This Supernatural review contains spoilers.
Supernatural Season 11 Episode 11
This week’s episode takes a crack at the banshee mythology, and somehow found a unique framework to do it. The Darkness story arc takes a back seat, but it’s a welcome break to get something a little different.
The teaser was a look at thirty years ago, when a banshee took out a family in Ireland. It is here that we are introduced to the monster. She can only be heard by her victims, driving them to bash their heads against the walls and essentially kill themselves. It’s a great concept, even if the special effects were a smidge weak in this episode. This monster is great—it represents a terrifying fear of the unnatural (this thing can seemingly appear at any time for no reason at all). It also represents a devastating fear of destroying oneself.
This may be a stretch, but I’d gather this banshee was about more than just throwing another well known mythological creature at the boys to fight. I figure I hit on something crucial–the fear of destroying oneself. Sam feels this right now, after Lucifer told him he’s not as strong as he once was. Dean also is afraid of this existential fear, with his uncanny connection to the Darkness, and all the destruction that entails. The fact that Dean is the one targeted by the banshee puts a mark on him as being inferior. The Dean we used to know would never have been a target. This Dean, however, is not sure where his place in the world is anymore.
The baby that survived that initial attack in Ireland grows up to be a vital character in this episode. Eileen, posing as a maid who the boys find out is actually on vacation, appears to be set up as the villain of the episode. Then we learn who she really is. We’re treated to a physically disabled character who is not incapable of handling herself. The first interaction between Eileen and Sam awkwardly trying to sign was truly special. You really don’t see enough of this on TV, and Supernatural somehow found a way to put in some colorful characterization in a TV show about monsters and demons.
The episode was rife with lighthearted humor. Even when elderly Mildred is slated as the next potential victim, she finds time to hit on Dean and not even be subtle about it. To Dean’s credit, he doesn’t act grossed out (typical humorous slant for these situations) but seems amused by her advances, and only moves away when she suggests she could move her hand up. I also adored the ASL conversation between Eileen and Mildred. They are so enjoyable together. It had nothing to do with the plot or defeating a monster, it was simply a bonding moment that united these two characters. This moment was refreshing for a show that sometimes tends to go more for the brooding side, when more often that not, we’d like a healthy mix of light and dark.
We got a little of Lucifer as Castiel—Luciel?– but it’s just a tease. Although he has a lengthy conversation with Dean, he’s not found out to be an imposter. To Lucifer’s credit, he’s had eons to perfect his acting technique. Dean confides in Luciel that there’s some sort of odd attraction between himself and Amara. I feel like it’s only a matter of time for the Devil to somehow use this information to lure Amara to the Winchesters, whether they’re in on the plan or not.