(Reposting due to social media sharing issues with the last one)
We’re not going to do a traditional summary for this episode, because both Zeroth and I can’t stand it. It’s one of the worst SPN episodes ever. I’d rather spend an afternoon with Gwyneth Paltrow learning how to steam my vagina than watch this episode again. At least then I could have a different reason for rolling my eyes until they sprain. And hey – Galadriel. I could tolerate steaming my intimate bits in exchange for an afternoon with Galadriel.
“Bugs” is a poorly-written, poorly-executed attempt to show us what evil lies in store when we trigger ancient Native American curses. And it could have been good: death by bugs is really gross and awful, and there’s a lot to say about the appalling way white people have and continue to treat indigenous folk. Instead, we get
- The world’s worst attempt at a red herring (hey, this kid likes bugs – he must be responsible!)
- Gratuitous lady-dying-in-a-shower scene (seriously, the only reason she died in the shower was to visually fellate the fellas)
- The everybody-thinks-the-Winchester-brothers-are-a-gay-couple trope run endlessly into the ground (I’m like, No, no, we got it. It just wasn’t funny the first dozen times, either. That’s why I’m not laughing right now)
- A sadly-lacking almost-shower scene with Dean (this is before SPN learned that their female fans want servicing, too)
- Egregious mistreatment of Native American remains (seriously, people, do not randomly dig up Native American skeletons and toss them in a box)
- Magic Indian tropes (gosh, he’s like so mystical and things!)
- Terrible mangling of Native American history (No, the tribe you mention were not actually in the area when you say they were – among other problems)
- The most inept job of saving people the boys have ever done (ONE can of bug spray, Dean? Really???)
- And a complete deus ex machina to save their asses at the end (YIKES WE’RE ALL GONNA DIEEEE… oh, wait, the sun just came up already. We’re good!)
- Then the kid gives up his interest in bugs (thus becoming acceptable to his dad, who couldn’t stand his weird-ass kid until he became totes normal)
There’s no overturning of tropes, no subverting expectations, no effort at all to make this episode something other than a half-assed trot through some common horror themes. It’s just sloppy writing, reaching into a box of overused tropes, sticking them together any-old-how, squirting in some daddy issues, and then calling it a day.
This episode contains the most egregious example of cultural appropriation I’ve ever seen on SPN. I’ll be talking about that in my analysis, and Zeroth will be going over just how wrong this episode is. In the meantime, here are counts and a possibly more interesting story:
Revenge from Beyond the Grave: 2 (2 deaths by cursed bugs)
Blood and Gore: 2 (ditto)
Daddy Issues: 4 (For all the times Sam was all “Woe Dad does not love me!” and the times Dean said things about the way they were raised that proved John has damaged him terribly.)
Toxic Masculinity: 1 (for Dean’s anti-suburbia attitude)
Ewww Goils: 1 (for the Oprah accusation)
Swimming in Sexism: 1 (for the gratuitous nekkid lady murdered in the shower with lingering shots of her dead nekkidness scene)
Culture Thieves: 3 (for the utterly hokey Injun Curse plot, digging up Native American bones and schlepping them around town in a box, and the Magic Injun scene)
You Bloody Fool: 2 (One for the boys not being prepared to fend off a swarm, and one for the dad refusing to listen to reason, thus trapping everyone with said cursed swarm)
No changes to the cumulative counts.
Bonus Feature: The Night That Ruined Camping Forever for Dana
We were at Lake Powell. We got to where we were camping late, in the dark, set up the tent on this nice flat patch of sand on the slickrock… which turned out to be a wash. Which we found out when there was a thunderstorm at 3am.
My dad, being a Vietnam vet, just moved the tent and went back to sleep, even though the sleeping bags were soaked. Mom and I couldn’t deal, so we went fishing.
About five in the ay-em, as the sun’s starting to come up, we hear a helicopter. And we’re all like, “What’s the lifeguard helicopter doing out here this early?”
And then we see this huge cloud lift above the horizon, and then the fish start jumping, and we realize it wasn’t a distant helicopter, it was enough fucking mosquitoes to sound like a fucking helicopter
And THEN, as we’re engulfed in a cloud of mosquitoes, the bats appear for breakfast.
They’re swooping within inches of us, almost getting tangled in our hair, and we’re waving pillows over our heads and hollering to fend them off. But they don’t give a shit, cuz breakfast.
That pretty much put paid to my desire to ever go camping again.
(Bats in our area carried rabies, otherwise we wouldn’t have cared so much about them.)