Supernatural “The One You’ve Been Waiting For” Review (Season 12, Episode 5)

One of the many things I’ve always liked about Supernatural is their willingness to tackle uncomfortable issues and to play with form. That willingness to step outside the box means we get powerful episodes like season one’s ‘Faith’ or season two’s ‘Houses of the Holy’ both of which asked difficult questions about the nature of belief, prayer, and God’s involvement in our lives. Those episodes asked some tough questions and left the audience to search themselves for the answers. On the other end of the spectrum, the show makes fun of itself and other tv shows with episodes like season three’s ‘Ghostfacers,’ season five’s ‘Changing Channels,’ and of course season six’s ‘The French Mistake.’ Just to name a few. Sometimes these deviations from the standard format or the unsettling, unanswered questions they leave at the end work well. But sometimes, as is always the case with any episode, it just doesn’t work for some people. Unfortunately, I fall into the latter category with this episode.

I wanted to like this episode. I really did, and the last time Supernatural tackled Nazis back in season eight’s ‘Everybody Hates Hitler,’ they did a good job. I liked the introduction of the Thule Society and their nemesis the Judah Initiative. However, what I enjoyed most about that episode was the characters. Aaron Bass and his golem were interesting, fun, and memorable characters. It was nice to check in with Aaron and find out he is actually taking his job as the last of the Judah Initiative very seriously. However, I cannot say the same about the characters we met this go around. Ellie Grant was shallow and whiny to say the least. I guess it was supposed to be endearing, but it actually just came across as annoying. Perhaps I could’ve moved past that if Ellie also hadn’t been quite so by-the-numbers damsel in distress. All the way down to running away from the the guys who literally just saved her life (even though she knew there dangerous people chasing her) and right into the clutches of the dangerous people chasing her. The fact that Ellie ultimately created the opening the Winchesters needed to take out Hitler and the rest of the the Thule Society’s upper leadership didn’t really make up for the fact that she was such a forgettable character. The same is true of the Thule commandant’s son. He was a bratty kid with daddy issues. Here’s the problem with that: Nobody does daddy issues the way Dean Winchester does daddy issues, so why even try it? And let’s be honest, it wasn’t even surprising when dear old dad sent Bratty McBratterson off to be murdered by one of the Thule grunts. Nor was it surprising when he flipped on the Thule and told Sam and Dean where the bad guys were keeping Ellie. Everything was pretty much by the numbers. Except Hitler. Which probably actually should’ve been more by the numbers. I didn’t expect the show to go the over-the-top, jokey direction they went with that character and it didn’t really work. Thankfully, he was only in the episode for a minute, but it was kind of a waste.

There were a few things I liked about the episode. Sam knows that Dean is still not really dealing well with Mary’s choice to leave, and he was trying to get Dean to open up to him. He didn’t seem all that surprised that Dean refused to talk about it, but he did at least let Dean know he was there. Dean poking fun at Sam for knowing about Harry Potter and horcruxes was another nice brother moment. Those easy broments were nice reminders that Sam and Dean’s relationship is on much more solid ground than it’s been on for years. Thank goodness. Dean pouting about not being allowed to use the grenade launcher was just priceless. As was Dean’s pride and glee over having killed Hitler. Sam was absolutely right that that’s not the last we’ve heard from Dean about that. Nina Lopez-Corrado also did a fine job directing the episode. I especially enjoyed the efficient and sharp filming of the first fight scene between the Winchesters and the Thule. She also did a solid job of keeping the story moving while not sacrificing the story, such as it was. Ms. Lopez-Corrado has now directed two episodes of Supernatural, and I’ve been impressed with her work both times. I vote we keep her around.

I really wish I had more to say about this episode, but sadly I don’t. It was a mostly forgettable episode and mostly forgettable characters. We didn’t really learn anything new about Sam or Dean, and this MOTW didn’t even really have anything to do with what’s going on in Sam and Dean’s life. I suppose you could argue that Ellie’s habit of running away from her problems instead of facing them parallels Dean running away from his feelings about Mary’s departure, but that’s a tangential connection at best. Furthermore, the episode didn’t really require the characters to question themselves or confront their issues. You could argue that Ellie was forced to re-evaluate her entire life after finding out the truth about her heritage and the things that go bump in the night. But in order for Ellie’s personal journey to carry any weight, it would require that I care about Ellie and I just don’t. Also, there was no movement on the BMoL front, which is odd. The BMoL felt the need to follow behind Sam and Dean on a case of religious fanaticism and psychic abilities gone wild, but they were completely MIA during the resurrection of Hitler? Seriously? Seems fishy to me. Bottom line is that this was a filler episode. Last season wasn’t my favorite, but I did enjoy most of the MOTW episodes. Even though they were mostly filler, they never really felt that way. The same cannot be said for this episode. Like I said earlier, not every episode works for everyone and unfortunately this really wasn’t the one I’ve been waiting for. So what did y’all think of last week’s Supernatural?