“It’s been the ruin of many a poor boy, and god, I know I’m one” — Supernatural recap 13×2, “The Rising Son”

Title lyric from “House of the Rising Sun” by The Animals

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“Azazel was a fanatic. Dagon has her toys. If anyone bothers a Prince of Hell, you don’t want to know what happens.” — Ramiel, 12×12, “Stuck in the Middle”

That was the quote that was spoken over the previous scenes this week, and it’s an awesome quote and Ramiel was badass as hell, but maybe they should have saved that quote for a different episode. Because while we did meet the latest Prince of Hell this week, we were pretty underwhelmed [Dawn is being so polite… — Marge] by it and frankly what we think might happen is that he will cook us up some crispy fried chicken.

But we’ll get to that.

So this week on My Two Demon-Hunting Dads, Dean remains cranky about nephilim sitting and Sam remains way too reasonable given all the givens, but he’s Sam and he is always the Voice of Reason and also the Hunter Most Likely to Bring Home Kittens and Stray Dogs. We know this, we love this, but also, writers, we get this already so how about we move on with some action? Remember action? You punched us in the feels enough last week, ffs. Bring on the ganking already.

We open in Hell’s throne room, where there are some very irritating demons, one of whom is drunk and saying shit like “make hell great again.” A flash of light at the chamber door reveals Asmodeus, Prince of Hell, “here to rule until such time as Lucifer returns with his son. And there’s gonna be some changes.”

Also he looks like this:

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The look of the actor himself—Jeffrey Vincent Parise of General Hospital fame, among other things—is fine, if a bit B-movie villain typical, what with the slightly pointy beard and all. But he is dressed in an all-white suit, including a white tie, and he speaks with a definite southern drawl, and so we guess Hell is going to be in for some delicious fried chicken and mashed potatoes if nothing else. Sure, we’ve seen this look before—Samifer wore white-on-white way back in 5×4, “The End.” In that case, the wardrobe made sense, given that Lucifer is an archangel and has been said to have been the most beautiful of all the angels, and when we saw this, we found it really hard to argue with that because damn:

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It worked then, with the new war in Heaven gearing up and everything being about the archangels. Then, the white suit was a perfect choice. But this time? We’re not so sure. It feels like an over-the-top affectation, especially combined with the Southern accent, like maybe Asmodeus watched a few too many Tennessee Williams adaptations and found his sartorial inspiration in Big Daddy

ERICA: Or, y’know, enjoyed his KFC a bit too much.
MARGE: I’m voting too many Looney Tunes re-runs, y’all: “I say boy… now boy I say.” — Foghorn Leghorn
DAWN: I just want to see him have a fit and start screaming about mendacity.

MOVING ON. Or else we will stay on this all day long. So yeah, new sheriff in town (he actually said that Chuck help us), fire and brimstone, blahblahblahhellcakes. Suffice to say that while we are all skeptical of this particular villain at this point, we will see how it plays out over the course of the season. So Asmo is telling the demons all his grand plans, and one demon in particular, Drexel who had a bit of a closer relationship with Lucifer than the others, dares to share his opinion about their supreme ruler. Asmo grandstands a bit about his eternal bond with Luci, accentuating the scars present around his eye, and tells a little tale about releasing the shedim “Hell’s most savage, things so dark and base, God himself would not allow them into the light…” according to Colonel Sanders, err, Asmodeus. What the fuck is a shedim, y’all? New creature! (Marge, get on that research. — Erica I am. I am, I promise! — Marge) Yay!

DAWN: So… he’s been wearing the same meatsuit for, what, millenia? One that doesn’t heal? Because that’s the only way those scars make any sense.
MARGE: No Idea how they’re gonna work that one out… I’m thinking they’ve got to run with the same meatsuit idea, but with these folks, who the hell knows.
ERICA: Maybe….they’re from the meatsuit BEFORE he got in it, and he was just prevaricating? I don’t know, y’all. I’m pulling ideas out my butt on this one.
MARGE: That’s a better place to pull ideas from than some of the places the writers seem to frequent…

Cut to Dean bitching about stopping their drive and Sam commenting that he was hallucinating sheep on the road. They grab a typical shitty motel room and some standard crappy burger joint fare, and Jack is in love with all of it! He’s too precious for this world, for real. He pops in front of the TV and starts watching Scooby Doo, which is both foreshadowing and also kinda destroys our awesome theory that Gabriel would turn out to have been behind the upcoming Scooby-Doo episode.

DAWN: Didn’t we already do this, though, where watching cartoons on TV makes bad shit happen in real life? And it was done in one of the best eps, actually—8×8, “Hunter Heroici.” But sure, TPTB, whatever, just recycle old plotlines. I am sure no one will notice. Even though Andrew Dabb was the one who wrote that episode, and now he’s in charge of the new episode, and I am just going to stop talking before I have a stroke.
MARGE: Please don’t die from the high blood pressure inducing Dabb-rage. We need you.
ERICA: I think we’re going to have a lot of recycled story-lines over this season. If you die now, who’s going to help us in our rage?

Dean shuts the TV off because he is the Mean Dad and that means Jack can’t have nice things. Meanwhile, Sam wards the room. Dean and Jack pile on the couch and eat their crap food, drink some beers, and talk about the bible with Sam across the table, while Jack mimics every move Dean makes to the point that Dean actually demands that he stop. This produced one of the funnier scenes from this episode, wherein Dean questions Jack’s age because he’s about to drink a beer and Jack, in true brand new to the world style, tells us exactly how old he is:

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DAWN: OK, I admit Jack trying to be Dean is kinda adorable.
MARGE: Remind you of anyone… Cas, maybe? Just a little bit of baby Cas? I love them.
ERICA: This is adorable now…but it’s gonna get SUPER old if they don’t move away from it soon.
MARGE: Definitely true. Let us hope things progress quickly.

OK! Enough of the play by play; this isn’t a sportscast. There’s a whole discussion about some featured bible characters, Lucifer, of course, and also God, and there’s some explaining to Jack since he knows nothing about any of this and wants the Cliff’s Notes version of his family tree at least. And then, *knock, knock* — Hello, Donatello! There’s some rehashing of who Donatello is, the fact that he is still soulless, the whole prophet of the Lord bit, his retirement once Chuck left the scene, etc. Donatello gets the line of the night, regarding his missing soul, with “When I come to a moral crossroads, I ask myself ‘What would Mr. Rogers do?’ and as soon as I nail that, I’m usually good.” If Mr. Rogers is your moral compass; soul or not, you’re probably doing ok.

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DAWN: Remember way back in 2×12, where Dean says, “I like him. He says okey-dokey”? That’s how I feel about Donatello. I like him. I am glad they brought him back.
MARGE: I like Donatello a lot too and I am glad for his return. I also love that they refer to him as a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle/Prophet.
ERICA: Meh. That’s the whole of my feelings toward Donatello. I didn’t even remember who he WAS.

So all that tells us nothing really because we still haven’t gotten to WHY Donatello is here… Well, he was drawn to this new, immense, powerful being that was like nothing he’d ever encountered before… He has the realization that Jack IS the power source. Small convo for Sam and Dean to explain that little tidbit, and Donatello has the OH SHIT YOU’RE THE SON OF SATAN moment. Then we get an interesting point about Jack’s power. Donnie lets us know that Jack’s power is not “dark or toxic” like his father’s.

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Sam finds this significant, Dean finds it irrelevant. Sam chimes in with reason and responsibility, as usual, and comments about how if Donnie was drawn to Jack, who and what else might also be, and therefore we gotta protect Jack even if he might end up going dark side.

Cut to the skeeziest looking, hole in the wall, back-alley garage tattoo “parlor” we’ve ever seen. Scary shit folks, for real. Like, seriously, DO NOT GET TATTOOS IN PLACES THAT LOOK LIKE THIS ONE! Unless of course you know the people, own the joint, and/or know how clean things are. — Signed, Three Tattooed Bitches. They want to get Jack an anti-possession tatt, like they have, and there’s some brotherly banter about Jack’s nature where Sam talks about how, if trained properly, Jack could be a force for good. Dean disagrees, of course, talking about watching for signs of evil. Cut to Jack in the chair, tattooist about to get shit going, and then ZAPPPPP! The machine lights up like a Christmas tree as soon as the needle touches Jack’s skin and the tattooist is launched like a ragdoll across the room, hitting the wall with some serious force.

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Dean gets all Mean Dad on Jack again, asking if he did it on purpose, which, honestly Dean, you’re not that stupid and they really need to stop writing you this way, boo. Sam brushes off the tattoo artist and lo and behold, Jack gets himself an anti-possession symbol just like the boys and also a big-ass angel sigil smack dab in the middle of his chest. (Smack Dabb, you say? — Dawn   YES, please?! — Marge) Before we really have time to question that big-ass sigil and placement thereof, it all just vanishes, absorbed right into Jack’s skin like lotion or some shit. So that’s a problem.

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MARGE: Second funniest line from this episode comes from Sammy, “We’re brothers. It’s kinda like a family crest” in reference to the anti-possession tattoo… Which Sam reveals that he has… How that’s the case, I’m not really sure, since it was removed…

DAWN: And they never actually showed or mentioned him getting it back. Shit, Jared himself busted balls about it on Twitter in 2016, before S12 started. Whatever! Fuck continuity! Y’all just do what you want, TPTB.  

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So, normal routes of protection don’t count for supernephilim, apparently, which just gives Dean more proof that Jack is destined for evil, and Optimistic Sunshine Sammy ‘mehs’ it away as nothing to worry about. Nothing new there. It’s time to GTFO of the tattoo joint, but not before we see a vagrant spying via the crack in the door. Of course her eyes go black, duh. So now Hell knows the whereabouts of our favorite Nephilim baby.

At this point there’s a whole confab regarding Jack’s nature (AGAIN…) More of the same: Sam – He’s innocent and we can make him good. Dean – HE IS LITERALLY SATAN SPAWN. Donatello – You can’t make a lion not be a lion. And Jack, in average teenage GUYS-I’m-right-here fashion, runs away from the drama. Sam finds him outside, consoles him, tells him Dean doesn’t hate him (Oh, sweet Sammy, you’re adorable when you lie.) Jack wonders if he’s worth all the anguish and Sammy is all your momma thought you were worth it and Cas thought you were worth it, and now I think you’re worth it, and basically 13 seasons on, Sammy is still just a sweet summer child, sometimes. Which is fine because Dean was and still is a functioning alcoholic, and we see him frustrated, in a bar, drinking and talking to/at the barmaid who of course turns out to have been Asmo in disguise.  

MARGE: Uhmmm… Why the fuck is a Prince of Hell… I’m sorry — THE LAST PRINCE OF HELL — hiding as a barmaid? Ppffffffftttttt…
DAWN: Because all of hell knows Dean drinks like a fucking fish?
MARGE: BUT… but PRINCE OF HELL… no need for disguises. Do as you wish, take what you want, and leave the rest behind because you’re the baddest of the bad? Isn’t that what they are supposed to do?

Speaking of Asmo and his ability to transform into whoever the fuck he wants, now there are two Donatellos! The real one, and one that absconded with Jack. So Asmo has Jack. Awesome.

Oh, also there is a pretty wicked fight with some demons in the hotel in which Dean lands a sick as hell knife toss.

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DAWN: Dude. SERIOUSLY? That was like a one in 8 gazillion shot and Dean just tossed it like it was no big deal. We have NEVER EVER seen evidence that Dean can do that. Come the fuck on.
MARGE: Absolutely true and I concur that they are just running WILD with this shit! Still loved the scene as far as bad-ass boy screen time goes. I mean what the fuck is continuity with this show anyway, amirite?

Sam, Dean, and real Donatello go in pursuit of Jack and Asmodeus. They catch up and find Jackie working with all his might to open up some sort of portal. Asmo, still wearing fake Donatello, has fed him a hero’s epic about how God wants him to do great things, and this is the first of those great things, blah blah blah, but in actuality, it’s just the easiest way to release the Shedim.

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Hey there, Jack? We know you’re basically a baby and all, maybe don’t open a portal to Hell and release all the monsters, ok? There’s more force choking because Asmodeus is apparently a two-trick pony, but it’s enough to really upset Jack, who legit says “YOU’RE HURTING MY FRIENDS” and man, that’s is one pissed off Baby Nephilim. Asmo, wisely, nopes the fuck out.

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Back at the bunker, more Jack-be-evil/Jack-be-good chatting between the boys. Then we get a truly heartbreaking scene when Dean marches off to bed and finds Jack ACTUALLY STABBING HIMSELF OVER AND OVER AGAIN, despairing about what he is, why he can’t be injured, and how he is supposed to control whatever it is that he is.

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Dean, ever helpful, tell Jack that while Sam may think he can be saved, Dean doesn’t agree, but it’s all good because if it comes to killing Jack, Dean will take care of it, don’t you worry. Exit Dean — stage left.

Worst. Pep talk. Ever.

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Time for Apocalypse World, and thank Chuck because we need some action. Mark Pellegrino gave us LIFE this episode, LIFE we tell you! And also—squee time—during our live-tweeting of the episode, Marge tweeted at our beloved Lucifer, and in real-time, while we were doing our thing, HE LIKED THE TWEET!!! SEE:

Screen Grab

YEAH, BITCHES! WOOOOOOOOOOOO! Now, back to the show and a somewhat awesome development. For the first time in all of ever, the apparently-now-obligatory ‘lady almost gets raped’ scene that has become so common (Thanks, TPTB! Awesome job, said no one in your primarily-female demographic, ever), doesn’t go as scheduled because Lucifer, the biggest big-bad himself, laces up his feminist boots and PUNCHES HIS FIST STRAIGHT THROUGH THE CHEST of our would-be offender, saving Mary from the attack. This was of course motivated by his need to keep Mary alive, as he stated in his “I need you so I can get my boy back speech”, but we’ll take it. Attaboy, Luci!

Created by Marge on Giphy courtesy of the Wayward Winchester Youtube Channel

But don’t break out any medals for heroics yet, because he still mostly just wants to kill things (especially apoc-world angels), taunt Mary, plan his revenge on our boys, and get his kid. Turns out that killing angels is offensive to some, like, say, other angels. Other archangels. Enter NEW MICHAEL! Apocalypse World Michael (played by Christian Keyes) is a BAMF and he knows it. Also, he is fine AF, just sayin’. See for yourself:

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The archangel brothers have a dick-measuring contest for a bit about how big, bad, and better they are than one another, and then they fight. And y’all, MICHAEL WHIPS LUCI’S ASS!!!

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We haven’t seen Luci take a real beating in quite a while (if ever, really), and Michael dishes that shit out with relish, and then — Michael lets Luci live even though he just bested him AND he’s already killed “his Lucifer” (meaning the Luci from apoc-world). He tells Lucifer, “Maybe I need you”… Sound familiar? DUN DUN DUN…

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DAWN: I am so IN for Apocalypse World. SO IN. At least they are doing this right, so far…
MARGE: I’m loving it so far and I definitely have high hopes, which I know is a dangerous thing with this show (Tune in for tragedy!). I’m actually even liking Mary. Now that she isn’t trying to play mommy-dearest and she’s just a bad bitch, I’m diggin’ it.

And fin. Now we gotta wait for 13×3 to see the other shoe drop on everything that we just discussed (I hear this is the ep we get Missouri back too…I think — Erica I SO hope you’re right, Erica! I’m super excited for her return! — Marge). This episode had some brass, and some moments where it was pretty rad (we’re looking at you, apocalypse world), but overall it was a little too much foreplay, not enough climax for us. We know we have to get the story set up, but we need some action, folks! We’re hoping we get to some serious ass-kicking Winchester-style bad-assery in this next episode.

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