Episode 09×15 AKA The Ghostfacers Return
Happy Winchester Wednesday, Hunter friends! After leaving you in the capable hands of my blogger, the Collectiva Diva, last week, I am more than ready to return to writing about mah boys after nearly a month haitus (it was killing me not to write about last week’s episode!)
Now, if you really, truly enjoyed last night’s episode…perhaps this write-up isn’t for you. Just a warning.
The plot was typical MotW, or so it seemed. Girl gets killed by creepy dude with no face who appeared behind her in her final selfie. It’s enough to spark the Winchesters’ interest, as well as, duhduhduh: the Ghostfacers.
Yes, Harry & Ed are back. And Dean is oh-so-thrilled by this development.
The villain-to-blame is the Thinman, which the Ghostfacers have made their fortune investigating (the book they wrote proves that they’re authorities on the subject). Another murder happens, this time caught on camera, and Ed comes clean to the Winchesters, revealing that there is no Thinman. He invented Thinman to “save” Harry from a life as a suburban husband and eventually the upper-middle-class-2.5-children-white-picket-fence future.
Eventually, it’s revealed that the Thinman is not supernatural at all, but a few men wearing masks who call themselves the “creation” of the Ghostfacers–making the most cringe-inducing Frankenstein comparison of all time. Ed tells the truth to Harry about Thinman, and the Ghostfacers break up. It reeks of a rewrite of “Road Trip.” Still no happy ending.
Now, Collectibles, let’s take a walk back to Creative Writing 101. (Here begins my rant.) Class is in session, and schooling shall commence.
Lesson 1: Show. Don’t Tell.
In terms of plot, last night’s episode could have been great, but the execution was, for my taste, poorly done. “How so, Collectress?” you ask. The most important lesson I learned from a writing instructor was that good writing shows us the story. There’s a big difference between saying “Jim Bob was sad because Mary Lou died.” and “Jim Bob hung up the phone and stared at it, wishing that the hospital would call back and tell him it was a joke. A horrible joke. The sickest joke. That Mary Lou was no longer dead.” See the difference?
Last night’s episode was a lot of telling us what the characters were feeling, but did they show us? No. The writer for last night (who incidentally wrote that episode that shall never be named) gave us a crude and hastily done parallel between the brothers and the Ghostfacers. So both Ed and Dean lied to their brother/best friend in order to “save” them? Both Harry and Sam are having a hard time forgiving? Okay, I buy that, BUT could you have made it less garishly done? I mean, the conversations that Ed & Harry had were almost verbatim what Sam and Dean have said in the past five episodes, and the end scene took place on a f**king bridge, just like the end of “Road Trip,” and I’m sorry, but that’s too obvious. Trust that the audience is smart enough to draw a comparison between the two pairs without actually drawing us a f**king diagram. We are not stupid. We can figure it out. Show us; don’t tell us.
Lesson 2: Character Development
My biggest issue with the writer of last night’s episode is that she neglects character development (I had a similar complaint about her last episode, “Rock and a Hard Place”). After being on the air nine years, a writer should approach an scene/episode/season with the idea that hey, this isn’t the exactly same character that was in season one. I’m not the same person I was nine years ago (thank God) and the character shouldn’t be either. Character development is not limited to novels, folks, and, in fact, it is probably more important in visually represented writing, such as television, because these characters are seen for years (and sometimes, decades!).
Now, in last night’s episode, we had a Dean and Sam who blatantly refused to address their problems, but because the boys are codependent, they spend 24/7 together nonetheless. Cuz that’s healthy (not). Now, let’s think about some of the toughest things the boys have been through in the past 9 years:
- Death of Sam’s girlfriend, Jess
- Death of their father, John Winchester
- Dean selling his soul to save Sam, subsequent time in Hell
- Sam’s addiction to demon blood
- THE APOCALYPSE
- Sam’s time in Hell
- Sam’s time without a soul
- Death of Bobby
- Dean’s time in purgatory
- The Trials (Sam’s almost-death)
The boys have faced down gods, angels, devils, leviathan, and the apocalypse. Just a thought, Writers, but if the boys can work through Sam being soulless, Dean torturing souls in hell, and…I don’t know…the APOCALYPSE…then maybe, just maybe, their characters are used to tackling problems straightforwardly. This passive aggressive bullshit? Nope. Don’t buy it. Especially not from Sam, who has consistently demonstrated an attitude of “let’s work this out.” Neither of them are leaving, but this not-talking is not in character. Nope. I don’t care who says “they need time” or “Sam is still hurt.” That may be true, but since when does either brother leave the other alone? They push, they prod, they annoy–that’s what brothers do.
I have a horrible feeling that the writers are planning on a silent-treatment-scenario-until-enough-time-has-passed-and-then-they’ll-magically-have-everything-be-okay. No. F**k that. Make them talk it out. That is character development.
Oh, and don’t get me started on how out-of-character it was to have Dean “Captain Self-Loathing” Winchester kill a human without a second thought.
What This Episode Reveals About the Winchesters
Disregarding the blatant disregard for character development, we learned that Dean used to dress up as Superman and Sam was Batman. Pssh, c’mon boys, Marvel superheroes are way cooler. (Head canon: Sam as Thor; Dean as Iron Man.)
Grudgingly, I’ll admit that we did get some insight to Sam’s mindset. “Secrets ruin relationships,” he tells Ed as he encourages the Ghostfacer to tell Harry the truth. Yes, yes they do Sam. Know what else ruins relationships? Refusing to address the problem. But according to Sam, “There are things you can forgive and there are things you can’t.” I guess Sam is still deciding on whether or not he can forgive Dean, but, in this case, I think actions speak louder than words. Sam’s still hunting with Dean, right? If there were no hope for their relationship, he would leave. He’s done it before.
The Big Picture
The Winchester Family Drama is at the heart of this season’s story arc, and I wonder if the Big Bads (Abaddon, Metatron, etc.) are going to take advantage of the fact that the Winchesters aren’t a solid unit. If I were hell-bent (pun intended) on taking over, I would certainly do it right now while the boys are too busy Mean Girl-ing each other to care about the bigger picture.
Get your act together, Winchesters. Evil doesn’t sleep because of your drama. You took the job, so f**king do it already.
Supernatural returns March 18 with a new episode starring Crowley as a blood addict.