Dark Dynasty Review / Asylum 14 Review
By Annie Kenney
So I am very late with this week’s review and the reason is that I spent my weekend at the Hilton Hotel in Birmingham (UK) at a convention for the fans of Supernatural! Was it awesome? Yes it was…
I’ll start by telling you that Rogue Events (who run Asylum) have been running these conventions since 2007 and that Asylum is the only convention that we get in the UK so we really, really have to make the most of it. This year was, as most people know, the tenth anniversary of the show and Rogue went all out to get some totally fantastic guests.
If I tell you now that this was the best weekend of my entire life you will realize that Rogue succeeded – not only in getting Jared and Jensen, but also Jeffrey Dean Morgan. Alongside them there was Mark Sheppard, Misha Collins, Timothy Omundson (Cain), Travis Aaron Wade (Cole), Ruth Connell (Rowena), Erica Carroll (Hannah), Lauren Tom (Mrs. Tran), Alaina Huffman (Abbadon), Curtis Armstrong (Metatron), Sam Smith (Mary) and Jim Michaels. As you can see by this line up the convention was a huge event and over 2,000 fans attended. Despite this it was pretty well organized and most people got to meet and spend a little time with their idols.
I arrived at the Hilton on Friday after staying overnight in a nearby travel lodge. I’m lucky that I live in Leicester, which is only about 40 minutes away from Birmingham so I didn’t have a very long journey! After meeting with my friend (a mad Jared fan called Debz), I picked up my pre-arranged photo op tickets and sat in on some of the stage talks. Mostly I was saving my energy for Saturday (when all three J’s would be joining us) and so I took my time and just listened. Jim Michaels managed to spoil all those who hadn’t seen the last episode (more of that later) by telling them all that Charlie died (although he did hint that no one dies in Supernatural ), so I do think he haven’t seen the last of her.
My eldest daughter also joined me on Friday night and we went to the 80’s themed party. I was – boringly – early in bed though because I was too excited about meeting the boys to actually concentrate on anything.
Saturday dawned and we went down to the hall where we saw Jensen’s stage talk. It is really odd to see these actors in the flesh when you have spent years watching them and it kind of overawes you. Jensen talked a little about Dean’s descent into darkness but he didn’t give too much away. Then we had to leave because we had photo ops with Jared Padalecki!
Jared is very, very tall in person (6ft 6inches in his shoes) and I ended up squashed against a very solid chest in my photo op! He hugs you so tight that you can barely breathe and there is nothing between you (not even air). He is so firm and so lovely and it was a great experience to be close to him. After that we went to get our autographs (and a drink to help us calm down) with some of the other members of the cast. It is fairly quick but I can tell you that Travis Aaron Wade is an absolute sweetheart who shook everyone’s hand and wrote lovely things in the autograph booklet, Lauren Tom is really funny and Alaina is really beautiful and very chatty.
We then went to get Jared’s autograph; you have to pay for special guests and I could only afford to get one of the bigger star’s signatures so I chose Jared. My husband had drawn a cartoon for Jared to sign and he seemed thrilled with it. He laughed loudly and told me it was ‘Super awesome.’ I may have spoken to him but it was more of a gibber!
After lunch there was a J3 panel and I have to say it was one of the highlights of the convention. Unfortunately we learned that Jeffrey had to go home due to personal reasons so he was only staying for Saturday. However you wouldn’t have guessed he was upset such was his professionalism. He said he had enjoyed Vegas con so much that he had decided to do a few more conventions and he was a very funny man. He and the two J’s bounced off each other so well and it was a real pleasure to watch them.
My daughter and I had been lucky enough to get one of the limited J3 photo ops and – boy – was that something brilliant. We had to squash up close to Jared, Jensen and Jeffrey (what a hardship) and the photographer took the picture. Unfortunately my hair blew into Jeff’s face so we had to do it again. He and I were laughing so much that we look pretty manic in the photo but it was a great experience and one that I will always treasure.
The biggest highlight of the day though was getting a ticket for Jared’s coffee lounge. There were only twenty of us in a room with Jared for half an hour and I can tell you it was something I will never, ever forget. I have always been a bit of a Sam girl and to see him so up close and personal was just out of this world. He spoke a lot about his recent ‘Always Keep Fighting’ campaign and also about his own battle with depression. He was very inspiring and we all hung onto his every word. I did manage to get some words out and asked him about his dogs. He still has Sadie and he also fostered Gus (the Labrador) for a few months to save him from the kill shelter. There were a few stories about Tom and the things he likes (Peppa Pig and Big Hero Six to name but a few) and a very funny (?) Michael Jackson joke involving the moonwalk! I came out of that room about six feet above the ground – I was literally floating! Jared Padalecki is a very genuine and very real human being and, from what I heard from other attendees, so was Jensen in his coffee lounge.
By Sunday we were shattered, but we did go and see Jared’s final stage talk. Because Jeffrey had had to go home, Rogue had an extra guest for us (Genevieve) and she joined Jared for some of his panel. I’d like to tell you that they talked in depth about the show but instead she ended up putting Jared’s hair into a ‘man bun.’ It was a very bizarre note to end on but – all in all – it had been a perfect weekend and one that will go down as one of my best EVER (even the football team won so that sealed it).
When I got home on Sunday I couldn’t wait to see the episode and went straight upstairs to watch it. Unfortunately it didn’t quite live up to my expectations, but I do believe that it was simply a set up for what is to come. Having said that there were some great ‘stand out’ moments including poor Castiel having to look after two feisty redheads and Dean finding out about Sam’s lies.
Some of the scenes – particularly those involving the Styne family’s revelations – seemed long and awfully protracted. I kind of liked that they were actually the real inspiration behind ‘Frankenstein’ but I thought this could have been dealt with either earlier or in less detail. As the man hung there talking I found myself getting dreadfully bored and wishing that he would just ‘GET TO THE POINT’.
I did love Charlie in this episode and I enjoyed her spats with Rowena. I still don’t find the witch particularly threatening though and I wonder if the writer’s quickly introduced the Styne’s because Rowena isn’t working as this season’s ‘Big Bad’. I think she is a little too glamorous and maybe the writers should have gone down the warty old crone route. However I do have to confess that I am beginning to see a point to Rowena, even if she hasn’t been one of my favourite characters. I love her sarcastic interjections with Sam and I thought that her double act with Charlie should have continued longer.
Castiel was great too; I liked his inability to deal with the bickering women and his desperate calls to Sam. I also love the fact that everyone is now working together to save Dean (even though we know Dean won’t appreciate it – particularly now he knows Sam has been lying to him). I also liked Dean’s confession of how he was feeling (hallucinations, the need to kill etc.). We know he is heading down a very dangerous road and previews for next week tell us just how far he has already gone.
Why did the writers have to kill Charlie? Why did they have to kill one of the best female characters the show has ever produced?? Felicia Day has been a revelation and I could have watched her with the brothers every week if needs be. Who else is going to die? Somehow I don’t think the writers are going to stop there.
So now Dean knows about the ‘Book of the Damned’ and he knows Sam lied to him. Dean is – understandably – angry and Sam is backed into a corner but he told Dean why he was doing it and – finally – we got to hear the words ‘Love’ from one of the Winchesters: ‘Charlie loves you Dean – we all love you.’ Sam has put into words what we know everyone has been thinking…
So what is going to happen next? Crowley was last seen talking to a hamster and – from what Mark Sheppard was rumoured to say at Asylum – he might very well be one of those in mortal danger. Castiel is also on Dean’s list of people he is very angry with and so he isn’t safe. Sam and Dean are at loggerheads again and the fact that Sam got Charlie killed isn’t going to sit well with an angry Dean.
I can’t wait till the next episode – this week has been awesome and to watch an episode and think I met all of those guys is very, very nice!!
Hang on to your hats Supernatural fans – this isn’t going to be an easy run-in…