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Roundtable Discussion on Supernatural Episode 11:03 “The Bad Seed”

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Welcome to TNWU’s roundtable discussion about this week’s Supernatural episode The Bad Seed, directed by series regular Jensen Ackles. Participating in tonight’s discussion are Debbi Bachman, Michelle Villery, Stacy Miller and Jackie Bojarski.  We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

SPOILERS BELOW!

Topics:

Crowley/Amara:

Supernatural -- "The Bad Seed" -- Image SN1101A_0099.jpg -- Pictured (L-R): Gracyn Shinyei as Amara and Mark Sheppard as Crowley -- Photo: Katie Yu /The CW -- �© 2015 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Debbi : I love the interaction between “little” Amara and “uncle” Crowley. I think he’s bit off more than he can chew this time and I suspect that he thinks that as well, even with all his bluster. He desperately wants to rule hell, heaven and everything in between and while he may suspect he can’t control Amara, he’s still going to try. Good money says that he’s going to need to rely on that bond between Amara and Dean to get him out safely before the fat lady sings.
Stacy: As we often heard what a rotten father Fergus McCleod was, it was good seeing Crowley playing surrogate dad to Amara (I can’t call him Uncle Crowley. It just feels creepy). Of course he had ulterior motives, but he feed her (souls), clothed her (bloody dress, Mr. Mom he’s not) and provided for her education. I liked seeing this side of Crowley. But I think Amara is more than even he can handle.

Michele: I loved “Uncle” Crowley’s interaction with Amara. It was cute that he “fed” her and “clothed” her in the only way he knows how. I do think Crowley realizes that he may be in over his head with this and will most likely need the Winchester’s help after all. I do think he wants to partner with young Amara so that he can solidify his position, and I feel he’s doing it to save Dean from himself. Say what you will about Crowley, but I think the King of Hell misses his bromance with the elder Winchester. Mark and the young actress were amazing in this. I loved the young actress talking with her “elder” self (Emily Swallow). Great Stuff.

Jackie: I enjoyed “Uncle Crowley” in this ep, although I’m still confused as to his motivations. It almost seemed at one point that he was trying to pry Amara for information subtly. It will be interesting to watch how his interactions with Amara change now that she’s a teenager. Amara was a good mix of creepy and sullen. She wasn’t as creepy in this ep as she was last ep. However, I liked seeing her interact with her future self. I have a feeling that we will see her exhibit more powers now that she’s older.

 

Cas’ Storyline :

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Debbi: Misha did a credible job portraying an angel being consumed by a dark spell. His pain was evident even if he looked a little constipated after a while. I guess I’m just kind of tired of seeing Cas writhing on the ground unable to function. Very glad the spell has been reversed and hoping to see some bad assery from the angel as he searches for Meta-douche.

Stacy: Couldn’t really get into it. Sick Cas or Beastie Cas. I want the Castiel from Season 4 back. He used to be such an awesome angel. Sorry to say, but most of the time he’s pretty much useless.

Michele: I have to say that I’m disappointed in the Cas storyline. After watching it all unfold, I now wonder why he needed to have that attack dog spell in the first place. I miss Bad Ass Cas. But it’ll be interesting to see him go after Metatron. Misha and Curtis have great chemistry. I honestly don’t know what the writers have planned for Cas down the line. It’s been confusing since season 8 and I hope it turns around.

Jackie: So, I’m both glad and sad that Cas was cured so quickly. For starters, the virus seemed to make Cas a better fighter than he’s been in years. Now that he’s cured, I worry that we’ll go back to the same incapable Cas from last season. However, at least the brothers don’t have to spend all their time searching for a cure anymore and can focus on the Darkness! The Cas portions were lukewarm for me this ep. A lot of the time, I was laughing at the constipated looks that Misha was making. I am glad that the brothers worked together to cure him, though.

Rowena Returns:

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Debbi: Ruthie Connell has comic timing that rivals the best in the business. Every snarky comment out of her mouth is delivered with a punch and an evil smile. Add the best wardrobe on the show and she’s a scene thief in every sense of the word. Her sense of disappointment with her fellow Grand Coven members when they didn’t immediately jump on the Mega-Coven bandwagon was priceless. Sort of like Nellie Olesson stomping a foot when Laura Ingalls failed to be impressed with Nellie’s latest acquisition.

Rowena’s baiting of the Winchester’s in the car was absolutely perfect. Poor Sam, that deal was so last year it’s no surprise he didn’t tell Dean. He’d probably forgotten that until Rowena brought it up. Secrets will pop up when you least expect them to, a good lesson for the boys to take to heart.

No surprise that she had a plan to double cross the boys and get away again. It’d be no fun if she just rolled over and gave up everything without a fight. Do you think she removed all traces of the spell from Cas? I am undecided on this point. I think it would be in character for her to leave him with a ‘side-effect’, but at the same time really am tired of helpless Cas.

Stacy: I love Ruth as Rowena! When she was trying to get the new witch recruits with her “Mega Coven” party line was great. She has vision. I think she has the makings of a powerful witch. I also loved her scenes with Sam and Dean in the car and how she told on Sam to Dean. Rowena has tremendous chemistry with our heroes.

Michele: Long Live Rowena! Ruth is such a great actress! Her comedic timing is off the chain. I love her chemistry with the boys. Her and her “Mega Coven” recruiting efforts were both hysterical and a bit scary. It shows you just how far she’ll go to get what she wants. I did like that it was her that revealed that Sam went after Crowley. Poor Sam! Now, Rowena is off again. Remember everyone: She’s got the Book of the Damned. I have a feeling that book holds one of the many keys in stopping Amara. She’ll be back, they need her.

Jackie: Thank Chuck that Rowena came back this episode! She was a light in the darkness! I thoroughly enjoyed all of her scenes, as she’s just as snarky as Crowley and has great chemistry with the guys. Hopefully, we see more of her! I also thought it was cute that she kept trying to make “Mega-Coven” a thing!
Demon and Angel politics:

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Debbi : didn’t particularly love the Angel politics storyline with Naomi and even less with Metatron when he was still up in heaven writing the story. That said, I am curious about the minions meeting up to compare notes. This is a story to keep an eye on. There’s a lot more here than has been revealed at this point.

Stacy: I like the demons, but the angels can go home anytime. The angel war is getting old. And please leave Metatron where he is.

Michele: So an Angel and a Demon walk into a bar… This was interesting even though I’m over the angel politics. I have no issues with the demons though. I didn’t care for the whole angel war and Naomi stuff. But I am curious to see what they’re up to and how it plays out.

Jackie: This was probably the least interesting part of the episode. I have no interest in angel or demon politics and tend to tune out when the writers start spending too much time on it. For me, it takes away from the supernatural-ness of angels and demons, because politics is too human and mundane. The scene between the angel and demon in the bar was funny, but I can’t help comparing that scene with season 5’s scene where Zachariah and a random business man complain about their bosses and thinking that this scene fell short. Hopefully, the writers don’t spend any more time on angel or demon politics.

Sam and Dean:

Supernatural -- "Dark Dynasty" -- Image SN1023A_0255 -- Pictured (L-R): Jensen Ackles as Dean and Jared Padalecki as Sam -- Photo: Dean Buscher/The CW -- © 2015 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Debbi: We do get to see our favorite brothers working together this episode, even if they still haven’t completely come clean and erased every trace of bad mojo from the last couple of years. Let’s bear in mind that it wasn’t that long ago that Sam knelt in front of Dean expecting him to kill him. The amount of animosity built up between them over the last few seasons isn’t going to go away overnight and it’s not fair to expect it to. These two have to work back to a place of mutual trust and I think that they are making slow progress in that direction.

I miss the easy interaction between them that existed in earlier seasons, but I think I’d be more aggravated if the showrunner/writers just “forgot” the all the missteps of the last seasons. People don’t get over betrayal overnight, even if that’s what we’d ultimately like. I’m keeping an open mind – we’re only three episodes in – and I’ll pronounce judgement on the season at the end of the season.

Stacy: I think the brothers are on equal footing which is nice. Sam is no longer that kid brother but a capable hunter in his own right. He stands up to Dean. I just wish Sam and Dean would quit keeping secrets from each other. They’re stronger when they work together. When will they learn this?

Michele: I love that the brothers are on the same page. Like Debbi said, their issues are going to take time to be worked out. There was a lot of hurt and broken trust that has happened over the last few years, but ultimately, they now both realize that they are better together than apart. We are only three episodes in. I’m keeping an open mind until the end of this season. I pray Dean tells Sam what Amara said to him and stops with all these secrets. Will they ever learn that keeping them never works? I hope Dean does say something and soon. Especially since Amara is now a teen and growing rapidly. Time isn’t on their side.

Jackie:I loved seeing Sam and Dean work together to save their friend, although I would have liked to see them talk some more. They have issues that they need to work out and need to share their secrets! However, that will probably come in the next few episodes. I’m still thinking that Dean’s bond with Amara is going to prove to be either an impediment to them defeating her or an asset. Here’s hoping he tells Sam about it!

Overall Thoughts:

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Debbi: Ackles is a good director. The camera work and the cast performances were quite good. Jensen knows this cast well and knows how to communicate with them to get their best performance out of them. As much as I like to see him get a chance to do something different, I miss him when he’s directing. He can’t spend as much time on performing while directing and I think the show suffers a bit. Not to say that the rest of the cast can’t carry the story – they can and did move the plot along. The overall character interactions just feels a little less intense without Jensen.

This is a solid episode and I give it a solid B.

Stacy: Season 11 has some awesome story potentials. The Darkness/Amara, Rowena’s rise to power. Sam and Dean’s brother dynamic and Crowley. To me, the only weak link is Castiel (No fault on Misha’s part). I hope Cas gets a better storyline.

Michele: Jensen’s a fantastic director. The performances from the cast and the camera work was great. Because he’s an experienced and talented actor, he knows exactly how to get a great performance out of all of them. The lighting also was amazing. It’s definitely hard to direct when you are also the lead, so kudos to him. The Cas storyline unfortunately made this a B- for me.

Jackie: Overall, I’d give this episode a C. For the most part, it was slow, and there were a lot of eye-rolling moments. For example, “witch-killing bullets”? You can do better than that, writers! There was a lot of redundancy and recycled storylines in this ep. Thank Chuck that Jensen directed it; otherwise, there might not have been anything salvageable in the episode at all!

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