Stars: Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles, Kevin R. McNally, Bryan Cuprill, Mary Page Killer, Darcy Belsher
Writers: Robert Singer & Jenny Klein, series created by Eric Kripke
Director: John F. Showalter
Network: The CW, Fridays @ 9 PM
Original Airdate: March 16, 2012
FRIDAY THE 13TH: THE SERIES was in some ways a forerunner of SUPERNATURAL, with two beleaguered relatives (cousins in FRIDAY) and an older mentor trying like crazy to track down the forces of darkness. In FRIDAY, the supernatural troubles came from a store that sold cursed objects; the protagonists, week after week, had to track down the objects and retrieve them.
In “Out With the Old,” SUPERNATURAL literally borrows FRIDAY’s premise, with Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles) discovering, yes, a store that sells cursed objects. It turns out that this isn’t the only problem in town. A local realtor (Mary Page Keller), who is buying up the whole block when she isn’t tormenting her beleaguered assistant George (Bryan Cuprill), turns out to be a Leviathan. The realtor wants to eat Sam and Dean herself, as opposed to letting fellow Leviathan George do it. She tries to use the cursed shop to lure the brothers to their doom. Bad move, as George has had enough of his boss’ bullying and helps Sam and Dean dispose of her. The brothers then force George to reveal what the real estate buy is all about. The block is to be turned into a medical research center that will find a cure for cancer because, George says, the Leviathans just want to help.
Dean and Sam seem bewildered by this last bit. Have they never heard of weapons of mass distraction? Curing cancer would certainly cause most of the population to turn a blind eye to Leviathan leader Dick Roman’s less appealing qualities.
Once all this is dealt with, Sam and Dean go to pay their paranoid new information source Frank (Kevin R. McNally) a visit, only to find Frank’s trailer uninhabited, trashed and blood-streaked.
Pulling a switch as to the episode’s main menace provides a nice change, though “Out With the Old” definitely has fun with the objects from the shop, including ballet slippers that tempt everyone, including the horrified Dean, and a vintage-era porn magazine that does something so unspeakable that Dean actually doesn’t speak of it. The episode also allows our heroes a few wins, saving kids (and one parent) before the objects’ influences can prove fatal. Not that the characters’ morale improves any, but given the futility of much of the brothers’ actions, it’s nice to have them come out on top occasionally.
There’s bonus menace from Sam’s increasing sleep deprivation – he’s so afraid of dreaming about Lucifer that he’s been forcing himself to stay awake, with the result that he falls asleep at the wheel and drifts into the path of an oncoming truck. Sometimes the most universal threats are the scariest, and this results in a satisfyingly tense sequence.
There is perhaps a little too much time spent on the amusing-to-a-point scenes of the horrible boss realtor and her harried assistant. To be fair, this certainly sets up George’s willingness to side with the Winchesters against his own kind.
“Out With the Old” strikes a good balance of humor, drama and season-arc movement. If it’s not gripping, it’s still got strong moments of both fear and fun.
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