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'Supernatural' '#THINMAN' recap: Like looking into a mirror?

Supernatural -- "#THINMAN" -- Pictured (L-R): Jared Padalecki as Sam, Jensen Ackles as Dean, and AJ Buckley as Ed
Supernatural -- "#THINMAN" -- Pictured (L-R): Jared Padalecki as Sam, Jensen Ackles as Dean, and AJ Buckley as Ed
Diyah Pera/The CW

Oh, the parallels in the Tuesday, March 4 episode of "Supernatural, "#THINMAN." The Ghostfacers have always been fun characters to have show up from time to time, and they've been around since season 1 – and haven't died yet, which is quite the feat – but hopefully this isn’t the last time they show up and how we last see them because, well, the parallels. They deserve better.

Instead of going too much into the parallels in this "Supernatural" episode – they're everywhere and they're obvious – let's take a look at the hunt itself first. In a move to make you question any selfie you ever take again, a girl discovers that there's something rudely photobombing her many, many selfies, and that something kills her in her closet before the 911 operator can even think about sending help. The murder – locked door and windows – catches Dean's eye, and he's ready to go off to investigate without even telling Sam any details about the case because that's where their relationship is now.

The girl's mother can't afford a private investigator, so she jumps at the chance that supernaturalists who have called her may be able to help, and that's when the Winchesters find out that the Ghostfacers are in town. Sam and Dean try to send them on their way, but Harry's now armed and sends them to Amazon instead because the Ghostfacers have figured out they're not dealing with a ghost. Instead, they're dealing with a Thinman, and the Ghostfacers wrote a book on it. It started out as an internet thing and then spread; this figure lurks in the backgrounds of photos of his victims until he's ready to kill them. It sounds like pretty scary stuff, right? Well, Dean's not ready to believe it, whether that's because he doesn't like the Ghostfacers or he's just ready to take the opposite side of Sam on the issue is not clear, and he instead looks into deaths in the area only to come up empty on a candidate for a vengeful ghost.

Then the manager at the diner ends up dead too, and both the girl's photo and video of the manager's death end up online after their deaths somehow. Creepy, right? Well, it's not. Ed made up the Thinman to keep Harry in the business because he was going to leave him to marry a girl and have a normal life, as he confesses to Sam and Dean after leaving Harry alone in his ninja gear to hunt for Thinman in the woods because Thinman likes to hang out by trees and trees hang out in the woods (Harry's logic). (Ed really left him behind a grocery store.) However, Harry's then attacked by Thinman, and after Sam bandages him up, the truth comes out and the parallel anvils just keep dropping everywhere.

In the end, Dean finds tire tracks near where Harry was attacked, they follow them to a mill and the deputy attacks, cuffing the brothers to chairs and revealing he and his partner faked the whole Thinman thing. His partner's the busboy whose appearance earlier in the episode is just too obvious for him not to be connected to the case, and the murders are those who have offended the deputy and busboy. The girl said no when the busboy asked her out, so he killed her. The busboy didn't like how the manager treated him, so he killed him. The sheriff didn't give the deputy time off, so the deputy had the busboy kill him. Basically, these two guys have a real sane, normal way of solving their problems. They're just people, and people are sick. The busboy is about to slit Dean's throat, with Sam still working on his cuffs, when Ed and Harry show up and end up saving the Winchesters. The killers end up dead and the case is solved, but neither the Winchesters nor the Ghostfacers' relationship is fixed.

Parallel, parallel, parallel. Anvil, anvil, anvil. It would have been so much better to see the Ghostfacers back without those, but c'est la vie. "Secrets ruin relationships," Sam says as the brothers tell Ed he has to tell Harry the truth. "How selfish can you be?" Harry asks Ed once he knows. They can keep it going for the fans, Ed says. No, Harry says he can't trust him anymore. "I just got punched in the feels," Harry actually says to Sam when he goes to see how he's doing since he knows exactly how he feels. (Though how would Harry have reacted if Sam just started blurting out why he knows how he feels?)

Sam tells Harry there are some things that you can forgive and others you can't, and while Harry joins Ed in finishing the job, he doesn't forgive him and instead tells him, "you did it for you." (Did the Ghostfacers somehow plant a camera in the bunker?) Ed asks Sam and Dean for a ride and begins talking about having this idea of this guy always being next to you, in the other rocking chair when you're old, until something happens and that chair is suddenly empty. Do they know what he means? Wow. Yeah. But AJ Buckley and Travis Wester were both quite good in this episode, so there is that. Poor Ed and Harry.

What could have been a sweet moment is almost ruined because of the unresolved issues and their behavior the rest of the time, as Sam and Dean reminisce about being kids, Sam dressed as Batman at age 5 and Dean as Superman at age 9 and Dean driving Sam to the ER on his handlebars. "Good times," Dean says. Sam agrees, but then they remember they're only about business now. Yes, those two need to talk some things out and soon. Sam obviously cares about his brother – his reactions when Dean's life is in danger, as it has been in these last two episodes prove that – and while he had some good points in his harsh truths, there are some other things he needs to say to Dean.

"Supernatural" season 9 airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. on the CW. What did you think of episode 15 "#THINMAN"?

© Meredith Jacobs 2014

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