This week’s Supernatural boasts a script by Tick creator and occasional Venture Bros. contributor Ben Edlund. Seems like that should be pretty great right? Well, you’d be surprised…. Also, the actual title of this episode is “Everybody Hates Hitler”. We just didn’t use that as the article title because it’s probably better not to post a bunch of links that directly reference Hitler. Call us old-fashioned, but we do not need that kind of spam.
This episode. Bleck.
First off, the first act has the pace of a snail. About twenty minutes in we get “something weird is happening and the Winchesters will stop it.” I’m not sure exactly what filled up that first act, but it only vaguely resembled entertainment and part of it was flashbacks to World War II.
Then they introduce the main guest character of the week, Adam Rose as Aaron Bass, and things go from just boring to outright awful. Aaron tails Dean for a bit and we get possibly the most gratuitous and poorly executed queer-baiting scene in Supernatural’s history. Aaron hits on Dean, but it turns out he was just pretending for reasons that make less and less sense as the episode continues. The ambiguousness of Dean’s reaction to all this shows that the show has things down to a science. An annoying science.
The episode goes on, I think Dean gets to punch a Nazi and in the end Dean brings Sam a drink like he’s a 1950s housewife. The only positive thing I can say about this episode is that I like Supernatural’s decision that Dean can’t go a few days without bringing up Garth.
In conclusion, everybody hates Everybody Hates Hitler. I give this episode a Hell, as in “Why the Hell did any of this happen?”
Finally, Supernatural is doing that Nazi-themed episode its fanbase has been begging for! What’s that you say? No one would ever ask Supernatural to do this, and if anyone did, they were probably joking or else trying to bring the show down from the inside? Now that you mention it…
Hearing that that was the theme they decided to go with this week made me extremely nervous that Supernatural’s generally lovable tackiness was about to be used for evil; consequently, this is the first (and hopefully last) time you will hear me express relief that the main plot of an episode was pretty neutral and forgettable. Congratulations on not being horribly offensive, Supernatural! Marketing execs, feel free to use that on the cover of the season 8 box set.
Surprisingly, in an episode about magic Nazis, the moment that bothered me the most was a simple instance of Supernatural’s bread and butter: queerbaiting. We’re introduced to a young guy who’s attracted to Dean and thinks Dean is attracted to him, too. ONLY TURNS OUT HE’S NOT REALLY GAY HAHA GOTCHA DUMMY. Aaron Bass quickly turns out to actually be a lapsed Jewish man who recently inherited a golem from his deceased grandfather and wants the Winchesters to help him figure out what he’s supposed to do with it. Okay, fine, but why did he make attraction to Dean his cover story? And why does he drop his cover story so quickly? Why did he have a cover story in the first place? The initial interaction between Dean and Aaron makes sense IF Aaron is actually trying to pick Dean up. But since he’s not, it’s just nonsense cooked up in service of making fangirls get worked up. I really, really hate that the way this show invokes the idea of homosexuality while only very, very rarely having actual gay representation. Come on, dudes. You’re better than that. I will say that I think Jensen’s acting in this crappy scene is fantastic. Dean reacts to the idea of a man hitting on him, not with anger or disgust, but with this sort of nervousness bordering on terror that he tries to politely hide. It would be so easy for an interaction like this one (and it’s a kind of interaction Dean has a lot) to make him seem like this awful homophobe, but there’s never really anything hateful about his behavior. To me, at least, it always comes off as repressed. But we all know that I think Jensen Ackles is great and Dean is gay.
Look, I was prepared for this episode to be the worst ever, and it’s not. Part of me is glad, but I’m also pissed that they are now churning out episodes with premises so bad I’m relieved when the episode itself is mediocre. Setting aside a couple of logic problems, this episode wasn’t really bad, but it also certainly wasn’t good. I did like the moment when the Nazi Commandant said, “Look, can we set aside the whole ‘Nazi’ thing for a second?” But I somewhat suspect a single amusing moment is not enough to carry an entire episode. I’m giving “Everybody Hates Hitler” a Hell+.
Also, oh my God, I hope this whole “Men of Letters” thing is not going to be a big thing for the rest of the season. Not. Interesting.