Supernatural S10E13 Review
It’s been a long while since I’ve walked away at the end of a Supernatural episode and felt truly satisfied, but ‘Halt and Catch Fire’ definitely left me with the good vibes.
Sure, I missed Crowley and Castiel, but the pure simplicity and excellent execution of the episode more than made up for their absence. This is classic Supernatural at it’s best; a good old-fashioned ghost hunt, with a well-developed secondary cast of characters and, most importantly, with heart.
The episode sees the Winchesters racing to stop a vengeful ghost who was completely taken advantage of the younger generation’s obsession with WIFI in order to track down and kill those responsible for his death. Nostalgia ruled the episode, with the tried and tested hunting methods (read: crowbars, salt and burn, salt circles, salt for you, salt for me, salt all ‘round) of seasons past making reappearances. I’m surprised that killer WIFI waves and computers isn’t something that hasn’t been explored before, but perhaps, like Dean, Supernatural just needed a bit of time to catch up, technology-wise.
The storyline of the episode isn’t particularly shocking or ground-breaking (spoiler alert: the ghost kills three of the four people involved, and then is convinced of the error of his ways by his wife – a basic story structure that we have seen before on the show), but after seasons of conspiracies and grand plans, simplicity is welcome. The scene between Sam and Corey, as Corey revealed that she knew her ghost husband was back, but struggled to let him go, was touching and sweet, and gave the episode a dose of heart that has been severely lacking (or poorly executed) in recent episodes.
I’d also love to give a major shout-out to the show runners for allowing the brothers to continue to be honest and open with each other. After ten seasons of awkward deflections and doomed-to-fail lies, it is refreshing to see Sam and Dean being able to discuss things with each other, and more so that this appears to be a new trend for a new season. Dean lays his future plans out on the table at the end of the episode, telling Sam that he wants to focus on helping people (another call-back to one of the most memorable scenes of the entire show: ‘saving people, hunting things, the family business!’), and not on curing the Mark. Sam isn’t too sure about the plan, believing it means that Dean is just giving up, but Dean is steadfast in his beliefs. Obviously, we know that this plan is going to have to change – and fairly soon -, but it’s nice to see a discussion of the future occur without lying, and with both the brothers laying their thoughts out for the other.
The not-so-subtle message of the episode played a little heavy-handedly, with parts of the episode seeming to be part of some sort of ‘don’t text and drive’ safety campaign. Also falling on the negative side was Ali Milner’s portrayal of Delilah, whose life-or-death panic falls short of the mark, as did Barbara Kottmeier’s Skype-plea to her dead husband. And although Dean reaches a pretty important decision regarding the Mark of Cain, the episode will definitely have its detractors that demote it to merely a ‘filler’ episode.
All things considered, however, this is definitely a call-back to the simpler days of Supernatural, a classic episode that hits all the right notes: a good ghost hunt, relatable and moving secondary characters, and a touching ‘bro’ moment at the end. Although it looks like we are diving right back into conspiracy and the Mark of Cain next episode, if this is an indication of what we can expect of future ‘classic’ Supernatural episodes, then I am definitely on board.
Review by Hannah Fitzpatrick.