'Supernatural' Season 9 episode 15: Was 'Thinman' too meta?
In the immortal words of Kevin Tran (Osric Chau): Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles) need to get over it on "Supernatural."
Seriously, not even the ghost of their murdered friend can get Sam and Dean to stop fighting? That didn't seem right when the episode first aired, and a week later, it's still an injustice. Pair that with Tuesday (March 4) night's too meta episode, "Thinman," and we're reaching ridiculous levels of denial and stubbornness. Yes, the Winchesters are practically known for their stubbornness, but this has gone too far.
When a Winchester quarrel gets in the way of their ability to hunt, that's when you know it's gone on too long. When Sam and Dean started working a case in which a tall, thin man with no face murdered people from inside locked rooms, they wouldn't agree on what they were hunting. Dean was sure it was a ghost while Sam wanted to trust the lore the Ghostfacers published. Their denial of each other's points hindered their usual success as a team. When they can't bounce ideas off of each other without judgement, there's room for mistakes, and mistakes are deadly in their line of business.
Side note: Welcome back, Ghostfacers! Love these guys. They always hold up a mirror to the strangeness that Sam and Dean call a normal life, and provide some much-needed perspective to the Winchester seriousness.
However, in "Thinman," the Ghostfacers' issues were almost too relatable to Sam and Dean's current problem. It turns out the Thinman was a story Ed made up to keep Harry in the ghost hunting business and away from marrying a girl and getting a "normal and boring" job. Ed thought what they were doing -- hunting the supernatural and saving people -- was important. But when Ed was forced to confess his lies, Harry accused Ed of keeping him around because he didn't want to be alone.
Sound familiar? One guy lying to keep the duo together and save the world, while the other wanted out and couldn't leave due to the other's lies/dependence on him. Hmmmm ...
At the end of the episode/case, the Ghostfacers were officially broken up, as Harry couldn't forgive Ed for his lies and ruining his life. He got a ride from Sam and Dean, leaving Ed all alone for good. And as they were driving away and Harry was telling the Winchesters that he couldn't believe he was going to live his life without his other half like he had always planned, Sam and Dean just gave each other awkward looks ... and didn't say a word.
Seriously? The entire episode was a mirror image of Sam and Dean's current fight, and they can't make a single comment? The meta cases usually work extremely well on "Supernatural," but only because Sam and Dean or someone close to the brothers point out how it relates to their lives. Presenting this identical situation without comment just felt ... off. Especially during Ed and Harry's break up scene, which was almost word-for-word Sam and Dean's fight in the previous two episodes. I expected either Sam or Dean to comfort Ed or Harry, or offer some kind of defense to their counterparts of why their partner made the questionable choices they made. Anything!
But instead of having the case help mend the gap between Sam and Dean, if anything it just made it bigger. Plus, another relationship bit the dust as well -- the Ghostfacers. The ending was extra depressing, as it became clear that two once-close brotherly bonds were severed for good.
As if that isn't troubling enough, we also need to talk about Dean. Because it's extremely worrisome the way he just slo-mo killed the teen psycho who was pretending to be Thinman. Yes, he was a killer with clearly no remorse for his victims (seriously, killing the girl because she wouldn't go out with him? Messed. Up.), but like Sam said later, he was just a person. Not a demon, or a monster. And yet Dean was able to oh-so-calmly guide that knife into his gut. It was intense and yet Dean didn't even blink twice about it.
This has got to be a side effect of the Mark of Cain, right? Ever since he received it, there's been something a little too effective about Dean's aim and fighting skills. He's always been a great hunter, but now he's a perfect killer, and it looks effortless to him. Cain did say there were consequences to having the Mark but Dean didn't stop to listen to them. Is Sam starting to realize that something is off with Dean like we are? Hope so.
While "Thinman" could have used some recognition from Sam or Dean about how much it related to their lives (other than some awkward glances), it's always hilarious to see Sam and Dean react to pop culture things like Tumblr talk and Twitter lingo. When Harry said that he "got punched right in the feels," Sam's grimace said it all: He has no patience for any of that nonsense. Especially since the majority of "Supernatural" fans practically live on Tumblr (hi guys!).
Also, how adorable was that Batman/Superman story of Sam and Dean as kids? That cuteness almost made up for all the toxic fighting that's been going on this season between the brothers. Please, give us back our loving, teasing Winchesters! How much more of these angry, passive-aggressive, hateful Winchesters do we have to endure?
"Supernatural" airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET on The CW.