Now that I’ve given everyone an idea how I judge episodes, let’s rank the episode that aired tonight “Mystery Spot.”
I remember when this first aired how intrigued I was at the “Dean dies over and over in a time loop” premise especially since it seemed to really strain the rules of the show. Voicing this concern to a friend of mine he predicted that it might be the Trickster. So I bought him a drink when that turned out to be right (the shame I have for not seeing it myself).
Of course, practically any sci-fi and fantasy show nowadays has to have a Groundhog Day episode and how did this one fare? Quite well actually since the brothers are aware of the movie and able to quickly grasp what’s going on (even Dean who doesn’t remember from day to day). This is a nice touch as too many of these episodes (of which I’ve seen too many) have the characters involved take way too long to figure out what’s going on when they really should be more genre savvy.
It was also nice to see the Trickster back. The actor playing him is really lovable and it’s hard to be angry at him. Plus the Trickster himself hovers in that shade of gray – is he really evil? Should he be killed? Remember that in “Tall Tales” he only kills 2 people, and both of those had a chance. If they had chosen to do the right thing (rather than give into their lusts or greed), then both would still be alive. The only other person he punishes that has no choice is not killed, just humiliated. We don’t know if the victim in this episode was given the same chance (or even if he’s dead for sure) but he does seem to show a little mercy to Dean in preventing his death again and again. (or did he cause Dean’s death? hmmmm….) Also, the Tricksters mentions trying to “prepare” Sam and warns him about his enemies. So we also see that the Trickster is definitely not on the side of the demons. In fact in this episode, we’re even given hints that he might be as opposed to their invasion as the hunters are.
(Obviously we don’t want the demigod pulling a (literal) deus ex machina but it does bring up thoughts about the war beyond Demon vs Human. How do the other things that go bump in the night feel about this conflict? Will shapeshifters side with humans? Are vampires rooting for the demons? Here’s hoping that in the future, we see a little bit more of the war’s impact on those beyond demons and humanity)
Like the previous Trickster episode (Tall Tales), this one had plenty of laughs. Some of Dean’s deaths take on a darkly humorous tone, and the brothers have some of the funniest interactions of this season. Expect some genuine laughs when watching this.
So all in all how’d it do?
Very good episode, as entertaining an hour of television that you’ll find anywhere.
Watch out for Tricksters while hunting…