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Saturday, May 21, 2011

About: Supernatural "Let it Bleed"

I can't believe it's over already. Wasn't it just yesterday that we were welcoming Sam back from Hell with semi-open, extremely cautious arms? And look where we are now. This season has felt like a blur, yet so much has happened. In order to give this finale its due justice, I want to take a look at both finale episodes separately since they were intended to be that way.

'Let it Bleed' opens 1937 Rhode Island. H.P. Lovecraft, who we later discover to be a horror writer who dabbles in the occult, is furiously typing out a novel entitled 'Haunter of the Dark'. As he types 'The End' there is a squeak outside his door. And in true Supernatural fashion, that squeak leads to a blood squirting death. I'm sure I wasn't the only one who was taken aback by this scene. What are we doing wasting our time talking about some fiction writer that died in 1937 when we've got C2 to worry about? We soon find out that Lovecraft and his friends successfully opened the door to purgatory and something got out.

Unfortunately, we're not the only ones who have that piece of information. It's bad enough that Castiel and the boys are on the outs but to steal from Bobby's house under the guise of an apology? I have to think that Castiel really meant what he said about patching things up, but from where I'm standing it seems like he had a back up plan when he let himself into Bobby's house. He had to know that stealing the journal would only push the boys further away but he's in too deep to care. So it's no wonder that when Lisa and Ben are kidnapped by Crowley Dean wants to assume that Castiel is in on it.

The phone call between Dean and Ben was emotional on many levels. Dean loves Ben like his own son and this is exactly the moment that he was dreading; the moment that kept him awake at night.  He removed himself from their Lisa and Ben's to save them from this kind of danger and to watch him realize that it wasn't enough was heartbreaking. And what was Crowley thinking? In what world would kidnapping a Winchester's loved one be cause for them to back off? Of course I realize that it takes Sam and Dean off the Purgatory hunt for the time being, but either way, they're coming after him, guns blazing. That's usually not a place you want to be.

Since they couldn't trust Castiel, the boys summon Balthazar for help. While he's not the most trustworthy of angels, (although at this point, who is?) they really don't have many other options. I'm not sure whether I was surprised that Balthazar was as much in the dark about Crowley as the boys were. I mean, Castiel was able to hide it from Sam and Dean for so long. But Balthazar is an angel. It's hard to believe he wasn't suspicious. But then again, Castiel hadn't really given him reason to be until now. It's clear that Balthazar was taken aback by the news of Castiel's betrayal. It had to be embarrassing for him thinking that they were friends when all this time Castiel was lying to him.

With no leads on Lisa and Ben Dean resorts to "questioning" any demons he can find. It was obvious that he was losing his cool. The time was ticking and he wasn't any closer to finding Lisa and Ben. So I have to admit I agreed with Sam. They really were "grasping at straws" and even though Castiel had proven himself to be a liar it seems impossible that he would knowingly seek to hurt Dean in that way. I was glad when Sam took matters into his own hands calling for Castiel's help. Sure, he didn't show himself but he was there and I think Sam knew he would be listening. 

When Balthazar summoned Castiel to confront him, we learned a little something about a flaw in Castiel's plan. Well, a flaw we didn't already know about. Apparently, Castiel if Castiel sucks up more juice than he can handle he'll explode and take out any and everyone around him. The pitfalls of this plan just keep on coming. I have to keep reminding myself of Castiel's side of the story. Remember? That heartbreaking tale of how he sacrificed everything to ensure that what he, Bobby and the boys had fought for would not be in vain? It's moments like this that I struggle to remind myself of how this all began as a good intention.

Finding out that Dr. Visyak was actually a centuries-old monster was definitely an unexpected twist. I had hoped to find out a bit more about she and Bobby's past, so I guess I go what I was hoping for. I do wish we had found out what kind of monster she is though. Not that it really matters to the story at hand, but I'm still curious. Bobby was surprisingly protective of Ellie. From the sounds of their conversation, they were in a long term relationship. I wonder what caused them to break up? Maybe we'll never know.

Castiel comes to the rescue once again when Dean's devil's trap fails and the conversation they have re-opens last week's wounds. Castiel seems very sincere about seeing Dean as family but Dean can't see past the lies and secrecy. I can't say I blame him, especially now with Lisa and Ben getting dragged into the mix. Still Castiel brings up some good points too. He has been there for Dean, answering his every beck and call and saving his life time and time again and all he asks of Dean is to trust in his plan. This is when I had to remind myself that his plan kind of sucks. It's dangerous and the chances of it going over smoothly are slim to none. Still I found myself wishing that there was a way that they could somehow be on the same side again.

Why, oh why do Sam and Dean always split up? I don't know about you, but if I'm in a big abandoned building with my brother and God knows how many demons I'm sticking pretty close to my brother. I know, I know, you cover more ground that way. That is why I would be a terrible hunter. I did love the scene where Dean takes out all the demons on patrol one by one. They just keep going out like lamb to the slaughter. It was actually kind of comedic. And maybe I should have expected Lisa to be possessed but I didn't. And I certainly didn't expect her to stab herself. I felt so bad for Dean and Ben in that moment. Ben lost any shred of innocence he had left after that moment and Dean watched his nightmare come to life. The car ride to the hospital was miserable to watch, there was such a tone of desperation and for the first time I really thought Lisa wasn't going to make it. And she wouldn't have if Castiel hadn't stepped in to save her.

If ever there was a reason for Dean to trust Castiel again, this was it. Not to say that this rights Castiel's wrongs but it certainly makes up for some of the pain. Of course, Dean is much less of a sucker than I am, and while he genuinely thanked Castiel, he admited that this doesn't change anything. But he does make one final request. In a last-pitch effort to keep them safe, he asks Cas to erase him from Ben and Lisa's memory. It's no doubt a painful request to make and I sincerely hope that it keeps them out of harm's way, but isn't it better to know what's out there so you can be prepared? Maybe it was mostly about their safety but also because seeing them reminds him too much of what he's lost? Sam tries to question his decision, but Dean makes it clear that Ben and Lisa are no longer acceptable topics of conversation.

"You ever mention Lisa and Ben to me again, and I will break your nose."

It sounds like a threat, but there is a desperate plea behind that statement. Dean has lost so much and the only way he knows how to deal with loss is to ignore it altogether. Not the healthiest coping method, but it seems to be working for him alright so far.  I expect that this really is the last we'll see of Lisa and Ben, and I'm sorry to see them go. They brought out the best in Dean and gave him a shred of hop that maybe one day he could have a normal life. I'm sorry to see that hope disappear.

Well on that cheery note...there were a few funny lines that I want to mention to get me out of this funk.

*Bobby: "Glad to meet you. Bobby Singer, paranoid bastard."

*Dean: "So who's this Phillips guy?"
Bobby: "Phillips aint his last name, it's Lovecraft"
Sam: "H.P. Lovecraft, let me see that."
Dean: "Am I supposed to know who that is?"
Bobby: "Horror writer. At the Mountains of Madness? The Call of Cthulhu?"
Dean: "Yeah...No. I was too busy having sex with women."

*Crowley "Your chocolate's been in my peanut butter for far too long"

*I love that Crowley referred to Sam as "Jolly Green"

*Bobby: "Wow, you must be catnip to the ladies."
"I'm in a long-term, online relationship, so... "

*"You know, trench coat, looks like Columbo, talks like Rain Man."

Friday, May 20, 2011

About: CW Upfronts

It's time to take a look at the CW upfronts. Earlier this week I looked at the new shows coming to Fox that caught my eye. If you missed that, you can check it out here. There aren't quite as many new shows coming to the CW this fall, but there are a couple that look intriguing.


Ringer marks the return of Sarah Michelle Gellar to the small screen. Can you hear the squeals of Buffy fans resounding? I sure can!

Here is an excerpt from the CW press release:

Sarah Michelle Gellar stars as a woman who, after witnessing a murder, goes on the run, hiding out by assuming the life of her wealthy identical twin sister - only to learn that her sister's seemingly idyllic life is just as complicated and dangerous as the one she's trying to leave behind.

The CW snapped this pilot up from CBS, and for good reason. I think this is an intriguing concept and I know it will do very well for the CW. I'm curious to see how the story develops because this promo doesn't give us much to go on.

'The Secret Circle'

Here is an excerpt of the press release:

Cassie Blake was a happy, normal teenage girl - until her mother Amelia dies in what appears to be a tragic accidental fire. Orphaned and deeply saddened, Cassie moves in with her warm and loving grandmother Jane in the beautiful small town of Chance Harbor, Washington - the town her mother left so many years before - where the residents seem to know more about Cassie than she does about herself. As Cassie gets to know her high school classmates, including sweet-natured Diana and her handsome boyfriend Adam, brooding loner Nick, mean-girl Faye and her sidekick Melissa, strange and frightening things begin to happen. When her new friends explain that they are all descended from powerful witches, and they've been waiting for Cassie to join them and complete a new generation of the Secret Circle, Cassie refuses to believe them - until Adam shows her how to unlock her incredible magical powers.

This show is based on a book series by the author of the Vampire Diaries. With Executive Producer  Kevin Williamson ("The Vampire Diaries", "Dawson's Creek", etc.) and paired up on Thursday nights with, you guessed it, The Vampire Diaries, I'm sure this show will be a hit for the CW. I don't know that I will tune in myself, but I have to admit that Kevin Williamson knows his way around angsty drama and suspense! 

Can I also just say that I hate the way shows are written up for these press releases. No matter how good the show, the release rarely does it justice and usually says things like "As Cassie gets to know her high school classmates, including sweet-natured Diana and her handsome boyfriend Adam, brooding loner Nick, mean-girl Faye and her sidekick Melissa, strange and frightening things begin to happen." Why does there always have to be a brooding loner? 

'Hart of Dixie'
Here is an excerpt of the press release:

Fast-talking New Yorker and brand new doctor Zoe Hart has it all figured out - after graduating top of her class from medical school, she'll follow in her father's footsteps and become a cardio-thoracic surgeon. But when her dreams fall apart, Zoe decides to accept an offer from a stranger, Dr. Harley Wilkes, to work with him at his small practice in Bluebell, Alabama. Zoe arrives in this small Gulf Coast town only to find that Harley has passed away and left his half of the medical practice to her in his will. She quickly finds that Southern hospitality isn't always so hospitable - the other doctor in town, Brick Breeland, is less than pleased to be sharing the practice with this young outsider, and his daughter, Lemon, is a Southern belle whose sweet disposition turns sour when she meets Zoe. Zoe's only allies are the mayor, former football star Lavon Hayes, her bad-boy neighbor Wade Kinsella, and handsome lawyer George Tucker - who just happens to be Lemon's fiancé. Zoe is out of her element and ready to pack her bags, but a surprise visit by her snobby New York mother leads to Zoe's decision to stay in Bluebell for a while, discovering small-town life and a side of herself she hadn't known was there.   

'Hart of Dixie' marks the return of Rachel Bilson ('The OC') to the small screen. I can't say I'm terribly intrigued by this concept. I expect it to be a lesser version of Doc Hollywood. That's right, I said lesser. Love me some Michael J. Fox! I'll be interested to see how this show rates, especially paired up with Gossip Girl on Monday nights.  

There are a couple more shows coming to the CW lineup this fall. H8R, which I refuse to watch because of the name, The Frame and Re-Modeled. All three of which are reality shows. Something the CW doesn't do very well, in my opinion. Although I have been caught watching America's Next Top Model from time to time. What can I say, Tyra is fierce. 

Thursday, May 19, 2011

About: Modern Family "See You Next Fall"

 "Have a nice trip, see you next fall"

This appropriately, albeit cheesily, titled episode certainly wasn't short on the physical humor.  At times it felt like I was watching an episode of the Dick Van Dyke show, not that I'm complaining. Dick Van Dyke is a comedic genius. But I've never seen quite so much slapstick comedy in an episode of Modern Family as I did this week.

First we've got Cam falling into the kiddie pool. I don't care if it's mean, I would have laughed too. Then, we have Cam walking into the glass door, then the screen door.  We get to watch Phil and Claire ride a bicycle built for two. And as if that weren't enough, we see Phil and Claire practically rolling down a hill into Alex's graduation ceremony. As Cam so astutely pointed out, it's so hilarious because "It's the Juxtaposition of absurdist comedy against a formal setting". Yes. It. Is. And I loved it.

"Hey momma bear...don't be brave"

Phil's trip to Vegas must be muy importante. Oh, don't mind me, just taking a leaf from Phil's book. You know, speaking Spanish to people who obviously understand English? Phil was no doubt excited about taking a trip with "the guys" (his ex-college male cheerleader buddies) if he was willing to poke the beast. The beast being Claire. I get his strategy though. If she's going to have an emotional break-down anyway why not try to schedule it so that it doesn't interfere with his extra-curricular activities? Not a bad plan. Too bad Phil didn't realize how emotional Alex's graduation would be for him too. "I don't want to go to Vegas! I just want to hug 'em and embarrass them in front of their friends!" 

"Do you think he got his butt done too? It looks fantastic."

Jay got botox which doesn't really shock me. Sure he's a 'man's man' but he's also married to Gloria. This isn't the first time we've seen him a little insecure about his age and appearance. What was shocking was his face. I have to admit, at first I didn't really notice the change. When Gloria pointed it out I was a little confused because it just looked like Jay's face. But as the episode went on the sag became more evident. Sweet Manny being the tender-hearted thespian that he is actually thought Jay would consider wearing his Phantom of the Opera mask. Those two really are at opposite ends of the spectrum. Gloria being slightly less considerate managed to tell Jay that half his face looked like a candle but she still loved the other half. Now that is love.

"Don't stop believin' and get this party started!"

I have to say I'm loving the sisterly bonding these last few weeks. Sure it's funny when Alex and Haley fight but after a while it get's old. They're different, we get it. But they are getting to the age where their opposite interests stop mattering as much. It's nice to see them getting along.

Does this mean that Haley and Alex are going to be attending the same school next year? I kind of thought they already did. Am I wrong?

I've said it before, but I'll say it again. The more of the family in one place at a time, the better. I always enjoy when the show can find excuses for all three families to get together and celebrate. Thank goodness for birthday parties, graduations and family dinners.

Check out this amazing Gloria montage. Courtesy of  Vulture.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

About: Fox Upfronts

It's that time of year! As networks are releasing their upfronts and pimping their new shows out to advertisers I am feeling overwhelmed by all the options. A whopping 20-something shows (I've lost count!)have been cancelled and those spots need to be filled. So in the interest of organizing my TV watching schedule, I thought I'd go through the new notable shows network by network. As evidenced by the title, we'll start with Fox

'Terra Nova'

Here is an excerpt of the official press release from Fox

From executive producers Steven Spielberg ("Saving Private Ryan," "Jurassic Park"), Peter Chernin, René Echevarria ("Castle," "The 4400") and Brannon Braga ("24") comes an epic family adventure 85 million years in the making. TERRA NOVA follows an ordinary family on an incredible journey back in time to prehistoric Earth as a small part of a daring experiment to save the human race. In the year 2149, the world is dying. The planet is overdeveloped and overcrowded, with the majority of plant and animal life extinct. The future of mankind is in jeopardy, and its only hope for survival is in the distant past. When scientists at the FERMI Particle Accelerator unexpectedly discovered a fracture in time that made it possible to construct a portal into primeval history, the bold notion was born to resettle humanity in the past - a second chance to rebuild civilization and get it right this time. The series centers on the Shannon family as they join the Tenth Pilgrimage of settlers to Terra Nova, the first colony established in this beautiful yet foreboding land.

This looks like it has some serious potential. Hopefully the show isn't limited by budget. Wasn't it just last week that Fox was cutting the budget for House, one of its top performing shows? Perhaps that was in preparation for Terra Nova.

'New Girl'

Here is an excerpt of the official press release

NEW GIRL (working title) is a new single-camera comedy from Liz Meriwether ("No Strings Attached") that features a young ensemble cast and takes a fresh and outrageous look at modern male/female relationships. JESS DAY (Zooey Deschanel, "(500) Days of Summer") is an offbeat and adorable girl in her late 20s who, after a bad breakup, moves in with three single guys. Goofy, positive, vulnerable and honest to a fault, Jess has faith in people, even when she shouldn't. Although she's dorky and awkward, she's comfortable in her own skin. More prone to friendships with women, she's not used to hanging with the boys - especially at home.

This is easily a hit or a miss. Zooey Deschanel is charming and this is a character we've seen her play before, to some extent. Although this character Jess seems a bit more goofy (READ: grating) than previous projects. Perhaps that will get toned down a bit, or maybe it will work just fine. Like I said, hit or miss.

Mid Season


See the official press release below.

From executive producer J.J. Abrams (FRINGE, "Lost," "Star Trek" and the upcoming "Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol" and "Super 8") and writer and executive producer Elizabeth Sarnoff ("Lost," "Deadwood") comes ALCATRAZ, the chilling new thriller centered on America's most infamous prison and one-time home to the nation's most notorious murderers, rapists, kidnappers, thieves and arsonists. When San Francisco Police Department DET. REBECCA MADSEN (Sarah Jones, "Sons of Anarchy") is assigned to a grisly homicide case, a fingerprint leads her to a shocking suspect: JACK SYLVANE (guest star Jeffrey Pierce, "The Nine"), a former Alcatraz inmate who died decades ago. Given her family history - both her grandfather and surrogate uncle, RAY ARCHER (Robert Forster, "Jackie Brown"), were guards at the prison - Madsen's interest is immediately piqued, and once the enigmatic, knows-everything-but-tells-nothing government agent EMERSON HAUSER (Sam Neill, "Jurassic Park") tries to impede her investigation, she's doggedly committed. Madsen turns to Alcatraz expert and comic book enthusiast, DR. DIEGO "DOC" SOTO (Jorge Garcia, "Lost"), to piece together the inexplicable sequence of events. The twosome discovers that Sylvane is not only alive, but he's loose on the streets of San Francisco, leaving bodies in his wake. And strangely, he hasn't aged a day. 


I'm less likely to be wooed by the mention of J.J. Abrams than most. I haven't finished the Lost series and I started Fringe and didn't make it through the first season. It's not that there's anything wrong with those shows. In fact, I fully intend to go back and watch both of those series at some point. But since I'm not in the Abrams in-crowd I feel like I'm coming at it in an unbiased fashion. The set up is definitely intriguing; a missing killer, thought to be dead, found years later alive and un-aged. That's enough to get me to tune in.

'The Finder'

Here is an excerpt of the Fox release

Iraq war veteran WALTER SHERMAN (Geoff Stults, "She's Out of My League") gained a reputation while serving in the Army Military Police as someone who was very good at tracking down insurgents, deserters and improvised explosive devices (IEDs). Unfortunately, Walter found one IED just moments before it found him. Two months later, when Walter woke from his coma, he earned an honorable discharge and returned home. His resulting brain damage from the explosion transformed him from someone skilled at recovering people and things into something much more extraordinary: a Finder. From the creator of the hit series BONES comes THE FINDER, the new one-hour procedural centering on a remarkable man who uses his unique gift to help others recover what they've lost.

Bones fans must be excited about this. I'm a fan of select procedural cop shows and I've always thought that Bones looks like one I might enjoy. That being said, this upfront preview also struck my fancy. If I have a concern it's that I remember Geoff Stults best from '7th Heaven'. Enough said, right? But I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt because this seems like it will be a very different kind of show.

There are a few more new shows making their way to Fox this fall, but these are the ones that really caught my eye. For a complete list of upfront trailers you can visit the where they've kindly posted all the trailers here

Monday, May 16, 2011

About: Modern Family "Good Cop, Bad Dog"

 “You are not a good bad cop and I am a very bad good cop.”

No truer words were ever spoken.  

Like the other couples on the show, Phil and Claire’s relationship works so well because they are polar opposites; Claire being the crazy, controlling mom who is really just trying to keep the peace and keep it together and Phil being the laid back, goofy dad that would rather just be one of the kids. If you've seen a single episode of Modern Family then this is no surprise to you. But this somewhat stereotypical family dynamic works surprisingly well week to week because of the chemistry between Burrell and Bowen. There is something about the two of them that really works. So when their roles were flip-flopped I knew we were in for a treat.

Good cop Claire was a fish out of water, as expected. It was entertaining watching her try way to hard to be fun. You really shouldn't have to try. But Phil as the bad cop was easily the most entertaining part of the episode. It all started out as expected, being the naïve and trusting father that he is, he assumed that Alex and Haley did their chores just because he asked. Oh Phil, when will you learn? But then came the moment he snapped “Sweet and sour chicken!” But he didn’t stop there. The “chase scene” was equally entertaining as he leapt onto the hood of the car, “You poked the bear girls! You poked him!”

While Claire was forcing fast food binges on the boys, Phil was depriving he girls of food altogether. “Dad, we haven’t eaten lunch yet.” “Neither have half the kids in Africa, stop yapping and get back to work.” The best part of that line was the spot on delivery coupled with the laptop and the duct tape. So good. 

Of course, Phil and Claire learn to stick to their roles and do what they do best. We all knew how it would end. It was entirely about the journey.

“I’m nice, so I put on the sugar jacket!”

The Jay and Gloria story left something to be desired. I don't know if it was the story itself or the Guillermo character that turned me off. I love Jay and Gloria. They are one of my top three favorite couples in the show. Like how I did that? But I couldn't have been less interested in the good doggy treat/bad doggy treat schpeel.

So rather than beating it into the ground I'll just move on. I did enjoy the fact that Jay couldn't give up the dog. I'll be interested to see if that dog is a new source of conflict in the Pritchett household. Also, did anyone notice that Jay and the dog are total bowsers? If you don't know what I'm talking about, it's a term coined in the movie I Love You, Man. It's a word used to describe pets and owners who look oddly related.

“Ok, how are you still standing? You drank enough of that cough syrup to put down a grizzly.”
“I’ll tell you what’s grizzly, and that is your behavior”

I loved this whole plot. First of all, I love that Mitchell thinks that Lady Gaga is the "one gay cliche" he allows himself. It was nice to see Mitchell stand out on his own this week too. Cam usually takes the spotlight in their story lines with Mitchell in the corner rolling his eyes and mumbling witty comments. It was nice to see a bit of a role reversal in that respect. There is no doubt that Mitchell is hilarious. Cam couldn't be as funny as he is without Mitchell there to remind us just how outrageous and flamboyant Cam really is.

What really worked about this plot for me was how hilariously selfish Mitchell was being. The flashbacks of Cam carrying a sick Mitchell around the house like a baby made that pretty clear. I actually wonder what would have happened if Mitchell just asked Cam if he could go to the concert? My guess is that there would have been some pouting and maybe even a few passive aggressive comments but then I think everything would have been fine.

Although if that had happened, we would have missed out on Mitchell's hilarious Lady Gaga dance and the aforementioned "grizzly behavior".

Overall I was very pleased with Good Cop, Bad Dog. It wasn't an all around slam dunk but two out of three isn't bad at all.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

About: Supernatural "The Man Who Would Be King"

"You know the difference between you and me? I know what I am. What are you Castiel? What are you willing to do?"

Crowley really said it all right there. And it's a good question, one that I'm not sure Castiel is ready to answer. He leads us through his side of the story beautifully though; starting with some of his "childhood" memories, leading us to the moment he took possession of his vessel and recalling the time "two boys, an old drunk and a fallen angel" stopped Armageddon. All of these moments describe the Cas we know. The angel who sees the difference between right and wrong and chose free will when he saw wrong being done in the name of God. This is the Cas we've known and loved. It's when this new-found confidence turned to arrogance that Castiel began to lose his way. 

It's not that I disagree with his decision to stop Raphael from re-starting the Apocalypse. In fact, it's right in line with the Cas we know. Raphael was calling the shots and planned to play it off as God's will knowing that the other angels would just follow his lead. It's clear that Cas couldn't stand idly by knowing what he knew. And this is where I begin to feel bad for him. Clearly he's wasn't strong enough to fight Raphael on his own, and the other angels didn't seem to grasp the concept of choice. I felt worse when he realized  he couldn't ask Dean to sacrifice any more than he already had. And he clearly couldn't go to Sam for help. He was on his own.

Speaking of Sam, I have a few questions. How is it that Castiel raised Sam from perdition without his soul? I had been wondering before this episode whether Castiel purposely left Sam's soul behind. I don't think that is the case but then how did he overlook something like that? Probably that pesky arrogance again. But  why would Castiel not go to Dean and let him know that Sam was alive? He had to know how heavily it was weighing on Dean's heart to think that his brother was still suffering in Hell. Sure, Cas knew that something was off about Sam but it didn't bother him enough to really investigate. He was more preoccupied with Raphael and the Apocalypse: Part 2. And maybe he had every right to be? That's the thing about this episode. It's easy to point out all the bad choices that Castiel made but it's hard to deny the seemingly good intentions behind those choices.

These good intentions are what paved the road to Crowley. Crowley obviously knew that Castiel was in a tight spot with no one to turn to. In other words, he was desperate. And a desperate man, or angel in this case, can be easily swayed with a bit of logic and heavy dose of swagger. And Crowley laid it on thick. Castiel really didn't stand a chance against Crowley's persuasion. Heck, I found myself thinking that he made a pretty good argument. I mean, who would you rather have running Hell? Lucifer? Or Crowley "the devil you know"? And offering Castiel a little advance on the souls was just the cherry on top. How could he refuse? Well, as it turns out making deals with devils is not a good idea. Imagine that...

But what's worse than the deal itself is the secrecy. Sam and Dean have already lost so much and secrecy has tested their relationship more than once. Castiel was there, he should know what it looks like. So how is he still so convinced that what he's doing is right? As usual, Dean said it best when he confronted Castiel:

Castiel: "You don't understand, it's complicated."
Dean: "No, actually it's not. And you know that. Why else would you keep this whole thing a secret unless you knew it was wrong? When crap like this comes around, we deal with it like we always do. What we don't do, is we don't go out an make another deal with the devil!"
Castiel: "It sounds so simple when you say it like that. Where were you when I needed to hear it?"
Dean: "I was there. Where were you?"

This whole conversation was hauntingly reminiscent of season four conversations between Sam and Dean. And the two of them are only now getting back to a good place. And now Dean is confronted with this same betrayal and secrecy from a man he defended against his better judgment. Sure, Sam and Bobby feel hurt and betrayed as well, but not on the same level that Dean felt it. Castiel even admitted that he and Dean "share a profound bond". It may have been a punchline at the time but that doesn't make it any less true. Castiel literally raised Dean from the dead and has saved him more times than I can count. But more than that, he was there when Dean thought he had lost Sam forever. And when Sam came back from Hell incomplete Castiel's presence was a comfort and a firm foundation for Dean. (Granted, he was also the cause of the problem in the first place.) 

But this shattered trust didn't stop Dean from offering Castiel a second chance. This was probably the most heartbreaking moment of the episode. Dean finally sees the web of lies that Castiel has weaved throughout the past months and he's still willing to put it behind them. "Damn it Cas, we can fix this!" But Castiel can't see beyond his clouded judgment; "Dean it's not broken". How did Castiel convince himself that he was making these choices to protect Sam and Dean? If anything, leaving them in the dark is leaving them vulnerable. He has to know that Crowley isn't planning to hold up his end of the deal. At least, that's what I'd guess. And he also happens to hate the Winchesters so when the time comes for Crowley to turn the tables, who's going to die first?

When Castiel came to confront Dean there was a mix of emotions. It's obvious that Castiel has made poor choices but I found myself hoping that he could explain them to Dean the way he explained them to us. Maybe then Dean would understand Castiel's intentions. Maybe then he would understand that Castiel never set out to hurt him, but to protect him.  And maybe then Dean would be able to reason with him and show him the way like he's done so many times before. But that is not what happened. Dean did open up to Cas in a very real way. He called him family; he called him a brother which is saying a lot because we know just how much he loves Sam. And then, Cas shut down. I'm not sure why it happened. He could have easily returned the sentiment. We know he feels the same way about Dean but for whatever reason he chose to challenge him instead.

"You're just a man. I'm an angel."

Talk about heat breaking. Just a man? As the words left his mouth I thought I saw a little regret in his eyes. Or maybe that was just wishful thinking. Either way Dean is anything but just a man to Castiel. He has taught Castiel about freedom and choice. He has taught him what it means to really believe in your decisions and to live with purpose. Castiel has sacrificed everything for these new found values and has sacrificed everything for Dean and Sam. They were harsh words and I hope Castiel finds a way to take them back.

I am very curious, as I'm sure you all are, about the season finale. For the first time Sam and Dean will be hunting a monster I don't want them to kill. And I sincerely hope they don't have to. I have been wondering for a while now if we might see God this season. I still think it's entirely possible. The entire episode was a prayer for guidance to a God that Castiel still very much believes in. So it doesn's seem out of the question that his prayer would be answered. I also wonder what will happen if Crowley is killed. I suppose a new king of Hell will be appointed. Is it strange to say that I would miss him if he was killed? If we have to have a king of Hell, I'd like it to be Crowley. There is something so charming about him. So what do you guys think about Cas going darkside? Any thought about the finale? I'd love to hear them!

I had a few other random observations and quotes that I wanted to mention...

*First of all, I wanted to send some serious kudos to Ben Edlund for this script. He is just amazing. It really goes without saying.

*I loved the decision for Castiel to break the fourth wall as if he wanted the chance to explain himself to us. I thought it was very effective and it was a much needed explanation.

*I really liked the still frames that were used throughout the episode. Castiel exploding was especially interesting. Not typical Supernatural fashion, but I think it worked.

*I was shocked to see that Castiel had the ability to spy on Sam, Dean and Bobby undetected. I wonder how often he's done that. Clearly he's not good at keeping his spying a secret. It took no time at all for Dean to realize where Castiel picked up the Superman reference.

*So Crowley was the one that decided to raise Samuel when Castiel refused to involve Dean. So does that mean that Samuel was in Hell when all this time we thought he was in Heaven?

*Ellsworth, Bobby's demon counterpart, was a much needed laugh. He had the hat, the flannel and even two Sam and Dean-esque partners. It's kind of a shame Castiel killed him. It would have been interesting to learn more about him.

There were a few other funny moments worth mentioning.

*Cas: You're joking.
Raphael: Do I look like I'm joking?
Castiel: You never look like you're joking.

*Castiel: "Freedom is a length of rope. God wants you to hang yourself with it." (This is more dark humor than ha ha funny, but still worth mentioning)

*Crowley: "I wanted to help you, help me, help ourselves."
Castiel: "Speak plain."

*Castiel: "I'm an angel, you ass."

*Crowley: "You've got what they call sex appeal."
Castiel: "Thank you. Get to the point."

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Supernatural Season 6 Speculation

We're winding down to the end of season 6 and my mind is reeling. There are still so many things I'm confused about and some loose ends that need tightening. So I thought I'd take a minute to lay it all out there. Here is what I know, what I think I know (may be one in the same) and what I have no freaking clue about! Feel free to speculate right along with me. But please keep the comment section spoiler-free. I have been avoiding spoilers like the plague and I really want these last few episodes to remain a mystery!

This season is all about souls, so let's start with that motherload-of-a-topic first.  

Here's what we know about souls:
  • Souls = Power = Fuel for the war machine
  • Everybody wants them; Heaven, Hell and Purgatory.
  • Sam lost his soul and Death was able to get it back inside him. 
  • At the beginning of season 6, at least one Angel (Balthazar) began exchanging Heaven's weapons for ownership of their soul. We were told that this is unusual angel behavior.
Here's what I think we know:
  • Castiel is doing very bad things to collect these souls; putting innocent people in danger. Perhaps he learned a little something from Balthazar?
  • It doesn't seem to matter what "team" the soul's owner is on. Even monster's souls can be collected by Angels and used as fuel.
Here's what we don't know:
  • How is this power/fuel extracted from the soul's owner? Can it be done without their knowledge?
  • Does the person/monster/whoever generally die when their soul is collected? We saw Cas touch Bobby's soul for strength and he warned Bobby just how dangerous even that would be.
  • Can soul's be taken if the person/monster/whatever is dead already? Or does their soul automatically go to whatever "team" they were on? i.e. When good, human, non-demon, non-monster's die, does their soul automatically go to Heaven?
Who pulled Sam up from Hell and Samuel down from Heaven?

Here's what we know:
  • Angels have the power to retrieve someone from Hell so I would assume the same goes for Heaven. 
  • Castiel and Crowley are working together (more on that later) and Crowley is King of Hell so there's some obvious power that goes along with that. 
Here's what I think I know:
  • Samuel was in Heaven, right? What kind of a world is it where someone like Sam goes to Hell while someone like Samuel is living it up in Heaven?!
  • Samuel was willing to work for Crowley because he promised to bring Mary back to life. 
  • Whoever brought Sam back from Hell left a piece behind.
  • Sam also came back without a hand print like the one Dean had which leads me to believe it was Crowley who released him.
Here's what we don't know:
  • Did Samuel know who brought him back from Heaven? If so, was he given a choice or just yanked back down to Earth?
  • Whoever saved Sam from Hell brought him back without a crucial piece, perhaps on purpose? Did Crowley intend to keep Sam's soul for his own war machine? Was Cas in on that decision?

Castiel and Crowley are working together.

Here's what we know:
  • That they are, in fact, working together. 
  • That it's been going on for a while. "How many times am I going to have to clean up your messes?"
  • Sam and Dean are not going to be happy about this, especially Dean. 
  • Crowley wants Castiel to kill Sam and Dean. 
Here's what I think I know:
  • Castiel is not the angel we once knew. Something has changed him. Maybe the war? Maybe this partnership?
  • Crowley is still a bad guy; There has been no change of heart. He is clearly getting something out of this partnership. 
  • Castiel can't kill Sam and Dean and he won't let Crowley do it either. No matter how lost Castiel seems to be, Sam and Dean are his favorite "hairless apes".  Wishful thinking? Maybe.
Here's what we don't know:
  • What is the arrangement between these two. They certainly aren't fighting for the same team and I doubt that they can share the souls they collect, so there must be some way that this arrangement is benefiting them both equally.
  • How long has this been going on? Thinking back through the season I can't find a difinitive moment where I think Castiel began to lie. Did he know he wasn't killing Crowley when he burned what we thought was Crowley's bones? Did their partnership start even before that?
  • Why would Castiel and Crowley poke the beast (Eve) by harvesting the souls of her "children"? Don't they have enough enemies as it is?
  • What would killing Sam and Dean accomplish? They would be up against and angel and the King of Hell. I would think they'd be a little outnumbered. 
  • If all goes well and Cas finds his way out of this, will the Winchesters ever be able to put this betrayal behind them?

The Mother of All

Here's what we know:
  • Eve is the mother of all monsters and until recently resided in Purgatory.
  • She is burned by the ashes of a Phoenix. 
  • She is concerned with natural order and only began her "beta testing" after her children were threatened by Crowley and possibly probably Castiel.
  • She's really not all that scary or intimidating. (I guess that's more of a personal fact)
Here's what I think I know:
  • She's not dead. The lore said the ashes would burn the mother, they said nothing about killing her. That was entirely too easy of a kill and leads me to believe it was a quick way to change her vessel. (The actress playing Eve was just not very good. )
  • I have a feeling she'll be back in the mix. I'm not sure how I feel about that yet. I think it depends on the new actress they choose to play her. Samantha Smith was awesome in this last episode and took the overall under-developed character to a new level.
Here's what we don't know:
  • We don't know for sure that Eve will be back, but if she does make another appearance, what will her role be? Will it be this season or will she be next season's big bad?

Great Wall of Sam

Here's what we know:
  • Sam's wall has already begun to crack and he seems to be remembering more and more from his soulless year. 
  • Sam could die if the wall crumbles completely.
Here's what I think I know:
  • Something is going to happen to the Great Wall of Sam before the season is over. I don't know if it will fall down for good, or if he'll experience another crack like he had in "Unforgiven". Again, this storyline could very well extend into season 7.
  • I've been thinking that maybe Sam will recall something about Cas and Crowley's partnership? Of course this is pure speculation. Castiel was so opposed to the idea of Sam getting his soul back. At the time, I thought it was out of pure concern for his health and safety, but now I'm not so sure that was his only motivation. Sam also seemed to recall something about Castiel at the end of "Mommy Dearest" but he never really voiced it. I'll be interested to see what that was.
Here's what we don't know:
  • If Sam's wall does crumble, will he able to withstand whatever flood of memories he has? 
  • Did Sam have a role in the Castiel and Crowley partnership while he was soulless? If so, will that memory come back to him before the end of the season?
  • Will we see Death again? He seems so closely tied to this storyline, I'd think if something happened to Sam, Dean would summon Death immediately.
Thanks for letting me organize my thoughts! There really is a LOT going on this season and sometimes it's nice to take a step back and look at the big picture. Now I want to hear what you think. Did I miss any plot points of importance? Are there any holes in my theories? Feel free to point them out in a spoiler-free fashion! Can you tell that I really like the element of surprise? 

Sunday, May 1, 2011

About: Supernatural "Mommy Dearest"

Everything is starting to come together. All the side plots are intermingling and stacking up against the Winchesters. It's all about the souls. I think we had that figured out by now, but it was nice to have it confirmed once and for all. Angels want souls for power, especially in their civil war. Demons want souls for power over angels and Purgatory. Big mama wanted souls for power over angels and to put Hell and Crowley back in their places. So we've got ourselves quite the circle of power hungry destruction. What doesn't quite add up for me is how this equation resulted in Crowley and Cas working together. What kind of an arrangement could they possibly have that would benefit both of them? Or does Cas have some power over Crowley that we don't know about? He did call Crowley in to "clean up his mess" for him, and it wasn't the first time.

I should mention that I was ecstatic to see Crowley again. He is of course, an all around terrible person. Still I can't help but enjoy his character. Mark Sheppard has amazing chemistry with the cast and I was so upset to see him killed off when his character still had so much potential as an enemy. But he's back and more interesting than ever. The obvious question arises though, how is he not dead? We saw Cas burn his bones, right? I wonder if it works like salting and burning a ghost's bones; if you miss a hand or a lock of hair it doesn't work. Perhaps Cas kept back a small bone or two to use as leverage and now he has Crowley working for him? That just seems so un-Cas-like. But he has definitely not been himself lately. He's so cold and calculated, talking about things like the "greater good". I shudder to think what he did in that interrogation room that left him with blood soaked hands. And for how quickly he got the information he needed I'd say he's been practicing. It wasn't too long ago that he came to Dean for his interrogation expertise against Alistair. But it looks like he's learned a thing or two since then.

As quickly as she came into our lives, she's gone. Mommy dearest certainly didn't make it very long. I can't say I'm all that disappointed to see her go. As far as Big Bad's go she wasn't all that interesting. But she also wasn't all that developed. I think there was potential there, but I don't think the writers ever intended for her to stick around very long. She acted as a more of a catalyst to the story than anything else. But for how powerful she was, it was a little too simple to take her down. Sure, the boys had to travel back to Frontierland to get the ashes of a phoenix but they weren't even sure that would work. In my opinion, they marched in there half-cocked and got lucky. In the past, when they have gone up against something as powerful as Mommy Dearest they have tried and failed and narrowly escaped at least once before succeeding. There is always an unforeseen trick up the enemy's sleeve, but not in this case. Even if they weren't planning to keep the Mother of All around for long, it would have been nice to have one of those narrow escape encounters before the big kill. Am I the only one who felt that way?

Even though Eve's dead, we've potentially got a bunch of Jefferson Starship's running around undetectable to other hunters. I wonder if there are other creature hybrids out there from her earlier "beta testing"? I guess we'll find out soon enough. Her plan wasn't a bad one, though. It's not like there's a hunter's newsletter to spread the word about a new undetectable monster. It would eventually spread through word of mouth, but not before many more people had been turned. Hopefully, killing her has nipped that plan in the bud. But again, we'll have to wait and see.

If you haven't seen the promo for next week feel free to skip this paragraph but I just have to ask a question. From the looks of it, Cas doesn't like what he's become and we see him calling out to God for help. Do you think God will answer him? For a while now we've been hearing that God is gone or that he just doesn't care but he saved Cas once before, didn't he? So I think he's still there somewhere and he still cares. I just wonder if he'll show himself to stop Castiel from doing what he's doing? Any thoughts on that?

There are of course a few other things I'd like to mention.

*When did Sam get an iPad?

*I loved that moment in the car with Joe and Ryan in the back seat and Dean and Sam in the front seat. There was something unspoken and touching about all that brotherly love. (Granted Ryan turned out to be a Jefferson Starship) It made me happy that Sam and Dean are in such a stable place in their relationship.

*I found it interesting that Sam and Bobby were quick to doubt Cas while Dean defended him. Maybe it's the "special bond" that they share? Either way, it's going to be hard to see that trust broken.

And now on to the funny stuff.

*Dean: "Why do I always gotta make the call, huh? It's not like Cas lives in my ass, the dude's busy.
Castiel appears
Dean: "Cas, get out my ass!"
Cas: "I was never in your..."

*Dean "Now it just looks like you're pooping"

*Dean: "Well that's great, because without your power you're basically just a baby in a trench coat"

*Cas: "I have a, uh, painful burning sensation"

*Cas: "Pardon me for highlighting their crippling and dangerous empathetic response with 'sarcasm'" Love those quotey fingers.

*Eve: "And you, wondering why so flacid?"