This is going to be a short one for me. I’m going to be blunt.
I really didn’t like this episode much. I was really hyped to see it, but there were a few things that bothered me about it that I find hard to get over. This is going to be a much shorter review, and not a recap, because not everyone has watched last night’s episode and its a two-parter. I won’t actually know how I really feel until I know what the end game is.
It wasn’t a bad episode. It was actually pretty well written and the action scenes and humor were spot on. There were a few scenes I liked, and I reached some conclusions about Sam (and his threshold for pain) that were illuminating. I liked the scene where Mary Winchester sees the Impala for the first time in years, and where her thoughts seem to go, while Dean is assuming something else. I liked the couple of moments of pathos between Mary and Dean, and her realizing that its little Dean, all grown up, and thinking about how they have to establish a new kind of relationship now.
There were some problems with this episode, and I hope its not an indication of the future of this season.
- I didn’t like Cas’ characterization here. I understand that after being banished by Toni, he might be just a tiny bit salty, but knocking out some guy on the road and stealing his car is a dick move, Cas! Also he seemed rather overly hostile for most of the episode. A little too ready and willing to hurt people. Is he overcompensating for his mistake in allowing Lucifer to possess him? Is that why he’s experiencing his new zeal to harm humans? Or is it the aftereffects of Lucifer possessing his body? This is why I need to know the outcome of the two-parter, and if Cas’ new attitude will ever be addressed.
- Sam being tortured again! Didn’t we just start off season ten with Sam being kidnapped and tortured by somebody? I’m pretty sure its happened at least once more since season ten, although it happens so often I wouldn’t blame the viewer for not being able to discern which episodes. I also thought the first part of the torture scenes were kinda lame. C’mon Toni! Cold water! I get it. Its pretty uncomfortable, but that’s just weird, and mostly came across like a gay porn scene. Don’t get me wrong. Wet!Sam is awesome, but its not the scariest, most tension filled moment I’ve ever seen on this show.
- And it was all pointless anyway. I mean really! Toni would have had much better luck sitting down with Sam, over a beer,, and just asking him questions, because the kinds of things she wants to know are not secrets. I don’t like the way the British Men of Letters came on so hard. To me, its a total miscalculation on her part, and I think less of her for it. I understand that she knows their history, and considers them dangerous, but antagonizing the Winchesters wasn’t the smartest move she could have made, and now she’s lost a henchwoman, too. Toni severely underestimated Sam’s ability to escape restraints during a crisis, and his high pain threshold. He did try to warn her, that he’d been tortured by the best and the brightest, and you’d think she’d listen, “Miss I Know Your History”, but apparently Toni is pretty hardheaded.
- I don’t like that Dean spent most of this episode getting his ass kicked. First by his Mom, although that’s to be expected because… Mary! And then by Toni’s torturer later in the episode. Seriously Dean, I’ve seen you fight much much better than that! I do wonder why his skills were so shabby. Is he still in a befuddled mental state because of Mary’s return? I did like the rather stunned look on his face as he was hugged by his Mom for the first time in 33 years. And I was in tears at Mara’s reasoning for doing this for him because it was beautiful. I will even forgive Dean if the reason his fighting skills were so shabby is because he’s still greatly discombobulated by his mother’s presence back in his life.
- Both Dean and Cas getting their butts kicked had the unintended side effect of making Toni’s henchwoman look superhuman. In fact she was doing so well against the two of them, that I started to seriously question if she was human at all. Writers, don’t do that again! Bad writers! Luckily, Mary was there to save the two incompetent fighters.
Sam got his butt kicked too, but at least he had a good excuse, as he’d been tortured and drugged. I still didn’t like watching it though.
- I was disinterested in Crowley’s activities this episode. I know he’s on a mission of vengeance. I’m just not interested in missions of vengeance, and hope his story deepens beyond that. The demons stopped being scary years ago, but now its reached the point where they are just, comedy relief and I really don’t like that, although they are pretty funny. Are these the only kind of demons left after the various shakeups in Hell?
It wasn’t a bad episode, as there were moments to like about it. Mary Winchester’s continued wonderment about Castiel, the discussion about British hunting techniques, and the realization that America doesn’t have anything nearly like it. It will be interesting to see Toni get thrown into the deep end of American style hunting. And I’m greatly interested to know what the American Hunting community thinks of the Winchesters. So really, I think most of the good stuff wasn’t in this episode but lies somewhere ahead this season.
Until this two part opening is finished though, I can only give this one a C average. I do trust Andrew Dabb and I have tremendous faith he will deliver a good season, but this was a slower start than I’m used to.