Review "“ Supernatural 7.13 "The Slice Girls"
Warning "“ contains episode spoilers.

You're just as screwed up as I am, you're just"¦bigger.


Before I kick off this week's review, let's just get this out in the open shall we? It took me an inordinate amount of time to get through the first 10 minutes of this episode. An embarrassingly, inordinate amount of time. Pause rewind pause rewind pause rewind. Even I was starting to think "awkward!" But seriously, these precious, precious moments of Dean getting it on are so few are far between that a gal really has to make the most of them. It wasn't only the bedroom frolic scene, (intercut with awesome gore and set to an ACaDaCa soundtrack), though that was a visual and sensory delight, it was also the bar room flirtation. The close-ups of the eyes and mouth, the little knowing smiles!. Pause rewind pause rewind pause rewind. Hey, no excuses!I go by the name sweetondean after all!

I was massively hesitant about The Slice Girls for two reasons. The first reason was, the concept of Dean having and instant-child bothered me no end, I mean, please no, we know how he is about family and kids in general, the whole concept squicked me out. I saw angst with a side order of angst and not in a good way. The second was, the episode was written by the same team who wrote Shut-Up, Dr. Phil, but more specifically Route 666, which is not exactly a favourite of mine. The Cassie word tends to make me spill forth a tirade that is often peppered with expletives. Of course that routinely slammed episode also gave us a shirtless, sexed-up Dean! Hang on a minute! hmm"¦maybe I like these writers more than I thought! I digress"¦what I was going to say is, I was massively hesitant about The Slice Girls, but it turned out not at all how I thought it would and ended up being a rather enjoyable, if somewhat sad episode.


You know what I'm really digging about season 7? It's a character study. More than any other season, it's seems to be about the nitty gritty of what's going on below the surface of our beloved brothers. Their relationship and their individual character arcs have been put back into the forefront of the story and it feels like a long while since that's been the case. Each episode looks like it's going to be about some monster or another, but what we really get to see is how Sam and Dean are, or more often than not, aren't functioning and coping with what the Universe is currently making them wade through. I like. The Slice Girls, once again, gave us a good, deep, kinda gloomy look at where the brother's respective headspaces are at and I liked it, a lot. So you'll excuse me if I don't bother going into the monster storyline, as it was secondary to what I saw as the real story.

As I see it, we had two things going on with the boys here, we had Sam in uber hunter mode and we had Dean in I don't give a flying fudge mode. Neither was surprising but both were pretty disturbing to watch. There was strong vibe of frustration. It was like the air was sizzling with mutual exasperation. Not that they were at loggerheads, in fact they're working pretty well together, all things considered, but there were definitely a few internal throwing up of the arms moments between them. 


At the end of Adventures In Babysitting Sam said that he wasn't doing so great but he just wanted to work!yep, that's what we saw here. He was hyper focused on the job. He was right, as Dean so succinctly  put it, the murders were in the general vicinity of the ballpark of their kind of thing, but Sam's drive, his ploughing ahead seemed to reinforce that this is how he is trying to deal, by not dealing. Kind of like his brother. The problem is of course; we know Sammy is hanging on by a fine thread of sanity. We know on the inside it's 24/7 Satan-vision. We know this because the Leviathan told us. So while Sam is trying to block out whatever is happening inside his melon by throwing himself into the latest job, he also has to watch his usually stoic and resilient big brother continue his tailspin unabated. That's a trickly balancing act. Stay sane while trying to keep your brother from going off the rails once and for all. He's obviously very worried about Dean and he's obviously trying not to beat his brother over the head with it. He even said it at the end, he doesn't care how Dean deals, he just cares that he doesn't get killed. Breaks my damn heart. That scene in the not-Impala as they argued about Amy and Emma and Dean choking and not having his head in the game, was so poignant. In that moment, when Sam asked his brother to just don't get killed, he felt so small and young to me. He needs Dean and he needs Dean to be Dean, now more than ever. Dean's all he has. He's been Sam's rock all his life, he's always called the shots and now Sam's in the driver's seat both literally and symbolically because his brother is finding it difficult to be there. I really feel for Sam. 


And Dean"¦ Well I didn't expect an overnight resurrection off the back of Eliot Ness' very sage description of what it means to be a hunter, but I was hoping for just a little spark to be reignited. Dean seems so apathetic. It's really hard to watch. His drinking, his lack of engagement in the case. He doesn't want to listen to anyone else because they aren't Bobby. The "Our expert is dead" line totally floored me. He has been "˜wobbly' ever since Cas died, but now"¦well he's about to topple over. He's letting his brother drive the car for Heaven's sake. I mean sure, that's responsible, being as he's continually drinking from Bobby's flask and I'm sure his blood alcohol level would be well and truly over the legal limit across all parts of the day, but he's letting Sam drive and by that, I mean drive everything. Dean's going through the motions in the worst possible way and Sam's right to be worried that it'll get him killed. I'm not one of those people who think Dean would ever purposely check out, not as long as Sam is in the picture. Even though I think he probably does just want gone, hence the carelessness, but while Sam is still by his side, Dean will keep putting one foot in front of the other whether he wants to or not; "I not going to walk out on my brother." But is that enough to sustain him? I think somewhere inside he's paralysed with fear that if something happens to Sam he'll be totally alone and Dean doesn't do alone. Neither brother does. There literally is no one else left. That must be a terrifying thought, for both of them. But Dean's in a bad place and no matter what else is going on around you, it's hard to pick yourself up when you're free-falling through grief and despair. He'll do it though"¦and when that day comes I'll be air punching like crazy! I want my feisty, kick-ass Dean back as much as Sam does"¦maybe even more.

Oh gosh, well now I've depressed myself! Let's talk about something else shall we?


I had zero issues with Sam killing Emma, but then again I had zero issues with Dean killing Amy"¦though let's not go there huh? Emma was going to kill Dean pure and simple and had she made a move in his direction or even Sam's direction I think Dean would have dropped her in the blink of an eye. But I'm very thankful Sam did it instead, as that's a great big piece of baggage the elder Winchester really doesn't need to add to his load. Whether Dean knew his daughter or not, it still smacked of tragedy. Here is a man, who all his life has been about family and who unsuccessfully tried to leave being a hunter behind and live a "˜normal' life with a woman and her son and now after an athletic one-night-stand where he was obviously less than careful, he has a kid and that kid turns out to be a monster and she has to die... This is what squicked me out! No wonder he hesitated. That's just too sad! How either brother is still standing upright about now baffles me.


And what about Bobby? Man, you could feel him in the air in this episode. It speaks volumes that the boys still talk about him in the present tense, like they can't let go. They want to ring him; Dean carries around his flask like it's part of him. He was everywhere!including prominently in the previously on. Things that make you go hmm. Bobby being around made me happy. He should be everywhere, he was important, he is important; his impact needs to be felt. I'm still in two minds about Ghost!Bobby though, but quite frankly, I so want the brothers to have some kind of happiness that I'll roll with any idea at this point in time if I see a little joy or even some closure for Sam and Dean. I thought the scene where they talked about the possibility of it being Bobby's spirit who moved the paper was fantastic. It looked like Sam was onboard for a moment there, EMF scanner in hand, but even he can't get passed the fact that he can't believe it could be real because that would be something that they'd want and they never get anything they want. Oh dear Lord. Seriously. Heart. Break. Now.


On a lighter note, I really enjoyed the banter in The Slice Girls. There was a fair amount of teasing from Sam of Dean. I figure he was trying to snap his brother out of his malaise with a bit of poking of the fun! Who hasn't done that when someone around then is down, tried to make them laugh to brighten them up. Either that or Lucifer's snarky sense of humour is leaking through! Whatever it was it wasn't working. Dean was resolutely grumpy!except maybe when he was banging Lydia. But it was fun to watch Sam having a go at Dean for a change! I love Dean's come back "Are you deliberately trying to mess with me?" Well yes Dean, I believe he is! I also totally dug the moment they realised that Dean was the baby-daddy and Sam trying to process this says, "But Dean, dude, seriously, a one-night-stand, you're just going to roll the dice"¦" Sammy my boy, I was thinking exactly the same thing. I could go all deep and say this is part of Dean's apathy towards life, that he'd take that kind of stupid risk, but his little remembering back smirk when he was saying accidents happen made me think it wasn't him being careless and he was, you know, um prepared. Geeze, how often do we get to have these kinds of conversations around the show! Was or wasn't Dean being "˜careful'! Ha! Anyway, I really enjoyed this whole scene. The dialogue between the brothers was spot on in this episode.


Another thing I enjoyed about this episode was the gore! Good grief, was that the goriest opening ever? When we pulled back to reveal that the dude had his hands and feet chopped off, I seriously gasped. Of course when the next guy was getting hacked up I was somewhat distracted!  I liked how Dean's "˜love' scene was intercut with the hyper-violence of that attack happening somewhere across town. This hammered home (no pun intended) two things, one being this was a fast and furious one-night-stand, no romance, no pretence, just need, the other being this show has monsters, it's horror and as much as we like seeing the boys get, errr, lucky every once in a while, this is absolutely not what this show is about. As hot the brothers are, it's not a "˜let's see them with their kit off week in week out' show and I'm thankful of that"¦ most of the time. Though someone remind me why"¦because I forget.

I'd also like to mention that Mayor Wilkins from Buffy was the Professor helping with the Greek translations etc. I clapped my hands when I saw him! I always loved that character, even if he was a snake"¦literally, plus young Missy Bender from the season 1 episode The Benders played Emma! Creepy hillbilly girl grew into creepy monster girl! And Jerry Wanek's direction smacked of the beautiful, artistic style that we're privileged to see every week via his stunning production design. He did some interesting visual work in this episode. I hope to see him get another shot in the director's chair.


So, I enjoyed The Slice Girls, angsty, heartbreak and all. There was a lot of subtext, gore, brother moments and partially naked Dean! Weee! Plus it further reinforced for me, that as much as I love the characters that have come and gone and as much as I know that the Winchesters need other people in their world, the real drama is with Sam and Dean and their journey is still compelling enough to carry an episode and I hazard to guess, given the chance, a season. It's what it always was and what it always will be, their story"¦at least for me.

So what did you think? Did you enjoy the episode?

Thanks for reading!
-sweetondean

 
 

Comments  

Vanda
# Vanda 2012-02-05 17:55
Well done Amy! Very well rounded review! Especially given the intensity & lust of the first 10 mins... Dean's smirk during THAT conversation with Sam near floored me. Subtle but so poignant.

This episode explored so much beyond the surface, (and I'm not just talking' about what was under Dean's shirt) Dean's torment & Sam's frustration in trying to help Dean snap back. So heartbreaking.

Man I love this show!
elle
# elle 2012-02-05 18:22
Great review, sweetondean!

As you pointed out, this season does feel more and more like a character study and when I look back at season seven from that perspective, well, it's kind of epic in its own right and totally distingished from the series as a result. I'm loving it.

This episode was a great episode- you pointed out some of the great visuals and I have to agree. I don't always notice the technical aspects of the show, but this one was pretty dynamic. And of course the gore factor was amped up pretty high.

Like you, I was nervous about Dean's daughter storyline (I kept flashing back to Angel season one when Cordy gets knocked up overnight) and was relieved that Sam killed her. Don't disagree with her death at all. Evil! Try and kill a Winchester twice will you?!?! Seriously though, I too believe Dean would have shot her himself if provoked to do so. That was part of my struggle with Sam's sharp anger over the Emma/Amy comparables. I don't get where he was coming from, unless it was actually fear for his brother's safety.

Finally - Bobby was so in this episode, he should be in the credits he was so felt. I love that despite not being present anymore, Bobby is still a very present character in these episodes. Can't wait for his return! It's great that a beloved character can be treated with such diligence and respect that the viewers see him even when not there.

Thanks, sweetondean, great look at a great episode!
nancyL
# nancyL 2012-02-05 18:55
I agree, Sam is depending on Dean to be strong for him, so that he can handle Lucifer, but if Dean is not strong, then Sam has to try to keep it together long enough for him to get Dean back to his usual self. That made better sense in my head. :lol:

My dear, I am hopeful that by the end of the season (please Chuck) bad ass MF Dean will make his happy reappearance and with lucky he will be driving a certain black Impala.

I agree, that Emma was only still alive when Sam walked in because she had not made a move towards Dean. If she then had threatened Sam, Dean would have shot her and kept shooting her until the bullets ran out. :lol:

I believe that Lydia had worked some mojo on Dean to seduce him and that maybe she made him think that he 'was careful', when he really wasn't.

I enjoyed this episode, it wasn't as good as 'Slash Fiction', but it wasn't as bad as 'Time for a wedding'.
BagginsDVM
# BagginsDVM 2012-02-05 19:16
Good thing for DVRs because, yeah, I watched that scene multiple times, umm, not even sure how many...
Ok, moving on.

Great review. This episode certainly showed how much Dean is letting Sam "drive" what the boys do. It's rather scary to think that either is still actually driving a car, considering that Dean's likely legally intoxicated much of the time & Sam is apparently seeing Hellucinations all the time! How they haven't gotten themselves killed yet is a testament to the strength that lies buried deep in both of them.

Dean's apathy is still firmly in place despite the pep talks from Frank & Ness. He really is only doing the job to be there for Sam. I understand Sam's frustration; he can't hold on if his brother can't!

I liked that we got confirmation of what happened to Bobby's remains. It certainly seems that Bobby has chosen to become a ghost, probably tethered to that flask, which Dean holds dear now.

I think Dean would have killed Emma once she came at him or Sam, but I'm glad he didn't have to be the one to do it.

These guys break my heart, but I keep coming back for more!
Ginger
# Ginger 2012-02-05 19:24
Terrific review. You point out every reason I liked this episode. Though I haven't been ecstatic over all the emo'g going on in S7, I have liked the season okay so far. This episode turned the corner for me into actually being curious about what is going to happen. For that reason, I found it to be one of the stronger episodes. Would have never believed it could have come from the writers of Route 666 and Dr. Phil.

One added point. Once Dean accepted that this case was in the vicinity of their ballpark, I found it interesting that the writers had Sam do his research in his typical Sam manner -- computer, seeking an expert, etc., and Dean used his gut instincts to pursue it. Both brothers sussed it out and finished the job in their own unique way, working separately, but together. I liked that little touch from the writers.
Pragmatic Dreamer
# Pragmatic Dreamer 2012-02-05 21:22
Lovely review Sweetondean. I quite enjoyed this episode myself. Pause, rewind, repeat. But, good Lord, why couldn't we have lingered on the shirtless chest for a moment longer? Those defined abs & intercostals!! Someone's been going to the gym a lot!

I will be in the minority, but I think I saw a glimmer of old Dean in this episode. Yes, he was cool to the case at first. But once his instincts told him he was eating out at the buffet of strange, he became very tenacious. He was completely engaged in figuring out what was going on (albeit with exceptional good reason.. His DNA was involved!)

His instincts told him that something was hinky with Baby & Little Girl Emma, long before Sam's research did. And I think Dean even suspected that he had played a role in her creation, long before he was willing to admit it to Sam.

Gaining confidence in his intuition again suggest a tiny smidgen of confidence in himself. I think he's still swimming in a deep pool of despair, but I think he's treading water a tad more strongly now.

Also, Emma's birth means he actually closed the deal with Lydia! That's a first in a long, long, long time. He was having to psyche himself up to go on a date with the bartender in DYL. He was picking up, but pushing aside the "I'm interested in you" vibe from Melanie/Melissa in The Mentalists. This time, he actually went for it.

Of course, you can argue a meaningless, athletic one-night stand is just another form of escape and denial. And it certainly is. But at least Dean did it this time. Again, the tiniest hint of a smidgen of some fire in his belly.

As for how Emma came to be, he acknowledges he uses protection ("I'm not brain dead Sam. Accidents happen"). Maybe protection was not applied soon enough. Perhaps Lydia "accidentally" ripped said-protection . Plus, even the best condoms have a failure rate. (It says so on the package. And I'm sure many of us have had ocassion to read that little bit of fine print.... Blushing now...)

Again, I'll be in the minority, but I didn't see the driving conversation as totally sad. One good thing... Dean wasn't driving, so at least he's being responsible enough not to get charged with Driving Under the Influence.

And for the first time, he admitted and acknowledged he wasn't dealing at all well. He knew it and sounded guilty about it. I think his comment that he'll do what he can to stay alive was actually kind of positive. I think it would be worse to promise Sam he's not going to die. Unleash a promise like that into the ether, and Karma or Fate/Atropos or just the city bus with your name on it is going to hit you for sure.

I thought his comment was an attempt to let Sam know Dean understood his concerns, and he'd try to do better. It's a tiny smidgen of reaching out.

What I found a bit curious, odd, interesting is the several times Sam disregarded Dean's gut instincts. He really didn't want to hear Dean's concerns about Emma the not-Baby. That's a tad unusual for Sam. He's usually given Dean's intuition more credibility. And he really didn't want to entertain the thought that the moving paper might be Bobby. Part of it was because he so desperately wants it to be, and is terrified of being disappointed. But it also suggests he doesn't trust Dean at all (possibly valid with the drinking and despair). Just like with the disappearing beer, it was easier to believe Dean was drunk or seeing things. It's all understandable, but I find it sad.

I admit I could be looking at the episode through rose-coloured glasses (okay blurry red eyes because I was officiating at a swim meet all weekend.) But I see a tiny smidgen of hope.... way, way, way, way off on the far, far, far horizon.

Now... if we could just get a really good screencap of those abs, I know I'd be ever so much happier!

Pragmatic Dreamer
Ginger
# Ginger 2012-02-05 23:09
I will be in the minority, but I think I saw a glimmer of old Dean in this episode. Yes, he was cool to the case at first. But once his instincts told him he was eating out at the buffet of strange, he became very tenacious. He was completely engaged in figuring out what was going on (albeit with exceptional good reason.. His DNA was involved!)

His instincts told him that something was hinky with Baby & Little Girl Emma, long before Sam's research did. ..
Gaining confidence in his intuition again suggest a tiny smidgen of confidence in himself. I think he's still swimming in a deep pool of despair, but I think he's treading water a tad more strongly now.

What I found a bit curious, odd, interesting is the several times Sam disregarded Dean's gut instincts. . ..But I see a tiny smidgen of hope.... way, way, way, way off on the far, far, far horizon. /quote]

A weird tidbit is that the cute little ME said there was no human DNA found in that one chunk of Amazon meat. That implies that Dean is not human, doesn't it?

Your comment is an interesting take. Wouldn't it be really nice if it turns out that Dean gains his confidence back because of his gut instincts and spidey senses? I'd love that.

Tad not trusting Dean's instincts reminded me of Children Shouldn't Play with Dead Things. After all this time, you would think that Sam has learned to at least give consideration to those instincts of Dean's.

Mostly, though, I felt that Dean was playing Emma the same way she was playing him. When watching the episode, I thought Dean deliberately turned his back on her and went to the refrigerator to see if she would make a move. He did say that he was expecting her mother. That's another reason I think he would have for sure taken the kill if she had made a move. Regardless, I am so glad it was Sam that ganked her.

P.S.: Don't know why that quote didn't come out right, but you get the idea I am responding to certain points, right?
faye
# faye 2012-02-05 21:58
You know, reading what NancyL said, and about Dean not even driving in this episode...I think Dean won't be his old confident self until he's back in the Impala! Remember how off kilter he was last season, until he whipped the tarp back on Baby? He's never looked at any girl the way he looked then.
Kelly
# Kelly 2012-02-05 22:09
I loved your analysis of the boys this season, maybe because it mirrors what I think. What I keep thinking about is that they both seem to be head for a crash. So will Sam's break cause Dean to crash or force him back into his natural role as protective big brother.
Kelly
# Kelly 2012-02-05 22:50
Oh, one more thing are we positive his daughter is dead. They never confirmed a gunshot would kill them and the others took off like they had warning. Although I assuming they burned the bodies, but if they generate that perhaps they regenerate too.
I'm also not one who is totally sure Dean would've killed her. He seem like he knew he should but was definitely hesitating.
rmoats8621
# rmoats8621 2012-02-05 23:45
Kelly, I think you've made an excellent point. How do we know that both Amazons are dead? We're just assuming that they are, but since the others got away, maybe they did too. Also, what happen to Lydia/Emma's locket? Really curious about that. And... will Lydia come after Sam and Dean for the death of her daughter? I don't think this will be an issue that goes away. We all know that Emma was a monster and definitely would have killed Dean, but I'm sure Lydia will not like it that her daughter was killed. It won't matter that Emma was Dean's daughter and sent to kill him. Lydia had to do that to her own father. A potentially bad situation could be brewing. I think this situation will be addressed again.
Kelly
# Kelly 2012-02-06 12:54
The preview for next week has them talking about them looking for the Amazons, so I think will be seeing them again. I'm just wondering if his daughter will be there too. They both seem to pressing the kill all monsters thing right now. Maybe Dean will start questioning that if he got to know her better.
Tiny
# Tiny 2012-02-06 04:50
Fantastic review Amy!! Indeed I totally agree with you that season 7 character study and not many fans appreciate it. But we do and we love the journey so far. I can't say the same thing about other shows in this genre, they seem a bit superficial. And that's why SPN is more a drama to me than a horror/ fantasy/ sci-fi show. I think it deserves to be looked at like a drama.

Which brings to the point I want to make (if this is a point at all :) hehe), I think the character stuff is really good in this episode. Like Jensen said at Nashcon today, all women he slept with meant something to him, and it's something I haven't really thought of, because I think everyone kinda assume Dean is this bad boy who loves one-night-stand , but deep down he wants more but he can't have it because he is a hunter. He can't have the simple things in life.. and it's sad.

Anyway, there's a lot in the episode to take in. So thank you for the review once again.

Love!!

-tiny-
sweetondean
# sweetondean 2012-02-06 05:07
Thanks Tiny...and you know, I always think that about Dean, that they all mean something to him...but then I probably would wouldn't I! ;-)
Sylvie
# Sylvie 2012-02-06 12:57
Spot on review. I really liked this episode, and am liking it more every time I watch it. Jerry Wanek did an amazing job with this. I loved the whole flirtation scene, with the close ups on the eyes and mouthes, and then the sex scene intercut with the next murder, that was so well done. And yes, I did drool a little bit during that scene, I don't blame you for rewinding and rewinding, and so forth and so on.

But as you said, it was quite sad for the most part, thank God there was a little bit of humour shot through. The scene in the not-Impala, when Sam tells Dean not to get killed in such a low voice, my heart just broke into a million little pieces. These guys have lost everyone they ever loved, all they have left is each other...oh I'm tearing up just thinking about it. I was so afraid going into this episode because these are the same writers that gave us "Route 666", but I think they have redeemed themselves nicely.
nicolemarie
# nicolemarie 2012-02-06 14:19
awesome Amy! you're right, our reviews were almost mirror images! such an amazing episode…so much fear for the brothers, but so awesome to see them together working through, or not, things! I didn't have a problem with sam killing Emma either…and yes, I saw the opening scenes many many times…in a despirate attempt to "desensitize" myself so that I could write the review not all falling on the sex scene and focusing on the other stuff…well, desensitize I didn't, but I was able to write a review that didn't focus toooooooo heavily on the sex! :D awesome Amy!
Dru
# Dru 2012-02-06 15:23
Awesome review. Ane me thinks Dean in THAT convo had to mentally think thru ALL the times to rememba if anything fell off(evilgrin).. .and thanx for the car analogy...all makes sense now::DDD
Bevie
# Bevie 2012-02-06 16:21
I love your review. If I could write as well, it would be my review as well.

Really enjoyed the first 10 minutes too. 8)

The only difference is I don't hate Cassie quite as much as I sincerely enjoyed her love scene with Dean. So few of them and far between, aren't they?

Dean would have killed Emma when she made a try for him and for sure if she threatened Sammy. He would have emptied his gun in her. Sam is just scared for Dean and terrified of losing him. I was glad Sam wasted no time with Emma.
Nitewoman7
# Nitewoman7 2012-02-12 21:32
My dear Sweetondean I loved every single word of this review. I smiled, chuckled, grinned, was sad then was in seventh heaven and got depressed! Loved how you wrote this review. I'm a Dean girl too and I've worn out my tape of shirtless Dean OMG
I really enjoyed this episode and thought the plot was intriguing. I had hope Emma would turn out not becoming an Amazon woman and go to Dean for protection. Would give Dean a reason to live for other than just Sam. But Sam killing Emma to save Dean gave him the chance to
understand why Dean had to kill Amy
I drooled when Lydia took control even after Dean tried to get it back when he rolled her so he was on top and she just rolled him back over so she was on top and in control! Oh my just getting hot writing that lol. To me even Dean can fantasize or wish his work-out partners took control sometime heheh