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Episode Review: SUPERNATURAL (“It’s the Great Pumpkin, Sam Winchester”)

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Season 4, Episode 7 (67)
Date of airing: Oct 30, 2008
Watched for review: 2011
Number of review in January/2012: 38/38

When the “Then” part came to understand this would be a Halloween episode, I was expecting nothing. Maybe another homage episode, maybe another comedy episode, or maybe just a creepy episode fitting into the setting of Halloween. But then I actually got a story set in the arc of the season, and I liked it. Sure, it was a typical average SUPERNATURAL episode until Castiel (Misha Collins) and his black friend Uriel (Robert Wisdom) appeared, but then the episode went smoothly and had an interesting finale.

Though the story itself was not such a burner. I didn’t know it was that easy to spell a Centuries old demon out of hell (only three offerings? Really that “many”?), and I didn’t expect that the demon was such a sucker when he was released from hell. I mean, he killed Tracy (Ashley Benson) easily, but couldn’t manage to get himself acquainted in the time. For a demon that “strong”, he was fairly easy killed off by Sam (Jared Padalecki), which was a bit of a disappointment. When I heard the background story of Halloween, I was expecting far more from the demon – even with the angels’ involvements it should have been a more terrifying story.

At the end, the demon rising was lame, the demon killing was lame, and that Sam used his powers to save the day (and the planet) was predictable. In addition, the whole play of Castiel’s was just … waah. I hate it when mystery characters don’t reveal their intentions to the characters and therefore to the audience. Since LOST, I actually hate the whole mystery game, where no one can tell the truth, because they either don’t want to, or, in Castiel’s case, they have doubts and don’t trust anybody. Sure, it could be an interesting story for Castiel, when the writers finally use him for more than just the angel arc, which “coincidentally” drops in for the mystery factor, but it’s just lazy writing in my opinion. As long as you tease your secrets and mysteries, but don’t have the balls to reveal them in their full nature, I can’t take the characters and their writers seriously.

By the way: Was Tracy a friend of Lilith’s? I thought only Lilith tried to break the 66 seals. Now somebody tried to break one, and no one mentioned Lilith. I was a bit surprised by myself to notice that. Seems like not only Lilith is about to free Lucifer. When the writers realized that too, while writing this episode, maybe they also realized there’s a much bigger story behind all of this? 6.5/10

Mad frace from a demon hunter

That's vomiting in demon language

Written by Christian Wischofsky

January 9, 2012 at 9:00 AM

Episode Review: SUPERNATURAL (“Yellow Fever”)

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Season 4, Episode 6 (66)
Date of airing: Oct 23, 2008 (TheCW)
Watched for review: 2011
Number of review in January/2012: 26/26

Sometimes I’d wish for this show to be more serious with its storyline. Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles) are talking about the apocalypse, they know hell, they know the dark side of life, and yet the writers still try to fill the storylines with as much comedy as possible. Sure, it’s fun, but then it kills the serious part of the storyline. But since the comedy is included in proceduralized episodes, which have nothing to to with the bigger story arc, I should live with it, right?

The episode was entertaining. A simple ghost story, nothing new, nothing spectacular. Just a tragic story for once, which could be used a bit more often, when the writers go into the origins of the ghosts. I must say I liked Luther’s (David Mattey) background story, and I wanted to see more of it than just that one simple flashback. I just don’t really get why Frank (Brady Schlecker) would have been infected with the ghost sickness in the first place. Was it ever established that he went back to the warehouse after he killed Luther? Or did he get the sickness while he killed him? Either I wasn’t paying much attention there, or there was some inconsistency left in the final draft of the script. Other than that, the story could have gotten more into the actual plot in the first half of the episode, I had the feeling the story was up and running, as soon as Dean spit out the woodchuck. Which is way too late…

The comedy bits were of course funny, but forgettable. Okay, except the outtake at the end, but it’s not always good, when you try to save your episode with the comedy, while the story has to suffer. The only thing I liked about Dean’s fear was that he talked straight to Sam (after he did the same to Jamie last episode), even though it’s a repeated storyline already. I still remember the “What if” episode, which had a basically similar reaction from Dean about the whole hunting business. In addition, I really couldn’t do much with Dean’s words, since he was in fear of that job. Something he never was before.

But how awesome could the ending have been, when Lilith (Sierra McCormick) was in fact there, collecting Dean for another trip to Hell. Just thinking about it… Lilith always knows what happens, and would just wait for Dean to die again. Yeah, sure, only hallucinations. But with a bit of tricksing, the writers could have done much much more with Lilith’s appearance at the end. It could have brought the story, and maybe even Dean’s character development, into a different direction. 7/10

Does Dean receive the message?

Does Dean make material for the DVD?

Written by Christian Wischofsky

January 6, 2012 at 9:30 AM

Episode Review: SUPERNATURAL (“Monster Movie”)

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Season 4, Episode 5 (65)
Date of airing: Oct 16, 2008 (The CW)
Watched for review: 2011
Number of review in January/2012: 25/25

I have nothing against special episodes. But they should at least be special. When the producers wanted to quote all the B horror movies from the 50s and earlier, they should have gotten right into the film-making of those movies. This episode didn’t even feel like an homage to those kind of movies, because it was just a normal SUPERNATURAL episode converted (probably) in black-and-white and STAR WARS fade-outs. Not really special in my eyes.

At least the story was good enough to be considered an homage. I liked the ridiculousness of it, and how “Dracula” (Todd Stashwick) was just a victim of his very own life. In addition, I liked that there are crazy shapeshifters in the world of SUPERNATURAL, who would do anything to live a life without worrying about being a monster. Unfortunately, it was the only good thing about the episode. Besides being a (fake) homage with some funny moments, the writers delivered one single reason, why I should have taken this episode a bit more seriously. And I realized that a cray cray shapeshifter with daddy issues is damn interesting to be wasted for such a special episode. When I was watching the scene with him talking to Jamie (Melinda Sward) about his motives and why he was living the films, I was instantly seeing more in his character. Yet all was wasted, when Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles) came to the rescue.

I just don’t get why Dracula was killing the other people, when he was hunting for Jamie the whole time. There is no connection between the movie killings and his affection for Jamie. Even more, I was instantly knowing that Lucy (Holly Elissa Lamaro) would be the bad guy. You don’t have such a wasteful character with lipstick-on-tissue scenes for nothing. Especially when the first tissue scene was shown in such an obvious manner. But maybe that was also just an homage of 50s B movies. I just don’t know any (shame on me) to actually know that fact.

Another “what a shame”: Dean got the girl again. He got the girl way too often these past seasons, and it is time for Sam to get the girl again. Not that it’s much of a problem for me, but I believe Dean has at least one girl in the harbor of each US state. Sam probably just two or three girls in the whole US of A. Sure, it’s part of the character drawings of the two (Dean being the womanizer, Sam being grounded), but it’s getting ridiculous. Throw in all the girls Dean had into his funeral episode, and you’ll have an homage of the FUTURAMA episode “The Sting”.

At last I have to say I don’t really need those kind of special episodes. They might be working when you watch them for the first time, but after a while it’s getting tiring. FRINGE was lucky enough to have a comic episode in the third season. Now I’m waiting what comes in season 4. And now I’m interested to know what the next special episode of SUPERNATURAL will be. 5.5/10

Black-and-white girl screams

Black-and-white Dracula is a fake

Written by Christian Wischofsky

January 5, 2012 at 9:30 AM

Episode Review: SUPERNATURAL (“Metamorphosis”)

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Season 4, Episode 4 (64)
Date of airing: Oct 9, 2008 (TheCW)
Watched for review: 2011
Number of review in January/2012: 24/24

Remember my last sentence from last episode’s review? Well, I should start not expecting anything anymore. This was not a double episode. The closing “to be continued” was uncalled for. Nothing happened. Except some creepy metamorphosis of some human becoming a creepy flesh-eating monster. This episode could have been part of the third season. Though you’d probably have asked about Castiel. Anyway…

Average episode. A simple monster-of-the-week tale, but this time done a bit cleverly, considering the monster wasn’t yet a monster. I liked the approach of normal humans becoming monsters, because it lies in their blood. And since it was connected to Sam (Jared Padalecki) in a very obvious way (the tale of the episode was so a perfect allegory to Sam’s current state of development), the episode seemed more important than it actually is. But I didn’t really need that way-too-obvious allegory of Sam’s current status in this world, and what other hunters would do to him, when he becomes a monster (or a warrior for the dark side, like some episodes of season three wanted to tell me). The story with Jack (Dameon Clarke) wasn’t really that interesting though. In the first half of the episode, the writers were waiting for the ultimate change to being a monster, and Jack was just a weirdo with a creepy taste for meat. And the second half was filled with predictability in the storytelling, when it was Travis (Ron Lea), who was the bad hunter guy.

In addition, the episode could have focused more on Jack’s feelings about what he was going through. There was basically nothing. He craved for blood and meat, he drank some booze, he broke a fat, sweaty dick’s hand, and he was sweating on his own while thinking about not going crazy. No thoughts of what is happening with him. Not even believing Sam’s words, when the brothers were talking to him. Even Travis could have thought about the other side of the medallion, but since he was the villain of this episode, of course he was talking about “Jack will take that bite, he will transform, he will become a monster, bla bla bla” and all this crap.

Well, at least Sam’s misery was interesting. His demon exorcism with Ruby (Genevieve Padalecki) in the beginning, and how he tried to let Dean (Jensen Ackles) and Travis see about the good side of Jack. And especially how he talked about himself as a “whole other level of freak.” It’s really great to see how he sees himself in his own body now, after finding out lots of stuff about himself and about his past. But it’s about time for Dean to also see him like Sam is seeing himself. Meaning, believing that Sam is troubled about his state of mind, and he would do anything to not fall on the dark side. 6/10

Delicious, bloody meat calls for ugly eating habits

Let's burn this witch down!

Written by Christian Wischofsky

January 4, 2012 at 9:30 AM

Episode Review: SUPERNATURAL (“In the Beginning”)

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Season 4, Episode 3 (63)
Date of airing: Oct 2, 2008 (The CW)
Watched for review: 2011
Number of review in January/2012: 21/21

I do not understand the meaning of this episode. Sure, it was a great story, which delivered a whole bunch of background information, but what does it have to do with the bigger story arc? Why has Dean (Jensen Ackles) to know that Mary (Amy Gumenick) made a deal with yellow-eyes, which brought us to the flashback scene in “All Hell Breaks Loose”, and all the theories that Mary knew a lot more about being a hunter than anticipated? You could have dumped that information in a five-minute-long scene – you didn’t need a whole episode to do that. So, basically this hour of entertainment was a waste of time.

What annoyed me really this time was Castiel’s (Misha Collins) “Stop it”, even though there was nothing Dean could have done to save his (grand)parents. Instead, Castiel obviously meant something in the present time, yet he was saying it to Dean in the past. That’s just lame. Here the writers have an angel, who is allergic to straight answers (I had to laugh when Dean said that), who doesn’t tell anything, and who keeps everybody in the dark. Including the audience. That’s just not logic. Why would Castiel make Dean believe he could save everybody? Why didn’t Castiel just say that Dean has to know/watch what happened back then in 1973? Why this open mystery and no clear answers?

That made the whole episode distasteful and pretty much forgettable. Yeah, now I know what Mary was up to, and that it’s pretty poetic that Mary wanted to get out of this life, but eventually leads her great love into that exact life (though who knows if she might have told something about her past to John). Yeah, it’s hilarious, when Dean says his mother “was a babe”. But that’s the only thing I’m taking from this episode. And taking four lines of a review from 41 minutes of television is … a pretty fucking waste of time in my point of view.

But maybe this whole episode was just delivered to lead to the next one. Otherwise I couldn’t explain why Castiel worries about Sam(‘s dark side) (Jared Padalecki), and the “to be continued” at the end. A double-episode in SUPERNATURAL, which is not the season finale. Something I have not expected. 3.5/10

Introducing the Impala

Introducing a knife in the belly

Written by Christian Wischofsky

January 3, 2012 at 9:30 AM

Episode Review: SUPERNATURAL (“Are You There, God? It’s Me… Dean Winchester”)

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Season 4, Episode 2 (62)
Date of airing: Sep 25, 2008 (TheCW)
Watched for review: 2011
Number of review in January/2012: 18/18

A good episode. First it looked like a standard ghost(s)-of-the-week episode, but with all the back story dropping on the characters, it seems to be an ease for the writers to connect it to the bigger arc of the story. At least Lilith’s motives are clear now – I’m almost expecting a little tête-à-tête between Lilith and Lucifer. After all, why would she work on freeing him, if not for love?

One big nitpick I have with this show though: I thought Dean (Jensen Ackles) knew about the existence of Lucifer. Back in season three, with the whole deal thing going on, I always figured that Dean does not just learn new things about Hell, but also that there’s the leader of Hell. And I’m pretty sure to remember that Dean once said that Lucifer really exists. With a question mark at the end of the comment. So, which story editor didn’t do their job right?

The story with the witnesses was okay. It seemed a bit lame as a ghost-of-the-week storyline, even though they kill all the hunters, and even though they are ghosts from the characters’ past. I just wasn’t much interested in how Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean were seeing their own redemption, since they were talking to Henriksen (Charles Malik Whitfield), Meg (Nicki Aycox) and Ronald (Chris Gauthier). It was a neat idea to have those characters back from the dead, figuring they all died sometime in their respective three seasons. I wonder if this would have been an episode in the fifth season, if there would have been one more ghost, somebody who’d be dying in this season. Anyway… That Bobby (Jim Beaver) got his ghosts too was also okay, but since the writers didn’t deliver a back story here, I’ll just take that and forget it real soon. So, even Bobby did his mistakes in the past, but why should I care when there are no answers? At least the writers were giving answers in the dream episode, when Bobby saw his wife…

The connection back to Lilith… interesting. But I wonder why the demons don’t know about Lilith’s plan. Ruby (Genevieve Padalecki) could have easily told Sam about Lilith’s plan (but then again, she’s a lying demonic bitch in an uninteresting and bored-out-of-her-mind body), but since she didn’t, I have to think about the possibility that she doesn’t know. But why are God and his army of angels knowing about Lilith’s plan? I can’t imagine that some of the demons would not know about Lilith’s plan, since she clearly doesn’t work alone. So, that’s a little more of nitpicking of this episode, but as long as all the episodes of this season will go back to Lilith breaking the 66 seals, I will live with it. And please give me more Castiel (Misha Collins). That guy looks and talks like a kick-ass angel, and I wanna see a kick-ass angel kick some demon ass. 7/10

Mirror of the past

Some differences between Meg and Bobby here

Written by Christian Wischofsky

January 2, 2012 at 9:30 AM

Episode Review: SUPERNATURAL (“Lazarus Rising”, Season Premiere)

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Season 4, Episode 1 (61)
Date of airing: Sep 18, 2008 (TheCW)
Watched for review: 2011
Number of review in January/2012: 17/17

Well well well, the season premiere. SUPERNATURAL looks much better, when it goes directly into serialized storytelling, and makes awesome out of shit. Dean (Jensen Ackles) resurrected from Hell, because God commanded it; Dean about to go to work; Dean is the new sheriff in town. Which, contrary to the importance of Sam during the previous seasons, is a kind of neat story development.

I loved this episode. Unfortunately, it destroyed all my hopes for getting a Hell-set episode. But since Dean seemed to have a couple of flashbacks, I still hope the writers are going into it a bit more. Because I really wanna see what Hell really looks like, and what people are doing there. Now that the writers have introduced God and his angels, who knows when they are going into properly introducing Lucifer and his soldiers. Especially the army everybody was talking about at the end of season two (which reminds me: There are still demons left in the world, after the devil’s gate was opened – are we going back to that again?). In this case, the writers have done a bang-up job to introduce some new storylines, to make SUPERNATURAL look more different this time. Less monster-of-the-week episodes, more storytelling. The war is obviously still going on, and God needs to have a damn good reason to resurrect Dean, otherwise I’m gonna be bored out of my mind during the next two seasons. At least it should be clear now that Kripke had a five-season-plan. Now it’s about to fire up and running through the episodes. I’m expecting a lot now. (But maybe I shouldn’t. My expectations never get fulfilled).

The only bittersweet moment about the episode was that Dean was resurrected too fast for me. The last moment of the third season is him having in hell, the first moment of the fourth season is him having in his grave, about to dig himself up. It could have been great to see how Dean tries to resurrect Dean by himself over the months; it would have been great to see how Bobby copes with the lost of his “son”. A lot of drama and emotions were in those storylines, but nothing of it was used. It’s a bit of a shame.

Then, nitpicking: Ruby (Genevieve Padalecki) is back, this time in another body. But why wasn’t she shocked, when Dean suddenly stood in front of the motel door? After all, she couldn’t have expected his return, couldn’t she? That was probably just a moment to show that Sam (Jared Padalecki) can have fun too, but not while telling the watching audience that the girl he just had fun with was Ruby. Then: Castiel (Misha Collins) obviously believed in Dean so hard, that he didn’t help him coming out of his grave. Or giving him answers before Dean and Bobby (Jim Beaver) summoned him. That seemed a bit illogical: An angel resurrects a guy from Hell with obviously good reasons, but he doesn’t care to talk to him face to face? I know Castiel tried to speak to Dean in his own language (hence the exploding windows), but I was supposed to believe that angels are the superior ones, who think about everything before doing something. The angels in SUPERNATURAL are probably not that smart… 8.5/10

So, Supernatural stole from Buffy, huh?

Eyes wide ... gone

Written by Christian Wischofsky

January 2, 2012 at 9:00 AM

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