Supernatural: The Thing
April 6, 2018 1:40 PM - Season 13, Episode 17 - Subscribe

Sam and Dean continue to collect the pieces necessary to open a rift to the other world in order to save their family. Their latest quest leads them to a Men of Letters bunker from the 1920s and a hungry God from another dimension. Meanwhile, Ketch makes a shocking decision about Gabriel after an unruly encounter with Asmodeus.

Some highlights:
- Return of Dean pranking Sam with the post its (Ass face, I'm stupid...)
- Dean: "I love books"
- Sam: "I'll have water"
Diner waitress: "Oh that's exciting. Comes with a lemon. Sure you can handle that?"
- Monster of the week: "They shut the rift before he could get through."
Dean: "That's tragic. It's like a hallmark move. But with tentacles."
- Monster of the week speaking for all of us: "I like you, Dean. You're strong, and I like looking at your face."
- Finally we pick back up the Gabriel storyline! I feel like the scene of Sam cutting the stitches off of Gabriel's mouth was mainly there to throw a bone to all the poor Sabriel shippers out there.
posted by litera scripta manet (9 comments total)
There were definitely some good moments this episode, but a few things really bugged me:
- Did anyone else feel like the Winchesters weren't nearly suspicious enough of this woman they found chained up in the MoL chapter house, who hasn't aged a day in nearly a century? I know there's a throw away line about how they tested her with silver, holy water, etc, but surely they know that won't show everything. It just seemed like they were way too casual about all of that.

- So these other MoL legacies we met in this episode, who know they have a world destroying monster hidden in this chapter house, just leave it alone for long periods of time? They don't even bother setting up surveillance cameras or an alarm system or anything?

- It seemed kind of odd how Cas was just nowhere to be found, and not even an explanation or a name drop when Gabriel showed up.

- The Winchesters also seemed really unconcerned about Gabriel just showing up alive out of nowhere. I mean, I guess they're used to resurrections by now, but also, Gabriel did basically sacrifice himself against Lucifer, and he was the one who laid out how they could defeat Lucifer back in S5. I know he also screwed with them a lot, but still. It seems kind of wrong to just take his grace when he's in such bad shape. They didn't even check to make sure Ketch hadn't taken all of his grace. And it seems like rehabilitating Gabriel should be high priority. He could be helpful with a potential alt-universe Michael and current universe Lucifer on the loose.

- When alt-Kevin Tran did the spell, and Lucifer jumped through, didn't it seem like the portal just immediately closed? Are Sam and Dean using a different spell?

- Does Ketch know they're going to get Mary? Because forget Asmodeus, I feel like Mary will just immediately put a bullet in his brain.
posted by litera scripta manet at 1:53 PM on April 6, 2018 [1 favorite]

I like the concept behind the episode that there are leftovers from the Men of Letters just hanging around out there with weird and dangerous things lying dormant, kind of like the stasis boxes from Niven's books. I think exploring that could be fun down the road.

Whenever I see Lovecraft inspired stuff, I range from feeling, "This is great!" to "I, too, read The Call of Cthulu". For me this was tending more towards the latter.

Also, if we're doing John Carpenter movie references, I realize that The Thing is a far more popular and perhaps better movie, but In the Mouth of Madness was the greatest Lovecraftian film of all time. Of all time!
posted by Query at 2:47 PM on April 6, 2018 [1 favorite]

This was the first time I've ever thought Asmodeus was scary, and it wasn't because of the beatdown he gave Ketch. It was the sadistic mind-fucking afterwards. He actually made me root for Ketch's redemption, just to spite the bastard.

I could buy how the bros. were treating the 1920s lady. Things were moving really fast, they tested her for evil mojo, she seemed nice. The one question I was waiting for, and maybe they asked this but I missed it, was: Did she spend all that time waiting down there alone, or was she supposed to have traveled in time to 2018? I don't suppose it would have changed the story in a big way if she answered either way, but it did seem odd that it was never addressed.

I read something the other day where Jensen Ackles was saying we may be seeing a new side of Dean soon, so when he was getting grabbed by the tentacle monster I thought he was going to get possessed and that he'd be evil for the rest of the season. I was surprised when he got away!

It seems like they're making a real effort to make Dean fun again, what with the Dean cave and the "kick me" gag and so on, which is great even if the timing is a little weird. (Brink of apocalypse again, Mom being tortured in a hell dimension, etc. This would seem like prime time for Dean to angst it up.)

Is Sabriel a thing? I guess I shouldn't be surprised. If the bros. crossed paths with ANYBODY over the last 13 seasons, somebody somewhere is feverishly shipping it. (There are probably Dean/Scooby shipper now, calling it Dooby.) I think Dean could do a lot better. Gabriel always gave me the creeps. He was a walking smirk.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 6:39 PM on April 6, 2018 [1 favorite]

I think Dean could do a lot better.

Oh, fish. I meant Sam could do a lot better. Although, so could Dean.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 7:44 PM on April 6, 2018

I also enjoyed the sticky notes, and the "Jinkies!" You gonna keep that up? probably... And the Hallmark.

I did like the salty waitress and the lemon remark.

Cas totally randomly disappears depending on the budget.

"The Thing" is not my favorite title. I guess they are running out of them though.

Are these other MoL descendants going to be around now?
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:39 PM on April 6, 2018 [1 favorite]

finally getting around to watching this. litera scripta manet would you terribly mind adding "supernatural" and "cwtv" to the tags please?
posted by numaner at 3:54 PM on April 9, 2018

So that was a lot of plot! I'm glad it's advancing since we're near the end now, so it won't feel so rushed at the end.

maybe they asked this but I missed it, was: Did she spend all that time waiting down there alone, or was she supposed to have traveled in time to 2018?

There was a line that Dean asked how she survived the entire time. So I guess they did establish that she didn't time travel.

- When alt-Kevin Tran did the spell, and Lucifer jumped through, didn't it seem like the portal just immediately closed? Are Sam and Dean using a different spell?

Yeah it did, but I don't remember what they said about that spell. The only difference I can think of is that this spell is coming from the Demon Tablet, and the alt-universe one was from the Angel Table, and also, they didn't have the Seal of Solomon.
posted by numaner at 9:01 AM on April 10, 2018


Dean: There it is! Jinkies!
Sam: You're gonna stop saying that eventually, right?
Dean: I don't know. Probably not.

Dean: Sandy, I know it’s a lot to take in, okay. But... well, look, this is -- what a car looks like now. [gesturing towards the Impala] Well, they should.

Joanne: Here we go. [to Sam] Lobster roll, no bun, and kale salad for you, String Bean.
Dean: Kale’s a garnish.
Sam: It’s healthy. I’m watching my cholesterol, like you should be.
Dean: Yeah, I’m watching my cholesterol. Watching it go up.

Yokoth: When foolish humans opened the door, they had no idea what was waiting for them on the other side.
Dean: You mean you?
Yokoth: I mean us. It was supposed to be us. Glythur and I, together. But my love… they shut the rift before he could make it through.
Dean: Oh my God. That's tragic. It's like a Hallmark movie. But with tentacles.
Yokoth: I like you, Dean. You’re strong. And I enjoy looking at your face.
Dean: Whew. You’re making me blush.

Sam: You sure you’re all right?
Dean: Considering I was about three seconds away from being an interdimensional booty call, yeah, I’d say I’m all right.


Dean said the word "Jinkies", which is a phrase often spouted by Velma whom the brothers met in the previous episode, "Scoobynatural" (ep. 13.16).

The plot about the tentacled being coming through an interdimensional portal by way of an incantation and sacrifice seems be a page torn out of an HP Lovecraft novel, such as The Dunwich Horror. In the novel, one of the main characters needed a spellbook called "The Necronomicon" to open the doorway.

The episode title seems to refer to the 1982 film The Thing, which was a remake of an earlier 1951 film The Thing from Another World, and had a 2011 prequel of the same name The Thing. It centres on a group in a remote arctic outpost, trying to keep an alien threat at bay.

If the actress who played Sandy seems familiar, it is because she is no stranger to the sci-fi/fantasy genre. Magda Apanowicz can also be seen in the 2009 Battlestar Galactica spin-off Caprica, and Continuum.

When Dean is strapped to the altar, he says, "Okay look, I don't know what kind of kinky gate keeper/key master thing you got going here but I think I'll pass." This is a reference to the 1984 comedy classic Ghostbusters.

While being placed on the sacrificial altar, the woman's gag appears and disappears.

The "clam cakes" Dean got in the diner in Portsmouth, Rhode Island are more like a Maine clam cake or even a hush puppy. Clam cakes in southern New England are puffier balls of fried dough with minced clams inside them. They also come by the half or full dozen most of the time.
posted by orange swan at 5:28 PM on February 16, 2022

It REALLY should have occurred to Sam and Dean that Sandy was being held captive for a reason. Come on, guys, this isn't your first rodeo, and you ought to know better than to assume some clearly supernatural being is good or benign because she's pretty and seems helpless.

Poor Gabriel is a wreck, and it was very callous and heedless of Dean to just head off to the other universe without at least taking the time to be sure that wasn't Gabriel's only grace and that he didn't need some immediate kind of care Sam might not be able to provide on his own
posted by orange swan at 5:31 PM on February 16, 2022

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