Josh Brolin on an episode of Supernatural? Oh, you mean a Josh Brolin look-alike?
Supernatural Season 9 Episode 7 featured a ghost hunting trip down Dean’s memory lane, mixed with some teenage love. And maybe Dean’s first kiss?
I’m still trying to wrap my head around the 16-year-old Dean and jumping to two years later when he attends high school as an 18-year-old in Supernatural Season 4 Episode 13 “After School Special.”
The two seem like completely different characters.
And yet, I really like both performances of Dean at two very different times in his life.
The 18-year-old Dean had really embraced the monster hunting lifestyle, whereas this 16-year-old Dean had a chance to taste a bit of “normal life” for a few months at the boys home.
Actor Dylan Everett shined in the flashbacks. His mannerisms and demeanor had me really feeling like I was watching a younger Dean, not just an actor portraying another version of the character.
From his snarky laughs at the cop to his sweeter side of sharing a story with Robin to crying and knowing it was time to go back on the road, I enjoyed seeing more of Dean’s backstory.
Viewers really got to see a side of the character ripe in adolescence but on the cusp of that adult hood. That scene of watching his brother in the car and firmly thanking Sonny for helping out was that tipping of the scales toward the Dean of latter years.
It was tough not to think Josh Brolin while seeing Sonny, but I liked seeing the character watch over Dean. It was good to see he cared when he didn’t have to.
And I liked how seeing Robin again in the present time and reflecting on where their lives had taken them wasn’t about moping or being upset. Life turned out relatively okay in the process. And, really, most lives are the culmination of all events, decisions and moments, whether good or bad.
Even Sam getting that glimpse into his brother’s life was nice, as was his thanking Dean at the very end.
But the present day ghost hunting?
I was initially excited because I’d missed that aspect of the series, but the more it progressed, the less interesting and entertaining it became.
It was tough to get past the ghost’s bark-like skin or the general concept of little Timmy and his ghost-mother’s overbearing tendencies and his inability to let go. Not to mention the retelling of his tragic tale that I neither cared for or was necessary to the story.
And was it me... or was there some over-explaining in the episode, like when Sam told Dean that the ghost wasn’t connected to the action figure even though viewers could clearly tell that burning it had no effect?
However, the bathroom scene was creepy with the shower curtain over the face, but most of the other ghost moments fell a little flat.
If it weren’t for the flashbacks, I don’t think I would have been as thrilled with the episode. Really, it was those past connections and seeing a well-acted younger version of Dean, especially when we’ve had a variety of chances to view Sam’s side of life as a kid, that were the positives of the hour.
Although, I still keep expecting (wishing?) John Winchester would show up instead of simply a shadow in the car or honk of the horn to signify the character.
At least it’s good to see that for now, Sam and Dean are on good terms and taking care of the family business together.
Sean McKenna was a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. He retired in May of 2017. Follow him on Twitter.