Before I get started, I beg for a few paragraphs of self indulgence to get an issue off my chest. This is something that has been stewing for a while now, but considering it's still happening during repeats, well, I just feel like bitching. If you just want the episode review, please skip down to the next heading.
Ahem. Enough throwing Gossip Girl in my face CW! If I see another promo for Gossip Girl obscuring my view of a Winchester, I'm driving to LA and smacking Dawn Ostroff myself. I'm not in your target demographic and have no interest in your all teen network. I wouldn't even be watching this silly network if it wasn't for Supernatural, Smallville, and Reaper being pitifully stuck on it, left to flounder on their own while all I read is about is how the ninth ranked show is the greatest thing since sliced bread. Last week The CW only aired two original shows, Friday Night Smackdown and Farmer Takes A Wife. They were one and two respectively in the ratings last week, but Smackdown (4 million) is going away in September and Farmer Takes A Wife barely drew 2 million. It was almost beat out in the ratings by a Supernatural rerun (1.83 million), one that aired for the third time. Their precious Gossip Girl barely cracked a million on Monday. How is that the most buzz worthy show on the network?
I hate The CW. I hate how a brilliant, incredibly crafted show, with its fantastic acting, top notch writing, great directing and jaw-dropping story telling, not to mention critical and fan acclaim, is stuck with a network that insists on shooting itself in the foot. I saw the overall ratings statistics for all of the networks for the 2007-2008 season compared to 2006-2007, and with the exception of Fox, everyone has double digit declines. The CW, however, has declines in all demographics of 20% or more, making it easily the champion for most bleeding of viewers. Their precious 18-34 demographic lost 26%. This is the coveted market? They've thrown all their network resources toward a target demographic for a 26% decline? All networks are reporting increases in advertising upfront dollars except The CW. They stayed flat. Face it CW, most cable stations are kicking your butt in the ratings and revenue department right now, let alone other networks.
This network, no matter what image they like to project, forgets that Smallville and Supernatural are their top two scripted shows, yet they continue to alienate viewers by telling us we want to be watching teen trash instead. Reaper drew much higher ratings than Gossip Girl but almost got cancelled. Smallville is likely in its last year, or it should be considering it's clearly run its course, so I beg you Warner Brothers and ABC Television Studios, for all decency and fairness, find Supernatural and Reaper a new home and let this network crash and burn with their elusive and fickle teen demographic.
"Jus in Bello"
--Robin's Rambles by Robin Vogel
In Monument, Colorado, Dean and Sam, guns in hand, search Bela's hotel room. Sam asks his brother if he's sure this is Bela's room. Dean holds up a red and blond wig--disguises Bela uses--it is. The phone rings. It's Bela, who has the Colt beside her on the car seat and claims to be two states away. Dean tells her he wants the Colt back; many people will die if she doesn't return it. She wants to know what he thinks she's going to do with it. Sell it to the highest bidder, he says. You know nothing about me, she retorts. He swears he'll find her because he has nothing better to do than track her down.
Seeing flashing red lights, she assures him he's going to be quite preoccupied; she took precautions. At that moment, police officers burst into the hotel room and order the brothers down on their knees. "Bitch!" spits Dean. Bela breathes a deep sigh of relief. Sam and Dean, face down on the carpet, are read their Miranda rights. They look up, up and see their old nemesis, Victor Henriksen, towering over them. "Hi, guys," he says jocularly, "it's been a while." Dean drops his head to the floor, knowing he's in deep trouble.
"No Rest For the Wicked"
--Robin's Rambles by Robin Vogel
Dean dreams he is running from hellhounds. He awakens just as they catch up to and leap on him. He has fallen asleep on a particularly gruesome photo of a hellhound in a book, and he looks up to Sam's worried but hopeful face--Bobby's come up with a way to find Lilith. Only 30 hours to go, notes Dean ruefully, and suggests a Mexico run instead--senoritas, cervesas, donkey show? Sam prefers to NEVER do that, even if they save Dean. Sam sits next to him and promises him he isn't going to go to hell, "I'm not gonna let you, I swear." Dean looks at his brother's face, which distorts in the awful way faces do when a soul is close to going to hell. "Yeah, OK," says Dean, clearly not believing him.
Bobby's House - Bobby sets a giant scrying tool in the middle of a map of the USA. He assures them they will know what street Lilith's on by the time he's done. He says a bit of Latin and the scrying tool stops on New Harmony, Indiana. Dean doesn't want to just go in there--they aren't sure it's Lilith, and he doesn't trust Bela. They have no idea how to kill her! Sam wants to get Ruby in on this, but Dean is equally determined to keep her out; Ruby is the Miss Universe of lying skanks--for all we know, she works for Lilith! "Give me another option!" says Sam. "Sam's right," chimes in Bobby. "NO, DAMN IT!" yells Dean, "Just no--we are not going to make the same mistakes all over again. If you guys want to save me, find something else." Bobby leaves to "find something else." Dean sits down to do more research.
--Robin's Rambles by Robin Vogel
Could you BE more gay? is what Dean asks Sam in the course of this investigation.
Three hefty brothers argue at a construction site. One is killed by a snarling creature, the other survives the attack.
A big, fat frog wends its way through this entire episode, hoping, perhaps one of the brothers will kiss it and turn it into a beautiful princess? It never does get that wish, and indeed, is nearly run over by the Impala at this point in the story. Inside the car, Sam and Dean argue; Sam wants to summon the Crossroads Demon and, using the newly revamped Colt, force her to release Dean from the deal. If they screw with it, YOU die, points out Dean. If we don't, YOU die, points out Sam. Dean insists they let it go; Sam reminds him he's not Dad. Dean changes the subject by asking about the psychotic killer. They determine it's not a werewolf, then, posing as Detectives Plant and Page, go to visit Kyle, the one surviving brother, in the hospital.
Dean tricks Sam into becoming the sketch artist (The things he can do with a pen!) (From Alice - I still to this day laugh my fool head off over this drawing), so Sam takes out a notepad and fakes it as Kyle describes a man. Dean keeps asking about animal characteristics, like long teeth or claws, but he didn't have those, just a tat of Wile E. Coyote on his arm. Dean leaves to question Kyle's doctor while Sam shows the latter the unspeakably terrible drawing he did. œWork in progress, says Sam defensively. Kyle is speechless. When he later shows Dean the drawing, Sam says, œYou couldn't have done any better. The victims' were missing many organs, just not the hearts. It's neither werewolf nor demon, so they've got nothin'.
In the next scene, a thirty-something couple, lost and hungry, come upon a cute cottage and a sweet little old lady who gives them drugged pieces of pie and proceeds to hack up the hubby with a large, nasty knife. The wife screams in terror. Outside the window, a pretty, dark-haired girl who looks like Snow White watches the gory scene, seeming to enjoy it.
Back at the hospital, Dean and Sam turn their backs to the law so they won't be spotted. They go to visit Mrs. Watson, the murdered woman's husband, and run into Dr. Garrison, who is also treating Kyle. He's concerned that his whole town is going insane. When the old lady was carving up her husband, I pushed her, explains Mrs. Watson”and she cracked her head on the stove--she's dead, right?”I killed her? Mrs. Watson has no idea why the old lady did this; one moment she was fine, the next, insane. Mrs. Watson also spotted that beautiful, dark-haired girl staring in, so out of place in that terrible context.
The brothers go to check out the cottage, where there is lots of EMF but no sulfur. Sam proposes a theory: fairy tales. Couple hiking through the woods, HANSEL AND GRETEL. Three brothers arguing over building a house and the Big Bad Wolf comes along. . . THREE LITTLE PIGS. supplies Dean”but I thought everyone lives happily ever after in those stories. Grimm stories were like the folklore of their day, explains Sam, full of sex, violence, cannibalism, it got sanitized over the years. Dean says they need to do research now, and isn't happy. They find no missing or dead child matching the description of theirs. Sam tells Dean about Lilian Bailey, a British medium from the 1930's who would go into trances and her thoughts and actions were completely controlled by spirits. The ghost puppet master, says Dean--you think that's what this kid is doing?--sending wolf boy and grandma into trances, making them go kill-crazy? Could be, says Sam, kinda like a spirit hypnosis. Fairy tale trances?--bizarre even for us, says Dean. They come across the croaking frog and stare down at it. "Yeah, you're right, that's completely normal," says Sam. "All right, maybe it is fairy tales," agrees Dean, "totally messed-up fairy tales. I'll tell you one thing--there's no way I'm kissin' a damn frog." Sam points across the street at a pumpkin on the porch. Dean reminds him it's close to Halloween. Remember Cinderella, says Sam, with the pumpkin that turns into a coach (a mouse skitters across the porch in front of the pumpkin) and mice that become horses? Dean gazes at his brother as if he's totally insane. "Dude, could you BE more gay?" he asks. Sam gives him a look of skepticism and doesn't respond. "Don't answer that," says Dean. The frog on the ground huffs, making itself look even bigger than before. The brothers break into the house across the street. "Who knows, maybe you'll find your fairy godmother," teases Dean. They separate, one going left, the other right. Hearing a noise, they take out their guns. They find a blond girl handcuffed to the kitchen stove--her step-mom freaked out, screamed at her, beat her, chained her up. While Sam searches for tools to free her from the handcuffs, Dean spies the little girl and calls Sam's name so he can see her, too. She turns and walks away; Dean follows her through a couple of rooms. "Who are you?" he asks. Like a ghost, her form pulses, then disappears. In her place is a red apple. Dean picks it up and gazes at it, more perplexed than ever.
The brothers discuss the apple. SNOW WHITE, suggests Sam. The wicked stepmother put her into a coma with a poisoned apple. Dean recalls the porno version of that story, and how VERY wicked the wicked stepmother was. (Why doesn't she have an IV?) They learn that Dr. Garrison has a daughter, Callie, who's been comatose in the hospital for years. Dr. Garrison sits beside her bed reading”shocker!”
THE BROTHERS GRIMM: COMPLETE WORKS AND TALES to his daughter. At the same time, a seemingly nice man with a tattoo of Wile E. Coyote on his arm appears to be helping an elderly woman load her groceries into her van. Instead, with a snarl, he pushes her inside the van and begins to beat her viciously, the little girl solemnly watching. Climbing into the driver's seat, he screeches away.
Sam and Dean enter Callie's room, where he father is reading "Little Red Riding Hood." Callie is 18 now, raven-haired and beautiful. After Sam carefully expresses how sorry they are, they manage to get Dr. Garrison to answer questions. Callie has been here since she was eight--swallowed bleach. They never figured out how she got her hands on the bottle, but his wife found her and got her to the ER, where he was on call. Dean asks if Dr. Garrison's wife was Callie's step-mother. Dr. G is surprised he knows that; Julie, who passed away last year, was the only mother Callie ever knew, and his daughter is now all he has left.
Sam and Dean put the pieces together: The step-mother poisoned the daughter, put her in a deep sleep. Motive? Could be like Mischa Barton, suggests Dean, SIXTH SENSE, not the OC--keep the kid sick so you get all the attention. Munchhausen's Syndrome By Proxy, supplies Sam, could be. So perhaps Callie's been suffering silently because nobody knows the truth about what Mommy dearest did, suggests Dean. So now, her super angry spirit is lashing out, says Sam. How do they stop her, with Daddy keeping her alive here, and no bones to burn? An elderly lady is brought in, and the brothers overhear that she was bitten by a dog or wolf. Sam tells Dean the last story the doctor was reading to Callie was LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD. The old lady has died; they cover her face.
Showing their badges, the brothers ask the paramedic for the woman's next of kin--a granddaughter. "Find a way to stop Callie," says Dean, "I'm going to stop the Big Bad Wolf--which is the weirdest thing I've ever said."
A smiling girl in a red button-down cape spots Grandma's van waiting across the street. She looks both ways before crossing and climbs into the van. "Hey, Grandma," she says, but a leering man turns from the front seat instead. She screams. All the doors lock so she can't escape.
When Sam tells Dr. Garrison his wife poisoned Callie, he orders him out of the hospital, but when Sam reveals he saw Callie's spirit, that changes the doctor's mind. Sam explains that Callie's been killing people, trying to get his attention, trying to get him to listen to her. My wife loved Callie, insists the doctor. Garrison stands over his now-adult daughter, asks, "Is it true? Did Mommy do that to you? I know I wasn't listening before, but I'm listening now. Is there any way you can tell me? "Doctor?" says Sam softly. Eight year old Callie stands behind him. "Is it true?" asks Dr. Garrison. Sadly, the little girl nods. Dr. Garrison, crying, tells his daughter she must stop what she's doing. It's time for her to go”and time for him to let her go. He kisses her forehead and caresses her cheek one final time. Her monitor goes flat-line. Dr. Garrison turns to see that eight-year-old Callie is gone, too. It's over, for all of them.
Dean has just enough time to kick in the door and verify that Little Red is OK, hiding from the Big Bad Man Wolf (known from now on as BBMW) before the creature grabs him and tosses him against a china closet. Callie watches the BBMW beat the crap out of Dean, thoroughly enjoying herself. Dean falls and grabs the scissors out of Grandma's knitting basket. He's just about to stab the other man when Callie hears her father calling to her and winks out. With Dean on the bottom, trying to stab upwards, the BBMW is trying to avoid Dean's slashing hand and wrest the scissors away from him. Dean is just about to thrust the scissors into the BBMW's hear when the man comes out of his Callie-induced trance. œSTOPSTOPSTOP! he cries”œWho am I?”What's going on?
Later, Dean assures Dr. Garrison that the little girl is OK. They're all glad it's really over, and the doctor is the reason for that. (Except for those who died and those who will be unjustly accused, what about them? We never do get an explanation, do we?) Garrison feels he should have let his daughter go a long time ago. œSee you around, says Dean. œI hope not, says Dr. Garrison. "What he said, some good advice," says Dean. "Is that what you want me to do, Dean," says Sam, "just let you go?" Dean doesn't reply, he just looks Sam steadily in the eye and walks away, leaving Sam, alone, gazing after him down a long hallway. (This was SO sad. I felt Dean was being mean to Sam, not trying to see things from his point of view. Sam was hurting, and Dean was just letting him stew in it.)
Sam, fully dressed, sneaks past a sleeping but restless Dean. At a crossroads, Sam buries a box, stands and waits. The Crossroads Demon, a pretty red-eyed gal in a black cocktail dress appears. "Well, little Sammy Winchester, I'm touched," she says, "your brother has been to see me twice, but YOU--I've never had the pleasure. What can I do for you, Sam?" He pulls the Colt out and points it at her. "Beg for your life," he advises. "We were having such a nice conversation," she says, "then you had to go and ruin the mood." He wants her to be scared, but that's not her style. She notices it isn't the original Colt--where did he get it? It hits her--Ruby, had to be--she is such a pain in my ass--she'll get what's coming to her. "Let Dean out of his deal right now," demands Sam, "he lives, you live, I live--everyone goes home happy, or. . ." He cocks the gun. "You stop breathing, permanently."
She asks if he really wants to break the deal--isn't he tired of cleaning up Dean's messes? Of dealing with his broken psyche? Isn't he tired of being bossed around like a snot-nosed little brother? Sam's stronger than Dean, better. "Watch your mouth," warns Sam. You'll be a tiny bit relieved when he's gone, she taunts--no more desperate, sloppy, needy Dean--you can finally be free. "I said, shut up!" commands Sam. She thinks he protests too much. Dean's an adult who made the deal of his own free will, fair and square, and it's iron-clad. "Every deal can be broken," insists Sam. Not this one. "Fine, then I'll kill you," says Sam, "if you're gone, so's the deal." She's just a saleswoman, and has a boss like everybody--"he" holds the contract, not me--if he wants Dean's soul, he's not gonna let it go--shoot me, if it'll get you off, but the deal still holds, and when Dean's time is up, he's going to be dragged into the pit. "Who's your boss?" asks Sam. "I can't tell you," she says, "I'm sorry, Sam, but there's no way out of this one." Sam gulps, considers, then shoots her, right in the forehead. Light bursts throughout her body for a few moments until she finally falls, flat on her back. Sam stares down at her, forehead furrowed. Somehow, we don't get the feeling he cares that he murdered a human woman along with the demon inside her, just self-satisfaction that he killed a nasty demon who was taunting him.
1. I loved Jared's former girlfriend, Sandy, as a Crossroads demon. There was a lot of controversy at the time”what did you think?
2. This isn't one of my favorite eps, I feel sorta meh about it. It just didn't ring my bell, and I can't put a finger on why. I loved the frog, cried for the doc when he had to let Callie go, thought the concept was pretty good. Maybe it was Callie's big boobs as an adult? No IV, which seemed impossible and wrong for a woman in a coma? I just don't know.
3. I enjoyed Dean's snarkery about the wicked stepmother as a porn movie. That was so funny, especially in this context. Also, teasing Sam about œCould you BE more gay? was hilarious, too. I think of that as a definite shout-out to those fans, and you know who you are.
4. Did the idea of a child Calllie's age watching all that violence bother you? It bugged me. She shouldn't have watched it, and certainly shouldn't have been enjoying it. I understand, she was upset, frustrated and angry because she couldn't catch her father's attention, but there had to be a less violent way to handle it.
5. What happens to the poor man who went wolf and killed people? Does the doctor stay behind and explain these fantastic events? Who will believe him? It's all SUPERNATURAL!
"The Kids Are Alright"
--Robin's Rambles by Robin Vogel
In seemingly idyllic Cicero, Indiana, a young girl, Katie, returns home early from her visit to her divorced father's home, claiming to Mommy that there are monsters there, and she no longer wants to have "Dad's night" anymore. Mom, mystified, agrees. After they leave, Katie's father is killed by his own power saw, which thrums into life by itself and induces him to fall on top of it. The resulting gore-fest is Krip-squee-worthy, and we wonder how it got past the censors.
Sam, in a restaurant, works on his computer while talking on the phone with Bobby, trying to find Dean a way out of his demon deal. When Dean enters, Sam insists he's ordering a pizza, causing Dean to call him Weirdy McWeirderton. Dean uses the story of the man falling on his power saw as an excuse to go visit Lisa Braeden, a former yoga teacher who gave him the "bendiest" weekend of his life. While Sam is annoyed, Dean talks him into it as one of his many dying wishes. Dean grins wickedly, considering his fun with "Gumby Girl," wondering if that makes him "Pokey."
He all but dumps Sam in front of the motel without his duffel, he's in such a rush, but when Dean knocks on Lisa's door, he finds she's throwing a party for her eight-year-old son, Ben. While being ogled by Lisa's cougar friends, who know him as THAT Dean, "best night of my life Dean," with whom Lisa did things that were almost unlawful, Dean does some math, watches Ben enjoying the chicks, gobbling food, opening a CD and declaring "AC/DC rules!" He races toward the kitchen
In the kitchen, Lisa and Katie's mom have been having a disturbing discussion; the latter is insisting her daughter isn't her daughter at all! Lisa tries to reassure Katie's mom that Katie is having trouble adjusting to losing her father and promises to get her help. Insulted and angry, Katie's mom tells Lisa, "You don't understand," gathers up her daughter and leaves the party.
Dean enters the kitchen and awkwardly beats around the bush with the timeline of their affair, asking if Ben is his. No! answers Lisa. Noticing Katie and her mom leaving, Dean asks if they're OK. Lisa explains about the terrible accident with the power saw.
Ruby joins Sam at his table, closes his computer, and grabs one of his French fries. She declares them deep-fried crack and urges him to have one. He accuses her of following him since Lincoln. She won't give him a straight answer about where she got the demon killing knife, and when he asks why she's following him, she replies, "Because you're tall. I love a tall man. And then there's the whole antichrist thing. Generation of psychic kids, yellow-eyed-demon rounds you up, celebrity death match ensues. You're the sole survivor." She mentions Sam's visions, and he tells her that stuff hasn't happened since the YED died. "Well, I'm thinking you're still a pretty big deal," she says, "I mean, after all that business with your mom." You know, what happened to her friends. You . . . don't know. You've got a little bit of catching up to do my friend." She writes her phone number on Sam's palm. "So why don't you look into your mom's pals and then give me a call and we'll talk again?"By the way," she adds, "there is a job here."
Seconds later, after Ruby's left, Dean calls to tell Sam there IS a job here"”there have been lots of weirdo accidents all over the neighborhood, people falling from ladders, drowning in Jacuzzis"”that never made the newspaper.
There are a LOT (too many, IMHO) scenes of Katie and her mother in this ep. The first, in which Katie's mom sees her daughter's peeling, grayish, hideous reflection in a mirror, is frightening, and the actress portraying the mom is excellent in her growing hysteria, but I felt the ep was too much of them and not enough of the Winchesters. The little girl, too, is appropriately icky, especially when she tells Mommy how much she loves her. Once we know it's all about the feeding and get a look at the wound on the mothers' necks and see that ring of grotesque TEETH all the kids have. . .eww. . . gross. . .disgusting! I have to admit, though, the scene in which Katie's mom takes her little girl to the water and sends her into the drink is very upsetting. It makes me wonder if perhaps some of the terrible mothers who have done it to their kids in the news have had reasons like THIS for doing so. I mean, we're sure they didn't, but what if they DID? Most spine-crawling of all, though, was when Katie's mom returned home, crying over what she had done, to find her daughter sitting in a chair, dripping wet, still looking for her friggin' ice cream!
Sam plays a cool, collected insurance adjustor, his hair just perfect, and he spies the red stuff that looks like blood but isn't, the red, round sore on Mommy's neck, and the daughter, Dakota, who could play Wednesday in her class play without any makeup or change in clothing. Brrrrrrrr, that kid was sooooo creepy!
Didn't you just love have the Cicero Realtor was RIGHT THERE, wanting to know if Katie's mom was ready to list the house? Her ex-husband's body wasn't even cool yet! Talk about jumping in the grave! Was that the changeling real estate lady or the real deal? Hard to tell. Hmmm. Katie coming over, asking for ice cream. Was that just short hand for saying she wanted to suckle on Mommy's wound? The little brat is always hungry!
The scene Ben telling Dean he couldn't send a grown-up to retrieve his game because only BITCHES send a grown-up was BEAUTIFUL, hilarious"”and true. I loved that Dean played a father-figure for Ben and told him to go knee that bully in the nads and take back what was his, even if Lisa was pissed off at him for saying so. I got a lump in my throat when Ben pulled his hand from his mom's, ran back to Dean and hugged and thanked him for helping him out. I don't care what Lisa told Dean later, that little boy IS Winchester flesh, blood and bone, damn it!
Dean returns to find Sam's figured everything out"”they're dealing with changelings who feed on the mothers' synovial fluid until they die. Anyone getting between the mom and the changeling dies. The real kids are hidden somewhere underground. Dean, immediately concerned about Ben's welfare, wants to make a stop. At Lisa's, Dean offers her a credit card to take Ben away to Six Flags for his birthday"”NOW. She notices it belongs to Siegfried Houdini and orders him to go. When Ben says, "Make him go away, Mommy," Dean realizes he's been replaced by a changeling and is terrified, but Lisa tells Dean to get out and shuts the door in his face.
Sam and Dean go to a house being built in the same development. Dean points out red clay there, explaining what's been looking like blood. Not only are all the kids there, locked in individual cages, but so is a bodyguard mother changeling"”Realtor Lady. Dean and Sam battle her, and for a while, it looks like she's got the upper hand, but Sam uses Dean's homemade fire extinguisher to set her on fire, and she disappears. Ben uses his jacket to help the other kids escape a broken window unscathed, and makes sure all of them get out ahead of him, just as his Dad, Dean, would.
Dean and Sam return Ben safely to Lisa. Sam leaves to give them time to talk. While Ben listens to a CD, Dean explains about the changelings and that THIS is what he does for a living. He asks if she's sure Ben isn't his, and she says yes; she did a blood test when he was a baby"”"Some bar back in a biker joint. What? I had a type. Leather jacket, couple of scars, no mailing address I was there. Guess I was a little wild back then. Before I became a mom. So, yeah, you can relax." "Good," says Dean, but he doesn't mean it. "I swear you look disappointed," she says. "Yeah, I don't know," he says. "It's weird, you know, your life. I mean, this house and kid. It's not my life. Never will be. Some stuff happened to me recently, and, uh, anyway, a guy in my situation, you start to think, you know. I'm going to be gone one day and what am I leaving behind besides a car?" "I don't know," she says. "Ben may not be your kid, but he wouldn't be alive if it wasn't for you. That's a lot if you ask me." "You know, just for the record, you've got a great kid," says Dean. "I would have been proud to be his dad." Lisa runs over and impulsively kisses Dean on the lips. "Look," she says, "if, um, if you want to stick around for a while, you're welcome to stay." "I can't," says Dean, "I've got a lot of work to do, and it's not my life." He leaves.
Sam has made all the phone calls. "They're dead. All of them. All of my mom's friends. Our doctor, our uncle, everyone who ever knew her systematically wiped of the map one at a time. Someone went through a hell of a lot of trouble trying to cover their tracks." It's the yellow-eyed demon, says Ruby, "it's all about YOU." Sam demands to know who she is. To his horror, she reveals her black eyes. "You're a demon," he accuses. "Don't be a racist," she says. She wants to help him from time to time, help him figure out what happened to his mother, to her friends. "And if you let me," she adds, "there's something in it for you. I could help you save your brother."
1. We now know Ruby's TRUE raison d'etre. What did you think of her at the end of this episode?
2. What did you think of the MOTW? Too much Katie and her Mommy?
3. Did we ever really learn what happened to everyone Mary knew, or are we just supposed to assume they were killed to make sure they never spilled anything as accessories to John and Mary's strange little story? Or did Kripke just drop the ball on this part of the story?
4. Do you think Lisa was telling the truth, or did she lie after learning what Dean really did for a living?
--Robin's Rambles by Robin Vogel
Welcome to the first new episode of season 3! I was disappointed after the beauty of "In My Time of Dying," which was about as perfect as a SUPERNATURAL episode can get, but this episode had its high points, too. "Hell's Bells" plays over the re-cap, which was wonderful, and so we segue into what's going on only five days after the release of all the demons from Devil's Gate.
In a too-long, too-expensive (Kripke even said so) scene, we watch a flock of CGI demons criss-crossing the sky. One shoves itself down the throat of a hapless Chicago man named Walter Rosen, who stupidly put out his garbage. His eyes glow black.
Outside a motel room, Sam sits in the Impala, reading Dr. Faustus, already trying to find a way to break Dean from his deal. Dean? He's wearing a wife-beater and from inside their hotel room, he gives Sam two thumbs up. He's about to have sex with a gal he calls "The Doublemint Twins," presumably because of her lovely breasts. When Bobby calls Sam to find out what Dean's doing, Sam's reply is, "Polling the electorate," which is one of the highlights of this ep for me. VERY funny--and dirty! Bobby tells Sam that he and his brother need to high-tail it to Lincoln Nebraska; there have been omens of demonic activity.
Poor Sam peeks around the motel room door and catches Dean en flagrant dilecto. Later, as Dean wildly drives the Impala over a hill, he reminds Sam that he caught him performing a beautiful, natural act. All Sam wants is to borrow Dean's knife so he can gouge out his eyes. The house Bobby wants them to check out has extraordinarily loud cicadas and three stinky dead bodies sitting on the couch. There's no sulfur and no apparent cause of death. When Dean hears a noise out on the porch and goes to investigate, he's struck by the gun butt of a man named Isaac, who Bobby greets as a fellow hunter and friend. "Bleeding here!" gasps Dean, reaching a hand up for help.
They go to the home of husband and wife hunter team Isaac and Tamara. The two argue fondly over the location of palo santo, a wood that keeps demons nailed down while you're exorcising them. Sam asks how they got into hunting in the first place, a question that disturbs the couple, and Bobby, too. Dean, on the phone with a coroner's assistant, agrees to have an. . .appletini with her, even though he has no clue what that is. She does tell him those three people died of starvation and dehydration, even with a stocked kitchen right at hand. Isaac refuses to hunt with the Winchesters; they let the Devil's Gate get open in the first place! When Dean starts to get huffy, Tamara wisely pulls her husband out of the room before the testosterone gets too thick.
Bobby draws the curtains, not knowing there is a blond hunter woman who steps from the shadows and is intently watching the house.
The following day, Walter Rosen goes into a store, rubs a blond woman's shoulder, points and says, "Those are nice shoes." Another woman, brunette, has already decided to buy the hideous green shoes. The blond follows the brunette to her car, brutally smashes her head into her windshield until she's dead and her car alarm is blaring, then picks up the bag with the shoes and walks away with it. (A terrible but very effective scene.)
Later, inside the store, Sam finds Dean "comforting" a bereaved woman, obviously with more horizontal pleasures in mind. Dean fake coughs, reminding Sam he's sold his soul (and this seemed very out of character for Dean and bothered the hell out of me. I simply couldn't see Dean rubbing Sam's face in it, knowing how upset Sam was). Bobby, all dressed up in a suit, played fake DA and questioned the woman, who didn't respond to being splashed with holy water"”she just REALLY wanted those shoes!
Dean proves he's not just working on the ladies by pointing out the security tape camera. They watch the tape together and notice the man who touched the blond who went crazy and killed the other woman. They suspect he's a demon. Later, Sam's walking down the street and feels he's being followed, which he is"”by the same blond who was watching the house the previous night. When Sam turns around, no one is there.
Dean and Bobby are on stake-out in the latter's truck outside a bar; it's shortly after midnight. They showed Walter's picture around and this is his usual hangout; they're waiting for him. Sam bangs on the window, causing both men to jump. Sam laughs and climbs into the back seat. Sam has ID'd the guy"”Walter Rosen from Oak Park, IL, went missing right after the demons escaped the gate. They spy Walter heading into the bar, and Bobby and Dean argue over whether they should enter now or wait. Spotting Tamara and Isaac heading in, they realize they must act immediately.
Tamara and Isaac are seated at a table, awaiting drinks. Isaac has a flask of holy water. He tells her to bring the truck around to the back. "I love you," she whispers. When Isaac stands up, a bouncer comes over, revealing black eyes. "I don't like hunters in my bar!" he declares, grabbing Isaac's flask and hurling it away. Suddenly, Isaac and Tamara are surrounded by demons, crowding in with malice in their black eyes. Dean, Bobby and Sam are trying to get inside the bar, to no avail. "I like the girl," says the waitress salaciously, "there are a thousand things I could do with her." "Wish I had me a girl like that," says Walter eagerly. Isaac warns them away from his wife, but he suddenly finds himself chugging down drain cleaner"”to Tamara's horror. Isaac, blood falling from both sides of his mouth, falls to the floor. (This was so gross"”I was imagining what it was doing to his insides and feeling the burn.) Tamara becomes hysterical. "All right, honey, YOUR turn!" exults Walter. At that moment, Bobby's car screeches right into the bar, leaving wood in its wake. They splatter the demons with holy water, grab Tamara, who doesn't want to leave with Isaac, and end up shoving Walter into the trunk before Dean throws himself into the shotgun seat and they take off.
Tamara has only one thing on her mind"”getting Isaac's body back home. Dean is willing to go with her to retrieve it, since he's already dead, something Sam really isn't pleased to hear him say. Bobby reveals that he finally knows that they're up against"”the SEVEN DEADLY SINS! Gluttony got Isaac, Envy the shoe shopper, sloth those who sat and died. These demons are a whole new variety, and he isn't sure how to go up against them, so when Tamara starts insisting on going back for Isaac, he screams at her, reminding her she and her husband went off after these demons half-cocked before and things turned out badly; they have to THINK about their next move this time! Gently, Bobby tells her he's sorry for her loss, but they're doing it his way this time.
They have Envy tied up under the Devil's Trap. Asked what he wants, he says he already has it"”freedom, fun"”he likes seeing people's insides on their outsides. Then he accuses Dean of being a walking billboard of gluttony and lust, Tamara of harboring wrath"”so she punches him, twice. You're all horny, greedy, hungry and violent, accuses Envy, no better than us demons. When Dean volunteers to stay behind and face the other six demons who would be showing up to save Envy, Sam's response is, "If we're going down, we're going down together." Handed a bible, Tamara is only too happy to exorcise the demon, and is indifferent when the host body dies, too.
In an attic room lit only by candles, Sam fills bottles with holy water while Dean cleans guns and fills them with ammo. The brothers don't speak, but the communication going back and forth between them speaks volumes of hope and love. They hear singing: "I shall not be moved." Isaac's corpse, reanimated by one of the demons, calls for Tamara. Bobby tries his best to talk to her, convince her that's not Isaac, but it has and uses his memories, reminding her that she left him to die and left their daughter, too! Tamara screams and runs outside, opening the door and the protective salt line, allowing the other six demons into the house. She uses the palo santo stake to shut Isaac up. Bobby easily traps an overweight demon under the Devil's Trap, and taunts, "Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life, son." (A line taken right out of ANIMAL HOUSE.)
The pretty Lust demon captures Dean, who seduces him into a heavy lip-lock. Sam is attacked by three demons, headed up by Pride, who is able to break a Devil's Trap. He calls Sam "Boy King," but mockingly, he's not impressed and won't bow before him, now that Yellow Eyes is dead"”it's Open Season on Sam! Dean controls his lust well enough to break the kiss and push Lust-gal's head into a bathtub full of holy water. Pride had Sam in a chokehold. The mysterious blond appears with a magic knife, easily, quickly killing the other two demons. Pride drops Sam and turns to Blondie, who then needs rescuing by Sam. Between the two of them, she's able to thrust her knife into Pride's throat, where it glows inside his mouth (wonderful special effects with that knife on the demons), and he goes down. "Who are you?" gasps Sam. "The girl who saved your ass," she gasps back. "I saved yours, too," he counters. "See you around, Sam," she says, grinning, and disappears. Sam is unable to find her.
In the aftermath, host bodies are salted and burned; Bobby reports two are alive but will need extensive therapy. Isaac is given a proper hunter's burning send-off and Tamara, after a warning from Bobby that the world is a far more dangerous place now, leaves, alone and much sadder. Dean teases Sam for having to be saved by "that masked chick," whoever she was, and they all wonder what kind of knife could kill a demon. When Sam asks Bobby if they can win this war, the old hunter doesn't answer.
Left alone, Sam and Dean begin to argue over Dean's decision to sell his soul to bring Sam back. The latter wants to go to Louisiana to consult a hoodoo priest, while Dean prefers Reno. Sam's pissed off at his brother, but Dean tells him, "We welch, you die." How could you make that deal? asks Sam. Because I couldn't live with you dead, replies Dean. So you're doing the same thing to me, says Sam, which is selfish. Dean is OK with that, he's tired and sees a light at the end of the tunnel. "That's hellfire, Dean," says Sam sourly. All Dean wants to do is make the most of the time he has left"”kill some evil sons of bitches and raise a little hell"”he feels good! You're unbelievable, says Sam.
"Very true," says Dean. They climb into the Impala and drive away.
1. The suits at the CW requested they make the show less dark, and season 3 was the result. This episode was far too bright for me, and I didn't like it. Like they said in "Hollywood Babylon," horror is supposed to be dark. I agree.
2. This episode introduced Ruby, the mysterious woman who will have a huge affect on the brothers' lives, especially Sam's. We already know the end of that story, here is the very beginning. She swoops in and saves Sam like he's a damsel in distress, but she gets in trouble, too, and needs help from him. Many people despised her before she ever showed up, and hated the slow motion of her demon-killing scene. I liked that. I came to like Ruby, too, but many fans wanted her gone when she was merely a concept. How about you, now that her story arc has come and gone?
3. Sam says everything to Dean he couldn't say at the end of S2, about how selfish he is for making the deal, that Dean is forcing HIM to live without his brother, etc. Yet Dean says he's fine with that and wants to spend his last year killing evil SOB's and raising a little hell. Is he justified? Does he really expect his loving brother to just accept this and shut up?
4. Given that we really only "met" Pride, Lust and Envy (and briefly, Sloth), did you think Bobby made too big a deal about the SEVEN DEADLY SINS? Did you think perhaps it might have been better if they had two in the episode or three, instead of all of them at once?
5. How horrible was the bar scene with Tamara and Isaac? I FELT their terror. First time around, I was sure both were going to die. Forcing Isaac to drink drain cleaner was one of the worst things I've ever seen on this show. Then sending Isaac back reanimated by a demon was so cruel and terrible for Tamara, but effective in getting inside the house. I still hope we'll see Tamara again someday. She lost her husband and child to the supernatural, and probably became as driven as John.
6. I was disappointed with "Magnificent Seven." In comparison to "In My Time of Dying" and "Lazarus Rising," it left a lot to be desired. It had good points"”the introduction of Tamara and Isaac, married hunters; effective MOTW in Envy and Pride (I did like Envy's speech about how humans are no better than demons, especially talking about hungry, horny Dean); that terrifying bar scene with its horrific death for Isaac; Dean's Doublemint Twins scene while Sam waited in the Impala, then had to go in and interrupt him; and the final discussion between the brothers, where Dean told Sam how it's going to be, period. Your opinion?
Sure, it was a repeat, but weren't we all a little excited on Thursday to go to the TV Guide and see our beloved show Supernaturallisted in the lineup again? I got a little emotional, and I didn't even care what episode was on. The CW played a cruel joke on us for six weeks, and I'm glad it's over.
The episode chosen for repeat viewing was "Malleus Maleficarum", a graphically gross tale about shallow suburbanites who unwittingly sold their souls to the devil via witchcraft all in hopes of getting a better mortgage rate. The writer of this episode was Ben Edlund, who makes my short list of writers whose warped mind I most want to emulate when writing my own stuff. This wasn't his best script (that honor belongs to season two's "Nightshifter"), but I still enjoyed his unconventional view of witches and demons, and he delivered plenty of drama for the Winchester boys. There was one element in particular that made this episode stand out from others, but first let's cover the other stuff.
Reviewing episodes after seeing the rest of the season creates an interesting challenge. I try to judge the episode on its merits alone as if I was watching for the first time, but I can't avoid recalling post episode subplots that cleanly tie into the one up for review. "The Kids Are Alright" is one of those episodes. It sets the framework for Dean's season three character development, yet also carries over the sentiments first revealed in "What Is and What Should Never Be". So, forgive me, but this episode is going to be judged on how it bridges the gap between that stellar season two episode and the latter part of season three. It's a key piece to Dean's intense personal struggle, the one he tries to hide from the surface, but one that also defines him.
Before I start plowing through this better than average episode (a huge improvement over the season premiere), I would like to take time to honor this episode's writer, Sera Gamble. I like profiling writers as many of you have noticed from my previous reviews and somehow I've overlooked the show's head writer. As a writer myself I've learned throughout the years how to appreciate the precision and careful crafting that goes into creating a work of art such as a script. There's way more to it than meets the eye, and with a television script in particular, every word counts. There are only 40 minutes to tell the story, thus so much needs to be said with so little.
Sera Gamble is a master of her craft, and has consistently provided one gem after another that upon deconstruction gives us so much to ponder. Her strengths lie in the character development and bringing out the raw emotional elements of the relationship between the brothers. She wrote the tear-jerkers like "Faith" and "Heart", stories that exposed deep inner layers like this episode, "Houses of The Holy" and "Dream A Little Dream of Me", and explored deep character dilemmas in "Salvation", "Bloodlust" and "Time Is On My Side". Remember though, this is also the evil woman that killed Sam Winchester and made him kill his lover after his first hot night of passion in a while, so torture and despair isn't lost on her either. Come to think of it, she came up with the mellon baller to the eye socket too. Seems like she relishes in putting Sam through the ringer. It's all done in love though, I'm sure.
Reviewing "The Magnificent Seven" is weird since I'm going from something unbelievable like the finale last week to this episode, easily one of the worst of the season. Last week I marveled at the awesomeness of the Kripster for his flawless script in "No Rest For The Wicked", and now I get to ask what the hell he was thinking for this season three premiere. I forgave him for this misstep a while ago though since nobody is perfect but still, it pains me to be so harsh. I suppose there are pitfalls to being a critic. Forgive me Master Kripke.
Before I go on, I want to send a huge thank you to everyone that sent a "Damn You Kripke!" in honor of last week's still jaw dropping finale (Dean!). The response was far greater than I expected, and it just goes to show how great this fandom is. I love you guys!
It's time to take a look way back at season three as Elle picks her hits and misses for the second half of the season.