Friday, December 3, 2010

"Caged Heat" Recap and Impressions

Photo © The CW

Good evening, and welcome to Machiavelli's Supernatural.

First off, let me confess. I'm coming off three nights in a row averaging 4.5 hours of sleep. My work schedule this week was enough to leave me in tears. Tonight, my husband's company Christmas party meant I'm closing in on midnight. Put it all together, and it leaves me with a pretty sluggish brain. I just finished watching "Caged Heat." My intention was to watch it a second time, recapping and commenting. I mean, there were so many great lines in this episode! But I don't know if I can make it through another hour. So I'm going to stick with random impressions of the biggest stuff. I encourage (read: beg) you all to load the comments with all the stuff I miss!

Funniest Bits

"We're not supposed to talk about it."

Okay, maybe in the midst of a war he's losing, being pressured to help Sam and Dean with some pretty serious stuff, it's a bit of a stretch that Cas would be distracted by porn. But then again, he's kind of in a human body, he was almost completely human for a while, and even soldiers in real wars take breaks. So that whole scene killed me. I was really glad I wasn't watching with my daughter, though, when the boner line came up. (Ha!)

Extend that to the kiss with Meg. Poor, naive Castiel, thinking with his downstairs brain and letting a demon take his angel knife. Looks like his return kiss was pretty potent, though.

The Ends Justify the Means
I think Machiavelli might have been a little tame compared to these guys. Sam and Dean work with demon Meg, who works with angel Castiel, to try to take down Crowley. Sam bites into his own vein to bleed ink and make a devil's trap. Dean once again uses the "owe me" card to get Cas to help them, uncaring of what's going on in heaven. And Samuel...Samuel sells out his grandchildren, something Dean just can't fathom.

What else falls into this category?

  • Sam lies to Cas about finding the Ark of the Covenant, of all things

  • Sam threatens to kill Cas

  • Dean threatens to kill Samuel (though would we expect any less?

  • Demon!Christian tortures Meg, and the implication is of some pretty horrifying things

  • That's a lot of ugly means.

    Relative Complexity
    Sera Gamble et al have proven to be as unreliable (or deliberately misleading) as Eric Kripke when it comes to describing the show. We were told it was back to monster of the week, but that has been weak at best, the monsters serving only to feed the main storyline. They talked about exploring the Campbell side of the family, learning about hunting generationally, getting to know Grandpa. That was disingenuous at best.

    But I'm not complaining. I'm kind of loving how this has developed. Dean never really trusted Samuel. Sam seemed to put all his trust in him, just because he's family. In retrospect, we can say maybe it was that simple, but in a logical, rather than emotional way. I was annoyed that Dean was so oblivious to Samuel's motivations. I thought it was obvious Crowley either had Deanna or Mary, though Samuel actually succumbed to promise rather than threat. Crowley wasn't saying he'd harm Mary, just promised to bring her back. I can understand Samuel wanting that, but being willing to serve a demon indefinitely, for such an ephemeral promise?

    I know to Samuel, Mary is 17 (or however old she was), a child, rather than the adult she really was when she was killed. So he's operating from a different perspective than Dean has. To Dean, Mary has always been a powerful figure, despite the way she was taken, and despite the things he later learned. And Samuel saying Dean's a stranger, being willing to sacrifice Mary's sons to bring her back, even knowing there's no way she'd welcome that kind of outcome...well, it says a lot about what kind of man he's become.

    NOOOOOOOOO! Not Crowley!
    Okay, Crowley had become detestable. Not just an "oooh, I love to hate him!" character, but an antagonist with too much power, too much threat, doing too much damage to our boys. But I was still unprepared for what happened. At first, when Meg stepped into the devil's trap, I was all, "It's time for Crowley to die. But he can't die. They won't kill such a delicious character." (Ha! What show have *I* been watching for five and a half years?!) I was pretty sure they'd find a way for him to wiggle out of this. And sure enough, he got the best of Meg pretty quickly. And then along comes smoty Cas, with dem bones, and with a flick of the wrist (or a snap of the finger?), Crowley's toast. Or maybe roast.

    RIP, Crowley. And thank you, Mark Sheppard.

    Random question: Did anyone else think that demon looked like Kurt Evans, the actor who played Henricksen's partner, Carl Reidy? I'm talking about the demon who took the rugaru from Sam and Dean in the beginning.

    The Sam Problem
    Way to up the stakes, Supernatural writer's room! It was bad enough that Sam was wrong. Horrible that he has no soul, and completely gone is the compassionate, sensitive, puppy-dog Sammy who I was completely convinced was not capable of going dark side. This is 100% Dark Side Sammy, and it was hard seeing him thinking he didn't want his soul back, didn't want the conscience getting in the way, and suffering all the...suffering that Dean said was what life was all about.

    Can it get any worse than this? Dark Side Sammy is unendurable. Unacceptable, given the preview (more on that later). But, yeah, it can get worse. How about a tortured, mutilated soul that Sam-the-meatsuit might not be able to tolerate or survive?

    "When angels and demons agree? Call me crazy, but I'm inclined to listen."

    This twist is solid and logical and fully motivates Sam's choice to walk away from the goal. The part of me missing Puppy-Dog!Sammy hates it. The writer in me, and the fan fascinated by a seemingly insurmountable obstacle, thinks it's genius.


    A quick glimpse at next week...

    Death's back! Awesome!

    Robert Englund! Fantastic!

    Death wants Dean to take over? Freakin' fabulous!

    Sam wants to kill Bobby! WHAT?!

    Is it next week yet?


    Julia Phillips Smith said...

    Joy of joys - my husband discovered we do in fact get the CW in our channel package. We were always waiting five whole days for it to air on Space *hit forehead*

    I actually loved Dark Side Sammy this episode. Really loved his confident appraisal of the situation with Meg when they were tied up - there's nothing better than a supposedly disarmed hero turning the tables and owning the scene. And I loved how Dean's putting-on-a-brave-face turned into the real thing as he realized his brother's soullessness wasn't such a bad thing.

    Castiel's pizza man scenes were freakin hilarious. 'Perhaps she's done something wrong.' LOL!!

    One of my favorite lines of the night - Dean: 'I'm standing in pee.' Ah, the glamorous life of heroes.

    Now, about poor Sammy's it wrong to be dying to see what the heck is going on down in the cage? Throw me a bone, a flashback, anything.

    Trish Milburn said...

    I had brainstorming group last night so just now watched "Caged Heat." Honestly, I'm glad they're getting rid of the Campbells one by one. I just haven't liked them from day one. I felt like the whole "Crowley is giving my daughter back" sort of came out of left field. I didn't see Gramps as this broken man who hadn't gotten over his daughter's death. Just felt off to me.

    I laughed at the "boner" comment and Cas watching porn. It's so wrong, and yet so darn funny because of how Misha plays it. And I love the phrase "smoty Cas". :)

    MJFredrick said...

    The Mary thing made perfect sense. Mary was alive when Samuel was killed, so he doesn't know about life without her, but to sacrifice his grandkids...

    And yes, wow, the writers upped the stakes. But I'm tired of the gloom.

    Natalie J. Damschroder said...

    Hi, Julia! Woo hoo for finding the CW! You're right about Sam's clarity of thought, now that emotion isn't mucking things up, and also with him not trying to hide what he is, he's become very interesting. I still miss Our Sammy, though. Dean's Sammy. YES, the pee line! LOL And absolutely, I vote for taking us down into the cage, for many reasons.

    Trish, I felt the setup for what Crowley's holding over Samuel was sound. I agree "bring my daughter back from the dead" doesn't fit Pileggi's portrayal. I expected "he has my daughter" instead. I like "smoty Cas," too. Thanks! :)

    MJ, I'm with you on the doom. I mean, the show has always had increasing darkness, but it's always broken up by the lighter eps. We're way overdue for one now!

    Barbara said...

    I'm surprised I was somewhat coherent when I babbled about it. I ended up watching it twice before doing that. I choked during Castiel's porn talk. That was the best part along with him and Meg showing her the moves he learned from the pizza man.

    I was thinking that Grandpa Creepy working with Crowley had something to do with Mary but I wonder why he wouldn't want his wife back. I doubt that Mary would be happy to find out that he was willing to sacrifice her sons just to bring her back. Of course I also had that moment of wondering which Mary would be brought back.

    I would like to see what's going on in the pit with the soul. It just sounds so odd. What are they doing with the soul anyway? Playing catch with it? I do agree that if both sides are saying it isn't a good idea you really should listen but I do feel bad for Dean since once again Sam walks away from him and now poor Bobby's going to be stuck with crazy Sam going after him. He doesn't seem to know that Bobby's protected under the Awesome Clause but people don't seem to get the cardinal rule of not hurting the hottie.

    Unknown said...

    Great recap Natalie! I loved the pee line myself and Sam's retort. Ewww, the imagination doth supply. Porn Cas had me rolling.

    I want to see what's going on the cage, too. I think Sam's soul in there is like a cockroach in a lion's cage. Both Lucifer and Michael will probably be having fun with it. Oh and I loved what Dean said Gramps. I'm coming for you... That look in that moment gave me the chills.

    Can't wait for next week. Death returns and Yay! Robert Englund, who is one my fave horror actors of all time.

    Natalie J. Damschroder said...

    That's a good question, Bard Girl, "Which Mary?" It would almost have to be Mary at the age she died, but Samuel obviously thinks it would be Mary as he saw her last.

    Every time they mention Lucifer and Michael have nothing to do but play with Sam's soul, I wonder two things:

    1. Why wouldn't they be fighting each other? That was what they wanted all along.

    2. What IS his soul? What is the essence that would be damaged?

    Melissa, I'm excited about Death's return, too, and I love Robert Englund, but not for horror. To me, he will always be the most lovable lizard alien from the original V! LOL

    MJFredrick said...

    My husband wonders if Michael would try to protect Sam. Michael's a bit of a dick, though, so probably not.

    Natalie J. Damschroder said...

    MAYBE, if Sam hadn't yanked Michael into the pit with them. LOL

    Michael seemed to have some benevolence, but only insofar as it served his own ends. He considered himself better than his brother, though, so it's kind of hard to imagine him torturing Sam's soul deliberately.