Lost Limey Watches Supernatural #45 – “The Magnificent Seven”

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 3 Episode 01 – “The Magnificent Seven”

  • 00:01 – Appropriately enough for a new season, we open with a “The Road So Far” montage. This one is soundtracked by AC/DC’s “Hell’s Bell’s.”
  • 03:52 – We start the episode proper with a fairly nebbish looking guy, who I incorrectly assumed to be the Inevitable Teaser Death, putting out the trash, listening to a dog bark, and getting possessed by one of the demons unleashed from the Devil’s Gate at the end of last season.
  • 04:12 – A large number of the black demon cloud essence blot out the skies around nebbish teaser guy as the show’s title card fades in.
  • 04:33 – Sam’s reading Faust, probably looking for ways to get his brother out of the deal Dean made with the Crossroads Demon to resurrect Sam.
  • 05:08 – Bobby basically tells Sam that he’s not going to find an answer to that mystery in a book. Sam & Bobby seem extremely cheerful considering that they saw the vast demonic armies of Hell unleashed on Earth (well, Wyoming, which as Garfield has proven, doesn’t exist) a week ago.
  • 05:32 – Sam walks in on Dean having some kind of sexual escapade to pass on news that Bobby finally found something. The younger Winchester sibling is just as traumatized as you might expect from this imagery. (Bachman Turner Overdrive’s “You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet” was a particularly apposite music cue, I thought.)
  • 06:28 – Apparently there’s been five days since the demon clouds from the Devil’s Gate appeared above seventeen cities with absolutely no signs or omens. It feels like Buffy’s halloween, the one day when the forces of darkness stayed home in bed.
  • 07:14 – I kind of like Dean’s excuse for a bacon cheeseburger breakfast: “Sold my soul. Got a year to live. Ain’t sweating the cholesterol.”
  • 08:28 – The boys hear the sound of a woman screaming coming from the next room. They don’t react with much urgency. I’m distracted by the fact that Sam’s hair is no longer terrible, depriving me of one of my favorite running threads in these blogs.
  • 08:43 – We’re presented with a family of rotting, fly-covered corpses who apparently just sat there watching Dallas re-runs TV and decomposing.
  • 09:38 – Dean detects some kind of presence on the front porch and goes exploring.
  • 10:01 – The presence turns out to be people that Bobby recognizes well enough to know their names: Isaac & Tamara. I assume that they’re Hunters following the same signs that led Bobby & the boys here.
  • 10:44 – Isaac & Tamara are Hunters. They’re also married. So, naturally, I assume one of them is going to be dead before the end of the episode. They’re also throwing in some exposition about some kind of Peruvian holy wood that’s toxic to demons. I’m sure that’ll come up again.
  • 11:31 – The family from 08:43 apparently died of dehydration and starvation despite having a fully stocked kitchen just a few feet away. That’s certainly a very bizarre modus operandi for whatever demon or entity attacked them. Seems rather more subtle than this show generally goes in for.
  • 11:49 – Isaac & Tamara don’t want to work with Sam & Dean, or as Isaac puts it: “We’re not teaming with the damn fools who let the Devil’s Gate get open in the first place.” Isaac apparently works in the burn unit when he’s not on the hunt.
  • 12:57 – We get a shot of a random blonde woman with ominous music stings watching the house where Dean, Sam & Bobby are.
  • 12:58 – And we finally see possessed guy from the teaser again. I think a nine minute interval might be a record for a non corpse showing up after appearing in the teaser. (Granted “non-corpse” is a pretty huge qualifier in this show.)
  • 13:55 – Nebbish teaser guy uses some kind of wacky mojo influence to make two women fight over a pair of allegedly nice green high-heeled shoes. I’m rolling my eyes at both the “women be shopping” stereotype and the fact that the shoes really ain’t all that.
  • 14:06 – Though the beating to someone to death over the shoes was a little bit more grisly than I expected.
  • 16:10 – Same random blonde woman from earlier (12:57) seems to be following Sam around for some reason.
  • 16:22 – But she disappears into the ether when Sam turns around. So, I guess she’s probably a spirit of some kind. She hasn’t interacted with any of the deaths directly though. I wonder if she’s some kind of emotion enhancer/manipulator, but that might just be because I’ve been reading a lot of comics lately.
  • 16:56 – Nebbish trailer guy is named Walter Rosen.
  • 17:46 – And Isaac & Tamara have trailed him to this bar, which kind of blows apart Bobby’s eminently sensible “use caution” plan.
  • 18:37 – Isaac & Tamara pull the Han & Leia “I love you.” “I know.” exchange. One of them is definitely gonna be dead.
  • 19:04 – Turns out that the bartender doesn’t like Hunters in his bar. Probably due to him (and all of the other customers) being demonically possessed.
  • 19:55 – One of the demons forces, via some kind of hypnosis, Isaac to start chugging bleach. So it looks like he’s going to be the dead one of the formerly happy couple.
  • 20:24 – Before Tamara can be forced to do something equally as unpleasant as Isaac’s bleach-drinking, a car (not the Impala) bursts through the door of the bar.
  • 20:43 – Bobby, Dean and Sam leap out the car and start throwing holy water around at the various demons as they drag Tamara kicking and screaming out of there, leaving Isaac’s dead body behind. It’s an incredibly badass scene, and acts as a badly-needed adrenaline shot in an episode that had been dragging up until now.
  • 21:56 – Turns out that there are seven demons that they’re up against, and that they are anthropomorphic personifications of the Seven Deadly Sins. That explains the Magnificent Seven of the episode title. Based on what we’ve seen so far, whoever killed the family via starvation earlier was probably Sloth. Walter is likely possessed by Envy, seeing as how jealousy about shoes after exposure to Walter led to a murder earlier. I assume that Gluttony was probably the demon that forced Isaac to down an entire bottle of bleach, but there’s wiggle room for all three. This also leaves the random blonde woman that’s been following Sam unaccounted for. She could be Lust, but I think that’s the female demon that said she wanted to do a thousand depraved things to Tamara right before Isaac got his bleach on.
  • 21:59 – Dean reacts with exactly the same way I did, doing a bad Brad Pitt “what’s in the box?” impression.
  • 22:58 – Bobby justifiably gives Tamara both barrels about going in half-cocked and losing Isaac’s life in teh process. Tamara doesn’t take it that well.
  • 24:16 – Walter/Envy gets all Biblical on us: “Call me Legion, for we are many.” in reference to the large numbers of Demon’s that Sam & Dean let out of the Devil’s gate.
  • 25:35 – Envy: “We’re not sins, man. We’re natural, human instinct.” Demonic entity or not, he’s got a point. And using Dean’s gluttony & lust as well as Tamara’s wrath as examples makes it very hard to shout him down.
  • 26:09 – Envy is confident that the other sins will be coming for him. Dean says it won’t matter.
  • 26:38 – ..and to prove that point, Tamara exorcizes him with the most gleeful look I’ve ever seen plastered across her face.
  •  27:13 – Sam & Bobby shout down Dean’s apparent death wish/martyr complex and point out that if they’re going down vs the six Sins still at large, they’re going down together.
  • 27:34 – Walter didn’t survive Tamara’s exorcism of Envy. Since it was off-screen, I’m not sure that she tried very hard to ensure otherwise…
  • 28:42 – We see Isaac screaming for Tamara. He’s clearly in a lot of pain.
  • 29:19 – Bobby points out that Isaac is almost certainly one of the Sins who is possessing Isaac’s corpse.
  • 29:57 – Seems that it was the death of their daughter that led to Isaac & Tamara embracing the Hunter lifestyle. Based on the taunting that seems designed to drive Tamara to anger, I’m assuming that Wrath is the Sin that’s possessing Isaac.
  • 30:15 – It backfires on Wrath, as it leads to Tamara staking him with the holy wood that they mentioned a lot earlier on in the episode, which is described as toxic to demons, paralyzing them. That takes Wrath out of the field, only five Sins left to go…
  • 30:38 – Another demon wanders under Bobby’s Devil’s Trap and gets stuck that way. Bobby calls this one “fat, drunk & stupid.” As Gluttony was a different guy in the bleach-drinking scene, I have to assume that makes this one Sloth. Three down. Four to go…
  • 30:56 – Bobby exorcizes Sloth while Dean is confronted by Lust. To no one’s surprise, Dean gives in to his own libido almost immediately. I have to assume it’s a trick, but you never really know with Dean…
  • 31:51 – Unidentified Demon: “Here’s Johnny!” in full on Nicholson mode. A little bit later he says of the Devil’s Trap: “You think that’d stop me?” Sam: “Let me guess, you’re Pride.” Top marks for deduction there. Pride then does some kind of seismic thing that cracks and neuters the Devil’s Trap.
  • 32:01 – Apparently, Sam has reputation as a prodigy among the Sins. Presumable because he was the favored tool of the late and unlamented Ol’ Yellow Eyes.
  • 32:37 – Dean effectively waterboards Lust in a bathtub full of holy water. A sentence that I think could only possibly to this show even if it wasn’t Dean’s name at the start. I imagine that immobilizes her. So now we only have three Sins left to deal with. Possibly two, because Pride seems to enjoy monologuing to Sam rather than actually doing anything.
  • 33:02 – Mysterious blond lady who’s been stalking Sam (and who needs a shorter name to save my typing fingers) comes charging in, slits Pride’s throat with a knife. The knife appears to have some kind of magic going on as it definitely kills Pride. Two Sins remain.
  • 33:13 – She also kills Greed by stabbing her with the same knife. Just one Sin left active, Gluttony.
  • 33:19 – Mark it zero! Glutton also gets the stabbity stab and the glowy death effects. Though it looks like sam gave mystery blond more of an assist with this one.
  • 33:31 – Sam asks the blond: “Who the Hell are you?” I, of course, answer “I’m Batman.”
  • 33:32 – She answers with: “I’m the girl who just saved your ass.” Which, while true, isn’t all that helpful or informative.
  • 33:40 – She seems to know who Sam is though.
  • 34:41 – After exorcizing, it seems the humans possessed by Lust & Sloth will survive, while the other ones got the salt and burn the bones treatment.
  • 35:04 – Sam & Dean raise the two biggest questions I have: “Who’s that girl?” and “What kind of a knife can kill demons?” At this point, I’m assuming that first question will be part of what drives the narrative of this third season, along with the Winchester’s ongoing quest to reeturn teh demons they unleashed back into Hell.
  • 35:40 – Tamara departs with a mutual “be careful” from Bobby. Pity, she seems like she’d have been an interesting character to have stick around, plus a non-white heroic character wouldn’t hurt this show any.
  • 36:41 – Especially as she apparently had some contacts in Louisiana that might be able to help out with Dean’s deal with the Crossroads demon.
  • 37:33 – Sam calls out Dean about the latter’s apparent death wish when it comes to the whole demonic deal thing. Dean explains that any attempt to back out of the terms of the deal returns Sam to being dead.
  • 38:06 – Sam shoots back by pointing out the hypocrisy of Dean’s actions based around how Dean felt when Daddy Winchester made the deal for Dean’s soul. Sam calls Dean’s actions selfish. Dean actually agrees. And then says he feels entitled to a bit of selfishness and wants to spend his last year killing some evil sons of bitches and raising Hell.

Season three of Supernatural gets off to a surprisingly slow start, considering how significantly the season two finale raised the stakes with a veritable army of demons unleashed. Given that set up, it felt like this episode spent forever in wheel spinning mode and really didn’t get going until the scene in the bar a good twenty minutes in.

After that scene though, things got really good in a hurry. I was impressed by the direction and suspense of the action, and the extremely high stakes that going against the actual Seven Deadly Sins introduced. Though I do feel like it was a mistake to have them all so soundly defeated in a single episode like this. After all they seem like a good candidate for at least a small story arc, and it would help give the show direction for the first third of the season, as right now, I don’t know where it’s really going beyond the ever present background notes of Dean’s damnation of a demonic deal and the unleashed hordes of Hell needing to be returned to the pit from whence they came. I guess these seem rather more nebulous than the initial season one goal of “Find Daddy Winchester” and the season two goal of hunting down Ol’ Yellow Eyes and avenging Daddy.

There are a couple of mysteries set up here that I am curious to see if and when they pay off. Notably, what’s the deal with the mysterious blond that’s kind of stalking Sam, and who killed three demons (presumably fairly major ones, after all Seven Deadly Sins should be a big deal) in under a minute. This was a pretty good episode, but I feel like “pretty good” isn’t a good enough standard for a season opener, and there’s really nothing here that would compel me to want to watch the next episode.

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2 thoughts on “Lost Limey Watches Supernatural #45 – “The Magnificent Seven”

  1. Pingback: Lost Limey Watches Supernatural #46 – “The Kids Are Alright” | Thoughts of a Lost Limey

  2. Pingback: Lost Limey Watches Supernatural #53 – “Malleus Maleficarum” | Thoughts of a Lost Limey

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