The title of Season 10 Episode 15 of Supernatural, “The Things They Carried,” references a book of the same name by Tim O’Brien that narrates the experiences of a group of American soldiers during the Vietnam War. The short stories describe what these soldiers carried with them while they were out on missions. Some of the objects are physical items they carry in their pockets or on their backs, but they also carry intangible burdens such as feelings of guilt, fear, and anxiety. In Supernatural, Dean continues to carry the affliction of the Mark of Cain, along with the feelings it elicits and experiences it has wrought.
Supernatural is grounded in the relationship between the Winchester brothers. As individual characters, Sam and Dean engage us, but it’s their relationship as brothers that really draws us in. Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles) are shaped by losing their mother as children and being raised as hunters by their father, though each react to these life experiences in different ways. The complex and evolving portrayal of Sam and Dean as brothers has kept us engaged through ten seasons of Supernatural.
“Halt & Catch Fire” starts with some old-fashioned drinking and driving. A couple of college kids, Billy and Janet, decide to take a trip to Taco Town, which apparently they need directions to find. It gets really cold in the truck and the navigation app screams, “Janet, get out of the truck, now!” Luckily, Janet complies so she can later serve as a witness. The truck goes out of control and drives itself over a pier with Billy still inside.
The character of Bobby Singer has had a big impact on the series Supernatural. Bobby is gone, but certainly not forgotten. In fact, he continues to return to the series in various ways. Bobby is the longest running character on Supernatural besides Sam and Dean. In the first part of this series, “Supernatural: Remembering Bobby Singer – Part 1 History” we explored Bobby relationship with the Winchester brothers, as well as the way he assisted the entire hunting community. For the second part of this series, we are revisiting our favorite quotes of Bobby Singer throughout the Supernatural series. His words and unique phrases are reminders of why we love this character so much.
“The Things We Left Behind” touches on serious themes as Supernatural reaches its mid-season finale. The undercurrent of this episode lies in how our families shape who we are. Though the importance of family in determining who we are and what we choose to do is one of the main themes of Supernatural generally, this episode takes it further by exploring how personal choices affect members of our family. We begin to see reflection on the consequences of actions taken by Castiel and Dean. Rowena’s impact on Crowley and the legacy it has borne starts to become more evident as well. There are things that our characters may have thought, or hoped, they had left behind, but this episode reveals what they still carry with them and what might not be so easily forgotten.
Sam and Dean Winchester have not always had good relations with the authorities. The Winchesters’ dealings with the law enforcement community have had mixed results. In thepilot episode of Supernatural, Sam and Dean pose as Federal Marshals and while talking to the local deputy, Deans makes the comment, “Well, that is exactly the kind of crack police work I’d expect out of you guys.” Dean is later arrested by the same Deputy. In “Nightshifter” (S02E12) Dean complains about the interference of police:
Dean: “Friggin’ cops.”
Sam: “They’re just doing their job.”
Dean: “No, they’re doing OUR job, only they don’t know it so they suck at it.”
“Girls, Girls, Girls” had a few really good moments, though it is probably one of the weakest episodes so far in what has been an outstanding Season 10. Some of the best parts were a revelation (who knew we would become so attached to Hannah?), while other great moments were less of a surprise because of the consistently strong characters on Supernatural (you can always count on Crowley). There were several separate storylines occurring, which is not unusual on Supernatural since Mark Sheppard and Misha Collins have both become season regulars. The multiple storylines worked mainly because the narrative with Castiel and Hannah was so compelling. The scenes with Castiel and Hannah were also beautifully filmed, which we appreciate in a series with sequences that often take place in dimly lit rooms, dark alleys, the Impala, Hell, or purgatory. Even when Sam and Dean have visited Heaven the scenes were generally dark both in terms of content and images. Seeing the angels Castiel and Hannah in a beautiful, natural environment just feels right, a heaven on earth, as it were, and is a nice contrast with the demon Crowley in the gloomy, prison-like atmosphere of administrative Hell. “Girls, Girls, Girls” places Sam and Dean squarely into their traditional hunter roles.