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'The Winchesters' Season 1, Episode 4: 'Masters of War' explores traumas from the past and turns them into triumph

Image taken from TV Fanatic
Image taken from TV Fanatic

Facing the Monster Inside of You

“Fighting the battle between good and evil isn’t easy. Especially when the first monster you have to face, is the one inside yourself,” Dean Winchester(Jensen Ackles) narrating at the beginning of the episode explaining that before you can go into fighting the real monsters out there, you must be able to confront the things that were haunting you, and face them head on. There is no running away from your fears.

This episode really digs deep into aspects of PTSD, mental health, and past trauma, which is effective. Especially for John (Drake Rodger) and Carlos (Jojo Fleites). The Scooby-Doo gang finds themselves on another case when a former Veteran named Peaches is killed in a hospital called Hannibal Park Hospital, which is designed for military veterans to help cope with their post-traumatic stress from their time in the war. So, both John and Carlos check into the hospital to meet with Peaches’ former therapist who ran a therapy session in the hospital, Dr. Z. They also join a therapy session where Carlos explains that he used to be a Navy doctor that would live out in his van most of the time. But then he got arrested and he explained that the judge would give him two options: go to jail or do community service. He chose community service leading to him joining the Navy.

Image taken from Vulture

The backstory we get about Carlos in the episode gives the audience a better understanding about who and what Carlos did before he became a hunter. Dr. Z asks John questions that he is clearly nervous and triggered by some past events that he experienced in the war. John couldn’t save his best friend from being blown away by a landmine. This being the first time John has had to confront the horrors of what he experienced in his time in the war, it was interesting, with him only wanting him to be more open about when he was in therapy session. Little do him and Carlos know that there was a man that was in that therapy group named Jimmy taunting them, saying that the only way for them to escape the hospital is by facing their trauma. Jimmy is playing a god and tells the boys his reason for his doings. With John’s trauma of watching his friend Murphy die, and Carlos’s past with the Navy. It was all about fueling the god's desire to get them prepared to fight the Akrida. Getting more of John’s experience of fighting in the war was insightful and having a better understanding of why it is so hard for him to open about his trauma and other personal issues. With both John and Carlos having both gone through different types of situations while in war, it’s gives Carlos and reason to have a different kind of respect for him and reassuring John that he’s here if he ever needs to talk about anything. Then towards the end of the episode, Carlos decided to go back to the therapy group and talk about his trauma because he said that talking about it made him feel better. John’s mother, Millie (Bianca Kajlich) finds him in the bathroom with the showerhead running, and he’s sitting in the fetal position in the bathtub completely emotional. His mother just consoles him and comforts him. That really does show that John’s trauma and PTSD is going to be more explored throughout the season as he trains to be a hunter in the long haul.

Ladies Working Together

Image taken from Fansided

With Mary (Meg Donnelly) and Lata (Nida Khurshid)on the other side, they are trying to figure out what kind of monster or creature is what lead to Peaches’ death in the hospital. This leads to Mary to her reporter friend that she met at the movies to get answers. Funny enough, his has been tracking down these kinds of deaths for a while because, they have been happening all over the country. To really get in the nitty
gritty of the murder, Lata suggests to Mary that they need more information
about the monster that they are hunting, and that her cousin Maggie did
research about monsters like the kind that Mary and the crew hunt. Mary has
been very apprehensive about keeping Maggie’s door closed. She’s been so grief-struck about her death that she can’t bring herself to go into her room.
The same goes for Lata who consider Maggie a little sister. But when learning that Maggie was doing research of her own, they both decided to face their fear together. They go into Maggie’s room, and they find a book that had all her research, finding that the monster that they are hunting isn’t a monster; it’s a god. After learning this information, they bring Millie along to help her get her son and Carlos out of the hospital. Seeing Millie be involved in the cases that her son is on, shows that she is involved in the family business of saving people, hunting things. Showing that Mary is still grieving the loss of her cousin by keeping her bedroom door close, shows some signs that she needs to confront her grief and not hide from it. She seems to do just that while letting Carlos stay the night in her room. Also, Maggie used to take these postcards that she and Mary would write about one bad thing about the hunt they went on. Then, following it up be writing down two good things that happened on the hunt. Mary and Lata decide to continue that so that they can keep Maggie’s memory alive. This shows Mary taking a step into moving on and doing something constructive with her grief and feelings about her fallen cousin.




Fansided, Vulture, Tv Fanatic