Friday, December 3, 2010

"Caged Heat" Recap and Impressions

Photo © The CW

Good evening, and welcome to Machiavelli's Supernatural.

First off, let me confess. I'm coming off three nights in a row averaging 4.5 hours of sleep. My work schedule this week was enough to leave me in tears. Tonight, my husband's company Christmas party meant I'm closing in on midnight. Put it all together, and it leaves me with a pretty sluggish brain. I just finished watching "Caged Heat." My intention was to watch it a second time, recapping and commenting. I mean, there were so many great lines in this episode! But I don't know if I can make it through another hour. So I'm going to stick with random impressions of the biggest stuff. I encourage (read: beg) you all to load the comments with all the stuff I miss!

Funniest Bits

"We're not supposed to talk about it."

Okay, maybe in the midst of a war he's losing, being pressured to help Sam and Dean with some pretty serious stuff, it's a bit of a stretch that Cas would be distracted by porn. But then again, he's kind of in a human body, he was almost completely human for a while, and even soldiers in real wars take breaks. So that whole scene killed me. I was really glad I wasn't watching with my daughter, though, when the boner line came up. (Ha!)

Extend that to the kiss with Meg. Poor, naive Castiel, thinking with his downstairs brain and letting a demon take his angel knife. Looks like his return kiss was pretty potent, though.

The Ends Justify the Means
I think Machiavelli might have been a little tame compared to these guys. Sam and Dean work with demon Meg, who works with angel Castiel, to try to take down Crowley. Sam bites into his own vein to bleed ink and make a devil's trap. Dean once again uses the "owe me" card to get Cas to help them, uncaring of what's going on in heaven. And Samuel...Samuel sells out his grandchildren, something Dean just can't fathom.

What else falls into this category?

  • Sam lies to Cas about finding the Ark of the Covenant, of all things

  • Sam threatens to kill Cas

  • Dean threatens to kill Samuel (though would we expect any less?

  • Demon!Christian tortures Meg, and the implication is of some pretty horrifying things

  • That's a lot of ugly means.

    Relative Complexity
    Sera Gamble et al have proven to be as unreliable (or deliberately misleading) as Eric Kripke when it comes to describing the show. We were told it was back to monster of the week, but that has been weak at best, the monsters serving only to feed the main storyline. They talked about exploring the Campbell side of the family, learning about hunting generationally, getting to know Grandpa. That was disingenuous at best.

    But I'm not complaining. I'm kind of loving how this has developed. Dean never really trusted Samuel. Sam seemed to put all his trust in him, just because he's family. In retrospect, we can say maybe it was that simple, but in a logical, rather than emotional way. I was annoyed that Dean was so oblivious to Samuel's motivations. I thought it was obvious Crowley either had Deanna or Mary, though Samuel actually succumbed to promise rather than threat. Crowley wasn't saying he'd harm Mary, just promised to bring her back. I can understand Samuel wanting that, but being willing to serve a demon indefinitely, for such an ephemeral promise?

    I know to Samuel, Mary is 17 (or however old she was), a child, rather than the adult she really was when she was killed. So he's operating from a different perspective than Dean has. To Dean, Mary has always been a powerful figure, despite the way she was taken, and despite the things he later learned. And Samuel saying Dean's a stranger, being willing to sacrifice Mary's sons to bring her back, even knowing there's no way she'd welcome that kind of outcome...well, it says a lot about what kind of man he's become.

    NOOOOOOOOO! Not Crowley!
    Okay, Crowley had become detestable. Not just an "oooh, I love to hate him!" character, but an antagonist with too much power, too much threat, doing too much damage to our boys. But I was still unprepared for what happened. At first, when Meg stepped into the devil's trap, I was all, "It's time for Crowley to die. But he can't die. They won't kill such a delicious character." (Ha! What show have *I* been watching for five and a half years?!) I was pretty sure they'd find a way for him to wiggle out of this. And sure enough, he got the best of Meg pretty quickly. And then along comes smoty Cas, with dem bones, and with a flick of the wrist (or a snap of the finger?), Crowley's toast. Or maybe roast.

    RIP, Crowley. And thank you, Mark Sheppard.

    Random question: Did anyone else think that demon looked like Kurt Evans, the actor who played Henricksen's partner, Carl Reidy? I'm talking about the demon who took the rugaru from Sam and Dean in the beginning.

    The Sam Problem
    Way to up the stakes, Supernatural writer's room! It was bad enough that Sam was wrong. Horrible that he has no soul, and completely gone is the compassionate, sensitive, puppy-dog Sammy who I was completely convinced was not capable of going dark side. This is 100% Dark Side Sammy, and it was hard seeing him thinking he didn't want his soul back, didn't want the conscience getting in the way, and suffering all the...suffering that Dean said was what life was all about.

    Can it get any worse than this? Dark Side Sammy is unendurable. Unacceptable, given the preview (more on that later). But, yeah, it can get worse. How about a tortured, mutilated soul that Sam-the-meatsuit might not be able to tolerate or survive?

    "When angels and demons agree? Call me crazy, but I'm inclined to listen."

    This twist is solid and logical and fully motivates Sam's choice to walk away from the goal. The part of me missing Puppy-Dog!Sammy hates it. The writer in me, and the fan fascinated by a seemingly insurmountable obstacle, thinks it's genius.


    A quick glimpse at next week...

    Death's back! Awesome!

    Robert Englund! Fantastic!

    Death wants Dean to take over? Freakin' fabulous!

    Sam wants to kill Bobby! WHAT?!

    Is it next week yet?