Emily Dunbar ’17 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
Supernatural‘s tenth season has truly taken shape. After a disastrous arc in season nine (which somehow, the ratings do not reflect), the writers have set up a few promising plot points that should carry the momentum up to the last episode. “About A Boy” was a solid episode, without a doubt.
It was exciting to see the Winchesters switching roles, if only for a moment. Sam (Jared Padalecki), who is usually begging Dean (Jensen Ackles) to slow down, to take a breath, to not rush (and destroy) the healing process, stormed into Dean’s room and asked him to please, please, please get back in the game. Dean, famous for working himself into the ground, had been holed up in the Bunker for a week, trying to purify himself with kale shakes and a good night’s sleep. It was a change of pace that did not go unnoticed; both Sam and Dean have gone through a lot, these past few seasons, and it’s only natural (ha, ha) that their coping mechanisms go through a few changes as well.
Speaking of coping, it was very therapeutic for viewers to see and hear Dean complaining about his less than stellar childhood with a kindred spirit. Tina (played by Kehli O’Byrne and Madeleine Arthur) provided a much-needed drinking buddy (physically and metaphorically) to whom Dean could spill some of his bottled up feelings. Viewers hate to see Dean upset, but there’s really no avoiding it. All they can do is enjoy the moments when he’s honest with himself—and others!—about how his past plagues him. And what with the Mark still in play, it’s no wonder he’s got a lot to say. Even though it was a good-natured trip down memory lane, it was clear that Dean really appreciated the company.
The always fantastic Dylan Everett delivered yet again, portraying young Dean Winchester as perhaps no one else could. That kid has got serious acting chops; it’s uncanny how close he’s gotten his young Dean mannerisms to look like Ackles’. Sprinkling in just enough emotion, just enough humor, he was, by far, the star of this episode.
Hey, speaking of young Dean—how about that Mark of Cain, eh? Gone on his fourteen-year-old skin! What a twist! It was fun while it lasted, but thank god that Mark returned once Dean restored himself from fun size. It would have been incredibly lazy writing for the Mark to be gone after a chance encounter with a hexbag. And, of course, there was nothing to be gained from that sort of luck. The witch who made Dean young, ironically Gretel (of, you know, Hansel and Gretel), revealed that her sister is Rowena (Ruth Connell), King of Hell Crowley’s (Mark Sheppard) evil mama. Apparently the Grand Coven sent her down to put a stop to Rowena’s evildoing… whatever that may be. It was great to see the parallel of Gretel’s fate to the real witch’s fate in the original Hansel and Gretel, but unfortunately, that means we are no closer to knowing what Rowena’s really doing back in town.
Excitingly, though, it looks like this Grand Coven may have to play some role in the rest of this season. What could Rowena possibly be doing that’s gotten their attention—and disdain—when she’s supposed to be such a powerful witch? Are we about to see a Season 3 of American Horror Story/Supernatural crossover? Are the Winchesters going to team up with a pack of witches to defeat one of their own? What role is Crowley going to play in all of this? And where is Castiel (Misha Collins)?
We’ve got questions, and the only answers lie within the rest of the season! Tune in to Supernatural on the CW next Tuesday at 9 pm to find out what “Halt & Catch Fire” is all about.
Overall Episode Grade: B