Sorry this is coming out a day late, gang. I’ve been working on a movie, and it has been zany. Luckily we wrap on shooting after this week, and I can really go back to writing most of the time. Anyway, now that the excuses are over, let’s talk about Supernatural. The very exciting split of the Winchesters appears to have come to an end. I’m not happy about it, and I’m even less happy with how it happened.
“Sharp Teeth” wasn’t terrible. It wasn’t even necessarily bad. It just had nothing to do with the main plots of the season (which I still think are very interesting), and it felt very deus ex machina to me. The episode is based around the return of DJ Qualls as Garth. He’d gone missing six months ago, but he reappears in a Wisconsin hospital. Guess who’s there to greet him. Not Sam, not Dean, but both Sam and Dean! They both heard about Garth at the hospital and arrived there at basically the same time. Why is Garth in the hospital? He got hit by a car while running from an angry farmer. Why was the farmer angry? His cow had just died! What killed it? Presumably Garth.
Our injured friend escapes from the hospital after Sam and Dean arrive, so in typical Winchester fashion the brothers follow their little friend. They find him in what appears to be a nicely furnished apartment, but something is wrong! There’s a werewolf! That’s no ordinary werewolf though. It’s Garth’s new wife, Bess. She’s not the only werewolf in the family though. Garth is a werewolf too. Now DJ Qualls will no longer be separated from Seth Green in my mind along the line of who did and did not play a werewolf on TV.
It turns out the werewolf family is substantially bigger than just Garth and Bess. Bess has an extended family, also werewolves (though they prefer lycanthropes), and they are pillars of a larger werewolf community. Her stepmom is the classic nice community leader woman (den mother?) while her father is the leader of a pseudo pagan werewolf cult. All of the members seem very happy.
The idea of a peaceful, happy gang of werewolves doesn’t fit with the Winchester worldview, but things keep appearing ok. Eventually, when it seems like the Bros are coming around, a cop (who is also a werewolf) gets them alone and attempts some murder. He fails, and the investigation is reopened. Sam goes looking for Garth and Bess while Dean goes to investigate the church and find out some truth after finding a necklace with the word Ragnarok engraved on it around the neck of the werewolf-cop.
Back at Garth’s apartment, Sam finds that his old friend with the new wife has gone missing. At the same time, Dean finds an ancient book about Norse Mythology. This book outlines the existence of an ancient werewolf cult called The Maw Of Fenris, named after the giant wolf in Norse Mythology the emerges during Ragnarok to eat Odin. Dean is confronted by Bess’s father the reverend, who explains that he is not part of The Maw. He’d thought The Maw was gone, but their apparently alive and well. They give a nice dose of evidence when they knock Sam unconscious and drags him away.
When Sam comes to, he’s tied up along with Garth and Bess. Who is doing the tying? Bess’s stepmother, the creepily nice den mother, is apparently a staunch advocate of The Maw Of Fenris. She’s a big fan of their plan to eliminate the human race. They do it in the name of peace though, so it’s cool. The den mother goes on her rant about the plans and beliefs of The Maw Of Fenris, but Dean interrupts her. He snuck in wearing the reverend’s coat. No one can smell him! Werewolf senses have been dulled!
Dean and Sam fend off the werewolves, and they get the nice werewolves all together. Everyone, including DJ Qualls and his wife, is very happy. The only discontent stems from the Winchesters. There is a lot of unresolved tension there. Dean tries to reach across the gap between them, but Sam shuts him down. They cannot hunt and be brothers at the same time. Dean’s urge to protect Sam prevents either brother from being able to hunt at their best. Sam puts it all out on the table. Dean agrees. They will hunt together, but they’ll have to leave the family connection behind. I wonder how long that will last.
It seems like the show is setting up to allow the brothers to come and go as they please, giving them the flexibility to move between plotlines with ease. It’s a weird way to do it, though. It seems crazy to force these two characters to erase their relationship, or at least ignore it. It’s unlikely to last and on top of that it might just lead to a lot of unnecessary fighting that takes away from the shows narrative momentum. I’m not 100% sold on these tactics, but we’ll see how it plays out. Maybe being able to focus on the main plots will be worth the trade. We’ll have to stay tuned to find out.