Supernatural S9 Ep08 – Rock and a Hard Place

I’ve never hidden my boredom with most Monster of the Week episodes. Too often they feel like filler, even though some of them are actually my favorites of the whole series, making these types hit or miss for the most part. So I was surprised that this episode was actually pretty fun. Not perfect, but it felt well balanced, and it even managed to weave in the bigger myth arc of Sam being possessed by Zeke rather well. This isn’t going into my top favorites, but this wasn’t bad.

Jody MillsFirst of all, I’m glad that Jody Mills is back. This show can create some kick ass female characters, but then it has the unfortunate habit of wasting them or, you know, wasting them, like poor Ellen and Jo. And Bella. And—well, you get the idea. So the fact that Jody is still alive is a gold star for the writers. And she didn’t just sit back and let the boys do the heavy lifting here. Jody saved the day, even with a stab wound slowing her down. She was awesome, and the reveal that she’s sought out religion after all the crazy crap that’s happened to her makes sense. In fact, it’s quite the coincidence that after finding religion, Jody had to fight a god. Must have made things a bit awkward at her next church meeting.

The pagan goddess reveal was something I wasn’t expecting—I really thought they were going to bring back dragons. The pagan god episodes are usually some of my least favorite—excepting the Trickster of course (but seeing as how he turned out to be an angel, I’m not sure it counts). The portrayal of the gods always turns out disappointing (like what they did to Zeus and Artemis). But Vesta here didn’t bother me too much, and the fun factoid about burying virgins who broke their vow is actually true, so I appreciated that someone did their research before Supernatural-ifying the myth. I’d like to know where the pagan gods come from in this fictional universe. They’re all so bloodthirsty, like they’re members of the same species or something. I wish that would be explored more, but I doubt it will be.

Supernatural, s9 ep08--Dean making a face at Sam

I also enjoyed Dean making this face.

A lot of what made this episode funny was Dean and Sam becoming (very briefly) born-again virgins. Dean hasn’t seen action (the sexy kind, that is) in a long time, so him hooking up with an ex-porn star harkened back to the days when he enjoyed casual sex like he enjoys his pie: all the freaking time. The scene where he admitted that he knew who she was made me cringe and filled me with secondhand embarrassment (not to mention the fetishizing of Mexican culture and casting a blonde white woman in what was probably intended as a Hispanic role), but I also enjoyed seeing the old Dean again, the Dean that happily pursued sex for enjoyment rather than something to find solace in. The scene was predictable, and a little painful, but how often do we get to see Dean look happy these days? Exactly. So that was a good moment for me because he actually smiled.

But the biggest revelation of the episode involved Sam and his angel pacemaker. We started out with him saying that it feels like his batteries are drained, and ended with Vesta telling him that he’s practically dead inside (and that speech reminded me too much of the goddess of truth revealing the fact that Sam could lie to her, and therefore had no soul). But isn’t Zeke supposed to be healing him? Sure, he’s had to bring plenty of people back to life, but Zeke should have made some progress, right? Especially considering how Sam was saying earlier this season that he felt good, and now he’s showing signs of fatigue. Kind of like Zeke isn’t bothering to heal Sam at all, just himself. Even Sam is figuring out something is wrong after fifty billion times of being knocked out only to wake up to Dean having mysteriously bested every demon around or brought someone else back from the dead. The worst part was that Dean was actually going to tell him, but then Zeke butted in. Zeke is not a trustworthy angel, something we’ve all been prepared to face from the start, because what new character on this show is ever trustworthy? But I had hoped that, for once, maybe he would turn out to be good. Now that’s looking less and less likely.

So, not a terrible episode. A fun little filler romp, with Jody Mills being awesome and amazing. Really, Jody is mostly what made this episode work for me. It probably helped that I didn’t have high hopes for this one, so it not outright sucking made it look great in comparison to what I had feared. Not a ringing endorsement, I know, but it’s all you’re getting.

Next week, I think we finally find out just whose side Zeke is on. And if Sam doesn’t find out, I will scream. Also, Cas is back!

Supernatural, s9 ep09--Sam, Cas, and Dean in suits sitting at a table

 

 

You can watch “Rock and a Hard Place” on Amazon Instant Video.