. . .
Time travel is real. That’s the only conclusion.
Clearly, dear reader, at some point time travel will be invented and I will use that technology to go back in time to fix season 12 after the premiere.
How else do you explain pretty much this episode being a rebuttal to the premiere almost taken from my post? But my review was posted 2 days before this one aired. There’s just no way they could get that much of this episode changed and fixed before the air date – no matter how inflated my ego must be.
The alternative, is that they somehow made 12.01, then realized its faults and made 12.02 to try and salvage the season out of a bad start. But if they knew then the misstep they took in 12.01, why not fix it then? But a time traveler who could not alter the premiere because it would cause a paradox makes much more sense. Though I have to wonder why I didn’t go back further and help Sera develop S6 and S7 better… Or have I? What does everybody remember about the Leviathans? Or has that been changed?
I. . .may be watching a little too much Flash this season.
So how to grade this episode? On the one hand, we still have the foolishness from the premiere. On the other, this episode calls out this foolishness. Like the Letter!Boss chewing out Letter!Lady for not trying to gain trust with the Winchesters. Which the episode pointed out that all she needed to do was just offer Sam a little comfort after his brother’s death and he would have told her everything. Heck bring a puppy and he’d declare her the love of his life. Why the torture? It wasn’t even her orders! IT DIDN’T HAVE TO BE THIS WAY!
I was just slightly annoyed at the whole “wait out here” – “you can’t leave me behind!” argument (yet AGAIN) between Dean and Mary. By now, the show has proved multiple times (including in this very episode) that things work best when they stagger their assaults. From the framing and such I think the episode wants us to think that Dean was wrong to leave his mom out of it but all I could think about it was that if Mary was with him, they both would have gotten trapped by the cellar door ward. And why can’t Dean point that out? “Look, when one of us goes in there, something’s going to go wrong. So let me flush out the enemy or set off their traps, then you follow up in two minutes and save my ass?” Was that line so hard? It’s not just this show, but a lot of TV and movies lately do this. They writers want characters in such and such positions, only instead of going with the obvious logical reasons for that to happen (and have the characters come to this logic like adults), they have one or more of them act like complete jerks – usually with an overprotective, over-cautious motivation behind. Once you start noticing it, it becomes very annoying.
So Dean is forced downstairs, with his hands in front, manacled together even though we’ve seen him attack other captors while in a worse position (maybe he thought it would be unsporting). I mean look at the scene! She doesn’t even have a gun on her and he’s got a heavy chain in his hands. It shouldn’t even be a fight. And then later on he can’t apparently shoot Letter!Lady to stop her force-choke but can knock her out to do so? That doesn’t even make magic-sense.
Otherwise it was all pretty good. Instead of continuing with the stupid “body-jumping-Lucifer” thing, we get to see him break down a new vessel in a method and scene very in character of him and reminiscent of Nick without being a total rehash. I liked that Crowley’s plan failed exactly as it should have according to canon (really? acid instead of holy fire?) – almost like he thought the Carver system of “let’s make up rules as we go along” system was still in place and hadn’t realized new show-runners were in charge.
Mary Winchester continues to be great. I like that the show is allowing everyone good memories of John Winchester. I mean, was he perfect? Nobody is. But that’s what makes marriage work. It’s what makes family work. You just toughen up and power through the bad times then hang onto the good memories. I mean that was the lesson of “Swan Song.” Sam doesn’t remember all the bad times he’s had with Dean (some of those we’ve watched), at that moment, he remembers all the good times. Most of the time, the show showed all the bad times with John, I’m glad here lately it’s allowed more good memories of him.
We got a moment of Dean, alone in the kitchen, looking at photos. Which… I admit, feels totally in character for him even if I can’t say why.
And then Mary gets to have a scene with Sam…
Yeah, this episode had a lot of heart, and called out all the stupidity we got dealt with previously. That’s why I’m going to give it…
It yelled at the previous episode, but still didn’t truly “fix” the missteps or bother explaining the characters. I heard this season has 2 show runners, and so far the two episodes felt like they were overseen by two different show runners with each using the show to attack the other. Is this how it’s going to feel the rest of the season? Some episodes veering in one direction and the other episodes going the opposite way? I don’t know. There’s a lot of plotlines up in the air right now and that’s usually been a hallmark of weaker seasons. Still if we get more of this episode, and less of the previous? This could be the season that turns things around for the show.
But I’m not making the bet, yet.