Glampers and rangers are being attacked in the woods so it's up to Sam, Dean and Bobby to hunt down the evil culprit. It doesn't turn out to be the Jersey Devil, a werewolf or a wendigo. "How to Win Friends and Influence Monsters" marks the return of the Leviathans. Plus, Dean's behavior changes drastically after munching on a delicacy known as the Turducken Slammer. Turducken = Turkey, Duck and Chicken. And apparently features some sort of special sauce that looks like grey ooze. So gross.
Let's touch on a couple of things before getting into the nitty gritty of the episode. First there's the ending. They shot Bobby! What? Hasn't Bobby suffered enough? He was paralyzed for a whole season. Now this? And on top of that, this cliffhanger gets to exist for two weeks since the next new Supernatural isn't until December 2. So incredibly cruel.
And second, let's talk about this whole Leviathan business. I feel like they're supposed to be formidable foes but the Winchesters haven't exactly been acting like it. I know Bobby sent Sam and Dean to that paranoid tech guy so he could give them tips on how to go off the grid. But ever since, it hasn't seemed like they have other than not driving the Impala.
In "How to Win Friends," they've finally started acting like it. At the beginning of the episode, the demon hunting trifecta of Sam, Dean and Bobby are squatting in some residence where they have to rig things so the electricity will come on. And according to Dean, they've been living with "cold showers, cold Hot Pockets, cold friggin' everything" for weeks. It's a dreary existence. So I immediately like where things are going.
While the hunters do have a case to work, there's a lot of character-driven stuff that's always abundant in Ben Edlund episodes like this one.
-Sam is still going with his whole healthy attitude kick. I say this every week but I want to have faith that things will stay like this for him. He's been through so much I don't really want to see him being tortured by visions of Lucifer. I really do hope he has it handled. But I'm kind of like Dean in a way. I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop. Before this season's over, they're going to have to show us exactly what Sam's dealing with again, right? Anyway, Sam shares a nice but slightly twisted scene with Bobby where he says he's fine with seeing Lucifer:
"Look, I'm not saying it's fun. I mean, to be honest with you I kind of see it as the best- case scenario. I mean, at least all my crazy is under one umbrella, you know? I kind of know what I'm dealing with. A lot of people got it worse." "You always were one deep little son of a bitch."
In this scene, he's still pressing that scar on his hand. Does that still work for him? Does that still help him determine what's real and what's not real? Also, Sam's doing a lot of worrying over what's going on with Dean. He feels ever since his wall broke his brother hasn't been the same. Truthfully, it was probably even before that. Dean had to deal with a soulless Sam who didn't care about him and admitted it. Kind of hard to get over that. I did like Bobby's response. He wonders how the brothers have enough time to do anything else when they're worrying about each other 24/7. "The two of you. Aren't you full up just playing Snuffleupagus with the devil all the live long?"
-This season, the show has decided to fill in some of the blanks on Bobby's life. We found out some of his issues when he held that one snarky Leviathan captive in his basement. Now we learn he was a hunter before he was a demon hunter. In fact, when he was a kid he and his family used to shoot their dinner. Bobby tries to be there for the Winchesters. He sees them going through different things and he wants to help. He's definitely a father figure to them and he has been for a long time. As suspected, Big Daddy Winchester used to dump his sons at Bobby's while he went off on a case. So, Sam and Dean have been learning from Bobby for a long time.
-As for Dean, well, he's a bit of a mess. He's depressed. He talks about how they've saved the world twice already. That maybe the world wants to end. I guess he's trying to find a reason to keep going. He's feeling the effects of everything they've seen and done and fought. He's feeling the effects of not only Cas causing Sam's wall to crumble but losing Cas. And there's losing Lisa and Ben too.
But Dean's been depressed before. Like in Season 5 when he was contemplating saying "yes" to Michael. And in Season 4, around "On the Head of a Pin" time. I don't know if he's ever gotten out of this funk. But according to Bobby, he needs to find a reason. I'm not sure Bobby's words to Dean were the right way to deal with someone who's depressed and -- according to Bobby (again) -- suicidal. But Singer's sentiment at the end was great: "You die before me and I'll kill you."
Dean getting into that Turducken Slammer was simply awesome. It's funny that in another Ben Edlund episode, "My Bloody Valentine," Dean was the one that didn't fall prey to the ravishing hunger like Sam and Cas did. But in this one, he munches on that sandwich like there's no tomorrow and soon he's hungry for more. Dean starts acting stoned, like he doesn't have a care in this world:
"Cas...black goo..I don't even care anymore. You know what's even better? I don't care that I don't care. I just want my damn Slammer back."
I wonder what it's going to take for Dean to get out his depression and find a reason for doing what he was raised to do. And I wonder how he's going to react after the cliffhanger ending of Bobby getting shot.
Back to the Leviathans. Their big nefarious plan was to get people to eat the Turducken Slammers. These diners would become complacent slobs and it would, I guess, be easier to take over the world? It'd be easier to brainwash them? I'm not completely sure on the end game there. What I do know is that James Patrick Stuart does an excellent job of playing the head Leviathan, Dick "Friggin'" Roman. I definitely hope he returns. Poor Cameron Bancroft, however. His Doctor Leviathan is no more. They bibbed him. And by bibbed, I mean they actually put a bib on him and then forced him to eat himself. Pleasant.
I'm glad the show found its way to the mythology again and I enjoyed the quality time the Winchesters shared with Bobby. We'll have to see what happens in the next episode but just from looking at the previews I got a sense of the very end of "In My Time of Dying." I don't think there will be the same outcome, however. Although this is Supernatural and everyone dies including Sam and Dean. I didn't know how to take the end of "How to Win Friends and Influence Monsters" because I just don't see Bobby dying. I could be wrong.
-Another Ben Edlund episode, another Biggersons appearance. The chain restaurant was introduced in Edlund's "Bad Day at Black Rock" (one of the greatest Supernaturals of all time) and has been used/referenced in several other episodes. I guess Sam and Dean's one year of free food at Biggersons expired a long time ago.
-Bobby was pretty badass. When he shot down the thing that took Ranger Rick, he closed his eyes and shot it down with one bullet. It was pretty impressive.
-Loved finding out what "glampers" are: "A high-end camper. TV. AC. Wi-fi. Back to nature. Zero inconvenience."
-Gross-out Moment: Bobby and Sam autopsy the guy who killed the ranger -- they find human stuff in him, as well as a cat's head and a pine cone
-Dean really likes quirky characters. Ronald. The bank teller that said okey dokey. In this one, he liked Ranger Rick. Of course, Ranger Rick was all stoned from the TDK Slammer so he had a little help being quirky.
-If the Turducken Slammer partakers didn't get that stoned, complacent feeling, sometimes they would have suffer a nastier side effect and get cannibalistic and belligerent. The Biggersons waiter with the flair was affected in this manner and awesomely went off on Dean, Sam and Bobby. He referred to Sam as "Big Bird," Dean as a "Ken Doll" and Bobby as the "Creepy Uncle." Hilarious.
-We learned more about Dick Roman. Before the Leviathan took him over, he was a billionaire corporate douche with a best-selling novel to his name. How great was the TV story we got to watch where along the bottom of the screen the entire time was the phrase: "The Rise of Dick?" Of course, I'm not HD-friendly so on my standard TV it cut off most of the "the."
-Bobby thinks Dean has a case of the Anne Sextons -- Sexton is an American poet whose themes in her poetry included her suicidal tendencies and depression. Is Dean suicidal?
-Ben Edlund gave us some great dialogue, didn't he? And I think Guy Bee did a great job directing as well. I like these two as a team. They previously paired up on "Hello, Cruel World" from earlier this season.
-I was missing the Impala last week. This week I'm missing Cas.