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Supernatural - The Thing - Review

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Supernatural “The Thing” was written by Davy Perez and was directed by John Showalter. I won’t lie. John Carpenter’s The Thing with Kurt Russell is one of my all time favorite horror movies, so this episode had a lot to live up to – and didn’t. However, for those who are into “tentacle-porn,” this will clearly become one of their favorites! I suppose we should give Perez credit for having Dean (Jensen Ackles) tied down in this episode to balance off Sam (Jared Padalecki) being the damsel in distress the last time. My biggest problem with this episode is the brothers return to abject stupidity at the end, however.

The episode begins in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, 1925 in a Men of Letters bunker. They are clearly performing some kind of illicit ritual as a girl – Sandy Porter (Magda Apanowicz) – is dragged to a table and chained down. The Aquarian star symbol has an eye added to it – is this supposed to be a Masonic influence? Whatever ritual it is, it include angel grace. And it becomes apparent pretty quickly that they are opening a rift to another world – one with tentacles!

Back at the Bunker in Kansas, Dean takes the opportunity of Sam falling asleep to prank him by putting post it notes on his back. It’s not much of a prank when they’re the only two there though! Sam has only found one very cryptic mention of the seal of Solomon, so the two head to the archives. What’s really hilarious is how long it takes Sam to realize the notes are there – and how irritated he is! Can’t be easy living with a five year old…

Dean finds evidence that the Men of Letters did find Solomon’s treasure. They found it in 1917 in what is modern Israel. They dug it up and there was a crystal that glowed with an unearthly light and took it to one of their chapter houses – a smaller outpost in Rhode Island. Dean further tortures Sam by declaring “Jinkies!” Again, it’s funny because of how much it clearly irritates Sam – who wants to know that Dean will stop saying it eventually… Oh, Sam. You’ve met your brother, right?

The two drive to the location of the chapter house – but there are no doors. They do find a manhole cover that their key opens. I’m really curious how they got back out again – and why there wasn’t just a ladder there to get down… It’s hilarious when Dean says “it looks familiar” because they’re clearly using their own Bunker set!

The two set about looking through the archives, and Dean is distracted by photos of young women – including one of Sandy Porter. The two are interrupted in their search by a woman calling for help. They find Sandy still chained to the table. She confirms that she is Sandy Porter – and was born in 1903.

Ketch (David Haydn-Jones) reports to Asmodeus (Jeffrey Vincent Parise) and is told to cool his heels by the demon on guard (Lee Page). While the guard is distracted, Ketch sneaks in to the throne room. He catches Asmodeus shooting up with Gabriel’s (Richard Speight Jr) grace. Gabriel is cringing and cowering. It’s clearly how Asmodeus is so strong. Ketch tries to clarify his arrangement with Asmodeus, but they clearly have very different ideas about it. Asmodeus escorts Ketch back to the waiting area.

Rather than gathering more intel, the brothers simply take Sandy with them. In their defense, we do learn that they’ve tested her with holy water, silver, etc. She’s incredulous that it is 2018, but Dean shows her what cars look like now – or the Impala – what cars should look like! Sam show her his phone – it’s also a camera. Dean welcomes her to the future, and they take her to Krispy’s Diner to get something to eat. Unfortunately, they don’t know that she’s going to order off the menu…

It’s hilarious in retrospect, when Joanne (Enid-Raye Adams) remarks that Sandy is all skin and bone and wants to know when she last ate – because, yeah. That’s a big problem! I did enjoy how the episode unfolded and kept us guessing on what was really going on. It’s also impossible for Sam and Dean to have a meal and for it not to be hilarious over the food. Dean orders the stuffies and clam cakes – because of course, he’s going to eat the local delicacy.

Sam and Dean try to figure out what happened to Sandy. She clearly retains the memories of Sandy. She was lured down by the Men of Words? By the promise of a speakeasy. She tells them she remembers the rift of light, but then tells them that they were using her to feed the monster. She’s upset, so she rushes to the bathroom. Meanwhile, the cook – Marco (Ivan Wanis-Ruiz) has gotten a call from Ophelia (Tiffany Smith) at the chapter house, alerting him that Sandy is gone. We see him drug all the food for the table. He also has a pretty wicked looking knife.

Asmodeus has called Ketch because he heard that the Winchesters were putting together a big spell. Ketch tells him that Cas (Misha Collins) was just in the Holy Land. Asmodeus isn’t happy that Ketch didn’t tell him – and tells Ketch not to hold back. Asmodeus knows about the other world and that they got the spell from the Demon Tablet. He wants to stop them.

Ketch is still laboring under the belief that Asmodeus gives him a job, he does it, Asmodeus pays him, and they’re done. Asmodeus beats Ketch to drive home that he owns him. He does all of this in front of a cringing Gabriel. Speight does a wonderful job in creating yet another iteration of this character. I have to wonder if beating him in front of Gabriel is a way of gaining Gabriel’s trust and therefore a ruse.

Dean is suspicious because the entire scenario doesn’t seem like the boring Men of Letters. I did love the offhand reference to “Buffalo Billing chicks” which is a nice shout out to that other horror classic – Silence of the Lambs. They also start to wonder who’s been keeping Sandy there for the last 60 years after the Men of Letters died out. Sam offers to go back while Dean watches out for Sandy, but Dean’s having none of it – ironic given his own stupidity at the end of the episode.

The waitress arrives with the meals – and Sam’s is worthy of a boring Men of Letters. Lobster roll, no bun, and a kale salad. Sam insists that it’s healthy and he’s watching his cholesterol. Dean insists that kale is a garnish – so of course, his comes with it as a garnish. The brothers arguing over their diets never seems to get old! Sam’s comes first, so he’s already had a couple of bites by the time Dean’s arrives and Buck (Sean Depner) alerts them to something weird going on as he sees the robed figures outside the diner.

Sam passes out and the lights go out as robed figures invade the diner. Marco attacks Dean, and Sam is just starting to come around when the robbed figures drag him away. Dean is saved when Sandy stabs his attacker with Marco’s knife. Dean makes Molotov cocktails, and Sandy suggests calling the police – who turns out to be one of the dead, robed figures. Dean is focused on getting Sam back.

Meanwhile, Sam learns the truth from Ophelia and Marco. Sandy is a monster – or really, a god. Marco wants to know how they found the chapter house. It turns out that the Avilas are also legacies – at least their family were Men of Letters. Their great-grandfather, Diego (Carl Montoya) is responsible for Sandy. They tell him that Diego fought in WWI and was so traumatized that he wanted to cleanse the world of hate and called forward new gods to do it. Of course, that didn’t work out too well because it ate everyone. They were able to re-bind her before she could summon her mate – and their families have been watching over her ever since.

Ketch tells Asmodeus that he knows who he is – and rubs in that he still has a soul. Asmodeus is not buying his act as a cold-blooded murderer. He sees regret in Ketch and that he wants redemption. Asmodeus tells him that no matter what he does, he’ll still belong to him. This scene would definitely seem to indicate that the fight between the two was not a set up.

Ophelia and Marco tell Sam that all Sandy wants is to eat and breed. They can’t kill her, but they have been starving her to keep her weak. The tell Sam that if she gets food, they’re all dead.

Dean comes upon Sandy right after she’s snacked on poor Buck. It’s a nice fake out when the camera goes to black on the tentacle rocketing into Dean’s face.

Asmodeus stupidly leaves Ketch alone with Gabriel. Ketch makes the impulse decision to take Gabriel and escape. Inextricably, Gabriel doesn’t seem to want to go with him. It was satisfying when Ketch killed the surly guard. Ketch also takes the time to grab the Arch-angel blade.

Sam is beyond worried when he sees all the bodies, but Marco and Ophelia assure him that if Dean’s body isn’t there, she didn’t eat him. Naturally, she wants to breed with Dean!

I loved how sarcastic Dean was when Sandy told him about being separated from her love – “That’s tragic. It’s like a Hallmark movie, but with tentacles!” She tells him that she likes looking at his face, so she’s going to allow him to be Glythur’s host – and that gets Dean’s attention. She also tells him that she and Glythur had pretty much devoured all of their own universe. That doesn’t actually explain why they need to have hosts, however.

Dean somehow manages to evade the tentacles coming at his face and pick the lock on his chains. He grabs the seal of Solomon and throws it to Ophelia who closes the rift. Glythur grabs Sandy and takes her home before the rift closes. Marco and Ophelia give them directions on how to use the stone. They need something that’s been where they need to go to act as a guide, and the rift will only stay open for 24 hours.

Back at the Bunker, the brothers realize that they only need one more ingredient. They are interrupted by the appearance of Ketch, which has them drawing their weapons. He tells them that he’s brought a gift and produces Gabriel. Gabriel doesn’t appear to recognize them, which makes believe that this has to be Gabriel from Apocalypse world. It’s also a nice parallel if Gabriel is so terrified because he’s suffering from PTSD the same way that Diego Avila was when he summoned Yokoth.

Gabriel really freaks out when his grace is mentioned, but luckily, Ketch already has a vial of it – they don’t need to take any more. Ketch also gives them the Arch-Angel blade –which will also come in handy against Michael. All Ketch wants in return is protection. The Bunker is the only safe place that he knows. Sam says no, but Dean makes the deal – he’ll agree to anything as long as it gets Mary and Jack back.

Sam removes the stitches sealing Gabriel’s mouth shut, but Dean interrupts him to do the spell. Sam urges that they wait, but Dean insists that they’re just burning daylight. Sam is going to gather his gear when Dean tells him he’s going alone. Somebody needs to stay there… just in case. Ketch insists that he’s coming – Asmodeus is hunting him there, so better for him not to be on this earth.

Sam is rightly furious that Dean is ok with Ketch coming, but not him. Dean tells Sam that he’s fine if Ketch dies over there – in fact he’s rooting for it. Dean or Sam are needed to make sure the right door opens because they’ve been there. Dean insists that he’s going, and at first I thought – haven’t we all agreed NOT to do this self-sacrifice thing anymore? But then, it does make sense. If time runs out, or something happens to Dean, he needs Sam to come next. Sam insists that it’s safer if they go together – and he’s not wrong about that. However, the big flaw in all this is – WHY NOT JUST CALL CAS???? He’s been there too and can open the door if need be. Also? CALL BLOODY CAS!!! Who is also desperate to help and get Jack back.

Also? If all it takes to open the right door is to add their hair to the mix, they could just leave their hair – after all Sam has plenty of that! Sam isn’t happy but lets Dean go. I really wish that they’d given us a reaction shot from Gabriel. Of course, if he’s from over there, he can be used to open the door too. But I was curious to see if he really freaked out when he saw it.

This was a fun episode – who doesn’t love a good tentacle love story! Until the mytharc once again went horribly wrong. I suppose we can count Sam’s willingness to cast the spell as agreement with Dean’s plan, and Dean does make some sense. The scenes for next week certainly support Cas’s being furious that he wasn’t contacted. It also looks like Dean and Ketch find themselves at the compound Dean was in in “The End.” Whether that’s just the fact of limited locations or a call out to that Apocalypse world is a question I’ll be interested in seeing answered. From that standpoint, Dean will have a tactical advantage if it is the same compound he was in before… What did you think of the episode? Who is this Gabriel? Was Dean right to go without Sam? Can Ketch be trusted? Personally, I think he can – I think he developed real feelings for Mary – but I also think that he’s going to die saving her. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

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