WEDNESDAY'S WATCHING

"The Bad Seed"
11.03
Airdate: October 21, 2015

Writers: Brad Buckner, Eugenie Ross-Leming
Director of Photography Serge Ladouceur
Director: Jensen Ackles

BY WEDNESDAY

What did I see?

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Can Action!Ackles direct?

ACTION!ACKLES Use of COLOUR

"Sowing Seeds of Doubt"

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Crowley considers the possibility that the world is not BLACK and WHITE.
Good and evil. Dark and light.
Crowley's staff is dressed in black and white in his topside hell and in the café scene.

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Action!Ackles demonstrates visually that the world is not black and white, but in some cases quite GREY.

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No doubt, Crowley knows nothing about this GREY and potential rebellion of colluding forces.

The Supernatural world also has the YELLOW of disguise and deception.

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Ah, it's the waiter on a mission from Crowley.

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The Bunker's golden yellow lamps are re-purposed to point out deceivers.

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There are hits of dangerous RED in this world.

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Sometimes the RED of Danger and the YELLOW of Deception join together.

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Crowley's world becomes pretty in "Traditional FEMININE PINK" and dark ROSE burgundies.

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Then there's that GREEN colour. Those eyes...hmmmm?

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MOTIFS/SYMBOLS

Motifs Action!Ackles chose for this episode were Ovals, dots and circles. 
The OVAL, a "traditionally feminine" shape creates a
 "Feminine Touch" and they appear like the FLOWERS.

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More Feminine Oval Shapes

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CIRCLES and DOTS were a pervasive motif. All the curved lines created a "feminine" influence.
The polka dots SYMBOLIZED seeds.

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The circles and dots were visually needed to link ALL the sets together.
The CIRCLE motif literally CONNECTS THE DOTS between all the random sets.
To challenge the director there were ELEVEN different locations and FIFTEEN different SETS.
(There was also two flashback scenes.)
The opening shot was a red circle candle.

CAN YOU IDENTIFY THE SET BY THE CIRCLES?

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"Circle Meets the Square"

This line is hauntingly familiar and there seems to be another visual aspect of
Masculine Squares meeting Feminine Circles but time/length is a factor here.

All those circles, and we still all love another round.

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LOCATIONS/SETS

To avoid confusion for the viewer Action!Ackles incorporated Establishing Shots for Locations.
Such as this one:

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And this awesome location chosen by the Director here:

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Love the pinks and the laundry. Rowena can no longer stay in posh hotels now that the
Winchesters have her M.O.

Motifs/Symbols in the Script

Two other traditional items associated with being "Feminine" were selected by the Writers
and were important to the script's plot: PURSES and MIRRORS.

MIRRORS

Action!Ackles included detailed visuals of Amara's education which included Hitler's Nuremberg speeches, "Dante's Inferno"
and views of an impressive collection of Mother Nature: Grand Canyon, Lightning, Volcano and an impressive Tornado.
Amara is so inspired by the creations that she is prompted to ask her MotherDarkness about it. "God did all of this
after he locked me away. I didn't know it was so much." Mother Darkness tells her, that God did this "All for his
own ego. And no matter what he made, that doesn't excuse" his locking them away.
Mirrors were vital to the plot.
The set up and angle for the mirror shots was important for the visual effects team.

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PURSES

Action!Ackles used close-ups and an active assault on the purses.

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ENHANCING "MOTHER" THEME

One of the thematic threads in the script was "Mothering" and the feminine lines and shapes
enhanced that as did the symbolic Apron, the dialogue and actions of the cast.

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ACTION!ACKLES AND MINUTIA

Action!Ackles tried to give a visual interpretation for as many words in the text as he could.
Every word was considered. Looking after the minutia!

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No name for the script's restaurant?
Name it for your wife complete with signage: Café Elta.

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PERSPECTIVES

Action!Ackles showed a distinct favoring of viewer perspectives. He tried to give the viewer the
perspectives of various characters, often including Over the Shoulder shots to
put the viewer in the scene.

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We also get Castiel's perspective as he sinks into a delirious seizure and comes around.

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When character perspective shots were impossible Action!Ackles tried to get the viewer as close
into the scene as possible, even in this very tight three subject shot.
(It can be quite difficult to get three subjects in the same shot while retaining focus on all of them.)

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There is also this "over the shoulder /over the shoulder" shot with three subjects.

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The fight scene was also shot close in, putting the viewer close to the action.

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For an interesting comparison between this fight and the bunker fight between Dean/MOC
and Cas click here:

http://thedoctorsjawn.tumblr.com/post/131972575347/10x22-11x03

INTERESTING PERSPECTIVES

Showing the bottom of your feet to someone is considered rude in some cultures.
Somehow, I think Dean knows this. (Note the tiny ovals on the soles.)

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LIGHTING

Lighting was used to foreshadow, enhance characters and underline meaning.

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ACTION!ACKLES SHOOTS A PORN POPUP

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(I think I've found my new screen saver!)

Action!Ackles worked with casting to select the best cast and listened to the actors/actresses read.

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In addition, Action!Ackles cooperated with the Writers to understand the text. He worked
with the director of Photography, Serge Ladouceur, camera crew, and editing.
He collaborated with the heads of all departments: Fight choreographer, Set Design, Props, and Sound.

What do you think? Can Action!Ackles Direct?
(Please share your comments below.)

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TO SEE A VIDEO OF

Jenson Ackles directing click link:
.be

ART/SET/PROPS DESIGN

This amazing Stained glass window and the pop up Bunny book.

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(Any interps for the window?)

SFX

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And this nameless alley beauty:

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(The P.A.?)

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Apparently, Genevieve Padalecki, the former longevity title holder, is being a good sport about this.

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(Just Remember, Baby has you both beat.)

FROM THE REARVIEW

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THANKS TO

Supernatural Wiki
Script: foreverdreaming.org
IMDB: CAST LIST
Screen caps:
HomeoftheNutty
ScreenCapArchive
KissThemGoodbye
LIVETWEETS ON STORIFY "Behind the Scenes"
PHOT0 TWEETS
FROM Ruth Connell and Mitch Kosterman
Tumbler Gifs:
moose-with-a-plaid-shirt
supernaturaldaily
Thedoctorsjawn
tonyzstark
suckmywinchester

(Sorry, I had to factor in "the Script" for my evaluation)

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Comments  

Amberina
# Amberina 2015-11-04 00:42
Fascinating observations. now I want to see if the same themes appear in previous and future episodes.
AlyCat22
# AlyCat22 2015-11-04 00:45
In the stained glass window is that a child or younger person that was attacked by the dogs?
Jen
# Jen 2015-11-04 05:35
Thanks Wednesday always nice to see another point of view. As to the stain glass I was thinking Hell Hound, but there is other dogs in the picture that appear to be helping the two men fight back the one large dog, Could it be a representation of Good & Evil joining forces, ie Crowley's dogs with Sam & Dean fighting back the darkness
BoGirle
# BoGirle 2015-11-04 07:22
Nice review. You found a lot of detail here that I completely missed. I had a very hard time paying attention to this episode. I don't even remember the pop-up book with the bunny in it at all. I have no doubt that all the symbolism that you found was there, Jensen is a very detail oriented person it seems and I could see him going to these lengths to try and create some interesting subtext. I am not sure it worked however. With the exception of the seeds references I am having a hard time seeing what the other bits of symbolism were supposed to mean to the overall story.... what are the circles supposed to underscore? Why is it important to the story that Dean has circle patterns on the bottom of his shoes? Circles may be traditionally feminine, but what was the point of them in this episode? That women in the Supernatural world are inherently dangerous?

Unfortunately I don't feel that the script was a good one to showcase Jensen's talents. This episode was pedantic, sophomoric and the dialog was poor. There was very little opportunity for Jensen to layer subtext through imagery although he appeared to be trying his best. The switching back and forth between Sam/Dean/Cas to Crowley/Amara to Rowena to witches, angels to random women on the street (for NO reason, why was this even in the episode? To make Dean look like a misogynist jerk? Why was that even necessary? It had nothing at all to do with the crisis of Cas going off the rails) was choppy and confusing. The pacing was glacial. With episodes 1, 2 and 4 being so good, I've decided to disregard this episode entirely.... it was completely unnecessary in the grand scheme of things anyway.
debbab
# debbab 2015-11-04 09:43
Thank you for your detailed review. Too bad Ackles had such a weak script. He does have focus to details and talent in making this script come to life. I'd like tose him direct a comedy.
spnlit
# spnlit 2015-11-04 18:04
Thank you for sharing your eye for detail. In your review you state that the color yellow was used to mean deceit and point out deceivers- Sam, Dean, Castiel, Rowena, and the the witches in the restaurant. I see the use of color in the various scenes but do not agree with your conclusion.
Quote:
The Bunker's golden yellow lamps are re-purposed to point out deceivers.
I think you are right in calling the color "golden" and I would go with gold. I do note your word re-purposed as these lamps are standard props, often seen. They are part of the bunker built and decorated by the Men of Letters. They are part of the Men of the Letters. The color gold signifies extravagance, wealth, riches, and excess. The color gold is a warm color that can be either bright and cheerful or somber and traditional. The color gold is cousin to the color yellow and the color brown, and is also associated with illumination, love, compassion, courage, passion, magic, and wisdom. All attributes we could generally assign to the Men of Letters and Sam and Dean as heirs. The term “gold standard” is a measure of the best, quality, and excellence. They strove for that achievement. Gold gemstones are believed to increase personal wisdom and power, aid in health and wellness, create success and prosperity, and illuminate the path toward your goal.
In addition, I do not think there is anything particularly deceitful about their words or actions in this scene. No one is lying in this scene. Sam and Dean seem to be shown contemplating in their own minds what they each experienced and what it may be and mean. Sam even hints what he is thinking; maybe God is close by. Castiel is straight up about the effects of the spell.
The scene with Rowena and the witches in the restaurant did effectively use eye catching yellow. Yellow, the color of sunshine, hope, and happiness, has conflicting associations. On one hand it can mean many positive attributes such as freshness, happiness, clarity, energy, optimism, enlightenment, but on the other hand it represents cowardice and deceit. In this scene no one is being a coward or deceitful. Rowena is straight up recruiting witches for her MEGA coven and even revealing she has the infamous book. The witches are impressed and asking for favored positions. Bright yellow is an attention getting color, and when used in combination with black, creates one of the easiest color combinations to read and see from long distances. This is why school buses, taxi cabs, and traffic signs are painted yellow and black. The color scheme of the people and the the table is yellow and black. Rowena is certainly an attention grabber and covets glory. The color yellow is also a spontaneous and unstable color. Rowena became unstable when the last batch of witches scoffed at her mega plan and she did spontaneously burn them for their rejection of her. It is often associated with food and is highly used in children’s products and marketing advertisements aimed at children. Well we have food here and Rowena is certainly marketing herself in a petty, perhaps childish way.
In answer to your main question. Yes, I think JA can direct, does a great job but had a tough script to work with in this episode.
BoGirle
# BoGirle 2015-11-05 06:57
Nice references to the color gold and the MoL's. Your take on the color and it's meaning makes a lot of sense to me given the scene in the bunker. I agree with you that yellow can be the color of deceit, but as you point out no one was being deceitful in the scene in the bunker, and none of the characters there (Sam, Dean, Castiel) are inherently deceitful either. I like your gold interpretation very much as it seems completely relevant to the scene, the setting and the characters.
PsG
# PsG 2015-11-05 06:48
I think the flowers refer to creation.
The stained glass window refers to Sam and Dean catching the wild dog Cas... yes.
I had very bad reception. Need to rewatch online.
The circles are compelling. Circle of Life? The snake that circles the world? What goes around comes around? Things coming full circle.

I like your eye for detail. Not sure about all of your interpretations because you don't look at the whole story imo. At any rate you ate a must read now!

I am behind in reviews. Will catch up this weekend.
Taraneh
# Taraneh 2015-11-06 01:58
Just AWESOME!!! I really enjoyed your visual review and I'm so excited you noticed all these details and use of colors and I'm definitely looking forward to read your reviews for the rest of the season! And to answer your question, YES he can direct! This episode didn't have much space for great shots compare to the last episode Jensen had directed,but he did his best to make all scenes special and exciting and I think he did a really great job!and I'm so glad that everyone on set praised him for being a hardworking and cooperative director with a great approach to the script and the scenes!
Thank you!
PSG
# PSG 2015-11-12 07:15
Hey Wednesday. It sure is looking like God used Amara to create and tossed her aside. This images of men usurping female sexual it were prescient.