TV Review: Supernatural 7.18 “Party On, Garth”

So I guess I’m going to have to eat my words from last week concerning this episode. Was it an excuse to put in as much alcohol consumption as The CW Standards & Practices would allow? Yes. Was it a plot device to bring Garth back in for a bit of cheap comic relief before the usual angst-fest that is the last few episodes of any season of SPN? Yes. Was it a bit of a comedown after last week’s insane rush? Yes.

Was it a bad episode because of these factors?

HELL NO.

I’m having trouble organizing my thoughts on this episode, so I’m going to make headers for each element that I wanted to comment on, so that I don’t forget anything. 😀

Dean in His Role as The Caretaker

I swear to God, sometimes being Dean Winchester seems a lot like parenting a whole bunch of wayward children, and Dean is definitely showing it in this episode. He almost seems to be stretched a little thin at times, torn between watching Sam and worrying about Cas and trying to keep Garth from falling on his head and dying in some random twist of fate– but at the same time, it puts Dean in his element. This episode, Dean is getting sh*t done, even when he’s three sheets to the wind after consuming some questionable liquor at the brewery. Is he sad? Yeah, definitely. Is he angry/bitter/lonely? Yes. Is he still kind of depressed? YES. But Dean is a man of action, and recent events have kind of put the ball back in his court– and damn it if he’s not going to take advantage of that.

Garth: New Fan Favorite in the Making?

Oh, Garth. The first episode that Garth was in made me want to stab myself in the eyeball, and I was not alone. This episode definitely allowed DJ Qaulls a little more leeway to develop the character and attempt to connect with the difficult-to-please SPN audience, and I would definitely say that he has more or less accomplished that. Garth’s comic potential is/has always been enormous, and there were so many parts of this episode that just made me giggle uncontrollably. Mr Fizzles certainly seemed to be a winner with fans– I haven’t checked the writer’s credits on the episode, but that definitely had a bit of Ben Edlund’s quirky touch to it– and Garth’s bumbling, good-natured personality really won me over this episode. It does not escape my notice, either, that the writers/directors sandwiched him right in between the long-anticipated returns of TWO current fan favorites, almost as if to say “Here’s a new one for fans to hate/love/fixate on.”*

Which Leads Me To….

BOBBY.

OHMYGODGUYSBOBBY.

It’s a totally cliched plot, similar to the whole amnesia!Cas concept, but I just can’t dismiss it.

Because, guys…. you know what this means, right?

What I Liked:

  • Garth
  • Mr Fizzles, who really deserves his own spin-off.
  • Dean being all responsible.
  • The situation with Cas wasn’t pushed aside as easily as I thought it would be.
  • BOBBY.

What I Didn’t Like:

  • We still don’t know what the hell the Leviathan are up to.
  • Sam is just miraculously better, which is what I was kind of afraid of as soon as they brought Cas in to heal him. I mean, come on. Even with “the crazy” “passed on”, Sam should be experiencing some lingering paranoia/disturbed sleep patterns/etc.

Final Verdict: A- for Garth feat. Mr. Fizzles and Bobby. The rest was kind of meh, but whatever.

Coming Up Next: Next episode is going to be awesome. Enough said. But we’re going to have to wait until April 20th…. 😦

*For the record, I would really like to see Garth and Cas meet at some point. Maybe Cas will finally get a damn hug.

TV Review: Supernatural 7.17 “The Born Again Identity”

IN CASE YOU DID NOT PAY ATTENTION TO THE ABOVE WARNING, THERE ARE MASSIVE SPOILERS HERE. ALSO, MUCH SOBBING AND PENULTIMATE FANGIRLING. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.

In case you aren’t aware of the depths of my Cas obsession, dear readers, I’m going to give you a little backstory so that you’ll understand how much this episode meant to me.

When Cas first showed up, he was kind of a bastard. I wasn’t very fond of him– dramatic entrance aside, I was pretty ticked about the whole burning-out-Pamela’s-eyes stunt. I mean, I LIKED him because I enjoy it when SPN actually does their research, and to me he fit the mold of a Biblical angel to a T: ruthless, emotionally barren, and basically an obedient tin soldier. Halfway through season 4, however, I started seeing something a little different in him, compared to the other angels; it was a bit of a softening, if that’s the right word to use, as he became more and more attached to the Winchester brothers. By season 5, I was totally smitten, as Cas started to show more and more of the loyalty, naivete, and clueless humor that has so endeared him to both new and old fans of the series. This was also when I started to identify personally with the poor little angel: I understand how it feels to put all of your faith in a father who is less than perfect, and how lost and alone you feel when that connection is severed. Season 6? I think EVERYONE EVER understands what it’s like to be on a track that you KNOW will end badly, but that you stick with because you’re pretty sure it’s the best thing for everyone.

Likewise, I think most people understand, at least to some extent, what it’s like to make a mistake that you could never, EVER fix, and just how hard it can be to make amends–which brings me to Friday’s episode, “The Born Again Identity”.

The episode begins with Sam having sunk to the depths of his Lucifer-induced insanity. You can’t blame him– Mark Pellegrino is flawless here as the annoying, sadistic thorn in Jared Padalecki’s side, not allowing Sam to sleep even under the influence of various pills, drugs, and alcohol. He gets hit by a car and admitted to the hospital, where they almost immediately place him in a locked psych ward. Dean, meanwhile, is doing exactly what Dean does: fighting with doctors, fighting with Sam about how they’re going to fix him, fighting, fighting, fighting. Sam just wants to sleep. Dean, however, immediately begins doing something else he does well: he begins researching faith healers and various alternatives to “modern medicine”, with the help of Bobby’s old books (and, perhaps, the help of Bobby himself– yes, Dean’s Vanishing Drink is also in a Special Guest Star role this episode). All of this leads him to this guy who heals the sick and the crazy like it’s no big deal; he goes by Emanuel and is, as Meg aptly puts it, “the spitting image of poor dead Castiel”.

What you don't see here is that there was a rather awkward butt-shot right before this. Umm, producers? Fanservice much? (Not that I mind...)

Oh, yes, Meg. Yeah, she’s in there too. Haters procede to hate. I actually like Meg, and I feel like she should get kudos for having been the only woman to survive 7 seasons of SPN. Bravo, Meg Masters. Bravo.

So, opinion time. Hang tight, people. I have a lot of feelings and opinions about this episode, and even after two rewatches I’m still having a hard time expressing all of them, so.

What I Liked: 

  • Castiel’s return, obviously. Been waiting for that ever since he walked into that reservoir.
  • Meg. She’s a welcome note of humor in an otherwise heavy episode.
  • This sequence where Castiel/Emanuel regains his memories in a badass montage with lovely backing music ala “O Death”.
  • This scene. Dean’s empathy for Castiel’s situation is really visible here– after all, he’s been there.
  • Dean. He responded to a situation that was very emotionally fraught for him with the same grace and forgiveness that he extended to Sam just after the whole demon blood incident.
  • One more sequence where Cas takes on Sam’s madness in typical faith-healer I-can-take-this-in-and-deal-with-it-myself-mentality, knowing full well what it will mean.
  • Dean’s Vanishing Drink. I am now 99.9% sure this is Bobby. (The .1% is for God, in case he’s finally decided to stop being a douchebag of a dad and help out.)

What I Didn’t Like

  • There were so many plotholes in this episode that it looked kind of like Swiss Cheese by the time it was done. Hopefully the next few eps will help with that.
  • There was too much in this episode, and it went far too fast. I expected these events to be a multi-episode arc, not 45 minutes.

What I Would Have Liked to See:

  • One scene between Dean and Cas at the end. Dean reassuring him, maybe, that they WILL come back, even if Cas is busy boring a hole in Lucifer/Wall with his eyes. Just… something, between the two of them, to show that Dean has forgiven Castiel, and that once all this is over, they will slowly begin to heal what has transpired between them.
  • Maybe a scene with Dean threatening Meg. Something along the lines of “hurt him and I will end you.”

Final Verdict: Nice, solid episode that brings Castiel back into the picture, even if it didn’t help much in the overarching plot. A for some really nice, emotional performances from Jensen Ackles and Misha Collins.

Coming Up Next: After this phenom of an episode, I really am not very excited about this ep, which seems like a cheap excuse to get drunk, fight a MotW, and ignore the fact that the Leviathan are UP TO SOMETHING.

Because I Can’t Shut Up: I just have to throw in two three songs for Castiel, okay? Just ’cause. (ETA: The Raconteurs came up when I searched Mumford and Sons and it seemed appropriate.)

 

 

 

 

 

TV Review: Supernatural 7.13 “The Slice Girls”

To be honest, the preview for this episode made me cringe for many reasons, but the most overwhelming one was that this seemed like a very “Breaking Dawn”-type premise to me. It wasn’t enough to make me not want to tune in– this is Supernatural, after all!– but it did make me a little nervous. Thus, I was pleasantly surprised when the episode managed to avoid this trap in a way that shows that they still have some awesome writers on their staff.

The basic plotline of “The Slice Girls” is very simple. Dean breaks his long run of celibacy in a super-sexy/super-gory montage set to ACDC’s “You Shook Me”. Stuff happens. Dean forgets about it and goes back to investigating the case. Dean goes back for something and HELLO BABY. It could have easily been done very poorly, but I thought the execution was quite unique– I liked the incorporation of the Amazon myths– and as always, Dean in emotional turmoil over his “daughter” is both heartbreaking and sadistically hilarious. There was even some exploration of The Case of Dean’s Vanishing Drink, which I am firmly sticking to as a theory now, thankyouverymuch. Nothing is EVER a coincidence in the SPN universe, guys.

Overall? This was a solid, entertaining episode that was well-written and well-executed, which I was starting to think was an impossible concept for season 7. Very nice work.

Pros

  • Dean naked + sexytimes. Set to “You Shook Me”. Hell to the yes.
  • Furthering the case of Dean’s vanishing drink, if a little ham-handedly.
  • The Amazons were actually pretty cool except for the getting killed with bullets thing.
  • Smug!Sam. Oh, how I’ve missed the Stanford-educated, wryly funny Sam. He tends to get lost amongst Brooding!Sam and Stupid!Sam.

Cons

  • I think the special effects are getting WORSE instead of better. The red-eye thing on the Amazons was terrible.

Final Rating: A. Overall, a very solid episode with quite a few intriguing little bits.

Coming Up Next: Sam gets cornered by a bunch of clowns, according to the trailer which can be found here at SpoilerTV. Seeing as this is going to be written by the “dream team” that made such a mess of the episode with Becky earlier this season, I don’t feel at all optimistic about it.*

*That said, this sneak peek was pretty awesome, so I might have to suck it up and ignore the fact that the last episode they wrote was AWFUL.

TV Review: Supernatural 7.12 “Time After Time After Time”

Confession time: I am a Superwhovian.

No, that does not mean I am a Super! Whovian (though… I kind of, am, actually). It means that I am a.) a fan of Doctor Who and b.) a fan of Supernatural and c.) a fan of Doctor Who and Supernatural together. Like, together together. This is my desktop background. I manipulate images. I have even been known to occasionally indulge in some reblogging of GIFS on occasion. I believe that the Impala is a TARDIS because c’mon. That trunk is WAY bigger on the inside.

Consequently, the time travel episodes of Supernatural are always high on my list of favorites, and “Time After Time After Time” certainly earned its place alongside  season 6’s “Frontierland” and 5’s “The Song Remains the Same”.

Pros

  • “So what, you’re strictly into Dick now?” I love the return of snarky-smart-and-funny!Sam. It takes me back to another time, when I actually liked Sam, seasons 1-3.
  • Jody and Sam as the new Batman and Robin. I love Jody, and this episode really gave her a couple of shining moments, and the dynamic between Jody and Sam is awesome and hilarious.
  • Dean communicating with Sam through a crack in the wall. Doctor Who flashbacks, anyone?
  • Non-angelic time travel, despite the fact that—to me—it was rather poorly explained. Whatever. At least people got bounced around in time without any angelic involvement.
  • Dean in 1940’s gear.  Ooh la la. I might have spent the majority of this episode salivating over Dean in a fedora. Maybe.

Cons

  • The last five minutes were laughably bad. I don’t know what exactly made them so bad—they just were. The acting on Chronos Guy’s part seemed very stilted, it took him forever and an age to die, and all he did was natter on about how the Leviathan are going to take over the world. Yeah, yeah, yeah. We’ve heard it all before.
  • I am sick to death of non-Impala cars. Dean needs his baby back, preferably accompanied by his angel and his father figure, and we as viewers need some car!porn. Really.

Stars: 4 out of 5. Was 4.5 before the last five minutes.

Final Grade: A-. Decent and amusing, loved the time travel element, ending kind of bombed.

Coming Up Next: The promo for the next episode, “The Slice Girls”, shows Dean having sex. Oh show, I guess you just realized that there’s been a pretty huge lack of such material recently. It also shows a vaguely Breaking Dawn-like situation that is either going to suck tremendously or be freaking hysterical. I’m holding out for the latter, and also some exploration of The Case of Dean’s Vanishing Drink*.

(I didn’t get around to watching The Fades, partially because I was feeling kind of icky and partially because of the brother’s desire to watch Westerns instead. I did record it, though, so I think I’ll combine ep 1 and ep 2 into one review next week. )

*Which, given this news, might come to fruition by episode 17.

TV REVIEW: Supernatural – 7.11 “Adventures In Babysitting”

So. My favorite CW show about two ridiculously attractive monster-hunting brothers just came back from what we fans have termed the “hellatus”, a portmanteau  of “hell” and “hiatus” used to refer to the 4-6 week mid-season hiatus*. This season’s hellatus was particularly brutal, considering that Supernatural is apparently out to kill off every side character that ever existed in nasty and demoralizing ways. Yes, I am still a little sore about Cas and about Bobby at this point, even with Misha Collins confirmed to return to SPN later this season– but more on that later.

I have to say, my overall opinion of this episode was fairly low. I was more interested in minutiae then I was in the actual plot– or what plot there was, because at this point, the monster of the week plots are starting to get REALLY old. The first five minutes intrigued me with their depiction of the passage of time and the patented Winchester grieving process (no talk, work on case, drink alcohol, pace frantically) and the subplot with Dean and the kid was kind of cute, but there were a couple of really stupid moments in there as well that made me cringe, as well as some terrible special effects nightmares that I can only imagine are there to make up for the fact that AlienBaby!Cas existed.

Speaking of Cas…. didn’t anyone else think it was weird that Dean’s beer literally disappeared? I mean, he had it in his hand. It still had liquid in it, and then he set it down and turned around and BOOM. Gone. Almost like it drank itself. Hmm.**

Pros

  • Yes, I’m just going to admit it right now. Dean’s scenes with that kid were corny as all get out and yet cute in ways that shouldn’t be legal. I loved that she was almost a female version of Young!Dean. I love that Dean was all protective over her. And I love, love, LOVE that she saved their bacon instead of the other way around.
  • Kevin McNally as the paranoid computer geek extraordinaire. I loved him as Gibbs in POTC, and I love him in SPN as well. He’s a fantastic author and he lends a sense of utter believability to a character that might otherwise appear more like a caricature of the paranoid hacker stereotype.
  • The Week-By-Week Winchester Grieving Report. It was almost a little  sadistically funny and at the same time a good depiction of their feelings about losing Bobby, which I was really hoping that they would touch on a little more than, say, their feelings on losing Cas.
  • Frank’s advice to Dean and Dean attempting to follow it. Aww.

Cons

  • The Monster of the Week. I did not find the Vitala particularly intriguing or unique– they’re basically vampires with different teeth. I have not looked up the original Vitala legend for reference, but I’d bet my library that they could have given them a more unique spin.
  • The slow-motion scenes. They seemed unnecessary and broke the flow of the scene. Also, the special effects when the Vitala died, which are really no different from any other MOTW special effects we’ve seen before on the show.
  • When Dean and Frank were working on unraveling the Leviathan’s motives, the plot was awesome, with just enough hints for what’s to come and a couple of good looks at what Dean is going through emotionally and physically. The plot concerning Sam/the kid/the Vitala, however, was fairly flat and predictable, almost boring. I love the MOTW episodes just as much as I love the mythology heavy ones, but this one was just kind of… meh.

Final Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5. MOTW plot was a little dull, but overall acting and the bits with the Leviathan were worth it. Would maybe rewatch.

Coming Up Next: Next week’s episode is entitled “Time After Time After Time” and looks to be the 1940’s time travel episode that we were promised. Here’s the promo over at SpoilerTV. I love that Dean gets so into these “period” episodes, and that he gets his understanding of these historical periods from classic movies. It’s cute on him.

Then again, pretty much everything is.***

*There’s also the BIG hellatus that goes on during the summer between seasons, but thankfully we’re not quite there yet.

**Why yes, I am completely attached to the idea of Cas, ghostly and unable to interact directly with the world, following the Winchesters around trying to get them to notice him. Which, since they are idiots sometimes, might be a lost cause.

**2 After taking a quick look at SpoilerTV, it seems like people are also considering Bobby as a suspect in The Case of Dean’s Vanishing Beer.

***GAH JENSEN ACKLES WHY ARE YOU SO PERFECT [/end fangirling]