This season of "Supernatural" has been better than some at constructing engaging standalone episodes with only minor threads of mythology woven in, but "Man's Best Friend With Benefits" fell a little short of the mark.
The odd-couple dynamic of Aaron and his belligerent golem offered an amusing detour from the season's mythology, even if the chosen Monster Of The Week -- Nazi necromancers! -- was a particularly random choice, even by "Supernatural" standards.
In typical "Supernatural" fashion, the playful "LARP and the Real Girl" was a tonal 180 from the emotionally fraught events of "Torn and Frayed," which probably comes as a relief for those of us who are still reeling from last week's intense hour.
Perhaps most impressively, considering "Torn and Frayed" was mostly just a typical search and rescue mission, the episode featured plenty of development on the mythology front without feeling too heavy-handed.
"Supernatural" has always pulled off its midseason finales with great aplomb, and I'm pleased to report that "Citizen Fang" showed no sign of breaking that streak -- packing half a season's worth of tension, betrayal and angst into a 42-minute slice of character development.
While "Supernatural" has featured some interesting character developments over the past few weeks, the season's mythology has taken a backseat since episode 802, so it was great to rejoin that arc so decisively with "A Little Slice of Kevin."
No one does honesty like the Winchester brothers. Whereas most of us would try to be up-front about our resentment for our family members in a constructive and healthy way, Sam and Dean subscribe to the "Supernatural" method of conflict resolution ...
After two weeks of standalone episodes, it was good to get back into the meat of "Supernatural's" mytharc again, and with an episode written by Ben Edlund, we knew we'd be getting a story full of wit, heart and believable character beats.
As a conceit, and to capitalize on the "Paranormal Activity" trend, "Bitten" proved to be an engaging hour, building on the lessons learned in "Ghostfacers" in order to stitch together an episode that was 90 percent "found footage."
Episode three was basically a standard "Monster of the Week" installment, but like many of the show's best standalone entries, it also helped contextualize the brothers' relationship to help the audience understand what's motivating them at this point in the season.
This week's "Supernatural" did some things spectacularly and dropped the ball on others, but the episode did serve to drive the narrative forward, as well as delving deeper into Dean's time in Purgatory and giving us our first glimpse of Castiel.
The boys are back in town -- and thank Chuck for that -- since it seems like collective anticipation for Season 8 has reached boiling point over the past couple of weeks. It will be nice to finally lay a few fears to rest and witness exactly what new showrunner Jeremy Carver has planned.