I kept looking for the silver DeLorean and the clock tower. To say that “Frontierland” borrowed elements from the “Back to the Future” series would be the biggest understatement since Noah said, “It looks like rain.”
Dean (Jensen Ackles) and Sam (Jared Padalecki) somehow convince Castiel (Misha Collins) that sending them back in time to retrieve the ashes of a phoenix are just what they need to defeat Eve (Julia Maxwell). The premise wasn’t completely logical. How time travel ends up being the first choice here is a bit strange, but nobody said it had to make sense.
Naturally, Castiel sends them back in time, only to be betrayed by one of his lieutenants, resulting in the Winchester boys almost being stranded in the past. Almost. Predictably, it all works out in the end.
“Back to the Future” is an odd choice for “Supernatural” to imitate, and I can’t help but feel that only those familiar with those films will be the ones to fully appreciate this episode. While the episode generates a few chuckles here and there, it is quite forgettable.
Points Of Interest
This episode featured a number of memorable one-liners:
1. When Bobby (Jim Beaver) asked, “Either of you jokers ever heard anything about a Phoenix?” Dean replied, “River, Joaquin or the giant flaming bird?”
2. Dean made a reference to the movie “Star Trek IV,” which dealt with time travel.
3. Bobby referred to Castiel touching his soul as a “soulenoscopy.”
4. Like Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) in “Back to the Future III,” Dean stated that he was Clint Eastwood.
Dean looked ridiculous in his old west garb.
As a fan of the “Back to the Future” series, I couldn’t help but like this episode a bit more than it deserved.
The appearance of Samuel Colt (Sam Hennings) as an old west hunter was a very nice touch in an otherwise marginal episode.
What Didn't Work
The ending directly paralleled the ending of “Back to the Future II,” with a courier delivering a package left a long time ago to an exact place and time in the future. There is a fine line between paying tribute and jumping the shark. This one jumped the shark. I figured out the ending less than halfway through the episode.
I was afraid that, once the episode “My Heart Will Go On” established the fact that the past could be changed, a can of worms would be opened. It has now become a very convenient deus ex machina that can be used, and overused, to get the boys out of their messes. It took all of about two weeks for that to happen.
Giving Credit Where Credit Is Due
"Supernatural" stars Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles. "Frontierland" was written by Jackson Stewart, Daniel Loflin and Andrew Dabb. It was directed by Guy Norman Bee.
“Supernatural” airs Fridays at 9 p.m. ET on The CW.
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