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 (8 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


Sam: You know we always talk about taking a break, going camping? This could be like camping, it could be fun.
Dean: Yeah, which part? Freezing our nuts off in the middle of the woods on a thin lead?
Sam: Yeah, that part.

Sam: [after Dean has almost killed himself to convince Billie to let Sam go in exchange for Dean's soul] Hey, so -- what did you do? When you thought I was dead. What did you do?
Dean: Thought about redecorating your room, y'know? Putting in a jacuzzi, a nice discoball -- really class up the joint.
Sam: Right. Seriously.
Dean: What? I uh -- I knew you weren't dead.

Michelle: What are you doing?
Dean: I need to talk to a... I wouldn't call her a friend, more like a scary crazy death machine. Werewolves aren't the only monsters out there.
Michelle: How exactly do you talk to an evil scary death machine?
Dean: Easy. I die.

Michelle: Thank God!
Dean: Yeah, not so much.

Dean: The Darkness is out there. And the world is gonna burn and once she gets started, that's the end. Of everything, including you. Sam's the only one who can stop it.
Billie: How's that?
Dean: ...
Billie: I thought so. It's cute, though. You're pretending you're trying to save Sam for the greater good when we both know you're doing it for yourself.


Dean says that Sam was just "mostly dead". This is the same thing Miracle Max says when Fezzick and Inigo Montoya bring Wesley' body to him in The Princess Bride.

When Dean collapses after swallowing the pills, he falls onto his right side with his left arm (the one with his watch) outside his extended right arm -- closest to the camera. When Michelle returns with the doctor, Dean's arm positions have changed: the left arm with his watch is closest to his chest and his extended right arm is closest to the camera. Since he's supposed to be unconscious, his arms shouldn't have moved.

Naloxone (Narcan) is an opioid antagonist, and it is used to reverse an opioid overdose (heroin, morphine, hydrocodone, oxycodone fentanyl). As Dean took barbiturates, it would be of no help to him.

Barbiturates would be a poor choice of drug to use to intentionally cause a fatal overdose if one planned to be resuscitated. There is no antidote for barbiturates, and the only method for treating an overdose is to remove any drug that hasn't been metabolized yet (stomach pumping or activated charcoal), place the person on life support, treat the overdose symptoms, and wait until the drug is cleared from the system, which is a process that takes hours or days (depending on the specific drug used and dosage). This is something Dean should know since him and Sam have a working knowledge of pharmacology due to their line of work. An intravenous opiate like morphine, hydromorphone (Dilaudid) or fentanyl would have been the best choice to accomplish what Dean wants. It would take effect much faster than taking oral barbiturates (2-3 minutes with IV opiates versus 20-30 minutes with oral barbiturates). Treatment wouldn't require pumping his stomach, as an opiate overdose can be reversed with an injection of an opioid antagonist like naloxone (Narcan), and the opiate would be cleared from his system in less than a minute.

A person with serious injuries like broken ribs, dehydration, and especially a gun shot wound to the abdomen as in Sam's case, would not be treated at an urgent care clinic, as they don't have the equipment or the personnel to treat injuries of that nature. It's possible that an isolated rural community might treat severe dehydration or broken ribs at an urgent care clinic if they were a long distance from a hospital, but they definitely would not be able to treat a gunshot wound. Sam would have been stabilized at the urgent care clinic, then taken to the nearest emergency room.

At 5:59 Sam and Dean are looking at a poster of four missing hikers. The header on the poster says "For" missing hikers.
posted by orange swan at 10:28 AM on December 30, 2021

Sam likes camping and Dean doesn't seem to.

Good visual of the werewolf hand coming through the cop's torso, even if his claws did look like Lee Press Ons.

Dean really ought to have gone back to Sam to make sure he was really dead before trying any quixotic suicidal stunts. That whole plot point was so lazily written.

Oooooh, Billie must be really pissy now. Did God or another power intervene and save Dean, or was it just luck?
posted by orange swan at 10:30 AM on December 30, 2021

For a guy who’s not the guy who has his guts shot out this has some real underrated classics in the field of Dean's Straight Up Not Having A Good Time Right Now. Swallowing half a pharmacy the first chance he gets is up there but I honestly vibe with being worked up enough to yell at a branch for touching you.

I kind of love that Sam is half dead and already driving a perfectly good vehicle and still stops to get the Impala, and is overjoyed to see it. He is lowkey, and not even that lowkey, as attached to that thing as Dean is.

Coming right after Safe House with Sam wanting to know (and being reassured) that Dean saw a vision of him dead, asking what Dean did when he thought Sam was dead comes off like he has some kind of very specific hangup he’s working out. Though given his track record when Sam is dead, it’s actually probably pretty essential to clarify what exactly Dean did, and how much trouble they're in as a result.
posted by jameaterblues at 9:15 PM on February 2, 2022

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