Sunday, September 25, 2011

Supernatural - 7.01 - Meet the New Boss - Recap

Let's say it right from the start - WOO HOO!!! Hellatus is finally over and Supernatural is back and better than ever. As far as impartial reviews go, this is not one. I loved almost everything about the premiere and am more excited for season 7 than ever. So let's sit back and enjoy this episode together. Warning - Although I do know the meaning of "concise" I always fail at the practice of it.

Previously - Grandpa Creepy died, Lucifer decayed, Sam dropped, and RoboSam de-souled. Death brought a soul and a mission, Cas delivered a threat and an excuse, and Crowley made a deal and lost everything. People died (bye Balthy), Winchesters walked, the Impala flipped, and Cas flipped out. Sam stabbed Cas but MegaloCas was juiced up, declaring himself god and issuing an ultimatum. And that's the road so far to the tune of Foghat's "Slow Ride".

Picking up where season 6 ended, MegaloCas stares as Bobby falls to his knees ("Is this good or you want the whole head to the carpet thing?"), urging the Winchesters to bow also. MegaloCas stops them declaring, "What's the point if you don't mean it?" Good call. There's a lot to fear from this Cas but nothing to love or respect. Sam reasons with MegaloCas but given that he literally just stabbed Cas in the back there's not much to say. Dean tries next but this isn't their Cas. "What a brave little ant you are. You know you're powerless. You wouldn't dare move against me again. That would be pointless. So I have no need to kill you. Not now. Besides, once you were my favorite pets." BWAH!! MegaloCas half smiles but I full on laugh even after the 10th viewing. MegaloCas declares godhood and will strike them down if they try anything again. He points out that Sam's running on fumes and Dean's incensed that Cas, not MegaloCas, messed up his brother. However, MegaloCas reminds Dean that he would fix Sam only if they didn't interfere with his Purgatory plans. They definitely interfered. He threatens to resend Sam to the pit again and I yawn. Same threat, different day. MegaloCas intones before he disappears, "I hope for your sake this is the last you see me." At this point, I hope it's the last I see you too Cas. Make good on your threat to avoid them. Unfortunately, Sam then collapses in a hell nightmare, landing on glass.

Regrettably, MegaloCas is right back on screen using angel wi-fi I guess. Apparently he will not be satisfied until everyone hears his God claim. He will punish Raphael's followers, denounces free will, and calls himself their father, not the warm, loving kind. He proves his resolve with 3 dozen or so dead angels on the lawn. It does make an interesting winged pattern, but I'd suggest they not make MegaloCas the new heaven landscaper. No doubt about it, the first 5 minutes proves you don't mess with an angel hopped up on soul steroids. "It is a new day on earth and in heaven." Well, yippee! No MegaloCas, I don't think I'll rejoice. Commercial break and time for a bit of criticism. The new title card looks like someone dropped an ink well over Supernatural. It's black and white cool but quite frankly it looks too much like the blood title card which was far superior. Not inspired by this one. It's worse than the crows. Perhaps it's supposed to resemble a Rorschach test and symbolize Sam's current mental state. Speaking of...

A flipped over Dean tries to push the Impala's frame back out to no success. "C'mon Baby!" I grin. One wish down - Dean fixing Metallicar. Bobby interrupts with a beer, "So are you fixing her or primal screaming?" Perhaps both. Sam's still unconscious and it's nerve racking but we know he'll wake up. More worrisome - they have no idea how to stop MegaloCas or where to start. Dean: "And what exactly are you looking for?" Bobby: "Exactly, what? Miracles? Mass visions? Trench coat on a tortilla?" Ha! Cas already said, "God is not on any flatbread" so I doubt it. Bobby asks about the plan once they find Cas but Dean is just as stumped. He tells Bobby "to figure it out" and Bobby shows far more restraint than I would, staring at Dean who knows instantly how unfair that is. He apologizes. Dean's plan: "I'm gonna fix this car because that's what I can do. I can work on her until she's mint. And when Sam wakes up, no matter what shape he's in, we glue him back together too. We owe him that." Bobby agrees. I know some people really hate this speech, but I think it's practical and in character. Granted the "We owe him that" is a bit off, but I like practical Dean far more than drowning in guilt Dean. Back to work he goes. Later that day (I think), Dean grabs a beer from the fridge to find a "walking and talking" Sammy. Yeah! He looks good but looks are deceiving. Sam: "I put on my socks. The whole nine." Dean asks how Sam is and he claims to be fine except for a headache. Dean is relieved; I feel another round of liar, liar coming. "No reason putting a gift horse under a microscope." Or looking for teeth? Sam asks about MegaloCas so he's been under since then. The conversation seems a bit casual but maybe very little time has passed. Dean invites Sam to help with the Impala (color me stunned) and says he'll bring Sam up to speed. Sam agrees but he's distracted by a noise and goes all worried brow. It sounded like wind chimes so I was initially puzzled as to why this would throw him. Did they decorate in the pit?

Next up - the world's most obnoxious preacher hell-bent on condemning homosexuality and Lady Gaga. He's more annoying than the Lady herself. MegaloCas intervenes, calling him a hypocrite and killing him and a parishioner. MegaloCas claims godhood...again...until something whispers his name, stalling him. He also decides to replace Jesus with an image of himself. When is this plot line going to end? Thankfully we move on to Sam looking for a socket wrench. Suddenly Bobby's basement turns red with a butcher shop d├ęcor. I'm significantly wigged out so I can't imagine how Sam is feeling. Bobby calls Sam's name in the distance and suddenly it's the trusty dingy basement again. He realizes something's wrong as Sam huffs and gasps in fright. Upstairs, the ancient TV displays MegaloCas' reign of religious housecleaning. He's killed 200 more people. One former parishioner claims the "new god" to be young and sexy. My gratitude goes to Dean for turning it off.

MegaloCas smites the Ku Klux Clan next. Dean says it for everyone, "Can't argue with that one." Time has passed since the Impala's hood is sans dent now and Dean is fixing the passenger window. It's no under the car, Everybody Loves a Clown shot but it works. Time passes again and he's onto the hood while MegaloCas strikes down New Age gurus. Sam: "Motivational speakers?" Dean: "Yeah, I'm not sure New Cas gets irony any better than old Cas." So true (snickers). Sam says they should talk to him, but Dean vetoes the idea. "He's not a guy. He's God and he's pissed." My eyes roll from how many times they've said Cas is God and we're only 11 minutes in. Dean continues: "Cas is never coming back. He's lied to us. He used us. He cracked your gourd like it was nothing. No more talk. We've spent enough on him." I'm sure some are up in arms about this, but I agree and think it's in character. Before Cas swallowed the souls, he used them as bait, lied to their faces (although that's nothing new in the Winchester world), and most importantly put Sam in danger. I don't subscribe to the "everything Dean does and feels is based on Sam" philosophy, but there's no doubt the best way to get on Dean's hit list is to hurt Sam and Cas did that before he had the soul steroid excuse. I'm also good with Sam wanting to talk with MegaloCas because this is in character too. If anyone gives Cas absolution for past sins it has to be Sam that makes the first step. Not Dean.

Suddenly we flip gears and Nancy Sinatra is telling us "These Boots are Made for Walking" as we pan up the license plate of a mobile home. It says In God We Trust. I feel the humor seep back in. Given the red anti-angel sigils on the windshield, it's pretty easy to guess...Crowley! Oh has the former King of Hell fallen. He watches news on a teeny TV while swilling back liquor. As the TV flickers and goes off, it's hard to call who is more nervous, Crowley or me. I love Crowley and want him to stick around. Nothing in this episode beats Crowley's facial expressions when MegaloCas appears to lay down the law. "Bollocks" doesn't quite do it. MegaloCas has always known where to find Crowley so I guess he should have waited comfy in hell instead of camping out. "You fancy a drink before you smite me." Bwah! Cas says no and Crowley does an arms spread out, face back grimace that had me rolling. But Cas isn't there to kill him and Crowley's one-eyed look to see if Cas is lying is priceless. In an episode of fabulous scenes, this one soars. MegaloCas: "I have plans for you." Crowley and I both do a double take, but MegaloCas wants Crowley back as King of Hell, on his terms. Apparently MegaloCas needs a place for his enemies. Crowley: "Right. I gather this is not a negotiation." MegaloCas: "No." Crowley: "Then I graciously accept, Boss." Bwah! This show desperately needs snarky Crowley. MegaloCas sees the skin on his hand start to blister and pops off.

Back at Bobby's the music of a rain stick disrupts Sam's research and the ceiling starts caving in. Yep, definitely a nightmare as Sam gets hung from the ceiling by a chain. He struggles a bit to remind us of how he got chocked every other episode in season 1. Maniacal laughter explodes and Sam is back in the chair wondering if he's going crazy. He searches out Dean and Bobby, who are ready to paint a now fixed Impala. No idea how much time has passed but she looks good. Bobby hands Dean a beer before bringing up his real concern - Sam. Bobby credits adrenaline for Sam's march into Crowley's House of Torture, but wonders how he can still stand now. Good question. Sam's been through a lot. Dean counters that Sam said he's ok, but in reality Dean is worried too. "I just pray to God it's true." Bobby: "We need to come up with a new saying for that." Or de-god Cas. Dean: "Seriously though Bobby, look at our lives. How many more hits can we take?" And that is the 10 million dollar question because this fan can't take many more without the occasional win for balance. Bobby asks if he believes Sam. Dean: "No. You want to know why? Because we never catch a break so why would we this time." Awww, poor Winchesters.

Sam walks in after listening to their discussion. Bobby: "So how are you feeling Sport?" Sport? Really Bobby? He's not 6. Sam reiterates that they need to stop MegaloCas who exploded a publishing house, and Bobby snarks, "What we got to do is hunt the SOB. Unfortunately I lost my God-guns." Ha! Sam wants Balthazar's weapons but Dean ups the ante. Cut to Bobby's basement where they summon Crowley. "No, no, no. C'mon...My new boss is going to kill me for even talking to you." Sam asks about his new boss and Crowley calls him a giraffe. Bwah! Although Moose fits better. "What do you think he's going to do when he finds out we've been conspiring. You do want to conspire, don't you?" Again Mark Sheppard steals the scene with a hopeful look that they can get rid of MegaloCas together. Dean asks for a spell to bind Death because we all knew they weren't counting on Crowley to take out MegaloCas. Crowley is less than thrilled. "They'll both mash us like peas." Still, he agrees but only because the alternative is an out of control MegaloCas dictator. He downs more liquor. Livers are still target number one this season. Cut to the street where a blind man is begging. MegaloCas proves he's not all evil and restores his sight. Um, MegaloCas, you forgot about mercy in your world domination scheme. Yes, you are wrathful. Re-sighted man points out MegaloCas' new blemishes; he is falling apart. The whisper voices say he's too late and on any other show, Cas would join Sam in a mental hospital. Instead, he opens his shirt as a hand pushes against his stomach. I can't be the only person who was thinking cool Alien shout out here.

At Bobby's House of Insurmountable Odds, it's FedEx with the save again. Crowley sent the binding spell. "Well who feels like hog-tying Death tonight?" Hm, more likely he hog ties you. Bobby: "Old age is overrated anyhow." BWAH! They need fulgurite, a crystal made from lightning striking sand, so they steal one from a rich couple. Dean knocks out a security guard. "Excuse me, you got any Grey Poupon?" Sam: "Grey Poupon? Seriously?" Dean: "It's what popped in my head." Ha! At times I forget Dean isn't that much younger than me. I liked those commercials. Mr. and Mrs. Rich see Dean with the fulgurite so he takes their gun away and ties them up. Congratulations, you've got a front row seat to the Death - Wannabe God duel. I love how the Doctor winces as Dean crushes his fulgurite. I love Death more though. Binding Death is messy as glass breaks everywhere. But who cares, because Death!!! Dean tries to placate him with fried pickle chips but Death isn't buying. He spills the beans about Sam's hallucinations and calls wall-building a onetime shot. Guess they have to fix Sam another way. Sam says they can't unbind him. Death: "This isn't going to end well." No, it never does. They hastily explain they need him to kill God with Bobby adding "Your Honor." Ha again. Death asks why he should help and Dean very unconvincingly says theycontrol him now that he's bound. "I mean respectfully." Love how no one in heaven, earth, or hell can make Dean as tentative and kowtowing as Death can. Death just stares; the Winchester clan and I get chills.

I'd love to hear Death's retort but MegaloCas pops in for a chat. He threatens to kill the Winchesters but Dean brings up the binding. Death calls them "annoying little protozoa" and I laugh again. They get numerous nicknames tonight. Death calls MegaloCas out on being a juiced up, mutated angel with a God complex. He explains that MegaloCas needs a dermatologist because he swallowed Leviathans, creatures of old that God locked in Purgatory before they could kill everything. "There are things much older than souls in Purgatory and you gulped those in too." Yeah, that's a pretty big Big Bad. Death calls MegaloCas a "stupid little soldier" and MegaloCas spouts daddy issues. I laugh when Death calls Cas, "Quite the humanitarian." The deadpan way Death insults is directly opposite Crowley and twice as menacing. Whoever cast Julian Ritchings as Death knocked it out of the park! For the record, it was also amusing that MegaloCas called Death a flyswatter. Better run before he swats you. Death: "Please Cas. I know God and you sir are no God." Finally the voice of reason. Death calls it petty vendetta; MegaloCas calls it fixing the world; Dean calls time out. He orders Death to smite MegaloCas and Death is ready to oblige, but MegaloCas undoes the binding spell with a finger snap. Things don't look well for the Winchester clan. Death: "Shall we kickbox now?" BWAH!!! Amazing scene! Death: "I had a tingle I would be reaping someone very, very soon." He sits down with the pickle chips after assuring Mr. and Mrs. Rich that he doesn't mean them. MegaloCas bugs out. Dean looks worried. He should be.

In a strange scene shift, we end up at Michelle Walker's campaign office. She's an annoying self-righteous prat, as are most politicians. So of course this MegaloCas must smite her. Supernatural is obviously targeting a certain US politician whom I don't care for. However, I care for this scene even less. It bugs me that they only takes pot shots at the far right when the far left is equally bad. They need to stop. In fact, I'm tired of their anti-Christian stance too and hope like crazy that they will stop bringing religion into the show at all. Move on. MegaloCas deludes himself that forcing his will on everyone makes him a good Daddy and he starts laughing maniacally as whispers of insanity drums on. Gratefully we head back to Death eating pickle chips and drinking soda (or whatever Dean thinks Death drinks). Sam gives Dean the "you talk to him" nod and Dean clears his throat. Death: "Shut up Dean. I'm not here to tie your shoes every time you trip." Ha! Maybe I can use that in my K-5 school job. Probably not. Apparently Death holds Dean responsible for Cas' mistakes and I roll my eyes. How about holding people responsible for their own mistakes in this show for once instead of always blame shifting? Because I love Death, I'll chalk it up to being very annoyed at being bound. I can understand that. Dean: "Well I'm sorry. Alright, I've been trying to save this planet so maybe you should find somebody better to tip off." I'm all for the Winchesters catching a break. Death: "Maybe I should spend my effort on a better planet." Huh? Did Death just confirm the existence of aliens? Someone call Mulder. Sam stops Death by asking for a hint. "You have to care a little bit about what happens to us?" Death: "You know I really don't but I do find that little angel arrogant." Dean: "Great! Let's go with that!" BWAH! Death tells them to get MegaloCas to barf up the souls back at the Purgatory warehouse. He'll even create an eclipse at 3:59 Sunday morning. Yep, Death can do whatever he wants. "Don't thank me. Clean up your mess." Don't you mean Cas' mess. Death warns them against binding him again. I clap for his awesome performance.

Back at Campaign Headquarters of Unequal Disdain, MegaloCas wakes in a pool of blood. Lots of blood. Because he smote everyone. (Yes I had to look up the past tense of smite.) MegaloCas' inner non-douche angel is appalled at the massacre but the whispers are back again before we cut back to Bobby's. Sam wants to head out but Dean thinks it's a fool's mission. He's done saving the world. Instead it is food, booze, and porn time for him. Sam believes Cas may still be in MegaloCas and reminds Dean that he never gives up on Sam. Dean reminds Sam that he's lying about the hallucinations. Busted by Death. Dean suggests they "not lie" and I am all for that. Of course neither brother is capable of that. I give it 3 episodes max before both have lied to the other, starting with episode 2. Since Dean can't help, Sam didn't want to add to his troubles. He says it's under control and we all know that's a big heaving boulder of doom. Yep, things will get ugly fast. Sam says he knows real from imaginary but my first graders have a better grip on that right now. Hellcinations are brutal. Dean: "I'm gonna stuff my pie hole. I'm gonna drink and I'm gonna watch some Asian cartoon porn and act like the world is about to explode. Because it is." Instead of Asian porn, they get election massacre news. The security camera catches MegaloCas with that creepy gleeful smile. It's chilling! Great job Misha! Dean's given up but Sam heads outside to pray to Cas. It's less funny than usual but it's heartfelt and poignant and Sam tacitly offers forgiveness for the wall when he tells Cas to let them help. It's a beautiful move and exactly what I expect from Sam. As he walks back in, it sounds like chipmunks dying in the laptop. I am forever grateful when Sam says he'll only accept a drink if Dean turns it off. Thank you Sam. They clink glasses when Cas drops in about to pass out. He knows he needs help and the redemption of Castiel officially begins.

Back at Crowley's Monster Torture Lab, Cas sends Sam to get the virgin-monster blood cocktail, so I guess he lied about consuming it all. He regrets betraying Dean and tearing down Sam's wall and says he "overshot". He would build the wall back up if he had the strength but it's far too late for apologies and they have a Leviathan horde to relocate. "I just wanted to make amends before I die." This attempts to make me feel bad for Cas. It doesn't. Dean stops what he's doing and asks if it makes Cas feel better. Cas: "No. You?" Dean: "Not a bit." I guess that can come off sharp, but it's honest. They are in this mess because of Cas. He killed people and left Sam a mess before the souls. He betrayed their friendship and now at the last second he wants to make things right. I'm glad he does but it doesn't help their current situation. I'd be ticked too.

We switch to Sam finding the completely unhidden blood container. Raphael should have done that angel swoop thing. Suddenly out of nowhere pops Lucifer. To be honest, I forgot about him or maybe it was my unconscious effort to suppress the memory. Mentally I prepare myself for more Satan whining, but in a brain shocking turn of events, Lucifer actually creeps me out. Sam thinks Lucifer is a hellucination but Lucifer claims he's still stuck in the cage - that everything from last season to now is a sadistic trick Lucifer is feeding his mind. "I have to say I think this is my best torture yet. Make you believe that you're free and then yank the wool off your eyes. You never left Sam. You're still in the cage. With me." Forget that! This is the best you've been yet. If Lucifer was half this devious and chilling in season 5, I might not consider him the lamest villain they've had. This is absolutely diabolical and I love it. Kudos to both Jared and Mark in this scene. I'm sad to head back to the Cas story.

Back at MegaloCas' demise, Bobby worries that Sam hasn't brought back the blood. Dean finds it in the middle of the hallway but no Sam to be found. The fact that Dean goes on with the ritual instead of looking for Sam shows growth. He paints a symbol on the wall while Bobby hauls Cas to his feet and begins the ritual. Cas collapses but Dean helps him up and the symbol glows. Cas: "I'm sorry Dean." The wall disintegrates as a fabulous light show pours from Cas. It's pretty. It's quick. No way it worked. Dean and Bobby go to a non-breathing Cas. Dean: "Maybe angels don't need to breathe." Bobby calls Cas' death and Dean sadly shakes his head. "Dammit." Don't worry Dean. That's too easy too. No way Cas goes out like this. Dean: "Cas, you child. Why didn't you listen to me?" Yep, people will be up in arms about that comment. Good thing Cas wakes up and Dean can rush to help him. Cas: "That was unpleasant." Ha! Cas is surprised to be breathing and thanks them but Bobby goes for honesty. "We were mostly just trying to save the world." I snicker. Cas is ashamed and looking for redemption. He's still the master of understatement which makes me laugh. Dean leads them out to the poignant music of future redemption which only spells disaster. Suddenly, Cas huddles over and tells them to run. The Leviathans are still in there and he can't control them. Dean tells Bobby to find Sam, but Cas 3.0 is now in control. In lieu of creatively coming up with my own nickname, I'm stealing from you Wilson. (Hope that's okay.) LeviaCas it is. Misha Collins really sells crazy here. "Too late. Cas is, hmm, he's gone. He's dead. We run the show now." The shoulder shrugs and giant smile are right up there with Crowley's "smite me now" pose and Death's matter-of-fact humor. As he shoves Dean and Bobby across the room, black veins run up his face. "Now this is going to be so much fun!" Couldn't say it better myself. We black screen out to the sounds of Cas' chuckle.

Simply amazing! The whole episode hit on pacing, visuals, and especially acting. Trying to pick my favorite scene in this episode is simply not possible. You know the episode is good when the biggest criticism I have is the title card. I love how we got a little of everything in this premiere. There was plenty of action, a bit of mystery, some classic rock, lots of humor, great guest star overload, and a cliffhanger that sets everything in motion. All I can say is that after 4 months of waiting, there is no disappointment from me. I'm more psyched up for season 7 than ever and I can't wait to see where the cast and crew lead us this year. Like Sam, I know it's going to be one wild head game.

Best line - "Now this is going to be so much fun!"
Biggest shock - Lucifer was scary.
Best meta - Dean's Eye of the Tiger t-shirt
Rating - On par with season four's Lazarus Rising for best premiere

Screencaps by Home of the Nutty and Supernatural Fans Online

My blog
SPN Asylum