‘Supernatural’ Review: “Freaks and Geeks”
‘Supernatural’ season 8 scares up its eighteenth episode of the season in “Freaks and Geeks,” as Sam and Dean find young former ally Krissy Chambers (Madison McLaughlin) as part of a team of orphaned young hunters led by their elder Victor (Adrian Hough), but quickly suspect Victor has sinister motivations of his own.
Last week’s ‘Supernatural’ episode “Goodbye Stranger” saw Sam and Dean re-teaming with Castiel and Meg (Rachel Miner) to find a hidden crypt that contained the angel tablet, while Castiel struggled to free himself from the control of the mysterious angel Naomi (Amanda Tapping), so what does the latest season 8 episode bring? Will the Winchesters finally be able to rid the world of Crowley and his fellow demons?
Read on for your in-depth recap of everything you need to know about ‘Supernatural’ season 8 episode 18, “Freaks and Geeks!”
In Conway Springs, Kansas, two teens make out in a parked car by the roadside, when a mysterious figure from a blue van darts around the car. The boy retrieves a knife and exits the car, when moments later the figure drags the girl out of the car window. The boy swiftly decapitates the figure, now revealed to be a vampire, as another girl steps onto the scene. The first girl, an older Krissy Chambers, sighs and insists that her companion Josephine play the bait next time.
The next day Sam and Dean roll into town in their FBI guises, learning from a local officer that two local women were drained of blood. The officer shows Sam and Dean footage of a security video from a previous night, as Dean recognizes Krissy in the tape. The brothers usurp the case for their department, and wonder aloud if Krissy’s father knows what she’s been up to.
At a seedy motel, Krissy and her group check in and gear up for their next mission, with the boy Aidan acting continually flirty with Krissy. Aidan and Josephine head off to catch a vampire in a neighboring room, while Sam and Dean enter Krissy’s, having tracked her with their own means. Krissy explains that her father died some time ago, while Aidan and Josephine break into the vampire’s room, finding a girl tied to the bed. The vampire attacks, but when Sam and Dean burst in to intervene, the creature flees out the window and heads toward a nearby van.
Krissy beats Dean to the fleeing vampire and incapacitates the creature, whom Josephine identifies as the vampire that killed her family. The vampire protests his innocence, but Josephine swiftly decapitates him. Krissy explains to Dean that vampires caught up to her and her father after the Winchesters saw them last, with the vampires killing her father just as they killed Aidan and Josephine’s family. Dean insists she’s too young to hunt, but when he suggests sending her to live with her aunt, Krissy replies that their caretaker Victor would object.
Curious about Victor, Sam and Dean visit the man’s lavish home to find he takes care of all three youths, while making sure they stay in school and keep disciplined as well. Dean protests putting such young hunters in danger, but Victor assures the brothers that all three are a force to be reckoned with, and the next generation of hunters needs to be better than theirs. Unsure what to make of the situation, Dean resolves to question the captive victim from earlier, as we see the mysterious blue van and its driver pull up to the house.
The next morning the kids head off to school, as Victor reveals to Sam that his own family was killed by a Wendigo, and that he provides a less nomadic hunter life than they themselves had growing up. Elsewhere, Dean visits with the girl from the hotel, who reveals that the vampire Jimmy didn’t actually hurt her, but seemed confused and scared, having only returned from Afghanistan a month prior.
The thee youths return home at Victor’s request, having found surveillance photos of the vampire that supposedly killed Krissy’s father. Dean calls Sam to point out that a vampire turned a month prior couldn’t have killed Josephine’s family three months earlier, as Sam spies the mysterious blue van nearby. Sam rushes to tell Victor, but finds that the youths have already gone on the hunt.
Sam and Victor slowly approach the van, while Dean visits a nearby lodge on a tip from the hotel clerk, finding the woman from Victor's surveillance photos bound, confused and starting to show vampire signs. The three youths show up to the scene guns drawn, but Dean urges them to think more rationally about the situation and realize that they may have been set up to kill a vampire that couldn’t possibly have murdered Krissy’s father. Dean reminds the three that they can still save the girl from her vampirism, as we see Victor knock Sam unconscious with his apparent vampire ally, the van's driver.
Sam comes to in Victor’s house, as Victor reveals that he intends to stage Sam’s death as a vampire attack, lest the children learn how they’ve been manipulated. Victor explains that last year's Leviathan outbreak and his family’s murder were a wake-up call that he needs to train more hunters, as Dean returns to the home with the youths in tow.
Cornered, Victor admits that he arranged for his vampire friend to kill the young hunters' families to provide their motivation, before urging the youths to continue on with his cause. When the situation gets out of hand, Krissy incapacitates the vampire and trains a gun on Victor, but Dean urges her not to succumb to revenge. Krissy pulls the trigger, revealing the gun lacked any bullets, and she allows Victor to live with the shame and loneliness of his actions. Before they can react however, Victor grabs a hidden gun and ends his own life.
The next morning while the others tend to curing the vampire girl, Sam and Dean say their goodbyes to Krissy, who believes keeping with her young hunter group to be the most prudent course. Dean admits that Krissy isn’t a kid anymore, before advising her Garth will check in from time to time, and warning Aidan not to break Krissy’s heart, lest she kill him herself. Outside, Sam notes that things worked out, but Dean worries it won’t matter if they can’t close the gates of Hell in the near future.
'Supernatural' fans well know that standalone episodes these days can run the gamut, season 8 alone providing a number examples in either column. "Freaks and Geeks" in particular actually works rather well, keeping the story relatively simple and well-utilizing past mythology and characters in its narrative. Too often the show becomes bogged down explaining the strengths and limitations of a new supernatural creature, making vampires and previous season character Krissy Chambers a natural choice to expand upon existing concepts. The idea of a trained group of young hunters certainly proves intriguing, but we're a bit disappointed to see the execution neglected to include even a mention of the Men of Letters, or the state of the hunting world at large. All in all, "Freaks and Geeks" makes for a solid stand-alone with some nice moments for Dean and Krissy, but might have been better served with a bit more contextual awareness of the season around it.
Did you get your fill of spooky ‘Supernatural’ action? What did you think about “Freaks and Geeks?” Join us again next week for an all-new episode recap of ‘Supernatural’ episode “Taxi Driver” on The CW!