Monday, July 27, 2020

SPN Season 3, eps 12 and 13

Brief post today.  I want to continue reading a 65k fic I'm nearly halfway through.

Ep 12 - Jus in Bello
(un) Cool Fact.  It took me an embarrassingly long time to realise that the Italian JIB con was named after this ep.
Bela sets the brothers up so that FBI Agent Henrikson can arrest them.  They are taken to the police station where we discover demons have possessed some of the coppers.  A demon shoots Dean, kills most of the people in the station and Henrikson and the few others left alive are beseiged, alongside the brothers.  Henrikson et al finally believe in demons and after much discussion covering areas such as it is ok to sacrifice a virgin to save the rest of them, the demons are exorcised via the exorcism ritual being played over the station's PA system.  I like this method of getting rid of them, I find it ingenious.
At the end Lilith demon turns up, in the form of a little girl,and blows up the station, killing Henrikson.  I am not amused by this, I like Henrikson and wanted him kept around.

There's a nice I Shot The Sheriff line, delivered excellently by Dean.

Ep 13 - Ghostfacers
I think I skipped this one.  As memory serves, Sam and Dean are great in it, but the Ghostfacers team are unbearably annoying.  If anyone wants to know what happens go read the Super wiki summary here.

Sunday, July 26, 2020

SPN Season 3, eps 7 - 11

Ep 7 - Fresh Blood
This is a Gordon and vampire-centric episode.  Gordon is threatening Bela to tell him where the boys are.  Bela tells him, but on her own terms.  Because she is fabulous.  Then we cut to Sam n Dean on a hunt.  Dean cuts his arm to attract a vampire to him, and I find it a bit offputting, because self-harm scenes like these trigger me, and then the vampire turns out to be Buffy's Harmony.  She doesn't know she's a vampire.  Dean kills her anyway.  It's a really sad scene, and it's played as uncomfortable for both brothers.

Gordon and the brothers cross paths.  There is a fight (obvs).  Gordon gets caught by the vampire (Nixon) who is turning unsuspecting women.  Gordon remains brutal, even as a vampire.  He rips the two vampire women's heads off, with his bare hands.  Then he goes to visit his hunting partner, the mad religious one with the creepy iconography, and puts his hand through the dude's chest.

Nice parallels with Nixon being alone and desperate to get his family back, and how Dean felt when Sam died, and how Sam will feel when Dean dies.  I really like how the show continually drives this point home, torturing the boys and driving up Dean's guilt level, again and again.  Of course, he quashes it and buries it because is that how he copes.

Oh my, Sam's plea to Dean to stop the front and be his brother again... my heart.  And then... Dean is using his machete to shave hairs off his arm... *fans self*.

Dean get bitten by Gordon, so Sam decapitates Gordon with wire, but doesn't seem to worry about getting Gordon's blood in him.  Poor directing and detail there.

Gods, Dean looks so young in this ep.

Final scene - Dean gets Sam t ix the car...because he needs to know for the future, the future without Dean, in case you hadn't grasped that.  *bawling*.

Ep 8 - A Very Supernatural Christmas
I think this episode is highly thought of because of the insight we get to the wee Winchesters.  It doesn't really work for me.  The Weechesters are cute, and their upbringing is shitty, but I am just not  a Christmas person and don't really do schmaltz.  And it is a bit schmaltzy.  In a Supernatural screwed-up-childhood way.  I quite like seeing Sam give Dean the Samulet, but that's for the continuity-completist in me, not for the drama of the scene.

I am not keen on the monsters either.  I get that it's meant to subvert Christmas, but I just doesn't work for me.  Perhaps I'm being far too precious about them being pagan gods, but it feels like the show doesn't take these guys as seriously as they do more folklore-ish monsters.

Ep 9 - Malleus Malificarum
I had to read the episode summary of this to remember the plot.  I am hopeless at remembering episode names.  Once read I remember I liked it, mostly for the gory details.  Witches are casting curses - a woman's teeth fall out, bloodily, a man's hamburgers turns to maggots.  It turns out the witches are led by a demon.
There's quite a lot going on here, as the demon has links to Ruby, who also appears, and we learn from Ruby that demons used to be humans.  It's important stuff in terms of developing Season 3's storyline, but it does feel like a bit much in one episode.  Still worth watching though.  There are good Dean moments as he learns more about what waits for him in Hell.

Ep 10 - Dream a Little Dream of Me
I just read the episode summary of this on Super-Wiki and it 's only vaguely familiar.  Clearly this one did not make an impact on me.  I'll summarise briefly in the hope that I recall this later on -
Bobby is in a coma as he's been fatally poisoned.  The boys take dreamroot to go into his subconscious brain and wake him up.  Dean faces his own inner self doubts and loathing, Sam faces the guy who poisoned Bobby.  They get out. The end.
Red Dwarf did facing your insecurities better.

Ep 11 - Mystery Spot
I'm not sure I can say anything about this episode that hasn't been said before.
The boys go to investigate a case in Broward County, a so called Mystery Spot where weird things are purported to happen.  After a Tuesday of investigating, Dean gets killed, Sam reacts how you would expect, and then the day flips back to the start of the Tuesday.  Dean gets killed again,the day flips back again.  Over and over and over.  Sam withdraws into an angry, murderous, focused state as he has to see Dean dying day after day.  As he is the only one with memories of previous days he has to explain it to Dean every day.

He eventually works out that it's the Trickster doing this, who when caught says he's trying to prove that Sam can't save Dean (yeah right, because that will stop him trying...) and the Trickster flicks them to the Wednesday.  Then it gets dark, as Dean is shot in the car park by an ordinary human civilian.

Sam goes off the rails, hunting down the Trickster for I think 6 months.  He is willing to kill another human, any human to get his brother back.  It's at this point you might first realise that Sam is a little bit mad, and has always been a little bit mad.  But hey, that's hunter life for you.  Eventually he finds the Trickster who flicks them back to Wednesday and Sam stops Dean going to the car park alone, thereby avoiding getting shot.

Friday, July 24, 2020

Supernatural Season 3 - Ep 6 (Red Sky at Morning)

Superwiki has a list of physical fights the brothers have had with each other:
I bloody love fandom.

Ep 6 - Red Sky at Morning
People are drowning in strange locations, like the shower.  Our boys investigate and discover that the victims see a ghost ship before they die.  It's a pretty damn cool ghost ship. All the victims have caused the death of a family member.
Bela Talbot is also investigating- so that she can find the thing causing the haunting and sell it for profit - and they end up working together.  There is a sudden and inevitable betrayal at the end.  Of course there is.  And Bela also sees the boat and has to get the boys to help save her.  They get rid of the ghost in the nick of time and Bela gives them £10k each for their part in her job.

Notable points:
- Good visual effects, especially on the eyes when one victim is dying.  The eyes bulged and went red.
- The second victim, Peter, dies in front of the brothers and yet neither try CPR on him.
- Bela, and later on Crowley, are good British characters.  They have actual personalities, unlike the British Men of Letters we see in a dreadful later season.
- Dean looks incredibly sharp in a suit.  He is completely blindsided by Bela's confidence and forwardness and it's quite gratifiying to see.  He seems to give care and respect to his partners, whereas Bela knows she's sometimes just wants sex and it doesn't have to be nice.  Dean should have taken her up on the suggestion of angry sex.
- Sam gets harassed by Gert, the first victim's Aunt.  It's played for laughs, it is kind of funny, but I am a mite uncomfortable with the joke being that older women want sex.  If Sam had been a little more into it, or was reciprocating the charm, the humour would have been better.
- Sam mentions Castiel's name in a spell, but there is no hint that it is significant.
- The ghost is an old pirate that was hanged by his brother, the Captain of a ship.  Cain and Abel are mentioned.  I think this is the first mention of any parallel brothers-in-conflict storyline.  In later seasons we get the Michael/Lucifer and Dean/Sam fights, and obviously we get Cain himself.

SPN season 10 - episode 3

Oh yeah these recaps are going out of order.  I might end up combining them into one for neatness' sake at a later date.  Or adding to these posts.  Hmm.  What to do.  Maybe put a new post up saying that an older one has been added to.  That could work.

Season 10 episode 3 - Soul Survivor.
I have had a hankering for watching Mark of Cain and Demon Dean for a while now.  Demon Dean is intensely attractive.  I've seen discussions about whether Demon Dean is actually Dean or not.  Here's my take - yes he is.

Regular demons in human meatsuits (and ain't that just a great term) are condemned souls that have been tortured or so many years they have become utterly insane and hurt and twisted.  They become demonic.  They don't recall being human, despite Ruby's assertion otherwise.  These Demons are made of smoke and then come earthside and possess a new body.  The key point here being that it is not the demon's original human body.  Which makes me want to read a time travelling fic where a demon goes back in time and possesses their original human body, and their human consciousness knows what's going on.  That would be delicious.

Back to Demon Dean...well human Dean got the Mark of Cain, he was killed, but was only dead briefly.  The Mark affected him and twisted him, twisted his soul, so that he became demonic.  His demonic self didn't let his body die (as any demon doesn't let their meatsuit die).  Demon Dean's demonic soul stayed in his human body.  So, Dean body + Demon Dean soul is actually Dean.

Of course, now I'm thinking of the continuity where if demons who are possessing bodies keep the bodies alive while they are in it, but then the body dies when the demon exits, how is Dean's body OK once he's been returned to human.  There might be a canon explanation but I doubt it.

To the ep.
Dean has been a demon since the end of Season 9.  Sam intends to cure him, with sanctified human blood I think.  He's dressed as a Dr and has a priest saying the necessary words over a bag of human blood.  I would quite like to know the back story to this.
Back to the bunker.  Dean is tied up.  And still immensely attractive.  Then he gets splashed with holy water and then we have wet Dean.  We get hardly any topless Dean shots throughout the full 15 seasons, but we do get scenes like this.

Next up, 2 flashbacks.  The first is Sam doing yet more unethical things in order to fix Dean.  In this case it's using an innocent (relatively) human as bait for a crossroads demon.  Oh Sam, its this intensity of relationship that we love, but dude, that is a really shitty thing to do.

The other flashback is Demon Dean hanging out with Crowley, and I adore it. Carefree, selfish, no hang ups Dean.

Sam eventually cures Dean, after Dean has got loose and aimed a hammer at Sam's head. Sam looks genuinely terrified at this attack.  Whether it's because he know how dangerous Dean is, or because he's worried he won't be able to cure him, is up to the viewer's individual reading of the scene.  I think it's both.  Sam doesn't often look scared.

When Dean is cured Sam looks so intensely and genuinely happy.  Dean is slowly being crushed by guilt, again.  And makes a divorce joke.  And people say there's nothing unusual about their relationship.

And then there's the other (crap) sub plots that we get after Season 5...  Hannah and Castiel and some angel bullshit that I really do not care about.  At this point in the show the angels were tedious as fuck.  Hannah would have been more interesting had she been brought in earlier.  I would like to see her and Anna working together.  I have a note that I liked one of her outfits.  I think I remember which one.

The other crap in this season is the hell sub plot... Crowley is presiding over trials in hell.... whyyyy... just whyyyy.... The King of Hell should be smiting the condemned souls left right and centre.  Don't give them a trial, kill them.  Kill the (relatively) innocent too.  Strike fear into all their souls, sow chaos.  This is absolutely not the terrifying hell that Dean went too, and it's as ridiculous as the angels becoming shitty bureaucrats.

Final notes:
- The brothers have a fair few photos of themselves over the years.  I would like to know how took those photos as let's be honest they don't have many friends.
- Crowley has a bottle with a skull emblem on.  That tickled me.
- Hannah is not healing from her injuries, I don't know why.  I care only mildly.
- The lighting in the bunker is deliciously dark, just like in the first two seasons.
- Dean is intensely crushable when he is dangerous.

Thursday, July 23, 2020

SPN recap - Season 6 episode 1

I have decided not to write up Se3 - 5 before viewing 6. Because it will take me forever.  I will watch what I like and blog it when I like. Hah. take that my compulsive needs to order things brain.

Episode 1- Exile on Main Street.  This is kind of a live blog thing...

After Sam jumped into the pit to keep Lucifer away from humanity at the end of Season 5, Dean is living with Lisa and her son Ben, having a normal life.
He finds signs of werewolves and demons and then Sam is back.  He doesn't know why.  Dean is distraught because Sammy has been back for a year... Now I know where this storyline is going this is a really hard watch.  Poor Dean.
Aaaannd now the bloody Campbells are here.  This is the first season where I genuinely didn't like 50% of the plot.

Aaarrgghhhhh Bobby knew Sam was alive, what the everloving fuck.  Right now I really dislike Bobby.

When I first watched this I wanted Dean to stay with Lisa and Ben, whilst still hunting. I wanted the domestic life alongside the hunting, I wanted to see it pan out, to see them manage their problems and to work things out. I know now that the pull of the brothers means the show was never going to go down that route, but I still find it a shame.

Oh man I really dislike the Campbells.  And the alphas storyline. I'm here for Soulless Sam and Dean and their relationship.

Oh christ Sam has stupid sideburns.  Again.  There is no warmth from him to Dean.  It's heartbreaking.

I am really not down for watching a season of the Campbells.  I am going to carefully skip some episodes and potentially scenes because the Campbells are dull dull dull.

Ps: - I have curated a vanity playlist of the music I think Sam would have listened to in college.  It's on spotify, here.

Friday, July 17, 2020

Supernatural Season 3. episodes 3- 5

Getting back into this....I will include my episode notes, which might account for the poor structure of this post.  Spoilers ahoy.

Ep 3 - Bad Day at Black Rock
My notes say that I do not care for Katie Cassidy who was the first actress to play Ruby.  I've changed my mind since then.  I think I prefer her to Genevieve Cortese actually.  That might earn me dagger looks from some parts of fandom.  I was left unconvinced by Cortese's acting.

INTERESTING TIDBIT.  Shoshannah Stern who played Eileen in later seasons auditioned for the role of Ruby.  I am intrigued by this possibility (potentiality?).  I would like to read fanfic where Stern is cast as Ruby instead.

Ruby turned up The Magnificent 7 (ep 1).  I have no idea why my notes for her are around this episode's notes.  Clearly I'm a poor note taker.  I have also written down that I do not like John.  Fuck knows what I was writing.

This episode - the boys come across a lucky rabbit foot.  Lucky to start with, then you lose it, and your luck turns bad.  This is probably seen as a classic episode.  I don't know fandom well enough to say for sure.*  I like it a lot.  The boys are acted well, the humour is funny, there is a horrible gory bit at the start, and Bela Talbot is introduced.  I love Bela.  She's attractive and snotty and confident and clever.  I feel that As A Feminist (TM) I shouldn't list her attractiveness as the first trait I like, but it's the truth.  I'm shallow.

Ep 4 - Sin City
Far better than the dreadful movie of the same name.

There's a once failing town somewhere in America with demonic omens.  It turns out that there are two demons there and they have been laying the framework for people to condemn themselves through sex, drinking, gambling, suicide etc.  Note to self: The demons are the lady bartender and the priest, no one else.

Question for the masses - Why do demons leave demonic omens wherever they go?  Is it something innate in them? Can they help it?  Do they like the uncertainty and discord the omens sow?  Or is it deliberate?  Demon omen fic needed ASAP please.

Other thoughts - Bobby is fixing the colt, Ruby offers to help.  I like Bobby's dedication to his work.  The concentration and perseverance he displays.  All hunters have it, but I really noticed it in Bobby in this ep.
- Dean has started looking tired in this episode.
- Richie is a very stupid hunter.
- Dean doesn't know the exorcism ritual by heart.  I don't really buy that.
- The theology of SPN really comes into it's own in Se3.  It fascinated me on the first watch.
- Azazel's name is revealed.
- Dean wonders if Sam came back from his Se2 death wrong.  For my money, no.  He's always been angry.  he's always been dangerous.  He's just not as upfront about it as Dean is.  I don't know whether that's Sam intentionally hiding it, or ifit's second nature to him by now. Perhaps he's just used to pretending to be normal an by the end of Se 2 he flipped his lid at the demon gate being opened and him being killed.

Ep 5 - Bedtime Stories.
An enraged soul who named Callie is in a coma.  In an attempt to get justice for the accident that put her in the coma she makes local citizens act out fairytales - The 3 little pigs, Cinderella, Snow White and Little Red Riding Hood.
- Dean claims he doesn't know any fairy tales.  I think this is macho bullshit on his part.  There's no way he didn't read any to Sam when young, or come across them on the telly.  He's not illiterate.
- Sam and Dean's argument about Dean's deal is very child/parent-ish in tone.  Dean hasn't accepted that Sam is an equal adult at this point.  He doesn't until late season 5 when he agrees to Sam taking Lucifer in.
- This season is already sunnier and more fun in tone than Season 2.
- Adult Callie is absolutely caked in makeup and someone has drawn her brows on.  That is a ridiculous thing for costuming and makeup to do.
- At the end of the ep Sam leaves and tries to make his own deal to protect Dean, but the demons won't play.
- Bobby has fixed the colt.

*It feels bizarre to not know this fandom, as in the fans in the community, very well.  I continually compare it to my time in comics fandom, and I feel very much like an outsider.  The politics of the fandom, the adoration of the actors is lost on me.  In comics folk idolise the creators, obvs because the stories and characters are 4 colour wonders, rather than real people.  Idolising actors bemuses me.  Sure, they are very pretty, but they are fallible, and I suspect have had many nasty moments.

Thursday, July 16, 2020

Supernatural Season 3 - episode recap (the first)

Found this in my drafts. I reckon I started it late May, but never managed to finish it, or to recount the remaining season 3, 4 and 5 episodes I have since watched.   3 seasons in under 2 months isn't bad going.  If you keep track of that sort of thing.

I wasn't in a great state for most of June so I was watching SPN but without any ability to write about it.  Watching it gave me something to focus on and distract me from the awful shitstorm that is end of May and the whole of June.

By the time I had got into season 4 I realised that seasons 3-5 blend together really well, it's more like one loooong season than 3 separate ones.  Of course, seasons 1 and 2 are also part of the story, but they feel more distinct to me.  Season 1 is a show that is finding it's feet, that is developing the characters and working out what it wants to be.  Season 2 is pure gold.  It's very good horror and it's visibly and physically dark.  Seasons 3 - 5 have a different feel.  While the events of 1 and 2 are obviously key to the next 3, they just feel different to me.  So perhaps recapping them all in one go (but several blog posts, don't worry), before I go into season 6 will be helpful.  For me, at least.

I'm still bloody bowled over by how much I love such an aggressively masculine show.  Usually shows which are so male don't resonate with me, I am very aware that they are not for me, but Supernatural, it grabs me and pulls me in and sinks it's teeth into me.  I have discovered that there is a large queer and female fanbase, so it would seem that I am not the only atypical audience.  A lot of the fanbase seem to be older women too, which delights me.  I'm not sure I'd feel so comfortable chatting to other fans if they were mostly teenagers.

Anyway.  What follows is a post I wrote back in late May. Enjoy. Or not.

This may be a flawed recap as it seems I didn't take many notes whilst watching it.
A) Who the fuck takes notes while watching a show.  I realise I am odd.
B) I remember when I didn't have to take notes because I would not only remember the episode details, but I would also have the energy and brain function to be able to write things up straight after I watched the thing.

I do know that after the brilliance of season 2, this season was less interesting.  The lighting and colours in the show changed too, it became a lot brighter, which saddened me a little.  There's plenty of good stuff in the season though.  Dean coming to terms with his deal, Sam struggling with finding out about it and his determination to save Dean, Dean's refusal to let Sam do anything.  All of that, it's good to watch and absorb.

There are only 16 episodes in this season, I believe the writers strike cut it short.  I think this worked out well as it meant the planned storylines were lengthened into the next season, which I think probably benefited them.

Ep 1 - The Magnificent 7.  The boys fight the 7 deadly sins (demons).  Dean is reckless due to his deal, but also depressed.  I read him as having passive suicidal feelings.  The brothers meet 2 other hunters who call them out for opening the gates of hell.  That's quite a satisfying moment, because they really did fuck that one up.  I think this is the first episode where there is a mention of the Boy King.

Ep 2 - the Kids are Alright
At this point I got the impression that Dean will spend this season fucking.  I wasn't wrong.  This episode he tries to hook up with an old shag - Lisa, who now has a son, Ben.  My headcanon says that Ben is Dean's son, the show doesn't confirm this.  We get to see what a normal family life would be Dean, and it's kind of heartbreaking.
The monster in this ep is a Changeling, stealing children and replacing them with scary fascimiles.  It's quite a chilling episode.