This year, "Supernatural" is preceded by "The Flash," the CW's biggest hit, which has three times the budget of the older show. On my DVR, there is always the last minute or two of the Flash. While not as ludicrously funny as last year's "The Originals," it's getting old listening to the sleek eevvilll dude mutter at some creature or another.
This week's episode had many plot threads intertwining. Some let the audience know the show knows the outstanding questions that have been around for a a long time. The foremost one being, what happens to the angel's human vessel? Castiel has been in Jimmy Novak--tee hee, I'm twelve--for six years. This writer has assumed that Jimmy Novak was killed the first or second time Cas was killed in Season 5. "Like a bowl of chunky soup," as Chuck Shurley described it. There's a lot of plot in this episode, so to try to stay with me, okay?
It's the Shondells - the white girl version!
"Girls, Girls, Girls", written by the estimable Robert Berens and directed by Robert Singer* is first about demons forcing human females into prostitution, and using them to lure clients into signing over their souls. Berens is particularly adept at writing female characters. And there are plenty of them, which is a change of pace.
And the episode asks, how fucked up is Dean right now? Some fans complain that this season the writers don't seem to know what to do about Sam, but I strongly disagree. In Season 3, Dean's going to hell drove the season. Since then:
4. Sam drank demon blood; Dean was tormented about his brother
5. Sam turned into Lucifer; Dean was tormented about his brother
6. Sam came back from Hell without his soul; Dean was tormented about his brother
7. Sam went crazy; Dean was tormented about his brother
8. Sam hit a dog and had the dullest flashbacks imaginable, then went through the Three Trials and nearly died; Dean was tormented about his brother (and a flicker of PTSD from being in Purgatory)
9. Sam got possessed by an angel, then was too pissed at Dean to speak to him through much of the season; Dean was tormented about his brother and, well pretty much everything.
I grant you, there are long stretches during the last two seasons where Sam's usefulness to the story was gone and he got Castiel's job of standing around watching the exposition. And last year he got knocked out and tied up almost every episode. Huh? Jared Padalecki is so big that if he stood up straight in front of an opponent they'd back away, saying, "Sorry, dude, uh, I gotta--gotta--byee!" But the guy's got a glass jaw, as they say. One punch to the chin and down he goes.
So why not have Sam being tormented about his brother? It's a nice change. Besides, Sam is fun, giving Dean shit as only a little brother can.
THEN: A series of scenes throughout the series about witches and how their magic involves too many body fluids. Tiny Crazed Marine! Angel stuff.
NOW: A young blonde hooker is running down an alley from someone. Her boot heel snaps off, she grabs it and keeps running. DUN!!! Her pimp stands before her, grinning.
This is actually Genevieve Padalecki in a blonde wig...don't tell anybody.
She stabs him in the eye with her boot heel. You go, girl!! It doesn't phase him. He snaps her neck. 'Doh!
Sam and Dean sit in a steakhouse. To my astonishment, Sam has a big ole steak in front of him. Did he already eat the salad? Is this out of character? I'M STARTING A META! Whoops. Sorry.
Dean's phone is pinging away. “Dude, you are blowing up. Who is that?” Dean attempts to dodge the question, claiming it's “monster stuff.” Sam grabs Dean’s phone and discovers that his brother has a dating app. There's a picture of Dean, with his real name and location. Dean, what is wrong with you? Don't you know that anyone can come in the bunker by now?
"Impala 1967..." Thanks, Jared, I just came.
“There’s like a million messages here,” Sam says, from a woman named Shaylene. The problems I had with this and the following scene are 1) since when has Dean had to drive any distance for nookie? 2) he's done it with plenty of hookers, and so has Sam. Thank God you suddenly developed standards in time for the plot device, Bowlegs. It's a fun, brotherly scene.
Meanwhile, Castiel and Hannah are holed up in the motel room. They exposit that most of the rogue angels have been rounded up, which begs the question, now what is Cas going to do with himself? Meanwhile, Hannah strips down and announces she's going to take a shower.
Sorry, gang, this is only gratuitous angel nudity I have to offer this go-round.
"Castiel, are you displeased that I am not Dean?"
Dean is about to do the beast with two backs with Shaylene. But she's a prostitute. For payment, she wants Dean's soul. Not again, Dean groans inside. When her pimp shows up with the paperwork, the Winchesters are waiting. "Winchesters," he drawls. Can they keep a straight face at the table read when an actor says this any more? Shaylene stabs him. Dead Pimp worked for Raul's Girls, a whorehouse. It's forced prostitution, hookers working for souls. Why don't they use demon hookers? I don't know. And where's the demon blade? There must be a warehouse full of angel blades somewhere.
Raul, sporting a nifty eyepatch, is issuing a command to his minion to beat the shit out of a recalcitrant prostitute (like we need more proof he's scum?). The door opens, and a small redheaded woman with Morticia Addams eye makeup, in a long black dress enters. "Is this Raul's Gels?" she asks in a thick Scottish accent...hmmmm...
I knew there was something fishy about that lead singer...
She's Rowena, a powerful witch who looks to be this season's Big Bad. Damn. I had so hoped Dean would be the Big Bad. Maybe he can be the Medium Bad? She's awfully tiny to be a big bad. But wow, she's fierce. She tosses Raul a hex bag, and he barfs up more crude oil than the Alaska pipeline. His fellow demon smokes out and the host body drops dead. Answering the what-happens-to-the-demon-possessed side, perhaps? She leaves with the remaining hookers, and the trio go to dinner at a fancy restaurant. When the waiter gets snotty, she puts a spell on him. Instantly, it's a 10-course tasting meal, on the house. Scottish actress Ruth Connell's performance verges on drag queen. An extremely dangerous wee drag queen. Rowena's a flirty sociopath.
She is recruiting for a new coven. The other two women are eager to join, even when Rowena kills the waiter for what seems to be no reason.
We might have our new Magnus!
Once Hannah is dressed, she starts to check out of the motel but is stopped by her vessel's husband, who addresses her as "Caroline." She babbles out a lie that she left him for Cas, then gives Cas a big, wet kiss that leaves Cas shaken (and probably with a boner) and her husband devastated. The angels split.
Sam finds the hex bag and spell on a web page that says "Bind and Purge." There are a lot of illustrations, which makes it a little odd when Sam says only the witch who created it--Rowena--knows the spell. It's right in front you, isn't it?
Meanwhile, a big biker demon is tied to a chair in a devil's trap, being doused with holy water by--TINY CRAZED MARINE! Who, if anything, looks another decade older than he did in his last appearance. Stress will do that to you. I'm still wondering if he killed that librarian from "Reichenbach". Collateral damage and all that. Not much happens, but we know Tiny Crazed Marine is here and shit will get real. Only it kinda doesn't.
Caroline, Hannah's vessel, is still in there. When she saw her husband, she screamed at Hannah that she wanted her life back. Hannah agrees with the original mission, that humans come first. To that end, she leaves, and Caroline wakes up in Castiel's arms. "Castiel?" she says. It must be noted that Hannah is a tiny little angel. None of the huge roaring and white light that's accompanied all other angel comings and goings. But it's a lovely image. (How's Cas's borrowed grace going? When are we going to see Metatron again?)
"It's going to be such a relief not to have a clitoris any more."
After she leaves, Castiel gets back in the pimpmobile. He takes out his laptop and looks up Jimmy Novak. There are several pictures of different Jimmys (including one of JN as "Employee of the Year") and a picture of Jimmy with MISSING under it. "Where's the porn?" Castiel wonders.
Rowena and her coven-ettes are lounging at a hotel when two demons show up to drag them to Crowley. Who, in an earlier scene, is aggravated that Raul and Demon #2 opened a brother to collect souls.
Demon #2: "Raul said, your decree last month, soul deals way down after the war with Abaddon? He said that you were looking at proactive and out of the box strategies to get numbers back up."
Crowley: "So you and your half-wit pal threw me into the sex trade? I'm evil. That's just tacky." Hee.
Demons come to drag Rowena and her coven-ettes to hell, but the Winchesters show up. Rowena puts a spell on the blonde woman that turns her into a human attack dog. Dean runs after Rowena while Sam locks Pit Bull Blonde in a closet. Dean catches up to Rowena and puts the gun to her head, while the other coven-ette runs away--
"Put the gun down, Deano." It's Tiny Crazed Marine. That line alone made me want him to die. Dean puts down the gun, the witch scrambles out of there.
First, Dean tries to make nice with Cole, saying he's not a demon any more. And that Cole's dad was a monster. Doesn't work. Dean and TCM go at it. Honestly, Travis Aaron Wade looks ridiculous in a fighting crouch, in part because then he barely clears Jensen Ackle's belt buckle. Lots of punching and kicking guns out of the way. For me, the best part was this:
Tiny Crazed Marine is bested. But Dean is the better (?) man. He hands Cole his own gun, and proceeds to give a speech. Cole's father was a monster, which ate human livers. Dean has never seen such a monster before or since. That sounds incredibly lame. I was hoping Tiny Crazed Marine would yell, "My father HATED liver," take a shot, miss, and then get knocked out. But no, he stares at Dean with big, teary eyes, with "I wuvved dead Da-Da" as Dean goes on about how he went into the darkness and was brought back by "people who loved me." But "I'm past saving," he goes on. Sam gives Tiny Crazed Marine--Crazed No Longer--a pep talk about family. Staring at Dean, he says, "You family needs you. Whole." OUCH! Fucking anvil. Cole gets into his Hummer and drives off.
What? A guy spends his entire life on a quest for vengeance and gives it up because of a teary smear of self-pity and a pep talk? WHAT? Farewell, Tiny Crazed Marine, we barely knew ye. He's going home to one pissed-off wife. "Now that your quest for revenge is over, you better get a damn job!" There's a possibility he'll be back, either because he realizes how lame that scene was, or he turns into the same never-before-seen monster his father was.
After the break, Sam asks if Dean meant that part about being "past saving." I hope so, but I know Sam disagrees with me.
Crowley is taken to the witch, who has been tortured. Rowena is hanging by chains, bloodied but just as nasty. "Are you the King of Lilliput?" Crowley stares at her. She goads him, "Cat got your tongue?" and meows. It's great.
Crowley says, "Mother?" AND into credits!
Next week, Sheriff Jody Mills and a new partner join Sam and Dean for "Hibbing 911."
I loved the phone scene. But honestly? They both look a little old to be doing this. Marie was on to something.
Sorry I slagged off Rowena in "Soul Survivor." She's a welcome addition. Crowley is going to be soooo whipped.
Also sorry that Hannah is gone. I didn't care one way or another whether or not she and Cas hooked up. The less angel war, the more badonkadonk, the better.
*After 10 years, how do you "direct" an episode? Is it just pointing and nodding your head by now?
Screencaps by homeofthenutty.com
Gifs by spnfans.tumblr.com