Let’s knock these out.
Form and Void
Last season I pointed out that the second episode largely made the first one unnecessary & superfluous. So it’s certainly gratifying to see this season’s 2nd episode take things established in the first and build on them. Alright, we’ll do bad & good points again.
- I’m really not thrilled that the DarknessTM is a soul sucker AGAIN and making her a person eater just drives the comparisons to S7 more and more.
- Another annoyance is that soulless is just becoming more and more “totes evil!” Remember how soulless Sam was at least somewhat more complex as a character? Heck I would have settled with her wanting more to hump Dean (or Crowley) than murder him. Or just the DarknessTM sucking all the goodness out of her and corrupting her.
- Could the Reaper scene have been any more blatant in begging the audience to accept tension again? Have Carver himself guest-starred in a brief appearance I might have at least found it hilarious in a meta way.
- WHY DON’T YOU KILL CROWLEY! That’s now like… 3 times? 4? The Winchesters have had Crowley dead to rights and done NOTHING. At this point I wish a writer would just stand up and wave a contract on screen for explanations on why he’s continuously spared.
- AGAIN we’re getting some kind of story arc of Dean being compelled against his will? *ugh*
- Castiel and the angels just… POINTLESS conflict for its own sake. It makes you wonder if the show has a torture quota.
Anyway, onto the good.
- My goodness there was actual INVESTIGATION in this episode! I mean, I know it would get boring to always show every clue and effort the boys make, but the flip side is that if you NEVER show it, then the show comes off as less organic and more “the script says they go here now.” Sam actually applying the brains he was once reputed to have? Yes! More of this!
- Even Dean got in on some of it thinking through things, prioritizing targets… both of them felt far more like the Winchesters and less like blatant plot tools.
- And they (well, Sam) actually SAVED some people, using a TRAP! (lot of brownie points there)
- I very nearly felt sad that the deputy and her grandmother died. It’s good to see the show start to return to humanizing those outside the main cast.
- At least Dean didn’t go for the immediate and defensive kill against the deputy. Looks like he’s actually putting some effort into saving lives.
While there are more negative points than positive, I should note that the positives in this episode WEIGHED enough to actually push this into a pretty solid 3 out of 5 score. If the show can just keep on this path and steadily build upon the positive foundations laid here… they might turn things around.
the Bad Seed
Did they turn things around? Well I didn’t want to stab my own eyes out which is an improvement from these writers. Ok, this time to make it different, I’ll pair the positive and negative critiques.
-] Rowena is increasingly grating, to the point that I want her stopped less because she’s evil and more just her constant whining.
+] On the other hand, some of Rowena’s antics (and lines like “MEGACOVEN!”) are a bit like the show’s old style of humor.
-] The angel & demon meeting in a bar just… ugh, so hard to square with canon. Could they have at least remembered angels can do glowy blue eyes to show their identity instead of flashing their sword to the audience?
+] But, again, lower schlubs meeting to complain about the bosses – only it is supernatural things doing it is, again, very classic style humor. So good on the effort, bad on the details of the execution.
-] So they do even more about the DarknessTM eating souls. Does like… NOBODY remember horseman Famine doing this whole routine? Why do the demons keep acting like this is new? IT WAS 6 YEARS AGO!
+] The actresses they got for the DarknessTM aren’t totally horrible and even have similar enough appearances to be believable time displaced versions of each other.
-] “let’s go ask metatron” – Does nobody remember that he knew NOTHING about the MoC? Why then do they think he’s going to know anything about the DarknessTM when the bloody guy didn’t know a pretty big detail about it?!?!?
+] The exchange about Castiel’s “crappy” car: I chuckled.
-] Dean – Mark of Cain, Sam – zombie plague, Castiel – doggy spell… anybody else getting a sense that they’re running out of ideas on what to inflict on the boys? (I got it! Next week we’ll put something evil inside one of them that will make them want to do something they don’t want to do.) Heck how can they not notice they all keep going through the same thing?
+] Um… the witches Rowena ate with were pretty cute.
-] AGAIN, just like the MoC, the “spell infection” was underdefined. Writing 101: It’s hard to feel tension when the audience has no idea what’s going on.
+] The show remembers Dean has a thing for Asian chicks! Hmm… actually have we ever seen him actually get with an Asian girl? Seems weird that Dean, lady-killer, never has spent time with his #1 lust. Someone check me on this.
Ok, I gotta stop there. Overall… about 2 which is standard from seemingly the worst pair of writers on the show. At least they might be improving.