The latest episode of Supernatural, “Yellow Fever,” found Dean (Jensen Ackles) getting infected with a Ghost Sickness that nearly made him die of fright. The episode had some rather intense moments, but one of the lighter scenes involved Sam (Jared Padalecki) explaining that all the infected men had one thing in common: they were dicks. The first man to die used to be a bully in high school, and the reveal seemed to imply that Dean’s inner douchebag made him a target for the ghost. That’s the impression some viewers came away with, but in a statement to the fans released after the episode aired, Supernatural creator Eric Kripke explains away this notion. The ghost actually went after Dean for more complicated reasons that won’t be revealed until episode 10 of the current season.
In his official statement, Eric Kripke says: “Dean is not a dick. None of the writers, or anyone on the creative team of Supernatural, think Dean’s ever been a dick, past, present, or future. He’s a hero. Dean did NOT contract the ghost sickness because he’s a dick. Victims contract the illness because they use ‘fear as a weapon.’ Dean asks Lilith at the episode’s end, ‘why did I get infected?’ And she cryptically responds, ‘you know why. Listen to your heart.’ We,as the writers, probably should have emphasized this mystery more, I take responsibility for that omission. But the point is: the reason he was infected is because of a SECRET he’s keeping. A dark secret that will be revealed in Episode 10. And not at all because of any dickishness, implied or otherwise.”
Kripke’s statement leads me to believe that fans were up in arms over Dean’s implied dickishness, but I didn’t see any complaints floating around the Internet. BuddyTV readers seemed ecstatic over the episode, and most people, like myself, probably assumed that Dean’s douchebaggery was being played for laughs. However, I can see why Kripke would want to clear the air. Some fans were probably upset over the implication that Dean is anything less than a hero, and more importantly, writing off the Ghost Sickness as a product of his attitude would make an upcoming storyline less effective. The notion that Dean is keeping a deep, dark secret is extremely interesting, but I never would have figured it out from watching the episode. I’ve seen “Yellow Fever” twice and didn’t catch on that Dean was hiding something, so I agree with Kripke that the writers “probably should have emphasized this mystery more.”
Regardless of that minor storytelling flaw, “Yellow Fever” was a fantastic hour of television. Kripke’s willingness to clear the air and own up to his mistake is admirable, and I only wish more creators would be so forthcoming. Now can we please see episode 10?
– Don Williams, BuddyTV Staff Writer
(Image courtesy of the CW)