galathea: (s&d love)
I think there is little doubt that Sera Gamble’s Survival Of The Fittest is the weakest season finale of the show to date, and I am sad to see one of the strongest writers for Supernatural go out in this manner. It is not that the episode is not entertaining; there are moments that moved me, there are moments that made me laugh, there are moments between characters I enjoyed – but none of those moments are actually about Sam and Dean. While I had prepared myself for a 'brothers light' episode these last couple of weeks, I thought that we would at least get something – a moment, a scene between the brothers that carries actual meaning and emotion. Alas, we are denied even that. If it was not for the truly evil – and unexpected – turn of events in the last five minutes, Survival Of The Fittest would have been an entirely unremarkable episode.

Looks like you’re well and truly on your own. )
galathea: (scenery yellow fever)
There Will Be Blood by Andrew Dabb and Daniel Loflin is an entirely plot-driven episode that picks up right from where Reading Is Fundamental left off. The episode mainly deals with Sam and Dean’s 'Easter egg hunt' for the ingredients needed to forge an anti-leviathan weapon – a hunt that forces them to strike several alliances that they are not at all comfortable with – but it also moves Bobby’s storyline forward. All in all, I think the episode is fairly entertaining. It is well paced, has a row of interesting guest characters and a storyline that manages to hold my interest. More importantly though, it gives us Sam and Dean as a well attuned team and even offers some light-hearted moments between them, which is definitely a step up from last week. Sure, There Will Be Blood is not the most exciting penultimate episode of a season ever, but it is not a complete let-down either.

So, now you want to prevent the extermination of the vampire race? )

And once again I am sorry this review is late and a bit rough around the edges. Unfortunately, I have been bed-ridden due to illness these last couple of days and my fever-muddled brain refused to cooperate on, well, anything really. But I wanted to get this out before the next episode monopolises my brain; I can always smooth this one out later. We’re having a long hiatus in front of us, after all.
galathea: (Default)
Ben Edlund has not turned in many scripts for Supernatural that I find as lacklustre as the one he wrote for Reading Is Fundamental, and it is really a pity that his usual forte with the plot fails him at this particular point in the season. The exposition heavy episode mainly drives the mytharc forward, albeit in a very clumsy and contrived manner, and gives us an update on Castiel and Meg. Unfortunately, the episode is awkwardly paced, lacks true suspense and is overcrowded with guest characters, some of which deliver very weak performances. The overall Castiel centricity does not help the episode either, especially since his characterisation reflects somewhat badly on his character and, to add insult to injury, there is not even any substantial Sam-and-Dean time to tide me over the more annoying parts of the story. Overall, I daresay that Reading Is Fundamental ranks amongst my least favourite episodes of the season.

No, you’re playing sorry. )
galathea: (Default)
Supernatural meets Leverage in Robbie Thompson’s brilliant script for The Girl With The Dungeons and Dragons Tattoo – and, damn, it’s a fine look for the show. The fast paced, action heavy episode features a well-written, quirky and likeable one-off character and delights with an enjoyable characterisation for Sam and Dean. Furthermore, the episode moves Bobby’s storyline forward and advances the leviathan arc in preparation for the finale. Like all other Robbie Thompson episodes this season, The Girl With The Dungeons and Dragons Tattoo takes us on an immensely entertaining ride – really, the forty minutes flew by way too fast – which instantly moved it up into my list of favourite S7 episodes. ♥

Kick it in the ass! )
galathea: (bobby_liveon)
Of Grave Importance, written by Brad Buckner and Eugenie Ross-Leming, is a good old-fashioned ghost story told from an insider perspective. The episode ties in with the reveal about Bobby at the end of Party On, Garth and explores the ins and outs of being a spirit, expanding the ghost mythology of the show in the process. Admittedly, Sam and Dean are relegated to the sidelines for a good part of the episode, but since the main story managed to hold my interest, I actually did not mind that as much as I usually do. And since the brothers’ characterisation/interaction is actually highly enjoyable, I feel pretty content with the direction of the episode.

Everything is supposed to end. )

Sorry, I am so late, but work has been kicking my ass this week, and I didn’t get much writing done in the evenings. That’s also the reason why this review is not quite as extensive as I had planned, but I hope I can revisit it at a later time.
galathea: (Default)

As is often the case, Supernatural counterbalances the drama of the previous episode with a more light-hearted offering. Party On, Garth by Adam Glass is an amusing standalone episode that, as the title suggests, puts a spotlight on the dorky hunter Garth. The differences in personality and attitude between the brothers and Garth not only make for some nice comedy moments, but also accentuate that Sam and Dean’s way to approach hunting is not the only way to go about it, and I like that. Overall, I enjoyed the episode, even though I think the writers missed some great opportunities to use the plot of the episode for the exploration of Dean’s arc this season.

You’ve been Garthed! )

In other fandom news: I guess by now almost everyone will be aware of the fact that Sera Gamble will step down as a show runner and that Jeremy Carver will take her place in S8 – provided there will be a S8 of course. I really have to say that I am sad to see Sera go. She has been with the show from day one, and I think there is no denying that she wrote some of the best episodes Supernatural has to offer. Just this season, she thoroughly impressed me with her writing for Death’s Door, and I cannot help but feel that we lose an invaluable member of the Supernatural family with her departure. Furthermore, I loved her direction for S6/7. In fact, I preferred her seasons by far over the last two seasons with Kripke at the helm. I think she did wonders for the level of maturity in the overall writing for the show, not only for the characters, who were finally allowed to act their age, but also for the humour, which stopped being crude and juvenile. I have always hated the bashing Sera had to endure from this fandom, she did not deserve that and I just hope it didn’t play a part in her decision to leave. I wish her all the best for her future. ♥ That being said, Jeremy Carver has been one of my favourite writers in S3-S5, and I was devastated when he left the show to produce Being Human (US), so I am obviously thrilled to see him return to Supernatural. I have no idea how he will do as a show runner, but I am looking forward to what he will bring to the table. At the very least I have trust in his ability to write the brothers well, and that is a good start.

galathea: (s&d scared for you)
I admit, I somewhat dreaded The Born-Again Identity. In fact, I did not feel this worked up about an unaired episode in a very long time, and even the fact that Sera Gamble penned it – I tend to love her episodes – did not really reassure me. In the end, I liked the episode more than I thought I would, but I still have my fair share of problems with it. Anyway, the episode brings Sam’s post-hell storyline to a head, and at the same time it returns two old acquaintances of the Winchesters to the screen. The episode covers a lot of ground, plot-wise, but as a result a good part of it feels rushed and underdeveloped. Overall, The Born-Again Identity is not exactly a bad episode, but if I think about the difference between what this episode could have been and what it ended up being, I cannot help but feeling disgruntled.

I won. Your madness won. )
galathea: (Default)
Out With The Old by Robert Singer and Jenny Klein mostly feels like a transitional episode, i.e. it introduces a couple of new plot points and poses more questions than it answers, but it is done well and makes for an enjoyable watch, even on repeated viewings. The episode not only delivers some surprising developments on the mytharc front, but also moves Sam’s arc forward in a satisfactory manner and offers some insight into Dean’s current state of mind. Moreover, the one-off characters are highly entertaining, and the brothers’ case of the week puts them into some very amusing situations. So, while not an outstanding instalment in the current season, Out With The Old is still a solid episode that successfully maintains the overall high quality of S7 so far.

We’re only here to help. )
galathea: (Default)
I guess it is fair to say that Repo Man, by courtesy of Ben Edlund, is a drastic change from the light-heartedness of the previous episode. Like most of Edlund’s dramatic episodes, Repo Man is tightly written, well paced, rather dark in tone and emotionally intense. The 'monster of the week' is probably one of the creepiest cases files the show has featured in a very long while. It does a good job of reminding us that Supernatural is a horror show, and not only in terms of guts and gore, but also in the portrayal of the dark and disturbing. Moreover, the episode finally explores Sam’s mental issues and gives us extensive insight into his perspective – and it is not pretty, to say the least. Overall, Repo Man is a great episode that sets the tone and direction for the last quarter of the season, and I cannot wait to see how it will all play out.

Good morning, Vietnam! )
galathea: (scenery elac)
Plucky Pennywhistle’s Magical Menagerie – man, that has to be one of the oddest Supernatural titles ever – by Daniel Loflin and Andrew Dabb is a light-hearted standalone episode that gives us Sam and Dean at their brotherly best. I mean, there is humorous banter and affectionate teasing and joint laughter; honestly, the Sam-and-Dean-ness of the episode is off the charts. So, what’s not to love? ♥ And since the season so far has been mainly angst-driven, a momentary breather from the doom and gloom is a welcomed diversion in my opinion, even if the change in tone and characterisation is a tad jarring. Overall, the episode may not be very deep and it may not add anything to the ongoing storylines, but it is an all-around feel-good viewing experience, and sometimes that is enough to make me happy.

So now unicorns are evil? )
galathea: (s&d calm touch)
I went into The Slice Girls with highly ambivalent feelings and very low expectations, mainly because the plot description read like a bad soap opera script. And the fact that the episode was written by Brad Buckner and Eugenie Ross-Leming did nothing to alleviate my concerns, since they are not exactly the most experienced or convincing Supernatural writers on the staff. So I was pleasantly surprised when I found myself actually enjoying the episode. Now, The Slice Girls is not a stellar episode by any means, but it is not a complete failure like Time For A Wedding either. The characterisation for Sam and Dean is very much in keeping with their current desolate situation, and the plot draws interesting parallels to themes and storylines from earlier in the season. Overall the episode is another solid instalment in an (so far) excellent season for me.

Just don’t get killed. )
galathea: (s&d across time)
I admit, I had my doubts that Robbie Thompson would be able to deliver a script as excellent as the one he wrote for Slash Fiction earlier this season, but I daresay that Time After Time is just as impressive as his writing debut, if not more so. I think the episode has all the makings of a Supernatural classic; it is tightly written, has a fantastic pacing, outstanding cinematography, highly enjoyable secondary characters and great characterisation for Sam and Dean. Moreover, given its rather outlandish premise, Time After Time could have easily turned into a gimmick episode, but instead it has true emotional resonance. There is not a single thing I dislike about this episode, and the only complaint I have is that it was over way too soon. ♥

That’s the Chicago way. )
galathea: (s&d hurt)
Adventures In Babysitting by Adam Glass may not be as outstanding as the episode that preceded it, but it is a good, solid follow-up to the devastating events in Death’s Door. The overall melancholy tone and thematic direction of the episode fit the brothers’ current emotional situation well, and for once the writers neither wallow in excessive angst nor try to contrast the drama of Death’s Door with (misplaced) humour – and I appreciate that greatly. As usual, Glass’ grip on Sam and Dean’s characterisation is excellent and he hits the right notes with the supporting characters as well, so the episode is definitely a win in my book. ♥

Do it right. With a smile. Or don’t do it. )
galathea: (Bobby)

I guess it is fair to say that Sera Gamble’s script for Death’s Door is a love letter to the character of Bobby Singer, and the episode does what Supernatural does best, namely in depth exploration of the emotional landscape of its characters and the depiction of (dys)functional family relations. I think there is no doubt that Death’s Door is a stand-out episode of the show on all accounts – writing, acting and direction – and even though it leaves me grief-stricken, I cannot help but admire the writers for actually having the guts to bring the storyline they started in last week’s episode to its logical conclusion. The episode stayed with me for days after it aired, and I think that says everything about how much it affected me. ♥

Idjits. )

galathea: (scenery_clapyourhands)

After last week’s misstep Supernatural is back to top-form with Ben Edlund’s How To Win Friends and Influence Monsters. The episode mainly drives the mytharc forward, but it also gives us some insight into where the characters’ heads are at the moment. My favourite part is clearly the heart-warming interaction between Sam, Dean and Bobby, but I really have to say that I love the leviathan arc this season as well, and I am curious to see what their endgame is. Overall, the episode has just the right balance between humour, action and character drama – and the only real downside is that we have to wait two long weeks now to see the resolution to the rather worrisome cliffhanger.

You die before me, and I’ll kill you. )

galathea: (scenery_yellowfever)

You know, every year there is this one episode, where the plot description alone makes me throw my hands up in horror and ask myself why the writers would think that actually going through with that particular story concept might be a good idea. Now, sometimes those episodes manage to surprise me positively, like The French Mistake for example, and sometimes they turn out to be just as bad as I expected, like The Real Ghostbusters. Time For A Wedding by Andrew Dabb and Daniel Loflin unfortunately falls in the latter category. In fact, I think it is one of the worst episodes Supernatural has ever produced. I daresay that, with the exception of a few brotherly scenes, the episode has barely any redeeming qualities for me. It is rather unfortunate that the season’s continuous run of excellent episodes has been interrupted in this manner, but I hope this misstep remains a one-off.

We all need to face ourselves sometimes. )

galathea: (Sam&Dean never far)

The Mentalists by first time Supernatural writers Ben Blacker and Ben Acker is an enjoyable standalone episode in the vein of the first seasons – not unlike Shut Up, Dr. Phil, but considerably better written. The case file mostly serves as a backdrop for the resolution to Sam and Dean’s falling out from last week, and while it may not be the perfect wrap-up to the Amy storyline, it at least takes the characters in the right direction. Now, there are some minor issues that give me reason to worry, and I think the episode uncovers only some of the layers of a very complex situation, but I am pretty confident that this is just the first step on the brothers’ road towards healing. There is more to come, or so I hope. Overall there is some satisfying development for Sam and Dean’s relationship, and the episode leaves them (and the audience) in a good place, emotionally, so I am quite content.

Sibling acts are tough. )

galathea: (scenery_heavenandhell)

That? Was awesome! ♥ I am usually not a fan of plot driven episodes, but if they are done well, I can enjoy them just as much as character driven episodes – and this one definitely had me riveted to my screen. Robbie Thompson’s script for Slash Fiction is fast, but evenly paced, action heavy, sprinkled with brilliant humour and topped off by a row of fantastic side characters. It is not often that I am this impressed by a first time writer for Supernatural; Thompson hits all the right notes with the characters and proves to be knowledgeable where canon is concerned. Overall, Slash Fiction is definitely one of my favourite episodes of the season so far.

Well, I’ll be darned. Psycho Butch and Sundance. )

I am sorry this review is late and not very extensive, but my sister visited me this week, which severely limited my time for writing. I am glad I got to watch the episode at least and was able to get some basic thoughts down on paper. I will probably expand this review at some point though

galathea: (Sam&Dean beer)

Shut Up, Dr. Phil by (almost new) writers Brad Buckner and Eugenie Ross-Leming – funny enough, the only other Supernatural episode this duo ever has ever written is Route 666 – is not a deep episode; it’s not even an outstanding monster of the week episode. What it is, however, is old-school Supernatural fun – cheese, clichés and anvils included – which is very welcomed after the more angst laden episodes that preceded it. Despite its lighter tone, the episode still maintains Sam and Dean’s current character arcs though, and I appreciate that greatly. Overall, we get some lovely brotherly banter, some deliciously gory deaths and some surprise guest stars in this episode, so what’s not to like?

You can unload. That’s kind of what I’m here for. )

galathea: (Default)

The current season seems to be on a roll. ♥ Defending Your Life by Adam Glass is a character drama that mainly focuses on Dean’s repressed guilt and self-worth issues, but it also uses Dean’s story to highlight Sam’s current state of mind. The episode does have its flaws – the execution of the excellent premise is not always as deep or extensive as I would have liked – but overall my excitement about the fact that Dean is finally forced to confront his issues outweighs my few points of critique for the episode by far. If S7 manages to keep this kind of quality up for the rest of the season, it could turn out to be one of my favourite seasons of the show.

When your heart is heavy, real punishment is a mercy. )

December 2013

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