Supernatural meets 'The Thing'
"What do you mean, you haven't seen 'The Thing'? What's WRONG with you boys?"
Supernatural channels John Carpenter with this tale of six people trapped in an isolated place and menaced by a, well, Thing that can invade a person's body and make him do terrible things. This is a new monster that Eve, the Mother of All created, so now we know she had access to Netflix while in purgatory. At least she's getting inspired by the good stuff!
Something has been inspiring monsters along the I-80 corridor ("nest of vamps, werewolf dance party, shifters...ghouls, ghouls, ghoul/wraith smorgasbord...") and Bobby and the boys figure it's all leading to someplace in Ohio. (Or possibly Pennsylvania -- we didn't get that great a view of the map.) That's because the Mother of All, who calls herself Eve, has been hitchhiking with friendly, god-fearing truckers, who then go home to bludgeon their families to death with a hammer. Whee!
Bobby and the boys aren't alone -- not only has Rufus followed the signs, but Grandpa Campbell and Gwen are also checking out the cannery where the last kills took place. Dean is miffed to see Gramps -- he did sell the boys out to Crowley last time they met -- but we didn't think he had anything against Gwen, particularly. So why did he shoot her in the head, then disappear?
All is explained after the jump!
When worms attack
Blame that on the "12-inch herpe" that just crawled out of Dean's ear. Yep, it's Eve's little monster wreaking havoc. And since Herp can crawl into anyone's ear and turn him against his fellows, Bobby convinces everyone to turn over all their guns so they can watch each other with limited ability to shoot each other. Small problem, which Rufus identifies after the fact: "It was a good plan -- except for the part where a monster would definitely, definitely not give up all its weapons." Which Gramps didn't, and Herp makes him take a shot at Dean.
Now is the time on Supernatural when we
dance descend into paranoia and accusation. Herp-ridden Gramps has booby-trapped the place, and manages to separate Sam from the rest of the guys. He thinks re-souled Sam won't shoot him. He's wrong.
Now that Sam's killed Gramps, he's the next likely host for Herp, but Sam claims he's clean, and that Herp is still in Gramps. Fortunately, Bobby's got a cranial saw in his car (doesn't everyone?) so they can take a look. Unfortunately, Gramps comes back to life when they try to open his skull. Lucky for us, Bobby likes to dumpster-dive for his equipment, and Herp-ridden Gramps electrocutes himself on the frayed cord of the cranial saw, which causes Herp to flee. Aw, look at that -- Eve even gave Herp The Thing's antipathy for shocks!
It's going to end bloody
So Herp is now out of Gramps, but no one knows where it went. The boys have the bright idea to shock everyone with the frayed cord to drive Herp out, which makes us think they've been watching "Jackass" in addition to classic horror flicks. Sam, Dean and Rufus take their shocks, but when it comes time to zap Bobby, he buries his knife in Rufus' chest. Guess we've found Herp's new ride!
The boys overpower Bobby and duct-tape him up, then set about questioning Herp, who's happy to talk. He tells them that (1) He's a brand-new monster, (2) Eve plans to create a whole bunch of new and revived beasties, and (3) "You're all going to die. She's pissed, she's here and it's gonna be nothing but pain for you from here on in." Lovely. Oh, and the only way they can kill it is to kill Bobby -- and they don't want to do that, now do they?
Apparently the boys are made of sterner stuff than we thought, because they tape up all of Bobby's visible orifices and shock him until Herp falls out of his ear, flambeed. The show tries to fake us out with Bobby being dead, then cutting to the boys standing by a grave, but of course he survived -- we'd have led the mob calling for Gamble's head if she'd had Bobby die by Invasion of the Herpes Thing Knock-offs. The grave is Rufus', alas, and we'll miss the old cuss. No one could mock Bobby quite as well. Rest in peace, Rufus.
Highlights, thoughts and odds and ends
Seriously, if you haven't seen "The Thing," go rent it. It's incredibly creepy. And, as a bonus, the movie can afford effects that our show can't, so instead of an anonymous worm, you get scenes involving ambulatory heads, mutating dogs, and Wilfred Brimley going nuts. It's good stuff.
We learn a little bit of the Rufus/Bobby backstory -- Rufus saved Bobby from his possessed wife, then took him under his wing and taught him about hunting. Unfortunately, something went horribly wrong in Omaha, someone died, and Rufus has never forgiven bobby. What happened? We doubt we'll ever know.
That does prompt a nice bit from Dean at the end, when he tells Sam and Bobby that they can't hold grudges:
Dean: At the end of the day, you two are family. Life's short - ours are shorter than most. We're going to spend it wringing our hands? Something's going to get us, eventually. When my guts get ripped out, just so you two know, we're good. Blanket apology for all the crap anybody's done, all the way around.
Sam: Some of us pulled a lot of crap, Dean.
Dean: Well, clean slate.
We notice that Dean didn't plan to extend that courtesy to Gramps. In the previouslys, we see Dean tell Gramps that the next time he saw him, it would be to kill him. When he spies Gramps, Dean pulls out his gun and runs for Gramps, saying "Welcome to next time."
Dean also describes the monster as "a Khan worm on steroids." Khaaaaaaaaaaan!
Sam discovers Gramps on his own:
Gramps: You're not going to shoot me -- you got your soul back. You gonna shoot your own family?
Sam: Yeah, I wouldn't go with the family thing. Try again.
We love how insulted Bobby is when Rufus asks if he's got a cranial saw in the car. "Of course!"
Dean volunteers to be the first person to get zapped. "Are you sure?" Sam asks. "Hurry up before I start thinki..." Sam zaps Dean before he can even get the sentence out.
Rufus tries to avoid electrocution, saying he has a pacemaker.
Bobby: Since when do you got a pacemaker?
Rufus: Since Bush Junior term one. I'm down three toes too, FYI.
OK, we can imagine a Hunter-friendly doctor taking off toes, but inserting a pacemaker? Or did he go to a regular doc for that?
Bobby wakes up to discover he's taped to a chair. Dean looms over him.
Dean: Well, hey there you, little herpe.
Sam: Why do you keep talking about herpes?
Dean: What? I don't. [Sam looks skeptical.] Shut up. [Sam raises an eyebrow] Shut up!
OK, so we admit that we're sick puppies, but when the boys taped up Bobby's mouth in preparation for shocking Herpe out of existence, we couldn't help but think (1) there are plenty of other orifices he could escape from, unless THOSE were taped up, too, and (2) boy, it's going to suck for Bobby when all that duct tape gets ripped off, from everywhere.
Strangely, Bobby wasn't totally defoliated when we next saw him post shocking. Perhaps Hunters have a really good duct-tape-adhesive remover?
What did you think? Are you mourning Rufus? How about Gramps? Why did Dean keep talking about herpes? Do you buy the blanket absolution? And what the heck are we going to do until April when the show comes back?