“Shut Up, Dr. Phil” Review
By Bekah James
Supernatural 7.05: Shut Up, Dr. Phil
Written by Brad Buckner & Eugenie Ross-Leming
Directed by Phil Sgriccia
Music: “See The Funny Little Clown” by Bobby Goldsboro
This week’s episode might have been the most anticipated of the Season. The Supernatural set was invaded by two stars of Buffy the Vampire Slayer: James Marsters (Buffy’s Spike) and Charisma Carpenter (Buffy’s Cordelia). For those of us who thought themselves honorary members of the Scoobies, this was a long time coming. It could only be better if they somehow wrangled Sarah Michelle Gellar or David Boreanaz. If I had my way, I would just drop the Winchesters in Sunnydale, shake well and serve. Would that not be thirteen degrees awesome?
Right from the get-go, the writers present me with yet another thing that I will never do again: get highlights. I’ve always been a little skeptical about sticking my head in a blow dryer, but now I think I’m completely justified. I’m also thinking that I need to get rid of my nail gun. It just kind of creeps me out now (and really… why in the hell do I even have a nail gun?).
Brad Buckner and Eugenie Ross-Leming, the writers of this episode, have not been seen in Supernatural since they penned Season 1’s “Route 666”. I went into this episode a tad apprehensive since I wasn’t a fan of “Route 666”, but I was pleasantly surprised. The duo nailed the one-liners, the grisly yet giggle-inducing deaths, and the brotherly connection as if they are old hats. I was a fan of the Bewitched references, the creation of a new verb phrase (“PMSing at it”), the Playboy-esque biography of Nailed!Carl (the tenor, blue-ribbon pecan pie baker, and asthmatic), and most especially the reference to Maggie giving it up to Christopher Columbus because he could have possibly fallen off the face of the Earth. Oh, the laughter this episode gave me. It was subtle when you hold it up to wackier episodes from the past (“The French Connection”, I’m looking at you), but that almost (almost) makes it better, don’t you think?
I’m still not sure about the Dr. Phil portion of the episode at the end. That was a bit of a stretch, but thanks to Dean’s awesome face as he is talking about continuing the dance or whatever, I’ll let it go. Did anyone else recognize That Face as his Bad Acting Face from “The French Connection”? Epic.
Speaking of epic, I hope you all got the chance to check out the truly hilarious outtake that Jared posted on his Twitter account. This scene came out way better than the one that made it to the final cut, in my oh-so humble opinion. If you haven’t seen it—heck, even if you have—take 2:35 out of your life and take a peak:
It’s moments like that one that confirms and increases my love of Phil Sgriccia. The man is a master of outtakes and improvisation. Every time I see that he is directing an episode, I just know it’s going to be a good one. He has this way of hitting on the tiny details, like the repeat of the motel bedspreads (they appeared in Season Three’s “Malleus Maleficarum”), or the port-a-potty belonging to BM Disposals, or the license plates (Stark 1 and Stark 2, a la Iron Man), and Dean’s username on the website he’s surfing is PURENEGATIVE. That is just some awesome stuff right there.
Okay, now that we’ve had a laugh, let’s talk about the looming Very Special Episode. Well, maybe it’s not “looming” per se, this is the highly dysfunctional Supernatural ‘verse we’re talking about, but if Gabriel was still knocking around; I think he’d make it happen. Wow, that was a tremendously long sentence. My apologies. I’m referring to Dean’s drinking of course. We’ve arrived at the public swigging from a flask portion of his problem. He’s not even bothering to hide it anymore. He is no longer ImpliedAlcoholic!Dean. He has a problem and I’m not sure how he’s going to be able to help himself climb out of the whiskey-filled hole he’s fallen in. Let’s get real; there will never be a Very Special Episode where Bobby and Sam ambush Dean with an intervention. Sam tried his best in the end of episode care and share moment, but you’d think he’d know how fruitless that is by now. So what are the producers going to do with our poor lost boy? He is clearly still reeling from Castiel’s death, the revelation of Sam’s hallucinations, and killing Amy, as evidenced by his beginning-of-episode dream.
I’m still not convinced that he is tormented about keeping the secret of killing Amy from Sam. Sure, he might feel a little twinge about that, but in the grand scheme of things, is that secret really going to keep Dean Freakin’ Winchester up at nights? No, I think not. I think he is more disturbed that he has reverted back to the hunter that is fine to shoot first and ask questions later. There was never a moment that he considered not killing Amy, even though she had a kid and Sam assured him that she was done killing. I think he is feeling guilty about not feeling guilty about his new attitude. It is all so RoboSam of him… sorta. There is a similar arc happening on Gossip Girl these days with Chuck Bass. Chuck seemed to be helped with a dog. Maybe Dean needs a dog. Okay… wow, that was a digression. I cannot see Dean with a dog. That tells me how very broken I see Dean as right now. He needs something, but what?
Sam seems to be dealing well with his new lot in life. I didn’t see any signs of him cracking up this week, so maybe he is using that big ass brain of his to compartmentalize and just move on. Rumor has it that there is no fixing Sam’s malfunctioning noodle, which is sad, but hey, character growth is a good thing. I guess.
It was so good to see James Marsters on screen again. He has aged as much as I have, which was reassuring. I was somehow anticipating that he’d look exactly as he had when he last saw him as Spike. He did a magnificent job as a suave thousand-ish year old witch with a devil-may-care attitude and a sweet-ass closet. His accent was adorable and his dark hair made me look downright respectable. I was totally rooting for the Winchesters not to gank him… in hopes that he comes back and helps the boys kick some more Leviathan ass!
Charisma Carpenter was so very… Cordelia in certain parts of this episode that I almost expected to see Xander popping up. The line that made me do a doubletake was her “you’re so cute when you try to tell me what to do.” Holy cows… that might have actually been a line from Buffy! She was perfect as a perfectionist witchy wife out to smite the hell out of those who dared distract her husband from her. Perfect casting!
I have to confess something. I was wigged out by James and Charisma kissing. Just… zoinks. That makes my brain not happy. BUT the Talk It Out at the end, as they continued to kick the Dr. Phil out of Sam and Dean, proved beyond a shadow of doubt that these two are a power duo that should be considered for future episodes. Oh, and also, because I cannot NOT mention it when I talk about Charisma and James’s lovely non-kissing chemistry, I adored the fact that neither Maggie nor Don Stark so much as batted an eye at Sam and Dean bursting in and trying to cast a spell at them. They just kept on with what they were doing, looking supremely bored. Loved it!
Season Seven is here to kick ass and take names. While this episode was not as strong as some we have already been gifted with this year, it was strong and warrants being watched a few times. Recently, Sera Gamble talked about the direction of the rest of the Season, and I must say, I have not been this excited about Supernatural in a long, long time. I must tip my glass (and my hat) to Sera for withstanding the criticism from her take on Season Six, and for giving us a Season full of Awesome and Win. Thanks, Sera.
Bekah’s Been Drinking:
Comparatively speaking, I didn’t drink very much this week. I chose to drink every time I felt like squeezing over Spike and Cordelia—James and Charisma, whatever. I counted up 9 of those instances. I was hoping for more, but they didn’t even appear in the first fifteen minutes of the episode.
Next week, we have twice the number of Sams and Deans. This is going to be EPIC. Let’s do a shot for every scene (disregard camera angle changes or you’ll wind up in the hospital) in which a doppelganger/ fake Sam and Dean appears.
Stay thirsty, my friends.