These last few episodes of Supernatural have messed me up emotionally. “#ThinMan” brought a new depth to some very shallow characters, allowing a beautifully mirrored relationship to play out during the episode. Supernatural is making a definite effort to return to its roots as well – “#ThinMan” reminded me of some very creepy episodes from the first season.
“#ThinMan” is not only an exploration of trust and forgiveness, it’s a look at the superficiality of internet culture, the power of the masses and their controller(s), and the depravity of man. How did this all manage to fit in forty-five minutes? I think it has something to do with Supernatural being such a well-oiled machine that the writing can be thick, allowing a viewer to comb through the layers over and over again to discover something new upon re-watching.
Sam and Dean still aren’t on speaking terms. I’m so grateful the writers understand that what Dean did has shaken Sam to the core. Whether I would have done the same or not, Sam does not agree with Dean’s choice and the abyss between them isn’t disappearing anytime soon. Sam has lost his trust in Dean, and I believe Dean has lost some trust in Sam, who has made it clear that he would not bring Dean back from the brink. How can a relationship move past that?
The boys are dutiful, however, and when Dean finds a case they pack up and visit Washington State where they meet a crew of “supernaturalists”, a.k.a. their old frenemies, the GhostFacers. The group is now comprised solely of two members, Ed and Harry. They have said goodbye to the rest of their team members (all alive, unlike Dean and Sam’s old teammates) and are now in hot pursuit of the new internet phenomenon, Thin Man (a stand-in for Slender Man, methinks).
While the brothers attempt to figure out the origin of the creature, Harry is bent on capturing it via camera. Ed confesses to Dean and Sam that there isn’t really a Thin Man – he created “#ThinMan” as a way to keep Ed occupied and the GhostFacers intact. Sam urges him to divulge the secret, but both are aware that the consequences might be severe. And there’s still the question of who has been murdering the townspeople.
This is the part where I guessed what was going on and was thrilled at the nod to Scooby-Doo. That’s sort of giving it away, but I won’t reveal too much more. It’s too good and you need to watch it for yourself. See if you can figure out the mystery before the gang does, but be prepared to jump out of your pants a time or two. I watched this episode by myself at home while my roommate was out and it was not a spectacular arrangement on my part.
“#ThinMan” does a great job of juggling internet lingo from the GhostFacers (“You’re so money right now!” and “I just got punched right in the feels”) with the classic Winchester glares and unflattering nicknames. I wonder if something was being mentioned about the flippant behavior of internet encounters, the downplaying of emotion, and the callous attitudes one can develop. Something to think about?
It was rather unsettling to see the twist in this episode. There comes a point in the story where one of the brothers and one of the GhostFacers must protect their partners by killing the parties responsible for the murders. Unfortunately, this is a new thing for Ed and when he and Harry have their conversation later. It’s a turning point for Ed. He may have been able to forgive Harry beforehand, but the hoax has ended with the deaths of several victims and two murderers. Harry chose to keep his secret from Ed and cost him their relationship in the process.
Both Sam and Dean are present for the argument between Ed and Harry, and it’s uncomfortable when they realize this talk mirrors their earlier conversations. They’re still torn about the decisions they’ve made. While they do remember happier times (Dean and Sam have a sweet conversation about a boyhood memory but it quickly dissolves into sadness at the thought that they might never have another happy memory together), their relationship is on the rocks.
“#ThinMan” had a lot of pent-up emotion in it, brought out by the GhostFacers having their moment in the spotlight as pseudo-Winchesters dealing with a relationship issue. I feel sick, like there’s a rock in the pit of my stomach. I tear up at the thought of Dean and Sam permanently separating, but it might be what has to happen for both of them to find healing and peace. I just hope that at some point, the boys realize that all they have is each other and that underneath the trust issues, the anger, and the sadness, there is still a brotherly love that remains strong in spite of the storms they’ve weathered.