Supernatural Review 8.18 - "Freaks and Geeks"
Posted by Joseph Lee on 03.28.2013
A character from last season returns and we get zero follow-up on what happened last week.
The Road So Far: A lot happened, so let's recap. Castiel returned, saying he needed the help of Sam and Dean to track down an Angel tablet. He also revealed that Sam had some damage that not even he could fix as a result of the trials. Meanwhile, Meg was killed in a fight with Crowley and Castiel managed to break the hold that Naomi had on him.
Season Eight, Episode 18: Freaks and Geeks Directed By: John F. Showalter Written By: Adam Glass
So with no follow-up on the events of last week, we jump into another stand-alone episode this week. I said as much last season, but the final stretch of episodes really needs to be wrapping up the remaining story elements and building towards the season finale. Sam still has two trials left. Castiel is missing and Kevin has more of a tablet to translate. We don't really have time to go into a story like this which has no bearing on the main plot.
The episode opens with what looks like is going to be a standard opening kill, but instead a group of kids have set a trap for a vampire. Sam and Dean have caught wind of some vampire killings and encounter Krissy while on what they think is a routine hunt. When they discover she's hunting again, they go to the man responsible: a hunter named Victor. He is preparing the "next generation" of hunters with a unique combination of an actual life during the day and killing monsters at night.
After last week's episode of Supernatural, I was expecting a fairly large amount of fallout this week. Barring that, at least some discussion from Sam and Dean about the events that went down. The only thing they talk about is Sam's health, and then that's dismissed with a joke. Castiel going into hiding, Meg's death, the angel tablet...nothing. None of this is mentioned. There's a difference between a stand-alone episode and an episode that completely ignores a massive amount of story that took place before it. I realize Meg was a villain but some sort of mention of a major character death would have been appreciated.
Judging the episode on its own merits, it was just okay. The story was fairly predictable and while I didn't know exactly how Victor would turn out to be dirty, I knew he would eventually and I knew more or less how it would end. This episode is the very definition of Supernatural on cruise control. You saw a lot of that in season six and to a lesser extent season seven. I'd rather not have it creep up into this season too, which has been pretty good for the most part.
Madison Mclaughlin returns as Krissy this week, and while she does a much better job here than in Adventures in Babysitting, I'm just not a fan of the character. She was irritating then and now she's only slightly less irritating. She's just not very interesting and suddenly killing off her dad to put her back into the life of a hunter reeks of desperation to bring back a recurring character. Was this a story that really needed to be told? Did anyone ask for a follow-up on Krissy's life? Not really.
There were some good aspects of the episode, however. I thought Adrian Hough was fine in the role of Victor, both parts tragic and kind of creepy. I liked the plot twist that happens in regards to the vampires, even if the parts that followed were strictly by-the-numbers. I also liked the brief moments of Sam getting to see what his life could have been liked, even if it wasn't explored adquately enough. It seems like this episode is just full of "what-ifs" and "could have beens" that keep it from being anything more than average.
Next week we're back into the trials, and it looks like Sam's going to Hell. Plus, Benny is back!
The 411: This was nothing more than an okay episode at best. The fact that we had zero follow-up on a pretty good and eventful episode last week was frustrating. The fact that this episode was predictable and by-the-numbers was even worse. There have been worse episodes this season, but this wasn't disappointing after "Goodbye Stranger".