Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Supernatural - Wendigo


*** / ****

Sam and Dean are still looking for their father, following a map to Black Water Ridge in Colorado where a Wendigo is on hunt, 23 years passed, having took off three young men in a tent. One of those victims has siblings looking to find him. The Wendigo moves really fucking fast and, according to the Winchester diary, derives from the spirit of a frontiersman or native that grew into a cannibal out of necessity to survive, eventually developing supernatural abilities (a knife or gun will not harm a Wendigo, only fire it seems). It can mimic the voices of humans as a trick towards luring prey into its vicinity and because of its speed and chameleon-like abilities to blend in the wilderness environment, the Wendigo is especially difficult to spot and target with much accuracy. Haley and Ben Collins (Gina Holden & Alden Ehrenreich) are looking for their missing brother; he had communicated with them via satellite phone before the Wendigo snatched him away to a forbidden mine it uses as a lair. Dean takes a shine to Haley, having extra incentive to help her find the brother, along with scratching another monster off the supernatural hit list.

Donnelly Rhodes turns in a memorable cameo as a surviving victim of the Wendigo with a claw scar as a reminder of his experience (losing his parents who weren’t so lucky to make it out of the cabin alive). He sits in the dark of his cabin,  reliving that experience all very again. If anything, it is nice that Dean and Sam arrive, not considering him a kook. All these years, here are two that actually believe him.There’s a cool Harper’s Island connection in this episode as Roy, the animal hunter hired by the Collins siblings, is played by Callum Keith Rennie (as the supposed psychopath, John Wakefield), which also featured Gina Holden as well. Roy is more than a bit cocky (this is what he does, but as Dean and Sam try to convince him to listen to them, Roy feels he’s “got this”) and that comes back to snap his neck. Dean comments that shooting at the Wendigo just pisses it off. He’s right. Ultimately in order to truly kill the Wendigo, its lair will be the location for the big showdown.

The episode emphasizes Sam’s seething longing for vengeance, hoping his father will lead him to the murderer of his beloved while Dean tries to cool him off with words of advice and encouragement. Sam doesn’t want to be patient, questioning why they remain in Colorado when it is clear their father isn’t there. Dean understands the objective and what their father wants them to do: follow in his footsteps and rid the country of the evils documented in his diary. The show’s mission is obvious: the brothers working together, on the road, against supernatural dangers often threatening the lives of innocent bystanders often in the wrong place at the wrong time. Posing as rangers or friends of Haley, the Winchesters eventually investigate the situation and wind up in the exact location where the three buddies were carried off, the remnants of a torn-apart tent, bloodied and disheveled, all left behind.

I always enjoyed when Mulder and Scully would have X-files adventures in wilderness settings, and so Wendigo was a lot of fun to me. I only mention The X Files because out of the many shows I come across, Supernatural is the closest (well, when it resides outside the angels/demons series arc) reminder of one of my all-time favorite shows. The “monster of the week” is more or less a barely-visible ghoul, showing its ugly self briefly in the mine where he hangs victims for future feeding. Dean and Haley somewhat flirt (I wasn’t feeling much real chemistry, though), but Sam’s understandable brooding takes precedence over any cutesy banter/looks. Sam is haunted and tormented by the loss of his girlfriend, as the show goes old school with a Carrie-inspired gravesite visit dream. Dean can only be a voice of concern and serve as a confidante for Sam to submit his burden. The woods are idyllic yet sinister: good balance.





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