Huh. Go figure. I actually loved “Golden Time”. I’m wracking my brain trying to figure out why, because it wasn’t a complicated or fast moving story by any means. Maybe because it finally ended with a win. Maybe it’s because I watched a really crappy episode of “The Flash” before it so the bar was very low. Maybe it was just the wine. Either way, it still looked good on the rewatch, so they did something right.
Oh sure, I could nitpick the canon, which did skate along some questionable lines, but hey, I was hopeful in the end. That hasn’t happened in a while. Plus it seems that canon is in “do-over” mode anyway, so my mood after an episode now determines how much I hand wave the embellishments. This week, I’m waving like a beauty queen.
Speaking of beauty queens, welcome Eileen to the grand SPN Pageant of Returning Characters. She looks pretty good for a ghost. Her return is very satisfying because she’s always had this great chemistry on the screen with Sam. I was instantly drawn into their time on the screen, feeling every bit of their pain and then relief at the end. I loved that Sam tried to talk to her about Hell. It’s good to know it still haunts him too. So much was said between them with so little, and I so loved it. I want her and Sam to live happily ever after and have hunter babies. Right, save it for fan fiction.
I’ll tell you what captured me most on this one, tone. It was even through the entire episode. So was the pacing, and it allowed to jump from each story seamlessly. The true winner though was the score. Talk about drawing me into the story! The haunting piano music resonated throughout, like when Eileen and Sam found Rowena’s secret room. It greatly enhanced (along with Jared’s great acting) Sam’s true agony over losing Rowena. It really brought out a deep emotional impact. That music was used all throughout the episode, even in Castiel’s story, thus evening the tone dramatically. It really worked for Eileen’s “resurrection” scene. All in all, it was reminiscent of earlier seasons when the tone was far more balanced and the scores were noticeable.
Castiel’s story was simple, but the somber tone made it relatable. I like that it didn’t take long for him to get the message, “Taking yourself out of the game really doesn’t change the game.” I adored his chemistry with the shop owner and the mother. Even in his own dire predicament he managed to exude empathy to those people, which is a character trait of Castiel’s that has been missing of late. It was so good to see that Castiel again. I liked that there was no grand shock and awe in how he came to the realization that he shouldn’t run from the fight. It was natural and pleasant. He had his cooling off period and he’s ready to go back, but got to save people in the process. I’m glad to see him get a win.
Yes, Cas is weakening, but at least he could heal the boy. I can only assume it is because Chuck is weakened as well. Wasn’t there something in the lore that tied the angel’s power to God? Honestly, I’m not in the mood to research that. I will assume yes. Perhaps this will finally be the blow that will cause Heaven to fall, releasing all those souls to earth? They can join the remaining ghosts from Hell and live in harmony? Although, considering there is only 14 episodes left, I don’t really see that happening. I just don’t know what Sam and Dean will do without their healings. They might actually have to put up with a broken bone. What will they do?
In the hope department, there was as something Sam said that gives another clue on how they can fight Chuck. To me this comment was huge. “Rowena got it. She didn’t know all the details but she knew the game was rigged. This…magic, this is how she kept control.” I do think that passing it onto Sam is going to play a big role in defeating Chuck. I like him as a witch, even though I’ve always hated the witch stories in this show. It suits him! It’s kind of a no-brainer with his past experience with spells and “latining". It feels like a natural progression. I thought him taking out the mother witch with that spell and hex bag was really bad ass! Couple that with his link to Chuck and no wonder Sam is feeling a little optimistic.
Another ray of hope came from the mother witch. “Show death a loophole and she closes it.” That’s true with the natural order, but Chuck has broken the natural order, like not letting deserving souls go to Heaven. Perhaps to restore balance, Billie is willing to let the Winchesters do un-natural things? What am I saying, that’s been happening since season one! How is this week different? Still, do you think Billie would let them do more resurrections? Save more of their friends in hopes to defeat God? Couple that with Sam’s dabbling in magic and that could be the true equalizer (nah, I shouldn’t call it that). I think all Billie really needs to do is bring Jack back. She can rub her hands together and declare her work is done. I’m really missing Jack right now.
As for Dean, well, if he’s going to be depressed, he might as well do it in a dead guy’s robe with hot dog and hamburger pajama pants. That alone made his story acceptable. I’m not sure what inspired him to show up when he did and save Sam. Was there time for Eileen to warn him? (…plots driving distance between Lawrence, Kansas and Wyoming). Oh screw it, we’ll call it brotherly sixth sense. Like I said, I’m in beauty queen mode.
Random Thought Generator
Best SPN line ever: “You ever feel like you’re the punchline to some cosmic joke?” Oh man, that is 15 seasons of Sam Winchester peril described in one perfect sentence.
Second best line of the episode: “If I stay, nothing changes. It’s time to get back in the game.” Hell yeah! Let’s move things along.
Runner up to the second best line of the episode: “Because we’re the guys that break the rules.” To quote my favorite episode, “Mystery Spot,” “Sammy, I get all tingly when you take control like that.
Have we seen the Men of Letter’s bathroom before? It’s huge! That’s a pretty great soaking tub in the middle of it all. I want that bathroom. I swear these guys live like kings.
I loved that Castiel used his “Clarence” alias. Hey, you think that Meg might be brought back? I would love for her and Castiel to finally have that Angel/Demon sex. I know, save it for fan fiction.
Speaking of Castiel, those of you that remember, I made a plea in my review for “The Rupture” to do a spinoff for Castiel called “Angel Warrior” and model it like the old TV version of “The Incredible Hulk." Well what do you know, Meredith Glynn managed to write that pilot right here! The somber tone, the tortured hero, the bonding with the locals and saving them from peril while never quite resolving his own journey, that was exactly what I had in mind. It even had a healing! Sure, the story could have been a bit more intricate, but this was after all just the B plot. All that was missing was the somber piano music as he walked away to the next destination. His power is fading, but his faith in humanity remains. Thank you so much Meredith for proving that such a concept is possible. Pay attention CW, she’s got something here!
So, how many others from Hell escaped from the barrier? Okay, I know of one but I won’t spoil it. I mean seriously, they could bring back anyone then. I hope Rowena’s sacrifice was worth it.
Here’s something fun. Back in July at Comic Con, during my interview with Robert Singer (https://youtu.be/4JTXnNY12tE), someone asked if a permanent love interest for one of the boys will be in the cards, or at least a hint of one. Here was his answer:
“One of them might. Might. I don’t think we’ll see it come to any fruition but maybe just a hint of it.”
Hmm, Sam and Eileen? There was a pretty big hint in this episode, which was probably being broken out during this interview time frame. I hope you all loved the hint as much as I did.
Overall grade, an A-. Not a barn burner, but a very pleasant watch.
Read more of Alice's insights on Supernatural! Reviews on every episode of the series are on Alice's Writer's Page and in WFB's Episode Guides!