When this episode begins – Dean is still pretty frosty, but because Sam asks so nicely, Dean’s going to give Jack a chance.  Intriguing things are happening on Supernatural and this season’s going somewhere interesting, I’m (almost) sure.

 

There’s so much honest communication going on, I’m loving it.  Have the writers finally realized that action and freaky goings-on are nice, but actual talking is even better?  I hope so.  We, the viewers, need something to connect with and if the characters onscreen aren’t even connecting with each other?  Well, then that’s really boring.  Remember when BM’s (brotherly moments) gave us so much to squee over?  I’m with Marie from “Fan Fiction” when I say that I’ve missed those awesome moments.  Marie would also probably agree with me when I say that I’m disappointed that there’s no tap dancing in Supernatural, sadly.

Anyway, I remember when people were not happy about the fact that Mary might be riding around in Baby with the boys, last season.  That didn’t happen since Mary was so standoffish, but now I’m loving Jack being with his “brothers” in the Impala.  It’s sad that Adam didn’t get the chance to do ride-alongs with his big brothers.  Sigh.  Now though, Jack’s being adorable as he’s trying to get Dean to like him and listening to his mentor Sam about a lot of important life lessons.  Jack says that he doesn’t feel anything, but I can’t see how that could be altogether true.  He smiles when someone’s nice to him and he frowns when Dean’s irked with him.  He’s probably just trying to understand human feelings.  At least Dean appreciates his digging abilities.

06

We meet a new monster in this episode who’s trying to be a good person anyway.  Mia’s a great character and she can reappear in the future, as she’s good with all three of our guys.  She’s a shapeshifter with too many white furnishings, in my opinion.  I’ve got brown carpet and tan furniture that I can’t keep clean, so how does she keep everything that white with all the blood and skin that she sheds so quickly?  I think I’ll muse on the lore of shapeshifters later in this review.

It’s so perfect that a grief counselor is here for our imperfect men.  What a fantastic way to make them talk to each other and spew out important truths.  So, Sam did notice that Mary was avoiding him and only communicated through Dean. Yes! Lovely way to provide continuity, Ms. Glynn.  You know, I used to think that I craved bro-hugs from this show, but now I’m thinking that I crave continuity, more.  I want the story to flow organically (my thanks to Nate Winchester who brought up this subject) and I want to feel like the characters are real people with memories of their lives, not just clay puppets to mold at will.  Sam and Dean aren’t Mr. Bill, you know.  Hey, that’d be a fun episode, right?  Forget Scooby Do, we could have adventures in clay animation. Okay, where was I?  Oh yes, our boys are communicating, and boy, does that feel good.  It’s so poignant that Dean told Sam not to give up hope and to keep the faith for both of them.  Dean’s sorry for acting the way he has this last while, and we all forgive him.  Sam and I do, at least.  So far, Jack seems like a forgiving sort of guy, too.

Now, about Cas and The Empty.  I’m not quite sure what I think about that, yet.  I cringe at yet another weird Cas impression and I’m puzzled about the rules for that place.  The Entity says that angels and demons go there for eternal, peaceful slumber.  Okay, I can see that being true for angels and other mostly nice beings, but to have demons there – now that confuses me.  Angels don’t have souls and demons have souls – just twisted and evil ones.  Monsters have to deal with Purgatory and that seems like a rotten place to be.  A vampire is a human monster who was turned, usually through no fault of their own, so why are they getting a harsher afterlife than demons?  I don’t get it.  I’m also not thrilled with the depiction of The Empty, but I can see how limitations of budget would prohibit anything fancier.  I guess I envisioned The Empty more like howling, swirling tunnels of nothingness that go on forever.  Being lost in a dark maze for all eternity would be my idea of a horrible afterlife.  I’ve had a phobia of getting lost since I was a little girl and even now as a mature adult, I still can panic if I get confused about where I am and what direction I’m going.  Lostaphobia’s what it’s called.  (Probably not.)  Anyhoo, The Entity from The Empty has most likely thrown Cas out for being a bad bunk buddy and not sleeping.  At least we think it’s Cas.  More observant fans than I – they have pointed out that it might not really be Cas, at all.  Verrry interesting.  Time will tell, guys, and I’m excited about the possibilities of that scenario.

Buddy, the sadistic shapeshifting ex-boyfriend of Mia’s, must interrupt the much-needed therapy that our boys are receiving.  I think it’s the pot calling the kettle black when Dean says that Sam’s plans don’t always work out.  Yours do, Dean?  I think not.  The best-intentioned plans aren’t foolproof, you should know that by now.  Buddy is not digging Mia’s new Zen lifestyle and causes all sorts of trouble.  That face ripping’s kind of gross, but never fear – a few blows to the noggins aren’t going to stop our three intrepid Ghostbusters.  Jack just wants to talk with his mom and receive a mom-hug.  Poor little Nephilim just wants his mommy.  Moms can be a wonderful thing, usually.  Poor Sam just wants Mary back, so he can give her another chance at being an actual mother to him, not just an idea of a mother.  Mary’s got a lot to atone for, when they get her back.  Hey, maybe now she has three sons to worry about.  All we need is for Adam to be resurrected and she’ll have four boys.  Okay, maybe not.

17

Jack saves Sam from a bullet and earns Dean’s respect.  We’ll see how cautious Dean remains with Jack, but for now things are looking up for our little trio.  Now they just need to find Cas…or EntCas…or whoever he is.

Musings about Shapeshifters

According to Supernatural Wiki:  Shapeshifters can change their form so as to appear as any person living, dead, or fictional. Unlike most monsters, shifters have appeared to have purely human drives that have ranged from jealously, greed and loneliness. It appears that not all the shapeshifters have the exact same abilities: Dean says that the one they encountered in Milwaukee shifts faster than the one they saw in St. Louis.  Some must shed their skin, teeth, and nails to change from one form to another.  However, Sam and Dean have encountered shapeshifters, such as the Alpha Shapeshifter -- the progenitor of all shapeshifters -- that do not require themselves to shed their skin when they change.

So, we’ve already met the Alpha Shapeshifter.  In season six, Sam and Dean took care of his baby – remember this?

Sam: I've never seen a baby monster before.

Dean: Of course it's not really a monster. I mean, it's still just a baby. It's not its fault its dad's a shifter.

Sam: Right, but it's a shifter, too.

Dean: Still doesn't change the fact that we've got to look after this thing. I mean, what the hell are we going to do with it? We can't actually drop it off at an orphanage. They might get upset when it turns Asian.

THM84

Crowley eventually beheaded the Alpha, so he’s gone, but what happened to his kid? Who knows what abilities these creatures might have if two pure-blood shapeshifters produce an offspring.  As Nightsky noted in her Threads, canon might be changing, and new abilities might emerge.  I’m still processing the old canon, so I’m not entirely happy about this development.  Shapeshifting as we’ve known it so far – it’s a messy business.  I assume the shapeshifter “grows” a new skin over their own really quickly, and then must change their clothes.  It seems that they can assume someone’s identity and memories just by looking at them, or even a photograph, though how do they get the memories from that?  Oh well, I’m not the expert on shapeshifters, I suppose.  It does always bother me, however, when a shapeshifter seems to be able to fabricate clothes.  I guess nitpicking a weird fictional monster with extraordinary abilities is a useless endeavor.  It’s fun, though.  Leviathans had to get DNA from a person, first, or they were ingested through drinking water.  Fun times.

This is an excellent episode of Supernatural and a good template for the other writers to follow.  Just give us great guest stars with a real and compelling problem, a scary/funny/intriguing monster to chase, a few good BM’s, and lots of dialog that resonates continuity from the years and years of our show.  (Plus – more bro-hugs, please.)  So many interesting things to talk about, I’m excited to read your thoughts in the comments!

----Mallena