alt

When I saw the preview for “Freaks and Geeks” I think I got the wrong idea. I’m not sure if the preview was misleading or if I was making assumptions, but I thought this episode was going to be about a school for young hunters. Kind of like Hogwarts for hunters where kids would go to learn everything there is to know about hunting. I imagined classrooms where kids would learn about lore, how to make salt shot shells and running a proper con job. You know, the usual kid stuff. But what I got was a little different. Instead of a whole school of kids, we got three. Krissy, Aiden and Josephine. And instead of a classroom we got a cozy, seemingly stable home.

Once I got past the slight disappointment that there would be no Hogwarts for hunters I was interested in the life that Victor had set up for these kids. They are hunters but they were also able to go to school, they ate at their meals at a table and had a father figure that seemed to really care about their success. So naturally, it was too good to be true. I’m sure I’m not the only one who questioned Victor’s motives from the beginning. Victor himself took the time to point out the emotional and sometimes mental instability of hunters and yet we’re supposed to believe that he’s perfectly adjusted? I don’t think so.

I’m still a little unclear about Victor’s reasoning. His family was killed by a wendigo which explains how he got started hunting. And he mentioned wanting to create a new generation of hunters that are better than anyone could have dreamed. So naturally I would assume that he wanted a new generation of hunters that could save other families from the kind of trauma that he suffered. That seems reasonable. So the logical next step is to find three kids with promise and kill their families? There’s a huge disconnect there. I know Victor wasn’t totally balanced but can’t he see that this isn’t new? This is how all hunters come to be. They suffer a loss, go looking for answers, seek revenge and then usually decide to keep hunting and saving people from similar fates. So I wonder what Victor thought he was doing differently to create superior hunters. Sure, these kids had a stable life but eventually, hunting takes you out on the road. It’s the nature of the job. And many hunters started early. Sam and Dean have been learning the ropes since childhood and Krissy is proof that they aren’t the only ones. So am I missing something? What was Victor’s big plan for creating superior hunters?

alt

While I’m asking questions, I’ve got another one. What was the hooded vampire getting out of this deal? Just free meals? I suppose his agreement with Victor offered him protection from hunters but what happens after all three kids get their “revenge”? Was Victor willing to just keep looking the other way while the vampire snacked on innocent people? What do you guys think?

I know that the last time we saw Krissy Chambers there was a lot of controversy over her character. Many people weren’t big fans of her. I’ll admit that it can be tricky with younger actors, especially on a show like Supernatural. Many times there isn’t a whole lot of life experience for the kids to draw on when portraying these characters. I happened to like Krissy the first time we met her. I think this had to do mostly with Krissy and Dean’s chemistry. To be fair, Jensen Ackles could create chemistry with a stump. Not that I’m calling Madison McLaughlin a stump. In fact, I still enjoyed Dean and Krissy’s chemistry in “Freaks and Geeks”, but I did find something lacking in some of her standalone scenes. I just think she lacked the emotional depth of a girl who lost her father under such horrific circumstances. So for me, some of her emotional moments fell flat. Now I don’t know if that’s her fault, or if the writing didn’t really give her enough to work with. What do you think? As far as Aiden and Josephine were concerned I didn’t really connect with those characters at all. I don’t know that we were really supposed to though so I’m okay with that.

alt

This was very much a standalone episode. There wasn’t much of a tie-in to any of the ongoing plot lines of the season. There were a few mentions of Sam’s wish for a normal life and a clumsy reminder about closing the gates of Hell, but that’s it. Even Sam seemed surprised to have Dean bring it up. He literally asks Dean how Hell is related to what they were just talking about. That made me laugh a little. Don’t get me wrong, I like a good standalone episode from time to time. I just think the writers usually do a better job of drawing a parallel between the plot of the episode and the story arc of the season.

I’m afraid it sounds like I hated everything about this episode, but that’s not true. I found it perfectly entertaining. There was definitely room for improvement, but I thought the concept was very interesting. It probably doesn’t help that “Freaks and Geeks” aired right after last week’s stellar “Goodbye Stranger”. But what did you all think? Am I being unfair? Did I miss something in this episode?

Who is excited for next week? I am dying to get to the second trial; saving an innocent man from Hell. Something about the backside of that man looks very familiar but I’m not ready predict anything out loud. I’m too afraid I’ll be wrong. And I knew we hadn’t seen the last of Benny. I am very excited to have him back!

Ok, it’s quote time!

Sam: “Just want to make sure you’re okay.”
Dean: “What, like my feelings?!”
I love how disgusted he is at the very idea of feelings.
Dean: “I’ll tell you what, why don’t I go get some herbal tea and you can find some Cowboy Junkies on the dial and you know what, we’ll just talk it out. Good talk. Nay, great talk. Very healthy.”

Dean: “Hunting isn’t all about killing and revenge. I thought we had this talk last time.”

Dean: “I’m proud of you.”
Krissy: “Shut up before I punch you.”

Krissy: “You’re alright for an old guy.”
Dean: “I’m really not that old.”

Dean: “Maybe if we shut that hell hole once and for all those three could have a real life.”
Sam: “Maybe they won’t be the only ones.”


Comments  

Teri Sites
# Teri Sites 2013-03-28 18:58
I liked this epsiode. It was a good stand-alone. But, I think I'm not the only one who's looking for some more tie-ins to the the trials and/or tablets. Time is running short for building up to the blockbuster finale that we've come to expect.
Bardicvoice
# Bardicvoice 2013-03-28 19:02
Hey, Sofia! It's going to take some time for me to do my review, so I thought I'd toss in a few comments on yours. :)

In collecting these kids, I saw Victor really trying to recreate the family he'd lost, but this time with the guarantee that he'd teach them to be survivors, not fail them the way he'd failed his own family. Echoed the poor vampire in Fresh Blood who was trying to replace the family nest he'd lost. Judging from the photo in Victor's wallet, his kids had been close to the ages of Krissy, Aiden, and Josephine; creepy!

I agree with you that the hoodie vampire was the weakest logic link; unless he was dumb as a stump, he had to figure that Victor would have offed him or had the kids take him out after he'd outlived his usefulness in setting up simple training scenarios. So - maybe he was dumb as a stump? *grin*

I enjoyed this episode a lot for its human beats and the exploration of yet another different mix-hunting-plu s-family scenario with its inevitable questions of whether the Winchester brothers could ever realistically contemplate having a variation on a normal life. And I definitely liked Krissy!

More later in my review ... *grin*
sofia
# sofia 2013-03-29 08:06
Hey, Bardicvoice! I do like the idea that Victor was attempting to recreate his family. You're totally right about Krissy, Aiden and Josephine being similar in age. I hadn't thought of that.
Bunyip
# Bunyip 2013-03-28 20:27
I enjoyed the episode, and at least Victor saw his failings at the end and took himself out.

They are really setting the scene for Amelia to turn up with Sam's child aren't they? I personally would love that to happen - anything that shakes up the story that much and gives the actors something new to explore would be fantastic to watch.
sofia
# sofia 2013-03-29 08:08
I think Victor had to die at the end of the episode. Otherwise, what's to stop him from repeating this cycle with other children? And since Dean and Sam don't kill humans he wasn't going to die that way. I was wondering how the writers would handle that situation and I think having Victor kill himself was their best bet.
wunderpat
# wunderpat 2013-03-28 21:16
Much like Bitten, the subtext of these episode ties into Benny. As Dean noted it is morally wrong to kill innocent vampires. And like in Citizen Fang, we had a human acting monstrous. I see it as foreshadowing of Benny returning next week on good terms.

There was also another Samsel in distress scenario, so I am not surprised the promo indicates that Dean will travel to hell to save him with the best back-up GE can find... Benny.
BeccaB
# BeccaB 2013-03-28 21:25
I liked the episode well enough. It was 42 minutes of Supernatural fluff.

But now I'm really to sink my teeth into the myth arc - tick tock.
artsydenise
# artsydenise 2013-03-28 22:51
I was kind of disappointed in this episode. While it was fine for a standalone, it took a lot of the momentum out of the Trials and finding Cas/the tablet story arc.

I thought the Victor character was thin and it was way to obvious that something wasn't right with that whole setup. At the end, all I could think of as the camera pulled back on the view of the big house, was, how the hell are three kids going to pay for that place. What are they going to use for money? How do they get by? Certainly not on pool hustling. Anyway, just one of many loose ends that bothered me.

Jensen Ackles was good in his scenes. Sam was an afterthought in this ep. The last line about getting back to closing the gates of Hell was horribly tacked on.

It's a good thing I love this show so much. Even the ho-hum episodes like this are enjoyable, but I want more at this stage of the series.
LEAH
# LEAH 2013-03-28 23:15
I had a hard time with the Victor logic also. So he lost his family, kills the families of others, recruits the kids, trains them to be super hunters so that they can hunt down and kill the very creature that he is in league with. Huh?? I thought I must have missed something. I just decided he was crazed with the loss of his family, so twisted logic, whatever.

Anyway other than that I liked the episode. Maybe because I had my expectations set low. I enjoyed Krissy, so reminiscent of Dean in her defense mechanisms. It moved along at a pace and there were some nice lines.

Time to get some heavy mytharc stuff now, the clock is ticking :-)

Thank you for the review Sofia!!
E
# E 2013-03-29 19:12
Hi Leah! Yeah I had trouble with Victor's (or the writers) logic in this one too. It just didn't track at all. He kills the kids' families so that he can get them to join him. Huh, what happens to the kids if they don't want to join him? Does he kill them too and move on to the next kid? He uses a vampire to kill the families but has no need or want to kill Wendigo's the creature that took his own familiy?

I guess the thing that bugs me most is that Victor didn't NEED to hire a vampire to kill those kid's families if he wanted to create a new family. The Supernatural universe is littered with kids who have been traumatized by monsters over the years. How about Lucas from Season 1, or the little boy from the Christmas episode who watched evil Santa drag his family up the chimmney or all those kids from Everybody Loves a Clown who lost their parents to the evil rakshasa, or the kid who unleashed the tooth fairy on his parents by accident? Victor could have zeroed in on kids who actually needed him for real leaving him NO reason to kill their families to get them to participate. Then he wouldn't have had to be a villian or crazy and he could have actually had a real family based off of truth and affection providing a real moral dilemma for Sam and Dean as they try to decide if they approve of that sort of thing or still want kids out of hunting entirely.

You know what else doesn't track is the "normal family" trope. As Sofia has said, what exactly is Sam supposed to admire or learn about a normal family from Victor and those kids? That hunting drives you so insane that you'll turn innocent victems into hunters just to feul your insanity? How could he have possibly have been MORE motivated to have 'normal' after what he had just seen? I'm just not following I guess.
eilf
# eilf 2013-03-29 19:45
Hi E I agree with you about the logic of the episode but he did say that he picked the kids for their skills and killed their families for to give them a reason to hunt.

The thing with the helpful vampire was ... confusing ... it did seem like there wasn't anything in it for him except that 4 well trained humans could have decided to kill him at any point.

The bit that really puzzled me was why he needed to monologue to Sam? Why was Sam still alive after he got hit over the head - they only needed a body as evidence of a vampire attack didn't they? And why did Victor need to wait until Sam woke up to start destroying the room.

He even says "I don't need to explain myself to you!' (well apparently you do...)

Talk about 'No, Mr Bond, I expect you to DIE' :D
LEAH
# LEAH 2013-03-28 23:21
BeccaB, ha, posted my comment about the mytharc before I saw your comment. We are definitely on the same page!! :lol:
Manstrad
# Manstrad 2013-03-29 01:36
Here is what I've got. Victor was the example of what "the life" can do to you, if you don't have anybody to lean on, or to be with you when you lose hope or when all the death and monsters get to you and your judgment gets clouded and nobody is there to "keep you human". We know first handed how bad it can be, we live (thru the TV) with 2 guys who have experienced more than what 10 hunters will in a lifetime.

So, Victor's idea of revenge was, teaching kids to be hunters so they can be better than the regular hunters, who normally start the killings late in life and learn on the go. Plus, the fact that he couldn't be a good hunter because of his disability (he was limping).

The using of a vamp as a "partner in crime" can be interpreted as various things, the one that I'm going with is, that he made a pact with a monster, "protection from other hunters (so it can drink freely) in exchange of easy kills for the kids". Will not be the first time a hunter partner with a monster, even if the purposes are completely different.

I liked the episode, wasn't that good if we compare it with the last one, but it is not fair, what I compare it is with other shows on TV, and now I have a winner.

I liked the chemistry between Dean and Chrissy, and their interaction, even when the actress needs a little bit of coaching (her breathing). Chrissy is a good character and I will not mind having her around when it is needed for another "filler" episode.

One thing that I don't understand is, why most of the fan complains (understatement ) about FILLER episodes? and why call it filler? I'm not used to TV lingo. But from here (overseas) it sounds bad, and all the bad press even when it doesn't air yet, give me the impression that is going to be a bad episode, but it never does.

If somebody explain it to me, thanks.
sofia
# sofia 2013-03-29 08:16
Manstrand,

I don't necessarily like the word "filler" either. I prefer "standalone" or "monster of the week". I think "filler" sets the episode up for failure. Sometimes these "filler" episodes really surprise me with how insightful they can be. In some cases they can act as really beautiful metaphors for Sam and Dean. Admittedly, this episode didn't really draw any of those parallels for me but it was still an enjoyable 40-something minutes.
Manstrad
# Manstrad 2013-03-29 17:04
Thanks, Sofia!
Now I get it! if the episode doesn't follow the main story is called filler. Well yes, I like Monster Of The Week, it sounds better and not misleading at all.
This is another thing I like about the show, it is not like a soap opera, where you missed a couple of episodes and you get lost.
Ginger
# Ginger 2013-03-29 01:42
I saw no purpose in the episode, except to showcase another guest star. I don't like TV trope teens on my screen, and I don't like mini-Winchester s, but I'm not going to go into that.

The episode emphasized a few things about the show that I'm really not thrilled about, and that is how hunting is viewed by the writers and how hunters are viewed by the writers, and it isn't pretty.

The Winchesters were first introduced as unique in the way they grew up, with John keeping them away from both civilians and hunters. Apparently, they weren't unique at all. In this episode, Victor specifically indicated that either he was raised just like the Winchesters or he was raising his kids like the Winchesters were raised. Krissy mentioned the same thing in Adventures in Babysitting. So lots of hunters have kids and lots of those kids were raised just like the brothers.

Hunting is constantly depicted as something awful, something that should be avoided, and with nothing valorous or worthy about it. If a bunch of kids can do it, then what's so special about the premise of the show?

The constant harping about wanting normal leads me to believe that the end goal of the Winchesters is to get that normal. I feel like I'm being pounded over the head with a sign that says the end goal of our diminished heroes is to live a life just like everyone else. There's nothing wrong with that, except I don't want a courtship, wife, kids, mortgages and car payments to be the big quest.

I'm finding that all hunters are just nutcases or will soon be. John was consumed with revenge to the point of being a neglectful father. Lee drug his little girl all over the country just like the Winchesters were, so he wasn't all that good of a parent either. Bobby was a drunk, John drank too much, Garth was dropped on his head, Martin was crazy, Rufus was a recluse eccentric, and Roy and Walt were sleezy. I prefer that hunting be shown as something worthwhile to be doing for all the sacrifice and suffering one endures to do it.

It wasn't as awful as a little sister fic could have been, but I saw no reason to even produce the episode. It meant nothing, it related to nothing, and I have and never will have any investment in Krissy or the other two.
Manstrad
# Manstrad 2013-03-29 18:16
What I understand is, that the Winchesters are special and different from other hunters because of the relationship between the brothers, the emphasis in family, they are smarter and have better instincts than any other (kind of the detectives on other TV shows, they are always better than anybody else), and the fact that they are the chosen ones from Heaven and Hell, they are the only ones that interact with angels, and the only ones that saw the horsemen, had a relationship with death, the reaper, demons and Crowley! on top of that, how many hunters can say they went to hell, heaven and purgatory. And of course, having an Angel as a best friend. They can't be more special than that.

Now, crazy. To become a hunter, you need to have something loose somewhere in the head. That is why, not everybody become one when they lose somebody under a supernatural event.

Deep down we know that our guys are not the average Joe in mental stability, they are not borderline crazy because of all the resetting that they had, and the more important part, they have each other. The carguments and bickering helps, believe it or not.
eilf
# eilf 2013-03-29 19:30
I think the guys are well aware of the chances of them going nuts, and are on some level good with it :sigh:

(Sam, Interrupted)

SAM: Or you're seeing things. Maybe-maybe-may be you're going crazy.

DEAN: I'm not crazy.

SAM: Well...come on. I mean, you've been at least...half crazy for a long time, and since you got back from hell, or since before that, even. I mean, we're in a--we're in a mental hospital. (laughs) Maybe-Maybe you finally cracked! You know, maybe now you are really...for real...crazy...

Later:

DEAN: I mean, the things that me and Sam have done, the stuff that we've seen, we're gonna end up going guano eventually. Probably end up like a couple of drooling nut bags. (realizes what he's said) No offense.

MARTIN: None taken.
(aw, poor Martin, I liked him ...)

I think you are right hunting as a pair (or a group) keeps you saner, though as we have seen it doesn't necessarily make you a reasonable person (for example the various hunters that have gone after Sam - I think 8 hunters have tried to kill Sam! That's a lot of hunters...and only two of them have succeeded ... and SPN is the only show where you can say something like that and not ALSO be thought crazy :D )
Manstrad
# Manstrad 2013-03-30 04:07
Exactly! hahaha

Another thing that we have to consider is Sam, for a while he was part supernatural too, so, he and Dean got the chance to see both perspective when they hunt.

Because of that, they became more reasonable, as you put it, other hunters didn't have that "problem". The first encounter between Dean and Gordon comes to me, when they were talking about seen black or white and not grey... at the end, Dean saw grey, thanks to Sam, and he let go to that girl vampire.

At the end, our guys have a lot of advantage over other hunters, they are a little crazy but never going to be Martin crazy... well their other advantage is, that they are gorgeous!!!! ;-)
E
# E 2013-03-30 07:20
Totally irrelevant side note: I loved, Loved, LOVED stoned Sammy! :D
Jean
# Jean 2013-03-29 03:11
Sofia, my feelings about the episode are mostly the same with yours. It's the kind of episode that I wouldn't pick on purpose to rewatch, but it's not one that I would skip if I were rewatching Season 8 episodes.

I kept thinking the Alpha Vampire would have a part to play when Jimmy said he had no idea what was going on...Reminded me of Lenore who couldn't control herself no matter how much she wanted to. Anyone out there who had the same thought, or was it just me?

Also, does anyone know if/when the Alpha Vampire will make his next appearance? After all, he did say "see you next season"...
percysowner
# percysowner 2013-03-29 09:28
No idea on when/if the Alpha vamp will return. When he said "see you next season" Rick Worthy didn't have a role on Vampire Diaries, so now they would have to coordinate schedules. OTOH, RW's part isn't that big, so it could be doable. Plus I think they changed "see you next time" to "see you next season" because they got the renewal notice and wanted to nod to the fact that there was going to be a next season.

I hope they get the Alpha Vamp back. I love him.

In the previouslies they did show the girl turned in Fresh Blood (before they knew of a cure) being completely unaware of what the heck was happening to her, so maybe most newly turned vamps don't know. Dean was an obvious exception and all the other vamps we have seen have been taken into a nest pretty immediately so they could be brought up to speed.
Grace232
# Grace232 2013-03-29 11:19
Regarding the Alpha Vampire - I read somewhere (cannot for the life of me remember where) the the last showrunner's plan was to have Sam go to Purgatory to rescue Dean - I suspect the plan was to work with the Alpha to do that, and that was the reference to see you next season. But, the new showrunner's went in a different direction, so there was no need for the Alpha.
percysowner
# percysowner 2013-03-29 21:42
I personally would have loved that. It would have been my dream come true.
Sylvie
# Sylvie 2013-03-29 13:59
Hi Sofia, thanks for your review, agree with alot of what you've said. I kind of liked this episode, it was an entertaining 42 minutes. But then again I figured anything coming right after the beautiful "Goodbye Stranger" wouldn't be great. :-* Unless it was Ben Edlund or course! ;-)

It was pretty obvious that Victor would turn out to be a bad guy. I guess his intentions were good, in his distorted mind anyway, to take in these kids and teach them to be exemplary hunters, and to replace his family. And, yes, the hoodie vampire must have been as dumb as a stump to think that any of them would let him live once his mission was over. Or maybe Victor was so far gone in his head that all he really cared about was to have three kids to call his own, and the vampire could just go his merry bloody way? I guess we'll never know.

I liked Krissy the first time we met her, but I agree with you that some of her emotional heft was a little off this episode, and I'm pretty sure it's the writer. Adam Glass is not great at characterizatio n. I like her interactions with Dean though and as you've said:
Quote:
To be fair, Jensen Ackles could create chemistry with a stump.
:lol:

But what got me really excited was the preview for next week's episode. Looks like we are back with the mytharc for the homestretch. Only 5 more to go! :cry: