The Winchesters 1x13: Hey, That’s No Way to Say Goodbye
John Winchester, freshly home from Vietnam, enters a bus station. He doesn’t know what he’s doing (aside from burying a friend, RIP Murph.) He takes a bus schedule from a kindly attendant and sits down on a bench and stares into the abyss for a while.
Important Dialog Alert!
Dean: John Winchester?
Crops watered, skin hydrated, etc.
ALSO DEAN IS BACK!!!!!!!!!!!!
I literally blacked out. I don’t know what’s happening right now, and I don’t care. I’m going to float on this bearded, pea coat wearing cloud forever. (Also, [Boris] can exist in two simultaneous worlds where Cas is in the Empty and Dean has to save him still (99.9% of her fanfic thoughts) and Cas is in Heaven and Dean dresses all fancy for him for reasons.)
But for archival purposes, Dean hands John the fateful letter from Henry. John opens it and wonders where the mystery man got it, but he’s gone.
Okay, he’s not gone, he’s just in the atrium watching over John WITH BOBBY!!! He tells Dean he isn’t supposed to be meddling. Dean counters that he didn’t really meddle, he just gave things a nudge. Bobby tells Dean to pay attention to things “here” and he’ll gather the cavalry. “One last hunt,” they both agree.
OVER OUR DEAD BODIES. ALL THE HUNTS. ALL THE STORIES. KEEP THEM COMING FOREVER!
Cue cool new title card!
At Casa Campbell, Samuel confronts Mary about her application (and decline??) to KSU. She tells him she doesn’t want to keep hunting but she doesn’t know what her future holds. Since Samuel is home, Mary guesses he has news. He tells her that he talked to a hunter named Joan who has information about a guy who the Akrida is afraid of. He asks Mary what John thinks about her college non-dreams. (Um, who cares? Sigh.) He doesn’t know because he’s busy worrying about the Akrida, and more immediately, the crystal that will help (BUT AT WHAT COST, ADA!?!)
John, in his best cursed Dean flannel, tells his mom about the crystal and its one-and-done usage (Is this a god object? I guess maybe not? Why would Chuck create these creatures to destroy humanity and then have an object that can defeat said creatures? Why does Chuck do anything?) Millie wonders about the future for John and Mary.
At the clubhouse, Carlos states the IMPORTANT OBSERVATIONS. “Well, whoever this guy is, he is ruggedly handsome.”
Lata is superhuman and not affected by the mystery man (just get to know him a little, girl!) They think the mystery man can defeat the Akrida because he is “not of this world.” The Akrida attack is imminent. They look longingly at the crystal for their salvation. Ada decides to drop the soul-bomb, if you will. She has to utter one word and the crystal is activated. They agree to maybe wait on that little bit. Carlos and Ada head out to find the queen while Lata hangs back to look into the lore. She wants to find a way to help Ada grow back her soul if this is the way.
At a bar, Samuel, Mary, and John meet up with Joan (Hopkins). Joan tells Samuel their families used to hunt together, but her family died out with her “a long time ago.” She tells them about the man with no name. He was digging into the Akrida. But that’s okay because she used the Akrida portal and threw him “and his car” into the abyss. “No human can survive that.” Oh, sweet summer child. Chuck always thought he was king shit, but he’s got NOTHING on free will. She has a journal that looks a lot like John’s journal but ~isn’t~. Mary draws a knife, but Joan tells them they’re in her world now. The rest of the bar’s clientele rise. SHE’S THE AKRIDA QUEEN!
She’s not Akrida apparently. She was a hunter once. She wants them to join her (and to get them out of the clubhouse so she could move in, oops.) LATA!
Mary and John end up in her attic, while Samuel scouts out the clubhouse (guarded) and hunts for the portal. Carlos and Ada show up and they realize that Lata is still in the clubhouse with the Akrida.
Joan wanders the clubhouse calling for Lata. Our brave pacifist tries fighting.
And cue Classic Robbie Thompson multi-scene mashup!
While Mary spills the beans on Joan (b. 1673, reluctant hunter), Joan tells Lata her life story (lost her family to hunting, decided humans are WORTHLESS (amen).) Lata wonders if the monster essence drove her mad (Mary: yep. She decided to wipe out everyone who needed saving. Hunters + MoL teamed up and banished her from the world.) Joan wants to show Lata how the magical little bugs are cool and shit, but Lata stabs her because she does not care. Things do not go well.
At Mary’s home, Carlos has an idea. “Was this idea inspired by a drug induced trip I took a few years ago? Yes. Are we judging me for that right now?” he wonders. NO, YOU BRILLIANT SOUL. The others agree! Carlos wonders if they can use the Ostium to bring the mystery man back to them to help. YES!
At the clubhouse, Joan and a possessed Lata set the place on fire to open the portal. Seems dangerous, but I’ll allow it for narrative progression.
The gang rushes to the clubhouse to find a possessed Lata telling them they have one more chance to join Joan’s team. “How many Campbells and Winchesters have to die? And for what? History? Legacy?”
She then goes on to tell them that the Akrida were created by an angry god as a failsafe. They were designed to wipe out all life on all universes (EVEN SQUIRREL WORLD!) “Lata” finishes her little speech and holds a knife to her neck. Without hesitation, Ada brings out the crystal and utters the fateful word. Lata is saved.
At the garage, Lata tells the team everything she’s learned. The queen is at full strength, and she’ll have the portal open by that night (Samuel found the portal at least!) They just need to feed the Ostium the journal and wham! Mystery Man! They need to kill some time until midnight when they can work their magic.
John pulls Mary aside as they’re heading out. He tells her to stay behind. At first I roll my eyes like, TYPICAL MAN AMIRITE? But instead, he tells her that she’s their general and needs to stay behind so she can lead the Mystery Man into battle when he zaps back into their world. She says she has to tell him something but he defers that conversation for later, and departs.
Fun fact. I watch these with closed captions while I do my recap, and I’m pleased to say that not only did this week’s closed caption actually correctly translate Carlos’s “querida” to Ada this time, but the next scene opens with the caption over the portal: OTHERWORLDLY WHOOSHING. I love to see it! The Akrida queen holds her palms to the air, where a swirling blue portal otherworldly whooshes. She rolls her eyes and the portal closes as she turns. It’s the Scooby Gang! “Hello, boys.”
The team pulls out swords as Akrida materialize for the fight.
While fisticuffs ensue, the women plonk the diary into the Ostium. It gets sucked in and at first it seems like nothing happens. Then Millie points out that something DID happen and the camera pans out to reveal….BABY! The first licks of The Who’s “Baba O’Riley” start up and the music shivers down my spine. I swear, I didn’t get to watch the episode until Friday so I KNEW what was coming (thanks Tumblr) but I am still. SO. AFFECTED.
The car is empty (like our hearts without Dean) but Mary points out that the car is still not of this earth. “Detroit steel makes a hell of a weapon,” Millie announces as they all pile inside.
Back with the Akrida, the fight persists. It’s not looking good for our hunters. The queen reveals that the Men of Letters tried to fight her, so she used the last of her power to wipe out the MoL, including Henry Winchester.
Mary pulls up in the car and lines it up with the queen (and John). She orders everyone out juuuuuuust in case she perishes. She guns it towards the queen, who notices the car and opens a portal. In an instant, the car squishes into the queen and all three, uh, entities, disappear into the portal. The Akrida-possessed humans drop their weapons and run, no longer possessed. I can’t blame them for fleeing the sword fight they found themselves in! The boys are JUST starting to mourn Mary’s sacrifice, when a portal zaps open and the Impala races back out! This time, there are TWO people in the car! (ohmygodohmygodohmygoditishim)
For Dimensional Portal to My Heart Science:
Dean Winchester gets out of the car and surveys the fighters. He pulls Mary out of the passenger’s seat, very much alive!
Dean looks at his parents-not-parents emotionally. “There’s not a lot that can tear me apart,” he tells them. YEAH! I shout, punching the air. “I’m already dead,” he says, and I make a little disgruntled cat frown, and knock over a glass of water.
He tells them he was stuck “in the world between worlds” and hopped into Baby and grabbed the wheel as soon as he saw his car passing through. Like. LITERALLY BABY IS A TIME AND SPACE TRAVELING MACHINE PLEASE LET THIS CONCEIT CONTINUE.
Ahem. Anyway. Samuel asks the big question: who’s the mystery man? Dean introduces himself as a hunter from another world. He made it to Heaven, hopped into Baby, and went for a drive….into the multi-verse. As one does. “I was looking for my family,” he tells them. He wanted to find a version of Earth where his family had a shot at a happy ending. When he was driving, he caught wind of the Akrida, one of Chuck’s last creations. He knew the Akrida would try to devour his world too. We also get a nod that Carlos IS still alive in his world! I pinch Robbie’s cheeks and tell him he’s done a very good job. A very good job indeed.
And what about the letter to John? Well, “the rules were simple. Don’t mess with anything. Well, I gave it a little nudge.” THAT’S RIGHT YOU DID BABY! “You all can choose your own destiny,” he tells them ICONICALLY.
Jack and Bobby appear. Dean assures the Scooby Gang that they’re cool. Bobby greets him with a grimace. They’re in trouble with Jack, who set up the worlds to prevent interference from “on high.” Dean argues that the Akrida fight needed to happen to protect his own family as well as the people we’ve grown to love during this season. “If you want to cast me out of heaven, so be it.” Bobby lobbies for a second chance for Dean Winchester. We lobby for like, at least 60-70 chances. Maybe a million? Girls don’t want flowers. They want dimension-tripping Dean Winchester.
“If you’re going to meddle with things,” Jack announces, “finish what you started.” He hands Dean something (and encourages Dean to rest in Heaven - as IF). Dean heads to his parents-not-parents. His dad left him his journal, he tells them. “I lived my whole life by that damn thing,” he says with the perfect mix of love and regret. “This is my hunter’s journal. So if you’re gonna stay in this game, this’ll help guide you through it.” He hands it to John.
Dean tells Mary that he understands her desire to quit hunting. He also tells her to keep an eye out for a yellow-eyed demon and if she even catches “a hint of that son of a bitch” she should use…the COLT. He hands her the gun that Jack gave him, and she asks him if he found a version of his family with a shot at a happy ending. Dean surveys everyone and announces, “I think I did.”
John asks Dean’s name and he smiles a little. “Hetfield. James Hetfield,” he tells them. I think about how Metallica was “Dean’s music” in season one and experience feelings. Dean, Jack, Bobby, and Baby flash out of the world.
The Scooby Gang looks around at each other. It’s time to go home.
We get a montage. Lata and Ada unfurl plant magic and what looks like Ada’s soul wisps back into her body. I have to pause the show and cry a little bit because it’s JUST BEAUTIFUL.
“It’ll take time..” Lata says as Ada feels her soul kindling again, but they did it!
Samuel drives away on another journey, leaving John and Mary to reconnect at the movie theater. John asks Mary what she saw in the portal. Oh, nothing. She just saw EVERY POSSIBLE VERSION OF HERSELF. Badass! She’s going to make her own way, but for that she needs to leave and find herself. John tells her that he’s going to work on the anger that rides inside him so he can be a better hunter and a better person. “No goodbyes,” he tells her, and they kiss.
In the garage the team, minus Mary, talk over a new case. It’s by a BEACH. “Werewolves don’t surf,” Carlos says. “Only one way to find out,” Lata chirps and I NEED TO SEE THIS EPISODE LIKE I NEED AIR.
A bell tinkles and John heads out to find Mary waiting outside, leaning against her car. She asks John to come with her on a road to self discovery. In the car, John pulls out a box of tapes. Sorry, babe, but Mary was reading Hetfield’s journal and he was VERY SPECIFIC on the topic. “Driver picks the music, shotgun shuts their cake hole,” she tells him, poetically. Mary is literally and figuratively in the driver’s seat, and I couldn’t be happier.
Led Zeppelin’s Ramble On (Boris: Led Fucking Zeppelin!! A band that does not license their music! And when they do it’s often in the 7 figures!! And it’s Dean’s favorite band! And his favorite song! And when spn couldn’t do/or didn’t want to do it, Mr. Jackles (and co.) DID IT!!) plays us out as they smile and drive through sunlit fields. (Help! My heart!) Hope spreads like sweet air, like sun-warmed ground. They drive off to a montage of their adventures…SO FAR.
Natasha: From reading Tumblr before actually viewing the episode, I was sliding hard into the Jack-is-Chuck theory. Now that I’ve seen it, I’ve settled into a happy middle place where Jack-is-Jack or Jack-is-corrupted-by-God\-powers or Jack-is-Chuck could all be equally plausible. Honestly, it doesn’t matter to me too much because Dean. Is. Alive. He’s got a dimension-hopping car, and the story possibilities are boundless. I hope we get more of The Winchesters, and more Supernatural, and other worlds as well. I dearly want the SUPERNATURAL CINEMATIC UNIVERSE and frankly, I deserve it because we ALL deserve nice things! The Winchesters is like Supernatural, but also it’s own lovely little thing with a lot more hope and beauty than we got in the “mothership.” I want more. Just like that little soul plant, I want to see where the story grows.
See You Next Quote-son!
One last hunt…
Whatever this guy is, he is ruggedly handsome
“The queen is about ot sing her swan song. We can’t rewind this tape here.” “What if we could rewind the tape?”
For the first time, I’m running towards hope
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Dean Winchester's Multiverse Adventures
"Every notebook on this particular shelf tells a version of how you die. You specifically: heart attack, burned by a red-haired witch, stabbed by a ghoul in a graveyard, and on and on... But which one’s right? That depends on you, on the choices you make." Billie says this in Supernatural season 13, Advanced Thanatology. The books are impersonal portals into Dean's own personal multiverse.
When Mary Campbell talks to John about her experiences in the gateway between worlds, she tells him that she saw "everything - every possible version of myself." In the space between the worlds, she sees herself - her beginnings and endings, her triumphs and failures. First of all, it's pretty impressive that she's not insane after this. Mary's always been stronger than we gave her credit for. But the space between the worlds sounds shockingly personal.
In Supernatural, we got a multiverse which brought us back versions of long-dead characters, and we made our way to those worlds through god-level powers. Angels may have brought us there during the Kripke era (or it may have been Zachariah's illusion skillz?). Jack's impending birth split reality - ostensibly because he was so powerfully strong. However, I propose that there is no time and space when you're talking about god-powers. Jack became God and his heaven is apparently lousy with portals to other worlds. Jack became God and his birth was riddled with portals to other worlds. Is it the godhood, or a future story that will tell us exactly why he's the key to world traveling? When you're dealing with time and space, your ending exists alongside your beginning, after all. This is a rich area to explore! The void could be where the god-powers live - the special view into the multi-verse that let Chuck see it all.
Anyway, I digress. Dean Winchester's driving through Heaven. He's heavily traumatized. The man just died, after all. In doing so, he left Sammy behind to stumble through life on his own (abandoning Sam is its own kind of trauma). He lost his best friend in the most agonizing way. And I think the Dean we saw in the finale was terrified to meddle in those larger patterns of destiny - those cosmic forces that ripped so much of his selfhood from him. He's trying to find himself and who he should be (hello, job application), he's trying to convince himself that "what's dead should stay dead" (Cas sacrificed himself and they need to accept that and live their lives), and it all feels...terrible (beer bottles everywhere). Maybe because he's looking for something new once he gets to Heaven, maybe Chuck's obsession with Dean and his car gave them extra powers, maybe future!Dean gives himself those powers and we don't even know it yet...Dean finds those cracks in Heaven's armor that lets him slip through to other worlds.
It's one thing to think of Dean slipping blithely from world to world, with his view of his other selves a bit myopic. He could take a trip to Squirrel World, and a trip to Dean Smith Verse, and that one world where everyone's a mermaid. After all, he's only seeing a sampling of AUs, just like he did in Supernatural. Right??? But Mary says she saw every version of herself when she was in the space between the worlds. Think of what that must have been like for Dean! Just stepping into that void is enough to see everything. He doesn't even need to put a toe into another doorway to know himself more than anybody should. He knows himself more than he would from reading through Death's books because the void between the worlds also shows his lives. He's dead and therefore more tear-proof in the void. I propose that he saw it all and retained it too. And being Dean Winchester, he probably focused on the worst aspects of himself.
The Dean we see in the Winchesters finale carries a sorrow that I think can provide a rich well to explore in (hopefully) future Supernatural properties. I think it's important to understand that the Dean we see would have also experienced Mary's revelation: he must have seen every version of himself. His family history spiders out from there - Dean's heard his own story out of Chuck's mouth often enough to follow the threads. I think Dean saw all of his lives and wondered if he really was cursed, or broken. I think he mostly saw sorrow. There can be no peace - no pacification in Heaven - with that weighty burden.
Dean Winchester knows all about death. He's died over a hundred times and that was just in his OWN world. What Dean doesn't understand - the frontier he's so rarely pursued - is living. In future multiverse adventures (please, please, please) I think he's going to finally learn about that.
They, they unfridged Mary. They preemptively unfridged her. This Mary. They had her be the heroine of her own show and they gave her the freedom to tell her own story and they gave her the tools she needs – the Colt and the right information – to protect herself, and they gave her an entire AU to explore and to live out her life in, and they didn’t tether her to any preexisting narrative to which she is only the backstory, and. And. She can do what she wants. She doesn’t have to die in the nursery in eleven years. They gave her the keys to escape the narrative. She’s free.
The Winchesters 1x12: The Tears of a Clown
Fort Wayne, Indiana
At Hugo’s Midway of Fun! Wally wanders the quiet carnival paths between tents. His friend wonders if this is the best way to spend his last night in Fort Wayne. (I mean, probably? That town can’t offer that much entertainment, right?) Wally just wants to have FUN! You know, A GOOD TIME! And, lo, a ticket for Limbo’s Hall of Happy! appears! (So many exclamation points to start this episode, guys!)
He picks it up and starts to hear distant, tinny music. A tent appears. His friend does not hear or see the tent.
Wally wanders closer to the tent, and a kindly clown pops his head out of the tent opening.
The friend hears a security guard and runs one way, while Wally follows the 100% uncreepy, totally normal, very cool clown into the tent.
(Boris: I had thoughts of grabbing screenshots of all the posters in the tent, but there are SO many, and my brain started to short-circuit after a while.’Alive! All Alive!’ ‘Freaks!’ (Lol, that’s for us clowns, I presume), ‘The Devil Child’. Hmm, not sure what ‘John: is he a she’ means, but we already have enough to unpack.)
Anyway, Wally finds an open door in the tent and, I presume, decides “In for a penny, in for a pound” and goes into that dark doorway too. He finds himself in a hall of mirrors, where Limbo the Clown’s laughter echoes menacingly. Wally turns and sees a flash of Limbo (NOT SCARY). Suddenly fun times aren’t so fun anymore. He looks in the mirror to find a clown staring back at him.
“Hunting’s a dishonest business. You gotta lie all the time about who you are and what you do. But the hardest lies aren’t the ones you tell other people. They’re the ones you tell yourself.”
(Jeremy Renner chin hands gif) Tell us more, Dean.
Mary and John are on the run looking for the mystery man. John managed to snag some sweet sandwiches while on the move (1. Like father, like mystery man son, B. That does not look like a very good sandwich, John). Mary worries about John’s headspace, and John–
SPECIAL GUEST STAR RUTH CONNELL!!! SQUEEEEEEE!!!!
Sorry, where were we? John is showing why he earned his John Winchester A+ Parenting tag, only he’s being an ass to his future wife. And kudos to this show, and this season, and Drake, for being able to make us genuinely like John, but have his anger and pent up aggression manifest naturally.
He blows up at Mary just as Carlos and Lata enter the motel room. Awkward.
They have a case!
Mary thinks this missing person case is a good idea while they’re in town. John is still in full surly mode and questions her judgment. Too bad, dude, you’re working the case.
Meanwhile, after a too long hiatus, Ada is back on our screens, and has found a witches’ gathering hoping to peddle her wares. She’s still a bit of a novice witch though and is clearly intimidated by the others, but she needs magic to stop the Akrida.
Back at the carnival, the gang hunts a clown.
Lata, in her best green and blue outfit, is having the time of her life. The rest? Not so much. Mary suggests talking to another carnival clown to start. They pose as journalists to learn more about Wally’s disappearance. He tells them that Wally is, “the latest victim of Limbo. Limbo the Clown.”
He’s a carnival urban legend. No one knows if he’s a man or a monster. “He goes from carnival to carnival pitching his tent –Limbo’s Hall of Happy-- and luring folks inside. And once he does, no one ever sees you again.” Good times!
The gang decides to split up to work the case further. Mary starts to suggest Lata and Carlos head back to the motel room, but John jumps in and decides to go back with Lata. Yeah, everything is fine, guys. That leaves a pissed off Mary and Carlos to work the carnival grounds (while a creepy dude tracks them).
Ada, meanwhile, is playing the poker game of her life. She, sadly, can’t win the game, and she can’t prove that she’s strong enough to handle the magic they have to give her.
As Ada leaves, a mysterious, hooded witch approaches her. WHO ARE WE KIDDING! It’s Rowena! We’d recognize that accent anywhere!
At the motel, Lata checks in with John before they deep-dive into clown lore. He’s good. Totes fine. And a lying liar who lies.
While wandering the midway, Mary confesses to Carlos what’s been happening with John. Carlos hopes that Ada can get the magic, and then Mary bursts into tears and flings herself into Carlos’ arms. Ngl, I was thrown by how bad this acting was, until it was revealed that Mary can’t act! Ha. She noticed the man that’s been following them and needed a way to alert Carlos. Carlos can’t act either because the dude makes him immediately.
At the motel, Lata has a breakthrough! She finds that Limbo’s real name was Jerome Haskins. He worked with a carnival in the 1920s, but during the depression and dust bowl, the job disappeared. The lore says that he traded his soul for dark magic for a spell that would allow him to forget all his problems so he “could stay happy forever.”
At the carnival, Mary full-body tackles the stalker. Go Mary! It seems the guy wants to know what they’ve learned about Limbo. He lost his kid brother, Roger, 30 years ago, and he’s never stopped looking for him. Clarence (!!!!) tells the two about how his parents died when he was 18. To cheer up his little brother after the funeral, he took him to the carnival. Only, Roger ran away. Clarence wishes he would have helped his brother through his grief instead of taking him to the carnival. (AND thank you every last Tumblrina for comparing this story to Sam and Dean going to the pie festival in the finale random episode that means nothing and is currently being erased BTTF style.)
The gang has a theory that Limbo is targeting people who are sad. He uses their grief to lure them into his tent. Clarence tells the others that they don’t have much time. The carnival leaves that night. He has research on Limbo that he can give them. The gang splits up again –this time John is stuck working with Mary.
In the Clubhouse atrium, Ada hangs out with ROWENA. She’s after a grimoire, which Ada will trade back to her in exchange for powerful magic. Typical Rowena, amirite? Except NOPE! Rowena dumps the grimoire on the floor and announces that she was never after the book! “Those hags may have dismissed your green-thumbed magic,” Rowena says, “but not me. I’m here for the demon you trapped in a plant.” (Oh, how I adore the spotlight on this being a unique and possibly rare gift, since it makes the en-plantification extra special.)
At the carnival, John’s bantering with Mary falls somewhere between passive-aggressive and aggressive-aggressive. Mary proposes that John has been using their new relationship as a happy distraction, so he doesn’t have to actually confront any of his issues. John accuses her of failing to follow up on her normal life plans.
Dialogue for further GAAAAAAH Supernatural feelings analysis:
Mary: “Well sorry I’m too busy trying to save the world!”
John: “There it is, Mary. The eternal excuse!”
A cough that suspiciously sounds like “Dean” leaves my lips. Mary dismisses John and strides away, only to find a ticket on the ground. It’s a ticket for…LIMBO THE CLOWN. Mary and John split up to find the clown’s tent. Mary literally walks past this booth called “Sitting Ducks.” SITTING. DUCKS.
For Circus Horror Puns Science:
Somebody please buy the design crew a very large cake. Just past the “Sitting Ducks” booth stands the dark entrance to Limbo’s tent. Mary radios John and then heads in without waiting for him. She disappears into the invisible doorway just as John arrives.
At the motel, John fills in Lata and Carlos on Mary’s disappearance. Lata’s confused about why Mary got taken by the clown. After all, she wasn’t upset like the others! John makes a face and Lata and Carlos quickly catch on - and Carlos ain’t happy. AWKWARD. Lata pulls out some lore on the occultist who gave Limbo his magic mirror. Limbo can only stay happy if he infects others with his, uh, happiness. If just one person decides to return to the real world, Limbo’s fragile power network collapses and he dies. All they have to do now is find an invisible tent! John brings up the ticket Mary found, and they realize that they need to find a ticket in order to see Limbo’s tent. Carlos remembers one from Clarence’s Creepy Clown Memorabilia Collection™. He pulls out an original ticket from their stash, and they prepare to head out.
Meanwhile, Rowena is cooing over the demon plant. “So much evil in such a small package!” she marvels. And I laugh at what could also be a very apt description of Rowena at this point in her life. Ada’s concerned about Rowena’s sudden interest in demon-kind, but Rowena soothes her. She’s not interested in intervening in the Akrida war. Instead, she wants to interrogate Evil!Bonsai for information about HER SON! (Now, I know some people think this is future!Rowena trying to rescue Crowley which is sweet. But I prefer to see this as past Rowena and we just get…more! More history, more depth. I love it.)
Ada is heavily swayed by the lost child argument for, as you see, she ALSO has a son! But that’s still not enough to let Rowena just sashay out of the Atrium. Instead, as Rowena tries to do just that, Ada shouts at her to stop and vines grow up from the floor to encase Rowena. While Ada stares in shock at WHAT HER HANDS HATH WROUGHT, Rowena blasts her with a ball of purple power and knocks her out.
At the carnival, workers are packing up tents. It’s their last chance to break into Limbo(‘s tent) and save Mary! And also some other people! Carlos, Lata, and John all take hold of the old ticket and the tent shimmers into view. It’s time to monster hunt, babeez.
For Oh No Don’t Go In There Science:
They head into the ante-tent. While Carlos and Lata examine the periphery, John walks ALONE into the interior doorway. The doors slam shut, trapping him in the giant maze of mirrors. Covering his eyes, John starts looking for Mary. The clown dashes into view, a crackly blur of malevolent grayscale ghoul.
Limbo taunts John, chuckling, and tells him that he’ll join him soon enough. Limbo’s gleeful, as Mary appears. She smiles beatifically, her voice high and light. Mary tells John to stay in there with her. They can be happy together! “There’s a world out there we have to save,” John begs her. She tells John to give up and look in the mirror behind her. He’ll be caught in the spell. John wheels around away from the mirror only to discover that the enchanted mirror was actually on his other side! Tricksy Limbo!
They’re both immediately CLOWNIFIED.
Meanwhile, Lata and Carlos are trying to break in to save John and Mary, when a clown car pulls up. “Oh, gross, no!” Carlos says as all of Limbo’s clowns start to decamp. They discover that the tent has sealed itself, trapping Carlos and Lata. Making matters worse, Limbo emerges from his mirrored interior maze with clowned-up John and Mary at his side. Y I K E S
Carlos and Lata beg their friends to return to reality but those feuding sad sacks are happier being clowns. Carlos and Lata flee to the clown car and lock themselves inside, as clowns descend. A small clown child pops up with a grin.
Carlos recognizes Roger, Clarence’s brother. He’s still a little kid! While Lata freaks out, Carlos talks to Carlos. He quickly connects to him, bringing up his own tragic past in losing his parents. “You are not alone. You have a family that loves you.” Carlos tells him that Clarence has been looking for him and never gave up, and Roger’s clown smile falls. He starts to listen to Carlos. Limbo realizes what’s up and shouts at him to “cheer up!” through the window. But it’s to no avail. Carlos breaks through, Limbo shatters, and the tent disappears suddenly. They find themselves in the bright sunshine of the next day. People of many eras mill around and hug each other. They’re gonna have…a LOT to unpack.
Ada wakes up after getting knocked out, to find Rowena STILL there! She wisely turns down a cup of Rowena’s healing tea and they talk. Rowena announces that Ada passed her test, and invites her to join her coven!
Rowena doesn’t know too much about the Akrida, but she knows the queen is going to use the alignment of five planets to emerge. Ada demands the magic, and Rowena turns over a crystal. The crystal just needs a wee bit of power. It just needs…a piece of her SOUL. (Natasha: Noooooo don’t do it Ada!)
In the field, they mull over the stories of the survivors and their own ordeal. Lata asks if they remembered being clowns. UM YES. Mary thought it was kind of nice, which seems like a major plea for help. John and Mary discuss, and apologize to each other for getting angry. John wants to know if their relationship is solid, but we get NO ANSWER because Millie pulls up. She and Betty found a witness who saw Kyle enter the garage after making his 911 call saying he was already there! Now they just have to drive back to town and clear John’s name. Easy peasy.
At the clubhouse, the brain trust reviews maps and star charts to try to figure out when the queen will emerge. Ada reveals that she has a major piece of mojo now, but FAILS to reveal the soul shattering secret that powers it. (Millie looks skeptical - I hope she protects Ada!) The gang celebrates until Lata drops a little science fact - the planetary alignment the queen needs to escape has just begun.
Natasha: We LOVED the retro horror vibe of this episode! It felt like we’d stepped into a Ray Bradbury carnival story. I LOVE that Ada’s magic is explored further as a unique earth-based magic, and that the society of witches exist as a glowing, glitter-dusted dark magic speakeasy. This was all SO GOOD.
Your Quoteshadow Game Needs Some Work:
Hunting’s a dishonest business. You gotta lie all the time…about who you are and what you do. But the hardest lies aren’t the ones you tell other people. They’re the ones you tell yourself.
“Did we interrupt something?” “I’d like to say the answer is yes, but thank you, Lata, for making things more awkward.”
Don’t let the warded door hit you on the way out
If we survive this, I promise I’m never gonna eat cotton candy again!
Oh my god, we’re going to die in here. In a clown car!
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There’s a lot to like about The Winchesters, but I think one of the reasons it hits so hard for me is that it solves my biggest problem with the finale. Personally, I don’t have a problem with tragic endings. The season 5 finale of Spn has a tragic ending, and I think it’s a wonderful feat of storytelling. Aside from the fact that 15x20 tried to pretend it wasn’t tragic and tried to make it seem like Sam and Dean standing alone on a bridge in Heaven was a happy ending, what I hated most about the finale was they had to flatten Dean into a two-dimensional caricature of himself to do it. Aside from maybe the revelation that Dean stood outside Sam’s apartment at Stanford for hours trying to psych himself up to go in because he was nervous Sam would turn him away, there was no moment in the episode that Dean felt like the complex, nuanced character we had come to know and love over the past 15 seasons. He had no desires or characterisation beyond pie, car and Sammy. There was no sign of all the growth we’ve seen from him, no hint of his own needs, wants or sense of self. I mean, he wasn’t even allowed to interact with his own heaven before Sam showed up. Even after his death, he was never allowed to have anything that was just his.
Look, I’ve said all this a hundred times before – if you look at my 15x20 tag, it’s basically just this sentiment repeated over and over again – so why am I saying it again now? Well, because The Winchesters is fixing that. The mission Dean is on is all his. It’s not about Sam, or pie or whatever surface level bullshit that finale tried to boil Dean down to. He’s going back to the past, he’s meddling in something insane because he sees value in it, and in the process going on a journey to understand himself better. His narration makes it pretty clear that through this quest he’s learning to contextualise his own life and feelings better. The past presents the future, after all (full disclosure, that’s an Ugly Betty episode title that I just really loved and use far too often in casual conversation), and one of the biggest hang ups in Dean’s life was that he was given this mythologised version of events and expected to believe them. Mary was this perfect saintly mother who sat at home baking cookies all day before she was brutally, and through no fault of her own, ripped away from them. John was the perfect mild-mannered husband and father who only slid into anger and obsession after he lost his perfect wife.
Eventually Dean realises that none of that is true. Mary couldn’t cook. She was a hunter. She was involved in the circumstances that brought about her own death. She was a complicated person, and in the end he got the chance to see that knowing the real her, flaws and all, was infinitely superior to believing the white-washed fairytale about the perfect martyr that John created after she died. There’s also the fact that John was never the perfect husband or father, even before Mary’s death. We get maybe one reference to that in Spn, how in Dean’s heaven in season 5 he remembers John and Mary fighting and John moving out for a few days, but not much else. The focus is very much on how John turned into a neglectful parent and an angry man after Mary’s death. But The Winchesters is working hard to dispel that lie. John always had this anger in him. Mary even calls him out multiple times on how he’s using her and their relationship as an excuse to avoid his issues. She straight up uses those words. There are also references to how raising your kids to be soldiers and being their drill sergeant rather than their parent is one of the worst things a parent can do to their child.
Anyway, as interesting as it is to see all these things addressed in the Spn universe, what’s so damn satisfying is seeing Dean realise it. Dean’s on a mission to learn more about his past. To understand that our parents and where we come from shapes and moulds the people we become, but it doesn’t have to define us forever if we don’t let it. By accepting his past and finding out the truth about who his parents truly were, he can accept himself and move forward, free of whatever baggage that had been dragging him down for so much of his life.
And the greatest part about all of this, is that Dean’s the one driving this story. It’s not God, or his father or even his duty to take care of Sam which dictated so much of his life and his choices before. This is about Dean’s choices and who he is as a person and what he wants. It’s funny because as little as we saw John Winchester in season 1 of Spn, he was very much the spectre hanging over the story, and the search to find him is what drove much of the plot throughout the season. Much of what his sons were doing was in reaction to him. And now in The Winchesters, Dean himself is the spectre that’s been hanging over the season. He’s the one making the big moves and steering the action. He’s the one everyone, friend and foe alike, is looking for. He’s the one who gave John the note and put this whole thing into motion. After the ending of Spn took away so much of his agency and everything that makes Dean Dean, he’s finally getting it back and then some.
I’m excited to see how the season’s going to end, but I’ll forever be happy that this show gave us Dean being his own person again. He’s the one picking the music this time.
Mittens has thrown out some great questions! Here are some VERY SERIOUS answers that you should not take seriously AT ALL.
"On April 21, 1967, the 100 millionth GM vehicle rolled off the line at the plant in Janesville – a blue two-door Caprice.
There was a big ceremony, speeches. The lieutenant governor even showed up. Three days later, another car rolled off that same line. No one gave two craps about her. But they should have, because this 1967 Chevrolet Impala would turn out to be the most important car – no, the most important object – in pretty much the whole universe."
- Supernatural 5x22 Swan Song
Oh really? The WHOLE universe?
Look, I know what Kripke had in mind with this line, but consider.
Dean Winchester loves his car.
Dean Winchester has also been to Heaven before and tasted that translucent bubble-tinged reality. He has a very set idea of what is "real" and Heaven!Baby? She ain't real.
5x22 tries to argue that Sal Moriarty was the first owner of the Impala but I CONTEND that Dean Winchester cozied up to his Angel-of-Himself lover and gave him the ol' soft eyes until Cas agreed to re-corporate him and send him back in time for a gleeful joyride of the fresh-off-the-factory-floor Baby.
Did Dean decide to interfere with the timeline at that point? Heck no! He's seen time travel before and frankly, it's exhausting. He's just planning on hanging in the late 60's and taking a sweet road trip to follow Zepp around the continent. Cas will join him soon - there're just a few things he needs to wrap up with Jack's de-godhood-ifying.
So, Dean gets in his car. It's not HIS car quite yet, of course. It's missing all the little things that made it theirs (toys, scratches, initials). That made it HIS. "You've been rehymenated, Baby," he whispers as he caresses the dash. (And is suddenly grateful not to have any ride-alongs.)
But when Dean opens the glove compartment... KA-POW! A mysterious letter falls out. It's addressed to HIM.
Dean slumps in his seat, defeated. "Son of a bitch," he mutters. "I just wanted ONE little time-travel vacation."
He waits for Cas to haul him back to the present. Er, future? Instead, Cas is MIA. Dean finds himself caught up in a web of universe-defending intrigue, chasing the shadow of his strange messenger, delivering mysterious letters to fathers, and otherwise tearing up the late 60's and early 70's.
The Impala, you see, is the most important object in the whole universe because Dean loves his car soooooo much that it became the letter repository to get Dean Winchester to save life, the universe, and everything.
Now, Mittens questions whether the Akrida arrived as a result of meddling with the timeline, or whether Dean is meddling with the timeline to fight the Akrida. SALIENT QUESTIONS! But the REAL question is: who dropped the letter in the Impala's glove box?
The answer lies in another blast-from-Supernatural's-past: Jesse Turner. Jesse lived in Australia for quite some time until rumors of murderous, giant insects damaged his zen. They say "everything's bigger in Australia," but Jesse crossed the supernatural world enough as a child to smell a rat. With Lucifer FINALLY DEAD, his powers have dwindled greatly. However, he kept up on the Winchesters through a series of terrible novels. (Nothing like reading your own unauthorized biography in lurid fiction form.) He knows about Dean's car obsession. He knows about Dean's death (through sketchy dark web forums). And he has JUST ENOUGH mojo to send one little piece of paper back in time. To a very specific place which he suspects Dean will someday visit.
Right now, Dean's pushing over dominoes like a cat poking at a vast Rube Goldberg machine. The goal? Save the world, get back to Cas, and finally FINALLY watch Zepp live back in their heyday.
And how do his parents and their friends fit into all of this? Why are Mary's friends a major blank spot in the Supernatural canon? Well, Lata and Carlos will eventually time travel to the future when Carlos's VW bus gets enchanted with a combination of Rowena's magic and the Akrida time-and-space juice (it's a long story). But the short story is, that's how the world eventually achieved global peace. (If you're picturing a Bill and Ted style concert ending, you're right!) And Dean Winchester can finally go on the ultimate Zepp concert date with his best pal, his main squeeze, his sunshine, Cas.
Do you have any theories on why Dean is doing what he's doing in The Winchesters? Like WHY time travel and give his dad the letter?? What timeline is Dean from (post- or pre- rusty nail death?? Alt universe??) ??¿?¿¿?
heck, i have TOO MANY theories on what he might be doing :'D
I mean, we still don't know where this series falls within the original timeline, you know? like, we don't know if this all is supposed to be "what dean did after defeating chuck but before the events of the finale" or if this is all supposed to be taking place *within Heaven* or within whatever afterlife dean found himself in (was that ACTUALLY heaven we saw in the finale, or some sort of weird trick?), or is dean somehow back on earth after all of that and we haven't seen the explanation for how that happened yet? DON'T KNOW!
And why is he revisiting his parents' early days? What hidden truth is he attempting to uncover? or perhaps even rectify if the timeline was being disrupted by the akrida... or is Dean having "tipped over a domino" to even begin telling this story the genesis of the akrida? are the akrida simply a "universe balancing device" that sprang up BECAUSE dean was trying to fiddle with the timeline?
WE JUST DON'T KNOW!
what is the purpose of telling us this story now? especially considering the original series' final season was dedicated to the concept of God As Author, and his Characters™ defying his story for them. And now Dean is apparently the author of this story we are seeing? WHY? What is his goal in telling us this story?
Heck, I've clearly got more questions than answers, but with only two episodes left, and episode 13 apparently set to give us a lot of answers, i'm hoping we get something satisfying and aren't just left with even bigger questions :'D
(what I'm really hoping is that we get at least another full season of the show to learn more about all these characters, because i love them and i'm not ready to let them go yet... i need more carlos and lata in my life!)
The Winchesters 1x11: You’ve Got a Friend
“Being a hunter means always being on the move. No matter how hard you plan, no matter how hard you work, at a certain point, we all run out of road. It’s what we do with those crossroads that defines us.”
After the show left us with a thrilling cliffhanger of Kyle getting Akrida-killed, and John getting framed for it, we start this week at the clubhouse. Mary, Carlos, and Lata are cleaning up after the Wilcox invasion (who left behind all his Akrida research).
They hear a noise and find John, bloody and zombie-like, in the hallway.
He later fills them in on his escape and the Akridas’ plans. The gang concludes that John and Mary need to get the hell out of Dodge. They can’t trust anyone since the Akrida are everywhere. Lata has a sudden inspiration for figuring out who’s an Akrida. Apparently Maggie had a bracelet that could “pinpoint anyone harboring a dark secret.” They can use it to suss out the Akrida! Lata and Carlos head back to Mary’s house to find the bracelet.
While hunting for the bracelet, a sweet story of Lata and Maggie seeing Alice Cooper in concert reminds Lata that Maggie loved Toastettes, and she knows where to find the bracelet!
Meanwhile, Mary and John head out to stay at Samuel’s hunting cabin, but get as far as the car’s trunk before Betty finds them. Betty is HALF John’s size, but somehow he doesn’t fight the arrest and she takes him into custody.
Back on the bracelet hunt, Lata finds a rat poison container (because everyone in the house loved Toastettes so Maggie had to hide them) and the bracelet is inside!
Lata lets Carlos (and the audience) know that the bracelet was supposedly a creation of Erebus, the god of secrets and shadows, for his followers to discover the hidden secrets of their enemies. Lata makes a move towards the bracelet and then it snaps onto her wrist. WHERPS! The bracelet also comes with its own handy-dandy terror shadow! It locks the duo in the house and takes out all the lights.
Mille and Mary rehash what happened the prior night. Millie thinks they can trust Betty with their hunter/Men of Letters secrets. Listen Millie, the first rule of Hunter Club, is DON’T talk about Hunter Club. She argues they need a cop on the inside.
At the police station, Betty brings John a coffee in the interrogation room and checks to see how he’s doing. A hold-over from the mid-century good-old-boy detective club, Detective Klett, arrives to bust John down a notch or two. He gives him grief about his ex arresting him, but then plays good cop and tells John he knows he didn’t kill Kyle. He did. HE’S AN AKRIDA, Y’ALL. He pulls out the photo of Dean and demands an answer to who he is.
Back at the house, Lata reads that if whoever wears the bracelet has a dark secret, they will have to confess or the shadows will consume them. Carlos can’t quite process that his ray of sunshine has a dark secret. The shadow snatches him before they can talk more!
Carlos finds himself stuck in a dark, cold, sparsely decorated room. Lata can hear him calling, and he can hear her back. They call for each other until the shadow manifests itself as Maggie!
At the clubhouse, Betty gets her first glimpse into all the studying John’s been doing in school. It’s a lot, folks, and Betty’s not having it.
Before Betty completely storms off, Mary pleads with her to check for the three marks on Kyle’s neck.
Lata confronts the specter masquerading as Maggie, even as Maggie pulls her into soft reminiscing about the time they used to spend together. Maggie tells Lata that she’s harboring a dark secret - and that secret is the key to finding Carlos. Shadow!Maggie smokes out and hauls Lata into the cold room with Carlos. She finds him half frozen on the bed and barely responsive. She lights an oil lamp for some meager warmth - the same one Carlos failed to light. She claims that knowing the knack of lighting the lamp was “muscle memory” and as Carlos watches, Lata reveals that the creepy room was once a part of her home.
At the Clubhouse, Millie tries to talk Mary out of her jailbreak plans. “I was young and dumb once, too.” Lol. Convincing Mary is like talking to a wall. Millie ends up with an assignment to call for backup from Lata and Carlos, while Mary heads out to stake out the precinct.
At the precinct, Klett, the Akrida detective, smirks. John’s cracked already - he promises to reveal all about Dean Bean. Instead of the man’s identity, John spills out a handful of rock aliases (sooooo accurate though) until Klett catches on. Klett reacts…poorly. But John’s confident that this Akrida framing push reveals something important: Dean Winchester, the man of mystery of the hour, is a threat to the Akrida. “Nothing of this earth can harm you, so if he’s a threat to you and nothing of this earth can harm you… Well. That would mean he’s not of this earth.” We all stroke our chins sagely over this.
The Akrida cop declares that John’s now of little use to them. He threatens a staged car crash during the transport to state prison, which will kill everybody involved. John’s bravado deflates at that, and he’s left once again to stew in regret and other fun human emotions.
Back with Lata and Carlos, we get the dime recap. Lata’s dark secret + bracelet = creepy cold room. Soooo the fix is easy! Carlos presses her to drop her secret. “Lata, you know I am prone to long, slow-build, catharsis-driven theater, but I don’t think we have time for a one-act play here.”
She brings up her origin story as told in episode 6 “Art of dying.” There was something she didn’t say - someONE she didn’t bring up. Lata tells Carlos about Sania, her family’s housekeeper. Sania was like a parent to her, and one day Lata took some leftover food to share with her. When her father found out, he tried to beat Sania. That’s when Lata hit her father with the oil lamp. Carlos tried to declare catharsis between them, but the room holds fast.
We have to wait for the rest of story-time, because Millie is trying to call Carlos and Lata. They won’t pick up, though! It’s still forced-sharing hour.
Lata was dragged back to the house by her father, and her mother sided with him. Lata, angry, packed up her things and ran away. But Lata’s leaving only protected herself. Her father blamed Sania for what happened and locked her in the cold room one very cold night. Sania froze to death. Lata looks around the room and sees only the terrible ordeal that Sania went through. Carlos pulls her into an embrace and lets her cry. The dark room lifts from them like light and they’re back in the kitchen once more. The bracelet falls off of Lata’s wrist.
They have barely a moment of breathing time before Millie bursts in. She finds them on the floor looking shocked but apparently being part of Monster Club means that some questions are just exhausting to pursue. Millie shrugs it off. They’ve got bigger fish to fry. After all, “Mary’s gonna need [the bracelet] if she’s gonna bust John out of jail.”
At the precinct, Mary is a COILED TIGER READY TO POUNCE, while the police prepare to move John. Betty confronts her and they fight. It looks like Mary’s doing her early season lone wolf routine, but she announces that she was just playing the role of Betty bait. Uh, Betty distraction? Carlos runs up, announces that “drugs should be legalized,” and helps hold Betty while Lata gives Betty the slap bracelet of doom. Fortunately for everyone present, Betty doesn’t harbor any dark secrets. Instead, she looks around and sees traces of magic everywhere. Green light streams up from every Akrida nearby. Betty’s disbelief falls in one giant domino. I’m impressed at her capitulation, but all she can think of is how to save John.
As John gets hauled out, Mary holds Betty at gunpoint and orders the cops to let John go. While the cops are distracted, Carlos comes in swinging with the lead pipe. They quickly overpower the cops and activate part two of the plan: RUN! Betty promises John that they’ll catch up later. Before they all go, she asks Carlos to deliver a hit so they believe she was unwilling…and the cop-on-the-inside story is laid. (I switch from side-eyeing the ex-fiance dynamic to wondering if Betty’s going to fall prey to the Supernatural blood cannon someday. Hopefully not!)
Betty and Mary connect outside the Clubhouse as Betty returns the bracelet. She’s not too thrilled to learn the truth of the hidden perils in her world. But she’s adjusted remarkably well. She wishes John and Mary well on their second attempt to flee town. John gives her instructions for the magical anti-Akrida tattoo.
Inside, Lata tells Carlos that she wants to be more open. She tells him that she’s holding one more secret: her parents aren’t dead. Carlos says that Lata’s parents are dead to HIM. We agree! And he ALSO tells her that Mary and John will love her, just like he does. Lata’s story is hers to keep or to tell, and they’re ready to back her no matter what.
For Snuggly Hug Science:
John and Mary drive out of town and reflect on Kyle’s demise. They vow to find DEAN WINCHESTER ALIVEGIRL EXTRAORDINAIRE!
Quotes Quotes are No Fun, Quotes Quotes Hurt Someone:
Your past does not define you
People conceal things for all sorts of reasons, logical or not
Stubborness in the face of oblivion. Honestly, that’s one of the few traits I respect about humans
I guess the truth really does set you free
Sometimes doing the right thing means doing the wrong thing
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The Winchesters 1x11: Bullet Point Rambles
Dean: What we do at the crossroads………..is make a prequel!
John shows up in dramatic fashion (Boris: idonotfeelbadforjohnwinchester idonotfeelbadforjohnwinchester) and announces his predicament
We learn that Maggie had a bracelet that makes people tell the truth. Also Maggie was MYSTERIOUS about it. At this point, we’ve mentioned Maggie so often I have to stroke my beard and contemplate what she means to the show
Today is written and directed by women! Nice.
Carlos and Lata investigate Maggie’s room and contemplate the Akrida’s master plan. They continue to be adorable besties and I love them
John and Mary pack up in DAYLIGHT BABIES PLEASE. They’re confronted by Betty who “has been following them for weeks.” Boris: Creeper
John gives himself up dramatically. Betty is probably pretty sad that she can’t haul in Mary Campbell as well.
Lata finds the bracelet in a hidden snack hiding place. She reaches towards the bracelet and it flies up and attaches itself around her wrist. Not good! Even more NOT GOOD is when the mysterious shadows fly up and blow out the lights
Lata and Carlos try to figure out if the ghosty thing was a lurking monster or bracelet-generated
Back at the Clubhouse, Millie and Mary try to break open John’s case. Mary drowns in guilt. Wherps.
Millie wants to trust Betty with Monster Club. Boris and I both think this is a TERRIBLE IDEA. (But it would make some fun soapy drama, I suppose)
At the precinct, John gets interrogated by a chuckling cop. I tell him to get an attorney but my advice goes unheard. Chuckles the Cop reveals that he’s the Akrida WHO KILLED KYLE. *mustache twirl mustache twirl*
Mr. Akrida sets out a photo of DEAN WINCHESTER (we flail silently) and demands info in exchange for his freedom. Boris: Every time this photo shows up, my brain vibrates at a high level
(Info update: John was a PoW???)
Lata digs into the bracelet further - the shadows will consume anyone who wears the bracelet and has a dark secret. Carlos is like YOU???? just before he’s taken by the monsters! ‘FESS UP GIRL!!!
Carlos gets zapped into a creepy crypt bedroom place? Is this like a ghost bedroom? They can hear each other. Is he in a parallel dimension like that witch from the second episode?
Millie proudly shows Betty the Clubhouse. It’s time for Monster Skool! Millie tries to convince Betty that it’s all real. Come on, don’t you have some handy monsters hanging out? It goes…poorly. Mary shouts after her about the 3 marks on the back of her neck, as Betty storms off
Fake!Maggie and Lata reminisce. Maggie told her everything, and now Fake!Maggie wants Lata to tell her everything. Lata gets zapped to the cold room, and Carlos! WILL we finally learn Lata’s SECRET? Why the family estrangement, etc? Honestly, I’m surprised to learn this so soon, since I assumed Lata’s Dark Secret TM would be part of season 2
Lata lights a lantern as Carlos feels the creeping approach of DOOM. We learn that the dark room was a part of Lata’s old home
Meanwhile, Mary plans a good old fashioned jailbreak. Boris: John’s sons got out of the deepest darkest prison the Feds have to offer so…John can bust out too. Or did they get out because of their mom? Things to contemplate…
Carlos and Lata confront her dark secret. She weeps over it and Carlos begs for her to confess. Lata brings up her backstory. After a family dinner, Lata brought food to share with her family’s housekeeper Sonya. Her dad beat her housekeeper for it and Lata struck him with the lamp.
Mary rings the Campbell residence for a little Lata/Carlos backup. Sorry, Millie! Nobody here but us shadow creatures!
Lata was shamed by both her parents for sticking up for the housekeeper. She ran away from home. In retaliation, her dad locked the housekeeper in the room and Sonya froze to death. (Boris: Seems like your asshole father’s problem, and not yours, girl.)
Guilt rises from Lata and Carlos and they find themselves back in the kitchen. “I guess the truth really does set you free,” Carlos notes. LOL. Millie runs in and seriously ruins the mood. Uh, go team!
John gets taken away. Mary and Betty confront each other. It’s a punching fight!!! Boris: TAKE HER OUT, MARY, SHE’S HALF YOUR SIZE
The team confronts Betty and Carlos “Drugs Should Be Legalized” Cervantez holds her while Lata chunks on the truth telling slap bracelet
Team Scooby Gang beat up all the cops and John runs. What’s the plan? RUN! That’s…that’s the plan. Betty’s gonna be their source on the inside. Mrow cat fight, etc.
Betty and Mary reconnoiter later. AND THEY HUG. Or…Betty apologizes. John gives Betty the plans for an Akrida-tattoo, and John and Mary head out ONCE AGAIN in broad daylight
In the clubhouse, I am desperate to own Carlo’s coat, and Lata tells Carlos that she wants to be more open with him. Her parents aren’t dead (they are just dead to HER). Aw, Carlos tells her that her parents are dead to him too! Besties! Carlos reassures her that everyone loves her because they DO
Mary and John drive and look disconsolate. They plot revenge, and plan to find DEAN WINCHESTER OUR BEST BOY
Is an extremely effective memory erasure spell Chekhov’s gun or a red herring? The show has already defied my expectations so…we shall see.
Anyway my old theory/speculation that Mary will have John's memories of hunting removed in order for them to live as normal civilians, as she wants to leave hunting but he gets too much into it to willingly follow her out... I had speculated that Tony might do it, now Lata has learnt the technique from Tony, so it's even easier.
On the other hand, Dean's domino pieces falling... where are they headed? Are they going to actually end up in the place the original narrative started, or not?
Something I like about The Winchesters is that it shows care in the season-long storytelling arc. Supernatural always struggled with that, bringing back minor characters reluctantly. The Winchesters is obviously a tighter narrative, being only a few episodes so far, but it's showing attention not to forget itself. Tony appeared in one episode but has become relevant in another episode and possibly again in the future. Anton is a recurring character that affects Carlos' emotional journey. Roxy has a fulfilled arc - people were perplexed by how underwhelming her supposed exit from the narrative was, and instead we got one of the most poignant moments in the show from her (in fact something that the Supernatural larger narrative needed, because Supernatural tended to forget about vessels and possessed people). Even the possessed policeman got closure, albeit a tragic one.
You get the feeling that the individual writers... talk to each other and plan things together, something that wasn't exactly Supernatural's strong point.
The Winchesters 1x10: Suspicious Minds
On a lonely stretch of highway, a woman paces around her broken-down vehicle. Another woman stops and offers to help.
Unfortunately for her, helping seems to imply getting the ol’ Sam Winchester head treatment. The attacker turns out to be an Akrida!
Millie has installed a state-of-the-art alarm system for the clubhouse in Mary’s home. She bolts when finished, leaving Mary and John to continue their hunt for a way to take out the Akrida. John finds an unopened letter from KSU. Mary applied, but now is too nervous to read the contents of the envelope.
John opens it for her and she was accepted! This calls for a make-out sesh, but they’re sadly interrupted by the handy bell Millie just installed!
“Hunting and happy endings don’t usually mix, so when you get your chance, you got to ask yourself, “How far will I go to get it?”’
(Boris: Yes, Dean, over the next four episodes, please enlighten us on how far you’ll go for your happy ending)
Lata and Carlos are at a dead-end with their hunt for the Akrida queen. Carlos seems distracted. When Lata presses for answers, he admits that he can’t stop thinking about Anton. He’s lovesick, guys! And they’re taking it slow, so he’s a mess right now. He resolves to break up with Anton, and forget what he needs to forget. That gives Lata an idea –find someone that was possessed by an Akrida to mine their memories. Carlos has an idea!
Meanwhile, Mary and John sneak into the clubhouse and find (*Fran Fine voice activated*) MR. SHEFFIELD! Or, er, Porter J. Hobbes, Men of Letters. (British Men of Letters?!)
He’s there to help them find and kill the Akrida queen. Mary demands his full CV, so he fills them in on how he was a neurosurgeon until he was recruited into the Men of Letters. He was their resident Dr. Frankenstein, conducting experiments on monsters and turning them into watchdogs for the MoL(e men). He retired about 15 years ago to a quiet life with no family.
Lata and Carlos head to a motel room of impeccable decor. They found Roxy, and folks, she’s not doing great. (Lata on the other hand is in peak hair, wardrobe, makeup, and accessories mode. She is a vision tonight!)
They ask her about the Akrida. She can’t remember clearly. She doesn’t want to remember. She’s lost everything: her girlfriend (we keep winning, guys!), her job, and her apartment. Now, she’s just going to drink her way to oblivion. Lata suggests another way.
Back at the clubhouse, Mr Sheffield Hobbes tells Mary and John that he can create a toxin that will kill the queen but he needs Akrida stingers to make it work. Mary knows of a human under Akrida control.
Enter Officer Jones, the policeman with the nice mustache. Busy eating doughnuts, he gets a call on the CB for roadside assistance. He’s quickly overpowered by Mary and John.
At the monthly Akrida Meeting of Minds, a group of Akrida touch on old business: the finer points of diner food (ranch dressing) AND new business: KILLING DEAN WINCHESTER.
(Yeah, that’ll never be funny, sorry guys!)
In the lab, Hobbes has Officer Jones hooked up to some heavy sedatives. Now is his chance to pay back “those bugs for what they took from [him].” Whoops, not from HIM per se, from EVERYONE. Hahaha. Pay no attention to the ring indentation on his finger.
Carlos arrives back at the motel room with ingredients for Lata’s blood spell. She’s been learning things from Tony in her dreams. Ooohlala. They’re going to extract and then erase Roxy’s memories of the Akrida.
Lata carefully paints the spell onto Roxy’s arms, and the spell ignites blue. Roxy begins to relive her memories of the Akrida attack and possession. Lata reassures her, and asks her for intel on where the Queen is hiding.
At the Clubhouse, Mary reads up on their new visitor and the MoL’s creepy monster torture lab. She discovers that the actual creator of the lab was credited as the physician’s assistant. When they look up the assistant’s file, they discover that the good-n-creepy doctor is ACTUALLY the assistant, Jack Wilcox! Furthermore, Wilcox was kicked out of the MoL for experimenting on humans (and Henry Winchester turned him in).
Mary and John stroll over to the atrium to confront Wilcox. He reads the room pretty quickly, and chucks yellow powder in their faces, knocking them out. His accent shifts from posh British to southern smarm in an instant.
At the motel, Carlos digs through Roxy’s belongings and finds a warehouse that matches Roxy’s description of the Queen’s digs. (Pun completely intended.) Lata watches over Roxy, who stirs uncomfortably. She wakes up from what is only stage one of Lata’s forgetting spell with all her trauma still fresh on her mind. Lata reassures her - stage two of the spell is coming - and starts work on it. Carlos offers her come-down tea, and sympathy. Roxy’s expression morphs from agony to determination.
“I don’t want to forget,” she tells them. She wants to remember the Akrida and the torment she went through, so she can ALSO remember that she helped to bring them down. “Time to dry out,” she mutters and grabs her stash of alcohol to pour down the sink. She also offers up her services to take down the queen, should the need arise in the future. YES!
At the Clubhouse, John’s tied up to the stairs in the Atrium. Somebody should travel back in time and tell the MoL to just cut to the chase and build a bunch of chain-cuffs at the foot of the stairs. Save some time AND some rope! The now overtly villainous Wilcox announces that Mary’s been readied for surgery. YIKES. He’s been casing the Scooby gang for a little while and set his sights on John and Mary for his victims. When Lata and Carlos took off in their “hippie van” he swooped in. Oh, and the police officer they rescued? Yeah. He died. Wilcox was more interested in retrieving the stingers than helping anyone. “Anywho,” Wilcox basically says as he strolls away, “I’m off to perform supernatural surgery on your girlfriend.”
Mary SPARKLE EYES Campbell wakes up strapped to a chair in the lab. For a moment I picture Mary Winchester from the latter seasons of Supernatural in sparkle eyeshadow. (Who among us HAS NOT worn large amounts of glitter on one’s face in their youth?) Wilcox congenially introduces Mary to the other occupant of the lab: a comatose woman who turns out to be Dorothea from the cold open, and his wife.
The Akrida took revenge on Wilcox after he was kicked out of the MoL - and took it out in their attack on Dorothea. He took her home and placed her in a suspended magical state. Instead of a true love’s kiss to wake her up, he plans to use the Akrida’s stingers to transfer Dorothea’s consciousness to Mary’s body. “There’s no world worth saving without her in it,” he argues. (I turn this over as a possible thesis statement.)
John slices his way out of his ropes, only to face a hulking golem controlled by Wilcox. In the lab, they hear the fisticuffs ensuing and Wilcox villain-drops how to defeat the golem: remove the scroll from the golem’s mouth. John’s never been up against a golem, and tries to sweet talk his way out of the fight. When he tries to knife the guy and hits stone, he rethinks his plan.
Wilcox merrily tells Mary that the golem has been instructed not to kill (or presumably severely maim) John because he intends to use John’s body for himself. So that both he AND his wife can traipse about in young, hot bodies. They’ll get revenge on the Akrida and then live their best lives. Adding an extra creep factor, he tells Mary that she won’t DIE. No, it’s SO much better. She’ll ride in the backseat of her own mind and body like some kind of relationship voyeur bonus person? Gross.
John bursts in, pursued by the golem. Mary tells him to get the scroll from his mouth and then wriggles her way out of her bindings. They fight the golem, while Wilcox frantically looks after his wife’s body (who has been unceremoniously dumped onto the floor). During the fight, the golem is beheaded and his head incinerated in the lab’s inciner-monster-inator. The golem solidifies and crushes Wilcox and his Snow White wife to death. (Boris: Yeah, um, having a golem burned in an oven is not a good look. I really have no words.)
Later, John and Mary bury them in unmarked graves in the forest. Is it their favorite unmarked gravesite? Inquiring minds want to know! Mary muses on Wilcox’s actions.
Important dialog alert!
Mary: He gave up everything. All so he wouldn’t lose Dorothea.
John: Things we do for love
Mary: It’s not love
John: What do you mean?
Mary: Jack was only thinking of himself. Of what he wanted. It didn’t matter if it cost him his humanity to get it. That’ll never be us, right?
That evening, Lata and Carlos drive. Carlos can’t believe Lata withheld her amazing memory-altering skillz from him. He would have totally asked her to erase Anton from his crush-addled mind. “But seeing Roxy choose to live with her memories of the Akrida and hearing her say she’d be okay in spite of it made me realize that sometimes the things you want to forget are probably the things you shouldn’t.” For Carlos, that’s something SWEET AND LOVELY YAAAAY.
The Mystery Machine arrives at Roxy’s warehouse. It’s looking very abandoned-warehousey, when suddenly one of the Akrida pulls up and strides inside. They found her nest!
We’re ready for an easy, triumphant conclusion, when John gets back to the garage. Kyle’s waiting for him there. “You don’t know it yet, but we’re about to get in a big fight about Mary.” Smirking, Kyle reveals that he’s been carefully setting John up. He’s been writing in his diary about John’s harassment, talking to the cops about his rap sheet, AND he just so happened to call the cops before heading to the garage. John realizes Kyle’s controlled by the Akrida. Kyle smirks and pulls out John’s knife, slicing himself. John begs him to stop, but Kyle - er, the Akrida - stabs himself in the heart.
Kyle dies as Milie arrives back at the garage. In the distance, police sirens wail.
Natasha: Augh, we’re already at episode TEN? These are going by too fast! (Shakes fist at CW)
These Quotes Go On When I Close My Eyes:
Car trouble? And on my way back from the market with a pot roast in the oven!
A normal life’s right around the corner for you, Campbell
Taking things slow and seeing faces in pancakes is for stupid, boring people who don’t have the fate of the world on their excellently proportioned shoulders
Oh, you dirty dozing tramp. Have you been seeing him in your dreams?
I guess research is just another arrow in my quiver of talents
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I REALLY appreciate Roxy.
She didn’t want to remember the trauma she endured and survived. She was SO BRAVE to allow Lata to unearth all of it in the hope of saving other people from having to endure what she did. She agreed partly out of that desire to turn her suffering to something beneficial, but also partly because of the promise that once she relived it all, she’d be allowed to forget it, to erase it from her mind forever and have “peace.”
FORGETTING IS NOT HAVING PEACE.
Because she also would’ve forgotten how she HELPED. She would’ve had to surrender all knowledge of it. And as awful as it was, she didn’t WANT to forget it.
When she was done reliving it all, she was confused, maybe a little disappointed just for a second that she could still remember it all because the spell to erase it was separate and they had to wake her up in between the two spells. Which gave her the ability to CHOOSE to keep those memories.
Yes, what she’d been through had cost her everything– her girlfriend, her job, her entire life really. But WHAT GOOD WOULD FORGETTING DO TO HER? It wouldn’t bring back her job, her old life, or her girlfriend. She’d be in the exact same situation but with NO IDEA WHY.
Forgetting is never the answer. The peace it brings is a lie.
(also this is why i hate what dean asked cas to do to ben and lisa… erasing him from their memories. they didn’t even have a choice, and i get that he believed it was the only way to protect them, but it underscores just how awful a place dean was in… he could’ve erased the traumatic experiences, their knowledge of the monsters and hunting and left everything else, but heck.. >.> anyway back to the point…)
spn has asked us before, which would you rather have? peace or freedom?
and “peace” (or paradise) is always the far more horrific choice. because it requires forgetting.
The Winchesters 1x09: Cast Your Fate to the Wind
On a lonely stretch of highway, our little show starts with an armored truck barreling into a station wagon. Things don’t look good for the folks in the little beat up wagon. It’s okay though! They’re just vampires looking to steal whatever is in the back of the truck (are they possibly vampirates?) They’re looking for a missing amulet, but walk away with maps!
Mary and John are still puzzling over Dean the mystery man that gave John the letter from Henry. John loves the car. Mary thinks her son is a babe. PDA ensues. They run into Kyle, the reporter. Kyle is less than impressed that he ran into them all lovey-dovey. John asks Mary if they should tell the others about them. Mary thinks they should keep things simple.
Carlos alerts them to the vampire case and they head their separate ways.
“This isn’t how I saw things going when I pushed over that first domino. Thing is, I’ve had more than a few dances with free will, and fate, but as my dad used to say, ‘Fate is what you make it.’”
At the crime scene, Lata and Carlos talk with one of the truck drivers. Carlos talks with him and gets the full story, but tells him to stick with the original drug story for others. Lata sees the police box up a Men of Letters box with the initials “RJM'' on it. Mary arrives and asks more about the mysterious box. Lata has been mapping out the bunker and notes that there’s a locker room. She thinks she can trace the initials back to the clubhouse. John’s ex, Betty, arrives in time to ask the driver about our intrepid investigators and look suspicious.
In the bowels of the clubhouse, Lata gives the others the ultimate home tour.
They locate the locker room and the locker with the initials “RJM” on it. Very convenient. Mary picks the lock. They find the amulet. John “Sam Winchester is my son and does dumb stuff and takes after me” Winchester holds the amulet. He sees a vision of one of the vampires killing him. He drops the amulet, but not before rune symbols are burned into his palm. Well, John, you’re not a real hunter until you’ve died at least once.
Lata figures out that the amulet is the Gem of Ursitoare, the Romanian gods of fate. This amulet can tell the future. The group breaks up to find some answers to John’s potential fate.
Betty visits Millie at the repair shop. She voices her concern about John hanging around people that like to hang around crime scenes. Millie assures her that they’re upstanding citizens, despite their rap sheets.
Lata and Carlos (with John and Mary right behind them) head out to talk with the lore expert, Diana. Lata laments the fact that Carlos didn’t seem to hit it off with his crush, Anton. Yeah, Carlos, what gives?
At the lore shop, Diana confirms that what the gem shows, must come to pass.
Diana explains the connection to the vampires and how the amulet doesn’t necessarily show how you die, but your next fated moment in your life. These vamps, the Il Soarta, want their lost amulet back, and they’re not above bribing lore clerks. Diana! We trusted you! Well, the vamps arrive, and Diana trusts them, but they kill her anyway. Fisticuffs ensue. The big bad vamp finds the amulet and sees his future –and John’s.
Back at the clubhouse, they decide that it’s too dangerous for John to head out to a vamp hunt when he’s fated to die at the hands of a vampire. Instead, Mary calls his mom for some quick John-sitting duties, and reassures him before she heads out. She WILL kill every last vampire in the area if she has to!
At the apothecary, the crime scene is taped off and guarded by one highly suspicious Betty. She immediately intercepts Mary before sneaking can commence. Mary tooooootally plays it cool. WHAT? Somebody got MURDERED HERE? Oh, what a world!
Betty isn’t buying it. She tells Mary that she clocked her at two crime scenes in one day, and it is QUITE suspicious. She expresses concern that John might get hurt. “I would never put John in any kind of danger,” Mary says and - hey. She BELIEVES it, but girl plz.
Mary scoots behind the building to meet up with Lata and Carlos. She was serving as a distraction for the cops so that Lata and Losie could sneak inside and loot the place for intel. It worked - Carlos and Lata found Diana’s ledger, which will give them a lead on finding the vampires.
Millie researches in the clubhouse with John, and lets him know about Betty sniffing around. Betty’s worried that John’s backsliding into some of his “old ways” - which presumably involves, idk, punching people on the street and other hooliganisms. Millie DOES express some of her own concern. John’s middle name isn’t, after all, “Healthy Coping Mechanisms.” John insists that he’s FINE. He has heart eyes for Mary, which helps.
Millie tells John to brush aside the fate fixation. “Everyone told me I couldn’t be a mechanic and look at me now.”
“Fate is what you make it,” Millie assures him. (We point and shout at this week’s catch phrase!) And then they settle back into vampire lore.
Elsewhere, the gang lands at the vampire nest, but it’s empty. They find the heist plans AND a cool new toy - a magic lock pick!
Carlos whips out some of the paperwork, and they discover that the stolen blueprint from the cold open heist is of the MoL complex. Furthermore, the blueprints reveal a weakness: a THERMAL EXHAUST PORT! I mean, unwarded sewers. Same thing!
John and Millie are still researching when Mary radios them and warns them that the vampirates are on their way. Suddenly, there’s a huge bang and the room shakes. It’s too late for them to escape the clubhouse but they CAN hide! Lata identifies a vault they can lock themselves into.
John and Millie make a run for it, and the vampires give chase. They lock themselves in the vault just in time, and Millie fixes the electrics to get the lights working.
The Scooby Gang pulls up to the clubhouse, greeted by vamps. Carlos pulls off his scarf and swings his hair out for Lata. She uncaps a canteen and soaks his hair. “Holy water hair commercial?” Mary asks him. Carlos smiles with confidence, taunts the vampires, and when they try to get bitey he whips his hair around and paints them with holy water, burning them. Carlos THEN takes them out with graceful swings of his blade. Mmmm you know I love to see it!
Millie, meanwhile, gets the lights working. But John’s not too happy about what he finds. It’s….a room swathed in red carpet.
Mary slices and dices her way through the vampires guarding the clubhouse. And she does it all in TWO INCH HEELS, fellas!
In John’s Death Pit ™, the vampires pound at the vault’s door while Millie frantically tries to find a way to save themselves. John looks at the room fatalistically. There’s nothing they can use to fight except for the extremely unsafe exposed wires. John tosses an idea her way.
Finally fighting her way past the vamps, Mary arrives to find the vampire already feeding on John. The lead vampire is strong! He’s confident! He’s totally going to murder Mary! But the vampire starts to choke before he can start his impressively acrobatic vampiratical assault. Millie tells Mary that he’s got dead man’s blood in his system. John was already dead when the vampire attacked!
Mary slices off the vamp’s head and we catch up via flashback. John had proposed that Millie electrocute him, stop his heart, and let the vampire feast on an already-dead John. Then, they just do some quick CPR and bring him back to life! Easy peasy. John thinks that his preview of death was skewed - it didn’t show him the possibility of life beyond that.
Mary and Millie perform gentle CPR on him, and it looks like it’s going POORLY. They weep over John’s body for several seconds. Like. SEVERAL SECONDS. And then suddenly John gasps and revives. (Hmmmm sus…) But hooray! He’s great! He sits up and Mary immediately deeply kisses him.
GURL LET THE BOY CATCH HIS BREATH.
Mary admits to their relationship, and Lata and Carlos immediately declare victory. For they hath called it.
Later, Anton patches up Carlos, tenderly cleaning his wounds. Awkward flirting happens. Carlos apologizes for never calling Anton. He was scared, but he’s ready for a second date. They KISS! Doves fly away in formation! Balloons ascend! Roses bloom!
For Cuties Being Cute Science:
Mary and John stow the amulet in a glowing lockbox in the clubhouse. They recap their feelings before heading off to the movies for a real date!
At a diner, Betty talks to Kyle. They discuss that suspicious lass, Mary Campbell. Betty makes it clear that she’s investigating the Scooby Gang FOR John. Kyle is toooootally just interested as a curious journalist. His collaboration with Betty has nothing to do with the Akrida bite visible on the back of his neck. DUN DUN DUN
What did the Akrida journalist say to the witness? I just need an A-quote-a:
Office romances can mess up a work dynamic
Loco es mi segundo nombre
I think it might be time to get a clubhouse cat
What can I say? The Campbells know how to have a good time
I did not expect something called hunting to involve so much reading
Bank heisting vampires would make such a fantastic movie
I told your little friend, nothing can stop fate
Hope looks good on you, Campbell
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