It’s no secret I’ve been having issues with some aspects of Supernatural's season eight, but I was still eagerly awaiting Ben Edlund’s latest script, “Everybody Hates Hitler.” Edlund is a superb writer. He moves from comedy to drama with ease and usually manages to pull threads of each through his episodes. Some of his scripts are darker, some more comedic, but all nail characterization and move the season’s arcs forward in a satisfying way. This week’s episode is no exception. Edlund can’t singlehandedly fix Sam’s terrible story line this season, but he’s making me very happy with the show’s reboot.
The story offers us more secret societies, one involving Nazi necromancers and the other rabbis dedicated to fighting such things as Nazi necromancers. The rabbis’ weapon of choice was a golem, wonderfully played by John DeSantis. I’m not sure how all these secret societies stayed so secret when they all were involved with each other, but that’s not enough of a nitpick to derail my enjoyment of the episode. The golem and his present day hapless new owner, played by Adam Rose, had excellent chemistry, and they each played off Sam and Dean well.
Seeing Sam Winchester having to look up, way up, set up the physical comedy of the episode, without sacrificing the gravitas DeSantis gave his character. I’d love to see Aaron and his golem again on the series. Watching Aaron get his supposed flirt on with Dean was funny and continued the light but sure touch the writers have found this season with sexuality.
I had no doubt Edlund would craft an engaging story. I was a little less sure what I would think of the reboot in the mythology or the brothers’ relationship. But so far, so good. The Men of Letters Batcave is a marvelous set and I do love the vibe of Sam and Dean delightedly making the place their own, something they have never had. Dean geeking out over shower water pressure and Sam geeking out over card catalogues is adorable and right in character.
Do I have caveats? Yes, a few. The show was conceived as a road show, with the boys in the Impala growling their way through truck stop America, to paraphrase Eric Kripke. When he created the Roadhouse in season two, he decided to burn it down at the season’s end because he felt it didn’t work for the series. In the Season Two Companion, he said, “"What we realized is that this series is so much about the road trip. Giving them a place to go, runs counter to that and really changes the tone in a way you don't want."