Supernatural 7.07 "The Mentalists" Review

A tv review article by: Paul Brian McCoy

An angry ghost goes after mediums in Lily Dale, the most psychic town in America, and the brothers have to figure out who the next victim will be from a population filled with nothing but psychics.

Supernatural airs Fridays at 9:00 on the CW.

So that break-up didn't last very long.

Sam (Jared Padalecki) walked away from Dean (Jensen Ackles) at the end of last episode, but as you might expect, if they're going to both keep investigating strange events, their paths are going to cross. But instead of letting that drag out, writers Ben Acker and Ben Blacker (for real) get our boys together again without any further ado.

And not only that, they settle their differences without too much fuss. It's like all they needed was a palate-cleansing Monster Hunt and everything's back to normal.

Well, a Monster Hunt and Dean telling Sam to stop "being a bitch" about things (things = Dean murdering Amy).

There's not a lot to this episode. It's pretty much a by-the-book done-in-one, set in the town of Lily Dale, where nearly everybody is psychic. Or pretends to be, anyway. Which makes looking for a real psychic like "looking for a needle in a pile of fake needles" as Dean puts it.

The basic plot goes a little like this: the most prominent psychics in Psychicville are having visions of their own deaths and then they die. Usually in a pretty horrific and ironic manner. The fact that they're all fakes makes the motivations of the killer pretty obvious and when the brothers think they've got the mystery solved, it's just as obvious they've made a wrong move.

You see, the killer is the ghost of a psychic whose ghostly sister got all the acclaim when they were alive. So now, these fake living psychics are targets of her wrath. Well, her's and the one guy in town who's actually psychic but lacks the showmanship skills to make a living at it.

It's all pretty forgettable, but at least it's well-done.

That is, if you just ignore the fact that the boys miss the obvious solution and burn the bones of a spirit that's trying to save lives. But Dean shrugs that off and Sam doesn't dwell on it, either.

There are a couple of good moments, like when we discover that the bad guy has been sleeping with the bones of the murderous spirit (ugh!), and when Sam and Dean discover that none of the sibling psychic acts from the town's history ever got along, except for the brothers who weren't actually brothers – they were covering for their alternative lifestyle (slash!).

I was really hoping for at least a cursory appearance of Crowley in the closing moments, but alas, it was not to be. And next week's episode doesn’t look to be getting us any closer to that inevitable plot point.

So there you have it. Another episode of Supernatural that could be slotted in to just about any season so far, but would feel most comfortable back in Seasons One or Two. And there's nothing really wrong with that, it's just not the stuff that I want to see from Supernatural.

Paul Brian McCoy is the writer of Mondo Marvel and a regular contributor to Shot for Shot. His first novel,The Unraveling: Damaged Inc. Book One is on sale now for Kindle US, Kindle UK, and Nook, or can be sampled and/or purchased at Smashwords. He is unnaturally preoccupied with zombie films, Asian cult cinema, and sci-fi television. He can also be found babbling on Twitter at @PBMcCoy and blogging occasionally at Infernal Desire Machines.

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