TV reviewer Katie Young pays a visit to a demonic knocking shop for this week’s Supernatural review ‘Girls, Girls, Girls’…
A lot happening this week as we meet a new face, catch up with an old foe, and say goodbye to an angel. Oh, and the Winchesters raid a demonic knocking shop! As you do…
We open with a platinum blonde wearing a leopard print coat and high heels (so we know she must be prostitute, right?) running down an alley. While this sex worker and I share a taste in faux fur outer garments, we clearly part ways when it comes to shoes. I believe you should try and avoid footwear which impedes your ability to run away from dangerous situations, but this gal plumps for style over comfort, and breaks a heel. She is ambushed by a man and begs him not to hurt her before stabbing him in the eye with the snapped-off stiletto. Ouch. But it seems this is no ordinary pimp, as he simply shrugs off his burst eyeball and breaks her neck. So far, so Supernatural!
Meanwhile, Sam and Dean are enjoying dinner in a steakhouse. They eat in companionable silence until Dean’s phone goes into overdrive. Curious, Sam snatches it out of his brother hand (because these boys don’t have a concept of privacy) and sees that Dean has a dating profile. He teases him, assuring him that the lovely ‘Shaylene’ who’s been messaging him is probably a Canadian trucker until she walks in and poor Sammy realises they have taken an eight hour detour just so Dean can get laid. It seems a little strange to me that Dean would bother using a dating site when he looks like Jensen Ackles, and could walk into any bar and take his pick, but it provides some nice brotherly banter, a spot of role play, and a timely reminder that the Winchesters are indeed ‘erotically co-dependent’.
Dean has no such reservations about what to do with his date, until she presents him with her rate card that is. But instead of money, this member of the world’s oldest profession wants his soul. Realising they have uncovered some kind of Hellish sex trafficking racket, Sam and Dean set a devil’s trap for her demon pimp, but before they can get any intel, Shaylene stabs him with an angel blade. She does manage to give them the name of a brothel under demonic control, and the boys head off to check it out, Dean no doubt wondering if he’ll ever be able to have non-traumatic sex with a woman ever again. Farewell Shaylene. It was…interesting.We catch up with Hannah and Castiel this week too. They are still on the road, hunting rogue angels and living in motels and, just like Castiel’s favourite humans, they seem to be having issues establishing appropriate boundaries. Hannah shucks her clothes in front of a flustered Cas under the pretence of wanting a shower, and the poor little thing doesn’t know where to look. Or rather he does. We can probably thank the Pizza Man for that.
A spanner in angelic works arrives in the form of Joe, the husband of Hannah’s vessel, Caroline. He has tracked Caroline’s credit card to the motel. Hannah tells him she left him for Cas, but Joe doesn’t believe his wife would do that. Hannah kisses Cas to prove her point, and Joe reluctantly leaves them to it. But Hannah can feel her human vessel’s pain, and in a rather lovely speech by writer Robert Berens, she confesses to Castiel that human things like love and showers are not for them. Hannah decides she will set her vessel free and return to Heaven, throwing Cas into a dilemma of his own.
We’ve seen Castiel fall in love with humanity over the years, even as he doesn’t quite understand it, and I do like the exploration of vessels as a concept. It’s easy to forget sometimes that for every angel or demon we see, there is a human soul locked inside with no agency over their actions. This was tackled a little bit with the Sam and Gadriel storyline last year, but there is still a tendency to overlook the numerous people who are bumped off whilst being worn as meat suits. Cas searching the internet for his vessel, Jimmy Novak, and finding out that he is still a missing person, knowing now what it is to be human and having no real Heavenly crusade or orders to take precedent for once, could be an interesting development for his character. But I do feel that the show is running out of ideas for him, so whether this plot can reinvigorate his story remains to be seen.
A new recurring character is introduced this week in the form of a Scottish witch called Rowena. She arrives at Raul’s brothel and kills two demons, taking the liberated prostitutes with her. She wines and dines them at a fancy restaurant, and hexes the snooty staff into bringing them free food. She explains that she has been forbidden from recruiting new witches by the Grand Coven, whom she refers to as “utter fannies”. Kudos to Bobby Berens for getting that one past US compliance!
Sam and Dean find the dead demons at Raul’s and the hex bag used to kill him. They also discover there has been a string of grisly and witchy sounding murders at high class hotels and restaurants in the area, and investigate the joint where Rowena and her fledgling sorceresses have just left a head waiter dead.
Down in Hell, Crowley is not happy that his minions have embroiled him in the sex trade because ‘that’s just tacky’. And topside, our old friend Cole has boned up on demons and is torturing one for information about Dean. I told you there was a lot happening!
Dean pursues Rowena while his brother holds off Elle, only to be thwarted by Cole. Rowena escapes once more. Cole tests Dean with holy water and realises he is no longer a demon, and Dean admits he was human when he killed Cole’s father. They fight, but Dean gains the upper hand and forces Cole to hear him out when he tells him that the man he killed was a monster responsible for at least three deaths. Dean says that the people who love him brought him back from the edge of darkness, but that he’s past saving. He doesn’t want Cole to become a killer and to be touched by a darkness he’ll never be free of. Sam comes to Dean’s aid, and Cole relents when Sam tells him his family need him home and they ‘need him whole’. Mirroring Caroline’s homecoming, Cole agrees to put his grudge aside and return to his family. Sam asks Dean whether he truly thinks he is beyond salvation, but Dean shrugs it off, saying he was just telling Cole what he needed to hear.Rowena and her new recruits are captured by demons at their hotel, but Sam and Dean rock up and gank the black-eyed SOBs before they can leave. They try to capture Rowena but she turns one of the girls, Elle, into an attack dog with a spell, and escapes with the other former lady of the night in tow.
It could be argued that Dean has never thought he was worth saving. He has always seen his life as somewhat disposable, as demonstrated by his suicidal intentions in Croatoan when he thought Sam was dying, by the numerous deals he’s made with his own soul over the years, by his devastation at finding out that he broke the first seal, his alcoholism, being chosen by Osiris, his insistence that he do the trials to close the gates of Hell, and countless other examples. Of course, he also has the Mark of Cain to contend with now, so it will be interesting to see where the show is heading with Dean’s self-destructive streak this time around, and whether Sam really can lead his brother to the light as he promised a couple of years back. It is heartening at least that Sam got to hear Dean’s gratitude for curing him.
Back in Hell, Rowena is captured and tortured by Crowley’s minions. The King of Hell visits her in her cell, and she taunts him and tells him to get on with it and kill her. But Crowley, or Fergus as he was once known when he was a tailor in Scotland, recognises this particular witch as his very own Mommy Dearest! Did you put all the clues together? I certainly hope so.
So very much to digest. I think I quite like Rowena and her dodgy Scottish accent, although Crowley’s history and family connections don’t make a whole lot of sense. Hannah’s sudden departure seemed rushed, as if they simply didn’t have any ideas left for her character, or perhaps the romance angle went down badly with fans of Castiel. This episode felt like a bit of a backwards step in terms of representation of women (Elle being too dumb to read Latin phonetically, the demons assumptions about drug-taking, and the restaurant manager being able to tell the girls were sex workers because of their clothes), especially as next week’s episode sees the return of two excellent female characters, officers Jody Mills and Donna Hanscum. But overall this was a pacey episode with some lovely writing and nice moments.