Quick Review: A decent outing that is let down by its predecessors.
I forgot to mention that I did like the revelation of Carlos’ backstory here and how it starts to fill in some pieces about him.
Still, there are oddities to this episode too. Like the image of the Akrida people puppets digging and exploring the underground chamber was effective and well done, I’ll grant you that. But then you have to ask yourself… why? If the Akrida are indestructible (or whatever) wouldn’t they be much more effective and faster at the work than the more comparably-fragile human bodies they’re renting? I mean yes, obviously the real answer is that it’s cheaper to film humans than CGI critters but this is why I always stress to authors to really try and think things through with their idea.
And again I want to stress the idea that part of the fun of a prequel is seeing a new side to familiar characters. While we are who we are, there are still differences between the person we are at 40 from the person we were at 20. So when one has a wise, Kenobi figure in their life who always knows the right answer and solution to the problem, it can be compelling to go back to the past and see that Kenobi as a younger fellow who wasn’t as wise. It can tell us a lot about a character to see what mistakes they once made, their uncertainties, the hard lessons they had to go through to gain the wisdom they later imparted.
Just as an example – it’s too late now, but just imagine for a moment that the show started out with Mary all in favor of the hunting life. Imagine a show where we first saw her as being very pro-hunter, wanting to find a strong, capable hunting hubby to raise her own kids in the hunter life and carry on the family tradition of killing monsters. Had you seen that, wouldn’t you be interested to watch and learn what changed her mind? What made her long for normalcy? Maybe it wouldn’t have been an improvement, but it would have been interesting.
Reflecting back on the season so far… moments with John are what stick out in my mind. His relationship with Millie is interesting because we never saw anything between her and the boys. So we know something has to happen to her before Sam is born. Unless maybe she was – there are a few gaps in the series she could be squeezed in though it will lead to some weirdness. Were the boys ever left at their grandmother’s while John was on a hunt? How did she treat them? From what we see, she seems like she would be a doting grandmother, who was “doting” in her own special way. Like dragging a young Dean under a car to show him how to fix it, leading to the boy becoming a lifelong gearhead.
The other moment is John’s effort to meditate with Latka. This is a friendship unlike any we’ve seen signs of John having in life. (In fact he didn’t seem to have much in the way of friends at all – more like reluctant allies.) This brings out a more touching side to John we haven’t seen before. What happens in the future? What leads to him closing off and becoming less friendly to others in general?
But this show is supposed to be about 2 protagonists, which is where Mary is falling short. Everything we’ve seen with her is just more of what we already knew. She apparently has 2 good friends we never hear about, but the show doesn’t seem very interested in exploring those relationships much which is a shame. How these people got pulled into Mary’s orbit could say something very interesting about her character… but the writers don’t seem to want to examine it.
Here’s hoping they change their minds in the last half of the season and we finally start getting that look into Mary’s character. Please share your thoughts below!
Some screencaps courtesy of Raloria@livejournal.
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