Jump to content

Type keyword(s) to search

S04.E12: Criss Angel Is a Douchebag

  • Reply
  • Start Topic

Recommended Posts

Magicians are dying and Sam and Dean try and find out if real magic is being used.


Continuing to fall down the ho-hum rabbit hole that was mid-S4. Not fond of this episode and it's one of the rare instances that I can't find something that I wouldn't want to live without in a Supernatural episode even if the episode itself wasn't all that great. Uninteresting case of the week; boring and annoying guest characters; and they continue on the nonsensical motivations for Sam working with Ruby. Seriously, this is the episode that Sam turns around and decides to start working with Ruby again and, because...he doesn't want to be hunting monsters when he's an old man? What? Seriously what? Can somebody please explain to me the point of this episode? PLEASE!


I know I've been trying to end on a positive, but I can't think of anything right now, sorry to be such a Negative Nancy.


Warning: Spoilery bizzaro thoughts ahead.

Since I do love my Bizzaro tendencies, I was thinking how #Thinman was a bizzaro version of this crappy episode in some ways. The anvils of parallels hurt when they smash into my head. ;)  

Edited by DittyDotDot
  • Love 2
Link to comment

Seriously, yeah this episode just has no redeeming characters for me either. Sam's supposed motivation here makes zero sense based on the previous 2ish seasons that came before where we've had Sam assuring miltiple times that yup, hunting with Dean and saving people is worth it - "What Is..." showed it fairly decisively I thought - aaaand that would be bad enough, in itself but, considering

that the "message" of this episode is entirely contradicted by the very next episode ("Afterschool Special") and then again by "Jump the Shark"

that just makes this episode worse than worthless. It makes it stupid and contradictory, in my opinion, to boot.


The only way that I can twist this to make any sort of sense is if when Sam says that he doesn't want to be doing this when he's older, Sam's real meaning is that he doesn't want to be around period - i.e. he hopes to finish Lilith and be dead. Otherwise based on what came before - and the very next episode - this one makes no sense.


More likely though, the writers needed Sam to continue on the path, and so he did. I would think that they at least could've come up with a believable reason, but nope. So in my opinion, the bus here is picking up speed in preparation for soundly running Sam over two episodes from now, and as long as Sam gets where they want him, they really didn't care that it didn't make any sense.


Bah - my "You kids get off my lawn" attitude is going to continue for a few more episodes yet at least, so I'll apologize in advance.

  • Love 1
Link to comment

Didn't like this one the first time (and it was my second ever live episode!), and on this re watch, it's not as bad... But nothing I would actively watch again. It annoys me to no end that the writers of this show seem to latch on to something and then beat it until it's dead and gasping. This season, they apparantly discovered they could use the words Dick and Douche bag without being sensored and then continued to do so until everyone was annoyed. Ugh

I'm trying to make sense of what Sam *says* and his choice here. I get his choice, but the "I don't wanna be doing this when I'm old" line doesn't quite jive for me. It's one of two things:

1) Sam decided to go back to Ruby and her way because he wanted to kill Lilith and knew he'd die in the process (ie doesn't want to continue on hunting til he's an old man)

2) Sam thinks killing Lilith is an opportunity to end the bad and have a chance at 'winning', a possibility that things don't have to end bloody, as Dean says they will.

One thing I know, as of this re-watch. First, Sam is still mostly Sam in this episode, ie :

hes not drinking demon blood currently and therefore hasn't gone all mean and nasty

; second, I fully and wholeheartedly believe that Sam believes Ruby. He believes he is the only one who can stop Lilith and that makes her his responsibility, and therefore the consequences of her breaking the seals and lucifer rising and bringing hell on earth is also his responsibility.

So, I don't think he's doing what he's doing out of anything other than wanting very much to get revenge on Lilith and to stop her. He's sad I this episode, resigned, and Dean thinks it's all a lost cause (gonna end sad or bloody) and Dean is so very broken (and Sam takes that on as his fault too) and all Sam keeps hearing is that he's the magic ticket that can fix it.

So I get it and can still see Sam here in this episode and still see his motivations in most ways, even if the reason/anvils/parallels in this episode didn't quite do it for me.

That's all I'll say in this thread cause the spoiler tags will just take over, lol. Onward!

Edited by GirlyGeek
  • Love 1
Link to comment

Don't know whether this thread is still particularly active or whether there is any protocol I haven't figured out, so I'll just jump in and hope for the best...


My son introduced me to Supernatural a few weeks ago; I barely watch TV to start with, but after my husband and I decided to cancel out cable TV since it was to the point that it cost way more than we were getting out of it, but in trying to work out how all this "newfangled" Netflix stuff worked, I at least needed a jumping-off point, and he thought I might enjoy it since the last show (other than "LOST") that I'd really gotten invested in was the "X-Files"...so, as it turned out, I've more or less inhaled all the episodes up to this point, and read all the commentary here alongside, and I felt compelled to defend this just a bit.


Maybe it's just me, but much as I have been enjoying the show overall, being fond of this sort of genre, I've never been at all fond of violence. I'm OK with a bit here and there, but in general would be fine if a blank screen came up when the fighting starts, the winner was identified, and we went on from there LOL. I do realize I'm probably in a very small minority on this, but it's just the way I am. And, as such, this episode was rather a calm and  restful break, with a story about old friends past their heyday, their hopes and their regrets, and, oh, by the way, a malevolent twist to keep it all on topic. I thought it tied quite well into the concerns Sam and Dean have about where they are going and how long the journey might take. All in all, while not among the very best ​I've seen thus far, I found it quite enjoyable on its own and especially so in the wake of all the mayhem of the past few episodes.


As an aside does no one else find it a bit incongruous that the boys get themselves practically ripped to shreds week after week yet come back (particularly Jensen) as luminously beautiful and unscarred as ever? Not that I'm complaining...

Edited by Jynnan tonnix
  • Love 2
Link to comment

I actually like the idea of this episode, in a traditional Twilight Zone kind of way.  But it's terrible for an episode of Supernatural.  In fact, it has a backdoor pilot feel to it.  Obviously, it isn't, because no one wants a show where Barry Bostwick wanders Vancouver like "Sad Charlie Brown", but it's so disconnected and tonally inconsistent with the show that I feel like it's an episode of an entirely different show with Sam and Dean tossed in as afterthoughts.

  • Love 1
Link to comment

I like this episode more for the "I Am A Douchebag" song than the episode itself.

Was reading over in the "Devil May Care" thread (S9), and catrox posted something that hinted at Dean in Hell was sexually abused (and if I misread, my apologies to you, what my eyes read and my brain hears don't always line up).  Thought on that, realized it would make sense (it is Hell after all), then came back to this episode.  Watching The Chief scene, and Dean's expressions during it, made me really uncomfortable this time around.  I guess it's a good thing I tend to skip this episode half the time.

  • Love 1
Link to comment

This is such a strange episode. And the only question I have besides why did Sam decide to ally with Ruby, is did Dean have some alone time with The Chief?? And if so, what was his safeword?

Link to comment

I was trying to remember what happened in this episode before watching it and all that would pop into my head was iZombie's magician episode. Barry Bostwick is good in this one (he always is). I'd forgotten he got the guys arrested. I am shocked that the guys don't escape or get their real identities exposed. They just show up a few hours later saying "Thanks for dropping the charges." That seems off and way too easy. I always like when they incorporate historical people into the history of the show, so having Barnum give Charlie the magic spells works for me. Looking on IMDB and discover that young Charlie was played by the son of Old Charlie. Nice touch there. 

I like Dean's attempt at humor. "You think we will? Die before we get old?" "Haven't we both already?"

"He slipped me." "He's a sixty year old." "He's a magician."

On 4/11/2017 at 6:51 PM, catrox14 said:

 And if so, what was his safeword?

I'm going with "Sammy." He calls it out when things go wrong. He calls it out in pain in hell. He says "Sammy" and all sexual activity stops. That's my story and I'm sticking with it. 

  • Love 5
Link to comment

I didn't want to rewatch this one - as for me this signals the beginning of the long slide down for Sam.  ::sigh.  grumble grumble all @bettername2come's fault::  

I like how the show used to incorporate random bits of eccentric humor into even dark, depressing episodes that would just make me laugh out loud - at probably inappropriate moments.  Like when Chief asked Dean his safe word.  I think that's missing from some of the more recent eps.  Yet, even as I type this, Regarding Dean is on, and I can hear some funny lines that make me smile (and might make me laugh if I weren't trying to concentrate on typing.)  So maybe for awhile the writers just weren't as good at it as they used to be?  But maybe there's hope for the new crop yet.   :)

I'd forgotten about the whole Chief thing, even after the recent comments in the thread - until Charlie actually said "ask for Chief."  Then that had me chuckling.

Ruby is a master manipulator in this ep when she shows up at the hotel.  She just says all the right things to get under Sam's skin.  

Don't know if I really caught it the first time I watched the episode, but Jay and Charlie really had the Sam/Dean thing going on.  Not quite as anvilicious as that one ghostfacers episode, but still: Jay saying Charlie would be there when he died because he was always there for him.  Yep.  

I also think I finally got why Sam said he didn't want to be doing this when he was old.  It wasn't just that.  It was that Dean didn't expect to live to be old.  And after they saw Jay mourning about being alone at the end, Sam didn't want to be doing it without Dean when he was old.  Sam was afraid of being old and alone like Jay.  

  • Love 3
Link to comment
10 hours ago, bettername2come said:

Sure, sure, blame me for the rewatch. I didn't even make it sound good.

Yes, but your comments have been piquing my interest - and then I have to watch to remember all the quotes you pick out!  It's all your fault!  ;)

I remembered something else last night.  Oversharing moment ahead: I somehow watched The  Birds when I was really young (around 4 or under).  Apparently it was on the tv while I was playing nearby.  I don't really remember, but that night I had a nightmare where coils of rope were slithering into my room up the walls and across the ceiling.  My mom had to wake me up because I was sitting up in bed screaming and crying.  So that scene of the noose slithering across the ceiling and wrapping around the fan?  Thanks for reminding me of childhood trauma, show!  ::shudder::

  • Love 1
Link to comment
10 hours ago, RulerofallIsurvey said:

I somehow watched The  Birds when I was really young (around 4 or under).  

I saw that when I was like 5, and I am seriously afraid of birds.  When you go through life afraid of birds, you will be mercilessly teased.  My 13 year old niece is the worst. 

Link to comment
32 minutes ago, Katy M said:

I saw that when I was like 5, and I am seriously afraid of birds.  When you go through life afraid of birds, you will be mercilessly teased.  My 13 year old niece is the worst. 

Awww!  Katy!  {{{{hugs}}}}  Well, she's 13 (your niece), so that explains a lot.  :)  I don't know why my 'terror' transferred to rope.  Lol.  I'll admit, it's a weird thing.  But then I've been called worse.  ;D

Link to comment
On 28/11/2015 at 6:49 PM, Jynnan tonnix said:

As an aside does no one else find it a bit incongruous that the boys get themselves practically ripped to shreds week after week yet come back (particularly Jensen) as luminously beautiful and unscarred as ever? Not that I'm complaining...

i noticed that long ago, when the boys both threw meg out the building. they had scars deep in their faces and the next day they didn't even feature any scabs. disappointing they don't have any scars, tbh, because i know for sure dean would wear them with pride and hey, everyone knows battle scars are sexy. 

On 24/06/2017 at 12:15 AM, bettername2come said:


I'm going with "Sammy." He calls it out when things go wrong. He calls it out in pain in hell. He says "Sammy" and all sexual activity stops. That's my story and I'm sticking with it. 

he also says it in the midst of his sexual activities ;) ;)

or was that too creepy.


i know that not everything has to be peachy for the winchesters, but i'm really struggling with sam being so selfish and....off with dean. he lost his bro for four months (and it felt like a year for sure) and he's just leaving him left and right and still keeping important secrets from him. i don't think even in the worst situations sam would do things like this.

Link to comment

I am apparently into the portion of this season that is unpopular and I can see why.

I didn't hate this episode. My Dad and brother were super into magic when I was growing up. I did magic tricks at every talent show. So, I enjoyed that aspect of it plus making fun of some of the modern magicians. I also love Barry Bostwick. And the escape from the ropes/ducking a tail was hilarious. So there was some good stuff for me in this episode.

However, I think it was sloppy and didn't quite work. Why is everyone so sure the bad guy is dead? He was killed the same way (by transference) before and ended up alive as his younger self somehow. Why wouldn't the same happen again? And what was his plan? It was really muddled. Did he plan to have his friend keep performing before he was caught? Would the two men have died of he went on stage and woken up as their younger selves? What was the point of killing the other magicians if he planned to reboot his buddies anyway? 

It would have made sense to at least have Sam drop a line about last year's search for immortality. His best option had nothing on the magic trick method. And speaking of Sam and Dean, their characterization is all over the place. The story feels shoehorned in. The discussion of how this ends made no sense to me. Sam acknowledged there is no going back just a few episodes ago. I don't understand how he thinks destroying Lilith will end the hunt for all evil. It certainly wouldn't have stopped the bad guy this week. 

Maybe dumb question: I am a little confused about demon-body rules. Ruby could apparently feel the torture, in which case switching bodies afterward rather than healing might have made sense. But demons inhabit dead and injured bodies with no problem. Do the bodies heal? Wouldn't the body remain in the same condition? If so, would it hurt?

ETA: I totally thought we were getting another trickster here. Assholes were dying. Killed by magic. Seemed like trickster humor.

Edited by The Companion
Link to comment

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...