Supernatural Season 12

  • A Casual Chat with Mark Sheppard - Comic Con 2016

    Everyone sort of cringes when Mark Sheppard shows up in the press room.  He doesn't give spoilers, he doesn't particularly care for the press, if you ask him traditional questions about the season to come or the season past he gives short uninformative answers, sometimes downright rude.  Some of my worst interviews have come from Mark.  HOWEVER, this is not one of these interviews.  He was in a good mood and we had a fun 6 min and 40 sec conversation with him.  
  • Alice's Review - Supernatural 12.04 - "American Nightmare"

    Welcome to “Supernatural” Davy Perez.  I got to meet this new writer at Comic Con this summer and it sounded like this new batch of writers were dedicated to telling unique stories while staying true to the SPN Verse.  After seeing the first episode from this new crop, “American Nightmare,” it looks like they’re off to a good start.  
     
    Yes, I liked it.  A lot of the complaints I had from last week weren’t set to rest, but they were at least set aside.  For one, the whole hour focused on one story, the Sam and Dean monster hunt.  Don’t get me wrong, I like Castiel and Crowley, but sometimes the constant bouncing around between stories gets a bit much week to week.  Sticking to the basics is a nice change at times.  This episode however had some big hints that what happened here is relevant for the story later, but it wasn’t weighed down too much by the previous events.  That’s exactly the kind of episode I need in episode four.
     
    The biggest strength of the episode though was the focus on the brothers themselves.  For once, I didn’t feel like Sam and Dean were supporting players in their own story.  Yeah, perhaps the religious zealot stereotype got a bit much at times, not to mention I absolutely hated that final scene (go away British MOL), but all in all, I wasn’t hurling stuff when it was over.  That’s an improvement.  
  • Alice's Review - Supernatural 12.05 - "The One You've Been Waiting For" aka We're Still Waiting

    Well, that was certainly an odd duck in this versatile “Supernatural” universe, wasn’t it?  I get exactly the intent of the writer, Meredith Glynn, who delivered her first “Supernatural” script with “The One You've Been Waiting For.”  She chose to deliver a tongue-in-cheek tale that targeted something that shouldn’t be taboo by now, but this episode unfortunately came at a time when national (heck international) emotions were running high and probably not fully understanding of the joke.  For those that did get the joke, well, we still aren’t laughing.  The episode failed to deliver on many sides.  
  • Alice's Review: Supernatural 12.01, "Keep Calm and Carry On" aka Not Your Ordinary Family Reunion

    Welcome to the new season, one based on conversations with Executive Producers Andrew Dabb and Robert Singer, is the new character driven season.  Smaller stories that are meant to explore the emotional dilemmas of our characters.  Going with that blueprint, did “Keep Calm and Carry On” deliver?  For the most part yes, although there were a few bumps that made the highly anticipated season premiere a little lackluster.  Don’t get me wrong, this episode was a vast improvement over the final three episodes of last season and one that I really enjoyed watching. But what does the episode tell us about the direction of the season?  Not a lot, but there’s some potential.  Let’s go through it all and see what worked and what didn’t.  

  • Alice's Review: Supernatural 12.07 - "Rock Never Dies" aka Distraction Addicts Anonymous

    Um…
     
    You know, on the first watch, “Rock Never Dies” wasn’t so bad.  No, it wasn’t very exciting.  I remember when it was half over I thought, “There’s still 30 minutes left of this?”  Pacing was glacial to say the least.  But honestly, three things made it a watchable episode for me.  First, I’m still loving Crowley and Castiel together.  I believe that those two have more value together than apart.  Second, I really loved Rick Springfield as Lucifer.  I’m not sure I wanted to see him be the permanent Lucifer going forward, but for the stint he did have he did a great job. Third, I loved the setting of Los Angeles.  The fact that it was Crowley’s town was so perfect, especially after I’ve visited the so called City of Angels a few times.  People would easily make demon deals in that town!  The stock shots of LA seemed a little over the top and a time waster, but hotels like that do serve cucumber water and people are very much into their veggie smoothies and yoga.  I’m with Sam and Dean, veggie infused water isn’t half bad!    
     
    Beyond that though, it gets messy.  Uncomfortably messy.  There were plot holes and attempts at humor that fell flat, but overall it ended up being a stern slap in the face to the idea of fandom, one that probably hit too close to home given “Supernatural’s” avid fans.  For those that didn’t notice the insult, it was slow and lackluster at best.  For those that did notice, we’re left wondering exactly what are the writers trying to tell us?  It isn’t a celebration of fan loyalty and devotion, that’s for sure.  
  • Alice's Review: Supernatural 12.10 - "Lily Sunder Has Some Regrets"

    I’ll admit, I had some low expectations going into this episode.  I was actually happy to see that we would be getting something Castiel centric because we don’t get enough Castiel stories given his role in this show.  There is certainly a lot of untapped potential in his background.  “Lily Sundar Has Some Regrets” was an ideal backstory to bring light to Castiel’s current dilemma, one that I don’t think has been effectively put into perspective until now.  At the same time though, this wasn’t exactly a fast paced installment and some other errors prevented it from being a great hour.  
  • Alice's Review: Supernatural 12.03 - "The Foundry" aka Too Much Drama?

    What can I say that hasn’t already been said?  “The Foundry” was a well written, cohesive, dramatic tale that did everything in its power to effectively tell another chapter in the tragic yet heroic story of a family named Winchester.  It hit all the right marks, had characters that were actually acting in character, and ran with two effective stories that both were strong from beginning to end. 
     
    Having said that, I still didn’t enjoy it. 
     
    I was at a loss these past few days, trying to figure out why this episode didn’t connect with me.  Everything that makes an episode great was there on paper.  Usually I’m very high on episodes with great writing and love to give credit where it is due.  Once I gave it some thought though, the issue is really a continuation of what’s been bugging me all season so far.  Tone.  I realized that this shift to the more personal, “emotional” stories isn’t the kind of “Supernatural” I was hoping to see after all.  
  • Alice's Review: Supernatural 12.08 - "LOTUS" aka The Book of Enoch Meets "Jus in Bello"

    Color me surprised!  I went into “LOTUS” with some incredibly low, sub zero basement low, if not totally despondent expectations.  I mean, how in the world were they going to turn around this fiasco known as season 12? The synopsis had me believing this, to quote Comic Book Guy, would be the worst…episode…ever.  Given the fact that I’ve been hardly impressed to downright angry with the episodes all season long, not to mention bitterly disappointed by all the midseason finales over the last several seasons, as well as my fear that the Lucifer storyline has dragged on way to long, it was going to be a near impossible task to win me over.  
     
    Go figure, it happened, and we can thank…*gulp*…Brad and Eugenie.  Suddenly, I’m on board again.  I loved it.  
     
    Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t call “LOTUS” epic or gorgeous, or even standing up to the series classics.  But for season 12, I’m calling it the best episode so far.  I liked that everyone played their part.  Sam and Dean got to be heroes (with a twist), Crowley and Rowena had moments that were quite enjoyable, and even Castiel was slightly better than useless, getting to deliver the big news of Lucifer's offspring thanks to the angel radio.  I also want the British Men of Letters to only be Mr. Ketch.  He’s awesome! 
     
    s12e08 387
     
    I know, this wasn’t an epic emotional story that involved brotherly bonding or strong family moments.  Emotional elements have never been Brad and Eugenie’s strength, so that expectation was never there for me.  The episode dragged in parts like during the presidential scenes, which got too much air time, even if it was Lucifer.  But overall the story had my attention the entire hour.  It was actually fluid and moved very well.  All the parts added up and had a logical progression instead of being a random mess.  Tonally it was very even.  It also moved forward a season that seemed aimless and going nowhere by merely presenting mytharc pieces in an interesting way.  But best of all, the eye rolling moments were at a minimum.  In today’s “Supernatural” landscape, I call that a win.  
     
    So what made “LOTUS” so extraordinary from all the other season 12 selections?  Let’s take a deeper look.    
  • Alice's Review: Supernatural 12.11 - "Regarding Dean" aka The Post-It Note Review

     
    We’ve had several great and introspective reviews this week on this site, digging into the deep layers that this great script offered.  Trust me when I say, layers have been noticeably absent this season in most scripts so I’m clinging onto this gift like glue.  But me digging into those layers would pretty much end up repeating what’s already been said in the last few days.  In the vein of the episode, I’m going to focus more on the superficial stuff.  Call this my “post-it note” review.  You know, random thoughts focusing on the small little touches that made this episode extraordinary.  Why? Because dammit, I’ve been dying for some sort of fun this season and this is the best chance I’ve gotten so far.  Most episodes have just left me cold instead of the giant smile that was on my face Thursday night.  
     
  • Alice's Review: Supernatural 12.12 - "Stuck in the Middle (With You)" aka Tarantino Meets SPN Verse

     
    I’m going to tell you why I loved this episode so much.  No doubt, “Stuck in the Middle (With You)” was a full blown homage to filmmaker Quentin Tarantino and that makes me very happy.  I love this man’s films and got every shout out they were going for.  For the most part, the effort was brilliant. For those that aren’t familiar with Tarantino’s style (aka the young audience that now watches this show) I can tell you that it is very hard to copy.  You don’t see a lot of filmmakers trying to emulate.  
     
    It takes a certain amount of skill to deliver on non-linear storytelling, aka showing scenes out of chronological order, using title cards, and bringing together in a scattered intersection individual plot threads.  For the most part writer Davy Perez and director Richard Speight Jr. pulled it off.  From the Reservoir Dogs-esque opening in the diner and the slow motion shot outside to the Kill Bill inspired fight scenes to the Pulp Fiction inspired use of “glowing” to show the importance of the colt to the The Hateful Eightinspired score (that film was scored by the original Spaghetti Western composer Ennio Morricone), it became obvious how much of a Tarantino study both these guys are.  Yes, I loved the Spaghetti Western themed score.  I may be the only one, but the music to me fit the style they were copying, even if it seemed out of place for this show.
     
    I caught on what was happening within the first few minutes, but given my familiarity (and love) with this style of storytelling, I gave it a lot of scrutiny as well.  While I applaud the effort and the risks taken to do this sort of story, there were rough spots in the execution here and there, but not so much to ruin the hour.  Just knock it down a grade or so.  Given the effort that was taken for a one hour TV show episode, all parties involved should be proud of delivering something with this caliber of cinematic quality.  
  • Alice's Review: Supernatural 12.13 - "Family Feud" aka The Mediocrity Strikes Back

    Mediocre. 
     
    Pardon me?  Oh, you came here to read more than that?  An adequate, perfectly descriptive one word review doesn’t suffice?  Fine, I’ll elaborate.  
     
    It didn’t suck.  How about that?
     
    Yeah, didn’t think that would work either.  Fine, but you know what happens when I have to analyze a Brad and Eugenie episode.  The blood pressure tends to spike.  Especially when something so tame follows something so brilliant. 
  • Alice's Review: Supernatural 12.14 - "The Raid" aka "In Defense Of..."

    The roller coaster ride continues.  This week we're up, and suddenly there's a potential thrill to this ride.  The question is, will we hit bottom again next week like we did last week?  Personally, I don't care.  I want to hang onto this little gem for a while and not let go.  

  • Alice's Review: Supernatural 12.16, "Ladies Drink Free" aka Where's My Pool Scene?

     
    So, a funny thing happen on the way to watching my DVR recording of “Supernatural” on Thursday.  Everyone was pixelated, choppy, and talking in really strange voices.  I swear it was possessed.  Granted that actually improved the character of Claire for me, but that’s not the point (I’m kidding!). Bottom line, I couldn’t watch until it was available on CWTV.com the next day, and given my weekend plans I couldn’t watch until Sunday.  
     
    What did I think?  Maybe it was my mood after a good weekend, but I didn’t think it was half bad.  Even the hubby, who pretty much thinks all of it is crap these days, thought it was one of the better installments.  No, “Ladies Drink Free” wasn’t a series classic, but as filler goes, it was watchable.  
     
  • Alice's Review: Supernatural 12.17 - "The British Invasion" aka Haven't We Learned From the Stynes?

    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?  
  • Alice's Review: Supernatural 12.18 - "The Memory Remains" aka "Old School"

    Whew!  What a relief.  I was really starting to think that “Supernatural” had forgotten what it was truly about.  Thank you John Bring and Phil Sgriccia for reminding everyone.
     
    While I'm not going to go as far as calling "The Memory Remains" a series classic or even a totally brilliant hour, it was a most welcome hour.  The last few weeks have been disconcerting so for this episode to address some of those issues itself makes it extraordinary.  Who knows, I might even watch this again someday.  There are very few episodes in this season where I can say that.  
     
  • Alice's Review: Supernatural 12.19 - "The Future"

    Huh, that was interesting.  That’s good “interesting.”  I can’t explain how or why, but I thought this was a well done hour.  I’ve been really missing Castiel and I’ve been skeptical about this whole Luci baby drama.  I like this turn.  Is the baby good or evil?  Please let it be good.  That would be something different, wouldn’t it? 

    What I loved the most was Kelly and Castiel.  Just about all the moments that they were on screen.  There was something visually captivating about Kelly’s whole suicide in the bath tub scene, shot by first time for “Supernatural” director (and acting alum) Amanda Tapping.  It was done with style and grace, which was kind of weird considering we’re talking a bloody death in a bathtub.  I really felt for Kelly at that moment and she earned my sympathy for the entire hour. 
  • Alice's Review: Supernatural 12.20 - "Twigs and Twine and Tasha Barnes" aka Wonder Twins Power Activate!

    Episode 20 in this show has always been a bit of an odd duck.  It’s meant to be the warmup to the big climax that is coming.  There have been huge classics like last season’s “Don’t Call Me Shurley” or what I call a true masterpiece of the series, season six’s “The Man Who Would Be King.”   Then there’s the quirky fun episodes like “The Girl With the Dungeons and Dragons Tattoo,” and “Pac-Man Fever.”  There’s also the fandom dividing episodes like “The Rapture” and “Angel Heart.”  Don’t forget the total disaster too, aka season nine’s “Bloodlines.”  
  • Alice's Review: Supernatural 12.22 "Who We Are," aka A Family Healed

    Thank you, thank you, thank you Robert Berens!  I just can’t say that enough.  I was left so speechless and emotionally drained after “Who We Are” that when I tackled the idea of a review, I just wanted to repeat “Thank You” a thousand times.  Sure it would have been redundant to say the least, but wouldn’t it have gotten the message across?  :). Don’t worry, I came up with some real words.  Way too many probably.  
     
    It wasn’t just Robert Berens delivering the goods.  This was an all out effort where everyone got to shine.  The directing by John Showalter was a season best, so was the acting, probably because the actors were finally given some superior material to work with, the editing wasn’t choppy and annoying, the stunt coordination was amazing, and even the score was memorable (save for an interesting choice or two).  All in all, I finally have one episode in season twelve that I can get excited about.  A review where I can actually dig into character intricacies and layers!  It’s an SPN reviewer’s dream.  “Who We Are” will be my season twelve classic for years to come.  My only one.  
     
    Honestly, I was ready to give it all up after “There’s Something About Mary.”  I wasn’t even sure if I’d be able to do a review for these finale episodes.  After all, season twelve has been a bitter disappointment.  But as I sat there on the couch gobsmacked with tears rolling down my face after watching this masterpiece from Bobo, I wondered if part of my deep emotional reaction was due to the mere fact that my show was back.  It was like sharing a big hug with an old friend that hasn’t been around forever and that you missed terribly.  That closing shot of the Winchester group hug wasn’t just a reconciliation of the Winchesters.  It was a reconciliation of the whole SPN Family.  Sure, by next episode things would be off the rails again, but we had this moment together and it was beautiful.  Heck, it was freaking group therapy. 
     
    This review is just for 12.22.  I have other thoughts about 12.23 (both good and bad) that I will share at another time. I honestly don’t want those thoughts to step on the beauty of this episode.  I’ve even sent the Red Headed Monster to a Wine and Cheese festival.  Trust me, the monster is in freaking bliss right now.   So grab a cup of coffee, sit back, and let’s dig in.  
     
  • Alice's Review: Supernatural 12.23 "All Along The Watchtower" aka A Death and Plot Hole Fiesta

     
    I struggle with Andrew Dabb scripts. While Robert Berens turned his script into a work of art, Dabb’s “All Along the Watchtower” felt like a story was thrown at us with a lot of random bits and we got to see what stuck to the wall.  Some of it that did stick just looked like a garbled mess in the end.  I get that plotting mytharcs isn't easy, but often the movement from scene to scene felt jagged.  There was too much story exposition in parts and some pieces just didn't fit well with others.  Pacing again was an issue.  However, the story that developed did come together in the end and there was plenty to absorb, but I'm still not sure how much I liked it.  
  • Breaking News! Supernatural Season 12 Here We Come!

    Deadline Hollywood just announced that Supernatural will be coming back for season 12.