Friday, March 29, 2013

Supernatural, Season 8, Episode 18: Freaks and Geeks

A couple are making out in a car – oh they’re so dead. No-one ever kisses in a car in Supernatural without being horrifically and brutally murdered shortly after. They could use it as a method of execution – murderers found guilt could be sentenced to go to the local make out point to kiss, sure that a brutal, horrible death awaits them.

But no, in a twist they’re bait – and when the monster tries to grab her, someone runs out the woods and beheads them. Clever hunters. Over the body one of the hunters says “one down, two to go.”

Elsewhere, Sam and Dean drive up with a news report of people with their throats ripped out – looks like vampires. Dean worries about Sam and his coughing up blood, Sam retaliates by worrying about Dean’s feelings over being beaten up by Castiel – yes, it’s a concern battle where both manly men are offended by the other being concerned for them

Talking to the police (who has dubbed the killings the “Lady killer murders” because the victims were women. Imaginative) they learn that both victims were young, female and drained of blood. And last night they had CCTV footage of the local make out spot (which is creepy – CCTV at the make out spot? I think if that were known it wouldn’t remain the make out spot) which shows the beheading. Hah amateurs. We get a good look at one of the hunter’s face – it’s Krissy Chambers. Way back in season 7 she was the daughter of a hunter who was attacked by Vetala (fanged, bitey not-vampire thingies) who helped kill the monsters. Dean tells the sheriff to cancel the APB out on the hunters and asks for the footage.

Outside Dean explains things to Sam and they go to intervene. Krissy bribes her way into a hotel room and slaps Aidan, another member of her little hunter gang, down for getting grabby and flirting when she isn’t interested. He keeps his creepy flirting going. The third member of the team is Josephine and she and Krissy hack into the hotel’s CCTV to track their next target. Aidan and Josephine arm themselves and go out (with Josephine threatening Aidan with a throat punch for his creepiness) while Krissy monitors on a lap top linked to a camera on Aidan’s head. They follow a blood trail and break into a hotel room.

Sam and Dean pick there way into Krissy’s hotel room. She wants to know how they found her, Dean points out there’s not a lot of hotels in the area and she may have bribed the clerk but they bribed him more. She tells them that her dad is dead and tries to get rid of them – but they see her friends entering the vampire’s room.

The vampire ambushes them, knocking Josephine aside and facing off against a very nervous looking Aidan. Sam and Dean burst in and the vampire runs out the window. Sam and Jospehine stay to stabilise the victim and Dean and Krissy chase the vampire down, Krissy using a dart of dead man’s blood to bring the vampire down. Dean moves in to the kill but she objects – it’s not his kill. Josephine comes down and describes how vampires killed her family – the vampire claims innocence – and Josephine cuts his head off.

Dean and Krissy talk – her dad did quit being a hunter as he said and it was good and normal until a vampire ripped his throat out. The same vamps hunting together killed Krissy, Josephine and Aidan’s families. Dean thinks she’s too young and hunting can’t be all about killing and revenge but she won’t go to her aunt’s in Cincinnati and tells them about a man called Victor who is helping them. Dean points out she was caught on CCTV but she thinks exposure of the monsters may not be a bad thing, Dean sees only panic and mayhem that route (besides, they’d be arrested for beheading not vampires – and I doubt Crowley would let the grand expose happen).

Sam and Dean go with the kids to see Victor who has a creepy parenthood vibe with the kids he’s training to kill, but he is working to make sure the kids go to school and have relatively normal lives. Sam and Dean don’t think they should be hunting at all but Victor thinks this is the way to train the next generation of hunters – balancing a real life with hunting, especially considering the state of the various hunters (he recites a list of the hunters we’ve met who are not the best socially adjusted characters out there). He adds that all 3 of the kids have incredible potential as hunters.

As they leave Dean still disapproves but Sam thinks they have a good life and it seems to be working. Dean disagrees with kids hunting – yes they did, but that didn’t work out especially well. Dean says they hunt the vampire nest rather than the kids to keep them safe with Sam keeping watch over the kids. And as Dean leaves, someone else pulls up to watch the house.

The next day Sam sees their morning routine and talks to Victor about his dead family and his hope for a better way and a better life for them. Dean is checking up with the victim who was tied to the bed as it seemed odd. She was shocked that the vampire kidnapped her since she knew him, he was a hero called Jimmy just back from Afghanistan. And Jimmy didn’t grab her, a man in a hoodie in a blue van asked her for directions then she woke up in the hotel with just Jimmy who was crying and apologising.

Back at the hunter home the kids are pulled out of school for another hunt, Victor has tracked down the vampire who killed Krissy’s dad – he has CCTV that coincides with police accounts and the vampire is wearing Krissy’s dad’s necklace. Sam gets a call from Dean telling Sam that the vampire wasn’t lying about being innocent, he was a month-old vampire and Josephine’s family was murdered 3 months ago. Sam also tells Dean about the CCTV image and he’s suspicious about it – there’s no time stamp on the image. Dean goes to investigate further and Sam notices the blue van parked outside the house

Dean questions the clerk who doesn’t have a lot of information except the fact the man who rented the room wore a blue hoodie and took a brochure for a local lodge, now closed on the off season. Dean explores the place and finds a woman who has just been turned into a vampire – and then the three kiddy hunters arrive with guns.

Sam and Victor track the man in a hoody through the woods, Sam almost reaches him – and Victor knocks him out from behind. The hoody man smiles, flashing his fangs.

At the Lodge, Dean tells Krissy the vampire is fresh made and that vampires don’t beg for their lives, they attack. He tells them to take the guns off him or someone’s going to get hurt – Aidan accuses him of big talk and Dean takes the gun off him and drops out the clip in one very quick, simple moment. Big league time kiddies. He also tells Krissy that since the baby vamp hasn’t fed yet they can still reverse the vampirism. Aidan wants to know why they should care about her and Dean fights down his anger – hunting isn’t always about killing and she’s an innocent.

Back at the house, Sam wakes up tied up while Vincent starts creating a mess in the house and explaining his plan – the kids return from the hunt, victorious, and find Sam dead at the house with signs of a struggle around him, inspiring them to hunt further. Yes this is all his inspiration to make them better, stronger, super hunters so they can win the war, throw in some spiel about his dead kids meaning he needs to risk more kids to kill monsters who kill kids, it’s all a little circular.

Unfortunately, Dean and the kiddies arrive home early. Victor tries to convince the kids that Sam and Dean are the enemy, but Sam being tied up and there being a fangs-out vampire in the room makes it rather a hard sell. Dean explains that hoody vampire has been setting up baby vamps for the kiddies to kill (in case you didn’t catch that part). Krissy realises that the baby vamps didn’t kill their families and hoody-vampire admits that he’s the one who did it (with an extra side-order of screams and begging for mercy in case you missed he was evil)

Victor goes for his end justifies the means speech which, considering the means are their dead families, well… let’s face it, it never had a good chance of being convincing. He believes he’s more convincing than he is and actually drops the gun. Krissy doesn’t buy it – and hoody-vampire takes Aiden hostage. Josephine distracts Victor who is too focused on Krissy and when he knocks her aside, Krissy shoots hoody-vamp in the eye with dead man’s blood and has a gun pointed at Victor by the time he turns back round.

Krissy wants revenge for their family’s death – and Victor is responsible. Dean tries to talk her down. She pulls the trigger repeatedly – but there’s no bullets in it. Very dramatic though. Krissy talks about leaving him alone, no family, no friends, nothing – and Victor draws a hidden weapon and shoots himself.

They bring the girl back to the house and cure her of her vampirism. Dean says he’s proud of Krissy and she threatens to punch him and Sam returns her necklace that Victor used to set the girl up and Dean offers to take Krissy to her aunt but she wants to stay with Josephine and Aiden. They won’t go looking for hunting but will protect themselves.

Before he leaves Dean takes Aidan aside, Aidan assumes for the standard “if you hurt Krissy, I’ll kill you” but Dean says no – if Aidan hurt’s Krissy, she’ll kill him.

But outside Dean is less happy – they’re hunters now and no-one walks away from being a hunter so the only way to save them is to shut the gates of hell

It occurs to me that Krissy, Josephine and Aiden may be being set up as a spinoff series for some future time – especially with Garth checking up on them.

Supernatural, this season, has frustrated me. See, I’ve said before that Supernatural is very good at balancing the epic drama episodes with a few, monster of the week, lighter episodes to stop things being too heavy and too dramatic. And in past seasons it has. But Supernatural this season has done that without developing the metaplot enough for it not to be frustrating. We know Castiel and Naomi has something going on but not what. We know that the Gates of Hell need addressing but it’s been ages since they last looked at that – the meta has to be MOVING for the lighter, monster-of-the-week episodes to be a nice break rather than a distraction. Season 8 has failed at this since the beginning – just as we’re introduced to some meta we then have a series of pointless episodes; it doesn’t help that we haven’t had much of a coherent meta for so much of the plot – with Sam and Amelia, Benny, Castiel, the tablet, Kenny – we have meta plotlets.

The episode is fine in and of itself, but after last week with the main plot line rising up again, it’s too soon to return back to another random monster