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A 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.
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. Source
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? Source
The Vampire Academy “Blood Sisters” is due for release in the US on the 7th February (us Aussies will have to wait till March..). However, author Richelle Mead has been lucky enough to watch the movie in the comfort of her own home recently. Below are answers to some questions fans have:
Is the movie a comedy?
No! I know some of the advertising really plays up the humorous side, but you have to trust me that the movie exactly matches the tone of the book: a dark, action-packed story with elements of humor and romance spliced throughout. That humor angle was played up in the ads and posters to pull in new viewers who think supernatural books/movies are dull, and it worked! We’ve seen an increase in new readers, which is awesome news. People who are worried about comedy are also worried this is “too high school.” But remember: all the angst and Russian adventure happens later in the series. This first book IS set in high school, but all the dark and serious issues are still totally there. If you watch TV, the odds are good you’ve probably seen a commercial that plays up the movie’s serious side. If not, check out these two trailers to see what I mean: Last Stand and Learn to Kill.
Is the movie true to the book?
This is the big question on everyone’s mind, and I say yes! As I watched it, I was really amazed at how many scenes they kept from the book. I expected more cutting. Some scenes go by fast (understandable with a 1:45 running time), but the moviemakers worked really hard to give at least a nod to every fan favorite scene. Here’s one of my favorites that I could watch over and over: Christian using fire magic in class.
But were changes made?
Of course. Anyone expecting a page by page translation of the book should just listen to the audio version because that’s the only way such a thing is possible. Books and movies are different mediums. You have less time in a movie, and some things that are awesome on the page aren’t so great on the screen. You also have to make sure the movie makes sense to people who’ve read the book AND to those who haven’t. That’s where a lot of adaptations go bad: they cater too much to readers only or too much to newcomers. I’m happy to say this movie hits the right balance, and all the changes made were really smart ones. There’s nothing that radically alters the main plot or characters. They make things look bigger and better and also clarify confusing issues. For me, tweaks like that are part of the adaptation process, and I actually enjoy seeing them.
How was the cast?
Um, awesome! Seriously. I’ve said from the beginning that I’ve loved the casting, and seeing them act just proved it. Every casting decision was spot on, and they were cast not just on their ability to play the character but also on how they interacted with the others. Chemistry is key in this series! Zoey IS Rose, and you’re going to have a hard time deciding which guy you love most because Danila, Dominic, and Cameron all knock it out of the park as Dimitri, Christian, and Mason. I especially love that everyone in the movie–whether they were the star or a small side role–really “got” their character. Lucy Fry, for example, read the book five times to understand Lissa. Seeing the cast bring the characters I created made me feel so emotional and reminded me why readers love those characters so much. It even made ME remember why I love those characters so much and that…gasp…maybe I want to keep writing stories about them!
Is the movie just the first book or all the books?
I’m so surprised this keeps getting asked. I can’t even fathom putting all six books into one movie. It’s just the first.
What about scenes in the trailer that appear to be radically different from the book?
I stand by my earlier statement that this is very true to the book. There are some flashbacks, dream sequences, and background scenes that were added, and seeing snippets of those is what’s confusing some people. Watch the movie. It’ll all make sense.
Are there werewolves in this?
THEY’RE PSI-HOUNDS, modeled exactly off a drawing I made for director Mark Waters.
Is there going to be a movie of Frostbite?
That depends on the success of this one! If it does well, there’ll be a sequel (and hopefully more). Part of the reason such a young cast was chosen was because everyone hopes there’ll be six more years of movies! But this one needs to do well. VA has a big following, but it’s no Harry Potter or Hunger Games. Half of those series’ fan bases could stay home, and they’d still succeed at the theater. We need our full fan base and new people at the theater to be successful, which is why the marketing team has worked so hard to pull in new viewers who don’t normally go to paranormal films.
What’s the final word?
The final word is that I’m super thrilled with the way the movie turned out, and I think you will be too. I’ve seen jaded people comment that I HAVE to say I like it, but here’s the truth: you can believe what you want, but I have a very hard time lying to you guys about things. For example, when my publishers give me covers I don’t like (yeah, it happens), I can’t bring myself to tell you I think they’re good. So, I’ll find a different positive way to spin it, like, “My publisher worked really hard on this and is so excited about it!” That’s what I’d be doing if I thought this movie was bad. Instead, I can say to you straight on that I really love it and hope you guys will as well. From cast to dialogue to breathtaking visuals, they really outdid themselves. The future of the franchise is in your hands now, so go see it! See it on opening day, and bring a bunch of friends because those opening numbers are critical. And remember, a successful first movie means we could very likely see Adrian and Eddie soon…
Supernatural season 9, episode 12 “Sharp Teeth” will see the return of DJ Qualls’ quirky hunter, Garth, one of the Winchesters’ few remaining friends.
The Winchesters are currently separated. Dean went on a solo mission to hunt down Gadreel, though he took a detour with Crowley to find the First Blade, the only weapon that can kill a Knight of Hell. Dean took the mark of Cain from Cain himself in order to wield the First Blade against Abaddon.
Meanwhile, Castiel and Sam returned to the bunker where Castiel continued healing Sam’s lingering trial damage.
However, it looks like the brothers will be reuniting in the January 28 episode to help an old friend.
The official synopsis for Supernatural season 9, episode 12 “Sharp Teeth” reads:
GARTH RETURNS — After finding out that Garth (guest star DJ Qualls) is in the hospital, Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles) go to check on him. Still carrying the guilt over Kevin, Dean lays into Garth about disappearing and demands to know where he’s been. Garth makes an excuse and then hightails it away from the guys. Confused as to why Garth would run from them, Sam and Dean do some investigating and are stunned by what they find. John Showalter directed the episode written by Adam Glass (912).
Promotional stills from the episode show Dean and Garth reuniting, while it looks like Sam has gotten himself into some trouble.