Thursday, June 24, 2021

My Bloody Valentine 2009 live blog

I am watching the 2009 horror film starring Jensen Ackles, feeding my uber crush on him and my SPN obsession.

I am suffering cognitive dissonance through the name of the film and the setting. It's in a bleeding mine. It feels strange because there's really nowt valentiney about it.

There's a nice level of ridic horror gore - eyeball destruction and shovels through necks et cetera.  It's weird seeing a young Ackles. Weird seeing him not playing Dean. 

Oh my gods why is the copper leaving the kid in the house with the serial killer?! 

I'm sure by now in a movie we usually know more about the murderer's motivation...

Oh great, some classic blaming of the psychologically unwell. Jeez. That should tell you the purported good guy is a bad guy. At least it would in non movie land.

I tell you what, I'm not feeling particularly invested in the storyline here. So many questions unanswered. Why did Warden go on a killing spree? How did Tom decide Axel is the killer? Is the lead character Axel or Tom? Who am I rooting for?! Maybe there are two killers... Maybe it's Tom... 

Oh it is Tom, but he doesn't know he's doing it. There were not enough hints leading up to this to make it scary! 

I am well up for watching Ackles play dangerous guys. There's not enough scenes of him being dangerous in this...and not enough of him being bruised and bloody. Although the very last scene is rather hot. 

Speaking of obsessions, I was rewatching Buffy eps last week.  Man, they are still SO good.  Especially the musical one.

I finished my SPN Se1 - 14 rewatch a month or so ago.  I'm not quite strong enough to watch Se15 again.  The rewatch face me a better handle on how the seasons flow, and now I'm itching to rewatch specific eps. 

Saturday, May 29, 2021

Supernatural Season 4 write up

Hmm. The time stamp on this says that I wrote it in February 2021 but didn't hid publish.  I see that the notes are all completed apart from the last two eps, but as per usual I'm tired and don't want to look up the ep summaries and write more, so I'll publish it without those two summaries.

I watched season 4 over the Summer and was so stressed by the pandemic, and I was enjoying the episodes so much, that I didn't write up any notes on the episodes.  So I am doing it now, with the help of the Supernatural Fandom Wiki, and by watching it again, because I find it find it difficult to retain details.

Lazarus Rising
Dean comes back from hell, Bobby tests him, Sam tests him, Ruby has switched meatsuits and we see her with Sam, but we don't know it's Ruby at this point in the episode, it comes later.  Demons come after the brothers and Dean works out that they won't hurt him, because they are scared of Castiel.  Which reminds me, that this is Cas' first appearance.  It's pretty dramatic.

Stellar ep - 9/10.

Are you there God? It's me, Dean Winchester 
Dean is trying to understand the existence of angels.  Ghosts of folk hunters couldn't save are killing hunters - these are witnesses, those that manifest to herald the apocolypse, and are the first seal.  Bobby's panic room makes an appearence.  I did not remember any of this detail.  It's clearly an important ep in the mytharc but didn't make much impact on me.

In the beginning
Time travel - Cas sends Dean back to 1973 and he meets his parents.  He realises that Mary is a hunter and assists Mary and Samuel on a case involving Azazel.  Dean gets the colt, tells Samuel that it can kill Azazel, but Azazel possesses Samuel.  Azazel kills Samuel, Deanna and John and makes a deal with Mary to bring John back if he can visit her son in 10 years.  the deal is creepy because Azazel is possessing Samuel and you seal the deal with a kiss.  Season 4 - back when demons were creepy.

Good for the character moments and the history of the family.

I am told that this was originally to be shown after Monster Movie, but there was concern that there would be too much angst if they did In the Beginning/Monster Movie/Metamorphosis/Yellow Fever.

Dean finds out about Sam's demon exorcising powers and that he's working with Ruby.  Dean is not impressed.  The case is a fella turning into a rugaru - another hunter killed his dad knot knowing his mum was pregnant with him.
At the end Sam says he will stop using his powers, leading to fans to infer that he is stopping drinking demon blood.  The blood drinking timeline is all a bit woolly.

Monster Movie
I am told that this was originally to be shown after episode 2 but there was concern that there would be too much angst if they did Are you there God, Monster Movie, In the Beginning, Metamorphosis, Yellow Fever, so Monster Movie was switched to be shown after metamorphosis.   As if we aren't in it for the angst.

The boys go to Oktoberfest and deal with a case of movie monsters killing folk - werewolf, vampire, mummy.  It's a shapeshifter.  Dean prepares to get rid of his resurrected virginity.

Great fun episode, 10/10.

Yellow Fever
I really don't like the title of this episode, it has somewhat racist connotations and it makes me uncomfortable.
Dean contract ghost sickness which kills the infected person through fear - they end up having a heart attack.  He hallucinates Lilith and hell things, and yellow eyed Sam.  Bobby and Sam work to kill the ghost that infected Dean, and they do so by dragging it behind a truck until it dissipates.  This is a questionable plot decision.

Dean's fear of everything does remind me of the Red Dwarf episode Emohawk: Polymorph 2, where the Cat loses his coolness and Rimmer his bitterness, and the Better than Life book where Lister loses his fear, the Cat his ego, Kryten his guilt and Rimmer his rage.

6/10.  Would be higher without the questionable race bits.

10/10 for the Jensen Ackles lip synching to Eye of the Tiger at the end bit.

It's the great pumpkin, Sam Winchester
This is part monster of the week, part mytharc.  It's Halloween and two weird deaths lead the brothers to investigate, it seems a high school girl or a teacher could be the witch responsible.  The boys discover that the murders are sacrifices to raise Samhain, a big bad demon.  The boys pronounce Samhain wrong, it's very irritating.  There's some good explanation of the origins of Halloween practices, with some SPN type lore thrown in.

Castiel and Uriel show up, it's Sam's first time meeting Cas (or any other angel) and he's adorably awestruck.  The angels tell the brothers that the raising of Samhain is one of the seals, and that they want to destroy the town and all human inhabitants to stop Samhain. The bros say no, of course, and at the end Cas reveals that their orders were to follow the brothers' lead, whatever that may be.  A test of his steadiness under battlefield conditions, according to the super wiki..  Of course a test, because gods the world over like setting tests for humanity. Harrumph.

Great episode, 8/10.

Wishful Thinking
Definite monster of the week episode.  People's wishes start granted in a town.  It turns out to be a magic coin from Babylonia (?) thrown into a wishing well, so all wishes made afterwards come true.  Then the wishes go bad - Dean wishes for a giant sandwich and gets food poisoning, a little girl wishes her teddy bear was big and could talk, and the bear ends up utterly depressed and shoots itself, but doesn't die.  A little boy wishes for super powers and delight of all delights, utters the immortal phrase Kneel before Todd.  I got giddy.  Someone wins the lottery.  A teenage boy has wished himself invisible so he can spy in the girls showers.

The original wisher is a fella named Wes who wished that a woman Hope would fall in love with him.  She does, but there is nothing else to her apart from her obsessive love.  When she realises that the boys want Wes to reverse the spell, she wishes that Sam gets killed, and he gets struck by lightning.

Once the coin is removed from the well all wishes are reversed - the teddy bear is a normal teddy bear again, with a bandage over his head where his stuffing is falling out, and Sam is alive again.

At the very end Dean admits to Sam that he remembers hell but he refuses to talk about it.

9/10.  I really like this episode.

I Know What You Did Last Summer
There is a lot going on in this episode.  Anna the angel in disguise is introduced - I love her and the way the actress plays her.  She's ace.  This ep is also the one where we start to discover what Sam did when Dean was dead - i.e. got together with Ruby.  Sam was a total mess when Dean died.  It's a great performance.
I think this is the first mention of angel radio.  it's definitely the first appearance of Alastair.  there' a pretty good scene where Sam is sewing up his cut arm and then puts Dean's dislocated shoulder back.  the arm blood/wound/stitches would normally trigger me but it does not.

8/10 - I love Anna's storyline, Alastair's arrival and Sam's flashbacks.

Heaven and Hell
An angel  episode.  I never seem to have a good memory of this but I do enjoy watching it.
We get to see how much contempt most of the angels have for humanity.  With the help of Pamela, Anna regains her memories and plans to get her grace back.  There's a demon/angel showdown and Anna banishes the angels, and herself.  Dean confesses his time in hell and that it was 40 years, not 4 months.


Family remains
Oooh this is such a good episode.  It's full on horror where the monsters are humans, a-la The Benders.  A family move cross country to a farmhouse, Helen Slater is the mother, where the boys are investigating a death.  The family get terrorised by what turns out to be two kids who live the walls and cellar.  Their mother killed herself after their birth as the kids' father is her father.  The now grown up kids killed their father/grandfather, which brought the boys to the town. 

10/10, I love this episode.

Criss Angel is a Douchebag
Monster of the week episode where 3 older stage magicians feel put out by younger, fancier magicians (with eyeliner).  One of them does a spell to gain immortality.
The supernatural fandom wiki tells me Ruby turns up at the end and Sam agrees to her plan, but as I don't remember this but I'm not going to expand on it.

After School Special
The boys investigate a case at one of their old schools - a ghost is killing people.  We get flashbacks to the TeenChesters and Dean rakes a job as a PE teacher, wearing a fetching shorts and headband combo.

9/10, great fun.

Sex & Violence
This is the Siren episode.  The Siren takes the form of a perfect brother figure for Dean and sets the boys on each other.

10/10 for the codependency.

Death Takes a Holiday
There's a town where nobody is dying. It turns out that Alastair has been kidnapping the reapers in order to break another seal.  The boys enlist the help of Pamela to send them spirit walking so they can find the reapers.  I think this counts as them dying... 
Pamela gets killed by a demon.

On the head of a pin
Angels are being killed and Castiel and Uriel ask the brothers for help to work out who is doing it.  Dean is convinced to torture Alastair for information, however Alastair tells Dean that he broke the first seal when he, a sarighteous man, shed blood in hell.  Alastair escapes and beats Dean, Sam arrives and uses his powers to kill him, after Alastair says it's no the demons who are killing the angels.
We discover Uriel is the traitor and he is on Lucifer's side.  As Cas is havign doubts uriel tries to recruit him.  Anna kills Uriel.

It's A Terrible Life
Smith and Wesson AU, where Zachariah is introduced.

The monster at the end of this book
The Supernatural books are introduced and the boys discover slash.  Chuck as prophet is introduced.  Prophets are protected by archangels (but we don't know which one) so Dean decides to use Chuck as bait to get Lilith killed.  It doesn't quite work.

Jump the shark
Adam is introduced.  I love Adam.

The Rapture
Castiel leaves Jimmy's body (heaven has dragged him home), Jimmy heads back to his family, Sam is carrying around demon blood and having withdrawal.  Anna turns up in the back of the car.  We see how Jimmy said yes to Castiel and we see him go home to his wife and daughter, but it's a trap and there's demons all around.  In one of the final scenes Sam gets a demon on the floor and drinks their blood.  Vampire fans will like this scene.  Castiel has possessed Claire and Jimmy convinces Cas to take him instead.
Dean and Bobby trick Sam into Bobby's panic room so they can detox him from demon blood.

Saturday, November 28, 2020

Supernatural Season 3 - Episodes 14 to 16

Since the end of SPN I have been inspired to plan an SPN themed scarf.  Deffo a scarf and not a shawl, because scarves are more hunter-y.  To do this, quite possibly immense project, I need to finish my episode recap so I know what themes and events to include.  So, I opened up this draft and see that there are 18 words in it. Damn.  Better get writing again then, eh.

Ep 14 - Long Distance Call
This was about a Crocotta who lures victims in by pretending to be a a dead person over the phone.  I think there were some good scenes but it is mostly forgettable.

Ep 15 - Time is on My Side
Ahh, this is super creepy.  Doc Benton is a Dr Frankenstein type character, who is stealing people's vital organs to secure him everlasting life.  Sam tracks him down to use his knowledge to save Dean.  Oh Sammy...  Dean refuses.
We discover Bela has also done a crossroads deal, and is waiting for a hellhound to come and take her.  It's implied that her father sexually abused her when she was a teen, but it's that sort of coded menacing scene that doesn't really tell you anything.  Weird, because I wouldn't have thought this show would shy away from stuff like that.
Bela tells Dean that a demon named Lilith holds both their contracts.

Good ep.

Ep 16 - No Rest for the wicked
The absolute highlight of this ep is Dean's terror when the hellhounds get him, and his anguished cry for Sam when he's in hell.
There's other good stuff - Lilith as a creepy child and her family's terror, Dean's hallucinations, Bobby's declaration that family don't end with blood.  Lilith (in Ruby's meatsuit) tries to kill Sam but her demon powers don't work on him.  The song in the car - Wanted Dead or Alive - is a wonderful brothers moment.

Another great finale.

Saturday, November 14, 2020

Supernatural season 15: episodes 16 - 19

If this doesn't make much sense it's because I'm writing the ep recap out of order, starting with the ones that make me happy.  Episode 19 made me happy. Episode 17 DID NOT.

On a different note, I've figured out one of the reasons why season 8 on doesn't work for me.  It's because there are far fewer monster of the week episodes.  I like the monster of the week eps.  It increases the (literal) mythology of the show, world builds and gets to see our boys use their skills.  It distracts from the fucking awful major arcs of the later seasons.

Episode 16 - Drag Me Away (from you)
Ah yes, the one with the weeChesters.  It was OK.  It did feel like the writers/producers (whoever calls the shots on these things) wanted to shoehorn even more bucket list type stuff in, as a last hurrah.  this style of storytelling doesn't work for me and it means that we haven't seen or heard anything from Chuck in quite a few episodes.  Which is a bit ridic if I'm honest.

This is a monster of the week episode, where Baba Yaga is the monster.  We didn't get to see enough of her though.  Dean is not telling Sam about Jack's impending death, which makes him a fucking idiot who hasn't learned anything.  In contrast, Sam calling out Dean's bullshit was very satisfying.

Two more things worth mentioning - the hotel decor is incredibly ugly and as making me feel ill.  The shot of the college guide, knife and gun together made me cringe.  I miss subtlety.


Episode 17 - Unity
This episode really upset me.  I may well have been hormonal, I may well have been due to have a bad brain day, but this episode sucked the positivity out of me and left me feeling flat.  At the time it was on the UK was looking like it was going to go into another lockdown (it did the following week), and things felt uncertain and stressful, so it may have been that the episode triggered these negative feelings in me rather than causing them.  

I really, really did not like Dean saying that Jack wasn't family.  I don't believe that Dean thinks that.  I think he has a lot of anger towards Jack, I think he has difficulty trusting him and he doesn't respect him, but I don't think he mentally excludes him from their family.  It is clear that Sam and Cas count Jack as family, so I expect Dean to accept Jack as family-by-proxy.  I really didn't like how Sam didn't argue with Dean.

The title cards were weird and have not been referenced in any other episodes.

The Empty accepted Sam's story with very little questioning, which felt too easy.  Amara was so shocked about the brothers' plan to kill her, and that just didn't sit right either.  Her trouser suit was abominable, conversely Chuck was dressed well.

There was mention of Billie somehow taking hold of Dean with her plan.  If she had psychically affected him, and he had gone off the rails at this point so i wouldn't be surprised if that was the intention, that should have been made explicit.  During the corridor fight, Sam tells Dean that Dean protected him from everyone, including John.  At this point I wanted to scream.

I felt like I was watching a show which didn't explain or justify the character's actions.  We can see they are at the end of their tethers, but we don't see how they got there.  The characters are all behaving slightly off, nearly right, but not quite.  It is possible that Chuck is manipulating all of them to behave in this slightly off manner, to exaggerate personality traits and exacerbate tensions, but this was never confirmed.  Chuck says that he didn't orchestrate Amara/Dean but we don't know that for sure.  The show is so wonky and uncertain at this point that it's hard to take anything at face value.  There's no signalling or narrative prompts.

It wasn't a dull episode, all the components for a good story were there, everything just felt slightly wrong. At some point I'll rewatch it and see if it improves.

Episode 18 - Despair
I could do a proper review of this but quite honestly the lasting impression of this is Castiel's proclamation of love to Dean, which had me howling with laughter.  I know it wasn't meant to be that way, but it had me chuckling all weekend.  Castiel doesn't seem to understand Dean at all.
Dean's reaction to Cas' declaration tickled me, as it's totally in line with his shock/surprise/ uncomfortableness when he meets any gay man.

From my notes, I can see that Dean's concern for Jack is at odds with the previous episode, but it makes more sense.  Billie didn't have enough good lines, and it felt like the actors were phoning it in.  Jack and MegEmpty felt shallow.  Usually I love watching these guys.

Billie's plan to stop people coming back from the dead is a pretty good one.  The Winchesters used to fight for the greater good, beyond their little circle of acquaintances.  Now they fight for their inner circle and themselves.  This upsets me on a storytelling level and a characterisation level.  They may as well be the Men of Letters.


Episode 19 - Inherit the Earth
After episodes 17 and 18 I was dreading this.  I know it's only a show, and I know that linking your moods to a telly show isn't a healthy thing, but I was left feeling pretty low after Unity and I was getting quite agitated and off kilter thinking about ep 19.  Maybe it wasn't the show making me feel edgy, maybe I was feeling edgy anyway (hormones? Lockdown? 2020's apocalyptic nature?).

This episode ended the season and it was satisfactory.  I enjoyed it.  It starts with the boys and Jack being the only people on earth, because Chuck has raptured everyone else.  Which wasn't clear to me from episode 18, but wevs.

Michael arrives, Lucifer arrives (he really could have stayed dead but I guess the writers wanted all the big bads in the finale), Michael kills Lucifer (Sam should have got to kill Lucifer), Michael betrays the boys but the boys have prepared for this.  Then the good stuff starts which is Sam punching Chuck in the face, a clever flashback reveal of the brothers' plan, Chuck beating the boys and the boys refusing to kneel.  Sam drags Dean up to face Chuck and my heart sang.

Sam and Dean are now free to live their lives how they want without interference from a bastard deity.  They have their arms round each other in the bunker.  I LOVE this.  I want loyalty and love and trust and codependence and a lifetime of the bros learning how to live with each other with kindness.  That's what I watch it for, and that's what we got in the early seasons.

The memory montage got me in the heart too.  I have no idea how episode 20 is going to go, I hope it's executed with grace and it doesn't turn this episode on it's head.

9/10 for pure fannish joy.

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Supernatural Season 8 - a limited recap because overall I really dislike this season.

Hum.  This is the season I remember zoning out of when I watched it, and when I think about it I remember it's all about the trials, which I thought was done really poorly, and Naomi, signifying the start of the angelic accountants, and then the end has the angels falling from heaven giving us more dreary bank managers on earth.


So I am most definitely being selective in the episodes that I rewatch.

Ep 1 - We need to talk about Kevin
So Dean comes back from purgatory.  Sam has been living with Amelia and didn't look for Dean.  Poor opener for the season...

Sam not looking for Dean feels really out of character.  Like it was put in there just to get Sam a domestic life.   It feels like the writers don't care about the motivations or history of the characters they are writing...Sam is not convincing in the conversation about his whereabouts. Dean is. But I can imagine it would be easier to play Dean's hurt rejection.

Ep 2 - What's Up Tiger Mommy
We did not get enough of Kevin's mum in this show.  She is bloody fabulous and saves the dreariness of it.

Ep 8 - Hunteri Heroici
I remember this episode being really dull, but on rewatch it's not. It's pretty damn solid.  The comedic stuff and the case stuff.  Cas deciding to be a hunter feels shoehorned in for laughs, but I can forgive it that.  The deaths are nicely gross too.
7 out of 10.

Ep 12 - As Time Goes By
This episode is FULL of ship fodder.  Sam is so jealous of Benny it hurts. We feel you Sam, we do.  

Dean is so emotionally close to Benny. I can agree that they may not have fucked in purgatory but the relationship is portrayed so tightly, with such intensity I do not see how Dean and Benny cannot be seen as having an queer-platonic-romantic relationship. It's as intense as him and Sam's relationship.  Christ, Dean warns Benny about his over protective brother, like a teenage girl in a high school show would warn her boyfriend about her over protective older brother.

This episode covers so many betrayals - Sam and Amelia, Sam and Dean, Dean and Benny, Benny and Elizabeth.  It's a messy minefield. So much emotion. So much love and so much hurt.
9 out of 10.

Ep 13 - Everybody Hates Hitler
I assumed from the title that I liked this because it featured Nazis being beaten up.  Not so!  This is the golem episode and the one where the boys find the bunker.  I adore golem stories. I adore Nazis getting defeated stories.  This episode is wonderful.

Made better by Dean getting freaked out by a gay bloke.  I love you Dean, but you are such a twat at times.  Especially when you consider your decidely un-heteronormative relationship with Benny and Sam. I don't think you are in the closet, I think you just fall head over heels for 2 men and you don't even register it as unusual.  It just is.  

Great episode, 10/10, would watch again.  The old-married-couple-settling-in -in-the bunker brothers scene at the end pushed it up from 9 to 10.

Ep 14 - Trial and Error
This is the one where Kevin deciphers the demon tablet and works out the trials.  Dean and Sam set out to kill a hellhound.  Sam kills the hellhound.  It's better than I remembered but I'm not sure I care to watch it again.
5 out of 10.

Ep 15 - Man's Best Friend With Benefits.
Dreadful.  A witch's familiar is a dog.  The boys know the witch.  It's dire.  Really not worth watching.

Ep 16 - Remember the Titans
I planned to watch this and then...didn't.

Ep 22 - Clip Show
The penultimate episode.  The boys discover what the last trial is - to make a demon human.  Avaddon escapes, that's a pretty good scene - gross and delightful by turns.

Castiel is tricked by Metatron and believes he is performing angelic trials to close the gates of heaven.  Cas has made a lot of stupid decisions since the end of Season 5.

8/10.  I quite enjoyed this one.

By the way, the second trial was to take a soul wrongly held in hell and return them to heaven.  I cannot start to explain how stupid that idea was.

Worth watching for the wonderful brothers scene in the church where Dean confesses his undying love to Sam and they decide not to seal the gates of hell because Dean can't cope with a dead brother.

In the next episode they choose Crowley.  Mark Sheppard does pretty well in this.

The Metatron bits reminded me of how skin crawlingly vile I find Metatron.  Good acting, I'll give you that, but I cannot bear to watch him.
The church scene gets 10/10.  The rest... 4/10.

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Supernatural Season 15 - episodes 14 and 15

It's back on air! *does a happy dance*

Episode 14 - The Last Holiday
This got a lot of criticism online for being out of character. I loved it.  I am determined to love it.  The boys discover a wood nymph, Mrs Butters, in the bunker who is a cliched 1950s housewife type of character.  She's been brainwashed by the Men of Letters to be like that.

She sets about making the bunker a home for the boys - lots of holiday celebrations and lots of home made food.  Her magic fires up the bunker properly and they discover they have a monster radar, amongst other things.  She goes bad and tried to kill Jack, because she thinks he's a threat to the boys, but they all talk her down.

It's funny, it's sweet, it's got Dean flashing Sam and Dean throwing Jack through a door to free themselves, some truly gruesome finger torture, Lots of Jack, and lots and lots of feelgood scenes.  It's ends optimistically with everyone happy.

Dean is happy through most of it - he reminds me of how he was when he had memory loss in Regarding Dean. I Have A Theory (we can work it ouuuuuttttttt).  Mrs B's magic includes a glamour to take the angst out of those around them, make them happy and smooth the rough edges in their mindset.

I'm not sure how well this episode would have come across seen straight after Destiny's Child.  that was a fun and frivolous one too.  I think the 6 month break helped this episode come across well.

I like this episode a lot.  10 out of 10.

Episode 15 - Gimme Shelter
The brothers head out to see Amara and convince them to join in their plan to kill God, but decide not to say that means killing her too.  Duuuudes....

I don't think that it's ethical to kill Amara just because Chuck is a bastard, but it's been a while since the show was ethical...

Cas and Jack take on a case about people froma  church being murdered. The Cas'n'Jack crime investigation due always makes me smile.  They get to be delightfully weird together.  I adore Jack.  For some reason a demon wants to ride in the car with them and that bit kind of goes nowhere.  Maybe a scene didn't make the final cut.  Maybe the writers decided to put some odd humour in there.  It doesn't fit.

Jack signs up to this church for research and puts his gender as N, i.e. No.  I love him.  I think I've mentioned that right?!  I have a note about there being a creepy doll in the ep but now I don't remember what that referred to.  There's some awful hand torture - bit too soon after Last Holiday for my taste.
The Pastor's daughter turns out to be the killer, which, to be fair I did not see coming.  the Pastor doesn't seem upset about this though, which is odd.  Bad writing or bad directing, you choose.

Jack reveals that he will die when he kills Chuck and Amara.  What a thing to lay on Cas.  Especially when he's driving and needs to keep his eyes on the fucking road.

Back to the brothers.  They sit on the hood of the car, in the rain, which turns to slushy snow.  No one does that. It's blatantly been done so we get to ogle them looking pretty.  The show didn't used to do that.  Then Amara turns up and Dean and her have a heart to heart.  My main takeaway from this ep is how beautiful Amara is.  She really, really is.

It ends with Cas hinting to Dean that Jack will die.

6 out of 10. Some solid bits but could do better.  I found the monster of the week stuff a bit dull but I enjoyed the character bits.

Friday, October 09, 2020

Supernatural Season 7 recap

Season 7 episode 1 - Meet The New Boss
Jeez I dislike Castiel as God.  He goes around punishing the wicked and smiting angels, and generally being quite unlikeable.  There's some bad scriptwriting where Castiel gets described as sexy by a witness.  Sam's Lucifer hallucinations start - Lucifer is pretty vile and has a little pot belly, which feels incongruous to how characters like him are normally seen.  Dean doesn't notice that Sam is hallucinating.  Crowley and Death gets summoned, those two are always a pleasure to watch.  Most of the ep is about Cas though, and it does nothing for me.  At the end the Leviathans take Cas over and Misha's acting just gets on my nerves.  That might be because I find Misha himself quite unlikeable.

My verdict? Meh.  No reason to watch again.

2. Hello Cruel World
At the end of Season 6 Cas broke down the wall in Sam's mind.  This ep we get to see the effects of it. There is a lot of Hallucifer, who is defeated by the power of brotherly love and faith.  That makes the show sound more wholesome than it is..  Honestly though, the scene where Deam gets through to Sam and grounds him in reality, giving him the strength to reject Lucifer is powerfully good shit.

Bobby's house is burnt down by the Leviathans, so they team ends up in a cabin in the woods.  There's a lot of Leviathan bollocks in this, and Cas dies at the start of the ep.

The brothers don't seem to mourn Cas much thouh.  It's not strongly felt, not like when Bobby dies later on, not when Sam deals (briefly) with Amy's death,

3. The Girl Next Door
Sam works out a kitsune (Amy) is in the area and that he met her when he was a kid.  John and Dean were hunting the ma kitsune, Sam and Amy date without realising who the other is.  Amy saves Sam from her Ma.

Now Amy is feeding, but to save her sick son.  Sam decides to let her go.  Dean pretends to agree then kills her, and lies to Sam about it.

I hate this decision from Dean.  It's cruel and it makes no sense.

4 - Defending Your Life
Osiris finds Dean feeling guilty in a bar and so puts him on trial.  Dean's witnesses are Jo and Sam, he declines to have the third witness be called because he knows it will be Amy and he doesn't want Sam to find out about her.

I felt a bit better about the depiction of Osiris on this second watch.  On first watch it felt a bit too clunky, a bit too Smallville-gimmicky for me.  Either I'm able to gloss over that now or I feel it works better now I have more context for this season.

At the end of the ep Sam says Osiris didn't go for him because he doesn't feel guilty about what he's done because he's paid his dues, what with being in the cage and everything.  That felt a little too easy.  There were no signs before now that Sam didn't feel guilt, and it wasn't neccessary to ensure that dean got hauled up to face trial.

No leviathans in this ep!

5 - Shut Up Dr Phil
I had this on my rewatch list but gave up partway into it. I don't care for James Marsters' and Charisma Carpenter's performances, and I don't recall the couples therapy session being anything more than a cheap joke.

7 - Slash Fiction
The Leviathans impersonate the brothers and go on a killing spree.  Given how much I hate the leviathans, it's surprising that this is pretty good.  Ackles and Padalecki give good monster performances.  They also have to abandon the car.  sobs.  It doesn't come back until the season finale.  double sobs.

At the end Sam discovers that Dean killed Amy and leaves.  For non SPN fans, this means he leaves his brother, which is tantamount to someone walking out on their 30 year marriage.

The bad thing about this ep is the dreadfully contrived way they discover the chemical mixture that hurts a leviathan. It makes me cringe thinking about it.

8 - The Mentalists.
It's the town where everyone is psychic! And it comes with two problems. There is ZERO mention of Sam's psychic powers, which is a big missed opportunity and incredibly aggravating. You'd think there would be one throwaway line or something.
The second problem is Sam forgiving and seemingly forgetting Amy. Bad, bad writing. BAD CHARACTERISATION AND WRITING. I understand that he'll see Dean's point of view. He shouldn't be forgiving him. It makes no sense for him to just change his mind completely, with us seeing no pathway towards forgiveness. It felt like the writers just wanted to make Dean be in the right. However the way they did renders Sam's anger about Amy null and void and misses an opportunity to see Dean grow and take responsibility for his actions. Dean deserves to be bollocked and to feel the guilt. If we know his character we know that killing Amy likely is eating away at him, but that should be explored. This plot started off as a really solid moral quandary/ethical dilemma and was resolved by 'Dean is in the right because he's our favourite'. This scene did both brothers a disservice.

The monster of the week story was pretty good though.

8 - Time For A Wedding
Becky doses Sam with a love potion and they get married.  It feels like it's going to be played for laughs but this is evened out when Dean obviously has problems with it, and when Sam reminds Becky that she's planning to rape him.  Towards the end Crowley arrives and deals with the crossroads demon who is welching on deals.  Props to the actors for making this work.  It could have gone badly wrong.

Thought - Given how much of a fan Becky is, you'd think she'd have learnt right and wrong from the books.  She can't seem to understand that the boys are not things, they are real people.  I know she's a parody of the maddest kind of fan, but still....

11 - Adventures in Babysitting
I skipped Death's Door so it came as a shock to realise that Bobby had died in the previous ep... fuck man, the grief in this show really hits me hard.

One of Bobby's phones gets a call from a kid (Krissy) looking for Bobby.  She's not interested in talking to anyone else.  Nevertheless Sam goes after her.  She's a hunter kid and her Dad has been missing.  Turns out a Vetala has taken him (one of the Vetalas is played by Ruby from Once Upon a Time!). The kid and Dean bond, grumpily.  First appearence of Fraaaaaaank.

No real leviathan rubbish in this ep.  Great episode. 5 out of 5. 

12 - Time After Time
This is very much a silly, fun episode.  Dean is hunting Chronos and gets thrown back in time to 1944 where he meets Eliot Ness (who I hadn't heard of before watching this) and they take Chronos down together.  It feels like an excuse to stick Ackles in a natty suit and give Dean the chance to fangirl over someone.  Good shiz.

13 - The Slice Girls
Dean has a daughter.  I have certain moral and theological issues with this episode given that it posits the Amazons as evil.  On a rewatch, it's a good enough stand-alone episode, if you don't take the Amazon's depiction personally.  But I do.  Harrumph.

14 - Plucky Pennywhistle
Lots of clowns and creepy childhood nightmares.  Sam's fear of clowns is portrayed really well.  The unicorn killing someone with their horn is a favourite SPN death of mine.

Ep 16 - Out With the Old
There are lots of cursed objects - ballet slippers make a dancer dance her feet off, literally.  It gives us a particularly gory yet delightfully absurdist horror scene where the ballerina is lying dead on the floor, legs cut off at the ankles, in a pool of bright red blood.  The shoes are in perfect nick.  There's also a cursed teapot which gives a much ickier death scene, and a cursed gramophone.  Sam averts the gramophone death.

Dean wants the ballet shoes, that's amusing.

Sam is hallucinating Lucifer constantly.  Lucifer is talking to him all. the. time. so Sam is not sleeping.  The brothers are impersonating FBI agents and whilst all professional and courteous with the police, as soon as they get to the shop suspected to be selling the cursed objects, there is no charm from Sam. No grace, just sheer irritation at the objects being let into the wild and an impressive level of impatience to get the case solved.  I can't imagine this was scripted, I think it's all Padalecki's interpretation.  It works really well, it builds on Sam's character at the stuff happening in his head, and it makes him super real.  

Dean has a far calmer demeanour - he's unhurried and business as usual.  Sam's urgency makes sense in terms of sleep deprivation and the devil stuck in your noggin 24/7.

Ackles and Padalecki really make this show work - they put so much into the characters even when it's not in the script or the directions.  Their performances are solid and they tell so much of the story with their faces and body language, and it never looks contrived.  It's a wonder to watch.

The second half of the episode is Leviathan heavy, but interesting leviathans, for once.  The lady estate agent and her downtrodden assistant.  The scene where the assistant takes a taste of the boss from the sword, and the brothers' reactions, is telly show magic.  It's makes everything so much more real and draws you in and makes the bad plots worth it all.

17 - The Born Again Identity
Sam is checked into hospital because he's not sleeping as Lucifer is there all the time.  Padalecki gives a really good performance here.  Dean looks for someone to help him and comes across Cas, who has lost his memory and is now named Emanuel and is healing people.  Once Cas gets his memory back he takes Sam's pain and then he hallucinates Lucifer.  Good episode.  Really good episode.

18 - Party On Garth
Garth leads on a hunt and asks the brothers in for help.  It's a Japanese Shojo that people can only see when drunk.  Much hijinks (for the viewer) ensues.  Dean's alcoholism has really ramped up this season, I feel it got worse in season 5 then increased in season 6, but by this point Sam is making lots of comments.
The ep starts off wobbly, but ends up excellent. 

19 - Of Grave Importance
Sam and Dean go to help another hunter - Annie.  She ends up killed in a house filled with other ghosts.  Bobby is haunting his flask so he ends up there too, and finally manages to get a message to the brothers.
The house ghosts (ghuests?) are being held there by a particularly mean boss ghost.  the brothers do their salt n burn business and it's all cool.
Notable for - it being revealed that Dean, (soulless) Sam and Bobby all shagged Annie (at different times).  Lucky Annie.

Ep 20 - The Girl with the Dungeons and Dragons Tattoo. AKA Where we meet Charlie.
I decided to rewatch this as it's the episode where Dean talks Charlie through chatting up a bloke.  It's an amusing scene, in quite a lot of ways.  I wouldn't have guessed that it was this late on in the season.  It did reinforce my previously held opinion that I don't like Charlie's characterisation.

She's written and portrayed so obviously.  Her geek credentials are shoved in your face at every opportunity, but they are such, sorry to use the word again, but obvious.  She was born in 1985, which makes her 12 when the first Harry Potter book came out, so I understand her being a Potter fan.  Choosing to make Hermione her hero is too easy.  Choose any of the other women.  Choose Luna.  Choose Mrs Weasley or Professor McGonagall.  The Lord of the Rings laptop wallpaper is too easy.  The Star Wars references are too easy.  It's like she's been written for people who aren't familiar with sci-fi and fantasy.  Given that the show is Super-friggin-Natural this is ridiculous.

After the boys have outlined the plan she agrees to join them far too quickly.  She's not freaked out at all.  Her love of adventure stories is cited as the inspiration, but come on.

She does something in IT  She's an amazing hacker.

She does not read as one-of-us, she reads as some twat's idea of what one-of-us is.  I think the term is Mary-Sue or Manic Pixie Dream Girl.  We are meant to identify with her, but I just can't.

Friends have talked about how she doesn't fit in tonally with the rest of the show. I agree.  She's just so damn chipper.  She's not properly weird, she's kooky weird.  She's a man's idea of what a cool girl is. It's so disappointing.

21 - Reading is Fundamental
Kevin Tran the prophet is brought in.    I have issues with bringing in another plot this late in the show. It does not make for smooth viewing.
Ignoring that, this ep is otherwise pretty good.  Solid performance from Chau as Tran.  Great performance from Collins as crazy Cas.  Meg is delightful.  All languid drawl and relaxed suggestiveness, all overlaid with such withering scorn.

22 - There Will be Blood.
The boys realise that corn syrup is the thing that the leviathans are using to subdue humans, so much to Dean's disgust they have to eat actual vegetables.

They find out that to defeat the leviathans they need angel blood, ruler of fallen humanity blood (Crowley) and alpha blood. so off they fuck to get alpha vampire blood.

All does not go well, UNTIL the alpha vamp realises that the leviathans are going to kill the vampire race through contaminating humanity's blood via their corn syrup, and then he helps the brothers.
Better episode that I expected.  Crazy Cas remains fun and far more watchable than regular Cas.

23 - Survival of the Fittest.
The finale!
The opening montage and Carry on Wayward Son get me in the stomach every time.  I am so sad this show is ending. 

The boys get the car back. They go to defeat to the leviathans.  Dean and Cas are shot into purgatory.  It's good shiz, but not the best finale.