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Supernatural fans got “Garthed” this week as DJ Qualls brought some much-needed humor to what’s been a pretty bleak season. This week’s monster was a Shojo, a pissed off Japanese spirit that crawled off “The Ring” set to do some murdering in Kansas and can only be seen by drunk people. Yep, the premise for “Party On, Garth” set the table for hilarity and the writers and actors delivered in a big way, starting with Garth using his own name as a verb on more than one occasion. The slow motion scene of Garth walking away from the burning bones is precisely the type of thing his screwball of a character would think was cool. You know what, he’s right – it was cool.
I had one beer. Of course I’m drunk!
Once Garth discovers that burning the bones of Jenny Greentree didn’t stop the murderous spirit in the woods, he wisely calls Dean for backup. We got our second funny moment of the episode as the brothers showed up at the morgue to find Garth in fatigues posing as a cousin come to pay his last respects. “What?” he asks the brothers. “I look good in a uniform.” Sam and Dean could barely get a word in before Garth was marching out the door and telling the brothers he’d meet them in 40 minutes at the brewery. For all Garth’s quirks, mannerisms and overall goofiness, the writers wisely chose to avoid making him a full-blown punch line. Yes, he’s somewhat awkward and embarrassing but he’s a good hunter who handles himself particularly well when interviewing people. He took care of the questioning at the brewery single-handedly even though Sam (who’s more adept at handling people than Dean) came along with him.
We got a few gory deaths this week as the Shojo is rather fond of ripping her hand through people’s stomachs. The second brother’s death was effective with the blood cascading down his legs, but the mother’s death was perhaps the hardest to watch, as she effectively got gutted in her own kitchen right in front of two family members. The shot of the Shojo’s fingers ripping through her shirt was one of the grosser moments of the season. With the body count rising, our trio of heroes discovers that the thing they’re hunting is a Shojo with some help from Dale’s wife and a terrified sushi chef. A quick bit of research reveals that the Shojo is an alcohol spirit that can only be seen when drunk and must be killed with a Samurai sword that’s been blessed by a Shinto. Who’s up for getting ripped and buying a sword!
Can you even get drunk anymore?
It’s been a while since we’ve seen drunk Sam and Dean but their intoxicated forms didn’t disappoint in this episode. The whole scene in the brewery office had me in stitches. I’ve saved my favorite line for “Line of the week” below but it goes without saying that I’d love to see some more episodes where Sam and Dean hunt drunk. I know I can’t be the only one. Getting back to the action – Sam and Dean, after drunkenly concluding that a pissed off Dale sent the Shojo to kill his partner’s children, are busted by Randy (I think that was name), who’s then dropped by Garth’s Taser. Back at the motel, Garth deduces that Randy had an illegitimate love child with his secretary – the janitor he’s seen reprimanding about 10 minutes into the episode – giving the Shojo one final target. I’ll say it once more: he might love getting drunk on wine coolers, but Garth’s a good hunter. He’s not the strongest guy, but he does good legwork.
A drunk Garth and Sam converge on the brewery and attempt to keep the janitor safe with mixed results. Garth gets thrown about 40 feet through three walls and Sam literally gets thrown so hard he leaves a Sam-sized impression in a wall. Thankfully Dean shows up right in time (after getting the samurai sword blessed by the same sushi chef and a bottle of spring water) and stabs the Shojo with Sam’s help. Thanks to alcohol – the cause of, and solution to, all of life's problems – the nameless janitor is saved and Garth goes on his merry way. He gives the brothers hugs that they don’t totally hate and Sam sums it up perfectly: “You’re right. He has grown on me.” When life seems the bleakest for the Winchesters, leave it to Garth to inject a little joy. Hope to see him again real soon.
Mr. Fizzles and the haunted flask.
You thought I wasn’t going to mention the introduction of Mr. Fizzles, one of the most bizarre creations ever to appear on Supernatural? Wrong! As much as I enjoyed the scene in the brewery office, this was the highlight of the episode. Garth’s sock puppet (does he just carry that thing around with him?!), although creepy at first, actually got through to Tess. Personally, 10-year-old me would have running screaming from the room begging to wake up from that nightmare but Garth once again shows his ability to relate to people, even children. I shouldn’t have doubted him though since, as he said, “his special lady has twins.” Now, would someone please make a .gif of the “Because Mr. Fizzles can sense when you’re being a LIAR” scene and link it below? I would sincerely appreciate it.
A final thought: in typical Supernatural fashion, this episode wasn’t just about having a couple laughs as Sam and Dean drunkenly fight a Shojo with Garth. Using Dean’s EMF meter, Garth correctly guesses that Bobby’s spirit is attached to his flask that Dean carries. After several episodes of speculation, we finally get confirmation that ghost Bobby has been helping the brothers since his death. Seeing him appear in the hotel room at episode’s end was a sight for sore eyes but presented a Sixth Sense type revelation – Bobby doesn’t know he’s dead! Or, if he does know he’s dead, he wrongly assumes the brothers can see him. Either way, we’ll have to wait until April 20th to see this situation come to a head.
Enough with the hiatuses, CW!
Line of the week
Sam: So he let the thing out of the box and it just followed him to place with all the thingies.
Dean: Yes. Yes. That’s smart.
Next time on Supernatural
Sometimes it takes a murder mansion to reveal the ghost of your recently deceased friend. Who knew?