Supernatural: Live Free or Twi-Hard (Review)
Bobby decides it’s high time for Crowley to make good on his promise to return Bobby’s soul. Being a demon and all, he reneges. Bobby takes it upon himself to gain just the right leverage to “convince” the current King of Hell to honor their agreement.
Following the vein of this season’s “Two and a Half Men”, this week’s Supernatural revisits one of its past season monsters in vampires. While the primary tone of this episode is serious, the writers don’t skimp on the fun during the opening act. Hardcore Twilight fans who take offense to sparkly vampires being made to look like overacting, mopey, emo buffoons may want to skip the next paragraph.
We start with a young girl in a club, nervously awaiting her date. When he arrives, they speak of what he is, and how she should be afraid. It plays out as a perfect jab at the current vampire phenomena’s most successful franchise, right down to the cheesy music and dreadful dialogue. And in case you’re wondering, I have seen all the Twilight movies. What that actually says about this reviewer, well…let’s get back to the show.
Unlike the docile Cullen clan, these vampires mean business. They are responsible for the disappearance of seven teens over the span of a few weeks. Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean’s (Jensen Ackles) search takes them to a night club where they run across two vampires. Sam dispatches his but Dean is overmatched by his target, a shaggy haired vampire that forces the older Winchester to feed on his vampire blood; though he is there in plenty of time, Sam does not interfere, instead watching the events play out with an eerie smirk.
Realizing that his hours are numbered once Grandpa Samuel (Mitch Pileggi) comes calling, Dean slips out to say goodbye to Lisa (Cindy Sampson) and Ben (Nicholas Elia). The bloodlust pulsing through his veins is almost overwhelming but he’s able to leave before hurting her and, maybe more importantly, feeding. The latter is touched on by Grandpa Samuel, who shares with Dean a cure for his vampirism so long as he hasn’t fed. One of the ingredients required is the blood of the vampire who turned him.
Set for the mission, Dean infiltrates the vampire lair, meeting Boris, the six-hundred year old vampire leading the town’s coven. He tells Dean that their “father” is the architect behind their plans of creating an army of vampires. Dean attempts to drug Boris to take a sample of his blood but Boris is too quick. As Boris is about to exact his revenge, all vampires in the lair, Dean included, lose consciousness. Visions of the iconic mysterious stranger in a leather coat, twin girls, and other assortment of images barrel through Dean’s mind before he wakes up in time to see Boris releasing the newly turned vampires (mostly female) and ordering them to attack Dean.
Dean fights his way through the house, killing vampires with the brutal efficiency of a hunter imbued with vampiric reflexes and senses. He comes face to face with Boris and while they aren’t privy to the fight, Grandpa Samuel and Sam arrive only to see the headless body of Boris laid out in the middle of the floor as Dean’s foot rests on the severed head.
Boris’s blood is the final ingredient into the cure; one that, when Dean drinks, replays the last day or two since he’d been fed vampire blood. The replay shows Dean the heartbreaking image of Sam watching on, content as Boris forced his blood into Dean’s mouth. Playing of the disturbing image, Dean tells his fellow hunters of the Alpha and his psychic connection to his vampire children, his plans to build a vampire army and, more disturbingly, the fact that they are no longer afraid of the hunters.
While there was nothing inherently wrong with this episode, save for a few moments, I wouldn’t call it too memorable. Though on the surface it feels more like a monster of the week feature (similar to past vampire episodes) the introduction of the Alpha as well as mention of the army he is building does tie into the slowly developing season arc. There is no doubt, however, that the signature moment of this episode was the image of Sam watching on, almost giddy at Dean being infected by vampire blood and, despite Grandpa Samuel’s inference that Sam allowed it to help them track the Alpha down is plausible and vile, it seems as if there’s something even more sinister going on with Sam. And though we’ve seen the previews of next week’s episode dealing with just that, I don’t believe we’ll know the whole truth until much later in the season.
- “Are you wearing glitter?!” is only one of the several laugh out loud moments in the show.
- We get another piece of the Alpha puzzle the Campbells and Winchesters are trying to put together.
- We’ve known all along that something was wrong with Sam. The image of him looking on with satisfaction as Boris overpowers Dean is the ultimate confirmation.
- The vampires were pretty much cardboard cutouts (save for Boris and his limited time).
- Though it does move the season along, it’s at a pace not quite up to snuff with normal seasons. This may also be due to the “creature of the week” vibe in revisiting the vampire mythos.
- The Alpha vampire’s psychic connection with his kindred. Though not specifically mentioned, the possibility arises that the Alpha shape shifter (and subsequent Alphas that we are introduced to) may have that same type of connection.
- An addendum to the above bullet and Dean’s comment that “they aren’t afraid of us anymore”, one has to wonder if the monster Alphas are working together.
– Darryl (follow @djasper07 on Twitter)