Sunday, 19 May 2013

Review: Supernatural 8.22 "Clip Show"

One week to go, people. How’d that happen? The last 2 weeks have got us fully locked and loaded for heaven knows what, because seriously, I have no idea where this is all going! This week’s “Clip Show” took us on a crazy ride, one that raised plenty of questions and filled me with both awe and dread. Sam and Dean and Crowley and Abaddon, Cass and Metatron and Naomi…how will it all come together and who will survive?

We kicked off in the bunker. How I love the bunker. I’m holding hope that it survives into season 9 because I know that the crew love it and I know it cost a lot to build, so I’m praying JC leaves it be for budgetary and shooting convenience reasons! Oh and also because it’s awesome, beyond awesome and I feel like we’ve only seen a fraction of it.

So the brothers brought Castiel back to the bunker for him to recover from his tabletectomy and Crowley/Naomi beat-down. Obviously the bunker is not warded against angels. They need to sort that out pronto. Ward it against everything I say.

When Cass looks like a broken child, I can’t help but feel bad for him, but, unpopular opinion time….I was kind of glad Dean told him off. It’s starting to feel like there's been too many passes for our angel friend. The one thing that Dean holds above everything else is loyalty and Cass has done many things to push Dean to where he now is. Dean has forgiven Cass over and over. For the lying about pulling Sam out of Hell, for teaming with Crowley, for breaking Sam’s wall and sending his brother mad, for the whole Leviathan mess. Not only that, Dean stayed in Purgatory longer than he needed to and risked death by Leviathan bomb and other monsters attracted to the Serif, because he wanted to get Cass out, because he wouldn’t leave his friend behind. Then Cass repays Dean’s fragile faith by not showing any faith in him, by not trusting his friend, by not talking to his friend and by not asking his friend for help. I know Castiel’s heart is always in the right place and in taking Sam’s crazy he tried to make amends for hurting Sam and he's still trying to make amends for what he did under the Leviathan influence and I’m sure that Dean and Cass rebonded in Purgatory, yet…here we are again. Same old, same old. Another sorry. I'd be peeved with him to.

I'm not saying Dean is faultless, good Lord, far from it and part of all the characters of Supernatural’s great beauty is their flaws and their desire to do good and how human they all are in the mistakes they make along the way. But Cass just keeps making the same mistakes over and over and the Winchesters keep getting caught in the crossfire. When will the angel learn and when is it ok for the brothers to say, enough. I would have said enough a long time ago. Sam and Dean are way better people than me.

I’m not hating on Cass here, I hurt for him when he makes these errors of judgement, I hurt for him when he tries to make amends and fails and I hurt for him when he looks like a lost and sad kitten! He comes from a world where he has never had to face the kind of choices that he has to face now and that must be hard. But he’s been in the Winchester’s world for 4 years and he’s been down this road enough times to know nothing good ever comes of going off and doing his own thing, not once and the first thing he should do is put his trust in his friends. Surely that would be the one great lessons a relationship with the Winchesters would teach. Trust and loyalty are important. Talk to Sam and Dean for goodness sake, if only for the reason that they have a lot more life experience in dealing with bad people and could offer insight. But noooooo. The angel simply never learns and it’s frustrating.

I don't know how the Castiel and Dean relationship will be healed, maybe it won’t, maybe it will never be what it was, but another one of Dean's great attributes is his ability to forgive those he loves...eventually...(he can also hold an epic grudge), so maybe there's hope for their friendship. I'd like to think there is. I did appreciate that Sam tried to smooth things over; that was such a Sam thing to do. Like when he went and prayed to Cass when Cass thought he was God. But Sam never forces his brother’s hand. He will say, be easy on Cass he’s one of the good guys, but he will leave it at that and let Dean stew on it and work it through himself.

I think Sam probably sees a lot of himself in Cass. I see a lot of similarities in them; in their thoughtful natures, in the struggles they’ve both had, in the mistakes they’ve both made when only wanting to do the right thing. I’ve always thought that was part of the reason why Dean was drawn to Cass, because there’s a lot of Sam in Cass and maybe that’s why he’s been willing to try and forgive him in the past. They have so few people; maybe it’s worth putting hurt aside to keep those you love close. Because like I’ve said over and over, if Dean didn’t love Sam and Cass so deeply, he wouldn’t be hurt by and disappointed in them so completely. It’s the love that makes it hurt the most. So it all falls onto Dean and whether he can put the latest betrayal behind him…or whether Cass owns up to and learns from his mistakes and brings the brothers into his latest personal drama.

Have I lost all the Castiel fans out there?

While we’re on Castiel making mistakes…Metatron. Who wasn’t screaming at Cass through their TV? NOOOOO! NOT AGAIN! GO BACK TO THE BUNKER! All of sudden I have a bad feeling about Metatron. He went from a pencil pusher, secretarial angel hiding out from the world, to wanting to take over Heaven, complete with inside information about Naomi? Um ok. He's either full of crap and way more important than he said - like archangel important - or Naomi has already got to him. Whatever, but it feels like he has ulterior motives and his own thing going on and of course Cass fell for it all hook line and sinker. CASSSSS!!! (With 3 exclamation points). When will our trench-coated angel learn? And when is it ever ok to rip someone's heart out? Just sayin’! Isn't it interesting that the trials to close the gates of Hell are all about doing things that can lead to good, kill a hellhound, save an innocent soul, wash a demon clean of sin, but the first angelic trial is ripping out someone's heart! That in itself makes me suspicious. Without the tablet, how do we know what Metatron is saying is even true? Do you think they cut the Nephilin’s heart out after Cass stabbed her in the neck? I’m not sure the first trial was even started or completed. I must admit to finding that all a tad unclear.

One of my favourite parts of the episode was Abaddon. Isn’t she a peach? Oh, I’m enjoying her. I really hope she survives the finale to sass another day! I did not like that the boys were dumb and left her on her own though, clawless or otherwise. That was a stupid mistake and I hate when the writers make the brothers do dumbass things like that. Put the chair in a damn devil’s trap as a precaution for heaven’s sake! I guess with the devil's trap bullet in her head, they’d never think that the demon would “Thing” her way out of there. Great scene. I can just see that scene being pitched! “And then she mind powers her severed hand out of a box and it makes it’s way over to her, goes into her mouth and yanks out the bullet.” Score! But yes, stupid boys, you’re better than that.

So if Abaddon sticks around and manages to dethrone the “salesman”, would that make her the Queen of Hell and if so, as she was Knighted by Lucifer himself, do you think her first order as Queen would be to unlock the cage? This is why I think Abaddon and her possibly sticking around could be super interesting. But, I don’t want it to be at the expense of Crowley, though seeing the King brought down a notch or two would be fab!

I'm glad to see Crowley finally flexing those villainous muscles of his. He's sometimes at risk of being all snark and no action, but he's turned the evil up to 11 and I like it! I always love me the bad guy (and the bad boy…) and this season, I finally see Crowley as a great big bad. He’s sort of just been an irritation before this, that thorn in the brother’s side, but he’s never felt to me as evil as he should, until now. The dude is E-VIL! This was Crowley at his worst and his best.

Why no one has thought of using the Winchester's surviving victims against them before is beyond me. It's really all they have; the knowledge that what they do is saving lives and for that reason it's all worth while. Strip them of that and you strip them of the essence of who they are and why they put up with this crappy, bleak existence. It's a clever move that gets them right in the hurty bits.

I'm so loving how the books have come into play this season. Id’ never considered how they’d put the Winchesters at risk before. But ALL their secrets are in there (Dean's full frontal in there, man). They really need to do something about them! Because if Crowley can discover a use for them, any bad critter can.

As part of Crowley’s renewed vigour in attacking the brothers, this week we saw a bunch of returning characters. Nods to the past have been a theme of this season and one that I’ve enjoyed immensely.

Tommy from “Wendigo” was collateral because he was the first victim they had a personal relationship with. I loved the exploding head! The VFX this year have been epic.

Jenny Klein from “Shut Up, Dr. Phil”, umm, well, she was post Chuck's disappearance, so I'm choosing to assume that Crowley's minions researched farther a field than just the books. Crowley did say that the brothers leave a mark on the towns they blow through, so maybe the minions are looking into the brother's various connections. Anyone can be traced I guess. I’m sure, just as the brothers find cases via reports on the net, the minions can find those reports too and follow through to see if Sam and Dean were involved. That’s how I’m working this one in my brains anyway...

Of course, it was Sarah who was the important victim because that took a blow at Sam and at his heart and shook his belief in pursuing the trials above everything else. She was the first girl Sam really had any kind of feelings for immediately after Jess’ death. I bet she’s someone who’s flicked through his mind on and off, wondering what ever happened to her, if she’s well, married, kids? She was married with a kid, which makes her death even more tragic and powerful. But if you’re going to hit someone where it hurts, you have to take a decent stab at it and if you think back at all those the brothers knew survived, Sarah was definitely one that would go straight to both the brother’s hearts. So sad death, yes…but one I could see the reason for (from Crowley’s viewpoint). It’s made Sam wonder, is what they're trying to achieve worth all this death? Who else needs to die? If their job is saving people…shouldn’t they stop what they’re doing, to save people? Because we know Crowley won’t stop. Way to shake the guy’s resolve.

Crowley's monologue as the boys frantically searched was a cracker...that scene had me on the edge of my seat. Poor Sarah on the floor gasping, Sam and Dean rushing around, throwing furniture in their wake, the utter desperation of it all as Crowley droned on…

“What's the line? "Saving people, hunting things. The family business." Well I think, the people you save, they're how you justify your pathetic little lives. The alcoholism, the collateral damage, the pain you've caused... The one thing that allows you to sleep at night - the one thing is knowing these folks are out there. Still out there. Happy and healthy because of you. You great big bloody heroes. They're your life's work and I am going to rip it apart. Piece by piece. Because I can. Because you can't stop me. Because when they're all gone, what will you have left?”

Brilliant. The whole scene was brilliant.

I also liked what Sarah said to Sam; that he’d changed, that he seemed more focused and grown up and that he seemed like he knew what he wanted. I agree, that’s how Sam looks to me too. I love it when the brothers hear something like this from someone outside of their immediate circle (of 2). It was a super sad scene with Sam and Dean just staring at the dead Sarah and the bloody hex bag was in the phone all the damn time. Crowley is an utter bastard (I love him).

This cleansing of the demon thing, I think it’s cool (and creepy) but here’s what I’m wondering...if the demon gets cleansed then what happens? Does the demon hang out with the real person inside the meat suit? Bit cosy! I was scratching my head at this. Maybe because they’re all warm and fuzzy after a good exorcism bath, the demon does the polite thing and smokes out? But how brilliant would it be if the brothers could master this little technique. How many lives would be saved if they could make all the demons in the world nice and save the person they’re possessing in the bargain? I’m assuming that the brothers are going to eventually have a light-bulb moment and realise that maybe Sam’s blood is the purified blood they need to finish the trial, seeing as Sam was just saying he feels like he’s being purified and seeing as that’s exactly what they need. They’ll get there eventually…sometimes they’re a little behind the rest of us.

I liked “Clip Show” a lot. I was fully engaged for the whole hour. I thought it was a great set up for the finale. I liked the personal touch of bringing back past victims and undoing the brother’s good work. That’s one thing that has rocked about this season, that the task at hand is so personal. To make this season's quest personal to the brothers was smart. I think that's one of the things the last 2 seasons lacked; that personal connection to the issue at hand. But this is about as personal as it gets. Locking up Hell, a place both brothers have spent time and locking up demons, beings that have caused the brothers pain ever since they were children. Let's throw the possibility of locking Heaven into the picture, because the angels have been pretty bothersome since they entered the Winchesters lives! Then making it physically devastating for Sam, which becomes devastating for Dean. It's all such good stuff.

So, we're left with Sam starting to waver (poor thing, all this on top of feeling like crap) and Dean holding firm. Dean asking his brother if he’s with him, saying they’ll “Kick it in the ass” (awww), as usual, saying that they stay on point and keep to plan. I think they're going to sit down at that super cool map table and nut out a new strategy. But without snacks...because Dean never got to the shops and Castiel got distracted...

Next week I'm wondering what the landscape will look like after the dust settles. Will Sam be cleansed or will he have to sacrifice the chance to be a "real boy" in order to stop the evil powers-that-be doing whatever they're going to do. Will Abaddon take down that snotty salesman and crown herself Queen? Will Cass remain on the outs with the Winchesters, as once again he follows his own agenda? Will we discover what’s really up with Metatron and will someone finally angel blade Naomi? Because she needs to die in a blinding white light! I'm totally baffled by where it's all going, what's going to wrap up and what isn’t and where we kick off season 9. But my one hope is that no Winchester dies and no Winchester disappears, because we've all been there and done that. I'm for them standing side by side in the aftermath, together, ready to face whatever catastrophe befalls them as the outcome of their latest attempt to do good for the world! Because the Winchester's relationship is the heart of this show and that heart is beating strong again and I like.

Oh, and the MoL Batcave has a dungeon, “Finally”. Oh Dean, just when I think I can’t love you any more.

As always, thanks for reading and I’ll see you next week for the… FINALE!!! (with 3 exclamation points) DA-DA-DUMMMM!

sweetondean is Chief Editor and a writer for The Winchester Family Business
For all the latest Supernatural info and article links, follow The Winchester Family Business on Twitter at @WinFamBusiness

1 comment:

  1. The Supernatural Season 7 is an American television series show that is on are hotly now. While investigating a number of murders, Dean as well as Sam learn how the Egyptain lord Osiris accounts for the killings. A lord with only revenge upon his thoughts, Osiris is actually putting arbitrary people upon trial for just about any mistakes they have made previously and after that promptly eliminating them in the event that they're discovered guilty. On sensing Dean's shame, Osiris places him upon trial along with Sam getting Dean's attorney.