We've arrived at the halfway point of the Ghostfacers webisode series with number 5. The run time on this one is 3 minutes even. Standard opening, and we jump right in with footage of a few rooms in the theater. Ed tells the viewers via voiceover that the Facers have discovered that they can only see the ghost of Janet Meyers in mirrors, so they've set up mirrors throughout the theater. Ed is manning the Eagle's Nest, a.k.a. home base, with Harry and Maggie in one room, Spruce in another, and Ambyr in yet another. "Red leader, standing by," Harry reports. "Gold leader, standing by," Spruce reports. "Ambyr!" Ambyr reports. Hee. Ed pipes in with "standing by," which Ambyr neglected to add to her report, and she responds with, "Standing. Bye!" And that is so silly that even Ed chuckles at that.
Oh, Ambyr, you are so silly and earnest and I think that yes, I like you. Which probably means that you are Doomed because the characters I like are always killed off.
Supernatural began as a series immersed not only in small-town America but also in small-business America. At the start of the Pilot John Winchester owned a garage, and Dean Winchester was uncomfortable in a suit in Phantom Traveller. Big business was a far-off world which could be milked for what could be got through credit card fraud (Pilot, Faith), fake medical insurance (In My Time Of Dying) or bank robbery (Nightshifter). The Winchester's travelling lifestyle put them out of reach of any consequences of their frauds on the corporations: big business doesn't cope well with change and uncertainty on the scale of the Winchester's hunting lives.
In contrast to these arms-length dealings with remote big business, the businesses we do see first hand in the first three seasons of Supernatural are pretty small beer. There's the property developer in Bugs (who is quite probably going out of business by the end of the episode), the cafe in Scarecrow, the motel in Something Wicked, the hotel in Playthings. There's the Roadhouse, too, for a short while. In this world, the greatest model of commercial success is the auction house in Provenance, a family owned single-site business. Here, the camera pans across a line up of sparklingly clean luxury cars (including a Bentley) that ends with the mud-splattered Impala. It's an effective demonstration that even this level of business success takes the Winchesters outside their normal setting. Similarly, Bela runs her own one-woman business, but both the nature of her business and her very considerable financial success in it are a contradiction to everything in the lives of the Winchesters.
Pestilence, posing as Dr. Green, sits at the bedside of "My favorite patient, Celeste," who he has infected with the common cold, Dengue fever, and Japanese encephalitis. Just to be a real prick, he also adds chicken pox, and counts down as his "proprietary blend, mixed in a petrie dish," kills her--but not before she vomits a disgusting electric green mess all over him. "Interesting," he mutters.
Bobby's house, one day earlier - We see a bunch of pages featuring weather omens: tornadoes, storms, wildfires, etc., all bad news. Sam has told Dean his idea about saying yes to Lucifer and jumping into the pit with him so they can assure his imprisonment. Dean thinks it's a stupid idea, and asks Bobby if he knew about this. Learning Bobby DID know, Dean thanks him sarcastically for the heads-up. You can't do this, insists Dean. That's the consensus, agrees Sam. Awesome, then that's it, says Dean, this isn't over. Sam and Bobby exchange glances as Dean goes to answer his cell phone. Cas is calling; he's in a hospital where the doctors thought him brain-dead. After Van Nuys, he suddenly appeared, bloody and unconscious, on a shrimping boat off Delacroix--it upset the sailors. You're just in time, says Dean, they're going after Pestilence, so if he can just zap over here. . . Cas, in obvious agony, says he can't zap anywhere; he's human, has a headache, an itchy bug bite, and needs money for transportation, food, and pain meds. Dean assures him Bobby will wire him the money. "I WILL?" demands Bobby. "I owe you an apology," says Cas, "you are not the burnt, broken shell of a man I believed you to be." Dean uncertainly thanks him for that. "You're welcome," says Cas, and hangs up. Bobby sees the boys off in the Impala. "Be careful," he warns them.
Open Supernatural Couch â€“ Two Minutes to Midnight
The Coming of the Shadow of Death
Itâ€™s all for one and one for all. Weâ€™re only one episode away from the epic showdown that will surely be upon us next Thursday. According to Crowley, â€˜this time next Thursday, weâ€™ll be living in zombie landâ€™.
Lucifer marshals up his armies, we can already hear their footsteps. And â€˜Death draws his cordons inâ€™. I donâ€™t know why Judith Wrightâ€™s poem came to my mind when I watched the episode for the third time, but her words from her poem The Company of Lovers echoed in me. Itâ€™s one of my all time favourite poems, and sometimes, after becoming a fan of this show and being enthralled by the tragedy of the Winchesters, this poem somehow reminded me of the sad love stories that eventually set the whole destiny train in motionâ€¦
â€˜The dark preludes of the drumsâ€™ begin in many places, but we learn of a forlorn convalescent home in Iowa where Pestilence set up his lair, revelling in mixing up various diseases in a Petri dish. Coming back from a â€˜productive tripâ€™ he does not ease the patients pains but increases them only to be coated in pea soup, a horror movie classic to make the audience gag. The whole place is indeed, as Sam points out later, â€˜more depressive than evilâ€™. Remind me to die before I get so sick and/or old that I end up in a home like that.
Mr Pâ€™s plan (according to the Lucifer Gospel in this case) is very simple, and therein lies the brilliance of it, not much unlike the deadly simplicity of a lethal virus: spread a swine flu epidemic and then get the Croatoan virus on the road with the vaccine everyone will be craving for.
Everyone? Wellâ€¦ after getting my own anti-swine-flue vaccination last fall I was sick for a month. Perhaps I was given an early test version of Croatoan Dryâ€¦ Donâ€™t get a shot these days, people. Itâ€™s an infernal health hazardâ€¦
As second to last episodes go, this one didn't disappoint. From the opening teaser to the last frame of Dean's troubled face, my eyes were glued to the screen.
What I loved about this episode:
The return of our angel! He's not quite an angel anymore though, that's okay with me. Human Castiel is way better than no Castiel, and likely to about ten times as funny. Speaking as someone who has always enjoyed the friendship between Dean and Castiel, it was a good moment to see the apology and re-establishment of the status quo between them.
Castiel's apology to Dean on the phone was quite touchingand funny.
"You said no to Michael. I owe you an apology, you are not the burnt and broken shell of a man that I believed you to be. "
As always, Cas' struggle in the human moments and with nuances of our culture provide for great comic relief during a heady episode. Castiel saved the day with Pestilence, proving more and more to be as sneaky as any Winchester. I admit, I love seeing badass Castiel, so he can swoop in heroically anytime! He had a few of these moments in the episode of course, including when he discovered that the sawed off shot gun
Here we go with number 4. This one's run time is 2:50. for those of you keeping track. To jump right in, it's the now-standard opening of a Ghostfacers theme song snippet over a shot of the team. Cut to everyone inside an actual theater room at the Grand Showcase with Ed doing a voiceover informing the viewer that they've located a reel of film with what they believe is a screen test of Janet Meyers, "the same actress that was murdered in this very theater."
(Please note, this recap was written a few days before Two Minutes to Midnight aired. So some questions I raised do get answered.)
Cranking out these recaps every week is proving to be a challenge. Weâ€™re getting down to the wire though so I plug on! Letâ€™s get started.
If thereâ€™s a profound weak spot to this episode, it all comes right here at the beginning. I know why itâ€™s being shown, to show the dastardly plan of releasing the Croatoan virus one step closer to reality, not to mention that Pestilence is now walking the earth and causing some trouble, but compared to the rest of this episode itâ€™s off. So, Iâ€™ll just burn through this part for now.
The setting starts at a lab and in a grand shout out to continuity, itâ€™s the same folks that make Herpexia. That brings a smile to my face, for to me Sam squirming through that commercial makes my top ten funniest moments list. Of course I then worry about the lab rats shown next to the sign and if theyâ€™re being infected. Moving on, two labcoats pontificate about if these epidemics were causing any real threat the vaccine would be given away for free. I think thatâ€™s Edlund working in a chance to get political, but he has a point. Theyâ€™re rushing something to trial and thereâ€™s a janitor. He has a malevolent smile so he must be evil. He plunges a syringe in one guyâ€™s neck and traps the other in there. The one dudeâ€™s eyes turn black, so this must be the Croatoan virus. He yanks away the other guy and blood spatter. Yep, it works.
Tonight's episode was unbelievable - full of incredible acting, great writing and some key plot advancements. And, if you're a Minion (as in Misha's) you were treated to some special commentary throughout the episode by none other than our resident former angel, Misha Collins. While tonight's episode was heavy and dramatic, Misha's commentary never failed to make me smile, despite the intense drama playing out on the television. (What is up with TV this week - all of "my shows" have left me upset, at least with Supernatural, I expect it! Curse May sweeps for the painful-but-oh-so-good drama [except for you, Glee - you're supposed to make me gleeful, dammit - it's in your name!]). So, before I dive head first into a deep analysis of a heady episode that serves as the penultimate to an episode whose trailer alone makes my stomach turn flips, I thought I'd share some of the smile-invoking words "twitted" (as he calls it) by Misha throughout Two Minutes to Midnight.
Misha started by announcing the following about 3 hours before the show aired:
"The folks @ the CW TV network in the USA (i think CW stands for "Clever Wizards") have asked me to twit during the airing of a reality show. The show is called "Supernatural" & I believe it's about a family on a safari."