After finding Dean in his room, binging Hatchet Man horror movies and eating pizza he knows that he has just the case to get his brother out of his funk. Fortunately enough, Sam just found something in Salem, Ohio where a man was attacked by a Panthero action figure. After getting into Salem, they head into the comics shop where they talk to Samantha and Dirk who tell them that Stuart moved into his mother's home after the attack. So they head over and talk to Stuart who is, let's say, a tad defensive and kicks them out of the house when they ask questions. The Winchesters decide to wait it out and it doesn't take long before Stuart is outside, calling for help after being attacked. They save him, but Dean barely managed to avoid the chainsaw thrown at him. With no attacker, the Winchesters assume it must be a ghost but of who? Sam learns from Samantha that the former owner, Jordan, hated Stuart and even fired him a few times for his bad attitude and stealing before he passed away. Jordan was cremated which leaves the Winchesters guessing on what is tying his spirit to the world. If they don't figure it out soon, a life sized version of hatchet man will finish the job and kill Stuart.
After last week's painfully dull Scar, Mint Condition was a refreshingly light Halloween episode. Mint Condition barely spent any time lingering on the recent events and the pacing was always quick. The first quarter of the episode flew and only helped along by the smaller comedy moments between Dean and Dirk as well as Sam and Samantha. Pairing them with geekier versions of themselves was a good call and calling that out in the first scene at the shop was a smart move. Mixing up the pairing would have just been the same as having them together. It also kept the flow going by keeping the horror stories going with Dean and Dirk. Overall, Mint Condition worked a lot as an episode to break from the ongoing Michael saga.
Another part of Mint Condition that worked so well was the small slices of classic horror flavor that were mixed into the episode. They added a lot of humour throughout, showed how ridiculous the horror tropes are and then wove them back into the story by showing just how timeless they can be. Modern horror is drastically different today but there is something primal about being pursued by someone or something that just won't stop. The best part in Mint Condition being when Hatchet Man chased Dirk down the hallway. It flips the helpless female cliché and pushed that anyone can be chased and killed by an axe wielding psychopath that returns to claim his revenge every year.
Mint Condition was a good episode from Supernatural. Did the humour peak at the Panthero? For sure. I would have preferred a bit more of a nod to Small Soldiers but the episode worked quite well for what it was, without overcomplicating the story and leaning into the comedic frights. Here's hoping that next week's Nightmare Logic is just as good.