Thursday, January 25, 2007


Whatever they're paying Ben Edlund, they should give him more. Every time his name pops up under "written by," we get an episode that pushes the show to new levels. It was true on Angel, as well. I mean, dude, the guy turned Angel into a puppet. Tonight, he turned Sam into a badass and Dean into Tommy Shaw. Rock on!

"Nightshifter" is essentially a followup to "Skin," from last season. To make the obligatory X-Files reference, it's the "Tooms" to "Skin's" "Squeeze," as it were. I liked that they did this kind of follow-up episode on The X-Files, and it worked equally well here. When Dean was declared dead in "Skin," we knew--or rather hoped, at that point--that there'd be consequences, that the event wouldn't just be ignored. And it hasn't been, much to the credit of Supernatural's showrunners. They addressed the storyline in "The Usual Suspects," tangentially, and here they've faced it head-on.

Investigating an odd series of robberies, Sam and Dean come upon Ronald Resnick (Chris Gauthier, Eureka), a slightly off-kilter UFO conspiracist type who's convinced the robberies were committed by a robot shapeshifter. He's got it half right--it is, indeed, a shapeshifter, of the same sort that the Winchesters faced in St. Louis in "Skin." Knowing the shifters like to live in the sewers, they work out where the next robbery is likely to occur. They find the shifter, but unfortunately their plans to deal with it are derailed when Ronald appears, taking everyone in the bank "hostage" for their own protection so he can conquer the mandroid.

What follows is a twisty turny plot that gets our boys deeper and deeper into trouble, as not only the local police but the FBI get involved. And the FBI agent has a special interest in Dean. ("Yes, I know about Sam, too, Bonnie to your Clyde." And yeah, that part's true, but don't be badmouthing Dean's dad cause you don't know crap about his dad.) The second act break is killer, and I have to say I didn't see it coming. Sam goes as badass as we've ever seen him, and damn if that Jared Padalecki isn't starting to look hot to me...

In the end, of course, our boys take out the bad guy, and slip away from the Feds to some of the very best use of music in a TV show I've ever seen. This show is known for that, but this was extra good. The song, by the way, was Renegade, by Styx, a tune which brings back a few rather uncomfortable high school memories, but still rocks.

So kudos to Ben Edlund for yet another stellar piece of TV writing. Maybe later he can turn Dean into a puppet? Cause that'd be cool.

Also for today's post, I hunted down links to a couple of the source books mentioned in the If Magazine interview with Eric Kripke and Robert Singer. They look interesting, to say the least. I might have to snag them, myself...