Friday, April 29, 2016

Supernatural "Chitters" Review: A Bug's Life
Supernatural S11E19" "The Chitters"
And the verdict is... not sucky? "The Chitters" was definitely filler, but like so much of Supernatural's Season 11 filler episodes, it was surprisingly meaty on its own and when paired with detours from earlier in this season—like "Into the Mystic" and "Beyond the Mat"—forms a side-story of the Winchesters' own, parallel to the apocalyptic escapades of Amara and Casifer. 
All three of these episodes dealt with retirement and the sorts of futures that Dean and Sam figured were out of their own reach a long time ago. "Into the Mystic" gave us Sam secretly hoping for a boring and bittersweet end in an old folks home—a future so banal that it's made a place in Sam's fantasies that the likes of Stanford and family Thanksgiving once occupied. "Beyond the Mat" showed us the other side of retirement—this one a little more hunter bleak (which is like hunter chic except with spandex instead of flannel) and stomping all over Sam and Dean's childhood wrestling heroes, showing them for the flawed humans with messy human problems that their stage personas were designed to ignore. Sam and Dean chasing each other around with pimped-out rascal carts makes for a cute bedtime fanfic and the series has already given them retirements sadder than those of their wrestling idols. Going out in a blaze of glory is, of course, still on the table, but "The Chitters," even with it's cringe-inducing name and sex-crashed monster-cicadas, put another possibility on the table. 
Old hunters don't (always) die. They marry their partner and buy a horse farm in New Mexico. 
Supernatural brought more understated LGBT awesomeness to the CW with Cesar and Jesse—hunting partners turned happy husbands—whose relationship was not turned into an after-school special or "very special episode" or even treated like something out of the norm. They were about as far from stereotypical as it gets, and for (probable) one-off characters that we may never see again, their story felt complete. Cesar stood by Jesse during his quest to avenge his dead brother. They probably worked through a mountain of issues stemming from that and a host of other traumas, and in the end they, as Dean put it, "reached the finish line." I kept waiting for Supernatural to kill or turn one of them because that's how Supernatural rolls, but I think that would have been too much, even for Supernatural
In the end, Dean couldn't bring himself to drag Cesar and Jesse away from their end-game, even if they've been at an impasse on the Amara stuff for "weeks" as Sam put it. Get it together, guys. 
Coming back from the last hiatus of the season with a filler episode (hey, even good filler is still filler) and yet more lip service to Dean and Sam having zero idea WTF to do tainted an otherwise fine episode. At this point, I only vaguely recall where we last left Amara, and full disclosure: I forgot Casifer was a hostage until the opening montage. This is the home-stretch, Supernatural, and that's not cool. 

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