Who knew Dean was a Taylor Swift fan?
Maybe when it comes to his Mark of Cain urges, he can just “shake it off.”
But, really, both Sam’s look of confusion and Dean’s smirk and shrug as he peeled out to the pop song was a fun way to cap off Supernatural Season 10 Episode 12. This was an hour of Supernatural that was an entertaining breath of fresh air.
I continue to appreciate the acknowledgment that the Mark of Cain is affecting Dean, much like the brothers' efforts to search for some cure.
At least until some movement is made on getting that fix, the cases of the week do find a way to show how Dean is learning to deal with the Mark. It’s not an easy battle but, when he did have it this episode, he managed not to “Hulk out.”
It was interesting that a little magic was able to temporarily remove the Mark (might that be an alternative to help Dean a la Rowena or some other witch?), but it was even more hilarious that the substitute meant a prepubescent Dean.
Instead of turning into a grumpy old man by magic (remember that card playing witch in Supernatural Season 5 Episode 7, “The Curious Case of Dean Winchester”?), Dean found himself dealing with the ups and downs of being a teenager.
This type of episode could fail in so many ways, especially because it relies on a different and younger actor to play a main character for most of the hour. Major kudos to actor Dylan Everett (who played young Dean in Supernatural Season 9 Episode 7) for pulling it off.
Even after the change, the mannerisms, the dialogue and general presence of Everett made me feel like I really was watching the younger version of Jensen Ackles’ Dean.
Plus, to get that Sam and Dean banter again was also a pleasant reminder of the brotherly camaraderie that makes their relationship stand out beyond all the family loyalty and missions to save the world from the supernatural.
There were plenty of humorous moments and lines from Sam joking about Dean not being able to drink until he’s 21 or Dean making cracks about Sam saying he’s too big to fit.
Even the circumstance for the transformation was enjoyable in bringing to life the Hansel and Gretel story. The witch was actually creepy, and even though she was a bit campy at times, she seemed way more scary than a witch like Rowena. She eats children after all!
Plus, the reason for transforming adults rather than just taking children made perfect sense.
While I wasn’t surprised that Hansel pulled a fast one on Sam and Dean (it just seems to happen when it fits the story), we again got plenty of one liners from Dean before he transformed and finished the job by taking out both baddies.
Yes, Dean could have kept the Mark off by staying young, but he did the Dean Winchester thing and saved the day. That in of itself was acknowledgment that even with the dangers of the Mark, even when the odds are stacked against them, Dean can find a way to prevail.
On top of that, to reiterate getting through the ordeal was the Sam and Dean end of the episode convo. They weren’t fighting. They weren’t not talking. Instead, they both seemed on the same page to deal with the Mark together.
This hour really felt like a Supernatural episode. There was the monster from a real fairy tale, the action mixed with some creepy, the humorous dialogue, the small connections to the bigger story (Mark of Cain and the Coven) and Sam and Dean working together on a case that didn’t involve silly drama. Maybe not having side Crowley and Castiel stories helped keep the pacing on point?
This was a standout episode for Supernatural Season 10 that definitely is one you'll want to rewatch. Though, I can only imagine the antics and banter if Sam, Dean and Castiel turned into teenagers all at once…
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Sean McKenna was a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. He retired in May of 2017. Follow him on Twitter.