Supernatural Review: Mind Games
It's good Supernatural finally stepped back into the world of Sam's hallucinations this week.
Not only was it one of the major story arcs at the start of the season, but it's almost felt like it hasn't been as touched upon as of late. Sure, Dean and Sam have mentioned it, questioned it, and persisted that it has all been under control, but viewers haven't gotten to see the real problem it has been for Sam. We've simply had to take his word.
Which I guess is what Dean has had to do, so it's no wonder that he thinks that Sam has it pretty much handled. It makes sense to believe his brother.
Thankfully, "Repo Man" gave us Sam's view and, boy, was his mind raging with problems. Dean should definitely be worried.
Lucifer continued to be that irritating bug that flies around your head and yet you can't swat it away no matter how hard you try. Sam tried to ignore him, and it seems he has been doing so for months, but I can't imagine giving anyone the silent treatment for that long. That's a lot of dedication and strong will, especially when it's all in his head.
Of course, Lucifer had his own persistence and Mark Pellegrino did a fantastic job in portraying Sam's shadow. In fact, Pellegrino has consistently excelled as Lucifer, giving him a perfect personality that doesn't ring in classic cheesy villain, but a manipulative, calm, collected, and devious enemy that is memorable despite having been in only eight episodes overall. Whether it's his exasperation or glee or just animatedly chatting it up with Sam, Pellegrino makes his character a delight to watch. Sometimes I wish he was back as the main villain again.
And yet, even as he brings out a sense of humor, the episode reminded viewers just how evil and scary Lucifer really is. The scene where Sam watched the people repeatedly smash their heads into the table was disturbing, especially with Lucifer just smiling and pointing out his boredom. If that's what Sam has been dealing with for months, then his outlook doesn't look to good. How long can you deal with something like that?
But it was the final moment of Lucifer happily revealing that Sam can't get rid of him and the ecstatic shouting of "Good morning, Vietnam" followed by the maniacal laughter and images of hellfire that took the final cake. It reminded me of when Sam first entered Hell and the cage. When will Sam's wall break and he turns into a catatonic mess?
And I know it's been mentioned before by Lucifer (but how reliable is that guy?) but what if Sam's hallucinations really do mean he never escaped Hell? Would the show pull a twist like that? Or is it more dramatic that Sam has come back tainted and potentially ready to break not by any creature but his own mental state. Which is a scarier premise?
It was rather interesting that the plot of the episode involved an exorcism from four years ago that the audience was never privy to. I guess that means we have to assume that we haven't seen every journey the brothers have been on, but I don't mind. I love the throwbacks and references to Lillith. I even miss the demon arcs mostly because they really seemed dangerously evil, something I'm still having a hard time finding in the Leviathans.
Additionally, rather than make it just about a demon, the problem lay in Jeffrey longing to be controlled. People are just plain crazy sometimes. And how weird was it watching Jeffrey and the demon dancing around the room? That guy has some strange taste.
I couldn't even believe that he killed the puppy! Now that is just sick.
The episode was certainly a darker turn from last week's rather hilarious and more lighthearted episode (despite all the killings) but it was good seeing one of the larger story arcs progressing. The tone evoked was perfect for that return to the demon phase of Supernatural and I wonder if they will ever rise back to power at some point? Is that even possible?
As for now, despite all the good things that the show continues to do, I'm still worried about the season finding a way to solidly and successfully find a satisfying conclusion for the Leviathan. They have felt so in the background (Frank seems to be doing all of the work when it comes to them) that not only do I still not see them as threatening as they are, but I'm not sure what their end goal is. What is their purpose and more respectively how will that affect Sam and Dean in the long run? Is it possible for the world to be taken over by black ooze creatures?
Either way, the brothers' journey looks like it's about to take a sharp turn into major problem town and I'm excited to see what comes up next. (HINT: this return.)
Supernatural: "Repo Man"
Sean McKenna is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.