Supernatural: Bugs

Spoilers for the episode

Story:

A curse causes Bugs to start killing people where new houses have been built and so the Winchesters get to go be squatters.

Thoughts:

On a building site a guy falls down a hole in the ground and breaks his ankle. The guy he’s with goes to get a rope instead of calling an ambulance or other people to help. While he’s gone the guy gets eaten by bugs borrowing into his head and eating his brain.

Somewhere else and Dean’s hustling pool while Sam wants to get day jobs for once. This is setting up the argument they’re going to be having for most of the episode.

The Paper says a guy died of mad cow disease but that takes years to kill and he had no symptoms before his death. So they decide to investigate.

The guy that died was called Dusty and the guy with him didn’t see anything but tells them where it happened.

They find the hole cordoned off by yellow police tape and no one stops them from jumping down the hole. It’s daylight and there are people in the background. This is just like the breaking into people’s houses with the police out the front thing.

Dean manipulates Sam into going down the hole in a way that I think Sam is really too smart to fall for. He finds that there are no burrows to the hole only dead beetles.

They go to the neighborhood BBQ and every one thinks they’re gay. The first time they correct them but the second time they let it go. Larry is the real estate guy and he’s bought a house along with Linda who is head of sales.

Sam meets Larry’s kid Matt, who likes bugs and his father doesn’t approve. Sam identifies with him because his dad didn’t approve of him either. Sam tells him “it gets better”.

Dean doesn’t remember their dad treating them like that. Sam says Dean was perfect but Sam wanted to learn soccer instead of bow hunting.

Dean decides they’re going to squat in a house and they find out another guy died of bee stings while Linda dies of spider bites in the shower.

They break into Linda’s house while the police are outside and again it’s daylight. How does no one see them?

They find dead spiders. Dean thinks maybe from spider boy because he tried to scare Linda with a spider at the party.

They track him down and decide to confront him in an isolated spot in some woods. That’s not creepy at all.

He denies being involved but there is something going on with the bugs. He’s tried to tell his dad but he won’t listen to his ‘freak’ son.

Sam smypathises and almost gets into an argument with Dean about if the kid should leave his family to go to college. Bug problem and people dying is more important than this.

Matt has been studying the insect populations and they are really high in the area. He leads them to where a lot of insects are congregated. They find a skeleton buried in the ground.

They go to a college to see a professor and have another conversation about Sam feeling like he was the freak of the family because he wanted a normal life and to go to school. Dean doesn’t think he respected their dad enough.

The professor sends them to a Native American reservation to see Joe Whitetree. There was no historical record of Native Americans being on the land or being moved but the victors write the history.

Joe Whitetree doesn’t like Dean because he’s a liar and everything that comes out of his mouth is a lie. The best thing he says is ‘People who are telling the truth don’t start a sentence with the truth is.’ He likes Sam because Sam just asks questions without trying to make up a story.

Native Americans suffered on the land so there’s a curse that if any white person lives on the land they will suffer for six days and on the sixth day they will all die. There’s no breaking a curse you just have to get out of its way so it’s time to evacuate.

Dean calls Larry and tries to tell him there’s a gas leak but he knows the guy Dean’s trying to impersonate. Joe was right you shouldn’t lie.

So Sam calls Matt and tells him to make his Dad listen but Dean tells him to fake an illness.

Matt being an idiot tells the truth and his dad is pissed with the brothers. They all end up arguing in the front garden.

They hear the swarm before they see it and everyone rushes inside. The phones are dead because the bugs have chewed through the cables. They’re very Smart bugs. And they’ve blanketed the house so Mobile’s have no signal. I wonder if they did that on purpose as well.

They can only outlast it. They use towels to stop them getting under the door. Dean finds bug spray and sets a lot of them on fire. So the bugs break in through the chimney.

They get to the attic and termites eat through the roof. Then the bugs just stop and leave because the sun’s up. That was anti-climatic. I know they said there was nothing they could do but that felt like the sun came up really quickly. I guess curses aren’t that dangerous after all.

So Matt gets rid of the bugs because they weird him out now and he’s now getting on with his dad. Those two things aren’t connected but it feels like that’s the message of the episode. Relationships are about compromise. Except the ‘freak’ son did all the compromising by getting rid of his bugs and the Dad did nothing.

Sam now wants to go find their Dad to apologise. Dean says that within 5 minutes they’ll be at each other’s throats again.

I have a big problem with this episode besides the stupid ending where they all manage to survive the curse very easily.

Sam uses the phrase “it gets better” which is a campaign against homophobia and bullying. The It Gets Better Project  was started in response to LGBT young people committing suicide. Add that to characters describing themselves as freaks and the Winchesters being mistaken for a gay couple and I think Matt is a stand in for a gay kid (you could probably put queer/trans/bi or any other thing people are biased against in there).

But they can’t use a gay character because that would mean being explicit in their support and we can’t have that. You’ve got to be just vague enough that the bigots don’t get upset and you can deny it if you have to.

Also you don’t want to have to write about a gay character that would be awful. They always manage to find some way to make a story about oppression, discrimination or not fitting in about the straight white able bodied cis-man. And they’ve managed to do that to Sam (I’m assuming he’s straight because I don’t remember him having any boyfriends or identifying as bisexual).

You’re supposed to empathise with Sam but I don’t. He’s annoying. He calls himself a freak because he wants to be normal. There’s a lot of whining that goes on. The word freak is tossed around a lot this episode.

Then we get to the bit that pushed me over to actually hating the episode. If they’d just kept it about a father and son not getting along and general teen feelings of no one understands me that would have been fine. But they reference a campaign for LGBT youth and make Sam the representation of that then have him want to apologise.

Sam wants to go apologise to his dad, now after all episode describing himself as a freak and telling Matt it gets better. Well that’s an unfortunate sentence at the end of the episode. His freakishness was why they argued. I’m never apologising for my freakishness.

The only good thing about this episode was Joe Whitetree. He was funny and mean to Dean which never gets old.

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