Archive

TV Reviews

As always, I am a day late viewing this episode, but that’s alright. Before my viewing, I saw a bunch of mixed reviews when it came to the episode, and for once, I didn’t let it deter me. I knew nothing of what was going to happen, and I didn’t even know the title until I saw some tags on tumblr. So this episode? Totally new and refreshing for me.

I didn’t do a review of last week’s episode, ‘As Time Goes By.’ So, brief recap: In another time-travel episode, Sam and Dean meet their ancestor from their father’s side this time — Henry Winchester. As it turns out, the Winchester side of the bloodline had their own supernatural connections, which makes all the allusions to Cain and Abel, make a lot of sense now. The Winchesters are basically elite from the get-go, as the Men of Letters, and Dean and Sam were meant to be the successors. Instead, they become hunters, the more “primitive,” and Campbell counterpart of the whole operation. Long story short: this not only affirms the whole bloodline thing we’ve been hearing about for the last eight seasons, but it also gives another Sam is more like John, and Dean is more like Mary comparison, which made me really happy.

Anyways, this most recent episode is a somewhat continuation of this, where we find out about the Judah Initiative, which is another ancient group of do-gooders working with/for the Men of Letters. Basically, Hunters made of Rabbis during WWII. And the Thule Society, is the Nazi-counterpart and therefore bad guys. All in all, good, creative episode as a whole. (Obviously, Ben Edlund penned it.) It was very interesting, if not for the slight annoying queer-baiting at the beginning, and the constant ‘college girls = bimbos’ trope that the show tends to do.

But I am not here to talk about that! Right now, I am here to talk about Sam Winchester.

I know right? Sam Winchester. Mariel is talking about Sam Winchester in a positive manner.

Alright, so continuing on with the Brains vs. Brawns idea, here we see Sam in his zone. He was leading the episode with his brains, and his curiosity, and that was refreshing to see. I know it is like that for almost every episode of all eight seasons, but there was something different about this.

All of his life, Sam has felt like an outsider. He just wanted to go to school, and go to college and not be a hunter because he’d rather read books than shoot a bow and arrow. And he was always revered as the black sheep because of it. In S3, we see Sam trying to be more like Dean in order to survive in a world where he believed that he is truly alone without his brother. To him, the only way to survive was to become more like him, to become more like a Hunter. And we saw that, really. For the past few seasons now. We saw a revenge-driven, demon-screwing Sam, guilty Sam and no-soul-to-ever-have-guilt Sam. Then we had broken Sam.

Which was all very boring, bad variaties of Hunter Sam. It was like the writers had no idea how to deal with his character, and now they’ve finally found it.

Sam is a Man of Letters while Dean is the Hunter.

Together, they make a perfect team, and that’s how it’s been from the very beginning of this show. Except before, he was just the smart brother. The Winchester geek. This time, he actually belongs in the family in a way that he has never been before. Dean has always known that he had a family because the family he has known his whole life is full of Hunters. And let’s face it: Dean is a Hunter, through and through. He’s always belonged in a family of Hunters while Sam never did. Dean was John Winchester’s right hand man, Sam belonged because he was his brother.

Now he actually has a family line he can be compared to other than the fact that John and him are both revenge-driven psychopaths. (I mean, he’s still a psychopath–he was warming his hands on a burning corpse!) He makes sense within the Dean-Sam dynamic because they’re not only brothers, they’re a partnership. Not only do their skill sets match, but what they like to do compliment each other. Dean will always doing what he does because that is who he is; he needs to always be doing right and saving people. And Sam will always be the scholar, because he is a man the strives for that.

Together, in a world of demons, monsters and Nazi Necromancers, they are the Hunter and the Man of Letters, descendants of the Campell-Winchester line.

And that’s all good.

PS: If the series doesn’t end exactly the same, or similarly to how this episode ended, I may get really upset. Because that was good, man. They find their places in a world that needs heroes in denim, with their own roles to play.

Advertisements

Let’s start with an anecdote.

(I’ll italicize this part so you can skip down to the actual review, if you wish.)

Back in the last PCA/ACA conference, I attended a paper on Becky Rosen, Supernatural creator’s once love-letter to the fans that turned sour, gross and downright ugly. Becky, who represents the fans, tied Sam Winchester onto the bed and took of his pants, after drugging him and basically taking advantage of him by making him marry her. Luckily for him, Dean stepped in to correct it all. If I remember correctly, the paper argued that Sam’s body represented the text,  The paper argued that in this case, Sam’s body represented Supernatural as a text, and Dean represented the writers of the show. The fans, fans like Becky (note: a straight female who wants nothing more but to get into Sam’s pants), are unstable and have no concepts of boundaries. She, the paper argues, is a threat to Sam, meaning the fans are a threat to the text. Basically, the whole thing was a big screw you to the fans. 

When Charlie was first introduced as a character, she was introduced as a fan. The good kind. Hermione Granger, Wonder Woman fan, smart cookie and a social liberal hacktivist who donates superpacks to charities. She also takes on almost a little sister role in the Winchester’s life, especially Dean, making her a Winchester ally (at this point, I was thinking she was going to die, because what woman ever survived being a Winchester friend?).

Over all, what’s not to like? Compared to Becky, she was a refreshing, and non-pejorative representation of the fan in the show. 

Then she was revealed as a lesbian. Ah. I see. I see what you did there, SPN writers. Becky is bad, and Charlie is good, because one wants to get into the boy’s pants, while the other doesn’t want anything to do with that crap at all. Lesbian? You’re not a threat. You’re a fan, but you’re not a threat, so you’re OK. 

Anyways, those are my first thoughts about our dear Charlie. 

===

This episode was very interesting. Let’s start with good things I really liked. Tons of popular culture references. The boys geeking out (Dean especially). LARPing. Somewhat representation of geek culture. Good ol’ classic throwback to monster-of-the-week. Felicia Day.

These things were pretty self-explanatory.

Now down to the nitty gritty.

Check out my title. I laughed when I wrote it, because really. The queen wants to bang the fairy. Hah. *snort* Anyways, one of the things I liked about Charlie when she was first introduced was the fact that her queerness did not make her who she is. She was this awesome, tech-savvy cute little nerd girl who just happened to be gay. I adored that about her. This episode was definitely different. At every turn, it was like, “Charlie is gay, viewer. See that, she is gay. LOOK, she is totally shameless about it, wanting to screw people in her tent. She’s sexually liberated and gay! Did I mention, TOTALLY GAY?!”

Seriously. It kind of reminded me of Route 666 way back in first season, which was SPN’s TOTALLY NOT RACIST EPISODE, because look, black people! And, and, and Dean is dating one of them. Seriously, not racist. Except for the fact the MOTW was a ghost of a white man that’s killing all of them. 

Again, I digress. Basically, this factor of the episode was what irked me the most. Representation of queer characters in the media, even now, are few and far between. Most of the time they are stereotypically, or too problematic, or the character is just the gay character and nothing else. Charlie’s introduction on show was good because her queerness did not make who she is, but this episode definitely erased that for me.

Now, one can argue that this representation is totally not problematic in that Charlie is just doing what any heterosexual male in the show (ie: Dean), would have done. And why should be any different if she’s a lesbian? Lesbians can look and oggle at girls and be sexually suggestive as well! Your argument makes no sense, Mariel, get a life!

Yeah, maybe. Maybe this argument is not sound. What I am trying to point out is this: regardless of thinky thoughts of what Charlie represents for the writers, her character started as a concrete person who just happened to be gay, and that’s fine. The fact that she sleeps with women did not make who she is. And that was how the episode started, with her and Dean being in sync of knowing a female porn star was a good little quirk that was reminiscent of her first episode. Then after that, it was like she was almost predatory. Every turn she was propositioning sex to every female LARPer, and the ending? Seriously. The Queen just saved that Fairy because she thought she was going to bang her.

Sigh. Ultimately, I felt like Supernatural did it again. They took something that first turned out to be good, then splatted all over it. Becky was a love letter to the fans that got burnt in front of the fans faces, and Charlie was the character who just happened to be gay ginger, and now she’s just a ginger lesbian.

Ah well.

This blog is still happening.

I mean it.

swear.

However, it’s hard to run a blog dedicated on reviews of popular culture when you haven’t seen a lot of popular culture lately. However, I am getting back into it. Work has just been taking over all my time. I intend to have this blog be full of in-depth analysis and observation.

But today is not that day.

Meanwhile, I make the following observation. I caught the latest episode of Big Bang Theory recently, “The Bakersfield Expedition,” where the guys, dressed as Star Trek characters get stranded after Leonard’s car was stolen.

This observation is not about the lead guys. (Shocking, right?)

No, it’s about the girls in their lives, who were all back home, trying to figure out a way to become more involved in the things their husbands’ love. Most notably, comic books. So they go to the comic book store.

Now, it is pretty obvious that Stuart’s comic book store is pretty Marvel-lite. Every other time before this episode, except for one mention of Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner, every comic book and superhero discussion in this show has been pretty DC centric. So imagine my surprise when the girls walk into the comic book store and Stuart starts naming some Marvel superheroes instead of just DC ones.

It gets even more interesting, when Penny only becomes interested because of Thor, for in her words, “Oooh, he’s hot.”

Immediately, I felt like it was a stab on the idea of a female comic book fan, or even a stab at movie-turn-comic book fan. That the only way a girl will know a comic book character is through the movie, and only if that character is hot enough to catch said girl’s attention.

Because, as we all know, Chris Hemsworth is a fine specimen of humankind.

Either way, it definitely brought back thoughts of the whole “fake geek girl” kerfuffle a few months ago, and with BBT’s continuous sensationalization of geek, nerd and fan culture, I definitely felt like that they were poking at this idea of the “fake geek girl” quite blatantly.

Anywho, did anyone else watch this episode and saw this? I’d love to hear your thoughts.