Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Crowley Rules: Supernatural Review, Ep. 9x16, "Blade Runners"

Hell has frozen over.  Eugenie Ross-Leming and Brad Buckner have written a good episode.

Directed by DP Serge Ladouceur , "Blade Runners" focuses on one story, keeps a brisk pace, minimizes the brother angst, and best of all, brings back Crowley with a bang (literally).  As he always does, Mark Sheppard steals every scene.  We get some forward momentum! Unfortunately, it also continues the trope of introducing great characters and finishing them off in less time than it takes to eat a plate of barbecued ribs. 

THEN: Major exposition dump.  Men of letters, First Blade, Mark of Cain, Grandpa Winchester, MOL, Crowley mainlining human blood.

NOW:  Dean has been obsessively leaving voicemails on Crowley's phone (Dean's ID is "Not Moose".  Do I smell bromance?), since Crowley is supposedly searching for the First Blade. The guys summon a crossroads demon - Snooki.  She can't act, and the promos ruined the surprise, so let's forget we saw it, okay?

Crowley has become a hopeless human blood junkie.  Our first sight of the erstwhile King of Hell is in bed, finishing up sex with a comely female demon.  Was I the only one surprised that it wasn't a dude?  Oh, Supernatural, you can be so cowardly sometimes.  Overseen by a comely brunette demon, Lola, reminiscent of Ruby, Crowley is spending time having sex, eating pizza, and getting blood injections.  He has been reduced to blubbering over the ending of "Casablanca" and reading "Little Women".  Lola rats him out to Abbadon's lackey.  Of course Crowley knows it.  He kills her.  The peak moment is Crowley shooting up to Lou Reed's "Heroin."  Crowley looks at himself in the mirror, and calls Not Moose for help.

spn_916 Crowley  
When I'm rushing on my run, And I feel just like Jesus' la la la...

“Look at you," Dean snaps when they get there.  "You’re a mess. Are you just gonna let Hell go to hell?” They take him back to the bunker and lock him up to detox.  While Sam tries to get work done, Crowley wheedles that they "shared a mo at the church". I do smell bromance!
Crowley spins the tale of the First Blade, which is now owned by a private collector.  While Dean and Sam wait for their contact, Crowley tries stealing candy from a vending machine. *snort*.

spn_916 Crowley candy  
Did you know that detox makes you crave sugar? This PSA brought to you by Supernatural.

"Image, man!" Dean yells at him. "You're the King of Rotten."  Crowley gets it together.  When the envoy of the collector shows up and won't give them the intel, Crowley possesses him and gets the information.

Let's skip to the good part, okay?  The blade is in the possession of Magnus, a disgraced Men of Letters who has set himself up in an invisible house.  It's filled with magic spells, a personal zoo of monsters, and some lovely interior decoration.  Magnus is fun, which means he's toast.  C'mon, cut the viewers a break here!  He would have been a neat character to have around.  Sort of the anti-Crowley.

Magnus sends Sam back to the outside where Crowley waits.  So that Magnus can put the First Blade in Dean's hand and watch Dean fill with animal rage.  We've seen many versions of murderous Sam, but we've never seen Dean like this.  It's primal and frightening.  Jensen Ackles manages to walk the very fine line between ridiculous and scary, coming squarely down on scary.  Magnus is so delighted, he wants Dean as part of the matching set.  And like Metatron, he's lonely. Hey, bud, that's what happens. Being a crazed control-freak guarantees no one will want to hang with you.

SPN_916 Matching set
"My, this blade matches the green fire of your eyes." 

Crowley works the spell so that he and Sam are back in Magnus's castle.  In no time flat, Magnus reads the "every episode" checklist and chains up Sam.

SPN_916 Magnus  
Sorry, dude, it's on the list, okay?

He starts slicing and dicing on Sam's beautiful face, but before the torture porn can really get going (thank God), Crowley frees Dean from his chains and gives him the First Blade.

SPN_916 Sam sliced  
Stop slicing him and muss up his hair, you'll make us all so happy.

Dean lops off Magnus's head.  Aw, come on, Dean, he was cool!  And well dressed!  The blade in his hand, Dean hulks out.  He is fucking scary.  Crowley watches, clearly assessing the situation.

spn_916 Dean killer 2  
Oh no!  Dean's turning into a French waiter!

Sam breaks Dean's murderous trance by begging him to drop the blade.  Finally, Dean looks at his brother and drops it.

They leave Magnus's invisible house and discover THE MOST HORRIBLE THING OF THEM ALL!

spn_916 Baby


At the end, we leave a broken and dazed Dean crouching by his beloved.

spn_916 Baby and Dean
It's not really the end, but who cares?

Actually, Dean tries to kill Crowley  (dumb bastard) and Crowley vanishes with the blade.  The End.

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