Monday, 2 May 2016

Supernatural Think Tank - Thinky Thoughts and Theories on Supernatural 11x19 "The Chitters"

-by Anna

Welcome back everyone. I know this mini hiatus wasn't long, but when we're at the end of the season, they feel eternal none the less. I'm just glad our boys are back.  I hope they have an awesome and restful summer break. They have been amazing this season and they totally deserve a most enjoyable summer hiatus.

It's not always easy coming back from a hiatus with a new episode that will rock one's world.  I guess expectations are higher when we're made to wait to see the boys after so long.  Sometimes eps come back that are super amazing and other times, not so much. I liked this episode for the most part. I don't really have the same complaints as others have, as there were a lot of issues mentioned in many of the posts I've been reading, the most popular one being how boring it was. As for myself,  I didn't find the episode boring. It was an okay ep overall, but I have to admit I did have one issue with it. I don't know if it was the same for anyone else, but by the time it was over, my first reaction was one of confusion.  I couldn't quite place it at first, but then I realised how off the whole episode felt to me.  It was as though they were in an alternate universe.

Now I'm perfectly aware of the rules here regarding bashing of characters and writers and believe me this is not what I am doing here.  Even if I'm not fond of a particular writer, I don't bash them.  I'm just pointing out as tactfully as I can where I'm coming from. First off I'll start by saying that Nancy Won has written three episodes now and two of them have been wonderful and insightful.  I must say though that I didn't get the same feeling with this episode, as a matter of fact, I felt like the characters were written in reverse.  That was the feeling I got when the ep ended, why the episode felt so "off". Let me explain what I mean......

After all these years it's pretty much the norm now that separating the boys basically means that the powers that be are giving them their much deserved days off.  These boys are the entire show, they carry most of the weight.  This is not a show where one of them could be missing.  They've tried that once before and that episode didn't bode well with a lot of people.  Lucky at the time the story behind it was a good one, but still, having one of the boys missing does not put that episode among the favourites.  My issue has nothing to do with that.  What I found to be a common theme over the years though, is that when the boys are separated, there is often a reason behind it.  It's been that way of late any how.  Most often there's a parallel or a lesson somewhere in there. This is where my confusion comes into play.   I didn't understand the lesson that was meant to be learnt here.

Dean was paired with Cesar, Sam with Jesse. I didn't get where the lesson came in for either one of the guys with this pairing.  The common theme with Dean and Cesar is revenge and how unfulfilling it really is.  Why did Dean have to be reminded of this?  Dean's entire existence is based on the idea of revenge.  John had to get revenge for Mary.  Dean needed to avenge his Mom and then his father. When Dean killed the Yellow Eyed Demon, his mother was still dead, his father was dead and nothing changed for him.  Dean needed revenge for Bobby and it ended up with him being trapped in Purgatory.  Dean has sought revenge and he's witnessed others who sought revenge and never did it fulfil anyone.  It didn't change any circumstance that the victims suffered from.  Dean is totally aware of both the need and the results of revenge, so why did he need a reminder once again?

Sam was paired with Jesse and the theme here seemed to be accepting the loss of a brother.  If anyone knows what it's like to deal with the loss of a brother, it's Sam Winchester. Was the lesson here about accepting decisions that one might not like?  Again, we're talking about Sam Winchester here who has spent most of his life following his brother and abiding by most of his brother's decisions, whether he liked them or not. Need I mention season 8, where Sam had to face the loss of his brother because he abided a promise, one he didn't necessarily like, but kept anyway.  Was the lesson about letting go or holding on?  In either case, Sam not only knows how to let go, he most definitely knows when to keep holding on.  What was the point of the supposed lessons?  What were the boys and the fans supposed to get out of them? I was left baffled.  I couldn't get my thoughts together because I wasn't sure what I was supposed to think.  I was worried that I wouldn't have any thinky thoughts to share with you all this week.

I waited before I started the article.  I waited for reviews to come up.  I had hoped that the more opinions I read, the more I would come to understand what I might not have seen for myself.   Patience is indeed a virtue.  I want to take a personal moment to thank Nightsky for the clarity I'd been missing.  It was after reading her threads that I realised that perhaps the lesson wasn't so much for the boys themselves as much as it was meant to be a tactic to be used in the fight against Amara. This was a possibility I could go for.   Dean being paired with Oscar suddenly made sense to me. If the lesson is for Amara and her need for revenge against God, then perhaps Dean can somehow use this knowledge in the attempt to trick and trap her (I don't really think logic is going to factor in here). If we explore this possibility then the pairing of Sam and Jesse starts to make more sense.  Sam being reminded of losing a brother, might not necessarily be about him having to face the idea of losing Dean. Sam's experience of his own loss, as he was reminded of again in this episode, could very well play into the plan to defeat Amara, especially if Amara feels she suffered some kind of a loss.   This definitely ties into Not John's words to Sam in Baby, when Sam was told that only the two of them can stop the Darkness.

Three days and a few reviews later, after all is said and done, my opinion of  this episode still remains the same.  I thought it was ok.  It wasn't the best, it wasn't the worst.  I guess for me, even after reading Nightsky's threads and seeing the show with a better understanding, I guess it would've had more impact emotionally for me, if the pairing of the boys with the other hunters would've been defined more clearly.  I usually have no trouble psychoanalysing the episodes to death, but for some reason this wasn't presented in a way that made it apparent to me that there's more with what's going on here than meets the eye.  I am very thankful that Nightsky opened my eyes for me, but I can't help but think that if she hadn't then I would still be sitting here in a state of confusion wondering what was really going on behind this episode.  

Now that the suggestion is out there that this episode's lesson might very well tie in with God and Amara and not necessarily Sam and Dean, it leaves me very excited for what's to come.  Maybe we won't get the typical Swan Song ending we had in S5...perhaps this time it'll be more of a twist of an ending like S10.   I am anxious to see how it all turns out.  Next week Metatron....Chuck....ooh the possibilities are endless.

Thanks for reading everyone. Looking forward to next week. 


  1. Anna, thanks for your thoughts on this episode. I too was left maybe a little confused as well by this episode. I think I understood what Nancy Won was trying to achieve but it just didn't show on the screen. Not that it was a bad episode, as you say, but I think the stories meaning got lost. Maybe as you say it's to do with Dean/Amara and trapping her but I'm sorry I'm still scratching my head a bit about that. Also is it just me, or does Dean seem really off this season. Maybe to do with the mark after effects, or maybe Amara's influence, I don't know but he seems to be soft and getting beaten up a lot. Maybe I'm just being overprotective, but also Jensen's voice sounded like he was sick in this episode, I know being a worry wart lol!! So the episode to me was just ok, can't wait to see what happens next! Look forward to your next thinky thoughts!!

  2. I understood the parallel of Jesse and Oscar with Sam and Dean. What I didn't get was the why. I was left baffled. Usually in these kinds of episodes, where the boys get a glimpse of themselves through others, there's usually a circumstance that differs. It's that difference that enables the boys to learn more about themselves and ea. other. For example: Thinman. Harry and Ed were meant to mirror the similar circumstances of Sam and Dean. They weren't identical situations, but they were close enough for the boys to be able to see themselves in Harry and Ed. They were able to see themselves and ea. other through our dear Ghostfacers and in the end, the boys knew what not to do. There was a lesson in there for them and they ea. learned from it. It influenced the decisions they made in the future. Nothing Jesse and Oscar experienced was different from Sam and Dean. There was no event that was different in which either boy can learn from. I was left wondering why the mirror story in the first place? Sam and Dean acknowledging their bond by seeing it in others, though a treasure to behold on any occasion, .....but where was the lesson in it?

    If Sam had been partnered with Oscar and Dean with Jesse, then I can see a point, a message, a lesson if you will. Sam partnered with Oscar would've given him a better understanding of Dean. Dean partnered with Jesse would've given him a better understanding of Sam. Dare I even say that Dean might've understood Sam's perspective in S8 and Dean might not just refer to that period in Sam's life as the year of the dog. If that had happened then I can see the lesson learned by ea. of them and how that could play a part in future decisions in dealing with Amara. But that didn't happen, so I remained in a confused state.

    Perhaps it is my fault. Maybe this ep was simply supposed to be a gush fest. I always appreciate those eps. I guess because of where this ep was placed I was expecting more purpose. If this ep happened early in the season, I may not have even noticed. But this was ep 19...the one right before the final 4 and I was expecting a tie in with the myth arc. When I didn't see that, it left me baffled. Did I miss it? Am I not seeing it? I'm hoping that that is the case and we'll see the tie in as the eps continue.

    I wonder if Dean getting beat up a lot is on purpose. What I mean is, is it metaphorical for Dean beating himself up because of his bond with Amara and his inability to control it?

    Thanks so much for your input. Looking forward to discussing this week's ep.