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Rewatch S11: The Bad Seed (11x03)

Rewatch Mondays!

I was going to try to bank two of these today - but instead ended up being a LAZY BONES. So, let's at least get 11x03 done, because then I'll look forward to next week when I can do Baby.

The Bad Seed

So, we get the first Buckner-Leming episode of the season. And another Jensen directed episode...

Rowena is trying to recruit witches for her own coven - the Mega Coven... and finds out that Crowley isn't dead. There's not much worth talking about indepth here.

Oh, we get a weird flashback to the season opener. Which reminds me - the thing with this episode - and any Jensen-directed episode, is that it was actually filmed first. It's a challenge in and of itself to film episodes out of order like that - especially when you're filming the conclusion of a 3 parter (which is what this is) before the other two parts. You're also, conceivably, writing it before the other two scripts are polished. There's nothing in particular I want to say about this episode in regards to that. It's just always something to keep in mind.

Sam, Dean, and Cas are hanging out in the Bunker - trying to track down Amara, while Cas rests under a blanket. Sam's wearing what I just wrote down as "ugly orange plaid" but, I think the official name is S3 orange plaid... because plaid is subjective, and I know some people actually like that shirt.

Sam: "Well, God kicked this things ass once before, right?"
Dean: "Yeah, it'd be nice if he put downt the maitai and showed up for work."
Cas: "I wouldn't count on it."
Sam: "It's possible he's around, closer than we think, you know?"
Dean: "What makes you say that?"
Cas: "I believe he made a fairly definitive statement when he walked away."

- It's so sad to me now, how quick Sam is to spring to the idea that his visions are from God... man, like I say, Supernatural works best when it's about a pessimist and an optimist running into all the evils of the world... and Sam's definitely the optimist here, to a point that makes your heart ache for him. Cas, meanwhile, has jumped on the pessimism train like it's the last one leaving the station.

Cas is chained up and getting worse. Sam thinks they need both Metatron and Rowena to solve their problems.

Crowley's got Amara.

Crowley: "What do we have her watching now?"
Nanny: "Hitler's Nuremburg speeches. We had them translated."

- Would they have needed to? Does Amara - an all powerful god, equal to the Judeo-Christian God - not know any other language accept English? I mean, it sounds like I'm being mean there and nitpicky, but I'm honestly wondering... God's supposedly omniscient, but Amara has to learn things... that's really what a lot of her arc is about... she's exploring God's creation and learning about it. So, is she limited to the language of the first person she came in contact with? To the first souls she ate? Does she only learn through consumption?

Crowley isn't doing anyone any favours by showing Amara the worst of humanity first. If Amara destorys, he doesn't give her much argument against that habit in this regard. If I came fresh into a world and one of the first things I saw was fascism and the Holocaust, I think I'd be like "yup, should definitely eat this world - my brother is an IDIOT for creating this mess."

Amara: "I just want you to save me, from Him."
Crowley: "From God? He's been very mean to my little girl, hasn't He?"
Amara: "He tricked me."
Crowley: "He's a wiley one."
Amara: "He sealed me away."
Crowley: "How exactly did He manage that?"
Amara: "I don't want to talk about it."

- So, we never actually find out how he originally did it, do we? Other than the fact that he needed the help of all four archangels.
- Also, Crowley thinking he can protect people from God is reaching, I think. I mean - I know he's lying just to get Amara to stick with him so he can use her... but still, it's a pretty bold lie.

Rowena back to the work of recruitment. The redhead at the table looks familiar. And Rowena is still trying to push for the "Mega Coven" title... Rowena, take a look at your reactions and consider rebanding...

Dean, Cas, and Sam still in the Bunker.. Dean trying to solve the Cas problem. Sam trying to solve the Amara problem by tracking down Metatron.

Sam: "Metatron is also off the grid. He stole your car in Blaine, Missouri, right?"
Cas: "Yeah"
Sam: "Yeah, no accidents, incidents, violations or anything remotely interesting involving a crappy 78 continental mark 5."
Cas: "You think it's crappy?!"
*Sam and Dean exchange looks*
Dean: "Eye of the beholder."

- Awww... I love how offended Cas gets when Sam disses his car. I also love that neither Sam nor Dean actually realized that Cas might LIKE his car. I think Dean's answer is nicely deplomatic.

And Cas has a seizure.

Dean: "Do you know where you are? What's the date?"
Cas: "Earth. Several billion years since the Beginning."

- I love the otherness of angels. I really do wish that more angels were written the way that Cas is...and more of their actors approached angel characters the way Misha approached Cas.

Cas: "It's difficult with these voices."
Sam: "Now there are voices?"
Dean: "Are these voices telling you to hurt someone?"
Cas: "No, guys. I'm hearing angel radio. It's - a lot of chatter..."

- I really wish they hadn't had actual angels call it "angel radio", but I've done that rant before.
- I will say that... um, yeah, this dialogue leaves much to be desired, but I love the physical acting of Jensen in Jared in this scene. They do a good job with what they're given.

Amara looking at pretty pictures... and talking to herself as an adult. Which is weird.

Adult Amara: "Amara, you must stay fixed on our purpose. Even we cannot undo what is already done - but as you grow, and become stronger, your true destiny will become clear to you - I am what you are becoming and we are mightier than God."
- So, let's distinguish these two by calling adult Amara "The Darkness", and little Amara is Amara. This seems to suggest that Amara is not yet The Darkness, that she must reach adulthood first, to become what the Darkness already is/was. So, right now, they're two separate entities - The Darkness, who has a goal of revenge, and Amara, who is learning about the world that God created in the absence of the Darkness. So, WHY does the Darkness take this route? Is it just to destroy the world more completely - ruthlessly...to hit God where it hurts by LEARNING where it will hurt? Is she simply curious as to what was so important that God had to betray her? Is it that her swift revenge was arrested by meeting Dean? Personally, I think it's probably that middle one... based on what I remember from the end of the season. Amara is wondering why she wasn't good enough for God, since she was always his only companion, and then he betrayed her and created many companions... so she wants to learn about them. But yeah, these are questions we can contemplate as we move forward.

And then we get the angel and the demon in the bar...I had SUCH HIGH HOPES for this storyline, but ultimately it went nowhere.

I like how the demon can flash his eyes, but the angel has to lower an angel-blade, because the wing thing is WAY too overthetop to not draw attention.

Angel: "After Hannah died, Heaven's pretty much been a suck sandwich."
Demon: "And you know who gets squeezed, it's grunts like us!"
Angel: "Yeah, punch a clock, you're expendable."
Demon: "You know, our two operations will always butt heads, that's the set-up. But this? We could be out of work."
Angel: "Yeah, we get knocked out, it takes over..."
Demon: "Someone's gotta do something."
Angel: "Someone?"
Demon: "Yeah, if management won't, it's up to the little guy."

- I think this is why this storyling going no-where was so disappointing. Ultimately, this was the message of S1-5... when Heaven/God fails you, it's up to "the little guy" to save the world - to right the wrongs - to ensure the safety of their fellows. The core message of S1-S5 was humanist. It's not just free will that Castiel wanted to bring back to Heaven after his experience - it was a form of humanism... of the fact that the "little guy" has more power than previously thought, and has to act in accordance with their own morals thusly. The problem Castiel had was that angels HAD no intrinsic morals... or didn't appear to. Castiel did, and maybe that's the design element that has always made him a spanner in the works...
- Anyway, my point is that I got excited about this storyline because it seemed that MAYBE the message of S1-S5 would finally make its way to Heaven... and maybe even to Hell.
- Also, who doesn't love a Good Omens-esque angel/demon team-up?!

Sam and Dean interview the witch...

Sam: "The waiter was possessed by a demon assassin who was gunning for Rowena since she tried to kill her son, Crowley, who just so happens to be the King of Hell."
Witch: "Why do I think you're not FBI like the police said."

- Because they aren't.
Witch: "I'm no witch."
Dean: "Sure you are. And you're pal, Rowena, she's recuiting a new coven."
Witch: "You can't do this! I have rights!"
Dean: "And I have a fake badge."

- I do love that line by Dean, because it's actually clever... her rights mean nothing, because Dean's badge means nothing. He's hardly sworn to uphold her rights or obey any laws.

And the Winchesters get the witch to scry...

Ah, Nanny gave Amara Dante's inferno in the original Italian... so... why translate Hitler's speeches? She knows Italian but not German? In my experience, German is way easier to learn when you're coming from an English base. Ah well.

Crowley: "That's God for you - not really thought out - the whole Big Bang thing, more of a big bust - I mean, boom, stars, evolution, taylor swift. I'm guessing you'd have done things differently."
- I do like how SPN has both the Big Bang AND God, and that the two stories can work in harmony. Also, I love how Crowley's evolution currently culminates in Taylor Swift. I mean, we're all currently a culmination of evolution... so, he's not wrong?

And Amara eats her Nanny's demonized soul. Was this the first soul-eating that we actually see? I believe so.

Amara: "I killed her."
Crowley: "Not quite - the meatsuit was already dead, it was just the soul inside it that was keeping it alive."

- I do like this clarification.

And Rowena's fake accent! It's delightful. Very trans-atlantic. Also, I never actually realized before that Dean was the taxi-driver. I thought he was just lying in wait in the alley - but nope, he and Sam stole a cab.

Also, Dean's attempt at sneaking up on her by wearing clothes he wouldn't normally wear... I do wonder if Jensen picked that outfit because they always film the first few episodes during the hotest months of the year in Vancouver (not that it's hot like Texas gets hot... I mean, it's like 32 degrees at most, which is about 90 fahrenheit, but there's little to no humidity, so it's not really that bad.)

Does Dean's hawaiian shirt count as a disguise? I think it does, so I probably SHOULDN'T include it in the clothing catalogue - but at the same time, it's something Dean owns and it's a regular shirt rather than a uniform or a suit (which I count as disguises)... decisions. (I'll probably put it in.)

And Sam comes in for the save... yay!

Cas *reading*: "To pull up information on a car, select..."
- You actually see the instructions that Cas is working off of - handwritten, by a Winchester. PROBABLY writen by props, but all I can say is that they weren't written by Jared/Sam based on what we've seen of his writing on the show before. So, in my opinion, these were written by Dean. Now, of course, both Winchesters have very similar writing - all capitals, even height, width, neat. BUT, Sam/Jared's As tend to look like little pentagrams, completely accidentally, it seams... which is solely what I'm basing my assessment on.

Another asian porn joke... which is super out of place, IMO. Also, "what could fortune nookie be?" really? Cas DEFINITELY knows what porn is by now. I think this is what annoys me most about how some writers write Cas - like he hasn't learned anything in the past 7 years. SEVEN YEARS! NINE! If you count time properly! NINE YEARS WITH THE WINCHESTERS! Cas DEFINITELY knows what Asian-fetish porn is by now.

Amara: "God made a world where people have to suffer and then they die."
Crowley: "Unfortunately."
Amara: "But frankly, why would they want to live in such a world?"

- Because WE HAVE NO CHOICE! It's the only world there is and the only life we get, so might as well make the best of it! I mean, the only other option is to cease to exist... but then you don't exist anymore and there's absolutely NO chance for fun. Better a lot of suffering and a little fun than no fun at all!

Crowley: "... but you and I together, we can shape our own world-view. A place where, like the dinosaur, virtue is extinct, where the very air that we breath is pure evil. Would you like that?"
Amara: "Would you? You'd really be happy if everyone was evil?"
Crowley: "Well, actually, come to think of it - if everyone was dark and damned, wouldn't be much of a challenge. Watching a human reject the light and embrace the dark and depravity, yes, well, that's where the gratification really is, never gets old. This bemuses you?"
Amara: "Good, evil, Heaven, Hell, people - it all seems so unimportant."
Crowley: "Well, I don't know if I'd say that."
Amara: "I don't think you're seeing the big picture."

- I think Crowley's mistake here is that he associates "great dark power" with "great dark evilness." Whereas Amara is actually a true neutral on the good-evil scale, and is actually a force of consumption/nothingness.
-Crowley's also stuck working within the bounds of God's creation, because he's a product of that creation - he's like the rest of us, in that he doesn't have a choice to be there or not, and he can't know anything else, by virture of only existing BECAUSE of that creation.

Back to the Bunker...

They've got the codex back, but not the Book of the Damned.

Rowena: "...That's what I admire in you, Samuel, that plucky optimism! That plucky stupid optimism."
- Aw, see, Rowena likes it too. :P

Sam has to duck through the door when he leaves the dungeon - I love it.

Dean tries to renotiate the deal - but that doesn't work, because he does it before Rowena cures Cas, so she just counters that if he calls Crowley, and Rowena dies, then so will Cas. So... yeah, there's that.

Rowena: "Your eyes, so burdened - what exactly happened when I removed the Mark. The book wasn't specific. Yes, I read quite a bit of it. What new hell has Dean Winchester unleashed upon the world."
- I think Rowena must know, and just be playing innocent in order to taunt. I think the book said that the Darkness would be unleashed, and Rowena, like Crowley, took that to be a good thing - something she could use to her advantage.

And Cas has escaped.

Crowley's cutting back on Amara's meals in order to try to control her.

Rowena tells Dean about the deal with Sam killing Crowley. Ah, sowing discord.

Not sure why Cas is chasing a random girl....

Then Cas beats Dean up.

I love the cut/tracking shot over to Rowena, and Sam pointing a gun to her head.

Sam: "Do I need to remind you these a witch killing bullets. Finish it?!"
- Unnecessary exposition. Do we really need to know that? No one wants a bullet to the head, even if it won't kill them. Could have just left it alone and had it be cool.

I do like Rowena's escape. It's nice when there's a REASON they can't kill the bad guy.

Sam: "Hey. You should keep applying that."
Dean: "Thanks, Mom. just keep the beers coming."
Cas: "Dean, I- there aren't words."
Dean: "You're right, Cas, there aren't words - because there's no need. You were under a spell. It's fine."

- Awww, friends.

Cas: "Dean, I can fix that."
Dean: "No, no, no, no - it's fine, Cas. Besides, I had it coming."

- Awww... Dean's punishing himself because of how he beat Cas up. Even though, technically, he too was under a spell/curse, and should probably forgive himself a little.

And Amara is now a teenager. I hope she's partially mad at God for the whole 40 years of monthly cramping thing... though, probably she gets to skip over that, due to being a weird powerful force of Darkness.

And Amara remains hungry...

Next episode is Baby! Oh man oh man... looking forward to it. Next week, probably, because it has commentary too, which means I gotta watch it twice.

Comments

( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
supernutjapan
Oct. 11th, 2016 12:56 pm (UTC)
The interrogation scene was cute, taxi scene was fun! and the last scene was awesome<3 Otherwise, it was rather slow. YAY for the next ep!
hells_half_acre
Oct. 12th, 2016 03:59 am (UTC)
Yup, pretty much my thoughts too. Yay for next ep! :)
borgmama1of5
Oct. 12th, 2016 03:33 am (UTC)
A very talky episode...I was sorry Jensen ended up with a Ross-Leming & Buckner episode again...

I suspect the reasoning behind Amara having to 'grow up' was never actually articulated fully in the writers' room--probably more like 'wouldn't it be cool is the Darkness was a baby and grew up really fast?' and that it's up to the fans to come up with a cohesive narrative for it...

My half-formed thought is that in order to affect her brother's creation the Darkness had to be manifested as part of it. Like one lone snippet of DNA can't do anything by itself but lots of it together make people and people can interact with the physical world...does that make any sense?

However the inconsistencies in Amara's development, like not knowing German but knowing Italian...and Crowley bringing her a very young child's book are definite fails...

I would count Dean's Hawaiian shirt as disguise--I cannot picture him ever wearing it for real!

I really find the way these writers write Cas very jarring--big on broad comedy, no subtlety at all...he just annoys me for the entire episode...

And Dean stopping to look after the chick walking down the street while he's desperately looking for Cas--no way would Dean have done that!

I liked knowing about witch-killing bullets--they've had such a hard time killing witches so I think it is great they came up with a new weapon for them!

Looking forward to your love affair with Baby and your comments about what the commentary adds to it!
hells_half_acre
Oct. 12th, 2016 04:08 am (UTC)
My half-formed thought is that in order to affect her brother's creation the Darkness had to be manifested as part of it. Like one lone snippet of DNA can't do anything by itself but lots of it together make people and people can interact with the physical world...does that make any sense?

Yeah, I get what you're driving at - it could be that. God did make the rule that angels couldn't walk the earth unless they were in vessels...so, could be something similar, something built into the way the universe is set-up - that certain beings can't walk the earth unless they've got a body.

However the inconsistencies in Amara's development, like not knowing German but knowing Italian...and Crowley bringing her a very young child's book are definite fails...I really find the way these writers write Cas very jarring--big on broad comedy, no subtlety at all...he just annoys me for the entire episode...

Yeah, I find that one of the pitfalls with these writers is that the only way they know how to do humour is by making someone into an idiot - laugh at the idiot! But that doesn't work when you've got a show about HIGHLY COMPETENT PEOPLE! Other writers can pull it off by just having them misspeak while they're being smart - "accidents don't just happen accidentally!" or whathaveyou.

And yeah, inconsistencies across episodes and writers is one thing - but inconsistencies in the same episode with the same writers is just annoying.

I would count Dean's Hawaiian shirt as disguise--I cannot picture him ever wearing it for real!

Agreed! I might stick in the "other" clothing category just for kicks, but I doubt we'll ever see it again.

And Dean stopping to look after the chick walking down the street while he's desperately looking for Cas--no way would Dean have done that!

Agreed. I didn't mention it, but I really think the only reason he would have stopped when he saw that woman was to ask "Have you seen a deranged guy in a trenchcoat?!"

I liked knowing about witch-killing bullets--they've had such a hard time killing witches so I think it is great they came up with a new weapon for them!

Don't get me wrong, I like KNOWING about them - but they were established last season and I don't think we need the reminder RIGHT THEN in that scene. If they really wanted to throw in a reminder, they should have had a line in the car or in the dungeon. But that's just my opinion - to me having the exposition line took away from the action.

Looking forward to your love affair with Baby and your comments about what the commentary adds to it!

Me too!!

ferlonda
Oct. 14th, 2016 05:16 pm (UTC)
My only issue with the whole Amara arc is due to the baby-growing-up-super-fast thing has been done TO DEATH and nothing new happened here with it. Eating souls isn't new, either. But, whatever.

I enjoyed reading this a lot and I'm really looking forward to your thoughts on Baby!
hells_half_acre
Oct. 15th, 2016 08:27 pm (UTC)
Thanks! Yeah... the whole rapidly-ageing thing is a trope that I remember first encountering in Star Trek TNG - but I'm sure it's been around for aeons.

Glad you enjoyed! I'm looking forward to Baby too, haven't had the time to sit down with it yet... but SOON.
ferlonda
Oct. 16th, 2016 05:49 am (UTC)
Oh, golly... Baby is so good!!! I've watched it at least three times now, last night with my husband for his first time. He loved it, too. :)
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )