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Supernatural - The Heroes' Journey - Review



Supernatural “The Heroes’ Journey” was written by Andrew Dabb and was directed by John F Showalter. The episode features what is, no doubt, Garth’s (DJ Qualls) last appearance on the show. I’ve never been a big Garth fan – finding his episodes and the character generally too silly for the aspects of the show that I like and finding Qualls often a little too over the top or self-aware. However, Qualls delivers a really terrific performance in this episode. I was also – like many other fans I’ve heard from – a bit put off by an entirely comedic episode when we only have 20 episodes in this, the final season. The comedic episodes have never really been my favorites, but I have to say that once I realized that being pissed off wasn’t going to change it, I really enjoyed this episode! I mean, Jensen Ackles (Dean) doing a classic movie musical moment? Just wow. And the general theme of what happens when a hero becomes “normal”? That was some out of the box thinking on Dabb’s part and a theme worth exploring.

The “Then” recaps some of the boys’ most heroic moments and then reminds us about Garth and what’s been happening with Chuck (Rob Benedict). The teaser is a cage match between a werewolf (Jesse Hutch) and a wraith. The violence of the match is overlaid by a beautiful rendition of “Clair de Lune” which is the perfect counterpoint.

Dean and Sam (Jared Padalecki) are both having ridiculously bad days. Dean is at the store and all that junk he eats is finally catching up with him as he seems to have a terrible cavity. Then Charlie’s magic credit card stops working, he almost gets run into by a skateboarder and he gets a parking ticket. At home, Sam is having trouble cooking dinner: He burns himself, drops the pasta, and breaks dishes.

When Dean gets back, Sam even trips coming up the stairs! The two compare notes and suddenly Sam seems to be getting sick. The two are interrupted by Garth calling for help.

The two set out right away, and Dean is convinced that they are cursed. Either Chuck did something to them or maybe something they brought from Rowena’s is doing it. Dean declares that none of it is “normal.” But that’s the point. It IS normal – but for normal people, not heroes. We learn that Cas (Misha Collins) is in heaven. And then Baby actually breaks down, forcing them to walk the last 10 miles to Garth’s!

We see Garth in the midst of domestic bliss feeding his twins. And is anybody surprised that he’s great with kids? The doorbell rings and the boys are finally there. Sam dodges a hug because he’s sick, but Garth hugs Dean remarking that he smells good. He then says they’re late because the car broke down and they’re having a “super normal day” – he’s being sarcastic, but we know it’s actually ironic… Garth takes it all in stride, saying they’ll fix them up, because he’s used to “normal” days.

Garth then takes them to meet the kids: Gertie (Emma Oliver) and the twins, Sam (Austin Brody) and Castiel (William Brody). Garth introduces Sam first and Dean naturally assumes that he’s about to be the namesake of the second, and he’s surprised and clearly disappointed when Garth tells them Castiel.

Garth then takes them to see Bess’s (Sarah Smyth) cousin, who is the werewolf from the teaser. He’s a pureblood like she is. They tell them that the wounds, which look like knife wounds, were actually made by a wolf – and apparently he’d been dumped by the road for dead where the cops had found him.

Garth and Bess then set about trying to help Sam and Dean, which leads to some of the funniest moments in the episode. Dean compliments Garth on his life, telling him that he deserves it. Garth tells him that he thought he’d be dead before 40 as a hunter, but he’s clearly profoundly content with the great life he’s made with Bess. Garth notices Dean’s teeth and takes him to the basement – where he has a dental practice! It was while he was getting his degree when the “whole hunter thing happened” – when he killed the tooth fairy, remember! And he’s gone back to school and finished. It’s perfectly logical that there would be a big demand for dentistry among werewolves, right? Ackles does the terrified dental patient perfectly!

Meanwhile, Bess gives Sam a home remedy to get rid of his cold. Sam drinks it back and grimaces but says it’s not too bad. Ordinarily, that would be that, right? But not today. Bess tells Sam it’s mostly cayenne pepper, and suddenly, Sam is in agony. One of the best lines in the episode is Gertie declaring, “the giant’s crying!” Sam ends up not only crying but writhing on the floor in agony as the twins look on and start bawling in sympathy. Gertie thinks it’s hilarious Bess walks right by Sam.

Meanwhile, Garth discovers that Dean has 17 cavities – and we learn that those beautiful teeth have never seen a dentist. Garth gives Dean gas to put him out while he works and we get one of the most unexpected and delightful scenes in the show. An old time musical tap dance to “Let’s Misbehave,” starring Dean and featuring Garth. More full body shots would have been great, but Ackles does a fine job even with what had to be a very short rehearsal. And who doesn’t love Dean’s heel click?

Everyone regroups in the livingroom. Bess’ cure seems to have helped Sam, and Dean has a mouth full of cotton – it’s always amazing just how much he can stuff in his mouth – I’m thinking of the caramels from “Tall Tales” – another comic episode. Garth finally can’t stand it and wants to know what’s going on. I loved this scene. He wants to know who they pissed off, and Sam tells them God. They explain that God is trying to make them kill each other.

Garth sums it up – so you were the hero of his story? What does that make me? A supporting character? Guest star? Yep. You nailed it Garth! Sam is quick to deny it, but Garth is fine with it – being the hero sucks! Garth uses Batman and Fifty Shades of Grey as his two examples, revealing that he and Bess loved Fifty Shades – LOL! Sam is confused as to who is the hero in Fifty Shades

However, being the hero has some perks – when does Batman ever get a flat? The hero never sweats the small stuff because it slows down the story…. Heeeey…. And that’s exactly what this episode is doing. This whole scene is a bit of a meta moment – I love the meta – but I love it a lot more when there’s 23 episodes in a season and another season coming… Sam suggests that they’ve been “downgraded” and Dean repeats that they’ve been cursed. But Garth tells them that they’re just normal and they’re just having normal people problems for the first time in their lives. Sam wonders how they can fix it – but Garth doesn’t have a suggestion.

Bess’ cousin wakes up and tells them that he fell down the stairs. Sam uses the puppy face to try to convince him to tell the truth and he calls Sam on it! It’s hilarious!! Bess sticks her fingers in one of his wounds to persuade him to talk – and that works. He tells them it’s a place monsters go to fight for money. Dean asks “real money?” and is pleased – inordinately – that he can talk again! He tells them that they livestream the fights – he needed the money…. He tells them where the warehouse is because he thinks that all the fangs there will just rip them to pieces.

Garth doesn’t want them to go, but Dean insists that it’s their job. Garth wants to come with them, but again, Dean says no. He tells Garth that he’s not taking him away from Bess and the kids – Garth really does have a nice life now – and a large collection of sweaters… Garth finally agrees, but does give them a new set of sparkplugs to get back on the road.

Dean eats seven of Bess’ grilled cheese sandwiches on the way. When they get to the warehouse, they gear up out of the trunk. Dean is going to just take the regular go bag, but Sam insists that they take everything! If they’re normal, they can’t just charge in, guns blazing. Dean is thrilled to have an excuse to pull out the grenade launcher.

Sam trips over a bucket as the two enter the main room. Dean is suddenly overcome by intestinal trouble – he’s suddenly lactose intolerant?!?!? He rushes off to throw up in the bathroom, where Cutty (Danny Dworkis) takes him prisoner with the grenade launcher!

Sam and Dean end up in the cage – Sam didn’t even hear the guy coming who captured him! Cutty comes in and offers them water or a hot towel. He knows who they are, and he wants them to fight. He tells them that he’s a shifter – but also a sportsman. He’s going to pit them against Maul (Daryl Ducharme). He’s a vamp, and Dean has lots of fun calling him every “M” name he can think of. Dean tries to bluff his way out of it, reminding them of the “stories” – they’ve killed everything, including Alphas! Hey, Rick Worthy – we miss the Alpha Vamp! Cutty is buying it and sends the brothers to cells to wait.

I loved the little commercial for the Battle Royale in Monday Monster Mayhem – and the return of those great mug shots of the brothers!

The opening fight is Killer Wraith vs Jamaica Djinn. Dean finds a nail and attempts to pick the lock. Sam can’t believe that Dean can’t get it open. He worries that it’s all just been Chuck, and if they can’t even pick the lock, they’ll never be able to beat Maul. Dean is convinced that after everything, Chuck wouldn’t let them die like this. Dean tries to give Sam a pep talk. Not everything was Chuck. They’ve been doing this their whole lives. They’re the best in the world. It looks like Sam is gaining some hope again.

Cutty goes to get them for the fight and finds their cell doors open and the cells empty. How they got out with no one seeing is a mystery – and a bit of a continuity glitch as it seemed like the cages were essentially ringside and now they are further away. They haven’t gotten out on their own, of course, Garth has come to the rescue! I loved Garth wolfing out and ripping the locks off and Dean marveling at how strong he is!

Dean is ready to just run away and try to regroup – leaving all their equipment, including the grenade launcher! But Garth has a plan – he’s planted C4 all over the warehouse and blows it. Maul appears out of the fire, however. Garth wolfs out again and tells them he’s got it, only to get slapped aside. Sam and Dean now have to fight Maul. Dean tells him to bring it on, and goes for a low blow, which Maul returns, taking Dean out. Sam can’t even hit him! The fight is ridiculous. Garth finally Garths Maul with a machete – and Dean’s voice is suddenly much higher! LOL!

Back at Garth’s house, the brothers hold the babies while Bess packs up more sandwiches for Dean. It’s hilarious when Dean remarks that baby Cas is looking at him weird, and Sam remarks, “so kinda like the real Cas…” And Destiel fans everywhere are happy – maybe? When baby Cas flashes wolf eyes, Dean hands him back to Bess and the brothers take their leave.

Dean thanks Garth for saving them, and Garth says it was nothing. Sam insists it’s not – he saved them. The brothers agree Garth is the hero. Garth tells them he learned from the best and asks if they’ll be ok. They’re normal and the almighty is after them. Garth tells them about a story he heard about a place you can go in Alaska if you’re luck’s gone bad. Garth reminds him that there’s always a catch with things like this – have we forgotten “Faith?” Sam and Dean hug Garth goodbye, and Dean remarks that Garth doesn’t smell bad either! It’s High Karate! Of course…. Is that even still a thing? The last shot we have of Garth is dancing with Bess as “Werewolf of London” plays in the background.

The brothers get in the car and discuss their next move. Sam points out that there’s always a cost to deals. Dean points out that they can’t go up against Chuck if they’re normal. They decide to head to Alaska.

It looks like the next episode is a continuation of this one. Which means two filler episodes in a row? I could almost be ok with this one – there are some classically funny bits – and that dance sequence – but c’mon! We only have 20 episodes. I’m not impressed with the plotting – or even the main arc of this last season. However, I did think that this was a lovely way to say goodbye to Garth. DJ Qualls is terrific in the episode – and thank you, writers, for not killing him! What did you think of the episode? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!



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