On the D/L – Supernatural
Season 10 Episode 12 – “About a Boy”
Supernatural gives us something of a meta episode this week when Dean is transformed into a 14 year old version of himself.
I’m always a fan when Supernatural does something a little more light hearted. For some reason ridiculous concepts like the characters appearing in the real world where people think they are the actors that play them manage to work on the show. I can’t explain how they do it but somehow they make it work.
The best of these episodes give us a unique insight into the main season storyline. Thankfully this episode did just that. Sam and Dean’s objective to remove the Mark of Cain from Dean’s arm and stop the negative effect that it’s having on him remains something that they are laser focused on. I really liked how the episode opened with Dean’s desperation as he is pouring over everything he can find regarding tattoo removal -both mystical and not- to see if he has any options.
It was a nice touch to have Sam be the one to encourage Dean to work on a case with him and later be willing to leave him on his own. It shows a massive level of trust on Sam’s part and an acknowledgement that Dean has been working really hard to suppress his urges. It does seem that the concern over the Mark of Cain is actually helping to repair their somewhat fractured relationship of the past couple of seasons. I do like that the show seems to be returning to the brotherly interactions that made the show so likeable in the first place. I feel that it’s been missing this -with some exceptions- of late so it’s great to see this rebuilding and I hope that it continues to do so.
Dean’s transformation into a 14 year old version of himself worked really well. I have to applaud Dylan Everett’s portrayal of Dean because he absolutely nailed it. Watching him work definitely felt like watching Dean and it was a tough sell because it wasn’t just a younger Dean he was playing since all his memories were intact. Everett had Ackles’ mannerisms down and had really natural chemistry with Jared Padalecki. It was nothing short of perfect younger version casting.
I found it interesting how Dean saw his predicament. When he noticed that the Mark of Cain was gone his immediate reaction was to offer to stay the way he was and remove the problem completely. It says a lot about how torturous the Mark of Cain is if he’s willing to sacrifice his adulthood for years to get rid of it. Though I do wonder if it would just reappear when he naturally reaches that age. It came back when the spell was reversed so maybe it would. We will never know I guess.
I can’t help but think something like this would be a good way to reboot the series with younger actors. Have Sam and Dean de-aged and continue on as normal. I could see it working but it’d probably be a really annoying transition.
Naturally the episode didn’t skimp on the humour of the situation. From Dean’s newfound appreciation for Taylor Swift to Sam teasing him about how young he is the jokes really worked. It really reminded me how funny this show can be when the actors are given strong material to work with.
This story was enabled by Supernatural giving us their version of Hansel and Gretel. It would have been easy for this to become ridiculous but I feel that it worked. Fables having a basis in fact is the excuse that is used and that’s more than fine by me. I liked Lesley Nicol’s Witch character who seemed to be just the right amount of cartoonishly menacing. Her reasoning behind turning adults into children to avoid the devoted parents conducting an exhaustive search for their lost children was great and completely made sense in the context of today’s world. As for her desire to eat children it can be put down to a random vice. We all have them. I really liked the way she went on about how children from different places taste. Sometimes it’s good to have a villain who is so casually sadistic.
It was a nice touch to connect the witch plot to Rowena as well as it gives the audience a gentle reminder that this is still going on without spending too much time on it. Previous episodes have been guilty of spending too much time on plots that just aren’t interesting so it was nice to see the Winchesters have an entire episode to themselves for once. It’s something that’s quite rare these days but it’s a nice reminder of the better days of the show.
I can’t say I have too many complaints about this episode. Hansel pretending to be a prisoner was something that probably wasn’t completely necessary but other than that everything worked really well. I hope it’s not an anomaly and marks an increase in the quality of the episodes from now on.
I am very pleased to be able to give Supernatural a 9. I’ve become pretty disillusioned with the current quality of the show and just keep expecting it to get worse as it goes along. I still feel that once the Crowley/Rowena plot finds focus again it’ll become tedious but for now the Mark of Cain stuff remains really engaging.
The idea of Dean being turned into a 14 year old might seem utterly ridiculous but it actually worked really well. This was in no small part down to Dylan Everett’s note perfect portrayal of Dean as played by Jensen Ackles. It’s remarkable how natural the chemistry between Everett and Jared Padalecki was and it really felt like Sam and Dean were interacting normally.
I like that the episode has something of a rebirth of the brotherly banter and bickering that made the show so entertaining right from the early days. The dialogue was sharp and witty with some genuinely funny jokes throughout. It was nice to be reminded why I like this show so much.
Lesley Nicol played an awesome villain with motivation that actually makes a lot of sense given today’s society. Nicol played her character as casually sadistic and it certainly made for a memorable performance. She was clearly having a ball with the material she was given and as a consequence, so was I.
If there was anything holding this episode back it was that Hansel posing as a prisoner was unnecessary but this was such a minor niggle that it’s barely worth mentioning. It didn’t really ruin my enjoyment at all.