Stars: Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles, Jim Beaver, Colin Ford, Emma Grabanski, Jewel Staite, Benito Martinez, Cameron Bancroft
Writers: Andrew Dabb & Daniel Loflin, series created by Eric Kripke
Director: Jensen Ackles
Network: The CW
Original Telecast: October 7, 2011
SUPERNATURAL lead characters Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean Winchester (Jensen Ackles) have been all over the map, not only literally and existentially (they’ve been to Hell, Heaven and other dimensions, as well as lots of random places on Earth), but also in terms of their personalities. Sam started out as the sensitive, “let’s hear them out” one and Dean was the “kill first, ask Bobby [Jim Beaver] questions later” guy. Over seven seasons, that has shifted around considerably, what with Dean having experienced the torments of the damned, Sam losing his soul for awhile, etc. After last week’s episode “Hello, Cruel World” tried for angst without quite achieving it, “The Girl Next Door” is a back-to-basics episode, a monster of the week installment with a “this time it’s personal” back story that also finds Sam and Dean resuming something like their original dynamics.
After Bobby, dressed in a suit(!), rescues Sam and Dean from the Leviathan-infested hospital in Sioux Falls, all three hold up in a cabin outside Whitefish, MT. The frustrated Leviathans, unkillable according to Bobby’s lore, proceed to try to track the Winchesters down. Meanwhile, Sam reads about a series of “ice-pick murders” in the local paper, and realizes the culprit is a kitsunai, a creature that survives by eating part of the human brain. While Bobby goes off to reassemble his collection of arcane lore (the originals were destroyed in last week’s house fire), Sam borrows Dean’s car and tracks down the kitsunai – Amy (Jewel Staite). In flashbacks, we see that young Sam (Colin Ford) and young Amy (Emma Grabinski) bonded as kids. Amy killed her own mother to save Sam from the voracious adult kitsunai and Sam never mentioned the incident to Dean or their father. When Amy explains she has stopped killing and only resumed (her victims seem to be mostly abusive criminals) in order to save her sick young son, Sam relents and lets her go. However, when he tells Dean what has happened, once Dean gets over his outrage at Sam taking the car, Dean tells Sam he understands, but secretly tracks Amy down and, explaining his reasoning to Sam’s erstwhile friend, kills her. He does let Amy’s little boy live, as the child hasn’t killed anyone yet. The boy says he’s going to kill Dean at some point. Dean says he’s welcome to try, if Dean is still around when the kid is old enough.
Watch out for that last line – for all we know, if the series should end with everything for once seeming to be more or less all right, that will be when the little kitsunai shows up for revenge on Dean. Meanwhile, “The Girl Next Door” is a solid episode – moral conflict, good guest cast, lots of flashbacks that allow star/episode director Ackles to slip away from the front of the camera, and some fun shout-outs to both DOCTOR WHO and Ackles’ big-screen horror opus MY BLOODY VALENTINE.
Staite is so sympathetic that most viewers will be on Sam’s side on this one; the incident lets Dean be true to form while reflecting on the fact that he knows himself to be a jerk. Ackles and Padalecki are both in good form, and Beaver looks utterly at home in a suit – give this actor some lawyer roles when he’s not busy being Bobby. Ackles once again proves adept as director and gets good performances out of his young guest leads. Ford is actually a reasonable physical match for Padalecki; Grabanski is beautiful, but doesn’t really much resemble Staite, who is plays the character as an adult.
On the downside, the Leviathans seem well-organized and provide a fun special effect when they show their true selves, but as season-long Big Bads, they lack authority compared to, say, angels and Lucifer. The Leviathans keep referring to their boss, so there’s the potential for things to intensify.
Click on Link: Interview with SUPERNATURAL star Misha Collins
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Click on Link: TV Review – SUPERNATURAL – Season 7 – “Defending Your Life”
Click on Link: TV Review – SUPERNATURAL – Season 7 – “Hello, Cruel World”
Click on Link: Blu-ray review of SUPERNATURAL – THE COMPLETE SIXTH SEASON
Click on Link: The scoop on SUPERNATURAL – Season 7
Click on Link for Review of “Let It Bleed”
Click on Link for Review of “The Man Who Knew Too Much”
CLICK HERE for Mark Sheppard talking about SUPERNATURAL’s Crowley never really going away
CLICK HERE for details on SUPERNATURAL – THE ANIME SERIES
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Article: TV Review – SUPERNATURAL – Season 7 – “The Girl Next Door”