Friday, November 26, 2010

Supernatural - 6.01 - Exile on Main St. - Recap

Fair warning - I like this episode.  I like domestic Dean.  I love Lisa.  Sam was not RoboSam to me, so I was puzzled not concerned.  This recap is based on notes I took when the episode aired so it does not presume future knowledge.  Over the summer, I had low expectations about a 6th year, going past Kripke's original plan and topping the Apocalypse.  I was delightfully shocked at how wrong I was.  If you do not like this episode, my relief will annoy you.

One year earlier, the FunPacolypse (sorry, can't remember who said it so I couldn't credit) tried serious for once with Sam sacrificing himself to save the world from Satan's scheme.  Beforehand he made Dean promise to live a normal life and not try to get him back.  Like that was gonna happen.

We open with a montage of Dean's "apple pie" life set to Bob Seeger's Beautiful Loser.  I love how it intersperses scenes from Dean's new life with Dean's hunter life.  Dean's now a family man complete with daddy duties and a construction job.  I like Family Man Dean; sue me.  Aw, he fixes the truck with Ben (aka MiniDean).  I've always loved Dean with kids.  Dean locks the house down and sleeps with holy water and his shotgun under the bed.  I LOVE the broken glass title card.  Good choice, Sera.

Dean drinks with Sid the Neighbor Guy, poorly explaining his previous life.  He was in "pest control…You have no idea what's in some people's walls.  Could eat 'em alive.", but now he's practically respectable.  The waitress gives Dean her number, but he's got Lisa and tears it up.  Sid is jealous because it happens every time.  Dean figures, "It's like chicks specifically dig unavailable guys."  I think chicks like guys who look like Dean.  He had no trouble scoring while single and no one is picking up Sid.

Leaving Jonesy's Bar & Grill, Dean hears screams in an empty building and checks it out.  The music is discordant and horror movie tense and I expect a cat to jump out.  Nope -a bird.  No Dean Scream though so it's supposed to be serious.  There's claw marks and blood but no body and Dean takes his cop show home, checking for missing persons.  Lisa comes down, and I'm not sure why he lies to her.  She already knows about hunting, being involved in a case herself.  I know he wants to separate his new life from his old, but that's extreme.  He locks up and hey, there's a devil's trap under the area rug.  Might be hard to explain to the neighbors if someone accidentally trips on it. 

Next day, Dean sees claw marks on a telephone pole.  Hunter instincts at the ready, he tracks the "monster" to his neighbor's shed.  Again with the yappy dog.  One of these days, Dean is going to ignore the pink-bowed lapdog and it's going to attack him.  (Yes, I said this before All Dogs Go to Heaven).  Sid sees the gun and Dean backtracks unsuccessfully.  "Possums kill."  Thanks Dean - one animal I never thought to be afraid of.  Unfortunately, even I know sulfur is bad and Dean finds it in the shed.  He awkwardly leaves Sid to get his hunting gear from the garage.  Poor, poor Metallicar, it hurts my heart to see you under that tarp.  Shame on you Dean.  Gossip travels quickly in suburbia and Dean pretends to get a hammer while Lisa asks him about almost shooting the Yorkie.  Again why lie?  He claims there's nothing to worry about, but since he's OCD about safety he sends Lisa and Ben off to the movies and dinner while he checks things out.  Lisa doesn't question this (I LOVE Lisa) but tells him to be careful.  "Careful's my middle name."  Yeah right, Dean.  Everything in this scene is awesome.

Hey leather jacket - good to see you.  Same to you, John's journal.  Lights flicker and I grab my pillow.  Sudden noises - check.  Objects moving by themselves - check.  Sudden swell of music - check.  Not good.  What the heck - it's YED!!!  NOOO!!!  He's dead.  Dead I tell you.  People need to stop coming back from the grave.  It's becoming a joke.  Thanks Apocalypse; season 2 now means nothing.  Don't get me wrong; Fredric Lehne's YED is one of my favorite villains, a perfect blend of evil and snark, but still.  Dean shoots YED.  "Really?  After all we've been through together."  YED came to threaten Lisa and Ben and to admire Dean's lawn.  "Did you really think you were going to get to keep all this….You can't outrun your past."  YED chokes Dean unconsciousness and ..huh…Sam puts a syringe through him?  Or his ghost?  Whatever happened, Dean jolts awake.  As we fade to commercial, I am puzzled and absolutely stoked Supernatural is back.  Goodbye hellatus, hello Winchester goodness.

I take it back.  YED is a figment of Dean's poisoned imagination.  Nice way to bring back a classic character without ruining the mythology.  And hello…Sam? Nice to see you back.  Hell can't keep a good, self-sacrificing brother down.  Dean is justifiably confused.  Nope, not in heaven, Sam is real, Sam's not affected by silver or salted holy water.  "All me."  It gets me every time how they cut themselves like it is no big deal.  However it does the trick.  "Sammy?"  "Yeah, it's me."  And they hug.  Okay, everyone "fan" out.  I'll wait.  Awwww!  Dean has questions, I have more, but Sam has no answers.  He can't reach Cas but he's been looking.  Uh oh!  Light bulb flashes over Dean's head.  "How long have you been back, Sam?"  About a year.  No shock to those who saw Swan Song, but Dean is understandably ticked.  Nothing Sam says will justify this in Dean's eyes.  "I wanted my brother….alive."  Sam:  "You wanted a family.  You have for a long time, maybe the whole time.  I know you….But you had something and you were building something.  Had I shown up Dean, you would have just run off.  I'm sorry, but it felt like after everything, you deserved some regular life."  It sounds good Sam, rational even, but you know it won't cut it.  Great acting all around!

The surprises keep coming.  Sam's hunting with his mama's family.  And they suck.  Every last one of them.  I just met them and I hate them.  Gwen implies he's too pretty to hunt, Christian smirks and Mark's bored.  Lovely kin you have Mary.  Dean asks the billion dollar question - How, given that Mary's family is all dead (thanks for that tidbit Ruby 1.0), do they exist without the Winchesters knowing?  You'd think John would mention this.  What the heck…Grandpa Campbell is back from the dead too.  Not jumping to conclusions here after the YED thing, but anyone else popping out of the grave this episode?  Seriously folks, the USA will need a Department of Recently Un-Dead Citizens to acclimate all the newly resurrected people here.  We flashback to Grandpa's death for new converts, and Grandpa hugs Dean in a way Sam didn't a moment ago.  Weird.  Grandpa kicks everyone else out.  "Lot of resurrections in your face today.  Alright, take a minute."  Dean:  "It's going to take a little more than a minute."  You and me both Dean.  That's a lot of questions for 20 minutes.  That's a lot of Dean face palms for one episode.  "No more doornails coming out of that door is there?"  Please say no, Sera.  Please!  Dean:  "Am I the only one here who thinks that this can't all just be fine?"  I'm with you Dean and apparently so is Grandpa.  Yikes Grandpa, twist the knife in further why don't you.  He wanted to get Dean right away but Sam said no.  That never bodes well. 

Sam exposits a new, less friendly djinn and I'm sad because I loved their episode.  They give you evil hallucinations and you OD.  They got Sam and Dean, but Grandpa knows the cure.  Well, isn't that a lucky happenstance?  I don't trust you, you resurrected magic brewer.  Nothing goes this right with the Winchesters.  "Stick around.  I'll show you tricks your daddy never even dreamed of."  Yeah, that wasn't creepy in the least Gramps.  Sam posits the djinn want them because Dean staked one in season 2 and Dean realizes Lisa and Ben are in danger.  Grandpa says no worries since he sent someone to watch the place.  Just goes to show how little he knows Dean.  "You got to take me home right now."  Sam's sad car of modern conveniences tears into Dean's driveway and the front door is wide open.  That's ominous.  Dean dashes in yelling for Lisa and Ben to no avail.  Watcher dude is dead.  So much for protection.  I hate you commercial break.  I like Dean's new family; the djinn better not kill them off.

Back from the break, Dean frantically calls Lisa's phone but no answer.  Man, they look happy in those photos.  I haven't seen Dean look this happy in 2 seasons.  Lisa and Ben walk through the door only to be engulfed in a big Dean hug.  He tells them to pack their bags and Lisa earns 1,000 extra points by not asking questions.  Ben goes to pack his bag, only to be stopped by the sight of Sam.  There are no words just confusion.  Join the club folks. 

At Bobby's House of Monster-Chased Refugees, we learn Bobby has never met Lisa and Ben.  That makes me sad.  Shouldn't he be the persnickety uncle that lets you sneak things when your mom isn't looking?    Bobby realizes something bad happened.  That's the SPN universe folks; long-lost friends and family show up on your doorstep and you immediately think apocalypse.  It's like living in Sunnydale.  Bobby tells them to make themselves at home except there's no TV, the best literature is Readers' Digest, and he reminds them not to "touch the décor, okay.  Assume it's loaded."  Yep, Bobby's place is home sweet home.  Sam steps into the doorway and Bobby is noticeably…um..NOT shocked.  What's up with that?  Aww Bobby, that's a flat out betrayal of Dean's confidence.  I don't care how you spin it this has to sting as much as Sam's deception.  You and Sam are the only family Dean has and both of you went behind his back.  You had to know it was eating him up inside.  I call foul; both of you to time-out. 

Great!  Bobby's known from the beginning.  You royally screwed up this time.  I expected Dean to explode at this.  Bobby:  "You walked away from the life.  And I was so damn grateful.  You got no idea."  Dean:  "Do you have any clue what walking away meant for me?"  Bobby:  "Yeah a woman and a kid and not getting your guts ripped out at age 30.  That's what it meant."  I get what you're saying Bobby and in all fairness Dean made bad decisions for those he  loved too, but it always goes wrong.  I hoped that you as wise mentor guy knew better.  I'm disappointed in you.  Life for Dean was not roses and bunnies.  "I drank too much.  I had nightmares."  He tried everything to get Sam back.  Sam protests that Dean promised but c'mon that's one promise neither of them has ever kept.  They should stop asking.  Bobby tries once more.  "Look, I get it wasn't easy.  But that's life and it's as close to happiness as I've ever seen a hunter get.  It ain't like I wanted to lie to you, son, but you were out Dean."  Dean:  "Do I look out to you?"  And that sums it all up.  Man I'm depressed.  But that was an awesome scene.

Dean walks out to see Lisa coming downstairs.  Ben's adjusting; Dean's screwed up.  He tells Lisa he's heading out with Sam but Bobby will protect them.  Lisa is incredibly supportive, a nice change from the hysterical, ungrateful or obtuse PiP's in Dean's past.  Finally someone recognizes Dean is an expert and moves to help instead of wasting valuable time questioning everything.  Dean apologizes for being himself:  "I should have known that if I stayed with you that something would come because something always does.  But I was stupid and reckless and…you can't outrun your past."  YED's not who I would quote, Dean.  Lisa calls him on his goodbye and Dean looks up to make sure Ben isn't listening.  Dean:  "I'm saying I'm sorry…for everything."  Then Lisa shows exactly why she is awesome for Dean.  Lisa:  "Everything?  You're an idiot.  I mean I know it wasn't greeting card perfect but we were in it together."  Dean:  "I was a wreck half of the time."  Lisa:  "Yeah well the guy that basically just saved the world shows up at your door, you expect him to have a couple of issues.  You're always so amazing with Ben.  You know what I wanted more than anything was a guy that Ben could look up a dad.  So you're saying it's all bad Dean?  Cuz it was the best year of my life."  I love Lisa.  If people keep betraying each other on this show, she may end up my favorite character.  Well, that's an exaggeration but she rocks my world!  You should really hug her Dean.

Dean, Sam, and Sam's sad car head to Grandpa's only to find he has no plan.  Dean:  "Yeah, okay.  Well here's an alt.  Why don't we go kill the (SOB's) that broke into my home."  Sounds like a good plan to me, but Christian's full of himself.  "Relax Dean; we got it handled.  Djinn are hard to draw out.  Now you've been out of the game for awhile.  Leave it to the professionals."  I hate you.  Dean:  "Yeah, sure.  Tiny suggestion - you see djinn are easier to draw out when you got bait.  They want Sam and me.  They know where I live.  Now I haven't been hunting in awhile but I'm going to stick my neck out and guess that's a pretty good place for us to go.  See it's almost like I'm a professional."  Yes!  That's the Dean I love.  Put that smarmy jerk in his place.  Gwen laughs and I sense tension between Christian and her.  But I can't enjoy her because next she's harping about Lisa's taste in magazines.  I hope you all die.  Soon.  Dean is protective of his home, which is endearing.  Sam's thrown by the golf clubs and I laugh.  (Jensen loves golf.) 

Dean takes a break from the cousins.  Man they're annoying.  Grandpa tries for less annoying by sympathizing and talking about the "intranet" but he gives off evil vibes to me.  Get out Dean while you can.  He compares Dean to his mother, especially the attitude, and exposits all the weird monster stuff going on.  "I'm knee deep in half-eaten human hearts and exsanguinated ten-year-old and it's all making me…uneasy."  Bwah, you may be creepy but that's funny.  Grandpa reads from a cult leader manual telling Dean how important the super special Campbell pilgrims were.  I expect him to break out the Kool-aid.  "What I'm saying is that we're your blood and we're out there dying, trying to get out in front of whatever this thing is.  Maybe not the best time for golf."  I agree about the golf, but I suggest Dean grab Sam and walk away quickly because once a cult gets you, they don't like to let go.  And Grandpa's stocking up on the crazy.

Dean talks to Mark, the least offensive of the Campbell's because he doesn't talk, and realizes the djinn won't attack if the Campbells are there.  He tells them to clear out.  Sam agrees with Dean and buh-bye crazy cousins.  Sam and Dean talk.  Sam remembers hell and Dean offers to share, but for once Sam turns him down.  I'm excited and a bit unnerved about that.  The conversation ends abruptly as Sid and wife die by djinn.  Too bad, I liked Sid.  Dean goes to Sid's although Sam strongly objects.  Anyone else think Sam's a little off after the hell experience?  Perhaps talking it out's a good thing.  A djinn goes after Sam, revealing its impressive tattoo skills, but Sam has impressive fighting skills.   We pan to the dead neighbors and unfortunately 2 djinn get Dean, including the waitress at Jonesy's.  Dean, maybe you should have kept her number.  Nope, hell hath no fury like djinn kids upset that you killed their dad.  Dean passes out, but Sam fights the good fight.  Post-Hell Sam has great reflexes, but proceeds to beat the djinn to death with a gold club.  Post-Hell Sam has scary rage issues too. 

Dean's bad acid trip includes YED going after Lisa and Ben.  He's on Ben's bed with Lisa draped on the ceiling.  Before she flambées she says it's Dean's fault.  In a twist, YED offers Ben his blood and Ben voluntarily drinks it.  Unresolved issues there, huh Dean?  He can’t protect Ben anymore than he could stop season 4 Sam.  Nice little trip into Dean's fears.  Meanwhile Sam triesto fight 2 djinn, but takes out Dean's furniture instead.  Grandpa to the rescue.  He kills one, tells Sam to get Dean, and then Christian abducts the waitress.  He's not killing her?  What?  Since when do they keep scary monsters as pets.  The Winchesters won't like this plan, but apparently Grandpa's keeping secrets.  Really?  That's a change from all the honesty floating around so far.  I knew I couldn't trust you Grandpa. 

Back at Dean's Party Place, he needs to clean before the parents…er…Lisa gets home.   Sam wants Dean to join him but Dean changed his mind.  He's staying with Lisa and Ben.  Sam's changed his mind too and says Dean is putting Lisa and Ben in danger.  Dean counters he already has and now needs to protect them.  It's the best option.  Aw!  Sam wants his brother (aw!) but Dean knows many other hunters more in practice than him.  "I did something seriously stupid going out there.  I almost got us both killed."  Sam:  "And that's exactly why I want you."  Come again Sam?  He's happy Dean cares, because Sam doesn't.  I think Sam's suffering from post-Hell Stress Syndrome.  Isn't he the gushy sensitive one?  Dean tries to soften the blow by giving Sam the Impala.  "She should be out hunting."  You're darn right she should, or at least not under that tarp!  Okay, Sam is an alien or a robot or a doppelganger because he TURNS DOWN the Impala.  Yes, you heard that right.  I know his car gets better gas mileage and it's quieter so more effective for surveillance.  I'm sure his post-rental car even has that iPod jack he loves so much, but this is the IMPALA!!!  There is no substitute.  You're killing me Sammy.  This whole episode reminded me of the pilot, but none so much as Dean walking Sam to his Not!Impala and watching him leave.  Great reaction shot by Jensen Ackles as he questions whether he made the right move.  For the record, I agree.  I'm not in favor of a Dean who abandons his family of one year, especially a kid who counts on him.  He's not John and family means too much to him.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Supernatural - 6.09 - Clap Your Hands If You Believe - Recap

Previously - it was all about Sam (Sam's appearance meant Lisa's end, Sam has no soul, Cas can't get Sam's soul back, Sam has no instinct, Sam isn't Dean's brother anymore, Sam doesn't care)

Two kids are making out in a cornfield and you know this ends badly.  Haven't they seen Children of the Corn?  Go park by an abandoned barn or the creek like everyone else.  SuperJock sees something and goes into the corn to "have a quick look".  This reminds me of Asylum when Dean said, "You seen a lot of horror movies, yeah?...Do me a favor, next time you see one, pay attention. When someone says a place is haunted, don't go in."  Same thing applies to exploring cornfields, SuperJock.  I thought Blondie was the smarter of the two, but she follows SuperJock in, because you know that always ends well.  In a flash of light, SuperJock is gone, leaving Blondie all alone in a crop circle.  Some say SuperJock is an homage to Clark Kent in Smallville, but I'd bet he's in honor of Billy from The X-Files' pilot.  Speaking of XF, we get a credit sequence based on theirs, including the slow dancing alien from Tall Tales.  You crack me up alien hallucination!  Congratulations SPN writers, the Things That Confuse Me list starts now.  Why is Misha Collins in the credit sequence and not Jim Beaver or Mark Sheppard?  They are more important to this season thus far.  Well, definitely Crowley and Bobby should be included every time just because he's awesome!  Oh and apparently the truth is in the Impala.  Someone alert Chris Carter.  It's about time someone found it.

Various people exposit what's going on.  The primary theory is aliens, but the sheriff cares more about the missing people and Sookie St. James-Light claims fairies.  Dean is puzzled but does his best "back off slowly from the crazy person" routine.  RoboSam is fine with her "adding glitter to that glue (she's) sniffing…but don't dump your wackadoo all over us."  I like RoboSam; he says wackadoo.  Dean makes excuses for RoboSam before realizing that yes he does have to explain appropriateness.  "It's not that lady's fault she took the brown acid."  RoboSam wants to know why they are there.  They don't believe in aliens.  Dean cries missing idiots.  And today's episode is brought to you by the letter "E" for empathy.  Dean wants RoboSam to care and don't we all (eventually), but he doesn't.  Dean suggests that he "fake it 'til (he) makes it" and I'm with RoboSam here.  You can't have it both ways Dean.  Either he's the funny, brutally honest RoboSam or he's the creepy, completely fake RoboSam.  I'll stick with the former.  RoboSam says faking it is exhausting (It's exhausting to us too) but Dean says "You want to be a real boy, Pinocchio, you gotta act the part."  To help Dean will be his conscience.  "So you're saying you'll be my Jiminy Cricket."  "Shut up, but yeah you freaking puppet, that's exactly what I'm saying."  I laugh again and my hopes for this episode continue to rise.

SuperJock's dad is a watchmaker and they question him.  Daddy Dearest is acting suspicious and RoboSam calls him on it.  Dean makes him drop it and they leave as Daddy talks to the watch.  Dean has Sam on surveillance as he checks out the crop circle.  Dean:  "But do not engage with, maim, or in any way, kill Brennan.  In fact, I don't want you making any judgment calls whatsoever.  Anything happens, you call me."  RoboSam:  "You know Jiminy, I was on my own for a year.  I did fine without you."  Dean:  "Yeah.  I don't want to know your definition of fine."  Point to Dean this time.  RoboSam, you admitted you killed innocent people to meet your goals.  Not fine.  Go with Dean on this.

Either Dean stopped for a latte or the crop circle is forty miles away as he checks out the crop circle in the dark.  Probably not the best time to find clues, Dean.  Plot contrivance calls using Sam's voice as Dean sees the light.  Gun in hand he runs, crying, "UFO.  UFO. Close encounter.  Close encounter."  Sam wants to know what kind of encounter.  Bwah!  The letter "E" leaves in protest as RoboSam orders another beer.  Dean drops the phone and grabs a knife before he's taken by the light.  Sam checks out the waitress.  My sides are hurting already from laughing so hard.

Back in the crop circle, Sam follows the path to Dean's phone and hightails it to UFO groupie-central.  That guy from Star Trek tells RoboSam everything he knows about ET's, but RoboSam is not impressed.  "So you've been hunting UFO's for over 3 decades and you basically have no concrete data and zero workable leads…Have you considered the possibility that you suck at hunting UFO's?"  Poor Star Trek guy.  In all honesty though, put John Winchester on this for 2 months and there would be far better intel.  RoboSam states Dean was abducted and hippie UFO chick uses it to show her interest in RoboSam.  However, Sam's "had time to adjust."  It has been 30 minutes.  Hippie chick wants to help…undress RoboSam.

Concurrently, Dean appears back in the crop circle, gun blasting.  I love Dean's freaked face!  He hightails it to the hotel where RoboSam is doing the horizontal mambo with hippie chick.  I would have turned away in embarrassment but Dean stands there shocked.  Awkward!  Hippie chick is glad Dean's back and wants to know what they were like.  "They were grabby incandescent douche bags. "  Dean is irate about RoboSam's pleasure while he was abducted.  "You're upset."  RoboSam wants to know what the big deal is.  "I was abducted by aliens and you were banging patchouli."  Bwah - "I didn't think she smelled that bad."  Way to miss the point RoboSam.  Dean experienced "UFO time slip" and RoboSam wants to talk about it.  "It's ok.  Safe room."  What?  It's a good thing I wasn't drinking because this is the funniest thing all night.  RoboSam patting Dean's leg and using Sammy's concerned voice and Dean looking at him like he was nuts.  Still laughing now.  Dean freaks at "probing table".  "So what did you do?"  "I went crazy.  I started hacking and slashing and firing.  They actually seemed surprised.  I don’t think anybody's ever done that before.  I had a close encounter Sam and I won."  Now I feel sorry for the aliens.  You grabbed the wrong person.  Great acting all around.  Freaked out Dean is growing on me as much as RoboSam.

Dean's still freaked over coffee.  "So if aliens exist, what's next?  Hobbits."  Nope Dean.  I called dancing leprechauns and the Shoemaker's elves back when the promo pix came out.  RoboSam hits on the waitress and I remember Dead in the Water when Dean wanted "FUN" but Sam kept dragging him back to topic.  Oh have things changed in 6 years.  Refocused Sam brings up hypotheticals, basically testing the parameters of when it's socially acceptable to have sex if your brother is missing.  "So say you're on a case and your brother is abducted by aliens…"  Have to say I never thought I'd hear that one on Supernatural, but it leads to fabulous conversation.  Dean:  "You sit in the dark and you feel the loss."  Sam:  "Absolutely, but couldn't I just do all that AND have sex with the hippie chick."  Dean:  "No."  RoboSam:  "But it would be in the dark."  RoboSam, I adore you!  RoboSam:  "So you're saying having a soul equals suffering."  Dean:  "Yes, that's exactly what I am saying."  RoboSam:  "So you're saying suffering is a good thing."  Dean:  "I'm saying it's the only game in town."  Dean darling, if you keep promoting souls to RoboSam this way, he's not going to go for it.  But, you could get a job on the CW marketing team.

Dean sees homeless people, and threatens to hit RoboSam.  That was odd and dumb, considering RoboSam's likely to hit back and not stop until you're dead.  They research and Dean wishes bloggers would punctuate.  Have to agree here!  Do people realize how hard it is to read?  David Bowie's Space Oddity  plays in the background and if that isn't code for acid trip coming I don't know what is.  Lights flicker and Dean takes on ..a glowing Kush ball?  Now I'm laughing not because of the fight or Dean's weird faces, but because that's one lame special effect.  Granted it's no Bugs, but I'm not sure they wanted me to laugh at it.  Points for cleverness though as Dean captures it in a microwave and nukes it like a marshmallow.  That IS funny.  Poor RoboSam can't see nuked fairy innards.  "Let's go with you see it and I don't."  Dean describes the little glowing hot, naked lady and RoboSam makes the connection - Fairies!  Apparently Sookie-light was not sniffing the glue after all.  Dean whines, "She hit me."  RoboSam:  "I'm not supposed to laugh, right?"  Don't worry RoboSam.  I'm laughing hard enough for both of us.  Best line of the night!!!  Dean thinks Smurfs (Pfft) but RoboSam sticks with fairies.  "Hey, you're the one who Pizza Rolled Tinkerbell.  I'm just doing the math."  (Bwah!)  On second thought, that might be the best line of the episode.

Sookie-light exposits genres of fae, but she gives me the wiggins.  Think Harry Potter's Delores Umbridge in a whisper voice.  Psycho thinks they want to befriend fairies instead of kill them.  I honestly thought she was going to be the bad guy.  Still, she is a fount of fairy knowledge, telling the brothers that only people who have been to the fairy world can see them (hello homeless guy) and they take firstborn sons to service Oberon, the fairy king.  "Dean, did you service Oberon, king of the fairies?"  Now that's definitely the oddest thing ever said on SPN.  Methinks it was a good thing Dean started shooting in the fairy realm or who knows where he would be now.  Nice job Sera and co. on explaining why Dean was kidnapped instead of RoboSam.  Dean wants to forcefully interact with the fae, and Sookie-light inevitably leaks out how they can fight them.  She wants them for tea and I thought they were being drugged.  I was way off this episode.  "I feel like I've got the crazy on me…This makes me want to believe in UFO's again."  RoboSam name checks Bobby and how I would love to see his reaction to this case.

Unfortunately, Plot Anvil lands on SuperJock's dad as he buys 3+ crates of cream.  Shouldn't the grocery people be a little concerned?  Aw, Dean trusts RoboSam enough to leave him the Impala while he checks out the watch store.  What in the land of Oz is going on in this episode?  The shoemaker's elves have turned to watch making, and I'm so beyond astounded that I refuse to say this is the weirdest thing that has ever been on Supernatural…AGAIN.  I'm waiting until the end in fear that a herd of unicorns and the Lucky Charms leprechaun will drop by.  Dean's face - priceless.  Just back away slowly, Dean and never mention it again.  RoboSam's on liquor patrol and doesn't beat around the bush.  "Hell, if I didn't know better I'd say you have a bunch of elves working for you.  Except I do know better and you have a bunch of elves working for you."  That's the weirdest…oh forget it!  RoboSam assumes Daddy has a soul, but on this show, it's not a given.  SuperJock's dad was trying hard to provide for his family with Parkinson's when he got sucked up into a bad deal.  Seriously, folks, does no one read the fine print?  Just figure that if it involves demons, magic, or even angels, it's going to bite you in the end and not let go.  I guess SuperJock is yet another kid screwed over by his parent's lack of foresight.  Thanks again Mary!  Yep folks, we've got leprechauns.  Hmmm!  At least RoboSam has a plan, and it might actually work the first time.  What a refreshing change.

Meanwhile, Dean sees Homeless and acts like he has Yellow Fever again.  Dean, remember that gun you carry.  Use it!  Why is Dean running from this guy?  This doesn't make sense to me.  The way Jensen is walking here also emphasizes his bowleggedness.  Dean attacks Homeless Guy(?) and forgets that the word fairy has other connotations.  Homeless Guy turns into a midget maybe or Dean mistook a midget for Homeless Guy.  It's not very clear to me.  Either way, it's not pretty and Dean gets arrested again.  I have serious reservations about this.  Even in podunk Indiana, arrested people get fingerprinted.  What happens when Dean's prints go through AFIS and they match a dead serial killer's?  Shouldn't that raise flags?  One thing that bugs me about Supernatural is how they never wear gloves/defingerprint crime scenes, except in Nightmare and Everybody Loves a Clown.  I've seen enough cop shows to realize this doesn't add up.  Oh well.  I'm guessing it won't be addressed this time either and if that's the only major pet peeve I have with the show, I am really lucky.  Like a leprechaun.

RoboSam and Daddy get to Dean as he's being taken away.  "Fight the fairies!"  The sheriff exposits the hate crime theory, Dean denies, and the midget is the District Attorney.  I'm expecting the District Attorney to be the leprechaun.  How else does Dean get out?  Dean tries to backtrack the situation, "Uh, it's nice to hear he's done so well for himself considering his…uh…considering the tough economic times."  The sheriff leaves, Dean plays the hand harmonica, and the lights go out.  I'm thinking another glowing Koosh ball and not a microwave in sight.  RoboSam is faring better as the cream knocks fairies out like tequila and Daddy gets the book.  Unfortunately Daddy gets speared in the chest out of nowhere.  Huh, Star Trek (now Lucky) is the sole baddy.  I'm not surprised, just sad he didn't join forces with the other 2.  RoboSam, remember that gun you're holding.  Use it!  What is up with the Winchesters today?  John would be so disappointed.  Lucky exposits; Dean is marked; RoboSam has no soul.  Are leprechauns more powerful than angels because Cas should have caught that one earlier?  Apparently, Lucky can pull some strings too to release Sam's soul and suddenly I'm wondering if they are stockpiled in a warehouse sale.  "There's no freaking way a leprechaun can do what angels cannot."  I don't like this.  Way too many soul venues and not enough soul getting.  Lucky claims he can backdoor Satan but that doesn't work for me either.  It lessens the stakes from season 5.  RoboSam says no thanks and tries to shoot Lucky.  No dice.

In jail, Dean gets his butt kicked by Homeless Guy.  RoboSam gets his butt kicked by Lucky.  Both brothers need a vacation.  Finally, RoboSam uses his big noggin and releases the salt.  Glad to see it has more than one use.  Lucky counts, RoboSam reads, and Dean makes it out of prison.  "Here's to the tiniest DA.  Thanks for dropping the charges." I'm going to slowly back away from this one before my head explodes.  Over at the Impala bar, Dean drinks a cold one and RoboSam explains why he didn't take Lucky's deal.  "Dude, I do still have all my brain cells.  If anything, my brain works better now."  Um, I beg to differ RoboSam.  I remember GeekBoy and he always had the answers.  You, not so much.  I bet it wouldn't have taken GeekBoy so long to remember the salt. Dean asks if RoboSam still wants his soul back.  He says he does but we all know he's going to fight the re-souling thing.  If the only benefits he sees is suffering and being a worse hunter, why would he want it back?

My thoughts in a nutshell:  This episode provided some much-needed comic relief.  It wasn't as powerful to me as Mystery Spot or Changing Channels but I did laugh almost the whole way through.  In that aspect, it was everything I hoped for.  RoboSam brought the comedy again and until the explaining morals thing gets old, I hope they continue exploring it.  On the minus side, it opened up a whole new mythology of old magic.  Saying it is more powerful than angels needs to be leprechaun trash-talking or it opens up new possibilities that for me lessen the series as a whole.  I'll wait to see where it leads because we are still about 692 twists away from really understanding what is happening.  I just hope it doesn't negate season 5's brief intensity or make Crowley less of a threat.

In two weeks, heaven and hell collide in the world's worst Big Brother house.  The angst is already seeping out like mold in a basement.

These screencaps and others by rawr_caps at LJ and&nbsp;<a href="">here</a>. &nbsp;Read other recaps <a href="">here</a>.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Burn Notice - 4.13 - Eyes Open - Recap

Previously…Michael used to be a spy until he got burned. (Hey, Matt, shouldn't you stop referring to Fiona as Michael's ex-girlfriend. They look pretty involved to me.) Michael's not going anywhere, but he sure saves a lot of people, including a kidnapped kid. Everyone was angry, nothing changed, John Barrett was the bad guy, and Jesse found out Michael burned him, which didn't lead to mojitos poolside. It does however lead to Jesse shooting Michael to save him. Is this what they call frenemies? Barrett wants answers but Michael would rather joyride upside down. As Michael fades out, Military Pants steals the Bible and with it, Michael's answers.

We begin with a Senate hearing pondering the effects of the Drake Corporation Cabal. Michael is hooked to countless machines but Barrett bit the dust. Death by car accident doesn't have the same appeal as being splintered by liquid nitrogen only to reassemble yourself before melting in an inferno, but I guess you can't always be the Terminator. Still, this was kind of a let-down. He was arguably the most evil person we've had on the show. Shouldn't he have a spectacular death? Aw, Fiona's holding Michael's hand and Sam looks worried.

Fast forward three days and Fi's impatient with a still sleeping Michael. Bwah!! Heralding back to the pilot, Fi kicks Michael awake and proceeds to get the audience up to speed. Michael blearily echoes her words because even super-spies can't take in that much info post-coma. In summation, Michael was shot, had 2 surgeries, almost died, and the Bible is gone. Michael steps up to play Exposition Fairy by explaining it was a NOC list. Michael and Fi are excited about destroying those who burned Michael. I am more concerned about CIA security since their NOC list gets stolen a couple times a year. Haven't all spy/military movies and shows done this?

A day or two later finds Jesse "I Will be Avenged" Porter visiting Michael. Really? Already. I expected them to be at odds at least a few weeks, but I suppose missing NOC lists heal all wounds. Jesse: "I was trying to save your life. Shooting through you to do it was just a perk." I like this new snarky Jesse; he's got attitude and he deserves to dish it out. Apparently Jesse is healing rifts with the whole gang since he got the 411 from Sam. Or not. Jesse's going to do the right thing, but Michael better not "game" him again.

Back in the hospital, Maddie badgers Michael to take it easy and stay with her until he recovers. Michael naysays but Maddie "could beat (him) in a 40-yard dash right now." Fiona's place is out as she is moving. Maddie says termites; I say plot contrivance. Maddie does her best mom drill sergeant to get Michael to stop his dangerous ways, but the hospital goes code orange, which is code for Michael to go reckless. Michael runs into Sam who takes the Exposition Wand to talk explosion. Or is it a gas leak? Who are they kidding? It's Burn Notice; if you played an explosion drinking game during their marathons, you'd be searching for your liver the next day. They find Alicia, innocent bystander and sister of Dale Lawson's lackey. She twirls the Exposition Wand and before you can say Bibbity-Bobbity-Boo, Dale's dead, Lackey's deaf, and Adam Scott likes his revenge served piping hot. In case you missed it, Sam tells you this is bad. Alicia becomes the unsuspecting client, while Michael checks himself out against Sam's and medical advice. "I'm fine. It's time to get back to work." Oh, Michael.

Michael's idea of fine and mine vary a bit since he can barely make it up the Scott fortress steps. Fiona scoffs at the "talking to him" plan but Michael is eschewing his inner Dear Abby. He's not there to make nice. Adam Scott wasn't expecting Fiona and I'm not sure why this exchange was so awkward. Weird. Michael gets straight to the point. "Three days after you told me Dale Lawson is a dead man, Dale Lawson IS a dead man." Scott spouts his alibi but this isn't another Law and Order spin-off and Michael isn't Wapner. Spies don't do coincidence. Random body guard (Red Shirt) comes to accost Michael and just 10 minutes in, Fiona pulls a gun. Not bad. They leave, but Michael gets the last word. "Go be with your daughter. Enjoy the time. Prison visits are hard on kids."

Back at Maddie's Makeshift Rehab, Michael is using Fiona as a crutch. The poor man really needs to sit down. But fate is not on his side, as Vaughn is waiting for him. "One minute - then you never have to see me again. Ever. If you don't want to." Fiona: "Next time you show up unannounced, nobody will ever see you again." I love Fiona. I hope she makes good on that threat. Vaughn is finding Miami way too hot these days and skedaddles back under his well-furnished rock. (or perhaps joins the civil war in heaven as his alter-ego Uriel - sorry Supernatural reference) Unfortunately, there are no Bahaman cruises in Michael's near future so he's destined to stay Miami-bound. Management will send someone new for Michael to play with when the media circus pulls up shop. Vaughn tells Fiona to "be good" and Fiona snarks, "So that's how the devil disappears. I'm a little disappointed. There wasn't a puff of smoke." You aren't the only one, Fi.

Fi and Sam were busy during Michael's 3 day rest stop. They tracked the Bible to one Mark Sweeney, former Barrett bodyguard. "Sweeney. Doesn't exactly sound like a super villain's, you know, cool name." Bwah!!! Shot Michael is funny. Perhaps Fi should remember this the next time he goes off on his own tangent. Michael has high hopes for this lead, but he's distracted by the South Beach Bomber and goes off to do surveillance with Sam. Enter Dennis Barfield, court-certified loony. "You get the sense there's a manifesto in the works." Michael confuses himself with Cranky Superman again and takes a peek so he can call the police. It's a new tactic for them, necessitated by Michael's new shoulder accessory. Michael ponders, "How does a delusional killer afford a place like this?" and Sam claims rich parents, but apparently Dennis has no parking tickets so that's…um…nope, he's still disturbing. Michael uses vending machine money to break into Delusional Dennis' place. Anyone think this was going to end well? Yeah, me neither.

Dennis Wayne Barfield ("give him that serial killer flavor") comes home. Michael overconfidents and Dennis confronts him. Michael goes into the dumb guy routine he does so well, pretending to be Barfield's greatest fan. Serial killers and reality TV stars - it's all about the attention. Dennis gloats over his vast superiority and proves it by hinting he has something else planned. Have you seen a movie Dennis? This never turns out well for the villain.

In Maddie's Pain-filled Garage, Michael says he's alright while wincing and groaning. Maddie doesn't buy it so Michael uses the "innocent people are going to die" card and you can literally feel Maddie's eyes roll. She hands responsibility for Michael off to Fiona. I have to admit I feel sorry for her; sick overachiever Michael is no fun. Fiona asks why he didn't run before Dennis saw him and Michael claims it was tactical. Nope, not buying it. These two have a hard time admitting weakness, don't they? Michael's hero complex is spiking, so he decides to distract Dennis while Sam searches his place. Fi votes her "cute little Walther" but Michael needs more info. Michael: "Shooting him is just not the right move." Fi: "Yet" Michael agrees.

While Michael plays Simon Says with the delusional, narcissistic serial killer, he sends Fiona out with Jesse to ransack Sweeney's car at the impound lot. Fi protests but Michael says, "Do a job together. I'll forgive you. It's always worked for you and me." Fi: "I don’t want relationship advice from you today." Me: "Do you honestly expect me to think Jesse is a serious threat to Fi and Michael's relationship. Give it up. They sabotage it themselves nicely. They don’t need outside help." Back at Fi's House of Plot Contrivance, Fiona unwraps home ware and attempts to mend fences with Jesse and wine. Jesse isn't in a forgiving mood so Fiona suggests, "I will find my boxing gloves. Maybe if you punch me in the head a few times we can turn the page." Shut up, Fiona. He has every right to be mad. Fiona decides they will play a married couple at the impound and Jesse decides, "Our marriage is on the rocks." I love this new Jesse, especially at the impound. Who knew being a jerk could be a spy tool? Maybe I am secretly surrounded by spies. Or your average jerks.

Meanwhile back at Casa Crazy, Michael lures out Dennis with promises of bomb making materials and finds that Dennis is dumber than he looks, which is a feat. Sam finds Dennis' bombing notes in the trash can because crazy trumps careful any day. Since this is going nowhere, I sit back and enjoy Jeffrey Donovan's dumb shtick. Trying to find the 5 rogue bombs, Michael heads back to Adam Scott's fortress to shove blurry pictures in his face. Apparently Adam saw something I didn't because he hypothetically knows where the next bomb is going off and when. Lackey is the next target, and Alicia, the unsuspecting client, comes back into play.

Sam and Michael plot in front of Lackey's house where he's the new head honcho. Surprise, Delusional Dennis is calling. Adam Scott and Red Shirt are goners. Just to reinforce his reputation though, Scott told Dennis about Michael and Fiona before he died. Isn't he so thoughtful? Dennis threatens Michael but doesn't realize who he is. The Anvils of Plot Contrivance are about to converge. Michael and Sam go the delivery guy routine and I wonder about the average IQ of Lackey's bodyguards. Not going to make it much longer Lackey if you don't get some new help. Delusional Dennis scores a bit higher on the IQ chart with his bomb HD TV. Lackey can't hear so Client Alicia explains. I laugh at how everyone is yell speaking. Sam wants some duct tape and it reminds me of my favorite line. "Guns make you stupid. Duct tape makes you smart." There was so much to love about season 1.

Meanwhile back in a cubicle, another brain child decides the best way to stay inconspicuous is to run out the door. Fi says progress but she isn't the one chasing the guy. Thankfully he isn't in great shape either and Jesse gets the info they need. Brain Child makes me laugh, "I can't go to jail. I'm very thin." I don't think that's a valid defense these days. As they start to leave, Michael calls Fi about triangulating Delusional Dennis' cell phone trigger. Fi arm wrestles Jesse into helping and I wish he would tell all 4 of them off and be done with it. They all deserve it. But Jesse's a sucker for doing the right thing today, so he helps out. The bomb goes into the pool and they play find the bomber, technology-style. Do underwater explosions count on this show? It's different but a bit underwhelming.

Surprise, surprise, Delusional Dennis is in Fiona's neighborhood. Raise your hand if you didn't see that one coming. What? Nobody? Fiona is excited to christen her new place with the insides of a bomber but Killjoy Michael says no. "Dammit Michael. I am not letting some psycho be the first person to bring explosives in to my new place." Aww, Fi. I love your priorities. You win the Character Who Rocks award. Again we hearken back to season 1 with Michael repeatedly telling Fiona to "get out of there." I really loved that episode when Fiona wheedled her way into a key to Michael's place. I think she could have gotten something this time too if she had waited, but I guess she's happy where they are now. Delusional Dennis is disappointed when he finds himself in an empty house.

Outside Fi's Home of Plot Anvils, the gang meets all together for the first time since Jesse found out Michael burned him. Sam extends the welcome; Jesse scorns them all. Michael and Sam exposit Dennis' loony plan and Michael is the only one who can go in there and fix things. That's a new one; haven't seen this plan since…well…every single episode of the last 4 years. The others give token protest but we all know where that ends. There's a tender albeit slightly awkward scene between Michael and Fiona and Michael enters the loony bin.

Dennis is suffering from grandiose delusions. Michael, again playing dumb, gets Dennis to spill where the bombs are. The 3 musketeers dissuade the police from going in or using cell phones and Michael leaves the house, only to be arrested. Sam and Fi realize that Michael got the info, but Tell-It-Like-It-Is Jesse reminds them that Delusional Dennis is still in the house with the bomb. He doesn't want the police to get hurt. Sam asks Fi what she wants to do, which was a great touch, but Post-Betrayal Jesse is more of a black and white guy than an elaborate planner. He uses his walkie to trigger the device. What the heck! Are you kidding me? This Jesse rocks! Sorry Fiona, but I'm passing your trophy to Jesse. Am I surprised to see Dennis dead? Absolutely not. Am I surprised that Jesse did it? Yep. The Burn Notice crew have taken pains to show us that these guys are the good guys. They fight the bad guys and get them arrested or make them move. Rarely do they kill them themselves; they usually let others do that work. I'm not saying that Jesse was wrong here. There isn’t much else they could have done, but to do it with no conversation, with no brainstorming of other solutions; it was cold, hard murder. The last time I remember one of Michael's crew shooting someone that wasn't holding a gun on them is when he shot Strickler. I had the same reaction then. Completely awesome and a jolt to my system. Then to have Jesse so matter-of-fact about it, "Sometimes you got to put the rabid dog down." while the others are freaking out. Fantastic scene with kudos all around.

Back at Maddie's, Michael broods and "Why me's" and hates himself. It's all mopey until Maddie stops it. "Whatever!" This may be the best use of that word since the 80's. Maddie doesn't know why Michael does what he does (childhood trauma, military, destiny) but she knows "You're one of the good guys Michael, and I'm proud of you." Let's contemplate how far these two have come in 4 years. In the beginning Maddie was comic relief, a pain in the kiester, and pretty tedious if she was around too much. Now she's part of the gang, sometimes out-conning them, and this conversation proves how much Michael needs her emotional support. I love Maddie, no matter how many contrivances they put in to make her fit. Then, just when I thought I couldn't like Maddie more, she delivers on her other skill - shopping. The show wouldn't be right without Michael's glasses. Or the Charger. Or the loft. (I miss you loft. See you soon?) Sorry Jesse, but the Character Who Rocks award definitely goes to Maddie this episode.

Before we fade to black, Michael and Jesse head to Justin Walsh's house. Jesse snarks that he doesn't know much about the guy. I love Snarky Jesse so much better than Pre-Hiatus Jesse. Great character make-over, writers. They find a dead Sweeney there; I guess Walsh is a much better "super villain cool name", huh Michael? Michael exposits us into the next episode and we're done.

I liked this episode. I thought it tied up some loose ends, gave us a compelling, if a little stale, overarching storyline and allowed for some good character development, especially with Jesse. There was some off-pacing, but all in all, a good start to the second half. Here's to next Thursday when Natalie is back. I can't wait for a little Fiona payback. I swear Michael if you stop Fiona from exacting revenge, I will come to Miami and exact a little revenge on you.

Screencaps taken from here I'm not sure whose they are but if they are yours, please let me know so I can credit you.