I vaguely remember the movie Clue.  It was a ludicrous concept, a whole movie of antics based on a board game.  It had three endings and none of them was a Scooby Doo ending (Wayne’s World got it right).  I also know that it was a forgettable film because I don’t remember anything else about it except it didn’t generate any laughs with me, despite the fact Tim Curry was in it.  I also know what MANY of you are thinking (especially you younger folk). “There was a movie about Clue?” 

Yes, my expectations for “Ask Jeeves” were in the basement as soon as it was obvious in the previews it was a spoof of the movie.  It’s Supernatural Clue (BTW, a board game on that is coming soon, we’ll have the details here once it’s available).  I can only imagine the coming board game was the inspiration for this idea, because I can think of hundreds of different movies in the vault that they could have pulled inspiration for an episode.  Heck, I’m still waiting for that one based on Jacob’s Ladder (you know you want it show).  

But if I take the whole Clue thing out of the equation and actually judge the episode on its merits, then that’s where the good part comes in.  I didn’t love it, but it was a good light hearted hour, until that closing scene (more coming on that later).  Although, one reason it falls in “didn’t love” category is because I’m not fond of “whodunit” murder mysteries.  That’s why I neglected 12 seasons of “Murder She Wrote.”  We know it was either going to be the butler or the maid (it always is) but when that maid is a shapeshifter, then yes, we have our “Supernatural” tie in.  I also give big kudos to writers Eric Charmelo and Nicole Snyder for remembering their shapeshifter lore and showing the disgusting shedding of skin (I’m talking to you “Bloodlines”).  I was actually thrilled to see that.  

I hated the family and the whole depiction of these “WASPs”.   I know they’re trying to follow the movie and run with a comedic angle, but how many times has the shallow family of rich people been done on this show?  On all TV shows?  It’s a tired, overdone cliché.  None of them were fun or had a real personality, and that did take away from some of the enjoyment.  I like it when I’m actually made to care about guest characters, like Charmelo and Snyder’s pishtaco from last season’s “The Purge”.  For once, why can’t the family be smart and ruthless toward one another in a clever and less predictable way (think War of the Roses)?  Ah well, we got what we got.  I was rooting for Sam and Dean to stay locked in that room while the shapeshifter maid killed the lot of them.  They kind of had it coming.  

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When you get beyond the family though, the heart of the story was about Sam and Dean.  The family hating one another was the perfect setup for Sam to talk about how much his family loves one another, and that made me smile.  You see Sam, your family isn’t so dysfunctional after all.  We also got to live the uncomfortable moments again with Sam that he had to endure in “Red Sky at Morning,” taking one for the team by not only engaging with one but two Cougars attacking him.  He was a total trooper.  I also loved Dean getting to find the secret passageway to the attic, and now it’s “No Exit” all over again (not to mention his love of old haunted houses from “Playthings.”)  Plus, weren't his facial expressions classic?

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It’s classic MOTW, and I liked how they tied in this case with an old one of Bobby Singer's.  He did what Sam and Dean would have done, let the monster go and if that monster start killing, then it must be killed.  That’s where I wished we could have gotten flashbacks of Bobby with this girl and her mother, just to enrich the backstory.  That would have been cool!  But there’s only so much story they can stretch into 42 minutes, so I understand.  I do miss Bobby, so I’ll take any mention of him I can get.  

This episode did manage to bring up the looming issue that’s been neglected recently, the demon within Dean thanks to the Mark of Cain.  He was bound to kill someone eventually and we all knew that it wouldn’t be pretty.  Sam knew that too.  As to why Sam was chosen to draw out the shapeshifter while Dean got the silver bullets out of the car was beyond me given the concern, but that’s our setup and all of Sam’s fears became fully realized.  The shapeshifter figured out Sam couldn’t kill her because he didn’t have silver bullets and was stalling.  She was just about to pop a few bullets in him when Dean arrived in the nick of time.  He shot once, twice, three times, hell he emptied the gun.  He looked totally psychotic doing it and Sam watched it all in unsettled horror.  So did we.  For such a predictable scene, the reactions were so well done and it was a very satisfying moment.  Dean was just as scared as Sam, we know it!  His strange behavior afterward with Pointdexter tipped us off (sorry, I didn’t care about these characters enough to actually learn their names).  

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This of course setup the brotherly chat in the Impala at the end (don’t you love that they’ve gone back to having chats in the Impala?).  Sam tried to press the issue, wondering what was going on inside of Dean, but Dean denied anything was wrong.  Sam pressed harder, not letting Dean’s denial go that easy.  Dean in kind drowned out Sam to Bob Seger’s “Travelin' Man.”  Sam got frustrated, didn’t want to give up, but then did.  And…that’s exactly what I would have predicted.  That’s where I had a ton of trouble with that ending, actually way more than the aforementioned "The Purge." 

My issue with the construct of that conversation is it’s the same formula that’s been done ever since season one.  They talk, one of the brothers gets shut down, and they leave it.  I was just…hoping for way more.  For more mature brothers that have grown considerably in ten years, these habits of discussion are rather annoying in their repetition and have been for some time.  Where’s Sam’s “let me show you the light at the end of the tunnel” speech?  How about Dean admitting how much that kill has scared the crap out of him?  (You can see it in his face).  How about some real honesty?  Knowing how much time was left I knew it would end like that, but when you’ve seen a scene like this countless times over numerous seasons, this circular brotherly behavior just gets frustrating. Haven't they grown?  Let me guess, now it festers until Dean does something really tragic and then Sam is forced to act, probably right around the mid season finale.  

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I know its season ten and it’s difficult to be original, but the predictability anymore in Sam and Dean’s confrontations makes these brotherly struggles tedious for me.  At least at the end of “The Purge” we got an honest, open brotherly conversation.  Yes, it was painful and it was Sam lashing out in a way that really hurt Dean, but it wasn’t “Brotherly Chat 101.”  It did have some shock value.  At the end of this episode, we once again were subject to classic stalling by the writers, as though they aren’t allowed to show any inch of movement with Sam and Dean until midseason and season finales.  It kind of numbs any joy felt over the episode because it feels like filler.  I know fans wanted more brotherly chats in the Impala, but ones like this don’t serve any purpose other than a sing along to a really good Bob Seger tune.  

Because of the ending, “Ask Jeeves” gets a C+ from me.  It wasn't bad  and the timing was right for a MOTW standalone, but that's the best I can say about it.  Next week Crowley and Castiel are back and that does make me happy because I missed them the last few episodes (I do seem to be in the minority these days).  

Random Thoughts

I may not have cared much for the family, but the house was gorgeous.  The details by the set decorators for this episode were exquisite.  For all the rooms that were shown, each one had amazing character and finesse.  Even the bathroom was elaborate! 

While I loved that Sam and Dean got a taste of the free gourmet coffee in the single serving cups (I love the glazed donut flavor!), that usually doesn't happen at seedy motels.  That's usually reserved for the up and coming "boutique" hotel market.  Can you imagine Sam and Dean in a boutique hotel?  I did like the small cups joke though.  Those Keurig makers aren't mug fillers, are they?  

I really, really loved the "Whodunit" type score that Jay Gruska composed this week.  So perfect!  Well done sir.

I had a total "HITG!" (Hey, it's that guy!) moment when the police detective appeared.  It took me a minute, but I remembered he was the bus driver in "After School Special."  That actor's name BTW is Doug Abrahams (thanks Supernatural Wiki!)

(Screencaps from Home of The Nutty and Screencapped.net)


Comments  

LEAH
# LEAH 2014-11-22 22:10
"Pointdexter", funny. It was a light fun episode. Pretty much sums it up for me. I am all for getting back to Cas and Crowley though. They really didn't fit in the last two episodes. Too bad they couldn't have had an episode for the 200th that could have included them. Not complaining though, it was a great episode. I loved Jacob's Ladder. What a twisty dark ride of a movie. I do think the end scene was more about Dean being afraid and in denial more than anything else. That is his go-to place. I do think Sam knows that and will get Dean to open up soon, hopefully before all hell breaks loose. Some things don't change I guess.:)

ETA: I also would like to care about some of the victims again. I have noticed a little tendency to show the "monsters" more sympathetically than the victims as of late. Monsters aren't as scary and the potential victims are. Huh.
cheryl42
# cheryl42 2014-11-22 22:11
I agree about the family (although I thought Dash was pretty funny "I hunt pheasants" and pointing the gun at everyone including himself). I do really wish that the boys would have a MOTW episode where they (and us) actually cared about the people they were saving. The score was fantastic. That made Dean's hunt through the house a lot more fun. I never saw Clue so I didn't get the references. But evidently he found all of the clues. The end scene did save the episode. It almost looked like sweat drenched Sam was afraid Dean was going to turn the gun on him. They both were pretty rattled. Yes they needed to talk it out maybe next episode they will. It was an ok episode though not really a re watch for me.
SanSummer1
# SanSummer1 2014-11-22 22:54
Quote:
It’s classic MOTW, and I liked how they tied in this case with an old one of Bobby Singer's. He did what Sam and Dean would have done, let the monster go and if that monster start killing, then it must be killed.
Bobby had done way more than that.

Olivia: After Bobby killed my father, he came after me. Mother pleaded with him to spare me. He agreed -- under one condition.

Sam: That she keep you locked up.

Olivia: For my safety and the safety of others. Mother told the family she lost the baby. And she locked me in the attic. But she remained devoted to me until the very end -- even got Bobby to promise to take care of me if anything happened to her.

Sam: Wait a minute. Then, Bobby spared you. You should be grateful.

Olivia: For what?! Keeping me locked up my whole life? It would have been kinder to kill me.
Grace232
# Grace232 2014-11-22 23:56
Thanks for your review. Loving this season! Fun episode! Loved all the Clue references - from the weapons to the rooms to Dean mentioning characters. Great music score and both guys knocked it out of the park. I really enjoyed the old school MOTW episode. As to your frustration with the brother talk at the end - that did not bother me at all. Why? Well - I have brothers. They do not talk about their feelings. They avoid. And frankly, they know each other so well that when one is freaked about something, the other knows without being told. They usually end up watching some game on TV and having a beer. Anyway - these brothers know each other. Dean is freaked. Sam knows. Sam is concerned. Dean knows. Neither knows what to do about it at this point. What more is there to say except to wallow? These are not guys that wallow until they reach bottom. Just my opinion - I don't think they are ready for more than we saw. Also - thanks for pointing out the actor. It was driving me nuts where I saw him before - did not realize it was this show!
nappi815
# nappi815 2014-11-23 08:14
I agree. I actually loved this eppy and have rewatched a few times. there are so many references to catch onto. the shallow family didn't bother me at all. I actually did see the deeper meaning to this ep in regards to family and I was rather quite pleased with it. never get tired of older women's attraction to sam and his discomfort by it....him taking one for the team this go around made it all the more laughable.
we also got another actor from a past eppy return....it took me a second watch to realize it, but the butler was roy le grange, from faith. I swear part of the fun of this show is trying to find all the repeaters in an episode:D
I also agree about the conversation between the boys....knew it wouldn't be to intensive as it was the last minute of the show. what needed to be said was for the time being. I don't believe the subject to be,dropped, because this time it can't be. dean may be used to sweeping things under the rug... after all, it is his automatic "go to response", but not anymore,....no more sweeping things under the rug with the moc, it just can't happen ....ironically, that's how he ended up with the moc in the first place. so I do think a lesson was learned by our elder Winchester....I do think we'll be hearing more about it before the midseason finale, which is really only two eps away...:) I do think he kind of admitted to sam about knowing there was a problem when he said "why am I even explaining this to you"....as he knows there is something wrong there....I don't think sam just dropped it....I think that dean was driving and he was really noticeably upset and that discussion wasn't meant to have while at the wheel....both know there's more going on and a moving vehicle at night isn't really the place to get into it....but the door is open;)

on the plus side there, another cool seger song to add to the cd collection....I know I've said this already, but i'm still wondering if they'll use against the wind....seems appropriate for the current situation:D
elle2
# elle2 2014-11-23 09:07
Thank heavens I barely watch movies anymore, that way I missed Clue -- although Tim Curry would have been good to see. ;)

I enjoyed it more than you, mostly because I am so thrilled with this lighter, fresher feel so far this season. But, I too was disappointed that Dean shut Sam down and that Sam was written to allow it. I am aware that the midseason finale is only three episodes away, so we're going to get some movement fairly quickly. I'm hopeful (and time will bear this out) that Sam was simply allowing Dean some space (in the Impala) to adjust to what just happened and that he'll be pressing him soon enough.

That scene though when Dean comes in and shoots the shapeshifter, Jared and Jensen both nailed it! Dean goes from hunter to psycho in one second and Sam, who is understandably and noticeably scared for his life at the hands of the shapeshifter switches from relief to freaked out horror that Dean has became something unrecognizable right in front of him. Jared absolutely sold that moment, and I've rewatched that scene so many times I've lost count.

I agree, some flashback with Bobby on scene would have been fantastic! I know Jared has stated that Bobby is a character he never wants back -- not because he doesn't adore Jim Beaver, but because of the absolutely beautiful send off to this beloved character, but I frankly would be happy if Gabriel popped in one day and said, SURPRISE, I'm back -- and I brought a present! And I could care less at the reasoning behind it all too.

:-)

Thanks for writing, Alice!
Bevie
# Bevie 2014-11-23 14:52
Oh elle2 - I would be so very delighted and happy too if the Trickster brought Bobby back. To heck with the "beautiful sendoff". I'd love to have the two of them back. I can't watch "Death's Door" unless it is with the commentary with Bobby and Rufus, and I don't see the benefit of one episode negating the enjoyment I would still have if Bobby was still there.

Also thought the talk in the Impala was what it could only be. Dean knows Sam is worried. Sam knows Dean is worried. No need to spell it out!

I'm also loving this season so far with the end of the world off the table. Got tired of the "end of the world" scenarios the last few years. Don't get me wrong. Always love the boys, no matter what, but this way the emphasis is on them and they can control things like they did in the first 3 years of the show. Hate when their control is taken away from them by dick angels, Lucifer or leviathans. Their destiny should be their own.

These guys should really off Crowley, but geez! I would miss him and his sarcasm so much, so let him stick around for some good reason please.

Not looking forward to the hellatus, but it is what it is. Just keep the guys together and looking out for each other and I will be happy as a pig in shoes!
njspnfan
# njspnfan 2014-11-23 19:32
I'm with you on this one, Alice; not a bad episode, but not terribly memorable either. I was ok with the family being played as stereotypes; that's keeping true to the actual game and movie; and, Tim Curry or not, that movie sucked.

Also had a different take on the ending scene in the car; Sam did make a couple of attempts to get Dean to talk about it but it was clear from Dean's reaction that he didn't want to, or wasn't ready to. And given Dean's past history of, how shall we put this.... punching Sam when he's pissed off, and that's happened without the affects of the MoC, best for Sam to back off for now. I'm sure things will start moving along on the MoC story going in to the winter hiatus.
E
# E 2014-11-23 20:21
Hi Alice, I agree wholeheartedly about how awful and unsympathetic the victims have become on this show. I am getting tired of it too. I understand why the family had to be the way they had to be for THIS episode, but we've seen them make the victim's unsympathetic more often than not recently and it's getting pretty tiresome. The last victim I really liked was Alexis Ann.. and that was last season. I'd also like to see a Monster who just wants to kill because they are a monster and like killing. I'm almost as tired of the justification speeches of the MoW as I am of the unsympathetic victims. Can't they just like killing and feel like doing it? That would negate the need for all that useless monologuing that they monsters are doing at the end of the episodes for a change.

I and I also agree that Sam could have pushed things a bit at the end of this episode before he dropped confronting Dean… to show that he's not willing to let this go no matter what Dean says or how much he deflects. It did come across like Brother non-commuicatio n 101 and I wish they'd gone further. Sam really needs to lay it on the line IMO. Why did he go to such lengths to rescue Dean if he's only going to ignore the signs that Dean is slipping right back to the way he was before? That seems kind of dumb. Where did Sam's tenacity and determination go? He should be having one of his all too rare "stow your crap Dean!" moments. And Dean's "Why am I even discussing this with you?" comment kind of pissed me off. Who else are you going to discuss this with Dean? Who else would understand what it's like to have an aspect about yourself that you can't control and might turn you into a monster? Geez… get a clue dude (pun!). I get that he was scared by how violently he reacted to killing the maid, but I'd like to see that he's learned SOMETHING from his actions last season. His continual brush off of Sam is what made him take on the Mark and then go and get himself killed to begin with. Has he learned nothing at all? Maybe there will be a follow up at the start of next weeks ep. and Dean will have calmed down a bit and be more willing to talk??? We can hope. I feel like telling the writers that they can let the brothers have a conversation and advance their problems without solving them. There seems to be this idea out there that any conversation about the current problem between the boys must be avoided at all costs due to the danger that the conflict will somehow be prematurely resolved. Well… you all are writers, resolve your issues when you feel like resolving them, but don't deflect for weeks and weeks and then dump it all on us at once because then we get awful, rushed, inconsequential and trite resolutions like "I'm proud of us!" one of the worst 'resolutions' to two years of brother conflict the show has ever produced; a platitude that addressed nothing and resolved nothing. Can we not do that again this year… please?
Ginger
# Ginger 2014-11-24 10:19
I thought the episode was okay and I had fun watching it. It was corny and nothing more than that. Actually, it was a 42-minute commercial for the new and very expensive Clue game ($90 on Amazon, $11 for shipping and then whatever tax is charged), which is a new concept actually.

I am another one who doesn't like the whole sympathetic monsters and unsympathetic victims thing, because there are no "forces of evil," no clear sense of morality and very few 'good guys.' IMO, it ends up being a bunch of screwed up characters wandering around and in and out of the show. It kind of fits in with Dean and Sam being the sensitive, in-touch-with-t heir-emotions guys they are now, but without that clarity of clear-cut choices, the pure tension and drama of those impossible choices people are forced to make based on what they feel in their souls is lost.

There does seem to be a theme of 'family' this season; all dysfunctional: Sam determined to save his brother, Kate and her sister, Cas/Hannah/Clai re, Crowley and (probably) his mother issues, all based around 'bad' decisions made in the past. If that is the case, the season will again be a disappointment to me and I will mourn still more the throwing away of interesting stories.
st50 unlogged
# st50 unlogged 2014-11-24 11:11
The episode was enjoyable. I was extremely pleased to see the brothers working together, enjoying each others company, instead of the nonsense of the last 2 seasons. I'll continue to watch for that.

Having said that...This is just IMHO.
I have come to realise what I believe the problem is: The writers/showrun ners no longer believe in the Supernatural world they have created. Kripke and company wrote about a world that they believed in. They didn't play it with a wink to the audience. They insisted it be accepted as a possibility... just drawing back the curtain to show us what was "really" there.
I don't think Carver and company are doing that anymore. They're playing in a make-believe world. Instead of sympathetic, REAL characters: creepy kids, sympathetic families, even crazy nerds (mandroids anyone?) they have mined from books (Dorothy and the wicked witch) and now games/movies (Clue).
Plots are being recycled: how long before we see the promised maturity? The guys believably withheld things from each other as 20-something brothers, but after all they've been through over the last 10 years, they STILL think that's a good idea?
Sam wants normal. He doesn't want normal. He's come to realize he can't have normal. He wants normal......
Cas is a powerful ally, Cas is a lovable buffoon, Cas trusts the wrong person, Cas is a comic relief character, Cas is an ally, Cas is human, Cas is an angel, Cas trusts the wrong person, Cas is powerless .....
This season, even beloved characters are becoming caricatures - WHAT are they doing to Crowley with his fixation on Dean? Where is the KING OF HELL???
As long as the writers don't really believe in Kripke's world, I think we'll continue to see re-invented canon and campy characters, because Why not? It's all make-believe.

Bottom line, I enjoy watching Sam and Dean together - not at odds. I guess that's why I'm continuing to watch. Don't take that away, Show. Whatever you do, don't break up the boys again. It's all we've got left in this make-believe world.