The Spear “pierced”with precision in the mid-season finale!

Attention, Supernatural fans! You are being re-trained! I’ll speak for myself. I guess I certainly am! Everything up to now has been delivered from the perspective of our boys, Sam and Dean usually armed with any number of, in hindsight, stupid, stupid, decisions. But each and every one of them had an overwhelming sense of altruism. Sam was going to sacrifice his life to complete the trials when Heaven expelled the angels. Dean gave himself up (hell deal) so that Sam could live. Sam throws himself into the pit with Lucifer. Cas (after realizing what his thirst for power did to him) warned the boys of the Leviathan. You get the picture.

From the opening holiday themed music with the panoramic view of Kansas City, MO, this episode had a sense of uncomfortable routine. (Just like the holidays for many of us.) You were waiting for the other shoe to drop, but you didn’t know where it might come from. This huge task, defeating the most powerful being in the AU and this U, (with Jack having no juice) came off like the crew was hunting a vampire nest or a vengeful spirit. It’s not like the altruism was totally void, but there was definitely a different feel to their approach now that they were armed with info on where AU-Michael went after he left Dean.  AU-Michael, now an attractive female still referred to as “sir,” is having every human in the city’s tallest building slaughtered or turned by his super-monsters. I was very comfortable in knowing he was ‘really gone’ from Dean! One of the last two werewolves remaining is Garth, who’s working “under-cover” for Sam, to get intel on AU-Michael for team MOL.

First shoe drop: Garth is cavalier in his approach, thinking he can fake his way thru and avoid really drinking Michael’s grace to become a super-soldier, like he’d fool his mom when he was a kid. EPIC FAIL! Michael made sure he swallowed it! “Uh Oh!” Meanwhile, the band is back together! (Sort of???) Dean is sans Michael. Sam is leading and organizing the troops. Cas is in tow armed with his secret stupid deal with “The Empty.” Jack is back, with no power. They have nothing that can stop AU Michael but did speak of Bobby toying around with some angel handcuffs. It kind of felt like it did when the crew took that last photo before they went head-to-head with Satan, but that was a battle everyone figured they’d lose and go out like heroes; fighting until their final breath. This time, they seemed ‘jolly!’ “It’s the Holidays!” Everything seems jolly! But our world is about to go the hell!  

With the help of Ketch, the guys find out that the powerful egg that can wipe out just about anything, and loose angels from their hosts, has been express mailed to Lebanon, Kansas! (Ketch didn’t realize the gravity of the situation.) So based in part on intel coming from Garth, Sam and Jack goto break into the “post office” and steal the egg, while Dean and Cas go to find AU Kyia, who is holed up in a warehouse in another part of Kansas, and where Michael has sent his troops after her to kill her and get that magical, damaging, spear!

Shoe drop number 2: Garth is providing great intel. Too great! Au Michael is playing him and everyone else! Nobody has gone to confront AU Kyia, who after some convincing and outright lying by Dean, who promises Jack will open a rift and place her back home, gives Dean her spear. (Now why wouldn’t he invite her along for the fight? She was obviously way more skilled with the spear than he ever will be.She took AU-Michael down with it once! But Dean being ‘Dean,’ loves imagining himself as a super-hero! Routine!) Jack picks the lock and he and Sam make easy work of getting the egg. However, they are ambushed by AU-Michael and his minions. Michael destroys the egg and hurts Sam a little. His boys kidnap Jack! Nobody shows at Kyia’s hide-out for Cas and Dean to battle.

Dean convincing AU Kyia go ‘loan’ him her magical spear

They all head to KC to conquer the enemy, armed with the one weapon that could kill AU Michael. Sam is stressed, but Dean is ‘happy’ even though the tape deck in “Baby” is busted! He plays around with the spear like a man who is trying to spin a baton for the first time! Sam has beaten Dean and Cas to the spot, and in his altruistic manner, gone in without back up. He dusts a few bad guys with a swift machete’ to the neck and easily gets to Jack. The crew hooks up with Garth, who turns super monster on them! Michael is in his head, (has been all-along) ordering him to kill the intruders, but Sam subdues him and they place him into baby’s trunk. (At least they didn’t have to kill him!) Meanwhile, a plan is devised to send Cas after AU Michael first, knowing Michael would sense him. Cas takes a bloody beating for the team. Sam and Jack can do nothing…but Dean sneaks in from behind, armed with the spear.

The final shoe drop: We have now learned that AU Michael wants to keep Jack at his side until he fully regenerates. By then, “he will have turned to the dark side” or at leastAU-Michael’s side. Michael has super monsters placed throughout the city, and at midnight, they will attack, killing and turning every human being in the city, and the war for earth will be “on!” Now, if Dean can get lucky with the spear.“Nope!” Michael is easily dispatching of our hero, knocking the spear from his hand, he even reminds Dean that all this (The Michael world order) is on Dean because of his decision. (He let Michael in out of altruism.) But just like in the season 13 finale’ Sam slides the weapon to his brother in the fight against an arc-angel. Dean lands a blow to AU Michael’s arm, and has a chance to kill him. Jack even yells, “Kill him!” But we get that blurred vision from Dean.Female Michael falls unconscious on the floor…and Dean is there with spear and back turned. He breaks the spear over his knee and turns toward the team, blue eyes and all! “Damn! They got me again!” My wine glass actually broke at the shaft I squeezed so hard! (it was empty.) Michael even talks to ‘us’ and them. “Did you ever ask why? (He left Dean).” “Dean was always squirrelly because of his love for you…all of you.” “I left…but left a back door open, just a crack.” And with the snap of his finger, the war on KC and the world presumably begins!

Wow! I never saw that one coming! I was comfortable knowing Michael was in someone else! Even though clues were given (I’ve railed about them here.) all along that this Michael-Dean thing wasn’t over! So Michael pulls a demon move and enters back into Dean without Dean’s permission, only to “break him!” This time, with all his hopes crushed, Dean would remain dormant inside there, never to squirrel again! “Dean’s gone!” Michael pronounced.

Where I am now:

The end of days is near, starting with Kansas City? What can our heroes do now, first, to save Dean, secondly, to stop Michael? Then, how do you save Cas (when they discover his stupid deal) from an entity even God has no jurisdiction over? Don’t forget, it appears red-eyed Lucifer has been awakened in “the empty” by the impassioned call of his ‘vessel’ Nick. It doesn’t look too good for our crew, and this season the writers and producers have allowed us to fall into the routine, just to snatch it from us and place us back into desperation! (Doesn’t life tend to do just that?) I hate it and love it at the same time! We know about teamMOL, who ‘might’ have some angel cuffs to fight with! Rowena is back. AUCharlie is staying. AU Bobby is doing Mary. (Yuck!)

Team Kyia: No spear and no love for either side!

Team Michael: The most powerful arc-angel, a regenerating Jack?, (could take ions) and a ton of super monsters taking KC.

Team Lucifer??? (if he escapes the empty.) Has Jack’s powerful Nephilim grace, which makes him a little more powerful than Michael. (Where’s the arc-angel blade?)

Team YOU: What do you think of season 14 so far? What about the predicament? Let me know.

Eric “FeelingSupernatural” Clemons

Photos: The CW. All rights reserved.

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What was “Byzantium”trying to tell us?

First, I had to look up, “Byzantium.” It was an ancient city in what is present day Istanbul,Turkey. It was a former Greek colony assimilated by the Romans. In about 330A.D., the emperor Constantine had the city rebuilt and named it “Constantinople.” This was one of the places where many religious councils took place, literally shaping and defining much biblical doctrine and lore. Constantine also had his fascination with religious practices ignited by the Greco-Roman conquering ofEgypt, which is why we may have been introduced to the Egyptian god Anubis in this episode.

Death often strikes when we least expect it

Jack was given the grace, got sicker and died so unceremoniously to start this episode! Dean left the room where he lay, unable to face the death of another someone close to him! Jack was gone within 2 minutes! Jack was dead, but the reaction was different. Jack was to me, a ‘thing’ that became human, but I hadn’t grown to love him, like others we lost. (Kevin andCharlie.) I guess it doesn’t take long to love…Because our main trio felt different from much of the audience.  All found a way to express a love for Jack, first born out of responsibility to protect the Nephilim. So the writers did a great job of making jack’s death feel “unfair” and ‘unresolved.’

The more things change, the more they remain the same

Sam, who even admits that the Winchester’s often make some daring moves in attempts to change fate and cheat death, contacts Lilly, the angel killer who used angelic magic to stay alive and young long enough to avenge the death of her daughter at the hands of angels over a century ago. Sam contacted her looking for a way to bring Jack back. Maybe she can read the angel tablet. NOT!!! Lilly, who has only a sliver of her soul left (the cost of practicing angel magic) and looks 30 years older to boot (different actress played her this time) says she might be able to help bring Jack back by using apiece of his human soul to keep him alive. (Angel magic) In exchange, she wantsa guarantee that she’ll get into heaven, despite the fact that she has several strikes against her for multiple angel murders. Here’s where it got interesting. Anubis, for the first time I can remember in 13 plus seasons of this show, is mentioned as the one who is solely responsible for determining the fate of a human soul.

For those who might not be familiar, Osiris (killed by our boys a few seasons back) conducts a trial of the heart/soul, while Anubis weighs the heart against the feather of Ma’at, (Truth and Righteousness, amongst other virtues). If your heart was lighter on the justice scale carried by Anubis, you went to join all your loved ones in the heavenly kingdom. This is part of the “Osirian Drama,” as it is called, which is thousands of years older than any widely accepted religious texts. Many scholars believe it is where many of our biblical foundations originated, especially under the influence of Constantine who was enamored with Egyptian religious lore!  Sam, Dean, Cas and Lilly summoned Anubis, who indifferently passes our heroes the message, “Your actions determine whether you go to heaven! Not me!” Couple of interesting notes here: Anubis is Arab, (TV and movies still won’t admit ancient Egypt was African!) and now, thanks to Greek influence, even gods are even ‘assimilated.’ Anubis carried an abacus, a Greek instrument, to weigh deeds, not the justice scale as the African legend depicts. Lilly’s score wasn’t too good either!

The Shadow is not happy!

   I guess Anubis’ test determined that the human side of Jack was good enough to make heaven, while “The Shadow” from “the Empty” is awakened once again. He wants Jack because he has claim to all angels and demons who die. The black goo attacks the severely depleted heaven and demands Jack, possessing whatever angels he sees fit to reach his goal. Cas is in heaven trying to locate Jack, who finds his mother Kelly there, and is getting to know her a bit better. Naomi wants to give Jack up rather than see heaven fall, which could happen any minute with “The Shadow” running amuck!

Move over Sam and Dean

    Now, when the goo finally corners Jack (after possessing Uma) and is about to take him to ‘forever-sleepy’ land, Cas pulls a Sam or Dean! He makes a stupid deal and offers himself up in exchange for Jack to be spared. “Because I love you Jack!” says Cas! Well, shoot! Cas goes and does the same thing we’ve cussed at Sam and Dean for doing over and over again: making bad deals out of their love for one another! Now, the unusually malevolent “Shadow” agrees, but decides he’s gonna come back and take Cas when he reaches his happiest point in life! I guess goo-man’s pissed to be awake again! He’s gonna make us all wonder when Cas’ time is up! Cas also promises Jack not to reveal his secret to Sam and Dean! Bad deals and secrets! What would Supernatural be without them?

Rewards for certain sacrifices

Cas saves heaven by offering himself up for Jack. As a result, Naomi tells him the location of AU-Michael! “WHAT???” He’s really not in there with Dean? Think about it! Dean couldn’t be AU Michael’s ‘ultimate vessel,’ because in the AU, Dean and Sam are never born! So now, with Jack in tow, our heroes discuss going to find and defeat AU-Michael! Lilly used the last of her soul to bring jack back, but her selfless act, resulting in her death, gives her enough ‘Heavenly points’ to earn entry and reunite with her daughter! (Egyptian lore)

Final Thoughts

If “Shadow” admitted (To Cas) to not having been awakened in ions, (we have watched 700 angels die over the past several seasons) why did he wake up when Jack died? Did Lucifer wake him? Why is “Shadow” so mean? If he goes back to “The Empty” and returns to sleep, how will he know when Cas is at his happiest? Why are angels who die taken to a place of ‘nothing?’ Is this a way of saying, they have no choice in their behavior? Like demons don’t? Why not just disintegrate into atoms, or is this what “the empty” represents? If Michael’s not bad enough, what will they do against “Shadow?” (Even God has no jurisdiction over him.)

Here we go! The roller coaster is at full speed heading toward the mid-season finale! What do you think fans?

Eric “FeelingSupernatural” Clemons

Photos: The CW. All rights reserved.

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“Unhuman Nature” creating our empathy???

So in this episode, we were led to form some very blunt conclusions, at least up to now here in season 14. First, Jack without his grace, is more human than most ‘humans.’ The cough that caused him to collapse at the end of the last episode is a symptom of Jack’s ‘humanity,’ to the degree that he is dying faster than he even grew into young adulthood after his birth. Cas couldn’t cure him, the hospital confirmed that all his vital organs are shutting down, and Rowena (armed with the book of the damned that she ‘borrowed’) is called to try to cure him with a spell, which fails. Finally, they reach out to Ketch, who knows a Shaman ‘healer’ who is contacted by Cas, and winds up giving Cas some of “Our World” Gabriel’s arc-angel grace, obtained as he partied with porn stars in Monte Carlo, and a spell to go along with it, that should restore Jack? There was something shady about the Shaman, and our suspicions proved to be correct. He didn’t even want anything in return for these valuable items, just for Cas to tell the Winchester’s that, “They owe me.”

In between all this exhaustive searching for a cure, Jack shows his unbelievable maturity once again, deciding he wants to leave the bunker and live whatever life he has remaining to the fullest. He wants to go to Vegas or Tahiti and have some fun, even be bored before he checks out for the last time. Dean, who treated him as if he were an abominable monster when they first met, feels very guilty about that, and decides to join Jack on his final adventures. He teaches Jack to drive. This is monumental in the Supernatural Universe! Dean is nuts about his car, “baby” and Sam is the only other person to drive it, but Dean throws Jack to keys and lets Jack get behind the wheel. Jack mastered this skill in a few hours. (He is a Nephilim.) They also decide to do some fishing, to which Jack realizes the importance of life’s smaller pleasures, and spending time with those you care about. That’s most important. All this brings about even more guilt from Dean. Jack remains innocent and logical, which sometimes drives me nuts, just like many young people who have very little wisdom.

Dean is “Dean” except for a couple of instances of blurred vision, once occurring when the conversation moved to the Shaman who could help Jack and another time when Rowena talked about a spell and Jack’s condition creating a situation where he doesn’t have enough grace to balance his powers between arc-angel and human. I believe this is Michael inside Dean, almost taking the wheel back because now he can lock in on those who might be able to hurt him: Rowena, a most powerful witch, the Shaman, and even Jack if he returns to full power! Otherwise, why would Dean be phasing in and out the way he is? Michael is still in there! He’s gonna pop out very soon! I just know it!

Cas brings the grace back from the shady Shaman, Sergei, and Jack ingests it as Rowena reads the spell. Jack appears better for a few seconds, (his eyes even glow gold) but then collapses on the floor! It appears the spell didn’t work and as a result, Cas is furious, threatening the Sergei, who is ordered to come by the bunker and attend to Jack, which he refuses. The Shaman is smug, and sure he will not be found even if Cas comes looking! So, Jack lay in the bunker, dying???

While Jack is literally dying, Nick (Lucifer’s former vessel) is showing he is a true psychopath. Maybe it’s remnants of Satan left behind. Maybe he had this potential all along. Either way, he is relentlessly trying to find out what happened the night his wife and son were brutally murdered. We open with him having brutally murdered and crucified a priest, speaking to him post-mortem! We see him resist the temptation to kill a party girl in an alley behind a night club, but what little humanity he has left, overtakes ‘psycho’ and yells to the girl to get away from him. She obliges.

Through a reporter who worked the murder, Nick learned that a beat cop, Frank was on the scene, but left town before he could be properly questioned by authorities. He finally finds and confronts Frank, and my theory crashes. (I really thought Nick murdered his own family.) Turns out Nick’s neighbor did see a man leave the house that fateful night. Frank was possessed by a demon, Braxis, who murdered Nick’s family to set Nick up to later be occupied by Lucifer himself. In fact, Nick remembers the name as one Lucifer has used. Even though he knows it wasn’t Frank who murdered his family, Frank was the vessel, so Nick can’t let that go! Nick slaughters Frank with a hammer, and falls to his knees to beg to be free of guilt…He begs Lucifer in prayer to come back to him….and just like Jack did when he called out to Cas, whose soul was in “the empty,” we see a skeleton covered in black goo, with those unmistakable red glowing eyes awaken in what I think is, “the empty.”

So as Jack is dying, Lucifer, the one who stole his son’s original grace, might be coming back? Hard lessons learned; for us humans, death is inevitable. Jack’s plight is teaching us that. Nick’s plight is showing us that sometimes death is perhaps the most generous way out of a life, where all one can muster is darkness and pain. We finally learn that no matter how hard we love and how much we care, we have very little power over the inevitable ending. We can actually manifest light and darkness based on our approach and outlook. Many of our major characters are trying consciously, or sub-consciously, to suppress something within their deepest personal desires. Nick, the murderous psychopath. Jack, fighting off the very human path of mortality. Dean, perhaps trying to hold back Michael, who is hiding inside, and fight off all that guilt he always seems to carry. Where is it all going? I am certain it’s coming to a head with 13 episodes remaining this season. Stay tuned!

 

Eric “FeelingSupernatural” Clemons

Photos: The CW. All rights Reserved.

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“Optimism” is a perfect title for episode 6, but should I care more?

From the opening music, which took me back to the opening of a 1980’s kids movie or sit com, to the closing drama with Jack, “Optimism” was one of the quirkiest Supernatural episodes I’ve seen in a while. Let me also add here that I’m not sure I am sold on these story lines involving AU characters. We are looking at the same bodies in every way, except they are different people, as in Bobby and Charlie. I might have felt better if they were played by entirely different people who looked a little like the “our universe” dead and beloved. I can’t put my finger on it, but I’m not loving these AU people, because they’re not “our people!” I hope you followed that. This episode was intended to build the relationship story of Jack and Dean and the back story of AU Charlie, whom we knew little or nothing about until this episode.

Anyway, we open on Harper Sales, a librarian in the small town of McCook, Nebraska as she strolls downtown to open up the library. She is approached by 2 total geeks once inside, (she is a geek as well, but with an attractive, wide-eyed, small town, Mayberry-like charm), one of them is checking to make sure they’re still on for dinner. He caught her by surprise and so she let out a little scream, which made me believe harm was going to come to her. These guys couldn’t harm a fly! The other geek is a co-worker and a stalker, checking on Harper’s every move and making sure she’s okay, (after he heard the scream) in a very weird, “you’re the first on the police’s suspect list if anything happened to Harper” kind of way! In keeping with the child-like innocent feel, we see the guy leave the library, striding to “Staying Alive” music because he’s happy about his pending ‘date’ with Harper. Suddenly, he’s grabbed from off screen by a growling monster and we hear his scream; presumably preceding a normal, “Supernatural” death! We confirm this later.

Keeping with the child-like charm, we cut to Jack in the MOL bunker. We learn a little more about him… He doesn’t taste food the same since he lost his grace. He informs Dean that Sam has gone to join AU Charlie on a hunt that couldn’t wait. Jack is confessing his uselessness and utter boredom. (He also displays that nagging cough we’ve been seeing of late.) He has been researching a case and shows to Dean that plenty of young men have turned up missing with their necks bitten and ripped out in recent weeks in McCook, Nebraska, where our little librarian is located. Dean wants to go alone, but after a plea from Jack, who thinks he’s ready because he’s been on hunts with Cas, and a phone call to Sam, he agrees to take Jack along. Here we learn that Jack and Dean share a lot of the same guilty feelings for whatever has gone wrong.  Dean blames himself for Michael and a whole lot more. Jack does the same for not killing Michael when he was at full strength and even leaving some AU people behind! Both beat themselves up, but won’t let the other beat himself up with guilt! Okay!

I did enjoy the way the episode cut from the humorous, child-like feel of Dean and Jack’s hunt, to the seriousness of AU Charlie, who is getting to know Sam. We find the two of them in the front seat of a pick-up truck just watching a bus stop, somewhere outside Memphis, Tennessee. Charlie is reading. Sam is picking his teeth and wondering what’s up in general.  AU Charlie is nothing like the “our world” giddy and upbeat young lady we knew and loved! Though she was a computer programmer in the AU (for DICK Roman Enterprises) she has a dark and pragmatic side, and a generally negative view of the world. We find out that she fell in love with a young lady who was killed in the AU war between Lucifer and Michael. Charlie shows a vulnerability that pulls our heartstrings when she thinks talks about her lost love! We also learn that after she helps Sam with this case, she plans on leaving the group and separating from humanity altogether! She’s tired of the blood and death and of hunting, which she thinks, sucks. As Sam admits he felt the same at one time, he tries to convince her that she is a valuable hunter and can be a great contributor to the cause, Charlie reminds him that she’s not that ‘other’ Charlie. Her life is her own. We also learn that they might be after a Fly-Human hybrid-like creature called a Musca. A rogue might have left his group because of the inability to find a mate and is now using humans as nesting hosts. He binds them with a green-goo that he leaves behind. Charlie has collected a specimen.

The interactions of Dean and Jack bring about smiles and laughter, as Jack learns about sex, flirtation and nuance, we have several funny moments, like when Jack, playing “rescuer” to get on Harper’s good side, calls Dean an ‘old man.’ Dean looks genuinely surprised by the remark, almost as if he forgot he’s 40! Jack wants to know about sex in one easy lesson, and thinks Harper, based on his genuine qualities, and her ‘googly eyes’ is madly in love with him. She might be, but mostly because she’s crazier than a stack of 3-dollar bills! We eventually learn that Harper is the last of a long line of necromancers! She has brought her ex-boyfriend, Vance, back from the dead to hunt down anyone attracted to her and feed on them. Vance is the monster! It’s a little game they play! She admits to killing Vance to keep him from leaving town to go to college, as well as to really ‘liking’ Jack, but having to take down him and Dean because they are “hunters.” Jack and Dean eventually take down the zombie, and put him back in his grave, but while trapping him, Harper gets away!

Dean and Charlie witness a guy carrying a brief case dressed in all black with a black net around his head that sits next to old ladies at the bus stop. They are freaked and leave, as does our strange guy. Later, the guy takes an unsuspecting fella as a bus pulls up, blocking Sam and Charlie’s vision. They follow the weird dude’s trail to an underground lair, where a bad smell and more than a few bodies are stacked up. The latest ‘victim’ is still alive, having been chloroformed. Charlie is grabbed by the hand of our weird guy, who comes up out of a hole and it’s, “The Fly!” Yup! He’s got a full-on giant fly head! Charlie slips away and knocks herself out. The Musca knocks Sam down with ease and begins spraying him with goo, prepping him to nest, I guess. Charlie comes to, stabbing the creature, and Sam grabs his gun and shoots him a couple of times in the chest with his high-powered hand gun! It worked! Musca dead, even though the lore said something else altogether would kill him!

Jack has been a big help in getting a zombie back in the ground. Dean admits this, but also adds that a hunter has to learn from his mistakes and not beat himself up over them. (A life lesson Jack reminds Dean of. I’m still not convinced it’s all Dean!) Sam tries to make the Musca’s story analogous to Charlie’s plans to leave her group and go it alone. Charlie says her circumstances are different, but she agrees to give sticking around some thought. Meanwhile, we see the dead Musca’s community return to claim his body, meaning there are a lot more of these creatures we have never met in our 13 seasons up to now.

I enjoyed the humor of Dean, Jack and Harper, who writes Jack and promises to come back and kill him, but bring him back to life so they can be together forever! Learning that AU Charlie is ‘essentially’ our Charlie, but not, is a little off-putting for me. Maybe they’ll grow on me in time. It’s tough to love characters, see them again, only to have them not be the person we grew to love! We can adjust to Mary, because we didn’t really know her and we empathized, because she had been dead for 30 plus years when Amara brought her back. I still haven’t put my finger on Jack yet.  He’s almost like the innocent side of Cas when he was learning the nuances of being human!  But what’s wrong? What causes his collapse at the end of the episode? We know a little more about AU Charlie and even how Jack feels. Tell me…do you care more now that you know more? I’m finding myself a bit indifferent! Can you imagine seeing a friend or relative who has died, come back and look like the person, but not BE the person? I know what the writers are getting at, but I just don’t know if it works.

Eric “Feelingsupernatural” Clemons

(Photos: The CW. All rights reserved)

 

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Nightmare Logic: And I’m still having nightmares about Dean!

We learned so much about many of our characters’ worst feelings in this episode, but none left us hanging off a cliff more than Dean’s! The key came late in this episode for me, and while I can’t put a definitive finger on my feelings, there’s a big surprise left in the Dean or “Michael-Dean” Winchester bag! First of all, Dean is quite inquisitive because he’s been Michael, so he’s asking about how Sam is putting an almost “British MOL” spin to the organization and deployment of his new troops of hunters. Does Dean have so many questions so Michael can learn all the weaknesses of the current MOL brigade?

We learn here that Maggie, one of the only “civilians” who’ve been brought back from the dead, (Lucifer last season), is on her first solo hunt, looking for what she thinks is a Ghoul. We find out later that she’s attacked by an elderly man and eventually strung up just like the Djinn did to Dean several season’s back. (How many of you noticed right away?) Sam and Dean, who are just behind Mary and Bobby, go looking for Maggie. At this point, they arrive at Maggie’s last known check in point, an Oklahoma home that featured a care-taker, nurse, Sasha (the daughter) and Rawling, a comatose elderly man that seemed on his way out of this life.

We saw lots of unsettling stuff from this point on. The old man in bed appeared again, only to explode into dust when Dean stabbed him with his machete’. We saw a vampire scare Sasha as she attempted to search the house for what was making some strange noises, but he didn’t come to finish the job when she fell while running away from him. Alt-Bobby saw a young man walking through the woods near the property and went to investigate, only to learn that it was his dead son, Daniel!

Sam would run into the creepy vampire after entering the area Sasha was scared away from. He discovered Maggie, strung up and being drained of blood. The vamp attacks, only to explode into dust when Sam stabbed him. Meanwhile, Bobby has left the house to resume his search for the figure he knew. He encounters Daniel, a vengeful man with his eyes burned out the proceeds to beat the daylights out of his father, blaming Bobby for his death in the Angel wars in the alt-Universe. He impales bobby to a tree with the angel blade and goes after Mary, who has come out to search for Bobby. (She’s worried because she cares for Bobby, who won’t let her close to him.) Bobby frees himself and his son becomes dust when Bobby plunges a blade into him.

At the house, Dean notices Rawling is being drained of blood while in his hospital bed, and his mind goes immediately to the memory of his abduction by a Djinn. He pulls his gun on the nurse, who thinks he’s being tested for loyalty by Michael, who while wearing Dean, “charged” this Djinn with killing hunters and gave him a little super juice to boot! Silver alone doesn’t work on them anymore. Now, the Djinn can read a victim’s worst nightmares and bring those nightmares to life after just one touch!

This Djinn knew: Bobby had lost his son in the angel war and blamed himself for it. (Bobby admitted to Mary later that the angels took his son and they never found his body.) Rawling’s worst fear was dying alone in that house. Maggie’s family had been ravaged by Vampires. And since Dean admitted he was “no-longer” Michael,  the Djinn wanted to see what fears lay within! Upon touching Dean’s brain area, the Djinn recoiled with shock and fear, saying, “You!!!….you!” What did he see? The Djinn also confesses that Michael created dozens just like him, “Waiting for you and your family!” Dean bludgeoned him and then emptied a clip into him before he could reveal what secret Dean is hiding! Come on! Really?? Show me something!!! It’s gotta be that he saw Michael hiding in there, right??? The thing that drives me crazy is that I don’t know for sure!

I do know this: Dean is suspiciously different. (What a deft acting job Jensen Ackles is doing this season, looking like Dean…but not quite acting all the way like Dean?!) Dean isn’t generally the encourager! He’s the realistic pessimist! Sam is the hopeful one! Now Dean is the one throwing around words of wisdom and being an all-around concerned guy! (It’s too perfect…like an act!) He too is down with Bobby and his mother getting something going! The two of them are going away to one of Donna Hanscomb’s cabins while Bobby recovers. (I’ll bet!) I know Mary would be in her 60’s if she hadn’t died, but she’s 45-48 at best! Bobby’s 62-68! Okay, I’m done with that. Bobby also apologizes to Sam for criticizing his leadership earlier.

Finally, Dean says to Sam that he’s “Trying to move on…” from what he and Michael did and adds, ”…It almost worked.” Is he seeing Michael’s creations and lamenting things, or is Michael being devious and playing with Sam inside there? Sam says, “We’ll find Michael and kill him.” Dean responds, “How?” It’s as if Michael is leaving no stone unturned just in case the MOL discover a way to kill him. Remember, if he is in there, he is highly skilled. Jack doesn’t sense his presence, nor does Cas! Am I sensing it? Or am I crazy?

 

Eric “FeelingSupernatural” Clemons

Photos: The CW. All Rights Reserved.

 

 

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“Mint Condition” offers a nice break from all those nagging questions!

Well, it’s episode four of season 14, and time for our heroes to do something it feels like they haven’t done in quite a long time: Hunt a real live ghost! By now, seeing Sam and Dean run through this exercise is routine, but this episode was anything but, with humorous and visual references that made it a fun watch. We start by visiting “Salem”, Ohio a couple nights before Halloween. A comic/toy collectable store clerk, Stuart, (Played by Kurt Ostlund, who we have seen in other SPN episodes) accepting a delivery of some rare toys for the store, but placing one in what appears to be his own personal bag! (He’s stealing!) It’s a “Thundercat” figure that he takes home, only to have the figure come to life and attack him!

While this is happening, Sam and Dean are at the bunker, with Dean vegging out on “Hatchet man” slasher movie re-runs. The grotesque figure is a cross between Freddy Kruger, Jason and Michael Myers, with one-liners to boot. Anyway, Sam (who has shaved his beard and takes a ribbing from his big brother for it…) is a little worried that Dean hasn’t really come out of his room for a week or so, and when he shows Dean, a video posted by Stuart about the case of the attacking Thundercat, Dean jumps at the idea, because with all his swag and bravery, he’s a comic and slasher movie nerd! They head to Ohio and the store to dig into this ‘strange’ case, where Dean points to the female store clerk, named Samantha, and says that she and Sam are like twins. (They really are! Even pull their hair behind their ears the same!) Sam retorts that Dean is just like the other clerk, a pudgy, nerdy looking guy named Dirk. Guess what? We find out later how much they’re really alike. (Brave and heroic…) Even the way they dress! They both seem to have an affinity for “David Yeager” the Hatchet man! The store has a life-sized talking figure of the movie character on display that Dean wants to purchase. (It’s not for sale.)

Anyway, posing as ‘very nerdy’ insurance reps, Sam and Dean learn more and more about the attack. They track down Stuart at his home, and while under the care of his doting mother, Stuart has recanted his story about the doll coming to life and putting some bruises on his face, back and genitals, largely because of negative responses to the post on social media. The ghost however, doesn’t stop. After Sam and Dean meet with Stuart and are ordered to leave, the entity attacks with a chain saw, leaving Stuart gravely injured. Dean goes in to investigate and almost gets beheaded by the flying chainsaw himself!

We learn through the intellect of Sam and Samantha that our heroes aren’t insurance agents, and the only thing this could be is the ghost of the previous store owner, Thomas, who died of cancer and left the store to Samantha and Dirk. Though Stuart was fired for stealing by the owner, Samantha hired him back because “He’s their friend.”  While they hash this out, Thomas has possessed the Hatchet man figure and knocks Sam out while he heads to the hospital to finish the job of killing Stuart. (Obviously Thomas has hung around earth too long and gone ghost crazy!)

At the hospital, Dean and Dirk are watching Hatchet Man movies while keeping an eye on Stuart, when Sam calls his brother to let his know the possessed Hatchet man is on his way to the hospital to kill Stuart! Dean actually likes this idea! It’s the slasher movie coming to life for him! Dean puts down the obligatory salt circle around the bed to Stuart and orders Dirk to stay inside. (Another homage to lines they’ve used a million times during this show!) Previous to that, the play between Dean and Dirk as they shared trivia and simultaneously spit movie lines was heart-warming! It certainly felt better than wondering what Dean was going to do next with Michael at the controls. The editing of the movie on TV being watched by a couple of ‘clueless’ security guards, as the ‘possessed’ Hatchet man really came into their empty hospital was a nice, humorous homage to “Halloween II.” Just like the experience of watching those classics some 40 years later, we were never really scared for Dean, (these scenarios just don’t scare today’s audiences.) we just wondered how they’d get to send this ghost into the light.

Sam and Samantha use their smarts to concoct an explosive out of cleaning products to escape the store that Thomas had locked them inside of…Then, Samantha figured that the key chain must have been the object that Thomas was attached to that allowed his spirit to move about so freely, first to Stuart’s house, then back to the shop. Thomas also took the key chain when he possessed the Hatchet man doll. After taking some shots and being knocked around a bit, Dean watches Dirk try to save the day with a knife…but Dirk stabbed a doll and got a backhand slap for his efforts. (He reacted just as Dean would.) Sam and Samantha actually save the day by getting the key chain from Dean and burning it, sending Thomas, “To a better place.” No deaths. No gore. No “Supernatural splatter!” Just Halloween! Some good editing sequences and some harmless laughs.

Finally, Sam shows a touchy side revealing why he hates Halloween, all because he barfed all over the place at the party of a girl he was crushing on back in the day. To this, Dean, who has been trying to get his brother to confess why he hates Halloween for the entire episode, says next year, they’re gonna celebrate and dress for the day as a duo! “Batman and Robin”…”Wren and Stimpy!”…”Bert and Ernie!”…”Thelma and Louise!” (I’d love to see that one!) As they drive back to the MOL bunker, we go back to the hospital where we see a security guard come across where Dean battled life-sized “Hatchet Man,” who says a recorded line with no one pushing the button. Again, it pays homage to those horror movies where the villain never really seems to die!

One hour gone and no time to think about if Michael is still inside Dean. What’s he up to if he’s not? Whom did he possess after leaving Dean? Is Lucifer really dead, or is he just dormant inside of his vessel Nick? Why is Jack bleeding from his nose? Where is Rowena and how will alt-Kaia play out in all of this? See…you had forgotten all those questions too, just for a moment! Right? Let me know how you feel fam!

“Feeling Supernatural”

(Photos courtesy of: The CW and Supernatural: All rights reserved.)

 

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“The Scar” reveals some depth amongst our heroes

Let me start by saying how pleasingly frustrating it is to wonder what in heaven’s name is really going on with Dean? Did Michael really just bail? Is he just dormant, knowing he would need the ‘hunter crew’s’ help to find alt-Kaia to get his hands on that damaging weapon? It must be made out the same stuff that the arc-angel blade is made from! Am I even close? “Whew!”

 

Dean: Well, he seems to be very Dean! We open seeing him dissing Sam about the new beard his younger brother is sporting! “Duck Dynasty called. They want it all back!” Very Dean like. Is he really there? Sam insists that some people like his beard, which Dean is not buying! Anyway, when Dean goes to shower, with everybody having given him that “Are you sure you’re okay” look, we see two scars on his right arm, similar to the marks Cas left on him long ago when he reached down and “Pulled you (him) from perdition!” (Season 4). Then, the questions come in. After Cas ‘mind melds’ with him, at Dean’s` request, we see that the scars were left by the weapon alt-Kaia uses. (The same one that killed our world Kaia ya!) Remember, in last season’s “Twisted Sisters” episode, the alt-world version came through a rift into this world. Obviously, Michael-Dean sensed her presence somehow, and apparently sensed her weapon as well. Anyway, Kaia stuck him when they fought after the arc-angel offered Kaia to become part of his new army for the ‘coming war!’ This Dean (if Michael is really gone) is even more open than the pre-possessed version. He wants Cas to tell him what he did and find out what happened. He even admits to Sam later that he felt like he was watching Michael (at the controls) operate from under water, drowning the whole time.  If it’s even possible, he also has a lot less patience than the Dean we knew, wanting to track down Kaia and get a hold of her weapon pronto, which made me wonder if Dean is really ‘Dean!’ I still do! He unintentionally rejects Jack’s offer to help look for Kaia, but immediately says “I didn’t mean to be a Dick!” Our Dean would have admitted that later, not right away! Hmmmmm. Maybe I’m barking up the wrong tree!

Sam: He’s pretty much the same emotionally sensitive Sam, but he was just beginning to adjust to the fact that Dean was gone, when Dean comes back, but isn’t very talkative regarding his experience with Michael. Sam admits he needs Dean to slow down and allow him to catch up. Sam is really grown up now, often addressed as ‘chief’ by all the residents who share living space in the MOL bunker. He is the commander of the present and alt-world forces and is learning leadership on the fly, still trying to be a bit more sensitive to the needs and feelings of those around him.

Cas: Increasingly the father figure to Jack, who is upset that he can’t help find Kaia, who killed our real-world Kaia! Cas, more an angel now that at any time in the past, has to multi task; be a father to Jack, who feels useless without his powers, but also be there to help and try and cure a wounded victim. He has to stay behind as Sam, Dean and Jodi go to find Kaia, balancing fatherhood with the responsibilities to do right by others.

Jack: His level of maturity and common sense is that of a young adult, even though he’s technically about a year or so old! He has packed up to leave the bunker and even left a note to his ‘3-dads,’ but is stopped by the sounds of Cas and a soldier’s efforts to cure the wounded victim, Laura, a runaway who was kidnapped by a witch along with a few other girls. The witch, killed by the soldier with a special bullet given her by Sam, was sapping the youth of the young girls. Laura survived, but her hand is aging, meaning the spell is taking hold. Cas can’t cure it with his touch.  He has to look deeper, and contacts Rowena to get a reversal spell. Determined to sneak out as a runaway, Jack stops in to learn about what happened to the girl. He selflessly makes a decision to remain at the MOL bunker…for her! When they get the ingredients to perform the reversal spell, it winds up aging and killing poor Laura in a hurry!

Jack is extremely upset by the death of Laura, and somehow exudes what Dean normally feels by taking personal responsibility for the deaths of others. Jack uses wisdom and deductive reasoning far beyond his young development and figures that the secret lays in the amulet that Laura is wearing. He wants to see if the dead witch is wearing one as well. She is, and Jack figures that her death (the witch-killing bullet still inside her) triggered the increased sapping of Laura’s youth. Jack smashes the amulet and a green trail moves to Laura and revives her! Jack is a hero, and brought a person back from the dead with his brain! Not his powers! At first, I thought Laura might be a developing love interest, but Cas said she returned home to her parents. Either way, a big maturation and confidence boost for our Nephilim. (Maybe we’ll see Laura later.) Meanwhile, Jack is now coughing up blood! What triggered that?

Jodi: A little more gray on top now, Jodi has settled into the role of mother for 3 young hunters. She worries about Claire, who goes postal whenever Kaia’s name is mentioned. “Her first love,” according to Jodi, who also likes Sam’s beard, by the way. She’s wondering how to break the news to Claire regarding the alt-version of Kaia, who killed the real-world version. We learn later it was an accident, as alt-Kaia was looking to gank Claire! (Jealous for her other self?) After Jodi, Sam and Dean (who wanted to split up and hunt for her alone) capture Kaia, the alt-world ninja dresses down Dean and says he’s no different than Michael…just weaker. She adds that he’s afraid, using violence and intimidation to get his way. Dean denies being anything like his ‘former occupant.’ Anyway, we learn that Michael is sending his ‘new and improved’ monsters at her in droves in efforts to kill her and get her weapon. Some monsters track our heroes to an abandoned cabin and are having little trouble kicking some butt and taking names! The good guys are losing…and losing big time! Dean manages to shoot a leg out from under the chair Kaia is tied to, freeing her! Kaia, in her powerful ninja form, jumps out a window, retrieves her weapon, and returns, easily disposing of the monsters, beheading 2 of 3 with one blow! Kaia ain’t no joke people! She politely lets the hunters know she didn’t come back for them. She came back just to kill the monsters and is okay with the fact that she’ll be hunted forever.

So…where did Michael go if he’s gone? Why leave his ‘ultimate vessel?’

What gives alt-Kaia this “Black Panther-like” prowess and fighting ability? What’s her weapon made of? What will Claire do when she learns the killer of her first love is here? Jodi has another broken bone! Dean is Dean? Will Sam lose the beard? Is Jack’s grace regenerating, causing illness to his ‘human side?’ I enjoyed the moving in and out of different story-lines this episode presented, as well as the fact that our heroes seemed to move deeper into an emotionally committed state. I’m still having a hard time buying that Michael just left…that Lucifer is just dead and that Kaia’s weapon seems to be the only thing on earth that can hurt an arc-angel. (She admitted to being very human.) It’s also good to see all of our heroes so easily display their emotions and do so with blunt honesty. I just wonder when and how it’s going to come back and take a big, hard, bite? What say you, fandom?

 

Eric “FeelingSupernatural” Clemons

Photos: The CW and Supernatural: All rights reserved

 

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