Episode Review – the Mentalists

Quote of the night: “Grading on a curve’s got me through everything since Kindergarten.” -Dean

I’m sure both of my fans have lately been wondering what’s been the delay on these episode reviews.  My day job was giving me some difficulties (but it’s started to calm down now) and I’ve lately been participating in Friday Night Magic.  After all, since Wizards has released Innistrad (aka the SPN/Magic crossover), I have to pick between playing SPN on Fridays and watching it. (really, which would you choose? – and yes I have a white blitz deck that I like to call “Winchester Justice”)  So I have to wait until Tuesday for CW to put the show on their webpage so I can catch up.

Then sometimes after watching an episode, I get stuck on what I want to say about it.

In this case, I mean it was nice to get a good old fashioned ghost story again, but something about it kept bugging me.  Then I was watching [the always awesome] SFDebris’ latest episode when something Chuck said made it click.  In the video (which I highly recommend) he points out how a scene between two characters fits with continuity, the characters, doesn’t take long, and ends up continuing the plot of the episode.

And such a scene was missing in ‘the Mentalists’.

Or at least, the scene we needed to see between Sam & Dean.

About midway through the episode, we not only figure out that it’s a ghost doing all the shenanigans, but something about it’s actions don’t make sense.  Hey, guys, remember the last time ya’ll fought a ghost that turned out to actually be keeping things from getting worse?  Or that other time where a ghost was trying to warn people?  Where was the discussion of this?  Sam wanting to slow things down and make sure they gank the right target vs Dean wanting to get things done already and stop the killings?  It would have been a perfect continuation of their conflict over Amy.  And it’s at that point – midway through the episode even (yes, something new, I know) – that we find out Dean’s feeling a bit guilty over his hesitation at killing Castiel (even though it was bad writing and character derailment that forced it upon him).  Both sides would have had a legitimate point, it would have tied together with the current mini-arc, would have related to the plot of the show… it would have been perfect.  Instead… the show missed a golden opportunity.

Then we have the rest of the lore to look over.  I also agree with Chuck (of SFDebris) in that my concern about continuity is somewhat weighed by its proportion in the show.  For example, if they mention a monster type just once in a throwaway line, then in the future, they fail to toss in another throwaway line referring to that monster in an episode where they should; well I’m willing to let that slide.  If, however, something has had a major episode (or several) examining it, then failing to talk about it when appropriate is a greater sin.  I was glad that the boys mentioned the two [real] psychics they used to know, but why no mention of Sam’s past episodes?  Or maybe a question of whether they missed a psychic kid.  These were MAJOR arcs of the show, it should have had some acknowledgement (if for nothing else, Dean teasing Sam a little).  Heck, part of me was wondering if the show would reveal that a person had a demon restrained somewhere and was drinking its blood to make him/her psychic act real.

And speaking of psychics, once upon a time the show seemed to have clearly defined rules about them.  Humans naturally had more of the pure mental abilities (visions of the future for example) while other creatures had the stronger, physical world manipulations (telekinesis).  It kind of fit into Ben Edlund’s behind-the-scenes theory that demons (could use telekinesis or mind manipulation) were an amalgam of angel (major telekinesis, not much mental) + human soul/ghost.  In this episode we see a real psychic use telekinesis so now… I don’t know what the rules are any more (further encouragement to jettison everything after season 5).

Although I did like the way they had the brothers reunite this time.

And there’s still no impala! 😦  I hope she returns soon.

Drinking Game Tally:

  • Ghost trying to warn people. \~/
  • Ghost ganked when trying to help against other ghost(s). \~/

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