Last week Sam and Dean met Maggie Stark (guest star Buffy and Angel’s Charisma Carpenter), a witch who had unleashed her wrath on a small town, resulting in numerous deaths. Sam and Dean tracked down her husband, Donald (Buffy’s James Marsters), to see whether he could help. Donald told the brothers that Maggie was mad at him for having an affair and was taking it out on the townspeople.
Sorry this one is later, folks! Thanks for coming by and reading. This was a fun episode, and I liked it…but it left me with thoughts. I know, I know…always with the thoughts.
I got up early this morning to watch, then I had a truckload of work waiting for me (because you know a ‘vacation’ is never really a ‘vacation’ unless you have a day to recover after you return…and I’m never smart enough to buffer myself) so my reaction has been tempered a bit by time lapse between watching and rambling and more than a little brain bleed from coordinating global review schedules. *rubs face*
I hope it’s still worth your wait.
In comments to last week’s ramble, there were several mentions of the writing being…’off’ or ‘of lesser quality,’ if you will. I wanted to say something about that before I ramble on. When it comes to being entertained by TV, I don’t always have a very high bar. There are some shows that I’m blown away by, some that I’m mildly amused by, some that are simply mindless entertainment. Our show has fit into all categories over the last 6+ years, but the thing that keeps me coming back is the feeling I get from watching the characters and their situation…not just the writing. Well, that and the muscle car. And the occasional classic rock. But really. That’s it. I think.
So, if I don’t comment directly on the technical aspects or the construction of the storytelling as a whole, it’s not that I don’t notice it one way or the other, it’s that I choose to not pay close attention to anything that detracts from the overall entertainment value (or, let’s be honest, from whatever is allowing me to watch Dean Winchester every week).
However, to be completely honest with you guys, I think that overall, after the 2nd episode, this season has been a bit loose with the storytelling. Like Season 6, it has a different feel from the first 5 Kripke-run Seasons; it’s as if we’re searching for a reason rather than following a path. Last season, the questions and sleights of hand culminated into a rushed tangle of information in the last three episodes, and I’m hopeful we’re not repeating that pacing this time around.
However, in my mind, the possibility exists that this ‘loose’ feeling with the writing is purposeful. That it’s being done to try to illustrate an overall impression of the boys not having a touchstone, a home, an anchor. The brothers are at a loss, so we’re floating with them. It’s not a preferred way of storytelling from my POV, but that said, the way I enjoy our Show when it’s not following my ‘preferred way’ is to trust that there’s at least a way.
The biggest difference I wish we could see now is a background heartbeat for the story – meaning one constant through every episode that pushes the story forward in a way that we can maintain hope things will reach some resolution. Just one example of this, off the top of my head, is Season 3. In that, we had MotW epis, we had Sam working to get Dean to talk, we had Dean resisting and masking his troubles, and yet at the same time there was the constant reminder, constant back-beat of get Dean out of his deal. First half of the season it was Sam on his own, last half it was with Dean’s assist, but it was always there.
They could be getting there and it may be something I’ll recognize in retrospect, but the biggest thing I feel is lacking right now is that backbeat – centered, as has been set up, around the Leviathan threat. The boys seem to be viewing the Leviathans as they do any other baddie – vamp, werewolf, spirit. They’re there and if they come across them, they’ll deal with it. Which is fine, but it would make the Levi’s more threatening, I think, if they were actively searching for ways to destroy them while meanwhile hunting other baddies. There have been a few throw-away lines here and there, but as of the end of the 5th episode, destroying the Levi’s were just “on their to do list.”
But overall, I have to say, I’m having more fun with our show and the storyline so far this season than I did for the whole of season 6. *shrugs*
Okay, with that out of the way, let’s get to it, shall we?
The THEN basically reminded us that Dean hates witches, reminded us of the Leviathans (which is kinda sad, because, really? If they have to remind us of The Big Bad….), reminded us of Amy and that Dean is drowning in guilt. Or drowning his guilt. Either way, not good.
In the NOW, we have a pretty blonde real estate agent on a cell phone in Josephine’s Salon encouraging her conversation companion to sell and “punish his ass.” She’s got foil in her hair indicative of brightening her blonde tresses with more highlights and a smiley, muscled stylist is guiding her under a heat drier thingy in another, closed off room. He turns it on, tells her he’ll be back in 10 minutes, then closes the door.
And then? Gruesome Death #1 in a series of Gruesome Deaths this episode. Real Estate Lady (hereafter known as Wendy Goodman) gets increasingly hot, then can’t get the hood thingy up, calls for help, can’t get anyone to pay attention to her, then her hair is sucked up and she’s literally fried. *rethinks hair appointment for more blue streaks in hair*
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