"Rock and A Hard Place" marked an epochal event: my husband sat through an episode with me. You have to understand, this is a man who won't even call the show by its name. Who expects me to know every baseball player in every team since the 1950s, but who can't be bothered to learn who Sam and Dean are. Not only did he sit through it, he laughed his ass off. Kudos to writer Jenny Klein and director Johnny MacCarthy. Two things that made me a happy girl:
TACKY MOTEL ROOM! PLAID WALLPAPER!
This was another standalone episode (4 out of 8 so far), and another attempt to recreate the feeling of old-time Supernatural. There's a MOTW taking people, the guys go on a traditional hunt, the beast is vanquished, and Dean is left with his soul-devouring guilt at his brother's plight. Was it only Season 3 that Dean wasn't suffering soul-devouring guilt about Sam?
"Rock And A Hard Place" was funny as hell, and if the MOTW didn't turn out to be very frightening, who cares? Dean finally got laid again! (Somewhere, Cas is weeping quietly.)
The first thing that jumped out at me was that there were so many women in this episode! Of course fandom: "stereotypes! One-dimensional! Non-con!" Oh, shut up. You want deep, watch "Breaking Bad."
First, they reintroduce the wonderful Sheriff Mills (Kim Rhodes--she's real and she's spectacular), who calls the guys when people in a small town in South Dakota go missing. It's great to see her again! Mills has gone back to the church to find "comfort", the way Sam and Dean do in each other. As Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles said in this interview: "Comfort each other? They push each other, they lie to each other, they kill each other--[comfort],that's fanfiction." Heh.
Second, in a twist on the typical opener, a young woman closes a restaurant late at night and gets snatched by a being covered in blue fire...and doesn't die. Or fade into the wallpaper. Honor is thrown into a hole and lands on a table, breaking her leg. Nonetheless, she is brave enough to go through the tunnels of the underground cavern she wakes up in, only to find three other townspeople who'd gone missing. Honor doesn't lose her cool, she doesn't whine, she keeps it together when the one man in the group freaks out.
"Get it together, you pussy."
The missing people are all part of a "purity group" at a local church. After meeting with Bonnie (Lindy Booth), the perky leader of the purity group, Sam and Dean sign pledges that, in effect,re-hymenates them. “Congratulations, Sam and Dean Winchester. You are both virgins.” Much to Dean's glee. What a horndog.
"God loves you. And my panties are damp."
At the purity group meeting, one woman wants to read a poem, "God Is A Racquet And His Ball Is In Your Court," but is told to wait. The "purity counselor," Suzy (Susie Abromeit), is a hot blonde who looks familiar to Dean. Sam admits he has a...bad history...with women. Dean starts out with a sappy story about one-night-stands, but can't help himself and goes into a lengthy description of hot sex. The women in the group melt as one, including the poet crumpling her poem as Dean describes orgasm.
Orgasm or bad gas? You be the judge!
Much to Sam's horror, he sees Dean offering to walk Suzy to her place. He is going to hit that or die trying. Dean and Suzy go back to her place. He is happy happy happy. Which is so much fun to see. Horny, happy Dean! How we've missed you. Dean checks out her butt when he sits to pray with her, agrees to read a crapload of books on chastity, and when she's out of the room, finds out why he knows her: she's "Carmelita" starring in the Casa Erotica picture "Cabana Nights."
Check out those maracas!
Suzy left town and changed her name. But keeping her porno DVDs? Mixed signals, anyone? Some folks in the fandom went all cray-cray about "consent" "rape" because Suzy and Dean get it on, cabana style. Dean has only praise for her work. She's his "good dreams." She's an artiste. The man has so few pleasures in life, and for once he's not confusing reality with porn. Reality is porn! “The things you can do. The scene with the tacos. It made want to join a mariachi band just to be near you.” The entire scene is played as a bad porno, down to speaking Spanish and the cheesy background music. When I mentioned to my (disclaimer: feminist, liberal) husband that some people had, er, issues about this scene, he stared at me in bafflement and said, "It was funny!" Word.
After having sex, Dean and Suzy are swept away--but not by each other, by blue fire. By the way, did anyone else have a problem with the monster's fire looking like Sterno?
Meanwhile, back in Plaid Land, Sam and Jody have discovered that all of the people taken were people who had broken their "purity pledge." Vesta, a Roman goddess who needs virgins to tend to her, kills them and eats their livers. Boy, it's hard times for non-Christian deities on Supernatural. They head to Suzy's place, where they find wreckage and the Casa Erotica CD. "I think I know what Dean crossed off his bucket list," Sam says.
In the underground cavern, Mr. Girly-Pants has a hissy fit that they have to feed Honor to the monster. Meanwhile, his fiancee is so thirsty she scratches the walls until her nails break and bleed. Then she sucks on her bloody fingers! YEEEEK! I love you, Show, especially when you make me want to puke. Dean and Suzy are plunked down with the others.
Instead of an abandoned warehouse, this time Sheriff Mills and Sam find a deserted farm, which must have been owned by a psycho during the Cold War, because who else would have an underground bunker under his cattle? (Note: the sign Suzy brushes the dirt off is a Bomb Shelter sign from olden times so I'm actually right.) Dean somehow gets a ladder and a pair of scissors and tries to screw
Back in Plaid Land, Sam wonders if he's just fucked and that's how it is. Somehow, nothing anyone has said to him (should I get out the laundry list?) has made a dent in Pre-Law Boy's head. Nor has his brother telling him whoppers and acting as guilty as a labrador with a bone pulled out of the garbage. Dean decides to fess up, but sho' nuff, Zeke pop out and threatens to leave Sam. At the end, we are once again treated to Dean being devoured by self-crushing guilt, topped with helplessness.
Don't worry, Dean, we are all done with this crap.
And now for your gratuitous angel nudity.
Here's my best guess for tomorrow's episode. To no one's surprise, Ezekiel isn't healing Sam--he's killing him! Because Sam is a vessel! Didn't see that coming, did you? Nah, you probably did.