Posted in Reviews

Supernatural Season 11 Review

Spoilers abound for all of the season, so reader beware.

Season 11 was a bit of a mixed bag for me.  The episodes I like, I really intensely love but there are a few episodes that simply left me bored or meh.  That said, this season has two episodes that are easily within my top 10 favorite episodes, if not the top 5.  One of these episodes is called “Baby” and the entire thing is just pitch perfect.

Baby is Dean’s name for the Impala, who is the third character in the show who rarely gets an episode from her point of view.  While Sam’s tenacity saved the world and caged the devil, it was memories of the Impala that helped him do it – the Impala is as iconic to this show and the Mystery Machine is to Scooby Doo, so hell yeah, bring on an episode from her point of view.

This episode has a lot of mundane things I just love.  First of all, this episode shows the brothers bonding, laughing, and interacting in a way we don’t normally see.  If you think about the sheer number of places they drive, they spend a huge amount of time in the Impala and because driving cross country is mostly boring, we rarely see this aspect of their lives for long.  This episode gave us a little glimpse of that togetherness and the fun they have together.  It was a joy and relief to see an episode where the brothers get along well, laugh together, and even sing along to the radio.

I could honestly go scene by scene with the episode to tell you why it’s brilliant, but I’ll hit the highlights for me, personally.  Sam having a one-night stand in the Impala and Dean’s pride – and musical humor – is just delightfully funny.  Sam tells Dean he tried to give the woman his number.

Sam: I tried to give her my number. You know what she said?

Dean: ‘We got tonight; who needs tomorrow?’

Sam: Is everything a Bob Seger song to you?

Dean: Yes.

This is exchange followed by the conversation the brothers have in the car really make this episode shine.  For an action horror series like Supernatural, there aren’t a lot of slow moments of conversation, so when they happen, I really enjoy them.  Not finding a hotel (maybe not having money?) the brothers are sleeping in their car with Sam in the backseat and Dean in the front seat.  Sam wakes up, talks about his dream of their father, and the ensuing scene is just wonderful.  It’s just them, sitting in Baby, having a heart to heart and I can’t say enough good things about it.

This episode also has one of the funnier sequences of the series when Dean has to deal with killing “Deputy Dumbass” the were-pyre they are hunting.  Dean is having a phone conversation with Castiel, trying to determine what type of monster they are hunting, when the Deputy attacks Dean.  The fight scene is filmed from the inside of the car – Baby’s perspective – which allows for hilarity.  Castiel’s voice misheard through Dean’s phone as Dean shoots, beheads, and otherwise damages the were-pyre – Dean finds out beheading doesn’t work when the severed head on the windshield continues to growl at him.  This whole sequence is incredibly funny and wonderful.

This episode also sees all three of our main characters – Baby, Dean, and Sam – return home injured and limping, as even Baby got involved in the were-pyre fight.  I honestly think this might be my all time favorite episode of Supernatural, but then “Fan Fiction” and “Don’t Call Me Shurley” are also contenders for that title.

One of the best aspects of this season is that the brothers are on the same side, and Castiel is around during the beginning of the season and on the same side as the brothers.  I love it when our heroes are actually working together.  Their ability to work together so smoothly was what drew me into the show in the first place, so it’s nice to see a return to them functioning as a unit.  I didn’t mind season 10 having Sam working to cure Dean behind his back, because that was still working on the same side, even if Dean didn’t know about it.  Seasons 6-8 where it was brother fighting brother and angsty-drama all the time was wearying, to say the least.

To hit one of the down notes of the season, ugh, Lucifer.  Fucking again.  They killed off Raphael and Gabriel, both archangels, can’t we manage to stab this fucker with an angel blade already?  But no, instead Castiel says “yes” like a total moron and we’re stuck with Lucifer as Castiel, which is a bit more entertaining simply because Misha Collins makes such a more interesting Lucifer, but can we be real?  Lucifer is written as a sociopathic 5 year old complete with tantrums.  LUCIFER IS BORING.  I don’t care that Daddy hurt his feelings, after millennia, get the fuck over it and stop whining and exploding people.  Dick.

While Misha does an excellent job with Lucifer, I still hate the storylines with Lucifer for the most part, although because they are working towards the same purpose, Lucifer is a bit more fun this season, but barely.  Also, making Crowley Lucifer’s “dog” is just gross.  I know he’s the devil and all, but come one, really?  Why on earth do demons have this devotion to Lucifer?  He’s shown no leadership, absolutely detests demons, and generally is a sociopathic 5 year having a permanent temper tantrum, so what gives demonkind?  Just that stupid?  If he’s this charismatic leader that people fall in love with, I’d really like that aspect of him shown, because otherwise, he’s just BORING.  A walking bag of hate isn’t really that interesting to me and Lucifer’s daddy-issues have long stopped being interesting.

It helps that Misha Collins is clearly having fun as Lucifer, so that does get me to enjoy him a bit more as a character, but still, let’s kill Lucifer and never speak of him again, ok, Supernatural writers?

One of the episodes where Misha Collins is playing Lucifer who is pretending to be Castiel is called “The Vessel” and it is another really great episode.  Dean is sent back in time to retrieve a Hand of God, which they hope can defeat Amarra/The Darkness.  He’s sent back in time to the Bluefin, a submarine in World War II.  Lucifer, being an archangel, has the power to send Dean back in time, but due to the warding on the ship he can’t actually get on the ship himself.

This is one of the few episodes I really enjoyed Lucifer, because he’s pretty funny.  Lucifer walking down the steps of the bunker soaking wet always makes me laugh, in part because Lucifer looks so annoyed and pissed off about it.  Lucifer is interesting in the episode because he’s acting like a warrior of god and like an ally to the Winchesters, instead of being his usual petulant, whiny-baby self.  It’s a refreshing change for a boring and tired character.

This episode isn’t really about Lucifer, though.

Dean: Captain James Dearborn, my name is Dean Winchester and I am on a mission from the future, the details of which I am not a liberty to discuss. But know this: within the hour, a German destroyer will find and attack this submarine and you will go down.  [This line doesn’t seem like much, but in the context of episode itself, it’s powerful as a punch to the gut.]

It’s barely about the Winchesters and is instead about Delphine, the Woman of Letters who is transporting the Hand of God via submarine after stealing it from the Thule, the evil Nazi Necromancers.

Delphine: You save this ship, get us to the surface, and then what? The power of God will consume you, and you’ll have merely brought the weapon closer to the Nazis’ grasp. We are supposed to die, let us do it with a purpose.

Delphine warns Dean of the dangers and then takes the task on herself, sacrificing herself and the submarine to take out the Nazi Thule ship.  How badass is Delphine?

At the end of this episode – which never fails to bring a tear to my eye, because of the bravery and commitment of the soldiers and Delphine in the past – Dean tells Sam that he wasn’t really a part of things, he was just a witness.

This is the type of episode that I really love, simply because even the throwaway characters aren’t two-dimensional.  I’d watch a show just about Delphine, or many of the characters on the submarine.  This was just such a great and well written episode all around and it’s one that I love to watch, even though it seems to be more about the WWII action than the Winchesters, which is just fine by me, considering how well it was done.  This episode and “Baby” are excellent examples of why so many people are devoted to this show – they are just brilliantly written and unbelievably entertaining.

“Don’t Call Me Shurley” sees the return of Chuck/God as well as Metatron.  First of all, Rob Benedict who portrays Chuck/God, I could watch just type.  He’s magic on screen and this episode was a revelation of Rob Benedict’s true talent.  HOW IS HE NOT IN EVERYTHING ALL OF THE TIME?  He seamlessly moves from Chuck to God and back again, and then he tops it all off by singing a song that blows all the doors off the episode.  I know writing God must be a difficult task, but more Rob Benedict, please.  Dude is ridiculously talented, so if you don’t want to write an all powerful being, simply have him hanging out and playing guitar, because holy fucking cow is he wonderful at it.

Metatron is portrayed by Curtis Armstrong, an actor who has been in practically everything, but is best known as Booger front he “Revenge of the Nerds” although I always think of him as his “Moonlighting” character Herbert Viola.  As a bad guy, Metatron was obnoxious and devious and killed Dean once, so you know, hated Metatron.  However in this episode, Curtis Armstrong shows what a brilliant fucking actor he is by making us feel sympathy and even a little love for Metatron.  Armstrong and Benedict are what make this episode probably my all-time favorite episode.

First of all, this episode confirmed what most of us thought after the season 5 finale – Chuck is actually God.  This episode reveals Chuck being God, but it’s the interplay and history between God and Metatron that really infused this episode with such life and character.  I could watch God and Metatron sit in this bar and talk writing all day.

Metatron: You know, I was a crappy, terrible god. My work was pretty much a lame, half-assed rewrite of your greatest hits. But at least I was never a coward. [God throws him through the front doors of the bar with a flick of his finger.  Metatron walks back in, smiling.] There he is. That’s the guy I know, the guy I love. I remember the first time I saw you. All the angels were terrified, but I wasn’t. The feeling of your light was… was just beyond measure. And then the unthinkable. You picked me to help you with your tablets.

Chuck: You were just the closest angel to the door when I walked into the room. There’s nothing special about you, Metatron. Not then… not now. Now… I’ve been called many things — absentee father, wrathful monster. But, coward… I am not hiding. I am just done watching my experiments’ failures.

Metatron: You mean your failures, Chuck.

The way he spits out the name “Chuck” like an epithet is wonderful.  Chuck’s words deeply wound Metatron.  Armstrong plays the craziness and cunning of Metatron expertly, and he even shows the broken heartedness all of the angels felt when god left.  Armstrong does restrained tears so very well in this episode that it breaks your heart.  Later on in the episode, when Metatron says that he doesn’t care if he was “the angel closest to the door” he can barely say the words without crying – Metatron the clever and awful enemy who killed Dean once, has me broken-hearted and in tears this episode.

Metatron even tells god that all of his previous bad behavior was a sad attempt to get attention from Chuck.

This episode is just brilliant.

Metatron:  No, look. I know I’m a disappointment, but you’re wrong about humanity. They are your greatest creation because they’re better than you are. Yeah, sure, they’re weak and they cheat and steal and… destroy and disappoint. But they also give and create and they sing and dance and love. And above all, they never give up. But you do.

At the end of the episode, Chuck sings “Dink’s Song” aka “Fare Thee Well” and the first several times I watched this episode, I just sobbed through the whole song.

One o’ dese days, an’ it won’t be long,
Call my name an’ I’ll be gone.
Fare thee well, O Honey, fare thee well.

I’m not a Christian, but the idea of the Christian God of Supernatural being gone is a terrifying prospect just the same.

From this episode on, everyone seems to be on the same side – Lucifer and God hash out some things, although Lucy’s still a dick; Rowena and Crowley join the fight; even Billie helps out.  However, what defeats the Darkness/Amarra in the end isn’t a weapon, but rather it’s love, forgiveness, and family.

I’ve spent a lot of time gushing about the great episodes this season, but I haven’t even gotten to how awesome Jody Mills is this season.  You know I can’t write a review without a huge heaping spoonful of love for Kim Rhodes and her expert portrayal of Jody Mills.  We pop back into her life and see how things are going with her, Claire, and Alex in an episode that I really enjoyed, although for the love of God Claire is such a bitch it’s painful to watch her sometimes.  Can we please either write her as less of a dumbass OR less of bitch?  The combo of bitchy dumbass is really grating, although her cuddling the Grumpy Cat stuffed cat the Castiel bought for her at “The Hot Topical” is a cute moment.

Anyway, Jody is amazing as always and watching her care for her two wards is really awesome, including a discussion of STD’s at dinner, which was funny.  Jody is a great mom, but that isn’t what defines her as a person.

Jody: ‘Kay, well, um. I may have definitely seen birth control pills in your backpack.

Sam: Oh, we’re going there.

Dean: Okay.

Alex: Oh my god.

Jody: Hey, if we can’t talk about it, we shouldn’t be doing it, right? Right?  [Right on, sister!!!  I absolutely agree!]

Dean: What?

The bonding between the women is awesome and in the end Alex offering to sacrifice herself for Claire (prompting Claire to tell the vamps that their intel is wrong, Alex hates her) and Jody is just wonderful.  Katherine Ramdeen as Alex is a great character full of complexities, but really she just wants to live her life without monsters.  Good luck with that, Alex.

“Just My Imagination” is another fun episode that has me laughing hysterically, especially in the beginning of the episode.  Sam’s imaginary friend from childhood shows up and needs help.  The whole opening sequence with Sam waking up and finding an offering of all of his favorite foods from childhood (marshmallow nachos, for one) and then discovering his long ago friend is priceless.  Adding Dean to the mix, “Are you having a stroke?  Do you smell toast?” adds to the overall hilarity.

Season 11 clearly has a lot of really good episodes and excellent writing.  That said, lots of boring Lucifer crap happens throughout the season, but that is why we have fast forward.

Overall I give the season a B – lots of Lucifer boringness brings the season down, and while this season has several just completely wonderful episodes, it also has a couple of meh ones, too.

This season is one where my respect for Sam grows by leaps and bounds.  He addresses the craziness of them rescuing each other at the expense of the world.  He tries really hard all of the time to do the right thing, but the road to perdition is paved with good intentions.  Sam and Dean working well together makes this season a good one, but Sam does a lot of impressive things on his own this season and it’s fun to watch him grow and change over the course of the show.

The superstars of this season are Rob Benedict and Curtis Armstrong, though.  They give the mythology a weight, history, and emotional resonance that really makes the larger conflict more believable.  I know Curtis Armstrong has no problem being called “Booger” by most people, but he is so amazingly talented as Metatron that I simply can’t write him off as just “Booger” or just a character actor.  He’s a fucking powerhouse of awesome.

I’ve complaints about the God/Amarra storyline, but it didn’t bother and I didn’t feel like it went “too big” or jumped the shark.  Amarra was an interesting bad guy, in part because while she was pissed and powerful, she also was innocent and naive in many ways, too.  I enjoyed her storyline and the overall arc of the season.  I’m also glad that – unlike the Lucifer storylines – this one was finished up in the season.

Posted in Reviews

Supernatural Season 10 Review

Spoilers for all seasons abound, so don’t read if you don’t want to be spoiled.

Season 10 has some really excellent episodes throughout, and overall I really enjoyed all of them with a few exceptions.  The first few episodes deal with Dean having become not only a demon but a friend of Crowley’s.  He’s ditched the bunker so Sam has been searching for him for several months.

They introduce Cole as this seeming badass who is after Dean and while he could certainly kick my ass, he’s not that impressive when compared to the Winchesters.  Anyway, he nabs Sam easily enough (to be fair, Sam’s injured so only has one arm working), he’s simply no match for Dean.  Demon Dean shows coldness throughout the beginning episodes, but nothing too dark, although he and Crowley have a disturbing conversation about “what they did to those triplets” and I just hope to Goddess they are talking kinky sex and not, as Kevin would say, “sex torture dungeon” types of things.  With demons, so many things seem to overlap hideously.  Dean ordering for Crowley is pretty funny.

Dean: Two shots here, and he’ll have something fancy with your tiniest umbrella.

The scene where a basically one-armed Sam is in the bar with handcuffs to bring Dean back, Dean who has mostly always kicked Sam’s ass (except for that one time when Sam was on demon blood) when Sam wasn’t injured and Dean wasn’t a demon.  This shows that Sam isn’t really thinking clearly about this issue.  I know they make a big deal about Sam going all “dark side” to find Dean, but honestly, they’ve caught and tortured demons for way less, so him doing so to find Dean and Crowley didn’t seem out of character.

Also, no pity for Lester – that dude not only jumped at the idea of killing his wife, he wanted to watch.  That sicko can go to Crowley’s hell, the sooner the better. (Also, for anyone keeping track of Stargate bingo – Lester is portrayed by David Nykl, aka Dr. Radek Zelenka from Stargate Atlantis.)  Anyway, none of this struck me as really out of character for Sam (“Mystery Spot” for example) as he’s proven without Dean he’s a bit of a wild card, which is really dramatic when the person in question happens to be a Taurus.

Anyway, right before Sam gets Dean back, Demon Dean kicks Cole’s ass.  Kind of a lot.  Cole says that he learned “everything” but can’t even land a blow.  Jensen Ackles, as always, rocks as Demon Dean, even joking about Cole’s threat to shoot Sam. “Did you miss?” Demon Dean says jovially.  Very good fight scene, but I’m not that impressed with Cole.  Like, good job for dedication to your vengeance cause and all, but maybe next time just shoot first instead of talking so much.  Wallowing in your revenge only snatches it away from you.

Meanwhile, Sam and Crowley are fun to watch – Sam tries to threaten Crowley’s life, but it doesn’t really take..

Sam: This doesn’t make us square. If I see you again…
Crowley: Oh stop it Samantha, nobody likes a tease.

Sam taking Demon Dean home is a great relief even if Demon Dean is chilling.  This leads to Sam using the demon cure to restore Dean.  This episode has a lot of back and forth between Demon Dean and Sam, but what’s fun is Crowley saving Castiel.  Castiel won’t steal the grace of another angel, so Crowley does it for him, because he figures Castiel will help the Winchesters make Dean no longer a demon.

Crowley: Why can’t you people just sit on clouds and play harps like you’re supposed to?

Castiel with renewed grace is always an excellent visual as he glows angel white.  Him rescuing Sam from an escaped Demon Dean (Jared Padalecki is great here, especially the relief on Sam’s face at seeing Castiel has arrived) has the visual of Castiel with blue angel eyes and Dean with black demon eyes, and that has become a gif I’ve seen pretty much every where – no surprise there, it is a really well-done scene.  This ends the demon Dean portion of things, and gets us on to the meat of the season, including the 200th episode of the show.

Dean: Ugh, theater kids. Great.

Sam: What? I was a theater kid.

Dean: Barely. You did Our Town, which was cool. But then you did that crappy musical.

Sam: Oklahoma? Hugh Jackman got cast off of Oklahoma.

Dean: You ran tech, Wolverine.

Sam: Shut up.

“Fan Fiction” is the 200th episode of the series and I cannot gush about it enough.  I was dubious about it when I first heard the premise, but it really worked (if you forget entirely that they are dealing with teenagers at a school who would probably be way more supervised than that, but I am not going to nitpick a fucking fantastic episode.)  First of all, the music really is great.  Some of it funny, mostly sweet.  And these singers simply break your heart when they sing “Carry On My Wayward Son.”  I’ve said a few times that I originally thought of “Supernatural” as “pretty boys hunt monsters on the WB” until I was channel surfing and caught the song playing as the “road so far” from season two’s finale – I stopped for the song and stayed for the show.  The song starts off with “Mary Winchester” singing and by the time “Bobby” is getting up from his wheelchair, I’m in tears.

By 200 episodes, fans of the show are pretty invested in the characters, their backstories, and the mythology.  “Fan Fiction” plays on that in a fun way in the beginning that has you laughing, but by the end has you in tears for the loss they’ve had on their journey.  The music was excellent, and “A Single Man Tear” is both funny in a self mocking way and touching.  Well-done episode all around and a great gift to long time fans.  The expressions on Sam and Dean’s faces when they walk in and see a production of their life is priceless.   Dean blurting out, “There’s no singing in Supernatural” is hilarious.    Maeve (portrayed by Joy Regullano) was particularly fun.

Maeve is what Daria would be if she really cared about things.  When people are being taken by Calliope during the show, she calls for the understudies to get into hair and make-up.  She’s pretty unflappable, in that monotone, non-impressed way.  It was a great 200th episode, but I’ve gushed enough about it.  (Although, seriously, where are the parents???)

This season introduces one of my personal favorite villains of all time, Rowena.  Rowena is evil to the core and completely self-interested, manipulative, and all around bad.  She is also hilarious and crazy powerful.  She rescues two prostitutes who were forced into working for demons and simply kills the demon with a hex bag.  Meanwhile, Dean hooks up with someone from a dating site (Sam mocks Dean for his screen name, Impala67) and it turns out that she is working for a demon.  Sex for souls, basically.  It turns out that Dean isn’t really the ideal customer for that type of trade.  Just as the Winchesters have their sites on Rowena, Cole shows up and she gets away.

Dean and Cole fight again, and Dean who is not a demon still easily kicks Cole’s butt.  The fight scene is as good as the last one, but has a lot more heart to it.  Cole talking about his father begging for his life and Dean replying “It’s a monster’s trick,” was just horrifying and sad to me, because it means lots of monsters have begged Dean for their life.  His childhood must have been pretty scarring.  Anyway, Cole moves on with renewed perspective.

Season 10 has plot arcs that serve as book ends for episodes, but there are many stand alone episodes, something the series does really well.  I actually prefer the monster of the week episodes, and there are plenty of them this season.  One of my favorites is “Ask Jeeves” where throughout the course of the episode, Dean manages to pick up every weapon in the game/movie Clue.  It’s a fun and funny episode with excellent guest characters.  They do weave in a bit about the Mark of Cain as the episode’s bookends, but the rest of the episode is primarily funny.

Dean encountering Hansel and a witch that turns him into young Dean is another fun episode that has the return of Dylan Everett as a young Dean.  “About a Boy” is somewhat fun, simply because of the interaction between adult Sam and teenage Dean.  Also, bench seats are a real problem – I have short legs and I’ve put people’s knees around their ears before.  This is a good monster of the week episode even though there is Mark of Cain angst.

One of my favorite episodes, naturally, is “Hibbing 911” where Sheriff Jody Mills and Sheriff Donna Hanscum meet.  I love this episode so much and wanted immediately a spin-off with these two women.  #Wayward #WaywardAF  I clearly wasn’t alone.  One of the nice things about this episode is it shows the dynamic of female friendship really well.  Jody gets tired of Donna’s ex bringing up her weight, “You are SO not fat, by the way” is one of those moments.  These two work so well off of each other, and Jody needs someone who calls her Jodio.

Just Kim Rhodes body language alone in this episode is praise worthy, but what really shines through to me is that finally there is a heroic, kick-ass, adult woman who is a complicated and complex character.  Jody enjoys church but didn’t join their chastity group because she doesn’t make promises she can’t keep.  Jody lost both her son and husband in one night, but still manages to be sheriff, an elected position.  That alone is heroically impressive, but then she takes in Alex and later Claire.  Her life has tragedy, but where the Winchesters tend to become more closed off, Jody just opens her arms wider and her home even more in the wake of tragedy.

Jody Mills is great in this episode, where she is at a Sheriff’s retreat and pretty irked about having to go.  She calls Sam and Dean in to check out what might be a case and they ask after Alex.  She first tells them that Alex is captain of the cheerleading squad as a joke, but when Sam says, “Really?”  Jody replies that Alex is smoking pot under the bleachers but at least she isn’t luring men to their death anymore.  Jody is realistic about Alex’s reaction to 8 years of trauma and is prepared to grade on a curve.

Jody and Donna start off as a sort of odd couple, but by the end they are friends and it really does happen organically in the story in a really nice way.  By the end, Jody has offered to answer any questions about the supernatural Donna has, which is cool.  Also, I just love their exchanges, such as this one:

Jody: You okay?

Donna: Yeah, other than feeling like I wanna hurl. I just chopped off a vampire’s head.

Jody: You were great at that. [Kim Rhodes says this line in a such a wonderful, supportive, happy way that it’s a lot better than it looks]

Donna: Thanks.

Now as much as I love Jody and Donna, I really have to work to like Claire, because as written, she’s been pretty awful.  I know we are all supposed to freak out that Dean killed everyone at the end of her return episode, but these men were just hanging out downstairs while one of them tried to rape Claire.  I’m good with Dean killing all of them.  Randy, who has been “like a father” to Claire is willing to pay off his debts with her, as if he owned her or she were a commodity.  That dude can die and I won’t cry.  Sam and Castiel really overreact here.

Claire is just unpleasant, pretty much all around.  Finding out later in the season that her mom’s been kidnapped gives her some sympathy, but mostly she is just attitude and anger and bad hair and it’s annoying to watch her.  I’m hoping that they make her less of an intolerable jerk in the future.  The interaction between Castiel and the Winchesters is excellent in these episodes, but Claire’s dialogue is just sullen and hateful and bleh.

The return of Charlie Bradbury from Oz happens early on in the season, and it’s great episode.  I love Felicia Day as Charlie, and we get more of her than usual this season which is so great but then she dies and it’s awful.  Her death seems to be used as motivation for Dean to go dark side and kill all of the Steins, but honestly, I think he’d have done that regardless.  Anyway, Charlie died off camera, and while many hated that, I don’t think I could have handled her death scene.  She was too likable and too fun and too much of a straight shooter with the brothers for it to be anything other than a huge loss.  She could call them on their crap in a way no other character has ever been able to.

That said, Charlie died the way she lived, by choosing her direction.  She chooses to save Dean.  Dean tells her to give the Steins whatever they want, but having just figured out the Book of the Damned code she says, “I can’t do that, Dean.”  Her smashing her keyboard in the sink is devastating because it’s Charlie’s suicide, metaphorically speaking, and removes any bargaining chip she may have had for her life.  Charlie chose a heroes death, but I don’t have to like it.  She was a great character that deserved better than to die so Dean’s character could go dark side.  [Getting a little bit ‘women in refrigerators’ here, writers, so quit it]

And all of my favorite lines go to Rowena.  She’s an awful, evil, manipulative witch, but she is just so good at being awful.  Oh, and also a bad mother.

Crowley: You said, you’d be back in a flash and then you disappeared, I was eight-years-old, eight!

Rowena: Oh now, you’re being dramatic.

Crowley: I didn’t even have a father!

Rowena: Of course you had a father. You were just conceived during a winter solstice orgy, and it’s not like I was taking names.

She also has no problem with being evil.  She takes pride in it.

Dean: Rowena, what’s a nice girl like you doing in a place like this? I’m sorry did I say nice girl? I meant evil skank.

Rowena: You say that like it’s an insult. Nice girls, they’re pathetic. Here’s to ‘evil skanks.’

“Inside Man” sees the return of Bobby Singer in one of the more fun episodes of the season.  Bobby breaks out of his heaven and to distract the angels, opens the backdoors to all of the other Bobby Singers’ heavens creating one of my favorite lines EVER:

Angel: The Bobbys are fighting back. All hands, we need all hands. They’re surly, I repeat the Bobbys are surly.

“The Bobby’s are surly” has to be one of the best lines and this episode is full of that type of clever writing.  We have a throwaway character, Oliver, a psychic that Castiel and Sam go to in order to communicate with Bobby in heaven.

Castiel: I’m an angel.

Oliver: That-no, you can’t be.

Castiel: Why not?

Oliver: Because I’m an atheist.

Sam: Not anymore.

There was so much fun stuff in this episode but one of the visuals I always rewind when watching the episode is Castiel jumping through heaven’s gateway – the special effects are marvelous and Castiel really is so unbelievably cool sometimes – this is certainly one of those times.  A team-up between Sam and Castiel isn’t unheard of, but tends to be rarer that the Destiel team-ups (clearly) but this was a really fun one.

Although, I have to say that sometimes it bothers me that they steal cars.  Sam tends to steal kind of crappy cars and I always think that someone with a crappy car probably doesn’t have a whole lot of ways to replace the crappy car or get to work, so I hope they return the cars sometimes with a full tank of gas and maybe a better working carburetor (since they tend to steal older cars) or demon-proofing or something like that to offset what must be a really bad day for someone who is probably struggling to get by.  Sam stole a truck this season that reminded me of my own, but this isn’t the first time I’ve noticed this car thievery as being somewhat problematic.

While Charlie’s death was awful, the other death I hated this season was the death of Death.  First of all, never in a million years EVEN WITH THE STUPID MARK OF CAIN do I believe Dean Winchester will agree to a deal if it involves killing Sam.  He’s completely incapable of doing it.  Famously incapable of doing it.  He can’t even deal with it when someone else kills Sam, so it is incomprehensibly unbelievable to me that any writer of this show thought this was a good idea.  Were they high?  Or just wanted to get home early?

Death saying that if Dean doesn’t kill Sam that he will, probably wasn’t smart on Death’s part because of course that means Dean has to kill him.  I liked this Death a lot.  This episode just had my mouth hanging open at the stupidity of it.  It was very melodramatic and all, but completely unbelievable.  The best part about the season finale was that they played the “Fan Fiction” version of the “Carry On My Wayward Son” for the first bit, before they rolled into the classic rock edition.  Like seriously, the best thing about this episode was “the road so far.”

Season finale episodes are important, and this season’s finale was stupid.  It destroyed any suspension of disbelief I might have had completely.  I thought it meant the entire season sucked, but honestly, this was a really good season, with tons of stand alone stories that were fun.  The Mark of Cain histrionics got really tiresome really quickly, but I did enjoy seeing Sam working to save Dean for a change of pace.  Overall I’d like to give the season an A, but the season finale and the tiresomeness of the Mark of Cain and Claire Novak make it a B.

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.

Posted in Reviews

Supernatural, S2

Supernatural has been on the air for 12 season, and this week it’s 13th season will air, so I’m assuming that people have seen this before.  If you haven’t seen it and you don’t like spoilers, stop reading.


This is possibly my favorite season of the show, although I will have to re-watch everything to make sure of that.  The very first episode I ever saw, was the season 2 finale, “All Hell Breaks Loose, Part 2” and what hooked me and made me pause in my channel surfing was the “previously on” music, “Carry On My Wayward Son” one of my all time favorite songs, which has become even more of a favorite since this show.

So, season 2 has a special place in my heart.  In the time since I first watched this season, my father passed away and this grief has informed a lot of my life and changed my perspective on many things, including the actions and reactions of the characters this season, as they are both reeling from the death of their father in the opening episode.  Sam becomes more sympathetic through this lens, and Dean’s suicidal behavior makes a lot more sense if you think of them as being in complete grief throughout the season.

Also, some of my all-time favorite episodes and moments (and Supernatural has so many) happen in this season.  The thing I like the most about this season is the brothers fundamentally are working together for most of the season.  In the episode “Croatoan” – one of the best episodes as far as character development for the brothers – they don’t always agree in the episode, but there is one moment where Dean asks Sam if he’s sure that someone is infected, Sam says yes, and Dean on that yes alone kills the infected person.  That type of trust and faith in each other is evident throughout the season.

Another stellar episode, “The Usual Suspects,” has the brothers getting arrested while hunting a ghost.  In this episode, you see that they have a whole system of communication and finding each other when separated.

If I were to try to say the best things about the episodes, I’d be here all day.  This season is not like season 1, where I actively tell people to skip a few episodes (“Bugs” and “Route 666”) because season 2 has good storytelling and good episodes throughout.

One of the best parts of the season 2 arc for me is that they finally kill the yellow-eyed demon, the antagonist that killed their mother back in the pilot.  They could have drug this out forever  [like they are currently doing with Lucifer, like seriously, Supernatural, can we just fucking kill him already?  so tired of Lucifer] but instead they resolve this plot line to open up a different arc of storytelling.

Also, this season has one of the most heartbreaking episodes for Dean fans, “What Is and What Shall Never Be” where a Djinn grants Dean the wish of their mother never dying.  This episode is brilliant and heartbreaking, especially the scene where Dean is standing over the grave of his father, asking why he has to sacrifice his happiness.  He never says “It’s not fair” as he only says “It’s…” then in true Dean form, he wipes the tears from his face, and with a sort of resolute bitterness, goes about destroying the Djinn and his own little happy world.  It’s totally badass and heartbreaking at the same time, like much of Dean’s personality.

This season has a heavier Bobby presence, introduces the trickster, and has the most can’t miss episodes.

I give season 2 an A+ simply because each and every episode – even the weaker ones – are still stellar.  There are very few moments during season 2 where I yell at the screen or ask “Why are they so stupid??” something that does happen pretty regularly in later seasons.  Don’t get me wrong, I love this show with intensity, but that doesn’t mean it is flawless, it just means the positive aspects tend to outweigh the negative ones.


Posted in Reviews

Supernatural, S1

Re-watching Supernatural from season 1, and yes, I have some thoughts.

First of all, streaming season 1 on Netflix simply isn’t an option for me.  I tried for a few episodes, but classic rock, especially in the early seasons, is a vital part of the show.  Without the actual, REAL music as part of the flavor and backdrop, the show definitely lacks a certain depth and breadth.

If you’ve never seen the show, borrow the DVD or buy the DVD’s for season 1, you will be glad you did.

Season 1 is solid storytelling in most of the episodes, and pretty enjoyable storytelling at that.  There are a few notable exceptions, every season has it lackluster episodes, but these two in season one, are the absolute worst episodes in the show, tied only with the season 10 finale, Brothers Keeper, as the worst episodes of the entire show.

“Bugs” is just bad – the type of bad where one minute it is 10:00 pm at night and then a few minutes later, it’s dawn.  Bugs sucks across the board and is only barely watchable.  I tend to skip it upon rewatching the series, but I tried it again this time out and it was just bad.  Bad, bad, bad.  Even Chuck (praise be to Chuck) says it’s bad writing.  He’s not wrong.

“Route 666” is another outing in awfulness.  Fangirls and Deangirls will enjoy the sex scene, but even that lacks a certain amount of interest.  Jensen Ackles had more chemistry with a paperclip (pilot episode) than he did with Megalyn Echikunwoke.  I’m sure she’s a capable actress, but for whatever reason, believing their was a spark between the two was just impossible.  And this is the minor complaint.

This episode is set in Cape Girardeau, Missouri – someplace I’ve lived near and visited on more than one occasion.  Cape is a BIG town, a town that certainly has more than one road in or out of it.  Furthermore, they treat Cape in Missouri as if it’s the fucking bayou.  Umm, no.  We don’t have “swamp” here, we have wetlands – a minor distinction to be sure, but one that makes it pretty difficult to dump a truck in the nonexistent “swamp” of Cape.  Just because it’s a river town doesn’t mean it’s full of swamps and gators.

The premise – a racist ghost truck – could have been handled in such a way it was interesting, but instead it is so heavy handed, complete with sobbing white woman, that is almost completely unwatchable.

But even those two AWFUL episodes have good moments and good character development, even if it isn’t enough to save them entirely.  The rest of the season is solid and fun viewing and while later seasons become deeply mired in the overarching story-line of whatever season, the first season is pretty much a monster of the week format that works really well.  Many of my favorite episodes are monster of the week, stand-alone episodes.

The season is made all the more fun by the inclusion of John Winchester, portrayed by Jeffrey Dean Morgan.  The episodes with him are truly well-written and solid.  He portrays the complicated, somewhat absent father with a aplomb.

After watching 12 seasons of the show, it is fun to go back to the beginning, and see Sam and Dean when they look baby-faced and when they are still finding their footing.  In season 1, demons are the big bad and there is a certain uncomplicated innocence there that is fun to watch.  Both actors – Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki – do a good job in their roles, but you can see them gradually becoming the Deana nd Sam we all know and love.  It works because they are young enough, they are still being formed as hunters in the first place.

Overall, I give the season a good solid B.  There are rocky moments here and there, but overall the season is still fun to watch.  Also, this watching I cut 22-year-old Sam some slack.  A lot of his anger issues and crazy, dick impulsiveness can be chalked up not having a fully developed brain.  He gets 4 years of slack for this, which the character desperately needs to maintain likability, especially in season 4.

Posted in Reviews

Supernatural Spinoff Ideas

Supernatural Spin-off ideas better than the backdoor pilot “Bloodlines”

First – almost anything would be better than Bloodlines which was a mess. I’ve wondered a few times if they were forced at gunpoint to make the backdoor pilot so they botched it on purpose. This episode not only wasn’t a good Supernatural episode, but it wasn’t a good pilot. I didn’t give a crap about ANY of the characters. If you are going to make a Supernatural spin-off, at least go with some characters that people already like.  Maybe check the demographics of who is watching in the first place.  We’ve been loyal to the show for going on 12 years, so many of us are older and therefore cool with older characters.

I’ve watched up through the first two episodes of season 12, so I’m sure there are more ideas with the new season, but this is what I’ve come up with so far.  Also, below are light spoilers up through season 11.

Supernatural spin-off ideas:

  • Golem and Adam Bass rebuild the Judah Initiative while fighting threats from the Thule and other supernatural bad things. “My grandfather left me something important. Something only I can do.”
  • Werewolf girl and her adventures as a monster who isn’t monstrous. Can be kind of like The Incredible Hulk as she travels from town to town. Or maybe make every other season a different town, but the general idea of a wanderer werewolf who happens to be good. Bonus points if she meets up with Garth and his werewolf family.
  • From the “Shut Up, Dr. Phil” episodes bring James Marsters and Charisma Carpenter together for a series with these two mercurial witches. Buffy fans alone will tune in to the first season just for nostalgia.
  • Gabriel (who God hinted at re-creating) – this could be a fun kind of show about being careful what you wish for, or just Gabriel running across dicks and then having fun with making them sorry for it. Kind of like Tales from the Crypt, with the just desserts focus.
  • Another character that is currently dead, but has thousands of years of history to play with is Cain and Timothy Omundson is fantastic in the role. I wish he’d been on the show a lot more. He was fantastic.

Series Spin-Off I’d like if Supernatural hadn’t gone all women in refrigerators:

Ellen and Jo hunting – you could make it a monster of the week show, could still have the Supernatural theme of family, and tensions from a mother and daughter hunting things. Also, Ellen was an awesome badass and I miss her.

Charlie Bradbury – This could be another spin-off just following a cool character around while she exists in this world of monsters. I’d love it if she was brought back to life.

Finally, the series spin-off I know will never happen but that I long for with every fiber of my being.

  • Sheriff Jody Mills and Sheriff Donna Hanscum teaming up together to fight monsters, crime, and generally have a good time. The running gag could be the different ways Donna says Jody’s name, “Jods, Jodio, Jo-diddly…”


I know there are probably a lot more spin-off ideas from the existing series – what do you think would be a good spin-off?