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Supernatural – How to Win Friends and Influence Monsters

After weeks of supporting Supernatural in the hopes that something big was coming in season seven’s future, I all but gave up on the show last week. Perhaps more so than in any other season, the show had lacked what one might call a cohesive narrative, substituting logical (or even illogical) storytelling for weekly standalone outings that, while vaguely entertaining, mattered not one bit to the show on a more grand scale. With just a couple of episodes left until the mid-season break, it is pretty much do-or-die for Supernatural at this point and I’m happy to report, that for at least this week, they did

For those of you that haven’t seen the episode, I wouldn’t go getting your hopes up just yet. While “How to Win Friends and Influence Monsters” was an improvement upon the show in recent weeks, it still didn’t live up to what I’ve come to expect of it over its run. Unsurprisingly to really anyone capable of cognition, the reason that the episode was better was because it wasn’t a standalone. Whilst there have been passing references to the Leviathan throughout the season, fewer episodes have focussed on them than not, and Friday’s outing used that deficit to full effect, making us think that the episode wasn’t about what it was clearly all about. 

We picked up with our hunting trio hitting New Jersey after a series of strange deaths in the Pine Barrens. Their arrival was just another in a series of moves to avoid being tracked by the Leviathan. The hunt itself had all the markers of a regularly formatted escapade as well as a semi-season one vibe when the group hit the woods to track whatever was responsible for the bizarre deaths. Wrapping up in around fifteen minutes, the hunt that initially seemed significant to the episode went straight out of mind after the discovery that extremely tasty yet vomit inducing (watch it, you’ll see what I’m talking about) poultry was to blame. 

With humans turning into as-of-yet unnamed monsters due to a disgusting component of fast food chain burgers, the investigation followed the supply right back to none other than the Leviathan. The back half of the episode then took place at the distributor and used Sam, Dean and Bobby’s eavesdropping as an opportunity to fill us in as an audience as well. Leviathan leader Dick Roman had only made a passing appearance up until this point, so his character was pretty much a mystery before, but his appearance confirmed that as well as being resourceful, the Leviathan aren’t at all stupid. 

Unlike the demons and angels that have come before them, above all else the Leviathan are trying to go unnoticed. More than simply attempting to integrate into society, they’re taking it over without so much as a newspaper article. Dick isn’t simply the leader of the Leviathan, but the man that he has taken the place of is a multi-billionaire philanthropist who is ascending to not only the top of global business, but also towards the U.S Presidency. While their endgame is currently unclear, world domination is not only looking like a realistic option, but a likely one. It is because of the silent nature of the takeover that any of this episode really exists at all.

The episode was obviously written to bring the Leviathan back into the spotlight and push the story somewhere that people might want to continue watching, but that could have been approached in several ways. This particular one was undoubtedly used for two reasons: one, the shocking end to the episode and two, something called “bibbing”. It's probably not clear from what I’ve written that the unnamed monsters created by the nasty burgers were not the intention of the Leviathan, but instead an accidental by-product of devising a method to make humans universally complacent about their own existence. As punishment for the by-product breaking the veil of silence, the monster in charge was sentenced to eating himself to death (that is, eating his own body, not eating lots of things until he died), or bibbing.

The shocking end that I mentioned really was the only other thing worth noting, as the episode rounded out with some consequences for once. After the surveillance mission went sideways and Bobby found himself face-to-face with Dick, Sam and Dean staged a successful rescue mission, that is, up until the point that Bobby was shot. Whilst one might take away that Bobby had died from the fade-to-black ending, the promo for next week confirmed that he isn’t dead just yet, although as much as I hate to say it, he probably shouldn’t live through this. Castiel’s departure in the season premiere was supposed to be full of impact, but lacked any kind of emotional punch as we know he’s coming back, but Bobby’s actual death could be just the kind of thing that the show needs right now. 



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