Magical Mondays: Using Magic to Make Drama

Pretty much all shows have some drama, because drama means conflict, and conflict means an interesting story, but drama for the sake of drama aggravates me. For example, if you kill a character and give them a big emotional send off that makes sense with the plot, then great. However, if you then somehow magically bring that character back so that the other characters have to go through the drama of killing them again, that is just drama for the sake of drama and it’s pretty stupid.

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In Brightest Day: Characters Don’t Get to Stay Disabled

If you have seen “Breezy,” the most recent episode of Adventure Time, then you will know that something really awful happened. That’s right—Finn grew his arm back. Just grew it back. And maybe I would be less annoyed if 1) I didn’t expect better of Adventure Time, and 2) this wasn’t symptomatic of a bigger problem. “Curing” disabled characters is one of those things that happens a lot in genre fiction and it sends an awful message.

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In Brightest Day: Bobby Singer

Let me open this post by saying this; I have not watched an episode of Supernatural for about a year or so. This is for a couple reasons. First, the Lucifer story was perfect and a great ending to the series. Sadly, they just kept going.

But I can deal with shows going hard after what I think should be the end happens. I’m not the show’s writers. The series could be fantastic right now. I wouldn’t know.

Because I really haven’t cared about the series since Bobby Singer got magic legs.

Bobby Singer

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The Road So Far: “Taxi Driver” Review

WARNING: SPOILERS BELOW! READ AT YOUR OWN RISK, IDJIT!

WARNING: SPOILERS BELOW! READ AT YOUR OWN RISK, IDJIT!

So this is the last episode we’re going to get before Supernatural goes on hiatus for a few more weeks. Was it any good? Hit the jump to find out.

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Top 10 Fictional Geek Presidents

Well, ladies and gentlemen, it’s the day after a long and arduous election year. We are all tired and maybe upset about who won or maybe not (depending on your preference), but we are least glad it’s over.

So my geeky friends, no matter who won or lost, did you ever look back at the candidates and think “God, these guys suck—I wish this character from my comic book was real and running for President!”?

Well, we decided to have our own election! These are Lady Geek Girl and Friends‘ Top 10 Fictional Geek Presidents!

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Oh, My Pop Culture Jesus: Let’s Make a Deal!

Selling your soul in exchange for something is a plot trope older than the story of Johann Faust. In pop culture it’s primarily conceived of in Christian terms—sell your soul to the devil, and you’ll never get to heaven but you’ll have something you want on earth, whether that’s fame, talent, love, money, or some other fifth option.

People’s motivations in selling their souls are tremendously varied. Although we usually conceive of the sellers in these transactions as selfish and impatient (why wait for a potential eternal reward when you can get what you want now), but in reality a lot of the stories about these demonic bargains have their roots in tales as varied as revenge, romance, filial love, and desperation.

So let’s look at some of these situations, starting with Supernatural. Although I know we consistently beat this poor show to death nearly weekly in OMPCJ, it’s really the show’s own fault for being such a wealth of religious themes. Anyway, in Supernatural souls are hot currency. These exchanges are usually made at a crossroads, but any demon can make a deal, and the Winchesters are really, really bad at avoiding them. Over the course of the show John’s sold his soul to bring back Dean, Dean’s sold his soul to bring back Sam, Sam tried and failed to get a refund for that, Bobby ‘pawned’ his soul to find Death and get his legs back, Mary unknowingly sold off Sam to bring back John… A big antagonist/sometime ally in the show is Crowley, a demon who is King of the Crossroads, and a masterful dealer when it comes to getting what he wants in the fine print. Supernatural soul-selling is a value-neutral transaction—people from all walks of life can and do sell their souls for any and all reasons, but when the main characters knowingly do so, it tends to be last-act-of-a-desperate-man stuff, seized upon when there are no other viable options left. And collecting on these deals is unpleasant: once whatever terms you and your demon financier agreed upon have been fulfilled, if your soul’s in the balance, you’re dragged to hell for eternity by hellhounds. Fun.

Next let’s diverge from our usual pop-culture fare and look at a musical. A soul-based transaction is at the heart of the conflict in the show Once on this Island. A peasant girl named Ti Moune discovers a wounded nobleman who has crashed his car in a storm. She falls in love with him, and bargains her life against his to keep Papa Ge, the god of death, from claiming his soul. Ti Moune also dies at the end, but the force of her love so impresses Papa Ge and the other gods that they treat her kindly in death and let her legacy of love live on. This is an interesting take on the demon-deal trope, as it’s not set in a primarily Judeo-Christian mythos.

Finally, let’s look at the manga that inspired me to choose this topic: Black Butler. This story focuses on Earl Ciel Phantomhive, a sharp and proud young boy who was sold into slavery after his parents were mysteriously murdered. He makes a deal with the demon Sebastian Michaelis to gain the power to seek revenge on his parents’ murderer: Sebastian will serve him as a butler and help him achieve his vengeance, and then Sebastian gets to consume Ciel’s soul.  This story is interesting for a couple of reasons. First of all, the way the story is told, we as an audience support Ciel’s decision to make the deal and root for him to fulfill his mission (which of course will end in his death and damnation). Secondly, the terms of the deal are interesting as well; in this story, the demon is totally willing to be subservient to Ciel for as long as it takes, and he is faultlessly loyal to his master, staying by his side for the duration of their agreement. There is no fine print or loopholes in their deal from out of which Sebastian tries to sneak.

What other soul-selling storylines exist in pop culture? A fiddle of gold against your soul you’ll tell me in the comments 😉

That’s all for this week’s Oh, My Pop Culture Jesus! Tune in next time and get some religion!

The Road So Far: Supernatural Before the Finale Review

WARNING SPOILERS!!!!

I am of the opinion that a TV show’s season is only as good as its premiere episode and season finale. If the beginning doesn’t suck you in then you won’t watch the season anyway, and if the end isn’t satisfying then the rest of the season seems like a failure. Which is why I reviewed the season premiere of Supernatural season seven first and why I will also review the finale separately. So for now let’s look at episodes that take place after the mid-season finale and before the finale.

I have to say I have been holding out hope for this season of Supernatural, but I have been finding this season pretty lackluster compared to its other seasons. Maybe the season finale will prove me wrong and make the whole season awesome and make sense, but so far that seems unlikely. And that’s just really disappointing.

One of the main reasons I’m disappointed with this season is the sheer amount of filler episodes. “Adventures in Babysitting,” “Time After Time,” “Plucky Pennywhistle’s Magical Menagerie,” and “Slice Girls” are all filler episodes that have little or nothing to do with the main plot.

“Adventures in Babysitting,” “Time After Time,” and “Plucky Pennywhistle’s Magical Menagerie” are at least all entertaining episodes despite the lack of plot. Supernatural has always had its fill of entertaining filler episodes, but I think it annoyed me this season because it seemed like I wasn’t learning or caring about the actual plot. For example, there were filler episodes in season four and five, but there was still the looming apocalypse, the issues between Sam, Dean, and Cas, and information about Lucifer that kept you interested and caring about the main plot. I didn’t care about the Leviathans or Dick until the last couple episodes. And that just shouldn’t be, but we’ll talk more about that in a bit.

You may have noticed that when I listed good filler episodes from this half of the season I left one out. “Slice Girls” is an atrocity of an episode and employs my least favorite trope: “the mystical pregnancy” trope. This trope is when a woman is magically impregnated or has a magical baby. This usually portrays women and their reproductive systems as evil and scary. If you want more information about this trope you can watch this video from Feminist Frequency.

This was probably the lowest point of season seven. “Slice Girls” is about Amazon warriors, who are obviously all women. They sleep with men and have children that grow up really fast in order for their race to survive, and oh yeah, they kill their father’s too as a rite of passage. Of course all of these women are evil and kill men, because you can’t be a strong woman and not hate men. This episode is also another episode that tries to justify Dean killing Amy Pond from episode three, which I just can’t agree with. Dean killing her was in character but, I assumed, showed his paranoia and lack of faith in Sam. The fact that show is trying to pass it off as something righteous is just ridiculous. In a show that already has problems with how it treats it’s female characters, this episode is just a slap in the face of to its female viewers.

As far as female characters go, however, I have to give Supernatural some credit this season. “Time After Time” brought back Sheriff Mills, who appeared briefly earlier in the season and is awesome. She appears to be doing some hunting if she’s not already a full fledged-hunter. I certainly hope that Supernatural‘s writers explore that more. The episode “Adventures in Babysitting” has a strong independent young woman who is the daughter of another hunter. She is unique, funny, interesting, and capable. Though it’s implied at the end of the episode that her father is going to stop hunting and take her out of the life, I kind of hope that doesn’t happen. I think it would be extremely interesting for Sam and Dean to run into this young woman again and see how she develops as she gets older. Then there was my favorite episode this season, at least so far, “The Girl with the Dungeons and Dragons Tattoo.” Felicia Day is gold in this episode. She was such a great and well developed character that was extremely relatable and dynamic. It seems to me that despite the sheer amount of fail that was “Slice Girls” Supernatural is finally starting to learn their lesson with female characters, at least in individual episodes. Now if only we could have more recurring female characters of the same quality. But wait! Sheriff Mills isn’t the only recurring female character to appear this season. The demon Meg made her return. And while I still don’t appreciate all the evil demon women in the show I have to say, I love Meg. I adore her, as a matter of fact. She is an extremely interesting character. On the one hand, she is clearly only out for herself and has her own agenda that is probably nefarious, but on the other hand, she also seems to genuinely like Castiel, aside from merely wanting to use him for his power (and potentially his body). Meg is funny, likable, and the longest surviving female character on Supernatural. I do hope we see more of her.

It was also nice to see the writers develop the Hallucifer (Sam’s hallucination of Lucifer) story line. If you remember from my mid-season review, I heavily criticized the fact that Sam’s madness from being in the cage was so quickly resolved and rarely mentioned again. Apparently though, I spoke too soon as this issue does come up again. “Repo Man” shows much more about how Sam deals with Lucifer’s constant taunts. Mark Pellegrino is amazing in this episode. It’s a complete delight to watch his performance of Lucifer, and his interactions with Sam is pure gold throughout the episode. Sam opening up to Lucifer allows him much more control over Sam and starts to slowly wear him down throughout the course of the season.

(Side note: Did anyone else think that Jeffery and the Demon from “Repo Man” were supposed to be a dark and disturbing foil for Dean and Castiel? Just a thought.)

“Out with the Old” further developed the Hallucifer story line as we see Sam slowly start to break because of sleep deprivation. This finally comes to a head in “The Born-Again Identity” where Sam breaks completely and is only saved by the return of Castiel. It’s nice to see that Sam’s trip to hell finally has real consequences on his life. I have two problems with this plot line:

  1. Lucifer seems too powerful for just a hallucination at times. Not that Sam wouldn’t suffer the way he did, but especially when Castiel took Sam’s madness onto himself and even he was effected by Lucifer I was confused. Castiel never seemed truly afraid of Lucifer and Lucifer’s way of driving Sam mad was keeping him from sleeping. Castiel doesn’t sleep. Lucifer stopped Sam from eating. Castiel doesn’t have to eat. Castiel later reveals that he stopped seeing Lucifer and the madness took a different sort of form for him, but it seems confusing to me that Castiel would go crazy from this at all. He’s an angel. Can he really go mad? Even Lucifer didn’t seem crazy in season five, just pissed. Even when Castiel absorbed the souls he wasn’t really an angel then. The souls changed him in a real way, so it makes since that he would go insane with power, but I didn’t really buy Castiel to be driven crazy by this.
  2. Despite Sam’s trip to the pit finally having real consequences for him it also kind of didn’t… Sam’s madness is only really delved into for three episodes and then Castiel fixes everything.

The mid season finale of Supernatural was “Death’s Door,” which killed Bobby Singer. While I was sad to see Bobby go I thought the episode was well written and Bobby was given a good death befitting to a great character. I don’t think bringing Bobby back as a ghost was a great idea. Mostly I just hate when shows kill characters twice. Heroes did this with their character Nathan.

For those of you that didn’t suffer through all of Heroes, Nathan was a character marked by death. Since season one the writers threatened to kill Nathan, they killed him in three separate alternate universes, and finally actually killed him at the end of season three. This, however, was not enough for the writers of Heroes. They thought it would be more dramatic to kill Nathan just once more after his death. Sylar, a serial killer played by the now well-known Zachary Quinto, is tricked into thinking he is Nathan and mimics him via a shapeshifting ability. Nathan’s consciousness is still inside Sylar, however, and fans were forced to sit through an episode where Nathan’s consciousness dies leaving only Sylar.

Ever since Bobby’s return in “Party on, Garth” and “Of Grave Importance”  (I mean actual return as his presence as a ghost was implied much earlier), the show has been alluding to the fact that Bobby is becoming a vengeful spirit and that soon Sam and Dean will go through the traumatic experience of having to exorcise him. So now because killing Bobby was dramatic/traumatic enough, Supernatural fans will now have to watch him die for a second time–again, because once just isn’t enough.

The lack of Castiel this season is the source of much annoyance and anger for many fans who consider Castiel just as important as Sam or Dean. Including the upcoming season finale, Castiel has only been in four episodes this season. I have yet to meet one fan that thinks this was a good idea.

“The Born-Again Identity” marked the return of Castiel. For most of this episode Castiel had amnesia… let me say that again. He had freaking amnesia! Why? There was no reason or relevance to this particular bit of writing other than to find a way for Castiel not to be present for most of the season. Let me explain why I hate amnesia story lines. They never have any consequence to anything. Castiel loses his memory and apparently nothing he was doing while he thought he was someone else has any impact on him. I doubt the woman that found Castiel and was apparently in love with him will ever turn up again. I further doubt that we will find out about meaningful friendships or enemies Castiel made during this time either. You could replace amnesia with almost anything else and the plot of this episode and the plot for the entire season would barely change. Below is the plot summary from “The Born-Again Identity” from Wikipedia:

Lucifer has driven Sam to the point of mental breakdown, because of which he is now committed to a mental institution. Dean promises Sam to find a cure to this illness and calls every hunter in the diary. However, no hunter is able to help him. When he gets up, and moves to get a beer, the diary is thrown onto the floor and a card falls from it, with a number of the hunter that can help him. The hunter eventually leads Dean to a faith healer named Emanuel, who fixed his injuries and encourages Dean to get in touch with him. When Dean goes to meet with Emanuel, he finds that the Demons are also interested in this healer, and are searching for him. Eventually, when Dean does find Emanuel, it leads him to Castiel, who now is living under the name Emanuel and works as a faith healer, and has no memory of his past life as an angel. Dean convinces him to come with him to heal Sam of his mental break down. However, along the way, Meg shows up and asks to be a part of the trip. Once they reach the hospital, they find it covered by demons. Castiel banishes the demons, and along the way, gains back his memories. However, the guilt of his action makes him leave. Dean stops him and convinces him to try and save Sam. While in the hospital, Sam meets with a woman, who is haunted by the ghost of her dead brother. Her brother is stuck on Earth and cannot move to his after life. Sam asks this woman if she has any of her brother’s objects. She tells him about her bracelet, which has his blood on it. Sam asks the woman to create a circle of salt. While they are in it and about to burn the bracelet, her brother shows up and is about to harm them. Sam then burns the bracelet, giving the girl freedom from her brother’s ghost. However, his actions lead to him being taken for electroshock therapy where the orderly turns out to be a demon who tortures him. Castiel finds him in time to save him, but fails to heal him. He does the next best thing: transfers Sam’s madness and experience in Hell, to himself. So while Sam is released, Castiel stays in the hospital plagued with the visions of Lucifer. Meg takes up a job in the hospital, to support Castiel, and look after him.

Now let’s have some fun:

Lucifer has driven Sam to the point of mental breakdown, because of which he is now committed to a mental institution. Dean promises Sam to find a cure to this illness and calls every hunter in the diary. However, no hunter is able to help him. It is then that Castiel returns having just escaped from heaven’s prisons where he was locked away for his crimes against the angels he killed while acting as god. Dean convinces him to come with him to heal Sam of his mental break down. However, along the way, Meg shows up and asks to be a part of the trip. Once they reach the hospital, they find it covered by demons. Castiel banishes the demons…

And again:

Lucifer has driven Sam to the point of mental breakdown, because of which he is now committed to a mental institution. Dean promises Sam to find a cure to this illness and calls every hunter in the diary. However, no hunter is able to help him. It is then that Castiel returns having just escaped from being held captive by the Leviathans. Dean convinces him to come with him to heal Sam of his mental break down. However, along the way, Meg shows up and asks to be a part of the trip. Once they reach the hospital, they find it covered by demons. Castiel banishes the demons…

And again:

Lucifer has driven Sam to the point of mental breakdown, because of which he is now committed to a mental institution. Dean promises Sam to find a cure to this illness and calls every hunter in the diary. However, no hunter is able to help him. It is then that Castiel returns having recently been resurrected by the real God. Dean convinces him to come with him to heal Sam of his mental break down. However, along the way, Meg shows up and asks to be a part of the trip. Once they reach the hospital, they find it covered by demons. Castiel banishes the demons…

One more time:

Lucifer has driven Sam to the point of mental breakdown, because of which he is now committed to a mental institution. Dean promises Sam to find a cure to this illness and calls every hunter in the diary. However, no hunter is able to help him. When he gets up, and moves to get a beer, the diary is thrown onto the floor and a card falls from it, that has the name of a strip club. On the off chance that this might be at all helpful Dean goes to the strip club and finds Castiel who has changed his name to Dmitri Tippens Krushnic and now leads a secret underworld life of crime and striping.  Dean convinces him to come with him to heal Sam of his mental break down… (Credit for the bolded portion of this paragraph goes to Misha Collins who described this as his desired ending for Castiel. Find it here.)

Whether or not you think anything I have inserted here is good or not is irrelevant. All I’m trying to show is how you can insert anything here and the story does not change. It affects and it changes nothing. This is just poor and lazy writing.

I did enjoy Cas in “Reading is Fundamental” who wakes up from a coma (a coma and amnesia, really?) and is a bit… well, loopy. Crazy Cas is enjoyable, humorous, and more passive aggressive towards Dean than ever before. I loved when he held up the Sorry board game and asked Dean if he wanted to go first and later after giving Sam and Dean a vial of his blood says, “Always happy to bleed for the Winchesters.” Though I’m not sure if I’d like Cas to stay loopy, I feel his current case of the crazies makes sense. Cas now takes pleasure in simple things, doesn’t like conflict, and even seems to have gone so far as becoming a pacifist. Castiel comes off like… well, God. This is purely speculation, but it would not surprise me if Cas finally got some insight into his Father’s (Chuck’s) head. The God of Supernatural stays out of all the conflict, doesn’t seem to hurt anyone, and sees/saw the beauty in humanity though no one else did/does. It’s an interesting parallel. I hope Castiel is around more in season eight so that his character can be explored and developed further.

And finally let’s talk about the Leviathans and their leader the big bad Dick—Dick Roman that is. If you read my mid-season review you’ll remember that I was very unimpressed with Dick Roman and the Leviathans. They weren’t bad. I just didn’t care about them. I can happily say now that I like Dick’s character. I started liking him the episode “The Girl with the Dungeons and Dragons Tattoo.” This is a problem. Why? Starting to like the main villain is a good thing right? “The Girl with the Dungeons and Dragons Tattoo” is the twentieth episode—the twentieth. That’s only three episodes from the season finale and I’m just now giving a shit about the series’ main villain. The Leviathans were just so boring and uninteresting until this point, I didn’t like them, I didn’t hate them, I just did not care about them at all. I almost wish that Sam and Dean would fail to kill them at the end of the season just so I could actually grow to love them/love to hate them, but nothing about them was interesting until right now.

Here’s hoping that the season finale makes everything better… but I have to say I’m skeptical.

 

The Road So Far: A Supernatural Midseason Review

A lot has happened to our merry band of heroes since we first took a look at season seven’s premiere episode. Now, before you all settle down to watch the show tonight, let’s take a look at how our boys have fared so far.

WARNING SPOILERS!!!

For the sake of moving quickly and efficiently through this midseason review, I’m going to save some episodes (“The Girl Next Door”, “Defending Your Life”, “Season Seven, Time for a Wedding!”, and “Death’s Door”) for the end of the review, mostly because there is either some controversy surrounding these episodes that I feel the need to address or because I just have some particular gripe with them.

And now for the review:

Hello Cruel World: I’m going to be honest. When going back over the various episodes of season seven, I completely forgot about this one. Which seems odd since it sets up all the successive episodes. Cas takes a dive in a lake, allowing the Leviathans to start possessing people. We see that the Leviathans’ first priority is to a) learn more about the world through their hosts, and b) eat! Preferably humans. Gross!

Meanwhile Dean is pretending to be okay, while Sam is having a hard time figuring out what’s real due to seeing Lucifer all the time, and Bobby is being the best dad ever, worrying about his boys.

Yeah, I love Bobby!

As I said earlier, this episode mostly sets up for later ones. We are reintroduced to Sheriff Mills and we get see how the Leviathans work and function.  Sadly, Bobby’s house has been burned down, Sam nearly shoots everyone, and we have a brief scare where we think Bobby is dead but he turns out to be fine.

This episode was okay. Not exceedingly memorable. Only three things really stand out: Cas’s swan dive, which has become iconic in the fandom now, Dean’s voice mail to Bobby showing the complete emotional instability that Dean is experiencing, and finally and my favorite, Lucifer. In a very dark episode, Mark Pellegrino made me laugh at Lucifer’s equally dark humor.

My only criticism would be that after one episode, the ‘Sam sees Lucifer’ thing is pretty much dealt with. Despite everything Sam supposedly went through in hell, he seems to have gotten off pretty easy. Yes, it is referenced a lot throughout the series that Sam has Satan Vision 24/7, but we never see Pellegrino again nor do we see Sam really having trouble with this. The attitude seems to be that he pretty much has this problem under control. Dean spends all of season four recovering from hell. Sam spends time with Lucifer and he has it under control? Yeah, I’m not buying this one, writers.

Shut Up, Dr. Phil: Perfect! I have no complaints about this episode. James Marsters and Charisma Carpenter were golden throughout the whole episode! Sam and Dean trying to council the insane couple at the end was absolute win! Perfect! Perfect! Perfect!

Oh, and there is some plot-related things about a Leviathan hunting Sam and Dean that James Marsters’s character temporarily incapacitates for them. For the most part, not much plot is in this episode, but an awesome bit of filler and seeing Buffy alumni is always a plus in any TV show.

Two thumbs way up!

Slash Fiction: Let me say this—Curse you, Supernatural writers, for deceiving us about the nature of this episode!!! Grrrrr!!!

Okay, now that any slash fan complaints are out of the way… this episode was interesting but did repeat some things we have seen before. The whole ‘Sam and

Dean are wanted by the law again’ thing. (RIP Hendrickson! I miss you!!) I mean, haven’t we seen this already, like a lot?!

Honestly though, with this new twist that it was actually the Leviathan versions of Dean and Sam drawing attention to the brothers, that they had to go so deep undercover that their usual standbys (such as Sam’s computer, the rock IDs, and even the Impala! *gasp*) were taken from them, could have been really interesting and awesome… if the writers committed to it.

But Leviathan Sam and Dean are killed at the end and once again the real Sam’s and Dean’s deaths are faked, making you wonder what this hunted by the law and changing their old habitats was really for! Despite getting rid of their old IDs and the Impala, the boys are still caught almost immediately, and everything still works out right away at the end. If it wasn’t for the scenes with Bobby, this episode, while amusing, would have been redundant.

Bobby’s plot line does finally tell us how to kill the Leviathans though. It’s with cleaning supplies.

No, seriously.

I know this twist caused some fans to scoff, but personally I liked it. It reminded me a great deal of the season two episode of Buffy called “Innocence”. The villain, an ancient demon who proudly states that “no weapon forged can kill [him],” so of course he is defeated by modern weaponry. It makes sense that only something more modern would kill the previously ancient and unkillable Leviathans.

Some people object to Sheriff Mills discovering the Leviathans’ weakness when cleaning up for Bobby, stating that it was a poor and sexist use of a good character. I can see what fans are saying, but at the same time I don’t feel like that’s anything too bad. I will be disappointed if this is the last we see of Sheriff Mills. If she fulfills her cleaning purposes and then conveniently disappears, I’ll have to agree with them on this but until then… well, I guess it’s better than the violent death that most Supernatural women get… *sigh*

We also meet the leader of the Leviathans in this episode, a politician named Dick Roman. We’ll see him more later.

Best moments in this episode: Dean singing, Leviathan Sam and Dean analyzing the brothers, Crowley bringing muffins to Dick Roman, and of course, the kiss between Bobby and Sheriff Mills.

The Mentalists: Sam and Dean have split (again) after Sam learns about what Dean did in the episode “The Girl Next Door” (more on that later). The boys meet again on the same case in Lily Dale, the most psychic town in America. They fight a bad guy having a creepy affair with a ghost—seriously, it’s very creepy—and the boys make up by the end of the episode… because apparently Sam is very forgiving and the world is very black and white for hunters (more on this later too).

The episode has its problems, but those will come up more when we talk about episode four, “Defending Your Life”.

Overall, the psychics were amusing, but probably the most memorable thing for me in this episode was Dean’s issues being brought to the forefront (kind of) when Ellen (God, I miss you!) speaks to Dean through a psychic.

Dean’s emotional turmoil is reaching a fever pitch this season, but if you didn’t know before, this episode really spells it out for you. Dean is not okay, and it’s just getting worse as the season continues.

How to Win Friends and Influence Monsters: To me, this episode is way less fun than the title makes it sound. The episode starts as a simple hunt for the Jersey Devil, but it’s then discovered that the Leviathans are testing a drug on humans to make them good and complacent food for them. The only problem is, about one percent of humans became violent and start killing people. God! Someone rent the Leviathans Serenity. This is like classic sci-fi mistake 101.

This episode introduces us more to Dick Roman, and can I just say, I’m very underwhelmed by this character. When we were introduced to the Leviathans in episode one still possessing Castiel they seemed much more fun. They seemed crazy, intelligent, and funny, as well as scary. Where did that go? Aside from Leviathan Sam and Dean, I don’t think I’ve seen one that has that same insane quirkiness that was reflected in that first episode. I’m not saying that the Leviathans are bad as they’re portrayed now, but the first episode promised me something that hasn’t been delivered yet.

I will admit, the Leviathans being ordered to eat themselves by Dick when they screw up may be the scariest thing ever on Supernatural (other than Lilith, that girl was terrifying).

The episode ends with Bobby being shot in the head by Dick Roman. Which come on, Dick, being fascinated with humans, making weapons like guns I understand, but why would he use that more than, oh I don’t know, his massive teeth, super strength, etc? It just seems like a fancy excuse not to add more stunts or effects to me… just saying.

Now to talk about the more controversial episodes, “The Girl Next Door”, “Defending Your Life”, “Season Seven, Time for a Wedding!”, and “Death’s Door”.

“The Girl Next Door”, “Defending Your Life”, and “Season Seven, Time for a Wedding!” all have a similar problem—women.

The Girl Next Door: This episode introduces us to Amy Pond, an old childhood crush, and a kitsune, a monster that feeds on brains. On a side note, Madame Ace would like me to inform all of you that kitsune are actually Japanese fox demons and do not eat brains. We looked it up on Wikipedia. What did you do Supernatural writers? Anyway, Jewel Staite—who is very famous, at least in geek circles—plays Amy Pond, and her involvement in this season was really played up at SDCC. But she dies. At the end of the episode.

Amy is a good monster, only eating the brains of dead things, but when her son gets sick he needs fresh meat, so she starts killing people for her son. Sam tracks her down, she explains her situation, Sam sympathizes and lets her go. Well, Dean finds out and kills her. Why, because she’s a monster and killed people.

A lot of people get uppity because they say that Dean killing Amy is out of character. I disagree. Dean sees a lot of the world in very black and white terms. Furthermore, he is worried about Sam’s wall being broken and is nervously waiting for Sam to break down. I see him killing Amy as a way to take back control of a life that is slipping out of his grasp. He rationalizes it and tries to justify it, but in the end he knows he did something wrong and feels guilty about it.

So Dean’s characterization doesn’t piss me off. It’s Amy’s death that bothers me. At SDCC it came off, to me, as if Jewel Staite’s character was going to be a new recurring female character, as the show has been criticized for its lack of diversity, but Amy dies after one episode.

Imagine this, Amy lives, and becomes a recurring character. This allows the writers to address how the monsters can be good, which has come up before in Supernatural, but has never been something that the show fully explored. This juxtaposed with the very dangerous Leviathans could be very insightful, showing good and evil monsters overcoming primal animal instinct and/or submitting to it. On a much more human level you would also have issues such as Amy being a single mother, and having a connection (and potential relationship) with Sam, which would further force Dean to face his own protectiveness over his brother and trust issues with people.

(Lady Saika says: And and and! On top of all that, Doctor Who had an Amy Pond first!! Seriously, why would they use a name so well-known from a show that’s basically the same genre as Supernatural? It just blows my mind.)

Defending Your Life: The Egyptian god Osiris puts guilty people on trial, their own guilt is what condemns them in the end and allows Osiris to punish them… yeah, he kills them.

So who do we know that constantly feels guilty and blames himself for everything and recently killed someone against his brother’s wishes? If you answered Dean Winchester, well then, gold star for you! Dean gets put on trial, Sam defends him, and Jo shows up…

Jo’s return was also herald at SDCC. Now I don’t know about the rest of you, but when I heard that Jo was coming back I assumed she would be resurrected much like Dean, Sam, Bobby, Castiel, or even Samuel. Nope, she is just a ghost. Bringing Jo back as a ghost for one episode is not Jo coming back, writers. *grumbles*

I said we’d talk more about the episodes “The Mentalist” and “The Girl Next Door” later. Well, it’s now later. The witness that condemns Dean in “Defending Your Life” is never actually called to the stand. Yep, it’s Amy. He feels so guilty about what he did that Osiris doesn’t even need to call her to the stand. But later in “The Mentalists”, Dean tells Sam to get over being mad at him for killing Amy because he did the right thing, and by the end of the episode Sam agrees. What starts out as Dean feeling guilty for murdering a woman in order to make himself feel better is now transformed into a noble act. No, that’s not total bullshit at all!

Season Seven, Time for a Wedding:  For the most part I liked this episode. It was funny, kind of, but once again the portrayal of the female characters is potentially problematic. Though this one was the least upsetting to me, that didn’t make me any less disappointed in Becky’s portrayal. Becky has always been the crazy fangirl, but she was also resourceful and helpful at times. Elevating Becky to the level of creepy stalker was just the straw that broke the camel’s back for me. Sure, you can argue that Becky thought the potion would just bring forth any desires that Sam already had for her, but even in the world of fanfiction, this episode would at least get labeled dubious consent, especially when Becky realizes the potion is wearing off and doses Sam again.

There is also the issue that what’s happening to Sam is portrayed as funny. While Becky’s actions aren’t condoned, Sam being kidnapped and forced to love Becky is clearly shown as being something laughable. The episode is meant to be funny. This shows a dramatic double standard with men and women. A man being stalked and forced into a sexual (though it didn’t reach that level in the episode) situation is just as serious as when it happens to a woman and should be treated as such.

Overall, this episode ruined Becky’s character for me, which makes me all kinds of sad.

Finally we come to the mid season finale “Death’s Door”. For the sake of those of you who decided they didn’t care about spoilers and started reading this article, I’m going to say once more: MASSIVE, MASSIVE SPOILERS BELOW!!

Death’s Door: Bobby’s in the hospital and on death’s door, get it, ha! The entire episode shows Sam and Dean either trying to deal with or denying the possibility that Bobby might die, while Bobby desperately tries to navigate his worst memories in order to come back from his coma and tell Dean and Sam what he learned about the Leviathans. We gain a lot of insight into Bobby’s past, as well as his familial relationship with Sam and Dean. We get to see Rufus again, one of the few black characters on the show. Too bad he is a ghost/memory, which much like Jo’s return was a disappointment. And of course, Bobby dies at the end of this episode, leaving Sam and Dean alone.

Now it’s not made completely clear that Bobby actually dies. The episode leaves it open for interpretation or maybe it’s left open in case fan reaction to his death is so bad that they are forced to bring him back for the sake of the ratings, but I doubt that will happen.

While shocked that they actually killed Bobby, I do think that he is actually dead, and no, I don’t think he’ll be resurrected, but I don’t have a problem with his death. It was well done, giving the character the respect he deserved. Bobby went out in a dignified way and on his own terms, which if Bobby has to die it’s how I would want him to go.

My only problem with his death is… now this is pure speculation on my part, so don’t take it too seriously. Castiel “died” at the beginning of the season, but most people knew that he wasn’t really dead. I think most fans have realized that Sam, Dean, Castiel, and Bobby are never going to really die. So I have to wonder: was Bobby’s death used as a way to prove to us, the viewers, that they, the writers, would actually kill off some of their main characters. This tactic has been employed by TV shows before, and since now it has been revealed that Misha Collins is returning to the show (though we don’t know in what form yet), Bobby’s death could be viewed as a way to keep audiences on the edge of their collective seats with worry for their favorite characters.

So far the newest season has not been without its problems, but like always the Supernatural writers have put out good episodes that will keep us coming back for more. I know that I’ll be watching the newest episode tonight!

Though all this talk about the female and black characters this season made me think, there really is a lot of sexism, racism, and homophobia in Supernatural. Keep tuning in to Lady Geek Girl and Friends to read about the sexist, racist and homophobic issues in Supernatural.

The Road So Far: A Supernatural Review; Meet the New Boss or In Defense of Sera Gamble

Season 7 of Supernatural is officially here and excited fans want to know: is the premiere of Season 7 any good?

WARNING: SPOILERS BELOW! READ AT YOUR OWN RISK, IDJIT!

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