Supernatural, Season 9, Episode 15: “#Thinman”
Written by Jenny Klein
Directed by Jeannot Szwarc
Airs Tuesdays at 9pm (ET) on The CW
Over the course of their time fighting supernatural entities, the Winchesters have crossed paths with many individuals, some of them multiple times. Much to the chagrin of the Winchesters, one group they have encountered over and over again are the Ghostfacers, a group of otherworldly activity chasers who have previously shown a somewhat tenuous grasp of the knowledge that the Winchesters are well-versed in. This week’s episode sees Sam and Dean cross paths with the Ghostfacers once again, in an enjoyable episode that draws on the parallels between the group and the brothers.
While the Ghostfacers as a group have been hit or miss in their history on the show, they have always been effective as a mirror image look at the lives of the Winchesters. This trend is evident in this week’s episode as well. The parallels between the creation of a creature by Harry to keep Ed in the fold, and the allowance by Dean for Gadreel to possess Sam are clear, and the deterioration and dissolution of the Ghostfacers relationship offer a look at one possibility for the Winchesters. While the Thin Man incident could be seen as the straw that broke the camel’s back in the case of Ed and Harry, Sam and Dean have a lot more issues of similar proportions between them. The brothers have overcome previous conflicts between each other, either due to necessity as a bigger threat loomed, or due to a realisation that the actions taken were the right ones. While Sam may arrive at the same conclusion this time around once again, his desire to leave the Hunting life behind has been made explicitly clear, and his willingness to die this season to escape indicates a new level of desperation to do so. The permanent fracture between the brothers seems inevitable, if the Ghostfacers this week are any indication, and what ultimately makes the rift permanent between the brothers is something worth looking out for.
This week’s episode also manages to intriguingly show how Bartholomew and his followers have been so successful in recruiting vessels for their cause. The proliferation of forums, social media, and the internet in general has made it easier than ever for ideas to get spread among a large group of people. The rapid ascent in popularity of the Ghostfacers’ Thinman myth helps illustrate that facet this week, and it’s not difficult to see how Bartholomew managed to use similar means to garner vessels following the gates of Heaven being shut. Both instances show how effective the internet can be, as well as how deadly, making it a sneaky new threat the Hunting community may have to look out for in the future. It will be interesting to see if a future foe with a level of enterprise on part with Bartholomew manages to leverage the internet in a way that makes it a formidable weapon for the Winchesters or other Hunters to combat, rather than just a tool. It’s not impossible to imagine someone as clever as Abaddon figuring out an effective way to utilise it, and hopefully this is a potential avenue the writers of the show explore in future seasons.
Overall, this is a fun episode. The presence of recurring characters has always been a compelling aspect of this show, and the same holds true for the Ghostfacers, whose inability to navigate supernatural circumstances and desire for attention above all else provides a good contrast to the Winchesters. While the Ghostfacers have been used as comic relief on the show, their position as individuals who have had a brush with the supernatural but don’t have full knowledge of it is one that can be ascribed to many people, including nearly everyone the Winchesters have saved. The fight amongst the angels, as well as the demons, has the potential of spilling over into the lives of such individuals, and it will be interesting to see how they react if it does. The presence of human foes rather than otherworldly ones has also been a memorable departure from the norm, both in Season 1’s “The Benders” and Season 4’s “Family Matters”, and this week’s episode is no different. With a reconciliation imminent between the brothers, they may have to soon choose whether they go after Abaddon or Metatron and Gadreel, and how they arrive at that decision, as well as the ramifications, promises to be intriguing. As well, how the Winchesters factor into the Angel fight now that Castiel has become a major player, as well as what Crowley and Abaddon have been up to, will be worth watching as the season continues.
– Deepayan Sengupta