Thursday, November 20, 2014

Supernatural, Season 10, Episode 6: Ask Jeeves

New Canaan, Connecticut and a very rich house apparently in mourning because a woman, Bunny Lacroix has died. Even the staff are upset (or, at least, they’re good at putting in an appropriate show) though this may be because the whole family is due to arrive. One of the maids tries on the dead woman’s pearls – Ghost!Bunny does not approve and said maid, Collette, goes sailing over a bannister to her death. Surprisingly, the Butler sees the undead Bunny and while outraged at her, doesn’t see overly shocked by her presence.

Over to the brothers and Dean being insecure about whether his coffee is manly enough. While they have no cases, they have conveniently found an old phone of Bobby’s with a call saying he’s been named a beneficiary in Bunny’s will. I don’t think I’d ever be so bored as to actually attend a will reading of a person I never knew, on behalf of a friend who is now dead. Dean has decided they’re next of kin so off they go to see if they can grab the inheritance.

They arrive at the severely posh mansion (and I don’t care how much money you have, a door bell that plays Fur Elise is tacky. Money doesn’t buy class). Dean is unimpressed (nor willing to dress up – they don’t have to pass themselves up as FBI agents so he doesn’t have to wear a suit). They did miss the funeral (guess there was no budget for that) but they do get to crash the family party full of very very rich Lacroixs.

One of which is a woman (Heddy) who is most certainly happy to see the “adorable” Sam and Dean (along with her sister Beverly who certainly agrees). There’s also Stan their brother and Amber his bride (who Heddy and Beverly hate of course) and Dash the only one who questions why the Winchesters are there. They tell the family about their surrogate dad, Bobby (and let’s have a moment to appreciate them calling him that) and learn they have to stay the night to hear the will reading the next day.

Beverly and Heddy make their interests refreshingly clear and the Butler takes the Winchesters aside to try and get them out of the house – not, surprisingly, because the Winchesters aren’t classy enough but because he thinks the Lacroix are terrible people and he wouldn’t inflict their company on the brothers. He passes the package Bobby was left to them. Inside is a necklace with a gem encrusted Celtic cross pendant.

Dean’s hope that the gems are real are quickly dashed, but it turns out the amulet is also a key. Time to ask the butler what it’s a key too

Meanwhile after Stanton accuses his wife of cheating and badmouths his dear departed sister, his apparently dead brother-in-law shows up to behead him. Which means Dean and Sam return to find themselves dragged into a murder enquiry. Dean and Sam take the story of a ghost seriously while the rest of the family argues, slut shames and makes catty comments about women being old. Ah, familial love. Unfortunately since Detective Howard has detained them all for questioning, Dean and Sam don’t have their usual ghost hunting tools. Dean goes investigating while Sam gets some family background from Dash.

Dean, meanwhile, finds the secret-ish passage/storage room the key opens and inside finds a body rolled up in a rug and a maid, Olivia, claiming that Phillip the Butler locked her inside for not being willing to lie about the Butler’s disposal of Collette’s body (she’s in the rug). She also saw Ghost Bunny kill Collette which means Dean can tell Same they have, apparently, 2 vengeful ghosts.

Family love.

Dean tracks down the Butler (who seems quite unperturbed at being accused of hiding dead bodies) while Sam dodges a very eager Beverly and finds… the butler’s murdered body. Dean gets thrown into a wall by the woo-woo of the fake Butler who disappears leaving clothes and… skin behind. Which is a sure sign of a shapeshifter (which they’ve seen before).

Recruiting Olivia, they gather some silverware for shapeshifter testing. Time to test the rest of the household so Sam goes to awkwardly… seduce Heddy and Beverly and test them with silver

Dean finds Dash and Amber in a cupboard making out and tests them both with silver. None of them are shapeshifters, but while they’re playing with the family Olivia finds the detective’s dead body.

Family drama follows as all the relatives accuse everyone else. Dash decides to accuse the Winchesters as the outsider and holds them at gunpoint. The Winchesters get locked up and discover that the “silver” cutlery they’ve been using is steel anyway (there’s a weird suggestion they notice this because the knife bends – as if steel is softer than silver?) so none of the tests they’ve done so far apply.

The family continues to be awful, throwing more classism and now homophobia to the mix. Thankfully Olivia turns out to be the real murderer and picks up the gun. Can I vote for the shapeshifter? Being a proper villain, Olivia expositions her motives: apparently she’s Bunny’s secret daughter that Bunny decided to lock in the attic as one does (Phillip locked her up because he was in on the big secret).

Sam and Dean get out and have a gun fight with Olivia. More ranting exposition about Bobby killing her dad and telling Bunny to lock Olivia up; she even made Bobby promise to take care of Olivia if Bunny died. Olivia wasn’t a fan of this plan since it made her an eternal prisoner.

Dean shoots her in the back. And the chest. And the head. He’s quite thorough.

They make their goodbyes and as they drive away Sam asks Dean why he felt the need to keep shooting the shifter’s body. Sam worries it may be demon residue or the Mark of Cain but dean just dismisses it.

Ok this episode was sorta, kinda a whole lot of pointless nothing – cheesey pointless nothing. But it wasn’t awful for all that – a bit of cheesey pointless nothing can be good and a series with 10 seasons behind it is due a little cheesey pointless nothing. But last week’s episode was cheesey, pointless nothing too (albeit a celebration because of the 200th episode thing).

I didn’t dislike this episode but it struck me that this season, at episode 6, doesn’t actually have any meta. Dean-the-demon has been (apparently) resolved. Castiel is… I actually have no idea about Castiel, he had a reprieve from Graceless-death and now has disappeared. I don’t know what Crowley or the angels are doing. I can understand a break and getting back to normal after the heaviness of demon-Dean but I think they could use some actual episodes in which to do that – to get back to “status quo” which is kind of what they’re doing – but there’s too much cheese for that. It’s… thematically not working

There were a lot of little references to Cluedo in this episode which I kind of appreciated (but I loved that game)

Heddy and Beverly are, of course, hollow caricatures who are supposed to be funny. See, older women who are sexual and proactively seek what they want is good – them doing so to be seen as comic, predatory and generally creepy because of it? Less so.

Dean’s line on the elastic trousers amuses me unreasonably because that is definitely me. My usual line is “I wear suits every day – you’re lucky I’m even wearing clothes.”