Supernatural: You Can’t Handle the Truth (Review)
Dean and Sam investigate the disappearance of several young women and come across vampires intent on building an army at the behest of their Alpha. Dean is overpowered by the vampire leader and forced to drink its blood as Sam watches on, a satisfied smile on his face. With the help of Samuel and a little luck, Dean is cured of his vampirism though as memories come back, he learns that Sam did nothing to help as Dean fought for his life…
Nothing is more apropos, if not a bit cliché, as “the truth shall set you free”. However bland it may, be one cannot deny the accuracy of that adage as it pertains to this episode of Supernatural. A young waitress, stressed over life, wants the truth. She ends up getting what ends up being a lethal dose of said truth as it becomes too much to handle and she ends up kills herself.
Still unnerved by what he’d seen during his fight with Boris the vampire, Dean (Jensen Ackles) is adamant to Bobby (Jim Beaver) that it’s not possible for Sam (Jared Padalecki) to be his brother. He thinks that Lucifer is still inside Sam but the scariest thing is when Bobby suggests that this is the real Sam now, that whatever happened to him during last season’s finale has irrevocably changed him. The topic of their conversation calls Dean about a string of suicides that leads them to speaking with the waitress’s sister who admits to saying things she didn’t have control over. While in town, they come across another incident of the truth being a killer where a dentist kills a friend who admits to his lust for the dentist’s daughter. He later hangs himself in prison.
When he thinks a weapon of Heaven is loose, Dean calls upon Castiel (Misha Collins) for help. The angel confirms that it’s not Gabriel’s Horn of Truth. He also informs Dean that Lucifer is indeed still ensnared in the Pit and he has no idea what’s wrong with Sam though he promises to make inquiries. Not long after, Dean takes solace in a few drinks only to be hit with the “truth bug”. Testing his theory out during a phone conversation with Bobby (one of the few highlights of this episode) Dean’s ready to use his newfound abilities on Sam. Before he can, Lisa calls and she gives Dean the truth that, in his heart, he probably knew was coming; she can no longer be there for him, despite how she feels.
Pushing aside the grief so clearly etched on his face, Dean confronts Sam at the first victim’s house. They find that the first victim had performed a summoning enchantment calling upon Veritas, the Goddess of Truth. Dean asks Sam the question we’ve all wanted to hear; why did Sam let Dean get turned? His answer is that he froze; it’s an answer we all know is false, despite the effects of the truth compulsion, though just how strong is Sam’s ability to sway from the truth?
In researching Veritas, her power lies in providing truths so harsh and damaging that the truth receiver is driven to suicide, thus providing her with tribute. Riding a hunch, the Winchesters target news reporter Ashley Frank (Serinda Swan) as Veritas. Their infiltration into her lair does not go well as Veritas gets the drop on them. Tied up, both are interrogated by the goddess to admit the truth about one another and their relationship. Dean must admit to himself (and Sam) just what lengths he was ready to go to rid the world of this imposter of brother though he felt better than. When she moves on to the younger Winchester, Veritas is stunned when Sam lies to her. She immediately proclaims Sam as not human. Seconds after her declaration, the brothers escape their binds, and, after an intense struggle, kill the goddess.
With the goddess dead, Dean is intent on finding answers. Sam admits that something is wrong but doesn’t know what it is, only that is a better hunter for it. The complete lack of remorse or feeling in his voice is further confirmation. His admission that he let his brother get turned is greeted with more than a little hostility as Dean bludgeons Sam with a serious beat down. It is a beating eerily similar to last season’s finale “Swan Song”, where Lucifer, in full possession of Sam’s body, horribly disfigured Dean’s face with supernatural blows that rendered Dean helpless. This time Sam was the one that was delivered into unconsciousness as a furious and disgusted Dean glared down as Sam’s bloodied face.
Another creature of the week episode that again fell short of the quality the first five seasons of Supernatural have provided. Though we are one episode closer to discovering what Sam’s new condition is (and what caused it) the truth is, “You Can’t Handle the Truth” is an average edition to the Supernatural library, at best.
- Dean’s conversation with Bobby when Dean realized he’d been cursed by Veritas’s “gift”. Tough, gritty Bobby getting a pedicure? Watching Torrie Spelling’s reality show!? Great stuff.
- Though it may not have answered all our questions, we are given 100% confirmation that something is horribly wrong with Sam.
- While it may not have been due to the best circumstances, we get a glimpse of the old Dean. His year away from hunting and becoming a family man has tamed much of his behavior (as well as adding more depth to his character). Still, the volatile and cocky portions of his personality have been missed. When Sam admits to allowing the vampire to feed Dean its blood, the elder Winchester unleashes months of pent up anger over it all.
- Jensen Ackles delivers another outstanding performance. It seems that he has hit another level in his acting this season; the pain he displays when Lisa breaks up with him is palpable and my heart sank just as he tried not to crumble.
- Yes, we do touch upon the subject of what’s wrong with Sam but to go through an entire episode with only a few salient points to it as it relates to the season, is disappointing.
- We need MORE Castiel. Though not quite as funny as he was last season, I love the angel’s inclusion in things not only because of his interaction between the Winchesters but also he’s a reminder of just how big things are and that there are still ongoing repercussions from last year’s events.
- MORE Bobby. I don’t know if it’s still a hangover from the excellent “Weekend at Bobby’s” two episodes ago, but Jim Beaver’s presence has added an extra dimension to every scene he’s been in this year. His comedic delivery is exceptional and has helped fill the void created from the distance in Sam and Dean’s interactions.
- Lisa’s breakup with Dean. I really hope this isn’t the last we’ve seen of her as their relationship has been one of this season’s pleasant surprises.
- One of my favorite scenes is where Dean calls on Castiel and the angel gets confirmation that Gabriel’s Horn is not responsible for the events.
- Castiel: It isn’t the Horn of Truth
- Dean: What are you talking about? You were gone for like two seconds. Where did you look?
- Castiel: Everywhere.
If that doesn’t tell you everything you need to know on just how badass Castiel is…
- The writers continue to expand the Supernatural mythology with the inclusion of Veritas.
- Whatever it is that ails Sam (based on next week’s preview we already know, Angelus) must have been caused by Lucifer taking possession of him and subsequently being ripped out of him when Sam was returned from the Pit.
– Darryl (follow @djasper07 on Twitter)