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‘Supernatural’ Recap: Season 11, Episode 5 “Thin Lizzie”

This week on ‘Supernatural’, Sam and Dean investigate a series of mysterious murdered linked to the lore of Lizzie Borden.

Ghost stories are a ‘Supernatural’ staple. The series has been tackling all manner of legend and lore since it’s humble beginnings. Some stories exist based on historical facts. Some come about just because people believe in it in general. Throughout the long and windy road of the show we have met all kinds of famous ghosts from “Bloody Mary” (S1 E5) to “#thinman” (S9 E15) tonight’s “Thin Lizzie” falls somewhere in between.

Coming off of last week’s instant classic of an episode, I wasn’t quite ready to get back into the plot. That is until I knew we were tackling the always interesting story of Lizzie Borden who’s rhyme describing her misdeeds is arguably as well-known as her legend. Also, any opportunity to see Sam in his nerdy element is a good one.

Apparently on a dark road it is really inappropriate to freak your friends out and tell them that this is like the first five minutes of Supernatural. Of course in those situations I get really excited that Sam and Dean are going to show up but I have been told to stop. As usual the episode opens away from the Winchesters in Fall River, Massachusetts.

Two teens, a guy and a girl, are in a room and note that this house is way creepier in person. The guy says that Ghostfacers can’t pick up the rage vibes (and I got really excited at the mention of our inept “ghost hunters” but I sincerely hope they don’t give Sam and Dean anymore headaches after the last time we saw them and the utter fiasco that was). He turns on the gramophone (look at me being a history buff!) and I’m a little confused as if that’s supposed to be seductive or something but we don’t get to contemplate it as a weird come on too long because the lights dim and then flicker.

Emily Haine as Wendy in Supernatural Photo: CW

The girl makes a joke that Lizzie is coming to get him and then the door creeks. Spooked the guy goes to check it out but nothing is there. He turns to find a figure standing behind his lady friend and an ax is raised. She’s killed and the guy tries to escape, but the door is locked from the outside. He’s killed and the camera pans to the door hanger, identifying the house as The Lizzie Borden B&B and Museum.

Sam and Dean are hanging out in the Bunker, though I am willing to bet Dean just changed out of his shorts because Baby needed such a workup after last week. Sam is looking for something to do. There were a few potential cases, but their best bet seems to be the recent murder of the couple at the B&B. The inn is Lizzie Borden’s actual house and Sam is all excited about it because he’s into that thing, from a perfectly normal and strictly historical perspective. Since there are no leads on Amara, Sam convinces Dean to check it out. They leave Cas behind because he’s like really into The Wire right now and like maybe I would like it if I was watching it with Cas but I’d much rather go hunting. (Side Note: How long before Cas finds all ten seasons of Supernatural on Netflix and what happens when he does?)

The Winchester bros get to Fall River and start to ask the innkeeper questions. In order to get answers they bribe him into taking the room the couple was killed in. His mother interrupts them to yell at the innkeeper and Dean sympathizes with him about working with family. Before they go to check out the room they ask the innkeeper again if he saw anything strange. He says that there was no indication of a problem until they heard the screams. The only thing odd is that the guy who was killed is a direct descendant of the Borden family.

Jared Padalecki as Sam Winchester in Supernatural Photo: CW Gif: saltnburned via Tumblr

The boys find the room and Dean has a very visceral reaction to the decorating choice. Sam doesn’t care because it’s Lizzie’s original room and he’s not switching. He turns on the EMF detector and starts looking around but everything appears to be clean and there doesn’t seem to be any secret panels or ways for someone to break into the room. Sam plays with some old perfume because he wanted to see if the squeezing thing worked and I too would do something like that and still get a little joy about how grossed out Dean was.

Using the EMF detector, Sam goes to see where the signal leads. It leads him to a Staff Only door, which leads to the attic. Dean goes to check out the museum and the lights start flickering. He uses a chair to get a better look and also because he’s the shorter Winchester. After he steadies the chandelier he notices there is someone lurking outside. He taps on the window and the person runs away with some kind of Victorian era camera.

Sam investigates the attic and the EMF signal getting stronger, but he ultimately finds a homemade EMF detector, which he turns off. The boys reconvene in the room to discuss what they’ve found. The flickering lights are on a timer, the pictures on the wall are covering up a sound system and since Sam turned off the EMF detector he found the signal is gone. Dean concludes that the whole place is some kind of tourist trap and it doesn’t seem like there’s any kind of ghost here. Dean suggests they discuss what potentially killed the couple over a lobster roll, but in the next scene the innkeeper’s mother is murdered and the boys are back on the case.

Dean turns on the EMF detector and there is no signal once again, which if there was a ghost there should. Dean introduces himself to the detective working on the case as “Agent Gabriel” and like I need a show of hands for everyone who got obscenely excited at the mention of that name because I can’t be the only one! The takeaway from that conversation with the detective is that Len was the guy Dean saw outside.

The boys hop in the Impala and head for Len when Sam gets a call that there’s been another victim several miles from the B&B. Sam takes the new victim and Dean heads to Len. Sydney, the babysitter, answers Sam’s questions but once Mrs. Kemper comes home she throws him out. Her behavior surrounding her husbands death is pretty sketchy and Sam is fairly sure she’s hiding something.

Jensen Ackles as Dean Winchester in Supernatural Photo: CW Gif: deancasheadcanons via Tumblr

Meanwhile, Dean arrives to talk to Len who is basically a Lizzie Borden super-fan. He was outside trying to get a picture of Lizzie’s ghost when he saw him outside. He’s not allowed in the B&B because there’s a restraining order because he sort of camped out in the basement for a while. Things take a completely different turn when Dean finds a piece of paper with the Mark drawn on it. Len tries to lie about it, but quickly decides his best bet is to tell Dean the truth. He met Amara at the Lizzie Borden house. She tells him that she thinks Lizzie’s parents were terrible people but that Lizzie definitely did it, she has serial killer eyes. Dean asks Len about how old she was and Len guesses about 12. Then he tells Dean about how she took his soul, though he doesn’t know that’s what it was, he just knows he doesn’t feel the same and he’s hoping to find her so she can fix him.

Concerned about her rapid growth, Sam and Dean report to each other on their findings. They realize that there might be others who are also soul-less, Sam suspects Mrs. Kemper was a victim of Amara’s feeding because her behavior reminds Sam of how he was when he was soulless. Dean points out that they can’t kill Len yet because he hasn’t done anything. Sam is flabbergasted at Dean’s suggestion to kill an innocent person who just happens to be soulless and points out that they’re trying to save people. Dean agrees but then tells Sam that he’s better at telling people bad news and nominates him to tell Len he has no soul. They decide to babysit Len for the time being and look for Mrs. Kemper in the hopes of finding someway to help them both.

They go back to the Kemper’s home but no one is there. Sam calls Sydney and she tells him that she thinks that Mrs. Kemper might be with her “special friend” and gives him the address. They head to the house with Len in the backseat. He talks about how it feels like something dark with wings is hatching inside him and notices the look that Dean and Sam give each other. Dean handcuffs Len to the car door and bluntly tells him that he has no soul. At first he’s upset and wants to know how to get it back and Sam tells him that you usually don’t and Len actually handles that pretty well.

Jared Padalecki & Jensen Ackles as Sam and Dean Winchester in Supernatural. Photo: CW Gif: hellosupernatural via Tumblr

No one answers the door when they knock and Dean notices that it looks like there was a struggle in the living room. They break in. Dean heads for the basement where the light is broken and dicovers Mrs. Kemper and her boyfriend have been slashed to death. He turns and is knocked out. Upstairs Sam heads for a closet and finds the son, Jordie tied up. He goes to help him but Jordie screams and Sam turns to find Sydney standing over him. The boys come to, tied up in the basement.

Turns out that Sydney met Amara after leaving a bar aptly called The Hatchet. Her boyfriend had just broken up with her and she was pretty drunk. Amara stops her in the parking lot and tells her it’s not safe for her to drive home. Sydney feels for Amara thinking that her parents left her outside, her parents used to do stuff like that. She gives the girl her jacket and Amara offers to help her. Sydney acknowledges that she needs help. Amara grabs her hand and gives her some kind of shot of Darkness. It feels really good and Sydney calls Amara an angel, which insults her and Amara takes her soul.

Sydney tells Sam and Dean that being with Amara was bliss and that Sam and Dean are her presents to her. She tells them that Amara took all the pain from her horrible childhood away and made her feel like she could do all the things she imagined. She killed the couple at the B&B because it was her ex-boyfriend and he had ditched her to go out with a new girl. She killed the innkeeper’s mother because she used to work at the B&B and the woman had cheated her out of money during that one summer. It’s how she was able to get in and out without being noticed. Ands she killed Jordie’s parents because they were horrible people who sold meth and cheated and she would be a much better parent to Jordie.

Dean comments that she’s very assured in the fact that Amara will come and Sydney says that she’s been praying and that Amara will come. Sam gets free and tries to go after Amara but she shoots him and then dies. Len is standing behind her holding the ax. In her last moments she tells them it’s peaceful and the Darkness is coming for them all.

Jared Padalecki as Sam Winchester in Supernatural Photo: CW Gif: strengthcas via Tumblr

Sam sits outside with Jordie (and like I forget that he’s a giant but he’s a tremendous person and I a tremendous person next to a child and when he sits down on the stairs I had a good chuckle) and the two talk about family. Sam asks if there’s anyone Jordie has to stay with and talks about his own mom a little bit. Jordie thinks that his aunt will take him. Inside the house Len is patched up because he literally ripped his hand out the handcuff just because he wanted to see if he could. He tells Dean that he knows he’ll kill again and tells Dean to kill him. Dean refuses, he doesn’t want to do that so Len offers to turn himself in and confess to all the murders. If he’s locked up he won’t able to hurt anyone for as long as that lasts.

Standing outside the Impala enjoying some fast food the boys talk about the case, just like they always have. The official name for it, they used in “Fan Fiction” (S10 E5) and is “BM” scene or “Boy Melodrama” scene where they’re driving or leaning up against Baby and sharing their feelings. In this particular BM moment they discuss the potentially different reactions people have to losing their souls. Len lost his heart, Sydney lost her mind. I’m really concerned where this is leading for the two of them. Sam asks Dean what it felt like when he was with Amara. Dean answers that it was quiet until she started amassing an army and they switch gears to getting back to work, which is a non answer and you, know it Dean Winchester!

The episode ends with the boys driving off in Baby and Amara exiting the woods right near where they were parked and saying, “Bye, Dean, I’ll see you soon!” which is also what I say at the end of every episode too, but I like to imagine that it’s less creepy because I am not a 12 year old ancient force.

Yasmeene Ball as Amara in Supernatural Photo: CW Gif: deansmuffin via Tumblr

Next week Crowley disciplines Amara to violent and petulant teenager results. Sam and Dean decide they’re going to find her and kill her. And Cas is all “Back to this B*tch who had a lot to say about me last season” and Metatron gets an actual smacking around.

Best Lines

  • “Ooo, she’s gonna get you.”
  • “I know what this is, this is your fetish for serial killers.”
  • “Working with family can be tough.”
  • Dean: Why do you keep spraying it?
    Sam: Just wanted to see if the squeezing thing worked.
  • “Now I have Grandma all over me”
  • “I don’t know, why don’t we Sherlock that over a beer and lobster roll. I gotta get out of this doily coffin.”
  • “Fake it till you make it.”
  • “I’m like a robot-puppet man.”
  • “Amara’s growing like a radioactive weed.”
  • “We don’t want to kill him, we want to save him.”
  • “Looks like we’re babysitting a 30 year old man.”
  • “You were one chilly droid.”
  • “I could lick the sweat off a stranger’s…Yeah any body part.”
  • “It feels good to finally know.”
  • “I like dark places.”
  • “It feel likes ecstasy-orgasm-chocolate-cake.”
  • “Do I look like a whiny wing suck up?”
  • “Except now you’re an ax murderer.”
  • “Holy crap, I just did that.”
  • “The Darkness is coming, it’s so peaceful, it’s coming for all of us.”
  • “I remember what it was like to do the right thing, I’m going through the motions for as long as I can.”
  • “What are we looking for next, the cowardly lion?”

NEXT ON HIDDEN REMOTE: ‘Supernatural’ Recap: Season 11, Episode 4 “Baby”

I have a theory about how to stop Amara involving Dean but it’s mostly inappropriate and really puts Dean on a pedestal that I’m not sure his ego needs – let’s just say it involves killing Amara with love. Also, I don’t like being wrong so I’m totally not sharing it until I have more evidence to back it up. But I am here ax-ing the hard questions!

Are you salty that this wasn’t an actual ghost story? Or are you pleased that this Amara business has found it’s way into the good work that Sam and Dean do to take their minds off the bigger problem that they caused? What about their talk about what people do when they lose their souls? What do you think would happen to Sam or Dean if they lost their soul to Amara? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

Supernatural airs Wednesdays at 9/8c on The CW.