It’s that time of the season. Novel writers have a term for it, the sagging middle. The big storylines are a few weeks away and no doubt the epic season finale is being planned. In the meantime, with a few episodes left to burn before then, it’s time for filler.  Episodes that go for character based examinations and dangle tiny plot nuggets like a carrot at us, but it hardly give a satisfying meal. 

While I have no foreknowledge of what tonight's episode, "Mannequin 3:  The Reckoning" will be like, you've got to look at history.  As much as I love having a new episode this week based on spoilers, no preview pictures, and one light clip, “Mannequin 3: The Reckoning” has to potential to join company with other epic sagging middle episodes as “Sam, Interrupted,” “Playthings,” “Criss Angel is A Douchebag,” "Family Remains," “Swap Meat,” and let’s not forget my absolute favorite, season one’s hoot and a half “Route 666.” 
So, in completely random order, here’s a few strategies to get yourself positively blissful about an episode that odds on is going to make you wonder where that hour of your life went: 
Make your own bingo cards. Now those routine elements of Supernatural become fun! Here’s some suggested squares: 
  • Sam does puppy dog eyes. 
  • Dean drinks whiskey.  
  • Dean says something outrageous.  
  • Sam gives a bitchface.  
  • The Impala appears (make that one a free space or something). 
  • Sam saves Dean. 
  • Dean saves Sam. 
  • The guys pretend to be FBI agents (another free space). 
  • The MOTW monologues. 
  • The brothers talk to each other on the cell phone. 
  • Sam does research on the laptop. 
  • Dean says son of a bitch. 
  • Sam broods. 
  • Sam or Dean suffer through a humiliating situation.
  • Dean worries about Sam.  
  • A red shirt dies (yet another free space). 
  • Dean makes a sex joke. 
  • Sam harasses Dean for making a sex joke. 
  • Sam suffers man pain (emotional or physical). 
  • The Impala drives 200 miles in ten minutes. 
  • A death is shown with mere blood spatter. 
  • Sam bleeds. 
  • Dean bleeds.
Imagine Sam and Dean shirtless the entire episode. Better yet, how about just wearing their underwear. Nothing at all? That’s a bit much, don’t you think?  There is a plot you need to pay attention too.  Okay, maybe on the re-watch. 

Play Devil’s Advocate with the most routine plot twist. Come up with an absurd “alternate” story line. Write a fan fiction about it. Make it a hurt/comfort fan fic though. No slash, because that’s wrong.

Do a blow by blow on the performance of Sam Winchester's hair. (Fine, I'm only wanting this for ideas for the "Season Six Enigma of Sam Winchester's Hair" article).  

This is your chance to be Vern Yip! Thoroughly critique every design element of the motel room, using terms like “It looks like a rainbow threw up in here” or praising the design choice of “Twentieth Century Garage Sale.” If it is an abandoned house, come up with a redecorating plan! Something that would fit the busy lifestyle of hunters on the go.  

Make sure to tweet several times about the funniest part in the episode, using plenty of LOL’s and OMG's.  Convince the west coasters it is the best episode ever. 

Mute the CW promos and do your own voice over and dialogue. Make Chuck Bass look like the girly girl he really is.

Better yet, start an online spoiler rumor that Chuck Bass is dying on "Gossip Girl."  Tally how many people think that is a good thing. Become Facebook friends with these people.  (Fine, I plagiarized myself with that one.).  

Let's face it, I suck at great ideas.  So, a la Daniel Tosh, I also asked our followers at Twitter to send some suggestions.  Here's what I got!  

@deangirl5802  margaritas n reruns!

@jillyrulz SPN has lacklustre eps? ;) I like to look for detail in the sets - the recurring clock, names of businesses, the lighting, llisten for incidental music, sound effects, appreciate the scenery (most often the Winchester kind)....

@myjedimindtrick How about a round of applause everytime Dean leers/pouts, Sam bitchfaces/puppydogs, Bobby sighs/idigits

@ShortyGotLeau  Have a viewing party! Play games with the episode and just generally have some fun with it. :)

@kazamigorical  Don't make filler episodes. Lol. That's my tip.

@AmberAnnH  Watch filler eps with 2 things: a fellow fan and booze. It's a can't-beat combo ;)

@mstngsali1 How about everytime Dean says, "Sammy!" you have to do five sit ups (no exercise? Just do the afore mentioned shots).

@raelee514   I'm trying to think of what I do -- all I've come up so far for Fallen Idols is laugh at beheaded Paris.

@debleabryant  How about a game: cut out of Castiel without wings. Blindfold people and play 'pin the wings' on Castiel! :)

@mstngsali1  Ohhh. Everytime Sam runs his fingers through his hair, you have to take a shot. :)

@mstngsali1  Less clothing, more water. <evil grin> Seriously, "hijinks" are always fun. I like seeing our boys in funny situations

Enjoy the episode tonight everyone, whether it proves to be filler or not.  It's all good anyway.  


# Sablegreen 2011-02-18 17:21
What a fun idea. Good suggestions from your tweeps too!
# Bardicvoice 2011-02-18 23:03
Heh: I'd add, Sam or Dean open or drink a beer.
Dean turns the car radio on or up.
Sam or Dean open or drink coffee.

Love this game!

(BTW: Alice, your site really HATES Firefox; tried to make this comment four times, and couldn't get login to work! On IE now ...)
# Alice 2011-02-18 23:16
Oh wait, the login! Yes, I only put that in yesterday. I'll check it out on Firefox. It works on Safari. I have my system setup to run IE, Firefox and Safari ( I have a Mac). Yes, I'm that big a geek.
# Tigershire 2011-02-20 12:17
Seems to work fine on Chrome - just in case you needed to know. GRIN
# Karen 2011-02-19 10:47
This was a great idea Alice!
I didn't do the bingo card part but I did print out the list and ticked each time one of the suggestions came up.
I think I might be doing this for the remainder of the season. ;-)
# Junkerin 2011-02-19 13:05
I should have read this befor watching! I don´t want to say next time :lol:
# Bevie 2011-02-19 14:11
I don't have to psych myself up for fillers as I love fillers, sometimes more than the mytharcs.

I like the simpler one on one monsters and supernatural problems than the world ending ones. I can more easily believe the simpler cases than the heaven, hell, angel, demon and God missing and civil heaven war ones. (doesn't mean I don't love Castiel though, lol)

Personally I'd love an episode of the brothers doing laundry, shopping for clothes at second hand shops, getting hair cuts, getting groceries, playing catch or attending a carnival or rock concert, Disneyland or just having some ordinary fun for a change. (I'm weird, I know it!) How about that trip to the Grand Canyon Dean always wants to do?
# blueice 2011-02-20 01:57
Little late, but...
More bingo squares:
Sam frowns.
Dean takes his jacket off.
Bobby drinks.
The Impala's trunk is opened.
Bobby says 'Ya think?'
The motel room has wood panelling.

You could yell 'Biggersons' when you see the diner in an ep.