Supernatural 7.18 Review: "Party On, Garth"

By John Keegan

supernatural_iconComing on the heels of the emotionally charged previous episode, it’s perhaps understandable that the writers would want to follow it up with something a little more light-hearted. They do eventually manage to give the episode far more heft with its final moments (even if they telegraphed the reveal to the hilt), but the core of the episode is a mixture of terror and outright hilarity.
This episode felt like it was designed as the perfect companion to a “Supernatural” drinking game. The usual rules go like this: when a character drinks, you drink. Most episodes would be enough to flirt with severe hangover potential, but this one would have led to alcohol poisoning. Was there ever a creature better designed for the Brothers Winchester to take down? On the other hand, when it requires professional alcoholics like Dean to be plastered, skills become secondary to walking in a straight line.

This is also the return of Garth, who is funny enough, but comes across as one of those guest characters that the writers fall in love with, but perhaps don’t quite endear themselves to the audience to the same degree. Garth had his moments, and of course, anyone with that kind of body type is probably going to get blinkered after a single beer. (Oh, and given how snooty the whole micro-brewery community has become, it was hilarious to see Dean’s reaction to Headspinner, both before and after taste-testing!)

Supernatural-Party-On-Garth-Guest-star-DJ-Qualls-Season-7-Episode-18--550x366It would have been easy to make the “alcohol spirit” a bit tame, but the scenario was actually pretty nasty. It may have let Garth indulge in one of the weirdest uses of a sock puppet in recent memory, but how disturbing was it to have that little girl watch a stunt double from “The Ring” tear a hole in her own mother?

But let’s face it: most of the discussion right now among fans is centered on the return of Bobby. I’m at a loss as to why this is so momentous, other than the fact that it verifies what the writers have been beating us over the head with since Bobby died. In fact, I know more “Supernatural” fans who were hoping the writers were playing it up so that the reveal that Bobby was gone would be that much more final.

That said, I can’t fault them for the way they handled it in the episode. They went as far as possible without showing Bobby, had him come back, and then set the stage for Dean to see him right at the end. And then they revealed that Bobby still couldn’t be seen. Not that this is shocking, since he’s been around all this time without being detected, but it does present a problem for Bobby to overcome, as he tries to help the Winchesters through the final leg of the season.

John Keegan is Editor-in-Chief for Critical Myth, a partner site of SciFi Vision.

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