Supernatural, Ep 8.16: “Remember The Titans” is an interesting idea that leads to a dull episode

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Jensen Ackles, Jared Padalecki, and Anna Van Hooft
Jensen Ackles, Jared Padalecki, and Anna Van Hooft

Supernatural, Season 8, Episode 16: “Remember The Titans”
Written by Daniel Loflin
Directed by Steve Boyum
Airs Wednesdays at 9pm (ET) on CW

One foe that the Winchesters have found themselves tussling with time and time again are pagan Gods. With numerous mythologies spanning several cultures, the unique thing about pagan Gods is that the brothers have yet to find a one-size-fits-all way to kill them, needing to figure out the appropriate tool for every instance. This makes every encounter with a pagan God a distinct appearance, and one that Sam and Dean usually tend to avoid. This episode, however, sees the brothers dive headfirst into a fight with some of the most well-known pagan Gods of all, going up against Greek mythology itself, which results in a workmanlike episode that still manages to be compelling despite feeling a little too paint-by-numbers.

Dean’s prayer to Cas to close out the episode was a refreshing return to character for the elder Winchester following last week’s odd accusations between the two brothers. Bringing back the idea of Dean’s sincere desire to ensure that his younger brother doesn’t get harmed is a good way to call back to the notion that the elder Winchester has always felt himself to be the guardian of Sam, from the early days when John handed an infant Sam to Dean while a fire raged behind him, to Dean’s promise to a dying John that he’d protect his brother from otherworldly forces, the fierce protectiveness that colours every action the Winchester brother takes has always been evident, and to see him call on his closest ally to help in protecting his brother this time was a touching display of vulnerability that further underlines the bond between the two, and is a solid way to affirm Dean’s true motivations following Sam’s accusations last episode.

John Novak, Brooke Langton, Callum Seagram Airlie, and John Reardon
John Novak, Brooke Langton, Callum Seagram Airlie, and John Reardon

It was interesting to see the brothers proactively take on a fight with a powerful pagan deity, and one as well-renowned as Zeus at that. However, despite this, the episode felt a little too dry, in large part because of the Winchesters’ seeming lack of involvement in the overall story. Their contribution to the episode is minimal at best, with them having no real hand in the eventual defeat of Zeus. This means the burden of the dramatic weight falls to Prometheus and, to a lesser extent, Artemis and Hayley. Their personal journeys, however, were somewhat less than compelling, making the final showdown anticlimactic, rather than heroic or gripping. The investment in seeing these characters succeed or fail in their personal mission was notably absent, and with the Winchesters on the sidelines, this leaves the final battle as nothing more than a spectacle, which is a wasted potential, given the basic idea of a showdown between Zeus and Prometheus.

Unfortunately, this episode felt more dull than anything else. The stakes felt too meaningless to register as worth caring about, and neither member of the supporting group this episode felt up to par. Supernatural is a show that has proven itself capable of delivering superb standalone episodes that remain entertaining despite multiple rewatches, having done so as late as this season, which makes this week’s episode look weaker in comparison. However, with the final stretch of the season on its way, how Sam deals with the trials of hell, and how Dean reacts upon learning the truth of the strain of the trails on his brother, as well as what steps Crowley takes to prevent the gates of Hell from slamming shut, are all worth looking out for next episode.

– Deepayan Sengupta

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