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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The Evolution of Castiel (and Misha Collins’ Deft Portrayal) in Supernatural 12.10

12-10-end-end-three

Lily Sunder Has Some Regrets is an odd title for a Supernatural episode. It sounds like something I might pick for a big bang fic that I can’t figure out how to title, because it’s unusual and might make people go, huh, I wonder what that one’s about? I sometimes really miss the days of classic rock episode titles. But other than the unusual title, this was a solid episode. I will always prefer the Winchesters onscreen 100% of the time (Jared and Jensen do not appreciate my preference, but this hasn’t deterred me), and I haven’t always been a fan of the angels/heaven storyline in the past, but this episode was less about angels in general and more about the one angel I care about – Cas.

12-10-cas

Much as we’ve been witness to the evolution of Sam and Dean’s views on when killing is justified and when it’s not, increasingly falling into the gray areas instead of black and white, we were able to see some growth in Castiel’s views in this episode. I was chilled by his coldness in the flashback scenes to the execution of Lily’s husband and child (though even then Cas was the only angel who flinched when the human in the house cried out). But other than that flinch, Castiel was at that time truly the ‘good little soldier’ that Dean has often been disparagingly called. The events of the present were a sharp contrast to that way of being, a reminder of how far Cas has come – and that, in contrast to what Ishim believed – that change is in large part due to his relationship with the Winchesters.

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Paint It Gray – Supernatural 10.16

WB/The CW
WB/The CW

I know it was called ‘Paint it Black’, but this episode felt more gray than anything. There were some things I liked very much, and others that left me scratching my head.

I’m always jarred by the episodes that bounce back and forth between story lines, and this one gave me a bit of whiplash. Every time we returned from a commercial I didn’t know if we’d be following Crowley and Rowena or Sam and Dean. I enjoy Crowley and Rowena (and enjoyed her snarky showdown with Teryl Rothery, especially the creative hamster ending). I liked realizing that Olivette was talking about the Men of Letters before the reveal, and I liked that it ties the Crowley and Rowena storyline back into the Winchesters’ directly. (And oh how I loved Rowena’s exasperated “Perpetually the Winchesters.”) Story of my life, Ruth Connell!

I’m still fascinated by the complicated relationship between Crowley and Rowena, and Mark Sheppard and Ruth Connell continue to knock it out of the park whenever they’re onscreen together. Watching two essentially evil manipulative characters interact and trying to figure out if they give a damn about each other or are just experiencing a twisted pride at each other’s feats of badness is intriguing. We got a few more tidbits of information here – Interesting that the grand coven held it against Rowena that she had Crowley. Is that why she resented him so much? Or why she abandoned him?

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Lauren Tom on Fandom, Cons and Playing a Kickass Female Character on Supernatural!

lauren t

We had a lovely chat at NJCon with Mama Tran herself, the adorable Lauren Tom. You already know how much we love Osric – well, his ‘mom’ is just as awesome!

Lauren was doing a drawing at the con to benefit the charity Home Boy Industries, which would give a lucky fan the chance to have breakfast with Lauren and Osric. Osric’s mom joined in the last one, much to the lucky fan’s surprise. We all know Supernatural is a family affair, and Lauren and Osric have extended the tradition, both onscreen and off.

Lauren: My mom is going to come to the drawing breakfast in Chicago, where I’m from originally. She really wants to meet Osric. I met his mother, so…

Lynn: Well, he’s her honorary grandson.

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Supernatural’s ‘Captives’ – Aren’t We All?

Warner Bros/CW
Warner Bros/CW

It’s been a long time since a new episode of Supernatural didn’t inspire a whole lot of mixed reactions among its fans – from squee to sobbing to gnashing of teeth to threats to flounce from fandom all together. I’ve written elsewhere (http://www.winchesterbros.com/site/index.php/articles/10224-only-love-can-break-your-heart–or-what-fandom-wank-is-all-about ) that there are reasons for that range of reactions that run the gamut, and for the passionate disagreement that follows. As I was watching ‘Captives,’ I thought for a while that this episode might be an exception. For one thing, there was so much going on, I didn’t have time to dwell on the fact that Sam and Dean continue to ignore my desperate pleas for them to get back to being brothers. There were, as often happens in Cas episodes, two story lines running simultaneously, which always makes me feel a little disoriented every time we switch between them. This is far from unusual in a television show, but for many years Supernatural was an odd exception, with Sam and Dean (and the probably very tired Jared and Jensen) in every story line and nearly every scene. I still subconsciously hang onto that expectation.

For another thing, there were some delicious tidbits of consistency, which invariably make me smile foolishly at the tv. Castle Storage reappears, and I love that we’ve seen that distinctive sign in so many pivotal episodes. It even appears in our next book, Fan Phenomena: Supernatural, in the chapter by SPN’s brilliant cinematographer, Serge Ladouceur. That’s how iconic it is!

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