Supernatural – Season 11 Episode 19
Supernatural returns from hiatus with an Amara free monster hunt that breaks the monotony of having no leads for the brothers.
The creature in question here is called a Cicada Spirit which seems to have been cooked up by the writers all on their own rather than drawing on existing myths and legends to populate the stories. This is definitely a good thing as it shows that the writers are capable of creating something new that still feels like a threat.
A Cicada Spirit shows up precisely every 27 years in order to abduct people so that they can serve as hosts for reproduction. Once this is done they go dormant again and the cycle repeats 27 years later. When the hosts have been taken over they exhibit telltale signs like green eyes and a mysterious noise referred to as “the Chitters” hence the episode title. When hearing the sound it does seem like the best description.
Sam and Dean work with another pair of Hunters named Jesse (Lee Rumohr) and Cesar (Hugo Ateo) who are also investigating this case. Having different hunters appear on the show is nothing new and at its best having others gives a different perspective on the live that Sam and Dean lead. In the past encountering other Hunters has been used to draw parallels between Sam and Dean in different ways. We’ve seen Hunters who are more extreme than they are, more inexperienced than they are and on an even footing as well. Jesse and Cesar seem to be on an even footing in terms of skills and Jesse’s reason for becoming a Hunter is very similar to the thing that inspired Sam and Dean.
Jesse has a personal connection to this case as his brother was kidnapped by the Cicada Spirit on the last cycle so he is back in his home town looking to wrap this case up and get closure on losing his brother. This mirrors Sam and Dean’s mission through the first two seasons when they were tracking down the yellow eyed demon, Azazel.
Jesse and Cesar are both good characters who have an implied rich history with one another that gives them more perceived depth than they actually have. The notable difference in their characters from any previous Hunters we have seen is that they are a same sex married couple. That by itself isn’t unusual but it’s the first time we’ve seen this on Supernatural and it is brought up without being sensationalised in any way. I have to applaud the CW for having quite a mature attitude to same sex couples, at least in my experience but I don’t watch all of their shows. It is handled well in The Flash, Arrow and The 100 as well as this show now so top marks to the network for having a progressive attitude through many of their popular shows.
Earlier seasons of Supernatural would have people make observations that Sam and Dean might be a couple simply because they are rarely apart. I’m sure there’s a ton of fan fiction to that effect as well but I wouldn’t suggest you go searching for it as you might never be able to get it out of your mind if you do. The joke about acting like an old married couple makes sense in the case of Jesse and Cesar as they actually are.
They work well with Sam and Dean as there is a similar skill level and their commitment to solving the case matches so there’s very little conflict between them. They gel so well that Dean wants to ask them along to help in the fight against Amara because they can handle themselves and they could really use the extra help. This gets turned on its head when they reveal that this mission was their last and they plan to go live happily ever after away from all of this. Dean can’t bring himself to ask them for help as he knows they would accept but so rarely sees people get to put the life behind them that he lets them have that happy ending.
This highlights an important difference between the two pairs. Jesse and Cesar were able to turn away from Hunting and never look back because it was simply a means to an end. Sam and Dean are the opposite; Hunting is their life and they will keep doing it until they can’t any more. It pretty much means that there’s only one ending for them but they seem to have made peace with that.
Outside of the dynamic between the two groups of Hunters this is a fairly standard monster hunt that isn’t all that interesting. The Cicada Spirit was visually really interesting and quite effective as something for them to take down but beyond that there wasn’t much to distinguish this from your standard filler one shot creature hunt. There’s nothing wrong with a standalone episode now and again but something more memorable was probably needed to come off a hiatus. This just felt like filler at a point in the season where there shouldn’t be any filler.
A solid episode with a new and interesting creature for Sam and Dean to face while introducing another pair of competent Hunters that see life differently to them. The stand-alone creature feature is perhaps not the best way to come back from a hiatus but the episode is entertaining enough.
- Jesse and Cesar being engaging characters
- a well put together new creature
- a filler episode at the point in the season there should be no filler