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Sweatpants & TV | Supernatural, Season 14, Episode 4: “Mint Condition”

It’s a Monster of the Week episode, and I am down for it! They’re like Halloween Candy—maybe not sustainable in the long term when digested alone, but a sweet and wholly satisfying treat amidst the meat and potatoes of a season arc.

Fright’s Delight

Dean holing up in his bedroom, watching horror movies amidst a ton of snacks and beer was kind of adorable. And his reaction to Sam’s beardless face? Hilarious. While Sam’s five o’clock shadow is hardly as “smooth as a dolphin’s belly” I am willing to stroke his face and provide another comparison. For science.

Sam knew that the whole thought of a killer “Panthro from Thundercats” toy would lure Dean out of his bedroom, and give him something to look forward to. It’s the cutest, watching Dean get excited about a MotW again, and an episode focused on the brothers? I’ll take that any day.

The Devil is in the Detail

Did anyone else catch the cool Easter Eggs in the comic shop and TV trailers? From the shop: the Red Hood full-size figure (as I’m sure you know, Jensen Ackles dressed as Red Hood this year and also voiced the animated character), the Hell Hazers poster (part two of which was what they were filming in Season 2’s “Hollywood Babylon”) and the House of Wax poster (a film that featured Jared Padalecki.). And from “Shocker TV”? Another shout out to Hell Hazers and, in their montage trailer, the “Racist Truck” and the footage of the hell house (from Season 1’s “Route 666” and “Hell House”, respectively). I absolutely love it when homage is paid to the early episodes and to our real life boys, so all of those touches made me smile.

Man of Salt

Can you believe how cute Dean looked all nerded up? Big glasses, short-sleeved business shirt and an ugly tie and jacket, holding a superhero cup? He really pulled it off. And for some reason, when Sam questioned him having the vic’s mom make him apple cider, the way Dean said, “She offered…” cracked me up. Jensen Ackles is such underrated comedy gold.

Of course it was Sam who was the real geek, understanding Stuart the vic’s Fortnite obsession and his use of the term MIRL (meet in real life) for his former Wiccan girlfriend. (Again, Ackles’ delivery of “Why do you know what that means?” was delivered spot on. I laughed.) The boys think they are on the right track of hunting a witch (“Wicca doesn’t always mean witch,” says Sam. “Except when it does,” replies Dean. #truth) They won’t find out until later they’re off by a spectrey lot.

Hail to the Chief

Just small moments peppered throughout the episode, but it is interesting to see Dean coming to terms with Sam’s new role as leader of the Apocalypse World hunters. From avoiding his “house full of strangers”, to listening in when Sam takes a Bobby-esque phone call from Riley, to, finally, admitting he needs to get more in the game (and jokingly calling Sam “Chief” himself) I liked seeing Dean accept what Sam is, and what he has accomplished. He’s not just the little brother any more. He’s a leader, too. (Side note? The in unison ducking in Baby when Stuart’s mom passed by? I truly do love it when they do things at the same time. Swoon. Side note #2? Another line delivery to smirk over? “Dean’s saying, “Gotta love the internet. Where everyone can be a dick.” Maybe not everyone, Dean, but I see your point.)

Fine and Dandy

“Everything’s fine,” Dean tells Stuart’s mom. “Everything is not fine,” he says to Sam, making me chuckle again. Now that the boys know it’s a ghost, they can search for bones to burn. Dean’s staying at the hospital to keep mom out of harm’s way, Sam’s going to look for who died who had a grudge against Stuart. The game is on! (Side note #3? Can we talk about the flip of Baby’s keys from Dean to Sam? ‘Cause I really enjoyed that.)

Bound for Gory

Dean bonding with Dirk, Stuart’s friend and fellow comic store employee, over slasher films and their bloody deaths, was still with the super cute. Dirk looks like a good buddy, and when he confesses that Stuart is kind of his best friend, Dean gets it. Everybody does “have their stuff”, after all. I liked Dean and Dirk quoting the movie, and Dean confessing that he loves horror movies because he wants to watch things where he knows the bad guy is gonna lose was touching. I like these two together. Too bad Dean can’t invite him to the HuntCave to run a train on some ASD.

Femme Sam

Dressed in plaid. Shiny locks of hair. A cute smile. I can see the resemblance between Sam the hunter and Samantha the owner of the comic book store. But more than that? Was their intellectual similarities. I liked that Samantha helped Sam figure out that it was their former comic book store owner who was trying to kill Stuart for his memorabilia stealing ways, and that it was his Batman keychain that was the thing tying him to this realm.

And the absolutely adorable way they both responded to Sam blowing up the door of the store with MacGyvered cleaning supplies? “Coooool” indeed.

You Should Never Meet Your Heroes

I appreciated the Hatchet Man chase scenes, since they managed to integrate them so well as non-Winchestery bits, providing a little humor and allowing our real life actors a break in the shooting schedule. And Dean’s utter delight at the thought of going against “Hatchet Man” was THE CUTEST. Anything that brings that winning Winchester grin out? I’ll happily take, even if it is a serial killer wielding an axe.

Their fight was a fun watch (there’s a great use of bed pans if I’ve ever seen one) and the Sams coming in to save the day (her ever so cleverly suggesting burning the key chain with ethyl alcohol) provided neat closure.

Well done, Sam and Dean and Sam and Dirk. Well done.

Holiday Broment

“Hey man, I just went toe to toe with David friggin’ Yeager. That was awesome.” “Yeah, it wasn’t really…” “Don’t ruin this for me.” Hee hee! I love brotherly moments in Baby, and this one did not disappoint. From Dean thanking Sam for getting him out of his funk and Sam trying to relieve Dean of the guilt of saying yes to Michael (acknowledging he did it for love of family), there was some tender exchanges between our bros, and for it to end with finally…FINALLY…finding out why Sam hates Halloween (spoiler alert: as a kid he puked his guts up all over the girl he had a crush on at her Halloween party) was still with the adorable.

And if this season is the end, I think we at least need a Halloween episode next year so we can see which of the matching costumes they’ll pick to wear. My vote is for Rocky and Bullwinkle. ‘Cause yes, Bert and Ernie would be weird.

So what did you think of this little confection? Too sweet? Or just right? Let me know in the comments, and I’ll see you next week for episode five, “Nightmare Logic”.

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About Barbara Doyle (196 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.

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