Thursday, February 27, 2014

Supernatural: Season 9, Episode 14: Captives

There be something creepy moving around the Winchester cave – and it gets in Dean’s headphones. He calls for Sam – but when Sam arrives Dean’s missing. The lights are flickering and things are moving without anything touching them: Sam grabs a whacky thing to whack the ghost (I’m assuming it’s an iron whacky thing). More spookiness and even a cloud of ghostly smoke moving around (Sam’s iron whacky thing is a sword apparently, my bad – he has a slashy thing I assume is iron) but whether a slashy or whacky thing, Dean’s shotgun full of rock salt beats it.

Bunker’s haunted. And I love the way Dean says it – like they have rats or cockroaches

The two brainstorm while loading up because the bunker has been warded up the wazoo so no ghosts could have got in – it must have been someone who died here. Y’know, you could play this mystery much much better if you hadn’t included Kevin in the “previously on Supernatural” section.

Dean declares it can’t possibly be Kevin (it’s Kevin) because he burned the body (most certainly Kevin) and it isn’t Kevin! (yes it is). While the ghost messes with the coffee maker.

Ghost!Kevin, you’re lucky I’m not there – I don’t care if you’re the ghost of my sainted grandmother, I’ll exorcise you faster than the pope on crystal meth if you touch my coffee.

Messing with the caffeine seemed to convince them at least.

Cut to a man leaving a funeral – to be ambushed by Castiel

 The man is an angel and so the dead woman, Rebecca, was also possessed by one and Castiel thinks they can lead him to Metatron. Sadly it’s a dead end because he’s found another faction of angels – this one focused on being good and fluffy because they believe all of these violent genocidal angels bent on mutual destruction have probably lost touch with their roots, just a tad. Sounds very nice, the problem is when you’re part of a multi-sided war, playing pacifist only works if your enemies are also willing to play pacifist. Faction leader Bartholomew didn’t want to play so Rebecca and most of her minions are dead.

The grieving angel leaves – but Castiel gets ambushed by 2 more creepy angels who want to take him to see their boss. Who is… Bartholomew, who greats Castiel like a long lost brother. Uh-huh. They sit and share past war stories of Castiel’s glory days – but Castiel isn’t playing, because he remembers what Bartholomew did – torturing and killing captives. Bartholomew pulls out the “just following orders” excuse which has bad precedent, adding that that’s what angels do. Well until now – now Bartholomew’s in charge.

Turns out Bartholomew has dumped the human minister and cut out the middleman since he’s so unpredictable and they now run the televangelist ministry themselves; and he totally wants Castiel to be his best friend and hang around (his minions would rather see Castiel cut into teeny tiny pieces). He probably also has a bridge to sell you. He wants Castiel to set aside his little issues about Bartholomew slaughtering everyone in the hope they can work together to find and kill Metatron

He shows off his shiny toys and how Castiel can use them while also musing how have Castiel on side will give him the power to TAKE OVER THE WORLD! MUAHAHAHA! The sales pitch might have worked except his goons bring in the fleeing pacifist angel from earlier

Castiel objects to the torture and when Bartholomew puts a blade in his hand to finish the man off, Castiel pleads for a peaceful resolution; but Bartholomew demands Castiel proves he can kill, that all the terrible things Castiel has done (which are a fair few) have changed him into someone willing to murder. Castiel refuses – so Bartholomew kills the man instead, his goons holding back Castiel.

Bartholomew then decides he wants to prove himself better than Castiel by fighting him – he punches Castiel but he refuses to fight back, standing there and taking it, telling him angels have to stop fighting angels. Bartholomew grabs the angel blade and tries to stab Castiel – and ends up with him pinned and Castiel holding it to his neck (Castiel may not want to fight, it doesn’t mean he can’t). Again he refuses to kill, tossing the blade aside and walking away. Bartholomew isn’t the brightest bulb and decides to stab Castiel when his back is turned, Castiel twists his arm – and the blade ends up in Bartholomew’s chest

Buh-bye now. Bartholomew’s guards decide, on the face of it, that trying to stop Castiel leaving would be a Bad Idea.

Alas we cannot spend the whole episode with Castiel (nooooo, we can! We can!) So it’s back at the Winchester cave, the brothers try to communicate with Kevin via the coffee machine. Which is AWESOME. Anyone wants to communicate with my ghost, throw away the spirit boards and reach for the espresso machine! Anyway, this is Dean’s chance to angst and angst and angst – so annoying is his angst that Kevin’s ghost appears muttering that he can’t believe he has to spend his death listening to Dean’s moping as well!

It seems Kevin hasn’t gone to heaven despite having more than earned it because Metatron closed the gates – that didn’t just send the angels packing but also stopped souls ascending. All dead people due to head upwards since then have been stuck in the veil which isn’t fun because it’s very full. Kevin wants them to find his mother – who he is sure is still alive; or so says a ghost in Wichita.

So off to Wichita – and they bring their ghost talking coffee machine, to talk to this ghost called Candy (and to leave phone messages for Crowley since he was the last person to see Ms. Tran). Candy talks about them all being chained and locked in boxes, able to talk to each other through vents. She died when she tried to escape after one of her captors – Crowley – disappeared leaving only one behind; but one was more than enough it seemed.

Cut to Linda Tran screaming and cowering away from her captor in another storage unit.

Doing some research, Sam discovers that Candy was a politician’s lover and, therefore, leverage to use against him. Just as Linda is leverage to use against Kevin; which means the guy who killed Candy, Crowley’s guard, must have screwed up by killing her (Sam seems to think this logic is somehow defending Crowley)

Time to pose as FBI agents and check every storage facility in the area until they find the right places, run by the hipster tins. They separate to check out the storage units belonging to Crowley and Sam finds Linda – and gets locked in with her. Looks like the hipster twins are in on it – and deliberately separated them – and Dean gets clobbered in a frankly shameful lack of attention or awareness. Call yourself a hunter, Dean.

Thankfully once Sam unchains Linda, she returns to being the awesome character that I remember and love and promptly sets about rescuing herself (taking Sam’s tools off him when he starts fiddling with the electrics – she’s doing it herself). She also keeps asking about Kevin. Sam tries to give the bad news but Linda is not in a place to hear it, which is pretty understandable.

Dean wakes up to hear adolescent demon whining about Crowley abandoning him to this job and not letting him kill people and how it’s all so unfair and how he wants to kill people – after interminable whining, Sam arrives and knocks him out. They chain the annoying whiny demon up but don’t kill him: they’re saving him for someone else; he thinks they mean Crowley but no, something far worse. Ms. Tran. She’s not impressed by his “just following orders” excuse either and merrily stabs him.

Hey, remember the days when they used to exorcise demons to save the innocent humans they were possessing?

She now wants to go see her son. Telling her no would probably be a bad idea. A very bad idea indeed.

They go to the Winchester Cave and calls Kevin’s ghost and she gets to see her son. Afterwards she and Dean go through Kevin’s personal effects to find what object is still holding Kevin’s soul – Ms. Tran identifies her dead husband’s ring. Dean warns her what happens when ghosts don’t move on (like Bobby’s rage) but Ms. Tran takes the ring with her to look after her son as long as she can.

They say their goodbyes to Kevin – and Kevin makes it clear he doesn’t blame them for his death and also asks them to get over their issues.

Of course, when he’s gone Sam just turns and leaves in a very clear “no way not getting over it” sulky fashion and Dean goes to listen to his music and sulk.

Meanwhile Castiel goes to Rebecca’s grave to express his respect for her trying a new way – and one of Bartholomew’s goons shows up. Not to fight – but to follow. And he’s not the only one

Castiel’s got a faction!

I kind of loved Kevin’s reaction to Dean’s angst because it is overwhelming and omnipresent – but I also have my long running refrain that while Sam and others can talk through and work through their pain, Dean (he with the most pain) is continually expected to shut it down, shut up and move on. This is the problem with Dean’s whining angst – it’s eternal and it’s eternally unresolved, it just GROWS

They have a spirit coffee machine. An lo, they earned my eternal fanpoodling

What doesn’t have me fanpoodling is the awesome and incredible Linda Tran cowering, screaming and helpless in need of rescue. Her being alive is an unexpected plus – but this show is so full of victimised women that even most of those who are so strong and downright impressive end up dead or victimised and in need of rescue. Get Linda out of the damn fridge – you’d think after her son died she could be at least spared fridging duty! She is awesome and strong and dangerous and competent and more than deserving of her own show and yes she’s still absolutely awesome – but she hs been kidnapped, menaced and her safety used as a bludgeon for others far too often - she doesn’t need to be this looming victim.

This ending is at least a little more satisfying that Kevin’s abrupt death – and leaves the door open to both Kevin and Ms. Tran (who is awesome) returning in the future.