Friday, October 28, 2011

"Slash Fiction" Recap

Hmm, methinks the Sam and Dean who are robbing a bank and killing all the patrons and employees are not the real Sam and Dean.

Next we have Bobby trying to make the captured leviathan talk and he's having no luck. When Dean asks the leviathan how he found them, the guy says it was easy and starts talking about using algorithms tracking their known aliases.

Bobby: "Great. Just what we need, a Mensa monster."

The monster says he's the least of their worries, and Sam and Dean see the news that they supposedly robbed a bank and killed everyone.

Dean: "Those sons of bitches Xeroxed us. We find these ass monkeys and we kill them ourselves."

Bobby sends the boys to see a friend of his, Frank, but when they arrive the guy pulls a gun on them and asks who sent them. "NSA, the Feeb, March of Dimes?"

Frank seems freaked out and trigger-happy when the respond with Bobby's name. Okay, this guy is funny. He gives the boy new aliases, Tom and John Smith, and tells them no more rock shout-outs with their names. He tells them to ditch the Impala.

Dean is obviously not happy about having to leave the Impala behind, saying something about putting baby in a corner.

Sam: "You know that's a line from--"
Dean: "Swayze movie. Swayze always gets a pass."

LOL! Dean starts singing to the radio playing Air Supply's "I'm All Out of Love."

Sam is looking at a map of where the dopplegangers have hit, and he realizes they're places where he and Dean have done cases before. Jericho -- Lady in White. Black Water Ridge -- Wendigo. Lady Manatonka -- the kid in the lake. They're in order, from the day Sam left Stanford. Hello, Season 1!

Sam and Dean roll into the next town the dopplegangers are to hit and see them, but the cops roll up and arrest the real Sam and Dean. Oops.

Meanwhile, back at Bobby's cabin, the leviathan has turned into Bobby but then something starts dripping from the ceiling and burning holes in the guy. It's the first thing that has had any effect. Bobby runs upstairs where the lady sheriff (Jodi) is cleaning the floor and...he kisses her!!! Then he asks what was in the bucket.

The dopplegangers switch forms into two cops to get into the police station to see Sam and Dean.

Hey, look, the sheriff is Col. Tigh from Battlestar Galactica.

Sheriff sees the baddies eating one of his deputies and decides to trust Dean. He helps him take out bad Sam. Then we see bad Dean talking with real Sam, and he spills the beans that real Dean killed Amy a couple of episodes back.

Uh oh, one of the FBI agents is a leviathan (I had that suspicion) and comes back to kill the sheriff and his daughter, the medical examiner.

Crowley shows up in the car of the head leviathan trying to make deal, but the head leviathan doesn't think too highly of demons and tells Crowley so in no uncertain terms. I'm thinking this will tick off Crowley enough that he will go back to helping Sam and Dean, but who knows. Maybe I just want to see Crowley on the side of good because he cracks me up sometimes.

Sam confronts Dean about killing Amy then walks away, telling Dean he can't be around him now. And then Sam walks off. Sigh. Brothers separated again. I wonder how long this will last.

Monday, October 24, 2011

"Shut Up, Dr. Phil"

We had some technical difficulties, so we apologize for not having our usual timely, amusing, insightful recap and review of the most recent episode. :(

I'm sliding rapidly into the semi-conscious blur that comes with having two books coming out one day apart (Behind the Scenes on 10/31 and Under the Moon on 11/1! /plug), so this is just an impression review rather than a full recap.

This episode has the long-awaited featured guests Charisma Carpenter and James Marsters, formerly of Buffy and Angel fame. They played husband and wife witches having a little feud. Don Stark stepped out on Maggie, who is punishing him by murdering everyone connected to his affair—the woman he slept with, the guy who introduced them, someone who covered for him. Don retaliates by killing Maggie's best friend and ruining the art she's so passionate about. But, as the boys point out in an under-duress counseling session near the end, there must still be love there, because they're not trying to kill each other.

This wasn't a high-emotion, high-intensity, high-mythology, high-anything episode, but as I break it down, I really liked it. The boys engaged in true sleuthing-style investigation, following clues and conducting interviews like someone from a non-paranormal crime drama or something. They worked really well together, despite New!Sam irritating the hell out of Same!Old!Dean, and Dean getting even further into the bottle (I wonder when that's gonna come to a head?).

Bobby's presence on the show was so solid I have to keep reminding myself he never was actually there. I loved how Maggie knew the boys were hunters from the get-go, and Don was actually a pretty quiet character, so different from his flamboyant Spike, while Maggie could have been the original high-school Cordelia all grown up.

A show this old starts to struggle with freshness. But I thought they altered the familiar just enough. They offered great, gruesome new deaths (frying under a hair dryer, nail gun through the eyes, little tiny beating hearts in cupcakes and literally coughing up a lung). We've had witches before, but these are old married witches with no grand agenda, no evil plans, just a typical, personal battle taken a little (lot!) too far.

Probably my only quibble with the whole thing was that Dean killed Amy when her motivation had been pure, when she'd worked hard not to kill in the first place, and now he didn't seem to try hard enough to kill the Starks. Yes, they are extremely powerful witches who totally outmatched the boys, and they haven't actually defeated witches before, but they seemed to give up too easily against people who killed innocents without compunction.

On the other hand, Don Stark putting a spell on the Leviathan and saving the boys from his wife was kind of cool, and left things open for them both to return, which I'm fully in favor of.

So what did you think? Love or hate the episode? Did the guest stars make the show, or was their cult standing too distracting? Do you want to see them again? Weigh in in the comments!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Review: Supernatural 7.04 "Defending Your Life"

Warning - contains spoilers and possible unpopular opinions

.....I'm 90% crap. I get rid of that what then?

This week's Supernatural, Defending Your Lifewas one of those episodes I found I had to watch a few times to get a handle on it. It's not that I didn't enjoy it, I did. At one point I literally found myself sitting on the edge of my seat. Like literally. I was pulled into the story. But then, I would be wouldn't I. I'm highly invested in the character of Dean Winchester and very concerned about his slide down the slippery slope of what appears to be depression. I analyse and over analyse every single little thing he does. It wasn't that I wasn't engaged, it was just....I wasn't sure how to feel and I wasn't sure why I felt so conflicted. One part of me wanted to hug Dean, hold him tight and gently dab away those tears that were threatening to engulf him and the other part of me wanted to give him a good shaking. When he stood outside the bar and said "You're Dean Winchester" I yelled out YES YOU ARE! But then, this behaviour is nothing new. He's been wracked with self doubt and loathing and on very shaky ground for a while and he's always felt guilty for things that were beyond his control. Or as I prefer to call it, responsible. He's felt responsible ever since John handed him baby Sam and said "Take your brother outside as fast as you can! Don't look back." From that moment, he's felt responsible for just about everything. He shoulders everything. So if it wasn't the characterisation of Dean that troubled me and it certainly wasn't Sam and it wasn't the story as a whole, what was it? I came to the realisation it was something bigger, something that started chewing away at the corners of my brain last week and well, now I feel like I just have to get it off my chest. So what's my problem? Well I'm glad you asked.

Ok, here's the rub. The one thing I've always loved about Supernatural is the writing. Whenever someone says to me, why do you love that show so much, the first thing I say is, it's beautifully written. It's always been consistent. It's always had amazing attention to detail. It's always been focused. It's always had fantastic follow through, where the regular viewer can remember back to season 2 why this event in season 5 is so pivotal. Supernatural has always blown my socks off when it comes to the writing. This week's episode by Adam Glass and last week's episode by Dabb and Loflin were in my opinion, flawed scripts. All of these writers are highly gifted and have delivered powerful episodes in the past, so it's not that they're new and it's not that they don't get it, but their scripts for the last two episodes, while still involving, were in my opinion, simply not up to their usual high standard. Both The Girl Next Door and Defending Your Life felt like they had way too much squeezed into them to get through in 42 minutes and consequently they came across as inconsistent and a bit thin. I didn't go into this last week because I felt the character developments were far more interesting and the pop culture references were a lot of fun, but pop culture references a good script does not make. The stories are solid, the dialogue still pops but because they're trying to get so many different points across, they're not hitting all the notes. Both these scripts felt unfocused, that they lack discipline and that kinda breaks my heart. 

I had high hopes for Defending Your Life, I thought, great, let's get into it with Dean, let's see where his head space is, let's dig down into all that guilt of his. I was hoping, like many of us, he'd realise he feels guilt for a lot of things that aren't his fault. I was hoping we'd look into why he feels this way, where does this heartbreaking lack of self esteem come from (I blame John), why does he feel he has to take on the weight of the world. I was hoping we'd see how he really thinks and maybe see him coming to terms with some of the stuff he feels responsible for, including his time in Hell. This was a great opportunity to delve into that a bit more and tie it through to Sam's Hell arc. I was hoping that we'd come out the other side with him, if not accepting that he's not responsible for every terrible thing that has happened to the Winchesters and everyone they've known over the last six years, he'd at least be thinking about it and on the way to mending his broken heart. I was hoping he would learn something...... Apparently not....and that irritates me. It irritates me because Dean is a highly thoughtful and intelligent guy and I don't believe he wouldn't take some of that on board. Maybe he has, maybe that's yet to be seen, maybe when he said to Sam he gave a good argument that means he was listening and as always, I'll give this show a great big dollop of the benefit of the doubt but I feel like there's been a decision made to push Dean's character a certain way this season and to get to a dramatic point everything else is being thrown to the hellhounds to service his story arc. This was supposed to be an episode about Dean's guilt. He was supposed to be defending his life and according to Sera, reaching a turning point and yet the whole trial was short to the point of being inconsequential. We barely scratched the surface of what's going on in that deep well of emotion that's Dean Winchester and I sure as hell saw no turning point. There was too much set up. It was all sizzle and no sausage. It's not a problem with the story or the concept for this particular episode, I loved both of these. Dean feels guilt, the case was tried and sentenced regardless of the evidence because he truly feels that guilt, I'm on board with that, but this script tried to do too damn much and in doing so, didn't do enough. I would've liked to have seen more of the trial. More of Sam defending his big brother. More of Dean defending himself. I feel like this was an opportunity lost for character growth for Dean and growth for Sam and Dean in their relationship. Tell me something, why was Jo sent to kill Dean? It was ascertained that she didn't hold him responsible for her death and though Dean felt sad, he said he also didn't feel responsible. Sure this was probably lip service to get him out of a sticky wicket, but it was evidence heard and I thought, well argued. Now if Amy came to stab him through the heart while Sam was off trying to kill Osiris....that would've made more sense. Jo being dispatched to do the deed didn't make much sense to me.

There was the perfect opportunity during the trial to get the Amy issue out in the open. Why oh why didn't that happen! What a bombshell. We could've had the whole thing play out in front of the judge. We could've seen Dean give evidence as to why he chose to kill Amy and get a better understanding of his motivation. We could've seen the brothers going head to head as Osiris sat on watching in amusement. We could've seen Dean try to rationalise it with Sam. We could've had an apology for the lying. Maybe we could've even moved on. THAT would've been brilliant. That would've been drama. But no. Now the lie is going to fester. The lie will get bigger. Sam's going to find out like he always does. There's going to be a big blow up. They'll probably split up or punch each other out or... GAH! To be honest, I think this is why I'm being so harsh on the writing, because I don't like the direction that this plot point is taking the brother's relationship. I don't want this fight between the brothers to eventuate. I don't want it to infinity and beyond! I thought we were done with that crap and yet now it appears that we'll be doubling back on that old, well-worn path. Aren't there other stories to tell for these two? These guys are way more interesting than that. They don't have to be at each other’s throats all the time. They love each other for Heaven's sake. Drama schmama. There are other ways to create a gripping dramatic arc than sibling conflict and surely there's another story for Dean? It feels lazy. This is what I don't like from the Amy incident, the secret. It adds to the drama yes, it adds ammunition to Dean's current state of imbalance yes, but we know where it's going and it ain't nowhere good. And though I understand wanting to add juice to the story, to be frank, I'm sick to death of this kind of juice. Ever since Dean went to Hell the brother's have been on opposite sides of the playing field. I appreciate they're not the same as each other, they are vastly different human beings who look at situations in a different way, this is what makes them and their relationship so compelling and Lord knows I'm not one of those fans who wants them to be all bitch/jerk again, I get that they're men, not only grown up men, but deeply damaged men. They've seen a lot of shit ladies and gentlemen; they are never going to be who they once were okay? And I'm cool with it. But why do they always have to have something threatening to pull them apart? LET THEM BE BROTHERS. This conflict feels contrived and repetitive. Supernatural writers are better than that. Supernatural is better than that. But more importantly, we deserve better than that. I always say Supernatural never rests on its laurels...I really hope there's no laurel resting going on here.

Ok. It's off my chest.  I may have worked something through there. A little therapeutic outpouring. Apparently I don't like this liar, liar pants on fire storyline, like, A LOT! But maybe it's essential to where the mid season arc is going. Maybe it's essential to Dean and his relationship with Sam. Maybe it's going to bring them through to a better place. Maybe that's a pig flying past my window. *sigh* Onwards and upwards. I won't ever lose faith in this show so I'm quite sure this is just a blip and I still think it's one of the best written shows on TV, even when it's not as good as it could be.

If I remove my writers hat and close my over critical eye (it's the right one in case you're wondering, it gives me no end of bother), and put the whole Amy-lie thing out of my mind, like I said at the beginning of this review, I did enjoy this episode. I loved the whole idea of weighing your guilty heart against a feather. It played nicely into where Dean's head is at right now....just not enough. I enjoyed kicking off with a hunt, the EMF, the burning the bones. I think the boys are looking particularly spiffing in their suits this season. They must have laid down a bit on their fake credit cards for those styling duds. Dean flirting with the bartender was very enjoyable and kinda horny. I've missed flirty Dean. He's so damn hot. Sorry just had to say that. I even quite liked his little pep talk to himself outside. It's obviously been awhile. That was pretty endearing. I'm glad Sam's coming to terms with who he is and where he's been. I agree with him, he's paid his dues. As my friend Kara pointed out, in most cases Sam's a victim. He didn't choose to have demon blood dripped in his mouth, to get the psychic visions, to be Azazel's golden child, for Dean to sell his soul for him. Ok, the Ruby thing was poor judgement, but he didn't mean to raise Lucifer and he did everything in his power to stop him to the point of giving up his life to save the world. Then he was punished in Hell for way too many years. He's done his time. He's dealing with his special brand of crazy and he's moving on and feeling alrighty. Yay Sam! One less angsty brother is a step in the right direction. I'm sure he's not past the worst of it; I giggled when he said he saw Lucifer while brushing his teeth, but it's a solid start. I do wish when he told Dean that he feels like he's paid his dues, he made a point of also letting Dean know that Dean's paid his dues too. Because Dean has, over and over, just like Sam. He may not have been tortured for 100 or so years by Lucifer and Michael, but he has been tortured by his life and all he's sacrificed and lost. Both the brothers have paid their dues. 

I also liked that Sam was determined to save Dean. I dug what he said in the court about Dean's level of culpability in how Sam's life turned out let alone all the other things Dean feels bad about. I thought Sam was pretty great, not much of a lawyer but a pretty good brother. I was soundly criticised last week for my take on Sam, which personally I think was pretty balanced, but people will read things how they want. I guess when it comes to Sam I sometimes scratch my head at how he goes about making his choices. I believe he's a very bright boy with a heart of gold, but he seems to make colossal errors of judgement for someone who's a bit of a brainiac. This is maybe why, like Dean, I appear to judge him harshly. As Bobby once said, we're tough on the kid. But don't think for a minute I don't love him. Yes I'm a Dean girl, this blog isn't called sweetonsam after all, but this doesn't mean I'm one-eyed about the brothers. I calls it as I sees it and I've kicked Dean's butt around the page just as many times as I've kicked Sam's. And by the way, I LOVE his sidies!

I thoroughly enjoyed having Jo in this episode. She's a character I'm very fond of. I cried and cried when she and Ellen died. I still do. I'm not one of those people who felt like her and Dean would make a good couple, I could never see Jo that way, but I felt a strong connection between them. Their shared history and their daddy issues bonded them. I've always thought she crushed on Dean (who the hell doesn't) as opposed to it being reciprocal, but there was true affection between them and I always enjoyed that. This is something that shone through in Defending Your Life, that affection. Both scenes were lovely, the one in the court where Jo did everything she could to have Dean's back and then the one with Jo and Dean in the hotel. Particularly the second one. It was a beautiful moment, a highlight of the episode. I just hope Dean heard Jo and took in some of what she said. Her tender touch and how Dean pushed his cheek into her hand with his eyes closed.....superb.

Which brings me to Jensen. This guy's become such gifted actor. The emotion he can display and bring forth in his audience, or at least in me, feels real and true and more often than not, devastating. He can convey so much with that beautiful face of his. He can convey so much with his eyes. He kills me. His Dean just kills me over and over. But oh, it's such an exquisite death. Death by Dean. Let that be how I go out. And what about Dean. Poor Dean. 90% crap? Oh honey, I don't think so. That was beyond tragic. I may have made a sad gurgling noise when he said that. I went pretty extensively into how I see Dean's current psychological state last week, so I won't do it again here. I'm just worried that his guilt is starting to define him. That his suck it up and soldier on attitude is slowly but surely being eroded and I don't want to see that. I hope we don't see him go any lower. It's just too sad. I'm pouting as I write this. I want to see him come to terms, mend and grow. That will be some good character development. I really want him to start feeling better about himself and sometime soon. I'm tired of him being everybody's whipping boy, including his own. He's filled with so much remorse and self loathing that it's becoming perplexing because he's so gosh darn wonderful. And he's got this terrible saviour complex, which is not helping any. But in the past he's said to Sam, we can't save everyone, so why doesn't he believe that now? Where's that common sense gone? He seems to have been mired in this dark and horrible place for such a long time and I think I'm ready for him to come back into the light. A couple of seasons of him being all overly angsty is enough. I don't mind a bit of angst, it's what makes him so precious and so Dean, but I need him to kick some supernatural butt and well, get laid! He was almost there. He nearly got his end away. Stupid Egyptian God with his bad timing. Another reason to stab Osiris with a ram's horn! It's tough being a hero....

So how did I feel about Defending Your Life? You know, I just watched it one more time just to make sure I wasn't over reacting, that I wasn't being overly harsh and I don't think I am. It was 22 minutes before we got to the actual trial, that's over half way through the episode. Sizzle. No sausage. I was a little more accepting of it's flaws the fourth watch through, but I feel the same way. It was a good story, some nice dialogue but an opportunity missed. This was a filler episode in every sense of the word but one that not only didn't propel the story forward but didn't really propel the characters forward, except maybe a couple of baby steps for Sam. But strangely, even with this criticism, I really did enjoyed it, because of the characters and because of the performances and because even when Supernatural isn't hitting its stride, it's still better than most of the other shows out there and obviously, I love it to pieces. After all, you're always hardest on the ones you love.

Next week is the magical, mystical, Whedonesque fest with Charisma Carpenter and James Marsters guest starring. I'll probably review 7.05 and 7.06 together the following week, because next weekend I will be at Chicago con! I think I might be way too busy hugging Jensen to think about writing a review! Upon my return home, I'll also be doing a detailed report on Chicon including the Jensen Q&A which I'm lucky enough to be attending this time round. So stay tuned for both those things and in the mean time, here's next week's promo.

Thanks for reading, I appreciate your support and don't forget to comment! I love comments! - Amy

Defending Your Life

I’m currently recovering from having my appendix and gallbladder out on Tuesday, so this will not be a full recap. Instead I’m just going to share my thoughts on Defending Your Life. However, I’m doing so under the influence of pain killers.

Between the killer car (and I called Christine before Dean did) and the killer dog my first thought was that Stephen King was responsible for killing these people. Frankly, I kinda liked the idea of an author’s fantasies materializing. I wanted to see ole Stevie with a cameo. But it wasn’t long before I realized their demise was caused by the method of their guilt. When the old dude was being haunted by the couple he killed in a robbery I actually felt saddened to lose the King connection. (Maybe there still is one and I don’t know it.)

What really struck me in this episode was how old and tired Dean acted. From stretching out his aching back to bitching about just wanting a simple day job for once, he’s showing a wear and tear we haven’t seen before. Did anyone else think he seemed more than a little resigned to his death sentence? Has the fight gone out of him?

I actually enjoyed the character of Osiris and particularly enjoyed the trial…until the end. The whole time I was thinking, “Oh, no, here it is, Sam’s going to find out Dean killed Amy.” Dean positively squirmed with guilt and the viewer knew it was that deadly deed and lying to his brother about it that would ultimately cost Dean his life. But he wouldn’t allow Osiris to call her to the stand. I was concerned for nothing.

While Dean was waiting for Sam and Bobby to figure something out I just knew Amy would show up then…but no, it’s Jo. Okay, I get that. It’s a lot meaner for Osiris to send Jo to snuff Dean out. It’s more personal. Cruel. Reciprocal, even. But still…

Overall, I wasn’t real keen on this episode. I like that we learned Dean never wanted to be a lone hunter. I liked seeing Jo again. But the false threat of Dean’s betrayal hanging over the episode like a black cloud and then amounting to a whole lot of nada made me feel cheated. At the very least wouldn’t Sam press him harder to find out who that secret witness was? What did you think? Maybe I’ll rewatch the episode one day and see if I feel different post-recovery. In the meantime, I’m just looking forward to seeing Cordy and Spike next week!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Netflix to Stream Supernatural

Netflix, Warner Bros. Television, and the CW have signed a deal to stream CW shows instantly on Netflix for U.S. customers.

Supernatural will start in January 2012. This season will be available in the fall, and future seasons will be added in a "commensurate window." It sounds like they won't be streaming current episodes in any ongoing season; those will stay on the CW's website.

The Power of Fandom

So a few days ago, @jarpad announced on Twitter that he and Genevieve will be having a baby. Apparently some people wanted to send gifts, and he asked for donations to St. Jude Children's Hospital instead. Someone started an official fundraiser, and in 12 hours, they'd raised $3,700 for cancer research.

Part of me thinks that's incredible. Sometimes entertainment seems so frivolous, and our focus on celebrity ridiculous. And then it's turned into something so beneficial and powerful. The ease with which a group can be incited to do good is astounding.

Part of me wonders why we need to be incited. Why do we leap into action just because some tall, good-looking, good-natured guy asks us to? Why is his request more worthy than the little entreaty cards we get in the mail every other day? Is it just because we want him to think well of us?

I hope that's not it. I hope it's more that there is so much need in this world, and we're bombarded with requests and get jaded because it seems so impossible. The focus by someone we admire makes it easy.

In reality, it's probably a combination of the two, and that's okay. The children being helped by that money don't care why it was given, after all.

If you'd like to participate in this specific fundraiser, click here. They are just shy of $8,000 toward the goal of $20,000.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Breaking News

Jared Padalecki just tweeted that Genevieve his wife is expecting! What a pretty baby that will be.

@jarpad OK yall I'd rather you officially hear it from me.. So, yes. Genevieve is pregnant. We'll be welcoming a new member to our family in 2012 :)

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Review: Supernatural 7.03 "The Girl Next Door"

Warning – Contains spoilers!
But people.... They are who they are. No matter how hard you try. You are what you are.
The Girl Next Door may have been episode 3 of season 7 but it sort of felt like something else. Something older. Of days gone by, of hiding out, of researching, of balancing the heartbreak and the humour, of honest to goodness monsters, of inner demons and real demons, of Sam and Dean, talking, trying to trust, trying to be brothers. They may still be failing somewhat miserably, but at least they’re still trying! This felt kinda like the Supernatural I fell in love with. Not that I haven’t loved every single season, I have and I loved the dark and twisty turn it took when things went to hell in a hand-basket…literally. But why did I fall in love with Supernatural? Sam and Dean. I fell in love with these two struggling, dysfunctional brothers who above everything else, love each other. The Girl Next Door had so many shades of why I first fell in love with Supernatural. It felt old, but new. It felt familiar but still fresh. It felt like Supernatural, especially when everything went pear-shaped.....
Hey look, Bobby isn’t dead! No surprise there and he arrives just in time to pick a drug addled and totally adorable Dean up off the floor. I was super worried that the missing Bobby would turn out to be Levianthanised, but I don’t think he has been, because he’s being way too reasonable and really, he could have just eaten Sam and Dean at anytime, that is, if that’s the boss’ plan for them. But where was Bobby? It was totally glossed over. That was sort of annoying. Dean said he thought he was dead, Bobby looked at him like he was an idjit, said he wasn’t, yet, and then they high tailed it out of there. I understand they didn’t have time to stop and natter, but I would’ve definitely asked him where the hell he was when his house burnt down. Even if he said, I’ll tell you about it later, at least ask! He was also very chirpy for a guy who’d just lost everything. I have to admit this got my spidey senses tingling, but I’m assuming he was just so happy to find the boys alive that he wasn’t thinking of anything else. Bobby is totally awesome. The way he came in and scooped Dean up, gave him a little pat on the cheek (also got my spidey senses tingling…I’m so suspicious), goes and grabs Sam, commandeers an ambulance and beetles off to stash the boys in Montana! Bobby to the rescue! And he continues to be the voice of reason. Trying to accept Sam, letting Sam heal in his own time, trying to talk Dean down, make him see sense and trust that his overgrown brother knows what’s what.  He’s so calm. I love that he stashed copies of his books….Bobby Singer, paranoid bastard. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed Bobby in the opening episodes of season 7. I’m pretty sure he’s not a Leviathan, like, 90% sure. 
And what about the Leviathan? Man they’re organised. I’m definitely starting to believe that the Boss is going to be possessing the Jimmy vessel, because the Leviathan seem to have a lot of knowledge about the Winchesters. I’m assuming that’s knowledge that went into Jimmy’s brain when Cas was living inside him, unless Cas is still inside him; just subdued. The Leviathan know things. They’re set up in fraud centres, hospitals, using cell phones, reading the paper while enjoying a cappuccino! They’re fitting right in! It's like a great holiday with an all you can eat buffet. They know about the boy’s credit card scams, so they must know their fake names. How long until they suss out all their alias' and then their phone numbers and track them that way? How many are there? A lot of black goo came out of Cas, I wonder how many Leviathan that equates to? I’m enjoying the Leviathan; they feel like a genuine threat. The unknown.
So Sam. I like where Sam got to in this episode. He seems to be closer to coming to a place of peace with his craptastic life. He’s dealing with the whole freak word, he says he’s managing his hallucinations, or at least he’s trying to, but a couple of things bothered me. I was disturbed that he lit out on Dean to go in search of Amy. Bobby was gone, Dean was laid up with a broken leg and God knows how affected by pain-meds. Sam took the car and left a note like some teenage kid. He left Dean alone, immobile, unprotected and vehicle less. That seemed poorly thought out to me. If a Leviathan had rocked up to the cabin, Dean would’ve been dinner. On top of this, Sam wants to be trusted, he wants his brother to have faith in him, but once again he’s sneaking around, ducking out while Dean’s asleep. We’ve seen this before and it never ends well. How can he ask for Dean’s trust if he doesn’t trust Dean enough to tell him what’s going on? Takes two to tango. But having said that, I understand why he did it, he had a good idea what Dean's response would be and he didn't want to hear it. He wanted the opportunity to see if he could fix this on his own and in his head space, showing that he's capable of doing this would be important to him. But you can’t asked to be treated one way while you behave another. Of course Dean was going to flip his lid. He’s beside himself with worry about Sam and Sam doing this ain’t helping none. I would've popped him one in the nose too quite frankly!

The other thing that bothered me was Sam’s choice to let Amy go seemed all too easy. But I guess that brain of his isn’t working properly right now. Yes, they had a history and Amy saved his life once upon a time and she obviously made a profound mark on young Sam, maybe molding a lot of how he approached this work as a hunter in later years, but she’d killed, more than once, and it looked like she was about to kill that drunk driver guy when Sam nabbed her in the park. Sure, she only killed because her son got sick and needed fresh meat, but killing is killing and what if he got sick again? I’m not convinced Sam was right when he said to Dean “Put me or you in her position, we’d probably do the same thing.” Dean was ready to put his brother down when he thought Sam’s future was to be a soulless killing machine. So maybe they would, maybe they wouldn’t, but regardless, I just kept coming back to, what if her kid gets sick again, then she’d kill, good intentions or otherwise, she’d have no choice. I don’t know, I guess I thought Sam’s logic was flawed, but then he’s always been driven by empathy and that’s a very large part of why we love him so much. His heart. I’d also say he’s probably feeling even more empathetic to people like Amy than usual, given his current situation and fuzzy, freaky headspace. He wanted to believe in her. He wanted to believe she could stay true to her promise, because if she can overcome the monster inside her, maybe Sam can overcome this monster inside him. This whole, Amy unfinished business thing, reminded me of Something Wicked from season 1, where John sent Dean to clean up a mess which was the outcome of when he hesitated as a kid. Dean felt responsible and needed to fix it. People had died because of him. Now people had died because of Sam. That probably should have rung bigger alarm bells than it did..... Oh and Sam’s first kiss was with a monster?! So that’s where that started! The boy has a type!

Dean….you break my heart. But before I get to THAT scene, let’s start with the fun stuff! Dean in the hospital. ADORABLE! I love it when Dean is like a little boy. The noise he made when he hit the floor and realised he’s in a cast, the half stoned “Hey look, a monster broke my leg”, the look on his face when Bobby patted him on the cheek. Awww-worthy the lot of it. Then of course we have him watching Mexican tele-novellas while he recuperates. Hilarious! Dean and his soaps! The man is such a contradiction. There’s this Dean, then there’s the Dean that killed Amy. I believe Dean is in the throws of a major crisis. A breakdown. He’s at tipping point and it’s been a long time coming. I said this in last week’s review, but now it seems even more obvious. He’s regressed. He’s not trusting Sam, panicking about every little thing his brother does, driving him crazier by constantly asking him how he’s doing, buggy Bobby with his mania and then outright lying to Sam’s face. I hated that lie. The whole thing’s hard to watch, but I get it. This is a man whose trust in himself and those around him, has been severely battered and bruised. First his brother. For several years now, Sam has wandered into dark territory, then he was all soulless and just when Dean thinks he has him back and they’re starting to find their footing, BAM, down comes Sam’s Hell wall. Now, once again, Dean doesn’t know whether his brother is telling him the whole truth. He’s worried sick about Sam. He’s worried Sam will never get better, that this dropping out, screaming at no-one Sam is here forever. I think he feels that he’s losing his brother again and maybe this time for good. Dean is all about Sam, for good or bad. Without him, he falters. I’m sure he feels a level of responsibility. If he’d said yes to Michael, maybe this would never have happened, maybe Sam wouldn’t have needed to throw himself into the pit. I don’t doubt that’s crossed Dean’s mind. Then add to the mix Castiel. Cas was his friend. He tried to help Cas but his friend didn’t listen, he went down the wrong path and it set them against each other. Dean felt absolutely betrayed and though in the end, the only way to save the world was to save Cas, his friend ultimately died. He died and in doing so let an unkillable evil loose. Dean couldn’t get through to Cas and now they have the Leviathan. Not only has Dean’s trust in his own judgement and his faith in those around him been rocked, but more profoundly, his faith in his ability to protect those he loves, and that’s at the very core of who Dean is. He couldn’t protect Sam and he couldn’t protect Cas. What use is he? So he regresses back to a Dean where things were easier for him, where things were black and white. 

I get why he killed Amy. This is what that father of his trained him to do. She was a monster and yeah, he was right, chances are she’d kill again. He couldn’t take that risk. Sam took that risk and now there were bodies. In Dean’s mind, if an Angel can put a foot wrong then there’s no doubt a monster can. He couldn’t let her go. But on first watch, wow, it was so brutal. I was shocked. Shocked. I felt horrible afterwards. Horrible that Dean did that. I didn’t like it. When I watched it again, without the jaw-dropping horror of the moment, I saw it slightly differently. Yes, it was just as brutal, but when he said sorry to her I believed him and then he gently catches her as she falls, and lays her on the bed. On the second watch through, with my shock gone, I saw remorse or maybe regret that he had to do this thing. I saw his surprise when he saw her son at the door, the son he chose not to kill. I also saw pain on his face when he looked back at the son rushing to his dead mother’s side. He knows that feeling. A monster killed his mother. To that kid, Dean’s the monster. This is going to eat him up. That he lied to Sam, that he killed Amy and that he left her son an orphan. That’d be guilt, with a massive side order of guilt for Mr Winchester please. I know this whole thing left a bad taste in a lot of people’s mouths. Some fans were saying it was completely out of character for Dean, but I disagree. It's not the first time he's made the tough decision to take down a monster that wasn't outwardly evil. It’s just we haven’t seen this side of Dean’s character for a while. He's grown into someone who’s developed the ability to see the greys in life. But remember, deep down, he thinks he’s a killer. He told Veritas that’s all he is. We know it’s not true, but Dean's never put much stock in himself. He’s reverted to this Dean because everything he knows and believes and trusted is once again being pulled out from under him. He’s in a very bad place. Black and white is easier. Black and white was how he was trained to think. He’s been pulled this way and that by demons, Angels and the Devil himself. He's a hunter. Monster bad, kill monster. It's easier and it's probably the one thing in his life that makes sense, the one thing he can hold on to. And you know what, he’s right, he couldn't just walk away. But there’s got to be fallout from his choice to kill Amy. You don’t do something like that and walk away scot-free. Guilt, pills, booze, lies, he’s heading for a crash and I assume that’s going to kick off next week’s episode. Is the killing of Amy, Dean’s big secret that the producer’s have spoken about in regards to the brother’s relationship? My main concern is that this act will put the brothers at loggerheads again. I don’t want that. No more. Not again. Enough. I feel like we've flogged that dead horse. They can have conflict; they've always had that, but let them be brothers. I need them to be brothers. I need them to be Sam and Dean.
Whew, I better wrap this up! 
Of course I’m not going anywhere without mentioning Jensen. As we all know, he directed The Girl Next Door. He’s showing a real knack for interesting camera angles. The escape sequence in the hospital was particularly well staged. I liked his shot choice for Dean stumbling around on crutches, it added to the morphine-induced vibe and the POV shot towards Bobby with the gurney was also pretty cool. The sweeping shots down the hospital halls, the way the camera never stopped moving or the actors constantly moved past the camera, the cuts, it all added to the feeling that Bobby and Dean were in a race to get the hell out of there. I thought this hospital escape sequence was really tense and kind of awesome. This episode would’ve been more difficult to direct than Weekend At Bobby’s. There were a lot more scenes, more locations, more cast, and flashbacks to deal with. It was a busier story, more detailed script and Dean was in it a lot! Jensen did an awesome job! I hope he never goes behind the camera permanently, because to deny us the joy of watching him would be a crime against humanity, but I do hope he gets the chance to direct some more. He’s good at it.
The Girl Next Door may not have rocketed along at the breakneck speed of episode 1 and 2 of season 7, but it felt like a nice breather from that frenetic pace. Essentially it was a monster of the week episode that also did the job of propelling along the main storyline and setting up issues that are going to play out in the first half of the season. The Leviathan were there, but not all consuming. I liked that. Colin Ford as young Sam was uncanny as usual. He’s absolutely perfect casting. And though I don’t think this was Dabb and Loflin’s best script, it was still pretty juicy, full of wonderful throwaway lines, blissfully needed lighter moments and tongue in cheek references (check out SuperWiki for a list). Season 7 is really shaping up. Every week I’m gagging for the next episode, though next week, I think my heart might break in two….
Oh and one more thing…pie. Dear God Sam PIE! When are you going to remember the pie! Maybe that can be the very last shot of the series….Sam finally remembers the pie. The End.
On that note, I’ll leave you with the promo for 7.04 Defending Your Life and some wise word’s from Sam’s young friend Amy…. “All the coolest people are freaks.” Amen Padaleski.
See you next week and thanks for reading! – Amy (not the dead monster one)

P.S. don't forget to comment!

Friday, October 7, 2011

"The Girl Next Door" Recap and Review

First impressions: It was a good thing I kept my expectations low for this episode, knowing they can't all be as good as the first two. Don't get me wrong, there was a lot to love about "The Girl Next Door," but it didn't have the same grab-me-by-the-throat effect. I was disappointed that Jewel Staite's role was so small, but very pleased that the rude, selfish edge Dean had in Jensen's directing debut was gone here. He did a great job, especially given that his screen time was greater. I think he has a future behind the camera. I just hope he doesn't pull a Ron Howard and do it for good!

Let's start at the beginning, shall we?

Watching "THEN," I feel like we've had a lot more than two episodes so far. This is a rich, meaty start to season 7. Just like the last two episodes, we start right where we left off. Dean's in the hospital, foggy until they set his leg, which jerks him into the ER. He wants to get out, but Sam's been sent up for an MRI, and they dope Dean before he can try to leave on that broken leg. Fade out on morphine drip...

...and fade in on Dean forgetting why he's at Sioux Falls General. Love the way he rips out his IV, but whoops! Down on the floor.

Bobby comes in. Dean's shocked he's alive. "Course I am," he scoffs, but I'm suspicious that it's not really Bobby. He doesn't explain (ever!) where he was, but he turns out to be the real deal.

Dean: "Hey, look, a monster broke my leg."

Bobby has very little sympathy for Dean's plight. I don't get why he has a full-leg cast for a tibial fracture. I'm sure there are some circumstances that warrant it. I've just never encountered them in real life. Anyway, Dean says he's a gimp, Bobby just hands him crutches and an encouraging smile and heads off to find Sam.

I kind of love the Leviathans. The surgeon takes his "job" so seriously. I mean, they're going to remove and eat someone's internal organs, but he still maintains sterility and lets the "nurse" hold his phone for him. But geez, these guys are gonna be tough. Dropping a car on them doesn't kill them. There's no lore, since they came before humanity, and were put away before us, too. And despite their extreme age and lack of exposure to technology, they've learned it fast. They know when the Winchesters are brought in to the hospital, and...well, let's not jump ahead.

Bobby takes over Sam with an entirely plausible "no insurance, shipping him to County" excuse, and Dean barely makes it to the ambulance in time to get away. Okay, the Leviathans are not invincible. They can't run faster than a vehicle. Good to know.

Now we're in Whitefish, Montana, three weeks later, in what we soon learn is Rufus's cabin. Sam's reading, Dean's watching a telenovella, and he and Bobby are totally hooked. Bobby has retrieved the Impala and gathered info from hunters, who don't know what the Leviathans are but have worked out what they do pretty well.

Bobby's saying the doctor and nurse never showed back up (moving the Big Bad to the background to leave room for other kinds of episodes) while Sam zones out for a minute. He strokes a thumb over the nasty-looking, shiny, puckered scar on his hand, his touchstone.

All Bobby's resources are gone, but he says he's going to go round up his old library. He's stashed copies of his one-of-a-kind books all over the place. Love Bobby!

Dean sends Sam on a grocery run and demands pie, then wants to talk to Bobby about "Girl, Interrupted over there." Bobby swears Sam's healing, but Dean just won't believe that. He's waiting for the other shoe, because that's how things always go.

Bobby: "Look. You sittin' there wringing your hands ain't gonna do nothin'. Maybe, he'll surprise you.

Whoa. Culture shock. The convenience store is way too bright, and way too colorful. I think they're on the wrong show here.

Sam pays with a credit card for Lenny Kilmister (Lemmy Kilmister is from Motorhead), which rings us to a customer service rep for a credit card company, looking for suspicious charges for a customer. He asks about "Mistress Magda," who was Chuck's phone sex operator of choice. (Man, I miss Chuck!) An alert for Lenny Kilmister pops up, and the guy calls the Leviathan supervisor. See? They somehow learned all their aliases and fake credit cards and can track them that way. Pretty advanced for ancient beings!

At the store, Sam spots a newspaper story about an icepick killer. Just the kind of thing that would trip their initial triggers for a hunt.

Sam gets back to the cabin, Dean asks how he's doing, he says "fine." If, of course, seeing crap that's not real is fine. He doesn't know if it's getting better, but he knows what's real and not—and fondles that scar again. And again.

Sam brought Dean cake instead of pie. Passive aggressive? I mean, by now Sam knows that no, it's not close enough. Sheesh.

Dean is asleep on the couch in a really uncomfortable-looking position. Sam pulls out the paper, and flashes back to Colin Ford yay! Young Sam doing research for Dean and Dad, talking to them on an early mobile phone.

Sam sneaks out as a (fake, cheesy?) promo for My Bloody Valentine 3D plays on the TV.

A sleazy drug dealer is about to take advantage of a strung-out girl when sirens scare them off. He's ducking through a skate park when someone tackles him. Blood sprays, and he's dead.

Back in the cabin, Dean awakes with a wildlife program on TV. He reads Sam's note: "Back in a few days. I'm fine."

Dean (on the phone to Bobby): "Other shoe."

He's pissed Sam took off. Bobby tries to tell him to calm down, give Sam a couple of days, they'll keep trying to reach him. He tells Dean to give it until he gets the cast off, and then hunt him down. Dean's not waiting. He takes a circular saw to the cast himself. Yikes!

Sam's at the morgue, asking a cop about the new dead guy. He clearly knows more than was revealed about the news story. He ignores a third missed call from "Lars Ulrich" (Metallica!) and heads in to check out the body.

In the meantime, Dean is driving a woody wagon (reminiscent of the wood-sided minivan in "Everybody Loves a Clown" in season 2). He stops at the store and finds the paper Sam saw. He's on the hunt.

Sam learns the body's pituitary gland is gone, and flashes back again. We get grown-up Sam setting up his board on the hotel wall (reminiscent of the pilot, and many of their "normal" hunts) interspersed with Young Sam doing the same research years ago. He sees a girl he likes, and we get lots of the awkward adolescent glances.

Adult Sam figures out the next target spot and sits in wait, as Young Sam finalizes his research (yelling "I said you stab it in the heart!" in the library), asks Dean how to talk to girls, and is instantly shot down before he even finishes saying hi to her. Colin Ford is so good. His subtle facial expressions convey his utter devastation at her rejection.

Two boys stride by in the background. They're clearly up to no good. And hey, isn't that one Nico McEown, who played Lucas in "Dead in the Water"?

Outside, Young Sam watches the boys follow the girl and of course he follows, too. And of course they're hassling her, and YES, that's Nico McEown, playing a bully. Sam makes short work of them, though one gets a hit on his cheek before running off.

Adult Sam stalks a clearly adult Amy through the woods. She's about to approach a drunk fumbling with his keys when Sam grabs her. Her necklace confirms her identity. She recognizes him, despite them only spending a few hours together, max, over 10 years ago, and despite "You got tall, huh?" how different he looks.

Amy insists she lives normally, and Sam doesn't believe her. Flash back again to Amy nursing his boo boo and asking how he's such a good fighter. She gets him a soda from a brain-filled fridge. They exchange life stories in five minutes. Both travel a lot and are freaks, though Amy owns the label while Sam rejects it. They bond, and Sam kisses her. Wow, fast mover, Sammy! But okay, "all the coolest people are freaks" is a kiss-worthy line.

In the present, she's trying to get Sam to believe she's not a killer, that she did what she had to and it's over. He can't believe her and apologizes for it. She apologizes too, right before she knocks him into a tree. God! Sam will never be okay if he keeps getting hit in the head!

Dean's hot on the trail, figuring out what Sam's hunting. Sam follows Amy home and is ready to kill her even if he doesn't want to, because she obviously killed again. She tells him he knows her. What kind of person she is. Back in the past, Sam tells Amy that he's been around enough bad to know good when he sees it, even though Amy believes her mother to be bad, which must make her bad, too.

Grown-up Sam won't back off, so Amy shows him her son, which does the trick. She feeds on the dead, working as a mortician, and it's too risky for a kid. Her son got sick, was dying, and needed fresh meat. She swears now that he's better, she's done. She pulls the "after what I did for you" card, and we see her hide Young Sam, who hears Amy's mother say that "a couple of pros in a piece of crap Impala" have caught up to them. So now he knows what he's dealing with. He confronts young Amy, and she understands what he is, too. She talks Sam out of killing her and tells him to run.

Adult Sam unlocks his hotel room door, and we get a spectacular sucker punch from Dean. Holy CRAP, poor Sam! Nice backward swan dive, Padalecki. :) I'd say thanks for the flash of skin, but that would be superficial.

Dean: "New rule. You steal my baby, you get punched." (Shades of "Hunted" in season 2.)

Their confrontation has some nice openness, and Sam tells about the past, when Amy's capitulation made her mother suspicious, and she was about to tear Sam apart when Amy killed her own mother to save him. He explains why he let Amy go now, and Dean still says they have to kill her. It's that simple. Of course, Sam says nothing in their lives is ever simple. When Dean uses the word freak, Sam's ready to walk out. But instead, he finally accepts that trying to be normal his whole life has been stupid. He's a freak, and it's okay. He's managing it. He begs Dean to trust him, and WHOA. Dean says okay. Gotta start somewhere.

A sign things are actually going to change?

Uh, not so fast.

Yep, Dean lies to Sam, leaves him at a hotel while he goes to the "candy store." My first thought is uh, oh, not a painkiller addiction! But no, his next look at Sam is all about subterfuge. Dammit, Dean!

He's in Amy's hotel room. Tracked her license plates. He tells her, not without a hint of compassion, that she is what she is, and she will kill again. She swears she won't, but he says the other shoe always drops...and he stabs her in the heart. With an apology. And then he turns around, bloody knife in hand, to face her son.

And boy, Dean is cold. He asks the kid if he has someone he can go to, then if he ever killed anyone. Tells him not to, or Dean will come for him. The kid makes a vow to kill Dean, and Dean says to come look him up in a few years, assuming he lives that long.

We end with the Leviathan goon "grabbing a bite" after confirming that they will continue tracking every name they have for the Winchesters. We end with the guy pouring hot cheese on the clerk and his gaping, horror-movie mouth coming at the camera.

Yeah, Supernatural has definitely returned to its roots.

Next is a gum commercial that really confused me the first time I saw it. This tiger shows up randomly with a clamp on its foot and asks if he rally has to holler? This time, though, I actually pay attention to the "eenie meenie miney mo" and get the joke. Tiger by the toe! Ahahahaaha!

The promo for next week leaves me full of !!!!!!!!. Dean's final farewell kiss to Jo, and Alona Tal is back! Gosh, I love this show. You never know who's gonna pop up, from important recurring guest star who died spectacularly to random kid playing a new random kid.

I really don't know how I feel about Dean killing Amy. They keep giving us all these little growth moments, with honesty and trust, and the boys are really trying to improve the way they handle things and interact. And then this happens. Dean was convinced Lenore ("Bloodlust" season 2!) could control her hunger, and Amy has even bigger incentive to stay on the straight and narrow—her son. Dean's cold disregard for the shades of gray feels like a step back. On the other hand, could he really let her go?

Part of my ambivalence is because I felt there were details glossed over that could have aided the decision-making, even by making it harder. They implied she was trying to kill scumbags, but she never used that as a defense. And when she swore she wouldn't kill again, why didn't either Sam or Dean point out that she'd obviously do anything for her son, so she couldn't make that promise? But then, leaving Jacob without a mother, especially the way it happened, almost guarantees he's going to follow his grandmother's path rather than his mother's.

So what are your thoughts? Like the episode? What could they have done differently?

How does this episode affect your feelings on the season so far?

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Sam and Dean Spudchester….an excellent adventure!

Today Jensen and Jared’s bodyguard, Clif Kosterman (@bodyguard4JandJ) tweeted a shot of Sam and Dean Mr Potato Heads.

MY Sam and Dean Mr Potato Heads! Or Sam and Dean Spudchester as I christened them.

I had them especially made. A set for myself and a set for Jensen and Jared, which I posted to Vancouver to the Supernatural production offices.

But how did the Spudchester project come about?

Well, you see, I collect Mr Potato Heads. The character kind. Like Luke Frywalker, Optimash Prime, Tony Starch, Taters of the Lost Ark…you get the picture…no….well here’s a picture!

Earlier this year I did a promo shoot where I had to have a puppet created of one of the characters in the show. My Art Director suggested someone up in Brisbane (I’m in Sydney) to do the work. She did the most amazing job. The wardrobe was identical to the character’s right down to the tiniest details. This got me thinking…..

For a long time I’d wanted a Sam & Dean Potato Head to add to my collection. I’d looked around at different dolls clothes and tried to think of ways to create them but always hit a dead end. It’s just, I can’t sew! Now all of a sudden I had someone in my professional circle that specialised in making tiny little clothes! So I contacted her, Beck is her name, and asked if she’d be interested in a special personal project for me, I wanted a set of customised Mr Potato Heads. When she stopped laughing she said sure, send through the details. So I sent through these shots of Sam and Dean with an explainer, as I assumed she’d have no idea who they were.

WRONG! She and her husband are massive fans of Supernatural! She was instantly on board and not just because her husband thought it was the most awesome idea ever.

First step was to source 4 Mr Potato Heads, which proved easier than we thought! Beck’s local K-Mart happened to stock them, so I sent off the money and she went and bought 4. I wonder if the checkout chick looked at her weird?

Next stop was getting the wardrobe right! I’d been pretty specific around what I wanted the Spudchesters to wear but being as the clothes were so tiny, the material had to be very fine, this caused a couple of problems. The jeans were the first hurdle, they couldn’t be real denim, but denim looking material, but it was how to get them on that caused the headache. Mr Potato Head has no legs! So after a bit of chat back and forth, Beck essentially made a skirt that she stitched down the centre to give the appearance of legs!

Dean’s t-shirt and over shirt and Sam little blue plaid shirt and jacket weren’t too much of a problem, though Beck had to go find a scrap of the specific blue plaid for me because I insisted it be blue and she didn’t have any on hand!

Then came Dean’s jacket. Problem. Leather is too thick to sew so small. The hunt was on for something that would work. We talked through different ideas but Beck kept coming up empty. At one point it looked like it was going to have to be brown material, but I just couldn’t have that! So I went out one weekend to scout around. After an exhaustive search of various op shops and material stores, I settled on a cushion cover! It was brown pleather; very thin…would it work….could it work? I popped it in the post and sent it off to Beck with my fingers crossed. Success! The pleather cushion cover was perfect.

Next hurdle? The hair! I raised the fact that I didn’t think they could be bald, really, no way right? I’d looked at a brown woolly material for Dean’s hair and knew that it would work. But Sam’s hair? I mean Sam’s hair had to be epic!

First thought was really thick wool….nah, that didn’t look right. Then I had an idea for a dolls wig. So I searched online and looked through hundreds of dolls wigs but couldn’t find anything that was right. They were too long, or two small or two curly. I got in touch with Beck again and told her I was thinking about dolls hair for Sam but wasn’t having much luck, so off she went in search of the perfect doll. Apparently there are a lot of naked Barbies in Brisbane by the way! Disappointment. No luck on the dolls hair, so we were back to the wool idea again. But then, at the last moment, when we had just about given up hope, Beck came across an old wig. A real one. A real one big enough to supply hair for 2 Sams. She attached it as an experiment and sent me a shot. After I stopped screaming with laughter I was sold! It was a little light, but had some great gold brown tones that we both agreed could pass for Sam’s hair, plus it was long enough to stick behind his potato ears!

Of course, Dean had to have an amulet, so I ordered a couple of those and then the Spudchesters were pretty much done, except for one very important thing. Weapons. Dean had to have a silver gun and Sam had to have a demon killing knife. Do you have any idea how many tiny weapons are available on eBay? After pages and pages and stores and stores I came across a place in Hong Kong that supplied exact replica weapons 1/6 of the actual size. I discovered the normal, GI Joe style weapons, were 1/8 of the actual size, which was too small for Mr Potato Head’s hands. So the 1/6 discovery was a real moment! Then I found they stocked a cool silver gun and a knife that really did look like Ruby’s knife! I felt triumphant! So I ordered 2 of each and awaited their arrival.

In the meantime, Beck posted down to me 4 fully clothed Spudchesters that were just awaiting amulets and weapons!

When the mail arrived from Hong Kong, oh my goodness, I couldn’t believe how perfect the little gun and knife was. But getting them to stick to the Spudchester’s hands didn’t prove as easy as I thought! After quite a bit of super glue and a period of time where I was also stuck to Sam Spudchester, I managed to get the weapons in place.

There they stood, the completed Spudchesters, in my kitchen, grinning at me like crazy. I can’t even tell you how happy I was. They had taken around 4 months from my initial concept to completion. The only thing left to do was send them off to Vancouver, so I gently packed them up, addressed them to Jensen and Jared, c/- Clif and sent them to the Supernatural set with the following note….

And today, the tweet with my Spudchesters! First a duck nation photo with the Spuds lurking in the background and then their very own photo. I was so happy to see they got there safe and sound! I really hope everyone got a kick out of them.

My set of Spudchesters will be coming with me to Chicago Con to be signed by the boys; on the back of their jackets is what I’m thinking. If I can, I will also try and get them into my J&J sandwich shot.

So that was Sam and Dean Spudchester’s excellent adventure. A trip down the coast of Australia and half way across the world. But it’s not over yet. Stay tuned for the next chapter, when my Spudchesters come face to face with their real life doppelgangers! I seriously can’t wait!

The Spuds did indeed come to Chicago and they did indeed have an excellent adventure!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Sam and Dean: The epic love story of two brothers....

There are some episodes, some moments that remind me of what Sam and Dean mean to each other.

That they're the one thing in their crazy lives, that they can always trust will be there.

Through bad times and worse, it always comes back to this, back to them, to the brothers, to Sam and Dean.

They may fight, they may lose hope, but somehow they'll always find their way home. Home to each other.

This's what I love about Supernatural. Above everything else it's this. It's Sam and Dean. It's their bond. It's how in the end, they will always choose one another.

When Dean tried to bring Sam back from the brink of madness in this week's episode, this was one of those moments that reminded me, no matter what has come before, this story is about their journey.

...This is different. Right? Then the crap that’s tearing at your walnut? I’m different. Right? ...I am your flesh-and-blood brother, okay? I’m the only one who can legitimately kick your ass in real time. You got away. We got you out, Sammy. Believe in that! Believe me, okay? You gotta believe me. You gotta make it stone number one and build on it....

They're unbroken, unalterable. They're each others touchstone. The one constant in each others lives.

They're soulmates. They keep each other human.

For me, this is the very heart and the very soul of Supernatural. Their story. The story of Sam and Dean. The epic love story of two brothers who will never, ever give up on each other and it's why I'll never, ever give up on them. It's why, no matter what, I'm on this road until the very end. It's Sam and Dean.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


This is how much I love you, readers of this blog. I am subjecting myself to spoilers because my Google Alert were full of REALLY AWESOME STUFF! So read at your own risk. Seriously—the post title should be warning enough. :)

We already knew James Marsters and Charisma Carpenter were going to guest star. Reports on the October 21st episode say they play a married couple getting a divorce, and Charisma plays a witch.

I didn't watch the sneak peek, but couldn't help clicking the headline when I learned that Jewel Staite (of Firefly!) plays a character named "Amy Pond" in this week's episode. Love the Doctor Who tribute!

Geez, my head might explode from the convergence of all my geektastic faves.

Okay, this is the story that made me stop squinching my eyes shut, covering my ears, and going "lalalalalala!" so I didn't learn anything about the season. Episode 8, titled "Season 7: Time for a Wedding," is going to be one of the light, funny, slightly meta episodes we love. And one of the boys is going to be a groom. Boy, I can't WAIT to see what they have in store for us with that!

In that same story, Sera Gamble says Cas will be back, though she won't give any hints as to how. She also does an interview for TVLine that addresses lots of questions about Cas, Misha (yes, two different things!), Crowley, angels, and more. Generalized spoilers in that interview.

That's all for now! I'll see you late Friday night when I recap episode 3, "The Girl Next Door"!