I'm not sure where to start with this one to be honest. When I write my reactions I like to be as honest as I can about how I felt about an ep and as I had mixed feelings I'm not sure which ones to take the most notice of (if that makes any sense!?!) I was loving it SO VERY VERY MUCH and then in the last 10 minutes or so I was feeling a bit let down.
I realise that maybe I was expecting too much - I thought it was going to be much more of a "classic" whodunit than it ended up being. I mean, it was a great shout out that genre, I was just hoping it was going to end the same way they usually do (more on that later). I have a feeling this is one I will enjoy much more on re-watch (I'm loving all the gifs and references made to it so far, so I think this episode will have a lot of mileage *g*). Stuff I loved.
The music! Wonderfully classic "mystery" music with a touch of cheekiness that suggested that we don't take this too seriously. One of my fave things of all.
Watching Sam and Dean work together (and giving off the slashiest vibe between in a long time. I don't often watch with my slash googles on, but boy, hard to avoid this one! *g* Actually, I think it a lot to do with how uncomfortable they were around all those strange, rich, soulless people and how totally comfortable they were around each other). For those into Sam/Dean I think it was a treat. :))
I liked that they shared giving orders. It really felt like they were truly equal partners.
Sam making Dean coffee. <3 (and Dean's gorgeous reaction to it!).
They are back to living in motels (why does that make me so happy?!)
All the Cluedo references (as named in Australia). Each time a murder weapon was introduced I laughed out oud. What great fun. I am not sure if this episode came about because of the SPN Clue game or because they wanted to promote it. Either way, it was wonderful fun.
Bobby being remembered.
Dean working on the car again. He clearly had a lot of work to do after demon!Dean trashed it. I love that they've made a point of that. It's one of the more subtle things they are referencing at the moment.
Sam being hit on by cougars (shut up! That would totally be me. I would hope I would be a lot more subtle than they were, but my brain would totally be going there!).
The "Then" montage. All those wonderful monster reminders. I love that they didn't do the usual thing and tell us about a past monster so we know about the one coming up in the episode. A great why to hide the truth and give us some false ideas.
All the faces! Sam and Dean's looks were so adorable and precious. Loved it. Thing I'm handwaving
Dean being able to wander around the house unchecked. Yeah yeah, I know he "had" to, but it just felt weird that after a murder there was only one detective and no other police. *shrugs* I know that's picky, so just ignore me. The thing that niggled
One thing I was reeeeally looking forward to in this episode is that moment at the end of usual whodunits when the truth is revealed. I love it when the detectives knows who dun it and slowly draws out the reveal. I felt sure Sam and Dean would do this and I couldn't wait to see them use their smarts and reveal the mystery. Instead they were locked away and the actual monster had to do the revealing. I understand why it was done this way (Sam and Dean wouldn't have been able to reveal that the murderer was a shapeshifter), but I felt a little cheated.
(oh and I am still not over Sam's bob haircut this season. Ugh. I'll even accept shorter if they could just stop curling the back under. PLEASE!)Other (more thinky) stuff
I did like the way Sam and Dean were obviously out of place in this setting. Initially I felt like the family characters were over the top (which, they were), but it served for two purposes. One to show us how Sam and Dean would see them (totally removed from their lives) and two, that this episode was mostly a stylised version of a whodunit and not a serious attempt at the genre. That was obvious with the music choice (and the Clue weapons and secret passage), but I was kind of hoping it might have ended the way a classic whodunit would.
The "out of place" feel was reinforced by them seeing how this family felt toward each other - something totally foreign to Sam (even when he's pissed off with his brother). I like the nod that Sam's never felt hate - even at his most pissed off.
I liked that Sam was the one to draw out the shifter (though I initially thought it was a stupid play until I realised he was stalling it until Dean got the silver bullets) but the anvil with "I didn't have a choice about being a monster" really made me cringe because I know this is a reference to Sam thinking he's a monster because of what he did to save Dean. I'm afraid this angle to Sam's story is going to really bug me and if it continues in this vein I will be pretty damn annoyed. Sam was going through this during S4 (Metamorphosis examining this very issue) and it feels so shallow that Sam would be thinking about himself like this now. Especially as it really looked like Sam was truly feeling
it (Jared was giving it everything - which also felt kind of weird, but I appreciate his commitment). It all felt so dramatic after a mostly light episode.
I think the shifters speech would have had more relevance if it had been addressed to Dean ("I was forced to become a monster"). Maybe Sam hearing it was about understanding more about what happened to Dean and in turn, himself. I don't know. I'm probably reaching for too much (as I tend to do *g*).
The zoom edits when Dean was shooting the shifter was particularly unnecessary I thought. I understand why
they did it like that - "attention audience, Dean is "going too far now" - but I'm not sure we need to be spoon fed this stuff. I love it when they are more subtle with this stuff. Dean over-shooting the monster (Jensen does "dark" well enough to carry this without the extra emphasis), followed by Sam's reaction would have been enough for us to know what what going on. I liked how damn scared Sam was of Dean - a reminder of the threat he was under when Dean was a demon maybe.
During the BM moment we could see that Sam is clearly concerned, Dean is trying to not be concerned and we are left wondering is there something more going on with Dean other than the Mark or his past demon-ness. I can't imagine anything "more" than either of those so I suspect we are just going to be witnessing Dean's slow decline into darkness. Potentially interesting and no doubt angst inducing.
The theme of "what makes a monster?" continues and if they manage to find a different angle on it from the past times they have explored it, it could prove to be enlightening (hopefully to both Dean and Sam). I just hope they take into account that the brothers have been through all this before. I want them to explore what makes it different
for them this time.
I'm going to have to rewatch just to figure out what was actually had happened to the daughter and the ins and outs of it all. I did get that Bobby was merciful and let the daughter live as long as she was locked up. I do like that it suggests that "mercy" may not always be as merciful as it first looks - a very strong theme in the Supernatural universe.
I did enjoy a lot of this episode and my niggles are simply wanting the show to be a bit more clever - the script a bit sharper. Maybe that I had figured the silver wasn't silver during that rather delightful scene with Sam between the two women made me think that the boys should have worked that out earlier (or at least checked it was silver). But there were so many delightful moments that I know it will be an episode I will enjoy re-watching. The boys were great together, there were some nice family references and it was hilarious in parts. It felt like old school SPN in many ways. MoTW with classic SamnDean moments. I'll take that over them being horrid to each other any day. :)
Awesome! So much fun!
Pretty good! I enjoyed most of it.
Ok. I felt some parts could have been done better.
Meh. Didn't really work for me.
Nope. Missed the mark completely.
ETA: (of course I mean 10.06 but I've lost the opportunity to edit it…)