Season 4 Episode 19

Jump the Shark

Aired Thursday 8:00 PM Apr 23, 2009 on The CW

Episode Fan Reviews (23)

Write A Review
out of 10
734 votes
  • The long lost Winchester

    This was a tragic episode. The main premise, of course, being the long lost half-brother of Sam and Dean. This not only impacted them on the level of how to deal with a new sibling, but also made them face yet more startling revelations about John. This was one of those eps that could be considered filler yet not. Because while it did not focus on any of the main arc for the current season, it did bring more insight to overall mythology of the series regarding the boys' father and family history, which has always been an important component of the show.

    Obviously, we are privy to meet the long lost half-bro of Sam and Dean: Adam. And foot note here, I thought this name for him was pretty interesting given the whole religious tone of the season with the angels and all. But aside from that, while the brothers get to meet their, well, "new" brother, we also get some old fashioned Sam and Dean in the mix of the ep here. Meaning, Sam being the one ready to welcome Adam into their midst, while Dean is the ever-so-reluctant one ready to douse the poor boy with holy water and use silver to repel him, thinking this is once again a demonic trick. And actually, Dean was right. At first......

    Hence our ghost story for the week. Eww! Ghouls! We've seen so many rarely-heard-of creatures and spirits before on the series (rakshasa, shtriga, to name a couple), but this ep introduced ghouls - simple, popular, everyday kinda things - and still managed to turn it into something frightening. And nasty! The ghouls portrayed here were scavengers, feasting on human flesh and blood and, according to Sam, evidently rank way low on the spook chain of the supernatural order. They take the form of the dead, as evidenced by Adam and his mother coming to prey upon Sam. So Adam had been dead the whole time, the tragic thing being that the bros never got a chance to meet the real him.

    And as tearfully sad as that is, in some ways this is not a bad thing. First, it removes the stigma of having an "extra" Winchester in the mix that, by all counts, right now is not really needed. Which leads me to my second reasoning: Sam and Dean have enough on their plates for themselves - actually, TOO much - without having to worry about yet another family member in peril. Sam said it all when he was talking to Dean: "He's a Winchester. He's already cursed". Therefore, Dean was right when they burned Adam's body at the end by saying he was in a better place. I mean, the boys know and live the horrors of what they do and by what Dean meant was that Adam would be better off not being subjected to the evils the bros face every day. But that's the beauty of the twisted irony of the events that happened here: Adam was already subjected to it by being killed by the ghouls in the first place, and Dean and Sam were ultimately too late to save him, making the sitch all the more tragic. God, I love it! I really would've enjoyed seeing more of Adam, believe it or not, but like I just said, right now it's just not needed.

    Even more tragic were Dean's reactions to Adam's existence. He realizes that Adam had more of a normal life with John than he or Sam ever had. Did you see his reaction to the fact that John had taken Adam to a baseball game? How absolutely sad was that? There were obviously some very strong hints of jealousy from Dean here over Adam's privileged "normal" life, and I gotta say who can blame him? Still, it was an interesting dynamic between Dean and Sam over Adam's life. Sam was ready to accept Adam as their brother whereas Dean was reluctant at first, and it even went as far as Sam mentioning calling in a favor with Castiel to bring Adam back to life, but it was ultimately Dean who did right by letting him stay dead, keeping him out of harm's way. If they had given in and somehow brought Adam back, then it would've gone against everything they stand for, really. How many times have these boys played the martyrs, not only for themselves but for each other, and then bearing the consequences after the fact? Dean realizes they can't do that any longer so he conveniently - and smartly - does the right thing this time.

    Dean makes the remark at the end that he gets why Sam and John are so much alike, practically the same person. He's not wrong. What I got from this was how ready Sam also was to intro Adam to the world of demon hunting, and even giving him the 411 on if he's got any connections to the normal world (friends, girlfriends, etc.) that he is to cut them off, to stay detached if he wants to pursue this. Looking back, John did the exact same thing to Dean and Sam. However, in Sam's case he obviously rebelled and took off, but after everything he's been through he does a complete 180 and becomes his father. Adam simply wanted revenge for his mother's disappearance. Who said he was ready to stay in the fight for good? But Sam utilizes John's psychology here that it is never over, that it is a life, you're in it for the long haul, kiddo. And I believe that this is what Dean meant about Sam and John being so much alike. But also let's not forget that John has shown signs of wanting normal things, too. As evidenced in season 1's 'Salvation', John told his boys that he wanted normal things for them too. And because John mostly started just wanting revenge for Mary's murder, it ultimately became a lifestyle to him. So it's no wonder that Dean breaks the cycle here, because he realizes what this was headed for.

    As for John, well....what can I say? Yet another shocker from him. Yet actually, it does make sense. I mean, Sam was right here: John most likely got lonely out on the hunt, met a woman, and...well, now we know the rest. So in that respect it's understandable. But still, it had to be a huge slap in the face with this realization, especially given the fact that while poor Sam and Dean were somehow fending for themselves John was having these special father/son moments with Adam elsewehere. The only logical reason I can think of why he never told Dean and Sam is the fact that perhaps John felt there was at least one child of his that he could keep from this lifestyle, thereby subjecting him to Sam and Dean would somehow be a bad influence. John, sweetie, I love you dearly, but sometimes you could be such an ass! Bits and Pieces:
    - It's so nice to see the boys doing ordinary things in the middle of their hunts. Sam brushing his teeth on the side of the road was just cool to me.
    - It's also cool to see they still retain their brotherly ways, like playing "Rock, paper, scissors" again.
    - One thing that did add a tad of current continuity was when the ghoul of Adam's mom commented on Sam's blood tasting different.

    This ep is definitely a perfect 10. Like I said, it was tragic. Next ep looks like we get a closer exam on Castiel. I'm really looking forward to that one.