Saturday, October 29, 2011

Supernatural - 7.05 - Shut Up, Dr. Phil - Recap

Previously - Witches were skeevy, Cas vomited Leviathans, Leviathans had bad taste in food, Amy killed her mom to save Sam as kids, Amy convinced Sam, Dean disagreed, Dean killed Amy (we're still dealing with this irksome plot)

At a hair salon, the pink robed victim of the week convinces a divorcing woman to sell her house. She's obnoxious, self-congratulating, and since she's getting her roots done, sitting under a big hair dryer. A blonde metrosexual stylist says to yell if she needs anything. I doubt he'll save her; she's before the title card, a guaranteed goner. For some reason, the hair dryers are separated by a glass door so yelling won't help anyway. HairVic overheats and tries to lift off the dryer. I wonder why she doesn't slide out of the seat. Question answered - something won't let her. The blow dryer sparks and shorts out. No need to worry about roots anymore. Metro enters and sees his dead client and blow dryer decorated with brains. Where's a Leviathan when you need one? The title card splats.

In a hotel room, Dean's nightmares include LeviaCas, psycho Sam, and dead Amy. He wakes sweaty, sees Sam's gone, and finds an empty beer bottle. Time for research and whiskey, not in that order. Intervention time before his liver makes a demon deal. Outside, Sam runs - the first time a Winchester has run except in a hunt. Dean: "Somebody better be chasing you." Ha! This scene is funny; the gag outtake Jared sent is far funnier! Sam wants to get healthy; Dean wants to drown his sorrows. I want this subplot to end. In a running gag, Dean calls Sam "Lance Armstrong" and Sam reminds him Lance Armstrong is a bicyclist not a runner. Dean mentions 2 deaths in Prosperity, Indiana - one HairVic, the dryer casualty, and another "boiled in a hot tub." Thanks SPN for not showing it. Sam: "You don't see a lot of that." Ha! I like deadpan Sam. In another blatant contrast, Sam drinks knock-off Gatorade while Dean swills whiskey. Sam: "What's going on with you?" Dean says they already talked about it. Sam: "No we haven't. See to do that, you'd have to sort of speak." Good point. Dean: "Okay, see if you can get this straight. You're New Sam, right? Lance Armstrong (biking) and I'm still me, okay. Alright so you might see things different now, call it a runner's high or some c**. But that doesn't mean something's going on with me. " Sam agrees abruptly and Dean calls him on it, but he's off to shower. Dean lifts the whiskey but after contemplating puts it down. Sam needs to push harder on this to really get to Dean. Meanwhile at Jack's Eat & Run Grocery, LeviaHunter (he needs a good name) has finished his gourmet people mac & cheese and needs another meal. He swings groceries in the trunk complete with dead body.

In Prosperity, Indiana, HairVic's picture is plastered on bus benches. Sam questions her sister who calls her a pillar of the community. "I was the big sister and I looked up to her." I swallow the huge freaking anvil they just tossed down my gullet. BigSis can't find a connection to HotTubVic, but of course there is. "Agent Sambora, if someone did this to my sister, find out who." Wait a minute. Did she just say? BWAH!!! Bon Jovi's alive and well on SPN. Meanwhile at the salon, Metro explains the accident that couldn't happened. Dean finds a weird coin and phones Sam. "Someone could have dropped it. Of course they don't have pockets in those robe things they make you wear." Sam teases him about his salon knowledge and wants a ride. Dean teases he should run home, but hits a liquor store before picking Sam up. Later, Victim 3 says goodbye to construction workers at his site and heads to a PortaPotty. I feel for him; no one wants to die while going to the bathroom. Of course if it were me, I would wait until I got home. PortaPottys are nasty. He enters as a nail gun turns itself on and snakes over to him. He opens the door only to get nailed over and over again. As he gasps his last breath, he gets it in the eyes. I close mine until the machine noise stops. Gruesome!

Dean checks the PortaPotty crime scene complete with nail-protruding eyes. Yuck! A local cop knows way too much about Nailed's life including his blue ribbon for pecan pie. Is there nothing to do in this clearly prosperous town? Cop puzzles over how the nail gun got power without a genreator. Dean finds another coin and confers with Sam who found a connection to all three vics. "Hair dryer/brain roast" Ha! They were part of a shopping center project that went south. Everyone but the developer, Don Stark, died. Dean: "Don Stark. Why do I know that name?" (Don Stark had a minor role in Hollywood Babylon , but it may be a coincidence.) This small town where people know the minutia of everyone's life is big enough to have a community center complete with bust of Donald Stark, founder of Prosperity Charity Foundation. His wife is hosting an art auction for the Margaret Stark Charity Foundation. These two have supersized egos. Dean and Sam discuss the case as Dean brings out his flask. Sam and I both eye roll and say, "Really?" He reminds Dean they are on a job. I remind the writers I said that last episode. Neither care. Bobby's text interrupts a much needed smackdown to say the coins are old Romanian. I think gypsy and hope Jenny Calendar makes a surprise appearance. Sam notices dead flowers around the bust and Dean mentions dead flowers around HairVic's bus ad. Dean: "Hmm, I've seen this once before. The plants are all dead in one spot." Yeah, in the terrible Children Shouldn't Play with Dead Things. Here's hoping we avoid zombies. In a random cut, LeviaHunter drives to Bobby Goldsboro's "See the Funny Little Clown." Congrats SPN team for making this 5 out 5 episodes with pointless cuts in them. No idea what it was for. However, next episode better explain the odd music choice.

Thankfully we switch to Don Stark's house. Welcome James Marsters! Good to see you! The brothers interview while he exposits and his assistant Jenny Kline pops in. She makes cupcakes; it's important. Sam excuses himself to poke around the bedroom and finds Mrs. Stark has moved out. She conveniently left behind some witchcraft with a pair of broken heels. A half-trained monkey could follow the glaring neon yellow signs that say "Clues here." Good thing this episode is not about the mystery and all about the guest stars. Speaking of, Don points out the kudos in his office, including a signed photo from Donald Trump. Sam returns to talk about Maggie and Dean mentions adultery, suspecting Don and Cupcake Jenny of a fling. Right cause, wrong woman. Don describes it as a thing. Sam: "Like a shoe." Dean: "Yeah, or a waffle iron." I like the asides today. Dean: "You see Don, wives generally think of an affair as something more than a thing." Ha! Glad living with Lisa taught you something. Don admits sleeping with HairVic, but denies Maggie killed her. Sam: "We're not implying anything. We're just saying you should be careful. And take her to dinner. And apologize." Dean: "And, uh, grovel. Wouldn't hurt." Dead plants on the porch point towards a highly ticked off witch. Dean: "It's kind of like Bewitched. Don's Darren. Doesn't even know it. Lot of laughs until you cheat on your wife." Or it's kind of like Cordelia summoning a vengeance demon after Xander cheated on her. Just saying if you have the alum, take advantage of it. Sam claims the plants die from bad vibes. Dean: "Literally kill off everything around her by PMS-ing at it. Yesh, that's not creepy at all." Dean calls Bobby. "Bobby, hey it's Dean. (pause) Winchester." Bwah! Either Bobby's possessed, suffering from head trauma, or has a weird sense of humor. Dean wants witch Terminex (ha!) but Bobby keeps cutting him off, even as he says thanks. Hmmmmm?

In the rain, Sam pops the poor Impala's hood as a distraction to watch for Maggie while Dean breaks into her newly leased place. He examines the house finding a witch bulletin board. Like a classroom one but with victims' pictures defaced by blood and animal bones at the bottom. Jennifer "Cupcake" Klein is next. Why doesn't Maggie just off her husband? Dean: "Don, keep it in your pants man." Agreed! Maggie returns in a silver sports coupe but Sam can't warn Dean since "all circuits are busy." He tries to FBI stall her but Maggie claims an emergency and walks off. Sam sets the car alarm off; I giggle. Sam: "Sorry. Restless leg syndrome." BWAH! Love his side kick. In the house, Dean gets the message and plays ring around the witch, one step ahead of Maggie until he slips out. Good thing Maggie's focused. Dean: "Spoiler alert! Jenny Klein's next. Swiped her photo off a hex deck but Maggie's going to notice it's gone eventually." Thanks for the warning. They book over to Jenny's as Maggie finds the photo's missing. Compare her witch face to Jenny's I Love Chocolate apron and sunny smile. Jenny's going down. One new bloody Jenny photo and Romanian spell later, Jenny's beautiful cupcake oozes blood filling. Ew! My aunt just brought over cupcakes too. The cupcakes start beating and pumping like mini hearts. The special effect is really cool and well, gross. No time for lingering though because she vomits blood and that's strictly Ew! Luckily Dean breaks open the door, Sam shoots the coin with his gun and all vomiting stops. "There were tiny beating hearts in my cupcakes. There were hearts in my cupcakes. Hearts in my cupcakes! That's never happened before!" Bwah! Hysterical in all its definitions. Dean: "Should I slug her?" Sam: "Give it a second." HA! Sam says she's hexed; Dean says to leave Dodge; I laugh through the whole scene. Sam brings up Don Stark and she's more grossed out by the idea of sleeping with him than by the cupcakes. Dean: "You and know." Cupcake: "You know? There is no you know." Sam: "No?" Who's on first? No cheating here!

At the art exhibit, I finally get to say, "Hello Charisma! Looking great!" She arranges things while her best friend Sue stalks, er, helps her. Sue is completely into Maggie, who is stressed over Don cheating. Sue exposits she spilled the beans about HairVic. Yikes! I'm all for telling your best friend her husband is a cheating scumbag but I smell ulterior motive and it stinks. Maggie loves Sue for keeping her from looking like a fool. Alas, before Sue finishes her "I love you" Maggie's off reorganizing. Don runs into Sue and I thought she was a witch too. She's snarky and direct when Don counters he made one mistake. I don't buy it but Maggie interrupts before a hissy fit starts. Don: "You know Maggie, I think I've been patient." Excuse me! This is neither apologizing nor groveling. I don't like Don. Of course when he calls HairVic's death "creative" I realize he's a psychopath too. Don blames Maggie for his affair because she chaired too many charity events. Maggie and I both say, "Oh boo hoo!" She calls him an egomaniac (if the shoe fits honey). "There was three of us in this marriage - you, me, and your ego." Don mentions FBI Winchesters; Maggie knows they're hunters. He says it stops; she doesn't comply. "You're so cute when you try to tell me what to do." This whole scene is gold in an un-SPN way. As Don leaves, his bust shakes and its face falls off. It is so on! Dean and Sam arrive just in time to see the implosion. "OK, now she's just getting nasty. I mean killing the girlfriend is one thing but his commemorative bust? That's gotta hurt." BWAH!!! Sam: "She'll take the whole town out Dean. She doesn't care who gets in the way." It's out of character yet hilarious that the bust affects the Winchesters more than the "creative" deaths do. But time for a Bobby rescue in the form of an anti-witch spell. Dean says he'll remember but partway through realizes he needs a pen. This isn't a good sign. And also out of character.

That night Maggie practices her speech proving there's another megalomaniac in the family. She stops to boss the staff; Sue interrupts to kiss up. She wants to get close but Maggie wants to check the menu. Quick cut to the motel - Dean's pie looks better than Maggie's fare. Right until Sam dumps rotting chicken's feet next to it. Way to kill my appetite Sam. First cupcakes, now pie. Is any dessert safe? Sam exposits that every place with chicken's feet has encountered refrigerating and plumbing issues. Not a coincidence. While the brothers avoid the nasty smelling feet, Don pulls up outside the charity event. Cocktails get Supernaturaled next - the martinis come with eyeballs. Don smiles as Maggie watches the paintings run. She blames Don and Sue tries to comfort her. "I told you. He's a d**. We'll get through this because you have people who love you and he can't take that away from you." Wanna bet? One silver serving tray later and Sue's head and neck separate. Yuck! But hello Supernatural surprise! I totally didn't know Don was a witch. I love when this show shocks me in such a good way. Have to love Maggie's non-reaction to seeing her friend beheaded too while Don smiles and drives away. Maggie: "Fine Donald. It's war!" Enter Dean and Sam who are equally surprised at Don's witchy side. "So the mister's a witch himself. That means we've got not just 1 p** off witch. We've got 2. It's full-on War of the Roses." Yep, but funnier thank goodness. Sam doesn't agree. "Yeah, Bewitched just got a lot less funny." Dean: "Just like when they switched Darrens." Bwah!!! So true! They drive away but guess who's in Prosperity. It's LeviaHunter. Uh oh!

On stakeout, the Winchesters wait outside the Stark home. Dean: "She'll be here. They've been throwing lightning bolts at each other's favorite toys. There's nothing left to destroy but each other." Plan A: get them together and take them down. Plan B: why would they start having one now, no matter how smart that would be. Maggie storms in, Winchesters follow, and Plan A is shot to hell. Apparently the spell only works when the chicken feet are chilled. How persnickety! It only creates smoke and identical "What morons!" looks from the Starks. Don: "For obvious reasons you won't be leaving this room. Well you will be leaving. Just not alive." Traces of Spike leak out. Don and Maggie join forces chanting Romanian; Dean and Sam panic. Sam suggests talking. "This is obviously a domestic dispute so if we can't kill them, counsel them." (snickers) Dean says not his area and I agree, so why did Sam make Dean do the talking? Dean says the fact they haven't killed each other proves they enjoy each other in a sick twisted way. Sam steps in thankfully. Maggie plays the adultery card but Sam says relationships are a two-way street. Not what you say to a witch scorned. Down goes Sam for defending Don. Dean tries to walk the line and fails too. "No one can defend Don, not totally. We get that you feel betrayed because you were." Don calls kissing up and Dean flies through a glass door. Next Sam claims Don "regrets the whole Wendy thing" and Maggie balks at "thing". (Remember the conversation in Don's study.) Down Sam drops.

What? Maggie and Don have been together for 800 years? Frankly they have centuries of baggage since cheating isn't new to either of them. Maggie did Columbus. "The man was about to set sail. He could possibly fall off of the edge of the earth. I took pity!" Bwah!!! They look really good for 800+. Dean confirms Don did not sleep with Jenny but gets flung anyway. I think the Winchesters should cut their losses and run while they are distracted. Don apologizes and Sam encourages them. " All these years you buried your anger and your disappointment until it tore you apart. All you needed to do was talk." A theme anvil drops and narrowly misses Dean's head, who chooses this moment to snark. Dean, you were almost out! He's pinned to the wall with bees for flair. Maggie compliments Don's creativity and they make up. Don: "I couldn't kill you. All I ever wanted is you Mags. I've been crushing on you since forever. You're the woman I want to never grow old with." Maggie: "I could never murder you either, Don." They kiss. Awwww, if you weren't psychotic I'd root for you two. Dean however is stuck with bees.

Back at the motel, the brothers know they're beaten so Dean goes for the flask. Sam glances over but Dean says, "It's been a long day." LeviaHunter pops in to make it longer, although they don't know he's a Leviathan until Dean shoots him and out comes goo. LeviaHunter throws Dean into a corner; Sam is choked; I flash back to season 1 goodness. Until lightning fries LeviaHunter. Huh? What just happened? Apparently, Don's witch powers can take out big guns. Don: "You find a bottomless pit and drop it in. Spell only lasts for a few days." Hey, it's better than nothing. They should ask about this spell to use next time. Don pulls out Maggie's hex coins and they protest the attempted assassination on grounds they saved their marriage. Don: "Well to be fair, you also tried to kill her." He thinks it's cute; the brothers not so much. Don leaves and the brothers drop a chained up LeviaHunter into the back seat of the Impala. Wonder how they will explain that at the local gas station. Dean wants to leave but it wouldn't be Supernatural without a patented Impala chat. Sam asks if he listened to the Starks. Dean: "When I wasn't getting slammed into a wall or stung by bees." Sam: "Did you notice how they opened up, got everything off their chest. " Dean says kudos for selling that junk, but Sam reminds him it worked. I remind the writers that 95% of this fandom wants the Amy story line dealt with. This is a perfect time. No dice. (Huge sigh) Dean: "Sam, I am so very, very, very, very, very, VERY tired." Sam: "Dean, like it or not the stuff you don't talk about doesn't just go away. It builds up. Like whatever's eating at you right now." Dean says things always eat at him. "Something happens; I feel responsible. Alright, uh, the Lindbergh baby. That's on me. Unemployment? My bad." Sam: "I'm talking about whatever you're not telling me about. Look Dean, it's fine. You can unload. That's kind of what I'm here for. I mean, we're good, right?" Dean: "We're good." He gets in the car while Sam looks on in frustration. I feel for him. He gave it a great try and I wish it had worked. The brothers drive off but nothing is resolved. (Sigh) Well, there's always next week. Could we please deal with Amy by then? Please writers!

Review - This episode was a vast improvement in writing and pacing from the last two. There was ample humor, great acting as always, and the return of the Leviathans. As a one-off, it was exactly what the season needed - a break from drama and room for this fan at least to breathe. Even the gore was an addition instead of a detractor for me. I've heard brief unrest about the brothers letting the Starks go on Twitter but this doesn't bother me at all. In all honesty, they didn't have a choice. Don taking out LeviaHunter with nary a snap of his fingers proved it. (That I do take issue with because it has the same effect as the blasted angels always did. Dean and Sam stand around while someone more powerful takes out the bad guy.) The Winchesters didn't have any choice but to let the Starks go. They may search for ways to take them out, it just won't happen right now. In fact, I want another Winchester vs. Stark showdown because Charisma Carpenter and James Marsters would return. I don't know what it was like for non-Buffy/Angel fans but for me it was sheer delight to see them on screen together again. I love their chemistry and their little expressions that convey big feelings. They're a bit like Jensen and Jared in this and that's always good. I'd love to have them back. My biggest complaint of course is dragging the Amy issue out. For me it is the deadest horse in a dead horse lot. Get it out in the open, deal with it, and move on. I hold out hope that Dean tells Sam (not LeviaDean) next episode, but it sounds too packed for the extra emoangsting that will accompany such a confession. In the end, for bringing back the writing and humor alone, this episode gets a much better rating than the previous two. Here's hoping this writing trend continues to midseason hiatus.

Grade - B+

Favorite scene - That's tough, so tie between the cupcake aftermath and witch counseling.
Best shock - Don Stark was a witch too
Worst shock - Amy is still an issue

Screencaps by Home of the Nutty

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