Saturday, February 18, 2017

Supernatural, Season 12, Episode 12: Stuck in the Middle Of You

Nope, nope nope, stop this. Stop. I hate hate hate hate this whole broken time line nonsense. Can we please just tell a story in neat chronological order? And now with artsy pauses and dramatic walking and even repetition? Stop.

So piecing together this hot mess of storytelling.

Hunter called Wally calls in Mary to help him with a case. Because Wally is your basic decent hunter not Winchester Apocalypse-it-must-be-Tuesday-hunters. You can tell by the way he’s freaked out by the fact Lucifer has a kid while the Winchesters are pretty meh about it

He has a demon problem.

Demons! Yes these are actually a threat to the average hunter. I know Dean and Sam spent the last 4 seasons pretty much focused on demons and now regularly have mimosas with the king of hell which kind of takes away the fear of demons. But, of you remember back to the heady days of seasons 1 & 2 (aside – don’t go back and watch these. Because you’ll see Baby!Dean and think he was so cute and adorable and then remember you used to think he was super hot, then feel like a cradle snatcher, then realise you were so much younger then and THEN realise how old you are now and you’ll end up sitting in a corner eating a whole tub of ice cream or going to a club drinking too much and dancing in woefully regretful ways to prove you still got it. Either way it’s not pretty and regret lies that way. So I’m told. By other people. Not me of course) demons were actually waaaay up there in the scale of scary shit the hunters didn’t want to face.

Of course the fact they’re carrying an arsenal of angel blades around (he remember when they used to exorcise demons and try to save their hosts?).

So they meet in a diner, make a plan, encourage Castiel to flirt with the waitress (hey remember the whole terror of Nephilim thing?) and she thoroughly takes control and owns that exchange.

And then it all goes to shit

The night fishing demon they’re hunting is way more than a demon, has yellow eyes, is immune to their bullets and even the demon blade – can take down Castiel and has some awesome weapons. He also has minions.

Wally ends up dead. Castiel severely injured with a weapon that cancels angelic healing. Mary uses a big car as a weapon because she’s Mary and practical like that.

Of course, a yellow eyed demon is something they have history with. Except… Azazel? He was scary and all – back when Dean was adorkable – but Abaddon, Lucifer, god’s own sister have all come and gone since then. To say nothing, again, of the mimosa parties with the King of Hell. Azazel ain’t that scary any more.

Turns out that Mary was actually the one who called in Wally – so she could call on Sam and dean without them realising. And it’s the Men of Letters who’ve set her against this guy – much to Wally’s distrust (he doesn’t buy what they’re selling) but she thinks she’s been doing awesomely with their gear and intel

And she seems to have another motive – not killing the demon but stealing from him and not telling the others.

That’s an arsehole move there Mary – people risking their lives for your lies?

The Men of Letters totally deny they knew he had yellow eyes, totes not their fault.

And then Crowley shows up. No mimosas but lots of insults. He’s not impressed by them – and this is Mary’s first introduction to the King of Hell. She’s not impressed. Nor am I, with Sam:

Sam; The demons, they were yours
Crowley: Obviously

He IS the king of hell after all.

The yellow eyed Demon is Ramiel – prince of hell, same rank as Azazel. We get a bit of history – basically the princes of hell are the oldest of the old demons, created by Lucifer himself

Again, shiny – but after the last 11 seasons? This is a season 1 bad guy.

Crowley had also met Ramiel before – deciding to lure him on side by offering him shinies. Specifically the Spear of Michael which kills evil things quickly and angels really really slow. He also gives him a shiny golden thing which Mary stole – and the throne. Yes Crowley wanted Ramiel to be king. He wasn’t interested – and he offered it to Crowley instead. He was the one who inspired Crowley to become king, assuring him that with Azazel dead, the other two princes (Asmodius and Dagon who I’m sure will show up later) aren’t interested either.

Oh he has a condition – the Princes of Hell all need leaving alone. If anyone bothers them, Crowley is personally responsible

Yes yes very scary. Still a season 1 enemy. Mother of all monsters. They killed DEATH. Actual Death. Archangel Michael.

Oh and point of subtle acting – Crowley seems genuinely but subtly upset knowing that Castiel was stabbed with the Lance of Michael. It’s a flicker round the eyes but that’s mourning. Some good acting there

He also works on setting Ramiel up as more of a threat – pointing out all the big bads they took down they had years to plot and prepare – not on the hoof in a barn.

Castiel has time for a tragic, desperate goodbye saying how much he values them but they need to leave him. Of course they refuse with a beautiful declaration of family. It’s awesome

Crowley seems to abandon them – but actually goes to try and bargain with Ramiel. Pretty much offering almost anything to save the Winchesters… damn, Crowley’s relationship with the Winchesters remains Complicated.

Crowley is promptly knocked unconscious

Ramiel is delayed by holy fire while they demand a cure (and try to menace him with their reputation – making it clear he knows what’s happening in the world, heaven, hell, lucifer’s child and totally doesn’t care. Also plot point – Dagon does care. Told you we’d hear more). He demands his property back

Of course Sam and Dean know nothing: and Mary keeps silent.

the fighting begins and… they stab Ramiel with his shiny spear

Sure they get beat up a bit doing it and it takes 3 hunters but my gods what anti-climax is this?

You spend this much effort building him up despite my cynicism and he goes down that easy? Why did he even bring the spear? Honestly this is the worst weapon he could possibly carry since he can kill the Hunters with his bare hands and the spear is the only thing they could actually kill him with?

And I’m supposed to take Dagon as a big threat when she appears?

Sure it took 3 hunters to do it – but still they did it in less than a minute

Except Castiel is still rotting horribly to death… but Crowley has an inspiration from what Ramiel said when he first gave the spear. He destroys it – and in so doing saves Castiel

Whoa. Wait. Never mind Ramiel, this is the moment of note

Crowley, this episode, risked life and limb against Ramiel to save the Winchesters

And given an extremely precious, amazingly powerful weapon able to kill things which are fairly unkillable, he is willing to throw this away (and all the super bargaining potential it represents) to save Castiel

This takes the Crowly/Winchester relationship to waaaaay more than complicated levels.

They’re still confused by the theft claim. And Mary keeps silent.

I’m not impressed Mary – that’s really a terrible way to treat team mates and beyond awful way to treat family. Shame. Shame

She goes go to the Men of Letters to express her rage at them – but it’s just a threat and she even agrees to keep working with them.

And the item she stole? It’s the Colt. Another weapon that kills the unkillable.

Crowley is also annoyed that he doesn’t have the gun, he wanted to get it back. Much to the amusement of… is that Lucifer? Does he have Lucifer in a cage? Lucifer?  I think it’s Lucifer

He does mock Crowley for being a minion of the “dukes of halfhazard” (ok, that’s a great line) especially since, as far as he sees, it’s only a matter of time before they come for Crowley as well

So in one episode we got a big bad that was very disappointing and a story structure that was awful. But we had plot points galore and the Crowley moments promise for a lot of exciting complexity. Good and bad. No, Awesome and Terrible. I loved and hated it which is always an interesting reaction