Tuesday, March 29, 2011

White Collar - Favorite Season 2 Episode - Poll - Part 2

Happy White Collar Tuesday! Today we have the poll for your favorite 2 episodes of the winter half of season 2. There are some great choices here but I'm going with Payback and Under the Radar. Payback because of the great nemesis in Keller and Under the Radar because we closed out a 2 year arc and it had great tension. Forging Bonds was close but they tried to throw in too much for me. I wish they had saved some of the material for another flash back.

Results of last week's poll:

Copycat Caffrey won with 43 votes.
Point Blank came in second with 37 votes.

I would have switched them around, but those were my two favorites too.

White Collar - 1.02 - Threads - Recap

We open on Fashion week in New York, a celebration Peter hates but leaves Neal smiling. They finally get a cab but Neal gives it to models. Second cab same as the first. Neal tells Peter to embrace the week, but Peter's late to interview a witness. Neal shows some money, which Peter says won't work, and a cab stops right away. The perp of the week is an Israeli counterfeiter, Ghovat, whom Neal knows as the Ghost. He's big-league in the counterfeiting world, the first one to forge the micro printing on the euro. They interview Tara, a model who inadvertently witnessed the Ghost murder someone. She can identify the Ghost's voice and is willing to help.

In the office, Peter and Neal go over the case. The dead guy was Ghovat's associate and they theorize a business deal went wrong. Fashion Week gives him cover to meet his buyer. Neal turns 8 and squeals that they should throw a party. He's really excited. I guess they don't celebrate in prison. He has a point, since the Ghost has a penchant for swinging towns. Neal: "We put women, booze, fashion all together in one spot.." Peter: "And what do we do? Send him an e-vite. He replies Ghost plus 1." Neal says Tara could be there to listen for the Ghost's voice. He does a happy dance embarrassing Peter. Hughes is less than thrilled with the plan, not sure Ghovat will show. Still, Peter persuades him to trust Neal. "Look, Caffrey, Ghovat, these guys are cut from the same cloth. Neal's convinced that our Ghost will show up. I say we trust his instincts on this one. We've never been this close to Ghovat." Hughes reconsiders and gives them $5,000 for the party. Neal: "15 would be better." Ha! It's the government Neal. They fix things with duct tape. Neal wants Elizabeth to help them and Hughes is far more excited about this than Peter.

At the FBI storehouse, they find all the fixing for a high class party. Apparently bad guys like Royal Osetra caviar, Springbank whiskey, and Garioch (pronounced geery) scotch. Considering how the '58 scotch costs over $1500 a bottle, I see why Elizabeth is impressed. The caviar is a bargain at $1,000 a tin. They should raid the warehouse more often. Peter's concerned with the inventory, which he calls "booze and fish eggs." Ha! I'm with you, Peter. Neal finds an impressive watch but they can't take it. Neal says it would look good on him and Elizabeth agrees, but Peter says it's too pricey. Elizabeth proclaims the warehouse shopping done but they need a place for this shindig. Peter he has it covered, but judging from the look Elizabeth and Neal give each other that's not too promising.

It's worse than I imagined. Peter thinks a decrepit loft with a chalk outline is a great place for a high class party. Neal and I beg to differ. Peter: "It has everything you need." Neal: "Yeah, if 5 drunk frat buddies show up." Bwah! Love the snark! Peter's feelings are hurt and he questions Neal about the models. He not only has 65 models already, but he also has a friend with a better venue. Peter: "Oh, you think your friend's place is better than mine?" I think the Motel 8 is a better than yours, Peter. Neal does so much better. It's a landscaped rooftop where El once had a state dinner. Ooh! Neal softens the blow though by giving Peter credit. Peter oversees the camera installation while Neal sees an attractive woman in a party dress. "You are definitely in the right place. You're also a little early." Neal goes to escort her downstairs and she riffs that he's not quite as charming as she thought he would be. Surprise, it's Agent Lauren Cruz. For the record, I like Diana better; I'm glad they brought her back. Neal: "So where do you keep your gun?" Peter just rolls his eyes.

We join the party in full swing. Jones: "Damn, Caffrey knows how to throw a party." Bwah! He asks if one guest is Miss March and Peter knows she was in Sports Illustrated, not Playboy. I find that funny since Peter is usually straight-laced and kind of stuffy. Ha again! Jones takes a picture of the video feed on his cell phone. I can imagine what he'll tell his buddies. Meanwhile, Neal escorts Tara. Peter directs them to a nervous looking guy in the crowd, and he introduces himself as Dmitri. He's not the Ghost but he does speak Hebrew, as does Tara. She realizes the Ghost is talking to Dmitri on his cell phone. Agent Lauren flirts with Dmitri while Neal lifts his cell. Unfortunately, the real Ghovat sees Neal do it and drops his phone in a random guy's jacket. When Neal calls the number, the Feds swarm him. Tara realizes it isn't him and Neal looks around frantically while Peter inwardly curses.

At Neal's place, a very tetchy Neal looks out over the city and snaps at Mozzie about his anklet. Moz can't get it off but Neal has it better than most; his 2-mile radius goes farther in New York than most places. Neal isn't laughing. He wants Kate. He wonders what Ring Man wanted from Kate in San Diego, because he didn't find it. Mozzie: "How do you know what he was looking for?" Great question! Neal told Kate that all his stolen loot was warehoused in San Diego, but he told Mozzie Portland. Good to know Neal is so trusting. Moz is clearly miffed. "It's a test. You told her San Diego. You told me Portland. Then, whichever rock gets overturned you know who betrayed you." Neal tries to back track but no dice. "What? That you can trust me. That I'm the one who's been there through all of it." Mozzie rightly points out that Kate betrayed Neal but Neal says she was forced to. Hey, betrayal is betrayal, no matter why. It makes Mozzie the trustworthy one. Moz counters that she didn't warn Neal in prison, but Neal thinks she did with a code. When the FBI pursued them, Neal says they made immature, fold the paper to reveal the message codes. Mozzie: "That could be cracked by anyone who's ever seen the back of MAD magazine." Ha! Neal gets huffy; the codes improved over time. Neal needs to see Kate's last visit and Moz points out that Peter can get the tape. Neal says Peter won't just show it to him, but Mozzie suggests asking. Well that's common sense. Might as well try it.

At the FBI, they have a real name for Ghovat and exposit that he has no record, but Dmitri does. He's your basic overall bad guy. Jones tails him and the meeting adjourns. Neal flirts with Lauren who finds this attempt more charming. Neal steps into Peter's office to ask about lunch, but Peter has a picnic with Elizabeth. He wonders if he's in trouble and Neal tells him to "show no fear," but he's no relationship expert. As Peter knocks on wood and goes to leave, Neal asks for the tape. Peter's not sure if it's a good idea, but Neal says he needs closure. He's vulnerable and yes, when he says it, my heart cracks a bit. It reminds me of the pilot when Peter finds Neal mulling over the bottle. I think it gets Peter too because he agrees to get the tape if Neal helps him catch Ghovat.

At lunch, Peter small talks to gauge Elizabeth's mood. It's funny and El tells him that he's not in trouble. Peter is vastly relieved that she asked him to lunch to give him a present. It's a new watch. She thought Peter wanted the watch in the warehouse, so she bought one that wasn't quite as nice, but showed she was thinking of him. Peter calls it "perfect" but has a problem with the latch. He's interrupted by a phone call and stumbles over the time because the watch doesn't have numbers on it. He settles for 5 minutes and then praises a watch that is clearly not for him. El says it looks good on him while Peter squints at the hands. As Peter heads back, Neal reassures a nervous Tara who is moving into protective custody. She's upset, since she wanted a modeling agent not witness protection. Neal says if anyone can catch Ghovat, it is Peter. Aw! Peter walks in and Neal notices the watch. "No sundial to clutter it up." Ha! Peter blames Neal for giving Elizabeth the idea. But no time for banter, as they have a bad guy to catch. Jones follows Dmitri to a photo shot with the model Ghovat escorted to the party.

Neal gets them into the photo shoot, no small task. Dmitri is there and they figure since Neal has his phone, he uses the model to contact Ghovat. They won't talk to a Fed but Neal has a plan. "Do you trust me?" Peter: "Nope." Ouch, but funny. It's amazing how far these two have come in 2 seasons. Neal tells Peter to look menacing but I'm getting "parent lecturing" instead. Neal's not impressed either. Peter gets ticked and now he looks menacing. Neal makes sure the outline of Peter's gun is seen through his jacket and adds Terminator sunglasses. Insert lame joke here. Neal talks to Dmitri, implying he wants to contact the Ghost also. Dmitri confirms he's there to buy, but doesn't say what. He tells Neal and Peter to leave. Neal head nods to Peter who skulks out of the room. Neal: "Hey, man. For the record, you were much scarier than that other guy. Much." Peter looks absurdly pleased.

Jones tails Dmitri to a hotel and Peter sends back up. Two hours later, still no sign of Dmitri leaving. They get a report of people arguing and by the time Peter and Jones get to the 50th floor, Dmitri is toast. He has a dress gagging him and blood near his neck. It's puzzling. Peter says he was stabbed and Neal thinks the gag was a message not to talk. He's very uncomfortable around the dead body, reinforcing that Neal may be a criminal but he's not violent. Nice little reminder there, director. Ghovat left by an unreported security elevator, proving him smart and paranoid. The only clue left is the dress. Peter: "Well it's not off the rack. It's got no tag, which means it's couture." Neal gives Peter a questioning look but Peter dealt with knockoffs before. "Ask me what I know about a Prada bag sometime." Bwah! Love the deadpan delivery on that one. Neal notices a slit in the dress and Peter exposits that it's a security strip that can hold 4 gigs of information on it. Neal reminds us that this is a lot of info.

Peter interrogates the dress designer, who confesses that Ghovat kidnapped his son and forced him to smuggle the strip into the US. Once he cleared customs, his son was returned. However, the designer gets the last shot; he made two dresses and Ghovat took the wrong one. Neal surmises that Dmitri and Ghovat struggled because of the wrong dress. Ghovat won. Neal wonders what the chip has on it, and Peter guesses, "Could be launch codes, covert id, the formula for new Coke. Who knows?" Um, Peter. 1985 called to say the Cold War is over and New Coke failed. He redeems himself by using the designer to get Ghovat. On the phone, the designer says he sold the other dress and enter Neal with Tara wearing the dress. Neal makes her more comfortable and soon gets a call from Ghovat. Ghovat offers him $5 million but Neal wants $10. Ghovat threatens him and hangs up. Unfortunately, the phone is a burner, there's no prints, and Ghovat kidnaps Tara. Not a successful night. The burner phone rings again.

The FBI starts tracing the call, but Ghovat knows about Peter. He is sufficiently menacing towards Tara and arranges a meeting at the park, fully aware that the FBI will stake it out. He's either very cocky or very clever. In this case, I'm going with the later. He hasn't stayed off police radar this long without thinking things through. Neal wants to go to the drop as he feels bad about Tara, but Peter says he'll be more helpful figuring out Ghovat's game plan. Neal's solution - don't have a plan. Ghovat expects them to try something so Peter should be flexible. Peter's unsure of this plan and in all honesty, I would be too. He asks what Neal would do. "I would go home and have dinner with my wife." Aw! That's advice Peter can take. A very nervous Elizabeth listens to the game plan. "I'm really glad you got into the white collar crime division, where nothing exciting happens." It has to be hard living with law enforcement. El has another present for Peter and he really, really tries to avoid it. But surprise! It's his old watch. Peter says he loves his new one, but El knows it doesn't fit right and it's hard to read. "I mean, it's beautiful, but it's not you. Take this." (huge sigh) I love these two together. El: "I need you to be Agent Peter Burke tomorrow, and this, this is you." Sniff! "Besides, when all this is over with, I need you home at six o'clock right on the dot." Now I'm all smiles again. Smart woman! Peter says thank you, but the conversation they have with their eyes says so much more.

The next day, Hughes rallies the troops, saying that the strip contained a code to counterfeit European currency. They put a false code in the dress but aren't sure it will fool Ghovat, putting Tara at risk. Hughes: "We could put the entire monetary system of Europe at risk. Guess who wins." Yikes! Way to be frosty cold there. Hughes assigns roles, and Neal raises his hand, irritating Hughes. Neal wants in, but Hughes says he's the coffee guy. Somehow I doubt it. Nope. Hughes runs the show in the van when Neal knocks on it. Bwah! Hughes is not amused. He can't say anything because at that moment, Ghovat calls Peter, who runs to a new position without agent backup. Ghovat has chosen a lovely bomb belt as Tara's accessory. If he calls, the bomb blows up. Hughes says to let Ghovat go, but Neal calls Ghovat's cell to jam up his phone. He can't trigger the bomb if he can't make an outgoing call. Neal races past Peter and tells him to get the belt off Tara. Unfortunately, when Neal catches up to Ghovat, he pulls a gun on Neal. Did you really think he wouldn't have one? C'mon Neal. Lauren tackles him from behind, leaving a grateful Neal to say, "That was pretty damn charming." Ha! Meanwhile Peter throws the belt on the ground and demands everyone get down. I don't get it. Why wouldn't he have everyone move away instead of hitting the deck. Neal compliments Peter's hero technique and then takes credit for Ghovat being in custody. Hmmm.

Peter also takes his promises seriously, as Neal and Mozzie watch the tape of Kate's last visit for a clue. Neal shushes Mozzie, which is funny because the tape is picture only. They decide it's not her hair or the fact that her scarf makes the letter "M". Mozzie: "13th letter in the alphabet. Thirteen is a prime." Neal: "Thanks Rain Man." Moz is getting ticked when Neal notices Kate using Morse code. Mozzie realizes she's signaling "bottle". Neal looks longingly for more, but that's it. He takes the bottle off the shelf. I wonder how he got it since it should be in evidence. But any bottle mystery will have to be solved next time, as the credits begin to roll.

I think this episode is a bit below average for White Collar. It had an intriguing plot and advanced the Kate mystery, but some of the lines fell flat and it wasn't as tight as the pilot. I enjoyed it but I when I went to recap it, I was hard pressed to remember most of what happened. What did you think of it?

Screencaps by CAPS BY EMMA-JANE
My blog

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Supernatural - 2.20 - What Is and What Should Never Be - Review

WARNING - This is a review more than a recap so it is longer and I compare it to future seasons. Do not read if you have not watched through season 5 unless you want to be spoilered. I don't pretend not to know what happens in future episodes here like I usually do when recapping old episodes.

Preface - This review comes because someone asked why What Is and What Should Never Be is my favorite when I shy away from the emotional. Therefore it is more personal and more biased. Hey, I said it was my favorite. To appreciate why it resonated for me, you need to know where it and I were in season two overall. The beginning saw the brothers grieving John's death, the first extended overload of angst in our previously "no chick flick moments" show. It also saw the rise of Super Special Sammy and the other Special Kids, but we didn't know exactly why they were special. Add to that, an FBI manhunt and the Roadhouse, which only became popular after it burned down. Not only was it exhausting for the brothers, but it was also the turning point for Supernatural. We were on the cusp between monster of the week with mytharc thrown in and full on mytharc with some MOTW episodes thrown in. An exhilarating time to be a Supernatural fan but one racked with uncertainty too. As a diehard fan, I felt the same turmoil others did. Where was the show going? I was puzzled by the early angst onslaught, but I had more patience with it at that time. Fast forward a season and a half and I quickly lost my taste for brother angsting and "poor me" whining. Let's just say I was far more open to "emotional" episodes before they became the norm instead of the exception. Season 2 was largely pre-emo and at the pinnacle of it came WIaWSNB. An odd choice before the 2-part finale, but an inspired one at that.

Previously, the Winchesters had a normal childhood before it was all "saving people, hunting things - the family business." Mary and Jessica were flambéed and Dean was tired of hunting and bad luck.

On a monster hunt, the brothers split up with Sam researching and Dean scouting lairs. Sam worries about a cop car sitting outside their hotel, but it quickly moves on. I'm happy there's continuity between the last episode and this one. Sam: "Yeah, being fugitives. Freaking dance party." Dean: "Hey man, chicks dig the danger vibe." I smile at early Dean and Sam, relatively playful before destiny and the epicness of seasons 4 and 5 weighed them down. Don't get me wrong; seasons 4 and 5 had their moments but season 2 had a much lighter Dean and Sam. Sam exposits djinn and we learn genies are not Barbara Eden-ish, less head-nodding and more dying. Dean's more of an "I Dream of Jeannie" than a "Bewitched" man. He checks out a ruined warehouse over Sam's objections.

In the warehouse time forgot, we see a fan, a typewriter, and a bald guy stalking Dean. It's sufficiently creepy and I still jump when the djinn attacks. It has a penchant for tattoos and wears a sweater that looks like a cross between hair and asphalt no one smoothed down. Let's just say it would be the surefire winner of my school's Most Hideous Sweater contest. Plus his eyes and hand turn day-glo blue. It is the coolest monster Supernatural has ever had, bar none. He puts his glowing blue hand on Dean's forehead and Dean's eyes roll back into his head. That's one hunter down for the count. I love the season 2 title card, the one with the fire.

From Hell It Came, a 1957 movie about a killer tree, plays on an unknown TV. The clip may induce nightmares - from the terrible special effects and synopsis. Dean startles awake from a thunderclap, wondering about the woman lying next to him. I wonder about the necklace because it's not the amulet. The last time it went missing, the shapeshifter lifted it in "Skin". Hey, alter-Dean has a guitar, awesome touch. He immediately calls Sam, who is looking at lame e-mail from his friend Christopher Cooper. Hello Verizon product placement. Dean explains that the djinn attacked him but alter-Sam thinks he's drinking gin and drunk dialing. Ha! Nice job writers. At least he knows hot chick's name now. Checking the mail, Dean finds himself back in Lawrence, Kansas. Carmen walks in and he fakes it 'til he makes it. She offers to help his insomnia but her methods will likely keep him awake. Normally Dean would be all for this, but he's so freaked out he says he'll join her in a bit. Pictures imply that Dean and Carmen have been a couple for awhile, but a different picture freaks him out. He drops it and takes off.

Back at a familiar home, Dean frantically knocks and rings the doorbell. And who should answer it but Mary, dead Winchester matriarch. Dean's utter astonishment on seeing his mother, the way he pulls away from her touch, and the soft "I don't know" when she asks if he is alright is dead on. He has a vulnerability here we rarely see in seasons 1 and 2, and it makes this episode stand out against seasons 4-6 where it's vulnerability and despair overdose. This is not melodramatic. It's not drawn out, but it speaks volumes to me. You can see how he wants to believe it but he has hunted enough to doubt something this good. He's rough and unsure and I admit this is one of my favorite hugs. However it avoids emoangsting by Dean stumbling through John's death by stroke and the real childhood pictures of Jensen and Jared. As does Mary saying he's drunk, a theme in this episode and foreshadowing for episodes to come. The pace luckily doesn't allow us to dwell in one moment. Mary starts to call Carmen, but Dean wants to stay. When she kisses his forehead and he leans into her touch, my heart breaks a bit. Mary: "Get some rest. I love you." Dean: "Me too." Aw! Emotion in little, spare moments - no overly angsty speeches, no whining about their destiny. Just a beautiful, clean scene that gets me every time.

And then it's right back to the case. Yippee! Dean asks a KU (?) professor about djinn. I feared we would get a long exposition, a drawback of season 1 storytelling, but am happily surprised when Dean cuts him off. "Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know. Get to the wish part." (snickers) I felt that way about exposition sections too, Dean. He asks if djinn could actually grant wishes, causing the professor to explain fact from fiction to Dean. (Editing snide remark here) Dean backtracks, saying that in the stories he is puzzled about why a powerful creature would voluntarily grant someone's wish. He muses out loud about self-defense or djinns not be evil. The professor interrupts by asking if he's drunk. Again, this was funny in season 2. Now it's just sad. Dean smiles: "Everybody keeps asking me that but, uh, no."

On campus, he pops open Metallicar's trunk to find old food wrappers and skin magazines instead of weapons. He smiles and tells her they are civilians. I cringe because Metallicar should be special and then wonder who throws food wrappers in their trunk. Aren't those usually found in the back seat? Oh well. He's stopped from musing by a girl in white, the costume of choice for ghosts everywhere. For some reason, Dean heads toward her and almost gets hit by a car. She vanishes in the chaos.

Back at Mary's, Dean enjoys a sandwich and by enjoys I mean stuffs large chunks in his mouth, a running physical gag then. He also talks through his food and acts like an unmannered oaf. It's all Dean. Mary gently asks whether he's going to work and we find out he's a mechanic. Makes sense. She's also weirded out that he wants to mow. "Are you kidding me? I'd love to mow the lawn." My mom would react the same way. I've made it a point to NOT know how to mow or iron. Keeps me from having to do either. And so starts one of my favorite non-speaking scenes ever. First, it's to "What a Wonderful World" - one of my all-time favorite songs. Second, Dean is so freaking happy, even when the mower gets stuck on the curb. I love how Dean waves to the neighbor who does the awkward, "why is he waving at me" wave back. I laugh every time and it's like I am right there with Dean. For once in his life, everything is perfect. When he sits on the porch drinking an El Sol beer, absolutely happy, I want to stay in that moment too. I can count on one hand the moments of true bliss for the brothers and that's just sad.

To make Dean's joy complete, Sam arrives with Jessica. He engulfs her in a huge hug until she squeaks, "Can't breathe." Again, I am happy with him. However, his joy makes him a bit slow on the uptake. Sam and Jessica flew in from California for Mary's birthday. Wow! That's awesome. I didn't even drive 2 hours for my mom's birthday when I was in college. She had to settle for a phone call and a belated card. Sadly, Sam snarks about Dean drinking beer so all's not well between the Winchester brothers. I wonder if Dean is fated to be an alcoholic, trips to hell aside. They celebrate at some pretentious restaurant serving bundled asparagus stalks. Exactly the place I avoid. Dean's not comfortable either, but he lights up when Sam and Jessica kiss. Carmen mentions she's worried about him, but Dean says he's really good. She suggests they get a cheeseburger after dinner and Dean jumps at that idea. "How did I end up with such a cool chick?" Carmen: "I've just got low standards." BWAH! I love Carmen. Until Lisa, she was the woman I liked best with Dean. How sad is that. Dean kisses her, but is interrupted by Sam and Jessica's engagement. Everyone is delighted and it's awesome to see Sam so joyful. Which of course is the Supernatural signal to chuck it all. Dean sees Ghost Girl, who looks far more bedraggled this time. He pushes past Sam to find her, but she flickers out. Unfortunately, his entire family looks at him oddly, noticing his strange behavior.

Returning to Mary's, Sam asks Dean about it but Dean brushes him off so he decides to head up to bed. Dean wants to grab a beer with him instead since it's only 9:00 pm. Sam shoots him down, giving him the stink eye. And with good reason it turns out. Sam questions Dean's embrace life good mood and objects to Sammy, so some things never change. Apparently, Dean and Sam don’t talk in part because Dean stole Sam's ATM card and prom date, Rachel Nave. Dean: "Yeah, that kind of sounds like me." Does it? While I see teen Dean not caring about prom date dibs, his and Sam's taste in women are very different. Sam: "Look it's alright man. I just, I'm not asking you to change. I just, uh, I don't know. I guess we just don't really have anything in common." Aw! Now that's just sad since the only thing they have in the supernatural world is each other. Dean cites hunting, but this Sam didn't grow up in that life. Dean says they should go hunting sometime and Sam walks away.

Back at his own home, Carmen commiserates with Dean's fractured Sam relationship. She reasons that they don’t spend enough time together to really know each other. "For the record, he doesn't know what he's missing." Dean is determined to repair things with Sam and it's refreshing to hear after the big season 4 rift. Dean: "This isn't going to make a lick of sense to you, but I kind of feel like I've been given a second chance and I don't want to waste it." He tells her she's the one and they kiss until she has to go to work. Dean's confused about her night job, but is very impressed with himself when she pulls out nursing scrubs. "I'm dating a nurse. That is so respectable." Ha! Love the leer. 20 minutes in and the Winchesters are still happy. It's a record.

Unfortunately, Dean's night consists of channel-hopping through infomercials and the hammer of doom drops. The news covers the 1-year anniversary of the Britannia Flight 424 crash, aka the flight they saved in Phantom Traveler. Newspaper articles show the shtriga from Something Wicked killed 9 kids, and so on. Nice depressing continuity there. As Dean realizes that everyone he ever saved died, he sees Ghost Girl again. He follows her to the bedroom to get a nice jolt of rotting corpses in his closet before they and Ghost Girl flicker out. Bye, bye happy days! By the way, Dean and Carmen have a sweet closet.

Dean visits John's grave and let me state for the record that this is one of my two least favorite scenes this episode. It's here we first encounter overly dramatic angst. Yes, I know it's necessary and I understand how he feels. Yes, I think Jensen Ackles did a great job. However, it's only the glee-high I have from the earlier bliss that allows me to ride right over this angst. Dean tells John's grave about the formerly saved, now dead people. He mentions Ghost Girl and for a bit I think we'll get through without tears, but then Dean puts words in John's dead mouth. And man is that John a class-A jerk! "Your happiness for all those people's lives, no contest, right?" Dean questions why he has to play the hero. He brings up Mary's life and Sam's engagement and down come the manly tears. I do feel for him, but thankfully the scene is cut short as Dean walks away. 1 minute and 10 seconds of angst balanced by 20 minutes of Winchester happiness. Yeah, I can take that trade-off.

We flash back to the pilot with Sam and Jessica sleeping in a light-filled room. Either the neighbors own a lighthouse or someone on set forgot it was nighttime. The Impala roars in the background. Jessica turns, Sam wakes, and Dean noisily breaks in. Second verse same as the first, except this Sam has a bat. Dean takes him down in one move and instead of "Easy tiger" we get "That was so easy, I'm embarrassed for you." I may be laughing but Sam is not. Dean snarks, "I was looking for a beer." Sam: "In the china cabinets?" Bwah! Yeah, that excuse didn't work last time either. I half expect Jessica to turn on the lights in a Smurf shirt. Sam sees the silver collection and assumes Dean is robbing Mary. Yikes! That relationship is rocky. I'd at least give my brother the benefit of the doubt. Dean claims gambling debts. Sam: "I can't believe we're even related." Ouch! Dean: "I'm sorry that we don't get along and I wish to hell I could stay to fix it, but I've got to do this. People's lives depend on it." He goes to leave and tells Sam to tell Mary he loves her. An already suspicious Sam realizes something's up. "I'll see you Sammy." Oh and it's day now for those keeping track. Until it's not, the next second. Huh? Bad flashbacks of Bug's Insta-Dawn begin.

Dean sits in the Impala outside the house, presumably contemplating the end of his happiness. Perhaps that's why he doesn't hear Sam until he gets in the car. Dean tells him to get out, that it is too dangerous and he could get hurt. Sam says tough. "Look, whatever stupid thing you're about to do, you're not doing it alone and that's that." Yes! You tell him alt-Sam. I love when Sam gets forceful for Dean's own good. Dean asks why and Sam answers, "Because you're still my brother." It gets me every time. I loved this line when I first heard it, but by season 6 it means even more. If alt-Sam knows the importance of family in the middle of tough times, then demon allegiances, hell journeys, trust issues, and more deaths than one can count can be overcome. It gives me faith that the brothers are in it for the long haul and nothing will ever stop that. Dean appreciates it too. "B****" Sam: "What are you calling me a b***for?" (chortles and snickers breathlessly) You gotta love that. Funniest dialogue of the night!

They take off together and Sam asks about the bag of blood. He freaks and it's fun, good times again. Angsting over; they've got a case to solve. Dean explains how djinns are only killed by silver knives dipped in lamb's blood. It's very odd that every creature is killed by very specific things. I can't imagine the trial and error it took to find this one out. Sam: "You needed a silver knife dipped in lamb's blood, why?" Very good question, Sammy. He tells Dean to stop the car and Dean explains monsters to him. Sam diagnoses psychotic breakdown. Dean: "I wish." Ha! This whole scene is awesome! Great delivery from both. Sam pulls out his phone, Dean rolls down the window, and out goes the phone. No more product placement for Verizon. Dean says they've got work to do, and condescends that Sam should sit tight so he doesn't get them killed. Hey! Time out. Sam does as much saving as you do so hop off the throne, Mister High and Mighty. Hey, we've got classic rock - an awesome episode gets even better.

Either the drive took an entire day or night follows the Winchesters everywhere. It's pitch black and Sam's asleep when they get to the warehouse of their glowing hand nemesis. Dean is your typical annoying older brother, waking Sam by shining a flashlight in his eyes. Apparently, they are in Illinois so night does follow them. How depressing is that! Sam says nothing's there, but Dean hears a whimper. Sam nervously gulps and the two dead bodies previously seen in alt-Dean's closet are there. Ghost Girl is alive, so not a ghost after all. The djinn returns as the Winchesters hide. The girl whimpers for her dad but she gets djinn-juiced. Then the djinn creeps me out twice. He does a weird arm-nuzzling thing and then he drinks her blood straight from the IV. Gross! Sam is squicked too, but unfortunately, the djinn hears him. Luckily, he heads upstairs (huh?) and while Sam flips about the supernatural, Dean realizes the girl is living in a dream world. Suddenly, Dean gets it. Everything was a dream. He's tied up in the warehouse too. "What if all this is in my head?" The camera jerkily pans up to Dean's face and we cut for commercial. The first time I saw this, I ranted at every ad that came on.

Dean surmises the djinn's glowing hand is an acid trip so he can savor his snacks. Dean realizes he's "catching flashes of reality" when he sees the girl. He must be catatonic and can see what's around him but can't wake up. Sam says they need to go now. He starts pulling Dean but Dean stops him. "I don't think you are real." Sam touches Dean's arm to prove he's real but Dean doesn't buy it. He pulls out a knife and I react like Sam does. What are you doing? Put down the knife. I thought he would cut Sam too the first time. I should have known Dean would never do that. He plans to kill himself in the dream because it will wake him up. Of course, Sam helpfully points that if it isn't a dream, he'll just die. He pleads for Dean to stop, but Dean's 90% sure he's right.

Enter Mama, Carmen, and Jess. Make that 100% sure. Sam asks why he kept digging; he was happy. Mary tells him to put the knife down, but Dean sadly says she's not real. Mary: "It doesn't matter. It's still better than anything you had." Ouch! That hurts because it's true. In the dream, they are a family. Dean brings up the pesky djinn draining his blood thing, but Mary counters that it will feel like a lifetime. So, Dean's perfect world works amazingly like hell. Great! Mary: "I promise. No more pain or fear, just love and comfort and safety. Dean, stay with us." Dean's face reflects his longing, and Jessica speaks next. "You don’t have to worry about Sam anymore. You get to watch him live a full life." Then Carmen kisses him. "We can have a future together. Have our own family. I love you, Dean. Please." Finally, Sam throws Dean's words back at him. "Why's it our job to save everyone? Haven't we done enough? I'm begging you. Give me the knife." The sad strings of crummy elevator music thrum in the background, ruining a perfectly good scene while the camera pans on the alt-family's faces. Dean: "I'm sorry."

Dean plunges the knife into his abdomen and I jump every time Sam screams for Dean. And we're back in the real world with a frantic Sam trying to wake Dean up. Dean: "Auntie Em. There's no place like home." Sam: "Thank God. I thought I lost you there for a second." Dean: "You almost did." As Sam hacks at the bindings holding Dean, Glowy Hand suddenly appears out of nowhere. Dean shouts a warning but the knife drops. Glowy Hand is about to djinn juice Sam, when Dean pulls himself out of the ropes and stabs the creature in the back. Bye bye, glow stick. Dean sees former Ghost Girl cry and realizes she's alive. Sam cuts her down and Dean catches her. Dean: "I got you. We're going to get you out of here, okay. I got you. I got you." Sam looks worriedly at Dean.

Back at the Aladdin's lamp hotel room, Dean looks at a magazine while Sam learns the girl is okay. Man I miss season 1 novelty rooms. They were awesome and so is this one. What do you know? Carmen models for Dean's favorite beer! In typical season 1 fashion, Sam wants to talk. Surprisingly, Dean goes for it. He calls Sam a wuss, and Sam susses out that they didn't get along. Sam wonders why the dream world wasn't perfect but Dean says he wished Mary was alive. Without hunting, the brothers didn't have much in common. Sam's glad they get along and this is a perfect time to end the discussion in my book. 30 seconds of emotion and then hit the road in that beautiful car. (huge sigh) No dice. Sam compliments Dean for pulling himself out. Dean laments over Mary and grandkids and if this were season 5, I would be rolling my eyes. But in season 2, I wasn't used to trudging through guilt fests. Sam reminds Dean that it wasn't real, but Dean still wanted it. "I mean ever since dad, all I can think about is how much this job's cost us. We’ve lost so much. We've sacrificed so much." The violins move over so a full orchestra can play. Sam: "People are alive because of you. It's worth it, Dean. It is. It's not fair and you know it hurts like hell, but it's worth it." And we sob into the credits. Well, in honor of full disclosure, I usually skip the last three minutes so I still ride high on the djinn knife twist. That's my perfect ending.

So why do I love best an admittedly emotional and sometimes emo angsty episode when I typically prefer to avoid those? I guess the short answer is because it's the one episode in which the Winchesters are happy. In a season of wild emotional rides, the writers finally gave the brothers a free pass to feel joy for a moment and with that they gave us, the fans, a pass to be happy with them. It may not have been real. It may have come with consequences, but they enjoyed life without worrying about something killing them. For me, it was a needed break before the incredibly depressing saga of Sam's first death. While I love the humor of Supernatural, it is usually gallows humor. Something to get through the depression and the fear and the loneliness. It makes me laugh, but I don't feel better about their lives. I can count on one hand the number of times the Winchesters have been truly happy in the first six seasons and that's just sad.

Second, while this one is emotional, it's only emoangsty in 2 places for me. At John's gravesite, it is over quickly and balanced out by all the previous joy. I can stand a few tears, especially when there isn’t a lot of discussion with them. It's why I don’t mind the scene at John's funeral pyre. Then there's the emotional wrap-up that in season 2 was still pretty new. Nowadays, people have a fit if an episode doesn’t have it. In all honesty, I liked this scene more the first time I saw it because it was novel. It was one of my least favorite scenes, but I didn’t eye roll it.

I also think this episode has the most interesting monster of the week of all time. Not only was it the coolest looking with the tattoos and blue eye-hand combination, but it was also the most sadistic. Some people think this death was humane and how nice it must be to die in your own happy world. For me, the fact that the djinn gives them what they want while killing them makes it worse. He kills them with happiness and that creeps me out. I always wonder if these people know at the end that they have been betrayed by their own desires. That would truly suck out loud. In the end, I find djinn juice cruel and deeply disturbing and it makes the djinn the best one-shot villain to me.

Finally, this episode had perfect timing. In all honesty if it were in season 5 or even 4, I would have liked it but it wouldn't be my favorite. In season 5, I would not be able to get beyond the ending scene. It sounds too much like the constant harping and whining from both brothers in the later seasons. I understand being a hero is hard, and believe me I would not want to be one, but there's a reason why I think Harry Potter 5 is the worst book with Harry's constant Post-Traumatic Stress rage. There's a reason why I want to smack Frodo halfway through The Lord of the Rings. Call me a hypocrite but I want a hero who doesn't always remind me how much it sucks to be a hero. I deal with emotion and even enjoy it from time to time. I think the show would be unbelievable if they never showed how things were affecting Dean and Sam. However, for me, ending an episode by talking out their feelings over a beer and the Impala should be a rare and priceless thing. The constant "woe is me" complaining has been done to death. I'm okay with emotion; I just can't stand the emoangsting that slows the plot and leaves things on a sour note, especially since we rarely get happy moments to balance them out. I knew I would watch the second episode when Dean said "No chick flick moments" and I wish they would return to that. The overwhelming weight of their grief and guilt is weighing this fan down.

Screencaps by Supernatural Fans Online and Watching America
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Friday, March 25, 2011

Supernatural Favorite Scene - Mannequin 3 - Poll

Another week gone in hiatus and April 15 seems a long way off but at least in sight. So. to pass the time, what was your favorite scene from tonight's Mannequin 3: The Reckoning? Vote below and if you don't see your favorite, leave it in the comments.

Results from last's poll (Unforgiven):

Sam's collapse and hell memory won overwhelmingly with over half the votes (196 votes).
Dean telling Sam he's not responsible for what RoboSam did was a very distant second (36 votes).

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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

White Collar - Favorite Season 2 Episode - Poll - Part 1

Hey all and welcome to our second White Collar Tuesday. In an attempt to get more people on SpoilerTV talking about White Collar, I am going to post a recap of a season 1 episode each Tuesday for viewers new and old alike. We'll also continue with a season 2 poll. If you have other things you would like to see, leave a comment below. We've already had ideas on character mannerisms and Mozzie conspiracy theories. Any other suggestions?

Last week's poll included who people thought stole the treasure and what they thought Neal would do with it. Alex was the most popular choice of who stole the treasure with 119 votes out of 311. Neal's dad came in second with 54 with an unknown person at 49. Out of 230 votes, 153 people thought Neal would keep the treasure in the storehouse until he figured out what to do with it. No other option even came close.

EDITED to add: For some reason, PollDaddy is only allowing me to show the first poll, so we will vote on the second half of season 2 later. Don't forget to make 2 choices.

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Sunday, March 20, 2011

Supernatural - 6.04 - Weekend at Bobby's - Recap

Preface - I love this episode. I love Bobby. If I'm being really honest, sometimes I love Bobby more than the Winchester brothers. I also love Rufus. In other words, this recap will not be objective - not like any of them are. Also, I wrote this recap during the 2011 spring hiatus but I will be writing it mostly from my impressions when the episode first aired. Therefore, I'm pretending I don't know what's up with Sam.

Shameless Promotion: I also recap White Collar and will host White Collar Tuesdays on SpoilerTV. If you haven't watched it and want to join in the discussion, I'm discussing the Pilot this Tuesday. Check it out and join us. We'd love to have you.

Previously - Bobby traded his soul to Crowley on the condition he give it back, Crowley reneged, we met Rufus and Sherriff Mills, zombies rose in Bobby's town, Bobby got his legs back, Sam was post-hell strange

One year ago, Bobby had the oldest TV to still get a signal (that's Jensen Ackles' dad's voice on the broadcast) and summoned Crowley. Crowley snarked, Bobby said, "Bite me!", and Crowley showed interested before using his finger as a remote. Crowley complimented Sam's pit diving and chastised Bobby for being grumpy after saving the world. Supernatural needs more Bobby-Crowley scenes. They're awesome! Bobby offered Crowley a drink but he doesn't have "Craig. Age 30 years at least. I've been drinking it since grade school." Demons start early. Bobby prefers "old rotgut. Age 6 days." Crowley figured Bobby wants his soul, but there's a catch - no kidding. Crowley didn't have to give his soul back, only make an effort. Crowley's "effort" consisted of Shakespeare hand acting and grimacing. Bwah! Bobby countered by revealing a devil's trap in invisible paint. It's all cool and glowy when Bobby turns on the black light. Crowley, of course, had a plan. Enter a hellhound. Crowley: "Ball's in your court, Robert. Ten years of living or ten years as Alpo." Checkmate! Bobby let Crowley out. I'd watch out Crowley because a ticked off Bobby is not someone I'd mess with. Crowley: "Happy hunting!"

Fast forward a year - In Kenosha, Wisconsin, Dean's hand is inside a dead guy's innards while children play nearby. Not good. He shows Sam a claw and calls Bobby, who comes inside to get it. Dean: "What happened to you? You fallen and can't get up." What? Does Bobby always answer his home phone on the first ring? Normal people would assume he's out and try the cell phone. Bobby's not amused either. The Kenosha case is odd - no EMF, sulfur, or hex bags. Just 6 bodies and a claw. Dean sends a photo to Bobby's ancient computer. I'm surprised he can get photos on it, much less that quickly. Bobby's stumped too. Dean wants info ASAP but Bobby is working on something. No sympathy from Dean who tells him to kick out Bo Derek . Dean's kind of a jerk tonight. I get there's dead bodies but Bobby is a hunter too. What if he was working on something equally important?

We montage Bobby's information search to the tune of The Gambler. Perfect! No luck in his books so he heads to the Sioux Falls University Library, more like a neighborhood library from its size, waving at a blond neighbor on the way. The library's closed and he breaks a window to get in. Quite frankly, I'm surprised he hasn't snaked a key or found a less intrusive way. Surely, it's not the first time he had to get a book after hours. Speaking of which, what college library is closed on Sunday anyway. It's a bad day all around since the car won't start either. Good thing he's a mechanic. He finally arrives home at 1:00 am and No-Doz-es until lunchtime. Or at least Dean's lunchtime, as he scarfs burgers from the Burger Barn. It's a lamia, which is killed by a blessed silver knife. Dean hangs up. What, no thank you? Ingrate! Yep, Bobby's definitely their parent!

A voice yells from the basement where a pretty demon is tied up. "Hey there cranky. You were gone so long, I just assumed alcoholic coma." Ha! I like her. Bobby was mid-demon interrogation when Dean called. Might have been worth mentioning to brothers, huh Bobby? Bobby wants Crowley's real name but the demon coos, "Foreplay gets you more play." She's cheestastic! Until she brings Bobby's wife up. Now she must die. Bobby shows her a sack that contains something of hers. Not fair, Bobby. Share with the rest of the class. It makes the demon oddly quiet; she says burning the contents is a myth but she starts burning when he does. What! Crowley's the King of Hell? Huh? When did that happen? Bobby's as floored as I am. Lucky for her, the doorbell rings and I'm reminded of A Very Supernatural Christmas when it saved Dean and Sam. I don't think it will work today.

Marcy, the pretty blond neighbor Bobby waved to earlier, is at the door with ginger peach cobbler (yum) and an obvious desire to date. You don't know what you're getting into, honey. She hears demon girl yelling and Bobby says it's a horror movie. Marcy: "I love scary movies. Hey, have you seen Drag Me to Hell?" Bobby: "Trying to avoid it." Bwah! Good choice on both fronts! Marcy invites Bobby to her house for some yummy food and a bad horror flick. Bobby says it sounds great but… Marcy tries another route with a broken wood chipper. Who owns a wood chipper? This time she gets a nibble as Bobby says he'll see. They shake hands awkwardly and glance at each other a lot.

Back in demon central, the demon snarks about Marcy, but Bobby torches the sack again. Crowley's name is Fergus McCloud, but the other kids call him Lucky the Leprechaun behind his back. See, bullies never get real respect. Bobby: "McCloud's Scottish, Einstein." (snicker) Love how Bobby focuses on what's really important. The demon wants to go back…um, to hell maybe…but Bobby torches the sack instead. Demon: "No, we had a deal." Bobby: "I gave it my best effort." Yikes! That's cold! Bobby's not playing here. Demon girl burns up, and at this time, I figure it's her bones in the bag. I don't understand why torching them would smoke her. Plus, when demons get ganked, don't they end up back in hell anyway? Why would she care? The Things that Confuse Me List marches in.

Back upstairs, Bobby researches Scotland and talks to the dumbest hunter on the planet, Garth. He tells Garth it's not a vampire, so he should call the FBI. When Garth calls him back he says, "No Garth, not me the FBI. The real FBI. How are you still alive?" BWWAAHH!! I almost choke on my gum from laughing. No wonder Bobby calls people "idjits" all the time. We montage Bobby answering phones for possibly every hunter on Earth. He can't even drink his coffee. I alwaysthought of Bobby as only Dean and Sam's personal reference and fake credential go-to guy. I'm as bad as they are. Bobby's one busy guy! The montage ends with Rufus (nice to see you) banging on his door. "Oh good. You're home. Listen, you've got to help me bury a body." Ha! My face has the same expression as Bobby's. Bobby and Rufus play a round of Grumpy Old Men. The law is after Rufus so he had no choice but to bring the body there. Bobby says Rufus has gotten slow and Rufus responds that he doesn't sit around taking phone calls all day. Yeah, but who do you and everyone else go to when there's a problem? That's right! Bobby. Rufus bagged an okami, which is odd since they are usually found in Japan. Both are puzzled since lamias never leave Greece and the Winchesters found one in Wisconsin. "Monsters lately. Is it me or is it weird?" Rufus asks for a shovel and woo hoo! Bobby brings out the backhoe! Rufus: "Man, I know what I want for Hanukkah." Every hunter should have one.

They banter about Crowley as they bury the okami. Makes you wonder how many bodies are buried in Bobby's yard. He might be on CNN as a serial killer one day. Bobby's looking for Crowley in Scotland because he likes Craig. Rufus: "It's scotch - only made and sold in a tiny area on the north tip of Caithness County. It's peaty and sharp with a long finish of citrus and tobacco notes….Hey what? What, am I a heathen? I know what Craig is." Well, call me heathen Rufus, because I looked long and hard but I can't find info on it anywhere. The closest I get is Glencraig , which is a whiskey made in Speyside - eastern Scotland, south of Caithness County. Still, I originally thought Craig was a 30-year-old man whom Crowley was drinking the blood, soul, or life essence from. What can I say? I've seen too much Buffy. Bobby thinks he lived there a few hundred years ago as a human, and Rufus offers to call some contacts. Bobby: "Well, I ain't asking for no help." Rufus: "I'm not asking for your permission." First, I love these two together. Second, Bobby, maybe this is why no one appreciates you. Everyone needs to ask for help sometime.

We stop the Bobby saga (and his chance to eat the cobbler) for a little Winchester comic relief. The silver knife plan led to a dead priest and Sam thrown into walls. While Bobby tries to help them, the FBI knock at his door. He tells Dean to get salt and rosemary and both Dean and Agent Adams are impatient for his time. Bobby passes the call off as a recipe for his mother. "Blend the herbs. Sauté over a high heat. Cook well." Dean correctly interprets it as mix salt and rosemary, throw it at the lamia, and burn it to a crisp. At the sounds of lamia flambé, Bobby ends the call - "Enjoy the roast, Mom." Ha! Sheriff Mills accompanies Adams, who wants "Rufus Turner aka Luther Vandross aka Ruben Studdard." Do all hunters use musician aliases? Plus, isn't an American Idol winner a bit too high profile? Bobby denies knowing him, and he and Adams start a testosterone war which Mills stops. "Ok fellas. Put the rulers away. Zip up." She calls Bobby a crank but convinces Adams to wait outside while she looks inside.

Bobby isn't happy with this plan either. Mills didn't think Bobby wanted him inside. "I don't. I've got a body in my basement." "My point" "Yeah, but I've got another body buried in the yard." Bwah! Things are complicated. They search the yard for Adams, who finds a huge hole where the okami used to be buried. Bobby claims exploded septic tank. He calls Rufus, who is already two states over, and they debate okami-killing techniques. He used a bamboo dagger blessed by a Shinto priest, but stabbed it five times not seven. They argue, but as the okami is alive, Bobby's clearly right. Rufus says it fed on single white females at night, which leads Bobby to Marcy. She may be interested, but this can only end badly. A shadow run past her as Bobby breaks in. The okami throws Bobby through a window and jumps after him. And then possibly the greatest hunter weapon of all time! Bobby throws her into the wood chipper. Fabulous! It works by the way, so it was a rouse to get Bobby over. But since Marcy is covered in okami bits, the courtship is over. Bobby: "Well, I guess I could over for dinner some night. Might be fun." Marcy: "I don’t think so." Bobby: "Story of my life." Aw, Bobby, I feel bad finding fun in the miseries of your life. But it was funny.

The next morning, Bobby and Rufus talk and Rufus asks how he happened to have a priest-blessed dagger around. Quite frankly, at this point nothing surprises me in Bobby's house. Bobby: "Wood chipper." Rufus: "Okey dokey, wood chipper. That pretty much trumps everything." Bwah! You betcha. Also, I bow to Dean here. "I like him. He says okey dokey." Rufus says thanks for fixing his mistake and Bobby says he stills owes Rufus more than Rufus owes him. Rufus is pretty chipper at that and adds to the debt. He found Fergus Roderick McCloud, born in Scotland 1661, and his son, Gavin, who came to America and died in shipwreck in 1723. His signet ring is in an Andover Museum. Bobby really needs it so he stumbles through a request for aid. I love Rufus! He's already on his way to get it. Rufus exposits hostage exchange - son for Bobby's soul, but Bobby's vague on the details. Rufus sounds genuinely worried about Bobby's soul deal. Aw!

It's cobbler time again so that can only mean one thing - phone call. Caller ID says John P. Jones, but it's Dean. He's worried about Sam and as we launch into sob story 6,193 another call comes in. Dean's ticked; I'm relieved. Nice timing…..Rufus. He's got the ring and cops on his tail. He swallows the ring and I so don't want details on fetching it back. Rufus is arrested, which is far more entertaining than Dean, round 2. "You know you are the one person that I can talk to about this stuff. About Sam and about leaving Lisa and Ben. I mean I don't even know which way is up right now." I feel for Dean. I really do, but I hoped to leave the Weepy Winchesters in season 5. Bobby, focused on his own problems, says it isn't a good time. Dean plays the girl feelings card and tries guilting Bobby into responding. Then he calls Bobby selfish. Seriously, Dean! All sympathy for your plight ends here! How dare you call Bobby selfish when he's done more for you two than anyone! He's a father to you. He deals with both of you whining/squabbling and your constant needs. He's covered for you, talked you off the roof, and was paralyzed to keep you safe. Stop the pity train. Put on your big boy pants and STOP WHINING!!! Where the heck is my fun, snarky Dean of old?

Bobby's had enough too. I've heard that voice from my parents. The one that says you've pushed too far and he's laying down the law. I CANNOT WAIT for the much overdue smack down. "Sam, Dean, I love you like my own. I do, but sometimes, sometimes you two are the whiniest, most self-absorbed (SOB's) I ever met. I'm selfish? Me? I do everything for you, everything. You need some lore scrounged up, you need your **** pulled out of the fire, you need someone to *** to about each other. You call me and I come through every damn time. And what do I get for it? Jack with a side of squat!" Dean tries to interrupt. "Do I sound like I'm done? Now look. I know you've got issues. God knows I know, but I got a news flash for you. You ain't the center of the universe. Now it may have slipped your mind that Crowley owns my soul and the meter is running. And I will be damned if I am gonna sit around and be damned! So how about you two sack up and help me for once." HALLELUJAH! It's about time! The Winchesters have needed this for over a year. Someone should write a song commemorating Bobby's words that they can play in the Impala when they got all uber-involved in themselves again. If I didn't already love Bobby, I would adore him now. Dean and Sam backtrack quickly. Sam tells him they'll help, just ask. Dean: "Anything you need, we're there." Again, about time! Although Bobby should have spoken up earlier about needing help. Sam no longer has super special powers so mind-reading is out, Bobby.

Bobby meets Sheriff Mills on a bridge. Marcy called in a home invasion, but she didn't file a report. He needs a lot of help this episode. Sheriff: "Luther Vandross turn up? Tell him I'm a fan." Aren't we all sometimes. Bobby wants Rufus extradited for murder. She laughs; he's serious. "I like you Bobby, but this could nuke my career." Bobby: "Look, I've done a lot for this town. Some you know about, some you don't. And I'm not real good at this whole asking for help thing, but.." Mills says no and drives off. Aw. The first time you ask for help on your own and you're shot down. I feel for you. Bobby sits to soak in alcohol-filled depression, but he doesn't even get time for that. There's a knock at the door, and what do you know, Mills is there with Rufus. Well, howdy, Sheriff. You've raised a lot in my esteem in 30 seconds. She gives them 1 hour before she calls in the jail break. "I lose my job over this, I am taking it out on your ***" Such language from Cody and Zack's mom! Bobby asks for the ring and Rufus starts to hand it to him. "I'll go boil some water." Smart plan, Bobby. Rufus: "What?" Me: "Bwaaaah!"

In Bobby's room of spirit summoning, the ring floats while Bobby spouts Latin. Ghost of Shipwrecks Past appears wondering if he's in hell. (snicker) Bobby threatens him and we cut to summoning Crowley. He's not looking well. Too much partying with your new title? Bobby: "Word on the street is that ever since Lucifer went to the pokey, you're the Big Kahuna downstairs…Trouble in paradise?" Crowley drowns his sorrow in booze and Alka Seltzer. Ha! "Mate, you have no idea. I thought when I got the corner office… it was all going to be rainbows and two-headed puppies. But if I'm being honest, it's been hell…You know what the problem with demons is?" "They're demons?" Crowley: "Exactly! Evil, lying prats the whole lot of them. And stupid! You try to show them a new way, a better way, and what do you get?...You know there's days that I think Lucifer's whole "spike anything with black eyes" plan was not bad. Hmm? Feels good to get it off my chest. We should make this a thing." Poor Bobby. Even the King of Hell wants to whine to him. Bobby: "Do I look like Dr. Phil to you?" "A little." This whole exchange makes me laugh and wish we had more Crowley and Bobby time.

Bobby starts expositing but Crowley beats him to the punch. "I'll save you the recap. In fact I'll do the shorthand for you." Thanks Crowley! In the funniest scene in season 6 so far, Crowley runs both sides of the dialogue himself:

"I want ma soul back idjit."
"Fraid not."
"But I'm surly and I got a beard. Gimme."
"blah blah blah homespun, cornpone insult. Witty retort from yours truly. And the bottom line is you get bubbkas. Are we done?"

Bobby: "Just getting started." Ghost Gavin appears and Crowley responds in a soft voice I've never heard him use. Crowley concerned about someone other than himself? Really? Gavin is surprisingly flat faced, but when Crowley tries to croak out that he loves him the jig is up. Yeah, didn't think so. Crowley gives Bobby points for divergent thinking but he only cares for himself. 'You want to torture him, just let me pull up a chair and I'll watch. Hell, burn his bones, send him down to me, we can have a family reunion." I think this winning speech made him King of Hell. Unfortunately, it doesn't make sense. If burning his bones sends him to hell, then why was the demon chick so terrified? Wouldn't she go to hell either burning or exorcism? Bobby lowers the boom though. "I was just using him to dig up dirt on you. And since Gavin hates you maybe even more than you hate him, he was more than happy to squawk." Apparently, Gavin told Bobby everything, which makes Crowley nervous as Gavin flickers out. "You may be King of the Dirtbags here, but in life, you were nothing but a two-bit tailor who sold his soul in exchange for an extra 3 inches below the belt." Um, that's all you got, Crowley? I'm disappointed.

Crowley snarks, but Bobby has the last laugh. He knows Crowley's burial plot and throws him the phone. Dean's on the line. What? I can't believe it, mostly because Kripke vowed not to; Dean and Sam are in Scotland. That must have been fun! I hope Sam packed sleeping pills because Metallica won't cut it on overseas flights. Dean: "Did you really used to wear a skirt?" Crowley: "A kilt. I had very athletic calves." I love Crowley snarking for all he's worth even though he's beaten. Dean has his bones. Crowley says burning them is a myth but they rerun the basement demon in case you missed it earlier. Seriously, our attention spans aren't that short. Perhaps burning demon bones is different than ghosts, but why? Bobby: "You demons, you think you're something special, but you're just spirits. Twisted, perverted, evil spirits, but end of the day, you're nothing but ghosts with an ego." So there is no difference? Then why don't they go back to hell? The Things That Confuse Me List writes a chapter with this conundrum. Bobby says they torch the bones and he burns. Dean: "You hear that Crowley? That's me flicking my Bic for you." Ha! Haven't heard that since the 80's. Bobby sets the terms - "Your bones for my soul." Crowley caves.

He waves his hands and the demon deal disappears, well, except the part that keeps Bobby out of a wheelchair. "Pleasure doing business with ya." Crowley demands out of the devil's trap, and we join him and the Winchesters in Scotland. He wants the bones but Dean would rather back out of the deal. "Maybe I'll just napalm your *** anyhow." Sounds like a good plan to me although I would miss his snark. Apparently Sam likes snarkiness too as he stops Dean. "I don't need you to fight my battles for me Moose! Get bent!" BWAHHH! Maybe Sam should rethink. Crowley poufs out: "Now if you excuse me, I've got a little hell to raise." Sam saving Crowley is a bit suspicious. Obviously deals don't mean much to Crowley so they'll have one ticked off King of Hell after them. It's odd for them to waste a chance to take him out. Anyway, the brothers drive off in a European clown car. Sam's hunched over and they practically sit on each other's laps. I snicker. Bobby says thanks, commiserating with Dean's 9 hour plane ride. Dean says it's fine but Sam tattles. "He white knuckled his way through 4 puke bags." Ugh! I feel sorry for those next to him. Dean: "Well at least I was sober. Some nut job decided to try something, I was ready. I had a fork." Ha! So pure terror is what they need to keep Dean sober? They might want to try that on a regular basis.

Bobby? Oh no you don't. Do not take back what you said to those two idjits earlier. You were right to call them on the carpet. Sam: "You were right Bobby. We take you for granted." Dean: "You've been cleaning up our messes for years, Bobby. You know, without you, I don't even want to think about where me and Sam would have ended up." The music of poignant re-bonding and family strength plays in the background. I might need a puke bags. Bobby: "OK then. Let's roll credits on this chick flick." Agreed. He tells them to try the native cuisine - not too sure about that one. Dean: "I hear they have an Olive Garden." Uh…um…bwah! Bobby rolls his eyes while I smirk. He goes to eat that much-deserved cobbler, but, wait for it….the phone rings. Second verse…same as the first.

I love this episode. I like the Bobby-centric plot and getting to see hunting from his point of view. I LOVE him telling the Winchesters to stop acting like whiny babies. And Rufus, well, he's just gold in my book. All around, an excellent episode. Kuddos, Jensen Ackles for a fine job on your first directing gig. And kuddos to the rest of the Supernatural cast and crew. You always make me glad to watch.

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