Friday, October 28, 2011

Supernatural Season 7 Episode 5: Shut up Dr. Phil

Okay, yeah, yeah, I know--there's just nothing like posting a recap an while *next* episode of something is on. But I don't want to break my record of recapping each ep of Supernatural just yet. So I'm gonna give it a whirl.

Last week, Charisma Carpenter and James Marsters guest starred as Maggie and Don Stark, wealthy witches in the midst of some serious marital trouble. Sam and Dean first came on the case because of the deaths of beloved people in town...people who were all connected to Don. You can add cupcakes to the list of things that Supernatural fans now hesitate to eat (see cheese, nacho), and nail guns have joined garbage disposals on the list of things household items we are afraid of. (I had to look away during that scene, BTW. I have a nail gun squick. I literally had nightmares anyway.)

Long story short, the Winchesters let the Starks go...ostensibly due to lack of chilled chicken feet (long story), but in reality because they got their well-sculpted tails handed to them. Seeing as how Don and Maggie have both killed innocent people, this feels kind of unfair, in light of what happened to Amy. Don does save them from Maggie's last attempt on them, though, and they drive away with a knocked-out Leviathan in the backseat thanks to him as well.

This episode has some great moments. Marsters and Carpenter are always a treat. Watching them bicker about their hundred years of history in one scene will give Joss Whedon fans pleasant flashbacks to the Spike/Angel/Darla/Drusilla quartet. It's even funnier to see this happening in the foreground while Dean is pinned in a doorway by swarming bees in the background. And responding to "a thing" with "You a golf club, or a waffle iron" will probably become, well, a thing among Supernatural fans. (If it doesn't, it should.)

There was one thing that bugged me, though. Did anyone else notice that we probably had the first even named lesbian (or bisexual female) character on Supernatural...and she died?
I'm referring to Maggie's friend Sue. There seems to be more than just girl-power solidarity to her support of Maggie. There's something couple-y about the way she refers to "we" when talking to Maggie, reminds her that she has people who love her. Don even tells Sue at one point, "I know you'd be glad to have me out of the way."

It's hard not to notice that Supernatural's sexuality issues are just as bad as it's issues around gender and race. There's never been a major character (such as another hunter) who just happened to be gay, never been a gay person or couple who needed Sam and Dean's help. The only time homosexuality ever comes up, it's male, and it's played for laughs For example, there was th Ghostfacers intern with the awkward crush (who died, ahem), and the couple cosplaying the Winchesters at the comic book convention. Okay, there have also been jokes about Dean and Cas, and I will at least give those credit for being less mean-spirited.

Now, I'm all for having good-natured fun with 'shippers. But if you don't even mention male homosexuality when it's not a joke, your show's open to the accusation that it's view of that segment of the population is less than well-rounded. Gay and bisexual women have been completely off the radar until last week, and if that's the best the writers can do, perhaps it was better that way. As creative as the writers on Supernatural are, they should be able to show more imagination with regard to something that actually exists.

What would I rather have seen, you may be wondering? Well, have Don kill someone other than Sue to establish his villainy. Or don't code sue as being attracted to Maggie. OR (just wait, Im'a blow your mind) have Don's assistant, the one who was not sleeping with him, be not-sleeping-with-him because she prefers women. See? That wasn't hard at all.

Other random observations.

1) It always bugs me to see Dean hassling Sam about taking care of his health. We'd never seem Sam jogging before...this is a new thing. I think we all know that an ideal hunter's endurance and condition would be hard to maintain with constant travel and crappy food. But I digress. You'd think that Dean would be relieved that Sam was motivated enough to exercise, and was doing something that helps clear the mind, considering that he was worried about Sammy going crazy so recently. But of course, he was just taking his own horrible guilt burden out on his brother.

2) Dean continues to refuse to talk. ("Shut up Dr. Phil" is clearly addressed to Sam by both Dean and the Starks.) Considering what he's hiding, that's probably a good call. I'm actually quite the Dean girl, but emotions have always been one area where he and I have parted company. Remember that episode with the wraith at the asylum, where he told Sam just to cram his feelings down inside? I could have hit him. This is never a good plan. It kind of took me by surprise, too, because I had at times thought of Dean as a heart-on-his-sleeve kind of guy. But last week, I figured it out. Dean is in touch with his emotions, he just doesn't wan to be. More importantly, he doesn't want anyone else in touch with them. If the audience always knows what Dean is feeling, it's because Jensen is such an amazingly talented and subtle actor.

Well, at any rate, enjoy "Slash Fiction". I've set my DVR and am heading to a Halloween party, and with any luck, I'll be recapping it and the pilot of Grimms this weekend". "Slash Fiction" looks like kind of a retro/grindhouse/Tarantino thing going on. With a title like that, I'm dying of curiosity.

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