Last night on Supernatural, nerd sexpot Garth returned, bringing the Winchesters a pretty cool monster of the week. This monster also inadvertently sheds some light on what may have happened to Bobby — and whether the brothers will ever see their crotchety old father figure ever again.
Plus, we got to see Dean snarking about "douchebag microbrews" of the midwest. You know, the kind preferred by cerulean collar workers.
Spoilers ahead, my angels.
Here's what makes for a solid monster of the week, done Supernatural style. It must have an interesting mythological background, a gross or slightly trashy M.O., and be connected to some kind of basic human conflict. This week's monster had it all.
We begin with a bunch of teenagers drunk in the woods
With Joss Whedon's Cabin in the Woods hitting theaters in two weeks, I am totally high on all meta-horror jokes about teens getting drunk in the woods as the opening act of a monster/murderer rampage. And indeed, last night's episode "Party On, Garth," totally delivered both the horror and the meta. After one teen tells his pals a ghost story about a woman who supposedly haunts the woods, the teen's brother shows up completely drunk. And drunk guy keeps hearing weird noises, then runs away — only to issue a blood curdling scream. When his brother finds him seconds later, he discovers a corpse with its guts ripped out.
Supermodel nerd Garth rolls into town, finds out about the ghost in the woods, and "does a Garth" on her bones. Except the kid whose brother died also winds up dead the following day. With guts hanging out. And that's when Garth calls our boys.
Thighslappers with Garth
Turns out our dead brothers were the sons of a guy who owns one of those microbreweries that makes beers with names like Thighslapper. And shortly after they put those dots together, another one of the Thighslapper brewers' kids is killed — only this time, there's a witness. The woman has made herself a stiff screwdriver and her young daughter a regular glass of orange juice. When the little girl accidentally swigs a big gulp of the screwdriver, she gets pretty drunk, and then sees her mother killed by a Japanese-style creepy hair ghost.
And the only way they get this information is because Garth talks to the girl using a weird sock puppet. Even though Dean keeps wincing and telling Garth to put the sock away, it turns out Mr. Frizzle is the best way to interrogate scared, drunken little girls. Now they have enough evidence to deduce that their ghost can only been seen by people who are drunk.
A taste of another story
One of the fun parts of this episode was that the more the brothers and Garth find out about the ghost situation, the more we get the sense that there is an amazing soap opera about a midwestern microbrewery empire that's going on offscreen. Turns out that Thighslapper was owned by three guys, but one killed himself when he realized the other two were going to sell out his "baby" to a major brewer. (Beer sellouts! The worst!) The ghost killings started after his suicide — and it seems the targets are all children of the other brewer.
It seems that the last thing the other two brewers received from their partner before his death was a bottle of sake in a very beautiful box. Uh oh. The Winchesters translate the writing on the box with the help of a random guy who works at a local Japanese restaurant (I kept wishing he'd been played with "I am the token Asian guy" sarcasm by Ken Leung). Yep, the box actually says that the sake bottle contains an alcohol spirit. The kind of alcohol spirit whose wrath can be directed by vengeful people.
So we've got our motive, and we've got our weapon. But who will the next vic be? Garth explains it all to you. The brewer has an illegitimate son who works as a janitor at the brewery, and the ghost is stalking him. Unfortunately, there is going to have to be some drunkenness to fight this ghost — and she can only be destroyed by a one of those Knife Show samurai swords blessed with bottled water. Luckily, the midwest is full of Knife Show samurai swords.
And, apparently, the midwest is also full of beer kingdoms whose lords spawn bastards and drunks, as well as feuds so bitter they generate creepy hair ghosts. Basically, it's Game of Microbrewery Thrones.
In case you were wondering, yes, Dean can still get drunk
So how will Dean be able to see the ghost if he drinks so much that he can barely feel half a bottle of scotch go down? The answer, as you can see in this clip, appears to be . . . grappa? At least I think that's what's in the round bottle of clear alcohol he's drinking. At any rate, the Winchesters comb through some security footage at the brewery and discover that the sake ghost got out of her bottle when the first teenager chugged some of the haunted stuff before heading out to find his brother in the woods.
By the end of the episode, she's returned to the brewery to stalk that bastard kid. And there's a fun scene where drunken Sam has to direct non-drunk Dean as he flails his samurai sword around. At one point, the ghost knocks the sword out of his hand — and all seems lost until the sword zooms back across the floor into Dean's hand, just like he was using the power of the Force.
But you and I (and Garth) know it isn't the Force, right? It's Bobby. As Garth wisely points out, there are a ton of EMF readings zinging off Bobby's old flask — the one that Dean carries around. Did Bobby intervene in the fight the way he seems to have intervened in previous situations of late?
And now it's time to process our feelings
And the answer is yes. As the episode comes to a close, and we are still pondering the idea of ghosts you can only see while drunk, the boys discuss whether Bobby has been helping them or not. They agree that despite all the evidence, it's not Bobby. Sam admits that while he was deep in the crazy, he tried everything to talk to Bobby, but got no answer. So Sam and Dean walk out to the car to say goodbye to Garth.
As they leave the hotel, Bobby materializes. He's there, watching over them. Dean runs back into the room to retrieve the flask he's left, and he stares right at Bobby's ghost, unseeing.
"I'm right here, ya idjit! Balls!" Bobby curses. Yep, that's our Bobby. What will the boys have to do in order to see him? I bet we'll find out soon.