Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Starting With This Episode: Review, Supernatural S10 E9, "The Things We Leave Behind"

After last year's mid-season finale, "Holy Terror," I was a sobbing mess. Even though there were plot holes and messiness, Gadreel killing Kevin and then leaving after telling Dean his brother was gone, OMG DEAN CRYING IT KILLED ME.

This season's mid-season finale?  Meh.  Really meh.  Written by Andrew Dabb and directed by Guy Norman Bee, "Things We Leave Behind" was a great example of being out of ideas and sloppy writing.

Even though I should know better than to take the promos seriously, I foolishly looked forward to MOC Dean making a reappearance.  One of the unpleasant effects of watching the promos is seeing the footage in context, causing both disappointment and anger.  The laughing diabolically?  Dean laughing (badly) at the Three Stooges.  Dean in a room strewn full of dead bodies?  A dream sequence.  Fuck you, Warner Brothers promo hacks.

Like last week, most of the episode did not involve the Winchesters.  Unlike last week, the A-plot was a derivative, dull, badly written rehash of any typical Law & Order: SVU but without Olivia.  I like Olivia.  Olivia would be kick-ass...sorry, my mind wandered.  When you start thinking Olivia Benson could kick the Winchesters's collective asses, that is NOT a good sign.

We start with a repeat of the opener of "Annie Alex Alexis Anne," with an angry teenager being pulled down an antiseptic hall and locked up.  Only this time it's Claire Novak, Jimmy's daughter, and instead of juvie, it's a group home.  The door opens, and Castiel enters, looking adorable.  He looked so adorable during this episode that I didn't hear how bad the dialogue was until rewatch.  Claire is righteously pissed.

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"It's because of YOU that I have this ridiculous hairstyle!"

Cas wants to apologize, not realizing the humans can hold major grudges.  Claire has every right to be homicidal.  Her father is dead (answering the question of what happened to Jimmy).  Her mother ran off to "find herself," although that makes no sense given that when we last saw them, Claire and her mom were probably going to be found and tortured by demons.  I would have had an easier time with the notion that Mrs. Novak handed Claire a lunchbox, put her on her grandmother's doorstep and said "see ya!", roaring off in a car to live with a far-away Incan tribe.  That makes no sense, but neither does Castiel busting her out and them awkwardly bonding.  SHE'S LOOKING AT HER DEAD FATHER'S FACE!  SHE SHOULD BE CURLED UP IN THE FETAL POSITION, WHIMPERING!  Fuck you, Supernatural.

Meanwhile, at the bunker, Jensen Ackles is demonstrating an actor's truism: it's easy to cry, but incredibly hard to laugh.  I offer as evidence:

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Doesn't it look more like someone bit down on his penis? 

He's watching the Three Stooges.  Sam joins him, giving Dean a grilled cheese sandwich.  Dean is ravenous.  He eats during the entire episode.  Usually the warning is: DEAN IS NOT EATING THAT CHEESEBURGER.  Now?  Not even kapok is safe.  Sam gives him an uneasy glance, and goes back to reading The Catcher In The Rye, which he's been meaning to get to for years.  What?  It's more interesting than what he's actually (not) doing.

Cas summons the Winchesters when Claire steals his wallet and takes off.  Claire is not an emergency.  “An emergency is a dead body or a wigged-out angel or the apocalypse, take 3.” I agree, Dean, let's blow this hot dog stand.  No?  Shit.

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The reason Sam's hair is so godawful is that they hope you'll be distracted by that and not by his absence from the script.

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Castiel and Claire say stuff.  Doesn't matter what.

Castiel and Claire do above-mentioned bonding, then Claire and her awful hairdo are gone with the wind.  She runs back to some dude in glasses named Randy, who manages to have not only no personality, but a degree of minus personality which is quite impressive.  He owes loan sharks, there's a kid in a Weiner Hut outfit, blah blah blah.  Bad Randy asks Claire to knock over a liquor store.

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Meanwhile, in Mildly Interesting Land, Crowley talks to Rowena, his mother.  It's a lame scene. Prior to letting her out, Crowley bitches to Gerald (a demon I love, which means he's dead meat):
“She was a horrible mother. Did I tell you the time she almost traded me for three pigs? Three! I was an attractive child, I could juggle. I was worth five pigs at least.”

Once Rowena appears, however, the dialogue takes a downward turn.  She left him when he was eight!  Poor widdle Crowley.  That's the best the show could come up with?  Abandonment issues?  Gerald has a MUCH better issue with his mother--she burned him with cigarettes.  Definite points to Gerald.  Get over it, Crowley, you little pussy.  The only good moment is Rowena admitting that Crowley was conceived during a winter solstice orgy.

Another thing: why is Hell so chintzy? I'm inclined to think there have been some major budget cuts on this show, probably to pay The Flash budget.  That show looks amazing.

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The grip on the set wrote this dialogue.

Gerald takes her back, then decides for no good reason to kill her.  Damn it!  Crowley asks him mother to join him.  Didn't this show used to star two brothers?

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Good-bye Gerald.  You would have made a good sidekick.

Castiel and the Winchesters repair to a tiki bar.  Dean's voice is so low Jensen Ackles is going to need a larynx transplant.  They talk about fathers; Dean tells a funny anecdote about going to a club when underage and his father dragging him out.  But when I'm hoping Dean will repeat (from "Dream A Little Dream") that his father was an obsessed bastard, Dean sings his praises, joined by Sam.  Fuck you, John Winchester.

Bad Randy has been cornered by the loan-sharks, led by a stereotype in a leather jacket and gold chains.  Stereotype demands Randy pay back or else.  Bad Randy hands over Claire.  Stereotype takes Claire upstairs for the obligatory near-rape scene.  We know she won't be raped because this isn't Law & Order: SVU, which I don't even watch but I'm beginning to think I should.

She fights back, but Castiel blasts open the door and takes Claire.  Castiel, Sam  Aren't you leaving, Dean?

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Sam is only thinking of his copy of Catcher In The Rye that he left in the car

The Stereotype and his gang beat up Dean.  Why isn't Sam in there?  "Holden Caulfield, you poor misunderstood kid. I get you, man."  The Stereotype doesn't realize beating the shit out of a guy who used to be a demon? Not a good idea.  Sam stops reading Catcher In The Rye when he hears the commotion inside.

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Look, Dean!  Sometimes dreams DO come true!

Sam, freaked, begs Dean to tell Sam he had no choice.  No can do, says Dean's expression.

So, after slogging through the previous hour, there are two good minutes at the end.

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Jeez, Jared's hands are as big as Jensen's head!

Random Thoughts:

I can't help it.  When the guys bond or reminisce, they look too old to be in this universe.  They make self-referential jokes about it. It makes me uncomfortable.

Wouldn't it have been twenty times as cool if Sam came in, jumped his brother, and restrained him the way he and Cas did last season?  Wouldn't it be cool if Sam had done...anything?  Fuck you, Jeremy Carver.

Next year: Dean goes off the deep end, Charlie re-appears, and Metatron is back!  I love Metatron.  He is such a joyous asshole.  Even if everything rapidly turns to shit, Metatron will be fun to watch.

1 comment:

  1. I'm pretty sure it was Berens that confirmed Crowley's dungeon, or whatever you want to call it is on Earth not Hell.