Friday, December 31, 2010

Supernatural - Weekly Poll - Best One-Shot Antagonist/Monster (Season 5)

Best One-Shot Antagonist or Monster (Season 5)

Happy New Year to all of you. I hope it is full of peace and happiness and, of course, good TV. We have almost finished this week's question on best antagonist or monster and while some were runaway victories, a couple have been extremely close. Season 5, thanks to Hammer of the Gods, has the most choices so it should be interesting. I did take Cupid out of the running here and will put him in the angels poll instead. I felt he didn't fit as an antagonist since the brothers weren't hunting him and he had nothing to do with the deaths.

I'm posting the season 5 poll a bit early because I am going to close it at 7:00 pm Sunday (mid-USA time). I've enjoyed my break but work calls on Monday and I want to post the results on Monday when we start nominating for the next weekly question. Speaking of which, we are doing favorite episode next week. However, instead of nominating by season, we are going to be nominating as a whole. After all, some people enjoy certain seasons more than others. This will make the nominations truly people's favorites. Probably the hardest thing about next week will be picking your top 12 episodes of all time (well in seasons 1-5). Something to think of while you're nursing that new year's hangover.

As always, comments are the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

My blog

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Supernatural - Weekly Poll - Best One-Shot Antagonist/Monster (Season 4)

Best One-Shot Antagonist or Monster (Season 4)

I'm posting this early because I am experiencing computer problems and I don't want to the internet to go down again before I can get this up.  Today we vote for season 4's best antagonist or monster.  Yes, we have two entries that may cause concern because they are monsters played by recurring actors.  They would be the ghost of Meg Masters and the ghoul shaped like Adam Milligan.  The good news is they are the last and next week's poll is definitely more clear-cut.

You can still vote for season two and season three.  And as always, comments make the world go round.  At least my never-ending hiatus, internet-happy world.

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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Supernatural - Weekly Poll - Best One-Shot Antagonist/Monster (Season 2)

Best One-Shot Antagonist or Monster (Season 2)

This week is getting off to a good start with lots of engaging comments about season 1. Now we're on to season 2. For me it's no contest, but season 2 definitely has some strong fan favorites of the antagonist or monster variety. Don't forget to voice your choice in the comments. Help us all get through hiatus with less pain.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Supernatural - Weekly Poll - Best One-Shot Antagonist/Monster (Season 1)

Best One-Shot Antagonist or Monster (Season One)

Our nominations are in and now it's time to vote for the best one-shot antagonist or monster. Today we start with season 1 and I will add a new poll every day until we've finished all 5 seasons. Voting will be for roughly 2 days each season. Vote, pass the word to other Supernatural fans, and please comment on your choices below. Doughnuts may not be love, but comments surely are.

Note: If you nominated a group of people instead of one person, I tried to pick the 2 most important for people to vote on. If there was a different person you wanted to represent your group, let me know and if it isn't too late I will fix it. Examples: for changelings I chose Katie and the realtor; for those infected with the Croatoan virus I chose Pamela, Mrs. Tanner, and Duane Tanner.

Also if you have additional ideas for weekly questions, please add them. We may have enough to get through the winter hiatus but we sure need more to get through the summer one. 16 weeks give or take will require a lot of comment-able ideas to get through.

Monday, December 27, 2010

White Collar - 1.01 - Pilot - Recap

In 24 days we will officially have a new White Collar episode. I don't know about you guys, but it seems like it's been forever. So in excitement for the hiatus ending, I thought we could stroll down memory lane and where better to start than the Pilot that first gave us the awesomeness that is Neal Caffrey and Peter Burke. Hope this brings back fond memories for you too….

We begin as a scruffy man shaves off his beard with prison created tools. Hello, Neal Caffrey. Let's not try that beard ever again. You look like Ted Kaczynski. Neal takes a prison uniform, conveniently stashed in the toilet tank and sneaks right out of maximum security prison. I'm a little concerned about the prison system because that looked way too easy. After hotwiring a van, he drives off and buys a yellow slicker off a street vendor. In the luckiest/smartest move of all, he gets a rich old man to give him his car keys for a month because he thinks Neal is with valet parking. Meanwhile, Peter Burke, FBI extraordinaire, paces while a safe cracker attempts to break into a bank vault. He deduces something fishy but it's too late - the vault explodes. Apparently the bad guy has a sense of humor; he spelled out FBI with the code. Peter goes berserk and at first glance I didn't really like him. He was too busy blaming everyone and making people feel like idiots even though they went to Harvard. He's just justifiably ticked but I like our Peter better - the solution-makers with endless patience with Neal.

Diana enters to break the bad news about Neal's escape. Peter wonders why Neal would choose to escape now with only 3 months left in his prison term. He's snarky in a bad way to the warden and others on the team but proves he is the right guy to lead the task force. He's definitely able to get in Neal's head. Neal used the warden's wife's AmEx to get a guard's uniform off the internet. I wonder why they didn't check his mail. This is one lax maximum security prison. He then took an old pass and restriped it with a cassette player. Glad to know there's a use for those. Peter: "We're not going to catch Caffrey using roadblocks and wanted posters." Peter makes the intuitive leap that Neal grew the beard so the guards wouldn't recognize him when he shaved it. Smart move! He traces Neal's plan back to when Kate Moreau, Neal's girlfriend, visited him last. Who knew? Peter is a lip reader too.

Back at Kate's last known address, Peter finds a distraught Neal holding an empty wine bottle. Escaped convicts should make me afraid, but he looks so upset that I can't help but feel sorry for him - just like TPTB want me to. Neal is gun-free because he's a gun-hating criminal, also designed to make me like him. Darn TV execs! He laments that he missed Kate by two days and I wonder why it took her so long to move out. Was she waiting for the lease to be up? Peter tells Neal that he is surrounded by well..everyone but Neal no longer cares because the empty bottle is Kate's way of telling him goodbye. Unfortunately, this also means 4 more years in prison for Neal. Love bites!

Neal snarks about Peter's lack of style but is very curious about a fiber on Peter's jacket. Peter reminds us that it comes from the blown safe and Neal knows what it is. Take that Harvard grads! Peter claims the mad bomber may be as good as Neal. Having seen more than one episode, I highly doubt it. Neal trades his knowledge for a meeting with Peter later on. Back at the feds, Diana tells Peter that Neal was right. It is a fiber from the newly minted, not yet revealed Canadian $100 bill. Peter knowing this could cause an international incident.

Peter meets Neal as scheduled, and apparently Neal saw Catch Me If You Can with Tom Hanks and Leonardo DiCaprio while in prison. He wants to exchange prison for an ankle monitor and 4 years service to the FBI. Hey it worked well with Frank Abagnale, Jr. and some early hackers. Peter says no and Neal's hopes of finding Kate are up in smoke. Back in his prison cell, Neal befriends a prison guard who lets him keep his light on longer. Unfortunately, the stresses of the day make Neal wig out and he takes out a light before marking the days on the other side of his cell.

Roughly three months later, Peter can 't sleep either. His wife, Elizabeth, comes downstairs and Peter exposits that Neal would have be out that day if he hadn't run. May I interrupt here to say Elizabeth is an awesome addition to this show. Peter has someone to patiently support him and she provides common sense and a good sounding board for Neal. Besides Tiffani Amber Thiessen has come a long way from 90210 and Saved by the Bell. Peter still hasn't found the Dutchman and Neal's offer is sounding good, although he objects to letting criminals out before serving their time. Peter also thinks Neal is playing him for more than just Kate. He's smart to suspect, but Elizabeth reminds him that people do crazy things for love. Elizabeth: "So you're suggesting he escapes a maximum security prison knowing full well that you'd catch him just so he could trick you into letting him out again." Peter: "It's a working theory." Elizabeth: "Yeah, keep working." Great moment between the two of them. This was the point when I first watched this episode that I started liking Peter.

At the prison, Neal is released into Peter's care, ankle monitor on. The stakes are high. If Neal runs, he goes back in prison for life. Peter warns him about looking for Kate and tells Neal that they have to catch the Dutchman to make the situation permanent. Neal's new home is a skeevy hotel. Jail is looking pretty plush right now. Peter exposits that Neal can go two miles from the hotel and leaves him with the Dutchman file. Since Neal is the luckiest con man in the world, he shops at the thrift store when June, a rich newly widowed woman drops off her late husband's clothes. In it is Neal's signature hat. He recognizes a jacket from Sy Devore, dresser of legendary Rat Packers' Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin. Neal and June hit it off and she happens to have an extra guest room. When Peter goes back to Skeevy Hotel, he finds a note saying that Neal moved in with June. Peter's justifiably confused since Neal now has a penthouse view, a much better place for $700 a month. Conveniently, it's even within his radius. Peter finds the whole thing unfair. He reminds June that Neal is a criminal. She knows that but apparently so was her late husband, Byron. I like June. She's sassy. Neal rejoins Peter to the tune of The Good Life by Frank Sinatra. He's styling but Peter thinks it's too flashy. They both have a point. Peter is particularly prickly these days and Neal calls him on his jealousy. Neal thinks his new life is the way it should be but Peter calls reality check. They get sidetracked over June's superior coffee and Peter warns Neal about "something for nothing schemes".

Diana meets them at the airport, not at all impressed with Neal's charms but liking the hat. They have detained Tony Field for bringing in old copies of Snow White in Spanish. His luggage is as old as the books. There is nothing special about the books but Tony is very nervous. Peter says Diana isn't interested in Neal. "You're not even on her dance card. No dancing for you." I love the way he says this. Tony is nervous but snarky and completely underestimates

Peter Burke. So did I. Peter knows a lot about folklore, not part of standard FBI training. Unfortunately, Tony's lawyer shows up forcing Peter out. Tony looks even more nervous. Meanwhile Diana chats with a female and Neal finally undrstands. He asks about FBI policy. Peter: "That's the military. We don't ask; we don't care." Peter confronts airport police about the lawyer, but by the time he gets back, Tony is dead. Peter is ticked. However, Neal understands it's not about the books but the paper. They visit the National Archives and suddenly it's about a Spanish Victory bond. I'm confused because I thought it was about Canadian $100 bills until I finally see that these are two completely separate cases. Or are they? Oh well, moving on. The paper from the books is a perfect fit for the bonds. Peter's impressed: "You're starting to earn your $700 a month." The museum guy exposits the bond's history and we realize that the Dutchman is trying to fake entire boxes of the bonds, netting millions of dollars. Neal breaks the museum guy's heart by claiming the bond is a forgery.

Peter exposits for those not caught up, while Neal does impressive mental math. Peter wonders why the Dutchman would put a forgery in the archives but Neal exposits that when a box of "newly discovered" bonds are found they would be tested against the one in the Archives. Peter has missed dinner and rushes to get home. He talks to Neal about Elizabeth on the way, but it's Neal who remembers their anniversary is coming up. Peter has a few days to get a good 10-year anniversary gift. Neal calls Peter on not knowing what makes Elizabeth "feel alive," but Peter is annoyed because he feels guilty. "You don't get to lecture me about relationships. My wife didn't change her identity and flee the country to get away from me." Ouch, way to be a jerk there, Burke. At least he apologizes right after, but Neal is done giving relationship advice.

At June's House of Spectacular Views, Neal hears a noise and brandishes a walking stick. Good thing, it's Mozzie. I love me some Mozzie; this show has fantastic secondary characters. He misquotes Ginsberg and tells Neal he met June already. Mozzie can't pick the ankle monitor and doesn't know where Kate is. He can however help Neal find the bond creator. The next day at the Burke residence, Peter looks for what inspires Elizabeth, but still draws a blank. The phone rings and Jones tells Peter that Neal's ankle monitor went off. Peter freaks only to find Neal having coffee with Elizabeth. Neal is impressed that Peter got Elizabeth to marry him;, Peter is not impressed that Neal is in their house; I am impressed at how much I like this show only 37 minutes in. Even Satchmo the dog likes Neal. Elizabeth told Neal about Peter putting her under surveillance before asking her out. It's a classic boy meets girl, boy likes girl, boy abuses his power and taxpayer money to find out what girl likes kind of story. Before Peter can eject Neal forcibly from the house, Neal says he knows who the Dutchman is - Curtis Hagen. Apparently art forgers get tired of never having their skills recognized and regularly sign their stuff. Sounds risky to me. Curtis Hagen signed the peasant's pants and Neal signed the bonds he was imprisoned for. Luckily Hagen is restoring a church not far from Peter's house, so they pay him a visit.

The church is closed for renovations but Neal tells a priest that Peter is going through a midlife crisis and needs to be there to save his soul. The priest gives them five minutes. Peter wonders why he hasn't heard of Hagen before. Neal: "You only know the guys who get caught. You know the second best criminals." Peter: "What's that say about you?" Neal: "It says there's an exception to every rule." I love their banter. Neal finds initials, but Peter's not sure. Before they can argue further, Hagen comes by and kicks them out. He knows who Neal is and I know who Hagen is. It's Mark Sheppard - I love that guy!!! He was best as Crowley on Supernatural but he did a great job in Leverage, The X-Files, Burn Notice, and much, much more. He's my favorite all-round guest star. Here's hoping he finds his way back in the future. As they leave, the priest tells Peter to "listen to the spirit, son, not the flesh." BWAH!!!

Back at the FBI, Peter consults Neal on the Elizabeth anniversary case. He's used the Patriot Act to get her bills, video rentals, etc. That makes me feel secure about my privacy. Neal agrees. "So, you're stalking your own wife?" In summary, Elizabeth likes pottery, Nancy Drew, candles, jazz, etc. "I don't think you're going to find your answer tucked into a list of her eBay bids." Neal explains how the bottle Kate left was a symbol of their future. He got an expensive wine bottle (empty) and filled it up with cheap wine while they pretended to be in France. "..that bottle was a promise of a better life. What Kate got was a guy locked away for half a decade." Aww, I'm feeling sorry for the criminal again. He tells Peter to think of promises he broke to Elizabeth instead of "oleander candles." Diana breaks up the moment but Hagen seems clean. Peter wants all resources on it before Hagen can flee the country and Diana agrees to forge his signature if anything gets in the way. Peter is oddly excited about that considering Neal was locked away for forgery. Peter reminds Neal (and us) that if they lose Hagen, he goes back to prison.

At June's, Mozzie is waiting but he can't pull off the hat thing like Neal can. Neal says he was impulsive to go to the church and now needs to link Hagen to the forgery within the week. Mozzie has a picture of Kate, but a man with a pinky ring has Kate. Neal shares this with Peter, expositing that Kate is in San Diego under the alias Kate Perdu, which is French for lost. Neal thinks it's a message for him. Neal wants to fly to San Diego after the case is over, but Peter pulls a reality check. Kate dumped him. Neal: "I know there's more to our story. Ok. She disappears in the dust? No, that's not an ending." Neal says she's "the one" and I wonder what made Neal fall so hard for Kate. I'm glad we are getting some back story soon. She better be impressive or I'm backing Peter this time. Neal agrees to drop it and meets Mozzie in the FBI smoking area. Jones goes too and offers Neal a light. Mozzie makes me laugh by choking while pretending to be a hardcore smoker. Mozzie hid a message in the cigarette's filter with the location of Hagen's warehouse operations. Meanwhile, Peter figures out what to get Elizabeth.

At Hagen's warehouse of illegal activity, Neal hears a printing press going, but Peter has no reasonable cause so they can't go in. He orders recording equipment and tells Neal to study warrant law. Peter wants to meet Mozzie. Instead Neal does read the warrant law, which is way above the call of duty in my opinion - even if he is their convict liaison. Early in the morning, Peter gets a call about Neal running, but he's at the warehouse taking pictures. Hagen's guards drag him into the warehouse, allowing him access without breaking the law. Neal locks himself in Hagen's office with the original bond and Cuban cigars. He tells Hagen he shouldn't have signed the bonds as the police sirens sound. Nothing like an escaped convict on the loose to allow the FBI into your constitutionally protected warehouse - exigent circumstances and all. Hagen is not happy. Neither is Tony's lawyer/assassin. Peter snarks that this makes him "3 and 0" in finding Neal. Neal agrees, "Maybe I'm not trying hard enough."

Back at June's Penthouse, Peter takes a blindfolded Elizabeth to his Caribbean recreation, New York-style. Elizabeth thinks it's cheesy, but sweet. The real gift though is a vacation in Belize courtesy of a government-seized drug house. Elizabeth tells him to shut up about the details and just tell her it's nice. They are so good together. The next day, Peter tells Neal his consultant position is permanent as of now. He even made Neal his own badge. Neal agrees to stay in town while Peter's on vacation, but he looks at the Kate picture and the credits roll.

This show does a great job with its characters. It would be easy for them to be one-sided or unlikeable, but each one brings something to the dynamics. Not just the main characters, but Mozzie, Elizabeth, Diana, and Jones too. In a word, this show is fun. I can't wait to see what happens on Jan. 18.

Screencaps by killcolor.  My other recaps as

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Supernatural - Weekly Poll - Best One-Shot PiP (Season 4)

Supernatural - Best One-Shot PiP (Season 4)

First off, Merry Christmas! I hope you are having a great one. We're nearing the end of this week's polls. So far we've had a tight race and some definite winners. This time it's season 4 PiP's. Vote and comment.

Supernatural - Weekly Poll - Best One-Shot PiP (Season 5)

Weekly Poll - Best One-Shot PiP (season 5)

Here were are in our final poll for this week. I will post the winners and the new weekly topic on Monday. Choose your favorite season 5 one-shot PiP and don't forget to comment below.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Supernatural - 3.08 - A Very Supernatural Christmas - Recap

Previously - there were no previouslies but there was a sweet throwback to 70's after-school specials.

Seattle, Washington (one year ago) - In a typical suburban home, little Stevie gets the door. He doesn't look to see who it is before opening it, obviously not raised by John Winchester. Stevie asks grandpa if he brought presents, but Grandpa goes coy, spouting about Santa Claus. It's nice to see a grandpa who isn't creepy on SPN. Later that night, Grandpa puts on his Santa outfit and rings bells, sending little Stevie scurrying to the steps like Grandpa wanted. A noise comes from the roof. Little Stevie thinks reindeer and Santa. Grandpa sees soot coming from the chimney and in a spectacularly stupid move, checks it out. Grandpa gets sucked up the chimney by Grinch hands, leaving behind only a bloody boot. Poor Little Stevie will be scarred for life. A Christmas ornament is blown out and we end up with a blinking no-tell hotel sign as the title card. Awesome!

Ypsilanti, Michigan (present day) - {I like the place cards. I miss them this season.} A sad little girl watches her mom explain her husband's disappearance to FBI Dean. The police think he was kidnapped but there's no ransom. It's all sad and it's only 3 days until Christmas. Meanwhile Sam finds a tooth in the chimney. Dean reminds Sam that no one fits up a chimney (I guess Dean doesn't believe in Santa) and Sam agrees. "No way he fits up in one piece."  Back in the green and red motel, Sam looks up the Krampus, who needs an image consultant because his name sounds more like an medical condition than a monster. Dean brings in groceries. "So was I right? Is it the serial killing chimney sweep?" Sam: "Yep, it's actually Dick Van Dyke." Aww Dean, you don't know Mary Poppins? Now I feel sorry for you. Dean exposits another victim and Sam has a crazy theory. Dean: "What could you possibly say that sounds crazy to me?" Sam: "Um…evil Santa." Dean agrees that's crazy. I love the brother banter in this episode. Sam gives us a crash course in anti-Claus, Santa's rogue brother who's more into punishment than cookies. Dean has a problem with the "Santa's shady brother" idea in that there is no Santa, therefore no brother. Aww, Sam - I hope you were at least 6 before Dean told you there was no Santa. I waited that long to tell my brother.

Sam agrees it's nuts but both victim's went to Santa's Village before being taken. And suddenly we are at the world's crummiest holiday attraction. The employees are bored. The decorations are sad. Still, Dean wants to celebrate Christmas with a tree and Boston Market (nice product placement CW). Sam says no as Christmas brings up bad memories for him. Dean calls him Grinch and Sam flashes back to Broken Bow, Nebraska Christmas Eve of 1991. (Please bring back the place cards, Sera.) Sam's 8 and Dean's 12. I love the Weechesters. Sam wraps a present in newspaper for the yet-again absent John Winchester. Dean claims he stole it, but Sam says Uncle Bobby gave it to him. "It's real special." No doubt - I'm surprised it didn't come with a warning label. Dean reads a copy of Hot Rod magazine that looks suspiciously like the ones in my library. Hmmm. He promises John will be back for Christmas (yeah right) and vagues about John's "business". WeeSam: "Nobody ever tells me anything." Try being a SPN fan through hellatus, kid. Dean's solution - "Quit asking." But Sam's made of questions so he keeps pushing, bringing up the forbidden topic - Mom. Dean tries to protect Sam from "the family business" but storms out of the room when Mary is mentioned. I prescribe counseling, John, and perhaps you could engage in your kids' lives. I hate John.

Back in CrummyTown, Sam exposits that Anti-Claus walks with a limp and smells like candy. That narrows it down to anyone mall shopping around Christmas. Or as Dean puts it, "A pimp Santa." The candy smell attracts kids, but since only adults have been taken I'm not buying this. Still, CrummyTown's Santa is all-out creepy instead of jolly and a smart parent pulls her kid away quickly. Skeevy Santa is suspect #1, which means he didn't do it. Elf Girl gets suspicious when Sam says they "only came here to watch", and suddenly they are the creepy ones. If I were a parent, I would demand my $10 back. Skeevy Santa walks by with a limp, smelling of Ripple, but the Winchesters check him out anyway. Stakeouts are boring and they're out of coffee, so Dean tries to un-Grinch Sam. "I admit it. We had a few bumpy holidays when we were kids, but that was then. We'll do it right this year." Sam doesn't want to be involved, but says Dean should. Sam, I don't think you can really do Christmas alone. That's sad.

Skeevy Santa looks suspicious in his wife beater. Dean: "What's up with Saint Nicotine?" I can't help it. I laugh at this every time. They hear screams from the trailer and race over, guns at the ready. Sam laughs that Dean might have to "blow away Santa," which might kill the Christmas mood. Of course, breaking in on an alcohol-swilling, porn-watching Santa could do that too. Umm, Santa…if people can hear your porn one house away in a car with the windows and doors shut, it doesn't matter if you pull the curtains. Your neighbors don't want to hear that. BWAH!!!! Dean starts signing Silent Night with Sammy joining in - it's offkey, painful, and completely hilarious! They can't even remember the words. Thankfully, Santa's already drunk and doesn't question why they broke into his house to carol.

In a suburban house, a correct version of Silent Night plays, warning us that screaming will commence. A curly-headed moppet wanders down, hearing something at the chimney. I fear for his sanity. Skinny, leather-clad Santa is covered in blood and growls like an animal. Perhaps this is the wrong time for me to eat peppermint ice cream. And the screaming starts. Dear old dad's in the sack and he ain't coming back, kid. Santa takes a cookie and no amount of therapy is going to help this kid. Scarred for life.

Dean and Sam question the new victim's wife, but she can't help because Santa cold-cocked her. Ouch! Dean commiserates and Sam asks about their wreath. I was with Dean the first time - Huh? Great reactions all around. Sam reveals that the other victim had the same wreath. Tangent cleared up. Back at the hotel, Bobby calls them "morons" - Love you Bobby even just as a voice in Sam's ear - and says the wreaths are made with meadowsweet. Dean's less than impressed, but Sam exposits it lures pagan gods to their victims. He then crushes Dean's view of Christmas by saying that many Christmas traditions started as pagan lore. Dean: "Christmas is Jesus' birthday." Sam: "No, Jesus' birthday was probably in the fall. It was actually the winter solstice festival that was co-opted by the church and renamed Christmas…." Dean: "…What are you going to tell me next…the Easter Bunny's Jewish?" So, pagan gods are tonight's winner (specifically Holdenacar) and the wreaths basically invite them in for a human snack. Hence I no longer have a wreath on my door. The Winchesters track down the wreaths while Bobby tracks down a way to kill pagan gods. Hopefully it will be easier than it was on Buffy. In a Christmas specialty store, Dean sets Sam up about the wreath. Sam: "It was yummy." Dean and Sam act like they are 8 in this episode and it really works for them. Owner: "Well aren't you a fussy one." BWAH!! I love you cranky shop guy. He tells them Madge Carrigan made them and didn't charge him for them. He of course turned a profit on every one. Still loving you.

The brothers head back to the hotel agreeing that Madge is suspicious. They move in tandem and Dean speaks fondly of a wreath made of beer cans he stole one year. Dean wants one this Christmas. Sam calls Dean out on the whole Christmas thing and Dean admits he wants to do it right because it's his last year. That's why Sam can't do it. He won't celebrate knowing Dean will be dead next year. It's poignant and sad and reminds me of why I love this show. Thus far, in 20 minutes, there's been gore, comedy, and now, if I was the crying sort, I would be bawling.

Flashback - Dean returns with beef jerky and Funyons for Sam. How did the boy get enough nutrients to grow that tall? Dean has a pistol under his pillow and I hate John Winchester more than ever. But Sam, tired of unanswered questions, goes straight to the source - John's journal. I don't know why he left it in the hotel if he didn't want Sam to read it. In fact, I'm not sure why he is on a hunt without it. If he's on a bender somewhere I loathe him even more. Sam asks if monsters are real. Dean begins to shield him but decides he should know. "I swear if you ever tell dad I told you any of this, I will end you." Dean says John is a hero and "the coolest dad in the world." Sam wonders about monsters under his bed, but Dean says John already checked it out. In fact, almost everything is real..except Santa. Sucks to hear the cold hard truth. Now Sam is worried that monsters will get John just like they got Mary. Dean tries to console Sam but learning that scary things are real is too much for an 8 year-old. It would be hard for me. Dean promises things will be better in the morning. With their life, he shouldn't promise anything.

The Carrigan house is tastefully decorated for the holidays . Dean: "Can't you just feel the evil pagan vibe." Love the sardonic face, Dean. Merrilynn Gann opens the door. The first time I saw this I was shocked and then started laughing. I don't think you can truly appreciate this role without having seen her as Rose Abbott on Everwood. Even the syrupy voice heightens my love for this character. "Oh, fudge!" Madge tells Dean and Sam that she doesn't have any more wreaths. Edward, Madge's husband, does his best Mr. Rodgers impression and offers them peanut brittle, which Dean wants to accept but Sam stops him. It's like the Donna Reed show…with bloody massacre.

Back at the motel, Dean whittles enough stakes to take out Sunnydale and Sam is in research mode. The Carrigans leave a trail of Christmas bodies wherever they go and decorate with vervain and mint, a pagan version of boughs of holly. "So what, Ozzie and Harriet are keeping a pagan god under their plastic-covered couch?" They break into the Carrigan house with its holiday d├ęcor and plastic covered couch - good call Dean. However the basement is not so cheery, decorated with blood and grisly body bits. Welcome to Christmas, Supernatural-style. It's enough to make you vomit. Sam checks out a hooked bag and my brain screams, "Bad idea…bad idea." And then it moves. My heart races while the Carrigans pin the brothers down. Madge commiserates, "Gosh I wish you boys hadn't come down here" before smacking Sam into oblivion.

The Winchesters awaken, tied up in the kitchen. "So I guess we're dealing with Mr. and Mrs. God. Nice to know." Sam's expression always makes me laugh. The Carrigans join them and the dialogue here makes them my favorite one-shot villains of all time. "Oh and here we thought you two lazybones were going to sleep straight through all the fun stuff." Dean: "Miss all of this. Nah, we're partiers." Edward: "Isn't he just a kick in the pants, honey?" After the group plays "I Know Your Secret Identity", Sam calls them on eating humans, but Edward tells him not to "get all wet", as they have cut back dramatically on the number of tributes they take. Dean and Sam make 5 for this year. Madge readies the brothers to be sacrifices, donning an apron and putting a napkin in their laps. I pause the DVD because I am laughing so hard. Dean isn't impressed with their restraint, but Edward demands some respect.

Before the human feast, there's a checklist of things to do. "Oh, we're just sticklers for ritual." Meadowsweet starts the ritual off, and Dean snarks, "Aw shucks, you're all out of wreaths. I guess we'll just have to cancel the sacrifice, huh." Madge: "Oh don't be such a gloomy Gus." Madge decorates the boys with boughs of meadowsweet and pronounces them "just darling." while Edward says they are "good enough to eat." I can't breathe I'm laughing so hard and this may be the 100th time I've seen this episode. I love the banality, the Donna Reed-ness of the Carrigans' evil. Kudos to all involved. This episode gets better every time I watch it.

Until this part..ugh! The ritual begins by slicing Sam's arm. Dean protests, but the Carrigans want some sympathy. They've become obsolete in 2,000 years, so they "assimilated". Apparently playing a little bridge cancels out the tendency to eat your neighbors. Madge cuts Dean's arm and he curses at her. That kind of language is not welcome in Mrs. Pagan God's house. Dean owes a nickel to the swear jar. "Do you know what I say when I feel like swearing…fudge." Apparently the brothers should feel honored at being sacrificed but Sam's more concerned about what Edward is doing with those pliers. OK, everyone say it with Dean. "You fudgin' touch me again, I'll fudgin' kill you." Classic! Madge approves of the language but cuts him anyway. In the worst scene of all, Edward pulls out Sam's fingernail and I cannot watch. How can all this gore and violence coincide with all this humor and holiday music. Oh right…it's Supernatural.. that's how. Madge and Edward stir their Winchester concoction and realize "Oh Sweet Peter on a popsicle stick, I forgot the tooth." Oh joy. My stomach cannot handle this. "Merry Christmas, Sam." Right back at you Dean. Next time, I'd like something a bit more warm and fuzzy. You know, zombie attack, werewolf bite, serial killer.

Edward goes after Dean's tooth. Thank goodness for the doorbell. "The two of you going to get that? You should get that," Dean slurs with the wrench in his mouth. It's the Carrigan's super-peppy neighbor with the baby voice, handing them fruitcake and inviting them caroling. If I were a pagan god, I would start with her. They politely turn down the invite and wave her off, eyes rolling as they return to the kitchen. I actually empathize with them here. But the Winchesters have escaped and trap the Carrigans in their kitchen. Only evergreen can kill them and luckily the Carrigans have a tree. Got to wonder how these pagan gods lasted so long. I wouldn't keep the only thing that can kill me in the front room. Plastic trees are improving every year. The Carrigans get out and Edward goes after Dean, while Madge scolds Sam about ruining her tree. "You little thing. I loved that tree." Sam takes out Madge while Dean stakes Edward twice. Ugh! Sam: "Merry Christmas." Let's hope they get some "holly jolly" after the pain and gore. My Christmas seems so tame; I love it.

Flashback - Dean wakes Sam, saying John stopped by with presents. Only Sam slept through it all. I hate John. Sam opens his gifts, a Barbie doll and fringed baton, and calls Dean out on his lie. Dean robbed the presents from a nearby house, not knowing they had girls. Sam wonders if John is still alive, but Dean reassures him, saying that their dad would have been there if he could have. I hate John. In a moment that makes my Grinch heart grow 2 sizes, Sam gives Dean the gift he was going to give John. Dean refuses but Sam insists. Awww, it's the amulet, the one Dean never takes off. It's awesome. It gives me sniffles. I love the Weechesters! Did I mention I hate John?

Back in the present, holiday music plays and Sam surprises Dean by decorating for Christmas while Dean is out buying beer. There's a tree, eggnog, and a banner hung around a picture frame. It's like a Charlie Brown special - perfect. Dean approves of the eggnog and breaks out presents. Both brothers shopped at the gas mart so there's porn mags, shaving cream, candy bars, and oil to go around. "Merry Christmas bro." Things get a bit awkward and you can tell Sam wants to talk about Dean's last year. But in the biggest Christmas present of all, he asks if Dean wants to watch the game. No chick flick moments. We pan out with the brothers enjoying each other's company and the satisfied feeling of an episode well done.

There is a reason this episode landed as #1 on the SFX's Top Sci Fi Christmas episodes of all time. In fact, it sums up Supernatural as a whole. There is gore to make your stomach turn and family issues to make your heart ache. Laugh-out-loud humor is followed by ramped up action. There's new mythology, mention of the mytharc, a phone call to Bobby for information, and absolutely everything is grounded in the brother relationship. All in all, it's a perfect Supernatural episode and one of my personal favorites.

Here's wishing you and yours a very merry Christmas. May it be nothing like this one, except filled with the love of family and friends. Cheers!

Screencaps from Screencap Paradise.  My other recaps here.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Supernatural - Weekly Poll - Best One-Shot PiP (Season 3)

Supernatural Poll - Best One-Shot PiP (Season 3)

It's slim pickings in season 3 for one-shot PiP's. Besides having a shortened season most of the episodes focused on recurring characters. I love season 3 and its standalone episodes, but there isn't a whole lot to choose from for our purposes. Still voice your choice because comments are more fun!

Supernatural - Weekly Poll - Best One-Shot PiP (Season 2)

Vote for your favorite season 2 one-shot Person in Peril (PiP) and don't forget to comment below. Voting stays open for approximately 2 days.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Supernatural - Weekly Poll - Best One-Shot PiP (Season 1)

Best One-Shot PiP (Season 1)

Nominations are in and it's time to vote for the Best One-Shot PiP. I will be adding a new poll every day until all 5 seasons are covered. Each poll will be open for approximately 2 days although today's will be more like 1 and 1/2 days. If you don't see your nomination, it's probably because the person was in more than one episode or I moved the nomination to next week's question on best one-shot monster. That would include Madison from Heart, Casey from Sin City, Dracula from Monster Movie, and Nick from Sex and Violence.

Don't forget to comment below. It makes the whole voting thing more interesting. Happy voting!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Supernatural - Weekly Question #3 - Nominating Phase

Supernatural - Weekly Question #3

Results from last week's contest:  The votes are in for Best Death and the winners are.....

Best Visceral Death - Ruby in Lucifer Rising (209 votes) and then Zachariah in Point of No Return (177 votes)

Best Emotional Death - Sam in All Hell Breaks Loose (266 votes) and Ellen and Jo in Abandon All Hope in second (253 votes)

Best Gory Death - Dean in No Rest for the Wicked (252 votes) and the couple eating each other in My Bloody Valentine (220 votes)

We had over 900 votes in the last poll, which is pretty amazing for being about only one show. Let's keep it up and maybe the hiatus won't be so bad.

This week's topic: Best One-Shot PiP (Person in Peril)

This one is harder than I thought.  Many of my favorite characters have been in more than one episode, which automatically keeps them out of the running in this race.  So long, Ronald Resnick, adios Gabriel/Trickster, sayonara Lisa and Ben.  We are looking for characters that have only been in one episode and who did not end up being evil.  Some seasons lend themselves to this; others are a bit harder.  I didn't include season 6 because we are only half way through the season.  I figure we can do season 6 over the even longer summer-hellatus.

Who are your favorite one-shot characters?  Which characters stuck with you long after the episode ended? 
Nominate your favorites either here or at SpoilerTV and discuss.  We will start voting on Wednesday (mid-USA time).  

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Supernatural - Weekly Poll - Best Gory Death

Supernatural - Weekly Poll #2 - Best Gory Death

We are now at over 700 votes in the Best Emotional Death. Voting will continue until tonight for Best Visceral Death and tomorrow night for Best Emotional Death.

Now it's time for Best Gory Death. Let's face it - Supernatural has some of the grossest, goriest deaths around and there are plenty of them. These are the 18 gory deaths as nominated by SpoilerTV viewers. Do you cringe at beheaded vampires? Do spell deaths turn your stomach? Do hell hounds have you fleeing a room? (Might need to call Dean and Sam for that one.) Cast your vote and leave a comment.

Oh and just a reminder, next week's question goes up on Monday night (central USA time) for people to nominate their choices. If you are unhappy with the polls, please make sure you check back on Monday and voice your choice.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Supernatural - Weekly Poll - Best Emotional Death

We've had over 600 votes so far for Best visceral Death. Now it's time for Best Emotional Death. Which death had you sobbing or maybe tearing up just a bit? What scene was so poignant that it took you time to absorb and decompress so that you could get back to real life? Voting takes place for roughly 2 days. So vote and comment.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Supernatural - Weekly Poll - Best Visceral Death

Weekly Poll #2 - Best Deaths

To pass the interminable hellatus we know as winter, the fans at Supernatural are having a weekly poll.  This week we are talking best deaths - specifically, best visceral death, best emotional death, and best gory death. We took nominations earlier this week, so it's time to start voting.  Today we vote for the best visceral death.  Which death made you cheer?  Which villain's deserved death gave you the most satisfaction?  Vote and then discuss in the comments.

If you haven't been following the Supernatural fandom at SpoilerTV, I highly recommend it.  We have a lot of fun over there.  Come join us!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Supernatural - 6.11 - Appointment in Samarra - Recap

Preface:  I was WRONG!  Completely, thoroughly, absolutely wrong!  I said there was no way that Sam gets his soul back this episode.  I knew for sure that they would keep us hanging over the hiatus.  I was prepared to be Kripked for over a month.  But I was wrong.  And I really hate that.

Previously - Death was scarily awesome and helped stop the Apocalypse, Tessa was a pretty reaper, Balthazar collected souls, Cas warned Dean about Sam's soul, and RoboSam was happy being soulless.

In a back room of a Chinatown??? (please bring the place cards back) butcher shop, Freddy Krueger, M.D. needs a refresher on sterilization and appropriate interpersonal relations.  He may have stitched up John but Dean wants his personal space back and some maid service.  Blade Runner Babe has no bedside manner and Dean is okay with a 75% survival rate.  Awww, he has a note for Ben if he dies.  (Nice handwriting, Dean.)  Dr. Freddy wonders why not Sam, but Dean responds, "If I don't make it back, nothing I say is going to mean a damn thing to him."  The doc gives Dean 3 minutes death time and I flashback to Flatliners.  I love that movie!  "Good times."

Dean spouts Latin and Tessa appears.  Good to see you.  She prefers Sudan and is ticked Dean summoned her.  "You're kidding me.  You died to ask for a favor."  I think that's extreme too.  Tessa won't give up Death's location but Death comes to them.  "Hello Dean."  Death's scary even in two words.  Great job casting Julian Richings because he combines the power and creepiness of Death and his voice is perfect.  Dean tries bargaining for Sam's soul but Death knows the ring's location.  Dean has "hubris but no leverage."  He squawks but Death calls him out.  "Quit shuffling and deal."  Dean wants Sam's soul and all of Adam out of the cage.  "As a rule I don't bring people back."  Death says he can have one brother, so Dean of course picks Sam.  I would too.  I can't stand the concept of Adam.  Death knows that Sam's soul is "filleted to the raw nerve" and Dean wants him to "hack the hell part off" but it doesn't work like that.  Death can do mind construction to keep Sam from remembering hell.  Tessa tells Dean it's not permanent, but Dean wants the "spiritual dry wall". 

Yet not so fast - Dean must be Death for 24 hours, wearing his ring without taking it off.  Death takes a holiday.  I don't blame him, being Death must suck out loud.  Death is about to explain why when Dr. Freddy and Sean Young bring Dean back.  "You couldn't have given me 5 more seconds?"  "Son, you were gone for 7 minutes."  Nelson was under 12 minutes in Flatliners.  Great scene between Dean and Death.  I love how Dean is nervous and deferential (well as much as he can be) with Death.  However, the Things That Confuse Me list pokes me and I wonder about Death's ring.  Presumably it holds Death's power to kill people but if Dean has had the ring for over a year, he obviously doesn't need it.  People have died that year.  But if he already has the power, why make the ring?  Does Death like accessories?  Speaking of which, if you were one the most powerful creatures in the universe, would you wear a tie?  I'd be in sweats, a t-shirt, and flip flops.  Screw appearance!

RoboSam is unhappy with the plan, especially since the wall "could last a lifetime."  Way to spin that one Dean!  RoboSam's right to worry over the fine details.  "It's my life, it's my soul and it sure as hell ain't your head that's going to explode when this whole scheme of yours goes sideways."  Bobby breaks it up, asking for the bottom line but Dean doesn't want to say.  "I'm sorry I didn't get that."  Dean comes clean about Death's dare and RoboSam heads to where they buried Death's ring.  Nice hiding space by the way.  "Sam, I'm your brother.  I'm not going to let you get hurt.  I know what I'm doing here."  Really?  Dean reassures RoboSam that he won’t let it go wrong and RoboSam says he trusts Dean.  Dean walks off but tells Bobby to watch RoboSam.  I love that brief exchange.  RoboSam and Bobby go inside.  RoboSam:  "So is this the part where you pull a gun on me and lock me in the panic room?"  Bobby:  "Do I have to?"  RoboSam says no and Bobby breathes that they all have to do what they have to do.  There is a lot of tension.  Creepy RoboSam is visiting today instead of Funny RoboSam.  I get ready to grip my pillow.

Back in the yard, Death's bling gets a close-up.  "Here goes everything."  Dean is transported…somewhere…to be blasted by Tessa.  "Wow, just let any slack-jawed haircut be Death these days."  Tessa doesn't like the idea or Dean, since he screws things up.  Tessa grabs the exposition fairy's wand and explains the job.  She has a list of people to die.  Dean touches them; she reaps them; they move on.  Meanwhile RoboSam bakes angel stew and Balthazar is equally happy to be summoned by a Winchester.  "Sam Winchester…this had better be good."  Balthy thinks RoboSam's an idiot, being that he wants to kill the Winchesters, but RoboSam cries "desperate times."  Balthy's not near as intimidating as Death.  He is irate since "the last time we met you wanted to fry my wings extra crispy."  RoboSam claims misunderstanding, but that's pretty hard to get wrong and Balthy's not buying it.  He is interested when RoboSam asks advice for keeping a soul out forever.  He guesses Sam's soul is still in hell and agrees RoboSam shouldn't want it back.  Suspiciously, he chooses to help out.  "You seem like a capable young man.  I'd love to have you in my debt.  And I have to say that I'm not a fan of your brother's so screwing him would delight me."  Balthy knows a spell.  I wonder about that.  And Balthy goes from smart, devil-may-care Playangel to sinister dark dealer in my eyes.  I liked you better last time, Balthy.  The spell requires an act to scar the vessel "that so pollutes it, it renders it uninhabitable."  Coincidentally, that means patricide.  In Harry Potter it was murder of any kind.  Since John's dead, any father figure will do.  Just fabulous!  I guess RoboSam's lucky it wasn't matricide; there's no females left.

Tessa warns Dean that people have questions.  "Like how did Betty White outlast me?"  Not quite.  They walk in on a robbery and the robber gets shot.  Tessa tells Dean to touch him, but Dean likes his agonizing pain.  I do not.  The robber wants to know why he's dead and Dean snarks "mostly because you're a d**k."  Next comes heart attack guy and Dean says "You think maybe it was the extra cheese?"  The guy agrees and they talk pizza.  Still, the guy wants to know what "it all means", and all Dean has is Kansas' most overrated song.  I'd be ticked too if that was the answer.  Tessa:  "Sorry, he's new."  Bwah!  However, things get unfunny fast as we cut to a hospital.  A 12-year-old girl is next and we all know Dean's reaction.  It doesn't help that the dad will be family-less and the girl is Ben's age.  Tessa and Dean argue about fate and who creates the list.  "There's no such thing as destiny just like there was no Apocalypse."  If you're talking about that mess that was supposed to be the big event last season, then I totally agree Dean.  Who knew the Apocalypse would be so lame!  Tessa calls "bull" citing all the times Dean and Sam have messed with death, but Dean retorts, "Well I know this much.  I'm Death, she's 12, and she's not dying today."  Apparently, this means the girl gets a free pass since the doctor says her heart has miraculously healed itself.  Add another thing to the Things That Confuse Me list.  The nurse happy though as she walks through Tess; she gets to go home early. 

This episode's editing is weird; I don't get the 10-second clips of RoboSam and Bobby interspersed with Dean scenes.  RoboSam contemplates patricide while drinking and playing poker with Bobby.  Souls may not be dice-able, but you could serve the tension in this scene on a plate.  Bobby goes for beer; RoboSam goes for a wrench.  Bobby's quicker though and smashes him upside the head with a club he keeps in the fridge.  "I might have been born at night boy, but it wasn't last night."  Bobby goes to tie RoboSam up but he disappears.  I first rolled my eyes when Bobby looks for RoboSam instead of immediately leaving, but he didn't know about the deal.  Then I rolled my eyes because he locks himself in a closet which RoboSam takes out with an axe.  "Don't say here's Johnny."  But Bobby has a booby trapped floor.  I should know not to question Bobby.  RoboSam drops to the basement and tries to take out the door but it's reinforced.  Bobby rocks but he wants to know what's up.  RoboSam doesn't want to kill Bobby since he's always been good to him but the spell comes first.  Love this delivery!  He knows Dean will kill him to get Sammy back.  I concur.  He can't take that chance.  RoboSam goes silent and Bobby opens the door to check it out.  I will not question Bobby.  "Ain't nobody killing me in my house but me."  It's supposed to be poignant but I'm laughing since it sounds like Fiona in Burn Notice saying, "Dammit Michael. I am not letting some psycho be the first person to bring explosives into my new place."  Fiona and Bobby would get along well.  Music of Bobby's creepy basement swells and I grab my pillow.  There's blood on the panic room handle.

Not fair!  We cut to the hospital.  This editing drives me crazy.  Previous nurse is in a car crash, a domino from Dean not killing the girl.  (Note - never drive when "Bad Moon Rising" is on; always be careful when you get off early.)  Tessa says take her but Dean protests she's not on the list.  No Mercy Tessa tells Dean to "do your damn job."  Dean does and the hospital gives up immediately.  What's up with that?  She flat lines 3 seconds and you call time of death.  What a crummy hospital!  Ouch!  Tessa doesn't pull punches.  She tells the nurse she should have lived for decades and have grandchildren but Dean screwed up.  Dean apologizes but it's too late.  Apparently the town's police are on the ball though because the nurse's husband comes in seconds later.  Wooby Dean can't stand his grief.  Tessa demands Dean kill the girl because her life disrupts the natural order.  "Chaos and sadness will follow her for the rest of her life."  Umm, why?  I don't get this reasoning.  Dean sees nurse's husband at a bar and tells Tessa to wait.

Back at Bobby's Fun House, Bobby follows RoboSam's trail of blood.  He knows RoboSam wants to kill him but he keeps going.  I will not question Bobby….I should have questioned Bobby.  RoboSam takes Bobby down with a pipe in an obvious trap.  This is going nowhere good.  But we can't find out because we are back with Dean.  Nurse's husband tries to kill himself in an accident.  Dean's Death routine allows him to go along for the ride but he can't do anything as Death.  To assuage his guilt and save the man, Dean takes off the ring, grabs the steering wheel, and avoids a bus wreck.  Dean is ticked at himself and rails to Tessa.  He wants zapped home since "Sam is screwed."  Dean for reasons I don't get puts the ring back on and Tessa shows.  He has unfinished business and I learn not to question Dean too.  "No one really skates by do they?"  Aww Dean, my heart breaks when you feel hopeless.  The girl watches her death and Dean kneels down to try to explain (love it).  They agree that natural order sucks and I feel for everyone.  OK, moment's over -call me heartless but my concern's for Bobby. 

In Bobby's creepy basement, Bobby is tied up.  He appeals to Sammy, but Creepy RoboSam is in full-control tonight.  RoboSam sharpened the knife and starts to plunge it into Bobby's heart.  The knife goes down and Hallelujah!  There will be no stabbing today!  Dean:  "Hi Sam.  I'm back."  Punch!  RoboSam is down.  Gotta say one thing for Tessa.  She has impeccable timing.  I like "Now you don't see him, now you do" Dean.  Bobby and Dean handcuff Sam in the panic room.  Dean:  "Can't keep doing this Bobby.  I mean what?  Am I going to tie him up every time he tries to kill someone? And that's not going to hold him.  I mean he's.."  Bobby:  "Capable of anything."  Dean doesn't know what to do and I feel worse for him as the show goes on.  He watches RoboSam wake up and the two look at each other as the tension grows.  RoboSam sees something in Dean's eyes, but Dean closes the view space. 

Because Dean's day isn't bad enough, Death drops by with hotdogs.  I guess Las Vegas has good bacon dogs.  "What's with you and cheap food?"  Dean, the pot's calling you a hypocrite.  Death wants "a treat" before putting the ring on.  Again with the ring.  Why put it back on?  He did well enough without it.  Plus, he had pizza last year with the ring on and it didn't interfere with his meal.  I say head to Mordor, toss the ring into Mount Doom and be done with it.  Dean takes the ring out of his pocket.  Death:  "Heavier than it looks, isn't it?  Sometimes you just want to get that thing off."  Dean admits failure.  "I sucked at being you.  I screwed up the whole natural order thing."  Death:  "So if you could go back, would you simply kill the little girl?  No fuss.  No stomping your feet."  Dean says yes and Death is surprised but happy.  I am surprised but not happy.  Dean looks like a chastised school boy as Death goes into lecture mode, and I wonder if he's  training Dean as his apprentice.  Ooo, Tessa will be ticked.  Every time Dean and Sam mess with life's balance, Death cleans up and he's tired of playing maid.  Death channels his inner Dumbledore:  "This is hard for you Dean.  You throw away your life because you've come to assume that it will bounce right back into your lap.  The human soul is not a rubber ball.  It's vulnerable, impermanent, but stronger than you know, and more valuable than you can imagine.  So I think you've learned something today."  And Dean's back - he calls Death out for rigging the game.  But Death isn't just anybody and Dean quickly backs off.  Good thing because Death will get Sam's soul.  Dean questions why but Death is vague.  "I wouldn't do it for you.  You and your brother keep coming back.  You're an affront to the balance of the universe and you cause disruption on a global scale."  Dean:  "I apologize for that."  Bwah!  Sometimes it's fun watching humble Dean.  Death wants the Winchesters to keep digging at this soul business.  Dean's useful now.  "You'll understand when you need to."  Great!  How's now!  

Death rings out and Dean flies to the panic room.  RoboSam freaks out as Death has his soul in a doctor's bag.  By the light of Sam's soul, Death explains that it's better not to scratch an itch.  RoboSam pleads but Death goes forward.  We fade out to RoboSam's screams.  Goodbye, RoboSam.  I really enjoyed you this season. 

I leave the winter finale puzzled but not on tenterhooks for what happens next.  Sam will be fine so I feel no tension there.  The soul issue is too mysterious so I'm more ambivalent about it.  The Alphas weren't mentioned.  Bobby's out of danger.  I don't feel cliffhangered and I'm more surprised by that than the rest of this episode. 

Next week - The Vampire Diaries marathon.  Come on, CW.  The hellatus is bad enough.

Screencaps by rawr_caps and Kaidi.  My recaps here.