“The Mentalists” Review
By Bekah James
Supernatural 7.07: The Mentalists
Written by Ben Acker & Ben Blacker
Directed by Mike Rohl
Dear readers, your essence ripples out into the world and is contagious to everyone you meet. There. You have been affirmated. Please don’t punch me.
Seeing Mike Rohl as director this week jazzed me up. I knew we were in for a treat, after all, Mr. Rohl directed some of my favorite episodes (“On The Head Of A Pin,” “The Monster At The End Of This Book,” and “My Bloody Valentine”). With as well as Mr. Rohl gets Sam and Dean, I was confident in his ability to close the rift between them without going all sanctimonious and/or trite. And lookee there, he gave Sam a silent treatment ripe with bitch faces and eye rolls that lasted just long enough. The thawing of the tension was wonderfully timed. I even liked the uncomfortable and awkward close up shots during Dean’s quasi-apology after the museum visit. It fit the conversation and the mood impeccably. Mr. Rohl also gave us some pretty effin’ cool ghosts-burning-out sequences. They were in the same vein as all of the other bone burnings we’ve seen over the year, but he gave them a little extra oomph that I definitely appreciated.
It was refreshing that Dean didn’t try to cajole Sam back into the fold after his latest hissy fit. He seemed moderately pleased to see Sam in the Good Graces Café, but he didn’t fall all over himself to convince Sam to forgive him. I’ll admit to being surprised by that, but it all made sense at the end of the episode when he confessed that lying to Sam had been tearing him apart. With all of his cards on the table, he was okay to wait for Sam to return in his own time. Oh my… that’s some serious character development, wouldn’t you say? Perhaps one day soon Dean will learn to overcome his irrational guilt, too. That right there, that’s the mother of all long shots. I’m a big fan of long shots.
I know I was a bit hard on Jared’s acting last week, but this week I have no complaints. The slow thaw of Sam’s anger was masterfully executed and reaffirmed (ha ha, see above) my faith in him. He performed with great subtly and restraint. His “he broke my spoon” is my new “I lost my shoe.” It was so dejected that how could it be anything but awesome? And the way he busted a cap in Jimmy’s ass without even flinching? Excellent. It was this weird blend of Season 4 and Season 6 Sams, and I think it worked out very well.
Okay, so, was anyone else inordinately happy that Ellen made an appearance? Barring the disappointment of not getting to see the lovely Samantha Ferris reprise the role, I loved that she still cares enough for Dean to a) be checking in on him and b) send him some off-beat motherly advice. The fact that Dean (sorta) followed that advice made the whole thing that much better.
Ellen’s quasi-cameo was par for the course in this episode of excellent ideas and writing. Ben Acker and Ben Blacker (shall we call them B-Squared?) really knocked it out of the park. I loved the two-pack of ghosts, one warning with visions and one killing with whimsy, with the necromancy twist. The Campbell Brothers and their alternative lifestyle was a fantastic nod at the wincesty side of our fandom (subtle enough to be glossed over by those who don’t cotton to wincest, but obvious enough that those who do to feel vindicated). They also did the fandom a favor and mentioned the glorious Pamela Barnes and the longtime fan-favorite, Missouri. I made this weird sound of celebration when Dean referenced Missouri. (Why has that woman never returned to this show, but is so often referenced in fanworks?) All in all, B-Squared are sure to become a big hit with fans if they churn out more scripts like this one.
So I am trying to sort out why the Impala is still missing. I mean, I know it’s a safety precaution in the wake of the Most Wanted fiasco, but how long are we expected to deal with all of these Fakepalas? I’m a fan of Dodge Challengers, in general, but it gives me a squirrely feeling in my gut to see Dean behind the wheel of an electric powder blue (is that even a color?) car. I am going to need the boys back in black pretty soon. Preferably with some kick ass tunes.
Dorian Brown, who played Melanie Goldy, was an absolute delight. She held her own against Sam and (most especially) Dean. There was fantastic chemistry between Melanie and Dean; I could see her being the new Lisa, should the need ever arise (please, no). I mentally high fived her for calling Dean on his martyr-y BS at the café, reminding him that he had not called up a ghost to kill anyone, and had, in fact, saved her. Dean seemed a little stunned that she wasn’t taking the bait to blame him for her friend’s death. Good for you, Melanie! Confession: I wanted Dean to partake in a little mattress dancing with Melanie. I swear, he is in serious need of the release, and I thought for sure we’d see a little fade-to-black action, but no. Poor Dean. Hell, poor Melanie. Okay, okay, so it was a little bit sweet the way things ended with them, but I really wanted him to have a little something for himself!
Here is the part of the review that I talk about Castiel. I’ll keep it brief. I remain heartened that Cas is still present in Dean’s thoughts, even though it was Cas’s betrayal that was mentioned out loud. Dean finds it difficult to trust anyone since Cas. Man, I can’t wait for Cas to show back up so they can talk and/or hug it out. (Yes, yes, I know he’s pretty dead right now, but let me have my hopes and perhaps farfetched dreams.)
The best way to sum up this week’s episode comes from my very dear friend, Wendi, who said via text: “[This was] an all around perfect ep. Structured in the vein of Season 1, pleasant MOTW, clever banter, adorable ending. I approve.” Me too, Wendi, me too.
Bekah’s Been Drinking
This week I drank every time a psychic (or wannabe psychic) attempted to use their fake woo-woo crap and/or real woo-woo crap on the brothers. There weren’t as many as you’d think, but I made sure to take really big swallows. I still ended up toasty enough to have lost count at 5.
Next week is Sam’s wedding. I’m all a-twitter. Let’s drink to every look of incredulity Dean offers up… and every earnest look from Sam. Tee hee. This should be fun.