Filed under: Recaps & Reviews
Get fit or die trying.
After reading the news that a three hundred pound man was found dead after being drained of most of his body mass, the Winchesters know they have a case. The boys arrive in Stillwater, Minnesota and after talking with the local sheriff, they learn that the victim was a local eating competition champion who had just claimed his latest victory in a hot dog eating contest. While he doesn't have any known enemies, the first suspect is his rival competitor. Dean questions him while Sam snoops around his home, only to find what looks to be a hex bag from the competitor's fiancee. Later at their hotel, she shows up and wants what's hers. She tells the boys that she was actually having an affair with the victim and the two planned on leaving town together after a quick divorce. That night, the next victim is drained after a strenuous session with a stationary bike at her gym. The next day, Sam and Dean investigate the scene and find a strange mark on the victim, as if she had been sucked dry. Dean questions a gym employee and notices a similar mark on her back. The employee got the mark while on her trip to the Canyon Valley Spa where the locals are going to shed the pounds. The Winchesters quickly make their way there and manage to get jobs at the spa to find out what's taking the lives to the townspeople. After Dean manages to roofie himself on the pudding, the two of them know something is up but they may be too late to stop the latest diet craze from getting out of control.
As far as mid season filler goes, The Purge is exactly what I expected: predictable yet oddly entertaining at times. It was a unique idea to fold the idea of a demon into the world of spas and fad diets but Supernatural didn't take that as far as they could. There could have been more characters at the spa that parody the personalities that we see all of the time trying to sell us the latest trend. This would include the muscular jock obsessed with his physique, the stay at home mom trying out the latest supplement and the motivators that drive people to succeed. If Supernatural had emphasized humour and used the opportunity to have more of a social commentary on the people that we look to for advice on staying healthy, they could have had something special.
While it was light on action, The Purge did have a few funny moments with Sheriff Donna Hanscum. Played by Brianna Buckmaster, Sheriff Hanscum's accent was a clever touch that that made the character funny and endearing as Buckmaster stole the scene as she offered Dean a doughnut, to which he obviously obliged. Though this has little to do with Buckmaster's performance, the entire scene where the Sheriff explained why she was at the spa just didn't fit in with the tone of the episode. It's clear that the show was giving some pathos to people that gain weight and are desperate to lose it but the character has no significance in the long run and the scene felt out of place.
Yet again, the strongest piece of the show came in the final moments between Sam and Dean. While the two of them have agreed to be professional, the two of them just can't move on. Dean continues to hope that he will do more god than bad in the world but Sam is there to challenge his ideals. His moral compass has shifted and sometimes he does what is least bad rather than what is good. Dean also can't admit that that he needs his brother more than his brother needs him because without Sam, he is truly alone. What is strange is how Dean was surprised by Sam's confession that he would let Dean die if that was his choice. After Dean was sucked into purgatory last year with Castiel, Sam gave it his best shot to find him and then moved on. If Supernatural could reference these moments in the past, it would go a long way to remind viewers of some of the history that the two of them share.
The Purge wasn't bad but it was forgettable. For everything that has been happening behind the scenes, hopefully we will get back to the angel business soon and find out what Castiel and his brothers have been up to when Supernatural returns on February 25th with Captives.
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