A friend of mine suggested I watch Supernatural a few years ago. This friend also had a really nice apartment and a comfy couch. At the time, I figured watching some random monster of the week show with her every so often would be a great way to gain access to the upholstery and projection technology across the street. I was totally right. Then something weird happened. I didn’t stop watching it. I just kept going deeper and deeper. One of the main reasons for that (aside from the fact that I’m a sucker for complex mythologies) was Supernatural’s uncanny ability to take sentences or exchanges that in any other context would be hilarious and use that dialogue in their show, often in critical moments. That silliness has faded from the show in recent years, but it stormed back in Bad Boys. The whole episode felt like a throwback to season two or three. That is both a good and a bad thing.
Seriously, this episode would have made more sense in 2005. The premise is simple. Sam and Dean investigate a farm in the wake of a mysterious death. The episode puts it right out in the open that the adorably dweeby kid (named Timmy because of course he is) is somehow involved. We get a quick shot of him gazing creepily out of a window as the Winchesters approach. This couldn’t just be any old farm. Oh no, it’s the farm where Dean once lived a normal life as a teenager. We are treated to numerous flashbacks of Dean as a kid without his dad or Sam. He was just living a normal life. He joined the wrestling team, ate pancakes, made out with a sad girl who played acoustic guitar and wanted to be a photographer. Teenager stuff. Also, the farm is haunted.
By a ghost! How long has it been since we had a nice, regular ghost on Supernatural? So long is the correct answer. Too long is not. We’ve moved past it. Sam and Dean mess around with angels and demons now. It felt weird watching them make salt circles and burn bodies. If I had stumbled across this episode on Netflix in the early going, I probably would have liked it a lot more. Now that we’re just fleshing out Dean’s backstory (because the Winchesters haven’t gotten enough of that in eight seasons and change), instead of dealing with all of the stuff that’s going on in the universe (angels, demons, Castiel, possession, etc we went over this last week). It’s not like we need anymore Dean story, and certainly not if it trades of with the season long arc.
As a standalone episode, it wasn’t bad though. It had some good scares. The deaths were all well executed. The monster looked good. The little peak into Dean’s past was nice (even if the girl is still mad at him for bailing on the school dance which is insane). It even had one of those classically silly exchanges: “That’s a ghost!” “That’s my mom!” It’s goofy. It’s fun. It’s old school Supernatural. It’s unfortunately timed though. The show has just grown up too much for episodes like this. There’s an angel possession spree and a hell war happening. Do we really have time for ghosthunting in the boondocks? I don’t think so.