Well, that was creepy. It’s been a while since a cold open has freaked me out as much as “#THINMAN” managed to. It was giving me flashbacks to the season one episode “Bloody Mary” which had me avoiding mirrors for longer than I’d like to admit. It almost doesn’t even matter that Thinman didn’t turn out to be anything Supernatural, people can be just as sick and twisted as any vengeful spirit. Especially on this show of ours.
Initially, I wasn’t sure what to think about our monster of the week. For a while I was worried that we had another “Hell House” on our hands. While that episode had some golden Ghostfacer moments and some hilarious pranks between Sam and Dean, it lacked any real closure. And to be honest, I was never totally on board with the whole tulpa thing anyway. So I was happy to have them rule that out fairly quickly. Once I knew we weren’t dealing with some manifestation of thought, I was more than intrigued by the Thinman. And for me, it really paid off. I’m usually fairly good at noticing when something is off about a supporting character. But in this case, I totally dismissed the deputy as a paper pusher. So I was shocked (pun intended) when he turned on Sam and Dean. Did that surprise anyone else or was I just slow on the uptake? Either way, I enjoyed that whole turn of events.
Any episode featuring Ed and Harry is going to be chock-full of hilarious one liners, and this episode was no different. A.J. Buckley and Travis Wester have a gift for improvisation and Jared and Jensen know exactly how to play off of that comedy. It just works well. So needless to say, I was expecting this episode to be funny. But what I didn’t expect was for it to be sad.
The Ed and Harry split at the end of the episode was a bit clumsy in its transparency as a Sam and Dean parallel, but for me it still worked. Sure, I wish the writers hadn’t cherry-picked lines of dialogue straight from previous conversations between Sam and Dean. I mean, we’re a smart audience and Lord knows we analyze and over analyze every moment of every episode. I don’t know that anyone needed that parallel so clearly drawn. But I can get past that because I thought Harry and Ed’s disagreement worked. Because of the nature of their characters it would have been too easy to make their fight about something ridiculous. But Ed did some serious damage with his lies. Not only did he break up Harry and his fiance, but people are dead because of the Thinman. And Harry is personally responsible for one of those deaths which is something he’ll have to carry around with him forever.
For me, the Harry to Sam parallel works better than the Ed to Dean side of things. Decisions were made for Harry and Sam and lies were told. Because of these lies, people are dead and they feel personally responsible. Not to mention the betrayal and loss of trust. We know that Ed created Thinman so that he wouldn’t lose Harry as a Ghostfacer partner. Comparing that to Dean fearing the loss of his brother’s life seems a bit thin to me. Yes, both Dean and Ed were acting selfishly, but in my mind the stakes were much higher for Dean. I say this, not because I think the parallel needed to work perfectly, but because I don’t want the reasons behind Dean’s decisions this season to appear trivial in comparison. Ok, I’m done now. So what did you all think of this parallel? Were you satisfied with it?
We had a couple of interesting Sam and Dean moments in this episode. There was a lot of Sam and Dean avoiding eye contact because of the way Ed and Harry’s story mirrored what they were going through. Harry’s explanation in the back of the Impala really seemed to hit home for them.
Dean: Harry, you ok?
Harry: “Yeah. I mean, no. You live with a guy for so many years you start to think he’s always gonna be next to you. Like when you’re old, on the porch, he’ll be in that other rocking chair. But something happens and you realize that other chair is gone. Empty. You know what I mean?”
Ouch. How did such a simple visual tear the heart right out of me? It’s so clear from the look on Sam and Dean’s faces that they once pictured each other in that other rocking chair. I know Dean is still holding out hope and it seems like Sam might be coming around a little bit. Don’t you think? Don’t get me wrong, they are nowhere near back to normal but there was a glimmer of hope in this conversation.
Dean: “You know what video would have gone viral if we still had it? When you were five and you got dressed up as Batman and jumped off the shed because you thought you could fly.”
Sam: “After you jumped first.”
Dean: “Hey, I was nine and I was dressed up as Superman. Everyone knows that Batman can’t fly.”
Sam: “I didn’t know that. I broke my arm.”
Dean: “I know you did. And I drove you to the ER on my handlebars...good times.”
Sam: “Yeah they were.”
Were those smiles I saw? Sam practically had to force the smile off his own face at the end of that conversation. He had to remind himself that they aren’t supposed to be brothers anymore. Strictly business. But the fact that he forgot for a moment is a good sign that we may be close to the beginning of forgiveness. And it can’t come soon enough for me!
All in all I really enjoyed “#THINMAN”, aside from my new irrational fear of selfies. Although I would be happy to have that fear spread a bit. For an episode that was packaged as a monster-of-the-week filler it certainly packed a punch. I only hope that Ed and Harry can find a way to forgive each other. I don’t know that I can live in a world where the Ghostfacers no longer exist. So what did you all think of the episode?
Dean: “Lately with you up is down and down is sideways. I don’t know what you want.”
Harry: “The Winchesters. Yay.”
Ed: “Says nobody.”
Harry: “Say hola to my little pistola.”
Dean: “Am I supposed to be impressed with that treasure trail or the lady gun you got hiding in your pants there?”
“The Skinny on Thinman.” I would read this book.
I laughed out loud when Dean compared Thinman to Garth.
Harry: “We’re so close to finding Thinman, Ed. I can smell him. I can smell his musk.”
Harry: “We can’t let those jockstraps steal our glory!”
Harry: “Quit raining on my rainbow.”
Ed: “Rainbows can’t happen without rain.”
Harry: “Don’t try to use science on me.”
Dean: “This all sounds like sad times at bitchmont high.”
Sam: “Trust me here, secrets ruin relationships.”
Harry: “I just got punched right in the feels.”
Sam: “Look, there are things you can forgive and there are things you can’t.” Ouch again.
Dean: “So you’re Thinman, huh? That would make sense if it didn’t look like you just ate a fat camp.”
Ed: “It’s Scooby Doo time, douchebag. Take off the mask.”
Ed trying to pronounce meme was hilarious.
It looks like we have another mini hiatus. I am looking very much forward to some Crowley time on March 18!
(Screencaps from www.homeofthenutty.com)