Supernatural 4×19: Jump the Shark – All in the Family

Supernatural’s “Jump the Shark” this week was definitely not the episode I expected. And that isn’t a bad thing.

When we first heard about a third Winchester brother arriving in an episode entitled “Jump the Shark,” the first thought in my mind was “Oh, haha… another Kripke and Co. joke. This should be a fun episode.”

But on the contrary; this episode was emotional and poignant, one of my favorite episodes of the season so far.

We open the episode with Sam and Dean by the water, miles from anywhere, on the road, something they are very familiar with after doing it all their lives and especially the last four years. Brushing their teeth on the hood of their car, sleeping uncomfortably, settling for old tuna sandwiches; this is all normal for them.

A cell phone rings and Dean opens their glove compartment, revealing a bunch of different phones. He finds the one ringing and Sam recognizes it as John’s phone.

Dean answers to a guy who is looking for John, Adam Milligan. He really needs to talk to him, but Dean tells him John’s dead. The guy on the other end says he’s his son.

Sam and Dean go to meet with Adam at a diner. Dean takes precautions, bringing along holy water, silver, and a gun just in case the meeting was all a trap.

Adam arrives and neither the holy water nor the silver have an effect on him.
Dean is frustrated and gets up to leave, but Adam says he can prove he’s John’s son.

They go to his home and he shows them a picture of him and John at a baseball game. Sam reminds Dean about John’s entry in his journal about Minnesota, of which 2 pages are torn out.

They believe him. He had called John because his mother went missing. We saw at the beginning of the episode his mother getting pulled under the bed.
Sam and Dean search the house to find clues. Dean sees a vent under the bed and crawls in to find a bloody mess, seemingly Adam’s mother.

They leave to their hotel room, but Adam comes, looking for answers. At first, Dean doesn’t want to, but Sam eventually tells Adam everything about their lives as hunters.

Adam is surprised, but believes them. He wants in. He wants to get revenge.
But Dean doesn’t want him to be a part of it. He says John kept it a secret for a reason. He didn’t want Adam to live like they did.

Dean walks out and Sam decides to teach Adam a few things. While doing so, Adam asks about John and how he died. Suddenly, the thing they’re looking for is in their motel room, they run out to Adam’s truck and Sam gets pulled under. Adam and Dean pull him just in time.

This pushes Sam and Dean to full on train their new younger brother, but much to Dean’s dismay. Back at home, Sam tells Adam that this life can’t afford them the time for things like friends, girlfriends, school… things of a “normal” life.

Dean pulls Sam aside, surprised Sam is quoting Papa Winchester from when Sam left them to go to Stanford years ago.

“Adam doesn’t have to be cursed,” Dean says. Sam replies “He’s a Winchester. He’s already cursed.”

Later, Dean goes back to the cemetery where bodies had been taken from their crypts. He finds a small passage at the back of the mausoleum and crawls through. He ends up in a larger underground room and there he finds the bodies of Adam and his mother.

Back at the house, Sam is with “Adam” when “his mother” comes through the door. Sam tells him that she isn’t real, she isn’t human, to which he replies “I know” and knocks him out.

Sam wakes up and he is strapped to the table. He figures out the two are ghouls who have gotten tired of old, dead meat and are now craving fresh meat. The ghouls, siblings, begin cutting Sam all over, enjoying sucking his blood and looking forward to a feast.

“Adam” tells Sam that Adam really was their younger brother. They open Sam up even more and blood is now flowing out of him as Dean arrives after escaping the tomb.

He shoots off the woman’s head and beats “Adam” to pieces then rushes to untie Sam and cover up his wounds.
Sam thanks his big brother. “That’s what family’s for, right?” Dean replies.

Later, Dean decides to give Adam a hunter’s farewell, just like they did their father. He deserves it.
Sam suggests they call Castiel for a favor and bring him back, but Dean says Adam is in a better place.

Sam says he finally gets why Dean and John butted heads so much. It was because they were practically the same person.
Dean says he idolized their father, dressed like him, listened to the same music…

Dean: “You are more like him than I will ever be. I see that now.”
Sam: “I take that as a complement.”
Dean: “Take it anyway you want.”

Now what I loved about this episode is that although the greater mythology (which we are in the thick of right now, especially with only 3 episodes left) wasn’t furthered, we got a lot of insight into something Sam and Dean have battled with from the very beginning.

Their lives as hunters have been eventful, to say the least, but it is also far from normal. Far from the “perfect” life we saw in “What Is and What Should Never Be” in season 2 (one of the show’s best episodes).

So seeing them, not only meeting a brother they never knew they had, but possibly wanting to keep him out of the life they’ve lived was very interesting.

Sam’s “he’s already cursed” line, I guess, played to the greater mythology about the Winchesters’ destiny.

I know the idea of a 3rd brother was almost as easily panned and dreaded as the casting of Katie Cassidy and Lauren Cohen last year (before the season even began), but like both Ruby and Bella not being as “end of the world” as many made them out to be, Adam wasn’t all that bad either.

While killing him before the brothers even got to know him was an easy cop out, he fits easily into the bigger picture.

Definitely one of my favorite episodes of the season, though I still don’t see the connection of the title “Jump the Shark” other than Kripke and Co. messing with the fandom. (And maybe rightly so.)

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