Supernatural: Mint Condition
November 2, 2018 1:25 PM - Season 14, Episode 4 - Subscribe

Dean continues to struggle; Sam must think fast when action figures come to life, and the heroes find themselves living in a real-life horror movie.

I like that we got a good old fashioned monster of the week episode. Episode highlights:

- Female!Sam: "Where did you learn how to do that?"
Sam: "I had a really messed up childhood."

- I enjoyed seeing Dean nerding out with the other guy from the shop.

- We finally learn why Sam really hates Halloween, which is a callback that goes all the way back to the pilot of the series.

- In the Supernatural universe, it seems like there is a very high percentage of cremations.

- If my house/bunker had been invaded by a bunch of random people, I too would be hiding out in my room, so I sympathize with Dean on this one.
posted by litera scripta manet (11 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Why did they not clean up the morgue after that fight? I guess nobody wanted to touch the recently haunted life-size figure of Hatchet Man?

I enjoyed this one, a classic Supernatural episode, right down to last minute ghost object burning.
posted by numaner at 4:02 PM on November 2, 2018 [2 favorites]

This one was a lot of fun, touching on all kinds of stuff we don't see on this show much anymore. In a lot of ways it felt like an episode from the 'aughts, but in a good way. The comic book store people were instantly endearing, and I kind of hope we see them again. (Dean seemed to have found a real soulmate in the little nerd guy.) You could tell they had an absolute blast making those excerpts from the cheesy old slasher movie, and the part where the security guys were watching the old movie while pretty much the exact same scene was playing out for real nearby, that was really clever. I was a little surprised the Thundercats people signed off on making Panthro evil, though!

My one quibble was that the guy from the comic book store did seem to buy Dean's explanation about ghosts being real a little too easily, without any evidence IIRC. But all in all it was great fun, and I think it served as a palate cleanser for the audience in the same way it did for Dean. It reminded us of how much goofy fun this show can be. It made me extra glad to have Dean back, because there's really no way it would have worked with Sam on his own. Too bad it aired the day after Halloween, because it was obviously meant to be a Halloween episode and it was a corker!
posted by Ursula Hitler at 6:46 PM on November 2, 2018 [1 favorite]

I never know how many episodes like this they have left in the tank, but I’m super super happy every time one shows up.

I loved how much fun they obviously had making the fake slasher movie, and I love how Dean was SO EXCITED to fight! and even be personally almost strangled by!!! THE David Yaeger. I was the wrong age to get into Thundercats but I had to pause the show after the Panthro attack because I was giggling too much. “I had a really messed up childhood.” <3

Props to whoever put that Red Hood costume behind Jensen Ackles in the first comic store scene, it looks like it cost three dollars and would be exactly what Jason Todd would proudly wear. The comic store kids were delightful and I’m shocked Dean never got the payoff to Sam’s comic store soulmate actually being named Sam.

The apple barf incident was a pretty funny story, although I actually think it’s much funnier that Sam is coming up on forty years old and it still bothers him so much that he doesn’t even like to see other people enjoying Halloween. I actually was pretty sure he was hedging at the beginning because Halloween 2005 was when Dean came to get him at Stanford and he very quickly went from being future lawyer/future Mr. Jessica Moore to being neither of those things, and even if he’s pretty okay now with how his life turned out, if he kind of didn’t have great associations with Halloween before he had several other MUCH WORSE ones after. But the apple barf story’s good too, it’s cool, I’d block out a bunch of season one too if I could.

I also dig that while Dean can be great with people, he can also be quite shy, and having a bunch of strangers in his space is really intensely not his thing (and I mean, fair enough.) Sam can stay touchy about a high school party for twenty years but he can also handle a lot of that people-management stuff and just bring Dean weird Panthro-attack cases to cheer him up and get him out of the house once in a while, and everybody’s happy.
posted by jameaterblues at 8:08 PM on November 2, 2018 [4 favorites]

Props to whoever put that Red Hood costume behind Jensen Ackles in the first comic store scene

Yeah that was a great nod to him voicing the Red Hood for that one movie, and then he also dressed up as Red Hood for halloween!
posted by numaner at 12:57 AM on November 3, 2018

Eh, I'm not a fan of monster of the week episodes. I'm also not a fan of the way everything else that was going on gets ignored so they can happen. Last week Jack was coughing up blood but this week we're supposed to forget all about that.

I'm not that interested in seeing Sam and Dean joke around and fight random monsters over and over again. I want something new and interesting to happen, something that I couldn't have predicted, something that will make me want to find out what happens next. But it looks like I'm in the minority.

Yeah, I guess this one was fun, but I hope they get back to what I think of as the real story soon.
posted by Redstart at 6:08 AM on November 3, 2018

I actually really enjoyed this one. I liked how Dean's so-called twin made you think "Uh, not so..." and then later they bond over that crappy movie. I like how Dean likes horror movies because he knows the good guy wins.

I did think Sam's reason for hating Halloween seemed a little weird (uh, that ruined Halloween for all time?), but good point here that that's around when the show started.
posted by jenfullmoon at 7:36 PM on November 3, 2018

Best "monster of the week" episode in a very long time. The writers (and JA/JP) clearly had fun with this. We needed a breather from the sturm und drang big plot.
posted by Ber at 4:14 PM on November 17, 2018

I am way late watching season 14, but if the final season doesn't have an "all out" Halloween episode as Dean promised, I'm going to be very cross.
posted by Ruki at 8:53 PM on June 6, 2019

Yeah, well.

This was cute.
posted by porpoise at 2:56 AM on January 23, 2022


Stuart: [answering his phone] Hey Sam.
Samantha: Stuart, what did you do?
Stuart: I, uh, nothing.
Samantha: Really? Because according to Yelp and this awesome one-star review we just got, you screamed at a customer and called him a, quote, "mongoloid Tribble in a robotic exoskeleton built by Tony Stark’s inbred third cousin", which is not cool and weirdly, creepily specific.
Stuart: That. He said I couldn’t beat up Superman.
Samantha: Okay. Again, Superman is not real.
Stuart: That’s not the point.
Samantha: And I have seen you get winded eating a taco.
Stuart: Okay, that doesn’t matter! If I had kryptonite gloves I could beat up Superman. Anyone could. That’s science, Sam!

Dean: Oh, wow.
Sam: What? Oh, yes, I shaved.
Dean: I mean, it's so smooth. It's like a... dolphin's belly.

Dean: All right, look, man. I know once you go Casper, things can be a little -- well, a lot crazy. They way I see it, you got two options. One, you let this go, and you walk into the light. Or, two... I send you there.
Hatchet Man: Time to slice and dice!
Dean: I was kind of hoping you'd say that.

Sam: You know, I think I know why Stuart changed his story. Uh, the comments on his video are all pretty brutal. People are calling him a liar, a loser, "ThunderSpaz", Snarf's love child, Panthro's bi...
Dean: Rhymes with "itch"?
Sam: Yep.
Dean: Got to love the Internet, where everyone can be a dick.

Dirk: If ghosts are real, does that mean vampires?
Dean: Yep.
Dirk: Witches.
Dean: Uh-huh.
Dirk: Werewolves.
Dean: Unless it's Godzilla, it's real.

Sam: [makes an explosive device] All right. Pretty sure this will work.
Samantha: Where did you learn how to do this?
Sam: I had a messed-up childhood.

Dean: The aerobics instructor in the giant mixer. Right, and then the kids the next morning are at the rec center, they're all eating breakfast, and the one finds a tooth with all the stringy bits still hooked onto it. Oh, come on. I mean, forget Freddy and Jason. That's the top 10 horror-movie kill right there.
Dirk: Top five, even.

Dean: All right this is what we’re going to do, next year we’re doing Halloween right okay? I’m thinking matching outfits like uh, Batman and Robin.
Sam: No.
Dean: Bert and Ernie.
Sam: No.
Dean: That’s weird.
Sam: Yes.
Dean: Uh, Rocky and Bullwinkle... Moose and Squirrel.
Sam: Dean…
Dean: Shaggy and Scooby!
Sam: Why would we?
Dean: Turner and Hooch. Ren and Stimpy.
Sam: Come on now.
Dean: Thelma and Louise.
Sam: Thelma and…?
Dean: We just put it in drive and go.


When Sam and Dean first visit the comic book store, a figure wearing a Red Hood mask is briefly shown. This is clearly a nod to Jensen Ackles who voiced the Jason Todd/Red Hood character in the animated movie Batman: Under the Red Hood.

There is a House of Wax poster right behind the Red Hood when the brothers first walk into the store. Jared Padalecki was in House of Wax. There is a Jason Voorhees bobble-head in the store, a nod to Jared being in the Friday the 13th remake.

The comic book store also has a poster on its wall for a movie called Hell Hazers. This is a reference to "Hollywood Babylon" (ep. 18.2), when Sam and Dean worked a case on the set of Hell Hazers.

Some of the scenes shown from various horror movies/trailers come from previous episodes, including the ghost truck from "Route 666" (ep. 13.1), and a shot of a young John Winchester walking up to a vehicle in a repair shop from "The Song Remains the Same" (ep. 13.5).

Dean's plaid jacket, khaki pants, tie, and glasses appear to be an homage to Chris Farley, whose SNL character Matt Foley, motivational speaker who lives in a van down by the river, always wore a similar outfit.

Ian Gillan and Ritchie Blackmore, whose surnames Sam and Dean used as aliases in this episode, are both from the band Deep Purple.

Dean is watching a movie called Hatchet Man. In the film the janitor is mopping a floor that has red and green tiles, the same colors of Freddy Krueger's sweater in A Nightmare on Elm Street.

Dean refers to Stewart as "Big Bang", a reference to the sitcom The Big Bang Theory. The character Stuart on Big Bang Theory owns a comic book and collectibles shop.

When Sam and Dean meet the female clerk at the comic book store, Dean tells Sam, "She's like your wonder twin." This is probably a reference to The Wonder Twins, from Hanna-Barbera's American animated television series The All-New Super Friends Hour. The twin brother and sister superhero duo can activate their superpowers by touching hands and saying the phrase "Wonder Twin powers, activate!"

Dean says that him and Sam should dress up as Rocky and Bullwinkle, a possible nod to Crowley always calling them Moose and Squirrel.

Sam makes a bomb out of a Scooby-Doo lunchbox, a possible nod to the crossover episode "Scoobynatural" (ep. 13.16).

Sam and Dean say they are from Campbell and Sons insurance, a reference to the fact that their mom's maiden name is Mary Campbell.

Dean makes fun of Sam for having just shaved his beard, saying how smooth Sam's face is, but Jared Padalecki clearly has a fair amount of stubble on his face.
posted by orange swan at 6:28 PM on March 2, 2022

I rather liked Sam's dislike of Halloween being based on a run-of-the-mill moment of adolescent humiliation rather than some hunting-related trauma. He doesn't realize it, but that was a moment of normalcy for him.

Dean, meanwhile, loves Halloween because he gets to eat candy and watch horror movies and enjoy costumes.

Dean isn't into video games and doesn't use the internet a lot -- he doesn't know what IRL means -- but he does geek out over horror movies. Everyone's a geek about something.
posted by orange swan at 6:38 PM on March 2, 2022

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