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Category: Recaps

supernatural-heaven-cant-wait
Season 9 of Supernatural currently has two major, season-long plotlines: hunting down Abaddon and stopping the angels, specifically Metatron and Gadreel, that have fallen to Earth. The latter storyline has taken a back seat to the former in recent weeks, but it looks like that is about to change.
Misha Collins, who plays the angel Castiel on the show, reveals to the “Spoiler Chat” column at E! Online that the two paths will soon merge:

“Tyler: I need more info on Castiel’s return on Supernatural. We’ve gone too long without our favorite angel.
Relax, you can expect a big ‘convergence’ between Cas’ storyline and the brothers’ storyline very, very soon, but Misha Collins previews a conflicted Castiel as he now is the reluctant leader of the angels in the quest to stop Metatron. ‘Cas knows from personal experience that when he has a position of power, he tends to screw things up, so he’s definitely gun-shy.’”

Collins also spoke to EW.com earlier this week ahead of his great directorial debut episode, entitled “Mother’s Little Helper,” and revealed the following about Cas’ arc for the rest of this season:

“Cas is on his own, continuing to hunt Metatron and figure out how he can get back at Metatron and restore the natural heavenly order,” Collins said. “The reluctant leader is something that continues to be a storyline for Cas this season.” But he won’t be alone for long, as fans “will see him reunite with the Winchesters. Cas will be woven into [the Mark of Cain] storyline. Dean and Cas are going to attempt to collaborate again.”
“Cas is on his own, continuing to hunt Metatron and figure out how he can get back at Metatron and restore the natural heavenly order,” Collins said. “The reluctant leader is something that continues to be a storyline for Cas this season.” But he won’t be alone for long, as fans “will see him reunite with the Winchesters. Cas will be woven into [the Mark of Cain] storyline. Dean and Cas are going to attempt to collaborate again.”

He also said that the show would explore the effects of Castiel’s stealing another angel’s grace. “I don’t know about Cas trying to find his own Grace, but I do know that there are side effects,” he said. “Cas has sort of got a stiff upper lip about it, and he’s trying to forge on, but it does become an issue for him.”

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xagent-dean-hard-at-work_jpg_pagespeed_ic_UFAvHikbyIA wise prophet once said, “The drama, the fighting? It’s stupid.” And like many viewers, Kevin Tran’s speech in Supernatural Season 9 Episode 14 about Sam and Dean getting over their current problem rings true. We all want the Winchester brothers to be best buds again, and we’d like to think that the two can eventually move forward together. Because the option we don’t want – the actual parting of ways, severing of ties – is the sad one and a possibility both brothers witnessed in the latest installment. While Supernatural Season 9 Episode 15 was focused on the monster of the week, Thinman, it was the familial drama that was at its core. And bringing along the return of the Ghostfacers overtly reiterated the concept.
#THINMAN
I always thought the Ghostfacers were a fun and goofy addition to the series, so I was pleased Ed and Harry came back (and yes, a brief Ghostafacers theme). Their initial meet-up with Sam and Dean at the diner was humorous, especially because we all know the Winchesters are the experienced hunters no matter what Ed and Harry think. There were some lighthearted moments from the duo, but that soon took a downward spiral as their partnership echoed Sam and Dean’s current predicament. Sure, Ed and Harry’s are on a smaller scale, but the parallel’s (living a normal life, lying and trust, trying to hold onto your best friend by any means) were obvious. Sometimes the dialogue was painfully obvious, and really, the Ghostfacers were a plot device for Sam and Dean. But on some level, I was OK with that. Did I wish that the two stayed happy and comical? Yes, but I liked that Sam and Dean got to see essentially their argument on the outside. Sometimes, it’s a lot harder to recognize the issues until you see them from another perspective.
It’s just disappointing that the Ghostfacers had to go their separate ways in order to illustrate exactly what could happen to Sam and Dean. There just might be an empty rocking chair beside them. But I like to think that those moments might help push them towards getting over their issues and realize that this is one of those times to do so. I really want moments like Sam and Dean laughing and reminiscing about their youth. The story about Sam jumping off the roof as Batman was funny and touched on those feel good moments we grew to love about the brotherly bond. And really, the whole hunt itself, aside from the fact we knew Sam and Dean were fighting, harkened back to those days of tracking down urban legends. As for Thinman himself, a take off of Slenderman (who probably couldn’t be used because of copyright issues) was a very cool and scary monster of the week. The faceless being that appears behind people taking selfies or really anywhere is just creepy. I’m still unsure how I feel about Thinman actually just being people, as I was kind of hoping the creature would be more than just the meme that Ed created. It was interesting that the hour chose the direction, especially with both people getting killed at the end. Dean’s Mark of Cain maybe contributed? But it does bring up that fact that the guys going for hardcore cosplay weren’t demons or vampires or monsters. They were just people, and that is a far more gray area, even if the people are sick wackos. At least, there was acknowledgment on the show itself that it was very Scooby Doo in its reveal. If it weren’t for those meddling kids… But everything comes back to Sam and Dean drama, a drama I’m ready to get over, but one that obviously still needs time before a final move from the brothers. Were the parallels perhaps too obvious? Maybe. But I’m hoping that if anything Sam and Dean are taking something in from the Ghostfacers, from Kevin’s speech, etc.. The boys have always managed to get into fights and have drama. They’ve both done wrong, and they’ve both done right. It’s time to move forward, guys. Just don’t make the same move Ed and Harry did.
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The Winchesters tackle a fat-sucking monster in this week’s episode. Here’s Anastasia’s review…

This review contains spoilers.

9.13 The Purge

What’s perhaps the most remarkable thing about The Purge is the way that it feels like it continues the previous episodes. With television continuity being an iffy thing in general (what with its variety of writers and the network’s demands), and with Supernatural having so many seasons of material to work with, it’s continuity is more often than not lacklustre. But this episode works because it really, truly feels like it follows the previous ones, with the characterization and character development making so much sense in relation to what we’ve seen so far that it’s easy to overlook whatever flaws the episode does have and enjoy it as a whole.

The episode begins (after the obligatory opener of murder) with Dean, deep in concentration on his computer. He hasn’t slept all night, and he’s not looking good. Though he brushes it away with an offhand comment about staying up to watch films, it’s patently clear that it’s something else that’s been eating away at him: his conversation with Sam in the preceding episode. Sam’s made it clear that he doesn’t’ see their relationship, or “family,” the way Dean does, and Dean’s taken it hard. But, in the true Dean Winchester way, he coldly pretends not to care, insisting to Sam “I don’t break that easy.” But it’s more than painfully obvious to anyone who knows Dean’s character that he’s hurting, and his tried-and-tested method of dealing with it is posturing and pretending.

But, despite their falling-out, Sam and Dean are still engaged in the family business, so off on a hunt they go. This time, they’re confronting a monster who seems to be sucking the fat out of people. After doing some preliminary investigating, they discover that all the creepy supernatural murder stuff seems to be originating from Canyon Valley Spa, and off they head, going undercover as a fitness trailer and kitchen assistant. The episode quickly goes for the good old method of awkwardness-induced laughs, as Dean does his patently ridiculous act of faking enthusiasm for something he knows nothing about; since the plot requires the aforementioned spa owners to be absolutely unable to see through Dean’s obvious faking, they get the job. They’re in, and in between pretending to help people lose weight and trying not to starve themselves, they investigate.

Originally, I didn’t have high hopes for this aspect of the episode; with its preliminary title being “Let the Fat One In,” I did an uncomfortable little eyebrow raise and waited with anxiety, wondering if this episode would go the route of shaming those who didn’t conform to certain narrow standards of beauty, or alternatively, laugh at the expense of those who strove to. Surprisingly, though, none of the humour was at the expense of the appearances of the episode’s characters (with a few brief exceptions, for example when Dean, in a bit of a cringe-worthy scene, asks “how is he your type?” of the beautiful, slender Mol). Still, I’d hoped that perhaps this episode might take itself up on its potential for parody; the show has a great track record for using monsters as metaphors for aspects of contemporary culture it wants to critique (from the horror movie industry in Hollywood Babylon to celebrity culture – remember that time Paris Hilton was an evil monster?) With Doctor Who’s “Partners in Crime” in mind, I’d vainly hoped this episode might provide the same kind of critique of beauty and body standards, but I can live with the fact that it didn’t.

Eventually, following a trail of creepy-looking suction marks, Sam and Dean discover that the monster is Maritza, the spa owner. She claims to be a Pishtaco, and I admit, I actually Googled the name to see if this was an actual monster, of if Supernatural’s just given up and started making things up (with so many seasons, it wouldn’t be surprising). Pishtacos are actually a Peruvian mythological figure, which makes the episode just that much cleverer; one of the things I love about Supernatural is its ability to adapt ancient myths to modern-day America, and this is one of the examples in which it succeeds.

This particular monster’s adapted quite well to modern-day society; she’s married to a human, eating just enough to get by without killing anyone (and there’s a beautiful irony in the monster being the one on a diet even as she helps other people lose weight), and is an all-around good person/monster. At the same time, this episode portrays the possibility of monsters being both good and evil with a lot more subtlety. Unlike the preceding Sharp Teeth, which bashed its viewers over the head with grey area, this one offers a more compelling portrait of coexistence that makes its own argument through its believability.

Of course, Dean’s not quite so quick to see it that way. After disposing of Maritza’s brother, who’s the monster who’s actually been killing people, he’s more than willing to kill the innocent as well. Though this might seem like a regression in character development, I don’t think it is: even though Dean’s developed as a character overall in terms of being able to see the possibility of good even in monsters (i.e. Benny), he’s in a very dark place right now. Sam’s informed him that he doesn’t want to be brothers anymore, the weight of his decisions is crushing him, and he’s still sporting the Mark of Cain. The result is a mindset in which he’s bound to see the world as darker than it is, and unwilling to see good even where it exists. So, what might seem like character development reads, at least to me, like continuity.

The episode ends with another very important conversation between Sam and Dean; in a way, this one’s merely a continuation of the one they had at the end of last episode, because of course there can only be so many “chick-flick moments” in a single episode before they start to threaten the Winchesters’ masculinity.

This conversation is painful – both for the viewer to watch, but also for Dean, who hears some of the most painful truths he’s ever heard. In short: Dean attempts to justify his decisions regarding Sam and saving his life by taking away his choice. Sam is family, his brother, everything Dean has, and saving him is “the right thing to do,” Dean insists. Sam disagrees: it’s not. Sam values his ability to choose above his life (how fitting in the context of Supernatural and its many-season battle for free will), and he says a very important truth. Dean saves other people for himself as much as for other people; he’s found a way to validate his existence only through his ability to care for and save other people. The result, of course, is his dependency on Sam for his own self-worth, his inability to live life for his own sake – and the great burden it places on other people to be the object of Dean’s sometimes-crushing need to express his affection.

Watching Dean hear these truths is more than heartbreaking. Sam’s doesn’t mince words, and the bluntness of the truth he speaks Dean will doubtless see as rejection. Sam insisting he wouldn’t save Dean under the same circumstances will sound, to Dean, as if his own brother doesn’t love him back with the same strength – when really, Sam simply values choice above all. It’s obviously not true that when Dean makes sacrifices, other people get hurt more than he does (he did, after all, spend forty years in Hell for Sam’s sake), and that, too, will sound like a painful blow. But there’s a very large kernel of truth to Sam’s words.

And, despite the pain and heartbreak, they’re words necessary for character development, and I revel in this fact. I’ve always loved Dean Winchester as a character – I’ve loved his complexity, his heroism, and his darkness, and I hope that one day Dean Winchester will learn to see that in himself as well, rather than validating his existence through others. I long for a healthy relationship for the brothers, in which they are able to love each other and yet respect each other’s choices, because they don’t cling to each other as their only reason for existence. Sam seems to have moved towards accomplishing this, finding ways to live without Dean’s existence completely defining who he is, and now it’s Dean’s turn. That makes this ultimately painful scene exactly what Supernatural needs, because it suggests that its many seasons of cycling through the same unhealthy interdependence that repeatedly sends the world to hell might actually transform into something newer and fresher.

However, while all that stuff is happening, I’ve just got one question: where the Hell did Castiel go?
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Date: February 8th | Category: General, Images, Recaps, Reviews, Spoilers, Supernatural, Synopsis
View Comments // View All Comments (0) | Posted by Sara

Tonights episode of The Vampire Diaries is sure to be as action packed as ever. Be sure to refresh your memory on what happened last week by watching the rehash below

Date: February 7th | Category: Recaps, Vampire Diaries, Videos
View Comments // View All Comments (0) | Posted by Katherine
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