Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Supernatural 10x03 "Soul Survivor"

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How long until his arm is okay?
Well, that was quick. For being touted as the "Year of the Deanmon," Dean sure wasn't a demon for very long. Oh, sorry, am I giving the end away? But let's be honest, we all knew Dean wouldn't stay a demon, it was just a question of how long it would take until he was turned back. The answer? Three episodes. I know everyone was wanting Dean to get back to his old self, but the whole demon storyline feels like a bit of a waste so far. Hopefully it will have more resonance as the season continues, but who the heck knows. This show doesn't always excel in resonance.

Anywayz, let's get down to business. As you may recall from the last episode, Sam managed to get Dean back to the Men of Letters bunker, thanks to Crowley basically turning him over. Sam is determined to use the demon cure on him, which is basically just shooting him up full of human blood. I think it has to be blessed blood or something? I am not so much on the up and up on the whole demon purification process. The point is, Sam starts sticking Dean with human blood, Dean does a lot of yapping about how Sam isn't as innocent as he seems (it turns out Sam was the one who led the dude from last week to sell his soul to a demon, in order to get information on Dean's whereabouts), blah blah.

Down in Hell, Crowley is rather bored at doing his job, which is basically trying demons for treason and killing them. The demons are getting rather annoyed at his lack of fatherly compassion, leading to one even dousing himself with lighter fluid (or is it the holy oil stuff?) and setting himself on fire. For some reason, this makes Crowley want to help Castiel, which we'll get to in a moment.
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As has become tradition, Jensen directed this episode.

Meanwhile, Castiel is trying to reach the bunker to help Sam. He is looking pretty worse for wear, though. He and Hannah stop at a gas station, only to be jumped by the angel Adina, whose angel bestie/lovah they killed last week or the week before or whenever it was. She manages to somehow wallop Hannah with some massive punch that leaves her moaning on the ground while she can get to beating down Cas. But, Crowley comes just in time to save the day. He steals Adina's grace and gives it to Cas. So that problem is temporarily solved.

Which is good timing for Sam, because back at the bunker, Dean has gotten free. Apparently he had enough of the human blood working in him that the special cuffs and the devil's trap didn't work on him anymore. However, he is still feeling the demon spirit, so he goes hunting after Sam. Sam uses his wits to try to keep one step ahead of Dean, which only results in Dean nearly slamming his head in with a hammer, and Sam having to put the special demon-killing knife to Dean's throat. Of course, Sam could never kill his brother, so he's lucky that Cas shows up just in time to help him out.

And, together, they manage to finish the blood purification ritual, and return Dean back to his human self. Except there is still the whole Mark of Cain thing to deal with, but for now Sam just wants to get Dean some cholesterol and get drunk. As I'm sure most people would. Dean seems rather wary of the whole situation when he talks with Cas, but it's hard to tell just what he is thinking or feeling at this point.

That's... pretty much it. Oh, except for this ending bit. Cas basically tells Dean to take it easy as things are pretty quiet at the moment, only for the show to end on a red-headed woman in a room, drinking some kind of brown alcohol, with two men impaled on the ceiling above her. The new big bad, we presume.

Random Thoughts:

- What exactly is Crowley's goal anymore? He doesn't seem to care about Hell, really. He decided to save Castiel, but for what purpose? It's hard to say if Crowley is really "evil," though I suppose that is kind of the appeal of his character.

- Castiel basically shut down Hannah on the romantic front before anything could even get started. I confess, I actually like the prospect of a romance between them, particularly since the show is so starved for any kind of genuine romance ever. It's not just some girl introduced who automatically has a history with one of the boys, but rather someone introduced over time. Much better.

- Could Dean go demon again? Just from lack of killing with the Blade or only if he were killed again? Obviously they have to deal with getting rid of the Mark as well, but I'm sure that will come in time.

- Next week's episode really just looks like it could come from any season anywhere. Hopefully this is not the case, but it does feel a little jarring to have a monster of the week episode right now. Though, I'm not sure what else they could do. Hmm. It just makes the last three episodes feel a little superfluous. I mean, am I wrong?

Quotes:

Dean: Sammy, you know I hate shots.
Sam: I hate demons.

Crowley: It's Hell. You wait. It's what you do.

Hannah: Castiel, if these are metaphors and you're attempting some kind of human communication, it's not working.

Crowley: Why can't you people just sit on clouds and play the harp like you're supposed to?

Dean: What does Sam say? Does he want a divorce?


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Friday, October 17, 2014

Friday Round Up


The above photo is from the abandoned town of Kitsault, British Columbia. Apparently, the town sprang to life when there was a mine of some kind nearby, but then it was completely abandoned only 18 months after being established. So established that it had a movie theater, a library, grocery store, hospital... but everyone just completely left. The crazy thing is, the power to the town has been left on for nearly 30 years since it was abandoned. Most of the time when you see pictures of abandoned cities, they look desolate and terrible and trashed, but this place? No. It looks pristine. Apparently caretakers go in and upkeep the town in case it could ever make a comeback. I mean, it is rather beautiful, right?

Were you an English major in college? I was. But of this list of the 14 books every English major has read, I've only read... four. Um, yes. Only four. And one of them was completely independent of school, actually (that would be Jane Eyre). The others were never assigned in any of my English classes over the years, interestingly. I read way too much Charles Dickens for my taste, a lot of the Shakespeare dramas, and even more novels from the 19th century from both America and England. Like, Huck Finn, The Scarlet Letter, Wuthering Heights, that one about the girl that had Reese Witherspoon in the movie that I was constantly falling asleep reading, uh.. uh... Vanity Fair! I will say, however, that I always finished every book for my classes. It didn't even occur to me to not do that. I did not, however, watch every single movie in the '70s cinema class I took while abroad in Ireland. Whoops.

Sometimes, I will randomly get Sirius XM for free in my car, and when I do, I inevitably turn it to the '90s station, sometimes with a little '80s thrown in. But, I almost always know every '90s song, while sometimes they play obscure '80s music that just does not interest me. Anyway, this list goes through 21 supposedly terrible songs from the '90s that everyone secretly loves. But, come on, Everybody (Backstreet's Back) is just a catchy dang song. Can you really call it terrible? I do, however, agree with the inclusion of Truly Madly Deeply by Savage Garden, and no I do not secretly love that song. I have always hated that one. HATERZ GONNA HATE!

In less pop culture-y news and more just sad news, apparently we may be getting more drug-resitant UTIs because of the meat we buy? Egads. Basically, too many antibiotics are being put into the animals, and they are similar to the antibiotics used to treat urinary tract infections, so the more you get the antibiotics in your system, the more likely the infections will develop a resistance to them. So let's just add this to the list of terrible things Americans do to their food. Ugh. It really is hard to buy groceries that are actually healthy these days, which is super annoying.

This is going to sound like a shameless promotion, but I promise it's not. My mom posted a song the other day on Facebook that one of my brother's friend's created with his band. I was like sure I'll check it out, not expecting much, and what! It's amazing! Of course, I am really into the whole electronic indie sound, so maybe I am a bit biased, but it sounds like a professional song regardless, and he just recorded it in his home studio. Anyway, you should check it out. Mermaid in China is the name of the band, which is maybe a hokey name, but the music is quality. Some of it has kind of a '70s vibe to it as well. They have five songs, but my favorite of the bunch is The Average Man.

Listen to their music below:

I will, however, end with a shameless plug of my own, and ask you to like my Facebook page if you haven't yet. http://www.facebook.com/FreshFromThe - I would super appreciate it!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Supernatural 10x02 "Reichenbach"

In last week's premiere, we got a sneak peek at the new Dean. It wasn't quite clear just how much of a demon he was, but this week the show delved even more into the new dark and twisted soul that inhabits the elder Winchester, with interesting results. But let's back up a bit.

In case you forgot, Sam was picked up by some mystery man with a mysterious past with Dean. That man turns out to be a dude named Cole. Apparently back in 2003, Dean killed his father. Of course, the kid didn't know that his dad was probably either a monster or possessed or something, so he's been training to come take down Dean ever since. Sam tries to convince him that there's more to the world, you know, monsters, but the guy is not having it, instead focused on torturing Sam to get info on where Dean is. So, Sam steals his rather conspicuously dropped pair of keys with a handy dandy knife on it and hightails it out of there to keep looking for his brother.

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Some shiners for poor Sammy.
Dean, meanwhile, is still hanging around in the Dakotas - is he feeling somewhat sentimental or something? Like, because he's kinda near Bobby's old place? In any case, Crowley wants him to sate the Mark some more. Supposedly how this works is, yes, Dean is a demon, but if he doesn't keep sating the Mark by killing with the blade, then he'll get more erratic and crazy demony. O-kay. So, Crowley sets him up to kill this cheating wife. Her husband made a deal to sell his soul if they would kill her. But, Dean gets sidetracked when he goes to do the deed, instead satisfying all the women of the world by killing a man who started going on about how it was okay for him to cheat, but not his wife, because it's, you know, biological for men to do that.

Crowley is less than happy about this development, to be sure. He wants Dean to do his bidding, more or less, be one of his demon buddies. But Dean is all not so much. He wants to do whatever he feels like. Crowley has had enough of the surly behavior and points out that Dean is teetering on the edge between being a demon and being human. Dean says sayonara to that scene, leaving Crowley to pine over good times past.

Now you may be wondering, what's going on with the angels? Oh, you weren't? Yeah, me neither, really. Cas is still feeling sick, he ends up running the car off the road and blah blah. Basically this amounts to Hannah going up to talk to Metatron to find out if there is any of Cas' grace left. Metatron claims there is, and wants to make a deal, but Cas shows up in time to stop her. However, it does seem like the grace is out there somewhere. Now Cas just has to find it.

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Still handsome even as a demon.
Back in the Earthly realm, Sam has managed to track down Dean. He wants to take him back to the bunker and work the demon cure on him, but Dean is not into that. However, Sam's plan to saunter over and put some devil's trap cuffs on Dean is stopped when Cole shows up, throwing a smoke bomb in the joint. Cole confronts Dean, who does not remember in the slightest who he is, and they "fight." Or, really, Cole tries to fight and Dean kind of swats him around. But, instead of killing him in the end, he lets him go (after showing him his demon eyes), which gives Sam enough time to throw some holy water on Dean and get him in the cuffs to take him back to the bunker.

Sam meets up with Crowley to give him the First Blade so Dean can't use it anymore. Crowley makes like this is good news for Sam, and that he's over Dean, but I'm not so sure. Didn't he say that Dean will go even crazier demon if he doesn't use that thing? Is that his secret plan? Hmm. Because next week does not look so promising for Sam, that's for sure.


Random Thoughts:

- Did they change the coloring back to more of a darkened feel and not quite so colorized? Back to basics!

- Cool transition from Dean punching someone to Sam being punched in the face.

- That past scene with "younger" Dean - ha. I mean I guess it looked pretty convincing, since he was supposed to be a couple years younger than when the show started.

- When Cas finally gets his own grace back, will that be the end of angel politics? Please?

- That picture of Crowley and Dean together was hilarious. I laughed out loud at that one.

- Why doesn't Hannah just do the wooshy transport thing with Cas? Can he not handle being teleported or something?

- Please let's be done with the Metatron storyline. The last thing I want to see is him getting free.

- Sam talked about how they can cure a demon with the blood magic stuff. Does that work when the person isn't possessed? It seems like it would be different, but who knows. How long do we think the Demon Dean thing is going to keep going? Are you liking the storyline so far? It certainly adds a new layer to the show that hasn't been there in a while. I also enjoy his new hair.

- Demon Dean, however, does not care about his beloved Impala. Regular Dean inside must be pretty pissed.

Quotes:

Sam: It's holy water.
Cole: Holy cow.

Sam: I guess the Mark... it messed him up somehow, I don't know.
Castiel: That is a vast understatement.

Crowley: So how you been feelin'? On edge, pent up, unfulfilled?
Dean: You sound like a Viagra commercial, you know that, right?

Lester: Yeah, I know what an alibi is. I watch Franklin and Bash.

Crowley: Hello, Bullwinkle. You miss me?
Sam: So much.


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Friday, October 10, 2014

Friday Round Up

http://janwellmann.com/apocalypse-strange-rituals/

Apocalypses are all the rage in media lately - from movies to TV to books, you pretty much can't escape an apocalypse story. And, well, if you are following climate change, we may be in for a slow apocalypse already in motion. The slow apocalypse is just one type that this article talks about, along with nine others. Pretty interesting to see how many of these are really just a variation on the virus theme. The image topper above is the first image that came up when I did a google image search of "apocalypse." Interesting that it features London!

I know I've spoken a bit about Harry Potter before, but right now the internet is abuzz after a mysterious tweet JK Rowling posted. If the rumor mills are to be believed, the tweet basically says that Harry Potter may be returning! Some people have started to debunk this theory, I think, but you never know.

Have you been watching any of the new TV shows debuting lately? To be honest, not many of them have interested me that much. However, I did watch the premiere of The Flash and am totally on board. But I pretty much knew I would be for that one, especially since it's helmed by some of the Arrow team, which is another favorite series of mine. I did find it interesting how quickly they got Barry into his Flash costume, and that ending scene sure was mysterious. Here's hoping it's as promising as it seems, because the ratings sure were high. Any other new shows you are into? Honestly that is one of the only ones this season that's even been on my radar, which is sad.

If you were a kid in the '90s, you probably watched a lot of Nickelodeon. So many of these shows of yesteryear are having milestone anniversaries lately, and one of said shows this week is none other than The Secret World of Alex Mack. While not my most favorite show of that era (I would probably go with Salute Your Shorts), Alex did still hold a special place with her special powers. This article features a look back and some trivia from Alex herself, Larisa Oleynik, and the creator of the show, Thomas W. Lynch.

In something a little less pop-cultureish, apparently what most women know to be true has been confirmed - men do not have very good memories. Apparently it has something to do with how we are raised to talk about events. Little girls are more likely to be asked about how events have made them feel, which gives them more of an emotional connection, and a longer-lasting memory, whereas little boys... aren't. Interesting because it certainly doesn't seem to be done on purpose that way. So, basically, how parents talk to their kids makes a big impact on how they will develop memories. Crazy!

And because I haven't ended things on a cat gif in a while...

http://kittiezandtittiez.com/post/67445595993


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Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Supernatural 10x01 "Black"

Here we are, back into another season of Supernatural. Season Ten. TEN. I mean, whoa. Did you watch the special on the show last night? It was fun to see clips from many of my favorite past episodes, along with mention of some of the less than stellar ones as well. At least they don't purport that every episode is amazing, haha.

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Mystery Man hurts darling Sammy.
Anyway, let's get to the task at hand - the season premiere episode, titled "Black," I'm sure, in reference to demon eyes. I was unsure at first whether Sam already knew what had happened to Dean, but it became clear that he, in fact, did not, only that Dean had disappeared without any explanation, leaving only a note that said, "Sammy let me go." It's not clear how much time has passed since the end of last season, but at least some has passed, maybe one or two months or something? But in that time, Sam has been looking for him non-stop, to the point where he is torturing demons for information.

Meanwhile, Castiel is holing up in some dingy hotel or something, looking rather sickly. I thought to myself - what the heck, why is Cas sick? Then I remembered, duh, his stolen grace is failing. He either needs to steal another grace or eventually he's going to die, but of course he does not want to steal another grace because that means killing another angel, which he tells Hannah, who shows up asking for his help in tracking down a couple of rogue angels who haven't returned to Heaven now that it's back open. The two angels just want to stay on Earth and live among the humans, but Hannah cites rules and whatnot, which results in an angel fight, leading to one of the rogue angels' deaths. Which, you know, might have been useful for the whole grace situation, but maybe I'm nit-picking.

Now, you're wondering where in the heck is Dean during all of this? Well, Dean is living it up in some hole in the wall, just drinking a lot of alcohol and singing a lot of bad karaoke, and bedding a lot of bar girls. Crowley is anxious for them to start their reign of Hell together, but Dean isn't so much into that. He's perfectly content doing just what they're doing. Which, you know, included Dean killing a couple of Abaddon-following demons along the way, sent courtesy of Crowley to keep him sharp and all. But the only way Crowley can get Dean to leave his favorite little bar is by talking to Sam and letting him trace the call.

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Jensen does his best to sing bad.
Because, yes, Sam has finally caught wind of Dean, who killed a demon in a convenience store and was caught on camera. The camera also reveals to Sam Dean's new black demon eyes. Sam is convinced that he must be possessed, but Crowley so nicely reveals to Sam that that is not the case at all. Instead, Dean's soul is a demon soul, which is terrible news to Sam. But, he's going to try to go after Dean anyway and reverse it, because that's just the Winchester way.

But before he can get there, he's stopped by some random dude, who has a kid that looks extremely familiar to me. Has that little actor dude just been on some other show or something? Hmm. Anyhow, the mystery man captures Sam and calls up Dean, saying he's going to kill Sam if he doesn't show up. Dean is like whatever dude, that's his problem, not mine. The mystery man insinuates that there is some kind of nefarious history between him and Dean, but we're not quite sure just what that is.

And that's kind of where things end. Sam is captured by the mystery man, with Dean driving off to points unknown, and Castiel hanging out with Hannah, who's less than thrilled at his human sympathies. Just what does this mean for the rest of the season? Hard to say right now. You have to wonder how long Dean will remain a demon. Just knowing this show, it doesn't seem like it will be for a super excessive period of time, but who knows.

Random Thoughts:

- What do you think of the new title card? Going all devil's trap on us this year. Have to wonder if a devil's trap will be used on Dean at some point.

- I'm not sure quite what to think of Demon Dean right now. He still seems very Dean-like, but without much of a moral compass or any kind of guilt. It's hard to say what he feels toward Sam. I guess it's hard to say what a demon soul is supposed to be like. Do they still have feelings? Hmm.

- Just who is the mystery man (they didn't say his name and I missed it, did they?)? And why did his wife look so upset when they realized the photo was of Dean? And who wrote the "Yup" on said photo? And is that kid familiar to anyone else?

- I don't know about everyone else, but I'm a bit over the whole angel storyline. Like, who cares about the angel politics back in Heaven? Boring!

- The opening "Road So Far" music was pretty awesome. Nice choice!

Quotes:

Crowley: Jerk.
Dean: Bitch.
(blasphemy!)

Castiel: I'm sensing awkwardness.

Sam: When Porn Guy came in, did he say anything?
Clerk: Where's the porn?

Crowley: The Mis-adventures of Crowley and Squirrel. Dean Winchester completes me.


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