No mangst this week, ladies and gents! This episode was the Smartfood of Supernatural—a little corny, totally cheesy, thoroughly addictive guilty pleasure that I gobbled right up. Our boys head to New Canaan, Connecticut to mingle with the rich and spoiled relatives of one Bunny LaCroix, trying to score Bobby’s inheritance and not get killed doing it. Sometimes? Girls just wanna have fun, and this classic Clue-done-it certainly was, start to bloody finish. Also? It had TONS of Winchester close-ups. Ain’t nothin’ wrong with that.
1. Monsters of the Weeks
The opening montage. How delightful was that? Not only did it remind us of the considerably less amusing way that the season began, it took us on a fanged and clawed trip down memory lane, bringing up demons and djinn, tulpas and dragons, shapeshifters and fairies, and everything in between. Us long time SPN fans were rewarded, too, with inside jokes and catchphrases that are among our most beloved: vampirates, mandroids, fish tacos, “Nipples?” and the Stay Puffed Marshmallow Man. (Did anyone else miss Jefferson Starships?) And as a bonus: a reminder of the glory of the Demon Dean hair…
and the cuteness that was puppy Padalecki!
Say it with me now…awwwwwww!
2. On the Road Again
It’s wonderful to see Dean being, well, Dean. Cracking comments about glazed donut coffee in tiny cups. Constantly working on Baby and making her look her best (it’s almost as though he is determined to make it up to her for saying she’s “just a car”.) Remembering Bobby Singer and his love for Tori Spelling. I’ve missed our wisecracking boy of yore. As sexy as Demon Dean was with that aforementioned hair, I’ll take Dean Winchester 1.0 any day of the week.
3. The music? Score!
Jay Gruska’s original music perfectly captured the feeling of an old fashioned whodunit. Don’t let the campiness fool you—that music sincerely helped to set the entire mood and tone of the episode, keeping things fun and light while still letting us know that serious family business was afoot. Bravo to Gruska, a hero unsung. (Do you see what I did there?)
4. Sam and Dean Winchester of the Lawrence, Kansas Winchesters
Philadelphia ain’t got nothin’ on the Winchesters when it comes to brotherly love. It was so wonderful to see Sam and Dean on the job again, their easy affection returned. Hearing Sam call Bobby their “surrogate dad”. Listening to them discuss going “old school” on the case (“Cold spots it is.”) Most heartwarming of all? When Bunny’s snobby great-nephew Dash tells Sam that his family doesn’t really like each other, musing, “But what family does?” Sam smiles a little and answers, “Mine does, for the most part. It’s just my brother and me, so…” “Then you’re lucky,” Dash replies, more right than he knows, because while the Winchesters could hardly be called that, their relationship is a blessing indeed.
5. Dean, with the Candlestick/Pipe/Rope/Revolver…
Clue is my favorite board game of all time–so you can imagine how excited I am that SPN now has their own set! (Christmas is coming, people. Just sayin’.) This episode incorporated all of the weapons associated with the game, and somehow managed to make it look reasonably organic to the story. Tophats off to that. (Wait. That’s Monopoly. Never mind.)
6. “You two are…adorable.”
The acting in this episode was top notch. Every performer brought Bunny’s family to life as a silly caricature of the privileged, exaggerating their cadence and movements, with amazing line delivery. Gillian Vigman, who played Bunny’s cousin Heddy, was particularly hilarious, especially when referring to “child-bride” Amber with dismay. From slapping Dean’s rear to admitting she may have wet herself in fear, Vigman was a note perfect delight, with excellent comedic timing. And speaking of comedic….
6. Sam Joins the New Canaan Cougars
Poor Sammy. He’s a tall drink of water, and Heddy and her horny sister Beverly are dying of thirst. Beverly propositions him first, telling him she has aged like a fine wine or a cheese. “I’m lactose intolerant,” Sam mumbles before he makes his escape. Unfortunately, later, someone’s gotta lay the silver on the ladies (not a euphemism) to ensure they are not shifters. Sam puts himself between them, trying to lay his butter knife on them to see if they sizzle (again, not a euphemism.) The ladies are more than willing to be thoroughly tested, so to speak.
Jared Padalecki often speaks about how he prefers dramatic acting to comedic, because he finds it easier. You’d never know it in this episode. His attempting-to-be-seductive-while-secretly-repulsed delivery to Heddy of “Come on in, darlin’. The water’s warm…” was simultaneously swoon and cringe worthy in the best of ways, and the shuddering shake of his head when he finally breaks away made me laugh out loud. And Dean? Well, he responded the way a supportive brother should. By laughing at him, of course.
There were almost too many funny one-liners and exchanges in this episode. Here are some of my favorites.
Dean: “We know which one the shrimp fork is. Kind of.”
Philip the Butler: “I presume you gentlemen left something behind. I’ll check the front hallway for…burlap.” Dean: “I got news for you, Mr. Belvedere. The jacket’s canvas.”
Sam: “Grey Gardens cleared.”
Sam: “We’re not the bad guys, Dash.” Dash: “I beg to differ. You’re wearing flannel.”
Dean: “I’m serious Izod. Put a pin in it. Or we’ll come back for your preppy ass.”
Trust me on that last one. If you are a child of the 80’s, like I am, that line is hilarious.
8. The Return of Canonical Shifters!
I know the lore behind the pureblood shifter and why it doesn’t shed its skin. But honestly? One of the reasons I found “Bloodlines” less than satisfying is that I missed the shifters of the early seasons. They weren’t as magical—they were fallible and gross and somehow, even though they were more vulnerable, they were scarier. I’m not saying I wanted to see a puddle of skin pudding goo. But I did appreciate the historical nod.
(Also? I appreciated the sight of a sweaty Sam Winchester. Unlike the shifter mess, that’s some clean up I would not object to performing, if you know what I mean.)
9. Seriously, those close-ups, though!
There are some sincerely glorious closeups of the boys in this episode. Ackles and Padalecki have faces to die for, and we got a lot of good looks at them in this episode.
Thank you sincerely to director John MacCarthy for his choices. We fangirls are in your debt. Especially, from me, for this.
10. Travellin’ Men
The closing of this episode had it all—good dialogue, great music, and a lovely closing visual. As Sam worries about Dean’s literal propensity for overkill, we see that despite the levity of the previous hour, something still looms over them. The Mark, most likely, or what Sam calls “demon residue”, have left Dean changed, a fact he tries to ignore by cranking up the tunes. I have waxed rhapsodic about the use of Bob Seger in Supernatural episodes multiple times, and here, however briefly, I feel the same satisfaction at the perfect soundtrack for this moment. “Sometimes at night, I see their faces. I feel the traces they’ve left on my soul,” Seger sings, and we see Sam’s doubt as they drive away in Baby in a lovely long shot that lets us know: it’s not a matter of if something is coming. As it always is with Sam and Dean, it’s just a matter of when.
Next time? Hannah is naked, Cas gets a liplock, Dean’s on Tinder, and the brothers encounter a brothel full of witches. Sadly? That’s all probably a lot less fun than it sounds. I’ll see you for episode seven, “Girls, Girls, Girls.”