Season 11, Episode 5 - "Thin Lizzie"
Jensen Ackles, Jared Padalecki, Misha Collins, Mark A. Sheppard
Regular airtime: Wednesdays, 8pm
US: 4 Nov 2015
Tonight’s installment started in the way that countless horror movies (and episodes of Supernatural) have started: two nervous teenagers being hacked to death in a room so dark that you can scarcely see what happened.
As it so happens, they were staying in the former home of accused ax-murderer Lizzie Borden, which has been turned into a hotel/tourist trap. (Yes, there actually is such a place in Fall River, Massachusetts. It has free Wi-Fi, and is rumored to be haunted.) Dean (Jensen Ackles) and a particularly excited Sam (Jared Padalecki) are soon at the scene, looking into whether or not this was the doing of a vengeful spirit. (Long-time viewers might remember that Sam is a true crime fan or as Dean puts it, has a “creepy serial-killer fetish”.) Their investigation leads into the best part of the episode, when the Winchesters show how the haunted house is a hoax, rigged up with hidden speakers, flickering light bulbs, and an EMF machine in the basement. This is especially unexpected, considering it’s an actual business that the series is fictionalizing here.
Unfortunately, after interviewing Len (Jared Gertner), a local Borden fanatic, the brothers are thrown off the trail of even more murders by learning that Amara (Yasmeene Ball) has been stealing souls in the area. Len ends up being an unusual character, an unfortunate man whose soul has been stolen, but his conscience and parts of his personality remain. By showing us that different people act differently without their souls, and reminding us of when Sam was soulless five seasons ago, the show could be hinting at something big.
As it turns out, Amara was the architect of all of the murders. She met Sydney (Tess Atkins), a local babysitter with deep emotional and physical scars, and gave her feelings of euphoria (a seemingly new power the The Darkness has) before stealing her soul. Sydney then went on an emotionless killing spree, nearly killed Sam and Dean before Len picked up an ax and saved the day.
Len might be missing a soul, but he bravely asks Dean to kill him, because he fears that he will eventually become a merciless killing machine. Dean, having his own experience with such feelings in the past, refuses, so Len decides to confess to all of the murders so he can safely be held in prison. Given his build up in this episode, I wouldn’t be surprised if Len pops up in another episode.
The show closed out with Amara longingly gazing at Dean from an unseen distance, telling him she would “see him again soon”. (Not next week, though: according to the previews, the next episode will instead focus on the return of the shifty voice-of-God Metatron [Curtis Armstrong]).
Those who expected “Thin Lizzie” to be a light-hearted, monster-of-the-week exercise in “saving people, hunting things” were likely disappointed. The name of the episode itself was a little misleading, with its play on the name of the classic rock band (whose music surprisingly wasn’t featured at any point in the show), and the infamous presumed murderer Lizzie Borden’s “ghost”, which only took up about half of the episode. Most of the night’s events revolved around souls and what happens after The Darkness gobbles them up, and yet we were left not knowing much more than we did at the beginning of the episode.
What’s worse, the episode itself was a bit of a downer; not only did multiple innocent people suffer and die, but the real monster responsible for everything still remains at large. For all the build-up and focus on The Darkness as the season’s big bad, it’s disappointing how annoying Amara is; the sooner she gets salted, melted, Borax-ed, or whatever-ed away, the better!