When I first saw “Season 7, Time For A Wedding!” I actually liked it.  Not love, and it certainly wasn’t the funniest episode I’d seen, but after all the controversy over recent episodes, I was in the mood for something light.  It delivered.   
  
As you all know, I’ve been a little sour on the show lately and quite critical, so after spending a week consulting some of my most trusted cohorts, I decided it was time to lower my expectations.  After all, this is a show in its seventh season and this episode was meant to be fun.  The excellence of sweeping arcs and fluidity that made up seasons two and four are long gone.  I have to now except that if a Winchester is on my TV every week, I’m happy.    
 
So yes, I went into this episode with super low expectations.  I wasn’t expecting any dramatic changes in character arcs or anything that would move the season’s mytharc along.  The episode tried to get meta, but not too meta.  Once you’ve had an episode like “The French Mistake,” trodding in meta territory anymore is going to be tame.  
 
This episode in its structure reminds me a lot of “Swap Meat.”  In that episode, poor Sammy was the victim of screwball of the week and an exasperated Dean had to figure out what was going wrong.  “Swap Meat” though was a disappointing episode.  It was uncomfortable, not funny, and the body swap premise didn’t come close to its promise (as I learned later due to time and budget).  I felt like I wasted an hour of my life (actually more than one since I had to watch again for the review and recap).  
 
“Time For A Wedding” is better.  Not a classic, but better.  Not to say that this episode wasn’t uncomfortable at times.  Becky is someone who can only be tolerated in small doses and there was too much of her to make the episode completely enjoyable or funny.  At times, I was just mortified for poor Sam.  Them working the case on the bedroom wall was one of those times (plus another that we all know, but more on that soon).  The rest though was pretty decent.  
 
Without a doubt, Dean saved this episode.  Without his exasperated reactions to his brother suddenly getting married, having to work with a new hunter who scores an 11 (on 11/11/11) on the quirky scale, and deciding to wear a tweed jacket with a sweater and tie (thud, me), this episode would have stunk.  Plus, who didn’t shout to the high heavens, “FINALLY!” at seeing him in a strip bar in Las Vegas.  I love the continuity shoutout that he digs smart chicks.  She certainly saw through his “I’ve got a friend” act.  
 


Speaking of Vegas, how freaking cool is it that the show got to use the exterior shot of  A Little White Wedding Chapel?  That place is infamous.  I know friends that were married there.  The only thing missing was Elvis singing at the wedding.  Given Sam/Jared’s latest mutton chops though, close enough.  And why haven’t we seen the previous six times of their annual trip to Vegas?  I feel like I’ve been missing out.  

Why don’t I just list all the stuff I loved first?  Get the fun stuff out of the way before I get serious about a massive shortcoming with this episode.  First, we yet again learn a valuable life lesson from Dean Winchester.  When in doubt, waffle irons are questionable wedding gifts.  Forget that he had no clue how to work one, they only make good weapons when the wife doesn’t knock the husband out with it.  Put that on the list with frying pans.  


 
I adore DJ Qualls as Garth.  He’s such quirky fun.  It’s a wonder he’s managed to survive as a hunter.  He’s a bit rough around the edges.  All he needed was a mentor in Dean though, and Dean needed to hear from Garth that he wasn’t exactly delivering the right message.  “No, I’m pointing out a pattern.  Why do they think I’m threatening them?”  “Because it sounded exactly like a threat dude.” 
 
How about the other great lines from Garth?  
 
-  â€œHe told me two things. One he’s tangling with a major league nest up in Oregon territory, numero dos, he said you’d be all surly and premenstrual working with me.”  
-  â€œNo offense, we were just wondering if you got here by nefarious means...I didn’t mean of course corporate backstabbing, I’m sorry.  I meant more like you know, black magic or hoodoo.”
-  "Going on romantic trip with hubster.  Three exclamation points.  I guess she got excited.”  
-  â€œI got this thing about fish.  Dead eyes man.” 
-  â€œThat’s the nicest thing anyone has ever said to me.”

 

I also love that this is the workings of the crossroads demon.  I actually miss the demons and got nostalgic over their return.  I’ve missed them lately just as sorely as the angels (yeah, don’t get me started on Castiel again).  They don’t have to be on every week, but here and there is okay.  This creates the perfect setup for Crowley to arrive to fix this mess so he can tell the Winchesters about the Leviathan big boss.  He wants Sam and Dean to succeed, so that’s why the demons have been called off.  He also is trying to restore the basics back to Hell.  When a deal is made, they keep them.  Crowley needs to make some deals with smart people fast.  Even he got in a good zinger.  “This isn’t wall street.  This is Hell.  We have a little something called integrity.”

 
 
I did have one big LOL moment.  The exploding wedding cake and the bride and groom crashing down in front of the credits.  Visually, just perfect.  That’s my weird sense of humor kicking in though.  


 
For those of us taking a dip into the shallow end of the pool (along with me I assure), I did promise these photos for you.  It’s okay to love them.  



 
Did I mention the highlight though was Dean’s reactions?  Let’s just enjoy a montage, shall we?
 












 
Sam’s Sudden Independence Streak
 
So what’s up with Sam all of a sudden wanting to take off all the time?  He spent ten days or so away from Dean before they met up in New York, and now during their annual trip to Vegas (again, why we haven’t seen the other six?), he goes off on his own camping in the desert.  What do you make of this distance he’s trying to put between him and Dean?  His speech to Dean while under the potion, declaring that he doesn’t need Dean anymore, really hurts because he means it.  
 
How does he mean it?  You know the history of this show.  Potions, spells, curses, etc, always trigger the deep down “I would never tell him that, but it’s the honest truth,” statements.  Remember the siren spell in “Sex and Violence?”  The delivery was very harsh, but the statement said was true.  Ditto to Dean spilling his true feelings in “You Can’t Handle The Truth.”  Sam’s actions lately certainly support those words, and he reinforces that by saying essentially the same thing at the end (in a much better way though).  
 
Poor Dean, he’s just been waiting for Sam’s next big crack up instead of focusing on himself.  Sam’s well adjusted nature, even though he’s suffering from hallucinations and traumatic memories of being tortured in Hell, is perplexing Dean.  He can’t understand how Sam doesn’t need him.  So why is Dean so worried at the end?  Is it that he cannot live with himself?  Is it that he’s going to have to face internal demons that might make him more cuckoo than his brother?  Or is there something else entirely going on that we and Sam don’t know about?  


 
A Love/Hate Letter?
 
Even though I enjoyed “Time For A Wedding,” it wasn’t until the rewatch that something hit me.  There was this uncomfortable feeling that I chose to ignore in the first viewing because I was determined to be positive.  After being given time to think about it, plus reading some comments here, I do see an issue.  
 
It all ties back to “The Real Ghostbusters.”  I remember going into that episode with massive skepticism.  How in the world was the sometimes crazy world of Supernatural fandom going to come out favorably?  It really did.  Yeah, the fans at the convention were over the top and taking the story a bit too seriously, not to mention making Sam and Dean very freaked out, but they were vindicated in the end.  Fans truly are okay and can be heroes too.  The whole experience even made Dean smile.  It made me smile too.  That episode to this day remains a favorite of mine.  It was Eric Kripke’s love letter to the fandom.  
 
In this meta episode, I’m left to wonder if the intended message this time is that fans are truly a bunch of whack jobs.  That’s probably not the intent, but it does leave me to wonder, when you trod on fan behavior territory, what does that say when the previously vindicated fan takes one of the beloved main characters, drugs him, tricks him into marriage, then holds him hostage in a rather humiliating way when the plan goes south?  Is it only sophomoric humor or some projecting on a fandom that’s been a little harsh over the last few seasons?  


 
Then this self confessed loser admits that her only social acceptance came on the fan message boards.  “They were grumpy and overly literal, but at least we shared a common passion.”  That’s not exactly Demian and Barnes reacting to Dean’s hilarious rant about Sam and Dean’s feelings by saying, “They’re fictional characters.”  I kind of feel a bit useless now (but I’ll get over it!).  I was really mortified for Sam when Becky tells him, “You had that whole character arc about being a freak.  I can relate.”  That’s confusing fiction with reality.  That’s crossing a meta line.  
 
I don’t know, it’s just ever since Eric Kripke walked away as showrunner, a lot of the sentimentality went with him.  The heart, the fun, the smart and sharp stories that allowed us to laugh at ourselves once in a while.  When Becky was manhandling a helpless, bound and gagged Sam, I wasn’t laughing.  I wasn’t outraged either, and I accepted the moment as being light (plus what fan girl doesn’t want to see a tied up Winchester), but I can’t imagine any fan wanting to do that.  It tore Becky apart from the rest of us.  The meta fan is no longer relatable.  It ruined the previous love letters to this “tempestuous” fandom (Kripke’s words) that was started so brilliantly with “The Monster At The End of This Book.”  


 
Granted it’s extremely possible writers Dabb and Loflin were trying to recreate a Wedding Crashers “tied-up-in-the-bedroom” scene of their own, but that movie didn’t exactly trod on fan meta.  Plus it was way funnier in Wedding Crashers.
 
Sure, Becky does do the right thing and get a small amount of vindication in the end, but considering it’s a mess she created, it’s hardly ordinary heroes like “The Real Ghostbusters.”  There’s no sentimental speech at the end either as to what Supernatural means in our lives.  Just a desperate, sad, lonely fan who gets to carry on in life as a desperate, sad, lonely fan.  Couple that with an ambiguous ending that foreshadowed more strife to come, and my superfan meta warm fuzzies quickly dissipated into the wind.

 
 
I kind of laugh, because I’m sure by saying this I’m taking myself (and the fandom in general) way too seriously.  I do wonder though if the writers, and Sera Gamble in general, have killed our joy because maybe over the last few seasons we’ve killed theirs.  That’s actually petty for me to say and I’m not sure I believe it, but you do have to wonder given the differences in outcome between Kripke meta and post Kripke meta.  What we got here was the anti-Kripke.  


 
Yeah, I’m probably taking things way too seriously.  
 
Overall, I give “Season 7, Time For A Wedding” a C+.  I do give it credit though for coming along at a time when we needed something lighter.  I’m putting it in the “it didn’t suck” category.  As for next week’s episode, don’t let the promos fool you.  They make it  look like an intense MOTW backwoods hunt.  I’m sure there is that stuff, but director Guy Bee has confirmed to me both on twitter and in person that this episode is hilarious.  It’s classic Edlund.  I can’t wait.  
 

Comments  

Cathia
# Cathia 2011-11-13 16:41
Nice review, Alice, as usual.

For me it was a classic episode, although you are right about Becky being in it tooooo much!!! I like the girl, but adding her to the episode is like spicing the soup - too much makes it disgusting. I always thought about her like someone who was a fan, but had some kind of life of her own (SPN convention? after all she organized it!!!) and not as pathetic as we had seen in this episode. Pity. But all right, she was the only one who would do such a thing with and for Sammy...

Myself, I wasn't treating her as a model fan, so I don't feel offended in the slightest way. I think some people are taking the show a little bit too seriously :) don't get me wrong, I'm loving it, it became a huge part of my life, but still it is just a show :) Becky was just a character and the showrunner did what she wanted with her. Fine with me.

More demons, hell yeah! Yes, I miss them sooo much as well. I'm a Crowley girl, so I always enjoy him on screen, but any demon, any old monster does the trick for me. I loved the previous episode, I'm loving this one for the MOTW. And Crowley... scruffy looking Crowley... oh my King of Hell... he was cute. And smart as before. I loved the part about Wall Street, because it is so "Crowleyish". In his twisted own way, guy is honest. As a demon can be, I mean. Wonder if he is going to work with the Winchesters a little bit closer... anything's possible, I guess.
elle
# elle 2011-11-13 17:03
Hi Alice,
Nice review, I agreed with a great many things you said, especially the funny bits in this episode. The wit felt pretty good throughout this one. Oh, and thanks for the Dean-expression montage - it is excellent!

Although I know that Becky has often been considered the Supernatural fandom incarnate on the show, I thought they stepped back from that this week by having Becky's own personal story (a bit of one anyways). That's just me.

If we do suppose that this was a message to the fans, maybe it's a simple as this:

"Dear fandom,
We love you guys but we want to say - please don't take it so seriously. It's awesome that you love SPN as strongly as you do - but don't you see that like Becky's obsessive, desperate love, it can come out too strongly sometimes? We aren't saying you are all crazy, all the time, but we just wanted to remind you guys that relating with the character/story arcs is great as long as you don't confuse it for serious, real life like Becky did, or try to see something that isn't there (like Sam's deep, deep down true love).

Keep enjoying the show, maybe bring the intensity down to an eight though?
Kaythanksbye!

Love,
Supernatural"

I hope that doesn't offend anyone. Obviously, nobody truly knows the message inherent in the episode but maybe the writers and I'm probably way off. But this is how I'm choosing to view any fan message in the episode, if I think there is one, which I don't necessarily.

Either way: I had some laughs and some eye candy. Bring on Edlund!
Sylvie
# Sylvie 2011-11-14 15:08
Thank you Elle, I love your interpretation of what the showrunners would say in a letter. Had me smiling. And I tend to agree with that interpretation. I love reading the message boards, but, boy oh boy, it's only a show, albeit one that we all love, maybe a little too much?...Nah.
rmoats8621
# rmoats8621 2011-11-13 17:05
Nice review. I agree with several of your points, but I really liked the episode overall. I thought it was a 7 on my scale.

Now granted there were some things that could have been toned down some what or even turned up a notch. For example, Becky...definit ely her behavior could have gone down a notch or two. It was very over the top, but I think she's just a character that was written that way from the beginning. She's suppose to get under our skins and she does it well. Now, Garth..he could have been turned up a bit. I really liked him a lot and hope to see him in the future. Granted, he was a little looney, but in a wonderful, fun way. He brought out some qualities in Dean that I haven't seen in a while and pointed out some behaviors that seemed a little more stern than was deemed necessary with Dean. During his time with Garth, Dean smiled a little more...was at ease a little more...and actually listened to Garth instead of arguing as is Dean's behavior of late with Sam. Dean seems to be weighted down a lot lately; a lot more that usual and I really don't think that it's all to do with Sam and his wall. Maybe a part...but not all. I really do think there's more to the story than we know right now.

I look forward to the upcoming Bee/Edlund episode. The promos make it look like it's scary, but from what you've stated...it's funny. Well, I like that...I'm going to need it before the last episode airs and hellatus begins again. :lol:
Sharon
# Sharon 2011-11-13 17:14
Alice thank you for the review. Not my cup of tea has a episode . I wont lie and pretend I liked what was done to Sam in this but that is just me.

One episode I will put in to the 'well what was that' bin and move on .
Chevy
# Chevy 2011-11-13 17:47
I dont exactly know what to think about this ep. I liked it, I thought it was good. But I think there was too much Becky. Good in small crazy doses I think. Although I liked her style, watching her be creepy stalker-like over a tied Sam made me cringe. It was kind of weird to watch because it seemd like they had expected massive laughs from it and it wasn't living up to it. Almost as if they were a comedy act testing out new material for a reaction. I cant say that there arent some fan who would most definately think of doing this because some of them have no boundaries and thats proven in many ways. Overall, good episode. :) I can't wait to see next weeks :D
sn_chills
# sn_chills 2011-11-13 18:03
From the moment the cake exploded I knew I would like it.

Yeah I know the bride was Becky, shocker (note sarcasm). I'm firmly in the “I like small doses of Becky” camp so I wasn’t sure how much I was gonna be able to tolerate her this time around. Turns out I didn’t mind her too much this eppy. Yes there were still some Beckyisms that were just as annoying as before but then weren’t there moments, just moments when some of us could empathize with her. Hearing her old high school nickname and seeing the look on her face. Her whole confession to Sam about how she could relate to him. Very sad indeed. But then who didn’t feel just a little bit of “take that miss high school beauty bitch” when Becky went to sign up for the reunion and Sam walked up behind her. Even if it was under nefarious means she still got to have that little jab back at someone who obviously had made her the butt of her jokes back in the old days. I’m willing to give her that little victory. Kudos to the actress for making us sympathetic or at the very least empathetic to her even when we mostly find her annoying as hell.

Now does Becky represent the whole fandom or even a big part of it? C’mon lets be honest you know there are more than a few Becky’s out there. I think there’s a little bit of Becky in all of us, we just have an off switch and know where to draw the line as far as our fanaticism goes. Do I think the show is making fun of us when Becky is shown in an unflattering light? There might be some truth to that as well. Can you blame them, I certainly can't.

As far as Garth is concerned I really liked the scrappy little guy. He certainly is enthusiastic even if it's misplaced a time or too. I hope we see him again.

And Alice I loved your montage of Dean's expressions during this episode. Just the ones in the chapel alone were worth the price of admission. And Sam looking so earnest at his bride. Lets not forget the whole diary scene, Sam clutching it to his chest. Oh God. Then of course there are the now notorious Sam tied to the bed scenes and Dean wearing a sweater vest scenes. I’m joining you in the shallow end of the pool. I’m sure it will be quite crowded when it is all said and done.

All in all it was a nice light, middle of the road, filler episode and we need one of those every now and then.
Ginger
# Ginger 2011-11-13 20:55
Dean in tweed and a sweater...in the words of Bobby, "Hot damn!
Geordiegirl1967
# Geordiegirl1967 2011-11-13 18:09
I enjoyed it. I think people are reading far too much into the character of Becky. She isn't meant to represent the whole fandom any more than TFM was meant to make us believe that the Js don't speak to each other, that Misha doesn't bother with 'the little people', or that EK would really think Misha getting murdered would have an upside because it would get them on the cover of Variety.

I see a fair bit of people's feeling sensitive about Becky, maybe seeing too much of themselves in her, and so taking what was done with her character as some kind of slight on them. I honestly think that the ep does not deserve some of the extremely harsh comments I have seen. Interestingly on the more general ratings sites like IMDB and TV.com it is getting pretty high scores (eg it is getting 8.6/10 on TV.com putting it the 3rd most popular ep of the season after 1 and 2). This indicates to me that there is a disconnect between the wider fandom, who didn't get the relevance of Becky and so enjoyed it, and the more committed end who are interpreting the use of that character as an insult by the writers.

Having said all that, I did have a couple of minor issues with it;
- I LOVE that the boys have an annual trip to Vegas, but was pretty angry with Sam that he blew it off to go camping in the desert
- DJQ was good, but wasted. And he was a hopeless hunter who wouldn't last 5 minutes.
- how on earth did Becky get an unconscious Sam to her cabin?

I disagree with your assessment of what Sam said to Dean when under the spell. I think it is unfair to say that when under the influence eg here and in S&V that Sam is saying what he really thinks. We all think lots of different things about our families, friends, colleagues at various times, and those thoughts / feelings are a mix of positive and negative things. When we are angry or defensive we express the negative, most hurtful parts of those feelings but they aren't a fair representation of how we really feel. Yes there is part of Sam that sort of resents that Dean still thinks he needs taking care of. There is a part of him that wishes that wasn't true, and that they could relate as equals. But there is another part of him that is hugely grateful to Dean for all he has done, that sometimes still likes to be taken care of, and - most importantly - a big part of him knows that he does still need Dean given his fragile mental state. Above all else Sam loves and looks up to Dean. His speech at the end was trying to reassure him that he was doing OK and that Dean should focus on helping himself. That was probably not totally true (ie he is not totally OK) but it was said with love and good intentions as he knows how much Dean is struggling.

I digress. Overall a fun, not classic, but enjoyable ep that IMO does not deserve the negative reaction it is getting from some.
JuliaG
# JuliaG 2011-11-14 13:00
I agree with you said about Sam "under the influence" in S & V, or last night, that it's unfair to state that it's what Sam really thinks. When your brain is scrambled with something, it's not the truth that will come out of it, it's whatever the one who scrambled it wanted to come out. Last night, the potion was meant to make Sam love Becky so much that she became his whole world and he didn't need anyone else. Hence his statement.
nancyL
# nancyL 2011-11-13 18:27
I agree, Alice, this was not the best episode (Mystery Spot), nor was it the worst episode (Route 666). It had some good moments (Dean's reactions to Becky), but there were a lot of bad ones too.(Sam being all lovey dovey over Becky, yech)

I like Garth, and I hope he lives to see season eight. I also hope that we see him again in season seven. :-)

It is funny how we see the crossroad demon as a 'classic bad guy'.
Oh, the early seasons, the simpler times, when it was all about where the fudge is Dad? :lol:

The poor cake. A cake is a terrible thing to explode. :sad:

You could re-tell this episode with just pictures of Jensen's reactions. As we all know, he can tell pages of dialogue with just one facial expression.

Alice, I am also wondering why this is the first time in seven years we are hearing about 'an annual trip to Las Vegas'. You would have thought that at least during season three, we would have heard something. Not a nit pick, but you bring up a good point. On 'Buffy', her birthday was addressed every year and it always ended bad. They could have done the same thing with this 'alleged' annual trip.

I agree that Becky stopped being a fan, when she had Sam tied to the bed and was rubbing his chest a la 'Sympathy for the Devil'. In that earlier episode, Sam had the chance to walk away from an uncomfortable situation, but here he was at this crazy's mercy. I didn't think that Becky was going to hurt Sam, but it still left a bad taste in my mouth and I saw Becky more as a stalker than a fan.

It was nice to see Crowley again after he was dissed by Dick 'the Leviathan in charge until Cas comes back'. As we all called it, Crowley wants the Leviathan put down and is willing to help when he can.

Season seven may have it's flaws, but I will still take it over season six and Soulless Sam. :D
Ginger
# Ginger 2011-11-13 19:15
This was a fair review, Alice, and very well thought out. I totally agree with it for the most part. I've posted this to the other reviews, but will restate here that I took this episode as a totally 'screw you' to the fans. I'm not blaming Dabb & Loflin totally, but I do blame SG. She is the only original writer left with the show (with Ben being a consultant now) and she is in charge. If she didn't realize that the meta could be taken this way, she should have.

I could even overlook this one episode, despite the message I took from it, but my bigger concern is that even grading on a curve, this episode points out that SG thinks of the show as a B-minus campy, popcorn horror show and I have always seen it as a unique, brilliant horror/drama (excluding S6, of course).

IMO, Becky wasn't the only avatar for the fans. Garth was, too. I say this because up until the end, I thought he was supposed to be 'quirky,' but once the Show showed him preening for Becky and then the hug to Dean, I decided he was the avatar for the male fans who want to walk in shoes like Dean. I may be wrong, of course. Just my opinion. But the fact is, if Qualls' character had not been in the episode, it would have been no loss, and certainly Dean would have looked better for handling the problem all by himself. I hope to never see him again, along with Becky.

When they can kill off a hunter like Rufus, a could-have-been -hunter like Hendrickson, and then show Garth as a believable hunter...and give Becky so much screen time when characters like Ellen, and even Ronald, were killed off...it is a sad state of affairs.

My last point is that, sure, I'm all for a light episode once in a while to break the dark and bleak. Some of my all time favorites have been the meta and comedy ones. But, I haven't seen much dark and bleak since the first two episodes. Even Slash Fiction wasn't all that dark and bleak...just the mad on that Sam got there at the end. And, of course, there was the killing of Amy scene in The Girl Next Door. That's not much when you think back to other seasons and some of the heavier episodes. This is the season of campy, according to Ben, and I think its living up to that description.

I have no idea what they are doing with Sam. I'm not real happy with his actions to date. I see him as being cruel to Dean...again. But I am reserving judgment until we get further into the season. I do have this red flag that TPTB are going to take Dean down Sam's S4 path in some fashion, and I hope that doesn't happen. It would be payback for the bad fan reaction to soulless Sam and domesticated Dean.

But, hey, thanks for the recaps of Dean's reactions. Dean was the only thing I enjoyed in this episode, except for the exploding wedding cake and Crowley reappearing.

Yeah, another comedy next week as I understand it. I was so ticked off by this episode, I turned off the TV before remembering that a preview would be shown. I doubt I missed much.
percysowner
# percysowner 2011-11-15 14:34
I'm guess I'm just not seeing Sam being cruel to Dean. If you are talking about when Sam was under the force of the love potion, it made him feel that Becky completed him and was enough for him. Even then he wanted Dean to be part of the wedding an part of their lives.

If you are talking about going to the desert, Sam is still hallucinating and is trying to figure out how to take care of himself. At the end he admits he will always need Dean, but that he is coping well for himself, so now Dean can relax and take care of himself. I don't see cruelty there.

Dean reminded Sam flat out that every woman he has ever cared about has died AND then Dean stated he couldn't understand why Becky (who is considered unworthy, and needy by both Sam and Dean) would actually WANT Sam. Both of those statements could be seen as being very cruel, IMHO. Why does Dean get to poke at Sam's well known wounds without reproach? I mean this is a comedy episode, so I blew it off as being joking, but they were still cruel comments.
yim
# yim 2011-11-13 19:55
I'm glad you're trying to be positive Alice. This might be my first post on this site.

I totally agree about crossing the meta line. This is the first episode I deleted immediately after 1st watch. Too bad, i would have liked to rehear Dean's talk with the girl at the beginning.

I've wondered if SG's team was angry at fans too, long before this episode.

I have love, love, loved your reviews Alice. I thought I'd tell you that before I quit the show. This episode has me afraid that I'll start hating SPN. I was already wavering.

J2 aren't enough to keep me watching B movie horror lame fun house each week. I'd rather just remember the epic bits from S1-S6. I'm actually dreading them playing "Carry on my wayward son" this season.
sofia
# sofia 2011-11-13 21:26
Alice,
I am so glad you mentioned Dean's tweed jacket ensemble. I actually paused the episode to take it all in. that is a good look!
tigerlily2
# tigerlily2 2011-11-13 21:47
Alice, good on you for trying to be fair and even-handed and positive, but I just can't. The only things remotely funny were Dean's hilarious reaction faces.

The rest of it was just disgusting.

I don't even know what to say about how they've written Sam lately. Isn't it canon that his soul was "hate banged" in the cage - and he remembers it, as was shown by his hallucination of Lucifer taunting him about it? But he's fine. And showing him under yet another spell that takes away his consent and free-will, then knocked unconscious (yet again), kidnapped, tied up half stripped and spread-eagle to a bed, kissed against his will, then gagged so he couldn't continue to protest? All this is supposed to be FUNNY?

"F**k you" to the Sam fan, indeed.

I totally get that this part of the season is about Dean's issues, and Sam's are on the back burner for now. Not a problem, I've watched this show for a while now. But why do they insist on making actual fun of Sam's tragedies?

"Need I remind you of the average life-span of your hook-ups?" That was a punch line. Nice. I guess it would have been less funny if they included "and fiances". Is Dean's implication that Sam can never have a romantic or sexual relationship again? That it's somehow Sam's fault that practically everyone he ever touched in a sexual way has died violently and prematurely? And that somehow this will continue in the future?

I could go on, but I won't. I will keep watching because I know this show can and probably will turn on a dime and suddenly all Sam's trauma will be back. But in the meantime it bugs me that show never lets up on telling us, usually through Dean's words spoken in anger, how Sam is to blame for all his own, and others', tragedies. But all the things done to Sam against his will? All okay, 'cause "he's fine".

And to try to make a joke of it is just...words fail me.
A
# A 2011-11-13 22:49
I guess this is Sam's version of Yellow Fever. I don't know why the mockery of hell trauma is necessary, but apparently it is. :P
percysowner
# percysowner 2011-11-14 00:34
I couldn't agree with you more. This pretty well sums up my feelings for this episode. As #A pointed out they did do the same thing to Dean in Yellow Fever and it was the same writers too. Well I hope next week is better.
subwoofer
# subwoofer 2011-11-13 21:57
Loved this ep- classic :lol:

As Elle said, much appreciation for the Dean expression montage too, and he did it twice in the first five minutes :D We could do a whole other youtube clip with Deanisms from this show.

"What... the hell?"

Becky telling Dean that she's read all the books, "open eyes, y'know, open eyes".
Dean: "I'm going to be sick."

And then the montage clip with Dean finally flippin' out, "Really?!! Superfan99!?!" Still cracks me up :D

And the bit with the waffle iron, "it's non-stick, you fold it and... I have to be honest I have no idea how to use this."

Dean was acting just like we would expect when his brother has clearly taken leave of his senses. Especially when at the beginning of the episode Dean is doing an info dump to a hot waitress putting herself through grad school, telling her that his friend has a younger brother with a reactor that has blown recently. I like what she told him- "we all have to face ourselves sometimes".
Jules
# Jules 2011-11-13 22:05
I liked the episode! And I was SO glad Becky and Sam haven't 'consummated' their marriage. I loved Garth and I really liked the actor that played the crossroads demon... Also, I loved Crowley and his integrity :)
Becky did annoy me a bit though.
MisterGlass
# MisterGlass 2011-11-13 22:06
Thanks for your review Alice. You highlight some nice moments, with Dean's reactions, the exploding cake, and the waffle iron.

But I have to admit, until Crowley showed up, I felt this episode fell entirely flat. Becky was the wrong character to serve as the basis for an episode. She's fun as light commentary, but the commentary in this was far from light. The writers have a right to vent, if that's what this episode was, and we don't know for certain, but I think they could have made a better episode either way.

I did not find Becky funny or compelling. She was sad, hopeless and ridiculed, and I couldn't laugh at that. Especially not when a desperate character became a stalker that drugged someone and held that person captive after a blow to the head.

Others have said it in other threads, but what she did to Sam should have a much stronger impact on him, given what he suffered in Hell. No panicked flashback about chains? About being unable to escape? I know Becky shouldn't be threatening to Sam, but what she did was serious business, and that wasn't acknowledged. She was even released from her deal, no consequences besides an annulment.

As far as the episode construction, there was too much telling and not enough showing. The exposition bogged it down, at the beginning in particular.

I also thought it was like Swap Meat, and I disliked it even more.
Alice
# Alice 2011-11-13 23:35
I'm 100 percent with you there. You'd think that Sam all tied up and gagged like that it would trigger some sort of flashback. But hey, I didn't raise the issue, because as I said in the beginning, I've been convinced to lower my expectations. I'm glad you did though!
MisterGlass
# MisterGlass 2011-11-14 20:40
I guess I'll have to ratchet mine down another notch, though next week's preview makes that tough, since it looks promising.
Geordiegirl1967
# Geordiegirl1967 2011-11-14 12:32
I have said elsewhere that I think there is a disconnect between the committed fandom, and the wider fandom in how they view this ep. The wider fandom seems to have enjoyed it. On TV.com it is getting an average rating of 8.5/10 putting it on a par with The Mentalists and GND, ahead of Dr Phil and DYL, but behind eps 1 and 2 and Slash Fiction. To me that feels about right. But to read some of the comments here and elsewhere you would think that;
a) this was widely acknowledged to be the worst, most offensive ep of SPN ever
b) it is indicative of the showrunners contempt for their fanbase
c) it is evidence of some kind of terminal decline

What I think is that if people could get past their prejudices, and sensitivities about the use of Becky in this ep, and the perception that she somehow represents the writers' view of the fans, and just look at the ep more objectively, they would think it was a perfectly decent, not exceptional but OK, SPN episode.

Interestingly Alice your poll bears this out. You have almost 300 (presumably unique) responses. There are 8 options. 5 are for people who were broadly happy, 2 for people offended, 1 for those who thought the ep was poor. This is how it looks:
Total who answered one of the 5 'Happy / enjoyed it' options (1,2,4,7 and 8th Qs in the poll) - 75%
Total offended (5th, 6th Qs) - 11%
Total thought ep was poor (3rd Q) - 9%
(5% of responses are missing for some reason)

So the majority thought it was fine and were entertained by it. But as is so often the case the 20% who were unhappy (although they are perfectly entitled to that opinion) are shouting it from the rooftops making it appear there is a consensus was the ep was appalling. That is not my perception outside of the more committed ends of the fandom.
Alice
# Alice 2011-11-14 12:42
Thanks for analyzing the poll! I do love including those because usually what's answered on the poll doesn't reflect the comments left. Most were either happy or okay with the episode. I'm actually one of those people. I've been told by a few others they aren't leaving comments these days because they're afraid of the vocal part of the fandom. That's where I hope the anonymous polls are serving their purpose.
Geordiegirl1967
# Geordiegirl1967 2011-11-14 17:16
Quote:
. I've been told by a few others they aren't leaving comments these days because they're afraid of the vocal part of the fandom. That's where I hope the anonymous polls are serving their purpose.
I'm afraid that is what I see here and lots of other places. The negative voices are louder and more strident, and they drown out the positive views. This gives the impression that the majority are unhappy when actually its just that those who aren't happy shout louder.
Melanie
# Melanie 2011-11-14 23:52
Like on Zap2it articles and stuff like that? Honestly I swear its the same six people - they say the same things over and over.
Bevie
# Bevie 2011-11-14 14:37
Between committed fandom and wider fandom, I consider myself a committed fan. I enjoyed the episode and did not consider Becky to be referring to myself at all.

I'm committed because I have never watched a more addictive television series and I do consider it the most enjoyable in my more than 50 years of TV watching. I'm eternally grateful to the creators (and Kripke) who hired the 2 wonderful actors who portray my beloved Winchesters so wonderfully and convincingly that they are "real" to me.

I don't believe at all that they are taking jabs at me or the fandom, but just making an enjoyable funny episode as they have in the past seasons to take the pressure off of the angsty ones. Some fans seem to take themselves a little too seriously. This is not their show to write as they wish (thank God!). I'm talking about the "fan wankers" who bore me to tears and I try to ignore completely. :-x

To make a long story short, I too thought it was fine and was entertained by it.

Loved to see Crowley and the CRD, and Garth was, can I say, adorable? Hope to see him again and that he remains in the land of the living. And Jensen was amazing with his expressions, as usual. :P
JuliaG
# JuliaG 2011-11-14 13:32
I've been lowering my expectations too Alice, and that' s why I enjoyed this episode. It was ok and didn't make me want to hit the screen like "The mentalists" did, so that 's a big plus for me. I really don't think that Becky was meant to be representative of fandom. The writers took her WAY over the top and transformed her into a horror show character who would deal with demons. I don't think that many would identify with that, lol.

As to why Sam would leave Dean and go in the desert, who knows. I can't tell you how excited I was with Sam's story after the 2nd episode, and how let down I feel now. I think that he goes away to deal with all that's happened. I know people keep saying "poor Dean", and how Sam should stick close and help him, etc., but if we got just a little perspective on Sam's trauma, maybe his actions would make more sense. But let me try. He just got his Hell memories back, which is like saying that he just came back from Hell. He's got hallucinations, and, to top it off, Dean asked him to trust him in that wonderful warehouse scene, and then betrayed that trust the episode after. I don't know what's going on in that brain of his, but with Sam also knowing that Dean is waiting for the other show to drop when it comes to his sanity, I would understand why Sam would need time away from Dean.

Back to the episode, it was ok, but I didn't think it was that funny, except for Dean's reactions in the chapel, Sam and the diary, and Sam trying to talk through the gag.

Even with lower expectations, I'm still upset about Sam's lack of Hell follow-up. His story is not on the back-burner, it's been put in the tupperware container and back in the fridge!!! If the show intends to bring it back, it would be nice to build the tension and give us a few hints on what's coming. That would be good storytelling. Why can't the writers tell 2 stories at once? Argh.... Lower expectations, I guess.
Sharon
# Sharon 2011-11-14 14:16
Just for the record my okish response towards this episode had nothing to do with Becky or any anti-fandom idea. Not every episode is going to be universally loved and some had genuine reasons to love it /like it and to dislike it .I dont see anything wrong with that .
Sylvie
# Sylvie 2011-11-14 15:22
Great review Alice. And thank you so much for that beautiful picture of Jensen Ackles in a sweater, tie and jacket. Oh my, my heart skipped several beats. I'll be going back to that picture many many times.

I agree the episode wasn't the most solid, but I enjoyed it overall. I would give it a 7 1/2 on the scale. I loved Garth. I think he's still alive, because he is so oblivious to the danger, he just skates on by. And yes Becky can grate on your nerves, but she always has been over the top cuckoo. Actually, she and Garth would make a pretty good team.

I do miss the demons going after the Winchesters though. More Crowley, pretty please.
Boo
# Boo 2011-11-14 16:49
what would Dean's reaction have been to Sam wearing that sweater/tweedy ensemble? He'd have called him a preppy douche of something similar so I'm going with Dean and saying Dean looked like a preppy douch.
magichappening
# magichappening 2011-11-14 17:28
The range of reactions to the same piece of art is fascinating. On that note:

I remember once seeing a slideshow of images in a course – I think it was from a philosophy course the instructor had attended.

As he clicked through the images (each different) he said the same line (something like): ‘This is a girl sitting on a bench reading a book.’

As he clicked through the series of images the effect was that of a camera zooming out: from a close-up drawing of words on a page, to one of a whole book opened, to hands holding the same book, to a lap and body holding the book, to a girl with face bent reading the book on her lap, to the girl sitting on a bench, to the girl sitting on a bench in a garden, to a garden amongst several gardens with the girl on the bench just visible, to an aerial view of a town, to that of a country, to the whole earth, to just a planet in space.

And each time the guy said ‘This is a girl sitting on a bench reading a book.’

All of the images were of the same thing, all of the perspectives were valid, but depending on where you stood while viewing it, the image and thus one’s experience of it differed.

Just a thought :-)
sn_chills
# sn_chills 2011-11-14 20:04
I agree. I'm 49 yrs old and I tend to see the show through the eyes of a 49 yr old who has had very diverse life experiences. Someone younger or older may see things differently based on their own life experiences. Some aspects of the episodes are going to ring true for me and others are gonna annoy the crap out of me. To each their own.

For those afraid to speak up when you really like an episode but are afraid to articulate that, I say go for it anyway. We need all the diverse views we can get. Don't let the haters take away the joy you feel. You are entitled to your view.
magichappening
# magichappening 2011-11-15 14:57
Thanks sn_chills :-)
Tim the Enchanter
# Tim the Enchanter 2011-11-14 17:55
Most definitely. Or the episode could be something like this....
All about how you look at it. Wrecked my head for days, this one did!
magichappening
# magichappening 2011-11-15 14:55
I always see the young one first :-)
random commenter
# random commenter 2011-11-14 21:17
With the vile comments habitually thrown at Sera Gamble and the writing staff by a VERY SMALL NUMBER of overwrought fans, I wouldn't feel too badly if a few of them felt they were being dissed. Dish the poop out? Then you'd better be able to take it. But I doubt that any such thing is going on. I watch the show and manage to be entertained by it every week. Sure, some episodes are better than others, but the day will come when there will be NO MORE, so I'm enjoying it while I can. I cannot imagine myself indulging in the ridiculous waste of time and energy spent by actually getting ANGRY at a television show. Keep up the good work, Alice! Yours is a pleasantly thoughtful voice.
Nitewoman7
# Nitewoman7 2011-11-15 16:50
I stated before I loved this episode. My comments are under "Let's Speculate" Alice thanks for the great pics (what can I say I'm one of those shallow fans & proud of it :) In answer to your question about Sera and the writers here is MHO. I think they were trying to make a funny episode. Sera has stated in many interviews I seen that she is proud of the fan base and realizes without us fans there would be no show. Do I feel Sera is much more "A Sam girl" hell yes. Has there been a change in the feel of the show hell yes. Eric is gone and there is no coming back. BUT I have real and pray we get a Season 8ly liked Season 6 and . I'm so happy that my favorite show is still on doing well in the ratings for The CW
MetamorphicRocks
# MetamorphicRocks 2011-11-16 00:44
I thought this was a fair review, Alice.

I have enjoyed season 7 for the most part, but I have to admit, I didn't really care for this episode.

I wasn't offended by it; I'm assuming the writers have more respect for the fans than to imply Becky is a literal representation of them. Even if they were trying to send a message that some fans are over the top, I think they are aware most fans aren't like that.

I just thought the episode could have been more zany and fun. It started out that way, but I think sometimes it went into the zone of creepy, given how Becky seemed pathetic and sad in this one.

Actually, I would have loved if this light episode would have been about the boys' Vegas trip. I don't how expensive it would have been to build a small casino set, but it would have been great to see Sam and Dean gambling, and maybe hustling a little bit. They still could have included Crowley and the Demons (not hard to believe the Demons would be preying on people in Vegas), and even Becky with her slipping a love potion into Sam's drink, then showing her silly attempts to get him to marry her on a much smaller and less invasive scale.

All in all, the episode wasn't terrible, and Jensen and Jared have great comedic timing, and were fun to watch.
lianne
# lianne 2011-11-16 14:07
I liked your review, Alice. I enjoyed much of this episode, just not the Becky & Sam storyline. I've never liked Becky and this episode was just too much for my taste.

But I agree with you about Dean in this episode. He was wonderful. And thanks for the photo summary of Dean's facial expressions... Jensen is really great at conveying his emotions through his expressions. And I love the sweater/jacket combo!!

"So what’s up with Sam all of a sudden wanting to take off all the time? He spent ten days or so away from Dean before they met up in New York, and now during their annual trip to Vegas (again, why we haven’t seen the other six?), he goes off on his own camping in the desert. What do you make of this distance he’s trying to put between him and Dean? His speech to Dean while under the potion, declaring that he doesn’t need Dean anymore, really hurts because he means it."

I don't know what's up with Sam either. I think Sam was a bit cruel to leave Dean to go off camping, which is something he knows Dean hates (and back in Wendigo, Sam hated camping too).

I don't begrudge Sam for going off on his own to think things through, but why did it have to be at the exact same time that they were on their "annual" Vegas trip? Dean seemed so sad and depressed about it in the strip bar. I mean, he has a pretty waitress flirting with him, surrounded by strippers, and all he's thinking about is why Sam left him? So yeah, I felt bad for Dean.

Crowley was a nice bonus. I hope we see Garth again sometime. The hug was sweet -- ha, Dean made a friend. Too cute.

And I'm glad the brothers talked a bit in the end, although Dean seems terrified at the prospect of focusing on his own issues.
JuliaG
# JuliaG 2011-11-17 14:07
Why did Sam choose the Vegas trip to go off on his own? Because they weren't on a case and that was the only time he could do it? It was meant to be their vacation, a time when they can do their own thing. And I think that booze and girls and gambling is more Dean's thing.

Sam is dealing with mental issues, he just got his memories back, he's been lied to and called a bitch and a jerk for being angry about it, and you think that Sam is CRUEL to poor Dean? Really?

Sorry. The hyper Dean focus since the 3rd episode is driving me nuts. Sam going off in the desert could have been an interesting character beat in trying to deal with his trauma, but became instead about poor Dean being left alone.
percysowner
# percysowner 2011-11-18 13:25
I agree that the intense Dean focus of season seven has been very problematic. All of the reactions we see are how the world affects Dean. No consideration is being given to Sam's mental state at all. This follows the pattern of season four, where we were never given enough insight into Sam to be sympathetic or even understand his motives.

I am very tired of hearing how unfair Sam is to Dean, how when Dean is hurt it is important, but Sam's emotions are simply buried. I hope this changes during this season, but I am less than confident that it will happen.
Zazreil
# Zazreil 2011-12-14 00:25
Just got around to seeing this episode and I hated it. I will admit if the female was not Becky I would have enjoyed it. Maybe some other woman who had run into Sam Winchester in the past. But Becky is supposed to be us and they made her into Stephanie Ware - you know that crazy lady who claims to be the real Stephanie but isn't and says she is Married to Jensen and also pretends to be her daughter and married to Jared. That one? That is the side of fandom that the writers portray in the character that stands in for all the female fans!?! I love Supernatural but that makes me angry. Why are they stupidly trying to alienate us. They are darned lucky to have us
Alice
# Alice 2011-12-14 21:34
When I first saw this episode I had such low expectations I let a lot of things go. However, the more I've had time to ponder, the more I believe what I said in the review, that they didn't carefully handle the meta this time. It really did make the fandom look nuts. I still really miss Kripke's sentiments with meta, and perhaps what he used to bring to the show in general.

Great hearing from you again! Do you have more episodes to catch up on?