Lost Limey Watches Supernatural #42 – “What Is and What Should Never Be”

A quick note by way of introduction may be required here. For quite some time now, certain members of the Richmond WriMos have been trying to persuade me to watch the CW show Supernatural. I  have relented and am now embarking on watching Supernatural via the wonders of Netflix. This series of posts will simply be my first impressions, almost stream of consciousness style, presented in the form of the time elapsed in the episode and my thoughts expressed as bullet points. It’s effectively live tweeting the episodes except I don’t have to stick to 140 characters or fewer. So without further ado here’s my take on:

Season 2 Episode 20 – “What Is and What Should Never Be”

  • 00:50 – The previouslies re-establish the deaths of Mommy Winchester & Dead Jessica pretty hard, so I’m guessing we’re getting a lot of myth arc call backs.
  • 00:53 – Opening with Skynyrd is always a good move. Always.
  • 01:31 – The brothers Winchester are hunting genies this episode. In my head canon, the villain of the piece looks like this.
  • 01:42 – Dean is wrong. Barbara Eden wasn’t as hot as Elizabeth Montgomery.
  • 03:15 – The boys have pulled the dumb Scooby-Doo “let’s split up, gang!” move, and it looks like Dean is going to suffer from it, as the genie, who sadly looks more like a tattooed up Billy Corgan than Aladdin’s pal, is working somr glowing blue mojo on him.
  • 03:45 – Can’t help but think that this isn’t the first time Dean’s woken up with a strange woman in bed.
  • 04:59 – Apparently Sam has no idea about genies, djinn or hunting in general. Seeing as how he’s also living in Lawrence, Kansas I’m assuming we’re doing a wish fulfillment type episode. I assume it’ll go about as well as Buffy’s attempt did.
  • 06:04 – Picture frame breaking in overtly melodramatic fashion, complete with glass shards. So of course, us mere viewers aren’t privy to its pictorial secrets.
  • 06:36 – Mommy Winchester is alive. Which is a bit of an upgrade from her last appearance as a fiery ghost woman. It’s the difference between classic KFC and Extra Crispy when you get right down to it.
  • 07:11 – Dean seems rather nonplussed about Carmen, his girlfriend (wife?) du jour… Also, he’s kind of intense in questioning his mother about stuff that doesn’t appear to have happened to her in this version of reality.
  • 08:05 – No fire here. I guess Ol’ Yellow Eyes never did his thing.
  • 08:39 – Though Daddy Winchester is apparently still pushing up daisies. From a stroke, this time. Man, even in alternate universe constructed around him (I assume), Dean still has the all-pervading enemy known as Daddy Issues.
  • 09:03 – Everyone is assuming Dean’s been drinking. I guess he’s an alcoholic Daddy Issues guy in this reality version thingy.
  • 11:00 – Dean’s at a bit of a loss for research without Sam doing the legwork for him. i guess he needs that terrible-haired nerd more than he wants to admit.
  • 11:45 – Laughed hard when Dean popped the trunk of the Impala and the usual aresenal was replaced by what looked to be a Maxim magazine.
  • 11:53 – Pretty sure that’s the ghost woman from the pilot episode. I guess Dean’s guilt is still manifesting in this reality.
  • 12:56 – Dean seems genuinely horrified at the idea of a real job.
  • 13:28 – Joey Ramone’s cover of “What A Wonderful World” might just be the most epic lawn mowing music ever.
  • 14:34 – Dead Jessica’s only living up to half of her name this episode.
  • 16:03 – No-longer-Dead Jessica is now apparently Sammy’s fiancee Jessica.
  • 18:00 – Sam is very confused about Dean calling him “Sammy.” Apparently the brothers aren’t as closely knit as they’ve been for the past 41 episodes…
  • 19:21 – So in what is apparently a reality that Dean’s wished for subconsciously, everybody’s happy except for… Dean. Daddy’s still dead and Sam and him only see each other on holidays and such. So many issues that boy has.
  • 21:46 – More of that guilt complex coming through as we see that this version of the whole plane crash thing went less smoothly. Though I had frankly managed to forget that episode existed and kinda wish that the show had as well.
  • 22:19 – More things that this version didn’t stop, including a girl drowning in a swimming pool
  • 23:16 – Dean can’t cope with the people not being saved. As he says it’s like his old life doesn’t want him to be happy. Seems like a very dark twist on the usual It’s A Wonderful Life pastiche that’s playing out.
  • 24:07 – Pretty impressive angry/hurt acting from Jensen Ackles during his graveside monologue.
  • 25:21 – Of course the intruder that’s broken into Mommy Winchester’s house is Dean. Not sure why a baseball-bat wielding Sam would expect anything different really.
  • 27:16 – Apparently there’s some core of Winchester bro-ness even in this alternate Sam. And i quote: “whatever stupid thing you’re about to do, you’re not doing it alone, okay?”
  • 27:33 – And it’s immediately subverted by the “Bitch,” “Jerk” exchange not going as it should.
  • 28:18 – Alternate Sam is very much freaked out by the fact that Dean has a container of lamb’s blood to dip a silver knife into. Dean’s all like it ain’t no thing. I kind of find this overtly preppy version of Sam to be almost as terrible as his usual hair.
  • 29:09 – And a call back to the Skynyrd opening…
  • 30:43 – Desiccated corpses on’t seem to bother Sam very much. What the hell do they teach them with at Stanford Law?
  • 31:15 – And the Djinn Genie (let yourself go-oh-oh) is back.
  • 33:07 – Nice bit of intercutting to the imprisoned Dean with the wishverse version.
  • 34:22 – Dean going with the full bore “if you die in a dream you wake up” thing by stabbing himself with the silver knife he had prepped with the lamb’s blood earlier. Nicely hardcore.
  • 34:51 – Now the gang’s all here trying to persuade Dean not to make with the stabby stabby. Can’t see it working.
  • 36:19 – Breaking out the whole self sacrifice feels. Fairly sure this show is going to end with an outbreak of manly tears from somebody. Most likely Dean…
  • 37:19 – STABBITY-STAB-STAB!
  • 37:26 – Back to real huntin’ Sammy rescuing Dean from the Djinn Genie.
  • 38:20 – Though as rescues go, he’s doing a damned crappy job.
  • 38:30 – And has to be bailed out by his rescuee killing the Djinn Genie.
  • 39:24 – Turns out that Carmen, girl of Dean’s dreams is from a beer advert. Not sure what that say about him…
  • 41:43 – “It’s not fair, and it hurts like hell, but it’s worth it.” Sam sums up the show philosophy in a single sentence.

I enjoyed this one, but it felt oddly airless. I think it’s because it was obvious to the viewer even more quickly than it was obvious to Dean what was going on with the alternative reality, and happy, mostly conflict-free characters don’t make for particularly compelling TV. It was a nice reminder of the bond that hunting has given the brothers. something I imagine will tie into the season finale. I imagine the said finale is basically the next two episodes purely based on how Season 1 handled it. this episode really felt like it underserved Sam’s character, which I guess is kind of the point as the Sam we saw here isn’t the usual one. Which was an interesting choice, but I can’t help feel that this was the wrong time in the season to make it. Also, having Daddy Winchester still be dead meant no Jeffrey Dean Morgan, and this episode could have done with the spark of energy his appearances have brought to the show.

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Lost Limey Watches Supernatural #41 – “Folsom Prison Blues”

A quick note by way of introduction may be required here. For quite some time now, certain members of the Richmond WriMos have been trying to persuade me to watch the CW show Supernatural. I  have relented and am now embarking on watching Supernatural via the wonders of Netflix. This series of posts will simply be my first impressions, almost stream of consciousness style, presented in the form of the time elapsed in the episode and my thoughts expressed as bullet points. It’s effectively live tweeting the episodes except I don’t have to stick to 140 characters or fewer. So without further ado here’s my take on:

Season 2 Episode 19 – “Folsom Prison Blues”

  • 00:17 – After a notable absence, the previouslies make their return, focusing on Dean’s fugitive status. Hardly surprising considering the title of this episode.
  • 00:53 – The episode proper starts with a scene at a prison for the cultivation of manly facial hair, judging by some of the soup strainers on display. The guard is clean shaven though, which is why I nominate him for the role of Inevitable Teaser Death.
  • 01:46 – Something poltergeist-y is happening in the disused cell block. That may be the most Scooby-Doo sentence I’ve ever written.
  • 04:26 – This guard just got his arm trapped by a slamming prison cell door. That has to hurt like a real son of a gun.
  • 04:40 – And now he’s become Inevitable Teaser Death, Harbinger of Title Sequences
  • 05:05 – Our first glimpse of the brothers Winchester involves them performing a little museum based B&E.
  • 06:05 – Looks like they tripped the alarm to deliberately summon the security guards. It’s like the boys want to get caught.
  • 06:26 – Dean’s Blue Steel game during the mugshots is on point.
  • 06:53 – Dean’s interrogator is Agent Henriksen, who he’s ran into a time or two before.
  • 07:47 – Henriksen’s thesis statement on the series: “For you two, ‘screwed to hell’ is a major understatement.”
  • 08:35 – It’s very unbecoming of me to admit this, but Dean’s public defender, Mara Daniels, is kind of cute.
  • 09:07 – Okay, the boys are definitely trying to get thrown into the jail of manly facial hair from the teaser, presumably to hunt. Seems a risky play for a couple of murder suspects.
  • 09:28 – Something about Booker T & The MGs just works for prison scenes
  • 10:21 – Dean’s prison uniform seems far too well tailored. I blame Mr. Ackles’ vanity.
  • 11:01 – Quoth the Sammy: “This is without a doubt, the dumbest, craziest thing we’ve ever done.” Having seen 40 episodes of this show thus far, I’m not sure it even cracks the top 5 dumbest.
  • 11:27 – Dean reassures Sam that their post-ghost escape plan is a “100% sure thing.” That pretty much makes it doomed to failure.
  • 11:55 – Apparently the boys are doing this for Deacon, one of Daddy Winchester’s Marine Corps buddies.
  • 13:54 – If it wasn’t gonna go wrong before, it will now that Dean’s provoked a brawl in the cafeteria.
  • 14:55 – Sam’s a big guy. Sure he’s wiry, but 6’5″ish isn’t the new fish I’d be threatening.
  • 15:38 – Dean’s rather understated reaction to the beginnings of a spiritual manifestation in his solitary cell: “Oh, crap.”
  • 16:08 – I have a feeling big prison bully guy is going to be our pre-commercial break death.
  • 16:29 – Yep.
  • 17:02 – The boys’ public defender has been doing some research into their alleged crime history, including chatting with Policezazu about them.
  • 17:55 – Henriksen’s response to lawyer raising some points about inconsistencies? Dial the “patronizing dick” level up to 11.
  • 18:38 – Sam trying to pump the witness to the Inevitable Teaser Death for information about what happened that fateful night. I’m distracted because the witness looks like a thirty-years-older Jared Padalecki.
  • 18:58 – Sam’s answer to the why he’s in there question is laced with subtext: “Because I got an idiot for a brother.”
  • 19:29 – Seems our ghost suspect didn’t die from a heart attack, it was more a “beaten to death with a baseball bat” type of thing. I get those confused all the time, which is probably why I’m no longer invited to cardiology conventions.
  • 20:21 – Dean’s hustled up a decent pile of cigarettes playing poker. Sam points out the fundamental flaw with this technique: Dean’s not a smoker…
  • 21:52 – It sure looks like step 1 of Sam’s plan is to have Dean get beaten to a bloody pulp, based on the size of the guy he’s trying to antagonize. Also, Donuts are love.
  • 22:15 – Some very bad camera work on this fight. Despite the meaty foley work, it’s very clear that Dean’s punches don’t come close to connecting with the big guy.
  • 22:40 – I’m pretty sure that a fight like that in a real prison wouldn’t distract all the guards, so there’s no way Sam’s ruse would work. At least I’d hope prison security is better than this. Having never spent any time inside nor having any desire to do so, I obviously can’t verify these claims.
  • 23:47 – There’s too much episode left for this ghost bed burning to work out.
  • 24:31 – We’re getting a little of “Tiny” (the big guy)’s back story, and it goes to a well hitherto untapped in the annals of network television, especially on this show: Daddy issues! I know, I was stunned as well.
  • 24:50 – Our first clear shot of the ghost of the week and she doesn’t look anything like the male prisonew who was beaten to death and had been the presumed spirit until this moment. This also means sam burned a perfectly good, if blood-stained, sheet for no reason.
  • 25:33 – Ghost woman (she looks vaguely nurse-like) does the heart squeeze thing to Dean, who salts her face to escape.
  • 25:41 – Tiny has a lower sodium meal and dies for it.
  • 27:02 – Ghost was a nurse. And it costs Dean two packs of cigarettes to get her name (Glockner). He’s very grudging about that second pack. Also the boys escape plan is supposed to happen tonight, so in the best traditions of Jack Bauer, THEY’RE RUNNING OUT OF TIME!
  • 28:09 – Kind of love how sam’s calling Dean out for “going native” in the jailhouse.
  • 28:58 – Dean’s trying to use the lawyer’s connections to research Glockner. She, quite rightly, notes that his priorities are incredibly screwed up and he might want to worry about his case…
  • 30:23 – Bro fight!
  • 30:25 – That the guards instantly break up, damn it. I wanted to see the boys throw down.
  • 30:37 – Just realized that it’s been the same guard/warden that’s broken up all three of Dean’s fights. Not sure if that’s significant or whether it’s a speaking parts vs. extras economics thing.
  • 31:07 – It’s significant. The guard is the Deacon mentioned way back at 11:55 as the reason they’re in the pokey in the first place.
  • 31:53 – Lawyer left them so information. Dean chalks it up to being “friggin’ velvety smooth,” though I’d say that’s been more sam in this episode.
  • 33:18 – Despite the friendly nature of the altercation, I can only describe the grin Dean flashes as he slugs Deacon as wolfish.
  • 33:29 – First glance this episode at the single greatest character in the entirety of this show – The Impala.
  • 34:09 – Deacon’s being harassed/interviewed by Henriksen and makes the salient point that he would have no way of knowing where the boys are at. The FBI guy is just a tad apoplectic about this.
  • 34:49 – The lawyer invokes attorney-client privilege to not discuss their earlier conversation, but looks like she’s going to give in some time during the next scene transition.
  • 36:24 – Implication seems to be that lawyer lady told Henriksen which cemetery Glockner’s buried in.
  • 37:19 – Looks like Nurse Glockner’s got it in for Deacon. Not sure what she perceives his crime to be. Perhaps letting the boys escape?
  •  38:06 – Salt-N-Burn (but no DJ Spinderella) seems to have been a success, so Deacon lives.
  • 38:51 – Turns out lawyer Mara sent the law enforcement types to the wrong cemetery. A revelation that’s nicely soundtracked by Alice in Chains.
  • 39:37 – The boys are even more screwed police-wise now, seeing as they’ve added a jailbreak to their multiple murder, grave desecration and armed robbery charges.

Good to be back on the Supernatural wagon after a recent hiatus. Real life (and the Stanley Cup Playoffs) interfered. Just a bit of a shame that the episode itself was on the lackluster side. I imagine some of that is conservation of budget as season finale time approaches, but it’s still frustrating as a first time viewer. The prison setting at least spiced things up a bit, and the inmates were kind of interesting spins on the usual assortment of exposition providers. It just didn’t feel like this episode had a core to it, and outside of maybe Henriksen, I doubt we’ll see any of the non-Winchester characters again. This was filler. Not bad filler, but not especially interesting filler. The best thing I can say about it is that it was fortyish minutes of competent television.