Saturday, November 5, 2011

The Mentalists Recap

So the question of the week is whether the boys will kiss and make up in this episode enough to work together. The previews make it seem impossible.

(I admit, I was halfway through the episode before I got the title, "The Mentalists." Duh.)

Now cuts to a medium holding a séance. Hey, I have a necklace like the medium’s! The woman in couple is eager to ask questions of the spirits, but the man is skeptical. He wants to know about paperwork, and when he puts his hands on the planchette, lights start flickering, the fire flares and the planchette moves on its own, lifting to jam into the throat of the medium.

Cut to Dean, stealing a POS with primer. (Wahhh! My Impala!) When he hotwires it, he hears about mediums dying in Lily Dale, the most psychic town in America. So Dean heads to the crime scene. You ever wonder if he thinks, “Screw it, not this time?”

At the crime scene, he finds the table rigged with tricks of a medium’s trade, switches to activate billowing curtains and such. (Okay, it amuses me up that this episode is written by Ben Acker and Ben Blacker. Just caught my eye.) Dean walks into a local restaurant and is puzzled by the greeting, deciding to eat elsewhere, when he hears Sam. Dean is trying to act normal, but Sam’s expression is absolutely stony. Dean places his order, gets his free affirmation, which amuses Sam. Dean takes that opening to ask if they just shouldn’t work together. Before Sam agrees, a woman stops by their table and stares, then pulls out her phone. Sam assures her they’re not the evil Winchesters from last week’s episode. She puts her phone away, declaring that she can see by their auras that they’re truly gentle. Riiiighhhht. She’s joined by a Russian named Nicholas who claims to be intuitive, if they need help. He picks up Sam’s spoon, “focuses energy on it,” and sets it down, seemingly unchanged. The two walk away and Sam shows Dean what he has on the murders of the mediums—the first was brained with her own crystal ball. Sam goes to stir sugar into his coffee, and his spoon bends backwards.

“He broke my spoon!”

The next scene shows the brothers approaching a green house (I notice because I recently had my house painted green). It belongs to the psychic whose murder opened the show. Her granddaughter is there, who also works as a psychic, but declares her way as less “woo-woo” and more body language. She reads the boys well enough. The boys are looking for the necklace like mine, but it went to the Emporium. The grandmother had an arrangement with the owner.

The owner Jimmy looks like he’s wearing a ratty bathrobe, or an old Jedi costume. He offers to read Sam, and also nails the body language. Jimmy calls it the Orb of Thesa-something, and very powerful and rare. Also expensive. Dean declares that they’ll take the “states’ evidence discount.” Jimmy wants Sam to come for a reading and hands him a card that says, “No Future Too Grim.”

Sam notices that the necklace was made in Taiwan (I bet mine is, too!) A fake. Big shock.

Cut to Russian Nicholas spreading silverware on the coffee table. He bends a fork and it bends back, then all the utensils stand upright and Nicholas is lifted and---this won’t be pretty!

The local cop tells the boys he has leads coming out of his ass—40-something tips on the tip line, all from clairvoyants. They think it’s either a ghost or an ogre that only kills Russians. Dean declares that policing Lily Dale must be fun. The cop says it was here or LA. Then he tells them the clairvoyants told him Nicholas had a vision of his own death. The granddaughter, Natalie calls Dean and asks if he meant it when he said he had an open mind. The brothers go to her house, where Natalie is clearly upset and clutching a cordless phone. Apparently her grandmother had a vision of her own death. Her grandmother said it got cold—Dean stops her and says it must be a ghost. They confess they aren’t FBI agents. Not sure why they told her.

They walk out of the house speculating how a ghost could be bouncing all over the place. Sam asks how many crystal balls might be in Lily Dale. Dean says, “Somewhere between 50 and all of them.” Sam speculates quartz can act as a conduit for spirits, and Dean says, “So every storefront in town has a ghost satellite dish.” Sam points out that people are summoning spirits all over the place, but Dean replies most can’t even call a taxi. Sam says, “All it takes is one.”

So starts the needle in the haystack.

I miss Bobby.

Sam wants to split up and canvass. So they do.

Cut to a woman casting bones, giving a woman a reading about her brother going to prison. The psychic, Sister Thibodeaux, locks up her money, and her eyes go white. She has a vision that something’s coming for her, and she calls Natalie, who brings Dean. Dean notices a camera in one of her masks, and pulls the footage. They see a woman in black move behind Sister T as she has her vision. Natalie remembers having seen her photo in the museum.

Sam and Dean go to check it out. The curator sees the brothers looking at a picture of two brother psychics. He mentions it never worked out well for the siblings, the pressure of working together degraded their relationships. The brothers let that sink in before asking about the two women psychics, the Fox sisters, among the founders of Lily Dale. Kate Fox was able to levitate objects and foretell death. Her sister didn’t have the gift, but looked after Kate. “Sometimes one’s true gift is taking care of others.” The women are buried in the cemetery. Before Dean can leave, the curator grabs Dean’s arm and asks if he knows an Eleanor or an Ellen. The message she has for Dean is to tell someone how bad it is, that he has to trust someone again eventually.

Sam is all business, but Dean is fed up. Dean thinks he’s right, Sam thinks he is. “If something feels wrong, it probably is.” Dean reminds Sam about waving the gun at Satan and not being sure Sam’s off the high-dive. That was why he didn’t tell Sam right away. Dean says, “You can be pissed all you want but quit being a bitch.”

They’re digging up Kate. We’re half an hour in and there has to be more. Sam wonders why she’s warning the psychics before she kills them. Kate appears, all yellow-teethed and gross and demands to know why no one is listening. Sam ignites the bones before she can explain.

Dean calls Natalie and she assures Sister T that she’s safe. Natalie is with Sister T and they see the ghost of Kate’s sister. Natalie calls Dean. Sam takes the phone and tells her to get salt. They run out. Sam tells her to find iron, but Natalie is knocked away and Sister T is toast.

Hey, if this was a NaNoWriMo exercise, I’d almost be at my word count goal.

Natalie tells the brothers that the ghost ignored her, and enjoyed killing. The brothers go back to the cemetery and find an empty grave. Is someone hauling the bones around, a “ghost on a leash?”

Dean pulls an ad for the psychic fair out of the trunk, and he realized all the headliners for the fair are dead. Dean asks Natalie who would be next to replace them, and Natalie said probably herself. Sam goes back to Jimmy and asks for a name of someone who’d bought supplies. Jimmy gives it, while Dean makes a protective salt circle for Natalie. She asks if burning the bones hurts the ghosts, but of course he’s never thought about it.

Sam pulls up in front of a house and bursts in on the woman who’d thought he was evil-serial-killer-Sam. She’s running a Lamaze class, and is completely freaked. Sam realizes Jimmy’s the bad guy and calls Dean to let him know. Dean tells him to hurry up to find the bones, because Ghost Fox is at the window (and creepy as hell!)

I love this monster of the week story—I love vengeful spirit stories.

Sam breaks into Jimmy’s store, sees a lit candle next to a skull, and hears the click of a weapon. Jimmy, the sneaky bastard. Sam disarms Jimmy and tosses the altar, but Jimmy claims Margaret wants to help him. Jimmy and Margaret are the real thing, but they aren’t pretty enough to make a living. While Sam tries to find out the location of the bones, Dean fights off Margaret with salt rounds and iron. Sam has to shoot Jimmy dead before he can get past him to burn the bones, hidden in Jimmy’s bed, just in time to save Natalie.

Dean can’t believe the bones were in the bed. “I can’t believe he was boning her.” Sam is disgusted. Natalie shows up at the restaurant to thank Dean and Sam makes himself scarce. She notes he and Sam seem better. Dean seems encouraged. Natalie says she wishes they’d met on a better week. Dean says, “I wish I had better weeks.” She looks at his palm when he says something about no one knowing the future, and says, “The answer’s hazy. Try again later.”

When Dean walks out, Sam’s putting his gear in the back of Dean’s POS. He says he figures they can take one car. Dean says, “You don’t want to break my face?” Sam says, “Not at the moment.” Sam says he gets why Dean did it, but wants Dean to be honest. Dean’s drinking too much and not sleeping, but he says it isn’t guilt about Amy, but about not telling Sam, and having trouble trusting since Cass.

Dean said they’re poster kids of functional family life compared to the psychic sister act, and Sam said, “That’s a low bar.” “Grading on the curve has gotten me through everything since kindergarten,” Dean said.

Once in the car, Sam said, “I want to know how that guy bent my spoon.”

“Forget it, Sam. It’s Lily Dale.” I’m thinking that line has to be from something, but not sure what.

Overall I liked the episode, in my top five for the season, I think. I would have liked a touch more romance, of course. I’m glad the estrangement was short-lived. The boys are maturing. And next week looks intriguing!

How did you like it?

(Wow, totally would've met my word count goal for NaNoWriMo, with words to spare!)


Anonymous said...

Great write up, MJ. Not sure if that closing line referred to a show or not, but I did find this interesting. HBO did a documentary about a town populated by psychics called Lily Dale.

IrisVIN said...

I'm Taiwanese. I'm really offended by the "necklace is made in Taiwan scence". Our country produce a lot of products that are genuine and durable. Whoever wrote that line must mistaken Taiwan and China!

Natalie J. Damschroder said...

Iris, I didn't take the line to be any kind of commentary on quality. Only that it wasn't ancient and mystical if it was modern and had "made in Taiwan" stamped on it. In fact, it had to be decent quality or they'd have known without even touching it that it was fake.

MJ, I knew from the first line that you'd been the one to write up this episode. :) I also thought, when Dean stole the POS, "Oh, I bet MJ is so depressed!" LOL

I was really pleased with how they handled the resolution. No extended on-screen separation, no easy discussion right off the bat as I'd expected. The twist on the old ghost storylines was fun, the guest stars also fun.

My only quibbles are: Since when does "psychic" mean "telekinetic"? Those are two different skill sets. :) And why didn't the boys question anything when the first sister was so desperate and saying "Why won't anyone listen to me?" I think their instincts are more well honed than that.

As always, I can't wait until next week! :)

Pat C. said...

I think the "Forget it, it's Lily Dale" line may have been a reference to "Chinatown." Somebody says, "Forget it, Jake. It's Chinatown" to Jack Nicholson at some point in the film, maybe at the end. As long as we never see the "my sister, my daughter" scene on Supernatural, I'm good.

IrisVIN said...

Natalie, I appreciate your effort trying to make the line sounds less derogatory. Maybe I'm overreacted here, but come on, we all know what the word "fake" means/implys. It's synonym of "counterfeit" usually aka "poor quality". Would you feel flattered if they replace Taiwan with your country's name? This show is also aired in my country on AXN channel. Once this episode is out I don't think I would be the only one that feels this way . Sorry for the rant anyways. Regardless the line, I love the episode.