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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!

The set-up
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?

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Comments

@j2love
haha just from your name it looks like you're more in it for the boys than the storylines.
The only comparison I made is to illustrate that there's a time to end a series (ala Harry Potter) and Kripke said that himself. End it on a high note instead of dragging it along. Sacrifice creativity and great storytelling for money? No thanks, I'll just go on pretending Supernatural ended at 5.
Seriously take a look at the mythology introduced this season! Dragons, fairies, etc. Does that sound like the Supernatural fans came to know and love since season 1? Nothing new besides THOSE new editions. And the idea of an Alpha was interesting until they started making an Alpha for EVERY monster out there (and an episode each). ugh

It's not that I'm not giving the writers a chance b/c Kripke is gone. But without the master plan behind it all, there is no plot. It's literally a monster of the week with nothing tying it together. Well I guess now they have that Mother of All but she just wants monsters to overtake the world? If they made it more engaging as to why she wants this and if she has a backstory then maybe I'd be more interested. But this entire episode was just "ITS NOT IN ME!" "NO ITS IN YOU!" and a way to slaughter a bunch of characters just cuz. Jo and Ellen died in 5x10 Abandon All Hope but it was well written and very sad. So far from this season, writers brought back Samuel just to kill him off again. He didn't contribute to the storyline at all to be frank.

A lot of the things in season 6 have contradicted ideals and things past in the first 5 years. That'd surely alienate fans like myself. Note the 'earn your place as family' sentence from Dean. Why was that even said? Samuel Campbell. So what did bringing him back this season actually accomplish? Oh that's right, a line about family from a fake-Dean.
Though minor and only a few minutes in the episode, I've checked other fansites. I'm not the only one who is trying to hunt down the exact writer who decided to print this in the script.

I talked to Jared and Jensen at a convention in LA. They love the show and they love the die-hard fans like you and me (before anyway) but the way they talked about it - they seemed tired and ready for new projects. So if this show is to keep the boys on the television without storyline - I'm not sure signing for another season will go so well.

well all of u r wrong this episode was great u all just can't handle the fact that the show has a new show runner. yes was all love kripke but he thought that his time with the show had to end at some point ,but he did choose someone that could make the show great just give her the chance to do so and STOP saying that the show needs to end its the reason that i watch tv on fridays. dont compare the show to harry potter because thats just STUPID. and as for sam and dean's grandfather well he had to die there was not that he could have done to change their opinion about that he betrayed him.

Sorry guys, don't know much about worm infested brians. I love the episode!

I read a recent article online about Supernatural returning for a season 7. Apparently Dawn Ofstroff said she would be shocked if it didn't return because it was doing pretty well for a Friday night.
Let me address that 1) that is because Supernatural has developed a loyal fanbase through the past 5 years of amazing storytelling. 2) don't push it.

In all honesty I love Supernatural but I'm ready for it to end. Harry Potter was a great series and now that the final movie is coming out it's reign is finally ending. It doesn't mean the author should spit out another book that may tarnish the name just for the money.
Greed is a deadly sin.

This episode was terrible to be honest. It should've been great and nail-biting but there were too many issues I had with it.
As someone mentioned earlier Dean said something about 'earning your right' as a family member. NO! that is not the Dean we know AT ALL! John Winchester was by all means an absentee father and more of a drill sergeant but Dean always looked up to him and even at the last moment (s1) with Yellow Eyes and all, he couldn't let Sam shoot their father. That line stuck out like a SORE THUMB. Dean should've said something more like 'family doesn't betray family' or something. Samuel had Dean's loyalty as family in the beginning and that was unconditional until the guy sold his grandsons out to Crowley. The 'earning' bit was WTF contradiction to the previous 5 years of Supernatural. Who wrote that?? Did they think the fans wouldn't notice that???

And I wasn't thrilled about Samuel in this episode. He kinda was just introduced as if he continued hunting though Crowley was dead. Supposedly he has nothing to live for now that Mary can't be brought back, and we're supposed to just believe he's hunting like nothing happened? I dunno. Another issue I'm sure other people have too. And yes to someone who posted earlier, they should've at least tried to paint Samuel as sympathetic so we as the audience can understand him a little more. But naw, I guess they just wanted him to keep his abrasive attitude towards Sam and Dean. Also didn't like the way he was killed... Man there's just a lot of things in this episode about Samuel that just didn't sit right with me.

It looks like I'm not the only one annoyed with these hour-long, unexciting episodes of Supernatural. This episode was more about a weird looking piece of poop that didn't explain much besides 'you're all gonna die!' which honestly isn't a new message from the monsters. if that thing had said any really important info that might've been better.

for me, season 5 had a lot of random, unexciting episodes (particularly in the beginning/middle) but it did pick up momentum at the end. at least it felt like it finished a series and had a plot going. season 6 is meh AT BEST.
Sorry to those who think it should get picked up for a season 7. it really shouldn't. Creativity is being stretched to the freakin limit right now and I KNOW it'll not be able to last another season without failing miserably (at least with storylines etc). I was a die-hard Supernatural fan myself and it was a nice side dish to have two incredibly hot guys Jensen and Jared as the lead roles. But now I think that has become the main dish and that's not enough to keep people watching (I hope anyway). Jensen even said he valued fans that watch more for the storylines than for them. So why not end it at Season 6?

Real Episodes Please Return.

I'm thinking that Balthazar and Castiel are going to come roaring back, and either the boys will use the Angel's weapons to slay eve, or somehow turn the alpha monsters against her.

Love the writing though!

A pretty boring episode. Enough with the copy-cat gimmicks. I'm ready for a substantial plot, not another drawn-out one-hour wonder with a 30sec long teaser to keep me hooked until the next episode.

SPN has really gone downhill since season 5. I really wish they would've ended it there. This show had intricate story lines, nail-biting cliff-hangers, and in-depth developments of characters and plot. Everything built up to something else. That WAS SPN is a nutshell.

And now, we get episodes that barely can keep our attention for the hour they are on. Dragons? Fairies? Star-Trek Slugs? Come on. Luke-warm plots and two hot guys just aren't going to cut it.

RIP Original Supernatural.

I personally think it would of been better if Grandpa Samuel apologized to Dean. It could have opened up an understanding for Grandpa.

It also bugs me Dean says you've got to earn your right in being family now. That just contradicts his purpose in saving Adam from Point of No Return.

Also killing off Gwen just shows how undeveloped the Campbell family is in Season 6...

Killing off Rufus, however brought great tense emotion.

Overall the episode is better than others.

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