Supernatural: Defending Your Life

Posted by: Kyle Tetarenko  //  October 15, 2011 @ 7:57pm

Filed under: TV Recaps/Reviews 

After dealing with archangels, the new god and leviathans it finally seemed like the Winchesters would catch a break with a good old fashioned case. Sadly, when they discover the Egyptian god Osiris is in town, the case isn't as simple as they may have hoped.

In Dearborn, Michigan Sam and Dean investigate when Matthew Hammond is seemingly crushed by a car - on the tenth floor of an apartment complex. After a bit of sleuthing they believe Matthew was killed by a dead girl's ghost who Matthew had accidently run down years earlier. They perform the usually bones burning with salt but when another body turns up the next morning, the case is not as cut and dry as they thought. After helping out a man running for his life and talking with Bobby, Dean heads to the bar and throws down a few while laying his troubles onto the bartender. It's during this time when Sam discovers the Egyptian god Osiris is behind the recent slew of murders; killing those who feel guilty for their past sins and may have just found his next victim. When Dean is taken to trial he not only has to face his past sins but hope that his brother can save him from judgement.

Now that Supernatural has set the tone for the season with the previous three episodes, the show runners seemed quite content to settle on a terrible episode. Defending Your Life not only failed to bring together a cohesive narrative but is wasn't entertaining. Supernatural tries to vary their monsters so much on the show they are under the impression they are only good for one use. They're monsters, not Q-tips! Why not have another good werewolf storyline or turn the tables to show Bobby feel guilty for something he did in his past. Why is Osiris even in North America passing judgement in a barn? For an Egyptian god, he has really let his standards go (except for his robe of course but that was just funny).

The concept of Osiris as a monster of the week scenario did not work in Supernatural. First and foremost, Osiris is a god of the underworld and the dead and while their twist of using him as a judge was clever, Faran Tahir (of Iron Man and Star Trek fame) was a poor choice in the role. Osiris could have legitimately challenged the perspective of the Winchesters as well as the audience but instead, he was petty and made the result of Dean's trial predictable and boring.

Alona Tal was always great in her role as Jo Harvelle because she was tough, smart and a good friend to the Winchesters; when you take that all away, there isn't much left. While Jo is dead, she was a deflated version of herself and I didn't understand why. Is she in heaven? Hell? She may have been in Hades since we have seen so many different gods throughout the show. Had Jo returned to guide Sam and Dean towards defeating the leviathans, it would have been much better than watching her cheer Dean up.

The one high point of the episode came near the end when Dean would not admit to killing Amy Pond (Jewel Staite) last week. Even after Jo told him that he carries more burden than he should, he still won't confess to Sam and that was a very human moment. Dean is a stubborn person that will never let go of his guilt even when a ghost tells him otherwise; for that moment, the writing was excellent.

Defending Your Life is an episode Supernatural needs to leave far behind and move onto the next town. I'm just going to try and forget this one when James Marsters and Charisma Carpenter (both from Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel) make their hotly anticipated guest appearance in next week's Shut Up, Dr. Phil.

Tags: Supernatural, Dean Winchester, Sam Winchester, Jensen Ackles, Jared Padalecki, Faran Tahir, Alona Tal

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