Supernatural Season 11: Out of the Darkness, Into the Fire

Written by Jeremy Carver and directed by Robert Singer, tonight’s episode picks up directly from the season ten finale. So it’s nice to not have some kind of lag of several months between events. Last season, Dean killed death just before Rowena magically removed the Mark of Cain, which was last season’s endgame. But just like in the best of shows, solving one problem, creates a greater, sometimes worse, problem. (Yeah, it’s problems, all the way down!)

By removing the Mark of Cain, Rowena has unleashed a sentient, primordial Darkness, that existed before God made the world. Now Dean and Sam have to figure out what it is and if and how it can be stopped.

Tonight ‘s episode gets me off to a good start with some Creedence Clearwater Revival: Run Through the Jungle. And its kind of appropriate because Cas does quite a bit of this in the show before, as the title kind of says, going from the frying pan into the fire. He makes the desperate mistake of praying for help. In hte middle of his conversation with Dean, his brethren show up ad take him to some undisclosed location fro some fun and games, I’m bettin’.

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When the Darkness hits the Impala, Dean gets pulled out of the vehicle and has a special meeting with The Darkness in the form of a beautiful woman. Its a little confusing, as this happens in flashbacks, as the brothers wake from unconsciousness. Is this really it’s true form? Why is she cozying up to Dean?

Sam wakes up in the car (after having been knocked unconscious) and goes looking for Dean,who is lying unconscious, in a field, half a mile from the Impala. He tells Sam about his meeting with Darkness, who claims she doesn’t even know who Death is. So apparently, The Darkness existed before Death?

As Sam and Dean investigate what happened they come across a dead road crew and a highly alarmed Deputy, who describes something like the events in the episode Croatoan. She’s injured, so the Winchesters take her to the local clinic which has also been attacked. If the men who were exposed to the Darkness outdoors went insane, then why didn’t this happened to Sam, who says he was in the car? The reason I ask is because the clinic doors were wide open. Were the people in the clinic exposed? Or were the doors left open by the attackers? There were a some elements of tonight’s episode that were mildly confusing for me.

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In the meantime, Cas remembers stabbing Crowley until he smokes out of his body. Crowley finds a female meatsuit, has an orgy with  her husband and neighbors, and then calls for help to get back into his old body. His minions inform him of the Darkness, at which Crowley scoffs. He doesn’t believe in it, I guess. He’s informed that half of Hell is in a panic, and there were screams coming from the cell, in which Michael and Lucifer were imprisoned.  I think that was the creepiest thing said all evening. Crowley’s scenes are, as usual, the funniest part of the show, though, even while he’s being actively evil.

The Winchesters search the hospital and find a man, and his baby girl, trapped in a supply closet being attacked by one of the infected. The infected man eventually collapses and dies. The  trapped man tells them how he got trapped and when they find out he’s infected, he wants the Deputy to take care of his baby for him, to which she agrees. She must be on some tremendously good painkillers, because she just had a major wound stitched up  an hour ago and is smiling adn happy when she agree to adopt a newborn baby.

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The brothers argue about tactics after the hospital is besieged by some infected people. Dean advocates killing everything in sight, while Sam would rather save lives and find a cure. After some argument, they go with Sam’s plan to lure the Infecteds away, while Dean, the Deputy, and the baby, make their escape and it works, except Sam gets infected, while defending himself, and is now exceptionally motivated to find a cure.

The big question is, will he tell Dean about it, or try to keep it a secret? I bet I can guess which one!

In a very interesting epilogue, the young deputy finds a strange birthmark on the baby’s left shoulder. Its the Mark of Cain. What does this mean for the baby? For the Darkness? For Crowley and Rowena, who I don’t think is going to make it to the end of the season? Is Sam going to be sick again and how will we stand it? I mean, we just got used to him being free of all illness, of some kind, in season ten. That’s really not long enough to get used to seeing him in his right mind for a change.

Has anyone else noticed that Sam, in his right mind, is a seriously stubborn son a b****? I know it must be a special kind of infuriating for Dean to have to argue every little thing with him ,every time he makes a decision. He probably has to resist the urge to knock Sam unconscious himself, which has already happened once, just in this first episode. Somebody should be keeping track of that.

Did anyone else think it was deeply creepy when the Infecteds ran up to Sam, sniffed him and then wandered away in disinterest? Yeah, I know. If Sam’s demon blood kept him from being infected in Croatoan, will it come into play for this new, whatever-it-is, too?

How did you like this season opener? Let me know in the comments.

Supernatural: Season 10 Overview

I loved this season and I felt really positive about the finale. I know that sounds really weird but I’ll explain. The brothers chose each other once again, neither of them are dead and because of their bone-headed stubbornness, they have an all new, even bigger problem to solve next season.

(At least a part of this optimism, has to do with not being immersed in the fandom, the way I used to be. Not having to navigate my way through other people’s opinions about how they feel or about how I should feel has been very freeing. I no longer have this insane need to argue with people about their  interpretations of the show..and how they are all exceptionally and indubitably WRONG. I can just tell people what I think, and they have no choice but to accept my opinion or start their own blog. 😆😆😆😆😆😆😆😆!!! (BWHA HA HA HA HA!!!)

But really, all gloating aside, this was a very good season and here’s why: my bar is pretty low when it comes to most TV shows. All I require is that they be entertaining, and  mentally and visually stimulating. When I get more than that, I get giddy.

Like now:

Black/Reichenbach/Soul Survivor:

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I consider the first three episodes of the season to be a three-parter. For my views on these three episodes see: On Deanmon and Demonic Performance at:    https://wordpress.com/post/76570149/192/  where I address some of the issues that came up while watching them.

These are really some of my favorite episodes of the season. I know there were some fans who wanted to see more Demon!Dean, but I feel like a little bit of that went a long way and, apparently, there were some other points the writers were trying to make this season, that precluded much focus on Dean behaving badly. I also found Soul Survivor to be very suspenseful, with the hunt through the Bunker and the red herring of fratricide as one of the sub themes this season. See the above link to understand why I feel this was a ruse on the part of the writers.

You’re back! Great!

I think the writers wanted to get back to the first five season arc and the emotional focus on family issues and I think they succeeded. The focus is not just on the brothers, but all the families they came into contact with. For the rest of the season, the brothers meet various dysfunctional people and attempt to fix them, while working to strengthen their own relationship.

As a result, we get some fairly light-hearted, touching, and snarky moments with the brothers, throughout the season, and I enjoyed that. I don’t particularly care for those seasons where they seem to hate each other and there’s little humor between them but I will tolerate that for the purposes of storytelling.

All the families had some commentary on the brothers current relationship, especially the fourth episode of the season titled, Paper Moon. I did not like this episode but it is an acceptable story. The idea of Dean killing Sam is reinforced  and the entire episode is a direct commentary on where the brothers are in their relationship.

Fan Fiction:

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If the previous episodes are a commentary on where the brothers are and where they might be headed then this episode is a chronicle of the brother’s past. I was not really on board with the idea of it being a musical but the writers managed to pull this off very well, without insulting the fans. This is now one of my favorites for the season. The theme song, as sung in the play, is one of the stand out moments of the entire season.

I feel this episode was also a love letter to the fans, as well.

Hibbing 911:

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One of the things the writers got right this season was the depiction of women. In Paper Moon, Fan Fiction, Ask Jeeves, Girls,Girls, Girls,The Things We Left Behind, The Hunter Games, Halt and Catch Fire, Paint It Black and Angel Heart, there are decent depictions of women, who have agency, make choices that affect the plot, usually have more than one woman in them and  these women make efforts to reach out to each other and interact with each other intelligently.

Mostly.

The women depicted in these episodes are all characters in their own right, with motivations and backstories beyond being just girlfriends, wives and mothers. Yes, they are supporting characters (when it comes to the Winchesters, everyone is a supporting character) but their support “just happens” to be in line with what the brothers are trying to accomplish in each episode. Supporting the Winchesters isn’t their only reason for existing. And what often happened, was that the brothers would show up in the middle of a story, where the women were already involved.

And this brings us to Hibbing 911. I love the writers for introducing me to the show I didn’t  know I wanted, called the Donna and Jodi Power Hour. These two are an awesome team and I hope we get to see them again next season. Everything about the relationship between these two older, professional women was just lovely. From Jodi’s initial reluctance to get close to Donna, to her full (and physical) support when Donna gets bullied by her ex-boyfriend, to their conversations about their families, this is an example of what women talk about when men are (or sometimes aren’t) around, guys.

About a Boy:

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I found the idea of Dean reduced to his childhood again very ticklish. I also enjoyed the mythology of Hansel and Gretel, most of which is in line with what I learned in mythology books, but given a modern twist. It also answers the idea of the witch being able to procure lots of children. She’s a lot less likely to get caught, and its a much more elegant solution. It’s a lot easier to  transform adults into kids rather than stealing  lots of actual kids.

Executioner’s Song:

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The return of Cain was much anticipated. Yeah, sure theres every kind of plot hole but I don’t care because its always fun to watch Tim Omundson go to work.

All season long, the writers have been setting up the idea that Dean will kill Sam but I was only half buying it because every time there’s some set up or prophecy for what the brothers MUST do, they mostly seem to break it, defy it, or do some kind of end run around it. They almost always choose each other and I mostly expected that here. I prepared for Dean to kill Sam but I never really believed one of them would die.

Inside Man:

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Is largely notable for the return of Bobby Singer. It was nice to see him again and he was not ill used. I also enjoyed seeing Metatron turned  human. I totally didn’t see that coming. The following episode was notable for watching Castiel get his groove back. That was pretty awesome, but somewhat mitigated by Boogertron’s escape.

The Prisoner/Brother’s Keeper:

I mostly viewed these two as one long episode. They were notable for the introduction of the Frankenstein Family, their destruction at the hands of BAMF!Dean, now fully in thrall to the MoC, and for finally getting to see Crowley’s red-eyed demon face. We often forget Crowley is a demon because he’s so likable but yeah!  demon!

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Sam’s tearful pleading with Dean, that he was a good man and that he should choose him, really got to me. Hell, it still does. I haven’t been so emotionally affected since Crowley’s plea to be loved. Sam so desperately needed to save his Dean, (and himself) that it was truly heartbreaking to watch. It was not elegant or eloquent or articulate at all. He had only pure, raw anguish at his disposal and he used it to powerful effect.

He was cast in the role Dean occupied during season nine, only his role was much, more difficult than Dean’s. Sam couldn’t rely on trickery, demons or Angels to save either of them. He had to rely entirely on his own emotions, words and actions to convince Dean to choose life for them both. I thought, last season, he might have to eat the words he said to Dean, about not doing the same for Dean. I remember saying, “No, he won’t  do the same thing. He is going to do brand  NEW, shitty things instead”, and I was right.

While Dean’s condemnation of Sam’s words, from that time,  was entirely appropriate, his condemnation of Sam’s actions felt a little false. I didn’t get the feeling he was very upset about the things Sam did to try to save him, until they argued about The Book of The Damned and its destruction. That felt more genuine.

I mentioned before that this season was very enjoyable for me. The writers kept their shit on point, this season, with every episode hammering home the idea of family, duty, and sacrifice. Sometimes a little too heavy but that’s to be expected. This is really their first try at this sort of deeply focused storytelling.  The writers were on their game with the subplots and sub themes as well. There were many layers this season. A lot of depth. I have to give the writers the ” Golden Shizznickle” for effort.

We were introduced to several new characters and will be seeing more of them next season, although we lost Charlie. Dont get me wrong, I  loved Charlie. I loved her from the  moment she started dancing in that elevator, to what is now, one of my favorite songs,  “Walkin’ on Sunshine”, (when I’m having an especially good day, this is often the song floating through my head),  but I knew she’d die eventually and I knew when it happened it would not be pretty.

None of the Winchesters family or friends ever dies pretty. Hunters, as a general law, do not die in bed. The moment Charlie decided to become a Hunter, that was her death sentence.

I knew Charlie would have a brutal death, so I was not shocked by that. It was inevitable and just like Bobby, Rufus, Meg, Kevin and numerous others, it would be largely unexpected, meaningless and in service to the Winchester’s story.

Every guest on Supernatural gets “fridged”. One day it will be Jodi’s turn or Donna’s. One day Cas will stay dead.

If you think about it, for the brothers, it must be like living in a little slice of Hell. Everybody dies but them. Everyone who gets close to them goes away and they are only ever left with each other. They can’t ever be released from the torment of watching all they love, get carried away from them, and their only companions are pain, suffering and the demons and Angels who cause it.

This show has been a ten-year long paean to loss and mourning.

I can’t say I liked any of the Angel themes this season. I was mostly bored with Castiel’s story line but Hanna’s defection back to Heaven was a surprise. Really! It was a complete surprise. It came out of nowhere. I really could have used a little more foreshadowing on that.

Crowley’s story..well, that deserves its own post, so stay tuned. Crowley and Rowena was a very rich story line and we are going to examine that one in more detail, at a later date, in order to do it justice..

Still, over all, a very likable season. I don’t normally like to assign numbers but I’d give it four out of five stars.

Favorite episode was really, really hard to choose, but I’m going to go with a tie of Executioner’s Song and Fan Fiction.

What did you think about the season? Let me know in the comments?

Yeah, okay! You can argue with me, too.

See:

https://tvgeekingout.wordpress.com/2015/02/27/supernatural-the-road-so-far/

https://tvgeekingout.wordpress.com/2014/10/21/supernatural-on-deanmon-and-demonic-performance/#comments

Supernatural : Angel Heart

I guess you can tell, by the title, that this episode will be very Angel adjacent, and that means lots of Castiel. Unfortunately, he will also be bringing along  some baggage in the form of Claire. If you’ve guessed I’m not a fan of Claire, well, you’re right. But it’s Supernatural, so I’m sure that this episode can overcome the presence of Claire.

And there’s always the possibility she might do something remotely relatable to me, so…

We find that Amelia, Claire’s mother, is being held hostage and bled by some guy.  He keeps her pacified with pleasant dreams about Jimmy Novak.

Claire is in a bar looking for a guy named Ronnie Cartwright. She believes he knows where Amelia is. Ronnie is an ugly drunk who claims hes never seen her. In the alley behind the bar, she also finds out he’s also a liar. He at least has the presence of mind to call an ambulance for her, when he accidentally knocks her out.

Cas calls the brothers, to help with Claire, at the hospital. Evidently, Cas is on her emergency contact list. She confesses she’s looking for her mum and, I guess, needs closure by ranting at her about ruining her life. She gives the trio Ronnie Cartwright’s name. Of course as soon as everyone’s back is turned, she disappears. Gob, but I want to smack the ever loving snot out of this character. She’s every quality I hate in a teenager.

Cas and Dean find Ronnie back in the bar and Dean is more than a little twitchy. He beats a confession out of Ronnie, who claims he took Amelia to the faith healer who cured his blindness. He procured lost people for him, until he found out the man tortured his victims, then he fled.

Sam is waiting for Claire at the motel. (How Winter Soldier of him.) He says he’ll help her find her mom by teaching her how to hack into her credit card records.

Ronnie, in yet another alley, snitches to the healer that Sam and Dean are hunters and is promptly stabbed to death, after the healer takes his sight away.

Sam and Claire bond over the life of a hunter, when Cas and Dean show up, with the information that Ronnie gave them. Cas has brought her a Grumpycat birthday gift from ” the Hot Topical.” When they hear of Ronnie’s death, they all immediately suspect Dean, who declares his innocence and leaves. Cas’ words to Sam, about what happened in the bar, are not reassuring. He tells him Dean is getting worse.

There’s some detectiving by Dean at  Ronnie’s crime scene and he gets the name Holloway.

Cas and Sam leave Dean and Claire behind. Dean is upset that Sam is ditching him again. He does have a point. Cas tells  the two of them not to fight.Dean and Claire don’t stay put, though. Dean decides they need to take a road trip.

For miniature golf.

This is not otherwise remarkable, except that the writers are bringing us full circle to the beginning of the season, with Dean trying to distract himself, from his growing twitchiness, with trifling activities and Sam engaging in questionable and underhanded behavior,  to save him. Dean trying hard not to be a monster and Sam trying his damnedest to become one, on Dean’s behalf.

We begin as we mean to go on.

In the car, Sam counsels Cas about Claire and how to be a family. Not that he’s following that advice himself, but it’s nice to know he knows it.

Claire and Dean bond over bad golf movies, while Sam and Cas go interrogate the healer.

Dean apologizes, once again, for what happened to Claire and explains that Cas is a hero,who saved the world. When  they get to the last hole, Claire gives Dean a clue. He figures out that Ronnie was stabbed with an Angel  sword and what they’re all dealing with is a Grigori.

Sam and Cas find Amelia, who panics when she sees Cas. Sam gets ambushed by Holloway, when he’s distracted by Dean’s phone call.

When Cas and Sam don’t answer his calls,  Dean gives Claire a gun and sets off to rescue them.

Amelia faces the fact that Jimmy is gone and that she’s been dreaming, for two years, about putting her family back together.

Sam is tied up.

Again.

Holloway starts monologuing. His real name is Tamiel, he’s a Grigori, he feeds on Angels, hates humans. Blah, blah, blah.  Got it. He gives Sam plenty of time to break free, because getting tied up, and breaking free, is Sam’s superpower.

Dean and Claire case the house, while Cas  and Amelia do some bonding.

Claire and Amelia have a semi-happy reunion while Dean goes in search of Sam.

Claire tries to sneak her mother away and encounters Holloway. Bullets don’t work on a Grigori, so Amelia gets stabbed. Cas tackles Holloway and they all fight and lose, but it’s Claire, who makes the kill. She watches Amelia die. Now all she has left is Cas.

Amelia goes to heaven and sees Jimmy Novak. The irony of having searched for him so long, only to find that the easiest way to have found him, was to die. But at least we’ve closed out The Novak’s story, with all of them accounted for. Their entire existence disrupted by the arrival of Angels. This is, I think, is what Hanna was talking about. That the Angels cause nothing but destruction.

Could all this talk of the damage Angels do to human lives, be leading to the Angels withdrawing from Earth, and never taking human hosts again?

Sam and Dean take Claire to Jodi Mills. Sam claims it’s not a halfway house, but that’s what it looks like, if Jodi keeps picking up stray girls. Dean gifts Claire with a copy of Caddyshack and an Enochian dictionary, because he saw her take the Angel sword.

She keeps the Grumpycat doll.

They put her in cab and see her off, while depressing music (Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain) by The Redheaded Stranger, Willie Nelson,  plays on the soundtrack.

Since making one spectacularly bad decision after another, seems to be one of Claire’s superpowers, how much you wanna bet she bails before reaching her destination?

This episode was kind of “meh” . Not good, not great. No mythology,  no Crowley, no Rowena and I got tired of snarking on Claire after a minute, but next week’s episode looks a little better.

There will be Charlie.

This is why I’m an advocate for the 16 hour season. With only 12 or 16 episodes to work with, the writers have to get directly to the plot of each season, without a whole lot of filler. I would not, then, have to sit through mediocre episodes like this one, hoping there’s a nugget in it.

In honor of this episodes mediocrity, there will be no photos for this post.

After all, of the writers are going to phone in episodes like this, this close to the end of the season, why should I make any extra effort, to spice up, their lackluster work?

Supernatural : The Werther Project

Last week, the brothers, with the help of Charlie Bradbury, found the Book of the Damned and came into contact with another coven of witches, The Stein Family, who were also in pursuit of the Book, a semi-sentient entity, with a direct link to the Mark of Cain. The book itself is pure evil and could cure The Mark of Cain, but at far too high a price.

Tonight’s episode is another mythology heavy episode. We’re going to be getting all the good ones during this last stretch to the finale.

Plus: The return of Benny! Yay!

I loved, loved, loved this character, who is one of a handful of White guys, on this planet, with a voice to rival Barry White. (Those of you who don’t know who that is, let’s educate!)

(This is also a perfect Sam/Dean or Dean/Benny song, for those of you In the know! Barry even has Sam’s flowing locks and mastery of facial hair!)

And there’s also some other, minor stuff going on in this episode, involving Dean in Purgatory, Sam, flicking his hair (his own hair, not Dean’s) and, if we’re really, really good, some glowering from Crowley.

Okay, let’s get started.

St. Louis Missouri 1973

Two siblings fight over the TV and chores. The young lady is wearing some serious, high water, Sans-a- belt slacks and her Momma is an anti-feminist douche who makes her do all the “girly ” stuff in the house, like laundry. After the young girl breaks open a hole in the wall of their basement,she discovers a large metal box.  She gets knocked out and a green, smokey Tinker Bell flies free. On waking up, she walks in on the other members of her family who are in the process of killing themselves. Horror ensues.

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Sam is making  a deal with Rowena, to translate the Book of the Damned, in exchange for killing Crowley. Rowena tells him to find an old witches Codex to help her.  The Codex belonged to a coven leader, who was  killed by the Men of Letters, and  may still be in the bunker.

Dean, after  taking  out six vamps, searches successfully for beer. Sam shows up chastises him for running off and doing the job alone. Dean says he’s getting tired of Sam looking at him like he’s a diseased puppy. Interesting conversation there. There’s feels all over the place.

Back at the bunker, Sam begins his search by listening to recordings of The Men of Letters, especially those involving Cuthbert Sinclair. The Werther Box, which killed two of the Men who found it, holds the Codex that Sam is searching for. This is a very nicely shot scene, involving a flashback with a long pan of the camera, until we’re back in the present, with Sam at the same spot.

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The Werther Box is guarded by yet another spell. Sam calls Rowena for help and she lobbies to come to the bunker. Sam says no and runs off to find the the Box. He shows up at the house, where the family was murdered, but is shooed away by the owner, who waves a gun at him. Dean, smiling like a loon, surprises him at his car. He wants to know how Sam’s case is going. Call me cynical but I believe that Dean is just looking for another opportunity to kill something. Oh, but the look on Sam’s face….priceless!

Is there someone, out there, who could give at least one of the brothers a short, sharp slap, for still keeping secrets from each other? Dean, is in a really jovial mood, apologizes profusely, for doing his last case alone and says Sam doesn’t need to punish him by doing his case alone. Okay, he doesn’t actually know what Sam is up to, but Sam does tell him about the Werther box and that its responsible for the deaths of that family from 1973. (Better be careful Sam. You’re skirting real close to not lying.)

Dean talks his way past the overzealous owner, Susie, while Sam sneaks in the back way. (Susie isn’t much of a homemaker. The house looks like shit.)

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Sam works his way into the basement, after nearly being discovered by Susie, who happens to be the young girl from the opening credits.  (Well, that explains why the house looks like crap. She always hated housework.) While Sam tries the spell, in the basement, Susie warns Dean about the Box. Deans tries to warn Sam to leave.(He calls him Sammy! Squeeee!)

Sam’s spell releases the spirit or spell from the box and it possesses Susie and Dean. Susie sees the ghosts of her family and starts shooting at them. She then shoots herself to escape their accusations.

Dean sees Purgatory.

Susie’s ghost confronts Sam and chastises him, although this sounds very like Sam’s guilty conscience talking. Before he can succumb to despair, Rowena shows up and vanquishes Susie’s fake ghost.

Sam goes to find Dean but Dean can’t see or hear him, or Rowena.

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While dreaming Purgatory, Benny saves Dean from one of its monsters. Dean knows he’s dreaming but he can’t tell the difference. Benny and Purgatory look and feel extremely real.

Rowena’s solution is to tie Dean up, to keep him from hurting himself, while she and Sam try to break the Werther Box. So, now Sam is working with a witch, to break a spell box, to procure a Codex, to translate a Book, to break a Curse, given to Dean, by a demon.

Wow! Oookaaay!

Benny confronts Dean about loving purgatory, having the Mark of Cain, and Dean’s backup plan of killing himself. Which is useless because he’d only become a demon again, right? Or end up in Purgatory, right?

It turns out that a Legacy’s blood, Sam’s blood, can break the current spell on the Box.

Dean, manifesting his demonic self, breaks out of his restraints, makes a weapon from a bottle of wine and contemplates doing…something.

Sam offers up more and more of his blood to the Werther box. He’s starting to get weak from blood loss, which, of course, Rowena encourages because…evil.

Dean turns his weapon on the fake Benny, and wakes up just in time to save Sam from killing himself. Dean offers his own blood, to complete the spell, when he sees Sam can’t finish it. The blood works, Dean opens the Box, and retrieves the Codex.

Later, Dean sledgehammers the box. He tells Sam that what happened, was a perfect illustration of the two of them being better together, than apart. (If only the two of them followed their own advice.) Sam forgives Dean for running off to slay vampires without him and says he understands why he did it. (Yeah, I bet  you do, Mr. Lone Wolf.) Dean asks what was so important that it needed such a nasty spell to protect it. He does not  ask about Rowena’s presence.

Later, Sam takes the Codex to Rowena, then betrays her and locks her in irons. She can get free but only after she translates the Book of the Damned. How much you wanna bet that she somehow manages to get free, and cause even more havoc, because that’s one of her superpowers. Apparently, she is this season’s Crowley.

Next week, we get some Castiel action. Unfortunately, he’ll be accompanied, by his less than interesting minor…Claire. I’m not clamoring to see her again, so I’m not feeling especially shiny about next week.

And there was no Crowley at all, this episode.

I am disappoint!

Supernatural: Book of the Damned

Alright, SPN Fans! We are in the homestretch at the eighteenth episode of season ten. We are all on the edge of our various seats, to find out just how this season will end. Will a cure for the Mark of Cain be discovered, and if so, what will be the price for the Winchesters? Will Castiel get his grace back? What part will Metatron play in this finale? Who is going to die?

Whatever happens, I can pretty much guarantee we probably won’t see it coming (and for the handful of you who think you know- you won’t know how.) The writers always manage to surprise us, somehow, and they have the benefit of knowing what’s  been given to us in the last nine finales.

Tonight is going to be another mythology-heavy episode, with some major revelations as Charlie, in her second appearance this season, has found the Book of the Damned, which will supposedly shed some light on how to get rid of the Mark of Cain.

Charlie is being pursued by men in black leather with guns, but she gets the drop on them with a short sword and a garbage bin. They tell her they’re after the Book. One of them has a strange Mark on his wrist. So is this a new player in the game?

Metatron is annoying Cas as he tries his best to ignore him. Does that man ever shut up? Cas calls Sam and asks permission to kill him and Metatron keeps babbling until he finally punches him. Twice. But that only lasts a second because his mouth opens up  again as if nothing had occurred.

Dean finally confesses to Sam what  Crowley told him last week. That the Mark was a curse that protected him from Rowena’s attack in the bar. So he  does comes clean about what happened last week but I don’t like that he waited so long to do it. Too busy pranking Sam’s room, I guess.

Charlie calls the brothers for help. She tells them she has the Book, it’s language is unknown and that it can undo any kind of spell or damnation. She tells  them  about her marked pursuers and the brothers guide her to a safehouse near her location. The brothers pack and head out.

Driving to get Charlie, have you ever noticed the Impala is always wet. It’s like she carries her own personal humidity around with her. I know she looks great wet, but still. The brothers plan a beach vacation if they get rid of the Mark. Somehow, I don’t think that’s in their future.

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Metatron eats like a pig, but those Belgian waffles look delightful. He tries to form an emotional connection with Cas, through the senses of  humanity, but Cas won’t forgive him for killing Dean. The two of them are  being watched and pursued by another angel.

When  Charlie hands him the book, Dean has a reaction, of some kind, not unlike the reaction he had to the First Blade.

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The angel, who is very angry with the two of them, for breaking Heaven,  attacks Cas and Metatron in the parking lot and Metatron saves Cas’ life when the attacker gets the drop on him. Metatron is trying hard to suck up to Cas becasue he knows that as soon as he produces Cas’ grace, Cas will kill him.

The brothers are now in possession of a book that is unreadable and in code. Dean tells the two nerds they can handle it. Sam puts the book in a special lockbox after seeing Dean’s reaction to it and apparently that was the right thing to do because now the people tracking the book can’t see it anymore.

Metatron finally admits he has no idea where Cas Grace is. I still think he’s stalling and lying about its existence, though. He’s got something up his sleeve. He always does.

Dean says the people following Charlie are called The  Stein Family, a seriously old family of sorcerers and witches. He also admits the book is, itself, evil and has been calling to him. That it wants to be used. But the price for using the book will be extremely high. Sam says he doesn’t care. He won’t lose Dean again. He can’t.

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Dean is good enough to remember what Sam said he wouldn’t do last season. And he’s right to say it because this is how the two of them keep getting into trouble and breaking the world. It’s their complete inability to let each other go, that keeps going horribly wrong.

Metatron challenges Cas about what he’s going  to do with his life. He then works a spell on Cas that weakens Cas enough for him to make an escape, with one of the demon tablets he’d hidden, earlier.

Charlie asks what Dean meant and Sam  has to come clean about last season’s events and how he hurt Dean’s feelings  as a result. (That is not a debate that’s ever going to happen on this site.) Charlie calls them the Dread Robber  Pirates of Hunting and Sam confesses he loves this life and he can’t do it without his brother. He needs to tell Dean everything he just told Charlie. Of course he won’t do that because they are both complete lunkheads, who need a good, sharp smack. From Bobby, ideally.

Metatron escapes. Cas takes his  grace back and it is awesome. He was very powerful, beautiful moment, but it’s a bittersweet. Those sad, burnt looking wings, that shadow upwards, on the light of his grace, are not even worth showing off. They’re the wings of The Fallen.

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Dean, having stormed out of the cabin, is confronted by the Steins in a convenience store. They have Dean’s knife but know not to use it on Dean because they know about the Mark. The standoff ends in a shoot out and the Steins pursue Dean to the cabin. Dean  orders Sam to burn the book and  Sam appears to do that, but remember what happened last time Dean gave that instruction?

Back at the bunker, Charlie and Cas meet for the first time. Huzzah! It’s a great moment. Dean shows up with beer and pizza and they have a party. Dean laughs a lot. Sam just looks shamefaced throughout becasue the lies from him and Cas flew fast and furious. They didn’t tell Dean about Metatron’s escape or the Book that Sam didn’t actually burn and  his subsequent meeting with Rowena.

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Of course not.

So! We can see disaster shaping up for the end. Sam lying about the Book and giving it to Rowena, who is out to avenge herself against Crowley, and now has the power to do it. Metatron now has one of the demon tablets and is on the loose. Dean doesn’t know any of this. Castiel has his Grace back but is no longer welcome in Heaven.

What do you wanna bet that this year’s horrific mistake will belong to Sam, and as always will involve Hell?

Next week:  The Return of Benny! Yay!!! I really missed that warm, Louisiana drawl. Also, he is totally mackin’ on Dean and that’s always fun to watch.

Supernatural : Inside Man

Tonight looks like a really good episode. It  looks fun and dark. Buffy was really the only other show that could get away with that kind of dichotomy. There’s going to be some Bobby-Fu, along with Castiel. I’m not a huge Cas fan, as I’ve said before, but it’s been a while since we’ve seen him do more than stand around and look angelic, so it’s time. ( Okay! I miss him, alright?)

Also, all the  separate stories are beginning to collapse into each other tonight. Rowena and Dean get to hook up. Sam and Castiel, a dynamic I’ve geen itching to see more of, will have an adventure together.

Unfortunately, there will be some Meta-Booger, too. I really hate that character, but he’s great for the show, so we’re stuck with him, until the writers figure out where they want to send him. (Please Jeebus, don’t let Rowena and Metatron meet! Please!)

So strap in!

Sam and Castiel are holding a seance to contact Bobby, who is sitting in heaven, drinking some fine whiskey and listening to Kenny Rogers’ The Gambler. I like that song. I don’t feel an ounce of guilt about knowing all the lyrics.

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Flashback to : Dean has nightmares. Sam runs to his room, gun drawn, and observes while Dean clutches the Mark, screaming his name, in the night. Dean then lies to him later about how well he slept. Sam, in turn, lies  about going to see some obscure French film, with mimes. He’s actually made plans with Castiel. I get the impression that Dean knows he’s lying and has plans of his own.

Sam meets with Cas and tells him Dean is getting worse. I really had no idea what that meant, but looking back on season nine, Dean is in the exact same situation he was in then, when he didn’t have the First Blade.

The Mark will make him sicker, until he dies. Again.

And turns into a demon. Again.

Sam is frantic to stop this cycle as he may not be able to save Dean a second time and forewarned is fore-armed.

Rowena is painting sigils on her body when Crowley makes the mistake of  walking in on her. Since she hasn’t spoken to him, for several days, he’s naturally suspicious. She says she has a date with a guy named Trent. An obvious lie. Who the Hell dates a Biggersons employee named Trent?

Dean is trying to cadge a hunt with a guy named Rudy, but no luck. He looks in the mirror. He lies to himself about his health. He is not okay. He decides to go get drunk.

Apparently, Cas is banned from heaven so he has to beg to get in. The guardian host, now occupied by Hanna, manages to suss out their plan to ask Metatron for help, to get rid of the Mark. Hanna won’t play, so they’ll have to break him out.

The Inside Man for their little Angel-Heist? Bobby Singer.

Rowena is trying to find out where Crowley was being held by the Winchesters, when he called Hell. Unfortunately, this introduces us to the only conscientious demon in all of Hell. The Blood Phone Operator.

Dean needs to stay away from bars and all alcoholic beverages, but that ain’t gonna happen. What do you wanna bet that a fight breaks out, and Dean kicks ass, after he drunkenly challenges a gang of Frat boys, to a game of pool?

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To contact Bobby, Sam and Cas need a genuine psychic, Oliver Price, who already knows they’re coming. Castiel totally destroys Oliver’s atheism when he announces he’s an Angel and that heaven has a jail. Sam produces Bobby’s old trucker cap, as the personal item that will be used to call him. I had no idea he still had it. I’d forgotten all about that thing and I’m surprisingly moved by its reappearance.

The tension, in the bar, begins to amp up, as Dean pretends to be too drunk to play pool and ups his bets, the little, bow-legged shark. He is totally hustling them. It’s a joy to watch.

And,  there’s no need for a bar brawl because Rowena shows up.

Dean sees flashes of his demon face, in a bathroom mirror, after he takes a break from duping young rubes.

Its so good to see Bobby again! Cas explains to him that the Angels don’t like souls wandering about freely, so he’s going to have to be good, if he’s going to find a door, to let Castiel in, so Cas can kidnap Metatron.

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We do get a bar-brawl, after all,  care of Rowena,  after she casts that same  animal spell on the Frat boys and sends them after Dean. He subdues them, then has some sharp words with Rowena, after the other spell she tries to cast on him with her body paint, fails.

I won’t repeat Bobby’s lines. He gets some really choice ones, too. You’ll have to go watch the episode. I’m having nostalgia problems. Just moment…I’m a little verklempt! <Sniff!>

I’m okay now.

Rowena, covering herself with bloody cuts, now goes to Crowley and claims the Dean did it, in an effort to manipulate Crowley. He tells her about the curse of The Mark of Cain. She claims she can find a way to remove The First Curse. Her manip doesn’t seem to be working, as she tries to get Crowley to hurt Dean on her behalf. She  gives him an ultimatum, I knew was coming, sooner or later. It’s either her or the Winchesters.

Bobby is out. (Cue Mission Impossible theme music.) He’s released all of the nearby souls from their personal paradises and causes a riot. The souls, apparently, are revolting. Hilariously, the Angels are totally ill- equipped to handle their little ghost riot. Bobby gets the door open in the melee and Cas jumps in.

Crowley confronts Dean. He just asks Dean about what happened over drinks. Crowley’s has a tiny umbrella and pitchfork in it. (Nice touch!) He tells Dean what Rowena said about the curse and his life. Dean tells him he has gone soft and suspects it’s the human blood. (I agree.) He tells Dean he supports her because she’s his blood, his family. Dean tells him what family really is and that Rowena ain’t it. Once again, he’s influencing Crowley, to the good. Offering the same advice that Bobby once gave him. Not because he wants something from Crowley, but for Crowleys own good.  In other words, treating him like family.

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Bobby, surprised, refers to Metatron as a Fraggle. He retorts with a colorful rejoinder about Cas, calling him the B-Team. Did I tell you I really hate that smug little bastard? Cas wraps him up and takes him to Sam.

Then he slits Metatron’s throat and takes his grace!

Holy Fuck!

I didn’t see that coming. Good for you, Cas! That’s our ruthless badass!

Metatron, now humanized, says its old God-level magic, from Lucifer’s time and he can’t undo it. His “river source” remark was just him spewing crap. He offers Cas his grace back, though.

Crowley kicks Mum out of the house. He is awesome! He raps like Smaug. He’s the King of Hell, baby!

Well, now Rowena has one more person to take revenge on. And just like that, the show has created two or more, brand new storylines, from the previous ones. Somebody’s got the writers in check this season. We’ll see if they can nail the dismount in the finale.

Sam returns to the Bunker to find Dean none the worse for wear. They lie to each other about their adventures that day. Sam goes to his room to read the note Bobby wrote to him, where he implores Sam to tell Dean what he’s done and doing. The rest you’ll have to hear  for yourself. I’m certain it will have you in tears, too.

This episode was very rich. It was everything I was hoping to get tonight. Let’s go over this again.

The return of Bobby Singer.

Crowley and Mommy part ways.

Rowena could be the key to curing Dean.

Metatron is now completely human.

Sam is still committing dubious behavior to save Dean. He’s right back where he was at the beginning of the season, with the same dilemma that ended season nine. This was all very neatly done. Essentially, what we will have is a kind of Groundhogs Day version of season nine, where Sam gets to do it all over again, but make different choices. This  time, however, in his favor, he has a mended relationship with his brother and full knowledge of what’s going to happen. Oh yeah, we also have two extra players on the board, Metatron and Rowena. They are the  wild cards in this scenario.

This was an excellent episode. There was a lot of forward movement and a few surprises, which is my favorite part of watching this show. It’s not just the plots I see coming,but the plot twists that I never would  have predicted, that make this show worth watching. I also got to watch Bobby being his usual acerbic self. Jeebus, but I miss him so much! And we all got to see Cas be a ruthless BaMf. Again.

This episode is definitely going on my favorites list.

ETA:  One of the reasons it’s going on my favorites list, is the scene where Sam tells Dean he’s going to see a movie about a mime , that’s  a cockroach. If Dean had been paying attention he would’ve realized this was a lie, because mimes are too much like clowns and Sam is scared of those. He then tells Dean to stay out of his room. The next time we see Dean he’s in Sam’s  room, pranking  him by putting things under his mattress, taping his phone, and corrupting his toothbrush by rubbing it under his arm.

Its  also a nice change to see where Sam and Cas are in their relationship, considering that didn’t even want to touch him him when they first met. Now, that’s growth.

It’s a bittersweet moment to see they’ve gotten to the point where the brothers can play pranks on each other, again.

Supernatural : Paint It Black

Tonight’s episode seems to be a stand alone, so it will be interesting to see how this will play into this season’s themes of the Mark of Cain, family, forgiveness of past misdeeds and a certain amount of feminism, that’s been on display, as well.

The past few episodes, while not great ones, have been very good at weaving all of these themes, into the individual episodes, whether they’re mythology heavy or not and this is to the good. It makes  the season feel cohesive, as if the writers have an agenda and a point to make. It also helps because then the end of the season doesn’t feel as if it was something tacked on and out of left field.

Okay, I’m back!

This isn’t going to be my usual recap. I’ll just list some thoughts and ideas I had about this episode.

Dean insists on taking cases as a way to ignore his problems with The Mark, while Sam remains preoccupied with figuring out what to do about it. This is the best I’ve seen the two of them behave towards each other, in some time. Their relationship isn’t toally mended. They still tiptoe around each other, just not as much as they used to. They’re still getting used to each other again and they’ve made significant inroads to normalizing this. It felt good to watch them bonding and bickering, very much like they used to do.

I really liked this episode, mostly. Where I got bogged down, was during the scenes where the ghostly nun was telling the living nun her sad, romantic story and we saw some flashbacks. The flashbacks were lovely, by the way, but her story was rather cliche. Maybe that’s the point. I know I got bored watching that part and here’s why. I’m thoroughly sick and tired of Hollywoods insistence on the artist/model falling in love trope.

I was once an art student myself. Not once did I ever hear of any of the other students falling in love with any of the models or vice versa, but this seems to be a popular stereotype of artists and painters. Hollywood likes this idea because it can’t conceive of any situation in which someone might be naked in front of another human being and not have sex be the result. For most painters, models are not people-people, they’re not even sexual objects.  In an art class, they’re  just bodies, made up of shapes and lines and angles, and sexual activity is the farthest thing from your mind, when you’re painting and drawing it.

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I was able to figure out pretty quickly,  that the nun was a ghost. I was only confused as to how she got into the church. I was also able to figure out, pretty quickly, that it was her painting, that held the ghost. So, I’m going to take a wild guess and say that this was another episode where the plot was just a hanger, to focus our attention, on the discussions that Dean had, during the show.

I was hoping we’d get Dean into one of those confessional booths and I was not disappointed. Just when I thought his confession might be done, and that the priest’s eyeballs were about to roll right out of his head,  the writers wowed me with Jensen’s beautiful monologue about Dean’s fear of death. It was heartbreaking, lovely and  cements my opinion, that the writers are fully on point this season. In fact, all of the dialogue, this episode, was especially well written.

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Also, this is the most feminist season we’ve ever seen on this show. True, there’s still only one recurring female character but the writers are nailing its depiction of women this season. I especially enjoyed the two women in this episode.  We have two named women, sharing their stories and feelings.  They have backstories and character arcs, even if one of those arcs is the cliche of the jilted lover! And most importantly, they did not make the nun an abstinence joke. I was waiting for it but Dean tiptoed right by it, when she challenged him about making fun of her.

Also, Dean was looking especially vulnerable and Sam’s hair wasn’t as annoying as it was last week. These are good things

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Sam was driving on their way back to the Bunker and since this is a pretty rare event, I think the writers are probably trying to tell us something, for the rest of the season. That it will be Sam calling the shots, plot wise. He’s going to be in charge for a while and making some major decisions that will play out for the next six or seven episodes, I hope.

I liked that Sam explicitly disobeyed a direct order from Dean earlier, which  resulted in saving Dean’s life. Had he burned the nun’s journal, he would not have found out, that it was the painting that the ghost was attached to. Sam made a call that went against what Dean wanted and it played out to the good. Take note of this event for later because I think it might have some bearing on how the end of the season, and the MoC, plays out. Remember, last episode, Dean explicitly stated that Sam shouldn’t bother looking for a clue. This episode Sam says he’s not going to obey that edict.

Well, I hope he’s not.

Oh, and this is a shoutout to the commenters on BellaUk’s website, who insisted that eventually the Crowley/Rowena story line and the Sam/Dean storyline would eventually crash into each other, when I just couldn’t see it. Okay! from now on you guys all get a pass, no matter how wild and crazy I think your theories might be.

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Well, the stories are collapsing into each other and the intersection is, of course, The Bunker and the Men of Letters. I love this idea. Lately, we haven’t been seeing much about the MoL and this is a fantastic way to tie these two very separate stories together.

Are the writers setting up Rowena to be this season’s Big Bad? Will she endanger the brothers? Will Crowley make the sacrifice play and save them over his own mother?

Okay, let’s talk about Crowley for a moment. It’s become evident to me that Crowley is increasingly unhappy about his position as King of Hell. He often appears tired. Not tired as in exhausted, but tired as in sick of being in his position, sick of the other demons and sick of being in Hell. I think he genuinely loves the Winchesters. If that’s Sams feelings about Dean influencing him, through the blood he was given, I’m unsure. He seems to have the most fun when he’s out of Hell, and on the road with them, however much they don’t like him. I’m looking back on the advice he once gave to Kevin, about staying away from them, and he’s definitely not following it. I think Sam’s blood made him far more human than he’s willing to admit. At some point, he’s going to have to acknowledge his emotional  attachment to them and I wonder what form that acknowledgment will take. Will he, again, choose the Winchesters over his mother as she keeps accusing? Is he really their  bitch, as she claims?

Well, I’ll  stay tuned.

Next week: The return of Bobby Singer!

         

Supernatural: The Road So Far

We are a little over halfway through the season and I think it’s time to sum up where we’ve been, where we’re going and add some secondary thoughts I’ve had about some of the episodes I’ve reviewed.

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These are good solid openers for the season. Dean is a demon, hanging out with Crowley In Las Vegas, while Sam is on the hunt for him. I already gave a summation of my thoughts on these particular episodes.

See :https://tvgeekingout.wordpress.com/2014/10/21/supernatural-on-deanmon-and-demonic-performance/

Soul Survivor

This episode was written by Buckner and Ross-Leming, who are not two of my favorite writers, as they’ve tended to play fast and loose with the mythology, the plot, and the characters. But it turns out that this is a fairly good episode. It’s definitely in my top ten for the season, which means that maybe their previous mess-ups could be attributed to just laziness. Over the past two years, we’ve seen the show runners pull a tighter rein on these two, consequently, their storytelling abilities have improved. Sam gets to have a couple of moments in this episode, and even though I’m bi-bro, I  still applaud anytime Sam gets the last word. The only real problem I had with this episode is the rather abrupt ending, with Castiel, swooping in to rescue Sam, at the last second

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Paper Moon

Let’s be clear, I don’t hate this episode but its never going to be one of my favorites, despite its many good points. The Pros: it passes the Bechdel test with flying colors. It wraps up a dangling story line. It has a direct bearing on the mythology of Sam and Dean, with Kate having to kill her sister for going all “wild thing”, after saving her life. Kate having to kill her sister, for being evil, is also a direct callback to the Cain and Abel mythology, with Sam making the choice to save Dean and possibly having to kill or be killed by Dean later.

It’s also a callback to the previous episode with Sam being hunted by Dean through the Bunker, (but as I stated in the above essay, I don’t think Dean was trying too  hard to kill Sam. If Dean had really wanted Sam dead, I have no doubt, he would have succeeded.)

The Cons: I hate Kate. I just don’t like her. I was not clamoring for her return, either, although part of me knew it was inevitable. And this episode is strike two for her. The next time she shows up, the Winchesters better kill her, not just tie her up and then leave her alone long enough to escape.

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This is definitely one of the livelier and more touching episodes, this season. I was dubious about the idea of the mixing of musical and fan fiction but the writers managed to successfully pull this off. The music wasn’t as awful as I thought it would be and even produced a little bit of eye irritation, at the end,  and the show does women a solid, once again, passing the Bechdel Test.

I enjoyed the two young actresses and their interactions with the Winchesters and just how completely unimpressed they were. My only real quibble is that Calliope felt like an afterthought.  I’ve noticed that the monster of the week often takes a backseat, to the mythology, in such episodes. Calliope didn’t feel like her presence had any bearing on the brothers relationship or ramifications for later in the season. At least not for me.

And hey! a Chuck/God cameo. It was really nice to see him again. He looked really good.

Ask Jeeves

I think this is one of the weakest episodes this season. It had it’s moments, though but I’m going to put it at the bottom of my list because it was rather boring, plot wise. It started with an interesting premise but ultimately it was just a weak reiteration of the Sam/Dean relationship mythology. The monster was kind of sorry as well. Her family mistreated her by locking her away, so her response, when she gets free, is to choose to be monstrous, and kill everyone, thereby justifying that she should have  remained locked up.

There are a couple of surprising family moments, with the son choosing to commit an evil act to save his family. His aim is off by threatening the Winchesters, but his sentiment is correct and its a  shout-out to Sam “choosing” to commit evil deeds to save his brother. This is also a callback to my Deanmon essay (and indirectly, Cain), repeated in later episodes, about choosing to be a monster and the performance of evil.

Girls, Girls, Girls

I sort of like this episode for the introduction of Rowena. I think she’s a marvelous foil for Crowley and I kind of like her shady ass. (And yeah, she is extremely shady.) I have no idea what her game is. I suspect she wishes to usurp Crowley and become Queen of Hell. I’ll talk more about Crowley at some later date, but I think it will be very interesting if she gets it.

So far, the episodes this season have been very good about showing women as decision makers who affect the plot, have agency, backstories, and something to talk to each other about besides who is dating who, and this episode is no exception. Its also been a pretty good season for tying the plot lines to the relationship and mythology issues of the season, thereby creating a unifying theme and having  the season feel cohesive. And once again, we get a callback to Soul Survivor, with Sam being chased by a raging psychotic and while he’s able to protect himself from the be-spelled woman, he is unable to affect any change in her behavior, just as he couldn’t with Dean in that episode.

A recurring theme this season is Sam being unable to save people, leading the viewers to question if this same theme will play out, between him and Dean, at the season finale. It’s interesting to note that many in the fandom believe that at some point Dean will kill Sam but I disagree. Every opportunity Dean had to kill or physically harm Sam, he chose not do so, including running away from the Bunker, after he became a demon. (See the  Deanmon Essay in the link.)

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The Things We Left Behind

I consider this to be another of the weaker episodes this season as  I’m not a huge Castiel fan, but it was nice watching him go back to see what he could rescue of his host’s former existence. Hanna’s words to him, about how the Angels disrupt the lives of their hosts, is what spurred him to go looking for Claire. I like Claire, okay. I’m not a huge fan, though. I don’t identify with her or her situation and have a difficult time understanding any of her motivations except to think to  myself, ” I wouldn’t have done that.” I’m certain there are viewer who understand her better than I do.

I think the plot, which was rather weak and not especially compelling for me, mainly served to put Dean in  the position of giving in to the Mark of Cain, especially after we’ve had several conversations in the last couple of episodes about him living with the Mark. I was mostly not very interested in it until the end when Dean succumbed to its power.

The Hunter Games

This is another Buckner-Leming episode. This is not a bad episode for them. Once again I disliked Claire and her ability to blame everyone else for her troubles except herself. I Not for one moment did I think the two people she hired to hurt Dean would be a serious threat to him and I”m glad he didn’t succumb to the Marks power again and kill them.

This is an important episode for really only one reason – Metatron’s phrase about the river ending at the source. I think this is his flowery way of saying that Dean can only be saved by the very same deed that resulted in Cain’s damnation – killing his brother.(It ends as it begins.) I certainly hope there is another way besides that. I hope the brothers are able to outsmart it or get around that prophecy somehow

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There’s No Place Like Home

I like Charlie but I don’t think this was a very strong episode. It’s not bad but it could have been much better. Dean was really off his game in this episode because Dark!Charlie just ran rings around him and Dean is usually much, much smarter than that. This is another episode about someone having to deal with the dark side of their personality and is another parallel to the Dean – Mark of Cain story line. In this episode, the option of Dean simply accepting his darkness as a part of who he is and simply trying to live with The Mark,  is what’s being presented. These episodes seem to alternate between the idea of curing Dean through killing Sam, or Dean just attempting to live with the Mark, the way Cain did.

About A boy

This episode is, tentatively, a favorite for the season. I really enjoyed it. I liked the riff on Hansel and Gretel that was presented and it was nice seeing the young Dean again. This is another episode exploring Dean’s options for the future and how to deal with the Mark. Since the Mark disappeared when he was reverted to his teenage state, the idea that he could just grow up agai,n was an option on the table. Sam was totes not down with that idea and made his feelings about that clear, at the end of the episode, when he stated, he was just glad to have Dean back.

I haven’t forgotten the witch’s mention of Rowena and the Grand Coven. It will be interesting to know exactly how she betrayed them, if her betrayal had anything to do with Crowley’s birth and why they are chasing her now. What’s going to happen when they catch up to her and is this the reason she wants Crowley’s crown? After all, if she becomes Queen of Hell, that would effectively make her the Grand Coven’s boss, right?

Halt and Catch Fire

I got nothing. A rather ho-hum episode for me.

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The Executioner’s Song

I just reviewed this one. I think it’s the best episode of the entire season, so far. Every season has that one stand-out that you just enjoy watching, over and over. I really liked Tim in Psyche, and he did a wonderful job as Cain. He and Jensen have great chemistry and watching the two of them, together again, since First Born, was a real treat.

The mythology and story lines are really shaping up this season, there is a definite through-line of the mythology, and the brothers relationship in every episode. We get callbacks, parallels and reminders all the way back to fifth season. No, this isn’t as good as Kripke’s run, but the past two years are shaping up very nicely.

This has been a good, solid season, so far. The writers have kept hitting their themes again and again, without getting sidetracked by minor issues. What would make this season truly excellent, is a great finale and then I can count season ten as one of my top favorites.

ETA: I forgot to add one of my top favorites! How could I do that?

Hibbing 911

I loved this episode for the way the writers approached these two older women. The writing in this episode was superb. I love Jodi and it was so much fun to watch her making friends with a person who is the complete opposite of her emotionally, but is every bit as determined and strong as she is. The show has had a real problem, in the past, with its depiction of women. It’s still not perfect. There’s no show that is, but this episode showed that the writers really appeared to be listening to the fans about those issues.

See: Foz Meadows review, on her website, along with mine at this one.

Supernatural : There’s No Place Like Home

Well, we’re halfway through the season and a definite theme has emerged at this point. Also, tonight showcases the return of Charlie Bradbury and I I got a bad feeling about this. I’m probably one of the few people who actually likes Charlie.  I think I fell in love with her just a little bit, the first time I saw her dancing to “Walking on Sunshine”, in an  elevator. That song has since become one of my favorite “happy dance” songs.

Tonight is Dean vs. Charlie and since I do not enjoy  seeing  family members beating the crap out of each other, I’m going to go out on a limb, and propose the idea, that this isn’t actually Charlie. (C’mon! You know you were thinking it.) If it is her, then SHE has gone horribly wrong.

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There’s a frantic chase scene, as some guy stumbles through his house. He’s confronted, in his front yard,  by someone who looks like Charlie Bradbury, who promises to torture him.

In the Bunker, Dean claims he’s on a 12-step program of goodness, featuring egg whites, lack of drinking and early bedtimes, all of which, he hates. He’s taken Sam’s advice to heart about fighting The Mark, at least. It’s good to see him at least trying to follow Sam’s advice. In the past, he almost never did and look at the outcome. Is Dean is finally learning? Maybe the reason he’s listening to Sam now, is because heeding only his own advice, since Bobby’s death, has been a huge disaster.

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While researching the Mark, Sam comes across a video of Charlie assaulting someone. Dean actually acknowledges, that, taken out of context, what they do looks very much like assault and serial killing, too. I’ve always wondered about that myself. And, off they go.

Charlie is investigating the death of her parents. Dean threatens to assault her assault victim,  until the guy gives up a name.

It turns out that Celeste Middleton is Charlie’s real name.

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They visit the name on their list. The woman isn’t cooperative, so they stake her out. When they hear screaming, they run to the rescue and find Charlie, with a blade pressed to the woman’s throat. They ask her what happened to her in Oz and why she’s doing what she’s doing and she just taunts them, which is kind of creepy, because this person claims to be Charlie but isn’t even trying to act like her, at all. She sounds  like a demon. She escapes by beating up Dean, who I guess is holding back. He’d take off after her if she hadn’t slashed his tires.

And SURPRISE!! The real Charlie rides up to help lead the chase. So…shapeshifter? Demon? Or something new?

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At a bar, Charlie explains that the other is her double and evil. She claims Oz was awful and she made some kind of deal with the Wizard,  to unleash her inner demon, (so not a shapeshifter or demon, exactly. Just Charlie’s bad side.) It was Dark Charlie who, singlehandedly, won the war in Oz  and when Good Charlie got mad at her for the way she did it, she decided, the way to win good Charlie back, was to avenge their parent’s deaths. Neither of them can get back to Oz because Dark Charlie broke the key.

Dean has promised himself no liquor but he’s experiencing obvious withdrawal, whether from the Mark or alcoholism, is unclear. It probably makes little difference. The Mark has always been coded as an addiction.

The investigation leads to another name. The drunk driver who killed her parents. Sam takes Charlie back to the bunker, to find a way back to Oz or repair the key, and Dean stakes out the next name on their list, waiting  for bad Charlie to show up, while posing as a Mr. Presley. The  man is pretty shitty to him and Dean barely holds back from killing him, when the lights go out.

Sam and Charlie’s investigation leads them to another name on the list, a former Man of Letters.

Yeah, this is angry, mad, hurt Charlie. And Dean can’t hurt her. If he does, he hurts Good Charlie. Dark Charlie confronts her parent’s killer. He seems genuinely contrite but, I still suspect,  he’s only sorry because he thinks she might hurt him and is only saying what she wants to hear. She locks Dean out of the room and kills the man and escapes through the window. So, there’s Dean, trying to be Mr. Good Guy,  suffering from some kind of withdrawal and underestimating Dark Charlie’s willingness to be a dick. It’s exactly the sort of thing Dean would have done, but because it’s Charlie, who he has attached himself  to and romanticized, he keeps getting blindsided by her ruthlessness.

Dean calls Sam. They agree to meet at the former Man of Letter’s home. Bad Charlie meets him in a bar and isn’t he supposed to be on his way to see Sam, instead of sitting in this bar, trying to resist drinking.  Yeah, Dean, you’re an alcoholic. Dark Charlie walks in, senses something different about him and I guess her purpose on  the show tonight, is to tempt him to the dark side and give voice to Dean’s inner demons. (This seems to be a tactic, the writers like to engage in, when a character goes bad. Have someone else dictate what they’re thinking,  during their moral crisis.) Dean tells her the plan to get rid of her, so predictably, Charlie sneaks off to kill the guy. He is so off his game tonight, that she’s just running rings around him. In his effort not to engage his own dark side, he just doesn’t see any of her shit coming. Hell, I saw that coming, so I guess I must be fully integrated with my dark side, unlike Dean.

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The old man can’t help Good Charlie. He also  says there’s no way back to Oz and  claims the same thing happened to him when he was there. His id was released and became the wizard of Oz, who is now ruling in tandem with Dorothy.  He proposes to summon the Evil Wizard by hurting himself and in the process save Dorothy from whatever Evil Wizard is up to, in Oz. So now, everyone is in place, the Charlies, the Wizards,  Sam and Dean, even though Dean lied about the location. (So, he hasn’t completely lost his senses, altogether.)

Naturally Sam gets subdued and tied up, but at least he’s not unconscious or been hit on the head, yet again, while Dean dukes it out with Dark Charlie in the front yard. Good Charlie has to make a decision to do a bad thing. She kills the Good Wizard, which kills the bad one, (who was totally Vadering Sam, btw). I think I see where this might be going. If Dean doesn’t stop himself, he’ll kill both Charlies.

He stops himself. Barely.

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The second key they retrieved from the Evil wizard is used to mend Charlie’s two selves back into one body, but both she and Dean are traumatized by this experience. She has all of Bad Charlie’s memories now, so is intimately familiar with both brothers mental states, saddled with memories of having done horrible things, in horrible places to the occasional horrible person. Sam and Kevin, DemonDean, and now Bad Charlie.

Sam and Dean are back in the bunker, with Sam giving Cas the lowdown on what just happened with Dean. (Once again, Charlie doesn’t get to meet Cas. One day, the two of them are going to be in an episode together and the universe will cave in on itself.) She goes to Dean and says she forgives him and sweet talks him that he’ll get through this because he’s Dean,  but he’s not buying it.  He’s still no good, but at least his hands have stopped shaking and that’s a good thing.

Right?

I guess I’m one of the few people who actually liked this episode. Once again, not a favorite, but watchable and coherent. Some nice parallels were made between Dean and Charlie’s situation, the nature of addiction, including Dean’s reference to AA’s 12-Step Program, and the plot stayed on point with minimal holes. Not a great episode but not bad either. Although, once again Charlie saves Sam and I know some of the fandom hates that. I’m alright with it though. I’m alright with this episode, really.

I’m  looking forward to seeing more of Little Dean, next week. That should be very interesting.

Supernatural: Hibbing 911

Tonight, two of my all-time favorite characters, Sheriff Jodi Mills and Donna from The Purge are guest starring. (Marge Gunderson from Fargo is one of my favorites, too,  so I immediately fell in love with Donna, although I could’ve done without the rest of that episode.)

Expect the usual. The women will save the day and at some point, at least one of the brothers will be taken hostage, maybe tied up and there will be some classic Bro-ment in the last ten minutes.

A teenager sprays some stencils on a building in Hibbing, Minnesota, while being watched by a creature In the shadows, that decides to beat, kill and then eat him.

Jodi is trying to psych herself up for the mandatory Sheriff’s retreat. She gives a homeless, Hippie girl some money for lunch, goes inside and the first person she encounters is Donna.. I love her! She’s  cheerful, chummy, welcoming and makes Jodi take a sucker. A jerky sheriff, Donna’s ex-husband, insults Donna, which wins Jodi’s immediate sympathy, even though she doesn’t seem  too keen on being Donna’s new best bud.

imageDean is in the Bunker, bitching to Sam, about how the Men of Letters have no information on the Mark of Cain. It’s incredible to him, how much useless information they’ve amassed, outside of that.

At the Sheriffs retreat, the host Sheriff Len, decides to partner up all the participants and Donna chooses Jodi, of course. There’s a nice touch with Jodi calling Alex and bantering with her for a minute. Their relationship is a typical of Mom and daughter one and it gives me a happy to hear it.

While choosing a topic for  a panel, Donna hears about a dead body. Jodi is supremely interested. (Her new nickname is now Jodes. Guess who gave it to her?) Jodi calls Sam and Dean. She’s happy to hear that Sam found him. Sam tries to reject helping her out but Dean gives him puppy eyes until he acquiesces. That was pretty funny and I have one of my first real laughs of the evening as I’ve never seen Dean give Sam puppy eyes before. The change in their dynamic is made up of such subtle moments. If you blink, you’ll miss them. In this episode, they at least feel like they’re finally getting comfortable with each other, although Sam’s permanent worry lines, indicate that all isn’t perfect between them.

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Jodi tries to get information on the body by herself, until Donna finds her and one of the funniest moments in tonight’s episode is when Jodi tries to strong arm information out of the dispatcher in her usual brusque manner,  and Donna, in a loud stage whisper, tells the woman Jodi left her manners in Sioux Falls. Jodi gives her the stink eye for saying that.

That night, a man gets pulled into a public garbage bin and eaten. Great monster mystery, here.

Donna and Jodi gang up on the local sheriff for information on the first body after which Donna spots her ex on the dance floor with another young sheriff. Jodi calls him a dick but Donna isn’t comforted. She just misses him. Jodi bullies her way into Sheriff Len’s  investigation. He is surprisingly uncooperative/cooperative. He tells her about the second body but not the video footage of the attack.

Jodi goes outside to argue with Alex on the phone,  when Donna finds her. Again.

Jodi tells her about the second body. She also asks for advice on teenage girls but Donna suggests that like her Ex,  Alex is , maybe, just a dick. They talk about Alex, their childhoods, the kind of things women talk about, when men aren’t around, and sometimes when they are around, but apparently ignore, since male writers act like they don’t know what their female family members talk about. (Aren’t writers supposed to be all, observant and shit?) The ladies are bonding , though, and it’s a thing. I can imagine Jodi doesn’t have any female friends. She is over forty, in  a traditionally male profession, a widow and she has a new kid, so there’s probably not a lot of opportunities for her to make friends, at all, so she doesn’t seem to recognize that’s what she’s doing with Donna. I think that’s kind of cute.

(Seriously, Baby needs a new muffler or a tune-up or something. She sounds like an angry lion.) The brothers arrive and  greet Jodi.

The flesh, a wallet and a belt are missing from the two victims. Donna shows up (she has incredible timing) and Jodi (hilariously) refers to her as her stalker. All of them are trying to keep Donna in the dark about the supernatural, but she can tell something  hinky is going on.

The Sheriff’s deputy seems to have a lot of attitude for an episode extra. I’m immediately suspicious when he starts ragging on the FBI, (namely Dean), for being interested in their case.

imageDonna and Jodi are admiring some weaponry when Donna’s ex shows up and starts making cracks about Donnas weight. Again. But Jodi  gives him no quarter. She shuts him down hard and fast for fat-shaming Her friend and tells him he’s a douche. (Jodi is awesome! Who hasn’t wanted to do this to their best friend’s ex-something? ) Donna is pissed that she did it and tells her off. She’s a great reader though. She immediately senses that she struck a nerve when she mentions Jodi’s husband and she’s sorry. See! This is how mature adults behave when they inadvertently hurt each other. (Sam and Dean, I’m looking at the two of you. Watch and learn!)

Dean confronts the deputy, who confesses that the Sheriff changed the password on the server so that no one but him could access any video footage of the first murder. Okay! now I’m suspicious of Sheriff Len.

Donna, now outside, follows a blood trail and witnesses Sheriff Len attacking another cop, the one her ex was dancing with earlier. Did I say she has incredible timing? Well, yeah.

So, I guess the deputy was just being a regular ass and not a monster, who is  an ass. But  now there’s no point in trying to keep monsters a secret from Donna, I guess.

Jodi asks Dean how he’s doing. She and Sam have been talking about him and he claims to be fine. Donna shows up (again) and confesses, to Jodi, what she saw. She’s trying cope and is doing an admirable job. Of course, Jodi believes her. She calls Sam to give him a heads up and then she and Donna decide to handle the situation themselves. They go to the Sheriff Len’s room and the brothers surprise them there. They give Donna the talk about vampires. She’s still coping quite well.

The clue from the Len’s room, leads to a farmhouse in the boonies. Donna shows real backbone, when the brothers try to get her to stay behind, so they all go the farmhouse. Dean hands her a machete. She looks nervous, though.

Well, this is her first hunt.

imageOkay, this time, the women get taken hostage and the brothers get knocked out by the vampires. (Bingo!) I’m betting on the women having to save themselves, maybe.

The vampires, the same Hippie Jodi gave money to,  plan to turn all of them. The female vamp explains that they are scavengers, Len claims he doesn’t kill and Donna refutes this. He says he found the dead sheriff and had to fight away his impulses. The vampires monologue amongst themselves,  giving the brothers time to work themselves free. Then, the vamps try to push the sheriff into killing their hostages but he refuses and they behead him.

imageDean manages to break free and it’s TwiHard, all over again, as Dean puts his shit down. He kills all of the vampires while  Sam frantically tries to get free and help him, (you can tell he’s thinking about The Mark of Cain) but it’s Donna who  gets there first. It’s her first kill and wins Dean’s complete approval.

The women are bonding over Donna’s first kill, while Dean confesses how he felt when killing the vamps. He says he felt like himself. Sam’s good with that,  Donna has a new mentor, everybody rides off into the night.

Okay, I’m a little disappointed that the only mention of the Mark of Cain was at the beginning and end of the episode but otherwise it wasn’t a bad episode. The plot gets about a “C”, though.

There was a lot of female bonding and can I just say, I hope to have Jenny Klein’s love-child at some point in the future. She wrote some of the most authentic sounding dialogue, between women, that I’ve ever heard on this show. The episode passes the Bechdel Test with flying colors.

I love that Alex, Jodi’s ward gets a shout out. Apparently, she’s fully recovered from having been a vampire and is acting like a typical bratty teenager.  I love the relationship that developed between the two sheriffs, even though Jodi was dubious at first. In fact, that was my favorite part of the show with an all time high reached when Jodi comes to her new friends defense. This is how women behave as friends.

I’d love to say it’s an all time favorite episode but the plot was just too weak to make it ultra-watchable. There were some lovely, charming moments between the brothers, but still not enough of them. However, that was more than made up for by watching the development of a beautiful female friendship.

And writers, if you’re paying attention,  The Jodi and Donna Show, would make a most excellent spinoff!

Supernatural: Faniction

Tonight marks the 200th episode of Supernatural. Titled Fan Fiction, this episode is a Love Letter to the fandom that made this show such a massive hit, for ten years. One could argue that I’ve been a fan of this show since before it aired, and I’m surprised and delighted, that it’s lasted as long as it has. Most of the shows I fall in love with, don’t last nearly this long.

This is also the very first TV show I’ve ever geeked out about, that got me involved in fandom. I’ve loved a lot of shows over the years, (Now and Again, The Invisible Man, Farscape), with the Original Star Trek being my first love, but even that didn’t get me to reach out to others about it, or start a blog. The solitary reading of  books about all these shows was as far as I was willing to go. So,  the existence of Supernatural is, inadvertently, responsible for this  review.

When I first heard that the episode would be a musical I was initially very excited,  but then I heard, it would also be based on a musical stage play,  and since I’m not a fan of Glee (I have Teenager Trauma) or stage musicals, (because when I hear the music, all I can think is that the performers are messing up perfectly good songs with their inadequate warbling,) I was a lot less enthusiastic to hear that. I hope, even if I hate the music, that it brings the fee-fees and sets the course for the remainder of Sam and Dean’s relationship for the rest of the season.

Unlike a lot of fans, I’m not watching this episode for what I don’t see. Just like everyone else, though, I have hopes to see certain things, but I will take what’s given to me by the creators and look at it from a positive angle, rather than what I feel I should have been shown. What I expect, is for it to address a couple of issues, make me laugh or cry and move the brothers story forward, and so far this show has not failed in that regard. Not for ten years. It’s why I’ve kept coming back.

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———————-SPOILERS GALORE———————-

We open on a rehearsal and the young actresses are  fighting about being inaccurate in their portrayal of Sam and Dean. Apparently, there’s too much drama, in the Drama Department. The teacher who made that statement, is doing some more bad mouthing of the truth of Supernatural on her way home and, of course, she  gets eaten by trees. (Serves her right. Don’t sasstalk the show!)

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It’s really nice seeing Dean fixing up baby outside the motel. Baby has been neglected for a while, and one of the most disturbing traits about Deanmon, was his lack of concern for her.  His theme song is Sundown by Gordon Lightfoot, who is not my favorite singer, but I do love that song. The song choices this season, have been alright. Dean tells Sam, he needs to work, that he’s found a case. That it’s his only normal. Sam goes along with this.

Alright! We got the FBI suits back from the laundry and there’s banter. We’re already off to a good start.

Sam and Dean arrive at the school and witness, yet another, awful rehearsal of a badly portrayed Bobby, Castiel and Azazel, although the singing isn’t as bad as I thought it would be. The young lady playing Dean can  carry a tune, fortunately. Sam and Dean are flabbergasted. That’s the only word to describe their reaction.

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Right away, Dean goes off about  the music. There should only be classic rock in Supernatural. I agree. Sam is intrigued by the director’s  interpretation but Dean is incensed. Sam thinks all of it is perfectly charming. Needless to say, Dean does not.

While showing Dean around the set, Marie explains the Wincest subtext. Dean ain’t for that. Sam’s  host, on the other hand, is completely disinterested in showing him anything. She’s also completely disinterested in him. Marie  explains about transformative works to Dean ( i.e. fan fiction) with spaceships, robots and a little crack!fic, gender swap. When Dean tells her what really happened after season five, it’s hilariously short, sweet and also some of the worst fan fiction she’s ever heard. She laughs in his face, and to top it all off, she throws in some  Destiel action, vis a vis the actresses, who are an actual couple.  She keeps calling all of it, erotic subtext. Sam, intrigued, wonders why not  “Samstiel” and Dean says he needs to shut the Hell up and get in the car. I can sort of understand his reaction. I’d be more than a bit discombobulated, to find out someone was writing erotic fiction involving me and a member of my immediate family.  Sam just thinks all of it is funny, though.

That evening, Maggie, another actress, threatens to shut down the play, because some things just aren’t canon.  She gets grabbed by a monster and dragged away. Marie chases after her but she has disappeared.  Apparently, anyone who bad mouths the show is in trouble.

The next day, Sam and Dean find a purple flower near the scene. Marie confesses that Maggie was leaving the show and says she saw a scarecrow drag Maggie away. She now believes in ghosts and beasties. Sam and Dean confess who they are and once again get laughs in the face.  (I’m not sure how I feel about this mirth.) Of course, there are some scarecrow legends in the  town and the play might have created a Tulpa. Killing  the  creature’s symbol, should kill the monster. The prop for the scarecrow is in the boiler room.

Sam believes there’s a connection between the scarecrow and the flower, while Dean asks to see the boiler room. Dean finds the prop scarecrow and burns it only to have Sam say, it’s not a Tulpa . It’s a god named Calliope. They’ll have to kill her to save Marie,  who will be eaten by Calliope at the end of the show. Marie, of course, has a panic attack about being eaten. Who wouldn’t? Sam leaves Dean to deal with the emotional young women, while he gets some supplies, from the car. Dean rallies Marie to fight and she turns out to be a Sam- girl. Dean is disappoint.

It’s  showtime. Marie’s wig, as Sam,  is horrible, the girl depicting Castiel is just adorable, the young woman playing Dean, is suitably scruffy  and Dean is speechifying the cast and it’s a great speech… from Rent. Instead of telling everyone to break a leg, the cast all yell/whisper , “Ghostfacers”, with hand gestures.

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Now, we’re all disappoint.

While the play is on, (and the music is not too bad, probably because these are all original songs), Sam and Dean hunt around the set, in case Calliope shows up. Sam finds her when she snatches him. He also  finds Maggie and the teacher with Calliope, waiting for her cue, in the basement.

But, Calliope plans to kill both Sam and Dean because she recognizes the two of them as the true inspiration behind the play, not Marie. So really, it’s Sam in danger…again. Why do I find that funny? Well, at least he’s not tied to a chair.  While Sam distracts the goddess,  the teacher and Maggie scheme to kill her and Dean fights the scarecrow onstage. But it’s Marie who slays the scarecrow when Sam stabs Calliope. The audience, covered in blue goop from the exploding scarecrow,  does that slow clap cliche and …intermission. Afterwards, the show goes on uninterrupted.

Sam is told he’d make a good Deanif he cut his hair. (Okay, that sound girl, needs to take all the seats! Need I speak on disappointment? ) Dean and Marie reach a detente about the Sam and Dean story and she gives him the Samulet prop. ( You can see that Dean has no idea that’s what it’s  called and says he doesn’t need it to symbolize how he feels about Sam. Aawww!) I think she knows it’s really Dean Winchester, because when she calls him “jerk, his “bitch” is automatic. During the BM (Bro-ment) scene of the play,  Sam and Dean start to have a BM scene, just before they stop and notice what’s going on,  which I find entirely too funny.

During the real BM moment on the actual show, Dean takes the Samulet prop and hangs it from Baby’s  rearview mirror. Nice!

And Chuck, who has made a delightful, surprise appearance,  sums up all my feelings for this particular episode.

“Not bad.”

Yeah, I loved this rendition of “Carry On, My Wayward Son”.

And yeah, I cried.

Will The Real Sam Winchester Please Stand Up

I have a confession to make.

I used to be a Sam-Girl.Now, I’m what’s called Bi-Bro, (which sounds vaguely obscene.)

Wheww!

Okay, now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, we can talk.

I understand Sam. I always have, up to a point. Not being a cis-gender, straight, White guy, while dealing with the Supernatural, my understanding of some things is going to be somewhat limited. But I get Sam. At least I thought I did.

Let’s back it up here for a second.

I’d heard about this show, about a year before it actually aired. I’d read about it, in Fangoria magazine, of all places, and knew it would be one of the top Fall shows I’d be watching. Other than the premise, I knew nothing about it. I had never heard of the actors and sort of vaguely knew some of the writers from other shows.

But I loved  Sam from the moment he beat the shit out of his brother, in the dark  room where we first met Dean. I hated Dean from the moment he opened his mouth, though. Outside of being heroic, he had every quality I ever hated in a man. It  took me nearly three seasons to figure out what all the “hoopla” over Dean was all about. (It’s definitely the lips!) Up til then, I mostly just tolerated his presence. But I’m all fixed, now.

I  loved Sam, though. That boyish smile and those soft, dewy eyes – he was pretty, earnest (Faith), passionate (Dead in the Water), and he cared about people and doing the right thing (Croatoan) and he argued for compassion (Heart), even for the monsters and I admired that. But now…I’m not sure that was really Sam.

How much of Sam’s earlier persona, was just  Sam trying hard not to be a freak, or give in to whatever dark impulses the demon blood encouraged in him? ( Sam, Interrupted) How much of that, was just him trying to find out who he was and what he wanted to be vs. how he actually felt (Nightmare), vs. how he thinks he’s supposed to act in order to seem normal to everyone else (The Pilot)? Of course, quite a few of us go through that,  but how much of that was just him trying to get as far away from his, then unknown, destiny?

Sam is introspective, self-reliant, quiet and contemplative, and smart as fuck (when the writers remember that). He is a serious ass-kicker, has a cast- iron will, he’s stubborn, compassionate, stoic, and relentless.

And now, he’s different, again.

I’d  noticed a change in his overall attitude since his time in Hell and since his purification from the demon blood in season eight. When he came back from Hell, outside of being soulless for a while, it seemed as if something had been burned out of him. He seemed tired even before he went insane.  Just how much of his earlier behavior, his fire, in season one,  was him fighting  against the pull of the  demon blood in his system? His compassion? Maybe he felt a strong urge  to not be compassionate, so he overcompensated. The cast – iron will? He had to develop that in order to assert control over those feelings. He certainly had to develop that, to fight Lucifer. The relentlessness, and stoicism? How much of that was the demon blood expressing itself through other avenues of behavior? Exactly how long has Sam been fighting the battle for his autonomy?

Were all of Sam’s finest qualities, the qualities I so admired, were they simply Sam’s fortress against the demon blood in his veins? And what kind of person would he have been without that? Would he have been genial, affable, lazy? Without the demon blood, would he have been a slacker? And if most of his life has been spent trying to be whoever he thinks he  should be trying to be (and how could he begin to know who that is?), while fighting against what or who he thinks he might turn out to be, I have to ask… Who is he when he’s NOT fighting something or someone to be that person?

He’s been possessed multiple times by angels and demons, he’s been soulless, he’s been insane, he’s been too ill to care about who he is. Throughout all of that,  there was the demon blood.  His life, who he could’ve, should’ve, would have been, was derailed from the moment Azazel walked into his bedroom that night and neither we nor Sam will ever get to know that man.

Sam is a person who prefers to think through his problems. And once he’s been burned, he learns from that mistake and makes an  effort never to repeat it.  (He likes to make all new, horrible mistakes.) Trusting a demon? Never again! Not looking for Dean after his disappearance? He learned!

He’s not normally rash and we’ve seen why. When Sam makes rash decisions, they are almost always awful. And how much of that was the demon blood clouding his instinctual responses? Sam has never behaved well, on his instincts, and he knows this.  Hell, he doesn’t do well without Dean as his anchor, period. (Neither of them do.) Considering the nature of their profession, this is a good thing. We have enough rash behavior to deal with in Dean.

When Sam isn’t quietly brooding over his issues, then he’s running away from them. When he was a child he ran away from his family several times, according to Dean. When he fights with Dean he would rather walk away. When he fought with his father, he ran away to college. After he raised Lucifer from his cage, he tried to run away from the Apocalypse. When Dean went to Purgatory, he ran away from everything, including himself. (I suspect that is the real reason for the anger fans have for him not looking for Dean.) He runs away from his own life. This same man, has no trouble running INTO a burning building. We’ve seen Sam stand and fight to protect everyone but himself.

And now,  he’s stopped running.

Even during his possession by Gadreel, we witnessed a Sam who is a lot less passive and angsty about who and what he is. He was calm and sometimes even content, in a manner we’ve not seen before, as if he’d found something or reached some sort of peace in himself, laughing, making friends again and hugging people.

Sam used to chafe at everything, his family, his life, his destiny. I  know a lot of fans didn’t care for it but I  love the way he stood up to Dean last season because he was doing it for himself. He stated his case and then he stood his ground. Not only did he stand his ground but no matter how much Dean tried to distance himself, in an effort to not talk about the things he’d done, Sam wouldn’t let him run away.  (Well, not after he got Dean back in his orbit, again.) This was a new tactic for Sam and I enjoyed it. Yeah, it didn’t work because Dean’s a pretty stubborn bastard too, but when Dean walked into danger, Sam had his back. When he called out for him, Sam came running. I would argue that last season was the best fight they’ve ever had. They worked together better than they had at  anytime after Swan Song.

Is this the real Sam? Or as close as were going to get, considering what he’s been through? Or is this some new iteration of ____!Sam? Will the writers give us some more of this version (who I happen to like), or derail it with another possession, illness or who knows what?

I’m not asking for the old Sam back. Season one through three Sam, (the character I first fell in love with),  is long gone. But I’m okay (so far) with this new, standup, brutally honest, sharply snarky version of him that sometimes even smiles. I think the writers are doing a fair job, (so far),  in trying to repair this character. Their attempts, right now, are slow and tentative. Perhaps, they’re not sure where they want to take him but they are listening to the fans and they’re, at least, trying to learn from their mistakes,too.

I’m looking forward to whoever this version of Sam is, we’re trying to rediscover.

I’ve been looking forward. I’ll keep looking forward, with one caveat-I hope they don’t screw it up, and please! no more Dumb!Sam.

I’ve never liked him.

Supernatural : Paper Moon

I really liked this episode. It felt like a callback to season two and three. A seemingly, simple case of werewolves, that has emotional repercussions for the guys. The episode is really all about them, as the case can be directly related to everything they’ve just been through. How far will you go for family? What would you do?

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Prologue: Under a full moon and my all time favorite werewolf song, Warren Zevon’s  ” Werewolves of London”,  we meet a hot babe at a seedy motorcycle bar. She claws out the throat of a randy, young nobody.

The brothers are actually taking Castiel’s advice and taking a break. They’re at a campground, drinking beer by the lake and it’s so nice to see them just sitting and enjoying each other’s company. I like this scene. Dean says he’s alright but he is restless and manages to  talk Sam into going on an easy job.

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We get a familiar scene of the brothers bluffing at the police station, which is hilarious. There have been three attacks, throats torn out and parts missing and one witness, who says he saw the hot babe. On his tip, the brothers go out to the Sturges farm (shout out to the Sturges bike rally, maybe), where they find claw marks, dead chickens and Kate, the young woman they set free after she’d been Bitten in season eight.

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They tie her up and plan to kill her but are interrupted by a report of another kill across town. Kate claws herself free and escapes. ( What is it with people tying up others on this show and them just wandering off? It’s like those old James Bond movies, where, if the villains just shot Bond right away, he wouldn’t be able to hassle the them later.)

They get her hotel name off her stolen phone, while discussing whether either of them is ready for this hunt,  Dean because of his possession and Sam because of Lester. Dean says Lester is Sam’s fault and uses “demon”as his  excuse for killing him. He thinks Sam ought to be feeling something about what he did,  but Sam feels no remorse, or so he claims. He keeps flashbacking to the event, so he’s feeling something. (I, personally, don’t care, though I think there’s more to this than Sam is telling.)

They follow someone who looks like Kate from the hotel to the woods and find out that this new girl is  a werewolf and also Kate’s sister. Kate runs in and  confesses that she bit her. Sam wants to give her  the benefit of the doubt but Dean is unrelenting. I think Sam is operating under the forgiveness rule because of the things he did while Dean was missing. Kate will continue to get a pass from him because she didn’t mean to be evil, just as he should get one for committing evil to find Dean. Dean is ,once again, feeling guilty about what he did and sees punishment (death for Kate), as the answer. He’ ll continue to push for that because he should be punished for what he did while he was  a demon.

They all  go to the local diner and Kate explains that she doesn’t eat people and  tries to keep herself under control. But her sister, Tasha, is another story. After Kate left her family, her sister nearly died and she turned her into a werewolf, to save her. But Tasha didn’t handle the change well and never  tried to fight what she was. Kate thinks she can be saved.  (The brothers say they have a cure, but that’s a lie.) Kate tries to take the blame for everything her sister has done and says, if anyone needs killing, it should be her.  Sam says they need a plan other than killing. He draws the parallel between the two sisters, him and Dean, that Kate is only doing what the two of them do for each other, all the time, and that she  shouldn’t be killed for it.

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Later that evening, Sam confesses about Lester. He says there were others and explains what it was like for him after Dean’s death. (Every bit a heartbreaking as I thought it was. Even though, this must be  the five bazillionth time he’s watched Dean die. That’s got to get old.) Dean confesses that he’s embarrassed, about what he did, as a demon. He thanks Sam for saving him but Sam says that’s never necessary. I enjoyed  this conversation. This needed to be said.

They take Kate to a rendezvous spot to meet with Tasha. Dean argues that Tasha will never come back from the things she did, that she can’t be saved and I just know this conversation is about himself, a little bit. They find Tasha inside a cabin, waiting for them and also encounter extra werewolves she made and are taken hostage. (Naturally! I think it’s a law that somebody get taken hostage and occasionally tied up, at least once per episode.)

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Tasha has been turning others into werewolves. (She calls Sam, Paul Bunyan. I don’t know why, but I feel insulted too. Later, she refers to the brothers as Mary Kate and Ashley and now I know she can’t be saved. Even I want to smack her.) Kate confronts her little sister, who sounds  the way Sammy did, when he was tripping  on demon blood. In fact it sounds like the exact same speech, right down to the “lets do this together” part. Only this version of that argument ends in death for one of the sisters.

The brothers kill their two captors but it’s Kate who stabs her sister and  escapes again. The brothers discuss whether to go after her or not. They also think, that maybe, they jumped back into hunting too soon. Sam wants Dean to talk about his time as a demon, if that’s what’s bothering him but Dean just wants to get back to work. To just be doing something.  Kate calls and they warn her to keep her nose clean but she can’t promise that.

Dean concedes that maybe Sam is right.  He’s not ready to hunt yet. He’s been making one bad decision after another since the beginning of season nine and he’s  tired of doing that. Yeah, Dean. We all are. I’m sure he’ll make some more, though, because we wouldn’t have this show, if he didn’t.

MY TWO CENTS:

This was a good, solid episode but I must point out that I hated the original episode on which it was based. I knew Kate was still out there. I was not clamoring to see more of her.  And, since this is incident number two, the next time we see her, she’d better die. I really enjoyed this episode, though. I  don’t think it will ever become one of my all-time favorites, however.

We’re still dealing with the aftermath of the last three episodes and it’s good that the writers have remembered that. We get to see the brothers having some alone time, which was cool beans and having the beginning of some important discussions. Carver did say we’d get more relationship stuff this season with the brothers and you can almost see them feeling out what type of connections they will need for this new dynamic they’re trying to create. Their bond is still there, though. It’s fragile, and they are still tiptoeing around each other a bit, but it’s still there.

I’m not surprised at Sam’s revelation, that he committed other dark acts, outside of Lester.  I suspected as much. Now that he’s confessed to lying about that, it is definitely throwing some doubt on his version of the Lester Incident, so  I’m considering him an unreliable narrator. The Lester thing didn’t seem all that awful, so it’s possible Sam whitewashed that event, too. Just how far did he go? I know last season he said he wouldn’t make the same decisions that Dean made but that doesn’t mean he wouldn’t make all new, horrifying decisions, to save all the family he’s got left.

If there’s one thing about Sam, he definitely learns from his mistakes and  not looking for Dean in season eight was a huge one, although I was alright with his decision, a lot of fans were not ( and it’s the reason the writers  did a callback to season eight, with Kate.) How far would he go, to show that he’s learned that lesson extremely well?

I’m glad Dean made the attempt to thank Sam. And I loved Sam’s response. Of course it’s never necessary to thank your family for what they’re supposed to do, but it’s good to hear it anyway. I didn’t  get the impression that Dean was angry with Sam about the things he did, either.  He just seemed concerned that Sam’s not dealing with it. So, maybe, Dean might be learning from his mistakes too.

We can hope.

Supernatural Recap: Soul Survivor

I really liked this episode tonight. Nothing happened that was too much of a surprise. I knew Dean would be cured, just not exactly how that would happen. This recap is written a little differently than the last one because a lot of the activity is simultaneous.

Sam has a priest sanctifying human blood in Dean’s  type. Good thinking on his part. I never would have thought of getting his exact blood type.

Dean sits, restrained but ready. Already trying to talk himself out of getting cured. I’m trying to ignore most of what comes out of his mouth. All of it will be self-serving and designed to root out any weaknesses in Sam’s character that he can exploit to cause emotional pain. That’s how demons roll.

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The first shot is given. The reaction is energetic and unexpected. I’m not in the mood to  watch yet another retread of The Exorcist  and thankfully that sort of thing is kept to a minimum, so I’m not laughing at this scene There’s also a small part of me that thinks Dean is just faking it, too.

Cas and Hanna are  driving some more. They’ve been driving for three episodes. Where the Hell are they that it takes three weeks to reach the bunker? On the moon? Hanna is concerned about his health, as usual. Cas keeps saying he’s fine. He’s on his way to help Sam. He will  deal with Dean no matter what it takes. Hanna expresses her worry for him. She’s a one note gal when it comes to his welfare.

The  cure continues. Dean is still picking at Sam to find his weaknesses. Its not the real Dean but  Dean says it is and doesn’t want to be cured.

He knows what Sam did to find him. And it’s an interesting dilemma.

Our first flashback is  to Sam, in yet another El Sol Bar, chatting up  a man named Lester. What did he do? He gave some guy to a crossroads demon to make a deal. So he could grab the demon we saw him torturing  in Black. Lester is the man Dean killed in Reichenbach.

Is he worst than Dean for that? He did try to warn the man not to make the deal but was too late. For some reason, I’m not feeling too broken up by this, though. You know what? I don’t care what Sam did. Like the song from season nine says,”he did what he had to”. I don’t care, unless this has some serious repercussions later.

Crowley is in another yet  meeting, signing clipboards and taking supplicants. He is profoundly bored. He’s being advised  to kill Castiel, now that Cas is severely weakened, but he doesn’t seem inclined to do that. Flashback/montage to him and Dean together. Good times! He misses Dean so much. According to one of his minions, he and Dean were a topic of speculation. That same  demon tries to talk himself up and  trash talks Dean as an embarrassment and ends up disintegrated by Crowley.

Hanna is so cute. She hates cars and is confused by maps. Hanna advises Cas to steal more grace. He flat out refuses. He says Hanna will have to do her job without him.

Sam calls Cas. The treatment is  not working right. Dean is not supposed to be in so much pain. Should he stop? Sam is  devastated by the idea he may have to kill Dean. It’s like he’s in agony about it. But Dean does manage to get at least a little sap out of him by trash talking the family.

Sam: This is me yanking your lame ass out of the fire…You’re welcome.

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Crowley is still holding trials of demons who were loyal to Abaddon. Some demon rants at him for a minute about how loyal they all were and this is how they’re repaid. He accuses Crowley of betraying demon kind, calls Dean Crowley’s boy toy and then immolates himself in protest of Crowley’s  rule. I didn’t see that coming any more than Crowley did and  I have no clue what that means for the future but sense it’s significant to Crowley’s story. I see the writers are again coding Dean’s relationship with another man as a grand love affair, just like with Cas. I’m not sure if I’m supposed to laugh or be offended by that.

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Cas and Hanna are at a gas station. He’s  trying to tell Hanna something but Hanna ain’t getting it. I think he’s trying to tell her he’s noticed her feelings for him and trying to let her down easy. She looks rejected. Hanna walks into the empty gas station and finds a body on the floor with the eyes burned out. One of the rogue angels is there to kill Cas and quickly takes them both down. She starts beating Cas to death but…

Sam  goes to Dean’s room. It’s a sweet and lovely moment. It’s a glimpse into what Sam is thinking, which is to be cherished, as we only get such glimpses a couple of times a season. There’s leftover pie (smile), some of Dean’s  notes and photos of good times. Sam is reminiscing too. He and Crowley have much in common. They both miss their own version of Dean.

imageCrowley leaves boring old Hell and shows up  in the knick of time to save Cas.

Sam finds Dean has become just human enough to slip his cuffs.

The rogue angel, having finished off Cas is trying to kill Hanna, but Crowley interrupts, kills her and steals her grace.

Sam is hunting Dean through the bunker. Dean is hunting Sam. Sam chooses a buck knife. Dean chooses a hammer. He tries to verbally goad Sam into giving away his position.

Crowley gives the grace to Cas. Now Cas owes him. Crowley  wants him to go fix Dean because Dean is still a problem for him as long as he’s still a demon.

imageDean and Sam play cat and mouse throughout the bunker and Sam locks the place down, so Dean can’t get out. Dean has his “Here’s Johnny!” moment and Sam threatens Dean with the knife. Once again Dean’s facial expressions are the opposite of what he’s saying. I tell myself it’s the reason he misses when he strikes.

Sam wins the hunt but won’t kill Dean. Cas shows up out of nowhere and restrains Dean, who loses consciousness. Cas tells Sam that since being human is so difficult,  being a demon must be an easier choice for Dean. But when Dean  looks up, he’s himself again, more or less. It’s supposed to be a beautiful moment but ends on an ominous note. He remembers.

Cas is concerned. Dean still has the Mark of Cain. It’s going to be a problem in the future. Sam can’t care about that right now. He’s going to grab Dean some junk food and then get drunk. I second that emotion, very much. He must be exhausted.

Cas goes to Dean’s room.  It’s the first time he’s been in it, I think. Dean is funny. Just sitting on the bed, looking about. He does seem a bit dazed. Cas ineptly explains how he’s an Angel again and Dean thanks him for saving him.

Okay , I know Sam didn’t save Dean the way we wanted him to do it but he never gave up and he played his part. He got Dean to a place where he could be saved. I guess the problem is ,once again, what lines they’re willing to cross for each other, just as was posited in season nine.  Dean would learn what it’s like to be in Sam’s shoes and Sam would find out just how far he’s willing to go to save his brother. Apparently he’s willing to sell out another human being to do that. But I’m okay with it. Lester didn’t mean shit to me and was an asshole, too. I guess I’d feel different if it was Charlie or Sheriff Mills or somebody, but it wasn’t. It was just some douchey guy who wanted his wife dead and made a demon deal for it. I’m hoping everyone will let it slide instead of turning this into yet another one of Sam’s bad decisions.

Dean remembers trying to kill his brother. Cas tells him to take time to heal. It’s an odd thing to say. Even Dean looks sideways at that statement.

CODA: A woman sits reading by a fire. She’s surrounded by the bodies of several dead men. She smiles in satisfaction. I suspect Crowley is about to become a lot less bored soon.

MY TWO CENTS:

Tonight’s episode was directed by Jensen Ackles . He did a superb job, as usual. He really seems to be getting the hang of this directing thing and I’m looking forward to his future as a director of massive, special effects loaded, blockbusters.

This episode was mostly good. It had a few touching and funny moments. Nothing was entirely unexpected outside of Crowley’s events. He is not happy with being a demon. Not that he’s supposed to be happy, but his flashback /montage to happy times with Dean was very telling. He wanted this thing with Dean. I think part of the reason he came to Cas to cure Dean is because he doesn’t want Dean condemned to the kind of existence he hates. He says it’s to keep Dean from being a problem in the future but I think that’s a lie. Without the First Blade, Dean is no threat to him, so his motive is probably, once again, love. Or as close as he can get to it. Even without the blood addiction, he’s so very human it’s almost painful.

I liked seeing  Sam show a little vinegar for once. He doesn’t show his temper as often as he used to and it’s good to see him with a little more snap in his character,  from time to time. I like that the writers show Sam as a thinker this episode. They seem to be catching on that he needs to be written smarter. Please people, no more dumb!Sam. Thank you!

I’m  not sure how I feel yet about Deans comedown but seeing Real!Dean shining out of those big green eyes was a wonderful moment. Jensen is such a great actor. He really sold that transition from Demon to human.

Im hoping for a resolution to the Angel story this season. They’re getting tired. Can we kill them all off except for Cas? Or finally lock them all up in Heaven?

Supernatural 10×2: Reichenbach

Reichenbach is a reference to the episode of Sherlock Holmes where he returns after his death at the hands of Moriarty. Sam finally meeting up with Dean after he’d though him dead at the hands of Crowley is pretty much the only resemblance between these two episodes.

A young boy hears a struggle going on in his house. He goes downstairs to find that Dean Winchester has murdered his father. Cole.

Sam is still Cole’s prisoner and trying to stress to him that Dean is not Dean. He tries to tell him about the existence of monsters. The supernatural kind. But Cole just thinks Sam is crazy and prepares to torture him.

Dean is spending some time at the Strip Club and beating up a bouncer while Sam feels Coles wrath. But Sam is defiant and it’s kind of nice seeing this level of spirit from Sam. It’s been a while since we’ve seen him express anything much stronger than fear or exhaustion. Okay, I’m not happy about the torture though. image
Cole is about to get serious when his phone rings. It’s his wife. While he’s having family phone time, Sam manages to free himself. Of course he does because that’s one of Sam’s superpowers, I think.

Dean and Crowley confront at the bar. Crowley is concerned about Dean’s anger issues.

Castiel and Hanna are still hanging out and it’s becoming very obvious to him he has no more juice. Cas tells her that her willingness to help him is very human. She’s puzzled by the compliment. Hanna has no experience being human or being around humans. She’s pretty much where Cas was when we first met him, only cuter and less intimidating.

Sam calls Cas and tells him that Dean is a demon. Cas is incredulous and they plan to meet up at Crowley and Dean’s (which sounds like the name of a 70’s rock band) last known location. Hanna comes along for the ride even though Cas says she doesn’t have to.image
She tries to tell Cas that the Winchesters are bad for him but he don’t wanna hear that and defends his relationship with them. He then passes out at the wheel of their vehicle and nearly hits a semi-truck and crashes off the road. I totally didn’t see that coming and I’ve been pretty good about predicting all kinds of things in my favorite shows this week. (Apparently I’m awesomely psychic. Or maybe the writers are just lazy.)

Crowley and Dean discuss the Mark and The First Blade. Crowley talks to him about addiction and he of all people should know. But he’s not scheduling an intervention. If Dean is going to keep killing he wants Dean to kill for him. He gives Dean an assignment named Mindy. Dean says this one time only. And once again I thought I knew how this scene was going to go and got it wrong. image

I guess Cas and Hanna ain’t gonna make it to the meet up. They’re now stuck in the cabin of the tow truck driver, in the middle of no and where, as their car is taken away. Hanna really does care for Cas and I’m very much liking the dynamic I see developing between the two. I think she loves him, but having never been human, she has no idea that’s what she’s feeling. She tenderly covers him with a blanket after he falls into an exhausted asleep.

Dean goes to find the woman Crowley has assigned him to kill and finds the husband, who hired him, watching outside. He goes to talk to the man and when the guy starts spouting some evo-psych bullshit about how husbands cheating on their wives is in the natural order, Dean kills him instead of the wife. Now that is classic Dean. The only difference is that in the past, the old Dean would’ve settled for just punching the guy and calling him a douche. This Dean is compelled by the First Blade to kill anybody who gets on his nerves.

Sam is still on the hunt. The bouncer Dean beat up earlier identifies him to Sam and promises to contact him if he sees him again but Cole has been following Sam. He knows Sam will lead him to his prey. This is,interestingly, Cole’s first Hunt and he’s about to regret it.

Cas wakes up in the cabin to find a little girl watching cartoons. She is the tow truck driver’s daughter. She is darling and seems completely unafraid of Cas. They have a mo. The two truck driver thinks Cas and Hanna are a couple. Hanna is flustered and puzzled by the assumption. Hanna spends a lot of time being puzzled.

Crowley is in the middle of what is, quite possibly, the most boring meeting of demonic entities in the universe when he receives a call from Dean, who says he killed the client. Crowley’s mad as Hell but Dean doesn’t care and pops the spit out of him. Crowley questions how demonic Dean really is. Dean challenges him and Crowley, because he’s the ultimate survivor, wisely backs down and says their partnership is over. There are still some disconcertingly human aspects of Dean in his body language and facial expressions. It may not be Dean but Dean isn’t far below the surface.

Crowley meets up with Sam. He says he’ll give him Dean because he can’t control him and that Sam is welcome to him. What’s his price, though?

Hanna goes back to Heaven to try to bargain with Metatron to save Castiel. She wants his grace back. But Metatron asks a high price. He says he has Castiel’s grace and promises to never be seen again if he is freed. Hanna smacks him around a bit because he’s disgusting and I’m fervently hoping she’ll smack him around a little more. Cas catches her and tries to warn her against making deals. He doesn’t want whatever bargain she would make on his behalf. Metatron then tries to make a deal with Cas because he really does have some of his grace left but the answer is still no. Metatron then vows to get free and kill everyone. Are we talking a new Lucifer somewhere down the road, maybe?

Crowley’s words about not being a demon are haunting Dean, when Sam finds him at a bar. It’s heartbreaking to watch this scene between them. I’ve never seen Dean display this particular attitude towards Sam. He claims he left because he didn’t want to be cured but I suspect it’s because he didn’t want to hurt Sam. He acts as if he doesn’t care about Sam but I’m not buying it. I know he cares and is still trying to protect Sam. You don’t just give up doing something that’s been the major impetus of your entire existence just like that. He warns Sam away which is something he doesn’t have to do but Sam is having as little of it as I am. He’s says he’s there to take Dean home and breaks out the demon cuffs. That’s when Cole makes his move. Tear gas knocks out Sam, and Dean and Cole have it out. Okay, my psychic powers are way off when it comes to this show. I should’ve seen this coming.

Cole tells Dean his story. He fights with Dean but has absolutely no chance against something like him. Dean is really enjoying himself, though. He quotes some Princess Bride (guess which lines) which is always a win. Dean shows Cole what he is but doesn’t kill him. Then Sam blindsides him with the demon cuffs and some holy water.

Dean is captured and Crowley has the First Blade. That was the deal, apparently. Cole has decided to research demons. Sam is driving Dean back to the Bunker. He says Dean was merciful to Cole but Dean says it wasn’t mercy at all. That beating up the man who’d spent half his life searching for his father’s killer was the worst thing he could’ve done to Cole and that Sammy is going to get it worse. I don’t believe that really. Without the Blade goading him on, I suspect Dean is going to be a lot less demonic than he has been. And this ties in perfectly with my belief that he really doesn’t want to hurt Sam. The worst thing in the world for Dean would be harming the one person he’s spent his life protecting. Is he really going to cause himself that much pain?

MY TWO CENTS

This weeks episode was a little better. Everything happened much as I expected it, except for some minor details, like Cas not making it to the meeting and Hanna’s meeting with Metatron. I knew Dean and Crowley would part ways but didn’t have a clue how that would come about. I’m still disappointed in Demon!Dean though. Sam was much more frightening when he was soulless. Dean really isn’t that dark. There’s a lot of human left in him. So it makes me wonder what Sam got up to in his search for Dean that makes his story arc darker than that.

And we know one more important thing, if Metatron is to be believed. Cas still has some grace left somewhere. If Cas is to be returned to his normal state, he needs to find it or make a deal with Metatron and, of course, he can’t possibly be trusted, can he?

If this keeps up I’m going to think the writers are being timid with these guys. Too scared to show the two of them being total d’bags.
Hey! It’s okay to make them unlikeable from time to time. Hell I didn’t like Dean for most of season one.

ETA: Dean does one significant thing during the episode, which should be noted. He kills a regular human being. As a general rule, Dean does not kill regular, non-possessed humans, except under the most extreme circumstances. Later though, he doesn’t kill Cole, which might lend some credence to the things he says to Sam later.

Here’s hoping that the beginning of this season is really just a slow burn leading up to some serious megashit at the finale.