Sunday, March 31, 2013

Supernatural, 8x18 "Freaks And Geeks" AKA "The Hunters Of Waverly Place"

As many have said, after a fantastic episode ("Goodbye Stranger"), the next episode, a filler, usually is as exciting as cold oatmeal. "Freaks and Geeks" is no exception. It was a flimsy, pedestrian script with a plot constructed with popsicle sticks.

Nitpick: "The Apple Dumpling Gang" was a film that starred Tim Conway, about a bunch of old coots in the Wild West. That was the script's original title, and the title that was used was also not appropriate. (Note to creatives: don't remind viewers of a superior show.) Maybe "Saved By The Bell: The Hunter Years." The guest star was the young girl who played Krissy in "Adventures In Babysitting," an episode I've managed to forget entirely. Except for the deathless line she delivers to Dean: "Your brother is the size of a car." And that mole under her eye. I couldn't stop staring at it. Only Jared Padalecki makes moles look cool. So yeah, the mole was back.

Some fans have gone all meta with this episode...young hunters having a semi-normal life, mentored by ex-hunter (man, what I would have given to have that hunter to be Rufus!), living in a house (think "Facts of Life", but with bullets instead of tampons)... I'm guessing all three of them have forgotten the throbbing rotting sore that is adolescence, as well as their families. Doesn't anyone besides Dean grieve on this show? What's up with that? Has he called dibs on emotional pain? Oh, wait, he has. C'mon, Dean, there's plenty to go around!

Sam is on "semi-normal" like stink on cheese. That's pretty much all he does, before he gets tied to a chair. The symbolism! The parallels with our hero's lives! It could have been so different if only John Winchester had made waffles and told Dean to study his homework!

The plot: Victor, an ex-hunter whose family was slaughtered by a wendigo, decides to create a new family. He picks three teens, and has a vampire slaughter their families. Then the vampire (also an atypical teen) creates new vampires, who are the purported culprits, for the freshly minted hunters to kill. This seems an awfully labor-intensive way to get a few gun-happy kids under your roof. I mean, let's face it, homicidal teens are everywhere these days. While Dean and the Scooby Gang track down the truth, as mentioned before, Sam gets tied to a chair and Victor launches into the inevitable exposition dump/supervillain monologue about his plan to create a generation of "smarter, better" hunters.

"Please, Dean, just kill Victor so he'll shut up and I can go back to my nap."

Teen Vamp smiles sardonically and shows his little-bitty teen fangs. Sam tries to stay awake by clenching his jaw. Let's see, what happens next...really, it kind of doesn't matter. Teen Vamp is dispatched, the dastardly plot is revealed, Krissy symbolically kills Victor with an empty gun. He then blows his own brains out when he's told he's going to live out his life "alone."

This doesn't account for the possibility that once everybody leaves, Victor will go get himself a Teen Wolf and start all over again. There are still a lot of gun-happy teenagers out there.

I smell spin-off. Sort of a CW-demo "The Following." What do you think? The clothes would be so cool, and maybe the main character, a kick-ass girl in frilly high fashion, has a matching pink machine gun!


Be honest, wouldn't a lime green M-16 be totes awesome?

Sam mutters something at the end about wanting a normal life. We get it, Show! Sam's been bitching about wanting a normal life since before toast was invented! At the end, they get in Baby and exchange a few words.

Nitpick #2: In  S6 "Live Free or Twi-Hard," Dean had to drink a ghastly lumpy potion that made him puke his guts (and a lot of black goo) out before he became human again. This time, the young pretty almost-vamp is seen in the corner drinking her Maker's blood. It would have been cool to see that again, but she's just a bit player and they don't get that kind of attention. Plus, I was really hoping that Teen Vamp would bite Sam and something weird would happen with Sam's screwed-up God blood.

Nitpick #3: Assuming they close the Gates of Hell, how can hunters retire?  What about the werewolves, spirits, not to mention THE VAMPIRES IN THIS EPISODE?

Oh, well, you can't have everything. Maybe that should have been the title of this episode.

Supernatural, Ep. 8x15 "Man's Best Friend With Benefits" Is A Dog

Okay, I knew the awesomeness of the past few episodes couldn't last, and it was time for a stand-alone episode. But this stand-alone should have been stood. Alone. Preferably in a storage locker.

First, let me confess: I liked “Shut Up, Dr. Phil.” Although I couldn’t understand why the boys didn’t say, “Hey, you’re powerful creatures, come along and help!” James Marsters could paralyze Leviathans! Although that would have eliminated the rest of the season. But since it was Season 7, would that have been such a bad thing?
This episode was so offensive on so many levels and repetitive on others. It’s telling when the only thing you enjoy in the entire episode is the discussion about Shemp and Curly! (For the record, Shemp grosses me out, and Curly was a fucking genius. So there.)
The Plot:
James, a baby-faced cop who turned witch after meeting the Winchesters, is having dreams about murders, and is apparently committing them in his sleep. (Have we seen this before? Please tell me in the comments.) A beautiful Doberman, with cropped ears, cropped tail and a red studded collar shows up at the Winchester’s motel room. Sam lets the dog in, petting it and giving it a belly rub. When Dean returns, the dog has turned into a gorgeous black woman. Wearing a red studded collar. Cue for my first “are they serious?” moment? Even more so because she is Baby Face’s familiar, and come on, we all know what that is. Sam and Dean don’t? Second “are they serious?” moment. This is in the same league with neither Sam nor Dean noticing their grandfather's initials in that journal Dean's been toting around his entire life. James is white, Portia is black, she’s basically his slave in a collar. Third “are they serious? Slavery references? WTF?”

Man's Best Friend 3
When a familiar isn't a dog, she has to dress like a hooker.

The show tries to get around the obvious by saying that Portia and her Massaexcuse me, Master—have a relationship of equals, even though she has to do whatever James commands. Fourth: “are you serious? What are the black viewers thinking? Now I’m not only offended, I’m sick to my stomach.” Portia and Master have broken the rules of the witch community and entered into a sexual relationship—ACCK EW EW EW I CAN’T DEAL WITH THIS OH MY FUCKING GOD—

Ahem. I find it problematic. TBH, back in the day I knew a gentleman who had a sexual thing with his two Dobermans. When he brought home a male companion, he had to lock the door because the Dobermans would try to get in and kill the guy. Also, this link:

(Question: why were Dog!Portia’s ears and tail cropped? Doberman puppies have their tails cut off by the time they’re three days old, and the ear cropping takes weeks. Did Portia have to stay a dog because if she transitioned to human form the bandages would fall off? Discuss.)
Let’s cut to the chase. We meet the bad guy early on in the episode at a witch’s club. I mean, come on. He’s practically wearing a sign around his neck that says “EVILLLLL.”

Man's Best Friend 1

Good evening, I'll be your villain tonight. If you can remember my name, you'll get 10% off on your entree.

There’s a red herring pissed off older cop who resents James’s rocketing up the police force ladder, but the red herring stinks as though it was laying out in the sun all afternoon. Portia, in human form, still wearing that goddamn collar, crawls on James, who is chained to the bed—don’t ask—and while they’re making out—ACK EEW YUCK—she sees that someone has implanted memories in James’s head.

I’m going to skip everything else because, oh, Dean sees his mother burning on the ceiling when he wasn’t in the goddamn room—otherwise it’s a cool sequence, forcing Sam and Dean to relive their worst moments and the viewer gets to enjoy some wonderful old footage of much better episodes.. Turns out Mr. EEVILLL wants to kill James because Mr. EEVILL wanted Portia for himself, and then got even more mightily pissed when James and Portia started banging each other. Portia attacks Mr. EEVIILLL after the latter has done the raising James to the ceiling helplessly trope. The way Crowley did to the would-be prophet a few episodes ago. I think like the Skinwalker/German Shepherd killed the bad guy in “All Dogs Go To Heaven.” Dean and Sam get the villain with a “witch bomb” and Mr. EEEEVILL dies an unexciting death, sort of like the chick in “Heartache.”
As often happens with people the Winchesters have contact with, Portia and James beat it out of town, the Doberman gazing sadly out of the window. Don’t worry, guys, you’ll find another motel room where you can soulmate your brains out.

Dean and Sam talk about their trust issues. Dean agrees to trust Sam. Sam coughs blood. Good times!
Stray observations, pardon the pun:
None. I’m trying to forget I ever saw this.

Man's Best Friend 2
Quick! Burn the script!

Supernatural, Ep. 8x12: "As Time Goes By". With A Thud

Before I start, I'd like to make it clear that I have been enjoying most of Season 8 of "Supernatural." It's felt like back to basics, more fun, the brothers are starting to connect...last week's episode was a great standalone. However, this episode was waiting around the corner, sledgehammer in hand.

So, we get the Winchester side of Sam and Dean's family history. Doesn't matter if it has that writer's room "OMG, we're going to be picked up for another season so we need something huge, stat!"

It doesn't matter that they already have the Angel and Demon tablets, Crowley, Purgatory, Amelia, Kevin the Prophet, Castiel being controlled by Naomi? I'm going to start needing a scorecard.

So the writers go see "Star Wars" and "Lord of the Rings" and the Narnia Chronicles, and for all I know, "The Da Vinci Code." The result:

After bidding his young son John good night, Henry Winchester is about to be initiated into one of those cloak-over-the-head secret societies. Sort of like last week's LARPers but less fun. But a demon takes over the sexy redheaded woman going in before him and kills the rest of the (wait for it) Men Of Letters, the Preceptors, the Legacies, those that study all of the magic in the world and keep it in a bunker.

Henry casts a blood spell and rockets into 2013 and the Winchester's latest motel room. Later, he smashes in Baby's driver seat window to steal the car, but the brothers are too fast for him. Mysteriously, the smashed window heals itself (some of Henry's mojo, perhaps?).

When Henry talks about the MOLs, the music gets somber, as Henry tells his baffled grandsons that they are Legacies. In S5, the poor schmucks have already been the intended vessels of Lucifer and Michael, God turned His back on the Apocalypse ("it's not his problem") and the Winchesters are told to go home. By God.

So no one ever heard of these MOLs, mortals who spent thousands of years practicing magic and gathering supernatural lore? Ever? Including the angels, the demons, the witches, nobody? Including God? Okay, they were all slaughtered in 1958, but that's practically yesterday to the Winchester boys. You think Sam's research-fu would have tripped over this somehow. And how did Henry get an angel feather without the angel noticing? And why are the black feathers white all of a sudden? And why, WHY AFTER ALL OF THESE YEARS, WHY DIDN'T THE BOYS EVER NOTICE THE INITIALS AT THE FRONT OF THE JOURNAL?????*

Gil McKenny as Henry Winchester, Jared Padalecki, Jared Ackles

Abaddon, looking like Christina Hendrix's bad-ass sister, is a Knight of Lucifer (conveniently, all of the others were wiped out...this plot has a lot of convenient death in it).

Did Crowley sign off on this? As King of Hell, he would have known she was on his staff and sent her after the Winchesters. But that would mean ret-conning all of S6 and a good chunk of S8. Her one cool power is that she can look at people's memories.

Sam visits the one elderly survivor of the slaughter (sort of like the one survivor of the H.P.Lovecraft dinner in S6).  The actor manages a terrible Jewish accent (?) and hilariously gasps out something like: "There's a box. With a key. The key unlocks the door, etc."  They run these lines over the credits many episodes later.  Am I the only one who cracks up because this sounds exactly like Sam's bad acting in "The French Mistake"? "Where there's a key--there's a box--"

But I digress.  They finds out the little box Henry has contains the key to the Fortress of Solitude that contains all of the good stuff. (Guess Cas and Balthazar didn't know about any of this when the latter hijacked all of God's weapons in S6.) Sam is told to throw away the key and walk away.

You know they won't do that. My bet is they're gonna say bye-bye to Rufus's cabin and move into the Fortress of Solitude, where Sam gets far too much power AGAIN and gets messed up with that power AGAIN while Dean stands around being helpless because Sam is his brother. And now they won't need Cas ex machina any more because they'll have all of the stuff they need to create spells, etc. Is that why Henry was dressed in a blue suit and tie? Or am I getting way too meta?

So, Abaddon possesses the coot's wife, kills coot, takes Sam hostage, everybody meets up in the usual big abandoned warehouse/shed/power plant. Everyone gets killed, Abaddon makes off with the key and the demons take over the world.

Abaddon gets more-or-less killed, but not before she shoves her forearm into Henry's stomach and pulls out some guts.

At the end, Henry dies, so that John will never know where his real father went (and by the way, how come YED didn't know about John's Legacy? I guess YED was too focused on whatever his plans were to take over the world). And all at once John isn't the egotistical bastard they've made him out to be up until now but Just Another Little Boy With Daddy Issues. I guess it's wouldn't be fair to tell Henry, "Your son became an obsessed asshole who raised us like killer cage rats and the best thing he ever did for us was croak."

The Winchester boys bury Henry. No salt and burn, unlike their dad or half-brother, so perhaps Henry comes back or the writers forgot about that ritual as well.

Everyone else I've read loves this episode. So take what you need and leave the rest.

*There is also the unsolvable mystery of why Henry Winchester and young John Winchester look alike, but young John Winchester and older John Winchester look nothing alike. Dean and Sam not only don't look like John, they don't look like each other. My head hurts.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Behold My New Blog!

Actually, my new-ish blog, since I started it several years ago.  But, it was pushed aside for "Diary Of A Mad Fashionista," which I wrote from 2006-2012.   But, I burned out on being fabulous and stopped giving a crap about fashion.  I'm still fabulous, but not a burning white-hot beacon of fabulousity.  That wears a person out.

So, explore with me as we explore the jungles of (is there a more interesting way to say this than "my mind"? "My Life"?) this world today.  And my mind.  And my life.  And stuff.

If this doesn't interest you, you can always go read my other blog at .