First up : Heartfelt condolences to Jared and Gen Padalecki on the loss of their beloved pooch Harley. Losing a pet is never an easy thing, and from the pictures I’ve seen, it is clear that Harley was a member of the family. Make a donation to…
Season seven, episode eight, “Time for a Wedding!” airs Friday November 11, 2011 9pm ET. Below is is the episode synopsis courtesy of the CW.
“While on a hunt, Sam (Jared Padalecki) runs into someone from his past and a confrontation ensues. Meanwhile, Dean (Jensen Ackles) reluctantly teams up with a quirky, laid-back hunter named Garth (DJ Qualls), when he finds himself in a situation that he just cannot explain. Time Andrew directed the episode written by Andrew Dabb & Daniel Loflin.“
Dean has been a functioning alcoholic for the last few weeks, what with the stress of losing Castiel, watching Sam suffer from debilitating Lucifer hallucinations, and having to off Amy, Sam’s foxy first kiss. (Literally. She was a fox demon.)He kept that last bit a secret, but then, son of a gun, that pesky Leviathan clone of his spilled every single bean.
The final scene from last week’s saga had Sam walking away from Dean yet again…even though he was on a pier, and eventually he would just be swimming away from Dean. But Sam was so miffed, I believe he would have gladly dog-paddled, as long as he got to travel in the opposite direction.
Lest we forget – every time the brothers have split up, Sam has been the one doing the splitting. Whether it was heading off to Stanford, leaving to find John in Scarecrow, or pulling back from hunting after kicking his demon blood addiction in season five, it has never been Dean’s decision to break up the band. And every time Sammy walks away, things seem to go poorly. One would think that he might have learned by now. Ah, well. Welcome to a séance in Lily Dale, New York.
We have Grandma Goldy (Maureen Thomas), a Small Medium at Large, pulling tricks that shysters have been rolling out for over a century; her two clients are Willing Believer Lady and Eye-Rolling Skeptic Guy. Grandma Goldy decides to use the Ouija Board.
Let me take a moment to get out my soapbox and make the general announcement that Very Bad Things always happen when people play with Ouija Boards! Have repeated viewings of “The Exorcist” and “Paranormal Activity” taught you people NOTHING?? At best you will get a creepy feeling; at worst, you will get possessed by a demon named Pazuzu and/or your condo will burn to the ground!
The Medium calls on “Uncle Danny”, and the planchette “moves”. After some more flakey stuff (tapping, “confirmations” of a dead pet), Eye-Rolling Skeptic husband portrayed by Gary Jones (Stargate) just wants to know where some very important papers are. But this is when……the lights start flickering. And the flames in the fireplace leap up. And it gets cold. Never good signs in Supernatural Land. Before the scene is out, the planchette has performed a telekinetic tracheotomy on our Medium at Large.
Meanwhile, poor Dean is still without his beloved Impala, and decides to steal a junker of a Dodge Challenger (which probably made its owner quite happy – “Yes! Insurance money!”).
He hears on the radio about two weird murders in Lily Dale, “The Most Psychic Town in America”. (Fun Factoid : Lily Dale, New York, really is a center for “the practice of the Spiritualist religion since the late 19th century, and is reputed to have the highest number of psychics and mediums per capita in the US. Every summer its workshops and festivals attract thousands of visitors.” Quote from supernaturalwiki.com.)
Dean checks out the dead medium’s set-up, which is filled with canned sound effects, fake wind, and phony knocks, but finds nothing of note. But we get the added bonus of Dean in a suit. Always a good thing.
This episode is fantastically penned by the Bens Acker and Blacker, co-creators of the Thrilling Adventure Hour. And you read that right, identical first names and rhyming surnames. Match made in sci-fi heaven.
Dean takes note that every store front seems to be New Age in nature, and that the time has almost come for the big Psychic Festival, at which our Medium at Large was to be a headliner. To show that great Winchester minds think alike, Dean finds that Sam has also come to Lily Dale and is also dining in the Good Graces Café (where the special of the day is YOU, and you get a free affirmation with every order!).
Things are still awkward between the brothers, although Dean attempts to go into shop talk like nothing happened a week and a half ago.
He talks nonstop for about thirty seconds about the town’s overall psychic crockery. “And I know, I know…supposedly this whole town is calling ghosts. But that takes some serious spellwork and some serious mojo. The only books this lady had were Oprah crap. When was the last time you actually saw a real psychic, huh? Pamela? Missouri?… Uh, how you been?”
Sam is standoffish, but Dean reasons that neither of them are going to leave town with a case wide open, so they might as well work together…they can just keep the conversations impersonal and professional.
A woman walks by their table and freaks out – the brothers from that homicidal rampage the other week! They quickly reassure her, No, uncanny resemblance, happens all the time. Her Russian companion pegs them as FBI. “I’m Russian,” he explains, “we can spot the law.” He presents his card to them – Nikolai Lishin, World Famous Spoon Bender! He picks up Sam’s spoon and does a little grunting, but nothing happens…then.
Sam and Dean discuss the case a little more – the two victims were Imelda Graven and Grandma Goldy, who were killed by a crystal ball and a planchette to the neck, respectively. Sam has worked out that they owned the same necklace, so the killings might center around a cursed object. He has also discovered that Goldy’s next of kin, another psychic, lives in town.
When Sam goes to stir his coffee, his spoon bends. [screencap : bent spoon] “He broke my spoon,” Sam declares angrily…a perfect companion line to “I lost my shoe,” from Bad Day at Black Rock.
Sam and Dean track down Melanie Golden (played with a sound, down-to-earth feel by the lovely Dorian Brown), who tells them that her “psychic” abilities are simply finely-honed powers of observation in regards to body language. “Like you two,” she says, “long-time partners, but…um, a lot of tension. You’re pissed,” she says to Sam, “and you’re stressed,” she levels at Dean. They assure her they have open minds…and it appears as though Dean and Melanie might have some chemistry building. It might be a sign that Dean is finally moving on from ex-flame (and now amnesia-ridden) Lisa.
Melanie informs them that the necklace they’re looking for went to the Emporium. [screencap : Sam and Dean inside the Emporium with Jimmy Tomorrow] At the Emporium, Sam and Dean meet up with the owner, a psychic who has picked the single worst stage name in the history of ever : Jimmy Tomorrow (Johnny Sneed, another guest star who looks as though he is thoroughly relishing every second of his role).
He greets them with the super-psychic revelation, “You’re looking…for something.” (I flashed back to one of our family’s favorite movies, Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure, where Madam Ruby – no relation to the demon Ruby – impresses Pee-Wee by telling him that he has come to her because he “wants something”.)
Señor Mañana declares that the necklace is called the Orb of Thessaly (which may or may not be a nod to an important magical object from Buffy the Vampire Slayer), a rare and powerful item. Dean confiscates it as “state’s evidence” and promises the FBI will send him a reimbursement check.
As Sam reaches for the necklace, Jimmy grabs Sam’s wrist. “A loss weighs on you,” he says. “You’re angry. It’s complicated.” He slips Sam his card, which states No Future Too Grim. (Obviously, he has never met anyone like the Winchesters, or he would know how far off that promise is…)
The brothers quickly discover that the so-called Orb of Thessaly is made in Taiwan, so most likely it is not the cursed object that they seek.
You know, the citizens of Lily Dale have inspired me to make a prediction of my own : This man is about to die a horrible, bloody death. I AM AMAZING!!!
Sam and Dean arrive at the house and discuss the case with the local police chief. (Dean is using the alias of Agent Bourne. His sexiness quotient gets racked up another 10%, something I did not believe was possible.) The chief tells them that forty-six clairvoyants lit up their tip line, and the prevailing theory is that the murderer is a ghost or “an ogre that only attacks Russians”. He also mentions that Nikolai had a premonition of his own death.
Melanie Golden calls the Winchesters to her house and tells them her grandmother left her a voicemail on the day she died – she had had an actual, honest-to-God vision of her demise, which included flickering lights and freezing temperatures. They let her know that an actual ghost is involved. “See, there’s, uh…fake woo-woo crap, and then there’s real woo-woo crap,” Dean says. They also share that they are not really with the FBI.
Sam and Dean realize how difficult it might be to track down their spook. Practically everyone in town is trying to call on spirits; even though most of them are quacks, all it takes is one genuine medium to take down the whole city.
Next will be our waling corpse! After Sister Thibideaux (Rukiya Bernard) says goodbye to her client and to her phony accent, she has a vision of her own – getting strangled as the cuckoo clock strikes two. She calls Melanie, who had told her that the FBI agents in town had open minds; soon Sam and Dean are trying to gather clues from the scene.
Sister Thibideaux has a hidden camera that captured her vision, which turns out to be not a vision at all, but rather a woman’s ghost giving coming attractions. [screencap : video screen of ghost] (Personally, I find the scariest thing in this house is the wallpaper.) Melanie recognizes the ghost from an old picture at the Museum of Curiosities.
Sam and Dean are never ones to stay with a group, and they soon wander off to check out all the old photographs in the Museum. They alight upon the Sibling Acts exhibit, and find a picture of the “Mystifying Campbell Brothers”. (Are these possibly more long-lost relatives from their mother’s side?) The tour guide has some words that hit close to home, for both the brothers and for the resident Supernatural “tin hats” :
“Never ended well for the siblings…the strain of working together, or just being around each other their entire lives. These two were the exception, actually – the Campbells. Got along famously. Of course, that was just a stage name. They weren’t actually brothers. It was a cover for their, um, alternative lifestyle…”
The Winchesters find their ghost in a photograph of the Fox sisters, Kate and Margaret. Kate was the real deal, “able to levitate objects and foretell one’s death”, says the tour guide. Margaret, however, was devoid of actual psychic gifts, but she was very good at taking care of people…especially her sister.
As Dean turns to leave, the tour guide (who announced earlier that his own family had some “modest gifts”) asks him if he knows an Eleanor or an Ellen. “She seems quite concerned about you. She wants to tell you…if you don’t tell someone how bad it really is, she will kick your ass from beyond.” He got Ellen in a nutshell – loving, but without a single shred of patience for crap.
Outside, Sam and Dean finally have it out regarding Amy. The fandom has been divided on the issue – did Dean go too far when he killed Amy and lied about it or did he do the right thing, was Sam’s reaction reasonable or not, and etcetera. Dean acknowledges that Sam has a right to be upset, but that he now needs to let the whole matter go. In a speech that had me shouting, “GO ON, GIRL!”, Dean declares :
“But killing Amy was not wrong. You couldn’t do it, so I did. That’s what family does — the dirty work. And I would’ve told you, eventually, once I knew that this whole ‘waving a gun at Satan’ thing was a one-time show. I think it is reasonable to want to know that you are off the friggin’ high dive, Sam. You almost got us both killed, so you can be pissed all you want, but quit being a bitch!”
Okay, maybe some manly digging will help Sam sort through some of the tension. As they prepare to salt and burn Kate’s bones, her ghost appears and begins yelling at them. “Listen to me! Why isn’t anyone listening??” They succeed in burning the bones and killing the ghost.
Sam and Dean call Melanie to assure her that Sister Thibideaux (real name : Camille) is safe, but Melanie invites Camille to stay with her for a couple of days. While Camille is gathering her things, her cuckoo clock strikes two.
Camille tells Melanie to call Dean, and she obeys. The Winchesters try to help Melanie save her friend by telling her to throw salt on the ghost, which works until the salt runs out. They advise her to get an iron poker from the fireplace, but Melanie gets pinned against the wall by a large piece of furniture. She can only watch helplessly as her friend is torn apart.
Melanie rushes from Camille’s house and into Dean’s arms (an understandable choice). Dean and Sam go to Melanie’s house with her and try to decide what to do next, since they burned the sister who was actually trying to help people. A very shaken Melanie tells them that Margaret’s ghost was very goal-oriented : she bypassed Melanie and went straight for Camille. And, more frighteningly, she enjoyed what she was doing.
Back to the graveyard! It feels strange to see the boys digging up a grave in broad daylight, but there is an upside – better lighting for watching Sam use his super-sasquatch strength to bust open the coffin with one mighty blow of his shovel!
Unfortunately, that display of manly awesomeness is all in vain, for the coffin is empty. Dean realizes that someone with some serious power stole Margaret’s bones and has bound her. He then gets another revelation : all of the headliners for the Psychic Festival have been killed off.
Camille had been asked to take Nikolai’s place after he died, because she was popular around town. In fact all of the victims had been fairly successful in Lily Dale, according to Melanie. Furthermore, it seems very likely that the festival organizers would next ask her to take her grandmother’s place as a headliner. Uh-oh.
Sam goes back to see Johnny Tomorrow and asks if he sold an ashwood altar to anyone. Mr. Tomorrow helpfully looks up the information and passes it along.
Dean makes preparations by enclosing Melanie and himself in a large salt circle…although I have to wonder (yet again), Why do the Winchesters continue to pour salt circles in rooms with multitudinous windows that ghosts can easily open/break, letting in the wind and destroying the circle??
Melanie asks Dean if burning the bones hurts the ghost, and Dean hypothesizes that it might. Melanie responds with a single word : “Good.” Dean seems impressed. Sam goes bursting into the house at the address that Johnny gave him, guns (er, gun) blazing. Unfortunately, he has burst into a Lamaze class, not a den of necromancy. Awkward.
Sam calls Dean and tells him Mr. Tomorrow set him up, and heads back to the Emporium to confront him. Dean insists that he hurry, since Margaret has shown up. The Emporium is locked up tight when Sam arrives, but he uses the business card he was given to quickly locate and break into Johnny’s living quarters. There he finds an altar with Margaret’s skull as its centerpiece.
But before he can get flamey on the thing, Johnny Tomorrow sneaks up behind Sam and sticks a gun in the back of his neck. Sam easily disarms the guy (because, after all, he is Sam effing Winchester).
Meanwhile, back at Melanie’s house… Look! I am psychic! That ghost blew in the windows and now your salt circle will be compromised. Things start to move very quickly, as the scene jumps back and forth between the Emporium and Melanie’s home. Sam knocks over the altar, but Johnny tells him that “it doesn’t matter…she helps me because she wants to.”
Margaret appears inside the damaged circle and throws Dean across the room, then focuses her attention on Melanie. Johnny lectures Sam. “Margaret and me are the same…we’re the real thing. But guess what – sometimes the real thing just isn’t pretty or entertaining enough!”
Margaret advances on Melanie, but disappears momentarily when Dean shoots her with rock salt bullets. Johnny continues : “When I show people what I’m capable of, it scares them!” For a second, Sam almost looks sympathetic…almost. Dean and Melanie lay down another salt line in the kitchen, but Margaret appears unimpressed.
Sam tells Johnny that he’s sick when the latter informs him that Margaret likes the leash he’s put on her. Unfortunately for Sam, Johnny also has telekinetic powers and wrenches the gun from his hands using only his mind.
Margaret is able to shake the house and crack the floorboards under the salt line, breaking it open. “Sorry, handsome,” she clucks at Dean, before he blasts another salt rock bullet into her face.
Sam tries to get Johnny to tell him where Margaret’s bones are. Of course, he says nothing.
Margaret rematerializes, and Dean realizes he has run out of bullets. He grabs an iron chain from his duffel bag and whips it through the ghost, causing her to disappear yet again. I really enjoyed watching the brothers use everything in their arsenal this week!
When Sam insists that the victims did not deserve to die, Johnny disagrees. Sam is able to distract him, then gets at his own gun and shoots Johnny dead. Things are getting dire for Dean and Melanie, as Margaret is able to chuck Dean clear across the room and knock him out. Luckily, Sam locates Margaret’s bones (which Johnny was keeping in his bed, triple ew) and then salts and burns them before Melanie get choked to death.
The next morning, back at the Good Graces Café, Melanie shows up to say thanks to Dean. He expresses remorse for not being able to save Camille, but Melanie points out that he was not the one who summoned the ghost. It provides a nice moment for someone (anyone) to tell Dean that not everything in the world is his fault.
Melanie notices that things seem to be going better between Dean and Sam, and guesses that this is goodbye. She wishes that they had met on a better week. “I wish I had better weeks,” Dean answers. Very nice and somewhat emotional to have a moment where someone has decided to treat Dean nicely instead of tearing him down.
That emotional moment lead to this emotional moment. A few sharp-eyed viewers noticed poor Castiel’s abandoned trench coat was neatly folded up in the corner of the trunk. File under Gone But Not Forgotten.
Dean finds Sam packing his stuff into the trunk, and then gets the surprise of his life when Sam admits that he was right about Amy, and his anger seems to be assuaged. But, he adds, Dean is not allowed to bottle things up inside anymore – he sleeps poorly, he drinks nonstop, etc. “How are those the actions of a someone who knows they did the right thing?” Sam asks.
Dean’s reply is rather heartbreaking. “I went with my gut, and that felt right. I didn’t trust her, Sam. Of course, ever since Cas, I’m havin’ a hard time trusting anybody.” He explains that his self-destructive behavior is more due to the fact that he had to lie to Sam. But on the whole, Dean says, they work pretty well together for a sibling act.
“I still wanna know how that guy bent my spoon,” Sam wonders.
“Forget it, Sam,” Dean answers. “It’s Lily Dale.”
Things seem to have tied themselves up rather neatly in this episode. But this is Supernatural. Contentment never lasts long. The Leviathans are still on the loose, and the crumbling wall in Sam’s mind is still…well…crumbling.
Next week will see Sam walking down the aisle – who might the lucky lady be? Tune in to the CW next Friday night at 9!
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My warm regards,