‘Supernatural’ 14x04: ‘Mint Condition’ is a throwback to old-school hunting

By @chelean on
"Supernatural" 14x04 "Mint Condition": Dean Winchester and Sam Winchester with Dirk and Samantha
"Supernatural" 14x04 "Mint Condition": Dean Winchester and Sam Winchester with Dirk and Samantha The CW Television Network

“Supernatural” season 14 episode 4 went back to classic hunting. For the Halloween episode “Mint Condition,” writer Davy Perez returned to the basics and had Sam and Dean Winchester (Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles) work on a case that was unrelated to the season’s big bad.

“Supernatural” 14x04 “Mint Condition” is recapped and reviewed in this article. The episode aired in the US on The CW on Thursday and will air on Tuesday on Ten in Australia.

Dean, who was still struggling to come to terms with being used by Michael in the archangel’s killing spree, spent a week in his room in the bunker just watching campy horror flicks and eating junk food.  Sam approached him with an interesting case of a comic book staff allegedly attacked by a Thundercats action figure. Dean was not only interested, he was also excited to investigate the case.

When the boys visited him at his mum’s home, the employee, Stuart (Kurt Ostlund), lied about the attack, saying the incident never happened. However, minutes later, he was attacked and stabbed by an unknown force in his home, prompting Dean to check inside the home and be attacked by an invisible creature with a chainsaw.

Supernatural" 14x04 "Mint Condition": Sam Winchester with David Yaeger "Supernatural" 14x04 "Mint Condition": Sam Winchester with David Yaeger  The CW Television Network Supernatural" 14x04 "Mint Condition": A ghost possessing a life-sized figure. "Supernatural" 14x04 "Mint Condition": A ghost possessing a life-sized figure.  The CW Television Network

The creature turned out to be a vengeful spirit of a comic book shop owner, who was angry at Stuart for stealing from him. Jordan, the deceased store owner, possessed the life-sized figure of Dean’s favourite horror movie character, David Yaeger, to kill Stuart. With the help of Samantha (Genevieve Buechner) and Dirk (Aaron Paul Stewart), Sam and Dean were able to vanquish the ghost.

‘Mint Condition’ review

The episode was pretty straightforward. There was a case and the boys investigated and then eventually solved it. No one was particularly super sad or super angry, and the brothers, Dean especially, seemed to enjoy solving the case.

Perhaps for some viewers, this was a bit average. However, even for a filler, this was a pleasant episode. There was no big drama at all, even Sam’s reason for hating Halloween was nothing near tear-inducing (he embarrassed himself in front of a girl he liked when he was young at a Halloween party). Dean moping in his room wasn’t a melodramatic moment as well. And by the end of the episode, he acknowledged that although he wouldn’t be able to get over being used by Michael, he had also realised that he wasn’t doing anyone a favour with his inactions.

Apart from being an overall unproblematic episode, it was also quite enjoyable. The parallel plot structure was entertaining to watch. And it wasn’t subtle at all. The brothers had pointed out themselves that the two other characters, Samantha and Dirk, were mirror images of themselves. And they were right. Samantha was Sam and Dirk was Dean. Even if they didn’t point it out, it was still very obvious that Sam and Dean were dealing with their “twins.”

Supernatural" 14x04 "Mint Condition": Dirk (guest star Aaron Paul Stewart) and Dean Winchester (Jensen Ackles) "Supernatural" 14x04 "Mint Condition": Dirk (guest star Aaron Paul Stewart) and Dean Winchester (Jensen Ackles)  The CW Television Network

Supernatural" 14x04 "Mint Condition": Samantha (guest star Genevieve Buechner) and Sam Winchester (Jared Padalecki) "Supernatural" 14x04 "Mint Condition": Samantha (guest star Genevieve Buechner) and Sam Winchester (Jared Padalecki)  The CW Television Network

Supernatural" 14x04 "Mint Condition": Dean Winchester "Supernatural" 14x04 "Mint Condition": Dean Winchester  The CW Television Network

Castiel (Misha Collins) and Jack (Alexander Calvert) were mentioned but did not appear in this episode as they were hunting together. Usually, an episode without Cas or without Cas and Jack is a waste, but this one was sort of a throwback to the earlier seasons when the Winchesters uncomplicatedly investigate a case. It’s one of those that would bring a smile to one’s face.