Reaction: Supernatural (6×17)

Friday night is a dilemma for me. I have no life, so that’s never on the menu – but what is, is Supernatural and Fringe, both on at the same blimmin’ time. Curses. I tend to opt for Supernatural, because Fringe is made available on Hulu the day after it airs.

Don’t read if you don’t want weird, rambling spoilers.

I remain as spoiler free for Supernatural as possible. I had no idea what was coming – but I knew something was up when Dean and Sam did Rock Paper Scissors and Sam lost. Sam never loses! I wasn’t quite sure until they got in the car (nice license plate!) and mentioned “she”. Then I knew there was some weird wrong reality stuff going on. Dean would never drive a Mustang with racing stripes. Ever. And I knew Ellen would be on soon.

It was good to see her, truly. I know I was one of those who really didn’t care much for Ellen when she was first introduced – I thought the intro of Ellen and Jo Harvelle was colossally ill-timed, and the whole Roadhouse was ill-conceived. Unfortunately, just as both Ellen and Jo were becoming more rounded characters, Supernatural dropped them. And brought on two more ill-conceived characters instead (both female, both ended up dead as well), but I digress. ;) But toward the end, I really, really liked Ellen and I hated that they only brought her back last year to kill her off senselessly.

Much as it was nice to see Ellen, the Bobby/Ellen marriage kind of squicked me, and it also felt like a cheap ploy because at the end of the day she had to die all over again anyway. Rather, disappear. Plus, they tossed in some mother hen stuff for Ellen, which was true to her character but was eh.

Bobby drinks too much no matter what timeline he’s in. :(

It never fails to surprise me that when faced with saving a bunch of people versus saving the people they know and love, all the characters know what the right course of action is, and consistently choose the selfish route instead. It’s like they’re goldfish hitting the bowl over and over and over and OVER and they never learn. Mind you, I don’t blame them for reacting that way – they’re (most of ‘em) only human, after all. At the same time, it’s completely daft. I think the only time they’ve ever done it the right way was when Sam tossed himself in the Pit to stop Lucifer from bringing the apocalypse.

Oh hai, Robert Rothman! Good to see you meet another senseless end. ;)

I liked Fate. I mean, it’s unpleasant to watch all these random, weird deaths, but I could see exactly why she was doing it. I could also see her point about getting screwed out of her job when the apocalypse went buh-bye. What I did not like was how the men in the show characterized her (and, to some extent, how Ellen described her). Capricious, really? There was very little random or whimsical in her behavior. Balthazar created a giant, massive problem and she was attempting to fix it. (I did become a little confused about the souls – are they valuable when they’re in people, or when they’re dead? She wouldn’t kill people knowing it would only feed Castiel’s thingamabob, right? Maybe someone can clear that up for me.) Do I like her for gunning for Sam and Dean? No, but her doing so wasn’t any of the adjectives Castiel used to describe her. Or, her actions wouldn’t have been described as such if she were a he. I’M JUST SAYING. She had reasons for everything she did. Solid, mostly logical reasons.

This, though, made me laugh:

Dean: What did she look like?
Sam: She kind of looked like a librarian.
Dean: Your kind of librarian or my kind of librarian?
Sam: Well, she had clothes on, if that’s what you mean.

Now, Castiel. I know a huge portion of Supernatural fandom adores him, and I’ve always been more of the lukewarm sort. Haha, some would say I’m a hating hater that hates, but that’s not true. When most say he’s being a badass, I see him being inconsistent and slightly duplicitous. Well, tonight I flat out didn’t like him. Not only did he orchestrate the whole clustereff of the Titanic being “unsunk” for completely ignoble reasons, but then he lied about it to keep his good standing with Sam and Dean. I think what he’s taken about “free will” is that anything goes. Anything does go, within reason. You still have to be a good person. And farming 50,000 souls is not within reason. No, I don’t feel bad for him. No, I don’t think he’s a woobie. No, I don’t think him being on the losing side in his war in heaven is a good reason for him to pull that kind of crap. He is not the same as Fate.

His conversation with Fate while Sam and Dean were under whatever that was falling toward them was extremely telling – and she was absolutely correct. About everything. That is not the version of events Sam and Dean got, though. When it all got reset because in that game of poker Fate had the winning hand, what did our angel relay to our boys? That Fate is a bitch, basically, and then owned up to piss-all in the whole affair.

Yes, bad juju is comin’ on that storyline’s front.

So, we got Ellen back (but not really, just teasing you! She’s going to stay blowed to smithereens for no reason, kthanxbai) and Fate is a bitch (their words, not mine) who needs to be killed. Plus, they got in some nasty crack about Celine Dion – who I don’t particularly care for as an artist, but come on. Pretending the reasoning behind unsinking the Titanic just so the movie and Celine’s song never get made (and her career never takes off) was silly. Let’s hear it for Supernatural’s stance on women!

See, it sounds like I didn’t enjoy the episode. I actually did. There was plenty to love as well, but Supernatural is a show that has many, many, MANY issues with women and race, issues I think will never actually be addressed in any satisfactory way. Then why do you watch, SBG? Well. Okay. It’s like this: 1) eye candy – have you seen Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles?; 2) often unpleasant to contemplate storylines and ideas that are at the same time very compelling, and 3) I don’t know how to quit.

Comments

    • sbg says

      You really do have to ignore the bad stuff sometimes. I would love it if Show would at least try to be better about not writing these horrible tropes about women and persons of color. I fear that’ll never happen.

  1. says

    I haven’t seen last night’s episode yet!!

    Maria keeps bothering me to write about this show here, but I cut it too much slack because I love it. I love the dialogue and the boys and the gore and and…

    Yeah, I don’t know how to quite either, in case you hadn’t guessed. :)

    • sbg says

      Leigh, that’s exactly why I have never really written more than a one-off post. I know it has MAJOR issues (hello, nearly every PoC who has ever been introduced ever has either 1) gotten dead or 2) been turned into a villain and hello, lots of women running around in nighties being victims) and I see them, but there are so many things to love about Show at the same time.

      • says

        hello, nearly every PoC who has ever been introduced ever has either 1) gotten dead

        That is SO painfully common on TV. Even when I’m watching a show just for fun, with no intention of reviewing it here, or even *thinking* about it critically, the pattern jumps out at me so strongly, I just see a PoC (esp. MoC) and start wondering how they will bite it.

        • sbg says

          It’s very pervasive. I can admit that it took me a long time to see it, but now that I do – it’s everywhere. It’s the kind of thing that’s so integrated into our society that I doubt people realize what it is they’re doing, and why it’s a problem. Doing it a different way would require … thought. ;)

          • says

            I’m sure it took me a long time to notice, too. But what I can’t understand is why it doesn’t eventually get noticed by everyone. On more than one occasion, I’ve watched TV with really typical white guys, who are not into critical thought and think it’s overkill that a show cast a black guy for a major role “just to be more PC”, and even THEY notice that whenever a black guy comes along in a smaller role on a show where people get killed, he’s dead meat. Then they grumble about it, probably from the perspective of being bored with something that’s too formulaic and gives away a piece of the story in advance.

            So if even THEY are annoyed by it, albeit maybe not for concern for racial representation… well, HW *must* be aware of it and… what are they thinking?

      • Leigh says

        It really is psychotically problematic and yet…yet yet yet I can’t hate it.

        Can’t do it. It’s too much fun to watch. I just turn off my serious business critical thinking brain and enjoy, really. It’s probably a good thing to do sometimes to give myself the chance to breathe, otherwise I’d just feel bitter all the time about everything.

        • sbg says

          Heh. When I talk about it on my journal – well, I’ve lost “friends” because I’m not always 100% OMGEPWASAWESOME! Like you can’t see the problems and still enjoy an episode. I guess it’s a downer to point out the flaws? Honestly, sometimes the flaws are what make Supernatural so interesting to watch.

          Plus, Padalecki’s been rocking his hair lately, has fantastic forearms and Ackles has a fantastic everything. Hehe. :)

      • Attackfish says

        ooh! can we have “Women’s Work” as our Thursday interruption” at some point? (or have we already and I missed it?)

  2. M.C. says

    All I can say (which is a little OT) is that if you are looking for a new show for fridays: go watch Camelot on Starz!

    And I’m not saying this because I’ve got a crush on Eva Green’s Morgan – no, I’m saying this because she’s the most BAMF Morgan ever. *gg*

  3. Brand Robins says

    I love Supernatural.

    But I hated this week’s episode. It was clunky, cheap, and a great example of how even a fun premise can be killed by lousy execution.

    As for the problems of Supernatural in terms of politics…. yea. I’m really not quite sure how I manage to like the show considering that the entire premise of the first three seasons was based on putting multiple women in refrigerators.

    • SunlessNick says

      The first season managed to feature women who could be bystanders of the week but still be brave, smart and/or tough. Also that Dean, the more stereotypically manly of the two brothers, was the one who tended to show respect for that (like in Wendigo where he just dismisses the idea of whether it’s up to him and Sam whether to “let” Hailey come with them to search for her brother; or in Provenance with his reaction to Sarah deciding it was her responsibility to help deal with the cursed antique her auction house had sold).

      I managed to coast through the next couple of seasons based on the Haileys and Sarahs, made it through the fourth, and stopped sometime in the fifth when I discovered that Anna was going to be trashed and killed so we’d forget how far ahead of golden-Castiel’s learning curve she’d been.

      • Lilith says

        Thank you! It’s so nice to find someone else who disliked the direction the writers went in for Anna, it was /so/ ridiculous and felt really out of character. The brothers immediately treat her as the ‘crazy bitch’ and then she just dies so gratuitously, like it felt more extreme than a lot of other deaths on the show.

        • Brand Robins says

          Oh god… I’d managed to expunge that whole episode from my mind.

          In my head Anna was running around being all kick ass. But not now. No. Now I remember.

          Bah.

  4. sbg says

    I actually did not care for Anna at all – but what they did to her was beyond the pale. Because when she was suffering after being, I imagine, brutally tortured, she was still quite right in many ways. So, what she got for it was 1) psychosis brought on by betrayal and torture and 2) roasted instead of a standard kill.

    *sigh*

  5. says

    My sister and I tried to watch Supernatural, because it has such a HUGE fandom and we figured there had to be something to it. Unfortunately, we never really found out what it was because we spent too much time laughing our heads off and guessing the plot twists in advance.

    Me: Oh, the girlfriend is SO gonna die.
    Sis: Agreed. No woman can show that much cleavage in a horror series and live.
    Me: Quick, girl! Die your hair brown and put on a baggy sweater! IT’S YOUR ONLY HOPE!
    Hero Dude Guy: What would I do without you?
    Me: Oooooh, darn.
    Sis: Why did he say that? WHY?!
    Me: The frumpiest turtleneck in the world could not save her now.

  6. sbg says

    Dani Atkinson,

    There is a lot about SPN that’s very schlockily done, but there is also something to it. I remember watching a certain other show that aired opposite it when it was on Thursday nights (*cough*Grey’sAnatomy*cough*) and thinking, “Oh man, a show about monsters and demons portrays human emotion and the harsh realities of life better than this show set in the ‘real world’.”

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