I had been hoping that ‘Supernatural’ would get back on track quickly and give us a Leviathan-heavy episode, pushing the story arc for this season further. Well, ask and ye shall receive, apparently. This week, the Leviathan and the Winchesters both step up their tactics in their strange game of cat and mouse…and the results are not all that pleasant.
[Be warned, this recap contains spoilers]
The Leviathan have decided to change their tactics in chasing down Sam and Dean. Instead, they try flushing them out in the way only a primordial beast can. Taking on the form of Sam and Dean, two Leviathan begin a killing spree in all the towns they ever did a job in. It’s a very psychotic version of ‘This Is Your Life.’ Sam and Dean Winchester are quickly propelled to the top of the FBI’s Most Wanted. Bobby hooks Sam and Dean up with a friend of his to help them get off the grid enough so that they don’t get picked up by police as soon as they walk out the door. This means getting rid of all rock-themed aliases, paying only in cash, and trading in Dean’s beloved Metallicar for a prissy little hatchback with Air Supply on the radio. To make matters worse, the killer Leviathan pull a ‘Pulp Fiction’ in one of Dean’s favorite diners, making it sacrosanct for the foreseeable future. Yes, it’s personal now. A couple FBI agents by the names of Morris and Valenti are hot on the trail of “Sam and Dean” as well.
Meanwhile, back at Bobby’s, the Leviathan that they captured last week has been chained in the basement. Still suffering from the spell cast on him, he is not at full strength, so he can stay chained up. He is, however, supremely confident in his ability to beat Sam, Dean and Bobby. He doesn’t mind spilling all the secrets of how they were able to track and mimic Sam and Dean. Bobby is systematically trying to find ways to kill him, but is coming up empty. Not only are their best ways for killing monsters not working on the Leviathan, they’re not even phasing him. While Sam and Dean go after their murder-happy doppelgangers, Bobby gets an unexpected visit from Sheriff Jody Mills. To thank Bobby for saving her life in the hospital, she offers to help give his home a bit of a woman’s touch.
Finally catching up with their Leviathan doubles in Iowa, the real Sam and Dean get picked up by the local sheriff. Genre fans may notice the sheriff is continuing this season’s parade of familiar faces. He is played by Michael Horton, best known as Colonel Saul Tigh from ‘Battlestar Galactica.’ He doesn’t believe any of the stories they try to tell him about evil duplicates, and you can hardly blame him. Of course, he changes his tune pretty quickly when he discovers a second set of Sam and Dean in the office, munching on a couple of his deputies.
As Bobby continues his futile experiments on the captive Leviathan, he accidentally makes contact with him. This gives him the ability to transform into Bobby. What we quickly learn is that the Leviathan does much more than just mimic a person. They also take all of their memories. He tries psyching Bobby out by turning his deepest, darkest thoughts back on him, but his plans are thwarted when Jody spills some industrial cleaner on the floor above. It seeps through and begins burning him like acid. Bobby uses this to devise a plan to take out the Leviathan: cover them in borax and then decapitate them and get rid of the head. It’s not very clean, but it does seem to get the job done. Lord knows they’ve had to take out monsters by more complicated means over the years.
Bobby relays this info to Dean who has now employed the sheriff to help him fight the Leviathan. Dean is able to make short work of Leviathan Sam, but he doesn’t get to Leviathan Dean until after he’s had his fun with Sam…and told him Dean’s dark secret: that he killed Amy. This bit of information shakes Sam to his core. Dean takes himself out in a very strangely cathartic decapitation. It’s hardly surprising that the two of them are riddled with issues.
Luckily, we don’t have to deal with Sam quietly brooding for very long. By the end of the episode, he confronts Dean with what he has learned. He is so angry that he picks up and leaves. I kind of threw my hands up a little at this. We’re having to deal with the two of them separating again? This seems to happen nearly every season, and I have to say the motivation for this one is a bit tame compared to previous seasons. What makes this one different, however, is that this time Dean lets Sam go without a fight. Hopefully it will resolve itself with the same rapidity of all the other frustrating roadblocks so far this season.
The sheriff, agreeing to make it sound like the dead Leviathan versions of Sam and Dean are the real Sam and Dean, conjures up a story for the two FBI agents. After they leave, he and his daughter, who is also the town coroner (it’s a small town), begin examining the bodies. But Agent Valenti comes back and reveals himself to be a Leviathan as well, killing both of them and having to relay the bad news to his boss. At last, we meet the head of the Leviathan. He is a man of some power named Richard Roman. After a rather threatening admonition at Valenti’s failure, Roman meets up with Crowley. Crowley wants to make a deal with him and work together. Roman hears him out, but then turns the tables by flatly rejecting his offer and showing his complete disdain for all demons. Crowley can sense that he’s out of his depth and leaves.
For all the strides that this episode made in the arc for this season, I did feel that it got a little too light-hearted, considering the intense and dark subject matter. There were a few too many little distractions with Dean silently singing along to Air Supply and then jovially chastising Bobby for having a girl over. The Leviathan versions of Sam and Dean were pretty fun, though. They were a bit like seeing how Sam and Dean might have been had they turned to the dark side. There is the same level of playful bickering, but with a much darker and sadistic tone. I did find the reveal that the two FBI agents were Leviathan to be a bit strange. If they were on the same team as the Sam and Dean doubles, then why were they so hell bent on tracking them down? It wasn’t just a show for the local police, because they had conversations about finding them between themselves and out of earshot of anybody else. The reveal felt almost tacked on in the end as a way to introduce Roman to the audience. I am intrigued by Roman’s utter snubbing of Crowley and what that might mean for Sam and Dean. There is also the sense that there is something even bigger pulling Roman’s strings. I guess time will tell where this takes us, but I’m game to find out.
If you missed last week’s episode be sure to read our ‘Supernatural: Shut Up Doctor Phil’ recap to catch up.