Episodes Reviewed – There’s no Place Like Home & About a Boy

There’s no Place Like Home

This season is… strange.  The episode back from a hiatus seems to have a knack for sucking, while the episode FOLLOWING it turns out to be pretty good and (if anything) the episode the post hiatus SHOULD have started with. (No when it comes out on DVD give it a try: watch through and then skip episode 10.10 and see if anything really changes.)

Now I’ll admit that Felicia Day and every character she plays are just so adorable they are always really really hard to hate (and that’s not just my preference for geeky redheads talking).  Still my feelings towards Charlie have in general been a bit “meh.”  She adds a little sister dynamic that the brothers have never had (and it’s a nice touch) but she’s always pulling towards mary sue tendencies.  (Then this episode we find out her real name is “Celeste” which we all know is synonymous with “mary” thus confirming her real last name is Sue.)  I mean still find the most unbelievable thing in the show (after the win8 tablet moment) to be a very liberalish person as her character had been established demonstrating perfect accuracy with a gun. Then in this episode we see her fighting Dean (twice!), who has at least a foot height on her, and who knows how many pounds of mass (a lot of it muscle) as well as empowered by the MoC (something that allows him to go toe to toe with ANGELS) and the fact that she wasn’t paste in five minutes proves that her Sue-Shields are strong and Dean might have more self control than we thought.  Still this episode gave her some much needed humanity so on the whole she ended up earning a +1 favor from me.

I’m still somewhat annoyed that the only way the writers seem able to portray Dean “losing it” is to have him pin someone to the ground and start wailing on their face.  Would be nice for them to show some variety.

Oh which reminds me.  No matter what I might say about Charlie as a character…

Let me explain: Yes we all know fights in Hollywood aren’t real (trust me, I grew in a house of nurses, EMTs, and I’ve worked with the courts, I’ve seen how real fights end up) but the point is suspension of disbelief, and PART of that is that the suspension has a bit of a “weight limit.”  Make something TOO unbelievable, nobody believes what the story is telling them; you have to make it just believable enough.  Thus, when it comes to fights, my standard is that any actor/actress who is willing to show their face as “messed up” during or after a fight (obviously this is makeup, I don’t want people actually beaten) wins my award for “quality and believable action hero.”  2 examples of failures?  1) Daredevil: No matter how much of a beating Ben Affleck takes in that movie, we NEVER see a busted lip or swollen eye or anything – at most he removes a back tooth.  2) Dylan Dog: As far as I know Brandon Roth was supposed to be playing a regular human and not Superman II, yet his face is NEVER damaged in that movie even after several blows that should have left his jaw pulverized.  2 QUALITY examples?  1) The cast at the end of Serenity, especially Nathan Fillon (they LOOK beat up).  2) Jared and Jensen have both ended episodes looking like they took a pounding.  Well at the end of this one?  Felicia Day earns her action hero stripes and yes, is a better action hero than Ben Affleck, Brandon Roth, or some others.

Finally what does it say when we barely see or deal with anything going on in the Land of Oz yet its politics and struggles make more sense than what’s going on with the angels and Heaven RIGHT NOW???

About a Boy

You know… if this had been in season 1 or 2 (where it would fit quite well), this episode would have ranked around a 3, maybe 4.  In season 10?  IT’S POSITIVELY A 5!!

Let’s just count all the ways this episode really, honestly, truly went back to its roots:

  • A teaser monster kill that’s mysterious and interesting!
  • It ties in with a classic tale/legend/folklore!
  • Something happens to one of our heroes that’s wacky and an opportunity for humor while exploring the character. (thought it’s Dean, because it’s ALWAYS Dean, seriously Sam should get a de-age or old age just once)
  • They ACTUALLY SAVE SOMEONE!  And give them a second chance at life!  OMG!
  • The boys think tactically and on their feet when plans go wrong!
  • It closes out on a nice character note!

Heck this one even deserves a slight kudos because they manage to make a MotW episode, that kind of ties into the main arc (the single biggest failing of S5 which would have also been the easiest to fix).

They even came up with a new way to demonstrate Dean’s struggle with the MoC!  Something that wasn’t too over the top but was clear enough that we could know, YES this is dealing with the MoC.

Some days I really wonder if the show runners read my tweets or reviews.

Well, if any of you are?  That moment at the very end of the episode, where Sam gets a reaction to Dean’s choice of music.  THAT!  It’s just 1 second, but that’s ALL we’ve been asking from SPN the last couple of years.  Humor, warmth, a tiny bit of range from the actors, all within ONE second of the show.  That’s all you have to do.  Don’t overplay the moment.  Don’t underplay it to the point that nobody can see the moment.  Just one second.


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