Supernatural (opens in new tab) Season Eight Episode Eighteen “Freaks And Geeks” TV REVIEW(opens in new tab)
Writer: Adam Glass
Director: John Showalter
THE ONE WHERE The brothers discover a familiar face, Krissy Chambers, has a new adopted family and is spending her evenings hunting vamps.
VERDICT It’s not often that a character returns to Supernatural in quite such tragic circumstances as Krissy Chambers. But the real tragedy of Krissy’s second appearance on the show is all-but swept under the rug: her father, Lee, was killed by a vampire and the brothers were powerless to prevent it. They weren’t even aware it had happened. It’s a timely reminder that the universe doesn’t always revolve around the Winchesters and a deft piece of world-building. In many ways, it’s the most important message to come from this episode, despite being little more than a by-product of the story the show really wants to tell.
Fortunately, the story “Freaks And Geeks” spends the majority of its time focused on is almost as compelling. In a world where monsters under the bed are real, why wouldn’t you raise children to take care of themselves? In a twisted way Victor’s logic sorta makes sense, his methodology, however, is grossly misguided. Supernatural season GR8 has done a superb job (so far) of evoking empathy for its villains, humanising its monsters and Victor is the latest example. His actions are reprehensible, sure, but he’s fighting the exact same battle as the Winchesters. By the end you can’t help but feel a little sorry for him.(opens in new tab)
Krissy and co aren’t hugely likable characters, which is kind of the point (they are teenagers, after all) but it does mean you don’t enjoy their company as much as many other guest stars. Aidan, in particular, is noticeably underdeveloped compared to the other two, his only defining characteristics being “he’s a bit cocky and he fancies Krissy”. Unless I missed it they didn’t even mention his last name. It’s Krissy’s heart-to-hearts with Dean that stand out. She’s more than a match for him, despite the fact he constantly underestimates her because of her age.
The dialogue and direction and performances are solid, though hardly worth shouting about, and it’s infuriatingly obvious from the moment Jimmy Day starts pleading for his life and the camera keeps cutting to Sam and Dean’s PUZZLED FACES that the trio are hunting the wrong vamps, but the positives here far outweigh the negatives.(opens in new tab)
CHORE-DODGERS There’s blood splattered all over the wall after Victor commits suicide, so what do Sam and Dean do? Leg it without helping with any of the cleaning. Typical blokes.
TITLE TATTLE This episode is named after the superb, short-lived Paul Feig/Judd Apatow comedy series about high school outsiders (starring a young James Franco, Seth Rogen and Jason Segel).
FEATURED MUSIC “I’ll Surely Die” by The Rubens is the song playing in the car as Krissy and Aidan make out.
Dean: “Yeah, I never trust a guy who wears a sweater.”
BEHIND THE SCENES Actress Madison McLaughlin (Krissy) has posted a gallery of images (opens in new tab) from her time filming this episode over on Facebook.
SAM’S HANGDOG EXPRESSION OF THE WEEK(opens in new tab)
AMERICAN, 101 In case (like me) you’re not au fait with the finer details of American culture, here’s one of this week’s most baffling references explained:
Dean: “Listen, if you want to take a knee on this one if you're not feeling up to it...”
To “take a knee” is an American football term and means to sit out an event or activity.
TWITTER TRIVIA Here’s a sweet tidbit concerning the names of the teen trio from writer Adam Glass:
BTW, Josephine and Aidan are the name of my two kids. They love the show and are now part of it's mythos. And my cuz Krissy too. Fam affair. March 28, 2013
PREVIOUSLY ON… Actor Adrian Hough (Victor) previously appeared on Supernatural as Dr Hydecker in episode 1.18 “Something Wicked”.
Krissy : “You’re alright for an old guy.”
Dean : “I’m really not that old.”
Krissy : “You keep telling yourself that.”