I had a really great week visiting my sister, and a really fun weekend at Emerald City Comic-Con. I didn't do anything SPN related there... mostly bought art that I don't have room to hang, and more comics to add to my 9" high stack of unread comics... but in so doing I became a patron of the arts in just a small capacity.
Then, yesterday, when I got back home, I binged Queer Eye, because that had been released while I was away and I always have to devour that show in as close to one go as I can. :P
So, FINALLY, I was able to test out a friends VPN (it worked!) and watch SPN on the CW site, like the sneaky Canadian that I am.
Let's get into it...
We begin with a dude running up to a 50s style diner and pleading with the waitress there to come with him - that he's escaping or some such? He looked like Henry Winchester for a split second, but I think it was just the 50s look, because as soon as he stayed still for two seconds, I could tell he was a stranger to me.
The sign outside the town (that he runs by) is all 50s advertising, saying that the place is called Charming and the whole "everything is perfect" vibe is REALLY sinister... all 50/60s advertising seems sinister to me now.
Then he confuses me completely, because he runs into a modern gas station and steals the cashier's cell phone - and I'm like "what the what? Aren't we in the past?" but nope!
And here I'll just write out my notes: Oh no, I love Griffin and his quiet "Dude, do you need help?" Oh... liked him up until he vomited, I can't stand onscreen vomit.
Anyway, that's all to say that the dude's HEAD EXPLODED QUIET GRAPHICALLY. I was mighty confused, because the noise they used was similar to "angel radio" screeches, so I was like "can he hear angels or something?" but nope... it just seems like head-explody symptom.
Meanwhile, Jack is sad about the hunter deaths - or so Cas has inferred, as Jack has been withdrawn and quiet since Michael killed all the AU hunters (except AU Bobby?).
He still has the snake though! And Cas tries to use it to METAPHORICALLY discuss Jack's feelings, when Jack shuts down any direct conversations... Cas is mainly concerned with determining how much of Jack's soul he has left, an inquiry that Jack resents and/or is defensive about for some reason. Jack says he feels different than before, but he can't put it to words, and he definitely doesn't seem to want to talk about it.
Sandwich time for Dean! Dean and Cas consult on their parenting techniques to their adopted-children/little-brothers. Sam has also apparently been withdrawn since the massacre and is also insisting that he's fine when Dean knows that he's not.
Sure enough, we see Sam come home to the Bunker and immediately have flashbacks to finding everyone dead when he looks around the room.
He comes into the kitchen and announces that he found a case for them in Arkansas. Dean protests, they've just come back from three back to back hunts, and Dean is TIRED. I didn't mention it earlier, but Cas had also remarked that he had expected to find Dean sleeping.
Sam won't be swayed though, and says that he's going. It's decided that it's split up time. Cas will go with Sam. Dean can rest, and also try his hand at talking to Jack and determining the status of his soul, since he has experience with Soulless!Sam. Dean protests that his experience with Soulless!Sam was NOT GOOD. But Cas insists. Cas doesn't think Jack's soul is completely gone, but is worried about how much is left.
Cas leaves, remembering the phrase that Dean had used before and telling Dean that he can sleep until the cows come home. Rather than before, when Cas had used "sleep until the cows dragged you home" - which I actually like better, but I'm a huge fan of messing up sayings on purpose. Like "I'll burn that bridge when I get to is."
Sorry, you all know how much I love me some (platonic) Sassy times! And how rare they are.
Sam is super tired. Cas is concerned.
They interview the gas station cashier, Griffen. Griffen is a Vancouver actor, I think, based purely on the accent reminding me of Manny Jacinto, who is also from here. I could be wrong though. I love him again and forgive him for vomiting on screen.
I just realized that Cas is driving. Sam has just become a full on passenger on cases. I mean, I know it's Cas's car, but it kind of amuses me that Sam didn't take the Impala, or doesn't have his own car...or there's no spare car for Sam to use when he and Dean need to split up.
Griffen's hot tip has led them to the town of Charming. Which is this sinister 50s, Stepford Wives thing.
They're directed by a guy on the street, who doesn't seem to know what a cellphone is, to a diner where they might be able to find more information.
There, Sam and Cas are immediately served milkshakes. Sam DRINKS HIS, and my notes say: Don't eat the food, Sam! But it turns out this is a red-herring anyway, still - DON'T EAT THE FOOD IN ANYPLACE WHERE PEOPLE ARE ACTING WEIRD.... or any place where you might not want to remain forever!
Cas tries to question the diner-owner/mayor about what happened to the head-explody guy. The guy, Harrington, says that he heard it was an aneurysm. Cas corrects him and says that his head exploded "like a ripe melon on the sun". Nice one, Cas.
They're directed to the B&B where the guy stayed while he was in town. Here my notes say: There's a black person in this perfect 50s town! Amazing. And SUSPICIOUS :P
Back with Dean and Jack. Jack is trying to figure out what to feed his new pet snack. Dean suggests bacon.Then he opens a take-out container and discovers it contained live mice. Dean is kind of adorable with Jack, but I can't put my finger on why at this point...I figure out later it's because he's trying to be overly cheery in order to not arouse suspicion for his investigation - and as a result is feeling super awkward and disappointed in himself. So, it's a very convoluted way to get to "adorable" but he gets there.
Back in Charming... the B&B lady says that she doesn't rent out rooms to young women traveling alone, because women shouldn't do that-and she says is't about morals... this place gets creepier, with it's anti-feminism
Sam distracts the host by asking for a coffee while Cas investigates the room that the dead dude stayed in. He finds love-notes.
When Sam comes back in, he's holding one of those ridiculous tiny tea-cups...or, I should say, a regular sized tea cup that looks ridiculously tiny in Sam's huge hands.
Cas tells Sam about the love-letters - saying that they were passionate. Sam asks him to clarify and he's like, "she talks about the shape and heft of his-" and Sam is like "right, got it!" And man, there had better be some Sastiel fics created out of this episode! Not that I'll necessarily read then, but I want them to exist.
Sam is being suspicious in his behaviour! (I'd seen the promo pictures, so I knew they do SOMETHING to him). Because he tells Cas that they're going to stay the night, and then seems overly keen on the pot-roast that the B&B host is planning to make.
Meanwhile, "Mr Smith's" memory has been triggered by the word cell phone - now he's remembering his old life. He's got a daughter! Oh man, this is tragic - and now he's dead!! Poor dude!
Dean takes Jack on a road trip, and he brings the snake. Once again, they try to covertly talk about Jack through the metaphor...or... whatever it's called, projection? of Jack onto the snake. Dean continues to be adorable with his awkward fake cheerfulness.
He has Jack choose between two gas-station snacks - a "Devil's chocolate" and an "Angel food cake" and then is pleased when Jack chooses the "angel food cake" - Really, Dean? That's your test?
Cas wakes goes to find Sam the next morning and he appears to be missing. The B&B host tells him that Sam went out for a walk to get a milkshake, and she offers to get him breakfast - saying that she has some johnny cakes... listen, I love johnny cakes... I'd be half tempted to break my "don't eat the food in weird places" rule. But not Cas, who doesn't enjoy food when he's not human... he stays strong and goes out to find Sam. Already having large suspicions that something has gone wrong.
There's almost a little montage of Cas asking people if they've seen Sam. "The tall man", "the very tall man", "Hair, he has beautiful hair."... he also learns along the way that Mr. Smith has died. And then I'm like "Oh man! Mrs. Smith has replaced Mr. Smith with Sam!"
And yup! She replaced her husband with Sam... whose name is now Justin. Cas thinks he's acting - but it quickly becomes apparent that Sam is brainwashed. Jared is awesome in this. HILARIOUS. Just, his body movements - perfection.
Meanwhile, back with Dean and Jack - they visit Donatello... Dean is awesome by being honest about why they are there - but I'm thinking maybe he should go with Jack to talk to Donatello.
Dean is still a little afraid of snakes.
Jack asks Donatello what not having a soul is like. Donatello says that it feels like at the centre of him, there is this very large black hole - and he's empty inside. He feels nothing. Not bad. Just an absence of pity, of empathy, of humanity.
Jack doesn't know how he feels - he doesn't feel nothing, but he doesn't feel the same. Jack doesn't want his family to worry. He wants space to figure things out without his family breathing over his shoulder.
Donatello tells him that when he has to make a decision, he asks himself "what would Mr. Rogers do?" and Jack asks who Mr. Rogers is, and Donatello says that he's the best man that he knows. Jack says that Sam and Dean are the best men he knows (aww), so Donatello suggests that he ask himself "what would the Winchesters do?"
As much as I think this is good advice, I also think it's bad advice? But maybe that's just because I've spent 14 years with the Winchesters and I know they don't always make the best decisions :P
Afterwards, Dean wants a yes or no answer to the soul question, but Donatello won't give him one. He says that Jack is the most powerful being in the universe - who knows what's going on inside his head.
Back in Charming...
Cas goes to the diner to interrogate the waitress. He accuses her of being a witch, and he wants the antidote to what has been done to Sam. Cas goes to ripe it out of her mind - and she confesses it's the mayor, not her, who is responsible for the state of the town and Sam. The mayor then shows up with a bunch of thugs! One of which is Sam!
Turns out, he's a baby boomer clinging to an imagined ideal past...only he has superpowers? What the heck is he? Cas doesn't even know. The tricks don't work on Sunny... why? We find out shortly! First, we must have Cas and Sam fight!
Cas doesn't want to hurt Sam. But he has no compunction about breaking the other dude's arms and throwing Sam around the room a little. Eventually though, Sam gets on top of him and has him pinned - going for the angel blade to finish the job. Cas calls out to him, telling Sam that he has to snap out of it - that Cas knows what it's like to lose your army - OUCH - and fail as a leader - DOUBLE OUCH - but that if Sam kills Cas, then he'll fail Jack, and he'll fail Dean. We see Sam stab in Cas's general direction, before we cut away... and then we see that Sam has stabbed the ground next to Cas's right eat - making him the second Winchester to do that trick against mind-control. Sam has successfully snapped out of it.
As Sunny runs off and Harrington goes after her, we discover that Sunny is his daughter. Hence why his mind-control didn't seem to work on her (what ARE they?) - he says he's like a God here, but Sam and Cas argue once they catch up. "God has a beard!" Cas clarifies.
Sunny fights back when Harrington tries to kill Sam - and performs some sort of magic on him, telling him that if he wants to be happy, then fine - he can be happy. Harrington collapses into a vegetative state - Cas checks his noggin and confirms that Sunny has made him happy by locking him into a perfect world inside his own brain. It was a smart move on her part, because that's indeed the only way you can have an ideal world - inside your imagination. That's basically what everyone who talks about "the good old days" is doing, they just don't realize it.
Dean and Jack return to the bunker. Once again, Jack uses the snake to talk about himself, saying that he's "guarded".
Cas and Sam return, and Sam tries to keep the details of the hunt to a minimum, but discovers that Cas has already called and told Dean everything that happened. Sam is embarrassed. Dean brings up the fact that Cas said Sam seemed happy when he was brainwashed - and Sam admits that he hates the Bunker right now. But that it's "my home - our home. Dean, I think I just need some time." And Dean gives him a shoulder pat and says okay, because really all Dean wanted was for Sam to admit that he wasn't alright.
Cas has gone to check on Jack, and watches from the doorway as Jack talks to his snake (uh, that sounds dirtier than I meant it). Jack references the Winchesters' theory that the snake is sad because it misses it's owner. So, Jack kills the snake so that it can be with it's master in heaven (uh, as a monster, I think he actually would have gone to Purgatory). Poor Felix turns to dust. :( Though, if he DID send it to heaven, that's not so bad, since it's eating a bird's egg or whatever up there! But, I'm sad that Jack doesn't have a pet any more to project his feeling onto.
But, I don't think the decision to kill the snake was any more sinister than Jack's former behaviour... BUT, maybe we're meant to think it is. I'm still really worried that without any big bad present, they're turning Jack into one. I can't believe I'm going to say this - but I honestly would prefer they bring back Lucifer than make Jack into the big bad... if it was an either or question, that is. IDEALLY, I'd prefer them to do something else entirely from those two choices.
My only remaining question is: What the heck were Harrington and Sunny?!?! Who come we never find out?!?! Is this the first time in the show that we've just been like "*shrug* don't know what the heck that was!" ???
Because seriously, that was some messed up, near angelic power - and yet they definitely weren't angels... so were they pagan gods who forgot who they were originally or something? WHAT COULD THEY BE?!
Pretty good MOTW! Some great character moments. Some awesome comedy delivery from Jared...and you all know how much I love me some Sassy!
Let me know, belatedly as it is, what you thought! I'll see you on Thursday for the new ep! This entry was originally posted at https://hells-half-acre.dreamwidth.org/574792.html.