bardicvoice: (Background brother by <lj user=janglyjew)
4.19 Jump The Shark: Take It Any Way You Want

John had one more son,
Hidden, normal, loved and safe;
Murdered for revenge.

Read the rest ... )

My apologies for how late this is: I was sick for part of the weekend, and it's kinda hard to type when you're curled up on the floor feeling rotten! All better now, though!

bardicvoice: (Kim by <lj user=ldyghstwhisprer>)
Okay, my review will come in its own time, as ever, after appropriate thought and much writing, but this one piece, I simply had to hug ...

Hiding a small, sweet spoiler if you haven't watched ... )

bardicvoice: (Brain hurts by <lj user=Cakehole_Cat>)
4.18 The Monster At The End Of This Book: Chuck Is Writing The Gospel Of Us

God’s true prophet Chuck
Writes the Winchester gospel;
Lilith comes for Sam.

Read the rest ... )

bardicvoice: (AlreadyDead by <lj user=Cakehole_Cat>)

High crane, deep contrast:
Tracking shot, long walk and talk --
Just one tear.  Cut!  Print.

Thank you, Kim. Thank you more than I can say. I never met you, but I've loved you and your work for many years, and I weep for your loss. I can't imagine how devastated the entire Supernatural family must be, when I, who never met you, feel this way.

I have no more words; only tears and grief, and prayers for those left behind.

You will never be forgotten.


"I read for Sam ..."

bardicvoice: (Formybrother by <lj user=Cakehole_Cat>)
4.4 Metamorphosis: I’m A Whole New Level Of Freak

Flesh-eating monster
Is born human, then transforms:
Can choice defeat fate?

Episode Summary

Read the rest ... )

bardicvoice: (LastRites <lj user=Cakehole_Cat>)
4.1 Lazarus Rising: We Have Work For You

Sam hunts with his mind.
Divine force frees Dean from Hell:
“We have work for you.”

Episode Summary

Read the incredibly long post! Pour a drink first ... )

And now that I've finally finished mine, I'm going to go around and start trying to catch up on reading all I've missed! (And has anyone else been having a mother of a time trying to get dumb-shit LJ cuts to work? I had to wrangle code for 40 minutes to get this to come out right ... assuming it actually will come out right when I post it this time!)
bardicvoice: (Default)

3.16  No Rest For the Wicked: We Are Not Gonna Make the Same Mistakes All Over Again


No more deals, no time.

Sam shrugs off Lilith’s best shot;

Dean’s soul screams in Hell.


Episode Summary





This ends the third season commentaries, but Supernatural University will be in session during the hiatus – beginning as soon as I recover enough to be able to write again!

bardicvoice: (Formybrother by <lj user=Cakehole_Cat>)

3.11  Mystery Spot: Dean’s Your Weakness. The Bad Guys Know It, Too.

Tuesday’s nightmare trick:

Over and over again,

Watch your brother die.


Episode Summary


bardicvoice: (Feels Like Home by Cakehole_Cat)

3.07  Fresh Blood:  One Last Good Thing


Gordon, hunting Sam,

Becomes what he hates the most.

Dean answers Sam’s plea.


Episode Summary


bardicvoice: (All's Right by Cakehole_Cat)

3.01 The Magnificent Seven:  The Family That Slays Together


Seven Deadly Sins:

Hunters become the hunted,

Facing hell’s freed horde.


 Edited to Add:  If you watch the streaming videos on the CW's website, they've added a little interactive information box feature below the video window. I'm guessing the real purpose is to check on whether real live human beings are actually watching and staying engaged with the video, but the fringe benefit is that one of the features is the identification of any pre-recorded music used in a scene. As a result, I can say that the artist on "I Shall Not Be Moved" was J.B. Burnett, and the country song playing in the demon bar was "Mean Little Town" by the Howling Diablos.

bardicvoice: (bardicvoice by Caehole_Cat)

Why do some people crave spoilers, and others hate them? What drives spoiler junkies and spoiler phobes, and where are you on the continuum? Welcome to a very personal psychological case study of spoiler schizophrenia at Supernatural University. Unlike previous University blogs, I’m not analyzing anyone or anything else this time: I’m under my own microscope. You can join me on the couch if you’d like, or just sit back and observe.


bardicvoice: (Default)

Dean’s soul buys Sam’s life.

Hell gate frees a demon horde:

“We’ve got work to do.”


There’s no way that a three-line haiku could capture the full heart of the second season finale of Supernatural. This was a satisfying masterpiece of character and story continuity, one that answered questions while asking more, simultaneously providing the full-circle closure of the first complete chapter of the book of Sam and Dean Winchester and a tantalizing teaser for chapter two. While the title line of my blog was spoken by Sam, it was lived by both brothers, demonstrating why we care about them. And if you’re planning to read this whole commentary, better pour yourself a tall one and settle back, because this is anything but concise.




With Sam lying dead in an abandoned house, empty, shattered Dean pushed Bobby away and wrestled with the demons of his own perceived worthlessness, ultimately going to a crossroads to summon a demon and sell his soul for Sam’s return to life. Negotiating from his abject need for Sam, Dean accepted deadly terms: only one year of life before his soul’s debt would come due, with Sam’s life as the forfeit should Dean attempt to escape the deal. Knowing the drill from Cross Road Blues, Dean sealed the deal with a kiss, and Sam awoke to life, confused, in pain, and troubled by the scar on his back. Overjoyed to have his brother back, Dean glossed over the details and tried to persuade him to take the time to rest, heal, and be safe, but Sam, knowing that the yellow-eyed demon’s endgame was in play and appalled by the news of the destruction of the Roadhouse, insisted on going to help Bobby figure out what they needed to do.



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Okay: I was spoiled for this episode of Supernatural. I knew that Madison was going to be a werewolf. I knew that Sam was going to fall in love with her, and have to kill her. And I knew nothing. Not about the way things would truly happen, or what they would really mean.


How strong is your heart?

Will you save me from myself,

A fate worse than death?


Heart was written by the sublime Sera Gamble and directed by the subtle and devious Kim Manners. It was acted to perfection by Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki. I should have known from prior experience that they wouldn't just break my heart, but devour it. So why am I still crying?


bardicvoice: (Default)

Spirit or angel?

When death stops evil people,

What clues to Sam’s fate?


Houses of the Holy was a high concept story, something Supernatural does better than any other current show that I can name. Is there a God, and does He influence what happens to people on Earth? How can you know? How do you live, in the absence of proof? How do you explain faith – having it, losing it, discovering it anew?


In Houses, losers inspired by the vision of an angelic figure in brilliant white light, accompanied by a feeling of rapture, stabbed perfect strangers in the heart and then immediately confessed to police. The boys discovered that the victims had been hiding evil deeds, including murder and pedophilia. Sam believed that the figure who inspired the killings was an angel, especially after it appeared to him with a mission, while Dean hewed to the more typical explanation (for the Winchesters!) of a vengeful spirit. In the end, the figure of light turned out to be the spirit of a murdered priest, shattering Sam’s desperate attempt to believe that a higher power existed and would watch over him, possibly saving him from what he fears is his demonic destiny. At the same time, however, non-believer Dean saw the would-be rapist/killer whom the priest had labeled as Sam’s target impaled through the heart in a freak accident so unlikely as to seem influenced by an outside power, prompting him to wonder if there was indeed some greater plan. Both of the brothers came away shaken from their earlier beliefs, but with no indication of how their questions may eventually be resolved.


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You might not think that Supernatural is the right show to watch on Thanksgiving night, but let me tell you:  this week’s episode, In My Time Of Dying, is the perfect choice. Why? Because this is a family love story among three men – a father and his two grown sons – who will literally live and die for each other, and who are running out of time to be together.


Is it scary? Yes, a bit – but life is scary, especially when you, like the Winchesters, are facing your own death or the death of someone close to you.


Is it sad? Yes to that, too – but sadness isn’t always bad. Sadness for impending loss tells us that life is sweet, that what we have is something we shouldn’t forget to be thankful for, and that we shouldn’t ever wait to express our thanks and our love.


Is it good? Oh, my – yes. It is very, very good: the writing will grab you by the throat and the acting will rivet your eyes to the screen, and both together will combine to touch your heart.


I’ll be giving thanks for many things this Thursday:  having a loving family, my health, a fulfilling job, good friends, a comfortable home. I’ll also be thankful that the CW is giving us Supernatural, and that the show’s entire creative team – including Eric Kripke, Robert Singer, Kim Manners, Sera Gamble, Raelle Tucker, Jensen Ackles, Jared Padalecki, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, and every single member of the writing staff and production crew – is doing such superlative work.


If you haven’t tried Supernatural yet, tune in on Thanksgiving night. Long before the episode ends, you might be giving thanks for it, too. And coming back again.

bardicvoice: (Default)

The creep factor was in full swing on this episode: director Kim Manners teased us with effective jump scares and a truly creepy, real-life villain. In the clutch, Jo proved her mettle as a gutsy fighter, being terrified but not giving in, keeping her head and reacting with both intelligence and determination. The shared loss of fathers provided the impetus for Jo and Dean to learn more about each other, and for us to get more glimpses into both Dean’s heart and his past. The twist at the end – learning that John had been with Jo’s dad on his last fatal hunt, and that Ellen held John responsible for her husband’s death – was at the same time both a nasty surprise and an almost expected jigsaw puzzle piece slotting neatly into place to explain Ellen’s ambivalent attitude toward the boys, especially Dean, who resembles John in so many ways. It’s a good thing that Sam acquired another laptop along the way, because my guess is that the boys will be keeping their distance from the Roadhouse and its research resources for a while.


I enjoyed Jo in this story:  confronting terror, she did some growing up, and she demonstrated skills and instincts that indicate that she could become an effective hunter. Unlike her previous appearances, she was focused on the mission, not on making a play for Dean, and that was refreshing. And notwithstanding both Dean’s attempts to dissuade her and Ellen’s overwhelming fear of losing her, I’m betting that Jo’s desire to be her father’s daughter will ultimately make her decide to stay in the game.


bardicvoice: (Default)

We all knew that Dean wasn’t stupid; we all knew that Dean had to be thinking that his Dad’s death, matched against his own miraculous recovery, added up to something ugly and unreal. Now it’s finally out in the open – but no one can make it all right. And it was eerily disturbing that Dean, in describing the zombie revenant Angela brought back to unnatural life, described something that sounds a lot like what Dean himself has been so far this season:  “These things are vicious, they’re violent, they’re so nasty they rot the ground around them.” And they beat the crap out of the things and people they love, too.


Raelle Tucker, who together with Sera Gamble was the writer of the first season episodes Dead In The Water,  Faith, Nightmare, and Salvation, has always displayed a fine touch at opening Dean’s heart, and she did it again in Dead Things (sorry, but I just can’t keep repeating a title that long …), aided and abetted by the emotional direction of Kim Manners. This story, ostensibly about a college girl brought back to unnatural life as a revenant, wasn’t particularly subtle in setting up its parallels with Dean’s own situation, but it worked marvelously for me nonetheless.


Dean, deliberately avoiding visiting his own mother’s grave with Sam (and, in a particularly nice touch, backing off from a gravestone bearing the corrosively accusing legend “Loving father, at rest”), stumbled upon a new grave that cried out for investigation, since everything in a perfect circle around it was dead. Sam initially dismissed it as another example of Dean’s need to hunt in order to distance himself from his emotions, but eventually even Sam couldn’t deny that the evidence of malevolent supernatural forces was real, and Dean proved himself still a gifted hunter in coming up with the plan that ultimately worked to put the spirit back where it belonged. If only he could do the same for himself.


Twice in this episode, Dean said emphatically, “What’s dead should stay dead.” By the second repetition – especially after his additional declaration that “When someone’s gone, they should stay gone. You don’t mess with that kind of stuff.” – it had to be clear to everyone that he wasn’t speaking just about the vengeful Angela. It all finally came down to Dean in the coda coming clean about this one piece of the weight that Sam correctly diagnosed was killing him.


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December 2015



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