Saturday, February 18, 2012

Cranky Tanya's Review of "well, at least we got to see Mark Pellegrino."

I know I've lucked out before and got to recap some really fun episodes of Supernatural. This was not one of those episodes (not that the title "Repo Man" particularly suggested a romp...) Anyway, if you don't mind major SPOILERS for the episode, stick around and I'll tell you what I did and didn't like.

(But first, random anecdote! Mark Pellegrino, the show's recurring Lucifer, recently turned up on the Castle episode "The Blue Butterfly." I said, "Hey, it's that guy from--" "Practically everything?" my husband joked. Like the show's recurring demon Crowley (played by Mark Sheppard) Pellegrino does turn up on several of the shows we like, including a vampire on Being Human and mystical island guardian dude on Lost. My husband and I cracked up at a reference to Pellegrino "not aging" on Castle since he's played some sort of immortal on pretty much everything we've seen him in.)

The show opens in Idaho "four years ago" when the boys were exorcising a serial killing demon from a local guy named Jeffrey, a sensitive postal employee. Unfortunatley, they had to torture Jeffrey's body to get info from the demon within but the upside of that was, since the demon squealed on higher-ups, they felt confident it wouldn't be allowed topside any time soon. It would be in hell for a good long while. The flashback included a white magic practicing Wiccan who helped them track down Jeffrey and ended with Dean dropping Jeffrey off at the hospital.

Flash forward... Bad news for the Winchesters (and Idaho in general), the killings have started again. Since Sam and Dean can't get a new lead on Leviathan leader Dick Roman, they decide to return to Idaho on what they consider unfinished business. The Wiccan is their first stop and she says she has to take care of a few things and then she's getting out of town (since the demon threatened her last time) and asks if they've checked on Jeffrey.

We then go to some sort of group therapy session where a guy is complaining about no access to Cinemax and discover that Jeffrey is in a halfway house but is doing better. He's just received permission to care for his very own pet and as soon as he went to get the dog, I turned to my husband. "If the dog doesn't survive this episode, I am going to be upSET." My husband waved away my concerns.

Sam and Dean nab Jeffrey and ascertain that he is not possessed again. (My CW was a bit on the blink, but I think they did this by pressing a magical blade to his skin.) Then Jeffrey tries to recall what he "heard" while the demon was living in his head to give them clues.

What I probably should have mentioned sooner is that Sam has been hallucinating the devil again for this whole episode. Mark Pellegrino's Lucifer is both playfully disturbed and truly scary. He's angry that Sam won't talk to him and acts out for attention not unlike a middle school boy (only, you know, way more gruesomely). When he stuck out his tongue at Sam, I was utterly repulsed (the tongue was forked) but may have also laughed out loud accidentally.

Jeffrey says that he thinks he knows who the next victim his (town librarian) and Sam goes to check on her, with pretend-Lucifer working as his creepy, unwanted but ultimately helpful sidekick. You know how Sam presses on his old wound to ground himself in reality and make Lucifer disappear? He did this several times and my favorite moment was when he reached to do that and Lucifer groused, "Oh, don't bother" and winked out.

Meanwhile, Jeffrey and Dean go to the demon's old nesting grounds. When they get there, Dean is surprised to find a young guy with a bloody wound on his head chained to a chair. (To date, the demon's killings have all been women.) Then we see a hand behind Dean inject him with something and realize...this can't be good. As soon as Dean and Jeffrey walked into the creepy place, I told my husband I did NOT have a good feeling about Jeffrey. He told me he thought Jeffrey would get a chance to help destroy the demon and find closure that way after the last few troubled years. (No, dear, that would be what we in the biz call a happy ending.)

Sam realizes that he's been sent on a wild goose choice and his subconscious (played by Lucifer) points out an inconsistency between the recent killings and those four years ago--the victims now have been tranqued. They also discover a summoning spell written in familiar handwriting and go to see the Wiccan for answers. She greets them by trying to bop Sam upside the head--but have you seen Sam? Tough for a woman to get the drop on him like that and he thwarts her pretty quickly. She tells him that Jeffrey took her son (the wounded college kid) and was holding him hostage for the summoning spell. He wants to bring BACK the demon who possessed him. But he needs the blood of the demon's exorciser (Dean) and the heart of his pet and, I ain't gonna lie, I pretty much checked out in disgust at that point.

Turns out Jeffrey had only been a wishy-washy WANNABE serial killer before his possession, which gave him the power to act on his darkest thoughts. And he misses that power. So he brings back the demon. But the demon inhabits the Wiccan's son and Jeffrey doesn't get what he was after. (Oh, boo hoo for Jeffrey.)

In the end, the demon is vanquished and the woman and her son are reunited but it's hard to feel like this was a victory for the good guys. Especially when Sam tries to banish his hallucinated Lucifer at the end...he won't go. Sam made the mistake of interacting with the devil in head throughout the episode and now he appears stuck with him.

Maybe this episode just seemed so flat and despairing after last week's fairly funny one, and maybe I'm just still bitter (really bitter) about the dog, but I really disliked it. What about you guys? Did you find the moments of genius in it that I haven't done justice here?

Sunday, February 12, 2012


You know from the moment we see poor Sam getting cornered in a garage between two maniacal, green-haired clowns that this is going to be an amusing episode and it didn’t disappoint. I especially loved the opening splash page exploding into a garish splatter of glitter and paint.

The episode toggles back and forth between Sam’s battle in the garage and the events that led to the clown showdown. For now we’ll rewind 60 hours

Dean’s talking to Frank on a clap-infested pay phone, trying to see if he’s learned anything about Bobby’s murderer. Unfortunately, the answer is he’s got dick on Dick. So the boys head to Wichita, Kansas. (I’ve got relatives there. I’ve always known that place is ev-il!) Dean is happy for the diversion because he’s sworn off bars, booze, babies and hot chicks of any kind. (Dear Lord those Amazons really did a number on him!) The latest strange involves a man with suction marks all over his body from a giant Pacific octopus and a bite mark on his neck that bled him out. It’s Octo-vamp, not to be confused with Octo-mom, but equally scary. The next casualty is a man who was impaled in the chest by a unicorn who appears to have rainbow farts.

The boys soon discover a commonality between the victims. They’d recently taken their kids to Plucky Pennywhistle’s Magical Menagerie, a scarier version of Chuck E. Cheese. It seems Sam’s Coulrophobia stems from the fact that his big brother would dump him off at the kiddie pizzeria while Dean trolled for chicks. Sam doesn’t want to investigate Plucky’s but Dean tells him 99.99% of all clowns can’t hurt you and if it bleeds, it can die.

At Plucky’s, “Where All Your Dreams Are Good” ( I think not!) the walls are decorated with children’s drawings. In an effort to aide childhood development the kids are encouraged to draw their worst nightmares so Plucky can make their fear disappear. A janitor overhears Sam’s discussion with the manager and tells him to come back after closing so he can tell him something in private. The poor guy never gets the chance. After some kid pukes in the ball pit the custodian climbs in to sanitize the balls and—in a clever homage to Jaws’ opening scene—is quickly dispatched by a land shark.

Something or someone didn’t want him to blow the whistle, but the remainder of the victims are all less than stellar parents. The next one on the hit list looks to be a Plucky employee. The harried mom actually gives her son, who looks to be about seven, money so he can take the bus home on his own. Eek! Instead he settles into a table and draws a picture of a robot with laser eyes.

Federal Agent Sam returns to Plucky’s to “lean on” the employees. Dean will then follow them post-interview to see if they reveal their guilt. (But really he’s all about earning the super-sized Slinky by winning double-tickets on Skeeball.) Using every bad cop cliché maneuver Sam hilariously questions the manager, the prize guy (who’s so chipper you want to punch him) and the Lion mascot who takes off running. Only he’s not guilty of Mary Poppinsing the kids pictures into reality. He thought he was being busted for his Breaking Bad bro’s meth connections. However, he does reveal that the basement is uber-scary.

Sam seeks out the kid and his mom before she gets blasted by a robot, while Dean checks out the boiler room (always a bad idea). Wow, it turns out perky prize guy has been taking the kids drawings and a personal item he’s lifted off their parents and thrown them into a fire pit set into the middle of a pentagram. Dean finds the boy’s robot pic and tears it up. Mom might be safe, but prize guy had already thrown Sam’s business card and a clown picture into the fire. That brings us to Sam’s clown chase. The poor boy is getting his butt beaten. Apparently, these juggalos are in the rare minority of clowns who CAN hurt you.

A desperate Dean tries to figure out how to save Sam. It seems prize guy went all berserk because he was passed up for management. But the real reason for his revenge goes back to his childhood. His brother was drowning and when he tried to get his parents attention in order to save him, they ignored him. Dean quickly makes the connection between the story and a picture prize guy had drawn. He takes the artwork and a clown figurine and throws them into the fire. Prize guy’s brother then shows up and causes Plucky’s perky employee to drown. Fortunately for Sam, his clown duo then explodes in a cloud of glitter. When Dean sees him again he laughingly tells his little brother he looks like he’s been attacked by some PCP crazed stripper. (It’s SO good to see Dean genuinely laugh and smile!) He then apologizes for psychologically scarring Sam.

You know, I had a boyfriend in high school who was terrified of clowns. He literally shuddered at the mere mention of them, which of course meant I had to tease him unmercifully. Sorta the same way Dean teases Sam. As the boys get ready to leave Wichita behind, Sam gifts Dean with a giant slinky. Dean says he has a present for Sam too. Unlike the slinky, the clown doll is left on the asphalt as they drive off.

I thoroughly enjoyed this episode. There were tons of great one-liners, Jared did an awesome job acting skittish and his bad cop routine had me in stitches. It was also wonderful seeing Dean in a lighter—i.e. not self-destructive—frame of mind and the phobias were fun. That’s all over now. The previews for next week show things are about to take a very dark turn.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

News Monday...on TUESDAY!

Been a while since we did a full news post. Here's what's been coming through my inbox!

Geekgasm Alert: Most of you probably know that JJ Abrams and Eric Kripke got together for Revolution, a network TV drama with a lot of secrecy over the storyline. NBC hesitated, but finally green-lit the pilot. So cross your fingers that the pilot does well! Here's the story description (we'll ignore the flaws inherent in the way it's described...):

"The project is described as a high-octane action drama that follows a group of characters struggling to survive and reunite with loved ones in a world where all forms of energy have mysteriously ceased to exist."

Jared Padalecki did another interview with TVLine about Misha and Jim being off the show, what's coming, and what he'd want in season 8.

Zap2It did a set visit with a video interview. I love the details, like the Super Bowl pool and the wardrobe from a recent episode.

I won't post a link for this, because it's everywhere, but Rachel Miner will be returning. She most recently housed Meg-the-Demon in season 6.

In this Friday's episode, Dean swears off booze and chicks. (Click link for clip from the episode posted at BuddyTV.)

There've been spoilers running around about Castiel's return in episode 17. I keep getting glimpses, but don't follow the links, so all I see is "Castiel's missing something" with all kinds of "oh noes!" connotations. But... Isn't that one pretty easy? He won't be wearing the infamous trench coat, because when he went all esplody in the water, Dean pulled the coat out. Anyone have another suggestion?

Friday, February 3, 2012

Recap of "The Splice Girls"

When a Supernatural episode starts off with some person you've never seen before home alone, you know that person is going to bite it. And the guy sitting on his couch looking at his laptop while it rains outside did, in fact, die -- very, very bloody. Poor dude got thrown against a wall, his hands and feet cut off and some weird symbol carved into his chest.

Switch scene to the Winchester boys in a beater car (am missing the Impala) with Sam driving as Dean sleeps. When Dean wakes up, he immediately reaches into his jacket for a flask that I'm sure isn't filled with chocolate milk. Sam notices that it's Bobby's beat-to-crap flask and gives Dean a little grief about it. Dean says it's his way of honoring Bobby's memory. The boys meet up with the local medical examiner who shows them the poor sliced-up dude, the latest in a string of sliced-up dudes. The medical examiner tells them that the DNA evidence they collected from all the scenes isn't human. As they leave the morgue, Dean reluctantly admits this might be in the ballpark of their kind of thing. Sam says, "'Didn't match anything human' usually seals the deal for me."

Sam also finds out from one of the dude's neighbors that he'd had a one-night stand with a woman recently. Hmm, that can't be good.

Dean goes to a bar called the Cobalt Room and hooks up with a gal named Lydia (hey, it's Jenna from The Vampire Diaries), and they go back to her place to have sex. When Dean calls her the next day to tell her that he left his flask there, we see that Lydia is big-time pregnant. Whoa! The next thing we know, Lydia is having the baby while a group of creepy, detached women watch. When she pops the kid out, she asks the head creepy lady what they will call her and the lady says Emma. Dean shows up at Lydia's apartment and she mistakenly calls him Don (LOL! He is SO not a Don.), signaling that he meant absolutely nothing to her. He sees the now several months old baby and swears Emma is talking like an adult when she says, "Hey, Mom, who's that guy?" He stakes out the place and sees two of the creepy ladies drive up and Lydia escort Emma, who is now like 5 years old, out to their car.

The creepy ladies take Emma to a place where there are other girls, and they are being branded and asked to eat something (I missed what, and I don't think I want to know) as an initiation.

Since the boys don't have Bobby to call for research help, Sam finds a Professor Morrison who can read Greek and knows something about ancient symbols. Morrison tells them that the symbol on the dead guys' chests is a variation of one on the temple of the Goddess Harmonia, who coupled with Ares, God of War, to produce the Amazons. The Amazons have no use for men other than procreation. They mate every two years and have their babies within 36 hours, then, you guessed it, kill off the fathers. In the midst of figuring all this out, the boys are looking through Bobby's books and papers when Dean swears the papers moved by themselves, leaving a paper written in Greek on top. Dean thinks it's Bobby's spirit because he could read Greek. Sam tells Dean to stay in the locked hotel room while he takes the paper to Professor Morrison. The professor reads it and tells Sam that the offspring are the ones who kill the fathers as part of their initiation into the tribe. Meanwhile, back at the hotel room, Emma, now a teenager, arrives at Dean's room and tells him she wants to run away and he's her only hope. Yeah, I didn't believe her. Even though Dean didn't trust her either and pulled a gun on her, he hesitates to shoot her. But Sam arrives and does it for him.

When the boys are driving away, Sam confronts Dean about wavering and being off his game. Sam had to kill an evil being for Dean the way Dean had to kill Amy, Sam's friend, for Sam. The episode ends with Sam telling Dean, "Don't get killed." Dean simply replies, "I'll do what I can."

So, what do you think? Is Bobby still around somehow, helping the boys? Or is it just Dean hoping Bobby is still there? What did you think of this episode?