Episode Review – Clap Your Hands if You Believe

I haven’t done this in awhile, but I’m splitting up my review because this episode is that good.

Seriously, this is the best episode of the season so far (it’s like a rule now, any time the opening credits for SPN changes, you know you’re in for a humorous, awesome ride).  This episode was so good, I’m tempted now to buy season 6 just for it.  Well done guys.

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Spoiler discussion

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Warning: major geekery ahead

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As Chuck from Scifi Debris points out often, one of the few bright spots in Star Trek: Voyager (other than Seven of Nine and her… features) was the acting of Robert Picardo.  His guest starring appearance is especially appropriate for this episode.  Ever since Spock, every iteration of Star Trek had a non-human character who  was generally used to examine the human condition.  Robert Picardo filled this role on Voyager until Seven of Nine joined in season 4, then they both worked on examine humanity.  Now, in season 6 of Supernatural, we have: Sam, a soulless robot examining the human condition.  Thus, having Robert Picardo sending Jared Padalecki off on his portrayal is awesome.

In fact, it could only be more awesome if Brent Spiner had been the guest star as Sam this season has more in common with Data than the Doctor.  But it still fits because there was never any doubt that the “examination role” in any of the Star Treks had a soul – except for Data and the Doctor who were artificial beings – like Sam.  So how does Supernatural answer the question of what is a soul?  Well apparently it’s not only emotion (and politeness), but also the ability to control instinct as here we see Sam demonstrating little ability to control his appetite for food or women (though with the hippie chick I can’t blame him, she was the hottest girl on the show since Julie).  However, we can see here (and hopefully they’ll continue this through the season) SPN’s own unique take: “what if Pinocchio doesn’t want to be a real boy?”  With Data (and the Doctor), the desire to be human was born a lot from curiosity – they had no idea what it was like to feel emotion, love, many things that we humans take for granted (even loathe).  Sam, however, does apparently retain a memory of how all that felt (allowing him to ‘fake it’ now and then).  With that in mind… what if he doesn’t want his soul back?  What if “Sam” prefers who he is now?  Is his choice “legitimate” if it’s not exactly him?  Is the robot he is now really the same person or a different being altogether?  You can redeem yourself a lot with examining these questions SPN – don’t blow it.

Lore wise, this episode was spot on – and been kind of needed for a long time.  With the rule that “it’s all real” and the lore the boys have had to go on to fight some things, the question of UFOs has been a big one.  There is a lot more lore on those than probably half of what the Winchesters have killed – why aren’t they real too?  Now we know: it’s all a con job by the Fey Folk.  Nicely done.

I’m not sure about Robert Picardo’s claim that he can get Sam’s soul out, almost anything and anybody can be lying in this show, but his talk of a “back door” makes me think that maybe the land of the Faeries is purgatory.  So Robert (who I’m hoping is Oberon) might not be as powerful as an archangel (or just about), but is sneaky enough to be able to get in and out of hell – it would all work without upsetting existing SPN power levels too much.  In fact, considering that the boys are currently “working for” Crowley, why aren’t they setting Robert Picardo against him?  That’d be a fun grudge match.

Another great thought: now that Gabriel/the Trickster is dead, maybe Oberon can pick up the role now.  After all, the Trickster was played by a guy named Robert too…

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