‘Supernatural’ Review: “Party On, Garth”
'Supernatural’ season 7 conjures up its eighteenth episode of the season, as Sam and Dean work with fellow hunter Garth (DJ Qualls) to stop a monster that can only be seen while drunk, and investigate some suspicious activity seemingly tied to Bobby.
Last week’s ‘Supernatural’ “The Born-Again Identity” saw Sam finally breaking down from Lucifer (Mark Pellegrino)'s torture, while Dean sought help from a faith healer who looks an awful lot like their fallen angel-buddy Castiel, so what will the latest episode bring? Is Castiel still in the nuthouse?
Read on for your in-depth recap of everything you need to know about ‘Supernatural’ “Party On, Garth!”
As some surly youths tell the campfire story of Jenny Greentree, young Trevor McCann wanders up, clearly inebriated. His brother wrestles the drink and his keys away from Trevor, before Trevor sees something unseen to the rest of the group, and bolts into the woods. His brother races after him, only to find the boy disemboweled by the side of a tree. We've all had that fantasy, right?
Hey, Garth’s back! Garth rolls up questioning the girls that night what happened to Trevor, and they point him in the direction of the supposed Jenny Greentree story. As any good hunter would do, Garth finds the woman’s grave and burns her bones, believing himself to have vanquished the evil spirit. Not so! Later, Trevor’s brother finds himself similarly inebriated and ignoring phone calls from concerned friends, when he scampers out into the woods to find his brother’s attacker. Instead, he winds up with the same fate, disemboweled by the Samara-looking monster!
Unsure of what to do, Garth invites Sam and Dean to join him on the hunt, meeting up to examine the remains of the bodies. Musing on the possibility of an “invisible ghost werewolf,” the hunters learn that both boys’ father owns a local brewery for "Thighslapper Ale." They visit the brewery to see a young janitor being chewed out, and ask the father of the victims if they might have had enemies. While interviewing the boy’s godfather, and part-owner of the brewery, Sam notices a curious box with Japanese markings. Evidently, the brewery has a third partner, Dale, who recently killed himself, his wife suing for her husband’s stake in the company, which they're planning to cell.
Later, one of the McCann daughters makes herself a vodka and orange juice, which the youngest daughter accidentally takes a sip of, distorting her vision enough her to see the apparition of the spirit punching a hole in her older sister! Back at their hotel, the Winchester boys and Garth knock back some Thighslapper ale, noting that Dale was pushed out of the company two weeks prior to his death. When the latest murder comes over the radio, they head back to the McCann household.
Garth cleverly gets young Tess to open up about what she saw by using a hand puppet, and to Dean’s chagrin it works, cluing them in to the fact that Tess had a “grown-up drink” before seeing the spirit. Sam goes to visit with Dale’s wife, learning that his partners sold the company out from under him, and Dale opted to send his partners a curious bottle of Sake that he refused to let his wife touch. Garth and Dean realize they can only see the spirit whilst hammered, so Dean breaks out Bobby’s flask to get a head start. Garth notices that his EMF reader goes off around the flask, theorizing that Bobby’s spirit might somehow be tied to it, but Dean brushes off the suggestion and heads toward the brewery.
Sam and Dean review the security logs from the brewery office, revealing that young Trevor did in fact open the cursed Sake and drink from it. Sam and Dean proceed to down glasses of liquor, slowly finding themselves able to see the apparition on tape. When Mr. Baxter arrives, Garth uses a Taser him to keep quiet.
Taking the Sake box to a Japanese restaurant, a cook translates the writing as “What you took will be taken from you,” and find that the bottle inside contains a “Shojo,” a decidedly unfriendly alcohol spirit. Back at the hotel, the boys research the monster further, and figured out that the spirit was compelled to do the bidding of what was written on the box. Seeing as the company was Dale’s “baby,” the Shojo then reasoned that it would kill his partners’ children. The EMF goes off on Bobby’s flask once more, and Sam admits to Dean that he too has had, and even attempted to prove the “Ghost Bobby” theory, with no success. They un-gag Baxter to ask him what the Shojo might try to take from him, and figure out that the janitor seen earlier is secretly Baxter’s son. As the boy cleans up the brewery, the monster looms!
Dean and the cook from earlier perform a rudimentary Shinto blessing on a pawned samurai sword, and the elder Winchester races to the brewery. Garth is the first to arrive, hammered of course, and does his best to help the boy flee the Shojo. Dean next arrives, swinging his sword at the spirit, but gets roughed up for his trouble. For a moment, it seems that the sword actually moves itself into Dean’s hand, and he finally destroys the spirit. Afterward, Dean begs what he believes to have been Bobby’s spirit to reveal itself.
The next day, Dean and Sam say their goodbyes to Garth, still wondering what might have happened with the sword. They muse that if Bobby were a spirit, he’d let them know, but when Dean ventures back into the hotel room to retrieve the flask, we see that in fact, Bobby is a ghost tied to the artifact! Of course, for some reason, Dean can’t see or hear him. “Balls,” Ghost Bobby mutters.
Gasp, after all this time Bobby decided to remain a ghost in this world? Or did he have very little choic in the matter? And why do we have to wait three more weeks to find out the deal? Could ‘Supernatural possibly be biting off more than it can chew? How does a born-again Castiel fit in with all of this? We’ll find out before the end of the season!
Did you get your fill of ‘Supernatural’ action? What did you think about the episode? Join us next time for an all-new episode recap of ‘Supernatural’ spooker “Of Grave Importance” on The CW!