Supernatural: The Things They Carried
April 3, 2015 1:51 AM - Season 10, Episode 15 - Subscribe

Sam continues to look for ways to deal with the Mark of Cain, but Dean just wants to work cases and accept that he may not be able to change his fate. The Winchesters travel to an army base in Fayetteville, NC to investigate an unusual death, when an old foe appears.
posted by cfoxhi (7 comments total)
So, are we supposed to like Cole now? I couldn't tell if this was meant to be an arc closure episode or another backdoor pilot attempt, but something about that character (actor?) gets on my nerves.
posted by oh yeah! at 9:48 AM on April 3, 2015 [3 favorites]

Yeah, I think we're supposed to like Cole, but I get the impression that he's just going to turn into one of those sidelined characters that shows up every now and then until they kill him off, eventually. I don't want to live in a world where they would consider A) spinning off a show on him or B) replacing one of the Winchesters with him (i.e., one of the actors leave the show). I had the impression, though, that he was going to be given a way out for the most part, to go back to living with his family.

I did enjoy the episode for the most part. It wasn't perfect, but it didn't involve Rowena too much and it was a direction toward what made the show fun in the first part.

cfoxhi, thanks for posting these!
posted by Atreides at 9:59 AM on April 3, 2015 [1 favorite]

It didn't even occur to me to think that Cole was anything other than another random hunter who may recur now and again. There's always been a few of those around of varying quality. I definitely didn't get any kind of a backdoor-pilot vibe to it.

I did like the oldschool feel of this episode. It's nice to have the Winchesters run into a monster that they just plain don't know anything about, every now and again. I mean, sure they're experienced hunters, but given that the USA is only one corner of the globe, there still ought to be plenty of weird shit out there they have no idea about.
posted by mstokes650 at 11:26 AM on April 3, 2015 [3 favorites]

atreides, my impression of the actors from their con interactions and their life choices is that one of them will leave the show when both of them are dead, and not a moment sooner. Granted, I'm celeb-watching from afar, but they seem to like each other more than I like most of my friends, and to really love their jobs (must be nice!)

I have a problem with Cole, too, but it's mainly that he keeps almost reminding me of someone I've seen in something, somewhere. He's not a HITG, but he absolutely looks like someone who is. I don't think he could carry his own show, but I did kind of like him in this episode, against my will and my better judgment.

Even though he called them "Sammy" and "Dean-o." *shudder*
posted by kythuen at 1:33 PM on April 3, 2015 [3 favorites]

Not a huge fan of Cole, but if he's going to act like he did here, I'm okay if he pops up every now and again. It was a nice bit of closure to his pretty-dumb plot. Glad to see him come around to "Okay, some things ARE monsters that need to die."

He'll never be anything but a random background character to me, but if we see him again, that's fine, and if we don't, well, that's just fine too.
posted by terilou at 3:51 PM on April 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


Dean: Hey, check this out.
Sam: [quickly slams his laptop shut] Hey.
Dean: Porn?
Sam: What? No it was nothing.
Dean: Hey look no judgement from me; just not where we eat.
Sam: Dude, it wasn't porn.
Dean: Okay, "erotica", whatever. Just zip it up.

Dean: The guy Molotov-cocktailed himself. That's bonkers. That's like demon-possession bonkers.

Cole Trenton: I want to thank you, Dean-o, for keeping me standing.
Dean: Well, all it took was a little blood, sweat, and, uh, more sweat.

Cole Trenton: So if I dry myself out, the son of a bitch wouldn't like that very much, now, would he?
Dean: No, he'd want the hell out. You'd be a hostile environment. Well, more than you already are.
Cole Trenton: Well, to be fair, you really haven't seen my chiller side.


The title of the episode refers to the 1990 book The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien, a collection of semi-autobiographical short stories based on the author's experiences in the Vietnam War. Coincidentally, a minor character in that novel is named Jensen.

Dean asks Cole, "Hey, Kung Fu grip, you coming?" He is referring to the GI Joe Adventure Team line of action figures from the 1970's.

Cole says that this is like every Tuesday for Dean; this was the first episode of the season to air on a Wednesday. It had been showing on Tuesdays for the first part of the tenth season.

When Cole tells Sam and Dean that he wasn't going to wait around for them to kill his buddy, Dean tells Cole, "Well if you did, you wouldn't be choking down a damn Khan worm right now." The Khan worm is the creature from the 1982 sci-fi classic Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. This creature was first seen in Angel in the season 3 episode, "The Price", as it is the same creature and also does the same thing to its victims, forcing them to drink fluids or be dehydrated to dust, and the cure was the same.

The murder of an active duty member of the U.S. Army would not be investigated by the local police, especially if the murder was committed by another member of the Army while being on a Army base. Serious crimes committed on a U.S. Army base or against its personnel fall under the jurisdiction of Army C.I.D. (United States Army Criminal Investigative Division) which is a federal law enforcement agency staffed by members of the U.S. Army and is tasked with "investigating felony crimes and serious violations of military law & the United States Code (U.S.C.) within the United States Army."

Fayetteville is not a small little town with a quaint little sheriff's department off some back road in rural NC. Along with a metro population over 500,000 and Fort Bragg, the largest military installation of the United States Army in the world (by population) with more than 50,000 active duty personnel, it's the home of the Army's XVIII Airborne Corps and is the headquarters of the United States Army Special Operations Command, which oversees the U.S. Army 1st Special Forces Command (Airborne) (Provisional) and 75th Ranger Regiment. It is also home to the U.S. Army Forces Command, U.S. Army Reserve Command, and Womack Army Medical Center. Fort Bragg maintains two airfields: Pope Field, where the United States Air Force stations global airlift and special operations assets as well as the Air Force Combat Control School, and Simmons Army Airfield, where Army aviation units support the needs of airborne and special operations forces on post. The town we see in most of the scenes doesn't resemble Fayetteville in any way, shape or form.

Dean tries to electrocute Cole with two car batteries. Cole reacts as if he was hit with line voltage AC, which, without an inverter (which they don't have, judging by the alligator cables Dean uses -- they go directly to the battery) could not be produced by two car batteries. All batteries generate DC, which is far less dangerous and would not hurt anywhere near as much as AC. 100VDC is far less dangerous than 100VAC (even 100Vpp). DC can get dangerous at high voltages, but the highest voltage that one can produce with two fully charged car batteries is around 28V.
posted by orange swan at 7:30 AM on December 7, 2021

That's the last of the Cole character for the series, thank Chuck. He didn't have such a bad arc or bad character development, and this was a decent episode, but knowing what I do about the actor who played him, I could barely stand the sight of him. Interestingly, people who were commenting in this thread in 2015 didn't like the actor much either, even though they didn't know what is now known about Travis Aaron Wade and why he left the show. Sometimes actors can't entirely mask who they really are.

The slugs looked very convincingly real, and very repulsive.
posted by orange swan at 7:35 AM on December 7, 2021

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