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Supernatural: Like a Virgin

Dean: "As far as I'm concerned, it's a gift horse, and I'm not looking for teeth. I'm sending Death a damn fruit basket."

Was this a really good episode, or did I really miss Supernatural during what seemed like an interminable hiatus? I think both.

Rescuing the virgins from the dragon was a great big metaphor for Sam's rescue from the cage. Dean was so happy. He was his best, most joyous, most bad-ass hunting self. And Sam was Sam again with his trademark empathy and super smarts, doing the research and saving the day with that extra long gigantor reach of his. In fact, it was almost like Sam regressed back to his (symbolically virginal) season one self – no hints of blood-addict, power-hungry, angry-rebellious Sam at all. No wonder Dean was so happy. It was like he got to start their relationship over again.

And of course, being empathy guy, Sam picked up on what Dean damned well should have told him. Although it was very like Dean not to tell him, to hope that it would all just go away. I really enjoyed Castiel answering Sam's prayer, the almost-hug, and giving the whole ball game away. Personally, Bobby may have good reason to keep Sam at arm's distance, but I don't think Sam has anything to atone for. Robo-Sam was flailing about without an operator, wasn't he? He was like a 6'4" ferret trying to survive and biting anything that got in his way. (There's something wrong with that simile, but I'm going to leave it stand.)

Jared Padalecki did a terrific job with Robo-Sam, but I'm very happy to have our Sam back. Let's hope he listens to Dean and Bobby and keeps that wall up, even as he's trying to make up for what Robo-Sam did. Although of course we all know there are no happy endings on Supernatural and the Wall of Sam will eventually come down. Probably for the season finale.

Bobby just kept expecting the next shoe to drop, and it did. "Mother of All?" I'm guessing anything that mothered all those alpha monsters didn't come all the way from Purgatory to bake cookies. I hope she isn't going to be a repeat of Lilith, because we've been there and done that. Where was the dragon? And why take so many virgins if they only needed one? Insurance?

Finally, I have to mention that Dean failing to King Arthur the sword out of the stone and resorting to explosives was just priceless. I particularly loved the valiant, heroic music faltering in the background. Stuff like this is why I love Supernatural so very, very much.

Bits and pieces:

— "The Road So Far" segment was less musical and more exposition-y than usual. The opener with the plane was a bit out of the ordinary, too. It's a bird, it's a plane, it's a giant bat.

— Dr. Visyak, medieval studies at SFU, was fun, and I loved her house. Old flame of Bobby's, and will she be back? I sort of thought they were going to do something with the Sheriff, but there's nothing wrong with more than one love interest.

— Dean called Robo-Sam the T-1000 and Bobby called him "Memento." Bobby also referred to Robo-Sam "going Menendez" on him. And Bobby called the welding hand monster guy "Cloverfield." What was that guy?

— Probably doesn't mean anything, but there were two references to the number 17. (As I've no doubt mentioned before, I've been watching Lost too long.) The pilot of the plane was found 17 miles away from the wreckage, and one of the virgins was abducted from the 17th floor. Well, it was an episode about virgins and 17 is often the age of consent. Or as I said, maybe it didn't mean anything.

— The girls all seemed interchangeable: 20s, brunette, pretty. Which one was the "Mother of All?" It wasn't Penny from the plane, was it?

— The Purgatory-crashing instruction manual was made from human skin. Ecch. Actually, there really are books made from human skin, and of course, the pages of many old books were created from animal skin. There are lots of really interesting and weird books that are less horrible, too. My favorite is the edition of Fahrenheit 451 made of asbestos, which I know I've mentioned in another review.

— Still not enough Misha. More Misha, please.

— This week, San Francisco and Portland, Oregon. The motel room in Portland, a wood-paneled pit with a mountain mural, had a room divider with evergreens and the number 6. Life everlasting, and the number of the beast. Loved it.

Quotes:

Sam: "What was that?"
Dean: "One part age, three parts liquor?"

Sam: "Looks like those other two girls both baked cookies for the Lord."
Dean: "What is that, code?"

Dean: (reading from Penny's diary) "I've decided I'm going to give Stan my most precious gift."
Sam: "Wow, that sounded really creepy coming out of your mouth."
Dean: "I think I delivered it."

Sam: "So, what? You think Batman tried to rape her?"
Dean: "Well, he does carry a lot of rage."

Dean: "I think it just goes to show that being easy's pretty much all up side."
Sam: "So what kind of thing likes virgins and gold?"
Dean: "P Diddy?"
Sam: "You know, it's comforting."
Dean: "What's that?"
Sam: "I died for a year, came back, and you're still not funny."

Sam: "I googled fire, claws, flying, stealing virgins and gold, and it all takes me to the same place."
Dean: "Where?"
Sam: "World of Warcraft fan sites."
Dean: "I don't know what that means."

Dean: "You rocks think you're so smart."

Bad Guy: (re: sword) "Where'd you get that?"
Dean: "Comic Con."

Sam: "I kind of feel like I got slipped the worst mickey of all time and I woke up to find out that I had burned the whole city down."

I'd like to give this episode four out of four broken swords just for the King Arthur sequence, but it's probably more of a three out of four,

Billie
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Billie Doux loves good television and spends way too much time writing about it.

23 comments:

  1. I loved this episode! I'm so glad to have regular Sam back.

    Also, the "Cloverfield" guys WERE the dragons. Presumably, dragons have the ability to take human form. (In the scene where the "leader" brings the last victim to the sewers, we can briefly see his wings.) I'm a little disappointed that they didn't transform to their natural forms when fighting the Winchesters, but, you know, budget limitations and all.

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  2. Thanks, Anon. I absolutely missed that bit with the wings.

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  3. It was a confusingly shot scene, that's for sure.

    But aside from that one minor quibble, I loved this episode. It had pep.

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  4. ugh, I forgot to record it. I was hoping it wasn't a good episode.

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  5. It was a FANTASTIC episode, like watching a SUPERNATURAL episode of old! For my detailed synopsis/
    commentary, please go to:

    http://www.moogi.com/shows/supernatural/season6/episode12/15/

    Thanks for the great review, Billie!

    Love,
    Robin

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  6. Great episode. Loved seeing the guys fall right back into their regular groove.

    Why couldn't Cas get a hug too, that made me sad.

    I only had an issue with the end. Once again it was overly convenient,just like Veritas from back in You Can't Handle the Truth. They've spent a good part of the season looking and talking about purgatory and they just so happen upon a set of demons who know exactly where it is. And Bobby was able to get that much information from a book he basically said he'd never be able to translate completely. It just took me out of the moment, seems like lazy writing, but it is nice to see the story moving along.

    Lilith was the first thing that came to mind when they started talking about the mother of all. Penny was part of the group rescued by the boys so it couldn't be her. Could it?

    The fast food bag made me laugh, "BIG AZ" I'd eat from there.

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  7. “THE ROAD SO FAR” is always a great way to start Fall and Winter seasons, but and this is a “BIG BUT” where the hell was “Wayward Son”, that’s the only way to start but it’s been MIO for much too long. Replacing it with “Back in the Saddle” was a good substitute if we have to have one.
    First half was just pure “HEAVENLY BLISS”!
    From the moment Sam appeared in the room where Dean and Bobby were felt was a walk down memory lane with the Winchester brothers being brothers like Season 1. driving on the backroads of America in The Impala discussing a case. The boys are back, Dean coming into the motel room with junk food and Sam doing research on the computer. The d├ęcor was just perfect, another great SPN motel room.
    Puppy dog eyes warm and fussy Sam and Dean smiling with delight that his brother was back making his family complete, even with Bobby backat his place manning the phones and comes getting info on a creature the boys are after. Didn’t realize just how much I missed the brothers easy banter. The only thing missing was “Jerk – Bitch” comment.
    Damn Dean! Hasn’t the boy learned anything in 7 years – nothing good ever comes from lying
    The dragons going after virgins was well done, and using camera angles, sound of wings flapping and shadows but never actually seeing one was a good way to handle that. Actually seeing a dragon would have been really tough to pull off.
    I’m so happy the boys are back in town, or should I say back on the road. Great episode to start the second half. Can’t believe we’re at that point so quickly, where did the season go!!!

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  8. Damn those budget constraints. I was looking forward to seeing the brothers slaying an actual dragon. First we had fairies and leprechauns and now dragons. They do seem to be incorporating more fantasy elements into the show this season. Can’t be long now before we see Sam and Dean go up against goblins, elves, trolls and wizards (hopefully, all in an episode written by Ben Edlund).

    I know its early days yet but I can’t help feeling a little underwhelmed by mommy monster (who I’m gonna call Echidna from now on because Mother sounds too Norman Bates). I was expecting something more Lovecraft-ish to come out of that portal. Those damn budget constraints again.

    All in all this was still a terrific episode. It’s great to have Proper Sam back, although I’ll miss Other Sam’s blunt honesty and insensitiveness. Watching Dean trying to pull the sword from the stone has to be one the funniest things I’ve seen all year.

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  9. Well, Lilith being the mother has a precedent. In the universe of The Sandman, and its spin-off, Lucifer, There are the Lilim, a bunch of demons who are a little higher than the regular ones in hell hierarchy. They were all direct children of Lilith, who was the first wife of Adam.

    It's a long story, and I highly recommend the reading of these comic book series. They're outstanding.

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  10. I definitely enjoyed this one. While I kind of miss Robo-Sam, I liked what having Real Sam back did to the overall dynamic. And I love that he went to Cas for his answers. (Why *couldn't* Sam give him a hug? Come on!) Dean should definitely know better, but I'm glad they didn't drag out Sam knowing, but Dean thinking he didn't know.

    The label "Mother" makes me think of Lost (not a good association), but it also makes me think of Alien (very good coldly evil association). Can't wait to see where this goes from here.

    I agree that it was a bit ridiculous that Bobby was able to get so much information out of a text he claimed would take his "golden years" to translate.

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  11. Dr. Visyak's house appeared to be the same house they used for Johnny's house on The Dead Zone.

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  12. Anonymous wrote: Dr. Visyak's house appeared to be the same house they used for Johnny's house on The Dead Zone.

    Yes, I think you're right. If I remember correctly, it's a building on a college campus in or near Vancouver.

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  13. I don't think that the girl who ended up becoming "Mother" was any of the ones from the earlier part of the episode. The boys save those girls -- that's why, when he shows up, the dragon that escaped from them has no virgins in tow and says something about having hit upon some trouble. The dragon he's meeting says that it's lucky that he collected enough, and reveals his own truckload o' virgins.

    As for why there were so many extra virgins, all I could think was... Mommy wakes up hungry?

    I was a little surprised by the S1 redux Sam, and I keep feeling like I should be annoyed because it kind of seems like lazy writing to just hit the "reset" button like that, but honestly I enjoyed having the character back too much to bitch and moan about it.

    Great review -- I was so freaking excited yesterday when I checked your site and realized Supernatural is off hiatus.

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  14. @Mark,
    I completely forgot about Echidna, that can totally be Mother. I feel like they discussed Echidna in a previous season, probably confusing it with something else.

    @Jess,
    I'm glad I wasn't the only one.

    @ R. Berger,
    Either she's hungry or she burns through the host like Lucifer. I thought it made perfect sense for Sam to be Sam. It's obvious this is the calm before the storm.

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  15. Best Supernatural episode in a LONG time!! Glad they finally brought back some classic rock, too. :)

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  16. Am I the only one wondering what happened with the antichrist? Seemed like a pretty big thread to just drop. Perhaps they realized the kid was too strong for the story to flow properly? Are they just gonna pretend that episode never existed?

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  17. I enjoyed reading another Billie Doux Supernatural review just as much as I did the return of the show :)

    It was a good episode but I was a bit disappointed that they introduced dragons and all we got were glowing hands, but thats budget constraints I guess.

    Seems like the writers were getting sleepy by the end of the script, what with Bobby's 'golden years to translate this' line and the surplus virgins in the van. Maybe the opening scene next week will be 'mother' chowing down?

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  18. I really liked this episode but I just have this bad feeling that Sam´s soul is still coming with a big price and there will be consequences. Now, call me crazy but I liked both Sams, Jared does a great job playing both parts.

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  19. Many D&D dragons can turn into a human so it didn;t bother me to see them only as humans.

    The Mother of All (monsters) is definately Echidna. I wonder what goal may she have? Destroy both Heaven and Hell?

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  20. Again, I'm a bit up in the air. Parts of this episode I loved -- Dean trying to pull the sword from the stone was hilarious. JA does things like that exceptionally well. I also liked the Cass almost hug -- sweet, in an odd way.

    But -- I'm not sure how I feel about Sam yet. I agree that he seemed to much like the Sam from season one. If I wanted to see that character, I would pop in a disc from that season, probably the latter half...

    But I digress. This feels a bit like a re-tread to me. Dean is lying for what he perceives as Sam's own good while Bobby looks on with disapproval. The truth comes out (at least it didn't drag on too long) and now Sam is going to be trying to get the whole story. And we all know that won't end well!

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  21. I loved this episode SO much! They even had a ballad again, not Wayward Son (although part of me thinks that's Dean's song not Sam's so it makes sense) but still, we had SN music again.

    While the writers may have been a little lazy with the ending and the 'Hannibal' book they did so well on a few other details. They had the pink Voodoo Doughnuts box on the hotel room table "Good things come in pink boxes" as well as the evergreen decor.

    There is also a cool tie in to the dragons hiding out in the sewer. One of Portland's dirty secrets is the Shanghai tunnel system. We did a tour last Halloween and people used to be kidnapped through trap doors in bars into the tunnel system to then be made prisoner/slave on ships that traveled the world. Women were taken too, in the early forms of human trafficking. Yes, I live in Portland :) for the last 2 years anyway.

    I was also excited when Dr. Visyak appeared because I immediately recognized her from the horrible, cackle-worthy soap opera Passions. I watched a few episodes of this show when I was in high school. I still find it so hard to believe a show that ridiculous was on tv. There was the normal soap opera nonsense but then there was an evil town witch who had a little doll that came to life and talked in the 3rd person. My friend and I would roll on the floor laughing at this show countless times. It was nice to see that the actress playing Visyak, could in fact act. It's sometimes hard to tell with soap operas.

    So many great tie-ins. And I can honestly say I didn't realize how much I missed the real Sam until having him back in this episode. It was great.

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  22. So glad finally to have real Sam back. Now if they could just do some one-off ghost stories again and ease off on the constant arc stuff, I would be a happy bunny. Though I miss the rock soundtrack.

    I could have lived without the excess surprise at a 22-year-old virgin though. There are a fair few virgins around who are plenty older than that, much as TV and film appear to believe otherwise.

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  23. It feels so good to have real Sammy back!! Best hug ever, like they couldn't let each other go. RoboSam was a good idea that just went on too long. Loved the fairy ep, though. Now Spn is back on the road and going strong. Yes!

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