Supernatural: Mystery Spot
(S03E11) Well now, that wasn't what I expected. When the previews hinted at a Groundhog Day plot I thought we were in for a more comedic episode. That expectation was further fueled by the appearance of the Trickster in the previous scenes. There was a good bit of that on the recurring Tuesdays, but when we made it to Wednesday, things took a decidedly darker turn. A turn that might have given us a glimpse into Sam's future.
Before we get to all of that though, a minor complaint. For the most part, I'm a pretty big fan of the flashes at the beginning of the episode, but this week was just exceedingly odd. Why all the Bela and Colt references? Getting us ready for post strike episodes? That's like Super Bowl-level of early pre-game there. The other bit I didn't really like was seeing the Trickster. I caught on a lot quicker having been given that clue before anything even started to happen.
That is a good place to start, our old pal the Trickster (Richard Speight Jr.). When last we met up with him, a day shy of a year ago, it was for "Tall Tales." The boys thought they had dispatched him at the end of that episode, but we all knew better. I was looking forward to his return then, but hadn't really given him much thought this season. There has just been so much else going on. Now was a good time for the return.
The Groundhog Day scenario was a nice piece of work from the Trickster. The ever inventive ways for Dean to die were fun. As fun as killing your main character repeatedly can be, anyway. My favorite of the bunch was the falling furniture, narrowly edging out the axe incident. I think my favorite part of Tuesday though was Dean's little dance move out of the frame to "Heat of the Moment." They just kept showing it, and it just kept being funny.
Then the bonus of the episode came on Wednesday. No, not getting to hear Huey Lewis and the News doing "Back In Time." That was a nice choice though. The real bonus was getting to see what happened to Sam when he had to go on without Dean. It's something that has been hinted at on occasion as Dean tells Sam he is going to have to go on without him, but I don't think this is what anybody had in mind. It's not Dark Sam succumbing to some kind of evil he brought back, but it is a pretty dark Sam.
If the Trickster's end game was to get Sam to learn the lesson that nothing good could come from Dean and Sam making sacrifices for each other, he was fighting a losing fight. There's just no way that was going to happen. Dean is Sam's biggest weakness? The Trickster really hasn't been paying attention. Dean is, more than anything else, Sam's biggest source of strength.
It leaves me wondering just what the Trickster's real end game was. Was it just a matter of him realizing that Sam's relationship to Dean is his core, so if he was able to get Sam to give on that devotion he somehow had beaten him? Or is there a possibility out there that the Trickster could be in cahoots with the mysterious new baddy we have yet to meet? I am, admittedly, pretty iffy on that last one. I get the feeling that the Trickster's report card said something like, "TT is such a bright boy, but he doesn't play well with others." Still an interesting possibility to ponder.
I thought they did a good job showing Sam's increasingly warping path. And Jared Padalecki did a good job conveying that change on Tuesday, and especially on Wednesday. The huge wall of research and the growing obsession also called to mind his father's crusade, and I wager that Sam would have followed through with the same dogged determination, given the chance.
In the aftermath, the whole thing works as a nice companion to the end of "Dream A Little Dream Of Me." Last week we saw Dean coming to a realization and fully committing to the idea of getting out of the deal. While Sam was already on that train, here we see him getting all the reinforcement he could ever need. The two of them should now be fiercely focused as they turn their attention in that direction.
All things considered, another great episode. And if you liked the return of the Trickster, next week looks to be another treat. It seems our old pal Agent Henricksen is back on the case. How can you not like that?
|Nope. After two appearances, the gimmick has run its course.||35 (7.4%)|
|Absolutely. It's a great character.||188 (39.9%)|
|As long as there is a season four, I don't care who or what they bring back for the boys to fight.||248 (52.7%)|