|Bad Boys features a customised action figure created by the legendary Sillof|
Dean gets a call from Sonny (Blake Gibbons), an ex-con who runs a boys' home in Hurleyville, New York, where Dean spent a couple of months as a surly teenager, after he was caught shoplifting.
One of Sonny's assistants has been killed in an apparent accident, but Sonny thinks there's something more supernatural afoot. And it isn't long before there's a second killing, then one of the boys get mutilated during a close encounter with a lawnmower.
Bad Boys is a good old-fashioned ghost hunt, a back-to-basics palate cleanser with no connection to the season's overarching storyline, that takes us back to the glory days of cold spots, EMF readers, salting & burning bones and so on. As if that wasn't enough flashback goodness, we also get to meet Robin (Erin Karpluk) - the first girl who Dean kissed (and, of course, disappeared on).
Definitely my favourite episode of the season so far, matters certainly weren't harmed by having a bespectacled young Timmy (Sean Michael Kyer), and his totemic action figure, Bruce The Monster Smasher (which was created by action figure customiser Sillof for the show), as key figures in the story.
I have to confess that revelations, later in the story, about Timmy and his mum did get me a bit choked up as, understandably, it got me thinking about my own, late, mother.
Of course, one of the great things about Supernatural is that it has evolved a format that can handle spooky stories like this through to broad, slapstick comedy... and everything fits perfectly (most of the time).
This certainly explains the show's longevity, but it is a welcome reward for long-time fans to be occasionally taken back (thematically) to the show's solid foundations as a monster hunting serial; to be reminded where it all came from. And to see how far it has come.