This week’s episode marks an annual “Supernatural” event: star Jensen Ackles steps behind the camera for the fifth time to direct! “The Bad Seed” is packaged with enough flashy, macabre humor to mask a predictable and slight plot.
The boys still have to contend with an angel cursed with an attack dog spell and a “primal force” with a nasty craving for souls. Sam and Dean both agree that the only way to save Castiel, who is having horrifying angel seizures as the curse digs deeper, is to force Rowena to reverse the spell; and best way to find out any information on The Darkness is to track down Metatron.
Grab your favorite wig and let’s dive in, shall we?
YOU GET A COVEN! AND YOU GET A COVEN! We find the fabulously coifed witch trying to build her own coven. But it’s not just old coven you that meets at the local community center, it’s a MEGA-COVEN!!! *cue confetti cannons* When the potential recruits don’t react like “Oprah” audience members winning European cruises, she kills most of them in an excruciating way that at least offers easy clean up. Rowena (Ruth Connell) actually escapes by the end of the episode. Is it bad that I actually want to see what her MEGA-COVEN in action?
Evil Mary Poppins. Like mother, like son. Crowley (Mark Sheppard) has the same overwrought flare as his Rowena, and he’s channeling it into raising an obedient dark force. He gets her a demonic nanny dressed like Mary Poppins, gourmet chocolates and all the translated Hitler speeches and human souls she desires. Amara likes her studies and does them without complaint. She realizes that humanity means suffering, loneliness and then death. And she's not sure why. Baby, you and me both.
Crowley wants to harness Amara’s power—whatever that may be—Amara has other plans. “Good, evil, heaven, hell. It all seems so unimportant. I don’t think you’re seeing the big picture.” Something tells me that picture may not include humanity at all.
Honestly, the Crowley-Amara scenes should have been trimmed to make room for more action. Crowley’s gothic-castle version of hell is as ominous as a M. Night Shyamalan movie. For all he claims to be a bigger, badder King of Hell, Crowley spent an entire episode fetching frilly things for a little girl.
Secrets, secrets are no fun. To say that Sam and Dean have a lot to catch up on is like saying the Impala is a “nice car”—an understatement so diminutive, it’ll becomes an insult. Though hostage Rowena cannot cast spells on the Winchesters, she can manipulate them for her own sadistic amusement. She casually mentions the deal Sam made with Rowena last season to kill Crowley in exchange from freeing Dean from The Mark. “Your wee pal Castiel wouldn’t even be in this pickle if you had done what you’d promised. I would’ve had no reason to cast that spell if Crowley were already dead.” Oops. Dean’s face grows cold. He shudders his anger from Rowena, but clearly has plans to let Sam have it later. “Keyword: Secrets.” He grumbles as if that hasn't been the Winchester way since 1983.
Mega-Hypocrite Dean hasn't told Sam (Jared Padalecki) about his bond with the fully grown Amara even though it's so haunting that it pulls his focus from research. I also wonder if Dean knows just how close his brother came to The Empty because he became infected.
The Winchesters are long overdue for the squishy-est of chick flick moments, and I’m starting to worry that these traumatic events will go the way of Dean’s twisted voicemail in “Lucifer Rising”; the Samulet in “Dark Side Of The Moon” and Adam Winchester.
Karma is a cursed angel. Last season, Dean, poisoned by the Mark of Cain, beat an unresisting Castiel to a pulp and nearly killed him with the angel blade (Sidenote: If you’re unfamiliar with my recaps, I found the entire exchange needlessly violent and manipulative. Castiel didn’t fight back because he didn’t want to hurt Dean, but he could have knocked Dean out with one angelic touch). So it’s a gruesome parallel to what has to be just a few days later when a cursed Castiel (Misha Collins, once again doing the heavy-lifting with a brutal role) is hammering Dean like a 16-penny nail, and Dean takes it...until a gun-toting Sam saves the day. Back at the bunker, Dean is black and blue, and a fully recovered Castiel offers healing and apologies. Dean rejects both with a terse “I had it comin’.”
Dean treats bearing the pain of Cas’ beating as penance for what he did to him while he was under the influence of The Mark. While I am touched by the sentiment, dealing with a few bruises in lieu of apologies and confessions seems like an extremely simplistic way of handling Dean’s guilt, which hasn't even been alluded to until now. And they are not dealing with the emotional trauma of what he did, how far he went by killing the Stynes, lashing out at Sam at Charlie’s funeral and eventually trying to kill His own brother. When the tables were turned in the past, everyone lined up to point out Sam's recklessness and damning consequences. There needs to be a real emotional blood-letting between the brothers, and it needs to happen soon. For now, it’s great to finally have the team back together, swaddling each other in blankets and chaining each other up like a family is supposed to!
“The Bad Seed” is a passable, fun episode that methodically ties up a loose end from the finale that should've just been snipped in the season premiere. Series star has matured into a capable director that can highlight the whimsy, suspense and violence of a given scene. Grade: B-
What did you think of this episode? How much did you love Rowena’s Marilyn Monroe impression? Are you aching for a broment as much as I am? Did you love the “Angel and a Demon walk into a bar” scene? What do you think Amara’s endgame is? Share in the comments below!
Photo Credits: denofgeek.com; ksitetv.com
Small Screen Girl
I am an unabashed pop culture and TV-aholic with no plans to ever seek treatment. Explore this blog and see just how deep my obsession goes.