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just enough to make us dangerous
11.12 reaction/review 
6th-Feb-2016 08:00 pm
Becc_j Art
Well, I wasn't prepared for that.



I was pretty sure I wasn't going to like that episode. I was ready to be either bored or angry. In hindsight I'm not entirely sure why because I adore Jody, I liked Alex when she last appeared and there's only been one episode that I truly did not like Claire in (the first one!). Perhaps I just wasn't feeling confident that they'd get the three of them working together right. But actually, I think they did (well, Nancy Won did :D).

Since the dawn of time (time only started when Supernatural began right?) fans have been crying foul for the treatment of women on the show. Usually for very good reasons (S1 was particularly problematic - not to mention the fridging of Sarah and Charlie in recent seasons). The show is never (ever!) going to please the entire fan base, but it is encouraging to see them making an attempt to present solid, character-rich women. I think even if viewers don't "like" the characters (and I know some are totally disinterested in having any women on the show), we can see that they are at least trying to address the issues fandom has raised in the past (I'll probably be eating my words when they kill one (or all!) of them off in future eps…). These women feel organic to the series rather than just plonked in there (which I felt Ellen and Jo started off like that).

I always love seeing Jody (possibly by fave character after Sam and Dean). Kim Rhodes adds a levity to the character and the show whenever she makes an appearance. They've been consistent with her characterisation and she's now become a solid part of the SPN verse (please don't die!). Alex and Claire are newbies in comparison, but they have well developed history and feel like they are starting to fit into 'verse.

I confess it's taking me a while to warm to Claire. I am not totally convinced by her (I think Kathryn is developing in the role but she still lacks the finesse of the actress who plays Alex), but I respect their attempts to make her a three dimensional character and I like Kathryn will grow as well as Claire as the series continues (assuming they plan on keeping her around).

I liked this episode because it felt well structured. I'm all about the "pay-offs" - as in, little resolutions within an episode (not waiting until the end of the season for example). For Claire we got to see an annoying "brattish" teenager take another step in growing up. The growth was about learning to trust (and not, as I thought it might be, that hunting is a stupid life choice. We know it can be but that's not going to work of Claire at this point in her life). For Alex it was confronting the past and learning how to deal with it. Usually I don't give a crap about that teenage, angsty stuff but because it involved some lovely scenes between them and Sam and Dean - I was hooked. It was also well handled by the the writer, director and actors so I survived it! :)

Even though it was Sam and Dean light, the scenes they had were wonderful. Not so much because of the humour, but because we got to see Sam and Dean be, well, Sam and Dean. This episode wasn't about any crap between them, it was about them just being brothers who hunt together. It didn't feature any contrived "issues" between them, so I could watch without thinking about what awful thing they will do or say to each other. It seems that's how I like this show best. ;) It also wasn't trying to deal with the rather convoluted myth arc so it could remain fairly simple (though vampires can now tolerate sunlight completely? Must have evolved some more…;D)

I also liked the outsider POV of Sam and Dean and the way it expanded their overall story. Watching them become almost orgasmic over a home-cooked meal was hilarious, but also a little heartbreaking (though it's been my head canon for a while that Dean has become quite the chef in that new kitchen of theirs). Even though I'm not sure the parallels between Claire and Dean (hungry for a hunting life) and Sam and Alex (wanting to go to school and have a normal life) were deliberate, it's certainly there to be able to tease out if we want to. It wasn't an attempt to compare their lives and make a judgement (as in - who had the harder life etc), rather that the boys were able to help them out because they've been there too. I liked that light touch, rather than the anvils that hit our heads sometimes.

It was also wonderful to see Sam being allowed to talk to both Alex and Claire. I'm still pinching myself with how they are approaching Sam this season. :)

So yeah. It won't go down as one of my all time faves, but it was certainly entertaining and added another layer to the Supernatural universe.
Comments 
6th-Feb-2016 12:25 pm (UTC)
You speak for me! This is pretty much word for word what I was thinking - though I had no idea Jody and the wayward daughters were going to be in this episode so I only had a brief moment to go "damn, Claire, that girl I can't remember and yay! Jody" before Nancy's script sucked me in and soothed my momentarily worried brow.
7th-Feb-2016 11:37 am (UTC)
Nancy's script was strong and really helped give this episode heart. I normally don't like teen drama (I have enough of it at home!), but liked the way this was handled.
6th-Feb-2016 02:10 pm (UTC)
You keep writing down my thoughts for me; it's very convenient! I adore Jody and was so glad to see her here. And I like how you put it about Sam and Dean: there wasn't any drama, just brothers hunting. Like it should be. :)
7th-Feb-2016 11:38 am (UTC)
Haha! If I could chose a brain twin it would be you! :))

*happy sigh* just Sam and Dean hunting. Hope we get more of that. :)
6th-Feb-2016 08:28 pm (UTC)
I too was surprised about how much I actually enjoyed this episode. I enjoyed the writing, especially for the girls (we want more of you Nancy Woo!) I think it would have been easy to travel down the 'big hugs, all is forgiven and fixed now route', but no, it was done subtly with looks and hidden meaning, and what was unsaid. I really appreciated that.

Claire can grate on me a little, but seeing her without Cas, and seeing her interact with female characters, as well as Sam and Dean, I think it showed another side of her that I really enjoyed. And I'd love to see a Wayward daughters spinoff if this is what we'd get (plus Donna, and maybe some Eileen and Krissy!)

I adored that dinner table scene - it was hilarious! And my head canon about Dean cooking still stands; I'm not sure I can see Dean roast a chicken with mashed potatoes and veggies (those were green beans, right?) And also, food also tastes way better, and is more enjoyable, when someone cooks it for you, it's a proper 'family' home cooked meal and it gave me feels (and yeah, some were sad and some were happy!)

Great ep reaction, thank you!
7th-Feb-2016 11:49 am (UTC)
I think seeing Claire without Cas was very important. It's difficult watching her knowing she's not only seeing the image of the father, but also being in the presence of the person responsible for his death. It was a good choice to see her outside of that complication.

I'm curious to know if they are setting up a spin off of the "wayward daughters". There's certainly enough females now to make a female strong show. I would certainly be more on board with that than I was with Bloodlines.

Other people cooking a homemade meal is always better! And I think Dean probably cooks great burgers, but mash and veg? Maybe not so much (though Sam would love it. And actually, I'm sure Sam could cook too).

Thanks for stopping by! xx
6th-Feb-2016 11:15 pm (UTC)
Even though it was Sam and Dean light, the scenes they had were wonderful. Not so much because of the humour, but because we got to see Sam and Dean be, well, Sam and Dean. This episode wasn't about any crap between them, it was about them just being brothers who hunt together. It didn't feature any contrived "issues" between them...

Yes! That is an excellent way to put their interaction this episode and why it was enjoyable!

I also thought Dean was a pretty competent cook (remember the burger he made for Sam that was apparently amazing) but someone else pointed out that they are on the road so much that he probably doesn't have the energy to cook much, and someone else said that it was probably having it cooked for them that also made it so good to them.

One bit that I really liked was that when Dean showed up at the place where the women were, he dispatched the janitor vamp, did a quick look at Sam battling the teen vamp, and then went to the women instead of helping Sam--which I took as a subtle compliment that he knew his brother could handle his monster just fine.

Considering how Sam got beat on with a wooden board, however, I thought he should have been moving painfully afterwards!
7th-Feb-2016 12:03 pm (UTC)
Hey! (and extra hey for your birthday! :D)

And *nods* - I can imagine being on the road means Dean doesn't have a lot of time to cook - and definitely someone else's home cooking tastes better! The scene was so lovely because of the way it represented something the boys have never really had - the opportunity to sit down to a family dinner - PLUS simple home cook food. <33

which I took as a subtle compliment that he knew his brother could handle his monster just fine.

Yes. I noticed that too. A nice touch.

I thought he should have been moving painfully afterwards!

haha! I felt for sure he's have something broken. This boys are made from tough stuff! But yes, a bit of limping would have been good to see (and they don't even have Cas now to instantly fix them…)

7th-Feb-2016 12:52 am (UTC)
I pretty much ditto your opinions. It was an episode that wasn't really about hunting at all, but about never being able to make the past go away completely no matter what things look like on the surface. In fact, for nearly all the episodes I've seen this season it seems that there's more attention on characterization rather than just moving people through a plot -- that the character moments are becoming the reason for the episode rather than just a side effect.

I felt fairly sure going in that Jody was going to die so I was pleasantly surprised when that didn't happen. I saw Alex's episode but I never saw the ones with Claire so if it weren't for the "Before" I wouldn't have known who she was. (I was relieved to hear that at least Jimmy's no longer there).

Also, yes, the reveal about the vampire boyfriend just left me going "What? There's no way he went for months with no one noticing anything had changed." At the same time, a lot of the episode just seemed clunky. It makes me think that the reason the show never did this stuff much is because no one the team writes it well. Points for effort though, it makes for a nice change.
8th-Feb-2016 12:16 pm (UTC)
This season has certainly been more about character rather than focussing just on the plot. We've been given more Sam this season than I think we've been given over the last 4 years. They've taken time over Claire, which has been refreshing. I hope she can move on from being the bratty teen, to a more competent hunter.

Always relieved when Jody survives an episode!

It was pretty obvious from the start that the boyfriend was going to be "evil" - that part was the most clunky to me for sure.
8th-Feb-2016 07:12 pm (UTC)
I did notice that about Sam, but I haven't seen the last two seasons so I think it wasn't as noticeable to me. To me the low point was S4 when you'd have bizarre things like Sam standing right there in a scene and having no dialogue with important characters.

But I agree that the plots seem well balanced between the two -- I'm guessing it's a scheduling thing. If they're going to have the two split up so that each can have more time off, they simply have to give Sam something to do besides talk to the random witnesses of the week.
7th-Feb-2016 06:43 am (UTC)

Agreed! :)

8th-Feb-2016 12:16 pm (UTC)
Cool! :)
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