Even though the brothers "broke up" at the end of "Slash Fiction," it just so happens they separately converge on the same town to investigate the same case. It's a town full of dying "psychics." Someone or something is eliminating these fake fortunetellers and it's up to the Winchesters to find out why. At the same time, there's, naturally, much tension between the squabbling siblings. Will they be able to put Amy behind them? Or are we going to continue to get more episodes of brotherly unrest?
The "Slash Fiction" Fallout: For the last week, I've been feeling a little bitter over the ending of "Slash Fiction." It was a sour epilogue to what was otherwise an amazing episode. I just didn't like how Sam took off...again. However, my theory was that he just needed space. Like I said in my previous blog, he was angry. He didn't want to deal with his brother. He didn't even want to talk or look at him. I totally get it. But I thought he'd go somewhere to blow off some steam and then suck it up and get back with his brother because they had some big bad Leviathans to battle.
As we find out in "The Mentalists," the separation lasts for a week and a half before they run into each other. Did either even try calling each other? Dean looked damn lonely at the beginning of the episode. Sam knows that ditching his brother is the perfect way to hurt him most. More than beating him up. So, yeah, when I first heard he had been gone for a week and a half, I was upset. If they hadn't run into each other, would Sam have called? I think he would have. But it may have taken much longer.
The Psychic Friends Network: This mythology-free case took the boys to Lily Dale, N.Y., a small town where psychics -- both fake and real -- have taken up residence. There's a new age-y restaurant that seems perfect for Sam and a nightmare for Dean. The clairvoyants, spoon benders and Miss Cleo knockoffs are the big guns of the town. What's fun about this case -- yes, I said fun -- is that there's this Season 1 vibe. Take a look at some of the classic tricks of the trade Sam and Dean used while tackling the case:
-There may not have been an EMF meter this time around, but there is a liberal use of salt. Dean uses the salt ring to help protect the girl of the week, the strong beautiful damsel in distress, if you will. Dean also uses a gun filled with rock salt. So cool.
-There's a pretty girl flirting with a Winchester again. Remember episodes like "Hook Man," "Wendigo," and "Dead in the Water"? Sam and Dean would ride into town, solve a supernatural case and flirt with a girl. At times we've gotten so far away from that, it's nice to be reminded of the simple days of Supernatural. I really enjoyed the dynamic going on between Dean and Melanie. She found this ghost stuff strange but she quickly adapts to it and even tries to save herself using the iron and salt. She kind of reminds me of Sarah, the girl Sam had a thing with in Season 1's "Provenance."
-Sam and Dean (mostly Sam) go digging up graves so they can salt and burn some bones. I can't remember the last time that happened.
-Besides salt, they use iron to temporarily vanquish the ghost.
-The culprit's a real psychic who isn't as flashy as some of the fake fortunetellers of the town so his business suffers. He decides to get rid of his competition by using a binding spell, which means he has a psychic ghost on a leash that does his bidding. Sounds very Sue Ann Grange-esque from "Faith" if you ask me. Of course, she had something much more powerful on her leash -- an actual reaper.
-The writers -- Ben Blacker and Ben Acker -- pay respect to the past as well. This is a psychic town, so both Pamela and Missouri are mentioned. Plus, the mildly clairvoyant tour guide has a message for Dean from Ellen. I miss all those women. I'm going to assume Missouri's still alive and well so I hope at some point before this series ends, the boys will visit her. We so need to see her again.
-The only things that prevent this from being a Season 1 episode in its truest form are the absence of the Impala as well as a classic rock soundtrack.
More Sibling Issues: There's tension between Sam and Dean for almost the entire hour. It's exhausting and I hate seeing it. Plus, occasionally, one of these residents would give their thoughts on the brothers and the negative vibes they give off. According to these psychics, Sam's dealing with a loss and is in pain. And Dean is stressed. You can tell these psychic friends aren't (too) real since nobody guessed Sam's living with Satan-vision.
Sam knows how to hold on to his anger. He's abrupt with Dean for much of the time. He's all "just the facts, ma'am" with his brother until his brother can't take it anymore. What did you guys think of that first argument after they visited the museum? I like Dean calling Sam on his being an angry bitch with him. But I don't know about Dean playing the "waving a gun at Satan" card. I don't know that that's the reason he didn't tell Sam the truth about killing Amy.
The final conversation of the episode is much more productive. First, Sam has to kill the psychic responsible for the deaths. I think that may have helped him get in touch with why Dean did what he did. After that, things seem to calm down to a much more manageable level. And in front of the car (that was not the Impala), they are ready to talk. Sam says he gets it and he's not sure if he would have ever been able to kill Amy. But he also feels Dean's actions (not sleeping, drinking) are not the actions of someone who thinks they did the right thing. Dean's clear he feels he did the right thing. He claims he didn't like lying to Sam. He also admits to having issues trusting people and mentions Cas. This gives us an indication that he's still messed up over what happened there. Regardless, it's a nice conversation. And it all ends with the brothers on the same page again. They're traveling in the same car, which is a good sign. And let's hope this puts the whole Amy death to bed and we can get to dealing with whatever the business of this season is. I'm not going to lie. It's nice to see all that tension fall away.
I enjoyed "The Mentalists." It's a straight up MOTW case with a healthy side dish of sibling drama. However, I definitely hope to see more of the Leviathans because I'm curious and I want the mythology to kick in a little bit more.
-Jimmy Tomorrow's business card reads: "No Future Too Grim." I just think it's funny considering Supernatural's new timeslot rival is NBC's Grimm.
-Being in that psychic town made me remember the days when Sammy was considered one of the psychic kids and he was having visions of people in trouble.
The title of this show is "The Mentalists" and Dean even mentioned to Sam how the so-called psychic went a little Mentalist on him. CBS has a show called The Mentalist starring Simon Baker. And it just so happens to be a Warner Bros. Television show just like Supernatural. Synergy at work.
-I like how the psychic Miss Thibideaux has an island accent when working but when she's off the clock, she has no accent whatsoever. Very Miss Cleo. .
-Most Twisted Death: I'm going to have to say the spoon bender guy levitating and falling on all that sharp cutlery.
-Ben Blacker and Ben Acker. These new Supernatural writers also created a comedy show here in Los Angeles that's an homage to old time radio shows called the Thrilling Adventure Hour. These shows often star the likes of Nathan Fillion, Colin Hanks, Busy Phillips and Paget Brewster. So I appreciated that Dean found out about the case of the week on the radio.
-Sam and Dean hit the sibling acts section of the museum where there's a portrait of "The Mystifying Campbell Brothers." Obviously, the name Campbell is significant to Sam and Dean. The tour guide tells us how these acts never ended well because of the strain of working together. That didn't apply to the Campbells, however. It turns out they weren't really siblings. They were partners in the alternative lifestyle sense.
-Dorian Brown played Melanie Holden. She is currently playing Elijah Wood's uptight sister on FX's twisted comedy, Wilfred. And she also got to get her flirt on with Michael Weatherly in a Season 5 episode of NCIS. She played Special Agent Courtney Krieger in "Identity Crisis."
-That look Dean gave when Melanie tried to fake read his palm was pretty heartbreaking. It seemed really hopeful. Almost too hopeful. Melanie's sad that she in't going to get to know Dean. Jensen and Dorian had some really good chemistry going on. Wouldn't mind if the brothers met up with her again.
-The next episode looks like it's going to be fun.
Even though the brothers "broke up" at the end of "Slash Fiction," it just so happens they separately converge on the same town to investigate the same case. It's a town full of dying "psychics." Someone or something is eliminating these fake fortunetellers and it's up to the Winchesters to find out why. At the same time, there's, naturally, much tension between the squabbling siblings. Will they be able to put Amy ...