“I like the way Sammy sings’” – Supernatural Recap – Somewhere Between Heaven and Hell

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Supernatural Season 12, Episode 15
“Somewhere Between Heaven and Hell”
Posted by Dawn and Erica

Oh, Davy Perez, you never let us down. Truth, lies, and some serious demonic mojo were the hallmarks of “Somewhere Between Heaven and Hell,” and it was a terrific ride from start to finish. Also, there was no Mary, which was a really nice break, and family drama took a backseat to moving the season’s plot along. Fire up the Impala and let’s go.

Erica: Do you know, it says something about the fact that I really enjoyed this episode, and didn’t even realize that Mary wasn’t in it? Almost as if her presence really doesn’t matter. Yes, I went there.

Before we get to the meat of the recap, we have to give a shout-out to that scene. That short and glorious scene that everyone went nuts over. Lucille. For those of you living under a rock, Lucille is the barbed-wire-wrapped bat that Jeffrey Dean Morgan, once our own John Winchester, now wields with psychopathic glee as Negan on The Walking Dead.

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So well played. So perfect. Davy Perez, we love you forever.

You might notice the song lyric we used for this recap. It’s from BB King’s “Lucille,” so yeah, we did that, but also, it works. Because Sam Winchester gets an award for finally learning a lesson every single Winchester has failed repeatedly – Sammy told his brother the truth. Can you even? We could not even. Sam came clean about all the recent cases coming not from the program he somehow designed and put into his phone, but actually from the British Men of Letters.

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Dean’s reaction to this was…underwhelming, to be honest, and we’re hoping it’s because big brother is playing a few cards close to the vest. We know he doesn’t trust the BMoL. We are pretty sure he doesn’t trust his mother. And he has to know that his brother has a bad habit of making deals with the bad guys for what Sam thinks is the greater good. (A phrase that makes all of us shrink in horror every time it is uttered.) So please, writers, let us be right about that. That reaction was very not-Dean.

What was very Dean, what was very Winchester brothers and the reason we love this show as much as we do, was the easy banter between the two of them. It was very monster-of-the-week, very funny, and downright adorable. Like when Sam was pointing how exactly how covered in monster bits Dean was:

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Or their conversation outside Gwen’s (the “girl of the week”) door, and Dean’s little awesome comments about what they could say to her:

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Dean warning Sam about being careful with Baby and Sam being absolutely over it.

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It was adorable. It was perfect. It was them. We missed it. We love when we have that back.

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“Everybody’s Shouting, ‘Which Side Are You On?’” – Supernatural Recap – The Raid

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Supernatural Season 12, Episode 14
“The Raid”
Posted by Dawn and Erica

So, after the drastic disappointment that was “Family Feud” last week, we honestly were really, really hoping for something better – something to prove that last week was a one-off this season. Our prayers were answered, thank Chuck, with “The Raid.” There was so much to love about this episode, from the writing (by the always-amazing Robert Berens) to the cinematography to the absolute heart-wrenching feels the actors caused in us from minute one (Get ready for some Jensen Ackles love). Because there’s so much to love, let’s get right to it.

Let’s start with Dean. This episode started off exactly where the last one ended, and that was an excellent choice to make because it gave us Dean in the very moment we need him in, the one we wanted to see. Can we just talk about Jensen Ackles in this scene for a minute? Because hot damn. There aren’t enough adjectives in the English language for us to describe the FEELS during this first scene:

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We spend so much time watching Dean just be a hardass or the comic relief that sometimes we forget about the range that Jensen Ackles has as an actor. We were reminded of that this week.

Erica: This show always gives us some feels, but it’s rare to be legit crying in the first five minutes of an episode. The juxtaposition of Mary looking at her phone while being ignored, to jumping back in time watching the familial exchange play out – it felt, rightfully so, like a hardcore breakup scene. Dean was saying to Mary what we ALL have been thinking this season, and you could see just how much it cost him to be saying it. It felt, to me, like that breakup that you know had to happen because the other person just wasn’t feeling it. And you could put in all of the time and all of the effort, but if the other person wasn’t, then you’re just wasting your time and your love. We watched Dean struggle all season with feeling like he wasn’t good enough for his own mother. To have that feeling seemingly validated by Mary’s admission that she was working with the BMoL instead of her own boys meant that Dean was done, and Jensen Ackles did such an amazing job of almost forcing the audience to feel that same sense of defeat. We’ve all felt that way in relationships before, I think, and the writing and acting in this scene reminded us of what that felt like.
Dawn: Dean spoke for all of us, for everyone who is sick and tired of Mary’s bad decisions and lousy parenting and constant absences. Sam usually gets the emotional foreground when it comes to dialogue, and Jared Padalecki’s beautiful puppy-dog eyes may or may not have a lot to do with that. We don’t get a lot of Dean being the emotional backbone – it’s usually jokes or snark, all his normal deflections. But when we do get those moments -”Single Man Tear” jokes aside – they are incredible. This one should rightfully go down in show history.

On to Sam. Sammy, our precious naive moose. Sam is the one who falls for Mom’s text pleas. Sam is the one who goes with her to team up against vampires with the British Men of Letters (BMoL). And in the end, Sam is the one who sides with Mom and thinks that, given time, he can convince Dean to join Team Idiots. Our sweet Sammy ran the emotional gamut this episode, from his teary-eyed “You should go” to Mary (when he was rightfully agreeing with his brother) to eye-rolling (on his part, not ours) superiority when discovering just how stupid the BMoL really are to probably-going-to-be-dashed-very-soon-hopeful when he decides to go with Mary’s (really bad) plan. And let’s not forget his moments of BAMF vamp slaying – Sam is whupping ass like we haven’t seen since he was soulless, and it’s really glorious to behold. Sam has grown into himself as a hunter; he even tells Mary this when she brings up how she didn’t want that life for them. He chose this life, and we really hope that she can see how damn good he is at it. Sure, maybe he would have been just as good of a lawyer, but lawyers don’t stop the apocalypse (of course, they also don’t accidentally release Lucifer or cause angels to fall from heaven, but that’s not the point).

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Let’s move on to the complete cock-ups that are the British Men of Letters. I mean, for Chuck’s sake, guys. Who the hell doesn’t double check their intel? Or vet the people coming through the front door? It was helpful that they had a real hunter on their side (or so they thought) but seriously, we have no idea how they managed to clear the UK of monsters because if this episode was any indication, these people are idiots. Their recon sucked. They have precious little available weaponry. No one in their little headquarters had ever actually killed anything before, save the American hunters the recruited/are trying to recruit. They have no contingency plans. Their arrogance is so undeserved, as far as we can tell, because they are terrible at their jobs. Even Mick, that smooth MF, looked like someone slapped him in the face when their plan went south and the vamps attacked. Really? This is the best of the best? So good that Mary wants to side with them? This is what’s going to rid America of monsters? Please. They can’t even be bothered to set up stronger DOORS. The fact that they claim to have been watching the Winchesters and yet STILL think Mary is “the best Winchester” just goes to prove their incompetence. Team Free Will FTW, y’all. They have it all over these morons.

Ketch showing up at the Bunker was…interesting? Stupid? A teensy bit pointless? (Erica: It’s “How to get a distrustful hunter to let you in 101: bring good booze.” Don’t look at me that way – it’s been done before.) Don’t get us wrong. It was awesome to see Dean staring him down and snarking with barely-controlled disdain and outright murderous hatred. But the Dean and Ketch show kinda got lost amidst everything else that was going on, so perhaps it might have been better saved for a different episode. And also we’re not buying the nice guy act and also how DARE he even suggest that he and Dean are cut from the same cloth. Yes, Dean kills, and yes, he’s good at it, and yes, he knows it. Hell, he’s said it himself, especially when he used to talk about purgatory. Dean Winchester loves to kill him some monsters. But not people. And never without reason. That’s the difference. Because Ketch is a sociopath, pure and simple. If he wasn’t hunting monsters, he’d be one. And Dean knows it. Check that cold Blue Steel:

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“No, I would not give you false hope on this strange and mournful day.” – Supernatural Recap – Family Feud

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Supernatural Season 12, Episode 13
“Family Feud”
Posted by Dawn and Erica

So after last week’s unbelievable episode, we guess there was no where to go but down. “Family Feud” gave us some good moments, particularly when it came to Mark Pellegrino’s delicious scenery-chewing Lucifer (Welcome back, Mark!), but for the most part, this episode felt more like a passable Season 2-ish Monster of the Week ep than an important part of the story arc. Even though a lot happened that is vital to the story arc. Basically, it missed some marks.

Erica: Some marks?
Dawn: I am being kind. Well, trying to.

The overall theme was motherhood, and it was not subtle. In fact, it was downright heavy-handed in a lot of ways, down to making some characters a lot dumber than we know them to be, just to kinda shoe-horn some plot. This episode really couldn’t decide if it wanted to be filler or important, and trying to be both was not a great choice. It ended up just being…meh. Not bad, really. Just not good.

Mommies Dearest

Mary. Mary, Mary, MARY. We just don’t know what to do with you anymore. Okay, fine, maybe it was too much to expect you to adjust to all this with ease and we tried to give you that, we really did, but you have got to get better at this. Because making deals with the people who tortured and tried to murder your son is not good parenting. We don’t care how cool their toys are; working with the British Men of Letters is not earning you any points. And really, why do you need their toys? Your sons live in arguably the biggest cache of knowledge and weaponry ever. Maybe you’d know that if you occasionally stuck around.

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As we have said before, Ketch is *at best* a sociopath. Like, literally that is a best-case scenario. The worst can, and will, we suspect, go far beyond that, and having that not occur to Mary Campbell-Winchester, who was raised in a family of hunters and therefore should have a couple of clues, is really pissing us off. We don’t want her to be this gullible. We don’t want her to be this stupid. And we definitely don’t want her to be this shitty of a mother. Yes, okay, she finally fessed up and told the boys the truth, and no one can deny that, as a hunter, Mary is badass AF. But our ability to feel any sympathy for this character is waning, and that’s not great. You’d better pull a miracle out of your ass soon, Mary, because right now, you’re not looking good.

Erica: To be fair, at least she broke the Winchester curse of NEVER telling the truth. EVER. And she brought them beer. I mean, not totally good parenting, but… We’re so used to the boys never telling each other the truth until the very last possible moment. So while it took her a while, at least she finally admitted it before something went totally and completely tits up.
Dawn: I am just having a really hard time with her being this easily guiled. She should really be smarter than this, and “Mary is just having a hard time adjusting” isn’t really working for me anymore, mainly because she seems to have adjusted perfectly fine to the modern hunting community and now her ultra-creeptastic, manipulative bestie, Mr. Ketch. The only thing she hasn’t adjusted to is her sons. Constantly leaving them isn’t going to make that any easier, and the fact that she constantly leaves them is really not washing. Sure, she says, “Nothing comes before my family,” but so far? Pretty much everything has. And that ridiculous “Oh, hi, Dean” voice at the beginning, in the slightly higher register and singsong pronunciation as she talked on the phone to Dean? Well, that was just bullshit and, IMO, it was absolutely counter to the strong female character she has proven to be, even when I don’t agree with her decisions. That was some saccharine crap and it did not ring true.
Erica: You have such STRONG opinions. Like, I don’t really like any of what has transpired with Mary’s character, but it just means that I’ll not miss her when she (finally) leaves. But you are so ANGRY at the way Mary’s character is written. Lol.
Dawn: In general, I am fine with it. In this ep, I was livid. That said, though, Ketch was written very well. We are supposed to loathe him, and I definitely do, and it was nice to see that Mary does react to him in a way that makes it clear he makes her skin crawl, too. Look:

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Our second mom is the matriarch of the other family who knows how to put the fun in dysfunction, Rowena. Now, we LOVE Rowena (and Ruth Connell, who plays her, and who favorites our tweets!). She is our queen and we just adore her. BUT. Girl, that was some cold maneuvering this episode. She got to be Grandma Rowena for a time, since the central guest star of this episode was Gavin MacLeod, Crowley’s son (first encountered in 6×4, then again in 9×21). Some of the fandom found Gavin forgettable, but we always liked him, especially when Crowley kinda warmed to him and saved his life.

Dawn: I was looking forward to having Gavin back. I just wish it hadn’t taken a ridiculous love-lorn ghost subplot to get that.
Erica: I mean…I understand the point of it. How else would you get him back, really, when for the longest time it seemed as though he was destined to forever live in the land of lost plotlines?
Dawn: Like Adam?

Rowena reminded us that she plays the long game and that she plays it well, using Gavin and, really, the boys, to finally get her revenge on Crowley for having forced her to kill the child that she loved. And she put it just like that, too: “Oskar. The child I loved more than you. The one you made me kill to remove the Mark of Cain.” That was cold, so cold, especially after this season having given us some softer moments between Crowley and Rowena, where it seemed like maybe they could pull some kind of familial bond together. Wishful thinking on our part? Maybe. Probably, in fact. We only want what’s best for Our King, and Rowena is just fierce. Slay, queen. Slay. Even when it hurts.

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“I’ve got a feeling that something ain’t right” – Supernatural Recap – Stuck in the Middle (With You)

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Supernatural Season 12, Episode 12
“Stuck in the Middle (With You)”
Posted by Dawn and Erica

We missed last week’s recap for the amazing and heartbreaking “Regarding Dean” because both Dawn and Jaymee were nailed with what may well have been the Croatoan virus. Poor Jaymee is still feeling the effects, so this week we welcome Erica McCarthy back to the SPN fold. And we’re going to need her, because this was the episode that reduced damn near every SPN fan’s twitter feed to cursing, screaming, crying, and almost total incoherence, resulting in a flood of standing ovation gifs at the hour’s end.

This week SPN basically caved in our heads and our hearts with episode 12: “Stuck in the Middle With You.” It was directed by Dawn’s boyfriend SPN’s favorite archangel Gabriel, Richard Speight, Jr., and aired 10 years to the day after the episode “Tall Tales” aired, which was the very ep where we first met our beloved Trickster.

Our expectations were pretty high. This was Richard’s second time in the director’s chair and he did a great job with “Just My Imagination” (11×8), giving us a sweet and funny episode featuring Sam’s imaginary childhood friend (Erica LOVED this episode, by the by). Plus, the second half of season 12 has been stellar so far, so there was a lot to live up to.

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We didn’t need to worry. Y’all, he nailed it. NAILED IT. Like, nailed it so hard no one even has to worry about stopping Dawn from waxing rhapsodic about Richard because he deserves every accolade. Bring him back. Let him direct more. A lot more.

This recap is going to be split into two sections: On-Screen Heroes and Off-Screen Heroes. The actors get most of our attention every week and rightly so, but the crew needs a whole lot of love this time around because damn. Writing, editing, cinematography, choreography, soundtrack, and every set of hands on a camera created a Chuckdamn masterpiece, and we need to make sure that gets recognized this time. But first, let’s talk plot and cast.

On-Screen Heroes

We’ve said it before and now we are saying it again: give Misha Collins all the Emmys. Castiel has had more to do in the past few eps and it has been flawless every time. This episode almost killed us dead, and if anyone ever doubted Castiel’s humanity and his utter love for these ridiculous humans who always seems to get themselves into trouble and take our poor angel along with them, all those doubts are now gone. Misha made us weep this week when he said goodbye to his family.

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Erica: I damn near couldn’t with this one. Like. For real. It hurt so damned bad – especially after knowing that Cas killed Billie to save all of the Winchesters. After hearing EXACTLY how Cas feels about them, to watch him say goodbye was heart wrenching, and damn near killed ME. Why, oh why, does this man not yet have an Emmy for this role, I’d like to know.
Dawn: I don’t want to hear a bad word about Misha or Castiel ever. From anyone. I will cut you. He is a precious thing and my heart shattered like a glass goblin during this scene. Un. Be. Lievable.

On the opposite end of the emotion spectrum, however, we have Mary Winchester. Mary, Mary, Mary. Girl, what are you even doing? It’s takes some hard work to make us all think maybe John was the better parent after all, so we guess well done there. Mary is just…we don’t even know. Sure, yes, fine, she has a lot to adjust to, but WTF, Mary? The British Men of Letters? They tried to kill your son, remember? They think American hunters are morons. Also we’re all pretty sure Ketch is a sociopath, so really? THIS is who you choose to ally with? Yeah, keep your opinions on Crowley and Rowena to yourself. Your buddies are WAY worse.

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Erica: Okay. So in watching this episode, upon realizing that Mary was…I don’t even know what the hell she was doing, but my first response was “Mary, what the FUCK did you do?” My second response was “Oh Mary. What the fuck. You stupid idiot.” In those exact words, because I have no filter. I really thought she was going to be the GOOD parent–you know, the mom that actually takes care of her kids and shit. Apparently not.
Dawn: Remember when we all thought John was the shitty parent? Good times. I can’t decide if Mary’s Campbell is showing too much because she is being selfish and stupid, which she clearly got from her father, or if her Winchester is showing since she has clearly learned the trait of “keep everything of actual importance from your family members.” Because here’s a thought, Mary – instead of giving the Colt to the sociopath, maybe you might have considered discussing it with your sons first? You know, the ones who have actually killed demons before and have, at this point, more years of actual hunting experience than you do? And also they have an angel, and a demon, both of whom might also have some knowledge on this topic. JUST A THOUGHT, MARY. BUT BY ALL MEANS, YOU DO YOU.
Erica: Dude. I completely forgot about Samuel Campbell and all of HIS “awesomeness.”/sarcasm If there’s one thing about this family that I will never understand, it’s their constant need to “shoot first, ask for help later once you’ve already cocked it all up.”

Now that we’ve vented that spleen, let’s get back to things that make us happy. Crowley. Our King. Hail to the king, baby. He saved the day. He saved the angel – his buddy, “Feathers.” (a moment of collective “awwwww” from the fandom). And he does it all with such damn style. And we got some backstory, which was just the most delicious little amuse-bouche that has left us salivating for a main course. More Crowley, please and thank you. Much more.

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Dawn: Remember when I said I didn’t want to hear a bad thing about Cas? I don’t even want to know a bad thought about Crowley. I will cut you, bring you back to life, then cut you again. Let’s be clear, kids – Crowley has been saving Winchester asses AND Castiel’s ass for several seasons now. SEVERAL SEASONS. And this time? He snapped an archangel’s weapon IN HALF to save Castiel. Snapped it in half. Imagine the power that took, first of all. Now imagine the power in the staff of Michael, and imagine that power in Crowley’s hands and what he could do with it, and yet he STILL snapped it in half to save the life of an angel. He is bad ass; he is clever AF; he is slick and stylish. In fact, given the choice between hunting with the boys and serving as Crowley’s girl friday, I am pretty sure my response would be “How do you take your coffee, highness?” Always.
Erica: MY LIEGE, PLEASE COME BACK. Seriously, though, Crowley in this episode is clutch. This would’ve been the end of Cas entirely were it not for Crowley – and that’s not the first time one of us can say that. In fact, it’s becoming very clear over the course of this season – especially the second half as we’re going through it – that our “villains” are not as villainous as we’ve previously thought. If anything, they’re becoming allies and friends in a way that one wouldn’t have expected. Sure, we’ve seen Crowley get closer to the boys, and there were instances before where Rowena was helpful….to a certain extent. But we’re seeing these characters evolve and I’m curious to see where it goes. Certainly it should be outside Crowley’s character to help as often as he does. And yet.
Dawn: “And yet” indeed. My King.

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“Back where we started, here we go ’round again.” – Supernatural Recap – Lily Sunder Has Some Regrets

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Supernatural Season 12, Episode 10
“Lily Sunder Has Some Regrets”
Posted by Dawn and Jaymee

For eight seasons now, everybody’s favorite Angel of the Lord has been a part of Supernatural, so it’s great to finally be getting more background on Castiel. With all the buzz surrounding the upcoming Castiel-centric episodes, we knew the writers would be laying down some serious groundwork, building the history behind who Castiel was and who he has become. We could not be happier with how seamlessly “Lily Sunder Has Some Regrets” wove the beginnings of that extensive history into the current plot. Many times in the past, we’ve had “filler” episodes – the random hunt or salt and burn, Monster of the Week, etc. – that sorta had themes that might maybe hint at the overarching plot of the season, but you know they were just sorta…there to keep things moving.

Not so with “Lily Sunder.” This episode directly addressed the current hunt for the Lucifer’s child and the mythos of the Nephilim, and also dove head-first into Castiel’s history, the plight of the angels, the strain between the brothers and Castiel for his actions involving Billie the Reaper, and the big unknown of the season: Cosmic Consequences. Hard to do? Maybe. But writer Steve Yockey nailed every piece and gave us what was overall another phenomenally fantastic episode.

This one was complex, so we’re discussing it chronologically. Let’s go.

Castiel and Dean are giving each other the silent treatment. It’s kind of endearing, it’s kind of hilarious, it’s kind of childish, and it’s really just what we expect from the family dynamic of SPN. Basically, Dean’s pissed at Castiel for jumping in without fully understanding the ramifications of his actions.

Dawn: I’m not. As much as I hated losing Billie, I am fine with what Cas did, because it’s not like our boys ever gave a crap about cosmic consequences. But lots of people are mad, and I understand why.
Jay: Cas did what he felt he had to do. He always does what he thinks is right, is the best course of actions at the time. Sometimes it’s made things worse, sometimes it hasn’t. Now we have to wait and see, just like always.

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The absolute best part of the entire “silent treatment” is Sam stuck in the middle, trying to make Dean and Castiel work through their little tiff. When normally it’s Sam trying to get Dean to talk about what’s bothering him, now Sam has two stubborn fools refusing to say thank you, refusing to appreciate each other, refusing to move on past this rather small issue with unknown consequences. Because honestly, we’ve had worse, and we’ve done this before. Remember that time Cas said “yes” to Lucifer? Or when Sam came back from the pit sans-soul and didn’t tell anyone? Wait, what about that time Dean decided it would be a really swell idea to bear the Mark of Cain…or Sam figuring Demon Blood was part of his balanced breakfast? No? Maybe that time Dean killed Death? OH WAIT! We all love that time they all worked together to release the Darkness into the world. Yeah. They’ve all done worse.

Jay: Personally I think Dean is being a big fat hypocrite! Who is he to judge Castiel’s actions when it was his own idea to make a pact with Billie and not fully understand what he was doing? If anything I think, much like Mary was doing last episode, Dean is projecting his own personal issues with the self-sacrificing angel. We all can’t be martyrs here Dean, you don’t get to sacrifice yourself all the time. I mean, is it weird for you that someone cares as much about you, as you care about Sam? Is it strange for Dean to see someone make the same rash decisions he, himself makes when it comes to Sam? And vice versa? Maybe now Dean and Sam will start to realize just exactly what these types of decisions do to the people who care for them, now that they are on the outside looking in and waiting for the other shoe to drop on Castiel.
Dawn: Well, actually, they can all be martyrs – they martyr themselves for each other all the time. And every time someone OTHER than Dean does it, he gets crabby. He has to learn to share martyrdom. It’s fine, Dean, really – there’s wood enough for everyone to hang themselves on a cross. And that way there will be plenty handy when you need to burn a body.

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While it’s frustrating to see Dean treat Castiel like a child, Dean’s protective instincts are kicked into high gear and Chuck knows he’s done the same with Sam in the past. We get it, Dean: you don’t like seeing your family step into the line of fire, you’re the protector, you take the risks, blahblahblahwhinycakes.

Castiel hears a cry for help over “good old angel radio” from Benjamin, an old battalion friend, but the distress cry is suddenly cut off. Castiel has learned a lot from the Winchesters, notably when someone is in need, you run, so he does and we all get a bit of perspective when Castiel goes to investigate what happened to his old friend, including the end of the silent treatment (but not the end of the attitude, because Dean is, well, Dean).

And you know what’s awesome about all of this? For one of the first times, possibly the first time, we actually see Castiel accepting the Winchesters’ help from start. While normally it’s everybody join hands once things have already gone south, this time Sam is on Cas’ case from the second the angel tries to leave the bunker, wanting to know where Cas is going and offering help. And you know what’s shocking? Cas says yes, as long as it’s both brothers offering, and not just Sam.

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So it turns out that not only was Benjamin’s vessel a woman, but that they were friends and Benjamin would never do anything to put [his vessel] in danger. Thanks to the investigations, a lot of information the relationship between angels and their vessels comes to light. And we see Castiel’s previous vessel.

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Jay: I LOVED this. First of all, Cas is alway hot – only super – attractive vessels for our Angel of the Lord. It makes me wonder is this Jimmy Novak’s great-grandma or something? Dark hair, blue eyes, full lips, neutral-colored overcoat. Either our Castiel has a prefered vessel type or the Novaks have a very strong genetic preference for trench coats. I truly love that really solidifies that Castiel is a Multidimensional wavelength of Celestial Intent. And more importantly, he never cared about gender, cause like, man vessel, woman vessel, whatever, as long as it’s a smokin’ hot brunette with blue eyes, it floats the Castiel boat (and mine too).
Dawn: BRB. Finding someone to sew that cosplay for me immediately.

Unsurprisingly, Benjamin is dead. Murdered. We don’t know who did it but apparently Castiel knows someone who might: Ishim, the angel who used to command Castiel. It’s clear from the get-go that Ishim is not a fan of humans, not that that information stops Sam and Dean from fully getting involved in Castiel’s business like the two nosey brothers they are. Remember when Dean said angels are dicks? Yeah. Zachariah ain’t got nothing on this whackjob.

Castiel is over all of it. Sasstiel in the house, ya’ll. He is 1000% done with everything.

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There are other angels two but they don’t matter and aren’t around long anyway. It’s all about Ishim. Smug, arrogant, disrespectful, disdainful Ishim. We can’t wait for someone to punch him in the face. He was Castiel’s commander before Cas got his own “flight,” as the angels call it. He seems particularly cruel to Castiel for his past transgressions.

Source: myheartofmusic

Jay: But, like, guys, listen, okay! Like, the BEST part about Ishim hating on Cas is how PISSED Dean gets, like, “no one makes fun of my family but me, jackass.” It’s sooo great! And really it just completely solidifies the “Cas is family” that Dean’s been saying for the past, what, six seasons? Yeah, totally, no one will ever get me to believe any differently about Cas being a Winchester.
Dawn: I don’t understand how anyone doesn’t see that. Dean said it flat out — you’re our brother. And therefore Dean will whup the ass of anyone who gets up in Cas’ grill.

Dean puts up with standing around outside for what probably amounted to ten minutes, and now the brothers meet the new angel and it is a thing of beauty.

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There’ll Be Sleep When You’re Done – Supernatural JaxCon, Part II

“A lot of people mistake success of an actor with celebrity status and that’s not always the case.” – Julian Richings, JaxCon 2017

Posted by Dawn and Jaymee
Additional Photography by Shannon Laree Photography aka @reelnerdy and ToniAnn Licata Photography

The Creation Stands Convention was a whirlwind of activity, as we told you in Part One. If you haven’t read part one, what are you doing here? Go back and read it! There are just too many fantastic panels to cover in one post, so here in section two you will hear about Julian Richings, Alaina Huffman, Mark Pellegrino, R2M [Richard, Rob, and Matt], and the SNS or Saturday Night Special, the con-exclusive concert by Louden Swain.

Alaina Huffman

Being the first panel of a con is undoubtedly stressful. Following an opening by Richard Speight Jr. and Rob Benedict can’t be easy. Being the only female actor to appear during the convention is sure to be difficult. At least, we think so, but damn girl, Alaina Huffman didn’t break a sweat. Taking the stage as the very first panel, at the very first con of the 2017 season, she stole hearts. She told deeply personal stories about her life as a mom and the impact acting has on it, what it was going from playing a character as good as Black Canary on Smallville to playing a character as bad as Abaddon on Supernatural, and about that time when Richard Speight Jr. ran into her father-in-law, who was Rich’s Uber driver.

“I didn’t know my father-in-law drove Uber …I guess he retired and he was bored and… he sent me a picture [of him and Rich] and it’s like the cutest thing ever…”

Alaina fielded a lot of questions about what’s it is like for a woman in the industry. She never shied away from them and was stoutly in support of being a mother and a woman and an actor. She spoke eloquently about women not apologizing for working. It was clear she hoped her views came through with her portrayal of Abaddon, a strong, unapologetic, character on Supernatural:

…I love that, as a bad guy [on Supernatural],I’m not hated.”

“Abaddon was meant to be a beacon of female empowerment.”

We believe that Alaina met her goal with Abaddon, She was a take charge character, strong independent and not afraid to go after what she wanted. Alaina was able to portray her with conviction and we think that’s one of the main reasons why, no matter how evil Abaddon was, she isn’t hated throughout the fandom. To further cement our love of Alaina she said this:

“…these conventions have been the highlight of my life.”

And we all swooned with how heartfelt her words were.

As always, no one who’s been on the show for more than five episodes escapes a panel without being asked about the pranks that happen on set. Alaina was in hysterics when she recounted the prank of her, Ruth Connell (Rowena), and Misha Collins wallpapering Mark Sheppard’s trailer with large prints of Castiel’s face from that years’ calendar.

“We put them everywhere, in the microwave, in the toilet, even in his shower. It took forty minutes and I went into Mom mode, ripping the calendars apart, organizing everyone until everything was covered in Misha’s face.”

We, and all fans, love hearing about what it is like to work with Jensen and Jared. Alaina was gracious enough to recount how their very first conversation was somehow about Vanilla Ice and she cannot remember why or how! She speculated with a fan about the kind of night on the town Abaddon and Rowena would have, as two of the more powerful female “villains” in the show.

“I think they’d go to the spa, maybe, as Ruth would say, a wee cafe, drinking, dancing, out on the town. Maybe they would team up.”

We do wonder what Rowena would say if she found out that Alaina’s favorite moment in the show was when she got to beat up Crowley.

“I think it was the time I got to beat the crap out of Crowley. All the crew were taking numbers for their turn.”

Though when it comes to her favorite line we have to agree with her when she said:

“‘I’ll stump ya to death, It’ll be swell.’”– I mean who even says that!”

Jay: I have to say I was so incredibly impressed with Alaina. For the very first panel of the con she really got it off on the right foot. She was so well spoken and so open and friendly I needed more. I actually went right then and bought a ticket for her photo-op and signing. She was an amazing sport and so fun in the photo-op. She was very liberal with the fans, taking time to talk to each one before the shutter snapped and she was down for anything! It was super fun!

Dawn: She was a doll and I kinda wish I had done the photo-op now. Also her energy during Friday karaoke was infectious.

Jay: She was so wonderful and agreed immediately to reenact the scene with me where she has Dean gripped by the back of his head. She laughed and said Right on, of course! — P.S She is super pretty and it was way intimidating for me when she slipped back into the Abaddon role.

Julian Richings

For a man cast to play Death himself, Julian Richings could not be farther from the character he portrays. From the moment he stepped on stage to Rich singing “Oh, Death” in a ridiculous falsetto followed by Rob playing”Don’t Fear the Reaper” by Blue Oyster Cult, he was a ball of energy and exuberance. He bounded from one end of the stage to the other, filling the room with joy and excitement. Julian has truly embraced the fans love of him and his character, dressing in a tshirt with an adorable cartoon miniature Death– scythe and all– on it.

Julian started out by confessing he found out about his character, Mr. Hanley on Heartland, being killed off by stumbling upon the episode while watching TV and seeing the ambulance riding off down the road.

“I’m dead and inside! So I learned of my death in that way. I have died in both shows now.”

He talked about how he finds inspiration for each character he plays:

“In a funny way, I don’t differentiate so much between characters. I try to find the humanity in all the characters that I play, so in a way they are all aspects of me, I guess.”

We couldn’t agree more, as it is clear that Julian is just as passionate about food as Death was. He spent a lot of his panel expounding on his love of pizza–Chicago style is the best in his opinion–and how pepperoni was considered a special snack in England, and how delighted he was to find it so readily available on pizza in the US.

Jay: Julian was a ball of energy, he was funny and insightful, and I don’t think I’d have that much energy on a normal day let alone in front of hundreds of other people.

Dawn: I loved his “awkward schoolboy dance” every time he talked about having grown up in England.

When a fan inquired as to how, with such a bubbly personality, did Julian’s agent think he would make a good Death? We loved his response:

“I have cheekbones, I have an English accent, so right away it’s like: bad guy. So I’m always the creep who kills people in the first two minutes of the movie and then by five minutes in, I’m dead! I’m that guy.”

Julian really gave us some insight as to how he got involved with playing the character Death, how the producers were looking more for the dynamic between the Four Horseman than they were strictly looking for Death. So when he was asked to read for one of the Horseman, he actually read for Pestilence.

When I got offered the job … I thought oh great I’m going to play Pestilence, and my agent said, ‘Oh no you’re going to play Death.’ Oh yes, Death, yes … So it goes back to one of the earlier question. Sure, I play Death but I try to bring as much humanity to Death as possible and see him as part of the cycle of life.”

After sharing a wonderfully personal and slightly horrible story of how he got a concussion by running head first into a plate-glass window while trying to catch a bus, he milked the crowd for all the aww’s he could get. It was adorable, especially when he politely said Thank you, after each chorus of aww. Julian Richings panel was entertaining and delightful. He was highly energetic and fully embraced the fans and their questions. By the end of it all it had been decided: Death Lives. Now we just have to wait for the writers to get on board.

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There’ll Be Sleep When You are Done: Supernatural JaxCon 2017

“You people are devoted, and dirty, and we love you!” — Richard Speight Jr., JaxCon 2017 intro

“This fandom, fans, there’s nothing like you. You are a small change in the world. You get behind us, you back us up.” — Mark Sheppard, JaxCon 2017.

Posted by Dawn and Jaymee
Photography by Shannon Laree Photography aka @reelnerdy (unless otherwise noted)

DAWN: I love sleep. So much. It’s probably my favorite hobby and I have long been trying to figure out how to get someone to pay me to sleep. Now, you may be asking, “Hey, lady, wtf does sleep have to do with JaxCon? Shut up and talk about the boys already.” Well, let me quickly answer that–Over the JaxCon weekend, I probably got 12, maybe 14ish hours of sleep. And I was having so much damn fun that I literally thought, “Whatever. I’ll sleep when I’m dead*.”

*”Dead” does not include all the times we died and went to fangirl heaven. Which were many, at JaxCon.

JAY: I had a lot of expectations going into this con, I love conventions and have spanned the USA, from east to west coast and a few places in between, attending cons of all different topics and genres. Cons are kinda my hobby. I have to say nothing I expected even came close to how much I enjoyed the Panels. Of all the conventions I’ve attended, of all the functions put on at these varied cons, I don’t think I’ve ever enjoyed anything as much as I enjoyed listening to the actors of Supernatural speak.

Let’s get Dawn’s obvious bias but still very true observation out of the way first — Richard Speight, Jr. is an amazing emcee and a gift** to Supernatural conventions and the fandom. Also, Rob Benedict and Louden Swain are the perfect accompaniment to said emcee and also every single panel. We may never be able to get Rob singing “Mr. Crowley” out of our heads, and we are totally fine with that. (Dear Louden Swain: Please do a cover album of all the SPN panel intros. Everyone will buy it, we promise. Love, us)

**Jay would like it noted that since we’ve only experienced a con emceed by Rob and Rich, we really can’t comment on his/their skill versus, say, Kim and Bri, but since we usually let Dawn gush about Rich, we are going to allow it here too.

SPN cons are a whirlwind. You run from panel to photo-op to panel to autographs to random guitar sessions someone just tweeted about to cramming food down your throat and trying desperately to remember to hydrate, and then suddenly it’s time for dinner and a quick shower and getting ready for the nighttime events on Friday and Saturday. There’s also meeting people, making friends, shopping, and, like any fun ride, a lot of waiting on lines. Then you get up in the morning and do it all over again, for anywhere from two days to four, depending on how early you got there and how much you decided to do.

And then you get home and finally break out of, what the fans have dubbed “the post-con depression,” you have to figure out how the hell to organize it all so you can post an article about it all. Thank Chuck we live-tweeted this con so that we have things to jog our memory. We’ve thought about how to do this report and decided to take it in two parts,  person-by-person, with two bonuses for karaoke and the Saturday Night Special concert.

Here’s the thing about this fandom and this show, for those who might be unfamiliar. It’s called the SPNFamily for good reason, and one of the strongest reasons behind it is how much the actors themselves make themselves part of that family. Being part of the SPN Family was a tremendous part of the weekend and was mentioned in almost every panel, by almost every actor, and always in a positive, smiling, heartfelt way. They say they love being part of this family and we believe them, because they back it up, from campaigns like Always Keep Fighting and You are Not Alone to every amazing story about meeting the actors at cons or by accident, and how welcoming and genuine those meetings were every time.

JAY: This convention took place during the Women’s March, which was a global event, a global movement, to draw attention to women’s rights. I for one, was shocked and pleased to see how much the social and political climate affects the actors on this show and how much they spoke, eloquently, and most importantly positively about the movement and our role in it as fans. There was not one panel, not one moment, where the actors were on stage where they didn’t talk of solidarity, of coming together and being united, of how proud they were of what this fandom has done and will continue to do. I wasn’t expecting it.

DAWN: I would also like to throw-in special shout-outs to Misha Collins, Rob Benedict, and my boyfriend Richard Speight, Jr. for their tweet streams about the women’s marches. All three of them kept the tweets coming fast and strong Saturday. I thought I couldn’t love them more. I was wrong.

Jared and Jensen

We know what you want, it’s the boys first even though they were, in fact, one of the last things at the con. Sunday was their day, starting with the gold-only panel, which sadly we were not able to attend. We were at the normal panel, though, and it was a Chuck-damn delight.

Jared opened the panel by saying, “Who’s a first-timer? Welcome to the family.” And then it was question and answer time, and terrific stories. We learned the the one time Jensen came on set with his hair styled to the right Jared was so confused about what had changed and why Jensen looked ‘weird’ that now he can only ‘dress left’, as they say. The infamous “Pudding!” line from 5 x 11 was originally supposed to have been Sam’s, but when the boys saw the script, they decided it was ‘a Dean line’ and changed it. All those “Wanted” posters on the set? Names and pictures of real crew members. Jared confirmed Misha’s story about the time a pre-dad Jared fed Misha’s son sugar packets, then assured the audience that karma was paying him back because “according to my text messages, I currently have two demons at home.” Yes, Gen was texting him about their kids, and his face lights up with the most adorable smile every single time her name is mentioned, and his face, let us just tell you, the adorableness is fatal. In fact, when someone asked How the show has impacted his life on a personal level, he answered simply, “Well, I married Ruby.” The audience as a whole applauded and cheered. We love LOVE, people. What can I say? And Jared agrees:

“Now more than ever, it’s important to spread love and acceptance.”

Jared talks a lot more than Jensen, but Jensen got a few great things in, including something he’d like his kids to learn:

“Respect for others. It’s something I pride myself on.”

“My procrastination skills are amazing! But I don’t want my kids to learn that from me.”

It was our first experience with the pomp and circumstance that comes with the J2 panels ‘Final Question’. Rob Benedict comes back on stage to join Jensen in singing a short rift as Jared escorts the lucky fan on stage to ask… The Final Question.

Dawn: But IMO, Jensen’s shining moment came when a fan was brought on stage with them to ask the final question, and as Jared just chatted away busily, Jensen leaned right in, gave her a wink., and stole her attention utterly. It. Was. Hysterical.

Jay: I was completely enthralled at how Jared made it a point to ensure he maintained contact with the fan, keeping his hand on her shoulder. It was obvious that his goal was to ensure she felt safe and comfortable in, what could be, a very stressful situation. I was utterly impressed with the concern, care, compassion, and attention Jared showed in that moment and really, in every moment he has with the fans.

 

Lucky fan Kathleen Pereira getting the “how you doin’” look from Jensen Ackles (courtesy Diane Elyard)

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Don’t Fear the Reaper – Supernatural Recap – First Blood

source: ohmysupernatural.tumblr.com

Supernatural Season 12, Episode 9
“First Blood”
Posted by Dawn and Jaymee

The Road So Far: The last episode, “LOTUS,” saw the defeat* of Lucifer, we lost the human woman expecting Satan’s nephilim baby, and our boys were arrested by the Secret Service for trying to assassinate the “president.” Mary was still mostly M.I.A, Rowena and Crowley have done their patent disappearing act, and the British Men of Letters (BMoL) are always lurking in the background. And Castiel, well, he was left to pick up the pieces and deal with Sam and Dean going missing all on his own.

Dawn and Jay: *Defeat as in we think this is temporary and we will be seeing Lucifer again, soon.

First things first. 250 episodes. Two Hundred and Fifty Episodes!! What a 250th episode it was. “First Blood” was the episode we wanted, needed, the episode we didn’t even know we needed until it was there in front of us, demanding to be recognized for its brilliance. “First Blood” hit so many points we, and the entire fandom, have been waiting for. It pulled on our heart-strings, made us laugh in a way that only the pop culture sass of a Winchester can, and it reaffirmed the many, many reasons we have stayed with this show and supported its many twists, turns, transgressions, and redemptions for as long as we have. It made us once again thankful for the heart and soul the actors, directors, crew, and fans have put into making Supernatural reach a place very few other TV shows have gone, now 12 seasons strong.

Now with that out-of-the-way, let’s start: Blood and Family.

Blood: Dean and Sam

This episode showcased the brothers really taking control of their lives. No longer swept along in the turmoil of “destiny,” being pushed and pulled, torn apart and always reacting to what’s happening around them, they take charge. It’s also the first time we get some true and honest perspective on just how dangerous these brothers really are. You know, after breaking out of a top-secret, not on any map, military compound.



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For all of the times we have seen Sam and Dean go up against some mythical creature, god, demigod, demon, witch, King of Hell, angel, archangel, or, you know, Satan, we very rarely see them go up against plain old humans. We have spent seasons with them fighting huge, monumental, apocalypse-level threats, and because of this, it is incredibly easy to forget how truly, practically dangerous the Winchesters are. Our perspective of their abilities is skewed by all the supernatural threats, so it was both terrifying and refreshing to see them put their ample training and natural abilities up against their own kind.

source: justjensenanddean.tumblr.com

source: themeglosaurus.tumblr.com

Sam and Dean are truly capable and absolutely terrifyingly dangerous to everyone, human or not. Their skills are shown in a stark light as they face off against some of the United States Government’s most highly trained soldiers. But there is something there besides the danger–there is mercy. Because while the boys make easy work of these soldiers, they do it without mortally wounding anyone. They hold back; they show restraint; they provide aid and assistance and ensure that everyone makes it out alive. They take found objects and Home Alone the crap out of these highly trained soldiers, because they do not want to kill, because they do not kill bystanders, because no matter what the FBI, CIA, Secret Service, or the local police say, they are not mindless serial killers. They hunt things. They save people. That is the family business.



source: supernaturaldaily.tumblr.com

And that’s another thing “First Blood” gave us. It gave us vindication, validation, verification! The Winchesters are heroes. They save people, all people. They saved the world multiple times. We know it, and it felt like finally, they know it, too. The hunter community knows it. The angels, demons, and Alphas know it, and it’s about Chuck damn time the humans knew it. This was monumental for Sam and Dean–to speak to someone outside of the hunter community about what they have done for the world.

source: itsokaysammy.tumblr.com

Family: Castiel and Mary Winchester

We take what Bobby said to heart, and “First Blood” really solidified it for us: “Family don’t end with blood.” And if you talk to either Dawn or Jay, the Winchesters are made up of four people: Dean, Sam, Mary, and Castiel. This episode made it clear just how much Castiel has become part of their family. The absolute turmoil he went through, the pain and confusion, the isolation; we wept, we cried, we cursed, and we broke down.

DAWN: And now, an appeal to the Academy for Television Arts & Sciences: Please give Misha Collins an Emmy. While all of the actors did an amazing job in this episode, it was our beloved Misha who took our breath away.

JAY:

We, the fans, were Castiel in this episode. Part of our family was missing. Who can we turn to? Who was left? Crowley flat out says no. Mary hasn’t quite lived up to the standard yet, and she had a hell of a nerve giving Castiel shit. We cheered when he stood up to her–she asked why he had left the boys, why he didn’t turn to her for help, and his response of “You were out” was everything we have been wanting someone to say to her. Castiel stepped up because Castiel always steps up, because that is what family does.

JAY: I really feel that Mary “scolding” Castiel for losing the boys was projection. She was angry with herself, for not being there, for leaving, for abandoning them when it was so obvious they needed her. She took that realization out on the one person who has always and will always be there for Sam and Dean, the one person who everyone always relies on. It was so powerful when Castiel showed her what she was doing, showed her why no one turned to her for help. I think this moment in the episode was pivotal for Mary. I think it woke something up inside of her, some missing piece slotted into place and finally it all clicked.

Mary’s struggles continue, but she is coming along. All her contacts may be dead or retired, but there’s a job to be done. She hunts what needs hunting while working with Castiel to find the boys, which somehow doesn’t seem to be hitting her as hard as it it hitting him. When Castiel reminds her exactly how long they have been gone–6 weeks, 2 days, and 10 hours–it’s like she finally realizes this is real. Her KIDS are MISSING. They are captive and missing. WAKE UP, MOM. It takes Castiel suggesting a return to tried and true methods of going to Crowley and Rowena in order to find them for Mary to really go all-in. Refusing to take the same routes the boys so oft do, she turns down the King of Hell and his mama.

JAY: Which honestly, thank goodness. I am so tired of a Winchester making a deal with a demon, reaper, Death himself, in order to sort out a problem. It always leaves me floundering as to what the consequences are, because nothing is free and often these types of solutions tend to exacerbate the problem.

DAWN: Well, yes, but I am not sure the people they DO make the deal with are the smarter option. In some ways, I feel like it’s far worse.

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