TV REVIEW: Supernatural Season 7, Episode 5 – “Shut Up, Dr. Phil”

Supernatural is back and in classic style. Once again we open with a gory, cringe inducing and slightly comedic death – a woman fried to death under a hair dryer.  Moving on to the boys, Dean is tortured by dreams of what he did to Amy a few episodes ago and also by the Leviathans.  After drinking until the morning and looking up cases on the net, Sam persuades Dean to check out the suspicious hair dryer death.

The boys investigate as the bizarre deaths continue, linked by a small coin found at the various scenes.  The victims are linked to a project run by Don Stark – special guest star James Marsters (of Buffy and Angel fame). He may also be the next victim – turns out he has upset his wife, who is taking out her revenge on him and taking the whole town with her.  While the brothers try to figure out what to do, it is revealed that Don is a witch himself and a war is brewing between the bickering pair.  When a spell fails to take out Don’s wife, Maggie – special guest star Charisma Carpenter – the boys must counsel them to ensure the town and they survive.

The boys succeed in reuniting the pair, and as they prepare to depart from their hotel are attacked by the Leviathan we saw a couple of episodes ago – he has been tracking them, which we have seen. The boys are no match for the monster, but are saved by Don, who shows up to save them again from Maggie’s coins.  The Leviathan is not dead but incapacitated, so the boys take him prisoner.  Just before they hit the road Sam desperately tries to get Dean to open up, but Dean, stoic as ever, refuses.

This a was a good episode, greatly enhanced by its guest stars James Marsters and Charisma Carpenter.  While I have seen James in a few things since Angel ended (and he’s always been great in them), I have not seen Charisma much.  Her character here is pretty much a version of Cordelia, so it’s no stretch but is done well with a fair bit of innuendo, which is to be commended  The two have great chemistry with the boys as the brothers attempt to reunite the pair and end up being attacked by the other spouse every time they side with the other.  It’s this kind of brilliant comedy that Supernatural does so well.

There are a few continuing themes – Dean’s drinking and his actions in episode three.  Sam has shown to really mature this season, how he handles Dean’s lack of motivation and silence by ignoring him is deftly done.  No Bobby in this episode, apart from being referenced over the phone, and he does his usual job of providing the answers.

One criticism I would have is yet again, the use of clips of episodes we have only just seen.  It’s like they think the audience forgets what has just happened.  They played the scene of Dean killing Amy over and over again these last two episodes; to me, it comes across as lazy and takes away the impact of what Dean did. It’s a style choice I’d like to see dropped.

The Leviathan is suitably deadly, although there was no need to keep seeing  shots of him driving around throughout the episode.  The short scene at the start and then the fight would have been enough.

The deaths are gory and quite comedic. Some might raise an eyebrow in seemingly taking pleasure in the gruesome deaths of the various victims, but it is what Supernatural does well.

All in all a very entertaining episode with quality guest stars that were a great asset.

Best lines: “out being Lance Armstrong,” What are you? Bad Santa?” “She makes cupcakes,” “Restless leg syndrome,” “Hearts in my cupcakes!” “If you can’t kill them, counsel them.”

Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Steven Stone


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