“Trippin’ trips”? “Orgies”?
Oh, don’t get excited, “The Chitters” is not nearly as scandalous as I’m making it sound. It’s about loss, outsiders, teammates, brothers, hope, and the even better, unexpected, happy ending. Gather round the campfire, happy people, Supernatural is back.
Sam and Dean investigate the green-eyed shakers : “We’re not actually gonna go with junkless on this, are we?”
Sam and Dean investigate a series disappearances in the small town of Gunnison, Colorado. Six people have gone missing in 48 hours and according to Sheriff Tyson, it’s happened before. In 1989, a dozen residents went missing, and in 1962, another 8 disappeared, always around the same time of year. The only witness to the new wave of disappearances, Cory aka “Ganja Girl”, is not the most reliable but she has a story the Winchesters are willing to believe. Her friend Libby Strauss was taken by a pale, naked, hairless creature, with flashing green eyes – and no genitals – and when she found Libby again, she wasn’t the same person : her body was shaking and making a buzzing sound.
The next witness is a woman whose husband disappeared in 1989. Etta Fraser explains that Pete went missing right after he was seen “diddling” two different women in public, on two separate occasions, Doris Kegan and Melissa Peterson, who also, both disappeared that year. Etta is burning sage in her house to protect herself, and she’s packed her bags, ready to leave town for a few weeks. She’s starting to wonder if there’s some truth to her grandmother’s theory about what could have happened to Pete. Once a generation, people in town get the “chitters” around the Spring Equinox and they start having orgies, copulating in the woods while making buzzing sounds, and then disappear.
At the police station, a new witness has turned up. She and her friend Cliff were attacked by three green-eyed, sharp-toothed assailants she identifies as town people, and there are more down the alley where Cliff was killed. Sam goes to inspect the crime scene and Dean heads for the woods after Cory calls to inform him that she’s spotted Libby in the vicinity. He’s attacked by a green-eyed shaker and rescued by two strangers. The first one beheads the monster and the other stabs it repeatedly, just to make “sure” it’s good and dead.
Sam, Dean, Cesar and Jesse: “You guys fight just like brothers. Almost as bad as us.”
The two men, Cesar and Jesse, are hunters who mostly work in Mexico. They heard of the Winchesters but thought they died a couple of years ago. They’re hunting Bisaans, Cicada spirits that emerge every 27 years to mate. Since they can’t reproduce on their own, they take over a human body by entering its mouth. The hunt is personal for Jesse. He’s come back to the small town he grew up in to find closure because a Bisaan took his brother Matty 27 years ago. Before everything went wrong, Matty was making plans to sell his collection of rare coins and save money so he and Jesse could leave town and go to California.
When Cesar and Jesse start arguing about the case, Cesar wanting to follow leads in town while Jesse prefers to stay holed up “in the trees” and away from the town folk, Dean notes that, they fight “just like brothers. Almost as bad as us”. There’s a knowing smile on Dean’s face as Cesar mentions that he and Jesse fight “more like an old married couple”, until Dean understands that in their case, they mean it literally. He wonders what it’s like to settle down with a hunter and Cesar’s answer is, “Smelly, dirty. Twice the worrying about getting ganked”.
Dean, Cesar, Sam and Jesse: “He was a great brother.”
In order to cover more ground, Dean teams up with Cesar. They only have a few hours to find the lair before the current generation of Bisaans dies off and it becomes impossible to locate the eggs, which would also delay Jesse’s revenge for another 27 years. They find the burrow and kill the male Bisaans that are guarding it. While the pregnant women are already dead, the eggs are still growing inside them and will hatch unless they’re destroyed.
Sam teams up with Jesse. He wants to find Sheriff Cochran, the one who worked the missing person case in 1989. On their way to Cochran’s cabin, Jesse tells Sam what happened all those years ago. He found his brother Matty but Matty was no longer human. Everyone, his mother included, believed he had been abducted by a pervert and they blamed Jesse for not doing enough to help find him and for making up lies about monsters. Matty was a “great brother”, the only one who accepted Jesse, so with him gone, Jesse left the town.
As it turns out, Sheriff Cochran is not welcoming. He’s not forthcoming either. He tries to get rid of Sam and Jesse and remains stone-faced when Jesse shares his pain over losing his brother. It’s only when his unwanted guests tell him the attackers were not human, that Cochran finally confesses that he did in fact find the missing people. They were all dead and his daughter had become a monster that he was forced to kill after she attacked him. He buried his secret and let the families hold on to the hope that their loved ones had run off for a “big, bright life”.
Jesse, who already disliked Cochran for leaving the townspeople without justice or answers when he was the sheriff, becomes livid when he finds that the man who told him he was “making it up” as a child knew the truth all along. Sam intervenes to keep the situation from escalating and demands to know the location of the lair.
At the lair, Jesse finds Matty’s body with the rare coin Matty was carrying the day he was taken, among a graveyard of skeletons and mummified corpses. Watching Jesse and Cesar give Matty a hunter’s funeral stirs painful childhood memories for Sam. He tells Dean about the times he was alone while Dean and John were hunting, became convinced they were dead when they didn’t come back for a few days, tried to figure out what to do next but felt “just lost”. The burrow is torched but the brothers still have work to do. They’re tempted to ask Jesse and Cesar’s for help with AmaraLuciCas but hearing about the couple’s plans to retire in New Mexico, “start living” and race horses, they decide against it.
Overall grade : 6.75 /10
The show is back with a MOTW episode that gives me season 1 flashbacks. A lot, and I mean a lot about the hunt reminded me of “Wendigo”. A slender, ashen-skinned monster drags a man into the woods. The monster’s lair with the “Keep Out” sign and that tunnel with the railroad tracks look like the exact same locations that were used for episode 1.02 of Supernatural. Then there is that older man who knows the truth about what’s really going on and decided to barricade himself in a cabin on a hill, away from human contact. In spite of the callbacks to that early seasons, classic Supernatural that I love, and the elaborate lore behind a brand new monster we’ve never seen before, I didn’t enjoy “The Chitters” as much as I would have liked to.
I was actually enjoying the episode until Jesse came along, looking all kinds of off, and started stabbing repeatedly a dead, decapitated body. I could tell by that dazed look in his eyes that he was going to be a handful. That crazy blinking he did when he mentioned that the Bisaan took his brother confirmed to me that the character was supposed to come across as quite damaged by the trauma he endured as a young boy.
There is also Jesse’s subtle reaction, closing in on himself when Cesar reveals they are a couple, like he’s used to people having a problem with it, which explains the “ignorant” epithet he uses to describe the townspeople and the comments then 16 year old big brother Matty made about the bullies who will “stomp his head in” and everybody else “at school and in town” who won’t leave him alone if he’s not “careful” as in more discrete.
I’m not minimizing Jesse’s trauma or judging his right to be bitter and justifiably defensive about the town and everyone in it. Heck, for this brobond junkie, a sentence like “I never got over what I lost that day, the one in the whole world I love the most” should have roped me in but as a viewer, sometimes it works for you, sometimes it doesn’t, and there was something unnerving (not the good kind of unnerving like Edward Norton in Primal Fear) and a bit over-the-top about Jesse for me. When he went all “you killed her” up in Sheriff Joe Cochran’s cabin, it was over. I couldn’t warm up to the character and therefore had a hard time caring about his story, which made me a bit resentful of the considerable amount of time that was spent on him.
Another issue I’ve been talking about for a moment. That repetitive, clumsy, awkward, please-make-it-stop’, conversation at the beginning of every episode where the Winchesters go back-and-forth with “We got jack. What about AmaraLuciCas. Let’s hunt.” before they decide they’ve apologized enough to have earned the right to take on a case like hunting isn’t their day (and night) job. Man, please, get in the car. I suspect this dialogue could be a response to the complaints about the way the show transitions from epic, yet-to-be resolved, mytharc revelations to good ole MOTWs but there has to be a way to make it less painful.
Criticizing the show doesn’t change the fact that I love it and that I see the effort that’s being put into improving areas that have been a source of discontent among certain segments of the audience like the ire over a lack of diversity and representation. I believe this episode deserves to be noted for the casting of the actors who portrayed Sheriff Tyson, Cory, Cesar, the writing for Jesse, the teen with the budding same-sex romance who doesn’t get slaughtered in the first five minutes of the episode, the complicated adult whose story doesn’t revolve exclusively around his sexual orientation (or presents it as a joke or a punchline) and who, not only doesn’t sacrifice himself for the straights à la Corbin from Ghostfacers but also gets to have a happy ending in the love department. I know the writers were thinking, y’all can’t hate on this winning combination! And I’m not hating, just congratulating.
Other things I enjoyed. My Dean is a child at heart and so am I. He finds great amusement in whoopee cushions and I giggle everything he says “junkless”. Reminds of the way he described Uriel and Castiel in the beginning : “I’m starting to think Junkless has a better sense of humor than you do” (“On The Head of a Pin”), or “You listen to me, you junkless s*ssy, we are not giving up!” (“Swan Song”).
It was also nice to see April Telek again. She was funny as Darla in “Frontierland” and she made me smile again as Etta in “The Chitters”. True to herself, she was lusting after one of the Winchesters. In “Frontierland”, she was all over Dean. In “The Chitters”, the way she was looking Sam up and down while talking about orgies was positively indecent.
The “maternity ward” part hurt my “little feelings” as Meg would say. I didn’t mind that particular plot-line and the episode doesn’t lose any points for it. It’s just that, like some people seem really angry about angel vessels having sex (I’m not because I don’t see how them saying yes means they consented to any and everything but that), I’m heartbroken by the women as incubators trope, human females, infected by the cicada spirit, used in those chitter orgies, impregnated, killed, by whichever step of the process I’m not sure, the pregnancy, the male Bisaan, either way, gross, and rotting away while monster babies glow/grow in their bodies. I’m a bit emotional about it but I’m also aware that this is a horror series so I’m not mad. I just find it horrible, which fits the theme.
On a not completely OT note, I just finished marathonning season 1 of American Crime Story (The People V. O.J. Simpson) and I was constantly distracted by the fact that the sheriff who killed his green-eyed shaker daughter was named JOE Cochran. Mmm. Could that name have been given to him because he covered up a murder. I see what you did there, Nancy Won. Maybe?
I also couldn’t stop thinking about Gordon Walker, Dean and Sam having a beer in “Bloodlust” (more like Gordon and Dean having a beer, and Sam “he’s the only one who gets to call me that” having an attitude) during the scene where the four hunters are at a bar. Interestingly enough, Gordon’s Sterling K. Brown plays the role of prosecutor Chris Darden on… you guessed it, American Crime Story.
That old canon: “some vamp or rougaru…”
First, allow me to present the receipts.
From “Dead Man’s Blood”
John: They were what Daniel Elkins killed best: vampires.
Dean: Vampires? I thought there was no such thing.
Sam: You never even mentioned them, Dad.
Travis: Boys, we got a rougarou on our hands.
Dean: A rougarou? * looks over at Sam *
Sam: * crickets *
Dean: Is that made up?
Ah yes. Back from hiatus and still talking about canon continuity. If canon adult!Sam didn’t know about rougarus in season 4 or vampires in season 1, how did canon kid!Sam… Oh never mind. Let’s talk old married brothers, I mean people.
That old salami: “More like an old married couple.”
From “Tall Tales”
Bobby: You’re bickering like an old married people.
From “Pacman Fever”
Charlie: You guys fight like an old married couple.
From “Mother’s Little Helper”
Crowley: You’re lying to Sam like he’s your wife.
Dean: “What did Sam say? Does he want a divorce?
Hey, I also use the power of quote for good, and I have but one thing to say.
Show? KEEP IT COMING. Please, and thank you.
Best Dean moment
Look at that face. Look.at.it. My sweet prince…
Be right back, baking a pie. Not sure why, just got the urge out of nowhere.
Killer Dean. The hunter. The badassery. Nobody does it like him. He must have been some knight warrior or angel of death in a past life. Never seen anyone kill with such elegance. All that swagger, yes, Lord.
Best Sam moment
Sam talking about his childhood memories, his loneliness and fear when Dean and John were out hunting. It sheds more light on the reasons why Sam felt like he needed a Sully. I’m also happy he was strong enough to kick Sully out because as some some you may know, I do not like Sully nor do I think he’s a positive influence.
Lady Killer Sam. It’s like he doesn’t own a mirror. He’s always blindsided and discombobulated when a woman notices how handsome he is. It’s endearing. I think those ladies enjoy playing with him and making him blush. My favorite wanna-be Sam eater remains Miss Beverly “I bet a young buck like you can do a lot, in ten minutes” from “Ask Jeeves”. Girl…
“You fight like brothers, almost as bad as us.”
“Well, it’s more like a married couple.”
And Dean’s like, ya, I know about that too…
I could actually end the Report here I’m so delirious with joy but I do have one more cute bro moment. Dean being such a big brother about that time Sam smoked * air quotes * oregano. That rebel. “Ain’t that right, Sam?”
Okay, one last one. That fond smile on Sam’s face has when Dean says something funny. Watch it and melt. Or maybe that’s just me… I’m cool with that.
“The Chitters” was an okay episode. Parts I liked, I really liked. Unfortunately for me, a lot of the story focused on a one-off I didn’t care about. Didn’t help that the episode was light on Winchester. You know, it’s hard to explain, sometimes, they’re there physically but not all that present. That’s how I feel when not enough of the story revolves around them.
I did enjoy what little Winchester I got. The “old married couple” reference never gets old. And oh, how I loved hearing Sam talk about childhood memories as they related to his feelings about Dean and John rather than just his desire to run away from it all (we’ve explored that). I’m always hungry for more insight and POV from him. For too long he wasn’t a person anymore. Just a vessel with unpredictable mood swings and one supernaturally-induced personality altering affliction after another.
I love the 100% human Sam we’ve been getting since season 10. The guy who’s passionate, who cares, who shares his thoughts, who prays so the ones he loves can have a life, enjoys a home-cooked meal at Jody’s, doesn’t quite understand the rules of a one-night-stand (in his case, not a flaw), tells Lucifer, “You’re lecturing me?”, you of all people, please, and keeps a brochure of Oak Park Retirement Living in the Winchester Treasure Chest because he’s starting, maybe, to have a little hope for the future.
“Two hunters who make it to the finish line.”
That could be you too, Sam and Dean.
Speaking of. Sam? You know your brother is high maintenance and he is not going to be cleaning horse poo (see “Trial and Error”) when he’s 60; plus, he’s been dropping hints about retiring all season, so… are you doing anything about those Oak Park reservations he was totally not kidding about? You keep me posted, honey!
XI : Winchester Brothers Report
11.01 “We Broke It, We Bought It”
11.02 “That Giant, Crazy Fart”
11.03 “And I have a fake badge”
11.04 “We’re home”
11.05 “That whole sensitive verbal massage”
11.06 “She overpowered me, end of story”
11.07 “What do you mean, killer bunny?”
11.08 “The family that showers together”
11.09 “If Sam’s not safe, it’s not happening”
11A Midseason Report Card “So, lock and key?”
11.10 “Sam can’t talk cause he’s waxing…”
11.11 “All that’s ever mattered is that we’re together”
11.12 “And when you mix it up with the potatoes and the beans”
11.13 “I can’t help it if I’m a hopeless romantic.”
11.14 “Non, je ne regrette rien.”
11.15 “Groupie, much?”
11.16 “I got ya.”
11.17 “You got him, I need him, let’s make a deal.”
11.18 “We geteth it.”