Supernatural: Halt & Catch Fire, Review

The newest episode of I Know What You Did Last Summer... I mean, Supernatural, showed us the power of Wifi and true love.

There are too many parallels between tonight’s episode of Supernatural and the well-known movie I Know What You Did Last Summer to be coincidence. The big one is the situation, in which four teens are driving along, accidentally kill a stranger, and they decide to avoid trouble by not reporting the situation. In the movie, they hide the body, but in the episode the teens simply leave the scene. The driver is named Barry in the film, and Billy in this episode, and both are concerned about alcohol related offenses. There’s also a Julie in both. Intentional homage or “whoops that was done before”…. you get to decide.  

There’s also something familiar about this “ghost in the wifi” scenario, but I can’t pinpoint where I’ve seen that before. Sure, we’ve got a similarity to a Doctor Who episode with the cheeky, killer GPS, but I’m sure this wifi ghost concept has been used in another show. Then again, with each advance in technology, we always see a scifi/horror complement. Video games, television, radio, internet…with each new technology we get new horror to complement it, and warn against the evils of progress. Feardotcom, Devour (with Jensen Ackles!), How to Make a Monster….there’s no shortage of films with these ideas.

When Sam and Dean are talking to Delilah in her room, the situation has intensified. She admits she knows that a vengeful spirit was after her friends, and she’s next. The camera work is shaky in the close-ups on our characters, a trait we don’t always see in Supernatural so it stands out here. The only noticeable time I saw the shakiness lessen was when she wants to make up for her mistake.

Could there have been one more pop-culture, internet-related reference? Princess Elsa as a username, a ditsy girl who’s guilty of hashtag abuse, Trini the talking app, selfies, and OMG’s (that one’s a little dated). Many of these were displayed during the flashback scene, so we could like these teen less, especially when Julie complains that she looks 25. Except for our Final Girl, Delilah, who is the only one who shows remorse, we’re basically egging the ghost on to knock off each of these kids. It’s like your typical horror movie, actually.

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The only advancement for the overall Mark of Cain storyline is Dean’s admission at the end that he doesn’t think there’s a cure. He’s willing to find his own peace by controlling his violent urges and help people on their cases. A noble effort. The episode ends with the Impala driving off to a swell of hopeful music. I don’t think things will be this simple, Dean.

Although technically okay, I’m going to downvote this episode. It wasn’t fresh enough for me, and all the homages and references didn’t do much for it. The ending was touching, with Andrew’s wife Skyping him her last goodbyes, but it wasn’t enough to carry the episode. 

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3 out of 5