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Supernatural Fodder

Supernatural: Wendigo

Impressions

The first episode excited me. This one.... eh.

While the evil in this episode is a local legend (more common to the Great North, I believe, rather than Colorado), it doesn't seem to fit in with the general theme of urban legends that I was expecting after the first episode.

Anyways, here's a quick recap with a few notes and trivia.

Recap and critique of Episode 2, Wendigo

Guy named Tommy is camping and disappears, leaving his sister, Hailey, and younger brother, Ben, to look for him. They hire a guide, Sam and Dean tag along, and they eventually find the Wendigo, a creature that was once a man that became a superhuman beast by continually feasting on other men's flesh. Dean and Hailey are captured, Sam and Ben follow the Wendigo to its lair, where they cut Dean, Hailey and Tommy loose. Dean conveniently finds a flare gun, and kills the Wendigo, almost too easily.

There really were no surprises here. Everything happens too easily, and despite the death of the guide, there is little personal cost to Sam and Dean. To me, that makes it a weak episode. While a show wouldn't work if you continually killed off the main characters, there must be a personal cost (according to writing theory) to make the conflict strong enough to carry the story. That makes this one of the weaker episodes, in my opinion.

Despite the weakness of this episode, I was encouraged by the choice of the Wendigo simply for the fact it's a lesser known legend. One of the dangers of a show like this is running short of unique monsters (remember the old "Night Stalker" series from the 70s?), so I expect a few weak monsters now and then. It helps to cover the weaknesses when it's something unique. Plus, as the season wore on, the writers balanced more of the ongoing story line of the brothers's search for their father with the "monster-of-the-week" theme. I expect to see more of the ongoing storyline this season to make things a little easier, rather than having to find a unique monster every week.

Trivia

There is a short story about the Wendigo by Algernon Blackwood. This is the first place I'd ever heard of the legend.

There is an appearance by something which resembles a Wendigo in Stephen King's novel Pet Sematary. I never recognized the resemblance until I read the Blackwood story.

There was a 2001 movie called Wendigo, which also spawned an animated series apparently. While it's quite atmospheric, bordering on trippy at times, in the end, I really, really disliked the ending and that killed my enjoyment of the movie completely. Still, if you're bored and need to kill a couple hours, you might check it out. I'm not sure it really had that much to do with the traditional Wendigo legend though.


Posted by Miller on September 6, 2006 9:13 PM
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