Finally, after six seasons, Supernatural has blatantly acknowledged its similarities to the long running series The X-Files. Both shows feature a pair of characters investigating paranormal events and hunting strange monsters. Both shows even feature Mitch Pileggi in a supporting role. The one big difference is The X-Files routinely investigated alien encounters and UFOs, an area Supernatural" has avoided -- until now.
Dean (Jensen Ackles) and Sam (Jared Padelecki) investigate the disappearance of several people in a small town called Elwood. With bright lights and crop circles, all the markings of UFO abductions are present. Dean gets abducted not by aliens, however, but by fairies. It turns out that a local business man (Linden Banks) has made a bargain with a leprechaun (Robert Picardo), who is now taking the firstborn children of everyone in the village. Using a tip by a local but lovable loony (Trish Allen ), Sam spills salt, forcing the leprechaun to count every grain, giving him time to reverse the spell and send him back to the parallel dimension he came from.
Despite a couple of serious moments, including Dean questioning whether Sam really wants his soul back, the episode was played as a comedy, and it was perfect. Ben Edlund is one of, if not the best, Supernatural writers, and this episode ranks among the stronger monster of the week episodes. That is not to say that the subject of fairies cannot be taken seriously. The 2008 episode of Torchwood entitled Small Worlds did a much more serious take on the fairy phenomenon, and that ranks as my favorite episode of that program.
These quirky episodes are usually hit and miss with viewers, and while I apparently missed something with last seasons Ghost Facers episode, which spoofed the whole paranormal television phenomenon, this one hit the mark. It included the right blend of comedy with a sufficient amount of action. While it didnt contribute to the overall season-long story arc in a meaningful fashion, it ranks as one of the finer stand-alone episodes the series has offered in quite some time.
The entire opening sequence, reminiscent of The X-Files, was awesome. Anyone unfamiliar with that earlier program likely did not fully appreciate that parallel, but for those of us who were familiar with the show, it was a perfect tribute.
The scene in which Dean trapped the fairy in the microwave, and the timer went ting after the screen went dark, demonstrated perfect comedic timing and effective black humor. Even him fighting the little fairy to the classic David Bowie tune "Major Tom" was priceless.
Sam and Dean were both perfect in their roles. Sam played the straight man perfectly, with Dean playing the more slapstick routine to perfection. Neither one will ever be accused of resembling Oscar winners, but when given some decent comedic material, they are actually quite good.
Trish Allen was sensational as Marion, the fairy-obsessed local whose knowledge sounds crazy, but ends up saving the town.
Best line of the night goes to Dean. When asked by Marion what the fairies were like, Dean replied, "They were grabby, incandescent douche bags, goodnight!"
What Didnt Work
The title was not terribly clever. After six seasons, the ability to come up with clever titles has become much more hit and miss with the writers. The slogan during the credits, The truth is in there made up for this weakness though.
It would have been nice if the writers could have worked in a direct reference to the cartoon Fairly Oddparents. I love that cartoon and I looked for a reference. Perhaps there was one and I simply missed it.
Giving Credit Where Credit Is Due
Supernatural stars Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles. Clap Your Hands if You Believe was written by Ben Edlund and was directed by John Showalter (I).
Supernatural airs Fridays at 9 p.m. ET on The CW.
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