Sunday, 22 November 2015

Review - Supernatural Episode 11x07 "Plush" - Count on us.

-by sweetondean

Creepy. Creeeeeeeepy. C.R.E.E.P.Y! YIKES! Don’t cha just love it when Supernatural reminds you that it’s a horror show!

“Plush” was an honest to goodness, old school ghost hunt, complete with creeptastic masks and a nice amount of gore…and being Supernatural, an underlying message about the damage lack of trust and crippling fear can do. It was no coincidence the camera lingered a little on Dean during the sister’s speech…and not just for the pretty…though the pretty was OFF THE CHARTS. Really Sam and Dean, do you have to get better looking with EACH episode? Oh, you do? Okay then. I’ll try and cope! The sacrifices I make! 

We had a murderous bunny, a killer school mascot and a clown pulled straight from Sam Winchester’s nightmares. I love that Sam is scared of clowns. Love it. Clowns are indeed horrific, but it’s more that this tough assed hunter, who has taken down Lucifer and all manner of freakishly terrifying things, is frightened of…clowns. It’s kind of adorable! Jared did such a great job at looking completely wigged out when that clown came into the lift! And even though this was the first traditional monster of the week episode of the season, it was still bookended with scenes that tied through to the season mythology, and was laced with a message that reflects where the brothers are at with their individual trails and tribulations, something that has haunted their relationship in the past; those old chestnuts, trust and fear. 

You know, I think I sigh a little every time we have a scene that reflects how the bunker has become a true home to Sam and Dean. I’m so glad they have this space, which is relatively safe from outside influences and where they can relax, or bone up on lore, or watch Speed 2, or whatever.

I loved opening after the teaser on Sam praying…though close the door sweetie if you don’t want your brother to see! I do love that Sam has this faith and that this faith has been a constant for him since we found out he prayed in season 2’s “Houses of the Holy. I do love that Sam has held on to his faith through everything that he’s been put through, and is reaching out, trying to make sense of the messages he’s receiving. But I can’t say I’m sold on the whole this is God speaking thing just yet. Not yet.

I’m guess I’m sceptical like Dean. In fact, I’m of the Dean Winchester, screw destiny right in the face, school. I don’t look at the long list of amazing achievements that the Winchesters have accomplished and see God’s hand in every little bit of them, guiding them, or assisting them. I see the Winchester’s hands in all these things, and I feel like attributing God to having been there in all things, looking out for them somehow diminishes their whopping achievements. 

Dean is pissed at God. He feels that God turned His back on humanity when He let the inmates from upstairs, run the damn asylum. He doesn’t think God gives a damn anymore, and unless God makes His presence truly known somehow, I can’t see how that opinion will change. The fact that God has not shown Himself when the Apocalypse raged, or those pesky Leviathan ran riot, or any of the angel crap that the Winchesters have been knee deep in for seasons now… well, I think Dean feels well and truly let down.

He told the priest in the confessional in “Paint it Black, “I believe there is a God. But I'm not sure He believes in us.” That smacked of such disappointment. And I think that’s what a lot of Dean’s hostility towards God is rooted in. Where as Sam still has faith, Dean is just plain disappointed. Ever since Joshua told them that God didn’t think the Apocalypse was His problem, Dean has felt disappointed and more importantly, abandoned by The Man Upstairs. 

I do think Dean would like to believe God cares. He’s angry, and that anger demonstrates one thing for sure, Dean cares that apparently God doesn’t. So I don’t think he’d turn his back on God if it became clear God was helping the brothers. I think that’s an important distinction and important to note. 

So maybe if we find out that these messages are from God that will change Dean’s perspective. But having the story definitively tell us that the visions are from God, bringing God into the story in such a visible way, would be a massive play on behalf of the show. They’ve always steered away from clearly showing God’s involvement, cleverly putting Him on a permanent vacay, so they don’t have to write The Big Guy. Hinting at His involvement, allowing characters to speculate, but never confirming it outright. If they do go down the God road, it’ll be a ballsy move for sure! Until then, I sit on the fence. I don’t know who or what these visions are coming from, God or someone representing God, or someone less benevolent… I’m still stuck on the “I never could fool you, could I?” line from Not!John I really don’t think those words were coming from God or a God representative. I wish Sam would ponder those words a bit… One thing I do know though; Dean’s “Don’t count of God, count on us.” is right on the money. That’s where the Winchesters’ strength always lies. With each other.

This week’s story revolved around a vengeful spirit, who was wrongly accused of the worst of crimes, and then (accidentally) killed by his friends because of that. The spirit attached itself to creepy assed masks, which the ghost had used when he was kid’s performer…which gave us a bunch of fabulous visuals, bad wabbit jokes, and Sheriff Donna!

Donna is a delight. Right from the get go, when we first met her sharing messy donuts with Dean, she’s been an absolute delight. Her colloquial language and brightness is a breath of fresh air…even if she was tough on New!Doug. New!Doug…that was pretty funny. Donna’s kickass, can take care of herself and is now a fully-fledged hunter! 

What I like about Donna is that she can be all these things, but is still allowed to have insecurities and be honest and open about them without appearing weak. We know that she’s had a bad relationship, and like most people, has been scared by that. We know she worries about her weight. I think she’s a female character that a lot of us can relate to, because despite being rocking at her job, she still has a tendency to not rate herself. But that’s not written in a way that makes her seem powerless, but written in away that makes her human. She can be a sheriff and a woman, with everything that comes with both of those things. I love her and love that she’s written in such a way that I feel like I could be her. Briana does a wonderful job with Donna…and DONNA LIVES! So we get to enjoy her again down the track! And she’s a hugger…like Jodi. WHO CAN BLAME THEM.

As I said earlier, this being Supernatural, the creepy monster of the week episode, was a metaphor for what is currently going on between the brothers. Their relationship and their issues being reflected back at them is how the Winchesters often learn. They live in this little bubble…mostly just with each other, and if they need to talk something through, they’ve pretty much just got their brother to turn to…and you don’t always want to discuss everything with your brother! So having these moments, where we get to see the Winchesters hear their story, or their problems represented through the case of the week, is important for them and us.

The moral here was, the sister of the ghost Chester, was too scared to ask her brother if what was being said about him, was true. She should have trusted her brother, but also trusted herself to be able to deal with whatever the answer was. But instead she was crippled by fear of the truth and that fear and lack of all around trust, led to her brother’s accidental death at the hands of his accusers.

Dean is terrified of what’s going on between him and the Darkness. He doesn’t understand it and he’s too scared to talk about it, because not only does that make it real, but he probably thinks it will make Sam look at him differently…like a diseased killer puppy.

But I think there’s so much more than just fear going on here. The Darkness was brought about because Dean needed to be cured of the Mark of Cain, and yet here we are, Darkness on Earth, Dean Mark of Cain free…and yet it’s still ruling his world. Dean feels shame over the whole Mark of Cain, becoming a demon and hanging with Crowley thing. He’s said he wishes he could go back and make a different choice when it came to Cain. He’s said he’s embarrassed that the demon thing happened to him. He lost control and he lost himself when he had the Mark of Cain. Now here he is, after everything that Sam went through to cure him, after everything Dean went through, he still might not be able to control who he is or what he does.

Dean is frightened of what this bond means, of his inability to assert himself in the presence of the Darkness. That she can exert this kind of control over him. Is he going to go dark again? Is he going to end up helping her against his will? Will he ever be free from the effects of the Mark? Can you just imagine everything that’s swirling in his mind and his gut right now? Fear, guilt, self-doubt, shame. I want to hug him.

Of course…here’s where the crippled by fear, need to trust in your brother thing comes in. Dean’s too scared to face the truth of what this bond might mean, he no longer trusts himself to be himself around the Darkness…and he isn’t trusting in Sam enough to be open with him. Dean is a typical Dean mess. 

The Winchesters are two different men, totally different. It’s what makes them so damn compelling and what makes their relationship so damn compelling. Even though they’re each other’s most important person, they’re both epically good at keeping secrets from each other. But Sam has always been more prone to wearing his feelings on his sleeve. For the most part, he speaks about his fears and dreams and feelings. He’s more open to expressing these things and tends to externalise what’s eating him up. Where as Dean keeps everything inside, his fears, his hurt, his doubt, his guilt, his insecurities; he locks it all in until it (usually) comes out in an explosion of rage or sometimes tears…or a single tear *sigh*. These habits are hard to break, regardless of “we’re stronger together” or “count on us”. You don’t change who you are or how you were raised overnight.  No matter how much we want that change to happen... I long ago stopped judging Sam and Dean.

Dean is as paralysed by his fear of what this bond with the Darkness means. That is the art of what she’s done to him, she’s got into his head as much as anything else. But like so many before her, she’s underestimated Dean and more importantly, Sam and Dean. Don't you dare think, Darkness, that there is anything, past or present, that Dean would put in front of Sam! Dean pulled himself out of her grasp once because of Sam…and that’s going to happen again, and then it’ll all come out…my bet is in 2 episodes time.

Oh my gosh, my stomach is all churny now! It’s such an epic season.

And then we had the final scene in the car. After what was a super creepy, gory, kind of fun, in that horribly dark Supernatural way, episode, we get that big THE CAGE clanger, when Sam shares with Dean what he thinks his visions are showing him. Close your ears/eyes if you don’t like language, but I came off my high so quick and landed with such a thud that I actually said out loud to absolutely no one “WELL FUCK YOU VERY MUCH, SHOW!” I was suddenly feeling sick to my stomach at where this is all going. Don’t get me wrong, I’m so onboard with the whole cage thing, I’m so onboard with the whole Lucifer and Michael thing…especially Lucifer… but like Dean, it’s a big HELL NO from me to Sam going back to the pit! No Sammy. Just nope.

Dean…channelling me: “Sam, no. No, okay? I don't know if these visions are coming from God or PBS or what. But we been down that road. Anything having to do with that cage is-it's suicide, you of all people know that. So no. Just... not gonna happen.”

It’s so going to happen though isn’t it…my bet is in 2 episodes time. Lucifer is coming. Eeeeeee! LIKE SERIOUSLY… EEEEEEEEEEEEE! Maybe he wants to hang out with his aunty. They could both talk about how mad they are with God… 

Oh my gosh I have a feeling this mid-season finale is going to be a HUM DINGER! I feel sick and excited all in one. How very Supernatural.

“Plush” fit so well into this season’s family business vibe. It was funny and icky and nightmarish and had enough foreboding to freak me out entirely. And if someone doesn’t cosplay as that bloodied bunny at an upcoming con, I’ll be so disappointed! Get on that one for me, fandom…preferably at Vegas, so I can get a photo with the killer wabbit!

Oh my gosh I love this show!



  1. great review...and I really liked this eppy a lot.

    I just wanted to say one thing though regarding God... I know not many see it this way...

    I don't think any assistance from God diminishes what Sam and Dean have accomplished...and it's funny you say that....because I've always thought that it's not that God doesn't care about humanity.....I've always believed, from the moment when Joshua told Dean that God doesn't think it's his problem....that was because it wasn't a problem. God gave the world sam and dean....and with that God knew that these boys would save the world.

    I don't think God physically showed up because he didn't have to .....the world was in very good hands already....and at the moment when Dean was getting pummeled by Samifer....the sun ( which I always believed to be God's handiwork)...shone just at the right time, in the right spot.....and in that moment, seeing that army man in the ashtray....Sam recollecting his life with his brother, manifested the strength to overcome luci and take control again.....

    I kind of saw that as God not stepping in, leaving it up to the boys as he knew they would succeed, but just giving them enough help they needed to ensure that they did...

    I guess I always look at it as God not needing to step in, because Sam and Dean are doing just fine....and in those moments where the boys are really in danger....where they need that in that church....or in bringing cas back...he gives them the help they need...

    1. Thanks!

      I don't think that's how Dean sees it though. And that's what I was talking about in regards to his disappointment.

      As to whether you believe God is there for Sam or Dean or not, comes down to what you believe yourself I think. We all bring our own beliefs and belief systems to this show.

      I beliveve in Sam and Dean.

    2. I'm not a believer, but I love the way you (Anna) see GOD. Indeed I have (somehow) the same feeling. But otherwise I got so angry, so upset, frantic, when especially DEAN prayed to GOD for help, and didn't get any sign , any answer ... One way or another, if we will see GOD or not: once is for sure, I LOVE supernatural the way it is.

      Thanks for another great review @sweetondean

    3. The way I see God on Show is based on SPN and what I believe show has told us and shown us. When I speculate about God on the show, it's just that. SPN's version God and what I believe God is doesn't stem from actual personal views, it's a separate belief/opinion.

      I do watch show as a whole. I don't really see it as episodic, and given that I simply base my opinions/theories on the SPN version of God based on what I've seen and heard, it's easy for me to believe what I do.

      God has been present on show since s1 as has been Sam and Dean's outlook regarding him. God is first brought up in Faith. When Dean was dying, Sam brought him to a faith healer, which irked Dean. "I can't believe you brought me to a guy who heals people in a tent". Sam believed this guy was the real deal. He questioned with what they see how can Dean not believe in the good. Sam told Dean that maybe he needed to have a little faith. When Layla asked Dean why he was there if he didn't believe, he noted his brother believed enough for the both of them. So all the way back to season 1 God is ever present and we have two brother's with different opinions of with faith, and one without. But Layla told Dean at the end of the episode, when he spoke of how disappointed she must be....She told him "if you're gonna have faith, you can't just have it when the miracles happen, you have to have it when they don't". I always thought that statement to Dean was kind of a message....that Layla in a way was speaking for God.

      Faith and God was brought up again in S2 HOTH. Sam believed in angels (and though he didn't know it at the time, they did exist) He believed that an angel was doing God's work...of course Dean didn't believe and once again became very frustrated at the very notion that Sam prayed...don't get me wrong...I get where Dean's anger towards God stems from...he admitted it...Mom used to pray..she said angels were watching over us...he said angels weren't watching over he recalls his mother burning on the it's made pretty clear why dean doesn't have faith or believe....but then again, at the end...when sam confessed as to why he needed to believe in the greater good...a higher power....dean admitted, after witnessing how the would be rapist died, that perhaps it was in fact...God's will. That is when Dean started to actually believe in his existence...or at least that he had a hand in the way things went down.

    4. In ITGPSW, again...God is brought up...When Sam met Cas and Uriel, he began to question who he was praying to. Dean, in an unusual turn of events, actually tried talking Sam into keeping his faith...that Babe Ruth might be a dick, but baseball's still a beautiful game....I always believed that though dean lacked faith, he kind of relied on his brother having it. In DSOTM....the boys not only go to heaven but they get to meet Joshua who has a message from God. Now while that message seemed all doom and gloomy, as I said, I saw it differently...I saw it more as God telling the boys it's not his problem because he doesn't see it as a problem...because God in fact gave humanity Sam and it was commanded they be born according to cupid in MBV. At the end of SS Chuck/God notes that the boys were in fact being tested and they passed...they put family first...isn't that what it's all about?........God noting that the boys always put family first....something that is hinted God may or may not have done himself.....which is why I've come to the belief that Sam and Dean are possibly God's way of redeeming himself?

      We also learn in DSOTM that God did help the boys. He put them on the plane. He brought Cas back. He gave them a place in heaven. Joshua in essence is admitting that while God won't hand wave it all away, he has in fact helped the very two he commanded to be born...the very two he admitted to have been tested....and the very two who passed...

    5. In Fan Fiction....we see Chuck/God? again. Two words....but those two words, for me solidified my belief that God is out there...Putting aside some of t clear....Sam he ridiculousness of Marie's version of supernatural...the musical....the message wasand Dean

      It's always seemed to me that SPN God has helped most when the boys weren't together. I still think that given that Crowley and his demons and the monsters apparently had no idea where Purgatory was.....the "they" that told benny about the human portal existing, a way he can use that to his advantage...and then eventually leading benny right to it.....has me believing that the 'they' was in fact a higher power....thus inevitably providing Dean with a bodyguard in purgatory. Granted, though we didn't see it, given what sam told Amelia about imploding and running...given sam's hjnt about suicide in heartache and given his state of mind in the flashbacks and his entire reason for being with Amelia to begin with, as stated not only by her father, but based on Amelia's backstory....all that information leads me to believe that divine intervention had a hand in putting that dog in front of Sam's car. The dog led to Amelia which gave an emotionally/mentally and physically broken sam the much need time to heal. Sam needed time...Dean had protection.....but still and given the way I see the story unfolding...each event ties into where we are now.....and as horrible as it was....I still feel, based on show, that Dean needed to become a monster/dark and defeat it to be able to defeat it now.

      Fan Fiction.....up to this very point...with Sam believing he's possibly getting visions from God in some way, shape or where my belief that God is in fact there.....stems from. It comes from Show itself. My view of Show's version of God is just that.

      In Marie's version of the play...the boys proclaiming..."you and me against the world".....and Sam then turning to dean...."what she said"....When marie runs up the stairs to meet the publisher....chuck...he has two words....NOT BAD. Again, if Chuck is God or some visage of him, as I kind of believe him to be....then the way I see it, God isn't that far off....and Sam and Dean ...the boys against the world.....their story, their belief, their love for humanity, and their love and unbreakable bond for ea. exactly what God was seeking and found....when he ensured they be born....

      I absolutely believe in Sam and Dean Winchester...without a doubt...all I'm getting at that it's my feeling that the same goes for SPN God as well....he too believes in the Winchesters....I think those little tidbits about God helping those who help themselves....that the boys need to count on's a way of getting the boys to understand that as they've always done before, as it's always been is up to them to stop the darkness...I just don't think it's necessarily because God's not out there and doesn't help them....based on God and how he has been represented on show, I just feel that God once again needs the boys to believe in themselves and their bond....because that's what's always saved them and the world in the first place.... I still don't think God is far off and I still think that SPN God does in fact help when they really truly need it...

      again...this is all based on my belief in the show's version of God....which is a separate thing from anything I said, I view show as the big picture...and for me all the storylines seem to lead to where they are now.

      So while I don't believe we'll actually see God until the end of the series if we see him at all....I think when that moment comes' he'll give the boys a big thank you and an I knew you could/would do it the entire time...just spec on my part of course. lol

    6. when I was trying to copy and paste, some stuff got omitted and rearranged and since there's no way to go back and edit, I wanted to fix it actually said, putting aside some of the ridiculous in Marie's version of supernatural the musical...and despite all the subtext....there was in fact a message that was made perfectly clear. The paragraph that begins with "it always seemed to me accidently got placed before the rest of the fan fiction paragraph....I apologize for that...I was in a hurry and I didn't reread as I should have before I posted.

  2. Not-John told Sam that it would be up to "you boys" to defeat the Darkness. Whoever it was talking to Sam is telling him that only the Winchesters can defeat whatever is coming. Which we will find out in 2 episodes just what that is going to mean. Yipe!

    1. Yep! I think the clues in that conversation may be bountiful! I'm so looking forward to and dreading the mid season finale!

  3. Great review again Amy and like you my stomach is in a blender about mid season finale.

    - Lilah

  4. Late to the party as usual I loved "Plush". Your review perfect. Also I really enjoyed Anna's thoughts on God in SPN. I do believe I'm in agreement with her.