In an attempt to get Dean out of the bunker, Sam finds a case involving killer action figures in a comic book store. Dean jumps at the opportunity.
For a monster of the week style episode, the fourth episode of the new season entitled “Mint Condition” was actually really impressive. When there is a bigger story arc going on throughout the season, the “filler” episodes can sometimes seem unexciting and irrelevant. However, “Mint Condition” was a breath of fresh air from all the seriousness of the Archangel Michael storyline.
As the brothers have absolutely no lead on where Michael is, and with Dean rotting away in his room watching horror movie marathons, Sam tempts him with a unique case involving a moving action figure attacking a comic book store employee. Dean doesn’t waste a moment and they leave immediately. Originally suspecting that the comic book employee is a victim of a witch, they later discover a ghost is actually responsible for possessing the action figure, as well as a flying chainsaw and the life-sized figurine of Hatchet Man, the monster from Dean’s favorite horror movies.
Although the rest of the store employees are terrified, Dean gets way too excited when Sam reveals that the figurine is coming to finish the job and kill the employee. Dean gets to fight his favorite horror movie character and it’s refreshing to see the older Winchester brother happy and enjoying a hunt. Season 14 hasn’t treated him well so far, so it was nice to see the goofy old Dean that we all know and love.
The Halloween themed episode had certain scenes in the style of a real horror film, even including the Hatchet Man’s horror movie trailer half-way through, which was creative. The show has always kept things fresh by switching up the style for certain episodes, and Halloween is such a good time to do that. Supernatural doesn’t always do seasonal episodes, so it was nice to bring a bit of normality into the show, and make it relatable to real events. It is especially rare to see a Halloween-centered episode of Supernatural because, as Dean says in the episode, “every day is Halloween for us”, so it was definitely an interesting change.
The episode was also unexpectedly funny. We finally discover why Sam hates Halloween so much and it actually has nothing to do with their hunter lifestyle, and everything to do with the fact that he puked up on a girl he liked during a Halloween party in sixth grade. It’s typical that Sam, having battled angels, demons and Lucifer himself, would still be affected by something so normal and human. Dean also announces at the end of the episode that they are going to properly celebrate Halloween next year and lists tons of ideas for their matching costumes. I’m sure we’re all hoping that the show gets picked up for season 15 so we get to see what they decide on!
Not only did none of the characters die in this episode, which was a lovely blessing, but the joined comic book store owners felt genuine and they reflected the brother’s really well. Sam teams up with Samantha (I mean they even have the same name) and Dean comments on how alike they are, both being intelligent and cool-headed, and Dean teams up with Dirk as they bond over their nerdy love for horror movies.
The guest characters were written really realistically that we could feel and care for them. It was also heartfelt to see the episode focus just on Sam and Dean again, with none of the “trimmings”. Dean seems frustrated at the fact that there are so many strange hunters living in the bunker, and clearly enjoys the hunting trip with his brother, just like old times. The brotherly bond between the Winchesters was what has made the show so popular and successful, so it’s telling that the Halloween episode would strip back to that.
What did you think of “Mint Condition”? Let us know in the comments!