Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Don't It Make My Black Eyes Green, Review, Supernatural 10x3, "Soul Survivor"

Irony of ironies, I had no time to write about last week's excellent episode, "Reichenbach".  We had Tiny Crazed Marine getting the shit beaten out of him, Crowley staring longingly at a hilarious picture of him and Dean wearing oversized cowboy hats, a great ending where Dean says Baby is "just a car".  So, was I ever pumped for this week's episode, "Soul Survivor." Especially the promos looked so great, and it was directed by Dean Winchester himself, Jensen Ackles.

DISCLAIMER: My husband, the all-time baseball fan, actually stopped watching Game 1 of the World Series so I could watch "Supernatural"!  Then he couldn't get it on the radio, didn't know how to live stream on his new laptop, nothing.  So he went slumping off to bed.  The only thing that would have helped my massive guilt was a kick-ass episode.

First, I have to address the CW PR folks:  YOU ARE EVIL. YOU LIE. I HATE YOU.  "The Year of The Deanmon"?  Three episodes, I don't give a shit if he has the Mark of Cain, that's he's all 'roided up and wants to kill, I want Dean to be a demon, goddammit!  If not, I wanted Sam to save him!  Not have Cas swoop in like a series regular ex machina and finish the job.  What a bummer.  Even Kevin Tran knew how to have a bucket of holy water over the door.  And the Winchesters had once fought off demons used lawn sprinklers full of holy water!  If only Sam had done something clever and unexpected, instead of expeditious.

Second, the Deadly Duo Bruckner and Leming wrote "Soul Survivor," and they retconned Sam's "monstrous" actions.  Accidentally selling a guy's soul and then the guy gets killed?  Sam, buddy, you have mowed down HOW many demons in human vessels? Triple digits?  You drank demon blood, killed a nurse, betrayed your brother more times than I can count--and that's only the beginning! "Who's the real monster"??  Sam should've said, "Go fuck yourself, Dean, you're a demon, case closed."

I was hoping for THIS:



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This is really incredibly scary and likey.


NOW:  Sam looks hot.  There's "Dr. Sexy"!  He scores some pure nun's blood, because if he used his own, dollars to donuts Dean would have turned into Satan.

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Priest doesn't find Sam attractive because he's over 12

Sam ties Dean to a chair and demonic handcuffs, so for once Sam isn't tied up.  I can't tell you how relieved I was.  Maybe it was an omen of the series trying out new things?

Oops.  Sam'll be back in the chair next week, I promise you.

“Your guilt-ridden, weight-of-the-world bro has been MIA for quite some time now. But I’m loving the new model: Lean, mean Dean.” So do I, Demon Dean, so do I.  The abuse that Dean hurls at his brother is so old it's got chin hair.  You killed Mom. Dad was an asshole.  You're a pussy.  You're not my brother.

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"Well, aren't you just too precious for this world, darlin'."

The Dean/Sam chase scene in the bunker would have been more exciting if I hadn't seen it in the promos more times than Sam has killed demons.  But even so, it was well done. My favorite part was when Sam locked down the bunker and everything was bathed in red light.  There was a Kubrick homage when Dean smashed down the door, hissing, "I like the disease".  Both Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki acted the hell out of their scenes together, including Sam's terror and unwillingness to kill his brother.
I'm a little distracted by Sam's hair.

Sam looooves Dean too much to kill him, then Cas grabs him from behind.  There's some nice contrasty vfx in their eye color (black and blue), Dean is tied down, and wakes up all "bzuh?"
This had better be a major fake-out, or else.

Sam's all happy and promptly leaves to buy Dean junk food, asking Cas to keep an eye on him.  Cas talks to Dean for a few minutes and then goes back to the angel in the car outside.

Crowley: bored in hell, finds Cas because he wants Cas to follow Dean.  Which Cas and Hannah were doing anyway.  However, Crowley scooped out a rogue angel's mojo, feeds it to Cas, and hoopla!  It's like Alka-Seltzer for bad hangover, Castiel is fine and ready to go to work.  Crowley, sitting in a dime store version of Hell's Throne Room (seriously, couldn't they have thrown a little more money to the designer for that set?) has demons pissed at him for...something.
"You should be grateful I'm a regular, because I'm the only lively thing in this sodding episode."

Castiel: dying, then not dying, telling Hannah not to get any ideas because they are on mission.
"What kind of stupid angel crap do you think the writers will come up with next?"
"I'd be fine with us banging each other."
"That would work."

She presumably waits in the car while Castiel grabs Dean before Dean puts a hammer in Sam's head.  Dean wakes up no longer a demon.  Cas leaves shortly thereafter.

Dean stares at old family photos.  I was so hoping he would tear them in half, but no, he sits there.

How's that for a wham-bam finish?

Oh, wait, there's a bit in Tulsa where a redhead who's not Abbadon sips Scotch and has pinned two dead guys on the ceiling.  As you do.

Next week: stuff.  God, I'm bored even typing it out. Thanks for the catharthis, gang.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Dean's Too Sexy For His Shirt: Review, Supernatural, S10 Ep 1, "Black"

Supernatural is back for a tenth season.  Holy crap.  As much as I hope they hang up the gloves after this season, I was still excited for the premiere, and it delivered.

“Black” kicks things off to a rip-roaring start. Written by Jeremy Carver and directed by Bob Singer, it interweaves several plot threads. Two are compelling and the third is...angels. Damn, and we were thisclose.

“The Road So Far” rocks out to “Heartbreaker” by Pat Benatar: Gadreel, Kevin being killed, Metatron, monsters, Castiel’s stolen grace...need I go on?

“NOW” A comely female demon is trussed up for our first season’s taste of torture porn. A gaunt, furious Sam, his right arm in a sling, is slicing and dicing her for answers. He slashes her throat to “make the call” to Hell. I was hoping he’d gulp down the blood.  Instead, he grabs her face and yells:

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 Kick. Ass.


“Four weeks later”. Sam is back to being regular Sam, a massive disappointment, especially because he won’t be a BAMF for the rest of the episode. Come on, guys! After that scene? I want Sam kicking down doors and strangling people! Stabbing demons in the back! The good stuff! Not reading books on demonic possession (which Sam, of all people, should know about) and eating cereal. Dean has been gone for six months, as Crowley mentions later.  Sam doesn't know if Dean is even Dean any more.  Where that comes from, I have no idea.  It's lampshading, but unnecessary, because we already know Dean is a demon.

When Sam finds a clue, a guy who’s probably been possessed himself who was killed in a local Gas n' Sip, he calls Cas.

Castiel is starring in his own version of La Boheme as Mimi, the consumptive heroine, lying in a creaky iron bed in a garret, coughing.

Any minute now, Rodolfo and his friends are gonna bust in with wine and a baguette.

Cas wants to help out, but it’s obvious he needs to stay in bed wearing that yummy blue robe and exposing a nipple while talking to Sam. As Cas lies coughing out of a lung under a shot of an overhead fan, the disco sound of Right Said Fred kicks in--

Yeah, baby! It’s Karaoke Night at the Black Spur! Dean is mangling “I’m Too Sexy For My Shirt,” enjoying himself far more than the other patrons. Now THAT'S what I'm talking about!!  Dean really cannot sing.  I could have watched an entire episode of Dean gargling out bad 80s covers.

Everyone's ears are bleeding, and it's not because of angel radio.

Demon Dean is happy happy happy. He beds the waitress, when Crowley busts in. “That’s my bed!”  What, Dean and Crowley are staying together and they’re not in plusher digs? Although it might not be as much fun if they were in a luxury hotel and Dean was growling songs at a sophisticated dinner establishment. Then again...

"Care to join us, my Queen?"

Unlike some reviewers, I don’t think Demon Dean is hiding reservoirs of pain. He doesn’t give a shit about anything. Crowley has finally landed the man of his dreams (well, the other man of his dreams, if last season was anything to go by). They’re living up to the long-promised idea that Crowley is bisexual.  By implication Dean is his occasional sex partner (“We’ve done extraordinary things to triplets,” Crowley mentions). Dean shrugs his shoulders at being in Crowley’s bed. “Bitch,” he says. “Jerk,” Crowley responds. I giggle.  Fandom goes into screaming outrage mode.

Sam visits the police station in the little town and watches surveillance footage of a guy killing another guy in a Gas-n’-Sip.  The police officer refers to the killer as "Porn Guy."  We see the guy quietly reading Busty Asian Beauties.  Then the second guy approaches “Porn Guy” with a knife.  Oops. Idiot gets himself carved up with the First Blade, after which "Porn Guy" picks up the magazine, dusts it off and leaves.  Sam recognizes Dean, and freaks when he sees Dean has black eyes.

"Shit oh shit oh shit oh shit oh shit"

After the commercial break, we have the well-worn trope of some crazed guy doing a crazed workout, plenty of muscles on display. Unfortunately for all of us, it’s not Sam, it’s some tiny ex-Marine who has a gazillion weapons. He’s after Dean, for reasons so far unknown. And frankly, I don’t care. Crazed Marines are sort of...over. And Travis Aaron Wade is an inch shorter than Mark Sheppard, for God's sake!  AT 5'9", he's almost a foot shorter than Jared Padalecki.

There is a hilarious scene in the Gas n’ Sip where Sam interviews Mickey the Convenience Store Guy (Zachary Gulka) , whose re-enactment of the murder can’t be topped. “Say my name! Say my name! Say! My! Name!” the kid yells gleefully. Great “Breaking Bad” reference.

Give this guy a spin-off!

Mickey gives Sam the dead guy's phone.  Sam calls Crowley.  When Crowley realizes that it’s Sam, he wonders, “It took you long enough. Your brother and I were beginning to wonder if you’d hit another dog.” Oh, snap! He informs Sam that Dean is not possessed, that the only twisted soul is Dean’s own.

"You're good.  But I'm Crowley."

“He’s my best friend, my partner in crime,” Crowley says with relish. “They’ll write songs about us, graphic novels: The Misadventures of Crowley and Squirrel. Dean Winchester completes me. And that’s what makes you lose your chickens.” Oh, Crowley, I love you.  Never change.

Problem is, Dean is digging the never-ending road trip. And he doesn’t care if Crowley takes off without him. Crowley has been sending Abbadon loyalists after Dean to keep the Mark of Cain sated.  Crowley is pissed.  He nursed Dean back to "health" and has been trailing along after his mancrush, waiting to get down to business, making Hell Hell again.  Dean radiates "fuck off, lil' dude".

One distraction:  Crowley keeps standing directly in front of Dean.  Who has shown his deftness with the First Blade.  What if Dean decides, on a whim, to off the King of Hell?

Hannah shows up on Cas’s garret doorstep. Coughing and looking like shit, he agrees to accompany her to capture two rogue angels who are refusing to go to Heaven. Haven’t we seen this enough? Wasn’t Castiel the first rogue angel? Not only that, Hannah tells him that Heaven is holding meetings, reorganizing, and reconciling. So what do they need a dying Cas for?

Cas is righteously pissed when he discovers it's not Dean who was knocking.

Long story short, rogue angels, philosophizing about freedom, blah blah, angel killing, Hannah and Cas talk about free will.  There, that's out of the way.

Back in Sleazy Town, Dean is drunk, slurring his way through “Imaginary Lovers”. (Goof alert: when he punches out the bouncer, the screen shows “I’m Too Sexy".) He ends up back at the motel with the waitress. He calls her a skank. GOD, did I want Ellen Harvelle to come in and kick his ass from here to next week!

"What the fuck did you just call her, boy?"

Is it just me, or did the misogyny in this show dial up to 11 after Sera Gamble left?  The waitress whimpers, “part of me feels I deserved that.”  She should have shoved a shot glass up Dean's ass.

Sam’s car stalls on a dark road. In a moment of sheer (if convenient) OOC stupidity, he lets a short guy in combat boots offer to help.  It's Tiny Crazed Marine,  who punches Sam unconscious. I was amazed TCM could reach that high. Tiny Crazed Marine looks at the massive man lying on the ground and grins, “I guess you’re a rightie.”  And I guess you were standing on a box.

Sam wakes up in a barn for the first of this season’s Sam-Tied-Up scenes. The fans love this, everyone except me.  It's getting to be as old as crazed muscle men working out.  When TCM tells Sam that Dean is his prey, “I suggest you turn around and run right back to the army recruiting poster that spit you out,” Sam snarks.

Tiny Crazed Marine stands on a box and threatens Sam.

TCM calls Dean with Sam’s phone. Dean is driving.  He answers and says, “I left an open bar tab. Knock yourself out.” Tiny Crazed Marine tells him that he is going to kill Sam.

Dean shrugs. Whatever’s going on, it’s Sam’s problem. “There’s no trade. There’s no meet-up, no nothing except the 100 percent guarantee that somewhere down the road I will find you and I will kill you.”

Tiny Crazed Marine holds the phone in confusion, Sam tied up nearby. Dean drives through the night rain, no expression on his face. He really doesn’t give a shit.  Hoo-boy!

That's it 'til next week, kidlets!  When we find out why Tiny Crazed Marine wants to kill Dean (I think), Dean and Sam meet (I think), and stuff.

P.S. Metatron is still in Heaven's prison.  At some point, shenanigans will ensue.