So... yeah...

The Good:

The scenes where Castiel interacted with civilians were really good. I like that the show continues to show us religious people who are actual people and not caricatures. The bit in the church was MOSTLY ok (it should have ended a minute earlier). April was also easy on the eyes, the hottest guest star on the show since Julie McNiven. (who also played a girl with a name starting with 'A'...)

The Bad:

So the angels tortured and killed some people. Why? Anna, Castiel, and Lucifer all showed us that angels can invade the mindspace of people (particularly dreams). So why not just jump into the brains of the priests and get answers there? (which will also have the benefit of keeping a low profile) I'm going to give the show a slight pass on this as the removal of wings could be an explanation. Regardless, do ANGELS really need to torture PRIESTS to get answers? One would think that they could just reveal their true forms (a little) and, like the tv preacher, the priests would happily provide answers to what they perceive to be fellow servants and allies. Again, a slight pass as perhaps they did try that at first and when the priests honestly didn't know, the angels restored to worse methods. Which just kind of shows how right Metatron may have been and the angels do need to spend sometime outside of the pearly gates.

Like I said above, the scene between Castiel and the woman was mostly good until it nosedived there at the end. I don't mind that Castiel has forgotten that twice in his life he's seen real evidence that "someone" IS listening - the guy's in a low spot in his life and it's easy to forget things when despair and depression loom (speaking from experience). Still when faith shows up on screen, one can be sure it will be treated much like mathematics: extremely simplistic with denial or ignorance of more complex facets. It all gets tiring.

While I know we need drama to keep the show from being boring, the same old drama also gets boring. Really the "keeping secrets" part of the main's relationship is starting to get a bit ludicrous. Remember way back when Dean first sold his soul to keep Sam alive? Remember how Sam, with much less experience, figured out the truth within a few days? Why now, when he has so much experience with this (seriously, shouldn't the Winchesters' have some kind of "frequent customer card" with the spirit world?) has Sam not pieced together that SOMETHING is up? Really one wonders that ANYTIME either boy wakes up from being unconscious (or worse) for a period of time they don't immediately turn to their brother and ask "Ok, what'd you do?" (which would make for an entertaining comedy scene when one of them actually DOESN'T do something deal like).

The Ugly:

*deep breath* Boy, remember when the show actually gave a damn about its own lore and canon? Like say... reapers? Here we have a reaper following Sam & Dean around. That's a dangerous job what with the Winchesters' rep and all. Good thing the reaper didn't bother being invisible since... uh... hm that didn't seem to work out well. Well, when was the last time we saw that reapers can't be seen by mortals? Season 1? And there was season 2. Then season 4. Don't forget season 5. Uh... and season 6. There was no reason for this slip up! Castiel established for us back in the aforementioned season 5 that angels can perceive reapers. What if a side effect of having Zeke inside made Sam more perceptive?

To quote Chuck of SF Debris: I don't mind a minor slip up. If you forget some trivia or a single line from some way back episode I'll comment, but let it slide. However when you devote ENTIRE EPISODES to something then it's unacceptable. At least be consistent with your bullshit.

Speaking of consistency:

Angel blades do not kill reapers.

Angel blades do NOT kill reapers!

Angel blades DO NOT kill reapers!

Angel blades DO NOT KILL reapers!

Remember how it was a big deal that you can't exactly "kill" death? You know unless you had THE scythe of Death himself (which can kill anything). Do you have any idea how many plot holes this opens up in past episodes? Why bother risking Death's ire? (yeah they said he was eager for the apocolaypse but given his later reaction to it... that statement is questionable) Why not just borrow Lucifer's sword? Why bother mucking about time to gather souls? Why doesn't Castiel & company just run around stabbing reapers? Then people stay alive and you can get more souls that way too. How is Cas dying if the nearby reaper was "killed"? If reapers go "freelance" does no one die in their previous territory? Is there like... ANY reaction by Death and other reapers? (or is that why all these freelancers are now dying stupidly? passive-aggressive attacks by former coworkers? if so, why aren't say... the rouge reapers reacting to seeing their fellows hovering nearby?)

Oh hey, there's a line about the reaper possessing April.

Wait... what?

-hell-the-fuck-no

Just... no! This makes no Kripke-damned sense! Look, the show had set up 4 patterns of possession that fit an elegant pattern:
  • Ghosts could only possess living humans without permission and even then for only limited amounts of time.
  • Angels could possess any human indefinitely AND keep them from dying but have to have permission to do so.
  • Demons (being the mix of the two) can possess any human indefinitely without permission, but they don't keep them from dying as much as keep animating the body.
  • Leviathan occupied a sort of null ground where they don't exactly possess as much as replace a host.
  • Their experimenter Eve did make the Khan worm as a sort of aping of the concept
Now what? Their death even looks like the angels' dying form so are we saying reapers are now just fallen angels? It's shit like this which keeps me from purchasing or even acknowledging anything past season 5 where the screw-ups were at least lesser!

Oh and don't forget that this episode reveals to us that the poor folks being possessed by the angels don't die until they are stabbed. Heck Bobby proved that it's SOMEWHAT possible to stab a demon and keep the host alive (if he/she is still such). But you know, the angels, since they keep the body healthy and hale (see also: Sazekiel), nice to know the protagonists are killing off all these poor schmucks caught in the crossfire. OH WAIT NO IT ISN'T! I sign up for this show to see the boys fighting for the common man, the ordinary joe. Wasn't "keeping innocents out of the crossfire" the ENTIRE point of season 5 and team Free Will? Then again, it's not like we've ever seen anything like an exorcism ritual for angels OH YEAH WE HAVE! At least with demons it can somewhat be mitigated that the bodies are probably already dead and effort does need to be made to keep even greater numbers from suffering from demonic plots. What are the angels up to? In episode 9.01 we saw that most of them WEREN'T BOTHERING ANYONE until Dean kicked the hornets' nest. So far this season it's shaping up that a lot more innocent people would live if the protagonists were... well if they just surrendered or weren't around at all. When this happens YOU'RE DOING SOMETHING VERY WRONG WITH THE SHOW!



Chuck preserve us and please let Felicia Day wash the bad taste of this episode out of our mouths.

(Cross posted at http://natewinchester.wordpress.com/2013/10/28/episode-review-im-no-angel/)



Comments  

DeansRaven
# DeansRaven 2013-10-28 12:42
You, my friend, have nailed it.
FirstBorn
# FirstBorn 2013-10-28 12:52
Just my speculation...b ut I think they're setting up their own lore for the spinoff. Maybe these writers will be working on that show. I'd be very surprised if the spinoff is not angel related.
percysowner
# percysowner 2013-10-28 13:01
Great review.Quote:
Why now, when he has so much experience with this (seriously, shouldn't the Winchesters' have some kind of "frequent customer card" with the spirit world?) has Sam not pieced together that SOMETHING is up? Really one wonders that ANYTIME either boy wakes up from being unconscious (or worse) for a period of time they don't immediately turn to their brother and ask "Ok, what'd you do?" (which would make for an entertaining comedy scene when one of them actually DOESN'T do something deal like).
I'm vaguely hoping that it will turn out that along with wiping Sam's memories, Zeke is actually replacing the memories so Sam is unaware that he was unconscious at all. I must say the idea of every time one of them wakes up they ask "what did you do THIS time" is a great and funny visual.

Quote:
Angel blades do not kill reapers.
Unless the episode is written by Brad Buckner and Eugenia Ross-Lemming; see also Taxi Driver. Basically, yeah I see no reason for reapers to be visible or to possess someone. And I really can't see Death accepting "rogue" reapers. He didn't seem like that kind of boss. Not even if they unionized.

Quote:
Heck Bobby proved that it's SOMEWHAT possible to stab a demon and keep the host alive (if he/she is still such).
Frankly the mass killing of civilians to get rid of demons leaves me thinking remind me again why Sam using his powers to exorcise the demon and save the host was SO BAD again? Yeah demon blood drinking is icky and it ended badly, but up until then Sam saved more lives then they ever did before or since (excluding stopping various Apocalypses).
Nate Winchester
# Nate Winchester 2013-10-28 13:11
Quote:
Just my speculation...b ut I think they're setting up their own lore for the spinoff. Maybe these writers will be working on that show. I'd be very surprised if the spinoff is not angel related.
My only issue with that is if they're going to go with their own lore so much, then why bother having it be a spinoff? It'd be like doing a scifi show you're calling star trek and then saying "oh but we're not doing 'warp' to go faster than light". :eek: Then why the F*** call it "star trek"? lol

Quote:
Unless the episode is written by Brad Buckner and Eugenia Ross-Lemming; see also Taxi Driver. Basically, yeah I see no reason for reapers to be visible or to possess someone. And I really can't see Death accepting "rogue" reapers. He didn't seem like that kind of boss. Not even if they unionized.
Taxi Driver? Oh yeah, I pitched a fit over that too (natewinchester.wordpress.com/2013/04/13/episodes-reviewed-goodbye-stranger-freaks-and-geeks-taxi-driver/).

Quote:
Frankly the mass killing of civilians to get rid of demons leaves me thinking remind me again why Sam using his powers to exorcise the demon and save the host was SO BAD again? Yeah demon blood drinking is icky and it ended badly, but up until then Sam saved more lives then they ever did before or since (excluding stopping various Apocalypses).
Not to mention that keeping a rule about the exorcism made things more intense and suspenseful (remember Jus in Bello? there's a reason it's the best thing about S3). That could have been something positive about the bunker and the demon tablet: the boys finding out, from either Kevin or the old guys, new ways to stop demons and save people.

Man, remember in S5 when they almost knifed a teenager? I know it would make some writing harder but handicapping yourself and putting challenges in front of you is how you become a better writer.
trinaaron
# trinaaron 2013-10-28 13:34
While I understand the frustration with canon, I'm not sure it's that big of a deal. They said after season 5 that all the rules were all screwed up. So my own headcanon is that's when some reapers started going rogue. Also, maybe reapers need to possess people to be corporeal and it's only then that they can be killed. So maybe they aren't ignoring canon so much tweaking it to fit the story. They have done that all along will almost every supernatural creature.

Regarding the casual killing of possessed people....yeah the have become rather nonchalant about the average person. To be honest I wish they would explore that a little bit.
Nate Winchester
# Nate Winchester 2013-10-28 13:40
@trinaaron: I'll just leave this link here on why canon is even more important to these shows than others (tvtropes.org/pmwiki/posts.php?discussion=b06mk19ggxon1p60g39ulvso&page=147#3669).

(can't decide if I'm going to mutate it into a full blog post or not)
mary9930
# mary9930 2013-10-28 13:43
Thanks Nate. Sorry the episode bothered you so much. Being a fan of X-Files & Lost, I applaud how often Supernatural gets it right. Compare season 9 of most series to this season of Supernatural.

Sure the writers could have done a better job last episode but I loved how they handled Cas & the homeless. It would have been very easy to over do it. I relished the scene in the church up to the very last line. Again, think about how any other show handles religion.

The whole reapers thing gives me a headache but I just take a couple Advil and continue to enjoy the show :-)
percysowner
# percysowner 2013-10-28 14:07
Quote:
Not to mention that keeping a rule about the exorcism made things more intense and suspenseful (remember Jus in Bello? there's a reason it's the best thing about S3). That could have been something positive about the bunker and the demon tablet: the boys finding out, from either Kevin or the old guys, new ways to stop demons and save people.
I'm still a little stuck on Dean's "we know how to heal demons" schtick from 8.23. One of the reasons he gave to Sam to convince him to give up the trials. They seem to have absolutely no interest in doing that now. I mean it never made any sense in terms of what soul then controls the body, the healed demon soul or the original owner, but at least there was a hand wave at trying to save people as opposed to just hunting things.

I would love a full fledged essay on why the rules in a scifi, fantasy show need to be consistent, because I kind of agree they do.
E
# E 2013-10-28 18:56
Hi Nate, Oh man, you nailed everything about this episode that made me cray, cray. There was so much here that just did not make any sense at all especially when it came to the "rogue reapers." Maybe a lot of fans don't care about this sort of thing; I mean, rogue reapers aren't really all that important in the grand scheme of things at least so far, not as important as say… Samzekiel, or Deanlies or HumanCas, but still the nonsensical information that contradicts itself cheapens the whole (at least for me) and I'd like TPTB to be more careful. World building only works in so far as it all makes sense.

Saying that all the rules were changed after season 5 is cart-blanche to change everything and not explain any of it doesn't work for me. I don't mind changes.. I DO mind unexplained contradiction and writing that has no setup and does not hang together logically. Why again were rogue reapers even needed? They couldn't see or hear Cas any more than the Angels could, so why were reapers hired in the first place when they just could have sent one of their lackey angels to track the Winchesters and save their money on rogue reapers who couldn't even get the job done? It makes no sense to me, none at all. Slimy reaper failed utterly and April found Cas by mistake! Why is it that Aprilreaper can take and/or leave a vessel at will, and Slimyreaper seemed stuck in his to the point that he was killed in the body he was possessing? And why, if she was a reaper, did April behave so much like an angel? Why did she care what Cas was doing in heaven? Why did she care if he was in cahoots with Metatron? Why was she grilling him for info? Why was she so angry and taking what Cas did so personally? Wasn't she just supposed to take him back to Bart? Why did she kill him, guaranteeing that she'd never get paid if she was only a reaper? It's almost like the writers forgot that they initially set her up to be an angel and then referred to her as a reaper by mistake.

I spent a large part of this episode scratching my head and going "HUH? WTF?" which tarnished some of the nicer more rounded elements that we got to see here, such as Cas's dealings with various people such as the homeless under the bridge and the praying woman in the church.
Mick
# Mick 2013-10-28 19:17
Well, actually living people did see the reaper in "Faith," so it kinda does set precedent that reapers can make themselves visible at will. Add on to Tessa saying that reapers can alter perception, and reapers becoming visible kinda fits with the established canon.

I don't see the problem with angel blades killing reapers, they're very powerful weapons. And the fact that reapers can die, fits with the idea that everything can die on Supernatural, I mean Death said God will even die one day. Nothing is forever, except maybe Death.

Reaper possession, it was established that a reapers true form is like a spirit. So if they have a form that is intangible, again it kinda fits the lore that they could possess a body.

As for the question of how rogue reapers operate, I can only hope/wish that the show addresses it at some point, hopefully with an episode that involves Death.

Actually the only angel that has died at the hands of a Winchester was Zachariah, and there was also Meg who stabbed Hester in the back while she was beating on Castiel. Other than those two, all the angel deaths have been angel on angel. The only way Sam and Dean ever get out of being killed/captured by angels is if Cas comes to the rescue or they use the banishing sigil. So that whole last paragraph should probably be removed, since it is completely false.
Nate Winchester
# Nate Winchester 2013-10-28 19:37
Quote:
Well, actually living people did see the reaper in "Faith," so it kinda does set precedent that reapers can make themselves visible at will. Add on to Tessa saying that reapers can alter perception, and reapers becoming visible kinda fits with the established canon.
People NEAR DEATH could see it, just like how near hell Dean could see the true face of demons.

Of course reapers becoming visible at will kind of defeats the whole purpose of them "possessing" people pointless anyway.

Heh, rewatching Faith just now, Dean complains about daytime tv. Could that moment, when he was in the hospital, been when he first became a fan of Dr Sexy? lol

Quote:
Actually the only angel that has died at the hands of a Winchester was Zachariah, and there was also Meg who stabbed Hester in the back while she was beating on Castiel. Other than those two, all the angel deaths have been angel on angel. The only way Sam and Dean ever get out of being killed/captured by angels is if Cas comes to the rescue or they use the banishing sigil. So that whole last paragraph should probably be removed, since it is completely false.
Mick, the term "protagonists" would include Castiel. And of course, if reapers are possessing people then that means the boys just killed 2 innocents this very episode. (though I think E is onto something, April really seems like she was supposed to be an angel and something went wrong in rewrite)
Nate Winchester
# Nate Winchester 2013-10-28 19:54
One thing I should have added,

How cool would it have been if Buddy Boyle had been Roy LeGrange instead (www.supernaturalwiki.com/index.php?title=Roy_Le_Grange)? That would have been an awesome turn.
eilf
# eilf 2013-10-28 20:38
Quote:
One thing I should have added,

How cool would it have been if Buddy Boyle had been Roy LeGrange instead (www.supernaturalwiki.com/index.php?title=Roy_Le_Grange)? That would have been an awesome turn.
Well ... if we are going to be picky about continuity then they couldn't have used Roy because he was blind and getting splattered by exploding faithful would have been wasted on him...

Also Roy had a certain nobility to him and they needed a more comedic character... (I miss season 1 - 3)

Honestly I get the world building issues, but I sort of think the boat has sailed on continuity here. :-) For example to account for every different type of angel situation we have seen so far I think that you really need 4 different types/levels of human host. It has all gotten too complicated to reliably untangle.

We don't actually know WHY people near death can see the Reapers so maybe it is something that they can control. Perhaps rogue reapers are possessed by either angels or demons (like humans can be) and so can have angel or demon powers ....
E
# E 2013-10-28 20:41
Sorry Mick, but I guess you are willing to make way more concessions to logic than I am. :-) My take on things was until Sam and Dean saw Ajay, the only humans that could see a reaper were the dead or dying. (Bobby, Cole, Dean in a coma, all the people sacrificed to the reaper in Faith) In Death Takes a Holiday, Sam and Dean had to virtually die in order to talk to the reapers, and all that while Cole's mother was completely ignorant of them. It was pretty clear, to me anyway, that reapers existed on a whole other plane. So, IMO reapers couldn't, until the wretched Taxi Driver, appear to the living in any way… and then Ajay turns up eating pizza and making deals without even explaining why he's visible to living humans other than to claim that he's "rogue". No sense.

So, do reapers need a vessel or not? The reaper April certainly made it clear that she was wearing a meat suit. And yet it was totally unclear as to weather sleazy reaper was wearing a meat suit at all. If he wasn't then why was April doing so? And if he was, then why wait around in said meat suit to be tortured and ultimately killed? Why would April wait around her HER meat suit to be killed by Ezekeil when it was clearly established that she was wearing April like a cheap polyester pantsuit? They either need meat suits to function in our world or they don't and it not only hasn't been established either way, but we got conflicting info from two different reapers in one episode. No sense.
E
# E 2013-10-28 20:49
Quote:

(though I think E is onto something, April really seems like she was supposed to be an angel and something went wrong in rewrite)
Yeah, there was something really wrong with April's entire characterizatio n. I am really beginning to think that she was intended to be an Angel (meat suit, giving Cas the third degree, very personally interested in what Cas and Metatron were up to, very, very angry at Cas for what he had done to heaven etc..) but then these writers (oy vey!) decided for reasons unknown that they wanted her to be a rogue reaper. I don't think that April ever refers to herself as a reaper, which makes other characters calling her that after the fact look even more like an error. There were many things to like in this episode; Cas's human story and the continuing drama of SamZekeil which I like very much, but this reaper thing bugs the crap out of me.
eilf
# eilf 2013-10-28 21:08
Quote:
Quote:

(though I think E is onto something, April really seems like she was supposed to be an angel and something went wrong in rewrite)
Yeah, there was something really wrong with April's entire characterization. I am really beginning to think that she was intended to be an Angel (meat suit, giving Cas the third degree, very personally interested in what Cas and Metatron were up to, very, very angry at Cas for what he had done to heaven etc..) but then these writers (oy vey!) decided for reasons unknown that they wanted her to be a rogue reaper. I don't think that April ever refers to herself as a reaper, which makes other characters calling her that after the fact look even more like an error. There were many things to like in this episode; Cas's human story and the continuing drama of SamZekeil which I like very much, but this reaper thing bugs the crap out of me.
there's no transcript yet but Superwiki says that April herself says she is a reaper. I know it slipped past me completely when I was watching the show that she was a reaper, an angel would make way more sense - especially since she found Cas by accident...Mind you it also says that Dean pleads with Zeke to bring back Cas and I don't think that that is right so... maybe none of this is terribly useful.... :-)
percysowner
# percysowner 2013-10-28 21:15
Quote:
there's no transcript yet but Superwiki says that April herself says she is a reaper. I know it slipped past me completely when I was watching the show that she was a reaper, an angel would make way more sense - especially since she found Cas by accident
Well I totally missed that she said she was a reaper because I really thought that Dean jumped to that conclusion because he knew the angels couldn't find Cas and because they had run across the other rogue reaper. I really thought she was an angel incognito, but I guess I was wrong.
Mick
# Mick 2013-10-28 21:32
Quote:
People NEAR DEATH could see it, just like how near hell Dean could see the true face of demons.

Of course reapers becoming visible at will kind of defeats the whole purpose of them "possessing" people pointless anyway.
Being near death shouldn't matter, I mean they haven't done it since then. But, like I said Tessa tells Dean that reapers can alter perception - which is the ability to see, hear, or become aware of. So that naturally should extend to making themselves visible, like a ghost.

But the mythology has always been kinda wonky and underwritten. Especially with the whole intangible spirit form, and then somehow Tessa is able to get possessed by Azazel.

Quote:
Mick, the term "protagonists" would include Castiel. And of course, if reapers are possessing people then that means the boys just killed 2 innocents this very episode. (though I think E is onto something, April really seems like she was supposed to be an angel and something went wrong in rewrite)
Okay, and Castiel was an angel when he did kill other angels. And in the case of this episode it was a kill or be killed.

The boys have been killing innocents since they got Ruby's knife. It shouldn't matter that they were demons and they bodies may or may not have been burned out, the knife should have always been a last resort. To complain about it now seems like bitching for the sake of bitching,
eilf
# eilf 2013-10-28 21:43
Ok so April doesn't exactly say she is a Reaper, she says 'a bunch of them were hired' but doesn't clarify who comprised the bunch.
Dean says that Cas might have a reaper on him and wants Zeke to find the reaper. But if an ordinary angel wasn't warded then I think Zeke could have found them instead...And if there is more than one reaper around then Zeke couldn't decide which one was the correct one.
So really there isn't any reason for April to be a reaper.

(And Dean DIDN'T ask Zeke to cure Cas ... Superwiki fail ...)
Mick
# Mick 2013-10-28 21:51
Quote:
Sorry Mick, but I guess you are willing to make way more concessions to logic than I am. :-) My take on things was until Sam and Dean saw Ajay, the only humans that could see a reaper were the dead or dying. (Bobby, Cole, Dean in a coma, all the people sacrificed to the reaper in Faith) In Death Takes a Holiday, Sam and Dean had to virtually die in order to talk to the reapers, and all that while Cole's mother was completely ignorant of them. It was pretty clear, to me anyway, that reapers existed on a whole other plane. So, IMO reapers couldn't, until the wretched Taxi Driver, appear to the living in any way… and then Ajay turns up eating pizza and making deals without even explaining why he's visible to living humans other than to claim that he's "rogue". No sense.

So, do reapers need a vessel or not? The reaper April certainly made it clear that she was wearing a meat suit. And yet it was totally unclear as to weather sleazy reaper was wearing a meat suit at all. If he wasn't then why was April doing so? And if he was, then why wait around in said meat suit to be tortured and ultimately killed? Why would April wait around her HER meat suit to be killed by Ezekeil when it was clearly established that she was wearing April like a cheap polyester pantsuit? They either need meat suits to function in our world or they don't and it not only hasn't been established either way, but we got conflicting info from two different reapers in one episode. No sense.
It's not concessions, it's actually looking at the lore on them the show has shown us, which is a bit on the muddled side. I keep bringing up Tessa being possessed, because that is also conflicting info, reapers are intangible, but able to be possessed? How does that work out? At least with this they are setting a rule that says reapers need to take possession of someone to interact with the human world.

As for why the reaper Maurice didn't escape the torture? His handcuffs had binding sigils carved in them. The show has done it before, albeit with demons, but they didn't use devil's traps to keep them in the body. So a binding link should work on any type of possession.
E
# E 2013-10-28 22:01
"Are reapers a type of angel or not? If they're not, it's perfectly reasonable they can locate humans warded against angels more easily than angels can find such people."

If reapers could find a human warded against angels then why did sleazy reaper need to follow the Winchesters around? Why wouldn't he have just gone to Cas directly? But no, he had to take Bart's advice to follow Sam and Dean because he wouldn't be able to locate Cas on his own. So, I ask again, why didn't Bart save himself some money (or whatever rogue reapers consider payment) and send one of his dozens of lackey angels to do what sleazy reaper failed so spectacularly to do in the first place?

"Since rogue reapers have possessed humans in 2 of 2 rogue reaper episodes, possessing humans ia canon- characteristic of rogue reapers."

Where has that been established? Outside of April, we have zero definitive instances of rogue reapers unequivocally indicating that they are possessing anyone. Tessa was never shown to be possessing an actual human vessel, and neither was Ajay OR sleazy reaper. Tessa actually said IMOTD that she was taking on a human form, not that she was possessing anyone. The ONLY reaper to even hint that she was taking a human vessel was April and she did it like an angel, asking April for permission to enter and being let in. It makes no sense to me that reapers are taking on human vessels. I've said it before, and I'll say it again. If sleazy reaper was wearing a meat suit then why didn't he just bug out of it when he was being tortured by the Winchesters? He stayed in it until they actually managed to kill him, which makes NO SENSE. We've seen dozens of demons at knife point and angel blade point and even Sam's 4th season hand of doom smoke out to escape certain death leaving their vessels behind, why can't reapers do the same if they are in fact using vessels? I didnt see a devils trap or special handcuffs holding the reaper in place. So, if the reapers are following established canon on vessels, and they ARE in fact taking vessels (which has only been confirmed with April this one time IMO) then a reaper should be able to shuck off it's meat suit if they feel like it and return to their spirit form angel blade, or demon killing knife notwithstanding . If this is not true for rogue reapers only, then a better job needs to be done in the set up and explanation as to why they A) need a vessel to begin with and B) as to why all the rules established thus far about vessels does not apply to them. This type of contradiction and lack of logical set up is where my main complaints are stemming from.
eilf
# eilf 2013-10-28 22:01
I watched to the end of the episode Dean says of Cas 'Aw he gave it up to a Reaper' confirming that point. Immediately afterwards Zeke says that Cas was warded when April found him ... but wasn't part of the point of using Reapers that they weren't affected by the angel sigils?

Mick you seem to have just come to the same conclusion about the binding cuffs.

And Racestaffer was just asking if it is really an accident that April found Cas.

Ok I begin to come around to the logic issues with this episode :D Reapers being 'angels of death' might solve the problems if we assume that Bureaucrat!ange ls are just too lazy to do their own legwork?

I wonder what angels use as currency?
eilf
# eilf 2013-10-28 22:06
But if an ordinary angel wasn't warded then I think Zeke could have found them instead...[...] So really there isn't any reason for April to be a reaper.

So are you saying Zeke can't tell the difference between rogue reapers and angels? Cuz Zeke seems pretty freaked out about angels finding him... and he thinks just being in Cas's company can lead the angels to him. So if hZeke had sensed April was an angel, do you think he's have told Dean April's whereabouts?
No, sorry that wasn't really my point. It was two different things. Zeke could find an unwarded angel as easily as a reaper. If there were only one reaper around then it would be clear to him where to go, but because there are several reapers he would have to guess which one was the right one - they wouldn't know until they got there.
And since 'reaper' is not a unique signifier here then the story might just as well have used an angel instead of a reaper and come up with a way for Zeke to home in on the right angel .... like seeing through the angels eyes or listening to its thoughts, or something.

EDIT: And - now I read your last line properly - that is a good point, if it is necessary for Zeke to keep away from angels then he might not help Dean. Makes sense!
E
# E 2013-10-28 22:11
Ok, just to be sure I just re-watched the scene where Sam and Dean interrogate Maurice (is that his name???) and those handcuffs look like plain, unmarked handcuffs to me. I saw no sigils on them at all and I paused the video to really take a good look. Admittedly the scene is very dark and they show the handcuff for all of about two seconds, but IMO if they wanted to tell us viewers something important about the nature of reapers through the use of sigil handcuff then they didn't do a very good job of it as the handcuffs looked unremarkable to me.
eilf
# eilf 2013-10-28 22:19
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Ok, just to be sure I just re-watched the scene where Sam and Dean interrogate Maurice (is that his name???) and those handcuffs look like plain, unmarked handcuffs to me. I saw no sigils on them at all and I paused the video to really take a good look. Admittedly the scene is very dark and they show the handcuff for all of about two seconds, but IMO if they wanted to tell us viewers something important about the nature of reapers through the use of sigil handcuff then they didn't do a very good job of it as the handcuffs looked unremarkable to me.
"Bounty hunters are like, delta force reapers" Is that what Dean says? (since he started hanging out with Benny Dean needs subtitles now too) What does that mean? Do rogue reapers = bounty hunters?
percysowner
# percysowner 2013-10-28 22:19
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Cuz Zeke seems pretty freaked out about angels finding him... and he thinks just being in Cas's company can lead the angels to him.
Well technically Zeke SAYS he's freaked about angels finding him. It is a good excuse to get Cas thrown out of the bunker if Zeke doesn't want Cas around for other reasons.

Rewatching the scene between April and Cas, she does say that the "new sheriff in town hired a bunch of us" which does imply she is a reaper. She also says she got lucky, so she either just stumbled upon Cas or located him first.
eilf
# eilf 2013-10-28 22:35
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Cuz Zeke seems pretty freaked out about angels finding him... and he thinks just being in Cas's company can lead the angels to him.
Well technically Zeke SAYS he's freaked about angels finding him. It is a good excuse to get Cas thrown out of the bunker if Zeke doesn't want Cas around for other reasons.

Rewatching the scene between April and Cas, she does say that the "new sheriff in town hired a bunch of us" which does imply she is a reaper. She also says she got lucky, so she either just stumbled upon Cas or located him first.
I think that the reason the show went with reapers is they are making them supernatural hunters. They can find anyone, but they have to do the legwork, not like angels who can find things instantaneously if they can find them at all.
E
# E 2013-10-28 22:38
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Ok, just to be sure I just re-watched the scene where Sam and Dean interrogate Maurice (is that his name???) and those handcuffs look like plain, unmarked handcuffs to me. I saw no sigils on them at all and I paused the video to really take a good look. Admittedly the scene is very dark and they show the handcuff for all of about two seconds, but IMO if they wanted to tell us viewers something important about the nature of reapers through the use of sigil handcuff then they didn't do a very good job of it as the handcuffs looked unremarkable to me.
"Bounty hunters are like, delta force reapers" Is that what Dean says? (since he started hanging out with Benny Dean needs subtitles now too) What does that mean? Do rogue reapers = bounty hunters?
See what I mean… it's just way to muddled for me. I don't mind the whole rogue reaper thing in theory… if TPTB wanted to expand the established lore on reapers and include rogue reapers that's fine and even kind of cool conceptually, but the way they've gone about it is entirely confusing to me! Some ground rules for how/why they operate the way they do wouldn't go amiss at this stage just to clear up the confusion and give them some more concrete boundaries in which to operate. I want to know how the rogues are different from regular reapers like Tessa and how they are different from Angels. Otherwise it just feels like a series of mistakes and haphazard backtracking, which is definitely the feeling that I was getting in this episode.

I still stand by my original gut feeling that April was never intended to be a reaper; I feel that she was one of the many pissed off angels that fell to earth and has been looking for Cas to extract revenge. Everything about her, from her taking a vessel to her intense anger when she was grilling Cas to her ability to TK Toss people (even other angels) around the room and her white light death by angel blade tells me that she was supposed to be an angel. But somehow this got muddled and they shoe horned in the reaper idea because of Cas being warded or something… which was totally unnecessary anyway because Maurice and Bart's conversation proved that reapers couldn't find Cas any faster than the angels and April just managed to "get lucky" when she literally stumbled upon him the same as Hael did.
Mick
# Mick 2013-10-28 22:55
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Where has that been established? Outside of April, we have zero definitive instances of rogue reapers unequivocally indicating that they are possessing anyone. Tessa was never shown to be possessing an actual human vessel, and neither was Ajay OR sleazy reaper. Tessa actually said IMOTD that she was taking on a human form, not that she was possessing anyone. The ONLY reaper to even hint that she was taking a human vessel was April and she did it like an angel, asking April for permission to enter and being let in. It makes no sense to me that reapers are taking on human vessels.
It was established this episode apparently. It's no different than the reaper in season one looking like a decrepit old man, to Tessa telling Dean she can make herself look however she wants to.

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I've said it before, and I'll say it again. If sleazy reaper was wearing a meat suit then why didn't he just bug out of it when he was being tortured by the Winchesters? He stayed in it until they actually managed to kill him, which makes NO SENSE. We've seen dozens of demons at knife point and angel blade point and even Sam's 4th season hand of doom smoke out to escape certain death leaving their vessels behind, why can't reapers do the same if they are in fact using vessels? I didnt see a devils trap or special handcuffs holding the reaper in place. So, if the reapers are following established canon on vessels, and they ARE in fact taking vessels (which has only been confirmed with April this one time IMO) then a reaper should be able to shuck off it's meat suit if they feel like it and return to their spirit form angel blade, or demon killing knife notwithstanding. If this is not true for rogue reapers only, then a better job needs to be done in the set up and explanation as to why they A) need a vessel to begin with and B) as to why all the rules established thus far about vessels does not apply to them. This type of contradiction and lack of logical set up is where my main complaints are stemming from.
If you watch the scene in HD, you can just make out the devil's trap on the handcuffs, indicating that they are the binding handcuffs (which in addition the devil's trap has various other sigils etched into them).
Mick
# Mick 2013-10-28 22:59
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Ok, just to be sure I just re-watched the scene where Sam and Dean interrogate Maurice (is that his name???) and those handcuffs look like plain, unmarked handcuffs to me. I saw no sigils on them at all and I paused the video to really take a good look. Admittedly the scene is very dark and they show the handcuff for all of about two seconds, but IMO if they wanted to tell us viewers something important about the nature of reapers through the use of sigil handcuff then they didn't do a very good job of it as the handcuffs looked unremarkable to me.
Here's a screen grab.

http://i.imgur.com/CqGDnMs.png?1
percysowner
# percysowner 2013-10-28 23:17
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See what I mean… it's just way to muddled for me. I don't mind the whole rogue reaper thing in theory… if TPTB wanted to expand the established lore on reapers and include rogue reapers that's fine and even kind of cool conceptually, but the way they've gone about it is entirely confusing to me! Some ground rules for how/why they operate the way they do wouldn't go amiss at this stage just to clear up the confusion and give them some more concrete boundaries in which to operate. I want to know how the rogues are different from regular reapers like Tessa and how they are different from Angels. Otherwise it just feels like a series of mistakes and haphazard backtracking, which is definitely the feeling that I was getting in this episode.
I'm finding the rogue reaper mythology muddled as well and I wish they would take an episode to flesh it out. Bring back Tessa or Death and have them talk about when reapers started going rogue. However until/if they do that I've decided that rogue reapers are the little black dress of Supernatural. When you need a supernatural creature to do something and don't want to be creative enough to make up a new species, just say that it's a rogue reaper and be done with it. Extra points if rogue reapers are ever used in an episode not written by Brad Buckner and Eugenie Lemming-Ross.

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I still stand by my original gut feeling that April was never intended to be a reaper; I feel that she was one of the many pissed off angels that fell to earth and has been looking for Cas to extract revenge. Everything about her, from her taking a vessel to her intense anger when she was grilling Cas to her ability to TK Toss people (even other angels) around the room and her white light death by angel blade tells me that she was supposed to be an angel. But somehow this got muddled and they shoe horned in the reaper idea because of Cas being warded or something… which was totally unnecessary anyway because Maurice and Bart's conversation proved that reapers couldn't find Cas any faster than the angels and April just managed to "get lucky" when she literally stumbled upon him the same as Hael did.
I do agree that the scene read to me like it was written that April was originally supposed to be an angel. Then someone decided it didn't work for some reason and made her a reaper. Unfortunately that same someone didn't find using April's body to have sex with Cas to be non-consensual and actually gave Cas a basic high five for losing his virginity while unknowingly raping someone. I think I need a bath now, just like after Man's Best Friends With Benefits. EWW!
FirstBorn
# FirstBorn 2013-10-29 00:06
Nate-Star Trek de-canonized (re-canonized?) lots of things. The ST universe is huge though so maybe it's not as noticeable to many viewers.
BookLady
# BookLady 2013-10-29 00:16
Nate, thanks for the article! You talked about many things that bothered me about the episode. I also agree about rules being even more important in fictional world-building.

So, reapers reap souls and as such they seem to have some sort of connection to souls which cannot be warded. The human body that contains the soul can be warded but not the soul itself. So, I can buy that they would be great trackers of creatures with souls, like Sam and Dean, but not Cas who has no soul. Hmmm, trackers, soul reapers, sniffing out souls...sounds a bit like a hell hound, doesn't it? But hounds can only bring their souls to Hell, I guess, while reapers bring theirs to their assigned place unless grabbed up by Crowley, of course.

Anyway...souls are not the same as human bodies and I have not seen reapers heal. I have seen them play a shell game - trade the reaping of one soul for another by switching the death of one body to another as they did in Faith and with John in place of Dean. Reapers are servants of Death so that makes sense. But, I have only seen angels heal.

So, I agree that April was supposed to be an angel, not a reaper. My take is that it was sloppy writing, sloppy re-writing, sloppy whatever - but sloppy. That's disappointing, but the cast and crew in Canada did fantastic job of making up for it. The episode wasn't bad, but it wasn't great, either, IMO.
Mick
# Mick 2013-10-29 01:19
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Nate, thanks for the article! You talked about many things that bothered me about the episode. I also agree about rules being even more important in fictional world-building.

So, reapers reap souls and as such they seem to have some sort of connection to souls which cannot be warded. The human body that contains the soul can be warded but not the soul itself. So, I can buy that they would be great trackers of creatures with souls, like Sam and Dean, but not Cas who has no soul. Hmmm, trackers, soul reapers, sniffing out souls...sounds a bit like a hell hound, doesn't it? But hounds can only bring their souls to Hell, I guess, while reapers bring theirs to their assigned place unless grabbed up by Crowley, of course.

Anyway...souls are not the same as human bodies and I have not seen reapers heal. I have seen them play a shell game - trade the reaping of one soul for another by switching the death of one body to another as they did in Faith and with John in place of Dean. Reapers are servants of Death so that makes sense. But, I have only seen angels heal.
Cas has a soul, Metatron told him when he dies and comes to Heaven to find him and tell him his stories.

But it was healing though, the people were not dying in that moment, they were ill. The reaper took the lifeforce of one person, and traded it over to another.
Mick
# Mick 2013-10-29 01:30
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Nowwww.... let's say in theory Mr. Rogue could vamoose (and wasn't acting). How good a look did you get at the cuffs... the floor... the ceiling? Can you really be sure Allistair's reaper trap was no where to be found? Even if so, there are likely other ways to "bind" reapers. SueAnn "bound" a reaper in Season 1. How many ways might there be to bind a reaper? The guys have access to the Men-of-Letters knowledgebase.
It seems that. yes he was possessing a body and they bound him to it using the binding handcuffs.

Here's the screencap of the shot.
http://i.imgur.com/CqGDnMs.png?1

Canon wouldn't supported Tessa's claim that reapers can alter perception and make things look how they want, because there was none of that going on in "Faith." Yes, never saw a reaper possess a human before this episode, but we also never heard anything that said they couldn't. So to me it's fair game to add to the canon since it contradicts nothing.
tyro
# tyro 2013-10-29 03:33
And now, somebody, please, summarize it all. Let's add a wing or even a store to our lopsided canon building. If it is possible at all with all this tricky religious mythology.
Sabath68
# Sabath68 2013-10-29 06:15
Hello Nate first I thought what a nice rant but then my second thought it wasn't as logical as I thought.
First of all you didn't see the angels torture the priest. You only heard what Dean assumed.
The viewer only saw the angels asking for Information and the dead priests. I assume that the angels didn't torture the priest but killed them so they couldn't talk. Just think about the situation, two priest reporting about there encounter with well suited angels asking about a lost angel. Great all mainstream media would be delighted to put this divine story on air. The Vatican would be pissed off because they would have to send the inquisition to investigate if the priest drank to much wine or if it was real.
“Angel blades do not kill reapers.“ Well odd because in Taxi Driver Crowley kills the rogue reaper Ajay with his angel sword. And which rules?
Balthazar ”It's a new era. No rules, no destiny. Just utter and complete freedom.“ S6.03
By the way utter and complete freedom is chaos
Chaos refers to the formless or void state preceding the creation of the universe..., more specifically the initial "gap" created by the original separation of heaven and earth“ Wikipedia
Now we have the situation that the strongest angelforce wants to fill the heaven & earth gab. We have two fractions A) Abaddon and B) Bartholomew. A new game with new rules.
The only information about the angel blade we have is it can't kill any Archangel. But only angels and demons. Demons are corrupted entities, ergo everything that isn't pure can probably be killed by an angel blade.
Then you mention “...reapers can't be seen by mortals“ Why should the reaper Maurice disguise himself don't forget he is a rogue reaper no rules for them. The first scene with the reaper Maurice was in the Police station he was already openly sitting there when the brothers walked in. Than we saw the reaper standing on the bridge and then at the grocery store. I assume that the trained brothers noticed the same person being first at the police station then later by the store is too much to be a coincident.
The torture scene with Maurice was also logical because Dean as an professional hell torturer he probably tried the demon knife first. With no results and than changed to the angel blade. To the handcuffs they were probably the ones with the curse for corrupted entities. The Bible (KJV) defines corrupted as depravity; wickedness; perversion or deterioration of moral principles; loss of purity or integrity. Therefore a reaper working as a freelancer, acts by his own rules without moral principles or integrity. Therefore I assume that the curse is against corrupted entities, and not bounded only to demons in general. Now a rogue reaper possessing a human. Well assuming that the rogue reaper is corrupted, then there is no problem in possessing a human without permission and to interact with living humans they presumably use a living vessel because a dead vessel well the former owner is on its one way to heaven or hell. Not that useful anymore. And Castiel with this heavyhearted woman every normal person would have thought she is nuts because which young woman in our days would invite a bum into her apartment? This was the typical Venus trap and the naïve human Castiel fell right into it. A normal and common counter espionage tactic and her death was like Ajays he also died like an heavenly entity. So therefore I assume she was a reaper because if she would have been an angel one mind check would have done and the angels would have had there information.
The brother issue. Well yes one could assume that Sam should know by now when his brother is lying or not but is this Sam that we are seeing the real Sam? I don't think so because the “I feel for the first time in my life happy” Sam doesn't sound like the “we have an issue” Sam, OK Sam on Prozak probably but not the brooding Sam he always has been. Knowing that Ezekiel is altering Sams mind for his own agenda because an intelligent analytic Sam with issue's is something Ezekiel doesn't need but a guilty feeling Dean beautiful he just has to say the magical word “Ezekiel says Sam dies” and Dean acts on commando.
To say the same brotherly issue are as usual well sorry no because are control freak Dean is not in control anymore his moral issues we have experienced until now have absolutely no value anymore because of the oath given to this dubious Ezekiel.
Now this is a total new Winchester situation.
IMO the last three episode were brilliantly played by J2 also all new rules were perfectly displayed by the screenwriters and as always just because you think you have seen something doesn't mean you really have seen it. In the end that is why some viewers were disappointed.
greets from Berlin
Nate Winchester
# Nate Winchester 2013-10-29 07:29
I'll get to all the other comments in a bit but first I want to point out the very obvious point everyone is missing.

"reaper was bound/it wasn't bound" - THAT'S NOT WHAT'S IMPORTANT. Why was sleazy reaper VISIBLE in the first place? You know what's useful for following and keeping tabs on someone? Being invisible.

Oh and let's try figuring out April. So she's a reaper on a job hunting for Castiel. She... finds her target sometime in the day (morning? afternoon?). Goes to "work" for who knows how many hours until nightfall (she doesn't contact her employers when Castiel is RIGHT THERE), THEN takes him to her house, THEN performs first aid on his wounds, screws him and waits several more hours until morning to then... tie him up and start torturing him? (sort of makes her earlier ministrations pointless) She's had tabs on her target for nearly 24 hours and didn't do anything about it? If she called her employers the second she spotted him, were the angels walking there? It's a huge plot hole.

Even James Bond villains do better.
E
# E 2013-10-29 08:56
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Ok, just to be sure I just re-watched the scene where Sam and Dean interrogate Maurice (is that his name???) and those handcuffs look like plain, unmarked handcuffs to me. I saw no sigils on them at all and I paused the video to really take a good look. Admittedly the scene is very dark and they show the handcuff for all of about two seconds, but IMO if they wanted to tell us viewers something important about the nature of reapers through the use of sigil handcuff then they didn't do a very good job of it as the handcuffs looked unremarkable to me.
Here's a screen grab.

http://i.imgur.com/CqGDnMs.png?1
Yes, Mick, I've seen this, several times in fact. I see plain, unmarked handcuffs: no sigils, no demonic markings, nothing. Even if they were marked (which I am not seeing) that's for demons… which makes why they can hold a reaper is as unexplained as everything else we've been told about them. Why should demonic sigils work?
njspnfan
# njspnfan 2013-10-29 08:59
This was an okay episode for me but I think you're missing the bigger point; these creatures are NOT reapers, they are rogue reapers, different creature, different rules can apply. And yes, the whole reaper/rogue reaper lore has not been fleshed out well by the writers. Perhaps a 45 second exposition scene at the MOL bunker, with Sam reading something from a book called the "Encyclopedia of Reapers" might serve to clear things up :lol:

Reapers aren't corporeal and are only seen by a person close to death. They can be killed with Death's scythe, can be possessed by a demon, and can be bound by spells.

Rogue reapers can possess a person (with or without consent has not been established) so they are corporeal in so far as they are possessing a meat suit. And, since angel blades can kill just about anything (up to and including an archangel - Lucifer killed Gabriel in S5 this way), it seems logical to me that they can kill a rogue reaper in a meat suit. This obviously wouldn't work when a reaper wasn't corporeal so in that context I don't think an angel blade could kill a regular reaper (nothing to stab). Not sure what powers/capabili ties they have in this form, other than being able to move between heaven/purgator y/earth and doing the TK toss.

What hasn't been established is do regular reapers go rogue or are they an entirely different creature. And, does going rogue reaper simply mean they stop obeying the rules set forth by Death, and that all reapers can do this but at the risk of really pissing off Death?.
E
# E 2013-10-29 09:00
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I'll get to all the other comments in a bit but first I want to point out the very obvious point everyone is missing.

"reaper was bound/it wasn't bound" - THAT'S NOT WHAT'S IMPORTANT. Why was sleazy reaper VISIBLE in the first place? You know what's useful for following and keeping tabs on someone? Being invisible.

Oh and let's try figuring out April. So she's a reaper on a job hunting for Castiel. She... finds her target sometime in the day (morning? afternoon?). Goes to "work" for who knows how many hours until nightfall (she doesn't contact her employers when Castiel is RIGHT THERE), THEN takes him to her house, THEN performs first aid on his wounds, screws him and waits several more hours until morning to then... tie him up and start torturing him? (sort of makes her earlier ministrations pointless) She's had tabs on her target for nearly 24 hours and didn't do anything about it? If she called her employers the second she spotted him, were the angels walking there? It's a huge plot hole.

Even James Bond villains do better.
Nate! Haha, that's awesome! And here's another thing: why are reapers killing people now? That's NEVER been their job. They collect the dead, they don't kill. Even rogue reapers…they can help with things related to death; such as purgatory and soul snatching.. but they've never been shown to be hired killers, at least until April, and why she ended up killing Cas (assuring that she'd NEVER be paid for services rendered) is beyond me.
Nate Winchester
# Nate Winchester 2013-10-29 10:38
Ok, just gathering bits, I don't remember who said what here any more.

Though don't even get me started on Taxi Driver, that was a shit of an episode... (way to spit on season 5, writers!)

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Apparently if something happens in 1 or 2 episodes it's "canon" (LMAO). Since rogue reapers have possessed humans in 2 of 2 rogue reaper episodes, possessing humans is a canon characteristic of rogue reapers.


The biggest problem is that it opens up plot holes all over the place both in this episode and others. Heck at some point with everything that can possess humans, you wonder if, among the 6 billion on this planet, if there's actually just 4 ACTUAL humans (not possessed or anything). (leading to this (tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/FlockOfWolves))

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But the mythology has always been kinda wonky and underwritten. Especially with the whole intangible spirit form, and then somehow Tessa is able to get possessed by Azazel.
...
It's not concessions, it's actually looking at the lore on them the show has shown us, which is a bit on the muddled side. I keep bringing up Tessa being possessed, because that is also conflicting info, reapers are intangible, but able to be possessed? How does that work out? At least with this they are setting a rule that says reapers need to take possession of someone to interact with the human world.
The spirit world Tessa was also once "dragged off" and kidnapped by "intangible" demons. At least one thing we can be sure about is that the spirit realm runs a lot on willpower, meaning such things as the possession and kidnapping can be explained by demons just being that forceful. (Of course, given the power of souls established in S6, it could also be that when a "deal" is struck, the receiving demon gets a power boost from the soul it just "bought" and that power is enough to temporarily do some things like take control of a reaper.) The real point is that while some such things can be wonky, they are minor and don't open up gaping plot holes.

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The boys have been killing innocents since they got Ruby's knife. It shouldn't matter that they were demons and they bodies may or may not have been burned out, the knife should have always been a last resort. To complain about it now seems like bitching for the sake of bitching,
You do know I've just recently started writing for here and given that I don't think I've seen you around my blog, how can you be sure I'm just now complaining about it? :P

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It was established this episode apparently. It's no different than the reaper in season one looking like a decrepit old man, to Tessa telling Dean she can make herself look however she wants to.


Here's the big differences:
1) When we actually FIRST saw Tessa, she was very monstorous and not unlike the first seen reaper. Thus establishing a common bond.
2) Her later deception AT LEAST made sense as something to aid reapers in their tasks (getting souls to move on at least).
This "possession" thing? Why? So reapers can be visible and stabbed? Both of which worked AGAINST their interests this episode! Sort of like revealing that a marathon runner has the power to cut his own leg off. No possible answer is going to not be incredibly stupid.

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Well... how do they mange that? April's example says they manage it by possessing a human. Isn't one example enough to make something canon? Some people are claiming reapers must be killed by Death's scythe because Alistair did it that way... once. Of course he did it during a new moon and reciting an incantation. Is that needed to? Or was the scythe only needed because a seal was being broken... just like the likely reason for the a pair of repaers being needed... and the moon... and the incantation?
1) See above.
2) As was said in the S4 episode, "how do you kill death?" Reapers are death and are Death's employees. "Killing" them is a paradox that should tear the universe a new asshole. At least THE scythe of Death itself was understandable as being powerful enough to "bend" this paradox and - being their boss - also an explanation as the equivalent of being "fired" from their job.
3) This "additions" ruins even more the revelation by Death about his later aim to kill God. Namely, if the former's employees can all be so easily eliminated by the latter's employees, then that's not really a contest or suspense now is it? It'd be like playing chess where your pieces can never ever be captured or removed from the board.

It's all this (and even more I probably have realized yet) that are ruined by the revelation that angels can just so casually off reapers.

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Nate-Star Trek de-canonized (re-canonized?) lots of things. The ST universe is huge though so maybe it's not as noticeable to many viewers.
Yeah that's what I'm complaining about. Considering how bad Voyager and Enterprise got in the end... *shudder* I just don't want to see that happen to my current love.

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This was an okay episode for me but I think you're missing the bigger point; these creatures are NOT reapers, they are rogue reapers, different creature, different rules can apply. And yes, the whole reaper/rogue reaper lore has not been fleshed out well by the writers.
1) That's rather a distinction without a difference isn't it? Like saying that if a human loses their US citizenship (for example) they can then be killed immediately by a single paper cut.
2) HOWEVER, I will grant that that is ONE possible out for this whole mess: that reapers abandoning Death's employ lose what we might call their "benefits", one of which being really really hard to kill.

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That's NEVER been their job. They collect the dead, they don't kill.
Technically that may be incorrect as when a reaper was "removed" from that town in S4 everyone there stopped dying. (again, leading one to wonder why, if Castiel needed souls in S6, instead of messing with time travel, why not just send his lackeys around to off reapers) Of course we don't know details over their job layout but they do seem to have some role to play beyond just ensuring ghosts don't result.
njspnfan
# njspnfan 2013-10-29 11:15
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This was an okay episode for me but I think you're missing the bigger point; these creatures are NOT reapers, they are rogue reapers, different creature, different rules can apply. And yes, the whole reaper/rogue reaper lore has not been fleshed out well by the writers.

1) That's rather a distinction without a difference isn't it? Like saying that if a human loses their US citizenship (for example) they can then be killed immediately by a single paper cut.
2) HOWEVER, I will grant that that is ONE possible out for this whole mess: that reapers abandoning Death's employ lose what we might call their "benefits", one of which being really really hard to kill.
Nate - it depends on how you interpret/look at things. My view is - by possessing a human, rogue reapers make themselves visible to all, not just the dying. By taking a meat suit, they leave themselves vulnerable to other ways of being killed.

Not arguing that canon couldn't stand a little clarity on this, I just don't view it as the end of the world. There are other canon things that bothered me more - for instance, it was stated that Crowley was the only demon that could teleport, but Meg did it in S6 - this was a clear contradiction).

One thing that did change after S1 was that a reaper's touch could cause death; in later season's I'm not sure that's the case, though we do know that Death's touch can kill. In later seasons, Reapers are more like a death escort service, accompanying the dead to the other side.
Mick
# Mick 2013-10-29 11:21
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Ok, just to be sure I just re-watched the scene where Sam and Dean interrogate Maurice (is that his name???) and those handcuffs look like plain, unmarked handcuffs to me. I saw no sigils on them at all and I paused the video to really take a good look. Admittedly the scene is very dark and they show the handcuff for all of about two seconds, but IMO if they wanted to tell us viewers something important about the nature of reapers through the use of sigil handcuff then they didn't do a very good job of it as the handcuffs looked unremarkable to me.
Here's a screen grab.

http://i.imgur.com/CqGDnMs.png?1
Yes, Mick, I've seen this, several times in fact. I see plain, unmarked handcuffs: no sigils, no demonic markings, nothing. Even if they were marked (which I am not seeing) that's for demons… which makes why they can hold a reaper is as unexplained as everything else we've been told about them. Why should demonic sigils work?
You apparently need glasses, because I can see the markings clear as day. Besides the pentagram, there are various other sigils etched into the handcuffs. And the show has already established the idea of binding links, that look nothing like devil's traps; once in season two when Meg took possession of Sam, and again in season five when Crowley carved one into Brady's chest.

And a possession is a possession, so there's no reason why they shouldn't work.
Mick
# Mick 2013-10-29 13:24
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You apparently need glasses...
Now, now, now. Remember different monitors will have different brightness settings and different software can render images with somewhat different color values. I saw the pentagram pretty decently on the other computer, but it's easy for me to imagine the penatgram being invisible (or nearly so) on a different computer set up. It's barely visible on this one.

Aw gee... does that mean a reaper is coming for those of us who can see it? (ROTFL)

Everything in life can be a parallel for something else, huh?
Yeah my bad, I just remembered my old ass PC monitor is dark as shit, so I probably wouldn't have been able to make it out that. But on my laptop it's clear as day.

Apologies to E.
cheryl42
# cheryl42 2013-10-29 14:16
So out of the 185 plus episodes of SPN there have been what maybe 6 episodes concerning reapers. Of those 2 delt with rogue reapers. So of the 4 left one delt with a reaper on a leash, another was possessed by a demon, 2 were kidnapped by Alistar and the other came for Bobby. Where was it stated that a reaper could not be killed by an angel blade (angel blades weren't introduced until S5 right?). I don't remember that scene. Why can't a reaper possess of human? If a demon can possess a reaper why can't a reaper also possess someone? Again I don't remember that being discussed on the show. I really don't get all the hoopla over the reaper cannon. This may not have been the most stellar episode but the hang up over how a reaper behaves just seems a little silly to me on a show about the supernatural.
E
# E 2013-10-29 19:08
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Ok, just to be sure I just re-watched the scene where Sam and Dean interrogate Maurice (is that his name???) and those handcuffs look like plain, unmarked handcuffs to me. I saw no sigils on them at all and I paused the video to really take a good look. Admittedly the scene is very dark and they show the handcuff for all of about two seconds, but IMO if they wanted to tell us viewers something important about the nature of reapers through the use of sigil handcuff then they didn't do a very good job of it as the handcuffs looked unremarkable to me.
Here's a screen grab.

http://i.imgur.com/CqGDnMs.png?1
Yes, Mick, I've seen this, several times in fact. I see plain, unmarked handcuffs: no sigils, no demonic markings, nothing. Even if they were marked (which I am not seeing) that's for demons… which makes why they can hold a reaper is as unexplained as everything else we've been told about them. Why should demonic sigils work?
You apparently need glasses, because I can see the markings clear as day. Besides the pentagram, there are various other sigils etched into the handcuffs. And the show has already established the idea of binding links, that look nothing like devil's traps; once in season two when Meg took possession of Sam, and again in season five when Crowley carved one into Brady's chest.

And a possession is a possession, so there's no reason why they shouldn't work.
Both angels and demons have their own separate sigils, and one has never been shown to be effective on the other. Hence all of the discussions going back years on this show as to the difference between Angel warding and Demon warding. In season 8 Naomi was able to easily get aboard Garth's boat although it had been warded against demons. A devils trap can't hold an angel so why should demon sigils hold a reaper especially if they are more angel-like as some have been arguing? A few lines of expository dialog could have cleared this up easily, but that kind of thing seems beyond this writing team.

My main issue with all this is not in these details per se. If TPTB wanted to introduce rogue reapers to change up canon, that's fine. But it's been so poorly handled, its so muddled up with what we know about demons and angels that they are ineffective plot wise and confusing to watch, and I am beginning to dread having to see them in future episodes. The total lack of establishing any concrete fact into canon in any logical way that explains rogue reapers and how they work, is a huge problem IMO. Oh look, they can take on vessels like angels. Oh look, they can use angel blades and telekinetically toss people against the wall, Oh look, they can be held by demon sigils but angel warding works against them too. What a mess, and all created in just two episodes written by the same writers.

The sigils on the hand cuffs (if they are actually there because as I've said before, I don't see them. Blame it on my computer monitor if you like, oh and p.s. I don't wear glasses), have only been established so far to hold demons. Furthermore, only one set of handcuffs with sigils on them have been established in canon and those are currently on Crowley. If the boys suddenly have access to unlimited numbers of handcuffs with sigils on them then they need to tell us that, show us where they are stored, have them make a comment about how useful they will be, something other than having them show up for two seconds in a dark, murky scene in which its nearly impossible to tell that the sigils are even there and make us infer that 1). the boys must have access to unlimited pairs of these cuffs and 2) that they must work on reapers… all without any explanation. I know that expository dialog is sometimes tedious, but in the case of rogue reapers there has been zero, resulting in a confusing muddle of conflicting information that makes little to no sense, at least for me. As an actor/singer and stage performer who deals with scripts, librettos and dramatic works on a daily basis, I want better story construction and a more logical flow of ideas than that. And with this show we mostly gotten that, which makes the mess that is rogue reapers stand out even more.
Nate Winchester
# Nate Winchester 2013-10-29 19:21
E, to echo your statement (and provide a hearty Amen!), I'll just repost my comment from TV Tropes since I don't think anybody clicked on the link.

When it comes to genre worlds, rules are even MORE important.

Consider for instance one of the best moments from an episode of season 4, Family Remains. That is: the girl crosses the salt line. Why does this scene work as one of shock and tension? Because it's been established as a rule that ghosts don't cross salt. Whatever the girl is, she's not a ghost (or a demon for that matter).

As John C Wright frequently likes to point out, authors of fiction are very much like magicians. Everybody participating knows that it's not true, but they go along for the ride to be entertained. Yet what makes a good vs bad magician? Whether you can see the sleight of hand. When writing something, authors must take effort that the readers don't "notice" (well it's not so much them, as their brain, aka subconscious) the author's "hand" in the story.

In a genre story, rules hide the hand. When you start breaking them, then the audience no longer enjoys the work - you've become a bad magician. The audience realizes (even if they can't vocalize it) that the tension and escape from a scene are entirely at an author's whim. Why is there "tension" in this scene? Well because the author is telling us there is, they are no longer showing us the tension. How will the heroes escape? However the writers desire because the solution won't be organic.

The worst (or best?) example of this would be ST: Voyager as frequently pointed out by SF Debris. Eventually the show just became: "Things are tense because the writers said so. The heroes live! because the writers said so." Yes that's technically always the case in fiction, but like the best magicians, the audience isn't supposed to see it.
BookLady
# BookLady 2013-10-29 23:37
Responding to racestaffer #38 -
You're right. April did not heal anyone, but Dean claimed she healed Cas thus giving her powers like that of an angel - such as Zeke who actually did save Cas and who is an angel. We have not seen reapers bring people back from being dead. So, I think she was supposed to be an angel, not a reaper.

Responding to Mick #39 - I did forget that human Cas has a soul so I guess he could be tracked by a reaper, if not by an angel. Then, why trail the Winchesters? Why bother with them at all? No need for torture, no need for hand cuffs, no need for possessing anyone, etc.

That's why I have such a problem with this episode. One possible answer opens up all sorts of other questions. Like E and Nate, I want my stories to have some sort of logical flow. It just smacks of poorly thought out, poorly written material. It's sloppy and sloppy is disappointing. IMO.
Mick
# Mick 2013-10-29 23:37
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Ok, just to be sure I just re-watched the scene where Sam and Dean interrogate Maurice (is that his name???) and those handcuffs look like plain, unmarked handcuffs to me. I saw no sigils on them at all and I paused the video to really take a good look. Admittedly the scene is very dark and they show the handcuff for all of about two seconds, but IMO if they wanted to tell us viewers something important about the nature of reapers through the use of sigil handcuff then they didn't do a very good job of it as the handcuffs looked unremarkable to me.
Here's a screen grab.

http://i.imgur.com/CqGDnMs.png?1
Yes, Mick, I've seen this, several times in fact. I see plain, unmarked handcuffs: no sigils, no demonic markings, nothing. Even if they were marked (which I am not seeing) that's for demons… which makes why they can hold a reaper is as unexplained as everything else we've been told about them. Why should demonic sigils work?
You apparently need glasses, because I can see the markings clear as day. Besides the pentagram, there are various other sigils etched into the handcuffs. And the show has already established the idea of binding links, that look nothing like devil's traps; once in season two when Meg took possession of Sam, and again in season five when Crowley carved one into Brady's chest.

And a possession is a possession, so there's no reason why they shouldn't work.
Both angels and demons have their own separate sigils, and one has never been shown to be effective on the other. Hence all of the discussions going back years on this show as to the difference between Angel warding and Demon warding. In season 8 Naomi was able to easily get aboard Garth's boat although it had been warded against demons. A devils trap can't hold an angel so why should demon sigils hold a reaper especially if they are more angel-like as some have been arguing? A few lines of expository dialog could have cleared this up easily, but that kind of thing seems beyond this writing team.

My main issue with all this is not in these details per se. If TPTB wanted to introduce rogue reapers to change up canon, that's fine. But it's been so poorly handled, its so muddled up with what we know about demons and angels that they are ineffective plot wise and confusing to watch, and I am beginning to dread having to see them in future episodes. The total lack of establishing any concrete fact into canon in any logical way that explains rogue reapers and how they work, is a huge problem IMO. Oh look, they can take on vessels like angels. Oh look, they can use angel blades and telekinetically toss people against the wall, Oh look, they can be held by demon sigils but angel warding works against them too. What a mess, and all created in just two episodes written by the same writers.

The sigils on the hand cuffs (if they are actually there because as I've said before, I don't see them. Blame it on my computer monitor if you like, oh and p.s. I don't wear glasses), have only been established so far to hold demons. Furthermore, only one set of handcuffs with sigils on them have been established in canon and those are currently on Crowley. If the boys suddenly have access to unlimited numbers of handcuffs with sigils on them then they need to tell us that, show us where they are stored, have them make a comment about how useful they will be, something other than having them show up for two seconds in a dark, murky scene in which its nearly impossible to tell that the sigils are even there and make us infer that 1). the boys must have access to unlimited pairs of these cuffs and 2) that they must work on reapers… all without any explanation. I know that expository dialog is sometimes tedious, but in the case of rogue reapers there has been zero, resulting in a confusing muddle of conflicting information that makes little to no sense, at least for me. As an actor/singer and stage performer who deals with scripts, librettos and dramatic works on a daily basis, I want better story construction and a more logical flow of ideas than that. And with this show we mostly gotten that, which makes the mess that is rogue reapers stand out even more.
It's completely different though, with angels it's warding sigils. These are binding sigils, It's basically the same principal as curse boxes, they keep what's in from coming out. So, it should work regardless if it is a demon or an angel or a ghost or a reaper. If there is a foreign entity in the body, there's no reason why it shouldn't work.
Soldano
# Soldano 2013-11-01 07:37
This episode was absolutely brilliant, best i've seen in a while and i was completely hooked. Fort the first time, these criticism annoy mer at the deepest level.

You've completely missed the point of the episode which was castiel discovering what being human is about, giving, receinving, being cheated, being in love. That was absolutely brilliant writing, i have never seen anything like this before, it was so real, because suddenly cass discovered what it is to be weak, to need others, the one he usezd to help, who usually ask him for help turn out to be much stronger than he ever thought, and manage to to grerat things with their limitations.

It relates so much to the bible and the good deeds Jesus taught us. I'm not even really christian but you know, that's the culture we were raised in.

That was moving and strong, unbelievable acting from CASS, i mean play an angel who basically have no idea what being human is and make it believable, that requires serious writing and acting skills..

Sure there are some inconsistencies and i noticed it too, but who cares ? Being nerdy is one thing but that's just pure ranting. Please learn to recognise a good episode when you see one, or you'll be damned and roam in the purgatory of nerds forever.

Seriousely can you even enjoy the show you're supposed to like ? Don't even call yourse"lf a fan that was a seriousely bad review. What exaclty do you expect ?
Nate Winchester
# Nate Winchester 2013-11-05 15:44
Actually, Soldano, I mostly agree with you.

Only: imagine if, instead of screwing with the canon & mythology, the episode had focused entirely on Cas's adventures in humanity? Would have made not just a better episode, but a true work of art, wouldn't it?