Supernatural: The Chitters Review

Sam and Dean are not the only hunters in town when they investigate a case that re-occurs every 27 years.

This Supernatural review contains spoilers.

Supernatural: Season 11, Episode 19

A monster that’s on a 27-year cycle? Just like Jeepers Creepers (which was every 23 years — I Googled it), we’ve got a monstrous threat on an extended hibernation attacking townsfolk. Supernatural‘s version, however, prefers wayward kids and stoners. I almost wish it was like the scarecrow episode from 10 years ago or so, in which the townspeople sacrificed their own to keep an evil tree spirit happy. We have a lot of random evil spirits don’t we…? 

What they did right in this episode was the monster. We don’t learn a lot about the origins of the chitters. One hunter believes they may have originated in Malaysia, but didn’t seem sure. My Google prowess did not uncover any pre-exisisting lore on a cicada spirit, so the writers cobbled this thing together for the show. They combined the natural mysteriousness of cicadas emerging after a long period of time (13 to 17 years, thanks Bing! Wait, Bing? What are you doing on my computer?) and the creepy body-snatchers vibe. It worked.

By the way, that “junkless” exchange between the boys when they were attempting to identify the monster was amusing. But ….am I wrong in wondering how the monster became junkless? Is the true form of the monster sans-junk, and therefore needs a host in order to have junk to do the deed? Does the host body lose their junk? I really need to stop thinking about this. 

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Jessy and Matty, the young brothers portrayed in the teaser of the episode making plans of leaving home, echo the younger Sam and Dean, rebelling against the hunter life. At least, that’s how I saw it. Clear parallels were drawn between Jessy’s story and his journey to hunter-dom to Sam and Dean. This is not the first time we’ve seen such a parallel, and at this rate will likely not be the last. It is very amusing to see the look of shock on Dean’s face as he’s the one rescued from a creature by a hunter.

Even Jessy’s partnering with Cesar seemed to exist to poke fun at early Supernatural, in which the Winchesters were often mistaken as a gay couple since they were always around each other. 

I’m not sure how I feel about Dean instructing Cesar that hunters need to get their revenge, and one should help them get that revenge anyway. Sure, you don’t want vampires or cicada-spirits or werewolves running around your hometown if you know they killed your family, but why are all hunters so focused to the point of almost annihilating themselves? This is a recurring character trait in hunters and just isn’t surprising or insightful anymore. 

Overall it was an okay episode, but it didn’t wow me. It really felt like we were missing something, though I can’t place my finger on what. Perhaps since we’ve seen parallels to the boys before, this episode didn’t feel fresh enough to rise to the occasion. 

Also, here’s a public service announcement kids. Never, EVER, set a fire in a mine. Even one filled with the unborn hatchlings of body snatching monsters. Why? Because that’s how you get Centralia, that’s why. Google it.

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3.5 out of 5