‘The Thing’ – Iconic Supernatural!

 

Two great episodes in a row, Season 13! We’re on a roll! I loved this week’s Supernatural episode for all the reasons that I love the Show itself. There is nothing more iconic Supernatural than one brother losing – and then saving — the other, and that’s exactly what happened in ‘The Thing’. There’s also nothing more iconic for this Show than the Winchesters being brothers, and we got that too – the balance between the humor and the emotional was exactly what I most love about this Show. Thank you, Davy Perez, for writing such an entertaining and satisfying episode.

The episode was chock full of protective Winchesters, which is my favorite flavor. Sometimes they were protecting a monster-god who was going to turn around and try to eat them, but that’s in keeping with the mistaken identity theme that Season 13 has had going from the start. (I’m still not 100% sure about Cas). This time it was Sandy Porter – well, the young woman who used to be Sandy Porter and is now the god Yokoth (Magda Apanowicz). I have to hand it to Yokoth, she played an alarmingly realistic version of woman-who’s-mysteriously-awakened-after-100-years. I suppose she was just biding her time until she figured out who to eat and who to breed with (Dean Winchester because of course it is) but she did a great job of it, looking all mystified and damsel-in-distressy. Sam and Dean, good guys that they are, totally fall for it.

After the opening scene in which Sandy is sacrificed to the tentacle monster by the creepy chanting robe-wearing people (shout out to the VFX wizards who made a tentacle monster genuinely SCARY), Sam and Dean are in the bunker trying to find that elusive last ingredient so they can open a rift of their own and get Mom and Jack back. Sam, ever the diligent researcher, has fallen asleep on the table. So Dean, ever the considerate big brother, proceeds to affix derogatory post it notes all over his back.

Ackles is so good at the subtle facial expressions as Dean tries hard not to wake Sam up, shaking his head no no no when Sam stirs and then resuming his little game when he falls back to sleep. When Sam does wake up, Dean not so casually pretends he was doing absolutely nothing – Sam is clearly suspicious, because he knows his brother, but can’t find anything amiss. It hearkened back to Season 1, when the brothers were constantly playful with each other, and I loved that little interlude.

The fact that Dean is playing this little game only for the benefit of the two of them somehow made it even more endearing. The reminder that no matter what else they’ve been through, Sam and Dean are still and always brothers, was so very welcomed.

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Five Things To Love about Supernatural ‘Breakdown’ (Okay, maybe 6…)

 

I have to teach on Thursday nights this semester, which means I can’t watch Supernatural live. This makes me very cranky, which should surprise no one. But this week, I think it might have been a blessing in disguise. I came home and jumped on twitter to ask the SPNFamily whether I needed tissues at the ready to watch this episode. What came back was a barrage of suggestions, and not just for tissues:

Tissues and a security blanket….Tissues and a teddy bear… Tissues and a stiff drink….Tissues and a heart rate monitor…

Wait, a what? It was clear this episode was not going to be easy to watch. But because I’m a long time Supernatural fan, all that did was ramp up my excitement! Sure, I gathered my tissues and blankie and a glass of wine, hoping my heart would hold out without the monitor, but I was jumping with anticipation more than dread. It’s been 13 seasons of Supernatural scaring me and disturbing me and breaking my heart and I’m still watching, after all. (It makes those rare times we get affection and triumph and saving the day all the sweeter).

Breakdown did not disappoint. So instead of a recap, here’s what I loved about this episode. In no particular order other than I’m saving the one I really want to go on and on about until last. Read more

Supernatural Gets Back to The Family Business with Tombstone

I’ve been a happy Supernatural fangirl so far in Season 13, and episode 13.06 was also a win in my book. I’m not over the moon like I was last week, but it was a solid episode with great performances once again – both dramatic and funny as hell — and some great directing by Nina Lopez-Corrado, one of my favorite SPN directors. Also a special shout out to Jay Gruska for the awesome music throughout the episode, both instrumental and song choice. This was one of those episodes that had a specific “feel” to it, with the writing (by Davy Perez), directing, music and set decoration all contributing to make it wonderful.

Supernatural has done a Western episode before, so this one didn’t carry the first time thrill of OMG we get to see Sam and Dean in the old west, but it’s been a while so I was eager to see Dean Winchester put on boots and a cowboy hat once again. And this episode marked a change in tone for the season that was significant– having Castiel back is that ‘one win’ that Dean so badly needed in order to rekindle some spark of hope so he can care again. He told Sam at the end of the last episode that he just needed a win, and he got a big one. Castiel is back, against all odds. That’s wonderful in itself, but maybe that means other things can change for the better as well. Dean has hope again, and a renewed belief that maybe what they do really CAN make a difference – just by knowing that good things can still happen. Miracles, even. I think we’ve all missed Dean’s personality this season, since his usual sense of humor and ability to take great delight in even the smallest things has been quashed by his depression, grief and hopelessness. In this episode, we start to see the Dean Winchester we know and love come back to life, and it feels almost as good as when I see that start to happen with a real person, whether a client or a friend. I’ve missed this side of you, Dean Winchester!

The episode starts with a flashlight-lit chase in a graveyard with Dean and some sheriff guy we don’t recognize, until he disappears down a hole grabbed by who knows what. Then it’s “48 Hours Earlier” and we’re back to where we left off, as Sam and Dean react to the surprise return of Cas.

Sam: I don’t know what to say…

Dean: I do. Welcome home, pal.

You can see how desperate Dean is for that win – he barely hesitates, he needs to believe this is really Cas from the get go. The relief on his face as he embraces his friend is palpable.

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Behind the Scenes of Supernatural with Director Richard Speight Jr.

I had the pleasure of chatting with one of my favorite people at the Nashville Supernatural convention last month – Supernatural actor and director Richard Speight, Jr. I’ve known Richard since his very first Creation con appearance almost a decade ago, and I always enjoy his thoughtful insights about the show. Nashville is a particularly fun place for Richard to be, since it’s also his hometown. In fact, he was busy planning a tour for a small group of lucky fans for the next day when we met up at the green room backstage. Turns out there were a bunch of very tired people catching a few minutes of much-needed sleep in the green room, so we resourcefully pulled some chairs off a stack in the hallway and made our own little interview area (the backstage area of the hotel is literally a series of hallways that thread through the kitchen and storage areas and then spill out into the main hall, which is fairly typical for convention hotels. Not exactly scenic, but you take what you can get!)

Richard: Sorry.

Lynn: Not my first rodeo. Look how versatile I am (balancing an audio recorder precariously on a ledge and an iPad on my backpack)

Richard: (cocks an eyebrow) Yeah, you’ve got a lot of machinery there…

Lynn: So how are you?

(The audio recorder tumbles off the ledge, followed by the iPad falling off the backpack)

Lynn: You know, I thought I was being so smart and resourceful…

Richard: (Goes to get another chair)

Lynn: Thanks.

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Jerry Trimble Brings Ramiel to Life on Supernatural

I was fascinated by Ramiel on the recent Supernatural episode ‘Stuck In The Middle With You’ – in just one episode, actor Jerry Trimble, along with director Richard Speight Jr. and writer Davy Perez, created a memorable character who most fans would be happy to see more of. So I was thrilled to have a chance to ask Jerry about his experience on the show.

Lynn: Congrats again on the amazing job you did on Supernatural. As you probably read in my review on Fangasm, I’m a big fan of the original ‘Yellow Eyed Demon’ who was portrayed by Fred Lehne. I got to know Fred from interviewing him for Fangasm and for the books I’ve written on Supernatural, and was always impressed by his ability to make the character compelling as well as scary. You managed to do the same in one episode with Ramiel.

So I’ve got a few questions for you. I’ve known Richard Speight for years, and am looking forward to hearing his thoughts on directing this episode (stay tuned for that!), but I’d love to hear your thoughts on being directed by him. Were there some notes he gave you that were particularly helpful?

JT:
Richard was one of the best directors I’ve had the pleasure of working with, he’s an actor’s dream director. Probably because he’s an actor as well and a fantastic one at that. He was so helpful and pivotal in helping me to create the character of Ramiel, Prince of Hell. There were times when I was going too dark and hard, and then Richard pulls me aside and says, dude, back off and BAM Ramiel comes alive. Richard was collaborative in the coolest way. Some directors I work with are too into their comfort zone and just want to pump it out. They settle for less than the best, whereas Richard had an idea, I had an idea, we meshed them together and as you saw from the episode, it was magic. Loved working with him.

With director Richard Speight Jr. and company on set

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