Friday, 5 February 2016

Supernatural 'Into The Mystic' Review

This review WILL CONTAIN SPOILERS for the episode to be discussed, if you do not want certain plot points or story spoilt for you, please do not read further.

After a couple of main story heavy episodes Supernatural takes a break from the Darkness story to give us one of the shows infamously fun monster of the week episodes.  At eleven seasons in the series knows how to deliver these great stand alone episodes, and this week's offering doesn't disappoint.

The episode opens with a flashback to thirty years in the past, where we see a family attacked and killed by this weeks guest monster, a Banshee.  As usual Supernatural has decided to do their own version of a classic creature from mythology, and their version of the Banshee is definitely an interesting one.  The Banshee's victim is the only person who can hear her famous scream, and the scream drives those who hear it to bash their own brains out in order to make it stop, allowing her to come along and feast on the contents of their skulls.  It's an interesting and fairly unique depiction, even if the special effects aren't quite up to standard.

Jumping forwards to the present day and the Banshee has taken to hunting for victims in a retirement home not far from the Winchester Bunker, encouraging our heroes to go along to find out what's happening, expecting to encounter a vengeful spirit.

Whilst searching the retirement home Dean manages to make something of an impression on Mildred, one of the residents, who takes a shine to Dean and flirts shamelessly with him.  Whilst the brothers believe Mildred to be the Banshee's next victim she isn't relegated to the 'elderly victim' stereotype, seemingly taking the events in her stride and finding the time to joke and flirt with Dean some more.  The interactions between the two of them are fun and lighthearted, and the show doesn't stoop to reducing Dean to being disturbed by having an older woman flirting with him as some others would, instead having the character taking it in his stride and even teasing the audience that if he wasn't on a case he and Mildred may very well have ended up doing something.

Elsewhere Sam makes a connection with a deaf member of the cleaning staff, Eileen, who it turns out is another hunter undercover, and the baby from the start of the episode.  Sam and Eileen share some very sweet emotional moments together as Eileen describes what it's like hunting a monster that killed her family whilst she was just a baby, a family she doesn't even know outside of a few photographs.  This instantly bonds the two, as Sam went through a very similar experience.  It's also great to see that Sam knows a little sign language and even tries to use it to speak with Eileen, despite not being all that good at it.

Elsewhere in the episode we get to see what Lucifer is up to in Castiel's body, and it's not really anything that bad, surprisingly.  The first time we see Lucifer (Luciel?) he's just hanging out in a park, enjoying the pleasant weather, watching a family play.  Not exactly what we'd expect from the devil.  Things only change when Lucifer is confronted by another angel who recognises who he is.  Lucifer tries to avoid violence, but when the angel attacks him Lucifer makes him explode in a shower of blood.  

We also find Lucifer going through the files in the Winchester Bunker looking for information on Amara and how to draw her out.  Being interrupted by Dean Lucifer manages to put on a convincing Castiel impression and is able to get away without Dean learning who he really is.  The two of them share a heart to heart moment and Dean reveals his connection to Amara, giving Lucifer a choice piece of information to use.

It's quite surprising that so far it would seem that Lucifer was telling the truth, that he's given up his thoughts of world domination, for now at least, and actually seems to want to fight against and stop The Darkness.  I'm sure that things won't be that simple, and I don't trust Lucifer at all, but so far if he has another scheme up his sleeve the show runners aren't giving anything away yet.

'Into The Mystic' is a great example of a standalone episode that combines monster of the week, whilst still giving us tiny pieces of the season arc.  It's an episode that gives us a new and creepy monster, but also gives us enough fun interactions and laugh out loud moments.  Supernatural has always had this great ability to produce incredibly dark episodes alongside ridiculously funny ones, and hopefully they will continue to recognise that we need these light episodes every now and then.


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