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Family Issues Came Back to Bite in Supernatural’s “Sharp Teeth”

By on January 29, 2014
DJ Qualls as Garth. Credit: Diyah Pera/The CW

DJ Qualls as Garth. Credit: Diyah Pera/The CW

By Erin Resnick

Every few episodes Supernatural breaks away from its linear storytelling to give the viewers enjoyable one-offs – episodes that don’t need any background, don’t necessarily move the story in any forward motion, and are really just put in place for the viewer to enjoy and take a break from the crazy world of the Winchesters.  Tuesday’s episode, “Sharp Teeth,” was one of those episodes.

If anyone’s been wondering what Garth has been up to, wonder no more! It turns out our awkward, Bobby replacement, was right smack dab in the middle of Wisconsin and … trying to kill a cow? He’s caught in the act and runs but gets stopped short as he’s hit by an oncoming car.

It doesn’t take long for Sam to find Garth now admitted (and arrested) in a local hospital — and what do you know? Dean’s there too! The Winchester reunion is brief as they have more pressing matters: where the heck has Garth been all these months!?  Garth seems clueless; he can’t remember killing a cow and claims he was on a hunt.  He does know one thing: he’s going to be sick.  He rushes to the bathroom, seemingly puking his brains out.

Sam and Dean wait patiently and play a little bit of catch-up. “You’re like an episode of Teen Mom,” Dean snickers at Sam as he explains what him and Castiel have been up to in trying to find Gadreel (am I sensing jealousy, Dean?).  Their catch-up session is cut short as they stop hearing the sounds of Garth’s upchucking.  He’s escaped!

Dean tries to convince Sam they shouldn’t be hunting together but fails.  The two find Garth at a shady apartment in town.  Garth’s responses to his whereabouts are almost robotic.  Suddenly, a woman jumps out of his closet and tries to accost the Winchester duo. Garth stops her; she’s not just any kind of woman, she’s a werewolf AND Garth’s wife! Garth explains that on a hunting mission he was scratched by a wolf and now he himself is also a werewolf! He and his wife, Bess, are madly in love and enjoying life in the cheese state.  “Come pray with us!” Garth urges Dean to come and see that he loves the new life he is leading with Bess and her family.

DJ Qualls as Garth and Jensen Ackles as Dean -- Credit: Diyah Pera/The CW -

DJ Qualls as Garth and Jensen Ackles as Dean — Credit: Diyah Pera/The CW –

Dean is directed to a Sunday school inspired praying session with Bess’ family — all werewolves! Dean, once again showing his hypocrisy, doesn’t believe that these werewolves can be peaceful people.  The Sunday school facade is too much, too Jim Jones-like.  At supper, Bess’ reverend father reveals that his wife was killed by a hunter and his new wife, seemingly as sweet as the rest of the family, took Bess in as her own.  But don’t call these bunch werewolves! Oh no, they much prefer the term lycanthrope.  They even wear special silver bullets around their necks to remind themselves of what and who they are.

Garth takes Dean aside and formally apologizes to him for going MIA.  One mention of Kevin and Dean’s usual scowl turns into a heartbreaking, tear inducing frown.  Garth had no idea Kevin was dead and having to retell the story has sent Dean to a place he’s been trying to forget.

Back with Sam, the two argue about the clan of lyncanthrope.  Even though Supernatural has had its display of “nice” monsters (Benny, Amy Pond, etc.), Dean still believes that monsters are monsters no matter what.  Sam doesn’t agree.  There’s not much time to argue though as they are called to the scene of a newly killed deer.  They are surprised when they learn the local sheriff has set them up and he too is a werewolf.  They quickly kill him and discover a silver bullet necklace, a la Bess’ family, with a startling difference: the word “Ragnarok,” a Norse word, carved onto the bullet.

Sam goes to explore Garth’s apartment and Dean heads to the wolf family church. There he finds a crusty werewolf Bible which talks about a wolf deity, the extinction of humans, and total werewolf domination all tied in to “Ragnarok.”  Bess’ father interrupts Dean and explains that he doesn’t want to harm anyone; he wants to live among the humans peacefully.  Dean isn’t buying it until he takes a look at the reverend’s bullet necklace and discovers no “Ragnarok” etching.  At the same time, Sam realizes that Garth and Bess have been kidnapped.  It’s too late though, Sam is also kidnapped by two wolves from the cult ‘o’ lycanthrope.

Eve Gordon as Sister Joy, Sarah Smyth as Bess, and Jared Padalecki as Sam -- Credit: Katie Yu/The CW

Eve Gordon as Sister Joy, Sarah Smyth as Bess, and Jared Padalecki as Sam — Credit: Katie Yu/The CW

On the  farm, Step-Mommy Dearest is revealing her true colors to the tied up Bess, Garth, and Sam.  She HATES Bess and her father and can’t stand their need for acceptance and co-existence; she would rather revert to the older wolf ways and rule over the humans!

For the bulk of the episode I was skeptical as to whether Garth was really a werewolf or just pretending for his love of Bess as we had yet to see him turn or display and real wolfy actions.  Those suspicions were squashed as Garth begins to wolf out, trying to escape his chains.  No worry, as Dean shows up right on time and kills Step-Mommy Dearest.

The next day, Bess and Garth are reunited with the reverend.  Sam and Dean wish Garth well.  Dean, still unsure about the whole monsters living among society like humans thing, finally comes to an understanding with Garth.  He assures Garth that he and Bess do have a good thing, they even share a hug! Farewell Garth and party on!

Dean drops Sam off but comes clean: he messed up. He asks Sam to come back and hunt with him but Sam stops him and admits there are too many issues between them, maybe ones that cannot be resolved.  The two brothers have taken different roles and Sam doesn’t know if he can trust Dean anymore.  Dean plays the family card but Sam refutes him, saying they can be partners but not brothers (cue tears).  There’s still much more healing that needs to be done.

Overall, “Sharp Teeth” was a much needed break in the all too confusing angels vs. everyone saga.  Still traumatized from losing Kevin, the show can’t get rid of Garth too.  I suspect we haven’t seen the last of the hunter-turned-wolf, but I was sad to see his Bobby-wannabe persona go.  Garth is a great comedic presence on Supernatural that was only amplified when he was just trying to fit into the rugged world of hunting.

Can Dean and Sam heal their wounds? I suspect so as the two have had more rifts than my family at Hanukkah, but how much time will it take?  While the boys were hunting, was Castiel trying to find Metatron or trying to get his taste for peanut butter and jelly back? Was Crowley off finding the blade to kill Abbadon or making him and Dean best friendship bracelets?