I vaguely remember the movie Clue. It was a ludicrous concept, a whole movie of antics based on a board game. It had three endings and none of them was a Scooby Doo ending (Wayne’s World got it right). I also know that it was a forgettable film because I don’t remember anything else about it except it didn’t generate any laughs with me, despite the fact Tim Curry was in it. I also know what MANY of you are thinking (especially you younger folk). “There was a movie about Clue?”
Yes, my expectations for “Ask Jeeves” were in the basement as soon as it was obvious in the previews it was a spoof of the movie. It’s Supernatural Clue (BTW, a board game on that is coming soon, we’ll have the details here once it’s available). I can only imagine the coming board game was the inspiration for this idea, because I can think of hundreds of different movies in the vault that they could have pulled inspiration for an episode. Heck, I’m still waiting for that one based on Jacob’s Ladder (you know you want it show).
But if I take the whole Clue thing out of the equation and actually judge the episode on its merits, then that’s where the good part comes in. I didn’t love it, but it was a good light hearted hour, until that closing scene (more coming on that later). Although, one reason it falls in “didn’t love” category is because I’m not fond of “whodunit” murder mysteries. That’s why I neglected 12 seasons of “Murder She Wrote.” We know it was either going to be the butler or the maid (it always is) but when that maid is a shapeshifter, then yes, we have our “Supernatural” tie in. I also give big kudos to writers Eric Charmelo and Nicole Snyder for remembering their shapeshifter lore and showing the disgusting shedding of skin (I’m talking to you “Bloodlines”). I was actually thrilled to see that.
I hated the family and the whole depiction of these “WASPs”. I know they’re trying to follow the movie and run with a comedic angle, but how many times has the shallow family of rich people been done on this show? On all TV shows? It’s a tired, overdone cliché. None of them were fun or had a real personality, and that did take away from some of the enjoyment. I like it when I’m actually made to care about guest characters, like Charmelo and Snyder’s pishtaco from last season’s “The Purge”. For once, why can’t the family be smart and ruthless toward one another in a clever and less predictable way (think War of the Roses)? Ah well, we got what we got. I was rooting for Sam and Dean to stay locked in that room while the shapeshifter maid killed the lot of them. They kind of had it coming.
It’s classic MOTW, and I liked how they tied in this case with an old one of Bobby Singer’s. He did what Sam and Dean would have done, let the monster go and if that monster start killing, then it must be killed. That’s where I wished we could have gotten flashbacks of Bobby with this girl and her mother, just to enrich the backstory. That would have been cool! But there’s only so much story they can stretch into 42 minutes, so I understand. I do miss Bobby, so I’ll take any mention of him I can get.
This episode did manage to bring up the looming issue that’s been neglected recently, the demon within Dean thanks to the Mark of Cain. He was bound to kill someone eventually and we all knew that it wouldn’t be pretty. Sam knew that too. As to why Sam was chosen to draw out the shapeshifter while Dean got the silver bullets out of the car was beyond me given the concern, but that’s our setup and all of Sam’s fears became fully realized. The shapeshifter figured out Sam couldn’t kill her because he didn’t have silver bullets and was stalling. She was just about to pop a few bullets in him when Dean arrived in the nick of time. He shot once, twice, three times, hell he emptied the gun. He looked totally psychotic doing it and Sam watched it all in unsettled horror. So did we. For such a predictable scene, the reactions were so well done and it was a very satisfying moment. Dean was just as scared as Sam, we know it! His strange behavior afterward with Pointdexter tipped us off (sorry, I didn’t care about these characters enough to actually learn their names).
This of course setup the brotherly chat in the Impala at the end (don’t you love that they’ve gone back to having chats in the Impala?). Sam tried to press the issue, wondering what was going on inside of Dean, but Dean denied anything was wrong. Sam pressed harder, not letting Dean’s denial go that easy. Dean in kind drowned out Sam to Bob Seger’s “Travelin’ Man.” Sam got frustrated, didn’t want to give up, but then did. And…that’s exactly what I would have predicted. That’s where I had a ton of trouble with that ending, actually way more than the aforementioned “The Purge.”
My issue with the construct of that conversation is it’s the same formula that’s been done ever since season one. They talk, one of the brothers gets shut down, and they leave it. I was just…hoping for way more. For more mature brothers that have grown considerably in ten years, these habits of discussion are rather annoying in their repetition and have been for some time. Where’s Sam’s “let me show you the light at the end of the tunnel” speech? How about Dean admitting how much that kill has scared the crap out of him? (You can see it in his face). How about some real honesty? Knowing how much time was left I knew it would end like that, but when you’ve seen a scene like this countless times over numerous seasons, this circular brotherly behavior just gets frustrating. Haven’t they grown? Let me guess, now it festers until Dean does something really tragic and then Sam is forced to act, probably right around the mid season finale.
I know its season ten and it’s difficult to be original, but the predictability anymore in Sam and Dean’s confrontations makes these brotherly struggles tedious for me. At least at the end of “The Purge” we got an honest, open brotherly conversation. Yes, it was painful and it was Sam lashing out in a way that really hurt Dean, but it wasn’t “Brotherly Chat 101.” It did have some shock value. At the end of this episode, we once again were subject to classic stalling by the writers, as though they aren’t allowed to show any inch of movement with Sam and Dean until midseason and season finales. It kind of numbs any joy felt over the episode because it feels like filler. I know fans wanted more brotherly chats in the Impala, but ones like this don’t serve any purpose other than a sing along to a really good Bob Seger tune.
Because of the ending, “Ask Jeeves” gets a C+ from me. It wasn’t bad and the timing was right for a MOTW standalone, but that’s the best I can say about it. Next week Crowley and Castiel are back and that does make me happy because I missed them the last few episodes (I do seem to be in the minority these days).
I may not have cared much for the family, but the house was gorgeous. The details by the set decorators for this episode were exquisite. For all the rooms that were shown, each one had amazing character and finesse. Even the bathroom was elaborate!
While I loved that Sam and Dean got a taste of the free gourmet coffee in the single serving cups (I love the glazed donut flavor!), that usually doesn’t happen at seedy motels. That’s usually reserved for the up and coming “boutique” hotel market. Can you imagine Sam and Dean in a boutique hotel? I did like the small cups joke though. Those Keurig makers aren’t mug fillers, are they?
I really, really loved the “Whodunit” type score that Jay Gruska composed this week. So perfect! Well done sir.
I had a total “HITG!” (Hey, it’s that guy!) moment when the police detective appeared. It took me a minute, but I remembered he was the bus driver in “After School Special.” That actor’s name BTW is Doug Abrahams (thanks Supernatural Wiki!)