On Writing the “Reclamation” trilogy – part 2 of 3

The piece I was missing, and what made it so hard to get through my first novel, fell in my lap just as I began the first book. I joined a wonderful writing community on facebook, the 10 Minute Novelists, and there I found a community of writers who help each other navigate the seas of words. Under their strict no solicitation policy, we are able to speak freely about the process of writing. Not only the mechanics but also the highs and lows, joys and pitfalls, and everything in between. It’s a wonderful place to commiserate and celebrate. I’ve received countless recommendations for sources of inspiration and instruction.

One such author I found through this group is KM Weiland, who, through her website , offers some of the most helpful advice I’ve found on the world wide web for writing fiction. She also writes books, both instructional and fiction, and her book “5 Secrets of Story Structure” (free on kindle!), blew the roof off my understanding of structure.

Incorporating what I learned there into a sort of Frankenstein’s monster of plot and planning propelled me through book one and beyond. I like to think I understand character development, rising action, character interaction, etc., yet the finer points of how to structure a story was some kind of nebulous idea without edges. Reading about the craft of writing gave me edges to grab. I recommend doing at least a bit of reading on things like this, even if you’re a proud panster. I now consider myself a “plantser,” whereby I plot about two or three plot points in advance, with the ending in mind. I don’t think I’ll ever make a detailed outline, but I’ve learned so very much this last year about how to make my version of pantsing more successful. And enjoyable.

I want to mention one thing. I hear a lot of people complain about the “soggy middle,” both in writing and in reading. It’s easy to fall into the trap of the long, boring middle. I think I might have in book 2? Maybe not, but I get a distinct “Esmeralda Villa Lobos” vibe from it…somewhere. If anyone finds it, let me know.

KM’s book helped me to understand it’s not a three act play at all. It’s four. And each one has a high point in the middle, with a big beginning and a big end. The first act has the beginning, the inciting incident, and ends with the first plot point. I think a lot of people recognize that structure, even if they don’t know the words. But it’s the middle not everyone sees the same. The magic elixir? Pinch points. I get excited just thinking about them. Pinch points aren’t as big as plot points, but they are way stations from one plot point to the next. Without pinch points, I would not have made it through my second novel. I’d probably still be back there, trying to figure out how to slog through act 2, in order to get to the big piece act 3 was going to bring. Pinch points are like bright spots on the road. Like fireworks stands.

Something else I read about this time was about the scene/sequel structure of chapters and something called the Motivation-Reaction-Unit (MRU). You can read more in-depth here . One thing I haven’t done when editing so far is make sure I’ve properly followed the scene/sequel structure. I think I have, for the most part, so editing should go fairly quick. But once I read this, I incorporated most of the advice right away. Where to break paragraphs, for example (the MRU), is paramount to keeping the pages turning. And now when I look at my writing before this change, I hate it. I want to fix it all. The basics of it is:

Something happens.

(new paragraph) The character reacts. Emotionally, physically, verbally, all or some. In varying orders, just like keeping your sentence structure varied.

This not only keeps the reader turning pages, it kept me, the writer, turning pages. What a great hack I had no idea about. It’s interesting how many things I learned I had no idea about. I’ve always said, you don’t know what you don’t know. How do you know to ask the right questions if you are unaware of your ignorance in the first place?

In writing I’ve found part of this is being part of a community of writers. We talk, ask questions, answer questions, learn things. I mean, the MRU is immediately recognizable. But, here’s the kicker, you have to know you’re looking for it. Otherwise, you don’t realize it’s something you have to do. So when you talk with other writers, you learn the questions they’re asking, and you expand your own knowledge by answering them.

Another way to know if you’re asking the right questions is by visiting websites like KM’s, and by reading books on the craft of writing. There’s a book for everyone. A book for plansters like me (I’m assuming), a book for pantsers, a book for plotters, a book for who-knows-what-they-are. A book for writing, for editing, for dialogue, for exposition. There’s the Emotion Thesaurus series, which many people I know absolutely swear by. So to find out what questions to ask, reading is a huge part of it. And not just reading fiction.

And then there’s classes. I, personally, do not currently have the funds or time. I’m the sole breadwinner in the house at the moment. But I ascended to this position (haha) by going to college. Even the two English classes I took helped hone my craft. Yes, English 101 and 102. To be fair, my 102 professor was widely known to be the most difficult English teacher on campus and he was supremely awesome. I learned a lot more than I had expected, and our chats were always informative and enjoyable. I really dug that class. I hope to take more classes. There’s online ones, and there’s more at the community college (you can always apply for grants for community college).

And of course there’s cons. I got to a small one last year and it was super fabulous. I attended one a few years back that the same community college puts on each year. But in 2018, I’m looking to attend a super huge one (hint: it’s at that website I linked), and I cannot wait to meet some of the writers in my online community of awesome. There will be amazing speakers, and I hope to glean some knowledge from them.

Now that I’ve covered structure basics with you, what else is there to writing a trilogy? And what about those pesky characters and their decisions? Next week, the final part. Hope you’ll join me!

On Writing the “Reclamation” trilogy – part 1 of 3

Last night, I finished the Reclamation trilogy. I say “last night”, but by the time you’re reading this, it will have been a bit longer than that. I don’t really know what to do with myself for consistency, so I’ll be chipping away at this for a few days. So when I say, “last night,” what I mean is January 6th. Technically. I was still awake from the 5th, in reality. It was about 1am.

Not to get sidetracked. I posted this and it’s a good summary of my progress:

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I’ve had people ask how I did it. I have some pretty trite answers, which I try not to use. Among the more trite ones:

-write every day

-I don’t know

-Um?

So in an effort to be honest with us all, I’ll explore the process and we’ll see what pops up. Maybe we’ll both figure it out, because “I don’t know” is honestly pretty close to the truth.

The first time I met Addy and Jack was November of 2014. I was hugely pregnant at that time, and doing very little concentrating on stories. I wrote a lot of flash that year, because I was really just too tired to really do much more. To tell the truth, I didn’t realize it was that long ago. This first introduction gave me a glimpse into the world in which they lived, and who they were to each other.

The idea germinated for a while, popping up again after postpartum exhaustion began to wear off. In May of 2016, I wrote a longer piece of flash (about 1500 words) you can find here. Reading it is weird and difficult. I considered taking it down. SO much has changed since that early story, it’s hardly even the same thing. But I want you to see what part of the process was for me, and be honest about it, so it stays. Character creation is, what I consider, one of the top three most important things about telling a story. And for a longer story, character is number one.

It’s their story, so I have to let them tell it.

And in order to let them tell, I need to know who they are. More than that, I need to connect with them. In that early story, you can see Addy is only 17. My initial idea about the story was post post-apocalypse. I wanted to tell the story of someone who grew up during the zombie apocalypse and after a cure was found, how they coped with life. Their whole outlook would likely be different. I didn’t know exactly how, and that’s where “who is Adelaide” becomes important.

At some point, I thought it would be fun and illustrate the differences better if I also told the other side of the story – her father. Someone who lived half their life before the apocalypse happened, and the other half during. How would that experience change someone, and how would they deal with life differently because of it?

It was always easy for me to see who the father was, and how he might deal with life differently compared to someone who grew up during it. But Addy, that was the problem. I didn’t much like her, I didn’t connect with her. Because I didn’t connect with her, I couldn’t figure out who she really was. After toying with the character for a while, I realized what needed to happen. She needed to be older. So, I aged her up to twenty-three and the click was audible. I was off to the races.

Now, when diving into the how of the writing, I have to stay away from specifics. Obviously I can’t talk about plot points. What I can tell you, is I chose a very specific type of character arc for Addy. I knew where she was starting, and where she was ending. Otherwise, when I began writing this trilogy, I considered myself a full-on pantser. Meaning I wrote entirely by the seat of my pants. I like to think I had a pretty good handle on the basics of what went into a story, and about where they fell.

That’s it for part 1. Join me for part 2 next week, where I go more in-depth about the things I learned about story structure and how the pieces fit together.

Timeless 2.02 “The Darlington 500” Review

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Week two, season two, Clockblockers, finds us in the bunker together, whole. The team checking in with each other, working on the Lifeboat, trying to untangle this Rittenhouse mess, that’s where the magic of this show really is. In the Time Team.

A few things, though. One, Jiya needs to be honest with someone, preferably Rufus, about what’s happening to her. By the end of the episode, of course, I realized she can see both the past and the future and boy if that isn’t going to come in handy at some point. Two, there has got to be a happy medium for Connor. I know he’s grieving, and has lost everything he believed in, but Stone Cold Denise Christopher making him as much a prisoner as everyone else is not going to be good for anyone.

Although, so far, I’m greatly enjoying the shift Mason has experienced. There are so many layers to what he’s going through, to what he has been through, and I look forward to seeing more of those layers explored. Plus I died and was resuscitated by this interaction with Paterson Joseph on twitter.

 

 

This week’s case was based around something I know a bit about – NASCAR. Having grown up in the South, just down the road from Dale Earnhardt’s hometown, I know about NASCAR’s roots in bootlegging, how it evolved from street modified cars to the “stock cars” they race now, and about many of the greats who’ve sat behind the wheel. Unfortunately, what I did not know, was anything about the first (and only) black man to win a cup race.

“I learned something on Timeless today:” about Wendell Scott and his legacy. I did a little of my own research after watching, via the Wendell Scott Foundation’s website, and discovered that little tidbit above – no African American person has won a cup race, except Wendell. In fact, he was the last to even race full time in the cup circuit, until this year. More on that later.

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Wendell Scott

He was inducted into the NASCAR hall of fame in 2015. His bio says he gained friends among his colleagues and admirers in his fans of all colors, yet, he experienced racism and sabotage as portrayed in the show. It was no doubt a tough haul for him. He did what he loved and I think there’s really few greater causes than chasing what you love. I thank the writers, again, for teaching me about these pieces of history I knew nothing about. This research lead me naturally to Darrell “Bubba” Wallace, who, this year, made history as the first black man since Wendell to race full time in the cup. He’s currently sitting 20th, with one top-five finish. If you know anything about NASCAR, you know that this early in the season, that’s pretty darn good. Especially for his first year full-time. The guys ahead of him are all names you’ve heard before. More info about Bubba can be found here

And you can follow him on twitter, too: https://twitter.com/BubbaWallace

And while the history was amazing, and the attention to detail in sets, props, and wardrobe (the ladies, both Lucy and Emma, killed the 50s look) was absolutely stunning, the Time Team is the heart of this show. This week was no exception. Rufus inventing the nod was priceless. Wyatt’s awe of Wendell, and his love of fast cars, turned him into a cute and smiling little boy like we’ve never seen.

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One of many smiles in this episode. They do get to have fun, sometimes.

But as juicy as this episode was and how I could go on about so much of it forever, this review would not be complete without two things.

First, that trunk scene.

You know I’m a sap. I loved it. Lucy unintentionally finding out about Wyatt’s dad and then confronting him about it when he couldn’t escape the questions pried him open in a moment he might have otherwise chosen to run away from. When he realized she overheard him, it scared him, being open to her like that. But when she asked him about it, he didn’t back down. And that’s how we get close to people. We let ourselves be vulnerable around them. When we let someone in that way, exposing the core of ourselves to them, they either respond in kind or push back. Lucy responded, in her time of need. They are completely in like.

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Oh, for the love of … he has just a smidge of lipstick on his lips. Kill me now.

I’ve mentioned how they’re running the risk of the perpetual will-they-won’t-they and how if they do, it’ll kick that leg out from under the show. It’s happened before, it can happen again. Look at Lois and Clark. They should just “they will,” and move on, exploring the difficulties of this job as a couple. And of being a couple in this unique situation in the first place. But, I fear, they will, and then another wrench will come flying out of the time machine: Jessica Logan. Sigh. I’m already depressed about it.

But speaking of wrenches and time machines, that’s the other thing. William Shatner, another Timeless fan, brought up the P word.

 

Yep, paradox. You can’t have time travel without paradoxes. I thought they’d done really well to avoid them up to this point, but Cap’s got a point. I’ll take a stab at it.

Time is not linear, as we see in this show. They travel along the string by folding the string, therefore setting things in different places along the same string. Rittenhouse traveled back in time to place their sleeper agents. But the agents do not carry out their missions unless Rittenhouse visits again, as Emma did in this episode. The scary part about it is history changing without our heroes being aware. Wyatt idolized a Rittenhouse sleeper agent, for goodness’ sake. In season one, our heroes were impervious to the changes, because they were always present when they happened (probably). But now, they have no idea which of their memories are real.

Like when they come back from 1941, and Jessica is alive and in the bunker. This will be completely normal to everyone, except Wyatt, Lucy, and Rufus. And then what, for Lyatt? And now I’m depressed again. I’ll eat a whole plateful of crow, rather than be right.

 
-Flynn’s fix definitely comes with a price next time. Look forward to seeing him out of that ugly jumpsuit and back in a time machine where he belongs.

-the winner of the first Daytona 500 was a name Wyatt mentioned; Lee Petty. 22 Feb, 1959.

-the 12 parsecs crack made me spit out my drink.

-Lucy stole his jacket at the end. Definitely in like.

-I need superhero Jiya to take her place as, uh…I’m not good at this. What’s her superhero name?

-Lucy’s great-grandfather is a scary, crazy, brilliant guy. Bringing him to 2018 was a terrible, awful, no-good, bad idea. Emma is down with sloughing away some folks.

-I’ll leave you with this exchange. So hilarious.

 

Screencaps courtesy of the NBC app. Stream Timeless on the app or at https://www.nbc.com/timeless

 

“Timeless” 2.01 Review – The War to End All Wars

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St. Mihiel, France; September 14, 1918. World War I front lines.

Hi! Welcome! I promised Timeless reviews if they got a second season, and I couldn’t be happier to fit this into my week. Please bear with me, this is my first Timeless review. Not only am I not sure how this is about to go, I want to get to it earlier in the week in the future. Oh, and SPOILERS. MASSIVE AMOUNTS OF SPOILERS. IT’S BASICALLY ALL A SPOILER FROM HERE ON. It’ll always be that way.

First, I’ll post the historical date (you’ll see that at the top). The time travel aspect of this show is astoundingly researched and realized and I expect I’ll spend some time talking about the new things I learned during the episode. Or new facets of things I knew but hadn’t considered.

Of course, ideas are what draw me in. Great characters are what keep me. So I foresee a lot of talking about the characters, specifically the A-Team Through Time, and how they develop. Now that we all know what to expect, let’s get going!

And so we catch up with our heroes six weeks after the finale of season 1. Lucy is with Rittenhouse, and Wyatt, Rufus, Jiya, Denise, and Connor have narrowly escaped assassination. Along with the Lifeboat. Thinking Lucy is dead, the team splinters. All dealing with the pain and loss of their friends at Mason Industries and of Lucy in very different, very human ways. Denise does what she can to keep them together, but they’re a mess. Especially poor Wyatt.

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Everyone’s kind-of a mess.

But seeing Lucy with her mother, trying to smile and pretend everything is peachy?

AND she thinks Wyatt and Rufus and all her friends are dead. And her sister still doesn’t exist. It was painful to watch her pretend everything was OK and try to bond with the mother who, at the beginning of this show, was her idol. Who was the reason she got into history in the first place. Everything she did was to make her proud. And now, what? How do you erase a lifetime of feelings in six weeks? You don’t. How impossibly complicated for her.

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And then there’s Emma and her two/twelve faces, being horrible all through time.

I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of Lucy fangirling over historical figures, and her reaction to Madam and Irene Curie was no exception. She might have been hollowed out inside by the decimation of her entire life, but her spark is still evident in the way she shines to the Curies. And who wouldn’t? I just desperately wish she’d been able to tell them to wear a lead apron. And not touch the radioactive isotopes. Anything.

And this week’s “I learned something today on Timeless,” is that Marie Curie operated field x-ray machines in World War I. I knew about her work with polonium and radium, and that she handled these things without the safety precautions we take for granted today, but I was not aware of the petites Curies, as they were known. What an amazing woman, to have pioneered x-ray technology and then taken it straight into battle where it could save lives. What a human.

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Marie Curie, Nobel Prize Portrait 1903

But I’m not going to lie, I’m here for Wyatt and Lucy all day. I’m a huge sap, I make no apologies. When Wyatt and Rufus found out Lucy was alive, Wyatt’s entire demeanor changed. He started popping off with the wry one-liners, looking for Private Ryan, slicing and dicing Rittenhouse sleeper agents with ease. If that wasn’t physical proof of how he feels about her, Rufus went ahead and spelled it out for him. Watching him get lost in his own little world as he let that realization wash over him was probably the most fun part of the whole episode.

The other realization, however, about the sleeper agents, wasn’t entirely unexpected. Based on some of the promotional material (I didn’t watch/read everything. My brain likes to take spoilers and little tidbits and run away with them), I expected it. Also, we knew about the cell phone already. What’s interesting is the implications. The breadth, the absolute depth of Rittenhouse’s plan. It boggles the mind to think how our little intrepid Time Team is going to take care of this. In the end, I think the only answer is erasing everything. Going back to stop Mason from even creating time travel. But, there’s the paradox, isn’t it? Because there always has to be a paradox in time travel.

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Thank goodness the Time Team is back together!

Before I skip off to wait just a few days for the next episode, I’ve got a few notes at the bottom. And I have to tell you, don’t think I’ve forgotten about our Hero In A Hoodie. I adore Rufus. He’s smart and adaptable and has no idea how amazing he is. What I love about these characters is that each of them are me. They all have something I can relate to. I’m a total nerd, like Rufus. I like to think I’m strong and capable like Lucy, but, and this is certain, I’ve also got a soft side that completely needs the people around me. Like Wyatt, I’ll do anything to protect the people I care about, and throw my own well-being to the wind. They’re the perfect team. They are stronger because of their differences, and special because of their strengths.

I cannot wait to follow them further down the rabbit hole.

-The Clockblocker shout-out was the most spectacular thing I’ve heard on TV since the 200th episode of Supernatural.

-Shoutout to the prop department. That Springfield rifle stood out to me as a wonderful piece of well-researched prop design.

-Connor watching the video of the explosion over and over was about the saddest thing in this whole episode. He’s a completely different guy, now, and I’m digging it.

-I was almost in tears, thinking Emma was going to murder the Curies. It wasn’t quite as bad as thinking Neil and Buzz were going to die on the moon, but it was close.

-Good thing Wyatt didn’t kill Lucy’s great-grandfather. That would have been… unfortunate.

-Nice to have both a villain (Emma) and an antagonist (Lucy’s mom) this season. Good depth on the story front.

-So glad they brought Flynn back as well. I love how complicated he is, and how he’s really not a bad guy. He’s a good guy who was doing bad things. A pretty accurate visualization of chaotic good.

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And I mean this in the most loving way possible, but I hate you, Jiya. #Lyatt

 

Screencaps courtesy of the NBC app. Stream Timeless on the app or on NBC’s website

 

 

Supernatural 13.4 “The Big Empty” Review

Hi! Sorry I’ve been absent. I’m about eyebrows deep in book three, I’ve got a convention to go to next week, it was Halloween season, and if you like, I have about sixteen other excuses if you want to dig in my pocket and pick one. Here’s what I did last week, instead of write the blog: 

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Thanks to David Haydn-Jones (Season 12’s Mr. Ketch) and @carly_dolphin for hosting the LTTU Pumpkin carving contest!

For what it’s worth, I have been fairly satisfied thus far. I wish Kim had more lines last week, but I look forward to the pilot for Wayward with great anticipation. I think it’s going to kick ass.

So this week, it was a Monster of the Week. One of my favorite things. We follow the show because of the story, but we all know what we love the most. “Saving People, Hunting Things”™. 

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Victims…blah blah…witnesses…blah blah…let’s go stab something.

Dean’s pain over Cass, now that he’s let off some steam to Sam, is beginning to come to manageable levels. Even at the beginning of the episode, we can see he’s beginning to get a handle on it. Which is good, because he worried me. He’s been here before, and he doesn’t always deal well. Let’s not forget the time he took it out on Baby.

Sam’s connection to Jack certainly seems to be this season’s thread. I appreciate what Sam is doing, and I enjoyed watching Sam and Dean argue about how to raise their baby.

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“And the kid can dig.”

I do feel Sam’s approach is more likely to work, but he is being a little soft on Jack. With Dean being way over-the-top hard on him, I think the best bet is something in the middle. Together, Sam and Dean make the perfect Winchester parent.

But first, they have a case to solve. Their visit to the therapist’s office, where they argued about Mary, killed me. I cried. A lot. Even after all this time, these two can really turn up the heat. Our poor, broken Winchesters. It’s a minor miracle that after all they’ve seen, they can still feel grief so deeply. That tells me more about the size of their hearts than any action they take. 

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“I’m fine” is stretched tightly across your face, Dean.

Ps I cried rewatching it for this review.

Finding out the therapist was a shifter had me jumping up and down. For one, I love shifters. I think the stories that can be told with them are endless. The possibilities presented by a creature of that type can go anywhere. And then to find that this shifter, this “monster”, wanted only to do good was the icing on the shifter cake. Stories about moral grey area are my jam.

Most of the episode followed that question down the rabbit hole, and did an excellent job playing parallel to the dilemma of Jack. Alexander Calvert continues to knock it out of the park, and it was lovely seeing Jack come to terms with his grief over his mom. Does someone being a monster automatically qualify them for death? In the case of this shifter, the answer is no. No it does not. Just because someone is different, does not mean they need to be ostracized and killed. And in the case of Jack, I’m not convinced, either. I cried again, as he confronted the shifter dressed in his mother’s skin. Such a touching moment. And this poor kid, who is not actually the antichrist (we’ve already met him), just wants to be as good as his mother thought he could be. 

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Guest star Rukiya Bernard as Mia Vallens. “It doesn’t matter what you are, it matters what you do.”

Do you believe he could be good? I do. Lucifer is not inherently bad. He was once an angel. He has made terrible choices, and has been the Dark Prince for so long, he doesn’t know any other way. But inherently bad? No. I don’t believe it. And in that way, I also don’t believe Jack is inherently bad. Sam has a point, there. I was grateful Dean could see the shifter offer her life for his, and that Jack could finally use his powers again to save Sam. It opened Dean’s eyes to the possibility that he is wrong. And that’s enough for me, for now. 

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There you are, Dean.

Final note about the shifter before I change topics: I needed her to live. When her ex-boyfriend showed up, I saw in her the perfect picture of the abused woman. Coerced into hurting people and trapped in a toxic relationship, she ran away and began a new life. A life in which she used the powers she’d be given to help people heal, and to help herself heal. I could not have her abusive ex-boyfriend show up and kill her. I really could not. Overall, this was the strongest episode so far this season, and I loved everything about. it.

So, let’s talk about Castiel. Our wayward angel, awake in a great, black box. Interesting he ran into this Friendly Neighborhood Cosmic Entity. 

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Side note, I loved the accent.

Before God and Amara, what was there, he asks? Nothing. Nothing but empty. So do we call him The Nothing, or The Empty? I like The Nothing, personally, but the episode was called The Big Empty, so I guess that’s what we’re going with. I found it interesting, this new entity. Are these the cosmic consequences Billie warned us about? I like to think that’ll still come up, at some point. Either way, in the end, after having his tulips tiptoed through, Castiel makes his way back to Earth. Is he Castiel? Probably. Is Castiel alone? Probably not. Can’t wait to see how that plays out. 

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I guess someone on twitter thought this was a happy scene. And someone else called them a sweet summer child. The second person was right.

 

(All photos/screenshots property of The CW Network)

Supernatural 13.1 “Lost and Found” Review

Season thirteen, here we are. The longest running US genre show, and the longest running genre show besides Dr. Who, and we happily welcome the Winchesters back for this groundbreaking season with open arms.

Picking up right where we left off, welcoming Jack to the world and saying goodbye to Castiel, they jumped right in to breaking our hearts. Again. I cried just watching the intro.

Judging from the new title card, I think we know what, or who, the focus of this season will be. 

So why don’t we talk about Jack? Side note, the main character in the trilogy I’m currently working on is named Jack. It’s not a shout-out to Supernatural because I’ve been working on the trilogy for a little over a year. But that makes it a little weird for me that such an obviously important character in my favorite show has the same name as a character who is very, very near and dear to my heart.

At any rate, Alex Calvert stole my heart in this episode. His part cannot be easy. Jack was just born and matured at an incredible rate. He’s still a baby, but at the same time, he’s a teen. He’s impressionable but incredibly powerful. A creature of unfathomable strength, yet ultimately, still just a kid. I can’t imagine how Alex came at this part, but I love what he’s done with it in this episode. I’m looking forward to seeing a lot more from him this season, and it seems the cast and crew agree.

Listening to Jack interact with the sheriff’s son at the station, on the rewatch I realized it’s clear he’s half angel. He has the flat expression they have, and their unique inability to interact like a normal human. Also, he’s only half human, because he can hear the angels talking but it gives him what looks like a killer headache.

I also very much enjoyed guest star Andrea Menard in the role of Sheriff Barker. She and her son were both wonderful. It’s always fun to watch someone new come across the strange and unusual. They both did very well at playing their parts, and I’d really like to see the sheriff again at some point. 

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Is he some kind of superhero? Yes, yes he is.

I’d also like to note that angel, the one who talked about “Becky” (guest star Carlena Britch), was a uniquely talented angel. She did such a good job fooling Dean and blending in as a regular human, I thought she was a demon. But of course, as the Winchesters drove away from the fast food joint, I saw Dean had let himself be distracted enough for her to get a tracking spell on Baby’s dusty window.

Did that bug anyone else? How dusty Baby was?

At any rate, I worried the Winchesters were going to lose Jack because of Dean’s shoot-first-question-later attitude. I hate to see him backslide because of what happened to Castiel. He’d been making progress on that front, but it looks like he still needs Sammy to remind him that sometimes, you should talk to the monster instead of kill it. I think Jack can be an asset, if they let him. Over the summer, I held onto the vague hope he could resurrect Cass.

Now we know that’s not true. But I have some lingering questions about Castiel’s death. I spent the summer also in denial. I thought that somehow Alternate Universe (AU from here on) Cass had come through, and that’s who we saw die. But. But. We saw his wings. We had a funeral. When Sam asked if he was really dead, Dean said, “you know he is”. If it weren’t for the funeral, I’d say it was still a possibility the dead one was AU Cass. My hope, while still alive, is slim. So slim.

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She’s thinking something, I just wish I knew what it was.

But was it just me, or did that one angel seem to know something we didn’t? At the beginning of the episode when the two angels were standing over his body? She had some kind of knowing smile and I don’t really know what that was about. So there’s questions still, and knowing Misha is returning, I imagine soon they’ll be answered. I just knew they wouldn’t do it in this episode.

At any rate, Jensen broke all our hearts again. Mine, at least. Twice.

First when he asked for Crowley back.

lnf6
Jensen, Please submit yourself for an Emmy this year. Sincerely, the SPN Family.

And second when he watched Castiel’s body burn. I couldn’t even with that hunter’s funeral. I really feel like OUR Castiel is gone. Whatever Cass we get back will be some kind of pale imitation that doesn’t know or love the Winchesters. Lots of Destiel shippers will be very, very sad. I’m not among them, but I feel for them. And I’ll miss Dean’s brother, Castiel.

Great premiere. Did I miss anything? What was your favorite piece? What are you looking forward to? I don’t think Chuck is going to be any help, although I do really, really want Gabriel to come back so he can kill his Bag of Dicks bro.

Additional Notes on Jack:

-Sheriff Barker: What’s your dad’s phone number?

-I find it interesting Jack remembers Dagon dying, and he said, “the universe screamed”. So yeah. That’s not going to come up again. Surely not.

-“My father is Castiel.” 

lnf5
Annnnnnd the fandom dissolves into a puddle of tears and snot.

-Jack can’t be killed by an angel blade. Anyone shocked? Show of hands? No. Me neither.

-So, is Sam his dad now, or…?

 

Rewatching Dean wrap Castiel in his shroud, I bawled my little eyes out.

lnf7
Goodbye, Castiel. We’ll always love you. You stupid, wonderful angel.

 

P.s. I don’t much care for the AU concept because I feel like it’s only going to cause trouble for the writers when they don’t bring back whoever it is the fandom is fixating on. But I’ll be interested to see what they do with it otherwise.

 

**all photos/screenshots property of The CW Network**

Supernatural 12 21 “There’s Something About Mary” Review

The title of this episode calls to mind hijinks and wacky comedy.

This hour was anything but.

There is so much to unpack about this episode, I will most likely miss something on this pass. I want to get something out of the way right up front, though. Besides the fact you know this is ALL SPOILERS.

Eileen.

I am so heartbroken. Hey producers! We WANT Sammy to be in a relationship. Please stop killing his love interests. It’s Dean we don’t want attached. FYI.

And of course I’ll address the elephant in the room. Yes, she was a girl. Yes, she died on Supernatural. A LOT of people die on Supernatural. The gender debate, as well as the ‘using death as a lazy writer’s crutch’ debate are entire blogs unto themselves. Whole conversations. Books, even. As such, I will not go into it here. I will not refer to Eileen’s death as a gendered thing, and will only cover it as a part of the story.

The hi/bye was too brief.

It’s where we join our story, Eileen’s death. Seeing her return just to die made me so sad on several levels. Seeing that Ketch was responsible? Not surprised. He is a man of principle, after all, and his principles stated that she killed a BMoL. Therefore, death sentence. I woke up thinking about Ketch this morning, though, and I’d like to go a little more in depth with him at the end of this. I do enjoy that the writers are keeping us guessing on his arc, and I look forward to seeing which path they’ve chosen.

I felt unutterably bad for Sam getting the news about and investigating Eileen’s death. Though she did serve another purpose in the story besides man pain. Proof of a pattern, as well as the clue laden letter she posted to them days before her death. I still think they would have found Ketch’s INCREDIBLY OBVIOUS mic without her help, but she did help them get at least just a little ahead of the game.

Definitely a rough night at the office.

And when Mary encountered her hunter friend, Rick, that game took a hell of a twisted twist. At first, I thought it was a shapeshifter. Until poor Mary awoke in the BMoL’s Container Castle. It turns out Miss Lady Bitch Pants Suit is actually pretty good at her job, after all. Brainwashing is a new low, even for them. Oh, excuse me, Miss LBPS, “realignment”. And what was with all that crap she said to Mary about John? How dare she. I don’t care who’s locked in the bunker with the boys right now. I will never like that woman.

I didn’t have to include this but face it, he looks so cool here.

Raise your hand if you’re surprised the good Dr. Hess is in Crowley’s pocket? Now, we all know Crowley is slippery but why was he really at Castle Container? I think we all know that, as well. He was there to find out the BMoL’s intentions with the Winchesters. I fully believe he’d never let these stuffy numbskulls hurt our boys.

But he has problems of his own, now doesn’t he? When the boys called him to check up on the hellhound and he lied through his teeth, I knew for certain he was soon going to have to crawl to them for help. We saw Lucifer getting ready to break free, and I knew he’d get his ass handed to him. Then drag it, bumped and bruised, to the Winchesters. I was not disappointed on these points. Ah! Haha, surprised I hadn’t seen it sooner. He’s their way out of the bunker. He doesn’t believe in their loyalty enough without leverage, and will secure their help by going the extra step and getting them free.

Obligatory Archangel shot! Look at his pretty wings!

Speaking of the bunker, once the Winchesters tricked the BMoL and the BMoL tricked them back, me laughing at the ease with which they took the guns and took back their home, I realized Ketch had brought his ace in the hole. Because we can’t appear to be slacking on the job, now can we, Ketch? Ah, sorry, my Ketch argument bled over. More on that below. Either way, it was pretty heartbreaking to see the boys watch Mary leave. Not because they could possibly think she’s been turned willfully. They have to know it’s against her will.

Alright, I’m already running long. I’ve missed about a thousand things. Hopefully I’ve hit most of the big things. I think the biggest, for me, is that the season finale is next week and the BMoL is coming to a head. The nephilim is coming to a head. There’s potential for a temporary pact between enemies as they work together to kill or cure Luci’s child. Mary is, as always, willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for her family. Not everyone is going to survive. I fear for Ketch, Mary, Crowley, and Lucifer. I don’t think the producers are ready to break the fandom just yet, so Castiel stays. But Jody’s coming back (two thumbs WAYYY UP), and I swear to god I will join the gender chorus if she dies.

In truth, it’s a bloody and brutal game the Winchesters play. What’s happened to Mary is a fate worse than death. If they can see a way to clear her without sending her back to heaven, I’m down for that. I prefer that. There’s so much more that can be done with Mary Campbell Winchester.

 

Here’s this week’s P.S.

The character of Ketch has really ensnared me. I love a well written character. Two of them have kept me coming back for twelve seasons and counting. Below are my clues that Ketch may not have been as two dimensional in this week’s episode as you might think. There was more than just that scene with Mary.

Clues:

1-He lies to Dean about having seen Mary. Ketch knows she’s still in touch with her boys. He KNOWS it. She told him as much. Why would he tell a lie he was so sure they’d catch? Does he underestimate them that severely? Or did he want them to figure it out? And if so, why?

2-Hess threatens him with command. There is no way in the world Ketch wants to be a leader. He’s no leader. He’s really, really, really against being put in charge. He doesn’t want to answer to Toni, but he also doesn’t want to be The New Mick. Bet he has a contingency plan in place against such a thing.

So. Say hi to my new favorite screen grab.

3-Here we are again. Obvious mic is obvious, Ketch. Simply a plot device? I don’t think so. I think our boys could have found the mic in the speaker just as easily. They are skilled investigators, after all. I feel like this is at least the second time Ketch warned them about the bunker. They should not have come back at the end. How many times does he have to tell them, they don’t have the only key?

4-Let’s talk about that scene with Mary. What do you think he was feeling as he walked in? As he walked out? My thoughts: Guilt. Both counts. He knows what Toni has been doing with her, and it tears him up. He knows what her family means to her. Seeing her ready to kill herself rather than hurt them, it showed him something he’d never seen. A depth of feeling he didn’t think possible. You could say he was acting. That he felt she was weak. David’s performance was so subtle, so nuanced, so delightful, it could really go either way. But Ketch let her get close enough to get the gun. She gets his guard down. Makes him feel something.

My heart! David Haydn-Jones slaying again. So lovely, the complexity of emotion.

And wasn’t Samantha Smith something, as well? Such desperation. I just wanted to scream for Mary.

5-Bringing Mary along to trap the boys in the bunker was more than back up. He literally told them exactly what was going to happen. Warned them time after time. And built a backdoor into the plan so she wouldn’t have to hurt them. A cunning “escape”.

Now this, this was what I thought about when I woke this morning. He locked them in the bunker with Toni. Changed the locks. Reversed the airflow. One would think this was pretty clearly trying to kill them. But. But. Since when have we seen him “try” to kill anything or anyone? He just does it. There’s a reason why he didn’t just do it this time. Be it plot device, or character arc, well that remains to be seen. Just know, if TPTB choose not to redeem him, they could have. The story put it all in there. To me, it would be a hell of a missed opportunity if they don’t.

 

(All photos and screenshots property of the CW)

pps, I just realized I have been sorely lacking on pics of Sammy. Will fix next week. Promise.

Supernatural 12.20 “Twigs & Twine & Tasha Banes” Review

This week’s episode was helmed by two of my favorite people in the behind the scenes universe of Supernatural. One of my new favorite writers, Steve Yockey, handed his material to the ever awesome Richard Speight Jr. to direct. An excellent combination, I thoroughly enjoyed the episode from start to finish.

First of all, the “Then” segment? Season 1 episode 1 Dean? Such a baby, oh my goodness. He and I are the same age. Was I such a baby when the show was born?

To the episode. Since it was two episodes in one, I’d like to take a bit of a different approach. I’m thinking I’ll talk about each story individually, then we can wrap with how they dovetailed together in terms of theme.

I am telling you Ketch caught the feelings.

Let’s begin with Mary and Ketch. Because I love Ketch. Did you know that yet? And yes, after this episode, I still love him. I think he’s beautifully ruthless. And he plays his cards so close to the vest. The exception, of course, was the scene in the corridor with Mary. When she rejected him, reminding him their tryst was a “one time thing”, he was hurt. It could not have been more clear as he verbally lashed her that he thought his charm and good looks would change her mind. If that’s not proof of emotions, I don’t know what is.

And if he’s human, as his feelings for Mary prove, he can be turned.

Now, as I’ve said before, I could be completely off base about this. I know for certain I’m injecting my own desires into this and am coloring my ideas with those feelings. The parallels I see between Ketch and Dean are so clear, I want Ketch to be saved just as Dean has been. But I will admit it would be almost just as powerful to see what would have happened to Dean had he not been redeemed. To watch someone stay on that black and white path and fall because of it.

But I do so love a good redemption arc. I enjoy exploring the dark pathways we can take and still come out into the light at the other end. It’s because of this I see the light in Ketch and want him to be saved.

You can’t convince me he didn’t enjoy this on multiple levels.

We get a glimpse into his methods in the sterile BMoL torture room, where Ketch is in his element. Enjoying the bloodier things in life. Raise your hand if you were surprised he enjoys torture. No? Sorry, Mary, you were the only one not expecting it.

Sort of tells you what kind of lover he must be.

Ahem. Sorry. Anyway, his sense of the Men of Letters’ complete rightness, his total faith in their methods and mission statement, was fully exposed in this episode. He has not only the desire but the need to eliminate the “things that go bump in the night”, and he believes there is a stark divide between humans and monsters. We knew this. But when he fought with Mary and made the statement about the psychic girl, I finally considered what he would have done to Sam if he’d met him in season 4. I honestly don’t think I’d considered that before. He would have killed Sammy without hesitation, and as we know, that cannot stand. The line in the sand was never more clear. Ketch must either be turned, or be destroyed. We simply cannot have that sort of threat running around.

In the end, he defeated Mary in combat, though he got his ass firmly handed to him first. “Enochian brass knuckles only work on angels.” Yeah, they’re still brass knucks, dude. His use of the taser, while a bit dirty, should not have been unexpected. The thing I couldn’t believe was Mary’s total shock at finding the dossiers on each of them.

Raise your hand if you didn’t see this coming? No? OK, just you again, Mary.

Side note, does this mean we’ll get to see Garth again sometime soon??? I hope, I hope, I hope. DJ Qualls is a joy.

Her boys knew what they were getting into the the BMoL. Well, her eldest did. I just can’t believe they haven’t found that damned mic yet.

So, speaking of the boys. Our raison d’etre. We catch up with them talking over what just happened with Castiel. Broke my heart to watch Dean say he didn’t recognize the man staring back at him. I love Cass and so do our boys, but that feathery asshole can make some pretty poor decisions. I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt, again, in that he was being controlled by one of the more powerful beings we’ve ever encountered. But I don’t think Sam can fix the Colt. And if he can, it won’t be ready until season 13, at the least. 

My HEART.

But they get a call from Alicia and Max, the witch twins from Asa Fox. Now see, these two had potential as a spin-off. Believe me, I’ll be getting back to that. We’re going to go a little long because I have a rant about the spin-off situation. I hope you’ll stick with me.

You guys noticed the wallpaper, yeah? Set department shout-out this week.

At any rate, they go on a witch hunt. Enjoyably, they interact with Alicia, Max, and their mother. All the while Dean keeps trying to contact his own and they keep missing each other. Knowing that we saw the twins’ mother get murdered at the beginning of the episode, I spent a large portion of this wondering how they were going to react. What their goodbye scene was going to be like. It was nice to find out more about the twins, to know that Max was the witch and Alicia was basically just the hunter. They have a nice balance, and are certainly people the BMoL would not suffer to live.

The hunt goes as expected, as necessary, and they find their mother is not who she purports to be. The scene where Max finds his mother’s body, after having been so convinced Alicia was worried over nothing, was particularly touching. I love that the Winchesters didn’t really try to talk to him. They’ve been there. They know. They felt his pain as he did.

They’ve been there, Max.

I found myself concerned with the twins’ survival throughout the episode, and when Alicia died I was not sad. I was pissed. This is not how this should have gone, guys. Yes yes of course Max ran the boys off, picked up the ring, and brought his sister back to “life”. Once again, for the second time this season, the Winchesters did something I consider completely out of character. They should have stayed to destroy the ring and help burn the bodies. I wanted to scream at them, if it was one of you dead up there, would you give a shit if you had to sell your soul to bring the other back to life? When the power sat right there on the floor? No. No you would not care.

Good lord, both of them have done that for the other. Leaving without cleaning up the mess was reckless and made no sense. The only thing it did do was leave the door open to see Max and Alicia again. And possibly kill them because now Max has crossed a line. On the rewatch, however, I discovered that Dean very well knew what was going to happen. And he allowed it anyway. So, I’ll give Steve a pass on that one.

Now these two storylines dovetailed quite nicely together. From the shifter Ketch and Mary were interrogating to Castiel running off with Luci’s babymamadrama, this episode was about family.

The BMoL are Ketch’s family, he’d do anything for them. Mary put herself in great peril to discover the secrets Ketch was trying to hide from her, so she could warn her boys. Max lost everything, including his soul, in order to maintain his own family. And the boys watched over all of it, having been in each and every one of these positions before. One of the very best things this season has given us is their bond. They are a united front like they haven’t been in so very long. They have each other’s backs, no matter what. It’s quite lovely.

Also, it’s bad news for anyone that comes between them and what they want.

Notes:

-So Miss Lady Bitch Pants Suit is back. Like she didn’t learn her lesson the first time around.

-Seriously, Mary kicked Ketch’s ass. Girl can punch.

-But it seems no one actually knows Mary’s deal. Hm.

-Seeing the Colt like that is so heartbreaking. I can’t even.

-Witches, man. Witches.

 

Alright, so here’s my P.S.

I don’t know if the CW still wants to do a spin-off of Supernatural. The first attempt failed something miserable. I have thoughts and theories as to why. Think about the successful spin-offs you know. One that comes to mind is Frasier. Look at that character. He was in several episodes of Cheers. I don’t even know how many per season. A healthy handful. We met his wife, we heard about his drama, he dated Diane. He was a part of the show. When he went off to get his own show, we followed, not just because we liked the character and not just because we liked Cheers and wanted more. We followed because we’d heard bits and pieces of his story and we wanted more. We gave a shit about him.

When they tried to spin Supernatural off the first time, they tried to give us a one off. Bones made this same mistake. Just one episode, introduce some random stranger and say “poof! You care about them because we said so!” No. It doesn’t work that way. With few exceptions, we have to meet a character at least twice before we have anything close to empathy for them. Before we want to hear more about their story. I feel like TPTB with Supernatural cannot see the spin-off material literally staring them in the face.

Let’s go back to season 3. I thought Agent Henrickson would have made a wonderful hunter. I would have enjoyed watching him learn the ropes and kick some ass. Nope. Killed him in the same episode where he found out the truth.

Fine. My next thought was Charlie. Her adventures in Oz would have been fantastic! The boys could come to Oz from time to time! She could fight all KINDS of supernatural foes in Oz, and make such a variety of allies it would be stupid. Nope! Killed her.

Side note: I cannot take credit for this idea but someone in one of my groups mentioned that Charlie could have sent a clockwork person back from Oz. Maybe it wasn’t the real Charlie that died?

Ok, so that’s two options down. The first time I saw Alicia and Max, I thought they’d make a great spin-off. I’d watch it, for sure. They have a rich backstory, a great dynamic, and no doubt a very interesting life. Well. We see what happened with that.

I’m sure you’ve all heard of the Wayward Daughters. I’d watch the hell out of that, too. Hire Kim and Briana and make this happen, people.

My point, and what makes me so angry I just wrote like six thousand words about it is that TPTB really don’t seem to be able to see the forest for the trees. They keep taking these golden spin-off opportunities and imploding the shit out of them. Just once, I’d like for them to see what they have.

 

(all pics and screenshots property of the CW)

Supernatural 12.19 “The Future” Review

So, Castiel did a thing.

For starters, he pissed me off. But he earned his degree from the Dean Winchester School of Communication, so I can’t really be that mad.

Alright, let me back up. This week’s episode was entirely plot. 100%. And to be honest, it was forty five minutes in and I said to myself, “nothing of note has happened yet.” Now I will admit that on the first watching this week, I was distracted by computer problems. Not my own, but a family member, which is almost just as distressing. And I’m the house IT person by default, so my attention was split.

A well and tastefully done scene, for what it was.

I saw enough to see Kelly, the mother of Luci’s child, despondent over what was to come. Every time she looks at the child, she knows it’s her child. An innocent. I know that feeling. Everything you do, you do for the little one who has no choice in who it is. Still, I was proud of her resolve. Putting the good of the world above that of not only herself, but her child, that took some real guts. My estimation of her grew because of it. 

As we know, when we’re not watching a monster of the week, the boys are working on the plot. We find Sam, giving the nephilim’s due date for the date of the season finale.

Aside: on which date, we’ll have not one but TWO episodes in one night. I can’t breathe.

And when Castiel shows up, Dean puts it all on the table. He’s pissed. He’s hurt. He’s been betrayed by someone who not only has he put his ass on the line for, just a few weeks ago Castiel told them they were family. But now he’s run off to be with his other family. To Dean, turning your back on family is tantamount to cheating. It’s the ultimate betrayal. It’s untenable.

But Cass apologizes, in his own awkward way. And he and Dean try to fix what he broke.

Go Team Free Will, dumbass.

The angel, however, has his own plans. Always trying to keep Dean and Sam safe, for they are mortals, he deserts them once again. Even though Sam has finally come up with a fantastic plan. Extract the nephilim’s grace. Make it human. I admit, I got a little teary eyed. The Winchesters are such beautiful heroes. They may not be perfect, but they do their best. And their best is nothing short of transcendent. The list about why Dean is my favorite superhero is ever lengthening.

At any rate, Cass goes after Kelly himself, along with two other angels. It was good to see Nathan Mitchell again, as the angel Kelvin. He impressed me with his angelic performance last time, and I wish he’d done more in this episode. As he battled Dagon, Cass took Kelly and ran.

Because though Castiel may have once been a warrior angel, now he’s an honorary Winchester. He can’t kill an innocent, either. He was planning to take her to heaven, however, so they could take care of the problem. But he fell under the spell of the nephilim and its mother.

We all remember what happened with the antichrist, yes? Don’t think this’ll turn out much better.

The nephilim is something I’d like to talk about. It saved Kelly’s life when she tried to kill herself. In point of fact, she did kill herself. It brought her back to life. When their souls touched, she felt its goodness. Its pure heart. I mean, Lucifer was an angel, an archangel, before he was cast down. He was the best and the strongest of them all. And this is his child. It doesn’t have to be the son of the devil. It’s the son of an angel. Now, as we know, in Supernatural land, angels are feathery winged dicks. But still, I almost want to believe Kelly when she says the child is good. And I want the grace removal to work. My caveat to that, however, is that Lucifer is the best when it comes to telling people what they want to hear. His kid definitely inherited that trait. 

I think the grace thing might work, if the Winchesters have a chance to try it. But not until after the nephilim kills Lucifer. Yeah, I’m saying it. I think we’re going to lose Luci for good and all at the end of this season. Hoisted on his own petard, as Gabe would say. Yet I’m not entirely convinced Crowley won’t also be collateral damage. I fear we may lose him. But then, I’ve been afraid of that every single time he’s shown up for like three seasons. That’s my PTSD talking. Thanks, TNG.

So Sam and Dean catch up with Cass, tell him about their plan, and then he runs away again. Granted this time it’s on Kelly, but still. It’s fairly annoying that one week he tells them they’re his favorite things ever, better than his heavenly family, and then he just leaves. Over and over and over again. But at least he’s self aware enough to know it, when he tells her he’s not someone she should put her faith in.

And yet, when push came to shove, he put his big boys pants on, took the power the nephilim granted him, and smote the shit out of that yellow eyed demon with it. 

Three down. One to go. Buh-bye.

I don’t know how all this is going to play out but I hate the following:

-Castiel and the Winchesters being separated

-The fact we’re going to lose either Lucifer or Crowley or both

-Not having seen Rowena in weeks and weeks and weeks

I’d also say it’s likely next week is the last episode that’ll keep the BMoL and Lucifer storylines apart. I figure after that they’ll converge for the following three episodes, and the final showdown. I look forward to seeing all that play out.

Notes:

-The Winchester’s “purse dog” hahahahahahaha Lucifer literally gets the best lines.

-Dean keeps the Colt under his pillow. Come on, Sam, did you have to ask?

It’s a good thing somebody killed her, because that was not going to fly.

-Dagon may as well have reached into each and every one of our chests and ripped out our hearts when she destroyed the Colt. That damned gun has been a part of us since the beginning.  

-Next week’s episode was written by Steve Yockey, who is fast becoming one of my favorite new Supernatural writers. What he has to deliver is no doubt fantastic. Can’t wait.

 

A p.s. for last week’s review. When Ketch looked at that photo of Mary and young Dean, he may have just been realizing how old she should be, yet isn’t. And if that’s the case, he no doubt has some questions for her. But he may be conflicted as to what path to take once he discovers the truth. I’m sure he’s thinking pretty hard about the whole thing. Looks like we’re going to find out next week. See you then, family.

(All screenshots/photos property of the CW)

Supernatural 12.18 “The Memory Remains” Review

This week, I find myself incredibly grateful Supernatural is available to watch in full, including the “Then” segment, on the CW app (or their website) because somehow my broadcast began after the first five minutes.

Though the first five minutes are almost always the same, they’re part of the whole formula that puts my brain in Supernatural mode. Without them, I end up feeling lost for a few minutes, especially when I know they’re missing. What they would have told me this week was that this episode was going to be, for the most part, a Monster of the Week. And the thing about monster of the week is that this show is expert at them. Like a well oiled machine. It makes me quite comfortable, knowing what to expect. Plenty of Sam and Dean, being Sam and Dean.

So, to the case. Sheriff Taxidermy was a great suspect for this case, considering the killer was wearing a stuffed goat head. But I also completely suspected stick-up-his-ass supervisor from the get-go. Especially once the boys interviewed him. He just seemed a little…you know. Off.

Guest star Ryan McDonald, not being suspicious at all.

Side note: in episodes like this, I enjoy the banter between Sam and Dean in places like the diner. Think that’s my favorite part. I mean, do Jared and Jensen even need a script for this anymore?

I love the diner banter more than I can adequately express

Meanwhile, Ketch and some of his boys “broke into” the bunker. I mean, one, I wish the Winchesters would get a run of the mill lock on that place. Something, rather than leave it accessible to the BMoL. And any other Men of Letters in the world. I mean, the Winchesters sleep there. I don’t know if I’d be OK with it once I’d found out there were other Men of Letters, and any of them could get into your home. The Brits have already shown they can’t really be trusted. I mean, the first time one of them came into the bunker, she shot Sam and then had him tortured. Not someone you want with a key to your house. And to top it off, they appear to be thieves as well.

How DOES Sam get his hair so shiny?

Side note 2: weekly shout-out to the set department. I’m pretty sure Bobby was a ghost at least twice on the Addams Family house set, and it’s hard to hide that staircase, but I appreciate the effort. I’m sure it takes a lot of imagination and hard work to make the same sets look different and I like to acknowledge how hard the set department must work. Seems like a huge undertaking. Your excellent work does not go unnoticed.

Backing the sheriff into a corner, Sam and Dean find out the truth about the killings. A pagan god. Yeah, pretty sure Dean was right in that the Colt can take care of this. I mean, we haven’t yet found out the fifth thing the Colt can’t kill (have we? Correct me if I’m wrong), but I doubt it’s some random pagan god. Not considering how many we’ve seen on this show.

As I said before, the formula makes me comfortable, and to my delight they continued to follow it. One of the boys, this time Dean, gets taken by the monster. The explanation of why the monster is getting fed adds up to Will Scarlet, the meat plant supervisor, and we find Dean in the freezer with two dead bodies and a pagan god.

And no Colt.

We know our Dean, though, and we know Sam will kill himself to save him, so the only worry we have is whether or not the good guy of the week will die to solve the case. He lives, Dean gets the crap beat out of him by a pagan god, and every time pagan gods get mentioned I think of the Christmas episode.mr6

All in all, I found the episode itself enjoyable, comfortable, and what makes Supernatural what it is. The backbone of my favorite show. Its meat and potatoes. Our reminder that Jared and Jensen are the heart and soul of this show. They could easily be phoning in episodes like this by now. But never, not once, have I gotten that feeling from them. Not in twelve seasons. Though we know neither Winchester is about to die by the hand of some random pagan god on a Monster of the Week, they still put every bit of effort in helping us believe they are fighting for their lives. And I love them, for that and for so many other reasons.

Notes and theories:

-whoever’s decision it was to not show the god in full form was a brilliant, and I’m sure, money saving one. In horror you do not always need to see the monster. Sometimes, suspense is better.

-poor Dean didn’t get to use the Colt. Again. Well at least he got laid.

-I liked the set-up of the town’s history. You really got the sense of a larger story that will continue once the boys leave.

-The boys carving their initials into the table definitely achieved the desired effect. Got a little misty watching that brother moment.

Seriously haven’t seen a bug this large since those 80’s spy movies about the Cold War I grew up on

-Alright, seriously. Was that a bug Ketch planted? The blond one already planted a bug in the wall speaker. What was up with the one Ketch slapped under the table? AKA the most obvious bug known to man? Even the one in the speaker was unrealistically large. This was is just impossible.

Naturally, I have theories. Was it really a bug? At first I worried maybe it was some sort of explosive device. Or some other sort of BMoL toy that will harm the Winchesters. But. The more I think about it, the more I think it’s some kind of clue for the Winchesters to find. I still think it’s probable that Ketch is going to switch sides. But seeing what he saw along with doing what he did when Mick tried it convinces me he’s going to be a hell of a lot more discreet about it. Some in the fandom have shown surprise Mick was killed so quickly. My answer to that is that he was to be an example. To Ketch, specifically. Don’t be an idiot about it, that’s the example. The old men and their dogs, they don’t care about individuals in the organization. They only, only, only care about their precious Code.

Not to mention Ketch stealing that photograph. What is clearly one of Dean’s favorite possessions. Not only is Dean sure to notice its absence, why does Ketch want it? Because it’s a picture of Mary? Because it stands for childhood innocence or a mother’s love? Maybe something Ketch never had? Or something he misses, perhaps.

Or something else entirely. For a moment, I’ll entertain that I’m giving him too much credit and he’s simply doing these things to follow orders. To find out and understand as much as possible about his adversary. By studying Sam and Dean’s relationships to others, he can understand where their weak points are and leverage them.

Time will tell. See you April 27th.

(All photos property of the CW)