A murder at a well know haunted house seems like a simple ghost case but for Sam and Dean Winchester, dead bodies are just the start.
Sam and Dean aren't any closer to finding the Darkness but when two teens are murdered by in the home where Lissie Borden killed her family long ago, the boys might have a case. After arriving at the Borden house in Massachusetts, they see that the home is now a museum and a bnb. The clerk tells them that the boy who was killed is an original Borden descendant but after some investigation, the boys find that the place is rigged to make it seem haunted. Dean is ready to go but Sam wants to solve the murders regardless. Later that night, the mother of the front desk clerk is killed inside her room at the hotel using an axe. They boys wonder what may have happened but then they're told by local law enforcement that a man was found dead on his driveway outside is almost, apparently due to an axe wound. Maybe Lissie Borden can leave the house but the boys don't know for sure. Dean asks the local detective about a man he saw earlier outside the inn who looked suspicious and ran off. The detective tells him the man's name is Len so Dean goes to have a chat with him. As it turns out, Len is super fan of all things Lissie Borden and ran off because the inn has a restraining order against him. He tells Dean about everything that he saw around the inn lately in his pursuit to capture Lissie Borden's spirt on film, but one thing stands out: a young girl named Amara. After Dean hears the rest of the story Len tells him how ever since he met Amara, he feels an emptiness. He does things to do them and that he feels nothing when he does things he used to love; Amara took his soul. Ghosts are now the least of their problems.
Following last week's return to classic form, Thin Lissie is more stumble than the next step forward in the season. Where last week's Baby succeeded beautifully in bringing Supernatural back to its roots, Thin Lissie attempted to blend the old with the new with mixed results. The original story of a ghost was intriguing but eventually collapsed under its own weight when it was revealed to be people who had lost their souls to the Darkness. This far, the Darkness has failed to do anything to garner interest for herself as a villain besides sucking souls of the odd person in a town. This is just a few people at a time and even though her strength is not at one hundred percent, the damage she leaves in her wake isn't unmanageable. The Winchesters have a problem but not one that seems to be impossible to stop, just hard to catch.
Without a doubt, Jared Gertner practically ran away with Thin Lissie. Gertner perfectly captured the essence of Len as a harmless yet confused super fan. Even more, Gertner made Len endearing and funny in the time he had by using earnestness rather than sarcasm as so many guest stars have done before. Len's realization of what he was becoming and how he couldn't control it was a big departure for the show. His choice to take the blame for the murders wrapped up the plot nicely but you still felt bad for someone that was in the wrong place and the wrong time only to lose his soul.
Speaking of the soul, Supernatural has done next to nothing in trying to explain what that means and how not having one affects people. This far, the characters they have encountered have been on a straight path to becoming homicidal maniacs but why is that always the case? Soulless Sam continued hunting all the way through but others become monsters. Is it a matter of them going all Vulcan with logic and coming to the conclusion that everyone must die? For such an important concept in the show, the series has done very little to tell us what it means for characters in its universe.
Had Amara not had such a presence in the show, the episode would have been much stronger. Long scenes with Len and Sydney and flat delivery Yasmeene Ball just makes the scenes drag on very quickly. Also, some of the dialogue in the story contradicted itself when Sydney mentioned that she was freed by the Darkness and didn't fear the consequences but still went through the trouble of making everything look as if it was the ghost of Lissie Borden.
All in all, Thin Lissie was an episode that felt dull because it was. The Winchesters are no closer to catching Amara than they were before and we keep hearing the same thing: the darkness is coming. I've also been hearing winter is coming for six years but I'll believe it when I see it. We'll what happens next week when Metatron returns and Amara needs her personal space (seriously) in Our Little World.