Stars: Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles, A.J. Buckley, Travis Wester, Nicholas Carella, Giovanni Mocibob
Writer:
Jenny Klein, series created by Eric Kripke
Director:
Jeannot Szwarc
Network:
The CW, Tuesdays @ 9 PM
Original Airdate:
March 4, 2014

SUPERNATURAL is by now deep in angst, mythology and certain kinds of humor. What it has lost over time is any real sense of horror. Surprisingly, “#THINMAN” supplies a jolt of actual creepiness that’s all the more impressive because, for once, there’s nothing supernatural happening.

Dean (Jensen Ackles) and Sam (Jared Padalecki) head to a small town in Washington state, where a young woman has been stabbed to death in her locked bedroom by what looks like a tall, faceless entity (she was taking selfies at the time and inadvertently captured the thing behind her). When the Winchesters arrive, they are deeply annoyed to run into Ed (A.J. Buckley) and Harry (Travis Wester) of GhostFacers, who claim to be experts on “Thin Man,” as they call the entity. People all around the world have different stories about him/it.

Another locked room (in this case, locked diner) murder is committed, and the Winchesters can’t figure it out. Finally, Ed confesses to them – he invented Thin Man via Photoshop so that Harry would be motivated to stay with GhostFacers. The legend hit social media, Harry believed it was at least a real legend and he has been happily chasing it ever since – except now it’s killing people. Sam urges Ed to tell Harry the truth. Harry is furious.

Sam and Dean track Thin Man to an abandoned site. It turns out to be, as the dialogue puts it, “a SCREAM thing,” with two small-town guys, a deputy sheriff (Nicholas Carella) and the diner busboy (Giovanni Mocibob), who both felt ignored, bonding and coming together for murder. Harry winds up saving Ed and Dean, but doesn’t know if he and Ed can be friends any more.

What’s good about “#THINMAN” is the facless figure that appears silently in images packs a shivery little kick that has been missing for awhile here. How a normal human manages to be that quiet is something we just have to take on faith.

Alas, the script doesn’t have time for any of the permutations of a killer myth running around the Internet. Dean raises the possibility that all of this legend-creating could have brought something unearthly onto this plane, an explanation we’re primed for, so it’s nice to have our expectations confounded.

What’s head-banging about this is that parallels are being drawn between Ed and Harry and Dean and Sam, and it just doesn’t work. Unlike Dean with Sam, Ed’s lie was not to save Harry’s life, and everybody seems to forget that Sam decided to live rather than close the Gates of Hell. After that, Dean letting him die with no result other than Sam being dead seems a bit of a waste. This reviewer’s Annoyed-ometer is tipping into the red.

It’s great to see something new in Season 9 of SUPERNATURAL. If only it didn’t come with a side of traditional guilt trip …

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ArticleTV Review: SUPERNATURAL – Season 9 – “#THINMAN”

 

 

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