You know the expression, “Going to hell in a hand basket”? That could be the theme of Supernatural’s third season. We’re four episodes in and it’s looking like human nature is causing more trouble than the demons that escaped from the Devil’s Gate.
This week, the boys pay a visit to Elizabethville, Ohio, a town suffering under the influence of a little booze, a little gambling and a whole lot of infidelity. It appears to be a case of wholesale demonic possession but the boys keep splashing on holy water like its cheap cologne and the effect is about the same. Nada. Even General Hammond, I mean Trotter — the town Mafioso, is just “greedy” evil and not “Linda Blair” evil.
So have the boys wasted a tank of gas? Nope. There are demons in Elizabethville, it’s just that they only work part time.
Sin City did a great job of balancing the weekly characters and screen time with the boys, something that was missing in the last few episodes. The opening gave us some traditional Sam and Dean banter and the camera tricks with the mirror over the bed was classic Supernatural. (And did you see Dean give that vibrating bed machine a loving pat?)
Enter Ritchie (Marty Papazian) and I run hot and cold. I loved the character but the fact that the boys keep meeting up with other hunters each week is starting to annoy me. Up until last year’s introduction of the roadhouse, the boys rarely met up with hunters other than Bobby and Pastor Jim (and I’m not sure he really counts). They seemed surprised by the concept of dozens of hunters crossing paths, yet here’s Dean talking about how he and Ritchie met up while Sam was away at school. Yes, it’s a small world but we went from an entire first season where they were alone in the cause to run ins with nearly a half dozen hunters in the first four episodes of this season. I think I liked it better when they were on their own.
Which brings me to Ruby, Bobby and the Colt.
I adore Bobby, and his relationship with the boys is lovely, but I don’t need him rushing in to save their butts time and time again. Same goes for Ruby. I’m just not feeling her. She doesn’t have the snark of Meg and YED and the other demons. And her, “I won’t tell you why I want to help you” shtick is already two episodes past old.
As for the Colt, it’s a bit too magical for my liking. John spent countless years searching for the thing and then it was all about saving that final bullet for just the right demon. Now it’s fixed and apparently there’s an endless supply of demon-splattering bullets. It’s too easy. I want it gone.
What I really loved about this episode was Dean’s tete-a-tete with Casey the bartending demon (Sasha Barrese). There’s something about the brunettes in this show because they always come out on the upside and Casey was no exception. Sure it was a bit of an info dump, but it was worth it to see Dean’s bravado slip a hair when she described what it was like in hell. Not to mention her comments about Sammy as the second-coming in an anti sort of way.
It goes back to what I thought from day one, Sam as the once and future king of the netherworld. I know many fans balk at the idea, but personally I’d love to see a full season of Dean on the trail of evil Sam torn between saving his beloved brother and killing him to save the world.