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Supernatural – S12E4 – American Nightmare

Previously on Supernatural, “The Foundry

Supernatural – S12E4 – “American Nightmare” | Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles, Mark A. Sheppard, Misha Collins | Writer: Davy Perez | Director: John F. Showalter

Photos: Robert Falconer/The CW

Just when we thought the family that hunts together stays together, Sam and Dean have begun to butt heads once more. Their most recent case has them in Iowa after a young woman stumbles into church with clear signs of stigmata. Babbling what appeared to be Aramaic before her death, the Winchesters did their undercover thing and were split about who’s at fault for not one but two Old Testament-style slayings. “American Nightmare” was actually a very well crafted episode that kept with season twelve’s beat that humans can be just as monstrous as beasts. At the same time, it was heavy handed in its theme that family is super duper important. In case you didn’t know. Family, ya got it???

There are basically three incorruptible truths about Dean: a) he loves pie, b) he loves burgers, c) he’s the most stubborn man in the history of the world. Deep down he knew his mother was emotionally out of sorts and seeing as how they share many qualities, Dean figured Mary would bury her uncertainty and fear of the future like he does: underneath a few ounces of beer nightly. Still, Dean’s frustrations get the better of him while investigating the death of Olivia Sanchez (Mariessa Portelance) which occurred not from extensive blood loss or trauma but her brains turning into mashed potatoes. They learn she was a case worker for CPS and talk to her underling Beth (Aliza Vellani), who puts it all on blast that she wanted Olivia’s job and she’s a practicing Wiccan. Wow, all right… she gave them means and motive. All Dean and Sam needed was opportunity in the form of hex bags, but none were found.

It’s when the guys visit Olivia’s last and most demanding case – the Petersons – did their spidey senses go off. According to the somber family, their daughter Magda (Paloma Kwiatkowski) passed some years ago because they were lured by the vices of society. So with their young son they moved to the country and became ultra fundamentalist farmers. Sure, and Dean’s a vegan. It didn’t take long for Sam to see through the mother’s lies and the family’s biggest secret: their daughter is alive and forced to repent for allowing Satan to take over her body. In this case, the Dark One is uncontrollable psychic powers she’s inherited.

“American Nightmare” may have been a little too on the nose about family dynamics and sibling relations, but if anything The Winchester’s encounter with The Petersons has given them a better perspective about how well off they are in spite of their dangerous work. Sadly, the Peterson matriarch turned out to be the craziest one of all and was responsible for killing nearly everyone in her homestead. Although her character was essentially a throwaway, it would be pretty surprising if her obsession with driving the devil out of her family will eventually summon Lucifer from the depths and inhabit a new host. The addition of Rick Springfield as The Fallen One’s latest meat suit has been an inspired performance, however, Rowena did accelerate his decomposition and sent him to the bottom of the ocean. Good luck in coming out of that without a blown lung.

All in all, this week’s edition of Supernatural tried to get the boys back in the swing of things and it worked for the most part. There was even a faint glimmer of the terror slinking along their path, the enigmatic Mr. Ketch (David Haydn-Jones). With a reputation of being the Men of Letter’s ace killer, Sam and Dean may be in for a real world of hurt. True, they’ve dealt with absolute horrors in their storied careers. Thing is, the MoL have known their enemy for some time and Ketch is the physical embodiment of their will. And thy will be done, always.

Supernatural S12E4 = 8/10
  • 8.5/10
    Plot – 8.5/10
  • 7.5/10
    Dialogue – 7.5/10
  • 8/10
    Performances – 8/10
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About Rexlor Graymond (493 Articles)
Rex Graymond is 24.6kg tripolymer composite, 11.8kg beryllium-nickel-titanium alloy. Constructed in Northern California. Loves comics and films almost as much as pancakes. ALMOST.
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