Saturday, 24 October 2015

Review - Supernatural 11x03 "The Bad Seed" - Directed by Action Ackles!

-by sweetondean

Yes, we had another Action Ackles episode! And one that was chocked full of arc exposition! Seriously, Jensen must have needed a little lie down after this one! Maybe like this. Heh.


There was a lot going on in “The Bad Seed”, and I got the feeling it's job was to tick a few boxes as sorted, advance the mytharc, and start to set the stage for what’s to come. We sorted out the Cas thing, discovered what Rowena has been up to, talked about Metatron - suggesting his presence in this season is going to be important, brought up the secrets issue - hopefully opening the door to some honesty around the information each brother has and has been holding on to, and we found out quite a bit more about The Darkness, via a pretty creepy kid and her way creepy Uncle. Plus we had an extremely interesting meeting between an angel and a demon. Oh, and it was funny! I found I laughed a lot!

Actually that's something that I've noticed this season; there is a lot of humour back in the show. Not that Supernatural isn't always humorous, but the darkness (not THAT Darkness, the other kind), that has pervaded the story over the last couple of seasons, while Dean was under the influence of the Mark of Cain, put a dampener on that kind of, light around the edges feel that Supernatural so often has. Maybe it's because Dean is heading back into Dean territory (or as I saw him hilariously described - Dean!Dean), and that he feels so much lighter, that the show does too. 

Last week I was thrilled to see Dean grabbing a snack in the Impala as he drove back to meet Sam. There was something in that scene that screamed, HE'S BACK. “The Bad Seed” bought a lot of that home, with many aspects of pre Mark of Cain Dean showing, the humour, the banter with Sam, the concern for Cas, the sassiness with the witch, the ridiculous outfits (that Hawaiian shirt – he even made that look good), just little things that lightened Dean and in doing so, lightens the whole tone of the show. The same, of course, can be said for when Sam is under the weather, supernaturally speaking; that also puts a dark cloud over everything, and with both brothers pretty much free from such things (I say pretty much because we don't know what Sam’s visions mean or what The Darkness' hold on Dean means), the show really does feel like it's heading back to its roots. Even Sam said it in his out loud voice. The whole bumper sticker. It does feel like the bros are back to being bros, and that totally changes the air. It tastes sweeter.

Jazz hands
Rowena made a bolt for it at the end of last season and in this episode, we get to see what she's been up to. Trying to rally some troops! I saw this as two things. Ego and need. Rowena has always been pissed that she was expelled from the Grand Coven, and I think her desire to build a new Coven, one bigger and better than the Grand Coven, is both ego and power driven. She believes in herself, there's no doubt of that, and she's probably the only one really aware of how powerful she is, and I think her ego has been severely bruised by the attitude of the other witches towards her. She wants to be seen as the powerful witch she is, take her place at the top of the witch pile, a place she believes is rightly hers. If the Grand Coven won't have her, then she'll show them! She'll create a bigger, more powerful Coven, one that could, and probably would, destroy the Grand Coven. And she needs other witches to help her do this – even though she has the Book of the Damned and could probably destroy everyone with one spell!

The thing about Rowena is, that for all her power and apparent self-confidence, she comes across to me as a bit of a sad character. She needs approval. She craves it from her fellow witches and those at the top who dis her. She wants to be recognised and accepted. There seems to be a need in her for that acceptance. I feel like if the Grand Coven came and offered her a top job, she’d take it –and then probably destroy her way to the very top, sure, but the more I see of her, the more I feel like there’s an insecurity coming through. She wants someone to tell her they know and understand that she’s one of the most powerful witches in the world, and give the due respect she think she deserves. I feel like there’s a lot more to her than simply evil, I feel like she could, in fact, be an ally down the road, if there was something in it that served her purposes too, of course.

I’ve grown to like Rowena, when I originally was not in love with the character. She was pretty over the top and flouncy in “The Bad Seed”, but she never ceases to brighten a scene. Her “Your turn”, she gave to Dean, in that fabulous Scottish brogue of hers, was simply perfection. I loved every second of that scene…and I loved how Director Ackles shot himself! He sure knows his best angles!

Oh got distracted by the pretty...

Rowena’s ballsy and knows a bluff when she sees it and isn’t afraid to call anyone out. She sees right through the Winchester’s crapola. I like her. And now she’s in the wind, still with the book, even if she doesn’t have the codex. I wonder where the brothers’ story with her is going to go.

Cas is fixed. Huzzah! Now what? I loved that the attack dog spell worked differently on Castiel than it would on a human. That his angel wiring made it dig in deeper and it took longer to totally overtake him than it did when we saw the blonde lass get whammied. But is it truly gone and over? We’re trusting Rowena here. I wonder if there will be any lingering effects, or if that’s it, Cas is now good to go. I wonder what his mission is going to be. Metatron? Yeah, that’s what I’m betting, seeing as the Nebbishy scribe of God was mentioned. Or maybe something to do with Heaven – because obviously it’s not going so great upstairs since Hannah got killed.

Awkward first date

How wonderful was the angel demon get together? An angel and a demon walked into a bar…there’s got to be a joke in there! I loved this scene, and it totally got my pondery juices pondering! So the angels and the demons are dissatisfied with how things are being run. Sounds like Heaven has fallen into disarray again, after the loss of Hannah, and that the demons are kind of done with Crowley’s interests always being elsewhere instead of focused on the running of Hell. It was a great way to give us a quick snapshot as to what’s happening on the other planes Supernatural deals with. With both Heaven and Hell denizens feeling dissatisfied with how things are being run, could it open the door for a new administration for both? Maybe the residence upstairs and downstairs will be open to another entity offering an alternative world order, to bring order back into both their worlds. It was a truly fascinating little scene, which could have far reaching repercussions. Maybe. It was also kind of hilarious. It looked like a seriously awkward first date! I loved these two. I’d love to see more of these interactions between angels and demons. I mean there’s not that much separating them except ideology. They’re both a great big bag of dicks.

Speaking of dicks… Crowley’s in trouble. That much is for sure. The Amara and Crowley scenes creeped me out, both because of the creepy little girl quotient, but also the creepy uncle quotient. Geesh. Crowley is creepy when he’s pretending to give a damn! And he’s greatly under estimated The Darkness, thinking that she’d be interested in being on his side and working with him – kind of like he did with Demon Dean. I think it’s sinking in that this entity has her own agenda and is a lot more powerful than he originally thought. Crowley’s great undoing is that, though he is a super powerful demon, he has the nasty habit of thinking like a human. He seems to approach situations as a human would. I don’t think this is anything to do with the lingering cure, more that this is who he is. Regardless of his evil nature, even from the get go there was a semblance of humanity to Crowley. I don’t mean goodness, more of just a human kind of way about him and the decisions he makes. The Darkness has none of that. She seems to be void of emotion – at least in her child form. Maybe that’s why she craves souls, because she has nothing inside her other than instinct. And that instinct seems to be veering towards the conquering of God’s worlds. She believes that she’s more powerful than God. Though as God was able to trick her and lock her up, that could be questioned. I’m hoping we find out how God tricked her and why. Was it because he knew she comprised of just evil? If she truly is evil? That I guess is yet to be seen, as we don’t know her. We don’t know what her “purpose” is “Even if we can’t undo what is already done”. Of course, everyone’s bells have been ringing and with a name like The Darkness, we’ve got to assume she's alllll bad. But hey, we’ve only got God’s word on that one! The Darkness developed like a myth; a story shared around angel and demon campfires. Maybe there’s another truth?

Mirror. mirror on the wall, who is the evilist of all

The Darkness’ inability to understand why God would create a world so harsh, where his children suffer, is interesting. It’s fascinating to me that Amara and Lucifer’s view on God’s creation is similar. They both see us, and the world we’ve helped to form from God’s vision, as flawed. Amara and her ponderings on humanity, done in such a cold and matter of fact way, reminded me of Lucifer similarly questioning what his Father created. Lucifer was tossed out of Heaven for disagreeing with his Dad, maybe The Darkness was locked away for a similar reason, not just because she’s an omnipotent, all encompassing evil, but because she had a differing world view to the Big Guy! Food for thought. It also makes you wonder if God's plan for the Apocolypse is still in play, but with a different protagonist. No matter what, we'll always end up here. *welp*  Whatever happens, Crowley’s in deep shit, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it was he who reached out to the Winchesters rather than the other way around.

Having the brothers back, side by side, in the bunker, researching, doing Winchestery things, does my heart good. Personally I love the quieter scenes in this show, where we see the brothers doing the grunt work around the work. As much as I love all the butt kicking they do, the researching and talking are always high points for me. I love an action sequence, but give me a broment any day. Like Sam telling Dean to keep the ice on his broken face, and Dean’s sassy, “Thanks mom, you should just keep the beers coming”, and how that made Sam smile to himself. Yes. These are the moments I live for. 

Like I said earlier on, having Dean!Dean back along with Sam!Sam for a change, feels like a long ago shifted balance has been restored. A window has been opened and there’s a lovely light bromantic breeze  starting to blow through. They’re working in unison. They don’t have differing objectives. They feel like a team. Let's hope it sticks.

And maybe, just maybe, Rowena pushing the deal point home, from the back seat of the Impala, might open the way for the boys to both share what they’ve been holding back. “Sam knows my point. Key word, secrets”.

You know, I’m not going to rag on Dean for saying this to Sam when he hasn’t told Sam the full extent of what The Darkness said to him. Just like I’m not going to rag on Sam for not sharing his freaky visions with Dean. These to me are not secrets, at least not yet. Neither brother knows what either of their experiences mean, and they’re both trying to process the information. We saw Dean trying to process his encounter with The Darkness in the opening bunker scene. And I’m cool with that. I sure as hell don’t share everything in my life with everyone the minute it happens – including my family. Hell, especially my family! Sometimes you need to sit on stuff and work it out before you share. There’s nothing wrong with that. And that’s what I think both boys have done up to this point with the weirdness that has happened to them both since The Darkness was released. Try to work through what they heard, or saw before alarming their brother. Because we know that both brothers are going to be alarmed! What I think Dean was talking about here is that he knows that Sam got Rowena onboard with the Book of the Damned to cure him, he knows about all that stuff, but Sam omitted the bit about Crowley. For the reason he stated, or for reasons of his brother’s rather interesting continued relationship with Crowley, he decided not to tell Dean that part of the deal. That’s where I thought Dean was coming from. I do hope though, that this gets both the brothers brewing, and that they do open up about how confused they are about what’s happened since the crazy fart rolled into town. Sam needs know that The Darkness has said she’s bonded to Dean, even if Dean’s not sure what this means (though I get why Dean would rather not tell Sam), just as Dean needs to know that Sam is having weird Hell visions, even if Sam’s not sure what these mean (though I get why Sam would rather not tell Dean). These guys are in a better place then they’ve been for a long, long time. I’m cutting them some slack. And actually, I’m tired of being all judgy on their asses. There’s no bad guy here. Just confused guys. Just Winchesters.

And we end the episode with Team Free Will intact, if a little bruised (cool makeup work). Oh Dean…how you always feel like you need to pay penance. But if it helps him to feel better and lessens his guilt, if it makes him feel that him and Cas are now at a beat down even, so be it. Dean Winchester works in mysterious ways. I wish he’d left Cas fix his pretty face though…but I get why he didn’t. 

Jensen did another great job at directing, what must have been a difficult episode given all the cast and locations involved. I particularly liked the passout scene with Cas and how that was shot, returning to Sam from Cas' groggy point of view and the whole Dean confronting Rowena scene was a delight on the eye. There were a couple of little family nods in this episode too, like Cafe Elta - Elta being Jensen's wife Danneel's first name by birth (she's Elta Danneel Graul/Harris/Ackles), and the use of the Louden Swain song "Big One" in the angel/demon bar scene. #SPNFamily all the way!

So where to now? “The Bad Seed” set up a hell of a lot of stuff and gave us all a lot to digest! Next week, it’s BABY! Yes finally the brocentric “Baby” episode! And though it looks like a monster of the week ep, seen from the perspective of the boys’ home away from home, I’m sure there will be at least a little bit of mythology…pretty positive about that for reasons, and or course, there’ll be a deep and meaningful, so who knows what these two marvels of nature will divulge.

Until next week! Thanks for reading! Let me know your thoughts in the comments.



  1. Great review as always.I loved the episode...the lightness and humor...the boys...Rowena etc. Misha's acting made me wince at times tho....and I am not an angel hater etc..just felt did an awesome

  2. Great review.

    I liked this episode. I agree with your take on it as well. I like Rowena. I love her chemistry with the boys. I've liked her from the start....even when she was written in that over the top kind of way, I knew there was more to her...she's dark and quite powerful. I think I agree that there is a deeper level to her as well. I can see where Crowley and his mother are alike. It seems to me that Rowena always needed/desired to be accepted, most especially by the coven. Seems like the coven treated her as she treated her own son. Ironic....neither Rowena or Crowley could get from ea. other what they so desired and they both seek it from elsewhere...and for both no luck. Maybe if they could've found a way to meet ea. other's needs, they would've become a most formidable duo.

    I do love Rowena's antagonistic relationship with the boys...oddly enough, she shows more emotion for the them than her own son. I think the boys do the same thing for both Crowley & Rowena....I think it's why neither have killed the boys.

    I actually agree with you in regards to sam and dean and the secrets...I said the same thing....I thought Rowena bringing up the whole deal regarding sam killing Crowley was meant to nudge the boys into taking that first step toward change. Sam was right when he said the boys needed to change. Change doesn't only include the second half of the bumper sticker either....sam noted they had to change or the same crap would keep repeating itself....that includes keeping secrets, even if they're doing it to protect the other. Change doesn't always come that quickly...especially given that these boys have been raised a certain way and they've been ingrained to keep secrets since childhood. That's a hard habit to break. I have no doubt that they will open up and share....I think Rowena's comment was to make them take that first step...

    what worries me though isn't the fact that sam kept it a secret....what worries me is that why does dean care if sam kills Crowley? it shouldn't come as a surprise....sam's been trying to kill Crowley since they first met. Crowley killed sarah..Crowley led dean to cain...if anyone deserves to be killed, it's Crowley and if anyone deserves to do's sam...

    so why did it bother dean that sam didn't mention the deal with Rowena to kill Crowley? what's the big deal? he knew everything but that one part...should sam be worried about dean? should we be? I mean dean has Crowley in his phone contacts....not even cas does...should that not be cause for concern?

    I think amara is bad news...amara apparently was the one who influenced Lucifer in the first place.....I don't think anyone who wants to become God or become the new God is good for humanity in any way, shape or form. Isn't that what metatron tried to do...Zachariah...Lucifer...she's got to go...

    contrary to the plot this year...the darkness..i do love that the Winchesters symbolize the light...even in the overall feel/mood of the season...welcome back boys.

    1. Hey Anna I think Dean has a complicated relationship with Crowley, but I didn't see this as Dean being upset at Crowley being dead so much, as he was upset that Sam didn't share that detail, that he kept it a secret - that is what I think upset him the most in that moment - the secret factor. But I also think they both know that sometimes Crowley can be of assistance - it's the whole Devil you know thing. They have a relationship with the King of Hell, albeit a peculiar one, and doing away with that, on a deal, without any discussion or consideration for what the outcome might be - as in who takes over, who would keep Hell under control - is probably not the best move. At least they know what they've got with Crowley. Pretty much. And really, Hell these days is the least of their problmes. That's how I read Dean on this. Certainly not something that should be a concern. I think if push shoved and Sam said Crowley's got to go, Dean would tow that line.

  3. I also caught the reference to Danneel's first name as the cafe and thought that was rather special. Sure would be great to get her on the show for real at some point. Her and Jensen work together so well for more than obvious ways. That last scene of Team Free Will was almost painful looking at Dean's face but like you, I understand why he didn't want Cas to heal him. They were almost sitting in the exact same place that Dean gave Cas his beat down back in the Styne days so it was pay back in Dean's eyes. I love how Sam handles Rowena. They have this very interesting relationship and he just doesn't take any of her crap even though she usually does have the upper hand. I am just over the moon happy with the way the season is going so far and just love every bit of it. Cannot wait until next week's "Baby" episode either.

  4. What you said....yup, all of it. Me likey s11 very much yup yup, nom nom...happy Kat. ....

  5. I like how the story is going forward all the time and TFW is together again and that is how I like it. Bring on next week!

    - Lilah

  6. I enjoyed this episode. Banter in the bunker, little Rowena being pulled down the street by huge Sam. A scene in the Impala. I didn't get the vibe that Dean was angry in any way. I think what he said about "secrets" was very calm and matter of fact. I didn't see him as upset at Sam, just calmly making a point. Glad Cas is okay again. Didnt like seeing him hurt people. Thanks for a positive review!