Episode: Supernatural 7.05 – “Shut Up, Dr. Phil”
Original Air Date: October 21, 2011
A town being hit by freaky accidents, a couple whose divorce has created dangerous ramifications, and a pair of brothers that are trying to deal with everything life’s been throwing at them. That was the lead-up Supernatural fans had for this much-anticipated episode, made all the more fun because it got to bring on well-loved actors from our other favorite genre show, Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
James Marsters (Spike from BTVS) and Charisma Carpenter (Cordelia Chase from BTVS) played Don and Maggie Stark, a power couple that took the word to a whole new meaning. Don had been caught cheating, which lead to their “temporary separation”, according to Don. But Maggie is not satisfied to just let the courts do their fighting for them because she’s looking for a little payback as well. And for fans of the show, that meant we got a number of escalating deaths that leave authorities puzzled. It was a very nice callback to the olden days of Supernatural, first with a victim getting fried by a hair dryer, a second getting boiled in a hot tub, one getting nailed by a nail gun, another almost choking on cupcake hearts, and a final one getting decapitated by a silver platter. I always love the creativity these witches manage to put into their revenge plots. And even more twisty was that it wasn’t just a one-sided endeavor, with Don being none the wiser to his wife’s powerful payback. No, both the Starks were witches, and had been together for centuries. This is a love that’s endured persecution and indiscretions in the past, so while it took a bit of time before they could get back on equal ground, they really were meant to be together forever. If Don can forgive her for sleeping with Columbus in 1492, I think Maggie can be a tad forgiving for his current misstep.
But Maggie and Don’s issues weren’t just relevant to them. The Winchesters could use some marital counseling themselves. The key is communication. When partners don’t talk to each other, there could be deadly consequences. You’d think Dean would have learned this by now, but alas he’s still bottling up his problems and keeping Sam out of the loop. Perhaps he’s doing it to protect Sam, as he’s apt to do, but he’s also destroying himself in the process. He’s having nightmares about pretty much everything that’s currently gone wrong in his life — the death of Cas, having to kill Amy, and Sam’s fragile mental state. And how does he deal with all of that? Not by talking it out with his brother, who has offered again and again, but instead he’s drinking himself into oblivion. He can’t go more than a few minutes without self-medicating. It’s gotten so bad that he’s stopping in the middle of cases for refills at the liquor store and carrying around his whiskey in a flask for a quick sip. They have rules about this sort of thing, about not drinking on the job, but Dean’s ignoring them all because he really needs to dull the pain. He’s going to slip soon and the downfall is going to be sad to see.
On the opposite side of the spectrum, Sam’s back on his health kick. In fact, he’s even kicked it up a notch. Now he’s out running every morning, leaving his sulking brother behind and going back to the training John Winchester instilled in them at an early age. Is keeping in shape going to help him outrun the hallucinations? That’s yet to be seen, but it’s a whole lot healthier than inflicting pain, as he’s done on multiple occasions since his little Lucifer!Dean freak-out. Again, he seems to be the most grounded of the two of them, which is saying a lot. He knows that they have to talk about whatever’s going on with them, else they destroy themselves. And, yes, Sam’s always been the one who wants to talk it out more than Dean, but he’s also right to push his brother into communicating. Sam needs to know what’s real and what’s not, Dean needs to know that there’s someone else out there who he can depend on, and both the boys need some love because they’re losing pretty much everyone around them. They truly do have to depend on each other if they’re going to survive this.
And if all of that wasn’t enough, the Leviathans are still on their trail. Chet, the credit card employee that nacho cheesed the convenience store clerk in “The Girl Next Door”, has been tracking them and has finally discovered where they’re holed up. They would have been in a dire situation if Don Stark hadn’t popped up to save them. But even his spell isn’t enough to kill a Leviathan, even though it would put him down for a few days. Now the boys have to be on the run and figure out what their next move is. How do you kill something that can’t be killed? And how do you survive when all your sources of cash have gone dead? The Winchesters are going to have to get creative if they’re going to make it out of this alive. But first, they really need to talk.
Rating: 5 / 5 Stars