What the hell? What in the world was that? How did anyone think that tone deaf hour would pass as…
(Deep breaths…High road, High road…)
Okay, let’s try again. How do I put this mildly? “The British Invasion” was bitterly disappointing. I, like most fans, have various reactions after watching a “Supernatural” episode. Back in the earlier seasons, I couldn’t wait to watch the episodes again. That rarely happens anymore. This season has ranged from “not bad” to “meh” to “WTF WHERE THEY THINKING????” After “The British Invasion,” my reaction was the latter coupled with, “Why do I even bother???”
But let’s focus on the positive first, shall we? Welcome back Shoshannah Stern. It’s nice to see Sam and Dean reach out to their hunter network and Eileen…well…isn’t she like the only one still alive? Doesn’t matter, because she’s awesome. Aww, she and Sammy have a little crush going. Isn’t Sammy cute when he gets to play shy school boy? And Dean gets to be sick about it. Big brothers for the win! Eileen was the catalyst of the story, not because she was smart and awesome and helped them find Kelly Kline, but because she accidentally shot the British Men of Letters tool with the colt. Now the BMOL want her dead. Really? I was thinking the only reason she’s marked for death is because they’re setting her up to be a Sam love interest. Can you see that, those two getting romantic and then she dies tragically in Sam’s arms? Then Sam in his grief goes after the BMOL. Actually, that’s about the only outcome I see. Sam isn’t allowed to have happiness and everyone is supposed to die according to the writers “code”. They’ll promote it as one of those spectacular, “shocking” deaths that we didn't see coming and means something. Man, that just took the wind right out of the sails of this story line, didn’t it?
Speaking of Sam and Dean, were they even in this freaking episode? I mean honestly, what did Dean do other than roll his eyes at Sam and Eileen’s Facetime flirting? He got drunk, I guess that’s something, which happens about, oh let’s see, every single episode. Oh, but there was that nice, although very brief, moment when he was reunited with the Colt. Otherwise, the Winchesters were wallpaper in the A,B,C or D plot. I couldn’t tell which, there were way too many plots swirling together that resulted in this random mess. This hour totally missed the mark about what this show is truly about. Monsters, demons, angels…wait for it…SAM and DEAN WINCHESTER! Without them, there is no “Supernatural.” I think season twelve forgot!
(Namaste…Namaste…Everything is awesome…)
Ahem. Another positive was the return of Mark Pellegrino, who is the one true Lucifer and man does he give you the chills. The fact that Lucifer can channel Dagon and convince Crowley’s dumb ass minions to follow him with double speak and glowing red eyes while Crowley is in the room says something about how dangerous he truly is. Mark P certainly sells it better than anyone, pretending to bow down to Crowley, perhaps in attempt to throw the King off his game. I still think Crowley is smarter than that, but it all depends who’s writing the episode I guess. He looked like a dumbass in this one.
I know that Mark Pellegrino adds a nice menacing element to Lucifer that’s fun to watch, but I’m so damn tired of antics in the Hell Lair. It’s still him and Crowley both engaged in their little pissing contest with no real movement forward. It’s boring. It’s awkward. It’s an utter waste of time. It had no business being in this week’s scattered mess. Did those scenes really add any value? Did they??
(Puppies and kittens…goodwill toward men…peace on earth…wait a second, Donald Trump is my president. There’s no freaking peace on earth!)
Nope it isn’t working. This was a freaking Brad and Eugenie script, which is usually a point of contention with me, but this was worse. This episode was classic Brad and Eugenie and that’s not a compliment. They’ve been known through the years for wooden scripts, blatant disregard for continuity, implausible and cliched plot twists that are often more asinine than they are shocking, terrible dialogue, glacial pacing, contrived plotting, and choppy stories that when put together seem like a random mess more than a fluid story. This episode, we ended up getting all of that in one script! This is a new low, even for them.
When I mean “wooden scripts” I’m talking about the lack of emotional depth in their storytelling. The characters are just…there. I didn’t feel for any of these characters except Eileen. I liked Mick and all, but his death wasn’t shocking or heartbreaking. In this show, deaths are cliche. They don’t matter and haven’t for some time because they are so overdone. Mick especially was no Charlie. He wasn’t a beloved character that had been around for a few years. We only got to know him for a few episodes, which are now a total waste because he was killed off. I’m not going to go back and rewatch those episodes remembering Mick with fondness and then pulling out the hanky over his demise. I’m going to write off those episodes as filler and never watch again.
Then there’s the blatant disregard to continuity. It was well established in the earlier seasons, LUCIFER IS THE BABY BROTHER! Bad Brad and Eugenie, bad! Now write that on the board 1000 times. There’s also things from this season like the fact that Mick said in a prior episode he never killed anyone (which was supposed to add an emotional dimension to his predicament) and here we have a flashback where he did. Also, Dagon revealing that all mothers of Nephilim die was interesting, since that isn’t a fact that the angels seem to know. Remember the flashback in “Lily Sundar” when they went to kill the supposed Nephilim? They knew she had a mother. Is it possible that it’s only mothers of archangel Nephilim? That wasn’t well explained. But honestly, those last two are nitpicks compared to one of the more basic facts of the series.
The dialogue was not brisk or fun but amusing banter has always been a challenge for these two. That highly contributes to glacial pacing. What’s said are just words. Then there’s the really bad speeches. For example, here’s that very cringeworthy speech from Crowley when bringing in Lucifer. They made poor Mark say this crap?
Crowley: My loyal-ish subjects. These troubled times -- I'm aware, there might be some confusion as to where you're supposed to place your loyalty. Even with Lucifer back in the Cage. There are those of you who would try to help him, because he scares you. Or engorges you. Just the chance that Lucifer could come back, a rumor, would have been enough to keep some of you working against me, undermining me. Being a royal pain in my pert royal ass. But lo, the Beast has been humbled. From his own lips, you will hear proclaims of the one true leader of all Hell. See, I didn't just beat the Devil. I tamed him.
As for plotting and fluidity, watching this episode was like watching a kid with ADHD. “I’m on the Highway to…look, squirrel!” Given how many plots were being handled so randomly, the pacing still ended up agonizingly slow. How could that happen? I mean seriously, we jumped from story to story like ping pong balls with no good reason. It was just - “Let’s go here! I like trains!” You would of thought it had the pacing of a runaway freight train. Instead, I was just screaming, "Get on with it!"
The scenes with Dagon and Kelly were dull at best. Kelly going to see a doctor was kind of contrived, because Dagon knew what was wrong and in the end told her. Was a doctor visit necessary then? The only purpose of the doctor visit was to see that unusual ultrasound. While it was definitely cool, did it move the story forward? No. They both know it’s Lucifer’s baby so an ultrasound confirming that was hardly shocking stuff. Although, upon looking at the footage again, I’m not sure I could tell what was happening. Were those wings? A pitchfork? If anyone saw something that I didn’t, do share. Also, why was the Doctor killed? Wasn’t Dagon’s mind control enough? Oh, right, because this is a horror show. I think these writers forgot horror is about scaring people, not blood and guts for no good reason.
The highest In the “totally not necessary” column though were the motel room scenes between Mr. Ketch and Mary. The stuff they were talking about, shouldn’t they have been well beyond that point by now? They have been spending a lot of time together. So what they were discussing was enough to get them in bed together? Where was the sexual tension? Where was…tension? Where was the actual flirting and sexual attraction? I’m not against a Mary/Ketch pairing but talk about coming out of left field. They should have just started with them in bed together…in another week. This story was too busy as it was. That way, we are left wondering what was happening behind the scenes instead of seeing lame conversations that didn’t add up to the end result.
But let’s get to the part that really has me angry (yes, I was just getting warmed up). Implausible plot twists that are more asinine than they are shocking. Remember when this show tonally told stories that were creepy and villains that actually had depth to them? Where the hell are they going with the British Men of Letters? Hasn’t anyone learned from the train wreck that was the Styne family? Dr. Hess and this “code” crap is every bit as hideous and unwatchable as the Stynes aka Frankensteins and is not exciting me one bit about what’s to come for the rest of the season. It’s pissing on the legacy that is the Men of Letters. You know, the legacy that when it was introduced in season eight gave us hope and something appealing. The stuff that Henry Winchester proudly gave his life for. The stuff that made Sam and Dean proud to be legacies. Remember the Judah Initiative? That good stuff.
So, the British Men of Letters are evil because…they’re British? It makes no sense. Have Brad and Eugenie ever been to England? “The code” should have never been tied to the Men of Letters, British or otherwise. They might as well have invented some other evil organization like SPECTRE. That would have been more believable. They want all the American hunters dead now? Wait, what? Why? I won’t even get into how unbelievable and implausible the whole Kendricks scenario was. Parents and community members would notice their kids getting murdered senselessly. It would wreck school enrollment numbers, that’s for sure. Oh, that’s right, they’re British. Maybe they’re used to that sort of thing. ????? Not to mention it’s a total ripoff of Harry Potter. It reminds me of "The Simpsons" and the musical nanny, Sherri Bobbins. Yep, a totally original creation!
I’ve said this so many times that I’m blue in the face, not to mention I’ve probably been written off as a heretic in some (or most) circles, but come on. Try harder show. If you can’t come up with engaging and plausible ideas, it’s time to give things up. I do accept that maybe all of this is a result of giving freedom to bad writers, but these particular writers have say in the overall plots. We are a smart audience. We follow things. We notice things. Try challenging us for once. Stop it with the weak cliches, ripoffs, incomprehensible plot twists and “sensational deaths.” Try to at least remember the roots of this show when Sam and Dean fought true evil, not mustache twirlers. “Supernatural” is not supposed to be a campy mess. Any script that makes it so is not worthy of anyone’s time.
The Red Headed Monster
(Caught munching on bonbons). Sorry, got nothing. She pretty much covered it all.
Overall grade, an D-. Two things saved it from being a total fail - the return of Eileen and that shot of Dean being reunited with the Colt. Now I’ve got to go mediate or something and find that calm center. “Supernatural” seems to be triggering my angry center. Try better next week show!