This Supernatural review contains spoilers.
Supernatural Season 15 Episode 16
Four episodes till the end.
“Drag Me Away (From You) is split between modern day Sam and Dean and young Sam and Dean, as they explore the scene of an old hunt that doesn’t seem finished.
This story happens to feature a hotel room with wallpaper more heinous than any creature from hell — okay maybe a little exaggeration. But think first of the many, many hotel rooms the talented production design folks at Supernatural have designed. All the wacky decor and wallpapers — all culminating in the loudest, most obnoxious wallpaper and rug combo I think TV might have ever seen. How does anyone sleep in that room? Nevermind the creature, the clashing patterns alone would keep most up at night.
Later that horrifying carpet became a subtle clue that Dean wasn’t actually in the cannery, when the Baba Yaga makes him hallucinate being there. Sam approaches the hotel room and Dean is shown against the bright carpeting pattern instead of the cement cannery floor for just one brief shot. It’s a quick, subtle detail, but interesting to note all the same.
This is a story that plays on innocence — and the loss thereof. “Don’t you ever want to be…normal?” Caitlin asks Sam. It’s something that he’s been wondering a long time. The life of a hunter has always proven difficult, harsh, emotionally wrenching. Hunters deal with the worst sights, deal with the sudden violent loss of friends and family, and often live short and cruel lives.
New actors play young Sam and Dean — Christian Michael Cooper and Paxton Singleton. These young actors do a fine job portraying these hunters as boys, taking on mannerisms and characteristics of speech that surely came from studying their older counterparts, but also taking into consideration the age of their characters. Young Dean has some bravado, but he’s not great at hiding his obvious fear. Young Sam is more unsure, and shameful of his personal wish to have a normal life and go to school.
The boys were innocent in a sense in those early days. Yes, they were boys who didn’t live as normal teenagers and knew their way around knives and firearms, but still. Their lives hadn’t been complicated by vast schemes involving angels and demons and God himself. They were hunters, killing one creature at a time, only seeking what killed their mother. Their lives were complicated, but not anything like it is now.
The episode plays on some good horror movie cliches with the Baba Yaga attacking its victims: The hand reaching from the vending machine, the way Travis goes to a particular hotel room (so reminiscent of stories like Stephen King’s “1409”). One great moment is when the door to that particular hotel room opens before Dean can reach for it. “I’ve seen this movie before,” Dean says to himself. Supernatural has always been good for throwing references to classic and current horror trends.
Caitlin asks Dean, “Are you scared?” and in a surprise burst of honesty, Dean replies, “Always am.” This is such a pivotal moment and not a line tossed out and forgotten. Dean has always played up the bravado, almost never admitting when he’s worried or scared. Dean is well known to hide behind a strong facade and a sometimes irresponsible (yet undeniably amazing) sense of humor. This episode showed Dean come clean with the fact that he’d discovered the bodies of the murdered children when he was a kid and wanted to keep Caitlin away from that horrible truth.
The honesty doesn’t end there. After the push from Billie, the deadline fast approaching, Dean finally comes clean with Sam on Jack’s role and ultimate destruction. It was a necessary admission of truth — but Sam did not take it lightly, and this will likely be a point of contention going forth. Not only that, but their world is next in line for Chuck’s wrath. The ticking clock hanging over the Winchesters heads is now nearing midnight…and might be on fire.
“Just drive,” Sam tells Dean after they shouted at each other. We’ve heard similar phrases before from Sam to Dean — usually with an air of determination as they tackle the next hunt — but this time, it’s a conversation-stopper. The episode did not end with the boys on level playing ground.
You got four episodes to figure this out, boys.