A lot packed into this week’s 40-minute installment. Comedy, drama, action and heartache all for the price of one episode! You can certainly feel the stakes rising and the gaining momentum as we get closer to that inevitable showdown (whatever it may be) in the final days of season thirteen. While not solely focused on the main mission, episode twenty didn’t disappoint either.
An artistic gem.
Every once in a while a story comes along that really shows the depth of a performer’s talent. Supernatural’s “Unfinished Business” was that show for Richard Speight, Jr. As its director, Richard’s signature style became evident. A Kill Bill homage, the Tarantino music, flashbacks, slow motion, strobe-lit gunfight and frequent scene switches gave the story an artistic edginess that added both interest and character to a script that was already intriguing. Richard used many of these elements in another stellar episode 12.12 “Stuck in the Middle (with you)”. Although they were less evident in his other Supernatural directing projects, 11.08 “Just My Imagination”, 12.20 “Twigs & Twine & Tasha Banes” and 13.07 “War of the Worlds”, their stunning integration into “Unfinished Business” hints that perhaps Richard is finding a niche that both suits him and produces outstanding hours of television.
Then: multiple scenes of Gabriel as himself, in "Changing Channels", in the hotel facing Lucifer, as Asmodeus' prisoner, frying Asmodeus. There's a quick shot of Sam, as Lucifer's vessel, fighting to keep him contained, and a quick reminder of the danger in the Rift World, ending with Dean's explosive anger and frustration that ended last week's episode.
Now: The scene opens on the neon lights of a liquor store and a grimy alley in Central City, CO. A bearded man walks around the corner, drinking straight from the bottle, when minor key music begins to play. "Is that a saxophone?" I asked my marching-band-member daughter. Nope! It's a kazoo, being played by Gabriel, who slowly saunters into view. "Fenrir Orangebane," he says. The bearded man snarls. A green light flickers across his features, revealing a brief glimpse of a wolf. They face off. Gabriel has a white dress shirt, a long black coat, and a long sword like a katana. Claws descend from his opponent's fingers, and his teeth morph into wolf canines. They whirl into a fight, Gabriel, despite his playboy proclivities, holding his own, including an awesome face kick. He's got plenty of attitude too, as he whistles and calls, "Here, boy!" Fenrir manages to draw blood, but Gabriel whirls, his back to him, then stabs him backwards. Fenrir looms tall behind him, but collapses. Only then does Gabriel peel back his coat to reveal a copious amount of blood. He pulls out a paper on which are written at least three names: Fenrir, Narfi, and Sleipnir. He crosses off Fenrir.
Depressed. That’s how Supernatural’s "Funeralia” made me feel. Really. I can’t shake it.
There were two concurrent plotlines in “Funeralia”. The first was Castiel’s story – Heaven, Naomi, 9 angels left in all of the universe and the brown outs of Heaven. This story was about hopelessness, giving up and death. It was also highly problematic in its canon content but let’s save that for later.
The other story line was Rowena’s – pain, power, family, friendship. While the basis of this story was a parent’s grief, it was the more beautiful of the two stories. It was based in raw emotion, seeking redemption for mistakes and finding compassionate support from friends who understand remorse from their own transgressions.
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