I had high hopes for "#THINMAN", written by Jenny Klein and directed by Jeanne Swarcoz. Because they were bringing back fan favorites Harry Spengler and Ed Zeddmore, the "Ghostfacers". They starred in one of my favorite episodes, Season 3's "Ghostfacers," a hilarious reality-TV parody written by (sob) Ben Edlund. Their names are tributes to characters in "Ghostbusters." (RIP Harold Ramis.) Ed (A.J. Buckley) and Harry (Travis Wester) led a team of wanna-be ghost hunters. The concept and execution were hysterically funny, including Sam and Dean spouting expletives that were bleeped out with a little Ghostfacer logo over their mouths.
I wish this show was on cable. Jensen Ackles is 36 and Jared Padalecki is 31. Aren't they a little too old to be saying "friggin" ? Or to be on the CW? Watching the CW network promos, Sam, Dean and sometimes Cas make split-second appearances. The rest is devoted to the twenty-somethings starring on the prettier shows. If 14-year-old Chandler Riggs can say "shitface" on "The Walking Dead," why can't these guys?
So! A light-hearted hour of fun after all of the manpain? Uh, no. I'm hobbling around on crutches because so many anvils fell on my feet. This time Ed and Harry are brought on to be bizzaro Winchesters, with one of them carrying a secret that will destroy their relationship.
THEN: Clips from earlier "Ghostfacers", reminding us of better episodes. Sam and Dean talk about working together as a business, not family. Much angst. Sam says The Line that sums up the episode, and I wish they'd stopped there. "You didn't save me for me. You saved me for you."
NOW: A young girl is in her bedroom in front of a mirror, posing for selfies on her phone. Then she sees a ghostly character standing behind her. She freaks, and in time-tested horror movie fashion, doesn't run out the door, but locks herself in her closet. Her throat is slashed, and blood pours out of the pretty white shutters. COOL.
At the bunker, Sam is on his ever-present laptop. It occurred to me that like many people with their faces buried in a computer, maybe Sam belongs to some online community his brother doesn't know about, like familysucks.com or DemonDate.org. Dean walks by, "lah lah lah I don't care if you're in the room I'm leaving fuck you lah lah." He announces he's found a case, and reluctantly lets Sam come along. (Note: Jared Padalecki mugs through this whole episode, even during the serious scenes. Why make one facial expression when you make three?)
Let's keep this short, shall we? The Ghostfacers have already shown up at the murder scene. Ed, Harry, Sam and Dean have a face-off (the best scene in the show) at a diner. Harry: “The Winchesters. Yay."
Ed: “Says nobody." Harry: “Ever." Harry and Ed have all of the best lines in the show, of course. I gather the actors improvised, which would explain it.
A diner scene with no reference to pie. First sign that this episode is crap.
They are interrupted by a manager berating a busboy. Which means that one of them is probably the culprit. Because you don't get random camera time unless you're a bad guy. The killer is known on the interwebs as "Thinman". He appears in the back of photographs of people he's about to kill.
Sam finds that Ed and Harry have written a book on "Thinman". Which makes the later reveal that Ed made it all up to keep Harry around make even less sense.
Ed begs Sam and Dean not to blame him for his dialogue
I don't have the patience to list all of the plot-holes and timeline problems this episode has. Once the Winchesters show up, Ed wants to bail. He's lost the other Ghostfacers because they went on to live 'normal' lives. Harry met a girl, broke up because of "Thinman" and is now fixated on her. Ed confesses to Harry, who is aghast and furious.
"Dude, where's my life?"
"Thinman" is in reality two local thrill-killers, the deputy and the busboy. Both of whom get offed.
In a scene photographed and written as a mirror to the ending of "Road Trip", Harry leaves Ed, and Ed cries quietly. The two actors really sell their scenes. But the characters themselves are too light to carry that kind of dramatic weight. Harry drives off with the Winchesters, sadly talking about two rocking chairs, on of them empty. This reminds me of a quote from Jared Padalecki in 2009: ''I don't want to be cheesy and here's Sam and Dean at age 50 sitting in wheelchairs with grandchildren."
It's gettin' mighty cheesy 'round here.