‘Supernatural’: Time and space

Supernatural
“American Nightmare”
November 3, 2016

THEN: “You must be one of us. One of the psychics. We’re all a part of something.”

NOW

The church bells ring. Sunlight streams through the stained glass windows. A small group of parishioners offer their morning devotions. A woman stands in the back of the sanctuary, framed by the open doors. She walks slowly down the center aisle. Blood pours from the puncture wounds in her feet. There are matching marks on her palms. A woman praying in a pew screams as she passes by.

There’s the sound of a whip and stigmata lady lurches forward. Lash marks appear on her back. Her gentle weeps become agonized cries of pain. She’s driven down the aisle and falls to her knees in front of the altar. She begins speaking in tongues. The camera spins around her. Blood trickles from her ear and down her forehead. She makes a final anguished cry and crumples to the floor.

The church bells toll. Fathers Penn and De Niro from the Dubuque Archdiocese call on Father Baldicantos, but he’s done talking about Olivia Sanchez. Dean says he was a chatty Cathy with the press and police. ‘Demons walk among us’ is quite the headline grabber. The Father tells them he watched Olivia get flayed alive by an invisible force. What else would he call it but the devil’s work?

Dean wonders if Lucifer could be responsible. Sam thinks it’s small time for the Morningstar. No sulfur and no smoke rules out a demon. He suggests rogue angel as an option.

Dean makes the call to Cas and then taps out a quick text to Mary. He asks if calling her mom is still okay. He hits send and debates if he should say more – or if he shouldn’t have said anything at all. He mumbles to himself that he’s a 13-year-old girl. No Dean, you’re just trying to reconcile your mother’s departure with your bone crushing fear of abandonment.  As one does.

Sam comes back with coffee and Dean reports that angel radio is silent and Heaven is still on lockdown, so. That’s the good news. The bad news is Cas is “chumming it up” with Crowley. Dean says they’re hunting Lucifer. Together.

“That’s right, one’s an angel, one’s a demon, and apparently they solve crimes.”

Sam misses the excellent opportunity to ask if Dean is jealous that his boyfriends are hanging out with each other.

spn_dean-crowley-cowboys-beer
NEVER FORGET

Also, they’re kind of having luck. “So, Lucifer, the Lord of Evil, the Angel of Light, is now the Master of Butt Rock.” Dean is appalled by Rick Springfield’s affronts to music but Sam is like, his third album tho.

“I hate you so much right now.”

Anyway Lucifer is at the bottom of the ocean and Dean would like to know more about Sam’s love of Rick Springfield. Sam says “Jessie’s Girl” is still the jam before getting back to the case. Olivia was speaking Aramaic at the church. Translated, she was pleading, “Save me, oh God.”

At the morgue, Dean curtly dismisses the attendant. They’re good here, Carl. Sam observes that Dean has been a little … cranky … since Mary left. Dean refuses to engage and Sam, for the moment, lets it go. Dean reads through the autopsy report and calls Sam’s attention to the ‘goopy brain mush’ highlight.

“That Carl paints quite a picture, doesn’t he?”

They’re both at a loss for what could have caused Olivia’s death. Dean suggests they stow the touchy, feelie Dr. Phil crap and work the case. They start at Olivia’s place of employment. Her colleague Beth shows them into Olivia’s office – which is kind of hers now. There’s a candle burning on the desk. Beth says it’s for positive energy. She’s a Wiccan. Dean pings.

He asks about any enemies Olivia may have had. Beth says they work for Child Protective Services. They get threats all the time. “You don’t make a lot of friends when sometimes what’s best for a family is to split them up.” Dean has the feels.

Sam carries out a box of case files but Dean is ready to call it a day. It seems pretty clear to him that Miss Positive Energy worked a little job promotion hoodoo. The absence of hex bags just means she’s a witch who covers her tracks. “I’m definitely shooting her.”

The next morning brings another death with the same MO. The victim was a delivery driver. Sam says he checked the route against Olivia’s case files and got a match – the Peterson family. Beth calls them all the way weird. Off the charts, old-old testament religious. She says their older child, Magda, died after her parents refused treatment for her pneumonia. “They said whatever happened was God’s will.”

The old Peterson place. Dean pulls off the road and parks at the end of the drive. The boys are both wearing reassuring knit wear. And if new writer Davy Perez wanted to get in the fans’ good graces, there are worse ways to do it than priest vestments and sweaters. Well played.

Dean walks up to the waist-high steel gate and does a sort of rolling tumble over it. Wait, what?

SPN_Dean fence jump of hotness.gif
NEVER FORGET

Sam just walks around it.

He brings up Mary again as they walk. Dean doesn’t know what there is to talk about. “She took some cash, took a cell phone she doesn’t answer, and she bailed on us.” Sam rightly argues that she needs the time and space. He says they’ve both been there. The difference is Dean doesn’t know if Mary is ever coming back. In his mind, why would she?

“She hates the way that we were raised. She hates the fact that we’re hunters. Maybe she starts walking and she doesn’t stop.”

The boys interview Abraham and Gail Peterson, posing as their new case workers. Gail says they liked Olivia. She was a woman who believed in God. She asks the boys if they know God.

spn_chuck-i-love-those-guys

They’re familiar.

Son Elijah comes in and Abraham asks if one of them could lend a hand replacing a wheel on the buggy. I couldn’t tell at first that’s what it was; I was certain someone was about to go shoulder deep in a cow’s uterus. Abraham tells Dean about their decision to withdraw from the crass materialism of the mod’ren world in favor of clean pre-industrial living. “The things you do for family.”

Out on the road, a man riding a Norton Commando slows and stops. His gaze lingers on the Impala’s license plate. Baby is all like, ‘I know my ass is fine. I don’t need you to tell me.’

Gail serves Sam lemonade. Her account of their prior life is a little bleaker than Abraham’s. The father who spent his time either in the office or in a bottle. The over medicated children. The pilled up mother who could barely function. She says God spoke to her and showed them a better way. A life of simplicity and humility. Sam blinks rapidly. The man of faith knows Chuck’s hand is not at work here.

Sam steers the conversation to the delivery boy, Ricky Copeland. Sam seems affronted by Gail’s lack of reaction to his death. She simply says God has a plan for us all. Sam asks if Magda’s death was also part of God’s plan. When Gail says yes, Sam tells her God didn’t kill her daughter. She did.

boy-that-escalated-quickly

The boys ditch the sweaters and trunkgument over what to do next. Dean is itching to kill a witch. Sam insists there’s no proof Beth is responsible; it must be Magda’s vengeful spirit. They agree to disagree and see who’s right when the dust settles. And way to be super cavalier with a woman’s life, Samuel.

On first watch I was bothered by Dean’s eagerness to kill Beth. It felt so out of character. But then I went back to Season 2’s “Children Shouldn’t Play with Dead Things” and it’s really not. Dean is reacting now to Mary’s departure in nearly the same way he did then to John’s death. He just wants something in front of him that he can kill because it’s easier that dealing with the loss.

Sam waits until nightfall to begin his survey of the property. He starts in the barn. Abraham and Elijah come in just behind him to feed the horses. Sam overhears them discussing a very much alive Magda.

Beth is still at the office. Dean looms in the doorway. He asks how she’s liking the new gig. There’s a predatory element in his manner that is terrifying. Well played, Jensen. Beth doesn’t pick up on it. She just sighs and says she hates it. “Being the boss sucks.” She doesn’t know how Olivia did it. Dean is thrown off step. It’s the way you can see him mentally recalibrating that makes it poetry. He says he thought she wanted the job. Beth is like, that’s precious. “Nobody wants this job.”

Sam creeps up to the house and peers through a window into the basement. Magda is in chains, kneeling in front of an altar, scourging herself. Gail walks in a circle around her reading aloud from the Bible. When the rhythm of the lash slows, Gail barks at her, “Again!” Magda’s ‘penance’ has been going on for hours.

“Man, demons I get. People are crazy.”

Sam’s phone buzzes. He quickly slinks away from the window. Dean tells Sam he was right. Beth’s not a witch. Well, it’s not a ghost either. Sam frantically tells Dean that Magda is alive. The call is cut short by the racking of a shotgun. Sam tries to reason with Elijah. Abraham walks up behind Sam and clubs him over the head.

Sam comes to in the basement. Magda is quietly singing to herself. Sam calls her name. She monotones that she’s not Magda. She’s the devil. She says he’s inside her. Sam is like, uh no. You’re not and he isn’t. Trust. What she is, is psychic. Now there’s a Season 2 throw back!

Magda tells Sam she’s evil because she hurts people. She didn’t mean to. She thought maybe Olivia could help her. She prayed and reached out, trying to make Olivia hear her thoughts. But Olivia never came. So she did it again with the delivery boy.

Sam absolves her. He says it’s not her fault and she’s not evil. He tells her she can learn how to control it. She never has to hurt anyone ever again.

Magda is allowed a brief flicker of hope before Abraham and Elijah come down the stairs. It’s time for supper. Abraham secures the bindings around Sam’s wrists. He has a place of honor at the head of the table. The Petersons are bat shit crazy, but they are also polite. Gail carries in the soup tureen. She says Sam may know God, but they know the Devil.

Again, no. You really, really don’t.

spn_lucifer

Sam defends Magda, but Gail says Olivia and Ricky weren’t the first. Gail orders Magda to tell him. The girl says she wanted a new cell phone, but her mom wouldn’t buy her one. Gail picks up the story. They were in the car and Magda screamed at her to pull over. Gail says she felt the devil at her hands. She yanked the steering wheel right into oncoming traffic.

The injuries that Gail suffered, the nerve pain, and pill addiction … “She did this to me. She did this to us.”

“Pain purges sin.”

Sam tries again some more to reach Abraham, but he just sits and eats his soup … and foams at the mouth and falls face first into his bowl. Gail tells the rest of them to eat. This is how they’ll stay together. They will enter Heaven together as a family. Sorry, sister. That place is still on lockdown. Enjoy the veil!

Sam yells at Elijah not to do it, but the boy seems compelled. He sloooooowly raises the spoon to his mouth. Magda lets out a shriek and jumps up from her chair. She sends the bowls flying … WITH HER MIND! They shatter against the wall. Gail picks up the carving knife – and plunges it into Elijah’s chest when he puts himself between his mother and sister.

Gail grimaces and stabs the knife at Magda again. The blade stops inches from the girl’s chest. “I’m not the devil. You are.” Magda forces her mother to turn the knife back on herself. Sam pleads with her to stop. Magda finally breaks down and lets go. The knife clatters to the floor.

Morning. An EMT checks out Magda. Two detectives lead Gail to a patrol car. She rants that her daughter is the devil and must be cleansed. Magda tells Sam that she’ll be going to California to stay with her aunt. Beth says the aunt lives on a ranch. Lots of wide open country. Dean says sometimes to figure things out, a person needs space. Sam is like, when did that epiphany happen? Right, Sam? Because that’s kind of a big character moment not to see as it occurs.

Beth asks for a word with Dean. Sam sits with Magda. He tells her she’s going to be alright. “Just remember … the power doesn’t control you. You control it.” Sam tells her to call if she ever needs anything. He’ll be there. Magda rests her head on Sam’s shoulder. It’s a very sweet moment.

But this is Supernatural, so don’t expect it to last.

The boys walk back to the car. Dean tells Sam he made the right call letting Magda go. Sam says he hopes so. She deserves a second chance. Sam asks what Beth wanted. Dean says she gave him her number.

“You were going to shoot her.”

“Yeah! I know. Kind of weird. Kind of hot.”

scared-and-horny

They have a broment over Baby’s hood. Man, Davy Perez is just hitting all the feel notes. Sam asks if Dean meant what he said about space. Dean says he hates Mary being gone, but he gets it. He’s just still working through it. He pledges to try and be less of a dick about it. Dean’s phone chirps with a text from Mary. She’s good. And she’ll always be MOM.

The bus to Santa Cruz pulls into the station for a pit stop. Magda walks off and for a minute I thought she really was evil and was going to do a runner. But she just needs to pee. She walks past a man and a motorcycle. He follows her into the bathroom and puts two slugs into her chest.

Mr. Ketch reports that, as suspected, the Winchesters couldn’t finish the job. He says he cleaned up their mess.

Oh, y’all. I really hope this whole Chapterhouse London story is resolved soon because I need this sumbitch to die already.

Supernatural airs Thursday at 8:00 p.m. on The CW.

Whitney is also watching Hawaii Five-0 and Timeless. Follow her on twitter @Watcher_Whitney.

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2 thoughts on “‘Supernatural’: Time and space

  1. I love how Crazy Mom says Olivia was a good person despite being “a papist”. Then goes on to make the sign of the cross. Writers, do you even Catholic? All these years and you’re still mixing your religions.

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but has Sam even asked Dean why he’s alive? Why he didn’t die from the soul bomb? I think that’s a conversation that needs to be had on-screen. They haven’t even hugged it out yet.

    Definitely a solid episode, especially for a newbie writer.

    Like

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