Sunday, 14 December 2014

Review - Supernatural Midseason Finale "The Things We Left Behind" It's All About Family. And Isn't That Kinda The Whole Point?



I’ve never thought of Supernatural as a horror show, not really, and I certainly would never call it a sci-fi show. For me, it’s a drama. A drama about family, it just happens that the Universe in which the show takes place is fantastical, peppered with monsters and the like! But as much as these monsters can be awesome, it’s when the show tells the brothers' story and the stories of the people and entities that populate their lives that it truly soars. The show is at its best, not when it’s ganking vampires, but when it’s examining the core relationships in this world we’ve all become a part of.

Supernatural is all about family. It’s the theme of the show. A constant since we first met Sam and Dean Winchester.  Since we first learned of the tragedy that struck them when they were both so very young. Since we first heard the words, “Dads on a hunting trip, and he hasn’t been home in a few days.” So in a season where we’ve been intimately re-examining the show’s core relationship and watching the Winchester boys put aside their bygones as they learn to be brothers again, in a season where we've been intimately examining the lives of our supporting characters, whether Castiel and Crowley, or Sheriff Mills and Sheriff Hanscum, it seemed perfect that the season 10 midseason finale would revolve around this theme. This show has spent 10 years depicting all aspects of family.  Those we are born to and those we choose. Family is the essence of what Supernatural is about. It’s what makes it great. It’s what makes it special.

Whether on here or on my podcast with Jules, I’ve harped on an on about how much I’m enjoying how season 10 is allowing us to reconnect with the characters we love, as they reconnect with each other, without a pesky end of the world scenario hanging over ever episode making us wonder why the brothers aren’t hunting Lucifer or Leviathans or something, instead of hanging out at an all girl’s school! It’s been a delight. Every episode has been a character study, with little notes that tease us for the troubles looming. Because no way can we have joyful bro times for the rest of the season, something’s gotta give! We’re Supernatural fans. We know this! “The Things We Left Behind” fitted perfectly into seasons 10’s intimate character-driven vibe, and heart-wrenchingly set us up for the second half of the season. As our 3 main protagonists (yes, I’m referring to the Winchesters as one again), look to their own families, immediate, extended and borrowed, the impact of past decisions and where those decisions may now lead them.

Supernatural started with the death of a parent and the search for the surviving parent, and parenting was a major focus of this midseason finale. The brothers were left without a mother, and had an absent father, leaving Dean to raise Sam, a dynamic that has both blessed and plagued their brotherly relationship from the get-go. Crowley, as it turns out, was abandoned by his mother at the age of 8 – even though he could juggle! And Castiel had and absent father, but was also instrumental in the destruction of the Novak family when he occupied his vessel, Jimmy Novak. These were the things left behind. Sam and Dean, Crowley, Cas and of course, Claire Novak. Ahhhh Supernatural and its daddy (and mummy) issues!



At the end of “Girls, Girls, Girls” we discovered that the witch Rowena was actually Crowley’s mum. This was not really a huge surprise as fandom, being fandom, had put two and two together and figured that one out. Scottish. Witch. Gotta be Fergus’ mum! Now we find Crowley, weeks later, still has Rowena in chains. He is the King of Hell after all! I wonder when Rowena discovered what happened to her wee boy, Fergus! I wonder if she was out to track him down and possibly got captured in order to do so. She seems like she’s more powerful than she’s currently letting on – at least to Crowley, and let’s not forget…she can kill demons!

I couldn’t help but feel heart broken for Crowley as I watched his mother manipulate him. Kissing him on the head, pledging her love. We know that Crowley just wants to be loved! He said it himself and a lot of his “friendship” with both the Winchesters, but particularly demonised Dean, was about that need. The guy is just plain lonely, and since his “breakup” with Dean, he’s looked plain miserable! He’s ripe for mummy to waltz in and pick up the pieces.

One thing though, Crowley is a suspicious bastard and he’s not going to fall for Rowena’s maternal trickery completely…yet. I’m sure he’s going to have his guard up. But she’s already duped him with a lie and you can tell he just wants to believe in her. He wants to believe that maybe his mum does love him after all, or else he wouldn’t have taken her out of her cell. What’s she got up her witchy sleeve? I’m nervous! Mostly because she’s already crossed paths with the Winchesters and I’m quite sure that she’s got enough intel on her son to know his sketchy history with them. Which makes me fret for them, but particularly Dean, because Crowley has The First Blade and until that damn thing has been destroyed, I’m going to be chewing on my nails waiting for it to be put in my boy’s hand again! Rowena is trouble, the best kind…the kind I have no clue about!



When we last saw Castiel, he was googling his vessel Jimmy Novak, after he’d seen the angel Hannah have an epiphany and release her own vessel, Caroline, back to her life. Cas is probably unusual in the fact that he’s had interaction with his vessel’s family. When Cas was forcibly taken to Heaven’s prison, Jimmy was briefly free, but the demons came after him and in order to destroy that threat, Castiel briefly possessed Jimmy’s daughter Claire, before Jimmy begged Cas to take him, protecting his family whilst knowing that would probably mean he would be gone from their lives for good. He sacrificed himself to save his daughter from the life of being a vessel – the horror of which he knew all too well. Claire and her mum were left knowing that the man they loved was out there, yet not out there, somewhere. They also now knew that there were angels and demons in this world, Amelia had been possessed by a demon. I’d just always assumed that the Novak’s had soldiered on in Jimmy’s absence, but that was so not the case.

When Cas tracks down Claire Novak, she’s in a group home. She’s been bumped from foster home to foster home after her mother left her at a grandparent's house while she went off to find herself. Guess the whole demon/angel thing messed Amelia up. She never came back and Claire, deserted and angry, slid into becoming a delinquent – living with a Faginesque individual called Randy, when she wasn’t locked up. Claire’s life was torn apart by what Castiel did to her family. No wonder she’s angry.

Having your dad walk through the door when you don’t think you’ll ever see him again…man. Claire’s face spoke volumes. For a fleeting moment, she obviously thought it was Jimmy miraculously standing in front of her, maybe come to rescue her…until Cas explained otherwise. Heartbreaking.

What I love about the Claire storyline is that it gives the show the opportunity to directly address what the angels have been doing for centuries. Sure, they’ve been portrayed as dicks right from the beginning, but it was the demons that were shown to take their vessels by force. The angels had to ask permission…but then what? Once the angel is in there, we know that it’s virtually impossible to get them out…that was a lesson Dean learned the hard way when he allowed Ezekiel/Gadreel into Sam. The angels possess their vessel in every way, the same as the demons do. I love that we’re finally getting to see and understand that and that the show has the courage to examine that without any handwaving. It is what it is and I like that it's being portrayed like that.


Last season we looked at the theme of consequence, the aftermath of “I did what I had to do”, and in season 10, that theme still resonates – through Dean’s Mark of Cain, through Crowley’s friendship with Dean, and through Cas finally facing up to what his righteous mission meant to Jimmy Novak and his family. Where does Cas go now with Claire? Why did he seek her out in the first place – something I thought Dean was right to question (if a tad harsh…MoC anyone?) What on earth was Cas thinking his reappearance in Claire’s life, while dressed as her father would do for/to this girl? It was equal parts well meaning and totally not thought out – which is SO Castiel. I mean, really! So much of what he’s done has been well meaning but not thought out! This making decisions on his own thing is still new, and he doesn’t necessarily look to the big picture outcome when faced with options. But bless him for always trying to do right and be better.

Now Cas has taken Claire under his wing, figuratively and literally, and out of the life that was leading her nowhere fast, what happens next? Does he hit the road with her, does he try to raise her, does he find another relative and drop her off just like her mum did, does he put her in school, does he learn to make packed lunches?! I’m completely mystified by what lies ahead for Cas in relation to Claire and terrified of what lies ahead for Cas in relation to Dean.



Oh Dean Winchester, how you break my heart…and you Sam, you break my heart too. These brothers…

The opening sequence of Dean awakening from a dreamlike/visionlike sequence and looking at the Mark of Cain on his arm was the signal that all those little things we’ve been seeing…the over shooting of the shifter, the not wanting to talk about it…all of it was just as we surmised, the MoC is playing havoc with him.  But maybe what we didn’t realise was that many of the so-Dean traits we’ve been seeing and relishing as a return to form of our much loved bro, may in actual fact have been Dean desperately trying to be Dean, to be the person he once was, to fight the feeling of the MoC raising itself within him again, to fight off the demon that still lies buried inside, unwittingly feeding the MoC’s yearning hunger for blood with burgers – because the Mark demands to be fed and so Dean was feeding it. The eating, the driving 8 hours out of the way to get laid, the over the top laughter, even the jibing Sam…were these all just Dean trying to be as Dean as possible, because he felt himself slipping away again? Feeding this thing inside him without knowing it?




As soon as I saw Dean laughing like crazy at The Three Stooges I was all, uh-oh. Not that I don’t think Dean would do that…he loves the Stooges, but it smacked of Demon Dean. It just felt off. Then there was his overzealous attacking of the grilled cheese sandwich. And if I wasn’t on edge enough watching that, watching Sam’s face put me right over. He could see something was not right, but he so wants to believe this is Dean - his funny, food loving, good times brother back for good - that Sam’s willing to go with it. The scene of the two of them watching The Three Stooges on Dean’s laptop was equal parts beautiful, because of how much I loved the domesticity of it, and painful because I knew it meant something was looming. Something bad.

The scene where Dean asks Cas to end him if he becomes “that thing” again was one of my favourites of the episode. The banter between them was wonderful – beautifully scripted by Andrew Dabb and beautifully played by Jensen and Misha. Like Sam, Cas is not fooled by Dean’s behaviour and calls him out on it. Unlike with Sam, Dean sort of admits to Cas that all is not right…but only because he needs to ask his friend a favour, something he knows he cannot and would not ask of Sam. Could Cas do it? Could Cas really kill Dean if he felt that Dean was becoming “that thing” again? OH MY GOD I DON’T WANT TO KNOW! I DON’T! I do however love with every single ounce of my being the 100% confidence that Dean has in the fact that Sam could not kill Dean in that situation. Dean for the first time in a long time is in no doubt about how much his brother loves him and what his brother would do for him, and that feels soooooooooo good. So good. And it must feel so good for Dean too. To know that he has people in his life who love him. To be secure enough in that fact that he even uses the love word. Yet as wonderful as this is for him, it must make what’s happening, what he fears he may become again, all the more horrific.



Then there was the final scene… WHYYYYYYYY!? When Cas and Sam left Dean alone inside the house, yeah I was screaming at my TV….DON’T LEAVE HIM IN THERE ALONE! We all knew he was teetering on the edge…the shovelling food into himself was a dead giveaway, if nothing else! And when he turned to the bad guys and said “You guys, don’t want to do this”, after the Mark of Cain and more troublingly, the demon memories, fired up in his blood…well my hands were over my mouth and I may have been whimpering.




Sam’s realisation that something was not right was wonderful…the slomo head turn and run to the house when he heard the carnage take place within. I half expected to see a Cain like red light burst out of the house! Thank God that didn’t happen! Not that what followed was not just as awful. Dean on his knees, bloodied and surrounded by slashed bodies was so horrific I literally gasped. Sam rushing forward, dropping to his knees to hold Dean’s face in his hands…like the Winchesters do when they’re checking in on each other, like we’ve seen Dean do to Sam. Sam trying desperately to make sense of what he was seeing. Trying desperately to make his brother tell him that he HAD to kill all those men that way, that Dean had no choice. And Dean…not being able to look his brother in the eyes for the shame and shock of what lay around him, mumbling, “I did…I didn’t mean to”. Oh my baby… ACK, I’m tearing up here! Oh Dean. Then there was Cas at the door, horror written all over his face, seeing what his friend had done with the favour asked of him ringing in his ears. OH MY GOD JUST STOP IT SHOW! Just when we feel happy…BAM…we’re destroyed once again.

To be honest though, I loved this scene. It was emotionally devastating, yet perfect. The acting, the direction by Guy Bee, the editing - how good was the editing - the identical staging of the dream/premonition scene to the climatic scene. I replayed it and watched it about five times in a row…until I felt totally traumatised!



Will Cas try to carry through on his promise to Dean? Will he have the strength? Will this put Sam up against Cas, because Dean is right…Sam will try to get in the way…because no matter what he will try to “fix” Dean. His face was pure devastation. Sam, like us, was hanging on to all the little Deanisms, hoping that meant Dean was okay. But here was his big brother, ashamed and broken, kneeling in a pool of a half a dozen men’s blood. Way to make us wait 6 weeks, Show! *rocks back and forth mumbling…it will be okay, it will be okay*



Okay, so not going to leave you on that note! Let me talk about my favourite scene. I absolutely adored the scene where Sam and Dean relayed the story about their dad, John Winchester. Of course, the reason was to emphasise that when you’re a parent – or even just with those you love (gulp) - you can’t be the good guy all the time, sometimes you have to be the bad guy and do what is right for the person under your care, even if you’re going to be hated for it.

But beyond this message, the scene was just wonderful.

I loved how excited Sam was to get Dean to tell the story and how he then hung on Dean’s every word, finishing his brother’s sentences and chipping in details of a story that has probably become more of a legend through their retelling of it over the years.

I loved discovering more Winchester memories. That the guys were in New York. That John hated cities. That Dean was a little rebellious shit when he was a kid…I LOVE THAT. That he went to CBGB’s for goodness sake! That the punks in the bar recognised a badass when they saw one and called John, sir and that Dean and Sam obviously got a kick out of it!



John Winchester wasn’t the greatest dad, we all know that, and no one is arguing that he was. There have been times where I’ve hated John, just like his sons have. But there have also been times I’ve loved him and over the years, my attitude towards him has shifted and changed…just like his sons’ has. That is what I think I love the most about how the relationship between Sam and Dean, and their dad has developed. The evolution of this relationship has been profoundly honest. As the brothers have got older and as they’ve experienced more, as they’ve been challenged by the choices they’ve had to make, they’ve grown to understand their father, and in many ways, forgive him. Their relationship with him will always be complex and marred by the bad memories, but they love him all the same and they know that he loved them. The way Dean said, “with everything I had” when Cas asked if he loved his dad... The whole conversation felt so real to life because...and sorry I keep harping on this point too…if you love someone and they die, you don’t just stop talking about them. They don’t cease to exist. They continue to be an enormous part of your life, and your relationship with them continues to change as the years go on; as your memories alter, or as the hurt diminishes with time and distance, or as you mature and your perspective changes. How the brothers’ ever evolving relationship with their dad has been portrayed over the years has always been one of my favourite elements of the show’s story telling. The fact that they still have such a powerful relationship with their dad even after he has died, is fantastic.

John Winchester was a flawed character and a flawed father…and his sons know it… “We know John Winchester isn't going to win any #1 Dad awards, but damn if he wasn't there when we needed him.” But those boys love him, and though how he raised them may not have been right, as Dean said, he did raise them right – in that he raised them to look after each other, to believe in family, to be loyal, to be strong and to love their brother. And that – as much as how Sam and Dean were left to fend for themselves and Dean left to raise Sam with his father's words in his ears – has help to forge these two boys into the beautiful men they are today. Yes, shitty to turn your sons into hunters and yes, John should have taken a different path after Mary died…but he didn’t…and now we have Sam and Dean Winchester. I sure can’t hate him for that.

This one story does not whitewash away all and any bad memory or anything the show has written about John Winchester in the past, and I was kind of more than baffled at how that was suggested out there in the online Universe! You can have good memories in amongst the bad. You can love someone even if you’re angry with them. You can have good stories to tell, even if other stories are too painful to remember. Because that is life and that is the nature of relationships. They are complex, and that is honest. Showing John in a good light in his sons’ eyes on this one occasion was not the show being uneven in its depiction of John, it was showing the depth of love the boys have for their father - a massive, force of nature in their lives - even in amongst the anger and pain - which is something the show has shown from the get-go. This scene was just wonderful. I’m so thankful that Sam and Dean have nice memories of their dad to relive and share (and probably embellish.) “John friggin’ Winchester”. Yep.



“The Things We Left Behind” did what this show does the best; it told a story about family. Honest, no bullshit, no excuses, no sugarcoating. It was emotionally intense and deeply satisfying. And it left me on the edge of my seat, not knowing where we go next. It was a brilliant end to the first half of what has been one of my favourite seasons. Intimate, compelling, heart-breaking, heart-soaring, and full of Winchesters! Season 10…you rock!

So that's the end of the first half of the season! The show will be back on January 20 (or 21 if you're me!), but I will be around throughout hellatus...doing stuff...I don't know what, but stuff! As always, thanks for reading and your unwavering support! I don't know what I'd do without you guys!


-sweetondean


Monday, 8 December 2014

The Light on Spoilers, Heavy on Squee Preview of Supernatural 10x09 "The Things We Left Behind"



This is it people...the midseason finale! Eeeeee and squeeee and eeeeeeee and meep! I'm equal parts excited and terrified! I can't wait...but I'm dreading it! How very Supernatural! 


So...where are we?


THEN

Ex-Demon Dean has major tattoo regret called the Mark of Cain
Sam is helping his impetuous brother to try and find some removal options
Cas is singing one is the loneliest number 
Crowley is battling inner demons in his inner demon 
And Baby is so shiny!


NOW

Shit's gonna get real and possibly hit the fan! Duck and cover!


I actually have no clue at all what's going to happen in this episode! Well, except what the synopsis tells us...


Castiel finds Jimmy’s daughter Claire (guest star Kathyrn Love Newton) in a group home and she convinces him to break her out. After she runs away from him, Castiel calls Sam and Dean to help find her before she gets in trouble. Meanwhile, Crowley faces his biggest challenge yet.


Guy Bee directed this episode written by Andrew Dabb 


This was added from TV|Line - Dean finally makes a decision about the troublesome Mark of Cain plaguing him. 


Okay so first things first...Guy Bee, yay! He's such a fab director and has done some great work on Supernatural. Then Andrew Dabb has been with the show since season 4, is an Executive Producer and the last episode he wrote was "Reichenbach" which was amazeballs!



So, as we can see by the synopsis, everyone is in this episode! We get to pick up with Cas - last seen looking up Jimmy Novak online - and see where this journey has taken him. Well to Claire, who was also briefly Cas, so I guess she's going to know exactly what's going on! What Cas means to do when he finds Claire is anyone's guess. But Hannah's revelation regarding her vessel obviously struck a note with Cas, who is now out to connect with his vessel's family. This should be very interesting. Also, I wonder what Cas' mission is going to be now that Hannah has left? And I wonder how his latest injection of Grace is going.


Since breaking up with Dean, in a BFF way of course, we've not seen too much of Crowley. We've seen that he's struggling with the day to day of running Hell, because frankly, if you've been howling at the moon with Dean Winchester, anything would seem dull! He repowered up Cas with some stolen Grace, which I'm sure is a favour that will require repayment. He still has that damn First Blade, which makes me crazy nervous. And his mummy, Rowenna returned. How that plays out is going to be fascinating, seeing as she's an all powerful witch and he's an all powerful demon. Is that his biggest challenge? His mum? I'm sure some of us can relate!


Sam and Dean are going to give Cas a hand with finding his wayward daughter, so we get to see Team Free Will in action again. And apparently, Dean is going to come to a decision regarding the Mark. I betcha that has something to do with tracking down Cain, as Tim Omundson has said that he will be back as Cain in episode 14. How the Mark is affecting Dean is hard to know...and hard for him to know too, by the looks of things. He's openly speaking to Sam about having the Mark (which is a nice change up to the usual Winchester methods), he's had a moment of extra violent violence when he emptied an entire gun load of silver bullets into the shifter...though he blew that off as being overly eager to make sure his first kill was a good one. He told Cole he's past saving...though he blew that off as just saying what Cole needed to hear. And he told Sam that the vampire kill in "Hibbing 911", was the first time he didn't feel like the Mark was pushing him...which must mean he felt like it was pushing him before. I think Dean is scared and unsure as to what's happening and what he's feeling and is trying to convince himself that he's okay, for now. But I think he's a very frightened boy and I think Sam's right there with him feeling exactly the same way.


On that thought...let's look at the killer promo!


Yeah, it's a cracker and left most of us in an over emotional state of emotions! I pulled the spot apart because I wanted to see what was going on in the fast edit section. All the violent shots of Dean/Demon Dean are from past episodes...so that was a bit of a relief...but the opening of the promo, with Dean surrounded by bloody bodies is gut wrenching. It's interesting that this promo is absolutely about Dean and Dean's situation - where as the synopsis for this episode certainly doesn't play up that angle of the story.


The bloody bodies scene is most likely a dream sequence (my bet, as we do see Dean wake up), or memories of something he did when he was Demon Dean - which we haven't seen much of, apart from Karaoke, getting laid and some demon kills. If it's the later, that's a hell of a thing that he's suppressing there, if it's a dream, well that shows exactly what the Mark is doing to his subconscious. Is it a dream of what he's scared he will do, or what he feels like he wants to do. The fact that he's asking Cas to take him out if he goes dark again...well that shows just how worried he is about what the cursed thing on his arm is doing or will do to him down the track.

There's some other trauma going on in there where Dean gets bonked on the head or something by the looks and Sam's grabbing his face just like he did not long ago when his brother...ack I can't even say it!

Crowley at the end there...my bet is he's talking to his mum.

Also, they're back at the Weiner Hut for some reason and I love that Dean takes the time to eat! Hey, at least he's eating! Eating is good!



Let's look at the sneak peek...


I'm in love with every single second of this clip. It's beautiful. I love that Dean calls their get together a family reunion. I love Cas musing about the nature of ketchup - how Cas is that! I love Dean pinching Cas' burger - because obviously Cas isn't going to eat it! I love Cas saying he's entitled to a midlife crisis because he's so old. I love that when Dean tells Cas he's got to let it all go, Cas calls Dean out on not following his own advice. Dean's response is wonderful, with a self effacing grin "I ain't exactly a role model", but Cas' is better "That's not true". That totally throws Dean. He really doesn't know how to respond to that. If Dean Winchester doubted before whether he had people in his life that love him, he can't doubt it now, because he's surrounded by them.


Then Dean gets serious. Asking Cas to take him out if he goes dark again...he can't be that thing again (oh Dean)...so he begs Cas to finish him if that happens, and to make sure Sam doesn't get in the way, because he'll try. What I adored about this was how positive Dean is that Sam will try to save Dean, no matter what. No matter what's going on with Dean, Sam will try to get in the way of Cas following through with Dean's wishes. Because Dean knows that Sam will do anything to prevent his brother dying. As sad and awful as it is to think of Sam going up against Cas to save his brother, the fact that now Dean knows and believes 100% that would be the case is wonderful. Not long ago, I'm not sure he would've felt like that. I don't think he would've been so sure that his brother would do anything to save him. But they're in such a different space now. Sam did not give up on curing Dean of the demon. He pursued him and persevered until Dean lost the black eyes. He's obviously worried as hell about Dean and is being openly concerned, but not pushing. He's said that they will tackle the problem together. And Sam has been beside Dean every step of the way, even to the point where Dean said outloud that he had people who loved him and wouldn't give up on him, while one of those people was standing virtually in front of him. It just struck me in this scene how confident Dean now is, of his brother's love. Ain't that nice to see! 

Anyway, this scene is pretty much perfection in the banter, the dialogue, the performances and the emotion. Oh and the pretty shirt...because damn that's a nice shirt and it looks great on Dean! This one goes in my favourites pile with the red, white and blue checked one and the maroony red one (which I wonder if we'll ever see again, seeing as that shirt is now tied to Demon Dean.)

I don't think we'll see the scenario playing out that Dean discusses. I'm expecting the Mark of Cain to start kicking up a stink, but I can't see us going anywhere near where we went with it last season. I have a feeling they'll figure it out before it gets too bad for Dean...at least that's what I hope, because I haven't got over the last time...I don't think I can cope with that again!


Well this is it...the midseason finale! We might get a cliffhanger, we might not, but you can bet whatever happens will be big and whatever happens will set us up for the second half of the season.

So hold on to your feels my friends, it's bound to be a bumpy ride! I'll see you online for a group hug afterwards!
-sweetondean

Sunday, 7 December 2014

Review - Supernatural 10x08 "Hibbing 911" - Sheriffs Doing It For Themselves



True confession time: I harbour an epic girl crush on Kim Rhodes. She’s amazeballs. I’ve had the pleasure of seeing her at a few conventions as well as getting the chance to talk to her about life, loss and all things in between when she was in Australia a couple of years back.

So suffice to say, I also love Jody Mills. Sheriff Mills has gone from being a victim of the supernatural, to someone who understands it and, though she doesn’t actively seek it out, stands toe to toe with it when it crosses her path. She’s as smart and sassy as the woman who plays her, yet equally as human. 


Jody has also become a friend, confidant and somewhat of a mother figure to the Winchester brothers. She’s the type of women they absolutely need in their lives, because she calls them on their bullshit, but also offers them chowder if they ever need to talk. I adore how her relationship with Sam and Dean has developed. The fact that Sam contacted her when Dean was missing was gorgeous…and I loved Dean’s “You and Sam been passing notes in class?” comment (ack, I just love the way Dean phrases things), but you could see he genuinely appreciated her reaching out to him. And Sam’s beaming face when he saw it was Jody on the phone…and Dean’s little phone wave and the big grins and hugs when they all saw each other! Yeah, I love Jody Mills; she’s one of my favourite characters Supernatural has ever created.


Last season we met another awesome Sheriff; Donna Hanscum. I dug Sheriff Hanscum immediately. She was so bright and bubbly and positive and her whole, “oh yar” way of speaking was hilarious. Brianna Buckmaster, who plays Donna, proved to be a masterful comedian and an absolute joy to watch.

So what happens when you put these two wonderful characters together? Girl power awesomeness, that’s what happens!


“Hibbing 911” was another super fun episode in a what’s proving to be, a super fun season! I mean let’s face it even Demon Dean was fun…and yes, even when he was chasing his brother with a hammer! Traumatic sure, but also fun…in that Supernaturally kind of way! 

Once again, this was an episode about the characters in our show and not the monsters they are fighting. The vampires, they were just window dressing! The real story was Sheriff Mills and Sheriff Hanscum being badassed! And I loved that. This no Big Bad thing (yet) allowing the characters their own story and that being the story, is just great. It’s such an intimate season…touching base with all the people we love and enjoying time with them when they’re not necessarily running for their lives!

Jody and Donna didn’t hit it off right from the get-go, and so the way their trust and bonding developed felt very real. They found common ground in their work, but as they slowly got to know each other, also in their lives. Neither of their lives was perfect. Donna dealing with self esteem issues after her marriage breakup and Jody dealing with the new world of a rebellious teenage daughter who is probably more like Jody than Jody cares to own up to! These women were having conversations that felt like they could have been lifted out of real life…all peppered with fabulous one-liners and great character dialogue – like Donna’s “Ate the whole kit and caboodle, that’s for dern sure”. Love! I love Donna, “What the h e double hockey-sticks!” Love her!

I have no doubt that these two fantastically capable women could have probably dealt with the vampire issue on their own…though they would have been a tad out numbered, so enter Sam and Dean!


How beautiful was the Impala rolling into town with The Band’s “The Weight” playing? I was lucky enough to see Jensen sing this song with Jason Manns during his jam session at LA Con 2011 (my first!). It’s one of his favourite songs – which he tweeted during the West Coast screening of this episode, and it went so fabulously with Baby zooming up the leafy drive to the Sheriff’s retreat.

I’ve been helluva appreciating the Impala porn each week. It’s like she’s been reborn along with the brother’s relationship. It seems fitting that as the brothers start to find their way back to each other, she’s there too, all shiny and gleaming, looking better than she has for a long time. She’s like a metaphor for Sam and Dean’s relationship…the closer they get to being Sam and Dean again, the more we get to see the Impala. She’s a big part of the brother’s lives, and as we take this journey with them in this decidedly intimate season, she’s there too…like she has been since before they were born. I’m kinda in love with it. She really has taken centre stage ever since Dean got undemoned, and I don’t think there’s any accident to that. She adds to the old school vibe this season is giving us. And I’m most definitely onboard with how much Baby we’re getting to enjoy each week.


And just as the Impala was in fine form, so were Sam and Dean.

I can’t keep harping on about how much I’m loving Sam and Dean this season, can I? Oh, whom am I kidding! Of course I can!

“Hibbing 911” once again gave us some deliciously sigh worthy brother moments to make my heart go zipity zing!


Opening on the bunker, all soft glowy lighting, as the brothers talked about and researched the Mark of Cain, was divine. Here they were, AT HOME, and didn’t they just look it? Plus, they must have been talking…there’s no hiding stuff, not sneaking around researching when the other brother isn’t looking. Like Jensen and Jared have said, Sam and Dean are tackling the MoC problem together…and it’s a joy to behold. As was Dean giving Sam a taste of his own puppy eyes! Nice to see the tables being turned there! How could Sam resist that plaintive look on that beautiful face! 


Then there was the fabulous Kinkos scene – which was partly adlibbed by Jensen.

Sam: …This time try to be a little less defensive of your 'pretend job.'

Dean: You know this badge means something.

Sam: I made it at Kinkos.

Dean: Yes you did. Be proud of that.

Bahaha! Oh Jensen. Epic adlib is epic.

Plus we got tied up bros – having a silent eye conversations across the barn, keeping the vampire Star (please tell me that was a Lost Boys reference), monologuing while they tried to work out an escape route…working as a team, even without words, be still my beating heart.


Even their serious moment felt good. Sam didn’t chastise Dean when Dean said that the vampire kill was the first time that he felt like the Mark of Cain wasn’t pushing him. He didn’t yell at Dean and accuse him of keeping secrets or ask Dean why he hadn’t told Sam what was going on before this, or say Dean was lying or any of that stuff that might have happened in the past. Dean was being honest (at least he thinks he was) and Sam let him and the moment be… “Okay, well lets go with that.” I appreciated the hell out of him not pushing Dean, and that showed an understanding of his brother that was totally perfect. 


And then Dean walks off rubbing his arm, because regardless of what he’s saying out loud, he’s scared shitless and you can see it in every part of his being. Actually I think they both are. Dean is in denial. He might be fooling himself, he might be fooling Sam…I don’t know, but I think it’s more like they both know this is not great and this is a dark cloud looming over them, regardless of what Dean is saying to Sam or to himself, but as they don’t know what to do about it, neither of them is willing to talk about it with any realism…yet. Like, don’t mention the war! I just don’t think they’re ready, so they’re rolling with what Dean is trying desperately to believe. But I think they’re about to have to face the music. At least they’ll face it together.


I can’t talk about this week’s episode without talking about Jensen Ackles and his tweeting…which might be the best thing that’s ever happened! From his first tweet...


To his epic pizza tweets…



The whole thing was heart clenchingly perfect. That man, I tells ya. Just when I think I can’t possibly love him any more than I do because I love him that much, he goes and hashtags #PepperoniDreaming and I fall head over heels again and again and again. His random hashtags crack me up! He tweets odd commentary, just like we do. You don’t have to worry about spoilers, because his tweets are just…well, as random as his hashtags. And every single tweet sounds like it comes right out of his mouth! It truly is like watching the show with him. You can’t help but hear them in his voice, because they’re so him! And it makes it feel like he’s simply chatting to us while watching the show. The pizza tweets though… 



The man is perfection. Sorry…just had to gush about ma boy!


“Hibbing 911” was a thoroughly enjoyable hour of TV. I hope like hell that down the track we see Jody and Donna again. I worry that Donna now knows about what’s out there in the dark…but I think she’s pretty damn capable and I think lopping that vamps head off probably did wonders for her self-esteem! CW, if you’re still looking for that spin off…look no further than Sheriffs Mills and Hanscum, because these women rock and I’d sure tune in to watch them tackle the world of hunting…along with teenaged daughters, failed relationships, and the day to day of Sheriff life. I’d so be there.


Now…I’m just going to briefly and cryptically talk about the previews for next week’s mid-season heartbreaker, I mean finale. 


The promo was OMGWAAAAAD! But I couldn’t leave it at that, so I pulled it apart frame by frame. Actually literally. I downloaded it and split out every frame…because I couldn’t see what was going on in that super quick edit! I must say, I felt a tad better after I did that, because I could see that apart from the dream/memory like footage of a bloodied Dean surrounded by bodies, all the other Dean/Demon Dean stuff was from past episodes. I know what you did there, CW promo producer…because I’d do exactly the same thing! It’s hard to trick another promo producer! It was a good promo though…which gave us all a terrifying sense of foreboding. But I felt less terrified after deconstructing the spot. But only minimally! Because I'm not a total idiot...there's hurts ahead!

I’m looking forward to seeing how the brothers tackle the Mark of Cain, which is obviously on Dean’s mind constantly. I’m looking forward to seeing how straightforward he’s going to be with Sam about how it’s affecting him internally – and probably externally, which I’m sure Sam can see. We know…because Tim Omundson (who is coming to Vegas…YAY!), said at Burcon, that Cain will be back in episode 14 of the season, which is the next ep to be shot by the way, so how that will affect the mark and Dean and therefore, Sam…well who knows…it’s sure as shit gonna be exciting to find out! It looks like next week we start to address this in a serious nature. Can I say I’ll also LOVED the preview clip…LOVED. But I’ll go into that more in my Light On Spoilers Preview tomorrow.

And I have next Wednesday afternoon off…so I will get to watch the episode with everyone else! Wooohoooo! WE CAN ALL CRY TOGETHER!


So yeah, another fabulous week in a fabulous season! Season 10 is so great, I’m sorry for being repetitive, but I feel like I’m walking around in a Sam and Dean love bubble haze the whole time… ALL RIGHT…I KNOW…I ALWAYS AM!

-sweetondean


(I needed to include this cap for reasons)


Tuesday, 2 December 2014

The Light on Spoiliers, Heavy on Squee Preview of Supernatural 10x08 "Hibbing 911"


(swooooooon)



Eeep! It's the 2nd last episode before the midseason hellatus! Holy cow we got there quick! And only one break...and that week they replayed the Retrospective doco. It's felt so nice to have such great consistency in this seasons schedule!


Anyhooooo...here we are at the penultimate (who says penultimate) midseason break, episode! 
OH MY GOD OH MY GOD OH MY GOD!


THEN


Dean joined an online dating community.
Sam laughed at him.
The new ginger was all double double toil and trouble
Crowley has mummy issues.
Hannah did an ET and went home.
Cas looked like a lost puppy in his pimp-mobile
Cole learnt his father was Eugene Tooms (well, he sounded like Tooms!)
Dean said the L word.
And Sam heard him.


NOW


It's the ladies of the law!



Yep, our favourite sheriff, Ms Jody Mills and our newest favourite sheriff, Ms Donna Hanscum are joining forces in what should be a super fun team-up.

But just so we don't get too relaxed, the brothers also have some Mark of Cain issues.

Let's look at the synopsis!


“Hibbing 911” — JODY MILLS RETURNS — Jody Mills (guest star Kim Rhodes) reluctantly attends a mandatory sheriff’s retreat and is partnered with an overeager sheriff named Donna (guest star Briana Buckmaster) who wants to bond. Just as Jody thinks things can’t get any worse, a body with just strings of meat and skin hanging off the bones is discovered.  While the local sheriffs blame an animal attack, Jody knows better and calls Sam and Dean.  Tim Andrew directed this episode with teleplay by Jenny Klein and story by Jenny Klein & Phil Sgriccia.


I love that Jody is so in touch with the Supernatural world, and I guess Donna is about to go there too! Maybe she'll finally discover the truth about that Fish Taco!

Jenny Klein started her career as a writers' assistant at Supernatural, before being promoted to staff writer in season 9. Jenny then wrote, "Rock and a Hard Place" (mmmm sexy Dean talk) and "#Thinman"

Phil has been with Supernatural since season 1 and is a regular director, as well as Executive Producer of the show. Phil liked Briana's performance as Donna in "The Purge" so much, he came up with the story for this episode so that they could cast her again. Then Jenny wrote the tele-play.

Tim Andrew has directed 4 episodes of Supernatural, the last one being the delightful, "Dog Dean Afternoon".

Shall we check out the promo? Yes, let's!


I really loved sheriff Donna in "The Purge", she was fantastic and I love Jody Mills and harbour an epic girl crush on Kim Rhodes, so I'm pretty sure I'm going to like this dynamic duo! I'm looking forward to Sam and Dean working with these ladies. I think it's going to be awesome fun. I bet they keep those boys on their toes!

I also wonder if we'll hear anything from Jody about her ward, Alex the ex-vampire. I'm interested to hear how her and the good sheriff are going? I hope they're still a part of eachother's lives.


Let's take a look at the sneak peek because it takes a totally different tack.




So here we goooooooo.... I'm hoping that because the boys are actively researching what the hell to do about that damn Mark of Cain on Dean's arm, that this means they've had a conversation about it. There's no secrets here. Dean isn't secretly researching at night while Sam isn't around, the brothers are attacking it together...and ain't that grand!


How they get to this scene who knows, but I'm super happy they get to it. I want to know how Dean is feeling. We've had clues over the last couple of episodes that he's feeling the effects of the MoC, but it seems that so far he's been too scared to admit it and/or talk about it - operating in the typical Dean mode of denial. Yet here he is, with his brother, researching the oldest symbol known to man which is currently etched into his skin....so something must have gone down.

I'm guessing the only way out of this for Dean has got to be something to do with Cain. But I am still so very worried that Crowley has The First Blade. I just hope he doesn't plan to use it against Dean somehow...but being Crowley, that's a distinct possibility...especially as I am quite sure human Dean is not going to be very buddy buddy with his old moon howling pal!

Both sides of this episode look super fun and exciting and worrying and pretty awesome to me. And seeing Sam and Dean in the bunker like that...it looks like home, doesn't it? Home. Bless them. Also cranky Dean is one of my favourite things ever!



So yay! It's getting to the pointy end of the midseason! I've been loving the pace of this season and having the time to hang out with all the characters without Lucifer or a Leviathan or something, breathing down our collective necks! It's felt so different and new. I just hope I'm not left in a desperate mess at the end of the episode after this or this one...who knows! Eeeep!

And check out this great interview with Kim and another sneak peek - courtesy of The Hollywood Reporter!  Click here.

Thanks for reading! Enjoy the episode, everyone!
-sweetondean


Saturday, 29 November 2014

Review - Supernatural 10x07 "Girls, Girls, Girls" - Love And Souls And Magic.



Well, my bromantic mini-break is over and it’s back to business, because we got work to do!

It really does feel like that, like I had a little respite from the chaos and heartbreak that is the Winchester’s day to day.

We were given 3 episodes where we got to hang out with just the brothers, as they got to hang out and work on their fractured relationship. And it was glorious. The teasing. The joking. The everything! It feels like a reset, a real one. 


In amongst the mayhem that continually surrounds them, the brothers have grown into men. They’ve grown into complex individuals, and their relationship and history mirrors that. We’ve seen them both contemplate and attempt a life away from hunting. They’ve both soul searched as they’ve lost faith in the job and each other. They’ve both been angry with and disappointed in each other on a pretty monumental scale. They’ve both given each other some hard truths. They’ve both faced a world without the other in it. They’ve both faced what they’d do to ensure they don’t have to live in that world. And they’ve come out the other side, looking stronger and more committed to their relationship than they ever have. Because one thing became clear to them and to us, no matter how pissed they might be, they do love each other, that’s the essence of who Sam and Dean are, and they do want to be side by side, fighting the fight, driving down Crazy Street…together. And it’s a beautiful thing to behold. They were given a few episodes to take a breath and learn to be a team again and we took that breath with them. This is the most honest I think their relationship has been. And it feels all the more significant, real and valuable knowing what they’ve gone through (and what we’ve gone through), what they’ve overcome and put aside to get here. It makes their love feel that much more powerful, because we know how much hurt there’s been in the past. Yet here they are, still with each other’s backs and still preferring to be with their brother than anywhere else. It no longer feels like they’re together just because they’re siblings, on a mission that their dad brought them up to follow. There is no big bad, no monster who killed their mother, no hell deal, no end of the world. They’re together because they want to be. It feels different. And I love it. And I love each and ever scar on their hearts and souls that they’ve got on their way to here, because they wouldn’t be the beautiful men they are today without those bumps in their journey. 

But we can’t just live in a Winchester brothers love bubble forever! There’s a story to tell and other characters to catch up with!


I thoroughly enjoyed “Girls, Girls, Girls”. The introduction (or, I guess technically it was the reintroduction) of the character Rowena was delicious and intriguing and the story around Castiel and Hannah intriguing and heartbreaking. Oh and surprising…I so didn’t see that coming!

You know, I’ve often wondered about what will happen with Castiel – mostly because I’ve always thought, when this journey ends, I believe it will end how it began, with just the boys. So it’s made me ponder Cas, and if he had an exit prior to the end of the series, what would that exit look like. I never pictured it how Hannah’s exit played out…but now I am, because that would have been perfect. But Jimmy Novak is presumably gone. Cas has been killed and resurrected multiple times. He’s inhabited the same vessel over and over, even while without Grace. The assumption is Jimmy‘s soul was set free at some point. So I guess, for Cas the ending, if it comes, will be different.


I feel sad that Hannah has gone (if she has, I mean…Supernatural!), because I’d grown to like her character and I liked the blossoming friendship between her and Cas. That Cas may have found an angel friend was a nice thought. Most angels want to stab him in the heart, so it was nice to think he’d found an angel who trusted him and who he could trust in return. 

I really thought the show was heading for a romantic entanglement between Cas and Hannah, but I was pleasantly surprised to see Hannah start to identify the conflicting feelings that she was having for Cas, as Caroline’s complex, human feelings and not her own. She started to feel for her vessel. Feel what her vessel was going through and sympathise in response, and understand that what she was doing was quite possibly wrong. I thought that was all kinds of surprising and wonderful. 

It’s actually a horrid thought. These angels, essentially holding these vessels hostage. Sure, the vessels are devout and said yes, but still – bet they had no idea it would be for months, years, forever! Hannah obviously saw this. Saw that Caroline was a person, with people in her life that missed her. Hannah was able to sift through what was going on and realise that everything she was feeling and experiencing was being coloured by her vessel. She was able to take a step back and realise that what she was doing, was not what of her purpose in this world, which is to love and protect humanity. I was gobsmacked when Hannah released Caroline. Gobsmacked, touched, impressed… I thought that was fantastic. So unexpected, yet so right.


Then there was Cas sitting in the car, so alone - he looked so totally alone in that moment - as he fired up the internet and started looking for clues about his own vessel’s life. Where this is going – well part of it is in the synopsis for 10x09 – but beyond that, where this search takes him, I look forward to finding out. I look forward to seeing what this very personal journey holds for our favourite trenchcoat wearing angel.


Meanwhile, we also properly got to meet Rowena. She’s a super powerful witch with a totally sassy attitude. The Scottish accent helps that! I still don’t really know what she’s up to. She recruited the 2 hookers from the demon brothel, but promptly sacrificed Elle to assist her escape. Then Caitlin showed just how strong she was and wisely punched Rowena in the nose and ran off. Okay, maybe that wasn’t wise – she got Winchester saved there – but at least she could tell that teaming up with Rowena was not a great career move!

I wasn’t totally surprised when Rowena turned out to be Crowley’s mum. We’d all made those kind of assumptions when we found out the new witch in town was a Scot, and being as Crowley was at one point a Scot and he had revealed his mum was a witch…well, it wasn’t too much of a leap. But it was still totally cool! And still exciting that the story took this turn. 

As soon as Rowena said “Wee boy”, the gig was up! Also, “King of Lilliput!” I laughed out loud. I think Rowena might be fun. I’m totally picturing her telling Crowley to pick up after himself! Hey, does this make Rowena the Dowager Queen of Hell?


Then we had our lovely boys. In a season that seems to be rebuilding the brother’s relationship, it was fitting that we kick off with Sam and Dean being classic Sam and Dean! The Sam teasing Dean about the dating app (I still can’t get over the awesomeness of the idea of Dean on a dating app) was just happiness personified. The way he said “Impala67”…. I laughed for about an hour. And I’m never going to say no to some Dean kissy-face, no matter how it turns out. “Sexy rules”, “No cash for ass”, oh Dean, don’t ever change. Seriously though, don’t ever change…because through all the hot and heavy he still saw Shaylene’s pretence about loving her job. *Sigh* Dean Winchester is the best. Oh, sorry…I had a moment.

Then there was the scene between Dean and Cole. 


How many times does Dean get Holy water chucked in his face! It’s become such a great on going gag. Jensen’s face was (of course), perfection. As was the scene that followed.

I can’t help but feel horrible for Cole. He finally thinks he’s got it all sorted. Understands what went on and what’s going on. His nemesis is a demon…except, he isn’t. At least not back then, and not now.


Travis Aaron Wade has done a wonderful job with Cole. So many emotions were flicking across his face as he tried to process what Dean was saying, and tried to find the truth through his bramble of emotions. His need for revenge was costing him everything. It was costing him his life and his family. This is something so very familiar to the brothers, whose father’s need for revenge cost them their entire future. It shows a great strength to Cole’s character that in this moment, his is willing to hear Dean, he is willing to hear Sam, and make the right choice. Cole has been great every step of the way. I’m going to be interested to see what’s left to his story and where he goes next. He’s had his eyes opened…how do you ever come back from that?

Then there was the beautiful fight choreography, as perfect, yet very different to the first fight between Cole and Demon Dean. Dean still had the upper hand here, but not quite as easily. There was one point where Cole slugs Dean in the face and Dean stumbles and catches himself, before shaking his head to clear the fog. Jensen Ackles never ceases to amaze me with these tiny touches he puts into his performance.

Then Dean goes and breaks my heart…again.


Standing in front of Cole, trying his best to explain what happened back when Cole was a child, he talked about love in front of the person who loves him the most. As Sam listened on, ready to protect his brother at a moments notice, gun down, trusting his brother, but totally with the drop on Cole…. He hears his brother say…

“The people who love me, they pulled me back from that edge.”

The brothers rarely say the word love, they just don't say it…they say and show their love in other ways. Yet here, with his brother looking on, Dean actually spoke the word out loud, with the person who put everything on the line to pull him back, listening, but not only listening…hearing. If Sam ever doubted that Dean was thankful for everything he did, he can’t be doubtful now. So much passed between Sam and Dean in that moment. So much said and understood. Dean said love as Sammy listened… and I cried.


Then Dean goes and breaks my heart again…again…

“Now the truth is... I'm past saving. I know how my story ends, it's at the edge of a blade or the barrel of a gun.” 

Oh please, let it not be so! Sam’s face when he hears Dean say these words – and his worried follow up question, which Dean dismisses as saying what is needed in the moment.

But Dean, we see you and so does Sam. The self-hate, the guilt, the shame…so much pain over so many things that he wishes he could take back. I wanted to reach through my TV and hold Dean Winchester tight. 


But as sad as Dean’s statement left me, I was also left with so much hope. I know come what may, Sam will save Dean…because Sam’s got Dean’s back. Dean won’t have to face what’s coming - what’s starting to dance around the edges of his and Sam’s and our consciousness - alone. Because Sammy is there, right behind him. The brothers are a united front and like Charlie once said, "There is pretty much nothing the Winchesters can't do if they work together." 


Yep, “Girls, Girls, Girls” was a good one. Robert Berens wrote a lovely episode, full of brother feels and character moments and story development that propelled this very intimate season forward. 

For a show that’s done over 200 episodes, it constantly keeps me guessing…because right now, I have no clue what’s going to happen next! Ain’t that grand?

-sweetondean


P.S. I loved this moment with the gun...the little touch Dean gives Cole as the gun passed between them...  I gasped.  This show really is perfect.