Episode Review – #THINMAN

By chuck that would have made this episode great…

If I had to sum up season 9 – RIGHT now (which is rapidly fighting S6 for its spot as worst season ever) it would be: “Less than the sum of its parts.” (no typos, I mean to reverse the phrase).  Unlike times where weak, or substandard pieces can combine to form a great, memorable work, this is the season where each individual episode is mostly adequate to fairly well done, BUT if you put the episodes together in a little group we like to call a SEASON the entire thing collapses.

Something I left out of my review in the previous episode which became even starker in this one is the show is having a real conflict between showing and telling this season.  For example: Kevin TELLS us that the afterlife is messed up.  Yet Charlie, Sam, and even to a lesser extent, Castiel, SHOWed us earlier that it was working as usual*.

Then there is this episode.

So the Ghostfacers TELL us that they’ve needed to “invent” a case to work on.  When the season has SHOWn us:

How the hell did they miss this?

(Yes there is some excuse that nobody else is investigating this happening, BUT that is normally excusable with people generally being in the dark about the “other world”.  The Ghostfacers are NOT.  A very freak meteor storm should occupy their attention far more than “Thinman” – especially when one of them knows it’s a hoax.)

(and no I’m not resizing it – I want this picture assaulting you – the way it would have for the entire world at the time)

The episode TELLs us that Thinman is just a couple of humans gone off the deep end.  The opening SHOWs us the killers pulling something off that is physically impossible for regular people.  I mean, the restaurant is understandable, one of the perps worked there so they might have had a key letting them in explaining the “locked room” mystery.  Yet with the first victim the two had to get in a locked place they shouldn’t have had access.  Then when she is killed “from behind” in the closet – how?  When she goes into the closet it is while facing perp1 wearing a mask.  She faces him the entire time she backs into the closet.  (any problems with visibility she would have had with the sudden power cut would have also been an issue for the perp IF NOT WORSE since he would be wearing a vision-obscuring mask – yet we hear and see no sign of him bumping into anything or having problems with the layout of an unfamiliar room)  If perp1 was to surprise her while perp2 waited in the closet, HOW did perp2 get in there?  Remember that from the layout of the room, he would have had to enter the closet WHILE the girl was facing it even partially (unless the poor dear had the peripheral vision of a stealth-game guard).

And seriously how did Charlie – or Becky – mistresses of the web and Supernatural (respectively) not realize that the web-celeb Ghostfacers were the same ones from Carver Edlund’s stories?  How have the Ghostfacers not pieced it together?  I mean, from a S1 appearance to 4 years later where the books’ audience is still “growing” I can get.  But now?  After NINE years?  When the Ghostfacers doing google “search-the-web” searches for “dealing with a ghost” should get hits on the books on the first page?  The Ghostfacers don’t freak out a little or do some searching when 2 years ago Sam & Dean WERE ON THE NATIONAL NEWS AS THE MOST WANTED???

(Actually looking up the writer… I see she’s often written stories I consider some of the worst of the show that frequently screw up canon or world-building.)

See, here’s my problem with the Ghostfacers showing up now: they’ve had no character growth since their last appearance.  What is the show’s problem with the Ghostfacers?  As demonstrated by their actions and told via Sam & Dean, the idea is that they’re not cut out to be hunters.  But there’s one small problem (well it’s a big problem the show keeps trying to ignore which keeps making it worse): The world NEEDS hunters the same way it needs firefighters and police and soldiers.  However, the need for those latter three is widely recognized, standard rules of economics kick in, society makes efforts to attract people to those jobs in order that they get done.  Hunters are NOT widely recognized.  Therefore there’s no efforts from society or pressure from economic forces to fill the needed ranks.  If a soldier or cop dies, he can be replaced by another member of the society.  If a hunter dies, who replaces him?  There aren’t recruiters out there or training camps set up so that if a wendigo gets someone, someone else can set up and make sure the wendigo goes down.  Yes, the Ghostfacers would make poor hunters as is, but what’s the alternative?  It’s not like you can get better candidates.  Heck they could at least act as support staff (which soldiers and cops and firefighters have), especially now that Bobby and Garth are out of the game.  Could you just imagine if they had transformed their web presence into a hunter resource? (like a “hunters’ wiki”?)  This doesn’t mean they would have to stop being the comic reliefs, it just means we’d have to run with some slightly different jokes.  Heck they and Charlie could have had a real cute eHunting business.

I mean, the problem is so not the actors/actresses (well, all actors this episode).  If anything, the writing annoys me even more because we KNOW these guys (and gals) can do better, but the writing keeps giving them mediocre stuff.

Then there’s the whole SPN knack of parallelism.  No, it’s not often subtle, but it also wasn’t as conspicuous as a train driving into a nitroglycerin plant by a yodelling team of Swedish supermodels.  They also usually made the parallel MotW story fairly entertaining itself.  This… this was a shell game.  Of the show runners giving us Winchester drama-lite.  Heck it’s taking on mutated levels of meta with so many fans going “we can’t forgive you for this!” while the WDWWW crew keeps saying “no no, there’s reasons for this, trust us!”  Maybe the arc isn’t about the boys… maybe this season is about us…

So hard to score.  As a completely stand alone episode (which is sort of impossible since so much of the drama hinges on past connections with the guest stars) this is… maybe a 3.  As a part of the season, it’s about a 1.  Who knew lol!canon!Carver would be the worst villain the boys have ever faced?

.

*It might be argued: “Well maybe the afterlife is only RECENTLY messed up and not from the angel fall (as a lot of us viewers are assuming).  Then why does Metatron kill Kevin AFTER he’s closed up the afterlife?  A move that ends up allowing the prophet to return and pretty much nullifying whatever goal Metatron hoped to accomplish.  Why not kill Kevin, THEN lock up Heaven with the prophet’s ghost safely locked away on the other side where he’s of no help to anyone?

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