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7.20 Review/reaction 
28th-Apr-2012 04:57 pm
Becc_j Art


Another ep I REALLY enjoyed. The geek in me was rather satisfied. I feel like like I want to BURST with all the stuff so this is very likely to be ALL OVER THE PLACE! Oh well...

I have to start with the writing, the direction and the over all feel of that episode. Robbie Thompson wrote this and he is fast becoming one of my favourite writers. He also wrote Slash Fiction and Time After Time. I thought it was a tight, well rounded, quirky script - with some great dialogue. The direction, by Johnny MacCarthy, was also tight and I loved many of the visual devices.

I don't know if anyone else felt it but it almost seemed like a slightly "different" show to me. I mean.. it was all there but because the format was quite different to their norm there was something rather refreshing and...um... other about it. If that makes any sense. /o\

I think the flashbacks might have had a lot to do with it. I normally dislike "5 hours earlier" kind of stuff but after my initial groan I was right into it. It reminded me a little of the Leverage format. In fact - with all the techno stuff, boys sitting in a surveillance van, flashbacks etc. it was quite Leverage like.

Counting the ways: (I have to start with some visuals)

1. My inner geek was most happy with this SPLIT SCREEN!! \o/



LOOK AT THAT!! SO MUCH LOVE! I actually squealed out loud when the first split appeared. And then they gave us this one with Dean sandwiched in the middle! \o/ Love the way Dean is "looking" at the guard. Awesome! I love the way split screens add an element of quirkiness to a story. Also the split POV is super cool. /geek

2. ADORED this visual also:



A really nice way of getting across a lot of information quickly. Looked damn pretty too. (That's screaming vid material to me!)

3. Dean flirting with the guard (via Charlie) might have been one of my favourite moments. That whole scene filled me with JOY. Not least because we had a "Stop laughing SAMMY" thrown in. Awwwwwwwwwwwwww Damn that was nice! Dean's "Sammys" are so full of fondness lately. I just love it. Love that Sam had his geeky Harry Potter moment and Dean his expert flirting skillz moment. Lovely mirror of the abilities they bring to their special partnership.

4. It was tense! I was biting my nails a wee bit I have to confess. I was pretty scared for Charlie when she was breaking in to Dick's office (but then, I am ALWAYS nervous about that sort of stuff...). And with a show like this I never feel confident that a character WON'T die. Especially if she's cool.

5. Charlie.

Right. Let's take a moment. At first I kept thinking they are giving as another version of a fangirl (a damn sight BETTER version than the last one...) and that kinda annoyed me for a minute. But then I realised that she is just another character, one that happens to be a geeky type of fangirl and I went with it. I really enjoyed her and whether she was there to represent one of "us" or not I don't think it was relevant. She was a lovely, energetic, empowered, SPARKY, smart, awesome character. The thing about having a character that identified with other strong female characters in pop culture was pretty cool I thought.

6. POP CULTURE REFERENCES!! \o/ Jeezeeeeee I'm looking forward to seeing the SuperWiki entry to count how many references there were. But WOW!! HEAPS!! My ABSOLUTE FAVOURITE would have to be the SOYLENT GREEN one. \o/ I think because as soon as they mentioned people being food it HAD to be referenced. And it was. And then there was War Games. Films I loved and remember fondly. It was also great to see so many Star Wars references because Kripke has referred to SPN as "Stars Wars in truck stop America". So it it makes sense. :) They could have felt out of places or meta like but because the Show is always referencing pop culture it fit really nicely (though I did wonder if Jensen's reference to doing Comic Con... 4th wall removal? Not sure...).

7. Speaking of Soylent Green...("It's people"). So much information was revealed about what the Leviathans were up to in such a short time. I was pretty pleased with that actually. I think we were pretty close to guessing that from previous episodes so I'm glad they didn't tease that out any longer. People as a food source and talking us off the top of the food chain is pretty cool. With the way corporations work I can see this as a believable (and scary) way of taking over the world.

Though...um...I felt the whole "Bobby's numbers" thing went by really fast. Frank's guess at the last number was wrong. Bobby isn't to know that (I don't think??) so there still might be more to go there. I hope they don't forget that the numbers were wrong. But *shrugs* maybe that's it...

8. Anyone reading past reviews know I love the Leviathans as the Big Bad. Dick Roman is the SLIMIEST big bad that ever did slim. I truly felt scared each time he appeared. Corporate slimballs are just too real and he makes me shiver whenever I see him. I'm rather loving how BIG this problem his. I imagine that killing Dick won't get rid of the Leviathans, so it's going to take something rather massive to send them all back to purgatory. Or kill them all. (Enter Cas maybe? Ack... I hope they do that well if they are going to go down that route....*iz nervous*).

9. THE BOYS!!

Ok. I know that, once again, we didn't have a Winchester heavy episode. I am hoping they are saving it all up for the last 3 episodes. It makes sense to me for them to be having a bit of down time in terms of the angst. They NEED a break. I know we love to see them angsting all over the place (*nods*) but if they are going to be throwing some major shit at them towards the end of the season they need a chance to regroup and learn to work together again (sans hallucinations and alcohol).

The moments that we did get to see the boys were wonderful though. They were SMART! There was banter and brotherly ribbing. And I do rather love this:



Boys in close quarters!! They were practically on top of each other. :D It was interesting to watch the boys hunt in a different way. Using more technology and brains and less salt and brawn. I think that also contributed to that "other" feeling I had about the episode.

10. Dean mentioned his car. FINALLY (if only briefly...)

11. "Kick it in the Ass". That line will always make me sniffle a little. Reminds me of Ellen's death and of course Kim Manners. :( Nice it was used again.

12. Yay - they used a song I used in a vid once. I like it when that happens... (Walking on Sunshine *g*) - Yay dancing in the elevator. I do that in my car - well, with my arms not so much the legs... ;)

13. Bobby. Oh Bobby. Nothing good can come of this I fear. The boys are handling Bobby just the way I imagined they would. They want him to be around but know that it's not a good thing. It's interesting that Sam is now being the voice of reason here whereas the last episode he seemed more chilled about him being around. Dean is more reluctant to be rid of him whereas last week he's the one that voiced the concerns.

It's a (great) dilemma. He can be helpful but also has potential to turn "bad". They love him but know he needs to be at rest - and being a ghost is not a good thing. If the boys have any future conflict between them it will be what to do with Bobby. Curious to see how they handle that. (The camera staying on Sam that minute longer at the end suggests to me that they might be thinking different things about what to do already...).

Overall a fun episode. Sure, it would have been nice to see more of our beautiful men but I can settle for an episode like this when it's fast paced, has great other characters and gives us some answers. (ETA to say.... I'm now hanging out for a Winchester-centric episode..*g*)

I leave you with this picture. It warms my heart that they have a little cottage to call their own. It's almost like home.



(OMG! This needs someone to manip a white picket fence on it. Maybe some flowers, curtains in the window....)
Comments 
28th-Apr-2012 09:09 am (UTC)
I loved the way they loopholed the 'fangirl reaction to females' by making Charlie gay. Actually I think a gay female character could really work, although it's probably a little late in the show's life by now.
28th-Apr-2012 10:19 am (UTC)
Yes... I think Show may have figured it out. ;D Though overall I've been seeing a more positive reaction to female characters on the show (well, ones that aren't Becky..). Or maybe Show is finally giving us well written, interesting women...
28th-Apr-2012 10:01 am (UTC)
It really did have a different feel to it. Even my husband (who normally tunes out) noted that he enjoyed tonight's episode.
28th-Apr-2012 10:22 am (UTC)
Hee... I actually said to my hubby - you might actually enjoy this one - still wasn't tempted.

Ooh and thanks for the kittie postcard...<3
xox
28th-Apr-2012 10:12 am (UTC)
...it was quite Leverage like.

This!! :D
I really enjoyed that.

I also was worried that Charly might die. She seemed at the brink of it a few times. I'm glad she didn't. And she was rather cool. I really like her. :)

The flirt scene (including split screen) was great. And hilarious. :D

Bobby.. doesn't really look good for him, eh?..*hugs Ghost!Bobby*

Your suggestion to manip a white picket fence, curtains etc. into this murky picture made me laugh. :D Home, sweet home, huh? ;)
28th-Apr-2012 10:29 am (UTC)
Hey hun.

So wasn't just me getting the Leverage feel? It sure did feel little different from the usual eps.

There were some great funny moments. I'm wondering if we're getting this "break" from the angst in preparation for what's to come. Or maybe this is a new direction...

Hmmmm

xox

28th-Apr-2012 10:34 am (UTC)
I just finished watching it!!!!!! But yes, now that you mention it, it did have a very Leverage feel.

Sam geeking out with Harry Potter references was adorable.
28th-Apr-2012 02:01 pm (UTC)
It had some pretty damn adorable moments!

Charlie sneaking in reminded me of Parker doing her thing... :)

xox
28th-Apr-2012 03:00 pm (UTC)
I've seen quite a few people reference the 'Leverage' feel to this ep, and I agree, it did seem almost like a different show, but in a refreshing way, not a bad one. They created an original character who was so fully rendered and well done that we all *cared* about her, and that made Dick Roman (who always creeps me out) even *more* terrifying. Add to that the pop culture references, Dean flirting with a dude by proxy, and the fond "Sammy" and "Baby" exclamations, and I'm a happy happy fangirl :)
29th-Apr-2012 02:21 am (UTC)
I agree... refreshing, but not bad refreshing. :)

And YES... because we cared for Charlie it did make Dick even more menacing... *shivers*

Wonderfully rendered...

Very true. Yay for Charlie! :D
28th-Apr-2012 04:14 pm (UTC)
You know what the general style of the episode reminds me of? Ocean's 11. (eta)Especially the split screen . I have to watch it again on properly big screen (not a phone), but it totally has an Ocean's 11 feel to me.

Edited at 2012-04-28 04:15 pm (UTC)
29th-Apr-2012 02:22 am (UTC)
Oh yes. I would agree it had an Ocean 11 feel. I think they were clever in presenting it in a different format than usual.

:)
28th-Apr-2012 05:38 pm (UTC)
I don't know if anyone else felt it but it almost seemed like a slightly "different" show to me. I mean.. it was all there but because the format was quite different to their norm there was something rather refreshing and...um... other about it. If that makes any sense. /o\

Yes - I think so too. I think it was an interesting way of building the story around Charlie's perspective. I mean - she's a sci-fi/fantasy geek, but she's a computer expert. So her fantasies suit her to a Lord of the Rings style quest, but her skills suit her to a crime caper. They meet her halfway, with a horror story centring on defeating a Dark Lord and locating important 'quest' items - but with a change in tone and style that puts her hacking, deception and infiltration skills centre stage.

That whole scene filled me with JOY. Not least because we had a "Stop laughing SAMMY" thrown in. Awwwwwwwwwwwwww Damn that was nice! Dean's "Sammys" are so full of fondness lately. I just love it. Love that Sam had his geeky Harry Potter moment and Dean his expert flirting skillz moment. Lovely mirror of the abilities they bring to their special partnership.

They're actually scaring me. I keep thinking 'If they got any more adorable, they'd explode'. And then I think 'Oh, no! They're going to make one of them explode!' I get really nervous when they start sounding sweet and well adjusted. :) That said ... they really are adorable. It's fascinating to see them at this point where they really are working to their strengths and capable of handling pretty much anything as long as they work together.

Right. Let's take a moment. At first I kept thinking they are giving as another version of a fangirl (a damn sight BETTER version than the last one...) and that kinda annoyed me for a minute. But then I realised that she is just another character, one that happens to be a geeky type of fangirl and I went with it. I really enjoyed her and whether she was there to represent one of "us" or not I don't think it was relevant. She was a lovely, energetic, empowered, SPARKY, smart, awesome character. The thing about having a character that identified with other strong female characters in pop culture was pretty cool I thought.

Yeah, I don't know whether that was intended as an apology for the ... Becky incident, but it was certainly a lovely thing to see. And I do feel somewhat mollified, because they addressed the biggest issue I had with that mess - that Becky wasn't really inspired by Sam and Dean, she was just Sam's creepy stalker. As you say, it's nice to see Charlie identifying with strong female characters - and she's able to draw her own strength from that. She's not squealing 'it's all real!' and insisting that Hermione should be her girlfriend or that she has magic powers - Hermione's brains and courage just give her something to aspire to. I like that.

It was cute what a paean to geekery that was. Charlie may be queen geek, but Sam and Dean are right up there with her. Of course the plans are in the Death Star. :)

It's interesting that Sam is now being the voice of reason here whereas the last episode he seemed more chilled about him being around. Dean is more reluctant to be rid of him whereas last week he's the one that voiced the concerns.

It is interesting - I think the Dean's immediate terror of the situation is getting in the way. He was so horrified in the last episode because he immediately assumed this was going to go bad - they're going to have to do something and they're going to get hurt again. He's being proved right almost immediately, and he doesn't want to be right - so he doesn't want to deal with it. Sam had a wait-and-see attitude, so he's just now seriously weighing up their options. Not that he didn't think about it before - but it's different to Dean's visceral response to a crisis.
29th-Apr-2012 05:38 am (UTC)
with a horror story centring on defeating a Dark Lord and locating important 'quest' items -

Oooh yes. Also like a game (apparently Felicia Day is a gamer as well) where gathering clues and infiltrating the "compound" is part of the overall quest. I like that... :)

And then I think 'Oh, no! They're going to make one of them explode!'

Ha! I know. I keep thinking they are deliberately trying to put us at "ease" and them wham! Something awful will happen. I mean... something awful will have to happen no doubt but maybe not to one of the boys this time.

And yes... good reasoning on why Sam and Dean are reacting the way they are to Bobby in this episode. I'm surprised they've reached that point so soon (Bobby turning potentially bad). I though they might have dragged that on for a bit. We'll see though. Dean said they'll deal with what's in the package first and then worry about Bobby...

eep.

xx
28th-Apr-2012 08:19 pm (UTC)
I feel that it's worth pointing out (you may already know this) that Charlie was played by Felicia Day, who was basically playing herself :) She's a self proclaimed geek girl who had a pretty Joss Whedon-heavy resume until she made her own online video series where she hung out with all her World of Warcraft friends. This character was so spot-on with her persona that I feel like it must have been written just for her. And that maybe Charlie would have come off as over-the-top fangirly and creepy if anyone else had played her. I feel like it was a really smart move to pull in a (somewhat underground) icon of the demographic they're trying to appeal to, letting her be herself, and then breaking the mold by not killing her. In fact, I was so in a 'of course she's awesome, she's felicia day' headspace, that I didn't even consider the idea that they'd kill her until the very end, and then I freaked! But luckily they didn't, and then she was self-assured enough to blow off the winchesters :)

anyway, you said it so well, there's so much STUFF here, and it's all freaking fantastic. i feel like the writers finally figured out the right kind of meta, that doesn't isolate half their fandom, and I love that they worked in logic to keep bobby from being the all-powerful invisible sidekick. the vengeful issue is a good point, and truly scary, and suggests to me that they won't let bobby stick around too long. and I agree - I'd like to see something come from bobby's numbers being wrong

i usually never really notice the visuals or the set up of the shots, but this ep definitely made an impression on that too :) i think my fav was when the boys leapt in through the double panes of glass at the end. very reminiscent of the window scene in the French Mistake :)

cheers to an awesome ep, and hoping you're right about the last few eps being brother-centric :D

edited to say: omg! and I just had the coolest thought! so the boys end up with this Mystery Red Clay, and no idea what to do with it, and Charlie's last comment on Dick is 'the really evil ones always need a special sword' and... dun dun duuuuun. wouldn't it be cool if Dick uncovered his own demise :) and Charlie gave them the final clue to beating him? that would make her super awesome

Edited at 2012-04-28 08:30 pm (UTC)
28th-Apr-2012 11:47 pm (UTC)
I want to copy and paste the entirety of your first paragraph. XD I adore Felicia Day and was introduced to her via The Guild, so to have her here mixing with SPN was the ultimate geek moment. She was delightful.
28th-Apr-2012 11:23 pm (UTC)
I kept telling my mom (who I was watching with) that the episode reminded me of a Leverage episode. It was a great episode and I enjoyed it (especially Charlie), but it definitely felt like a different show.

Loved all the geek references.

:)

Edit: Just adding that I love Felicia Day. I've been listening to her for years on my technology podcasts. I hope she starts talking about her experience on the show to her tech geek fanbase. :)



Edited at 2012-04-28 11:25 pm (UTC)
29th-Apr-2012 02:07 pm (UTC)
Oh you had the Leverage feel also? It was quite different wasn't it.

I've been listening to her for years on my technology podcasts.

Oh wow really? I have to confess I haven't heard of her (eek.. I feel like I'm not as geeky as I'd like to be..) so learning about her now has been interesting. I really enjoyed her performance and thrilled they gave us this character.

Hee.. a younger sister Dean never wanted...

<3
29th-Apr-2012 12:11 am (UTC)
OMG WHAT A FUN EPISODE

Yes, there were scary parts (Leviathans) and angsty parts (Bobby) but there was Felicia Day and you really can't go wrong with her. :)


6. LOL - yeah - there were SO MANY. And then all the non-verbal ones at Charlie's desk and at her apartment. Jeez!

10. BABY! Oh I miss the Impala, I'm glad she's not been entirely forgotten.
*sniffs*

I just watched the episode so I'm mostly just sitting here bouncing and fangirling over Felicia Day.
29th-Apr-2012 02:10 pm (UTC)
YES!! It did have ALL that! \o/

I loved all the non verbal pop culture references also. I actually took a screen cap to have a closer look at her work space. :D

IMPALA!! It's getting painful now. Surely we'll see her in or before the finale. PLEEEASSEE

I can get with the Felicia Day fangirling! \o/
29th-Apr-2012 05:36 am (UTC)
Okay! So building on our discussion last week, *this* week it's revealed that Bobby can't be around unless the flask is. In the very final scene, they decide to discuss the Bobby situation knowing the flask is in the car so that he can't hear. What are your thoughts on this development?

Are we thinking that this is not a usual haunting? Ghosts are indeed attached to inanimate objects, but never to the point where the object must be within haunting distance. Ghosts have always been able to go wherever they wanted; destroying the object stopped the ghost. With Bobby he's linked within a certain distance?

I suppose it's new Bobby-centric ghost canon we'll have to accept.
30th-Apr-2012 07:18 am (UTC)
What are your thoughts on this development?

Hmmm.... I would have to go back over certain eps (Provenance, for example) to see what happen we being attached to objects. I think the ghost girl was kept around because of her hair but she was also attached to the painting somehow. Hmmm - have ghosts always been able to move wherever they want? I'd have to check. I've always thought they were tied to any area or object. *head scratch*

I imagine they are making some new rules here. In the previous episode the qhost from the house could only come out when the object came out, so they are probably following that line of thinking with the flask. I think they are needing the boys to have some sort of control over when they want Bobby around etc. He's probably going to get mighty frustrated with them if they lock it away somewhere.

But yeah.... new ghost canon to suit what they need Bobby to be able (and not able) to do.
29th-Apr-2012 08:09 am (UTC)
There was so much to love in this episode! One of the best episodes for a long time, I think.

Charlie was awesome in every possible way, and really well drawn, I'm so glad we got to see her in her element before the Winchesters came, it offered a wonderful perspective on the boys as wells as Charlie.

I was so scared for her the entire time but she got out alive!:))

Dean talking Cjarlie through flirting with the security guard was brilliant. Absolute genius.

I was kind of hoping they'd slip 'one does not simply walk into Dick Roman's office' in there but we had so many geeky references anyway.

Edited at 2012-04-29 08:09 am (UTC)
30th-Apr-2012 10:53 am (UTC)
Yes! It really held together as an all-round solid ep. It had it all. \o/ I re-watched recently and loved it just as much. :D

<33



29th-Apr-2012 01:53 pm (UTC)
I agree 5000% with this review. :)

Totally agree with your "other" comment. I noted in my own reaction post that 7.20 felt more like an Ocean's 11/Leverage-style caper. Gosh, even the preview clip had that feel to it.

SO much love for the boys in their little surveillance cubbyhole. The physical closeness, the emotional closeness (as you said, there has been an incredible amount of warmth in how Dean says "Sammy" lately), Dean Winchester's Sure-Fire Guide to FlirtingTM, Sam's little giggle-fit . . . I know, angst is what makes the Winchester world turn, but there's only so much brotherly sniping and fighting and walking-away-from-each-other that a girl can take, you know? I still think there wasn't enough of the guys, but what we did see made me smile.

Plus, WarGames, Soylent Green and "The plans are on the Death Star." Oh. Oh. *geeks out HARD* And hey, Leviathan headquarters are based in Chicago? That was killing me, as I had a Leviathan-related encounter of my own a few weeks back.

the whole "Bobby's numbers" thing went by really fast.

O_o Bobby's numbers were referenced? And Frank got it wrong?! Wow, it DID go by really fast then, because it didn't even register with me. D: *schedules immediate rewatch*

I imagine that killing Dick won't get rid of the Leviathans

If anything, killing off Dick will make them even WORSE. Dicky-poo is currently the only thing keeping all that ravenous Levia!crazy focused and contained. Just imagine a Leviathan free-for-all. *shivers*

(OMG! This needs someone to manip a white picket fence on it. Maybe some flowers, curtains in the window....)

You are one sick puppy. I like. *needs to hang out at your house a lot more*
30th-Apr-2012 11:07 am (UTC)
I only just watched the preview clip (because I'm a spoiler-phobe!) and I agree even that "felt" different. It was a great preview clip.

Hee... I love the Leviathan encounter. Every time I hear that word or come across it now I think of Show! It will never mean the same again.

Franks numbers. Yeah.. Bobby wrote down 454859, Frank had to work out the last number and he worked it out as 454853. So yeah, there's a discrepancy there.

It will be interesting to see what happens if they somehow "kill" Dick before they can do anything with the other leviathans. I think there will be a massive fight for power. They may end up killing each...

You are one sick puppy.

HA! Now you're getting to know me...*nods* (I have a "happy ever" after ending in my mind for the boys and this includes them settling down in a little cottage... ;D )

xx
29th-Apr-2012 11:03 pm (UTC)
100% YES TO THIS POST!!!

I love having an episode that felt like a new show even after seven seasons.

I worried for Charlie’s safety when they showed her apartment. She has a lot of red/orange/yellow hues in there. I’m glad she was able to walk away!
30th-Apr-2012 11:10 am (UTC)
Yay!

And exactly.. Show keeps surprising me with what they keep coming up with - even after 7 seasons.

She has a lot of red/orange/yellow hues in there.

OMG yes! So many danger signals. I think they may have been playing on that a little bit maybe. Giving up the signals to ramp up the tension. I was nervous that's for sure!

And it's great she survived. I wonder if she will continue to do so... *fingers crossed*
30th-Apr-2012 09:28 am (UTC)
What a great episode!

Charlie was a strong, funny and interesting character. I'm wondering whether they're testing out templates for potential supporting characters for a potential season 8? Even if they go back more to the season 1 format of stand-alone MotW format, they'll still need the occassional go-to guy. Potentially.... ;)
30th-Apr-2012 11:12 am (UTC)
I'm wondering whether they're testing out templates for potential supporting characters for a potential season 8?

Ooooh - imagine having a new "go to" character. Surely Bobby can't be that guy going into next season. So yeah.....maybe..... :D

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