Tag Archives: Observations from the couch

Two half-episodes for the price of one

Just caught up on last night’s Supernatural, and I have to say, I wanted to like it a lot more than I actually did. (Spoilers follow, but mostly for this specific episode unless you’re very behind on the show.)

On paper, I was all set to love this episode, because it was pitched as what the people of Lebanon, Kansas think of the Winchesters, and I love the Outsider POV trope. That’s one reason I always liked the Henriksen arc, where the FBI was hunting Sam and Dean–because from the point of view of law enforcement, hunters absolutely would look like serial killers. So sure, let’s see what the good folk of Lebanon think of those weird guys in the classic car who swing through to buy groceries, whiskey, and alarming quantities of ammunition.

The execution let me down, though, and I think the problem is that it was trying to be two episodes at once. “What do the people of Lebanon think of the Winchesters?” and “John is accidentally summoned from 2003 to the show’s present” are both perfectly solid pitches for an episode of Supernatural; I just don’t think they should have been the same episode. Both halves felt underdeveloped. We barely got to know the townspeople at all, or see much of what they thought was up with the Winchesters. And John had barely arrived before it became clear that he had to be packed off back to the past again. Not to mention, pulling John out of the timeline should have had huge ripple effects on all the cosmic-scale events Sam and Dean had a hand in. This was hinted by the appearance of Zachariah and the new timeline’s Castiel, but there just wasn’t time to engage with the full repercussions, which could easily have filled a whole episode.

I like the idea of both the stories this episode was trying to tell. I would happily have watched both of them in full. But getting the bare bones of each one without room to fully develop either was disappointing.

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Stray thoughts on The Defenders

  • I haven’t yet seen Luke Cage, but I think I need to. I get the impression that under the invulnerable skin is a soft, gooey center.
  • Colleen is right, Danny. You are not a businessman. Also, don’t call a meeting with the bad guys to tell them you’re going to destroy them; skip ahead to the destroying.
  • Alexandra is one of those “ooh, look how cultured I am!” baddies. When she’s not plotting evil, she always seems to be listening to chamber music or eating in swanky restaurants. And her veiled references to her immortality are also showing off about how cultured she is–she ate this dish in Constantinople! She knew Brahms before he was cool!
  • Speaking of that restaurant scene… I definitely had the “Istanbul not Constantinople” song in my head afterwards.
  • Also, more than once someone said “You know nothing” and I mentally filled in “…Jon Snow.”
  • When Matt says to Elektra “There is goodness in you. I know because I’ve felt it,” I don’t think the reaction the writers wanted was “Matt, your ex is Darth Vader.”

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Slight, vague spoilers for Arrow‘s midseason finale

Apart from the creepy choir music tipping me off, I should have known something was about to go wrong when we saw Felicity and Oliver talking in the car. When two characters on a drama have a conversation in the back of a car, they’re not going to reach their destination without some kind of trouble. (With the exception of Supernatural, where the characters spend so much time in their car that it’s nearly a character in itself.)

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Season finale roundup

At the end of the TV season, I thought I’d give my takes on all the season finales I’ve been watching. Appropriately, the theme of these reviews turned out to be “Sorry to See You Go”.

Spoilers below the cut. It’s hard to review a season finale without them. Continue reading

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One for the introverts

On watching the Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell miniseries:

Norrell is often an unsympathetic character: callous, selfish, paranoid, ill-tempered, and any number of other disagreeable qualities. But there’s a scene in the first episode where he’s at a noisy party, and he pushes his way through a crowd of people he doesn’t know to find a quiet room. He takes a book off the shelf, and breathes in the scent of the pages before starting to read. It’s just a little moment, but for those few seconds I found myself in complete empathy with him.

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