Supernatural “The Chitters” Review (Season 11, Episode 19)

One of the many elements I’ve enjoyed about Supernatural this season is that we’ve explored creatures we haven’t dealt with previously. Oh, there’s still the standard stuff like demons and angry ghosts, but we’ve also gotten ghoulpires, banshees, and now horny cicada monsters. I appreciate the show’s desire to keep things fresh on the monster front, as it were. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn’t. The horny cicada monsters didn’t really work for me, but the character aspect of the story did.

There are some who have criticized Supernatural for lack of diverse representation on the show. There are certainly arguments to be made for lack of racial and ethnic diversity and body type diversity on the show, but that’s a systematic problem on almost all of The CW’s shows. That being said, Supernatural hit a couple of those marks in this episode. While Sam and Dean were working the horny cicada monster case, they ran into two hunters named Jesse and Cesar who were partners in every sense of the word. What I liked the most about Jesse and Cesar being gay (besides Cesar’s accent and dimples) is how completely unimportant it was to the overall plot. It wasn’t something repeatedly tossed into the audience’s face just so the show could pat itself on the back with how inclusive and forward-thinking it is. Jesse and Cesar being gay played 2nd fiddle to Jesse’s need for revenge and absolution about what happened to his brother. Quite frankly, that’s the best form of representation anyone could ask for. I was pleased that the show took that approach, and I also appreciated the fact that Jesse and Cesar were interesting characters even if their sexuality wasn’t a part of the mix.

Jesse wasn’t any different than most of the other hunters we’ve met over the course of the show. With only a handful of exceptions, most hunters got into it because they witnessed one of the creepy crawlies kill someone they loved. That’s exactly what happened to Jesse. He saw his brother Matt taken by one of the horny cicada monsters, but no one believed him when he told them what happened. Add to that the fact that Jesse was a young, gay kid at a time when it was not generally acceptable to be gay, and the monster took the only person who understood and loved Jesse unconditionally. That’s a recipe for a hunter if I ever heard one. Just as was the case with the Winchesters, Jesse spent the rest of his life hunting down the thing that destroyed his family. However, unlike the Winchesters, Jesse had someone with him who encouraged him to get his revenge so he could move on but also showed him that there’s a life beyond hunting. Enter Cesar.

I really like Cesar. He has a calm, strong demeanor that seems to carry a great deal of wisdom. They didn’t give us too much background on Cesar, but I got the sense that he became a hunter not necessarily because of anything that happened to him but because it is what Jesse needed. He kept Jesse balanced. There was clearly a lot of stubbornness and obsession on Jesse’s part which was reminiscent of John Winchester, but unlike John, Jesse had Cesar there to keep things in perspective for him. Cesar seemed to understand that getting revenge never really made it better for anyone, but because Jesse needed the closure and absolution he believed revenge would bring, Cesar stood strong beside him. Beyond that, and possibly more important, Cesar also provided Jesse with a reason and means for a life outside of hunting. One of the reasons neither Sam nor Dean will ever be able to walk away from hunting is that they have no purpose or real experience outside of hunting. Some of that is due to everything they’ve been through over the last decade or so, but most of it is due to the fact that John started them in hunting so young that there was never a possibility for them to do anything else. That’s not an indictment against John, it just is what it is. Even Sam’s time at Stanford wasn’t the “normal” Sam so desperately sought. That doesn’t seem to be the case with Jesse and Cesar. Based on some of the throwaway lines in this episode, Cesar and Jesse had jobs that didn’t involve hunting; a home somewhere in New Mexico; and apparently Jesse is a trained EMT. I don’t know that Jesse and Cesar are actually going to get the happy ending it appears they’re headed for, but I sincerely hope they do.

Jesse’s relationship with his brother and his relationship with Cesar drew some parallels to the Winchester saga. If you can’t recognize how completely Sam and Dean love each other, then I don’t know what show you’ve been watching. They have almost ended the world for each other for crying out loud. In this episode, Matt was saving money to take Jesse and move to California so Jesse could live his life out, proud, and on his own terms. It would’ve been hard work and sacrifice for Matt, but if it meant that his little brother could be happy, then it was worth it to him. That kind of love and sacrifice is something we’ve seen from Dean toward Sam on many occasions. Jesse’s admiration toward, unwavering faith in, and love for his brother and the consuming anger his death caused is something we’ve seen from Sam toward Dean numerous times as well. Basically, Sam and Dean both saw some of themselves in Jesse and Cesar which is why they didn’t ask them to stay. I actually thought it was telling that one of the first questions Dean asked Cesar when he found out that Jesse and Cesar are together was how it was to settle down with a hunter. This isn’t the first time he’s brought it up this season either. Cesar’s response kind of gave Dean a little something to think about though. There’s clearly a part of Dean that is never going to stop wanting the apple pie life. Even if he can’t or won’t admit it to himself. He knows that he will never be able to settle down with a civilian, but it seems like he’s been thinking to himself that it could be different with a hunter. Maybe it could be, but I just don’t think the universe works that way if your name is Winchester.

Like I said earlier, the monster element didn’t really work for me, but there was some good character stuff here. I am desperate for Supernatural to repopulate the Winchesters’ world because we get to learn more about Sam and Dean and explore different facets of their personalities through their interactions with other characters. Thankfully, neither Jesse nor Cesar are dead, so maybe we’ll run into them again somewhere down the line. Other than that, there’s not much more to say about this episode. The preview for next week’s episode looks like it’s going to be a wild and emotional ride, and I can’t wait for it. So what did y’all think of this week’s Supernatural?