Television

Supernatural: Season 11, Episode 8 - "Just My Imagination"

Jessy Krupa

The show spins its wheels and goes just a little too far with its bloodbath.


Supernatural

Airtime: Wednesdays, 8pm
Cast: Jensen Ackles, Jared Padalecki, Misha Collins, Mark A. Sheppard
Subtitle: Season 11, Episode 8 - "Just My Imagination"
Network: CW
Air date: 2015-12-02
Amazon

Supernatural returned this week after a short Thanksgiving break, but there were no signs of the holiday season in this episode. Also, despite reports to the contrary, Sheriff Donna (Brianna Buckmaster) didn't make an appearance. (I'm not sure why that is, but she’ll likely turn up in another episode soon.) Instead, we got a very dark, slightly disturbing exploration of childhood and regrets.

The central plot revolved around the brutal murders of imaginary friends, starting with Sparkles the unicorn/man (Everrett Shea), and continuing with Nikki the mermaid (Ida Segerhagen), and the near-fatal stabbing of Weems the magical Deadhead (Eduard Witzke). (If this sounds confusing and ridiculous, that's because it is.) As it turns out, “imaginary friends” are actually zannas, creatures from Romanian folklore who guard children.

Sam Winchester (Jared Padalecki) had his very own zanna as a child: Sully (Nate Torrence), a cheerful man with rainbow-striped suspenders. Naturally, he's very surprised to see him appear in the Winchester bunker. Sully explains the zanna situation and asks Sam and Dean (Jensen Ackles) for help, but a lot of time’s wasted on Dean's general disdain for these creatures and the ridiculousness of it all.

Some fans of the show have already pointed out that Dean hasn't been his usual fun-loving self this season, and it really showed here. In fact, the only time we even see him crack a smile in this episode is when he refers to Sparkles as a “manicorn”.

One can hardly blame him, though. Previous “creatures from folklore” episodes like season five's Cupid (Lex Medlin) or the fairies and elves in season six's “Clap Your Hands If You Believe” (all of which were featured in the pre-show “then” montage) all had their silly, humorous moments, but this episode just got darker and darker. I’m not sure which was worse: seeing a clueless mom accidentally spread sparkly blood all over her face, or seeing blood spray all over the swim toys in a little girl's swimming pool? Supernatural’s never been a show for the squeamish, but this was the literal definition of overkill.

Sam and Dean eventually track down the killer, Reese (Anja Savcic), a disturbed woman whose twin sister died after being struck by a car. Sully was their zanna, and he didn't notice the car, possibly because he was distracted by his grief over losing Sam. The ending wasn't very satisfying, as Reese can't bring herself to stab Sully, and after a quick hug, is presumably now cured of her mental illnesses. Sam gets to tell Sully goodbye in a better way than he did as a child, but not before receiving some encouraging words from his old friend.

Keeping this from being a complete stand-alone episode is the last three minutes, in which Sam tells Dean his theory of stopping the Darkness by going back into The Cage with Lucifer and Michael. Dean’s his usual dismissive self, and we are left exactly where we were last week.

Those of you wishing for another “A Very Supernatural Christmas” will likely be disappointed next week, as the show spends its mid-season finale battling the Darkness and dealing with the opening of the Cage,

4

Music

Books

Film

Recent
Music

A Certain Ratio Return with a Message of Hope on 'ACR Loco'

Inspired by 2019's career-spanning box set, legendary Manchester post-punkers A Certain Ratio return with their first new album in 12 years, ACR Loco.

Books

Oscar Hijuelos' 'Mambo Kings Play the Songs of Love' Dances On

Oscar Hijuelos' dizzyingly ambitious foot-tapping family epic, Mambo Kings Play the Songs of Love, opened the door for Latinx writers to tell their stories in all their richness.

Music

PM Picks Playlist 2: Bamboo Smoke, LIA ICES, SOUNDQ

PopMatters Picks Playlist features the electropop of Bamboo Smoke, LIA ICES' stunning dream folk, Polish producer SOUNDQ, the indie pop of Pylon Heights, a timely message from Exit Kid, and Natalie McCool's latest alt-pop banger.

Film

'Lost Girls and Love Hotels' and Finding Comfort in Sadness

William Olsson's Lost Girls and Love Hotels finds optimism in its message that life tears us apart and puts us back together again differently.

Music

Bright Eyes' 'Down in the Weeds' Is a Return to Form and a Statement of Hope

Bright Eyes may not technically be emo, but they are transcendently expressive, beatifically melancholic. Down in the Weeds is just the statement of grounding that we need as a respite from the churning chaos around us.

Film

Audrey Hepburn + Rome = Grace, Class, and Beauty

William Wyler's Roman Holiday crosses the postcard genre with a hardy trope: Old World royalty seeks escape from stuffy, ritual-bound, lives for a fling with the modern world, especially with Americans.

Music

Colombia's Simón Mejía Plugs Into the Natural World on 'Mirla'

Bomba Estéreo founder Simón Mejía electrifies nature for a different kind of jungle music on his debut solo album, Mirla.

Music

The Flaming Lips Reimagine Tom Petty's Life in Oklahoma on 'American Head'

The Flaming Lips' American Head is a trip, a journey to the past that one doesn't want to return to but never wants to forget.

Music

Tim Bowness of No-Man Discusses Thematic Ambition Amongst Social Division

With the release of his seventh solo album, Late Night Laments, Tim Bowness explores global tensions and considers how musicians can best foster mutual understanding in times of social unrest.

Music

Angel Olsen Creates a 'Whole New Mess'

No one would call Angel Olsen's Whole New Mess a pretty album. It's much too stark. But there's something riveting about the way Olsen coos to herself that's soft and comforting.

Film

What 'O Brother, Where Art Thou?' Gets Right (and Wrong) About America

Telling the tale of the cyclops through the lens of high and low culture, in O'Brother, Where Art Thou? the Coens hammer home a fatalistic criticism about the ways that commerce, violence, and cosmetic Christianity prevail in American society .

Music

Masma Dream World Go Global and Trippy on "Sundown Forest" (premiere)

Dancer, healer, musician Devi Mambouka shares the trippy "Sundown Forest", which takes listeners deep into the subconscious and onto a healing path.

Music

Alright Alright's "Don't Worry" Is an Ode for Unity in Troubling Times (premiere)

Alright Alright's "Don't Worry" is a gentle, prayerful tune that depicts the heart of their upcoming album, Crucible.

Music

'What a Fantastic Death Abyss': David Bowie's 'Outside' at 25

David Bowie's Outside signaled the end of him as a slick pop star and his reintroduction as a ragged-edged arty agitator.

Music

Dream Folk's Wolf & Moon Awaken the Senses with "Eyes Closed" (premiere)

Berlin's Wolf & Moon are an indie folk duo with a dream pop streak. "Eyes Closed" highlights this aspect as the act create a deep sense of atmosphere and mood with the most minimal of tools.

Television

Ranking the Seasons of 'The Wire'

Years after its conclusion, The Wire continues to top best-of-TV lists. With each season's unique story arc, each viewer is likely to have favorites.

Film

Paul Reni's Silent Film 'The Man Who Laughs' Is Serious Cinema

There's so much tragedy present, so many skullduggeries afoot, and so many cruel and vindictive characters in attendance that a sad and heartbreaking ending seems to be an obvious given in Paul Reni's silent film, The Man Who Laughs.

Music

The Grahams Tell Their Daughter "Don't Give Your Heart Away" (premiere)

The Grahams' sweet-sounding "Don't Give Your Heart Away" is rooted in struggle, inspired by the couples' complicated journey leading up to their daughter's birth.


Reviews
Collapse Expand Reviews



Features
Collapse Expand Features

PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.