Wednesday, November 30, 2011

BuddyTV Holiday Trivia Challenge

A lot of the readers to this blog (you're out there, even if you don't comment! :) ) come to us from BuddyTV, where we're listed as a Premiere Blogger. They understand the sickening dread falling upon us as the first unrelenting hellatus approaches.

So they're running a Holiday Trivia Challenge! Prizes for the Supernatural portion include a script signed by Jared, the anime series signed by Misha, and complete DVD sets, among other things. Other shows are included in the challenge, as well, and participants get entered into the overall prize drawings for Kindle Fire, gift cards, and more.

I'm heading over now to test my knowledge! Come join me!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Review - Supernatural 7.09 "How To Win Friends And Influence Monsters"

Warning: Contains episode spoilers, like a big one....

“We’re on our third the world’s screwed issue in what....three years?”

Leviathan, Big Bird, Ken Doll and Creepy Uncle…all mixed in with a good helping of cannibalism, flare wearing waiters, gross out autopsies, snappy dialogue, dick jokes, mythology and poignant moments. Hmmmm feels like Ben Edlund to me.
It’s no secret I’m a huge fan of Mr Edlund. I find him incredibly inspiring. I love his writing style. How he balances all the elements above and comes out the other side with an episode that’s creative, cohesive and powerful. A lot of people think of faeries, suicidal teddies and crazy meta episodes when they think of Ben Edlund, but don’t forget he wrote, On The Head Of A Pin, Abandon All Hope, The End and of course the wonderful The Man Who Would Be King. Ben’s one of the senior writers on Supernatural and you can see it on the screen. His characters are always spot on and he seems to be able to effortlessly mix in the arc of the season, fill in some gaps and push the story forward all while making us squirm, giggle, cry and gasp. Not only that, he’s got a delightfully erratic mind and crazy hair. I even love his stovepipe jeans, striped t-shirts and cardigans. I think I might be just as much a fan of Ben Edlund as I am of Jensen and Jared (though maybe for different reasons). How To Win Friends And Influence Monsters once again, reaffirmed this Edlund passion of mine. Like Dean’s Turducken Slammer, this episode was the perfect storm of all the elements that make Supernatural great. Gore, wit, pathos, continuity, action, performance and beautifully written words. When I went back and rewatched it, I couldn’t go but a few moments before I’d have to rewind to hear a line again or watch a scene over. In my opinion, this week’s episode was another bright and shinny example of how Mr Edlund can mix up the light and the dark and balance the two perfectly. I loved it from the first icky moment until the heart pounding, jaw dropping, holy-crap-this-can’t-be-happening end.
So is Bobby gonna die? Please, please no. Don’t take Bobby. I'm not ready to lose him. I don't think any of us are ready to lose him. Not us and not the Winchesters. Especially not the Winchesters. I must admit that the hairs on the back of my neck started to stand up when Bobby had the heart to heart with Sam and then later with Dean. Right off the bat I was worried. His words as usual were pure perfection and exactly what each brother needed to hear. To Sam...“You know, you worry about him. All he does is worry about you. Who’s left to live their own lives here?” The thing is I’m not sure either of them is capable of that anymore and I’m not sure either of them really wants to. And then to Dean… “Now you find your reasons to get back in the game. I don’t care if it’s love, or spite or a ten dollar bet.” He’s worked this tactic on Dean before, with the whole “Boo hoo princess” speech in Lucifer Rising.  Personally I think Dean reacts well to a kick in the pants, even if he always looks a bit surprised that someone would speak to him like that! But it was that “You die before me and I’ll kill ya” line that made me go, O-OH! Then Bobby goes off on his own, then he gets nabbed by the big mouths, then he gets separated from the boys, then he’s running for the van, then the Dick Roman Leviathan is shooting and then, the hat….the boys screaming his name….well I think I stopped breathing. When I saw the promo for the next episode all I could think of was In My Time Of Dying. The boys looking on, shoulder to shoulder, then one face after another,  Bobby surrounded by doctors trying to save him….please don’t tell me it’s 10.41 at anytime of the day or night…. Bobby can’t die. Not like this. He’s their father figure. Personally, I think he’s better than their father. He helped raise them. He taught them how to hunt…like proper hunt. He’s had their backs since day one. He’s stood beside them, supported them, fought for them, cried for them, loved them as much as any father could love two sons. Bobby can’t die. I won’t allow it. There.
So apart from the cliffhanger that nearly killed a fandom there was…..
Sam. I’ve been a little disappointed in Sam of late. Or I should say, disappointed in how Sam is being portrayed. I haven’t liked the sneaking off, the pouting and the running away. I think he’s better than that, I think he’s more substantial than that and I think he’s more grown up than that. Or at least I would hope he is. I also found his whole I’ve got this Lucifer thing under control thinly explained. We hadn’t even seen him rub his palm in a while. He was just all okie dokie in a crazy kool-aide kind of way and I was having a hard time swallowing it, mainly because no one was telling me why. Until this week. I loved Sam in How To Win Friends And Influence Monsters. People seem to think I dis Sam, but on the contrary. I just expect a lot from him and so I get disappointed when he disappoints me. But this week, not a jot. Sam was smart, caring, calm, strong and thoughtful, all the traits we know he has but sometimes are not necessarily communicated. There seemed to be a peace around Sam. When everyone else was getting their flare all up in a bunch, Sam wasn’t. His having all his crazy under one umbrella made some kind of weird sense to me. At least he knows what it is he has to deal with. Now I sort of get it. He’s worried about Dean just as much as Dean’s worried about him and I’ve actually got more of a sense of that now. Dean’s different and Sam’s worried. He picked up on that Turducken thing. He had the patience of Job with stoner Dean. He was all the Sammy things that I really adore. 
Dean. I really hope Dean listens to Bobby's special brand of tough love. He needs to find his mojo again. I’m always torn between wanting to hug him and wanting to shake him when he gets like this. He tried the life of a normal man, it didn’t pan out and not just because he put that family at risk, but because it’s not who he is. What Bobby said to Dean in the van is essentially what Zachariah said to Dean in It’s A Terrible Life, “You’re a hunter, not because your dad made you, not because God called you back from Hell, but because it is what you are.” Whether he likes it or not I guess. But he does like it, most of the time and in his own way. We’ve seen Dean depressed before, we’ve seen him want to throw in the towel, give himself over to Michael and toss his life to the Angels, but he always finds a way to rally and regain his Deanness. He’s been through worse than this quite frankly and come out the other side. Though, I think what we’re seeing now is a culmination of all that he’s been through finally pulling him down, finally seeming like it's too much to shoulder. But, I’m sure he’s going to have another “Screw destiny right in the face” moment. He has to. Dean's strong and damn stubborn. Maybe this tragedy with Bobby will help to galvanise him. Certainly if Bobby dies, that will create a fire in his belly for revenge that will take those supercilious Leviathan by surprise. Burning hot vengeful Dean. Mmmmmm…. But as I’ve already made the executive decision that Bobby’s not going to die, maybe it’s Bobby’s words and nearly losing Bobby that helps him find his reason. If Bobby's left to recuperate, that's going to take some time, which just leaves Dean and his brother and that means he’s going to have to learn to trust Sam again but more importantly, he's going to have to learn to trust himself. Dean’s awesome. He’s a hero. He just forgets sometimes. Somehow, I don’t think we’ve seen the fruition of either Sam’s or Dean’s inner struggle. I think those battles are yet to be fought and won.
The Leviathan. I like them. They’re smart and smarmy! I like Dick Roman and I like that the writers called him Dick so we could have lines like “Dick is coming” and “The Rise Of Dick.” Awesome. Like Lucifer before them, we go a few episodes where the Leviathan don’t appear and the urgency of the situation surrounding them seems to be put on the back burner. But then they come back, with a vengeance and now everyone is nicely tense and alarmed. Yay! I have no idea what their end game could possibly be, except make the human population complacent with a sandwich made from a bunch of birds shoved up inside each other, while they slowly take over or possibly eat the world? Well Bobby knows, except….  I like how they’re working the system. Taking over a powerful man to buy up land and God knows what else. Manipulating the media. But I was thinking, maybe Sam and Dean need someone to plant a story or two about Dick Roman. A nice scandal? Doesn’t take much to bring down a powerful man these days. Play the Leviathan at their own game. Being a high profile personality comes with consequences. Hey, I reckon Frank Devereaux could help out with that! Just a thought. And then there was the “bibbing!” I’ve found myself over the last day, occasionally pondering how Dr Sexy!Leviathan ate his own head? Part of me really wants to see that!
Plus we got zombies…damn I love zombies, a monster autopsy to end all monster autopsies…cats head…love and ewwww! Glampers, possibly my new favourite word, Ranger Rick, oozing sandwiches, touching character moments and lots of references to past episodes with wendigos, werewolves, Cas and John, I’ve really enjoyed how this season has been paying homage to the past. And then of course, there was stoned Dean, which might well be my new favourite silly Dean. His blissed out, carefree, tryptophan coma was too much fun. I knew someday Dean’s love of food was gonna bite him on the ass! At least he felt good for a moment….. Oh and Sam’s looks at stoned Dean…seriously, between the two of them my face started to ache. *Insert excuse for using sleeping Dean cap here.
So I guess, essentially How To Win Friends And Influence Monsters is part one of a two part midseason finale. A brilliant set up to whatever the hell is gonna happen next episode. I can’t stand the thought of losing Bobby; I really don’t want Sam and Dean to experience that. They’ve gone through enough. They've given enough. Do we really need to strip them of absolutely everyone? Nope. I’m just not gonna allow it.
Two damn weeks to wait. Supernatural, you’re a cruel and capricious master.
Let me know what you thought of the episode, I’d love to hear your comments.
See you in a couple of weeks for the miraculous recovery of Bobby Singer…right? RIGHT?

Saturday, November 19, 2011

HOW TO WIN FRIENDS AND INFLUENCE MONSTERS



The episode starts with something running through Wharton State Forest in New Jersey. A couple of glampers are “roughing it” in a tent with their cherry wood, four poster bed and widescreen TV. (Do people really do this kind of glamorous camping? I’m appalled! I thought we were living it up when we bought blow-up mattresses to sleep on in our tent and our entertainment involves playing Skip-bo by lantern light while we eat Smores cooked over the fire.) Before you know it, a snoozing Mr. Glamper is hung upside down in a tree, wrapped tight like a burrito in his sleeping bag, while a mystery monster munches on him.



The Winchesters and Bobby find themselves another hell hole to hide in. The lack of amenities and being forced to stay so far off the grid they don’t even have the luxury of hot food or showers is really getting to Dean. After stopping the world’s end, twice, he wonders if they shouldn’t just let it finally bite the dust.


“Stop wrestling with the big picture, son, you’re going to hurt your head. “ – Bobby to Dean


The Jersey Devil is making headlines in the area due to a rash of strange deaths. It is Jersey, after all. Anything inexplicable has often been attributed to the urban creature which is described as human-like with bat wings and sometimes a tail or horse head.


“I took a look at the cadaver, what’s left of it, not a happy camper.” – Bobby


The boys interview Ranger Rick at Biggersons, a local restaurant. The warden seems stoned and completely unconcerned that his assistant might be missing. After being no help whatsoever, Rick leaves and Bobby joins the boys for dinner. A testy waiter named Brandon delivers food to “Big Bird, Ken Doll and Creepy Uncle” before mouthing off to his boss and storming out. An unperturbed Dean gleefully inhales a Pepperjack Turdunken Slammer.


“You don’t shoot Bambi, jackass. You shoot Bambi’s mother.” – Bobby


The trio of hunters head out into the woods where the brothers are impressed with Bobby’s survivalist skills. They find what remains of Rick’s assistant and call the ranger in. The dude’s unfazed that his partner’s dead. Just as Rick’s radioing in the crime, Bobby hears a noise. Quicker than you could scream “watch out!” an unseen force yanks Rick off his feet and hauls him up into the trees. All three guys train their rifles upward, but the night lamps don’t show a thing. Bobby instructs them to go dark. He closes his eyes, carefully listens, then takes a blind shot and—blam!—knocks it out of the tree. It appears to be a man with glaucoma fogged eyes and a cannibal’s appetite, not a Jersey Devil. (I'm intrigued, but kinda bummed.) The boys haul the corpse back to their cabin where he suddenly springs up in a rage. They riddle him with bullets and he finally dies. A crude, not to mention grody, autopsy by Bobby and Sam reveals a lot of gelatinous goo, a mongo adrenal gland (which explains his brute strength), bit and pieces of Rick, a pine cone and a—hork!—cat’s head. (Poor kitty.) While the two surgeons look green around the gills, Dean seems strangely uninterested and even more ravenous than usual. Not good, methinks.


“I think you pissed off my sandwhich.” – Dean


They go back to Biggersons because Dean is craving another Slammer. As he moans in ecstasy over his sandwich, Bobby and Sam start to look around the diner and notice the other patrons are equally enamored with their turducken. Much to Dean’s horror, they take away his meal. At home it erupts into purple snot. Yack! It’s the same goo that was in the dead body.


“If I wasn’t so chilled out right now, I’d puke.” – Dean


The guys stalk a Biggersons’ meat delivery truck. Dean’s passed out in a tryptophan coma in the back seat so Sam asks Bobby if he’s concerned about him. Bobby says the boys spend so much time worrying about each other that neither one of them is living.


Meanwhile, Biggersons bitchy Brandon (say that ten times fast) attacks a girl, but someone stops him before he’s able to chow down. Turns out it’s Edgar the Leviathan. What better way to create widespread chaos then through food?


“The world’s a suicide case, we save it, it just steals more pills.” – Bobby


Sleep and coffee have cleared Dean’s head. (But he’s so cute and goofy when he’s stoned) While Sam scouts the area, Bobby takes Dean to task for his shitty attitude. He says Dean’s talking like a hunter who’s about to die. Dean says he’s talking like someone who’s had it and can’t figure out why he once thought any of this mattered. Point blank, Bobby says he needs to find a reason to get his head back in the game because if Dean dies first Bobby will kill him. (Awww.)


THE RISE OF DICK (best TV news subtitle ev-er)


Dick shows up at the warehouse and everyone’s atwitter waiting for his arrival. The boys do some research and find he’s one of the Top 35 businessmen in America. A corporate shark billionaire Leviathan. Awesome.


He asks our trusty doc Leviathan about the failed subjects in their experiment. You know, the one’s with hyper-adrenalized cannibalism. Dick is pissed that these failed test subjects have made the news. His number 1, golden rule, is that “there are no monsters.” To punish doctor demented, and to set an example for his other employees, Dick “bibs” him, which means he’s got to open that razor-sharp maw and consume himself, leaving all the black goo on a bib. Niiice!


More spying gets Bobby nabbed. He figures his chance of being rescued is slim since Sam and Dean don’t have back-up and don’t know how to kill these big bads. Fortunately for Mr. Singer, a cleaning truck pulls up to the warehouse. The Winchesters hijack their cleaning supplies and bust through the front door spraying Leviathans as they go. The toothy monsters burn up, which at least slows them down. Dick goes to see what the commotion is. Bobby reads the files on his desk and blanches at something he see there, then he nabs a second gun Dick left behind. He shoots Dick’s assistant and heads into the fray. Between soap and shots the brothers manage to escape with Bobby slowly pulling up the rear. Why’s he hesitating? Bobby never hesitates.


Finally he runs out the door and heads for the side van door. Dick chases after him and shoots. Shit, shit, shit. Is Bobby hit? The boys are talking to him as they speed off, but he’s not answering. Sam starts to pass him back his ball cap, but notices a bullet hole in it. NOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


The preview for Death's Door, the winter finale next week, shows Bobby in the hospital and things do NOT look good.





Okay, this has been my worst fear. If Sera kills Bobby I may have to hunt her down. I love that old coot and he better make it through this. It’s bad enough we lost Cass, but I understand it with us going back to the type of Season 1 stories we’ve been doing. But DO NOT kill Bobby. He has to continue being their surrogate father and he has to get together with Sheriff Jodi. Period. Other than my general freakedoutness over the ending of this episode I enjoyed it. Bobby had some of the best lines and stoned Dean was a hoot. What did you think and do you think Bobby will pull through or is this just one more thing the writers are going to take away from the boys to make them ill at ease and defenseless against the Leviathans?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

GISHWHES

I can't believe we haven't talked about GISHWHES here!

Misha Collins is running the Greatest International Scavenger Hunt the World Has Ever Seen, for the Guinness World Record. Have you signed up? I have!

http://greatestinternationalscavengerhunttheworldhaseverseen.com/

REGISTRATION CLOSES TOMORROW at 11:58 PM Moscow Time. (That's 2:58 in the afternoon in New York). So hurry! They'll be assigning teams because they all have to be fairly even, but you can name the people you want to be your teammates. Feel free to post your name in the comments if you want people to join your team. Also feel free to include my name if you don't know anyone else. :)

Natalie J. Damschroder

Good luck!

Monday, November 14, 2011

SPNews

On the Box's Chris Philpott posted half of his interview with Mark Sheppard where the wily demon talks about pursuing the role of Crowley because of Kim Manner. Definitely worth a read, no spoilers. I'll link the 2nd half when it's posted.

And then I'm posting this because I happened upon it and it made me giggle, so I thought I'd give you a smile today. Jared is such a crack-up when he goofs on his sexy charm.


Saturday, November 12, 2011

Review - Supernatural 7.08 "Season Seven, Time For A Wedding!"


Warning - contains episode spoilers 
It’s a waffle iron. Nonstick. You just…I actually don’t know how to use it. We good?
Ok, so I’m not really sure how I feel about Season Seven, Time For A Wedding! I just couldn’t find the funny. I wanted to love it so bad and I didn’t. It really got my dander up. It made me wear my frowny face. But, I took a deep breath and watched it again, because, even I was weirded out by my reaction. Second time around I found myself giggling, but not enough. We needed a bit of light after all the dark of late and this episode sure tried to deliver on the light, but for me, I still couldn’t help but see the dark and that’s why I think it didn’t work. Season Seven, Time For A Wedding! didn’t find that balance between light and dark that Supernatural usually delivers on so well. I know it was just a filler, some of my favourite episodes have been fillers, and I’m certainly not putting it in the category of Criss Angel Is A Douchebag or even worse, Mannequin 3: The Reckoning, my two least favourite episodes ever, but it currently falls into my least favourite episode of the season category, which I guess, as I’m really enjoying season seven, is not necessarily all bad. There’s no other show that can’t raise in me the kind of emotions this show raises, good, bad and sad. That in itself demonstrates how fine this show is, even when it’s not firing on all cylinders. 

I chastised myself on rewatch for not knowing that Dabb and Loflin wrote this episode. They‘ve become favourite writers of mine, or at least they were, before season 7. I’m finding their work this season a tad on the wobbly side at best. Thank Chuck or Cas or whomever, that they didn’t kill Becky! Can you imagine if they killed Amy and Becky! They’d be pinned to the ceiling and flambĂ©ed! As much as Becky bugged me and during the episode I admit at one point I wanted her dead, she is not a monster who has killed anyone so……..damn it, I promised last week I would no longer talk about Amy! Stopping now. It’s interesting that two of Dabb and Loflin’s episodes have used TV terms or ideas that are used for shows at the end of their run, Jump The Shark and now Season Seven, Time For A Wedding! Quite often a show that’s jumped the shark will throw a wedding in, in a desperate grab for ratings. No, I’m not saying Supernatural has jumped the shark, good lordy no! Wash your mouths out! I’m saying I’ve always enjoyed how Supernatural teeters on the boundary of what’s funny in the writer’s room and funny to the audience. That they tease the fourth wall. It’s a fine line. I don’t know of any other show that does it and gets away with it. The little digs are always a treat too. I loved how Becky commented “Supernatural’s not exactly popular” I’m sure we all got a giggle out of that. Nevertheless, I think, overall, Dabb and Loflin delivered a patchy episode, which is disappointing. But like every episode of Supernatural, there was something to love!
Let’s talk about Becky shall we? So, here’s my gripe. I liked Becky. I’ve always found her odd, but enjoyable. I’m not one of those fans that found her offensive, probably because I’m not one of those fans. I loved our first introduction to her when she just couldn’t stop touching Sam, then meeting her again at the Supernatural convention with Chuck. Though she was an overly obsessive fan to be sure, she was always fun and I felt that her heart was in the right place. I never saw her as some loser. In fact, I always thought she was strangely confident. Remember how she did that hand lick, kiss blow thing at Sam in The Real Ghostbusters? That didn’t come across to me as someone who was totally lacking in self-esteem. I always thought, gosh this chick’s got some cojones on her. She even assumed that Sam would dig her, apologising for her hook up with Chuck with that classic monkey on the sun line. Sure, she’s a little delusional but I liked that she seemed comfortable in her own kooky skin. I liked Becky and this episode made me not like Becky. Booo Dabb and Loflin, boo. I should have felt empathy for her. I should have felt sad for her. I should have felt, awww poor Becky’s finally hitched a ride to crazytown. Instead I felt angry! I was angry at her for being so manipulative and thoughtless, for railroading someone’s life for her own fantasy, for drugging Sam, for whacking him on the head with a waffle iron, (seriously, she could have killed him), for allowing Sam to be awful to his brother while under her influence, yeah, maybe this is what started the anger, but mostly for being stupid enough to fall for the sassy-gay-friend crossroads demon! She’s read the books, when is a too good to be true deal ever not too good to be true? Why was she suddenly made into this dunce! I disliked her and that really upset me because I used to like her. Admittedly, by the end I felt less like slapping her and a little more understanding and on rewatch she even made me laugh here and there, but still. She was ruined for me in this episode. I hope we never see her again. Bummer.
Why was Sam off on his own? I don’t get it. He’d just had 10 days on his own and then he goes off for another four to commune with nature or whatever? Leaving Dean alone, again. I know, I know, they’re grown men and should be able to take a time out when they need it and I’m all for that, but he just had a time out and they supposedly have evil, difficult to kill, shapeshifting, monster-mouthed, Leviathan on their tails. Is this really the best time to go walkabout? It makes no sense. Not only that, IT WAS VEGAS WEEK. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, for a bright and sensitive guy, when it comes to his brother, Sam is really clueless. He’s been pressing Dean to tell him what’s wrong. He just had a D&M with Dean over the fake Impala. Dean fessed up to struggling. Sure the lie was now out in the open, but he said he was having trust issues after Cas. That’s about as open as Dean has been since he got back from Hell. Now it seems Sam’s so worried about his brother’s state of mind and constant drinking that he dumps their traditional Vegas plans to go camping, on his own, without his brother, that only a moment ago he was apparently so worried about. This whole thing made absolutely no sense to me. Why would he do that? Then, in all his wisdom, Sam nails Dean with that “Now you finally get to take care of yourself” line. Oh dear…if I wasn’t so opposed to everyone smacking Sam in his Denver scramble head, I’d smack Sam in his Denver scramble head. I know he didn’t mean to hurt Dean, I know his intentions were good, I know he thought saying “I do need you watching my back, obviously” was enough, but when Dean said, “It’s stupid to think that you need me around all the time, you’re a grown up” the wrong thing to say was “Right” and the right thing to say was, “Right, but just because I need some time on my own every once in a while Dean, doesn’t mean I don’t need you.” Sammy are you writing this down? Dabb and Loflin are you writing this down, because really dudes, you need to be taking notes. I’m not hating on Sam. I love Sam to pieces and he’s had an awful tough time of late, and by of late I mean forever, culminating in being tied pantsless to the bed by super-fan 99…(I might have to say thanks to Becky just for that one thing...also very nice work from Jared)…and I couldn’t be happier that he’s getting a handle on what’s going on inside his grapefruit, but, and honestly I don’t mean this hatefully, he has to stop putting his needs first every once in a while. Astonishingly, after what his brain's gone through, he currently seems to be most functional one in the duo and he’s going to have to step up. We all need to take care of ourselves but sometimes we have to put our wants and needs, like going camping, on the backburner while we take care of the others in our lives and Dean needs taking care of right now, even if it’s only verbally and even if he’d never admit it. He needs to know he’s still wanted; he needs to know he’s still needed. He needs to be needed; it’s what defines him. It wouldn’t take much, just a few words here and there to make him feel like, how he defines himself is still relevant, that he’s still relevant. Don’t keep walking away from him, even if you need a bit of space. Just take a deep breath and remember you’re worried about your brother and he’s not going to ask you for help. You’re great at this stuff. Give it a try. Please. Aaaaand apparently I just started talking directly to Sam. I might be as nutty as Becky. I'm hoping Sam will cotton on, sooner rather than later.  But I must admit I'm worried about Sam, I'm worried he's convinced himself he's okay. Like Dean, I'm struggling to understand how that's even possible. You know one thing that I thought was really awesome though ….when the magic potion was wearing off and Sam was all hurting and confused, his first thought was to ring Dean. A tiny little light at the end of this otherwise somewhat gloomy tunnel.
And what about Dean? He was equal parts awesomeness and sadness. His arm waving frustration in the chapel was brilliant. Man I love a cranky, exasperated Dean. He thought Becky should ask him for Sam’s hand? Bless. He was all sixes and sevens about the whole thing. He knew it was wrong, he knew something was up but there was his brother in a love bubble he just couldn’t pop! I totally dug that he got what was going on in a flash. People’s fantasies coming true? Sounds like Becky marrying Sam right? Good on you Dean. Then he rocks up with a waffle iron! He went a bought a waffle iron? I wish we’d seen that. I thoroughly enjoyed his flirtation in the strip club, but the boy needs to get lucky real soon. That’s three women that have got away this season. You know something’s wrong with Dean Winchester when that happens. Oh and the sweater vest. I probably don’t have to say anything more than….sweater vest. 
But, beyond the fun Dean moments, I was so damn sad for him throughout this whole episode. His brother not only dumped him to go camping, he then finds out Sam’s getting married! Then he gets left again until he can “be supportive”, then Sam tells him he no longer needs him, yes I know he was under the influence, but don’t think for a second it didn’t hurt Dean to hear that and don’t think for a second that’s not rattling around his brain. To top it off he can’t even get Bobby to help “I don’t want another hunter Bobby, why can’t you do it”….read…. “Bobby Sam’s got married I don’t know what to do, he says he doesn’t need me anymore, I really need you here right now.” Sadly, Bobby was busy and seemed to misread the situation sending Dean another hunter, when I’m quite sure Dean just needed Bobby to be there for him again. Yet somehow, Dean keeps soldiering on, smiling, even at Becky when he comes face to face with Mr and Mrs Sam Winchester working the case. But you can tell, it’s not as easy as it used to be. Then, just when it seems that maybe it’s all finally heading back in the right direction, his brother accidentally crushes him with the take care of yourself faux pas. His face, in that moment, was so damn heartbreaking. I literally started to cry. What’s going on? Is it more than we know? Or is it just that he’s struggling to find his place in the world, post everything that’s happened to him and his brother. And now with Sam being strangely balanced for someone seeing Satan-Vision 24/7, he's constantly worried the other shoe's gonna drop. I think Dean doesn’t know who he is or what he’s supposed to do anymore. He knows he has to fight the monsters, save people, but beyond that, who is he, what's his purpose? He used to take care of his family, he used to take care of Sam, he took care of Bobby when Bobby needed him, he even took care of Cas, helping him muddle through this world. Who needs him now? Cas is gone, Bobby's all good and Sam's doing fine (at least on the surface), what's his role? How much satisfaction can you draw from helping strangers when the people that you love, seem to no longer need you? And if he doesn't have to look out for anyone, does that mean he'll have to look to himself? I think the thought of being on his own simply terrifies him, because if he's on his own he might have to face his inner demons. Like the waitress in the bar said, "We all need to face ourselves sometimes." I think that thought scares Dean to death. No one to take care of, desperately trying not to look within. Dean’s lost.
And this, all this here, all this underlying sorrow is why I couldn’t totally get on board with this week’s episode. I love black comedy and it's not that I found it disturbing or offensive or anything like that, I just found it sad. It was supposed to be funny, but for the most part, I didn't laugh. Not for Sam being drugged, when he’s already struggling with what’s going on in his mind and most certainly, not for Dean. Right from the moment Dean said Sam dumped him and Vegas week, my heart started to break and it just got worse and worse as the hits kept coming. It’s not like his pain is anything new, it’s just now, he doesn’t seem to be able to deal with it like he used to. All those years of not talking, of supporting everyone else, of shrugging it all off, it’s worn him down. You can see it in his face, in his actions, in the way he carries himself. He’s pushed so much sadness down for so long, it’s filled him to the brim and now it’s coming back up to choke him. The booze, the nightmares. You know, this is what I was talking about last week, with the writers being true to the characters and not being repetitive. This, what is happening to Dean now, is a culmination of everything we’ve seen him go through over the years. On one hand, it’s so beautiful to see how this character is being realised but on the other hand, I can’t stands it! I need him to have win. I need him to be ok, or as ok as he’s ever going to be. I need Sammy to need him….. When Dean hurts I hurt plain and simple and Season 7, Time For A Wedding! hurt like bloody crazy. Like my friend Tiny said, what's been happening to Dean, it’s supernatural bullying and I need it to stop!
But hey, there was some nice stuff in this episode too! Like I said, I always find something to love in Supernatural and I in no way hated Season 7, Time For A Wedding! even though, reading this back you’d be forgiven for thinking I did! I thought there was a lot of heart in this episode. I liked DJ Qualls’ Garth a lot. I’m calling him the Anti-Sam. Shorter and scrawny, not great with people, sucky in interviews, completely the opposite of what Dean is used to working with. I thought it was a little out of the blue when he hugged Dean at the end, but it was a fun and nicely awkward moment. I’d be more than happy to see Garth again, maybe with a bit more to do next time.
Demons. I’ve miss demons and I do like a good crossroads demon. Guy was fantastic. I thought Leslie Odom who played Guy did a really nice job, suitably smooth and smarmy. And did you see how his eyes changed? Not just in a blink, but like a snake or something, it’s like the red came from both sides and joined in the middle. Cool! Then we had the joy of Crowley, albeit briefly, which is always wonderful and he managed to remind everyone about the Leviathan and that there are bigger fish to fry. I do love me some Crowley and I’m very interested to see what his play is this season. Also, nice beard!
The opening titles with the wedding cake were a pearler! Jim Michaels told me and my friend Amanda that it was Phil Sgriccia’s idea and they shot it at 1000 frames a second, which is how they could get the super slo-mo. I thought it looked awesome. Must have been real messy!
And of course there was Jensen Ackles and his comic timing, which, quite frankly, was probably the saving grace of this episode, because when I did laugh, it was at Dean’s eye-rolling exasperation. His face, his arm waving, his surliness and just his general bafflement over the whole situation was beautiful. Dean, in all his sadness, somehow still managed to be the light in this episode. Jensen can really act….and wear a sweater vest.
Oh and Dean had ‘Sammy’ in his phone…….my heart runneth over.
So yeah, Season Seven, Time For A Wedding! was a bit of a disappointment. It had its fun moments for sure, but I felt like it could’ve been so much better. I felt like there was a great opportunity for some meta, what with Becky’s intimate knowledge of the brother’s past cases and their relationship, but the script missed the mark. I’m enjoying season seven a lot though. I really think this is the only episode that has disappointed me quite on this level, and if this is the worst we get, damn we're a lucky bunch! Even when I have questions, I always enjoy the show. I’m interested in the Leviathan, I’m interested in the brothers and how they are slowly but surely finding their way back to each other, I’m interested in Sam and how well he’s really doing and I’m (overly) interested in Dean and how low he will go before he sores like the phoenix back to his former glory! Not the Frontierland kind of phoenix…the pretty kind… Each week I’ve been filled with a little more hope that the brothers are finally going down the right road. Hey, and next week………we have a script by Mr Edlund! I’m excited. Ben Edlund, Guy Bee, Winchesters with big guns….carrying rifles…. Heee! It’s going to be good! See you then!
P.S. BRING BACK DEAN’S BABY!
Thanks for reading….I know many of you won’t agree with my thoughts on this one, so please let me know what you thought, I’d love to hear it - Amy

Friday, November 11, 2011

"Season 7, Time for a Wedding!"

I love when the writers get all cheeky and poke fun at industry conventions! I wonder what else they'll decide is supposed to be included in season 7.

We start with "Then" and with so much focus on Becky, I'm guessing she's the one who will marry Sam. Yeah, despite my attempts to remain unspoiled, I knew Sam was the one getting married. :(

We're in Las Vegas, with Dean talking up a hot waitress. He's actually pretty relaxed and into the flirtation, which is nice to see. But this opening talk confuses the heck out of me. Since when do they have a sacred annual pilgrimage to Vegas? It took me a long time to get into the flow of the story after that.

Dean's main problem, coaxed out of him by the waitress (stripper?), is actually pretty great. His brother is batshit nuts, but the shit's not hitting the fan. He's all reasonable and stuff, though he's worried about Sam being out camping by himself. She says "we all need to face ourselves sometime," not referring to Sam, and when we get to the end of the episode, that idea is revisited. Nice circle there. But I'll come back to that.

So Sam texts Dean to come down the street, and wear his Fed suit. Hey, I recognize this church! It was the one where Sam defeated Samhain in "It's the Great Pumpkin, Sam Winchester." Pretty sure it was also the entry to the tombs in "Houses of the Holy," too. You know you're obsessed when you recognize repurposed locations. :)

So Dean comes in packing, but Sam assures him he doesn't need the pistol. Dean asks what their pretext is (I love when they use the lingo, though I'm not sure we've heard this one since "Tall Tales"). What are they hunting, a siren?

No. Sam's in love, and he's getting married.

Enter the creepy bride, with the thickest veil this side of the Boar's Head (<---Harry Potter reference). Dean's reaction, to both Sam's announcement and to his bride, is priceless. I LOVE when Jensen gets to do comedy! Beautiful black-and-white wedding cake that explodes into the title shot. That was AWESOME. Dean's still trying to figure this out. Sam's explanation? "We met, we ate..." Ah-HA. She had to do something to him, right? A spell or potion, maybe? But despite Sam being a bit mild and oddly unquestioning, he seems fine. Very natural with Becky, who of course is thrilled beyond belief. She doesn't care about the average life span of his hookups—eyes wide open—and is even paying for the wedding. "Really?! SuperFan99?!"

Sam and Becky leave for her home in Delaware. Dean calls Bobby but has to leave a message, as Bobby's got his hands full with a nest in Oregon. I love that Bobby's presence is so strong, even when he's not on screen.

Sam and Becky pull into a restaurant parking lot. Sam says they just ate, and for a moment I think Becky must be a monster of some sort who needs lots of calories, but no, it all becomes clear when she walks in to the site of her high school reunion, with the requisite mean girl handling the planning. Becky shows off Sam, then introduces him to her friend Guy, who has an interesting reaction to Sam. I assumed on first watch that he was part of Becky's plan, and he is, but his surprise is not just that it worked, as we later find out.

"Guy's a really good friend. We met in the erotic horror section at the Novel Hovel..."

Guy's an event planner, and reunion season is very busy for him, but Becky runs after him to get some silver-clad glass bottle and makes reference to him being Wiccan. Dean drives up as they drive away. He doesn't follow, but goes inside and pulls out Dad's journal, presumably to do research (though I'd think he has that thing memorized by now) or take notes (maybe it's his own journal now). He's immediately distracted by a newspaper story about some guy's good fortune and immediate tragedy.

Sam's sitting at a lovely dinner (rotisserie chicken from the grocery store) and Becky comes out in sexy lingerie. Anyone else reminded of "Wishful Thinking" at this point? Or, like, for the full 11 minutes up to this point? But Sam gets vision-like headaches and comes painfully to reality, with no clue how he got there, and I can't help wondering why I thought he seemed so normal. Now he's really Sam, for a few crucial seconds. Becky gives him the potion, and he's back to being in "love" with her. Poor Sam.

Cut to a guy hitting balls on a baseball field, and another guy using mojo of some sort (his hand movements remind me of Castiel, but I'm thinking more like demon or witch). Baseball to the face, requisite blood splatter, ewwwww.

Dean, being supportive, brings Sam a waffle iron. Sam's a little standoffish but displays no animosity. He's just...I don't know, kind of empty? Dean brings up the job in town. Baseball guy just got called up to the majors. Becky says their first thought was crossroads demon, but there's the 10-year time frame. Dean's totally flummoxed that Sam and Becky are working the case together. He's pissed at Becky, but even when Sam says "that's my wife you're talking about," there's no heat. He's talking the talk, but there's no real emotion behind it.

Dean says people who get their dreams come true bite it pretty quick. Sam says maybe what's bothering Dean is that Sam doesn't need him anymore. Ouch. Dean leaves, and tells Bobby he doesn't want another hunter, but since Bobby's all the way across the country (sorry, Dean, he's not close to his magic South Dakota wormhole), he's going to hook Dean up with someone local.

Sam catches Becky writing in her journal (swirly "Sam loves Becky" crap) and sniffing the presumably scented ink. When he licks his thumb and rubs the ink off her nose, there is nothing romantic about it. Except to her. He's found another dream-achiever...and Becky's journal. But despite her hilarious panic, he thinks it's beautiful and hugs the book. He's so adorable!

Dean goes back to the restaurant to meet the hunter, but the burly guy he approaches first isn't who he's looking for. It's the scrawny guy in the corner (DJ Qualls!), who says, "I thought you'd be taller." Bobby told him Dean would be all surly and premenstrual working with him, but he's cool with it. So do you think he'll go the way of Tamara, a hunter never seen again, or Rufus, recurring until he dies?

Dean (in a sweater vest?!) and his new partner cross paths with Sam and Becky at the CEO's office. Dean plays hard-hitting journalist very well, while Garth cuts right to the chase and hits the guy with "nefarious means" questions about black magic and hoodoo. Between the two of them, they get that the guy didn't want the job. But his bitchy wife obviously did want it. Dean tries to get the story from her, but she blows them off.

"Why do people keep thinking I'm threatening them?"
"Because it sounded exactly like a threat, dude."


Sam's trying to work the case while Becky tweets about going on a romantic getaway. The elixir wears off again, but it leaked in Becky's purse, and she can't stop Sam from reverting.

Dean saves the CEO's wife, whose story makes it sound like a demon deal. But the timeline is whack. Garth shows his hunter chops and lays out the plan. They'll stow the wife with his cousin, a tri-racial paraplegic sniper, while they go after the demon.

Becky makes a desperation call to Guy, Sam is in pain and asks Becky what's going on, and when he says he's calling Dean, she knocks him out with a waffle iron.

Sam wakes up tied to a bed in a nice cabin.

Tied. To a bed.

...

...

Okay, I'm back. Sam's fully himself, and what a friggin' relief! Becky tests him for concussion symptoms, says he's pantsless because they're very constricting, but don't worry, she didn't do anything weird. Guy calls her back on her computer, and she wants the elixir. She says the stuff is wearing off faster and faster and whines that they haven't even consummated their marriage. Guy says to meet him in an hour, and Sam heard everything. He's pissed, while Becky is full of justification. Sam knows right away that Guy is the one killing everyone, and says Becky is on his list. Crazy woman. She refuses to untie him, stuffs a rag in his mouth, and calls "love you too!" as she runs off for more love potion.

I know she's pathetic and doing something awful here, but I really like Becky!

But it turns out Sam was right. Guy wants payment now, and reveals his red eyes. Reunions give him tons of clients, and he admits (kind of) that he's responsible for the deaths. He says he wasn't thrilled to see her new hubby was Sam Freakin' Winchester, but he'll give her a special deal. Twenty-five years—unprecedented—with Sam for her soul and her promise not to tell the Winchesters any of it.

The timeline gets a little murky for me from this point. She wants a drink, but Guy hands over the potion, then she goes back to the house and talks to Sam, then she's drinking at the end of the reunion. I think the editing could have been tidied up a little.

Dean and Garth go to Becky's apartment and find enough clues to send them to the lake house (Loon Lake, nice pun :) ). Becky is there lamenting that her plan to show off Sam—he's tall and nice, and they'd think she was happy—isn't going according to plan. She does a short rundown of her life and fondles the bottle of elixir. Sam tells her she's better than this, she says she's not so sure, and now we're back at the restaurant after the reunion. She tells Guy she's in.

Wow. I can't believe we still have 20 minutes to go. This episode was actually shorter than normal, but seemed to go on for a long time.

Becky gets close enough to the demon to seal the deal, but instead drops a lighter on a devil's trap made from blueberry vodka. Sam, Dean, and Garth show up, so apparently they made it to the lake house. Guy asks for Dean's autograph, Dean pulls out the demon-killing knife. Guy claims to be an innovator instead of a cheater, using an "intern" to arrange accidents and collect early on the souls. Intern flings all three hunters across the room. He's pretty powerful. Fights ensue, Garth gets knocked out, Sam and Dean are getting throttled, season 1 style. Becky saves Sam with a knife through the intern's torso (that knife isn't that long!) and Sam tosses it to Dean, who turns it on Guy.

Guy says "oh crap" and Dean thinks it's because of him, but then Crowley appears. Oh, crap. But Crowley isn't too happy with Guy's stupidity. The "intern" ratted him out. Crowley's pissed at the damage to their credibility.

"There's a reason we don't call our chits in early. Consumer confidence. This isn't Wall Street, this is Hell! We have a little something called integrity."

Crowley makes a deal to cancel all Guy's deals (15 of them) and take Guy from Dean. Sam's suspicious, and Crowley points out that demons have left Sam and Dean alone while they're dealing with the Leviathans.

"You met that dick, yeah? Smuggest tub of goo since Mussolini. I hate the bastards. Squash them all. Please. I'll stay clear."

His "done. and done." when he cancels the deals reminds me of Ash. *sniff*

Man, I love Crowley.

Sam, with absolutely no sympathy for Becky, gets an annulment and says she'll probably never see him again. But he does take pity and tells her she's not a loser, to just do her thing, whatever that is, and the right guy will find her. Then Garth gets all crushy on her, but Dean squashes that pretty quick.

We have the goodbye scene, when Dean tells Garth he doesn't suck. "Thank you, man. That's the nicest thing anyone's ever said to me." I like Garth. I hope we see him again.

Sam says he does need Dean watching his back, but Dean admits Sam's a grown up and doesn't need him any more.

"It's still a Denver scramble up here, I just know my way around the plate now."

Sam says it's about time Dean gets to just look out for himself, but Dean doesn't look too thrilled about that. This is where we're supposed to reflect back on the waitress (stripper?) saying he needed to face himself. Come on, Dean, you can do it. You're a helluva guy, you know.

Final verdict: This wasn't my favorite episode, but I really liked the tone and the characters, and I have a feeling this will be one of my favorites to rewatch. It's always nice to have a light episode among all the heavy, dark ones.

What did you think?

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Missing Misha?

If you've been missing seeing Misha Collins on your screen, consider watching some upcoming episodes of Ringer (the Sarah Michelle Gellar twisty noir drama on CW). According to TVguide.com, Misha will play someone from her past! It'll be strange to see him in something other than the trench coat :-)

Monday, November 7, 2011

SPN inspired book

Yay! I got the cover for my May YA release, HOLLYWEIRD. This book came about one day while I daydreamed about doing a set visit to SUPERNATURAL. I'm sure I'm not the only one who has fantasized about that or, for those of us who haven't been lucky enough to actually meet and take photos with the cast, meeting Jared and Jensen. I had so much fun writing this romantic paranormal and there are plenty of nods to SPN that fans will catch. You might also recognize a few Supernatural Sisters names in the book. ;)







As grand prize winner of EnterTEENment Magazine’s “Win a Date with Dakota” contest, Aly King, her best friend Desi, and Aly’s prima donna sister Missy are flown to Hollywood to meet teen heartthrob, Dakota Danvers (inspired by Sam).


Their dream-come-true vacation takes a turn for the weird when Aly discovers that Dakota is actually the son of Satan, sent to earth to prey on the souls of the vain and needy. When Dakota sets his sights on Missy, who will do anything to become a star, Aly joins forces with Jameson Dagon, a (hottie) fallen angel (inspired by Dean) sent to spy on Dakota as his personal assistant, to stop the errant demon.



HOLLYWEIRD is available for pre-order on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

J&J panel photos from ChiCon

So here are my photos from Jensen and Jared's Sunday panel at ChiCon. You'll notice there is only one from the breakfast. I actually had an awesome seat for the breakfast. I was dead centre!  Strangely, I also got to sit next to Andrea and Chris from Perth! What are the chances! But in my limited experience, I find Supernatural conventions full of such weird synergy! I know Andrea via twitter and facebook and it was awesome to meet her and her, very patient with our gushing, husband! Actually, he was busy looking up VanCon seats on his phone before the breakfast panel started!

Anyway.....no breakfast photos, I don't know why, but some of the panel photos turned out ok, if you don't zoom in too close!

I think I am going to invest in a better camera for LACon...

Enjoy the show!

Review: Supernatural 7.07 "The Mentalists"

Warning: Contains episode spoilers and just a little gushing
Never ended well for the siblings
I’m not going to lie, I loved The Mentalists. And you know what? I’ve loved the last two episodes too. I thought Shut Up, Dr. Phil and Slash Fiction were rippers….excuse me for not reviewing them, but with ChiCon and just getting back to stupid real life, they fell through the cracks…but I’m here now and like I said, I loved The Mentalists. So can everyone stop trashing the show for a moment and appreciate how damn good it is? I've read some really disturbing commentary over the last few days and I'm baffled at some of the 'insights'. This is my personal blog space, so this is my personal opinion, but I think those of you who know me and have been reading my reviews for the last 2 and a half seasons, know that I try to remain balanced at all times. I try to put forward an honest opinion and I will call the show out on its failings when I see them. But I don't believe we always have to try to find something to fault. Sometimes it should be enough to just sit back and enjoy the ride. I really dug every second of this episode, so I'm just going to write it up like that. In fact, this might well be my favourite episode of the season. 

Didn’t it feel good to have the brother’s working together again? Even if they were cranky with each other. Figuring it all out on their own without Bobby or any Heavenly help. Salting and burning. Didn’t that feel good? YOU BET YOUR ASS IT DID! It felt real good. It felt real good to see them relying on each other, on their skills and on their smarts. It’s been a while. You know it felt so good, I kinda don’t want to go into the nitty gritty too much! In fact….let’s just end this right here....

I KID! But seriously, this was too much fun for me to want to go too deep. Like I said, sometimes it should be enough just to sit back and enjoy the ride.

So we finally get the script from the Bens Blacker and Acker. I’ve been waiting for this one. I’m a huge fan of The Thrilling Adventure Hour, if you haven’t listened to their podcast, you really should. Ben Blacker also hosts The Nerdist Writer’s Panel podcast, once again, a must listen as far as I’m concerned and I’m sure we’ve all enjoyed them toying with us on twitter. I loved their script and I told them. Ben Acker said, “thank you all the way!” I think he’s been very busy getting back to everyone’s very positive tweets! What I loved about their script was, even though they’re the new kids on the block, new to the writer’s room this season, it felt like they really did their research. There were quite a few shout outs to early seasons, like Pamela and Missouri and even the MOTW was old school, an old school nasty ass ghost. Good on you boys and welcome aboard! That’s two weeks in a row new writers have knocked it out of the park and knocked the more established writers on their asses. Mmmmm fresh blood.
So Sammy went awol and Dean was looking at his phone hoping for a message. Nawwww. Yeah we’ve seen this before, but you know what, so what. I had an interesting rant on Facebook the other day about this very thing. Someone was bitching and moaning about how there’s no character development any more and that the boys keep doing the same thing, making the same mistakes and I said….well, these boys are actually men in their 30’s….well Sam’s nearly 30 and let’s face it, you get to a certain age and really, you don’t change that much, you’re kind of who you are. Sure you learn a little something here and there, but essentially, we all keep making the same dumb mistakes because you get to a point where that is just who you are and how you react. This is not repetition, this is being true to the characterisation of Sam and Dean that has been meticulously created over the past seven years. Yes, they’ve matured and grown. After everything they've seen and been through how could that not change them on a cellular level. I mean, every now and then they even seem to be able to talk a little bit about their feelings…God forbid….but at their essence they are who they are and who they've always been. Dean has always flown off the handle and Sam has always run away. Dean would rather not talk, Sam wants to talk about everything. They’ve always got on each other’s nerves from the first moment we met them. They’ve been living in each other’s back pockets for pretty much their entire life, they're gonna bug each other. They're very different people. They're going to do things the other one doesn't like and they're going to have their secrets occasionally. That's family after all. To be any different would be out of character for them. This is who they are, who they've become, who they've grown in to for good and for bad. But at the basis of everything is love. They are siblings, siblings fight, but they usually find a way to get past their differences and find common ground. This is what Sam and Dean do. This is what they always do. People don't continually change, that's a fact of life, for them to be in a constant state of growth and transition is unrealistic. And don't forget, sibling acts always have it hard!
I loved Dean in this episode (redundant statement is redundant). He seemed to have some form of verbal diarrhea! I’m not sure I’ve ever heard him talk so much. He just babbled when he ran into Sam. Obviously his ploy was just keep talking and Sam won’t be able to get away! I loved how at the end of his diatribe about the case he just goes “Anyway, this is good. And, uh, how you been?” Haven’t we all been in that situation, where someone’s had the shits with us and we just kind of talk in the hope that we can just talk them in to submission? I was laughing my ass off. Also the fact he just kept throwing out the jokes and one-liners and Sam’s bitchface never moved. Never moved! 
Sam’s bitchface was EPIC! I want a sequence of all his bitchfaces from this episode, they were brilliant. I'm quite sure Sam thought Dean had tracked him down and his annoyance was palatable. I like that they'd just ended up in the same place because, this is what they do and who they are. They can't keep away from each other even when one of them is trying to keep away from the other. I wonder how long Sam would have stayed away from Dean had Dean not stumbled upon him? Another thing I liked about this diner scene was how the crazy pregnant yoga woman thought they were Leviathan Sam and Dean. Nice. Really, their faces were everywhere and you know, those are faces you take notice of, so it was awesome to see that recognised, dare I say, for a change. It was also awesome to recognise that Dean IS a virile manifestation of the Divine. Yes indeedy he is, actually he literally is if you think about the whole Michael’s vessel thing.
So the case involved a nice girl who made woo woo eyes at Dean. Yay! Once again, so old school. The girls of the week always go for one of the brothers and I was glad to see, this time around, it was Dean getting a bit of female attention. Lord knows he sorely needs some. I think it’d do him the world of good…………………………………………..I’m sorry what? Oh right, where was I, oh yes, Dean needs to get a bit. Wait, no, Melanie. I liked her, did you like her? I know someone who will complain she was a brunette (you know who you are >:D) but I really liked her. I thought her scene with Dean at the end of the episode was just too gosh darn adorable. He was all leg twitchy and awkward and he literally threw his hands up when Sam went outside to “do something.” Nawwww Sam! Oh, just, bless! I liked Melanie a lot and I liked their flirtation a lot. More please.
There were so many moments in The Mentalists that pointed at the Winchester’s relationship. Apart from the ‘psychics’ all accidentally reading them, “You’re pissed and you’re stressed” and “A loss weighs on you, your angry, it’s complicated,” there was Camille with “Family is a pain in the ass” and the whole  “Never ended well for the siblings the strain of working together or maybe being around each other all their lives.” But it was the Fox sisters analogy that I really dug. One sister was psychically gifted and the other was not. The one without the apparent psychic gift took care of the other sister, “Sometimes one’s true gift is taking care of others.” I loved this whole thing. Dean has always been the caretaker in his family but for some reason, he doesn’t seem to recognise the importance of this and yet without him, I hate to think where John or Sam would have ended up. Taking care of people is his true gift….*sigh*.  I also wondered if this was a little bit of a thumb on the nose to the fans who don't think the writer's give Dean a purpose. I've never thought that, Dean is essential to the balance of, well everything as far as I'm concerned. Anyway, grist for the mill, thank you museum man.
Then out of the blue, Ellen! I adore Ellen and I adore her even more now that I know she’s still looking out for the boys from the other side. She always called Dean on his bullshit; hey, doesn't everyone. I loved what she said to him, but it also made me worried, because he really must be in one hell of a dark place to have her reach out like that. I think hearing this from 'Ellen' shook Dean into action. Brought the Dean out in him, if you will. I hope Dean continues to to think about what she said, because if anyone could kick his ass from the beyond, it's Ellen! Maybe this spiritual ass kicking will start him on a more healthy path…emotionally speaking…wait…was that another pig flying past my window? That always seems to happen when I’m writing reviews!
The argument out of the footpath reminded me of when Sam took Dean to task for being a dick in Fallen Idol. Though he thought Sam deserved it, Dean really was being a bit of a dick to Sam in that episode and he got called on it and in the end, after some pondering, he saw Sam's point and took it on board admitting that maybe Sam was right. This time the shoe was on the other foot. I like. I think Sam had every right to be pissed with Dean for lying to him, he felt betrayed and I think Dean had every right to tell Sam to stop being a bitch, it'd gone on long enough. I’m pretty balanced on this one; I think they both had a pretty good case in this argument. But Dean simply had an 'I'm over this' moment and called Sam on the silent treatment. What I liked about this though, was Dean knows Sam well enough to say his piece and just walk away. You could see straight up, as Sam glared daggers at Dean’s exiting back, that Sam was already thinking. These boys sure do like to brood and over-think and they always seem to find some way to punish each other, but eventually, they see the light, because as I said earlier, at the basis of everything in their relationship is love. There get’s a point when you’re dealing with someone you care about, who’s angry with you, where you just go, "I get it, now get over it!" That’s what Dean did and it worked. I thought the exchange on the footpath felt good and honest and very 'them'. Maybe the fact that Sam had to kill someone, a human, in The Mentalist also helped him better understand Dean and question his own anger over Dean's motivation for killing Amy. That Sam didn't get all fretty about it was a little mind-blowing. Still, the last thing we need now is Sam to get the guilts on top of everything else he's dealing with. Really, I can do without that. I've had my Wincherstery angst quota for a while.
Look, I never had a problem with Dean killing Amy, I got why he did it from day one and I never thought Amy was actually the issue for Sam or Dean, it was the lying plain and simple and anyone who thought this was all about Amy really has to question their understanding of these characters. It's always going to be about Sam and Dean and how they effect each other, everything is always about them on some level, that is how they effect each other and it was good to see that recognised. Sam finally said he got why Dean killed Amy and that if he was honest with himself, if it was any other monster he’d have a hard time letting it walk away. Amy wasn't just an innocent single mother, she was a killer, who had killed at least 4 people that we know of. There could never, ever be any guarantee she wouldn't kill again if the same circumstance arose, regardless of her good intentions. Hopefully this is the last time I'll have to say anything on the Amy issue. Then Sam challenged Dean on his gloomy, boozy behaviour of late, mistakenly reading it as guilt over the killing. This time, Dean answered Sam honestly and said, killing Amy felt right in his gut, but lying to Sam didn’t, he didn’t like lying to his brother and Sam said, “I know how that is.” Yeah he does, because he’s kept a couple of pearlers from Dean in his time. When it comes to laying guilt, you can’t point the finger at one brother and not at the other, to do that is incredibly one-eyed. I saw their coming together at the end of this episode as very mature and you know what that is? Character development.
Dean also mentioned Cas. Losing Cas and Cas betraying him with Crowley weighs heavily on Dean. We’ve seen him dreaming about Cas, he says he’s having a hard time trusting anyone since Cas. He's  not going to go around talking about it or openly mourning his friend because that's not who Dean is, he has and always will swallow down his sadness, but that doesn't mean it's not weighing on him. It's obvious and I don't need that spoon fed to me by the writers, I understand Dean enough to know how this is effecting him. Saying that lying to Sam was making him “climb walls” is just the tip of Dean's iceberg. I think Ellen was saying a lot more. There's a lot more to Dean's current dark mood. But hey, it’s a start right? Opening up to each other even just a little, (over a car other than the Impala - SACRELIDGE!) that’s got to be a step in the right direction (except for the car). Here’s to the end of this Amy nonsense, I only ever saw that as a plot point that would eventually bring the brother's closer together and re-establish their relationship, which I know I've been sorely missing and here's to a little bit more open dialogue between the Winchester boys….HA! Yeah right! Did you see how Dean could barely look at Sam most of the way through that little opening up session. Really uncomfortable with sharing there Dean! Nawww but at least he's trying. Jensen rocked that scene. Both Jensen and Jared were fabulous in this episode.
So is that it? Is that all I have to say? Yeah pretty much. Like I said, you don't have to always find something to fault. I would like to add….I really liked all the gore of the last few episodes. The spoon bending death, the Leviathan chowing down on someone, the decapitations and the beating heart cupcakes. They made me gag…quite literally…and the only other time that’s happened was when zombie guts were rubbed over everyone in The Walking Dead! Ewwww! I loved that we found out a little more about Bobby. I always enjoy a bit of Bobby back story. I also thoroughly enjoyed Bobby and Sheriff Mills' little flirtation. Nice. I loved a bunch of lines in The Mentalists, particularly “Probably should’ve bent those with the power of his mind.” Dean! How Sam kept his bitchface in place with that one beats me. I love how perfect the graves the boys dig always are. If ever this monster-hunting business doesn’t work out for them I think they’d have a nice career ahead as symmetrical gravediggers! I also loved how Dean couldn’t get his lighter going. That whole scene was reminiscent of The Real Ghostbusters right down to the ghost warning them and then the boys going and accidentally salting and burning her! I loved that the nasty ass ghost called Dean handsome, I always enjoy it when their looks are referenced because, well....really! I loved that it was a pretty tense episode, which I think I’ll put down to Mike Rohl, a very experience director who’s been with the show since season 2 and directed On The Head Of A Pin, Appointment In Samara and And Then There Were None to name but a few, which may be three of the tensest episodes of the series.

I loved how we knew Sam and Dean were going to be ok when Sam moaned “Dean” in exasperation at Dean’s terrible boning her joke and then had to look away when Dean threatened to punch out the affirming waiter. I love that I feel like, finally, they are on the right track, that makes me incredibly happy and I really, really loved the nod to Chinatown, the only thing that would’ve made that more perfect would be if Sam had a plaster over his nose. “Forget it Sam, it’s Lilydale”. 

Thanks for reading this rather shapeless rambling review! Sorry about 7.05 and 7.06….you never know, I may get inspired to write them up….one day.

Let me know what you thought of the episode!
See you next week for THE WEDDING!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Sunday at Chicago Con....it's all about Jensen.



Well, I’ve been promising to do this all week, so finally, here it is.…Jensen and the Q&A....

As many of you know, I went to Chicago Con. It was my second US Supernatural convention. I live in Australia…so yeah; it’s a ways to go, but so totally worth it! LACon in February was my first experience with Jensen and I was blessed enough to attend his inaugural jam session with Jason Manns, which is an experience I will forever hold and treasure in my heart as one of the most amazing moments of my life.
This time around I was determined to do the Q&A with Jensen. That’s twenty people in a room with him for ½ an hour. Hazel and I, my buddy and convention cohort, who I joyously experienced the jam session with, had decided come Hell or high water that Q&A would be ours. So we bid together and to our upmost pleasure, won two spots! There were texts flying between New Zealand and Australia at 4am that morning let me tell you!
Now the Sunday at the convention is all about the boys. The Friday and Saturday had been a blast. Karaoke was something else. Really, really something else! I nearly peed myself when Mark Pellegrino showed up! I have this thing for his Lucifer….awkwardly….and there he was on stage, beer in hand, jumping up and down. The guests were all amazing. Misha was his usual wicked self. My friend Bianca and I beat him up in our photo…it’s hilarious. Matt told me he was “fuckin’ awesome” I’d have to agree. Chad and I compared black nail polish, and I managed to get a couple of really good hugs from Mark Pellegrino. Lucifer is a hugger and he also has a potty mouth! I’m totally smitten with that man. So the Friday and Saturday were amazing, utterly amazing, but for me, the con is all about the Sunday.

I thought, as I’d done this Jensen and Jared thing once before, I’d be cool. Wrong. I actually think I was more nervous this time. Maybe it’s because I’m even more in love with Jensen now, damn it, so I got up ridiculously early and meticulously got ready. Everything looked ok, outfit.…check….hair….check....stomach….flip-flopping….oh well, two out of three ain’t bad! With Hazel by my side, I headed on down to the Js breakfast panel. Whoa! I had the most awesome seat, right in the middle, dead centre and strangely, sitting with my friends Andrea and Chris from Perth…3 Aussies on the one table! What are the odds!
The breakfast panel was great. Lots of yucks. When the boys came out I think I gasped a little, I know Andrea did! Jensen looked AMAZING. Jared was wearing a tie on Gen’s instructions that Jensen had to do up for him….bless them both. I’m always totally baffled at how beautiful they are and how at ease and totally sweet they are with everyone.  As usual it was over way too quick and we were off to the auditorium to await our photos with the Js.
I was with a bunch of friends and we were all sharing photos, so it was quite strategic how we’d sorted it out to ensure we took the least amount time and caused the least amount of fuss. We had a running order for the Jensen op! I was involved in 7 photos! I actually said to him at one point, “I promise I’m going soon.” He laughed….he’s so polite. He was in a great mood. There were all the hugs we could ever want and I managed to get the mystical ‘hug from behind’ shot….see my twitter profile pic. It’s all so quick and discombobulating though! I find the photo ops incredibly challenging! For one of my J2s I asked Clif if I could get the Sam & Dean Mr Potato Heads, the Spudchesters in a shot and he organised it for me with the Creation people, bless him, he’s an absolute doll. Then last but in no way least it was Jared. Now, because Hazel and I were both doing the Jensen Q&A we got to go first for our Jared pics. I was going to ask him to get behind me and do a muscle flex, but when I started to say can you go behind me….he just went “Oh sure” and got me in a big hug from behind….I ain’t complaining. My Jensen and Jared ‘hug from behind’ shots were my favourite from the convention.
So in a flurry of awkwardness and nerves the photos ops were done and Hazel and I ran down the hall to the room where the Q&A was to take place. There had been much discussion as to how we would be seated. Would it be first in best dressed? Would they pull numbers from a hat? Apparently both of these scenarios have happened before. But the Creation dude at the door just asked our names and said, “You’re in seats 9 & 10.” I looked down and saw that the first row started with 1 and the second row started with 11……bloody hell….we were in the front row! I have to say Hazel and I have been incredibly blessed with our con experiences. We had the perfect seats for the jam, Jensen wiggled his chair so he was looking directly at us….poor bugger….we were teary nearly all the way through it….and now, here we were front row of his Q&A! Our best guess is the seats were allocated on the winning bidding order. Anyway, regardless, my heart was racing. I was so damn excited. ½ an hour with Jensen? BLISS! I’m such a nitwit in the photo ops, I didn’t think I’d ever be able to ask a question….but I was wrong!
The Creation dude gave us a run down of how things would happen. Jensen would arrive in a few minutes. He was there for us to talk to him. This was our chance to ask him a question without an auditorium full of people watching and judging us. They’d give him a two minute warning before the end and he’d take one last question, but we had his undivided attention for ½ an hour. Like I said, BLISS. The Creation dude left the room and we all sat there with baited breaths, or at least I did. A couple of minutes later the door behind and to the left of Hazel and I opened and we heard him walk in.
To be honest, I can’t remember all the questions in detail, though I’ll give it a bash. There are quite a few reports around that can give you that blow by blow. I more remember and treasure the moment and how it made me feel.
Jensen strode into the room…there’s really no other word for it….saying hello to everyone as he walked. He took his seat in front of us. It was a nice high one so everyone could see him. He was only like a metre away, so really, really close! Straight off the bat I was just amazed by him. He said “Hi” to everyone and looked around the room and said, “Do I know you all, yeah I think I know you all.” Then he kind of mentally ticked us all off, except one girl in the second row. He called her out as a newbie and she said it was her first con. He asked where she was from and she said about 10 minutes away and he said “Nice of you to schlep your way down here!”
The whole thing was really casual and relaxed and I was shocked at how relaxed I was! He gives off the most amazing, calming energy. Really, I wish I had enough superlatives.
For some reason neither Hazel nor I can remember what the first question was! But it was asked by the girl 2nd along in the front row. The next question came from Hazel! We’d pondered few times as to whether Jensen would have someone famous he’d love to meet or have his photo taken with. So Hazel said to him that we’d both been wondering “Does he ever fan-girl over anyone?” He looked at us both and said “No.”  We said “Really?” And then he thought about it and launched into a story about meeting Luke Perry, yes Luke Perry, at LAX after flying back from Vancouver on the same plane as him. I think he meant to use the story as an example of how Danneel fan-girled over Luke “It’s Dylan!” Perry, but it kinda came across like he fan-girled! He really loves the movie 8 Seconds and wanted to tell Luke what a fan he was. Luke was super polite and asked his name and then said he recognised him from Supernatural and congratulated him on all his success (I’m a Luke Perry fan so I was all nawwwww over this). They ended up walking out together where Jensen introduced Luke to Danneel and this is when Danneel had her little moment! Jensen said the blood left her face. He thought it was pretty funny because to him, she’s always just so cool. It was a very cute story ending in Jensen being a little over excited that Luke said if ever he got another cowboy script he’d give Jensen a call. So, maybe Jensen does fan-girl!
Now the thing is, it’s not so much the beautiful, articulate and highly entertaining answers Jensen gives; it’s the way he gives them. He locks on to you. Complete eye contact. He looked between Hazel and I as he explained his answer. He thinks about it. He makes you feel important. He makes you feel like he really is interested in talking to you. I know I’ve said this before, but he is an incredibly gracious human being. My heart was equal parts racing and exploding at being this close to him and having him speak to me like, well like a person he’s interested in speaking to and not this crazed nitwit in his photo op! Like I said, not enough superlatives.
We had a fantastic moment when a girl asked about the J’s weapons training for the show. She was on leave from Afghanistan and said the guys in her battalion really wanted to know about how they train because of the way they are able to handle and clean the guns etc. Jensen, very proudly, told us how he can take apart and put back together both Dean’s Colt 1911 and Sam’s Barretta without looking and while delivering dialogue, but though he looks great at the gun stuff he’s really just TV great. He’s good enough for what he needs to do for the show. I have a sneaking suspicion he was being modest. He then got all excited telling us about how they go over the border to Washington to this friend’s place to practice on his private firing range. Then he pulls out his iPhone. Just a couple of weeks ago they’d been there practicing and Clif had taken a video. He hopped of his chair and told us to gather around so he could show us. So that’s what we did. There we all were huddled around Jensen as he showed us this…really rather hot….video of him firing weapons and being a complete boy! I was so close that I could see every single damn freckle and though I was watching the video, honest I was, I took a moment to take in every inch of the beautiful man standing in front of me, from his shoes to the top of his head, surreptitiously of course. Call me a perve if you want, but when do you get that kind of opportunity, to really check out Jensen Ackles! I can’t even with the perfection.
The first video, I think he was firing Dean’s 1911, ended with him turning to the camera and giving this huge cheesy grin! Idjit! We all fell about laughing, as did he and we all went to sit down and he said “Wait, come back I’ve got another one.” He then showed us a second video, this time of him firing some kind of automatic something or other, that looked kind of like the guns Leviathan Sam and Dean used. He said, “First I take a couple of practice shots” pop pop pop “Then I fire it” blammmmmm! Oh my God! Ok, I really am not a gun fan at all, but it was SMOKIN’ hot! Like seriously SMOKIN’ HOT! But the best bit about the whole thing was how pleased with himself Jensen looked! He was absolutely beaming as he showed us that video! It was just such a lovely moment, to allow us to get that close to him and to share his personal video with us. Special, that’s what it was.
There was a woman there who was a midwife who shared a story about how the baby she’d just helped deliver was named after him. She had pictures. Jensen hopped down and took them off her to have a really good look. He then told us about how he was born with a full black ‘fro and his dad thought “Hmmmmm” but then he went platinum blonde until he was about 12. He seemed genuinely astonished that the baby was named Jensen, not just because they liked the name but because they like him.
We had the, what is your favourite season question. Season 1 right? I think I could pretty much answer that for him, but it was nice to hear him speak about how he loved the format of the MOTW closed end episodes of season 1. Then he spoke about how he really didn’t enjoy season 6. He says it’s because of the workload and not having his relationship with Jared to play off, but you get the distinct feeling that he didn’t much care for how Dean was playing out in 6. I really don’t think he was into the domestication of Dean Winchester.
Then the last episode he directed was brought up and this gave me a chance to ask a question! Off the back of whatever the answer to that question was (sorry I can’t remember), I put up my hand and he nodded at me and I said “Off that, there was a scene where Dean is lying on the couch and there was some audio on the TV, one bit was a My Bloodiest Valentine gag ad and the other, my favourite, was about the Wildebeest lazing on the savannah. Was that your creative or was that in script?” And guess what! I actually sounded like an intelligent human being! He then went on to tell me about how something’s are in script and others are added in post. As he’s not as actively involved in the post due to shooting, I asked, “So were these your suggestions?” and he said “Yes they were.” He gave them his ideas but that didn’t necessarily mean they would get in, though in this case they did and it turns out the voiceover on the Wildebeest video was done by none other than Bob Singer! So that was a nice little tidbit he shared! Then Hazel nudged me and mumbled to ask about the Goo Goo Dolls track that was in the scene with young Sam & Amy, because she’s a fan. Jensen explained that song was not originally chosen, but sometimes you can’t get the rights or the song you want is too expensive so they work their way through until they find one that works and fits the budget etc. I have to say, I used a Goo Goo Dolls track for a promo I produced and it was incredibly good value!
The whole time he answered my question, he looked right into my eyes. I found myself leaning so far forward in my chair I was at risk of falling off! He’s so compelling in how he speaks and specifically how he speaks to you. I know I’m crazy-town in love with him, but seriously, I can say enough nice things.
One of the last questions was one about Dean. He was asked if he ever gets a script and thinks “Dean what are you doing?” Now, I would quite like to ask this question again, but phrase it differently, because I took it to mean action, as in Dean’s actions or story arc, but Jensen took it to mean dialogue. Anyway, he then went into a brilliant story about how sometimes Jared and him have to change the script to Sam and Deanify the words. He used the break-up scene at the end of “Slash Fiction” as an example. Of course, we were yet to see this episode so he tried not to spoil us and just said Dean and Sam “Have a falling out.” He then did a magnificent rendition of how the scene was originally written and how it sounded like a bad break-up from a rom-com! He did it complete with the ‘speak to the hand’ hand and the pouty head turn. It was brilliant! He said this was the second time this season he’d had to tweak Dean’s dialogue but that everyone trusts him because they know he’s just about protecting the character. He speaks with such love for Dean and respect for everyone involved in the production. He’s very open in telling us this stuff, but incredibly professional in how he relates it.
Actually that’s what I’d say, in these small groups, like the jam and the Q&A he’s very open. People always call him reserved, I’ve even heard standoffish, but that is so not my experience at all. I find him incredibly warm and giving and a very open and honest man. Gracious and generous. Again, like I said, not enough superlatives.
Before I knew what was happening, it was over. Though I have to say it felt like a good long ½ hour. He thanked us all for coming said his goodbyes, walked past me, smiled down and said “bye”….and then left.
Hazel and I sat there for a moment, silently squeeing and ever so slightly clinging to each other.
I can’t even express to you how blessed I feel to have had these experiences with Jensen. He impresses me so much and not just because he’s so damn gorgeous it makes my eyeballs ache but because he's just such a lovely man. A really, really lovely man. He's a beautiful soul. Damn, I wish you could have all just heard me sigh as I typed that.
Anyway, of course we had the Js panel next, which was fantastic and ended in Jensen sharing the very touching and moving story about his youngest nephew Levi. It was the way he shared it that made it especially moving, he told us the story like we were his friends. You know how Jared and him always say we’re family? In that moment I believed 100% that is how he feels, that we’re family. This man….
Then I had my autos. I bought one of the banners so I got to go up first. This gave me the chance to thank him for the day, to which he said “You are most welcome and thank you” and then I said “See you in LA” and he said “Ok!” and then I walked away feeling elated and crushed. Elated because I’d just had another totally amazing experience with this man that I respect so much and crushed because, well, it was over, and now I have to wait until LA to do it all again.
Of course Jared was a complete doll too, he really is beyond adorable. He called me a tease! I nearly died from the hotness. It was all about the Spudchesters and butts and I don’t know what I said, but he looked at me and said….”Oooo you’re a tease.” DEAD.
So that was the Jensen Q&A and Jensen and Jared Sunday. Through the Supernatural conventions I’ve met the most amazing people, some of which I now consider my closest friends. This time around I got to meet my good friend Nicole, whom I’ve known through twitter for ages. I’ve spent time with the cast of a show that means so much to me on a daily basis, that it’s difficult for me to put into words. And I’ve spent time with Jensen, listening to him sing, listening to him speak, coming eye to eye with him in conversation….. I’m not sure how everyone else feels who has met him, but it seems to me, the more time you spend with Jensen, the harder it is to walk away…..
Bring on LACon. Supernatural conventions are my happy place…..