Sunday, 13 November 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 flambéed! 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!
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


  1. Same page. Great minds. Great read Amy! I'm over the fact that this ep is down there with Route 666. However, I love Crowley & Garth, Dean's sweater & Sam's bottomless scene.

    As for Dabb & Loflin, I can forget & forgive. Can't wait for next week's ep, my dream team-- Guy & Ben. Yeeeehaaaa!


  2. So, I pretty much agree with everthing you wrote here (does that really surprise you?!;-)), but in particular I agree that for a D&L script it definitely wasn't up to par. I found it really patchy at best.

    On a side note, I spotted a headline in my Google Alert for the show that called the episode a bit of a backhand to the fans by making Becky out to be so unsympathetic (and thus a reflection on the actual fans)...and while that assessment seemed a little heavy handed, it did get me thinking about how thoroughly they destroyed Becky's character from what she once was.

    Anyway, great review chick! I enjoyed reading it :)

  3. This review is great! I have read a few so far and they have either been lovers or haters of the episode and this review is a nice in between - exactly how I feel!

    Your comments about Dean and what is 'really' going on (including how he feels at the moment) more than anything highlights the wonderful acting by Jensen Ackles. Seriously, that man is amazing - he is given a script such as Season 7, Time for a Wedding! and still stays true to the character. Jensen and Jared are what pull this episode together.

    I have to say that if Season 7, Time for a Wedding! is the worst episode of Season 7 than I will be more than happy with that! This season so far has been amazing and I think that we (as fans) need to let some things go here and there. Why? Because it's Supernatural.

  4. See this episode really made me like Sam a little less. Which of cause will change next week or whatever, but he really seemed to not understand the importance of family and being needed is to Dean. (Clearly he needs to rewatch Dark Side of the moon)
    I agree with you about this episode I dont really know how I feel either. But loved the new hunter. We dont get to see a lot of hunters and this guy was really the Anti-hunter hunter. He wasnt big and strong he seemed like the every man. I donno, I just really enjoyed him. Also enjoyed how he didnt really care about the Winchesters in the regard that he is probably the first hunter that didnt make any reference to John, or all the crap that Sam and Dean have done.
    Awesome review Amy (not the dead one that we shall never speak of again)

  5. I agree with you Annaliese, if this is as bad as it's going to get, we're pretty damn lucky I'd say! Season 7 is really enjoyable, I've been totally baffled by some of the commentary. We don't always love very aspect of every episode, but come on, it's so much better than anything else on TV! I agree, I'm all for letting things go here and there. I watch this show to enjoy it, not to tear it down. Thanks so much for commenting! :)

  6. Great review as always Amy...


    I REALLY wish they'd used DJ more. He really was under-utilized, almost pointless, which was a shame coz there was loads of comedic potential between him and Jensen. So I do hope this was just an introduction and we see more of him, otherwise it was a wasted opportunity.

    I think Becky is a pretty good example of worst-case-scenarios within any fandom. She lost herself completely to a fantasy, and it's tragic and gross. It really does happen.

    I don't quite understand how Sam is so "fine"... Like, and I wonder, personally, how much of this "handling it" is bullshit. I'm annoyed that we're not seeing or hearing the Satan vision anymore, we're just supposed to know it's happening and he's handling it. The "Hand Sam" thing was silly enough, but now we don't even have that... It's kinda.. in-cohesive, or something?

    Very worried about Dean. Have been ever since he left Lisa and Ben at the hospital and he just gets sadder and sadder, he SO needs a win. Oh god, he DEFINITELY needs a win.... (and to get laiiiid..)

    That said, if he keeps with the sweatervest/tie combo someone (anyone with a PULSE) will eventually just rip it off him ;-)

  7. i too felt so bad for Dean most of the episode, most alarming, like you said, that Sam just doesn't seem to "get" Dean...after all these years. I did like the episode. Even though I don't like Becky, she always finds a way to redeem herself. btw. NOT a sweaterVEST, it is just a sweater. you can see it poking out through the arms...

    and sweaters seemed to be an overriding element of the episode, cloaking true self maybe? :D nicely reviewed Amy

  8. It sounds to me like people are bashing Sam for being OK and not needing Dean to watch out for him so intensely any more. Sam is such a bad person who doesnt understand his bro how dare he be OK when Dean needs him to not be so he can be his bog brother! That selfish bastard.

    Did anyone think maybe the reason Sam is off on his own is because he isnt really dealing but he doesnt want Dean to see because Dean is quite possibly about to fall apart and Sam feels that he cant add to Dean's troubles?

    Sam gets Dean he just has enough of his own shit going on and he knows Dean has too and he can see that Dean cant handle any more. Sam is being strong and putting his own problems aside so he can show concern and support for his brother while all Dean seems to be able to do is wait around for his brother to fail.

    I hope Dean does concentrate on himself from now on because quite frankly I doubt if Sam's other shoe were to drop ant time soon Dean would be any use to him.

    I'm also hoping that Sam deals with his own issues because I love strong Sam and I think he can get through absolutely anything. I just hope we see it play out on screen.