“Let the Good Times Roll!” A “Classic” season Finale’!

I have a tough time determining how they do it so well, but for 13 seasons now, the writers and producers of Supernatural take a repetitive theme and find a way to make it fresh and shocking. I know like me, you were likely saying, “Wow! I didn’t see THAT coming!” As longtime fans, we all know that Sam and Dean’s “Achilles heel” is their deep love for each other. It has created some rash decisions in the past, and perhaps none more so than the one made by Dean in this episode; Though we fully understand his reasoning.

From the clever editing and stringing together of short clips from season 13 in the opening, to the very last scene with a close up of Dean’s eyes, I thought it was ‘brilliant’ from the word, “go!”  Political/social commentary was with us from the start, as Sam lectures the alt-world residents on the going’s on in ‘our world.’ “That damn fool Id-yett from “The Apprentice” is now the President of the united states?…And you call our world weird!” Classic Bobby! Even if he is from the alt-world. Were there some sparks between him and Mary? They took a walk and alt-Bobby said he preferred to stay in our world, giving her a ‘loving’ look? Mary didn’t seem too uncomfortable behind it! Then they run into a body of one of their own, Maggie, that doesn’t seem to have met a supernatural end! (Actually, she did! Lucifer being the culprit.)

We learn that life has kept moving for our new residents. Rowena and Alt-Charlie are in the southwest doing who knows what! Sam and Dean were hunting with a couple of new teammates, Cass and Jack, and they easily took down a Werewolf den as Jack flashed his yellow super wave! All was right with the world, but this episode always had us wondering when the ax would fall! Did it ever!

For Jack: Who rushed to judgement, thinking a boy that Maggie was crushing on was the one who killed her, so he rushed in (To a convenience store) for revenge and had to be stopped by Cass, Sam and Dean. Of course, he had proceeded to hurl the poor guy through the refrigerator door and some other painful things before Sam convinced him that the young man knew nothing about Maggie’s death and certainly wasn’t the cause! Once again, when Jack reacted emotionally, prompting the exclamation from Dean, “You’re acting like a psycho!”, somebody was in line to get seriously hurt. Jack really beats himself up about this, and about all the people he promised to save in the alt-world, but couldn’t, which leaves him vulnerable to the evils of “The Dark Side.”  “Careful with your feelings! Hurt you, they can!” (In my Yoda voice…)

Dean: For the first time all season, he wasn’t a “Grumpy Old Man!” Dean actually was up-beat, complimenting Jack’s work, (a far departure from the “freak” he thought Jack was earlier this season!),  and thinking of a day where the team could wipe out evil and perhaps retire on a sandy beach somewhere! Alas, it was too good to be true!

Lucifer:  Once again, Mark Pellegrino takes us brilliantly and delicately through his interpretation of the Devil! He shows up while Jack is emotionally vulnerable and says all the right words to get his young son to seriously consider leaving this world behind and traveling the universe together! “Like Star Wars?” Lucifer also throws in the caveat of someday, “making the universe better” to which his son can’t respond because he doesn’t have enough wisdom to comprehend what Lucifer is all about! Lucifer is even brought into the bunker and introduced as “help” by his naïve son, who makes him bring Maggie back from the dead. Lucifer is hesitant because he doesn’t want his cover blown that HE is the one who murdered Maggie in the first place! She later admits to seeing her murderer’s “glowing red eyes” when Sam interviews her later, and everyone knows who that is!

Alt-Michael: He shows up at the store where Jack goes for revenge, and our shocked heroes hold him off with some holy fire! Michael’s goal was always clear: Come to our world to rule it and destroy anyone standing in his way. All these variables beautifully clash when Supernatural pays homage to “The Matrix” and it all comes crumbling down. Michael (As the robots did to Zion) finds the MOL bunker and easily breaks in the door, only to float down to where our heroes are as they helplessly fire guns at him. He easily dispatches Sam and Cass, while he wants to make Dean pay by administering a “slow and painful” death to him! Sam prays in hopes that Jack will hear and respond, which he does, followed by Lucifer.

Jack is surprised to see Michael, thinking he was still behind in the alt-world. When he learns that his father and Michael made a deal so they could get to our world, his anger unleashes, and we see how powerful he really is. He nearly crushes the life out of Michael, and is very upset that his father lied to him about…EVERYTHING! I thought he might dust Lucifer here, but I was shocked (I shouldn’t have been) to find how the Devil responded once his cover was blown. Instantly, he became the narcissistic, petulant, angry, brooding being and let out a piercing scream in anger. On a dime, he turns on his own son and slits Jack’s throat with the arc-angel blade to take Jack’s grace and consume his immense power. He’s going to escape with his weakened son, but Sam grabs hold, and just like Dean got in the way of “Exploding Dick” and got blasted into Purgatory a few seasons back, Sam got taken to where Lucifer was headed with Jack to presumably kill the Nephilim.

More Matrix type stuff; Lucifer, knowing how powerful he now is, tries to make Sam and Jack kill each other by promising to kill them both if they don’t fight over and use the arc-angel blade. Dean meanwhile, sacrifices himself to a bloody mess Michael as his ultimate “sword” as a last ditch to find Lucifer and save Sam and Jack! Where have we seen this pattern? Just as Jack is prepared sacrifice himself and begin to thrust the blade into his own heart, (This after Sam orders Jack to kill him), a bright light appears, and Michael is wearing Dean, his true vessel! Tell me it didn’t feel like when Neo was resurrected after he was shot dead by Mr. Smith! (The triumphant music…The sticking out of the chest! BRILLIANT!)

Dean and Lucifer have a Matrix-like battle in mid-air! ‘Souped-up’ Lucifer is winning, but Sam saves the day by tossing the blade up to Michael-Dean, who uses it, to bring the devil to a very dramatic ear-piercing end! THE DEVIL IS DEAD??? REALLY??? YUP! And before they broke out the bubbly, Dean is overtaken by Michael, who will now go about his plans to rule our world!  The classic final shot; Dean, dressed like he did when he went back to the 40’s and teamed with Elliott Ness, is walking down the street, marveling at this world, now his oyster! Freeze-frame on flashing blue angelic eyes! Wow!

Will Jack recover enough strength to take on Michael? Who else but God and Amara can? I believe a being like him cannot exist with our heroes in the same world. Jack must leave, so he doesn’t bring it all down! (Assuming he recovers his grace.) How it happens, I don’t know. We saw “Dean-mon” for a few episodes…how long will we have to stomach “Michael-Dean?” Is the Devil really dead? He really was all over the place this season. Finally, we found out what he really wanted: To Be God and remake the universe in his own image. If he is gone for good, I’ll miss Mark Pellegrino and what he brought to the character. So does this mean Cass will return to run heaven? What about Demons and hell? Who’ll run things downstairs? Who’ll make some more angels?  It’s all a mess, but it leaves us with so many questions to be answered as we await season 14! I don’t know how they do it, but keep it coming ladies and gentlemen! You were excellent once again, taking the consistent themes, yet keeping the stories fresh!

 

Eric “Feeling Supernatural” Clemons

(Photos: The CW and Supernatural: All rights Reserved)

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“EXODUS” PERFECTLY TAKES OUR EMOTIONS TO HIGHS AND LOWS!

We pick up this episode right where the last left off! The group in the alt-universe discovers what we as an audience already know: Lucifer has brought Sam back from the dead. What we correctly guessed is that Luci would make much more out of his act than it really was: a selfish gesture to try to get some solid footing when he finally met his son, Nephilim Jack! Luci played it as though he’s a “team guy” who’s just trying to help in any way he can! The inevitable intro happens and Dean loses it! He doesn’t want Lucifer anywhere near Jack, and barks ‘grumpy old man’ orders to that end. Dean in fact, orders Gabriel to kill Lucifer! But he forgets the tenant by which the Winchesters have lived up to this point: “You’re always loyal to your family!” Lucifer is Gabriel’s brother! Lucifer is Jack’s father, and that being the case, Jack is curious to hear what his dad has to say, especially in response to the blunt question: “Why does everyone hate you?” Who couldn’t love the pop culture reference Lucifer makes regarding the stories about him as “fake news?” Brilliant!

I love the way Mark Pellegrino has played Lucifer this season. He delicately takes us inside a playful, at times funny, witty and precocious child, then violently pushes us away with petulance, pride, pettiness, anger and destruction! (What would he have done to Rowena last week if she hadn’t blasted him off her with that spell?) He shows none of the latter sides to his son, but everyone knows who he really is…EVERYONE! His explanations to his son about the endless stories of the destruction and death he has caused are delivered classically and even made me laugh! “That’s just what the devil would do!” Nothing was his fault! It was all due to some circumstance created by “Dad.”

We see just about everyone’s true nature in this episode! The Winchester’s sense of duty and responsibility, like Mary’s wanting to stay in the alt-world and fight. Dean, wanting to kill Lucifer out of duty: not caring that Lucifer had his family with him! Sam, ever the thinker, plotting revenge on Lucifer, even though he was brought back to life by the devil, and thinking of a plan to get everyone to our Earth to regroup and go back to defeat Michael!  Gabriel, witnessing behavior from afar, then, cutting to the chase with his commentary! Cass, determined to do the right thing not necessarily as an angel of the Lord, but as a loyalist to his friends

Where I found myself questioning my own sanity is how the episode pushed the boundaries of the fine line between love and hate! Here’s Lucifer! The devil! He gleefully admits stomping Rowena’s face until he saw the ‘white meat’ and burning her to a crunch, just because she knew how to open the cage! He tortured Sam’s soul for a long time in the cage. He has lied and connived his way into every opportunity to create destruction! Yet, was it a tear in his eye when Gabriel told him the truth about how cancerous he is and that’s why God put him in the cage? That it’s too late for him to even think about having a meaningful relationship with his son? Did we feel the slightest bit of empathy? Be truthful!

 

Ketch: Here’s a psychopathic killer whom we’ve seen ice many innocent people, “cleaning up” Sam and Dean’s messes! Yet he has repeatedly saved them! Now, he’s a member of the team? Rowena: Really! She doesn’t have a true bone in her tiny little body, and has lied, bewitched, cheated and killed her way into everything! Especially if it proved advantageous for her and her lust for power! Because she’s scared at the horror she faced from Lucifer, and she now grieves her dead son, she’s down with team Sam and Dean?

We shouldn’t like them! We shouldn’t trust them! But who pulls the most ‘questionable’ act in the episode: Sammy! He pushes an injured Lucifer back into the alt-world to face Michael alone, after Michael has killed (this time for good), Gabriel with the arc-angel blade. Sam did just what he should have done! (Lucifer would have done the same!) But why did I immediately feel like it was a cheap move? Ungrateful. Disloyal. Dishonest. The writers here toyed with our emotions, just like they’ve been so good at doing for years! I hated myself for feeling the slightest bit of empathy for any of them! But I did!

So now, the team is safely in the MOL bunker, with alt-Bobby in charge of the troops. Alt-Charlie doesn’t know who she was in this world, but we’re happy to see her! Thank God, alt-Cass (The Nazi?? Version) was killed by our Cass! But as we enter the finale’, Lucifer is cutting a deal with Michael to re-open the rift (Luci claims he knows the spell) so he can get back to Jack and Michael can pillage our Earth! (The expression on his face as he’s making the deal showed remorse???) How will Jack respond when he finds out Sam ‘double-crossed’ his father? We don’t want him pissed at anyone on the good side here, but he probably will be! Who else might we lose? Gabriel, who we grew to like, is gone. Bobby and Charlie are beloved, even if they are alt-versions of themselves. Rowena? Ketch? I think, as usual, we’re gonna be left “Walking Dead” speechless when the loss kicks in. I hope not! But I’m gonna work on getting my empathy in order before I sit down next week!

 

Eric “Feeling Supernatural”

(All photos: The CW and Supernatural: All rights reserved)

 

 

 

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“Beat the Devil” offers so many challenges…and memorable moments! 

This episode had a little of everything, and like the usual outstanding Supernatural episode, it took our emotions to places we hadn’t visited in quite a while. First of all, with all the times we’ve seen our heroes die, I was horrified when I saw the blood gush out of Sam’s jugular when that “old horror film” looking vampire took that chunk out of his neck. I took a quick survey around the room as my family watched. Each of them was shocked and horrified: in disbelief that Sam was ‘gone’ and they didn’t have time to even go back and collect his body! Was this some surprise the producers kept secret from us? Would Sam now be in ‘the empty?’

To a person, we forgot Lucifer had been jettisoned into the alt-universe by Rowena, and that he would likely follow the trail of our merry band of men!

When is the last time we remember sexual tension, awkwardness expressed on this show?  Cass and Meg? We certainly had it, in all its crassness, between Gabriel and Rowena. Remember, our powerful witch isn’t sure who Crowley’s father was, because she was in a ceremonial orgy and wasn’t taking down names! Gabriel’s alter ego and his hiding mechanism was that of a ‘Casa Erotica’ porn star, so no wonder we heard their thoughts and saw evidence of their sexual hook up at the MOL headquarters! The looks on the faces of Sam, Dean and the embarrassing downward gaze of Castiel when our new couple was ‘discovered’ is priceless. The obvious crass language and innuendo also lent much needed humor to the ominous task at hand.

Gabriel didn’t have enough grace or ‘juice’ to keep the rift between the two universes open. All of the lines alluding to it “not being or lasting long enough” were really clever. Then, to have Gabriel reading a book entitled, “Laying Pipe” was way over the top: just what we needed! Why they decided it would be a good thing to leave Rowena behind with her murderer, Lucifer, whom she fears and loathes, is quite beyond me. I’d think they’d want a powerful witch on their side, especially with the things they might run into and two ‘under-powered’ angels in their midst. Lucifer did just as we’d expect, getting under Rowena’s skin enough so she could respond and enrage him to give him enough power to break the handcuffing spell. Thank goodness he did, because in being blown into the alt-universe by Rowena, it was the devil that brought Sam back!

I never saw that coming! Of course, now Sam owes it to Lucifer to take him to Jack, who up until that point was very upset that his best friend/family was dead and nobody from the team went after him or made an effort to bring him back. Jack smiled broadly upon the sight of Sam, whom everyone believed was a goner! Will this make him more open to listening to and following his ‘biological’ father? Where will all of this take us? Alt-Michael is still more powerful than the angels on hand, and if he finds a way to subdue Jack, the current world is in for a big hurt! Could this be the incident that turns Jack for the worse because he unites with Luci?

In all of his self-serving and petulant ways, Lucifer is quite ‘Crowley-like’ here. He has made strategic moves to get him to his son, and indebt him to all who love Sam- even us in the audience! Mark Pelligrino plays Lucifer exquisitely in making us, dare I say, ‘like him’ until he shows us that he is indeed “The Devil!” Will they get back to the door in time? Will Michael intercept them? How might Jack receive his dad? Do the angels have enough to ‘get it up’ for Michael? Did Lucifer give Sam something ‘extra’ when he brought him back? What do you think fans?

 

Eric “Feeling Supernatural” Clemons

(Photos: The CW and Supernatural: All rights reserved)

 

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The ‘unfinished’ business of heating up this season’s story arc!

My apologies for being out of the country and off the grid last week. I think you’ve probably already had Rowena’s failed effort at achieving justice for her dead son Crowley through vengeful acts dissected and analyzed enough, but at least for the time being, this powerful witch seems to be down with team Sam and Dean! I never trust her though! This week, we went about the business of taking the arc-angel Gabriel down a similar path. He wants to take his vengeance out on those who kidnapped him and sold him to Asmodeus for years of pure torture from the last prince of hell that he torched like a wooden match!

Our restored friend has a hit list, and starts with a large, bearded and clawed demi-god thing that happens to be a son of Loki, the Norse god. Sam and Dean, thanks to Rowena’s spell, have come to town in search of Gabriel, who has four special wooden swords to do the murderous trick on Loki and the 3 sons who kidnapped him after he faked his death a few seasons back when Lucifer “thought” he had killed his brother at that special motel! (So did we!) An injured and bleeding Gabriel finds Sam and Dean and needs to rest up, since he’s so low on grace and bleeds ‘almost’ human blood! Sam and Dean agree to help Gabriel if he’ll help them when they ultimately face alt-Michael! They struck a deal!

Meanwhile, in the alt-universe, Jack is kicking ass and taking names: so much so that it appears the abusive angels are in ‘retreat’ mode. Nobody can find where Michael and his band of feathered friends have gone. Jack, now coming to recognize his own magnificent powers, mentally travels to the old hide out and wants to go after the arc-angel and finish the job. The lesson here is one Mary tries to impart to our Nephilim: “Be patient. Plan. Don’t go in with guns blazing and not knowing what your goal is.” Someone always loses when things are approached that way. Think about it. Almost every time Jack has taken aggression, someone innocent gets hurt! When he’s defending the innocent, things usually turn out well. Mary confesses she can’t lose another boy. This touches Jack deeply.  Castiel, Sam and Dean care about Jack for different reasons. Mary’s is the first expression of love Jack has received since seeing his mother on video! Despite this, Jack still wants to go and check out Michael’s main hideout and get some intel. Mary and the crew decide to follow. When they get there, alt-Kevin Tran is discovered hiding in the basement, but it’s all a trap.

Tran has that carving on his chest to complete the spell that causes the immediate area to explode with powerful light energy!  He says Michael has promised him he’d see his mother when he’s allowed into heaven!  I found the next part a little strange. Mary tells Kevin that heaven is just memories! It’s not real! WHAT??? In the context of the show, souls are real, the souls in heaven are real, God, his sister and Lucifer are real, angels are real, but heaven itself is not? So, it’s better to be what, a ghost? Or in hell? I don’t know if it’s the intention of the show writers, but I just thought that was a bit of heavenly-political confusion there. Heaven’s not a place we should want to go and live the best parts of our lives? If not, where’s the alternative? The empty? Okay! My rant is over! The ensuing explosion smokes everyone except Jack and Mary, who is unconscious. According to Kevin, this was Michael’s first effort to “break” Jack!

The two remaining demi-gods track Gabriel to the motel he is at with Sam and Dean, and we learn that Loki, the original ‘trickster’ who taught Gabriel everything he knows about ‘laying low’ is also there, as he has a fondness for transforming rundown motels into his own luxury spots. Anyway, Gabriel is compelled to tell the back story of what happened after he faked is death at the Alysium motel with all those other demi-gods that Lucifer squashed like bugs! While the demi-gods are giving it to Sam and Dean pretty good, our heroes get the upper hand and Gabriel finished both his foes, while Dean slips away with the special sword to confront Loki alone.  The episode wasn’t so tense in part because of the music selections for the ending showdown scenes. They used that old-western Mexican guitar, which almost gave it a comedic edge, especially when we saw Gabriel hiding!

All ended well, and Sam confronts Dean, who originally wanted no part of Gabriel’s revenge plan, yet went after Loki, solo! Sam calls out Dean’s solo attitude of late. Dean it seems has reverted to taking the weight of the protection and rescue of everyone they care about upon his shoulders, which Sam resents! We always go full-circle with our guys! Sam assures Dean that if they die in this impending challenge to Earth’s survival, they’ll die TOGETHER! I have a feeling that Dean’s and Jack’s zeal to be ‘Lone Ranger’s’ might winding up bringing on more problems when the story arc begins to heat up over the next several weeks.

Is Gabriel ‘really’ aboard? Seems he’s a selfish loner to me! Will Jack’s naiveté prove his undoing and make him vulnerable to seduction to Michael’s dark plan? “Beware the dark side! Seduce you it will!” (In my Yoda voice.) Will Dean finally get it and quit taking responsibility for everything?  Am I wrong in taking offense to Mary’s dismissal of heaven?

 

Eric “Feeling Supernatural” Clemons

Photos: The CW and Supernatural: All rights reserved.

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“The Thing” Gets us back up to speed!  

After the humorous break that “Scooby Natural” provided last week, “The Thing” gets us back to season 13’s main story arc and does so with some classic details that make this show the success that it is. We begin with a beauty from the 1920’s apparently being kidnapped by hooded figures and taken to a dark, ceremonious place for some kind of ritual, where we see a rift created in the ceiling and hear a scream from the poor sacrifice, chained to the table. We zoom forward to present day, where Sam and Dean, complete with 2 of the four ingredients needed to open their own rift to the alt-universe and save Mary and Jack from the clutches of Mad-Michael are at an impasse!  They can’t find a thing on the jewel of Solomon.

Finally, Sam stumbles onto something about a satellite chapter of MOL in Rhode Island and the jewel, so they head out. They find the well-hidden lair of this group and get into a manhole cover to enter a series of tunnels and rooms which have more books. Sam finds out even more about the jewel of Solomon, noticing the distinctive logo on some papers, when they hear a woman screaming for help in a locked room. Turns out this is the same woman we saw from 1925! She is Sandy Porter, the poor victim of that kidnapping and ritual. She hasn’t aged a day! That raised the first red flag for me! Sam and Dean being who they are, rescue her and try to familiarize her with a world she hasn’t seen in nearly 100 years!  (I was shocked that this fact never seemed to bother them. But with all they’ve seen, like the return of Mary and Cass, why would this woman not aging seem weird?) Of course, they take her to a nearby diner to get a bite to eat.

Sandy is a bit confused and upset…mainly because she flashes back to when she was kidnapped. The jewel was used to open a rip during the ceremony, and tentacle creature reached down and had his way with the sacrifice. Meanwhile, Ketch is in Asmodeus’ lair, wondering why the prince called for him. He speaks to Asmo as if they are equals, but is quickly and harshly reminded that the prince both owns him and can basically treat him like a slave!  Asmodeus gave an “Asmo-whuppin” to Ketch! I kinda felt sorry for the psychopath! How and why? We also learn that the last Prince of hell is injecting angel grace he’s stealing from Gabriel into his veins like a common junkie! I remember seeing him for the first time, the way he burned the eyes of the demons out was more angelic than demonic. I guess this might explain it!

In the diner, the cook and others apparently are part of that same secret society that kidnapped our victim in the 1920’s! A couple of phone calls are made, and like something out of an Indiana Jones movie, the diner is soon surrounded by hooded robed figures, who are apparently after the kidnap victim. They’re willing to do some damage: even kill to get her back. I liked the way we were kept in the dark about who was good and who wasn’t! We all were thinking the same thing: MOL’s don’t kidnap and kill people, but we learn later that these folks were sworn to protect the world from this god of another dimension, whose only goal was to eat and mate! It had entered our Sandy, and couldn’t be killed, so the next best thing to do was ‘starve’ the vessel, leaving the poor girl chained and weak-until our heroes saved her!

Great fight scenes led to the revelation of this truth about who ‘the real bad guy’ was. This monster ate everyone in sight, sucking the fluids out of them, but only kidnapped Dean and took him back to the bunker to sacrifice and allow him to be the vessel for her ‘true mate.’ (She liked him.) The door was opened by a madman who thought bringing in a ‘new god’ was the best way to save the world. Ketch meanwhile can’t stay in Asmodeus’ company any longer, so he (under no guard or watch) frees Gabriel and steals the arc-angel blade!

Sam and the protectors get back to the Rhode Island bunker in time to thwart the plans of  Yokhan, the real name of the monster from the alt-universe. Her mate snatched her back home before they used the jewel to close the rip. Jewel rule: The rip stays open for only 24 hours! They gladly give the Jewel to Sam and Dean, who head back home with 3 out of 4 ingredients needed. Enter Ketch, who has a key to their door at the MOL bunker. He almost gets shot, but manages to convince our boys that he’s willing to give them the last ingredient, Gabriel, and some grace, plus the arc-angel blade, in exchange for protection from his former employer, Asmodeus, who will undoubtedly be pissed!

Dean wants Sam to stay behind just in case things go South, (you know they will) so they do the spell to open a rip, which is now orange, like when Jack opened it. Before it was purple, kind of like the same energy Rowena used to gain some extra juice when she performed a special spell many episodes back. Anyway, in went Dean and Ketch and we had reached the end of an episode with many twists and turns.

I have so many questions, which is why I love this show! Is there only 1 alt-universe? How can we be sure that this one the spell opened is the same world Mary and Jack are in? Is the color change in the rip of significance? Why is Asmodeus pumping angel grace? Does it make him a special, “super-charged” demon, or less demon like? He seems to have a little less common sense. How can you leave a cunning MOL assassin alone around your most valuable possessions? Now that we have the rules of the arc-angel blade, is any arc-angel dead since they all have to be stabbed by an arc angel with this special blade? (We see Gabriel is still here. Lucifer, who stabbed him with a regular angel blade, is apparently unaware.) Where was Asmodeus holding Gabriel all this time? Is a Prince of hell more powerful than an arc-angel? How could Asmo overpower Gabriel, but get beat down by a fully charged Lucifer? How many alt-versions of our favorites, like Kevin Tran, Bobby, etc. might be brought back from the ‘other side?’ I like the fact that the writers have us right where they want us…asking all these questions and having to wait for the answers. The roller coaster ride continues! What do you think?

Eric “Feeling Supernatural” Clemons

(Photos: The CW and Supernatural: All rights reserved)

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Scooby-Natural!!!

Goofy, silly, funny, and cleverly “Supernatural!” Those are the thoughts that immediately came to mind after I watched this episode. In so many ways, the writers of this episode kept reminding us of the classic repetitions of this long-running cartoon, and its “two-dimensional” characters, while at the same time, taking our shows heroes and bringing their “3-dimensions” to us while part of the cartoon. It had elements of the Abbott and Costello meet (fill in the monster) movies in reverse. Also like when the ‘Trickster’ created an entire TV world to teach Sam and Dean a lesson about “playing their roles” leading up to the apocalypse, the Scooby characters were true to form, happily going about solving mysteries and eating in diners when Sam, Dean and later Cass, are thrust upon them. This time, Scooby is due an inheritance, but to get his share of the money, he has to spend the night in his late cousin’s haunted mansion, along with several other relatives.

As usual, Dean is the one who holds the Scooby characters dear, and true to form. We learn that he holds this particular cartoon in as high esteem as he does cowboys, and Asian porn! He also has a thing for Daphne, and even takes a gawk at her round cartoon butt in one scene. They drew a little extra back there for effect! She, of course, never broke character (Unaware of Dean’s flirtation) and never got too far away from Freddy. I was most moved by the fact that when the Scooby characters learned that ghosts are real, they nearly all have nervous breakdowns, because we all know that there’s an evil, money hungry, real-estate developer in a mask that Is trying to scare everyone away so he can get all the profits and keep them for himself in every episode of Scooby Doo ever done! In fact, The Scooby gang’s nervous breakdowns were the only time the Scooby stars broke their normal cartoon character. There never could have been another Scooby adventure ‘drawn’ if they really understood what’s out there! Up till then, they were oblivious to what is really scary in Sam and Dean’s ghostly reality: “cold temps” when the ghost is near, etc.

Nice touches were that Freddy got tossed across a room and had a bloody nose. There were ‘real’ murders in this episode and quite ghastly ones at that! Especially the dismembered body of the lawyer. (Hey! Don’t most of them deserve this fate?) Cass walked like Scooby and Shaggy, tip-toeing across the floors of the mansion. Shaggy gets tossed out of a 3-story window and breaks his arm. Velma turned out to be the ‘more sexually aware’ of our two females of the bunch, and she finally gives Sam an aggressive kiss near the end of the episode, dipping the giant. (She always has a thing for guys with broad shoulders!)

Of course, there are some parallels between the shows. Like, where do the characters get the money to drive all over the country, eat at all kinds of restaurants and solve mysteries? Why do they keep going and going? They often find their next ‘cases’ in the newspaper headlines. (My tongue is firmly implanted in cheek) Of course, the ‘real’ ghost in this Scooby story, turned from a scripted repeat Dean had watched 100 times, to a head-scratcher, was a ghost-child who was being controlled by an evil “real estate broker” whom we met early in the episode. He controlled the boy ghost by planting an object to which he was attached (pocket knife) into things the boy would possess and scare off business owners in the area. The “bad man” would buy cheap and sell high! And when caught, he even uttered the famous line, “And I would have gotten away with it too, if it hadn’t been for those meddling kids!” Classic!

I also liked that our heroes chose to lie in order to leave the Scooby bunch happily in their cartoon bliss, too “two dimensional” to recognize that there are indeed real ghosts, demons and other monsters! Our ghost boy, who drew our heroes into this cartoon world through a possessed TV, posed as a typical Scooby bad guy and all was right with the Hanna-Barbera cartoon universe. Scooby and Shaggy were scared and hungry, Freddy was ever optimistic, complete with ascot, every hair in place and planning how to execute their ghost-catching moves. Thelma was smart and Daphne was tagging along, looking pretty and finding danger! Sam, Dean and Cass had saved their world, albeit with little appreciation or fanfare, just like on their real earth! Jensen Ackles is a very good comedic actor, and played up his role with an ascot and his “Scooby Doo” impression that ended the episode! His facial expressions and overall goofiness were great again, as was his voice acting when they were in cartoon form. Sam (Jared Padalecki), was indeed the perfect straight man, as was Cass. (Misha Collins). I found it a good bit of comic relief, not quite as good as the Supernatural musical episode, or even  the TV land deal, but still, I laughed out loud several times and found it cleverly executed with the help of the Scooby Doo cartoon. Now, it’s back to the business of saving Mary, Jack, and the world from Lucifer, Alt-Michael, and Asmodeus!

Eric “YankerNatural” Clemons

Photos: The CW and Supernatural! All rights reserved

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A Most Holy Man was most interesting!

So once again, the creators of scripts for our favorite show have thought up another way to tell a story and advance the story line. This episode was something out of one of those classic Mickey Spillane type movies. Our two heroes were often in their “fake fed” threads and the episode had darker and rich color tones in just about every scene, giving it a classic film feel. They even donned those cool overcoats! All Sam and Dean needed were the cool hats like Dean wore in the episode that he went back in time and met Elliott Ness. Even the way the woman of focus in the episode looked, with the thick, red, lip stick and green old-style dress suit and hair style, was a throwback to the older glamour days of film.  The episode starts with a man breaking into a church and stealing a skull. Sam and Dean are of course, looking for the ingredients that Cass got out of the mind of Donatello, the ‘soulless’ prophet. They set out to get the first ingredient of the spell needed to re-open that tear into the alt-universe to save Mary, the blood of a ‘most holy man!‘

We meet our mystery lady, who obviously would like to get a little more intimate with Sam. Margaret Astor says she knows where to start so the boys might fulfill their request. Their goal will not be a cheap endeavor either! They’re pointed to a buyer- dealer named Richard Greenstreet, who easily exposes their FBI-agents fraud…but hires them to find the stolen skull of St. Peter, with the promise of the blood of “St. Ignatius” (a most holy man) in exchange for its return. I really liked the way the episode was a continuous unravelling mystery, with new suspects being added throughout. Somebody killed our man (Tony Homliay) whom we saw steal the skull at the beginning of the episode. Sam and Dean are led to Seattle, where they find his body, but someone finds them (he’s posing as a cop) and makes them handcuff themselves to the radiator.

By the time we stumble onto more and more characters, we don’t know who’s up to what until the big reveal at the very end—just like the kind we used to see in those classic detective mysteries! We knew the man Sam bumped in the hotel elevator would be significant. He turned out to be a Father (Luca Caminelli) from the church where the skull was stolen, sent to recover it with all the money the church had. We meet a mobster, (Tony Scarpotti), who collects, (steals) religious artifacts. He believes the skull is rightfully his because he made a down payment to have it stolen.

While attempting to figure out where the skull is and how this might lead to Sam and Dean getting the blood they want, we learn that everybody’s double-crossing everybody! Ms. Astor (who murdered our original skull thief) is going to sell the skull to the highest bidder, but Greenstreet offers her bodyguard a million cash to kill her on the spot (which he does) and the big shootout begins! The mobster’s goons are shooting. As is Astor’s body guard, Sam, (acting on behalf of the church from which the skull was stolen) then, later Dean. Greenstreet cowers behind cover after igniting the fire-fight by offering NOTHING for the skull because he had paid for at least one of his competitors to die!

I loved the style of the episode. My favorite parts were the exchanges between Sam and Dean…and Dean and everyone else.  Dean is becoming more like a middle-aged Clint Eastwood. He grumpily mumbles his lines and acts like he’s pretty tired of the routine. He’s often got a sarcastic, blunt line to deliver and does so with a style that says, “I’ve seen it all! I no longer care!”  Sam is still the emotional one, but far more mature! However, he and Dean act like an old married couple sometimes, which is evident in their exchanges here! To show you how far Sam has come, when would he have ever flirted right back with a stranger to get our boys a little closer to their goal? When would Dean roll his eyes in disgust over Ms. Astor’s obvious flirtation, rather than encouraging Sam to ‘hit that’ if he got the chance?

The best part was that the simplicity of the plot twist provided by optimistic padre’ Luca! He is praying (nicely inter-cut) during the shootout, and he makes a subtle, but honest plea to our heroes as they set out to recover the skull. He suggests it’s worth the effort to try as an individual to ‘do something’ to make this imperfect world a little better, which motivated Sam to become one of the double-crossers to try to get the skull back to the church. Luca is optimistic, even in the wake of Dean’s blunt and pessimistic outlook. “God doesn’t give a damn!” It turns out that after the smoke clears, Greenstreet is arrested, other suspects are wounded or dead, and the Father has the skull of St. Peter back. Sam and Dean learn that Greenstreet never possessed the blood of St. Ignatius, so all the stuff they went through was over a lie! However, quite innocently, Father Luca says he met the Pope, who gave him a title that means, “MOST HOLY MAN.” So after all that running around and all that mystery, they got their blood after all. Step one completed. Sam comes to a conclusion that there will always be monsters and people who need saving. Dean admits, “I have faith”, as the episode closes. It’s a neat, smartly done little package. Simple, fun, stylish and memorable because their goal was achieved in a most round-about way: No demons, ghosts, angels or monsters! Just the unlikeliest ‘holy man!’ “Brilliant!” What did you think?

 

Eric YankerNatural Clemons

(Photos: The CW and Supernatural: All rights Reserved)

 

 

 

 

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