Supernatural: Black. The one where Crowley is the most human of the bunch.

Well here we are at the season 10 premier and as it is with many season premiers the boys are separated. However, unlike previous seasons they aren’t together by the end of the episode.

We start out the episode watching Sam going crazy looking for Dean (but not quite as crazy as he was when Dean was in hell or when Dean was killed for 6 months by the Trickster. Still he’s pushing boundaries and not letting much stop him from trying to find out where Dean is.

image

The most concerning part of this opening sequence isn’t Sam slicing into demons or losing sleep trying to find a lead, but watching how sick Castiel is now. Yeah we knew that his grace situation was definitely lacking, but no one likes seeing Cas dying in a nasty flop house (btw why isn’t he staying with Sam? Have I forgotten something?). Sam has gone dark before, but Cas doesn’t get a cold much.

Switch to Crowley and Dean living life to the fullest. Just the exchange between Crowley and Dean says so much. They exchange the boys signature bickering phrase (Jerk/Bitch) and then are seen playing crappy pool hall games. You put this scene together with the conversation Crowley has with Sam later and I think we get to the root of all that is going on. Crowley states more than once about how much fun he’s having with Dean and vice versa. Did he get Dean to take the Mark just so that they could be bffs? It sure seems like it from where I’m sitting.  I also have a theory that he’s sending the other demons to attack Dean to make his change even more concrete. It never hurts that Dean is probably making a name for himself and a BAMF in all the demon circles.

Cas’s story this episode doesn’t sit well with me. It’s not just because he’s not on his A game it’s because he’s willing to kill another angel to get him to obey Heaven.  Since when has Cas been an angel that listens to Heaven.  Any time he is that kinda angel it usually ends very badly. I just feel like he’s still being manipulated and you’d think by now Castiel would be wise to such tactics.

Wait– I thought we were ignoring the whole Amelia story line.

The other thing that doesn’t sit well with me is how easily Sam gets fooled by creepy Army dude. I mean seriously– his car suspiciously breaks down on a dark abandoned road while he’s on his way to track down Dean (which he knows Crowley knows he’s coming) and doesn’t doubt the intentions of a guy that pulls up immediately behind him to help? Where’s his gun? Where’s his automobile know how?  The Impala might be Dean’s, but he’s been around it long enough to know how a car works. It just seemed too convenient a trap and something that Sam wouldn’t have been caught unawares about.

The episode wraps up with Sam zip tied to a chair about to die and crazy army dude frustrated that Dean doesn’t seem to care about it (btw– Sam had Dean’s number this whole time?). Dean just drives off alone promising CAD his eventual death and seems to genuinely not care if Sam lives or dies.

Well. Isn’t that nice.

Not only are the boys at odds they don’t seem to be kissing and making up anytime soon. Will Dean be cured? Will Crowley get his way and have Dean at his right hand in Hell? Will Sam be killed (ummm no) and will Cas die from lack of grace (no please?)?

Well even with my questions one thing is for sure: Season 10 is setting up to be pretty amazing and I’m definitely excited to see what is coming.

Review of Season 8 “Supernatural” finale “Sacrifice”

I am a hardcore fan of “Supernatural .” I’ve watched all seasons numerous times and heaven help you if I find out you’ve never seen this show because I will seriously hound you until you become as addicted as I am.  So when I say that season Gr8 of “Supernatural” (as it has been dubbed) hasn’t always lived up to the hype know that it is hard for me to say. However the episodes from “LARP and the Real Girl” (who doesn’t love Felicia Day?) to the finale episode “Sacrifice”  went a long way to redeem the season.  These episodes got the brothers back on track to what they needed to be doing which is of course supporting each other with an insane amount of trust and devotion while risking everything  to save people’s lives.

Last week’s episode “Clip Show” ended with Crowley (Mark Sheppard) threatening to undo all the good that Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles) had ever accomplished unless they gave up the Trials to close the gates of Hell.  The viewer was left to wonder how they will get out of this quandary.  The Trials are killing Sam, but if the gates of Hell can be closed then Crowley can’t hurt anyone.  However, who will they lose before they can complete the third trial.

This looked to be a way out for the boys.  There is no way that they would be able to close the gates of Hell.  If they did there would be very few bad guys left and people need Hell.  There was also a ton of foreshadowing in “The Great Escapist” a few weeks ago if you knew what to look for.  I talk about that more here.

“Sacrifice” doesn’t feel rushed at the beginning of the episode, but a lot definitely happens in the first half of the show.  The boys save Sherriff Jody Mills (Kim Rhodes), who we haven’t seen much since Bobby Singer  (Jim Beaver) died, from Crowley by coming to an agreement to end the trials and give up the demon tablet.  They have a meeting with Crowley at Bobby’s place and Dean manages to pack so much emotion into his face in those few moments looking around at the shells of cars that all the pain the boys felt over losing their father figure come rushing back.  The boys look defeated.  Trapped.  They have to give up to save everyone.  Right?

Well Crowley should have realized by now that nobody puts Dean in a corner.

The boys always do their best when all seems hopeless and they prove it again by tricking Crowley int a pair of Devil’s Trap cuffs.  I love that Crowley thought that he could intimidate Dean by punching him and the look on Crowley’s face when Dean punched him back was great.  This is what I have loved about the second half of the season.  The boys are working together.

Sam and Dean seem to have taken all the precautions this time around.  Crowley’s chained up in an abandoned church with devil traps everywhere and it looks like they will actually pull it off.  The third trial: curing a demon.  They are going to win and will bring Crowley to his knees.  So of course enter Castiel (Misha Collins) stage left.

I’m actually really excited that Cas actually came to Dean for help.  He’s been working with Metatron  (Curtis Armstrong) in the subplot since “Clip Show” which has seemed off from the get-go.  He just seems like a creeper.  You know that one teacher or professor that you had that you never went to during office hours no matter how confused you were in class.  That’s Metatron.  Just off.  Even though Castiel should have run Metatron’s plan past Dean after all the horrible decisions he’s made in the past (Purgatory, Leviathan, Naomi) at least they were able to stop everything on Sam’s end before he died.  Poor Castiel is so confused though and just wants to fix his mistakes so of course keeps making a bigger mess.

Dean, of course, goes off to help Castiel with Metatron’s plan leaving Sam to take care of Crowley alone.  Sam who is having trouble walking and looks like death.  In charge of the King of Hell.  Yeah that sounds like a good idea.

While Dean and Cas are trying to figure out what they need to do Naomi  (Amanda Tapping) tries to redeem herself by giving Dean and Cas a heads up that Metatron is lying and that Sam will die if he completes the trials  (which really?? Of course Sam is going to die).  Not that it saved her (although I don’t know that a spike to the brain would kill an angel so she might show up again next season).

It did allow Dean to stop Sam before he cured Crowley which would have ended in Sam’s death.  My only grief here is that obviously Sam was going to die.  I can’t believe that Dean just gave his “we got this ” speech now!

Now about that speech.  It was what I have been waiting for all season.  Dean finally told Sam how much he depends on him and how much he loves his little brother.  Sam has always just wanted to be good enough to make Dean proud and Dean usually only expresses those feelings when Sam is dead (making it kind of hard for Sam to know about them).  The feels in the last few minutes were overwhelming.  I was crying and my heart hurt with love for the boys.

The episode ended with Crowley chained up begging for forgiveness, Sam collapsed and in really bad shape and all the angels cast down to earth stripped of their graces.

“Sacrifice” was about so many other sacrifices than the ones I expected.  This whole season has really been about sacrifice.  Sam sacrificed his dream of redeeming himself through the trials.  I really felt his pain in giving up this dream and his confusion when Dean told him to stop before he died.  He sacrificed his life with Amelia (Liane Balaban) that he had been able to carve out while Dean was in Purgatory.

Dean sacrificed control over the trials.  He sacrificed his friendship with Benny (Ty Olsson) who I personally wanted to see more of.  He sacrificed any normalcy years ago.  Castiel sacrificed his grace.  Well really it was stolen, but he lost it while trying to correct all his mistakes.  Kevin (Osric Chau), who by the way is one of my favorite character ever, sacrificed his amazing, if albeit pressure filled, life. He lost his mother, his friends,  his girlfriend and all chances of his Ivy League education.

“Sacrifice” was great and had all the things a season finale needs: love, pain, humor and a cliffhanger.  There are so many things that were left unanswered that will hopefully be covered next season.  Can Dean finish the exorcism on Crowley there by curing him, but not finishing the trial?  Why didn’t Sam look for Dean while he was in Purgatory?  Season 9 can’t get here soon enough.  What are your thoughts or predictions?

Yes, I am just now starting to watch Arrow

 

OK so I’m a little late on this bandwagon, but I’m finally trying “Arrow.”  After giving “The Cape” a chance in 2011 and being disappointed I didn’t immediately give “Arrow” a chance.  Then I found out that John Barrowman was in it.  Yeah so then I had a nerd obligation to try it.  However it was seven episodes in before I set my DVR to record it.  I figured I’d record them anyway and surely there would be a marathon soon so that I could catch up.  Well there wasn’t.  However this week the network aired the pilot again so I was finally able to give it a chance.

My verdict? WARNING: Some light spoilers beyond this point

It has a lot of potential.  I like the set up for the hero character.  What I have seen so far makes it believable (in that “someone could actually be a superhero” kind of way) that Oliver (Stephen Amell) would have the skills, motivation, and cover to assume this role.  The flashbacks did a good job showing how big of a douche he was pre-shipwreck  and I’m sure that future episodes will begin to explain his ninja skills.  Just surviving five years on an island though would give you mad survival skills and also some insanity (which would help with that whole thinking that becoming a superhero is a sane thing to do idea).  He obviously knows some really bad crap on a huge list of people in charge back in civilization which has given him motivation to right the wrongs that his father felt responsible for.

I found the montage of the stuff that Oliver gets done setting up his bat cave (oh wait— wrong billionaire) to be unbelievable.  Did he have all those supplies in the two bags he carried into the warehouse?  Yeah I don’t think so.  Maybe there was a Home Depot close by… and a Best Buy.  Plus there was time left over to workout (not saying I didn’t appreciate watching that) and do some target practice.  Dude, I have trouble having time to work out if I have to add a trip to Wal-Mart to my schedule.  Then in his spare time he went to threaten the bad guy of the week.

Also on the unbelievable list is the fact that Oliver has had so much contact with  Detective Quentin Lance (Paul Blackthorne) who just so happens to be the girl that died during the shipwreck’s father.  Yeah I don’t see any police department allowing someone with that history to help with the investigation of Oliver’s kidnapping attempt.  Surely there was someone else to send, but it did set up the precedent that Detective Lance would get to run point on all cases having anything to do with the Guy in the Green Hood.

Other than all that though (it was just a little rushed— maybe if he’d only accomplished half of those tasks in one day I’d have bought it) I like the characters.  The spoiled friend gets on my nerves, but I think he will develop into a character with more depth.  He has a good unrequited love story which as I’ve said before is needed in any show.   The body guard Diggle (David Ramsey) is great.  He seems like an honest upfront guy that I’m assuming will become Oliver’s assistant (I’m trying to avoid the word “sidekick”) in the future.  The sister Thea (Willa Holland) is a convincing troubled spoiled rich teen that isn’t so far gone that she can’t be saved by a great older brother or driven away by a judging controlling brother— we’ll see which route they take.

I hope that they explore the mental issues that Oliver would have after seeing and experiencing what he went through.  I’m interested to see how they handle the brother/sister relationship and the friend that obviously knows something is up.  Oh and I really enjoyed the surprise twist at the end.

I’m bummed that I have to wait until next Wednesday to see the next episode, but at least once I get to the seventh episode I can marathon it.