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Supernatural: The Mentalists

Dean: "See, there's fake woo woo crap, and there's real woo woo crap."

"The Mentalists" leaned toward comedy without tipping over. We had death by Ouija board, crystal ball, broken bones, and non-bending cutlery. (That last one was exceptionally gruesome.) The town full of psychics was so much fun that I looked it up, and of course, it exists.

Dean and Sam were apart for only a week and a half. Running into each other on a case so quickly was no accident, and Sam didn't even fight the inevitable. And of course, the deadly co-dependent ghost sisters were a nod to Dean and Sam. As was the brother act that was actually a gay couple, because the writers have decided that it's fun to keep acknowledging the homoerotic subtext.

I'm not sure it really matters whether or not Dean was wrong to kill Amy, although it has sparked a lot of interesting discussion among the fans. Dean kills monsters. It's what he does, and I'm oddly glad that he didn't apologize to Sam for it. Dean has never even thought about whether burning bones hurts a ghost. Interestingly, the writers paralleled the Amy situation with Jimmy Tomorrow, the clerk at The Emporium, who used the ghost of Margaret Fox to kill four people in order to get something he thought he truly needed, just as Amy did. And Sam had no problem killing the guy. Was that a lighter shade of gray, or darker?

There have always been strong hints that the Winchesters are headed for a terrible end, and this episode was full of Winchester doom. The museum guide said it never ends well for the siblings. When Melanie read Dean's palm, she said, "Answers hazy. Try again later." Even Jimmy Tomorrow's business card said, "No Future Too Grim." Dean's lighter didn't work. Dean's lighter always works.

And Dean is still drinking too much. The most emotional moment was when the museum guide told Dean that Ellen would kick his ass from beyond the grave if he didn't tell someone how bad it really was for him. They've cleared the air about Amy, but something still needs to be done about Dean's need for self-destruction.

The Winchesters took out the ghost of a good woman who was trying to warn people about her sister. That was a callback to the mom in "The Real Ghostbusters." Oops. Next time when a ghost is yelling at you, maybe they should pause for a moment and listen to what it has to say.

Bits and pieces:

— A woman in the Good Graces Cafe (free affirmation with every order) recognized the boys from the Leviathan clone killing spree. That was a nice, if inadequate, nod to continuity. You'd think it would still dominate the news cycle, considering how many people died.

— I loved Sam breaking into a Lamaze class with a gun.

— Another Supernatural design of a Ouija board. My mother always told me that fooling around with a Ouija board was dangerous, and voila, death by planchette.

— The museum guide was a genuine psychic. And I liked the mention of genuine psychics Missouri and Pamela.

— There was mention of the Orb of Fessaway, or something like that. The Orb of Thessala was an important object in Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

— The brother act/gay couple were called the "Mystifying Campbell Brothers." Any relation?

— It's too bad Dean couldn't spend some time with Melanie, who obviously dug him.

— The chief of police was a hoot. They do a good job with making the eternally revolving law enforcement types fun.

— This week: Lily Dale, New York. When you think about it, it's surprising they've never done that town before.

— Of course, faced with the need for non-Impala transportation, Dean stole a rustbucket complete with fuzzy dice hanging from the rearview instead of something inconspicuous.

— There was a movie shout-out (Dean was agent Bourne) instead of a rock shout-out.

— This episode was written by Ben Acker and Ben Blacker. Could that sound any more pseudonymous?

Quotes:

Waiter: "What can I get for you?"
Dean: "Pancakes, side of pig, coffee black."
Waiter: "Fantastic. You are a virile manifestation of the divine."
Dean: (to Sam) "What the hell did he say to me?"
Actually, that was a perfect affirmation. If anyone is a virile manifestation of the divine, it's Dean.


Melanie: "I honestly read people. It's just less woo woo, more body language. Like you two. Long time partners but, um, a lot of tension. (to Sam) You're pissed. (to Dean) You're stressed."

Dean: "That's gonna be like looking for a needle in a stack of fake needles."

Museum guide: "It never ended well for the siblings."
Dean: "Why is that?"
Museum guide: "The strain of working together, maybe just being around each other all their lives."

Dean: "Geraldo'd."
Sam: "Not good."
Dean: "Never good."

Dean: "They were in bed? I can't believe he was boning her."
Groan.

Sam: "I still want to know how that guy bent my spoon."
Dean: "Forget it, Sam. It's Lily Dale."

I liked this one. Dan thought it felt like an early episode, and I agreed, but there's nothing wrong with that. Three out of four fake needles,

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

15 comments:

  1. I thought you might find it interesting that the Campbell brothers were a real act.

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  2. My girlfriend and I also agreed that it felt like a season 1 'hot girl of the week' episode!

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  3. Dean didn't try to bed Melanie, or even kiss her, which is a far cry from the virile Dean of the first couple of seasons. Sam is getting lots more action than Dean.

    I enjoyed this ep. Check out my review at www.Moogi.com

    Love,
    Robin

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  4. I think this is one of those episodes that will improve for me with multiple viewings. After the initial viewing I liked the MOTW stuff alright but was dissatisfied with the resolution of the Amy thing. Don't get me wrong I'm glad it was resolved. I just think Sam had a legitimate right to be angry about Dean's lies and I would have like to have seen more emphasis in that. But I hate trying to write the show from my armchair so when I watch the story again I will watch without expectations and take it for what it is.

    I kind of wonder sometimes if this show isn't written more with DVD viewing in mind than for the weekly viewings. Even when I don't love an episode on first run I almost always like what I see a little bit more when I watch the season as a whole on DVD.

    RoseCompose

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  5. I liked it but it felt like a filler, once again and I think they
    re should be focusing more on the arc. But it was a good ep but I had to look away because the deaths were really gruesome.

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  6. Like RoseCompose, I kind of enjoyed the MOTW stuff --- which definitely had an S1 vibe --- but I was unsatisfied with how they resolved the Amy thing. Sam definitely had a right to be angry, and for Dean to act like Sam was just being a big baby, and should get over it already, was selfish and insulting. I found myself very much siding with Sam, and was rather put off when the show appeared to side with Dean in the end. Really?

    To be perfectly honest, I'm starting to dislike Dean, which is almost unthinkable given the degree of my past affection for him. But he's been coming across like a self-righteous drunk and a bully for awhile now, and based on the resolution to this episode, we're just supposed to be okay with that. Has he always been this way, and I've just been blinding myself to it, or have the writers steered him more in this direction as the brothers' situation has gotten worse and worse?

    It makes me wonder if Sam has really forgiven him, or if he just realizes that Dean is on the edge of becoming someone like the guy Sam just had to kill. Maybe Sam thinks that the only thing keeping Dean relatively sane is his continued presence in Dean's life. Probably wishful thinking on my part. I'm reaching for shades of grey that aren't there.

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  7. I'm loving the "Monster of the week" theme that has returned this season. Combined with the arc lurking in the background, it feels very "old school" SPN, if that makes sense?

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  8. Hehe great review Billie :) And it was an absolutely 4 by 4 episode for me until the end when Dean seemed to have successfully convinced Sam he was just unneccessarily whining about Amy's death. I am totally with you on that one, Jess. I was never that into Dean, but this season he really is being a Dick. I'd like to think that Sam realised how fragile his brother is and forgave him in order to keep him together, but I think he just plain old forgave him.

    Billie, I definitely heard the shop guy say Thessala - which Dean then mangled :) SO nice to see little Angel/Buffy inside jokes! Joss' legacy continues.

    Also, I've decided that this episode means that the Winchester brothers arent actually brothers, they're actually living an alternative lifestyle together. I'd better stop now!

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  9. That car Dean stole wa ment to resemble the colour scheme of Patrick Jane's car (The Mentalist)

    http://blog.elmejorcoche.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/classic-car.jpg

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  10. Great review, Billie.

    But, Jess' comment really hit home for me. I have been Team Dean since season one, episode one but I find myself really disliking him this season. I know that he has issues and that he's afraid for his brother. But, Sam appears to have emerged from everything in much better shape and Dean is just becoming a drunk -- and a belligerent one at that.

    Ellen is right. He needs to emerge from this fog he is in or someone needs to kick his ass -- and soon.

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  11. My whole thing with 'was Dean right to kill Amy' is based on human law. If a parent with a terminally ill child kills people to harvest their organs for transplant or something, that is still wrong. That person would go to prison. There is no prison for monsters, so Dean didn't have much of a choice. But I definitely think he was wrong to lie to Sam.

    Stupid boys. They do it over and over again and it always ends badly. Why can't they just say what they are really thinking like grown ups? It's especially bad because in their line of work they need to trust each other completely. I repeat, stupid boys. But hot. Stupid, hot boys.

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  12. Season seven already??? Wow!

    Yes, hot boys. Very hot boys.

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  13. I've fallen into this completely healthy pattern where I watch the show at night and then get scared so I can't sleep and then watch more. So, yeah.

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  14. It really bothered me that not only does Dean still insist he did the right thing killing Amy, which is debatable at best, but that he didn't seem to learn anything, and actually ganked a ghost who was trying to tell them something, having learned nothing from that one with Linda Blair, or the convention one, or Lenore...

    I can't remember the most recent reason the Imapala is un-drivable, but Dean driving anything else feels like he's cheating on her.

    (Dean hasn't, as far as we know, got laid since Lisa either, they must be working up to some kind of romantic story for him at some point).

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  15. I agree with Jess Lynde and ChrisB about Dean. I have not liked him this season at all. Sam is completely right to be pissed at him for lying. I get why Dean thought he had to kill Amy, but he blatantly lied to Sam about it. And his lie was that he was going to trust Sam, if I remember correctly. That is the bigger crime to me for the brothers. And Dean is not apologizing for that - that absolutely deserves an apology.

    Also, to place blame on Sam for hallucinating Lucifer felt false. It felt like Dean was trying to make himself ok with his actions, or make himself ok with why he wasn't apologizing to Sam.

    I have also been bothered by how Dean doesn't seem to have any compassion for Sam this season - Sam is re-experiencing hell and hallucinations, and Dean just seems mad at him for this.

    Very displeased with Dean this season. He needs to grow up, and I hope Ellen kicks his ass from the beyond. Someone needs to.

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