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  • "Adventures In Babysitting" Review - "Finding A Reason"



    All hunters in Supernatural have their reasons for why they do it. They all started because a loved one was killed by a supernatural creature"”demon, ghost, monster, it matters not. In "Adventures In Babysitting," we explore this"”and see the counter argument for why perhaps one should not.   

    Hunting has high costs. The initial loss that hurls a hunter into the life may be extremely painful and a powerful motivator, but as they continue to pursue it more injuries and losses are often incurred. Other loved ones are killed. Innocence is lost. Hopes for a normal life cease. The longer one stays in it, the more likely it is they will die on a job or accumulate enemies. Any of the vanquished creatures may have their own loved ones or allies that choose to hunt the hunter for revenge. 
     
    Revenge is a common reason for hunters to hunt. In this episode, it is a great motivator to Dean, after Bobby's death. Even so, it is a fast burning fire that will run cold before long. To survive, a hunter must have another reason to continue the practice. They must find their raison d'etre so to speak or they will meet their end quickly. It was Bobby's last words of wisdom to Dean. 

    In "Adventures to Babysitting," we see both Sam and Dean explore that wisdom in different ways. Dean, in his grief, allows himself to burn with revenge against Roman. He enlists Frank to discover the hidden message in the numbers Bobby provided upon his death bed. He struggles to find his composure, and more than ever before his old coping mechanisms are failing him. His masks slip, his grip on the things he keeps in his lead box are leaking, and he can no longer rely upon his typical bravado to power himself through. 
     
  • "Defending Your Life" Review: "We're Not Catholic"



    "We're not Catholic."
     
    "Defending Your Life," may have featured an Egyptian God, but the guilt contained within is clearly of the Catholic variety.
     
    Dean is put on trial here, by Osiris, who will then weigh his guilt. Dean carries an awful lot of it around indeed, but most of it is misplaced and excessive---the definition of Catholic Guilt. Only one event truly condemns him: the killing of Amy Pond in the episode prior. It is the single thing that is eating away at him the most as the episode begins---especially after Sam thanks him for trusting him to let her go. It's not so much killing her that is making him feel guilty. It is the hiding it from Sam, the breach of trust that is making him feel guilty. 
  • "Hello, Cruel World" Review: Body Blows



    Anytime Ben Edlund's name appears as writer for an episode, I know that I will be either laughing till tears run down my face or crying as my heart breaks. "Hello, Cruel World," is most certainly the latter. Pair an Edlund script with the directorial skill of Guy Norman Bee, and Supernatural hits the jack pot every single time. If it was Edlund's intent to break every Supernatural fan's heart with this particular episode, he did that and more. For good measure, he twists the knife deep a few times. He also never lets up. 
     
    His first strike comes from Castiel. The blow is heavy and hard. The Leviathan trapped within the angel's vessel are barely contained. At the crucial moment when they could have finished both Winchesters and Bobby off for good, they are instead forced to retreat. Their black ooze is leaking out, as Castiel is about to explode. He eventually ends up walking into the local lake, which happens to also be the water supply. At this point, almost reminiscent of "Dead in the Water," the Leviathan pour forth from his body and infect the pipes, possessing any who drink the water. 
     
    The body blow here isn't just watching Castiel disappear into the water. It is the trench coat that floats up left behind. Dean picks it up with tears glistening in his eyes, and mutters, "Dumb son of a bitch." 


     
    Dean's anguish here is palpable. It is understated, but raw. Dean doesn't show his emotions as blatantly as he has in the past when Sam died in his arms in "All Hell Breaks Loose I." It is quiet, reserved, and almost resigned to the fact that he has lost one of his friends---and brothers. They may have been on opposite sides until Castiel agreed to return the souls to Purgatory, but that didn't change Dean's feelings---he cared for the angel and losing him hurt more than he cares to admit. After all, he wouldn't necessarily be topside at all if it hadn't been for Castiel. 
     
    They've watched their angel friend possibly die---or become something far worse, too. Only time can tell, but it isn't hard to figure out that Castiel's vessel has now become the vessel for the Boss Leviathan. That remains a mystery yet to be solved, but it's a possibility on the table that makes the scene hurt all the more. 
     
  • "How To Win Friends and Influence Monsters" Review



    "How to Win Friends and Influence Monsters," shows the latest plans the Leviathans have for human kind. They have designed a sandwich that will infect people, turning them into cattle for the Leviathan to feed. Their boss, Dick Roman, wants nothing to make the papers, but unfortunately it does, creating a problem for their new plans to subjugate the planet.

    This isn't unlike Lucifer's plans to wipe out humanity with the Croatoan virus. The difference here, however, is that yielded a handful of murderous zombies. Lucifer wanted to create violent zombies that would then eliminate one another. The Leviathan wants them to be food. Complacent food. This brings Dick Roman to the research lab to see what happened and to stop it.
  • "I'm Sorry, Have You Met Me?" I'm LK!

    People, like Piper, pop up in the strangest places.
    Naturally, we are curious about them.
    With this in mind, it’s should be fun to learn more about the writing staff here at The Winchester Family Business.

    So...WFB's writing staff was challenged to select eleven questions to answer from an extensive list.

    When you are done reading, we would like to challenge you to answer a few of the questions that our staff member answered.
    Long-time visitors or new ones...
    We'd like to get to know you better, too.

    Welcome another brave writer who accepted the SEASON ELEVEN/ ANSWER ELEVEN CHALLENGE!

  • "If You Could Read My Mind" by Lightfoot and Winchester



    Over the years, Supernatural has shown it can stretch beyond its classic rock roots.  We've seen Dean lip-synching to Air Supply, Bobby referencing Joni Mitchell and Sam choosing to put Jason Manns on his iPOD playlist. Still, I doubt Canadian folksinger Gordon Lightfoot will ever be played on the show.  I'm sure the mere thought of it has "Executive Consultant" Eric Kripke spinning on his swivel seat in Los Angeles.  But in light of "The Mentalists" episode, and before we all start spewing the pea soup, I'd like to share the lyrics for Lightfoot's classic "If You Could Read My Mind".  
  • "Meet The New Boss" Review: Back to Basics



    Noir is Dead. Long live Noir. 
     
    Supernatural has stripped back down to basics. It has returned, in many ways with "Meet the New Boss," to its old flavor and style. This, ironically, makes the series fresh and renewed. Starting with, during the Road So Far, we can already tell that the show is bringing itself back to the basics. Foghat's "Slow Ride" plays us in, recapping the events leading us to here. The title card splatters a black splotch and fades to brilliant white, stark and bare, reflecting the return to the storytelling that has made Supernatural so good for so long.
     
  • "Shut Up Dr. Phil" Review: Metaphors and Parallels



    Metaphors and parallels have run through Supernatural throughout its existence. The episode "Scarecrow" is a metaphor about the so-called apple pie life and how it isn't everything as it's cracked up to be. "Heart" and "Metamorphosis" are metaphors for Sam's growing destiny. Castiel's season 6 trajectory parallels Sam in season 4. Dean's attempt to live with Lisa and Ben parallels Sam's attempt to do the same with Jess. Jess's death on the ceiling parallels Mary's. 

    "Shut Up, Dr. Phil," is a mixture of both. The metaphors here run from the obvious to the extremely subtle. The parallels are striking for what they parallel and how they differ. 
  • "Slash Fiction" Review: Shout Outs



    For a new writer to the show, Robbie Thompson seemed like an old pro. His episode, "Slash Fiction" reads as a love letter. It touches on so many things. Its self reflexive nature makes fans notice all the shout outs to previous episodes, while giving us more on the big bad of the season. If anything, this new writer proved that he "gets" Supernatural, and it can only be hoped that he gets to write more episodes down the road. 

    The shout outs in this episode start from the title and don't let up until the end. We start with Sam and Dean in a bank. The scene seems innocuous at first. Dean flirts with the bank teller, all the while hand signaling to Sam. It isn't until Sam barricades the front door that we realize something is wrong. Once the teller returns to give Dean his change, he says, his voice hard and cold, "Well, I'm gonna have to take a rain check... and all your money." 
  • "The Born-Again Identity" and Why I'm Really Excited



    I'm always excited about a new episode of "Supernatural," but sometimes an episode comes along that has me REALLY excited. Whether it's the opening of the season, or the almighty season finale, or something with cowboys, invariable there are a few moments throughout a season where I can literally feel my heart beating faster and faster as we head towards the weekend and a brand new "Supernatural."
     
    Like this week. I'm practically having palpitations.

  • "The Girl Next Door" Review: I'm a Freak But I'm Managing It



    "The Girl Next Door" revives several issues that have been lingering since the Pilot itself. While the boys recover from the Leviathan attack, Sam investigates murders linked to a case he solved as a teenager. The monster this time is a kitsune, and they feed on human pituitary glands to survive. But as Sam says, "nothing in our lives is that simple," and that holds true for this very case. 

    From the start, Sam has been trying to be normal, to get that "apple pie life" without hunting. It really isn't until this episode that we see how comfortable he has become with his life as it is, not what it cannot be or will never be. This contrasts the trajectory Dean is now embarking and has been on since season 6 started more or less. Dean's difficulty with "the life" could be traced back as far as season 2's episode "Croatoan" in fact. 

    Sam's buying of cake instead of pie for Dean is also symbolic here of the unattainable for both brothers. The "Apple Pie Life" is just out of reach, impossible to keep, and doomed from the start every time a Winchester attempts it. Sam has accepted this more or less by this time, Dean has not. It is tugging upon a thread that has long woven through Supernatural's fabric, and one that will probably never be fully resolved for either brother.

  • "The Mentalists" Review: Sibling Acts Are Tough



    The Mentalists starts with Sam and Dean separated after the revelation that Dean had killed Amy behind Sam's back. A week and a half later finds both brothers drawn to Lily Dale, due to the strange murders of mediums. Unlike previous episodes where the brothers are repairing a rift, the tension is an undercurrent through out. It is not wrapped up in the beginning before the case begins or dealt with at the end. Dean imposes himself into Sam's investigation, and they immerse themselves into the case completely. 

    The case itself is a metaphor for the issues lying between the Winchesters. No one in Lily Dale is honest. Almost everyone makes their living as a medium or psychic. They put on shows, conduct seances with phony spirits, and foretell the future for money. Yet, while it's apparent that this business is a phony business, they embrace that, too. Embellishers are almost favored over possible real psychics. Each victim was one of these, and each professed to possess some form of psychic gift. They were also the headliners for the town's upcoming festival. Sam and Dean, too, are hiding behind phony guises as FBI agents investigating the cases. 

  • "Time After Time" Review - How Does Paper Beat A Rock?



    In "Time After Time," Sam and Dean are divided by 68 years of time when Dean is transported back to 1944 along with the god they were hunting: Chronos. And yet, the bond Sam and Dean share is showcased beautifully throughout. 
     
    It's captured in little moments. 
     
    As we watch the brothers set up their latest squatters house, they don't seem frustrated or destitute. Sure, Dean wants to hear that the bathroom has more than a hole in the floor, but there doesn't seem to be the anger or exhaustion he showed in "How to Win Friends and Influence Monsters." This house may not be theirs, and it may not be ideal, but somehow just by their behavior towards one another it becomes like home. 
     
    Rock, paper, scissors makes its return. It's funny that, while Dean did not choose scissors, Sam managed to win anyways. This gives Sam the sole bedroom available. Dean's disappointment in losing is boyish and a treat. There isn't any tension between them over this. Instead, he whines almost playfully, "How does paper beat a rock? It's stupid."
  • "Time For A Wedding" Review - The Fun House Effect



    "Time for a Wedding," takes the viewer into a proverbial fun house effect. It begins with Dean sitting in a bar, talking to the waitress about the "annual sacred pilgrimage" to Vegas. A text message pulls him away, telling him to put on a suit and meet his brother at a chapel. Upon arrival, the doors open, revealing Sam, dressed in a suit and oddly happy. It tells the viewer that they are entering into a fun house effect where things will become distorted and twisted. Sam jovially announces to Dean that he is getting married. Dean is stunned. Sam hasn't been seeing anyone as far as he knows. The bride enters, wearing a veil to hide her face. When it is lifted, Dean is stunned at the bride's identity. It's none other than Becky Rosen. 

    If Sam getting married out of the blue wasn't enough to disturb the elder Winchester, the bride solidifies that there is something significantly wrong with his brother. In their past encounters, Sam has always looked uncomfortable and unhappy in Becky's company. Here, not only is he marrying her, he seems unable to contain his joy at seeing his bride. 

  • “I’m Sorry, Have You Met Me?" I'm Nate!

    Too much time passes and old friends seem like strangers.
    Not enough time can make strangers stay strangers.
    With this in mind, it's time to POP by for a visit with our Contributing Staff at THE WINCHESTER FAMILY BUSINESS.

    The WFB Writing Staff was challenged to select eleven questions to answer from an extensive list. 
    When you are done reading, we would like to challenge you to answer a few of the questions that our staff member answered.
    Long-time visitors or new ones, we'd like to get to know you better, too.

    Welcome another brave writer who accepted the SEASON ELEVEN/ ANSWER ELEVEN CHALLENGE!

  • “I’m Sorry, Have You Met Me?" I'm Percysowner!

    The best way to get to know someone is to have a little heart to heart chat.

    With this in mind, let's have some fun getting to better know our Contributing Staff here at The Winchester Family Business.

    The entire writing staff was challenged to select eleven questions to answer from an extensive list. 

    When you are done reading, we would like to challenge you to answer a few of the questions that our staff member answered. Long-time visitors or new ones... We'd like to get to know you better, too.

    Welcome our next courageous writer who accepted the SEASON ELEVEN/ ANSWER ELEVEN CHALLENGE!

  • 7:03: Thoughts on "The Girl Next Door"

    This episode was really a breath pause - a moment to recover from the chaos and drama of last week 's episode and a chance to get back to the roots of the show. I appreciate a calmer episode every now and again, especially because despite the respite from the Leviathan plot, it was still beating steadily in the background, as I expect it will for a few weeks more at least. This review will be short and sweet, so let 's get to it. 

  • 7:04: Thoughts On Defending Your Life



    Thoughts on Defending Your Life

    What to say about this episode? So far, I've enjoyed season seven but this episode felt a little lacklustre. I didn't think the monster of the week was incredibly strong, but it wasn't awful either. Admittedly, there were higher expectations for this episode as the notion of a trial of Dean's guilt had immense potential, especially coming off last week's debate about the merits of Dean actions with regard to Amy. 
     
    Let's get to what worked and what didn't work (a whole lot). 
     
  • 7:05: Thoughts on "Shut Up, Dr. Phil"


     
    How are we at episode five already? Has it really been five weeks since we began the SEVENTH season of Supernatural? Sorry, but I still have to marvel at the fact we're in the seventh season already. Seems like just yesterday blonde women in nighties were burning on ceilings. But, I digress. What did we think of Shut Up, Dr. Phil:

    When the Then segment teased out the Amy storyline yet again, I admit I rolled my eyes. I thought we were going to drag it out some more but not actually address anything. And though that's sort of what happened, it was handled so much better than last week so overall it worked for me. Be that as it may, I really don't need to see Dean stab Amy in the recap segment again next week, please and thank you, PTB.
  • 7:07 - Thoughts on "The Mentalists"



    Going into this episode, off a fantastic episode five and six, I was cautiously optimistic the trend of goodness would continue. And having seen the episode, I feel more comfortable saying that season seven is shaping up to be one of my favourite seasons so far. The Mentalists seemed like it would be more humour and mocking than anything but it had some real heart behind it as well. 

    Okay, there was one thing I really, really didn't like about this episode. The Then segment. Please, dear Supernatural overlords - can this be the last time we recap the Amy-death clip? The issue has been laid to rest and I'm tired of being beaten over the head by it. 

    Now, moving on to the rest of the episode - I loved it.