This week’s episode was full of Nazis, tears, and spontaneous combustion. I’ll be totally honest–it was hard to enjoy it with everything that’s happened recently. Despite its problems and things I disagree with, Supernatural is something I watch to escape the world around me, when I’m having a hard time or when life has gotten particularly difficult. So an episode that revolves around bringing Hitler back from the dead?
Not exactly how I’d hoped to spend my Thursday night.
“The One You’ve Been Waiting For” starts out with what appears to be a simple business transaction between an antiques dealer and a woman who’s so wealthy, Dean describes her as, “Scrooge McDuck swimming in pools of money.” But let’s be real, it’s the first few minutes of a Supernatural episode, so we’re pretty much guaranteed that someone’s going to die. Both the dealer and the woman are the victims this time, each spontaneously combusting after handling a pocket watch with a swastika emblazoned on its lid.
When Dean catches wind of the spontaneous combustions, he tries to get help from Sam, who’s got other things in mind–namely how his older brother is dealing with their mother leaving. Their exchanges are very reminiscent of season two after John died: Dean bottles up his emotions and refuses to share his burdens with Sam, who believes that talking it out and sharing the burden would help both of them. It’s clear that things are definitely weird when Sam can’t even catch Dean’s attention with an offer of pie, and just like that, the Winchesters are on the case.
While Sam and Dean are investigating the incinerations in the antiques shop, a young woman named Ellie brings a new fling to her apartment after the end of a long-term relationship, only to have two members of the Thule burn him to death before trying to kidnap her. Ellie escapes her attackers by climbing out the bathroom window (remind me again why Charlie couldn’t do that, Bob Singer?), and after eventually being captured by another member of Thule and then rescued by Sam and Dean, we finally start to figure out why the Thule wants her so badly.
The mysterious watch that burned people alive actually contains Hitler’s soul, but Hitler can only come back by possessing someone who has his blood, which is where Ellie comes into the equation. She was adopted, but she also learns that she’s a very distant relative of Hitler, and the Thule want to transfuse her blood into their leader so that he can come back as Hitler reincarnate.
Needless to say, the idea of Hitler being reincarnated hits a little too close to home for many people, especially after this week.
There’s a sweet moment between Sam and Ellie where Sam tries to console her, saying that he knows how she feels and how terrified she must be because he’d been possessed by Lucifer. Understandably, she doesn’t believe him, but it’s still a nice sentiment on Sam’s part. Sam and Dean spend the rest of the episode fighting off Nazi necromancers while trying to protect Ellie from being killed– or worse– turned into Hitler. Even though the transfusion is successful and the leader of Thule Society spends the last few moments of the episode as Hitler, Dean gets the privilege of killing him once again, and he, Sam, and Ellie are able to leave the scene with a win under their belts.
The episode is very similar to season one in that Ellie, Sam, and Dean are the only real characters here. No Cas, no Rowena, no Mary, no Crowley, and that made the episode feel a little stiff and color-by-numbers.
Speaking of supporting characters–we were promised the return of Aaron Bass, the lovable character from season eight who helped the Winchesters try and defeat the Nazi Thule Society in the past. I had been so excited to see him return and start kicking ass with Sam and Dean again, but his appearance consisted of him phoning in from Germany and giving them advice for thirty seconds at the beginning of the episode. Nothing else. Also known as a major bummer.
Coming so quickly after election results that have caused millions upon millions of people terror, anxiety, and anger, “The One You’ve Been Waiting For” seems a bit poorly timed. There’s no way they could’ve known the episode airing would coincide with recent events, but a quick shuffling of episodes would’ve been appreciated to give viewers a little breathing room and the ability to enjoy one of their favorite shows.
If there’s a silver lining here, though, it’s that ultimately, the good guys won. Sam, Dean, and Ellie banded together and defeated the bad guys (the very, very bad guys), and for me, that tacks on a tiny bit of hope that we can do that outside of the Supernatural world, too.