Airtime: Tuesday at 9ET on The CW
By: Dana Leigh Brand, Contributor
Usually, SUPERNATURAL‘s Monster of the Week episodes have something that keeps them fresh–a twist, or a spin. Something different. So far, the two Monster of the Week episodes in Season 10 are dreary drivel and that makes me sad. I never thought I’d be bored sitting through the adventures of Sam and Dean.
“Ask Jeeves” starts off interesting enough–Dean finds one of Bobby’s old cell phones and checks the messages. The most recent one says Bobby’s been left something in the will of a New England heiress. Lacking other cases, Sam and Dean go check it out. One thing I do like about season 10 is how consistently they keep acknowledging the huge accumulation of story and character that’s come before. Rather than existing in a vacuum, rushing headlong towards whatever oblivion the season has in store, they’re taking pains to tie everything back to something that’s happened before. I don’t imagine there are any new fans trying to jump into the middle of Supernatural without at least mainlining the whole thing on Netflix first, so it’s not like they’ve got any casual viewers to alienate. Unfortunately, a lack of imagination is threatening to alienate me. And that’s a serious situation.
Largely a farcical Clue satire (to the point of mentioning Mrs. Peacock and Colonel Mustard), the episode spends most of its time poking fun at the female characters–particularly the two middle aged women who sexually assault Sam Winchester at every opportunity. There are a few laughs, mostly dragged out of me by Ackles and Padalecki’s deadpan reactions to the outlandish family drama they’ve been dragged into. The murder mystery runs through a few creature theories before finally settling on shifter (remember shifters from way back when? The one that got Dean wanted for serial murder? Man, good times.)
But wait–what did Bobby have to do with all this? There are dead bodies, possibilities of ghosts, eventually shifters. There are bitchy rich fat cats. There’s not really enough of a mystery (or backstory) here to warrant bringing Bobby’s sanctified name into things. (I might have a thing for Bobby. I miss that man.) Turns out the murderer is actually–! The maid! Who is really the daughter of the dead lady! Who was really boning a shifter! And Bobby killed the maid’s father! I rolled my eyes so hard I’m surprised their not stuck backwards in my head. The maid!shifter goes on a screed against Bobby Singer while attempting to murder Sam. Dean empties an entire clip into her chest. Residual demon ‘roid rage at its finest. Even after the explanation, it still feels like a cheap trick to mention Bobby at all. There wasn’t enough there to warrant bringing him into this. I’m bitter and annoyed.
I love hanging out with Sam and Dean, and I’d even take a few old horror homage episodes, but they’ve got to have that old spark. They’ve got to be a cut above. Supernatural‘s take on myths and urban legends always has an angle. It’s like the more jaded version of The X-Files. We’re not here to learn about ghosties and ghouls–Mulder and Scully helped us with that. We’re here to use them to comment on something (usually pop culture itself.) Supernatural‘s lost that, and I’m bored.
Our BM scene (“Boy Melodrama”–told you I’d steal that term from last week) at the end has Sam trying to get Dean to talk out his rage issues. Now, Dean Winchester has always had rage issues, but that rage is usually directed at himself. It’s nice to see it finally getting channeled somewhere else, if you ask me. I’m okay with a few unfettered anger management sessions. Presumably, this two minute talk is what makes this episode relevant to whatever mysterious plotline we’re hitching a ride on. Usually, the two minute talk at the end actually does make a Monster of the Week episode relevant. But since there’s currently no arc, no story, and no direction to season 10 it doesn’t work this week. Frankly, I’m ready for an arc to become apparent. Dropping the demon angle as early as they did means they dropped the only interesting part of the season. I’m ready for plot.
Good choice on the music, at least, Supernatural–Bob Seger is always appropriate for Winchesters.