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S14.E15: Peace of Mind

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Sam and Castiel follow a case to a picturesque little town in Arkansas, only to find out nothing is as idyllic as it appears to be; Dean and Jack take a road trip to visit an old friend.

Airdate 2019.03.14

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1 minute ago, gonzosgirrl said:

Well. On the bright side, Bloodlines isn't the worst episode of Supernatural anymore.

+1,000.

That was awful. 

Jensen was so very pretty, though.

And man, those antibodies of Dean's?

Simply. Amazin'.

Everyone else is just a sufferin' so bad-oh, except Cas, too.

Skip this one.

It was a complete waste.

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I have thoughts on the episode, but I can't articulate them right now because my brain short-circuited after they said Jack was the most powerful being in the universe ... they better not be implying that Jack is more powerful than God ... or Death for that matter ...

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I'm actually glad that Jensen wasn't in this one very much.

Dabb's toadie is Dabb's toadie. 

And that's all I have to say about that.

I can't believe they ended Michael!Dean for this.

They should be embarrassed and deeply ashamed of themselves. 

Edited by Myrelle · Reason: Revision
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18 minutes ago, gonzosgirrl said:

Well. On the bright side, Bloodlines isn't the worst episode of Supernatural anymore.

Oh thank goodness...I was so hoping we would reach that milestone before the series ended.  

I wasn't looking forward to this episode tonight as it was.  Maybe I'll do my taxes instead.

Are we short a writer or something?  Why did she get to write an ep of SPN with no other writing credits? 

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Maybe I'm just in a mood, I dunno. But I've been living, breathing, and eating Supernatural since Saturday. As I mentioned in the Bitch vs Jerk thread I'm writing a college paper on Supernatural. I've made it through seasons eight through twelve so far, read reviews, asked questions, been listening to podcasts, watching video clips (or making them) etc. I started binge watching the first season in 2009. I love this show, I've been to conventions, met a few of the actors. I love this show ... but I don't recall an episode ever making me, angry ...

Edited by OrigamiNightmare · Reason: to add so far and video clips
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My big question is why would Jack having no soul be a big deal.  Wouldn't that just make him an angel rather than a Nephilim since he has grace?  Angels aren't necessarily homicidal maniacs or anything.

Shouldn't he have sent the snake to purgatory instead of Heaven since its daddy was a monster?  I think Hell would have been a safer bet than Heaven also.  I mean, did Jack see last week's epi?

This episode made me realize how much I want to get stuck in the 50s. I was so born in the wrong time period.  

Dean sliding down the Impala to distance himself from the snake was so cute.  His snake fear reminded me of Yellow Fever.  

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It was in turns soapy, trite, paint-by-numbers and juvenile. But the worst crime is, it was boring. OMG. Despite a psychic storyline, it was possibly the least Supernatural episode of Supernatural, ever. Dabbernatural, maybe. Even then, it sucked.

The only person not affected by Dean's possession was.. Dean. Like, literally, he ate a sandwich (sloppily) and Cas repeatedly said that Dean said he wanted to sleep 'til the cows brought him home', or some such stupid 'classic-Cas' line.

This show tho.

Dean: I need space.

Literally Everyone: No! Why r u so repressed? You do feelings bad!!!

Sam: I need space.

Dean: Okay.

Edited by gonzosgirrl
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I can’t believe how different I am from most of you lol. I loved this episode! It reminded me of Hunter Heroci from season 8, which I also loved. I’m definitely realizing that you love an ep based on whom your fave character is. I love Cas the most (Dean a close second, then Sam), so for me this one was a fun win. We don’t get to see much Sam and Cas together so I enjoyed that. However, I can also really love eps that Cas is not in, like “Regarding Dean.”

I mostly prefer when TFW are together though. Just the 3 of them.  

If Dean has to be light in an ep like he was in this one, then I much prefer they give the story to Sam and Cas, and not other randos. 

Edited by S Cook Productions · Reason: Typo
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The tale of Stepford Sam and the Apparent Most Powerful Person Ever!

I admit to enjoying the Sam and Cas stuff alright, it was a decent case of the week, and the Stepford Wives vibe was kind of fun, if pointless. The 50s land was weird, even if the answer to the mystery was pretty predictable. I kind of liked finding a bad guy who has no idea what else is going on, and was unprepared for running into actual angel Cas. And Sam and Cas are a combination I usually like, and they had some fun lines and interactions. "GOD HAS A BEARD!!"

On the other hand, Jack suddenly being the biggest badass ever who has ever lived is just getting ridiculous. How hard are they gonna push this kid as the center of the show, and its universe? And now he doesent have a soul or something, and he is going to...what? Become the real big bad? Become the new star of the show? Kill more snakes? Literally do a less interesting version of the Soulless Sam story line?

It darkly cracks me up that Maggie is the only hunter that they mention by name in all Sams angst, because I am pretty sure she was the only one they actually bothered to name. I mean, thats what you get when you stick us with a billion pointless background characters. 

*Sigh* We got rid of possessed Dean in a spiffy hat for this?

Edited by tennisgurl
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Why is Jack suddenly so special and overpowered? There has been another Nephilim before and nobody freaked out about her, is it really so much of a power upgrade if it's an archangel as opposed to a regular angel? Ugh

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54 minutes ago, gonzosgirrl said:

It was in turns soapy, trite, paint-by-numbers and juvenile. But the worst crime is, it was boring. OMG. Despite a psychic storyline, it was possibly the least Supernatural episode of Supernatural, ever. Dabbernatural, maybe. Even then, it sucked.

ITA.

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Why was this a Dean-lite episode again? It can't have been for Bacchus - they don't get to air that quickly. Not that I'm so sorry - I can only imagine what girl!Dabb would've written if forced to include more Dean - I'm just curious.

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I liked it. The Stepford ep was fun and well put together.

Although powerful, Sunny wasn't 'one of the bad ones'. So leaving her in the town was a nice touch. It shows monsters, that is, the different-who're-also-powerful, needn't be slain by default. If they're just doing their non-harmful thang, good luck to 'em is the gang's take on it.

As a nephilim Jack is half-human, the other part being archangel. A nephilim is greater than the sum of its parts. Thing is, being a human, half or no, really does need a soul.

Sure, the odd prophet may be able to get along without one, but for the most part it's "Bang goes your bargaining chip" and thought processes like 'Y'know Snakey, I think the best way I can cheer you up is to eviscerate you from the Earth turning you to dust & ashes'. It looks as if in fighting EvilMichael Jack burnt off all or most of his. I predict we'll see progressively darker behaviour from him.

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I thought it was a very pleasant hour of television . . . Of course, it had no passion, or darkness, or nerve-jangling terror, and the way it depicted Dean was totally bizarre.  But it was pleasant.

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I'll give this "The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly" treatment:

The Good:
- Pleasantville: I liked the storyline here.  Weird but fun. I found the mystery engaging.  I did NOT think it was the mayor.  I thought it was the wife.  Or a coven -- because of the way the Boarding House woman sort of dissed Cas, I thought she was 'in' on whatever was going on.  So the mayor came as a surprise.  I like it when I don't spot the villain.
- Pleasantville Sam was AWESOME.  Again with the tiny cup.  And it's pot roast tonight!  
- Cas was a BadAss fighter.  He NEVER gets to be the hero and he was the hero of the story tonight.  I was so pleased to see him in that fight.  (side note: oh how much shit did Jared pull while squishing him???) 
- The fallout from the AUHunter's death has a lot of potential - although I HATED that Cas said Sam failed at leadership.  *headdesk* That's exactly what Sam thinks but that's not what happened.  Sam was good at the job.  If there was a failure, it was allowing them to be in the same vicinity as Dean (who was a walking time bomb).  BUT, I really hope they explore this more.  Sam needs to talk to Dean about this -- Cas' bluntness is like acid on a wound.  Of course he doesn't mean to hurt Sam -- and he did pull Sam out of his 'happy headspace' -- but the 'failure' comment was not good.  
- Jack's story is taking a disturbing direction.  They've set that up well.  I'm curious to see what plays out -- I don't like soul-light Jack.  The spark is missing.
- I do like that we got a check-in with Donatello.  His existence seems sad to me.
- I'm kinda glad the snake is dead.  I don't like that Jack just smoked him out of existence but I didn't want a snake in the bunker.  Too 'on the nose' for a Lucifer analogy.

The Bad:
- Dean's fear of snakes didn't land that well for me.  The Yellow Fever callback was Dean in an altered state.  
- The wrap-up on the MOTW was soft.  I get the girl 'neutralized' her Dad but what ARE they?  Part Faerie*?  I feel like we violated the "know what you are hunting" rule.
- Looks like Michael really IS dead -- we heard about Jack, Sam & Rowena but nothing regarding Dean's state of mind. I hope that other shoe drops eventually (Dean's perspective on Michael).
- Jack & Dean's roadtrip was pretty 'meh' for me.

The Ugly:
- The exploding heads.  And what their faces looked like before.  

Bottom Line: Some interesting moments, I enjoyed Pleasantville -- but I feel like I'm holding my breath for a larger fallout. 

*I SO want the Faeries to come back.  That realm needs more exploration IMO. 
 

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2 hours ago, gonzosgirrl said:

It was in turns soapy, trite, paint-by-numbers and juvenile. But the worst crime is, it was boring. OMG. Despite a psychic storyline, it was possibly the least Supernatural episode of Supernatural, ever. Dabbernatural, maybe. Even then, it sucked.

It was the first time I saw even a glimpse of the Supernatural I used to love in ages.  I really miss the whacked out nonsense episodes.  Cas' "very tall guy" and "hair" descriptions were approaching meta.  I miss meta episodes too.

Everything about Cas' reactions to 50's land was wonderfully funny.  The problem was that they didn't play with the concept and develop that story enough.  Once Sam got the Stepford treatment it was basically story over lets wrap this up.  Frankly, at the mid point they should have had Cas at wits end and call in Dean for reinforcements and really play around in the environment and deal with Stepford Sam.

I haven't been more amused by the possibilities of exploding heads since BrainDead..  I was crossing my fingers for space bugs.  So I was disappointed that some random psychic was responsible.  

The problem of having Jack as a cast member is that they seem to feel like they need to split the episodes into two story lines and then they short shrift both.  And I have a loathing for angels vs demons and anything Lucifer related that way predates Jack because its gone on way too long.  And whoever is saddled with Jack gets saddled with that for an episode.  I wish they would go back to one story per episode with Dean and Sam both in that story line. 

Edited by ParadoxLost
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I just can't wrap my head around Dean - Dean Winchester - being the one least affected by his possession and its fallout. I mean what the actual fuck? And sorry, @SueB, I have zero faith that it will be revisited. His 'immunity' seems to have kicked in. What a huge disservice to the character and to the (non) story. And that it came from Dabb's flunky Twitter mouthpiece only adds insult to injury.

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30 minutes ago, Moonlit said:

As a nephilim Jack is half-human, the other part being archangel. A nephilim is greater than the sum of its parts. Thing is, being a human, half or no, really does need a soul.

Only in idiotic SPN lore. Nephilim in the Bible and traditional lore were not only abominations to Heaven but they were also wiped out pretty easily by ordinary angels. 

 There have been any number of things in the show that one section or the other of SPN sneers is just “fan service” but IMO there  ain’t been any fan service to date to equal NougatSue Jack. 

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11 minutes ago, Lemuria said:

Only in idiotic SPN lore. Nephilim in the Bible and traditional lore were not only abominations to Heaven but they were also wiped out pretty easily by ordinary angels. 

 There have been any number of things in the show that one section or the other of SPN sneers is just “fan service” but IMO there  ain’t been any fan service to date to equal NougatSue Jack. 

I think I feel like Jack was being force fed to me (you like him! you will like him! the fans like him!), and I've never felt that way about any other character? I dunno (he's the kennedy of Supernatural fandom, in reference to Buffy the Vampire Slayer)

Edited by OrigamiNightmare
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32 minutes ago, SueB said:

That’s exactly what Sam thinks but that’s not what happened. Sam was good at the job. 

I respectfully disagree. The writers demonstrated that they have no clue what makes and good and effective leader and  Sam suffered for it. At best, they wrote him as a fairly decent middle manager. Sam was terrible at prioritizing; he either didn’t want to delegate – – either because he didn’t trust his crew or because  he could not relinquish control – – or he didn’t understand why an effective leader delegates (it so they don’t walk around ready to fall over from lack of sleep. Leaders let the second in command handle the groundwork and the day-to-day routine work); he made a bunch of really bad decisions ( bringing Jack and Maggie into a known trap by demons when they know next to nothing and we’re total liabilities? Really?) but got repeatedly pimped about how great he was at the job (which he accepted); he shied away from making the tough calls—just as some examples. 

And I do think that Sam *and* Cas *were* responsible for whatever released Michael did. 

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This episode reminds me that Sam and Cas together don't work for me, at least not an entire episode.  I don't think they have the same chemistry as Dean and Cas.  (YMMV).  I also don't think Cas had a good story here.  He was basically the exposition mouthpiece explaining the entire thing. And what he can force people to confess other than Donatello?  And that's now a thing for him....but he couldn't figure out that Michael left a peephole behind with Dean? 

I never want to see Sam wear a bun. He looked awful with that hairstyle. 

There is zero continuity in this show...except for dredging up Dabb's old script with Dean being scared of things.  This could have been okay if it had any pacing and any logic.

And Jack...well...I just kind of could tolerate him but not anymore. I am not here for NougatNatural. UGH

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3 hours ago, SueB said:

*I SO want the Faeries to come back.  That realm needs more exploration IMO. 

Yeah, I am over angels vs. demons and celestial family melodrama, I want something new if we are going to keep going! More stuff with the faerie realm that sounds cool but has never been explored, or make the new big bads some new creature, I dont know, something to shake things up!

It was one of the things I liked about the Stepford story, the monster of the week had nothing to do with any of that, and had no clue what was going on with heaven and hell and stuff. He just had these powers and ran his little dictatorship, and that was it. And I liked that the daughter had powers too, but didnt want to use them for evil. Sometimes this show gets a little "powers corrupt inevitably" with anyone not a totally normal human, so it was a nice change. 

Really, I wish we could have had the whole episode about the town so they could more fully explore the concept, but everytime it started getting really interesting, we had to cut back to Jack, the true star of the show apparently.

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3 hours ago, Lemuria said:

Sam was terrible at prioritizing; he either didn’t want to delegate – – either because he didn’t trust his crew or because  he could not relinquish control – – or he didn’t understand why an effective leader delegates (it so they don’t walk around ready to fall over from lack of sleep. Leaders let the second in command handle the groundwork and the day-to-day routine work);

Which Sam did do in the past couple of episodes... so because there was a time gap, he had been doing that (delegating) for a few weeks or more now. The reason why he didn't delegate at first wasn't because he didn't trust his crew or know why he needed to delegate. It was because he wanted a distraction. A way not to think about Dean being hijacked by Michael. So if he wasn't busy, he'd have to feel guilty about why he wasn't looking for Dean at that moment and he would have time to worry about Dean, so he kept busy all of the time to avoid doing that.

Sam was doing the same thing in this episode. Dean said that they had gone on three hunts in a row, and once again Sam was not sleeping enough. Even Castiel noticed that Sam wasn't getting enough sleep. Sam was trying to avoid staying in the bunker and was making sure that he was always being busy so he wouldn't have time to feel guilty about the AU hunters dying. This is what Sam does and has done for a while now. He did the same thing when Dean became a demon, running himself ragged looking for Dean. This is one character trait that the writers have kept consistent lately.

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Just some quick thoughts...

I liked the town overall, but it did have a couple of facepalm moments for me:  like the streets being full of modern cars.  At first I wondered if it was going to be one of those historical village type things because of the name, Charming something and that it was a tourist attraction of some kind, or a riff on The Truman Show.  And there was the owner of the boarding house using a walkman type gadget with earbuds and a couple of other things I'm too tired to think of right now.   It was almost like they were trying to make this the best of all worlds, with mostly 50s sensibilities and morals but with a few cherry-picked things from the future people don't want to be without.  So, I was going one direction when the story was going another.  Which was kinda of a nice surprise to not have figured it all out right away these last couple of episodes.

It was nice to see Sam and Cas team up.  A nice changeup.

Dean was totally fun.  I don't have a problem with him bouncing back fast after all the "Because he's DEAN." stuff from last week.  Damn straight they need to start remembering that he's not a wimp!  

I kinda liked the too big bites on the sandwich and the sliding down the car away from the snake.  I don't care if he's a grown @55 man, at least he's in touch enough with his inner child to not walk around with a stick up his @55 and just feels his feels.  The sandwich was good, he was obviously hungry so why not. (It's kinda like how they riff on Sam being a moose by using the tiny coffee cups and the way he holds them so gingerly, stuff like that.  Yeah maybe it's slapstick but they've been doing that kind of stuff since the first season, so at least that is consistent.  Tigers don't change their stripes.)  And snakes can be creepy, he's already had bad experiences with snakes, and the guy last week was a creepy snake dude.  Yeah, I'd be sliding down the car away from the snake, too.  lol   And I like the reminder that these are regular flannel wrapped lumberjack guys and not prissy metrosexuals.  (So sue me!)

Okay, so more than a few thoughts.  But quitting now because I'm sick of fixing typos....

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so I completely agree with a lot of the more negative comments here from bitter Dean fans, but I'm not really sad there wasn't more Dean in this one. This ep was weird enough that for me I could ignore it's overall position within the whole season and let it be fun anyway. I guess its all less grating to me when the show isn't pushing you to take it seriously at the same time.
It made me smile more than once, so that's a win. 

At least they bothered giving context to Dean shoving his face this time and it wasn't just there on the side for literally no reason. But the funniest part of that scene to me is when he takes a massive bite, and they edited it to cut back to him 2 seconds later with a mostly empty slack open mouth as soon as Sam speaks. 

Dean being scared of snakes doesn't bother me, because it isn't exactly a contradiction, but I did always think that in yellow fever it was mostly because of the ghost sickness (also I love herps and have my own snake). But once again they have used out of context previouslies that don't quite fit, and I don't like it when they do that.
Dean's reaction to the mice was much funnier to me, because he has always hated rats; and I was already equally fuming and laughing at Jack trying to feed the snake random food that I appreciated the peek at the mice at the end of that scene. 
How much of a time skip are we supposed to assume has occurred? The snake not eating really isn't a sign anything is up with it, like at all, they only eat once a week at most anyway. You take it and move it and put it into a completely different tub with weird smells & it might not eat for a whole month and I wouldn't be sounding the alarms yet... Also I wasn't sure if the snake was actually supposed to have sentience or if the gorgon just said it could talk because he was being your average crazy doting pet owner, and I still don't know if Jack was actually tapping into that... 

I really didn't like the angel vs devil food cake bit, *dramatic music* we get it already. Also real smooth Dean. 

Spoiler

Donatello: "It's an absence" hey look that ep is coming up, would they really completely spoil Jack losing his soul so blatantly? My money is on yes.

I did like the town, but mostly how hard Sam and Castiel started out trying to be polite, while their faces were screaming wtffff, and trying so hard to hand-wave the whole thing - while still not being dumb or ignoring how relevant to the case it is likely to be. 
Sam's little "awh" when he sees the dog. 
I like Sunny. Lets never see her again so she can exist in universe as is, and without getting killed by association lol. 
Sam and Castiel once again bonding about being screwups. I like that they get to have a moment, and I like how Castiel brings Dean into it to get through to Sam, but I kinda wish they had more to talk about than just that. 
Misha's delivery of "God has a Beard
Yay for once we get acknowledgement of the long drive and the fact that there is no way they wouldn't have checked in with Dean before they get back. 

Why is trapping them in or destroying their minds apparently the go-to solution for evil psychics? 

😞 for a moment I thought they were gonna decide to give themselves ~space~ from the bunker and all go on the road, but I suppose there's not enough season left for that and it would never stick anyway. 

Funny how I'm a little more sad about the snake barely lasting two eps than I am about the entirety of the AU hunters... (I mean as soon as Jack kept it I didn't think it would survive, but still). He also probably didn't even "help" it, even in a messed up way because I doubt gorgons get to go to christian heaven. whoops. 

Usually I like the little fan-service nods or repeat jokes, they make you smile and the episode moves on, sometimes they're extra good if they mesh with the current story without looking out of place or being too obvious. But this time they were pulling me out of the episode repeatedly which felt weirder because it was supposed to be a wacky fun ep where you don't have to be immersed that deep. Like the teeny teacup, Sam getting his own *stab the ground next to Castiel's face* scene, (does Castiel's unnecessary "HEWLLO" count?), all Castiel's attempts at describing Sam, the "rawr", "H-E-double-hockey-sticks"... ... yeah I lost count. 

If they don't have Dean acknowledging that there's something seriously off about Jack besides the thing with the snake (which after this ep I couldn't blame Dean for not caring about it specifically lol) I'm going to be annoyed, because all of their interactions this episode were painfully awkward - and I know they showed Dean realising that with his little "wtf are you doing Dean" face in the car. But I don't like how they pretty much forgot how to talk to each other after a whole season of trying so hard to mesh with Jack 😞. I think I like Jack with limited/no soul even less. At this point its easy to say that that's because they're all unsure of whats happened to Jack and they did it on purpose, but the degree to which they were playing it as an "angel doesn't understand expression" joke makes me worry that its mostly just that and will be gone with the next writer. 

"What Would the Winchesters Do?"
yeah recently Jack doesn't even have to misinterpret that at all for the world to be completely doomed.

Edited by PinkChicken
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9 hours ago, OrigamiNightmare said:

Why is Jack suddenly so special and overpowered? There has been another Nephilim before and nobody freaked out about her, is it really so much of a power upgrade if it's an archangel as opposed to a regular angel? Ugh

Technically yes.  We were told before he was born that Nephilim are stronger than the angel who sires them.  Just like Jesse was stronger than angels and demons.  That's why I've never wanted Jack around.  Actually, I wanted him to be evil, so if he turns evil now and they have to take him out, I'll be ever so happy.  I'm sure it won't happen, though.

38 minutes ago, PinkChicken said:

I really didn't like the angel vs devil food cake bit, *dramatic music* we get it already. Also real smooth Dean. 

And, silly.  Knowing that chocolate is awesome doesn't make you a bad person If it does, well, I guess we should all be glad I'm not all-powerful.

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Sam spelling out Hell like a little kid had me laughing. He does prissy really well. 

I didn't think it was the mayor, either. I actually thought it might be the woman running the boarding house as she had a walkman.

My guess for the anachronisms is either writer error ( "so they didn't have walkable in the fifties? Really?" ) or the mayor allowed a few modernisms he liked. Walkmans while cleaning house, for example. 

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I liked the episode.  

Glad the snake is gone.  Also glad that they didn't show the snake eating mice.

I liked that little town.

For those who can't get enough of "Pink Shoelaces".  I think this is original

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WGgaZZl_GVg

I know I am  an ass.  I just love to play songs that annoy people.  

No town can possibly be that wholesome,   I get the feeling when the lights go out at night, they are a kinky bunch.  That said, who wouldn't want to live in Charming Acres "Where Everybody's Happy!"?

Scooby Doo shown at the movie theater for $2.00 Matinee

Every time Dean took a bite of his sandwich, I could have sworn it was getting bigger.

Edited by icemiser69
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All I can say is I hope this writer never writes Dean again.  What was that?  Dean's pretty good at connecting and emphasizing with people, but he didn't even try.  He just pawned this situation off an Donatello.  He was completely necessary for this ep.  Jack and Dean could have had a good conversation but sloppy eating and funny faces is bascially want Dean is.

Dean did little more than shove food at himself and others and was afraid of a snake. 

Once again more repeating Dean scenes with Sam, the scene in the bunker reminded me of Dean remembering what happened to Kevin and the scene with Sam and Cas was a repeat of Dean and Cas.  Why is is necessary.  Is this writer completely bankrupt.

It's a shame did didn't learn characterization and had those earlier seasons on as background noise.  She missed a lot.  Seriously how is that professional.

It was nice to finally hear someone called Sam a bad leader because he was.  Dean is a true leader and once again this episode proved that.  He put aside his PTSD and trauma to once again be strong for everyone else.

I feel no sympathy for Sam here.  None.  It's his and Cas's fault those hunters are dead. Dean warned them and but Sam couldn't stop thinking about himself for five minutes.  Another reason he's not a good leader. 

I guess this is Dean's job the rest of the season.  Stand around and eat and watch Jack.

This episode sucked.  I agree its worst episode of the series.

Edited by ILoveReading
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9 hours ago, gonzosgirrl said:

Why was this a Dean-lite episode again? It can't have been for Bacchus - they don't get to air that quickly. Not that I'm so sorry - I can only imagine what girl!Dabb would've written if forced to include more Dean - I'm just curious.

I am curious too! Whatever Jensen was doing, I hope he was enjoying himself; at least that would make one of us in regard to this episode. Because this one was pretty much a flavorless nothing burger for me. I assume naturally that it was Jensen's choice to not be around. Because if it wasn't, then I would have to wonder why Dabb would be so intent on minimizing Jensen's role this way, and not for the first time this season -- what exactly is Dabb afraid of?

But you know, thank goodness we got rid of that "boring" Michael, and managed to remove Dean from any central part in the storyline, in order to make room for this sparking gem! It was a near thing there; for a few episodes I was starting to get invested in what was happening on the show.

11 hours ago, Casseiopeia said:

Are we short a writer or something?  Why did she get to write an ep of SPN with no other writing credits? 

If they are really that hard up for writers, and will apparently let anyone write an episode, there are some fanfic writers that I think would do a great job! Ones that have actually watched and are familiar with every episode in every season since the beginning! 

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13 minutes ago, Bergamot said:

I am curious too! Whatever Jensen was doing, I hope he was enjoying himself; at least that would make one of us in regard to this episode. Because this one was pretty much a flavorless nothing burger for me. I assume naturally that it was Jensen's choice to not be around. Because if it wasn't, then I would have to wonder why Dabb would be so intent on minimizing Jensen's role this way, and not for the first time this season -- what exactly is Dabb afraid of?

My guess is that Jared and Jensen are contacted for a certain number of shooting days.  Jensen probably used quiet a few with Nihilism, Damaged goods and that episode that shall not be named because it still sends me into a rage when I think of it.   So they needed to cut back on his schedule a bit to accommodate that.

I remember before IMDB closed down, someone posted a number of days Jared and Jensen were contracted for.  If true it was roughly half.  I image they probably have a similar contract in place now. 

I'm not sure if shooting schedules are considered a spoiler so I'll tag in case.

Spoiler

I believe Jared filmed a similair number of days for episode 17. 

Another Newbie writer next week.  Oh joy. 

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11 hours ago, gonzosgirrl said:

It was in turns soapy, trite, paint-by-numbers and juvenile. But the worst crime is, it was boring. OMG.

9 hours ago, Wynne88 said:

I thought it was a very pleasant hour of television . . . Of course, it had no passion, or darkness, or nerve-jangling terror, and the way it depicted Dean was totally bizarre.  But it was pleasant.

I agree with both of you. except for the comment about it being pleasant, which implies that it was enjoyable. Or I guess that was a play on words? 🙂 

It reminded me of "Simon Said", which was also about a family with psychic powers. Except the story of Andy and his brother was entwined with that of the Winchesters, since it had to do with Azazel's special kids. The show used to do that -- make even the MOTW episodes significant and important by tying them in to the bigger story about Dean and Sam. Sometimes literally, sometimes just metaphorically. Personally I preferred it that way.

Also at least at the end of "Simon Said", they warned Andy that he had better be good, or they would be back for him. In this episode Sam and Cas were apparently okay with unconcernedly leaving Sunny on her own without even a warning, even though it turns out she was as powerful a psychic as her father. I don't know -- yes, I understand it was her father, but he was murdering people, and I think maybe she could have done something about it sooner. She said she was nothing like her father, but how did Sam and Cas know that was the truth? Maybe she will just re-create the town into a version that she likes better.

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All I got from this waste of airspace is that Sam still yearns for a normal, apple pie life.  He was so ready to sucked in to the town's fake perfection.  

Dean has always had a much lower level of comfort.  He made the bunker his home right away because it was more than he ever thought he would have, or probably thought he deserved.  He probably still feels lucky to be able to walk into the kitchen and make a honkin huge sandwich.  Let him enjoy it however he likes, he's earned it.

Not crazy about the in-your-face good or evil thing with devil's food/angel food.  

Donatello is so much more interesting, even soulless, than Jack.  Whether it's the writing or the actor, he is just so dang boring.  I can't be paid to care about him and his sadness/the state of his soul or anything.  Why do they waste time and energy on characters that suck when there are real characters we hardly ever see? Donna, Jodie, hell even the Wayward Sues are better than Jack.  They can show and tell me forever about how the boys love him, but it does not, will not make me care. 

What I did like, Cas.  He was blunt (like a melon on the sun, heh) confused, (until the cows drag you home) and enough of his old, strong angel kick-ass self that Sam had to catch him off guard to tackle him.  (Been watching season 5 and he just kicked Dean's ass big time, so I was rooting for that Cas to show up.)  

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11 hours ago, gonzosgirrl said:

The only person not affected by Dean's possession was.. Dean.

That was absolutely inexcusable. And I mean that literally -- I am pre-emptively rejecting any feeble excuse that someone may try to come up with for it.  Rowena is traumatized, Sam is suffering because of the loss of his "army", Cas is worried about Jack, and Jack is concerned about the others worrying about him. Okay, we got all that.

But Dean was traumatized as well. He tried so hard to keep Michael from hurting anyone else. And remember that nightmarish moment, just last week, when he realized that Michael had escaped? Does the show expect me to believe that he was unaffected by seeing the dead bodies of Maggie and the other hunters? Or that he doesn't feel responsible?

Obviously, this episode was not about Dean. But there is no reason that someone -- Sam or Cas or Jack -- could not in their turn have asked Dean how he was doing, or acknowledged that what happened had been hard on him as well. And then he could have brushed it off with "I'm fine". (And knowing Jensen, he could have spoken volumes with nothing but that.) It would have taken a few seconds! Is someone going to tell me that the episode was so crammed full of crucial moments that there was absolutely no way to squeeze something like that into it? Inexcusable.

And it leaves such an unpleasant taste in my mouth regarding Sam and Cas. All those histrionics about how they could not possibly lose Dean! Was it all just because they can't do without Dean being there to be Supportive Guy, helping Cas take care of Jack, worrying about how Sam is doing? But once he is filling that role, he is basically unimportant otherwise?  Like I said, I didn't need some big emotional scene, just a casual inquiry or remark. But we couldn't even get that much.

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1 hour ago, icemiser69 said:

That said, who wouldn't want to live in Charming Acres "Where Everybody's Happy"?

Probably most people wouldn't -- I think that was kind of the point. The whole place was built on oppression (psychic/psycho Mayor) and repression (Sam and the townspeople).

I liked the idea of a town living in a delusion, and that the psychic was just some random mostly-human monster. That felt like a throwback kind of MoTW idea, especially how it was meant to tie in with Sam's state of mind, and I wish the show would go back to doing more of that. It was also fun how the town had such a sense of place. That also felt like a bit of a throwback to earlier days of the show, in a good way. And usually Cas is boring to me, but I liked him in this episode. Like when he matter-of-factly asked the clerk, "Scanners I, II, or III?" LOL who the hell has even seen Scanners? I've seen a lot of movies in my time and I didn't know about that series at all.

What didn't work for me was that climax when Cas and Sam fought and Cas made Sam come to his senses. Cas's arguments just didn't seem that moving, and I was kind of surprised that Dreamworld!Sam would even be up for randomly stabbing people to death in the diner anyway. Like really, I would have been like, "You're not a murderer! You're not a puppet!" Not "Sure you were a failure as a leader, blah blah blah." Seemed like a weird (and unpersuasive) tact for Cas to take. I also wasn't feeling Cas and Sam's chemistry this episode. I actually usually like them together, but for whatever reason it wasn't quite gelling.

Dean and Jack's scenes were incredibly awkward, and sometimes that was actually pretty funny but sometimes, eh. They did seem to drag. The scene when Donatello tries and fails to impart some soulless wisdom onto Jack especially should have been more interesting than it was -- nothing was *wrong* per se, but it just seemed so drab. Also, Donatello is just such a tragic figure to me, and he's an interesting character in general, so I feel like he was kind of weirdly wasted in this episode. I agree that he's more interesting than Jack, so I would have been more interested in a story about Donatello that maybe also led to Jack learning something or led to everybody else also getting insight into Jack or something like that. But really, the one of the few spinoffs of SPN that I would legitimately be interested in would be the adventures of the prophets, especially Kevin (and/or AU!Kevin) and Donatello, because I do find being a prophet really tragic and difficult and interesting in the show's universe. So maybe that's just me.

Otherwise, some of Dean's "comedy bits" were pretty funny. I laughed when he opened the carton of leftover Chinese food and found mice inside, but tried to play it cool. And when he made some weird face to himself in the car after yet another incredibly awkward conversation with Jack. It was kind of funny to me that Dean was finding his interactions with Jack as awkward as everyone in the audience must have. I did find that Dean was written really oddly in this episode, though. So upbeat and childlike? I mean, not that he did anything that out of character, it just all had an odd tone.

And I thought that it was genuinely disturbing when Jack put the snake "out of its misery" by turning it to dust in his hands. What was creepy is that he wasn't being malicious at all, but it was still just such an inhuman thing to do. I think part of the point of Dean being grossed out and creeped out by everything was to show how cold and "alien" Jack was acting in comparison, but it was too ham-handed and over the top to really work. Same thing with Dean constantly wanting to eat and Jack never wanting to eat.

That said, the only joke that I actually disliked was Jack choosing the angel v. devil cake. The show played it up way too much and the joke wasn't clever enough to handle that kind of attention. Also, I wish that instead of devil's food cake, they had used Flaming Hot Cheetos or something. And maybe the "angel's food" could have been some sort of ambrosia pudding. To be fair, though, maybe my distaste is because I find those kind of packaged cakes gross. Like if I had been Jack, I would have been like, "PASS" on those choices, soul or no soul.

Oh, and I was really excited for a minute near the end when it sounded like they were going to leave the bunker and go back on the road. But then, nope. Really too bad. I mean, honestly, Sam did have a point that the bunker has lots of terrible memories in it. This wasn't even the first massacre they've had there. Plus, I like the road trips and the motels and stuff, and I miss them.

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1 hour ago, ILoveReading said:

My guess is that Jared and Jensen are contacted for a certain number of shooting days.

Thanks, that makes sense!

49 minutes ago, trudysmom said:

his old, strong angel kick-ass self

I still prefer when Cas could put someone to sleep by simply touching their forehead. That was back when he was a real angel, when just looking at his true form would burn out your eyes.  I know those days are gone, but to me it still seems bizarre, and to tell the truth pretty unimpressive, to see an angel struggling and punching and rolling around on the ground trying to subdue a mere human. 

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Dean still was in too much of this ep apparently because the gross eating shtick and the stupid overdone snake fear was not the least bit needed - or funny. Meanwhile he is finer than fine after Michael. Yeah, it was really great that he was kicked out of the story for...absolutely nothing afterwards.

I couldn`t care less about Nougatnatural. 

Sam and Cas is not a combo I`m really interested in.  

I don`t think this was the worst episode of the show because that honor still firmly belongs to 5.22 as fas as I`m concerned but it was just boring and stupid.   

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3 hours ago, PinkChicken said:

ean's reaction to the mice was much funnier to me, because he has always hated rats; and I was already equally fuming and laughing at Jack trying to feed the snake random food that I appreciated the peek at the mice at the end of that scene. 

That moment was the highlight of the episode for me. That is the deft comic timing that Jensen does so well. His reaction shiftt from talking to Jack, seeing the food box, and opening only to see rats was perfect. Not OTT nor too broad. Impeccable timing and voice control.

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3 hours ago, PinkChicken said:

What Would the Winchesters Do?"
yeah recently Jack doesn't even have to misinterpret that at all for the world to be completely doomed.

Love this!

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I mostly liked this well enough, overall. It wasn't particularly well done, I suppose, but, for me, I generally like the more stand-alone episodes than I do the ones tied to the entire myth-arc of the show, which is getting really tiresome. 

A couple of questions that come to mind (I had some others, but they have mostly been covered already):

If, as Donatello says, having no soul makes you incapable of caring, empathy, etc, wouldn't the very fact of not wanting to worry someone, as Alex claimed, mean that you do, in fact, care how you make others feel? For that matter, even Donatello seems capable of that, even if he claims it's all just pulling the WWMRD in order to "blend". The whole concept of being soulless has never really struck me as convincing in any of the times the show has used it.

Also, why would the Mayor need to actually show up at the diner (and, get himself disarmed in the process) in order to make Sam's head explode? When Justin (mark I) began remembering his past life, he more or less immediately went into head-exploding mode by remote control, so shouldn't the Mayor have been able to give Sam the same treatment?

As for the snake, I suppose that, if animals have a soul and go to heaven, or whatever, it maybe should have been written more to imply that the snake would just go to be with the Gorgon wherever he happened to be, but I suppose "heaven" is just a fluffier way of putting it. Meh. I don't even know much about snakes, but was also wondering why the snake's being off his food necessarily needed to imply that it was pining. The whole thing was probably just some sort of foreshadowing of Jack's powers.

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1 hour ago, starfishka said:

All am gonna say is: am really happy this season has "only" 20 episodes.

And that feels like too many if for no other reason than, yes, the Js are only contracted for half-time. But this year it feels like Jensen is working even less than that. Don't forget, he didn't really appear in the season premiere either. I don't feel like Jared's schedule has been anywhere near as light this year.

1 hour ago, Bergamot said:

And it leaves such an unpleasant taste in my mouth regarding Sam and Cas. All those histrionics about how they could not possibly lose Dean! Was it all just because they can't do without Dean being there to be Supportive Guy, helping Cas take care of Jack, worrying about how Sam is doing? But once he is filling that role, he is basically unimportant otherwise?  Like I said, I didn't need some big emotional scene, just a casual inquiry or remark. But we couldn't even get that much. 

Once Sam becomes laser focused on himself, that's the way it goes - he can't simply care about what Dean should be going through, and Cas is little better. So yes, it does feel like they count on Dean to worry about them and support them, and as long as he's fulfilling that specific need for them, nothing else matters where it concerns Dean. I'd like to believe that's not really the case, but in an episode like this, it certainly comes off that way.

I don't care if Dabb & Co. don't care about Dean or giving him a storyline, or whatever, the fact of the matter is that Dean was attached to the Michael storyline for the better part of the season. To rip him out of it right before the climax was exceptionally bad plotting. But to follow it up by writing the character as being completely unaffected in the aftermath, or trying to pretend like he was never involved in the first place, is more than bad writing, it's just ignorant.

Yes, the Hunterettes were annoying, boring, and I'd hazard a guess that 99% of the viewing audience could have cared less about them, and didn't even remember they existed when they weren't in an episode - including me. And Dean was never close to them, he wasn't their Supreme Leader!, doncha know. But Dean is still supposed to be Dean, and it should/would bother him as much as Sam that they died, in the bunker, and especially by Michael's hand. So for Dean to be reduced to comedy relief/driving Miss Nougat in this particular episode was, well, ignorant.

But I guess those sandwiches won't eat themselves.

As for Nougat Sue, why does anyone care if he has a soul, especially Cas? Once he flashed wings last week, he wasn't human anyway, isn't supposed to have a soul, so nothing's really changed where he's concerned. The showrunner is trying to have it both ways with this character - sorry, you can't. Pick a side.

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Isn't this the episode that Jensen posted on instagram that he had some "unexpected" time off?  He took the fam to NO on a surprise vacation.  I wonder what happened to the script that made Dean's participation unnecessary. 

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19 minutes ago, Casseiopeia said:

Isn't this the episode that Jensen posted on instagram that he had some "unexpected" time off?  He took the fam to NO on a surprise vacation.  I wonder what happened to the script that made Dean's participation unnecessary. 

If it was a newbie writer, I'd guess when they started blocking the scenes they found the ep was way too long.  And decided that the Dean scenes were unnecessary and so decided to cut them.  I'm guessing what they cut was all of Dean's angst/guilt scenes and decided to go with just a few flashbacks for Sam.  

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One thing that has bothered me a bit since I saw it was Jack at the end with the snake.  Oh, yeah, I'll make it all better by killing you!  I really hope they aren't going to go with a" Jack has to learn right and wrong and what's appropriate or not and how the cosmos works and all that stuff" run of episodes.  He learned to speak because he "was her [Kelly]" so he should know right from wrong, and about how the world works, and even something about heaven and angels because Kelly did.  So, I'm afraid we're in for a bunch of Eeek! It's a Toddler With a Loaded Gun! episodes.  

I'm definitely not looking forward to those.  I can see it now ...  The marionette who wants to be a real boy and the three Jimineys following along behind him.   Boring!  I'll take an entire hour of the bros digging up a corpse to salt and burn it first.  Far more interesting and better (sweaty) eye candy. 

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4 minutes ago, Cambion said:

Oh, yeah, I'll make it all better by killing you!  I really hope they aren't going to go with a" Jack has to learn right and wrong and what's appropriate or not and how the cosmos works and all that stuff"

I think since Sam is kind of bummed, Jack is going to think he needs to "help" him.

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I was rolling my eyes at the ridiculously dramatic long shots of the cream swirling in the coffee, which apparently was so mesmerizing that the episode needed two of them.  Pretty much on par with that silly angel food/devil's food cake scene that apparently the episode had time for.  Who was directing?

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