More Supernatural From Me: “The Grieving Process”- A Review of “Adventures in Babysitting” (#7.11)
**WARNING** CONTAINS SPOILERS.
- Directed by Jeannot Szwarc
- Created by Eric Kripke
- Written by Eric Kripke and Adam Glass
- Original Air Date: 6th January 2012
Following an emotional farewell to beloved father-figure Bobby in the stunning previous instalment “Death’s Door” (#7.10), “Supernatural” returned with “Adventures in Babysitting” dealing with the aftermath of initial grief. Dean is on a revenge-driven spree, with absolute determination to destroy the Leviathan’s once and for all, his one problem is figuring out the what the numbers Bobby spent his last moments insuring them was a key to the Dick Roman-led monsters actually means. The focus of the episode does however distance itself from the main storyline and takes the audience back to what “Supernatural” was first about two brothers who hunt evil and save the greater good. During the opening it appears Dean has lost this incentive as he resorts to wallowing in grief and alcoholism. Sam struggles to reach him, conveyed by scenes of them sitting in complete silence. Dean’s worst fear is realised as he has lost two significant people to him in a short space of time and he and Sammy are left behind to keep fighting. As Dean struggles, Sam discovers a new case they can work on, helping a young girl find her missing father who also happens to be a hunter. Interestingly when Sam first meets Krissy, the audience sees him in a point of view shot from her perspective, he reassures her and potentially the audience that she can trust him, considering Sammy’s history was this possibly foreshadowing what’s to come? The episode is ultimately about reconnecting therefore the brothers must once more go their separate ways before achieving it.
The episode allows Dean to go through the grieving process, via an enlightening journey where by the end he finds a sense of peace and impacts two lives in a positive way. Prior to this he once again encounters Frank, an expert in government secret identities and friend of Bobby’s. Dean and Frank don’t initially see eye to eye and both could be considered “loose canons”, with Dean’s lack of fight and Frank’s extreme paranoia. The episode title apart from the obvious where Dean has to take Krissy on the hunt with him, could also be applicable to the Frank and Dean scenes as they both act as liabilities to each other and argue more than work together at first. Frank is also an example of what Dean could potentially become. Frank’s wife and daughter had been killed years before and Frank has faced life alone, he is an amalgamation of what Dean could be one day, he soon realises he does have one drive left that will keep him going, he’s not totally alone, he has his brother and once he discovers Sam’s in trouble again his instincts kick right back in.
Krissy was an interesting character and demonstrated a new direction for Kripke in relation to his female characters. Its no secret that female characters on the show, even the strong ones are either evil (e.g. Ruby, Meg) or get killed off (e.g. Jo, Ellen); Krissy surprised the audience by coming across as a hindrance and “the annoying kid” stereotype to begin with, it was then refreshing to see a young, tough female character who can look after herself, however it is depressing to see such a young person already taken in by a life of hunting as Krissy acts more grown up that she should be. She also rescues Sam and Dean which considering the level of grief they are both consumed in demonstrates their current state of vulnerability and that sometimes they need to be saved. The ending is fitting and bittersweet, Sam and Dean walk away knowing they have impacted two lives by encouraging Krissy and her father to walk away from the life, as they can both relate, seeing their younger selves in her. The final image of Dean driving away was powerful as he manages to reach some kind of resolution and gives out a sense of fear and optimism towards the future.
“Adventures in Babysitting” was a welcome mid-season return for “Supernatural”, with leviathan’s left to kill and the brothers now having to make it on their own, fans are in store for a hell of a ride!
Hayley Alice Roberts.