Thursday, October 11, 2007

Supernatural—The Kids are Alright

After an arguably weak debut, Supernatural comes back this week with all cylinders firing in an episode that's laugh-out-loud funny and keep the lights on all night horrifying at the same time.

We open with the grossest thing I've seen on Supernatural since the whole arm in the disposal thing back in Season One ("Home"). Cause seriously. Ewwww. I knew there was a reason I never use power tools.

Anyway, creepy little kid + power saw = dead dad, which also = case for our boys to pursue. Dean, though, has an ulterior motive for going to Cicero, Indiana. Apparently he had a really inspiring encounter with a yoga teacher there eight years ago. Hey, Dean, hon. I do yoga. Seriously. And I'm sure my kids could use an exorcism. I mean, don't all teenagers? Upon dropping by to visit Lisa, the very bendy ex-flame, Dean discovers she has a cocky little AC/DC loving skirt-chasing son who's -- you guessed it -- just about eight years old. Also, the freaky girl from the teaser is at the party, and her mom's concerned there's something very wrong with her. I think she's right. Little Katie has got an extremely high creep factor going on there.

Elsewhere, Sam is approached at the diner by Blonde Girl With Cool Knife, from last week. Apparently she's still stalking him. And stealing his food. She's got an attitude. She likes him because he's tall and might be the Antichrist. As good a reason as any to stalk a hot guy, I suppose. Sam seems to have lost his psychic ability. And Blonde Chick knows something about Mary Winchester that we don't know and neither do our boys. Interesting. What kind of pals did Mary have, anyway?

Lisa's neighborhood in Cicero has been plagued by freak accidents, aside from the gross power saw thing, all witnessed only by children just as creepy-weird as Katie. Many of the children appear to be possessed by... something, their true natures only showing in mirrors. Turns out they're Changelings, and there was one in each house where a death occurred. They're feeding on the moms, and the Winchester boys have to figure out how to get rid of them and also save the real children. And now Ben seems to have been swapped, as well, leaving Dean to work out how to rescue the child he seems convinced is his own son, even though Lisa's told him he's not the father.

I don't even know where to start with this episode. Everything was just damn near pitch-perfect, from the humor to the horror. The isolation of Katie's mother, driving her to unthinkable actions to escape what she knows is a threat. Dean's yearning for a normal life, embodied in a ready-made family, and his endearing if ephemeral relationship with Ben. And Jensen Ackles... Wow. The last scene between Dean and Lisa was beautifully played.

And then we have the coda with Sam and Ruby. Ruby the -- holy crap I didn't see that one coming -- DEMON GIRL!! A demon who wants to help Sam find out the truth about himself, and with all of Mary Winchester's friends systematically slaughtered, that truth seems to be no small thing. And on top of it all, Ruby can help Dean. Yes, I made flaily hands at the TV. I'm even more excited about this season now than I was last week. Maybe even more excited than I was after last season's premiere, and I didn't think that was possible.