"Something Wicked" is Something Wickedly Good
Just watched "Something Wicked" on TNT, the shtriga episode. I had forgotten how wonderful it was.
When Dean requests two queens as he's checking into the 4200 Hotel, Michael, all of 11 years old if he's a day, snarkily says, "Sure you do."
This is also the first flashback ep, where we see Dean sacrificing the last bowl of Lucky Charms for Sam, who gives him puppy dog eyes because he doesn't want Spaghettios for dinner. Sam adorably offers Dean the prize at the bottom of the box. Does the scene, filmed in sepia tones, still make me tear up? It sure does.
It hurts to watch John leaving freckle-faced ten-year-old Dean alone in a dreary motel room with six-year-old Sam, nothing to do but watch TV after being given a million orders, the biggest, of course: protect Sam. Dean grows bored and leaves the room after Sam ia safely asleep to play a few video games. The shtriga attacks Sam just as Dean returns home, but a nervous Dean doesn't dare shoot the shtriga while it's feeding on his brother; what if he misses and kills Sam? John arrives home, shooting wildly at the creature, furious at Dean for not following orders. The look he gives Dean while cradling Sam in his arms after staving off the shtriga stays in Dean's guilty mind and psyche for 17 years, so when the time comes around again, John again tasks him with killing the shtriga, and this time, Dean isn't going to screw up!
Ironic how angry Sam is that Dean wants to use Michael as bait when we know there is going to come a time down the road when SAM will want to do the same with others.
Michael is a very brave kid, much like Dean, and I like him very much. At first, he doesn't believe Dean when told about the creature that put his brother and several of the other town's kids in the hospital, but after thinking it over, Michael remembers Dean telling him that he, too, is a big brother who would do anything for his little brother. Seeing Michael with his little bro brought back heart-breaking memories for Dean and made the episode so special for me.
Sam apologizes to Dean for all the crap he's given him for following Dad's ordersâ€”he gets it now. "Kill me now," says Dean, which is funny on the surface, but much appreciated by the elder brother who HAS often had to put up with Sam accusing him of being John's puppet.
As it turns out, the trap Michael, Dean and Sam set up for the shtriga, who turns out to be the doctor heading up all the children's cases, backfires. The shtriga attacks Michael, but Sam and Dean aren't able to shoot him with the consecrated iron rounds while he is feeding from the boy. The shtriga, only momentarily stunned, sends both Sam and Dean flying, temporarily losing their weapons, and immediately leaps on Sam, sucking his life essence from him as if trying to finish what it started 17 years ago. Dean interrupts the creature while feeding and shoots it directly in the forehead, killing it, saving not just the lives of children currently hospitalized, but future victims as well.
As the brothers are leaving, Sam tells Dean he's sorry Michael now knows about the creatures that lurk the darkness and wishes his innocence could have been preserved. Dean, probably remembering the little boy who offered him the prize from the Lucky Charms box, says he wishes the same about SAM'S innocence, too. It's a poignant moment for me, especially looking ahead, because it's so mild in comparison to what is going to come their way.
The shtriga was a scary creature, mostly when it was nothing more than a spooky, shadowy hand opening children's bedroom windows. When it was holding Sam's mouth open with a hand made of nothing but bone, I got a chill down my vertebrae, top to bottom.
I felt we learned much about the sad, dreary life the Winchester brothers suffered on the road with John and what unreasonable demands he made on Dean. "Something Wicked" made it appear that he placed way too much on Dean's shoulders at far too early an age, not allowing him to have a childhood at all. Dean gave Sam whatever he wanted, even if he wanted it himself, seemingly without resentment.
It's obvious that the brother's love for each other has carried over into their adult lives, and that's one of the reasons this show is as popular as it is. "Something Wicked" is one of those episodes that highlights their growing relationship and reveals to us how it came to be, both in spite of, and because of their father.