Supernatural season 8 episode 16 review: Remember The Titans
Supernatural delivers another frustrating, yet entertaining, standalone episode. Here's Caroline's review of Remember The Titans...
This review contains spoilers.
8.16 Remember the Titans
Supernatural has dealt with a lot of different mythologies from a lot of different cultures, but this week it’s the turn of the Ancient Greeks, with Prometheus turning up in modern day America with no memory of his past as an ancient god with a curse to match. You can see why this has been relegated to a single episode as opposed to the multiple season arc that was offered to Christian gods and angels since, while it’s a relatively entertaining episode, there really isn’t anything groundbreaking here.
First of all, it’s nice to see Sam and Dean hanging out in the Batcave, even for a little while, since it’s a reminder that the show did actually improve for a while there. After whipping the fans up into a frenzy with the Men of Letters plot and the promise of new roles for Sam and Dean, the last couple of episodes have been mediocre at best. This isn’t as bad as Man’s Best Friends with Benefits by a long shot, but it still feels as though the standalone plot is an unwelcome distraction from much more interesting things laying in wait.
Sam and Dean first have to discover Shane’s identity, which has been spelled out to the audience with the episode’s title, and then a woman and her child turn up at their motel. The child is the product of an awkward one-night stand with Shane in the past, and they soon learn that little Ollie has the same affliction as his dad: he dies every day. He’s like a real-life Kenny, as Dean charmingly points out, and I was surprised that the episode didn’t go full comedy and come up with a medley of creative ways for him to kick the bucket.
The tone here is deadly serious, even when Zeus comes along to ham it up spectacularly. It’s just another example of Supernatural reminding me far too much of late-stage Charmed, which is a travesty for someone who watched both series from the beginning. We don’t need cackling villains and scantily clad women prancing about while Sam and Dean glance sideways at each other. If it wasn’t a part of the essence of the series before, then it doesn’t need to be now either. I guess Castiel coming back would help, what with his own storyline still going on, so I hope he hurries up.
I’m writing this in the wake of the new casting announcement, of course, so we all know by now that Castiel will be returning as a regular character. This is great news for fans of the character and fans of the show alike, since Cas really has become a component as equally important to Supernatural as the Winchesters themselves. In my opinion, the series works best when there are supporting characters around for Sam and Dean to bounce off of, which is why I was so keen on Benny and Kevin earlier in the season, and we’re running low on familiar faces to bring in.
Anyway, back to the episode, with Sam still hiding his spontaneous bouts of bleeding from Dean. His reasons for doing this still aren’t abundantly clear, since the character should know as well as we do that keeping secrets from each other never ends well, but he’s determined to keep Dean in the dark so that he can stay involved in the trials. One thing has changed, however, as the Winchesters’ positive attitude towards their current mission (i.e. they might not die horribly this time) has evaporated. In its place is the familiar, and depressing, resignation to the inevitable sacrifice any of their big jobs come with.
Then again, we know that they will succeed, and we know that they’ll both survive the ordeal. That isn’t the fault of the writers, since they had to announce a ninth season before the eighth was over, but it does remove a lot of the tension. With the end already partially revealed, now we have to settle for wondering what toll the mission will take on the brothers. I hope the world is fundamentally changed after they close (or don’t close) the gates of hell, and I’d love to see Dean try to adjust after literally saving the world from all demons.
Then again, this is Supernatural, and I can’t see the show being able to function without regular beasties for the Winchesters to fight. We have another mini-break now, so we can just hope and pray for a return to form when we get back. Until then, I’ll see you on March 20th for Meg’s return and a trip to Lucifer’s Crypt!
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