You ever get that feeling of deja vu all over again?
It felt like “Suspicious Minds” was going for the shoutouts, that’s for sure. One little bit made the entire episode for me. I absolutely LOVE “Everybody Hates Hitler.” One of my favorite lines is when Dean is tossed across the parking lot by the Golem. His reaction, “Ow, my spleen.” So, when a Golem comes out of nowhere in this episode (it definitely felt random), I loved that after John is tossed across the room, he utters those same words as Dean. Not with as much comedic flare, but it still worked.
Other than that, the rest was just meant to push the plot bunny along. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. It’s getting down to the wire and we need action. But those Akrida goons, talk about mustache twirlers! So that’s what those little bugs do to people? Turn them into cartoon villains? Sounds awful.
I am a little tired of the whole “evil Men of Letters guy surfaces even though they were all supposed to be wiped out” plots, but hey, they did get some good info about the Akrida from this guy. The whole necromancer thing was a little creepy, but it would make sense that one of those would be part of that group. He held onto his wife for more than 15 years though? Eww, you would have thought he’d come up with a better plan before this.
Lata and Carlos had an easier time with their adventure. I’m glad Roxy was freed of her Akrida possession, but her story was heartbreaking and sad. Often times the original series didn’t focus of the trauma of the possession victims, even when Sam was possessed! I’m glad we got this depiction here and it was certainly unique to the few others we’ve seen. Who knows, maybe this is Roxy’s origin story as a kickass hunter. I still am suspicious of Lata and all these new tricks she’s learning. There’s something about her we don’t know. I’m wondering if her holding onto The Trickster in a mirror is related to all this. She's a lot more powerful than they're letting on.
The interesting mystery here is, what in the world do the Akrida want with Dean? And why is keeping John and Mary around useful for the queen? I can speculate a number of things, but if this is Dean Winchester f***ing things up by time traveling again, I’ll be rather disappointed. It sounds like they’re setting up John and Mary to be fugitives, which would be another big parallel to Sam and Dean.
Each time I watch, I keep getting this feeling that something isn’t right about this reality. There are just too many things that are off. This week, it was disconnected shoutouts. I keep wondering if the talk of wiping out memories between Lata and Carlos was a clue. I don’t believe for a minute that Lata would be powerful enough to do a big mind wipe of John and Mary. That takes angel mojo! At first, I didn’t see any other scenario than this whole thing is a trick by the Trickster and Dean Winchester is the victim. But then, another idea hit me and I kind of liked it. I don’t think it’s very plausible, but humor me, I haven’t seen this pitched before.
A Crazy Ass Theory
One of my favorite films is Jacob’s Ladder, a 1990 film starring Tim Robbins. It’s a dark psychological thriller where a Vietnam Vet named Jacob is back home from the war, but everything seems off. That’s because it is. He’s estranged from his family, he’s hanging out with some random girlfriend, and every where he looks he sees demonic symbols. He feels like a stranger in his own skin. It’s a fascinating watch just because you want to see where all this is going. Why does everything seem so strange? Is he just disassociated because he’s returning from the war, is he hallucinating, or is there something more to this?
It’s the opening scene that ends up providing the greatest clue to the shocking ending. Jacob is in a subway station underground and all the entrances are locked. He can’t get to the surface. That’s because in the entire movie he was in some sort of purgatory in his mind, facing his demons and coming to terms with his pain while he was dying. He was actually mortally wounded in a hospital tent back in Vietnam. Last shot shows him dying, peacefully accepting his fate. (I’m generalizing a lot, the ending is very emotionally riveting).
Here’s a line from the film that is pivotal in explaining the main character’s struggle:
Eckhart saw Hell too. He said: The only thing that burns in Hell is the part of you that won't let go of life, your memories, your attachments. They burn them all away. But they're not punishing you, he said. They're freeing your soul. So the way he sees it, if you're frightened of dying and... and you're holding on, you'll see devils tearing your life away. But if you've made your peace, then the devils are really angels, freeing you from the earth. It's just a matter of how you look at it, that's all.
Part of me wonders if this reality is coming from the mind of Dean, who could be in some sort of limbo reconciling his own death. I mean, look at the the episode titles. “Masters of War,” “Legend of a Mind,” "Art of Dying,” “Hang On to Your Life,” “Cast Your Fate to the Wind,” “Suspicious Minds”…could that all indicate that someone is trying to accept their impending fate? Going through that whole transition process from life to death? Dean did say this as a narrator in the Pilot:
What they didn't know was that the Akrida weren't just a threat to Earth, but to all of existence. Now, like I told you, there's gonna be some surprises. Hell, I'm still trying to find all the puzzle pieces myself. But I'll explain everything. And, until then, I'll keep picking the music.
Could this be him picking the music to close out his life? I could see Dean’s mind running through the greatest hits. He always wanted more for his parents, so why not have them hunting together? What if he could make that happen by just intervening at one spot in time? He wants them to save the world, just like he and Sam did, so a big bad was imagined. Why not something bug like, a subliminal call out to “Bugs” or “And Then There Were None.” Dean was a huge fan of Scooby Doo, so why not have his parents be part of a hippie investigating team driving around in a tripped out van? The mind does strange things.
Of course you can’t have a Winchester adventure without The Trickster. Or have both John and Mary searching for their fathers, since that’s how it all started for Sam and Dean. Or Mary wanting out of the life, since that was her main goal when Dean time travelled to see her both times. Since John’s a legacy, there should be an abandoned Men of Letters place that they have at their disposal, just like Dean and Sam did. Then there’s the talk of the memory wipe in this most recent episode, something that came up a bit in Dean’s life as a hunter. Throw in an adventure with a Golem, and it’s the greatest hits coming to life in this reality.
Need more? How about Mary rescuing kids in “You’re Lost Little Girl,” a parallel to “The Kids are Alright,” the appearance of a Djinn in “Legend of a Mind,” vampires forcing John into a “no win” situation, something Dean faced constantly, in “Cast Your Fate to the Wind” or even encounters with demons in the Pilot. Now, it’s a mysterious rogue Men of Letters guy appears out of nowhere and pretends to help but he has a hidden agenda. Cuthbert Sinclair anyone? Now, John is in trouble with the law. Framed by a supernatural being. Hmm, where have we seen that before? I even read the synopsis of the next two episodes. You know what’s in episode 1.12? Clowns. These all seem to be offshoots of the original. Dean's mind could be creating adventures based on his own experiences.
What John and Mary know about hunting seems ahead of it’s time. Sam and Dean didn’t know anything about exorcisms either until Bobby gave them the incantation or devil’s traps until they saw the Lesser Key of Solomon at Bobby’s house at the end of season one. None of that was in John’s journal. How was Mary so well versed in repelling demons with exorcisms and devil’s traps? They didn’t seem very aware of demons in “In The Beginning.” Mary just had an anti-possession charm on her bracelet.
Why does Lata always have the answer? Bobby had to research books for a long time before that happened and Sam and Dean spent a lot of time at the library and online. It is too convenient, but I’m speculating that is by design. The lore presented seems very fuzzy a lot of the time too. For example, The Trickster lore didn't make a lick of sense. A dream like state isn’t very good at processing details. The finer points are usually glossed over.
I really think a lot of what we are seeing is disconnection from reality, as if it’s happening in a dream. Another big example from this episode, Roxy's bedspread has the same fabric pattern as the shirt The Trickster was wearing a few episodes earlier. That is called a mind f***. That could be bad writing and cheap set design, but so many things here just don’t add up! What are all these narrations by Dean in the episodes about the hunting life? Is that him reflecting on what he learned in his lifetime as a hunter? Why is Dean a target of the Akrida? All he did was give John a letter. Is this his mind reconciling the consequences of being a hunter all these years? Always feeling like a target? Or is he playing the role of Chuck, inserting himself in the story? The unreliable narrator? Yeah, maybe that’s going too far. But the idea that this could be Dean writing a story isn't that far out of line either. But, is it a story in his mind? Hmm.
I’m still on the “it’s all intentional” train when it comes to this not quite right feeling. However, there is one way where this theory of mine doesn’t hold water. They said they’ll reveal what’s happening in episode 13. So what if it’s revealed it’s all in Dean’s dying mind? That would be closure for the end of the series, but what if The Winchesters gets a season two? More adventures from Dean’s mind? Like I said, it’s a shot in the dark. There has to be more to this than that.
Let’s take this further. The appearance of The Trickster is very intriguing as well. I’m still willing to accept that he has a big role in this. What if this is one of his alternate reality tricks on Dean? Maybe this was what was happening with Dean when Sam was living without Dean for six months in “Mystery Spot?” Or, maybe this was one of those fantasy worlds he was put in when possessed by Michael. Who knows. I’m just trying to reconcile why things aren’t quite right, how Dean inserts into this story, and how this doesn’t impact Supernatural canon in the end. This is what I got. At this rate, I’m kind of wishing Robbie Thompson is a fan of Jacob’s Ladder too.
Overall grade, a B. The plot bunny moved along, and now we’re only 3 episodes away from figuring all this out. I’ll either look like a genius or a schmuck. Very likely the latter.
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