Thursday, May 17, 2018

Supernatural 13x23 "Let the Good Times Roll"

Here we are, the end of season thirteen. Can you believe it? The little show that could just keeps could-ing. That's a word, don't even.

Mark Pellegrino as Lucifer and Alexander Calvert as Jack in Supernatural 13x23 "Let the Good Times Roll"After last week's episode, everyone was back safe in our world. Or the Supernatural world, I should say, as clearly this isn't our world. Semantics! Anyway, everyone is starting to feel like they might be okay with just staying in this world since Lucifer and Michael are stuck in the other one, but we all know that's going to be short-lived, as ole Luci made a deal with Michael to make a rift and come on over, come on over, baby. So, you know, he could get his baby, aka Jack, and walk off in the sunset, or universe, as he was arguing. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

Yes, they all soon enough discover that Lucifer is back in town. And Jack is a little more receptive to him this time around, since he's feeling all guilty about hurting people and whatnot. He thinks yeah, maybe Lucifer's offer to head off into the universe at large and explore and make some lightsabers might not be such a bad idea. Of course, that becomes short-lived, because they find out that Lucifer didn't come over alone, he made a deal.

Michael comes a calling at the bunker while Jack and Lucifer are off contemplating the Milky Way. While Mary and Bobby get away with that Maggie girl (yeah, I skipped that whole storyline, whatever), Dean, Sam, and Castiel get beaten up by Michael. But Sam is able to shoot off a prayer to Jack, who does hear it and comes to their rescue. But of course Lucifer has to join in as well, and when Jack finds out about his dad's deal with Michael, he gets very angry. You're thinking oh he'll have to kill his dad, but instead Lucifer pulls out that archangel killing blade and steals some of Jack's grace with it, making him uber-powerful. He ends up absconding with Jack and Sam in a kerfuffle, leaving Dean and Cas with a powered-down Michael whose vessel is losing its mojo.

Jensen Ackles as Dean Winchester, Misha Collins as Castiel, Jared Padalecki as Sam Winchester in Supernatural 13x23 "Let the Good Times Roll"Dean, knowing that Lucifer has Sam and Jack, but mostly Sam, ends up making what will surely be known as a rash decision - he decides to let himself be used as a vessel by Michael. You know, they haven't talked about this since around season give, but Dean is supposed to be Michael's "sword" aka his perfect vessel, and Sam is supposed to be Lucifer's. I'm not sure if Lucifer since got a special vessel, because the original version of this guy degraded, but I'm on a tangent here. The point is, Dean offers himself up to try to defeat Lucifer.

Because, yes, Lucifer is basically giving Sam and Jack a choice - either one of them kills the other, or they both die. Sam wants Jack to kill him, but Jack is determined to off himself, convinced that Sam has a better chance at defeating Lucifer. He's just starting to stab himself in the gut with the archangel blade when Dean/Michael shows up and gets to beating up Lucifer, with a lot of air acrobatics that just look goofy. It looks like Dean/Michael isn't going to succeed, but then Sam tosses him the archangel blade at just the right moment and BAM. Lucifer gets it in the gut.... and we finally, just maybe, have a true death of Lucifer, angel wings burned into the ground and all.

Everyone has just enough time to celebrate for a few minute before Michael makes his presence known and promptly takes over Dean's body, because duh. Obviously once he was inside he wasn't just going to leave it easily. And the show ends on one of the most hokey still frames with a slight zoom in I have ever seen of Dean strolling down the street in what I can only call a grandpa or possibly hipster cap, his eyes glowing all Michael blue. I straight up cackled at that shot, my goodness.

And that's where things are to end the season. Ciao bellas... until season fourteen.

Random Thoughts:

- The intro to the recap was a lot of fun, with Rowena saying isn't there music and then Kansas rolling in.

- Honestly, they could have at least addressed the whole vessel thing at some point before it just suddenly became important in the finale. That was basically the whole point of season five, you know?

- I didn't really think of this before, but would Mary have known Bobby? I feel like... no. John met him after she died, and he's not that much older than her for him to have been a hunter back when she was growing up. Unless I just am silly and she didn't know him? But I feel like she did? It doesn't matter, really.

- Are you happy to see Lucifer gone? I mean, finally. They've only been fighting that villain for years.

Quotes:

Bobby: And you call where we come from Apocalypse World?

Castiel: They're talking about whether Kylie Jenner would make a good mother. I can sense this doesn't help.

Mary: That's trouble.
Bobby: Ginger trouble. The worst kind.

Sam: You're talking about retiring? You?
Dean: If I knew the world was safe, hell yeah. You know why? 'Cause we frickin' earned it.

Jack: He's here to help.
Bobby: He is?
Lucifer: You know it, Longmire.

Dean: Well, as Shakespeare once said... eat me, dick bag.

Lucifer: I'm thinking fire-breathing dragons, sassy-talking robots.

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Monday, May 14, 2018

Book Review: Uprooted by Naomi Novik

Book review of Uprooted by Naomi Novik by freshfromthe.com.
Uprooted by Naomi Novik

Published: May 19, 2015

Genre: Fantasy

Hardcover Pages: 435

Synopsis: “Our Dragon doesn’t eat the girls he takes, no matter what stories they tell outside our valley. We hear them sometimes, from travelers passing through. They talk as though we were doing human sacrifice, and he were a real dragon. Of course that’s not true: he may be a wizard and immortal, but he’s still a man, and our fathers would band together and kill him if he wanted to eat one of us every ten years. He protects us against the Wood, and we’re grateful, but not that grateful.”

Agnieszka loves her valley home, her quiet village, the forests and the bright shining river. But the corrupted Wood stands on the border, full of malevolent power, and its shadow lies over her life.

Her people rely on the cold, driven wizard known only as the Dragon to keep its powers at bay. But he demands a terrible price for his help: one young woman handed over to serve him for ten years, a fate almost as terrible as falling to the Wood.

The next choosing is fast approaching, and Agnieszka is afraid. She knows—everyone knows—that the Dragon will take Kasia: beautiful, graceful, brave Kasia, all the things Agnieszka isn’t, and her dearest friend in the world. And there is no way to save her.

But Agnieszka fears the wrong things. For when the Dragon comes, it is not Kasia he will choose.

Thoughts: First and foremost, I have to say that it's nice to read a book that's a complete story and not part of a series! Since I tend to read mostly fantasy and science fiction type young adult books, they are almost always a series, or at least a duology. There's nothing wrong with that, of course, but it's refreshing to have a book that tells a complete story while also being full of fantasy!

In writing reviews, I have come to notice something - it almost always takes me at least 25% into a book to really get into it. Even though beginnings, before things change, are important, they are almost always boring in comparison to the meat of the story in these novels. Luckily, in this book, Agnieszka gets chosen to go to the tower with the Dragon pretty quickly, so it was even less time than "normal" for me to get into the book.

At first, the book seems like it will mostly focus on the relationship between Agnieszka and the Dragon, and her slowly developing magic. However, the story takes a pretty big turn about halfway through when some unexpected twists happen, and it becomes much more about them dealing with the evil Wood that is trying to take over the land rather than focusing more on their relationship, which indeed becomes almost something of a back burner to the larger story.

The story is epic and sweeping, starting in Agnieszka's small little village, going to the tower, and eventually even exploring the capital of the land, and the politics of the royal family and the wizards and witches that surround them. It focuses on friendship and love, rage and revenge, and what it can mean to lose sight of what's important when getting too wrapped up in all of those things. And, of course, there's magic. Lots of magic.

Basically, it feels kind of like an old fairytale, but told in a modern way, and you know I'm a sucker for that. If that sounds like your jam, definitely check it out!

Rating: 4.5/5

What I'm Reading Next: The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Supernatural 13x22 "Exodus"

Friends, we are getting down to the line now! Just one more episode after this one in season 13, if you can believe it. In some ways I feel like the season just started, but in others I'm like man oh man will it never end? Which I guess is sort of apropos for the show as a whole as well, ha!

Jensen Ackles as Dean Winchester and Samantha Smith as Mary Winchester in Supernatural 13x22 "Exodus"Let's get down to the nitty gritty - basically everyone except Rowena is off in apocalypse world. They've all found each other now, mostly, and now it's just time to figure out what to do next. Mary throws a little wrench into the plan when she declares that she doesn't want to go back, because the people there need her. Mary, never wanting to go home, what's new?

But they come up with another idea - take everyone back through the rift until they can figure out how to beat Michael, and then come back and take back their planet. Alt-Bobby says it's a dumb idea, but secretly he likes it, which becomes readily apparent when he votes to go through the portal just like everyone else. Only there are a couple people missing from this endeavor - Ketch and Charlie, who get captured by some angels.

Obviously they aren't getting left behind, so off the caravan goes to save them from the angels, one of whom happens to be an alt version of Castiel heretofore never mentioned as far as I can remember, who Misha clearly had a little too much giving some tics and whatever. Cas kills his other self while everyone rescues Ketch and Charlie, and it's back to the rift they go.

Richard Speight Jr. as Gabriel, Alexander Calvert as Jack, and Mark Pellegrino as Lucifer in Supernatural 13x22 "Exodus" Meanwhile, Jack finally gets to meet his bio dad, ole Luci. Of course everyone is against them interacting, but Jack does want to at least give him a chance to speak for himself. Lucifer even manages to talk Jack out of trying to go off on his own to defeat Michael by using some logic that Sam hadn't really thought of, so hey that's something at least. There's also this whole bit between Gabriel and Lucifer wherein Gabe basically tells him that he can never change and he's terrible and all that, and Lucifer gets all teary-eyed. Is this the season where all of the villains turn good or something?

They make it back to the rift point, and people start jumping through, but wouldn't you know it that Michael shows up right at the end when it's just Sam, Dean, Gabriel, and Lucifer left to go through? Lucifer steps up to hold him off, but gets injured fairly quickly, so Gabe steps up. Well, we know how that's going to end, and so it does... with him getting killed, for seemingly good this time. Sam forces Dean through the portal, and then basically pushes Lucifer back so he can't go through with them, thinking that's for the best. Is it? Duh. Obviously not, as Lucifer then makes a deal with Michael to help him get to the other world so long as he can have his son.

Random Thoughts:

- This version of Castiel has the same body, but he talks with a completely different accent? Really? And no one knew there was this weird version of Castiel to warn anyone? It was just such a silly throw off moment.

- The question is, is Jack able to easily defeat Michael? And if so, has this whole season really just been a stalling act to get to that point? He's the only one of the powerful people we haven't seen actually stand up to him face to face, so it stands to reason... but I guess we'll find out in the finale next week.

- Will all of the people brought over from apocalypse world stay, or will they end up returning to their world?

Quotes:

Lucifer: I'm powerful, dangerous, ruthless... but in the best sense, though.

Castiel: Jack, we're your family.

Sam: We owe you one.
Rowena: Don't think I won't collect.

Previous Episode -- Next Episode

Friday, May 4, 2018

Supernatural 13x21 "Beat the Devil"

Another late review this week as I'm out of town again! Excuses, excuses, I know. But I was able to just watch the episode this morning, so let's get down to it. Going to keep it short and sweet this week as I'm on a borrowed computer and all.

Ruth Connell as Rowena, Richard Speight Jr. as Gabriel and Mark Pellegrino as Lucifer in Supernatural 13x21 "Beat the Devil"Now that the Winchesters have Gabriel on their team, everything should be good to go to get into Apocalypse World, right? Well, turns out that Gabe's angel grace isn't so juiced up. He doesn't have enough of it to keep the rift open longer than, oh, a few seconds. The only other archangel they know that's still on the board in this world? Dun dun dun... good ole Lucifer. Of course, no one is happy about the idea that they might have to use him to open the rift, but as they see it, there's not much other choice.

But how to get him without being killed? Gabe uses some of his trickster magic along with some Rowena actual magic, and they manage to trap him in the bunker while draining his grace into the bowl of ingredients, the idea being that so long as he keeps dropping grace into the bucket, the rift will stay open. It works well...for a bit. Until Lucifer baits the one left behind, Rowena, into telling him that the boys are not only going to the other world to save Mary, but also to save Jack, which gives down and out Lucifer something to fight for again. He tries to kill Rowena, but she blasts him over into the other world.
Jensen Ackles as Dean Winchester and Jared Padalecki as Sam Winchester in Supernatural 13x21 "Beat the Devil"
Meanwhile, in that other world, Dean, Sam, Castiel and Gabriel are walking and walking for days to Dayton, Ohio, where they have heard that Mary and Jack are holed up. But along the way they run into a deranged vampire nest that they have to get through. Sam ends up getting attacked and dragged off, seemingly to his death. Of course, we all know that the Winchesters never stay dead on this show, at least not until the final season, so even though Dean is mourning and all that, the audience is... not. Because sure enough, Lucifer tracks him down and brings him back to life, in order to get on his good side so Sam will take him to Jack. Not sure why he can't detect Jack now that he's in this other world, but whatever.

Dean, Cas, and Gabe find Mary and the others, and just as Dean is ready to head back to that tunnel cave deal and get Sam's body, who should walk in but Sam himself. Oh, and yes, Lucifer too. Whatever will happen next?!

Random Thoughts:

- Honestly, that tunnel looked like it would've been easy enough to climb on top and and crawl over, but whatever.

- Jack can open the portal back to the other world, right? He just hasn't figured out how to do it or something? Convenient.

- Cas also told Gabe about the deterioration of Heaven, and how he might be able to help save it. Seems like an easy enough way to get him off the show, but with possibilities to reappear in the future.

- Last season it was easier to see where the show would be going for the following season, but right now it's pretty unclear where it might be going next.

Quotes:

Wasn't really in the position to be writing down quotes, maybe I'll come back and add some when I have a chance.

Previous Episode -- Next Episode

Friday, April 27, 2018

Supernatural 13x20 "Unfinished Business"

Sorry for the delay everyone, I was at a work convention all week, and only just now had time to sit down and watch the show. I tried to watch it online last night, but fell asleep in about 10 minutes, so that was a bust!
Richard Speight Jr. as Gabriel and Jared Padalecki as Sam Winchester in Supernatural 13x20 "Unfinished Business"
Anywho, this episode explores what happened to Gabriel after he supposedly died in season five. Basically he shacked up with some demigods for a while, but eventually they betrayed him and sold him to Asmodeus, who then sucked on his grace for, apparently, years? Now that he's back to himself, he wants to go after these demigods along with their father, Loki, who was the one who trained him in the art of being a trickster in the first place.

He ends up going to the Winchesters for help in this mission, as they had tracked him down anyway and happened to be nearby. Dean is against it, saying that revenge never gets anyone anywhere, while Sam is more in tune with helping out, because he apparently wants to get revenge on Lucifer for all that stuff many years ago when he was in the cage and yada yada.

They end up agreeing to help him if he'll then do the same for them in return by helping take down the Michael of apocalypse world. Long story short, they end up killing him, and Dean was most likely right that it isn't bringing Gabriel any actual joy or closure even though he pretends otherwise for Sam. Instead of disappearing, he then agrees to follow through on the deal and help them.

Tarun Keram as Jakob, Alexander Calvert as Jack, and Samantha Smith as Mary Winchester in Supernatural 13x20 "Unfinished Business"There's also this conversation at the end between the brothers Winchester about how Dean went off to try to kill Loki on his own, blah blah. Basically Dean doesn't care if he gets hurt but he doesn't want Sam to be hurt. Sam is like dude that's stupid, we should do everything together, even if that means dying together, which certainly seems like how the show will end someday.

Meanwhile, in apocalypse world, Jack is doing well in taking down evil angels, and ready to try to go after Michael himself when it looks like he's abandoned his post, thinking he's afraid of him. But of course this turns out to be a bit of a trap itself, as Kevin from this world is still there, and ends up using this angel spell thing to kill a bunch of the people Jack was trying to protect. Except Mary, who he was able to save from the spell. The intent of the spell was to make Jack feel defeated, and it's kind of working, as he feels like if he can't even save that group of people, how can he save everyone?

Random Thoughts:

- There was this whole bit about Loki going after Gabriel for not holding up his end of the bargain of staying out of angel business in exchange for the trickster stuff, and then because Odin was killed because of that, Loki wanted to take that out on Gabriel. I mean, whatever, it's just a circle of revenge that never ends.

- I'm tired, so that's all for the random thoughts for today.

Quotes:

Dean: What the hell are you guys? What the hell are these guys?
Gabriel: Oh just a couple of Norse Demigods.
Sam: Demigods?!

Gabriel: Don't ever let anybody ever tell you you're just a pretty face.

Loki: Mess with the real trickster, get the real tricks.

Gabriel: A deal is a deal. And, if I'm being perfectly honest, tricks are for kids.

Sam: And if we die, we'll do that together too.

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