We’re going to get one thing straight right off the bat, here, folks: The Tran family is full of badasses, and none so more than the matriarch. This review is now fully dedicated to the awesome, King-of-Hell-punching Mama Bear that is Mrs. Tran. However, that does not excuse the fact that the writers of Supernatural need to have the concept of misogyny spelled out for them, because for all of her proactive and epic traits, Mrs. Tran does not get a first name, nor is she motivated by anything so much as her son. Give the woman a name, writers! You had the perfect opening! Why does she not have a name, and then get soundly Fridged at the end of the episode? Way to completely drop the ball!
Deep breath. Moving on.
If I was lukewarm about last week’s episode, this week’s more than made up for it. The pacing was tight, the characters were interesting and snappy, and the writers managed to balance witty one-liners with actual content. And Crowley made an appearance, which is always nice, and it was grand (and it’s because of him that all the fanfiction that uses ‘Samantha’ as a nickname for Sam is not finally canon – it only took 8 seasons!) and more than a little devious.
But on a more serious note, this week we continued the trend of seeing Purgatory through Dean’s eyes, and in that his desperate search for Castiel (and all I am saying about that is that the Destiel shippers must have been pleased as spiked punch) that ultimately comes out successful. Dean finds Cas and Benny plays the most awkward third-wheel ever while the two catch up. At least the poor bloodsucker has some pretty scenery to look at while he waits – Purgatory is as gorgeous as it’s ever been, stark and harsh and mostly devoid of colour.
And those fans that look for crossovers in everything, you’re in for a treat, too. With any luck, within the week, Avengers/Thor fanfiction should be popping up in the Supernatural universe, thanks to Mjölnir showing up in-episode as an auction piece. However, is that really a good thing? The hammer itself looked cheap, and being struck with it apparently disintegrates the target (with lightening?). That’s how hammers work, right?
As a final note, I must say that I love the way season eight is really amping up the continuity founded in other seasons. For the first time in who-know-how-long, anti-possession tattoos were mentioned, as were hex-bags (to keep Team Free Will form being found by demons) and even Latin exorcisms. Though it was a masterful bit of storytelling when, throughout the episode, everything seemed to be pointing out how kill-happy the Winchesters have become, relying completely on Ruby’s knife (that kills the ‘meatsuit’ as well as the demon) rather than exorcisms or holy water that might keep the host alive while the demon flees. And then that same point –the Winchester body count— gets brought up by Crowley in the last few minutes, leading up to a cliff-hanger, both in Purgatory and out.
This is definitely worth a watch, so check it out!