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Five Questions Everyone’s Asking Astronomers Like Me About the Great American Solar Eclipse


Check out my Facebook and Twitter all this month for tips and articles about eclipses. And feel free to join my Patreon or buy me a coffee if you enjoyed this article and would like to see more.


I work in a planetarium and am a lifelong amateur astronomer. We astronomy geeks have been eagerly anticipating the upcoming America-crossing solar eclipse on Monday for over a year, but most people (including the media) were blissfully unaware until very recently. Questions I’ve been fielding about it have skyrocketed since August 1 and super-novaed in the past week. And it turns out the media coverage still has a few holes.

So, here are my already-patented answers to the most common and important questions.


1. Will looking at the sun during the eclipse hurt me?

Yes, if you look too long, but no more or less than if you looked at the full sun. There is no special, mega-destructive radiation during an eclipse that will hurt your eyes more than other times. But your eyes may be fooled by the dimmer light into “thinking” that they’re safe. Your blink reflex may be reduced. You may not be consciously dazzled by a crescent as by a full disk of sun. But yes, that can still hurt your eyes. A lot.

It boils down to simple math. The sun is about 400,000 as bright as the full moon. Since the full moon is a bit dazzling but not harmful and the full sun obviously is, people understand that the full sun is dangerous to look at. Unfortunately, they then think that if the crescent moon is not dazzling or harmful, neither will be the sun. This is not so.

When even 1% of the sun is visible, that’s still 4,000 times as bright as the full moon. If it’s 6 or 7 times that, as it will be here in Eastern North Carolina, that’s about 25,000 times as bright. Obviously, thousands of times as bright as an object that’s dazzling, but not harmful, is pretty harmful. It won’t strike you stone-blind if it dazzles you as you’re putting down your sun visor while driving down the road toward it, but you still need to be careful.

Bottom line: The sun is only safe to view, for more than a quick glance, when it’s completely covered by the moon in the brief total eclipse phase.

Credit: Rick Fienberg / TravelQuest International / Wilderness Travel
Credit: Rick Fienberg / TravelQuest International / Wilderness Travel

2. I can’t get solar eclipse glasses. What do I do now?

Welp, you’re probably out of luck with the glasses, sorry. I got some a couple of weeks ago, but I hear they’re completely sold out in my area as of this week. You can, however, view the eclipse quite safely in other ways.

The best way is to find a local science museum or library in your area that is doing an eclipse party. These are generally free. Yes, there will be crowds, but we’re pretty good at crowd control (all that experience with school groups), and most should have eclipse glasses and extra equipment like telescopes with filters for safe viewing.

DO NOT LOOK AT THE SUN THROUGH AN UNFILTERED TELESCOPE OR BINOCULARS. EVER. NOT EVEN WITH SOLAR ECLIPSE GLASSES. THINK ‘A MAGNIFYING GLASS IN THE SUN AND YOU’RE THE BUG.’

I’ll be working the Eclipse at the Imperial Centre on Church Street in Rocky Mount, NC. Not only will we have three regular scopes with filters, but we’re breaking out the H-Alpha scope (you can see solar flares in it) and the Sun Spotter (which safely projects an image of the sun onto a piece of white paper).

If you can’t make it to one of those, the absolute easiest and safest way is to make a pinhole camera. The absolute easiest way to make one is to punch a small hole in a paper plate, aim the plate at the sun, and let the image fall on another paper plate through the hole. Pinhole cameras of this type are very easy to make and there are designs all over the Web. They are also completely safe as long as you project the image onto a non-reflective surface (no mirrors or glass) and don’t magnify it through a magnifying glass or unfiltered telescope (you might burn the paper and/or damage your telescope).


3. Is it worth seeing only a partial solar eclipse?

I cannot stress this enough – YES, IT IS. If you have any visible eclipse action going on at all in your area, you should check it out. Even though a solar eclipse is actually pretty common (about one ever 18 months somewhere on Earth), the area covered by either the umbra (total eclipse shadow) or the penumbra (partial eclipse shadow) is so narrow, and so often over an unpopulated area like the high Arctic or the ocean, that most people have never seen even a partial eclipse. For it to cross a heavily populated area like the United States is quite rare (and it’s going to happen again on April 8, 2024, which is even rarer). That’s why it’s predicted to be the most-viewed solar eclipse in history.

So, just for the historical event value alone, you should be checking it out. But in addition to all that, it’s actually worth seeing this throughout the viewing area. Which is pretty much all over the U.S. and in British Columbia.

Unfortunately, the science educators kinda dropped the ball on this one and have totally undersold the value of seeing a partial eclipse, even though there’s no way most people in the U.S. and Canada can get anywhere near the umbra AKA path of totality. Most of us did not anticipate how crazy and how early the activity of chasing totality would get. There’s already traffic gridlock in some states, so it turns out even leaving very early in the morning on Monday (the plan I would have followed if I weren’t working the eclipse) may not be a good or safe option. And it’s just not worth getting stuck in traffic or even getting hurt to see the up-to-two-minutes of totality you’d get if you managed to get into the umbra. A total eclipse is very much worth seeing – but it ain’t that worth it.

This is also underselling 99% of the eclipse experience, which is a partial eclipse wherever you are. I’ve read reputable science writers in astronomy guides telling people it’s not worth watching an exclipse unless it’s total. That’s dumb. This isn’t like a partial lunar eclipse, where you may not even notice the shadow if it’s small and faint enough. If the moon does more than graze the sun in your area, you will notice. The sun is just that bright and the new moon is just that dark.

Credit: Rick Fienberg / TravelQuest International / Wilderness Travel
Credit: Rick Fienberg / TravelQuest International / Wilderness Travel

The thing is that the partial eclipse, whether it’s before and after the total, or partial is all you get in your area, is far more than just the experience of a few minutes of totality and lasts a lot longer. Three hours in my area, which gives you plenty of time to step outside and get a look, to check out what’s going on around you (it gets weird), and still have a look even if you’ve got heavy cloud cover much of the time.

Yes, you only get to see the moon-bright corona in the few minutes of totality. Yes, you only get to see phenomena like Bailey’s Beads then. Yes, it’s the only time you can look directly and safely at the sun (though, technically, you’re looking at the moon, which is blocking the sun).

But the real, and really weird, experience is watching the sun slowly disappear and reappear, and you will see this throughout the penumbral (partial eclipse) area. In the path of totality, it’s as straightforward as the moon’s phases from first to last quarter. Outside of that, you may see some odd shapes as the moon crosses part of the sun. And these will last longer than the total eclipse.

Also, while you won’t see a starry sky, you could still look for Venus to the west and Jupiter to the east of the sun. You can see these two planets in the sky even during daytime, if you know where to look. Depending on how total your partiality is, you can still find them.

In addition, you will get a lot of strange effects, such as a darkening (albeit still-blue) sky, weird shadows, and animals acting oddly (the birds may go to sleep). If you are near enough to the umbra, you may even be able to look in its direction and see the shadow.

I’ve seen two partial eclipses, including the New England Christmas Eclipse of 2000. It’s difficult to explain how unnerving it is having a big, black shadow cross the sun. It is not at all like overcast weather. I’m not at all surprised it creeped our ancestors out, even in cultures where they knew how to predict eclipses.


4. Speaking of weather, is it worth watching the eclipse if it’s partly cloudy?

Yes, absolutely! In fact, having a little weather may enhance your experience, especially in periods and areas of partial eclipse. The clouds will look different, for one. If it rains and you get a rainbow, it will also look different. An eclipse, total or partial, affects everything in the sky and how that light reaches the ground. And since a partial eclipse lasts much longer than the period of totality, you’ll have much longer to observe these conditions and it will be totally safe as long as you’re not looking directly at the sun.

If it’s totally socked in with rain, it will be a little more boring, but you should still notice that the sky will darken even more than usual at the height of the eclipse.


5. Are my solar eclipse glasses worth keeping?

Yes, absolutely! They make looking at the sun safe and other fun things happen with the sun besides eclipses, like planetary transits and sunspots. The next transit of Mercury across the sun won’t be until November 11, 2019, and the next transit of Venus won’t be until 2117, but sunspots are pretty common. And you can see any that are at least the size of Jupiter with solar eclipse glasses.

Do not, however, ever use solar eclipse glasses when looking through a telescope or binoculars. They will not protect your eyes from the magnified glare. To reiterate:

DO NOT LOOK AT THE SUN THROUGH AN UNFILTERED TELESCOPE OR BINOCULARS. EVER. NOT EVEN WITH SOLAR ECLIPSE GLASSES. THINK ‘A MAGNIFYING GLASS IN THE SUN AND YOU’RE THE BUG.’

Here’s hoping everyone has a fun and safe eclipse. It won’t last very long, but at least you’ll know what a hundred-million-plus other people across the country will be doing at the same time!

https://eclipse.aas.org/sites/eclipse.aas.org/files/CrescentWindmills1-EvanZucker.jpg
Credit: Evan Zucker

Check out my Facebook and Twitter all this month for tips and articles about eclipses. And feel free to join my Patreon or buy me a coffee if you enjoyed this article and would like to see more.

You can find the photos I used in the article, and many more, right here. Credit for top photo of solar corona during totality: Jay Pasachoff / Allen Davis / Vojtech Rusin / Miloslav Druckmüller.


Whispers, Spoilers & Speculation Corner: 07/24/17: The San Diego Comic-Con Edition


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Sci-fi Spoilerpalooza
By Heather S. Vina

San Diego Comic-Con was this weekend. As usual, there are a LOT of news and spoilers out! Too much for me to gather everything, but hopefully, I hit the highlights for the genre shows!

You can check out YouTube for different highlights from different panels, including some panels in their entirety. A good place to start for highlights is the Flick and the City channel. Spoiler TV also has a page on their website for panel links. They gradually collect them all and add them to the page as they go, so check them out as well!

Several shows had some big news this weekend: Wynonna Earp has been renewed for a third season. Iron Fist has been renewed for season two. The Originals will be ending this season.

The 100: The Comic-Con panel showed a sizzle reel for the show. TV Line has up a video interview with the cast. TV Line has up some highlights from the show’s panel.

12 Monkeys: The show released a new trailer for their fourth and final season.

American Horror Story: Ryan Murphy revealed another clue for the new season on his Instagram. The show also has a premiere date: Tuesday, September 5.

Arrow: There’s a new trailer out for season six. TV Line has up some spoilers from the panel. The show also announced that actor Michael Emerson (Person of Interest) was joining the show in a recurring, mysterious role.

Black Lightning: There’s a new trailer out for the new superhero show. The show has added actors James Remar ( Dexter) and Damon Gupton (Bates Motel) to the show as series regulars. Remar will play Peter Gambi, the oldest friend of Jefferson Pierce/Black Lightning and Gupton will play seasoned lawman Inspector Henderson.

Colony: TV Line has up a video interview with the cast.

The Defenders: There’s a new trailer out for the show. Deadline has up some details from the show’s Comic-Con panel. TV Line has up a video interview with the cast.

Dirk Gently: Syfy has up an interview with the cast on season two. There’s a sneak peek for season two on the show’s official Twitter account.

Doctor Who: The trailer is out for the Christmas special, “Twice Upon A Time.” Spoiler TV will have up the full panel of the gang at Comic-Con soon, but if you want to just see Peter’s ‘thank you’ speech, you can see it on Flicks and the City‘s YouTube channel. IMDb has up an interview with Peter on the best time to leave the show. EW has up the advice Peter gave to new Doctor Jodie Whittaker. Pearl and Michelle spoke with TV Line about their characters’ potential returns. Syfy has up a video interview with the ladies, too, as well Yahoo. EW has up the second official photo for the Christmas episode with Peter Capaldi and David Bradley. Steven Moffat spoke out against the idea of a backlash against a female Doctor.

The Exorcist: The show has added to its second season cast actress Zuleikha Robinson (Still Star-Crossed).

The Expanse: There’s a new trailer out for season three. The show has adde actress Elizabeth Mitchell (Lost) to the cast for season three.

Fear the Walking Dead: Deadline has up some highlights from the show’s Comic-Con panel. TV Line has up a video interview with the cast.

The Flash: There’s a new trailer out for season four. The show also announced some casting news. Actor Neil Sandilands (The 100, The Americans) has been cast as villain Clifford Devoe, AKA The Thinker. Danny Trejo (Machete, From Dusk Till Dawn) has been cast as Breacher, a feared bounty hunter from Earth-19 and the father of Gypsy. Kim Engelbrecht (Dominion, Eye in the Sky) has been cast as The Mechanic, a highly intelligent engineer who works for Devoe and is devoted to his cause. TV Line has up a video interview with the cast.

Game of Thrones: Deadline has up some highlights from the show’s Comic-Con panel. TV Line has up some video interviews with the cast on their favorite scenes. EW has up interviews with actress Jessica Henwick and actress Nathalie Emmanuel on this weekend’s episode.

The Gifted: There’s a new trailer out for the series. TV Addict has up interviews with the cast.

Gotham: There’s a new trailer out for season four. The show has cast actress Crystal Reed (Teen Wolf) as Sofia Falcone, the daughter of Don Falcone. TV Line has up a video interview with the cast.

Inhumans: There’s a new trailer out for the show. TV Line has up a video interview with the cast.

Ironfist: Along with the renewal news, the show is also getting a new showrunner in Raven Metzner.

iZombie: The show has upped Robert Knepper from recurring to series regular for season four. TV Line has up a video interview with the cast.

Legends of Tomorrow: There’s a new trailer out for season three. It was announced that actor Neal McDonough (Damien Darhk) has been promoted to series regular, while Arthur Darvill (Rip Hunter) and Wentworth Miller (Captain Cold) will be back in recurring status. TV Line has up some highlights from the panel.

Legion: EW has up the first page of the scriptfor season two’s opening episode. Deadline has up some highlights from the Comic-Con panel. Actor Saïd Taghmaoui (Wonder Woman) has been cast as Amahl Farouk AKA the Shadow King. TV Line has up a video interview with the cast.

Lucifer: There’s a new trailer out for season three. It was announced that actor Tom Welling (Smallville) would be joining the show as a rival for Lucifer.

Midnight, Texas: Deadline has up some highlights from the show’s Comic-Con panel.

Once Upon A Time: There’s a new trailer out for season seven. Deadline has up some details on the show’s Comic-Con panel, as well as the scene that they debuted there. TV Line has up their own set of highlights. TV Line has up a video interview with the cast.

The Originals: At Comic-Con, the panel showed a sizzle reel for the show. The cast also spoke to TV Line about the coming season. The show has recast the character of Hope with 17-year-old actress Danielle Rose Russell (The Last Tycoon), officially making her a teenager in a 5-year jump when the show returns. You can catch a glimpse of her from a scene they released at their panel. The show is also promoting recurring actor Steven Krueger (Josh) to series regular in season five.

Outlander: There’s a new trailer out for season three. Deadline has up some highlights from the Comic-Con panel. TV Line has up some highlights, as well as a video interview with the cast.

Preacher: The show has a new trailer out for season two.

The Runaways: The first teaser has come out on the show’s official Twitter account.

Shadowhunters: TV Line has up a video interview with the cast. It was announced at the panel that actress Alisha Wainwright (Maia) has been promoted to series regular.

The Shannara Chronicles: Spoiler TV has up the first promotional art for season two.

Star Trek Discovery: There’s a new trailer out for the show. TV Line has up some spoilers and highlights from the show’s panel at Comic-Con, as well as a video interview with the cast. The official Star Trek YouTube channel has up a lot of interviews with the cast. The official site also has up some highlights from the panel, as well as photos. EW has up an interview with showrunner Aaron Harberts on the differences with the Klingons in this series compared to the others. Syfy has up some interviews on the show.

Stranger Things: There’s a new trailer out for season two. The cast spoke with TV Line about season two.

Supergirl: There’s a new trailer out for season three. TV Line has up an interview with the cast from Comic-Con. Some casting news was announced at Comic-Con. Actor Adrian Pasdar (Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D) has been cast as villain Morgan Edge, a charismatic capitalist. Carl Lumbly (Alias) has been cast as M’yrnn J’onzz, father of J’onn J’onnz. Yael Grobglas (Jane the Virgin) has been cast as Psi, a psychic villain who uses people’s own minds against them. Emma Tremblay (Elysium) has been cast as Ruby, a fan of Supergirl. Calista Flockhart is set to return in the season premiere, as well as on tap to be recurring for season three.

Teen Wolf: Deadline has up a few quotes from the show’s Comic-Con panel. TV Line has up a video interview with the cast.

Timeless: The cast and crew spoke with TV Line at Comic-Con. Deadline has up some highlights from the show’s panel. TV Line has up some highlights from their panel as well.

The Walking Dead: EW has up a photo of Rick and Maggie, conspiring to overthrow Negan. After the tragedy of stuntman John Bernecker’s death during filming, the show pulled back from some of its Comic-Con festivities, but still did have their panel. Deadline has up some highlights from it.

Westworld: There’s a new trailer out for season two. The show has added to their cast actors Neil Jackson (Absentia) and Jonathan Tucker (Kingdom).


Supernatural (Thursday nights, 8pm, CW)
By Paula R. Stiles

Check out my Patreon page. Help me keep this column going, pay Heather, and start doing Supernatural reviews again.

Filming for season 13 has begun.

The show has switched its reruns to Wednesdays at 9pm (this week is “Family Feud”), but will still return to 8pm on Thursdays when the new season begins on October 12. Its lead-out will be Arrow. Thanks to Eva for the change in the reruns day.

Warner Bros has announced details about the upcoming Wayward Sisters spinoff. As we already know, it will star Kim Rhodes (Jody Mills) and the rumor that Briana Buckmaster (Donna Hanscum) is in it was confirmed. Also starring will be Kathryn Newton (Claire Novak) and Alex Jones (Katherine Ramdeen), as well as new character Patience Turner (played by Clark Backo).

Patience, the only character we haven’t met yet, is a high school nerd and the granddaughter of Missouri Moseley from season one (who, it was confirmed at the show’s Comic-Con panel will return, probably for the backdoor pilot in time to get killed off). Patience has inherited her estranged grandmother’s psychic gift. While I’ll readily admit to huge reservations about this writing team doing a premise like this right (especially an African American character like Patience after what they did to the Family Banes last season), I do like the cast. So, I’m pulling for this to be done right.

Expect some crossovers à la the superhero shows if the backdoor pilot this season is picked up to series.

So, let’s talk San Diego Comic-Con and that panel. The best I can say about the panel itself spoilers-wise is “Well, that happened.” There was no promo or gag reel, though the rock group Kansas did perform “Carry On, Wayward Son” live at the beginning, which was pretty cool. But musical stunts like that often are used to mask terrible storytelling.

Only the first half or so of the panel was devoted to spoilers and they were rather thin on the ground. The order in which the GoHs entered (after Kansas performed, and hosts Richard Speight Jr. and Rob Benedict came in) was rather interesting: Bob Singer and Jensen Ackles, then Jared Padalecki, then Andrew Dabb, and then, after a few minutes, Misha Collins. Very different from last season, when it was Singer, Dabb, Padalecki, Ackles, Collins, Mark Sheppard and Samantha Smith. Also, Dabb didn’t talk much this time round. Singer did most of the showrunner talking.

You can catch vids of Kansas and the three-screen room here, here and here.

Regarding spoilers:

Castiel is really dead (“more dead than usual“), but that won’t stick. In a recent Chicon panel, Ackles discussed a scene they were filming on July 14 in which Ackles played a prank on Collins while Collins was trying to play dead and Ackles was miming Dean checking for signs of life. The show wouldn’t have had Collins in that scene if Castiel were dead and not coming back (remember how in “Sympathy for the Devil,” the season five premiere, the Brothers were stuck in the room with Lucifer, but the dead bodies of Lilith and Ruby were nowhere to be seen? Like that).

Also, Misha Collins is still a regular on the show and was at the panel. He came in late and there was a running joke about his having been fired, but refusing to acknowledge it. Collins was also in other promotional events, signings at the WB Booth, and a goofy EW “dance party” (here and here ) with Ackles and Padalecki, and did a brief interview with them for TV Guide. Bob Singer also essentially admitted that Castiel will be back as Castiel. Somehow.

Mary is not dead and will be seen in the alternate universe. Apparently, Sam thinks she’s alive and wants to look for her. Dean thinks she’s gone for good and wants to concentrate on more pressing matters. This sounds waaaaayyy OOC for Dean, to be honest. Anyhoo, Mary is pretty obviously coming back as a regular recurring character, though Samantha Smith was not at the panel.

Crowley’s suicide was mentioned and discussed several times, so he’s dead. Rowena’s death was also mentioned, but nobody said that would necessarily stick. There was talk of bringing back alternate versions of long-dead characters, which pretty much guaranteed we’ll see Alt-Bobby again and possibly Alt-Gabriel. Assuming there are alternate versions of the archangels.

Sam and Dean will be in conflict over how to deal with Jack (I know! I was shocked, too!). Sam wants to see if Jack can be redeemed and turned to Good (Nurture). Dean feels there’s no need to let things play out to a grim conclusion with a high body count they both know is coming (Nature), and that they should just shoot Jack and be done with it. As Ackles sarcastically put it about seeing how it goes, “What’s the worst that could happen?”

Padalecki noted that Sam would wonder, What if shooting Jack didn’t do the trick? Ackles said that Dean feels it would be better to know that up front. Considering that Dean’s instincts about characters like this are always right and Sam always puts his faith in the wrong powerful characters or groups (remember the LoL last season?), that’s pretty much admitting that Jack will turn out to be evil. Not to mention that Kelly’s death was brought up, as well as the possibility that Jack has some of her “goodness” in her, but no one said anything about Jack trying to save/resurrect his own mother. You’d think that would be the first thing he’d do if he had the capacity for love and goodness.

Andrew Dabb kept talking about how the Brothers started season 12 as “happiest” for them and in season 13, “we just murder.” I have no idea what season 12 Dabb is talking about, but it’s not the one I saw. Maybe it was in that alt-universe from the season finale.

There was much talk about a recent dream Ackles had about the end of the show and Sam dying in the last episode.

In his press room interview, Ackles said the show will pick up immediately upon the cliffhanger, with “Cas lying dead at Dean’s feet.” Overwhelmed, and filled with rage and grief (Ackles hopefully hinted the start of a major breakdown arc), Dean will ask God to resurrect all of the dead (including Crowley), though God will apparently not respond. Dean will then go after Jack with lethal force. Sam will try to stop Dean.

Ackles also talked about being asked by the group Kansas to perform up on stage with them. Struck with fannish stage fright, he declined, preferring to watch. Apparently, the group are fans of the show.

In response to a question about other Hunters on the show, Ackles said he’d like to see some, but it sounds as though none have shown up in the scripts he’s seen so far. About the animated Scooby-Doo episode, he said most of it would be animated, aside from a beginning and ending filmed in the “real world.” Ackles seemed quite perky about the episode.

In his press room interview, Jared Padalecki talked about Sam’s realization of how much he owes Dean and how much they are there for each other as brothers. He said that Sam and Dean are usually focused on some particular “task at hand” rather than emotional stuff. He also said that Sam will be identifying with Jack and obsessed with nurturing him into a good person, while trying to push down his own conflicting emotions about the deaths of last season: “We’ll see it all blow up eventually.”

Asked about how long the show may last, Padalecki ambiguously said it would end when the showrunners decided the quality could no longer continue. He actually gave fewer spoilers than Ackles.

Misha Collins first discussed DNRs (“Do Not Reveal”) and then went into a bit about what happens after Castiel’s death and the Brothers’ “grieving process.”  He says that Castiel, when he comes back, will at first be in a realm that has been talked about but never seen before on the show. He will be alone there save for another being, “played by a great actor,” who is very powerful (Michael? Gabriel? Someone else? Spec away). He also said this will be the last year he does GISHWHES.

Andrew Dabb talked a bit about the alt-verse and about how Sam and Dean are trying to get back to it to save Mary. He talked about how any old-new character who comes back has to “change” to justify their return and not be a cameo. He said the Banes twins won’t be in the spinoff, but may have their story resolved in the main show. He talked briefly, but vaguely, about the Scooby-Doo episode and hinted that Alt-Michael might be the character Castiel meets in the Other Place.

Writing is up to episode 11, already, and an episode similar to “The Vessel,” “but more ambitious,” is coming up in the first batch.

Bob Singer talked about how the Brothers respond to their grief, with the theme of last season being “family drawn together,” while this season is “family torn apart.” Oh, yay. Business as usual, then.

Singer said Sam wants to open up the alt-verse rift, even though Dean worries it’s too dangerous (in the panel, they talked about how Mary intentionally sacrificed herself going through the rift, so she may not be thrilled to find out Sam risked it all to rescue her). More blather like last season about going “smaller in scale” (I am really beginning to hate that phrase).

The spinoff will be a two-parter, 13.09 and 13.10. The Brothers will be strongly involved in 13.09 and barely in 13.10.

Season 12 is available for pre-order on Amazon and will come out on September 5.

There will be three calendars for 2018: two large calendars out on July 1 and two mini calendars on September 1.

I’ve moved my Official live recaps to this site and simul-recapping at Wayward Friends, with reviews to follow. I’m working on the review for the season finale now.

No repeats last week, so no ratings this week.


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Whispers, Spoilers & Speculation Corner: 07/21/17


We need your help!

Contribute monthly via Patreon (which includes perks), make a one-time donation through Paypal, or buy us a coffee.

Paula’s latest Patreon entry was about Canada Day and horror westerns.

You can access previous spoilers columns at Innsmouth Free Press here.


Sci-fi Spoilerpalooza
By Heather S. Vina

Big news: The new Doctor has been cast and it’s actress Jodie Whitaker  (Broadchurch). This makes it the first time the Doctor will be a woman, though not the first Time Lord who has changed into a Time Lady. The last couple of seasons has seen the Master turned into the Mistress (AKA Missy) played by Michelle Gomez. Jodie formerly worked with new showrunner Chris Cibnall on Broadchurch and had been rumored to be one of the front runners for the Doctor in the betting clubs for the past week.

BBC America has posted her intro video and short interview on their website.

Welcome to the world of Who, Jodie!

In some Comic-Con news, BBC is bringing Doctor Who to Hall H in Peter Capaldi’s last year as the Doctor. They are also bringing quirky show Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency.

Hall H will be busy, as AMC is also bringing their shows The Walking Dead, Fear The Walking Dead, and Preacher.

Outlander will be making an appearance at Comic-Con again this year. While HBO will be bringing Game of Thrones for another appearance, and Westworld in their first-ever appearance.

In fabulous news for fans of Netflix’s recently cancelled Sense 8, it was announced that Netflix will be bringing the show back for a two-hour wrap-up special.

San Diego Comic-Con is this week Marvel is bringing new shows The Defenders, The Gifted, and Inhumans, as well as freshman show Legion. Marvel will not, however, be bringing Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Warner Brothers is bringing along veterans Supernatural, The Flash, Lucifer, Supergirl and Arrow, as well as new show Black Lightning.

EW has up a list of the movie and television show panels that have been announced so far.

12 Monkeys: The show has cast actor Conleth Hill (Game of Thrones) in a two-episode arc as a character named Bonham.

American Horror Story: Lady Gaga will not be returning for the coming season. Ryan Murphy on his Instagram announced the return of Twisty the Clown.

Arrow: Stephen Amell gave some hints about next season at a recent convention, including the news that Manu Bennett would return as Slade Wilson. EW has up an interview with actress Juliana Harkavy on playing the new Black Canary.

Black Lightning: EW has up an interview with executive producer Salim Akil.

The Defenders: EW has up a breakdown of the series. They also have up an interview with Sigourney Weaver on her villainous character.

Doctor Who: The final ratings came out for the episode, “The Eaters of Light.” The show was watched by 4.73 million viewers, making it the most-watched show for Saturday and the 26th most watched show for the week. The episode, “World Enough and Time,” has overnight ratings out, for a day that had low ratings for everyone that Saturday, the highest rating being four million. The episode had an Appreciation Index of 85. In the final ratings, the show was watched by 4.995 million viewers, making it the 2nd-highest-rated show for Saturday, the 21st-most-watched show of the week, and the 9th-highest-rated show on the BBC.

The finale has come and gone and the last season of Peter Capaldi’s Twelve is over. As revealed at the end of the finale, the First Doctor is making an appearance (albeit not with the original actor, William Hartnell, who passed away in 1975). The Daily Mirror is reporting that Jenna Coleman is set to make an appearance, but that is not confirmed yet. After the finale, the BBC put out a press release and a promotional photo of the Doctors for the Christmas special. The BBC America site has up “Ten Things You May Not Know About ‘The Doctor Falls.'” The episode received an Appreciation Index of 83 and was watched by 3.75 million viewers, a share of 25.3% of the total TV audience. Those numbers will go up in the final figures.

The Doctor Who news site has up the final breakdown of the Audience Reaction for season ten. There was a marked difference in reactions between age groups, but overall, no episode scored less than an 80 for the season. The final ratings are in for “The Doctor Falls.” The episode was watched by 5.295 million viewers, making it the highest-rated show for Saturday, the 16th-highest-rated show for the week and the 8th-highest-rated show on the BBC. According to the site, the average final rating for this series is 5.45 million viewers. Last year’s average was 6.03 million, leaving this season with a bit of a drop all together.

The Exorcist: Actor John Cho (Star Trek) is joining season two as a series regular. He will be playing Andrew Kim, a “former child psychologist who runs a group home for five at-risk foster children on a secluded private island off the coast of Seattle.” The show has also cast Deadpool actress Brianna Hildebrand as a new series regular for season two.

Fear the Walking Dead: Post the midseason finale, both EW and The Hollywood Reporter have up interviews with Dave Erickson.

The Flash: Candice Patton won a Saturn Award and gave an interview to With An Accent about Iris in season four. TV Line has up an article on the possible DC comics story the show could be modeling its fourth season after. Actress Britne Oldford will be appearing in the premiere as Peek-a-Boo. Spoiler TV has up character descriptions for three new characters.

Game of Thrones: EW has up a collection of the promotional photos for season seven. Variety has up an article with “seven things they know” about seasons seven and eight. Actor Aiden Gillen spoke with EW about what is coming up for Littlefinger.

TV Line has up the episode descriptions and titles for the first three episodes of the season. EW has up an interview with Kit Harington in which he lets slip that there will be some tension with Jon and sister Sansa. They also have up an interview with Pilou Asbaek on the “new” Euron Greyjoy and with Nathalie Emmanuel on Missandei’s romance.

EW has up the latest promotional photos for the new season. TV Line has up some photos from the premiere red carpet on their Instragram. Variety has up an interview with Sophie Turner on what is coming up for Sansa.

The Gifted: Superherohype website has up the latest moving posters of the characters.

iZombie: Comic Book.com has up an interview with Rob Thomas on season four.

The Inhumans: The show finally has a premiere date: September 1. It also has a new trailer.

Jessica Jones: The Krysten Ritter Twitter account has up some on set photos of Jessica with a new man. The show has cast actress Leah Gibson as a new series regular for season two. She will be playing Ingrid, described as “street-wise but who also has an education as a nurse.”

Killjoys: TVGoodness has up an interview with Aaron Ashmore on season three. EW also has one up with Johnny’s portrayer.

Legends of Tomorrow: Marc Guggenheim revealed on his Twitter account the title of the first episode, “Freakshow.”

Luke Cage: The show has added two new cast members for season two: Mustafa Shakir (The Deuce, The Night Of) and Gabrielle Dennis (Rosewood). From the Marvel website: “Shakir has been cast as ‘John McIver,’ a natural leader, brimming with charisma, whose mission is focused on Harlem and vengeance … Dennis will play the role of ‘Tilda Johnson’ who is a brilliant, holistic doctor with a complicated history in Harlem where, as much as she tries to stay far from trouble, it seems to always find her.” TV Line is reporting that actress Lucy Liu (Elementary) will direct the season two premiere.

Midnight, Texas: The Syfy site has up a breakdown of the new show based on Charlaine Harris’ book series.

Marvel’s New Warriors: The show has cast actors Milana Vayntrub (This Is Us) and Derek Theler (Baby Daddy) as Squirrel Girl and Mister Immortal.

Once Upon A Time: The show has added six new actresses to its reboot season. Gabrielle Anwar (Burn Notice), Dania Ramirez (Devious Maids), Adelaide Kane (Reign), Mekia Cox (Chicago Med), and English actress Rose Reynolds (Poldark). No word on who their characters will be yet, but reports say Anwar and Ramirez will be series regulars, while Kane, Cox and Reynolds are set to (initially) recur. EW has up a handy page of everything they know for season seven.

Adam Horowitz posted on his Twitter feed the title for the premiere: “Hyperion Heights.” A lot of spoilers came out from the Disney Fan Expo. TV Line and EW have up articles on them. Big reveal is that Henry’s wife and the mother of his little girl is another version of Cinderella, played by new regular Dania Ramirez.

Outlander: It’s being reported that writer Anne Kenney is leaving the show. The show also finally has a premiere date: Sunday, September 10. EW has up the first look at new character Lord John Grey.

Shadowhunters: TV Line has up an interview with Dominic Sherwood about Jace’s romantic troubles.

Stranger Things: The second season has a premiere date: Friday, October 27.

Supergirl: In cool recast news, Smallville‘s own Lois Lane, AKA Erica Durance, will be replacing the unavailable Laura Benanti as Kara’s mom Alura.

Teen Wolf: The second half of the final season finally has an air date: Sunday, July 30. TV Line has up an interview with Linden Ashby in which he states some dire news for some of the characters of the show. EW has up some photos of new Hellhound Halwyn, played by actor Casey Deidrick. There’s also a new trailer out for the final season, showing the returns of Derek and Stiles.

The Vampire Diaries: The show may be over, but TV Line has up an interview with Paul Wesley on Stefan’s ultimate end.

The Walking Dead: EW has up the latest promotional photos for season eight, featuring Carol and Daryl.

Westworld: The show has cast The Leftovers‘ Katja Herbers as a new series regular for season two.

Wynonna Earp: Variety has up an interview with lead Melanie Scrofano and showrunner Emily Andras on the latest show twists. EW has up an interview with showrunner Emily Andras on Wynonna’s pregnancy.

Over at EW, the Spoiler Room has spoilers on shows Game of Thrones, Once Upon a Time, Shadowhunters, Midnight, Texas, and the Arrow-Flash-Supergirl-Legends of Tomorrow crossover. The latest Spoiler Room has spoilers on shows Teen Wolf, Shadowhunters and Arrow.

At TV Line, Matt’s Inside Line has spoilers on shows The Flash, Arrow, Once Upon a Time, The Strain and Lucifer. The latest Ask Ausiello has spoilers on shows Arrow, The Originals and iZombie.


Supernatural (Thursday nights, 8pm, CW)
By Paula R. Stiles

Check out my Patreon page. Help me keep this column going, pay Heather, and start doing Supernatural reviews again.

Filming for season 13 has begun.

We appear to be done for the summer with season 12 reruns. A summer show, Hooten and the Lady, is currently airing in their place.

This fall, the show will remain at 8pm on Thursdays and come back on October 12. Its lead-out will be Arrow.

San Diego Comic-Con runs July 20-23, starting yesterday. You can find info and pics about con swag here. Apparently, it also now merits actual network social media attention.

The show has another Comic-Con cover this year from TV Guide (you can find the interior articles here). The magazine also ran an article by show BNF S.E. Hinton in one of its regular issues (July 10-23).

The show is back in Hall H Sunday morning at 10:30 (PST). The panel will last an hour and will probably be on the Comic-Con HQ streaming channel, albeit not live. It’s also the last show event of the con. No word yet on guests.

Comic-Con put out its own official art for the show. Said art has a huge spoiler in it for a certain character’s survival. Sam, Dean and Castiel are all in it, though Crowley is not. There are glowing orbs in it and for some reason, Dean’s hand is also glowing. Let the crazy Hellatus spec begin.

Season 12 is available for pre-order on Amazon and will come out on September 5.

There will be three calendars for 2018: two large calendars out on July 1 and two mini calendars on September 1.

I’ve moved my Official live recaps to this site and simul-recapping at Wayward Friends, with reviews to follow. I’m working on the review for the season finale now.

Our latest (and probably last for the summer) ratings for the show’s repeats came in at 0.2/1 and 0.88 million and 0.3/1 and 0.81 million.


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Whispers, Spoilers & Speculation Corner: 06/29/17


We need your help!

Contribute monthly via Patreon (which includes perks), make a one-time donation through Paypal, or buy us a coffee.

You can access previous spoilers columns at Innsmouth Free Press here.


Sci-fi Spoilerpalooza
By Heather S. Vina

Hey, all! Sorry for the missing section last week! Have to move, so this summer might see a week here or there without anything from me. Hopefully, I will be settled in an awesome place by the end of August! Keep your fingers crossed!

For fans of the old TV show Lois and Clark, Teri Hatcher and Dean Cain reunited for a fun photo reunion!

Fox has announced its fall premiere dates. Gotham is set to air on Thursday, September 28, while Lucifer and new show The Gifted are set to premiere on Monday, October 2.

American Gods: Season one is over, but there are hints of what to come in season two starting to trickle out. EW has up a video interview with comments from actors Pablo Schreiber, Yetide Badaki, Ricky Whittle, Ian McShane, Emily Browning, author Neil Gaiman, and executive producers Bryan Fuller and Michael Green. Deadline has up an interview with executive producer Michael Green and Bryan Fuller on season two’s tone. The Hollywood Reporter has up an interview with actress Yetide Badaki on Bilquis’ predicament.

American Horror Story: The show has cast former Arrow and Teen Wolf star Colton Haynes for an unknown new role.

Black Lightning: Idigitaltimes has up an interview with showrunner and co-creator Tony Isabella on the comic and the new CW series.

The Defenders: TV Line has up the latest promotional poster for the team-up series. It debuts Friday, August 18.

Doctor Who: Den of Geeks has a list of “easter eggs” for last weekend’s episode “The Eaters of Light.” The Royal Television website has up an interview with new showrunner Chris Chibnall on what he has planned for his first season as showrunner. The official ratings came out for “Empress of Mars.” The show was watched by 5.02 million viewers, making it 23rd-most-watched program of the week. It also had an Appreciation Index of 83. The official ratings for “Lie of the Land” also came out and the show was watched by 4.82 million viewers, making it the first time the show has officially fallen below five million viewers. Last weekend’s episode “The Eaters of Light” had an Appreciation Index of 81. It also had an overnight viewing figure of 2.89 million viewers. While that is the lowest the series has had so far, it was still a share of 22% of the total TV audience, as ratings for all series that night were down.

Game of Thrones: Deadline has up the latest promotional posters for each main character. There’s also some new footage out there for the new season.

Jessica Jones: Zimbio has up some season two set photos of Krysten Ritter and Rachel Taylor filming.

Legends of Tomorrow: The show has cast actor Billy Zane as P.T. Barnum, the famous circus man.

The Originals: The third season finale aired last week, and several outlets have some post-mortem interviews with exiting executive producer Michael Narducci. EW, TV Line and The Hollywood Reporter all have interviews up.

Preacher: TV Insider has up an interview with showrunner Sam Catlin on season two.

Star Trek Discovery: EW has up some details on how the new incarnation of show will be different from the previous incarnations in both storytelling and character writing. EW also has up the first look of Jason Issacs as Captain Lorca. And the show finally has an airdate! It will premiere on both CBS and CBS Access on Sunday, September 24.

Supergirl: The show has itself some new showrunners in the form of Jessica Queller and Robert Rovner. They will be “co-showrunners” alongside co-creator Andrew Kreisberg.

Wynonna Earp: EW has up an interview with showrunner Emily Andras on what’s going on with the characters in early season two.

Over at EW, the latest Spoiler Room has spoilers on shows Legends of Tomorrow and Arrow. And last week’s Spoiler Room column had Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. spoilers.

At TV Line, the latest Ask Ausiello has spoilers on shows Fear the Walking Dead, Preacher, Supernatural and Stranger Things.


Supernatural (Thursday nights, 8pm, CW)
By Paula R. Stiles

Check out my Patreon page. Help me keep this column going, pay Heather, and start doing Supernatural reviews again.

Filming begins July 12.

The repeats of season 12 continue tonight with 12.11 and 12.12. They won’t have any repeats next week, according to the print edition of TV Guide, so we may be done for the summer with season 12 reruns.

This fall, the show will remain at 8pm on Thursdays and come back on October 12. Its lead-out will be Arrow.

San Diego Comic-Con, runs July 20-23. The show is back in Hall H Sunday morning at 10:30 (PST) and will last an hour. It’s also the last show event of the con. No word yet on guests.

Season 12 is available for pre-order on Amazon and will come out on September 5.

There will be three calendars for 2018: two large calendars out on July 1 and two mini calendars on September 1.

For those following the repeats or otherwise trying to catch up, here is the Season 12 line-up (23 episodes): “Keep Calm and Carry On” (12.01) official photos and press release; “Mamma Mia” (12.02) synopsis and photos; “The Foundry” (12.03) synopsis, official photos, sneak peek, and promo; “American Nightmare” (12.04) synopsis, official photos and promo; “The One You’ve Been Waiting For” (12.05) synopsis, promo and set photos; “Celebrating the Life of Asa Fox” (12.06) synopsis, photos and promo; “Rock Never Dies” (12.07) synopsis, photos and promo; “LOTUS” (12.08) synopsis, photos and promo; “First Blood” (12.09) synopsis, photos, promo and sneak peek, as well as an extended promo; “Lily Sunder Has Some Regrets” (12.10) (this is the one with Alicia Witt) synopsis, photos and promo, and sneak peek; “Regarding Dean” (12.11) tech survey card, synopsis, set photo, promo and official photos; “Stuck in the Middle (With You)” (12.12) tech survey card, synopsis, preliminary photo (this one’s directed by Richard Speight Jr.), and official photos and promo; “Family Feud” (12.13) synopsis; “The Raid” (12.14) tech survey card, synopsis, and promo and official photos; “Somewhere Between Heaven and Hell” (12.15) tech survey card, synopsis, official photos and promo; “Ladies Drink Free” (12.16) tech survey card, synopsis, photos, sneak peeks, and promo; “The British Invasion” (12.17) synopsis, photos, mini-doc, promo and tech survey card; “The Memory Remains” (12.18) tech survey card, synopsis, photos, promo, sneak peek, and title; “The Future” (12.19) tech survey card and partial title card, showing the director is Amanda Tapping, and the writers are Robert Berens and Meredith Glynn, and synopsis and promo, sneak peek, and photos; “Twigs & Twine & Tasha Banes” (12.20) tech survey card, showing Richard Speight Jr. returning to direct and synopsis; “There’s Something About Mary” (12.21) synopsis, photos and promo, tech survey card, and directed by John Showalter; and “Who We Are” (12.22) and “All Along the Watchtower” (12.23 – season finale) synopsis, photos and promo, tech survey card, and directed by Robert Singer and written by Andrew Dabb.

The big news for last and this week was that they’re going to have another backdoor pilot for a spinoff, called “Wayward Sisters,” centered around Jody Mills. Briana Buckmaster (Donna) posted on Facebook that she was officially joining the spinoff, but then apparently deleted the post.

I like Jody and Donna a lot, but I’m skeptical about the official premise that Jody is going to start bringing in young girls who have been damaged by the supernatural world and train them to be crack Hunters. That’s a little too “Potentials on Buffy” for me and these particular showrunners can’t even make a decent premise work, let alone one as awful as the Potentials. They certainly don’t serve female characters well.

So, fingers and toes crossed on this one.

Show producer Jason Fischer reported on Twitter that everyone would start getting back to work on Wednesday (June 21).

I’ve moved my Official live recaps to this site and simul-recapping at Wayward Children, with reviews to follow. I’m working on the review for the season finale now.

Ratings for the repeats of 12.09 (“First Blood”) and 12.10 (“Lily Sunder Has Some Regrets”) “were even” at 0.2/1 in demo, and up a bit from last week to 0.73 and 0.83 million respectively.

For the year, Supernatural came in fifth in L+3 (average 0.9) and L+7 (1.0) demos, slightly behind the top four.

The show came in fourth (the link last week was too vague) on Netflix downloads for the year. The only other CW show in the top ten was Gilmore Girls, which was canceled a decade ago (though it did recently have a crowd-sourced miniseries revival).


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Whispers, Spoilers & Speculation Corner: 06/19/17


We need your help!

Contribute monthly via Patreon (which includes perks), make a one-time donation through Paypal, or buy us a coffee.

You can access previous spoilers columns at Innsmouth Free Press here.

If you’re up for a great superhero action film with a woman at the helm (both in the lead role and as director), check out Wonder Woman. It had reached $297.2 million domestically and $571.8 million worldwide as of last night. It’s projected to top $700 million, though personally, I’m still crossing my fingers for it to hit a billion at some point. It’s been stronger than expected across the board, even though more women than men are reportedly watching it (traditionally, superhero films skew male). Hopefully, it will open a lot of doors for women in front of and behind the scenes in the lucrative blockbuster category.

Also, it’s popular because it’s great fun and a lot of people are going back to watch more than once.


Sci-fi Spoilerpalooza
By Heather S. Vina

Heather’s off on a well-deserved vacation this week. Expect her back in the next week or so.


Supernatural (Thursday nights, 8pm, CW)
By Paula R. Stiles

Check out my Patreon page. Help me keep this column going, pay Heather, and start doing Supernatural reviews again.

The repeats of season 12 continue this week with 12.09 and 12.10. Looks like they’re actually going to repeat the whole season this time. Which makes sense, considering these repeats are getting the same demo as the Reign series finale last Friday.

This fall, the show will remain at 8pm on Thursdays and come back on October 12. Its lead-out will be Arrow.

San Diego Comic-Con, runs July 20-23. The final schedule will be out about two weeks beforehand, but the show will probably be on again on Sunday morning.

Season 12 is available for pre-order on Amazon and will come out on September 5.

There will be three calendars for 2018: two large calendars out on July 1 and two mini calendars on September 1.

For those following the repeats or otherwise trying to catch up, here is the Season 12 line-up (23 episodes): “Keep Calm and Carry On” (12.01) official photos and press release; “Mamma Mia” (12.02) synopsis and photos; “The Foundry” (12.03) synopsis, official photos, sneak peek, and promo; “American Nightmare” (12.04) synopsis, official photos and promo; “The One You’ve Been Waiting For” (12.05) synopsis, promo and set photos; “Celebrating the Life of Asa Fox” (12.06) synopsis, photos and promo; “Rock Never Dies” (12.07) synopsis, photos and promo; “LOTUS” (12.08) synopsis, photos and promo; “First Blood” (12.09) synopsis, photos, promo and sneak peek, as well as an extended promo; “Lily Sunder Has Some Regrets” (12.10) (this is the one with Alicia Witt) synopsis, photos and promo, and sneak peek; “Regarding Dean” (12.11) tech survey card, synopsis, set photo, promo and official photos; “Stuck in the Middle (With You)” (12.12) tech survey card, synopsis, preliminary photo (this one’s directed by Richard Speight Jr.), and official photos and promo; “Family Feud” (12.13) synopsis; “The Raid” (12.14) tech survey card, synopsis, and promo and official photos; “Somewhere Between Heaven and Hell” (12.15) tech survey card, synopsis, official photos and promo; “Ladies Drink Free” (12.16) tech survey card, synopsis, photos, sneak peeks, and promo; “The British Invasion” (12.17) synopsis, photos, mini-doc, promo and tech survey card; “The Memory Remains” (12.18) tech survey card, synopsis, photos, promo, sneak peek, and title; “The Future” (12.19) tech survey card and partial title card, showing the director is Amanda Tapping, and the writers are Robert Berens and Meredith Glynn, and synopsis and promo, sneak peek, and photos; “Twigs & Twine & Tasha Banes” (12.20) tech survey card, showing Richard Speight Jr. returning to direct and synopsis; “There’s Something About Mary” (12.21) synopsis, photos and promo, tech survey card, and directed by John Showalter; and “Who We Are” (12.22) and “All Along the Watchtower” (12.23 – season finale) synopsis, photos and promo, tech survey card, and directed by Robert Singer and written by Andrew Dabb.

Andrew Dabb teased to TV Line that there is a hint of where they’re going in season 13 in “Ladies Drink Free.” This, predictably, failed to get very many fans excited. I laughed when the same article talked about Robert Singer saying at the time that hint of whatever-it-was would be “subtle.” As if.

Now, I like Claire, but I’m not wild about how this current team is writing her, and ohGodpleasenomorewerewolfstories. It might be interesting to see the Brothers doing some monster-curing, but the show has never gone there successfully in the past and it’s a bit early for the writers to have any real clue what they’re doing this season, anyway. I just hope we’re not stuck with Lucifer Jr. for the whole season because ugh.

Show producer Jason Fischer reported on Twitter that everyone would start getting back to work on Wednesday (June 21).

I’ve moved my Official live recaps to this site and simul-recapping at Wayward Friends, with reviews to follow. I’m working on the review for the season finale now.

Ratings for the repeats of 12.07 (“Rock Never Dies”) and 12.08 (“LOTUS”) “were even” at 0.2/1, and down from last week to 0.68 and 0.65 million respectively. Probably because those episodes weren’t very popular the first time round. Especially “LOTUS.” And yet, we were stuck with that storyline all season, anyway.

The show also came in fourth on Netflix’s list of most-watched shows with 2.6% of total downloads.


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Whispers, Spoilers & Speculation Corner: 06/12/17


We need your help!

Contribute monthly via Patreon (which includes perks), make a one-time donation through Paypal, or buy us a coffee.

You can access previous spoilers columns at Innsmouth Free Press here.


Sci-fi Spoilerpalooza
By Heather S. Vina

For fans of the CW’s shows, they announced fall premiere dates for their entire lineup.

Freeform is trying to Americanize the British teenage science fiction drama Misfits with their own version.

In sad news, TV’s Batman, Adam West has passed away at the age of 88.

A Series Of Unfortunate Events: Actors Nathan Fillion (Castle), Tony Hale (Veep), Sara Rue (Impostor), Lucy Punch (Ben & Kate) and Roger Bart (Desperate Housewiveshave all joined the show for season two.

Dark Matter: Blastr has up an interview with co-creator Joseph Mallozzi on season three. Aimee Hicks over at Spoiler TV has up an advanced preview for season three’s first two episodes.

Doctor Who: The official ratings are in for “The Pyramid At the End of the World.” It was watched by 5.79 million viewers and was the 14th-most-watched program of the week. The episode, “The Lie of The Land,” had an overnight figure of 3.01 million viewers. The show was hit hard by being up against the finale of Britain’s Got Talent, which received 8.19 million viewers, but it should go up in the finals. The episode also had an Appreciation Index of 82.

The Exorcist: There’s going to be a cast shakeup when the show returns in season two. Actors Geena Davis, Alan Ruck, Hannah Kasulka and Brianne Howey are all exiting the show.

Killjoys: There are two new trailers out for season three. You can see the Syfy Channel one here and the Space one here.

The Leftovers: TV Line has up an interview with Damon Lindelof on the series finale.

Legends of Tomorrow: The show has cast actress Tala Ashe (Smash, As the World Turns) as Zari Adrianna Tomaz, a “Muslim-American computer nerd with a wry, combative attitude who hails from the year 2030.”

The Originals: TV Line has up an interview with Nathaniel Buzolic on Kol’s return.

Orphan Black: TV Line has up a preview for the new season.

Sense 8: Netflix has responded to fans’ efforts renew the show, and sadly, it’s still a no-go. Brian J. Smith penned a lovely letter thanking the fans for their efforts.

Shadowhunters: Actor Isaiah Mustafa previewed for TV Line some season two news. And actress Sarah Hyland (Pretty Little Liars) will be making a guest appearance.

Stranger Things: TV Line has up a few tidbits about season two.

Zoo: TV Line has up a preview for what happened to Mitch over the ten-year gap when he was thought dead.

Over at EW, the latest Spoiler Room has a spoilers on shows Legends of Tomorrow, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Once Upon a Time and Orphan Black.

At TV Line, the latest Matt’s Inside Line has spoilers on shows Arrow, Killjoys, Supergirl, The Flash, Zoo and Stranger Things.


Supernatural (Thursday nights, 8pm, CW)
By Paula R. Stiles

Check out my Patreon page. Help me keep this column going, pay Heather, and start doing Supernatural reviews again.

Only eight hours left to vote in my Twitter poll which showrunner you’d like to see for season 13.

The repeats of season 12 continue this week with 12.07 and 12.08.

This fall, the show will remain at 8pm on Thursdays and come back on October 12. Its lead-out will be Arrow.

For those following the repeats or otherwise trying to catch up, here is the Season 12 line-up (23 episodes): “Keep Calm and Carry On” (12.01) official photos and press release; “Mamma Mia” (12.02) synopsis and photos; “The Foundry” (12.03) synopsis, official photos, sneak peek, and promo; “American Nightmare” (12.04) synopsis, official photos and promo; “The One You’ve Been Waiting For” (12.05) synopsis, promo and set photos; “Celebrating the Life of Asa Fox” (12.06) synopsis, photos and promo; “Rock Never Dies” (12.07) synopsis, photos and promo; “LOTUS” (12.08) synopsis, photos and promo; “First Blood” (12.09) synopsis, photos, promo and sneak peek, as well as an extended promo; “Lily Sunder Has Some Regrets” (12.10) (this is the one with Alicia Witt) synopsis, photos and promo, and sneak peek; “Regarding Dean” (12.11) tech survey card, synopsis, set photo, promo and official photos; “Stuck in the Middle (With You)” (12.12) tech survey card, synopsis, preliminary photo (this one’s directed by Richard Speight Jr.), and official photos and promo; “Family Feud” (12.13) synopsis; “The Raid” (12.14) tech survey card, synopsis, and promo and official photos; “Somewhere Between Heaven and Hell” (12.15) tech survey card, synopsis, official photos and promo; “Ladies Drink Free” (12.16) tech survey card, synopsis, photos, sneak peeks, and promo; “The British Invasion” (12.17) synopsis, photos, mini-doc, promo and tech survey card; “The Memory Remains” (12.18) tech survey card, synopsis, photos, promo, sneak peek, and title; “The Future” (12.19) tech survey card and partial title card, showing the director is Amanda Tapping, and the writers are Robert Berens and Meredith Glynn, and synopsis and promo, sneak peek, and photos; “Twigs & Twine & Tasha Banes” (12.20) tech survey card, showing Richard Speight Jr. returning to direct and synopsis; “There’s Something About Mary” (12.21) synopsis, photos and promo, tech survey card, and directed by John Showalter; and “Who We Are” (12.22) and “All Along the Watchtower” (12.23 – season finale) synopsis, photos and promo, tech survey card, and directed by Robert Singer and written by Andrew Dabb.

There’s a new “Shaving People, Punting Things” video out for season 13. Don’t expect a whole lot more news before Comic-Con, which runs July 20-23.

Season 12 is available for pre-order on Amazon and will come out on September 5.

2018 calendars are coming out soon. It appears there will be two large calendars out on July 1 and two mini calendars on September 1.

I’ve moved my Official live recaps to this site and simul-recapping at Wayward Friends, with reviews to follow. I’m working on the review for the season finale now.

Ratings for the repeats of 12.05 (“The One You’ve Been Waiting For”) and 12.06 (“Celebrating the Life of Asa Fox”) were even at 0.2/1, and up from last week to 0.84 and 0.85 million respectively.


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Whispers, Spoilers & Speculation Corner: 06/09/17


We need your help!

Contribute monthly via Patreon (which includes perks), make a one-time donation through Paypal, or buy us a coffee.

You can access previous spoilers columns at Innsmouth Free Press here.


Sci-fi Spoilerpalooza
By Heather S. Vina

Sad news for fans of Netflix’s Sense 8/: the show will not be renewed for a third season. So, no news on what happens with the cluster after that cliffhanger in season two!

TV Line has up a list of premiere dates for CBS’ line up.

12 Monkeys: The official trailer is out for season four.

American Gods: The Hollywood Reporter has up an interview with Gillian Anderson on her role as Media.

Arrow: At the Heroes and Villains Fan Fest in the United Kingdom a few weeks ago, Katie Cassidy revealed some details about her new character, Black Siren’s, familial relationships.

Doctor Who: The final ratings are in for “Extremis.” The show received an official rating of 5.53 million viewers, making it the 20th-most-watched program for the week. “The Pyramid At the End of the World” received an Audience Appreciation figure of 82. It’s been confirmed that Rachel Talalay will be directing the Christmas episode. She previously directed the final two episodes of both seasons eight and nine, including the highly acclaimed “Heaven Sent.” As for the next Doctor, Radio Times is now claiming that actors Luke Treadaway (Fortitude) and Sacha Dhawan (An Adventure in Space and Time) are in the running.

The Flash: The show’s villain for next season has been officially revealed as Clifford DeVoe AKA The Thinker, aka “Not a Speedster.”

Game of Thrones: Pop Culture TV has some details on some scenes for season seven. EW has up an interview with HBO programming president Casey Bloys on the programming for the show and its potential prequel.

Jessica Jones: The Marvel Studios Twitter account (unofficial) has some set photos of filming for season two.

Preacher: There’s a new promo out for season two.

Supergirl: The show has cast actress Odette Annable as villain and “world killer” Reign.


Supernatural (Thursday nights, 8pm, CW)
By Paula R. Stiles

Check out my Patreon page. Help me keep this column going, pay Heather, and start doing Supernatural reviews again.

The big news of the week is that the CW’s fall schedule is out and Supernatural season 13 will start on October 12.

The repeats of season 12 continued this week with 12.05 and 12.06, and will be back next week with 12.07 and 12.08.

This fall, the show will remain at 8pm on Thursdays. Its lead-out will be Arrow.

For those following the repeats or otherwise trying to catch up, here is the Season 12 line-up (23 episodes): “Keep Calm and Carry On” (12.01) official photos and press release; “Mamma Mia” (12.02) synopsis and photos; “The Foundry” (12.03) synopsis, official photos, sneak peek, and promo; “American Nightmare” (12.04) synopsis, official photos and promo; “The One You’ve Been Waiting For” (12.05) synopsis, promo and set photos; “Celebrating the Life of Asa Fox” (12.06) synopsis, photos and promo; “Rock Never Dies” (12.07) synopsis, photos and promo; “LOTUS” (12.08) synopsis, photos and promo; “First Blood” (12.09) synopsis, photos, promo and sneak peek, as well as an extended promo; “Lily Sunder Has Some Regrets” (12.10) (this is the one with Alicia Witt) synopsis, photos and promo, and sneak peek; “Regarding Dean” (12.11) tech survey card, synopsis, set photo, promo and official photos; “Stuck in the Middle (With You)” (12.12) tech survey card, synopsis, preliminary photo (this one’s directed by Richard Speight Jr.), and official photos and promo; “Family Feud” (12.13) synopsis; “The Raid” (12.14) tech survey card, synopsis, and promo and official photos; “Somewhere Between Heaven and Hell” (12.15) tech survey card, synopsis, official photos and promo; “Ladies Drink Free” (12.16) tech survey card, synopsis, photos, sneak peeks, and promo; “The British Invasion” (12.17) synopsis, photos, mini-doc, promo and tech survey card; “The Memory Remains” (12.18) tech survey card, synopsis, photos, promo, sneak peek, and title; “The Future” (12.19) tech survey card and partial title card, showing the director is Amanda Tapping, and the writers are Robert Berens and Meredith Glynn, and synopsis and promo, sneak peek, and photos; “Twigs & Twine & Tasha Banes” (12.20) tech survey card, showing Richard Speight Jr. returning to direct and synopsis; “There’s Something About Mary” (12.21) synopsis, photos and promo, tech survey card, and directed by John Showalter; and “Who We Are” (12.22) and “All Along the Watchtower” (12.23 – season finale) synopsis, photos and promo, tech survey card, and directed by Robert Singer and written by Andrew Dabb.

Still not much other news this week aside from Mark Sheppard continuing to burn bridges about why he left the show. He claimed that the writers got bored with the character and that current showrunner Andrew Dabb had been looking to kill off Crowley for a while. Sheppard was mainly annoyed by how crappy a job it was and that half of his death scene got cut. He also said his co-stars weren’t at fault and that even though he didn’t think Crowley should have had a mother, he loved working with Ruth Connell. He said he wasn’t sure if she’s coming back, but he definitely isn’t.

I’ve moved my Official live recaps to this site and simul-recapping at Wayward Friends, with reviews to follow. I’m working on the review for the season finale now.

Ratings for the repeats of 12.03 (“The Foundry”) and 12.04 (“American Nightmare”) “were even” at 0.2/1 and 0.75 million.

In DVR+7 ratings, the show rose in the season finale from 0.6 to 1.0 and 1.697 to 2.603 million.


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Whispers, Spoilers & Speculation Corner: 06/02/17


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Sci-fi Spoilerpalooza
By Heather S. Vina

The 100: The show has promoted actress Tasya Teles (Echo) to series regular. Following last week’s season finale, TV Line has up an interview with executive producer Jason Rothenberg. The Hollywood Reporter has a version as well.

American Gods: TV Line has up an interview with Emily Browning on last week’s Laura Moon-centered episode. EW has one with the actress as well.

American Horror Story: Ryan Murphy posted a photo of Billie Lourd in the new season.

Arrow: John Barrowman has confirmed that he will not be returning to the show next season.

Doctor Who: Doctor Who News has up the promotional images for this past weekend’s episode, “The Pyramid At the End of the World.” The official ratings for “Oxygen” are out and the show was watched by 5.27 million viewers, making it the 26th-most-watched program for the week. Last weekend’s episode “Extremis” had an Audience Appreciation figure of 82 with the overnight viewing figures clocking in at 4.16 million viewers. BBC American has up “10 Things You May Not Know About ‘Extremis.'”

Fear the Walking Dead: TV Line has up an interview with showrunner Dave Erickson about what’s coming up in season three, which premieres June 4.

Game of Thrones: There’s a new trailer out for season seven. It’s been confirmed that season eight will only be six episodes long. EW is also reporting that several of the actors will be having more to do in season seven! EW also has up some photos from their Game of Thrones photoshoot with the stars. They also have up the latest promotional photos for the season. TV Line has up the latest promotional poster for the season.

Legends of Tomorrow: Brandon Routh posted on his Twitter account some new promotional art for season three.

The Originals: TV Line has up an interview with actor Daniel Gillies about Elijah’s latest death.

Shadowhunters: TV Line has up a preview for season two’s second half.

Supergirl: It was announced that actress Floriana Lima will not be a series regular next season. She will be reduced down to recurring.

Wynonna Earp: Variety has up the promotional poster for season two.

At TV Line, the latest Ask Ausiello has spoilers on shows Twin Peaks, Supernatural, Lucifer, Arrow, Once Upon a Time, Fear the Walking Dead, and The 100.


Supernatural (Thursday nights, 8pm, CW)
By Paula R. Stiles

Check out my Patreon page. Help me keep this column going, pay Heather, and start doing Supernatural reviews again.

The repeats of season 12 continued this week with 12.03 and 12.04 and will be back next week with 12.05 and 12.06.

This fall, the show will remain at 8pm on Thursdays. Its lead-out will be Arrow.

For those following the repeats or otherwise trying to catch up, here is the Season 12 line-up (23 episodes): “Keep Calm and Carry On” (12.01) official photos and press release; “Mamma Mia” (12.02) synopsis and photos; “The Foundry” (12.03) synopsis, official photos, sneak peek, and promo; “American Nightmare” (12.04) synopsis, official photos and promo; “The One You’ve Been Waiting For” (12.05) synopsis, promo and set photos; “Celebrating the Life of Asa Fox” (12.06) synopsis, photos and promo; “Rock Never Dies” (12.07) synopsis, photos and promo; “LOTUS” (12.08) synopsis, photos and promo; “First Blood” (12.09) synopsis, photos, promo and sneak peek, as well as an extended promo; “Lily Sunder Has Some Regrets” (12.10) (this is the one with Alicia Witt) synopsis, photos and promo, and sneak peek; “Regarding Dean” (12.11) tech survey card, synopsis, set photo, promo and official photos; “Stuck in the Middle (With You)” (12.12) tech survey card, synopsis, preliminary photo (this one’s directed by Richard Speight Jr.), and official photos and promo; “Family Feud” (12.13) synopsis; “The Raid” (12.14) tech survey card, synopsis, and promo and official photos; “Somewhere Between Heaven and Hell” (12.15) tech survey card, synopsis, official photos and promo; “Ladies Drink Free” (12.16) tech survey card, synopsis, photos, sneak peeks, and promo; “The British Invasion” (12.17) synopsis, photos, mini-doc, promo and tech survey card; “The Memory Remains” (12.18) tech survey card, synopsis, photos, promo, sneak peek, and title; “The Future” (12.19) tech survey card and partial title card, showing the director is Amanda Tapping, and the writers are Robert Berens and Meredith Glynn, and synopsis and promo, sneak peek, and photos; “Twigs & Twine & Tasha Banes” (12.20) tech survey card, showing Richard Speight Jr. returning to direct and synopsis; “There’s Something About Mary” (12.21) synopsis, photos and promo, tech survey card, and directed by John Showalter; and “Who We Are” (12.22) and “All Along the Watchtower” (12.23 – season finale) synopsis, photos and promo, tech survey card, and directed by Robert Singer and written by Andrew Dabb.

The big (really, the only) news this week is that the other main character death of the season finale (i.e., Crowley) will stick. And it also appears that this is because there’s bad blood between Mark Sheppard and the show. Sheppard tweeted repeatedly that he was not returning to the show in any form and even corrected Jim Michaels when Michaels tried to imply that Crowley might come back. Support from other actors indicates the dissatisfaction may not be limited to him. Hmm.

I’ve moved my Official live recaps to this site and simul-recapping at Wayward Friends, with reviews to follow. I’m working on the review for the season finale now.

Ratings for the repeats of season premiere “Keep Calm and Carry On” (12.01) and “Mamma Mia” (12.01) were 0.2/1 and 0.76 million, and 0.2/1 and 0.67 million respectively.

In DVR+7 ratings, the show popped up with an increase from 0.5 to 0.9 and 1.420 to 2.272 million for “There’s Something About Mary” (12.21).


Like this column? You can help keep it going by contributing monthly via Patreon (which includes perks), making a one-time donation through Paypal, or buying us a coffee.


Whispers, Spoilers & Speculation Corner: 05/23/17


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You can access previous spoilers columns at Innsmouth Free Press here.


Sci-fi Spoilerpalooza
By Heather S. Vina

12 Monkeys: EW has up an interview with executive producer Terry Matalas on season three.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: TV Line has up an interview with co-showrunner Jed Whedon and executive producer Jeffrey Bell on the finale events and season five.

American Horror Story: Actress Leslie Grossman is joining the show in a “comedic role.”

Black Lightning: The first trailer is out for the new superhero show. And according to the creators, it is NOT set in the Arrow universe. Thank goodness.

The Dark Crystal: In surprising news, Netflix has picked up to series a prequel based on the Jim Henson movie of the same name. You can see the trailer on YouTube.

Dark Matter: There’s a a new trailer out for season three.

Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency: Actors John Hannah, Alan Tudyk, Amanda Walsh, and Aleks Paunovic have been announced as guest stars for season two.

Doctor Who: In an interview with Radio Times, Michelle Gomez announced that she will be leaving the show at the end of this season, as well. The BBC YouTube channel has up a video with her. She also did a Reddit Q&A and you can read the answers here. The final ratings are out for the episode “Knock, Knock”: It was watched by 5.73 million viewers, and was the 21st-most-watched program of the week. The official ratings are out for “Thin Ice” as well, with 5.51 million viewers, placing it at 25 for the week. The episode “Oxygen” received an Appreciation Index of 83, with overnight ratings of 3.57 million viewers.

Fear the Walking Dead: TVLine has up an interview with showrunner Dave Erickson about what’s coming up in season three.

The Gifted: The official trailer is out for the show.

Killjoys: Spoiler TV has up the latest promotional photos for the show. There’s also a new teaser trailer out.

Once Upon A Time: TV Line has up some details on the new, rebooted season, and its move to Friday nights in the fall. They also have a breakdown with Adam Horowitz and Eddy Kitsis on the finale. There’s also an interview with Jennifer Morrison on the finale and one with Lana Parrilla on season seven.

Sense 8: The Hollywood Reporter has up an interview with Jamie Clayton about this season and the potential for a season three. Indiewire has up an interview with new cast member Toby Onwumere. And IGN has up some video interviews with cast members.

The Magicians: The show has promoted to regulars actors Trevor Einhorn (Josh) and Brittany Curran (Fen).

Star Trek Discovery: The first trailer is out! EW also has up the first promotional photos of the show.

Over at EW, the latest Spoiler Room has spoilers on shows Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Once Upon a Time, Arrow, Supergirl, 12 Monkeys, and The Flash.


Supernatural (Thursday nights, 8pm, CW)
By Paula R. Stiles

Check out my Patreon page. Help me keep this column going, pay Heather, and start doing Supernatural reviews again.

So, the season finale aired last week and once again, we are in the summer Hellatus. This week restarts the season with a double feature repeat of 12.01 and 12.02.

This fall, the show will remain at 8pm on Thursdays. Its lead-out will be Arrow.

The show appeared (very briefly) in the CW’s fall sizzle video.

For those following the repeats or otherwise trying to catch up, here is the Season 12 line-up (23 episodes): “Keep Calm and Carry On” (12.01) official photos and press release; “Mamma Mia” (12.02) synopsis and photos; “The Foundry” (12.03) synopsis, official photos, sneak peek, and promo; “American Nightmare” (12.04) synopsis, official photos and promo; “The One You’ve Been Waiting For” (12.05) synopsis, promo and set photos; “Celebrating the Life of Asa Fox” (12.06) synopsis, photos and promo; “Rock Never Dies” (12.07) synopsis, photos and promo; “LOTUS” (12.08) synopsis, photos and promo; “First Blood” (12.09) synopsis, photos, promo and sneak peek, as well as an extended promo; “Lily Sunder Has Some Regrets” (12.10) (this is the one with Alicia Witt) synopsis, photos and promo, and sneak peek; “Regarding Dean” (12.11) tech survey card, synopsis, set photo, promo and official photos; “Stuck in the Middle (With You)” (12.12) tech survey card, synopsis, preliminary photo (this one’s directed by Richard Speight Jr.), and official photos and promo; “Family Feud” (12.13) synopsis; “The Raid” (12.14) tech survey card, synopsis, and promo and official photos; “Somewhere Between Heaven and Hell” (12.15) tech survey card, synopsis, official photos and promo; “Ladies Drink Free” (12.16) tech survey card, synopsis, photos, sneak peeks, and promo; “The British Invasion” (12.17) synopsis, photos, mini-doc, promo and tech survey card; “The Memory Remains” (12.18) tech survey card, synopsis, photos, promo, sneak peek, and title; “The Future” (12.19) tech survey card and partial title card, showing the director is Amanda Tapping, and the writers are Robert Berens and Meredith Glynn, and synopsis and promo, sneak peek, and photos; “Twigs & Twine & Tasha Banes” (12.20) tech survey card, showing Richard Speight Jr. returning to direct and synopsis; “There’s Something About Mary” (12.21) synopsis, photos and promo, tech survey card, and directed by John Showalter; and “Who We Are” (12.22) and “All Along the Watchtower” (12.23 – season finale) synopsis, photos and promo, tech survey card, and directed by Robert Singer and written by Andrew Dabb (these last two episodes will air the same night).

So, now the season is over, stuff has been coming out of the Jus in Bello con in Rome. Jensen Ackles may not be directing this year, due to a conflict with opening his new brewery. Which made lots of fans sad.

However, the big news is that Jared Padalecki accidentally leaked that Misha Collins will be in season 13 when he talked about the animated Scooby-Doo episode (which will be 13.16). The episode had previously been announced at the CW Upfronts, which Padalecki and Jensen Ackles had attended for a panel. Padalecki, Collins and Ackles have already done the voicing for it. Collins confirmed that Castiel will be back … in some form.

The announcement about the Scooby-Doo episode was concerning. It came out at a time when a lot of fans were questioning (and are still questioning) the showrunners’ ability to ride herd on the writers and do proper quality control for the season. It didn’t help that the previous “cartoon” episode was written by Andrew Dabb, and was both careless with canon and underwhelming from a visually creative sense. So, definitely withholding judgment on that one.

The general idea this coming season appears to be that the showrunners think cheating with the alternative universe and making death even cheaper than it has been is a fabulous idea (since they’re too incompetent to be creative). This is not going down well at all with the fans. Of course, the writers also teased a lot of old faces returning in the Purgatory storyline between seasons seven, and eight and that didn’t happen at all. Then again, at that time, the new writer-showrunner didn’t suck at his job.

Other highlights included Ackles’ solo panel.

I’ve moved my Official live recaps to this site and simul-recapping at Wayward Friends, with reviews to follow. I’m working on the review for the season finale now.

Ratings for “Who We Are” (12.22) and season finale “All Along the Watchtower” (12.23) rose to 0.6/3 and 1.75 million, and 0.6/2 and 1.65 million respectively, with Spotted Ratings reporting the fractionals at 0.586 and 0.567 respectively. Programming Insider reported that show’s average for the two hours as A18-34 (0.5/3), A18-49 (0.6/2), A18-54 (0.7/2), a Household Share of 1.0/2, and 1.597 million in audience. Half-hours were 1.74/1.75 million and 0.6/3 for “Who We Are” and 1.66/1.65 million and 0.6/3/0.6/2 for “All Along the Watchtower.”

In DVR+7 ratings, the show popped up with an increase from 1.506 to 2.311 million for “Twigs and Twine and Tasha Banes” (12.20), while “The Memory Remains” (12.18) rose 0.5 to 0.9 and from 1.564 to 2.388. Note that these two episodes were MOTWs.

The show’s season finale night also rated #1 for the day in social ratings and #7 for the week.


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The Official “Who We Are/All Along the Watchtower” (12.22-12.23 – Season Finale) Live Recap Thread


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Recap of recent events and a mention of Walt and Roy.

Cut to Now, with Mary killing her way through a list of people to get to Jody.

In the Bunker, Dean suggests murdering the Twat to save air. I’m all for it, but she claims she’s the only one who can undo Mary’s deus ex machina conditioning. They then try searching through the lore (on Sam’s suggestion) and Sam finds a spell that requires virgin’s blood (they have to purify their blood, since no one is a virgin), but it doesn’t work because Ketch put a dampening spell on the Bunker.

On the second day, Dean suggests breaking out, but the walls are too strong. Sam is for giving up and mopes about having been stupid about the LoL. Little late, there, Sam. Sam says he “followed because it was easier than leading.”

Dean’s not for giving up. Annnnd, Genius Dean gets an idea.

He’s gonna use the grenade launcher. The Twat thinks it’s stupid. Well, sure, but desperate times….

Dean fires in the hole.

It’s still dark. Sam looks for Dean, but can’t breathe. And then, the lights turn on. And the air comes back. Dean enters the Bunker, wounded but alive.

So, Mary shows up at Jody’s. The Brothers go through the dead and then rush to Jody’s house. Jody and Alex have her tied up in a chair.

Dean gets all the booze he needs, while Mary digs in the knife. They bring in the Twat, who admits she lied. Mary’s gone. Dean is going to take her out into the cornfield (okay, Jody’s backyard) and the Twat thinks that

Walt and Roy come in and it’s totally anticlimactic. Damn, the writing has sucked this season.

Sam gives a Big Speech about fighting back. He’s going to be a leader now because apparently, these writers can’t even allow Dean that.

Sam wants Dean to come along, saying Dean is better than any ten Hunters. Dean pleads being wounded and that Sam is “ready.” But Sam senses Dean has an ulterior motive. Dean admits he’s going to try to save Mary. They hug.

Jody has a moving moment with Alex, whom she’s sending out of the fight. Jody is going with Sam.

At the LoL Quonset Hut, Henchbitchstress is marshaling the forces of about a handful of LoL to attack … all of America. I facepalm. Really hard.

Ketch asks a redshirt tech to locate and track Mary. He’s a little horrified to discover she’s back at the Bunker. For many reasons.

Dean doesn’t trust the Twat, but she claims all she wants is a “head-start” to go see her son again. I’m sure hoping this is meant to make her a good guy, so we’ll “feel bad” when Ketch or somebody kills her. Because I sure don’t want her to make it out of this episode alive.

Anyhoo, Dean goes into the dreamworld with his mother. Mary is tending to Baby!Sam (of course she is) and feeding Toddler!Dean. It’s a totally different house layout from the Pilot teaser, where Sam had his own room. Really, show? You were too lazy even to recreate that?

Dean tries to talk to Dream!Mary, but she ignores him.

Sam and the other Hunters storm the LoL – in broad daylight, ’cause that’s smart. They start cold-bloodedly taking out the LoL. You know, the human LoL.

I like the new blonde Hunter. I don’t expect her to make it, but I’ll hope, anyway.

Inside, Henchbitchstress in her matching two-piece and pearls, belatedly and over-confidently orders a counterattack. But the Hunters are already inside.

Dean realizes his mother is intentionally choosing to stay in her dreamworld. As she tells Dream!Dean she says she won’t let anything happen to him, Dean says the words fans have been waiting for all season: “I hate you.”

Dean pours out his anger and resentment about the deal she made. He talks about his abandonment and how he got parentified. How Mary’s promise never came true.

Do you think Jensen is selling this? Of course he is.

Annoyingly, Dean still kinda makes the pain All About Sam, but at least he talks about his own pain first. He repeats that he hates Mary. He says he also loves her. Obviously, he’s very confused. He says he can’t help but love her because she’s his mother. He admits he made deals, too (I think that hurts her the most), and that he forgives her. While crying. He insists they can start over, but she has to fight back (clearly, someone watched the season finale of The Exorcist). He says he needs her to “see me.”

Finally, she turns around and looks at him. She recognizes him.

Back in the Bunker, the Twat is trying to escape. Of course. But it’s too late. Dean is yanked of the dreamworld – by Ketch.

The Twat’s already dead. Dammit, I wanted to see that!

Chez LoL, Walt and Roy are getting killed and Sam is confronting Henchbitchstress. Who fleas into a locked

In the Bunker, Ketch is beating up Dean because Dean’s still got that bum leg.

But Dean’s got some moves left. After all, he survived Purgatory. He does some serious damage to Ketch.

Dean: “When you left us alone in the Bunker? Man, I knew you were psycho, but I didn’t think you were stupid.”

Ketch decides to cheat a little further and pulls a gun. But he gets shot first. By Mary. Dean goes to her, kicking Ketch’s gun out of the way.

Ketch [to Mary]: “I knew you were a killer. You both are.”
Dean: “You’re right.” Mary shoots Ketch.

Henchbitchstress tries to get someone from LoL Central to get her out, but they ignore her. The Hunters blast their way in and Henchbitchstress tries to talk her way out by telling Sam (she mistakes him for Dean, I kid you not) Lucifer got out and Crowley’s dead. LoL Central try to back her up. Sam shoots out the LoL commlink. Jody shoots Henchbitchstress. Yay, Jody.

Sam & Co. blow up the LoL Quonset Hut. Well, there’s a kind of satisfaction to blowing the shit out of a storyline that shouldn’t have happened in the first place. I’ll give them that.

Dean finds some mega-pain pills (so he’ll be stoned for the rest of the finale). Mary feels really guilty and apologizes to Dean for being a cold, distant bitch. She says she couldn’t face what she’d done to her sons.

Dean tells her her deal didn’t make them “who we are.” They made themselves heroes who “save the world.”

Mary fears Sam will hate her, but Sam returns at that moment. Group hug. Credits.

So, that ends 12.22.

12.21 doesn’t start too well.

So, we get a recap to “Carry On, Wayward Son” of the season so far. It wasn’t very good.

Cut to Castiel and Kelly at a pretty mountain lake. Kelly is trying to build a Swedish crib and mourning that she will never see her child’s face.

Is anybody else mightily offended by this whole woman-as-walking-womb storyline?

Oh, and in case the misogyny wasn’t high enough, when TFW try to contact Rowena, they get Lucifer, who just incinerated her. Because apparently, she wasn’t worth an onscreen death.

To add insult to injury, Crowley’s “rat” resurrects his usual body in a parody of Dean’s resurrection in “Lazarus Rising.”

TFW bemoans about how the writing won’t let them kill Lucifer or send him back to Hell.

Some ball of light is stalking Castiel and Kelly. In case anybody cares. Castiel finds it as a line of light on the beach. When he touches it, he’s transported to a dark place, where a monster attacks him. Somebody shoots the monsters. Castiel recognizes the person and says, “You?”

Trying not to get excited but PLEASE LET IT BE MICHAEL.

More offensive crap with Kelly talking to the naphil, calling him Jack. Show, she’s got a vicious monsters inside her, not cancer.

Crowley shows up and gets punched by Dean. Dean’s going to kill him, and Mary’s on board, but Sam suggests they find out what Crowley knows, first.

Crowley tells them how he escaped inside a rat. They tell him Rowena’s dead. He admits he wanted to keep Lucifer as his personal nuke (because that worked so well with Demon!Dean).

Sam asks why he’s back in the Bunker. Crowley admits they always come out on top, so he’s throwing in with the winning team. Crowley offers to make it worth their while. He’ll seal the gates of Hell.

Back to Kelly wondering where Castiel is. He’s kinda busy, dummy.

Castiel doesn’t tell her where he was. She says her contractions are starting. Castiel goes on a long, boring thing about a doula course he took.

Meanwhile, TFW is heading out to find Lucifer and Dean leaves Crowley Spork-spiked to a table.

Castiel goes to look out the window at the glowing line of light. Kelly thanks him for helping her (pretty sure that’s because he’s brainwashed).

Outside, we get another look at the light.

Recurring The Originals promo for tomorrow night’s ep that reminds how much worse Supernatural could still be.

Kelly asks what vision Castiel had when he joined up with her and he confirms the show is completely ripping off the Jasmine storyline from Angel.

The lights flicker and he goes downstairs. TFW is there. They tell him Lucifer is out and they’re there to help, at least for now.

Dean groans about his knee. An exasperated Castiel heals him. Sam finds the line of light outside.

Castiel says it’s a “tear in space and time.” He calls it an “alternate reality.” Sam and Dean talk about “The French Mistake.”

It’s a manifestation of the child’s power. The Brothers insist on going there with Castiel.

He says it’s an alternate reality of Heaven and Hell fighting forever. He says a “friend” brought him up to speed.

I foresee a whole lot of retconning to get the writers out of the corner they wrote themselves into.

Castiel says he has faith the Naphil won’t hurt anyone. Dean calls Castiel a “dumbass.” Because Castiel is.

In the other world, they meet a Bizarro!Bobby. I so wish I were joking.

Mary gets stuck helping Kelly, while the Brothers find out the alt-world is one where Mary never made a deal to save John (and continued hunting) and the Brothers were never born. So, they never saved the world.

Bobby kills angels for fun, but sensed Castiel was different. Oh, and Rufus is alive.

C’mon, Dean, angel-killing bullets are not new on your world.

Kelly asks Mary if she’d die for her boys the way she will die for “Jack.” Barf. So much barf.

Crowley shows up.

Damn, we could have gotten a final Rowena scene in half the time this freakin’ baby is taking to get born. So dull.

Castiel comes in to talk to Kelly. He seems to be having second thoughts.

Downstairs, the Brothers are gearing up. What happened to all those Hunters that survived from last episode?

Dean talks about TFW and rather reluctantly includes Crowley.

Lucifer shows up. Finally. Took him long enough.

Sam warns Lucifer that Chuck will show up. Lucifer begs to differ. Dean contemptuously asks if Lucifer really intends to “smash all His toys?”

Castiel attacks Lucifer and gets tossed aside. The Brothers flee. Lucifer, like a moron (has he learned nothing?) pursues and finds them going into the rift.

Lucifer likes the new world he arrives in.

Sam tells Lucifer this is the world he wants.

Sam scampers off as Dean lights him up with angel-killing bullets. Dean gets his ass kicked as Sam and Crowley make a spell to trap Lucifer there.

Crowley says they need one more “ingredient – a life.”

Crowley comes out and challenges Lucifer. Sam grabs Dean and gets him back to the rift.

So, are we gonna lose Crowley, after all?

Crowley pulls out an angel blade and stabs himself.

Yep, looks like we’re losing Crowley. Castiel appears for no damned, good reason and attacks Lucifer. Sam drags Dean back through the rift as it closes.

Oh, and the baby is born.

Hmm, diving movie that demonizes sharks. Not-yay.

Castiel stabs Lucifer and comes back through the rift, but then gets stabbed. Lucifer comes through and it was all for nothing.

Just about certain at this point we’re getting a magic reset plot. They’re not gonna kill off this many fan favorites for real.

Mary beats up Lucifer with the magic brass knuckles. He drops his sword, but drags her through the rift.

Oh, and the boring-ass baby is being born. Sam runs inside. Dean mourns over Castiel and looks up at the sky.

Inside the house, Kelly’s dead (yeah, I know. Nobody cares). Sam sees burning baby footprints and follows them into the nursery.

He sees he Naphil. It looks like Lucifer and has glowing eyes.

And that’s the really annoying cliffhanger on which we are left.

I’ll also be simul-recapping on Wayward Children.

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