This Supernatural review contains spoilers.
Supernatural: Season 11, Episode 5
After last week’s intriguing bottle episode in the Impala, the folks at Supernatural HQ decided to throw a little surprise our way. What at first seems to be a classic ghost story turns into a continuation of Amara’s journey towards Darkness. Let’s dive in.
Cas took a backseat this episode so that the Winchester boys could head on up to Massachusetts and investigate the mysterious deaths of a young couple. The location? None other than the infamous Lizzie Borden house. We learn that Sam is a serial killer aficionado, and Dean likes to make fun of him for making this hunt into a sort of wish fulfillment vacation. I loved seeing this nerdy side of Sam again, something we haven’t seen much of in a while. A little lightheartedness breaks up all the doom and gloom our boys always need to deal with.
Sam gets to visit the scene of Lizzie Borden’s murders, only to find out that her home has been turned into a bed and breakfast/museum/tourist trap. The ghostly influences: the flashing lights, sounds of a ghostly woman’s cries, and even false readings due to an old school EMF detector are all just ambience. After all the unbelievable things the boys have discovered to be true, it was kind of nice to see a ghost that was little more than a marketing ploy.
Amara made a surprise entrance when she sucked the soul out of poor Len. She also did a number on Sydney, the babysitter with an axe to grind. See what I did there?
What was really fascinating about this episode was the after effects of the soul-sucking. Len was apathetic. He was concerned, or at least thought he should be concerned, about not caring about anything anymore. Meanwhile, Sydney turned into a kill-as-she-pleases nutcase. Amara’s influence was like a drug to her that she couldn’t get enough of. I like how the writers are handling the soulless characters on a case-by-case basis. For some reason Jenna murdered her dear old Grandma, just because she could, while Len only killed one person out of necessity. Sydney, with her abused past, embraced the darkness and wanted another taste. And remember Soulless Sam? Yeah, he went dark side because he felt it suited the mission of hunting things.
Can I take a moment to applaud our actresses for doing a fantastic job showing different shades of evil? Tess Atkins as Sydney looked happily deranged. She really played the part well, especially after portraying the poor witness to the dead body earlier (ahem, the body she hacked up). And Amara, portrayed by Yasmeene Ball, is so unnervingly otherworldly and ravenous. Can’t wait to see more of the girl’s performance, but a little afraid to see what she’ll do next.
Nothing too stylistic worth noting (hard to top last week’s originality) but a solid story and new elements brought into the Supernatural mix keep this show growing and changing, like a certain evil girl we know.