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Quick Reaction: 14x16 Don't Go in the Woods

Hello!

We're back to our usual schedule, with me drinking and then getting tired - and then writing up the episode based on my poor notes. You don't get random lyrics to lead you into the cut today though, because although I listened to my iPod on the way home, one of the songs reminded me of an ex-lover and I spent the whole walk thinking about that rather than thinking of appropriate lyrics to pair with the episode theme...

Let's talk about the actual episode now!

We begin in Polk City, Iowa, where two teen types are making out in a car. The girl hears whistling and the guy is like "I'll go check it out" and I'm like "you are going to die guy!" but instead it's his Sheriff Dad! Who I did not catch the name of, for GOOD REASON - because I was like "Is that... it IS! It's ADAM BEACH!" 

Fun fact, although Adam Beach grew up in Dog River (I think), he got married to a lawyer and moved to my hometown - I have a picture of him and I when I was a teenager and Adam still had long hair (and a new born baby), after I went to the premiere of Smoke Signals, which is a movie that I still love. Nothing has ever really equaled the experience of me watching that movie with a 90% First Nations audience. Anyway...

Needless to say, this episode suddenly got REALLY HIGH STAKES, because the MOST IMPORTANT THING is that Sam and Dean needed to keep Adam Beach alive for me.  He is a NATIONAL TREASURE.

First though, the Sheriff has to embarrass his son while his sons girlfriend goes to the park's bathroom facilities. In the bathroom, she is attacked by a monster - and really, is there anything worse than being attacked by a monster while your pants are around your ankles and you're trying to pee in a gross bathroom? It's a very undignified way to go, I have to say.

The Sheriff and Thomas run off to assist her when she screams and the Sheriff sees that she's been taken, but it's Thomas that finds her body in the woods - meanwhile, the Sheriff sees a weird yeti like creature walk off. 

We then cut to Sam and Dean in the bunker. Sam has found the case, and the pattern of suspicious disappearances over the past centuries that pre-date it, on the internet - it's all in Big Creek State Park. Sam suggests they grab Cas and head off to investigate.

Dean is like, Cas left, man. And Sam is like "what the what?" and Dean informs us that Cas doesn't like the fact that he has been "cooped up in the Bunker for a few weeks." So, this answers many questions over the years about why Cas randomly is there and then not there - Cas has a mad case of wanderlust.

Sam suggests bringing Jack next, but Dean isn't too keen on that idea. He's worried about Jack not being able to use his powers responsibly.

They go to find Jack and Dean feeds him a line about how they need someone in the Bunker in case mom or some of the other hunters come by. Which, tells us that despite the massacre, there are still hunters around that are alive and well. Dean also gives Jack a shopping list, which has beer written on it twice.

Sam and Dean then go meet up with Sheriff Adam Beach, who tells them that it was a coyote, and is very uncooperative with them - SKETCHY EVEN. 

They go to check out the body and discover that the flesh is burned around the bite mark.

Back with Jack, who has gone to the Lebanon Mini-Mart, only to find that it is currently closed for lunch - he's at a little bit of a loss as to what to do when his shopping mission is thwarted. This is when the Local Teens that we met in Lebanon (300th episode) find him - the male among them has been watching the Ghostfacers in the wake of discovering that ghosts exist. They're curious about Jack, knowing that he's connected with Sam and Dean. They ask him about ghosts and Jack is like "what's a ghost?" and then they tell him that it's okay, they know everything - and Jack is like, oh few, I hate lying, it makes my stomach hurt... and really, that should tell us right there that Jack's still well souled.

Stacy is the cashier at the mini-mart who was on lunch, and she opens the store back up for him so that he can go shopping.

Back with Adam Beach, Thomas comes to check in with his dad. He wants to talk to Barbara's parents - but Sheriff Adam tells him not to. It's all very sketchy.

In Lebanon, the Local Teens are feeling bad for Jack, and how he has to live in a house of men. The boy, Elliot, asks him about the ghostfacers, and ghosts, and Jack tells him stuff - making Elliot declare that Jack is his best friend.

Jack then gives us some GREAT domestic Winchesters tidbits - like the fact that they have movie nights on Tuesdays - and that Dean usually picks the movie, and as a result, Jack has seen Lost Boys far too many times. The Local Teens are like "you should hang out with people you're own age" and Jack is like "yeah, but I'm two-enty. I'm twenty...two. I'm twenty two." 

Stacy then asks Jack for ID to buy the beer....awkward.

Back in Iowa, Sam has found that the creature they are hunting is called a Kohunta (possibly I'm spelling that wrong, that's just what it sounds like.) 

Out in the woods, a local couple who are FOR SOME REASON hiking in the woods at night - seriously, who DOES THIS? (She says, ignoring the fact that on a school trip her teachers/supervisors once had her and her friends, at the age of 11 or 12 or so, hike through the woods at night as a wayfinding exercise in which quite a few of them got lost briefly because wayfinding is hard in the dark... she ignores this, because she recognizes she went to a very weird private school and this is not a universal experience. She did see an owl though, and that was cool.)

The couple, is of course, attacked - but I like the way they did the monster reveal here - with it being a humanoid shape sitting still amongst the trees and fallen branches.

In the morning, Thomas, is researching coyotes - determined to avenge his girlfriend's death - this CANNOT LEAD TO ANYTHING GOOD. The Sheriff is interrupted from telling Thomas this by the fact that a hunter has been killed in the woods. 

Sam and Dean are already at the scene, interviewing the remaining partner. The Sheriff pulls up and pulls everyone out of the woods and calls off the search party - and then forbids Sam and Dean from going into the woods as well. NOT SUSPICIOUS AT ALL.

Back with the Local Teens and Jack - the Local Teens are in the abandoned, but well appointed house in the woods. Stacy is studying for the SATs and they're all listening to music. Jack shows up to everyone's delight. He has brought books for Elliot. He hears the music and is like "what's this?" and they're like "Uh, music?" and Jack is like "oh yes, I like The Who." (Awww) and then tells them that Dean says everything made after 1979 sucks ass. Which is hilarious, because Dean was BORN in 1979.

Jack also doesn't know what the SATs are. The Local Teens chalk this up to homeschooling - which Jack goes along with, realizing that he's not fitting in as well as he's like.

Elliot asks him about demons, and Jack tells them about how demons can look like anyone - and doesn't seem to pick up on the fact that this creeps them the heck out. He then tries to show them the angel blade - and some combat moves. Unfortunately, his blade/spike throwing skills are a little off and he doesn't seem as impressive as he'd like to be.

Back with Sam and Dean - they have gone into the woods investigating. They don't know how to kill a Kohunta, but are willing to try the basics. The Sheriff finds them first - but makes the classic mistake of putting the barrel of his gun too close to Dean's body. Dean quickly disarms him. 

In Lebanon, night has fallen and Jack has frustratingly not been able to make the cool demonstration of his angel blade skills. So, he uses his powers to do it. This works up until he gets too cocky and starts making the angel blade fly around at great speeds - scaring the Local Teens. They yell at him to stop, but he doesn't listen, his focus on the blade rather than the fact that his new found friends are terrified of him (Seriously, another friend of mine just had a similar problem to this with a friend of theirs who was frustrated and didn't realize he was being SCARY ANGRY DUDE in front of a bunch of his female friends who had all had really bad previous experiences with scary angry dudes. You gotta always remember to check in with whether you're freaking people out or not, people!).

Stacy makes the mistake of trying to dart forward and either run away or psychically snap Jack's attention to the fact that they want him to stop - but instead she gets STABBINATED. The two other teens are reasonably DISTRAUGHT, while Stacy lays possibly dying. Jack heals her, but the damage is done, and all the teens tell him to stay away from them. Poor Jack. He's only two... two year-olds are always nearly killing themselves or their friends and not understanding when you tell them to stop... this is why they're very frustrating to look after. 

Sam and Dean try honesty with the Sheriff, and it works! In return, the Sheriff comes clean - he DOES know of an old legend, that he thought was a myth until now - the Parker Family was the first white family of settlers to build a house in the area. When there was a bad winter, only the son, Henry, survived - but he survived by eating people, and eventually he attacked the locals. In response, the locals cursed him to become a Kohunta - he'd always be hungry, and he'd be trapped in a certain section of the woods and he'd suffer for eternity for what he'd done. 

The locals marked trees to keep others away, but eventually people forgot, or put it down to myth like the Sheriff did - and as a result, people died. 

The Sheriff upon finding out what Sam and Dean do, encourages them to tell people about monsters. They explain that no one would believe them - the Sheriff tells them to get proof and post it to YouTube or something. But Sam isn't having any of that - knowing the truth won't save lives, it'll get people killed. (Also, personally, if people don't even believe the Moon Landing, or that the earth is a GLOBE, there's no way they're going to believe "proof" of monsters.)

They're conversation is interrupted by Thomas calling his dad to tell him that he's going coyote hunting - and his Dad is like - GODDAMN IT! The it's time to run to where Thomas is and hope they find the Kohunta before it finds him. Luckily, the Sheriff remembers enough about the legends to know that a silver blade to the heart will kill it. 

Thomas is truly hunting a coyote - leaving meet in his wake. He then hears the whistling as he gets to the old Parker house. He's attacked and knocked out - luckily, before the monster can chow down on his pretty face, Sheriff Adam Beach comes to the rescue - getting his shoulder bit in the process. Dean runs in and pulls Thomas out of the fray. Meanwhile, Sam gets choked - classic Sam. Dean lures the monster out of the house and Adam Beach is able to get the killing stab. Making the thing melt away.

Thomas comes to as they load him into the ambulance, and asks his dad if they got the coyote, he nods... but then he goes to Dean and Sam and confesses that he doesn't know what to say to Thomas. Sam encourages him to take his own advice and tell him the truth.

In the care ride home, Dean questions Sam's advice, given that Sam wouldn't follow the Sheriff's advice about the truth to begin with. Sam turns it around on Dean and questions Dean's decision to lie to Jack when they left - Dean argues that Jack said he was fine with Dean's cover story - but Sam comes back with the fact that John used to lie, or withhold the truth from Dean and Sam all the time, and they always said they were fine with it to, because it was DAD, and they just wanted to make him happy. TOUCHE SAM!

When they get back to the Bunker, Jack tells them that he got everything except the beer, because he didn't have ID. "You've got tons of IDs!" "Yes, but they're fake!" 

Dean then comes clean, about how he was worried about Jack not having a handle on his powers. Jack says he understands and tells them that he won't use his powers without permission. Dean goes to get beer, and Sam asks Jack if anything happened while they were gone. Sam doesn't seem to notice the emphatic panicked way that Jack says "No! Nothing!" 

And thus endeth the episode. 

My friend wasn't sure how to feel about the indigenous people making a white person into a monster storyline... but I'll leave that for an indigenous person to comment on. I enjoyed the episode, and it was nice seeing Adam Beach again... and having an indigenous actor participate in a story that involved indigenous legends... though again, whether they did it well or not, is not in my lane to really weigh in on with any meaning. 

I DO always like it when they get into the "monsters are made" theme of the show - because it's such a dark commentary on our world. I also liked the parallels between fathers/sons and how the truth is dealt with in the relationship for good or ill. 

I feel bad for Jack for messing up possibilities for having local friends.

So, yeah, I enjoyed this MOTW. I'd be happy if the rest of the season was just MOTW where we got to explore relationships through allegory and there was never a new big bad introduced - but sadly, I know I'm not going to get that. :( 

Let me know what you thought in comments!

This entry was originally posted at https://hells-half-acre.dreamwidth.org/575182.html.

Comments

( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
supernutjapan
Mar. 22nd, 2019 12:34 pm (UTC)
but Sam comes back with the fact that John used to lie, or withhold the truth from Dean and Sam all the time, and they always said they were fine with it to, because it was DAD, and they just wanted to make him happy. I didn't take it that way at all. My understanding was that they are talking about Jack saying he's fine, with staying home probably but also the whole feeling bad about the hunters and using up his soul etc too. Sam and Dean used to lie to John and tell him they were ok even when they were not, to make John happy. It wasn't about John lying to them imo.

It was an ok ep for me. I felt sorry for and embarrassed for Jack and couldn't enjoy any of those scenes. Thanks for filling in the parts I skipped over LOL I didn't realize the girl stepped forward and (because of that) got stabbed. He really needs to go to school or study up on American teen culture instead of reading about Haiti. Sam and Dean are sucky home-school parents.
hells_half_acre
Mar. 22nd, 2019 09:01 pm (UTC)
Interesting interpretation! He may have meant that as well, but he specifically started the conversation by criticizing Dean for lying to Jack and then trying to justify it by stating that Jack was fine.

I think Sam and Dean don't quite know what to do with a two year old who looks like he's an adult. So, I forgive them for not giving him a primer on current teen culture. Especially since they wouldn't know it either. :P

Much like their father, they're a little focused on the "this is how you stay alive" part of education, rather than the "perhaps you should be socializing with people who appear to be the same age as you, even though they are not."
borgmama1of5
Mar. 23rd, 2019 03:53 am (UTC)
Didn't have much reaction to this episode other than feeling really glad the Sheriff's kid survived so the sheriff didn't have to spend the rest of his life feeling guilty.

And Sam's reaction to the sheriff saying they should tell everyone about monsters was poignant--knowing doesn't save people anyway...
hells_half_acre
Mar. 23rd, 2019 06:15 pm (UTC)
Agreed! I was really worried that either the Sheriff's son would die, or the Sheriff would sacrifice himself to save his son.
missyjack
Mar. 23rd, 2019 07:08 am (UTC)
I was hella anxious about them using Native American mythology again. At least as far as i can find out they didn't appropriate actual lore? And then i thought they were going to kill the baby lesbian! Very anxiety provoking!
liliaeth
Mar. 23rd, 2019 11:14 am (UTC)
I'm just glad that this time they actually used native American character, as more than just an exposition tool, in a story involving native Americans.
hells_half_acre
Mar. 23rd, 2019 06:16 pm (UTC)
Agreed!
hells_half_acre
Mar. 23rd, 2019 06:14 pm (UTC)
Maybe that was why they moved away from using the Wendigo, though the monster was similar... times have changed since 2005!
khek
Mar. 24th, 2019 11:44 pm (UTC)
I did wonder why they called it something different, when it had almost exactly the same mythology as the Wendigo in season one...that might explain it.

I thought this was an okay episode...I can't quite put my finger on why it just didn't gel for me.
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )

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