Friday, April 22, 2011

"Frontierland" Review

Warning: I did not do a cool "as I watched" recap like the others do, so this is a fairly random stream of my thoughts on tonight's episode.

I'll start with the things I didn't like, because they are few.

No, wait. I'll start with OMG, Dean in a hat.


Sam in a hat.

Yum. Mee.

Best Line of the Episode:
"I didn't get a soulonoscopy for nothin'."

Oh, wait, I was doing the things I didn't like. Okay, first, why didn't we get to see Sam racing across the plain on horseback? You know, that photo over his desk in "The French Mistake"? I wanted to see that galloping live. *sigh*

While Number One swooned repeatedly over all the Back to the Future homages, I found it a little hard to buy that Sam would have had Bobby's address in his phone. It was a plausible explanation for how Samuel Colt found him, but these guys have spent half their lives trying not to be found.

Okay, that's it. That's all I didn't like. Unless you count the saloon girl's mouth, and the authenticity was so fantastic, I can't not like it, disgusting as it was. :)

So, what did I like?

Soooooo much. I have to admit, I've had this fantasy where Castiel gets wounded with an angel sword, with his grace all exposed, and he comes to me to heal him, because I'm the only one who can. My heart beat a little faster at that scene. :)

Poor, beaten-down Cas. I'm kind of hoping they get The Mother taken care of tout suite and address this war in heaven in the last episodes, because man, I'm dying 1) to know what Castiel has been doing, and 2) for the boys to finally step up and HELP him. I want major sacrifices, guys, no holding back. After everything Cas has done for you, the least you can do it throw yourselves into his war and save him.

Speaking of which, I loved how Bobby didn't hesitate when it came to letting Cas touch his soul. Granted, that was actually minor compared to other things he's faced, but still.

Let me backtrack a little. There were a few threads to follow in this episode. (I love it when they do that!)

First, there's the Mother thing. Bobby and the Idjits break into the Campbell's hidden stash of research materials, looking for something about how to kill The Mother. They find reference to the ashes of a phoenix doing the trick, but come on, how do you kill something that is reborn immediately every time it dies? Dean geeks out when he finds Samuel Colt's original journal, which contains a note that "the gun killed a phoenix today." (As a word geek, I love how that's written!)

Which brings me to thread 2, the return of Samuel Colt and The Colt. Everything looped so awesomely here. Colt was building the railroads around the Devil's Gate. Elkins was the bartender in the town where Dean dropped the Very Special Gun, which explains how the later Elkins had it in 1973 and 2006. I wonder if he knew how special it was—like, he was watching from the saloon and saw this unkillable thing die—and kept it safe. I loved the portrayal of Colt himself. A tired, unflinching, seen-it-all tough guy is exactly what I would have expected.

Castiel's war is another thread. I got the impression, when reading about Rachel's casting, that she was a bigger character, but she didn't last long. When we first see her, she's vociferously protective of Cas, and I agreed wholeheartedly with her assessment of the boys' expectations of Cas. Later, she's a disillusioned lieutenant who turns on her leader when she learns he's doing...something despicable. Whoa, Cas, what are you UP to, anyway?

Plenty of humor in this episode. I love, love, love the easiness the brothers have with each other. I know we've said this before, but they have a comfort level that harks back to the early days, but it's tenfold because there's finally no tension between them. (Oh, yikes, I just remembered that wall in Sam's head that's destined to come down...) I can't wait to watch the season all the way through again, with no breaks. I know I'll be marveling at the acting, at the difference in hardness and coldness versus charm and ease.

Dean was such a nerd about the Westerns. Okay, this is the first we've ever heard of his obsession, but it does fit in with his late-night movie watching habit. He was pretty adorable. And hot in his "authentic" clothing, once he got rid of the ill-fitting, silly stuff.

Then there was the monster-of-the-week element. We have undertones of the typical "is he a monster, or is he just living his life and humanity is the monster?" The phoenix's wife was nearly raped and then murdered by the deputy, and the phoenix himself (Elias, I think) hanged for her murder. Now, when he told the story to Sheriff Dean, it sounded like the previous sheriff and judge had misinterpreted the situation, or took the deputy at his lying word, but when the sheriff apologized to Elias before being smoked, that seemed to imply they railroaded him to protect their guy. Elias murdered three people, and after what he'd been through, what would stop him from murdering others? An interesting question is if Dean would have had more compunction about killing Elias if he hadn't needed his ashes. Oh, and if Elias wasn't shooting at him. That was good incentive. :)

I was a little shocked and dismayed when they got flashed back to the present without the ashes. All that effort, Cas and Bobby risking themselves, for naught! And then Colt getting them the ashes anyway. He had to be curious about whether the gun worked on the phoenix and followed Sam back to town. I wonder how he felt about his revolver going missing, especially when the demons were still after him. Hey, how about a few webisodes featuring Colt? I'd love to find out some of his story!

So...your turn! What did I forget? What did you like or not like about the episode?


MJFredrick said...

I loved Jensen in a hat, but Jared looked goofy. And Sam's original shirt looked more authentic than the one Dean bought him.

Bobby had the BEST lines. "Can't leave the idjits in Deadwood" since he was IN Deadwood, and "We've got an hour before we pick up the kids at Frontierland," as well as the Soulonoscopy line.

I'm wondering what the heck Cas is doing, too. Scary that he's losing his support.

Unknown said...

Both the boys looked hot, but when do they not?

I was hoping Sam was the hunter Sam had made the gun for.

I found the episode hilarious but overall this season is just paining me. Too much is going on and I find myself drifting off through most of the episodes and then thinking "What happened? What was that about?" I adore this show and hope they get it together or get some new writers for season 7.

Anonymous said...

I loved this episode and couldn't see Jensen enough in those cowboy clothes. Altho I had a fantasy about him and assless chaps and that stetson. Sigh. I'm really enjoying the brothers back being back to norm, but I'm dying to know what the heaven Cass is doing and just how "bad" he's turned to win the war.

MJFredrick said...

Super Wiki posted a tweet that said something like, Jensen sent a picture from the episode to his dad. His dad said, "You've been rehearsing that role since you were 6." TOO cute.

Unknown said...

I LOVE LOVE LOVED this episode!! I haven't laughed so hard during a SPN episode in a while.
The writing was great! The Bobby lines that MJ mentioned, plus the Clint Eastwood & Walker Texas Ranger mentions & the music.
It was great!
And it's always nice to have a little teaser in the overall story arc w/Cas, so of course I'm curious about that. But really, this could be one of those stand-alone episodes. It makes me so glad we got this season.
Loved it!

Julia Phillips Smith said...

I've been waiting for a travel-back-to-the-Old-West episode since before I even knew they'd made one. So the hellatus before this was like a stint in Lucifer's cage without Death's gyprock wall.

My favorite parts were:

- every look of delight on Dean's face when he saw yet another fantasy 'come true' - before the germy mouth came too close...LOL!

- Dean's delight when he got to read from Samuel Colt's diary. Dean obviously has more than one fetish...he loves reading other people's diaries...

- I can't seem to substantiate this, but I swear to you that the guy Dean tries to protect in the cell is the kid from 'Unforgiven', the one who wants to be a tough guy but freaks when he makes his first kill. His name is Jaimz Woolvett, but he doesn't seem to be credited for the episode.

- all of the Castiel scenes.

- Bobby's 'We've got to pick up the kids at Frontierland' line

Anonymous said...

Julia, I SO agree with you about Dean's facial expressions. I love when he gets that delighted or heh heh look on his face like he did in the graveyard using the word posse. LOL!