Alright SPN fans, it’s time for another review and I have to say, I’m not as impressed with this episode.
This was an episode I thought I was really going to enjoy, what with the cartoon aspect, Cas becoming a hunter, and the various shenanigans that would doubtlessly ensue. This episode was still enjoyable and very funny, but out of all the episodes so far it’s the least well written.
Now, that is not to say it was bad, and so far season eight has been amazing—this is just the first episode where the writing is just okay instead of stellar.
So in this little episode Dean, Sam, and Castiel investigate a series of strange murders and robberies that seem to be straight out of a cartoon. Eventually they discover these strange events are occurring because of Fred Jones, an old friend of their father with reality-warping abilities, who is now an old man in a home and being used by his doctor in order to rob banks.
Fred Jones is interesting, but also difficult as far as writing goes. Characters that can warp reality are basically gods (see Marvel’s Franklin Richards), but characters like this are difficult because they are so powerful. Now Fred is clearly not going to be in the show later so the writers don’t have to worry about him being too powerful, but what I do wonder about is how this fits into the Supernatural canon?
If this guy was friends with John Winchester, why didn’t he ask Fred to use his reality warping to find Yellow-Eyes and kill him?
Furthermore, early seasons imply that John never associated with anyone or anything supernatural. Dean and Sam’s attitude of “if it’s supernatural—kill it” is clearly understood and a major debate in the show. Sam and Dean constantly argue about whether or not they should kill this or that supernatural being, and it takes Sam on occasion but especially Dean a long time to trust that anything supernatural can be good.
And one more thing, when Sam was developing his powers he and Dean freaked out, because it was unnatural and bad. If Sam and Dean knew Fred as kids, I feel like they would be less worried, especially before they know Sam gets his powers from demon blood. There likely would have been this attitude of, “wow, Sam is developing powers, that’s weird, I wonder if he’ll be like Fred.” But that has never been the attitude; anything supernatural was bad, that’s what John taught Sam and Dean, and then he apparently left them with a guy who had God-like powers… that seems contradictory.
I did, however, love the overall cartoon theme. Especially at the end of the episode when Dean fought the doctor with cartoon rules. That was priceless!
The Sam flashbacks were awesome in this episode and Jared’s acting was just spot on in each of those scenes, but… I’m starting to worry about Amelia’s character. I’m still holding out hope that she is going to end up being really interesting and important to the plot and not just “the normal person that Sam likes,” but I’m starting to get worried. I want Amelia to develop as a character in her own right, but so far she is being completely defined by the men in her life, first Sam, and now her father. I know very little about Amelia as a person other than she’s a vet, her husband died in Iraq, she broke down and ran away from home, she likes Sam, and has a dad.
Compare this to the introduction of other major recurring characters. From episode one you know that Sam was this idealist nerdy do-gooder who just wants a normal life, and Dean is the realist, the playful goofy one, the family guy, and a bit of a womanizer. These things become apparent almost immediately upon meeting Sam and Dean, and are further emphasized or de-emphasized in everything else they do, whether it’s their taste in music or food. By the end of episode one, you knew what type of people Sam and Dean were. And now you might be thinking, “yeah, but they’re the main characters; the writers are obviously going to spend more time on them.” But they aren’t the only ones that are step up like this. Again from the first episode that you meet Ellen, Jo, and Ash, you immediately know what type of people they are. You don’t have to guess at it later on. You immediately know what you are getting with them.
So far with Amelia all I’m seeing is the generic normal girlfriend. That seems to be who she is and what I expect of her, and that’s not good. I still, however, hold out hope that she will develop more. And obviously I am very interested in her husband being alive, especially since we know she chooses to stay with Sam, based on the first episode of this season. Things can only get more interesting and intense, right?
Castiel, god I love Cas, but I felt he was a little goofy and out of character here. Maybe it was because Naomi did something to him or… I don’t know, maybe Cas was just trying too hard to impress Sam and Dean. Now, not everything was out of character. In fact, I would say most was in character, but Cas has worked on a case with at least Dean before. And yeah, I expect him to screw up by blabbing something he shouldn’t or misunderstanding something, but his version of “bad cop”, while hilarious, was strange. He interrogated humans and creatures before. He was still a solider. He may be a little off when talking to humans, but I still think he knows fairly well what he’s doing… kind of. Maybe the Winchesters are letting Cas watch too much TV.
I loved that Cas felt guilt for what he had done when he was “god” and how he was scared to go back to Heaven, and even mentioned that he felt so guilty and depressed that he might kill himself. This was very interesting and obviously something Castiel has never dealt with before. And I loved how Castiel’s trip to Fred’s mind was framed and helped him realize that he needed to let go of his guilt. However, I thought this would be a longer, more difficult road for Cas that would develop over the season, but instead it seemed to be brought up and quickly resolved at least in part to find an excuse for Castiel not to travel with the Winchesters all the time. It could have been handled better.
Our second scene with Naomi was interesting. She didn’t seem to be controlling Cas like last time, but just chatting with him. She also seemed kind of nice in this scene, making me wonder and hope that maybe she will be a well-developed character and not just another evil female angel. However, maybe she did use some of her influence on Castiel, because I was REALLY surprised that Cas opened up to her about how he was feeling. Though I’m anxious about how Naomi will be developed, her character certainly keeps me guessing.
And ummm, did Cas just kind of… lobotomize Fred? I mean, I know he said he’s happy, but that just seemed weird.
Oh, and you know who would prefer a lobotomy to their current situation?
ADAM! BECAUSE HE’S IN HELL!
See ya idjits next week!