Supernatural Review, Season 7, Episode 13: “The Slice Girls”
Written by Eugenie Ross-Leming and Brad Buckner
Directed by Jerry Wanek
Airs Fridays at 9pm (ET) on the CW
This week, on Supernatural: Sam and Dean’s new research buddy gets mixed reviews, Dean’s a proud Papa, and Ghost Bobby?
Season seven has seemed to fall into a particular rhythm of late, with mostly light and pleasant episodes (by Supernatural standards, at least) balanced by a few scenes of brooding and angst. This episode is a standalone, though it seems the weekly baby steps towards Dean’s breakdown must eventually lead somewhere, and in general the standalone elements work well. It’s nice to see the guys on a fairly straightforward case. Taking away Bobby as their go-to for Anything Not In John’s Journal allows cases that would have been cakewalks in season five to carry weight and pose legitimate threats.
The Amazons are rather vaguely drawn and feel like somewhat of a wasted opportunity. Sara Canning has great chemistry with Jensen Ackles, but is given very little to do- it’s a shame she won’t be back. Their brief scene in the bar is the most relaxed and happy we’ve seen Dean in a long time, despite the bizarre and jarring choice to continually cut to extreme closeups of both actors’ eyes. Alexia Fast is less compelling as Emma, though the reveal of her true intentions, and Dean’s suspicions, is satisfying. It’s difficult, on occasion, to tell whether Supernatural is going to play into or subvert the CW cliché of the paranormal teen who just wants to be normal.
The other Case of the Week trappings, the brothers in disguise, flashing fake IDs, and interacting with quirky, entertaining bit players, make a welcome return, but the most promising single element of this episode is the introduction of Harry Groener as Prof. Morrison, the local anthropology expert. Groener is always great when he pops up and, while no one’s replacing Bobby any time soon, the guys need allies and any show would benefit from bringing Groener on as a recurring character. As for the ending, Sam’s killing of Emma theoretically correlates to Dean’s killing of Amy, though Jewel Staite’s performance made that betrayal feel much more significant; hopefully this means we’re done with brotherly angst, at least for a while.
Another element making a triumphant return is Supernatural’s trademark gore. After several episodes on the tamer side, “The Slice Girls” earns its title in the opening teaser. It may seem gratuitous to some, but the blood and fairly gruesome crime scenes work well in balancing the tone and giving context to Dean’s gallows humor. Also much appreciated is the use of AC/DC’s “You Shook Me All Night Long”- the score is a bit much this week, pushing a few scenes just over the top (in a bad way), but as ever, the soundtrack remains fun and one of the strengths of the series.
With Bobby’s fate still theoretically up in the air (we never did see the ghostly equivalent of his dead body), the possibility of Ghost Bobby, postured this week by Dean, will likely send Supernatural fans into full speculation mode. When added to the mysteriously disappearing beer from a few episodes back, it would seem something supernatural is going on. Having Dean call it out directly is smart- it’s a logical jump for him to make, not to mention one he desperately wishes were true, and Sam and Dean having the conversation allows for two satisfying possibilities down the line. Either Sam is right and it’s not Bobby (Ghost Cas? Something else?), giving Dean a dramatic beat to play, or Dean is right and we’ll get a nice comic moment of Dean told-ya-so-ing all over the place.
With the Leviathans seemingly here to stay ‘til the end of the season, Supernatural could benefit from a few more standalones like this- light and fun, and perfect opportunities for introducing new potentially recurring characters. With the characters, particularly Dean, on the more morose side of the spectrum, balancing their character moments with some humor, and giving the audience a bleakness break between Bobby’s death and whatever tough times are coming towards the end of the season, seems like a wise move. We’ll see how long the breather lasts.
What did you think of the episode? Who do you think is right, re:Bobby- Sam or Dean? Post your thoughts below!