Dazed and Confused by SUPERNATURAL’s Season Finale


Season 12, Episode 22 “Who We Are”
Written by Robert Berens
Directed by John F. Showalter

Supernatural’s been clicking along all season. The storylines of the boys’ problems with their mom, the introduction of the British Men of Letters and the question of whether they’re good or bad, and Lucifer expecting a son were all coming along quite nicely when suddenly the train derails and we’ve gone over the cliff.

For the two-episode season finale the boys and Lady Toni (Elizabeth Blackmore) have to escape the bunker before the air runs out. Toni cooperates, as I predicted. They try several methods but Dean (Jensen Ackles) realizes that he finally has a chance to use his grenade launcher. That part is pretty cool.

Their mom (Samantha Smith) is still out there killing hunters so they call Garth to warn him and drive to Jody Mill’s (Kim Rhodes) house. They find their mom, tied up. Jody and Alex (Katherine Ramdeen) got the best of her.

Sam (Jared Padalecki) comes to the conclusion that he had wanted to follow the BMoL because following was easier than leading. I think there’s a lot of truth to that for a lot of people. So when they call in the other hunters Sam makes an effort to lead and to not deflect responsibility to Dean. He does a great job of convincing the others to take the fight to the BMoL. It’s Sam’s St. Crispin’s Day speech. Dean tells him he is ready and stays behind to deprogram mom. Besides, he hurt his leg during the blast. This is great interaction between the brothers but ignores the times that Sam has taken the initiative and led before.

This is going to hurt. And if I had any way of making it hurt more, I would. (Photo: Diyah Pera/The CW)

Lady Toni agrees to hook Dean and Mary’s minds together so that he can try to find where she is hiding in her own mind. Mary is in the house in Lawrence with four year old Dean (Anthony Bolognese) and baby Sam, in the time period right before her death. I don’t know why they keep portraying Dean as having dark hair as a kid when Jensen Ackles was probably a towhead, but the kid is cute. She ignores Dean at first, but eventually acknowledges him. He tells her that her decision to save their father, John Winchester, by making a deal with Azazel, was responsible for their being hunters and losing both parents since Dad was shattered by her death. But he also says he forgives her. This gets her to see him.

This part is fine, too. It is what we know about Mary, that when she was in heaven she was living perpetually in that time with her happy family. We know she feels guilty about what she put her sons through. And that over developed sense of responsibility-that little boy who was handed a six month old baby to run with out of a burning house-is what I love best about Dean. Even though he feels that he failed to protect Sam from the fate the demon (and even more powerful beings) had for him, he is at his most heroic and most nurturing when it comes to Sam.

But here’s where things get seriously wonky. I’m okay with the hunters winning the fight against the men of letters, even though the elite team they brought in to kill the hunters had automatic weapons and bulletproof vests. The hunters did have the element of surprise, knew the layout of the BMoL facility, and Ketch (David Haydn-Jones) wasn’t there because he was looking for Mary. They are mostly middle aged hunters, which means they’re good, because they’ve survived that long. They lost the one that looked like McCloud. It seems unlikely that they would win, but possible. What’s really weird is that the headmistress (Gillian Barber) is turned down by the home office for an extraction. They said they didn’t have the resources for one. Did they want her dead or did they really lack the resources for a presumably magical extraction, and why?

A chorus line of hunters. ( Photo: Diyah Pera/The CW)

Hess then tries to talk the hunters into letting her live because they need the BMoL to tackle Lucifer (Mark Pellegrino). This is mostly for Sam, so he can realize that they can do it on their own and have confidence in themselves. He turns her down. She then goes for a gun and it’s Jody that kills her. This whole conversation may have been to illustrate his growth but it also brings up how terribly stupid they are to kill the American hunters when Lucifer is on the loose and about to have a son. Unless there is someone in the BMoL who wants Lucifer to win.

Oh, and the voice on the radio from the home office:”Listen to her, boy.” BOY?

Dean wakes up to find Ketch in the room and Lady Toni with her throat slit. Ketch then proceeds to beat the crap out of him. Dean is still hampered by his injured leg. Ketch taunts him about how his mom never talked about him the entire time they hunted together. There’s real jealousy there. It’s not normal, having that kind of jealousy about your object of desire’s kid. Dean says he knew when Ketch left him alive in the bunker that he was sick, but didn’t know he was stupid. Ketch says he is a lot of things, but not stupid, and draws a gun to prove it. He then gets shot from behind. By Mary. Kudos to her for shooting him through the shoulder so it didn’t hit Dean.

He calls them killers. Both of them. And Mary shoots him in the head. Ding Dong, the evil would-be stepfather is dead. Good for her.

I’m sneaking up on Lady Bevell with a quiet weapon so as not to waken the hypnotic subjects, but then I’m going to take the sensors off and wake them up. (Photo: Diyah Pera/The CW)

I really have to differ with Ketch. He was stupid! He practically ensured Mary, Dean and Sam’s survival. Leaving them alive to die slowly was stupid. Taking them out of action when the BMoL had gotten an army to hunt hunters was stupid. Calling someone a killer when they have a gun on you and want to kill you is stupid. Far better to persuade them that while you are a psychopath they are merciful and don’t want to kill you, unless you want to die. Most stupid was slitting Toni’s throat and beating the crap out of Dean instead of killing him when he was under. Lady Toni could have taken them out when they were hypnotized. She didn’t, but she could have. He removed a possible danger to himself, yes, but also a danger to them. He acted like someone who really was furious with someone he didn’t want to kill. I suppose that’s supposed to be due to his sadism, but it really looked like out of control anger because Dean was trying to take Mary away. This character is a mess. His actions make no sense. They should do a post-mortem on him but that seems unlikely.

The BMoL facility blows up, as these things must. I suppose it was triggered by the home office in London. Two cars drive away, so it appears that only Sam and Jody survived.

Mary explains to Dean that she was trying to set things right. Sam comes in and there’s a group hug. Aww.

On to the second part of the finale, where things get even more confusing.

Season 12, Episode 23 “All Along the Watchtower”
Written by Andrew Dabb
Directed by Robert Singer

First, I have a bone to pick with actor Jim Beaver. At Planet Comicon, he said that Bobby was NOT in this season of Supernatural. We were running out of time for an appearance, whether ghostly or flashback. And I reported it that way! So, he shows up. Very last episode. I think that there are only a few possible explanations for this discrepancy.

  1. It was a deep, dark secret and he wasn’t supposed to tell anyone.
  2. Maybe it was filmed after Planet Comicon.
  3. He was splitting hairs because while there was a Bobby Singer it was not THE Bobby Singer. It was alternate universe Bobby Singer.
  4. He broke into the set and selfied himself in, like he threatened to. Members of the audience offered to help him film himself and insert the footage into the show. The alternate universe is very smoky and grey and he’s wandering around wearing a cowl, so he could have substituted himself for someone else.

I’m going to assume it’s the last one, because it’s the most reasonable explanation.

Cas (Misha Collins) and Kelly (Courtney Ford) are planning for Lucifer’s child. I don’t know why they think it’s going to be a baby but they do. They buy diapers and a crib. Haven’t they ever seen a movie with an alien/human or Satan/human hybrid? They grow faster than a kid on a soap opera.

The Winchesters start looking for Cas and Kelly in earnest to protect them from Lucifer. Crowley (Mark Sheppard) pops up in the bunker (now why couldn’t he have done that when they were trapped there?). He doesn’t get a warm reception because he is the reason Lucifer’s free. They have to tell him that Lucifer killed Rowena (Ruth Connell). He takes it well. Crowley tells them he got away by hiding in a rat. While he was there, he discovered that he didn’t really like his job.

I could have told him he hated his job a long time ago.

A seat at the table. (Photo: Jack Rowand/The CW)

The nephilim’s presence causes a rift in the space/time continuum which Cas explores. He meets alternate universe Bobby. When the boys find them, they find the rift and meet alternate universe Bobby. This is a universe where Mary didn’t make the deal and John died. Sam and Dean were never born and earth has become a battleground for angels and demons. I’m thinking this is something Mary needs to see, not them.

Crowley follows even though Dean stuck a knife through his hand in the bunker and fixed him to the table, so he is with them all.

Contractions won’t kill you. (Photo: Dean Buscher/The CW)

Mary stays with Kelly while they fight Lucifer. This is a little bit sexist, but Mary is the only one among them who has any experience with having a baby. Castiel gets knocked aside immediately. The boys run away from Lucifer and lead him right into the rift.

Crowley is waiting on the other side with a spell. The idea is to trap Lucifer in the alternate universe by closing the rift. This doesn’t seem fair to alternate universe Bobby and whatever other survivors there are but they are probably screwed anyway. Unfortunately the spell requires a sacrifice. Crowley approaches Lucifer with an angel blade, but then uses it on himself.

Castiel bursts through the rift and attacks Lucifer. My first thought is, didn’t they tell Cas the plan? He wakes up and decides to go attack Lucifer? Then I thought, maybe he’s trying to delay the devil so that the rift can close. But it still risks his being stuck in the alternate universe.

Kelly is suffused with a bright light, says “I love you,” and dies. The light blast knocks Mary out.

Dean and Sam make it back to their world. Cas follows. Lucifer follows him and stabs Cas in the back with an angel blade. Light streams out of Castiel’s eyes, everything. He’s dead. Mary comes downstairs, leaving the nephilim with the dead mom, we assume, and attacks Lucifer with the brass knuckles that work against angels. This turns out to be very effective because it knocks Lucifer into the rift and it closes. Success. Unfortunately he grabs Mary as he falls and she goes with him.

Dean stares in shock at the place his mom disappeared at, and then down at the dead body of his best friend. Sam comes to his senses first and runs upstairs. They find Kelly’s body. She looks very peaceful. There are footprints leading from the bed and you can see an adult face in the darkness but not the rest of it. It smiles, which would seem to be a good sign, but it is a creepy, glowing eye smile.

So what, they decided that they would kill them all and let Chuck sort them out? How do we know who’s coming back and who isn’t? Why can’t characters have their own, properly mourned deaths?

They killed the entire Men of Letters, London Chapter, that were in America. They killed Eileen, Kelly, Rowena, Crowley, Castiel, and an unknown number of hunters. They trapped Mary in the alternate universe. TVLine gives the show the highest death toll of any show for this finale season. They could literally start out the next season with just Sam and Dean and the nephilim.

How much for hair extensions? (Photo: Jack Rowand/The CW)

Rowena didn’t even get to be onscreen. All we saw is a burned up body and a lock of red hair. This is usually a sign that someone is coming back, but since Crowley died, maybe not. But it also means that the actress didn’t even get a death scene. It was an ignominious ending. Kelly, who was only in a few eps, got a better death scene than Rowena did.

Crowley got a death scene, and got to sacrifice himself. Whether he did that for the greater good or because he had nothing to live for is debatable. He had just discovered that he hated his job and his mother was dead. However, it wasn’t so great because the spell wasn’t fast enough to save either Mary or Castiel. Mark Sheppard has said on social media that he is definitely not coming back.

As a weird thought, because Crowley made the ultimate sacrifice he might go to Heaven. Wouldn’t that piss the angels off!

Castiel is my best bet for coming back. I’m not sure how, but he is important to the series. He also promised to raise that “baby” after Kelly’s death, and now Dean and Sam have to do it. I hope it potty trains fast.

I also wouldn’t put it past Ketch. He could turn out to be a Frankenstein monster or something.

The boys will have to try and find their mum. I don’t suppose that the nephilim, Jack, will be able to produce another rift right away. I would like to see Mary and AU Bobby Singer team up. That would be great.

What I would like to see next season is properly written characters. The BMoL storyline was good. However, they didn’t make logical decisions. Ketch didn’t make logical decisions. They took pains to show us that Lady Bevell had a child and that she and Ketch were together in the past, but didn’t go anywhere with it. Now she’s dead so we are unlikely to find out anything more about her. How did Hess get to be headmistress and one of the head operators? Did they have only one class of psycho killers at Kendricks? Only Mick got a complete storyline.

A big thanks to Mark Sheppard for playing Crowley in such a wonderful droll way all of these years. I will miss his wit, poignancy, brutal honesty, and moments of pure evil. I first noticed Mark Sheppard in Firefly, so whenever I saw him in Doctor Who, or Battlestar Galactica, or Leverage, I would think, “Look! There’s Badger”. It took a long time for him to become Crowley to me. The roles are very similar. Crowley was a sad little king of a sad little Hell.

Goodbye, Crowley and Rowena. I hope you’ve gone onto a better place. (Photo: Dean Buscher/The CW)

The way Crowley died is appropriate for him. He got to choose his own end. He was such a ratty little survivor it’s impossible to imagine someone else killing him off. He liked to win. It may have been a Pyrrhic victory, or at least one he personally didn’t survive, but it was a victory.

Supernatural returns in the fall for a thirteenth season on the CW.

 




The First Four Episodes of 12 MONKEYS are Amazing Time Travel Drama

This review is entirely full of spoilers for the first four episodes of season three of 12 Monkeys. Don’t read any of it unless you have watched the first four episodes.

The first night is a play in four acts. Quite amazingly, the first four hour night of the ten episode third season of 12 Monkeys forms a complete story, starting with Cole and Cassie being separated and ending with the reunion and Cole finding out the truth about their baby. He didn’t find out from her, of course, but he confirmed the truth in her eyes.

 

Season 3, Episode 1 “Mother”
Written by Terry Matalas
Directed by Terry Matalas

The first act has Cole (Aaron Stanford) searching for Cassie (Amanda Schull). We see what the tuning forks are for! They are Titan detectors. The search has been long and futile and everyone is worried about him. They should be, because he is desperate and miserable and stretched too thin. It’s also obvious that they aren’t getting anywhere with their purpose of saving the world. Jones (Barbara Sukowa) sends Hannah (Brooke Williams), her daughter, to save Cole from himself. She can hardly be spared since with old Jennifer dead she is the leader of the daughters and with Deacon (Todd Stashwick) gone/possibly dead she’s also head of security. Why not Whitley (Demore Barnes) as head of security? Must be because of the earlier mutiny.

None of this makes Cole listen to Hannah when he thinks he’s found Titan. They fight, and Cole gives her the injection meant for him. Remarkable how like siblings they are.

Meanwhile Cassie is a bird in a gilded cage. She bonds with a young acolyte and tries to escape.

This dress is just a little too Handmaid’s Tale for me. (Photo by: Ben Mark Holzberg/Syfy)

Cole encounters a masked figure with three lights on his chest in the forest outside of Titan. They fight and the other guy keeps winking out of existence when Cole has the upper hand. He gets to Titan just as it’s leaving, and just as Cassie is caught in her attempted escape. They see each other briefly. Cole runs towards her, towards certain death, and someone wearing a suit with three lights on his chest — or maybe it’s two — grabs him and they both disappear. The figure takes his mask off and it’s him! James Cole. So Cole himself saves himself from himself.

This is a paradox in more than one way. It brings a future and a past self together in close proximity, which tends to make things go boom. Future Cole says the suit helps with that. It’s also a paradox in that future Cole could not go back in time to save himself unless he survived to go back in time to save himself. But he remembers saving himself and tells Cassie a few minutes later, “well, I had to get here somehow.” He tells Cole that Jennifer is the key and Cole has to rescue her from 1921 France. Future self is wearing Cassie’s watch and he tells Cole that as long as he wears the watch he will always find his way back to Cassie.

This is a wonderful scene, maybe because it’s Aaron Stanford playing against himself. It’s set in a post-apocalyptic Emerson Hotel, beautiful in its decay. Somehow I still expect people to be renting rooms by the hour. Future Cole is far kinder to his past self than I would expect. He must have come to terms with some of the guilt and responsibility he always feels. Future Cole is there to save Cole and he gives him the hope he needs, however tenuous, as well as a change in direction.

It’s the staff’s century off. (Photo by: Ben Mark Holzberg/Syfy)

Jennifer is in the middle of the first world war. She saves herself with “99 Red Balloons”. I’m so glad you’ve seen it so I don’t have to explain that. She also sees a vision of four people in suits with lights, carrying a box. She calls them the horsemen of the apocalypse.

Cassie attempts suicide after the failed attempt, saying to herself, ”You can’t have him.” She’s going to land right in front of the army, where the Pallid Man (Tom Noonan) is preaching. The dominatrix, Magdalena (Hannah Waddingham), who was plaguing Cassie goes back in time and keeps her from doing it and kills the young friend, Arianna (Dominique Provost-Chalkley) proactively. Past Magdalena then pushes a button on the suit and immolates herself.

Cassie gives birth in a bathtub and Magdalena pushes the midwife aside so she can grab the baby as soon as it’s born.

I was lucky enough to meet Aaron Stanford at KC Comicon last year. I told him that while I reviewed 12 Monkeys I didn’t always write about how much I loved it. He told me to feel free to gush. Well, I’m gushing! It’s so exciting that the show is back, and as good as ever. Almost every shot is a work of art. The red balloons sequence, while horrifying, was also beautiful and loaded with symbolism. The characters are exactly who they were. I’m still thrilled at the abundance of female characters with their own stories. I know Cassie is a damsel in distress, locked in a tower, but it’s only temporary. This episode is mostly setup but it was still amazing.

We also have a new gadget in the mix, an entirely new way of time traveling. The time-coats should change things. This is at least the third type, after the machine and the red leaf tea.

 

Season 3, Episode 2 “Guardians”
Written by Sean Tretta
Directed by David Grossman

We see the four men in bowler hats and time-coats carrying a box. They remind me of A Clockwork Orange.

Jennifer (Emily Hampshire) is stuck in 1921 in France. She is desperate to go home and trying to get a message to the future. She hits on theater as the way to do it. What follows is hysterical. She steals from the best of pop culture: Charlie Chaplin, E.T., Jaws, and Alien. Finally she tells the story of the 12 Monkeys to a stunned audience. The theater owner tells her that no one understands time travel. She says that the smart ones do. He says to do something with space, or magic. He tears the poster off the wall. It must be what the creators of 12 Monkeys feel like.

I think Emily Hampshire speaks French, tap dances, sings and performs better than Jennifer Goines. It is said that a Leonardo Da Vinci can’t draw like he can’t draw. Emily Hampshire can’t act like she can’t act.

Finally she gets some attention — from one of the guys in the bowler hats. Cole and Jones show up in time to save her. Jennifer is pissed that it took so long. She sent out lots of clues, including an album. Of course Jennifer used a pseudonym, which didn’t make it easy. Since future Cole handed Cole a newspaper article about her being blamed for murdering the theater owner, it means they never did figure it out!

She tells them about the paradox in a box. Jones is fascinated with the time-coat. Cole pushes Jennifer to give them some primary info and she pushes back. I’m glad she pushes back because he’s being a jerk.

The high priest, Mallick (Faran Tahir) of the 12 Monkeys tells Cassie she needs to escape but she is suffering the loss of her child. She asks for just one look at him and gets offered a tour of the museum about him. She steals the gold pocket watch hanging there.

Olivia (Alisen Down) and Ramse are together. She has taken months to travel to Sam. I think she’s leading Ramse down the garden path. Finally they get to the camp where his now grown son is. Unfortunately, he’s been mortally wounded in a recent attack. With his dying words he tells Ramse to stop the Witness and that Olivia knows how to do it. Ramse has to deliver the coup de grace. Smothering someone is not a merciful way to kill someone. He has a gun and surely his son is worth wasting a bullet on.

Jennifer runs into the people in the bowler hats that she saw in her vision. Cole and Jones come to the place she saw them at and get shot. Cole keeps going and finds the room with the box and gets shot twice more. He meets Magdalena and she pushes the button and resets time. Cole hears a baby crying and reaches for the box as time changes around him. Oh, so close to the son that he doesn’t know he has.

Simultaneously, Cassie sees her child put in the box and the four guardians sent through time with him, which fulfills her wish of seeing him one time. I really hope that there are airholes in that thing.

Since Cole and Jones were reset back to before they rescued Jennifer, Cole shows up to her time show and applauds. He tells her that they need her and came back for her, and she says, “That’s much better.”

Basking in the glow of time. (Photo by: Ben Mark Holzberg/Syfy)

Team Splinter knows it’s a child the guardians are carrying through time to hide. They can guess it’s the Witness. They have a time coat, or vest, and know a little more now about how it’s being used. Katarina leaves it up to Cole to decide whether Jennifer should stay or go back to 2017. He gives her the choice because he knows he screwed up with Cassie when he undid their time together without telling her. Jennifer is thrilled that she’s invited to join.

The episode ends with Ramse outside with Olivia as his captive.

So the band’s getting back together. Cassie still needs to be rescued and we need to find Deacon. This was a very sad episode because Sam died and Cassie and Cole’s baby was taken away from them. The humor and life that Jennifer brought balanced out some of the grief.

 

Season 3, Episode 3 “Enemy”
Written by Christopher Monfette
Directed by David Grossman

Olivia and Ramse come in through some kind of airlock. The room is full of birds. Is it an early detection system for the plague? Have we seen this before and I didn’t notice? Cole talks to Olivia and Jones talks to Ramse because Cole is too close to Ramse to make a rational decision about his state of mind. Ramse tells Dr. Jones that Sam is gone. Olivia tells Cole that she was the girl in the lab that they left behind and that she was raised in a box. She also hints about his fathering the Witness, saying that they could have killed him many times but didn’t.

They do some tests on Olivia and find out that she is very strong and indestructible. After all, she survived Jennifer’s attempt to kill her by dropping her into an empty pool.

Next we find out what happened to Deacon. Yay! He was sewn together by Imhotep — I mean the high priest whose name is actually Mallick. Deacon hallucinates his abusive father while he heals. It’s not a philosophy I adhere to, the idea that abuse makes you stronger. We find out a bit more about his past. After he gets through his ordeal, he repudiates the father hallucination and says he just needed something to hate to get him through it. Mallick teaches him a series of directions to follow.

My prince has come to rescue me. (Photo by: Ben Mark Holzberg/Syfy)

Jones tortures Olivia by putting her in the chair and decreasing the relay speed so that she splinters over and over. It’s a terrible torture and I can’t stand to watch it. Hannah can’t stand to watch it, either. She puts a knife to a scientist’s throat to make Katarina stop. While they are arguing, Cole takes Olivia to three months before and drops her into the deepest, darkest dungeon he can find. She breaks and tells them when and where they can kill the witness.

While she is telling them that, Deacon is on his mission. It makes us think he is off to kill the Witness, but he rescues Cassandra instead!

Jennifer has a bad feeling about the mission. She tries to persuade Cole not to go. Then we flashback to after Sam died, and we see that Olivia told Ramse that the Witness was Cassie and Cole’s child. They devised a plan to kill Cassandra before she and Cole ever met, so that the Witness would never be born.

This episode is a showcase for Todd Stashwick’s talents. He gets to play Deacon under extreme duress, and also plays the abusive father. He does a great job exploring the psyche of both characters. The father is, of course, how Deacon sees him. I hope going forward that the character is less ashamed of his childhood. It wasn’t his fault.

Hannah and Katarina get to hash out some stuff. Hannah makes some comparisons between Jones as she is and the monstrous tales she grew up with. Jones gets confronted with her complete and utter ruthlessness. To be fair, Olivia did push her buttons.

And Cole: always thinking and observing. He figured out how to break Olivia. I do love a smart man. But she had given him the key earlier. There was a real “don’t throw me in the briar patch” quality to her telling him that she was raised in a box.

 

Season 3, Episode 4 “Brothers”
Written by Travis Fickett
Directed by Joe Menendez

Cole and Ramse go back to the Emerson in 2007. They come up with a plan to get some guns; after all, they’re supposed to face a hundred of the Witness’s followers when they attempt the assassination. They get some guns from a gunrunner how owns a bakery. A little action, some puns. Ramse sneaks away from Cole and goes to the hospital to kill Cassie. He shoots some blonde in a ponytail. I know it’s not her because the hair isn’t light enough.

Jennifer is having visions of a dying man/woman. She tries to get answers from Olivia. It’s the only confrontation where I feel Olivia thinks she is with an equal. She is jealous of Jennifer’s talents.

Cole confronts Ramse about being gone. He accuses him of going to see his mother. Ramse says he should go see Cassie. Cole doesn’t think he should do it, but he does tell Ramse what clinic she’s at.

Deacon and Cassie fight their way out of Titan with some help from the priest. I still can’t see him as a good guy because he looks like he’s going to become a mummy some day. They are two years in the future and the facility is destroyed. Cassie immediately starts looking around for clues or a message. Deacon is devastated. She finds a butterfly, and under it, buried syringes. Their way home.

Ramse shows up at the clinic, which is locked and empty. Cole gave him a test and he failed it. They confront each other, and Cole finds out that the Witness is his son and that Ramse was going to kill Cassandra. Cole chases Ramse down and shoots him.

You know what? I don’t care. I really don’t. It’s the last betrayal for me. I have often defended Ramse in the past but this is too much. I hate that he betrayed Cole again. I hate that Cole found out that his child was going to be the Witness in this way. I hate that Ramse trusted Olivia over Cole. I think he was suicidal and I hate that he made Cole shoot him.

But then he begs Cole not to undo it and I know he’s suicidal but maybe he’s realized that he’s poison for Cole and he needs to let go. It’s still terrible because it’s going to mess Cole up, bad.

Brothers at a happier time. Well, happier for this show, anyway. (Photo by: Ben Mark Holzberg/Syfy)

Cole does what he knows he shouldn’t do. He goes to where Cassie actually is, and he tells her he can’t do this alone and he needs her to come home.

When he gets back to the facility he runs to where Olivia is kept and puts a gun to her head. At least he knows the right person to blame. She says he needs her to find his son and he doesn’t shoot.

The alarm sounds that indicates someone is coming in on the time machine. First it’s Deacon, then Cassie. Cole looks like a miracle has occurred. Cole and Cassie embrace. Deacon is eating his heart out, but Jones is grinning. Then Cole looks a question at Cassie that he cannot ask and she nods, and I cry.

Wow. This was a sad episode and totally 12 Monkeys in that we can’t get the good without the bad. Kirk Acevedo and Aaron Stanford acted their hearts out and one of the things that made this a good episode, despite the fact that they actually made Cole kill his brother, is that there was so much Cole in this episode.

One thing that confused me is why the chase was so urgent. Of course, if Ramse had gotten away, Cole couldn’t let him stay in 2007. But Cole told Ramse that the outbreak he had told Ramse about was actually states away, and I thought that that meant Cassie was states away. She wasn’t. She was close by.

These first four episodes have themes of captivity as well as torture. The poor baby in a box reminds me of Schroedinger’s cat. He’s a paradox in a box. Will he be the Witness or will they save him first? But he’s not the only one locked up. Jennifer was stuck in France for five years, captured by time. Cassie does her lying-in while being held captive by their enemies. Deacon heals while a prisoner, and is not allowed out until he sets fire to, basically, the door of his prison. Of course he doesn’t know that Mallick is waiting for Cassandra to give birth before Deacon can save her. Olivia was raised in a box, like Cole and Cassie’s baby so far, and then thrown into an oubliette. I have no idea if there’s a higher meaning to all of that.

Jennifer still has her love affair with time. How you could love it when the gift of prophecy makes you crazy? She likes to put her hands in the light from the time machine. It was funny when Dr. Adler (Andrew Gillies) caught her sleeping in the chair. I think Jennifer is right, we need to remember that she is not just a primary to get information from, she’s an integral part of the story.

Everyone is home and has completed their own stories. In Ramse’s case, permanently (maybe). Time to move on to the next quest, trying to save the baby before he becomes the Witness. That’s what I would be doing.

 

 




Aaron Stanford and Amanda Schull Talk Season 3 of 12 MONKEYS

Amanda Schull and Aaron Stanford talk about the third season of 12 Monkeys in broad, non-spoilery terms so as not to ruin anyone’s experience of binge-watching the show in one weekend starting May 19th.

I was privileged to be on a conference call with the two stars and other science fiction based websites. For simplicity’s sake I concentrate on the answers and merge similar questions at times in this article.

The first question asked was about the tough choices the characters had to face in season three. Aaron said that the characters have had to make choices between the greater good or someone they hold dear. In the beginning, Cole was on a suicide mission and didn’t care about surviving but now it’s gotten very personal-he could distance himself from that but coming face to face with his son changes his perspective on things.

Amanda said that Aaron could answer all of her questions! She said that Cassie carries the baby and has a stronger bond. Also, in the nature versus nurture debate, Cassie believes in nurture.

Amanda’s favorite time period this season was the eighties. She said Aaron had a Marty McFly outfit, Todd looked like Sonny Crockett, and Emily was dressed like Cindy Lauper. She also said in episode 8 they designed a beautiful Victorian dress for her and she got to play the part all episode.

Inspired by Poe’s Masque of the Red Death, perhaps? (Photo by: Dusan Martincek/Syfy)

Aaron said that Amanda fits in every time period but this one. No matter what she wears, she looks like she fits. He said she had shoulder pads and mom jeans and looked like Molly Ringwald in the eighties.

Aaron likes the new binge format. He said it’s the way he likes to watch. You can string it together and follow what’s happening. He thinks this is the future, the way we will be watching things.

Amanda says, “You don’t HAVE to binge.” You can tivo it, watch some later. (Can’t you just see her as someone who saves her chocolates and eats them, one after dinner, for days?) But she also said it’s been a very long hiatus and it’s great to get it out there.

They were asked how long they had known who the Witness would be. Amanda said it was mid-season 2, and it gave them time to create and pace it out. She said it was a luxury to have a story that was planned out. But now they have a child older than they are. James Callis! Who they agree is perfect to play their kid. Aaron agreed with her about the timing, and said it was a decent amount of time to think about it.

They were asked about how intense and physical season three was. Amanda said that Cassie started out season 3 in a very low place. She would be killed or abandoned once the child was born. She might never see Cole again. But Amanda as an actor found that challenging and exciting.

Aaron said that it was a rollercoaster. In the beginning Cole is desperate to find Cassie again and is the only person around him that doesn’t understand that the game is already lost. When he finds out that the Witness is his son, he has a difficult decision to make.

It was asked, what life lesson would they give their characters? So Amanda starts on Cole! Cole needs to make a plan. But then she talked about how Cassie’s mission changes all the time. Sometimes she looks out for herself and her child, sometimes she looks towards the greater good. “I want her to be able to sit and breathe for a minute or two-have a cup of coffee!”

Aaron says that Cole needs to “get down off the cross”. He thinks the character needs to give himself a break and quit carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders. Then he replied to Amanda and said her plans lay in ruins, his work out.

Someone asked if they kept up with all the details of the show. Amanda said that she was a meticulous note taker, but it was hard after a long hiatus. The environment helps your sense memory come flooding back.

Aaron answered that there was no choice. You have to understand every piece, where they are at in their own cycle for everything to make sense. When you are in it 14-16 hours a day you get immersed. It’s more difficult after a longer hiatus.

Aaron said that their writers were real genre fans, and influenced by sci-fi and ancient mythology. Amanda said they were influenced by Greek mythology and they changed her character’s name because of it. In the movie the character was named Kathryn (Madeleine Stowe) and they changed it to Cassandra for 12 Monkeys, the series. In the Greek myth, Cassandra always knew the future but no one listened to her.

The question was asked about what they thought about the instant reaction from social media. Aaron thought that social media was a minefield of trying to avoid spoilers, of secrecy and intrigue. He compared the response to theater, to getting a laugh when something was funny, or hearing a pin drop because people were holding their breath at the height of drama. He found an emotional reaction to be affirming.

Amanda agreed with Aaron but said you can’t change it even if they comment because the work is already finished.

I didn’t know there was going to be a test. (Photo by: Ben Mark Holzberg/Syfy)

Someone commented on Cole and Cassie’s complicated relationship. Aaron said, “Cassie can’t come to terms with how hopelessly in love she is.” He said there were more complications in season 3-it unites them then splits them apart. There was silence for a moment. I guess everyone was waiting. Aaron said “End of thought,” and they moved on. I bet there were spoilers in that silence.

Amanda said that they had a strange and unusual relationship. There was deep love, but if they stop the end of the world, they will no longer have met.

They were asked if it was a relief to know that everything is released at once. Aaron said “Yes, it will be a relief.” He feels that this is the superior way to do it-not bottling spoilers up for months.

Amanda said she had been chastised by people in other countries for spoilers a few days after episodes had aired. She intended to still be very vague because they put so much effort into the show and wanted people to enjoy it and she didn’t want to ruin it for anyone.

A big thanks to Amanda Schull and Aaron Stanford for talking to us, and to Samantha Agnoff for moderating. I can’t tell you how much I am looking forward to watching season 3. You can tell from what they are saying that it’s going to be great.

12 Monkeys starts on Friday, May 19th, at 8pm/7c on Syfy and will finish on Sunday, May 21st.




All Hell has Broken Loose on SUPERNATURAL


Season 12, Episode 21 ”There’s Something About Mary”
Written by Brad Buckner and Eugenie Ross-Leming
Directed by P.J.Pesce

Aww…Ketch (David Haydn-Jones) got a pet.

Okay, that’s probably the least important thing to happen in this episode. But it’s a very appropriate pet for him. Maybe Crowley (Mark Sheppard) sent it so it would kill him and eat him.

Well, we knew Eileen (Shoshannah Stern) was doomed. She had a bad case of Samlikesme and an “accidentally killed a BMoL” curse at the same time. Still, it was hard to see her go. I love that character and sending a hell-hound after her is particularly cruel. How did she even know to run? She can’t see it. She can’t hear it. Did she see it breaking things around her or footprints on the ground? Did she smell its foul breath or did it actually nip her before she knew it was there? I thought that Mick was going to be the sacrificial lamb of the season but then there was Eileen. I have a feeling they aren’t finished yet.

The British Men of Letters brainwashed Mary (Samantha Smith), and she killed a hunter for them. Since she had vague memories of it she was devastated and made a very reputable attempt to kill herself after grabbing Ketch’s gun. She then begged him to kill her and he didn’t. He told her it would all be over soon. What does he mean by that?

( Photo: Jack Rowand/The CW)

Ketch either engaged in sniping with his ex or flirting. I can’t tell which. She calls him a bastard American when he’s not looking. Maybe she’s being literal. Schoolmarm Hess (Gillian Barber) pits them against each other, telling both of them that the other one can have the American territory when the hunters are killed.

Dean calls Ketch to find out about their mom. The conversation they have would be hilarious if the subject weren’t so serious. Dean who?

The boys are looking for their mom when they get the call about Eileen. They check out the morgue and everything, so they can tell it’s a hellhound, but they also have to see Eileen’s body. Sam is pretty broken up. They call Crowley because it takes a demon to handle a hellhound and he lies and says he knows nothing about it. We know that he gave Ketch the hellhound and is buttering up Dr. Hess.

Lucifer (Mark Pellegrino) is still working on getting free. He has a demon working on it, trying to break the bonds that give Crowley control over him. Unfortunately for Crowley, the demon succeeds too well. It turns out that they have reversed the polarities and Crowley is now Lucifer’s sock puppet. Lucifer tests out the theory and that scene IS hilarious. Then he kills Crowley with an angel blade. Not to worry, there’s a rat nearby and no fireworks. The rat trundles after the body so I’m sure Mark Sheppard will return as Crowley.

After receiving a letter from Eileen, saying that she thought she was being spied on and her computer and phone were compromised, Sam and Dean find the honking big microphone that Ketch placed under the table right next to the holster. They should have found it long ago. They use it to lay a trap, pretending that they have a meeting with another hunter.

Lady Bevel (Elizabeth Blackmore) shows up for the meeting, and they kidnap her. Dean’s going to be speaking a little higher now, but they get her. She is insufferable and tells them Mick is dead, and claims Jody is dead too. I don’t believe her about Jody. We haven’t seen it. She tells them Mary slept with Ketch and joined their side.

I don’t know how I let you talk me into driving for Uber, Sam. (Photo: Jack Rowand/The CW)

They get to the bunker to find that Ketch is already there, with armed men. Ketch definitely has the drop on them. Sam and Dean do what I think should be done in that sort of situation, they try to shoot their way out. (It’s not like they are going to be able to reason with them). And they succeed. Sam starts it off, and keeps hold of Lady Bevel the entire time. They clear the room and Dean disarms Ketch. To the relief of Dean and Sam, Mary shows up. They are happy to see her until she gets the drop on them. They aren’t about to shoot her, so she disarms them.

Ketch leaves them there with the doors locked and he’s going to reverse the exhaust fans and turn off the water. Oh, and he leaves Lady Bevel there with them. (I knew they should have changed those locks)

Mary and Ketch drive away. She still looks brainwashed, but I’m not sure.

Lucifer is out, and lord of all he surveys. Got himself some new duds, too.

Sam and Dean are in bad shape and the nephilim and Lucifer aren’t even involved yet. What gets me about what Ketch did is that it is an abominably STUPID way to kill someone. Unless you’re H.H. Holmes and find a sadistic pleasure in watching someone die of suffocation or dehydration it’s far easier to just shoot them. He won’t get to see them die slowly. There’s no reason to make it look like an accident since it would never get investigated. Instead, he gives them two or three days to find a way out.

If Ketch were someone who cared about people, and I’m not saying he is, he has just secured all the people that he might care about-Mary by his side, his ex and Mary’s sons in the bunker which is also a fortress that protects them. If he were planning a coup, he could be back in a couple of days to release them. Just a thought.

Of course, the other reason this is stupid is because the BMoL are going around killing hunters instead of using them to fight the nephilim. They might be missing the Winchesters when they find out Lucifer is on the loose.

Shame on Crowley for lying to Sam and Dean. He deserves to get kicked around a bit.

I’m sure Lady Bevel will cooperate to get out of the bunker. She’s got a kid at home.

I would have a poll on who you think will die, but it might break my heart. The previews show Mary knocking on Jody’s door. (Told you Lady Bevel lied).

Next week, May 18th, there will be two episodes for the season finale, starting at 8pm/7c. Set your recording devices accordingly.

 

Supernatural airs on the CW at 8pm/7c on Thursdays.

 




NBC Cancels TIMELESS After One Season

NBC stopped the clock on Timeless, created by Shawn Ryan and Eric Kripke, after one season. Our time-traveling trio of Lucy (Abigail Spencer), Rufus (Malcolm Barrett) and Wyatt (Matt Lanter) were left hanging off a cliff. Lucy found out that her mother was Rittenhouse, the secret society behind the scenes. Jiya (Claudia Doumit), Rufus’s girlfriend, had physical and temporal side effects from time travel that we will now never find out about.

Timeless was an expensive show and the ratings had dropped by half by the end of the season. It was also still in the middle of a lawsuit by the makers of El Ministerio del Tiempo, a Spanish language time traveling series. They had attempted to sell their formula to Sony before Sony green-lit Timeless and claim that their ideas were stolen for Timeless in the lawsuit.

Eric Kripke tweeted, “Odds are long, but trying to find another home.” It could happen. It’s possible that a smaller venue might find 4 million viewers a success rather than a failure.

Of the shows that Kripke has created that I’ve seen, Supernatural, Revolution and Timeless, they have had one flaw in common. They all started slowly and became more interesting and deep as they progressed. Revolution lasted for two seasons, Timeless for one, and Supernatural has been renewed for a record-breaking 13th season.

Supernatural relied on urban legends to begin with. It became more interesting as it built its own mythology. Revolution made the mistake of not telling the audience why the power was out for too long. It lost the more scientific minds amongst us. I assumed it had to be something that was still there to continue to suppress power, and concluded it was nanites. I was right, but the reveal was too slow. Timeless also improved over the season, with each episode better than the last. The loss of viewers is not due to the series deteriorating, but lack of patience. With the number of options genre fans have right now, you can lose their attention by the first commercial break.

Forget the slow build, or toss out the first few eps and start about six episodes in. And maybe don’t peddle to NBC. They like to cancel the good stuff.

Timeless had some strengths. The best part about it was finding that little piece in history that no one knew about or that unsung hero whom history had forgotten because they were the wrong color or gender, or didn’t fit the narrative. They had a great cast and amazing guest stars. All the characters had their own personal motivations, and there was a good deal of humor. Not to mention a terrific wardrobe; an entire room full of period clothing. I hope the show can find a new life in a new home.

We can win this one, I just know it! Everyone back to the time machine! (Photo by: Sergei Bachlakov/NBC)

For your time-traveling viewing needs, 12 Monkeys will be airing on Syfy starting on Friday, May 19th. The entire third season will be shown during that weekend, ten episodes. It’s an excellent show.

For lighter fare, Legends of Tomorrow has been renewed on the CW. There are other time travel series in development at ABC.

I know they are not Timeless. It is/was/maybe will be again-a unique series.




Sorry Sleepyheads, FOX Has Cancelled SLEEPY HOLLOW

After four extremely uneven seasons, the departure of one of the two main stars at the end of the third season, and the strange move of relocating Sleepy Hollow to Washington, D.C., Fox has finally cancelled the series. This is one of the few times that I feel that a network has given a series every chance it can before cancellation. The ratings never recovered after Nicole Beharie’s departure.

Let’s remember the good things about Sleepy Hollow. It started with a unique gimmick-a character who was a combination of Ichabod Crane and Rip Van Winkle. Maybe that contrivance didn’t have enough legs for a series, but it was entertaining at first. I am going to miss the handsome, eloquent and sometimes comical Tom Mison. I hope to see him soon in something else.

Sleepy Hollow was remarkable in its diversity. Although the Sleepy Gang was led by a really old white guy (over 250 years), for every male character, there was a female character. Asian Americans, African-Americans, and multiracial characters were common. This shouldn’t be remarkable, because this is what we see walking down the street, but it’s unusual on TV.

I am going to miss the new people we were introduced to this season like Diana (Janina Gavankar) and her daughter Molly (Oona Jaffe).  I was quite fond of the Histerns, Alex (Rachel Melvin) and Jake (Jerry MacKinnon).  Veteran character Jenny Mills (Lyndie Greenwood), who was introduced in the third episode,will also be missed.

The season finale of Sleepy Hollow works well as a series finale, having wrapped up most story lines. It ended without major character death or other loss. Returning to Sleepy Hollow during the last season allowed them to honor lost characters. Ichabod Crane came to terms with his son, Henry (John Noble). They vanquished the Headless Horseman. (again) It’s a good ending.

(CR: Tina Rowden/FOX)

Here’s my last Sleepy Hollow review.

 




Arts and Crafts on SUPERNATURAL


Season 12, Episode 20 “Twigs and Twine and Tasha Banes”
Written by Steve Yockey
Directed by Richard Speight, Jr.

This may be their Mother’s Day episode because it was certainly about hunter children and their mothers.

Tasha Banes (Alvina August), mother of Max (Kendrick Sampson) and Alicia (Kara Royster), drives up to the Mountain Slumber Boarding House in Wyoming. She has an odd encounter with a grumpy woman (Linda Barlow) and a normal encounter with a harried clerk or innkeeper (Tim Carlson). Tasha does a reveal spell which leads her to the basement where she get stabbed by someone off screen. Looks pretty fatal.

All signs say-Don’t go in the basement! (Photo: Dean Buscher/The CW)

Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles) are not happy about what happened with Cas (Misha Collins), to say the least. Dean points out that it takes some major mojo to take over Cas before you’re even born. When they get the call from the twins, which was meant for Mary (Samantha Smith), Dean is not thrilled about helping them. Sam talks him into it by saying ‘Their mom’s on a hunting trip, and she hasn’t been home in a week.” This is almost identical to the words Dean used in the very first episode when he asked his brother for help in finding their father.

Ketch (David Haydn-Jones) is beating the crap out of Mary, who is shackled to a chair. Then we see that Mary is there watching, and Ketch says if the shifter thinks this will affect him, he’s wrong. So it’s not Mary! They faked us out! It’s a shapeshifter. Mary gets the call from Dean telling her they are going to go help the twins but she doesn’t answer because it’s killing Ketch’s mood.

The boys meet up with the twins in Rock River, Wyoming. Dean and Max bond over the car (and the grenade launcher) and Sam and Alicia bond over being left out. Mom Banes and Max are both natural witches. Alicia didn’t get the magic. Sam tells her about Dean and their dad bonding over hunting, but has trouble explaining their mom. (She was dead for three decades. Just tell her.)

When they get to the inn, Tasha Banes is there and just fine. Max is smug because he didn’t think anything was wrong and thought Alicia was overreacting. I immediately suspect a shapeshifter or rakshasa. They have a lovely evening. Tasha breaks a finger while opening the wine and snaps it back into place without anyone noticing.

Ketch is revved up over the torture and tries to talk Mary into going off into a dark corner. She reminds him that their fling was supposed to be a one time thing. Yes, torturing someone who looks like Mary turns him on. This is not a good thing in anyone. Mary’s not happy about the torture. She was sure that the shapeshifter wouldn’t betray its family. Ketch says that anyone who doesn’t think torture works has never been under the knife. I’m not at all surprised that he’s been tortured by the BMoL. He ends with a jab about her calling Dean back lest he think mommy doesn’t love him. Jealousy over children is also a very unattractive trait.

Dean and Sam find Tasha’s body in the basement with her heart cut out, along with the innkeeper and the weird guy (Paul Rogic) from the basement. Unfortunately Max, who was on his way out for a date with the waiter from the vegan place, comes upon them with his mother’s body. He runs back into his house and confronts his false mother. He uses a reveal spell and she tells him that it’s the lady upstairs.

Are you my mummy? (Photo: Dean Buscher/The CW)

Meanwhile, Mary has overheard a conversation that leads her to Mick’s body. She snoops around more and finds that they have surveillance on Garth, Eileen, Claire, Dean and Sam. Ketch catches her and they have a knock down drag out fight. “You’re a psychopath,” she says. Well, duh. It took her long enough. This fight is really interesting. Mary breaks or dislocates his right arm right away. He says he can protect her if she plays nice. It only makes her more angry.

I particularly love when she pulls out brass knuckles and he says that they are enochian brass knuckles and only work on angels. She says brass knuckles are brass knuckles, and hits him with them. It reminds me of Dean saying that decapitation kills most things. The fight should not have ended the way that it did. If both fighters are equally well trained, the larger, stronger fighter will win. Of course, you have to take temperament into account too. He is thoroughly beaten when he zaps her with the tazer.

I said it was a one time thing. (Photo: Dean Buscher/The CW)

Max runs upstairs and Dean follows him, while Sam and Alicia fight the innkeeper and the guy on the missing poster. They confront the old lady, who is a witch, and Dean tells her that craft time is over. She shows them that she made a doll of the twin’s mom out of tree twigs and Tasha’s own heart. She also wants someone to take her power, which is in a ring. She sold her soul to the devil a long time ago and knows she’s out of time and doesn’t want to go to Hell. She also tells him that her dolls will die with her but if he takes the ring they can keep their mom forever. Max is still trying to decide when Dean shoots the witch-but not soon enough to keep Alicia’s mom from stabbing her downstairs. The look of shock and betrayal on Alicia’s face is horrifying.

Max has lost his whole family. The boys give him a few platitudes and leave. He then does just what I expected him to do, and what they should have expected him to do. He uses the ring and makes a doll out of Alicia. He then torches the room, magically, giving his mom and Alicia a hunter’s funeral.

It could be, of course, that they knew what Max will do but allowed him to make his own decisions.

The last scene is Mary in irons, in the same chair that the shapeshifter who looked like Mary was in. Lady Toni is there. Ketch looks uninjured but the Men of Letters are not above using magic in their own self interest. Their fakeout becomes real by the end of the episode.

There’s a lot to talk about in this episode. The setting was beautiful. That house was wonderful. The sitting room that they were in was gorgeous, and supposed to be part of Tasha’s room? Not the main room, but part of her suite. The house was also a great metaphor. It had the lovely, homey interior with a few creepy antique dolls sprinkled throughout, the basement of horror where the secrets were kept, and the old witch upstairs like a spider in the attic.

I liked the twins and their mom a lot, so it was sad to see the family torn apart. One of the things I like about them is that they are good witches. If werewolves and vampires can have groups that are striving not to harm humans, there should also be good witches. Most witches in Supernatural are powerful, evil and downright unsanitary. Rowena has sometimes been helpful, but can’t really be considered good. There are three types of witches. There are borrowers, who get their power from a demon in exchange for their soul. The witch in this episode is of that type, and the twins tell Sam and Dean that their mom was looking for a borrower that was killing people all over Wyoming. Max and Tasha are naturals, who were born with power. There are also witches that learn by studying, whether on their own or taught by someone in the Grand Coven. The Winchesters and the BMoL use magic that they’ve learned, although they would never call themselves witches. Max may or may not have acquired the penalties of the witch’s bargain. He certainly is sliding down the ramp towards evil, though.

Evil or not, the Men of Letters, London Chapter, would want Max and Alicia did, because they are American hunters and because Max is a natural born witch. Alicia, of course, is no longer human.

The boys are envious of how close knit the Banes family is. They both have unrealistic views of their mother; Dean because he remembers the mom of young kids and idolizes her, and Sam because he must hold an idealized picture in his head of the mother he wished he’d had. In this episode, Mary does not compare very well to Tasha in their eyes.. But remember, Tasha’s already dead at that point. So the show is saying that a poppet made out of branches and string and given life by an evil witch is a better mom than Mary. That’s pretty harsh.

The shapeshifter bears some explanation, too. In the past, we’ve seen that shapeshifters change in very messy ways. However, we have seen incidences where the Winchesters have encountered shapeshifters that can change instantly and without drama. It could be that this one is a pureblood, or one that is close to the alpha shapeshifter in lineage. The alpha shapeshifter is dead, however, so it’s not him. Shifters can read minds of those that they shift into, so the shapeshifter may know something about Ketch. It said it did when it changed into him. It will be interesting to see if that comes up again. Of course, I don’t even know if the critter is still alive.

Do I look like I need protection? ( Photo: Dean Buscher/The CW)

I think I know what Mary’s fatal flaw is. All heroes have them. It’s not love or compassion. It’s being too brave. There were a couple of points in this episode where duplicity would have been a better choice than fighting. Ketch was practically begging her to lie to him. A little subterfuge would have been more effective. Mary walks around like nothing can hurt her. I don’t know if she was always that way. It does remind me of Dean. But it could be a result of having knowledge of death and having no reason to be afraid of it.

It was good to see who they had surveillance on, because now we know Garth and Eileen are still alive. We haven’t seen Garth in a long time, probably because the actor’s been busy on Z-Nation. It’s bad because the BMoL has decided that American hunters have got to go.

 

Supernatural airs on the CW at 8pm/7c on Thursday nights.




Planet Comicon 2017: The Funny, Fabulous Felicia Day

All of the guests at Planet Comicon that I saw were very popular, but I think Felicia was the most loved. Audience member after audience member stood up and said that she had changed their lives. Usually they mentioned The Guild, a webseries that Felicia Day created and starred in. Day makes being a geeky girl and a gamer cool and acceptable. She is an inspiration to many.

She brought Crow T. Robot and Tom Servo, made of balloons, with her. They got handed out to audience members during the panel. She was always a fan of MST3K, along with her brother (see our coverage of the new show here). She met Joel Hodgson at a convention and went to take a selfie with him just to rub it in her brother’s face that she met him and her brother didn’t. They got along famously and some time later she got the email asking if she wanted to be in the return of MST3K. It was her second best email, the first being the one from Joss Whedon that simply asked, “Can you sing?”

Felicia Day and the balloon robots:

https://twitter.com/feliciaday/status/858092572249554944

I think she’s right that the Whedon email was the best because Dr. Horrible’s Sing-along Blog was really the beginning of everything. I remembered her from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, of course, but I think that Penny was her breakout role.

Felicia is mad scientist Kinga Forrester in the revival of Mystery Science Theater 3000, the daughter of the original Dr. Forrester, who plagued his hapless employees. She was asked what the worst movie was that she had inflicted on them in the current show, and she said it had to be either Avalanche or The Beast of Hollow Mountain.

Of Charlie on Supernatural, she said that Charlie was stronger and braver than she was. She liked that she got to be geeky. She thought Charlie was inspirational because she was gay and geeky.

You guys just don’t know how to have fun. (Credit: Cate Cameron/The CW)

GeekNation’s Clare Kramer asked how she felt about Charlie’s death, and pointed out that as a woman on Supernatural it was inevitable. Felicia said when she first got the call and they said she was dying, she asked “Permanently?” But she knew she was really dead when they burned her body. When her hair burned. “If you burn your hair, you can’t resurrect somebody.” Nevertheless, if they wanted to bring her back, she was ready. Felicia thought she did well because she lasted for four seasons.

Felicia had a baby girl in January that she named Calliope. She had a few things to say about new motherhood. She said she was freaking out about the ten pounds she still had after having the baby, but realized that she could buy new pants! In a bigger size! “Look,” she said,”new pants!” A simple statement, and funny. But at the same time it has deeper meaning. Why do women stress out so much about those things?

She also said,”Do you know how hard it is to get milk out of a breast?” Then, perhaps thinking of the mommy wars, she added that it was hard to feed them in any way. If you can keep a baby fed and alive, it’s a miracle. You put them down on a bed and they decide to roll off and fall down the couple of feet to the floor. (Yes, Felicia, babies don’t make good decisions)

They mentioned a few more of her creations without getting into too much detail. Geek and Sundry, the youtube channel. She wrote a memoir called You Are Never Weird on the Internet (Almost). She’s done some voice acting for games.

Someone asked what her favorite board game was and she talked about Scythe, and about cute little cows, and admitted that she was all about the accessories. She said “I don’t have people at my house except to play games. I’m not going to talk to you.”

She won’t talk to you if you win, either. (Photo by: Eike Schroter/Syfy)

Someone asked if she had had a real supernatural experience, and she said when she was about five, there was a plant with no flowers on it and half an hour later it had one and she was amazed.

She was asked what her inspiration for writing was and she said it was embarrassing situations. If it was personal, a little bit scary, and she hadn’t told anyone about it, it was fodder for a story. She firmly believes that more women should be making stories.

It was a great experience to be able to see and hear Felicia in a panel. She’s as delightful in person as she is on screen. I can’t wait to see where she pops up next.




Planet Comicon 2017: Idjits, Death and No Bobby in Season 12 of SUPERNATURAL

Jim Beaver is a beloved character actor who has been on two shows that I review for SciFi4Me.com, Supernatural and Timeless. His character on Supernatural is well loved and remembered. It’s obvious by how many questions were about Supernatural and how the questions kept coming back to his death on the show that he is sorely missed.

Jim Beaver came out looking at his phone. He said he was waiting for tickets to Hamilton. It was a funny line but could be true because he sees a lot of plays and musicals. The audience said, “Say it!” “Say it!” and Jim called us “Idjits’.

Jim said that the first time he came to a convention and got a response like the one we had just given him, he looked to see if Elvis was behind him.

Jim Beaver waiting for Hamilton tickets. (Photo by Teresa Wickersham)

Clare Kramer from GeekNation moderated. Clare asked him about his role on Supernatural, and he said he just showed up and said his lines and tried not to bump into the furniture. She said he was a father figure to Sam and Dean, and he said that they had a real father out there somewhere, that he didn’t meet until the seventh season. At San Diego Comic Con, which is where he met Jeffrey Dean Morgan. He said he was glad Jeffrey Dean Morgan (as John Winchester) deserted the boys and then died, because that way there was a need for a father figure instead of a father.

Clare asked Jim about Timeless, and he said he would do anything Kripke asked him to do. (Eric Kripke created both Supernatural and Timeless.) They discussed what historical figure he would be. He said he wanted to be Robert E. Lee, or Ulysses Grant, but he ended up being a guy from now.

Kripke told me to come straighten you guys out. (Photo by: Sergei Bachlakov/NBC)

He said of his recent role on Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders that they use a lot of Supernatural alumni.

He waxed eloquent about Deadwood. It’s one of his favorite things. He knew it was something special when he saw the script. Deadwood was “the most expensive drama pilot made” which is also why it didn’t last forever. It had a huge cast of twenty to twenty-five people. Deadwood is why Bobby has a beard. Jim was working on Deadwood when he auditioned for Supernatural. “Now I can’t ever shave,” he said. He added that he was afraid to because he didn’t know what was under there anymore.

When asked why he came to Kansas City, he said his best friend recommended it. He said Jim should go there if he ever had a chance. So when they asked if he wanted to do something in Kansas City, he said “Yup”.

Jim said that he just looks at the script and guesses how to play it. Usually someone will tell him if he gets it wrong. Writers create and the actor visually and orally interprets what they have created. Ninety-nine percent of what you love is the writer. “I’m happy to be here and take his (Kripke’s) money.”

Jim Beaver’s favorite episode is “Weekend at Bobby’s”, which was Jensen Ackles’ first directing experience. He said Jensen did a fine job. It was exhausting, being on screen ninety percent of the time. He said that you wouldn’t be an actor if you didn’t want to have people pay attention to you. “Look at me.” It’s not about the art at first. Probably only “Daniel Day Lewis is playing Rousseau in his kindergarten.”

One of the audience members said his sister cried when he died. “You should have seen my accountant.”

Clare asked if he ever took his daughter to the set. He took Maddie to the set of Supernatural on her ninth birthday, where she proceeded to rat him out to everyone and told them that Daddy didn’t learn his lines and that he stayed up all night watching TV.

He was asked what the difference was between going to a Supernatural Creation Convention and a convention like Planet Comicon. He said that the difference was that there weren’t as many scantily clad people. Probably because there weren’t as many scantily clad women on Supernatural. Actually, the main difference is that the Creation cons were just for Supernatural and Comicons are for all kinds of things. Jim said that he took his life in his hands and went out in the lobby at Dragon*Con once. “Great Bobby costume.”

The audience was curious about pranks, since the set of Supernatural is known for the practical jokes that the cast play on each other. “They don’t pull a lot of pranks on me because they know better.” He said that Misha had filled Jared’s trailer with coins because he owed him money from a bet, and Jared put the coins in Misha’s car and told him to donate it to his favorite charity. He did say that anytime he was in a scene in a bed, Jared would be twisting his toes, which makes the scene where Bobby died seem a little different.

Nurse! Something is grabbing my toes! (Photo: Michael Courtney/The CW)

One person asked if he had any trouble memorizing all the Latin. He said he had ALL the trouble learning the Latin, but the props people were good at putting what they had to say in the script into the books they were holding. The problem was that Jim Beaver couldn’t read without glasses and Bobby doesn’t wear glasses, so the books got bigger and bigger. Jared, on the other hand, was really good at the Latin.

The worst thing that happened: falling down the stairs in Bobby’s basement. The worst shoot: a night shoot where Bobby had to close his eyes and shoot something out of a tree. That night seemed to last for years, he said. Mostly because Jared was cracking them up (Episode 7.09, “How to Win Friends and Influence Monsters”).

If I shoot him now, can I go home? (Photo: Jack Rowand/The CW)

He was asked about Bobby’s death more than once. He said the first time wasn’t so bad. It was a one page death and when he turned the page, he found out it was okay. Then he got the call that said they were killing him and if you weren’t on the CW you’d win an Emmy. He didn’t seem to think that was much consolation. When asked again later if he thought season seven was Bobby’s time to go, he answered no. “It was a punch in the gut. Dramatically effective. I’d much rather they’d killed someone else. It’s like real dying. I didn’t like it.”

Since Bobby’s death, the character has appeared in every season of Supernatural, whether as a ghost or a flashback or in some other magical way. Except this one. Of course someone asked if Bobby would make an appearance this season. He won’t. The series has wrapped and Jim Beaver said they did not have him back this season. He offered to break into the set and take some selfies. Do his own video. The audience offered to help him.

Welcome to Kansas City, Jim Beaver. We hope you enjoyed it and can come back soon.

(Disclaimer: None of the photo captions are actual quotes from either Jim Beaver or Bobby Singer.)

 




Planet Comicon 2017: Ron Perlman is a Great Storyteller

“Any kids in the room?” Ron Perlman asked. “F-em.” He said parents should let them stay because it would be a learning experience, and who better to learn from than Uncle Ron? He told us right up front that he cursed and was going to do so during the panel. Since this is a PG-rated site, cussing will be edited out of this article.

Clare Kramer of GeekNation moderated the panel. The stage was set with a living room arrangement, Clare sitting in a chair and the guests sitting on the couch. The sofa tended to eat people, so Ron sank down in it with mostly his head and knees showing from my point of view, which was kind of funny. He talked about how he felt invisible for a long time, so he still had that Sally Field, “you really like me” feeling.

Clare asked him how he met Guillermo del Toro. Ron said that del Toro sent him an irresistible love letter. He thought he was invisible, but the director had watched everything he had done. He told Ron in detail what he had loved about each performance. Unsurprisingly, Ron agreed to meet with him.

He said he knew they would get along with Guillermo when he asked, “Do you mind if we start with dessert first?” (I agree. You never know when you might not make it through dinner).  Del Toro told Ron about Hellboy and how much he wanted to make it with him as Hellboy. He introduced Ron to a statue of Hellboy. Ron, meet Hellboy. Hellboy, meet Ron. Ron knew nothing about the comic. He decided not to read it because he didn’t want to fall in love with the character and not get to do it, because he thought it was unlikely that it would be made. He tried to convince del Toro that he should be reasonable and cast someone big in the role, and del Toro said, “Yeah, I’ll make it with the Rock.”

After saying that, Guillermo del Toro waited seven years to make Hellboy because the studios wanted a big name and he wanted Ron Perlman.  Del Toro got closer after making Blade 2, but Pan’s Labyrinth made everyone’s top ten list and gave the director the chance to do what he wanted to do. After finding out that Hellboy was a go, Ron read everything Hellboy.

He praised del Toro for his integrity, not just to people, but to his artistic vision and Ron talked about how rare it was in Hollywood. What I mostly learned about Ron Perlman from this story is that he is a fantastic storyteller. It was a gripping narrative. He became Guillermo when he was describing what the director did or said, and he was really funny.

Some highlights from the questions and answers from the audience:

When asked about getting the role on Sons of Anarchy, Ron said he got the call from Kurt Sutter and it was the last civil conversation they had in six years. (no explanation)

Is there a role he regrets passing up? He never passed on anything. Check IMDB. He has no standards.

Makeup for Hellboy and Beauty and the Beast took the same amount of time: four hours in the chair on a normal day, six and a half when they had to do something special.

Just a few more hours to go. (Photo courtesy of IMDB)

Hellboy 3 is dead. They tried, and it’s not going to happen. (Sad, but not too surprising if you’ve been listening to the internet.)

When asked if Peg Bundy was really that sexy up front, Ron said she wasn’t that bad from behind, either. I found this an annoying question, not just because of the content, but because the actress’ name is Katey Sagal, and she was not playing Peg Bundy when she worked with Ron.

You killed Piney? Someone had to. He just talked, talked talked and he had that trike.

What superhero would you be? Hellboy. He has like 55 cats, he eats pizza and watches old Marx Brothers movies, and he’s an underachiever.

What would you Geek out about? “Porn.” Then he named Marlon Brando, Anthony Hopkins, and Sinatra as people he would lost the power of speech over.

No, he didn’t know Fallout would be a hit and he would do the next one if he gets called.

He absolutely would reprise his role as Slade on Teen Titans and credits Andrea Romano with getting him into voice acting and continuing to cast him. He finds film and TV interchangeable because they are structured the same, but voice acting is more results oriented, where you just show up and knock out a lot in a short amount of time.

Someone asked him about Clay, the character you love to hate and hate to love. Ron said he doesn’t judge but just asks, “Who is he?” He’s a guy who thinks that is the best leader for the family. He is trying to make a living and stay independent.

He was asked about Hellboy’s hand, and he said there were actually three. One for when the hand was just hanging by his side, one for making a fist, and a puppet hand that had mechanics in it.

It looks like one Hellboy hand to me. (Photo courtesy of IMDB)

He said that special effects guys were messed up geniuses. Ron’s a big fanboy of Rick Baker and Mike Elizalde, among others he named.

When he was asked about Jorge Gutierrez, with whom he worked on the Book of Life, he compared him a lot to del Toro. Okay, he actually said they are just the same. Both brilliant, artistic, full of life Mexican directors. He said Jorge was a younger version of Guillermo.

Ron knew the internet wanted him to play Cable from the Marvel Comics and that Josh Brolin has the role. “Cable should be playing me,” he said.

Someone complimented his voice, and he blamed it on Johnnie Walker Black and dark Nicaraguan cigars.

When asked what character he would have liked to have played, he said that he’d already played characters beyond anything he’d ever imagined. “How can I possibly dream of characters better than the ones I’ve already imagined? I just can’t do it.”

We can’t do it either, Ron. You’ve had a wonderful career of great characters that you did justice to, and we’ve all benefited from that.

 

 




On Supernatural, Castiel Finds a Purpose


Season 12, Episode 19 “The Future”

Written by Robert Berens and Meredith Glynn
Directed by Amanda Tapping

In fact, it’s almost like he’s going to be a father. It’s very much like Castiel (Misha Collins) is going to be a father because if he had fathered a child they’d be having the same dilemma except that the child would not be as powerful.  It makes me wonder why they didn’t just go ahead and make it Cas’s kid in the first place.

This week on Supernatural we return to the storyline of Kelly (Courtney Ford) and Lucifer’s (Mark Pellegrino) baby. She’s miserable now that she knows she won’t survive the birth. It doesn’t help that Dagon (Ali Ahn) has her manacled and is trying to force feed her vitamins. Dagon tells her all the evil things her son will do and all of the people he will kill. I truly feel sorry for Kelly at this point. She’s in a very bad place, and none of it is her fault. Dagon lets her loose to bathe and she cuts her wrists in the bathtub.

I have got to get a better hospital room. (Photo: Robert Falconer/The CW)

Castiel shows back up suddenly and with little explanation as to why he’s been out of touch. Dean (Jensen Ackles) is hurt because he’s been worried and is furious with Cas for making him worried. He really is insecure. Castiel is acting angelic-that is to say, he’s being a jerk. This is because he plans to steal the Colt and go after Dagon himself. Once again he has taken it upon himself to protect the Winchesters without their consent. The plan was hatched up in heaven, of course.

Kelly has miraculously survived her suicide attempt and massive blood loss. Her mood has made a turnaround. She feels that the baby must love her to have saved her, but Dagon says it’s self-preservation.

Sam (Jared Padelecki) comes up with a plan they could use. They think that removing the nephilim’s grace would make it human and therefore powerless, whether it was evil or not. They have reason to believe that, since removing an angel’s grace renders them human and trapped in the vessel they are in.

Castiel finds Kelly but can’t bring himself to kill her. He kidnaps her, or liberates her, depending on your point of view. They run off together which gives them some time to bond. Kelly tries to convince him that no one is born evil, and that her baby is good. Castiel tries to convince Kelly that she and the baby have to die for the good of the world. If he takes her to heaven she will disintegrate, something like a transporter accident. Castiel points out that she will die in childbirth and there will be no one to raise her child and teach it to be good. That’s not the sort of thing you should say unless you want the job yourself.

He touches her belly while the baby is kicking and she knows instantly that Cas is the one who’s supposed to be the guardian and that it would be okay to go to the playground.

Now how are babies made again? (Robert Falconer/The CW)

Dagon meets them at the sandbox that is the entrance to heaven. The Winchesters find them there as well. Dagon destroys the Colt. Kelly and Cas hold hands and the baby (who really needs a name by now) takes Cas over and destroys Dagon with a touch. Sam and Dean explain their idea but Kelly doesn’t like it. She thinks the baby will be a force for good and and needs its powers. Cas is fully empowered and full of purpose. He heals Dean and then knocks them out with a touch. Castiel and Kelly run off together and Castiel tells Kelly that her baby showed him the future.

It’s my sandbox and you can’t play in it. (Photo: Robert Falconer/The CW)

This is the closest thing they ever have to an ep without the two leads. Most of the screen time was Castiel’s. It probably gave the actors some much needed family time. Misha did a great job during the ep, with being sneaky at the beginning to the interactions with Kelly to the conversion to acolyte.

Is it possible that Lucifer’s child is not evil? I would like to believe what Kelly says, that no one is born evil, but the odds are that he is evil. Blind faith is frightening. An entity controlling or possessing someone else is not a good sign. Cas is vulnerable to being influenced because he’s had a series of failures lately. Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. This is a very powerful being. It destroyed a Prince of Hell with a touch of Castiel’s hand. The more power, the further away from humanity with its frailties, the more evil something is on Supernatural. Look at what happened to Castiel when he absorbed godlike powers.

Even if Lucifer’s child was not born bad, his life has been pretty negative so far. If he is aware enough to save his mother, he might have known her state of mind and experienced the abuse she suffered secondhand. That’s not a good start in life.

Now Castiel will be standing between the BMoL and the child, which puts him in a lot of danger. Sam and Dean want the kid neutralized, not killed.  They may be guarding the kid as well, but they are also not on the same side as Kelly and Castiel. We don’t know how far Castiel will go to protect him.

There are two interesting bits of trivia about this episode. It’s directed by Amanda Tapping, who starred in Sanctuary and Stargate SG-1 and its spinoffs. She was the angel Naomi on Supernatural, so she should know a few things about angels.She’s also no novice to directing. She’s directed episodes of Sanctuary, Continuum and many others. She did a great job in this episode.

The other factoid is that this is Misha Collin’s 100th episode. It was a wonderful tribute to him that they made it a Castiel centered one.

Do you ever get the feeling that the episode went on without you? (Photo: Robert Falconer/The CW)

In the next episode, the brothers get a call from the twins, Alicia and Max, and it looks like Mary has a confrontation with Ketch.

 

Supernatural airs on the CW on Thursday nights at 8 pm/7c.




SUPERNATURAL Always Gets Their Goatman


Season 12, Episode 18 “The Memory Remains”
Written by John Bring
Directed by Philip Sgriccia

With episodes like this it’s good to remember that Supernatural’s main mission is not what I watch it for. I watch for the characters, the stories, the brotherly moments, and the vast mythology that’s been developed over the years. Its main mission is to scare the crap out of people. In that respect, it does a good job.

When the episode started, I found myself wishing that we would find that Mick (Adam Fergus) was alive and he and Ketch (David Haydn-Jones) had fooled Dr. Hess (Gillian Barber). It was a very small wish, because lying on a table with blood around your head and your eyes open looks pretty dead. They do use the excuse I thought they would. Mick was sent back to England in disgrace.

A group of young people are partying in the woods, with beer and a fire. One of the guys heads home, walking alone in the woods, which is never a good idea. He gets got by a human trap. His buddy hears him and arrives in time to see a goatman (Bill Mikolai) knock him out with a rubber mallet.

Goatman looks a lot like Krampus. He’s not, though, he’s a man in a costume. This is obvious to us, the viewers, because he hits the guy with a rubber mallet. A monster would have claws or teeth or super strength or an archaic weapon. Also, who can go to the store to buy mallets and backpacks when you look like that?

Sam and Dean get a note from “Mick” about the case. It’s Ketch, trying to get them to leave the bunker so he can search it.

Sam and Dean go to Wisconsin and talk to the sheriff, who is working on a stuffed stoat, I think. Immediately he’s the main suspect for me, because who else but a taxidermist would be good at making a goat costume? He tells them the missing guy, Jared Hayes (Daniel Doheny), had a hard life and probably just bailed. They talk to the best friend, Daryn (Antonio Marziale), who tells them it was Black Bill, the local goat man. They talk to the missing guy’s boss. He worked at a meat packing plant, which isn’t the least suspicious. The boss is a jerk, not being the least bit concerned with the missing guy and chewing out Daryn even though he saw his friend get grabbed.

Oh Man. My job sucks, my friend got kidnapped by Black Bill the Goatman, and now the Feds catch me with reefer. (Photo: Diyah Pera/The CW)

Dean is distracted by a pretty blonde waitress (Aliesha Pearson) and is overconfident because of the Colt. If he had been seriously working the case, he might not have ended up as the damsel in distress.

Daryn gets got by the goatman, and ends up in a meat locker watching Jared get eaten by something we can’t see.

Sam and Dean find out that Sheriff Bishop owns the meat packing plant and used to own the town before he started selling things off years ago. They check out the family’s abandoned mansion and hit pay dirt. There is a murder room in the basement, behind a door with many locks. There’s a table that tilts towards a grate in the floor.

The sheriff catches them and tells them the story of his family. They made a deal with Moloch (John DeSantis) after catching and imprisoning him. This is the same god that plagued Sleepy Hollow’s first season. The family invented Black Bill, the Goatman, to cover up the fact that they had been killing a person a year and feeding them to Moloch. Sheriff Bishop had been trying to make amends for the last twenty years and hoping Moloch would starve to death. Bishop is not the killer. Moloch’s cage is empty.

Do I look like a Goatman? No, don’t answer that. (Photo: Diyah Pera/The CW)

They hear a sound upstairs and Dean goes up, alone, to see what it is. How stupid is that? They are assuming it’s Moloch, and Dean has the Colt. He’s distracted by an empty goatman suit and knocked out from behind.

It’s Sheriff Bishop’s brother, the jerk manager, who luckily likes to talk and thus gives us all the exposition. Pete Garfinkle (Ryan MacDonald) resented being born on the wrong side of the blanket and was angry because of Sheriff Bishop’s disposal of the family property. Pete found Moloch and was fattening him up, hoping he would make him rich.

Dean goes a few rounds with Moloch and Sam and Sheriff Bishop go a few rounds with the brother, who has stolen the Colt. Dean is getting the worst of it, which I’m not sure he doesn’t deserve. Sam and Bishop defeat Pete. Sam bursts in and shoots Moloch with the Colt just in time. It kills the monster.

When Ketch was finished searching the bunker, he made two mistakes. One was that he took Dean’s picture of his mother and himself from before she died. Dean may not look at those often, but it will be missed. The other is that he planted a big honking microphone under the table. The same table that Dean keeps a holster under. Don’t the Men of Letters, London Chapter, have the newest technology? How long before that is found? When the boys check in, they find out that Mick is gone and Ketch is their contact. Making the old saying true, Ketch the eavesdropper hears nothing good about himself, leaving him staring at the picture he purloined.

This is a middle of the road filler episode. It makes it very frustrating because we don’t know where Cas is, we don’t know where Kelly and her devil spawn is, and we don’t know if Eileen is okay. I am assuming that Mary is actually hunting a chupacabra in Mexico.

I suppose it’s building tension that we took this little side trip but it also makes me a little crazed.

The bulk of the story was classic horror. Or, as Maia Ades said, they used every horror trope in the book. The basement, the murder room (and why do they need torture implements if all they are doing is feeding blood to Moloch?), the meat locker, and even walking in the woods. One of the things they did right is that we never see Moloch in his entirety. Just a clawed hand, or a silhouette through plastic. The imagination is much more frightening than a monster in daylight. Seeing it is the first step to accepting it. In contrast, we first see the goatman in the dark, and then increasingly in daylight until he is unmasked.

We have to use flashlights because the light bulb blew up. (Photo: Diyah Pera/The CW)

The goatman is taken from an urban legend of a goatman in Wisconsin. There’s one in Maryland, too. Supernatural started out with urban legends before it developed its own mythology and has never left its macabre modern mythology beginnings.

I’ve seen this episode described as if they faced Pan, or a Greek god, or a faun or satyr. That’s the false monster, the goatman made up by the Bishop family. The real monster, Moloch, is a Canaanite god from the old testament. He has a bull’s head and is associated with human sacrifice. So yes, they did kill a god but not a Greek one.

There’s a bit of humor but not as much as in say, the bunnyman episode, “Plush”. Surely there are as many comedic possibilities with a goatman.

There is one scene that’s a little deeper, and related to the ongoing story of the boys’ heroes journey. Sam and Dean are talking about what they will leave behind, and they carve their initials in the desk along with flashbacks of the two of them carving their initials in the Impala when they were small. Too small to be handling those knives! It’s almost too much but it’s so cute I forgive them.

Little vandals. (Photo by Teresa Wickersham. Taken of Mary the Impala.)

Next week it looks like we find out what happened to Cas.

Supernatural airs on the CW at 8pm/7c on Thursday.




SciFi4Chicks: Disney’s Live Action Plan – Should They Adapt Every Animated Story?

[Featured image courtesy Disney]

The Walt Disney Company is known for their ground-breaking classic animated films: Snow WhiteCinderellaSleeping Beauty, plus more recent classics like The Lion KingThe Little MermaidMulan, and Beauty and the Beast. In recent years, though, they’ve been dipping back into that same well to take those classic animated stories and rework them into live-action pieces such as Maleficent, 101 Dalmatians, and Cinderella. The latest release, Beauty and the Beast, gives us a chance to compare and contrast this version and the classic animated feature.

Along the way, we discuss the other projects in the pipeline: Mulan, a sequel to The Jungle BookDumbo, The Lion King, and more. Should Disney be re-making all of these classic films? Or should they work to deliver new classics?

The panel: Mindy Inlow, Jennifer Wise, Teresa Wickersham, Sonya Rodriguez, Ann Laabs, Lauren Garrison




SUPERNATURAL and the Deathly Men of Letters


Season 12, Episode 17 “The British Invasion”
Written by Brad Buckner and Eugenie Ross-Leming
Directed by John F. Showalter

The British Men of Letters are bad. I told you they were. They are downright evil incarnate, and it’s worse the farther up the chain of command you get. Faced with a supernatural danger, I’d be on the side of the monsters rather than call them in. I was wrong about one thing, though. The boys didn’t miss a thing not getting to go to Kendricks, the BMoL’s version of Hogwarts.

Poor Mick (Adam Fergus). He barely had a chance to be a better person. He made the most of what he had, though. He really learned not to be a Nazi during his time with the Winchesters.

The show opens with a memory of Mick’s. He is at Kendricks and he and another child are called to the Headmistress’s office, which has plastic laid on the floor. She tells them that only one of them will come out of the room again and reveals a knife on a table. Only one comes out and of course it’s Michael (Mick), covered in blood.

Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles) finally get a clue as to where Kelly (Courtney Ford), the mother of the devil’s spawn, is hiding. They get it from Eileen (Shoshannah Stern), the deaf hunter whose parents were killed by a banshee. It’s great that they brought back Eileen, unless of course she ends up getting killed. She’s one of my favorites of their fellow hunters and contacts.

I’m way too pretty to be allowed to live. (Dean Buscher/The CW)

Mick picks that day to tell them that the BMoL are tracking Kelly down as well because they know that Lucifer (Mark Pellegrino) is having a child. Dean and Sam admit that they know and share what they know about it. Mick is appalled that they didn’t kill Kelly when they had the chance. For the first time I can tell that his being judgmental is motivated by fear.

He ends up drinking Scotch with the boys all night. During another bad dream about his killing his friend, he gets a call from Mrs. Umbridge…I mean, Dr. Hess (Gillian Barber), the headmistress. She has lost patience with the American hunters and tells Mick that they have to assimilate or be eliminated. She sounds like a Dalek.

Mary (Samantha Smith) sleeps with Ketch (David Haydn-Jones), which is not a big surprise, but sure to make the boys unhappy when they find out.

Kelly insists on visiting a real Ob-Gyn, which results in getting the cheerful doctor killed. He’s killed by a demon of Dagon’s, who then gets killed by Eileen. She gets some information first.

Hess sends a minder for Mick, a young man named Renny Rawlings (Darren Adams).

Mick brings the Colt to Sam. Rawlings is in tow. Dean grabs Kelly and brings her to where they’re waiting. They start talking to her about the baby. Renny Rawlings wants to shoot her, but Dean makes him back down. Dagon (Ali Ahn) shows up and they are no match for her. I didn’t realize until then that the Colt was not for Kelly or the baby but for Dagon. Sam drops the Colt and Eileen picks it up and shoots. Unfortunately, Dagon is phasing out right at that moment and the bullet hits Renny. This leaves Eileen devastated and Mick determined to kill Eileen. Evidently part of the code is that when someone kills one of the Men of Letters, they die, regardless of why they did it. Sam talks him down. He tells Mick he can make his own decisions and not blindly obey.

I brought you the Colt and the accidental shooting victim, as well. (Dean Buscher/The CW)

Dagon tells Kelly she won’t survive the birth but she can quit worrying about the baby’s health. The baby is strong and will be just fine.

Headmistress Hess shows up at the Men of Letters bunker with Ketch. She criticizes Mick for failing to keep Kelly or to kill Dagon and for letting Eileen go. Mick tells her what he really thinks: the Winchesters’ way is better, and that their way leads to kids killing their best friends. It’s a fine speech and during the middle of it, Hess nods to Ketch, who shoots Mick in the back of the head. Hess pronounces the experiment dead and wants all the American hunters dead as well.

Cas is still missing (probably trapped in heaven) and Eileen is on her way to Ireland, where I presume she will be picked up at the airport and murdered. I don’t give much for her chances. Not only are the Men of Letters still after her, but she flirted with Sam and he comforted her after she shot Renny. If that’s not the kiss of death on Supernatural, I don’t know what is.

Let’s give Mick a moment here. He completed a profound character arc in less than a season. He started out a smarmy, useless but smart guy tasked with the impossible goal of recruiting American hunters, which is like herding feral cats. He ended up a guy who bucked the system even though he knew it would lead to his death and even though it meant that he had to face the evil he had done in the name of the system. That’s where most people fail. They protect the system so they can keep from facing their guilt. Now he will never turn into a real hunter or start wearing flannel or shave. Or let the beard grow out. Sadly, he will be buried in that stubble. Adam Fergus deserves a big round of applause for his performance.

They can’t possibly do that test on all of their students. They’d lose fifty percent of their school. That kid had parents and so a cover story would have to have been created. Perhaps Mick was slated for special things, or perhaps he had shown signs of rebellion they wanted to squash. Maybe the other kid was targeted and Mick was just expendable.

Now we have an idea of how evil the BMoL can be. But Hess is not the head bad guy, although I am sure her influence, starting in childhood, is immense. They referred to the head person as “he” and “the old man”.

If Ketch starts hunting Winchesters, will he have mercy? I don’t know if he can love anyone, but he admires Mary greatly. Once again, Ketch had a scene where I wasn’t sure he was human. He acted very strangely after he killed Mick, circling around the body and looking at it curiously.

Kelly’s high risk pregnancy doesn’t mesh with a previous episode, “Lily Sunder Has Some Regrets”. Why would they think Lily’s child was a nephilim if the mother doesn’t survive the birth? Maybe it’s just when you have an archangel’s baby. It can’t be something that is common knowledge or Castiel would have used it earlier to talk Kelly into ending the pregnancy.

Be a good baby. Don’t kill Mommy. ( Photo: Dean Buscher/The CW)

Crowley (Mark Sheppard) and Lucifer have some back and forth in this episode. Crowley is trying to use Lucifer’s humiliation to gain respect from his demons. Lucifer is trying to figure out how to game the system.

Supernatural has gone to the dogs. Hess compares hunters to dogs constantly. Crowley calls Lucifer a dog and a puppy during their brief interactions. I don’t know if there’s a higher meaning to that.

The worst part is that the Winchesters are completely unaware of what happened to Mick and that the British Men of Letters has decided that they need to be put down. Since there is a small level of trust there, any of them could be caught unaware.

Next week it looks like they are hunting for a goat-headed man in a small town. How can they do that with everything that’s going on?

 

Supernatural airs on Thursday nights on the CW at 8pm/7c.

 




On SUPERNATURAL, The Heart is a Lonely Hunter


Season 12, Episode 16 “Ladies Drink Free”
Written by Meredith Glynn
Directed by Amyn Kaderali

Werewolf stories always tear your heart out because someone is an innocent victim one minute and a monster the next. On Supernatural, they follow the idea that the curse is a tragedy, much like the original Wolfman movies. This episode has the same conflict concerning the morality of killing the innocent who has been bitten and is now dangerous.

Mick (Adam Fergus) might be worth something someday. In the episode “The Raid”, where it became obvious that no one in the Men of Letters, London chapter, actually qualified as a hunter except for Ketch, Mick was the only one who did anything effective. Essentially, he’s a salesman. His orders are to get new recruits for the job of clearing America of monsters. But in this episode, he asks Dean (Jensen Ackles) and Sam (Jared Padalecki) if he can go on the hunt with them. It’s a hunt he found for them, an obvious werewolf case.

Dean is not happy about taking Mick with them. At this point he is willing to go on hunts that they find but this is a step further. However, he agrees and instead of their usual dives they stay in a three star hotel, which is amusing.

Only three stars? (Diyah Pera/The CW)

Their surviving victim is a teenage girl, Hayden Foster (Abby Ross). The fact that there is a survivor is unusual, thankfully. Most werewolf attacks end in death. Her brother was killed by the werewolf. Sam and Dean do the FBI thing but are stonewalled by the mom, who won’t let them in to see her daughter. Mick grabs a lab coat and pretends to be a doctor, which is clever. It enables him to examine the girl and Sam and Dean talk to Mrs. Foster (Miranda Frigon) outside. Mick finds a bite mark but lies to Sam and Dean about it.

The boys find out from the mom that a young woman was there first. Blonde, with an attitude. It’s Claire (Kathryn Newton), and Jody doesn’t know she’s hunting.

Mick tells Sam and Dean he has to get a report in, but he goes back to the hospital, dressed as a doctor, to put silver nitrate in the girl’s IV. He hesitates. It’s obviously hard for him. Hayden wolfs out and attacks him and he ends up stabbing her with the needle in the chest. The good part about this is that he doesn’t kill her until she attacks first. The bad part is now it’s obvious that she was murdered.

Sam takes Claire and they go talk to the dead girl’s girlfriend. Sam has to stay in the car because he’s old. However, he gets a chance to talk to her about coming clean with Jodie. She stomps off and gets attacked by a werewolf in a mask. A strange thing, a werewolf trying to hide his identity. Sam gets there seconds too late to save Claire from being bitten.

Dean goes with Mick to talk to the guy in the bar with the ink. He takes the opportunity to tell Mick that he has put two and two together and knows he killed the girl in the hospital. They argue about it. Mick has his orders, and killing monsters is what they do. Dean says things are not that black and white, and tells him about the girl with the psychic powers that they let go. The one that Ketch killed and the boys still don’t know is dead.

But now they have Claire, and Sam wants to try a cure he read about in Mick’s books. Mick says it doesn’t work, and nine out of ten test subjects died. Then he admits that the test subjects were mice. They are actually discussing whether to do it or not. They know from what happened with Garth that some people can withstand the hunger and survive on animal hearts. Claire points out that she doesn’t have that much self-control as a human. It’s her life and she gets all the votes, and she wants to do it.

Both Winchesters are extremely angry with Mick for killing Hayden. This is a little hypocritical, since they have done the same. Sam had to kill poor Madison, whom he really liked. Of course, she’d already started eating people. They leave Mick with Claire anyway, while they hunt for the werewolf that bit her. They need his blood for the cure. This is actually a smart move, because Mick gets to see her suffer through the change and has to stop her from killing herself. It’s good for him.

I just want to give you my heart. Well, someone’s heart. (Diyah Pera/The CW)

Unfortunately, the masked werewolf shows up and kidnaps Claire, although Mick tries to stop him. Mick put a tracker on her (because he is smart) and they find the lair. The wolf is a young person, Justin (Matt Visser), who wanted to turn Hayden. The brother was just in the way. Now he wants Claire. The Men of Letters disrupted their den, killing some and dispersing the rest. He’s lonely.

There’s a terrific fight. Dean fights Claire, apologizing all the way. Sam gets thrown around and Mick shoots the werewolf. They get his blood and inject the cure into Claire, who writhes around for a while and then is cured! Yay! Everyone is happy, even Mick, who says she’s a walking miracle.

Claire calls Jody and tells her she’s been hunting and is ready to do it on her own now. (Right, she almost became a werewolf.)

That call you make when you’re ready to hunt monsters after almost becoming a werewolf… (Diyah Pera/The CW)

Mick should know now that you can’t hunt without the angst. If it’s not making you miserable, you’re not doing it right. Seriously, there is a vast difference in philosophy between the way the Winchesters hunt and the way that the Men of Letters, London Chapter, have others do their hunting for them. The Winchesters hunt to save people. The Men of Letters are exterminators.

The bad thing about the way that Mick killed Hayden is that he did it secretly, so as not to upset the Winchesters, and he did it under orders and not because he thought it was the right thing to do. He also didn’t give her a chance to die under transformation or fight the urge to kill and learn to live as a werewolf.

At the end of the episode, he is not so buttoned down. I think he will be wearing flannel and jean jackets next. One thing that’s been bothering me for a while is that the stubble look does not look good on him. His skin is too light and the beard is too dark and it’s too perfectly maintained. He looks like Fred Flintstone.

A man in desperate need of a shave. (Diyah Pera/The CW)

Claire likes Batgirl. At least, I think that’s the comic book that was in her car.

I am bemused by the idea of lycanthropic mice. I can imagine them in cages in the dungeon of some old castle. You’d have to handle them carefully because a tiny nip would still get you infected. The head werewolf mouse would have to be kept alive to use his blood for the cure. What would they feed them? Other mice, no doubt. They’d have long claws and big teeth and pointy ears when they turned, but still be the size of a mouse. A large, strong mouse.

Oh, and there’s a Hogwarts for the Men of Letters! Sam and Dean really missed out.

In the next episode, it looks like they will be more tangled up and in even more conflict with the BMoL.

 

Supernatural airs on the CW on Thursday nights at 8pm/7c.