“The Third Man” Review
By Bekah James
All week, Twitter was agog with the news… #CasIsBack! As a steadfast and hardcore Castiel fan, I was thrilled. Seeing Misha Collins’ name splashed across the naked expanse of Jared Padalecki’s shoulders (seriously?) as a series regular made me grin. Which leads me to…
Sam’s Sweaty and Shirtless Workout Montage. At first, I was confused—and okay, I’m woman enough to admit, spellbound—by it. But after a second (and maybe fourth) viewing, I got it. Other than acting as the strongest dose of fan service to date, it also reminds viewers how very different Sam is this Season. His distinct lack of emotion—unless you count thinly veiled disdain—is quite a change from Sam’s previous empathetic warmth. The prostitute was a bit of overkill. I mean, really? We’re supposed to believe that Sam Abs-of-Steel-Arms-of-Titanium Winchester needs to pay for sex? He is dangerously close to being a caricature of a BAMF and I hope the writers rein it in before I truly start to dislike him. It’s almost as if his soul was left in the Pit, or at least a large chunk of it. Maybe the payment needed to free him was a little slice of soul. Hear me out on this…
The new angel, Balthazar, sold the Staff of Moses to Aaron Birch for the bargain basement price of the kid’s shiny pure soul. Balthazar intimated that souls are the most valuable and powerful currency going (“the only thing worth buying” in “this Economy”). That right there? That pings my Things That Make Bekah Go Hmmm detector. Why would the Holy Fencer of the Lord be introduced if not to grant us a clue to things to come? Don’t get me wrong; I love Sebastian Roché more than a little bit and I’m excited at the possibility of seeing him in future episodes. He reminds me of the angelic version of Crowley. Not a bad thing, that. So where is the market for souls? And who is holding the product that *angels* need/want/are willing to buy? I’m intrigued to learn more from this welcome cast addition.
So, Dean. I feel like he, as a character, is really picking up speed. I know that Jensen Ackles has talked about Dean being written as “domesticated” and “soft” but I just don’t see the same disturbing transformation in him that I notice in Sam. Perhaps because I have always viewed Dean as highly empathetic in investigations—yes, yes, I know that some of you will remind me of episodes like “Bloodlust” and “Heart”, but even in those episodes, Dean came to understand and ultimately empathize with the so-called monsters. Also, a lot is being said (by bloggers) about Dean’s paternal machinations with Ben, the shifting babies and, this week, Aaron Birch. I have always seen Dean as highly paternal—albeit awkwardly so—in episodes such as “The Kids Are Alright”, “Death Takes a Holiday”, and “A Very Supernatural Christmas” (okay, it was toward Sam, but that definitely counts). His humor is returning with a vengeance, giving us such gems as the car race (AKA: kicking Sam’s ass), Chuck Heston’s disco stick (seriously, LOeffingL), the silver lining of Sam’s douchy car being destroyed, and his entire prayer to Castiel. His protective streak toward Sam is rarin’ its head, indicated by the heart-to-heart at the end of the episode. He tries to commune with Sam over their time in Hell, but is rejected… as per usual (hello Season Four)! All in all, I *recognize* Dean, whereas I don’t so much recognize Sam.
Can I talk about Cas now? I’ve been looking forward to this episode since “Swan Song”. His understated return to the Winchesters’ side was perfection in television. His slight smile and his emotionally heavy “hello” made my heart glad. Sam’s reaction was beyond stellar, mainly because I saw something from the Sam of Old: his bitchface! I think I heard the collective fandom gasp when Cas told Sam he shares a “profound bond” with Dean but he “wasn’t going to mention it”. Personally, I love it when the writers/ directors allow Misha Collins to play with Castiel and his social awkwardness. The air quotes had me in stitches, as did Sam and Dean’s reactions to them. I enjoyed the rapid-fire exchanges and location changes once Castiel joined the episode. Did it remind anyone else of the Old Spice Man commercials? The reunion between Castiel and Balthazar was touching and gave us a startling insight into Castiel’s feelings. After Balthazar points to Castiel as the reason for the angels emptying their father’s liquor cabinet and stealing the heavenly minivan, the look on Cas’s face was heartbreaking. The guilt was obvious… which bemused me. Technically, Cas followed God’s orders to perfection. God told his angels to love humans more than they love Him. Castiel did exactly that, going so far as siding with humans over angels (note: NOT God) in the road to the Apocalypse. God rewarded Cas for his obedience to His original and most enduring edict by resurrecting the angel time and again. I wonder if anyone will ever clue poor Cas into that fact. I certainly hope so because I hate to see my favorite character angsting so hard!
Overall, this episode seemed more on point than other episodes so far this Season. The plot was wicked awesome (the plagues and sawed off Staff… NOT the dirty cops tripe), the biting banter, the angels (win!) and the awesome brotherly interactions. Bonus points for a vessel being turned into a pillar of salt and the boys back in the Impala! Ben Edlund hit it out of the park with this script, delivering a sumptuous blend of gross-out effects and fabulously dark humor.
I’m feeling spiritual. Let us pray: “Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray to Castiel to get his feathery ass down here… Do you copy?” Or you know, Amen.
Bekah’s Been Drinking (OMG, alcohol poisoning sucks!):
This week, I drank at every tilt of Cas’s head, every crinkle of Sam’s brow, and every lick of Dean’s lips. Holy cows… next time I should just follow one of the boys. I had to refill my Minion Juice (Vodka, Peach Schnapps, Splash o’Malibu) three times to keep up! Cas tilted his lovely head 6 times; Dean licked his oh-wow lips 7 times; and Sam crinkled his precious brow 22 times. Holy sawed off Moses staff, Batman!
Next week, for the sake of my liver: Take a swig for every Bobbyism you hear (i.e.: “we done feelin’ our feelin’s”, “ditchable prom date” or “idjit”, etc.).
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