FYI, spoilers.  Don’t read if you haven’t seen yet and don’t want to know

Supernatural Official Site 

The Time:
Thursdays, 9:00 PM, The CW

The Show:

and Dean Winchester are two brothers who roam the back roads of America
in a 1967 Chevy Impala hunting evil.  At first they fought all
of the usual: vampires, ghosts, werewolves and the like, but in recent
yeas they’ve found themselves more and more dealing with the literal
forces of Hell as a demon war has been brewing for decades, with their
family caught in the middle.  Sam has been pre-ordained from
birth by a past foe, the yellow-eyed demon, Azazel, to be a pivotal
figure in the war…on the demon side.  Meanwhile, Dean has
recently been resurrected from Hell by angels because they have the Lord’s work
for him to do.

The Stars:

•  Jared Padalecki – Sam Winchester
•  Jensen Ackles – Dean Winchester

The Episode: “Family Remains”

Sam and Dean investigate the bloody murder of a man in Nebraska in his home with all of the doors and windows locked, which to them points to a ghost.  Unfortunately, the new family that’s just bought the home moves in right in the middle of their investigation.  The Winchesters then have to find a way to protect them from the wrathful entity within the house’s walls.

The Lowdown:

It’s been a long 56 days since the last episode was on, way back in 2008.  But damn if wasn’t worth the wait.  Quite simply, this is Supernatural’s “Home” episode.  You know, the disgustingly good episode of X-Files about the f-ed up mutant inbred family.  Well there’s plenty of that going on here.  I’ve said time and time again that Supernatural is the heir apparent to X-Files, and I continue to stand behind that statement.  “Family Remains” is really good, and it’s just continuing a string of excellent episodes this season.  The episode is full of surprises and revelations and while not quite as good as “Home”, is a worthy successor.

The basic story is that some creepy young girl looking like Samara without the bath murders a man in his house in blood splattery effect.  She inhabits the walls of the house, which has just been bought by guest star Helen Slater’s character and her family.  It’s not long before she starts making her presence felt, including playing catch with the son from the closet, being mistaken for the family dog by licking the daughter’s fingers, and then mutilating and eating said family pet (Dean: “Dog, it’s what’s for dinner”).  The episode initially builds up the girl, who is a feral, nutbag homicidal mess (“Psycho Nell” as Dean calls her), as a vengeful spirit, and they do a nice job of casting doubt on that without being too obvious early on when Sam uses the EM and gets inconsistent readings due to power lines.  It’s just subtle enough to make you think without giving away the surprise.

Once they find out that the girl is not only a lifelong shut-in, but an inbred lifelong shut-in who’s been driven insane by years of torture, Dean becomes extremely driven to save the son, whom the girl’s taken.  There’s some nice chills and knife action, including the dispatching of Uncle Ted, which affects Dean anymore.  There’s also a nice surprise about the girl’s family revealed by the son when Dean saves him that only adds to the fun.  There’s also a nice scene with the girl, the kidnapped son and a rat in the basement that you can probably guess as to what happens.

Once again, Dean is in the driver’s seat here, and Sam is relegated much more to the sideline this time out.  Something terrible is driving Dean, even moreso than usual.  That fact is that not only did Dean torture souls in Hell in order to get of the rack of pain himself, but that he enjoyed it, and he’s been running away from that fact.  Just when you think that they could top that scene where Dean tells Sam about his time down under, they throw in this revelation as well.  “Family Remains” is a great stand alone episode that nicely mixes in the chills, piles on the surprises, and harkens back to one of X-Files most iconic episodes without being derivative.  Next week’s episode is “Criss Angel is a Douche Bag,” which I have to see for the title alone.

 9.1 out of 10

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