'Supernatural' Resurrects Hitler in an Odd, Stand-Alone Episode

Jessy Krupa
A resurrected Hitler is thrilled by the possibilities of Twitter to gather new followers.

An average, stand-alone episode leaves us wondering about the future of season 12.


Airtime: Thursdays, 9pm
Cast: Jensen Ackles, Jared Padalecki, Misha Collins, Mark A. Sheppard
Subtitle: Season 12, Episode 5 - "The One You've Been Waiting For"
Network: CW
Air date: 2016-11-10

Supernatural has an illustrious history of weekly monsters, but this week's episode dealt with an especially unusual villain: Adolf Hitler. It leads to the question of whether or not imagining an actual person -- particularly one who caused as much death and damage as Hitler -- as a horror fantasy is or isn't in bad taste. Despite the gore and violence that usually comes with horror movies and shows, there's a certain lightness that comes with the adult realization that imaginary creatures such as vampires, ghosts, werewolves, zombies, and the like don't actually exist.

Horror movies about Hitler and Nazis, however, aren't unusual (ranging from the laughably ridiculous They Saved Hitler's Brain to more recent fare like Dead Snow), and many horror characters are loosely based on actual, often tragic events (such as how Dracula was inspired by the bloody war exploits and reign of Vlad the Impaler, or how the bacteria-related death of an archaeologist led to the idea of The Mummy's ancient Egyptian curses.) Regardless, given Supernatural's history of mashing up pop culture, ancient myths, religious lore, and just plain ridiculousness, no one should really be shocked by "The One You've Been Waiting For".

After reading about two people who spontaneously combusted in an antiques store, Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean Winchester (Jensen Ackles) investigate what the two were arguing over at the time: a gold pocketwatch emblazoned with a swastika. They call Aaron Bass (Adam Rose) (from the season eight episode, "Everybody Hates Hitler"), the keeper of a Golem who's been hunting down a group of supernatural Nazi necromancers known as "The Thule", which is precisely what they're dealing with in this episode.

This group of age-resistant, hard-to-kill Nazi necromancers are led by Commandant Nauhaus (Gil Darnell). Darnell plays Nauhaus as a typical Hollywood Nazi who mostly barks orders with a thick German accent. At the end of World War II, he used magic to encase Hitler's soul in a pocketwatch in order to resurrect his fuhrer in the future. First, however, he needs the blood of a distant relative, a woman named Ellie (Allison Page), so he sends his (oddly 22-year-old) son (Keenan Tracey) to kidnap her.

The Winchesters find and rescue her, with Nauhaus' son, Christoph on to their side (because as he explains, throughout his childhood "Christmas was a joke" and "career day at school was a nightmare"; never mind that his father tried to have him killed). Not before, however, Nauhaus actually goes through the procedure and becomes possessed by the spirit of Hitler.

Considering the confusing nature of what is turning out to be this season's main plot (the British Men of Letters and their overreach of power), wouldn't this week's plot have made a much stronger villain? After all, what's more frightening, a bureaucratic group of kill-happy monster-hunters, or the unkillable spirit of a notorious dictator and his undead goon squad? Regardless, Supernatural's version of Hitler is more silly than scary, and too-easily killed when Dean merely shoots him in the head, continuing season 12's track record of quickly resolved plots.

The first stand-alone episode of the season -- the only thing tying it to the main plot is a brief scene in which Sam asked Dean if he really is “alright with” their mother's decision to be alone for awhile -- did at least contain a few references to the events of previous seasons. As usual, Dean was mostly used for comic relief (he still loves pie and really enjoys the fact that he killed Hitler), while Sam reminded us of his past (being used as a pawn in order to bring Lucifer back to earth on more than one occasion) as he consoled Ellie.

The show's writers could be trying to tell us something about Sam's character, as he bonded with a woman who was known for "running away from her problems"; a quality they share. Is there a reason why the writers keep reminding us of Sam's past troubles? Regarding last week's episode, the series' producers have denied that Sam will have any psychic powers this season, but that doesn't rule out some other big Sam-related plot twist. Only time will tell.


The Best Indie Rock of 2017

Photo courtesy of Matador Records

The indie rock genre is wide and unwieldy, but the musicians selected here share an awareness of one's place on the cultural-historical timeline.

Indie rock may be one of the most fluid and intangible terms currently imposed upon musicians. It holds no real indication of what the music will sound like and many of the artists aren't even independent. But more than a sonic indicator, indie rock represents a spirit. It's a spirit found where folk songsters and punk rockers come together to dialogue about what they're fed up with in mainstream culture. In so doing they uplift each other and celebrate each other's unique qualities.

With that in mind, our list of 2017's best indie rock albums ranges from melancholy to upbeat, defiant to uplifting, serious to seriously goofy. As always, it's hard to pick the best ten albums that represent the year, especially in such a broad category. Artists like King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard had a heck of a year, putting out four albums. Although they might fit nicer in progressive rock than here. Artists like Father John Misty don't quite fit the indie rock mold in our estimation. Foxygen, Mackenzie Keefe, Broken Social Scene, Sorority Noise, Sheer Mag... this list of excellent bands that had worthy cuts this year goes on. But ultimately, here are the ten we deemed most worthy of recognition in 2017.

Keep reading... Show less

From genre-busting electronic music to new highs in the ever-evolving R&B scene, from hip-hop and Americana to rock and pop, 2017's music scenes bestowed an embarrassment of riches upon us.

60. White Hills - Stop Mute Defeat (Thrill Jockey)

White Hills epic '80s callback Stop Mute Defeat is a determined march against encroaching imperial darkness; their eyes boring into the shadows for danger but they're aware that blinding lights can kill and distort truth. From "Overlord's" dark stomp casting nets for totalitarian warnings to "Attack Mode", which roars in with the tribal certainty that we can survive the madness if we keep our wits, the record is a true and timely win for Dave W. and Ego Sensation. Martin Bisi and the poster band's mysterious but relevant cool make a great team and deliver one of their least psych yet most mind destroying records to date. Much like the first time you heard Joy Division or early Pigface, for example, you'll experience being startled at first before becoming addicted to the band's unique microcosm of dystopia that is simultaneously corrupting and seducing your ears. - Morgan Y. Evans

Keep reading... Show less

The Best Country Music of 2017

still from Midland "Drinkin' Problem" video

There are many fine country musicians making music that is relevant and affecting in these troubled times. Here are ten of our favorites.

Year to year, country music as a genre sometimes seems to roll on without paying that much attention to what's going on in the world (with the exception of bro-country singers trying to adopt the latest hip-hop slang). That can feel like a problem in a year when 58 people are killed and 546 are injured by gun violence at a country-music concert – a public-relations issue for a genre that sees many of its stars outright celebrating the NRA. Then again, these days mainstream country stars don't seem to do all that well when they try to pivot quickly to comment on current events – take Keith Urban's muddled-at-best 2017 single "Female", as but one easy example.

Keep reading... Show less

It's ironic that by injecting a shot of cynicism into this glorified soap opera, Johnson provides the most satisfying explanation yet for the significance of The Force.

Despite J.J. Abrams successfully resuscitating the Star Wars franchise with 2015's Star Wars: The Force Awakens, many fans were still left yearning for something new. It was comforting to see old familiar faces from a galaxy far, far away, but casual fans were unlikely to tolerate another greatest hits collection from a franchise already plagued by compositional overlap (to put it kindly).

Keep reading... Show less

Yeah Yeah Yeahs played a few US shows to support the expanded reissue of their debut Fever to Tell.

Although they played a gig last year for an after-party for a Mick Rock doc, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs hadn't played a proper NYC show in four years before their Kings Theatre gig on November 7th, 2017. It was the last of only a handful of gigs, and the only one on the East coast.

Keep reading... Show less
Pop Ten
Mixed Media
PM Picks

© 1999-2017 Popmatters.com. All rights reserved.
Popmatters is wholly independently owned and operated.