Supernatural: Blade Runners

“Welcome to the collection, Dean.”

Good episode, solid premise, but “Blade Runners” had its flaws. It was poorly balanced, often rushed, and a bit overstuffed. [PS. This is sunbunny writing. Billie has the week off.]

My biggest problem with the episode was that there was too much set up for what should’ve been the main course: Magnus’s house of horrors. How much fun would it have been to see Sam and Dean forced to battle a slew of old school Winchester monsters? Instead we got a lot of unnecessary setup. Crowley’s intervention made for a solid B story, but the tracing of the First Blade was too elaborate. The clandestine meeting in the park, the attempted theft, whatever was going on between Dean and Dr. McElroy, and the tracking down of Magnus. None of it was standout amazing and most of it was not strictly necessary.

For the first time in weeks, I feel like they’re doing the brotherly conflict right. There’s a definite distance there and Sam is obviously still holding onto a lot of anger, but they skipped the usual Winchester pity party. Plus, Sam and Dean made it evident (to me, anyway) that whatever their differences at the moment, they’ll eventually reconcile. Sam quickly sprang into action when he was separated from Dean and Dean beheaded (ew) Magnus to keep him from hurting Sam. It’s been four seasons, but more than ever their dynamic reminds me of the relationship between Michael and Lucifer. Sam may be angry at his brother but, to misquote Lucifer, “No one dicks with Dean but me.”

This week’s ultimate baddy Magnus was an obvious member of the Evil League of Evil from the get go. He might as well have had ‘bad news’ stamped on that ridiculous bow tie. Good guys don’t keep private zoos of supernatural creatures. It seems like a pretty basic rule. It bothered me a bit the Winchesters didn’t see through Magnus faster. That bit about Henry Winchester being a “wild hair” was so obviously fabricated. Henry was as by the books as they come.

Now Crowley has the Weapon Of The Season (similar to the times he had the colt, the location of the third horseman, and the vial of blood needed to send Dick Roman back to Purgatory). If the pattern holds, they should get the First Blade back with relatively little trouble. But what will they do once they have it? Dean’s trance-like state when he was holding it reminded me of Sam back when he was dosing himself with demon blood and that didn’t end well.

I’m so glad that the Mark of Cain and the effect it is having/will have on Dean is finally being explored. I had found it odd that neither Winchester seemed overly interested in researching Dean’s fun new piece of body art. I mean ‘Mark of Cain,’ sounds pretty damn sinister. Way back in season three, Dean was terrified that he was going to turn into a demon after he was sent to hell. Could that still happen to him?

Crowley taking the First Blade to ensure the Winchesters didn’t kill him doesn’t make a wild amount of sense. The First Blade is a very particular weapon needed to kill a very particular foe: a Knight of Hell. Crowley may be King of Hell, but he’s just a run of the mill demon. He could also be killed with the colt (what happened to the colt?), the burning of his bones, Ruby’s knife, an angel blade, and Cas’s newly returned angel powers. All Crowley really accomplished was pissing off the Winchesters. Unless he’s going to try to use the First Blade to bargain with Abaddon somehow? He does love a good demon deal...

Bits and Pieces:

I’m afraid I must echo the sentiment of fans the internet over: if Misha Collins is supposed to be a regular cast member this season, why did Snooki get more screen time than Cas this episode? (This isn’t to degrade Nicole Polizzi in any way. She did a serviceable job and the bit was relatively funny, if more than a little random.)

Dean is listed in Crowley’s phone as “Not Moose.” Sam is so Crowley’s favorite.

Boys, must we discuss our plans to kill Crowley in front of Crowley? What am I going to do with you two?

Sam began the season with his body taken over by a supernatural force he couldn’t control, now Dean is experiencing something similar with the Mark of Cain. Will this contribute to their inevitable reconciliation?

I pity the demons dumb enough to screw with Dean’s car.

Quotes:

Dean: (about Snooki) “Well, that explains a lot.”

Crowley: “You don’t know what it’s like to be human!”

Sam: “Wait a second. We just want some answers.”
Develin: “Read Sartre.”

Crowley: “Were you two dropped on your heads a great deal?”

Magnus: “Let me teach you my secrets. Be my companion. I have to be honest with you, it has gotten lonely here over the years.”
Dean: “When you were saying any of that, did it feel at all creepy?”

Sam: “Remember: stay close, do what I say, and shut the hell up.”
Crowley: “I’m growing on you, aren’t I?”

Crowley: “Combine a little derring-do on my part, a little dumb muscle from squirrel, a little bleeding from moose, happy ending, roll credits.”

three out of four First Blades
---
sunbunny, who is not Billie Doux

6 comments:

percysowner said...

I read that Misha being a regular means they have the rights to use him before anyone else. They have to pay him for the number of episodes in his contract, but they don't have to use him any more than what they contracted him for.

I think the writers have had trouble integrating Cas into the story since season six. Season four, Cas was used really well. Season five, they knew he was popular but were stymied by the fact that he was so powerful that he could solve every problem, so they depowered him and then couldn't decide how to use him, so they went with fish out of water comic relief. Season six actually did a good job of having Cas be powerful, not naive and still working as part of the larger narrative. Season seven was a missed opportunity, since I think Godstiel was a much better opponent than the Leviathans.

I really think they should have bit the bullet and left Cas human. Then he could have been part of the Winchester battle and not off in his separate angel war storyline. I'm personally not a Cas fan, but most of my problem is that the writers don't seem to know what the heck to do with him, so I can't care.

Billie Doux said...

This episode had real promise in a "history of Men of Letters" sense, but yes, it was a bit of a let down.

Thanks so much for subbing for me, sunbunny -- terrific review.

Patryk said...

Two things that spring to mind:
-Wasn't Crowley supposed to be gay? So why shacking up with a woman and looking at a porn mag.
-The Mark of Cain is obviosuly going to make Dean want to kill his brother. Just like the real Cain.

ChrisB said...

Agree with you that this episode was a bit of a letdown. Having said that, "Not Moose" made me laugh out loud. What a great touch.

Also -- what does it say that the King of Hell and I share the love of the same movies and the same books? I got the giggles at the thought of Crowley, like me, having a good cry over Casablanca and Little Women.

Jess Lynde said...

I really had trouble getting past Sam and Dean allowing Crowley to just chill in the bunker while they discussed the history of the Men of Letters. And then just taking him along on the trip to find Magnus and letting him wander around loose in the background. I know they tried to make it seem like that was the only way to get his cooperation, but I wasn't really buying that they couldn't have come up with something different. It felt like the brothers acting stupidly and completely compromising themselves just to further the plot. Don't let Crowley see the main part of the secret bunker! And don't talk about the Men of Letters work in front of him! He is not trustworthy. Or easy to kill. You know this.

That said, it was kind of fun to see Kavan Smith, even if he was playing a big of Evil League of Evil guy. I miss Major Lorne and Deputy Andy, so I'll take the reminder of fun times.

Juliette said...

I had the same reaction as Patryk - I did not expect Crowley to be interested in a woman. Or Busty Asian Beauties. Perhaps someone re-thought the implications of the only semi-regular gay character being the King of Hell?

(Not that I ever quite buy Castiel with women either if I'm honest, but that's Tumblr's fault).

Quite why is hasn't occurred to anyone to just permanently de-power Castiel (till the end of the series, anyway), goodness knows. With Dean and Sam sulking at each other all the time, we could really use someone less pissed off to bounce off them - Crowley's great, but I'd prefer Castiel.