Sunday, May 13, 2012

Review Supernatural 7.22 “There Will Be Blood”

Warning -  Contains spoilers

So what, we keep going while he’s out there like this? 

Do we have any other option? 

After the sometimes baffling and very complex episode last week, this week we were served a pretty straightforward, let’s just get in there and set up the season finale kind of episode. “There Will Be Blood” laid a lot of ground-work for the big shebang and while on the surface it didn’t appear to be particularly action packed, for me it was a satisfying hour of television that seemed to be over only minutes after it begun. We were reintroduced to a couple of well loved villains, got more time with Dick and his creepy henchman Edgar, witnessed further disturbing developments with Bobby’s anger management issues and were party to some thoroughly enjoyable brotherly interactions that were topped off by Dean’s no junk food freak-out. I’m with you Dean, you don’t win friends with salad.

Though as a whole, I found this a mostly enjoyable outing, there were couple of moments that made me scratch my head and I might just get them out of the way up front before I move on. This episode was written by Andrew Dabb and Daniel Loflin who, throughout season 7, have not been able to recapture the lofty heights of previous work like, “Weekend At Bobby’s” and “Frontierland”. I feel like they’ve become all sizzle and not enough sausage, putting too much emphasis on the snappy one liners and witty pop culture references and not paying enough attention to the detail, and though I think this was possibly their best effort for the season, there were a couple of stinkers in there that made me want to grab them by the scruff of their necks and rub their faces in it. First up, how come Bobby could zap his way into the vampire house to scout it? The boys have been popping that flask in the car so they can slip away…a few feet if you go by the service station scene…to have a natter about Bobby going bad and yet he can zap practically across the street with no effort at all, flask still tucked into Dean’s spunky new leather jacket (I’ll get to that later). Bookdal and I had a little chat about this on twitter, surmising that maybe he’s learning, maybe he’s getting stronger, but it’s when your viewer is sitting there trying to connect the dots with maybes, you know you’ve had a fail. Now, if Sam and Dean had looked at each other with WTF faces and we’d found out that indeed Bobby can now zap without the flask, that would have been an awesome and powerful moment, because that would mean there’s no more stashing him…but alas…nup. The other thing that kind of bugged me was the little boy and the Alpha. Um, ok we know he’s a creepy monster and all but now I’m not entirely sure what else he is and I like him and I don’t much care for him having little boys around for nefarious reasons. That simply squicked me out. I know there was little girl twins in Dean’s confusing and never explained vamp dream and I know vamps are all about creating new families so they don’t live out eternity alone and then something about young pure blood, but wasn’t the Stockholm Syndrome chick enough? I think adding in a wee boy went too far up the ick meter and then caused the awkward, wait we’re not going without the kid scene followed by the even more awkward motel hallway scene where Dean explained what just happened to Sam even though Sam would’ve been standing right beside him at the time. Exposition much? It reminded me of Kripke lambasting himself for the exposition in the Pilot at last year’s Paley event. Lastly, let me just get this out of my system, I hated, hated to the power of a bazillion, the “See you next season” line. I hated it when Crowley said “…haven’t seen you all season” to Cass and I still hate it. Who says that? It’s not a natural way to speak and it was forced and awkward. We’re smarter than that. That was a great big clunky meta shout-out in the middle of a serious and dark moment and it made me want to bang Dabb and Loflin’s heads together. If the Alpha had simply said, “See you next time” that would’ve been cooler and creepier and we’d have still got it, the Alpha will be back. There are times for meta and that wasn’t one of them. It totally took me out of the moment and jarred me back to reality. Ok…I feel better. Moving right along.

Though the Leviathan are the big monster arc for the season, the emotional arc has been all about loss, culminated in the most devastating loss of all…pie. Okay, maybe that’s not the most devastating, but surely it was the last straw. For me, it’s always the brother’s emotional trials and tribulations that I find compelling and though those pesky Leviathan definitely have the Winchester’s attention, it’s what to do about Bobby that’ll be keeping them up at night. This is the big story, what to do about Bobby. Oh Bobby. I can’t see any way he can be saved, short of reincarnation and I’m still not sure how I feel about that. We get too many easy outs on this show. I think we may have used all our get out of dead free cards. Bobby can’t carry into next season being all narky and evil, because we did that good-friend-gone-bad thing with Cass, so what’s the option? I have a couple of theories. I do so hate to share my theories because 9 times out of 10 they’re wrong, but as I’m amongst friends…. It goes two ways, either Bobby is somehow destroyed in helping to finish off the Leviathan, preferably in defence of the boys or we have the big cliff-hanger, what ever that may be, and then as a post script, we see Bobby, having done in Dick, understanding his time is up and asking the boys to burn the flask. He smiles at them as he flames out. Cue wracking sobs. That possibly sounds a little too nice for Supernatural though huh? Whatever it is, it has to continue Bobby’s heroic arc. He still has to get the heroes send off. He can’t be remembered any other way. Yes, at this stage, I can’t see him being anything other than a goner, as much as that hurts. He’s getting worse and worse, he’s now run off wearing a maid to get Dick (sounds like some porno), leaving the boys to grieve for him again and again and again. Poor Dean, just standing there staring into the safe as Sam moved around checking for EMF. Sam’s thrown the whole we can make this work thing out the window. I remember thinking at the time, that’s overly optimistic, that’s going to change. As usual, Sam has ended up going down the logical road, looking at stats and lore and coming to a bad conclusion. Where as Dean is typically trying not to think about it, defending Bobby even though he knows Sam is spot on. Lord have mercy on all our souls, when will the pain stop. Please make it stop. Oh right, it won’t, this is Supernatural. I really hate what’s happening to Bobby…not hating it in an, I hate the show went there way but in an, I hate Bobby and the boys have to go through this way. It’s too sad. Poor Bobby. Poor Sam and Dean. One thing though, he really has to stop appearing to Dean in the bathroom, it’s getting kinda pervy…..though if I were a ghost…..never mind.

I’m so in love with the Leviathan plan. I love that they’ve now attacked junk food and that in poisoning the entire population of the world and making everyone drug-addled morons, they’re also going about poisoning every other supernatural creature that has a taste for the long pig. Clever. Dick and his gooey gang are highly enjoyable. I was totally bummed out when Edgar met his end. He was cool. He was a great bad guy. His stand off with the Alpha Vamp was fun to watch. Two ancient monsters going head to head…then…Edgar’s head was on the floor. Had to happen I guess, glad Sammy got the kill. But still. I liked Edgar.

Obviously Dick is on to the boys. He’s nabbed Crowley. Ah Crowley, always good to see you. Crowley and Dick will be the battle of the smarm. Once again, Crowley has a lot of power. His blood is the key to everything, the boys want it and obviously, Dick doesn’t want them to have it. What would stop Dick from just obliterating Crowley and being done with it? Or does Crowley’s blood also have some value to Dick? Is it not just about stopping the boys getting their hands on it but needing it himself? The high-tech Devil’s Trap was awesome. If I had higher ceilings, I’d be tempted to get one just like it! Do we believe Crowley doesn’t know that Cass is still alive? He was obviously fishing. God love the brothers for not even flinching and protecting Cass. I’m not so sure Dean would have done that a while a go….there’s those baby steps again. I thought his reaction spoke volumes.

About Dean, apart from his sadness over Bobby at the end there and his utter frustration over having to eat his greens, he seemed almost buoyant. Sure he’s still drinking, but he always has. I think that’s in the blood and will never change. Maybe that big crash and burn isn’t going to happen, maybe he’s actually dragging himself out of that hole, or more likely, being more successful at burying it all, because of late, he’s seemed a little better. I’d say having Sam back and sane, is a very big part of that. I think he can handle just about anything as long as Sam is by his side. I love watching them work together again, poke fun at each other and look to each other, with and for support. And was the implication they had both ‘enjoyed’ John’s old Playboy magazine? Ah brothers… Can I also say, I adore it when John gets a mention.

I keep seeing commentary that the Winchesters aren’t showing signs of recovery in their relationship and I simply don’t get it. Sometimes I feel like I’m watching a different show to everyone else! This place they’re at now is the best they’ve been since Dean went to Hell, in my opinion anyway. They seem like a team again. Like they have a purpose. They’re bitching at each other like siblings. I also like that they seem more equal now. Feels right, seeing as we’re 7 years along and they’re 7 years older. I totally dug the scene where Dean got the idea to steal that poor schleps blood….as not right as that was. The horror on Sam’s face. The smug grin on Dean’s face, followed by yet another dick joke. It was really fun…if a little creepy. The guy just sat there looking back and forth, back and forth, slurping on his mega slurpy as the boys talked about Bobby. “This is for hurricane Katrina you said?” “Yes, yes I did.” Then as the cop car cruises past honking his horn to the music, I swear Dean starts to seat boogie. Another thing that might be helping Dean’s mood is that in some way, he has all his people back. Yes, Bobby is a ghost about to go darkside and Cass is, well, strange and neither relationship is what it was, but somehow maybe just having them around, seeing them, being able to speak with them again, is making Dean feel a little more complete. In fact he’s feeling so good, he went and splurged on a new leather jacket and doesn’t it fit him nice. This might be sacrilegious, but I like it better than the original one. Yes, yes, the original one was John’s and it had lots of sentimental value blah, blah, blah, but Dean is a man now (oh boy howdy is he), so I think it’s appropriate that he goes and gets his own jacket (and not just because the other one got pinched). He was even sensible and got one with lots of big pockets, perfect for stashing wooden stakes and the like. I wish we got to see him go shopping for it. I’m not sure why, but I have feeling that would be adorable.

One thing I’m still not digging about the brothers is that they’re still getting written as a bit dumb. Now that Bobby is back in the fold, he’s feeding them all the answers again and I don’t like it. Sure, he’s got nothing better to do than think (and scheme) but, really? Sam and Dean, expert, experienced hunters couldn’t put the pieces together like Bobby did? Sammy did what he does best and sorted through the web to find out about Sucrocorp, but they couldn’t figure out the rest? This is why I’ve been enjoying them having some alone time, because it makes them rely on their resourcefulness and not outside help and I’m disappointed that once again, the outside help is making them look less than smart. The other thing was, they really fell for Emily’s story hook, line and sinker. Surely they’d know by now that a very pretty, slightly creepy girl, locked away in a room for twelve years, who looks surprisingly balanced, is a bit suss. Guys! That’s horror movie 101! And another thing, why won’t they talk to Bobby? Why won’t they sit him down and have an honest conversation with him? Ok maybe he can’t sit but you know, tell him they’re worried, try and make him see what’s happening, try and make him see sense. Locking him in the safe is just going to piss him off…which it did. They’re not helping Bobby’s bad mood by treating him like a ditchable prom date. For a couple of guys who like to angstily hash out everything, I can’t understand why they aren’t trying harder to talk him down. Though I guess Dean did in the bathroom. Seriously Bobby, stay out of the bathroom. But Sam and Dean needed to be talking to Bobby. Too late now….

As I said up the top, Dabb and Loflin write some great one-liners and witty pop culture references and “There Will Be Blood” was no exception. They do funny good. I loved Dean saying Edgar and the Alpha were Pacman and True Blood. I thought vamptonite was brilliant. There were a couple of great Dick jokes, “What makes Dick so hard to beat”. The whole Dean not dealing with having to eat healthy food, going into toxic shock because he needs his road food, “I can’t live on rabbit food, I’m a warrior” was great fun. Jensen hit every note perfectly and Jared’s reactions with Sam were spot on. I love a good Sam eye-roll.

I’d also like to mention the design this week. The vamp mansion was glorious. The set dressing was lush and rich and it was so beautifully lit. I particularly liked the Alpha’s red tie and spiky pocket hanky. That just topped everything off for me. Gee it was great to see him, I dig that character and the way Rick Worthy plays him. Creepy but soooooo smooth. The pink room was gorgeous and the art on the walls! Huge odd animal paintings. I totally loved them, if you didn’t catch them go back and look and I really liked the buffalo motel room, it had an epic bedspread!

“Let There Be Blood” left us locked and loaded for the season finale. We have the blood of the father of fallen beasts, we have the blood of the fallen Angel, we’ve been promised the blood of the ruler of fallen humanity….though why do I think that Crowley has something up his perfectly tailored sleeve with his, no mine last, routine….now all we need is the bone of the righteous mortal. Still can’t wait to see who that is and where they get it from….sure hope Sam and Dean have some part in putting that puzzle piece together. So are we ready? Are we ready for Carry On Wayward Son? I’m not, but then again I am. I want to see how this story finishes, if it indeed does. I want to know what’s going to happen with Bobby, what’s going to happen with Cass, that Kevin will get out alive, if the Leviathan all drop dead if Dick does, what on earth the promised (or rather threatened) cliff-hanger is and that Sam and Dean come out the other side knowing they have each other. That’s the most important part for me. I can’t believe the season is just about to finish. Boo.

Well…what did you think of the episode? Do you have any Bobby theories? 

Thanks for reading. I’ll see you next week for the season 7 finale! *Meep*

Until then, please enjoy this cap of Dean winking…. 

And here's the promos for next week's season finale!