It’s been a month since we had any new Supernatural and while the last few episodes were rather mediocre, this week’s return to new episodes was also a return to good episodes.
“Death Takes a Holiday” had the Winchesters investigating a small town where for the past week and half no one has died. The boys soon realize that the local reaper has gone missing and that’s why people are surviving all kinds of seemingly fatal incidents.
I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who spent the early portion of this episode thinking about Dead Like Me? There was an episode of that show where the gravelings and the reapers all took a vacation day so people were surviving all kinds of normally fatal situations. Not quite the same thing here, but the similarities were enough for fond reminiscing.
Cole’s character worked surprisingly well. It was pretty clear from the moment that Sam promised him safety that Cole was doomed. It would have been all too easy to mess up his character and just make him annoying, but his relationship with the Winchester brothers worked.
I was happy to see Pamela return again. It was kind of odd that when we last saw her she was pretty unphased by the whole having been blinded thing, but in this episode she was rather bitter about it. She blamed the Winchesters for having gotten her involved in the situation.
In retrospect, her sudden attitude change should have been seen as a big blinking neon sign that she wouldn’t be surviving the episode. In theory, having Pamela blame them for getting her injured means there’s even more blame now that she’s dead, but it just felt out of character. Really, the Winchesters would probably feel guiltier about what happened to her if she wasn’t blaming them for it.
With Pamela dying, I have to ask did all the other people, like the guy in the opening teaser, end up dying when the Reapers came back on the job? Pamela’s stab wound only became fatal once Tessa was back on the job, and the guy in the teaser still had a bullet in his heart so one assumes things didn’t go too well for him either.
Bringing Tessa back from the season two premiere was a great choice. Her history with Dean really added a lot to the episode that we wouldn’t have gotten if it had just been some random reaper.
I’m now curious as to where Reapers fit in the Supernatural mythology. They obviously aren’t under the command of either the demons or the angels, and they are quite committed to carrying out their reaps. The stuff Tessa was saying to Dean, and to Cole, kind of makes the reapers seem more “heavenly” than the angels themselves.
I’m also wondering about Castiel’s claim that the angels recaptured Alastair (via that big bolt of lightning). Can angels generally just capture demons at will? Or was their some sort of special trap set up that allowed Alastair to be captured? If they can capture them at will, why haven’t they been doing so before now?
It also seems that Sam has gotten quite a bit stronger himself. While Alastair was able to swat him like a fly before, Sam is now the one doing the swatting. I couldn’t quite make out what Alastair said Sam had been doing, it sounded like “soul flexing,” and it was definitely with Ruby. I still suspect that whatever Sam’s doing to improve his powers involving having sex with Ruby.
While the treatment of Pamela’s character was iffy, “Death Takes a Holiday” was an enjoyable episode that moved the season’s main plot forward and raised all kinds of interesting questions to ponder. Well done.
Trevor MacKay is the sci-fi/horror/fantasy/cheesy/random geeky stuff guy. If something is geeky and/or unbelievably cheesy, he’s there.