Back from a month-long hiatus, heroes were the name of the game this week, unsung or otherwise.
Wade is a welcome return to the show and his softer Cole allows for more nuanced moments to rise to the fore. Working alongside your father’s murderer is a big ask, and the complexity of the situation is compounded further as he begins to realise Kit may be too far gone into his monster state to be saved from the same fate as his father. Forced into the same position as the Winchesters allows Cole to understand the sacrifice and trauma the brothers most go through in order to protect an unknowing population: at least at the end of Cole’s military service he was awarded a medal. What do Sam and Dean get?
The Khan Worm is one of the more gruesome creatures on the show, and those squeamish of wriggling worms disappearing into the human body would be best steering clear of this episode or watching on an empty stomach. The creature is an effective parasite, draining its victims of fluids, forcing them to continue drinking until only blood will sate their thirst. It’s a nasty way to go but, torn between determination to resist the parasite and his thirst for Dean’s blood, Wade gives a strong performance that almost makes it worth it. The only question here really is why Dean was so slow to tie Cole up after he admits he’s getting bloodthirsty. Dean’s an experienced hunter, after all, and should know better.
Castiel and Crowley were absent this episode, but they weren’t missed. As Season Ten has progressed it’s become clear the show is struggling to know what to do with these fan favourites and where to place them in the narrative. Concentrating on the brothers this week further impounded the feeling of earlier seasons, and remaining with one storyline rather than three gave a streamlined, focused effect to the whole episode.
Overall it was a strong return after the break. Fast paced, creepy, and full of gore, The Things They Carried was a gentle return to form. Though the Mark wasn’t front and centre this week it remained as a constant in the background, an unspoken grief that hung over Sam in particular as he desperately tried to save Kit. It was sad and poignant, and only suggests that darker things are yet to come in the remaining episodes of Season Ten.