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Sweatpants & TV | Supernatural, Season 13, Episode 17: “The Thing”

By Barbara Doyle

Alas, every week can’t be Scoobynatural. This week we’re back in the thick of the search for the ingredients for the rift spell, and Sam and Dean find the Seal of Solomon. Unfortunately? They unleash a killer monster in the process. Per uszh. Here are my favorite moments from “The Thing”.

Way Back Then

Just a little thing, but I love that the “Then” card briefly transformed into an old timey-time looking film frame as the recap discussed the past of the Men of Letters. It was a “blink and you miss it” but I noticed, and appreciated.

Kick Me

I think it’s kind of hilarious how Dean amuses himself, sticking post-its on Sam’s back, an especially funny one written with the words “Ass Face.” For a man who has seen so much he can often be childlike, and Jensen Ackles, as always, sells it with his timing and facial expressions. Case in point? His reaction to having to look through more books in the archives. If his “I love books!” isn’t a typical reaction from an overworked high schooler, I don’t know what is, and his faux moment of “a ha!” made me laugh out loud.

And Sam? His irritation with Dean is always a kick. I do have a suggestion, however, for getting those post-its off. Take off your shirt. Um…please? (Side note: Dean saying “Jinkies” was adorable. Insert sigh of fondness for Scoobynatural here.)

The Next Chapter

It makes sense that the Men of Letters would have chapter houses all over the country, and the entrance into the Portsmouth, Rhode Island one was almost comic book like as they dropped into it from above (Seriously—those fluttering leaves in the beam of light? Could have been a frame from a graphic novel.) It also makes sense that not all Men of Letters would have used their power for good. The apparent realization that the Men of Letters kept a woman captive for a monster to feed on was intriguing, and set up one of my other small but favorite moments: the brothers acting in perfect unison to break down the door and rescue her. SWOON!

Filled With Grace

I know a lot of people have a problem with the British Men of Letters story line, but I must say I do like Ketch, and that’s thanks to David Haydn-Jones portrayal of him. Haydn-Jones has good chemistry with most people he works with, and that is especially apparent as he interacts with Asmodeus and his henchmen. He radiates disgust, as though he’s better than all of them, which he soon learns isn’t worth a damn when Asmodeus kicks the crap out of him (and say what you want about Ketch, but man…that dude can take a beating.) Ketch’s clear disdain of Asmodeus stealing archangel grace from Gabriel and shooting it up is delivered well, and his insistence that he is not “the help” (and having to eat those words later) solidified Ketch as a man out for himself, which works out well for him. Until it doesn’t.

Jukebox Hero

I love Dean in a diner. From chucking a coin into the jukebox to amuse the rescued girl, Sandy, to ordering two orders of “stuffies” without even knowing what they are, and, especially, promising to protect Sandy at all costs, he’s gentle and caring and funny, and that’s such a contrast to when he needs to be tough and his life can be so bleak. Plus, the banter with Sam about how kale is supposed to be garnish instead of the main course? I’m usually a Sam girl but I come down firmly Team Dean on that one.

A Colonel of Knowledge

As much as I am fan of Ketch, I have not been a fan of Asmodeus. Evil Colonel Sanders never really resonated with me—until this episode. Jeffrey Vincent Parise really made Asmodeus into something loathsome as he stole grace from Gabriel (and hats off to Richard Speight Jr., too, who really made it clear that Gabriel is no longer the powerful, cocky archangel he once was.) And as Asmodeus beat Ketch down both physically and mentally, proving who was really in power, his speech about how he and Ketch were alike was delivered expertly. Hats off to Parise’s performance in this ep. For the first time? I believed in Asmodeus as a Prince of Hell.

Building a Mystery

So…Sandy. How has she kept prisoner for 90 years and still looks like a young woman? Why did the Men of Letters do something so heinous as feed a prisoner to a monster? So many things to solve, and Sam wants to go back to the chapterhouse, alone, to start working on them. Dean having none of that—just another little moment when his love and responsibility to Sam shines through.

Also? When Sam begins to pass out, thanks to the special seasoning of the chef of the diner, who is also a mysterious figure, Dean’s worry continues right through the knock-down dragout of the diner invasion by the mysterious cloaked figures who steal Sam away. “They took my brother. I’m gonna get him back,” Dean growls as he makes Molotov cocktails. And of that I have no doubt.

Monster Looks Like a Lady

It turns out Sandy is the monster. Or its host, anyway. The legacies of the corrupt Men of Letters (the variation denoted by the addition of the eye to the Aquarian Star on their cloaks) tell Sam that their great grandfather was the one who went psycho and tried to “fix” the world by summoning the god Yokoth, who inhabits Sandy, and that went all kinds of wrong. As those things are wont to do. They’ve been keeping her prisoner because they can’t kill her. Uh oh. That’s no good.

The Dating Game

I liked the twist that Sandy…I mean Yokoth…wants two things—to feed and to breed. And who better to be your partner’s host than the incredible Dean Winchester? After Yokoth eats, like, a lot of legacies, she takes Dean back to the chapterhouse to open the rift and offer his rather incredible body to the tentacles and mouth of her partner, Glythur. And once again, Ackles shines. His comedic banter with Yokoth was hilarious. When Yokoth said Sandy was dead, Ackles’ delivery of “Okay, I’ll play. What’s your name?” slayed me, and his subsequent responses to her about her separation from her partner were even better. “Oh my God, that’s tragic. It’s like a Hallmark movie. But with tentacles.” BAHAHAHAHA! And hats off to the VX department for a cool looking monster scene as Yokoth was dragged back to her world. It blended the comedic with the scary in a cool way, and left Dean looking funny and brave. Just how we like him.

“I stole something else.”

Did anyone else cringe when Ketch appeared to pull out one of his back teeth and spit out a mouthful of blood? Ugh. But even with a genuine dental emergency Ketch is still a fighter, and, apparently a thief. He steals not only Gabriel, but the remaining ampoule of his grace and the Archangel Blade. I love that Ketch always has a plan. I love even more that it involves bringing Gabriel to the Winchesters.

Their shock at seeing Gabriel alive was palpable, and their skepticism of Ketch deserved. Ketch, still out for himself, wants to make these amazing gifts to Sam and Dean in exchange for protection and sanctuary, but Haydn-Jones’ performance leaves us wondering: is it also that Ketch is disgusted not just with Asmodeus but with himself? I think Ketch is a better man than even he thinks he is. Who’s with me on that?

Go It Alone

Sam tenderly administering medical aid to Gabriel was another lovely small moment, not a surprise at all, but what was one? Dean’s insistence that he go to Apocalypse World alone. At first, I admit, I was annoyed at the separation. But if I’m being honest, Dean’s reasoning makes total sense: someone has to stay behind in case something goes wrong so there can be a rescue mission. Personally? I think on some level he is taking care of Sam, but he is also being terribly logical, Chuck damn it.

Sam hates it, especially when Ketch volunteers to go in Sam’s stead. At first, Sam is hurt, thinking Dean wants Ketch over him, but the truth is Dean doesn’t care if Ketch dies—doesn’t trust him to save him if things go wrong.

Yes, Sam hates the plan, but it is a good one, and Dean invokes the big brother card by saying “This is the way it’s gonna be.” And when he does that? Sam has no choice to obey. Even if his fear and misgivings show after Dean and Ketch enter the 24 hour window of the rift, prepared to fight whatever waits on the other side.

We’ll find out what waits soon enough! See you next week for episode eighteen, “Bring ‘Em Back Alive”.

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About Barbara Doyle (187 Articles)
Barbara Sirois Doyle is a Contributing Editor for Sweatpants & Coffee. She is a writer, mixed-media artist, and, most important, a wife and mother to her boyos three. She is a voracious reader, unapologetic uber-geek, and lover of all types of music, from Public Enemy to Rachmaninoff. If she's not watching Supernatural or Doctor Who, she is likely trolling the internet for amusing cat photos. She takes her coffee light with no sugar.

1 Comment on Sweatpants & TV | Supernatural, Season 13, Episode 17: “The Thing”

  1. Thomas W Parrott // April 22, 2018 at 8:46 pm // Reply

    What’s the name of the song played on the jukebox in season 13 episode 17 “The Thing”.

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