Sunday, 8 November 2015

Review - Supernatural Episode 11x05 "Thin Lizzie"

-by sweetondean

What I’m enjoying a hell of a lot about this season of Supernatural is that we’re never far away from the season arc. Even when we think we’re simply going to get an awesome celebration of the broment and Dean’s Baby, BOOM, throw in a freaky vision and a monster preparing a personal army, complete with the discovery that everything creepy is kinda shitting itself about the whole The Darkness thing!

Give us an old school hunt, with a locked room ghost attack, rockin’ with EMF and BOOM, The Darkness hits the scene; the haunt goes out the window and the episode takes us in a totally different direction. That’s pretty damn cool! “Thin Lizzie” was pretty damn cool, and a whole lot of fun! 

You know, I have this friend, who isn’t a fan (I know. What? Right?!) I drive to work with her every day; we’ve known each other for ages…like a really long time. We worked together many moons ago, but have only recently reconnected because she’s freelancing where I work now. And she lives not far from me. And when my ankle was busted at the beginning of the year, she drove me to work, and we’ve been carpooling ever since! Anyway, she’s spent the best part of this year listening to me talk about the show, learning all about the cast, getting excited with me about conventions. She now knows about fanfic, and fanart, and shipping, and pretty much everything about the Js. (She thinks the Js are adorable. She’s become a Sam/Jared girl, but thinks Jensen is crazy handsome, especially when he sings, and totally gets the Dean thing…she thinks he’s “cute”!) When season 11 started up, she said, “I’m going to watch it!” She’d watched about 3 episodes of season 1 on Netflix, and had caught the 200th episode – which I had to explain to her…a lot. But she’d thought it was fun and she wanted to see why I was so in to this show. 

So season 11 started, and before the premiere, I gave her a quick rundown on the season 10 finale and where things were at, the boys’ relationship, and their relationship with Death, the Mark of Cain, the whole Rowena/Crowley thing, the Cas attack dog thing and then let her be. So far she’s watched all 4 episodes (5 goes to air Monday in Aussie), even coming around to my place to watch “Baby” because she was so excited for it. And she likes the show, a lot; she can’t believe how smart the show is. She says it’s incredibly clever, that the writing is super sharp. She thinks the story is smart in how the show looks at the world and turns what we know or believe on its head. She thought “Baby” was brilliant, the way it was shot, and the whole idea of it. It’s been amazing listening to her feedback on the show as a non-fan, and hearing how surprising this show is through new, non-fan eyes. Now she totally gets why I dig it; because it’s well written, beautifully made, smart and funny story telling. With so much negativity around the fandom these days about the show, the story and the writing, to have someone come in clean and go “The show is so well written and so smart, it’s great”, is fantastic! And I should add she’s heavily into highbrow drama and documentaries, after working many years at our national multi-cultural broadcaster! Supernatural is so not her thing, but she enjoys it so much that she’s watching it weekly! Anyway, I thought I’d share that because I thought you’d enjoy hearing it!

It’s for all the reasons that my non-fan friend likes Supernatural, that I totally dug “Thin Lizzie”, especially the beginning – the point where I still thought, “Oooo an old fashioned haunting!” It was well-written, sassy, smart story telling, and a whole lot of fun.

Everything felt so familiar – but in the best possible way. The bribing the guy at the desk; the hideous, chintzy, doily filled room; the accidental solo bed routine and Sam’s putting dibs on it, “what are you four?” Dean’s horror at the bottled “toilet water”; Sam’s continued spraying to test the “squeezy thing." the squeezy thing… Then, the creeping around with the EMF monitor, boys going OLD SCHOOL, only to discover the whole Borden house hoax. Smart!Sam shutting down the EMF generator, Smart!Dean taking apart a room to find all the tricks buried in the walls. My only disappointment was that I wanted to go with them for the beer and lobster roll and watch them Sherlock the thing! I guess I’m still in “Baby” mode…wanting to eaves drop on all their conversations! And I can’t even with how much I adore Sam’s serial killer “fetish” and how much it wigs Dean out. “Thin Lizzie” was gory and creepy and suspenseful and funny all in one. How very Show!

What started as a salt and burn quickly became all about The Darkness, when Dean accidentally discovered that hapless superfan Len, was soulless and some tween called Amara was responsible. Dean’s face when he found the (really rather good) sketch of the Mark of Cain was pretty much my face! I didn’t see that coming (though from the THEN, I suspected Amara may be involved.) I loved that Dean put the soulless thing together off Len’s description of how he was feeling, because it matched Dean’s experience with Sam. “Fake it ‘til you make it” was exactly the advise Dean gave Soulless!Sam in “Clap Your Hands If You Believe”. And I loved that he went straight out and rang Sam, who was equally blown away! All the brothers’ conversations in this episode were right on point.

The bond to Amara thing is getting interesting…not because we’re seeing it rearing up, but because we’re not. Amara says Dean and her are bonded and will always protect each other, but due to lack of proximity, we haven’t really seen that start to manifest. Last time Dean saw Amara she was a wee baby, and yes, he did try to protect her from Crowley, but there were many more layers to that, one being not wanting Crowley to get his hands on The Darkness…the other being, she was a baby! But now Dean knows that Amara is rapidly growing and eating souls, it’ll be interesting to see how he is around her. He obviously can’t sense her when she’s about, it doesn’t appear to be that kind of bond, and he obviously wants to kill her, or at least when he’s not directly in her presence he does.

I find myself wondering if Amara may have overestimated her bond with Dean and underestimated his bond with saving people and hunting things, and most likely, his brother. Nothing past or present trumps that bond. I’m fairly certain we’re going to be going down this path (especially looking at upcoming episode titles). And Dean’s going to come face to face with Amara pretty damn soon, and I’m looking forward to seeing how that plays out. How he feels around her. If that peaceful, easy feeling thing is still going on. Oh wait. That’s The Eagles not The Darkness. Heh. Will Dean try to kill Amara and find he can’t? Will Sam be out cold on the floor while Dean deals with Amara so Sam still won’t know the specifics of their relationship? Probably.

I also like how Amara seems to affect people in different ways. Amara freaked Len out; he wanted to get away from her. She made Sydney (great name!), the killer teen feel blissful and free. She seems to affect you based on who you are and what you’ve gone through. Len was a good guy, happy in his weirdness, so Amara scared him. Sydney was haunted by the horrors of her past, so Amara released her from those memories and those feelings.

And that ties through to how the soullessness is being represented. I love that everyone is affected differently. Not everyone turns into and stone cold killer. Len just didn’t feel like himself, he didn’t care for the things he once loved, but he remembered what doing the right thing was, so still did it…but just for that reason, because he knew it was what he should be doing...acting the part. Sydney was freed to take revenge on those that had made her life, or the life of those that she cared about, hellish, so she became a conscienceless killer. Everyone is affected differently because they’re different people with different life experiences – and I would guess, different souls. I love that! Oh and, note to sell…don’t call Amara and angel, like ever! I think she has issues! 

Poor Len though. Great character and I totally enjoyed Jared “Little Jared” Gerner’s performance. And I loved how in the end, when he felt that something was bubbling up inside him, he made sure he was put out of harms way. And that Dean wouldn’t kill him. Didn’t want to. I loved that Dean said that, “No, I can’t…I don’t want to do that.” Len’s lucky he met Dean now and not last season…or the season before… And I think it’s more than just about sticking to Sam’s “New rules”. Dean is very much Dean again. And though he always thinks of himself as a killer, we’ve seen many more occasions where he’s chosen not to be. 

Finishing the episode with a broment on the Impala, while the boys eat burgers, and Sherlock the bigger picture case, is always going to be winner for me. The dynamic between the boys this season is wonderful. Such a balance. It was a hard fought journey to get here, but I’m loving where and what “here” is. And I’m going to just enjoy it and roll around in it a bit…because I figure my heart will be ripped out at some point later down the track.

Oh one more thing on Amara…I’m in love that her dress is the same colour as Dean’s murder shirt…the one he primarily wore when he was going full blow Mark of Cain. That tie through is soooo nice. Well done, Show. (Side note: Len's hoody was also that colour, and Sydney's t-shirt when Sam first met her was a variation on that colour.)

This episode was the first written by new writing team member, Nancy Won, who had worked with The Carver on “Being Human”. Nancy did a great job at capturing the essence of Supernatural. The horror, the humour and the humanity. Her script was funny and poignant, and like I said earlier, her Sam and Dean interactions were right on point. I look forward to seeing what she does next.

Now for the shallow part of our programming! What exactly is going on with Dean Winchester? Is he getting younger? And I’m sorry, but his hair is challenging Sam’s for epicness this season. 

And speaking of Sam, he’s all glowy! Has he got a sun bed tucked away in the Bunker…because gosh he’s a lovely colour. And Dean was looking nice and pale…which is how I prefer him! 

Yup, the Winchesters are knocking it out of the park in the looks department this season! Even more so than usual! Which is hard to believe is possible! Seriously, it’s becoming a challenge to get through an episode in 2 hours with all the rewinding I’m doing! *swoon*

“Thin Lizzie” was a lot of fun. Another all round fab episode in an all round fab season. I can’t wait until next week…I’m literally wishing my life away for Supernatural!



  1. My sister came to visit me during a SPN marathon on TNT. It was S7 and Plucky's was the first ep we watched together. She sat and watched 3 more. That night we watched AVSNC. When she went home she took all my DVD's from S1-S8. She was an instant fan. She isn't involved in any online fandom so she enjoys every episode as a continuing story about the journey of the Winchester's. I envy her sometimes. I love all the friends I have made. I love reading all the reviews (specially the positive ones) and I really love that we still get episodes like Thin Lizzy and seasons like S11. There are times, however that I wish I didn't know anything about the fan wars and craziness that gets so much attention on tumblr, facebook and twitter. That I could go back to before I knew anything about all of that and just love the show in innocence. Your reviews always take me back to those innocent days.

    Thank you, I loved this episode, I am really loving S11.

  2. regarding that whole bond thing....i'm beginning to wonder if it's a bit one sided, as Lucifer's was to Sam. if there is a connection, I think it might have to do more with dean taking the mark from cain, which eventually led to her freedom. It's possible that she feels close to him because maybe the mark holds onto residual feeling that the bearer she senses from dean what he possibly used to feel, and what the moc fed off of. she bears the mark he did, so I wonder if she would feel connected to the bearer and thus if it were cain, her connection would be towards him had he released her. That kind of thing. I think for the most part she's trying to get into his head...much like Lucifer tried with sam and even Michael had tried with dean...

    I kind of have a different theory swimming in my head..... i mean something hit sam and knocked him out and kidnaps dean from the car....the next thing you know we hear amara telling dean they're bonded and she'll see him again...surrounded by darkness and we all assume she protected dean from the darkness, but what if that's not what happened?

    what if amara/who is the darkness was about to do something to dean...maybe suck out his soul, or whatever, but something stopped her....what if the darkness surrounding them was someone/something protecting dean....and what we saw is amara trying to get in dean's know i didn't get you now my pretty but i will get you and i are bonded dean, we will meet again

    i suddenly got the wicked witch speech running through my head....remember when the witch poisoned the poppy field then glinda made it snow....the witch replied...someone is always helping that girl....and dorothy wakes up in a field of flowers....kind of like dean did

    kind of makes you wonder right?....see thinky thoughts....I guess I should have put this in my article LOL

    love the review by the way. they really are very pretty this year....I think the boys going back to old school agrees with them. they're positively glowing.

    I mentioned this else where ...but I think dean's seemingly off behavior has more to do with the fact that he's scared. Amara tells him they're bonded and it's freaking him out. He hasn't mentioned it to Sam yet, so he's bearing this fear alone at the moment...(when will they learn that it will be less scary when shared) dean learns she's sucking out souls and what that eventually will lead to. We've seen dean behave "off" before....when he has a secret and doesn't share it with starts to eat away at him and it manifests in his behavior....i'm sure we'll be noticing it more and more...I think even sam will begin to notice it soon. I think the whole fake it to you make it speech to len was more along the lines of him pretending everything is alright with he's faking it....but really he's just a wreck inside....

    I do think the whole soul think is to epitomize how dangerous amara/darkness is. even if one is like len and they don't immediately turn into psychopaths...len noted that he can feel it will come....much like it did in the first two eps for all those people. whatever world she wants to create, humanity will lose out in the end if she succeeds. I think this eppy just pointed out what we kind of already know....the darkness needs to be stopped...and this quiet....well isn't it always calmest before the storm?

    1. I'm not sure what you mean by Dean being off? He doesn't seem off to me - in fact, he's seems the opposite. I'll grant you, there is a level of discomfort at the end of the episode in discussing Amara, but I didn't read that as anything else other than, as you say, fear and uncertainty, because he doesn't know what the bond thing really means, and it's worrying him. And saying it was quiet, was exactly what Amara said about him, peaceful - so he wasn't lying about that - he just brushed it off quickly.

      Dean was not telling Len to fake it til you make it, Len actually said that to Dean. I think Dean was offering support, trying to throw the guy a life line. His saying, if there is anything of you left inside, maybe you will be okay wasn't denial, it was Dean being empathetic with Len. Dean is empathetic and can be incredibly gentle and kind. Which what I think he's doing here. I don't think he wasn't pretending everything is alright, he was trying to offer support of any kind about something he's been through and understands well, to a guy freaking out. I just didn't see any hidden meaning for Dean. I don't think Dean thinks he's not human or missing something inside anymore, I don't think he needs to convince himself that he's got a conscience anymore, he's been down the rabbit hole Len's facing. He gets it. And I don't think Dean understanding there is darkness inside him is anything new. That darkness was something he's been aware of long before the Darkness arrived on the scene...and he's aware that in some ways, it helps him do his job.

      He even says to Sam, that Tsunami will hit as soon enough, so until then we deal with what we can deal with. I don't see that as faking or denial. That's kind of facing the facts. And sure, he's not telling Sam about the bond, but that's not faking either, thar's withholding.

      Sam may pick up eventually that maybe Dean knows more than he's saying about Amara, but right now, I don't even think Dean knows what he knows or what that means.

      I just don't see anything in him as a pretending everything is alright attitude right now, and we've seen that many times, and I don't see him as acting off. Never even entered my head!

  3. I actually don't think he' s off at all. Others have been saying this for days now and I watched it twice and I still don't see dean as being off in any way. Once people kept saying it over and over and I I missing it? cuz i'm still not seeing what they're seeing....I was just kind of throwing out there why he might be off if it in fact turns out to be the case.

    Amy, I've watched twice now and to be honest, I'm with you. I found dean to be quite normal. The word "off" never even entered my head until I started reading all these reviews and people talking about Dean being "off". I was like really? The second time I watched, still didn't see Dean behaving any way except normal. I've been cheating a bit...cutting and pasting so I don't have to keep writing the same thing over and over in different i'm forgetting where I'm pasting. LOL...I just noted for those that thought Dean to be "off" a plausible reason why. It's not actually what i'm feeling, but if I did agree Dean was acting different, than this of course is my reasoning for it. Does that make sense? I'm really not trying to back pedal. I really had two separate notions for two different sites...

    I must admit though, I do sense a worry in him....I can see that....especially with ea. discovery he makes regarding Amara and what she's up to....given what she said to him. I do think he's harboring a certain fear? worry? I know he doesn't know what his visions mean or what she meant, but I think it's in the corner of his brain just scratching....and I do think in time that this knowledge will manifest in his behavior and sam will probably notice. (Jensen said as much at one of the most recent cons)

  4. I agree...I don't think dean has such a low opinion of himself anymore....I think that's what becoming a demon in the first place was all about....(I did go on I believe in my thinky thoughts about what I believe happened to Dean and Sam happened for a reason...I still think Sam and dean were born because they were meant to fight the's still my belief that once Lucifer transferred the MOC to cain, God knew the Darkness would be released one day...and Sam and Dean being born had to be because they were the ones to stop it. I also believe that everything horrible that happened to the boys, happened for a reason....and I do believe that they have been tested time and again, and they have always passed. I know it's much, but until show proves otherwise, I'm sticking with it. Dean turning into a demon may have been horrible, but it was necessary....I believe whole heartedly that he need to fall in order to rise....he became what he hated when he was in purgatory...he saw himself as poison. He took on the moc without regard to himself as much as others....he became a demon....and when faced with killing his brother....he chose his humanity....Dean has beaten his darkness...I think it was necessary in order to beat THE no, I don't think Dean is filled with self loathing anymore...I think he's finally proven to himself what Sam has been telling him forever now....that he is a good person. he will never be evil.

    when I noted that dean might be faking it, I mainly meant that I do think it's possible, especially now that he learned what amara is doing ....that he will make like he's fine when he really is anxious inside. you are right...len said fake it til you make it. and I do agree that dean was empathizing....he's said the same words to sam....he knows what len is going through...the boys lived it....but I do think when len said that, dean will take that notion into consideration....fake it til you make it....believe everything is fine til it actually this case I think, especially upon learning the truth about amara, that what she said will in fact begin to eat at him....and he'll make like nothing's wrong.... I do think that as time goes by he will start to act "off". ( i'm pretty sure I heard Jensen say something at one of the more recent cons about that).

    so while I didn't find dean acting out of sorts in this eppy. and there is no doubt that dean can be empathetic, sympathetic, and kind...I do think, following his encounter with Len, and discovering what amara is doing.....I do think from this point that in the coming eps we will in fact see his worry manifest in his behavior....not necessarily the next eppy...but in the eps to that respect I think he'll take what len said and apply it to himself......fake it....make like you're not starting to get a bit scared by what amara said.....until you make it.....or until you actually believe it....thing is, dean knows better and I don't think that tactic will work for long.....

    so basically I think we are in agreement....LOL

  5. I am also enjoying this season so much and your reviews too. Like Cheryl said, you have a way to lift up the mood with them and they are fun to read.

    - Lilah

  6. As usual, loved your review! Thank you for sharing your ever present enthusiasm for all things SPN with us.

    I too was thrilled to see Nancy Won hit it out of the park. I remember when Robbie Thompson said that he went back and watched the early seasons so he could get an authentic "feel" for Sam & Dean. It wouldn't surprise me if Nancy had done the same because she was spot-on in her treatment. Welcome Nancy! We are SO HAPPY to have you join the SPN team of writers.

    Speaking of the boys hair (and yes! both are totally glorious!) I think this is directly tied in to Jeremy Carver wanting to return to a "Season 1" feel this season. Notice that Sam's hair is shorter than it has been in many years and Dean's has returned to being longer, as it was in the beginning of the series. THANK GOD! I couldn't stand when they shaved Jensen's hair so short that you could see his scalp in the back and on the sides. I think that is why so many people are commenting on how "young" Jensen looks this season. The severely short military style does not show off Jensen to his best advantage - - and why, why, WHY would you want to waste so much gorgeousness?

    One last comment: It is so heartwarming to have Jared back in fine form. It is so obvious during every Season 11 episode as well as when he is appearing at conventions, that Jared is once more balanced and happy. I am SO thankful for that!

    Oh and thanks for pointing out the red color tie in with Dean's Season 10 shirts and Amara. I hadn't noticed that and love when someone deepens my appreciation of the details the SPN crew includes. I think you are SO FORTUNATE to have a friend you can share SPN with. I have to rely on the internet for all of my sharing and think it would be so much more exciting to do in person!

    Best to you.