(This review was originally posted on Blogcritics.org in 2008. It is no longer on that site. A copy of the first page of the review and all the original comments can be found here. I'm reposting here to preserve the history of my SPN reviews.)
Be careful what you wish for! It’s dark comedy done Supernatural style and with anything using this genre, the side splitting laughter usually comes with a dark and cynical sentiment by the end. Dark enough to even make a teddy bear want to blow his brains out.
Despite the sinister territory, the execution of “Wishful Thinking” is perfect. It’s a slower-paced yet very entertaining episode that felt familiar, probably because it’s written by the wacky yet brilliant veteran writer Ben Edlund. Robert Singer is the director, adding to the comfortable flow and feel of the Winchester’s latest mind-boggling adventure.
This week’s locale is postcard perfect and the breathtaking scenery managed to greatly enhance this bizarre episode. I was told this is the same place where Men In Trees was filmed (the fictional town of Elmo). One Google search later and the name of the actual town is Squamish, British Columbia. Here it’s Concrete, Washington. What, they couldn’t use Elmo? No matter, for Squamish is going on my places to visit list.
What a concept! A horror show, in which one of its main characters accurately states “Everyday of our lives is Halloween,” opts to do a Halloween themed episode. Considering the Halloween season is a disastrous time in the Winchester family history, why not dress up the fact that this year isn’t proving to be any better for the brothers?
“It’s The Great Pumpkin, Sam Winchester” paid a fitting homage to the “teenage slice and dice” horror flicks of the 1980’s. You know, those countless films in which Halloween urban legends were depicted via standard horrifying gore (like razor blades in the candy) and enough campy teenage kills during bad parties that made us wonder how a town didn’t notice the sudden drop in the teenage population. Maybe the hope this year was that by following that formula, this week’s Supernatural episode could confuse enough channel flippers into thinking they were watching Halloween (insert your terrible horror movie here).
Oh, but we knew it was a Supernatural episode. Plenty of the same elements with which we’ve grown familiar are there. Sam and Dean again play FBI agents with the rock and roll names. This week Agent Seeger (as in Bob), and Agents Geddy and Lee (lead singer of Rush for those who aren’t educated in such things) were accept by unsuspecting authorities without question. That’s the second shout-out to Rush this week by the way, for their popular song “Tom Sawyer” played an important role in the crucial scene of Monday’s Chuck and it was awesome.
The MO starts the same as well. Suspicious kill, hex bag, investigate the lore, give Sam a few minutes of his usual lecturing mode to educate us on said lore, and of course, they talk to the witnesses. It wasn’t until the angels showed up that this episode took a different turn.
If this episode will be remembered for anything, it will be the stunning exorcism scene near the end in which Sam pushes his abilities to new agonizing limits to rid the world of Samhain, all while Dean watches with the most heart-crushing look of sadness and concern. Sure, having Castiel and new angel in this episode was a major bonus, and it’s great to see just how un-fluffy they are, but they were there only observers, which kind of weakened their presence.
Website Designed and Built By