Remember when witches had to sell their souls to Lilith to have any sort of power? Yeah, neither does Supernatural. Though it’s nice to have someone finally call out the fact that Dean’s a bigot when it comes to supernatural beings (but only when it suits him — I’m not letting Amelia Pond and her son go, Dean. I’m not.). And the fact that it was an awesome lady? Even better.
So, this episode was… weird. That’s the best way I can describe it, other than “filler.” We deal with witches — again — and their familiars, which are witches that can take the form of animals that, for some reason, soul-bond themselves to other witches and called them “master.” And trust me, it’s just as odd and unequal as it sounds, despite the claim that the familiar and their witch are soul-mates and would die for one another.
Let’s talk for a minute about an interesting exchange: At one point, Portia, the familiar of the episode, calls Dean out on his bigotry, his “if it’s a witch, it’s evil, if it’s supernatural, we kill it (unless it would make me guilty, then we give them a pass)” policy. It’s a long time coming and it needed to be said. I was surprised that the writers even kept that line — until the valid point was made into a joke with the very next line of dialogue. Then it started to make sense, even if it did make me angry. But I suppose we can’t have our cake and eat it too, with this show.
Moving on: The guest-characters of this week’s episode were… forgettable? I can’t even remember the witch’s name right now, that’s how bad it was. James, maybe? They weren’t particularly strong characters and I didn’t really care about them or their forbidden romance (and trust me, we’ll get to that in a second.)
The special effects were par for the course, really. We never saw the familiar changing from dog to human, which I’m pleased about — I’d rather leave it to the imagination rather than end up laughing over a terrible effect. The magic fight at the end was alright. I have to pity the boys though: they always end up with so much head-trauma, it’s a wonder they’re still running around at full-steam.
Okay, one of the more… awkward… parts of this episode was pretty obvious. It’s even in the title. Basically, there’s a romantic relationship between two witches, James and his familiar, Portia. Portia spends half her time in the form of a Doberman, and we don’t know how much of herself is lost in that transformation. When Dean asks about which form Portia considers “her” we don’t get an answer. And the relationship is pretty unequal. Sure, there’s the illusion of choice, but one familiar is murdered by their “master” with no repercussions on the master’s part, and once again, the familiar always refers to the other witch as master. By the end of the episode, Porsche is the entire point of the episode — as in, she was in the middle of a love triangle and the “spurned lover” role turned out to be more deadly than expected.
To be honest, I wouldn’t mind not hearing from these allies again. I’d really rather get back to Cas and Naomi and closing the gates of hell — enough of the filler, guys.
However, I will say that it’s nice to have a dash of continuity for once: Dean isn’t a dog person, and why would he be, with the repeated brushes with Hell Hounds?
Call Backs: 25
Nods to Wincest: 4
Evil Woman of the Week: 9