“Party On, Garth”, brought a nice flashback to a monster-of-the-week episode! This episode began with some teenagers in the forest drinking (That never ends well). The teens are telling the story of the ghost named “Jenny” who haunts the woods after freezing to death under a tree. Just the kind of story you want to hear while out there huddle by a camp fire.
Just as the plot is getting good one of the kids’ older brothers’ shows up. He’s drunk and kind of obnoxious (this too is never a good sign). After he teases them for a while – he begins to hear something that is terrifying him, eventually running off into the woods.
When the brother is found it looks as though his insides have been pulled out. Cue: Hunters.
This time – we are treated to another appearance by Gath (D.J. Qualls). He’s pretty slick with his El Camino and ancient rap music. In a lovely slow-mo scene Garth salts and burns Jenny and all is safe again. Or is it.
The younger brother goes back out into the woods, drinking away his sorrows with a rifle as he watches for the monster that disembowelled his brother. Sadly for brother #2 he is dragged up into a tree by, we assume, the same creature and torn to pieces.
The second murder comes as a surprise to Garth as he had “Garthed” the ghost of Jenny already. But fortunately this prompts him to call The Winchesters for backup.
Back in yet another “bad” vehicle, Dean is on the phone to the hospital. In fact, he’s speaking to Meg (Rachel Miner) who has no news to report about Castiel (Misha Collins). Poor Misha is still in the same state he was last week. This, clearly, is making Sam feel bad – in fact reminded him of the movie “The Ring” because he just “passed on the crazy”. (OOOO foreshadowing!)
Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles) show up at the morgue to find Garth dressed as an army corporal. Both of the monsters victims are the sons of one of the staff at “Thigh Slapper” microbrewery. Finally, a case after Dean’s own heart.
The Winchesters head off with Garth in tow and check out the brewery. Sam’s eye is caught by a Japanese liquor box on the shelf…and he is, rightfully, suspicious.
Meanwhile, back at the owner’s house – his daughter accidently drinks her mother’s orange juice and finds herself with a mouth full of vodka. Things took a little turn toward unbelievability here for me. About 3o seconds after the little girl had a mouthful of alcohol – she was drunk enough to see the same monster that had been killing people! It’s a little blurry and as she wanders in to the kitchen she arrives in time to see the monster tear through her mother.
Back at the “Last Resort” motel – The Winchesters and Garth do some research of their own – they taste the “Thigh Slapper” Ale and Garth gets drunk 20 seconds after he downs a bottle of beer. This must be some high-test beer.
The pieces are starting to fall into place. There was a third partner in the “Thigh Slapper” brewery but he was, basically, cheated out of his share with the company. Sam finds out from the man’s widow that she had chosen to sue him but her husband had simply said he would send them a gift that would she them he forgave them.” In fact, he gave them a Japanese bottle of liquor.
Dean and Garth are off trying to get information out of the little girl who got drunk off a sip of vodka. Fortunately, Garth has brought along Mr. Fizzles the sock puppet. That thing would work on me – I thought it was kind of terrifying. Mr. Fizzles gets the little girl to tell him that she had drunk alcohol when she saw the monster and this confirms their theory. The hunters put together that they do, in fact, have to be drunk to see the spirit.
There’s a quick scene when Garth suggests that Bobby (Jim Beaver) might be “riding” their wave. Things look that way – (and I did have a bit of behind-the-scene info that I kept a secret for over two damn weeks!!) Disappearing beer, and the strange emissions around Dean – Bobby has to be there somewhere, right?
Turns out that even Sam had his questions about Bobby. He’s had a quick go at a Ouija Board and hasn’t’ come up with anything. The Winchesters manage to convince themselves it’s nothing but them mourning the loss of their father-figure. After all – if there is someone who would be able to communicate from the afterlife it should be Bobby!
The Winchesters bust into the brewery and find some video footage. There’s nothing on it initially so they test out their alcohol-theory by belting back some shots.
They break into the brewery and find video. They start drinking so they can see whatever is there. Turns out it was the first victim who let the ghost out of the box. A quick visit to a sushi chef (who knew!) gives the boys a translation of the box – and they know that all the descendants of the original partners are in trouble.
The son let the ghost out of the box. The boys can see it on video when they are drunk. They are hunting a shojo – an alcohol spirit – and it’s not known for being friendly.
Can only be killed by a samurai sword with a Shinto blessing.
Baxter (Terry David Mulligan – has it REALLY been THAT long since he was on Much Music?) is hiding a secret – the janitor at the brewery is actually his son and that puts him on the monster’s hit list.
A drunken Garth heads off to the brewery while Dean makes another visit to the Sushi Chef to get a Shinto Blessings done on the sword.
For the first time ever a drunken Winchester (Sam) takes a cab to the brewery. Am I the only one who wonders how many times Dean has driven under the influence?
Garth arrives at the brewery in time to find the janitor but not before the Shojo! She flings him through a wall quite spectacularly. Sam shows up and finds the janitor but not before the shojo finds them. Dean arrives! Finally with the sword – and after a brief fight drops it – only to have it slide across the floor toward him. “Things that make you go hmmmm.”
Finally – in a really cool special effects sequence – (thank you Ivan Hayden and team) the Shojo is dispatched. The Winchesters have another discussion about Bobby – but he really “can’t” be around, can he?
There’s a touching good-bye with Garth. Dean gets another hug and this time so does Sam. I find myself wondering what the point of Garth’s character is. Is he just on the show for comic relief? To provide an opposite of the Winchesters in every way? Not sure.
Last, but not least, once the boys have checked out of their motel room – we get a glimpse of the ghost of Bobby Singer. Wonder how long he has before he goes crazy?