'Supernatural' Recap: The Werewolf Of Revenge Road
January 29th, 2014 10:21am EST
Last's week's game-changing episode of "Supernatural" resonated with me for days, and I couldn't wait to see how it rippled into this week's. Unfortunately, "Sharp Teeth" had as much bite as a toothless, old cat.
The brothers unite to solve the case of Garth's sudden re-emergence as a hit-and-run victim in Grantsburg, Wisconsin, where there has been a rash of mutilated animals. Despite the palpable crackling between Sam and Dean trying to slip Sam like Taylor Swift does boyfriends, the brothers still work a case like a the seasoned veterans. The shorthand is still there. It's surprising and a bit encouraging that they are honest about that they've been doing since Dean “split”...while Garth (returning guest star DJ Qualls) is puking his guts out. "I'm gone for two weeks, and you're like an episode of 'Teen Mom'," Dean says after Sam reveals that Gadreel left grace inside of him. Sam was apparently in New Mexico.
The story behind Garth's disappearance is a winding one. It breaks down like this: Garth got turned into a werewolf while hunting "a big bad wolf." He was ready to eat his gun, like a good hunter would, when another werewolf, Bess, sniffed him out and talked him down. They fell in love, and he joined her pack of church-going, animal-eating lycanthropes. Garth makes acquaintances with his usual flare. He describes Sam as "a bit insecure at times, but for good reason." He also sums Dean up perfectly: "He could start a fight in an empty house, but deep down inside he's just a big ole teddy bear."
He invites Dean to come pray with his pack that consists of werewolves that were born that way and “bittens.” Like the nest of vegan vampires in season 2's "Bloodlust" or the church-going hunters in season 5's "99 Problems", the Meyers pack is pious, god-fearing and squeaky clean, which immediately makes me distrustful of all of them. They even wear silver bullets as a reminder of their own mortality and "fragility." Garth's father-in-law is the reverend and the leader of the pack. He is so polite and wise that I reflexively peg him as the evilest of them all. However, when they sit down to dinner of the freshest animal entrails Wisconsin has to offer, he says this: "The road to revenge is a dark and lonely one which you never get off. And that whole in your stomach, you never fill it."
The words of wisdom should strike a chord in Dean, who's now sporting the Mark of Cain and a conscience that's so guilty, it can't be expressed. And I also know now that the reverend, at least, is a good guy. Whether he’ll be alive at the end of the episode is still in the air. The thing I loved about these exposition-heavy scenes was watching Dean interact with the lycans. He arrived armed to the teeth and wearing his proverbial white hat, but Jensen Ackles and the writers chose to make Dean look like the savage with the facial hair and the callous distrust.
It all goes pear-shaped when the sheriff calls Sam and Dean to a suspicious incident that turns out to be a mauled deer. This is strange for two reasons: 1. As a Wisconsin-native, this is sadly a common sight on highways. We have beers, wolves, coyotes and cars—anyone of which could have torn into an animal like that. 2. The blood is still warm.
Sam and Dean know they've been had, but it's no big deal. Dean's lightning fast with the throwing knives, and the werewolf is dead before anyone can make a “Twilight” joke. The dead sheriff/werewolf wore a silver bullet with the word "Ragnarok" carved into it, signifying that he's a part of the Meyers' pack. Ragnarok is the end of days in Norse mythology. The world was eaten by a wolf named Fenris. But it seems that the Meyers' pack used it as "an action plan" for "total and complete werewolf domination." Only in Wisconsin, folks.
The Maw of Fenris can be traced back to Bess' stepmother, and her motives all boil down to "Why co-exist when you can rule?" That's totally Beyonce's mantra too. Sam has been kidnapped and held hostage again, along with Bess and Garth, the world's most useless werewolf.
The day is saved by Sam's well-honed stalling tactics, his freakishly long legs and Dean's quick-draw.
In the end, Garth offers to help the brothers avenge Kevin since feels like he abandoned him by not coming forward when he was turned. Dean kindly declines. "I'm the one who should have been there to protect him." He also gives Garth his blessing to be one with the hippy-dippy werewolves: "Who cares where happiness comes from? We're all a little weird and we're all a little wacky. You've got something here. Don't let that go."
Dean drives Sam to his hunter-approved albeit tiny car and bids him farewell, but can't leave without saying...something. Finally, it's time for Sam and Dean confront each other. I’m expecting hair-pulling, haymakers and a pristine tear rolling down Dean’s whiskered cheek. It’s all frustratingly civil. Is this growth? If so, I'm not a fan.
Dean apologizes like a Winchester, which means, he says everything but "I'm sorry." Sam makes like Anderson Cooper and remains quiet, letting his brother flail for the right words. He ends up with this: "I was messed up, man. Kevin was dead and I don't know what I was. Maybe I still don't. I know I took a piece of you in the process, and for that...Someone changed the playbook, man. It's like what's right is wrong and what's wrong is more wrong. When we rode together, we..." "Split the crappiness," Sam finishes.
Sam doesn't think that hunting will fix what's broken between them. "We don't see things the same way anymore. Back in that church, taking me out of boarding up hell or ticking me into letting Gadreel possess me. I can't trust you. Not the way I should be able to."
Dean plays the family card, and Sam all but forfeits the game: "You say that like it's some sort of cure-all, like it can change the fact that everything that has ever gone wrong between us hasn't been because we're family."
He offers to work with Dean, but they can't be brothers. Dean agrees. This is the maddening calm before the storm, which tells me it's not remotely over. They are both more mature and well-intentioned by taking the time to discuss how they feel, but I don’t think Sam has begun to process what has happened to him, and Dean hasn’t either.
Ultimately "Sharp Teeth" was pretty dull on entertainment. The episode was fairly predictable even while changing the werewolf mythology and the trajectory of beloved weirdo Garth. It was disappointing that after last week's fantastic episode, and Sam's recovery from the trials and Gadreel's possession, that we have returned to the overdone climas of Sam needing to be rescued by his big brother. But that is the true crux of the dilemma between Sam and Dean. Dean was trained to save his little brother (above everything else) no matter what while Sam was raised (and eventually compelled) to save lives no matter what. As long as these motivations don’t change, the brothers will always be doomed to hurt and betray each other. And that truth cuts is the deepest.
What did you think of tonight's episode? Are you digging Dean's beard? Do you think Sam and Dean will ever be brothers again? Hit up the comments section below!
Next week, we all have tickets to the gun show!
Photo Credits: The CW Network