So Dr. Who and Supernatural both have tried killing Hitler.
And one of them succeeded. There’s some poetry there with the Brits showing up this season.
A bit of story time. So once upon a time on twitter a bunch of us Kripke Kultists were doing what we love most – complaining about how bad Supernatural is right now and how much better it was back in the good ‘ole days. We were having fun with the tags #SPNnow and #ifSPNstilldidthings. I don’t think I nabbed every entry, but I captured a few.
Of all those listed (and by the end, we were getting pretty silly) I don’t think ANY of us guessed anything about Hitler. But someone did guess…
(for those wondering, Just My Imagination aired on Dec 2nd, 2015)
Because I insist on being fair, I will admit that “bring back Hitler who the boys must kill again” is something that I would have put under that hashtag. From the beginning Supernatural has played with the serious horror tales and the b-movie, so-bad-it’s-hilarious horror films, of which well… They Saved Hitler’s Brain. So if anything, I applaud the episode for pushing the formula again, for remembering how the show would sometimes take off running in a random direction just to see where the stories could go. This is part of why I can’t hate S10’s Paint it Black too much – because I think they were trying to genre-bend again with romance. It was an effort, just sometimes risks don’t work out. (though I can see a “How it could have been” on that…)
But for this one? I like cheesy, b-movies so it was hard to hate this too much. If I had things to count against this episode it would be that it wasn’t titled, “They Saved Hitler’s Soul” but that might have given it all away. The other would be the soul returning via mechanical watch. Not that the soul was trapped in the watch – that’s perfectly in keeping with SPN’s established lore for spirits stuck to objects. No I object to the thing drawing a swastika and then “possessing” the body via Jaffa pouch. For this universe, to get a soul out of a watch and into a body should involve laying on hands and weird words uttered in a ritual. I also wish that – in atonement – the surviving Nazi kid went off to join Aaron Bass & his golem to hunt down the Thules. That would have been a better touch then “whatever kid, you on your own.” I mean it wasn’t it just here recently Sam was talking about how he needed to believe nobody was beyond redemption? So give the kid a path to do it, guys.
More than anything, I liked that we were given a bit of actual character to the civilian they saved this week. This is something I’ve been complaining about for awhile. No it isn’t completely necessary to the story, but those bits of narrative filigree help fill out the world and draw the audiences into the show. Heck since we know Sam & Dean must live, usually the show has to draw on drama by getting us to like these side characters and then make it questionable if they’ll survive. The previous episode’s death of the psychic girl hit me in the gut harder than pretty much every death Dean & Sam have ever gone through (save S2 – for more on why, see my retrospective which should resume soon). Here? I actually got to like Ellie and was glad she seemed to have a positive road ahead of her. If anything I wish she had stolen a kiss from Sam (or more?) given that earlier in the episode she was established as trying to take chances romantically. Let the girl show it by swiping some sugar from sexy Sasquatch. (I think that’s a fandom name for Sam somewhere.)
Though part of me wonders what if they just went totally crazy and had the girl take on Hitler’s soul then say yes to being Lucifer’s vessel? This season’s villain, Satan-Hitler! It’s the only way to top the darkness.
*cough* Sorry, the b-movies do this to me.
There are more signs of positivity drifting here and there, with more acknowledgements of continuity and letting the boys be happy once in awhile. I mean the grenade launcher was referenced! I laughed at Dean’s bit of savor at the end. In fact, now that he has shot Satan and Hitler in the face, who would be next to be shot in the face on his “great villains hit list?” Stalin? Mao? Jack-the-Ripper? Maybe he should get a punch card.
In conclusion, this was a serviceable monster of the week story.
Had they gone further and fully embraced the b-movie-ness of the story (like, outright force the fx department to do things cheaply – maybe use film and/or washed out 70s color styles) I think it would have moved closer to a classic like Monster Movie. Still, as bad as things had gotten in recent seasons, steady, decent episodes that can steadily raise the average of the season are appreciated.
And now… a bit of remix fun I, again, couldn’t wait on.
* * *
Nu!Hitler: I sold ten million copies of Mein Kampf. What do you think I can do with Twitter?
Nu!Hitler: Hello… Twitter. It is I… Hitler.
Internet: Godwin’s law! Godwin’s law!
Internet: I think that was a new record.
Nu!Hitler: No, I am literally Hitler.
Internet: Yeah yeah. We’re all literally Hitler.
Internet: Your mom is literally Hitler.
Nu!Hitler: That doesn’t even make any sense.
Internet: I thought it was [politician X] who was literally Hitler.
Internet: You would say that, you fan of [politician Y] who actually is literally Hitler!
Nu!Hitler: They are not, I am!
Internet: Can’t we just admit that we’re all, a little bit Hitler?
Nu!Hitler: What is WRONG with you people?
* * *
It was after that he begged Dean to shoot him in the face.