Supernatural – Season 11 Episode 13
Supernatural delivers a Valentine’s Day episode that lets the Winchesters go on an old fashioned monster hunt.
It could be argued that Supernatural has been leaning pretty heavily on filler episodes lately and I guess that depends on your definition of filler as to whether that argument is right. Sure, the recent episodes have been largely disposable monster hunts that could belong in any season of the show with minimal tweaks but I’ve also been enjoying the “back to basics” approach that the show has been taking while relying on the rich mythology to give the whole thing some depth.
This story isn’t anything we haven’t seen on this show before. It involves supernatural killings somewhere that interest Sam and Dean enough to investigate it. They impersonate FBI agents, ask a few questions, take a guess at what it could be and find out that it’s wrong before finally stopping the thing once and for all. There’s also some light meaningful banter towards the end that makes the whole thing feel connected. When you break Supernatural down it tends to have the structural predictability of a Scooby Doo episode.
Does that make it bad? No, far from it. Sam and Dean are still engaging characters after nearly 11 years of being developed in this show and there’s plenty of comedic moments to keep the thing entertaining. Mileage varies on these sorts of stories but this was a good example of it.
The plot involves a curse cast by a White Witch that causes anyone kissed by the one cursed to wind up dead. This goes on for a while before finally claiming the original person cursed. It’s a very similar premise to the film It Follows but only lightly borrows from there. It’s not a carbon copy or anything as it takes it in a typical Supernatural direction. By that I mean that there’s a slightly tongue in cheek edge to it. Dean makes light of it being like an STD and there’s some comedy around the admission that they weren’t real FBI agents was played for laughs as well.
I liked the idea of the creature chasing them. Having it change into past lovers is a really gruesome image to be the last thing you see before you’re killed. It working backwards through those cursed is powerful as well as people are killed by someone they care about who recently died. That must really dial up the terror in the final moments.
With it being a Valentine’s Day themed episode I was expecting more emphasis on the clichés associated with it but it was surprisingly light on that. I have to say I was a little disappointed by that as I like when Supernatural takes things to the extreme. It makes for a more memorable story than the typical monster hunt. I’m feeling somewhat starved for a Meta episode so it’s about time this show delivered one again.
Dean’s acceptance of the curse with no hesitation was a really good continuation of Dean’s near obsession with self-sacrifice. He was willing to take on the Mark of Cain which is much worse than this curse but it’s definitely a pattern for Dean. Sam calls him out on it by telling him it wasn’t necessary but Dean stood by his decision. I think that this links back to the Banshee targeting him because he was vulnerable in some way. Perhaps having a death wish is that vulnerability.
Of course the lover form that comes after Dean is Amara. It was incredibly predictable and was never going to be anything else. Dean wasn’t at all bothered by it beyond the initial shock of the image of Amara because this was only an imitation that couldn’t hold a candle to the real thing.
This does cause Dean to admit the truth to Sam about Amara which he should have done long ago. I like that Sam doesn’t judge because he understands how powerful desires can be having gone through a similar forbidden attraction with Ruby over half a decade ago. Now that he knows they can work together to put an end to this. I’m positive that Dean’s connection to Amara will be the key to her defeat.
A fun episode that does feel slightly disposable but manages to be entertaining nonetheless. I really wish it had done more with the Valentine’s Day clichés but it was a decent “back to basics” monster hunt for the Winchesters
• an entertaining premise
• the good use of comedy throughout
• not taking advantage of the Valentine’s Day clichés