“The French Mistake” Review
By Bekah James
I’ve come to look forward to that one episode of every Supernatural Season that stands out above the others. I will call them my “comfort episodes” and watch them when the real world kicks my ass. Think “Tall Tales,” “Mystery Spot,” “Wishful Thinking,” “Changing Channels”… and now “The French Mistake.”
Sebastian Roche is back as my second favorite angel, causing a mayhem-albeit slightly helpful mayhem-as usual. The tension in the opening scene was all thanks to him and his disjointed recounting of The Godfather as he ransacked Bobby’s house for ingredients for Heavenly AU Stew. I love the unhinged and dirty quality Sebastian brings to Balthazar. And it makes me giggle that he has a British accent. Do you think that means his vessel is a Brit? It definitely adds a level of smarmy to the guy. Oh! I giggled at the way he called Castiel “Cassey” (“Cassie”?… someone check the script). The only thing it was missing was a -poo at the end. (I might would’ve died if he’d called him Casseypoo. Just sayin’.) So, despite Balthazar and Cas ending their last meeting with an implied ‘don’t call me and I won’t call you’, I was surprised to see them working together to protect Heaven’s weapons. Wasn’t Balty selling those things? I’m interested in finding out what brought about the change of heart.
Aaaaaand. I’m curious. How did Balthazar know where to find the Winchesters? Are the rib sigils no longer working? They’ve kinda done away with that bit of mythology in Season 6, or have I forgotten the explanation they gave for Cas being able to appear when Dean offers up a flip prayer? I miss Cas having a cell phone. Maybe they should put him on their family plan.
Raphael is on the warpath (so to speak) and he’s got a new meatsuit. We didn’t get a good chance to really feel out Lanette Ware as the vengeful archangel (the South to Castiel’s North in the Heavenly Civil War), but I’m stoked that it’s a girl. I have missed Anna showing up to kick ass, so bring it on Girly Raph!
We have a new angel in play: Virgil. Guest star Carlos Sanz brings Virgil to life to scare the pants off the Winchesters (and poor, poor Misha). Not only is he Heaven’s artillery guard dog, he also appears quite loyal to Raphael. That doesn’t seem like a tick in Castiel’s win column to me. The guy is big, bad and surly. The scene in which he kicks it Javier Bardem-style (pulling the gun on Kripke & Co.) absolutely amused me, which okay, was totally inappropriate of me. I blame the Music Department for adding the Mexican stand-off music… and director Charles Beeson for the slow-mo. Virgil seems to be stuck in the AU without his mojo, so I wonder if we’ll see him again. I can’t imagine the fans will be too eager to see him since he stabbed our beloved Misha.
Speaking of Misha… holy cows. You know I adore Misha twenty-three ways to Thursday, and this episode just highlighted, bolded and underlined why my adoration is here to stay. He played himself with just the right amount of quirkiness and loo-loo-ness (yeah, it’s totally a word; don’t doubt me) that his garish wink-wink-nudge-nudge to those firmly entrenched in fandom (comme moi) was obvious and appreciated. His zen-y shirt; his hybrid car; his ugly sweater; his faux-hawky bang swoop; the “you guys punked me good”; his facial expressions during the failed takes… it was all genius. But seriously, but nothing could ever compare to his tweets. A discerning fan will note that Misha was not on his beloved iPhone, but hey, it was AU, right? Anyway, we all love following the maniacal genius of @mishacollins through Twitter (if you don’t already… go forth and follow), and while he failed to start any new feuds with international heads of states in this episode, he did use the fandom-created term “J Squared”. I flailed like a wounded dodo bird. I snort-laughed at his “Do you ever get the feeling that someone is in your backseat… Frowny face…” I was a little confused by Misha’s wimpy crying when Virgil kidnapped him. But then I remember a convention video where Misha talked about his embarrassing lack of fighting skills. Perhaps his capitulation and begging was a shout out to that; otherwise it makes no sense in my ‘OMG Misha is a god’ mindset.
I know there are some mixed feelings about Genevieve Padalecki in the fandom, but I’ve always just adored her. She seems to hold up well under the scrutiny and sometimes harsh judgment of those who, for some inexplicable reason, do not like her. The fact that she was willing to return to the show and play a parody of herself was fantastic. She looked amazing and delivered her “It’s an alpaca. It’s the greenest animal” with the earnestness of someone vying for an Oscar. She owned it and I bought it, just like I bought her “Otter Adoption charity dinner”. Sweet cheesus… otter adoption charity? An alpaca in the back yard? I want to have a BBQ at the Padalecki’s (huge ass, btw) house! BYOA… Bring your own alpaca!
The crew on the Supernatural lot had to be a little nervous when they got the script to this episode. Imagine a coworker writing a little spoof on your workplace. Sure, you’d laugh at the concept, but you’d be really nervous to see how you were written, right? Well, my already considerable respect for the gang rose exponentially after seeing this. Dean asks Bob Singer: “What kind of douche names a character after himself?” which was one of my first thoughts when Bobby Singer was introduced as a character. Sera Gamble takes a beating when it is suggested that Kripke be called in to talk some sense into Fake!Jensen and Fake!Jared. Bob says “I don’t think they know who you are” and that right there hurt my sides so hard. Perhaps the most shining example of lampooning came at the expense of Eric Kripke who showed up throwing around “totally”s like he was being paid a nickel for each time he said it. The name of his new pilot (was it Octocobra?) was awesome and made me think, yeah okay, if Kripke created it, I would watch it, even if it has a lame-o title. The whole scene-including the slow-mo shoot out-was HYSTERICAL. It took how many shots to fell the Mighty Kripke? I believe it was five which points to Charles Beeson’s awesomeness. Hilarious, the whole darn thing.
Charles Beeson, by the way, directed my other perennial favorite, Season 5’s “Changing Channels” as well as a list of other fantastic episodes. He is one of my favorite directors because of the interesting twist he puts on things. I would have paid good money to be a fly on his wall when he got the script for this episode. I imagine there was a fair amount of blinking in silent, followed by a few chuckles, and ending with pages and pages of scribbled notes and ideas. The man is a genius and I would love to see him at work.
I’ve been delaying talking about Jared and Jensen’s turns as Sam and Dean playing Fake!Jared and Fake!Jensen because I know that I could go on about their epic-ness forever. I was a little disturbed by the thought of a universe wherein Jared and Jensen are not friends off set. My brain rejected it every time it was mentioned. I don’t know why Ben Edlund went in that direction-maybe to screw with us fangirls? Well played, Mr. Edlund… well played.
I adored Jensen’s trailer. The giant RC helicopter was perfect, as was the comically large fish tank. I especially enjoyed the outtakes playing on the giant TV behind Jensen (Dean, lol, whatever) as they tried to piece together where they were and what it all meant. It was difficult to concentrate on the conversation as I took in all the scenery. The Blue Steel comment about the cover of the Supernatural Magazine was perfect, considering Jared and Misha’s playful mockery of photo shoots at a ChiCon 2010 (seek out the video if you want a laugh).
Jared’s house (heck, LIFE) made me so giddy. I love that they made it ridiculously huge, and that Sam noted “I guess I’m the star”. I could hear the collective gasp and outrage of Dean girls at that one. And perhaps the maniacal laugh of Sam girls. My absolutely favorite thing about the whole episode was the black & white Cowboy!Jared portrait hanging behind Fake!Jared’s desk. How anyone in creation could seriously hang a picture like that is beyond me, so it made the frivolity of celebrity really obvious… as did the alpaca. By the by, who knew that alpacas moo/ bleat? Huh.
Dean and Sam having their hands on a large pot of money gave me the giggles. Instead of heading out to celebrate, they jump onto ReliquariesRUs.com and buy the bones of a lesser saint and lamb’s blood. That’s my boys!
That sorta reminds me. The boys playing with the rubber and retractable prop knives had me in stitches. It was an excellent touch to have the producers watching them and discussing how to handle the collective psychedelic trip of their stars. I gotta say, I would have loved to have had Jim Beaver in the mix. I bet he would’ve been hilarious.
The acting like they couldn’t act? Brilliant. Dean missing Fake!Jensen’s mark and Sam with Fake!Jared’s claw-like hands had the tears streaming down my face like a lunatic.
Okay, okay. I’ll stop, I swear.
But two more things:
Ben Edlund is my god. I bow down and castigate myself at his feet. His genius is a little scary and a lot awesome. Proof? He made Sam look up Jensen in Days Of Our Lives. Gasp-snort-giggle!
The set designers blew my mind this time. I can just imagine the giggles as they threw ideas around to poke fun at Real!J-Squared using inside information and photos. That must have been a great couple of weeks of planning and execution. Can you just imagine Jensen and Jared’s reactions going into set and seeing Fake!Jared’s house? Oh man.
So, to summarize… this is the best episode, hands down of Season 6. There is just no competition. I have had my laughs and now I’m ready to head back down the dark, dark path of this Season’s story arc. Let’s talk purgatory, civil war and soul selling! Woot!
Bekah’s Liver Is Fried From Drinking
Okay, so the drinking assignment was a shot/swig/whatever for every bit of laughter. Deep breath. I had to stop once my vision tripled. I counted 57 times I laughed-and I think I might have missed some. Jeez, my head still hurts. Next week, I’m hitting the Virgin Diet Coke. My liver will thank me.
Next week, let’s try that Thoughtful Profile thing again, since I forgot to count the week before last. Since next week sees the return of Grandpa Creepy and is called “And Then There Were None”, I’m willing to bet we’ll get a ton of TPs. ‘Til next week, lovelies!