Supernatural 11×3: Bad Seed

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I was conflicted about this episode before it even aired.  On the one hand, it’s directed by Jensen Ackles, which has generally been an amazingly good thing.  His episodes have been some of the best.  On the other hand, it was written by Brad Buckner & Eugenie Ross-Leming, who killed Charlie last season and wrote what is universally panned as one of the worst episodes in Supernatural history (1×13: ;Route 666′).  Sure enough, the episode was mixed with some really amazing things and some really awful things, which unfortunately cancelled each other out and made this a mediocre episode at best.  But hey, at least it wasn’t terrible, right?  We could have had another ‘Route 666’ or another death equivalent to Charlie’s but we didn’t.

First and foremost, as most of you know, I’m a Team Free Will fan.  This episode had TFW in spades and I couldn’t be happier.  The moments when Sam, Dean, and Cas are all together, genuinely caring about each other, and understanding of each other are some of my favorite moments.  The bunker scene at the end was like a breath of fresh air after TFW being broken up for the majority of last season and the beginning of this one.  They’ve all made terrible mistakes in their lives and are willing to go out on a limb for each other and forgive each other when they misstep.  It warms the cockles of my heart.

The cynic in me doesn’t think it’ll last, though.  Next week Cas will probably wander off on his own adventure, Dean and Sam will start lying to each other, and we’ll get caught in a terrible plot loop like we usually do.  But hey, maybe I’ll be proven wrong and this season will see TFW integrating their storylines and the brothers actually being honest with each other.  The first episode of the season did have Sam make some ground breaking revelations about how far they’ve fallen, so perhaps the show will break the cycle and go somewhere new.  Let’s keep positive, folks.  Anything can happen.  In the words of Daenerys Targaryen, let’s not just stop the wheel, but let’s break the wheel.

SPN2The episode also brought Rowena back into the mix and I couldn’t be more thrilled.  I enjoy both the character and actress to an insane degree.  In fact, I love Rowena more than I love Crowley, and he was my favorite antagonist pretty much since he first walked on the screen. Rowena has made my love for Crowley practically evaporate and I’d feel like a traitor, but I’m just so over the moon with her that I really don’t care.  Sorry, Crowley.  I supported you through the Abaddon affair, but your witchy mom has stolen my heart.  Better luck next time.  If there is a next time, that is.  She seems pretty determined to wipe you out so I’m not banking on you living much longer.  Go Rowena!

(Also sorry Mark Sheppard, I’m not wishing unemployment on you and you are in pretty much every genre show ever anyway so I’m sure you’ll find work, but Rowena’s got my vote this time.  Please forgive me.)

But my enjoyment of the episode pretty much ends there.  The very concept of Amara is appalling to me.  At first, she bothered me because she seemed like a Femme Fatale cliché.  Then she was turned into a baby and it was implied that her and Dean had somehow imprinted on each other.  This reminds me too much of Renesmee from Twilight, which was also highly disturbing.  The character Jacob ‘imprints’ on Renesmee when she’s a child, and it’s implied their relationship will turn romantic when she’s ‘of age.’  That just feels incredibly icky to me, and I’m kind of amazed that Supernatural went this route.  Then again, the potential romantic intentions between Dean and Amara are pretty much just fandom projection at this point, so maybe we’ll all be proven wrong, the wheel will actually be broken, and we’ll get something incredibly different than what we’re all expecting.  Stay positive, right?  Yes, let’s stay positive.

Furthermore, since we’re discussing the down sides of the episode, ‘Fortune Nookie’ is not funny.  Dean’s Asian fetish will never be funny and I don’t know why they keep perpetuating it.  This alone bothered me enough to knock the entire episode down a few pegs.  Let’s put this offensive fetishization behind us, guys, and let us never ever ever speak of it again.  Can I get an amen on that one?

I feel so torn after that episode because it featured both things that keep me watching the show, and things that make me question why I choose to stick with this show when aspects of it bother me so much.  I’m still here, though.  I feel like if I can get through Charlie’s death, I can get through almost anything this show can throw at me and survive.  I may get annoyed and some of the cliché characters, repetitive plot lines, and offensive humor, but the main characters have kept me hooked through all the mess and I can’t imagine not seeing them through to the end.  As long as there’s hope for amazing Team Free Will moments, I can’t quit the show no matter how frustrating these side issues get.  So thanks for the wonderful TFW moments this week, dear writers room.  Now put down the fetish jokes and walk away and never look back.  Thank you.

Author: Angel Wilson

Angel is the admin of The Geekiary and a geek culture commentator. She earned a BA in Film & Digital Media from UC Santa Cruz. She’s contributed to various podcasts and webcasts including An Englishman in San Diego, Free to Be Radio, and Genre TV for All. She’s written for Friends of Comic Con and is a 2019 Hugo Award winner for contributing fanfic on AO3. She identifies as queer.


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About the author

Angel is the admin of The Geekiary and a geek culture commentator. She earned a BA in Film & Digital Media from UC Santa Cruz. She's contributed to various podcasts and webcasts including An Englishman in San Diego, Free to Be Radio, and Genre TV for All. She's written for Friends of Comic Con and is a 2019 Hugo Award winner for contributing fanfic on AO3. She identifies as queer.

Comments

  1. The show almost lost me when they killed Charlie. The first two episodes this season brought me back. This episode I will put in the never happened category and look forward to the next. So excited about Baby!!

  2. I kind of feel the same way. I really enjoyed big chunks of the episode. I laughed. I had the feels. And then I felt slapped in the face – on top of the porn thing, having Sam explain scrying felt like they were actively insulting my intelligence, and my suspension of disbelief was blown out enough that I couldn’t just let it go when Cas, on foot, got from the bunker to somewhere with warehouses faster than Sam and Dean could drive there. I wanted to like this episode, I want to keep liking the show, but it might be approaching the point where I’ve asked myself how stupid they think I am too many times.

  3. To be honest, I don’t even expect a good storyline of this Darkness arc. My biggest criticism for Supernatural now are the characters… What really got me furious lately is the lack of any evolution on the characters. On contrary, they seem to go nowhere. Crowley, which was really mild and boring in season 9 & 10, seemed he got back his “I’m the bloody King of Hell” mojo, but got a whole episode of “trying to be a nice father”. Sam latest seasons didn’t impress me… I miss the time we got a really smart Sam, who could win the fight with a genial plan, not just google or surprising popping next to everybody with magic handcuffs. I miss him and Dean having those great battles together. I see Dean as a tired and dark character now… the Mark of Cain is gone, but it made a big scar on him (like all his previous traumas), so when he tries to be the old Dean (with his Asian fetish or flirting with strangers) it doesn’t seems natural for me. Castiel is lost. So lost. Again. I still watching this show because of Team Free Will, so my biggest hope would be Cas sticking and fighting together with the Winchesters. But, as you said, he probably will go after his own storyline (searching Metatron. Again).
    I love Supernatural, but nowadays I feel I’m watching the show because I love the actors (and the conventions), only.

  4. I really feel like personifying “TheDarkness” was the wrong choice right at the start. I realize it’s convenient and that’s really the problem; we’ve seen it all before. I kinda think an amorphis foe would have demanded more challenging stories and provided a function for Cas that did not necessarily render the boys extraneous.

  5. I agree with why Cas travelled on foot to somewhere with a wherehouse faster than Sam and Dean drive a car is a bad point of the show more than a porn joke which I somehow found it hilarious after all the bad things that has happen to TFW. I also agree that Sam doesn’t seem smart as he used to, Cas is so lost and Dean trying to be funny isn’t as funny as before. He seemed to be a person who losing fate, lack of moderation to live and very dark character. However, I don’t think it is a bad cliche of the show. I think it is a sign of characters improvement. It shows us that some damaged is permanent. It can’t be fix no matter how much they tried, but at least they tried because that is the way of lives unless they decided to end their miserable lives which is not gonna happen because it’s a show of them; if they die the show probably end.

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