Supernatural has been struggling for a while with the idea of how to carry on their legacy.  Other shows have been successful at spinoff concepts, but this is exactly where “Supernatural” has failed.  After all, the show itself is based on a very loose concept, but one that succeeded because the chemistry of the two leads is out of this stratosphere.  That was all they needed to build on.  It’s a strange mix of just the right things that has made it a huge success.  Repeating that seems to be an impossible feat. 

“Wayward Daughters” was a concept born out of the season nine episode “Alex, Annie, Alexis, Ann.”   It was written by an exceptional SPN writer, Robert Berens. The way the tale of Alex unfolded was truly heartbreaking and a lot of her struggles and loneliness was able to blend with Jody Mills’ heartbreak of losing her own family and being alone (seen so well starting back in season five’s “Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid”).  The two together were a perfect blend, both looking for a new start, one as mother, one as daughter.  

Claire, the orphaned daughter of Jimmy Novak, aka Castiel’s vessel, needed a home too and was shuttled off to Jody and Alex’s world in season ten’s “Angel Heart.”  That episode, and the whole conclusion to Claire’s tale, was less than successful.  Her character didn’t connect with audiences quite as well.  For me personally, she annoyed the crap out of me.  

Put it all together we have a great spinoff, right?  Not really.  I wanted to love “Don’t You Forget About Me,” but it just didn’t connect.  Probably because it was missing the strange mix of things.  When put together, this trio of women don’t quite have the chemistry needed to carry a story.  Claire is still annoying.  Jody and Alex were too blind to what was going on, which in Jody’s case is simply not right.  But most of all, the pacing was agonizingly slow.  The story needs to sell it’s heartwarming aspects to cover a lackluster MOTW and it didn’t.  

The Good

First off though, before I get too critical, I will add that writer Nancy Won did get the characterizations right, for the most part.  I think she missed what was established in “Angel Heart” for Claire’s character, but Claire hasn’t exactly been written consistently.  I will applaud any new writer (heck, even existing writers) that do their homework and put that kind of careful attention into building a world for existing characters.  She especially got Jody right, who has been around since season five.  Jody isn’t afraid to speak her mind, even if it involves giving her teenage daughter the sex talk in front of Sam and Dean and looking to them for back up.  They only wanted the chicken and potatoes Jody.  They’re guys.  

I also liked Alex in this.  She definitely has some demons in the past and for her to find a sense of normalcy under Jody, as normal as a life can get when you’re targeted by vampires, was nice to see.  She’s strong and refused to let the latest setback get her down, which shows some real growth.  A lesser character would have run away.  I especially liked that she has bonded with Jody the way she did with her vampire mother before and is willing to sacrifice herself for Jody and Claire, even if she and Claire don’t get along.  She’s on the right path and has Jody to thank for that.  

Then there's the tupperware dishes for the win!  Nothing like sending the boys home with a real meal.  

04

The Rest

The first thing that derailed this episode was the whole MOTW plot.  I’m going to say it, Supernatural sucks at vampire stories.  I hated the first time they did it, “Dead Man’s Blood,” and the only one that actually connected with me was season three’s “Fresh Blood.”  I even hated the vampires in “Alex, Annie, Alexis, Ann.”  There’s a ton of vampire lore out there, heck it makes up 20% of the CW’s schedule.  Supernatural writers don’t know what to do with vampires.  Each attempt at trying a new twist or trying to make them more interesting just fails.  The vampires in this story were every bit as shallow and wooden as the others.  The mustache twisters that yammer on about their tales of woe before killing with an evil grin.  Every detail, the kidnapping, the monologuing, Sam and Dean coming to the rescue, it’s been so done and redone.  Sure, Claire had a kill but that didn’t exactly cement the “kick ass ladies” concept that this episode should have had.  All they did was sit through the lame story and wait for the guys to arrive.   

Second, I was bored.  The story was so predictable, it followed the typical outline that hundreds of other SPN episodes follow.  This story didn’t need to be that way.  I understand that this was a character driven piece and I actually like those, but I have to be drawn in by the characters and I wasn’t.  I’ve never liked Claire and she didn’t win me over here.  Fine, she figured out there was a monster in town, but for someone studying to be a hunter, someone who’s actually been involved in this sort of thing for a while now, don’t you think she’d be smarter about it?  She is definitely more savvy than this episode made her out to be.  The polar opposite, black and white division between her and Alex wasn’t so interesting either.  

Third, Sam and Dean looked strangely out of place in this universe and that was a huge problem.  Dean trying to give parenting advice?  That should have been funny.  It was weird.  At least Sam’s talk of rationality with Claire hit all the right marks.  Granted it went nowhere, but I was very pleased to see Sam having discussions like this instead of Dean.  Our boy has grown up!  What happened to them mentoring Claire to be a hunter like they did in “Angel Heart?”  Did they change their minds?  Instead of Dean lecturing, I would have loved for him to show Claire some tricks of the trade.  Heck, maybe Jody and Alex too so they’ll be prepared next time this happens.  Sam and Dean looking out of place is what saddled “Bloodlines” as well, but at least there they didn’t know any of the people in the story.  Here, they have a history, so the interactions were disappointing.  

But hey, mine is only one opinion.  The thing about character driven stories is that tastes are subjective.  The exact things that didn’t work for me (I’m not into melodrama all that much) may have worked great for others.  I expected more spark out of these ladies, and given the slowness of the plot there was room to show that.  But there’s no denying that there’s something there with this Wayward Daughters idea and I’d like to see them continue.  Can Robert Berens write the next one?  This was his universe and I’d like to see him run with it.  

11

The Red Headed Monster

This issue was raised this week by njspnfan in the Let’s Speculate comments, but it rings so true.  23 episode seasons are problematic.  We have hit the point of the season known as the “sagging middle,” which falls in between the midseason finale and episode 16 or 17 when TPTB decide it’s time to kick start the mytharc again.  Every season, even the spectacular season four, has suffered a bit during this time (except season two, that was awesome all the way through).  This is when the standalone stories and concept episodes are most utilized, and more times than not they turn out to be weak filler.  

I know that Supernatural mainly exists because not only is it still popular, but every episode made is now another golden egg that Warner Brothers can sell on the open market and make a fortune.  But with this week and last, this stops being comfort food for me and more of a waste of time.  I expect better, especially when there are other shows out there that are doing a lot more for me.  Yes, these shows are ones with shorter seasons.  That means they’re forced to build a more cohesive arc and make every episode matter.  

Television is a very fast paced business.  Episodes have to be made quickly, cheaply, yet the audience demand is that they have the production quality of feature films.  Films take years to make, while TV is only weeks.  There’s only one way that shows can meet the demand of quality that choosy audiences prefer, and outlets like cable and Netflix have stumbled on it perfectly.  Shorter seasons.  More and more shows even on network TV are following this concept and in terms of quality, it does mean better results.  

That doesn’t mean that I don’t like the idea of having an off week that slows the story down and goes for something different.  I usually enjoy high concept episodes.  But to fall back on cliche, paint by numbers tactics that have been done over and over again so much its like beating a dead horse, it is time to rethink the overall strategy.  Robbie Thompson even said at the SPN Conference at DePaul last year that ideally he wished that SPN would be 13 episodes so they can tell a stronger story.  After watching these later seasons drag on and the lack of fresh ideas for the filler weeks, it’s hard not to agree with that point.  A simple “Why do we do this?” type question might be required.  If the answer is purely to make money, then by all means, 23 episodes it is.  If it’s for creative license, they need to try harder.  

Overall grade, a C-.  I’m giving Nancy Won some higher marks for paying attention to character consistency and continuity, but otherwise, the episode just didn’t connect with me.  Judging by the comments out there though, I’m in the minority, so who knows, maybe “Wayward Daughters” will get more chances.  I certainly hope so, because there’s a legacy out there to build.   

Comments  

Dana
# Dana 2016-02-05 18:28
I'm giving it an even C. It wasn't horrible. I've said for the past few years that they should shorten the season. It's an exhausting schedule for actors and writers and having 13 instead of 23 would likely be very liberating in the way the story is told.

Although I am tired of the snarky girls this show seems to love, I am aware that when (if) a legitimate spin off is done, that the world changes with it. I wouldn't mind these girls and some of the others we've come across, so long as they actually grow up and become good hunters.

I didn't really like the parallels they were trying to make with S&D, but it wasn't blatant so I could ignore it. I admit I ff'd thru the vampire monologue as the last minute monster story is wasted. They've really fallen into that formula lately, too many explainers and most of them meaningless. Especially with vampires. Seriously, the Alpha Vamp needs to gather his flock and thin the herd.

I know many people said they LOL at the dinner scene, I did not. It was cute and funny, then squirmy. Their enjoyment of a home cooked meal was fun to watch. But you are right Alice, the MOTW story was flat and predictable.

My final gripe is Claire who goes from defiant snarky to 'ready to play with others' but, she already did that in a prior episode. Why step back just to go forward again. I would have been more impressed with the story if it played differently. No one in this universe should ever just brush these things off (ones of my peeves: "I thought that was just a myth") but this made Jodi look bad, and without reason. And it made Claire look bad with even less reason. They should have spent more time character studying these 3 ladies and brushed off the vamp monologue.
njspnfan
# njspnfan 2016-02-05 20:22
Glad you decided to do a review, Alice. I had also given it a C- . On a positive note, it looks like Nancy Won is a positive addition to the writing team, and the awkward dinner scene was pretty funny. I hadn't given it much thought but you're right; vampires are one monster that Supernatural struggles with. Most of them come off as one dimensional cardboard cutouts. Of course, the exceptions for me were Fresh Blood with Gordon (favorite vamp kill ever - good times), and the Alpha Vamp (not sure why they never brought him back after S7).
NOLANOLA
# NOLANOLA 2016-02-05 22:06
Alpha Vamp is on Syfy's THE MAGICIANS created by Sera Gamble. :):):):):):)
Alice
# Alice 2016-02-06 02:06
I liked the Alpha Vamp as a character, but the episodes he was in weren't all that great. He did have this eerie quality though that could have been explored further.

I think Nancy Won is a good writer. I'm not sure how she drew this assignment, but just seeing how she approaches characters and story construction makes me hopeful. She has some pretty good dialogue too. This script though just couldn't fly given the parameters. Claire is a losing proposition, Andrew Dabb couldn't even get her to work. The lore established with vampires is too weak on this show. Every the great Ben Edlund couldn't pull off a memorable vamp story. I hope Nancy Won is around for season 12 (and yes, there will be a season 12).

Once again you and I agree on the grade! I ended up doing a review because a) I felt like I should explain the weaknesses in the concept and b) no one else could write a review by this weekend. Just me! Burdens of being the boss I guess. :)
vince
# vince 2016-02-05 20:25
Honestly, it felt like shoddy characterizatio n that Dean or Sam didn't actively tell Claire to drop being a hunter. Like the minute Claire told Dean that Jody thinks she's going to get herself killed, he should have told her, "You will. And it will probably be horrible and violent. Take my advice, drop this hunting crap and live a normal life while you still can." For what ever reason, the show is desperately trying to make Claire a "thing," and failed 4 times in a row now. Not to mention, it just made zero sense for Claire to become obsessed with hunting, she had two interactions with angels and demons. Sure they fucked her life up, but angels and demons tend to do that. But you don't every other demon/angel victim from the past becoming hunters. I remember Richie from season 3, a grown ass man who got into hunting who Dean told should quit because it's dangerous, but an 18-year-old girl he gives the thumbs up too? It honestly felt like this was originally conceived as a Jody/Alex episode, but that someone felt Claire should be shoehorned in. Because think about, Alex is the one who lived with actual monsters, she should logically be the one a bit paranoid that things are lurking in the shadows. The episode just screamed of being written for fan service, which is always terrible. Makes everything feel inorganic. Write for the story and the characters, not what Tumblr and Twitter are going to think.
eilf
# eilf 2016-02-05 20:46
The impression I am getting is that the actress who plays Claire has loads of real-life charisma (which, unluckily for her, is the wrong way around - it is onscreen it needs to shine even if it is all for show) and that the crew loves her. And that is why they keep bringing her back. Supernatural really does do whatever it wants. I have no particular problem with her acting skills but I don't like the character, I don't like the illogical and melodramatic story-line the wrote for her and her family. There is also WAY too much fandom politics around her now and, you are right, her character will never be organic in this show - and I don't see how she could be an organic character in a spin-off either. But, hey, let them try for their Wayward Daughters spin-off if they think that the audience is there (I don't think it is, within the current SPN pool, but they might pick up viewers of other shows). I would love for Kim Rhodes to get a steady gig as an actress, as for the rest of it, it doesn't interest me.
Barbara Maake
# Barbara Maake 2016-02-05 21:02
Quote:
it is onscreen it needs to shine even if it is all for show)
I don't know eilf, I'm starting to agree with another poster who thinks that KN's acting skills aren't the greatest. I've been thinking that I just can't stand the way her character is written, but now I think that it's also how she's portraying the character. For instance, in the first picture at the start of this article, the expression on her face after beheading the vamp is so exaggeratedly tough that it's laughable. It's hard sometimes to distinguish bad acting from bad writing, but now I think it's a combination of both. I guess I'd have to see her act in something else to know for sure.
eilf
# eilf 2016-02-05 21:25
Ok before I say anything else I am not critiquing anyone else's opinion on this :D Personally speaking I think a person is a good or bad actor by whether I forget they are acting and I believe the character - so there are some people who have a huge rep and all I see is this famous actor hamming it up and other people who get no credit where I want to go through the TV screen to help them because I can 'believe' they are real. She is in the category where I am totally unimpressed by both the character she is playing, and the fandom politics she has drawn around it, so from that POV I can't entirely tell if she is a good actress or not. But honestly this show isn't Shakespeare and she is still very young. Teen actors act like teen actors. They should not be focus characters on adult TV shows generally speaking because it shows up their weaknesses. Which doesn't mean that they won't become accomplished actors in the long term. Or even that they are bad now, just out of their element.

ETA: I just remembered that I have only seen about 3/4 of the episode and that was basically stop-motion because the buffering was really bad, so maybe I haven't seen enough to judge correctly yet :D
Barbara Maake
# Barbara Maake 2016-02-05 23:05
I don't think I could take watching it in stop motion. It was slow moving as it was!
Fazzie
# Fazzie 2016-02-06 13:15
I have given up with the whole idea that Sam and Dean will be consistent about warning people off of hunting. In the beginning couple of seasons yes they were consistent Dean was against anyone he thought were amateurs from hunting from Jo to the guy who he had hunted with before in season 3.

Then as you said the writers started writing for Tumblr and we seemed to get a free for all on who was a hunter - Claire and Charlie get told sure they should hunt but Cole who is obviously better prepared and able - nope he shouldn't because he has a kid and Eileen in last week's episode, her and Sam have a talk about how getting her vengeance may be it for her and how she could get out even though she decides against becoming a lawyer in the end.

Basically I've taken it that if the writers feel a character will come back and they have no real story line for them then the boys make that character a baby hunter. Because really if Claire and Charlie weren't into hunting what reason would the boys have to interact with them? Jodie or Donna sure they would catch the occasional supernatural case but the others?
spnlit
# spnlit 2016-02-07 11:47
Quote:
For what ever reason, the show is desperately trying to make Claire a "thing," and failed 4 times in a row now.
I agree, the character is one dimensional and not organic to the Sam and Dean story.
Quote:
It honestly felt like this was originally conceived as a Jody/Alex episode, but that someone felt Claire should be shoehorned in.
I agree, it would have been an excellent episode if focused on Jodi and Alex. Jodi could have still maintained her own keen skills and not just relegated to struggling clueless MOM. Alex had a complex experience in this story about the massive damage she caused in her past and how it burned through and destroyed her currently formerly good new life in high school.
Quote:
The episode just screamed of being written for fan service, which is always terrible. Makes everything feel inorganic. Write for the story and the characters, not what Tumblr and Twitter are going to think..
The writers do have to pick a direction that works, because they cannot please everyone and have a cohesive story. If some fans want a domestic story about female power and enjoy the stereotypical self entitled teen then fine- create a new show. SPN is about Sam and Dean and larger issues.
Jen
# Jen 2016-02-05 20:37
Thank you Alice for putting your time into a reveiw for a Epi you weren't feeling The Feels for. I only have one question are they SPN contracted for 23 episodes or can they reduce it to 13 ???
At least if they do as you have said many times SPN would compete in the market place better. Everybody would have more time with family and the Show would benefit greatly. It might even go the distance if they could back off to 13 episodes. ??
Alice
# Alice 2016-02-06 01:56
When a show is renewed by the network, it usually comes with an episode order. SPN's has always been 22 or 23. The only year that didn't happen was season three when it was cut short by the writer's strike. The network ordered 22 that year, but only 16 were made.

If there is an order for 13 episodes for Supernatural, you can be sure it'll be the last season. Given how profitable this show is though, I sincerely doubt that they would do a shortened season. They would milk a full 23 episode final season for all it's worth. From a business standpoint a shortened season has no merit, but as a creative idea, I wouldn't mind at all. It likely won't happen though, but it will be 13 if SPN manages a spinoff.
percysowner
# percysowner 2016-02-06 15:44
Yeah, I can't see the CW missing 22 episodes of "See the final journey of the Winchester Brothers. How will this epic story end?" The publicity value alone is worth a 22-23 season order. It probably would bring viewers who have wandered away back. Plus, it seems like the ratings are going to hold up, well just about forever, so when/if the show ends, it will be because the Js decide to retire.

Then in 5 years they will try to reboot and hope that lightening strikes twice. It probably won't, but networks are rebooting everything else, so I suspect they will give this a go as well.
spnlit
# spnlit 2016-02-07 11:53
I enjoy the 23 episode season and the opportunity it provides for the the mix of drama, humor, comedy and history/ backstories of Sam and Dean and people close to them.
Barbara Maake
# Barbara Maake 2016-02-05 20:46
Alice, I agree with your assessment of this ep, but I disagree with your lumping it together with last week's ep. This week was tired, unoriginal, mostly boring filler, but I thought last weeks ep was everything a MOTW should be. A fresh monster, some fantastic guest characters, some humor, some great brother moments, and an intriguing connection to the MOL. I was very engaged and entertained the entire ep. I guess I don't feel that a MOTW is necessarily just "filler" if it tells us something about the brothers or expands their world, or is wildly original like the meta episodes, or indeed almost any Edlund ep. After 11 seasons it has to be extraordinarily difficult to come up with fresh concepts for the MOTW eps, but this season has seen a resurgence of the creative standalones that were par for the course in the earlier seasons. So if they can keep this up, I'm opposed to shortening the season (unless that is the only way the Js would sign new contracts). This is the best season in years, so I'm assuming/hoping that this very lackluster and dull ep was not representative of what's coming the next few weeks. My personal tally is only two duds out of the first 12 eps, and even the duds were light years better than the drivel we got for much of the past two seasons.
cheryl42
# cheryl42 2016-02-05 22:20
I realize this thread is mostly for those that disliked this episode, but I am one that loved it (ducks flying bricks). I thought that Claire was written better than in any of her other episodes (and she was light years better than Chrissy), I've always liked Alex and you can't miss with Jody. I think Nancy Won was given the task of taking Claire from a self righteous bitchy teenager and trying to make her into a character that would be more likable if they do consider a spinoff for this group. It was a big task and I think she did a fairly good job of it. The Good Cop talk with Sam and the Bad Cop dressing down with Dean, for me at least went a long way toward achieving that goal. Now if Claire and Alex are brought back later this season and nothing has changed in her behavior than it will be disappointing. I couldn't see a spinoff with quarreling teenagers being very successful.

I really didn't have a problem with vampires being the monster because it made sense. The monster was coming for Alex. I thought her story in this episode was really heartbreaking. My only problem with Katherine Ramdeen is that she sometimes looked way to old to be playing a teenager younger than Claire. So I don't know how they get around that if this does become a Spinoff.

Yes some of this episode was paint by numbers but if the intention was to make these characters sympathetic and likable enough for a spinoff I think that might have been achieved. At least as far as I can tell just from reading other reviews and comments it seemed to be very well received. If this does become a spin off I imagine I and most of us here won't be the target audience.

I am still hoping for a spin off with Samuel Colt starring Timothy Olyphant...cowb oys and demons...you know an intelligent adult oriented adventure show on the CW after SPN has run it's course.
AlyCat22
# AlyCat22 2016-02-05 23:04
Agree with you regarding Alex looking older than the age of the person she is playing. She was just on two years ago? I was really surprised to see the difference. And is it just me or did the jock vampire look way older than he was supposed to be too?
First watch it was an okay episode. Predictable and at times slow. And I get it. The whole vampire tie in with Alex, but really? Did it have to be vampires again? What happened to they were almost extinct way back in Season One? My favorite episode with vamps since Gordo? The one where MOC/Dean singlehandedly wiped out the nest and we didn't even have to meet them. ;) No, I liked the one where Dean was turned and wiped out THAT nest and Grandpa Shady changed him back.. We really haven't had a good vamp episode since. If this is the best it is going to get I'd be happy to never see vamps or werewolves ever again.
Alice
# Alice 2016-02-06 01:51
Honestly cheryl42, I expected a lot more people to respond how much I was off on this review and how much they loved this episode. I mean, the reaction was so positive on Wednesday after it aired. I wasn't even going to do a review, but I guess we're a little short on reviewers this week! Someone had to write one. I did really want to like it, but the characters didn't connect with me.

However, you're enthusiastic opinion is more than welcome! This thread isn't for those that didn't like, but I guess I just gave people who didn't like it a comfortable place to speak up. I'm glad you enjoyed it. It goes to show it did connect with others.

Quote:
I am still hoping for a spin off with Samuel Colt starring Timothy Olyphant...cowboys and demons...you know an intelligent adult oriented adventure show on the CW after SPN has run it's course.
Now we're talking! I'd love to see that.
ScifiSpirit
# ScifiSpirit 2016-02-08 11:42
So glad you wrote this. Stinks to be in the minority sometimes, but it's so good to know that you're not alone! :) I agree with you! This episode didn't really bother me at all. I really like Claire. From the minute Castiel decided to look up her whereabouts online and take responsibility, I really liked the whole concept of her.

And I actually thought it would have been quite boring if she ended up being this sweet, agreeable teenager that is emotionally stable and mature. Of course she's had a troubled life, comes from a broken childhood, and has an attitude problem! I really don't see how she could have been written any other way. I can relate with her, perhaps because I come from a broken childhood myself. And, she's an excuse to give Castiel more development, which is always a plus if you ask me.

As for this episode, I thought it was done well. Everyone assumes that the "bratty teenager is just rebelling" when, in fact, it turns out she knew EXACTLY what she was talking about. She still has a lot to learn and doesn't deny that, so in that way I like her even more.

This episode had humor and actual women talking to other actual women! Such a rarity. lol. I definitely like the Sam/Dean parallels with Alex/Claire. I think the characters as a whole still just need more development. I would like to see an episode where the two girls aren't so divided and to see how they truly bounce off of each other. They need to first have some kind of "sisterly bond" before we go around trying to challenge that bond with supernatural happenings. So, I hope it unfolds that way.

Both Sam and Dean have done things to get me mad at them. I still love them both, but no character in this show is perfect. (Except maybe Crowley, he's never failed to disappoint me hahaha, even though Cas is my fav). Regardless, Claire and Alex are no different. They both have and will do things that will annoy me or not be perfect, just like the brothers, but that's what makes the dynamic so intriguing. Flawed characters that *require* development and layers of complexity to make them a whole person. I love it. To me, it's a sign of good writing - to not be afraid to show a broken person that not everyone may relate to, but can and will grow over time.

But then again, this is all me and I am clearly in the minority. I don't believe the show ever failed with Claire. But I'm also of the mindset that there hasn't been a single female on the show that I haven't liked. I really liked Jo and Charlie and all the others too. Amara is the only one that I'm still waiting to get a handle on. That being said, I know lots of people complain about the female characters on the show, good and bad. I just have no complaints. I'd rather complain about things like Bloodlines (THAT was a bad ep) and pretty much all of season 7. lol.

Wayward Daughters, though? Heck yeah, I'm totally on board with that!!!! Bring it on and show me what you got! I'm totally willing to give it a try if the writers expand on it more. And if it ends up not working, awe well. But I definitely think it's worth a shot.
Luciano
# Luciano 2016-02-06 04:38
Again I disagree Completely with your review :/ But again opinions
The pacing was slow but slow isn't always bad. What kept this episode alive was the dialogue. Sam and Dean were put in a family scenario and they were put into new roles to play. They obviously felt out of place as we are used to seeing them on the road being themselves. They were forced to play the family hunter theme!
Each character was written spot on, Even Claire.
The vampire story also felt quite fresh.
I loved this episode, backdoor pilot or not!
Fillers have always been in SPN, honestly don't you get tired complaining about them!
Shante
# Shante 2016-02-06 08:30
hi Alice, i agree with your review, my grade is also the same. i cant stand Claire, needed an energy drink to get through the episode; had they brought the original actress back to play Claire this wouldnt be the case. for me, the dinner scene was just awkward. Nancy Won is a keeper, she came from another show and brought her talents to Supernatural. i also wouldnt mind a short season
Barbara Maake
# Barbara Maake 2016-02-06 09:14
Quote:
needed an energy drink to get through the episode;
Damn! Why didn't I think of that?:) So you broke down and watched it, huh Shante? Not quite as awful as you'd expected though, right?
Shante
# Shante 2016-02-06 09:47
right, saved by Nancy Won writing them them other half ugh
spnlit
# spnlit 2016-02-07 12:00
Quote:
I cant stand Claire,..... had they brought the original actress back to play Claire this wouldnt be the case. for me,
I agree. Young Claire was intelligent and precocious. If they would have developed upon this base character and had one or two eps it would have been good. The problem is that the writers were not interested in the real organic Claire story but rather to give Cas a Daddy storyline and then simply morph Claire into a separate hunter and push it into a domestic, girl power, teen based spin off.
Fazzie
# Fazzie 2016-02-06 13:25
Thank you Alice for your review.

I think that there was a germ of a real idea here about watching a proto version of the brothers evolve but with teenage girls and a stable parental figure but the execution meant it got lost as they focused on Claire too much, what with how Jodie and the boys were worried about the dangers of Claire hiding in hunting when it was Alex who everyone was prepared to celebrate embracing the world was in real danger from her past life with monsters. Especially considering the end where Alex announces that she will probably have to ditch Jodie and Claire to basically protect her own sanity from hunting, which is understandable, even though in the end Claire's insistence to hunt saved Alex's life because she called the brothers in.

In fact it would have been more interesting if they had instead of Dean talking to Claire, having him have a similar talk to Alex as Sam did with Claire but instead of talking about hunting but trying to do it about how boys can be monsters and not to jump with Henry. Obviously it would have failed miserably but it would have been funny and linked into him giving Henry the evil eye. But it would give more reasoning to why the boys are awkward around these people, the guys don't do teenagers too well, because really why should they. Also it would been nice to see both brother try to talk to the teenage that most resembled his brother, (especially as Claire is now Alex's 'older sister' age wise) warning them about the thing that actually their brother wanted when they were kids - Dean hunting and Sam a semi normal life.

If they had that then we could have had a not too bad possible back door pilot as it would have ended with the two girls basically at a point where they would essentially at a point where they either learn to become sisters or go their separate ways even though they both need each other
Bevie
# Bevie 2016-02-06 15:31
Again, I disagree with this review entirely. I loved this episode and really enjoyed it unlike the majority of these commenters.

I found myself entirely on Claire's side and thought she played her part beautifully. And Jody is always welcome in my living room.

The family dinner was delightful. Dean's sheer enjoyment of a real chicken shaped meal and the mashed potatoes was endearing and
the discomfort of the boys when the sex talk took place entirely delightful.

Other sites seem to agree with my view, so I really don't know what's going on with this site that used to be such a pleasure to come to.
Just my opinion, of course!

As for the vampire episodes so hated by some here, they are some of my favourites, especially Bloodlust and Fresh Blood. (I also would really
like the return of the Alpha Vamp).

Different strokes for different folks here again.

I give this episode an "A".
Barbara Maake
# Barbara Maake 2016-02-06 18:43
Quote:
so I really don't know what's going on with this site that used to be such a pleasure to come to.
I'm not sure why seeing some unfavorable opinions of this episode would diminish your pleasure in coming to this site. In fact, the prevailing opinion among most commenters here is that SPN is having an excellent season. Most episodes have been viewed very favorably in the majority of the posts. In terms of why the views on other sites have largely agreed with your positive reaction to the episode, who knows. Merely because a majority of viewers might like a show or movie doesn't automatically make it good, and make those who didn't like it wrong. Everyone looks for different things in the episodes.
Jen
# Jen 2016-02-06 22:29
Bevie sorry you are disappointed with WFB I before I came here surfed the net looking for sites to connect with laugh, chat, and discuss but some sites I found where to immature for me and appeared to ohhh and ahhh and gush to much over the Boys without writing any real substance about the show. I still surf aroumd for other ideas and opinions and I suggest what I have read here
They are a very diverse lot of people here and I enjoy that. They are very passionate and arn't afraid to speak their mind. I have been on the bad end of that I'm a sensitive person so they could have said BOO and I would have got upset. But I'm used to it now so I either join in or get out. Don't judge them to harshly its a great site. Negative/Positi ve is all part of the reveiw . If you loved it tell everybody you have a right to your opinion. And Alice will step in if she feels its is getting to "Negative" or to "Argumentive" She is watching LOL :o:o:o:o:o
Alice
# Alice 2016-02-07 00:17
Thanks for your positive review Bevie! I am glad you liked the episode.

You've been around this site long enough, you know that I'm just one reviewer. You cannot judge a whole site on the words of one person. You also know that I've always been a "tell it as I see it" reviewer, ever since day one! Mine is my opinion and my opinion alone and I tend to take the slant of a TV Critic, not an uber fan. The people who tend to respond to my reviews are ones of like mind or have no issue disagreeing. I don't mind disagreement one bit! I'm actually surprised over the number of people that not only have agreed with me here, but Twitter too. I'm thinking the episode was more polarizing than people believe.

We usually have other reviews that see things the way you did. Sadly, no one else has turned in a review yet! We've had a real problem lately with writers being available to write reviews. So, open invitation. If you would ever like to write your take on an episode, it would be more than welcome. You would very likely get a bunch of people that agree with you. For example, you might notice Nightsky has a different set of commenters. She's usually way more positive. She's also not going to be available for reviews on a regular basis for a while.

For more positive discussions, might I suggest our Discussion Page? We have discussions over there about each episode run by Lilah Kane. Here's the thread for this one. It has some behind the scenes photos.

http://www.thewinchesterfamilybusiness.com/2016-02-06-18-52-05/lets-discuss/s11-discussion-episode-11-12-spoilers
ScifiSpirit
# ScifiSpirit 2016-02-08 14:00
Quote:
Sadly, no one else has turned in a review yet!
Wait, it's possible to do this?! Is there an application process? I would embellish the opportunity, if one exists! The Reviews and Articles are the best part of this site. I'm not sure if I have what it takes to truly contribute, but I would love to try. What must I do? :) :)
Alice
# Alice 2016-02-09 00:58
ScifiSpirit, we have a long standing tradition at the WFB of allowing what I call "guest submissions." A lot of our current writers used to be frequent commenters on this site and took the plunge to start writing articles and eventually became regular writers. I can discuss details with you if you send me a message via "Contact Us" (on the About Us tab), but you submit an article (review or otherwise) and we analyze it to make sure it fits our standards. Good grammar, interesting and unique insights, entertaining... just anything fresh compared to the other writers. We have no word limits, but there is a minimum of 500 words.

If it passes our review process, then we post the article on the site according to our posting schedule. If there's enough interest in your work from the readers after four or five articles, we start talking a regular spot on the schedule. We aren't just looking for review writers. We REALLY need writers who can write when Supernatural is in reruns. So the requirement is to be a staff writer, you need write on all weeks, not just episode weeks (but not necessarily every week).

If you're interested in other TV shows, I'm always looking for writers at our sister site too, TV For The Rest of Us. Most of our writers there write for both sites.

Thanks for expressing interest! I hope to talk more about it with you soon.
ScifiSpirit
# ScifiSpirit 2016-02-09 09:19
Thank you kindly for the information! I'll definitely be contacting you. Like I say, I'm not sure if I have what it takes, but I'm grateful for the opportunity to try! :)
spnlit
# spnlit 2016-02-07 11:33
Quote:
Other sites seem to agree with my view, so I really don't know what's going on with this site that used to be such a pleasure to come to.
Just my opinion, of course!
I do not think there is anything going on here at this site just because "everyone" does not agree with you. If your pleasure is derived from agreement with your own opinion, or just happy reviews then, you will be disappointed.
This site offers in depth reviews from various viewpoints, welcomes all opinions, and encourages deeper discussion on all levels. I enjoy this opportunity.
percysowner
# percysowner 2016-02-06 15:54
I liked the episode. Yes Alex looked too old, but she had a really rough life. Yes it was a bit paint by the numbers, but I liked the character study. Different strokes and all that.

I've started to think that they may never get a successful spin off from Supernatural. So much of the success was the chemistry between Jared and Jensen. That type of chemistry doesn't hit very often and sometimes can't be predicted. Certainly I'd watch this over Bloodlines any day of the week. A Samuel Colt spin off sounds good, but period pieces aren't seen as a good bet, unless the period is confined to flashbacks or time travel. The Bobby and Rufus show would have pulled me in, but that boat has sailed, barring sudden resurrections. If they go with the Wayward Daughters idea at least it will be built on characters we have seen and know as opposed to monster families that run Chicago of all places and that no hunter has noticed in all their years of hunting. Maybe Supernatural just isn't franchise material. Most successful franchises are based on procedural shows, not ones with a strong mytharc.
LEAH
# LEAH 2016-02-06 16:06
I agree that the chemistry of Jared and Jensen is the primary reason the show has endured.There have been numerous characters come and go, many that I love, but I feel that without the connection to Sam and Dean, none of them have what it takes to carry off an interesting spin-off. I hope they prove me wrong.
spnlit
# spnlit 2016-02-07 12:05
Quote:
I agree that the chemistry of Jared and Jensen is the primary reason the show has endured.There have been numerous characters come and go, many that I love, but I feel that without the connection to Sam and Dean, none of them have what it takes to carry off an interesting spin-off.
I agree 100%. If they spin off then it will be a completely different show that may work for only some SPN fans. I would enjoy a show about the Men of Letters early years fighting monsters.
ScifiSpirit
# ScifiSpirit 2016-02-08 13:50
Oooh! A Men of Letters spinoff! Now that's an interesting idea!

For me, what really grabbed me about this show in the beginning was the Angels/Demons element. Yes, of course, the chemistry between Jared and Jensen was a major component, but the content of the stories they were telling also played a huge part. And, in truth, I had seen monsters before. In every other tv show I watched, there were monsters either in the shape of aliens or freaks-of-the-w eek or something. Everything from Stargate to X-Files to Smallville to even Star Trek has had its share of misshapen humans being a threat to us. But one thing you don't see a lot of are Angels and Demons, at least not portrayed like this. These Angels are not fluffy and the demons aren't actually "monsters", lol, they're broken souls and some with layers of complexity. It's what intrigues me the most about this show which is probably why Cas (and Crowley) are my favorite characters.

It's like Sam and Dean are the main dish, which is awesome, but everyone always loves the side dishes and gravy and dessert more. lol. My apologies if that was a really bad analogy, haha.

THat being said, a Men of Letters spinoff would be so interesting because that is something else that is unique to this show. It's a concept you don't see everywhere else or anywhere else. So that j would be up for, definitely.
BoGirle
# BoGirle 2016-02-06 17:52
Quote:
A Samuel Colt spin off sounds good, but period pieces aren't seen as a good bet, unless the period is confined to flashbacks or time travel.
Downton Abbey is changing that notion.....
eilf
# eilf 2016-02-06 19:23
Hah! I found where the 'recent comments' page is hiding. You can't get rid of me that easy :D

I like the new layout of the front page Alice! (except that you hid the recent comments button :p)
AlyCat22
# AlyCat22 2016-02-06 20:57
Confused by the new layout. Preferred the old, but that's just me. It will take time to get used to. Can't find Nates Caption Contest?
eilf
# eilf 2016-02-06 21:16
It's under "SPN Fandom" - there are a load of drop-down menus now.

If the screen is small enough there is a little logo - which is a square with bars - in the top left corner that has everything visible at once. I checked on my phone and it is there too.
AlyCat22
# AlyCat22 2016-02-07 01:16
Thanks Eilf!
Alice
# Alice 2016-02-07 00:22
I'll find a way tomorrow to bring Nate's "Caption This" to the forefront so it's easier to find. That and the Episode pages on the Discussion Page are very popular so I don't want them getting lost. There's more changes to come. Sadly, in this day and age of mobile phones and tablets being used for site access about 50% of the time, I had to simplify the front page. All of the other pages can be accessed by the main menu. It's just in a different spot!
AlyCat22
# AlyCat22 2016-02-07 01:15
I don't know what happened between my last comment about it being confusing but all of a sudden the site is appearing differently. Maybe it's what I'm using to access it? Anyway now it makes sense visually and it's also easy to navigate. Adapting and changing is what it's all about in this day and age. It keeps things interesting, that's for sure. Didn't mean to come across as Negative Nancy! It looks fine. Great job Alice. :)

*Altho I wouldn't be opposed to moving Nates "Caption This" to the forefront if you can. ;)
Lilah_Kane
# Lilah_Kane 2016-02-07 04:33
I think it was still then work in progress. It loads fast now on the computer/phone and tablet. It looks great and at the main page you don't need to scroll that much anymore which is great. Nice work Alice. :)

- Lilah
Jen
# Jen 2016-02-06 22:15
Agree elf I was terrified when I thought that had gone. LOL I thought oh my goodness how am I gonna find where I put my comment and check other comments. But alas I found it. Love it Alice so much more proffessional ?? I think thats the word. xo
ScifiSpirit
# ScifiSpirit 2016-02-08 13:53
I wish there was a way to get notified only when someone replies specifically to you. I generally go back to check on threads and discussions, but sometimes I forget exactly where I posted something and then it turns about a person responded to me and it goes unchecked. Doh. So I'm going back through my old posts manually just to see, now. But it would be nice to get notified, I think.
eilf
# eilf 2016-02-08 17:28
I think the 'subscribe' button sends you notification when an article you have made a comment on gets a comment - this can be a somewhat overwhelming experience :D so I don't do it any more. Since the site is now set up to show X is replying to Y it might be that subscribe will only send you responses to your comments? You can unsubscribe pretty easily so it is worthwhile giving it a go!
Grace232
# Grace232 2016-02-07 04:45
Thanks for doing the review, Alice. I liked the episode - but it has been such a strong season that it is a lukewarm like compared to other episodes this season. For me, it did not seem slow - kept my attention. And I loved the interactions with the brothers and the dinner. So much fun to see the two of them wanting to crawl through the floor rather than take part in a discussion of birth control with teenaged girls. I also really like Jody. And I love that the brothers are working together and that the writers did not suddenly make them useless so the ladies could be badass. That drives me nuts. As to the pacing being slow - I always smile when you mention shows that are better in that area - you have mentioned Arrow in the past. I watch that - and spend half the show catching up on email and surfing the net. The contrived flashbacks on that show have gotten old. Really old! Like Ancient Greece old! But I digress - the reason this episode was not a favorite was Clair. She also "bugs the crap out of me!" I really want to like her. The stars seem to like her. The show producers seem to like her. But, man, I just can't stand her. I think it is time for the show to do one of the things it does best - kill off characters - and give her a nice send off. I actually disagree on your general vampire criticism too. Fresh Blood is in my top 20 episodes! It is awesome! As to the 13 episode idea, I think that would be great for the stars - give them time for other projects or more time with family - but I actually think they are doing a great job with 23. This is one of the few shows that I watch attentively, and it usually keeps my attention. Once on a while there is a dud - Paint it Black last season comes to mind - but generally, Supernatural, The Good Wife and Blacklist are it. Everything else is background while I do other things. Anyway, I liked the episode more than you, but it will never be a favorite. Thanks for giving us a pro view, and letting me share my view too.
spnlit
# spnlit 2016-02-07 11:18
I would give this episode a C.- and not an F because of the potential it had as areal Jodi- Alex serious story. The problem with this episode was the monster, and not the vampires. The real monster in this episode was Claire. She is a one dimensional character who is simply cocky, rude, obnoxious, ungrateful, immature and selfish. I think this is a fair mix of the writing of her character and bad acting. She has a mentality of a five year old. Even at the end she is satisfied because she was right and instead of agreeing with Dean, she would stop making Jod’s life a living hell she just gushes on because Jodi will give her something more - teach her how to investigate. She shows no emotion other then self- entitled, I care for no one, look at me, I’m a bad ass hunter sneering. Claire lacks any depth in character- empathy, compassion, understanding or intelligence. Claire being a hunter is a parody of becoming a hunter and hunting.

Domestic issues of being a single working mom raising two teens with a myriad of issues ranging from normal to oppositional defiant with a mix of monster is boring and not SPN material.
With this said I thought the story would have been interesting if it was about Alex and Jodi alone. Jodi is a good character and should not be relegated to simply MOM but could have kept her own keen skills. I think she would have sniffed out the vampires herself. The story itself was a tragedy. I was not bored by the vampires, I felt keen sympathy for the vampire that was turned because he tried to help Alex and then killed his own wife and child. It was sad and disturbing. And Alex really was left in her own tragic mess. I felt she was shattered, along with her normal HS life, she lost everything she built; a teacher who believed in her, a caring boyfriend. Alex knew who she was and that her past was a long dark shadow on her life. I thought the end of this episode should have been about her and Jodi.

The elephant in the room for me was twofold. One: No mention of Castiel. Claire’s story revolved around Daddy Cas and all of Claire’s emotions tied into him taking her father and how she hated him and the Winchesters and then eventually becoming friends with Cas and keeping his gifted little stuffed animal. Claire should have at least asked about Castiel but then again she is self absorbed. Two: Claire is bitten and should have started turning into a vampire. Remember the immediate pain/ fear Dean went through? There was NOTHING here. For Claire, no fear, no pain, no concern.....no oh my God I’m going to turn! She just got up and killed the vampire. Long time viewers know that there is a cure as Dean eluded to- “Did you drink blood?” But Claire did not and neither did new watchers. This was a glaring ridiculous omission.
Barbara Maake
# Barbara Maake 2016-02-07 16:48
Quote:
The real monster in this episode was Claire.
Eureka! Thanks to you I've finally figured out what Carver meant last season when he said they would be delving into who the real monster was. Silly me, I thought he meant was it Dean or Sam, but that never made any sense because Sam didn't do anything monstrous. Carver must have actually been referring to Dean or CLAIRE! And the answer to that is obvious- it was Claire! Thank you spnlit for finally clarifying what Carver meant by that little tagline.:) And I'm going to agree with Gracie, it's time to send that little gal to Purgatory or the big Empty or wherever you send monsters that you never want to see again. ;)
Shante
# Shante 2016-02-08 10:18
100% agreement
Grace232
# Grace232 2016-02-07 15:14
Spnlit - I am pretty sure you do not turn into a vampire by getting bit. You only turn if you drink blood. For instance, Dean did not turn when he was bitten by Gordon in Fresh Blood - only when vampire forced blood on him in Live Free or Twi Hard. And, remember in Fresh Blood when Gordon and his friend were tracking the brothers and they interviewed the guy in the hospital that Dean and Sam had saved from the vampire? He said she bit him and they said that did not matter - but if he had drunk her blood, they would have to kill him. As to your analysis of Clair - I laughed out loud! You are very eloquent - and I agree. Thanks for sharing that!
spnlit
# spnlit 2016-02-08 13:06
Grace 232, you are right, I did forget about that step. Gosh all he had to do was smear some blood over her mouth and we would have had whiny obnoxious teen vampire that could have been sent over to Vampire Diaries to plague their show. I think I was too distracted by how ridiculous it was that Claire had no real reaction to be bitten by a vampire. Glad you enjoyed the summary of Claire. This episode just showed more of the same one dimensional character.
Grace232
# Grace232 2016-02-08 19:27
Spnlit - love it!! Okay - if they don't kill her off, I am totally cool with Claire meeting up with another vamp, getting turned, and heading over to Vampire Diaries! Another awesome solution to the Claire situation!

Question for the technically inept here - i.e., me - how do you respond to someone's specific post like you all are doing? Which button do you click?
Barbara Maake
# Barbara Maake 2016-02-08 22:08
click on the little arrow on the far right of the icons under the post. It took me awhile to figure things out too!:D
Grace232
# Grace232 2016-02-09 00:13
Thanks so much! Always afraid I will hit the wrong button and something horrible will happen. Yeah, no melodrama to my personality. Thanks again!