“Mommy Dearest” Review
By Bekah James
By now, you’ve probably heard: Supernatural has been picked up for a seventh Season. Congratulations to the cast, crew, and THE FANS who made it all possible. With an episode as strong as this week’s, it’s of no wonder!
Adam Glass wrote one hell of a script. He’s the new kid on the block this Season and after this one, I hope he’s back for more in Season 7. As a longtime fan of the show, Mr. Glass has a firm grasp on Winchester lore and emotions. He wrote an incredibly strong example of brotherly bond, choosing to keep the bickering at bay and highlight the shared childhood experiences instead. That being said… he also played to a particularly fervent portion of the fandom with the Dean and Castiel interactions. (You know who you are. Wink-wink.) He nodded to viewers, like me, who rolled their eyes at the dragons he wrote into his earlier Season Six episode, “Like A Virgin”. Any writer that can poke fun at himself is okay in my book. He also gave us a new breed of monsters: the Jefferson Starships (“because they are horrible and hard to kill”). There were no holes in the story and he left us salivating for next week. I tip my hat and my glass to Adam Glass. Well done, man.
Having Bobby Singer and Castiel tagging along on a case made me nostalgic for Season Five. I have missed having all four of the guys together, and ate it up with a spork. Bobby’s fast talking with the Sherriff was impressive and delivered with startling believability by Jim Beaver. That man is incredibly gifted, isn’t he?
Sigh. I’m not ready to discuss Castiel yet. Give me a sec.
Dean and Sam had their game faces on this week, but then, this episode wasn’t really about them, was it? Sure, they were there to hold the whole thing together, but their assorted issues were (mostly) stowed as they faced down Eve and her hybrids in almost classic Monster of the Week fashion. There was a lovely scene or two with the adorable Joe and Ryan Silver, orphans turned monsters by Eve. Even without words, Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki were able to broadcast the emotional connection they felt toward the little boys as they rescued them from the Jefferson Starships and delivered them safely to their uncle. It was moving—and an impressive display of directing from John F. Showalter. I liked Dean’s self-satisfied little smiles and confused looks (mostly pointed at Castiel). I also liked Sam’s willingness to follow his big brother’s lead (as noted when he called the hybrids Jefferson Starships amid battle). It was reminiscent of Seasons One and Two (excepting the nerdy little angel).
I’m getting close to talking about Castiel. I can at least say that I was in love with Dean and Cas teaming up again to investigate like they did in “Free To Be Me And You”. The silly little music that played in the background as Dean worked on picking Dr. Silver’s lock, and Cas’s “is this going to take a long time?” had me laughing. Oh, also, congrats to Castiel on his first arrest! I’ll have to send over a fruit basket.
About Eve… sometimes I like Julia Maxwell’s portrayal of this ancient evil, and sometimes I don’t. I like her innocent look and her girlish voice, but I don’t like her occasionally flat affect. Her impassioned speech about being forced to defend her children could have been more… passionate. In fact, the only real twinge of real emotion I got came from Samantha Smith’s rendition of Eve. It was nice to see Ms. Smith out of her usual blood-stained nightgown and given a little room to stretch her acting legs. Anyway, the theory behind Eve’s returning to Earth was interesting and well thought out. I believed it and actually felt bad for her (for a second). Why shouldn’t the Mother of All Monsters be just as protective as John Winchester was of his boys (or as Mary Winchester was)? If she was right—about Crowley still torturing her children—then this whole story arc was an epic slap fight between two heads of state. Awesome.
But wait just a minute. Crowley? Alive? No way. Castiel burned his bones back in this Season’s “Caged Heat”… right? Crap. I can’t put it off any longer. The very idea that Castiel is not fighting the good fight in any way that might be other than honorable and righteous is… outrageous! Preposterous! Inconceivable! But… But… We saw him at the end of the episode with Crowley. Crowley is freakin’ alive. That means, as Sam and Bobby point out, that Castiel wanted Crowley alive. It also means that he has been lying to the Winchesters… and that maybe Rachel was right in trying to kill him in “Frontierland”. We have gotten bits and pieces of information all Season about how souls are important to the Civil War in Heaven. We’ve always known they were important to Hell, what with all the haggling over prices of souls at the Crossroads. And last week, Castiel told Bobby that touching a human soul is a surefire way to recharge his severely damaged grace. It was… fuel.
Okay, but hold on. Castiel is still one of the good guys. He clearly loves Dean and Sam and Bobby. He loves humans and movies about pizza men and liquor stores. How could he possibly have been turned away from the path of RIGHT and tripped along the path of WRONG with Crowley? I mean, sure, okay, Crowley is a smooth talking son of a something, but did Castiel really believe winning was worth allying himself with the King of freakin’ HELL?
I went back and re-watched “Caged Heat” today, trying to find any indication that Castiel and Crowley were working together. Nothing—short of the making out with Meg—raised any red flags. Crowley truly looked concerned when Cas whipped out his skull. And the burning looked authentic. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that Cas has the ability to give the allusion of frying a demon, but I am… because that was a blatant lie to Dean and Sam. With Crowley alive, where is Meg? Has Cas been working with her, too? Please, please tell me that they are not pulling a Sam/Ruby on us. I just couldn’t deal with Cas mattress dancing with a demon.
Shew. I’ll stop there to say that despite the angst all of these developments have caused me, I enjoyed seeing Misha Collins blossoming. It has been a long time since we’ve seen anything other than the Castiel of short answers and distant stares. I liked the way Misha emoted using his eyes and face. It reminded me how close to humanity Castiel once was… and that he could get there again. I’m crossing as many fingers and toes as I can tonight. Come on, Cas, don’t go to the Dark Side!
So, I’m going to call it: Mommy Dearest is Season Six’s Best Episode Hands Down. Shock after shock, emotion after emotion; monsters, angels and demons! For a Season that has sometimes stumbled around in search of a foothold, its 19th episode finally offered up a solid ledge with lots of firm handholds.
Oooh, Moom! Bekah’s been drinking!
I drank over the tense looks the quartet passed back and forth this week. My count was 11. Good enough to dull the pain of Castiel’s alleged perfidy, but not enough to make my liver quiver.
Next week, we find out what exactly is up in Heaven straight from the “Man Who Would Be King”. I’m going to drink whenever Castiel says Dean. I’ll be too stressed to look for much more than that. Join me, won’t you?