A nice family dinner in the past

Lost Limey Watches Supernatural #63 – “In The Beginning”

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 4 Episode 03 – “In The Beginning”

  • 00:53 – The episode starts with a THEN montage that highlights the season 1 and 2 story arc with Ol’ Yellow Eyes killing Mommy Winchester, Dead Jessica and all that stuff from the pilot. We see the Colt take care of Ol’ Yellow Eyes. Interleaved with this is Castiel explaining that he’s an angel and that God has plans for Dean. I’m guessing this is going to be an arc heavy episode…
  • 01:47 – In the NOW portion of the episode, Sam abandons a sleeping Dean to go for a car ride with Ruby, who asks him if he’s ready. Sam assents that he is.
  • 01:53 – Dean’s getting disjointed flashbacks to what I assume is his time in Hell. I’m going to go out on a limb with a prediction here: Hell – not a very nice place to spend time.
  • 02:16 – Dean is startled awake either by his nightmare visions, or possibly by Castiel getting his full Edward Cullen on and watching Dean sleep. Our angelic John Constantine cosplayer than tells Dean that Dean has to “stop it” and taps two fingers against the elder Winchester brother’s forehead. He doesn’t clarify what the “it” that needs stopping is. that’s the trouble with heavenly creatures, they’re not good with the clarity thing. Anyway,the lighting changes on Dean’s face, so he’s now sleeping somewhere else. I’m guessing it ain’t a luxury hotel.
  • 03:09 -It’s not a hotel, it’s a park bench outside of a diner, and worse,it’s somewhere outside a diner with no cellphone service. I laugh slightly at Dean’s 2008-vintage flip phone, but that would make sense as a cheap burner. Once Dean vacates the bench to enter the diner we see signage for Tab, which probably implied that Dean was somewhen else when this episode aired, especially given the 70s-tastic typography, but no brand ever dies anymore.
  • 05:21 – Dean enters the diner and Supernatural pays homage to the famous “Mr. Sandman” scene  from Back To The Future with the more 1970’s appropriate “Ramblin’ Man” by the Allman Brothers Band replacing the Four Ace/Chordettes tune. We very quickly establish that it’s April 1973 (and the album “Ramblin’ Man” is on didn’t drop until August ’73, but that’s a minor anachronism I can roll with. Dean’s in Lawrence, Kansas and the young man he’s talking to is in fact a 1973-era Daddy Winchester. Got to say the actor in no way resembles a young Jeffrey Dean Morgan in my eyes. Cue opening title.
  • 06:15 – As Dean sort of follows baby Daddy Winchester around the corner, he runs into Castiel, drops a Back To The Future reference of his own with a snarky DeLorean comment. Castiel non-explains that angels can bend time and does the Batman-to-Jim Gordon “hi, bye” thing and disappears.
  •  07:39 – Baby Daaddy Winchester is attempting to buy a pretty groovy VW Camper van (I kind of want one), but Dean, as repayment for his morning coffee upsells him on a certain Impala. Baby Daddy Winchester formally introduces himself to Dean. Dean opts for the alias Dean Van Halen since Winchester might be a little suspect here. I’m choosing to believe it’s Diamond Dave era Van Halen because Van Hagar sucks.
  • 09:19 – After Dean freaks out baby Daddy Winchester by asking about cold spots, sulfur smells and cattle mutilations, baby Daddy drives to meet baby Mommy Winchester. She’s surprised at the van purchase morphing into a badass Chevy Impala.I’m amused that Dean’s (presumably hotwired)stalking vehicle of choice is a nondescript beige thing.
  •  09:34 – Quoth the Dean “Sammy, wherever you are. Mom is a babe. I’m going to hell. again.” – i’m fairly sure that Dean/baby Mommy Winchester isn’t the subject of the allegedly absurd number of “Wincest” fan fictions on the internet, but I’m never gonna read them to find out. Also, why is this such a Sam free episode? Was he injured? Killed by his terrible hair? Was Padalecki filming a movie or something?
  • 10:12 – The baby Winchester parents are enjoying milkshakes at the diner. Apparently baby Mommy Winchester’s father doesn’t approve of baby Daddy Winchester, who describes himself as a mechanic from a family of mechanics. She departs the table to go do something, and baby Daddy Winchster pulls out a ring. Which means that baby Momy Winchester is actually baby Mommy Not-Yet-Winchester.
  • 10:55 – the thing that baby Mommy Not-Yet-Winchester has to take care of turns out to be Dean! She’s noticed his stalking, and promptly starts to beat the ever-living crap out of him. After Dean defends himself, he spots a bracelet on baby Mommy Not-Yet-Winchester’s wrist with sufficient protective charms (I recognized a cross, a pentagram, and something that looked like a hexagram) for him to realize that baby Mommy was a Hunter.
  • 11:49 – Based on the mailbox, baby Mommy Not-Yet-Winchester is actually baby Mommy Campbell. Dean meets her outside her house after baby Daddy Winchester drop her off. A brief conversation establishes that baby Mommy knows Dean’s name and since they’re both hunters, as Dean says “They’re practically family.” Oh, subtext. baby Mommy doesn’t seem sure that Dean should meet her dad. Dean insists.
  • 11:51 -Said Dad is played by Mitch Pileggi, who I will always see as Assistant FBI Director Walter S. Skinner of The X-Files. A show that Supernatural has heavily baked into its DNA.
  • 12:23 – So Mommy Winchester’s parents were Samuel and Deanna. That would seem to suggest that they’re the inspiration for Sam and Dean’s names. Deanna’s actress is less recognizable to me than Pileggi. Since the Winchester Brothers’ names seem like a tribute to the grandparents, I’m assuming they aren’t going to live to the closing credits of this one,even with the time travel shenanigans. Samuel doesn’t trust other Hunters around his family, which heavily implies that baby Daddy Winchester isn’t yet a Hunter. Both Campbells seem to be, and Deanna invites Dean to dinner overriding Samuel’s objections.
  • 14:00 – The Campbells find the idea of baby Daddy Winchester being involved with spirits to be beyond ludicrous. After a bit of back and forth banter about the nature of Hunters and jobs they’re on, It’s clear that Samuel Campbell’s kind of a prickly guy. He does open up a little about a job, to do with demonic omens on a nearby farm. Dean asks him if he found anything on “the Web” not quite understanding that Tim Berners-Lee hadn’t worked that particular magic back in ’73. He covers. Badly.
  • 15:08 – Samuel Campbell is at the farm in a priest costume. baby Mommy Not-Yet-Winchester is forced to be a ridealong because it’s the family business. She’s not into it, but dutifully goes off to distract a teenage boy hanging out at the farm. Samuel knocks on the door to the house, where he’s greeted by the widow of the house, and Dean, who is also dressed as a priest. Which is a fantastic little visual gag.
  • 15:56 – Mr. Campbell rolls with it as the senior priest. Apparently the former man of the house was fairly normal until his “guts fertilized the back forty” thanks to an unlikely combine accident.
  • 17:37 – Dean goes over to where baby Mommy Not-Yet-Winchester is talking to the boy, Charlie. H’s the son of the dead man. It sure sounds like he was tricked into selling his soul to a demon to stop the dead man beating the widow, though Charlie doesn’t realize it. The bill comes due in ten years. After a brief bit of questioning, it turns out that this demon had pale yellow eyes. Since we know that Ol’ Yellow Eyes kills Mommy Winchester ten years from now  in the pilot episode, Dean’s meaningful glance to baby Mommy Not-Yet-Winchester has a certain amount of resonance.
  • 18:29 – Dean is freaking the hell out now that he knows Ol’ Yellow Eyes is involved. He’s in full on warpath mode to an extent that crusty Samuel seems almost frightened. He non-explains that Ol’ Yellow Eyes killed his entire family and that he’s going to kill it. Samuel asks him how he might achieve that. Dean brings up the Colt, which we (and Dean) know is in Dan Elkins’ possession at this time. The Campbell’s remain skeptical.
  • 19:30 – Dean shows the Campbels Daddy Winchesters journal of everybody he thought interacted with Ol’ Yellow Eyes. Naturally, since Dean brought this with him from 2008, it features sightings from the future. Dean tries to claim that it’s because his father was clairvoyant. The Campbells think he’s crazy. He doesn’t entirely disagree.
  • 23:16 – Dean has a heartfelt conversation with bay Mommy Not-Yet-Winchester, who’s pretty confident that baby Daddy Winchester is going to propose. She sees that as her ticket out of the life of a Hunter, which she hates. She tells Dean that the very worst thing she can imagine would be her children being raised in the Hunter lifestyle. The dramatic irony is thicker than a very thick thing indeed here. Dean attempts to save his other’s life by telling her not to get out of bed on November 2nd, 1983, no matter what she sees or hears. He’s close to manly tears as he does this. Baby Mommy Not-Yet-Winchester agrees, sayings he’ll remember. I suspect she won’t actually remember because undoing the events of the pilot would kind of wreck this show’s entire premise and it seems too early in the season to do that…
  •  24:52 – As Dean’s driving to (presumably) recover the Colt, Castiel appears in the passenger seat so that they can exposition at each other. Dean asks why Castiel didn’t send Sam back as well. Castiel’s non-committal. Castiel points out that if Dean does break the family curse by disposing of Ol’ Yellow Eyes than Dean, Sam and Daddy Winchester never become Hunters, dooming all the people they’ve saved. Since last episode kind of showed that they’re not exactly batting a thousand at saving people even in the Hunter lifestyle, I kind of side with Dean here. Dean tearfully admits that he does care about the others, but these are his parents and if he can save them, he will. It’s all very emotional and only slightly undercut by the fact that Castiel’s buggered off back to whence he came already.
  • 26:20 – Dean is stealing the Colt from Elkins’ safe when Elkins confronts him in the traditional Hunter manner – aiming a loaded shotgun at him. Dean manages to persuade Elkins not to kill him by Deansplaining that he’s a Hunter and needs the Colt to save his family. Dean’s basically surrendering, assuming that Elkins can’t go through with killing a normal human. It’s a solid assumption. Now, time to get back to Kansas and nobody clicks their ruby heels together three times to do it. Instead they use the more prosaic option of driving.
  • 27:29 – Baby Mommy Not-Yet-Winchester realizes that the demon interaction where Dean’s going to attempt to kill Ol’ Yellow Eyes happens tobe where a friend of hers lives. She wants to aid Dean on this job, thoroughly confusing Sammuel Campbell, who wishes his daughter would make her ind up bout whether she wants to hunt or not. We cut over to said friend, Liddy, who is finding out that her father is dying of cancer. The doctor offers a cure in exchange for taking something ten years from now. We can pretty safely conclude that this doctor is Ol’ Yellow Eyes’ current meat suit. Especially since we get the eyes flashing yellow to confirm this as I type this sentence.
  • 27:38 – This negotiation is interrupted by Samuel Campbell bursting in with a shotgun and shooting Ol’ Yellow Eyes in the chest. As you would expect, it has pretty much no effect, and Ol’ Yellow Eyes immediately disarms Samuel.
  • 27:57- While Ol’ Yellow Eyes is taunting Samuel, baby Mommy Not-Yet-Winchester gets the drop on him briefly and slices Ol’ Yellow eyes with a knife.It has negligible effect. Ol’ Yellow Eyes reacts with interest “Where the Hell have they been hiding you?” And given the nature of the show I’m unsure if the hell reference is literal or metaphorical.
  • 28:32 – As Ol’ Yellow Eyes grabs bay Mommy Not-Yet-Winchester by the throat, Dean bursts in, cocks the Colt and aims it at his demonic nemesis, who reacts with nervous curiosity and then immediately takes a black smoke departure from his meat suit, rather ruining Dean’s “shoot the bastard” plan.
  • 29:15 – Baby Mommy Not-Yet-Winchester is freaking out about Ol’ Yellow Eyes expressing a like for her and goes to hide in the  vehicle. Samuel takes the opportunity to compliment Dean on a job well done. Dean disagrees since he missed his shot. Samuel i annoyed that Dean appears to reject his olive branch. Dean tells him that they need to talk without baby Mommy Not-Yet-Winchester being around.
  • 30:26 – Despite knowing that it sounds “massively, massively crazy,” Dean tells the truth to Samuel, about who he is, what his relationship is to baby Mommy-Not-Yet-Winchester and how Mommy Winchester dies at the hands of Ol’ Yellow Eyes in 1983. Samuel pretty much agrees with the massive crazy part.  He doesn’t seem as certain about the rest of it, but he definitely wants to protect his daughter. Dean mentions that tonight put Ol’ Yellow Eyes on baby Mommy Not-Yet-Winchester’s scent. This makes me wonder if Dean was the one that caused the events if the pilot to happen. Got to love those stable time travel paradoxes, right?
  • 30:48 -Meanwhile, baby Mommy Not-Yet-Winchester is trying to use baby Daddy Winchester and that sweet Impala to Brave Sir Robin her way out of Ol’ Yellow Eyes’ sights.
  • 31:34 – Samuel admits that he might be crazier than Dean for actually believing his story. He agrees to help Dean kill Ol’ Yellow Eyes. He asks where and how. Dean says they can use Daddy Winchester’s journal to figure out the ‘where’, and the Colt is the ‘how’. Samuel asks to see the Colt, but Dean refuses, moving it further away.
  • 31:58 – Which turns out to be a good instinct, since Samuel has been possessed by Ol’ Yellow Eyes. He waves his hand and traps Dean against the wall. Since Dean has now outlined future events to Ol’ Yellow Eyes, my speculation at 30:26 that Dean caused the events of the pilot seem even more confirmed. I feel like that’s going to lead to some patented Manly Winchester Angst down the line. Not a stretch because just about everything does in this show.
  • 33:28 – Ol’ Yellow Eyes realizes that the only thing powerful enough to send Dean back in time must be Angels. He also figures out that Dean’s presence here means that Ol’ Yellow Eyes’ plan for making psychic children works. Though he seems disappointed that Dean isn’t one of them. He figures there must be a sibling (with terrible hair) that is. Dean realizes that Ol’ Yellow Eyes isn’t bargaining for souls but for the children of his targets. Dean asks what’s so special about this parents-to-be. Ol’ Yellow Eyes gives him some blather about them being his own master race.
  • 35:00 – More demonsplaining from Ol’ Yellow Eyes. apparently he’s making the deals because he needs permission to enter the dwellings and bleed into the children’s mouths (I thought that was more of a vampire thing?). Dean tries toget Ol’ Yellow Eyes to reveal the true extent of his plan, because apparently it was more than just the demonic army we saw in the  season 2 finale. Ol’ Yellow Eyes declines to give Dean and therefore the Heavenly Host that information. Dean doesn’t care because he knows that Ol’ Yellow Eyes will die by Dean’s hand either now,or in the future. Ol’ Yellow Eyes just laughs at this. I’ll note that Deanna Campbell has been eavesdropping on at least some of this conversation.
  • 35:47 – Ol’ Yellow Eyes gloats at Dean that Dean won’t be able to save everybody, with his first failure being Samuel. Ol’ Yellow Eyes produces a knife and stabs his Samuel meat suit pretty deep in what looks like the kidney area. Samuel’s going to bleed out when Ol’ Yellow Eyes is done bodyjacking, y’all. Deanna screams as she sees this and goes crawling for the Colt. Unfortunately, her scream alerted Ol’ Yellow Eyes to her presence and he promptly snaps her neck, killing off  a second of Dean’s grandparents in under a minute. This breaks Ol’ Yellow Eyes hold on Dean. Dean grabs the Colt, discovers dead Deanna and no sign of Ol’ Yellow Eyes. This means that Ol’ Yellow Eyes is probably going to take on baby Mommy Not-Yet-Winchester next. Dean rushes out.
  • 36:28 – Baby Mommy Not-Yet-Winchester is with baby Daddy Winchester in the Impala, which is parked by the river. Baby Daddy Winchester is proposing to baby Mommy Not-Yet-Winchester when they’re interrupted by Ol’  Yellow Eyes, still riding Samuel’s body.He promptly attempts to drag baby Mommy Not-Yet-Winchester out of the car.
  • 36:39 – Baby Daddy Winchester attempts to defend his girlfriend from her angry father. Ol’ Yellow Eyes responds by snapping baby Daddy Winchester’s neck and killing him. I gotta admit, I didn’t see that coming, though I’m unsure exactly why that blindsided me.
  • 37:24 – Ol’ Yellow Eyes reveals himself to baby Mommy Not-Yet-Winchester and confirms that he’s killed both of her parents in addition to her boyfriend. Baby Mommy Not-Yet-Winchester swears to return the favor by killing Ol’ Yellow Eyes. The demon tells her not be too hasty. I sense a deal is in the offing…
  • 38:30 – Yep. Ol’ Yellow Eyes offers to bring baby Daddy Winchester back to life if baby Mommy Not-Yet-Winchester gives Ol’ Yellow Eyes permission to enter the house in ten years. He claims that it’s fora minor thing, but as long as he’s not interrupted, nobody gets hurt. Since we know he does get interrupted and Mommy Winchester gets killed, I’m glad baby Mommy Not-Yet-Winchester seems reluctant.
  • 39:06 – I’m considerably less glad that baby Mommy Not-Yet-Winchester still takes the deal. And I’m majorly squicked out that the deal is sealed with a full on make out kiss between baby Mommy Not-Yet-Winchester and Ol’ Yellow eyes, who’s still wearing her father’s body.
  • 39:27 -Dean’s arrival on the scene, Colt in hand screaming “No!” kind of speaks for me here. It also prompts Ol’ Yellow Eyes to smoke out of Samuel’s dead body and run (float?) away.
  • 40:12 – Baby Daddy Winchester resurrects. Castiel grips Dean’s shoulder and they both disappear. Both baby Winchester parents seem freaked out over Samuel’s dead body, especially baby Daddy Winchester.
  • 41:52 – Dean awakens back in the hotel room, somewhat distraught that he couldn’t stop Mommy Winchester from making the deal and dying in the nursery. Castiel reveals that that was always going to be impossible and that the purpose of the trip was for Dean to gather the same knowledge the Angels have. Dean wants to know where Sam is. Castiel tells him. He also tells Dean that Sam is going down a dangerous path and unless Dean stops him, the Angels will.
  • 41:54 – To be continued…

Well, that was a very unexpected episode. I have to say that I didn’t see the whole time travel plot coming. It did feel that the entire purpose of this one was to make Dean, who already has something of a death wish feel even worse about himself and his role in the various tragedies to befall the Winchester family. I did enjoy the reversal of it being Mommy Winchester who was the Hunter in the family, and Daddy Winchester having no idea about that life style. I’m a sucker for episodes that primary engage in the mythos and metaplot of the show’s season, and this one certainly did that. It used the “show don’t tell” mantra and time travel to fill in a lot of the gaps in the backstory of how we got to the pilot, and even established Ol’ Yellow Eyes as still being a threat, even posthumously. Not sure what this means for Lilith and the Devil though. Does the show not have enough confidence in them as villains that they needed to re-establish Azazel?

I’m not sure if the Angels not knowing what Ol’ Yellow Eyes had in mind for his plan is deliberate, or if the writers haven’t figured out what that endgame is and are just flying by the seat of their pants a little. I’m guessing the latter,because as I touched on above, this show is heavily influenced by The X-Files, and that  show clearly never had an end game in mind for its recurring arcs and villainy.

I think the casting of the past characters was great, and Pileggi was clearly having a ball playing Ol’ Yellow Eyes. It did feel like young John Winchester and Deanna Campbell were a little underserved by the story, but the focus on Mary and Samuel did make sense here given what they were going for. It’s a pity they killed off Deanna so soon, because it doesn’t feel like she had a character. That’s not an issue for Daddy Winchester who’s had plenty of episodes to establish himself.

The absence of Sam from the story makes me wonder if there are other episodes where basically only one of the brothers appear. It feels a little off without the typical banter/argumentation/angst/tears between the Brothers Winchester being present. It felt odd that this episode ended with a “To be continued…” tag because it didn’t feel more or less serialized than most other episodes. Especially as the title “Metamorphosis” and the Netflix capsule description don’t make it sound like a continuation of this one. I guess we’ll just have to see. I’m hoping that we get a more defined goal for Castiel and the Angels at some point this season since it all feels very nebulous. I guess that’s why there’s still twenty more episodes to come…

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Are You There, God? It's Me, Dean Winchester

Lost Limey Watches Supernatural #62 – “Are You There, God? It’s Me, Dean Winchester”

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 4 Episode 02 – “Are You There, God? It’s Me, Dean Winchester”

  • 01:43 – The episode starts with a “Then” montage to the tune of Billy Squier’s “Lonely Is the Night.” It seems to focus on people that Sam & Dean failed to save, including Meg, Agent Henriksen, and Ronald Reznick (who I barely remembered either). After that we get a shot of Dean in Hell, plus his Carrie graveyard moment, reunion with Sam, and meeting Castiel from last episode. After that, it’s time for “NOW.”
  • 03:27 – Now is represented by a women in a t-shirt and small shorts being awoken by TV static and radio tuning. It’s also apparentl super cold in her house, since we can see her breath as she exhales. The woman turns out to be a Hunter of some kind, since she has a small arsenal of weaponry,including what looks like a rock salt shotgun. Apparently Bobby knows her, because he leaves a message on her answering machine (remember those? Oh 2008 seems so long ago!) telling her that something big has come up and he needs help. He also names her as “Olivia.” Since she’s showing up in a teaser for Supernatural, I’m not sure the name was worth remembering. Shortly afterwards, she’s killed by a couple of battered-looking ghosts, one of which she apologized to.
  • 03:43 – Dean is refusing to believe that he was “groped by an Angel.” Sam asks why Castiel would lie about that.
  • 03:35 – Dean’s theory: “It was a demon. Demons lie,” which is a pretty reasonable assumption based on their shared experiences until now. Sam points out that Castiel was immune to (among other things) salt, devil’s traps and even Ruby’s Knife of Demon Stabbiness, which even Lilith is scared of.
  • 04:22 – The Brothers Winchester argue about the existence of angels for a bit (Dean’s anti, Sam’s pro) until Bobby interrupts them and tells them to come look at something. I’m guessing it’s the latest Playdemon centerfold.
  • 05:23 – Bobby’s research seems to show that an angel is literally the only thing that could rescue someone from Hell. Naturally, this leads to reasoned theological debate between our siblings. Sam sees this as a good thing (but he also sees his haircut the same way, so judgement impaired there, Sammy?) since it means that something good is on their side. Dena refuses to believe that if their was a God, said deity would give a crap about Dean. I can kind of see both side’s points here.
  • 06:16 – After a bit more back and forth, Dean concedes that Sam and Bobby may have a point. He asks what they know about angels. Bobby produces a metric butt load of lore-type books and tells him to start reading.
  • 06:21 – Dean’s immediate reaction is to grab a book and order Sam to go get some pie. Seems legit.
  • 07:15 – Sam’s pie trip turns into an impromptu rendezvous with Ruby, who’s heard the angel rumors about Dean. Apparently it’s big news among the demon community. She goes to abandon Sam, and seems scared because “they’re angels, I’m a demon. they smite first and ask questions later.” To be honest, based on the first three seasons of this show, I’m 100% down with the smite first agenda.
  • 07:40 – Unlike Ruby, Sam isn’t scared of angels. Of course Sam isn’t a demon or currently possessed by one, which makes a difference.
  • 08:15 – Sam gets back to Bobby’s place. Bobby tells him not to stop, since they’re going to visit Olivia, the Hunter from the teaser and find out why she’snot returning Bobby’s calls. That’s a bad thing. And even worse thing is that Sam forgot the pie,  which was the entire reason for his trip. (Incidentally, as someone who is currently keto dieting, I’m seriously Jonesing for some pie myself.)
  • 09:37 – Our intrepid trio enter Olivia’s place, shotguns at the ready. They spot a line of salt and an EMF meter so they know spirit activity was involved. They also spot Olivia’s rather grisly corpse, which doesn’t bode well. Bobby calls other local hunters on his flip phone. They’re also not answering. Something is clearly up. Bobby seems upset and the brothers seem concerned.
  • 10:00 – Dean calls Jed, another Hunter friend of Bobby’s to see if he’s okay. Jed is about as okay as a mutilated bloody corpse can be. there’s salt and shotgun detritus nearby, so he obviously struggled a bit. Jed’s glassy stare takes us into the fade for the act break.
  • 10:36 – The brothers Winchester confirm Jed’s currently not living status with Bobby, who name checks two other Hunters who are wearing their blood outside their body in the currently fashionable style. Dean is curious as to why ghosts have decided to “gank” off duty Hunters. I’m curious as to whether a Hunter is ever really considered off-duty.
  • 11:37 – While stopped off at a service station to replenish the fuel of this show’s greatest character, the Impala, Sam gets a surprise in the rest room in the form of super cold temperatures and the gh-gh-ghost! of Agent Henriksen.
  • 12:40 – After Henriksen clarifies that 1) he didn’t survive Lilith’s assault on the police station and 2) He blames Sam & Dean, Henriksen and Sam get their Itchy & Scratchy on. They fight, and fight, and fight. It looks like Sam saw something on Henriksen’s hand but it wasn’t clear on my Netflix copy. Sam does get tossed bodily into a few things and have his head slammed into a sink before Dean saves the day by blowing Henriksen’s ghost away with a rock salt shotgun.
  • 14:06-Bobby’s facing a ghostly failure of his own, with twin girls who I think we can charitably say were inspired by Kubrick’s The Shining.
  • 14:33 – Sam and Dean are driving and can’t get hold of Bobby. They pass the time in the traditional Winchester way, by arguing. Sam says that Henriksen wanted revenge because the boys got him killed. Dean doesn’t exactly disagree but snaps at Sam to think of solutions to the situation, not to wallow in it, but less eloquently.
  • 15:39-The boys are back at Bobby’s. There’s no sign of Bobby initially. The boys split the party, with Dean checking upstairs and Sam checking outside in the salvage yard. We see that the Shining girls have Bobby trapped in a car and are stopping him from answering Sam’s  shouts.
  • 16:20 – Back inside and upstairs, the doors around the hallway are going all Scooby-Doo on Dean, rapidly slamming aside from one which creaks open slowly. It’s mostly a distraction so that the ghost of Meg’s meatsuit can sneak up behind him ad complain about what the demon that possessed her did to her hair and outfit. She points out that she’s not  demon, and we fade to act break black.
  • 17:32- We come back to Meg clarifying that she was just a college girl, who was awake and imprisoned within her own body while watching the demon murder people. Dean claims to be sorry. Meg retorts “So sorry you had me thrown off a building.” The woman has a point.
  • 18:33 – She backs up her point by attacking Dean with the old punchy-kicky. She asks if he considers himself a hero. Dean doesn’t As Meg grabs dean, we see some kind of gnarly brand on her hand. I think we were supposed to see the same on Henriksen’s hand back at 12:40…
  • 19:03 -The Shining girls exposit at Bobby with extreme prejudice about his failure to rescue them. They say Bobby’s name so much in 30 seconds that it ceases to hold any meaning.
  • 19:06 -Sam sees his breath become visible, so he knows there’s something ghostly near by.
  • 19:33 – Sam starts searching through the cars in the yard for Bobby and/or ghosts. The Shining girls continue to backstory at Bobby in the form of threats.
  • 20:34 – Meg guilt trips Dean by talking about how her death led to Meg’s little sister committing suicide, and how that blood is on Dean’s hands. Dean having a younger sibling and something of a complex about that seems like it might be relevant here, no?
  • 21:05 – Sam finds Bobby and the Shining girls. There’s a brief confrontation, and then both girls are dispatched by cold iron crowbars (Incidentally “Cold Iron Crowbars” would be a great name for a Bauhaus cover band.)
  • 21:36 – Back in the house, Dean crawls and grabs a gun. Meg points out that regular bullets don’t work on ghosts. Dean responds by saying he wasn’t going to shoot her. Instead he shoot at an iron chandelier, which drops on the ghost of Meg, banishing her.
  • 22:11 – A brief exposition exchange between Bobby and the boys establishes that the ghosts they’ve been seeing are specifically people they couldn’t save, and that they all had the same brand on them. bobby claims to recognize the brand from somewhere. At that point, they get interrupted by the radio static noise of forthcoming ghostly presence.
  • 23:37 – Bobby leads the boys into his insane ghost panic room. It’s built from salt-lined iron, has ventilation fans in the shape of Devil’s traps, and a poster of what I think is Bo Derek in 10. I can’t help but think that it probably still smells like a gym locker room, despite the vents.
  • 24:27 – As the boys start to make bullets, Dean goes on a bit of a rant about the existence of God and the “why does He let bad things happen to good people?” conundrum that’s been discussed for literally centuries. Bobby sagely decides he’s not going to touch that one.
  • 25:48 -He does discover that the brand on the ghosts is something called the Mark of the Witnesses. It’s a brand on the ghosts’ souls that forces them to rise up angry. A very powerful spell that’s mentioned in prophecy as the “rising of the witnesses.” Bobby clarifies that the common version of the prophecy is in Revelations(which bugs me, because that Biblical book isn’t a plural, it’s the Revelation, singular). we fade to commercial break black with Bobby portentously saying that it’s a sign of the Apocalypse.
  • 26:17 – Dean is skeptical about it being the capital-A Apocalypse. Bobby refer to the witnesses as a “mile marker,” which is probably why Dean responds to Sam asking what the should do with “Road trip: Grand Canyon, Star Trek Experience, Bunny Ranch.” I’d like to do two of those three things myself.
  • 27:03 – Bobby thinks he’s found a counter-spell to get rid of the Witnesses that are currently plaguing them. He thinks he has everything they need in the house, but unfortunately, not in the current ghost proof panic room. One of the things needed is to cast the spell over an open fire, and the library apparently has a fireplace. I would think a room that by definition would tend to be full of old, dry books would be the very last place a sane person would ever put a fireplace, but I’m not sure how sane any Hunter can truly be considered.
  • 28:11 – The trio head out of the panic room with salt/iron loaded shotguns. They stumble across Ronald Reznick’s ghost on the stairway. He asks if they remember him. By the power of the flashback they do. Which means they’re doing better than I was, as I don’t recall his episode at all.
  • 28:26 -Ronald and Dean have a brief conversation until Bobby shoots Ronald and recalls the iconic advice of The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly‘s Tuco: “If you’re gonna shoot, shoot. Don’t talk.”
  • 29:31 -Bobby begins getting the spell together, dispatching Sam, and after a brief shotgun altercation involving the Shining girls, Dean to get the components. The Shining girls return and exposition-taunt Bobby for a bit. He points his shotgun at them but hesitates to fire. We here the shot as the camera cuts to Sam.
  • 30:26 – Ghost Meg confronts Sam, and guilt trips him about his current relationship with Ruby, asking how many innocent bodies Ruby’s burnt through and tortured. Pointing out that Sam not sending Ruby back to Hell makes Sam a monster. Sam responds in the most emotional mature way possible, he shoots her in the face with a shotgun.
  • 32:02 – Dean is confronted by Henriksen, who clarifies that Lilith tortured the survivors at the police station for over 45 minutes, flaying their skin off piece by piece, starting with the secretary and making the others watch, until Henriksen was the last to die. I’m not sure that tracks with what the episode showed us, but I read enough comics that retcons come naturally to me, so whatever. Henriksen ends his rant by squeezing Dean’s heart and asking why Den deserves another chance, while all Heriksen got to do was die painfully. From what I’ve seen so far, I don’t think Dean believe he deserved another chance…
  • 32:28 – Sam ends the impasse by introducing Henriksen to Mr. Shotgun blast. The brothers get all the spell bits they need to Bobby. Ronald shows up again, and he mad.
  • 34:01 -Bobby begins to cast the spell. The windows fly open and wind starts blowing all through the library. The various ghosts we’ve seen throughout the episode keep popping up, and keep getting shot by the Brothers Winchester until they’re both out of shells. Dean swats at Ghost Meg with an iron poker to send her away temporarily, but Henriksen traps Sam against a wall by moving a desk. Sam more or less orders Dean not to worry about him and cover Bobby until the spell is done.
  • 34:53- And Bobby needs that coverage. He’s initially distracted by the Shining girls long enough for Ghost Meg to do some heart juju and cause him to drop the spell bowl. Luckily Dean catches the bowl and throws it into the fire, which creates a blue flame and banishes the Witness ghosts on a slightly more permanent basis. Bobby & Sam free themselves and it looks like our intrepid trio are okay as we go into act break blackness.
  • 36:05 – We return to see sleeping Winchesters. Dean is awoken by the sound of fluttering wings and has a visitor – Castiel. Castiel congratulates Dean n teh job he did with the Witnesses. Dean’s angry at the complete lack of angelic assistance they got if Castiel knew about things. As Dean puts it “I thought angels were supposed to be guardians. Fluffy wings, halos — you know, Michael Landon. Not dicks.”
  • 36:55 – Castiel’s comeback of “read the Bible,” is pretty good. Apparently the angels had larger concerns. this leads into Dean ranting about whether there is a God, and at what point will He lift a finger to help the Earthbound. Never has the line “if you say ‘mysterious ways,’  so help me, I will kick your ass,” made me giggle so hard.
  • 37:51 – It turns out that the Witnesses being risen is one of sixty-six seals that if broken, will lead to the apocalypse. Apparently Lilith was responsible for the rising of the witnesses, which has lead to the death of at least twenty hunters. And the seal still counts as broken, even though Bobby and the Brothers Winchester put the spirits to rest.
  • 38:27 – The seals can be thought of as locks, and apparently once the last lock is opened, then Lucifer can walk free. Dean didn’t think there was such a thing as Lucifer, figuring it was a story made up to scare demons. Castiel reasonably points out that three days ago, Dean didn’t think there was such as thing as Castiel. I’m guessing this being the third day after Dean’s resurrection has some symbolism, but what that might be escapes me.
  • 39:37 -Apparently there’s a lot more going on than just the Witnesses. Other seals are being broken, and at least six angels died this week. Castiel also demands some respect from Dean, pointing out that if he could drag Dean out of Hell, he could also send him back there, and so should be respected.
  • 40:33 – The episode ends with Dean saying that if Sam has no problem believing in God and angles, then does he also believe in the Devil? Sam wants to know why Dean’s asking, and we go to the credits.

This felt like a very “meat and potatoes” episode of Supernatural for the majority of the episode being, at its heart, a fairly basic ghost story with angry spirits. the stakes were raised by giving the spirits a personal connection to the Winchesters and a way to connect with longer term viewers (except for Ronald the Forgettable). I was enjoying it as almost a break from the rather metaplot heavy last trio of episodes. Though if you’re going to have metaplot episodes, season premieres and finales are definitely the place for them.

Then the connection to the Witnesses and the Apocalypse emerged in the last quarter of the episode or so, which booted the stakes significantly and tied the threat more firmly into the pre-existing demonology mythos that the show has developed over the last three seasons. I’m still not entirely sure that using Castiel as an exposition drop in in the final act is a structure that can be maintained on a season long basis, but it is a nice way to establish the arc so far and give the more abstract elements a humanoid face, which we didn’t really get with Lilith until fairly late into last season as I recall.

The next episode has a somewhat Biblically loaded title, “In TheBeginning,” so I’m guessing it’s going to lean heavily into whatever the seaosn long plot with Lilith and Lucifer turns out to be, and I am one hundred per cent okay with that, as I think this series so far has shown that I definitely have a preference for mythology arc episodes over the more stand alone ones.

Lazarus Rising

Lost Limey Watches Supernatural #61 – “Lazarus Rising”

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 4 Episode 01 – “Lazarus Rising”

  • 01:38 – The “Road So Far” previouslies are soundtracked by AC/DC’s “You Shook Me All Night Long” and I’m immediately hyped up for the season. A lot of the focus initially is on Sam’s terrible hair and Sam having badass moments. Of course the last 30 seconds deal with Dean’s current hell-bound predicament and end with Dean screaming for his little brother to help him.
  • 02:00 – Lot of stroberiffic close ups on Dean’s eyes whilst on the soundtrack as the close captioning puts it “[SCREAMING INTENSIFIES].” It’s not Dean screaming though, I have to assume the caterwauling is the other damned souls in Hell.
  • 02:03 – The screaming stops (can you hear the silence, Clarice?) and Dean coughs and sputters. He flips his lighter on and appears to be underground somewhere dark.
  • 02:39 – The dark place is more or less confirmed to be Dean’s grave as we get a very Carrie-esque shot of his hand and arm poking through the soil to the surface. So, Dean has somehow come back from Hell. I doubt that bodes well for him or Sam.
  • 03:41 – Dean looks as confused about his resurrection as I am. Plus we got a nice aerial shot showing that all the trees and such around his grave have been flattened outward in a circular design.
  • 04:58 – Dean’s broken into a gas station, stolen a bottle of water and done the old “check the date of a newspaper” trick to establish that we’re now in September 2008.. Which I think means that he’s been in Hell for about five months.
  • 05:19 – Dean lifts his t-shirt up for a bit of utterly gratuitous fan service. Okay, it’s actually to show that all the scars from where the hellhound attacked his chest last episode have healed.
  • 05:38 – But he now has what appears to be a blistered handprint burned on to his shoulder.
  • 06:22 – Dean proceeds to rob the gas station, taking drinks, candy bars, coins from the cash register and an issue of Busty Asian Beauties magazine. This is interrupted by a TV screen coming on with LOUD-ass white noise/static.
  • 06:52 – The loud TV static is joined by random radio white noise and an incredibly high pitched whine. Dean reacts in the only logical way, by spilling salt all around the gas station. Well, it’s logical within the universe of Supernatural anyway, in this universe it just means that his food will be slightly more bland.
  • 07:09 – All the noise stops in an orgy of broken glass as what appears to be every single window in this gas station explodes.
  • 07:28 – Our recently undeaded Winchester brother finds something that I thought was as dead as he was, a phone booth. He attempts to use his first life line and Phone a Friend, but unfortunately, the number is disconnected.
  • 07:47 – Dean deposits more of the purloined coinage into the phone booth and dials a different number. He gets a hold of Bobby, who promptly hangs up when Dean claims to be Dean.
  • 08:18 -Dean calls Bobby back. Bobby still doesn’t believe it’s Dean, going so far to say: “This ain’t funny. Call again, I’ll kill ya” before hanging up. This prompts Dean to hot wire a conveniently parked old beater of a white car and hit the road. Disappointingly, there’s no rock music to accompany the car theft and driving.
  • 08:51. – Dean’s driven to Bobby’s place. He knocks on the door and introduces himself with a “Surprise!” Bobby reacts as most Hunters would when confronted by the recently deceased and grabs a knife.
  • 09:09 -Dean defends himself before Bobby can get all super stabby, and justifies himself by reciting a few facts about Bobby that include the fact that Bobby “is the closest thing [Dean has] to a father,” which seems a little harsh towards Daddy Winchester. Sure, he’s currently dead and probably in Hell, but Dean is kind of proving that he shouldn’t let little details like that get him down.
  • 9:47 – Bobby steps towards Dean, puts a reassuring hand on his shoulder  and then slashes at him with the knife. the blow doesn’t land, and as the two briefly get their Itchy & Scratchy on as they fight and fight and fight, Dean disarms Bobby. To prove that he isn’t a shapeshifter or revenant, Dean use the knife, which is silver, to cut a bloody line in his arm. I have to wince and look away at that part, which is weird because I don’t have to for any of the murdery-ness or demonic torture hell bits in the episode so far.
  • 10:12 – Bobby seems to buy it. Hugging and manly tears ensue. Bobby asks Dean how he escaped Hell and just as Dean is explaining that he has no explanation, Mr. Singer slings a bunch of (presumably holy) water in Dean’s face.
  • 10:27 – Dean points out that he is not, in fact, a demon. Bobby responds with what seems to be his credo: “Sorry, can’t be too careful.” Bobby is the smart one so far.
  • 10:43 – Based on dialog, I was slightly off at 04:58 in that Dean’s been dead for four months, not five. Neither Bobby nor Dean can quite understand how the latter is in such a pristine condition and not looking like a desiccated, dilapidated zombie.
  • 11:43 – Exposition time! Dean claims he can’t remember anything between being a Hellhound’s chew toy and waking up in the coffin. I strongly suspect that he’s lying about that, but we shall see. Also, it sounds like Sam has gone dark and has basically been off solo hunting for the last few months without even contacting Bobby. On top of that, Sam insisted that Dean be buried rather than the more usual salt & burn treatment we’ve seen dead Hunters get. Apparently this was because Sam knew that Dean would need a body when Sam somehow got him back. Since Dean’s currently using his body, hard to say Sam was wrong. Though I don’t think Sam was involved in this resurrection.
  • 12:33 – Dean thinks otherwise, and assumes that Sam made a deal to bring Dean back, because that’s what Dean would have done. (Lest we forget, that’s exactly how Dean ended up in Hell in the first place), and that the signs we’ve seen (Felled trees, exploding gas station and the burning hand brand thing on his shoulder) point to it being some serious bad juju. Since we’re talking about this show, I feel like I have to clarify that I’m using bad juju in a slang, and not literal sense.
  • 13:32 – Dean uses cell phone GPS to track down Sam to Pontiac, Illinois, not far from Dean’s grave. I’m amused that the alias Sam’s been using for the cell phone account is “Wedge Antilles,” but then I’ve been on a bot of a Star Wars kick lately.
  • 13:57 – Bobby and Dean knock on a hotel room door, and are answered by a rather fetching brunette in her tank top and underwear. They’re about to find a different room when a similarly under-dressed Sam wanders into the doorway and spots Dean.
  • 14:15 – Continuing a minor running theme of the episode, Sam lunges at Dean with a knife and fighting ensues.
  • 14:39 – It’s apparent that Sam had nothing to do with Dean’s resurrection. Once Bobby clarifies that they’ve done all the testing already and that it really is Dean, a brohug happens.
  • 15:20 – The brunette wants to know if Sam & Dean are a couple. After clarifying that they’re brothers, the brunette leaves. Sam calls her “Kathy,” but she corrects him to “Christie.”
  • 17:06 – It turns out that Sam did try and get Dean out by making deals, but not a single demon would take him up on it. None of the other resurrection methods Sam tried worked either.  Right before we get the fade to black implying commercials, Dean and Bobby raise up an important question: If Sam didn’t get Dean out of Hell, what did?
  • 18:28 – Turns out the reason sam’s near Dean’s gravesite is that he’s been trying to hunt Lilith. solo. that seems like a very bad idea, which Bobby calls out. Apparently a whole bunch of demonic activity was diverted to this area at roughly the same time Dean had risen from the grave. That seems suspicious. Almost as suspicious as the bra that Dean finds, which I assume Kathy/Christie left behind. Bobby decides to get in touch with a local-ish psychic to find out what she knows about demonic activity and how it connects to Dean being in a general state of not-deadness.
  • 19:29 – Sam returns that funky amulet thing of Dean’s to its rightful owner, and then asks Dean what Hell was like. Dean stammers something about not remembering, which I still don’t believe. Especially as he gets a bunch of quick screaming flashbacks while looking in the bathroom mirror mere seconds later.
  • 20:09 – As Bobby leads them down the interstate, Dean is reunited with his one true love, the Impala. Though Sam has disfigured her with an iPod. Also, from a 2017 perspective, the iPod looks freaking huge. Amazing what  9 years can do to technology.
  • 21:36 – A brief brotherly conversation establishes that Sam, for some reason, was immune to Lilith’s burning light power thing, which is why he’s not dead. I’m pretty sure we saw that last episode. Per Sam, Ruby, who’s body Lilith had hi-jacked is currently either dead or in Hell. Dean also asks if Sam’s been using any of his psychic abilities (which really didn’t come up very much in season 3 for some reason). Sam says he hasn’t because that was practically Dean’s dying wish. Dean seems to approve of that.
  • 22:08 – We meet the psychic, Pamela Barnes, who seems to have a bit of a “thing” for Bobby. The actress looks maddeningly familiar, but I can’t quite place her.
  • 23:01 – Pamela hasn’t been successful using a ouija board to find out who brought Dean back, and suggests a séance, but definitely NOT a summoning. During the set up, we see that she has a “tramp stamp” that reads “Jesse Forever,” she uses the fact that the forever part was inaccurate to pretty blatantly flirt with Dean.
  • 23:15 – And with Sam at the same time, which Dean is not down with.
  • 23:41 – The séance begins in earnest. Pamela has to touch something the target touched, so she grabs Dean in an intimate area. Dean protests that he wasn’t touched there and unveils the hand-brand on his shoulder. Sam seems very shocked to see it.
  • 24:16 – We get the ringing and white noise similar to the earlier gas station stuff. Pamela also gets a name – Castiel. Who is apparently warning her to stop.
  • 25:06 – She doesn’t stop and Castiel (presumably) shows Pamela its face as she commands. this doesn’t go well, as her eyes burn out and start bleeding. She’s now blind. Sam calls 911 but I don’t see how that’ll be of much help.
  • 26:30 – The brothers Winchester are in a diner, and as is often the case, arguing. Dean wants to face this Castiel and take it out because of the damage to Pamela (who’s now stable in ICU). Sam thinks that a creature who burns people’s eyes out of their skulls just by being looked at is too much to go up against. I agree with Sam this time. Sam’s alternate solution is to track down the demons he was chasing and ask them a few questions. Turns out they don’t need to track them down, because the other three people in the diner are those demons. They demand to know what makes Dean special enough that he got to walk out of Hell. Dean’s answer? “I like to think it’s because of my perky nipples.” It’s a working theory, but I have my doubts.
  • 28:34 – Dean’s realized that the demons have no more idea who or what Castiel is than the brothers do. He also realizes that whatever got him out of hell is much more powerful than these demons, rendering their threats ineffectual. This is punctuated by him throwing two right hooks at the demon-possessed waitress, who only barely reacts by turning her head. It’s also an incredibly poorly shot couple of punches, as it’s incredibly, visibly obvious that the punches don’t come close to landing, despite the foley artist’s best efforts to sell them. They leave, but not before Dean manages to pay $10 for pie in an incredibly contemptuous fashion.
  • 28:57 – The boys scarper from the diner. Sam doesn’t want to leave the demons in there. Dean rather reasonably points out that there’s at least three demons and they only have one Knife of Demon Stabbiness between them. Sam says he’s been killing more than that lately, which, ominous much?
  • 29:45 – Sam sneaks out of the motel room whilst Dean sleeps. I’m guessing no good will come of this.
  • 30:20 – Dean is awoken by the familiar static/high pitched noise combo. He grabs a shotgun, and aims it at the door. He also notices Sam’s absence from the room as he does so.
  • 30:50 – The ringing gets louder, driving Dean to the ground and to cover both ears (meaning that he has dropped the shotgun). All the glass in the hotel room shatters and explodes again, just as Bobby bursts through the door and yells Dean’s name.
  • 31:32 – Short time later, Bobby’s driving Dean down the highway. Dean calls Sam, who lies about wanting a burger. In return Dean lies about grabbing a beer with Bobby.
  • 32:25 – Dean is actually planning to summon whatever the hell Castiel is, since he’s going to have to face it eventually, and he’d rather do it on his own terms (which involve the Knife of Demon Stabbiness, Bobby’s trunk arsenal and Sam not being there to stop them.) Dean thinks that Sam is better off where he is.
  • 33:11 – Where Sam is, of course, turns out to be the demon-occupied diner from earlier, where at least one of the demons is now deceased and has had his eyes burned from his skull, much like what happened to Pamela back at 25:06
  • 33:40 – One of the other demons (the waitress from earlier) jumps Sam, and they have an old-fashioned bout of fisticuffs. The demon waitress has also had her eyes burned out, but doesn’t appear to be as dead as her compatriot.
  • 34:07 – Demon waitress saw whatever the heck Castiel is. Sam asks what she saw and is told “It’s the end. We’re dead. We’re all dead.” Sam isn’t satisfied with that and presses for more. Demon waitress tells him to go to Hell.
  • 34:38 – Sam retorts that he was going to say that, and holds his hand out. Apparently he lied when he said he wasn’t using his psychic abilities, because he just used them to exorcise the demon from the waitress and send it to Hell.
  • 35:18 – Kathy/Christie from earlier congratulates Sam on getting better all the time at this exorcism thing. Sam then identifies her as being Ruby, the very persistent demon from last season. I guess they’re an item now? This seems like a very, very poorly thought out decision, and I can’t imagine Dean will take it well if and when he finds out.
  • 35:48 – Ruby is very certain that isn’t a demon that resurrected Dean, as there are no demons powerful enough to do that, not even Lilith. It’s nothing Ruby’s ever seen before, and since she’s got several centuries of experience, that seems like a big deal.
  • 36:37 – Bobby & Dean have sprayed their location (looks like a warehouse) with every ward, trap, talisman and sigil they can possibly imagine, Dean’s gotten all the possible weapons and banishment accoutrements available to kill anything they’ve ever read about or encountered, and with those preparations, they begin the summoning ritual.
  • 37:27 – Ruby & Sam have a brief chat in the diner about if they’re going to tell Dean about what they’re up to. Sam says that they will, just not yet. Sam also says that despite not trusting Ruby (so he isn’t entirely stupid) he’s saving people and killing demons and he wants to keep doing that, despite knowing that Dean will object.
  • 38:21 – Back to Bobby & Dean, and something’s definitely coming, as the entire building starts to shake and rumble. Suddenly a gentleman cosplaying as John Constantine walks in, the barricaded doors parting before him, and each light bulb shattering as he walks beneath it.
  • 38:51 – The new arrival walks over all the wards as if they weren’t there, and carries on slowly walking without flinching as Bobby & Dean unload their shotguns into him. Dean grabs the Knife of Demon Stabbiness and asks the stranger who he is. the response? “I’m the one who gripped you tight and raised you from perdition.” Dean does thank him for it.
  • 39:28 – Such politeness is rather canceled out when Dean drives the Knife of Demon Stabbiness into the stranger’s chest. The stranger just looks at the knife, pulls it out and drops it on the ground like it ain’t no thing. After that, he renders Bobby unconscious by gently poking at his forehead and tells Dean that they need to talk. Alone.
  • 39:48 – Dean asks the stranger who he is. To no one’s surprise he answers “Castiel.” Castiel’s answer to the follow up question of “What are you?” is certainly a bit more surprising. “I’m an Angel of the Lord.”
  • 40:20 – Dean is disbelieving, saying that there’s no such thing as angels. considering he’s literally just spent time in Hell, you think he’d be less skeptical about mythological/religious beings. Castiel reveals his wings, which are black in a really neat effect to prove the truth of his angelic status.
  • 40:49 – Apparently the burning out of eyes is what happens when humans see Castiel’s true form, which is why he tried to warn Pamela from seeing his face earlier. also, those explodey things at the motel and gas station are side effects of Castiel talking in his true voice.
  • 41:12 – Apparently certain special people can see Castiel’s true form without harm. Castiel had incorrectly assumed that Dean was one of those people. He explains that his current form is a “vessel,” and that the owner of the body was a devout man who prayed to be occupied in such a way, so it’s a little bit different from your run of the mill demonic possession.
  • 41:59 – Dean demands to know why he was rescued from Hell. Castiel appears to read him and discovers that Dean doesn’t believe he deserved rescuing. Nevertheless, Castiel answers Dean’s question about why: “Because God commanded it. Because we have work for you.”

Well, okay then. Dean Winchester is back from the dead, and so is this “Lost Limey Watches Supernatural” series, that was effectively on hiatus for the entirety of 2016 and most of 2017. Still, it’s back now, and I will try to be on a more regular schedule going forwards. This time, I actually mean that, too.

This was a damned good episode to come back with, as it sets up a lot of stuff for the future. We have our first glimpse of angels in Supernatural with Castiel. I haven’t watched ahead, but I’m generally aware enough of the fandom that I know he’s kind of a big deal, so that’ll be fun.

Now, let’s take a look at the raft of questions I had after the Season 3 finale, and see if any of them have been answered:

“How will they get Dean out of Hell?”

Apparently, by bringing in angels, which is a whole new section of mythology for them to play with. Incidentally, a little bit of research tells me that Castiel (or sometimes Cassiel) is a pre-existing angel also known as “The Angel of Thursday,” “The Angel of Saturn,” or “God is my Anger” mentioned in the Third Book of Enoch among other sources. Not sure if any of that will prove relevant, but it’s interesting to me.

“Where’s Ruby?”

In a new body, and apparently pursuing a working relationship (at the very least) with Sam Winchester

“Where’s Lilith?”, “What is Lilith’s plan? Does she have plans for Sam and/or Dean?”

All we know for now is that Lilith is still at large despite the Sam and Ruby dream team trying to hunt for her while Dean was dirt napping.

Like pretty much all of the Kripke/Manners episodes, this was a blast to sit through, had a lot going on, and has set up a bunch of ongoing plot threads that intrigue. The obvious ones that I want to see are Dean finding out about Ruby, more on Lilith. Why was Dean allowed out of Hell? If God and the angels have a plan for him, what is that plan? And does that mean we’ll see God on this show? If so, how on Earth will they portray Him?

Hopefully we find out sooner rather than later, and equally hopefully, I keep abreast of this show/blogwatch series with something approaching regularity.

 

Light bulb

NaNoWriMo Thoughts: Ideas & Inspirations

Inspiration can strike in the strangest ways. This is probably why most authors hate the inevitable “Where do you get your ideas from?” question.

 

This is my attempt to answer that question: I get my ideas from the world around me. I think everyone does to a certain extent, which is why one of the most common mantras is “write what you know,” though I do think that advice is a little misleading. After all, if I’m writing a period piece or so me far-flung space opera epic, then what I know as an English computer dude living in Delaware really isn’t applicable.

 

So what can inspire you? One source is dreams, which is why it’s a good idea to keep a pen and notepad on your bedside table to jot down the ideas as soon as you wake, because you WILL forget if you decide to wait until later, as I’ve learned to my cost. An infamous example of the dream as inspiration is the “Terminator” franchise. It began when James Cameron had a dream that consisted of a metal exoskeleton walking out of flames (Harlan Ellison might disagree on that form of inspiration and there’s legal reasons for Ellison’s credit on the first film, but Harlan is infamously cranky and litigious so who knows?). That dream became the finale of The Terminator and is, in my opinion, one of the best “holy crap” film moments of the 1980s.

 

Another obvious source of inspiration, and one partially alluded to in my Ellison aside above is whatever you might be reading. I know one of my earliest short stories was inspired by me reading Stephen King’s The Eyes of the Dragon and thinking “I could do better than this!”

 

Thankfully, there are no extant copies of that story online as it was typical of a new, young writer in that it was terrible. That’s beside the point though. I read a lot of non-fiction, and listen to a couple of different history podcasts. And one of my most frequent thoughts are generally “what if this happened instead?” which leads to alternate history ideas or cross-pollination between disparate historical events and genres. What would the Roman Year of the Four Emperors look like through the lens of a fantasy world? I don’t know, but I might well find out by the end of National Novel Writing Month as that seems like fertile ground for at least fifty thousand words.

 

My current plan for the 2016 edition of that exercise revolves around an eighteenth century naval battle with a commander who was very much conflicted about whether he was even on the right side, which means I’m going to be hip-deep in geographical and historical research for the next couple of weeks. And that inspiration came from a single line in one of the “…for Dummies” series of books.

 

I also have dumber ideas inspired by mass media such as movies or television. Like most of the residents of the United States right now, I’m drowning in Presidential election coverage. Watching bits and pieces of the debates not long after finally succumbing and watching The Silence of the Lambs has lead me to a short story parody idea which so far involves Donald Trump looking in a mirror and asking “Would you vote me? I’d vote me so hard.” It’s very stupid, and I’m not sure I need the mental image of Donald Trump as Buffalo Bill, but since I inflicted it on myself, I figured I’d inflict it on my loyal readers, as few as you might be.

The last source of inspiration I’m going to consider is people watching. As I type this, I’m sat in a coffee shop facing a large window that opens to the street. This is both because I’m clearly a terrible cliché and because it’s a fantastic spot to observe the small section of the world that is my street. For example, about five minutes ago there was an African-American woman in a purple halter top engaged in an animated discussion with an older gentleman in a wheelchair. I don’t know what they were talking about, but judging by the wild gesticulations, it was clearly something both parties felt passionate about. I created a backstory in my head that it was the first meeting in around fifteen years between a school custodian and an infamous vandal who made his work a living hell. They’ve both long put such things behind them, but were reminiscing about old times in the way that people who aren’t quite friend sometimes do.

 

So, how do you get inspiration for your stories? I submit that the easiest way to do that is simply to keep your eyes and ears open.

 

Lightbulb stock photo by Kyryl Lakishyk

Lost Limey Watches Supernatural #60 – “No Rest for the Wicked”

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 16 – “No Rest for the Wicked”

  • 00:04 – The previouslies, as is tradition get the “Carry On Wayward Son” and “The Road So Far” treatment. It also encapsulates the entire season thus far.
  • 01:08 – Still in the previouslies, we get a bigger focus on hellhounds than I thought. I worry things are really not going to go to well for Dean this episode.
  • 01:51 – We open on the “Now” section of the episode with Dean running through the woods being pursued by something. Presumably a hellhound of some kind. Per the closed captioning, we are hearing: “[OMINOUS MUSIC PLAYING],” which given the show’s love of classic rock feels like a missed opportunity to use “Run Through The Jungle.
  • 02:27 – To the surprise of no one, Dean’s jungle run was all a dream.
  • 02:53 – Sam comes in to check on his brother and provide the information that good old Bobby has discovered a way to track down Lilith (who, as you’ll recall from last episode, the demon who holds the contract on Dean’s soul), with a mere 30 hours to spare.
  • 03:10 – Dean suggests running for the border, including the phrase “What’s Spanish for ‘Donkey Show?'” Sam responds: “If we do save you, let’s never do that.” According to high lord Google, the answer to Dean’s question is “espectáculo de burro.”
  • 03:50 – As our old friend “[OMINOUS MUSIC PLAYS]” Sam’s head does a tribute to Linda Blair in The Exorcist and starts to spin right round, like a record baby, right round as well as getting demonic visages almost as terrible as his hair. I’m assuming Dean is hallucinating again.
  • 04:19 – Bobby’s demon locating device looks like some of 18th century naval navigation device. The sextant to hell, as it were.
  • 04:34 – Lilith’s apparently in New Harmony, Indiana.
  • 04:56 – Dean’s less sure on the Lilith angle, seeing how the source was Bela who wasn’t exactly Miss Honesty 2008. Also, they don’t have a way to deal with Lilith who wants “[Sam’s] giant head on a pike.” I assume they mean pike in the pointy stick sense, but I have a mental image of the fish with Jared Padalecki’s head and it’s far too enjoyable to let go of.
  • 05:23 – Sam is done arguing with Dean and wants to summon Ruby, both to confirm that it is Lilith they want, and because Ruby’s Knife of Demon Stabbiness might be their best chance.
  • 06:01 – Dean still vetoes the Ruby option.
  • 06:44 – Looks like Sam’s performing a summoning ritual anyway. Good job that this is a family that gets on super well and has no secrets from each other at any time, isn’t it?
  • 07:37 – And Ruby hath indeed been summoned.
  • 08:05 – Ruby basically admits that she knew that Lilith held Dean’s contract, but she neglected to reveal that rather useful piece of exposition as the brothers Winchester would have attempted to attack Lilith unprepared and been two greasy blood smears on the ground, one of which would have terrible hair. also a big difference between Katie Cassidy’s performance as Ruby compared to Laurel in Arrow is that back in 2008, her face was still capable of motion.
  • 09:19 – Ruby refuses to give up the Knife of Demon Stabbiness, instead claiming that Sam’s psychic powers are the key to defeating Lilith. You know, those psychic powers that haven’t been a thing since Ol’ Yellow Eyes died. Sam ain’t buying it.
  • 10:13 – The self-admitted manipulative demon bitch Ruby claims she’s never lied to Sam. I find that on the implausible side of things.
  • 10:35 – Dean walks in on the conversation between Sam and Ruby (whom he delightfully refers to as a “slutty little Yoda”) as he knew his little brother would ignore him and summon Ruby anyway.
  • 11:21 – Ruby calls Dean a “dumb, spineless dick.” In fairness, most dicks are spineless (“boner,” after all is something of a misnomer.)
  • 11:40 – The show goes all Itchy & Scratchy as Ruby, Sam & Dean fight and fight and fight.
  • 12:41 – Dean used the fightiness to pickpocket Ruby’s Knife of Demon Stabbiness, and has kept Ruby inside a ceiling painted Devil’s Trap. Turns out that the spineless dick isn’t that dumb. The boys abandon Ruby to go hunt. She doesn’t take it as magnanimously as you might expect.
  • 13:56 – Sam is less than enthusiastic about the plan of poking Lilith with a pointy stick, since last time she was able to sic a demon army on them. He wants to consider the psychic power option. Dean calls making deals with demons whenever one of them is in danger is a family flaw, and uses Daddy Winchester’s deal, plus his own deal as examples and doesn’t want Sam making the same mistake.
  • 15:01 – Dean acknowledges that the fact that the Winchester’s are family and will do anything for each other is a weakness that their foes can and will exploit.
  • 15:21 – Dean: “If we go down, then we go down swinging.” I feel like that’s been the undercurrent of much of his death wish behavior this season.
  • 16:51 – Apparently “shore leave” for Lilith means psychologically torturing the family of the child that is her host body, including killing at least one of them (the grandmother, I would guess.)
  • 17:14 – Also killed by Lilith “Freckles,” which I presume was a family pet and which now contains one heck of a lot less blood than it used to, if Lilith’s dress is any guide.
  • 18:21 – Not a grandmother at 16:51, but a “mean old babysitter,” per Lilith’s description, which I shall take with a grain of salt or thirty.
  • 18:50 – Bobby sabotaged the Impala so that the boy couldn’t go off half cocked, as he doesn’t consider himself a “ditchable prom date.” In other news, Bobby’s freaking awesome.
  • 19:19 – Bobby asks Dean how many hallucinations he’s had, as that’s apparently a side effect of hellhounds.
  • 20:11 – Sam wants to do the whole farewell speech thing. Dean says no, as he doesn’t want his potential last living day to be “socially awkward.”
  • 20:37 – Apparently car karaoke to “Wanted Dead or Alive” doesn’t count as “socially awkward.”
  • 21:44 – The boys are getting pulled over for a busted tail light.
  • 22:14 – Dean (or “Mr. Hagar”) reacts in a calm and rational manner by killing the cop, apparently unprovoked with Ruby’s knife.
  • 22:42 – It seems that Dean is close enough to Hell that he can now see demon’s true faces. Which is why the cop got stabbed, for, lo, he was demon possessed.
  • 23:08 – Dean has five hours left.
  • 24:51 – Lilith killing off her host family again. This time it’s Grandpa’s neck that gets the hempless hemp fandango.
  • 25:19 – Per Dean, who’s looking through the windows Lilith’s true face is even uglier than her behavior.
  • 26:24 – I like the twistedness of Lilith’s preferred bed time story to be all about blood sacrifices.
  • 26:49 – Demonic mailman just took a Knife of Demon Stabbiness to the gut, care of Sam Winchester.
  • 27:11 – Same for neighbor demon.
  • 27:38 – A suddenly appearing Ruby slams Dean against a fence and demands her knife. Sam points out that Dean doesn’t have the knife. Sam reinforces that point by producing said bloody knife.
  • 28:26 – The argument between Sam and Ruby has drawn the attention of all of Lilith’s various demonic bodyguards. Things aren’t going too well for our heroes.
  • 28:42 – Bobby creates a safe perimeter by the rather ingenious method of blessing the waters of a well and then feeding the newly holy water through the neighborhood’s sprinkler systems. How delightfully devious.
  • 29:23 – Ruby, Sam and Dean are in the house and come across the father, who presumably isn’t a demon, as Dean doesn’t immediately attack him.
  • 29:50 – Dean still punches out the father, mostly for his own good.
  • 31:28 – Sam, knife in hand sees Lilith curled up on the bed with her host body’s mother. He hesitates rather than stabbing, despite the mother begging him to do it.
  • 31:43 – Dean stops Sam, as he can see that Lilith is no longer possessing the little girl’s body. So where is she?
  • 32:35 – A desperate Sam starts hectoring Ruby about what he’d have to do to use his psychic powers to take out Lilith. Ruby seemed confused momentarily before rallying and seeing that it’s too late for that. The hesitation makes me wonder if Lilith has possessed Ruby. Can a demon possess a body that already has a demonic occupant? After all, it feels like Lilith would be a lot more powerful than Ruby…
  • 32:54 – Dean won’t let Sam try to use his psychic abilities saying “it’s not gonna save me, it’s only gonna kill you.”
  • 33:15 – Dean’s advice to Sam: ‘Keep fighting. And take care of my wheels.”
  • 33:26 – The clock is chiming midnight. Dean has mere moments left.
  • 34:08 – Dean (and only Dean) can see the hellhound coming for him.
  • 34:32 – They barricade themselves agains the hellhound, using one of the hoodoo things they learned from the first encounter with a Crossroads demon to keep the hound at bay.
  • 34:53 – Dean sees that Ruby isn’t Ruby, thus confirming my hypothesis from 32:35 that Lilith body-jacked her.
  • 35:48 – Lilith has Sam pinned against the wall and kisses him in the creepiest manner imaginable.
  • 36:10 – Dean tries to get Lilith’s plan from her. She dismisses him as “puppy chow” and doesn’t deign to answer.
  • 36:25 – Lilith lets the hellhound in, and it attacks Dean, tearing him apart. Dean is dead.
  • 36:57 – Lilith directs her white killing light at Sam
  • 37:17 – Sam is unharmed by the killing light and stalks toward Lilith. Sammy is really angry now.
  • 37:40 – Sam goes to finish off Lilith with the Knife of Demon Stabbiness. Before he can do so, Lilith exits Ruby’s body in the usual gruesome cloud of black smoke fashion. Ruby’s body drops, dead, to the floor alongside Dean’s.
  • 38:04 – A crying Sam cradles Dean’s dead body in his arms.
  • 38:44 – We see Dean chained up in Hell screaming for somebody to help him.
  • 38:50 – Dean in Hell yells Sam’s name and we cut to the credits. End of the episode, and of the season.

 

Wow. Just wow. That’s one heck of  season finale. Plus Dean’s tortured bleeding face in Hell screaming Sam’s name is an amazing shot to finish on. This was great episode, even though not a whole lot technically happened for most of it, and even the ticking clock that represented Dean’s remaining time on this mortal coil didn’t do a whole lot to build the tension. I’d argue that they probably should have referenced the time left a little more often. Even without that though, the combination of Eric Kripke’s writing and Kim Manners’ direction helped ratchet up the stakes and it did leave an uneasy feeling with this viewer of first “how are they going to get out of this?” And as more and more of the episode passed the question became “Are they going to get out of this?” After all, this is a show that has killed its main characters before, and ended the first season finale with the demons victorious and all three Winchesters apparently mortally wounded.

This is the second season finale that’s left the apparent demonic big bad at large (Lilith here, Ol’ Yellow Eyes in season one), and therefore could arguably be seen as a defeat for the brothers. Of course, this episode opens up a whole raft of questions, aside from the most obvious one of “How will they get Dean out of Hell?” We have the issues of “Where’s Ruby?”, “Where’s Lilith?”, “What is Lilith’s plan? Does she have plans for Sam and/or Dean?” Slightly less demonic in nature, i’m really curious to see how Sam handles life without his big brother, as we’ve already seen him go to a super dark place without Dean in the Trickster’s reality earlier this season. Will he go that way again?

I have to assume that the powers that be knew Supernatural was going to be renewed for a fourth season, or they don’t pull off that kind of an ending. I’m definitely looking forward to season four to see how they answer all my questions. I’m also aware that season four features the debut of Misha Collins as a character that a lot of people have assured me I will like before I tell them that I’m on my first watch through and am trying not to get spoiled. I would hope to get season four written up faster than i did season three, but we all know how unlikely that is.

Lost Limey Watches Supernatural #59 – “Time is on My Side”

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 15 – “Time is on My Side”

  • 00:56 – Unsurprisingly, as we barrel through towards the end of the season, our previouslies montage covers a lot of ground, most notably Dean’s demon deal, Lilith, Ruby (who I tend to think of as Black Canary, but that’s what three seasons of Arrow does to you) and Bela.
  • 01:26 – Our teaser opens with two plastic surgeons, doing what fictional plastic surgeons do best – being total douchebags. I’m okay with one or both being the Inevitable Teaser Death.
  • 02:00 – Douchebag Surgeon #1 just got bundled into the trunk of his car by a mysterious black clad figure.
  • 02:42 – Our surgeon appears to be now wandering through hospital corridors wearing a black robe that’s clearly too short for him (seriously, if there was an iota less fabric, his testicles would be on display for all to see), that’s the least of his worries as he’s bleeding from a wound that we don’t see but is gnarly enough to make the nurse freak out.
  • 03:13 – Our heroic leads are torturing somebody for information. I assume it’s either a demon or vampire, as the torture is splashing him with (assumed holy) water, which isn’t quite what water boarding is, and is essentially an annoyance for those of us of a less supernatural nature.
  • 03:24 – It’s obvious to me that Lilith is going to be the contract holder, because that’s how TV works. Kinda surprised the brothers Winchester haven’t figured that much out themselves.
  • 04:57 – Demon is exorcized offscreen because he wasn’t important.
  • 05:37 – Teaser surgeon was the Inevitable Teaser Death, suffering from an acute case of Liver-torn-out-itis. that can be a real bitch.
  • 05:43 – The tearer apparently died in 1981 per fingerprint records.
  • 05:57 – Dean suspects zombies, and is surprised Sam is taking a break from soul saving attempts to go on a hunt. He approves though.
  • 07:13 – Liver was actually surgically removed, not ripped out. Not sure if that’s scarier or not.
  • 07:35 – Dean describes their target as “Dr. Quinn, Medicine Zombie,” which gives me some very disturbing mental images of Jane Seymour.
  • 08:05 – The brothers are interviewing a guy who had his kidney stolen, and woke up in the urban legend cliche of a bathtub full of ice.
  • 10:09 – Sam and Dean do the exposition conversation thing about an organ-stealing, possibly immortal Doctor Benton who Daddy Winchester had once hunted down and taken the heart out of. Apparently such impromptu cardiac surgery didn’t take. I’m more distracted by the burger Dean’s trying to eat as it actually looks like the ones in the pictures on fast food menus.
  •  12:07 – Doctor Benton doesn’t seem to believe in anesthetic, as he starts his scalpeling on a runner while the dude is conscious. It looks like he’s taking a heart though, so I guess niceties aren’t necessary. Benton has surprisingly civil bedside manner for a dude with a stitched together face.
  • 13:50 – Bobby gets in touch with the boys to let them now that he’s tracked down the ever-loathsome Bela. Dean immediately wants to follow up on that lead. Sam seems less keen, which strikes me as odd. I assume the terrible-haired one is up to something.
  • 14:15 – Yep. Sounds like Sam has been thinking like a lawyer. He wants to steal Benton’s immortality idea for Dean. I guess the logic is that if Dean can’t die, then his soul gets to stay out of hell.
  • 14:56 – Dean points out the minor detail that if Dean backs out of the deal (which immortality kind of does) than Sam dies. Which kind of defeats the point of Dean having made the deal in the first place.
  • 15:45 – Looks like the boys are splitting up, which never backfires, just ask Fred Jones or Velma Dinkley.
  • 16:34 – We follow Dean meeting with Bobby’s old hunter/hermit “friend.” Who’s more than a little paranoid.
  • 18:03 – Paranoid hunter, who’s name is Rufus, but has now been dubbed “Black Burt Reynolds” by my viewing companion is much more amenable to a bottle of Johnny Walker Blue.
  • 19:27 – Black Burt Reynolds knows stuff, and has a somewhat nihilistic viewpoint on what the end is for hunters, basically they “ain’t got no happy endings” (Insert your own massage parlor joe here.)
  • 20:14 – Sam’s in a rental car and is hunting for Doctor Benton in some brightly lit woods.
  • 21:10 – Black Burt warns Dean not to underestimate what Bela’s capable of.
  • 22:12 – Apparently, according to Black Burt, ears are as unique as fingerprints, and thus can be used to gather some intel on Bela…
  • 22:43 – Judging by his brow work, Dean is kind of shocked by the Bela dossier he just got handed.
  • 22:55 – Sam goes into a creepy isolated cabin in the woods, which never ever goes badly…
  • 24:00 – He’s found the now heartless runner guy in the creepier basement of the creepy cabin in the creepy woods. Basically, stuff’s creepy is what I’m saying.
  •  26:43 – Sam’s attempt to deal with Doctor Benton involves running him over with an SUV. It mostly results in some very gristly bone-cracking sounds and then the not-so-good Doctor getting to his feet.
  • 27:18 – Dean ambushes Bela in a motel room. he really wants that Colt. Bela claims that it’s gone, been sold.
  • 27:38 – Dean, understandably, refuses to believe a word that comes out of Bela’s mouth.
  • 28:33 – Bela takes the fact that Dean knows she killed her parents in stride, barely batting an eyelid.
  • 29:28 – Flashback time to a younger Bela being implicitly abused by her parents. Cut to present day, happily smiling Bela: “They were lovely people, and I killed them.” Girl is ice cold.
  • 30:21 – Dean spots some kind of plant above Bela’s hotel room door and leaves without carrying out his threat to shoot and kill her.
  • 30:27 – Bela pick-pocketed Dean’s motel receipt and passes that info along to someone.
  • 31:29 –  after telling each other that they couldn’t kill their respective antagonists, Sam reveals that he’s found Benton’s lab notes about the whole living forever thing.
  • 32:03 – Sam explaining that the formula is not magic but science gets interrupted by Sam’s abduction.
  • 33:13 – While Doctor Benton’s bedside manner (and self-justifications) are very soothing, the fact that he’s clearly planning on stealing Sam’s eyeballs rather undermines that.
  • 34:07, Dean shoots Benton before he can scoop Sam’s eyes out. It doesn’t kill the Doctor, but it does mean that sam doesn’t have to wear an eyepatch any time soon.
  • 35:21 – That’s kind of innovative. Dean stabs Benton with a knife through the heart. It (predictably) has no effect n the immortal doc. However, the chloroform that Dean had dipped the knife in gets pumped throughout Benton’s bloodstream, and so the Doctor falls unconscious.
  • 36:14 – The boys have Benton strapped to his own operating table. the doctor tries to wheedle his way out of it by tempting them with the immortality formula. Sam calls Dean off to the side for a private conversation. I think I can guess how this will go…
  • 36:54 – Sam contends that the immortality thing would buy them time. Dean flat out states that he’d rather go to hell than live like Benton as an inhuman monster.
  • 37:56 – Doctor Benton has been buried, chained up in an old refrigerator (which, as Indiana Jones has taught us, can ride out nuclear explosions) pretty deep underground. I imagine he won’t particularly enjoy not being able to die given that circumstance.
  • 38:58 – Bela broke into the boys’ motel room and shot what she thought was the two of them in their beds. It turns out that the bed’s are occupied by blow up dolls. I assume that Dean expected her to steal the motel receipt back at 30:27.
  • 39:33 – Yeah, he knew. And that plant Dean spotted at 30:21 is used to keep hellhounds away.
  • 39:51 – So it seems that Bela made a demon deal of her own ten years ago to have her parents die. And now it’s come due, hence the anti-hellhound measures…
  • 40:43 – Seems Bela tried to buy off her soul with the Colt, but the demon said that wasn’t good enough, she had to kill Sam as well. And now she has a mere two minutes before her time runs out.
  • 40:52 – Dean points out that, even though it was most definitely undeserved, if Bela had come to them sooner with the Colt and asked for help, they would probably have been able to save both Bela and Dean.
  • 41:07 – As I assumed the demon that holds Dean’s contract is indeed Lilith. Who apparently holds every deal, including Bela’s.
  • 42:04 – And Bela’s now done for.

A strange episode this one, in that it almost feels like two ‘B’ plots grafted together. The idea of using immortality as a “get out of Hell free” card is definitely an interesting one and it’s smart for the show to countenance it, but the organ-harvesting doctor story feels like it’s been done to death, or at least variants of it have. Off the top of my head, I can think of Eugene Victor Tooms from The X-Files and Ronald Meltzer from Angel. Admittedly, they’re not exact matches but close enough.

The other stuff exploring some more of Bela’s backstory was more interesting, though mostly as set up for the season finale next episode. I recognized that there were trying to make Bela at least a little bit sympathetic, which made me assume that she was not long for this mortal coil. Having her be the victim of a demonic deal and thus a parallel to Dean was a nice touch, it also helped explain some of her motivations more. I was also left rather flat by the fact that Lilith was the demon holding dean’s contract, simply because there really weren’t any other candidates since Ol’ Yellow eyes was eliminated.

Lost Limey Watches Supernatural #58 – “Long-Distance Call”

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 14 – “Long-Distance Call”

  • 01:10 – Our teaser starts with a slightly haggard looking guy pouring himself a drink, pretty much guaranteeing himself Inevitable Teaser Death status.
  • 02:05 – Inevitable Teaser Death guy seems very uneasy taking a phone call from a woman who’s saying “Come to me.” He mentions a wife in a context that suggests the woman on the phone is a lover or similar.
  • 03:18 – Phone calling woman has an impressive level of persistence, especially when you consider Inevitable Teaser Death Guy has smashed he phone up AND torn its plug out of the wall, yet she’s still calling and the phone is still ringing. I suspect she’s an “unflushable.”
  • 03:56 – Inevitable Teaser Death guy lives up to his name by putting a loaded gun to chis chin and pulling the trigger.
  • 04:55 – Apparently Dean’s been on the phone (and nothing dates these episodes like the cell phones the boys use) with Bobby discussing the case of Inevitable Teaser Death guy. They think there’s a spirit involved. Dean wants to take the case. Sam points out that they’re already on a case, breaking Dean’s demon deal, though nothing much has happened on that front lately. So the brothers hash out that argument again. I’m sure you know the beats by now, so I won’t bother recapping them.
  • 05:21 – Dean reveals to Sam that Ruby told him (Dean) that there was no saving him from Hell.
  • 08:16 – Turns out that persistent phone woman from the teaser was Inevitable Teaser Death Guy’s high school girlfriend who died after being hit by a drunk driver. She was cremated, which I guess means that half of the salt’n’burn routine has been taken care of for the boys. I’d also assume that’s why they did a funeral pyre for dead Hunters. Harder to come back as an angry spirit if your remains are already ash.
  • 09:10 – Speaking of Ash, the id’s that Sam and Dean use as phone company employees are Mr. Campbell & Mr. Raimi. Seems a nice homage to what I imagine was an inspiration for the show, even if it is a divergence from the typical rock music aliases Dean favors.
  • 09:32 – Dean tells the skeevy phone tech that platinum membership to bustyasianbeauties.com is “worth every penny. (Note: I have no idea if that’s a real website, and if it is, I imagine it’s probably Not Safe For Work, or for those of you under 18…)
  • 10:39 – So apparently the century old phone number (SHA33) that persistent teaser phone woman used has called at least ten different houses in the past few weeks. I gather one of the numbers called was 867-5309
  • 12:16 – Young woman from the first house Sam visits calls his bluff about working for the phone company based on his driving a rental (which seems fair) and wearing a cheap suit (personally, I thought it was a pretty nice suit, but I’m not exactly a fashion maven, after all I’m blogging in jeans and a grey t-shirt)
  • 13:38 – Young girl has been getting calls from the dead herself. In this case the deceased is her mother, who passed three years ago.
  • 14:10 – Lot of calls from dead people in town. Dean gets some serious side eye from a passing woman as he mentions how one of the calls “redefined [Dean’s] understanding of the word ‘necrophilia.'”
  • 14:26 – Dean gets his own call from a dead person – Daddy Winchester!
  • 15:21 – Dean looks desperate to hope that it really is Daddy Winchester contacting them from beyond the grave. Sam seems more skeptical.
  • 16:44 – We’re introduced to Edison’s “spirit phone” thanks to Dean reading a tourist leaflet after Sam’s research came up with bupkis. I assume it’s a red herring as there’s too much episode left.
  • 18:27 – Daddy Winchester calls dean back (the terrible-haired one is conveniently sleeping) and berates him over the demon deal, which he’s apparently aware of.
  • 18:46 – Daddy Winchester apparently has a way for Dean to break the demon deal without endangering Sam. I’m suspicious when Daddy refers to the demon that holds Dean’s contract as “he,” as I was under the impression that said demon was Lilith who is not a he.
  • 20:18 – The girl from 13:38 is getting some instant messages from her mother, they seem to be consistent with the mother “haunting” her, including one particular great shot of the mother reflected in a computer monitor and grabbing the girl’s shoulder whilst not being present.
  • 20:35 – The turned off monitor is lighting up with “come to me” messages similar to what Inevitable Teaser Death guy received before living up to his nickname. It’d be spooky and atmospheric if I wasn’t distracted by the poor font choice of Copperplate Gothic.
  • 22:20 – Dean’s hope that this will get him away from the demon deal is heartbreaking to behold. Though he does have a valid point about the alleged demon killing exorcism ritual in that Daddy Winchester is the only one of them that’s been to Hell, so it’s a good source.
  • 23:29 – Sam and Dean are having a raised voice argument on proof vs. blind faith. Whilst I’m a bigger fan of Dean (as you must have noticed reading these), I side with Sam here. The boys need some damned proof.
  • 25:01 – Apparently the weird phone number can even call a kid’s toy phone and be the little boy’s Mommy on the other end of the line. I think the boy is supposed to be the girl’s little brother but I’m not certain.
  • 25:35 – Apparently mom wanted the girl to kill herself to come to the mother. So whoever is on the other end of these calls must have a suicide fetish, which doesn’t bode well for Dean, who already has kind of a death wish…
  • 25:57 – Apparently, Sam’s figured out what is responsible for the calls and he knows it isn’t the mother.
  • 26:57 – Little brother seems to be in a trance crossing a busy street. Whatever is calling has apparently decided he’ll be the next victim.
  • 26:58 – assuming it isn’t Dean who has ignored Sam’s advice to stay put in the motel room.
  • 27:24 – Sam just saved the little kid from getting run down by a big old yellow semi-truck.
  • 27:34 – Per Sam, it isn’t Daddy Winchester, it’s a Crocotta, which is a scavenger that mimics loved ones as apposed to being a delicious sandwich as Dean had hoped.
  • 27:56 – We get a very Exorcist shot of Sam walking through steam in an alleyway as he approaches the phone company where the brothers Winchester suspect the Crocotta to be.
  • 29:02 – Sam brandishes a knife at the skeevy phone tech’s neck, obviously assuming he’s the Crocotta. He’s proven wrong by 1. The tech’s hilarious offer to fix call waiting charges and 2. the tech’s boss smacking Sam upside the head with a baseball bat.
  • 29:36 – You know, it feels like Sam gets tied to chairs a whole lot on this show.
  • 30:37 – Skeevy phone tech is stabbed and has his soul drained by the phone company boss. Proving my hypothesis that the phone company must be Comcast as they appear to only care about soulless monsters.
  • 32:06 – The Crocotta pretends to be a little girl calling her father at what appears to be a police station and telling him that “the man who killed me” is at the house. I’m assuming it’s Dean, and the Crocotta wants to make the two of them kill each other which is an obvious win-win-win situation for it.
  • 32:58 – The point our villain makes about information floating out there just waiting to be “plucked” is even more relevant now with the ubiquity of both smart phones and social media in addition to good old fashioned phone calls, letters and emails.
  • 34:26 – Dean and angry possible cop guy pull an Itchy & Scratchy in that they fight, and fight and fight and fight….
  • 36:12 – Plenty of cross cutting between Dean and cop man fighting (though Dean seems to have figured out his mistake) and Sam and Crocotta fighting. Sam seems to be getting the worst of it…
  • 36:40 – Sam gets luck in driving the Crocotta’s head into a metal spike on the wall, killing it handily and kind of bloodily for the CW.
  • 37:22 – The brothers are reunited and it feels so good. Except it kind of doesn’t as both are nursing their fighting wounds.
  • 38:28 – Dean unburdens himself about his fears about Hell to Sam.
  • 39:07 Dean: “I mean the only person that can get me out of this thing is me.” Sam: “And me.”

A strong episode with a pretty intriguing and propulsive mystery at its core. I figured that it wasn’t going to be Daddy Winchester on the line nor would Dean be getting out of his demon deal fairly early on in the episode, but that’s due to simple logic of how TV works. You wouldn’t blow either of those things until the season finale, which is only a couple of episodes away thanks to the writer’s strike that shortened the season. I’m going to assume that the season follows the pattern of the last two and that the next two episodes will effectively be one two-part season finale, which means there’s a lot to resolve, most notably the deal with Ruby, what Lilith is up to, what Bela is doing with the Colt, that whole escaped demon army thing, oh, and whether Dean is going to hell. Seems like a lot to get through in 80ish mn