The Official Supernatural: “Girls, Girls, Girls” (10.07) Retro Recap and Review


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Scroll down to find links to all of my recaps and reviews of all seasons up to this point.

Recap: Straight-forward and relatively quick recap of Cole’s roaring rampage of revenge against Dean storyline, Witches, and that Castiel and Hannah angel storyline that was so forgettable I had to rewatch this recap twice to remember to write it down.

Cut to Now and a young woman in stereotypical hooker garb (which includes the obligatory kitten heels that fail her in a dark alleyway and cause her to fall). She’s running from her pimp, Raoul, who chews all available scenery before revealing himself as a demon (after she stabs him in the eye with her heel) and snapping her neck. After telling her that hookers like her are a dime a dozen. Gotta say, the acting in this scene is not good. She doesn’t even look that scared and did I mention all the scenery he masticates? Yeah.

Cue title cards.

Cut to the Brothers eating steak at a diner. Sam is trying to figure out what kind of case they’re in town for and Dean admits they’re there because this place has “the best steak between Connecticut and the Bunker.” Sam notes that Dean is also getting a lot of messages on his phone, about which Dean acts very cagey. So, Sam grabs Dean’s phone (despite Dean’s legit protests of privacy and … stuff) and brings up that Dean has made a profile on a dating app. He’s going on a date with a cute girl named Shaylene Johnson.

Sam, having inserted himself into this situation, looks through her texts to Dean and opines that she seems “too good to be true.” On the one hand, okay, watching out for your brother is good. On the other, it’s funny how the brother who has massive issues with respecting other people’s boundaries is the one who is constantly whining about needing his own space and going off to find himself or hook up with a demon mistress or whatever. At this point, Sam has hit 30 and this kind of adolescent jealousy of his brother’s sex life (in which, by the way, Dean is far more experienced than Sam when it comes to these short-term hookups) is no longer cute.

Sam’s rather homophobic attempt to get a rise out of Dean (by saying Shaylene could be “a Canadian trucker named Bruce”) is cut off when Shaylene shows up in the flesh. It’s only at this point that Sam realizes Dean lied to him twice and they “detoured eight hours so you could get laid.” Dean openly admits to this, pays for Sam’s lunch, and tells him not to wait up. Yeah, Sam, don’t, ’cause you just got owned in the manipulation department.

Cut to Hannah crossing off photos of angels in their vessels on a poster board on the wall, while Castiel is doing research on a reverend who is engaging in faith healing. They are still tracking down rogue angels and the photos are of those they’ve returned to Heaven. Some of them have even been willing. As Castiel talks about the reverend, who is their latest target, Hannah embarrasses him by taking off her vessel’s clothes and standing naked in front of him, before going to take a shower. Hannah wonders why Castiel is “bothered,” as an angel wouldn’t usually care. But then, as Castiel points out, angels don’t need to take showers. I’d forgotten how dull this storyline was.

Cut to Dean getting slammed against a motel wall with awful wallpaper by Shaylene. It’s getting hot and heavy. Unfortunately, it soon turns out that Shaylene is a prostitute and she expects payment. Disappointed, but not angry, Dean admits that he has “a code – no cash for ass.” Then she sultrily tells him he doesn’t need to pay her money, that he can, instead, sign over his soul. As she is nattering on about how who knows if souls even exist, it’s obvious to us the audience that she has pinged the wrong john because Dean definitely knows otherwise. And he also quickly figures out that Shaylene does not, in fact, love her job, not one little bit.

Well, girl, you are in luck because if anybody can get you out of this situation, it’s Dean Winchester.

Cut back to Castiel and Hannah checking out of their motel. As Hannah goes to pay, a man grabs her hand, calling her “Caroline.” It turns out he’s her vessel’s husband and he’s been worried about her. So, he “put out an alert on your credit card.” Awkward.

Back to the other motel. Shaylene’s john strolls in, expecting to make a deal. Shaylene is sitting on the bed, looking nervous, while Dean sits on the bed with his back to her, behind her. As the guy pulls out a paper contract, Dean gets up and turns around. The pimp barely has time to register Dean’s presence before Sam walks out of a side room, but he quickly recognizes them (Dean swinging an angel blade helps, I’m sure) and he’s terrified. Oh, and they’ve drawn a devil’s trap on the ceiling because this guy, too, is possessed.

Dean tells the demon that Shaylene “told us everything.” Sam lists it out: “Abduction, forced prostitution – it’s pretty gnarly, even for a demon.”

The demon tries to claim that Shaylene is exaggerating the evil of the situation, which is kind of amusing because hello, he’s a demon. He makes the error of taunting her (We find out that she was carrying a heavy student loan debt after graduating from Harvard) and claiming she’d have been dead on the street on drugs without him. In the middle of the Brothers trying to interrogate him (and her calling him out for lying), Shaylene gets up in a blind rage, grabs the angel blade out of Dean’s hand, and stabs her demon pimp with it.

Dean grabs the sword away from her in exasperation, while Sam grumps that they just lost their best lead.

Dean: Okay, well, that happened.

Since Shaylene is their only lead, they ask her some more questions, which she eagerly answers to the best of her abilities. She really wants to help them out. She says the demon mentioned a brothel in a phone conversation with someone else. While she doesn’t know the location, she did see him handing out business cards. Going to the demon host’s body, she pulls one out. It’s bright-red and says, “Raul’s Girls.” And it has an address on it. Well, that works.

At said brothel, which is done up with a lot of glitter and bullfighting motifs that look like Ancient Minoan contests, one of the “girls,” a young brunette, is defiantly refusing to put on a skimpy costume another pimp wants her to wear as Raul (you know, the guy in the teaser and on the business card) walks in, sporting an eye patch. When the first guy, Gerald, asks Raul what he should do, Raul tells him he knows what to do, in a rather exasperated tone. Gerald gleefully turns back to the poor woman with the intent of doing some real ultra violence.

It’s at that moment that a red-haired woman in her thirties makes her entrance. She may look familiar to the observant. Remember that red-haired woman in the coda to “Soul Survivor” (10.03)? That’s her.

She asks if she’s in Raul’s Girls and Raul suggests she is in the wrong place, unless she’s a customer. He’s not hiring at the moment and she’s too old for his criteria.

With a sugary smile, she tells him that while she means no insult to his “girls,” she “would rather die than do business with filth like you.” She then tosses a hand-sized ball of what looks like solid black catnip at him. Confused, he catches it, then gets a horrified look.

“You!” he says, as he begins to vomit out black, congealed smoke and tar, and Gerald shouts, “Boss!” As another, blonde girl in leopard print runs in, Rowena suggests they step back, since things are getting “messy” for Raul. Gerald, not too surprisingly, smokes out and leaves his meat suit dead on the floor. Raul’s host, of course, doesn’t make it, either, since he got a stiletto heel to the eye in the teaser.

The woman says, “Hardly the most appetizing process in the world, but killing demons always makes me hungry.” She turns away, while the two girls stand there, stunned. Over her shoulder, she suggests they come with her and they hurry after her.

Meanwhile, Hannah is fielding an encounter with her vessel’s husband and it’s not going terribly well. It doesn’t help that the dialogue is super-clunky infodump, with her husband at one point talking about whatever “got into you.” We find out that her vessel has been missing for a year. Hubby is determined to get an explanation out of her, but Hannah’s pretty sure he’s not gonna be able to handle the truth.

When Castiel walks in the room, Hannah subtly lets him know that this is her vessel’s husband. Then she decides to make Castiel the fall guy and says she’s been in a relationship with him. She even kisses him when the husband insists it couldn’t be true (In all fairness, neither Hannah nor Castiel is putting out particularly natural body language for a human). Okaaayyyy. But it does seem to convince him. Maybe. At any rate, he looks even more devastated than before. Hannah tells him she’s sorry and tells Castiel, “Let’s go.” They leave.

The Brothers enter the brothel (to a screechy, knife-like soundtrack) to find the demon hosts for Raul and Gerald, as well as what’s left of Raul. Grumping that someone else got to kill Raul before they did, Dean tells Sam to “check IDs” while going to pour a drink behind the bar. Sam realizes that the black tar underneath Raul’s host is Raul. As Dean speculates about what could kill a demon in that particular way, Sam finds Rowena’s ginormous hex bag. Witchcraft. Looking alarmed, Dean immediately puts down the booze.

In a swanky restaurant (according to the captions, it’s “mid-tempo French music playing” on the soundtrack), Rowena is enjoying a flute of rosé wine and offering the two prostitutes some hors d’oeuvres. They look uneasy and admit that they “don’t belong here.” They want to know why she brought them to the restaurant. She says she wanted to feed them, since she’s quite sure “that swine Raul” starved them (Nobody likes Raul).

As if to emphasize their being out of place, a snotty waiter arrives at their table and tells Rowena that the restaurant (Bistro de Moules) “has a very strict dress code” and her guests don’t meet it. The girls are willing to leave, but Rowena tells them to stay where they are (to the consternation of the waiter).

Rowena takes out another hex bag, a smaller one than the demon-killing one, drops it in the startled waiter’s hand, and says, “Famulatus” (slavery). This hex changes the waiter’s attitude completely. Seems he was either the head waiter or someone else high up the waiter food chain because suddenly, full plates of food start to appear and he brings Rowena a fine bottle of champagne, Krug ’95.

The blonde is greatly impressed, but the brunette is more wary. When she asks Rowena how she did it, though, Rowena is upfront and honest: “Magic.”

Cut to Crowley’s throne room, where he is brooding on his throne when Gerald (already in a new meat suit) either comes to him or is brought to him to report. Crowley is not happy to hear about Gerald and Raul’s plan to open a demonic “bordello.”

Gerald tries to play it off as Raul’s idea and that Crowley’s reputation wasn’t really connected to it because they called it “Raul’s Girls.” Crowley is not impressed. Gerald then whines that he and Raul felt under pressure to perform after Crowley had put out a decree the month before saying CRD deals were down after Abaddon’s death, and creativity was required.

Crowley: So, you and your half-wit pal threw me into the sex trade? I’m evil. That’s just tacky.

Gerald then whines that they tried to get Crowley’s approval, but he “wasn’t taking meetings” at the time. This is an obvious reference to Crowley’s vacation with Demon!Dean and is soft ground. But Crowley does have to admit (albeit with an eye roll) that Gerald’s point about smoking into the nearest possible host (a pudgy black guy in a crossing guard uniform) is valid when Gerald says a witch being able to kill demons so easily is a dangerous precedent that needs to be nipped in the bud.

Cut to a nighttime scene in the Impala. Sam is infodumping online research to Dean, who is driving. He’s found an 18th century spell called “Defigere et Depurgere,” which he translates as “To Bind and To Purge” (eh … more or less). It hasn’t been used in three centuries and only then by its creator, a witch named … (dun, dun, dun) Rowena.

Cut to Rowena telling the girls about a group of witches called the Grand Coven. She says there are three kinds of witches: Borrowers, Students and Naturals. (FYI: This was borderline retcon at the time, as previously, witches always got their powers from demons.) Most common are the Borrowers, who use a demon to get power (Rowena glosses over the part where they sell their souls to do it). Students learn spells and take on a Natural mentor approved by the Coven. The “rarest” are the Naturals, who are born with a gift. Rowena happily admits to being one when the blonde suggests it. The brunette is still wary, but the blonde is happy to ask that they become her Students.

Rowena admits that she’s actually a fugitive from the Grand Coven, who threw her out long ago and forbade her from practicing magic or forming her own coven due to her methods being “too extreme.” Ya think? She calls them “utter fannies” (In British dialect, “fanny” means “vagina”). But when the brunette suggests this means Rowena can’t teach them, Rowena ostentatiously says, “Screw the Grand Coven” and magnanimously says she’ll teach them (even though it’s pretty obvious she’s intentionally recruiting them).

The blonde eagerly asks when they can start. At that moment, the waiter Rowena hexed stops in the middle of his rounds, as his face turns lobster red, and drops his plates before dropping dead. Rowena hastily has the girls decamp to another place to begin training.

Cut to a grotty warehouse where a demon is tied to a chair in a devil’s trap. He calls the unseen person splashing holy water in his face a “noob” who is “studying” him and in “training.” Despite the demon’s defiance, the newbie Hunter, who turns out to be Cole, is determined to find out everything he can about “your buddy, Dean Winchester.” Pretty sure Mr. Demon will give up that information for free, Cole.

Cut to a cloudy outdoor scene at a gas station where Castiel is gassing up. Hannah is having second thoughts about abandoning her vessel’s husband. She didn’t want to hurt him or erase his memories, but he wouldn’t let her go and now she feels bad. Castiel opens up a bit for the first time in years about his vessel, Jimmy Novak, and mentions Jimmy’s daughter, Claire (Yes, this is foreshadowing for later in the season). He calls what he did to Jimmy difficult but “necessary.” However, when he turns back from gassing up the car, Hannah is gone.

At the restaurant, a young waiter is telling Dean (in a suit) about the hexed waiter, Marty, who “stroked out.” He also identifies Marty as their “head waiter.” It’s not until the kid mentions that “two hookers” were in there previously that Dean realizes he has a lead. Dean also finds out that they were there with “a lady,” whom he correctly identifies as a witch to Sam outside.

Sam is getting off the phone from talking to a Hunter named Darrell. Darrell has been tracking a series of ritzy hotel murders, with bodies pinned to the ceiling (Sound familiar?). It turns out that they, too, were hexed, just like the waiter. Sam suggests he and Dean check out some five-star hotels.

Cut to Hannah standing on a wooden bridge over a stream in a rather deep channel (Looks like North Vancouver). Castiel finds her there and she admits that she is “done” with the mission. Her encounter with her vessel’s abandoned husband has reminded her that “we always said that humans were our original mission.” Well, that’s belated.

She admits to having experienced human feelings, including an attraction to Castiel, but now she realizes that they are from her vessel, “screaming” to get out and have her life back. She kisses Castiel on the cheek, says goodbye, and then angels out, leaving Castiel to deal with a very confused Caroline. Though she does recognize Castiel.

I have to say that even though I ended up not at all impressed by this storyline or character, the actress (Erica Carroll) fields the transition between Hannah and Caroline really well. It’s a damned shame they wrote her out right at the point when the character was getting a little interesting.

At a five-star hotel, there’s a knock on the door to the room where Rowena and the two prostitutes are staying. She suggests they get some practice in on whoever is knocking and admits it’s probably a hotel manager complaining that she hasn’t paid her bill.

She gave the girls some spells, but the blonde is confused by the “Spanish” (Latin). Unfortunately, the bell boy at the door isn’t exactly alive, anymore. Instead, when Rowena throws it open, it turns out he is a corpse with a cut throat that falls in through the doorway. His killers are two demons, possessing a tall, blonde woman and a nondescript greasy guy.

Cut to Rowena, gagged, being dragged down the hallway, the girls along with her. When the brunette declares that she’s not going back to the brothel, the blonde demon informs her that “Operation Skank has been canceled” and the only thing happening to the two younger women is that their dead bodies will shortly be ditched in the dumpster out back.

And that’s about as far as the demons get in their plan. The Brothers pop up and the blonde immediately gets skewered by Dean with the Spork. The other one tosses Dean down the hallway, but when Sam grapples with him (and gets knocked down), this gives Dean the opportunity to stab the second demon from behind.

As the three women back into the dead end of the hallway at the Brothers’ approach, Dean tries to reassure them that he and Sam are only there for Rowena (“the witch”) and mean them no harm. When the brunette asks who the Brothers are, Rowena says, “Hunters.” The blonde then panics and demands Rowena do something. So, she does. She hexes the blonde with an “attack dog” spell (“Impetus Bestiarum”) that turns her red-eyed and rabid (to Dean’s horror).

With an animalistic scream, the girl attacks the Brothers while Rowena and the brunette flee. Sam distracts her, and sends Dean after Rowena and the brunette. He manages to lock her in a linen closet and begs her to fight the spell, but she cries that she can’t, even as she batters at the door. Sam pulls his gun to protect himself, but then the battering stops. When he opens the door, she is standing there, wide-eyed, and falls down dead.

Out in the alleyway, the brunette demands to know what Rowena did and quickly realizes her friend will die, “just like the waiter.” After admitting the most humans can’t handle hexes like that and live, Rowena tries to deflect the brunette’s attention from this by calling her friend, Elle, “weak,” while declaring that the brunette is “strong.” The brunette agrees – then punches Rowena in the face and strides away. Just as Rowena (albeit looking impressed) points after her with a killing spell (“Occidere ingrat -” basically, “Kill the ingrate”), Dean sticks a gun in her hair from behind and shouts, “Not another word!”

Rowena turns around, looking genuinely scared (she should be), as Dean tells her, “Lady, your luck just ran out.”

But Rowena’s face changes as she looks over his shoulder. She’s not the only one with enemies and one just found Dean. It’s Cole and, as Dean puts it, his timing really sucks. He whistles at Dean and calls him “Dean-o” (which, to be perfectly honest, may be a minor thing in the grand scheme of the show, but was easily the most irritating thing about the character).

So, Dean drops the gun and turns to deal with Cole, while Rowena runs away, free (for now). Cole is now officially in deep, but apparently, he’s too cocky and stupid to understand that. Dean apologizes for … well … being a demon the last time they met and for killing Cole’s dad, but says he’s “not that person, anymore.” Cole insists he’s “not a person at all” and splashes him with holy water, but is confused when all it does is annoy Dean. Cole then persists in asking if Dean was a demon when he “murdered” his father. Dean says no.

Cole then makes the huge mistake of pistol-whipping Dean, which gives Dean the chance to grab the gun and knock it from Cole’s grasp. A fist fight ensues that Cole initially is all up for, but even before Dean tosses him against a dumpster, and then through a car windshield, it’s pretty clear Cole is still wayyyyy outmatched. That Dean gets a bit more bashed up this time doesn’t really change that and can be attributed as much to Dean’s reluctance to kill Cole as to his powers being altered/reduced.

Dean then gets to his gun and knocks Cole’s out of reach. Handing over the gun, Dean asks for five minutes “to clean up this mess, once and for all.” If Cole wants to shoot him after that, fine.

Dean tells Cole that he hunts monsters. Cole’s father was a monster, not one Dean had ever seen before or since, that had eaten the livers of three people and was determined to kill Cole and his mother that night. Cole insists that his father sounded human and was begging to Dean stop, but Dean calls this “a monster’s trick.”

Dean suddenly says, “Put it down!” but he means Sam, who has come out and leveled his gun at Cole, who now turns around to confront him. Well, Cole did torture Sam, so you couldn’t say Cole didn’t have that coming. But Dean is at least able to stop Sam from putting a bullet in Cole as Cole digests what he’s hearing and decides whether or not to believe Dean.

Cole has a hard time letting it go. After all, he’s spent over a decade hunting Dean. As Dean puts it, Cole has his “story.” Dean had his “story,” too, that led him to “beat up a good man just for the fun of it” (meaning Cole in “Reichenbach”).

Dean says that stories are great, in that they can keep you going, but they can also “lead you to dark places.” Dean says that “the ones who love me, they pulled me back from that edge. But Cole, once you touch that darkness, it never goes away. I’m past saving. I know how my story ends. It’s at the edge of a blade or the barrel of a gun. So, the question is, is that gonna be today?”

Sam looks shocked at Dean saying he’s “past saving.” But Sam has the presence of mind to mention that he heard Cole talking to his family while torturing him. He says Cole’s family needs him “to come back whole.” Sam doesn’t mention that he probably wouldn’t be able to stop Cole if Cole actually shot Dean (and we know Dean would only come back as a demon, anyway).

Cut to the front of a house as Caroline, Hannah’s former vessel, walks hesitantly up to the door. She looks scared as she knocks. Upon opening the door, her husband looks glad to see her and immediately accepts her heart-felt, tearful hug. In a car outside on the street, in the rain, Castiel watches their successful reunion as the door closes behind them. He then pulls out a laptop and types the name of his vessel, the now-deceased Jimmy Novak. He gets a bunch of missing notices and looks sad.

Later that night, the Brothers watch Cole leave in his jeep. Sam asks where Cole is going. Dean says, “Home.” And Rowena? “In the wind.” Sam then asks about Dean telling Cole that he was “past saving.”

Dean: I was just telling the guy what he needed to hear.

Dean interjects this lie casually and easily, with a shrug. Sam doesn’t look as though he believes it, but what is he going to do? This isn’t about a nice steak and a hot date, anymore. Dean’s walls are up and he’s not talking. When Dean turns to walk away, we get a look at pensive Sam before he follows his brother. Sam used up a whole lot of moral poker chips getting his brother “back” the way he wanted him and now he’s finally beginning to count the cost. He’s also beginning to realize that Dean is never going to be back under his thumb again.

Cut to one of Crowley’s dungeons. Crowley is with Gerald, still in his DIY meat suit. Gerald tells him that the Brothers took out the Alpha demon team, but the Beta team was able to play clean-up (I sure hope that doesn’t involve Shaylene or the brunette, but we never do find out). They got Rowena (as I said, she was only momentarily free). Gerald says they’ve tortured her and is creepily eager to kill her. But Gerald’s smugness quickly evaporates when Crowley points out that Gerald was only cleaning up a mess he’d made in the first place. Crowley tells him to get out of his sight.

Crowley [opening the dungeon door]: Is everyone working for me touched?

When he comes into the dungeon, though, he is struck dumb. Rowena is there, strung up in manacles and looking pretty much the worse for wear. Knowing he’s the King of Hell, she taunts him to “get on with it” and kill her.

Stunned, Crowley mutters, “Mother?!”

Credits

Ratings for this episode dropped a bit in demo to a 0.9/3 in the A18-49 demo and 2.30 million in audience.

Review: This is a problematical one. It’s better in retrospect than when I first saw it, but still, it’s got some issues, due to Robert Berens’ lack of experience and Bob Singer’s rather lackluster direction. It re-introduces a character we first saw, very briefly, at the end of Jensen-Ackles-directed “Soul Survivor.” Rowena Macleod shows up in the episode’s coda, no dialogue, sipping whiskey in front of a fire with a book and smiling – while two dead demons inside their hosts are pinned to her ceiling (They’re in red suits that appear to be hotel uniforms and we find out in this episode that they were hexed). Rowena, of course, will go on to become a very important character on the show and that starts this season. The badass intro she gets in “Soul Survivor” is worthy of that subsequent career. This follow-up episode … not so much.

The problem is that Rowena in this episode is a straight-up bitch and not in the fun way she becomes later on. A lot of the character’s longevity derived from actress Ruth Connell’s charm and (deserved) good reputation with the fandom thanks to cons and social media. But initially, the writers did not give her a whole lot to work with. Sure, it was already fairly obvious to the observant that she had a connection to a certain recurring character (Hello, she’s Scottish), but at the time, she was just a really annoying Witch character in a long line of really annoying Witch characters who somehow got to walk away (or not) with murder because they were still human.

This is too bad because “Girls, Girls, Girls” does have some potentially good meat on its bones regarding misogyny, both external and internalized, and why women would turn to the dark arts to better their lot when trying to survive in a world of scummy, predatory men, even if it doesn’t gel into a satisfying whole. Despite the title, and the admitted presence of an actually reasonable number of female characters, most of them get very little depth or exploration.

The young prostitutes in the story are so desperate for a female mentor that they don’t pay attention to the big red flags (and I’m not talking about her hair) in Rowena’s character until it’s too late for at least one of them. Meanwhile, there are hints that Rowena is her own kind of desperate in searching for a coven in such low places, and fallen on hard times.

Part of the problem is that the episode is trying to show Sam and Dean (especially Dean) helping these girls, so that Rowena is portrayed as someone who presents herself as an elder female mentor and benefactor, but is really just another predator, sucking the power and energy off the younger women. That blunts the message of female empowerment quite a bit.

One curious thing about the subplot of Crowley stalking Rowena (whom he eventually realizes is his long-lost mother) is that he doesn’t seem to be even remotely interested in Cole or why Cole is stalking Dean. This subplot, aside from introducing a new storyline for Crowley, seems intended to show him outwitting the Brothers, but that’s not really what happens here. And having Crowley simply ignore Cole seems a bit strange, especially since this episode shows Cole torturing one of Crowley’s demons.

The episode also launches the thorny relationship (which will become a friendship that sadly never got real closure at the end of the series thanks to the writers’ obsession with everyone else getting closure with Rowena) between Rowena and Dean. But the episode itself is kinda forgettable.

What is interesting, though, is that even this early on, if you know how the rest of her story goes, you can see how Rowena will eventually become a member of the Winchester family, of TFW 2.0, and herself a dark and dirty Hero, without ever actually ceasing to be a very dangerous and unpredictable character with a whole lot of her own not-so-suppressed rage at the world, particularly men. She is an outcast, a grifter and drifter, who grew up poor (We’ll find out more about that later).

I think a major reason why she worked and not, say, the arrogant Bella from Season 3 or the CW-ish Witch and Familiar couple in “Man’s Best Friend with Benefits” (aside from the really gross racist subtext in that episode, of course) is that Rowena is a bit flea-bitten and down-and-out, while simultaneously and subversively very powerful – I mean, she’s got a lot more than the Brothers on her trail, even this early on. Albeit initially someone who doesn’t seem to fit into the show’s dark and desperately poor, blue-collar worldview, she later comes off as someone who is exactly that kind of girl beneath the threadbare posh exterior. Her appearance on the scene sends up a massive supernatural flare and one wonders where she’s been hiding all this time.

The Brothers have a tendency to attract extremely powerful misfits to their group because they become a last point of refuge. This is how Rowena fits with them. It also happens that they have Scottish ancestry and she (obviously) is Scottish. While the show has sucked in the past in some of its research, I always thought it did the Scottish stuff, overall, pretty well. The crew had a long-time member who was herself Scottish (as is, of course, Ruth Connell) and someone actually cared enough to do some research into Scottish witches and witchcraft. So, kudos for that.

Some of the other female characters in this episode don’t do so well. The prostitutes, with one exception, don’t rise above the level of cliches. The brunette has some promise, but we never see her again after she rejects Rowena. I did, however, quite like Shaylene and totally got where she was coming from. Elysia Rotaru gets across really well Shaylene’s fear, rage, shame and violation (She also played “fancy lady” ghost Victoria, one of the few good things about Season 7’s godawful “Of Grave Importance”). It makes total sense she would snap and stab her kidnapper. I hope she managed to get away to a better life afterward.

Dean often gets criticized by certain segments of the fandom for being sexist and misogynistic because he is promiscuous. However, unlike, say, Charlie with the kidnapped fairy in Season 8’s “LARP and the Real Girl” or Sambot with pretty much every woman he came across in Season 6, Dean is very good with sussing out whether a partner really wants to be with him, and backing way off when she doesn’t. Even at his sleaziest as a demon, when he’s hitting on the stripper in “Reichenbach,” his actual goal is to provoke the bouncer into a fight.

His tryst with Shaylene slows way down when she brings up money, but it comes to a permanent screeching halt when he realizes demons are involved and she is working under duress. No Charlie making out with a person who can’t realistically give consent, not here. Even when the demon walks into the motel room, his first clue ought to have been that Shaylene and Dean are sitting on opposite sides of the bed, not touching and not even facing each other. Dean understands and respects sexual boundaries, which is a helluva lot more than many other characters on this show do.

And then there’s Hannah. [sigh] That entire storyline was boring as hell and it didn’t need to be. It’s a shame, because they finally did something fairly interesting with her and then they ditched this version (Subsequent versions, before they killed the angel part of the character off for drama points, were even duller). This seemed to be a pattern with the show, that the writers would finally spice up a dull character and finally give an able actor something to do, right before they wrote them out. It’s a common trope on TV and it’s frustrating, to put it kindly.

The actress playing Hannah had gotten very little to do besides being annoying fanatical and obsessive with Castiel up to this point. Carroll fielded the transition to the human vessel for Hannah, Caroline, well, but then it was like, “Oh, this could be int – oh, whoops, guess not.” I guess this was the only way for a character to get a happy ending on this show, with this crop of writers. We won’t see Caroline again.

“Girls, Girls, Girls” also brings back Cole, the character who was on a roaring rampage of revenge after Dean at the beginning of the season. This episode wraps up that rampage with something of a whimper. It’s as if the writers wanted as badly as Dean did to tie up this loose end and move on. Even though I normally like it when Dean talks a character down, I didn’t buy it this time. It was way too easy and anticlimactic. Cole was simply never a credible antagonist to Dean.

We see Cole Trenton one more time after this and then he, too, is gone. The reasons why remain cloudy, but they do seem to have been related to how the character went over with the audience and the actor, Travis Aaron Wade, went over with fans at conventions (and online, where he said some very strange things, and may have stalked and doxxed some fans) and possibly his fellow cast members.

Wade had an odd vibe at cons and some fans accused him of doing inappropriate stuff. It also didn’t help that he was 39, three years older than Ackles, when his character was supposed to be 24. Or that he later voted for Trump.

I won’t take you all down that rabbit hole of decidedly unreliable narrators and fifth-hand accounts (especially since which version some fans chose to believe and propagate seemed to depend on which ship they supported rather than which version actually made sense), but let’s just say it got pretty weird. One account now lost to time that I recall was from a girl who claimed that Wade had made inappropriate gestures at her during an after hours party, except that she didn’t really remember him doing it because she was drunk (and underage) and got the story from her friend who was there, the next morning. Much of the action and alleged first-hand accusation occurred on the now-defunct Television without Pity and IMdB boards, but there are enough remnants on Reddit, LiveJournal and Tumblr to give you a clue.

To be honest, I’m skeptical of the cancel culture involved with the Supernatural cons. GoHs are held to a very high standard, and really have to watch their step (There were also some recent allegations regarding producer Jim Michaels and some equally infamous allegations against Ty Olsson back in the day), while the fans engage in widespread, and largely unacknowledged, sexual harassment and other bad behavior (like the aforementioned underage drinking at the after hours parties, and groping GoHs during Q&As and photo ops). It sets up double standards that seem ripe for crossing boundaries between GoHs and fans that really shouldn’t be tested, let alone hurdled at high speed. With all the inappropriate behavior on both sides, it becomes hard to tell who’s the victim and who’s the aggressor.

There is, for example, the incident of the “Flying Fangirl” who attacked Jensen Ackles at the first Asylum (the yearly Supernatural con in Britain) con in 2007. There are different accounts. In one written account by Ackles himself, during an interview that I can’t now find (It might be in one of the Supernatural Magazine issues), he said that he was getting into an elevator with a friend when she launched herself at him through the closing doors. He got a forearm up out of sheer reflex as she tried to wrap her arms and legs around him, and accidentally got her in the throat.

His account apologetically continues that he didn’t mean to hurt her. Afterward, in a meeting alone with him and con security, she was tearful and apologetic, and he asked that she not get kicked out of the con. According to various other reports, however, she still was (and she should have been). I’ll admit I am again going on memory with this one, but as it’s by far the most logical-sounding (and least brutal about her) of the accounts I’ve read, and the only one that was first-hand, I’m gonna put it out there.

What is straight-up bizarre is that some writers, some academic writers, like Katherine Larsen and Lynn Zubernis (authors of Fangasm: Supernatural Fangirls) in their book, Fandom At The Crossroads: Celebration, Shame and Fan/Producer Relationships, wrote sympathetically about the Flying Fangirl and claimed she was just misunderstood. It doesn’t help that they weren’t actually at the con and got everything third-to-fifth-hand like the rest of us. Larsen and Zubernis’ general thesis in both books is that female fans are shamed about their sexuality by the mostly-male makers of the fictional media (and gatekeepers within fandom itself) that these women and girls consume.

Which is all very well, but when the authors act as though the only “real” Supernatural fans (or, at least, the only fans worth acknowledging) are Wincest fans, that interpretation gets a bit iffy. Wincest fans developed the reputation they did among Saltgunners early on because they were known for being damned inappropriate regarding the cast, writers and showrunners, as well as aggressive toward other fans, both online and sometimes at cons. And when Larsen and Zubernis’ takeaway from the incident was a frisson of horror at realizing that, yes, there are boundaries you shouldn’t cross in meeting real people who make your favorite media, and that other (more sensible) fans will certainly let you know when you cross them, even when you are oblivious to healthy boundaries, that whole thesis becomes downright problematical. Owning your sexuality as a woman doesn’t equate with becoming a sexual predator. That’s a bad message.

While some fans may have expressed the general fandom takeaway a bit overenthusiastically, they were not wrong in calling that flying leap sexual assault. The Flying Fangirl was lucky not to get arrested and charged, and both she and Ackles were lucky neither got hurt. I get that she was overexcited about meeting her favorite actor and probably just didn’t think, but there’s no version of the event out there where what she did was okay. Girls, this ain’t Ancient Greece or Rome and y’all aren’t Bacchantes. Learn to behave yourselves around total strangers you’re sexually attracted to. It’s not that hard.

But in truth, a lot of the problems with the character of Cole boiled down to very fundamental issues with the writing and casting decisions that probably would have doomed the character to a quick exit even if Wade had not gone hog-wild on the con circuit, and gotten himself iced out of the fandom and the show. Cole claims that Dean killed his father when Cole was a kid in 2003.

Dean would have been 24 at the time, as this was two years before the show started. Cole was 13. When we meet Cole, he should be 24, yet he’s already done multiple years in the military, on some pretty crazy tours. He has a wife who looks in her late 20s and a son who looks to be at least six or eight. When did this guy get married? At 16?!

There was a sort of “Just go with it” attitude in the season premiere regarding these plot holes, but they were becoming glaring by Cole’s third outing in this episode. There was also the odd thing where they had Dean beat Cole again, but it was harder than it probably should have been. Sure, Dean’s powers were altered compared to when he was still fully demonic (no TK and a bit less superstrength, but completely immune to holy water), but even this early on, we were all suspecting he hadn’t been fully cured. After all, he still had the Mark.

The whole idea of there being someone who was hunting Dean as if he were a monster was not a bad one (even if it was basically a retread of Sam’s “Hunters hate me” storyline from the first five seasons), but Cole’s obsession with Dean really had nothing to do with Dean having the Mark of Cain. This storyline could have happened in any season. It seemed like waaaayyy too much of a coincidence that it occurred in the period when Dean actually was no longer strictly human. It felt random and that may have contributed to why it also felt forgettable.

The thing was that once Cole stopped hunting Dean, there wasn’t really much reason for him to be around, anymore. We can talk until the cows come home about how the actor poisoned the well for his return, but the writers didn’t make the character likable enough to justify his return in the first place.

He wasn’t a supernatural being. He cold-bloodedly tortured Sam (which mostly existed to make Demon!Dean look like a complete bastard while very conveniently hand-waving questionable things Sam was doing like brutally torturing a CRD inside her own, innocent meatsuit). He trash-talked Dean and he wasn’t particularly witty about it, the way Crowley or Lucifer was. There just wasn’t a hook (unless they made him a Hunter and that never happened) to keep him around. After this episode (and definitely after his follow-up episode later this season), his arc was done.

Granted, that didn’t stop them from bringing Jack back a gadzillion times, but at least Jack was a supernatural being with a deeper connection to the Brothers, however forced. Cole reminded me a bit of Dan on Lucifer – a character who did really questionable things while convincing himself he was the good guy in his story, not the villain.

Dean’s speech to Cole didn’t surprise me (and it brings up the issue that the dumbest possible thing Cole could have done was shoot Dean). Nor did I buy for a second Dean’s offhand lie to Sam that he didn’t mean it when he said he was doomed. Of course he meant it. At this point, I think he just couldn’t be bothered to lie convincingly.

But Sam’s reaction was frustrating. Sam. Honey. What about waterboarding and injecting your brother with holy water made you think that would leave him with better self esteem? Plus, Dean is not incorrect that his base condition (the Mark of Cain) remains and that unless it is removed (considered an impossibility at this point), he is doomed.

However, one thing Dean remains in denial about is the kind of madness that plagues him. The Mark of Cain, we know at this point, has rendered Dean effectively immortal. He may slide back into the madness of being a demon, but he can’t die. He can’t go down bloody. And that is the biggest tragedy of this storyline.

Supernatural — “Girls, Girls, Girls” — Image SN1007a_0178 — Pictured (L-R): Erica Carroll as Hannah and Misha Collins as Castiel — Credit: Katie Yu/The CW — © 2014 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved

Next week: Hibbing 911: Jody meets Donna for the first time at a law enforcement conference. Then bodies start dropping and you just know Jody will end up having to give Donna The Talk.

The Kripke Years

Season 1

Season 2

Season 3

Season 4

Season 5

The Gamble Years

Season 6 (with Kripke)

Season 7

The Carver Years

Season 8

Season 9

Season 10

Season 11

The Dabb Years

Season 12

Season 13

Season 14

Season 15

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20 thoughts on “The Official Supernatural: “Girls, Girls, Girls” (10.07) Retro Recap and Review”

  1. Ok the other LONG comment got deleted: I will say this more briefly: I thought Jared Padalecki’s comments were unprofessional and RUDE. His comment to Robbie Thompson was very ugly.

    His comment ‘next day’ about how MUCH HE LOVES HIS FANS THEY ARE THEY BEST but DON’T THREATEN PEOPLE reminded me of Trump on the day of the 1/6/21 Riot: You are all wonderful people I love you You are VERY special to me. Now maybe you should go home.

    I found that mealy-mouthed (liked ‘stand back and stand by’ to The Proud Boys).

    Jared has ‘doxxed’ airline employees and I remember a bartender who ended up with death threats. Jared knows his fans. He “loves” them.

  2. I don’t know if my ‘last’ email went thru: I am just expressing anger at Jared Padalecki for his ‘social messaging’ this week and I got pretty heated.

    Hope it posts. I can’t even see it in ‘moderation.’

  3. I know it’s not quite the same thing, but when Jared Padalecki let lose with his ‘butt hurt’ about the ‘young Winchesters’ I got angry.

    His ‘walk-back’ the next day, when he said, I LOVE YOU to his fans, but DON’T THREATEN the people I just pissed all over reminded me on Donald Trump the day of the Riot, when he started HIS walk-back, with I LOVE YOU, you are VERY SPECIAL to me…

    I bet Robbie Thompson, DANNEEL and Jensen Ackles all got threats. Then Jensen emails him; then Jared says, Good Luck, BROTHER. I wanted to PUKE.

    Now Jared has gotten into trouble over ‘inappropriate’ twitter behavior before (people at airports, I remember a bartender in MN) getting NAMED (he took pictures of their badges and showed them on line; like how many Mary Kowalskis or whatever lived in South Bend Indiana? so the poor ‘front line’ workers gets slammed. I remember the bartender’s boss ON LINE asking Jared’s fans to cool it (calling in reservations, trashing their ratings on YELP! and stuff) and ‘again’ he told his fans to ‘cool it’ but after the person had been all messed up.

    So again, I am ticked at Jared and find the whole thing ‘unprofessional’ and just plain RUDE.

    You got any more info on this I WOULD LOVE TO HEAR IT. Maybe it’s NOT as bad as it looks.

    1. Nah, your comment was fine. Remember that I have to moderate these comments individually and don’t always get to them right away.

      So, Jaredgate. Well, that happened. Okay, first of all, this meme is really funny, so I’m sharing it: https://www.reddit.com/r/Supernatural/comments/o8e50u/yall_are_bad_for_this_one/

      Last night, we were doing a cat-and-dog rescue transport (Think Flight to Freedom, but in a car) north and griping about, uh, local colleagues who were pulling some grandstanding diva gaslighting moves in the community. I made a crack about “pulling a Jared Padalecki” and the person I was talking to knew exactly what I meant. No, I’m not sorry.

      I think Jared Padalecki was wrong to do what he did. Does it make him a monster? No. I get it. If he really hadn’t heard anything about this project (though that seems doubtful, since Ackles has been talking about it since the show ended), he would have been hurt to hear it first on social media. But that doesn’t excuse siccing his followers on his former co-star. Some people talked about it feeling like a publicity stunt to generate publicity for the spinoff. Maybe. But it felt a lot more like a power play.

      Look, Ackles isn’t generally known for baiting the show’s fans like that, in that way. But Padalecki has a long history of doxxing service people who angered him and of entitled behavior like harassing lesser co-stars and getting arrested for attacking an employee in a drunken brawl. This stuff is on record, in large part because he put it there.

      What was shocking to me was that he decided to turn this tactic on his own ex-costar when, if he truly hadn’t known and truly felt confused and hurt, he could have just picked up the phone. The public anger toward Jensen Ackles was unacceptable. The now-deleted tweet aimed at Robbie Thompson was really unacceptable. And allowing his stans to send irrational hate Danneel’s way was right off the chain. He owes her a big apology. Thompson, too.

      The whole thing felt like an egoboo power play–who has the bigger fanbase–and I think the main reason Padalecki backed down so fast was because it backfired on him. Even after he tweeted an All Clear and Ackles confirmed that things were fine, the Jared/Sam stans were ranting about how they wouldn’t forget. But I think a lot more SPN fans out there won’t forget the time Padalecki tried to school his old show BFF the way he doxxed some waiters back in the day. If anyone’s reputation has been damaged, it’s Padalecki’s.

      Regarding the spinoff premise, I’m not hugely into the idea of a show about Mary and John in their younger days. I am, however, intrigued by the idea of Dean narrating it and using it as a way to learn more about his parents. As Padalecki himself admitted later, this spinoff is early in development, so a lot can and will change even in the basic premise, even if it does go to series.

      As for Sam being in it, any spinoff appearance by Padalecki is going to be hampered by two things–1. Sam’s story was fully explored and played out to completion in the mothership series. We already know what Sam will be doing for the next 30-40 years. We already know all about his origins. There simply is not very much left to say about him.

      2. Jared Padalecki has another show. In Texas. The spinoff likely would be filmed in Vancouver. How is Padalecki planning to be a lead character in this spinoff if he already has another show two thousand miles away that he is helping to run and also starring in? How does that work?

      Besides, I never heard anybody talk about including Chuck Norris in the Walker reboot, yet a reboot did occur. Nobody owes Padalecki a role in an SPN spinoff just because he was in the original. Just ask the original Halliwell Sisters from Charmed about that.

      1. I’m in the camp willing to keep an open mind about The Winchesters.
        As you pointed out so well, Sam’s story has been examined in depth, from every angle and there’s nowhere else to go. But Dean had a whole story of his own, his own seperate hero’s journey and his parents were always very present in his mind and in his actions forming a part of that journey.
        Mary and John also only got limited voices on the show,shown from skewed perspectives, Sam saw things his way, Dean his, but in truth, we don’t know everything about them , only the way points Jensen has said they will hit.
        Jensen’s committed to try and be canon consistent from his own tweets. That could make a for very interesting show in its own right trying to slot those pieces in place and perhaps act as a lead in for SPN itself for the new viewer daunted by the idea of 15 seasons. If The Winchesters brings in a new audiences to the main show, everyone wins and the show lives on through its popularity, reruns will continue.
        There will of course be some complications, some contradict and wrinkles no doubt, but I’m cautiously optimistic that with a strong leader who loves the show it may not be all bad. Dean’s story is not complete and he’s more than earned that right for this part his story to be told .

        1. Initially, I was not into the idea at all. Some of what Ackles has said then has made me somewhat change my mind. He keeps talking about this as actually a storyline for Dean, in which Dean explores his parents’ lives to better understand them. It’s kinda God View Dean and it makes me wonder how much Ackles’ view of Dean and John and Mary really differs from the show.

          I think we will find out more about how these guys really felt about the show and their characters as they get further away from it. But in Padalecki’s case, he’s making it pretty clear that he liked how the show ended, what they did with his character, and has heavily implied it’s because they catered to what he wanted. I have no interest in seeing more of that.

          1. All for the opportunity of a Dean adjacent storyline where he’s doing something for himself. That of itself is a beautiful rare bird. I hope Jensen doesn’t allow all the negativity to influence his plans.
            With all the conventions being delayed we will probably get to more of Jensen’s thoughts eventually, Jared’s already had a lot of coverage on his thoughts as part of his promotion for Walker and yes it seems he’s satisfied with where the story went, but it does seem he also wishes to retain an interest in any future shows associated with Supernatural

      2. I first met you on the imdb chat line; at the time there was a story about Jared saying something rude about Phillip Seymour Hoffman ‘killing’ himself (not dying of an overdose) and he got slammed and deleted. Do you remember that?

        ANYHOW people brought up stories about Jared and all the airport workers he harassed thru the years and I have been in airports and it is hard for me t believe that with as much traveling as he did for the show that EVERYBODY he ran into was an incompetent asshole who went out of their way to talk back to him AND lose his luggage all the time. (the old saying: if you run into an asshole in the morning, you’ve run into an asshole; if you run into assholes ALL DAY it’s not ‘them’ it’s YOU)

        One story stayed with me: Jared and Sandy McCoy were coming home from Canada; Samantha Harris and Jim Beaver were on the same fight. Some guy bumped into Sandy and Jared went CAVEMAN. Jim and Samantha said Jared was in the wrong; Samantha said “I certainly won’t condone — that word — what Jared did on that flight. I bet ‘nowadays’ he’d be kicked off the flight; AND for his sake I am glad he bought his own plane so he would ‘never’ have to deal with incompetent (?) airline employees again. GLAD of it. So no more stories about Jared for quite a while.

        THEN he assaulted the manager of his bar. Now “I” am on medication I can’t drink while I’m taking (and it’ll probably be forever); I understand that the kind of drugs he takes for his depression have a ‘bad’ effect on him as well. (I watch General Hospital and Sonny Corinthos, a lead character, has manic depression; they make a big deal of him taking his drugs BUT they also show him drinking. He ‘hurls’ a LOT of barware when he is irritated…not so much lately, he is wandering Pennsylvania with amnesia…but fans of the show online are ‘always’ bitching about SONNY DRINKING ALCOHOL all the time. So that’s how I know those kind of drugs are NEVER supposed to be taken with alcohol.) BUT he is an adult and should’ve known he SHOULD NOT DRINK. AND it was his bar’s Grand Opening — I think — and it was a mess.

        He needs somebody to HELP him see that he is WRONG in a good bit of his ‘social behavior.’

        I watch Walker (Thursday Night Habit); love Mitch Pileggi and Molly Hagan and want more about Bonham and Abilene, REALLY. But it is weird to me that the show is not actually ‘about’ anything. Do you know what I mean? No overarching theme, except the dead wife and the totally self-centered kids. It’s ‘sort of’ a police procedural but not ‘really.’ Hard to explain the show’s pedigree. It’s on tomorrow and I am thinking of just dropping it, because I doubt I’ll be able to look at him without seeing his tweet to Robbie Thompson on his face. Too judgmental?

        Anybody here watching Walker?

        1. I remember the Philip Seymour Hoffman comment. I’m kind of on the fence about it, still. On the one hand, it doesn’t really matter whether Hoffman intentionally killed himself or not. Suicide is a tragedy as much as an accidental death and deserves compassion. On the other hand, between his girlfriend and his kids, Hoffman left a lot of victims of his addiction behind. And the rumors of his having drugs around his apartment while his kids were around were disturbing. I get that he had been clean for a long time and then relapsed and just couldn’t get back on the wagon. But he still hurt his loved ones a lot and I think that’s what Padalecki was reacting to.

          Yeah, I remember all the airline stories and that one with Sandra McCoy. I get the impression that Padalecki knows he’s a big guy and can enjoy throwing his weight around. Which is not cool.

          I know some friends who are on medication where they can’t drink. I don’t know. It’s like, so SPN fans want to give Padalecki a pass based on that, but they don’t want to believe that Ty Olsson might actually have been roofied, or at least not have been in control of his own behavior due to alcohol at that now-infamous Vegas con? Hmmm.

          I do know what you mean about Walker. If anything, the latest episode, though hardly Emmy-worthy, demonstrated that the show improves considerably when it has the focus of a procedural mystery. It wanders allllll over the place and the family drama is boring. Not even a hostage crisis made that interesting.

          I am not an Abilene fan. At all. She seems like a toxic version of Alice Krige’s character in Ten Inch Hero. The point seems to be that she’s a free spirit who has emotional needs and floats wherever those needs carry her. I’m not the least bit surprised Bonham didn’t want to tell her about his cancer. She cheated on him, ffs, and then blamed him for being emotionally cold. Why would he think she’d be supportive, especially when she guilt-tripped him even over that?

      3. I thought about something in regards to the Walker casting: JP said he had the part written for JA.

        I never believed it, I thought he put together a project he could film near his home in Texas and could work with his wife.

        NO problem with that at all.

        I just did not ever see him having Walker cast with JA. Not that he might not love a modern-western; but this was such a ‘family project’ for JP I could not get why JP said that. It appears JA enjoys ‘physical’ acting and genre series. OK by me.

        But as ‘everybody’ here and even “I” remember I could not see JP casting anybody but himself in the role.

        Very strange. I still don’t get the source of JP’s real anger about all this.

        Now this may be totally ‘wrong’ but I thought at one time he said he was probably not going to act any longer. I thought it was because his emotional issues might make him harder to ensure. So when he put together his own show, I thought GOOD, good way to prove ‘workability.’

        Then the Austin bar situation happened and now THIS.

        So in my mind he’s back to square one.

        What was the final ‘fall-out; of the bar situation?

        1. I can’t say I entirely buy Padalecki’s claim that he originally intended to cast Ackles in the title role of Walker, either. I think he always intended to take that role for himself and that it was always his personal project. Fair enough.

          I don’t think we ever found out what happened with the Austin arrest. Has he even been to court for it?

  4. I love watching the show and seeing people who are on it again and again (and then on other shows filmed in Canada, I am speaking of YOU, HALLMARK): the guy who played Gerald first was the shapeshifter in Three and A Half Men who ‘became’ a cop. The guy who played Gerald second was on NUMEROUS (maybe ALL) the Nancy Grace mysteries starring Kellie Martin.

    I am always amazed that when they were doing tryouts for Sam and Dean ‘before’ the show began Travis Aaron Wade tried out for DEAN and Jensen Ackles read for Sam. Now that would be MUCH more appropriate age wise (I always liked that they picked a Dean and Sam who were 4yr apart in age — but Jensen at that stage did not look like a 20yo he played much better as a 24yo — which he was). I did not dislike the placement of the Cole character the way you did but I also heard the stories you heard and wonder if the character was written out due to ‘fan issues.’ I was fully expecting the demon he was torturing in this episode to crawl out of Hell and kill his wife and kid and then COLE would be on the Vengeance Trail and a Hunter-in-Training. That might’ve been interesting. BUT I think the story would’ve been much better as you said if he was not so obviously NOT 24yo when we first meet him. (That business about the wife and kid: he could’ve married an older woman who could put up with his issues and she already had a kid…that would’ve been a good work-around imo.)

    Yesterday I watched an old X-Files called Arcadia. I saw Kim Manners as one of the producers and John Shiban too. The show had Mulder and Scully in a town that had a TULPA that would kill people who did not follow the HOA’s rules. I watched it thinking about Supernatural and how ‘that show’ dealt with the Tulpa storyline.

    First off, Sam definitely is the Scully. He never cracks jokes or makes puns, he is all work, just like Dana. Now Dean is ‘in the character’ of a Hunter and Fox is ‘in the character’ of an FBI agent but Dean builds rapport somehow and Fox is always sort of MOCKING the other people. SPN Tulpa was an giant who murdered people according to however people thought he would; this Tulpa was not shown well, but it looked like a mass of walking garbage.

    MUCH more humor in SPN (this was the prank war episode); and I liked Deans elegant solution of burning down the house.

    It was the same creature, but much more menacing in X-files, more creepy on SPN.

    OH I miss this show!

    1. While it’s possible that Cole could have married and older woman who already had a child, the military service record still makes no sense. He couldn’t enlist before age 18, 17 at the earliest, which means he was only in the service for 6 years. I definitely don’t think TAW would have worked as Dean, even opposite Ackles as Sam.

      Ah, The X-Files. As I recall, they tried hard to differentiate between the two shows as much as possible, since a lot of the same people worked on them and they didn’t want any risk of getting called out for copyright infringement and plagiarism. They most succeeded.

  5. I’m always astounded at the fans who have trouble distinguishing the actor from the character. Or who think they have the right to invade the privacy/personal space of an actor who they like. On what planet could they possibly think this is okay? Following the work of an actor you admire is one thing. Stalking not so much. Actors are private citizens, and the fans are not entitled to their personal lives.

    On an unrelated note, this review reminded me of how much I disliked Rowena in the beginning. Of course, that completely changed later on, but she really lost me when she cast the rabid dog spell on the blond woman. I mean, it was patently obvious from the beginning that Rowena seeking out students was all about Rowena, but you’d think she would show at minimal concern for their well-being. If you really want to gain supporters, hexing them is not the way to encourage others.

    Anyhow, kicking Rowena out of the Grand Coven seemed a bit like Old Money kicking New Money out of the country club, for not wanting to play by the rules. But if that was an example of her not respecting the rules, well, they kind of had a point. If she really wanted revenge, moving forward with dignity would have been much more powerful and effective.

    1. At the Creation con back in the 90s, I met up with another Trekkie whom I met online, while we were waiting for the GoH to show up (That is a whole other horror story). While initially, we got along fine, she started to really creep me out when she tried to recruit me into her elaborate plan to kidnap said GoH. This was, shall we say, a new side of her for me.

      Now, her chances of even getting close to this GoH, let alone kidnapping him, were somewhere below nil, but suffice it to say that it put a major damper on my wanting to hang out with her anymore, either in person or later back online. I have had my super-nerd moments, but I balk at pushing real boundaries with real people. What really bothers me, though, is how some fans try to make crossing boundaries with actors (or writers and showrunners) some kind of big statement of freedom or expressing themselves. There ain’t nothing healthy about expressing one’s sexuality by grabbing someone else’s ass without their permission and it has been a goodly time since actors were essentially sex workers. Just because men have crossed women’s boundaries without consequences for thousands of years, that doesn’t mean it’s great when women do it. Just because we can these days, doesn’t mean we should.

      Speaking of Rowena, yeah, I agree. Hexing the waiter was already borderline (Yeah, he was a dick about it, but he was still essentially just doing his job), but hexing the blonde really crossed a line. I think the idea was that the blonde was the one sucking up to Rowena and kinda egging her on to do more extreme stuff, so we were supposed to appreciate the horror movie irony of her getting hexed, but that didn’t actually make Rowena look better. She redeemed herself later, and admittedly this was the first time we got to see a Witch character develop over an entire storyline into a three-dimensional character (Ruby was around for two seasons, but was poorly acted and didn’t exactly have depth), but she definitely started in a moral canyon. Still, knowing how it played out for her, I can see now that the necessary bones were there even from the beginning and that the writers intentionally developed her from them.

      I really wish they had done more with the Grand Coven, as opposed to that crap storyline with the British Men of Letters, in s12. The implication in this episode is that the Grand Coven kicked Rowena out for harming innocents. But once we encounter one of them later in the season, it becomes quite clear that nope, they were perfectly A-okay with harming innocents. I like the analogy of Old Money kicking out New Money. I may steal that.

        1. Guest of Honor–what they call the actors and other folks associated with the show who are hosted at a con.

          1. LOL. I was wondering the same thing as Eva. The only thing my brain could come up with was “God/dess of the hour”. Apt enough for some celebrities, I guess, but shows I’ve never been to a con.

            1. Ah, it’s a term that’s been around for a while, but I guess it is pretty confined to conferences and conventions.

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