Originally I was going to wait and write this review later in the week (for a number of reasons including exam induced study-recluse status which I only come out of for Supernatural) but after that episode, I felt too inspired to let it lie, even for a couple days. Right off the bat I'm going to say that I adored this episode and the lighthearted feel it had, right down to the last ominous nanosecond that left us throwing things at the TV. Here's the breakdown:
Shoes and kettles and curses, oh my!
This episode opened on a particularly gruesome teaser, in which the arrogant prima-donna ballerina whips around the studio at dizzying speeds before her feet literally burst off her legs, leaving another image of bloody stumps. That poor janitor is never going to be the same again. I appreciate this scene because it starts off feeling very warm and safe, with gentle warm lighting and pink tones but quickly goes to what Supernatural does best - sky-high ick-factor.
Next we have Dean arguing with Frank about the Leviathan and it seems the search isn't turning up much for the boys to sink their teeth into - still no idea what those big-mouths are up to. Surprisingly, when Sam appears on the scene it's immediately apparent that the Lucifer thing is on the table. I expected Sam to fight this burden on his own a while, before succumbing to full scale crazy mode and leaving Dean wondering what happened. I like that this is the chosen direction instead. In keeping with the new behaviour patterns that have been developing all season, the boys are being open and honest with one another and not taking on the weight alone.
Sam has found a case so they put on their Feeb costumes and head to investigate those dancing shoes. The police station was pretty funny. Let's start with what looked like the officer who was flirting with the guy in front of Sam and Dean in line. First he gives them the "yeah, I see you, hold your horses" sign and then, it's with an exasperated sigh that he goes off to track down what the "agents" are asking for. Not your typically police interaction, though amusing.
Elsewhere, we see Tiny Dancer who Officer Dad has cordoned - in the evidence room? She's enchanted by the aforementioned ballet slippers but doesn't get her chance to use them until she heads to the bathroom. Now, I don't know about you, but if a pair of shoes magically manifested in the middle of a room far away from the one I'd just come from, well I wouldn't be so quick to strap them on. I mean, I know it worked out okay for Dorothy, but she had the good fairy's blessing first"¦.
What I find odd about the next bit is that Officer Dad didn't accompany Sam and Dean when they went to get his daughter out of the bathroom. The entire time the boys are wrestling with this girl, I kept expecting Officer Dad to burst in shouting "bad touch alert!" and arrest them. That aside, Sam and Dean fighting for those shoes was a laugh out loud moment. And of course the button on the scene is when Sam suggests it's a cursed-object scenario and Dean shoots him a sardonic glare and a "you think?" Ah, I've missed these Winchester boys.
The shoes track back to Out With The Old Antiques (which reminded me of Same As It Never Was over in Grandview where the ghosts gather) and on the way we get some of the greatest imagery in Supernatural history- Dean in ballet slippers. I burst out laughing when Sam suggested the shoes were just Dean's size. Even though it wasn't in the show, the image of Dean in a full pink leotard, tutu and slippers (and pink sweatband!) is burned into my brain. Lucky for the boys, the hex box built to contain the shoes isn't far and they discover that the offspring of a....I hesitate to say hunter, being as she managed to raise a full grown son and run a business for 40+ years"¦so maybe hunter's helper has sold off a number of cursed items to unsuspecting buyers. Cue major gross-out number two.
We are teased with a knife block, a meat grinder and finally, the real culprit, the antique (and cursed) tea kettle. Mrs. Potts, you are no longer sweet and innocent. You are now a dangerous homicidal weapon. Sadly, the tea kettle vic can't be saved, so it's on to the boy who bought the gramophone and antique porn (leading Dean to ask the question we all want to know: how does porn kill?). Watching the boys work was great, they were efficient curse-thwarting machines and looked quite dapper doing it. (Not normally something I pay attention to (too much anyways) I thought Sam had fabulous hair in this episode.)
Location, Location, Location
Though we're deprived of know how porn kills, the curse storyline wraps up pretty quickly and the boys are, for some reason, still separated. This results in a near redux of the season one car meets transport truck escapade, as Sam is suffering severe Lucifer-induced insomnia. Dean, on the other hand, has his spidey sense tingling at the real estate advertisements all over and the nature of the death of the former owner of the cursed items (drove off a cliff). Dean offers some sound, if hypocritical advice to the son about not feeling guilty and living to make parents proud before leaving. Now, as he does seem to be doing better with every episode one has to wonder if this really is hypocritical advice at this point or is Dean striving to achieve it in his own way? Time will tell!
We are introduced to the delightfully bitchy Joyce and her long-suffering assistant George. We witness Joyce try to buy out the last store owner on the block and when he won't sell"¦surprise, Leviathans are on the scene! George is disturbed and hesitates about all the killings because apparently Dick doesn't like undue attention drawn. Joyce waves this off and after George disposes of their victim, she sends him for a grande non-fat, no foam single pump latte where George, stuck with a slow and uncooperative barista, stumbles on none other than Sammy Winchester loading up on the caffeine so as not to run into anymore trucks.
Right until his phone call to Joyce and glee at eating the Winchesters, I thought there might be an ally in George. Of course now we know that was kind of true and he was probably playing Joyce for a fool from the moment he laid eyes on Sam. Hands up if you thought the entire "eating Winchesters" conversation was one of the greatest non-Winchester moments in Supernatural history. It was such a surreal conversation - only on Supernatural could something that ridiculous be genius writing. So, the Leviathan realty team devise a plan to have their Winchesters and eat them too.
"Henry the VIII, I am I am. Henry the VIII I am."
While their demise is being planned unbeknownst (through probably not surprising) to Sam and Dean, the two reconnect at another cafÃ©, where Dean tells Sam he and Frank have discovered Dick Roman's filthy fingerprints all over this town. Sam meanwhile is so exhausted he can hardly sleep, revealing that Lucifer has been singing "Stairway to Heaven" over and over a la Patrick Swayze in Ghost. Dean orders Sam to go and get some sleep (at which point I'm yelling, no don't do that, you'll get eaten!) when their cursed-object dealer calls them with a fake cursed mirror (throw back to Bloody Mary anyone? I leave this to the expertise of others to pursue but I'm sure it fits in the theories that have been tossed around about season seven, somewhere).
Betrayal, Borax and Blades
The episode wraps up the Leviathan thing fairly quickly, with George turning the tide in the Winchesters favour by tipping off Sam to some Borax and a handy sword with which he takes off Joyce's Dean-snacking head at just the opportune moment. George was great in this episode. He was so reluctant and bumbling by all accounts, but in the end, he was clever, witty and manipulated his overbearing boss to her grave. And why? So he could taste her, of course. Yup, George had that brilliant sociopath thing down to an art.
And this is where the episode takes yet another twist. A blade at his throat and the threat of a stern mouth-washing George reveals the Leviathan's (alleged) endgame for this location: a cancer research centre because after all, they're only here to help. Yeah, well, so were the angels and look how that turned out...Sam and Dean are doubtful and so am I. First of all, given the abundance of cancer research facilities around the world, not to mention just in the US alone - wouldn't it make more sense to simply takeover an already existing research centre? Why go to the trouble and attention-drawing of starting your own? Cause you're pure evil and lying through your human-eating teeth, that's why! The only possible explanation I can conceive for why they'd attempt a cure at cancer is that it somehow affects the Leviathan negatively. Secondly is this cancer thing sounding a little Croatoan-esque, to anyone? (According to Twitter, yes, I'm not the only one sniffing at that conspiracy). That was my first thought (after "LIAR!") when George laid out the big reveal. I can't see clear to the endgame yet, but I'm mighty suspicious.
We are left to wonder if Sam and Dean left George alive and honestly part of me hopes yes so we can see this snarky character again. I really enjoyed him. Moving on from the town of Leviathan real estate holdings the boys head to Frank's trailer accompanied by the ominous sounds of CCR's "Bad Moon Rising" which we've heard a few times before, including in Devil's Trap and In My Time of Dying - not a good omen. Sure enough, in the third big reveal of the night, Frank's trailer is no more than a mess of wrecked computers and bloody smears with the paranoid genius nowhere to be found. Trouble on the way indeed.
Quite the twisty-turny episode, this was. What I thought would be a MOTW storyline akin to Bad Day at Black Rock became a linchpin for the Leviathan story. And it was a well executed one at that. As I stated at the beginning, I thorough liked this episode and will definitely re-watch it. And thank goodness the cliff hanger is only a week and not long hiatus. My teeny-tiny nitpick with this episode is that we left on such a dark note at the beginning of the hiatus with the Lucifer thing, it's almost a shame it wasn't addressed more seriously this time around. That said, we're delving into this next week and it looks like a doozy, so I can't complain much. And speaking of - holy promo Batman! I don't know how I'm going to get through the week waiting for Friday to come around!
Well, what were your thoughts on this toe-tappingly (ha!) gruesome, revealing installment?