Fallen behind again. Time for some catch-up.
First of all, another point I forgot in my previous review: but besides the consequences to Jack’s actions, I ALSO liked that the show remembered to have Castiel try and using his healing powers to fix things. I am curious whether they are now establishing that Castiel can’t rez people any more or if they are establishing that Jack’s powers kind of “trumps” Cas’s (and by extension, other angels). The latter makes you wonder because if his killing someone puts them beyond the ability of angels to help, would Jack resurrecting someone put that person beyond the ability of angels to kill? Obviously I prefer the simpler explanation (Castiel just can’t rez), but this alternative could give us an interesting story down the road. Anyway…
War of the Worlds (13.07)
Ok I admit there was a little trepidation. The show had a real good run of episodes and I understand that with the demands of producing a weekly show it’s going to be very challenging to maintain that standard consistently. Usually when the show resets to status quo (getting rid of everybody but Sam & Dean) around the 7th episode of the season, things take a dip.
This time it wasn’t… all bad.
I mean personally I’m not thrilled with all the story choices save the “evil” Michael (though I keep hoping they’ll maybe make him a little more nuanced). HOWEVER, the show is at least pitching these plots with its best effort. I liked Ketch and would prefer the character remain finished and “done.” Yet them bringing him back at least utilized a previously established bit of lore in a clever and consistent way instead of just inventing some half-assed justification that makes little sense and would never be brought up again. Heck it made me somewhat interested in Rowena as the thought of her previously dealing with the MoL and either escaping or winning her freedom sounds interesting. Also it was nice to see Ketch at least try an alternative to getting what he needs from the Winchesters without immediately resorting to torture. (Hopefully the writers learned from their mistake at the beginning of S12.)
Likewise while I enjoy the performance, I’ve been very vocal about my exhaustion with Lucifer constantly being reused. Yet this time him returning in a weakened state and forced to improvise some solutions was entertaining.
Hell, it’s hard to express how thrilled I was for the show to remember that Kevin and the tablets should be in the other world and use them.
While on paper this episodes is filled with a ton of things that I don’t like, it was all so expertly crafted and well executed, it’s impressive and demonstrates the saying of “A for effort.” It may only be 3-shells, but it’s one of the best 3-shell episodes.
13.08 the Scorpion and the Frog
Get your drinks, this will be awhile.
Know a sign these writers are taking canon seriously again? Because they brought back a weakness of demons from waaaaaay back in S6. Not only that, but one of the bits of lore which was so poorly thought out and done that it was actually kind of for the best that the show let it be forgotten. But here it is again.
Although while we’re on about continuity, it bugs me that they mention Dean going to Hell and back when Sam has ALSO done that. Three times. Also the demon in the air vent is… wonky.
Anyway this felt very much like a retro episode. For one thing, back in the days of S3, I actually liked Bela* (and not just because Lauren Cohan is such a babe) as the idea of a human connected to the hunter’s world without being a hunter is rich with storytelling possibilities. So it was neat to see that again with Shrike and not have him connected to the Men of Letters or anything else.
Of course “Smash” is very indicative of Charlie with a bit more shading to her making her feel a lot more real. (Yes, Charlie did develop a bit more and become a less annoying Mary Sue as time went on.) Heck they even see her off on a bus like Charlie at the end. It was also nice to see Dean kind of connecting with people again.
Though there is a bit of disappointment as you wish this had been an episode made with Crowley still around as the dealer. Just imagine if THIS episode had been the version of Weekend at Bobby’s (6.04) instead of the one we got. Instead of the Nephilim spell, Crowley gets the boys involved to free Bobby’s soul from the contract. Bobby plans the heist and facilitates a few things… it would be a massive improvement over the episode we got. Heck they could have even introduced Charlie just a bit in this alternate version to set up the more in depth reveal later. Or what if Meg was used as the demon helper instead of Grab? Oh what could have been…
Also I’m just thrilled with how much action has returned to the show. True it’s no John Wick (what can be on a TV budget?) but that car scene was still bad ass and the fisticuffs have been thrown around a lot more in all the recent episodes.
Full disclosure, I’m a big sucker for heist stories – like it takes a lot for me to really hate one. So I’m predisposed to rate this a full 5 shells personally. But the episode isn’t without its flaws. A few of the jokes go on a bit too long. It was disappointing the boys didn’t have a plan in place for when the demon betrayed them. We also see nothing about them cleaning out the house and upgrading their stockpile. That puts this episode around…
But like above, it’s a really GOOD 4-shell ranking.
. . .
Wait, there was supposed to be a slump. What the hell is going on with all this effort being put into the show?
*Heck after Anna my next favorite ship for Dean would be a Bela that was less outright hostile to the boys. Just imagine a S3 where they tweaked the writing and made her a real catwoman to his batman.