Supernatural season 8 episode 8 review: Hunteri Heroici

Review Caroline Preece 30 Nov 2012 - 15:11

It's silly season in this week's cartoon comedy episode of Supernatural. Here's Caroline's review...

This review contains spoilers.

8.8 Hunteri Heroici

Ah, don’t we all love a silly episode of Supernatural. If you don’t, then Hunteri Heroici might not be the greatest way to spend your time, as the show is back in comedy mode for an episode that features a thief killing people with logic and rules from cartoons. This translates into hearts that literally beat out of victim’s chests, a jumper who floats in the air before looking down, and the unfortunate target of a falling anvil. All this and we get to watch Castiel join Sam and Dean as their ‘good third wheel’ too, as he decides that his direction in life must now be to become a fellow hunter.

Castiel returned two weeks ago, of course, but here we get to really enjoy his extremely welcome presence on a show that can too often feel a little claustrophobic. The whole episode recalled the easy dynamic between the three guys that made seasons four and five so darn entertaining and, while the sheer amount of jokes coming at the angel’s expense might have been a bit overkill, it’s great to have him restored to his former glory. Whoever was responsible for Castiel’s storyline last season messed up in the eyes of almost every Supernatural fan, and I’m glad to see the show has taken the opportunity to press the rewind button.

As you may guess from the episode’s central motif, there are an awful lot of pop culture references that go over his head, and watching him catch up on his Looney Toons is hilarious. According to him, Wile E. Coyote is man and roadrunner is God, and the whole thing represents humanity’s never-ending quest for enlightenment – it makes far too much sense when you think about it. There’s also his ‘bad cop’ routine taken straight out of every crime show on television, all helping to alleviate some of the impending doom carried over from the revelation at the of the last episode.

Amanda Tapping is back here, but it’s just as brief an appearance as her first. We still know next to nothing about her, or Castiel’s, role in things, and I’m standing by my theory that the war in heaven is to become the season’s main storyline. The boys are still searching for hell’s gate, of course, but with Kevin currently holed up on Garth’s safe-house boat, there’s not much they can do about it at the moment. Hopefully, these two things will collide at some point, and Castiel may unwittingly find himself on the wrong side of things. As he freely admitted this week, the residents of Heaven aren’t too happy with him at the moment, and no one really knows what state the place is in since his killing spree.

Things are bound to get epic, especially since fans were left disappointed by the small scale of last season’s adventures. For a show that’s gone so far into mythology and been so creative at combining it with our own world, its only option is to go bigger and bigger. It’s a straightjacket Supernatural made for itself when it continued past season five, and results have been mixed. A lot of great decisions have been made this year, however, with Benny proving popular, Garth replacing Bobby keeping the expanded world alive, and Cas becoming Cas again, and it’s proven to be one of the strongest seasons in a long while.

One thing that hasn’t been great is the frequent flashbacks we get to Sam’s year off. I understand that fans of the character will relish the chance to see him function in the ordinary world, and I like it in theory, but the scenes shoehorned into this episode really didn’t have much to do with anything. I’d have much rather seen an entire episode focus on his time off, with a beginning, middle and end to his relationship with Amelia, than a sprinkling of information every couple of weeks. This is Supernatural, not Gilmore Girls, so without any ghosts or ghoulies it seems a little pointless.

Next week is the winter finale before Christmas takes our favourite telly of the air, and Benny’s return should kick up a stir between the brothers. I’ll see you there!

Read Caroline's review of the previous episode, A Little Slice of Kevin, here.

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