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

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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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Recap and Review: Supernatural 12.10: Lily Sunder Has Some Regrets

By Paula R. Stiles

[spoilers ahoy for several seasons]

Tagline: Castiel’s past comes back to haunt him in the form of a vengeful woman and the sinister angel comrade who made her that way.

Hi, guys. I’m trying to get back into these reviews and catch up with them to the present season. However, they take a lot of time to do right. If you’d like to see more of them, you can help out by buying me a coffee, or opting into my Patreon page, which includes perks.

Recap: Quick recap of Dean’s early relationship with Castiel and the boring Lucifer “baby mama drama” (as Dean puts it in the following episode episode). Can Kelly Kline please ride off with her hellspawn pregnancy to the Island of Forgotten Guest Characters and Dropped Plots?

Cut to Now and a striking African American woman playing a video game at a bar. The bartender notes that she does this every night and it’s closing time. She ignores him. He also notes that she beats the game every night and doesn’t have to. She ignores him.

A redhead in an eyepatch shows up and is a total bitch to the first woman. She refuses to get out of her way. When the first woman uses angel powers on her, the redhead calls her “Benjamin” and is unaffected. A brief fight ensues (excuse me if I don’t buy that any ordinary human, using the power of her soul or not, would have much of a chance a chance against even a de-winged angel). Benjamin gets beaten and calls for help, with the redhead encouraging her to do. We see three other angels, one of them Castiel in the Bunker, hearing it. The redhead says, “I’ve waited so long” and then stabs Benjamin to death. White light comes out and the redhead leaves.

Title cards.

Cut to Dean looking at a board in the Bunker, trying to figure out where Lucifer’s boring baby mama scampered off to. Sam comes in with coffee. It turns out Castiel set up the board. Dean is not thrilled that Castiel lost Baby Mama Kelly and wonders how she could have gone to ground the way she did (seeing as how she’s carrying a creature that every angel can sense for hundreds of miles). Sam then changes the subject to whether or not Dean has heard from Mary. Dean says yeah, she’s hunting a shapeshifter in Atlanta. When Dean offered to help, she said no, she could handle it alone.

Dean wonders aloud if Mary is getting back into hunting too quickly. Sam brushes off Dean’s concerns, even though Sam isn’t actually the one keeping in touch with Mom (bit passive-aggressive, there, Sam). Sam also calls Dean out on not speaking to Castiel. Dean points out that Castiel did something the previous episode (killing Billie the Reaper) that is supposed to have “cosmic consequences” and avers that doesn’t sound like a good thing.

As Sam is hemming and hawing over that, Castiel comes in, snarks at Dean, and tells them about Doomed Teaser Angel, who was once a comrade. Sam volunteers to come help and when Castiel, still in sarcasm mode, asks if that means both of them, Dean rather reluctantly says he’ll come along. To prevent Castiel from doing anything else that’s “stupid.”

Dean drives, of course. In the car, Sam tries to engineer a detente, which is ignored by both Dean and Castiel. Sam then tries the guilt trip to paper things over. Castiel finally tells them a bit about Benjamin, that he would never have put his vessel, a devout woman he’d found in Madrid, in harm’s way. She was his “friend” on top of being his vessel. Dean riles Castiel up a bit by being sarcastic about how Benjamin probably wouldn’t have run off half-cocked the way Castiel did the week before.

At the scene of the teaser crime, we see a charcoal outline of broken wings on a wall and meet the bartender again. He is shellshocked. Castiel is rude to the guy. Dean sees the bartender out, while Sam asks Castiel if he’s okay. Castiel is upset. Meanwhile, Dean finds an angel blade, which Castiel realizes isn’t Benjamin’s.

In a motel room, the annoying (sorry, mysterious) redhead is lying on a bed, whispering a spell. She opens her eyes and says Castiel’s name. As she grabs her suitcoat and leaves, she kisses her fingertips and touches a sepia photo of a little girl.

Outside a diner, Castiel tells Sam and Dean that before he led his own battalion (except, um, wasn’t Anna actually his commander?), he served under another angel named Ishim. Ishim is inside the diner, but Castiel doesn’t want the Brothers to come in with him. Ishim doesn’t like humans. “Ishim,” by the way, is an entire class of angels (and their leader may be Azazel or Metatron) who are closer to humans than any other angels, but here it’s used as a name for a single angel.


Dean’s like, pfft, no, to that, especially when Castiel gets snarky again. So, no surprise that shortly after Castiel comes in and greets two angels (Ishim and Mirabel, who still have their vessels from the old days), Dean comes in. Neither angel is happy to see Castiel, blaming him for the fall from Heaven and the deaths of many angels (Balthazar and Uriel get name-dropped).

Right before Sam counts down to Dean “storming in,” and Dean enters the diner (insisting on sitting between Sam and Castiel across from Ishim), Ishim and Mirabel say that they’ve lost two other angels besides Benjamin since the Fall, in the same way. Despite this, Ishim sends Mirabel out alone to check whether anyone besides the Brothers has showed up (because splitting up isn’t dumb, or anything).

Predictably, Mirabel is caught off-guard in the alley by the redhead and quickly dispatched. And neither of the angels inside notices, despite all the hand-wringing over Benjamin’s broadcast-by-angel-radio death and previous episodes of angels noticing when another angel died nearby (I mean, it’s pretty darned bright and loud). Okeydoke.

Ishim and Dean don’t like each other. I mean, they really, really don’t like each other. There’s a staring contest as Ishim dumps a metric ton of sugar in his coffee/tea (what’s that about?), on which Dean comments with a nasty smile. Ishim calls Dean and Sam “monkeys,” while Dean tells him to “go to Hell.” Good times.

After Ishim leaves to find Mirabel, the Brothers dress Castiel down on putting up with Ishim’s crap. Castiel storms off after Ishim, who is getting attacked in the alley by the redhead after finding Mirabel’s body. Ishim recognizes her and tries to smite her, but she laughs and says she’s no longer “powerless.” Well, neither are demons and they can get smited, so I don’t really see how that works, but okay.

She grabs Ishim around the throat, but Castiel comes out and slashes her in the side, knocking her down (Castiel also recognizes her in a brief flashback to Olden Tymes). When the Brothers back him up with guns, she insists that she has no desire to hurt humans and blasts out light from her raised palm. Mind you, the Brothers have plenty of time to shoot her while she’s doing this, but nope. Dean ends up temporarily blinded and Sam dazzled. But Sam is still able to get the license plate number of the white convertible in which she roars off (because that car’s not inconspicuous, or anything).

Later, at an old church, Castiel tends to a wounded and weakened Ishim. Ishim can’t heal himself. Castiel clues Sam in that he recognized the woman and Dean (who has already noticed this) insists Castiel tell them what happened. We then get a saturated-color flashback to Orono, Maine, 1901.

Ishim is leading the way to a house through the woods. Mirabel and Benjamin are there, as is Castiel inside a young white woman. Ishim tells them that one of their angel brothers is living in sin with a human wife, and that the two have a daughter, a naphil (the show uses the plural term “nephilim” because hey, why do research?). Ishim says the girl has “a human soul mixed with angelic grace,” which is very dangerous. Is this more dangerous than Dean having hundreds of thousands of souls inside him last season? Who knows?

Despite the fact that the angels can actually track Lucifer’s unborn naphil child because they can sense nephilim (mentioned early in the episode), the angels in this scene just take Ishim at his word that the girl inside the house is a naphil. Um … show? Wouldn’t they be able to sense if the girl’s a naphil or not for themselves?

As they stride up to the house, the two other angels who later die offscreen (a man and a woman) join them. Not sure why these two weren’t in on the conversation that required a round robin of infodump, but I guess roles with lines are too expensive.

A man and a woman come out. The woman is the redhead. She calls the man “Achamel.” He tells her to go back inside and whispers in her ear. Looking frightened, she obeys. Achamel, who looks like Jesus, comes down the steps to have it out with Ishim, who goes off on his patented “filthy animals” rant about humans. Achamel hints that Ishim is the one who has something to hide with a retort about “shame.” Meanwhile, Castiel and the others look on coldly.

Achamel further hints that Ishim is being dishonest, then attacks him. The others grab him and Castiel pronounces judgment on him. When Achamel hears the charge of fathering a naphil, he looks shocked, but Ishim grabs him by the throat so he can’t speak. The other angels, being dumb as a box of hair, don’t notice any of this unsettling subtext. Mirabel stabs Achamel, killing him.

Ishim then tells the others to get rid of the vessel’s body, while he goes into the house to deal with the wife and the naphil alone. You know – the superpowerful, potentially world-killing naphil. Inside, out of sight, the woman shouts to Ishim to stay away from her daughter and then the child screams.

As I said, angels are dumb as a box of hair.

Case in point: In the present, Castiel insists it was a just mission, even though there are red flags all over the story and the Brothers are thoroughly disgusted with him and Ishim. Ishim identifies the redhead as Lily Sunder (of the episode’s title) and says he spared her. Dean guesses the obvious, that she now seeks vengeance. Hmm.

Ishim says she was a professor in apocalyptic literature (in the grand scheme of things, this is probably the least-idiotic dumb thing in this episode, but that’s still pretty anachronistic, especially for a woman) and that she is fluent in Enochian. He says she must have made a pact with a demon to remain young and gain powers. Except, you know, the part where she has angelic not demonic powers.

Dean says he and Sam will go talk to her, since she allegedly has no wish to hurt humans. Castiel begs to differ, saying it will take all of them to defeat her (well, I don’t see why, but Castiel can get off on these ridiculous tangents). He also says he still has to heal Ishim’s wound.

Castiel also gets pissy when Sam suggests that Lily’s got some justification for being angry, what with having her entire family murdered in front of her. Castiel swings it way the other way and asks if Sam thinks he and all the other angels deserved to die for that. Sam hedges because, well, yeah, that’s how blood vengeance is supposed to go. Castiel puts Sam on the spot by asking him if he’d let it go were he in Lily Sunder’s place. The answer to that, of course, is “no.”

Dean cuts off the rest of the conversation by saying that he and Sam are going alone to talk to her and that’s that. Meanwhile, Lily Sunder, in her motel room, is healing her own wound with white light and looking stern. Or something.

While he waits for the Brothers to come back, Castiel talks to Ishim and then heals him. Ishim is still on his anti-human rant, saying that angels are supposed to stay away from humans because humans are far more of a threat to them than the other way round (think Lily and the Brothers might feel differently). Ishim also doesn’t much like the way he perceives Sam and Dean “bossing” Castiel around. Castiel insists that his friendship with “Sam and Dean” (we know he mostly means Dean) has made him “stronger” not weaker. He discovers that Ishim’s wound is more serious than he’d thought, so it really drains him when he heals Ishim.

At the motel, the Brothers arrive at Lily Sunder’s room. Sam says Lily’s car was a rental. They find her in the hallway (right after Dean admits they may have to kill her if she won’t stop going after angels). She has two angel swords now (even though she left one behind at the scene of Benjamin’s murder) and seems to think the Brothers couldn’t stop her from killing Castiel. Stop laughing in the back, there.

Sam tries to talk her down with the reasonable approach while Dean looks skeptical. She is also skeptical, since (shocker) it seems Ishim fibbed a little. And left some things out. Well, that is why they decided to go get her side of the story. Once she realizes they’ve been lied to and don’t want to hurt her unless they have to, she unbends and tells them more of the flashback story.

A brief conversation over a doll between Lily and Achamel (shortly before the angel posse shows up) confirms that he is not the father. So … who is? Is it, say, Ishim, maybe? The daughter’s name was May and we find out that what Achamel whispered was for Lily to take her and run.

Does Lily do this? Well, not right away. Inside the house, she starts dithering over which papers to take while reassuring her daughter everything is okay. This, of course, gives Ishim time to blast the door open and come inside.

It also makes Lily look very stupid. This makes me not very sympathetic to her bitterness in the present when she admits she summoned him in the first place as soon as she found the spell to do so. She says she was always fascinated with angels and thought Ishim was “perfect” when she first met him. She also says that her daughter “was human,” that she had her before she ever did the summoning, or met an angel. But in doing so, she admits that she intentionally endangered her daughter by summoning a supernatural being with a child in the house.

In the flashback, Ishim bitterly calls her out on using him to get his secrets “for your precious studies.” When he tells her that he had confided in her because he loved her, she claims he never did and was just obsessed with her. Because yelling at your creepy ex when he has all the cards and you need to get out of the house with your daughter always works well in Lifetime movies – oh, wait.

Anyhoo, he gets angry about Lily having summoned Achamel to protect her from him (Ishim sees it as throwing him over for Achamel, which is … kinda true, actually). He pins Lily to a column and kills her daughter right in front of her, calling her “powerless” to stop him.

So, huge plothole here. If Lily is an expert in Enochian and knows more about angels than angels know about angels, why couldn’t she just make an angel-banishing sigil and blast everyone away as Ishim was coming in the door? Hell, as soon as she saw the angels coming? Then take her daughter and run like hell? Achabel wouldn’t have died. Neither would May. At least not then. And we know the episode writer knows this is an out because it’s a major plot point in the climax of the story.

I hate these sorts of plotholes because they’re so hand-wavy and lazy. Kind of like the ongoing thing since season five (thanks to Kripke) that Lucifer can’t be killed. Even though we’ve seen two archangels bite the dust, and even God and his sister nearly flatlined last season. But nooooo, we’re stuck with Lucifer until the end of time.

Back in the present, the Brothers are freaked out by Lily’s story and Dean tries to get hold of Castiel. Who doesn’t answer because a rejuvenated Ishim has stolen his phone. It seems Ishim hasn’t felt this good in a long time and Castiel is temporarily drained. Uh-oh.

So, Sam stays to watch Lily while Dean goes to warn Castiel. I’m sure this will end well.

In her motel room, Sam asks Lily the obvious question of why she waited so long to go on her roaring rampage of revenge. She says she couldn’t find the angels while they still had wings (which seems iffy when she could hear them talk, but okay). But she doesn’t explain why it’s taken her over two years to find all of them since they fell. I had a bit of trouble with that.

Sam asks her about Ishim’s claim that she made a pact. She says that no, she uses Enochian magic, fueled by her soul. But it’s not finite. She will eventually end up with no soul. Sam says that yeah, he gets that. She admits that she used to dream about her daughter, but now she doesn’t dream at all, because losing her soul makes her more and more emotionally detached. Sam gets that, too.

She warns Sam that Ishim will kill Dean. She claims that Ishim is “a big man in Heaven” and can’t afford to see his sins brought to light. This makes no sense. If Ishim really is that important in Heaven, 1. why have we never heard of him during all the many plots involving that place and 2. why didn’t he and his brethren just go hide back there? After all, the angels were forcibly called back to Heaven not long after they were thrown down. Some went willingly, of course, but some were killed because they refused. So, why are Ishim and his lieutenants out wandering around on earth now? They’re not Grigori.

Anyhoo, she loses a bit more of my sympathy when she says she’s fine with the current situation. Once Ishim kills Dean, Sam will be fine with killing Ishim, so she gets what she wants, eventually, anyway.

Cut to Dean entering the church and finding a weakened Castiel. Castiel explains that he healed Ishim. Dean tells him (without looking around for Ishim first) that Lily’s daughter was human and that he thinks Ishim “is playing you.”

Up pops Ishim behind Dean. Nope. Sure wasn’t expecting that. [/sarcasm]

So, Castiel belatedly compares notes with Ishim, who lies like a rug. Dean snarks that Ishim lies a lot worse than Lily. Mutual manly bitchiness ensues. Ishim tries to separate Castiel from Dean by insulting Dean and asking Castiel why he lets Dean boss him around. Castiel’s finally not buying it, though, and bears down on the question – was May human or a naphil? Ishim admits the truth by refusing to answer the question straight. In other words, May was human.

The fight breaks out when Dean pulls out his angel blade and gets slammed into a wall. Castiel tries to attack Ishim, but gets his ass handed to him. As Ishim beats him up, he pours out his anger and jealousy and envy. Castiel was the one who got to go to Hell and raise the Righteous Man. Now Ishim is going to cut out Castiel’s “human weakness” with his angel sword, just as he cut out his own. And he goes straight for Dean. Ohhh, dear.

Fortunately, while Castiel is getting beaten to a pulp (albeit getting in a punch or headbutt or two), Dean is thinking quickly. He cuts his hand and makes a banishing sigil. When Ishim approaches, Dean warns him to stay back. But Ishim has Dean’s number. As a helpless, beaten Castiel watches, Ishim points out to Dean that he would survive being blasted away, but Castiel might not. Unwilling to put Castiel in mortal harm’s way, Dean very reluctantly drops his hand. Then, with a grim and fatalistic look, he grasps his angel sword as Ishim smirks and comes after him.

But Sam and Lily arrive with good timing. Lily calls Ishim off by shouting his name. He turns to confront her, sarcastically calling her “my love.” As Sam rushes to Dean, apologizing for bring Lily along (Dean quickly forgives him), Ishim and Lily fight. It’s a pretty good fight, but he’s much stronger than before and soon bests her.

The Brothers come in and distract him by slicing him on the limbs. Enraged, he tosses them into a corner, but this gives Lily time to pull off her eyepatch and do a white-light jazz hand. Her blind eye glows as she declares she will “never be powerless again.” She Tks him into a wall. He’s not impressed, pushing away from it and approaching her the way Dean did Abaddon when he killed her. Before he can strike, though, Castiel stabs him from behind. Afterward, Castiel sinks to his knees, telling her “You held him for long enough.”

We get an overhead shot of Lily staring down at dead Ishim and his broken wings. Sam wonders if that’s it and Dean asks Lily, far more pointedly, “Are you done?” When Lily hedges that she’s been seeking revenge for over a century, Dean, even more pointedly, tells her it’s over (i.e., that he won’t let her kill Castiel, too.).

At that point, Castiel intervenes. He apologizes to Lily and tells her that if she can’t let it go, he will wait for her to come and finish him down the road. She thanks him and then just leaves. Oookay.

Back at the Bunker, Dean gives Castiel a beer, telling him “You earned it.”

The Brothers go into a stereo, extremely cleaned-up paean to how nice Castiel has been to them over the years, leaving out all the times he’s turned on them, betrayed them, run off with the butterflies, or just plain made dumb decisions. And Dean admits he’s not angry so much as “worried” that Castiel’s killing of Billie will turn ugly, what with all the “cosmic consequences” deal.

Then we get a boring retread of the whole nephilim plotline, how Lucifer’s child is dangerous and scary beyond measure, and they may have to kill a kid (assuming they can kill the kid). Which is just eye-rolling post-Amara. A group drinking session ensues.


Review: I mostly enjoyed this one, but my goodness, were there enough plotholes to drive that truck through, or what? Also, Castiel acted childish for most of the episode. I wanted to slap him half the time. And Ishim was remarkably transparent in his motivations. Not that Lily Sunder was any great shakes as an anti-heroine.

Still, Ishim was a great villain and foil to Dean, specifically, in the sense of Ian Tracey and Jensen Ackles having a crackling good time playing off each other as brittle antagonists. There was never going to be any peace between those two. Their instant and mutual hatred had too much destructive resonance. Lily’s revenge story was bland in comparison.

It’s no secret that I’m as big a fan of Ian Tracey as of Jensen Ackles, so imagine my delight in seeing him return to the show and get some meaty conflict and fight scenes with Ackles this time round. Tracey is A-list in Canada (and, to my mind, Canadian A-list, consisting mostly of seasoned character actors rather than “stars,” is generally much stronger than Hollywood A-list), so it’s a rare treat to see him, Ackles, and Misha Collins get face time. Padalecki got that chance last time (season seven’s “Adventures in Babysitting”), but Ackles didn’t and Tracey’s character had a much smaller role in that one. However much I liked Lee Chambers, they killed him off between episodes and brought back Lee’s annoying daughter Krissy. That gives you an idea how disposable a redshirt he was.

I was rather put out that they killed Tracey’s character off again this time and made him a one-shot, though at least he had a lot of fun and scenery to chew in this one. I was further put out because Ishim was actually a much more interesting character than the title character.

Lily Sunder is a blah Vengeful Sue character and I have no desire to see her again. She’s got about three settings – frightened and helpless, angry, and smug – with little connection between them and equally little emotional connection to the audience.

Also, she’s far too overpowered in her initial scenes versus the two angels we see her kill, making her subtext too much of a predator and not enough of an avenger, even once we find out the truth (all Tell, no Show). This put the sympathy on the angels (especially Benjamin) and it never really came back to Lily. I felt sorry for Achamel and certainly for May, but I never felt very sorry for Lily.

After all, this is a woman who intentionally summoned an extremely powerful and deadly being, which resulted in the death of her daughter. Even if she had done it before her daughter was ever born, it was a dumb thing to do. If Lily had summoned a demon or used the Necronomicon to call up Cthulhu, the audience would hardly be sympathetic to her. The show indicates that humans in the SPNverse are really dumb about the true nature of angels and think they are good (which is the intended way of making her sympathetic, despite her reckless stupidity), but the audience knows better at this point.

Plus, any professor of apocalyptic lit would know that it is incredibly dangerous to summon angels. In traditional Christian lore, demons are just fallen angels. Even they serve God. Christ allowed some control over demons by humans in order to exorcize them. But unfallen angels still serve God directly and represent manifestations of His power and glory. Not only are they much more powerful than demons, but their position in Creation compared to humans is very different. Summoning them can be perceived as directly interfering with God’s will, so while angel grimoires may be considered white magic, they are still very iffy in moral terms.

This leads directly into Ishim’s bigoted rants about humans and angels remaining separate, and his resentment of Dean and Sam giving Castiel orders. This makes perfect sense if you consider that for an angel, like a demon, summoning is a compulsion. It’s unclear how compelled angels feel to answer (it probably depends on the power of the summoner versus the power of the summoned), but Castiel and other angels have made it clear they find a direct summons by a human to be a peremptory and insolent command, and they don’t like it.

Episode writer Steve Yockey makes Ishim look like a jealous, bitter, racist ex, but in the rules of the show itself, Ishim’s will may have been abrogated by Lily in the initial summoning. It appears she may have compelled him to love her and serve her, which makes her all kinds of unsympathetic, dead daughter or no. Regardless of how much Ishim was (or felt) compelled to do her bidding early on, she is the one who created the instrument that murdered her daughter by twisting an angel in the first place.

While Yockey probably didn’t intend any of that subtext, it therefore makes some sense that Castiel has no sympathy for Lily until Ishim threatens to murder Dean right in front of him. Castiel isn’t just being dumb about the daughter not being a naphil or inhuman in his indifference to the child’s death. Lily’s daughter is innocent, but her loss is just punishment for Lily’s defiance of the Natural Order and implied abrogation of Ishim’s free will.

But Ishim misreads what’s going on between Castiel and Dean. Dean did not initiate the relationship with Castiel and Dean. Yes, Dean commands Castiel loyalty and obedience, but both he and Castiel perceive this as just, both because of their friendship and because Castiel participated in the destruction of Dean’s family. Castiel serves Dean entirely of his own free will and Dean respects those terms.

Dean is not a parallel for Lily (as the dialogue states); he’s a parallel for her daughter. Therefore, he is an innocent. When Castiel kills Ishim to save Dean, he is belatedly making up for failing to save May. And the audience is all for this, not just because of the emotional investment in the “profound bond” between Castiel and Dean, and not just because, as the Firewall, Dean may not only have the ability to exercise true free will and even change Natural Order, but may even embody the Natural Order. It’s because Dean in this story is truly innocent.

Ishim drastically misinterprets the relationship between Castiel and Dean, perceiving it in the same toxic way as his own relationship with Lily. Lily does, too, at first, but changes enough to end her vendetta with the death of Ishim (the angel who actually murdered her daughter) at Castiel’s hands. However dimly, Lily senses that if she went after Castiel, Dean (and Sam) would end her. She may not want to hurt humans and they may be willing to let bygones be bygones if she stops there, but they’ve killed humans who practice black magic before. And they are very good at it.

I will give Alicia Witt credit for not making her as irritating as I expected Lily to be, and her fight scenes looked pretty good. I’m not a fan of Witt’s sarcastic delivery, and the character itself had some issues, but Witt did okay with the role, aside from the above problems of lack of range.

I suppose, if the writers do insist on bringing Lily back, she could mellow into a sort of Rowena-like frenemy, but I’m not nearly as into watching Witt as I am Ruth Connell. Also, I don’t like how Lily cold-bloodedly killed the vessels of the angels she also slaughtered (who were misled, not evil) and shrugged off all the collateral damage as an okay consequence of becoming sociopathic through using her soul to fuel her angel-like powers (something I have suggested was possible since season six).

Yes, Ishim murdered her daughter, but she’s the one who chose revenge. And being fine with standing by while Ishim murders Dean, or murdering innocent angel vessels while insisting she doesn’t want to harm any humans, doesn’t jibe with her claim that she’s a vengeful heroine in her story. I also wasn’t impressed by her never once showing an ounce of guilt over her inadvertent role in her daughter’s death in, y’know, summoning her daughter’s eventual murderer in the first place out of little more than religious fanaticism and academic curiosity. And there’s no sense she ever had any feelings for Ishim aside from accomplishment at having summoned an angel, so one can kind of see why he felt rejected.

It doesn’t help that she comes off as a bit of a user, summoning another angel to help her with her first angel when he becomes a problem and getting that angel killed without much remorse on her part. Or that the show has her kill off the other two angels in female vessels so that we’re left with fewer female characters at the end (really, show, it’s not necessary to have only one significant female character at a time in an episode. We’re 51% of the population, not something exotic like dancing bears).

Plus, there’s the plothole that she apparently knows Enochian and all this stuff about angels that Ishim taught her but not the banishing spell that Dean tried to use and she could have used to save her daughter. Not the sharpest tool in the shed is Lily Sunder. Then again, the characters in general have been written all season unnecessarily as thick as posts, similarly to how characters are written on other CW shows. It seems the new writers think this is the way to do things now.

Castiel rhapsodizing about Benjamin and his loving relationship with his vessel (and our seeing yet another PoC angelic character bite the dust in as many weeks) doesn’t make Lily look very sympathetic, either. I wish TV writers could figure out how to write female guest characters more sympathetically, or at least not so much like bitches all the time, because ugh. And no, the “surprise twist” didn’t improve things on that front. In fact, it made things much more confusing. In the Devil’s Baby Mama storyline, it’s clearly stated that angels can sense the conception of a naphil. Yet, the twist is that Lily’s little girl is just an ordinary human. How could the angels outside the house not sense that? It’s a big old plothole that’s never explained.

I still think that Ishim with his dark, angelic obsession was far more intriguing than Lily (hell, Benjamin was far more intriguing than Lily and I was sorry to see him/her go). He would have made a fabulous recurring antagonist for Castiel over the course of a season or so. He was so obsessed and they had so much history, and the hate chemistry with Dean was fantastic. Maybe we could get a flashback or two in a future episode (no-no, don’t burst my bubble of denial).

Part of the intrigue was the way the writers straight-up gave us a parallel to Castiel’s relationship with Dean in Ishim with Lily, one that went horribly wrong. As I’ve said in the past, I think Destiel (in the sense of a relationship that uses romance tropes) is canon on the show, just as Dowley is canon. In addition, these relationships aren’t just one-shots and don’t just exist to add tension. They actually change the plot and characters over time.

Crowley’s jealousy of Dean’s relationships with other men (including not only Castiel, but brother Sam) is the core of his personal conflict with Team Free Will, just as his loneliness stems from the persistent emotional rejection by his mother Rowena (hmm, something Crowley kinda has in common with Dean this season). Meanwhile, in Castiel’s obsession lies the core of his faith in God and the reason why Chuck keeps favoring him and resurrecting him. Castiel is the Firewall’s literal wingman and bodyguard.

Are we going to see teenage kissing and holding hands? Hell, no. These characters are a grown human man with emotional walls like Ancient Troy and a half-billion-year-old seraph. Note that the relationship between Ishim and Lily didn’t involve any cute teen romance tropes, either (unless we’re talking about this commercial and campaign about the difference between Young Love and abuse, which gets quoted in the episode). In fact, the idea that Lily’s daughter was a naphil turned out to be a red herring deliberately engineered by Ishim so that he could take revenge on Lily by killing the girl, and use his angel comrades to help him do it.

The story of Ishim and Lily (and even Benjamin and his ancient unnamed vessel) once again raised the specter I have talked about in the past that angels are designed to be obsessive. It’s in their DNA, as it were. They were created (possibly by the archangels rather than Chuck directly, as hinted late last season) to worship their father in every way possible and to obey their angelic superiors without question (as I said, dumb as a box of hair). When an angel transfers this obsessive love to a human, it can be overwhelming, even terrifying, for the human. With the power balance between them so far out of whack, it can become abusive in a human heartbeat.

Up to this point, we hadn’t known of any other such relationships between a human and an angel (unless you count Dean and Anna, which ended very badly), so we had nothing to compare. Anna seemed relatively fine, albeit suspicious of Castiel, until she was captured and reprogrammed. So, we had no way of knowing if the circular pattern of Castiel obsessing over Dean, becoming enraged with Dean over the least disagreement or mistake, possibly harming or betraying Dean, and then feeling remorseful, was how things went with angels and humans. Well … apparently, that’s about as good as it gets.

Naturally, the slashiest and most parallel it gets is when Ishim cannily calls Dean’s bluff about the angel-banishing sigil and Dean chooses not to use it, knowing full well that doing so will probably get him killed. This is right after Ishim tells Castiel he’s going to murder Dean right in front of him to get rid of Castiel’s “human” taint the way he did his own (by murdering Lily’s daughter and incurring her hatred). It’s also right before he sarcastically calls Lily, upon her arrival with Sam as part of the cavalry, “my love.” The subtext of curdled romantic obsession isn’t exactly subtle.

Castiel returns the favor by stabbing Ishim from behind to save Dean the way he did Billie the Reaper last week to save Mary (which was also, in a weird way, to “save” Dean – from watching his mother get killed again). Castiel’s reaction is the opposite to Ishim’s in that Ishim murders Lily’s family, whereas Castiel kills other angels in his own family (literally backstabs them) to save Dean’s family. And Dean chooses to give up a spell that could save his own life, even though he’s quite angry with Castiel, because it could kill Castiel. If that’s not true love on this show, I don’t know what is.

An historical aside: There was unlikely to be such a thing as a professorship in Apocalyptic Literature in the late 19th century. It would be a professorship in Divinity or in History of Religions, and women were not getting those back then. No American woman even got a Bachelor’s degree in Divinity until 1878 and it seems pretty unlikely such a woman would be residing in Maine in 1901. In addition, no respectable Victorian Era woman, widowed or single, would be living alone with her daughter in a swanky mansion without any servants or companions, angel guardian dude or no.


Fun lines:

Sam: So, what’s the plan?
Dean: Well, we knock on [Lily’s] door, ask her nicely not to kill any more angels.
Sam: And if she says no?
Dean: Well, we’ll burn that bridge when we come to it.

Ishim: I loved you.
Lily: You didn’t love me. You were obsessed with me. That isn’t love.

Ishim: [Lily]’s a liar.
Dean: Well, if she’s a liar, she’s pretty good at it. You, on the other hand, kinda suck.

Ishim: I used to envy you, Castiel. Can you believe that? You survived Hell. You were chosen by God. But now, look at you. You’re just sad and pathetically weak. So, now, I’m gonna help you. I’m gonna cure you of your human weakness, same way I cured my own. [pulls out his sword and goes after Dean]

Dean: [Ishim]’s dead. Are you done?
Lily: Revenge is all I’ve had for over a hundred years. It’s what I am.
Dean: Wrong answer. You’re done.

Next: Who We Are/All Along the Watchtower (season finale): British Men of Letters and Lucifer clash with Sam and Dean and Mary and Castiel. Hopefully, we end the season with a few less annoying antagonists.

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Whispers, Spoilers & Speculation Corner: 05/15/17: The Mother’s Day Edition

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Sci-fi Spoilerpalooza
By Heather S. Vina

Bad news – though not surprising- for fans of the CW’s Frequency and No Tomorrow: The shows have officially been cancelled. The CW has put up some epilogues for the two shows on its video player. You can see the Frequency one here and the No Tomorrow one here.

Also on the “bad news” front, NBC has canceled Powerless.

On the good news front, Once Upon A Time has been renewed, but a large portion of the cast will not be returning. See their section below for details.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has been renewed, as well as Gotham. The CW has renewed The Originals and iZombie. AMC has renewed American Gods for a second season. And Fox has renewed The Exorcist.

In a roller coaster ride for its fans, NBC’s Timeless was canceled one day and renewed three days later. Sounds like the production company saved it with some last-minute deals. No exact word on when the show will be returning, but it will return for another ten episodes.

The 100: The show is returning for another season, but it was announced that Isaiah Washington would be leaving the show as a series regular.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: EW has up an interview with Iain de Caestecker and Elizabeth Henstridge on the fallout of Framework for the couple. Spoiler TV has up the promotional photos for the season finale, which sees the return of the Ghost Rider (Gabriel Luna).

Arrow: John Barrowman stated at the Planet Comic Con that he will not be a part of the show next season.

The Gifted: Fox has officially picked up the new Marvel show about a family who goes on the run after discovering their children have the mutant gene. They’ve also released a teaser trailer. A larger trailer is due to come out Monday, May 15.

iZombie: Showrunner Rob Thomas spoke with EW about the show’s future and the season three finale. He also spoke with TV Line about the latest reveals and events in last week’s episode.

Killjoys: According to Aaron Ashmore’s Twitter account, the show’s third season has officially finished filming. Space TV has up some details on the new cast members joining the show, as well as some promotional photos.

The Librarians: The show has cast John Noble as Monsignor Vega, a Vatican bishop who is the secret leader of the Heretical Order of the Shadows, and Rachel Nichols, as Flynn’s former Guardian, whom he thought was killed.

Once Upon A Time: In big news for the show, one of the four actors reportedly approached for a full-time deal, should the show be renewed, has turned it down. Jennifer Morrison will not be returning as Emma Swan next season, though she did say she would be willing to return for a single episode. EW also has up an interview with the actress on her departure. Also departing are actors Josh Dallas, Ginnifer Goodwin, Emilie de Ravin, Jared S. Gilmore, and Rebecca Mader. You can read Emilie de Ravin’s goodbye message to her fans, on her Instagram.

The Originals: TV Line has up the promotional photos for an episode that sees the return of Davina.

Sense 8: Season two is officially out on Netflix and the Hollywood Reporter spoke to several of the actors about the direction of season two.

The Shannara Chronicles: Season two will be airing in the States on Spike TV.

Supergirl: TV Line has up a sneak peek of Cat Grant’s return, as well as some details on her and Clark Kent’s returns. EW has up some details on the two-part finale.

The Strain: The fourth and final season of the series will premiere on Sunday, July 16.

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

At TV Line, the latest Ask Ausiello has spoilers on shows Arrow, The Flash, Once Upon a Time, and Supergirl.

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.

It’s official! The show has been renewed for a 13th season. This may well be (by a couple of weeks) the earliest renewal Supernatural has ever received.

The show has moved to 8pm. Still on Thursdays.

The season finale is this week. There will be a double-feature of 12.22 and 12.23 this Thursday, 8-10pm.

Next week restarts the season with a double feature repeat of 12.01 and 12.02.

The Season 12 line-up (23 episodes) so far: “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).

Photos and the promo for “Who We Are” (12.22) and “All Along the Watchtower” (12.23) are out. Warning: The photos are massively spoilery, especially paired with the promo, and pretty much give most of 12.22 away.

There’s a brief interview with Andrew Dabb in print that’s now up online.

I’ve moved my Official live recaps to this site and simul-recapping at Wayward Friends, with reviews to follow.

Ratings for “There’s Something About Mary” (12.21) dropped again in audience to 0.5/2 and 1.42 million respectively. Programming Insider reported that the show got a 0.4/2 in A18-34, 0.5.2 in A18-49, and 0.6/2 in A18-54, and 1.420 million viewers.

There was also a lot of negative reaction on social media, especially Twitter. A hashtag calling on the show to fire the episode’s writers (who are also currently executive producers) trended for a while the same night the episode aired.

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Supernatural: Why the British Men of Letters Just Don’t Work

By Paula R. Stiles

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This season of Supernatural has been like a slow trainwreck, with the tired old retread of Lucifer and his “baby mama drama” plot that both repeats last season’s much-better Amara storyline and retcons Lucifer’s redemption in it (plus, we’re now supposed to believe he’s the eldest because that’s not a total retcon of season five, or anything).

But we’ve also been subjected to one of the worst storylines of the entire show, a storyline that didn’t have to be bad, could even have been good, but was just plain awful. This storyline has done more to bring up old fault lines and prejudices that the current showrunners and head writers have previously demonstrated than anything since Sam had no soul.

In theory, the British Men of Letters (I call them the “LoL”) are a great idea. They’re a human group that could be either an ally or an enemy. They are affiliated with the Brothers by blood (according to Grandpa Winchester) and they are related to the Brothers’ current home, which Sam and Dean inherited through their heritage as Legacies. And they could have connections (as we have found) to preexisting recurring characters, King of Hell Crowley and his Scottish witch mother Rowena. Plus, they have sparkly toys.

Unfortunately, a good idea does not automatically equal great execution if the writing isn’t there – and this year, the writing just isn’t there. This storyline is a good example of flaws in the writing from all season long.

Supernatural --"First Blood"-- SN1209b_0077.jpg -- Pictured (L-R): Adam Fergus as Mick Davies and David Haydn-Jones as Mr. Ketch -- Photo: Dean Buscher/The CW -- © 2016 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved

Stereotypes Galore

So, how hideous are the jingoistic stereotypes in this storyline? Toni Bevell is a walking Posh Twat, an upperclass snob who looks down her nose at the Winchesters, criticizes their approach to hunting, and claims ownership over the entire United States (though, curiously, not Canada). Meanwhile, she engages in torture of people who haven’t done anything to her personally without an ounce of irony. Her (late) henchwoman, Ms Watt, is a butch stereotype straight out of the Amazon episode we all wish the show had never done. Mick Davies appears to have been inspired by the movie version of Oliver Twist (and, despite being identified as English, has an Irish nickname and is played by an Irish actor). Ketch seems to come from watching too much The Avengers. And Doctor Hess has already been compared to Dolores Umbridge from Harry Potter. Unfavorably.

In light of the fact that all of these characters are stereotypes completely divorced from the writers’ actually knowing anybody from the UK (or anything first-hand about the British Isles), and that none of the actors is actually English (all the principles are Canadian or Irish), it’s not really a surprise that the LOL characters all sport some of the fakiest Received Pronunciation accents outside of BBC Radio and that there is no visible understanding among the writers that “British” and “English” are not interchangeable terms. This, predictably, has led to much mockery from across the Pond from the very beginning of this season.

Supernatural --"There's Something About Mary" -- SN1221a_0378.jpg -- Pictured (L-R): Samantha Smith as Mary Winchester and David Haydn-Jones as Mr. Ketch -- Photo: Jack Rowand/The CW -- © 2017 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved

What’s my motivation?!

I haven’t seen this much chaos over character motivation since the botched job that was Soulless Sam in season six. At the end of last season, we were introduced briefly to Toni Bevell’s cute little moppet (about whom I did not care) before she showed up at the Bunker and shot Sam in a cliffhanger that made no fan anxious about Sam’s fate (we all knew he would live).

Jump to this season and you’d think Toni would be all about reclaiming the Bunker for the use of her people, but nope. She and Ms Watt relocated to some farmhouse with a spacious cellar to torture Sam, leaving the Bunker completely open and unprotected for Dean and Castiel to return and reoccupy. Never mind that we just found out last week that the LoL could have changed the locks at any time.

So, strike one on motivation making any sense.

Now, mind you, the world nearly ended last season and it was pretty obvious that was going on. In fact, it looked an awful lot as though Toni’s trip to the U.S. was motivated by this global calamity. But noooo. Toni is far more interested in asking Sam questions about how the “network” of American Hunters works, even as she claims to know everything about him.

Okay, so, if she already knows everything about him, why isn’t she asking pertinent questions about things she doesn’t know about, like why the sun almost went out? Why ask questions about stuff she should already know? Is this an epic botch of As You Know, Sam or a straight-up plothole?

So, strike two and boy, these LoL are starting to look dumb.

At some point, you would think the show might have addressed the elephant in the room: If the LoL are so knowledgeable and powerful, where the hell have they been through all the apocalypses of the past decade? Where do they get off judging the Brothers when they have apparently sat out the near-Heat Death of the entire universe? Guess what? The show doesn’t even take a swing at that ball. It just pretends the issue isn’t there.

Then we get to Mick Davies and his character arc about two-thirds of the way through. We find out that he was plucked off the streets (because apparently, the writers are under the impression that Victorian England is still a thing and street urchins still pick pockets) and sent to Kendricks Academy. There, he is subjected to a test where he is forced to kill his best friend. It is strongly implied that this is a rite of passage that every single one of the LoL goes through during school.

[screeeeeeeeeeeeech!] Say, what, now?!

Let’s parse this out. First, according to Toni Bevell, creepy Arthur Ketch is supposed to be the scariest of the LoL and uniquely psychopathic, which is why Mick called him in, in the first place. If all of the LoL are “blooded” by killing their best friends, how does that make Ketch unique in any way? I mean, think about that.

And if every LoL member goes through this rite of passage, why do the LoL staffers who are killed by the Alpha Vampire come across as so … soft? None of them acts like a person who has killed before. They’re just techie redshirts. In fact, Mick himself struggles with killing even a newly turned werewolf girl. Where is the inevitable moral hardening that would come from such a rite of passage? The only character who shows it is Ketch and maybe Ms Watt. Even Toni and Doctor Hess don’t come off as particularly good at killing.

Second, the one introductory scene we have of Toni indicates she is emotionally attached to her child, albeit via a nanny. Nary a hint that she may lose him someday. Hardly a set-up for this later “twist” that her child will eventually be forced to kill or be killed.

We also find out right away that she is upperclass nobility (by way of Downtown Abbey, no doubt). Mick and (it is strongly hinted) Ketch are orphans. It sorta, kinda makes sense that they could be subjected to tests where they have to kill each other as kids and not be missed by British child services (yes, Britain has them). Even if the idea of half of the recruits being forced to murder the other half makes no sense from a corporate investment point of view.

But what about Toni Bevell? She’s a titled lady. Her child is nobility. Are we honestly to believe that the English upper class would be okay with sending their children to a school where half of them will inevitably be murdered by the other half? I get that public schools in Britain are rough with the bullying, but come on. And how do they cover that up, exactly? These are not children no one will miss.

Also, it’s a tiny bit difficult to claim that your corporate mantra is protecting innocent humans from monsters when your organization kills more children than any monster in your territory and has a deal with the King of Hell not to interfere in demon deals. How, exactly, are you protecting humans, again?

Strike three.

Now that we’re back in the dugout, let’s address the LoL’s alleged motivation for coming to the U.S. Let’s point out very quickly that the idea that a small foreign group like the LoL, who have never been any kind of major players in previous apocalyptic events, could take over a huge territory like the United States with a population almost six times that of the UK, is ludicrous. So, the idea that this is even a realistic goal, let alone one they consider their right, is hilarious in all the wrong ways. Dabb, Singer, Buckner, and Ross-Leming, folks, please – the War of 1812 was a long time ago. Move on.

Anyhoo, the LoL blame the Winchesters for lots of crazy things having gone on the past few years, while they themselves have kept Britain locked down nice and tight. You know, aside from that Banshee in Ireland, Bela’s demon deal, the angels falling, and so on. A few of these things have been addressed (like Crowley having made a deal with Doctor Hess to stay out of Britain, which smelled a lot like a belated retcon to cover up a plothole pointed out by fans and roundly mocked). But for the most part, the LoL come off like unimpressive blowhards.

Even if that elephant about their absence at all the recent apocalypses didn’t keep coming back to haunt the writers, a few toys and riling up the Alpha Vampire haven’t exactly made the LoL look like the big threat the writers obviously wanted them to be. And that’s not even getting into the fact that there’s no reason for Hell to make a deal with the LoL in Britain because there’s no indication the LoL are any threat to Hell in the first place. I mean, what’s in it for Hell?

This also blows all of their precious pearl-clutching over all the black magic and shenanigans the Brothers have engaged in over the years right out of the water. If you’ve got a deal with the King of Hell himself, your entire organization is basically hellbound. One could argue that if it were just a case of Mick having second thoughts about bringing in Ketch and Doctor Hess pulling the strings, the hypocrisy might at least make a sort of cliched sense – the rank and file knoweth not what corruption the upper echelons are getting into (as hinted early on).

But bring in Toni and her snobbery about a moral high ground that doesn’t exist (the best part was her calling Ketch a “psychopath,” which was a classic case of Pot taking a meeting with Kettle) and it all falls apart. Toni and Ketch know perfectly well what’s going on and what’s their reaction? They’re competing over which one literally cuts the throat of the other to move up the ladder. There’s hypocrisy and then there’s “Why would you even believe that?” You end up with far too many mental and moral contortions.

Oh, but we’re not quite done with the tangled mess the show has made of the LoL’s motivations. On top of all that, Mary got brainwashed in the last episode. Now let me get this straight – the LoL have the capability of brainwashing even the most resistant subject, but we’re to believe they decided to go with the much more time-consuming and labor-intensive (and vulnerable to being exposed) method of raising kids in a negative kind of Hogwart’s and forcing them to kill each other, instead? And if they do have access to this brainwashing, why did Mick even have any doubts or second thoughts? Hell, why even bother to kill off the other Hunters when you can just capture them and do your own Telefon program on them?

It’s as if Dabb & Co. took every motivation for every major group antagonist on the show (i.e., brainwashing for angels, “blooding” for the Stynes), at least every recent group, and threw it at the wall to see what stuck for the LoL. And what we ended up with was a big, bloody, unsatisfying Rorschach inkblot.


Gender stuff

I’m not one of those fans who go to extremes on the show’s approach to gender issues. I think Supernatural actually has made a concerted effort for years to bring in more female and PoC, and especially GLBT, characters (with mixed success). Is it the best at this? No. Is it the worst? Not even close.

But it does have its ups and downs, and some writers are better than others (unfortunately, this season is being run by some of the worst). I didn’t think Charlie’s character was one of its finer moments. Though her Checklist Sue character was beloved in some quarters of fandom, her appearances really began to tank in the ratings after “PacMan Fever.” Whether or not that had to do with her being a lesbian character written by a straight male and played by a straight woman as a tonedeaf Manic Pixie Dream Girl who spent all her time hanging out with two guys, I don’t know, but the ratings alone were a good enough reason to write her out. It’s a little hard to take seriously the wailing and gnashing of teeth on Tumblr about how she was a fan favorite who got fridged by the mean old TPTB when a significant portion of the audience that happily watched the episodes before and after her last episode didn’t bother to show up for her swan song, resulting in the lowest audience for an episode up to that time.

This wasn’t the case with Eileen, who was summarily killed off in the teaser of last week’s episode (Rowena also looks not long for this world). And there’s something really unpleasant going on this season with the LoL female characters versus other female characters. The LoL women, per above, were/are hugely unpleasant stereotypes, yet we’re still stuck with the two worst of them.

At the same time, they are partly responsible for the woobie-death of at least one well-liked female character (Eileen). This was on top of an MOTW episode the week before in which two female characters (one of them recurring) were fridged so that their Anakin Skywalker-like “talented” male relative could be turned to the Dark Side. On top of all that crap, those three were a family of PoCs.

I’ve often referred to Toni as a “Twat” (a popular expletive in the UK) in the past and that has not been accidental. The writers have acted precious about any bad fan reaction to Toni and Doctor Hess (and the unfortunate yoking of Mary’s already-struggling storyline to the LoL), as though this is an indication of fan sexism against women. God forbid we call a character how she’s (intentionally) being written.

And then the show turned around and had Ketch refer to Toni last week as “a bitch.” In an episode co-written by a woman. Hypocrisy, much?

The show has done this emotional bait-and-switch before and it’s not the first show to do it, either. But it was especially egregious this season, likely because Eileen was popular along the lines of Ellen and Jo (yet didn’t get anything as good as their send-off). But Toni is no Meg. Or Abaddon. So, it’s not working. People don’t want to savor Toni’s villainy. They just want her gone.

It didn’t help that the show tried to do “meet cute” in the middle of Sam’s torture earlier this season, having a “sexy” scene of Toni effectively mind-raping Sam by having him hallucinate being in bed with her. Women using magic to mind-rape men has an ugly history in recent genre shows, such as when Adalind in the show Grimm mind-raped three different male characters three different times and had two babies out of it, but ended up with the third victim (whom she had spent the first four seasons tormenting) in a One True Ship the last season and a half because of Baby Brain. I’m not kidding.

See? This show could still be so much worse.

Grimm and Once Upon a Time have both promoted the idea that having a baby can turn an Evil female character Good for basically no reason save hormones and Motherly Love, while other evil or morally gray characters are “punished” by infertility. If members of the latter group do redeem themselves, they have to do it the slow way via actual redemptive acts and character development. Hence, Toni’s moppet takes on a sinister connotation (and notice how there’s nary a hint that nasty, shriveled up old maid Doctor Hess could be redeemed). Fortunately, the writers seem to have had just enough motherwit (so far) to realize that didn’t fly with the fans and have kept her from meeting cute anymore with Sam.

To make matters worse, the writers are being totally hypocritical about their sexism. They write the Brothers as weak rather than trying to make Toni strong. Otherwise, she’d be no threat whatsoever. Mick, Ketch, and Hess are no great shakes as antagonists, either (though I’ll give extra points to the actors playing Mick and Ketch, both for actively connecting with the fandom and enthusiastically selling what thin gruel they got onscreen). But at least they aren’t dressed up in tight clothes and kitten heels, let alone played by an actress who shows no appreciable stage-fighting talent.


I suppose we’ll never know if Elizabeth Blackmore could have been good in the role when the writing and costuming never gave her a chance. Toni Bevell is Bela Talbot all over again including every mistake made with the character (albeit Lauren Cohan had a lot of charisma in the role that justified her being poached by The Walking Dead later on). It’s as if they never learned a thing from either Bela or Ruby’s reception by the fandom.

I know a lot of people have had issues with Mary’s arc this season (some of them legit). But at least she dresses and acts like someone who can kill monsters and is good at it. And Samantha Smith brings a grim gravitas to the role. There’s none of that in Toni and she desperately needed that kind of legitimacy to make sense as a character.

We even got her kneeing Dean in the groin last week (signalling that she’s a badass dealing with his sexism). But 1. Dean is the one lead character who already has to field all the writers’ most sexist ideas about gender as if he were a female lead and 2. Dean wasn’t being sexist in that scene. So, that subtext wasn’t justified.

In fact, I can think of a lot of fans who would love to watch him beat Toni’s face to a bloody pulp (not just that one punch near the beginning of the season) and then shoot her. She has, after all, tortured his brother, brainwashed his mother, captured and tortured him, and aided in the murder of at least one good friend. And that’s all on top of her group’s ludicrous and arrogant attempted invasion of his native land, while bragging about how they’ll run things so much better in their fascist way. A male character like that would have been dead by the end of the second episode this season.

The only reason Dean hasn’t yet rearranged her face is that the writers won’t let him: “The male Hero musn’t hit a girl.” Which is ridiculous. Dean is a much darker character than that and his uncharacteristic reticence just makes her look weak (along with frustrating the fans who don’t like her).

It looks as though the show is going to pull a Stynes-style massacre on the LoL this week, probably courtesy of Lucifer. I sure hope so, though I’d prefer the Winchesters get the primary kills. On the one hand, I mourn the loss of what could have been a good storyline (especially Mick and Ketch). On the other hand, I am so sick of these losers that I just want them given their send-off to Hell, never to be mentioned again.

Maybe Lucifer, Kelly, and their hate child can join them in show obscurity.


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The Official “There’s Something About Mary” (12.21) Live Recap Thread

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Starting now with a recap of the LoL and Lucifer’s baby that makes me wish neither had ever happened.

Cut to Now and someone running through the woods. It’s Eileen. She’s being chased by a Hell Hound. It gets her. It’s being sicced on her by Retch, who uses a whistle to control it.

Yeah, I’m sure Crowley will be fine with that.

So, yup, we just lost a popular female character in the friggin’ teaser.

Dean and Sam and in Mary’s motel room, trying to find Mary. Dean calls Retch and Retch lies to him. The Brothers compare notes and figure that out.

Sam gets a call from Jody, saying Eileen’s been killed. In South Carolina. Sam infodumps that this is the second Hunter death they’ve heard about and now Mary is missing.

Cut to the Brothers in the morgue with Eileen’s body. Dean identifies the wounds as Hell Hound, and Eileen was supposed to be in Ireland. Dean says seven Hunters have been killed in almost as many weeks. What’s going on?

Cut to Crowley berating a demon minion about not finding Kelly. More infodumping. [sigh]

Cut to “Mary” surprising a Hunter. Of course she’s got to be a shapeshifter.

Or…it’s Mary. She wakes up and Toni the Twat enters. The Twat starts monologuing about how she’s brainwashing Mary and tells Mary some home truths about John.

More delusional stupidity from the Twat about the LoL’s foolish, utterly doomed attempt to control all of the United States. It’s not even possible.

Cut to Henchbithstress being visited by Crowley. He tells her he knows about her plan. He was the one who gave Retch his Hell Hound. Crowley warns her she needs to have the same deal with him that she does in the UK. She actually thinks she can lecture Crowley about how he should stand by while she goes after the Brothers.

So…she’s hellbound and is too stupid to know it.

Cut to some demon trying to help Lucifer, or something.

Crowley is trying to make a deal with Lucifer over the hellspawn to get Lucifer to kill Henchbitchstress for her.

Mary is dragged back from another session.

Twat comes in to report and is displeased when Retch disses her. Twat calls him a psychopath, which is hilarious, considering what she is.

Henchbitchstress does some more infodumping about knowing Retch’s sexual history and acting as though the Hunters in the U.S. are already dead. God, she’s a fool.

Dean gets a letter from Eileen. She says in it that she knew they were watching her and asked if she could come to the Bunker.

At the Bunker, the Brothers proceed to look everywhere but the obvious place under the main table for the Big Honking Bug. Eventually, Dean finds it and signals to Sam.

‘Scuse me, it’s raining cats here.

So, Dean quickly comes up with a plan to trap the LoL by having a conversation with Sam about meeting another Hunter in a lonely spot.

Cut to Retch and Twat having a conversation in which both are in denial about their psychopathy. Twat is convinced she can take down the American Hunters because she’s been studying them for years. Idiot. These people are such morons.

Retch gets a call about Mary asking for him. Twat gets the call about the “meeting.” Neither realizes it’s a trap.

Mary acts all confused. I am not fooled, but Retch is. Despite his denial, she’s doing a pretty good job of seducing him. She’s got his number and he doesn’t even know it. She gets his gun and tries to shoot herself. When he gets the gun from her, she asks him to shoot her.

Retch responds in a brainwashed sort of way and leaves.

Mary cries and we are seriously supposed to believe she’s broken. That right there says so much about this pair of writers’ misogyny.

Meanwhile, the stupid Twat goes to the meet. She has just enough motherwit to send in two goons, but of course she doesn’t keep an eye on them. The Brothers trap them easily. When Twat gets her gun out, she’s captured, though not without, first, yet another “Dean gets his ass kicked by a girl” moment (even though the actress can’t stagefight her way out of a wet paper bag). They don’t even punch her. She needs to be beaten severely.

So, Crowley comes in to do some more gloating and Lucifer turns the puppet tables on him.

In the car, the Twat proceeds to monologue smugly because of course, that’s what someone does when they have a gun pointed at them. THIS BITCH NEEDS TO DIE.

So, the Twat is completely dumb enough to admit that Mick is dead and her entire stupid plan. And I have no idea why Sam doesn’t let Dean beat her. Dean is a master torturer, after all.

So, Crowley is getting his ass kicked by Lucifer – again. Lucifer is showing his wings.

Meanwhile, if Toni doesn’t die tonight, I’m gonna blow up Twitter.

Would they really kill Crowley? That would actually be…different.

So, Lucifer stabs Crowley, but doesn’t notice there’s no dying demon glow. Did I mention how stupid everyone is?

The Brothers get back to the Bunker and are ambushed, but they get the drop on everyone, including Ketch. But Mary turns the tables because she’s brainwashed now. Or something. So much hate.

So, the Brother are being disarmed…and I just lost signal because of a thunderstorm. Not. Happy.

So, we’re back to Crowley’s host being dragged out, while a suspicious mouse follows it.

We have an end scene of Retch and Mary driving in the Impala, supposedly victorious. Oh, wait, the last scene is of Lucifer. And of course, that got cut off by the rain, too. Fuck you very much, Dish. Also, fuck you very much, show. This has got to be the most unnecessary cliffhanger you’ve ever done. Ran out of ideas, did you, Dabb?

So, on top of the shit sandwich that was this episode (who the hell hired the actress who plays Toni Bevell? She’s terrible!), I couldn’t even watch the end because of a thunderstorm. I’ll get it a few hours from now, but still.

Promo for next week.

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

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Whispers, Spoilers & Speculation Corner: 05/10/17

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

Sci-fi Spoilerpalooza
By Heather S. Vina

Sad news for fans of NBC’s Emerald City: The show has been officially cancelled.

Sleepy Hollow has also been cancelled after four seasons.

The 100: TV Line has up an interview with Lindsey Morgan who delves into Raven’s actions last week, and a recap of this week.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D: EW has up an interview with executive producers Jed Whedon, Maurissa Tancharoen, and Jeffrey Bell on what’s next for the team following their escape from Framework.

American Gods: TV Line has up an early preview of the season, with quotes from Bryan Fuller. EW has up an interview with Bryan Fuller, answering questions about the series premiere.

American Horror Story: Ryan Murphy released on his Instagram the first (weird) drawing for the show.

Arrow: TV Line previews the upcoming battle between teams. Producer Wendy Mericle previewed to CBR how Malcolm Merlyn will play into the finale. TV Line has up an interview with Juliana Harkavy about the season finale.

The Defenders: There’s a new official trailer out for the team-up show. Looks entertaining!

Doctor Who: The official ratings are in for the season premiere. The episode received 6.68 million viewers, and was the tenth-highest-rated program of the week.

Last week’s episode, “Smile,” had an Audience Appreciation figure of 83. It also had an overnight viewing audience of 4.25 million viewers. The episode’s final overnight ratings are also out. The show received of 5.98 million viewers, making it the 23rd-most-watched show for the week, and the 8th-most-watched show on BBC One.

The episode “Thin Ice’s” overnights and AI are in: The AI was an 84, with an overnight figure of 3.76 million viewers.

The Flash: TV Line has up an interview with Danielle Panabaker on Killer Frosts’ new look.

Game of Thrones: The show might actually be getting a spinoff. No word yet on which spinoff HBO will end up going with, as there are going to be four made.

Inhumans: EW has up the first promotional photo of the Inhuman family. And it’s not getting great reviews from the fans. They also have up an interview with the new showrunner, Scott Buck, on the same page. There’s also a teaser trailer out for the show.

iZombie: Actress Shenae Grimes (Beverly Hills 90210will guest-star in an upcoming episode.

Once Upon A Time: EW has up an interview with executive producer Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz on the season finale and the potential reboot season, if the show is renewed.

Outlander: The show has cast new family member Rollo!

The Runaways: They released the first promotional photo of the Hulu show’s cast. The show has been officially picked up by the online network.

Scream: TV Line has up some details on the rebooted season three for the MTV show. TV Line has up some details on the show’s new characters.

Shadowhunters: The Shadowhunters fansite Basicshadowhuntersstuff.com has up an interview with showrunners Todd Slavkin and Darren Swimmer about the second half of season two.

Star Trek Discovery: TV Line has up the latest casting moves for the (hopefully soon) new show.

Stranger Things: The show has cast Nashville actor Will Chase as Neil Mayfield, the father of a new family in town.

Supergirl: EW talks about the episode where Alex gets kidnapped. Executive producer Andrew Kreisberg gave some tidbits to TV Line about General Zod’s upcoming appearance on the show.

Van Helsing: The show has cast actress Caroline Cave (Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency) in a recurring role for season two.

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

At TV Line, the latest Ask Ausiello column has spoilers on shows The Walking Dead, Arrow, The Flash, The Leftovers, Once Upon a Time, and Supernatural.

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.

At the last minute, the WGA made a deal and averted a strike. The deal has been approved for ratification and, if ratified (very likely), will last for three years.

It’s official! The show has been renewed for a 13th season. This may well be (by a couple of weeks) the earliest renewal Supernatural has ever received.

The show has moved to 8pm. Still on Thursdays.

The season finale is May 18. There will be a double-feature of 12.22 and 12.23 that night, 8-10pm.

The Season 12 line-up (23 episodes) so far: “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, tech survey card, and directed by Robert Singer and written by Andrew Dabb (these last two episodes will air the same night).

Photos and the promo for “There’s Something About Mary” (12.21) are out (we should also get a sneak peek on the same link later today).

The synopsis for “Who We Are” (12.22) is up:

FAMILY – Caught in a dangerous situation, Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles) only have each other to rely on. Meanwhile, the fight between the American Hunters and the British Hunters comes to a head. John Showalter directed the episode written by Robert Berens (#1222). Original airdate 5/18/2017.

As is the one for “All Along the Watchtower” (12.23 – season finale):

EPIC SEASON FINALE – Lucifer (Mark Pellegrino) battles Sam (Jared Padalecki), Dean (Jensen Ackles) and Castiel (Misha Collins) for control of his unborn child. Robert Singer directed the episode written by Andrew Dabb (#1223). Original airdate 5/18/2017.

Gotta be honest – these don’t sound very good.

Andrew Dabb gave a brief interview to EW confirming that we’re stuck with the LoL and Lucifer until the season finale. He also talked to TV Line about Ketch in a not-especially-exciting way.

Jeremy Carver’s show Frequency has been cancelled, possibly opening the way for Carver to return to Supernatural. Note that I said “possibly.”

Overseas con season is now in full swing. AHBL8 in Australia was last weekend. Asylum in Britain is coming up.

I’ve moved my Official live recaps to this site and simul-recapping at Wayward Friends, with reviews to follow.

Ratings for “The Future” (12.19) sank to an audience low of 0.5/2 and 1.38 million respectively. Then they rose again with “Twigs and Twine and Tasha Banes” to a 0.5/2 and 1.51 million.

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The Official “Twigs and Twine and Tasha Banes” (12.20) Live Recap Thread

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Starting now with a recap of Recap of Dean talking about John being on a hunting trip in the Pilot, and some other older stuff, plus a recap of last week that makes it pretty clear nobody lately has bothered to watch any of the older episodes.

Cut to an African American woman named Tasha Banes who is at a B&B run by a racist old woman and her too-friendly son. In her room, Tasha makes a finding spell and goes down into a shed that’s very smelly. And full of witch fetishes. Then she gets stabbed and falls.

Cue title cards.

Cue sneak peek with Dean brooding over Castiel obviously having been brainwashed–again–and asking Sam if he can fix the Colt. Which is completely out of character for both of them. Dean is the guy who fixes things. Hell, he was the one who was cleaning the Colt before Sam went off and used it. This is NOT IN CHARACTER for Sam.

They hear a phone vibrate. It’s Mary’s. Sam answers (because apparently, all Dean can do now is brood over Castiel). It’s Alicia and her brother, asking for help find her mother in Wyoming.

Sam volunteers him and Dean to help, using Dean’s old “Dad’s on a hunting trip” line. I roll my eyes. Hard.

Dean calls Mary and leaves a message. Retch is torturing a shapeshifter that takes first Mary’s and then Retch’s form. Mary looks uneasy about it.

Oh, Alicia’s bro bonds with Dean over the car, while Alicia and Sam bond over not being part of their family. Ugh. Move on, show.

At the B&B, some creepy dude is hanging about. When they enter the B&B, their mother (Doomed Teaser Gal) greets them, looking fine and not at as if she got stabbed. More shapeshifters?

Tasha is all chirpy and dismissive of ignoring her calls. And as she has the Brothers pour some wine, while she turns her back and re-aligns a broken finger.

Sam goes to investigate…something, while urging Dean to get drunk. Dear Lord, show. Really?

Ah, but Dean gets to talking with “Tasha” and appears to sense something is off. Or not.

Meanwhile, Mary and Retch are having a spat over the morality of torture. Which makes me snicker. Remember when her eldest son was the best torturer ever?

Mary also eavesdrops on Retch. Poorly. And suspects Mitch is a goner. And Retch is…well, he’s quite dumb about being so smug.

Sam gets back with the food and says he found a Missing poster for the guy they saw when they first came in.

Upstairs, Racist Woman is making a wicker man.

Mary leaves a call for Dean apologizing for continuing to not be there. Dean (and Sam) is outside checking out the cellar, while the twins bond with Not-Mom. And the brother has a date with a cute (boy) bartender.

Sam uncovers Tasha. Dean notes her and the other bodies’ hearts have been ripped out. They wonder who is upstairs when everyone in the house is down dead in the basement. Alicia’s brother comes down and they don’t stop him from seeing his mom’s body in time. They let him grieve.

So, shapeshifters of some kind, but what are they up to?

Mary, meanwhile, is skulking around and finds Mick’s body. Then she tries to leave quietly. Which goes not so well because her access has been denied in everything, by Retch.

I sure hope we lose him this week.

Oh, and she gets locked into a room where she sees info on every Hunter she knows. And realizes the Bunker is being bugged. She tries to call Dean and opens a door to find Retch.

They have another spat. He lies about Mick’s death. She’s not fooled.

Mick brags incessantly about how efficient the LoL are. I roll my eyes.

Mary beats him up some and gets beaten a bit, too. He brags about all the people he’s killed the Brothers don’t know about, how he can keep Mary “safe” and that the American Hunters are going to all be killed. I roll my eyes some more because the logistics are just too stupid.

Mary beats Retch a lot then tries to leave and gets TASERed. Never mind. She’s not gonna die this week and Retch is monologuing too much to live.

Alicia’s brother confronts the Mother Thing in the house, but when he forces her to reveal where the center of the magic is, the Racist Woman activates her minions. Dean and the brother go to confront her while the Sam and Alicia get beaten up by her things.

Turns out RW is a powerful witch who is old and dying. She wanted to transfer her magic (and blood guilt) to Tasha and avoid going to Hell, but Tasha refused. So, she killed Tasha and created a twig doll that does what she wants.

So, the brother is confronting the old with while Dean is stuck in a chair. The witch says that if he kills her, the Mother Thing dies. She offers the same deal to him. Oh, and Dean is mostly playing the voice of reason. That gets choked off.

While Sam and Alicia get beaten a lot.

Oh, and Alicia gets stabbed.

Ugh, so over Dean being useless. We do see him straining toward his pistol, though. He finally reaches it and shoots the witch, while the brother is reaching for the ring.

The witch dies and all the dolls turn to dust. Max is upset, but Dean warns him that making the deal would have meant making a deal with a demon.

Oh, and Alicia dies. So, that sucks. Dean finally gets a kill and it’s a “bad” one.

The Brothers try to comfort Max, who is heartbroken and blames himself. He asks them to leave so he can burn the bodies himself. Yeah, he’s probably going to make a deal.

In the car, Sam tries to say that Dean did the right thing. Dean doesn’t believe it. As we see a montage of Max using the bad magic ring to save Alicia by making a wicker version of her and burning the body of his real sister, Dean makes it pretty clear he knows what Max did.

Dean finally sees Mary’s message–both messages. And he’s off to the rescue with Sam.

Cut to Mary being awakened in the torture chair by Retch. [sigh]

Oh, and Toni the Twat shows up. So, we’re gonna be stuck with these two until at least next week.

Promo for next week.

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

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.