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Quick Reaction: 13x17 The Thing

 Hello!

I got a ride home tonight, which was nice, but that means less time to sober up. It also means, no music lyrics to take us through the cut, so instead I will use my tl;dr version of my review:

We begin our episode in Portsmouth RI, where a flapper is being put onto an alter by seemingly the MoL, only they've added a weird eye to their logo. Also, my friend, who was not drinking (unlike me) was sober enough to notice that the continuity was all off - because she'd have a gag in her mouth, and then she wouldn't, then she'd have one again, then she wouldn't....OOPS! Where was your script supervisor SPN? (I think that's what they're called, I once looked into becoming one - but then decided against it, but they're basically the people who sit next to the director and make sure that you've got continuity between takes.)

ANYWAY... the MoL open a ceiling portal and IN COMES A TENTACLE. 

Then we cut to Sam and Dean - Sam has fallen asleep while researching, meanwhile, Dean softly sticks post-its to his back saying things like "Ass Face' and "Kick Me"... and it's all the more amusing given the fact that Sam and Dean are the ONLY TWO PEOPLE WHO LIVE THERE. 

Sam found a reference to the Seal of Solomon in a book, and reads it, and drives me nuts, because he reads a sentence that says "..., but the seal was a jewel of the cosmos..." and then Dean interrupts him to posit that it might be a meteor, and Sam shrugs, and then NEVER FINISHES THE SENTENCE. HOW DID IT END? WHAT WAS THE NEXT LINE? OH MAN.

Anyway, it's archives time! They go to a a room where Dean declares, sarcastically I'm sure, that he loves books - and then we get a research montage, which I always secretly enjoy (or not secretly I suppose, since I'm telling you all.) Finally, just as Sam's getting a snack from the kitchen and discovering that his back is covered in notes, Dean stumbles upon a note in the archives that the "Treasure of Solomon" was at a chapter house of the MoL in Rhode Island. Excited at the news, Dean declares "Jinkies!" much to Sam's annoyance. I do like that they kept that continuity in. :)

So, it's off to Rhode Island, where they discover the Chapter House has a sewer door entrance. I am surprised, given the fact that Jared has a bad knee (which I'm pretty sure is not new to the latest con) that Jared actually does the drop down himself. As someone who also has bad knees, I tend to not drop down from heights over 1 foot, and not even that if I can avoid it.

BACK ON TOPIC...

They also notice the weird eye addition to the emblem. Then they find MORE BOOKS, which gives Sam the opportunity to tell Dean "you love books" and also triggers my psychological problem where if something is potentially useful I can't STAND if they leave it behind... so, when Sam conveniently spots the Solomon 1917 file, and then they hear the voice yelling for help, I'm like "NO, PUT THE FILE IN YOUR BAG FIRST AND TAKE ALL THOSE BOOKS, OH GOD!" But no, instead they go running after the voice....

I should say that my sober friend originally thought the voice was a dog barking, because she didn't recognize it as a woman shouting, and she thought "wow, they are really going for this John Carpenter reference." but nope.

Turns out, the woman yelling is good old Sandy Porter, who Dean happened to see a picture of in the book room with basic facts. She is still chained to the alter.

Then we cut to Asmodeus - or rather, Ketch coming to try to visit Asmodeus. He's told to wait.

Back with Sam and Dean! THEY'VE FREED THE HIGHLY SUSPICIOUS WOMAN. Oh man, you guys, you totally just let The Thing out. I spot that Sam has his shoulder bag though, so I assume that he at the very least put that Solomon file in there and I'm feeling a little bit better that they aren't complete idiots.

Ketch reads until it's clear that the guards are distracted with an app that sounds like Neko...whatever the heck that app was with the kitties that everyone was into one or two years back. He slips by and gets into the thrown room, only to discover that Asmodeus is draining Gabriel's grace in order to inject it into himself... which explains why he suddenly had the ability to shapeshift! At which point, me and my friend were like, wait, maybe ASMODEUS is the thing! (And you know, he still could be, but I'll get to that.)

He gets mad at Ketch for barging in while he's shooting up, so he goes and plunks him back into the hallway, flashing his now-white eyes at him... and I'm like "white eyes? They're supposed to be yellow?" and then me and my friend figure that it probably has to do with the angel grace and that he might actually be using some sort of Compulsion spell on Ketch.

Before we get into that though, we go back to the diner, where we meet a talkative waitress and Marco the chef. Marco is more than he appears, because when Sam and Dean walk in with Sandy, he makes a phone call, and we see that he's got the modified MoL tattoo.

Sandy tells the boys about how she was abducted to feed a monster from another world. Sam and Dean are like "ooo, another world you say? Sounds conveniently like what we're interested in..." but outloud they promise to protect her from the bad men.  Meanwhile, Marco drugs their food.

Ketch and Asmodeus talk about the Wincheter's putting together ingredients for a spell to open a portal to the other world. Ketch already knows that Castiel just got back from the Holy Land, and Asmodeus is not impressed that this all isn't brand new information to Ketch - since that means that Ketch may have been holding back information from him. Ketch tries to spin it, but it's too late. Admosdeus wants Ketch to understand that he's Asmodeus's subordinate, underling, slave-type person, rather than a consultant with free will, and to drive this point home, he beats him. Meanwhile, Gabriel looks on from his cage in the wall.

Sam and Dean talk about Sandy, since she's fled the diner after becoming upset at retelling her story. They apparently tested her with all the usual tests and she passed. Then they get served their food, and Sam eats right away, while Dean continues to chat - it's enough time for another patron to notice all the suspicious cloaked figures outside and call attention to them. The drugs his Sam fast and hard, but Dean escapes their influence having not eaten yet, and when the cloaked figures come in for Sandy, Dean starts throwing punches.

Sandy's the one to kill someone first, rather than just continue the fist-fight. With that, the cloacked figures decide to just surround the building...after kidnapping Sam, of course. Once they're alone in the diner, they discover that one of the cloaked figures was the Sheriff. Still, Dean is NOT impressed that Sam has been taken.

Sam, meanwhile, gets to meet his kidnappers, who turn out to be two other grandchildren of the MoL - this time though, their grandfather wasn't the pinnacle and the MoL, but instead a disillusioned veteran of WWI, who thought that the best thing for humanity was to get some new gods into play - it was he, Diego, that summoned Yokoth from another dimension into the body of Sandy Porter. She then promptly ate everyone. The MoL disowned Diego and the entire Chapter House (but seemingly never came to collect their stuff or take away their keys?) and ever since they've had Yokoth chained in the Chapter House, and they've been starving her in the hopes that she'll eventually die.

Admodeus is shooting up again, and monologuing to Ketch. He points out how Ketch is a huge hypocrite, because he claims to have a code under the BMoL, but then he works for Asmodeus - so he's broken it. And that he pretends to be a cold-blooded killer, but really he's just full of fear, regret, and pain. That he seeks redemption, but he'll never get it... and then he has a line that I actually absolutely love, because he says that all people like Ketch do, instead of redemption, is "spread [their] pain around." It's a good line!

Back at the diner, the clocked figures suddenly disappear, and they send the poor hapless guy out to investigate (why not Dean, the trained warrior who should probably be walking into danger instead of some innocent dude? Who knows!) and the dude gets killed by...dun dun dun... SANDY, who is definitely The Thing. Dean then comes out to see what that death-cry was all about, and she tentacles him too.

We rejoin Ketch, as he's pulling his own broken tooth out, and taking stock of his situation. He starts talking to Gabriel and then gets the brilliant idea to rescue him and escape to the Sam and Dean... Gabriel is VERY RELUCTANT to be rescued in this fashion, which to me means SOMETHING IS VERY MUCH UP! And I'm still not convinced that this isn't all just part of Asmodeus' plan... like, why beat Ketch, and then leave him seemingly alone in front of Gabriel's cage? A cage that he can just OPEN. And why would Gabriel be reluctant to go - he conveniently can't tell us, because his lips are still sewn shut.

Sam goes back to the dinner, where the waitress tells him that she thought he was dead. "No, not yet," Sam replies, and me and my friend have a laugh. We then learn that since Yokoth has fed, she'll not be interested in feeding anymore, but rather BREEDING... and we really do get into the tentacle porn part of this episode, because that is what they surmise she has seemingly kidnapped Dean for.

Sure enough, Sandy has Dean chained down on the alter, and tells him about how Gylthur, her mate, was supposed to be summoned down after her - but wasn't, and Dean is cute, so he's now going to be Glthur's hose. Dean agrees that this is a tragic hallmark story, but with more tentacles.

Luckily, just as Sandy opens the rift, Sam and the EyeMoL run in. They are able to distract Sandy enough with bullets and whatnot that Dean can get himself out of the shackles and away from the tentacle monster attacking him from the rift. He's able to get off the alter, and instead the tentacles pick up Sandy and pull her through the rift, just as Sam closes it. How convenient! They solved ALL THE PROBLEMS IN ONE FIGHT.

The EyeMoL let Sam and Dean take the seal, since they obviously don't need it anymore and it's caused nothing but trouble - and they tell them how to use it. The spell only lasts for 24 hours though!

Once they're back at the bunker, they realize that all they need is an archangel and then they're set! Conveniently, that's when Ketch steps out of the shadows lugging Gabriel behind him. He asks for protection from Asmodeus in exchange for giving them Gabriel. Dean makes the deal, because he's singularly focused on getting mom back. 

Sam starts cutting Gabriel's lips apart, but Gabriel's still not answering questions or piping up with information.

Dean declares, much to Sam's surprise, that they're doing the spell RIGHT AWAY, and that Dean is going in alone, because it makes sense for Sam to stay on the outside as a failsafe - if Dean doesn't make it back to the rift, Sam can do the spell again and come in and save him. Sam is reluctant to agree, even more so when Ketch volunteers to go with Dean. But, Dean convinces him, or orders him and Sam obeys (which means that Dean convinced him) to stay behind and so they do the spell and off Dean and Ketch go...


Next week, we see the aftermath of that - looks like it was filmed on a particular snowy few days this year - which, I believe was back in early December, unless i'm remembering wrong, or they just filmed on a mountain! 

Anyway, yeah, not like... the best episode in the world, but it had it's moments - and I definitely think there's gotta be more here than meets the eye, which is sure to bite them in the ass next week.

As usual, let me know what your thoughts are in comments!!  This entry was originally posted at https://hells-half-acre.dreamwidth.org/555777.html.

Comments

( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
borgmama1of5
Apr. 6th, 2018 12:25 pm (UTC)
One part you didn't mention--after Sam was taken by the mysterious figures, Dean goes nuts in the diner kitchen making molotov coktails--it was a very dramatic scene highlighting how Dean goes crazy when Sam's in danger--and then does absolutely nothing with them! It looked like a great build-up to a spectacular fight, although I wasn't exactly sure how Dean was going to use the firebombs to get Sam back...and then he gets whammied by tentacle girl and that's it.

I noted the gag thing in the open as well and couldn't figure out what was happening with that. Doesn't it make you wonder how a goof like that gets by everyone in production?

While I was watching this episode I was very anxious about what was happening--the woman seemed so sincere, I believed her while worrying that she was too innocent to be true, and seeing Marco put the drug in their food made me watch helplessly as Sam ate while telepathically screaming for Dean NOT to eat his food, and the fights were great, and I loved Dean's snark as he's tied to the altar...I felt emotionally invested in the boys' danger...and then after it was over I kept seeing all these holes big enough to drive a truck through that I can't stop puzzling over...

Also, why didn't they call Cas to go to the AU with Dean????? Or at least give us a line that Dean didn't want to wait for however long it was going to take Cas to get there???
vyperdd
Apr. 6th, 2018 05:00 pm (UTC)
Re: the gag. It wasn't a continuity fail at all. It looks like one though, because of the way it's edited and how footage cuts between her being brought into the room (past) and chained down on the altar (present)

In both the opening scene and the flashbacks, Sandy has the gag in every shot of her being led into the room and placed on the altar. It's removed after she has been chained down and the ritual has begun which makes sense because the tentacle monster goes straight for her mouth to feed off her.

I totally agree with you about why they didn't call Cas. They didn't even mention him at all in the ep. Usually we get at least some sort of update to explain where he is/why he isn't with the boys. Ot they could have had Cas watch Gabriel and be back-up for Sam & Dean.

Edited at 2018-04-06 05:04 pm (UTC)
hells_half_acre
Apr. 6th, 2018 05:29 pm (UTC)
No, the gag was definitely a continuity fail. We paused at each cut to marvel at it. Also, why on earth would you flashback to something that happened 5 seconds ago that we didn't need to see cut. And why do it more than once. If it was meant to be a weird stylistic flashback/present thing, than that was DEFINITELY an error in decision making that led to what is, ostensibly, a continuity error in the final product. Though, if that's what they were going for, than that answers the question of "how did this get past the editors?"

But yeah, in terms of mistakes in the episode, I think the bigger one was not telling us where Cas was - but I'm assuming they're going to do that next week when he gets back. So, maybe I'm just being picky about when information is revealed.

Edited at 2018-04-06 05:30 pm (UTC)
hells_half_acre
Apr. 6th, 2018 05:25 pm (UTC)
Agreed agreed.

And yeah, Chekov's molotov cocktails! My friend also pointed out that Marco is going to have a HELL of a time explaining how so many people ended up dead around the diner that he was working in. Especially since I'm sure that waitress called the rest of the police force as soon as Sam took off to rescue Dean. Though, that problem is at least the usual "The Winchesters leave a mess behind" problem. :P

I understand how the continuity error might happen on set - "let's do a couple without the gag, and we'll decide what's better in editing" - but how does it get past the editor putting it together?!

I too was wondering why we didn't get our customary line about where the heck Cas is - obviously he's not around, and yet just last episode we saw him come back, and even in this episode Ketch says "their angel just returned from the Holy Land" or words to that effect - so it'd be pretty easy for him to throw in an additional line of "and now he's apparently off to some archive in Rome" or something!

Though, I do think that Dean purposefully didn't call Cas to go with him into the AU, because he'd prefer if Cas stayed behind and helped Sam. It makes more sense to me for Dean to leave his *reliable* back-up to watch over Sam, while Dean takes the less reliable backup of Ketch.

BUT, again, just one line would have been great. Like, when Sam says "okay, let me grab my gear and call Cas back-" and Dean can be like "No, I'm not waiting for Cas to get here, and you need both need to stay behind in case I need to be rescued..." etc.


borgmama1of5
Apr. 6th, 2018 05:35 pm (UTC)
Also wonder what happened to Dean's lovely lavender shirt? I will have to rewatch to see if Sandy took it off before she was returned to her dimension...
hells_half_acre
Apr. 6th, 2018 05:37 pm (UTC)
Oh man! Yeah, I forgot to note that - but I'm 90% sure that she was back to JUST the flapper dress in the end. That she took off Dean's plaid before doing the ritual.

Seriously though, I love that shirt too - when I saw he had given it to her, I was like "No, don't give the monster your good shirt, Dean!!!"
shayheyred
Apr. 7th, 2018 02:26 pm (UTC)
Thanks
I was totally mystified by this review, as I watch every episode but never saw this. But then I realized it was preempted Thursday for basketball, and will be shown tonight. So thanks for reminding me to set the dvr!
hells_half_acre
Apr. 7th, 2018 06:55 pm (UTC)
Re: Thanks
Yeah, I had to watch it in non-HD for that reason. :P
madebyme_x
Apr. 9th, 2018 12:22 pm (UTC)
I enjoyed this episode; it had a good balance of mothw, myth arc and boys.

I'm not a fan of the boys splitting up in general, for me it's a huge neon sign that very bad things are going to happen. I can see Dean's logic, I really can. I just don't like that he's going with Ketch, and I don't like that he's going to save Mary with Ketch. I wonder if Cas will be used as a back up of the back up plan; ie Sam will go to save Dean, but then won't return and then we'll have Cas to the rescue?
hells_half_acre
Apr. 9th, 2018 06:44 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I have a feeling it'd going to go something like that - that Dean and Ketch will ultimately be unsuccessful, and that really Mary can only be saved with both Sam and Dean working together. The question is just whether Dean is going to get stuck in the AU too, or if he'll make it back in time, even defeated.

I'll admit to not being a fan of the fact that they brought Ketch back at all (the actor is lovely, but I don't like SPN's new habit of resurrecting their villains, while fridging their heroes)... so, not sure what is going to happen there. But, like you, I don't want Ketch to have any success in being the one to bring Mary back - that needs to be a success for the boys.

I'm sure Cas will have a big role to play in whatever the heck is going on with Gabriel. (I will say, a breath of fresh air in that unlike what I just said two seconds ago, he IS a resurrected hero... so sometimes SPN can come through for me.)
kailita
Apr. 9th, 2018 07:44 pm (UTC)
I love watching them research too. :) That was the most charming part of the episode for me. Though Dean agreeing to an extended period of poring through books without any alcoholic beverage surprised me.

I’m not sure if the gag is a continuity error or not, but the fact that we were flashing back to something that happened only ONE COMMERCIAL BREAK AGO was making me NUTS. Did they think we wouldn’t recognize her? Dean literally just looked at her picture?? COME ON, SHOW.

I also worried for Dean’s plaid! Though...was he wearing that earlier in the episode? Or are we to believe it was a change of clothes in the impala? I would have liked to see him give her his jacket...

I don’t like it when they separate... :( ;)
hells_half_acre
Apr. 9th, 2018 07:58 pm (UTC)
If the gag continuity error, from your perspective, happened over a commercial break - then the continuity error that I'm talking about was DEFINITELY a continuity error - because it wasn't over a commercial break and was in fact one complete scene with no flashbacks (unless I was really that drunk.)

But yeah, the excessive flashbacks - on a completely separate note - annoy me too. Like, we KNOW Dean just looked at her picture, we don't have to see him remembering looking at her picture. He JUST DID IT.

Again, and I'm sure you can relate, rewatching the earlier seasons recently has really driven home how much the writers used to trust the audience more with being able to retain information for more than two seconds. It doesn't even really make sense - like, if we were still in the era of weekly, not-on-demand, TV then excessive reminders and flashbacks would be more necessary - but the fact that shows do this when the new trend is to binge, have everything on demand, be able to pause and rewind even live TV - it's ridiculous. Writing should be trusting the audience MORE to have the information needed fresh in their minds or at their fingertips, not less. Anyway, that's my writing rant for the day.

I didn't notice him wearing that plaid earlier in the episode, so my guess is that he had it in the Impala. Luckily, I believe Sandy took it off before she was pulled back into her own universe, so at least the shirt is safe?

And yeah... no one likes it when they separate - but on the plus side of things, I'm going to get some Sassy in the next episode, and I LOVE Sassy. :)

( 12 comments — Leave a comment )