Monday, October 29, 2012

Supernatural - 8.04 - Bitten - Recap


Note - This episode sucked out loud. It had everything I hate about other shows on the CW and no recognizable Supernatural. I did like the special effects and the fact that the supreme annoying one died. It also had one classic line. Other than that, nada. Worst episode of the entire show. The only way I can see people liking this episode is if they liked the three main characters (none of which were Winchesters) or at least found them remotely interesting. I did not.

With no previouslies, we pan to a blood covered room with at least 2 bodies on the floor and generic, non-classic, non-rock music playing in the background. Dean and Sam seem to kick in the front door in broad daylight for no real reason - nobody screaming, no fire, etc. They apparently know something's wrong since they have guns at the ready. Sam goes to the bodies; Dean heads upstairs. Thankfully Dean dislodges the iPod and gives the all clear. Sam: "Uh no idea on this one. Um and no clue who is painted on the walls." Dean: "Well whatever happened, looks like we missed it." Sam: "Yeah, great." Don't worry guys, that Play Me sticky note will catch you all up. I however roll my eyes and say, "Looks like whatever happened in this episode, the PTB missed the point. Great! Brothers as wallpaper still sucks." I agree with Dean: "What the hell?" The computer says, "This should have never ended this way." The writers are setting me up today. I completely agree, although I would add it never should have started this way. To be honest it never should have gone beyond the writers' room trash can. The title card flashes Supernatural and that's the last proof you'll have of it for the next 41 minutes. Bye SPN - I missed you this week.

Two people, either in college or high school, look for a movie idea. One is AV club president. One may be a jock. They are best friends in an awkward nerd and the cool kid way that exists primarily when TV needs it to. They videotape females at a café with snarky dialogue from AV you know he'd never have the nerve to say anywhere but on camera. It's proven when one approaches them and AV hands the camera to Dude (that's what AV calls him). Since this episode is filmed in the shaky handheld camera style popularized by The Blair Witch Project and overdone ever since, lovely shots of walls, ceiling, and tables ensue. I hate this style, especially when even more immaturely handled than Ghostfacers. An extended shot of the woman's boobs and Dude's abs is my first massive sigh of the night. Not close to the last. Dude wears a Bad Trip tee with a horse on it. I would have died laughing if it had said Bad Horse. Someone needs to make those stat. Since the woman has no name yet, she's tagged Blonde for now. Blonde's a camera nut too and asks about firmware. Obviously she's smitten with Dude but has more in common with AV. AV thinks she's hot but she's going to date Dude. That's it, her name is now Bella. It won't be the last time tonight I think Twilight and want to run. Cameras get handed off so we get shaky cam visuals again. I sigh and refuse to recap all these annoying visuals anymore. Bella says the settings are off as AV gets up the courage to speak to a real girl and says he likes the color that way. Dude tosses off a cheesy pick-up line but apologizes for taping her. He might not be the cool, studly jock he looks like. Bella flirts back.

10 seconds later Bella spends the night, walking around in Dude's tee while AV does computer work right outside Dude's room. Blech! Who listens while their roommate has sex? AV has issues. Take the laptop to your room or put music on buddy. AV glances longingly at Bella as I throw up a little. For the first time, Supernatural can be confused with typical CW shows. Self-absorbed, emoangsting, teen love triangles are best left on other shows. Could I please have my Supernatural back? Please! Oh and by the way, who can afford to live in a house with just 2 people in college anyway? Bah! Moving on. Back in the café Bella and AV pretentiously talk indies and lenses, while AV undercuts his best friend with digs at his video skills. Bella rose-eyes her studmuffin boyfriend who joins them with a froufrou coffee drink. Can I call him Francis now? AV looks away as they kiss. However he proves his douchiness by videoing himself on the computer at the house while Dude and Bella lounge on the couch talking about where they'll be in 5 years. This reminds me of a very lame Reality Bites. Bella wants to be a green lawyer; AV wants to work for Michael Moore or HBO. Dude calls them both hippies. I call them pretentious college kids and decide I am far too old for this episode. Dude wants to live on a boat in the ocean so he's probably the rich guy whose parents set them up in this huge house. The couple kiss some more and AV now looks like he's throwing up.

The name Dude fits this character because he's a complete slacker. He sleeps through a lecture and now I'm completely confused. I thought this was college and it looks like an extremely small lecture hall, but they study the firmly high school novel Lord of the Flies and the teacher tells them to raise their hands. What kind of school is this? We zoom in on the teacher's lapel pin and find we're in First Year English Lit. I guess it's college for dummies. After class, Dude asks if AV taped the lecture he just missed. AV: "Who loves you?" Dude: "I wish I could quit you." I wish I could quit this episode but I can't do the podcast or recap with just 5 minutes of viewing. It feels like it's been on for 20 minutes and nothing's happened yet. An even douchier guy runs into them causing the camera to fall. They posture but nothing happens. Still. On the way home they see a crime scene and hallelujah, it's the Impala. The first 10 minutes is saved. One Wincest joke later and I'm done with this episode already. Just done. Dean snarks to the cop who exposits animal attack as the kids tape the conversation. Well that was exciting. I know what we should do to make this episode better…head back to the house where AV videotapes while brushing his teeth. Bella mentions the moral dilemma of being more excited about having a film topic than sad that a neighbor died. Nice of you to notice. Thankfully Dude puts in the song from the opening and café scenes which coincidentally was playing when they first met. How nauseatingly romantic. He may be the only non-douche tonight. More kissing before AV reminds Dude they are taping tonight. Bella calls him on it but Dude says he's AV's only friend so he has to help him and offers a raincheck. Aww. Outside AV does stupid stuff in a tree. Dude's right about Dumb and Dumber.

They happen upon Dean and Sam interviewing and spy on them. Dean is a jerk to Sam and they fight about if there's a case. Yep, cause when Dean and Sam are in an episode for 6 minutes, I really want 2 of those to remind me of the brother rift. Good call, Robbie Thompson. Wincest joke #2 - things just get worse and worse. Luckily we cut to Douche, who knocked the camera over earlier, forcing himself on a random girl. They tape him getting shot down and AV clumsily makes their presence known - not hard when hiding behind a chain link fence. In all honesty Dude has the muscles to take Douche down but instead they run into the woods, splitting up. Dude yells about paying Douche fair and square, which makes no sense to me. Plus I know when I run from a bully my first thought is to turn on the camera's night vision and film it. Right? Bah, this idiot deserves to be eaten. The camera picks up animal noises and glowing eyes and then he's running through the woods from the animal while taking time to turn the camera back on himself. Running while videotaping yourself - as dangerous as texting and driving. AV comes back looking for Dude and sees he's been bitten. As logic dictates, AV takes Dude back to the house instead of a hospital since he was bitten by a strange animal. Remarkably the bite has healed already and Bella thinks they're pranking her. They eventually take him to a doctor who confirms there's not a scratch on him. AV shoots for comforting but lands on creepy.

As Bella and AV sleep on the table, Dude awakens and pulls off a door. In stunningly bad acting, Bella and AV wake up. Dude now has super strength and practices lifting his girlfriend over his head with one hand. That scene is kind of cute. Bella theorizes that an alien bit Dude and thus the FBI. AV says mutant. Dude: "Am I a superhero now?" Sorry no radioactive spider bit you. You're the least annoying of the trio though so that's something. AV celebrates by putting cameras all over the house, including the bathroom, a la Big Brother. Dude is going to be AV's movie. Bella protests but superhero origin story is too big a temptation. Dude: "Kind of creeping me out man. Seriously. Nothing superheroic to see here, just a delicious bagel." It took that long for your roomie to creep you out? He's creeped me out for 10 minutes now. Even more so when he tells Dude he wants to get bitten too. Jealous much. Dude, the rational stoner of the trio, says he's crazy. AV: "I don't want to be Piggy anymore." I don't want to watch anymore but since you won't go away your new name is Psycho. We've now entered the "jealous of your best friend and about to go nuts" portion of today's episode, brought to you by even more obnoxious handheld video. Dude says nothing's wrong with Psycho. He just needs to find a goal and go for it. Or massive therapy. Psycho thinks being bitten will help him have sex with girls and throws a baby fit when Dude won't go. Perhaps growing up would help with that girl problem Psycho.

Thankfully Dean and Sam show up. Dude hides the bong and I laugh for the first time. Special Agents Rose and Hudson ask random questions and hand out their card. Psycho knows nothing and the brothers talk on the porch about Mayan gods for no reason. Dude returns with the bong. Psycho: "The FBI are looking for what bit you. Are you an X-File?' Dude misinterprets the Maya comment as him being a god. He now goes full douche by filming himself in the bathroom mirror, but luckily wolves out instead - eyes, teeth, claws. It's pretty nifty special effects but freaks him out. He touches a sleeping Bella with his claws then heads out for food. Douche happens to be there on animal patrol, faux gangsta style. He also has a camera because apparently it's the cool accessory every douchewad carries these days. Douche chases Dude in the woods and makes the mistake of threatening to rape Bella. Dude hulks out and one Douche dead. One down, at least 6 to go. Meanwhile, Bella and Psycho film Bella's fascination with hot werewolf action. TMI. Dude walks in covered with blood and they naturally take the conversation on camera into the bathroom while he showers and confesses to murder. Bella realizes this may be a legal problem and demands the cameras go off. No worries though because they tape the post-shower inquisition so we still hear what we just saw. Bella defends Dude's actions as self-defense. Psycho flips out that she still loves Dude more than him. My eyes roll so hard I'm dizzy.

Even 10 seconds of Dean and Sam at a new crime scene can't save us now. Douche is shredded, his heart half eaten up the road. Psycho films the scene and rushes back to the house to confront Dude about his new diet. They push each other and Bella defends Dude again. Psycho: "Eating a heart is self-defense? Who are you trying to convince Kate, me or yourself?" Dude tells Psycho to back off Bella and punches him into the kitchen. This freaks out Dude, who starts cries in his room. Bella gives him the "you're still you and I still love you even though you are a monster" speech. Psycho leers outside the door taping them. Later he grabs his camera to tell Bella they need to go to the police. He lingers on her boobs far too long as she tells him she loves Dude and he's not getting in their way. Bella wants answers so she tapes Dean talking to the coroner. Sam comes in, "What did I miss. Anything?" No Sam you really haven't. Dean: "Not unless you want to put an APB out on Rocky Raccoon." Sam went through county records and found another attack 10 years ago. Briefly I'm interested when he says it's the wrong time of month for a werewolf. My interest wanes when Dean says, "Time to hit the books and feed the monster." It's back to the Terrible Trio. Bella wants to follow them. Dude wants to sulk. Psycho followed them by the GPS on their phones. I'd change his name to Stalker but I don't care anymore. They all creep each other out. They bore me.

Psycho hacks the restaurant security and they all spy on Dean and Sam at the diner. Dude sits a few tables away with the camera focused on Dean and Sam for sound. Sam and I marvel at Dean eating 2 burgers. Dean: "Hey, I didn't eat at Big P's for like a year okay. Clear eyes and clogged arteries. Can't lose." First off, BWAAHHH!!! Love the Friday Night Lights reference. Second off, huh? Dean didn't eat the entire time he was in Purgatory. We finally have something I'm interested in. I hope we hear more about the physics of Purgatory. Did Dean need to sleep while there? I assume he had a physical body and was not dead but how did being undead in Purgatory change things? These interesting questions are put on hold to retcon werewolves. Apparently AlphaWolf has special powers, which is sort of canon given the other Alphas, but he transfers those special powers up to the fourth generation. Maybe he hated that 5th generation wolfkid and decided no superspecial powers for you. However, since werewolves age and die the 4th generation should be long gone by now. Just saying. Anyway, four generations after a pureblood can control when they turn and can eat animal hearts instead of human to stay alive. They also don't blackout during the transformation so I call liar, liar on Dude's "I don't remember" speech. Maybe he's fifth generation. Sam: "So what? We're hunting a werewolf with a pedigree." Dean: "Awesome. Let's hope he has his papers." Sam: "And that silver can kill him." Sam exposits that "Best in Show" (ha!) ganked a woman 10 years ago and stayed. Dean: "Yeah. Comes for the human hearts; stays for the co-eds."


Back at the house Dude freaks that he's a werewolf but since he was sitting right there, I'm not sure why he didn't hear the original conversation. By the way, nice job being stealthy Winchesters. Let the waitress see the werewolf books and anybody hear the conversation. That's covert. Bella knows Dean and Sam are not FBI. "Alright I'm pretty sure that FBI agents don't say awesome that much and they definitely don't hunt and kill college kids." Ha! Score one for logic. Then Robbie Thompson ruins it by throwing in 3rd Wincest comment. Gah! I hate, utterly despise, and pretty much detest all things Wincest. It is the worst thing in the fandom and in this fandom that's a lot to choose from. Shut up Robbie! I take back all compliments I ever gave you. Kate infers that the brothers are looking for the pureblood who bit Dude. Dude storms off, Bella follows, and Psycho checks video footage. He finds a clue proving the pureblood is the Prof. Dude and Bella are sick of his third wheelism so Psycho goes to find the lapel pin the Prof had in the lecture. He then rigs a not-so-hidden camera in Prof's office. When Prof comes in, Brian says he knows he's a werewolf and reveals the pin. Prof denies it but Brian goes after him with a silver knife. If he's really a werewolf, why can't he overpower this nerdy kid. Psycho still wants to be a werewolf because…um, he read too much Twilight and wants to imprint on babies? Who knows? Prof tells a sob story about falling off the wagon and needing a hunter patsy. That's why he bit Dude…and because Dude sleeps through his lectures. Ha! Take that slackers! Prof asks who would miss Dude and Psycho says he would. Aww, whatever. Prof tries to talk Psycho out of his werewolf fantasies, but he's called Psycho for a reason. He wants to be Ralph instead of Piggy. I think he missed the point while reading Lord of the Flies one too many times.

Psycho goes to give Bella the good news only to find her packing to leave with Dude. He says he took care of the problem. He reveals via camera of course that he too was bitten. Bella is unimpressed. Dude finally gets that he's Psycho when Psycho says to be grateful. He shows a 23 second clip of Dean and Sam killing Prof before Sam finds the not-so-hidden camera. Psycho congratulates himself on being so smart but Dude reminds him the Winchesters will trace the camera back to them. Pretty sad when stoner Dude is smarter than AV geek. Psycho rants about being in his shadow and tells Bella he's equal to Dude now so she should love him best. Can't wait for this delusional genius to die. More importantly, I can't wait until this third-rate, CW paranormal romance trash, love triangle is over. Gah! What did they do to my Supernatural? Dude tries to reason with Psycho and says he would never hurt him like that. He admits to remembering eating the human heart and doesn't want his friend to feel the same way. Bella tells Psycho she'll never be his and Psycho grabs her. Dude goes wolf and the two fight. Bella screams a lot. End result, Dude is knifed in the heart and dies after telling Bella he loves her. Bella grabs the silver knife and stabs Psycho. He thinks that after he bites her, she'll see his love is true. I vomit. Bella stabs again. At least she has more spine than Twilight's Bella. Sadly, Psycho still bites her as she keeps screaming. Do they not have neighbors?

Later, Bella locks herself in the bathroom crying while Psycho actually believes she'll love him now. Are you kidding? Even deranged people see you didn't have a shot before turning her into a monster. Why would she feel anything but hate towards you now? Psycho: "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to scare you. We can fix this. Just let me in okay?" Bella tears up the bathroom and films herself because all college kids have video cameras permanently attached to document life's little quirks. (Eyes haven't stopped rolling in 30 minutes.) She tells Psycho she's coming out while filming her creepy smile. At the very least I better see her ripping his heart out for sitting through this crummy episode 3 times. She talks about understanding; he beams at her. All I get is predator filming prey before the slaughter. She hands him the camera before wolfing out and killing him. Except this we don't get to see. Really? Really! I mentally curse that I sat through this junk and don't even get a pay-off by seeing the prat bite it. Foul! Foul on that play! Instead weepy Bella covers Dude's body and finishes this terrible movie - to the comforting sounds of that original annoying song. Bella: "I didn't finish Brian's movie to justify what happened. To be totally honest, I'm not really sure if I even understand it all. I just wanted you to know that…that Michael wasn't always a monster. None of us were." Um, not sure about that. I think Psycho always was.

For some stupid reason we recap of the Terrible Trio's future plans AGAIN. Bella says she won't kill anyone, living off animal hearts instead. She's leaving and pleads for the Winchesters to let her live. She reminds them that she hasn't killed a human. "I didn't choose this. Please. Please give me a chance." The camera pans out to the brothers' reactions. They're stunned. So am I….that this story ever made it to shooting and airing. The beginning credits role as the brothers decide which dead body is which. Not sure it matters but okay. Sam says that Bella has a half day head start but Dean's surprisingly quiet. Sam: "Are you alright?" Dean: " Mmm hmm." Sam: "Look Kate's right. She hasn't hurt anybody. Well anybody human at least." Dean: "Yeah she didn't…she didn't choose this. Let's give her a shot." Sam: "Seriously." Dean: "Yeah, yeah." Sam: "And look if…if Kate pops back up, I mean if she strays then no questions asked. I mean we do what we've got to do and um…we take her down." Although it's far too late to add humor to this episode, Dean asks if he really says awesome a lot. I don't laugh. Nothing about sitting through this is funny. I've disliked other Supernatural episodes before but they always had something to hang on to - a scene, a line. This one - nada! I want my wasted time back. Dean says awesome once more as the brothers depart. Before leaving the house though, Dean puts the iPod back. So yep it's the same music back and brother fingerprints all over a crime scene again! Seriously guys, use those fake credit cards and buy some gloves. As we pan out, Kate walks down a lonely road to find her new lair. I clap. Because it's finally over.

I hate this episode. For the first time in my Supernatural career I found myself wanting to change the channel halfway through. I've been bored by SPN before. I've hated some storylines. But I've never felt I could turn an episode off and not miss a thing. This episode is a travesty to Supernatural's legacy. I actually don't care that the brothers were barely in it. I loved Weekend at Bobby's and they weren't in any more of that one. I care that Supernatural writers took what was unique about SPN compared to the rest of the CW and shot it all to hell. I challenge you to take any other CW show and not find a love triangle. Any of them. Birkhoff lusts after Nikita even though she and Michael are together. Arrow has Oliver, Laurel, and Oliver's best friend. All others are love triangle central. But look at Supernatural. They killed off all love triangle potential when they killed Jessica. For them to now make a love triangle front and center even with guest characters on a standalone episode is an affront to me as a longtime viewer. If I wanted love triangles I'd watch the Vampire Diaries! People say I hate this episode because it didn't have Dean and Sam. That's not true. I hate this episode because it didn't have Supernatural in it. It was self-absorbed tripe about 3 whiny, emoangsting characters I'll never care one jot about. I'm disappointed in this season but this is the worst. Jeremy Carver needs to get his act together and give me back my show. I want brothers, not at odds, killing monsters. Not that hard. For the first time I wonder if Supernatural is destined to be my #2 show this year when it's been by far my favorite since 2005. Even thinking it makes me sad. I still have high hopes for season 8 but it's getting harder to be positive. I need an episode to hit it out of the park and fast!

Grade: 5- (this may be the worst episode of the whole show)

Scorecard - Here's how the rankings break down in my scorecard.

1 = One of the best episodes in all of Supernatural, or in all of TV for that matter.
2 = A great episode when judged against other Supernatural episodes.
3 = A good Supernatural episode, which means it's better than almost anything else on TV
4 = An okay episode when judged against other SPN episodes, meaning still better than most TV.
5 = A poor episode, meaning only better than some TV.

Screencaps by Home of the Nutty

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Sunday, October 28, 2012

Supernatural - 8.04 - Bitten - Podcast


It's the newest edition of the Team Winchester podcast and this time Lilith and I completely agree....this episode sucked out loud. I gave it an F but Lilith thought it was partly saved by the brother moment in the restaurant. We know many people enjoyed it so we encourage you to share your opinions in the comments section.

Also we are looking for audio submissions of 3 minutes or less telling us why you love Bobby, Crowley, and/or Cas. These will be used in our character-centric podcasts over the winter hellatus. We'd love to hear your favorite lines/scenes/episodes for these characters too. If you are a Cas fan, we still need a couple people to guest on episodes that feature him. You can send any audio files and comments to teamwinchesterpod@gmail.com. Thanks for listening!

Disclaimer - As always the opinions on this podcast are merely Lilith and/or Dahne's opinions. They do not reflect the fandom as a whole or SpoilerTV.




Podcast Break-Down (All times are estimated):

Intro & Small Talk
News (Ratings, Fan Reaction, Critic Reaction) - 12:15
First Impressions - 25:25
Discussion Points - 38:50
Nitpicks - 41:50
WTH - 47:15
Favorite Things - 53:30
Least Favorite - 57:25
Music - 59:00
Trivia - 61:25
Grade and Review - 68:15
Listener Feedback, Around the Fandom, Contact Info - 74:00
Spoilers, Misc. Points, and Wrap-Up - 79:15

Podcast Links:

Website
E-mail:  teamwinchesterpod@gmail.com
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Spreaker
Voice mail - 502-233-1351

Lilith Links:

Google+
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Flickr
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Blog

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Friday, October 26, 2012

Supernatural - 8.04 - Bitten - Quotes


I hate this episode. For me it is currently ranking as worse than Bugs, The Man Who Would be King, Route 666, Family Remains, Swap Meat, Ghostfacers, etc. In other words, dead last. Still I did my fandomly duty and watched it a second time....er, watched most of it a second time. I reserved the right to hit the fast forward button whenever the love triangle got too obnoxious, there were white gangsta wannabes on the screen, or they were recapping something that happened in the very same episode - argh! Man does that annoy me, especially when I didn't care about three random, self-absorbed, emo-angsting teens' dreams of the future the first time around. Let's just say the recap of this one is going to be very short.

But back to the point, I have compiled a list of the only quotes I found passable in the episode. Since there aren't many I haven't divided them out. Please add your favorites in the comments and don't forget to nominate the 2 best (or in my case 1) for the favorite quotes contest.


Best line of the night:

Dean: "Clear eyes, clogged arteries, can't lose."

No question for me since it was the only line I remembered after the episode ended. Love it referencing Friday Night Lights with a unique Dean spin. All other lines fall way, way lower on my list.




Other lines:


10. Sam: "What did I miss? Anything?" Dean: "Not unless you want to put an APB out on Rocky the Raccoon."
9. Kate: "Shut up. Everybody shut up. First things first, those guys aren't FBI. Alright I'm pretty sure that FBI agents don't say awesome that much."
8. Professor: "You never lose the taste if you are stupid enough to have one. Once you have a human heart it's almost impossible to control the monster inside but I did until last week when I uh fell off the wagon as they say."
7. Sam: "Uh no idea on this one and no clue who is painted on the walls."
6. Sam: "Alright so what? She's got about a half day jump on us." Dean: "Mmm hmm." Sam: "You alright." Dean: "Mmm hmm." Sam: Look Kate's right. She hasn't hurt anybody. Well anybody human at least." Dean: "Yeah she didn't…she didn't choose this. Let's give her a shot." Sam: "Seriously." Dean: "Yeah, yeah." Sam: "And look if…if Kate pops back up, I mean if she strays then no questions asked. I mean we do what we've got to do. We um…we take her down."
5. Sam: "So what uh Best in Show comes here 10 years ago, ganks some poor woman, and when the dust settles and everything's in the clear, he just sets up shop?" Dean: "Yeah, comes for the human hearts, stays for the co-eds."
4. Professor: "We don't get to choose what we are."
3. Sam: "So what? We're hunting a werewolf with a pedigree?" Dean: "Awesome. Let's hope he has his papers." Sam: "And that silver can kill him."
2. Kate: "Maybe he got bit by an alien. That would explain the FBI."
1. Sam: "Dude, 2 burgers?" Dean: "I didn't eat at Big P's for like a year okay. Clear eyes, clogged arteries. Can't lose."



Screencaps by Home of the Nutty

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Monday, October 22, 2012

Supernatural - 8.03 - Heartache - Recap

Previously - Sam stopped hunting and found Amelia, Buffy's mayor played a college professor douche who was handy at languages, Kevin found another word of God that will end demons on earth, Crowley got it, Kevin ran away with his mom, the brothers wanted to re-find Kevin, and there was a shot of Dean killing a demon with Ruby's knife - still have no reason why it was in the previouslies

Minneapolis, MN - A Ken doll (not Dean) jogs on a badly lit path. Uh oh. He's outpaced by an older balding, chubby guy and I laugh before instinctively closing my eyes. Blood is imminent. Ken Doll good sports and congratulates Chubster who waits for him on the path. Sorry you must die Ken Doll but Chubster is hungry for a little snack….your heart, but not before spouting, "I do a lot of cardio." Ha! Speaking of healthy living, Sam munches a locally grown apple while Dean researches all he missed in Purgatory - murder, mayhem, horrible supernatural death. Check, check, and check. Dean: "Wow, guy goes to Purgatory for a year all hell breaks out. Check this out. Jogger in Minneapolis gets his heart ripped out." Sam: "I'm guessing literally." Dean: "Only way that interests me." Bwah! I'm with you. No sappy love stories for me. Sam's more into tomatoes than a heart ripping pattern. Dean: "Same thing happens. Also in Minneapolis. What does that tell us?" Sam: "Stay out of Minneapolis." Woo hoo! Snarky Sam doesn't come out to play near enough. Hope he stays the whole episode. Dean won't be upstaged though: "Two hearts ganked, same city 6 months apart. I mean that's has to be a ritual man. Or at least some kind of a heart sucking, possessed Satanic crack whore bat." Ha! I love this scene. This and Lucifer's, " You think this fruit-bat fever dream is reality?" are my favorite bat quotes. Yes, they beat "I'm Batman." Sam's less impressed. Dean wants to pursue the heart rippers but Sam wants to find Kevin. Dean: "Uh we just spent a week chasing our a** trying to lock Kevin down okay and look at us we're…..Where the hell are we?" Sam: "Farmer's market. Organic." Dean's incredulous expression makes me laugh, right until brother rift conversation #1. Hold onto to the airsick bags folks because it's just starting. Sam talks about enjoying the good things while Dean was in Purgatory. Dean slams Sam for letting people die. Yeah, you've heard it all before. Dean: "Ok man look I get it. You took a year off to do yoga and play the lute, whatever, but I'm back. We're back, which means that we walk and kill monsters at the same time. We'll find Kevin but in the meantime do we ignore stuff like this or are innocent people supposed to die so that you can shop for produce?" Ouch!

Mercifully we head to a Minneapolis police station, where Papa Ackles plays the cop. (Hi Papa Ackles! Much better father-son teaming than Devour.) Police are baffled. It wasn't a robbery and the vic was an out-of-towner. They did get Chubster on tape jogging past him and I'm baffled. They couldn't even afford lights on that path but they had video surveillance? Big Brother really is everywhere I guess. Dean smart alecs Papa: "What? You mean he didn't fall to his knees and confess to gutting the guy?" But Papa gives it right back: "I mean sure he can run a little bit but Thor he ain't. You think he's going to grab Freddy Fitness here and throw him down and rip out his heart. I don't think so. Forgive me if I didn't take him out back and shoot him." It's an Ackles family glare-off as Sam hurries them out to the Chubster, aka Paul Hayes. Paul mixes up a power shake of….well something green, grasslike and vomit-colored. Sam passes when he tries to share. Good plan since Paul calls it disgusting. Dean joins the conversation after poking around. There's pointless fiber conversation and Paul says he had a health scare so now he's into health. Dean: "Now your body's a temple huh?" Paul: "Where I worship every day." Ha! I like Paul. Yeah there's that gross heart diet but he's funny. Even more funny - Dean's expression while Paul chokes down the ick.

The brothers recap Paul at a local tavern while I wonder why they didn't talk in the car. Did Sam walk? Dean: "No hex bags, nothing satanic, nothing spooky." Sam: "So didn't seem like a guy to be voted most likely to disembowel." Dean: "Oh they never do." Dean finds another "do-it-yourself bypass" in the Ames, Iowa part of Minneapolis (snicker). Paul is cleared of mass murder but we have to suffer through more brother rift snark. Shut up Dean! "Just sayin'." (By the way, the article isn't about the murder except the headline. It's about gang violence in Ames and then switches to Denves. Huh? I'd skip the Des Moines Herald if this is their "trusted source for local and global news.") Since one state isn't enough in SPN these days, we head to Iowa to interrogate Arthur Swenson, former cop turned heart surgeon sans license. At the local station, the demon Jimmy killed in The Rapture (thanks isleofskye!) has been reincarnated as a punny police officer. Apparently Swenson ordered a pizza with extra heart, but he has an alibi for Ken Doll's murder so back to square one. The cop warns them that questioning Swenson won't be helpful, making him king of understatement. Swenson babbles something that sounds like "Yo Chaka Khan gee" repeatedly. Dean snarks about getting a statement while I sing "I'm Every Woman" in my head. Dean: "Well it's too bad I dropped out of Lunatic 101." Sam notices a pattern while Dean talks very loudly to Swenson because that always makes the insane coherent. Sam uses the same tactic. Bah! On to plan 2. Dean: "Hey Art. Can I call you Art? I'm going to sprinkle your arm with holy water and it's going to steam and burn if you're possessed by a demon." But no dice. Plan C ? Nope, instead we're spared from watching Swenson cut out his own eye with his bed frame. Thanks for small miracles.

Back at the motel, the brothers listen to Swenson's tape recorded babble. Sam: "So what do you think?" Dean: "Personally I prefer the Keith Richards version." Bwaaahhhh! But never fear; iTunes to the rescue. Dean: "Wait a second. I bought a translation app." Sam: "You bought an app?" Dean: "Yeah, here play it….And babble wins, language unknown." Nice product placement in the snark. Sam answers a call as Agent Sambora and I laugh again, flashing back to Dean's reaction when Sam used this alias in Born Under a Bad Sign. So glad rock aliases are back. Agent Smith was so Matrix. Dean questions a Dr. Kashi about Swenson, as I get nutritious snacks for the hiking I'll never do. Thanks Kashi! She explains that Swenson had an eye transplant and cut out that eye. Dean gets the connection and asks about the donor. Dr. Kashi agrees to help as they exchange bedroom eyes. (Someone's getting nookie on this case.) Dean rejoins a researching Sam with coffee and donuts. Ha, you unhealthy eater! It's better than brother rift round 3 where Dean gives snark face at Sam for researching Paul's medical history and Sam responds, "You want me onboard, I'm onboard." My eyes roll so hard the anvil barely misses my head and luckily we move on. Sam: "You want to guess who else other than Arthur Swenson had a transplant in the last year?' Dean: "Paul Hayes." Sam: "I gave it away didn't I?" Ha! I love Sam's dialogue and the return of Geek Boy Sam. He also sent an audio file to Douche Professor so that means they're off to Colorado. Huh? What? Oh there was another "heart attack" in Colorado. I find these puns funny. Sue me.

At a strip joint called the Bunny Hole in Boulder, I wonder if the brothers wanted "me time" after a day of interviewing. Nope, instead a stalker accosts a stripper named Randa. She walks like she's on the prowl and I'm not torn up about it when she rips his heart out. It's better than brother rift #4 (yeah already four) where Sam rips my heart out in the Impala. Dean rejoices about making progress while Sam daydreams. Dean: "What are you thinking about? Organic tomatoes." Ha! Since this scene depresses me I'll transcribe it and you can make of it what you will. Dean: "I don't know about you but this last year has given me a new perspective." Sam: "I hear you. Believe me." Dean: "I know where I'm at my best and that is right here, driving down crazy street next to you." Sam: "Makes sense." Dean: "Yes it does." Sam: "Or, maybe you don't need me. I mean maybe you're at your best hacking and slicing your way through all the world's cr** alone, not having to explain yourself to anybody." Dean: "Yeah that makes sense seeing as how I have so many other brothers I can talk to about this stuff." Sam: "Look I'm not saying I'm bailing on you. I'm just saying make room for the possibility that we want different things. I mean I want my time to count for something." Dean: "So what we do doesn't count?" Argh! It's officially reached Amy subplot annoyance level. We get it writers. Please move on! Jeremy, fix this mess you created or put it on the back burner. I'm sick of this already and it's only the third episode.

Thankfully Dean's phone rings before they can insert their feet in their mouths farther. Doctor Kashi, you have perfect timing. She informs Dean that the organ donor is none other than quarterback extraordinaire Brick Holmes. Both brothers shock me with their in-depth knowledge of football which may be a shout out to Jensen and Jared's love of the Dallas Cowboys. Brick drove off a bridge and donated 8 organs (bad flash backs of the possessed kidney in Mannequin 3 now), none of which went to Colorado. However Smart Dean (glad to see him again) sees a connection so it's to Colorado we go. Just in time to watch Randa put on the worst blood makeup since Lana was possessed by a goddess in Smallville. After forcefully choking back my dinner as Randa feasts on raw heart, smoke appears and Randa's eyes glow red. After Crowley last week, I'm guessing all the cool kids are going red these days. My bloodshot eyes will fit right in - thanks allergies! By the time the commercial break ends, my stomach is newly settled and a gorgeous shot of Baby in daylight is my reward. Ah! While interviewing Eleanor, Brick's mom, Sam fanboys over her son and I laugh to see it. Nice to see Sam smile in the present time. I zone out during the organ donor PCA and Dean questioning how a sober athlete drove off a bridge in decent weather. Nothing comes from this interview and this episode has already been exposition central. You know what could save this scene? Yep, Dean snark. "So no new interests - fly fishing, stamp collecting, the occult?" Ha! Eleanor is less amused and terminates the interview, stopping Sam midstream.

As they leave Dean gets a text message, clocking 20 minutes and 43 seconds for the SOB shout out of the night. Much later than the first two. Sam: "Come on. Don't tell me someone had their heart ripped out here in Boulder." Dean: "Alright then, I won't tell you." Eleanor watches them leave only to get stopped by Heart Sucker Randa. I'm thinking dead Eleanor but she's far too feisty for that. Randa warns Eleanor not to talk to cops. Eleanor: "I'm old Randa, not an idiot." Randa: "I'm just trying to protect Brick." Eleanor: "And so am I." Ooh, the mystery just picked up - Randa has Brick's heart, of course, and Eleanor definitely knows something. Randa: "You keep our little secret safe and the 3 of us will be just fine." Um…creepy. But we interrupt this forward progress for brother rift #5. I sigh so hard my lungs briefly see daylight. Sam talks to Morrison on the cell and while we only hear one side of the conversation, Morrison is as douchey as ever. At least something stayed the same. In a nut shell, Swenson was babbling in Mayan, "The divine god Cacao is born." The brothers (er, writers) mangle Maya history but Dean nicely summarizes, "So this is what we're looking for is…a…a….a thousand year old culture's god of corn?" Dean also exposits that there's another dead in Phoenix and Sam has been looking into college applications. Wow! That totally shocked me at first. In hindsight it makes perfect sense but still. Wow! I would recap this part but we've heard it 4 times already this episode. Sam asks if they're off to Phoenix - I still think they're collecting an American Road Trip tumbler set. Dean: "No, uh Brick Holmes is the way into this. Eleanor Holmes was doing her damnedest not to tell us a thing. Nice job in changing the subject though." Ouch!

Luckily the brothers break into Eleanor's home before I reach in the screen to bang their heads together. Dean thinks Eleanor should sell Brick's stuff on EBay. Sam wonders why Eleanor's clothes are in Brick's room. Dean and I both come to the same icky conclusion. Sam: "Uh! Thanks Dean. Now that image is permanently etched into my retinas." Dean finds a hidden room behind Brick's closet filled with old athletic equipment. Sam: "Wow! I knew he'd have something like this in his house." Love fanboy Sammy! Dean finds boxes of old letters, all addressed to Dearest Betsy. They go back to the 1940's, mentioning Sugar Ray Robinson. Again I'm surprised by all the sports facts the Winchesters know. The brothers read letters for approximately 92 hours, concluding that Brick was really, really old and master of many different sports. Sam confirms it with Google image. Dean: "Wow! For a 95 year old, Brick Holmes could take a hit." The brothers research and Dean finds a theory in an old journal that looks suspiciously like John's. What? John did Maya research? The brothers are lugging Bobby's library? Boulder public library lets you check out old journals? Whatever. Moving on. Brick made a deal with Cacao to stay young and powerful by eating two hearts a year. Surprise it didn't come back to bite him quicker. According to SPN this was common practice with Maya athletes, which sounds more right than anything else they've been spewing about Mayas. Sam: "Wow, so one of the greatest QB's to ever play the game was over 900 years old." They theorize that the spell transferred to the organ recipients. Dean: "It's like getting bit by a werewolf. I mean once you're infected you do what you've got to do especially if you like the results." We have a winner. Now no more exposition. Let's gank something please! Sam: "Brick Holmes, a heart eater. Who knew?" Dean: "Heh, sorry buddy. The mighty they fall hard huh." Sam: "At least he wasn't sleeping with his mother." Dean: "Yeah good Sam, find the silver lining." Bwah! Eleanor is Betsy so it's off to question her again.

Sam appeals to Betsy's compassionate side. Dean asks if she knew the murders continued. Betsy denies it and pleads her case for the love of her life, a 1,000 year mass murderer. Dean: "Betsy, this is not what you want Brick's legacy to be." Huh? What legacy? He killed over 2,000 people in his life including the athletes he killed as a Maya warrior. There's no legacy to protect folks. I don't get why Dean is so compassionate and patient with her. Previous Dean sure, but post-Purgatory Dean hasn't shown compassion to anyone. Why is this lady special? Not that I'm complaining because Post-Purgatory Dean is a bit much for me right now. I'm just baffled by this new old Dean behavior. But I digress. Brick was born Inyo so perhaps that explains why he chose Brick. Brick? He could have chosen any name. Betsy confirms the annual two heart sacrifice to remain young plan. She pushes for my sympathy with her tragic, celebrity athlete/serial killer love story. Not happening lady. You knew he was killing people. Betsy: "I am so tired. You can't imagine the burden of it all." Really? Really? Must be harder than all those people who lost their loved ones to a heart eater. Shut up lady! Brick drove off the bridge so he wouldn't have to live without her. Aww, the serial killer committed suicide. Boo hoo! Betsy: "You must think I'm a monster." Dean: "No. No, just that you married one." What? They're both awful. Who is this Dean? Dean says they have to find and kill 8 people now. Betsy disagrees. Kill the heart recipient Randa and it all goes away. Betsy: "Brick used to say the heart was key. That was the focus of the sacrifice."

(Start opinion) And we get our first Words to Live By in a long time. The heart is the key….to this show and that heart is the brother relationship. They've sacrificed so much for each other, given up everything. I like that the focus is more mature brothers this year. However if they sacrifice the heart of the brother bond, they sacrifice the show. These stupid, created out of thin air, out-of-character brother rifts have got to go. I'm fine that Sam wants something else. I'm not fine with a Sam who doesn't look for Dean or do his best to confirm he's dead before pursuing a new life. I'm good with Sam thinking hunting costs too much and that there are other things to live for. I'm not good with a Sam that basically just told his brother that he was better off in Purgatory because he could kill things without answering to anyone. That isn't the heart of this show. If you want to make them more mature, how about letting them have each other's back AND their own perspectives? How about avoiding the constant lying? How about not having the exact same conversation 12 times in a 42 minute episode? There better be a damn good reason for this brother rift and how out-of-character the brothers are this season. Otherwise a pox on all the PTB and writers! We've done brother rift over and over and over and over again. It's tiring; it's baffling; it's killing the show. End this subplot now and let's move forward with the quest. (End rant)

The brothers head to the Bunny Hole where Randa either has another stage name or she's not a headliner. Guessing the former. She doesn't seem like a second place kind of woman. Dean: "Really? Our king daddy monster is a stripper?" Ha! Then the writers stop the action for bizarre conversation on Brick's motives. Dean and I don't care. Let's kill monsters. Now please! Dean picks the lock to the alley door and the whole place looks skeevy. Smells that way too if Dean and Sam's reactions are correct. Randa turns on the lights for a private show complete with Paul, Phoenix donor guy, and some heart ripping threats. Dean: "Ah…ah you guys are stronger than you look." Paul: "It comes with the package. Plus I work out a lot." Dean eye rolls but I laugh. Randa embraces her inner Amazon but makes a classic villain mistake - she monologues instead of kills. Randa: "You can't imagine who I was before. This shy, awkward little thing from Georgia with a heart condition. Then I had the surgery. I became freaking Xena Warrior Princess. I couldn't dissect a frog in high school, but sacrificing to Cacao…better than sex. So if I go real slow, take my time and enjoy this, I can actually show you your own beating heart before you die." The monologue gives Sam time to bash Paul's head. Dean pulls one of his many hidden knives and one jab to what I guess was supposed to be her heart (although it was more in the diaphragm area) kills her in red, glowing special effects style. Paul and Phoenix go out the same way. It's kind of abrupt after all that exposition but still cool.

The brothers head to Betsy's to set her mind at ease. (eye roll) While she's playing on my nonexistent sympathy, I wonder how they kept the maid from knowing they were lovers when they were supposed to be mother and son. Don't tell me Betsy cleaned that big old mansion herself. Blah, blah, more attempts for sympathy and the brothers are finally on their own in Baby. You know what that means….brother rift #6. Yeah! Dean: "Wow! Back in business. Got the win. Admit it. Feels good huh?" Words to Live By #2. Impressive! More impressive is that they actually acknowledged it. We've gone too many seasons of the brothers being dumbed down, dependent on others, and generally less competent than they were in the first 3 seasons. I'm not saying they need all the answers or can't find allies. I'm saying that I am tired of secondary characters finding all the solutions and saving the day. Sometimes it feels like the brothers are the audience in their own story. The first two episodes this season followed the same pattern. Kevin Tran got them away from Crowley in episode 1. Mrs. Tran got key info from Pawn Guy in episode 2. Now they didn't do everything in this episode by themselves. They had the professor translate for them and Doctor Kashi got info about Brick and the organ recipients. However, these two make sense. I don't expect them to know Mayan so the smart thing is to find someone who does. The doctor can quickly find the info they need. Of course use that resource. Still the brothers did their own research and made the good intuitive leaps they made throughout the entire first season. Those are my smart brothers and I'm glad they are back. Plus we got an added bonus, they actually killed the bad guys. No monsters slipping away like the Amazons and the Starks last year or Crowley in both episodes this season. The strength of this episode is the brothers and that's the way it should be. Please let us continue this pattern throughout the rest of the seasons we get.

And the bad news….brother rift coming in…3…2…1. Dean: "You know I was thinking about what Randa said about what it feels like to be a warrior. I get it man. I do." Sam: "I know. I know you do. I don't. Not anymore. Hell maybe I never did." Dean: "Come on Sam, don't ruin my buzz would ya?" Sam: "Dean listen. When this is over, when we close up shop on Kevin and the tablet, I'm done. I mean that." Dean: "No you don't." Sam: "Dean the year that I took off I had something I've never had. A normal life. I mean I got to see what that felt like. I want that. I had that." Dean: "I think that's just how you feel right now." No, Dean it's not. No, Sam you can't leave your brother to hunt alone. This subplot is nonsensical because we know Sam won't leave hunting. Why waste my time with this brother rift, Jeremy Carver? All you're doing is leaving me numb and/or dreading any brother alone time because this ALWAYS comes up. Give it a rest! And by the way, what was his time with Jessica? Have we forgotten the whole first season now? You can't just ignore or rewrite seven years of the show when you come in. ARGH!!!

Happily we sink into Sam's day-glo flash back world where things are really, really bright - in stark contrast to the dark of the car. The sun beats down on the idyllic green world as a dog frolics beside Sam. A bridge over still waters transports Sam through a park, where he is…..freaking out? Really? Apparently Sam has his own abandonment issues because he practically hyperventilates over Amelia not being in his sight. This cannot be a good sign for the relationship. Take 38 Special's advice Sam - Hold on Loosely but Don't Let Go. You're clinging too tightly and you're gonna lose control. The sadly named dog, Riot, runs off. Sam chases him, right to Amelia. She made Sam a birthday picnic complete with cake and a wayward aww slips from me. I love when the brothers are happy, even for a moment. Amelia by the way looks a lot like Dream Lisa in Dream a Little Dream of Me, except everything here is much brighter. Sam is puzzled and Amelia says, "What? You've never seen a birthday cake before? Sit. Eat." Sam smiles and my heart sings. No, I don't think Jessica skipped his birthdays but Sam hasn't had much to celebrate lately and I'm glad he can here. We need more idyllic flash backs, more happy brothers. Or heck, even extend this one. I'm filled with joy but we segue far too quickly back to the Impala of Brotherly Strife. Sam looks wistfully out the window, a small smile edging his lips. He turns to see Dean driving and he sighs with a grimace and sad eyes. Ouch! Why show? Why? I can't handle a Sam who is miserable that his brother is back from Purgatory. I don't want a Sam who feels obligated to be by his brother's side and looks at his brother like he ruined his life. This sucks out loud. It's not true to the characters we've grown with for 7 years. FIX IT NOW!!!!

There is so much to love about this episode and so much to hate. There are smart brothers and action but there are brother rifts and excessive exposition. The case of the week was interesting, one of the better ones in my opinion, but the pacing was off in the middle. They answered my season 8 wish list and then broke my heart. This episode is tough. So I'm stuck on what grade to give it, wavering back and forth multiple times…..

My Grade (to the tune of Torn Between Two Lovers by Mary MacGregor):

Torn between two grades here,
Feeling lost and used.
Smart brothers vs. brother rift
Has got me all confused.
Smart brothers are a solid A
Their absence makes me blue,
But brother rift….is Jeremy's big "screw you."

Argh! Forget it. Grade = 3

Scorecard - Here's how the rankings break down in my scorecard.

1 = One of the best episodes in all of Supernatural, or in all of TV for that matter.
2 = A great episode when judged against other Supernatural episodes.
3 = A good Supernatural episode, which means it's better than almost anything else on TV
4 = An okay episode when judged against other SPN episodes, meaning still better than most TV.
5 = A poor episode, meaning only better than some TV.


Screencaps by Home of the Nutty

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Sunday, October 21, 2012

Supernatural - 8.03 - Heartache - Podcast


Hey guys, we are back with an all new podcast on Supernatural's 8.03 episode, Heartache. In exciting news, we have decided to hold a contest in our attempt to find Castiel fans to guest on episodes with Cas in them. So e-mail your 3 minute video and/or audio files to teamwinchesterpod@gmail.com and Lilith will post them on our YouTube channel. Then people can vote on which they like best. We'd like to get 3-6 people who rotate in, who will sometimes do a new segment called Cas Corner (suggestions for a better name welcome) and other times sit in on the full podcast, depending on the amount Cas is in the episode. We also need 2 Cas fans for the Castiel-centric podcast that will be recorded the first Thursday of winter hiatus.

Speaking of the Cas-centric podcast, we are also looking for fans to contribute to our character specific podcasts, including Bobby, Cas, and Crowley so far. Please send us a short video or audio snippet of why you love the character or your favorite lines/scenes/episodes with that character at teamwinchesterpod@gmail.com. We will include these during that character's podcast.

But enough about future podcasts. In this one, Lilith and I disagree more than in the first two. I tended to like it better because the brothers get a definite win in this one and I felt it was sorely needed. Lilith found it boring in the middle. Both of us agreed there was much anvil dropping and that the brother rift is getting old already. What did you think?

PS - There is a glitch in the podcast from 56:55 - 66:30. The guest stars/least favorite/music/trivia part is in it twice, so just skip that section. Sorry!



Podcast Breakdown:

Intro
News (Ratings, Fan Reaction, Critic Reaction) - 5:40
First Impressions - 16:10
Discussion Points - 25:35
Nitpicks - 30:35
WTH - 36:05
Favorite Things - 39:35
Guest Stars - 45:00
Least Favorite Things - 49:25
Music - 51:55
Trivia - 52:25
****Glitch - repeating the part we just did (56:55-66:30)******
Grade and Review - 66:35
Listener Feedback, Around the Fandom, Contact Info - 70:00
Spoilers, Misc. Points, and Wrap-Up - 85:00

Podcast Links:

Website
E-mail:  teamwinchesterpod@gmail.com
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Spreaker
Voice mail - 502-233-1351

Lilith Links:

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Blog

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Supernatural - 8.03 - Heartache - Quotes


Supernatural 8.03 - Heartache was certainly pun-ilicious. Lots of heart jokes, including this gem that didn't quite make the cut for me: Dean: "And he wasn't wearing a heart?" Cop: "No, heart-less." I enjoyed the quotes this week even as I tried to merrily avoid the anvil-dropping of brotherly strife. Since this was a standalone episode, I was tempted to drop the mytharc/story moving section but I decided to include quotes that tied to the case of the week in that part. I also included a new section for this episode called Words to Live By. These include either good advice for general life or something I wish the show runners and writers would remember. A great example would be from the pilot: "No chick flick moments." I so wish they had stuck to this or at least limited them. Since not every episode will have words to live by this section will only appear when the episode fits it. Final note - not all the quotes this time are ones that I liked. Instead they might be ones I felt were important even as I was cringing.

So what were your two favorite quotes? Don't forget to nominate them for our summer quotes contest. And as always, comments are joy.


Words to Live By

Not many episodes have words to live by but this one had two. Sometimes I wish the writers would take their own advice.

2. Betsy: "Brick used to say the heart was key. That was the focus of the sacrifice."

-Heart isn't just the focus of the sacrifice. It's the focus of the show. Its foundation is the relationship between the brothers and how they have sacrificed everything for each other. I'm not saying that the relationship can't grow and they can't want other things. That's natural. What I am saying is creating new and more out-of-character ways to have the brothers at odds is getting old and a detriment to the power of the show. Come on Jeremy. You yourself said that it is all about the brothers. How about giving us a united front for a change? That would really be novel and a breath of fresh air.

1. Dean: "Wow! Back in business. Got the win. Admit it. Feels good huh?"

-This is my favorite quote of the whole episode. It sums up what they got right in this episode, what they got right in almost every episode in the first three seasons of Supernatural. We got smart, competent hunters who can get the job done with limited help and no need for secondary characters to rescue them - such a nice surprise! We saw the brothers research the problem and kill the bad guys…and no one escaped to have to be dealt with later. These are the brothers of old and I have missed them. Smart Dean and Smart Sam are back. Now please let me keep them.


Funny/Snarky quotes:

8. Dean: "Ah…ah you guys are stronger than you look." Paul: "It comes with the package. Plus I work out a lot."
7. Dean: "Where the hell are we?" Sam: "Farmer's market. Organic."
6. Dean: "So no new interests - fly fishing, stamp collecting, the occult?"
5. Dean: "Wow, guy goes to Purgatory for a year all hell breaks out. Check this out. Jogger in Minneapolis gets his heart ripped out." Sam: "I'm guessing literally." Dean: "Only way that interests me."
4. Paul Hayes: "I do a lot of cardio"
3. Dean: "Really? Our king daddy monster is a stripper?"
2. Dean: "Same thing happens. Also in Minneapolis. What does that tell us?" Sam: "Stay out of Minneapolis."
1. Dean: "Two hearts ganked, same city 6 months apart. I mean that's has to be a ritual man. Or at least some kind of a heart sucking, possessed Satanic crack whore bat."


Story-moving quotes:

8. Dean: "So you getting his statement?"
7. Betsy: "You must think I'm a monster." Dean: "No. No, just that you married one."
6. Betsy: "I'm old Randa, not an idiot." Randa: "I'm just trying to protect Brick." Betsy: "And so am I."
5. Detective: "Sure he can run a little bit but Thor he ain't. You think he's going to grab Freddy Fitness here and throw him down and rip out his heart. I don't think so. Forgive me if I didn't take him out back and shoot him."
4. Sam: "Brick Holmes, a heart eater. Who knew?" Dean: "Heh, sorry buddy. The mighty they fall hard huh." Sam: "At least he wasn't sleeping with his mother." Dean: "Yeah good Sam, find the silver lining."
3. Dean: "No hex bags, nothing satanic, nothing spooky." Sam: "So didn't seem like a guy to be voted most likely to disembowel." Dean: "Oh they never do."
2. Dean; "Wait a second. I bought a translation app." Sam: "You bought an app." Dean: "Yeah."….Dean: "And babble wins, language unknown."
1. Sam: "You want to guess who else other than Arthur Swenson had a transplant in the last year?' Dean: "Paul Hayes." Sam: "I gave it away didn't I?"


Emotional quotes:

6. Sam: "Look I'm not saying I'm bailing on you. I'm just saying make room for the possibility that we want different things. I mean I want my time to count for something." Dean: "So what we do doesn't count?"
5. Sam: "Or, maybe you don't need me. I mean maybe you're at your best hacking and slicing your way through all the world's cr** alone, not having to explain yourself to anybody." Dean: "Yeah that makes sense seeing as how I have so many other brothers I can talk to about this stuff."
4. Dean: "No, uh Brick Holmes is the way into this. Eleanor Holmes was doing her damnedest not to tell us a thing. Nice job in changing the subject though."
3. Sam: "Dean listen. When this is over, when we close up shop on Kevin and the tablet, I'm done. I mean that." Dean: "No you don't." Sam: "Dean the year that I took off I had something I've never had. A normal life. I mean I got to see what that felt like. I want that. I had that."
2. Dean: "You know I was thinking about what Randa said about what it feels like to be a warrior. I get it man. I do." Sam: "I know. I know you do. I don't. Not anymore. Hell maybe I never did." Dean: "Come on Sam, don't ruin my buzz would ya?"
1. Dean: "I don't know about you but this last year has given me a new perspective." Sam: "I hear you. Believe me." Dean: "I know where I'm at my best and that is right here, driving down crazy street next to you."



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Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Supernatural - 8.02 - What's Up Tiger Mommy? - Quotes



What's Up, Tiget Mommy? was not quite as snarky as most Supernatural episodes, but we did get interesting characters who knew how to deliver a line. What were your favorites? Don't forget to nominate your top 2 for the favorite quotes contest in the summer.


Funny/Snarky quotes:



10. Benny: "The way I hear it you two hit Monsterland and Hot Wings here took off. I figure he owes you some back story."
9. WW: "Oh relax Dan, I'm not going to steal your prophet."
8. Crowley: "Listen to Moose, Squirrel."
7. Dean: "What do you think Brainiac? Think you can swing it?" Linda: "Of course he can swing it if the bumper stickers on my Previa mean anything."
6. Sam: "Yeah uh, you too short stop. Keeps the demons out." Linda: "Fine." Dean: "Really?" Linda: "What? Like it's my first tattoo."
5. Sam: "That's okay. That's okay. We've just gotta…come up with a plan B." Crowley: "And what pray tell could possibly have been plan A? Take the prophet to the most dangerous place on earth. Memorize the tablet and then va-moose. Hello boys."
4. Samandriel: "Excuse me, Miss. Hi my name's Sama….Alfie. I'm an angel." Linda: "Who works at Wiener Hut?"
3. Crowley: "Alright, the moon." Dean: "You're bidding the moon?" Crowley: "Yeah, I claimed it for hell. You think a man named Buzz gets to go into space without making a deal?"
2. WW: "Well I am the right hand of a god after all. Plutus specifically." Dean: "Is that even a planet anymore?"
1. Dean: "Plan C tanked." Crowley: "Maybe you should try Plan D for dumba**."


Mytharc/Story-moving quotes:

5. Dean: "You're chasing the magic rock." Samandriel: "We protect the Word of God." Dean: "Well awesome job so far uh Alfie." Samandriel: "Well actually my name is Samandriel." Dean: "Let's just stick with Alfie."
4. Cas: "I ran away." Dean: "You ran away?" Cas: "I had to." Dean: "That's your excuse for leaving me with those gorilla wolves." Cas: "Dean.." Dean: "You bailed out and what? Went camping? I prayed to you Cas - every night." Cas: "I know." Dean: "You know and you didn't…what the hell's wrong with you?" Cas: 'I'm an angel in a land of abominations. There have been things hunting me from the moment we arrived." Dean: "Join the club." Cas: "These are not just monsters Dean. They're Leviathan. I have a price on my head and I've been trying to stay one step ahead of them to…to keep them away from you. That's why I ran. Just leave me please." Benny: "Sounds like a plan. Let's roll."
3. Dean: "Hold on. Hold on. Cas, we're getting out of here. We're going home." Cas: "Dean I can't." Dean: "You can. Benny tell him." Benny: "Purgatory has an escape hatch but I've got no idea if it's angel friendly."
2. Dean: "Hey, how'd you do that reverse exorcism thing?" Sam: "Just said the verse backwards."
1. Linda: "And Crowley is the one who kidnapped you?" Kevin: "Yeah, he needs me to translate a stupid tablet so he can take over the universe or something."

Emotional quotes:

5. Sam: "Dean were you really going to uh…" Dean: "What? Slit soccer mom's throat? Yeah I was. I wish I had." Sam: "Dean." Dean: "It was Crowley Sam. It doesn't matter what meatsuit he's in. I should have knifed him. I mean yeah it would have sucked and I would have hated myself but what's one more nightmare right…..It seem a little quiet in there to you?"
4. Linda: "Oh no, no. The last time that angels tried to help my son I watched them die and Kevin went missing for a year. So no offense but I'm going to take my chances with them."
3. Sam: "Ms. Tran, all due respect, Dean's right. Crowley, he's not just a killer. He trades in torment and if he can find a way to separate your soul from you he'll take that soul to hell and…and roast it 'til there's nothing left but black smoke. Look it's best if you let us handle this." Linda: "I understand but it's not my soul I'm worried about. It's my son's."
2. Dean: "Let me bottom line it for you. I'm not leaving here without you. Understand?" Cas: "I understand."
1. Sam: "Huh…well." Dean: "No. Say it and I will kill you, your children, and your grandchildren." Sam: "Okay, okay."......Dean: "He didn't mean it Baby."



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Monday, October 15, 2012

Supernatural - 8.02 - What's Up, Tiger Mommy? - Podcast


Thanks to everyone who listened to the first podcast. We appreciate your support and comments. As always, your comments are valued. Today we have our review of What's Up, Tiger Mommy? Lilith and I agreed on most of the main issues but disagreed on the secondary characters. Please add your comments below.




Podcast Break-Down (All times are estimated):

Intro
News (Ratings, Fan Reaction, Critic Reaction) - 14:10
First Impressions - 23:45
Discussion Points - 35:50
Nitpicks - 43:30
WTH - 48:30
Favorite Things - 52:45
Guest Stars - 59:30
Music - 72:30
Trivia - 73:15
Grade and Review - 76:20
Listener Feedback, Around the Fandom, Contact Info - 87:10
Spoilers, Misc. Points, and Wrap-Up - 91:00


Podcast Links:

Website
E-mail:  teamwinchesterpod@gmail.com
Twitter
Spreaker
Voice mail - 502-233-1351



Lilith Links:


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Blog
Dahne Links:

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Sunday, October 14, 2012

Supernatural - 8.01 - We Need to Talk about Kevin - Recap

Supernatural - 8.01 - We Need to Talk about Kevin - Recap

Note: This recap is almost twice as long as a normal recap. The opinions shared within are strong. Yes, they are only my opinions. I do not speak for the fandom. No, I do not have a crystal ball or advanced screeners to know what will happen in subsequent episodes. I acknowledge that things may change. They always do. This is simply how I feel now. A brief review and the grade are at the bottom if you would like forewarning. And no, this is not the worst premiere Supernatural has ever had. Not even close.

Previously - the Wendigo motto came back, Cas killed a lot of angels and housed Leviathans, Dick was lamely named and conceived, season 7 had great special effects, Bobby died and was a ghost and died again, Dean morphed into Lucifer and back again, there was gross, Kevin was a prophet complete with glowing eyes, a man died by cutlery, Kevin knew how to read the Word of God and kill Dick, monsters go to Purgatory, unicorns fart rainbows, blood was key AGAIN, Dick died, Crowley took Kevin, Sam was alone, and Cas ditched Dean in Purgatory. Whew! That's a lot. All to the tune of Jethro Tull's Locomotive Breath.

100-Mile Wilderness, Maine (One Year Later) - A noisy flash of light awakens a camper, who quickly wakes her boyfriend. Since we're before the title card, Boyfriend has the right plan. Campers never fare well on Supernatural. They see a shadow on the tent wall and hear rustling nearby so naturally instead of turning off the light and staying very still, she insists he check it out, making me wonder if she planned to off him herself and found this more convenient. Everyone knows the only thing more likely to be monster food than a camper tucked safely in a sleeping bag is a camper wandering around at night. Girlfriend stays safe in the tent as Boyfriend screams "Hello" in that always helpful way that determines your exact location. Boyfriend claims it was a deer which of course is A) wishful thinking and B) stupid. You know that two-legged shadow you just saw dude? When's the last time you saw a deer walking on two legs? Following the law of natural selection, you are both prime candidates for monster chow. Except….it's Dean, a very bloody, very dirty, very confused Dean but Dean no less. Nice to see you so soon. Whoa Dean! There's no need to draw a gun on these nice campers. Granted they aren't brainchildren but I'm sure something else will eat them. Just give it time. Dean asks for directions to the highway and steals a backpack. It's "twelve miles that way" so Dean starts running to the tune of Man in the Wilderness by Styx, another nominee for best song-to-scene. Check out these lyrics. Aren't they perfect?

Another year has passed me by
Still I look at myself and cry,
"What kind of man have I become?"
Oh all the years I've spent in search of myself
And I'm still in the dark cuz I can't seem to find the light alone
Sometimes I feel like a man in the wilderness
I'm a lonely soldier off to war
Sent away to die, never quite knowing why
Sometimes it makes no sense at all.

Dean walks down a tree lined path in an obvious nod to Lazarus Rising, but this time his arm is noticeably hurting. He walks through the day, stopping at a cemetery at night. He heads to a windmill and counts off paces with shovel in hand. Dean: "This better be you, you SOB." I get the feeling this isn't your typical salt and burn, especially when Dean rolls up his sleeve to reveal something bumpy glowing red inside his arm. Ouch! One arm slice and Latin spell later, red electricity goo pours over the bones Dean uncovered. Voila! Instant vampire resurrection. He even comes back with clothes on - how convenient. While Dean would normally start swinging that homemade head detacher at this time, instead he makes sure the vampire is all in one piece. The vamp responds by showing his teeth and asking what they do now. If it weren't for spoilers I'd be dumbfounded during their adios speeches. Dean tells Benny the Vamp to keep his nose clean. He responds, "We made it bro. I can't believe it." Dean: "You and me both." I know combat makes strange bedfellows but yikes this is weird. It's a heartwarming goodbye hug between Dean and a vampire - and a sentence I never expected to write. Thankfully the cool new, Word of God title card gives me time to get my balance back. (So much better than last year's black goo.)

As we head to Kermit, Texas, I laugh. Sorry, cold medicine makes me think Supernatural: Muppet Style. Perhaps season 11. Sam is obviously here because a beautiful Baby, as good as new, sits in the driveway. Aww, I've missed you Baby. Don't go away again. I'm glad Sam had you repaired but I'm sorry Dean didn't get to fix you. Sam packs while looking over the sleeping body of a woman as sad keys of future heartbreak and sorrow plink wistfully in the background. It's effective. I'm sad already and Sam's only rubbed a dog's head. As Sam plaintively walks out the door, sleeping woman awakes but doesn't question him. Either she knows it's the end or Sam habitually makes Quick Stop runs in the night. As Metallicar purrs away I curse reading spoilers because this sure looks like a current breakup but the spoilers hinted that Sam and his ladylove were Splitsville well before Dean reappeared. Now instead of relishing Jared's acting I'm too busy deciding if this is a flash back or not. It will have different implications if Sam left her for Dean than if they split up and Dean came back later. Clarification please. All my pondering stops though since a mysterious figure is watching the house as Sam drives away. Oooh, I like this. Who was that shadowed man? SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT I have many theories but none satisfy. Cas, fresh out of Purgatory looking for an ally in Sam? Crowley, hoping Sam will lead him to Kevin? Angels, also looking for Kevin? Benny, gauging how big a threat Sam will be? Future Big Bad, in a twist from what I predict will happen this season? Miscellaneous demon #32, camera guy #4, set visitor who needed a walk on part? Who knows? They all have glaring problems but it is going to keep me guessing for quite some time. Nice job Jeremy!

In an attempt to hit every state in 42 minutes, Sam heads to Rufus' more ramshackle than before cabin in Whitefish, Montana. I look lovingly on the wide shot of Baby and worry for my mental health as I obsess over this car who has been gone far too long. The purr of her engine and squeaky doors make me sigh like a teenager with a crush. It may be time for an intervention. As the screen pops up, "Guest Starring Mark A. Sheppard", I sigh as an adult with a major TV crush. Both make me blush and feel a little silly. I'm too old for this. Luckily my sighing stops when my heart does the same. Dean flies out of nowhere, knocking Sam to the ground. After a Borax, holy water, and silver knife test trifecta, he decides it is really Sam and tells Sam to test him. The sheer presence of overwhelming Dean is enough for Sam to know it's his brother, but Dean's been gone too long and tests himself when Sam refuses. Dean: "Come on." Sam: "No Dean, can I just say hello?" Ha! Apparently not until Dean's arm resembles a suicidal teen. This is the second time he's cut that arm this episode and we are only 8 minutes in. Dean: "Alright, well let's do this." Sam: "I don't know whether to give you a hug or take a shower." I'm glad they go with the hug option. Brother hugs are always a plus and this is no exception.

After much contented sighing…from me, Sam reacts: "Dude, you…you're freaking alive! I mean what the hell happened?" Dean: "Well I guess standing too close to exploding Dick sends your a** straight to Purgatory." May that be the very last Dick joke we ever get on Supernatural. Sam is clearly shocked that Dean was in Purgatory for a year. Dean is surprised to have survived. "Yeah time flies when you're running for your life." Sam asks how Dean escaped and Dean evades because it's episode 1. We have to save that for later. Sam brings up Cas and Dean again evades, leaving the impression that Cas is dead. Sam pushes for details but Dean shuts down. Going to the still working fridge (wonder who pays the electricity bill), Dean grabs some beers because what's a brother chat without alcohol. He asks Sam about his phones not working and Sam reluctantly admits he stopped hunting. At first Dean thinks it's a joke. Dean: "Yeah and Sasha Grey's gone legit." (Confession - had to look up who Sasha Grey is. For the record, she's a porn star.) Sam explains that everyone was dead or Crowley-napped but Dean doesn't take him ditching the family business well. Sam: "Nothing says family quite like the whole family being dead." Dean: "I wasn't dead. In fact I was knee deep in God's armpit killing monsters, which I thought is what we actually do." Sam: "Yes Dean and as far as I knew what we do is the thing that got every single member of my family killed. I had no one. No one. And for the first time in my life I was completely alone and honestly I…I…I didn't exactly have a road map. So yeah I…I fixed up the Impala and I just drove." And then comes the bombshell. It hit hard and frankly it will take time to digest. Dean: "After you looked for me…" (Sam says nothing.) Dean: "Did you look for me Sam?" (Sam looks away.) Dean: "Good. That's good. No, we…we always told each other not to look for each other. That's smart. Good for you. Of course we always ignored that because of our deep abiding love for each other but not this time right Sammy?" Sam: "Look I'm still the same guy Dean." Dean: "Well bully for you. I'm not." Dean walks off.




Warning: I am about to rant and rant hard. Skip the next 4 paragraphs to avoid. I promise you won't miss anything if you do……RANT - What THE HELL Carver? Are you kidding me? I spent the summer delving through subtle digs about how Sera Gamble ruined the brothers and how you, writer of A Very Supernatural Christmas, obviously know the brothers better than she ever did. I scrolled through love letters of how you would save the show, getting it back on track. If I'm having such a major reaction to your first 12 minutes, I can't imagine what those people think. First off, nowhere in Supernatural's history did the brothers even hint that they wouldn't look for each other if one went missing. That's not canon; that's not what I've seen in the 149 episodes before this. In fact it goes against the very tenets of their brother bond. They always look for each other. ALWAYS! The only time they didn't was when they went to hell and that was for very concrete reasons laid down before they ever left. When Dean went to hell he told Sam not to try to rescue him because it would be welching on the deal and Sam would go to hell in his place. When Sam went to hell, Dean could not do anything for fear of letting Lucifer and Michael out too. These specific instances have nothing in common with this situation. Dean disappeared without warning. You know who also did that…Sam in The Benders, Born Under a Bad Sign, Hunted, Girl Next Door, etc. According to you Jeremy, Dean should have left Sam with The Benders due to this brother code we have never heard of before and which has certainly never be followed.


Some people argue this new code is based on Bobby saying, "When it is your time to go, go." Again it does not fit the circumstances at all. Bobby was saying that if your choice is to go with a reaper or stay and be a ghost, go with the reaper. He said nothing about just moving on if your brother's missing. Bobby would be the first person to smack Sam upside the head and call him an idjit for not trying. Speaking of, I also heard that Sam didn't because he couldn't. I readily admit he had very limited resources for finding Dean but that doesn't mean he had NO resources. First off he has Bobby and Grandpa Creepy's book collections. To not look in these AT ALL is a crime against Sam's character. There are also other hunters, whom Sam himself mentions in this episode, and Sheriff Jody has been willing to help in the past. Sam wasn't the only one left on earth to know of the supernatural. Also if he thought Dean was truly dead despite having no proof at all, the least he could have done was try the Ouija board, a séance, or spell to contact him. For that matter, as much as I would hate it, why not contact Missouri? He could have also tried to reach Tessa or Death like Dean did for him. I'm not saying any of these things would work. In fact I'd have been happy if they didn't, but to say Sam didn't even try is so completely out of character as to make me wonder if something is up with Sam. This is not the Sam I've known for 7 years and it's not a Sam I can reconcile. Nor does PTSD cut it in my opinion. I've heard fans trying to spin this as a way for Sam not to be out of character. I could see Sam being jumpy, panicky, erratic, but to not even look - no siree. I don't buy it.

The only ideas I have as to why a show runner would so badly write a main character is 1. Sam is not Sam and it will be a major midseason twist. 2. Jeremy Carver purposely wrote Sam out of character to service his plot line. 3. Jeremy purposely put the fandom in a tizzy for reasons only he himself knows. 4. Jeremy does not know his main characters and therefore can't write them in character. If the answer is #1, it's a show runner fail. We've already had this plot and as much as I loved RoboSam, he doesn't need to return. More importantly, this is Jeremy's first chance to show his vision of the brothers. Having Sam completely off in her first show runner episode blew up in Sera's face. I'd hope Jeremy wouldn't make the same error. If it is #2, then it's a writer fail. I'm sick of SPN writers making the brothers out of character to further their agenda. Not to mention, it wasn't necessary here. If Sam tried, failed and gone on to a normal life, they'd be in the exact same situation. To say he didn't even try only wrecks the character while getting the same result. #3 is either a show runner fail or a misdirect. Still, it is no secret that many Supernatural fans were unhappy with season 7. I was not one of them but for many fans it tested their loyalty to stick with SPN. Many people said they'd give it a chance this year simply because Jeremy was taking over. If this was his shot at reconnecting those fans, he might have blown it already. If Sam must be out of character for some super secret reason, it would probably have been best to wait until the 3rd episode. Give fans a glimpse of your future for the brothers and lower the boom after they are reinvested. #4 is the scariest reason and I really hope it isn't. If Jeremy really believes this is who Sam is deep down, even a more mature Sam, then we'll be scrambling to see glimpses of the brothers we love all season long.


Let me conclude by saying I wasn't concerned when I heard Sam settled down with a girlfriend and dog. I was actually happy for him because the brothers deserve some happiness. I didn't panic about Domestic Sam or even that he didn't want to hunt anymore. Those are natural reactions and in character for a world weary Sam. I wish this is what we got. However Sam not even trying to find Dean is way out of character and it can't be spun otherwise. For Sam, who wanted out completely, to continue looking for supernatural deaths in the newspaper but not do anything about it is ludicrous. If he really wanted out, he would avoid newspaper and internet searches all together. We've gotten a Sam unrecognizable to his former self. This isn't maturing; this is Stepford Sam, a plot device to end all plot devices and anvil dropping to create yet another brother divide. At this point creating false-ringing situations for the mere purpose of having the brothers at odds has gone beyond dramatic tension and entered into annoying or worse, boring. Jeremy Carver needs to end this poor example of writing and get the brothers on track right away because it is not a positive sign for season 8. Now before I get reamed, yes, I know it's only the first episode. To be honest I still have faith that it will be a great season. There are lots of positive things going on. However a show runner that can't write one of 2 main leads in character shouldn't be there. He needs to prove he can.


And back to our episode….Dean sifts through a big phone collection while Sam cooks dinner. Obviously Sam kept his unused phones at Rufus' so at least they weren't truly ditched. Sam is eating dinner when he gets the full power of a Dean "What the hell!" glare directed his way. Kevin Tran, angel whisperer and AP student, left several messages saying he escaped from Crowley and needed Sam's help. Sam of course got none of the messages when he ditched the phones. Sam looks more visibly guilty as the messages go on and Dean keeps glaring until Kevin finally says that he won't call anymore. Dean throws the phone at Sam's chest. "He was our responsibility and you couldn't answer the damn phone." Ouch! But mostly because it's true. I'm sure people are upset about Dean's attitude here but he spent 1 year fighting for his life only to find that his brother, whom I'm sure he thought was moving heaven and earth to get him, never even tried and then left a teen who needed them hanging. Not on purpose of course but it's very in character that Dean would be ticked. However, I'm suddenly delighted because who should return to Supernatural but….Smart Sam! I've missed him almost as much as Baby. Sam filters out the background noise in Kevin's last message and figures he was headed to Centerville, Michigan to meet his girlfriend. Yeah for a return of my smart, capable hunters! May we see a lot of you this season. Dean, not ready to let Sam off the hook, says the lead is thin. Sam: "It's the best lead we've got." Dean calls him on the "we" and Sam says, "You were right. He was our responsibility so let's find him okay." I may not have a strong united Winchester brotherhood yet but at least they have a common goal. I can build off of that.


They head out to traverse yet another state when Sam tosses Dean the keys. Ah, Baby! (sigh) Dean acknowledges Sam has not "douched her up" this time like in Lazarus Rising but I think it supports the theory that Sam knew exactly who he was meeting in Rufus' cabin. I firmly believe the iPod dock was in her for months but he removed it before going to Dean. Still Dean smells dog and Sam gives the best "I don't know what you're talking about" face around. At the Palm Motel, I finally get the brother scene I waited all summer for. It's a blink and miss it thing but it says a lot. Dean stands in front of a motel vending machine, shocked by choices he never had in Purgatory. Sam sees Dean shell shocked and gives him that patented Sammy worried face. It's a small but very poignant moment. Sadly, it's interrupted by 2 brothers playing war. As they race by him shooting each other, Dean flashes back to Purgatory. It's dark as Dean chases a monster from the days when all men wore ponytails and cravats. Dean's bloody, dirty and carrying a knife. He corners it against a tree saying, "Take a breath. Calm down. Where's the angel?" The vamp flashes his teeth and lets us all know that humans are an endangered species in Purgatory. Since he doesn't have info on Cas, Dean grabs his homemade weapon of a blade attached to bone and beheads him. It's a cool scene, but Dean is soon attacked by another vampire. While he's struggling to get his new weapon, Benny from the beginning scene jumps in the fray and beheads vamp #2. And thus begins a beautiful friendship…or an alliance that will make me throw things at my screen by episode 12.

Back in the hotel room, Dean is visibly on edge and wants to go find Kevin. Sam validly states that they need sleep and Dean instead of admitting that beds are now foreign to him, lashes out at Sam for not looking for Kevin and by extension him. Sam says Kevin has taken care of himself for a year, people were okay and Dean is okay. I have issues with the last one since it's plainly not true but I get what Sam's saying. Dean does not. And we get another retcon from Jeremy. "Look I did what we promised we'd do. I moved on. I lived my life." My eyes roll so hard I see my esophagus and my blood pressure rises but don't worry since Jeremy makes Sam look even worse to his brother and me. Argh! He tells Dean he still scoured the paper for weird deaths across the country. He just didn't do anything about them. Not even to call Garth with a heads up and Garth needs those. For some reason he thinks it will make Dean feel better about the situation when of course it doesn't. I just want the real Sam back. You know, the one who called Bobby about a hunt in Free to be You and Me, even though he was done hunting then too. I can reconcile a Sam who avoids the papers so he won't be reminded about hunting, but why in the world would he actively look for cases he isn't going to do anything about? How does that make him feel better? New Sam makes no sense to me. Then he says, "Or maybe another hunter took care of it. I don't know." And I'm off ranting again. You mean those hunters you did not call to help you find Dean? Those hunters? Gah! Get me out of these brother talks and back in the mytharc stat. All they do is depress me.

Dean doesn't buy it either. Dean: "Hmm, what could possibly make you stop just like that. A girl? Was there a girl?" Sam: "The girl had nothing to do with it." Dean: "There was a girl." Sam: "Yeah, there was. And then there wasn't. Anymore questions?" I still have questions Sam. When did "the girl" stop being a part of your life? Was it yesterday? I like context. Mature Sam makes his first appearance now and I like him. "Listen I know this is going to sound crazy to you. I don't even necessarily need you to understand but you need to know. I didn't just drop out Dean. I found something. Something I've never had all my life." It's a change in the brother dynamic I fully support. Usually when at odds, both brothers try to convince the other that they are right and the other person is wrong. Either that or the hide and keep secrets to avoid having the conversation at all. Here Sam is willing to concede that Dean might feel differently and that's okay but Sam needs to let him know what happened. I love this new form of communication. If only it went both ways. Hear that Dean. Time for you to grow up too. But no dice. Instead we get Amelia back story. Sam admits he met her when he hit a dog and Dean majorly overreacts. Big time overreacts and for the first time in years I question Ackles' acting choices or maybe Singer's direction. It doesn't come off as PSTD to me, just overplayed with a bizarre piece of dialogue on top of it. Dean: "Hey the rules are simple Sam. You don't take a joint from a guy named Don and there's no dogs in the car." Don't bother asking who Don is. Jeremy isn't telling.

Sam finally turns it back on Dean who has his own explaining to do. Sam: "Look at you. You still got that look. You're shaky, you're on edge, you're uh…what was it like?" Dean says Sam wouldn't understand but Sam re-asks. Dean: "It was bloody, messy, 31 flavors of bottom-dwelling nasties. Hell most days felt like 360 degree combat. But there was something about being there. It felt pure." Pure? That's an odd way to describe Purgatory. I would share Sam's reaction but we're right back to where we left off in the flash back. Benny is disconcerted by Dean's lack of gratitude, since he claims to know a way out of Purgatory. Dean cries "Bull" but Purgatory wasn't made for humans. Dean asks for proof but no dice. Benny: "You're either in or you're out." Dean's not buying it at all. Dean: "So you just want to guide me out of Purgatory out of the goodness of your undead heart?" Benny: "More or less." Dean asks what's in it for him. Benny wants a ride out too. Dean: "So you're looking for a soul train." Dean is unlikely to believe the vampire who just took out a friend to meet Dean. Benny: "He was my friend. Now you are. First rule of Purgatory kid - You can't trust nobody." Dean: "You just asked me to trust you." Benny: "See you're getting it now." Dean: "Hmm. First we find the angel." Benny: "Oh three's a crowd chief." Dean: "Well hey, either you're in or you're out."

In jarring contrast we leave Purgatory for the bright, bright skies of academia. Remember 42 hours ago when we were looking for Kevin Tran. Looks like we stopped emoangsting long enough to search. Alas Channing Ngo, Kevin's ex, knows nothing and she's not exactly sympathetic either. Sam thinks she's trying to protect Kevin and says they can protect him better but that's up for debate these days. Channing shuts Sam right down by proclaiming her hate. Huh? I'm confused. So are the Winchesters. Dean: "I thought you two had a thing." Channing: "Yeah when he was going to Princeton." Dean: "Wow, just like that." Love the brothers' reaction. Pretty sure mine was the same. That's one callous ex and the roommate's no prize herself. Not that it matters because as soon as the brothers leave, a possessed Channing kills her roommate right when said roomie is setting her up with a Jewish student via online campus dating? Do they have a college version of Match.com? Oh who cares. The roommate was annoying and Channing has Meg's blood communication bowl. Love the continuity. She updates the demon hotline with news that Dean is out of Purgatory. Good to know that someone knew where he was.

At a campus café, Sam looks for clues via the laptop when he hears a dog barking. Time for a Sam flash back. He races into an animal hospital with a wounded dog wrapped in a towel. The dog ran in front of Baby and sadly, the Impala won. Sam is frantic, yelling for a doctor and freaking out when the nurse implies that they might not be able to save the dog. He starts yelling, "Save this animal!" scaring the nurse. Amelia walks in and makes Sam leave so she can tend to the dog. Before leaving Sam says, "I did this." Yikes! Now he's going to feel guilty although he had no control over it. I feel for you Sammy. I'd freak too if I thought I killed someone's dog. Dean interrupts the reverie with news that he has bubbkus, but that's okay because Smart Sam worked his laptop magic again. Yippee! Even better though, Good Bro Sammy ordered Dean a burger and I don't know who's more touched, Dean or me. Awww! Best brother moment of the episode, even better than the hug. Sam found Kevin on the college security footage but Dean's so happy devouring his burger he isn't listening. Sam: "It's a burger." Dean: "It's a treasure." Aaww again. I have my brothers back. Sam geek speaks all the things he did to find Kevin while Dean hilariously chews his food, obviously having no clue what Sam is talking about. Dean: "That is spectacular work. Any chance I can get that in English?" Short version, the brothers are now headed to Fairfield, Iowa. One more state and they'll earn American Road Trip souvenir collector's cups.

The end result - Kevin's in an abandoned church. Dean picks the lock and they walk in to a SuperSoaker armed Kevin, ready with Borax. Bwah! Kevin has a new look and new attitude. Both look good on him. Dean: "No, stop. Stop. Not Leviathans. It's us." Kevin: "What the hell happened to you guys?" Dean: "The Cliff Notes? I went to Purgatory. Sam hit a dog." Um, yeah…bwaaahhhh!!! It's sad but it's funny. Kevin has gone to the Revolution School of Clean Clothes in Tough Situations. He's well showered for a person squatting in a filthy abandoned church. He also added his own graffiti to keep out demons. Dean: "Who taught you all this?" Kevin: "I guess God." Sam: "God taught you how to trap demons." Kevin: "Technically yeah." Sam asks how he escaped Crowley and I'm curious too. After all, Crowley is the snarky, manipulative King of Hell. Enter Kevin flash backs. Kevin: "Will there be torture now?" Crowley: "Torture? Heavens no. No, quite the opposite my young prince. Sky's the limit for you and I." Crowley taps his inner motivational speaker but Dean interrupts the flash back. Just how many Words of God are there? Will they have to find 66 tablets to counteract the 66 seals? Kevin is like, "Dude I became a prophet last year. How am I supposed to know?" and the flash back continues. I love how accommodating Crowley is to Kevin, making sure he's temperature controlled. He must want this bad. Kevin claims there's a hell gate in Wisconsin and the tablet has a spell to open it. Now why would God write that down? Just as Kevin is about to light the spell, Dean interrupts again. Dean: "You showed the King of Hell how to open a hell gate so that all the demons in hell could come out all at the same time." Kevin: "What? No." How dumb do you think he is? Instead Kevin killed the demons, stole the tablet, and ran away, leaving Crowley standing in the middle of goats. Bwah! Dean is all proud of that little AP student.

Sam heads us into the season's mythology by asking where the tablet is. Kevin, taking a page from Dean with the Colt, says it's hidden. I pray that Sam is not possessed and looking for info from Kevin. That would completely suck. SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT Or maybe Sam is possessed by those new angels that will be invading the show soon and that's why he's so out of character? Maybe he did look for Dean, couldn't find him and then settled into normal life before the angels appeared and convinced him to help Kevin by being a vessel. Not that I want this to happen. I really, really don't. Not like it's likely anyway. Conjecture over. SPOILER ALERT OVER Dean tells Sam to back off the tablet as Kevin drops the big bombshell. Dean: "Were you able to read anything else off the tablet before you stashed it?" Kevin: "Only the stuff about closing the gates of hell. Forever." Dean: "Come again?" Kevin: "Banish all demons off the face of the earth. Lock them away forever. That could be important right?' Dean: "Closing the gates of hell forever? Yeah, yeah…that could be important." I get excited for this season again, while I laugh at Dean's reaction. Woo hoo! We have a straightforward, personal quest as the mytharc. Love it. Check one thing off my season 8 wish list. And then I plummet as the brothers chat AGAIN outside the church. I know many fans felt a dearth of brother chats in season 7 but this is ridiculous. It slows the action and every time they open their mouths someone's out of character. My eyes are tired from the Tilt-a-Whirl rolling they've done all episode. Since I can't avoid it here's the actual conversation. Make of it as you will. Dean: "Okay, if this kid is right, he's sitting on a bombshell. Hell he is the bombshell. What?" Sam: "That. I mean there's no way Kevin's getting out of this intact is there?" Dean: "Well I think he's doing pretty well for himself so far." Sam: "Yeah, he got out." Dean: "And now he's in it whether he likes it or not." Sam: "So free will? That's only for you." Dean: "I can't believe what I'm hearing. Sam we have an opportunity to wipe the slate clean. We take Kevin to the tablet. He tells us the spell. We send every demon back to hell forever. Every single b** that destroyed our lives. Killed our mother. Killed Jess. And you're not sure?" *** So yea Sam for pointing out Dean's hypocrisy. Now why exactly does Sam need Dean to tell him demons are bad and this is a great opportunity? Why Jeremy, why?

Sam heads into the church to talk to Kevin now 100% behind the quest. Why? No idea. They didn't show that part. Sam: "Kevin, I uh…I owe you an apology. Um look when you disappeared and Dean disappeared I needed to clear my head and I'm thinking maybe you were one of the pieces that I should have been there to pick up." Kevin's having a hard time adjusting to a prophet's life. Sam is realistic and I like what he says. Sam: "Yeah, it sucks right now. I know that. Um, it might suck for a lot longer but trust me on this. It gets better." Sam points out that if they actually close hell, neither Crowley not any other demon will hurt him again. He could go back to his life. Um, Sam aren't you forgetting the angels? They have a vested interest in the prophet too. No time to think on this because as Kevin walks away, Sam goes full on flash back. Amelia says the dog will live and in a spectacular show of unprofessionalism, guilts Sam into taking the dog with him despite Sam saying he lives on the road. Amelia: "Don't you think you're responsible?" For what? The dog ran out in front of Baby. I agree with Sam. He brought the dog in and presumably paid for its care. Amelia snarks about Sam deserving a trophy and I get the overwhelming urge to put my hand through the TV and smack her. What the hell lady? What is your problem? Amelia: "Well maybe if you were such an upstanding guy you wouldn't have hit him in the first place." Excuse me! You're a vet right. You are aware that animals dart into the street and there's nothing you can do. At this point I was yelling, "Screw you lady! Leave Sam alone." at the screen. Sam capitulates and takes the dog. Yep, this is the new character we're supposed to like. That's another fail on Jeremy's part. He knows that many fans were apprehensive about this character. Heck Jared Padalecki himself was startled to hear the story line. So it makes sense to win over the crowd as quickly as possible right? Guess not. Let's make her an unlikeable, unprofessional witch instead. Great plan! I still hold out hope for her. After all, Sam falls for her and as far as we know she's not a demon or monster so she's already ahead of the game. I bet others are not quite so willing to give her a chance though after that stunning display of wretchedness.

Back at the present day church, demons are on the attack. Floor boards split, rendering the devil's trap useless. Dean hands Sam Ruby's knife and he pulls out his nifty beheader. Sam: "What the hell is that?' Dean: "It's Purgatory." Ha! That sums it up. The demons break in. Demon1: "Dean Winchester, back from Purgatory." Dean: "Spanky the demon, yeah I heard about you. You're the one who uses too much teeth right?" A fight ensues and I'm excited for some much needed action. Dean has handy combat skills, Sam is not even a little bit rusty, and Kevin can hold his own with a squirt bottle. Sadly it's over too quickly but hey, it's Crowley! Every episode is better with Crowley. Crowley: "Hello boys. Dean, you're looking …well let's just say Purgatory didn't do you any favors. Where's your angel?" Dean: "Ask your mother." Crowley: "There's that grade school zip. Missed it. I really did. Moose, still with the pork chops. I admire that." Ha! Love Crowley snark. Kevin demands Crowley let Channing go but Dean says she's probably dead already. Crowley snarks about Kevin stealing his tablet and killing demons, but he'll throw Channing in for free if Kevin comes with him. To prove Channing's not dead, Crowley lets her talk and Channing questions where she is. Kevin: "There's a demon in you and you're going to your safety school." Channing: "What?" BWAH!!! Best line of the night. You may have a demon in you, but the real tragedy is a safety school. Love this! Kevin agrees to go with Crowley. Dean: "Can't let you do that buddy." Kevin: "Or what? You'll kill me?" Very good point AP! Crowley: "Chin up gentlemen. I'm a professional." Dean: "This ain't over by a long shot Crowley." Crowley: "Really Dean. Who writes your stuff. A marshmallow." Ha!

But things don't go the King of Hell's way. He goes to collect a lingering Kevin, making Ruby's knife glow hot and fall from Dean's hand in the process, only to get doused with holy water by Kevin. It's classic Home Alone. Kevin shouts for the Winchesters to run (Argh! Another secondary character saving the brothers) and they all drive off in the Impala to Crowley's chagrin. However, he snaps Channing's neck in front of them so we finally see evil Crowley again. I like that. It foreshadows good things if he is the Big Bad. Man do I hope he is! The next morning when they stop for gas, Dean gets a phone call. He says it's a wrong number; he's obviously hiding something. Meanwhile Kevin is devastated by Channing's death and doesn't want to eat. Kevin: "Awesome! The King of Hell just snapped my girlfriend's neck. How 'bout you?" This is a good time for Sam sympathy, but instead we have jerky Dean. Dean: "Alright listen to me. I'm sorry about your girlfriend. Okay I am, but the sooner you get this the better. You're in it now whether you like it or not and that means you do what you've got to do." Shut up Dean! Remember "Empathy Sam, empathy." Time to live by your own words you unsympathetic jerk. You gave Sam the glare when he laid it on the line with Adam in Jump the Shark. Thankfully Dean leaves the car before doing any more damage….

….and promptly calls Mister Wrong Number back. Hello Benny. Dean is shocked Benny got a phone. I'm shocked we get Benny again in the present time. Yeah! He's intriguing…for now. Benny was in Purgatory for 50 years and sympathizes with Dean's adjustment problems. So many choices available topside. Dean reminds Benny that while he doesn't regret what they did in Purgatory, they did agree to separate. Benny feels rejected and laments the purity of Purgatory, using similar words as Dean. Of course he says it all in a slow sinister drawl while at a funeral so I question his motives. Dean tells him to call in an emergency but I'm too busy wondering why a vampire that can't have dead man's blood would be interested in a funeral. Benny tells Dean to keep his "nose clean too brother." I'm intrigued by why he always calls Dean brother, a constant reminder of their soldier camaraderie. They hang up and Dean looks pensive, worried. I worry too because right now I like Benny. However, I live in fear that he will be Dean's Ruby and I barely lived through that twice already. I have no desire at all to revisit that suckage again.

Review - In the end this was not the worst premiere Supernatural has ever had. After all, there was The Magnificent Seven. I just don't think it's near In My Time of Dying and Lazarus Rising or even Meet the New Boss status. The major problem I have is how out of character Sam is which gets harder to believe in every rewatch. I fully admit that if there's a plausible reason for why Sam acts the way he does, I will like this episode a lot more. If not, it will probably continue its downward spiral in my esteem. I also think it was very slow in parts with way too much telling not showing. 3 heavy brother chats in 42 minutes is a little much. However, there were many pluses too. Crowley's always fun and Benny and Kevin were pleasant surprises. I look forward to learning more about both of them. I adore the Purgatory flashbacks; they were one of the biggest highlights. The return of Smart Sam was another one. I hope he lives on throughout the season. I hope Smart Dean joins him. The best thing though is the straightforward mytharc quest that ties the brothers in personally. I think this simple, focused theme will help fix mytharc problems of the past. All in all, while I'm disappointed this was Jeremy's debut, I'm still really vested in season 8 and I still have high hopes for its awesomeness. There is a lot of potential here and if Jeremy can fix the mess he's made out of Sam's character and the brothers in general, I think we're in for a great ride.

Score - 3

Scorecard - Here's how the rankings break down in my scorecard.

1 = One of the best episodes in all of Supernatural, or in all of TV for that matter.
2 = A great episode when judged against other Supernatural episodes.
3 = A good Supernatural episode, which means it's better than almost anything else on TV
4 = An okay episode when judged against other SPN episodes, meaning still better than most TV.
5 = A poor episode, meaning only better than some TV.

Screencaps by Home of the Nutty, Supernatural Fans Online, Wikipedia, and Gather.

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