Saturday, November 20, 2010


This week Supernatural takes a brief pause from the ongoing story of the coming Monster War and gives us one of the most enjoyable episodes of the season.  Which shouldn't come as much of a surprise, given that it was written by Ben Edlund, creator of The Tick, and writer/producer of Angel,and Firefly.  He's been a writer and producer of Supernatural since the first season and is responsible for some of the most entertaining episodes (including this season's "The Third Man", which focused on Castiel's return to the show).

The episode is entitled, "Clap Your Hands If You Believe", and yes, that is a reference to Tinkerbell.

Spoiler Shields Up!
In case you weren't aware going into this episode, that it was going to be a little more light-hearted than some of the episodes of late, the entire opening scene is done in the style of The X-Files, right down to the setting being typed across the lower left-hand corner of the screen, and the mysterious abduction in a cornfield of a young man by a giant light, leaving behind an equally mysterious crop circle.

I laughed out loud as the titles sequence came up and instead of the usual Supernatural explosion, the entire thing was done as near as possible to the X-Files opening, too; the music, the way the credits faded in and out, and especially the shots of Sam and Dean flashing their fake FBI badges.

Anyway, since the abduction night, there have been a number of other people disappearing, all first born sons, actually, and UFO enthusiasts have gathered in the hopes of having a close encounter of some kind.  Most significantly, one of the people being interviewed by the boys is played by Robert Picardo, veteran of almost every Joe Dante film ever made and best known as Star Trek Voyager's holographic doctor, so you know he's not just one of the crowd.  He's actually a UFO specialist who's been studying abductions for thirty years.

Or is he?

Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles) aren't really buying the whole Alien Abduction idea, until Dean is actually snatched out of a cornfield by a giant light himself.  Being on his own, the recently Soul-less Sam follows up on all the leads he can, which aren't many, and then beds the UFO obsessed hippie-chick, Sparrow (Devon Weigel).  Seems not having a soul or a conscience is good for Sam's track record.

But then Dean is suddenly returned to the cornfield, slashing with his knife and firing off a few shots from his gun.  It looks like nobody's ever fought back before, and the aliens let him go.  Needless to say, Dean is kind of losing his shit.

Cutting to the chase, though, it turns out that we're not dealing with aliens, but Fairies, which, as one might expect, given the general level of humor on the show, involves more than a few gay jokes (Sam to Dean: "Did you service Oberon, the King of the Fairies, Dean?").  A local watchmaker was on the verge of losing his business, since his Parkinson's Disease was making it impossible for him to work.  His grandmother believed in the Fairy Folk and had told him stories of them all his life, so with nothing else to lose, he attempted a summoning.

And it worked.  He was visited by a man who claimed to be a Leprechaun, because the Fairy Folk come in all shapes and sizes, who offered to make him more successful than he'd ever been.  And as one might expect, there was a price.  His first-born son.  Since that night, the Fairies have stayed in town and continued to kidnap people.  The Watchmaker knows of a spell that will cast them out, but it's in a book, locked in a safe, and guarded by Elves.

The Elves who work all night in his workshop, making watches for him.

And who love to drink cream.  Cream that hits them like tequila.

With Dean in jail after an altercation with a little person (for real - not an elf, or a dwarf, or a fairy, or a gnome), who just happens to be the town's District Attorney, Sam is on his own trying to banish the Fairies from this world.  And Picardo just happens to the Leprechaun he has to deal with.

Like I said at the top, this was pretty darned entertaining, if kind of silly and pointless over all.  I guess not every episode has to move the main story along, but this one doesn't really even address the season's main arc.  Although it is another example of the Father/Son dynamic that has been central or at least on the periphery of every episode this season.

The jokes are the main focus this week, from the perfect X-Files opening, to Dean's description of the aliens/fairies as "grabby, incandescent douches", to the drunk and passed out Elves all over the workshop, to Dean's realization that the glowing ball of light he was fighting was actually a little naked winged lady "with nipples", to the Leprechaun having to stop and count the grains of salt Sam dumped in front of him to give himself time to cast the saving spell in the end.  I actually expected this to be a lot darker than it turned out to be.

I also liked the intimation by Picardo's Leprechaun that there are forces that aren't concerned with the Christian Angels and Demons and whatnot.  His emphatic, "This is magic!" was a nice touch and is more in line with what I thought we'd be seeing more of this season.  Although I guess we are seeing that, sort of, with the way all of the monsters in the world are breaking the chains of tradition and gearing up for something big and violent while both Heaven and Hell are in turmoil.

This, like the Cupid episode last season, is one of those Supernatural episodes that is really just there to keep you smiling and make you happy.  That usually means that horrible things are in store for the Winchesters soon thereafter, though.  It wouldn't be Supernatural if that weren't the case, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

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