Friday, April 1, 2016

Supernatural, Season 11, Episode 17: Red Meat

This episode gets a resounding “meh” from me, sadly. The whole episode focuses far too much on the eternally overused tropes of this series: the brother’s deeply unhealthy co-dependence.

It’s another break from the main meta as Sam drags a highly reluctant Dean on a monster of the week mission involving werewolves. In the process of killing said werewolves and saving the hostages (Michelle and Corbin who I just thought of as cute beard guy but apparently has a name), Sam gets shot

I actually like this. I like this reminder that every fight, no matter how standard, how run of the mill, can end up with a Winchester being killed. I like the reminder that, despite them having come back from the dead enough times to have their own religion, they’re both still basically human. A straw bullet, a knife, a claw in the wrong squishy place and it’s game over, end of the Winchesters. And in a fight it doesn’t matter how much skill and experience you have: a stray bullet will still kill you.

Except, plot armour. Because despite what I’ve just said, we know the Winchesters will not die (at least, not before the ratings do). Neither brother is every going to REALLY die. So all the tension about whether Sam is dead - first from the bullet and later from Corbin who wants Dean to save him and Michelle rather than focus on getting Sam to a hospital.

Oh an aside – dear people of the internet, in the unlikely event I ever take a bullet and you are in the position to provide me with ad hoc medical treatment, please do not do not DO NOT remove the bullet. I know Tvlandia is convinced all bullets are made of radioactive cyanide and need to be removed from the body in seconds or death will ensue, but it’s a lie. Bullets are nice, inert (and, because of the heat of being shot, likely germless) lumps of metal that don’t need removing right away (or maybe not ever, yes the doctors may leave you with bullets forever more). And whatever terribad damage you think it’s going to do, it’s nothing compared to the damage amateur surgery using non-sterile tools on a writhing, in pain victim is going to do.

Anyway, Sam faces death and for a while Dean is convinced he is dead, sadness, manpain, angst, woe. Dean’s mature response to this (impeded by ranger guy who takes an almost irrational hatred of Dean) is to take many many pills so he can nearly die and tell Billie the reaper who Really Does Not Like him to bring Sam back (did I mention unhealthy co-dependence?). She reiterates what she said earlier in the season: No more resurrection, damn it. Oh and Sam is alive

Not only alive and apparently having ALL THE BLOOD because he’s been bleeding out for hours, but quite capable of killing off two more werewolves, navigating several miles of forest in time to arrive at the hospital and stop Corbin (newly bitten werewolf) from killing Dean (recovering from an overdose of opiates).

Everyone lives! Actually that’s a total lie. Werewolves, doctors, rangers and Corbin all end up dead. But the Winchesters live and so does Michelle who grieves terribly over her lost husband and wonders where to go now (my vote is Jody’s House for Supernatural Refugees) while Dean tells her how she’ll get over it. Which is kind of galling coming from the man who just took an opiate overdose because his brother died.

In all I’m just kind of meh about this. Was there anything new here? I don’t mind monster of the week episodes, but this just felt like another rehash of the unhealthy brother angst.