Posted in Supernatural

The CW Passes on Wayward Sisters

I’m heartbroken that the CW did not pick up Wayward Sisters for next year.  This decision doesn’t make much sense to me.  The backdoor pilot received intensely great reviews as well as gave it’s parent show a huge ratings bump when it aired.

Furthermore, it continues to trend on Twitter on at #5 since the announcement.  This show has a built-in, already fiercely loyal fanbase.  It makes no sense that this show wasn’t picked up.

Unless you factor into the equation that it was the only all female led cast – even Charmed can’t boast that it’s only female.

I think rather than take a chance that would have paid off big time over the next several years, the CW decided to continue doing the same old thing.  I have to say, that I really think that its reasons for not picking of Wayward Sisters has everything to do with its diversity and nothing to do with how well the show would done.

The backdoor pilot rocked.  It was fucking fantastic, and everyone knows it.  Now everyone knows that the CW doesn’t give a shit about quality.  Although, anyone watching a preview for an episode of the new Dynasty already knows that quality isn’t high on the CW’s list, currently.

The possibility of this show gave so many people hope for a better future, even if it is was only through a television show.  It’s heartbreaking and cruel that with the work of so many fans behind it, the CW decided to not go with it.

But hey, I’m clearly not their target demographic.  I can’t express how angry and disappointed I am in the faceless douches at the CW.  Bad decision, and clearly, one motivated from misogyny.  Screw you, CW.  Screw you.

Posted in Supernatural

Wayward Sisters Review

I don’t normally review individual episodes, but as my reviews of the previous seasons suggest, I love Jody Mills, Alex, and Donna Hanscum, and after last night, I love Claire Novak, Patience, and even poor Kaia, too.

Spoilers, spoilers, spoilers….  You’ve been warned, so read on but I spoil the crap out of a lot.  Even the ending which you really don’t want to be spoiled.  Trust me.

This might be more of a post game analysis than a review, so if you haven’t seen it, this won’t mean much to you.

 

Right off the bat, this show has me just with the “Then” portion where they show the flashbacks that have led us to our current episode.  The music used was “I Am the Fire” by Halestorm and I cannot think of a more perfect song for this show – needless to say, I downloaded the song off of iTunes after my second viewing of the backdoor pilot episode.  Starting with Jody telling Alex that she will be whatever Alex needs, I’m in tears and we’re still just watching what happened before this episode even starts.

Wayward Sisters starts off with Claire rescuing a young girl from some werewolves that were clearly the bad kind of werewolves.  This scene is super important, because it shows us that Claire is a capable hunter, and pretty funny.  The package that has his name on it, is for Mr Werewolf and that really cracked me up.  She takes out three werewolves with skill and much weaponry.  Claire’s insistence on being a hunter has long been something that defined her, but until now, she hasn’t been shown to be a fighter.  Knowing she can actually kick some ass was wonderful to see.

Jody calling her home had me in tears, not just because of the throwback line of the boys are hunting and we haven’t heard from them in a few days, but also because of Kim Rhodes’ delivery.  She made the words her own, while also showing us how much she loves and needs Claire.  She calls Claire home and I wish I could go help them, too.

Claire is a great character but is by no means perfect – she gets home, cops an attitude with Patience pretty much immediately, and then gives Alex a hard time about wanting to be a nurse instead of a hunter.  Ok, Claire, so you are the only one that gets to chart her own destiny?  If we have to honor your choices, then you can shut the fuck up about Alex’s decisions.

That said, she and Alex get along in a fun, somewhat kindly antagonistic way. Clearly, they’ve become true siblings – sisters, if we want to reference the title, and I do. Claire sees Alex at the hospital and makes fun of her scrubs, while Alex calls Claire “Biker Barbie” – which Claire takes as a compliment.  Alex shows a willingness to help Claire and an accurate idea of exactly how Claire reacted to Patience having a vision of Claire’s death.  I couldn’t love Alex more, and on a purely superficial note Katherine Ramdeen is so beautiful she hurts to look at.  Later when Patience accusingly tells her that Jody’s burying a monster in the backyard, I love Alex all the more for saying, “Gotta bury ’em somewhere.”

Her nonchalance at this and the monster dissection shows the type of strength she brings to the team.  She isn’t easily grossed out – as I reminded my husband, she was raised by vampires who disposed of bodies via wood chipper, so she is not going to be grossed out by much.  Claire tells Alex at one point that she left so Jody wouldn’t have to worry, and Alex, so far the realist of the show, said, “She never stopped.”  Perfect moment.  Just because you can’t see the worry, doesn’t mean it ceases to exist.

The cadence and pacing of the show felt very true to most Supernatural episodes, which I really appreciated.  While we don’t see much of Sam and Dean in the Bad Place, Dean eating lizard over a campfire is one of my new favorite brotherly moments.
“Don’t tell me it tastes like chicken.”
“No, Sam, it’s a lizard.  It tastes like a lizard.”  I guess we know how Dean survived in Purgatory.

That said, the part of the show where the hooded figure kicks both of their asses felt very wrong to me.  Seriously?  They can’t fight back against a girl with a fucking stick?  Also, how exactly did the girl with a stick tie up two unconscious, fully grown, massively tall men?  It’s not like they woke up on the ground, they were tied to posts while standing.  Sam’s 6’4″ and Dean is 6’2″ and that little slip of thing carried them and then tied them to posts?  You couldn’t come up with anything more believable?  This type of crap frustrates me because either they are the greatest fighters and hunters in the world – after all they took out how many elite soldiers in season 12? – but yet, one girl armed with a lance can get the drop on them?  Whatever, writers.  Super lame.

What wasn’t lame was the rest of the episode – Patience tries to leave and go back to her normal life, but another vision of destruction stops her.  I have to say I took her father’s words to mean that once she starts down the hunter’s path, there isn’t a good way out, as opposed to never come back here ever again, but maybe that’s just me.  Anyway, I really adore Patience because she takes Claire’s hostility and is able to not only stand against it, but she delivers a wonderful “I told you so” to Claire.

Claire’s awesome, but she’s as flawed as Dean (who is also awesome).  Also, Alex the younger sibling wants a normal life, while the hot headed, older sibling hunter doesn’t understand that.  Sound familiar?  Wonderful parallels to early Sam and Dean here.  (This isn’t my observation, but my husband’s, but he’s super accurate.)

Kaia is a humanizing element to Claire’s hotheadedness and impulsivity, and watching them compare scars served not only as a bonding point, but also shows us that Claire has hunted ghouls and vampires in addition to werewolves, and clearly survived the encounters.  Also, her tripping and bashing her head against a doorknob was another moment where Claire’s sense of humor got to show through her attitude and bravado.  More of Claire being funny, please.

Kaia is also the one that Claire shares that dying didn’t really phase her because as long as it is while she’s hunting, she dies for a good cause and because she’s helping to make the world a better place.  It also must not be too terrifying when you know that heaven is real. However, knowing it is going to actually happen really does scare her – and she steps up to save Sam and Dean anyway.  Because that’s what heroes do and she knows they’d do it for her.  Kaia agreeing to go with Claire to a place of her nightmares, a place she hates so much she used drugs to escape from sleeping is also unbelievably heroic, too.  I love these two so much.

I’m a little too happy with this episode and a little bit too excited about the potential for a series.  As a general rule, I’m not a huge fan of backdoor pilots.  Usually, they steal attention from the main characters and feel contrived.  This backdoor pilot flowed with the universe really well.  Honestly, while it’s a great pilot in and of itself, it’s also an excellent episode of Supernatural, too.  It manages to be new and interesting (like most of Supernatural season 13) while still expanding the world we already know and love.  For contrast, I watched “Bloodlines” once and have never bothered repeating the experience.  Awful, awful pilot.  Like, were they trying to make it as horrible as possible?

That said, and this is a major fucking spoiler so turn away now because its a doozy – Kaia fucking dies (because of course, I love you Supernatural, but you really are “women in refrigerators” a little too fucking much for my tastes) and then we find out the hooded figure is the “Bad Place’s” Kaia.  Who apparently can open dimensional rifts?  Cool concept, but I really adored the sweet and kind Kaia that Claire befriended, not the murderous Kaia in the hood.  There had to be a better way of getting Claire to stay in Sioux Falls than killing off a potentially awesome character like Kind Kaia.

However, this type of ending is also a good one because it returns to us an actress we love – with a character that I hope can be redeemed because Kaia as a series regular and ally is more my taste here.

The possibilities for this series are huge and I really wish and hope that this gets picked up for fall.

OH!!!  I forgot the best part!  Donna Hanscum shows up with a flame thrower and teaches Patience how to shoot a gun (although, clearly more training is needed).  Donna brings a certain humor to the show, but she also brings a deadly capability that I forever adore.  Her ex once called her a “wolf in sheepskin” which is really quite accurate and quite a compliment coming from anyone else.

Donna is nice and sweet and wonderful, but she will kill the fuck out of you.  I love her and her relationship with Jody.  I really hope if the series gets picked up that they figure out a way to include her in every episode in some big way.  She’s just too interesting and too awesome to not give more screen time.  Also, she has a lot more hilarity than just a Minnesotan accent, and I can’t wait to see them expand on that.

Jody telling Donna that she can’t lose another kid is one of those lines that shows that Jody and Donna know each other very well at this point.  Jody isn’t emotionally closed off, but she also doesn’t broadcast her sorrow, so clearly these two have had quite a few heart to hearts.  I love it when so much backstory can be felt with a simple line.  Much like Castiel and Dean watching Tombstone together, some of the best moments of Supernatural aren’t the monster hunting, but the relationships between the characters.

I was incredibly excited about this backdoor pilot, and the entire WaywardAF movement has meant a lot to me.  I’m not sorry to say I teared up several times during the show simply because of it being a dream realized.  With such high expectations, I thought for sure I’d be disappointed, but I not only wasn’t disappointed, I was really impressed with how well it all came together.  We’ve got new monsters we’ve never seen before and dimension walker!!  How cool is that?

Also, I love Dean warning Jody that more monsters must have made it through the rift and Jody saying to Dean that he and Sam can save the world and she and her group will take care of Sioux Falls.  Just so brilliant and something that should set the MRA’s fears and the fear of so many fangirls who complained about only wanting to see Sam and Dean, to rest.  The pilot of this show doesn’t mean that Sam and Dean are going to be gone – they are still saving the world, but our Wayward Sisters will make sure their neck of the woods is safe.

Can this show get greenlit already?????

A+ for this in spite of my complaints about killing off women and Dean and Sam being beaten up by a girl with a stick.

Posted in Supernatural

In Defense of Claire Novak

Tomorrow night, Supernatural will air its backdoor pilot, Wayward Sisters.  I’ve been waiting for this for a few years now, ever since Jody met Donna in the episode Hibbing 911.  After the god-awful travesty of a backdoor pilot that was “Bloodlines” I wrote a blog entry here about the MANY other backdoor pilots that would be acceptable to me, and then I discovered there was already a Wayward movement – sometimes, many people have the exact same idea.  Sometimes, their idea is even better than anything I could think of – as if the case with Wayward Sisters.

However, in recent days, there has been a huge amount of negativity on Twitter and Facebook about this pilot.  Of course, there are the usual misogynists and MRA’s complaining about how awful it will be for 6 women to save Sam and Dean, let alone giving them an entire series.

This is to be expected – we all know how people freaked out over Ghostbusters having vaginas.  These types of negative comments can be largely ignored, but many of the negative comments came from women who don’t want to watch women, but rather they want to watch men, a sentiment which I find pathetic.

You want to watch for the men only?  Cool, just watch the men, but maybe shut up and don’t ruin it for the rest of us?

One of the recurring comments that the moderate complainers have is about Claire Novak.  The writers did Claire very few favors in the first episodes she was in.  For some reason, television writers can only write one type of female teenager – the sullen bitch.  This is how they wrote Claire in the first few episodes, so it is no wonder people aren’t terribly psyched for her appearance.

Part of the problem is the horrible “Mark of Cain” storyline.  In her reappearance in “The Things We Left Behind” (10.9) she’s loyal to a man who sold her out to be raped simply to pay off his debts.  I know, we were supposed to be aghast that the Mark had Dean killing everyone there, but a group of men who will sit by and listen to a 16 or 17 year old girl being raped deserve a more horrible death than they got.  However, Claire didn’t feel that way (mainly because she didn’t know her father figure set her up) and sets Dean up to be hurt in the very next episode.

This isn’t the best introduction for a character – we all love Dean so this of course made many of us dislike her.  Including me.

However, all of the bad writing and bitchiness they heaped on Claire’s character evens out by the time we reach season 12, and there are little signs of a compassionate human inside here and there.  When she was searching for her mom in “Angel Heart” (10.20), Claire goes from badly written teenage bitch, to lost little girl grieving for both of her parents.  In this episode, she finds out that her mother didn’t just abandon her, but was kidnapped and held for 2 years by a Gregorian angel.

It also helps that the very first thing her mother said to her upon being reunited was “I’m so sorry.”  If you can watch that scene and not cry for both of them, you are made of stronger stuff than I am.  This episode shows that Claire is not only badly hurt but full of love with no outlet for it.  She is also the one who manages to kill the Gregori after he kicks the snot out of everyone else.

Up to this point, Claire believed that her father died so Castiel could have a vessel and Jimmy “has it easy in heaven” while also believing her mother just abandoned her entirely.  On top of that, her lone remaining guardian, her grandmother, died, too.  Then Dean kills the asshole who was masquerading as her guardian (even though he was a monster and deserved to die.)

That’s a hell of a lot of loss for anyone to handle, let alone a 16/17 year old.  It wasn’t until playing putt-putt with Dean that she even found out that Castiel saved the world, so Jimmy’s sacrifice becomes heroic to her, instead of being merely another abandonement.

Her tearful thanks to Castiel and Dean for finding her mother was the very first glimpse we have that Claire wasn’t just a cookie cutter sullen nightmare, but a real girl in real pain from the many losses she’s experienced.

This is also the episode where Castiel gives her a stuffed Grumpy Cat from “the Hot Topical” and while she blows off Cas when he gives her the gift, she puts the stuffed animal in her bag.  When we see her in her room at Jody’s house in “Don’t You Forget About Me” (11.12), she is curled around the Grumpy Cat stuffed animal, which was more than a little heartbreaking to see – and something I didn’t even catch until my 3rd or 4th viewing.

Claire’s complete redemption for me came in “Ladies Drink Free” (12.16) where she is bitten by a werewolf and starts to turn into one.  In this episode she earned a lot of love from me by going by the fake name “Beatrice Quimby” from the Ramona books by Beverly Cleary.  I loved those books.  Also, she beat the boys AND the British Men of Letters to the scene, which shows that she has the raw material for a good hunter.

In this episode, she manages to get a lot of backstory on the case, and when she goes to share it with Sam, saying “I did good,” she’s wanting a pat on the back.  She’s wanting a “Hey, good job” or other simple kudo from Sam, but true to Sam form, he goes straight to the next problem instead of giving her even slight praise.  This is typical Sam who can’t celebrate the death of the yellowed-eyed demon for a few minutes with Dean, but has to press about Dean selling his soul.  Sam does this often – and as pointed out by my husband, Sam never got any praise so he has no concept of how to give it out to Claire.

Instead, he pisses her off by asking why she’s lying to Jody.  I will say that the exchange between Sam and Claire where she tells him to stop treating her like a child and he tells her to stop acting like one was pretty perfect.  She deserved that line, but Sam could have picked a better time.  Especially considering she runs away (still acting like a child, Claire) and immediately gets bitten by a werewolf.

This episode really redeems Claire because the way she handles being bitten shows her true colors.  Dean tries to tell her she can deal with it and she says to him “I can barely keep it together on a good day,” which shows a self-awareness that I didn’t think she was capable of.  It’s understandable that Claire is kind of a basket case.  I was in my mid-30’s when my father died and was a complete wreck for years.  That same loss as a child multiplied by 2?  Holy hell, Claire’s actually functioning pretty well.

Another great line between her and Dean here is Dean telling her she doesn’t get a vote and she responds, “It’s my life.  I get all the votes.”  Dean is so used to controlling Sam and Castiel and the others around him that he cares about, I think this is the first time anyone has ever told him no so perfectly.

However, what really makes this episode for me is something super small.  As she is turning into a werewolf and freaking out about it, she realizes she should call Jody and let her know what’s happening.  She says in the small voice a much younger girl, “She’s going to be so mad at me.”  How perfect a line is that?  It shows very clearly that she does consider Jody her mom, without those words being said.  Claire is pretty much dying, and she’s worried about Jody’s anger without the realization that any Jody anger springs from love.

It was that moment that I realized that I really liked Claire, in spite of the typical sullen teenage BS the writers kept heaping on her.  After she turns back into a human she even jokes with Sam and Dean about “craving a milk bone.”  This episode takes Claire and makes her not only likable but understandable.  Her mom (Jody) wants her to go to college, but she’d rather learn a trade instead.  That’s a normal family thing to have happen, just with the hunter spin on it to make it Supernatural.

She continues to be likable even to the end of this episode where she calls Jody and comes clean about not looking at colleges, but rather hunting instead.  She also calls Jody her mother, but she still has enough insecurity about being loved that she practically whispers the word.  She goes from being a brat to being a complex character in one fell swoop.

Also, she makes a joke!  Not the funniest of jokes, but still, it shows there’s a sense of humor hiding in there somewhere.

I get people hating on Claire, because the first several episodes with her, she was a total pain in the butt and more than little unpleasant, but her story didn’t end there.  She grew as a character and she lowered her defenses enough for us to see the broken-hearted girl within – and kudos for the actress who portrays Claire, Kathryn Newton, who flawlessly shows us the vulnerability of Claire over several episodes.

I would groan when I saw it was going to be “a Claire episode” but honestly, given all the character has been through and the fact that Sam, Dean, and Castiel destroyed her family – and hey, they saved the world a lot, but they did tank her life completely – she’s much nicer to them than I would have been.

Furthermore, from the promos I’ve seen for Wayward Sisters, she not only feels loyalty towards Sam and Dean, she’s determined to save them.  That’s a huge evolution for the character.  She’s gone from seeing them as the enemy to seeing them not only as allies, but as family.

So, I do understand hating Claire, but I really think that given her evolution, it’s short-sighted.  She has so much potential and Kathryn Newton is such a fantastic actor that I am more than happy to see her continue to grow surrounded by supportive women like Jody, Donna, and Alex.  I’m also excited to see her interact with the two newer characters, too.

The harsh Claire judgment makes sense to me in the first two episodes where she’s reintroduced, but this character has grown and changed enough as her story went on, that I think this potential Wayward Sisters series (please, please, please, PLEASE let there be a series!) can show her as not only likable, but heroic. I personally cannot wait for this episode to be available on the CW app (we don’t have cable) and I’m sure I’ll watch it several times.

 

Posted in Reviews

Supernatural Season 9

Supernatural season 9 – spoilers for season 1-12 might be included below, so you’ve been warned.

Season 9 of Supernatural starts off with Dean compounding his bad decision making of the season 8 finale by making a slew of bad decisions.  Why?  To save Sam, of course.  ::sigh::

Normally, I’m almost totally on Dean’s side of things.  This show has always done an excellent job of showing that both brothers have valid arguments, but this season Dean makes a few bad decisions that fuck up Sam’s life, and then Sam pretty much is pissed for the rest of the season.  Kind of justifiably so.  Most of the early episodes, Sam is possessed by an angel – Dean tricked Sam into saying yes to the possession so Sam wouldn’t die.

Most of the episodes this season are entirely enjoyable.  “Slumber Party” features a return of Charlie Bradbury, introduces a really bitchy Dorothy from Oz in an episode that  introduces Sam and Dean to the garage in the bunker.  This was a fun episode, complete with a Becky reference.

Yes, I’m ignoring Castiel’s struggles right now because it’s so depressing.  He struggles all the way to the bunker and then Dean kicks him out.  I’ve never been so pissed at Dean and a show in my entire life.  Dean says they are family, but when push comes to shove, he’ll feed Cas to the sharks?  Dick move.  Then the episode where Castiel is working at the gas station, with the horrible boss woman who doesn’t know how to say the word babysit?  Just awful.  The entire time Sam is possessed by the angel, Dean is a dick to Castiel for the most part, and it is soul crushing to watch.

Props to Misha Collins for breaking my heart this season as he tries to navigate life as a human.  He does a wonderful job of trying to simply live as a human being, and then as trying to navigate life among the fallen angels.  Castiel’s arc this season is a wonderful arc of redemption – although, man, angels are fickle as hell.  I prefer Castiel and the Winchesters to be working together, from the bunker, preferably, but this season does provide a wider context for Castiel.  However, during the first part of the season it’s heartbreaking to watch, and it really makes me want to kick Dean.

“Dog Dean Afternoon” has the brothers trying to solve a murder but the only witness is a dog.  What do to do?  Drink a potion to mind meld with a dog, of course.  As Dean starts exhibiting dog traits, hilarity ensues.  This is a pretty fun episode and a good monster of the week story.  I thoroughly enjoy Dean barking at the mailman and playing fetch, unwittingly, with Sam.

“Bad Boys” gives us a glimpse into Dean’s past and is a good solid episode that shows that Dean maybe didn’t always want to be a hunter.  The flashbacks to Dean’s life away from hunting, even if it is only for a few short months, shows that he could have found a decent place for himself outside of the world of hunting, if he’d been given the choice.

The actor who plays the young Dean in this episode, Dylan Everett, is simply phenomenal.  He has the mannerisms and complexity of Dean down.  Also, the end of the episode, where Dean wants to go to this dance with a girl he likes, but he chooses to leave with his dad because of Sam, the emotions that play over his face – bitterness, resignation, brotherly love for Sam, and a flash of humor – this kid breaks your heart.  He was/is a wonderful Dean and I kind of hope they keep doing flashbacks with him – he was a great Dean.

“Rock and a Hard Place” has the return of Jodi Mills.  Sam and Dean join a chastity group – need I say more?  This was a great episode all around, but one of my favorite parts (aside from Dean explaining why he has chosen chastity) is Jodi Mills punching the virgin in the nose to get her blood for the weapon.  “Wipe your nose, dear.”  Just pitch perfect.

As we near the end of the first half, lots of story arc things happen, but mostly the angel possessing Sam kills Kevin, causing Dean to fall into a self pity spiral.  He goes off to hunt by himself, and Sam basically says don’t let the door hit you on your way out, dude.  Sam’s anger is justified, Kevin’s dead and Dean’s gone.  While I normally do not like episodes where the brothers are at odds and not working together, “First Born” shows Crowley and Dean teaming up to find the first blade.  This pairing is always fun to watch and what makes this even better is Timothy Omundson, an actor I adore, playing Cain.

Omundson is believable as a retired monster and is unnervingly scary in more than a few instances.  I only wish Cain could have been around as a villain for a little bit longer – he was an interesting character with a great actor portraying him.  This is a pivotal episode as it brings on the Mark of Cain story arc, one that grows tiresome pretty quickly.

Sam and Dean eventually pair up again as they both look into a case involving Garth.  Dean tries to shake Sam a couple of times, but Sam doesn’t fall for it.  Resolving Garth’s storyline with what seems to be a pretty happy ending was nice.  They agree to keep working together, but Sam points out that everything that has gone wrong between them has been because they are family.  He doesn’t really say “We aren’t brothers anymore” but it amounts to being the same.  He also tells Dean that he wouldn’t have done the same thing in return if their roles had been reversed.  This comes into play in a few episodes after the fact.  Dean does throw this back at Sam a few times, showing that it did hurt him.

I’ve over analyzed this show, and  in season 10 Charlie basically says Sam got pissed and said something he didn’t mean and Sam agrees that yep, that’s what happened.  During season 9 Dean betrays Sam pretty horrifically, but even when Sam points out that he has nightmares of killing Kevin, Dean is not very apologetic.  Have a legitimate complaint and being told it doesn’t matter would piss anyone off, so I can see things playing out this way as a realistic reaction, but that conversation between Charlie and Sam helped clarify a lot of what seemed to be a pretty cold hearted Sam.  We also see that Sam not only lied, but is more than willing to go to the same extreme measures to save Dean that Dean has gone through to save Sam.

Crowley addicted to human blood is somewhat entertaining if only for lines like “You don’t know what it’s like to be human!”  Crowley being on the same side as the boys creates a fun dynamic through the season.  Dean killing Abaddon is pretty violently horrific, but since she was an almost unkillable demon, probably needed to be.  Having one of the big bad guys dead is nice, but it does seem to make Dean more easily controlled by the Mark, which kind of makes him a bit of a controlling jerkwad.

Another episode that is heartbreaking and yet somehow inspiring is “Captives” where they find out Linda Tran, the always fantastic Lauren Tom, is still alive.  They set about rescuing her and what stands out to me about this episode is how strong a character Linda Tran is.  She has this fierce resilience that puts both Winchesters to shame.  Sam finds her and manages to get locked up with her.  She is working on unlocking the electronic door and she gives two deliveries of the same line “you will take me to my son.”

The first delivery of this line is full of hope and the beautiful joy that suffuses her face as she says it tells the story of how she’s survived this long.  She’s survived this long for Kevin.  To see him again.  When Sam stops her and without telling her, he communicates that Kevin isn’t alive, she gives this choked sound of grief, and her face changes to angry and determined for the second delivery of “you will take me to my son,” this second one bitten out defiantly.  If all that’s left of her son is a box of ashes, she’s taking it.

How badass is she?  She’s lost her husband, then her son, AFTER being held captive by demons, and still she is going to get out of there.  Also, we should remember that last season this woman single handedly bagged a demon on her own.  I’d watch “Mrs. Tran, Demon Killer” as a television show, because this woman is mother fucking heroic as all get-out and Lauren Tom knocks each performance out of the ball park.

Speaking of heroic as all get-out, Jodi Mills shows up again in “Alex Annie Alexis Ann” as she kills a vampire in her police station.  There is a young human that the vampires kidnapped and adopted, and then used as a lure to make hunting easier.  This episode alone could have been a great back door pilot for a Jodi Mills series, although I am glad that they waited until later and are including a lot more characters.  #Wayward  She is such a fully realized character, one that is willing to call Sam and Dean for help, but is completely unwilling to allow them to kill a young woman who has “vampire Stockholm syndrome.”  Two towering experts are telling her she is wrong and she basically tells them that they will have to go through her to hurt Alex.  She’s just great.

Jodi’s power is her empathy.  Damage recognizes damage, and through losing both her son and husband, Jodi is damaged.  Even while being beaten up by the mama vamp, she is empathizing with the woman.  They both have lost children, and Jodi recognizes that the reason Alex was kidnapped was because of this loss.  Jodi proves that she was right about Alex not being evil when Alex saves her life, and she ends up taking her in.  The scene at the end of this episode with Jodi and Alex is amazingly touching.  Jodi tells Alex that whatever she wants from her, she’ll give it, in such a simple offer to help that it’s amazing.  Alex shows that she isn’t really the angry, sullen girl, but actually rather sweet when not in constant fear for her life.  Perfect episode, with such well drawn characters – exactly what a backdoor pilot should be.

But no.  We get “Bloodlines” as a backdoor pilot.  It’s awful, and I hated it.  The end.  I could fill up an entire blog post with why this episode as a back door pilot sucked, but we’ll sum up with this – I didn’t care about any of the characters.  At all.  It was a hot mess of an episode.

The ending of this season is a good one, with a lot of rough moments that show the tenderness and caring between our friends and allies.  Dean telling Cas that he believes that Castiel had nothing to do with the angel suicides because Castiel just gave up his angel army for one man is a great moment.  Considering the brotherly moment between Sam and Dean seconds before this was Dean telling Sam that it was a dictatorship, Dean needed to be nice to someone to offset the dickhead balance some.

Also, by simply broadcasting Metatron’s words so that the other angels heard that Metatron was indeed an evil plotter, Castiel didn’t have to fight anyone, AND the angels get to be back up in heaven.  Dean dying wasn’t so great, but it did allow for Sam to say that he lied when he said he’d be ok with it prompting a typical Dean line of “Well, ain’t that a bitch.”  Sam shows this is more than true as he tries to conjure up Crowley.  Meanwhile, Crowley is while reviving Dean, but because of the Mark of Cain he wakes up all demon-eyed and evil.  Not bad at all.

Unlike season 8, this was a solidly good season.  While I think that Dean’s arrogance and self-absorption this season are a little difficult to take, it was within his character.  Other than the backdoor pilot, this season doesn’t have any episodes that are god-awful or that should be skipped, so I’m giving it a A-/B+

Posted in Reviews

Supernatural Season 8

Spoilers abound for all seasons, so read with caution.  Also, season 8 review is super long.

This fucking season – this fucking show.  This season is what I refer to as the “Voyager” season.  When it’s good, it is absolutely great, but when it’s bad, it’s the worst thing ever.  Never have I continued watching a show where I’ve literally yelled at the television, “Oh, FUCK you!!” as much as I have screamed that this season.  However, this season also has some really awesome parts to it, these moments are so unbelievably awesome that it keeps the Supernatural faith going.  But sometimes, barely.

Let’s start with the beginning of the season, as we resolve the Dean in Purgatory storyline.  I love the character of Benny, and Ty Olsson brings a deep, soulful, and romantic Benny to life so well, it’s impressive what a fantastic actor he is.  Also, if I were rich, I’d hire him to just read to me with Benny’s accent.  This man talks and I swoon.  Love, love, love Benny, but much of the plot lines surrounding him are pretty much a game of “kick the friendly vampire” as Sam and Dean’s dysfunction swallows everyone in their path.

Dean returns from Purgatory, a land where he is fighting for survival pretty much all of the time, and he’s more than little PTSD-y with it.  There is a definite parallel between coming home from war – including having a suicidal war buddy who comes back with you (Benny) – during this season as Dean has to adjust to the real world again.  He even has flashbacks and other symptoms popping up.  Not that the Winchesters aren’t PTSD on legs most of the time, but this season is much more symbolic of a war veteran returning home.

During the first several episodes, I alternate between wanting to beat the crap out of Sam and wanting to beat the crap out of Dean.  These fucking guys.  Sam quit hunting and didn’t even search for Dean, and Dean takes this incredibly personally and tortures Sam with it pretty much every episode.  This seemed completely out of character for Sam and it isn’t until season 10 when he tells Charlie that he doesn’t want to hunt without his brother, that he can’t hunt without his brother that this plot line even made sense to me.

If they’d established that aspect of Sam early on, this wouldn’t have come across as character assassination, but it came off that way anyway.  However, with the season 10 patchwork line in the mix, yeah, Sam didn’t have Bobby, Castiel, Ruby, Dean, or basically anyone else to help him out, so he wandered.  Ok, fine.  I still think it’s stupid, but whatever.

Sam meets and eventually falls for the incredibly dislikable Amelia.  I’m not one of the fan girls that hates anyone the brothers happen to fall in love with, but her?  Really Sam?  Her?  She’s a damaged psyche in pants, but that’s what draws Sam and her together, their mutual fucked-uppedness seems to be the cementing force in their relationship.  She’s hostile and not very nice most of the time, but the rest of the time, she’s just a hot mess of confusion.

This isn’t love, it’s mutual dependency – love takes some understanding, and none of the women Sam has loved have ever really understood everything about him because he doesn’t tell them.  Love without understanding who the other person is eventually fails under the weight of romantic ideations being placed on a fantasy rather than on who the person actually is.

That said, I do like that Amelia gave Sam a normal life, including a birthday cake in a pretty park area.  That made me like her a little bit, but the rest of the time she is just damage personified.  Their ending sees Sam making a choice between life as a hunter and life as a “normal” person, and he chooses the hunter life.  Dean tells him that when he chooses to make it stick and honestly, Sam really does.  His angst about hunter vs human is gone and he really does continue in the life in a happy and productive way.  After he chooses to end things with Amelia, he does become a hunter and even embraces it.  After 8 years of him angsting over this (and after a year has gone by) Sam is now 30-31 years old, so it’s time to decide a direction.

Dean and Sam fight and angst at each other most of the early episodes.  Dean’s mad about Sam deserting him in Purgatory.  Sam’s mad about Benny, which I find inexplicable.  He wants to kill Benny with a furor that seems insane and completely unreasonable.  This dynamic makes all of the Wincest slash fiction make some sense to me.  Sam’s mad that Dean has bonded with Benny during his time away.  He let Lenore live when he found out she was a vegetarian, but somehow Benny deserves to die without hearing explanations? Again, feels like a bit of mild character assassination.  Sam takes time and thinks things through, but with Benny he is both blind-lover jealous of Benny and still holding resentment for Dean’s killing of Amy, the kitsune.

Meanwhile, instead of explaining his loyalty to Benny to Sam, Dean just tells Sam to trust him.  Basically, Dean’s so much more interested in Sam’s BLIND trust of him because he’s motherfucking DEAN, instead of giving Sam details that it is sincerely stupid.  STUPID.  How about in “Citizen Fang” – an episode where both brothers are complete assholes for some reason – Dean doesn’t tell Sam that he didn’t even get the story from Benny, but from a third party.  This might have made Sam’s hate-rage fire cool down a bit, but no, why provide concrete examples of your reasoning when you can yell “trust me” really loud.

I hated the episode “Citizen Fang” and Benny is the only good thing about that entire episode.  He behaves like a rational human being, whereas the hunters are too busy being mired in their own dysfunction to tell their ass from a hole in the ground.

Meanwhile, can we talk about Dean’s attitude towards Sam falling in love?  Dude never says her name until he’s forced to do so by Sam.  Furthermore, he belittles the entire relationship constantly as Sam ditching him for “some girl” because apparently, girls are throwaway items in this universe.  I love Dean, but by the third time he says “some girl” with such contempt, I want to kick him in the nuts.  If anyone had treated Lisa that way, he’d be pissed.  However, this is another aspect of Dean’s character that makes both Wincest and the Destiel stories more than little plausible.  Both brothers act like jealous lovers the first several episodes of this season, and Dean’s chemistry and love for Sam, Benny, and Castiel eclipses any love he’s ever had for a woman.

Lauren Tom as Linda Tran is a wonderful addition to the cast and Linda Tran is such a badass the entire time she is on screen.  She’s thrown to the supernatural world and tries to find her place in it while also protecting her son.  I love her and the episode “What’s Up, Tiger Mommy?” shows how she and Kevin Tran (Osric Chau) have the perfect mother-son banter.  She’s a character we don’t see much of outside of being Kevin’s mother, but the writing of her and Lauren Tom’s performance make her so much more than most shows’ one note mother figure.

Kevin is a wonderful part of this season and I adore him.  His character arc this season is both tragic and heroic.  Crowley captures him and tortures him and he escapes.  I’m not sure why they have him on some weird house boat but whatever.  Kevin loses his sanity a little and becomes a weird recluse who only eats hotdogs, but he manages to figure out how to close the gates of hell.  He also manages to conquer his fear of Crowley.  When Crowley tries to fool him with a fake setting and a fake Sam and Dean, it doesn’t work.  Not only doesn’t it work, but Crowley can’t even really scare Kevin anymore.  Kevin knows Crowley is going to kill him, so he even arranges a last meal for himself.  Quite the clever ducky, our Kevin.

The best thing about season 8 and probably all of the seasons that come after it is The Bunker.  My love for the Bunker is infinite.  It is a heavily warded, hidden fortress, that contains a library of weirdness for their research purposes.  I want one, like right now.  The bunker was a genius idea and wonderfully executed, except for one small complaint – even in season 10 they are still finding out things about the bunker, which is cool and pretty humorous, but I would think the very first thing you’d do in a place like that is go through each and every room.  Just to make sure the perimeter is secure, but they find the library, kitchen, beds, and bathroom and are content to stop exploring.  Sometimes their lack of curiosity is maddening.

“I like this bunker.  It’s orderly.” Castiel

The Bunker is so freaking awesome, it bumps this back up a full letter grade.  While I’m not a fan of the Men of Letters storyline as it plays out in season 12, the Men of Letters bunker is everything they could need from a Batcave.  It has a garage for vehicles, a dungeon for demons, tons of books and files, plus a room for Dean, Sam, Castiel, and Kevin and probably room for a lot more.  When Kevin disappears Dean mentions that they should have taken him to the bunker – ya think?  That was one of the times I yelled curse words at the screen.  NOT taking him to the bunker was so fucking stupid.

Dean’s reaction to the bunker is hilarious.  He listens to the old-timey music, wears a dead guy’s robe, and eventually decorates his room.  It’s fabulous to see Dean have a place to call his own.  He even cooks what must have been a very tasty burger, seeing as Sam the Salad Eater took the burger with him when they had to leave rather than leave it behind.

The rest of the season, now that Dean and Sam have pledged their love and devotion to each other anew (sigh, so stupid) is the trials to close the gates of hell.  Dean is going to do  it, but of course it ends up being Sam.  Anyone who has watched this show knows that the doors to hell will never be shut because Dean is incapable of sacrificing Sam.  Dean would rather burn the world down and lose people they once saved for NOTHING rather than lose Sam.  As soon as the trials started, I was disgusted because we all know how this will end.

Dean at the very end of the season realizing that the trials would kill Sam (he keeps getting progressively sicker, and we all know God likes a sacrifice in this show – like Dean is not just a professional hunter here, he’s a professional Denyer of the Obvious, and it makes me want to kick him) is not a surprise to anyone other than Dean.  Even Sam responds with “So??” when Dean tells him about it.  Everyone, including Sam, knows it means his death, so of course Dean stops it.

And this part of this episode shows the brilliance and frustration of the show: while rolling my eyes at Dean’s denial, stupidity, and utter selfishness and inability to look at a Greater Good scenario if the sacrifice is his, the following scene between a dying, crying Sam while Dean begs him to NOT close the gates of hell is amazing.  Jared Padalecki breaks your heart and Jensen Ackles is pitch perfect, too.  So while I’m intensely hating the stupid decision making that seems to be more about what is needed plot wise than character wise (although, Dean is kind of a wang about Sammy) I’m loving the scene that stems from it.

One of the things my husband and I did a lot of in season 8 is pausing the show and bitching about it.  “If I were writing it…” was something I said a lot as we tried to figure out different ways to get the characters to the same place without the stupid decision making.  However, what the entire show boils down to is these two brothers would rather destroy the world than lose each other.  There are some episodes where this makes them almost the bad guys – if you didn’t actually close the gates of hell, what did Sarah die for?  What did Tommy die for?  What did Kevin almost drive himself mad for?  What did you kill Benny for?  People are wasted in the process of getting to this point and then they just stop, because yikes, if Sam dies that would be a totally different thing.

Fuck you, Dean.  And fuck you, Sam for not just doing it anyway.  I will say after seeing up through season 12 and shifting my point of view from it being about two brothers who save people, to two people who are cripplingly co-dependent and happen to shoot things a lot, did help.  Also, Sam’s not as obvious about it as Dean is but he also can’t really function without Dean.  So be it, writers.  I honestly can’t tell if this dysfunction is written into the script or just thrown in for some angsty moments, but I will say it pretty much does hold true to the characters.

Also, the whole reason Sam does the trials is mostly pride.  He thinks that Dean doesn’t think Sam can actually do it and meanwhile, Dean’s just not able to watch the guy die, but neither one of them actually seems to be listening to the other one.

But again, the rest of this episode is freaking phenomenal.  The end of the season gives the entire season another bump in letter grade – the angels falling.  I was raised Catholic and there is a lot of angel iconography in Catholicism, so this might just have been me, but I started sobbing instantly.  Angels in this series might be dicks, but most of them just want to be told what to do.  Seeing them fall to the earth like meteors streaking across the sky was devastating.  I think I stopped crying long enough to hyperventilate or maybe have a panic attack.  This was a devastating moment, and when Dean says, “The angels.  They’re falling,” the devastation I feel is on his face – Jensen Ackles really rocks as an actor.

Castiel had more presence this season, even if he was only back to himself in the last few episodes.  Dean being pissed at him has Castiel wanting to win his favor.  He goes to a convenient store and creates a Castiel-style mess, while getting Dean’s favorite porn.  His temper snaps when the cashier says they’re out of pie.  Dean loves pie, and in order to get Dean to stop being mad at him, pie really is required.

Castiel: “You don’t understand.  I need pie”

Metatron: “Put the virgin down, Castiel.”

This brings us to one of the better villains of the series, who eventually becomes a bit of a savior, he’s a complex guy, Metatron.  Played by the always fun Curtis Armstrong, who every one knows from “Moonlighting,” 😉

Metatron is why the angels fell.  The Winchesters in their fruitless journey to close the hell gates tell Metatron to get involved, and while I’m very happy he saved Kevin, considering he kills Kevin the next season, it’s a wash.  I’m going to say that much of this bad guy is on the Winchesters as well.  “Get involved!  Wait, no not like that….”  Again, at the end of this season my husband asked me if I thought they were intentionally trying to make the Winchesters the bad guys, and I don’t think so?  But I’m not sure.

Anyway, this time around, I saw that the room number to Metatron’s hotel room is 366, which is maybe some foreshadowing.  366 isn’t 666 (Lucifer is boring), but it still sets off a little alarm bell.  Metatron loves stories, and hey, who can blame him?  He decides that since there is a power vacuum in heaven with the archangels either dead or in the cage, he might as well takeover.  All of the energy they’ve put into deciphering the tablets is wasted against Metatron who knows the contents of all of them.  Pro-tip, when the friendly guy starts talking about killing people, maybe he’s not on the side of the angels.

This episode points out two interesting things about humans – we write and enjoy stories, and each author is god to a tiny, but specific, universe and we make things the same everywhere.  The sameness of the Biggersons makes Castiel invisible to the angels.  They know he is at a Biggersons, but he keeps switching from one to the next to the next, so they can’t get to him because the sameness is confusing.

Naomi is terrifying, and Amanda Tapping on the show gets me Stargate Bingo (so many actors have been in both.)  Naomi is on the side of heaven, no doubt in my mind, but it does make heaven seem like a terrifying place to be.  What exactly is heaven’s agenda if it requires such dark tactics?  Anyway, Naomi and Crowley have a history of some sort, as he knows how to push her buttons.  Apparently, never call her a bureaucrat – she’ll melt your eyes out.  However, being on the side of heaven means she’s temporarily on the side of the Winchesters in later episodes.  She’s the one that tips Dean off about the trials killing his obviously dying brother.  She was fun to have on the show as a bad guy and I really enjoyed it.

While I’m not going to go episode by episode, one episode, “Remember the Titians” stands out, not just because it has Prometheus in it, but because Prometheus falls in love with the dumbest woman in the entire universe.  This was a good episode with the exception of this character – who always looked as if she badly needed a hairbrush to tidy messy hair.  Basically everything she does is stupid and counter-productive.  She gets Prometheus killed because of her sheer stupidity, and honestly, every time she is on screen it is a waste of time to even watch.  How does this woman raise a child?  Hell, how does she even dress herself in the mornings?  Ugh.

Charlie Bradbury returns in “LARP and the Real Girl” and “Pac-Man Fever” deepening her bond and ties to the Winchesters.  Charlie is always fun and delightful and these episodes are no exception.

I really thought the episode “Bitten” was a back-door pilot as the found footage episode revolves around three college roommates and barely has the Winchesters in it at all.  This isn’t a bad pilot episode of something, but it didn’t really feel like a Supernatural episode so much.

“As Time Goes By” highlights how much Dean needs counseling for his daddy issues, and their paternal grandfather time travels from 1958 to 2013, and bursts out of their closet door.  Dean spends most of the episode being incredibly hostile to his grandfather, who was assumed to have walked out on his family.  After kicking the man all episode for something that was clearly not his fault, when Henry Winchester tries to go back in time to fix it, Dean stops him.  Why?  To save Sam!  Bleh.

“Everyone Hates Hitler” came out before Nazis started being a political debate again, so they are excellent bad guys to root against.  Also, the addition of a golem to the mythos and the Judah Initiative was really good world building.  I really enjoyed this episode and the new characters it introduced.

Mostly, Supernatural is still completely watchable and enjoyable, but the writing felt uneven and the character making stupid decision was incredibly frustrating.  Supernatural works the best – is the most enjoyable – when the brothers are working together and pulling in the same direction.  This season didn’t have that dynamic for well over half the time.

Overall, I give the season a B – B is for Bunker.  This season had really good episodes along with a few boring ones, but between the bunker and angels falling it makes up for a lot of the flaws.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Reviews

Supernatural Season 7

Spoilers abound, read with caution.

This season is not as bad as I remember, but I remember it as awful for the following reasons:  Castiel is gone from episode 2 until 17, then doesn’t show up again until the last three episodes.  So in the entire season only 5 episodes have Castiel in them and one of those episodes is him walking into a lake in the very beginning and then disappearing until 15 episodes later.  Baby, the Impala, is taken out of the show because the Leviathans are tracking them.

So right off the bat this season takes away the iconic car and one of the favorite characters for pretty much the entire fucking season.  Almost an entire season without the Impala?  Whoever thought of this – BAD idea.  It’s like having Dr. Who without his Tardis – and I know, the third Doctor spent much of his time grounded on earth because the Tardis was disabled, but the Tardis was still there, it wasn’t stowed somewhere off camera.  The shows has had three main characters since season one Sam, Dean, and Baby, so the entire season felt as if it was lacking, because it was.

Last but certainly not least, after leaning heavily all season on the steady presence of Bobby Singer, they kill him off.  The episodes where he is shot and then dodges his reaper are two very well written episodes, but I’m not going to be happy about killing off Bobby. No Castiel, no Impala, and no Bobby.  Seriously???  Fuck you, season 7, I’m taking a full letter grade off your score for this.

Castiel as god is pretty interesting – he goes after the KKK, Westboro Baptist, and for some reason, New Age motivational speakers.  We hear about much of this as Dean works on the Impala.  Most of this is pretty funny, albeit terrifying, especially when in desperation they summon Death.  I love Death, he’s always fun and somewhat funny.  “Annoying little protozoa, aren’t they?” he says of the Winchesters and Bobby.

Fun first couple of episodes, including Jodie Mills getting an appendectomy.  She happens to see “Dr. Monsterface” eat someone and calls Bobby for help.  Great appearance, as usual.  This is also the season where a heavily drugged Dean falls out of his hospital bed and tells Bobby, “A monster broke my leg” with such a hilarious delivery, it’s hard not to laugh.

The other problem with the beginning of this season is the plotline about Amy, Sam’s kitsune friend.  Honestly, Dean really had no reason to kill her, and I found the whole storyline to be annoying.  It’s one of those situations where they have Dean do something fairly stupid and indefensible to set up other storylines.  Amy was killing dirtbag criminals in order to save her son, and honestly, when the police and coroner are ok with the murders, you know the bad guys in question should not really be out in the world in the first place.

But Dean kills her, because how else will he angst and drink and be a huge damaged dill hole, otherwise?  I feel like the whole reason for killing Amy was to set up the Osiris episode because honestly, she didn’t deserve to die.  I’m normally on the side of kill, kill, blood the makes the grass grow, but even I thought this was a stupid thing to do.  It’s as stupid as Sam having his panties in a bunch all of season 8 about Benny the vampire – it’s poorly manufactured conflict between the brothers and it’s wearying to watch and more than little stupid.  Amy the kitsune was a good character played by the always amazing Jewel Staite, and I would have loved to have her around more, but alas, much of the writing is about giving the boys angst, so here we are stuck with a stupid plot lines for what seems like forever, but is really only a few episodes.

This season also deals with the wall in Sam’s mind crumbling.  I think this showcases how impressive Sam is in many ways, but I’m really tired of Lucifer.  He’s in the cage and we still have to deal with his boring, obnoxious ass?  Fucking great, but that’s why I have a fast forward button.  But seriously, Supernatural, enough Lucifer already.  HE’S SO BORING.  Anyway, lots of Lucifer and this diminishes the impressiveness of Sam, but other than one episode where Lucifer is somewhat helpful in solving the case, the rest of the time he is just a loud dick.  I know he tortured Sam, but does he have to torture the audience as well?  I really hate Lucifer episodes and this season doesn’t help that improve.

This season has many good episodes, but as a fan of the Buffy & Angel franchise, I have to say “Shut Up, Dr. Phil” is one of the highlights of the season.  It pairs up James Marsters (Spike) with Charisma Carpenter (Cordelia) and they are simply phenomenal as feuding witches having some marital problems.  As with all of the witch episodes, the killings are gross and brutal, but the by-play between the two witches is funny as hell.  I also like the reaction one of the victims – conveniently saved by Sam and Dean – has to being cursed.  “They were hearts in my cupcakes.  HEARTS IN MY CUPCAKES!!!  That’s never happened before.”  This episode was really wonderful all around.  Hope those witches come back for a future episode or two.  We need a spin-off of the witches – their chemistry was too phenomenal to be wasted.

“Season Seven, Time for a Wedding” is another episode I really enjoy.  From the introduction of DJ Qualls as Garth, to the return of Crowley & Becky, I liked this episode.  This episode does turn Becky into a bit of a bad guy, but since she didn’t actually rape Sam (because they were waiting for sex for some crazy reason) I’m going to go with it being funny.  This is also the last episode where Becky shows up at all, but considering most episodes that have her in them make fans the butt of jokes, probably best that way.  Seeing Sam head over heels in love with someone who knows about hunting is funny as hell.  I found it to be a fun episode although I’ve read really negative reviews of it.

“Time After Time,” “Plucky Pennywhistle’s Magical Menagerie” and “The Girl with the Dungeons and Dragons Tattoo” are wonderful episodes that are among my favorite.  Charlie Bradbury is one of the all time best characters written in Supernatural and my only regret with her is that she has not yet been brought back from the dead.  I’m holding out hope for it, though.

However, while I hate the death of Bobby, the episode before his death, “How to Win Friends and Influence Monsters” is one of the best ones of the season, and has some of the best quotes.

Sam: You think the world wants to end?

Dean: I think that if we didn’t take its belt and all its pens away each year that, yeah, the whole enchilada woulda offed itself already.

Dean stoned is pretty funny and well worth the price of admission.  This episode also really shows how much Bobby takes care of both of the Winchesters.  He has a private “check-in” with both of the boys about how they are doing.

“Come on, now. You tried to hang it up and be a person with Lisa and Ben. And now here you are with a mean old coot and a van full of guns. That ain’t person behavior, son.”

Once they actually do bring Castiel back, he’s a little crazy and refuses to fight, however, he also has some really great quotes.

Castiel: “I don’t fight any more. I watch the bees.”

“Do we need a cat? Doesn’t this place feel one species short?”  [Yes, they absolutely need a cat – they have a bunker now, give them a cat!]

“I see now. It’s a punishment resurrection. It’s worse every time.”

Also, the progression of the Meg/Castiel relationship is interesting, and it’s sad they killed off Meg before exploring it further, although I do understand why she was killed off.

This season has a lot of really good episodes, but also a lot of just dumb plotlines and inexplicable things throughout.  Overall this season is a C – a C that could easily have been made a B if they hadn’t taken Castiel and Baby out of the majority of the episodes.

Posted in Reviews

Supernatural Season 6

Spoilers for all seasons abound, so don’t continue reading if you don’t want to be spoiled for most of the seasons.

Let’s get some of the bad out of the way.

The worst part of the entire season:  Season 6 can best be summed up as Sam and Dean are constantly dicks to Castiel and then wonder at his betrayal.  It seems each season after season 2 has an ally who becomes the biggest problem – Dean going to hell in season 3, Sam unleashing Lucifer in season 4, season 5 actually dealt mostly with the bad guys for a change, but at season 6 here we are with Castiel being the main problem by the end of the season.  Pull it together, guys, and fight the external enemies.  Internal infighting isn’t just boring, it’s stupid.

We left off season 5 with Dean moving in with Lisa and Sam standing under a streetlight that goes out, which is misleading seeing as he simply doesn’t have a soul, and that doesn’t usually cause lights to flicker.  Unlike all of the rest of the fandom, I really liked Lisa and I hated that they destroyed their relationship over the first few episodes.  There have been other hunters that have wives, girlfriends, boyfriends, and significant others, so not allowing Dean to have a slice of happy just seems lazy.  Exploring Dean as a boyfriend and father figure could have brought a ton of interesting storylines to the series, including Sam as an uncle.  I would have loved to see it – you wouldn’t even have to have him with her most of the time, as primarily they’d be on the road hunting, but a few episodes a year with them having a real Christmas or real Thanksgiving?  It would have been fun and interesting to see.

Since it would be difficult to write Lisa in and make it work, they just didn’t bother.  Also, there is a certain amount of rioting the fans do online if either of the boys end up with a girl, which is kind of sick to me, but whatever.  The second Dean moves in with Lisa, you know it’s doomed, which is less interesting and more just sad, depressing, and head scratching.  I honestly waited several years before even watching the season because I knew that the first 5-10 episodes would basically be the slow demise of Dean and Lisa – and Lisa was fucking cool, funny, smart, pretty, and honestly so understanding of Dean that I hate how things ended there.  Sometimes in this season it felt less like the characters were making coherent decisions and more like they just did whatever the forced storyline or episode of the week required, which was frustrating to watch.

Sam and Dean are straight-up dicks to Castiel most of the season, calling him every time they stub their toe and being really angry jerks about it.  Castiel is fighting a war in heaven, and they have no sympathy, empathy, or even slightly basic understanding.  I don’t call my friends when I know they are busy doing eating dinner, for fucksakes, if they were at war AND mid-battle?  I’d be embarrassed and apologetic to have interrupted.  The Winchesters are too self-absorbed this season to give a fuck, and it really made me dislike them pretty much every single time they did it.  Sam has the excuse of not having a soul, but Dean’s just myopically self-absorbed.  And that’s coming from a Dean-girl.

That is not to say the episodes aren’t enjoyable, as they are.  Castiel has some of the best lines and best dialogue this season.  He was one of the best additions to the show ever made – I just love Castiel and Misha Collins.  Also, while there are plot lines that go throughout the season, many of the episodes are primarily monster of the week episodes, which are fun.  Season 5 had pretty much 0 episodes that were just road tripping monster fighting, which is where the show excels.

Castiel is so fun this season and I love every minute of him on the screen.

“Dean and I do share a more profound bond.  I wasn’t going to mention it.”

“Sam, Dean, my ‘people skills’ are ‘rusty.’  Pardon me, but I have spent the last year as a multidimensional wavelength of celestial intent.”    How GREAT is this line?

“I remember the Tower of Babel – all 37 feet of it, which I suppose was impressive at the time. And when it fell they howled, ‘Divine Wrath!’ But come on, dried dung can only be stacked so high.”

“Freedom is a length of rope. God wants you to hang yourself with it.”

These are just a few of my favorite ones from the season, but Castiel does provide a lot of the humor of the season.

Another character favorite that I’m terribly sad Castiel killed off was Balthazar – he was hilarious and fun in every episode.  He treated the Winchesters with a condescension I admired.  For example, in one of the funniest episodes of the season, “The French Mistake,” which happens to be one of my all time favorite episodes ever, Balthazar shows up in Bobby’s living room and starts grabbing supplies for a spell.  Dean says hey to him and is ignored.

Dean: “I said hey!”

Balthazar: “You did. Twice. Good for you. (pats his shoulder sarcastically)”

How awesome is that?  I just loved Balthazar, his humor, his sarcasm, his style, and his loyalty to Castiel.  Gone too soon, but a fantastic character.

“The French Mistake” is such a fun episode in so many ways, but my favorite is the utterly obnoxious decor in Fake Jared’s home.  The giant pictures of him on the wall, especially the one where he is riding a horse, make me laugh every time.  “You married fake Ruby?!” and “I should figure out her name,” are two of the best delivered lines ever.  Jared Padalecki is simply genius during the delivery of that line and during his messing up of Genevieve’s first name.  Also, how great was it that they brought her back and had their real-life wedding photos as props in the background?  I just loved this entire episode for so many reasons, that I could write a blog post simply about it’s wonderfulness.  It’s fan service done well, and as a fan, I love it.

Another highlight, is “Weekend at Bobby’s” where the entire episode is from Bobby’s point of view.  When Dean calls him whining about Sam, Bobby rolls his eyes!!  Jim Beaver is always fantastic as Bobby, and in this episode he was fun, funny, and fantastic.  Also, my favorite, Sheriff Jody Mills, makes an appearance here and just lights up the screen by being on it.  I love her directing the FBI agent to the outside of Bobby’s house, but with Bobby there is no safe place because bodies are buried outside and a possessed woman is in the basement.  “Dammit, Bobby.”

One of the things I wondered a lot during season 7 when they were dealing with the leviathans, is why not a wood chipper?  Bobby throws a monster into the wood-chipper in this episodes prompting Rufus to say, “Oh, okey-dokey, wood chipper.  That pretty much Trumps… everything.”  How easy would it have been for the Leviathans to put themselves back together after a wood chipper?  And yet, they never again use a wood chipper to kill anything outside of this episode.  I’d think they’d buy one and take it with them everywhere, but then the show would be more about Wood Chipper Murder Hoboes than Supernatural, but still.

“Clap Your Hands If You Believe…” is another fantastic and hilarious episode.  Soulless Sam is never more fun than he is in this episode and it’s simply wonderful and funny and great.  Jared Padalecki is just fantastic with comedic timing – honestly, I’m very impressed he managed to say most of his lines with a straight face.  This episode involves alien abductions that turn out to be fairies, with the wonderful guest star Robert Picardo.  If Richard Dean Anderson, Christopher Judge, and Beau Bridges guest star, pretty much everyone I’ve ever seen in Stargate SG-1 will have been a guest star on the show.  (Can we talk about how underutilized Michael Shanks was in season 5?  Waste of a damn fine actor.) Dean yelling “Fight the fairies!  You fight those fairies!” as he is being put into the police car is especially entertaining and make me giggle every time.

“Caged Heat” is another wonderful episode but for different reasons.  Meg returns, but soulless Sam not only puts her in her place, but has her work for them.  Soulless Sam kills one of her demon henchman and when Meg ask if he’s going to give Ruby’s knife back, he angrily tells her that she stole it from them, and he’s taking it back.  I’m with Meg – it was nice to see Sam had grew some balls, even if it was just the soullessness doing most of the talking.

Most of the season had good episodes that were a lot of fun, but there were some clunkers this season.  “All Dogs Go to Heaven” is simply drab and depressing all the way through.  This one has a very sympathetic monster, in my opinion.  Granted, like a lot of shapeshifters, he was prone to murder, but in his defense the people he murdered were shitastic and hard to feel any empathy for at all.

“Mannequin 3: The Reckoning” is another episode that I really dislike.  It’s well written, but is sad all the way through.  I wish Sam and Dean had let the ghost kill her murderers, as they didn’t deserve to be saved, but instead it ends with her sister dying.  Just sad and depressing all around when wonderful, kind women die and worthless, murderous, cruel men are to blame.  Too much a reflection of the real world for my tastes.

I did not like “Frontierland” as an episode, either.  Watching Dean’s enthusiasm get stomped on throughout the entire episode is sad, the phoenix was another incredibly and sympathetic monster, and Colt turns out to be a grumpy old drunk.  What’s with protecting murderers and rapists?  Let those guys get eaten by the monsters.  They use Castiel’s limited powers to go back in time and Dean can’t remember to their time limit enough to get the ashes?  Thank God for Sam staying on task and leaving his phone with Colt, or it would have been a huge waste of time and energy.  I tend to skip this episode, or fast forward through the Dean parts and just watch Sam, Castiel, and Bobby’s storylines instead.  I know the show thinks it’s funny to remove the wool from Dean’s eyes, but this is a man who didn’t have a childhood, so it’d be nice if the things he finds fun could remain intact.

“The Man Who Would Be King” is not just a great Castiel episode, but a wonderful Crowley episode as well.  Castiel’s narration, which heartbreakingly turns out to be a prayer to the absent (or silent) god, is full of great lines, and has so much interesting in it.  The Dean and Castiel relationship here is really highlighted, as Dean – in spite of all evidence to the contrary – refuses to believe Cas would work with Crowley or lie to them. The look on his face when he realizes it is true – after apologizing to Castiel for even suspecting him – is just a kick to the gut.  Jensen Ackles is always superb, and this is no exception.

Also, this season provides a lot of Crowley and Castiel.  I’m a big fan of Crowley, although half the time I do want him dead.

“Don’t worry about — what, like Lucifer didn’t worry? Or Michael? Or Lilith or Alastair or Azazel didn’t worry?! Am I the only game piece on the board who doesn’t underestimate those denim-wrapped nightmares?!”

“Denim wrapped nightmares” is not just funny as hell as a description for Sam and Dean, but also pretty accurate.  People are always so very arrogant about the Winchesters, but they end up killing bad guy after bad guy.  Crowley’s not wrong to feel this way, but by kidnapping Lisa and Ben, he really did make his own problems worse.

When they write out a love interest, they really write out a love interest.  Lisa and Ben get their memories wiped by Castiel so that they never met Dean.  Dean tells Sam that if he mentions them ever again, he’ll break Sam’s nose, and after this episode, they aren’t really mentioned by name ever again.  In one episode where Bobby tells Dean that Dean had normal and it didn’t stick.  Other than that, the two are never heard from or about again.

I do often wonder, if Dean and Sam had the bunker, if dating Lisa and Ben would have been more possible.  The bunker is secured against pretty much everything, and while they couldn’t be on lockdown 24/7, they’d be safe more often than not, but it would never happen because fans would riot if they moved in a love interest.  It’s like people enjoy seeing their heroes tortured, which is kind of weird to me.  I like happy heroes, or at least heroes that have some possibility for happiness.

Overall I give season 6 a B – there are so many plot points that pissed me off this season (did Mary’s dad Samuel really have to be such a dick???) but there were also some truly wonderful, and fantastic episodes, too.  This season has plenty of funny to lighten up the darker storylines, something that season 4 sorely lacked.  The combo of light and dark storylines throughout is very well-balanced.