This Supernatural review contains spoilers.
“Ask Jeeves” is a classic whodunnit. The first half was very much like a game of Clue. Dean even picks up a candlestick to use as a weapon at one point.
This Clue-like episode was light in tone. It didn’t step its toes into dark territory until much later. Yes, I know there was a body count from the very beginning, but since the writing purposely didn’t get us attached to any of these shallow characters, we didn’t have to care that they died. We only cared because Sam and Dean were mildly curious about it. A murder mystery is basically a normal Tuesday for these guys.
The sound design of the episode was a major factor in the light tone. There’s really silly music as Dean investigates the butler’s quarters, and then even more on-the-nose, “this is how you should feel” music for Sam discovering the butler’s body. A lot of music cues reminded us that this was not a heavy episode.
When Sam and Dean finally figure out that they are dealing with a shapeshifter, they go around the mansion making everyone touch silver, trying to out the shapeshifter. Sam has a neat trick where he hid silverware up his sleeve and slyly touched the women who wouldn’t leave him alone. Too bad the silver was as fake as that whole family.
The episode took a turn from jokey to serious when we find that Clown College Colette is actually the shapeshifter…and the product of the late Bunny and her shifter affair. A really interesting moral question comes up. Colette was originally spared by Bobby Singer, although her shifter father was killed for being what he was. Bobby agreed to allow Colette to live, as long as her mother kept her locked away for everyone’s safety. Sam and Dean don’t understand why Colette is murdering everyone in the family when her life was spared. I think Bobby was wrong.
Colette had no chance to have a normal life, let alone retain sanity. Here we see another case in which Hunter benevolence leads to a dangerous foe. Like with the Amy Pond story, in which Sam’s ex-friend the monster is killed, but her kid is spared. Dean only made himself an enemy, and Amy the Monster wasn’t really…that bad. I mean c’mon, we’ve seen worse.
The Hunters, playing as judge/jury/executioner, do not always err on the side of the moral right. If Bobby had given Colette a chance to grow up normal, who knows if she would have ever turned. Like Sam said, being a monster is a choice. But it’s hard to not choose vengeance when you’ve spent your entire life in a dusty attic.
I’m rating kind of high here, as it’s a toss-up between 3 and 4 out of 5 for me. It wasn’t a very exciting episode. More emphasis on the comedy OR drama would have benefited the overall story.