Supernatural Review 8.17 - "Goodbye Stranger"
Posted by Joseph Lee on 03.21.2013
And I really have enjoyed my stay but I must be moving on...
The Road So Far: Sam and Dean encounter Prometheus, who is killed repeatedly but comes back to life as part of a curse placed on him by Zeus. After they solve that problem, Dean prays to Castiel because he knows that Sam is hurting from the trials, even if Sam won't admit it.
Season Eight, Episode 17: Goodbye Stranger Directed By: Thomas J. Wright Written By: Robbie Thompson
This episode was one hell of a ride. It had dramatic moments, hilarious comedic moments, heartwarming moments and a sad moment at the end that I didn't think would be sad when it eventually happened. It reminded me of the season five episodes of the series when every single episode almost felt like something big and important was going down, even if it wasn't overall. In some ways, season eight. mirrors season five and that's good. In others, as I'll mention later, it's bad.
The episode begins when Sam and Dean begin what appears to be a routine (for them) case only to discover that Castiel has been killing demons. Okay, before that it begins with the revelation that Naomi has been rebuilding Castiel's mind in order to prepare him to be able to kill Dean, in one of the more disturbing moments in the run of the entire series. Once Castiel returns the episode kicks into high gear and doesn't really let up much during that time.
This is one of those episodes that is high on the story and so to properly review it I would need to spoil it. I'll try to leave out as many of the big revelations as possible but this was one that definitely moved things along. The only thing I'll spoil is that Meg is back, still being played by Rachel Miner. Miner is so good in the role that it's really hard to imagine that anyone else ever played her, and I say this actually liking Nicki Aycox from season one.
She has some moments with Castiel which continue to tease whatever shippers there are ("I do remember the pizza man") and even gets a few with Sam and Dean. I love how that in this world everything is so screwed up that a demon can get somewhat good and an angel can have a bad side. Probably justfies why Sam and Dean probably shouldn't have stopped the Apocalypse in some ways.
There are some big moments at the end of the episode that I can't give away, but I enjoyed them all. It seems like everything that could happen within a 45 minute episode of Supernatural does happen. While this tends to leave things a little bit rushed (such as a fight scene at the end), it still makes for a really impact-filled series of moments and, as I mentioned, this is one of the best of the season.
As far as flaws go, there is a scene which whether on purpose or not mirrors the most climactic moment of the series in season 5 towards the end of Swan Song. You'll know which I'm talking about if you've seen it. I get what they were trying to do but there had to be another way to accomplish it than lifting a scene from a previous season entirely.
Other than that, this was one of the best episodes of the season and it had everything I could ask for in a Supernatural episode. The story has progressed, secrets were revealed and some big moments went down. Next week we'll see what the fallout is.
The 411: Goodbye Stranger was a huge mythology episode with the return of all the important characters that are still alive, several big revelations and one huge moment to end things. I'm not sure where the season goes from here, but it's really starting to heat up and the result was one of the best episodes of season eight.