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Newsflash: Women Save Themselves on Supernatural! Thoughts on Alex Annie Alexis Ann.

April 25, 2014
Warner Bros/The CW

Warner Bros/The CW

Supernatural is a versatile Show. It’s one of the things I love most about it; it’s part of what makes watching the Show live every week kind of like riding a rollercoaster in the dark. You can’t see the track, so you have no idea which way it’s going to toss you next. It’s both jarring and exhilarating, but it’s rarely boring. And yes, I love rollercoasters.

This week’s episode came on the heels of Robbie Thompson’s Meta Fiction, a ride so fast and furious that I was left hanging on for dear life, out of breath and bouncing from one thought to the next in a head-spinning fashion. (Which I thoroughly enjoyed). Robert Berens’ “Alex Annie Alexis Ann” was completely different, like the slower part of the roller coaster ride that lets you catch your breath, only to suddenly twist and turn until you find yourself upside down with an entirely different perspective. I know some fans found the slower pace jarring, especially at this point in the season, where they have a lot more story to tell and (to stick with the metaphor) very little track left on which to tell it. I welcomed the change, though – especially that change in perspective.

Before I get into the main reasons I liked this episode, a few quick notes. First, thanks for the attention to continuity, Mr. Berens. I love when the Show remembers its own past, as it did with Jody’s backstory and a mention of Dean’s time as a vampire (and thus his ability to cure Alex). And even Sam’s “How’s the shoulder?” to Jody – those little things are so important, anchoring viewers within the narrative. It brings a feeling of security, like we’re all in this together. It allows me to trust Show and let it take me where it will. So, thanks for that! Even though this was a dark and angsty episode, I also appreciated the couple of instances of humor, and especially that they didn’t come with that horrible cheesy “hey now we’re gonna do something funny” music that SPN is so fond of hitting me over the head with. Loved the Walking Dead reference and Sam’s smile in response, and that little moment of dark humor with the woodchipper was priceless.

Dean: Need a hand? Oh, I guess not.

Sorry, but I laughed way too hard over that.

Also, a quick shout out to Serge Ladouceur for the gorgeous lighting. Whenever I get Winchesters with flashlights, I’m a happy fangirl. Nobody does those scenes better than Supernatural, and they feel wonderfully old school.

Nobody does lighting like Serge

Nobody does lighting like Serge

Also, a bit of new-school Show that I heartily approve of? Winchesters wearing thigh holsters. Yum.

Both 9.18 and 9.19 made me think, which is probably my primary requirement from SPN episodes (other than occasional shower scenes and Winchester hugs). “Alex Annie Alexis Ann” didn’t have as much Winchester screen time as I always wish for, but there were some telling moments in which Berens conveyed quite a bit with some blessedly subtle dialogue, which both Ackles and Padalecki have the acting skills to convey. The brothers’ disparate answers to Jody’s simple question about how they’ve been said a lot.

Dean: Peachy.

Sam: Touch and go.

Dean’s repressing, Sam is still trying to cope with all his conflicting feelings. And now he’s clearly added worrying about Dean on top of the other things he’s struggling with.

In addition, the entire episode commented on the brothers’ history and how they ended up in the painful place they’re stuck now. That’s a long-standing Supernatural tradition, using a MotW story as a mirror to what’s happening with the main characters, and it worked well here with two gifted actresses playing the guest roles.

Unlike last week’s return of Richard Speight Jr., which caught most of fandom by surprise, most of us were anticipating Kim Rhodes’ re-appearance. In fact, much of fandom held its collective breath throughout the hour, crossing fingers and toes and whatever other appendages we could find that the Show allowed Jody Mills to survive the episode. I’m pretty sure the collective sigh of relief could be heard around the world – I definitely heard it on my twitter timeline.

WB/The CW

WB/The CW

There’s a misconception out there that Supernatural fans “don’t like female characters”, but the outpouring of love for Kim and Jody challenges that stereotype. In recent seasons, the Show has figured out how to write female characters in a way that its fans can relate to and appreciate – and in a way that fits them organically into the Show. There have been plenty of female characters in the past who didn’t work for one reason or another. Bela (and Ruby initially) as network inserts to add ‘sex appeal’ and bring in that elusive 18-44 male demographic always felt inorganic and shoe-horned into the narrative. Long-term romantic interests that involve the Winchesters settling down are not generally popular either, since most fans don’t watch the Show for a story about domestic Winchesters. (I’m still not over the whole Amelia thing….) But other female characters have worked very well, and have become fan favorites. Jo wasn’t popular when the Show thought she should be there mainly to hook up with Dean, but she was later reintroduced as a hunter in her own right and embraced by fans along with Ellen – I have never needed more boxes of tissues as I did when Ellen and Jo sacrificed themselves so tragically. Mary Winchester, in all her incarnations, is loved by fans. Feisty psychic Pamela was also a popular female character – she appreciated the boys’ assets just like we do, but wasn’t looking to settle down with them. And of course there’s Charlie, one of the most popular characters on Supernatural. She’s clearly not written as a romantic interest for any of the boys, but more importantly, she’s a fully developed and nuanced character, with a backstory and a personality that makes her relatable and real. And she’s a geek, which means a lot of us can relate to her (and the actress who plays her) on multiple levels.

And there’s Jody Mills. She’s not a romantic interest for the Winchesters or Castiel either (except in fanfic…though I wouldn’t have minded her getting a little more quality time with Bobby…), and she’s also a fully fleshed out character with a compelling backstory. Kim Rhodes has the acting chops to make us all feel for her tragic history, as well as appreciate her guts and her refusal to let the crap she’s seen and experienced destroy her. Like Charlie, and Ellen and Jo, and Mary, and Pamela, she’s a woman we can both relate to and be inspired by. Berens wrote a wonderful script for Rhodes to sink her teeth into (vampire metaphor for a vampire episode, sorry) and she didn’t disappoint. I love Jody’s smarts – particularly how she’s the only one to question the name change and intuit its significance. She figures Mama out, and that helps Jody defeat her.

It’s a treat to have had a character like Jody appear in multiple episodes, which allows us both to feel an attachment to her and to care about her journey. Over the course of several seasons (and many years in canon), we’ve watched Sheriff Mills navigate the difficult process of recovering from a trauma – from shock and denial, to sublimating her feelings with work or religion or romance, to a tentative exploration of her own emotions. Anger, rage, sadness, grief – Jody seems ready to start feeling these now, and that’s a big step in her healing. It’s that step forward that allows her to begin to connect with other people again, a process she begins with Alex.

Jody: No, you were right about me. My judgment was clouded. You know working this case, it brought feelings back – feelings I’ve been trying to bury for years, you know, buried it under work, religion … even dating. We know how well that worked out. But, you know, it’s still there underneath, you know … the grief. I don’t know what that means for me, just that I’ve been fooling myself to think that I could ignore it.

At first watch, the mirror that Jody’s story held up to the Winchesters seemed to be all about the evolution of a hunter. Tragedy, loss, buried and sublimated grief – these are often the ingredients that push someone into “the life.” Jody even wears the traditional plaid shirt of the hunter, looking the part and acting it. She’s fearless, driven, determined. But she’s also unlike Sam and Dean. They have yet to take the step of recognizing, let alone expressing, their buried emotions. (Sam buried his grief by becoming absorbed with revenge when he lost Dean in Mystery Spot, and attempted to “fix” everything in sight after losing him to Purgatory – the dog he hit, the motel, even Amelia – as a way to avoid facing his grief. Dean just refuses to lose Sam again, no matter what, so he can literally avoid those feelings.) Thus, the Winchesters can’t reach out to connect emotionally with anyone, including each other.

Jody, on the other hand, is beginning to get back in touch with her emotions instead of repressing them. She’s protective of Alex, in whom she recognizes another child victim – perhaps, this time, one she can save. Her slaying of the ‘Mama’ vampire shows her to be every bit the capable hunter, but her warning to Alex to look away and not to watch shows that her empathy is front and center even as she’s killing. Contrast this to Dean’s sadistic, aggressive killing of one of the vampire brothers with a growled out demand, “Look at me, bitch!” The two scenes make a particularly powerful mirror, with the ‘look at me/look away’ dichotomy making it crystal clear. While Jody is accepting her emotions and realizing that she has to deal with them, Dean is furiously repressing his (with a little help from the Mark of Cain).

Alex is also a mirror for the Winchesters, especially for Sam. She too was raised in a family where she didn’t fit in, where she always felt different. She too struggled with the moral code of the family, the violence and constant moving around and lack of stability or safety. Like Sam, Alex loved her family – her parent, and her brothers – but eventually she wanted out. “It was time,” she said. She still wanted to protect them, but she wanted to live her own life, just as Sam did when he struck out on his own and went to Stanford.

Sam: Okay, you care about them, but, Alex … there’s a reason you decided to run away.

Alex: It was time … to move on and get out on my own.

The parallel is made clearer by the vampire brother complaining about what it’s like to have a whiny teenage younger sibling, something Dean could certainly remember. Alex, like Sam, is also burdened by guilt over the things she’s been forced to do and the people who have died as a result.

Alex: I couldn’t disappoint her again. I feel ashamed enough as it is.

Both Alex and Sam are strongly motivated by their need to not disappoint the people they feel they’ve let down in the past – Alex her mother, and Sam his brother. Sam’s acquiescence to staying alive in ‘Sacrifice’ was all about not disappointing Dean, his biggest confessed sin. All about his shame at his perceived failings and terrible choices in the past. Alex initially chooses to stay with her Mama because she’s disappointed her in the past by rebelling and running off, and can’t face doing that again, and because she’s ashamed of her own perceived failings.

Supernatural newcomer Katherine Ramdeen did an amazing job as Alex, portraying both her stubborn teenage withdrawal and her guilt-ridden ambivalence subtly and powerfully. She made me believe that Alex loved her Mama even as she was rebellious and fearful, and that added an unexpected emotional pull to Alex’s struggle with divided loyalty.

Katharine Ramdeen as Alex

Katharine Ramdeen as Alex

And behind the scenes with J2

And behind the scenes with J2

Alex’s story in this episode was all about choice, which is also one of the major themes of this entire season. Of course, as Dean gravely warns, there are consequences to leaving your family, no matter what the reason.

Dean: You didn’t think this out, did you? What would happen? Who might get hurt? Your brother for one….Because of a choice you made. These are the consequences.

For Dean, the consequences of Sam’s leaving – and Dean’s strong emotions around it – have never been explored or fully expressed. Those emotions and that sense of abandonment is still a powerful influence on Dean’s behavior, right up through the present. It’s an integral part of Dean’s decision to allow Gadreel to possess Sam, the cause of that spike driven between Dean and Sam that’s hurting them both. Dean no longer believes about Sam what the captive vampire said about his younger sibling: “When the chips are down, she’ll always choose us.”

This is what Dean desperately wants to believe about Sam – that when it comes right down to it, if forced to choose, that Sam will choose family. Will choose Dean. After their agonizing conversation in the bunker’s kitchen, Dean now believes that’s not true, and it’s killing him. He’s coping with his usual refusal to feel the pain, and with some self deprecating oh-that-doesn’t-bother-me-at-all comments. When Dean freed Sam from being duct taped to a chair and drained of all his blood and muttered “yeah, I know, you wouldn’t do the same for me,” I had to grab for the tissues, because OUCH. But Dean? He said it so matter of factly, my annoying little psychologist voice started yelling “defense mechanism much?” in my head. Oh Dean.

Dean frees Sam (cap midnight-road)

Dean frees Sam (cap midnight-road)

Dean, of course, is struggling with guilt of his own, about his decision to allow Gadreel to possess Sam, and the tragic consequences (the death of Kevin and Sam’s estrangement as a brother). I’ve seen quite a few reviews express skepticism about how the Mark of Cain story line will work if it’s all about turning Dean dark, because Dean Winchester has never really been all rainbows and puppies, let’s face it. He absorbed his father’s lessons about the family business and has always been more black and white about killing things than Sam. He doesn’t want to think too hard about the nuances, as evidenced by his killing Amy behind Sam’s back (which I still find hard to swallow). He’s been dark before, hardened by his father’s death, his stint as a torturer in Hell (obviously) and his kill-or-be-killed time in Purgatory. So it’s not like Dean is starting out all empathic and touchy feely. Is the Mark turning him even darker and more murderous? Will we even be able to tell?

Not like it’s a new thing, but how badass was it when Dean didn’t even move when the vampire viciously kicked him as he played unconscious? *fans self* And when he yanked the captured vampire brother’s head up by his long hair and growled “What I asked was, where are they?” his barely restrained aggression was…. striking. It certainly struck me anyway.

Dean has been killing with more relish recently, and less hesitation. There’s no question that he enjoyed killing the vampire who had been draining Sam – savored it, even. He prolonged the moment, delivered the command that would establish his dominance, waited for the eye contact that demonstrated submission, before he finally killed. That should have been horrifying, and it was. It was also very well acted — and ridiculously hot. Fandom reacted immediately, tweeting:

Dean making a pleasure kill – most of fandom faints

Dean beheaded someone, oops there goes my panties

Talk dirty to me, Dean

xxx 9.19 bitch

xxx 9.19 bitch2

Okay, where was I?

Sam had a more reasonable reaction (apparently missing the whole hotness thing). “Look at me, bitch?” he asks incredulously, saying that Dean enjoyed the kill a little too much. Dean defends himself by saying he’s allowed to take pleasure in killing the bad guys, but it’s clear to Sam (and to us) that Dean was getting off on the violence and the domination. If Tumblr gifs are correct, Dean’s eyes briefly flashed black during that scene, marking his descent into darkness. (Btw, the use of the word ‘bitch’ often rankles, but in this case, Dean uses it not as the ‘good guy being badass’, but as someone out of control and becoming addicted to violence, with the implication that it’s not an okay thing to say. So this episode managed not to use bitch as a misogynistic slur, and to pass the Bechdel Test – I sort of want to hug you for a really long time, Robert Berens!)

The criteria for a television show passing the Bechdel Test is that it features at least two women who talk to each other about something other than a man, and that the two women should be named. This episode passes with flying colors, as not two but three fully rendered female characters (Mama, Jody and Alex) interact with each other while the Winchesters are unconscious or duct taped to a chair.

Restrained Sam. Must be Tuesday.

Restrained Sam. Must be Tuesday. credit lipglosskaz

Berens takes his time letting the relationship between Jody and Alex unfold, so that by the time Alex decides to save her, we understand why. He also gave us enough meaningful dialogue from Mama that I felt some empathy for her, which made Alex’s choice even more poignant. I’ve always loved when Supernatural comments on the gray areas, especially when it comes to ‘monsters.’ The vampire family apparently liked snacking on the most unappealing and downright creepy humans, so it was difficult to see them as the embodiment of evil (though the brothers were a bit creepy themselves, and they did kill the nice Greyhound lady without hesitation, so…). But emphasizing the importance of family and brotherhood to the vampires, themes that are integral to Supernatural, made the whole story less black and white and more difficult to dismiss as cut and dried the way the Winchesters wanted to. Humanizing the mother vampire, allowing us to understand her possessive love for her daughter, was one of those twists and turns of the roller coaster that I didn’t see coming. As a mother, I got it; as a viewer, it mirrored Dean’s possessive love for Sam, and that made my stomach swoop with trepidation as we careened around the curve.

This episode left me thinking about the history of Supernatural and its female characters, which in my book is a very good thing. I initially expected that teenage Alex would eventually be saved by the Winchesters – but in fact, she saved herself (and Jody). And then Jody turned around and saved her. The two women didn’t need the Winchesters to save them – they saved themselves. As SPN fan Orlando Jones tweeted:

@TheOrlandoJones: Jody Mills is a BAMF. @kimrhodes4real is a BAMF. That is all. #Supernatural

Jody being badass

Jody being badass

Meanwhile, where have we left the Winchesters? I’m still intrigued by what’s happening with the Mark of Cain, and a little incredulous that we have only four episodes to find out. The lure of the Mark seems to be as much about Dean’s need to repress his feelings of guilt and loss as it is about killing Abaddon (who has been conspicuously absent from the narrative for way too long, btw). The mother vampire offers a similar reprieve to guilt-ridden Alex, assuring her that becoming a vampire will take away all the guilt and sadness. Of course, that offer comes with a price, just as we all know the Mark will.

Mama: Don’t you see? These things you’ve been feeling – all the guilt and suffering – those are human feelings. It ain’t too late. I can take the pain away, and then we can stay together, as a family. Like none of this ever happened. Wouldn’t you like that?

Right now, I think Dean would. He’s so burdened by guilt and shame and the conviction that he’s “poison”, that I don’t think he wants to feel anything. And he’s trying very hard not to. Both of the brothers have endured so much loss and tragedy, and have been mired in violence for so long, that it’s a wonder they can feel at all.

“Losing your entire family, everything you’ve ever known or loved. No one can understand that.” Jody says to Alex, understanding.

Alex: “You can.”

Another mirror for the Winchesters. Sam and Dean have also lost their entire family, except for each other. That is both their shared tragedy and the thing that often gets between them. When there is only one person left who ‘gets it’, that person becomes very important. And it’s that very importance that creates so much friction between them, with Dean willing to do anything to hang on, and Sam struggling under the weight of that importance. Again, Jody and Alex serve as a mirror for what love and acceptance can look like once you’ve worked through (and talked about!) your own genuine feelings.

Jody: Whatever you want from me, I’ll give it. I’m here.

I think, deep down, that’s actually how Dean feels about Sam and what he wants to give him, and what Sam wants from Dean. I also think that’s how Sam feels about Dean and wants to give him. But Jody is right when she says there are no short-cuts. You have to stop running from your own emotions and face up to them, even the painful ones.

I cling to the little moments of hope (as did most of Tumblr – thank you!) that tell me the brothers will never give up on each other. Again, Berens made those moments subtle, with not an anvil in sight. The brothers in the darkened vampire nest communicating with unspoken glances and hand signals, working seamlessly. The way Dean instantly dropped his weapon when the vampire had a shotgun pressed to Sam’s back. The way Sam leaned on Dean as they made their way down the stairs, trusting his brother to support him. Sam’s willingness to speak up and question Dean, and his constant worried glances in his brother’s direction. Dean calling Sam “Sammy” and Sam responding like the affectionate brotherly nickname is the most normal thing in the world. (The idea that names — what we call ourselves and each other — carry a lot of meaning, was another theme running through this episode, much to my delight).

I’m along for the ride, as I’ve often said, and I’ll stay buckled up for all the twists and turns I know are ahead of me – I’m stocking up on tissues though. Unlike all the emotions that Sam and Dean tend to bottle up, mine are front and center when it comes to this Show.

Four more episodes – what do you think is gonna happen? And what are your feelings about next week’s spinoff episode? I admit I’ll be a bit frustrated if it derails the story line that I’m so desperate to see played out. We need some build up to the season finale that includes the big bads that Sam and Dean and Cas are supposed to be fighting! Where are Abaddon, Gadreel and Metatron???

–Lynn
Read more of our Supernatural adventures in
“Fangasm: Supernatural Fangirls” and more cast
and crew thoughts on Supernatural in “Fan Phenomena:
Supernatural”. Order by clicking the links at the
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13 Comments leave one →
  1. Toni permalink
    April 25, 2014 6:33 pm

    What you wrote….Thanks! [Note: Too deep in empathy to be objective.]

  2. Percysowner permalink
    April 25, 2014 6:34 pm

    I love your description of Sam fixing everything when Dean disappeared. It really fits. Your analysis that Sam and Dean can’t communicate because they have not worked through their emotions is a great point. I really liked this review.

  3. Marlowe permalink
    April 25, 2014 6:46 pm

    I often wonder how people come to the conclusion that Supernatural never has strong female characters. Apart from very few, all the female characters with importance to our boys seemed to me very strong indeed. I don’t really know about any bechamel-tests and I suspect that since this show is about two guys who where raised by a single dad and a grumpy trucker it will very often have those guys as the theme in a conversation. So … that.

    Apart from my rant (sorry bout that): I loved the episode. I always love a MotW-episode, because they do subtly what character-developing episodes often do with a blunt instrument: they develop character and add nuance and smarts into the whole show.So no, I don’t mind terribly much that there was no Crowley, no Abbadon and no angel in sight (ah, I’ll stop lying: I’m very glad there was none of them in sight ;-) )

    And Jody is always a plus, as was Alex/Ann, though I didn’t really expect much from her. I hope she’ll make her way, and I hope she can lean on Jody – and vice-versa.

    I loved Jody for blatantly ignoring the Winchesters (ok, Dean) by stubbornly insisting to come along – and very certainly planning do put ALEX first, not the nest. I wibbled a bit about Dean losing the very last part of any lingering pieces of innocence… Ah, boy. You are starting to poison yourself :-(

  4. April 25, 2014 7:24 pm

    I really appreciate both Bob Berens and Stefan Pleszczynski’s work in this episode. This has to be one of the “tightest” episodes Supernatural has had in a long time. By “tight” I mean there were no discernible plot holes (although one little cheat). For example:
    - The distance between O’Neil and Sioux Falls fits the timeline of the show — no sudden time of day shifts. Each time we shifted locations (which could easily have lost us), we had a little establishing moment to put us in the right location.
    - Continuity Porn out the ying-yang. The shoulder injury, Dean having been cured, the Blood Slave reference (S7 There Will Be Blood), etc..
    - Jodi’s continued growth. The “cheat” was to substitute her husband and Son vice “Bobby and Crowley” in the THEN voice over. I was fine with it because I thought it was a better reference to drive her to religion.
    Excellent work as well by props and set decorating for nice touches in the cabin and abandoned house.

    I also want to give you a Standing Ovation for the most succinct summary of the boy’s issues that I have heard in a LONG time regarding Sam/fixing and Dean/burying.

    Excellent analysis all around. And now a question – what is it with us in the fandom who are finding Primal Dean to be hot? Are we just responding to some psychological coding that wants alpha males as protectors/mates? Should I feel bad about this?

    • Toni permalink
      April 25, 2014 8:51 pm

      Well, Dean (as Jensen Ackles *smile*) did just win the Alpha Male Madness contest run by E!Online. He (and Jensen) beat out 63 other so-called alphas easily, and the only alpha-related info anyone is going on is Dean’s on-screen persona (and what personal info we know that isn’t intruding too ruthlessly on Jensen’s private life)! So, I guess you can feel what you want about Primal Dean — it’s certainly wonderfully scary and disturbing!

    • Scarlett Nape permalink
      April 25, 2014 9:35 pm

      Awesome analysis – loved it.
      —————————————

      I wouldn’t take it personally. This was entertainment, and fear can be both entertaining and exciting. Plus there’s the whole “Bad Boy” aspect, that although fun/exciting can bite us in the butt IRL.

      Unless you happen to have a personality like Cheryl Tunt of “Archer”… There, I can’t help ya, other than volunteer to come over with lots of wine and fresh gauze when you figure it out on your own.

      And they were playing with a tried and true plot device. Did you ever watch the series “Angel” few years back? There was an episode where a silly actress slips a “happy pill” into his drink, not understanding what EVIL she was about to unleash.

      Pretty compelling to watch, hot even, but few of us would enjoy actually rolling over in the middle of the night and finding that leering down at us.

      The *really* compelling thing though, is when it’s Cap’n Heroic suddenly turning dark. That truly starts flipping switches inside us. Confusing, erotic, emotional switches.

      Then again, there’s the very simple but memorable bit from Lion King:

      Shenzi: Tell me about it. I just hear that name and I shudder.
      Banzai: Mufasa!
      Shenzi: Ooooh! Do it again!
      Banzai: Mufasa!
      Shenzi: Ooooh!
      Banzai: Mufasa, Mufasa, Mufasa!
      Shenzi: Ooooh!
      [breaks into laughter]
      Shenzi: And it tingles me!

  5. April 25, 2014 9:23 pm

    Made me think about a lot of things. I watched the episode when I was really tired so missed some of the subltry. I think I need to go back and watch again. As for Alpha male hotness, that I did not miss. But maybe it also has to do with the level of brokenness in Dean. It just makes him more attractive.

  6. Freya922 permalink
    April 26, 2014 1:59 am

    Loved this review, both your take on the compelling female characters that have graced “Supernatural,” and the fascinating parallels you pointed out about the struggles and grief of Jody, Alex, and the boys.

  7. April 26, 2014 2:27 am

    Nice review! Loved the writing, the directing, THE LOOK (hello, old-school lighting, courtesy of our darling Serge), the continuity (Amen!) I felt the quiet in strategic places, and JODY, wow. Kim Rhodes and Katherine Ramdeen had such great chemistry.

    I think the one thing that gave me a little pause in your review is when you described Dean’s defensive (and somewhat stinging) “oh-that-doesn’t-bother-me-at-all” comments as self-deprecating. He’s not making those comments to belittle himself; he’s lashing out before he can be hurt again. And I’m sure that’s a MoC effect. Dean is getting colder and colder. He’s frequently in the past said things to Sam that’s “set him back on his heels”, but now, it doesn’t feel like brotherly ribbing. It feels cruel and retributive. (But that’s just my take!)

    All that being said, I am kinda in the Darkside!Dean brigade! He looks just smashing when he’s all growly. :D But my zeal is starting to waver. I’m starting to imagine just what could happen if Dean decides Sam is no longer worth it. That Sam is weak and useless and gets what’s coming to him. I’m not sure Dean’s “primal” nature will look quite so appealing then. (Or maybe it will, depending upon your fandom proclivities!)

    Annnnywho, I just don’t know how they’re gonna fit so much into the next few episodes! Which probably means we will get less resolution than we’re craving,leaving us wailing at the TV screen for Season Ten already! *shakes wee fist*

  8. April 26, 2014 2:55 am

    Excellent review. I agree with everything you said. The only thing that bothered me was a technical issue more than a story issue. The excessive use of shaky cam was driving me nuts! It’s one thing to have shaky cam going on while Jody was chasing after the vamps in the woods. It’s a horse of a different color to have the camera moving so much during the conversation Sam and Dean had with Alex in the police station. It was so much shaking it was distracting and completely took me out of the story. Besides that, though, I thoroughly enjoyed this episode. Berens has proven himself to be one of the shows better writers, and I love how he seems to remember the show’s history. Kim Rhodes knocked it out of the park as usual. Love her. I was kind of disappointed that the Boys “conversation” at the end amounted to about 3 sentences.Can these guys PLEASE have an honest to goodness conversation?

  9. Kimmie permalink
    April 26, 2014 4:29 am

    As always I love this review. Always love seeing Kim Rhodes. My heart broke for Jody yet seeing her take charge was awesome. I was first upset when I heard Dean tell Sam ” yeah,I know you wouldn’t do the same for me” but then realized the second time around it wasn’t what I first heard. I agree with you that it was “matter of factly”. I don’t like where the MOC is doing to Dean. There’s so much more to say about it but I’m having a hard time putting into words. Thanks again ,,,

  10. April 27, 2014 4:52 am

    Am I the only who said “A lonely cabin in the middle of the woods..what could possibly go wrong??” Anyway, love your reviews. I look forward to them like an extension of the show. My week isn’t complete until I’ve had both!
    I was one of those who let the sigh of relief go when Jody made it to the end of the show still in one piece. I have always loved her character, so I guess that means it’s only a matter of time, right?
    MoC story line is great and I REALLY need to see more of it! I can’t imagine they can tell it all with only a handful of episodes left. Especially when one of those is the pilot episode for Bloodlines. I just don’t see how that can further the season’s story along too much. I don’t want to see the MoC story end with the season, or I think they will have cut a great idea short.
    That being said, I fear we are in for a season finale the likes of which we haven’t seen since season 5′s Swan Song. Hoarding the kleenex like it’s gold, because I think I’m going to need it!

  11. April 27, 2014 9:05 pm

    Loved your review, all the little moments of insight I can either congratulate myself for picking up on myself, or enjoy thinking about for the first time!
    I adore Kim. I adore Berens. I have been growing to love Katherine thanks to her interactions with the fans. So I was already stoked for this episode – and the fact that Jody didn’t die was the enormous shiny cherry on top!
    My favourite thing though, was exactly as your headline screams – women, strong women, acting for themselves, talking among themselves (take THAT Bechdel!). Don’t get me wrong, I love the brothers, of course I do and any week without Cas leaves a hole in my life (really), but wow it was amazing to have such amazing female characters, and interactions.
    Having said that, shift over and let me hop on the Hot for Primal!Dean bandwagon – holy sh….. That was all kinds of wrong!

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