At long last, we find out what happens when selfies…KILL! The boys are on the hunt to find out what eerie supernatural photo-bomber is out there slashing throats and end up, to our delight,bumping into some familiar ‘Facers.
1. We Can(‘t) Work It Out
Recently, I learned a new word: mangst. If this word was in the dictionary, it would be accompanied by a picture of the Winchester boys. The opening scene in the HuntCave made it quite clear–Sam and Dean are still caught in a horrific devil’s trap of tension. Dean assumes Sam doesn’t want to work with him, which annoys Sam to no end, which makes Dean feel defensive, which makes Sam snarky, all of which makes Barbara’s torn out hair end up in a pile on the floor. Please, writers. I beg you. We know the Winchesters can’t be the prank playing, “I’m here, Sammy. I’m not leaving you” saying, squishy hug giving brothers of yore right now, but just an FYI? This mangst is exhausting. We need relief. PLEASE.
2. Who Ya Gonna Call?
After their Snide-a-Palooza, the boys head off on the case, investigating the mysterious death of a young girl, Casey Miles, who appears to have been killed by a ghost or spirit. As they talk to her grieving mom, they discover she has already been visited by paranormal investigators. Sort of. Guess who?
That’s right, friends. It’s the Ghost…GhostFACERS! (You remember them, right? They face the ghosts? When the others will not?) Of course, Sam and Dean are not at all amused that Ed Zeddmore and Harry Spangler are on the case. Harry and Ed? Equally unimpressed.
Thus begins a hilarious back and forth verbal cage match, with the Winchesters in one corner and the ‘Facers in the other. Sam and Dean demand they exit stage who-gives-a-crap, and Ed and Harry insist they have every right to be on the job, even if they have to go it alone. (Apparently the rest of the Ghostfacers crew succumbed to the thing that happens to fake paranormal investigators after a while on the job. They got lives.) Dean tries to warn them away from the murderous ghost, but (as Sam would say) get this: apparently the ‘Facers ain’t afraid of no ghost because this case is actually about the “Thinman” (a take off on, of course, Slenderman) and they wrote the book on it. Literally.
In fact, Harry taunts with pride, the Winchesters can “Amazon me, bitches!” To which Dean replies:
AJ Buckley and Travis Wester continue to highly amuse as the Ghostfacers, portraying them as both earnest and idiotic with just enough self-righteousness, and Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki continue to be their perfect comic foil as Dean and Sam, at once non-plussed and disgusted but unable to ignore them completely, much to their annoyance. Thank GOD for the much needed witty repartee in this scene. I almost forgot the Winchester boys were still fighting for a minute. Almost.
3. Don’t You Know…Harry’s in Love
As the ‘Facers investigate, we learn something new about Harry–apparently, in a move more shocking and unrealistic than a ghost murder, Harry had a girlfriend! And it was serious, too. Serious enough that he still stalks her on Facebook, judging her status updates like a junior high girl with a notebook full of bad poetry. Harry, it seems, dumped this girl for the cause, and he wants to solve this case to show her and every other hater with a “normal life” what’s what.
This perturbs Ed whose only desire is that the two of them continue their “work” and be best buddies for life. He wants it to be the two of them against the world, no matter what. He doesn’t really care what happens, as long as he and Harry go through it together. Sound familiar? Feel the pain? It’s a metaphorical anvil, bonking you on the head with a resounding thud.
4. Dueling Laptops
So…is anyone else but me weirded out that Dean seems to love research these days? Watching him whip out a laptop makes me yearn for the days he was eating chili fries on Sam’s bed and calling him a nerd. Anyway, as the boys investigate Thinman, they figure out that he has quite a fan following. There are a ton of photos of Thinman stalking people out on the internet, though, as Sam says, most of them look fake. Casey’s, however, was not. So how can something be real and fake at the same time? Looks like it’s off to the local police station. Someone get the fed suits.
Since the Sheriff is on vacation, the boys try to wrangle information from the hapless looking deputy. Of course, the ‘Facers been there, done that, and left the book. Sam and Dean walk out with nothing, unable to prevent the death of diner managing vic #2.
5. The Dean of the Crime
Of course, when the boys show up at crime scene numero dos, Ed and Harry have beat them there, too. Dean, pissed, approaches them, reminding them he told them to get lost. Harry maintains his aplomb.
Harry tells Dean they are doing it for the bloggers, which I appreciate, but still. After Dean ascertains that the Ghostfacers have not, indeed, released another Tulpa, all four of them watch the security camera footage. Harry wants to don his ninja suit and investigate further, and he and Ed ditch the diner because the chase is afoot. Only Ed seems cautious. Afraid. Hesitant. “Quit raining on my rainbow,” Harry says. “Rainbows can’t happen without rain,” Ed says quietly. “Don’t try to use science with me!” Harry demands, making me giggle. Harry runs off into the…woods, kind of…camera in hand. He has to find Thinman. He has to make sure that giving up the girl for the job was worth it. That leaving a potential real and normal life behind had a purpose. Sound familiar? (Thud.)
6. The Sweetest Viral Video Not on YouTube
As the boys discuss Thinman going viral on the internet, Dean has a memory that, for one moment at least, unites the boys in the rueful joy of childhood nostalgia. “You know what video would have gone viral if we still had it?” Dean asks. “When you were five and you got dressed up as Batman and you jumped off the shed? ‘Cause you thought you could fly?” “After you jumped first,” Sam reminds him with a grin. “Hey, I was nine, and I was dressed up like Superman. Everybody knows Batman can’t fly.” “Well, I didn’t know that” Sam insists with chagrin. “I broke my arm.” “I know you did,” Dean says, his fondness evident in his voice. “Man, I drove you to the ER on my handlebars.” (Awww. Weechester memories are adorbs.) As the boys both sit, lost in the moment, they smile wistfully for the innocence they have lost and, as much as I love Jensen Ackles’ profile, I curse the camera operators for only filming his gorgeous, eye-crinkle smile from the side.
“Good times,” Dean says, taking a pull on his beer. He looks to Sam, hoping this blast from the past will remind him of all they have meant to each other and finally break through his distance and his anger. Sam, for a long beat, says nothing, breaking Dean’s heart. “Yeah, they were,” Sam finally admits, huskily, offering the comment with an uneasy air of “those days are gone”, breaking our hearts, too. Ackles and Padalecki handled this scene with incredible finesse, making us ache right along with them, wanting to hug them both tightly and smack them both upside the head, all at once.
7. More Anvil Dropping than a Warner Brothers Cartoon
It turns out that Ed made Thinman up to keep Harry from running off with his girlfriend, getting a boring job with her dad, and having 2.3 children. He also loved the notoriety that Thinman gave them, and that Harry was into it and more committed than ever. Thinman was never real at all. Of course, if this is true, who murdered Casey Miles and the diner owner? And what’s that behind Harry’s investigatory shoulder?
Ed isn’t even thinking about that. “If I tell Harry, he’s gonna leave the Ghostfacers,” Ed says. “Listen, if you don’t tell him, he’s gonna leave anyway,” Sam insists. “Trust me here. Secrets RUIN relationships.” (Thud!) Of course, Sam, Dean and Ed race to find Harry before whatever Thinman is now makes him victim #3. They find Harry, but not before he is stabbed in the gut, horrifying Ed and prompting his confession.
Back at the motel, a patched up Harry is having precisely None Of It. “You crashed the Jenga tower of our lives,” he tells Ed, pissed that Ed took away his choices and made him live a lie. (Thud!) Ed says he did it for all the right reasons. That he was only thinking of Harry. That they belong together, doing the job (Thud!) “I can’t trust you anymore, Ed,” Harry says. (Thud!) Ed sighs. “I get it. You’re pissed. You don’t mean what you say.” (Thud!) Harry says nothing, his anger and disappointment obvious. (Thud!)
As Ed goes for coffee, Sam comes to talk to Harry, prompting Harry to say, “I just got punched right in the feels.” (And the fandom cries, “WELCOME TO OUR WORLD, HARRY!!!!!”) Harry is devastated. “Look,” Sam says, “There are things you can forgive. And there are things you can’t.” (THUD!!!) He tells Harry to figure out which one this is, and heads off with Dean to find out who the copycat Thinman is, leaving Ed and Harry to trail them, vowing to clean up Ed’s mess.
8. It Makes Me Wanna Scream
Sam and Dean head to Thinman’s possible location with Deputy Doofus and get the surprise tasering of their lives. (Shout out to the show for having Sam’s cocked gun go off when his body seizes up from the shock. Very nice touch!) In yet another Thinman Twist (which sounds like a delicious pretzel, but I digress) the deputy and Roger, a busboy from the diner are the killers. Casey died because she wouldn’t date Roger. The diner manager because he was a bad boss. And oh yeah, the Sherriff? Not vacationing so much as decomposing, because he didn’t give the deputy the day off. Thinman was just people, working together to murder those who ignored them. Prompting Dean to ask…
Dean tries to stall while Sam attempts to free himself. Unfortunately, he can only put off the inevitable for so long, and the Thin..men…attempt to make a new viral video sensation in which they slit the Winchesters’ throats. Sam’s lips shake as he struggles to free his hands, his panic growing. The deputy calls action, the busboy holds his knife against Dean’s neck, and Sam, frantic and desperate, shouts “Wait! No, no, no. DON’T!” And we see, however briefly, Sam’s terror at the thought of losing Dean. Sam talks a good game. Makes it seem like he can go it alone. But things change significantly when he is faced with Dean’s demise as a clear and present danger. Fortunately, the killers are interrupted.
9. “We face the nightmare…we face the dread!”
That’s right. The Ghostfacers come in to save the day! Harry gets got with a righteous kick to the nards (as Charlie would say) but Ed pulls a gun on the masked thinman, prompting a hilarious exchange. Ed: “It’s Scooby Doo time, douchebag. Take off the mask. I know you’re not Thinman. You’re just a me-me.” Harry, gasping: “Ed, it’s pronounced ‘meme’.” Ed, uncertain: “It’s spelled M-E-M-E.” Harry: “The second E is silent.” Bahahaha! Unfortunately, as it always does, it goes wrong. The Thinmen are going to kill the ‘Facers to destroy the myth with its creators. They head back to the candid camera, but Sam and Dean are gone. The Winchesters get the jump, Sam knocks out the deputy and Dean puts the busboy down fairly easily. Alas, a click is heard and the deputy aims his gun at Sam.
Ed jumps between them, saying it is all his fault, determined that no one else dies for him. When the deputy threatens to kill them both, a sickened Harry shoots him dead, stunning everyone.
10. We’re on the Road to Nowhere
Sam and Dean pack up, musing about how the Thinman was just people. (This would have been an excellent opportunity to channel Season One’s “The Benders” by having Dean remind Sam of what he once said: “Demons I get. People are crazy.” Just sayin’.) They watch Harry and Ed chuck a few more anvils around (Harry: “Too many people have died because of your crap.” Ed: “I’ve done all of this crap for us and I don’t know why you don’t see that.” Harry: “No. No. You did this for you.” Thud! Thud! THUD!) before giving Harry a ride out of there, leaving Ed cold and alone, in a surprisingly heart-wrenching moment.
As they drive away, Harry speaks, slamming one last anvil home. He tells the boys that he always thought Ed would be there forever. That they would grow old together. But then something happens and it’s gone and empty. “You know what I mean?” he asks. And though they do, neither Winchester brother has the heart to answer.
Well, I’m bummed. Not only did this episode NOT reunite my boys, it broke up another one of my favorite duos. Why you gotta do me like that, writers? Huh? I guess we’ll have a week to torture ourselves thinking about it since next week’s episode is a repeat. See you after the new one, “Blade Runners” airs on March 18th.