This week welcome a guest reviewer, who has kindly and thoroughly broken down the latest episode, "The Prisoner."  Please welcome Wednesday!  You know, as in this Wednesday:


Wednesday

Supernatural Review of “The Prisoner” 10:22


Directed by Thomas J. Wright

Written by Andrew Dabb

Original airdate 5/13/2015


“GRAY MATTER”


THEME: Who are you really? Monster or human? Evil or good? Angel or human? As characters struggle with  inner identities, the audience sees a lot of GRAY areas. We end up rooting for the evil as much as the good. But, who are the real monsters? Who is right? Who is guilty?  Who is to blame?

REAL MONSTER PLEASE STAND UP: Cyrus Styne (Connor Price) bullied coming home from school about his degree of virginity, schools the bully (Quyen Bui).   

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The bully is a 'wanna be' hood, or a poser. We cheer Cyrus’ astute account of the bully’s personality. Why are we cheering for a Styne? Even when cousin Eli Styne (Matt Bellefleur) steps in with a plastic bag (à la Robert Lee Yates, Jr.), we are thinking, ‘Yes, well the bully had it coming.’ In a weird twist of retributive justice, poor Cyrus must show his family allegiance by slicing up the bully. Who is the real monster? Who truly concealed an inner monster?

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THE BURN: Dean and Sam prepare the bonfire for Charlie’s hunter style cremation amid a beautiful montage of sweet Charlie moments. We know a lecture from Dean is coming. We know he has the right to reprimand Sam but still, when it happens, the words are brutal.

Sam: Charlie, I’m so sorry.

Dean: Shut up! You got her killed. You don’t get to apologize.

Sam is not allowed to apologize; he’s not allowed to mourn. Dean reveals his true contempt for Sam. 

Dean: “You wanna know what I think. I think it should be you up there and not her.

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When Sam’s voice becomes nasally and shaky with tears, we feel sorry for him. He was only trying to do the right thing: save Dean. It’s what Dean would do for Sam. But, is it really Dean talking, or is it the Mark of Cain influence? Who is right, Dean or Sam? We wonder as  events unfold and Dean sets out to seek revenge. 

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COMMITTED: Rowena taunts Castiel comparing him to a flying fish, or “a dog that thinks he’s people.” Castiel says he’s a lot like people. Is he really? Sam reveals Charlie’s death and intent to give up the plan. 

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When Sam locates Dean on the phone, he also finds Charlie’s message and the code is cracked. He cannot turn back. Either they do this, or it is "black eyes and blood". Sam demands Rowena decipher the book but she refuses unless Sam makes good on his promise to kill Crowley.

NO BABY: Two corrupt police officers pull over Dean and have the audacity to smash out Baby’s tail-lights. 

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The Deputy, going through a cigar box full of alias identities, asks him, “Who are you?” Yes, who are you, Dean? We’re totally on Dean’s side, demon or not, when he pulls some classic badassery, breaks free, and heads to the Styne lair for payback. 

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MOMMY WANTS: Sam lures Crowley away from his excellent coffee with a voice mail from Dean. The audience is momentarily tricked with Crowley. Sam shoots Crowley and tosses him a hex bag compliments of Rowena.

STYNE LAIR: Dean takes care of a few Styne bodyguards (knife to the throat, shots to the head). He enters the dark stairwell listening. Lights. Monroe (Markus Flanagan) and an army of guns point down at him. It’s plastic bag time again. 

WHO I REALLY AM: As Crowley vomits blood onto the floor, Sam rants about Crowley’s deception. Crowley is to blame. It is Crowley’s fault Dean has the mark. Crowley is a monster. Yet, in Crowley’s defense, he was trying to do the right thing. He was trying to do better. Good and evil become murky GRAY again. Crowley remembers who he really is. He is a demon. He pulls out the hexed bullet, throws Sam through a glass partition, and makes the hex bag disappear. He could kill Sam as easily as snapping his fingers. Is there some vestige of good left? He allows Sam to live but vengeance towards Rowena is coming. 

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P.O.V.: Dean comes to on an operating table and warns the Stynes not to mess with him. 

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They do not heed his warning. After a snapped wrist harness, a hatchet slash to a throat, a needle jab into sexy nurse, Monroe gets his neck snapped

We don’t see Dean’s boot smash down on Monroe but Castiel says there are a dozen other bodies to add to Dean’s body count and Dean is headed home where three Stynes are performing a B & E. Sam informs Rowena of Crowley’s escape. Could we have another ‘Kill a Ginger Day’?

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B&E: Eldon, Roscoe, and poor Cyrus, the three Styne Stooges, enter the Hallowed Bunker to loot and burn. Cyrus is impressed with knowledge while his comrades are oblivious. Roscoe scolds him, “It’s not a library!” “Ya, it is.” responds Cyrus. Oh, snap!

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Eldon appears with Dean memorabilia: records, flannel, and a photo of mom. He throws it on the burn pile. Roscoe re-enters from exploring the ‘sex dungeon’ with a knife in his back. (BABY IS FAST: Shreveport to Kansas in such a short time?) 

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BLOODY DEAN: Dean, bloody and not amused, steps in. 

“I hope you brought marshmallows,” quips Eldon holding a dying match. Eldon further violates Dean by slurring Charlie’s name to ‘Chuckie’ and asking if Dean wants details of her death. 

“Shut up.” Dean says. Frankensteins don’t do brain transplants. Boom. Shot to the GRAY matter. Then, it is Cyrus’ turn. Should Dean shoot him? No, he won’t. Oh, boom! He did. 

“You’re not Dean.” Castiel informs him. Dean would never do that. He’s right but up until then, we were so intent on Dean triumphing over evil that we forgot to care. When Dean turns on Castiel, we know he’s not totally Dean. Yet, there must be a sliver of Dean left.  The knife  we thought surely descended on Cas, is actually inches away embedded in a book. 

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SCRIPT:

Possibly the best of the season.

Amazing lines and quotables for the whole cast. 

Keeps us guessing with lots of twists. 

Acting/characterizations:

Crowley, Dean, Cyrus, and Sam made us feel empathy rightfully  or not. 

Horror element: Suffocation by plastic bag. Sometimes the simplest of weapons are the most horrifying. 

Special FX: the dead fish eyes on the Bully. The red demon eyes.

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Great Lines:   (So many)

BULLY: You’ve seen a boob, right? I don’t mean on Game of Thrones. I’m talking about in the wild, Dude.”

CYRUS: I’d say you grew up in white bread wonderland. Your dad’s probably a dentist, your mom’s mostly Botox and they both bang the pool boy. Oh, and you like rap but you’re scared of Black people, even Will Smith.

DEAN: “You can save me the speech on the three hearts, the two spleens, the seven nipples for the ladies, or the fellas; I don't judge.” 

MONROE: Let's crack this piñata!

Allusions:

17 Aliases in a cigar box: Ashley J. Williams,     Freddie Mercury, Ozzie Osbourne, Lemmy Kilmister

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Cletus (the name Dean has for the Sheriff): the Simpson’s hillbilly Cletus Delroy Spuckler

Motifs:  All the fire, burns, and snaps.

Director/Cinematography: Sheer genius. A work of art.

The shot of the deputy between Dean’s legs. ..

The gun and the Sheriff.

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Upside down on the lab table.

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Peeking over the Bully corpse.

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Styne Stairwell: Dark, light, low angle, high angle, surrounded by Styne Guns, low angle of Monroe coming down,  culminating in a close up on the plastic bag on Dean’s face.

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Props: the devastating small white shrouded corpse of Charlie burning on the pyre.

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Fight Choreography: There were many kickass fight  moments by Dean and all  held elements of surprise: the leg grip on the dumb deputy; the knife throat stab to the Styne body guard; the escape from the lab table; the shot to Styne’s head; and the fight with Castiel up to the knife point plunge. Sam and Crowley also had some ups and downs. A collection of awesome thrilling moments. 

Relatable moment: After school, teenager Cyrus Styne comments while gaming, “My folks are like, weird.”

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Set: Tweet from William Shatner. “I love the decor of the diner.”  (Coffin shapes with suns) 

******************************************************************** 

Thanks to:10.22 The Prisoner

All stills property of CW’s Supernatural

The CW Network, LLC. 

~Wednesday


Comments  

Alice
# Alice 2015-05-15 10:28
Great recap! I love your style of breaking down the episode. I love the unique camera angles you found. It really does have an impact on the storytelling!

Yeah, I'm still pondering this one. I get the whole "Monster or Human" debate, and that Cyrus was used to illustrate in this case that he was the human and Dean was the monster. It's an effective way to show Dean's spiral, but it also felt a trite anvilicious to me as well. The comparisons with Crowley and Sam were even more murky. Who was in the right in that situation? I found myself rooting for Crowley in that case. Sam is really making some bad choices and this one almost got him killed. He should be aligning with Crowley instead. Looks like in the next episode, he might.

Hee, I always forget to check out Shatner the day after. He usually tweets on the West Coast and I'm in bed by then. Thanks for sharing! Can't wait to see your recap on the finale. I have no idea where they are going on this one.
Fazzie
# Fazzie 2015-05-15 14:08
Quote:
Yeah, I'm still pondering this one. I get the whole "Monster or Human" debate, and that Cyrus was used to illustrate in this case that he was the human and Dean was the monster. It's an effective way to show Dean's spiral, but it also felt a trite anvilicious to me as well. The comparisons with Crowley and Sam were even more murky.
See, I don't know about it simply being a case of showing us that Dean's out of control. We kind of got that but I think it is more than that. I kind of figure Dean embraced the mark not simply because of Charlie but in someways he's accepted that he's bad and everything about his family is bad too.

With Kevin, he could say it wasn't Sam's fault but why is Charlie dead? Because Dean has the mark and Sam was after the cure. It isn't only Dean that is poison but Sam is too. John was brought up earlier in the season as 'a man who brainwashed' the boys and Eldon mentioned Mary, a woman who went into a hand to hand fight with an angel to protect the man she loved when pregnant. She knowlingly endangered her unborn child and then used the same pregnancy as justification not to leave John even when she was told that by that child that he wasn't the target of the demon she did a deal with and the life he'd have if she stayed. But she still fought to stay with John.

The killing happened in the MoL bunker, an organisation that his grandfather Henry sacrificed everything for, while keeping his wife and child in the dark even though the plan was to induct the boy into it when old enough. Samuel, well Dean is coated in blood of his victim, something he had to do before before he was semi accepted by his asshat of a duplicate granddad.

Dean's family is also kind of monsters, he can't fight that anymore, Cyrus' family is the same so better kill Cyrus now before he reverts to being a monster just like Dean has in the end. It's the same reasoning Cain used to kill his whole line, he was either stopping them or saving them from becoming the monster they were destined to become.

But I do agree that it is a good review.
NOLANOLA
# NOLANOLA 2015-05-15 10:43
SO sorry Wednesday, I feel asleep reading your article. BRB :)