Supernatural: Death Comes to South Dakota
|Written by April Yorke|
|Friday, 26 March 2010 10:10|
The writers finally remembered that Lucifer woke up Capital-D Death in, oh, November, and comes after residents of Bobby's South Dakota home town in last night's entry, "Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid." While initially lacking in the spectacular gore that made "My Bloody Valentine" so awesome (yes, awesome, even if it did make me mad), "Dead Men" was a Badass Bobby-centric episode, and who can argue against Jim Beaver?
See, Death has decided to wake up a bunch of corpses from the local cemetery, including Bobby's dead wife Karen (Carrie Anne Fleming and not Elizabeth Marleau from season three's "Dream a Little Dream of Me"), only they're more alive-again, Pushing Daisies-style, than the flesh-eating monsters we usually associate with rising from the grave. Actually, they go Daisies one better: the people, like Bobby's cremated wife, are completely restored. Of course, it takes our brainless* heroes forever to figure out what's up with Bobby, even after Dean suspects that Bobby has cleaned. Dudes, just look at Bobby's head: beard trimmed, trucker hat removed, hair parted and neatly combed. Something is just plain wrong with that picture.
*As always, Dean and Sam are exactly as smart or a dumb as the episode needs them to be. It's consistently inconsistent.
Though it takes half an hour and involves an incredibly hilarious scene in which Sam (Jared Padelecki just gets funnier as time goes by, I'm telling you) tries to get a yucky-looking elderly lady to share her intel from afar, eventually the zombie truth that appeared in every single ad for this episode came out. First Sam's attacked, then the sheriff's son eats her husband (off-screen, though he comes out from behind the couch clutching a section of his dad's small intestine), then pretty soon zombies are beating down Bobby's door but not before Bobby's wife delivers Death's message. Then Bobby gets to kill her again because that's just how horrible life can be. Bobby: "She's the love of my life? How many times am I going to have to kill her?" Try not to cry when Jim Beaver says that.
Anyway, yes, zombies are beating down Bobby's door and in some cases getting their heads spectacularly shot in half, forcing Dean and Bobby to hide in the closet until Sam and the Sheriff rescue their poorly prepared asses. Eventually all the zombies get ganked and burned on a funeral pyre, and this episode -- bless -- actually has Bobby reveal Death's message instead of leaving it hanging over us for half a season (suck it, Season Two!). Turns out the devil and his minions want Bobby out of the way because he's one of the reasons Sam keeps turning Lucifer down.
It was good to hear that Bobby counts in the big showdown because as much as I like the Winchesters, man, is still whole "destiny" thing wearing thin. Again the previouslies contained Dean telling female faux-Dean that it's up to Dean alone to save the world from the Apocalypse, and again I thought, "Not just you! Sam and Cass and Bobby will get you through this, to say nothing of the other hunters whose resources you consistently fail to utilize." I get that they keep showing us that scene because the network's afraid that somehow Dean's emotional state might fail to register (hint: not likely with Ackles in the role), but Sam just saved his ass in this very episode! Gah, when is Dean going to get it? And then when is Sam going to get a hair cut?
I didn't like this episode that much while it was airing, but I like it more and more upon reflection. For a myth heavy episode, it didn't drag; for a relatively gore-free episode, it wasn't boring. There are a lot of nice visual touches (actually, the show's set designers pretty much always knock it out of the park), particularly Karen's throwback wardrobe and obsession with baking pies, which I took as a Pushing Daisies reference, and the visual gag of Sam and Dean shoving their plates aside the moment Karen left the room to fix Bobby with the same "you crazy?" look.
Next week, Zechariah drops the boys into an alternate reality in order to get them to say yes. Again? Zechariah's already done this twice and Gabriel once (and Gabriel did the better job). Depending on the strength of the writing in the next ep, I could either come out liking it or end up really fatigued by this nonsense. And why is it always Dean who gets alternate realities directed at him? I bet Sam has secret dreams!