There are a number of things about Party on, Garth that make it a fairly decent and somewhat important ep of this season’s Supernatural. And there are, of course, a number of other reasons that continue to show us how the series writers have continued to take a rather half-assed approach to story telling this year. In this ep we get to enjoy (although I’m not sure that that is the word to describe the character) pencil necked Bel Biv Devoe loving hunter Garth. of whom, still, the writers can’t decide whether they want to make fun or retend he’s cool (in some ways this reminds me of how they had trouble with their treatment of roadhouse hoser geek Ash.) And while the whole episode revolves around the actual requirement of getting drunk, it leaves the impression that the script kind-of twists itself in a pretzle to avoid making this witty as well. All in all, we are left with an ep which feels more like it came from the animated version of the show, and in more ways that what I’ve mentioned above.
The episode starts in a rather
classic cliche horror manner, with a bunch of attractive teens out camping and telling a ghost story. Happily, this is somewhat subverted when a drunk friend arrives, gets freaked and is found murdered with a whole in his torso (missing liver perhaps?). Garth arrives on the scene in his rusty El Camino and decides its a ghost, but of course it turns out he was wrong and calls in the Winchesters for help (which sadly delays his reunion with who I suspect is probably Becky.) As it turns out, the Ring quote was intended as foreshadowing, as the boys find themselve up against a made-up version of a Japanese monster alcohol spirit called a Shojo (who are in actual legend red headed and harmless party girl ghosts – not the japanese horror inspired ghost we get to see in this ep). The general plot involved the revenge of a cut out partner in a midwestern craft brewery (Thighslapper). But seriously, Strange Brew it isn’t. But, at least this time around, there is in fact some, if twisted around, connection between the show’s Japanese monster and it’s actual mythology.
So we get to more or less go through the motions. The ep is rather light on wit and humor (despite of or in fact because of the inclusion of Garth). Insvolves an interrogation via disturbing and very very wrong hand puppet and ultimately a battle between Dean (who is having difficulty actually getting drunk at this point) who has to face off with a nasty ghost he can’t see.
On the plus side, we finally get to see Jim Beaver again, who shows up finally as ghost Bobby, even though the boys are convinced that they’ve been imagining his actions (a re-appearance which has been the serie’s narratives perhaps worst kept secret ever). And hey, they are now driving around in a stolen AMC Pacer (a choice of which Garth heartily approves.) What, couldn’t the producers have found them a Gremlin?
Yeah, this would probably have been a decent ep in previous years, but the whole ep, the tone felt repeatedly off. Continuing seventh season blues, I guess.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5