If there’s one thing that cripples Supernatural season after season, it’s the budget. Shows on the CW have to make do with a shoestring budget, as anyone who’s watched almost eight seasons of Supernatural and 10 seasons of Smallville can tell you. We’ve seen this problem manifest itself most commonly with the way Supernatural handles larger-than-life supernatural entities. Last night’s “Remember the Titans” was no exception. It was painful to see Greek gods Zeus and Artemis, along with titan Prometheus portrayed as mere mortals in nice clothes. These are Greek gods we’re talking about! The healing and blue lightning special effects can’t disguise that fact. It’s not that I’m mad at the show for its reach exceeding its grasp. I applaud the big swings this show routinely takes. It’s just frustrating to see Greek gods, angels, demons, Leviathans, etc. as humans with cheesy special effects thrown in to remind that these beings aren’t actually human. It takes the viewer out of the story, and like last night’s episode, flattens what should’ve been a memorable episode.
Prometheus doesn’t look like a “Shane” to me.
Gripes aside – since there’s nothing this show can do about its budget – last night’s episode was your typical Supernatural filler episode. We meet a guy, in this case the titan Prometheus living his life as Shane the mountain man, and he does something supernatural like walking away after getting hit by a car, freezing and having his guts eaten by a bird. The cries of “Zombie!” in the local newspaper arouse Sam and Dean’s suspicions (how did Sam get a physical newspaper from a small town in Montana?) and they show up to investigate. One of the show’s strengths is its ability to imbue small roles like Trooper Jack with memorable personality. Trooper Jack insisted that Shane was a zombie and was itching to cap the guy in the melon after he showed up on a coroner’s table following a grizzly bear attack. If the producers of this show ever want to do a spinoff, they need to round up all the quirky law enforcement officers they’ve showcased over the years and stick them all in an office together. I would watch that show in a heartbeat.
Getting back to the main mystery, Sam uses his all-powerful MacBook and universally available WiFi network to determine that Shane is actually Prometheus after the group is attacked by Artemis, the daughter of Zeus. I wrote in my notes that the fight encapsulated everything Supernatural is known for: dark lighting, a fight that is hard to follow, the brothers getting tossed around and humans standing in for powerful entities. Following the fight we’re introduced to Hayley and her son Oliver, and learn that Prometheus knocked up Hayley after the avalanche that freed him from the mountain where he was being forced to relive death every day. Along with inheriting his father’s good looks, Oliver also inherited the curse Zeus placed on Prometheus – since turning 7, the boy has died and come back to life every day. And as we all know, nothing motivates Dean like a little kid who needs his help.
Good shot, Katniss – er, I mean Artemis.
Using a journal that was deciphered by the Men of Letters, Sam and Dean learn how to summon Zeus and eventually do so using the bones of a believer and a new-age crystal. This confrontation actually held some surprises. Usually the brothers exploit the villain’s stupidity to physically overpower them. This episode had Sam using his intuition to exploit the secret love affair between Artemis and Prometheus. (Note: I loved Dean’s “not bad” face when Sam is making his spiel to Artemis.) Dean had it right two episodes ago – Sam is the brains of the operation. Artemis is swayed and shoots an arrow at her father to stop him from killing Prometheus. Zeus uses Prometheus as a human shield and cackles in the titan’s ear about sending his son to the mountain. The brothers watch as Prometheus shoves the arrow through his body into Zeus, killing them both. It was a fitting end for the character, although we never received confirmation that killing Zeus actually broke Oliver’s curse. I guess we’re supposed to assume it did.
Where art thou, Castiel?
The highlight of the episode was saved for the final minutes as Dean cried out to Castiel in prayer and asked him to watch over Sam during the trials. Try as Sam might to hide it, Dean knows that the trials are taking their toll on his brother. This scene alone shows the depths of Dean’s love for Sam. Dean only prays when he really needs help, and as the season winds down, my guess is that Sam will need all the help he can get to shove Crowley and company back into Hell once and for all.
Line of the week
Dean: “Here we go.”
Sam: “What do you got?”
Dean: “Dragon penis.”
Next week on Supernatural
The Unholy Trinity! Hell yes!