INTO THE MYSTIC – 6/10.
Supernatural took its foot of the gas this week following a very eventful mid-season premiere, not that that’s necessarily a bad thing. This week’s offering took the form of an old fashioned ‘case of the week’ episode. Rattled from their respective encounters with Lucifer and Amara, Sam and Dean decide to hit the road and slay a beastie to raise their spirits. Said beastie comes in the form of a screaming banshee that we are first introduced to in a flash back set in Ireland. A seemingly ordinary couple dote on their new born baby when suddenly the father hears a shrill scream, he pounds his head against the wall to silence it, killing himself before the banshee appears to feed on his brain. It attacks the mother who banishes it with a spell before shuffling off her own mortal coil.
Fast forward 30 years and the banshee has returned to feed upon the elderly residents of a retirement home. Evidently Banshees like to feed on the vulnerable, something which can be found in rich supply at a retirement home. In their attempts to find the next potential victim, Sam encounters a deaf maid who seems to be hiding something while Dean meets a friendly retiree named Mildred, whose advances on him provide most of the comedy relief for the episode. It’s not long before it is revealed that the maid is in fact a hunter named Eileen and none other than the baby from the Irish flashback. The attack left her deaf and with a lifelong thirst for the revenge on the creature that claimed the lives of her parents.
While Eileen and Sam prepare to fight the Banshee, Dean returns to the bunker for supplies. Here he encounters Castifer (Lucifer inhabiting Castiel’s form) ripping through the Men of Letters’ casefiles in search of lore on the Darkness, or so he claims. Obviously Lucifer already knows all of the lore so his real intentions remain a mystery. Misha Collins is clearly having a blast playing Lucifer as demonstrated in an earlier scene where he nonchalantly kills an angel with a click of his fingers. His scenes with Dean are even more fun as it is Misha playing Lucifer playing Castiel, all shown through the nuance of his performance. In a moment of vulnerability Dean admits to Castifer that he is powerless to resist Amara, something that the Prince of Darkness seems all too pleased to hear.
Back at the retirement home the big showdown takes an interesting turn when the banshee targets Dean instead of Mildred, clearly his connection with Amara has made him more vulnerable than he realised. With both Dean and Sam incapacitated it is the surprisingly efficient team of Mildred and Eileen who manage to slay the banshee. With the creature defeated and the day saved the Winchesters return to the bunker to lick their wounds. Dean mentions that something seemed a little off with Castiel but neither man thinks anything off it. Sam ponders why the Banshee attacked Dean instead of Mildred but his brother quickly changes the subject. Clearly the Winchesters still haven’t learnt their lesson about keeping secrets from each other.
This was a solid if not somewhat forgettable episode; the setting of the retirement home gave the brothers the chance to ponder their own life expectancy and vulnerability. While this isn’t particularly new ground for Supernatural there were a few nice twists in the tale, not least the introduction of Eileen who proved to be a more than capable hunter despite her disability. I’m confident we will see her again further down the road, but being a strong, independent woman tends to come with a fairly high mortality rate in Supernatural. While Dean’s connection with Amara is certainly an interesting development it pales in comparison to the Castifer storyline. The writers did a good job of showcasing him in the episode, revealing just enough to let us know that his intentions are just as devious as expected. If past season structures are anything to go on it seems likely that the next few episodes will be enjoyable filler before we get back to the brunt of the story.
POINTS OF INTEREST
- So it turns out that Dean has always wanted to go out in a blaze of glory, preferably while the song is playing. I’m more of a ‘Dead or Alive’ guy myself.
- “Fingers crossed it’s a zombie and we can get our Walking Dead on.” See, even the Winchesters love The Walking Dead!
- Despite it being the 90s why did the Irish couple appear to be living in a house from the 1600s? Come on guys, there is a difference between Ireland and the Shire.
- The CGI on the Banshee was not particularly impressive. As a rule of thumb creatures on Supernatural tend to be more effective when realised with practical effects.