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Quick Reaction: 13x07 War of the Worlds

Listen, I have to be honest here. This episode has broken me. I am just not sure I can be positive at all about it. And I know that's a rule around here, I know that's why a lot of you read my reviews/recaps. But...ugh. This episode single-handedly  destroyed everything I was liking about this season.

So.... I might pull a "Bloodlines" here. Meaning, I'm not going to do a synopsis the way I usually do, or talk about each scene in chronological order. I'm going to talk about the episode over all.

I am, for the life of me, going to try to match every negative thing I say with something positive, in order to set a good example.

But, as my friend said as I was leaving - I AM going "to pull a full Unikitty on this one."


Positive thing: The idea that Michael wants to flee his apocalypse world and infiltrate our world is interesting.
Negative thing: Lucifer makes it back into our world, albeit grace reduced.

Positive thing: It was nice seeing Kevin again, even if it wasn't "our" Kevin - just A Kevin. I like Kevin.

Positive thing: I like the fact that Jack has somehow been smart about fleeing and that no one can find him.

Negative thing: What the fuck with bringing Ketch back?! This is what I hate about these writers - and it's my problem with Lucifer being around as well. The bad guys seemingly can't die, but somehow Charlie and Kevin and Eileen et al are dead for good?! And 2/3 times it's these fuckin' two killing our favourites, so the AUDACITY of them NOT killing the bad guys but instead bringing them back just... makes me want to scream. And I know big plot decisions like this are okayed by the show-runner, or possibly dictated by the show-runner - at least, that's the only belief that's saving these two from my COMPLETE AND UTTER SCORN.

Negative thing: What does this even serve? You've got the most convoluted backstory to explain his reappearance - and all you're really doing is complicating the plot unnecessarily. Why do the Winchesters need 3 billion enemies at once?! I don't get it. You know how you can make your plots and lives easier, give them ONE enemy that is ACTUALLY formidable. You know how you do that? You make your characters afraid of your enemy - right now, you don't have that - and Lucifer is the case and point example. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

Positive thing: I do like the actor who PLAYS Ketch. I think he does a good job. I also liked the scene where Ketch is apologizing in the third person.

Negative thing: As I was saying... MAKE YOUR CHARACTERS AFRAID OF THE ENEMY AND YOUR ENEMY BECOMES FORMIDABLE. Castiel encounters Lucifer and is angry at best and annoyed at worse... CASTIEL SHOULD BE AFRAID. Think back to S5, when Lucifer was THE ENEMY. Castiel was terrified of him - everyone was. Lucifer exploded him in an instant. It took ALL OF CAS' courage to throw that molotov at him, and you could tell that he was terrified while he was doing it. Castiel is just like "ugh, YOU - you killed me you bastard!" here and that's just... undercuts everything. Also, I hate Lucifer - you all know I hate Lucifer. They should have left him dead. They should have left him in the cage. They should have actually successfully trapped him in the parallel world, and we should be getting a storyline of how Mary dupes him somehow thus allowing HER escape while he stays stranded. Not have Lucifer escape himself and we don't even know where Mary is.

Positive thing: There was some witty banter in this episode that I quiet enjoyed.

Ambivalent thing: For a moment, when Lucifer came back and was power-reduced and couldn't seem to make what he wanted to have happen happen - I thought for a moment that he was in the French Mistake world, where there was no magic - and that would have been amazingly hilarious, though probably not a good idea storytelling-wise in the long-run. Still, I would have enjoyed it. Actually, I really would have enjoyed it if it were true and it was the last we ever saw of Lucifer, and then we got a storyline of Mary duping Michael or something to escape on her own back to her world.

Negative thing: Listen, I was really digging this season because they were actually KEEPING IT SIMPLE. Which was awesome - that's the SPN that works best, the one where there's a fairly straight-forward mytharc, spattered across MOTW episodes that focus on the character's emotional wellbeing in light of the fairly simple mytharc. Not this CONVOLUTED MESS OF ENEMIES AND FACTIONS AND DIFFERENT MOTIVATIONS. UGH.

Let's count the plots...

Before this episode - 1. Hell/Heaven is interested in Jack. 2. Mary is trapped in an AU with Lucifer. 3. Character Plot: Dean is depressed (but maybe a little better now that Cas is back) and Sam is in denial/right about Mary.
After this episode. 1. Hell/Heaven is interested in Jack. 2. Mary is trapped in an AU. 3. AU!Michael wants to invade earth. 4. Lucifer has returned. 5. Castiel is imprisoned by Asmodeus alongside Lucifer. 6. Ketch has returned from the dead and is working with Asmodeus. 7. Jack is missing. 8. Character Plot???

Positive thing: Now that Lucifer is back, he can report to Sam and Dean that Mary is still alive - or at least was last he saw her - which will be an interesting character point?

Negative thing: UGH... so, now we Castiel once again locked away somewhere and taken out of commission. Listen, I'm sick of this problem the writers have with having to constantly take Cas out of commission. I'm not sure if it's because of a reduced contract with Misha or budget or preference - but if he's going to be a third brother, then make him a third brother and have him work with Sam and Dean. This constant imprisoning and/or sidelining of him is getting super old.

Positive thing: I'm actually glad that they brought up the fact that all the angels are being killed off. I actually find it hilarious, and not annoying, that right after they reveal this, the angels get into a fight where a few of them die - because angels are stupid and not in-fighting apparently. But, I'm glad there's not some endless supply... and it makes me wonder if eventually SPN will end in a godless/angelless universe, just like Dean thought it was back in the beginning.

Okay... I think that's it. I did an okay job, maybe? Maybe?

Listen, if you liked the episode, I apologize.

....

As usual, let me know what you thought in comments - if you feel similar to me though, try to follow the negative+positive format, just so that we don't all drown in misery. The world is horrible enough, I say.








This entry was originally posted at https://hells-half-acre.dreamwidth.org/546519.html.

Comments

( 21 comments — Leave a comment )
supernutjapan
Nov. 24th, 2017 07:28 am (UTC)
I'm sorry, for you, that Lucifer came back. I loved it! I liked the idea of Lucifer without a grace and Michael being evil and I loved seeing Kevin, a different Kevin that is not naive like the one we knew and is still courageous. I really think he kept it from Michael that only one could get through. Mary as far as I know is in the hands of Michael. Lucifer asked him to go bother Mary for a while at one point.

I guess they put Cas and Lucifer away so that we could have Sam and Dean alone again, which is fine with me as well. Very excited to see how they get Cas back, and what is going to happen to graceless Lucifer.
hells_half_acre
Nov. 24th, 2017 08:47 am (UTC)
Yay! Well, I'm glad that you liked it!

I hope it all works out and that it gets better from here for me somehow. I'm sure all those things will eventually result in interesting moments. :)

Edited at 2017-11-24 08:47 am (UTC)
supernutjapan
Nov. 26th, 2017 12:40 pm (UTC)
I hope so too!!
liliaeth
Nov. 25th, 2017 11:29 am (UTC)
Having Lucifer depowered like this, might be the first time I've been interested in the character since s7. Because if they're going to keep him around... for some reason I don't quite get, then they have to evolve him, and hopefully maybe have him finally be more than a toddler with a temper tantrum. And quite honestly, since he seems utterly incapable of growth as a full archangel, the shock of being without his grace might finally do the trick of making him be more than the one trick pony he's been thus far.
hells_half_acre
Nov. 25th, 2017 06:49 pm (UTC)
We can only hope!

And I agree, if they're not going to use his full archangelness to their advantage, they may as well depower him and see if something interesting comes of that.
supernutjapan
Nov. 26th, 2017 12:43 pm (UTC)
Yes! I really hope they do a good job with Lucifer!
borgmama1of5
Nov. 24th, 2017 09:04 am (UTC)
I am sure that the decision to bring back Ketch was made at a higher level than the writers because it looks like he is going to be a major player for a while. And the fans liked hating his character, which again points to an executive decision to bring him back.

I actually feel neutral toward the episode--it was very busy setting up future plot points and was Sam-and-Dean light...their major contribution was to show that Dean's gut instincts are better than Sam's (again...sigh...and how does Sam's trust/Dean's distrust of Jack weigh into that?) and to have a cool fight scene--but were they fighting demons or angels??? I couldn't tell...

I like that if we have to have Lucifer back at least he's handicapped--but Cas, why are you listening to him? What possible use are you seeing for him? JUST STAB HIM ALREADY!!!

And Dean made the classic mistake of talking instead of JUST SHOOT KETCH NOW!!! But I was so busy going 'Ketch?!?!' that I was interested in the mystery/explanation of how the heck he was back although I was really shaking my head at the 'evil twin' trope until it wasn't that at all...a lot of screen time spent on trying to establish that trope, though...I suspect there was a lot of gleeful anticipation of the fan response to the twists of how Ketch is back...

And couldn't they have given us one glimpse of what au Michael has done with Mary? We got a mention that she's there, but how badly is she being treated? I want to know that!

Also what is up with the unfindable Jack? I admit to being curious, annoyance at bay while I wait for a decent explanation.

I think the way to look at this ep is more that it is strictly an exposition episode, like a part 1 of something that can't really be evaluated until we get the rest, as opposed to being an episode on its own.

Hope that helps a little--it's so rare you can't find the silver lining!
hells_half_acre
Nov. 24th, 2017 09:15 am (UTC)
Yeah, no, sadly it doesn't help, because everything it's setting up is everything I hated about last season. So, it doesn't matter that it was a bad stand-alone, it matters that it's a bad set-up for what's to come. I don't like the executive decisions being made which is why I'm so... negative.

But it DOES help that I at least can't blame these two writers entirely and have to focus on the fact that ALL writers in the room seemed to think this was a good idea... you'd think that'd make it worse, but really the fact that I can disperse the annoyance a little helps. It's easier to be annoyed by a group of people than to focus all that energy on just one enemy... that's exhausting.

I agree with all the faults you found as well. I'm glad you are neutral though, rather than completely disappointed and annoyed like I am. I don't know... I'll try to muster up my optimism for next week. I gotta admit though, if it were any other show but Supernatural, this is where I'd rage-quit, write my own ending to the series, and pretend that's what happened.

Luckily for everyone, SPN gets infinite patience from me.

Elaine McCourt
Nov. 24th, 2017 09:05 am (UTC)
Ugh. Stop doing this, BuckLem.

Sam isn't an idiot. He wouldn't free Ketch even believing the fake evidence of having a twin. We've done a depowered/powerless Lucifer before. It was boring then, it's boring again now. A couple of demons wouldn't overpower Sam and Dean to the point they needed rescuing by Ketch. Castiel isn't this naive. Also, gotta say, I'm not really a fan of Asmodeus.

Positives? Must I? Ok. Misha and Mark together are cool. Ketch throwing a gas grenade down the chimney was amusing.
hells_half_acre
Nov. 24th, 2017 09:17 am (UTC)
Agreed agreed. Thanks for trying with the positivity! You did a good job, considering what you had to work with.
rovallie5
Nov. 24th, 2017 01:52 pm (UTC)
Alright, using your method I will say the positive thing first; I did like the fights sequences, whoever they hired this season is doing awesome, actually I like the Cas and Lucifer interaction, were kinda sassy, mainly how they discuss the "custody" over Jack and yeah wonder how this graceless Lucifer will work out.

Negative, as you I like the actor who plays Ketch, but what the hell? I need to rewatch that explanation with subs, because I'm still shocked, what an intrinsicated way to bring him back to life, really he knows the same spell as Rowena? what? and please the twin storyline, so cliche.

Ok Ok I need something positive, let me think, also I agree with you I'm interesting that Michael wants to be in our world. And this guy Asmodeus, yeah could be a good villain, so far he's powerful and straightforward. And finally, Kevin is back, in the alternative universe, but the boy is here.

final negative thought, what a mess this episode. Sorry.
hells_half_acre
Nov. 24th, 2017 08:08 pm (UTC)
Yes, the new fight guy is doing a phenomenal job!

I also liked the banter between characters, and there are SOME interesting plot points - such as there being a threat from the AU world if they do open a portal again.

But yes, episode was a mess, and I agree with your negatives as well.
percysowner
Nov. 24th, 2017 02:05 pm (UTC)
I honestly think that the big issue is that the writers have no idea what to do with Cas. They know he is a popular character. They know Jared and Jensen want time off, so they need other characters that they can write stories around to give them that time off. But Cas, as a character, they have no clue what to do with. Also, keeping Cas means we have to keep the angels, which is about as played out a storyline as we can get, IMHO.

Ketch is like Cas, in that the fandom seems to like him and the actor is fairly popular as well. I don't know that it's a great idea to bring him back, but I understand why it was done. My biggest concern is that Dean the always right and Sam the always wrong will be back in force.

Unlike almost everyone I follow, I didn't hate this episode. I see it setting up the rest of the season. I knew Lucifer would be back, he's an easy identifiable villain. Michael breaking into our universe could be an interesting story and will probably end up making Lucifer the lesser of two evils.

I admit, with these writers if we don't have bestiality, rampant misogyny and racism I consider it a win.
hells_half_acre
Nov. 24th, 2017 08:21 pm (UTC)
This is the thing - there's a false belief that if you have Cas, you need to have angels. YOU DON'T! Cas is beloved because he's a fish out of water - so keep him as such. What does it mean to be the only angel on earth? What does it mean to have been exiled from Heaven? What does it mean to not know what is happening in your home country? What does it mean to seemingly be immortal?

But Alix, you say, those are all character explorations and not plot! Fine, fair enough - MAKE them plot. Have Cas try to be a one man Garrison, now that the angels have retreated to Heaven - what did the Garrison used to do? Just stand around, or were there battles? Give him battles - he's supposed to be a warrior and we love stunts. Have him stuggle with his reduced power - when he was cut off from Heaven in S5 for rebelling, he slowly became human, why is that not happening now? Does he still have allies? (Yes, I recognize this still has angels in it, but it'll have just one allied angel, like Hannah, and whatever.) Or is Castiel like Hugh in ST:TNG, the free-will infection that solely changes the culture of Heaven.

OR, give up on having him be somewhere else. Give him concurrent hunting storylines. Do you think that Jared and Jensen never got a day off in S1-S3, they had whole scenes and sequences that didn't involve the other person. Jared broke his hand in S2 and needed surgery/more recovery time, and they were able to give him those days off by filming just Jensen. So, do the same with Cas. PUT him in the Bunker, and have him work cases too, but doing tasks on his own... or put him in the bunker and have him do research like they did with Kevin when he was around - then you can have him linked to the main storyline, shoot scenes with just him, and also have the opportunity to have him go off on his own to investigate demon/angel related things. He could easily uncover some of the demon plots first, on his own, and then call in Sam and Dean to help... rather than us seeing the demon plots solely from the demon's pov until Sam and Dean are brought in.

Anyway... agreed about the Dean is always right and Sam is always wrong thing. I really hope we don't go down that path again. We were doing really well with Jack there, for a moment.

I'm glad you didn't hate the episode! I know I have it worse, because I just hate the fact that Lucifer is still around so much.

But yeah, Michael breaking into our universe is an interesting idea, as it does make the quest to save Mary a far more dangerous one.

My thing with these writers is that I don't want to lower the bar for them - I don't like that practice of "well, this person is horrible, but they aren't as horrible as they could have been"... to use an extreme analogy - just because someone doesn't hit you, doesn't mean you should accept verbal abuse.
kailita
Nov. 27th, 2017 06:16 am (UTC)
I love these ideas for Cas! Give him a character-driven arc! I thought it worked really well for us in seasons 4-5, and even season 6 with his betrayal.
roxymissrose
Nov. 24th, 2017 08:21 pm (UTC)
I enjoyed this ep, and still agree with everything you said here.
hells_half_acre
Nov. 24th, 2017 08:22 pm (UTC)
I'm glad you enjoyed it! :)
kailita
Nov. 27th, 2017 06:14 am (UTC)
I know you try to be positive, but I like when you get rant-y. :) And that's coming from someone who still loves the show and did not find this episode unwatchable. (Though I worry about the doors that Buckner and Ross-Leming are opening here, which you already delineated above. Still, in my opinion, nothing this season has come close to the horror that was LOTUS and Rock Never Dies in season 12. Burn those episodes and everything within them to the ground.)

My first thought is: KEVIN!! Not our Kevin. That makes me sad. But just seeing him made me excited. (I am such a sucker. And I did adore Kevin.) Also, Osric is differentiating him from previous Kevin! His voice sounds so different, and he seems quirkier than the battle-weary Kevin from our universe. I liked that.

Depowered Lucifer coming to earth seems like as good a place as any to slot that character, if we’re going to keep him around. I think Mark Pellegrino is still bringing it. But I have serious concerns about the potential to “de-fang” this character as the season goes on. The reason why Lucifer’s cutesy shtick works (in my opinion) is because it’s a mask for his sadism. I think you and I might have already talked about this re: the season 7 “bunk buddy” comment. Sounds cute; is actually a terrifying allusion to rape. I feel like MP is still playing to this aspect of Lucifer (I may be wrong, that’s just my general sense), but I’m not sure how much the writers are writing to it. (Though I will confess that “Oh my Dad” was so stupid but did make me laugh out loud.) I did like how the one thing Lucifer wanted to know was if Jack had hurt anyone. That seemed most in-character, along with his accompanying glee at the thought. I don’t want to lose the menace of his character (which I think is sort of what happened with Crowley post-season 8ish). Also: not excited about Sam’s inevitable confrontation with Lucifer unless we deal with it wayyyyyyy differently than we did in season 11. WRITERS, PLEASE REMEMBER THIS WAS THE GREATEST TRAUMA OF SAM’S LIFE.

Additionally, there is no reason on God’s green earth why Cas shouldn’t kill Lucifer immediately while his power is low. He is literally the Father of Lies. There is no trusting him, no bargaining with him. CAS KNOWS THIS. Extended conversations with Lucifer, though necessary exposition for the audience, just makes Castiel looks useless and dumb.

Speaking of useless and dumb – nothing makes me more frustrated than the writers forcing Sam into making rookie mistakes like not doing a “cavity sweep” or whatever on Ketch to check for weapons. :( It annoys me with Dean too, but it ESPECIALLY annoys me with Sam because I feel like we give him fewer overall opportunities to be a badass anyway. Ketch can escape some other way. LET SAM BE AWESOME.

I share your worry about splitting the plots for going forward in the season. (Remember how I was saying just a couple episodes that the season was so much better because we were more FOCUSED on the brothers’ storyline? HA.) Especially because Rowena is obviously coming back as well, on top of Ketch, and Lucifer, and Michael, and Mom. They’re going to have to really be intentional about prioritizing the brothers in the midst of all that.
hells_half_acre
Nov. 28th, 2017 06:09 am (UTC)
I don't know, I guess this just seems like compounding the problems of LOTUS and Rock Never Dies, so I feel like it's worse - but maybe I'll change my tune when I rewatch those ones.

I think Osric did a good job of making Kevin different too - this one seemed more amoral than our Kevin, probably brought on by the apocalypse world. It was an interesting character note!

I definitely do not want them to de-fang Lucifer for forget who he is. Bitter Sam!girl of me would like to point out that Dean's hell torturer, however brief his appearance, was treated the way I think they SHOULD be treating Lucifer... and they HAD been treating Lucifer up until Carver took over. As you say, Lucifer is Sam's biggest trauma... but damn, does this show, in recent years, love to forget that Sam has trauma at all. Though, I shouldn't be OVERLY bitter because they were doing a good job this season of remembering that Sam's relationship to the word "freak" and being treated like a monster.

But yeah, things that make ANY of our main characters seem useless or dumb are REALLY not welcome. One thing I loved about the premise of this show when I first started watching was that we were following people who were highly intelligent and trained since childhood to do what they were doing. At this point, Sam and Dean should be "leveled up" enough that that is double-true.

Right now I don't have much hope going forward, but... we'll see. Maybe being super cynical will mean that I'll be pleasantly surprised by even the most meager of successful writing.
madebyme_x
Nov. 27th, 2017 12:22 pm (UTC)
Like you say this episode felt too busy for me, like they were cramming too much into this episode, and there was definitely not enough Winchesters as a result!!! Why kill of Ketch if you're going to bring him back anyway (and in such a lame way!) Like you say if they want to bring back more characters to have more of an ensemble cast, at least bring back some hunters and characters that were more popular (Charlie, Eileen, Ellen, Bobby, Rufus - I could go on).

And yes, I hated they made Sam look stupid, and that having compassion and belief is always bad. This is why if Jack goes 100% darkside, I'll hate it.

But to even things out, I do like Michael and I find him the most believable 'baddie' with a great screen presence, and it was great to see Kevin again, and I do like the idea that the number of Angels are depleting, and the direction was great. So it wasn't all bad.

Take care and fingers crossed for the next episode :)
hells_half_acre
Nov. 28th, 2017 06:10 am (UTC)
Agreed agreed.

And yes, I agree with the good stuff too. :)

Fingers are crossed!! We'll just have to see if they can dig their way out of this one.
( 21 comments — Leave a comment )

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