Monday, 19 November 2012

Review - Supernatural 8.07 "A Little Slice of Kevin"

Maybe I should be disappointed that “A Little Slice of Kevin” showed no aftermath of the war of the Winchesters from the week before. I was expecting some tension, possibly a little hostility, definitely an undercurrent of anger. Maybe I should be disappointed that we didn’t get that. But, I simply can’t seem to give a damn, because what we got was a blessed relief. I love the angst, I really do, I can’t help it, I love that these two boys run deep, but I love the brothers getting along, caring for each other, sharing emotions, supporting each other, sooooo much more. It was a tiny bit jarring, for about 32 seconds, until I went….”Ahhhhhhh, I remember this and it feels goooood!” I know we’re going to see the anger again, I know those feelings of doubt and mistrust, the issues of the season, are still there, just under the surface, nicely fermenting, I know the angst will be back, but until then, in this quiet moment….I’m going to just bask for a little bit, in the warmth of the Winchester’s glorious bro-ness and dare to dream that this episode showed progress in their healing and could be that step in the right direction we’ve all been hoping for.

“A Little Slice of Kevin” had a very familiar vibe and I mean that in the best possible way. The brothers appear to be on the same page for once (even if we know it won’t last – *cough* Benny *cough*), we have a big Heaven vs. Hell – angels vs. demon thing brewing, we had classic characters such as Crowley and Castiel back in play, we had angel wings, the demon knife and witches and we opened with the Impala purring her way down a back road, classic rock blaring as Dean shoved junk food in his mouth. Happiness…the whole lot of it.

There was plenty happening in this episode and it charged along at a break neck pace. We were brought back to the big mythology arc of the season, the God rock thing. The Word of God tablets and that concept was expanded upon. We were introduced to a new notion of how the prophets come to be…which is very Buffyesque, in that there can be only one. One dies and a “potential” prophet is activated. Though, I always thought the Leviathan digging up that first God rock activated Kev? Maybe he just wasn’t needed before then? I put my fingers in my ears and went “la-la-la” when Chuck was mentioned as presumed dead (la-la-la); I can’t and won’t accept that! Nope. Because, you know, maybe he was more than just a prophet? And hey, there were times when there were two slayers, so maybe there can be an spare prophet now and then! (Going to my happy place where Chuck’s ok).

But of course, the big story was Castiel. He’s back and he’s not crazy. Thank goodness. He’s much closer to the Castiel of seasons 4 and 5, when he’d rebelled and started to find his own path, but was still sane and angelic. My favourite Cass. I’m glad that Purgatory healed his mind, even if it hasn’t totally healed his soul…which technically he doesn’t have, but you know what I mean.

For now, Cass bought with him mostly questions and not many answers, but he does have answers and I’m hoping that his reintroduction into the Winchester’s world will give him a chance to fill in some of the gaps for both brothers. I mean, he knows Benny. Sam and him should definitely have a little offline on that particular subject! I was as suspicious as Dean of his story about not remembering anything until we saw that the angels were up to no good again. I’m glad he’s not wilfully hiding stuff, even if he’s going to be unwittingly hiding stuff. Boy, poor little guy. I’d like everyone to be able to mend and move forward this season, from all their past transgressions! Time to deal and move on.

I totally dig this idea that God had someone jot down his thoughts as a worst-case scenario handbook for the human race. It opens up a whole range of possible story arcs. That Transformer Archangel Metatron was quite the note taker. There are a few God rocks out there dealing with different Heavenly issues. The Leviathan rock, the demon rock…and what else? An angel rock? Please let there be an angel rock! With specific instructions on how to kick their meddlesome butts!

Gah. Angels! Until “Supernatural” I thought angels were nice! I have friends who go on about angels and look at me weird when I try to explain that you can’t trust them! Then I remind myself, once again, that this is just show (shut your mouth)! Anyhoo… the angels are interested in the Winchesters and they’re using Castiel to spy on the brothers and report back, without Cass’ knowledge. Manipulative S.O.B.s!

So what do they want? Well, I’m thinking they probably don’t want the gates of Hell closed anymore than the denizens of Hell would. Because if the place is on lockdown, where do all the evil souls go? Do they just linger around on earth like nasty bad smells? Or do they head skyward? Also, I think the angels like the idea of Hell and the balance between good and evil. Because if those gates are forever locked and no one gets punished for their sins, then what happens to humanity? Would we all run amok without the threat of fire and damnation hanging over our heads? So, I think we might find out that neither party wants Hell’s gates closed for eternity.

My other thought was, as I mentioned, there might be an angel rock out there, as part of the compendium of tablets that has been created. If there is, would it have information that would help the Winchesters pop those pesky winged annoyances back behind the pearly gates for all time? I’m sure Sam and Dean would be quite keen on that idea. I’m kind of keen on the idea! I’m sure the angels would not be keen on that idea at all! Or maybe it contains information that could give Crowley control over Heaven? That would be problematic for them!

I’ve also been toying with the notion that the angels now running the big show, are of the same thinking as the late Archangel Raphael, in that maybe they want to kick-start the Apocalypse Part Deux, go back to the original plan. Maybe this is why they need to keep an eye on the Winchesters. Maybe they’re hoping to use their bodies (aren’t we all……..) as the vessels of the end game reboot. Maybe that’s where all this is going. Can anyone say season 10? “Whatever you do, you will always end up... here. No matter what choices you make, whatever details you alter, we will always end up... here.” Stop that Amy! I really hate that thought. I don't want this at all by the way. I’m going to angel wipe my own mind!

Obviously whatever the situation, the angels are not going to want the King of Hell to get his grubby little mitts on the Word of God. So it could just be, that they let the Winchesters fight the fight and then they swoop in and grab the prize. Sounds like angel behaviour….

Of course there’s nothing at all to suggest any of this yet, but…I just don’t trust those conniving winged bastards! I do quite enjoy them though and Naomi seemed kind of cool, if treacherous and a tad buttoned down. It’ll be very interesting to see how she and the angel scheme plays out.

Not only are the angels spying on the Winchesters, they’re playing with reality….which made me go, hang on, what does that mean for the big picture? Carver has said from the get-go that season 8 is all about perception. How one person sees an event can be different from how another person sees the same event. How we the viewer are currently seeing things, may not be how they end up being revealed. The angels are popping Cass in and out without his knowledge, without the brother’s knowledge. He’s compelled to be honest while in Naomi’s office of honesty and then he doesn’t remember being there when he’s zapped back to earth and no one misses him. So the angels are playing with time, space and truth.

The angels dragged Cass from Purgatory and expunged his memories. By the way…Illinois? I wonder how close to Pontiac they were? Is there an angel portal there or something, where they can travel to the other realms? Seems odd that Cass and Dean would both be rescued by angels in Illinois. Jimmy Novak was also from Pontiac, Illinois. Curiouser and curiouser.

So is anything else being affected by the angels and their mind games. Sam for example? Are we’re going to find out that Sam’s been manipulated by the angels into not looking for Dean, choosing a different life or meeting Amelia. Did they throw the dog in front of his car (!), or could they have messed with Sam’s mind and make him assume Dean was dead? Or, and I think this is more likely, did they, ‘push’ him to go to the cabin that night to find Dean? Maybe it was one of the angels lurking in the shadows watching Sam as he left? And if that was the case, it brings us back to, why do the angels need Sam and Dean together? I’m guessing they never expected Dean to get out. Maybe Benny was a fly in their ointment. But with Dean back topside, did they then want Sam to find him for some reason? Or is the fact that they are now together back on the job, a worry to the angels. Did they try to keep them apart but, couldn't overcome their Sam and Deanness bond? So many questions.

I don’t want to find out that Sam’s entire year was a manipulation. Personally I like that he made those choices for himself, as controversial as they are, I like that Sam made decisions for his own future, whether we all agree with them or not.

Sam had what I thought was the most telling line of the entire episode, when he said to Dean “"Survivor's guilt? If you let it, this is gonna keep messing with you, you gotta walk past it." Was this Sam letting Dean know what he’d been through? Certainly Sam has gone through survivor’s guilt more than once when it comes to his brother and in the past, he’s not done so well. But this time around, did Sam find a way to “walk past it” and become a healthier person for it? Once again, here we have a case of perception. Dean sees it as abandonment; Sam sees it as letting go and moving on.

We also saw how perception was affecting Dean’s memories of Cass and Purgatory. Dean remembers Cass slipping from his grasp and yet Cass told Dean he purposely let go. Dean seemed to know that Cass didn’t try as hard as he could, but he also saw it as his own failure for not trying harder on behalf of his friend. He said no one would get left behind and Cass was left behind. He wanted to get Cass out and he couldn’t. I don’t believe, as has been suggested around the traps, that Dean has purposely remembered this incident wrong, so that he could continue to beat himself up for something because he thrives on guilt. I think that viewpoint trivialises this man and the depth of his caring and of his wounds. He said, they had to scratch and fight and bleed to get to that portal. He remembers the heat, the stink, the pain, the fear. That it almost finished him. Is it not more fair to say that in the stress and confusion of the situation, Dean simply didn’t realise what was happening, that he didn’t realise Cass let go, didn’t understand exactly what was going on, rather than Dean loves to self flagellate, so he’s chose to remember wrong out of his need for self loathing? Perception.

Personally I’m relieved that Dean didn’t make a conscious choice to leave Cass behind, or that Benny did something underhanded. I’ve been dreading finding out badness went down. Now that’s one thing I, at least, can move on from.

I’ll admit, I teared up when Cass said, “You can’t save everyone my friend. Though you try.” Awww Dean…. I hope he was listening…though it’ll never stop him trying. He is who he is.

Oh I nearly forgot the Trans! Ha. I keep forgetting about them! I don’t mind Kevin, I still quite like him…I’m sorry he lost a little slice of himself. How was that! Man, brutal. I loved how after Cass and Crowley’s showdown, he grabbed that tablet and wouldn’t let go. It reminded me of when we first met him and Sam was trying to get the tablet out of his hands and he actuallycouldn’t let go! He needs to get away from his mum though, because she’s making dumbass decisions that are endangering their lives, plus, she’s as annoying as all hell! She’d drive me batty if she were my mum. I didn’t find her fun this time around, just kind of grating. Though I do think Kevin and Mama Tran have good chemistry. Imagine her and Garth together? That'd be interesting! Maybe he can teach her a few valuable hunting lessons. I was impressed she got that enormous demon into the trunk of her car though! Nice move! I mean, she’s tiny. Did you see the size of Sam up against her when they met on the side of the road? I loved that too…Sam was so mad. I loved how he just snatched that book wearing his best chastising face.

Crowley reminded me of Lucifer in this episode in that, remember how Lucifer was all quietly evil and kind of cool until he got under pressure and then he turned all bloody rampage and murderous in “Hammer of the Gods”? That’s what I thought about Crowley. We’ve seen him torture monsters and other demons but this season he’s snapped Kevin Tran’s girlfriend’s neck and now he’s done something fatal to some potential prophet’s inside, while exploding another and cutting off Kevin’s pinky! I think he’s feeling a little under pressure and he’s showing his true colours. He’s not the smooth, Savile Row villain anymore. Oh and poor Alfie! What happened to Alfie?

So, “A Little Slice of Kevin” made it 7 for 7 for me. I think the episodes have been getting stronger as the season has gone on. The story is getting more interesting and layered, as little bits of the mystery are pealed away and new questions are raised. I like it! Crowley is in on the Word of God thing and I assume Sam and Dean know Crowley knows. 

This episode also left me feeling a bit more optimistic about our favourite ghost hunting bros. I’m hoping that what we saw with the brothers in this episode was indeed a small step towards the rebuilding of their relationship. A return to the trust and the closeness. I’ve never doubted the love. Dean didn’t dig at Sam once for his year out. Maybe he heard Sam last week. Maybe he heard Garth. Sam was empathetic and supportive; he seemed present and connected to Dean. Maybe Sam heard Dean’s pain last week. Maybe he saw the hurt in his brother. Like I said…the issues are still there, they will raise their ugly heads again…but even if they can have days like this…that’s a start right?

And now for a dip in the shallow end of the pool....

Sam. V-neck t-shirt. Add to that bare feet and sweatpants. Didn’t you just want to snuggle with him all curled up in that bed…and I’m a Dean girl (but I’m Sam curious)! And Dean…FRECKLES! Did anyone else notice that the grade on this episode was less saturated? Also, the boys didn’t look quite as made-up or overly tanned and…you could see Dean’s freckles clear as day. We should always be able to see Dean’s freckles. If I ran this show, I’d make that a rule. Plus...arms. Goodness. I’m finding it harder and harder to get through the brother’s scenes without pausing…rewinding…pausing…rewinding! They are so gosh darn PRETTY!

And on that highly intelligent and well thought out point….

I really dug this episode, it was chocked full of all the stuff I like and yeah, Dean and his hero complex, to me, will always be a thing of beauty...I can't helps it!

You know what I love about season 8...and I'm really loving season 8 as most people have become aware of.... I love that the Winchester Universe is being opened up again.

Last season everything was stripped away, ostensibly to draw the brothers together. But then at the end, they were ripped apart and have to, once again, struggle to find their way back to each other. So, what was the point? Their world was reduced to 2 and in that situation there can be no outside perspective to help you see yourself, your brother, your relationship or your actions. How can you grow when you only have one other person to interact with?

This season there are people! New characters and familiar characters, all of whom can shed light upon the brothers and their journey, past and present. The season feels more expansive because of it, in the best possible way. Not big and unweilding, but personal. The whole thing feels more personal and so the stakes feel higher.

Seeing the brothers as individuals and as a duo through other's eyes is good for them and good for us. It's not taking away from their relationship for me. In fact it's doing the opposite.

It feels like a breath of fresh air has blown through Supernatural. I like!

What did you think of the episode? What are your theories around what the angels are up to? Do you think their mischief is affecting anything else in the story? Let me know your thoughts.

Oh and cool things....the Benny soul transfer, Cass' wings, the exorcism into the phone, the demon bomb, the demon bomb shadows, the Leviathan bombs (every, so cool).

Oh no! I just remembered, the next episode is two weeks away… D’oh! I think I might do a little marathon of episodes 1 – 7!

Until next time…I'm just going to leave this here...

Thanks for reading!

sweetondean is Chief Editor and Staff Writer for The Winchester Family Business

1 comment:

  1. Supernatural Seasons 1-6
    After the mysterious disappearance of their father, two brothers seek out and combat paranormal and supernatural events to figure the meaning linking their mother's death whom was killed years earlier by a mysterious demon. This television drama SuperNatural is about two brothers, Sam and Dean, who were raised by their father, John, to hunt and kill all things that go "bump in the night" after his wife, Mary, was murdered by something supernaturally evil when the boys were young. 22 years later the brothers set out on a journey, fighting evil along the way, to find their recently missing father who, when they finally meet up with, reveals he knows what killed their mother, a demon, and has found a way to track and kill it. Meanwhile, Sam starts to develop frightening abilities that include death visions, visions of people dying before it actually happens. These visions are somehow connected to the demon who murdered his mother and it's mysterious plans that seem to be all about Sam. When their father dies striking a deal with the very same devil that had killed his wife, the brothers, now alone and without their mentor, are determined to finish the crusade their father started. But disturbing revelations about Sam's part in the demon's apocalyptic plans are presented when John's dying last words to Dean are revealed in Supernatural