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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. 

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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. 

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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!

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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 café, 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. 

Final Thoughts

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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?

Comments  

Laura
# Laura 2012-03-17 00:45
Great write-up. I really enjoyed this ep, too. It wasn't just good in terms of story and mythology, fleshing out bits of the season, but it had some great bits of dialogue & one-liners. As you mentioned, there were the conversations about eating a Winchester, but the bits about the ballet shoes & all the talk of Dick (seriously, no one calls him Mr. Roman? Not even the underlings? LOL) had me laughing out loud. Kudos to the writers!
Sarahw
# Sarahw 2012-03-17 00:46
I was not a fan of this episode at all! It was all too silly, and not in a good way! The mix of the cursed objects with the horribly annoying real estate pair was not interesting, and I honestly found myself hoping for the show to end soon...which has NEVER happened before! The end with the ridiculous cancer research thing was just weird. This season had really been awesome until tonight...hope it gets better!
Daisymae
# Daisymae 2012-03-17 11:23
I don't believe the cancer cure for a second. I think george is a big mouth liar. In the scene with the lady and the teapot, I put my hands over my face. It was just so gruesome; however, I loved the ballerina dancing herself to death.
Next week Cas:)
MisterGlass
# MisterGlass 2012-03-17 12:31
Thanks Elle! This was a good one, fun but balanced, with a dash of horror. I would like to have seen a flash of Lucifer taunting Sam, but this worked out quite well, since Sam is acknowledging the issue. Insomnia will drive a person crazy, however, and that needs to be watched.

I think the primary goal of the Leviathans is either to make people tastier, or set themselves up as the new, godlike rulers of the world. Or both. They are multi-taskers.
nancyL
# nancyL 2012-03-17 14:22
Elle, I enjoyed this episode and I am glad that we are finally getting back to the Leviathan.

I live in NYC and when I saw all that snow in the beginning of the episode, I wanted to know why the boys weren't dressed more warmly?

Anyhow, I laughed everytime the little girl kicked Dean and she said 'Sorry', as if she had any control over her feet. I agree, where was her father? He realized that she had taken the ballet slippers, so he should have been the first one to walk into the bathroom.

I got the feeling that George hated Joyce more than he hated Sam and Dean, and was not really surprised that he assisted them.

I heard 'Bad moon Rising', I saw the truck coming at Sam and I had flashbacks back to 'Devil's trap'. Only knowing that Sam goes nuts next week, kept me from covering my eyes. :lol:

I agree Elle, if you left the shoes on the desk and suddenly they materialized in the room that you had just walked into, WHY THE FUDGE ARE YOU PUTTING THEM ON YOUR FEET? RUN RUN RUN !!!!!!!!!!!! And then they resize themselves to fit your foot? So the child smiles and PUTS THE OTHER ONE ON. This is why I do not have children, because they are stupid. :lol: :lol:

Am I the only one glad that Frank got eaten? :P
He was being a little too nasty to Dean. Also, maybe I missed it, but has he ever spoken to Sam?

I enjoyed this episode and am looking forward to the return of Misha. Also, was that Meg #2 with Dean? It looked like her.
Ginger
# Ginger 2012-03-17 20:34
I was lukewarm on this one. Mixing the cursed objects with the mytharc turned out okay, but the cursed object story didn't hold water.

Why would the boys, after Sam scolded Scott on selling the cursed objects, gather them up and deliver them back to a safe under Scott's care. The danged things should have been burned one by one.

Why, when the boys put the shoes in the trunk and they materialized in the back seat, did they leave them at Scott's? That's kind of a dumb move. If they can move from a trunk to a back seat, couldn't they move from a safe to a counter; or, say, back in the back seat with Dean again or on the table at the coffee shop.

Canon says the cursed objects cause the person touching them to die, and they didn't burn them with Dean under the threat of dying rather soon. No, the drug them all over the country in a U-haul.

Sam was barely keeping his eyes open, so why was he driving the car; not just the first time when he almost ran into the truck, but when they got the luring call from Scott? And then he was fit as a fiddle to make the kill.

I was glad to get back to the Levi story for a change, but there were no answers given and no forward movement on that front. I guess I just don't care why they want to cure cancer, since there's been no answer yet as to what they were building on the land in Wisconsin, and since they are everywhere and can't be killed, and since they will be moving into S8, and since they aren't scary.

There was progression on Sam's story, and that was good. I guess from Dean's speech to Scott about living to make his friends and family proud was supposed to be progression on Dean's story. I'm not sure, but I guess the depression and alcoholism was thrown out with the daughter's bath water and the revenge one is on hold. Can't really tell about any of that, as the writing has been weak on that front. I hope it isn't just another dropped storyline, but I have a sinking feeling the alcoholism, drug use and depression one is.

Leaving George alive made no sense, but the character was cast as recurring, so maybe that will play out in later episodes.

I was just beginning to get used to Frank and his crazy. I didn't like him at first, but I was kind of enjoying him snarking back and forth with Dean. But, yeah, I think he was dinner...and I'm not exactly sure why they chose this episode to gank him. Maybe they needed room for the new girl geek in upcoming episodes.

It was nice to have the boys back on screen. I just wished it had been a more powerful episode.
Gerry
# Gerry 2012-03-17 22:58
We learned in Bad Day at Black Rock that destroying many cursed object takes a serious mojo--Bobby wasn't sure he could even find a spell to work, so it made sense to me the boys put the cursed objects back into the curse boxes which were built to contain them. They didn't have the spells to destroy them on hand.

Once the objects were in the containment box, they stayed put--that's why the boxes were built. So once Sam put the shoes into the box, they couldn't stalk Dean anymore.

The rabbit's foot in BDABR was a different kind of curse because it changed luck rather than physically attached itself to anyone. Once it was in motion, it didn't matter if the rabbit's foot itself was locked up. So Sam was hooped unless the foot was destroyed.

That's how I read the episode, anyway. (-:
Ginger
# Ginger 2012-03-19 09:20
I agree that once the shoes were put back in the curse boxes and left under Scott's care that the curse was broke. That still doesn't explain how Scott got them out in the first place and sold them without being cursed himself.
digyd
# digyd 2012-03-19 11:45
Maybe he left them in the box as a display and the only one to actually touch them - since she probably picked them up right away - was the dancer who bought them?
digyd
# digyd 2012-03-17 20:41
Maybe it's wishful thinking on my part, but I don't know if we can assume yet that Frank was eaten. I like him and I hope it's not how it looks. But back to what you wrote, Elle.

1 - I agree. It's so weird the dad wasn't with them in the bathroom. I watched this ep twice and the first time I thought the girl was yelling, "Daddy!" I heard what she really said the second time around, but how weird no one heard them struggling in the bathroom. If the writers didn't want the dad interfering, all they had to do was have all three guys go into the bathroom, the dad sees what they saw and they can still do what they did. That part was the one part I couldn't buy.

2 - We don't know how porn can kill? Really Elle? Because I think they made it clear, didn't they? ;-) I was cracking up! "Peter Yanket (or Yankit?) on Johnson Lane" was so darned perfect. Love how they throw those bombs in there.

3 - Dean's hypocritical advice - well, I can see how you'd say that. But I was thinking he was commiserating with the storeowner's son (whose name I forget) and only thinking of his mother at that time. He has had loads of time to make his peace with her death and I think that might have been sincere, nonhypocritical advice. We know the guys take a long time to learn their lessons and he may or may not be realizing this applies to ALL the deaths of loved ones he's experienced. Yeah, I'm reaching. I know. :lol:

Overall? Two toeshoes up! I thought it was great balance of fun and advancing the serious plotline too. And just knowing Luci is screwing around in Sam's head as much as he is is good enough for me. He's sleep deprived, he's talking about it...clearly it's coming to a head. Good times ahead!
sweetondean
# sweetondean 2012-03-17 23:29
I was the same as you, I usually write the eps up the next day but I was straight on this one! The twists and turns this season are so much fun. I never quite know what to expect from an episode and that to me is great. And there were some fantastic lines in this one and all the cast did an amazing job, once again a couple of lovely guest stars.
Great write up Elle :-)