This episode scares me. No, honestly it does. Wendigo really, properly scares me. Funnily enough it is hardly the darkest or most frightening of the stories from Supernatural, but it still manages to scare the crap out of me. Why, you may ask? Well it's entirely my own fault. As a child and young teen I was a bit of a mythology buff (still am, if I'm being honest) and so one day I was perusing the library in search of something new to read and came across an anthology of Native American Mythology. Well like a dummy I sat down to read it before bed and the first story I came across was that of the Wendigo. It was told from the POV of a young boy reciting the legend to a couple of his friends. He describes how the creature smells like rotten meat, feeds on human flesh, and will attack faster than you can blink. The story describes the boys getting trapped outside after dark and how before the Wendigo strikes it will hunt you down and call out your name. That is how you know you have been marked for attack. The tale ends with this line: of you may not believe that the Wendigo exists, but I know better. I'd seen the eyes, I'd smelled the smell, and I'd heard the scream that was probably the last sound Boomer Briggs ever Gah! It's still seared into my mind even after almost ten years!
So of course whenever I saw the title of this episode I shuddered and almost shut it off. Now that I knew what the terrifying creature from the beginning of the episode was I wasn't entirely sure I'd be able to handle this if I actually had to see the creature up close. And then Sammy turned up on screen and suddenly I set down the remote and settled back to go along for the ride. was worried about him with his nightmares and refusing to let big brother Dean help!
Favourite Moments & Random Thoughts:
- I'm very glad that they didn't just gloss over the effect that Jess' death must have had on Sam (and, by extension, Dean). All too often a drama will set up a tragedy and make you cry at the by the time the next episode has started things have all but been reset. Or the next episode sort of deals with the fallout, but then everything is hunky-dory after that. Not so with Supernatural. Aside from being extremely good at continuity, this show deals with emotions in a very realistic and organic sort of way (for a television show).
- Sam's nightmare made a reference to Carrie. I'm not much of a horror film person (I've said before - I have a weak stomach and cowardly tonsils) but I picked up on that just from the film history books I've read. Didn't make it any less disturbing, though.
- Dean's rather bumbling lying to that ranger is hilarious coming off of watching Season 9 where it's practically a second skin to him. Or perhaps it's a bit tragic...
- Haley and her brothers are obviously set up to be relatable in terms of the Winchester's plight in that they've lost their parents and can only rely on each other. I have a question about the youngest brother, though. Does he ever actually have a line to say? I just watched the episode again and I honestly don't know. Talk about an under-developed scene-filler!
- Authorities ruled the attacks out as a rogue grizzly. Of course they did.
- Dean doesn't do darn!
- At last I know how to properly pronounce the name of the creature that made me want to latch every window and wear earplugs to bed for a week! (The earplugs were so I couldn't hear it call my Silly me, it's pronounced just like it's written: Wen-dEE-go.
- A Wendigo emerges every 23 years? Huh. Guess I need to start moving every 20...
- "Did Bambi or Yogi ever hunt you back?" Gosh I love Dean Winchester's wit! Not only is it funny but it also helps to ramp up the tension as at that moment I knew Badass Ranger Rick was as good as dead. There are just certain tropes that accompany certain characters that herald their not making it to the end of an after you've explored so much television, film, and writing in general you learn to identify them.
- What I didn't see coming was Dean being grabbed by the Wendigo and both he and Haley's brother making it out alive. I knew Dean my money was really on What's-His-Face croaking it by the end of the episode. I love it when a show can play on my expectations and then subvert them entirely.
- It was wise of them not to show us the monster until the very end (and then only in shadows) because nothing could ever live up to our expectations and the imagination always creates the best horrors anyway.
There's really nothing else much to say about this episode. It had a solid story, fairly likeable characters, and the Wendigo's den made me nauseous. I did indeed spend a lot of the story peeping from between my fingers (and I'm never going camping but overall it was a great experience. The writing was good, Dean and Sam were adorable, and I can't wait for the next one.