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Supernatural: Death Takes a Holiday

Dean: "You and me, we're like the poster boys of the unnatural order. All we do is ditch death."

We had a cool story about reapers, Dean and Sam got to be invisible, there was brotherly conflict as well as a return to the "angel-demon dance-off." Add in the tragic death of a continuing character, and what more could a Supernatural fan ask for?

I thought at first that we'd get that scary-looking Reaper from season one's "Faith." But instead, they gave us a Reaper that we wanted the boys to save: pretty Tessa from the outstanding season two opener, "In My Time of Dying." Dean's flirtation with her and her continued interest in him as the one who got away reminded me of Dean's suicidal tendencies, his feelings of unworthiness. Castiel revealed that he had recruited the Winchesters in the first place because there were places angels feared to tread (like the funeral home angel-proofed with demonic invisible ink). This again suggests that Dean may not be chosen or special, after all; the Winchesters are just being manipulated by the Powers that Be. Literally.

Sam has been taking over the family business lately, choosing the jobs, all well and good, maybe it's his turn. But what he did here started making me uncomfortable. Sam yanked Alastair out of his stolen body easily – fine – but then he lied to Dean about it. He lied to that little boy about death, too. Even Pamela saw evil in Sam's intentions. I still can't see where power over demons and the ability to save someone from demonic possession is a bad thing, but Sam's powers have increased exponentially, and we all know power corrupts. And Sam is starting to feel bad. I don't like it.

Death Takes a Holiday is a classic old movie about, well, Death taking a holiday, and it turning out to be not such a good thing. Death is tragic, but it has a purpose. I think up until this point, what with the "dicks with wings" and Dean's visit to Hell, that the existence of Heaven in the Supernaturalverse was a given. But Tessa's revelation that there are no miracles, that people lie about going to a better place – which I took to mean that there may be no Heaven – was outright chilling. Where did Tessa send Cole, then?

I was worried about the boys being out of their bodies with only a blind woman to watch over them. Which was, of course, the point; if Bobby or Ruby had been there, weapons at the ready, it would have seriously decreased the dramatic tension. Dammit, I liked Pamela Barnes. People who hang out with the Winchester brothers tend to die horribly. And this particular death was made more poignant by what Tessa told Dean. Pamela just helped the angels defeat evil. If she deserved heaven and there is none, where did she go? Supernatural never holds back with the creepy and disturbing, that's for sure.

Bits and pieces:

— We got two more Alastairs before the last one was taken by Castiel. Loved the white lightning. (I'm picturing the auditions: actor after actor doing Brando with a lisp.)

— Dean really enjoyed the astral projection, Sam, not so much.

— Tessa brought Dean's memory of her back with a kiss. It reminded me of the Crossroads deal, which was sealed with a kiss. What are reapers, anyway? They're not angels or demons. If they transport death, how can they die?

— Cole called Sam "Haley Joel." In the past, Dean has also called Sam "Haley Joel."

— Disembodied Dean and Sam were on the other side of the iron and rock salt this time.

— This week: Greybull, Wyoming. The Broken Saddle Motel was understated and dull, distressed wood, scraped off paint, instead of the usual kitsch or garish or tacky. Visually very interesting. The perfect place to astral project.

— "We dedicate the entire season to Kim Manners. We miss you, Kim."


Guy: "Now, you two said you were bloggers?"
Sam: "Yes, sir. Floored-by-the-Lord dot com."
Dean: "All of God's glory fit to blog."
Interestingly enough, Dean really was floored by the Lord, wasn't he?

Dean: "We're no different than anyone else."
Sam: "I'm infected with demon blood. You've been to Hell. Look, I know you want to think of yourself as Joe the Plumber, Dean, but you're not. Neither am I. The sooner you accept that, the better off you're gonna be."
Dean: "Joe the Plumber was a douche."
I quite agree.

Sam: "Pamela, you're a sight for sore eyes."
Pamela: "Aw, that's sweet, Grumpy. What do you say to deaf people?"
If I remember correctly, Bobby called Pamela a sight for sore eyes right before she was blinded, too.

Dean: "Oh, I'm so feeling up Demi Moore."

Dean: "Am I making you uncomfortable?"
Sam: "Get out of me."
Dean: "You're just a prude."

Dean: "I say we hit Victoria's Secret and get our peep on."

Dean: "I'll meet you back at Mr. Miyagi's."
Cole: "Who's Mr. Miyagi?"

Dean: "Dude! You are so Amityville."

Dean: "What the hell?"
Castiel: "Guess again."

Dean: "If it's any consolation, you're going to a better place."
Pamela: "You're lying."

Another really excellent episode. Am I being repetitious if I give this one four stars, too?

Billie Doux adores Supernatural which is a good thing since apparently, it's eternal.


  1. “Am I being repetitious if I give this one four stars, too?”

    Nah, Billie, the show has never been better. Once Galactica ends next week (sob) Supernatural will officially be my favourite show on telly.

    Nice to see Christopher Heyerdahl in full on creep mode as the new Alistair (man, he’s everywhere theses days, a Canadian Alan Dale).

    I was saddened to see Pamela go. She was great. Seems it’s never good to be friends with any Winchester (all John and Mary’s friends are dead after all). They just better not kill Bobby. Never kill Bobby. Ever!!!

    Dean and Sam are starting to generate a serious Cain and Able vibe lately, which is in keeping with the general Biblical theme this season. They’ve been subtly foreshadowing a brotherly conflict for some time now. How long before the guns are drawn?

    After Dean’s chats with Castiel and Tessa I got to wondering. Is it possible Dean is alive only so long as he is useful to the almighty? Will he go right back to hell when old Jehovah is done with him?

    Something dark… darker is coming for both brothers.

  2. Good point, Mark. I had that thought also, about the angels sending Dean back to Hell when they're done with him, but I suppressed it as too ghastly to even contemplate.

    Supernatural is my favorite show right now, too, with Lost a very close second. I'm so glad we're getting at least one more season.

  3. Eric Kripke has stated in the past that he has a five year plan for the show. End it there. Go out on a high. And leave them wanting more.

    Bst way to end it. I’ll be sad to see the show go but, hey, all good things…

  4. That means I'm going to lose Lost and Supernatural AT THE SAME TIME. NOOOOOOO!

  5. It’s a drag to be sure. I take comfort in what I’ve still got (30 Rock, Bones, CSI, Burn Notice, 24, Doctor Who, South Park and Fringe) and what I’m gaining (Caprica, Stargate Universe, possibly a new Trek show from Bryan Fuller).

  6. Oh Hell, I don't know what I'll do without Lost and Supernatural either! I'll probably start by rewatching Lost start to finish and seeing how much sense it makes when you know how much each mystery is explained.

    Anyway great review Billie and I Definitely got a "Dean's days are numbered" vibe from Tessa. I wouldn't put it past them to end Season 4 with Dean returning to Hell and Sam defeating Lucifer and going down to Hell to A. Rule it or B. Break Dean out.

    Can't get much darker than a whole season set in Hell :-)

  7. Really like this one and I felt sorry for Pamela. I liked her.
    I gotta say, this is my second viewing of this season and Sam´s arc still impresses me a lot.

  8. Just realized that the guys stopped the breaking of a seal! They finally won one! SL

  9. I completely agree with Billie that something feels bad about Sam. The way things are going, there's only one ending to this story -- and I don't want to think too hard about it.

  10. Good review but did it bother anyone else that they didn't even bother salting and devils traping the windows and doors? Pretty much ruined the episode for me. Made Pamela's death seem pointless. "Hey we're going to go to the other side and becoming ghosts. Let's leave our bodies completely unprotected and alone with a blind psychic. I see absolutely nothing wrong with that plan." Completely armature move which we know the bouys aren't.

  11. I liked this episode a lot. I also applaud Supernatural for doing the dark and unexpected...I was disturbed by how cruel Pamela's comments were when she was dying:

    You don't deserve this.
    Yeah, I don't. I told you I didn't want anything to do with this. Do me a favor? Tell that bastard Bobby Singer—to go to hell for ever introducing me to you two in the first place.

    I hate to see her go without some sort of peace. "At least I helped you two save a seal...go on and win this for me." THAT would have been a cliched way to end it, but perhaps more palatable. The ending just left me with a feeling of dread, and like there is no way this season will end well. Will the boys ever get some happiness? It feels impossible that they could ever go back. Dark.

  12. Such a sad ending! I really liked Pamela! It made me think how easily this could happen to Bobby considering he's usually the one saying it's a bad plan but helping them anyway.

    It was nice seeing Alexander Gould as Cole. He played Jeffrey Dean Morgan's (John Winchester) son in Weeds.


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