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The Season So Far…Grimm

This appears to be a love it or hate it type of show based on what I read on-line, hear on podcasts or through people I talk to.  I don’t love it or hate it.  I enjoy it.  Grimm is a solid show.  It takes a TV formula that works (the cop procedural) and gives a supernatural twist that make it different from the typical cop procedural.  Does it have some room for improvement, sure.  But lots of shows do.

My biggest problem with the show is most people’s problem…the lead, David Giuntoli.  I don’t think he’s as horrible as some people have cast him, but I do think he’s not connecting with the audience.  He’s not very engaging.  While I like him because he’s a nice guy, I don’t find myself rooting for him.  Eddie Monroe (played by Silas Weir Mitchell) is someone I root for.  He’s awesome.  Even Russell Hornsby’s Hank (Nick’s partner) is more layered and interesting than David’s Nick.  How can someone with Nick’s background be so boring?  Is it the actor or the writing?  I can’t believe it’s the writing because the other characters are pretty strong.  So it has to come down to the way Giuntoli is playing Nick.  He’s very stiff and approaches most scenes the same way. It’s almost as if he’s wearing an ear piece and the director is telling him in his ear (ok David in this scene I need you to be forceful because your mad and in this scene I need your delivery to be comical because this is a light-hearted scene.)  It’s not natural.  Luckily for him, everyone else is so good and the stories, to this point, have been compelling enough, that I don’t need to protagonist to carry the show.   And maybe he’ll get better as the show moves forward.  I think it’s going to be renewed so the more he gets used to the character (and maybe takes some classes) he should be fine.

My one request from Grimm is to get more into the history behind the mythology in the show.  We got the most we’ve seen series-to-date in “Three Coins in a Fuchsbau” when we learned (we think) who killed David’s parents.  But there seems to be more to this story.  Quite honestly, I’m surprised we haven’t seen more of Nick doing family research on his background after Aunt Marie told him the powers of the Grimm family are passing to him.  But his parents (at least one of them) were Grimms.  They were holding onto the coins that many creatures were after.  So how involved were they and for how long?  Also, how many Grimms can have their “powers” at one time?  It doesn’t seem Nick has been able to see the creatures until Aunt Marie’s visit and likewise, the creatures haven’t been able to tell Nick is a Grimm before now either.  Why is that?  How does that work?  Also, how do they know he’s a Grimm?  Is it like being blinded but if someone sticks a skunk in your face, you know it’s a skunk?  Is it sensory?  Does Nick’s face change?  Does Nick have cousin’s who are also Grimms that can see what he sees?  If he and Juliette have kids, will the “power” pass to them?  I would really like more information on all of this.

The big question is, what the hell is the police captain?   He must be something powerful because Nick has yet to see his face contort into a creature and we all know he is.  So what is he?  And why is he actually being protective of Nick right now?   Is it because he has a bigger plan for him? I’d like to see this storyline start to progress.

We are at the point in the season, where I think we are ready for some answers and some more back story.  At least I am.  So I want to see the show go down that path.  I enjoy it and I really like it.  I think the stories are fascinating.  It reminds me a little of Season 1 of Supernatural when you had all these different urban legends/creatures from mythology that we had to learn about.  I just want some progression on the mythology.

 
 

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REVIEW: Supernatural Season 7 Up to Now

I bet you are wondering where all the Supernatural recaps and reviews have been.  If I have issues with blogging, Supernatural is usually one I keep up on….typically because it’s on a Friday night and I can get to it on the weekend.  But I am sad to say that I can’t blame work for this one.  I hate to say it but Supernatural has stopped becoming must see TV for me.   That doesn’t mean I don’t love the show anymore.  It just means that I don’t feel it’s necessary to rush to discuss it because I don’t really know what to discuss anymore.

What made this show so great in the beginning was that the “monster of the week” either lined up with the over all story arc or complimented it in someway.  But the last two seasons seem to have lost their way.  I thought this season was off to a good start but it has gone downhill quickly.  And no, it’s not just because I’m angry at the fact that Bobby died for apparently no reason (which I am…fuming!)  It’s just another season of a “Big Bad” being introduced to us and then somewhat forgotten about.  It’s hard to take a story line seriously when you ignore it for several weeks at a time.  What makes it worse is the timing of the omission.  Only having three episodes since the early December break, we haven’t had a Leviathan centric episode since around Thanksgiving!

What would have made this whole Leviathan story stronger is if Bobby was killed by them earlier in the season.  If you planning to kill Bobby, then kill him early and have that be the reason the boys are going after these creatures.   Once you have fought Lucifer, God, all of Heaven and Hell, anything else seems manageable.  But if a supernatural entity was responsible for killing Bobby, then it gives the boys a purpose and the audience a rooting interest.  This season was pitched to us as the boys fighting a force like nothing they’ve ever seen.  Well how could something be more powerful than God and Lucifer?  But alright, I’ll suspend my disbelief.  I personally would have bought into this season more if it was pitched as the boys having a personal reason for fighting these monsters.  And that personal reason ended up being the death of Bobby.  When Bobby was killed, we were already introduced to these…things…and because it’s what the boys do, they are looking for ways to destroy them.  But wouldn’t it have been more powerful and engaging (if the writers were planning on killing Bobby regardless) if Bobby’s death drove the Winchesters this season?  I think so.  It also makes me wonder if Bobby won’t somehow reappear alive again.  Sam and Dean have died and come back so why not Bobby?   The only reason I feel it’s possible is because of the way Bobby’s death was handled…very quickly and as an after thought.  And if that’s not the case and the reason for Bobby’s death was to give darker layers to Dean, then I am crying foul.   Dean certainly didn’t need any darker layers dumped on top of him.  He was already in a pretty bad place blaming himself for what happened to Sam, what happened to Cas, impacting Lisa and Ben’s lives, not living up to his father’s expectations…I could go on and on.  The guilt and pain that Dean carries on his shoulders everyday is obvious.   And if you can’t see it, there is no better show of his grief and guilt than his ongoing battle with drinking.   That’s the one area of character development that the writers have done well with this season.   It makes sense that after years of seeing what they have seen and going through what they have gone through, that it would take a toll on you mental well-being and you would find way to cope with it through an escape mechanism…like alcohol.  If Dean and Sam just kept going about their days without any impact, it would be bogus.  So Dean using alcohol to drown his sorrows and guilt and use it to escape their insane life seems logical if not depressingly sad.   But how much more can they take?

And while we have spent much of the season seeing how everything has impacted Dean, what about Sam?  I’m sure Sam is also struggling with the death of Bobby.   Maybe not to the level Dean is but he loved Bobby every bit as much as Dean.   Also his issues with the wall coming down and seeing Lucifer in his head has vanished.  Although it will be revisited next week.  Even if the writers didn’t want to focus on this constantly, the least they could have done to show they haven’t completely ignored it, is seeing signs of Sam struggling here and there.  It feels like lately there have been seasons where we focus on Sam and seasons where we focus on Dean.  So far, this has been a Dean season.   Which I’m not complaining about!   But why can’t there be a balance between the two?    There used to be.  So what happened?

As for Bobby’s death, I can’t even begin to tell you how angry I am.  So in one season, the show has gotten rid of two of the most beloved characters in the history of the show in Castiel and Bobby.   Why?  Everyone fans knew and loved (depending on who you ask) is gone…John, Bobby, Cas, Rufus, Ellen, Jo.  Only Sheriff Mills remains and I don’t think you can lump her into the other group with the likes of Bobby and Cas.  And all I want to know is why?  If getting rid of Cas and Bobby has significant storyline or character implications (over and above making the boys more brooding) then ok, show me what that is.  So far I haven’t seen it.  Have you guys?   If I’m missing something please let me know.   And it can’t be to go after the Leviathan’s because they were doing that anyway because it’s their job.  So why is Bobby gone?  My husband and I always joked that if Bobby dies, we will stop watching the show.   Well that hasn’t happened obviously but we certainly aren’t as interested as we used to be.  Bobby grounded Dean and Sam.  When one or the other was going down a path that could hurt them, Bobby was the one to make sure it didn’t happen.  When the boys needed some semblance of a regular life, Bobby was the one to make sure it happened…even if it was just having beer and burgers to watch a football game.   Bobby tried to keep the boys sane in the most insane profession you could conjure up.  Now, he’s gone.   And for what exactly?   I have no idea.   And who is going to be that person for the boys now?  Sheriff Mills?  Yeah, not even close.  If the writers think Mills can replace Bobby, they are sadly mistaken.

Like I said, I still enjoy this show.  The 1944 episode was great.  Even last night’s episode was entertaining.  But that’s what Supernatural has become….a nice little entertaining show.  It’s a show where we follow the lives of these two men but that’s it.  Nothing more, nothing less.   That’s not good enough for me.   I want more and I have come to expect more because that is the standard the show set for itself back in the first season.  If all this show is going to be moving forward, is us going through Sam and Dean’s everyday lives, then I would rather the show end now.   But if the show thinks it can get back to the glory days of solid story telling and character development (and the character development is still strong in spurts) then I am still along for the ride.   But season 7 better get somewhere fast if Sera Gamble doesn’t want to lose me as a viewer forever.

 
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Posted by on February 12, 2012 in CW, Recaps and Reviews

 

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RECAP & REVIEW: Supernatural “The Mentalists” S7 E7

This episode reminded me of one of the early episodes of Supernatural.  It was your basic “monster of the week” where Dean and Sam are using salt and iron and the burning of bones to ward of an evil spirit who is killing off psychics and mediums in the town of Lily Dale, which is know for being the biggest psychic community in the US.  I wonder if there really is such a town?  Not necessarily Lily Dale but the most psychic town in the US.  If someone knows, let me know.  Ultimately, the big reveal that came out this week (if you want to call it that) was that Dean and Sam actually talked about what’s been bugging Dean and why Sam reacted the way he did when he found out about Amy’s death.  I liked it and I didn’t.  Sometimes I think things can get resolved too easily on TV shows and this episode reminded me of one of those times.  However, when it comes to family and your BFFs, you tend to forgive a little easier that you would other people, so it was pretty realistic at the same time.   That’s why I liked it and didn’t at the same time.  I liked it more than I didn’t but I still had some issues with it.  But what I loved the most was how “back to basics” this episode was for Supernatural.  It reminded why I fell in love with this show in the first place…interesting cases, the dynamic brothers solving the crime and saving people while being charismatic and funny and kick ass.  It was awesome.  Don’t get me wrong, for 6+ seasons I have LOVED Supernatural.  Not so much last season but that’s already been discussed.  And as loyal reader Bruce always says and I agree with him, a “bad” episode of Supernatural is still better than a lot of the other crap that’s on TV.  But last night’s show was perfect in a lot of ways.  It was simple, it was interesting, and it had real heart when it came to Sam and Dean discussing their issues.  That formula ALWAYS works well for this show and I welcome it every week.

This week’s case took the boys to Lily Dale where psychics and mediums are being murdered after seeing the visions of their actual deaths.   Since last week ended with the boys going their separate ways (you knew that wasn’t going to last long) they both showed up in Lily Dale, separately.  Eventually they realize though, that it would make more sense for them to work the case together, so they do.  Turns out the killers were a pair of sisters..kind of.  Really only one of the sisters was doing the killings while the other sister was trying to warn people.  You see, there was one victim, whose friend Melanie is already working with Sam and Dean, who went to the boys to ask for help.  After looking at the video of the friend’s room where her “vision” happened, they see a ghost coming up behind her and placing her hands around her neck.  Naturally, Dean and Sam think this is the killer.  But not so fast.  When they find her bones and are about to burn them, she frantically shows up trying to tell them something but they don’t listen.  Her bones are burned and the friend is saved.  Or is she?   The boys leave town and the two girls plan a sleep over since they are both freaked out over what was happening.  Unfortunately, just when the clock strikes 2am (in her vision, that’s when she is killed) her vision starts to come to life and the other sister ghost shows up trying to kill her.  Melanie calls Sam and Dean to let them know what is going on and that’s when they realized they nuked the wrong sister and that the other ghost was there to warn them and the victims about her sister.  That’s why they were able to get the visions of their death before it happened.  She was trying to let them know what will happen to them.  So now they need to find the other sister’s bones.  Only one problem, the grave has the coffin in it, but the remains are gone.   Oops. After a little back tracking, Sam realizes that the pawnshop owner is the one with the bones and he is controlling whom the ghost kills.  Sam deals with him (by killing him) and takes the other sister’s bones and burns them.   Good thing too because her next victim was Melanie, and Melanie was about to join her grandmother in about 15 seconds if Sam didn’t burn those bones!  Dean and Melanie (who had a nice little chemistry going) said a sweet good-bye and then the boys were off on their next adventure.   But before that could happen…..they needed to have a little chat.

As we remember from last week, Sam walked off from Dean after he learned from a nasty little leviathan that Dean killed Amy.   Needless to say, Sam was pissed.  Understandably so.  What surprised me a little last week was how cavalier Dean was after Sam found out, especially since he had been carrying that guilt around about what happened.   Also, the way he reacted to Sam and defended himself about what happened also surprised me slightly since again, he seemed to feel so guilty about it.   It really reaffirms to me that what Dean was truly guilty about was her son witnessing her death and how Dean has now changed the course of that kid’s life in addition to beating himself up over what has happened to Castiel.

But Sam and Dean laid it out on the table this week and we got to the heart at what really bothered the other brother…ironically none of it really had anything to do with Amy’s death.  Sam was pissed that Dean lied to him…again…to protect him instead of telling him the truth.  And Dean was pissed that Sam was acting like “a little bitch.”   Dean explained his side, which was 100% correct, in that he killed Amy because she was dangerous.   Because of who she was, she had to go and because of Sam’s past with Amy, he couldn’t do it.  But if she were any other “monster” Sam would be 100% in Dean’s corner about eliminating her as a threat.  Sam conceded that point.  But Sam’s point to Dean is, stop keeping things from him and lying to him about it.  He’s a grown man and can deal with the truth, especially from his BFF.  Dean said he lied because of the fragile state Sam’s been in.   Now I have to admit, I don’t believe that.  You all know how much of a Dean person I am, but I don’t think that’s why he didn’t tell him and he used that as an excuse.  I just think it was a matter of Dean not wanting to tell Sam, because he knew he would be upset with him…that simple.  Sam asked him not to kill her, he did it anyway, so he didn’t want to tell Sam he went behind his back.  Maybe there was a small part of him that didn’t want to because of Sam’s fragile mental state, but it wasn’t the driving reason the way he made it out to be.  He’s still trying to justify his decision to Sam, which quite frankly, he already did in explaining why Amy had to die.   Ultimately it was a nice moment for the boys.  In the past, these things had a tendency to linger on and on but I like how the show nipped this in the bud quickly and in a way that made sense.  While I like the growth moment they had where they were able to talk about what was wrong and resolve it, when are they going to learn to stop keeping things from one another?   They both hate it when the other does it (and they both do it) and both have said they don’t need protection from the other.  SO STOP DOING IT!!!!   Yikes!  Dean even admitted that really that’s why he’s been walking around so guilty…because he was lying to Sam.  That’s what bothered him so much.  Well here’s a solution…don’t do it anymore!  Men.  I’m just glad all seems to be forgiven and they are back to working together to fight another day!

So what did you think of last night’s episode?  I thought it was great and I’m dying to know what’s happening with the “wedding”episode next week and who Mrs. Sam Winchester could possibly be.

 
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Posted by on November 5, 2011 in CW, Recaps and Reviews

 

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REVIEW: Boss “Listen” Pilot S1 E1

I was always planning on watching Boss, but as soon as it was renewed for a second season, I knew I had to watch this show.  I never really understood how shows got renewed before a season airs.   It happened with Glee when 2-3 episodes into Season 1, it was renewed for two seasons (and we all know how disastrous that was.)  It happened last season when How I Met Your Mother (who had been a perennial bubble show) was renewed for two seasons.  Not that I am complaining because I LOVE HIMYM, but it was odd.  So imagine when a brand new show that has never aired ONE episode, get renewed for a second season.  Can you explain that to me?   It’s like ordering a show to pilot and canceling it before it airs once.  It makes no sense.  What if this show tanks?   We could spend all day on that analysis but I will save that for another post at another time.

Right away after watching one episode, I think I can safely prognosticate that Kelsey Grammar will be nominated for an Emmy for his performance as Tom Kane.  He is dynamic on-screen and he completely carries the show.  The show starts off with Tom Kane in a warehouse with his doctor.  She is giving him horrific news…he is diagnosed with a degenerative, terminal neurological condition that sounds a little of a cross between ALS and Parkinson’s.  This one scene alone, Grammar should be nominated for the Emmy.   He sits there stone faced taking in the news. He grills the doctor on treatments, medicine, the prognosis with an efficient precision that instantly showcases his character as a powerful, no-nonsense man.  Later, we learn just how powerful a man he is….the mayor of Chicago.  But every once in a while, you see how painful this news is for him to take yet he does his best keeping his composure.  After the doctor leaves and he calls his cronies to pick him up, he has a brief period of time in which he loses it and he allows the grief of what he just learned, to take over.  But he can’t let it consume him for long because he needs to pull it together for a speech supporting the re-election of the Governor of Illinois.

While Grammar certainly carries the show (for now) there are two notable performances alongside him along with two potential gems.   Meredith Kane (played by the wonderful Connie Nielson)….”He was a soldier of Rome.  HONOR HIM!”   Sorry, needed to throw in the Gladiator reference.  I love that movie!   Anyhoo, Meredith is Tom’s wife.  To say their marriage is chilly, would be a massive understatement.  We learn her family comes from a political background and whether this is a marriage of political convenience and power or a once happy marriage that was destroyed somehow, we don’t know yet.  But Meredith seems to be a very powerful woman in her own right.   Ezra Stone (played by Martin Donovan) is another strong character as the mayor’s closest advisor.  Ezra, it would seem at least on the surface, a huge supporter of Kane and will have his back no matter what.  He seems to be the one person Kane can trust.  Will he remain that way throughout the course of the series?   We will see.

The other two potentials are Ben Zajac (played by Jeff Hephner) who is the young, cocky politician who Kane wants to enter the gubernatorial race against Mac Cullen (played by Francis Guinan) and will throw his support behind and the other is reporter Sam Miller (played by Troy Garity) who is looking into Tom Kane and looks to be the only person who knows about Kane’s doctor visit and who that doctor is.  He is digging for dirt but we don’t know why.  Is he doing it on someone’s orders or is he trying to become the next Bob Woodward?  I really enjoyed both performances and think they have decent potential.  I’ve seen Hephner in other shows and always enjoyed his performances so I have no doubt he’ll be solid here.

As for the rest of the cast, they didn’t do much for me.  Personally, I’m not a fan of Kathleen Robertson.  I will always remember her as Claire Arnold, the dean’s daughter on the original 90210 and I HATED her character.   She was one of the most annoying people on the show.  She also seems to play the same type of character all the time.  But the role of Kitty O’Neil, the mayor’s aide, could be a step up for her.  Right now the only interesting thing about her is that she like to have sex in stairwells with Zajac.  So there is a history between her and the mayor’s new boy toy for Governor.  But we’ll see where her character goes.  One character I have NO interest in right now is Kane’s daughter Emma (played by Hannah Ware) whose storyline always brings the show to a screeching halt.  She appears to have no relationship or a bad one with Kane right now (there was no indication either way with her and Meredith, who I assume is her mother) and she appears to be a minister with a drug problem.  Boring and dull is what that is.  Not to mention, everything and everyone revolving around Emma was very slow.  I’d rather there be more plot line development with the main and secondary characters…Kane, Meredith, Stone, Zajac, Miller, and even Kitty to some degree.  Even Gov. Cullen was more interesting in the brief time he was on the screen than she was.   So if she and her storyline were to go away completely, I would be ok with that!

I would recommend checking out Boss.  The pilot wasn’t as strong as it could have been but sometimes these shows need time to build momentum.  Unfortunately, this show on has 8 episodes this season to do that.   However, like I mentioned in the beginning, it has already been renewed for a second season, so it has plenty of time to build momentum, story lines and characters.

If you watched Boss, what did you think?  If you didn’t, check it out on demand or Starz will be running reruns until the second episode which airs Friday nights at 10pm.

 

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RECAP & REVIEW: Supernatural “Shut Up, Dr. Phil” S7 E5

I didn’t even recognize James Marsters at first.  He looked like he aged 30 years since Buffy!  I know he was older than what he was playing on Buffy, but wow.  Maybe it was the dyed bleach blonde hair vs. his natural look that threw me.  But it took me a few times seeing him on-screen to realize that was Spike.   Maybe running on 10 hours of sleep for my entire week also had something to do with not seeing clearly!   Regardless, the much-anticipated Buffy reunion was last night’s Supernatural and it certainly didn’t disappoint.  I’ll talk briefly about the episode itself but I’m much more interested in the two things we learned last night (one I seem to be late to the party in realizing.)    But let’s bang out the recap first, shall we?

RECAP:

We are witness to what seem to be random yet very disturbing deaths…a young woman at a hair salon gets fried under the blower (makes me never want to get under one of those again) and a man in a port-a-pot gets killed with his own nail, right between the eyes…yikes!  At first, the only thing they have in common are an old coin that has shown up in every location.  Eventually we learn that they also have in common a real estate development deal that went bad.   One of the main parties involved in that deal, is Don Stark (special guest star James Marsters.)

The boys go to see Stark and we learn he and his wife Maggie (special guest star Charisma Carpenter) are having some problems and are currently separated.  Maggie believes Don is having an affair with his assistant.  Don admits to having a one night stand, but not with his assistant.  While Dean is talking with Don, Sam goes to use the “bathroom” and takes that time to investigate the house a bit more.  In a half empty closet, we discovers some materials that suggest witchcraft.  Now it’s all starting to make sense.  They leave the Stark residence and head to where Maggie is currently living.

Dean and Sam break in and find a “target” board of people Maggie is going after.  The boys notice that the next target is the assistant and quickly leave to get to her place.  But Maggie has already started the spell and while the assistant is baking cupcakes, she takes a bite and the next thing you know, little live hearts are in the cupcakes (gross) and she starts puking up copious amounts of blood and God knows what else.  As this is happening, the boys break in to save her.  Sam finds the hex coin in her kitchen and shoots the coin, breaking the curse.

Later that evening, Maggie is prepping with her friend Sue, for an art gala/auction.  Sue has always had Maggie’s back and has been a loyal friend to her.  I also think Sue wants a little more from Maggie than just friendship.  As Maggie is preparing her speech and yelling at the staff, she starts to notice the art work melting in front of her.  As this is happening and Maggie is freaking out, we flash to Don siting outside the event and we learn that he is also a witch.  The paintings are ruined and as Sue tries to comfort Maggie, a silver tray rises up and slashes threw her throat decapitating her.   Gruesome!  It’s now all our war between the Starks.

Back at the Stark’s mansion, they are fighting and Dean and Sam show up to kill them.  They aren’t having much luck because these are pretty powerful witches.   The spell they are trying to put on the witches isn’t working so they decide to do the next best thing….couples counseling!!!   And it worked.  Turns out that not only are these witches very old (the Medici and Columbus references should have made that obvious) but are very much in love with one another.   That’s why when it comes down to it, they can’t kill each other.  Basically, Sam and Dean counsel them to the point that Maggie no longer wants to kill Don and they make up.    Yeah!

Dean and Sam arrive back at their hotel and come to find an unwelcome guest in the most recent leviathan who has been tracking them down since the last episode.  It doesn’t look good for the boys when guess who shows up and saves them?   Spike!!!!!  He was coming to thank them for saving his life when he saw the leviathan and put him down without much effort.  He even asks the boys what the hell is that because he’s never seen anything like it.   They wrap him up in chains and are on their way to take him to Bobby’s.

REVIEW:

Like I said in the beginning, there were two learnings for me in this episode.  The first one being that Don Starks is a powerful enough witch to neutralize a leviathan.  Bobby, Sam, and Dean hadn’t had much luck with all the information and tricks they have learned over the years on stopping creatures in the past.   Nothing would work on these guys.  But Starks’ comes in and bam, leviathan down.  Was it because he is THAT powerful?   Is it something else we haven’t learned yet?  But it makes me think we haven’t seen the last of the Starks (which makes me very happy) and that they may come back into play to help Sam and Dean take these bastards down.   If we don’t see them again, maybe they can take what they have learned about the Starks and their power and come up with a solution.  Everything they have been researching so far, they have come up either empty or it hasn’t worked.   At least this is something that actually worked to some degree.  Even if they are only incapacitated for a little while.  It’s still more than Bobby and the boys have been able to do.   Plus it’s so early on in the season, we can’t find out how to get rid of these guys yet!

The second learning I had is that Dean is having a problem with alcohol and the weight of the world on his shoulders is getting heavier and heavier each week.   I read in another post on another site last week about Dean’s drinking problem.  I’ll be honest, I never noticed it before.  I’ve noticed plenty of other issues with Dean’s personality that we have discussed here, but the drinking wasn’t one of them.  I always noticed that he likes his booze, but not to an abusive level.   But I have to say, I noticed it big time this week.  Maybe because I was looking for it more closely, but it seems even the show was purposely trying to point it out with camera angles and of course Sam’s reaction to Dean’s imbibing.

Over the course of seven seasons, we’ve seen all different sides of Dean…the funny side, the kick ass side, the family side, the loner side, the asian porn loving side, the serious about his work side.    But there is one thing that has always been consistent about Dean (beside his hotness) and that is that Dean goes through his life with a very heavy heart and allows each and every decision he makes (whether good, bad, or indifferent) to define him.   After a while, that type of self burden will destroy you.   Whether it’s mentally, emotionally, physically, or a combination of all three, no one person can carry all that around forever.  And I think we are starting to see it catch up with Dean.

Think about this.  When was the last time Bobby and Sam were really worried about Dean for an extended period of time?   Probably not since Season Four when he came back from hell.  It’s always been Dean worrying and Sam and Bobby.   Now I know that Bobby will always worry and care about the boys, but he also realizes that they are grown men who can take care of themselves and live their life and they choose to live it…consequences and all.   That’s how Bobby lives his life and hopes people respect that about him.  So he respects Sam and Dean and their choices.  But ever since the start of Season Five, Dean has been in worry wort, protective mode when it comes to Sam and Bobby but more so Sam.   And yes, Dean has ALWAYS been protective of Sam because he is his older brother and Sam is his whole world.  But it’s different now and it has been for a while.

I would even say that starting with the middle of Season Four, after everyone realizes that Dean is ok from his return from hell, he and Sam start to spilt a bit…Dean is more connected with Castiel, Anna, and the angels while Sam is connected more to Ruby and the demons.  We eventually find out that Ruby used Sam the whole time to get to Lilith so she could open the final gate and let Lucifer out.  She got him hooked on demon blood and Sam became someone no one liked.   Ever since that point, Dean hasn’t really had a moment to stop worrying about Sam.  In Season Five, Sam wanted to make amends for siding with Ruby while Dean wants to take that burden off of him and find the solution himself for getting Lucifer back in his cage.   As a result of Lucifer being out, Lucifer wants to use Sam as a vessel to destroy the world.  That burden isn’t hanging over Sam as much as it is Dean because Dean, always needing to be the fixer, needs to find a way to prevent this from happening.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s a burden hanging over Sam as well, but since they both handle these types of situations so differently and Dean is always so much harder on himself than Sam, it’s a completely different type of burden for Dean than for Sam.  Skipping ahead, not only can Dean not stop Lucifer’s plan (Lucifer takes over Sam AND Archangel Michael takes over half-brother Adam’s body) both Sam and Adam jump into the portal of hell and get trapped in Lucifer’s cage.  Talk about a devastating blow!   And we are still seeing the repercussions of what happened at the end of Season 5 today.

All of Season 6 was about Dean wanting to figure out what was going on with Sam and beating himself up because of what Sam is going through.  In Season 7, Sam’s wall is down and he is still fighting those inner demons (mainly one BIG demon in Lucifer.)    All Dean wants to do is figure out how to not have this brother feeling this way any more.   Add to that, he killed someone he felt was dangerous even after Sam asked him not to.  Compounding all that guilt, Amy’s son witness Dean murdering his mother.  I think that’s another big part of this weighing on Dean’s head.   Yes, he’s upset about what he did to Amy and going behind Sam’s back, but look at what he did to that little boy’s life.  Remember, if it wasn’t for the Azazel killing Mary Winchester, Dean wouldn’t be in this life because his father wouldn’t be in this life.  Same with Sam.  If Jessica isn’t killed the same way Mary was, Sam would be a lawyer in Ohio right now.  But this boy witnessed the killing of his mother and Dean knows, it will be that kid’s life mission to track him down and find him and kill him.  He will probably ruin his life in many ways because of what he will be tunnel visioned to do because of Dean.

So Dean has ALL this hanging over him.  And the one escapism he has right now, is booze.  Dean is not a sit down and talk about his feelings type of guy.   He just isn’t.   He’s a brooder.  Sam will talk until the cows come home and he is trying like hell to get Dean to open up because he sees him going down a dark path.   But not only will Dean not open, he can’t.  How can he talk about Amy and her son to Sam without risking destroying his relationship with him?  No wonder he’s drinking a 750ml of scotch a day!   It’s really sad to watch quite frankly.  But it’s so fascinating at the same time.  I am so curious to see where they take Dean and just how dark this storyline is going to get.

I think this is one of the dynamics that makes this show so great.  Yes it’s fun to watch them chase monsters and we love all the tongue in check moments and of course there is the strong mythology surrounding the show.  But this show is much deeper than that on so many levels.  With the main level being Sam and Dean and their relationship with one another.  And major credit goes to the strength of Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki and their acting chops and chemistry.  This show doesn’t work without them.

So what are your thoughts on Dean and his developing dark passenger (Dexter reference yeah!)  Are you as worried about him as I am or am I reading too much into this as usual?   Let me know!

 
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Posted by on October 22, 2011 in CW, Recaps and Reviews

 

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RECAP & REVIEW: Supernatural “Defending Your Life” S7 E4

Supernatural is on fire this season.  After a mediocre S6, S7 is off to a strong start.   We have a clear-cut big bad (the Leviathans…although we don’t know who their boss is yet.)  We have our “monster of the week” episodes (which are starting to kick into gear now.)   And we have good, solid drama with the boys in Sam’s mental state and how they are handling it.  But there is still plenty of mystery and uncertainty surrounding the episodes, but it’s the good kind…who do the Leviathans report to and what is their end game?  What is going to happen with Sam?  How will he survive what is going on with his fragile mental state?  How will Dean and Sam’s relationship change when Sam learns (and you know he will) what Dean did to Amy?  How will Amy’s son factor back in?  Will it be this season or will it be down the road (my guess is a few seasons from now.)  When is Sam going to get a haircut?

In “Defending Your Life”, we see people getting chased down from their past and being murdered.   The first case is a man being chased and killed by a car (which was because he killed a young girl with his car 10 years prior.)  The second was a man being chased and killed by a dog because he ran an illegal dogfighting ring.  Can I just say, I love how there were two Michael Vick references in this story.  Do you think that had anything to do with the fact that Dean is a Cowboys fan in real life and would take any chance to take a shot at the Philadelphia Eagles QB?  Could be.  I’m an Eagles fan but I hate Michael Vick so I loved it.  So no one was really crying for these guys biting the big one.   The other case was a man who killed a couple when he was robbing a house 30 years ago.  But he had been in prison and seemed genuinely sorrowful for his actions.   Sam and Dean try to save him by putting him in a circle of salt but it wasn’t enough to save him.  And you knew that was going to happen.  He breaks the seal, takes off running, and the couple track him down and he’s a goner.

Turns out, the cause of all these murders is the Egyptian God, Osiris.  Osiris feeds off the guilt people are feeling about sins they have committed in the past, or perceived wrong doings that they can’t get past and are convinced are their fault.  Dean ends up at a bar drowning the sorrows of his guilt over Amy’s death with a bartender he plans to meet up with later.  We notice a man in a baseball hat siting off to the side and you can’t help but wonder if he’s behind all this.  He is.  It’s Osiris.  When Dean goes to meet bartender girl, he gets swiped by Osiris.  Sam just so happened to be looking for Dean and when he sees his cellphone on the ground with the dust of an abandoned mill, he knows where he has to go.

Sam tracks Dean and Osiris down and Dean is on trial for his life.  Sam tries to rationalize with Osiris but when that doesn’t work, he announces he will be Dean’s lawyer for the trial.  Osiris loves this idea and agrees.  Osiris tries bringing in witnesses and evidence that back the idea of Dean’s guilt but Sam is going to make this difficult.  He keep throwing out objection after objection with one objection sounding very official.  Both Dean and Osiris were impressed.  When Sam told Dean “I saw it on an episode of The Good Wife” I was cracking up.  It also reminded me that I am WAY behind on my The Good Wife posts, but I digress.  As much as Osiris was enjoying this little tete a tete with Sam, it wasn’t going to derail him of his objective…destroy Dean.   The first witness is none other than….Jo Harvell.  If you read any of my past Supernatural posts, you know I wasn’t a huge fan of Jo.  She kind of annoyed me (ducking to avoid sharp objects being hurled at me.)  I always loved Ellen, but Jo…I never got on board with her.   So I wasn’t so excited to see her return.  However, it made perfect sense.  If this whole exercise was regarding Dean’s inner guilt and turmoil, you have to include what happened with Jo and Ellen because Dean has never forgiven himself for that.  Dean is someone who holds on to everything.  He doesn’t let it go.  He let’s it fester inside him until he explodes or he just keeps letting it eat at him.   Jo tells Osiris that what happened wasn’t Dean’s fault nor was he the one that led her to a life of hunting.  Regardless of what Jo is telling Osiris, he knows that Dean carried that guilt with him still.  To prove it, he calls his second witness…Sam Winchester.

Sam gets on the stand and Osiris starts questioning him about how he got into the hunting life and what he was doing right before he became a hunter full-time.  The interesting part about each interrogation, is that as the person was speaking, we got flashbacks to those times.  While the flashbacks were great, it also gave a look inside Dean’s mind.  These weren’t just flashbacks we were seeing.  These were Dean’s memories of what was happening during the time Osiris is questioning the witnesses about.  These are his vivid memories that continue to haunt him.  Sam does everything he can to deny that’s it’s true, there are somethings he simply can’t deny.  After a while Osiris asks Dean what he wants to do and if he wants to keep fighting this….or should he bring on his last witness.  Now, Dean knows who the last witness is, Osiris knows, and we, the audience, knows.   But Sam has no idea.   To protect Sammy once again, Dean decides to take the punishment to absolve Sam of having to see the final witness.   Dean has a date with death….again.

Back in the hotel, Dean is waiting for his punishment at the hands of Jo.  Meanwhile, Sam is out trying to find a ram’s horn (I think it was a ram) to use to kill Osiris, because that is the only thing that will do it.  I completely forget why, but he finds one at a synagogue.  Back at the hotel, Jo is there and she tells Dean that she doesn’t want to do this but Osiris is making her so she has no choice.  She also tells him that he is holding onto to way too much (which he is) and that most of what he blames himself for, isn’t his fault (which is true.)  But you can tell Dean that until you are blue in the face.  If he thinks something is his fault, there is no changing that boy’s mind.  And he will punish himself for it.  Sam goes to the bar where Osiris has been plucking his victims and as he goes to grab another victim, Sam is there to stab with the horn and Osiris is zapped back to Ancient Egypt.  As Sam kills Osiris, Jo vanishes and Dean is once again saved.

The boys have their ubiquitous beer to recap the job and Sam asks Dean who the final witness was going to be.  Dean plays it well and tells him he has no idea.  They have a brief conversation about guilt and Dean asks Sam if he ever feels guilty over the things he has done.   Sam admits he does but he also admits that he finds ways to move on from it.  He can’t hang onto it because it doesn’t do him any good.  And for every bad thing he’s done, he tries to do something to make up for it.   Dean nods his head and the boys take off to find their next mission.

That’s really the big difference between Sam and Dean.  Sam can let things go easier than Dean can.  Sam certainly feels guilt and sadness but he doesn’t let him eat him up the way Dean does.  He finds outlets and positive ways to repent for his sins so that he can start to move on.  Dean, while also doing good to make up for his faults, can’t let it go.  No matter how much good he does, he still continues to beat himself up everyday for his mistakes…for wrongs he feels he caused.  It’s what will eventually doom his character.  Not from an appeal standpoint but from a mortal standpoint.  One of these days, Dean will push so hard, it will kill him.  It’s already happened but he’s been able to come back.  But one time, he’ll go to a point of no return.

I have to say that as much as I am intrigued by the Leviathan storyline, I was happy to have a break from it this week and have a straight “monster of the week” story.   But the new ongoing storyline I can’t wait to see play out is how Sam will react when he finds out Dean killed Amy.  I’m glad it didn’t happen this week.  I would have been pissed if it did because I think it’s too soon.  I would rather see it play out in a more shocking way and watch the fallout from that.

So what are you all thinking about the first four episodes of Season 7?  I am LOVING it!!!!  I feel like my Supernatural is back and I couldn’t be happier.  I want to hear your comments to let me know your thoughts!

 
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Posted by on October 15, 2011 in CW, Recaps and Reviews

 

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SEASON FINALE REVIEW: Supernatural “Let It Bleed” & “The Man Who Knew Too Much” S6 E21 & 22

Season 6 has finally wrapped and I am still trying to find the right way to recap my thoughts on this finale and the season as a whole.  If you read my blog, you know that I wasn’t a huge fan of this season.  I just felt there was little direction as to what the true end game was.   Usually when we start a season of Supernatural, the mission is clear..finding the yellow eyed demon that killed their mother and destroying him, saving Dean from having to go to hell (as a result of a deal he made with a cross roads demon to save Sam), stopping Lilith and preventing Lucifer from rising,  stop the apocalypse.  This season wasn’t so clear-cut.  At first it was figuring out who/what Sam is, then it was fighting Crowley in his quest for souls in Purgatory, then it was the Mother of All, and in the background was the war in Heaven.  Usually, one of those is the main arc for the season with the others contributing to the main arc or stand alone as side stories.   But it was never clear what the MAIN arc was.  It seems to me at this point, it was the war in Heaven all along with Castiel trying to find a way to stop Raphael from taking over and destroying the world.   Now why couldn’t that have been laid out to us earlier on in the season instead of waiting until episode 20 of 22 to tell us?   There still would have been mystery and intrigue as to what was going on and how Castiel was going to stop Raphael and how Crowley, Eve, the souls,and the Winchesters all tied in.   But instead, I watched this season very confused as to what I was supposed to care about.   Now maybe I’m a complete idiot (which is very likely) and should have seen all this coming a mile away, but I didn’t.   I knew Cas and Raph were at odds but I didn’t know why.  And the war in Heaven always seemed like an after thought.  So much for that being the case I guess.  Hence my season long frustration.  I talked with some people in the comments section about this.  While I think there were some great individual standout episodes this season (Frontierland is one of my all time favorite episodes), the episodes didn’t seem to mesh well into a season long success for me.  I kept saying that I had faith they would pull it together for the finale.  While it was pulled together, the result didn’t really have much impact for me the way it did in other seasons.

Let me touch on the one aspect that worked well before I get into the other stuff.  I like the way they handled Sam rebuilding his soul piece by piece.  I’m glad they didn’t forget about that since it was several episodes ago when Death gave Sam his soul back and put up the wall that he told him not to scratch it.  Castiel needed to find a way to distract Dean from trying to stop him, so he took down Sam’s wall, leaving him in a coma with Dean and Bobby unaware of how they can help him.  Cas promises to return to help Sam but with the decisions Cas has been making lately, Dean and Bobby aren’t so sure.  They get a lead on stopping Cas and Crowley but Dean doesn’t want to leave Sam.  He does because he knows that’s what Sam would want and leaves him a note and a gun (who doesn’t leave their love ones a gun when running out to do an errand I ask) letting him know where they are in case he wakes up. He wakes up alright but not before some crazy inner fighting that happens between him and a few other “Sams.”

In order for Sam to wake up and become COMPLETELY himself again, he needs to fight Soulless Sam and Hell Really Kicked the Shit Out of Me Sam.   Here’s my question though…and please tell me if you had the same question or if I am reading too much into this….was Sam fighting the other 2 portions of his soul to see who would be the dominate soul when this was all said and done?  So if Soulless Sam beat Sam and Hell Really Kicked the Shit Out of Me Sam, Soulless Sam is who we would get but he would have the memories of the other two?  So that’s why Sam had to fight them?  I always assumed that when the wall came down, it just meant that Sam remembered everything.  So I took what happened to mean that he had to fight his own inner demons to “win out” as the dominate soul and then absorb all their memories about what happened when he was each of those people.  Either way, it should be interesting to see how all this affects Sam going into Season 7 with all this knowledge about himself now.  But as weird as it was to figure out what the hell was going on in the early goings of “The Man Who Knew Too Much” I thought it was pretty cool how Sam regaining his full soul and complete memory went down.

Something I liked and didn’t like at the same time was what happened with Lisa and Ben.  When we started the season, Dean was living his new life with Lisa and Ben with Sam in hell (so he thought.)  By the end of the season, Lisa and Ben, literally don’t know who Dean is anymore and it’s safe to say they are gone from his life for good.  While I am glad the Lisa and Ben storyline looks to be over and done with, I’m not sure I like how it went down.   I heard on a podcast and I completely agree that wiping away Lisa and Ben’s memories really didn’t help them at all and in fact, may have put them in more danger.  Castiel felt horrible about what Crowley did to Lisa and Ben so Cas did two things….saved her life and wiped the memories of Lisa and Ben so they couldn’t remember Dean and everything surrounding him.   While I wouldn’t have a problem if they wanted to wipe their memories of her current boyfriend and his death and their kidnapping, they shouldn’t have wiped the memories away of Dean completely.  The monsters that come after Dean will still know that Lisa and Ben mean something to him whether they have their memories or not.  So instead of being able to use some of the tricks Dean taught them so they can protect themselves, they won’t know that anymore because their memories are gone.  And I understand that this was done more so to wrap up the Lisa and Ben storyline for Dean and not have it hang out there anymore, but it still doesn’t make sense.  I know I’m nitpicking and they ultimately accomplished what they wanted…ending the Lisa and Ben story.  I just think it could have been handled better because technically, they really aren’t out of his life because evil can still go after them because Dean will always care about them.   Having said all that, it was a sweet gesture for him to want to get their lives back to normal.  It was crushing for him but, in Dean’s mind, it was better for them that they don’t know him and they don’t know what’s out there.  And now they can move forward peacefully with their lives.  One can hope.

As for Castiel and his mission, I don’t know what to think.  I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again, I’m not a Castiel fan.  I don’t hate the character, I just don’t have this overwhelming Castiel love that some people do.  I mean people go crazy for this guy and I don’t get it.  He’s a good character and over the last 2 seasons, I’ve liked the relationship he’s built with Sam and Dean.  But that’s it.  I think there have been much better characters on the show than Castiel (and much worse) but the heart of the show for me will always be Sam, Dean, and Bobby.  Not Castiel.  So his betrayal of Sam and Dean (if you want to even call it that) didn’t bother me as much because I always felt like as much as Castiel really likes the Winchesters, he would always put his love for God and the greater good, first.  As he should!  But this war in Heaven took it to a whole new level.  In fairness to Castiel, even though he made some questionable decisions that led him down a dark path, his goal was always to save the people.  Raphael wanted the apocalypse to happen and wipe out man kind so he can start all over again.  Castiel didn’t want that to happen.  You could argue, it’s because he cares about the Winchesters so much.  Before he met them, maybe he would have been on Raphael’s side and not cared so much.  But I doubt it.  That doesn’t seem to be who Cas is. But lately Cas showed many different sides to him so who knows at this point.  Deep down though, I think Castiel would have wanted to stop Raphael’s plan regardless of his connection with the Winchesters or not.   What I still don’t understand is why they are being so hard on Cas.  Both Sam and Dean have made deals with demons before to save someone they love and because they thought the end justified the means.  So why can’t they see that with Cas?  Cas is only working with Crowley so he can save Heaven from Raphael and therefore hundreds of millions of people.   But Castiel’s biggest problem and where I stop defending him is that he crossed too many lines in his quest for salvation.   And you have to wonder, at what point did this stop being about saving people and start being about a power trip for Castiel?   Because in my opinion, that’s what happened.

It started back in Frontierland when he had Balthazar unsink the Titanic to be able to kill more people who shouldn’t have lived (his justification) to get more souls.   Once he found out about the way to open the portal to Purgatory (the blood of a virgin, the blood of a creature from Purgatory, and some latin) he went on a murderous rampage.  He killed Ivy Crane and some virgin probably.  Then to distract Dean, he took down Sam’s wall.  Castiel was down right evil.  So right before our eyes, Castiel was becoming a darker and darker entity.  It could be because he felt alone and that everyone betrayed him.  Rachel was his lieutenant but she betrayed him (in his eyes because we don’t really know what happened.)  The Winchesters betrayed him by not being on his side and fighting against him. Balthazar betrayed him by going behind his back and telling the Winchesters about his plan so they could stop him.  And Raphael was never on his side.  It makes you wonder if anyone in Heaven was on Castiel’s side or did he become a rogue force.   From his standpoint, he had no one supporting him anymore so he was going to do whatever he though necessary to defeat Raphael.

Once Cas and Crowley had the blood and latin they needed they were ready to open the gate to Purgatory.  Only one problem, Cas doesn’t want Crowley around anymore so he hustles him away.  Crowley, being Crowley, does the only thing he can do….he now sides with Raphael to defeat Castiel.     When he shows up with Raph, he gives Cas the same ultimatum Cas gave him…flee or die.  So Cas flees but not before he swaps out the real blood for fake blood so Crowley and Raph can’t open the gate.  When he comes back to rub it in their faces, he tells him he opened the gate and now all the souls in Purgatory are inside of him making him one powerful son of  a bitch!   Crowley gets out of there real fast and Castiel kills Raphael with a snap his fingers.   Bobby and Dean are there to witness the whole thing and we are seeing a new Castiel.  Dean is shocked and tells him that they should get those souls out him so he doesn’t explode.  He refuses.  Meanwhile Sam has woken up and stumbles in with an angel sword and stabs Castiel.  It doesn’t work.  It’s because, according to Castiel, he is their new God.  If they chose not to believe in him or follow him, then they can all die.  Alrighty then!!!  This is right around the time the real God should show up and put Castiel in his place….and fast!!!!

I don’t know if Castiel can be redeemed at this point (I’m sure the writers will find a way) but I do know his relationship with the Winchesters will never be the same.  This is where I can finally empathize with Dean.  Once Castiel purposely took down Sam’s wall knowing what it could do to him so he could distract Dean, he would be dead to me.  I can’t see Dean or Sam forgiving that.   I don’t think I can.  Castiel may be at the point of no return.  And with all the power he now has with all the souls inside him, he becomes a very scary individual.

What does all this mean for Season 7?  Well, right off the bat the boys are going to have two things to deal with…first, Sam’s wall being down so now he remembers EVERYTHING and how that will affect him and second, Castiel walking around Heaven thinking he’s God but being a very powerful entity with lots of different sorts of souls inside him.  I don’t think the types of souls inside Castiel have any affect on his decision-making, I just think it makes him one very powerful pain in the ass.  First thing I hope for with Season 7 is a succinct, solid arc that is clear from the beginning to the viewers.  The second is that I hope is that the arc isn’t fixing Castiel.  That can be part of S7 but it better not be the main arc.  And third, continuing the individual monster hunts that build and connect to the main arc.   That’s what I want to see.  Overall, season 6 wasn’t my favorite.  In fact it was my least favorite.  But I still love the show and have a lot of faith in the story telling and the cast.    I already have lots of hope for Season 7.  And hey, every show is due a clunker of a season right?  Well now they have it out of their way and they can get back to what makes them great….solid, fascinating story telling with a stellar cast that can make you laugh or cry at the drop of demon blade.

 
 

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