When Barry proposes to Lup he does it in front of the whole Starblaster crew in some grand romantic gesture with a loving, heartfelt speech but he does the whole thing in Mongoose so Lup and Taako are openly weeping and the rest of the crew is just staring at Barry as he chitters and chirps and eventually pulls out a ring and nobody wants to be the first one to ask “hey so what the fuck is happening right now”
Why did Splogger Elodie spend the entirety of Hamilton taking careful notes and weeping openly into the shoulder of the stranger next to her? So that she could do a little recon mission and gift you beautiful people with Ht the next-best thing: A TEXT RECAP. It’s no live performance, but we think you’ll agree that it’s basically just as good.
CJ cons the vicious House of Representatives into investigating the MS instead of letting the fair-minded Special Prosecutor do it
a dead homeless man is found with Toby’s old coat, Toby gets emotionally involved, there’s a formal funeral because the man fought in Korea, Mrs. Landingham tells Toby about her sons, I weep openly
this was probably more than one ep but Will vs. Hazing
CJ vs. the cat figurine
Charlie, Bartlet, and the carving knife
Donna vs. the 20(?)lb of moose meat
Donna vs. North v. South Dakota
Donna vs. trying to get someone to vote for Bartlet to balance the fact that she accidentally voted for Ritchie (”It’s an honor thing!”)
SECRET PLAN TO FIGHT INFLATION
Sam and Mallory re: school vouchers, Chinese opera
Toby trying to deal with Andy and simultaneously put together a blue-ribbon commission on labor, and there’s this one jackass who’s being stubborn but Andy accidentally gives Toby an idea for a somewhat underhanded way to deal with him and they smile at each other and they’re still so in love? In a slightly broken way?
Toby is struggling with the State of the Union and Will shows up and somewhat unwillingly auditions to help
any time, and I can’t emphasize this enough, but any time Jed and Abby are trying to have sex and it keeps getting interrupted
Jed can’t get the radio address right all day, and then he insults Nellie Bly at the last minute
I’m pretty sure there’s a third time? Right after he’s cleared for it post-Roswell? Abby ends up catching a plane?
one time he’s sick and keeps insisting she’s really hot when she’s being a doctor, god I appreciate seeing middle-age/old people still being adorably in love but also It’s Complicated sometimes
Josh and Leo try to get the roof of a temple in Jerusalem fixed on Christmas Eve and I weep openly
Seven Things About Supernatural: 12x12 - “Stuck In The Middle (With You)”
Okay, I joked about how concerned I was about having to write Thirty-Five Things About Supernatural because of the multiple PoV action, but now that I’ve seen the ep? Y’all, we’re all going to be writing about this for a decade. There is no way I can say everything I have to say in one post. Pressure = gone. Let’s do this.
Supernatural as a show excels at the Concept Episode – like, it’s literally a signature thing that the show does – but sweet cuppin’ cakes, this ep is on a par with some of the bigger things Robbie Thompson was doing before his departure. Davy Perez and Richard Speight Jr. fucking knocked my socks off so hard I no longer have socks. Some of that is the joyful lack of restraint in bringing the Tarantino cliches, but they’re also doing it with a solid, substantial bit of story that has implications up and down the timeline.
NEW LORE NEW LORE NEW LORE. And it’s the good stuff, too. The Princes of Hell are another Ancient Big Bad in the vein of Cain, but still recently active enough via Azazel that it’s not like, “HEY! SURPRISE!”
Plus, great shock factor for the characters AND the audience when Ramiel’s eyes go yellow.
Ramiel, like Azazel, appears in the Book of Enoch as a fallen angel. Dagon is mentioned in Biblical literature as a deity among the Philistines, and is attested as early as the Bronze age (for those of us Watching While Pagan). Asmodeus has a long pedigree as a demonic force – he’s a baddie in the Book of Tobit, for example – and is the only one of the four to also be among the seven classic Crown Princes of Hell in the Sixteenth Century stuff, which seems to be a frequent aesthetic influence on SPN generally.
This ep didn’t just leave the door open for Asmodeus and Dagon to join the party. It handed them an engraved invitation with Kelly Kline and the Winchesters’ names on it.
OKAY, BUT THE CROWLEY STUFF. For an episode that I mostly failed to realize before air was a Crowley episode, there is a ton of character stuff happening with him here.
Gaining the crown, for example, more or less at the pleasure of the Princes? It makes a lot of sense, and especially helps drive home how tenuous his position is. It also clarifies a little how he came to a position that he does not love in its particulars, but clings to because the only thing worse than having it is not having it.
Which, given that Ramiel just got Winchestered on his watch, is a real possibility if Dagon and Asmodeus decide to get involved. Which, given that Dagon is already interested in Kelly…well, there’s a reason Crowley wants the Colt back. He broke the OTHER tool he’d need to do the job to save Cas.
(Cas who is “not a friend.” Right, Crowley. Yeah, there’s strategic value in keeping him around and the Winchesters happy/in your debt, but with two angry Princes, breaking Michael’s Lance is basically gambling with your life, and you don’t do that for someone you don’t have some attachment to.)
We also see that he’s rebuilding his position in Hell, and is at least making some attempt to put right his humiliation at Lucifer’s hands by turning the tables. Which, given that this is Lucifer we’re talking about…well, I have concerns. Especially because Crowley’s luck rarely runs smooth.
But hey, Lucifer’s in a cage right now. That’s good, right? I mean, he’s probably not going to stay in there, because Lucifer is the dickest of dicks, and that whole Nephilim thing is going to come bite us all in the ass soon, but hey. I’ll take it.
So. Mary. Mary is in the process of learning (the hard way, and at great risk to herself and others) that Unilateral Choices Involving Secretive Deals With Douchebags is not the way to secure the greater good. In fact, she’s sort of finding herself in Cas’ position from back in S6. It’s a colossal breach of trust, which she struggles with in the final confrontation with Ramiel.
And, like Cas, she opts to press on in the belief that she can handle it, that her stab at this is going to be worth the hazard, that the ends are going to justify the means if she can hold out long enough.
So just in case anybody missed it:
A) Cas is family, both in Cas’ mind and on the Winchesters’ side. B) As in Sam and Dean won’t leave his side even though an Azazel-level baddie is getting ready to eject them from his barn. C) Mary even called him one of her boys. D) “I love you. I love all of you.”
Please excuse me while I weep openly.
Okay, but did any of us expect Wally to survive this episode? Because honestly, the lineup here was like a classic Star Trek away team, with four Named and Knowns accompanied by That Other Poor Bastard Who Isn’t Coming Home™.
Like, I took one look at the promo shots and was like, “there is no prayer circle big enough to save this man.”
Bonus Thing: I liked Mandy. A lot. She was snarky and she probably smelled delicious. But I do have questions about why Cas didn’t spot her as a demon in the cafe. I mean, I suppose it’s possible she’s not a meatsuit full-time, but it’s more usual for demons to stick around in the bodies they’ve claimed, and it makes a ton of sense for Crowley to have informants posted in the area around Ramiel’s farm so that he can help manage his end of the deal. But yeah, if there’s a complaint to be made about this episode, this is mine. Oh hey, never mind. The demon I mistook for Mandy is actually Ronnie, who is played by an entirely different person. Mandy probably still smells delicious, and not at all like sulfur.
Bonus Thing #2: OKAY BUT THE COLT. THE COLT IS BACK. THE COLT. THE COLT THE COLT THE COLT. So that’s neat. Question, though: what’s with the lighting in the box? Is the box illuminated? Is the lighting diegetic (i.e. a real thing in the story world) or are we just having Pulp Fiction fun? Time to tweet Davy Perez…