The premise of this Supernatural episode – sister witches, stolen book, love spell, the return of a familiar face, and checking in with misplaced characters – just doesn’t thrill me, all that much, but there are a few good moments to discuss.
Jaime and Jennie Plum are attractive witchy sisters, however -- besides the fact that they are sisters and have a dead, but still hanging around mother…they’re not that interesting. They do put up a good fight, at the end, and I like it when they remark that the way to not capture the attention of a hunter is to make their victim’s deaths seem natural, not magical. It’s nice to get the point of view of the other side and to remember that hunters aren’t exactly fun for them, but a real threat that the monster community needs to be wary of.
A music score from Casa Erotica plays as Dean’s whammied by the love spell. Sam should know that something's wrong with Dean right away, as the boys have had plenty of experience with seeing each other enchanted. I do appreciate the Becky Rosen reference and the fact that the “less attractive siblings” can too fall in love. Since Sam took Dean’s keys, then naturally – after Sam’s handily knocked out – Dean walks to the rendezvous with the sisters. Um, is downtown Lebanon that close to the bunker? Why didn’t Dean just take the keys back? I know why, of course. Sam needs the keys so he can speed to Dean’s rescue in Baby. What a wonderfully exciting sequence! Nope, I’m only interested in the Winchester brother’s wrestling match. That’s fun and one of the few bright spots of this episode. I’d have to be made of stern stuff not to enjoy that.
Hello, Rowena. I’m torn in my opinion of her return. I like Ruth Connell, she’s an interesting lady, but Rowena hasn’t been an interesting character in a long time. I suppose that I’m looking forward to seeing what a fully-charged Rowena might bring to the story, but at the same time…her reappearance didn’t excite me. It’s like when Castiel came back – he’s a seemingly indestructible angel, so no surprise at all. Now, I’m not exactly stunned to see Rowena. She must have made a deal with the scariest occupant of Hell to be able to come back, ad nauseam. Magic always comes with a price, Rowena. You can’t keep getting away with this, forever. Right? Her description of her death, painful as it might have been, doesn’t impress me since it doesn’t really matter how she came back. Here she is. Again. Yippee.
I’m not moved by her concern for her “Fergus,” either. She lost the right to mourn him, long ago. She’s a terrible mother. To paraphrase the words that Rhett says to Scarlett (Gone with the Wind) – a cat’s a better mother than her. I just don’t buy that scene, at all. Likewise, the middle of this episode slows down to a crawl as we have many dull conversations between characters; like the witch sisters and (un)dead mom. I’m wondering, at this point, if the script’s too short at filming and filler needed to be included. Just after I write in my notes, “this is boring…zzzz,” something compelling actually happens, amongst all the chitchat.
Just as I’m mentally checking out, Sammy starts to get real. Now, this is great…but also, not. Yes, I’m happy that Sam’s speaking of his torment in the cage, but it’s almost too late. If I’m to buy into the theory that Sammy’s been suffering all this time, yet, has been pushing those feelings down…I just don’t know if I can accept that. There’s a scene in Farscape, when Crichton pleads with Aeryn that it’s, “not too late.” Aeryn replies that it’s, “too late for me.” Oh Aeryn, I feel you. I don’t know if I can accept this development, so late in the game. To do so, I’d have to forget about Sam’s less than horrified demeanor around Lucifer near the end of season eleven, and the terrible embodiment of Luci in Rick Springfield’s portrayal in season twelve. I’m not sure who I dislike the most – Springfield’s Lucifer or Capaldi’s Doctor Who. That’s a tough one because both portrayals took me so far out of the story, I lost interest in both characters. I do like Mark P. and he’s been giving us some really compelling Lucifer moments, so far. In this episode, I like the sense of menace that creeps out of Luci, in small doses. I like having to guess if his humor and genial attitude is all a smokescreen; carefully crafted to lull us, and his future victims, into complacency. That does give me tingles.
Cas seems to be handling Lucifer fairly well, and surprises me when he turns his back on Luci. That’s a mistake, but Castiel really is in control, as he manages to stab Lucifer with an angel blade. Ineffective? Maybe, but good job anyway, Cas. The banter between Cas and Luci is fun and I’m hoping (always hoping) for some interesting developments for our little angel, in the future.
The scene of zombie mom getting shot in the head and then the sisters attacking each other, well, that’s a trifle graphic. Nevertheless, I do enjoy Sam and Rowena seeming to bond over their experiences with Lucifer and about feeling helpless. The fear that Rowena expresses about Lucifer always getting out and coming back – that’s palatable and chilling. Sam gives Rowena the page from the grimoire that she needs, and I’m glad. No matter my feelings of misgivings about Sam’s sudden inner turmoil, there’s something about the team of Sam and Rowena that I’ve always found to be interesting. Sam and Dean also have an emotional conversation, so this episode gets bonus points for that. I’m also buoyed by the return of Sam’s sadness. That’s a strange sentence, but it means that Sam has a compelling point of view again. In order to go forward (if they do) with this development, I’m willing to block whole strings of episodes and seasons from my mind cannon. Hey, it works for the first half of season eight.
In conclusion, I enjoy Sam and Dean being stuck to the pavement and Dean giving Sam a hard time about not being able to reach the hex bag. I also enjoy Dean’s brotherly concern and optimism. Unfortunately, the writers of the next episode do not inspire much confidence, but there’s still time to see some story arcs achieve greatness by the end of the season. Jack, where are you?
Last week’s episode had my attention, but this week…I’m at a loss. Amanda Tapping directed this tale, so kudos to her. We need more female directors and I’m impressed by the wonder of Sam’s face, that she brings to us, in tight close-ups. I remember all the close-ups of Dean, in the olden days. No wonder they used to do so many of him. Those eyelashes were so pretty.
Musings on Sister Witches
Hocus Pocus (1993) - Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy are a hoot (amuck, amuck, amuck!) in this Halloween classic. Not truly reverred until annual television runs, I liked this one the first time I saw it. The Hillywood Show also has an adorable parody of this one.
Practical Magic (1998) - The title's very apt: this film is practically magical. Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman are luminous in this wonderful tale. The supporting players are marvelous; including Stockard Channing and Dianne Weist. We watch this film every Halloween at my house and I love it more every time I see it. Who wouldn't want to grow up in that stunning house with those amazing witchy sisters? Pure Bliss. Aiden Quinn's not too shabby, either, and Goran Visnjic is a terrifying villain.
Let me know what you did enjoy about this episode, because there are some good scenes. You can also say what you will about the less-than-memorable parts. It’s all our own views and experience.
Till next time,
Practical Magic Image: Vulture.com