Thursday, November 28, 2013

Supernatural Season 9, Episode 8: A Rock and a Hard Place

South Dakota and a woman leaving and closing a diner for the night – taking a package of food she leaves for the homeless person outside. A genuinely good person – oh she’s so dead. Yes, something stalks her. In her fear she drops her keys (including their nifty taser attachment) and scrabbles after them under her car. When she hears footsteps approaching she pulls herself all the way under to hide – only to have her pursuer life the car off her and be consumed in blue fire. The fire also reaches out and covers her as well.

She’s surprisingly unburned – but she is alive. The figure picks her up and drops her down a hole in the ground – it looks like a bunker or an oubliette, with a metal lid.

At the Winchester cave, Sam is zonked from lack of sleep, and apparently so is Kevin, both of them researching some way to reverse the spell that locked the angels out of heaven and getting them out of everyone’s hair. Dean is naturally worried about Sam having no energy given the whole mortally wounded and possessed by an angel thing. Worrying interrupted by a call from Sheriff Mills – Jodie Mills (Last seen in season 8 but she’s been around for a while). She has a case for them – 4 missing people and one eye witness reporting someone lifting an SUV. Definitely spooky shenanigans.

4 victims with evidence of super strength at each scene; and they all belonged to the same church group. After checking to make sure Jodie’s ok with getting involved after her last near-death experienced from Crowley’s magic (she is – the more she knows the safer she is), Sam presents an angel theory – super strength and all churchy folk could be harvesting vessels after all. And Dean breaks Jodie’s bubble – nah, angels = bad thing. They should probably make pamphlets “Why Angels Are Dicks.”

They talk to the witness (the homeless man the woman, Honour, gave food to) but the blue fire doesn’t sound like angelic white light. So time to investigate the only connection – the church and its perky representative. They find out all the victims were part of a members only abstinence group – yes, Sam and Dean join that as well. Dean is just thrilled, but Sam thinks maybe the monster is stalking virgins (Dean, again, jumps to dragons which is a nice ongoing theme). She returns with a virginity pledge which, of course, Dean snarks that it’s a bit too late for that; so he has to become a born again virgin. Which I’m sure is cheating somewhere along the line.

To the first meeting, led by Suzy; and Sam has to remind Dean to bow his head during the silent prayer. Suzy deftly prevents Tammy inflicting awful poetry on the group by making Sam and Dean tell them why they’re seeking to re-virginise. Sam, truthfully, tells them every relationship he’s had has ended badly (understatement). Dean’s explanation sounds more like he’s reading a bad erotic novel. Thankfully it ends and Dean is sure he recognises Suzie from somewhere. Sam listens to malicious gossip from Tammy about the missing Honour while Dean offers to escort Suzie home to get some books (what with people disappearing and all). And yes, Dean is hoping to have sex with the chastity counsellor.

Sam returns to Sherriff Jodie to reveal the shocking gossip that 2 of the victims – Honour and Pastor Fred – were having sex. As was one of the other victims, Barbara with her fiancé (who claims it didn’t count because it was under 30 seconds. Ouch  - though making a case that awful sex shouldn’t count is worth getting behind). Bad born again virgins! No… exactly what do you take off a born again virgin as punishments? It seems a bit mild to remove cookies from people so practiced in self-denial. The blue fire took Barb right after her 30 second flop. New theory – the blue fire is actually going after people who break their chastity vow.

Over to Suzie’s and Dean is not-even-trying to be subtle about drool over her. And when he gets a call from Sam he hangs up on him, unanswered – and sneakily lights candles for mood lighting. She kind of breaks the mood when she starts sobbing about her friends and asking Dean to pray with her

Unable to get in touch with Dean, Sam and Jodie talk about why she goes to church – she’s looking for comfort and stability about Bobby’s death and Crowley trying to kill her. Sam thinks most people are looking for comfort but Jodie puts in an exception for those that have it – mentioning Sam and Dean and how close they are.

Back at Suzie’s, Dean gets an armload of chastity books, answers a call from Sam – and sees a porn DVD with Suzie on the cover – that’s where he’s seen her before. He hangs up on Sam again, focusing on the fact Suzie was a porn star rather than the case. When she returns he speaks to her in Spanish and she realises he’s seen the film which she is not happy about and she wanted to leave behind when she moved. He praises her – starting well with how she’s talented and a good, worthy person, going through to the skeevy with her being his “good memories” in between the bad things he’s seen before moving on to outright creepy with him praising her sexual skills. There then follows a script right out of a porn film

Meanwhile, in the bunker, Honour examines her surroundings using her taser as a torch. And something keeps moving behind her to freak her out. She trips over a body on the floor (hurting her leg) and finds some emergency supplies, including a lantern. In the light she sees Neal, Barbara (the 30 second couple) and the Pastor (now conscious) who are all trapped down there with her. Blue fire fills the room – and when it disappears the pastor is missing. They then hear him screen.

At the motel Sam and Jodie move out – Dean and Suzie have been gone an hour and, if the creature goes after vow breakers – that means they’re in trouble.

And Dean and Suzie open her door – only to be overwhelmed by blue fire that leaves them both unconscious.

In the bunker, the others aren’t in good shape –Barbara clawing at the walls until her fingers bleed in desperation and thirst and then drinking the blood. The bunker is opened to drop in Suzie and Dean, before being closed and buried again. Dean tries but he can’t get out.

Sam and Jodie arrive at Suzie’s to find obvious evidence of blue fiery kidnapping and go back to hit the research. And Jodie finds Vesta, Roman goddess of the Hearth and the vestal virgins. The virgins who broke their vows were buried alive.

Dean manages to get a call to Sam, though heavily distorted, through the air vent. He can’t pass on any information but Sam does hear a whistle which leads them, in classic TV detective  show fashion, to find trains, somewhere, anywhere in the area which will magically lead them directly to the location (oh I am too used to tropes I think). Neal has the bright idea to serve up Honour to the creature since it always takes the weakest and Honour has hurt her leg – Dean naturally objects to this, quite vehemently.

Jodie and Sam complete their research and, yes, find the location – but they need a special stake soaked in virgin blood to kill Vesta. Damn, where to find a virgin? Why, Tammy the gossip of course who is busy organising pickles (not a euphemism). Tammy will not give up blood and thinks they’re psycho, pagan devil worshippers so Jodie punches her in the nose and uses a handkerchief to sop up the blood. Go Jodie.

They arrive at the location, an old abandoned farm, and Sam finds the trap door. He rushes to open it and gets knocked out by Vesta – leaving Jodie to take over. Which she does with gusto – mocking her for being a pathetic goddess, how everyone forgot about her (sucks to be Lindsey Lohan – ouch!) Of course, Vesta hits back – she now uses Christianity to her own means (she even has a sweater set)

While Dean works at unscrewing the trap door from below, Vesta ties Jodie to a table ranting about “trollops” and “born again virgins” where she eats their livers. She stabs Jodie in the chest with a wooden stake. Sam attacks Vesta, having regained consciousness, and Vesta throws him back, zapping him with a taser. But she pulls back – Sam’s liver is no good. He’s all “duct tape and safety pins” inside. He shouldn’t even be alive – which is when Jodie stabs her from behind with the stake which kills her. Everyone is rescued and doctored.

They make their goodbyes to Jodie and Sam talks to Dean about something being wrong with him. Dean, obviously, tries to distract him from it and blames the trials. Sam is worried he will never feel fully ok and this is how he will always be – broken and damaged inside. Dean hates that he’s blaming himself and prepares to spill the big secret – but Ezekiel interrupts, warning Dean that Sam could eject him and die. Dean asks how much longer – and Ezekiel promises, rather ominously, it won’t be long

Dean and Suzie – no. Yes it’s this week’s comic relief, but it’s skeevy even setting aside the fact that Dean is literally ignoring a case for the chance to have sex with her. Suzie has joined a chastity support group. She leads a chastity support group. She has a small library on chastity. She is willing to help Dean as a member of said group. How many more signs does a woman have to give that she is not interested?

And him being even more interested because she is a porn star? Uckies fetishism. Especially since she is doing her very best to move on from her old profession.

(And don’t tell me she is interested because she willingly, enthusiastically, joined in the flirting and had sex – at the time when Dean started pursuing her she was adamantly not interested. In fact, her not being interested and sending out every reasonable signal that she wasn’t interested and then his flirting ending with him having sex and not being slapped in the face is even worse because it reinforces they idea that “not interested” just needs “persuasion”).

It’s not like Dean couldn’t go to any part of the world and find a queue of people joyously willing to have sex with him – and has done so in the past – pursuing someone because they’re unavailable and/or because he’s fetishising them as a porn star is plain skeevy

Ezekiel definitely has an evil plan prepared.

And Jodie is awesome and we could use more of her