Friday, March 20, 2015

Supernatural, Season 10, Episode 15: The Things They Carried

Ok that was a very random series of flashbacks.

And now we have a kidnapped woman hanging from her feet with some dripping water because we’re really pushing the horror movie vibe. A man cuts her throat and gathers the blood in a bucket

Now can we calm down the camera angles please? The obligatory deaths is over

To the Winchester cave where Sam I still illicitly researching ways to cure the Mark of Cain despite Dean telling him to stop. Dean assumes he’s looking at porn (his only comment on that is “not where we eat”). Dean has a case – that woman was eaten and had her bone marrow drained and she was an excellent martial artist. Dean calls case, Sam tries to distract him (still all Cain worried) but fails. Sam keeps unsubtly studying even while they’re travelling and Dean, again, calls him on trying to fix the unfixable. Dean wants to move on and do what they can until he can’t do it anymore – and he’d kind of like Sam to keep going with him, not be lost in research

Time to imitate federal agents as they do on a regular basis and get away with it because absolutely no-one ever checks (they don’t even bother with the fake badges this time, the suits are enough. I have this idea that somewhere in America there are several confused lawyers, accountants and undertakers being drafted into police investigations because local law enforcement has assumed they’re FBI). The local police think they’ve found who did it – a guy who conveniently suicided soon afterwards; one of several suicides which the sheriff puts down to it being a military town. Also no bite marks on the body so probably not cannibalism

Still not convinced it’s not supernatural given the gruesome nature of the suicide, Sam and Dean interview the widow of Rick, the suspected murderer. She knows he was deployed, but not where, and that he had a raging thirst

They also learn that another soldier, Kit, is showing similar symptoms. To make things more complicated because Cole is back, yes the guy who wanted to kill Dean but then was beaten up then talked out of it and generally hasn’t been that effective. He wants to team up with the Winchesters to make sure they help his friend Kit rather than just yell “monster” and stab him a few times

Speaking of, Kit kills a shop assistant over bottled water then drinks the blood.

The gang gets news about this just as Cole’s contacts reveal Rick and Kit were in Iraq in a cemetery with an odd, raging POW on their last deployment.

Cole does have a lead on where Kit is but, fearing Winchester wrath, he decides to go alone. He nearly gets himself killed before the Winchesters save him – yes they followed him, they’re not that big a fool, and the raging Kit spits out a nasty wormy thing that the Winchesters kill; but not before something goes down Cole’s throat

Bye Cole, make with the stabbing (the Winchesters have seen this before and murder generally stops it). Alas they decide against that cure and instead opt to electrocution which also can evict the worm. Dean opts to put some volts in Cole which sounds like fun while Sam goes after Kit. Cole begins to realise just what the Winchesters face every day, along with the complete lack of appreciation they get (like from him, a man they’re saving who tried to kill Dean). Electrocution isn’t fun and Dean doesn’t like half killing Cole to save him – especially when it doesn’t work.

Plan B involves dehydrating Cole to drive the water-craving worm out while Sam manages to capture Kit and stop him killing his wife. They’re going with the sweatlodge plan despite Sam’s misgivings

Cole has a big understanding moment about Dean killing his dad and ask he do the same for him if he becomes a monster. Cole struggles and Dean puts on his angst face.

Each Winchester wrestles their worm infested soldier and Dean manages to save Cole – but Sam has to shoot Kit.

They make their goodbyes to Cole and Dean tries to comfort Sam who is hurting a lot over being unable to save Kit (with an added note that sometimes no matter how hard you try, the good guy still dies which, of course, links to Sam’s attempt to remove the Mark of Cain).

I think something could really be developed out of the Winchester habit of yelling “monster” and stabbing things a few times. Way back in the early seasons, Hunting was all about saving people, not, especially about stopping monsters. Yes they stopped monsters, but they did it because they were hurting people. But as the seasons progressed we got more and more epic storylines, more and more major big bads to fight and kill and the focus changed from saving individuals towards saving everyone; which meant slaughter and killing the monster more than it meant actually rescuing people. Sure there’s still rescue inherent, but there’s a definite shift in focus. A classic example are the demons, way back in the day demons were things they exorcised out of possessing people – a major goal was to save the host. Now they have angel blades, Cain daggers and other stabby things and suddenly no-one cares about the host.

I’m not saying the shift is bad and certainly some of the change of direction in this season is interesting – but do think that they could do to analyse it in some ways and Cole could have been a good way to do that. I’m hoping this is a new direction in getting back to that or at least analysing that they’ve moved away from that

I suppose this did kind of cap the whole Cole storyline and not in a bad way – Cole himself brought some good emotion. Dean… didn’t. He’s overused his angst face waaaay too much in this season and I’d expect grim sad resolve from him if he had to kill Cole, not the lost devastated little boy look he was giving. He would be sad but not despairing, there’s no reason for Dean to be that invested in Cole so far. Sam goes for Sam and being so hit – yes he should be hurting, but refer back to my previous point on how saving people HASN’T been their focus for a little while now, and how many innocents have they seen die over the many many many many oh gods many episodes? I feel like they’ve hit on this idea but are leap frogging into it when they could get so much more of it with more development.

This episode shows a lot of this season’s racial inclusion so far – if you can call it that – background bit parts that are quickly forgotten or dead. I’m actually having trouble dredging up a memory of one POC in season 10 who is more than that