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'Supernatural' recap: 'About a Boy'

Posted on

Diyah Pera/The CW


TV Show
Current Status:
In Season
run date:
Jensen Ackles, Jared Padalecki
The CW, WB
Sci-fi, Drama

Supernatural‘s biggest strength is the bond between the Winchester brothers, but when a show focuses so heavily on two characters, it can be tough to keep things interesting, particularly when that show has aired more than 200 episodes. In other words, this show does a whole lot with a very little cast, and this episode was another example of how it does just that: Because for the Winchesters, life is … complicated. And thanks to the many complications that they face, there are endless stories for them to tell, and endless bodies from which to tell them. Confused? It will all make sense soon, I promise.

We start off the hour in Oregon, where a drunk stranger gets kicked out of a bar, and then, with the help of a scarred man and his necklace, said drunkard disappears, leaving behind nothing but his clothes. And so begins the mystery.

Well, not yet, because first, Sam has to convince Dean to get out of the bunker, which he hasn’t left in a week. Deep in lore research, Dean—who thankfully has returned to his junk food-eating ways—is desperately searching to find a way to remove the Mark of Cain, including looking into laser scar removal. But there’s only so much that re-reading can do, and if anyone knows that, it’s nerdy younger brother Sam, who convinces his bro that it’s time for them to hit the road again.

Sidenote: Can we talk about this camera angle with Dean sitting on the floor? Sam already looks tall, just in life, so this is extreme. Crowley would be having a field day with this moment.

Back to the action: Once in Oregon, Sam and Dean enjoy a quick chat with a homeless man who thinks that aliens abducted the guy. (And in a very meta moment, the brothers make a comment about fairies.) But after splitting up, Sam goes to check out the house of the man abducted, while Dean sniffs around the dive bar where he was last seen. After ordering “something dark and strong”—you mean like you are, Dean Winchester?—from the bar, Dean meets a lady friend. Multiple shots later, Dean and Tina discover that they both semi-lived out of the same hotel because they both had crappy childhoods. However, when Tina gets up to leave the bar (somehow she has the willpower to walk away from Dean) she’s followed out by creepy necklace man.

Dean’s not far behind, but it doesn’t do much good: He arrives just in time to be hit with the necklace—which is a hex bag!—and wake up in a basement dungeon somewhere. The real twist? He’s 14!

Teen Dean finds teen Tina in the cell next to him and quickly tries to find a way out, but it isn’t long until the creepy guy returns and takes away Tina’s cellmate before delivering both Dean and Tina a slice of cake. Doesn’t he know Dean prefers pie?! Of course, Dean eats the cake anyway, because he’s Dean. At least, until Tina mentions it’s probably poison. Honestly, if anyone ever wanted to kill Dean, they could do it with a good burger or a slice of pie. Or a beer. Or Baby. Sorry, I got distracted.

As Sam tries to figure out what happened to his big brother, Dean busts out of the witchy prison while Tina stays behind to create a distraction. Just like that, Sam hears a knock at his door. It’s Teen Dean! Everyone say hello to the amazing Dylan Everett, who kills it in this entire hour. It’s as if this actor took (and aced) a “how to be Jensen Ackles” class. Also, is that a real class and can I take it?

Now that Sam is reunited with his son brother, the Winchesters do what they do best: Try to figure out what the hell is going on, nearly get themselves killed, and then end things with an emotional chat and… a Taylor Swift song? We’ll get there.

NEXT: Oh hey, Hansel


On the drive back to save Tina, Dean is forced to relive the reality of the worst torture life has to offer: puberty. Not only did he hear a T. Swift song earlier and like it, but he has zero control over his penis. His words: “It’s up, it’s down.” However, there are a few good things about this young body: It doesn’t have the Mark. And if Dean has to choose between being a “psycho rage monster/borderline demon or a teenager,” he might just choose the latter. Plus, this way he has a virgin liver! Sure, he still has seven years until he can legally drink, but we all know Dean started drinking well before 21. And by that, I mean like, 8.

At the witch’s house, Dean sneaks back into the basement through the window he used to escape, an idea that gives us a classic Winchester interaction:

Sam: “I’m way too big to fit in that.”

Dean: “First time you ever had to say that, huh?”

Don’t tell me it isn’t great. Because it is.

Once inside, Sam and Dean meet… Hansel! Yep, it’s the story of Hansel and Gretel and the evil witch who eats kids. Only, in this rendition, Hansel is also evil and actually quite enjoyed eating his sister. At this point, you’re probably wondering why the witch doesn’t just eat normal kids instead of changing adults back, and Sam is too. Her reasoning: In the olden days, children died all the time. But now, we have those annoying Amber Alerts and milk cartons that complicate everything. Basically, people in the 21st century get so angry when a kid goes missing, and it’s salting the witch’s game. Dean: “Yeah, I blame Obama.”

And continuing on this episode’s winning streak, the witch goes on to talk about how people do indeed taste a bit like chicken, with Europeans being more like the free-range versions, and Americans having more fat. But there’s more to this witch than killing children and commenting on the state of obesity in America. She also lets it slip that she’s come to the United States on Grand Coven business to “take care” of Rowena.

At the mention of Rowena, Sam and Dean see an opening. Dean distracts the witch while Sam gets his switchblade out. A fight ensues, and when Sam is put in danger, Dean grabs the hex bag and turns himself back into a man (now in clothes that are much too small). He then shoves the hex bag in the witch’s mouth and pulls a Gretel by showing the witch into her own oven.

With that, the Winchesters have won! But poor Tina is now stuck in tween form. Luckily, she sees this as a second chance to live a life free of ex-husbands and debt. As for Sam, he’s bummed that the Mark is back, but he gets it. Dean “pulled a Dean Winchester” and turned himself back to save the day. Plus, Sam wanted his big brother back—that height differential just wasn’t going to work. Now, they’ll just have to figure out another way to deal with the Mark.

With Sam back in the passenger seat, everything is right in the world. Well, except for the Mark and the fact that Dean is playing “Shake It Off.”

See? Those Winchester boys still know how keep things interesting. All they need is a little magic, an adorable guest star, a new fairy tale, and possibly, Taylor Swift.