Supernatural Favorites, Season 7

[Note:  This week’s post was all set and ready to go, so this weekend’s big (and happy) news will have to wait until next week.]

Season 7: a wedding (ugh), Leviathans (blech), Bobby’s death (boo!), and Castiel’s redemption (sort of).  Oh, and Sam got his head fixed.  (More on that in a moment.)  According to IMDB, TV.com, and TV Fanatic, the top 5 episodes for the season are:

  1. Time After Time (712)
  2. Meet the New Boss (701)
  3. (tie) Death’s Door (710) and The Born Again Identity (717)
  4. The Girl with the Dungeons and Dragons Tattoo (720)

How close did these episodes come to my favorites?  Pretty darned close, although it wasn’t an exact match.

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Supernatural: The Executioner’s Song (+2, or 3)

Your thoughts on “The Executioner’s Song?”  Here’s mine.

Dean Winchester does battles with Cain.  Yes, that Cain.

It’s the Battle of the First Borns.

1.  Jensen Ackles is back, baby!

In the past I’ve called him the most underrated actor in Hollywood.  But recently he hasn’t overwhelmed me.  His performances haven’t been bad—I don’t think Jensen’s talent or work ethic would allow that—but they haven’t been as riveting as I’ve come to expect. It was wonderful to see him back in full form again.  Every single one of Dean’s scene in “The Executioner’s Song” was magnificent.  Even before his confrontation with Cain, Dean’s fear and sorrow drew me in and didn’t let go.

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Best of Supernatural Season 7, Part 1

Big announcement!  TNT begins airing  season 8 episodes of Supernatural this Thursday, October 10.  Yay!  Now, on to the top five of the first half of season 7.

#1.  Time After Time (712)

This episode gets 5 stars.I thought season 7 had only one 5-star episode, but it turns out there are two.  This is one.  It was so good in so many ways.

Dean teams with Eliot Ness to take down a monster.

Team 1944: Dean Winchester & Eliot Ness

I love time travel, and Supernatural does it well.  It’s usually about the fate of the world and our heroes’ destiny, but that wasn’t the case here.  Rather, the drama was a bit more straightforward—gank the monster and get Dean back to the present.  It was about two brothers working towards the same goals in two different eras, with some funny and heartfelt moments along the way.

Nicholas Lea made a terrific Eliot Ness.  Plainspoken, unemotional, he was the straight man to Dean’s wisecracks and movie innuendos.  He wasn’t encumbered with the usual hunter-associated baggage.  He was simply trying to make a difference.  His ‘boo-hoo” speech to Dean was spot-on for an age when men didn’t discuss their feelings.  They were too busy fighting and dying in a war.

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Supernatural: Fundamental Brother, Man

Reading Is Fundamental (721)

This episode gets 4 stars.I didn’t pay much attention to this episode initially.  Was I so damned tired of the Leviathan story line I tuned out?  Or had I come to just not care about the series?  Either way, now that I’ve been fully rejuvenated by season 8…

Wow!  “Reading Is Fundamental” deftly set things in motion for season 8, while being action-packed and interesting on its own.

As the Winchesters unearth a stone tablet with strange writing on it, a teen from Michigan is struck by lightning, Castiel wakes up from his Sam-induced coma (from “The Born-Again Identity“), a storm covers the entire continental U.S., and thousands of babies are born.

Teen-aged Kevin Tran can read the stone tablet.

Meet Kevin Tran. He’s in advanced placement.

The teen of course is one Kevin Tran.  When he wakes from his lightning-induced coma, he goes in search of the tablet, although he has no idea why.  Not only does the broken tablet mend in his hands, he’s able to read its writing, albeit with difficulty.

The new, kinder, gentler Castiel has a sense of humor; but he’s also a bit philosophically wonky, which drives an irritated Dean nuts.

But even a wonky angel is useful.  He explains the tablet is the  word of God, written by God’s scribe Metatron.  (Interestingly, it’s Sam, not movie-obsessed Dean, who confuses Metatron with Megatron, the evil transformer.)  Castiel also tells us that Kevin is a prophet.

None of this meant much to me in mid-2012.  But now that we’ve actually met Metatron, it’s canon.  (Plus, I’ve since seen Transformers, so I have a point of reference.)

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Supernatural: Man, King, Mentalists

What the heck? The CW didn’t show any Supernatural repeats this week. Don’t they realize this messes with my viewing and reviewing schedule?

The Man Who Would Be King (620)

This episode gets 3 stars.

Castiel is caught in a ring of holy fire.

Lie to the Winchesters, get trapped in a ring of holy fire.

That “man” would be Castiel (who isn’t technically a man). The episode feels a bit like a season review, told from Castiel’s perspective. Cass tries to explain his motives for his questionable behavior all season.  Cass rescued Sam from Lucifer’s cage, but left his soul in hell.  (On purpose or botched job?)  He burned Not-Crowley’s bones to get the Winchesters off Crowley’s tail, because he’d teemed up with the chief crossroads demon.  He deceived the Winchesters to the point they no longer trusted him.  And his worst actions didn’t occur until the next episodes!

I remember being confused by Cass’s actions in season 6—and not liking him very much.  This episode was supposed to clear things up and show us that Castiel’s motives were righteous, even if his actions weren’t.  I didn’t get it in 2011.

I get it now.

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Supernatural Revisited: A Three-fer

Episodes discussed here:  Hello, Cruel World (702); Adventures in Babysitting (711); As Time Goes By (812)

Over at SciFi Chicks, I had begun reviewing three Supernatural episodes per week: the current season’s episode which airs on the CW, and two (of at least 15) episodes which air on TNT per week.  The goal was to have fans rank the episodes, but it wasn’t much of a success.   I’ve gotten into the habit of watching, so why not continue to review and rate the shows?  Especially since one of next week’s shows is “Dead in the Water,” a favorite.

Hello Cruel World (702)

This episode gets 4 stars The second episode of the fairly lackluster 7th season begins with the demise of the angel Castiel, which is fine with me.  I’m not a big fan of Castiel, primarily because so many fans prefer Dean and Castiel to Dean and Sam.  For me, the show is about two brothers, and that’s where the show’s charm and drama lie.  What’s more dramatic, and more satisfying, than family?  Well, maybe chocolate.

Dean shows Sam how to determine what's real and what's not.

Dean shows Sam how to determine reality. It hurts.

Throughout season 6 Castiel had become more untrustworthy and egomaniacal, eventually proclaiming himself the new God.  In his attempt to absorb all the souls from purgatory (why this was a good thing?), Castiel absorbed a bunch of Leviathans, ancient and extremely nasty creatures that ooze black goo.  The Leviathans consume Castiel and he  ultimately explodes in the Sioux Falls, SD, municipal water system.  Yeah, that’s not good.

Long ago, at the end of season 6, Castiel destroyed the wall in Sam’s head, which had separated Sam’s soul from his memories of hell.  Now Sam is seeing Lucifer, who says Sam is still in hell, and everything else (meaning Dean and Bobby) is imaginary.  Fortunately, Dean saves Sam by showing him how to determine what’s real by pressing his right thumb into the stitched-up palm of his left hand.   See?  Family is all.

Thus, the main arcs for the  season 7 are set.

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