Supernatural, "Defending Your Life": another slow day at the office

Quick Take: Supernatural, "Defending Your Life"
“This guy hones in on people who feel guilty. Who does that sound like to you?” - Bobby

defending your life

Review: Supernatural, "Defending Your Life"
(S0704) The return of Alona Tal as a ghostly Jo Harvelle and a guest appearance by Star Trek X’s Faran Tahir as the Egyptian god Osiris should have made for good times on Supernatural this week.  Unfortunately, everything else conspired against our anticipated guest stars to produce yet another week of rehashed storylines and things that make me want to pelt the TV with pita chips.

Sam and Dean investigate a series of weird deaths: a man is mauled by a dog that only he could see, a guy is crushed by a car…on the tenth floor of his apartment building. Sam’s research reveals that the deaths are apparently some sort of poetic justice. The ghost dog’s victim once ran a dog fighting ring. The car kills a man who backed into a ten-year-old girl while he was drunk.

For someone who, just last week, was so gung-ho about indiscriminately ganking monsters regardless of their motivation to murder, Dean is quick to decree that he can’t argue with this ghost’s victim selection process. He decides to opt out of the rest of this hunt.

Because that makes sense.

Sam goes back to researching on his own because even though he’s still hallucinating like it’s the electric kool-aid acid test, he’s fine. Really. Fine.

Dean retreats to the local watering hole, downs an impressive amount of scotch, and pours his heart out to the hot bartender of the week. Unbeknownst to him, Osiris is nursing a beer on the next stool over and no one but Dean is surprised when he wakes up in the god’s courtroom.

Sam finally puts his dormant pre-law skills to use, but Dean is ultimately found guilty anyway. It wasn’t Osiris whom Sam had to convince of Dean’s innocence, it was Dean. Sam is apparently the only one who is shocked by the verdict. The blatant ignorance that the brothers constantly wallow in when it comes to one another would be amusing if it wasn’t so infuriating.

So Dean is sentenced to death, but Bobby throws the boys a method to defeat Osiris five minutes later, so aside from the touching scenes between Jo’s ghost and Dean, it’s really not that important or exciting. We end on a cringe-worthy chick-flick moment (and it kills me to say that because I love the chick-flick moments) on the side of the road where Dean asks Sam why Osiris didn’t go after him. Sam should have just as much guilt as Dean, right?

Sam states that he used to feel guilty, but his time in Hell made him come to terms with his life. He did some bad things, and he did his time for them.

Wow. I’m glad we just reduced Sam’s Great Sacrifice to an hour in the time-out corner. I guess that mean's Dean's own time in the pit was, what, a slap on the wrist?

Next week’s episode, guest starring half the cast of Buffy, looks ridiculous-in-a-bad-way. Can we please stop wasting my time with the fluff and go back to the actual storyline? Thanks.

Other observations:

  • It was actually nice to see Sam addressing Dean’s raging alcoholism. The little digs at his drinking, the disapproving looks…it’s about time. Now, if Sam would only do something about it, I’m sure Dean’s liver would appreciate it. I’m pretty sure we haven’t seen Dean sober since Season 4.
  • Jared Padalecki’s hair is looking particularly fabulous these days.
  • Alona Tal was a total pleasure to watch as she resumed the role of Jo Harvelle, particularly in the scenes where she is tasked with being Dean’s reluctant executioner. The scene where Dean finishes laying the salt lines and addresses the empty room with “You can come out now,” only to have Jo appear behind him, was chilling.
  • By MaryAnn Sleasman

    About the author

    MaryAnn was raised by television because her parents were too cheap to get a babysitter. Some people have fond memories of summer camp, she has Salute Your Shorts rerunsStalk her on Twitter at @radium_girl.

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    On: Monday, October 17, 2011
    Eric - TV Geek Army "Revered Leader" said:

    Well, at least they rehashed the title of the great Albert Brooks' flick for the episode title :-) 

    On: Tuesday, October 18, 2011
    ANN T W said:

    the show was un expected episode introducing a not too familiar God to the world where people who love mythology but have no idea that Egyption mythology does exist as well.       No one could have played Egyptian god Osiris better then Faran Tahir who is an incredible verstail actor


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