Stars: Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles, Blake Gibbons, Sean Michael Kyer, Kavin Konoval, Dylan Everett, Erin Karpluk
Writer: Adam Glass, series created by Eric Kripke
Director: Kevin Banks
Network: The CW, Tuesdays @ 9 PM
Original Airdate: November 19, 2013
In an episode that is about as standalone as it’s possible for a SUPERNATURAL Season 9 episode to be, “Bad Boys” brings us to the home for delinquent youths where Dean (Jensen Ackles) spent two months in his teen years.
Sonny (Blake Gibbons), who still runs the place, phones “D-Dog,” as he calls Dean, because he’s got an inexplicable death on the premises. Sam (Jared Padalecki) is surprised to find out that Dean and Dad lied about the two of them being off together hunting while young Sam was bundled off to Bobby. Dean had really gotten arrested for shoplifting, and Dad was willing to let Dean do time in juvie. Sonny bailed Dean out and brought Dean to the boys’ home, where we see in flashback that young Dean (Dylan Everett) shared his first kiss with young Robin (Sarah Desjardins).
Grown-up Robin (Erin Karpluk) is still mightily angry at Dean. We learn this was because Dean bailed without a word right when he was supposed to be Robin’s date to the school dance. Meanwhile, there is definitely ghostly activity centering around a young current boys’ home resident who survived a car accident that killed his mother. Mom’s ghost is now over-protective of her son and kills anyone who might remotely be construed as a threat. Dean and Sam are able to persuade the little boy to tell the ghost that he’s all right now and doesn’t need her protection.
We then get another flashback, showing us that young Dean was eager to attend the dance with Robin when his Dad turned up, saying Dean had to go immediately. Sonny was willing to stick his neck out and get Dean to the dance anyway, but when Dean saw young Sam in the back seat, brotherly love trumped budding romance.
In the present, we see that Dean still feels protective of Sam and that Sam is oblivious to exactly what’s going through Dean’s mind, but that he appreciates his brother.
“Bad Boys” has as much bromantic sentiment as it’s possible for a show about literal brothers to possess, even though between the flashbacks and the cutaways to what’s happening with our imperiled guests of the week and Dean and Sam doing their separate investigations, they don’t share that much screen time.
Some audience members watch the show for this sort of thing and will feel rewarded. Other viewers will wish that if the emotional thrust of “Bad Boys” was going to be something this well-established, the threat was something more novel, more frightening, more comedic or, ideally, all of the above.
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Related: TV Review: SUPERNATURAL – Season 8 – “Bad Boys”