Saturday, 7 February 2015

Review - Supernatural 10x12 "About A Boy" - SHAKE IT OFF

I have so much love for this episode, SO MUCH. I went in with high hopes that we might get something in the feels department like Adam Glass’ “Bad Boys” delivered, and guess what? We ended up getting oh so much more! 

I guffawed during “About A Boy”! Guffawed, clapped my hands, yelled OH MY GOD to no one, balled my fists into my face and made little happy squeaky noises, whimpered little heartbroken whimpers, and sighed the sighs of a fan-girl in love. IT. WAS. AWESOME.

I adore the brothers Winchester. It’s no secret. They’re why I watch the show. They’re what I originally fell in love with. The brothers. Their fight. Their struggle. Their epic bond. The last part has been tested over and over throughout the 10 some years that I’ve been following their journey. But through the lies and the demon blood and the soullessness and the not looking and the angel implantation and the angry, hurtful words, I’ve always seen that bond; that love. Because when all of this was going on, when all the hurtful things were being said, or done to each other, the brother’s still never left each other’s side, and they still supported each other. In a 10 some year history together (that we’ve been witness to), those bumps in the road have been just that, bumps in the road. And though for us, who are totally in love with these two men, they sometimes seem monumental and all encompassing, they really are just blips in their epic journey. The majority of the time these brothers are in some way or another showing their commitment to each other, even if it’s just by not walking away.

I’m an eternal optimist, a glass half full girl. Hell, I’m a glass totally full girl! And that’s probably why my vision of the brothers has never waivered, because it’s in my nature to see the good, the great, the amazeballs, where others might not. I’ve often called it my rose coloured Winchester glasses, but bottom line, my faith in them is just that, faith, and it has never faltered. Ever. Not once. Simple put, I believe in Sam and Dean.

And to be honest, I’ve loved watching their trials and tribulations, because that’s life. It throws shit in your face all the time, and every so often, no matter how quick you try to deflect it, a little bit ends up in your mouth (nice visual huh!). I’ve always been of the opinion that to have these two, hot headed, vastly different, opinionated, stubborn, passionate men never fight, or be completely furious with or disappointed in each other, would have been totally unrealistic. We all fight with those with love; sometimes bitterly and our Universe is far less complicated, violent and bizarre! (I hope, anyway!)

To have Sam and Dean be so seriously upset with each other and yet still come through loving each other makes everything all the more powerful and rewarding. It makes their love more powerful, it makes them more powerful and it makes me love them with a powerfulness that I find at times hard to contain! I love watching the Winchesters overcome, never stop battling through, never give up, never give up on each other. They inspire me and they give me hope. How many people can say that about the characters in a TV show they watch? The Winchester brothers give me hope, because if they can get through it all…so can I (Yes, yes, I know they’re fictional, but still.) Sam and Dean are my heroes.

And here we are, with the brother’s facing one of the worst problems they’ve ever had to face. Something that’s already turned one of them into the thing they hate the most, and is threatening to do it again. And with all that sometimes, churning water under the bridge, they are now stronger than ever, facing it together, talking, being honest…BEING HONEST. Seriously, I can’t even with how much I love Sam and Dean Winchester! 

“About A Boy” was one of my favourite episodes of the season. The script was brilliantly funny and smart. The story was cool. The monster of the week was inventive and the broments were OFF THE CHARTS! There was simply so much to adore about this episode I’m not sure where to start… Excuse me while I ramble!

I’m crazy about Dylan Everett’s performance as grown up Dean in Jnr Dean’s body. There was not one single moment that I didn’t believe 100% that I was watching Dean Winchester. Dylan’s mannerisms, his cadence, the way he moved, his facial expressions, everything was absolutely spot on. The kid is mini Jensen! I listened to his after show interview on YouTube about how Jared gave him some advice, because no one other than Jensen knows Dean better than Jared, because he’s watched his buddy play the guy for 10 years. It’s lovely to think of Jared guiding Dylan and making suggestions based on choices he knows Jensen would have made with his character in a certain situation. Having to step into another actor’s role would be daunting. Playing that character, as a young version of themselves is one thing, but having to play that character how they are today, is a totally different story. I’m sure Dylan watched tonnes of episodes. I’d like to hear more about how he prepared. I was completely blown away by the kid (well, actually he’s 20). Dylan was simply remarkable. No other word for it. Five stars from me kiddo. 

Young/Old Dean and Sam’s chemistry was also perfect. Once again, I never doubted that I was watching my favourite brothers. The way Sam knew nearly instantly that it was Dean at his motel door. I guess he would have recognised him from when he was a kid, but still! That must have been a head-trip too…having your big brother standing there as the younger version of himself who was your idol growing up! How confusing! Jared’s face painted the scene picture perfect. Recognition followed by incongruity! That face continued in the car too, as Sam and Dean discussed Dean’s predicament. That whole Impala scene made me whoop and holler with joy! I swear I was clapping my hands! It was crazy fun.

There was a freedom to Young/Old Dean; he seemed looser and less world weary – even though technically, he was the same on the inside. He was just as heroic as he always is, he was just as cranky around the edges, but lighter. And damn he was funny too! And oh my God, I couldn’t help but appreciate all the dick jokes. I can’t help it; I sometimes think there’s a 13-year-old boy living inside my brain! (Don’t even start me on how I snicker every time I see the number 69 anywhere!) But seriously. SERIOUSLY. No grass on the infield. It’s up, it’s down, it’s up for no reason. And then the absolute best Sam and Dean banter I’ve heard for a very long time:

Sam: Dean, I’m way too big to fit in there.

Dean: First time you’ve ever had to say that huh?

Sam: Big talk coming from the dude wearing Underoos.

OH MY GIDDY AUNT! The visuals. Thank you Adam Glass for that perfect moment!

One of the aspects of this episode I appreciated the most was the fact that the Mark of Cain was still on the brothers’ minds. Even though they were up to their ears in a bizzaro world case, and Dean was half the size he usually is, the boys were still discussing their primary concern of the moment. Of course, Jnr Dean was Mark free, which was probably why he seemed looser and a bit lighter. Hearing Sam and Dean discuss whether Dean should stay a 14 year old because that would be better than being a psycho rage monster/borderline demon, was heartbreaking, but also speaks a hell of a lot to how Dean is feeling and not articulating – even though he is articulating a fair amount. And in the end, after Dean had made the choice to revert back to his grownup self in order save his brother and Tina; the Mark was still front and centre, because Sam couldn’t even listen to Dean’s jokes without asking if “it” was back.

This episode could easily have gone another way. It’s happened before when we’ve had a monster of the week episode and the overarching problem of the season has been conveniently forgotten. But the way Adam Glass wove in the Mark of Cain and the mythology around it into the brothers’ awareness and conversations was absolutely seamless and kept us, including Sam and Dean linked in to the bigger picture. Such good work.

As for gigantic Sam and Dean…I love how honest they’re being. I love that Dean is open enough to admit he’s worried about the Mark. I love that Sam is standing firm next to his brother, giving him pep talks. I love that they’re back to teasing each other. The Easter Bunny thing was squee worthy and I love that Sam played along with it. Both of them had a tiny smile dancing around the corners of their mouths and I appreciated the hell out of the moment, as I’m sure they probably did too. 

I love to infinity and beyond Sam’s gentle touch with Dean. He practically coaxed Dean out of his room by not giving in, but by also giving his brother space to see that Sam was right…and I truly believe that Dean believes that Sam believes in him! That’s a lot of believing going on right there! But Sam’s unwavering faith in his brother, even if on the inside he’s scared, is what’s holding Dean together right now, and gosh don’t you just love him all the more for that.

There were some wonderful small moments that spoke volumes as to how connected the brothers are right now. 

I loved Sam picking up on Dean’s concern about being left alone when they were investigating the case. He was so quick to suggest they didn’t split up, without sounding smothering, and then when Dean said he was okay – there was that little touch on Dean’s shoulder as Sammy walked away. He did that last week too in the closing scene in the bunker. Just a little touch to reassure… sigh.

I loved that Dean answered the phone to Sam, even though he had a girl possibly on the hook! There was no, look, hang up, back in pocket as he’s done in the past. Sure he was conflicted (as Tina made her exit), but never for a moment did I think he wouldn’t pick up. I thought that said a lot about his trust in Sam now, and how much he needs him and is leaning on him. In that moment, Sam was more important than anything. And I’m glad Dean had a drink. I glad he said, “I’m going to believe in myself”. He had a fair amount of booze too, stayed cool, funny, charming and didn’t go all crazy Mark of Cain. See Dean, Sam is right, you can do it. And I always get the warm and fuzzies when we hear anything about the Winchesters growing up, so Dean sharing his stories of crazy-assed mac ‘n cheese recipes with Tina was a pure delight. And Tina was great. I liked her as an adult and I liked her as a kid. 

Then there was the ending. Sam saying to Dean, “I wanted you back”... He might as well have told Dean then and there that he loved him. Just… I was biting my lip in wibbly wobbly happiness! And then, “We’ll figure it out. We always do” echoing Dean’s words to Sam in that church at the end of “Sacrifice”. OH MY HEART THE FEELS!

You know, when Dean said “Damn right” after that, I totally felt like in that moment Dean did believe they would figure it out. It’s like through this episode, through the unfailing confidence Sam continues to show in Dean, through Dean’s ability to get through the case and not “Hulk out”, through just the tonne of love getting thrown around here, something in Dean shifted, and it left my heart all a flutter. 

Other stuff I loved:

The whole opening montage of Dean searching for information on the Mark. Just beautiful.

Dean not thinking because cake.

Sam hitting the guy's head on the bar!

Sam's face when he found Dean's boot *wibble*

That lady thinking that Dean was Sam's son. Bahaha!

Dean moving the Impala's seat forward squishing Sam's knees. ARGGHHH I LOVED THAT. I rewound that bit about 42 times.

Sam's Dean can't drink joke.

The gorgeous Impala shots and the gorgeousness of everything in general.

Dean shoving the witch in the oven. I kept screaming - SHOVE HER IN THE OVEN!

Tina and her second chance. I hope she makes the best of it.

The connection of the witch (she was awesome) to Rowenna and the grand covern and the tease that the witch story is going to be this season's end game.

I instantly rewatched “About A Boy” after I finished it the first time. Then I watched it again in the morning, then again that night, then again just now before I wrote this – and I’ll watch it again after I post this, because…it just makes me that damn happy. The whole episode was a joy from beginning to end. 

I don’t know where we’re going next, but I can’t wait to see, and I’m so thankful to be taking this journey with these two amazing brothers. I know it’s probably going to get worse (again) before it gets better(ish) – but right now, everything feels a little bit more hopeful, different. And then Dean laid rubber as he roared away listening to Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off”!!! It was the perfect button, to a perfect episode. Shake it off. Yep.


OH I ALMOST FORGOT HOODY DEAN! I want to snuggle him...


  1. I also loved this episode and have watched it a few times. I would watch it again tonight after reading your review, lol, but I have people staying with me at the moment - so my obsession with Supernatural has to be reined in a tad :(

    I really look forward to reading your reviews because I'm also a glass-full girl and love this show so much, I'm not interested in the minor things that upset some people (I really don't notice them). This is my HAPPY place and I love every minute that I get to spend with the Winchester brothers. I also adore any tidbits that we get about their childhood and growing up. Adam Glass does this so well in his scripts.

    All the performances were ace!! I felt so bad for Jensen's Dean, when he was researching alone in his room and when Sam said he hadn't left the bunker for a week. I was utterly convinced by Dylan's Dean - his mannerisms & smart mouth were spot on. And I adored Jared's performance opposite both Jensen and Dylan. His expressions were priceless! And I think my favourite scene was seeing his knees almost hit his forehead when he got jammed by the seat in the impala, lol. And of course, as you mentioned, the 'I'm way too big to fit in there' :p

    I also loved seeing Sam's no-nonsense attitude with the slimy bar-tender. Just shove his head into the bar if you lie to me about my brother!! It was awesome. He's been searching for his brother a lot this season - and looking out for him - and I love it. Anyhow, I'm rambling now! I love season 10 and can't wait to see what's in store for us in the second half of the season.

    1. I had to go back and add in the Sam Hulk out head bash into bar! It was on my list but somehow I missed it! Thanks for reminding me. It's interesting that the one that lost control of his temper in the bar in this ep was Sam not Dean. Sam is going to go where ever he needs to to help Dean. I like it!
      Thanks for the comment, Karen!

  2. This episode is going to be on my favourites list, for sure. It was funny but with serious undertones, it carried the relationship between the brothers forward a little more - their bond over Dean overcoming the Mark's effects while they search for a way to get rid of it. I loved that Dean was looking into every method possible, including scar removal options - not that they would work because we already know that it's about more than the Mark itself.

    I loved that Jared played Sam reacting to Dean no differently than if he'd been acting opposite Jensen. Hearing how he helped Dylan just reinforces how both Jared and Jensen are so invested in their characters that they want every guest actor to do it right, and especially given the weight Dylan had to carry in pulling off being current-day Dean. No easy feat but he did it spectacularly and I'm sure that Jared's mentoring would have helped enormously.

    The funny moments were hilarious and had me guffawing, too! Young Dean pulling the seat so far forward that Sam's knees were sent up under his chin. Oh, man! Sam teasing Dean that he could drink again in 7 years. And I especially loved that they cast Mrs Patmore, the cook from Downton Abbey, as the witch. That was just perfect!

    So much to love about this episode, and I am 100% with you on my faith in the brothers' relationship shining through every time. Yes, they have their bumps but what relationship doesn't? Great script by Adam Glass and great direction by Serge Ladouceur.

    1. Everyone did a remarkable job on this ep, but that seems to be season 10 all around! Top notch work from the whole cast and crew.
      Hope the move went well, Kim. Thanks for the comment!

    2. The move went well, thanks! You'll have to journey down here sometime and come visit.

  3. I loved it all. I was totally mesmerized by Dylan's performance. He was so convincing as Dean that, dare I say, it didn't even feel like Jensen was missing for half the episode. I can't even explain how I watched it and him so closely; I felt as though they were one(Dylan and Jensen). Maybe I was hallucinating. Ha.

    Thanks again Amy. By the way, how is your foot? You have a lot of walking ahead in Vegas. Hope it's all good by then.

    1. I was the same, and for me not to miss Jensen is something, huh? ;)
      Foot is getting there! I'll be walking by Vegas, but I think it'll be more of a limp!

    2. Since I'm not as Dean focussed I wasn't sure if it was just me who didn't miss Jensen in this episode. I mean, I've missed either or both Jensen and Jared when they haven't had much airtime in other episodes but this time around because Dylan did such a great job of BEING Dean I didn't miss Jensen's presence. That says a lot for the young actor and his portrayal.

  4. First of all, your reviews never fail to make me smile. Never ever ever! Keep it up! Just love reading them.

    And I loved loved loved this episode!! It was smart, beautiful and perfect from beginning to end. he really 20??? I knew he wasn't 14, but had him pegged for about 17 or so. ha! Crazy! I have to say, the kid puts EVERYTHING into this role. Clearly he appreciates the craft of acting and has a bright future ahead of him. He was, well...awesome. :)

    Second, Jared. His facial expressions alone through this episode were epically hilarious. It's been a while since we've had a truly funny episode, this one was intelligent and nailed every comedy moment.

    Appreciated the movement of the MOC storyline too. I never would have imagined it fitting so perfectly into a monster of the week type eppy.

    Final scene...more epicness! From the bro-ment, so the lighting (the sun on Dean's face) to the Taylor Swift song and the boys facial expressions during...epic epic epic. Damn this show! 10 years in, shows aren't supposed to make people all gooey inside, are they? Oh, but this one does and i love it!

    I think my favorite moment though would be the beautiful echo back to Sacrifice. This time Sam getting to be the strong one...we'll figure it out...we always do. Such a perfect moment for that line. I don't know about anyone else, I absolutely love Sam's role this season. His chance to be the protector and to keep his brother from giving believe in himself. All those time's Dean was able to do the same, now it's Sam's turn to be the savior. LOVE IT!

    Love this eppy. Love this review. Love Season 10!

    1. I'm with you on Sam. I love that he's getting this chance to be the strong one for his brother. I think his role this season, and Dean's leaning on him and trust in his belief in him, is going to go a long way to erasing some of those doubts and insecurities he spoke of in Sacrifice. The fact that he echoed back to Dean those words from Sacrifice felt full circle to me. Argh! I loved it! Season 10 is so good!!!! Thanks for the lovely comment!

  5. hello amy, awesome review as always...I'm most definitely a glass half full, there's always a silver lining type as well...i'm glad you saw the episode the same way I did. I too look to the brothers for my own personal inspiration and one of my favorite attributes regarding these boys is the " I get knocked down but I get up again" attitude they both have. Sam I think has it slightly more than dean, but I attribute that to sam's unwavering faith, most especially in his brother.

    i thought sam said all the right things. he had faith in dean where dean didn't have faith in himself. dean wanted to stay locked up in the bunker. sam got him to get to work. sam without thought had them splitting up..dean was scared to..but sam didn't think anything of it...totally had faith in dean, which enabled dean to go on his own. dean was getting the crap being beat out of him, so sam saved him....sam got hurt...which had dean, who was considering staying a kid, instead become himself again. he saved sam. they saved ea. other. more importantly, dean chose to fight for himself instead of taking the easy way out. because staying a kid wouldn't resolve his basic problem of fighting the monster within. sam told dean he wanted his brother, which was so reminiscent of fresh blood...and if there was a single doubt that dean had regarding sam, thinking that this was too much for sam...sam's words obliterated those doubts. tina was the cherry on the sundae by telling dean "we all deserve second chances". after sam's speech, for the first time in 12 eps...dean smiled...and not only that...but he said he was back....he's ready to fight for himself. so kudos to adam glass for giving dean his fighting spirit back....and using sam to do was perfect....

    Dylan did a spot on perfect dean Winchester and jared....well jared as always never ceases to amaze and never fails to delight this fan girl. I loved seeing the spark back in dean's eyes at the end....and nothing tickles my fancy like a bit of raunchy humor....we haven't had a good raunchy line since tccodw, when sam said..."it's gooey".

    you know just as a hindsight thought...I've seen comments where people have complained about sam getting knocked out again...personally I didn't think he got knocked out, more like he had the wind knocked out of him...but I was thinking...given how upset sam was when dean started considering staying a teen, sam knowing how much dean needed a save...and listening to sam tell dean he wanted him got me to wondering if sam was really as out of it as he made out to be...or if he purposely made dean believe he needed saving.....things that make you go hmmmmmm

    looking forward to next week's review.

    1. Oooo! That's an intriguing thought! I didn't think he got knocked out either, I also thought he was flattened but out cold! But I like your thinkyness!
      Thanks for commenting!

  6. I really loved this episode too! You hit all the great things about this episode. Oh, my heart!
    I also really enjoy reading your previews and reviews. We are so very much on the same page about the boys and the show. If we ever get the chance to meet, there will be many hugs and squees.