Supernatural: Red Meat
March 31, 2016 4:58 AM - Season 11, Episode 17 - Subscribe

Sam and Dean battle a pair of werewolves who have captured two victims. Just as the brothers are about to win, one of the werewolves shoots Sam.

In which a monster attacks, a monster is hunted, people die, and people live.
posted by 2ht (5 comments total)
 
What does it take to make a Winchester use some intelligence when fighting monsters? Apparently a gunshot wound to the gut, being choked to death by the guy you were saving, and being left for dead by the person you're closest to. No sooner was I complimenting Sam for finally using a little strategy to (easily) take out the two bad guys when Dean bum rushes his way into a fight with another baddie. Will the Winchesters ever learn? (No, no they won't.)

I'm not sure what to think about this episode. It was good, but many of the overarching themes just felt like rehashes from previous episodes. To the point that the opening scene about getting out of the bunker and taking on a case to get their minds off the Darkness was practically word for word from last week's episode, and another earlier episode. We get it, they aren't making any progress on the season plot and you want a MOTW episode, and you're too lazy to come up with a new excuse.

Dean dying to bring back Sam is just habit at this point. He put absolutely zero thought into it. The episode would have been much more compelling if it were about Dean fighting with his instinct to save Sam versus... anything. Save Sam, or save the victims? Save Sam, or respect Sam's wishes? Save Sam, or take out the monsters? Instead we got Save Sam, for the thirty-seventh time, full stop. Yawn.

At least they threw a little twist at us, with Sam not needing saving.

If they needed a way to remind us about Billie again - and surely they did, because we needed a reminder that if a Winchester dies it's permanent, despite the writer's showing us the exact opposite happening in THIS episode, or maybe this was an attempt to close that little plot thread with the new Death, or something, it was sort of pointless and didn't go anywhere, much like this train of thought... - then we conveniently ALREADY had a dead Sam that could have been talking with her. A little, "I'd love to reap you Sam, toss you into the great big Empty that I told you about 15 episodes ago, but it isn't your time... yet" could have given us the same interaction.

Anyway, there were two really good things here. The first was the female victim (Michelle?). She was a great character, and the actress really made it work. Surely we don't need another young-woman-has-a-traumatic-experience-and-becomes-a-hunter-in-training on the show, but I would be happy to see her again.

The other thing was that Dean DID make the right choice and saved the two victims before tending to an already dead Sam.
posted by 2ht at 5:04 AM on March 31, 2016 [2 favorites]


Yeah this episode felt like a B-plot of a much better episode. And I can't believe that Dean was so busy with Sam's gunshot that he didn't think to check both of them for bites. They do that with every victim and hunters!

Michelle was played by Erin Way, who pops up in various shows for an episode. I think I first saw her on Grimm, and then Warehouse 13. She's now a recurring on Colony, and she's great there too.
posted by numaner at 8:11 AM on March 31, 2016


I thought this one was really good, with Sam displaying some serious badass-itude. He comes back from the dead, staggering and bleeding out, and he STILL takes out two nasty werewolves like it ain't no thing. The way he dispatched the pack leader offscreen was some great, understated storytelling, just the SHUNK of a blade and then he comes staggering up the stairs looking exhausted and fed up. There was something blackly comic about his miserable, groaning, ass-kicking relentlessness. Dean is definitely the star of the show but this season they've given Sam a few moments to really shine.

Maybe the reaper lady stuff was a little anti-climactic, I don't know. But everything seemed to have a little extra gravity this time, with the desperate young husband smothering Sam and Dean being so nuts with grief he doesn't think twice about punching a sheriff in the face. The actors playing the newlyweds were both quite good too. Right from the beginning they seemed like something more than the standard victims.

I did think the crosscutting between the present and the past got a little confusing, and I was disappointed that once again at the end Dean was keeping potentially damaging secrets for no obvious reason. This season it seemed like they were dropping that whole trope, and I don't know why they went back to it here. But I remain amazed that this show has been so lively so far into the run. I think they're really resisting the impulse to coast, and I get the feeling everybody involved is trying to make this a show that's still worth watching.

Also, thanks to show I've had the goddamn Sugar Shack stuck in my head for months now.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 12:25 AM on April 1, 2016


Michelle was played by Erin Way, who pops up in various shows for an episode. I think I first saw her on Grimm, and then Warehouse 13. She's now a recurring on Colony, and she's great there too.

I first saw her on Alphas, where she was playing, essentially, Taskmaster, and she was excellent there. Definitely a highly underrated actress.

This episode was definitely a not-very-seamless mixture of some really good stuff and some really silly stuff. The reaper stuff, for all the buildup to get there, felt a little pointless once reached, but it was still a solid episode. And I liked that for all the unstoppable apocalypses the Winchesters face, regular monsters and a little bad luck are just as dangerous.

But I remain amazed that this show has been so lively so far into the run. I think they're really resisting the impulse to coast, and I get the feeling everybody involved is trying to make this a show that's still worth watching.

Yeah, absolutely. They've been trying out a lot of different things this season, and some of it works and some of it doesn't, but just the sheer effort to avoid complacency is wonderful.
posted by mstokes650 at 8:07 AM on April 1, 2016


Ughhhh. I can't get worked up over how Death wants the Winchesters to stay dead, I just can't at this point. They're not gonna. The show ends if they stay dead. I am not worked up at all.
posted by jenfullmoon at 1:38 PM on May 3, 2016


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