By Bekah James
Here we are at the finish line. I can see it, looming over us with its promised answers and long, long stretch of reruns. “Frontierland” was an unknown for me. Would it be tongue in cheek humor? A serious episode to add to the show’s overall mythology? And the big one… would it suck? I am so glad to report that it was everything except sucky!
Straight out of the gate, Bobby had me stitches. I’m not exactly sure what a “run in the octomom’s stockings” means, but it made me laugh like a nut. His deadpanned demeanor was perfect. No matter how much I enjoyed the monster-possessed Bobby from “…And Then There Were None”, I am glad wise-cracking Bobby is back where he belongs. I especially liked his interactions with Castiel. Methinks he finally accepts Castiel is one of his charges, just like the Winchester boys.
Misha Collins really amped up the angst quotient to his take on Castiel this week; I liked it. The War is weighing heavily on him—or more likely the “dirty little secret” that his lieutenant (I like to call her Cas’s executive secretary) mentioned before she tried to gut my favorite angel. (Rachel, you bitch!) Thanks to Misha’s brilliant emoting, I remain anxious about his not-so-above-board war antics. I nearly swallowed my uvula when Rachel stabbed Cas, and again when he fainted into Bobby’s arms. Sweet Chuck above!
Let me just say this about Rachel… I liked her, at least until she went all pokey with a stick on Castiel. I liked that she was protective of her boss and that she pointed out (rightfully so) that the Winchesters only send for him when they need a favor. What’s up with that, boys? Why not shoot up a little prayer to share a liquor store sometime? Anyway, just as I was settling into Rachel, blam-o, Castiel killed her. The black wing silhouette gave me chills. It’s been a while since we’ve seen that, huh? I am not sure I believe Cas when he said that Rachel was a betrayer. If she was trying to stop Cas from abusing his power and position—or from creating another dictatorship in Heaven—wasn’t she doing the right thing? It kills me to think Castiel would do anything like that, so I will reserve judgment until the Season finale.
Okay, now on to the meat and potatoes of the whole shebang: the Old West. The “Bonanza” title sequence was awesome and really set the mood. Had you asked me, I would’ve guessed that Dean would love Western movies. He would like something that was manly, but without the supernatural BS he has to deal with in his day-to-day existence. The excitement that Jensen Ackles brought to Dean was wonderful. It made him look young and happy. Even Sam seemed to enjoy that aspect of Dean and let most of his overexcitement slide with a look of brotherly tolerance and contentment. Jensen was at his best as he delivered Dean’s signature sarcasm and pop culture references, like “Let’s Star Trek 4 this bitch” or “I’m a posse magnet. I love posse. “ Oh Dean. (By the way, get your Posse Magnet gear here: http://www.cafepress.com/SuperWiki)
Jared Padalecki really reigned himself in on this episode, giving just enough physical humor to highlight Jensen, not over shine him. The sight of Jared awkwardly mounting a horse and riding off into the moonlight had to the fans a chuckle, since any fangirl worth their squee knows that Jared (and Jensen) is a rider from way back. (Also, seriously? Jared in a hat was worth the price of admission alone!) The conversation between Sam and Samuel Colt (played with brilliance by Sam Hennings) was beautifully acted. It was simple and effective, just like Sam of old. Maybe Jared didn’t get all the fun lines or the honor of shooting the phoenix, but he got face time with a legend… who totally Fed Ex’d him a package. Awesome.
Andrew Dabb and Daniel Loflin crated yet another outstanding script. I was worried that an Old West story would be cheesy and fluffy, but with The Wonder Twins wielding their pens like mighty weapons, I should have rested at ease. They seamlessly blended the jokes into a powerful story that made more sense than other episodes this Season. They remembered and used the Devil’s Trap/ Devil’s Gate from Season 2 with aplomb. Plus, they gave us die-hard Castiel fans an inside look at WTH is up there (without resorting to using Cas as attractive bookends to their story).
The direction, scenery and cinematography here was amazing. The sepia filter used in the Sunrise portions was perfect in setting the tone. The scenery department must have had a hoot putting together the saloon and the streets of Sunrise. Guy Norman Bee, as always, astounded me. He was able to guide Jared and Jensen through the arduous task of removing well-established characters out of the modern world and taking them 150 years into the past. He made certain that the characters blended well while still retaining their overall Winchesterness. Also… cowboy demons? Awesome sauce.
The musical score for “Frontierland” was perfect. It was tongue in cheek when necessary, and then transitioned smoothly into an Old West style of tension building, straight into our tried and true Supernatural style ack-the-boys-are-in-deep-doo-doo music. It really added a richness that I would have missed had the score remained the same old same old.
Inside and out, “Frontierland” was epic. Great story. Great brotherly interaction. Fantastic monster (with a human wife!!). Wonderful movement to the mythology. Kudos, pilgrams, kudos.
Yeeeehaw! Bekah’s been drinkin’ sasparillas!
I drank a lot this week. I thought that we wouldn’t spent quite so much time in the past, so I figured drinking at Westernisms was a good idea. Boy oh boy was I wrong. After my fifteenth drink, I thought “whoa, Bill” and switched to a virgin Rum and Coke.
Next week, the episode is called “Mommy Dearest.” I’m assuming Mother of All is back, and bringing clothes hangers. Hm. How about we drink at tense looks between the brothers (and their allies)? That should get us nice and toasty without the pesky hang over. Until next week!