Supernatural

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The Last Temptation Of The Hardy Boys

Thunder again rumbles ominously overhead, this time above a nighttime cemetery, and oh, crap. I was going to mock this, really -- especially the part where that pussy Dean allows not one, but two perfect tears to drop from his eyes during the soliloquy he addresses to his father's headstone on the nature of duty and sacrifice and how much it sucks to be a Winchester because of said duty and sacrifice -- but upon rewatching it about four times, I have to admit that Jensen Ackles really does sell the hell out of it all, so I'm going to give it a pass. Long story short, Dean realizes he must hunt down the genie again, this time to force the thing to reverse his wish, not only to ensure the well-being of all those he and his family had helped in the past, but also so he and Sam can find and save the Woman In Filthy And Now-Bloodstained White who's been haunting this perfect world of his. And with the burden of all that responsibility once again pressing down on his shoulders, Dean trudges off into the CHOMP-less commercial break accompanied only by a sole, mournful violin. Sniff. "You're just as much of a wimp as he is!" Oh, shush.

The camera fades up on the window in Sam and Jessica's darkened room before it pans over and across the bed, upon which our lovebirds slumber. She's on top of the sheets in a cropped t-shirt and a pair of those for-the-ladies boxer-briefs, by the way, and we get a brief shot of The Ass That I Have Not Actually Been Waiting For, Thank You Very Much as she rolls away from Sam onto her side. The camera continues up to Sam's face -- he's depressingly clad in a dark grey t-shirt -- as a dog's barking hits the soundtrack from the yard outside, accompanied by the soft rattling of someone stumbling into the furniture on the floor below. Sam's eyes snap open at the latter, and he creeps out onto the stairwell landing with a baseball bat to traverse the blackened depths of his mother's nighttime house, angling around corners and darting his eyes across an open window before catching sight of a crouched figure rooting through his mother's china cabinet. Sam nervously slinks around the corner, and with the intruder's attention otherwise occupied, Sam pounces, whipping the bat around through the air. Dean snatches the bat from his brother's hands and slams Sam onto his back on the floor. Jensen Ackles's far-too-pretty face emerges from the living room's pervasive gloom into the low light provided by the streetlamps outside to smirk, "That was so easy, I'm embarrassed for you." Mrow. "Dean?" Sam bleats incredulously, panting a bit from all of the exertion. "What the hell are you doing here?" "Well, I was looking for a beer," Dean jokes, ever the cheerfully louche reprobate of the family, as opposed to his brother's eternally solemn and responsible nerd. "In the china cabinet?" Sam challenges, finally breaking all of the parallels to the series premiere to step over to the wall and flick on a light. With withering amounts of contempt, he quickly guesses his brother broke into their mother's house to swipe her wedding silver. Dean LIES about the true nature of his business, blaming it all on gambling debts, and, after pocketing one of the knives, he apologizes to Sam for all of the bad blood between them over the years, asks his brother to tell their mother that he loves her, and turns to exit. Dean pauses at the front door for one last, wistful look around before walking away from his deepest wish forever, leaving Sam alone to gasp and flail about the living room in confusion, and I'm sure I'd be touched by all of that were it not for the fact that this sequence completely fucked up the narrative conceit they had going up to this point, which was Dean's wish world as perceived by Dean as Dean experienced it. Lovely parallels to the series premiere up there, Mr. Kripkeeper, sir, but we should never have seen Sam and Jess alone in bed together, nor should we have just now lingered inside the house for Darling Sammy's reaction shot to his brother's bizarre goodbye, nor, in fact, should we have been witness to Darling Sammy slamming shut one of his law books, because in none of these instances was Dean there to witness it himself.

ANY-way, I can almost forgive all of that for what follows. Dean contemplates the life he'll never have for a little while longer out in the front seat of the Impala, and is genuinely surprised -- and pissed -- when Sam crawls into the passenger's seat beside him. "Get out of the car!" he orders immediately, but Sam's having none of it, insisting, "Whatever stupid thing you're about to do, you're not doing it alone, and that's that." With that, Sam raises a pair of schoolmarmish, brook-no-dissent eyebrows that are just this side of an actual bitchface. Hee. "I don't understand," Dean protests. "Why are you doing this?" Sam sighs and primly admits, "Because you're still my brother." Dean's eyes hood themselves a little bit in that teasing, uber-macho way they do whenever he's about to deliver the following line: "Bitch." Sam, adorable, and with full bitchface: "What're you calling me a bitch for?" Dean, equally adorable, if a little lost: "You're, uh, supposed to say, 'Jerk.'" "What?" Sam bites, supremely unamused. "Never mind," Dean mumbles, throwing the car into gear. And I am not ashamed to admit that bit made me laugh out loud. Repeatedly. For several minutes. Okay, maybe I'm a little ashamed.

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