Friday, May 1, 2015

Supernatural, Season 10. Episode 20: Angel Heart

Jimmie Novak goes to see his wife, Amelia. That would be the body Castiel has been riding in – who tells his wife that Castiel is gone. He asks about Claire – and Amelia’s arms bleed

Ok, creepy dream. She wakes up to a creepier reality where she’s on a bed with a man cutting her wrist to steal white smoky light (which looks like angelic grace) before woo-wooing her back to sleep.

To Claire who is trawling bars to speak to a guy about her missing mother. He denies everything and tries to leave but fails dismally at lying. When she grabs him he knocks her down and unconscious. He calls an ambulance for her before running off

And it’s at the hospital where Castiel goes to her. Well, after getting the Winchesters for back up (yes he’s a coward). While initially hostile (understandably) she does tell them her mother is missing. First clue on the trail – Amelia went looking for miracle providers – she was looking for Castiel.

Time for Castiel to feel all guilty and, honestly, unlike a lot of shows where the protagonist feels terribly guilty for no damn good reason, this time that guilt is totally deserved. They plan to find Ronnie and Amelia, unsurprisingly, disappears.

Time for the team to split up and Dean takes the chance to remind Castiel that he isn’t Claire’s father and really she isn’t his responsibility nor is he particularly helping her by being around. But Castiel responds with guilt, the general badness of leaving her on her own and the inescapable fact they found her in a hospital.

They do find Ronnie and Dean (rather hypocritically) takes exception to Ronnie referring to Claire as a “bitch” and promptly slams him into the table. Ronnie decides to tell them everything – he worked for a faith healer called Peter by luring vulnerable people to him. Some he healed, some he tied up and sliced and diced.

When they leave Ronnie decides to give Petr the heads up – and he appears to take back Ronnie’s sight (he cured Ronnie of blindness) and then kill him.

Meanwhile Sam catches up with Claire to discuss her quest to find her mother to tell her how terrible she is (Dam reflects on his own mother who died as a baby but he got to know later – because Supernatural). He teaches her various dubious tricks to make life on the road easier before Dean and Castiel return. Castiel has awkwardly bought Claire a rather ridiculous present but manages to be cute and adorable doing it because he’s Castiel.

When they hear Ronnie is dead everyone suspects Dean. Poor Dean. Dean goes to investigate, Castiel insists on coming. So does Claire. Sam, reasonably, decides he wants no part of that road trip. Castile also tells Sam that Dean snapped in the bar and is getting worse.

Really? He smacked Ronnie a couple of times – sure that’s not good but I was marvelling at how mild the Mark of Cain Dean was being given the givens.

At the body their ability to intrude on crime scenes now extends to teenaged girls, apparently. Ronnie’s stab wound resembles an angel blade with all the burning but is the wrong shape.

So they need to go to see Peter but first Claire has to stay behind – and so does Dean (much to his disgust) to stop the Mark acting up. Castiel tells them both to behave

Now Sam and Castiel are alone so it’s time for more advise – and Sam tells Castiel to do the opposite of what Dean said: stay with Claire, she’s family. And even if Sam went off alone at that time, that doesn’t mean he didn’t still appreciate knowing his family was there for him if he needed it.

Dean is a surprisingly fun babysitter with mini-golf and both acknowledging that Jimmy giving up his body to Castiel was hard but also that Castiel used that body to save the entire world (and endanger it a couple of times but let’s not mention that). This also gives Dean inspiration for research into Angel SWORDS rather than the knives – particularly the swords carried by Grigori, watcher angels.

Sam and Dean investigate Peter’s house with Peter lurking around – and Castiel finds Amelia. Like Claire, she’s not Castiel’s biggest fan. Dean calls with a warning and Sam gets knocked out.  There’s some kind of curse on their phones this happens so often. It’s almost like there’s something demonic in the telecoms industry (what, like you can show any evidence to the contrary!)

So Dean has to ride to the rescue – and give Claire a gun

Amelia calms down and Castiel tells her about Jimmy being dead and they talk about Claire while she cries about leaving her. Amelia is in a room with several other prisoners and Castiel, rather tactlessly, tells her she’s been in the room for 2 years.

 While they do this Sam is tied to a chair. Again. The Winchesters have been tied to so many chairs they can probably identify the furniture maker by the way their wrists are bound. Peter introduces himself for a nice evil monologue telling Sam how he’s Tamiel and that human souls are yummy yummy treats. He’s also not a fan of the Grigori mission to protect humanity because humanity is so not worth it.

He wanders off giving Sam time to rescue himself (tying up Winchesters is like tying up Houdini with silly string). Dean and Claire meet up with Castiel and Amelia – for much tearful reconciliation between mother and daughter and both Sam and Dean tell the other about Gregori so everyone’s on the same page.

But meeting for recap means they’ve left Claire to get Amelia out on her own (and Amelia can barely walk), naturally Tamiel ambushes them and isn’t that phased by Claire shooting him. He goes to stab her – and Amelia gets in the way and gets stabbed through the stomach. Then Castiel arrives and it’s time for an angelic battle. Which isn’t that impressive and doesn’t go well for Cas. Then an Angel vs Sam battle which is also not impressive and doesn’t go well for Sam. Then an Angel vs Mark of Cain battle which also doesn’t go so well – but all this tag teaming gives Claire chance to stab him in the back with an Angel blade and save Castiel.

Amelia dies though – but we do get a scene of her and Jimmy in Heaven (which would have been nicer before we learned some of the creepy things about Heaven).

The Winchesters take Claire to Jody’s because Jody is awesome. Dean also gives Claire some presents – a film and a book of monster research because he’s seen Claire steal the Angel sword (and she’s asked repeatedly why Sam and Dean do what they do). She’s also taken Castiel’s terrible present. He does warn her off the life but doesn’t try to stop her. He does tell her to call them and to make sure she does her research

Castiel seems to decide that the decision whether or not to let him in her life is Claire’s – not Sam or Dean’s advice

There was some good here. I like that after Castiel struggled with where he fit in Claire’s life, talking it over with the Winchesters (who both have starkly different views of responsibility and family and what is helpful which was somewhat surprising in some case but makes sense considering where they are in the moment) he finally decided the only good way to decide this: allowing Claire to make the choice. This is the only way that decision can be made

I also like that this whole uncomfortable, difficult storyline has been satisfactorily addressed beyond just letting Claire disappear. There’s closure, it’s not comfortable or all nice or anything of that kind, but it has reached a conclusion – and left the door open for Claire (and the excellent Jody) to be more involved in the future. I also like Dean’s respect for Claire’s choice to be a hunter, more concerned with her doing it right than her not doing it at all

I am a little bemused that they tried to force in the Mark of Cain in the storyline when Dean was really no more violent than he usually is

This series has too few POC to throw in a random killable dead villain.