Filed under: Recaps & Reviews
After a few kids are viciously murdered in Junction City, Kansas, Garth arrives to take care of business. When that doesn't work, he calls Sam and Dean for help take down a shojo or as Dean would call it, "A Japanese booze monster".
Though Sam is starting to feel better with the devil out of his head, they get a call from Garth who tells them two brothers have had their stomachs torn out; now they have a case. After they all interview the father searching for a connection, they come up with nothing. It's only later on when the family is grieving and the daughter has a few too many sips of her mom's "beverage" she sees someone behind her mom; a ghoulish, dark haired, grudge looking girl that puts her hand through her mom's stomach. When Sam, Dean and Garth return to talk to what's left of the family, they make the connection: you have to be drunk to see the ghost. Further research gets them the ghost is actually a shojo, a demon that can be contained and then released on whoever the captor chooses and in this case, the families of the local brewery owners. Now that they have the pattern to stop the shojo there's only one question remaining: who buys the first round?
Even with an incredibly lame title, Party On, Garth managed to be a clever and entertaining episode. True to what Dean said about Garth, he grows on you. It's great that Supernatural actually took the time to make Garth more a character rather than a running gag as they did before in Season Seven, Time for a Wedding. The episode began with Garth being Garth but it's quickly established that he knows what he's doing by talking with the girls and then burning the bones of the suspected ghost. He was also the person to realize that the janitor was Mr. Baxter's son and figure out who the shojo would be going after before Sam and Dean. It's the small things the writers did to take Garth from being a joke to being an enjoyable part of Supernatural.
Another great aspect for Supernatural as a whole this season is how much better the show can make light itself. Previously the show would have attempted to have the girl from The Grudge be just as menacing and ridiculous as the films but Supernatural doesn't have the time or budget to pull something like that off. Rather than play to the horror, Supernatural played to the camp aspect by including booze and Garth. It was a smart move and it paid off.
Although Sam, Dean and Garth were drinking throughout, it was have been better had they had been completely intoxicated at least once. Even if there was brief scene with the three of them sitting at a bar, taking shots to outpace each other and eventually almost collapsing over one another. Party On Garth made me realize that we have never truly seen the any of the characters in an intoxicated state but it would have complimented the episode brilliantly.
What could have been a disaster in Party On, Garth tuned out to be another entertaining episode from Supernatural. It's still surprising that all of the one offs throughout the season have been so much better than anything involving the leviathans but with only a handful of episodes left in the season, it may be time to turn up the heat on the Winchesters. We'll see what happens when Supernatural returns April 20th with Of Grave Importance.