Friday, April 22, 2011

"Frontierland" Review

Warning: I did not do a cool "as I watched" recap like the others do, so this is a fairly random stream of my thoughts on tonight's episode.

I'll start with the things I didn't like, because they are few.

No, wait. I'll start with OMG, Dean in a hat.


Sam in a hat.

Yum. Mee.

Best Line of the Episode:
"I didn't get a soulonoscopy for nothin'."

Oh, wait, I was doing the things I didn't like. Okay, first, why didn't we get to see Sam racing across the plain on horseback? You know, that photo over his desk in "The French Mistake"? I wanted to see that galloping live. *sigh*

While Number One swooned repeatedly over all the Back to the Future homages, I found it a little hard to buy that Sam would have had Bobby's address in his phone. It was a plausible explanation for how Samuel Colt found him, but these guys have spent half their lives trying not to be found.

Okay, that's it. That's all I didn't like. Unless you count the saloon girl's mouth, and the authenticity was so fantastic, I can't not like it, disgusting as it was. :)

So, what did I like?

Soooooo much. I have to admit, I've had this fantasy where Castiel gets wounded with an angel sword, with his grace all exposed, and he comes to me to heal him, because I'm the only one who can. My heart beat a little faster at that scene. :)

Poor, beaten-down Cas. I'm kind of hoping they get The Mother taken care of tout suite and address this war in heaven in the last episodes, because man, I'm dying 1) to know what Castiel has been doing, and 2) for the boys to finally step up and HELP him. I want major sacrifices, guys, no holding back. After everything Cas has done for you, the least you can do it throw yourselves into his war and save him.

Speaking of which, I loved how Bobby didn't hesitate when it came to letting Cas touch his soul. Granted, that was actually minor compared to other things he's faced, but still.

Let me backtrack a little. There were a few threads to follow in this episode. (I love it when they do that!)

First, there's the Mother thing. Bobby and the Idjits break into the Campbell's hidden stash of research materials, looking for something about how to kill The Mother. They find reference to the ashes of a phoenix doing the trick, but come on, how do you kill something that is reborn immediately every time it dies? Dean geeks out when he finds Samuel Colt's original journal, which contains a note that "the gun killed a phoenix today." (As a word geek, I love how that's written!)

Which brings me to thread 2, the return of Samuel Colt and The Colt. Everything looped so awesomely here. Colt was building the railroads around the Devil's Gate. Elkins was the bartender in the town where Dean dropped the Very Special Gun, which explains how the later Elkins had it in 1973 and 2006. I wonder if he knew how special it was—like, he was watching from the saloon and saw this unkillable thing die—and kept it safe. I loved the portrayal of Colt himself. A tired, unflinching, seen-it-all tough guy is exactly what I would have expected.

Castiel's war is another thread. I got the impression, when reading about Rachel's casting, that she was a bigger character, but she didn't last long. When we first see her, she's vociferously protective of Cas, and I agreed wholeheartedly with her assessment of the boys' expectations of Cas. Later, she's a disillusioned lieutenant who turns on her leader when she learns he's doing...something despicable. Whoa, Cas, what are you UP to, anyway?

Plenty of humor in this episode. I love, love, love the easiness the brothers have with each other. I know we've said this before, but they have a comfort level that harks back to the early days, but it's tenfold because there's finally no tension between them. (Oh, yikes, I just remembered that wall in Sam's head that's destined to come down...) I can't wait to watch the season all the way through again, with no breaks. I know I'll be marveling at the acting, at the difference in hardness and coldness versus charm and ease.

Dean was such a nerd about the Westerns. Okay, this is the first we've ever heard of his obsession, but it does fit in with his late-night movie watching habit. He was pretty adorable. And hot in his "authentic" clothing, once he got rid of the ill-fitting, silly stuff.

Then there was the monster-of-the-week element. We have undertones of the typical "is he a monster, or is he just living his life and humanity is the monster?" The phoenix's wife was nearly raped and then murdered by the deputy, and the phoenix himself (Elias, I think) hanged for her murder. Now, when he told the story to Sheriff Dean, it sounded like the previous sheriff and judge had misinterpreted the situation, or took the deputy at his lying word, but when the sheriff apologized to Elias before being smoked, that seemed to imply they railroaded him to protect their guy. Elias murdered three people, and after what he'd been through, what would stop him from murdering others? An interesting question is if Dean would have had more compunction about killing Elias if he hadn't needed his ashes. Oh, and if Elias wasn't shooting at him. That was good incentive. :)

I was a little shocked and dismayed when they got flashed back to the present without the ashes. All that effort, Cas and Bobby risking themselves, for naught! And then Colt getting them the ashes anyway. He had to be curious about whether the gun worked on the phoenix and followed Sam back to town. I wonder how he felt about his revolver going missing, especially when the demons were still after him. Hey, how about a few webisodes featuring Colt? I'd love to find out some of his story!

So...your turn! What did I forget? What did you like or not like about the episode?