A Sashurai’s Review: Supernatural – Season 12×23 (That portal explains the strange Scooby-Doo crossover we’re getting next season)

SN 12x23

 

SUMMARY

Crowley seeks out the Winchesters after returning to his body while Sam and Dean frantically look for biblical signs surrounding the location of the nephilim. Castiel continues to help Kelly adjust to her pregnancy in a remote location as some of the nephilim’s power seeps out and opens a portal to a parallel world. Castiel encounters it and sees a world undone by the angel and demon war including Bobby, a human survivor. Sam, Dean, and Mary track down Castiel as he shows the brothers what’s on the other side of the portal. When Crowley shows up he devises a plan that will stop Lucifer. As Lucifer arrives, Sam and Dean lure him into the portal while Crowley works on a spell to trap him which requires a living sacrifice. As Lucifer pummels Dean, Crowley confronts the devil and kills himself as the last ingredient to the spell. Sam and Dean escape just as Castiel enters the fight to keep Lucifer busy. Sam and Dean return and watch Castiel exit the portal only to be stabbed by Lucifer with an angel blade, seemingly ending his life. Distraught over the loss, Sam and Dean watch Mary confront Lucifer with her spell-infused brass knuckles and the two enter the portal together just as it collapses. During the climax, Kelly gives birth and dies in the process. Sam finds her passed away and follow burning footprints to a figure in the dark with glowing eyes, the nephilim.

 

INITIAL THOUGHTS

If any of these deaths are canon and unchanging, this show is going to be a riot to read about over the coming months. Supernatural raised its stakes and sacrificed more than its merry worth of fan-favorite characters including Castiel and Crowley. Rowena also received an off-screen death and Mary is trapped in another dimension with Lucifer. And to top it off, the nephilim is nearly full-grown, evil-looking and has the power to create portals to parallel worlds. Yup, we have our 13th season all squared away and it’s game will be the paradox of alternate realities. This means a multitude of things including these so-called deaths they were so cavalier about. Nothing is certain as anyone can show up in the future including Bobby who cameo’d tonight. It was a strong set-up with seemingly devastating losses, but the inclusion of alternate realities somewhat deflates the intensity of loss here and while its exciting to see this direction come to fruition I wonder how well we can trust anyone’s demise from season’s past if the show decides to swap doppelgangers all over us. It was an interesting finale to be sure, complete with creepy weird nephilim named “Jack.” Yeah, that’s right, scourge of the universe is named Jack.

 

THE GOOD

The portal came completely out of left field, but when you stop and think about it, it really does literally open the door for a lot of crazy explanations. The first, but not the most important is whether God and the Darkness have dominion over a Supernatural multi-verse or if they’re tied to just the one Sam and Dean are in. I would like to know the answer to that question sooner than later, but the most fun aspects come from a season 13th concept where Sam and Dean become the equivalent to “Sliders” only…maybe not as badly drawn out. It’s not necessarily jumping the shark, but it does raise other concerns as well. For now, I like the idea and I’ll run with it, assuming it even becomes that at all. If it doesn’t, then what we’re dealing with is a very strange and erratic nephilim that can probably traverse dimensions, time-jump, alter existing reality and probably bring back anyone who has been killed recently. That’s another big possibility as well. Oh the theories will fly on this one.

 

THE BAD

The concept of dumping one loss after another was too taxing to anyone who had a lot of emotional investment with these characters. And the nonchalant way it was done too lends more to the theory that these deaths are not permanent. Rowena was really fitting into the show and they gave her an off-screen death. That honestly made no sense at all. I’m not against killing off likable characters but there was something too generous about these moments that make me feel like no one is getting off the show that easily. That Castiel death was almost tough to sit through because it was strange punch to the gut yet again, it’s too off the wall that they would kill Crowley and Castiel in the same episode. It’s guts, I’ll give them that but I don’t buy it. I guess I’m in the denial category for the time being.

 

FAVORITE MOMENT

Definitely not the creepy Jack reveal at the end. No, I rather liked when Bobby showed up and surprised Sam and Dean. It was a short but nice little unofficial reunion for the three and anything that has Bobby in it gets a thumbs up from me. He didn’t call them idgits, but that was more Earth 1 Bobby anyway. And melted angel-blade bullets was genius, something I hope Sam and Dean utilize in the future.

 

CHARACTER MVP

I have to give it to Crowley, he went out with more nobility and gusto than anyone else on the episode and to do what he did really shapes his persona even making it feel a bit complete with where he started out as a lonesome cross-roads demon. His defiance against Lucifer was what really drove him as of late and if he was going to be taken out it was going to be by his own hands while simultaneously keeping the devil locked in an entirely new prison. Rest in Peace, Crowley, I do believe you’ve earned it.

 

ENDING THOUGHTS

In all fairness to Lucifer’s plot at hand, is being on a war-ravaged earth where angels and demons fight endlessly any different than what he had in mind? Maybe an omnipotent nephilim would be a perfect weapon to reshape the world in his image, bit can’t he just make another one? Is that particular earth so important, and even more so, is there a Lucifer on that earth that might have a problem with another Lucifer in his realm?

 

I’ve no doubt Sam and Dean are going to wrestle with some logistical concepts like convincing this new creature to undo everything that happened including opening the portal to retrieve their mother who may be suffering Lucifer’s wrath as we speak. But is the nephilim benevolent as a stands? Were the visions Castiel was receiving of a different earth entirely where all evil had been vanquished?

 

I feel like they completely left out the plan to strip the nephilim of its grace. It was even mentioned in the episode earlier on and then never brought up again. I suppose the portal distracted the Winchesters from bringing it up, but this was all about saving Kelly’s life which in the end didn’t seem to be anyone’s objective. So they just made it so Kelly was okay with the decision which, given the circumstances is a fate way to go, but still, seems off.

 

Something else that should be brought up is whether the gates to hell are in fact closed. If they are that prevents demons from coming back, but then there’s the absent last prince of hell, aka, Azmodeus who never made an appearance this season. No doubt, he’ll have some role next season as I doubt they’d just name drop a powerful character without utilizing them at a future time. I hope they write him better than Dagon who really fell flat as a character.

 

OVERALL SCORE

8 out of 10. What started out as a simple formula with a small twist of parallel dimensional hopping as a concept, Supernatural throws the gloves down and goes for broke by killing off 3 major characters and trapping two more far from the grips of Sam and Dean who now must content with a new entity who may or may not be influenced in the ways of good and evil. The potential for portals leading to other worlds is a logical direction a show that has lasted 12 seasons can go, but if I were them I’d remain static on the decisions they made and keep their deaths real. It’ll hit harder and make their plight next season all the more desperate because there are essentially alone. We may not have to face angels and demons as we know them anymore, but maybe worse things with whatever the nephilim decides to do. His appearance suggests some dark days are coming, but at the same time, we don’t really know for sure. Very powerful and gut kicking in the end, but I admire the lengths they went to show us that no-one is truly safe on Supernatural, not even Castiel. Until next season, carry on my wayward sons.

 

 

No more words

A Sashurai’s Review: Supernatural – Season 12×22 (Two finales for the price of one)

SN 12x22

 

SUMMARY

With Bevelle’s help, Sam and Dean try various times to escape the bunker but are unsuccessful, meanwhile, a brainwashed Mary is sent to kill more hunters including Jodi Mills. After three days, Dean uses the grenade launcher to blow a hole in a concrete wall and escapes but is wounded in the leg. Bevelle bargains for her life in exchange for returning Mary to normal as they travel to Jodi’s, who with the help of Alex subdue Mary. After Bevelle admits she can’t help Mary, Sam gathers a team of hunters and sets his sights on the HQ of the men of letters. Dean stays behind wanting to somehow heal Mary as Ketch leaves HQ in search for her. Sam, Jodi and other hunters storm the compound as Bevelle helps Dean psychically link into Mary’s subconscious where he witnesses his youthful self interact with his mom. Dean admits his hatred toward Mary over what she cost them by leaving but also forgives her which brings her back to normal just as Ketch kills Bevelle and is about to kill Dean. Mary awakens and kills Ketch as Sam and Jodi capture Dr. Hess. Hess tries to convince Sam to join forces against Lucifer who they know is after the nephilim but Sam refuses as Jodi kills Hess. Back at the bunker Mary is afraid Sam won’t forgive her but Sam arrives and persuades her otherwise with a hug.

 

INITIAL THOUGHTS

Given the nature of the apocalypse that’s been brewing, this pre-finale plot was the right course of action combining a multitude of elements including a rousting speech from Sam and a sense of ownership from both Mary and Dean as they deal with their issues after a season of avoidance. Ketch, Hess, and Bevelle are put to rest and with the circumstances of the British chapter seemingly closed, we can finally move on to the supernatural heart of the matter. Earlier in the season I wanted there to be a hunter crowd versus a men of letters crowd and we essentially got it sans Garth who should have totally cameo’d with the werewolf abilities and all. It was a satisfactory experience with casualties on both sides but it was radically one-sided and without anyone really substantial associated with either side the whole climax was a bit generic but with that said I still enjoyed the raucous it caused. Dean and Mary’s convenient psychic joining plot did reveal some emotional ties that needed mending which I think was the real focal point of this episode with Sam’s accountability over trusting in the men of letters a strong second. Great episode and should blend nicely with the finale.

 

THE GOOD

Mary’s return was textbook written and needed to be done rather quickly, but it was a very simple and effective play, one I think Dean needed desperately to experience. He really doesn’t have issues blaming people for what he feels is appropriate but his power to forgive was equally uplifting because he rarely does it outside of an egotistical sense of responsibility. They made it very personal between the two and it was probably one of the most empathic moments the series pulled off with Dean who needed someone else to feel the anguish in his heart over the burden left by his parents. Great moments.

 

Wrapping up the men of the letters invasion was also appreciative and necessary. The concept absolutely worked in favor of this season and with Ketch, Mick, Bevelle, and Hess some interesting characters for certain, they’re all dead now. This means we won’t be getting any more invasions unless they feel something in the future needs their involvement. One of these days we’ll get the Winchesters to another country but for now, they defended their own turf with fiery gusto and gave Sam some decent leadership qualities that he tends to lack in when brother Dean is calling the shots. Perhaps this will open the door for him to make stronger decisions like that in the future.

 

THE BAD

The tone between Sam’s plot and Dean’s was very different and flipping between the two several times was a little disjointing. When I was ready for the resolve in Dean and Mary’s side of things, it kept going back to random gun fights with Sam and Jodi and since I knew neither of them were going to die it felt a little distracting. Nevertheless it wasn’t a great flaw by any means, the episode still gave itself a serious and noteworthy finish to the on-going plot of the British chapter, one I am thankful is now ended though.

 

FAVORITE MOMENT

Cliché to the end, but I did like Mary being the one to put Ketch down. That was set up for a long time now but it was still appropriate to witness because the two had a very odd relationship. I half expected him to confess some psycho-pathic love for Mary before she shot him, but he was never redeemable and wouldn’t have won any points for sounding like a love-struck warrior who thought he was doing the right thing. If anything I’m surprised she didn’t unload the entire clip into him.

 

CHARACTER MVP

Dean had a lot to get off his chest and the tears were thick with hatred and love for his mother, both of which he stressed out loud. He encouraged Sam to lead the hunters against the British Chapter and even went as far as to give Bevelle that headstart had she lived. There was a lot of growing up that Dean went through surprisingly and venting the way he did was oddly therapeutic and probably for the rest of us too considering we’ve been on the road with him for 12 years now.

 

ENDING THOUGHTS

The grenade launcher did come into play but not nearly in the capacity I wanted it to. I suppose I gave that weapon too much importance which begs the question, they went two days without even thinking about it and when did he decide to grab it from the trunk of the car? It had always been in there up until now. Odd convenient item is convenient.

 

I still have to scoff at the psychic link scenario that Bevelle whipped up. I thought it would have made more sense to magically link Dean and Mary together considering the spells they have at their disposal. It would have made more sense.

 

I understand Sam not wanting to team up with Hess to find Lucifer and the nephilim, but out of curiosity’s sake, I think he should have at least humored her and asked what her plan was to stop it, because they must have had something on the radar once they “took out” the hunters and who knows maybe they still will, stumble upon it that is.

 

It was good to see Alex and Jodi again. With Claire, the trio are set to hopefully have another adventure next season, one that sees them all interact again, as a family with sisters that don’t get along, much like Sam and Dean were in nearly every season. I still say it’s a worthy spin-off.

 

OVERALL SCORE

8 out of 10. Dean’s venting, Sam’s leadership, and the extermination of the men of letters was all we needed to see from the pre-finale episode which also saw Mary return from a rather evil alter-ego. No loose ends and one big bad to go. The family is past their differences now and should hopefully move forward with one last big fight in them. Dean and Mary’s psychic link was the real highlight of the episode giving some lasting feelings and working out the drama that set this show in motion so long ago. We have one more to go, so let’s not waste any time and get right to it. Thanks for reading.

 

 

No more words

A Sashurai’s Review: Supernatural – Season 12×21 (Ketch went full on Dr. Evil. Why didn’t he just fill the bunker with liquid hot magma)

SN 12x21

 

SUMMARY

When Sam and Dean learn of the death of their fellow hunter, Eileen, they begin to suspect the Men of Letters are responsible for the deaths of several other hunters. Meanwhile, Lucifer becomes aware that the power controlling him by Crowley has been slowly reversing itself allowing him to break free and finally kill Crowley, but not before Crowley’s soul escapes into a rat. At the Men of Letters compound, Mary is being slowly brainwashed into siding with them and has been taking part in the murder of a hunter and friend. Ketch and Bevell are pitted against each other by Dr. Hess for Mick’s position as Sam and Dean discover the bug in their bunker. They lay a trap and spring it on Bevell, but as they return home, Ketch and Mary are waiting and trap the Winchesters including Bevell who Ketch betrayed. As the air begins to dissipate in the locked bunker, Lucifer watches a sunset, finally free to find his unborn son.

 

INITIAL THOUGHTS

The technical penultimate episode of Supernatural deals in real personal dilemmas with a dash of hyper-intensive, band-aid ripping, deal-with-it scenarios including the death of Eileen who most certainly didn’t deserve a ten second top of the episode death sequence. Moderately following were some calm yet never casual bad guy vs bad girl moments that are making me indulge in which one I would actually pick to win. If it were truly up to me, I’d have them both suffer Lucifer’s wrath equally. Mary’s downward spiral into the Men of Letter’s kool-aid mentality was by far the more potent of the plot giving Sam and Dean so very little time to react as they are stuffed and locked within the confines of their home with Bevell as the betrayed guest. All this and Crowley’s possible plan to follow Lucifer to his own child. If it’s an act, he surely played his part well. If not, he’s a very lucky little demon. All the right notes were hit giving us one more week to digest and wonder how Castiel and the brothers will handle another potential apocalypse once more pieced together by the devil himself.

 

THE GOOD

The pressure is on for Mary who may or may not have any more fight left in her to battle against the personality Ketch and Bevell injected into her. I was particularly drawn in by Bevell’s chat about Azazel from her past and even more so by the tone in Mary’s voice as she begged Ketch to kill her. She almost withdrew into a younger version of herself, higher pitched and in complete fear of what she was becoming. Very well acted, and once more I thought Ketch would be sentimental but he was for all the wrong reasons. The pay off will be when Mary recovers and puts a bullet in Ketch’s head for all-time sake. If that resolution doesn’t happen then Ketch will be meant for seasonal villainy. I doubt that will be the case though.

 

The stakes are oddly higher and more personalized this season which I think really helps give credibility to their 12th go as a whole. For once, Sam and Dean aren’t at odds with each other but rather powerless as a duo to really combat what’s been under their eyes the entire time. Even as dis-trustworthy as they’ve become, they still couldn’t ascertain how embedded the Men of Letters were making themselves. Mary certainly didn’t help, but that’s the point of conflict is you make these good-natured characters deal with it in highly-combustible ways, more often solitary as well. If it wasn’t for Mary’s plight, Lucifer’s subplot with the nephilim would only make this season somewhat good, but with these combined elements actually has helped turn it into one of the better ones in quite some time.

 

THE BAD

Mentioning Eileen’s random act of death was an easy gripe, but there’s also something to be said for Crowley who has all but given up on his friendship with the Winchesters. Every now and then you want to believe that he will always have a softspot for them, but it hardly extends to anyone else including other hunters. His impenetrable wall of carelessness toward that front has in some ways turned him into an aggravating anti-hero who continues to make redundant decisions all in the name of power. If he really intends to control the nephilim for himself, he’s sadly mistaken. I want him to be in control of Lucifer’s escape, but then why let the devil get so close to killing him unless it was yet another way to sell the act? If Lucifer is actually free, he won’t be easy to contain at all.

 

FAVORITE MOMENT

Mary’s fall and attempt to convince Ketch to shoot her. It was darkly written and the desperation in her voice really sold the awfulness she was going through. How she will fight it in the finale is anyone’s guess outside of the sheer will she was afraid of losing in the first place, but she’s certainly one of the breakout characters on this season and has been very interesting to watch from start to finish. Ketch’s reaction continues to paint him in a strange light but realistically, he’s very loyal to a fault and has been extremely psychopathic since the start of the season. Mary will either break that mold and see his undoing, or he’ll stay a rancid evil act and become part of the major problem with only Lucifer his better.

 

CHARACTER MVP

Mary was fantastic tonight. Great acting, and the fear of losing herself was directionally efficient. A lot of her demons funneling out of this season led to the crux of her situation since her resurrection and if this turns out to be a one-season arc for her, so be it, was a damn good one.

 

ENDING THOUGHTS

Ketch wanting to let the Winchesters and Bevell suffer in death by asphyxiation was entirely too cliché for the villain. He had guns, he could have shot everyone like he did Mick and being a psychopath should have been an easy decision. That was pure laziness on the writing and I don’t have to like it one bit.

 

The CGI landscape with Lucifer was very odd and distracting from the tone of the episode. They mentioned Ireland since Eileen came back from there and that’s immediately where I thought he was based on that entire green hillside. You’d think he’d just show up exactly where his child was right then and there.

 

Escaping the bunker won’t be that difficult I’m certain, but where does that leave Bevell and the Winchesters once they do. She proved on more than one occasion she can’t be trusted and will likely stab them in the back just the same. She may hate Ketch more at this point, but Sam and especially Dean shouldn’t just let her walk away even if she agrees to take the Men of Letters and leave the country, which is what’s probably going to happen if she agrees to a stalemate by the end of this arc.

 

It’s kind of minor, but Lucifer didn’t react when there was no internal explosion of Crowley’s soul when he was stabbed with the angel blade. Lucifer had to have noticed that and if he didn’t, he’s an idiot or too gullible for his own good because he was entirely too ecstatic with being free. And with Crowley’s red spirit, you’d think they would have heard it leaving into the rat. I guess you can be sneaky if you really want to be.

 

OVERALL SCORE

8 out of 10. Mindless hunter killings aside, Supernatural brought Sam and Dean closer to the truth about the Men of Letters and the danger their mother is in including an obsessed Lucifer who’s free and wants his son back. Crowley may be playing a fool’s game but until we know more, on the surface, he was outfoxed, while secretly he probably still set the game up. Bevell is surprisingly the lesser of two evils between her and Ketch and she’ll need Sam and Dean’s help if they’re all going to escape their fate alive. I’m still not on her side, but at least she understands how serious Ketch is with wanting to be the next leader. Crafted in every way a pre-finale episode should be, Supernatural turns end over end to fuel our anticipation for an explosive finale that will hopefully see some big changes coming up. Will Mary be just a single-season character, or will she see the light of day and become another drifter like her husband? Double-episode next week so stay tuned and thanks for reading.

 

 

No more words

 

 

A Sashurai’s Review: Supernatural – Season 12×20 (Colt grenade launcher fusion now please)

SN 12x20

 

SUMMARY

Alicia with her brother enlist the help of the Winchesters after their mother, Tasha goes missing while hunting a witch in Wyoming. At the motel its discovered that an older woman has been turning the guests into golem-like creatures carrying their hearts and in complete control of them. She turned Tasha as well when she refused to take her demon-borrowed magic. As a struggle ensues, Alicia is stabbed and killed while Dean takes out the witch. Grief Stricken, Max uses the same magic to return Alicia by adding her heart to a husk as the Winchesters depart. Meanwhile, Mary discovers Mick’s body within the Men of Letters compound but is subsequently taken down by Ketch who is now reporting to Tony Bevell who has returned to oversee the downfall of the American hunters.

 

INITIAL THOUGHTS

Carefully written with consequences in hand, Supernatural takes the awful nature of loss and compounds it with a twist in magic. This was one of the more fascinating tales that took a character like Max, who seemingly had little to doubt and take seriously and put him in a very horrific position after dealing with both the loss of his mother and sister. The act may prove to be an undoing later in the show, but I wouldn’t count on that until next season should they pursue it. The real danger comes from Mary finally understanding the trouble she’s in with Ketch and the british chapter. Lady Bevell is back and neither are any force for good considering their volatile natures. We were also given a short glimpse into some trouble with Sam as Dean furiously yelled for him to wake up, but until we know more next week, the moment is up in the air as to what’s wrong. Quite literally a heart ripping episode filled with familial tragedy and a sense of foreboding on the way, all this and not a nephilim controlled Castiel to be seen.

 

THE GOOD

The Banes family was a new addition to the series, mostly as a connection to Mary, but recently added for Sam and Dean to interact with. We’ve never seen a magic family act as hunters before especially on the side of good, but they’re a fascinating tightly knit group that unfortunately hit a threshold of tragedy. Max may have played the background of the three, but it was always him who had to deal with the pain of that loss. His choice to return Alicia wasn’t necessarily a step into some wicked darkness, rather a desperate plea to keep from being alone. It mirrored Ketch’s phrase about the ends justifying the means but in a more sorrowful sense. Consequentilism is often the anti-hero’s approach to fighting battles but it’s even more dangerous when a villain thinks they’re doing good with that concept in mind.

 

THE BAD

Not much background on our resident weekly villain except for a few mutterings about a demon deal to possess magic and finding a loophole out of the bargain. It was a clever idea, but not very well executed in the art of being interested in the villain’s case. It was too cut and dry and I think this episode would have been better received if we had something else to go on other than her despicable act of turning people into her personal free-thinking drones.

 

FAVORITE MOMENT

When Max brought Alicia back at the end. I think he really sold the frustration and pain so when he committed to the magical resurrection I think it was easier to understand and sympathize with. Whether or not this is a permanent condition remains to be seen, but until that plot thread unravels, he’ll pretend to contend with the secret. He’s definitely a character who should come back next season if they write him in.

 

CHARACTER MVP

On the other side of this plot was Mary who tried her best to relieve Ketch of consciousness before being tazed into capture. She understood the folly of her situation and went as far as to defy the defacto leader in his own headquarters rather than take the first chance at escaping. Her only other mistake was not saying enough in her second voicemail to Dean other than “We need to talk.” You can’t get much more ominous and cryptic than that. Still, she’s focused enough to deal with the situation herself while always trying her best to keep the boys out of it. I’d still say she’s dangerous even if subdued.

 

ENDING THOUGHTS

For a second, I would have thought Ketch was going to use the shape-shifter to resume Mary’s form and use that to trap the Winchesters. Who knows, that could still be a thing even though Ketch doesn’t utilize evil characters to get what he wants.

 

Bevell’s return means Sam may get another chance at revenge for what she put him through back in the premiere. I’d expect the same hesitation that comes with any hard decision Sam ever has to make, but maybe this time since his Mother’s life is at stake, he’ll just act the way Dean would and put her out the same way Ketch dealt with Mick.

 

And here we have yet another reference to the grenade launcher in the back of Dean’s car. Dollars to donuts that weapon becomes the new equivalent to the colt complete with grenades that act the same way as the bullets in the colt. Let’s say for example the Nephilim is in fact evil or Lucifer is in possession of its power or whatnot. Imagine the effect of a grenade launcher with the power of the colt blowing Lucifer up in the finale? That’s some wicked moment right there even if a simple “colt bullet” can’t kill him.

 

I suspect Sam’s sleep induced ride home is nothing more than the usual for him and there’s nothing seriously wrong. It had no connection to any moment earlier on and seemed odd to put in except to cement Dean’s fear over the situation with their mother. He’ll be awake and frowning in no time.

 

OVERALL SCORE

8 out of 10. Mary’s capture will spark into the final episodes of Supernatural this season as we come off the grips of a hunter family torn asunder by magic and its inescapable pull toward darkness. Max is more grounded as a character now and as such made a very rough decision given the love he had for his sister. It’s an act that Sam and Dean may judge unfairly at a later time, but the road to this ending was heartfelt and will likely cost someone in the near future. Bevell and Ketch are in control now and with no telling how deeply routed they’ll get to remove the American hunter influence, it will be up to Sam and Dean to deal with two warring fronts as Lucifer likely makes for a hard play next week. Thanks for reading.

 

 

No more words

A Sashurai’s Review: Supernatural – Season 12×19 (Sanctuary for the one)

SN 12x19

 

SUMMARY

Kelly attempts suicide while under Dagon’s watch but her unborn child prevents her prompting her to believe the nephilim can and will be benevolent. Meanwhile, Castiel returns to the Winchesters under a false pretense of sorrow and defeat and steals the colt. After leaving, he meets with other angels who found Dagon’s hideout. Together they infiltrate it but are subdued by Dagon. Castiel finds Kelly and takes her away. After several attempts to convince Castiel that her baby is good, she receives a vision of the future showing Castiel defending her. Sam and Dean arrive with a plan to take the nephilim’s grace and saving both the mother and child, but Kelly refuses and drives away in Dean’s car with Castiel. At the sandbox, Joshua greets them but is killed by Dagon. Sam and Dean find them, but are taken down as Dagon retrieves the colt and decommissions it. As Castiel defends Kelly, she passes onto him some of the Nephilim’s power which allows him to kill Dagon. After realizing the good potential from the baby, he leaves with Kelly and knocks out the Winchesters citing his knowledge of the future.

 

INITIAL THOUGHTS

Ding-dong the Dagon’s dead. That’s primarily my big take-away on tonight’s episode of Supernatural. Kelly takes charge and convinces Castiel to handle the care for her child when it’s born which will slingshot Sam and Dean in directions they’re not ready to face notwithstanding the oncoming onslaught of Men of Letters reform that’s headed their way. Our two arcs are seemingly staying separate with no real signs of convergence, which is probably for the best but until we know for sure which will monumentally overtake the finale, my money is on the Nephilim. As usual, Dean is a hurt and sarcastically lashes out as expected because somehow his needs are superiorly warranted over Sam’s yet even not knowing Castiel’s complete deal, I found Dean’s intolerance entirely too hammed up this time around. There’s a satisfactory sense now that one more yellow eyes has been unfolded into nothingness, but otherwise a ship-shape turnout all in all.

 

THE GOOD

Dagon’s demise was delightfully dished-out. I think there’s some clause in writing god-like villains in TV-shows where they have to mask their fears and frustrations with very poor sarcasm and unreliable retorts. It brings them to an earthen level but it’s the cheapest personality quirk there is and it makes them sound just as run-of-the-mill as every other god-like villain that’s out there in TV land. In any case, She’s gone and I’m very happy with the outcome.

 

Castiel has found a new sense of purpose, and if the opening catch-up segment hammered that notion into the viewer that Castiel was at the end of his rope which meant he was either going to come out of it or fall even further down. Luckily, that didn’t happen. Castiel deserves a more dignified existence and now he has one as the official caretaker of the hybrid. Some notes on that will be coming later here.

 

THE BAD

Just some more angel nonsense. None of them matter and none of them will. Sometimes we get a clever demon who can rough it up with the Winchesters but we haven’t seen a cool angel since well before the Metatron days. We can’t even have prince versions of the angels because technically those were the archangels and Dagon killing Joshua was the feather in the obvious cap that these heavenly entities are idiots at their best. If only there was a way to make them interesting again.

 

FAVORITE MOMENT

When Dagon got her comeuppance. The flavor came with how Castiel used or borrowed rather the Nephilim’s power to subvert and destroy the prince of hell. It’s a monumental step up and this angel’s been a leviathan carrier back in the day. I like the shift in Kelly’s attitude and even more so how Castiel is now treating the situation. It was a good moment worth watching one or two more times.

 

CHARACTER MVP

Easily goes to Cass tonight. Most of the time it’s Sam or Dean knocking some rhetorical sense into him but this time it came from Kelly who unexpectedly found solace in knowing her baby will be protected by the most stalwart angel of them all. Everyone recognized the dreary and defeatist attitude he carried with him as of late, but he managed to pull himself out of it with an understanding we’re not entirely privy to yet. It’s a good sign though when he’s that convinced, it’s just a shame he’s not on board with the Winchesters who will be extremely annoyed when they wake up with what happened.

 

ENDING THOUGHTS

Something tells me the colt isn’t actually permanently out of play. If the god just dissolved or melted into a hunk of junk then sure, but it only separated into two pieces. Why couldn’t Sam and Dean forge it back together? I think it’ll come back. Or maybe they should merge its pieces with the grenade launcher and make a colt-grenade launcher. Gotta think big.

 

It’s a little late in the season but there is one more prince of hell out there that Lucifer can call upon to make things right for him. I really hope they don’t do this, because I guarantee there will be so little character development that he’ll come and go in probably one or two episodes max and be of little importance to the plot except to be pretend to be another bad-ass villain who gets mockingly swept away by Castiel’s new ability when in close proximity to the Nephilim.

 

There’s still a slight chance the Nephilim entity is in fact duping everyone and is making all the benevolent moves to stay alive. The key though is believing that nothing is born evil which was mentioned earlier. I think anything that powerful will probably be influenced by those closest to him which means if Lucifer does in fact get near Kelly before or after the birth, it could drastically change its alignment unless it’s above all that, which is also a strong possibility, a sort of new balance between the good and evil that God and The Darkness left behind.

 

It will be interesting to see if Sam and Dean align on Castiel’s decision or collectively try and capture him as a means to end the Nephilim threat regardless of its virtuous influence on Cass. With all these moments of feeling betrayed by most characters close to Dean, he’ll likely need to find a few dozen burgers to ingest before moving on from it, but Sam can easily be just as over it. I’d like to see them be agreed on whatever they choose to do moving forward with or without Castiel’s help.

 

OVERALL SCORE

7 out of 10. Tonight’s Supernatural raised the majesty of the Nephilim and gave Castiel a new lease on positivity. The colt may be out of action, but Dagon is soon becoming a distant memory as the angel-centric episode draws closer to the birth of the hybrid. Lucifer will have no choice now but to find an escape and claim the child for himself. Crowley won’t make that easy and the brothers may also be of a mood to crash Castiel’s plan if they don’t trust him. Kelly is more accepting of her role now that she has someone siding with her new-found sense of optimism regarding her unborn child. If the sentiment proves accurate, there won’t be much of anything any character or group will be able to do once the Nephilim is born, which is why I’m still hoping for one more little twist before their fates are sealed. Good progress tonight, some actionable moments and a few deaths to write-off. Castiel got his win-win and Dean was exceptionally more grumpy than usual given his fondness for Castiel in the past. Now on to other more British concerns, yes? Thanks for reading.

 

 

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A Sashurai’s Review: Supernatural – Season 12×18 (That one time you don’t answer yes when asked if you’re a god)

SN 12x18

 

SUMMARY

Ketch posing as Mick online sends Sam and Dean to Wisconsin to investigate the disappearance of a local. While they’re out, he and a team comb through the bunker for information on the brothers and leave bugs for recording. Meanwhile, Sam and Dean discover the god of sacrifice had until recently been used to make and keep a family rich for over a hundred years while being captured and fed humans once a year. The Winchesters find the Sheriff who is the most recent member has been against this but his half-brother continued the tradition and allowed the god to escape. Together, they foil the half-brother and use the colt to destroy the god. Afterward, Sam and Dean wonder what legacy they will leave on the world as Ketch listens from his base of operations holding a picture of Mary, whom he’s grown attached to.

 

INITIAL THOUGHTS

Creepy and charming in its own right, Supernatural tells of human collaboration with evil creatures in exchange for money and power, a tale as old as Faust. The satyr might have been an interesting choice, but didn’t serve much more than a quiet heavy breather that remained faceless for the entire plot. A true boogeyman in every sense, Sam and Dean utilized their most valuable weapon and did away with the monster proving yet again that the colt is designed to wipe away powerful entities with a single bullet. The road to a final strike again the Men of Letters is drawing closer but with Ketch’s subterfuge it’s likely Mary who will find out before her sons do. Other than some highlights in conversation and a rather uplifting ending for the brothers, there wasn’t much to save this episode from its own forgetful fate.

 

THE GOOD

The sheriff was an interesting choice to keep in the realm of good considering where his family history had put him. He certainly didn’t abuse the relationship with the satyr but didn’t do anything to provoke it either. Any person willing to turn away from greed with a powerful god would probably be left with a hefty job of maintaining a low profile and staying introverted. This lent to the growing theme that not everything is black and white in the eyes of the Winchesters anymore and someone like Ketch likely would have put an end to the sheriff much as he has in previous episodes.

 

THE BAD

Logistically, the god of sacrifice was too easily captured and too easily kept under lock and key. Without any prior knowledge with how the satyr was put in a cage, it seemed poorly written that such a creature would have a tough time staying put or at the very least without help from other gods of its kin. If they left the “god of” concept out of the research, it would have been much easier to believe a creature was tricked or lured into the trap considering its need for human blood. It seemed like more of an excuse to put the colt back in action so we don’t forget about it.

 

Dean’s one-off with the waitress felt very thrown in as a cliché to keep us remembering that food and women are always at the top of Dean’s mind. I thought it was going to reveal some evil plan the satyr was playing on him, but the two never connected that way. It wasn’t even put there as a red-herring, just a standard one-night stand that Sam rolled his eyes about the next day. We know Dean gets around, no need to remind us if it doesn’t enhance the plot.

 

FAVORITE MOMENT

Nothing really popped out as a favorite moment. I think if anything, Ketch’s obsession with Mary is staying on the front to keep us looped in on how dark things may get so his staring at the picture at the end was very ominous. This may be what we need to verify that his intentions are and always have been of a darker place. He won’t be redeemable and Mary may be forced to kill him, an act I can see her having no trouble with. But if Dr. Hess tells Ketch to kill her, well then we’ll see what he’s all about. I’ll also say that Sam and Dean chiseling their initials into the desk was a fond moment meant to be cherished.

 

CHARACTER MVP

I’d give it to the sheriff for the same reasons stated above. As a minor character he didn’t succumb to a tradition of evil his bloodline set on him and that takes a lot to go against to remain objectively good. It’s just ironic that a satyr which is naturally influential by historical standards wasn’t able to influence him to keep killing. I guess he was missing his flute.

 

ENDING THOUGHTS

Was it necessary to show us an additional scene with the second kid who was taken and placed in the freezer? It was essentially meant to introduce us to the god itself, but they could have done that at any point. In fact, considering they never really put the god in any actual light would have made his presence that much more creepier if they waited until Dean saw him to show us for the first time.

 

The bug under the table was a horrible place and one that should be easily found. There are many different hidden locations they could have put it and considering the thorough atmosphere they showcased, that seemed very poorly handled by Ketch, who may have been distracted by the picture of Mary, but still. It better be found by the next episode.

 

I almost want to see an entire episode of Castiel going through his events as he’s still drifting away from the Winchesters. His place in the world is murky but it would be cool if somehow he encountered Azmodeus and had to do something to get his bearings straight before returning to his friends.

 

It would also be a clever ruse if Mary was busy gathering other hunters under the radar of Ketch and the men of letters. If somehow, she’s already aware with how shady the group is and is taking steps in helping take them out by going and finding all the American hunters. She’s always been resourceful, but this would take it to a whole new level if done right.

 

OVERALL SCORE

6 out of 10. Basic campy atmosphere with a god-like character that should have been more powerful than they let on. Ketch is studying his enemy rather than destroying them outright, which they could have done given how easy it was to break into the bunker. Much of this plot felt like a filler within a filler, creating scenes that never really go anywhere or enhance the basic formula of man’s obsession with money and power and the lengths they’ll go to to seize it. Whether Ketch is truly chaotic in an evil way isn’t explicitly shown, but steps are being taken to show he’s enamored with Mary which should prove to be his downfall if he doesn’t switch sides by this season’s end. Thanks for reading.

 

 

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A Sashurai’s Review: Supernatural – Season 12×17 (That’s what we call a…Ketch 22)

SN 12x17

 

SUMMARY

In a flashback, a young Mick Davies murders his classmate under a test given by his headmistress, Dr. Hess. In the present, Sam and Dean continue to track Kelly Kline along with the help of fellow hunter, Eileen Leahy. Mick becomes aware and is once more fighting his code to eliminate her on sight. Meanwhile, Lucifer pretends to give in to his subjugation to Crowley and convinces a demon to try and disarm the spell within his vessel. Elsewhere, after Ketch and Mary finish a mission, they sleep together with Mary declaring no strings attached. When Kelly is fooled into returning to the doctor who performed her check-up, she is taken by Dean to a remote location. Mick arrives with a men of letters cohort, Renny Rollins. Together, they argue over what to do with Kelly as Dagon arrives to take her away. As Dagon escapes with Kelly in custody, Eileen accidentally shoots and kills Rollins using the colt. Distraught over the incident, Eileen returns to Ireland as Sam and Dean contemplate their next move. Afterward, Mick returns to his base of operations and is confronted by Dr. Hess who plans to judge and eliminate Sam and Dean herself. Mick refuses to cooperate with the code and is shot dead by Mr. Ketch. Dr. Hess then declares that all hunters are to be eliminated.

 

INITIAL THOUGHTS

Dark moments and certain death looms over the American hunters with a mixed bag of fraternization and a heavy emphasis on a future war between the hunters and the men of letters. Mick’s death marks the only real ally Sam and Dean had. While Ketch remains unquestionably loyal to his group, one wonders if his intimacy with Mary will fluctuate his own code when the time comes. Tonight’s Supernatural brought in a full maze of character arcs including some insight into Mick that showed how human he’s become over the years and what it ultimately cost him. Excellent episode with details for everyone minus Castiel who was the only missing member of this grand cast.

 

THE GOOD

Mick’s past was meant to bring out the most of his development and as a supporting character I think he was given an exit fitting of his stature. Granted an ally killed him, but in a way it was a circular story that started and ended with the code being the root of difference between the MOL and the hunters. Change is forbidden and Mick suffered first hand what that means regardless of one’s spotless record. He won’t be sorely missed, but he came through for the most part by not giving in to the order he was brought up by. Now that he’s gone, there will truly be a wall between both sides with the exception of Mary who may or may not become Ketch’s target. What’s important here is not knowing what Ketch himself is capable of. Right now it’s easy to see, but the future could get murky for the assassin.

 

Good job bringing back Eileen and giving another solo hunter some screentime in a world where most hunters are being taken out little by little. I can’t imagine them utilizing her much more this season, but if the hunters do join forces I’ve no doubt she’ll be among them fighting the good fight. It’s no secret, she and Sam share some kinship that Dean can recognize and borderline flirtatious. For now I’d say it’s a show of respect, even if Sam gets teased about it. He cares about what happens to her and that shouldn’t be any secret.

 

THE BAD

If Crowley is being fooled by Lucifer, this won’t be a good sign for what’s to come. I’d like to believe that Crowley is in fact always two or ten steps ahead of Lucifer’s hidden agenda including knowing when the devil is faking submission. We won’t know the answer to that until Lucifer is freed from his prison. None of Lucifer and Crowley’s scenes seemed relatively important to showcase tonight, but it was good to see an episode that showcased near everyone.

 

Kelly and Dagon’s scenes didn’t lend toward much in the way of caring about either. Kelly must face a realization that giving birth means certain death and Dagon nearly throws that fact in her face. It puts Kelly in a very scared place, but it’s a farcry from understanding what her options are. She simply has none because her love for the nephilim will bring ruin as the men of letters professed. Dagon is certainly under Lucifer’s thrall regardless of the role she played long ago and as such doesn’t hold a candle to old yellow eyes himself. She’s not interesting and probably won’t become interesting in the future. It’s time to get rid of the third prince of hell already.

 

FAVORITE MOMENT

When Mr. Ketch killed Mick. I think we all knew it was coming but it still stung a little to see Ketch follow the code to methodically. I’m not certain such ways about control through plain and simple murder makes sense in a world fashioned by the men of letters, but rules are rules. Ketch is still as cold-blooded as ever, but hopefully we’ll see more of his character standout. He did fumble with his words when Mary made it clear their session meant nothing substantial.

 

CHARACTER MVP

Mick made the most change and effort and lost his life because of it. It sucks but it counts and he deserves the MVP tonight. As much as Eileen handled herself in the episode, she was still more of a background character. Mick was given a flashback and a struggle that he overcame by defying the order that made him who he was. When I first saw his character, this was the last thing I expected to see and that was conflict within the men of letters. He’s the only one to showcase that conflict and unless Ketch has issues, he may be the only one that we see in this position from this point on.

 

ENDING THOUGHTS

With only a handful of episodes left I wonder if the last prince of hell will make an appearance at all. He could be held off as a season 13 villain, and I wouldn’t mind it so much, but these days the princes aren’t little more than a rambunctious threat with monster telekinetic abilities. The colt can put an end to them easily. Let’s put in some more thought and menace into the last prince of hell please.

 

The nephilim birth and the invasion of the men of letters are slowly converging which means one or the other will have to be settled first and not likely at the same time. I’m hopeful that the nephilim will either annihilate Dr. Hess and her group or everyone will have to become super-awesome allies and fight together, but that doesn’t sound like this show will incorporate that kind of teamwork. Sam and Dean will quickly discover what happened to Mick and all hell, figuratively will break loose.

 

Mary sleeping with Ketch was…an interesting plot point. Certainly wasn’t truly expecting it, Mary has found a lot of focus with hunting, but we have no real idea what she was like in her younger days. Is she really looking for some kind of companionship outside of her struggle to be a mom and a hunter? Her sons will certainly disapprove of this and lately it’s been one disapproving decision after another. At least from Sam and Dean’s point of view, this will be a hassle to understand and Ketch will be the first to shoot first and shoot second and shoot third then ask questions, with a drink, minus the questions.

 

Notwithstanding the complexity of the men of letters and their historical backdrop, I’d like to see what other countries have fashioned over the decades to deal with their local monsters. Some monsters from other countries make their way into America, but there has to be similar groups like the hunters and MOL that battle them. The only odd thing to cover here is that ghosts are impossible to predict and eliminate from any country as a whole and England has to have them in abundance. How do they deal with ghosts in general? That’s a series in itself waiting to happen.

 

OVERALL SCORE

8 out of 10. Escalating doom is naturally what Supernatural strives for given there’s only 5 or 6 episodes remaining. Tonight, we focused on how the men of letters have brainwashed and corrupted people like Ketch and Mick to follow a strict code and only some of it has been undone by Sam and Dean’s intervention. The rest now falls on the brothers to make everything right and expel Dr. Hess and her group before Lucifer’s child lays waste to everyone. Will Kelly find a way to survive the birth or is her fate sealed. Eileen made a casual but welcome comeback and Ketch could be seen as playing both sides for his own benefit. If only he was a double-agent for something more sinister. If there’s an all out war planned I hope it happens sooner than later because all signs point to a bloody finale mixed with some reign of fire and Lucifer’s eventual escape. Wouldn’t it be funny if it turns out he was having a daughter instead of a son? I mean, how does he really know? Those angels. Thanks for reading.

 

 

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