Supernatural 12×12 Review: “Stuck In The Middle (With You)”

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banner by the Collected Mutineer
by The Collectress

The Road So Far

Last season saw the brothers in a battle with their biggest foe yet: the Darkness. Upon reuniting the Darkness with her brother, AKA God, the brothers were able to take a long relaxing vacation…oh wait, nope. The boys never catch a break. Dean and Sam are reunited with their mother…who’s been dead for thirty-three years. Oh and Lucifer is footloose and fancy-free (with a baby on the way!) Spoilers ahead.

SynopsisReview

Supernatural --"Stuck in the Middle (With You)"-- SN1212b_0076.jpg -- Pictured (L-R): Misha Collins as Castiel, Jared Padalecki as Sam, Jensen Ackles as Dean, Donavon Stinson as Wally and Samantha Smith as Mary Winchester -- Photo: Jack Rowand/The CW -- © 2017 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved
Supernatural –“Stuck in the Middle (With You)”– SN1212b_0076.jpg — Pictured (L-R): Misha Collins as Castiel, Jared Padalecki as Sam, Jensen Ackles as Dean, Donavon Stinson as Wally and Samantha Smith as Mary Winchester — Photo: Jack Rowand/The CW — © 2017 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved

Every once in a while, Supernatural has an episode that completely smashes all my expectations. Episodes such as “The French Mistake”, “Changing Channels”, and “Baby” all defied what I thought a mainstream television show could do, both thematically and technically speaking. And then here comes “Stuck In The Middle (With You)” and I once again have a thorough reminder on just why I love this show so damn much.

To attempt to synopsize this episode would be to do it injustice, so the briefest of summaries that I can give is this: Mary pulls “her boys” (read: Dean, Sam, and Castiel) into a case given to her by another hunter. What should be simple demonic possession (remember the days when that wasn’t ‘simple’?) turns into something much more dangerous, and potentially lethal, for Castiel.

Supernatural --"Stuck in the Middle (With You)"-- SN1212b_0343.jpg -- Pictured (L-R): Jared Padalecki as Sam, Misha Collins as Castiel and Jensen Ackles as Dean -- Photo: Jack Rowand/The CW -- © 2017 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved
Supernatural –“Stuck in the Middle (With You)”– SN1212b_0343.jpg — Pictured (L-R): Jared Padalecki as Sam, Misha Collins as Castiel and Jensen Ackles as Dean — Photo: Jack Rowand/The CW — © 2017 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved

This episode’s written structure echoes earlier Quentin Tarantino films such as Kill Bill Vol. 1 or Pulp Fiction, and the soundtrack feels like Samuel L. Jackson or Uma Thurman should appear on screen at any second. The interwoven, nonlinear, narrative emphasizes the importance of certain themes, characters, and even objects, that appear in the episode, such as *spoilers* the lance of Michael.

The construction of “Stuck in the Middle (With You)” also demonstrates the importance of the characters to each other. While Mary’s hunter friend is expendable and probably should have appeared in a red shirt, the rest of the characters are not. In fact, some of the dialogue in the final scenes emphasized just how much the characters mean to each other, and it is validation long overdue.

In the end, though, I have to admit that I have only one real reaction to the episode.

 

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