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!