Sunday, 11 March 2018

Celebrate Your Art - by sweetondean

I wanted to write a little something about art. I hope you'll indulge me.

This week I was questioned as to why a put a brand on the photos that I take at conventions. To be honest, I just thought the person was asking a genuine question and I was at work and quickly banged out an answered. But the comment came back that they still didn't understand, because they were just photos.... Just. Photos. Once again I responded quickly that they were my art and therefore I sign them with my brand. But this was still met with incredulity, and questioning as to whether I was a professional (with two question marks), when I said no I wasn't, and what's the problem, I was told I was being rude and that maybe I just shouldn't post my photos if I am precious about them - or something to that effect. I blocked the person at that point because by now I was upset, and needed to get back to what I was doing!

This all came about because I noted in a tweet that a lot of people - like a lot - were tweeting me with icons that were from my photos and when I looked at their Twitter headers they were also my photos. This is awesome of course and very flattering, and I love that people love my photos, but I also noted that it's always nice to ask, I would be bound to say yes, and hells, I'd even make you a header if you like (I actually made two for people that night).

The thing is, for whatever reason, jetlag, tiredness, busyness, the tweeter's comments about me signing my photos actually got under my skin. I'm not entirely sure why, because in my day job I constantly get feedback, and it's water off a ducks back.

I'm a promo producer, and my job involves coming up with a concept, then writing, editing and producing that concept as a promo for television. To that end, I have people who approve my work - just as I approve the work of the team I oversee. I both produce and manage. Everyday I'm told, that shot's not right, that music is wrong, change that script line... etc. It's part of my daily routine to hear my work needs work, or isn't quite right, and I'm pretty good at what I do! I do get spots that sail on through with a big thumbs up, but when other creative people are assessing your creative there are a lot of opinions!

So to question creative of mine is not something I am unused to...but for some reason, this it's just a photo thing, really stuck in my craw.

I've taken photos all my life. I had a camera when I was a kid. I did photography for my art major work for my final year of high school, developing all my own photos - hours and hours in the darkroom with toxic chemicals. It was back in the day when we used film!

I stopped taking photos for the longest of time. My camera got packed away, I got on with life and forgot how much I used to enjoy going to the zoo to take photos of the animals, or going to a parade to capture humanity celebrating.

Then I started to going to conventions...

I really started getting back into photography because I just wanted to have a memory of the convention experience. But the more I fell in love with the people on stage, the more I wanted to capture what I saw and felt - what they made me feel. I upgraded from a very good point and shoot to a DSLR after my second con. Then I upgrade my lens. I looked at the fan photographers I admired like Stardust and Melancholy, and AmyShapped and aspired to produce the quality they did. But I also realised, I had a different eye.

We all look at the world through our own personal lens, and that's what makes photography so interesting and intimate, everyone sees the world in a different way, and that is represented in the photo frame. Whether it's raw emotion, or gleeful happiness, whether it's a certain colour grade, or a certain way the image is framed, everyone has a different style. One image can be captured many different ways.

Most of the fan photographers are not professionals, and most do not aspire to be professional, but that does not make their care and passion any less. They spend money on their equipment, they spend money on the cons, they spend hours and hours editing photos and sharing moments with fans who may never, ever get the opportunity to see the people they love in person. They share a moment, a personal moment they loved, for other people to enjoy. I think putting your name to that is not only deserved, it should be done as a position of pride.

This, of course, does not just go for photography, it's goes for any art that you do. Whether you are an amazing painter like Petite Madame, or Scout Villegas, or an incredible sculpture like HR, or whether you just love to draw, or paint, and you know you're no Picasso, but you love doing it, pour yourself into it, and you take pride in's just as important. It's art.

Whether you spend hours creating a fanvid, or writing a fic. Whether you knit tiny little characters, make incredible skirts out of comic con bags, create jewellery, or purses, or toys, or pillows, or quilts....or whatever it is you create. It's art.

No matter what you are creating, or the level at which you do it, you are creating art, and don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Feel proud to sign it and share it, and in return expect that to be respected.

Art is hard. All art. Creating something from nothing - no matter what that is - is hard.

Many people came to my defence and I love you all for that, most people were just as baffled as me and saddened by the dismissive nature of the comment that it was just a photo. I don't know the person, and I don't know if they were just stirring Internet shit, having a bad day, got upset by my responses, truly don't see photography as art, or just don't think much of my doesn't matter. It's important to respect other people's passion and creativity, and ownership of that, because you do not know how important it is to them, and what it means to their soul. Respect the artist, they deserve it.

I don't consider myself a photographer, no do I like using that word in relation to me, but that's just my lack of self confidence in what I do. I wish I could be better, and to that I upgraded my camera and my lens this year! I've actually found myself thinking about getting the camera out outside of a convention and going and taking some shots around town...something I haven't done for ages! I like some of my photos, and I don't like a lot. But I see that I have improved, and I can see that I have a particular style, a lens that I see the people I love through. And that is's my art, and I will sign it, and I will share it, because I know people enjoy it and that makes me happy.

Be proud of your art, no matter what it is. Be proud to share it. Be proud to own it.


Wednesday, 17 January 2018

sweetondean's Preview of Supernatural 13x10 "Wayward Sisters"

Here we are, back with the second half of season 13, and with an episode that is exciting for two reasons...

1. We get the resolution of what Sam and Dean stepped in, quite literally

2. This episode titled "Wayward Sisters", has also been designed to work as a pilot for a possible spinoff series.

In season 9, the Supernatural creative team tried to launch another spinoff. Called "Bloodlines", it was based in Chicago and revolved around the lives/loves/battles of monster families. It looked a bit like Dynasty with monsters. Bloodlines was not well received. It wasn't that it was a terrible hour of television, it was that it was not a good hour of Supernatural. It felt removed from the Universe and from the heart of what Supernatural is and represents, and it had all new characters, there was no one for the fans to hang their hats on. In addition to this, it was placed at episode 20 in the season - a point when things are really heating up and all we want to see is what the hell is going to happen next! The Bloodlines pilot was not picked up, and everyone involved admitted they'd made an error of judgement across the board.

Cut to season 13, and the creative team listened to, and took on board what the fans of the show said about the first spinoff attempt. This time around, they've based the spinoff pilot well and truly in the Supernatural Universe both in tone and concept. They've used characters that are well established and well loved, in Jody and Donna, as well as characters the audience has a relationship with and whose history is known and understood, in Alex and Claire. They carefully introduced new characters throughout season 13, in Kaia and Patience who had vital story points in the episodes in which they featured. They've also ensured that the episode is positioned appropriately in the season being number 10, and is anchored around Sam and Dean Winchester and the predicament the brothers find themselves trapped in, giving us a resolution to the cliffhanger in the midseason finale. Wayward Sisters has been well thought out and well planned. As a great man once said, family don't end with blood, and these women, they're creating their own family.

Wayward Sisters is not Supernatural, nor is it saying it is. It's not titled Supernatural: Wayward Sisters. It's not a threat to Supernatural, it's not a replacement for Supernatural which could never, ever be replaced, it's a companion to Supernatural, an extension of a precious Universe, a parallel world which not only allows the viewer to see new stories through a different lens, but, from a totally selfish perspective, also allows for the possibility of story and character crossovers from the mothership show into the spinoff show, and with Supernatural in its 13th season, we know that somewhere in the scary not too distant future, in a year or two, Supernatural will come to an end...but if the characters survive and the Universe survives, maybe the characters we love can sometimes revisit us through the new show. They will be kept alive on screen through these women and their stories. These things are all possibilities and bonuses that you know everyone involved in Supernatural and the potential spinoff have considered, and they are a definite plus for the fans.

This is why I'm excited about Wayward Sisters. It's not solely for female led stories, though I'm definitely excited to see these kickass women kicking ass, but because this is Universe I love, a Universe I know, a Universe I have been with for over 12 years, and these are characters I love, whose lives I've seen transformed by their relationship with Sam and Dean. It's an extension of a beloved world that may extend that world's lifespan and gift me with my characters popping in and out of my life while the spinoff is on the air, and that's interesting and helluva cool.

We don't know if Wayward Sisters will end up being the spinoff series that the CW have been hoping for to expand the Supernatural Universe. If it does go to series, I will check it out, in part because it's produced, supported by, and stars people I respect creatively, and in some case, truly adore personally, they've worked hard to make this happen, and I'm going to be there for them, I want this for them. But mostly I want to see this extension of my world. I want to see how it's explored and expanded. I want to see what they've done with it. I want to see what Bob Berens and Andrew Dabb have cooked up.

If I like Wayward Sisters the series, I will watch it, if it doesn't end up connecting with me, I won't, that's how I watch TV. Not all spinoffs of shows I love turn out to be shows I love! Of course I have a natural disposition to embracing this show, but bottom line, beloved characters, familiar Universe or not, it all boils down to if the show suits me. That I will have to wait and see...and I wait eagerly, with all the possibilities in mind, and then and only then will judge the show on its own merits once I have seen it.

But of course - right now, Wayward Sisters is simply an episode of Supernatural, currently it is simply episode 10 of season 13, the midseason return....

So let's look at the official synopsis.

“Wayward Sisters” 

KATHRYN NEWTON, KIM RHODES, KATHERINE RAMDEEN, BRIANA BUCKMASTER, CLARK BACKO AND YADIRA GUEVARA-PRIP RETURN – When Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles) go missing, Jody Mills (guest star Kim Rhodes) calls Claire Novak (guest star Kathryn Newton), the rebellious rogue hunter, and tells her it is time to come home – they need to find the Winchesters. Claire returns and reunites with Alex Jones (guest star Katherine Ramdeen), who has stayed behind with Jody and tries to balance a “normal” life with being a part time hunter. While Jody is happy to have Claire home again, she’s plagued by Patience’s (guest star Clark Backo) disturbing vision involving her adopted daughter. Claire and Alex search for Kaia Nieves (guest star Yadira Guevara-Prip), the dreamcatcher responsible for opening the rift that Sam and Dean went through, as she holds the key to their whereabouts. Jody calls her friend, Donna Hanscum (guest star Briana Buckmaster), to round out the team and the women head off on the most important hunt of their lives. Phil Sgriccia directed the episode written by Robert Berens and Andrew Dabb (#1310).

I really love this line "the women head off on the most important hunt of their lives", because this is the most important hunt of their lives, because it's a hunt to find family. Make no mistake, Jody, Donna, Claire, Alex...they all consider Sam and Dean family, and you know that feeling is mutual.

There has been some discussion in the fandom about the concept of Claire being dispatched to try to find and save Sam and Dean - like this is some slight on the Winchester's abilities, or an emasculation of their characters, but this is not how I see it.

Outside of the point that we have no idea how this rescue is going to pan out, I feel like this search is a testimony to Sam and Dean's importance, not a dismissal of their strength. It's a representation of how much Sam and Dean have impacted lives, that these women have changed the course of theirs and will now risk all to save the men who have, in the past, saved them. To repay them for all they do, to go to fight for these men, because they are family. The concept is rooted in the heart of the show, and in the heart of what the Winchesters believe in, you always search for your family, you always save family, no matter what.

Sam and Dean are brilliant hunters, the best in the world, but they are not indestructible, they still fall prey to the supernatural, they have been wounded many times over, they've been killed many times over. These men have always been shown with vulnerability, that's what makes them so beautiful. Their vulnerability makes them epically human and their humanity is why we connect with them so deeply. Sam and Dean are so loved, so crucial, that these wayward sisters will put everything on the line to make sure they're safe. To know that Jody is worrying about them is beautiful, to know there are people in Sam and Dean's world who would go to the ends of the earth and beyond for them gives me great big feels.

We have a lot of promos, a behind the scenes, and a trailer from the show, so much stuff. Here they all are!

Andrew Dabb said in Variety that the Wayward Sisters episode was designed so that whether or not the audience member watching knew it was a backdoor pilot, they would still feel like they were watching an episode of Supernatural proper.

“We think this episode steps up and has relationships and a big mythology that can support a show, but if the stars don’t align for us, they can just enjoy it as an episode of ‘Supernatural,'” Dabb says. “That’s important to us. I think a lot of the reason ‘Bloodlines’ turned so many people off was that it didn’t feel like an episode of ‘Supernatural.’ This feels like an episode of ‘Supernatural,’ and should it go forward, we would build on that DNA to make it feel unique and different but still part of that world.”

Here are a couple of interviews with Jensen and Jared talking about how they see it, and their enthusiasm for the Wayward pilot and the possibility of crossovers, as well as their love and support of the cast, plus a great chat with Briana talking about the show.

So, Supernatural is back and back in a big way, with something familiar and yet new - brimming with possibilities. It's back with Sam and Dean together, facing an unknown foe, and facing it side by side (prior to season 8 you can bet they would have ended up apart, but here they are together, so yay)! It's back with Jody and Donna and all the sunshine that comes with them, and with Alex and Claire and new characters Kaia and Patience. It's back with a big foot print (possibly dinosaurs, or dragons or Godzila, or a giant chicken. I'm cool with all of these), tied up boys and some dude banging a dinner bell, and as Jensen so perfectly said, it's back with Wonder Women!
Whatever way you look at it....Supernatural is BACK!

I hope you watch the episode as you would any episode of Supernatural and firstly judge it on its merits as part of the show. Me? I'm so damn happy my show is back on my TV, everything else is just icing!

If you want to support the show and the Wayward pilot on Twitter, make sure you use hashtags #Supernatural and #WaywardSisters. In that order - it's important that Supernatural is first for the ratings. Do not use additional hashtags as that may cause your tweet to be seen as spam.  #Supernatural #WaywardSisters.

Have fun, guys!


Friday, 10 November 2017

sweetondean's Light on Spoilers, Heavy on Squee Preview of Supernatural 13x05 "Advanced Thanatology"

Welcome to the preview for the fifth episode of season 13! Five already! 

And it looks like it might be a bit creepy...because....this guy!



Sam and Dean cleared the air, owned some of their emotions and talked a bunch.
Jack saved Sam, which went a long way to finally making headway with Dean.
Cas woke up in The Empty.
A Cas came back to earth.... but which Cas is it!?


The boys go on an old school ghost hunt together! Weeeeeee!

Okay - here's the synopsis

“Advanced Thanatology”
While working on a case involving the ghost of a demented doctor, Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles) get assistance from an unexpected source – Billie (guest star Lisa Berry). Castiel (Misha Collins) finds his way back to the Winchesters. John Showalter directed the episode written by Steve Yockey (#1305).

Oooo good synopsis, and a bit spoilery really. Lots of surprises! Or not so surprising anymore surprises. Like Billie...that'd be dead Billie the Reaper. Or not so dead Billie. And Cas gets back to the boys...which I predict will be the end of the episode - like they get back to the bunker after the hunt, walking down the bunker stairs chatting, and BOOM there's Cas standing there in the middle of the room. Cut to black. Maybe. But which Cas is it who has returned? Real Cas or Empty Cas? Hmmmmm.... And I wonder where Jack is in all of this? Binging Clone Wars? 

Thanatology, by the way, is... the scientific study of death. It investigates the mechanisms and forensic aspects of death, such as bodily changes that accompany death and the post-mortem period, as well as wider psychological and social aspects related to death.  Hmmmmmm

Steve Yockey joined the writing team in season 12 and last season wrote a couple of crackers, 12x06 Celebrating the Life of Asa Fox and 12x10 Lily Sunder Has Some Regrets.

John Showalter has been directing the show since season 5.

I do love an old school hunt with torches and ghosts and the brothers together getting down to the family business.

Okay, let's check out the promo...

That ghost doc with the drill looks super freaky! What's a bet one of the brothers ends up moments away from being lobotomised before being rescued by the other brother! Or maybe not, but if we're going to go old school, let's go all the way! Someone needs to get tied to a chair!

It'll be interesting to see where Sam and Dean are at after the airing of their feels last week, and coming to a place where they both now know exactly just how broken their brother is by everything that's will there be more conversations about that...about Jack? Or will it all be put on the back burner as we focus on a job.

Just some....
pretty... last week we weirdly didn't get a sneak peek...but this week...YAY!

Bros. Bless. Just, BLESS! I love them so much. Okay, so I guess Sam's trying to cheer Dean up, after Dean confessing last week that he's basically lost faith in everything (except Sam who he trusts to keep the faith for both of them)? Is that what's here, Sam giving Dean all of his favourite things, to try to make him feel better! Awwwww. I love this kind of scene, the boys being the boys we love. Brother moments are my favourite thing ever! Probably in life! 🤣 And I guffawed at the end - Sam trying to talk the stripper into going to nursing school. Too damn funny and too damn Sam. The writing this season is so spot on! I figure this conversation goes a different direction after the why are you being so nice humour. I just love how much these guys are talking...and I love getting these wee insights into their lives, and I always love a little history. Weeeee! I can't wait!


Okay...what did the obtuse Mr Dabb have to say this week?

This is a lyric from the Grateful Dead song - Greatest Story Ever Told

Abraham and Issac is a biblical reference - in case you couldn't guess! 

According to the Hebrew Bible, God commands Abraham to offer his son Isaac as a burnt offering sacrifice. After Isaac is bound to an altar, a messenger from God stops Abraham at the last minute, saying "now I know you fear God." Abraham looks up and sees a ram and sacrifices it instead of Isaac.

Looking for a left-hand monkey wrench is a fools errand, because no such thing exists.

So pop those two together and go crazy!

I'm so looking forward to this episode, the brothers on a hunt together, doing their thing, all Fed'ed up, with the most obvious aliases ever, hopefully this will do both their hearts some good!

Enjoy the episode everyone, have fun...and above all....


Monday, 6 November 2017

Supernatural Think Tank - Anna's thoughts on Supernatural 13x04 "The Big Empty"

The Big Empty.....Not

I find the title ironic because this episode was anything but.  On the contrary, this episode was filled with honesty, insight, grief, anger, love and compassion.  It filled me up with an array of emotion and left me totally satisfied in a way that has me reeking of contentment.

Perhaps the title refers not only to where Cas is, but to the emptying of some of that anger and grief and replacing it with hope.

Don't Knock Therapy

The Winchesters talking to a professional counsellor about how they're feeling is quite a novel notion.  These boys have been in need of therapy for a long, long time and I was tickled pink that they've finally gotten to talk to someone, with an objective opinion, monster or not, about what's going on inside of them.  This was long overdue and I think it helped them all more than they possibly know.  We've seen Sam talk to a therapist, well not exactly seen, but he did get to talk to one off screen back in S1, Asylum.  Dean was theraped in Sam, Interrupted, but as we discovered, the Dr. wasn't real and he'd been talking to himself.  The boys faked the whole abstinence thing when they pretended they wanted to be virgins again. For the most part, the boys never really were much about talking to anyone about their feelings, especially strangers.  Once in a while Dean opened up to Sam, Bobby and Cas, but those moments were often far and few between and it was often the really big stuff that Dean didn't want to talk about.  Sam opened up to Dean once in awhile, but that was usually under circumstances when Sam was sick or drunk or angered to the point where he just burst.  We haven't really seen much of that from Sam in quite some time. The boys clearing the air in front of the counsellor the way they did was both refreshing and cathartic, not only for the boys, but I think for many of us fans out here.  Dean finally opening up to someone even though it was mostly about his brother and the denial Sam was in, said a lot about his own state of mind.  Dean's open hostility with Jack inside the Dr.'s house was also transparent., so much so that the Dr. called Dean out on it.   She also made it clear to point out to Dean that Sam was so upset that he had to leave the room. The Dr. finally said out loud what so many of us have been saying all along.

"You're angry Dean and if you don't want to do anything about it, it's your business, but you're aiming it at everyone in your life".

Can I just say how happy I was that Dean got to hear these words from a neutral party.  Dean needed  to hear that and Sam and Jack needed him to hear that, oh hell, we all needed for him to hear that.  I really do think it finally sunk in, especially when Dean found out that Sam went out on his own to find the shifter and he didn't call Dean.  The Dr.'s  "Do you blame him?" seemed to finally hit home for Dean and I believe that the counsellor helped him......a lot.

I really liked the shape shifter Dr.   She truly wants to help people.  It was very important to her to do good and make up for the bad that she had done with her ex.  From a genetic standpoint she was a monster, but she lived by the code of humanity and did a lot of good for a lot of people.  She lived by the same motto as Sam and reiterated to Jack the very words that Sam used all the way back in S4,

"It's doesn't matter who you are, it only matters what you do".

When Jack asked her if she believed that, she told him yes, that she had to.  The Dr. believed in Jack's goodness much the way Sam does.  She believes that it's possible to control the monster inside and not let the monster control you.  This was something Jack needed to hear again.  She confirmed what Sam has been telling Jack.  I also loved that she was able to give Jack the one thing he needed so badly, a chance to be with his mother.  All Jack had was his mom on a computer screen. The poor kid never had the chance to have any kind of contact with her.  The Dr. gave Jack a moment that he'll never get from his actual mother, but it was a moment that was true to it's core, one of love and faith for who Jack is.  I think this moment will have great significance for when the time comes when Jack decides to choose which path he'll take.

Sam's Confession

My initial feeling to why Sam has such unwavering faith that his mother is still alive had more to do with him never wanting to make the same mistake he did with Dean when he believed he died back in S7.  Sam was so despondent and drowning in his own grief, that he broke.  He stopped everything.  Sam was unable to deal with all his loss and as such ran away from his life. He couldn't do it without his brother, or maybe he didn't want to do it without his brother.  Sam could no longer bear living the life that took away his family.  He was done, and there was no one else around to support him or to have the faith he no longer had, to keep going.  He drove aimlessly for months swimming in his own grief, alone in his darkest despair, until divine intervention put a dog in front of his car and gave him a purpose.  Sam had a reason to go on, even if it was just to take care of a dog and eventually the woman who helped save this dog's life.  Sam then found a new someone to save.  He couldn't save his brother, but he could save this girl, by saving this girl,  she in turn saved him.  When Sam found out that he'd made a mistake and Dean wasn't dead, Sam bore the burden of guilt for giving up.  He'd believed his brother died and gave up on everything.  Bound by a promise to not bring his brother back if he'd died, Sam accepted Dean's death without ever looking for a way to bring him back.  Because Sam didn't go back on their promise, he never discovered the truth that his brother wasn't dead.  I don't know if Sam would've ever found out where Dean was or if he'd ever been able to rescue him from there, but in Sam's mind, his guilt lies with never trying in the first place.  His guilt lies with accepting his brother's death without a fight.  Now, with Mary trapped in another realm, my assumption was that Sam wasn't going to make the same mistake with Mary that he had with Dean.   Sam wasn't going to give up on trying to get her back. He was going to do it for her and for his brother.

I still think there is validity to my assumption and this that it is in part true. It seems though that Sam has another reason why he both wants and needs to save his mother so much.  I must admit I wasn't expecting this at all, but I  must admit to it be most gratifying.  I don't know about you, but I've seen many a complaint last season by a lot of people noting that Sam didn't get to have the same kind of personal connection with his mom that Dean did.  I felt that neither of them got much in the way of a connection as she did bolt on them, and I thought each brother had equal amount of screen time.  The fans kept saying that even with her gone, she contacted Dean more, which I had to agree with.  She did call Dean more.  Mary did speak to both of them through her contact with Dean. While the fans were not quiet about this, Sam certainly was.  I was totally blown out of the water, when Sam shared the very same feelings that the fans have had all last season.  I guess maybe the writers do, on occasion, acknowledge what's bothering the fans.

Sam's revelation was both surprising to hear and heartbreaking.  The fact that Sam felt left out all last season, after getting his mother back for the first time ever.  His hopes of a relationship were dashed when she left them, and how his heart must've ached inside every time Dean got a call from her and he got nothing.  I can only imagine what might've been going through his head each time he didn't hear from his mom and Dean did.  Of course Sam learns the truth as to why Mary was so distant from him. Mary's guilt was more than she could bear.  It was one thing to know that she started it all.  She made the deal and gave up her child to a demon.  Mary seeing the life they were leading, living the very life she tried to escape and never wanted for them was hard enough, but then to get the actual play by play from Dean as to what that deal truly did to her sons, to Sam.  It's a burden of guilt I'll wonder if she can ever be free of, even with Sam's forgiveness.  I do understand how hard it was for her to face Sam.  I do understand why she was so afraid.  Yet Sam never blamed her for anything and promised her that she never had to be afraid of him.  Sam not only set his mother free of all that guilt, or at least offered her the freedom, as I'm not sure it's so easy to get rid of, but welcomed her into his heart with open arms.  Just when Sam and Mary were able to have the relationship he's always wanted, she ends up in another universe.  Sam is not ready to have the opportunity of having a mom taken from him again.  It's apparent that he won't stop fighting to get that chance again.

Hearing this truth from Sam was so cathartic.  It just feels so good to hear Sam expressing his feelings, because as we all know, he tends to keep everything to himself.  He needed to let all of this out and we and Dean so needed to hear it.   Sam has known all along where Dean was coming from and where his head is at.  It means so much that Dean now knows where Sam is coming from and what is motivating him.  The more the boys know and understand about each other, the stronger their bond becomes.

Dean, I Needed This

I will admit that I was getting a bit tired of Dean being so hostile to Jack in this episode.  It went a little too far.  He berated the kid for every little thing and was openly hostile to the point where I wanted Sam to kick him or something.  Sam tried so hard to get Dean to give Jack a chance.  Hell he even went for the ace up his sleeve to get Dean to let Jack come on the hunt with them.  Yes, Sammy brought out his most lethal weapon when it comes to his brother,  the puppy dog eyes. 🐶  Then you add the "please, for me" and Dean Winchester never had a chance. 😍  Still, Dean didn't make it easy for Jack at all and yet still Jack tried.  Sam did tell him after all that Dean respects effort.  So Jack took all that Dean dished out, until Dean was finally called out by the Dr.  Then the moment came that so many of us  have been waiting for, that recognition in Dean's eyes where he finally acknowledges what he's been doing.   I knew from that moment on that all would be right in world again.

Dean made me cry last week.  It just gutted me emotionally when Dean told Sam that he was pretending to care for Jack.  I couldn't fathom Dean truly believing that...of all people....that he would actually believe that to be the case.  I had to vent. In a way, that was my therapy and I had to let it out.  I was assured that it was simply deflection on the part of Dean, and deep down I knew that to be true.  Still though I needed to hear that from Dean.  I needed him to say it out loud, and he did.  He said exactly what Sam, Jack and I needed to hear and it made me do this.....

Dean told Jack that Sam believed in him.  Dean apologised to Sam for being a dick lately, and he told Sam that maybe he was right about the kid, that he did try and he saved their lives.  The icing on top of the delicious cake, Dean told Sam not to give up on their Mom being alive. When Sam was ready to concede, Dean told him no.  Dean is dependent on Sam's faith because he doesn't have any of his own right now.  I think angry Dean has finally left the building.  Though Dean has admitted to being without hope, the silver lining here is that it's only temporary.  He's said that he doesn't have any of his own right now.  He also pleads with Sam not to lose any of his faith indicating that he needs it because he too wants to believe Mary is alive, even if he can't just yet. I also love that Dean admittedly looks to Sam for strength as much as Sam looks to Dean for it.  💕

To Be Cas or Not To Be Cas....That is the Question

I liked the entire concept of the Empty.  I think it's fascinating that this is where angels and demons go when they die.  I love that the Empty predates everything, including God, Amara and Leviathans.  It was really cool how the Entity took it's form  Great visual effects.  I really enjoyed how much the Entity was annoyed at having been awoken after all this time.  Cas heard Jack.  I wonder if that will be significant in the future.  See I kind of think that the real Cas is still in the Empty and that the Entity is the one who decided to take a sabbatical into the waking world.   Did anyone else notice that Cas had a striped tie in the Empty but the Cas who ended up back on Earth had a blue tie?  I think maybe this might not be the real Cas and perhaps Jack will rescue Cas at some point in the future....HMMM.


Jared was freaking awesome.  Jensen was masterful.  Alex was touching.  The girl who played the counsellor was wonderful.  I'm so glad that she got to return and play a deeper role.  I liked her in The Mentalists, but enjoyed her even more this time around.  The visual effects were cool.  I liked Misha's take on the Entity.  The writing was perfection.  It was touching, honest and cathartic. This has been the best episode of the season so far, and that's in a season where every episode has been awesomely good.

Can't wait for next week.  Til then.

Friday, 3 November 2017

sweetondean's Light on Spoilers, Heavy on Squee Preview of Supernatural 13x04 The Big Empty

I wasn't going to write this preview - I'm beyond disappointed in what has happened over this week and the thought of having to generate or manufacture some squee seemed impossible - spoiler alert, it still is. I ache in my bones from the carelessness of dialogue that has been communicated in such a way that good men's reputations are now being sullied in the media. There is a lack of responsibility being taken for words being cast into the twitterverse, even with the knowledge of audience and fandom reaction style, that is grossly disappointing. Being disappointed in one of your favourites, wanting to make them aware that something they said is simply not acceptable is one thing, causing unwarranted damage to their reputation, especially when you are aware of who they really are, is thoughtless, and unendingly cruel. I'm frankly more disgusted than I have ever been by anything that has occurred in this fandom in the seven years I've been associated with it. Our words have power too, and once in the Universe, they can not be taken back, and if you don't choose them wisely, they can careen out of control, and careen they have. People need to consider the power of their words before they toss them around with no consciousness of, or perceived responsibility for the shit-storm that may follow and unwarranted ongoing damage they may cause. In this case, the punishment is so fucking out of whack with the crime, it's outrageous and completely heartbreaking. If I were Jensen and Jared, I would never trust us again.

I've pulled away from fandom before, out of self protection, that's protection of what I love, who I love and how I feel about it all. It's very difficult not to be affected by the amount of crap we have to wade through. I have made many friends in this community who no longer go on Twitter because they can't bear the toxicity of the dialogue there, whether about the show and those who create it, or the actors themselves. I miss them. I miss our fun, happy interactions around the thing we love. But I understand how they feel. Fandom likes to say their fave has become "problematic", for me it's fandom that's become problematic, and the lack of self-awareness and continued double standard is mind-boggling.

So how do I move forward? Where do I go from here? How do I forgive what I feel is unforgivable? How do I overcome these feelings of intense shame and embarrassment because others' behaviours have caused pain where it really didn't belong, and I feel tarred with the brush that caused it. How do I find that joy again in something that gave me so much, brought me so much friendship, helped me feel embraced and accepted in a way I never have before. I'm not sure if I can, because this disgrace feels too great. I'm mortified.

In two weeks time I get to see Jensen and Jared in Hawaii - and I'm hoping I can look them in the eyes. I'm hoping that they understand that the bulk of us love them, and understand that sometimes they make mistakes. That the bulk of us will continue to respect them because we have seen over and over again, that they deserve it. I hope I don't look in their eyes and see a change, a curtain drawn, because we misused our unique access and pushed them into a corner one too many times. I hope I don't see a wariness in how they approach us, and what they share with us because they now fear putting a foot wrong and the retribution that may follow. I hope that the trust built up over so many years is not broken beyond repair. But mostly I hope they forgive us... that they forgive us for publicly shaming them instead of treating them like the friends they continually tell us we are, and communicating our concerns directly with them, or the people who represent them. 

We have unknown before power to reach millions of voices, it's time as a fandom that we stood up, and lived up to the expectations we place on others.

I love Supernatural, this show is special. It's lightning in a bottle that I feel blessed to still be able to enjoy. I will continue to love Supernatural because it deserves it, I will continue to support and respect Jensen and Jared, because they've earned it. Fandom? The jury is still out on that one. But I know so many are thoughtful, considerate, understanding, tolerant, reasonable humans, so maybe, just maybe there is still some hope...

Today is the saddest I've ever been on Supernatural day - but my show, and the people who create it for us, still deserve to be celebrated.


Welcome to the preview for episode 4

Sam tried to work with Jack to help him control his powers
Dean when on a hunt with Jody to help Missouri Mosely - who died....but died well
Patience got the talk from Jody and is heading in a Wayward direction
Sam and Dean really had it out and said some stuff - this is actually a good thing
Cas woke up in a very minimalist space! Lucky he doesn't dress in all black!

More Sam and Dean and Jack on the road on a case - awkward family road trip anyone?!
And though he's not mentioned in the synopsis - Cas in The Empty

Couples therapy

Let's look at that synopsis

“The Big Empty” 

THE LONG WAY HOME – When multiple patients of grief counsellor Mia Vallens (guest star Rukiya Bernard) turn up dead, Sam (Jared Padalecki), Dean (Jensen Ackles) and Jack (Alexander Calvert) investigate the mystery surrounding the murders and, each inadvertently, are forced to deal with unresolved grief of their own. John Badham directed the episode written by Meredith Glynn (#1304). 

Sounds like grief is going to be discussed and acknowledge, and hopefully addressed for all concerned. Please, lets get into the grief stuff. For all of us. Pleasssssse!

Director John Badham is awesome, we're so luck to have him - he last directed We Happy Few. Meredith Glynn came on board in season 12 and last wrote Ladies Drink Free!

Okay, here's the promo

Oh hey there's Cas....and apparently something or someone coming out of the blackness in The Empty! I'm looking forward to seeing what's happening there, what that space is like and all of the stuff. It's exciting that we have a new plain to discover! And who's in there with him - Misha talked about a very powerful being being in there with Cas, but who!?

As for Sam, Dean and Jack... well, I'm sure I'll enjoy all the story and all the interactions as usual. I hope their combined and individual grief is addressed (and allowed). I'm sure there will be tense, angsty moments, and I'm sure some awkward ones too!

Okay, here's the sneak peek....


There is this though - some fan video of a scene being shot...which is fun!

Here's what the show's fearless leader has to say about the episode...

It's out tears, right?

Okay... okay, it's glass half empty/full...OF OUR TEARS!

Enjoy the episode. Sending you all lots of love.


Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Review - Supernatural 13x03 "Patience" - by sweetondean

Ugh. Dean Winchester is killing me. Actually Sam is killing me too. Basically Sam and Dean Winchester are destroying me emotionally this season, and we’re only 3 episodes in!

I’m just going to get right into the Winchester goodness/badness/painfulness/angstynesstothepowerofamillion stuff because that's how I roll!.

I’m not going to judge Dean Winchester, I’m not. You won’t find me doing that, and not because he’s my main man, but because I am not going to judge him and his mourning. He’s a raw, open wound and I get it so completely. Yes, he’s apportioning blame where it doesn’t belong, but right now he can’t see or feel anything but his own loss and his own pain, and it’s ringing in his ears and drowning everything out as it drags him into the depths of fury and despair, and I get it. It’s grief, and it’s fresh grief, this is VERY fresh grief, and grief is a fucked up mistress that blindsides you in the worst possible way. It is a force of nature that leaves you in shock, and you can’t always control how you're going to react to things. Grief is a son of a bitch.

For Dean, from the moment everything around him imploded, he has had to look into Jack’s eyes. Jack, whose birth, whose existence Dean equates with his world upending. Every. Single. Day. That’s a lot to try and squash down, even for Dean Winchester. Dean’s had so much loss, harbours so much guilt over every death he feels he was in some way responsible for (which is most of them, and this episode added another one). Jack is a constant reminder of all of that, and of the moment everything went so bad…when that feeling that Sam and Dean had it all, family, their mum, a crew of people on their side, was in a matter of moments, ripped out from under them both, ripped out from under Dean. Is it rational for him to feel like this? Well, it’s completely understandable. Grief is a weird and hideously personal journey, and when you’re mired in it, it can be virtually impossible to see logic. 

In many ways Dean’s being asked to care more about this person he’s known for 3 whole days, who is his axis of torment and a completely unknown entity, than care about the people who have been his family for years, if not his whole life, to put aside his own hurt to focus his energy and empathy on Jack, and Dean can’t, and right now that’s okay, because to be honest, to ask that of him at this time, literally a few days after losing his mum, Cas, Crowley, is unfair. Dean’s feelings are coming in second in this situation, and that’s not a judgement on Sam, Sam is conscious of his brother’s misery, we’ve seen that, but Sam’s focus is also affected by his own feelings and his unique perspective on Jack’s situation. Basically, both brothers are being driven by very deep, very old, very familiar pain… 

Dean is an angry man at the best of times, a passionate man, he loves hard, he fights hard, he protects hard, and he feels deeply. We’re seeing Dean at maximum pain overload, he’s at boiling point, and it hurts like hell to watch, in every respect, because he doesn’t deserve this level of pain and he doesn’t deserve to be asked to put that on the back burner to focus on something he didn’t sign up for, just like Jack doesn’t deserve to be the brunt of Dean’s anguish. This feels like a very honest depiction of overwhelming grief. Right now Dean is barely going through the motions of living, and I’m not sure he’d even be bothered doing that if he didn’t still have Sam standing in front of him.

Sam sees everything that he went through with his own brush with evil, in Jack. Sam is definitely diverting his grief into the task at hand, and he’s most definitely projecting, but that’s not a bad thing, because he understands, and he’s Jack’s anchor right now. I loved all of the scenes between Jack and Sam, they were simply amazing. I loved that Sam was reading a book about gifted children! He’s so tender with Jack. Sam’s eternal hope and optimism is something that I’ve always loved and admired about Sam even when it’s led him down the wrong path - like with Ruby, the demon blood, and thinking it was God speaking to him when it was really Satan. Sam’s heart is forever in the right place. In the case of Jack, this has become a very personal crusade, not just because there is a chance that Jack could open the portal and if Mary is alive, the brothers could rescue her, not because training Jack to use his powers for good could save the world, but because Sam looks at Jack and sees himself reflected back at him. He understands that feeling of isolation, of what it’s like to fear what you may become…and if Sam could be saved, why not Jack?

Sam sees a kid who without support, without the love and the belief of someone, could most definitely go darkside, regardless of how badly he doesn’t want to. He sees his own struggle against his own powers, his own dark destiny. He knows that it was Dean’s belief in him, Dean’s resolute refusal to follow their father’s wishes to end Sam that was part of what kept Sam grounded, and empowered him to pull himself back from the clutches of the thing that was forced into his blood. What’s also interesting is that Jack’s like Sam in another way too - he thinks he’s let down all the people who believed in him, his mom, Cas…he thinks he’s a screw up, a disappointment. Sam has been plagued by similar feelings of inadequacy, some coming from within him as a response to the mistakes he made, and some coming from his brother - as he explained to Dean at the end of season 8. I think Sam has put most of those feelings to rest, and Dean’s support beyond that moment in the church has helped him to have the belief in himself that has seen him become both a leader, and in this case, standing up for what he feels is right, even when his brother doesn’t agree. Sam has never felt less like a little brother as when he was going toe to toe with Dean at the end of this episode. (Didn’t hurt that the camera angle had Dean having to look up! Heh.) 

The argument between the brothers at the end of the ep was so damn gut-wrenching to watch. We really saw Dean’s anguish unleashed, he’d been pretty muted up until that point, but he finally let it all out with ferocity, and Sam got to hear what’s going on inside him in no uncertain terms. I actually adored every single second of this fight. I freakin’ love that Sam’s demon blood past is coming up again, I love that he’s talking about it to Jack, and I love that he’s talking about it with Dean, and acknowledging Dean for saving him. I feel like, even though most of what the brothers have gone through together has been released as water under their proverbial bridge, there are still aspects of those early conflicts around Sam’s powers that have never been thoroughly dealt with. It feels like a conversation that’s been a long time coming and I hope we explore it more. The fact that Dean used the word freak when talking about Jack made everything in me churn, I’m pretty sure you could see that word physically hit Sam like a blow. And Dean’s pure blindness when it comes to Sam is demonstrated yet again when he says Sam deserved to be saved but Jack does not. I kinda adore that blindness to be honest. Forever Sam.

I loved every heartbreaking moment of this argument. Neither side holds less merit than the other in my opinion, because they are both coming from history, both personal and familiar, and they are both coming from the heart. Here lies the brothers’ conundrum, it’s all so personal to both of them. Dean is being influenced by past experience and his own grief, Sam is being influenced by past experience and his own history and there the twain is currently not meeting - though we know it will. The acting in this scene was out of this world. The strength Jared imbued Sam with, and the torment that flowed through Jensen into Dean. I think Jensen took Dean’s pain to a level we’ve never seen. Crazy good. Oh and small point, I adored that Dean argued the whole time with his bag on his shoulder, something in that felt so real.

 Meanwhile, Jack was listening to it all, like a kid listening to his parents fight!

Jack’s not just screwed up because of Dean, “I've only been on Earth for a few days and I've already hurt people. I've already done bad things.” Sure, Dean’s vocal lack of belief in the kid is not helping, but hey, the kid grew up in mere minutes, found out his mum and then the person he called father were both dead, discovered his actual father is considered the most evil creature to ever exist, was overwhelmed by powers he didn’t understand and couldn’t control, got thrown into the weirdest new family ever with a couple of angry giants, and he’s only a few days old….pretty sure all of that is screwing up Jack too! 

Jack’s powers seem to be totally connected to his emotions, and that’s scaring him, and he’s suppressing them - probably subconsciously. The two bursts of power we saw when we first met Jack burst forth from fear, then when he was opening up the gate to hell for fake Donatello, he was doing something he thought was good for a friend…which brings me to Cas. Oh. My. God. Jack reached out his mind to Cas when he heard how stricken Dean is by the loss of Castiel, and that he thinks Jack manipulated Cas to his death. Maybe Jack thinks this is the one thing that he can put right. If this is the thing that is causing Dean to hate him so, is causing this conflict between the brothers, is causing all this distress to everyone all around him, if he fixes it…. But not only that, if he can show that his powers can be used for good, that he can do something with good intentions, will that stop Dean hating him so? Because you can tell how much he wants Dean to like him, you could see it in the Scooby Doo moment, you can hear it in his voice when he speaks to Sam. Or does Jack just wish for Cas because that would be someone who isn’t all yelly, and angry, and doesn’t want to use him for anything.

When Jack says,“Castiel” once again he’s super emotional (by that point we all were) - and his eyes flash yellow and his powers flare up…and he wakes up Cas! Which was a total surprise to me because I didn’t think Misha was back until episode 4, and his credit was held until the end of the episode because the show is SNEAKY! And awesome, sneaky and awesome. Cas in The Empty. This will be interesting!

Patience was not just the first of the episodes to set up the Wayward Sisters spin off, it was an episode about family history and legacy, and how this can affect not only our own paths, but how others may choose to see us, judge us, or even try to protect us from that legacy, and we saw that not only play out for Patience herself, but also for Jack, and of course, Sam and Dean.

RIP Missouri Mosley. Well, is she really gone, or will she be able to talk to her grand-daughter from the grave - like we pretty much saw, I hope so, either way, it was sad to bring Missouri back and have her die, but she did go out kick-ass and protecting her family…like all good hunters (called Winchester) would, so in the scheme of things, it was a good death. She could see what was going to happen, no escaping her destiny laying out before her, and so she sent Dean off to take care of the ones she loved, with a “Yes Ma’am” and the knowledge that Dean was as sure as hell going to save that family, (because he wasn’t able to save his own - says Dean's brain.)

We first met Missouri in episode 9 of season 1, Home. This is when we discovered that Missouri was the psychic who introduced the grieving John Winchester to what’s really out there in the dark, propelling him into the life of hunting. 

There was some nice symmetry in the (brief) reintroduction of Missouri, with the moment when she hugged Dean and said she was sorry for his losses, just like she did when she first hugged Sam all those years ago. I always really appreciate these nods back to the past of our show, it’s one of the luxuries of having a show in its 13th season - the history that you can mine.

We discover that Patience doesn’t understand that she has powers, and that she’s estranged from her grandmother because of her father’s own anger and fear. There’s a lovely moment when Dean questions that James pushed his mother away. Dean obviously incredulous and instantly angry at that injustice, both for Missouri and Patience, but also in relation to Dean, because he just lost his mum for the second time…and Jody places a gentle hand on Dean’s arm to stabilise him. Such a small moment - but one that expressed who Jody is to the Winchester brothers, and how well she knows them.

I love Jody so much. Every time she’s in an episode, Kim Rhodes just lights up the screen. I absolutely adore her character, and I love the friendship that has developed between Jody, and Sam and Dean. It’s a friendship based on caring, and equality. I don’t think Dean doubted she could handle the case on her own, I just think he wanted out of the bunker and to bury himself in the work. You can see that Dean has all the belief in Jody - they looked like complete equals leaning back on the Impala like that.

Patience’s vision of everyone getting killed was sooooo disturbing. I am never going to get used to seeing Dean Winchester getting stabbed, and I never want to see that happen to Jody! Feel pretty safe in that one now! I loved the final conversation with Patience - Dean understandably telling her to forget her gift, the life, and try to live normal, with all that’s he’s been through since he was four, let alone the last days, obviously he’s going to say if you have a chance at normal, take it. He craved normal so bad for such a long time. But Jody advises Patience to be who she is and who she wants to be - make that choice, don’t let someone else make that choice for you. Wise words from Jody (also a very Kim thing to say). An excellent set up for the spinoff, with Patience onboard I guess she’s going with the powers, and a nice parallel to what’s happening to Jack too, with his mother telling him his destiny is his choice. I look forward to the next time we see Patience and Clark Backo in episode 10!

There has been so much emotional punch in the first episodes of season 13, and Patience was no different. It’s been such a powerful start to the season - I can’t remember the last time the brothers have talked so openly. Even though they’re arguing, it’s not about something either one has done to the other, but instead, it’s about what they’re facing together, and that makes a really lovely change. The man pain definitely tastes less bitter! So on to next week - where I hope there may be the occasional lighter moment! Show? Don’t break us too early!

Until then, as always, thanks so much for reading!

Monday, 30 October 2017

Supernatural Think Tank - Anna's Thoughts on Patience


Old Habits Die Hard

The scene between Sam and Dean at the end of Patience reminded me a lot of Southern Comfort. Dean had taken out his deep rooted anger on his brother and said some pretty hurtful things to Sam.  We learnt  a week later, when watching A Little Slice of Kevin, that Dean  had projected his own issues onto his brother when he accused him of leaving him in purgatory for a girl. The truth of the matter was, as we learnt in A Little Slice of Kevin, was that Dean's issues were with Cas. Dean took all of that guilt and anger he felt towards himself and towards Cas and laid it at his brother's feet.