TV Reviewer Katie Young has a few questions in her review of this week’s episode of Supernatural. Nevermind, she can always ‘Ask Jeeves’. Sorry…
Ask Jeeves offers up some comic relief this week after the super emotional and divisive 200th episode, as the Winchesters become embroiled in a monstrous murder mystery…
It’s always fun when Supernatural pays homage to other shows and movies, as they did in Changing Channels and Slash Fiction to name just two. This week is no exception as the boys find themselves trying to crack a case at the wake of a dead heiress with the fabulous moniker, Bunny Lacroix. The genre references and visual gags are numerous, and the almost farcical nature of the investigation with its misdirection, secret passages, and clandestine trysts is a clear nod to one of my very favourite childhood movies, Clue. At one point, Dean even calls the butler Wadsworth, a shout out to Tim Curry’s deliciously OTT character.
It almost feels like last week’s episode pushed a reset button, and we’re getting back to the feel of earlier seasons. I really hope so, because this series has been pretty consistently strong for the first time in years. This week’s episode is ridiculous fun, showing a montage of various monster encounters in the ‘Then’ section before the opening titles, so that the viewer is encouraged to start guessing the outcome from beginning. After all, Ask Jeeves isn’t so much a whodunit as a whatdunit.
Interestingly, the Winchesters are brought into proceedings almost by chance, as they were last week, finding a message on one of Bobby’s old cell phones, notifying the boys that their surrogate father is a beneficiary of Bunny’s will. Ah yes, the phone! It seems very unlikely that Dean would have the means to charge such a defunct model, but I’m just going to assume he stopped off in Beacon Hills to borrow a charger and leave it at that. If you don’t understand that reference, you don’t read my reviews regularly enough!
Curiosity piqued, Sam and Dean head back to the house only to find everyone inside is now as suspect in the murder of Bunny’s younger brother, Stanton, who was decapitated in front of his young wife, Amber, apparently by the ghost of Bunny’s late husband. Forbidden from leaving by the police, the boys set about trying to find out what the key opens, all the while dodging the amorous attentions of Bunny’s cousins, tag-team cougars Beverley and Heddy (who incidentally have some of the best lines of the episode).At the Lacroix residence, the Winchesters find the family to be a rather unsavoury bunch, reminiscent of the Cassity Family in season 8’s Trial and Error. The butler, Philip, gives the boys Bobby’s inheritance – a jewel encrusted pendant – and tells them to get out of the house before the family finds out and tries to get their collective claws into the precious object. When they have it valued, they find it is just paste, but it also has a key concealed inside.
Dean quickly finds that the key opens a door concealed behind a bookshelf, which leads to a secret attic. There, he finds two maids, Olivia and Colette, the latter being dead and rolled up in a carpet. Olivia tells Dean that Philip hid the body and locked her in the attic, but that Colette was actually killed by the ghost of Bunny herself.
Thinking they have two vengeful spirits to contend with, Dean goes to find Philip while Sam searches the house, discovering the butler dead with a knife in his back. But Dean also finds Philip, very much alive, and when the butler knocks Dean off his feet and sheds his skin, they realise they are not dealing with ghosts as all. There is actually a shape shifter in their midst.
There follow some brilliantly uncomfortable scenes as the boys, aided by Olivia and the family cutlery canteen, set about sneakily testing each of the family members with silver. Dean discovers the newly widowed Amber locking lips with Bunny’s great nephew, Dash, in a closet, while Sam distracts the lusty sisters in the lounge. Heddy and Beverley cooing over Sam’s long fingers while he reluctantly snuggles with them on the couch is hilarious. I have to say though, both brothers look especially incredible this week, and the ladies are only articulating what I spend most of the episode thinking. Where was I? Oh yes! The investigation is interrupted when Olivia screams in the bathroom and everyone races to her to find the police officer drowned in the toilet bowl – a first for Supernatural. What a way to go…
The family assume Sam and Dean are behind the murders, and Dash uses the cop’s revolver to force them into a study, where he locks them in. The boys try to jimmy the door open with a knife, and whilst doing so, Dean realises the cutlery isn’t real silver, hence their tests were useless. Doh, boys! Haven’t you heard of hallmarks? It’s a good thing you’re pretty. Heddy and Beverley decide that Sam and Dean are ‘homosexual murderers’ like Leopold and Loeb ‘only hotter’. Hmmm…I must watch Swoon again. The family try to call the police, but are stopped in their tracks by a gun-wielding Olivia, witnessed by the Winchesters on CCTV.
Olivia tells the Lacroixs that she is Bunny’s secret daughter, and I think this might be my favourite exchange of the night:
Olivia: I’m not the maid!
Heddy: Well, that explains the dust.
Flawless delivery. Olivia tells the family she killed Colette by accident when she caught her stealing Bunny’s pearls, she killed Philip for turning on her, and that they all have it coming for being disloyal and greedy. It transpires that Bunny had an affair with a shifter, who was then killed by Bobby Singer. Bunny pleaded for her child’s life and Bobby agreed to spare Olivia as long as she stayed locked away in the attic.
Sam and Dean break out of the study and their gunfire draws Olivia into a game of cat and mouse. Taking cover in the kitchen, Sam tells Olivia that being a monster is a choice, echoing the theme of the season, and underlining the fact that hunting is no longer black and white for the boys now that they have encountered creatures like Kate the werewolf, and have both been ‘dark-side’ themselves. But Olivia maintains the choice was made for her long ago. Before she can kill Sam though, Dean bursts in and peppers her with silver bullets, continuing to shoot her lifeless body for way longer than necessary. This is a nice call back to season 1’s Something Wicked, where Dean feels he has placed Sam in danger and reacts by literally overkilling the shtriga, but this time, I suspect his bloodlust has more to do with the Mark of Cain than guilt. A less professional reviewer might suggest that Dean pumping out round after round while Sam looked up at him from the floor, all sweaty, a hint of fear in his eyes, was all kinds of hot. But I am a consummate professional. Ahem…
The boys make their escape before the cops show up, and Dash apologises for suspecting them. I guess the family didn’t know about Olivia being a shape shifter, but it seems strange that the Winchesters left her body for the police to find rather than destroying the evidence. I was hoping for a good, old-fashioned salt and burn.
Back in the car, Sam attempts to address Dean’s anger issues, but Dean denies it has anything to do with the mark and drowns out Sam’s protestations by turning up his music.
It’s good to see the boys out on the road together, and after the love-fest that was last week, it’s not surprising to see a bit of tension creeping back into the boys’ relationship. Conflict drives any story, after all. I am really enjoying these episodes away from the bunker, with the boys back in the car and in motels. The main arc of the season, other than Dean’s demonic issue, has yet to be properly established, and with the angels absent for the time being, it really does feel like starting over. I’m not sure where we’re headed, but with episodes this good, I’m happy to sit back and enjoy the ride.