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Previously on Big Sky:  Avery tells the mob boss over the phone that he wants a larger finder's fee for getting access to the fifteen million dollars. The dark-suited  man says he doesn't renegotiate.  "A deal's a deal," says one of the boss's enforcers.  "Track him down," says the boss.  Avery purchases a gun from a pawn shop.  Carla is on the phone saying she's worried about Avery and thinks something terrible might have happened.  Beau tells Jenny that he thinks Avery is making a play for the money that Luke and Paige stole.  Sunny and Paige confer secretly at the campsite.  Paige asks Sunny to help her get her bag back; in return, she'll help get Walter out of jail.  Later, however, Donno and Tanya show up at the campsite and are deeply displeased with Sunny when they all discover that Paige is gone.  If they don't find her, they are all in trouble, Tanya reminds them.  Paige hasn't run away, though.  Instead, she's been captured and tied up by Buck.  Cassie rings the doorbell at the Barnes' house.  Inside the house, Buck lurks with knife in hand.  Jenny enters her own house and is surprised to find bloody bandages on the floor.  "Mom!" she breathes.

Big Sky 3.11 "Super Foxes" Jenny's mom Gigi walks into Jenny's living room, her face swollen and beaten.  "I need help," she says.  "Where's the thirty grand?" Jenny responds.  Her mom insists that they have to get out of there now.  The money's gone.  She grifted the wrong guy.  Jenny zip ties her mom's wrists:  "You'll be safe in jail."  When a vehicle pulls up outside, the mom starts to panic, but Jenny isn't buying it.  Hearing a knock at the door, she goes to answer it, but the door is smashed inward, hitting Jenny who goes down hard.  Disoriented, she can only blink up confusedly from the floor as two farm-booted men in jeans clomp by her and then back out again carrying her mom against her will.  

After a seven week holiday break, The Winchesters returns to us Tuesday, January 24 at a new time of 9E/8C (U.S.). Having aired seven episodes, the Supernatural prequel is half way through its 13 episode first season. In that time, we met the younger versions of John Winchester and Mary Campbell, and Mary's hunting buddies: Latika the pacifist researcher, Carlos the weapons and wardrobe specialist, and Ada the hoodoo herbalist wiccan. We also met John's mom Millie and dad Henry (contacted from beyond the grave), and the enemy that threatens to invade their world, the Akrida. We learned a few salient details of each of these characters' backstories - not as much as we would have wanted but enough to tease that there's more to come - and seen John and Mary's first kiss.

The cliffhanger mid-season finale revealed that the Akrida queen bee is still off world but her drone minions are one step closer to arranging her arrival with their collection of rare monster essences. To balance out the enemy's surreptitious advancement, our young monster club hunters succeeded in finding Mary's dad, Samuel Campbell, who they hope will have some brilliant plan that leads them to victory. They are reunited as a family, but will all their combined skills and knowledge be enough to save the world?

How have fans reacted to what's happened so far in the long awaited Supernatural spinoff? At this mid-season point, let's pause to discuss what we like and dislike in the show we hope gets renewed for many seasons to come. One gauge of the show's performance might be the varied opinions of The Winchester Family Business writers who have been closely following this show.  

Quick Review: A decent outing that is let down by its predecessors.

Exceptional music comes to those who wait and wait and wait

By Christine T. Carmichael, unapologetic Radio Company evangelist and academic librarian 😊

Music is well said to be the speech of angels. — Thomas Carlyle

Interior: Analog-at-the-Hutton, 8PM CST

Fans of Radio Company have been waiting years for the group to perform live. Tonight, December 19, 2022, approximately 300 of them will experience Steve Carlson and Jensen Ackles showcasing their musical prowess in person.

The rest of us are making do with a live stream via (Many are praying to the IT gods that servers don’t crash and home internet connections remain stable.) Obtaining permission to quote chat participants is challenging due to the speed at which folks are logging on, hitchhiking, or merely squee-ing about the upcoming concert.

Louden Swain takes the stage first, and they are dynamic. They released a new album in October, Feelings and Such, and are fresh off of an eventful weekend at #SPNNash, Creation Entertainment’s Salute to Supernatural Convention — Nashville. It’s tough to tell who is more excited: Rob, Billy, Stephen, and Michael, or the crowd. Then the camera pulls back a bit, and we can see the Analog.

The Pinkerton National Detective Agency, while not the first private detective force in America, is one of the more well-known. Pinkerton and his many operatives set the standard for private detective work, both in the real world and in the world of fiction. Though the agency was steeped in controversy from the very beginning, Pinkerton Inc. has survived 170 years and remains on the forefront of security and crime assessment to this day.

Today, I want to cover the history of the agency and see how the portrayal in Walker: Independence lines up with reality. I also want to talk about some prominent operatives that worked for the agency, especially the women, and see if there is any real-life inspiration for the character of Kate Carver.

It’s been a while since I had watched Supernatural's “LARP and the Real Girl.”  I remember it with fondness, but I also didn’t remember a lot of the details.  Seeing it again after all these years, it’s not what I remember.   It’s not a bad episode, but it isn’t the groundbreaking one I recalled either.  I think it initially stood out because season 8 was so mopey up to this point, something lighthearted was sorely needed.  It is a nice quirky twist on a typical MOTW episode.  What won the episode was the dork culture, the amazing details put into the fantasy world of Moondoor and the plethora of pop culture references.

On November 16, 2022, Nicki Aycox, better known to the Supernatural family as her character Meg Masters, passed away at the age of 47. Her death was confirmed with a touching tribute and several family photos by her sister-in-law Susan Raab Ceklosky on Facebook.

Among Nicki's many acting credentials, she was beloved by the Supernatural fandom as the character Meg Masters. A primary antagonist in the series' first season, Nicki's portrayal of a beguiling but ruthless demon helped establish the incredibly high standards fans would come to expect from Supernatural's recurring actors for the next 15 years. Appearing in only five episodes, four in season 1 and a return performance in season 4, Nicki's talent made such an indelible mark on the show, fans clearly remember Meg even after the many, many other stories, dangers, enemies and adventures the brothers encountered after her.  

I actually watched The Winchesters on the Tuesday it aired.  The entire season, I’ve been watching online the next day.  Why watch live this time?  Simple, I’m a sucker for Tom Welling. 

I’ve only met Tom Welling once.  I was in the final Smallville press room at Comic Con.  He never showed up at Comic Con…until that year.  All of us were stunned when he walked into the press room, something he hadn’t done in the years prior, but he spent all his time in the video line.  Those of us at the print press tables weren’t surprised, but still disappointed.  My press table did get one moment of glory, though, since we wrapped up late, getting a chance to tell Tom “thanks for everything” in a cordial message on the way out.  Considering Craig at K-Site TV, someone who started his whole site because of Smallville, only got to interview Tom once, that day, tells you how rare a Tom Welling interview was. 

Because of all that, Tom has been a bit of an enigma to me.  Of course, naturally, he’s showing up for many cons these days, so meeting him is a lot easier, but the mystique is still there for us old timers.  Anyway, I’m only sharing this story because when I found out Tom had been cast for The Winchesters, I thought it was a pretty big deal.  My inner Smallville fan girl was having a bit of a freak out.  Was I disappointed by the small amount of time we got with Samuel?  Not at all.  I was stoked for all of it, especially when he got to play hero. 

So yes, I’m leading with a strange Tom Welling anecdote rather than jumping into the review.  That shows the faint impact the episode had on me.  What did I think of “Reflections?”  Overall it was a mixed bag.  I was really excited to see Samuel and Gil McKinney return as Henry Winchester.  I also think my fixation on Tom Welling ended up being more exciting that the actual episode.  It was a confirmation of sensation I’ve had all season, something is missing. 

The Morning After

Phew! I now know how Castiel must have felt when Metatron forced the sum total of all pop culture references into his mind in the span of a few seconds! After six episodes of a slow but steady flow of clues to the Akrida, the Men of Letters, and the disappearances of both of John’s and Mary’s fathers, The Winchesters mid-season finale, “Reflections”, jammed volumes of Men of Letters’ knowledge into one, climactic, cliffhanger episode,