In Review: Supernatural, Episode 211 “The Things They Carried”

A nice, low budget story with some good development for a returning character.

Supernatural, Episode 211 “The Things They Carried” Broadcast March 18, 2015

Written by Jenny Klein

Directed by John Badham

“Then,” Various shots of the Dean asking, “What is it?” with Sam responding, “I don’t know,” intercut with them killing a variety of monsters. Cole is then shown capturing Sam and Dean setting him straight. “Now,” water drips upside down as seen from a woman’s perspective. It’s Fayetteville, North Carolina, and the girl, who has duck tape over her mouth and her hands bound behind her back, shakes to free herself from her upside down position as a figure approaches. It’s a man wearing military clothing, and he’s carrying a bucket. He sets it below the woman and slits her throat. Several droplets become a cascade into the receptacle. The man catches some of the draining fluid in his hand and slurps it. Cue opening title sequence.

Night at the Winchesters’ bunker. Dean startles Sam who’s on his laptop looking at “Biblical and Far-East Stories.” He slams the screen down so Dean can’t see it. The older Winchester shows the younger his tablet which has a story about a female soldier, the one from the opening, who was found with her organs drained and the marrow sucked from her bones. Sam seems reluctant to go. “What?” Dean asks. “Not weird enough for you?” With an acquiescent shrug, Sam gets up to go. In the Impala, Sam is on his cellphone looking up the Mark of Cain. Dean tells him to stop, they’ve checked everything. “The truth is there’s no way around this,” he says raising his arm. The two arrive at the Fayetteville Police Station where they’re greeted by an officer who says, “Agents, I gather?” The boys ask about the death of Jackie Prescott, but the officer says they’ve already wrapped it up: it was a Special Ops officer, Rick Willis, who committed the crime. He “drank a boatload of gasoline and set himself on fire.” The boys go to see Willis’s widow who says her husband was a kind soul, but was always thirsty. “He’d spend half the day drinking from the garden hose.” Rick had recently returned from a classified mission. Before the boys leave she reveals that a friend of hers, Gemma, was married to a man on Rick’s team, Kit, who came back “different.” Going to see Gemma, they find out Kit’s been gone all night. They learn that Kit’s also been “drink out of the dog bowl thirsty.” Leaving her, they find Cole Trenton leaning on the Impala. Gemma called him since he’s known Kit for a long time. He wants to go with the Winchesters to find his friend since he has access to military information they can’t get. However, he says he’ll “flick (them) like flies on roadkill” when he figures out what’s going on. Night falls and Kit walks into a convenience store drinking all the water he can. When a clerk tells him he has to pay for it first, Kit–whose faced is heavily scarred–breaks a bottle and slashes the young man’s throat. He’s lapping the dead man’s blood off the floor as another clerk contacts the police. Cue first commercial break.

This was a decent budget saver of an episode that looks to create some resolution between Cole and Dean. In his previous episodes, Cole came off as a really weak character when he learned what the Winchesters did for a living, plus Dean was Demon Dean at the time. This story by Jenny Klein is the best Cole story written. He was an actual three dimensional character, trying to protect his friend from being killed by the brothers, and then having something happen to him. It gave Travis Aaron Wade a lot of opportunity to show his range, and he was successful. I enjoyed the electrifying chair sequence and the hot scenes that followed. Sam is separated from his brother and is dealing with his own troubles. I like how he was shown trying to help Kit’s wife. Michelle Morgan who played Gemma (and her character’s name might be spelled differently than how I have it; I can’t find her online in this role) got some nice moments from the episode as well. It was nice to see the Mark of Cain introduced in the beginning of the episode, but not be the overwhelming story thread running though this installment.

The good: Jenny Klein’s script, Sam’s emotion at the end of the episode, cake blocked Dean, cool phone footage, excellent rat cameos, nice make-up effects, very nice special effects, and a good outing from Travis Aaron Wade.

Fun lines: “You know, just not before we eat,” “Oh, the hell you are,” “We are not gonna hunt my best friend,” “If he’s a monster, we’re going to have to put him down,” “I’m sorry. I can’t stop,” “I’m game,” “Whatever it takes, Dean-o,” “Oh, buddy. It’s only Monday,” and “But I still hope I don’t see the two of you any more. No offense.”

The bad: No scars on the individual in the coda? That’s some pretty quick healing.

The final line: A nice, low budget story with some good development for a returning character. Overall grade: B+

Patrick Hayes was a contributor to the Comic Buyer's Guide for several years with "It's Bound to Happen!" and he's reviewed comics for TrekWeb and TrekCore. He's taught 8th graders English for 20 years and has taught high school English for five years and counting. He reads everything as often as he can, when not grading papers or looking up Star Trek, Star Wars, or Indiana Jones items online.
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