“Robert Berens does a solid for fandom with this installment of Supernatural! My fellow authors have done great reviews and I urge you to read them, but I had to weigh in and give special kudos to writer, editing staff, and director. It goes without saying at this point that all 4 leads and guest stars give so much to make this one a home-run- even after 11 years, proving the old gal still has gas in her tank and has story telling to do. It is not getting stale so, new fans- jump in!
Noteworthy items IMHO.
The script is fast paced. We have seen other editors do simultaneous scenes which leave our heads spinning. Here, the editing sometimes ended a scene with the same word with which the next scene begins and so the continuity is seamless. “our little world” is not only the title , but also how we fit into that Supernatural reality. Jim Pickel deserves a high five for the editing. I would love to see what was cut out as Beren’s tweet says much good stuff was cut out.
Berens does not make Dean look stupid with the what is the POI question he asks Sam, unlike last week’s marsupial reference. Dean really wants to know what the point of interest is and it leads to Amara. Berens picks up in Fall RIver, just where Nancy Won left the Winchesters. This is refreshing as it eliminates exposition and the suspension of disbelief about long distance trips.he boys locate Amara at Needham Asylym. Yes, there is a Needham in Massachusetts and this is a throw back to “Asylum” episode which also involved teenagers. Nice continuity,
The angst of being a teenage girl is on display in the opening scene where 2 girls are discussing parental rules and rebellion. Fun fact: Rober Beren’s grandmother’s name is Goldie as is the character whose soul gets sucked out by Amara. Berens shared this on his live tweet! She attempts to murder her mother- now that she has no soul- and is captured which leads Sam and Dean to interrogate her. Rather than more of this on screen, we skip ahead to her jail cell where a demon tries to kill her to clean up the clue that might lead back to Crowley. Question: How did the devil’s trap get painted on the ceiling? Was Dean on Sam’s shoulders and didn’t anyone notice? – Nope-not in our little world of SPN.
This demon leads us to see a typical interrogation, but with Sam trying to opt to save the meat-suit until he realizes that the meat-suit is mortally wounded. This non-kill policy of Sam’s comes into play as he fights 3 demons as Dean goes after Amara. The score- 2 captured, 1 dead. Sam is pleased. Question: Does this policy put the brothers in more danger?
Berens pulls on previous episodes to tease us. He uses the wallpaper from “Changing Channels” in the boys’ motel room. And indeed in our little world of an episode, we change channels between Sam and the demons in a fight and Cas and Metatron in a fight, and Amara and Crowley in a fight( Yes, part of me loved the hand twist, even though it was over the top). T Metatron accuses Cas of being afraid to hit him and being a bit “nancy”. Question; Is this a reference to last week’s writer Nancy Won who gave Cas voice time only?
Cas’ reluctance to leave the bunker demonstrates his current issue. He wants to help the Winchesters but is he afraid as he does not trust his anger? His full anger is released on Metatron, who as a human with an angel beat-down, ends up in traction- as we are told. No screen time is lost. Metatron gives a speech about the novel being dead and reality shows being the story telling of the day. His recap of his life as a human has an Ayn Rand quality and Berens admits this in his tweets. Question: Do we secretly enjoy this violence since Metatron caused Cas and Dean so much pain? Hell, i was on board- he had killed Dean! But Metatron does drop the bombshell that Amara is God’s sister. Here we go….siblings at war, jealousy, competition. revenge. Ah how Berens brings all of these themes forward.
Berens also expands Crowley’s character a bit and beautifully, He says he is not even afraid of Lucifer and admits his role in caging him. He strikes a short lived deal with Amara. He is humorous as he holds court. The soul collections may be down due to legalized marijuana use in the western USA and he sits reading about why teenagers rebel in attempt to understand Amara. Further on, he traps Dean and admits that the “bromance” is over and he is now free to kill him without reserve. Now, we are thankful that Amara is fascinated by Dean. She is strong and strikes a deal for Dean’s safe passage, but nor before Crowley’s arm is as twisted as he is. Dean’s reaction to Crowley’s bromance is dead line is organic. Another of Beren’s tweets tells us that this reaction was unscripted- Jensen so feels Dean!
Question: When Sam fights the demons, Dean goes to find Amara. In order to get the demon guard to walk away from the room where she is staying, I heard Crowley’s voice admonishing Dean for staying in bed with a skank for half the morning. This is a reference to the s10 premiere. I did not hear it on the first watch, but caught it on the second. Again, beautiful insertion but question: Was that in Dean’s head, was it a hell echo from his demondean time with Crowley, or what do make of it? Clearly, Dean remembers his time with Crowley as he mentions that Crowley hates the place(HELL).
The scene between Amara and Dean is beautiful and yet frightening. She admits that she is fascinated by him as one of God’s creations. This is like the imprinting a baby duck has with the first thing it sees when born. Her stroking his cheek is a visceral. It is quiet and has such possible sexual overtones. Dean is frozen.So isn”t the viewer- will she slay him or kiss him? Neither at the moment.He is unable to inflict pain on her until Sam is threatened by her. She learns that Sam will always be Dean’s preference- jealousy? Revenge? Question: What will she need from Dean?
Berens brings it all together with a bunker scene which serves to sum up the episode but also reveals the separate paths the characters are on as they battle a common enemy. Crowley has control/power issues. Dean is not telling everything that happened between him and Amara Cas admits to a beat down on Metatron that is not the big picture now. He is not the big bad of the moment as Sam makes clear. Sam goes to “check the lore” which is a catch phrase of the character and we see his vision of a hand reaching out of the Cage. With Crowley’s reference to Lucifer- this cannot be ignored. And Dean is drinking again, alone in the bunker to perhaps cover his own doubts.
The director, Showalter, (has done many episodes since year one), then cleverly switches to a scene which is lit so brightly that I thought it was a commercial. It’s Amara.! The camera speed is slowed down just enough so we feel Amara’s wonder at our little world. admiring her brother’s creations. The music “You’ll be a Woman Soon” blares. The lyric- you’ll need a man. Although beautiful visually, it gave me chills. Question:What will Amara require of Dean given that cheek stroke? Fade out!
The parallel character development is underscored by the choreography of the fight scenes between Sam and the demons and Cas and Metatron. Amara’s teenage years are made understandable with the teenage victim. Dean and Amara are fascinated with each other. Sam’s point of view is on display several times. Cas’ time in the bunker is juxtaposed to his force on Metatron. Metatron emphasizes the difficulty of being human. Crowley is more evil than ever and yet not totally in control of anything in Hell. Grushka’s music plays under the action to add to a superb story. Showalter, Pickel, and Berens deliver “Our little World” in a way that makes it personal to the viewer. We are part of this reality.And leaves us wanting more!
Post Script: Rest in Peace Len! No loose end. Berens does the right thing.
AND the demon tablet is here…again!