Getting A Clue About Where We’re Going From Here: Supernatural ‘Ask Jeeves’
It was inevitably going to be a challenge to follow up the 200th episode, so I’m thinking that a standalone episode that was quirky and funny wasn’t a bad idea. I thoroughly enjoyed most of Ask Jeeves, written by Nicole Snyder and Eric Charmelo and directed by John McCarthy, aka Johnny Mac. Here’s what I liked about it:
One of the best parts about the episode was Jay Gruska’s old style score, which was a playful accompaniment to some of the more humorous scenes and fit the “old school” vibe of the episode. I laughed out loud as Dean encountered one weapon after another from the game Clue; Ackles’ WTF expression as he picks up the third one was priceless. And the outline of the murdered guest, with the head a few feet from the body? I laughed so hard I had to put down my pie for a few minutes. Kudos, Show.
And apparently I can’t see Sam hold up a key without flashing back to my favorite scene in The French Mistake, which I cannot watch without falling over laughing.
Last week’s slashy shout outs continued with a nod to Wincest in a Flowers in the Attic line (“like in the book?”) and yet another assumption that Sam and Dean are “together together”, though in this case they’re accused of being “homosexual murderers” like real-life lovers/murderers Leopold and Loeb. Only hotter. Well, duh.
A large part of the humor hinged on the two “older women” who were heartily appreciating the Winchesters’ assets. Believe me, I don’t blame them – like at all. And I admit to laughing as they fought to sit beside Sam, giving him an obvious once-over and then remarking, “Did you see how long his fingers are?”
Does that make half the fanfiction on the internet sort of canon now? Hmmm.
The fact that Jared’s sexy Texas drawl came through as he crooned “Come on in, darlin’, the water’s warm” is definitely gif-worthy. Tumblr?
“I bet you could do a lot in ten minutes,” one of the women says, clearly dismayed when she doesn’t get a chance to find out.
I also loved Dean’s fond amused expression as he watches Sam get hit on.
The scenes were funny – even S.E. Hinton tweeted with the hashtag #CougarsLovingSam. But they also made me twitch a little. Would it be hysterical if a man in his forties ogled an attractive woman in her thirties? Even a man in his fifties or sixties? That’s never played for laughs, and we don’t expect the woman to be slightly horrified that she’s being hit on by a man a decade or more her senior. One of the actresses (Gillian Vigman) isn’t much older than Ackles, which makes the double standard stand out like a sore thumb. Is there even an analogous word for “cougar” if it’s applied to a man? Hmm.
At any rate, suffice it to say that those women have good taste and there’s nothing wrong with their eyesight. And I’d be grateful to be able to wear a form-fitting dress like that no matter how old I happen to be at the time! You rocked it, ladies.
The best parts of an episode for me are always the commentary on the Show’s ongoing relationships between the main characters, and I loved the brief conversation between Sam and Dash.
Dash: I’ll let you in on a little family secret. We don’t really like each other. Then again, what family does?
Sam: Mine does. For the most part. It’s just me and my brother, so…
So indeed. There’s something very moving about Sam saying that he likes his brother. Sure, we know the Winchesters love each other, but like? That’s something different, and it hasn’t always been the case for the brothers. It made me warm all over to hear Sam say that, especially now that Sam and Dean are back on the road, spending virtually all their time together. It’s the same way it warms my heart to see how much Jared and Jensen actually like each other, even after spending the last ten years together on set and off – so much so that they’re neighbors in Austin now.
There was also (shockingly) alot of hotness in this week’s episode. Yes, I know, I say that in every episode review – but that’s because Ackles and Padalecki and Collins keep looking like, well, Ackles and Padalecki and Collins. We got Dean working on the Impala again, this time in the requisite plaid, but plenty tight enough to show off some mighty nice biceps.
We got Sam trying so hard to escape while being chased by Olivia that he ends up sweaty and out of breath, and holy hell, that’s a nice combination! Just keep hiding in that cupboard, Sam, sleek with sweat and breathing hard, and I’ll sit here and watch, okay?
Tumblr: Sweaty Sam is my porn
Me: Totally understandable
Then there’s Dean going all mark of Cain on Olivia to save Sam. The close-up of his face as he fires shot after shot, stubbled jaw set, eyes slitted and looking nearly black? I think I said GUH out loud.
Interestingly, the case takes place in New Canaan – Tumblr helpfully informs me that the land that Cain settled on was Canaan, and it wasn’t exactly a paragon of upstanding moral virtue. Interesting that Dean seems to succumb to the violent urges of the mark again in New Canaan. Sam’s reaction mirrored the reaction of most of us watching, as the realization that the mark is still very much there and influencing Dean becomes horrifyingly clear.
There was also commentary on Supernatural’s long-running examination of what it means to be a monster and whether or not it’s a choice. “You don’t have to do this,” Sam tells Olivia. “Being a monster is a choice.”
It is, unfortunately, one that she chooses anyway.
The last scene was a little bit of Boy Melodrama (BM). Sam confronts Dean about the mark, clearly worried. Yay! I was so frustrated for much of S9 when Sam didn’t seem at all concerned that his brother had the freaking mark of Cain on his arm! Dean, falling back into Dean denial mode, denies it – and turns up the music for good measure. It’s frustrating, sure, but it’s also very Dean. I think he’s pushing any awareness of the effect of the mark out of his mind for now, wanting to just get back to hunting. That seems like a normal reaction, though I don’t think he’ll be able to stay in denial for long. I’m excited to see that play out!
We got an Impala driving away scene again, though it seemed a bit CGI or something. What’s up with that, Show?
Jared tweeted some of the west coast feed and threw out some jabs at his co-star, though it wasn’t nearly as fun to witness as when they’re both online and going back and forth.
Jared: The “cute, dumb one”. Hahaha @JensenAckles!!! She’s talking about YOU!!!
Ryan Curtis: Dean is going to come back for his [Dash’s] ass. Hmm. Okay.
(And btw, didn’t Dean sound almost like demon!Dean in that scene? #Goosebumps)
Jerry Wanek tweeted some shots of the amazing sets for the episode. How lucky are we to have had Jerry and his crew for the entire ten years of the Show, to make it look as incredible as it does?
Many fans, me included, tweeted Jay Gruska to compliment him on the score, and he tweeted back.
Jay Gruska: [non-twitterized version] So grateful for your music comments tonight. Supernatural is a big team effort. Writers, actors, directors, producers, editors, crew. Glad to be on the team #SPN.
I think we’re all glad to be part of the “team”, and part of the SPN Family. Next week promises to be a very interesting episode. Are you ready?
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