Lost Limey Watches Supernatural #51 – “Fresh Blood”

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 07 – “Fresh Blood”

  • 00:10 – Bela shows up in the previouslies again.
  • 00:24 – So does Gordon Walker, who is of course a moron.
  • 01:26 – And in our first semi-current bit of the episode, we see them meet for the first time, meaning that there is no Inevitable Teaser Death likely to happen this time, as is the wont when recurring characters take up trailer time.
  • 02:32 – Though Gordon pointing a gun at Bela, and her saying “Kill me” in response does make me doubt that slightly.
  • 03:46 – our first shot of the brothers Winchester this week is very X-Files with them shining flashlights ineffectually as they stroll through a dark/foggy warehouse type environment and stumble upon an obvious vampire victim.
  • 04:44 – Dean tries to get the (based on pronouns used thus far) female vampire to come to him by slicing into his arm with a knife that is utterly massive. Like it’s so big a knife that Crocodile Dundee would cry and go home admitting that “yes, that is a knife.”
  • 05:17 – In the clearest sign that our vamp is evil, she’s wearing Supernatural’s go to evil woman ensemble, white top and blond hair.
  • 06:53 – Our vamp claims to be ignorant of her vamp status, and merely high. Also the female vamp is named Lucy, which I’m chosing to believe is a shout out to Bram Stoker’s most famous work.
  • 08:34 – Lucy isn’t the sharpest stake in the slayer’s handbook. She apparently assumed the thick red vampire blood that her drink was dosed with was some kind of new drug or a roofie. Say what you liked about Ol’ Yellow Eyes’ evil nature, at least he wasn’t quite this stupid.
  • 10:32 – Dean kills Lucy off screen. The Foley effects are gloriously disgusting and make it sound much, much gorier than any of the full on deaths we’ve seen depicted in the show.
  • 11:01 – Gordon & Kubrick are pulling a common Sam & Dean scam on one of Lucy’s victims, pretending to be FBI guys to pump him for info.
  • 12:23 – Meanwhile the brothers have located the guy acting as a vampire blood drug dealer/sire guy. I think his name is Dixon. They introduce themselves to him via Dean punching him in the face and Sam advising the next potential victim (a blond woman, Dixon has a definite type) to run away.
  • 12:44 – And we go into the commercial break fade-to-black with our two hunting parties meeting face to face. Gordon, in the typical laid back and utterly calm and reasonable manner that he’s so widely known for celebrates this reunion as only he can, by pointing a gun in Sam’s face.
  • 13:48 – After a perfunctory and ineffective exchange of gunfire and punchy-kickiness, the hunter groups are hiding from each other and Gordon gets the crap kicked out of him by Dixon.
  • 14:35 – Dean’s quickly figured out that it was Bela who sicced Gordon & Kubrick on to the brothers. He’s not happy about it. Which really should be the default state of anyone who has to interact with Bela.
  • 15:10 – Ordinarily, I’d be mildly upset at one of our protagonists making straight up death threats to a fellow human being, but I loathe Bela enough that I’m 100% behind Dean on this one.
  • 15:54 – Gordon returns to a bleary-eyed consciousness in front of two of Dixon’s victims. They’re both practically clones of Lucy. Dude definitely has a type.
  • 17:03 – My fiancee just called out this scene with Gordon & Dixon doing the whole “you’re the more bloodthirsty” schtick as very Blade and she’s completely right. I’m kind of kicking myself for missing the parallels if I’m honest.
  • 18:04 – Looks like Dixon’s sick of Gordon’s crap and is going to vamp him up to make a point.
  • 18:50 – I like the slightly darker take we’re getting on Sam this season (as I’ve said, it even redeems his Hair of Terribleness) even if said darkness implies that he came back slightly wrong from death. Sam basically acknowledging that the only viable solution to their Gordon issue is to kill Gordon. Also Dean’s hilarious impression of Sam reminds me of Lestat taunting Louis for his humanity in Anne Rice’s Interview With The Vampire (the novel, not the really rather excellent 1994 film with Tom Cruise & Brad Pitt)
  • 19:42 – Quoth the closed captioning: “[AMPLIFIED POUNDING]” which sounds like a rock concert themed pornographic movie.
  • 21:10 – The way they’re showing Gordon realizing his vampirism with the exaggerated light and sound sensitivity is superbly well shot.
  • 22:09 – And the blood on the windscreen shot to illustrate Gordon’s first feeding continues the excellent cinematography (at least by CW standards).
  • 22:28 – Damn, looks like Gordon straight up decapitated his fellow vampires, which has given Dixon something of a PTSD thing.
  • 23:33 – After Dixon throws himself a pity party about how he’s losing everyone and “facing eternity alone. Can you think of a worse hell?” Dean responds in the simplest, directest and most snarky manner: “Well, there’s Hell.” Which, as we know thanks to the whole Crossroads demon, Dean is scheduled to go to soon.
  • 24:04 – Dixon’s giving Dean a nice subtextual thematic death wish comparison.
  • 24:46 – Kubrick has a visitor in his RV full of Jesus crazy. Unfortunately for Kubrick, it’s vampire Gordon. Kubrick is naturally surprised that (in the immortal words of Brian Blessed) GORDON’S ALIIVE?!?!
  • 27:00 – It goes about as well for Kubrick as you might expect. Gordon killed him. Looks like he tore the heart out, which I thought was more of a werewolf move in this universe. The emotionally charged conversation about Kubrick allowing Gordon to live just long enough to kill Sam Winchester was very tensely done and well acted, but hard to comment on in the moment, so I’ll just give it kudos here.
  • 28:00 – Once again, cell phone technology really dates the episode.
  • 28:53 – Once again we get the boys bickering over Dean’s demon deal, the death wish, and Dean’s false facade of bravado.
  • 29:38 – Sam calling out Dean for being terrified is a surprisingly heart wrenching moment between the boys.
  • 30:00 – “I wish you would drop the show and be my brother again.” So. Many. Feels.
  • 32:34 – This rescue of Gordon’s bait/hostage is going far too smoothly.
  • 32:56 – I mean this is obviously a trap and the boys must know that (surely?) but Gordon still successfully manages to separate Sam and Dean. I assume the plan is to isolate Sam for killing reasons.
  • 34:23 – As I kind of suspected, Gordon turned the girl. Dean took care of it with the Colt though.
  • 35:41 – The fight between the boys and vampire Gordon is pretty brutal and rather viscerally shot.
  • 36:08 – Sam has what appears to be barbed wire around Gordon’s neck. That seems like an incredibly violent way to garrote someone. Like I said, I like this darker Sam.
  • 36:26 – Gordon lost his head in the literal, rather than the more common figurative sense.
  • 37:14 – Dean calling out Sam for being as reckless as he is.
  • 38:00 – And we get what passes for a light-hearted ending with Dean fixing up the Impala and trying to teach Sam automotive repair and letting Sam actually touch his baby.
  • 39:03 – There’s also brewski’s involved…
  • 39:26 – And we close with something I’ve missed. Good ol’ classic rock. In this case Bad Company with “Crazy Circles.”

 

 

Now that’s more like it. This was a rollicking romp of an episode and a definite return to form. We also lost a major recurring nemesis in Gordon, so it feels like there was more of an impact to this episode than the last pair of snoozers. This didn’t really tie into the metaplot of the season thus far with that whole unleashed demon army thing happening, nor did we dwell much on the demon deal, except for the boys being able to relate to each other as actual brothers again, something exemplified by the quiet Impala repair scene that capped off the episode. This was actually fun, and a lot of that was the Gordon stuff, he did an excellent job delineating the different levels of psychopathy between human and vampire Gordon. I was mildly disappointed that Kubrick went out so early as he has potential to be a sub nemesis, but it did establish Gordon as a real danger immediately.

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Lost Limey Watches Supernatural #50 – “Red Sky at Morning”

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 06 – “Red Sky at Morning”

  • 00:55 – Previouslies focus on Bela Talbot, the magic thief woman, as well as a summary of the whole thing with Dean’s Crossroads demon deal, which culminated with Sam killing the Crossroads demon.
  • 01:15 – Our Inevitable Teaser Death candidate for the episode is a woman jogging in a blue sports bra that’s surprisingly prominent on camera.
  • 02:06 – Though not as prominent as what appears to be some kind of ghostly ship. I assume that the big bad for the episode is either Captain Jack Sparrow, or the far more sinister Michael Bolton.
  • 02:27 – This shower scene has gone on long enough to qualify as gratuitous at this point. Also, Inevitable Teaser Death woman wears more make up in the shower than most women I know wear on actual dates.
  • 03:20 – She be dead. As shower scenes go, it’s hardly Psycho, is it?
  • 03:50 – And in their usual cheerful carefree manner, the brothers Winchester are introduced bickering over bullets and the Colt. Dean’s spotted that the bullet Sam used to kill the Crossroads demon has gone.
  • 04:05 – On this show, shooting someone because they’re a smartass is setting an awfully bad precedent, Sam.
  • 05:06 – Ms. Case seems to very blatantly be flirting with Sam, who could be her son, possibly even grandson.
  • 06:45 – Jared Padalecki’s uncomfortable with being flirted with face is far funnier than the entirety of the last episode of this show was.
  • 07:35 – Apparently the common factor of “ghost ships” is that they’re pretty much all death omens in this universe.
  • 08:14 – Nobody messes with the damned Impala! I feel Dean’s pain.
  • 08:39 – Bela got the Impala towed. I kind of hate her even more already.
  • 09:59 – The boys on Bela – Dean: “Can I shoot her?” Sam: “Not in public.” Their mutual dislike of Bela might be the only thing they’ve truly agreed upon since Dean’s demon deal.
  • 10:34 – This episode seems to be under the delusion that running water is scary. It isn’t.
  • 11:00 – Though the drowning effects are pretty on point.
  • 12:08 – Kind of amused by the dynamic of the boys and Bela narcing each other out.
  • 13:27 – Bela just attempted a variation of the “we’re not so different, you and I” cliched villain speech on Dean. Unsurprisingly, it didn’t work. I mean, how often has that gambit ever succeeded?
  • 14:43 – That is not a crappy car, good sir! I challenge ye to pistols at dawn. Though you are right in calling out the brothers Winchester as non-cops.
  • 15:30 – I think that’s our third landlocked drowning of the episode. It’s weirdly difficult to keep track. Mostly because so far, this has been punctuating long periods of dullness.
  • 16:46 – And now we’re padding the run-time with Sam having an “I can’t save anybody” crisis of conscience.
  • 18:15 – Bela’s found out what the ship was.
  • 19:08 – So it would seem that the primary malevolent ghostly being from the ship had his hand cut off before being hanged. So, I guess that means the boys have got to find that hand and give it the ol’ salt’n’burn treatment. Given there’s about half the episode left, I imagine that Bela’s going to be an annoying complication to that plan.
  • 19:45 – Dean scrubs up well. He’s really rocking that tux.
  • 21:28 – Dean’s date for this event is Bela. Sam’s is the flirty grandma from 05:06. I’m not sure who got the worse end of that deal, really.
  • 21:41 – Grandma is very handsy.
  • 23:42 – Love that Dean’s reaction to Bela’s feigned faint is to get the waiter’s attention so he can eat a couple of the hors d’ouvres. Mostly because they do look remarkably tasty and I could see myself doing similar.
  • 25:17 – Grandma just blatantly went for the ass grab on Sam. Sam’s hair reacted by spontaneously becoming terrible again.
  • 27:33 – I’d expect a hand of glory to look more gnarly than this does. It feels too clean.
  • 28:46 – Grandma playing Miss Exposition, apparently our drowning victims have been linked/rumored to deaths within their families.
  • 30:21 – Looks like Bela stole the hand from Dean. Sam is less than impressed, seeing as how that means he got “groped all night” for nothing.
  • 30:47 – Bela’s seeing the ship/death omen? I guess that means that a)she’s marked for death and b) she killed someone in her family, or caused them to be killed.
  • 33:33 – Dean’s “Have a nice life. Y’know what’s left of it.” is a delightfully bitchy kiss-off towards Bela. She definitely earned it.
  • 35:08 – It looks like Sam is trying to perform some kind of summoning ritual at the grave. Not sure how that’s going to link to the hand of glory or save Bela’s life (also, why would either Winchester want to? She’s kind of a gigantic jerk.)
  • 36:04 – Bela’s starting to drown.
  • 36:40 – Oh, the ritual’s merging the two spirits to the same place. I assume the idea is that the hanged brother gets to avenge himself on the spirit of the brother who hung him, thus achieving closure and ending the threat on people’s lives. Kind of a clever resolution.
  • 38:08 – Bela’s giving the boys $10,000 for saving her from the ghost ship brothers. ( I still say it should have been Michael Bolton.)
  • 38:54 – Dean wants to take the money to Atlantic City and play a few tables. Good for him. I need to do that myself again, it’s been a few years.
  • 39:28 – Dean actually seems sincere in reaching out and trying to understand Sam’s perspective on the whole Crossroads demon deal thing. I still think it’s gonna end up biting them in the rear real soon, though.
  • 39:49 – Sam accepts the apology with typical good grace: “I don’t want an apology from you!” He just wants Dean to at least give a crap about himself, which doesn’t seem unreasonable. Of course, it seems like Daddy Winchester left both boys with a legacy that’s basically a death wish. Dean’s just happens to be the one most ascendant currently.

 

While a marked improvement on the last episode, this was still pretty rough. I think it’s the first time I can recall the show having back to back bad episodes in a while. I did like the idea of throwing Bela in as a spanner in the works to try and complicate things for the boys, but she was used in the most perfunctory and predictable ways, so it didn’t really feel like it was heightening or escalating any of the stakes of the episode, just padding out the run time.

This episode wasn’t actively bad, but it was meandering, and I’m fairly sure that if I wasn’t doing these blogwatch things, that I’d have been multi-tasking with something thrilling like folding laundry while this episode unspooled in the background. I guess it did mildly address that only interesting thing that happened last time out with Sam killing the Crossroads demon, but even that storyline seems to have stalled somewhat. I guess it’s because they want to keep Dean’s demon deal a running through line for the season, but we’re roughly 25% in and it feels like it’s stagnating. Also, if they’re keeping season-long story lines in mind, the whole tracking down of an escaped demon army thing is more interesting than some weirdly paced Cain & Abel/Flying Dutchman mashup. At least this week’s comedy bits with Sam and the grandma landed

Lost Limey Watches Supernatural #49 – “Bedtime Stories”

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 05 – “Bedtime Stories”

  • 01:05 – The previouslies montage focuses a little bit on whether Sam is “100% pure Sam” since his resurrection, but doesn’t really dwell on any other point beyond being a season so far recap.
  • 01:16 – First thing we say in the teaser is the words “Once Upon A Time” on a realty sign and what sounds like a music box tune. I have to assume that the episode is going to riff on fairy tales based on that.
  • 01:59 – Our Inevitable Teaser Death candidates are three guys arguing over building materials and whether they’d stand up to a strong wind. I’m sensing something porcine about their nature, especially as the growling starts on the soundtrack…
  • 03:26 – And all three are dead. Nailed it.
  • 04:14 – And our first glimpse of the brothers Winchester involves them yelling at each other about – what else – Dean’s demon deal. Sam is pointing out that they have the demon-killing Colt, which might act as leverage against the Crossroads demon.
  • 05:08 – Looks like the boys are assuming that there’s a werewolf about. Also, I was wrong about the teaser, the piggy brother who hid with the concrete cinder blocks survived the Big Bad Wolf attack, unlike his two companions (I’m assuming brothers because the fairy tale isn’t exactly an unfamiliar source)
  • 07:44 – Sam’s “sketch artist” drawing is impressively terrible.
  • 09:05 – A male and a female lost in the woods stumbling upon a quaint house. I think we’ve gone to a more Hansel (he’s so hot right now) & Gretel place. This episode is in a very Grimm spot…
  • 10:06 – This sweet old lady’s cherry pie looks delicious. And I mean that in the literal pie sense, not in a more Warrant sense.
  • 11:32 – Little old lady drugged Hansel & Gretel and is now going all stabby on Hansel with a kitchen knife. There’s also a girl in white (so clearly evil) standing and smiling at the window.
  • 13:10 – And Gretel killed the sweet little old lady by cracking her head on the stove. I think this episode might just be leaning a little too literally on the fairy tale gimmick. It feels heavy handed, and frankly, kind of makes for bad TV.
  • 14:41 – Judging by Sam’s EMF reader thingy, the little girl with the raven tresses was a spirit, though Dean is right to call her behavior of just watching the crime scene as odd by spirit standards.
  • 15:31 – Sam referring to the fairy tales with the more original Grimm endings as “sex, violence and cannibalism” seems apt.
  • 17:09 – Dean is willing to concede that this thing might be fairy tale related (ya think) but “There’s no way [he’s] kissing a damn frog.”
  • 17:34 – Dean’s not-at-all-okay reaction to Sam invoking Cinderella: “Dude, could you be more gay?” Not funny, show.
  • 19:34 – The little girl’s spirit kind of “flashing” out of existence when Dean spoke to her was kind of a neat effect.
  • 20:28 – An apple and the little girl reminds Sam of Snow White. Dean seems arbitrarily unfamiliar with the non-porn parody version of fairy tales, which is a character beat that rings very false to me.
  • 21:24 – Our Wolf with the Coyote tattoo has returned for a Red Riding Hood bit as small town doctor reads “Red Riding Hood” to his comatose daughter. Frankly, if I wasn’t blogging this episode, I’d have switched it off already. This is terrible.
  • 23:00 – So the Doctor’s daughter has been in a coma since she was eight (about the age of the Snow White spirit girl we’ve been seeing) after swallowing bleach and being discovered by her step mother. So, I’m assuming we have a wicked stepmother who poisoned Snow White as the motivation for revenge. So we have a mystery/suspense supernatural show with absolutely zero mystery or suspense…
  • 24:21 – Dean does have great observation that it’s kind of hard to burn the bones of a spirit that’s being kept alive in a hospital by her father, even if the “spirit” is comatose.
  • 25:24 – Well, since the grandmother got bit, Dean’s going to go be the Hunter (pun intended, I think) and stop the big bad wolf from eating Red Riding Hood whilst Sam has to figure out how to deactivate/depower Snow White girl.
  • 28:03 – Turns out that the Doctor has seen his daughter’s Snow White spirit form.
  • 29:42 – Jared Padalecki is selling the hell out of this exposition dump to the doctor, but no performance is capable of saving this writing. Got to give him kudos for at least trying though.
  • 31:44 – Looks like the solution to the Snow white conundrum now that the truth is out is simply to switch off her life support. A very utilitarian solution as befits a very utilitarian episode.
  • 34:40 – Sam’s sneaking out on Dean with ominous music on the soundtrack. Seems a case of too little, too late to me.
  • 35:34 – Turns out that he was sneaking off to invoke the Crossroads demon, who’s eyes are a lot more red than I remember them being. I assume he’s going to try and finesse Dean’s deal with her.
  • 36:08 – Gotta give Sam credit, it does take cojones to pull the Colt on a demon who has the ability to send you back to death and presumably Hell if her deal is altered.
  • 38:26 – Apparently the Crossroads demon is only a minor flunkie to her boss who actually has the contract for Dean’s demon deal. That’s a new wrinkle.
  • 39:08 – Sam doesn’t care, shoots and kills the Crossroads demon (and the woman she was possessing) anyway. I think I like this darker version of Sam we’re seeing. Mostly because he has not terrible hair, but still.

 

As you probably gathered, I wasn’t a fan of this episode. I would say let us never speak of it again, but the wrinkle with Sam apparently unrepentantly killing off the Crossroads demon at the end at least adds a bit of texture to what was otherwise the most boring of filler episodes. Shame it took 39 minutes of a 40 minute episode for anything worth caring about to happen. It also doesn’t help that there have been a whole lot of media depicting dark  and fractured fairy tales lately, though admittedly two of the more notable examples Grimm and Once Upon A Time didn’t air until three years after this episode did. I don’t mind well worn subject matter if it’s done well. This wasn’t.