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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

About: Supernatural Mannequin 3: The Reckoning

True confession time. I committed what I consider to be the ultimate sin in TV viewing. I peeked at the first paragraph of a review for this weeks episode before I even watched it. I know, it's bad. I swear I never do this. I just got so curious when I saw that Maureen Ryan's review was posted and I decided to take a glance. Well, I wasn't happy with what I saw. Now remember, I only read the first paragraph and I'll go back and read it in its entirety once I finish my own but the outlook was not good.

I like Mo Ryan because she's always on the money. She's the best kind of fan because she's willing to point out the things that Supernatural does wrong that I'd rather explain away. And try as I may, I can't ever really explain them. So all that being said, I went into the episode expecting Bugs 2. I don't think I've mentioned that I loathe the season 1 episode "Bugs" entirely. Thank goodness it wasn't the first episode I saw or I would not be writing this right now. So let's just say I was expecting to hate "Mannequin". After watching it I've decided it's really not that bad. By no means is it my favorite episode or even in the top 100 but it wasn't as bad as I anticipated. It was just a filler episode.

The mannequins themselves were not my favorite monster of the week either. They just weren't that scary; This coming from a girl who jumps at her own shadow. I especially disliked the animation. It just looked low budget and a little cheesy for my taste. The story behind the haunting was a bit more interesting, but still had its problems. Rose, the vengeful spirit is punishing the boys who teased her. Seems like it could work but I don't think their joke was cruel enough to warrant a haunting. Now her sister Isabelle made it seem as though this wasn't a one time event for Rose. It seemed like she was the butt of a lot of jokes. The boys didn't kill her and never intended for her to get physically hurt but either way she's dead as a result of the practical joke, hence the haunting. It's a bit anti-climactic but I guess I can let that one go. (See me explaining things away?)The way she died on the other hand was uninspired. I'm no doctor but I really don't see how she died from that fall. It's a one in a million chance. Would it have been that much harder for her to fall down a flight of stairs? Or maybe the boys get rough with her and accidentally kill her? It just needed something to make it feel like the boys were at fault for more than being jackasses.

I also found the twist with Johnny's doll fetish a little odd. Why would he mock Rose with a mannequin secret admirer if he thinks it's possible to be in love with one? I know they needed to find a way to kill him once he thinks he's out of the water but there are plenty of other ways to do it. Maybe he's a Star Wars fan and he has a life-size C-3PO? That would have been better.

So what exactly happened to Rose and Isabelle? I realize Sam and Dean can't come to the rescue in every episode, and that's fine, but it would be nice to understand the outcome. We know Isabelle dies but how? Was it Rose's doing or was it a coincidence? How can Sam and Dean know that Rose is done murdering people? Did they salt and burn the body to be sure the got rid of the haunted kidney?

Was I the only one who was on montage overload after this episode? First there was the montage of Sam interviewing at the factory, then there was the montage of flashback images while Sam questioned Isabelle and then Dean got his own montage of Lisa and Ben moments. I love a good montage but 3 in one episode? Not to mention that the flashback sequence during Isabelle's questioning seemed unnecessary. All the images were from the episode, I don't have that bad of a memory and it isn't that difficult a story to follow. I also found that the music was a little odd this week. I don't know how to explain it but it sounded like the soundtrack for a 70's slasher movie. Did anyone else get that vibe?

Perhaps the redeeming quality of this episode was the Dean, Lisa and Ben story. I have been hoping to see Lisa again, I really like her and I like Dean with her. But I was more than a little surprised to find that Dean had been "Parent Trapped" by Ben. And I was also shocked to find that Lisa is dating someone else. Apparently, so was Dean. It was heartbreaking to watch his realization. Dean knows that he can't continue to be a hunter and also be a part of their family. And Lisa made it painfully clear in "You Can't Handle the Truth" that she feels the same way. So why is she mad at Dean for not calling her back? That didn't seem fair. It was unclear to me what she wanted from Dean.

Lisa: ‘I’m not asking for anything.’

Dean: ‘Then ask for something!’

Lisa: ‘I can’t ask for something. I know what I want, but I can’t have it, not how you live. My phone rings I think - tiny chance it’s you, big chance it’s Sam calling me to tell me you’re dead.’

Ben on the other hand made it very clear what he wanted from Dean. He wanted him to come home so they can be a family. It was very hard to watch Dean reject the thing he wants most in the world and Ben didn't make it any easier by accusing Dean of abandoning his family. But Dean knows that besides Sam, family is not an option.

Dean: ‘Just ‘cause you love someone, doesn’t mean you should stay around and screw up their life. So, I can’t be here.’

Ben:‘ You think something will follow you home?’

Dean: ‘No, no, I don’t, but I think my job turns me into somebody that can’t sit at your dinner table and if I stayed you’d end up just like me.’

Life for the Winchester's is miserable. This is no new realization for me but I can't help but feel heartbroken for them anyway. Sam can't seem to escape the evil inside of him and he can't forgive himself for the things he's done, but if he keeps remembering them he'll die. Dean can't protect his brother from everything but he won't stop trying. He takes on responsibility for things he shouldn't have to and because of this he has to push away what he wants most. Tough life.

There were a couple of moments in "Mannequin" that I'd like to mention.

*Sam: "What's a Snooki?"
Dean: "Good question"
This was just hilarious.

*Sam: "I got your back"
Dean: "I know"
What a transformation from earlier this season in "Live Free of Twihard" when Sam claims to have Dean's back but Dean knows better. It was great to see Dean so happy knowing that his brother is back.

Here's the promo for next week's episode "The French Mistake". Looks like it's going to be a good one!

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