'Supernatural' S11E19: The Chitters

★ ★ ★ ½

"The Chitters" is one of the more sophisticated of the Supernatural monster-of-the-week episodes tonally, however the heart-breaking backstory is the only thing sparing the episode from being as forgettable as it could have been.

The cicada spirit, a monster that emerges every 27 years, is an interesting addition to Supernatural lore. A season filled with new additions, the cicada spirits are one of the few monsters introduced to the series that have little to no apparent self control, being more animalistic and instinctive than monsters such as vampires and werewolves. It is a dynamic that the brothers are hardly used to and the threat of being killed by one felt more dire than that of a vampire or werewolf, who normally just kidnap one of the brothers before failing to kill either one of the Winchesters and dying. The cicada spirits' merciless victim kills are similar to a wendigo's, more out of necessity and far less caring about covering up its tracks.

As I said, the backstory is one of the few great elements within the episode (the monster included). Tragic and darker than the majority of the monster-of-the-week cases, there is something different about the Winchesters being unable to save any of the victims, a situation that leaves the case feeling unfinished, though not as badly open-ended as "Safe House."

Supernatural: S11E19

Jessy (Lee Rumohr) and Cesar (Hugo Ateo), a pair of married hunters, were a great addition to the list of new hunters Supernatural has injected into this season. Possibly attempting to build up its list of recurring characters for coming seasons, Jessy and Cesar are people whose reappearance seems probable. If Supernatural were to use these new hunters like they did Jo and Ellen, Supernatural might find itself tugging heart strings left and right — if they were to use their recurring characters correctly. That being said, the core cast dynamic is growing weary as time goes on. It becomes notably weak in situations such as in "Hell's Angel," where the inability to kill off characters was obvious.

It's Jessy's storyline that acts as a strong hunter origin story. A hunter who lost his brother to the cicada spirit decades before, it pains to see him discover this body among the dozens of those killed by the cicadas. The monster's delivery within the episode (the green eyes, the pot storyline, the humor about its sexual habits) is the weakest aspect of the monster's mythology and could have been illustrated in a less comedic fashion to better fit the darker tones of the episode.

Season 11 shows Supernatural's wears and tears. Though it started strong, it's empty threats have left the storyline feeling tired and static compared to others. The deluge of sidetracked detour case episodes does not help the situation. Though "The Chitters" is not the best of episodes, it is an interesting one that should have set a standard tone for the season, focusing less on humor and more on the darker implications of monster hunting. There isn't enough "darkness" in the Darkness season, ironically, and while "The Chitters" isn't as memorable as other episodes, its monster and new characters are.



Default avatar cat

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Apr 28, 2016 11:53PM EDT

Did you think that Safe House was open ended because you (like some viewers) didn't realize that Sam and Dean killed the Soul Eater? That is the reason for the name of the episode. They made it into a Safe House.

Large davis

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Apr 29, 2016 12:14AM EDT

I see what you're referring to! It was ANOTHER Soul Eater that they were setting out to kill. Good eye!

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