Monday, October 24, 2011

"Shut Up, Dr. Phil"

We had some technical difficulties, so we apologize for not having our usual timely, amusing, insightful recap and review of the most recent episode. :(

I'm sliding rapidly into the semi-conscious blur that comes with having two books coming out one day apart (Behind the Scenes on 10/31 and Under the Moon on 11/1! /plug), so this is just an impression review rather than a full recap.

This episode has the long-awaited featured guests Charisma Carpenter and James Marsters, formerly of Buffy and Angel fame. They played husband and wife witches having a little feud. Don Stark stepped out on Maggie, who is punishing him by murdering everyone connected to his affair—the woman he slept with, the guy who introduced them, someone who covered for him. Don retaliates by killing Maggie's best friend and ruining the art she's so passionate about. But, as the boys point out in an under-duress counseling session near the end, there must still be love there, because they're not trying to kill each other.

This wasn't a high-emotion, high-intensity, high-mythology, high-anything episode, but as I break it down, I really liked it. The boys engaged in true sleuthing-style investigation, following clues and conducting interviews like someone from a non-paranormal crime drama or something. They worked really well together, despite New!Sam irritating the hell out of Same!Old!Dean, and Dean getting even further into the bottle (I wonder when that's gonna come to a head?).

Bobby's presence on the show was so solid I have to keep reminding myself he never was actually there. I loved how Maggie knew the boys were hunters from the get-go, and Don was actually a pretty quiet character, so different from his flamboyant Spike, while Maggie could have been the original high-school Cordelia all grown up.

A show this old starts to struggle with freshness. But I thought they altered the familiar just enough. They offered great, gruesome new deaths (frying under a hair dryer, nail gun through the eyes, little tiny beating hearts in cupcakes and literally coughing up a lung). We've had witches before, but these are old married witches with no grand agenda, no evil plans, just a typical, personal battle taken a little (lot!) too far.

Probably my only quibble with the whole thing was that Dean killed Amy when her motivation had been pure, when she'd worked hard not to kill in the first place, and now he didn't seem to try hard enough to kill the Starks. Yes, they are extremely powerful witches who totally outmatched the boys, and they haven't actually defeated witches before, but they seemed to give up too easily against people who killed innocents without compunction.

On the other hand, Don Stark putting a spell on the Leviathan and saving the boys from his wife was kind of cool, and left things open for them both to return, which I'm fully in favor of.

So what did you think? Love or hate the episode? Did the guest stars make the show, or was their cult standing too distracting? Do you want to see them again? Weigh in in the comments!


Unknown said...

I adore Charisma and James both, so yeah I am all in favor of seeing them return for another ep or three. LOL Alas I have not seen this ep because of schedule crap so I did not read the whole post. Can't wait to though. :)

Angela Campbell said...

I agree with Melissa. And I love this blog! I just bookmarked it and will be checking back often!

Natalie J. Damschroder said...

Hi, Angela! Thanks for coming by, and so glad you like the blog! :)

Trish Milburn said...

I loved seeing James and Charisma working together again. It's a great year for Buffy alumni as Sarah Michelle Gellar has Ringer now. It all makes me happy.

Blispur said...

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