While not perfect this episode still was entertaining and had a lot of heart. The boys really wernt the total focus and the writers decided to expand on Kevin's character more. Hmmmm interesting that all the male characters have their stories expanded and the women just fade into the background or die, but that's a rant that I dare not start here.
Sam and Dean, along with their new sidekick prophet Kevin discover upon an auction that sells otherwordly items like Thor's hammer (chuckle) and of course the "Word of God" tablet. This has the attention of our boys as they need it to close the gates of Hell forever. Before all that happens we find out Kevin's mother may be in danger from Demons so our dynamic duo race towards her house and of course the demon army is there. The two make quick work dispatching the grunts and bring her along on their merry quest to retrieve the tablet that Kevin stashed in a train station locker except oh no it's missing.
It turns out after some thief emptied the contents of the locker he hocked the merch at a pawn shop who then sold it. (Hmmmm how long did Kevin have this tablet? I ask because all items sold to a pawn shop is held for at least 30 days it's law, but whatever.) So the boys track down the hot item at the local creature auction, where there are a few interested buyers including *Shocker Shocker* the king of Hell himself, Mr. Crowley.
Once Kevin is discovered at the run down warehouse his own person is put up on the block cause what's a tablet without a profit who could read it's contents. Crowley in a desperate attempt bids his own soul to retrieve it. Silly Crowley but Demons have no souls. Tiger Mommy is all the while upset with this decision While there where she does the unexpected (or expected depending on how well you follow the show), she sells her soul for the tabletand wins, and of course the end result after some *yawn* demon possessing and more demon slaying by Sam and Dean has her catatonic. However what really irks me here is picking up Thor's hammer! All throughout the episode demons and other guttertrash have been seen picking up the hammer. Only a god or someone worthy could be able to use it much less lift it. Now maybe the hammer could be used by Sam, or perhaps he was chosen but that lil perv who Sam kills with it I doubt he would be worthy if so that's one strange screening process going on at Asgard.
Kevin blames Sam and Dean for the following events going so far as to curse the boys Dean especially with rambling whatever you touch dies nonsense. Now had Mrs Tran been dragged through the mud forced to accompany the boys on this quest it wouldnt be much of a problem but the problem is Mrs. Tran VOLUNTEERED to accompany them! Even so the Word of God would have been discovered by Leviathan regardless if the brothers had interfered and also, KEVIN WAS PREDESTINED FOR THIS! Blaming the boys for labotomizing his mom is out of line. Anywho he disappears and now Sam and Dean are alone again as per the status quo.
So despite the overall holes in the storytelling the overall theme of a parent sacrificing her own safety for that of a child is strong and one that this show has shown repeatedly to tie it's characters together, and even though it would seem tiring by season 8 to reuse this plotline the acting and overall mood of the episode really strengthen it. Then there's the flashback which Dean betrays Cas after Cas runs out on him and other than some really odd facial hair growth on Cas it was a really deep tragic moment that really defines the strained relationship of the two characters.
Any of you Doctor Who fans? I certainly am. It's a show that's been on for 49 years, which such a massive mythology and history to be referenced to and used to write new episodes in 2012. Recent years have seen it do just that; tap into the established mythology and use it to tell new stories, while developing old ideas to make new ones. The reason I bring up DW is I feel a show is at its best when it realizes the weapons it has in its arsenal, and uses them to full effect. It seems that, finally, Supernatural is realizing the incredible mythology it has, and is using it to its full advantage.
This was a very solid episode, once again tying together several plot points that will hopefully continue to develop as the season progresses. We had a very welcome return of Castiel, who for some unexplained but thankful reason is no longer a mini-hippy crazy person. We were told that he was being hunted in Purgatory by Leviathons, meaning that the producers haven't entirely forgotten about them. Let me be frank. I'd love to see them again if done properly. One of my biggest problems with season 7 was the massive wasted potential of these monsters, who are quite fascinating. We also saw the brilliant Crowley once again, which also opened up an entire new class of demon. So far, they have deliberately avoided giving him black eyes, or white for that matter. This time, we finally saw him demon out proper, and his eyes are an exceedingly cool red. Plus... red smoke? Even uber-demons Lillith and Azazel didn't have different smoke! Sure, it can throw up quite a few questions about established demon mythology, but it looked so fricking cool I'm going to put it down to him being the King of Hell and move on. Finally, we had a nice return of an Angel, keeping us up to date with the goings on of Heaven. Such a massive plot point of previous seasons, the fact that all Angels simply vanished in season 7 did grate a bit. Thankfully, it seems that this year we may be seeing a bit more of our winged friends.
So, overall this episode seemed like a massive celebration of the past 7 years, taking elements from the show's history to create an entirely new story, which I loved! But what about this new story? How is it shaping up so far?
In short... I'm enjoying it! Sure, the opening episodes of season 7 were a hell of a lot more action packed, but this is focusing on story... and it's intriguing. I literally have no idea where they are taking any of it. The Word of God, Kevin, Benny... and I'm loving this! I really, really hope they don't go off and have 6 or 7 stand alone episodes now. I know Supernatural is at its heart a Monster of the Week show, but can they please move on from that now? It's just so superior when it sticks to an overriding arc! Thankfully, this episode threw in many new plot points to point towards them doing this. What actually happened to Castiel? Have the boys just gained a very new and powerful weapon in the Hammer of Thor (and will Chris Hemsworth be turning up demanding it back for Avengers 2?) Just what are the motivations of Benny, and how does he fit into all of this?
And, call it a hunch... how they going to bring back Bobby?
The cold open was a a little weird with a guy claiming the bone contents of a "number one" safety deposit box and splattering a bank clerk. Kevin convinces the Brothers to visit his mother to check up on her after having been in hiding for a year. Dean warns him that his mom will surely be surrounded by demons under the orders of Crowley. Sam and Dean gank the demons there and Kevin is reunited with mommy dearest. They tell her the whole story and about the tablet and she insists that she come along for Kevin's safety and the brothers hesitantly agree. The condition is that she and Kevin gets tats that will keep demons out of their bodies and she had an awesome reaction of, "You think this is my first tattoo." Seeing Kevin cry over the pain of the needle and Mrs. Tran's icy calm while getting it done was comic to represent where he gets his fieriness from. The boys search where Kevin stashed the tablet in a bus depot locker of sorts and follow the trail of the duty guard who stole it and pawned it off. It leads to a dead end motel where the boys are approached by Friday, an emissary of Plutus (the Greek God of wealth) who informs them of an auction where the tablet will be being sold. They are told it is neutral ground so no weapons and they agree. Crowley is there but he obviously can't try any funny business either because of all of the sigils and ancient wards kept in the building the auction is taking place in. The brothers plan is to Kevin to read the tablet about the banishing all demons forever without having to buy it but it's encased so that the engravings can't be seen through the glass. They pool all of their cash together for the purchase of the tablet which is 2,000 dollars and a Costco membership card. Crowley offers Plutus the Moon and seeing how much this goes with Kevin Mrs. Tran offers up her soul for the tablet. Crowley offers hundreds of souls but Plutus thinks that it is much more admirable that Mrs. Tran is giving up all that she can. When Crowley offers up his own soul Plutus glibly tells him that he doesn't have one. Funniest moment of the episode was when Dean tried to find the tablet and just take it and goes into the crowded room filled with Plutus's guards and he says, "This isn't the men's room." Before Mrs. Tran gets her soul taken by Plutus Friday makes a deal with Crowley and they burn the tattoo off of her arm and Crowley possesses her to get his hands on the tablet. A note about the Angel Samandriel who was awesomely using a vessel of a teen who worked at Weiner Hut and seeing an angelic friend was a good thing to see since angels dont' pop up that often now after the war in Season 6. His stance on Heaven protecting souls and not trading them for the Word and his wanting to be there to protect Kevin and making an offer to watch over him and the tablet while Mrs. Tran brings up that it didn't stop the Leviathans from killing off the last two angels who tried to watch out for Kevin. Crowley, in Mrs. Tran's body, grabs the tablet and kills off Plutus and a few of his guards with a wooden stake. The guy who splattered the bank clerk has Thor's hammer which he bought and Sam uses to kill Friday with and then realizes that the guy killed a human when he offered five-eighths of a virgin earlier. He doesn't get to take Kevin but settles for the tablet while Dean grabs Ruby's knife and almost cuts Mrs. Tran's throat before Crowley slips out of the vessel into his own form. Also, Crowley's shrouded self is red, very cool. Crowley gets away and Mrs. Tran is left catatonic. Crowley may have escaped but not before planting a few seeds of doubt about sticking with the Winchesters into Kevin's head. Not unwise seeing as Dean said he would've ended Mrs. Tran if it meant ganking Crowley too. Kevin asks for a minute with his catatonic mother and disappears and leaves to the brothers saying that he will be ok. So now the brothers are on their own again and Kevin is in the wind presumably with his mother. I wonder when we will learn what happened to Meg after being captured last year, if at all. The flashbacks to Castiel being found after Dean tortured and killed monster in Purgatory were some of the highlights of the overall episode. Castiel candidly admitting that he left Dean to die and his admitting that he is an angel among scum like Leviathans and his efforts to keep monsters away from Dean being why he's kept his distance were good enough but doesn't justify his cowardice in that moment just turning tail and running. But Dean saying he wouldn't leave there without him and Cass agreeing to go with along with the ending flashback of the episode where Cass begs for Dean's help lead a long timeline to fill in before Dean sprung himself out of Purgatory. Anyway, looks like we're back to a monster of the week format next week which isn't a bad thing. I like those as much as the season arc ones.
Anyone ever wonder why at the end when Crowley was in Kevin's mom, Sam didn't just start the exorcism chant? Wouldn't that solve the problem? Alfie seems like a pretty laid back angel like Castiel, I mean come on bidding Vatican City...but I hope he doesn't replace Castiel. I hope Castiel makes a comeback! I'm just stroked that Colonel Samantha Carter is going to be in Supernatural!
Well Kevin's mom is certainly a Tiger! It was great seeing a woman getting some control over Dean. The story line continues on with Crowly, Kevin, and the tablet. The auction of supernatural items was definitely interesting as well. And Dean really brought back some bad feelings from his experience in purgatory. He has become meaner and seems to have lost all sympathy for things. It appears it is his guilt over losing Cass. Hopefully he will heal in future episodes but it does make for interesting scenes. And Kevin is getting caught up in this mess and having his own mixed feelings about it. I'm not sure where it goes from here and next week may not deal with this story line but I am curious to find out if they ever take care of Crowley forever. Of course doing that could present the opportunity to bring the series to a climax this year as I rather think this could be the final season.
What's Up, Tiger Mommy? was a superbly entertaining episode of Supernatural. I really enjoyed watching because the story was awesome, the characters were perfect and it was great to meet Kevin's Mother. She was definitely Tiger-like. I liked the idea of an auction and it being run by a god of greed. I liked how Crowley took advantage where he could. The ending was great but implies some disturbing things. I certainly look forward to watching what happens next!!!!!!!!!
-I just noticed the "exploding Dick" in the THEN. It makes me happy they slipped in one last Dick joke.
-I love how the teaser is actually a brick joke. Someone throws a brick at the beginning of a story, and then you forget all about it but then the brick comes back out of the blue at the end of the story to bonk someone on the headin this case, with Thor's Hammer.
-"Tiger Mom at 9 o'clock." Kevin's mom turns out to be pretty damn awesome, much more of a Tiger Mom than a Soccer Mom, as she first appears. (ETA: I just googled "Tiger Mom:" it's the title of a book written by an "all work and no play" Asian mother. )
-Haha, it's hysterical how there's this beautiful emotional moment and Sam and Dean ruin it by stepping in from either side of the door and splashing her with holy water. It's perfect how the sweet violins are just building up to this poignant underscore and then the music suddenly stops when Sam and dean rain on the emo parade. They do great stuff with music on this show.
-Sam's ginormous brain never stops being awesome. Trust him to come up with a reverse exorcism.
-"Prophet of the Lord. Well, that does have a nice ring to it." Yeah, it kinda takes the sting out of being an overachieving dropout.
-"You're going to have to get inked up." "You too, shortstop." (Haha, I half expected him to call Kevin "Shortround" from the Indiana Jones movie.) "Fine." "Really?" "Like it's my first tattoo." And now we get our first clue of how awesome Linda Tran is.
-Which is confirmed in the very next scene. I love how we hear girly whimpers of pain, but they're coming from Kevin rather than his mom.
-It's awesome how angry Dean gets at the diapers. Cranky Dean is always fun.
-Whoa. Dean has really amped up the badassery since his little vacation in Limboland. Love how the flashbacks are seamlessly woven in, so we see him interrogating someone in Limboland when he's interrogating someone here.
-"Agents Neil and Sixx." Yay, now the Big Mouths are gone, we get the rock aliases back.
-Hee, love how Kevin on one end knows the average Blue Book price ($217,000) and Sam on the other end instantly figures out the tax ($10,850) so it's like they're bookended by brains.
-"Oh relax Dean. I'm not going to steal your prophet." Um, actually, you are. Never trust a dandy who promises to not steal your prophet.
-"Plutus. Is that even a planet anymore?" Dean just never gives up his schtick. "Thank you, Mr. Peanut."
-How cool is it there is a God of Greed. A lot of people worshipping at that altar in today's society.
-"Say it, and I will kill you, your children, and your grandchildren." Yep. Dean loves his car.
-Yep. Dean also loves his weapons. That man cannot get through a metal detector without losing an arsenal.
-"VaMoose." I love Crowley.
-"Listen to Moose, Squirrel." I really love Crowley.
-I'm liking Alfie the Angel.
-Hi Cas! Hi! I guess his magical trenchcoat healing abilities don't work in Limboland. Nice peach fuzz though.
-"94% of psychotics think they're sane." Trust Cas to be pedantic about his own insanity.
-Benny's accent deserves its own bullet point on the List of Awesome. I could listen to him read the Baton Rouge phone book.
-How funny-sad is it they scrounge around in their wallets to come up with a couple thousand dollars only to hear the bidding start at three tons of dwarven gold. I love how Sam says "Plan C?"
-Ah Crowley. Never without a devious trick up his sleeve. Of course he bought off Mr. Peanut so he could cheat.
-And there's the brick to the head!!!
-This moment deserves a second bullet point on the List of Awesome. THE FRIGGIN' HAMMER OF THOR!!! How friggin' cool is that?!?
-(And here I will open a bracket to share a bit of cool trivia. The swear word "friggin'" actually comes from taking Frigg's name in vain, Frigg being the wife of Odin and the stepmother of Thor. So it seems fitting here. Bonus trivia: Friday is named after Frigg, and of course Thursday is named after Thor. Close bracket and back to our regularly scheduled List of Awesome.)
-I love how Sam, well-mannered boy that he is, is about to return the Friggin' Hammer of Thor to its rightful owner when he suddenly goes "Wait. Where did you get the 5/8ths of a virgin?" (I'm guessing from the poor nice bank teller.) And the we get a second Friggin' Hammer of Thor to the head!!! That will never get old. I hope Sam gets to keep the Friggin' Hammer of Thor.
-I'm really enjoying this cat and mouse game with Crowley over the Prophet and the Word of God. I can't wait for more.
I think they hit on just the right story arc. Now that they have given me something more fun and simple, I realize I was really ready for something more fun and simple (though I loved the previous seasons.) It flows organically out of the first seven seasons without a single hitch or stutter. It's just pared down to a more straightforward story. The good guys and the bad guys racing against each other, trying to outmaneuver each other, chasing the same thing, using characters and artefacts and places that were already in play. And we have personal stories from the characters, how Purgatory has affected them, to add substance to the mix.
Another thing that adds substance to the fun and games with Crowley is the moral dilemmas. I have always loved this about Supernatural, how there are no easy answers, there are no clearcut choices between good and evil, right and wrong. There are only tough decisions, and consequences to bear.
The boys take turns playing Jiminy Cricket, and at the moment Sam is wearing the tiny tophat. Dean has come back from Purgatory much more ruthless. But the thing is, he has a point, in a Spockian "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few or the one" kind of way. Dean is willing to sacrifice Kevin's mom, but if it means canning all demons forever, countless lives will be saved. On the other hand, sacrificing other people's loved ones is not the same as sacrificing your own. Dean would never sacrifice Sam, so Kevin's decision to flee with his mother is completely understandable. Dean would do the same, except he would probably gank whoever had tried to sacrifice Sam rather than run.
It was movingly clear what a toll a lifetime of these tough decisions have had on the boys when Dean says "What's one more nightmare, right?" You can feel the soul-deep weariness on both of them. But the good thing is, even when they make the wrong decision, there is redemption. They get Hell for it for a while, both literally and figuratively, but they find ways of making amends and forgiving each other in the end. As now it would seem Dean is on his way to forgiving Cas.
In the end, Kevin's mom survived, though catatonic. I hope she recovers, because she's a great character. I was really worried in the beginning though. One of the female character cliches I don't like is when they force the male characters into taking them along on a mission, instead of being naturally included on the team because they have skills that will help. The cliche then usually goes on to show the female character being an impediment, getting taken hostage because she refused to listen to the men and stay in the car, Tardis, or whatever, and then doing some token helpful act. Jo in No Exit and Chrissie in Adventures in Babysitting are classic examples of this cliche. I think we're supposed to think it's spunky when they do something like burn all the clues to force the man to bring them along, but to me it's really just obnoxious. Even if she committed the clues to memory, that can never replace having the actual clues, so she's just hindering the rescue of her father and Sam rather than helping. And then everyone acted like she had saved the day when she was the one who messed up the day in the first place. Dean had it well in hand before she got taken hostage. (Interestingly, there are a lot of gender role reversals on the series Chuck, and this cliche was applied to Morgan. I didn't like it there either.)
So I was very relieved when the cliche didn't play out that way. Kevin's mom was a cool character who never got in the way, proved to be a tough cookie, and what she lacked in fighting abilities or supernatural gifts, she amply made up for with courageous self-sacrifice. She was very human in her fear, but there was steely resolve under it, and that combination made her a very likeable character.
Carver said this season would be like a quest, and it would be personal, and so far it looks like they're really going to deliver on that.
Totally loving this season and loving dark Dean but I have two questions. 1. Why doesn't Crowley just snap dean and sams necks like chickens? He had enough time to do that when he snatched up the tablet and bolted. and 2. Why didn't dean just clean his face with all that fresh water flowing around him...? I guess they didn't want to ruin his rough look in purgatory! Also wondering if that new weapon doubles as a shaver. Can't wait for next episode!
The episode is pretty much a continuation of the arc with Kevin and the quest to secure the tablet again. I love that the episode has an early season feel on it, with the stabbing and sneaking around and with the guys wearing suits throttling. I remember Kevin's mom, I have seen her in FRIENDS before and she's really good. But what has struck me the most right now is what really happened to Castiel. I love his character and I even love him a thousand times over Sam. I see fear and resentment in the face of Dean when he had flashbacks on what really happened during their escape to the purgatory? There's just some things I do not understand like what is 5/8 of a virgin? Was is a chopped part of a body? There are questions still up in the air but I like the feel of the last two episodes so far, refreshing and the shots are very dramatic. I just hope the they do not drag one arc for so long since that is what has happened last season and it's just boring. I'm so emotionally invested to Dean and Cas and I cannot wait to get things straighten up. Hope Cas survived. And as for Kevin, I think I liked him so far and his mom is convincing, not really wise running away from the Winchester when every demon wants his head. Fabulous episode.
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