Emily Dunbar ‘17/ Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
This week’s episode of Supernatural, “Sharp Teeth,” felt like looking through a portal to earlier seasons of the show. As usual, the show began with brothers Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean Winchester (Jensen Ackles) swoop in to investigate a crime, and along the way, they happen to run into an old friend who viewers haven’t seen since the beginning of the season.
It was incredibly exciting to have fan favorite, Garth (DJ Qualls), a hunter who Sam and Dean actually like—and who also happens to be their current scapegoat—back on the show and doing what he does best: providing comedic relief in times of intense brotherly stress. Sam and Dean are reunited with Garth in the hospital in the beginning of the episode.
There was a hilarious moment where the brothers are listening to Garth wretch on the bathroom floor, while awkwardly trading stories about what hunting was like without the other. The icy tone their confessions left is removed abruptly by the sudden realization that Garth had pulled a classic Garth move: he escaped from the bathroom window. Despite their newfound differences, Sam and Dean silently agree to get the band back together to search for their delirious friend.
Dean tries to trick Sam into leaving (they had a deal. They weren’t going to hunt together anymore. They agreed), but Sam, who feels uncomfortable leaving Dean on his own to find Garth and sort out the discrepancies in their friend’s “alibi,” is having none of it. To the cheering of the audience, they tentatively agree to hunt together just this once.
They find Garth holed up with his werewolf wife (that’s right, Garth is married now), where he reveals that he, too, has gotten “Sharp Teeth!” Both Winchesters, as expected, are suspicious when Garth tells them that their family lives peacefully and sans human hearts. But to prove his sincerity, the boys’ howlarious old friend asks Dean to come pray with them. As anyone could probably guess, born-skeptic, monster-detesting Dean Winchester is not pleased by the invitation.
Another fantastic throwback in this episode is how the boys struggle with the idea of friendly monsters after the discovery that Garth is a werewolf, which viewers haven’t seen in a long time. In fact, any other time fans have seen them ponder the idea of monsters that pose no threat, Winchester paranoia and a shotgun obliterate their thoughts.
There was a really wonderful moment (by which is meant a heart-wrenching tear-fest) where the Reverend of Garth’s werewolf parish/pack talks about his family’s tragic past with Dean. He explains that a hunter murdered his wife soon after the happy birth of his daughter, Garth’s wife, Bess. The Reverend wanted to dish out a mountain of payback, but he realized that such actions would not bring his wife back, nor would they make him feel better. He concludes, “The road to revenge is a dark and lonely one, which you never get off. And that hole in the pit of your stomach? You never fill it. Ever.”
(Here’s where the tears come in.) Throughout this scene, Dean’s expression is hard; his eyes are fixed ahead and only flick to the Reverend as he nods knowingly. Everything he said was hitting home. That hole in the pit of Dean’s stomach never filled. Not by reuniting with his brother nearly a decade ago, not by saving tons of innocent people. Certainly and most of all: not by being raised in revenge by a father who was too preoccupied with getting even to properly care for his sons. Even after the Winchesters killed the yellow-eyed demon, Azaezel (Fredric Lehne), Dean had nothing to return to beside the family business.
These parallels stretch back to season one and the boys’ relationship with their father; they don’t go amiss! Supernatural has been and always will be about family, and it feels just plain right to revisit the people and stories that put and keep the Plaid Patrol in motion.
When it turns out that Mama Werewolf (Bess’s stepmother) is obsessed with bringing the Norse apocalypse (i.e. the fall of humankind and the rise of the lycanthropes), Dean and Sam, forever teammates, pull together to stop the crazies from executing their plan.
All seems well. Keyword: seems.
Another element of tonight’s episode that brought back memories was the standard, meaningful Impala scene where Sam and Dean finally will be officially reunited. Sam is about to leave, Dean seems determined to let him go, but can’t stop himself from exiting the car, apologizing profusely, and asking if they can be happy they won, for once, and try to move forward.
This is not a new relationship quirk between the Winchester brothers. Season after season after season, they betray each other’s trust, split up, and end up realizing each is nothing without the other. However, this time, there’s some character development, some spice in the pot, some this-isn’t-season-eight-anymore-guys. Sam drops the bomb: he doesn’t see Dean as his brother anymore. He explains that he can’t trust Dean the way a brother should be able to, and he’s decided that he’ll work with him, but only under the label of “partner.” The two men nod painfully and silently retreat into the Impala, the tension awkward for them and torturous for the audience.
The brothers usually can’t stay mad at each other for long, and it’s clear that next week’s episode is going to test their defiance. We’re going to see a hilarious undercover mission into a health facility, where Salad, pardon, Sam Winchester just might be in his element, while Anything-For-A-Cheeseburger Dean Winchester is sneaking snacks in his bedroom.
Tune in to Supernatural on the CW Tuesday, February 4 at 9 pm to catch up with everyone’s favorite Ghostbusters.