It seems to be vacation week at The Winchester Family Business!! Half the writing staff is in or headed to Vancouver for the Supernatural convention that is happening this weekend! The other half is either on vacation or working so hard in order to take a vacation that everyone’s review is comprised of their “Random Thoughts”! I call this version of our “Déjà vu Review”, “Déjà vu Lite”!

I will share with you that our behind the scenes conversations about “Mother’s Little Helper” noted mostly pacing and story line issues. Phrases like “discomfort”, “narrative flaws”, “problematic”, and other less complimentary terms were prominent. Still, Alice, Bookdal and Pragmatic Dreamer were able to find a great deal of humor in what was otherwise meant to be a fairly serious study of soullessness and demonic evil. These are their "Random Thoughts", as shared during the #WFBRewatch Live Tweet!

 

Alice Jester

Last week on Supernatural, Dean went a bit postal over the First Blade thing. Things don’t improve.

Sam, just freaking hug your brother already! He needs one.

That is an odd looking tie on Sam. The brownish color and pattern just …freaky.

Dean let Sam take the Impala?? Wow, he is really off.

Yeah, just not feeling anything in the plot yet. Too much exposition? Dean has inspired me to pour whiskey though.

Aww, that waitress called Sam honey. I prefer the nickname “sweet cheeks” myself.

It’s attack of the loonies at the local jail. Sorry, but Soulless Sam was way hotter.

For those that don’t remember Soulless Sam, you get a recap! All two of you.

You’re lying to Sam like he’s your wife, which kind of makes me your mistress.” BWAH! Crowley! The BEST lines.

I’m having a “HITG” with that actress playing Julia. Where have I seen her before?
HenryandJosie
                Hey, it’s Gil McKinney and Alaina Huffman! Even their characters would make a better spinoff.

                Pragmatic Dreamer: The earlier generations of Winchesters & Campbells would be awesome spin-off!

Other than Miami Vice, how many Feds have Sam’s five o’clock shadow? Not that I’m complaining…

Oh, NOW Henry is worried about his wife and kid??? I think we need another anvil alert.

                Bookdal: Right? *sigh*

Does anyone find the story of Josie tragic? It’s hard to feel sympathy for a character we never got to know.

                Bookdal: No and that is because they had horrible pacing this season. #willbeatthishorse

I’m all for flashback storytelling, but unfortunately the story told never served the main arc or a parallel.

DeanandCrowley
I could watch an entire hour of Dean and Crowley in a bar. Those two need to get rowdy next time.

Sam Winchester in a convent. Oh, the jokes and innuendos write themselves…

Dean and Crowley in a bar. Oh, the jokes and innuendos write themselves…

It still disappoints me seeing Sam with the demon killing knife, knowing his mind once whacked the crap out of demons.

9.17 Soul Jars 1325
This stealing souls thing was kind of clever. So why did it go nowhere? Missed memos?

There’s the smart Sam Winchester we all know and love. Recording the exorcism. Last done in season three! Too long.

The souls going back to their bodies thing was a gorgeous moment. Beautifully shot, a more beautiful score.

“Why didn’t you tell Henry about Abaddon?” “Because that would have ruined the whole contrived story arc silly!”

WAIT, WAIT, did I just see puppy dog Sam complimenting that nun??? Whoa. I really missed you puppy Sam.

09
Well done by the director (Misha) for setting up that closing visual of Sam & Dean at their separate desks in the library.

That closing visual is haunting and delivers the serious impact of the situation. Which we never saw again.

Either you enjoyed “MLH” as a stand-alone or you didn’t. It didn’t contribute much else. Maybe it’s important later.

Bookdal

 So the sleep thing was a set up for demon Dean, I assume.

Dean all jonesing for the blade. I’d insert inappropriate comment but I find inappropriate readings tiresome now.

This has to be the most awkward conversation ever. “Remember when I was soulless, Dean?”  “Was that when you were hallucinating Lucifer or drinking blood?”

And if I remember correctly, things didn’t set Soulless off. He was pretty calculating and calm. Am I misremembering again?

                Pragmatic Dreamer: I remember Soulless Sam being somewhat emotionless. It’s like he was mimicking feelings but no attachment to them.

                Bookdal: Exactly. He was strategic more than anything. Not liable to fly off handle.

Crowley
Dean, pool table, Crowley. Fic waiting to happen, y’all.

I love how Crowley goes all Freud psychoanalyst on Dean. #tellthedevilaboutyourdeepestdarkests #poolsticksaremetaphors

I see Gil McKinney and all I think is Vinnie, love, her man.

So this was the last job before being inducted into men of letters? Of course the girl’s gonna get a demon in her.

                Watcher reply: I hate how they turned Josie into such a cliché

                Bookdal: the whole she’s in love with him crap that makes me want to tie the writers’ room down and make them read Simone de Beauvoir!

When I was a kid I told monsignor I wanted to be a priest. He told me I couldn’t be but I could be a bride of Christ. It creeped me out. Ngl

This was the episode when I wanted to write Crowley/Dean AU that involves tattoos, body oil, and leather.

Jensen Ackles’ face is not possible via natural DNA construction. He is genetically engineered.  Every episode is evidence. #truefax

Misha directing camera at Jared’s torso and jeans. You got yourself a thing there, Mish?

This show needs to figure out what exactly it is defining as a soul.

This is the “why don’t they have their gun on a bungee” moment in the episode.

9.17 Sam  Soul 1449
Is that you, Tinkerbell? Fly home to Neverland now. Be free. Firefly. Be FREE.

SamandJulia
Does anyone else think this show has a thing for putting Sam with old ladies or equating him to old ladies? #ponderings

Huh…okay, that actually makes sense. Sam was teasing Dean with the Beer. It was a test!

Pragmatic Dreamer

Poor Dean seems so sad & despondent (and obsessed Sam says). I would like to give him a hug.

BlueberryBaby
Hark! A rare sighting of the “Solo Sam” driving the “Beautiful Black Impala”

Scene from Liars Anonymous “Hi. My name is Dean. I’m lying to my brother & sort of telling the truth to the King of Hell”

9.17 Dean Crowley Bar 0537
Crowley is like a cat playing with his pet mouse, or in this case, pet squirrel! Crowley reading Dean like a book.

03
Good chemistry between Henry & Josie, but wish they hadn’t gone the “single woman unrequited love” route. Cliché.

How about a spin-off with Sister Julia “complicated “Wilkinson? She’s witty & warm & complicated!

Ah, yes, the recurring Supernatural theme – sacrifice! Abaddon’s song:  “What I did for love”

Dean struggling with idea MoC & 1st Blade will turn him into killer he always feared becoming Crowley knows just how to push.

Dean trying to save the hunter because it’s still about saving people, but also protecting Crowley because he needs him

                Watcher: …or saving his drug dealer…

                Pragmatic Dreamer: That’s what I mean. Crowley had the First Blade – Dean’s addiction & he is only person/demon who had any knowledge of the Blade

Poor Dean “What I want, what I fear, don’t mean squat”. It’s his life’s mantra & credo

Please tell me all this stuff about souls will mean something in S10. Important for Demon!Dean perhaps?

Love the look of true awe & wonderment on Sam’s/Jared’s face as souls fly free. Beautiful shot & lighting

Intriguing that what Nasty!Nun said about souls is similar to what Death said. Hope this tread is picked up again.

02
Sister Julia leaves an impression. She should come back! Why doesn’t Henry notice Josie sounds different?

******

Did you think Crowley was playing Dean? Do you think the *new* canon on how being soulless affects people was a mistake, a retcon, or *new* information that will be used in season 10?  Were you bothered by the backstory of Josie being silently in love with Henry? What was your favorite part of this episode? What was your least favorite part?

We all had rather extensive thoughts about this episode when it first aired. Our original reviews can be found in The WFB Episode Guide.

Screencaps and promotional photos for the episode can be found in our Photo Gallery!

Comments  

cheryl42
# cheryl42 2014-08-20 15:33
I thought the soul removal was something that will important in recovering Dean next season. I did like this episode. Jensen and Mark had the best scenes. Dean is now to far gone if he isn't responding to Sam's calls for help. Jensen again sold Dean's gradual slide into darkness. I did love the exorcism by phone and releasing the souls. The visuals and music were perfect. I hope Misha gets to direct a future episode. I thought he did a great job.
Prix68
# Prix68 2014-08-20 17:01
I liked this episode, as well. Dean and Crowley in the bar together was interesting and funny. Both snarky. It was good to see Sam solve a case on his own and be competent for a change. Didn't care too much for the Henry/Josie story but loved the souls being released from the jars. The visuals. Thought Misha did a good job directing. Dean playing pool was a nice touch and sexy as hell.
njspnfan
# njspnfan 2014-08-20 17:14
This episode was okay but, by this point, the season-long Dean angstathon was starting to wear a little thin. Crowley and Dean are great together; Dean could never be played like that if he weren't compromised by the MoC and his separation from Sam, and boy was he being played. He didn't even recognize the demon pretending to be a hunter. It also struck me that this is the first time I can recall that Dean didn't have Sam's back during a hunt, and repeatedly lied and turned down Sam's requests for help.

Could have done without Josie's unrequited ducky love for Henry, though. Would have been just as easy to come up with another reason for becoming Abaddon's next vessel. As the first woman-of-letter s to be, Josie deserved a better back story.

I had no problem with how Sam was able to guess, and confirm that these people had no souls. After all, he had first hand experience. Granted, his experience was different but it made sense to me that people would react differently to not having a soul.

The demons extracting souls made no sense to me and IMO not only broke canon, it smashed it to smithereens. It is a cool concept, though, and Sam's wonderment while releasing the souls, and the VFX were great. I guess it was included to re-enforce how bad Abaddon was and how she was now the priority du jour.

The end of the episode, with the brothers at separate tables, was well done.
SueB
# SueB 2014-08-20 23:01
Crowley flirts w/ Dean at a bar and tests his loyalty.
Sam is a BAMF on several fronts.

Did I miss anything?
amyh
# amyh 2014-08-21 09:19
The best part of the episode was competant, smart kick ass Hunter Sam. You have been sorely missed. Sam needs to be seperated from Dean more often if this is the only way to get my favorite flaver of Sam!! The visuals of the souls returning was gorgeous.

Deans continuing angst (angstathon...h ee!) has gotten to the point of feeling emotionally manipulated. All that was missing was the lone man tear of manipulation. I agree about Josie's backstory lacking. She was written very one note; The actress did the best she could with crumbs. I still feel and argument could be made for Crolwy being the one behind the soul stealing and simply had his minion blame Abaddon.

Misha did a lovely job directing.
digyd
# digyd 2014-08-22 16:28
I remember Soulless Sam (oh how I loved him) hiding his nature most of the time so while I wouldn't have classified him as angry, I would classify him as impatient sometimes bordering on anger - "If you wanna add glitter to that glue you're sniffing that's fine, but don't dump your wackadoo all over us. We'd rather not step in it." He followed his bases instincts and so did these folk so for me that's the commonality. I didn't totally buy him figuring it out as fast as he did, but then again I do know the dude is super smart so I let it go when he pulled out that recording. Yay brainy Sam! Finally, since we could tell Josie was in love with Henry first time we met them, this treatment - as cliche I agree it is - didn't bother me. Looks like I'm cool with most of it! :-)