-season arc. I normally like meta episodes, but this one didn't work at all for me. As always, though, thanks for your review, Billie. I always enjoy reading them after each episode and comparing notes.

Billie Doux said...

JBA, I totally understand. The person I watched this episode with said that it was either the worst episode he'd ever seen, or really good, and he wasn't sure which.

Matthew said...

The end fight looked like a 3 stooges fight dean as moe Sam as Larry and the vamp as currly XD

It’s still a good episode but it had its fair share of cringe

Anonymous said...

One of the best of this season, but still it feels like the writers are
wasting time when we have so much to cover. I loved Dean's dancing, and all the comedy moments, and it's nice to say goodbye to a supernatural character
in a happy way, without any death. Lets see what comes next.......

Dragonfire said...

This was the first episode of Supernatural that I have ever quit watching. I get that it was supposed to be funny, and to hang a lampshade on all the little "suspension of disbelief" moments - where do they get their money, why doesn't Dean have cavities if he eats like he does, why doesn't the Impala have more troubles than it does - but it just went too far.

Instead of making a quick comment on all the little behind-the-scenes things, it turns the Winchesters from the badasses they're supposed to be into basically idiots. They can't do anything that they could earlier, not even the kinds of things they should logically be able to do. The humor went from funny into cringe for me pretty darn fast, and I think this is going to be one of the episodes that I just pretent doesn't exist at all.

Billie Doux said...

This might be one of those Supernatural episodes that either improves with age or becomes unbearable. It will probably settle into one or the other after the series is over.

RandallJosephSmith said...

I liked it. I get what some people say about taking away their main character luck shouldn't effect acquired skills, but it would most definitely effect things like the car breaking down, Dean getting cavities, Sam getting a cold, and effect their abilities to fight monsters.they are the most skilled hunters no doubt, but two humans should not have as easy a time as they do with fighting monsters that are physically stronger and more durable than them, unless they have plot armor (which of course they do). Chuck took away their armor. Supernatural has always been meta, and I think this is far from being the most meta. Chuck has essentially evolved into an avatar for the writers and Sam and Dean are revolted against the shows producers. Them wanting to make their own path and end things once and for all is actually reflective to of the fact that Jared and Jensen want to end things on their own terms and that decision means the writer's can't keep playing with their story. It's all quite interesting to me