Supernatural Recap: “The Born-Again Identity”

Alright, you guys, let me start this off with an important disclaimer: this is not going to be a blog exclusively about Supernatural. “But, Katie,” you say, “you haven’t updated your blog in months and now suddenly you’re posting your third Supernatural-related blog in twenty-four hours.” Yes, I know how it looks, but you’re just going to have to trust me. I do have other interests, and I’m sure you do as well. However, I’ve decided to start recapping Supernatural each week, and in the interest of timeliness, I thought I should get this one up ASAP. Kindly bare with me.

And now, to the episode.

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Ooh-wee, Lucifer! Your enthusiasm for your materrial does not match the response it is getting!

“The Born-Again Identity” starts with a “previously on,” but sadly, it is not set to Kansas’ “Carry On My Wayward Son.” It’s not even set to “You Shook Me All Night Long.” What a waste. This “previously on” includes a clip of nobody’s favorite one-liner: Lucifer shouting, “Good morning, Viet Nam” into Sam’s ear as Sam’s entire body catches on fire (symbolically?) Does anybody understand this moment? It’s bizarre. That unpleasantness is in the past, however, as is, apparently, Lucifer saying to Sam, “You wanted me, partner.” Are Sam and Lucifer going through a rocky divorce? At least since Sam got married to Becky awhile back Lucifer doesn’t have to pay alimony anymore, right? I am also realizing that I do not understand this whole Lucifer-in-Sam’s-head storyline at all. Castiel caused Lucifer to be in Sam’s brain? Lucifer’s not really there? Why are we so sure of that? Lucifer might actually be there, you guys. I don’t even remember him dying. It’s not fair of everyone to just assume Sam’s crazy.

And now it’s the present!

Sam runs down the street, looking handsomely disoriented. He bumps into some guy who calls him a dick. He runs into a scary alleyway where a very groomed-looking drug dealer tells him he needs to get the hell out of here. It always surprises me that onlookers and passersby aren’t always super-nice to the Winchesters. How can anyone stand to be rude to someone so handsome and nicely shaped?

Lucifer– who Great Gazoo-style, can only be seen by Sam– pops up to taunt Sam as he tries to carry on a civilized conversation with this man whose leather jacket is too shiny and whose hair is too gelled for him to really be up to no good. Seriously, the guy looks like a damn Backstreet Boy. He’s not even at an AJ level of scary. He’s maybe a Kevin. MAYBE. “You’d be sleeping by now if the devil would just leave you alone for five seconds,” says Lucifer. “Stupid Satan.” You read my mind, Lucifer! I was just thinking those very words. There is something going on with Mark Pellegrino, who plays Lucifer, this episode. It looks to me like his eyes are never quite focused where they should be, like when you can really tell someone on SNL is heavily relying on the cue cards. I actually have a fair amount of fondness for Marky P, despite my problems with Lucifer, and I’m feeling a bit concerned for him. In the dark alleyway, drug-dealing Joey Fatone is suddenly very worried about Sam’s well-being, so maybe Sam’s beauty actually is helping him out. “Oh, I’m sorry, sir, there was a shadow on your face when I told you to get the hell out of here and I didn’t realize how excellent your bone structure is. I do apologize. Come right in.” He can tell Sam’s been up for days, I guess because drug dealers are good at spotting that kind of thing, and kindly offers to knock him out with drugs. I don’t doubt that the dealer means this as an act of kindness, but I am also positive he plans on fucking unconscious Sam.

Cut to Sam and drug dealer sleeping peacefully in a car together.  Is it the Impala? I can’t be sure. And what went down between those two? I wish I knew! I am so happy that Sam is actually sleeping, but of course Lucifer pops up to ruin everything by singing, “Good morning to you, good morning to you, our day is starting, good morning to you.” Is this a song that exists, or does Lucifer just compose little jingles? It would be kind of cute if he’d always wanted to be a musician and this was his only outlet for it. Lucifer says the sentence, “I’m inside you,” and I am disgusted at the giggle of pure delight that escapes my throat before I can stop it. I find Lucifer terribly unattractive, even, but I am only human! Sam flees, and Lucifer follows him, babbling uninteresting, barely sensical Luciferisms. This guy is one weird dude. Sam is desperate to get away from Lucifer, as are we all, so much so that he doesn’t see the car coming as he runs into the street and oh no Sam look out! The car hits him and he rolls over the hood. Better than under the tires, I guess. I’m a glass half full kind of lady!

In a hospital, Dean is too manly and concerned about his brother to let hospital formalities slow him down, and he barges into some doctor’s office to give him what for. The doctor informs him that Sam was admitted for a cracked rib and some lacerations but is now in the psychiatric ward because he’s kind of having a major psychotic break. Bummer.  The doctor also tells Dean that they’ve pumped Sam full of sedatives but he still won’t go under.

In Sam’s room, Lucifer is blabbing away at Sam while playing with a cat’s cradle, because Lucifer is me circa 1997. Dean enters, and Lucifer refers to him as “Mr. Helpless.”  As cute a nickname as that is, it’s blatantly inappropriate, and I think Lucifer can do better. Dean tells Sam he’s going to get him help, and Sam immediately says that won’t work because faith healers are all frauds. Um, Dean never said anything about faith healers, buddy. I don’t know why you went straight to that. Dean angrily tells Sam to stop being so resigned and start getting mad. Sam says he’s too tired, and besides he doesn’t think there’s a cure for acute Luciferitis. Sam and Dean look at each other sadly and have a moment. Then Lucifer points out that they’re having a moment and ruins it.

Dean goes through all the contacts he can find in Bobby’s stuff in hope of finding somebody who can help. Maybe he should try looking in the phone book under “Satan repair.”

In the hospital, the doctor from earlier walks in and asks Sam to rate his pain on a scale from one to ten, then turns into Lucifer and says he’s gonna torture him. Was that whole ruse really necessary, Lucifer? What did that really accomplish? At least when Sam tries the silent treatment, Lucifer tells him to fight back and makes cute little fisticuffs at him. I don’t think much is cute as far as Lucifer goes, but I’m a sucker for fisticuffs.

Awhile later, Sam bites in a sandwich and bam: maggots. I think this show is single-handedly keeping the maggot wranglers of Vancouver in business. As Sam drops his sandwich and recoils, a cute girl stops in the door of his room, just to look at him, I guess. I get it. Sam’s a looker. She has a bandage on her neck, so I immediately think, “Vampire! This chick’s a ticking vampire time bomb!” If only Sam had as much foresight as me.

Back at Bobby’s, Dean gets a call from a hunter who tells him about a healer named Emanuel who is incredibly powerful. Dean seems to immediately think this information is extremely significant. Good instincts, I guess?

At the hospital, Neck Bite Girl brings Sam a candy bar to try and make friends. Sadly, Lucifer has gotten his hands on a megaphone, so his particular brand of comedy is now being broadcast at ten times the volume. Uggggh. Lucifer shouts in Sam’s ear as he reaches for the candy bar and he flinches violently, making him look crazy in front of his new friend, who turns and runs away. Thanks a lot, Lucifer.

Dean knocks on the door of a cute little suburban house and some dude who introduces himself as Emanuel steps out. Dean is just about to state his business when he glances through the living room curtains and sees a woman bound and gagged inside. Seriously, dude? You’re just gonna leave the curtains ajar when you’re in the middle of a hostage situation? The guys eyes turn all black so we know he’s a demon. Demon-guy shoves Dean, and Dean reminds him that newly-crowned-king-of-Hell Crowley doesn’t want demons fucking with the Winchesters while they’re in the process of hunting down season villain Dick Roman. The mere mention of Crowley sends my heart aflutter. Maybe my one true love will appear this episode. True, I didn’t see Mark A. Sheppard in the credits, but I’m not a credit-reading machine, I could have just missed it! Come on, Crowley, no whammy no whammy big money big money! Demon guy laughs and says, “What have you done for him lately?” I getcha, demon guy. Read you loud and clear. I know what Crowley’s after. A little quid pro quo, maybe? A little “you scratch my back I scratch yours”? A little “Dean blowing the devil in exchange for protection”? Demon-guy says, “Whatever Emanuel is, Crowley’s gonna want him. A lot more than he wants you these days.” I love it when the dialogue sounds like it’s very straightforwardly about gay sex, although I think we can all agree that this is a bluff, since what could Crowley possibly want more than he wants perfect-male-specimen Dean Winchester? Dean stabs demon guy with his demon-stabbing knife ’cause, you know, why wouldn’t he? That’s kind of why he has it. Demon guy rolls down the fronts steps of the house and lands at someone’s feet.  The camera pans up a little, but we can still only see the lower half of this person’s body, which happens to be very shapely. “Is that a chick or a guy with a nice ass?” I ask my roommate. “I hope it’s a guy with a nice ass!” “I hope it’s Cas!” she says. Two seconds later we see that, yes, it is Cas, and you would not believe the squeals of pure joy that escape my roommate and me. I actually flip myself onto my back and kick my feet in the air, like that Molly Shannon character who was always saying, “I love it I love it I love it.” My roommate’s boyfriend politely refrains from expressing verbally the disgust I am almost certain he is feeling. Dean looks understandably shocked as this dude, who is either Castiel or Jimmy’s twin brother, says, “Who was that?” Commercial break!

Back from commercial, “Emanuel” and Dean are inside the house, untying the hostage girl. Emanuel and this chick are getting a little handsy, which leads me to suspect that this guy is not Castiel since I am 100% positive Castiel is gay. I know, I know, I say that about nearly all the characters on this show, but that’s only because nearly all the characters on this show are gay. Emanuel thanks Dean for protecting his wife. Wife! Yeah, no way is this Castiel. Emanuel is shocked to hear that demons walk the earth, further evidencing him not being Cas.

Hospital! Sam lays in his hospital bed, either sleeping or trying to sleep, and is rudely awakened by the sounds of “Wake Up Little Susie” followed by some annoying popping noises. Then we see that Lucifer is sitting next to a stereo and throwing those mini-fireworks that make a little pop noise when you light them. Who is giving Lucifer this stuff?! Lucifer talks some shit about Sam, who lies there sadly and tries, along with the viewing audience, to just pretend Lucifer’s not there. Sam asks the orderly who brings his food in about pretty-probably-going-to-be-a-vamp-soon girl. Orderly says he’s not allowed to talk about it, but unlike Sam she didn’t get there because of an accident. Sam lays down and tries to go to sleep, but of course, Lucifer has an endless supply of firecrackers, so that’s not happening.

As Dean drives toward the hospital, Emanuel tells him that several months ago his now wife found him naked and confused in the river and took him in. Dean asks who gave him the name Emanuel, to which Emanuel– who, it’s now pretty clear, is actually Castiel– replies, “BouncingBabyNames.com.” Aw. Can I just say, good for that lady! I think we all dream of finding a naked Misha Collins and taking him home to be ours forever. I bet she picked all of his clothes, too. His ensemble is not what I would have chosen, but I’m not an outdoorsy born-again Christian. A quietly fuming Dean says that it must be weird not knowing who you are and asks Castiel, “What if you were some kind of bad guy?” Since Castiel seems to fall pretty far to one side of the autism spectrum and has never had a talent for reading faces, he does not notice the emotions Dean is clearly experiencing and calmly replies that he doesn’t feel like a bad person.

In the hospital, Sam is making just the saddest little face. Poor baby. At least for the moment Lucifer’s nowhere to be found. Lovely Neck Wound Girl pops up again and offers Sam another candy bar. Sam invites her to stay and split it. Sam and this girl have a conversation about how depressed she is, and I start thinking, “Hey, Sam looks extra handsome right now.” The moment I think that, my roommate says, “Ew, when Sam doesn’t pay attention to his grooming he starts to look more like Lucifer.” Uh oh. Only one of us can be right here, since “handsome” and “looks like Lucifer” are mutually exclusive. The subject of conversation turns to Sam hearing voices, and Neck Bandage reveals that she, too, hears a voice- the voice of her dead brother. Oh. So it’s a ghost thing, not a vampire thing. I guess to be fair, sometimes people in the real world injure their necks, and it’s not always vampire-related. You just get used to watching supernatural dramas and thinking of neck wounds as shorthand for “Vampire Alert!” Well, way to keep my on my toes, Supernatural. This certified non-vampiress tells Sam that her dead brother was the one who started the fire that got her into the hospital. Sam’s reaction to this is very understanding, but Sister of A Ghost still gets defensive and yells at Sam about how he’s even crazier than her so he can’t judge. I think you’re projecting, sweetheart. She stomps toward the door, but Sam stops her by reiterating that he doesn’t think she’s crazy, and tells her that he can help.

Castiel asks Dean what his brother’s diagnosis is and Dean tells him it’s not exactly a medical thing. Castiel says, that’s fine, he can cure spiritual ailments as well. Dean starts bitterly talking about how this dude he used to know (It’s Castiel everybody, he’s talking about Castiel to Castiel but Castiel doesn’t know it. Oh, dramatic irony is so delicious!) broke his brother’s head. Cas asks if this “Dude” was a friend who betrayed him, and my heart melts at Cas’ awkward use of the word “dude.” Dean gives Cas the angriest, saddest look I have ever seen. I am in awe of Jensen Ackles’ acting. It is not fair for one man to be so talented and also so beautiful. There must be something off about Jensen that cancels this stuff out, right, like wicked B.O. or a secret life as a serial killer? No mere human can be this perfect. As I wipe some of the Jensen-inspired drool form my chin, Cas asks whether Dean killed his traitorous friend, adding, “I sense that you kill a lot of peopole.” You need to recalibrate your angel-senses, Cas. How many actual people has Dean killed? He just kills monsters and stuff. That doesn’t count! Ooh, but I guess there’s a live person inside most demons. You got me there, Castiel. That’s a pretty high body count. Dean skirts the issue of whether he’s a murderer by saying, “Honestly, I don’t know if he is dead.” Then, he reveals that he’s always been able to shake the bad stuff off with time, but says, “What Cas did… I just can’t. I don’t know why.” Cas tells Dean he’s not a machine, he’s a human, then smirks a little and says, “Your friend’s name was Cas? That’s an odd name.” This tickles me deep down, in places I didn’t even know where ticklish. Sometimes it’s the little things, you know? Based on Dean’s face, he is less amused than I. I suppose I get it.

Dean pulls up to a convenience store and tells Cas to wait in the car. As he’s looking at the beers in the fridge (was he seriously making a beer stop on the way to curing Sam? Not appropriate, Dean! There will be time for beer when your brother isn’t being tortured by the devil), he sees the reflection of a guy coming towards him and immediately pulls out his demon-stabbing knife and kills him. Lucky for Dean, this guy does turn out to be a demon, but I think Dean stabbed him before he could possibly have known that for sure. Maybe Cas had a point about Dean killing a lot of people! Another demon pops up and gets stabbed from behind. Dean says, “Emanuel, you son of a bitch,” which I think is an odd reaction to have when someone just saved you from a demon, but whatevs. The second demon falls to the ground, revealing that it’s not EmanuCas at all! It’s Meg! The demon! Surely you all remember Meg! God is she boring. I’m already pissed that they’re throwing Meg into what could have been a perfectly good episode, when she cements her place as my least favorite character ever by quipping, “Emanuel. Yeah, not so much.” Bleh. Don’t worry, guys, she has the perfect capper, “Dean, Dean, Dean. You got some ‘splaining to do.” WHAT THE HELL DOES THAT MEAN? On top of everything, Rachel Miner’s performance is really weird in this episode. Her voice is very soft and monotonous. It’s almost like she’s just not acting at all. Did Robert Singer say something that offended her right before they started filming, so she decided to passive-aggressively ruin this episode? Also, she pronounces “Poof” weird. Not with a long “oo” sound, like in “boot” but with a short one, like in “foot.” It’s subtle, but boils my blood none the less. Dean and Meg have an argument about something that I am too bored to pay attention to, but at least they’re talking about Crowley. Crowley! Meg says something about how they have to keep Castiel away from Crowley and adds, “Imagine Crowley getting his hands all over helpless little amnesia-Cas.” As much as I do want to picture that, I am offended that she has tried to coin the term “amnesia-Cas.” A moment later, Dean also refers to Cas as helpless. I’m glad we’re agreed that losing his memory has rendered him powerless, despite the fact that he’s obviously still powerful and that’s the whole reason he’s here. I understand the temptation to think of Cas as helpless, though. He’s just so cute! Oh, who’s the cutest little angel! Yes you are, Castiel!

Dean brings Meg out to the car. Cas points out that, uh, this bitch is a demon, and Dean tells him nah, it’s cool, we’re just gonna work with this demon. Oh, Dean, the only demon you should be working with is Crowley. The two of you can work together to get your clothes off. I’m sorry, everybody! You don’t know what Crowley does to me! But I know what Crowley’s gonna do to Dean. Hey-o! Okay, I’m done. Sorry. Sorry. Anyway, Meg is part of the team, for now, I guess because she’s going to… help… kill… Crowley? I don’t know. Seems like it’d be easier to just kill her. The three of them get into the car (without any beer) and resume heading to the hospital.

Back at the hospital, Haunted Girl tells Sam about her dead brother, and he breaks the news that it’s a ghost. Casper’s Sister tells Sam her brother was cremated, but there’s a little bit of his blood on the bracelet she has on. Sam tells her that’s good. She rightfully asks how that can possibly be good, but Sam changes the subject by asking, “Is there any chance in hell you’ve got a lighter?” This whole ghost plot is very straightforward. I mean, I’m sure realistically the Winchesters would come across straightforward ghosts who don’t have anything fancy going on a lot, but usually the show only bothers to show us the cases that are exceptional for some reason. But I guess Sam is probably too tired to handle anything other than a run-of-the-mill ghost expulsion right now.

Back in the Impala, Cas points out that they seem to all be sitting in uncomfortable silence. Dean tells him Meg has that effect on people, and Castiel sympathetically says, “That must be difficult.” Cas, you are just too precious. I want to eat you up. Not in a scary Leviathan way. Meg patiently explains that it was a joke. Cas says, “Oh,” then pauses for a second, then chuckles a little. Dean looks irritated. Come on, Dean. I know you’re mad, but cute is cute.

At the hospital, Ghost Girl re-enters Sam’s room with a lighter. The way disheveled Sam perks up and eagerly says, “Nice! Where’d you score that?” reeeally makes him seem like a crackhead. Sam and his new gal pal start to make a circle out of salt, but Lucifer blows on it and wrecks it, so Sam tells the girl she has to do this by herself. Okay, I really don’t understand this whole Lucifer situation. He doesn’t really exist but he can still affect outside objects but only if Sam is using them? Whatever, my head hurts. It probably makes sense. Inside their salt-circle, Sam and his friend go through a pretty standard ghost-exorcizing scene. He burns the bracelet and luckily her brother didn’t have any DNA deposited anywhere else, because that does the trick and he disappears. When I write an episode of Supernatural, the ghost is going to be tied to this mortal plane by a a donation he made to a sperm bank. That’s my idea! No one take it! Let this recap stand as legal evidence! With Ghost Boy gone, Sam tells Human Girl she needs to get out of here. She does, and the doctor and orderly from earlier rush into Sam’s room a minute later, see the salt circle and the lighter, makes the obvious(?) judgement that he’s doing something terrible, and pin his arms behind his back. We fade out, then fade in on Sam laying on his bed with a doctor shining a flashlight in his eyes and asking how he feels, along with a stupid Lucifer making dumb comments about Sam’s soul and what have you. Sam glances at his fingernails, which are super messed up. When did that happen? I don’t recall him having to claw his way out of any coffins recently. The doctor says if they give Sam any more medication he may overdose, so they need to start considering surgical options. I tense up immediately as I picture the end of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. “Ooh, lobotomy?” Lucifer asks hopefully. What a dick. The doctor says, “Don’t worry, we’re not talking about a lobotomy,” as Sam’s eyes lose focus and we fade out again. I’m getting real real worried about this kid.

Dean, Castiel and Meg pull up outside the hospital, which is being guarded by a ton of patients and doctors. “Damn it, demons,” says Meg in the least emphatic voice you can possibly imagine. I would sound more distraught if I looked into a bag of Starbursts and said, “Damn it, only yellow ones left.” I swear this is not a part of Meg’s character. Something is going on with this actress. Her face looks more swollen than usual on top of everything else, so maybe she just got back from the dentist and is still kind of woozy?

Castiel asks how they’re supposed to get through all these demons. “Yeah, Dean, how could we possibly blast through all of those?” Meg asks, giving Dean a significant look. Dean pulls her aside so the grown ups can talk without Cas there and the two have a little argument about whether they should let Cas try to work his angel mojo. I am surprised at how anti-Cas-doing-his-thing Dean is, especially since Sam’s welfare is on the line. Dean seems to be concerned that attempting to get his angel on might injure or kill Cas. I don’t know why he thinks that, but I am relieved that he still cares about Castiel’s well-being. Cas has heard all of this, and in retrospect it was naive of Meg and Dean to think he wouldn’t. I mean, they’re only standing a few feet away from him, and the guy’s a damn angel. Castiel says, “I take it we know each other.” Meg interjects, “Just a dollop.” Maybe Meg-actress took her performance down a notch to protest how crappily her character is written this episode, because goddamn is that writing dumb. Cas asks them to tell him who he is and assures them he’ll be fine. Dean replies, “You don’t know that. You barely know yourself, I’ve known you for years.” It warms my heart that protecting Castiel is still a priority for Dean. I wouldn’t be able to stay mad, either. Look at Cas’s little face! Always helpful, Meg just spits it out and tells Cas he’s an angel and that he and Dean used to be best friends. Castiel is smarter than he looks! He puts two and two together and unhappily asks, “Am I Cas?” Meg tells him to stop blubbering and go kill some demons. Cas says he doesn’t remember how. Dean assures Castiel that it’s probably just like riding a bike, and Castiel says he doesn’t know how to do that either. This expression is such a filthy lie, anyway. I’ve forgotten how to ride a bike and had to relearn like three times. Cas starts smiting some demons, and somehow that jogs his memory about everything. We see some quick flashbacks, one of which shows Crowley smirking at the camera, looking dashing as always. Oh Crowley, my love. If only you weren’t fictional and the devil and I wasn’t a girl, we could make each other so happy. Now Castiel remembers everything. Bummer for him. Good time for a commercial break!

Back from the break, Castiel’s lip quivers and for a moment it looks like he might cry. I want so badly for him to cry! Come on, Cas. Just a single tear, that’s all I need. I will never understand the rush I get from watching the men of Supernatural weep, but I don’t need to understand it. I just need more tears. More. MORE. MORE!

Anyhoo, dry-faced and angry, Castiel wants to know why Dean didn’t tell him what he was earlier. It seems like he feels saving Sam is his duty and I feel certain he’s going to then rush inside and save him, but instead he says, “I shouldn’t be here,” and turns to go in the opposite direction. I don’t understand you, Castiel! Dean tells Meg to stay put and follows him.

Sam is strapped to a gurney and is being wheeled into another room as he starts to regain consciousness. I am 100% positive he did not consent to any surgery! What the hell is happening? The orderly from earlier puts a plastic thing in Sam’s mouth to stop him from biting through his tongue as he hooks him up to an electroshock therapy machine! Oh god no! This is going to get worse before it gets better! Orderly guy says they normally keep the voltage on that thing turned way down, then cranks it up high. I am so anxious at the possibility of Sam getting electrocuted and my jaw is clenched so tight that I wish I had one of those plastic things in my mouth.

Dean chases after Cas and tries to convince him to come back. Suddenly, Dean is very plaintive and Cas is very angry. When did this dynamic switch?! I guess Dean can only stay angry at you if you don’t express even the tiniest amount of remorse, say because you have no memories. The conversation between the two of them really gets away from me. Cas says, “I deserved to die. Now I can’t fix it, so why’d I even walk out of that river?” Dean replies to this series of words by saying, “Maybe to fix it.” Suddenly, Dean gets this “Eureka!” look on his face. “Wait!” he says as he opens the trunk of the Impala and takes out… Cas’ bloody old trench coat! That he apparently saved all these months! And that he is now offering to Cas for some reason! He solemnly holds the coat out to Cas. For a second I expect Cas to say, “Well, uh, that’s just a coat, Dean. It doesn’t really change anything.”

We’ll have to find out if Cas had the heart to tell him later, because now we’re back inside the hospital where my nightmares are being realized. Sam is twitching in pain as the scary orderly electrocutes him. BUT NEVER FEAR! Cas appears (in his trench coat, I might add) and smites that motherfucker good. He shuts off the machine, takes the electric crap off of Sam’s face, and tells him he never should have “broken Sam’s wall” (whatdoesthatmean) and he’s here to make things right. Cas strikes the traditional angel-mojo pose with his hand on Sam’s forehead, then frowns when he realizes it’s not working. A shot from Sam’s POV shows that when Sam looks at Cas he only sees Lucifer. What an unspeakably horrible fate, to never be able to see Castiel’s beautiful face. “You’re not real,” Sam says exhaustedly. “Oh, Sam, I’m so sorry,” Cas says sadly. Great time to think about some products you might like to buy!

Still laying on the gurney, Sam sees Lucifer reading “The Three Little Pigs” to him. Yikes. Cas tells Dean that basically Sam’s brain is totally wrecked and this isn’t something he can just make disappear, but it suddenly occurs to him that he may be able to transfer it. He assures Dean that he’ll be fine, a weird thing to say, I think, given what he plans to do, then sits down next to poor, crazy/possessed Sam, who flinches in fear since, you know, everybody just looks like Lucifer to him. Cas gives a heartfelt apology that is lost on Sam, who just sees Lucifer in a dumb doctor costume, then puts his hand on Sam’s forehead and works some magic. Red glowy stuff flows out of Sam’s head, through Cas’ arm and into his head. Suddenly alert again, Sam says, “Cas, is that you?” Tragically, instead of seeing Sam, Cas sees Lucifer, who says, “Hello, brother.” Aw, man, I forgot those two are technically brothers. I’m sorry everyone in your family sucks but you, Cas. Presumably thinking about all the wedgies, noogies and Indian burns he’s in for, Cas reacts with terror and backs away until he’s pressed up against the wall, looking like the saddest puppy to ever appear in one of those Sarah McLaughlin ads.

Outside the hospital, Dean tells Sam that they can’t leave Cas alone and can’t take him with them, since so many demons are after him. There is a brief shot of Cas sitting on a bed in hospital scrubs, staring into space, and my heart breaks into a million tiny little pieces. I hope I don’t die and come back as a ghost, because somebody’s going to have to find all those damn pieces in order send me on to the next life. Then it occurs to me, there’s no way they can leave Castiel like this for too long. I mean, the man will never age, and I think after he’s been looking thirty-five for thirty years or so the hospital staff might start to get suspicious. Dean mentions that all the demons who know Emanuel is actually Cas are dead now, to which Sam replies, “Except one.” Sam then points out that teaming up with Meg is a really dumb idea. Dean insists that it’s not, for reasons that are still unclear to me.

Back inside the hospital, the doctor from earlier is conducting a job interview. “Why do you want to join our staff?” he asks. The camera pans around and IT’S MEG THAT HE’S INTERVIEWING! Buh-buh-buh she’s not a registered nurse! She says that she just wants to watch over the patients. “Welcome to the team, Nurse Masters,” says the doctor, shaking her hand. As the credits role, I am beyond pissed that Supernatural went out on this note. I suffer from a condition where the last thing I see in an episode of Supernatural is the only thing I can think about until the next episode airs, you see, and now I’m gonna have Meg in my brain all week! I guess this still isn’t as bad as the time I had Lucifer saying, “Good morning Viet Nam,” in my brain all winter break, but things could be better.

So, is anybody ever going to tell Cas’s wife where he went?

EDIT: It has come to my attention that this post as I first published it was completely free of lists. This is, of course, a travesty, but I’m here to make things right. With each recap I post, I’m going to include a list that in some way ties in with the episode. Since “The Born-Again Identity” heavily featured Meg and Lucifer, two of my very least favorite Supernatural characters, I thought I’d use this week’s list to get on record which of the show’s other characters I could do without.

The 10 Worst Recurring Supernatural Characters

10. Agent Victor Henricksen – The basic idea of an FBI agent who’s set on capturing the Winchesters sounds like it would be fun to watch. If only the show had taken this character in more of a Peter Burke from White Collar-type direction and less of an entertainment-sucking direction, we’d be in business.

9. Ruby – This girl spent a long, long time delivering lines that seemed like they were supposed to be clever but that actually just fell flat. Then she died and it seemed like we were rid of her, but then she came back in the body of an even worse actress (sorry, Gen!) and really outstayed her welcome. At least she’s good and dead now!

8. Raphael – Honestly, I don’t really remember anything about Raphael’s personality or stance on any issues. I do remember that every time he popped up on screen, I thought, ‘Yay! Bathroom break!’

7. Gordon Walker – All this dumb jerk does is say stuff about how monsters are bad and how Sam’s evil. One of those things I knew already, the other one is untrue. Both are sentiments commonly expressed by a wide variety of characters in the Supernatural universe. A truly useless character.

6. Uriel – I don’t care what Castiel says, this guy is not the funniest of all the angels. He’s fourth AT BEST, and this is not a funny crew.

5. Lucifer – I think I’ve already said my piece about this guy.

4. Meg Masters – Ditto.

3. Eve – Probably the worst season villain in a show that, for all its good qualities, comes up with some awful season plots. I still don’t know what she was. Was she supposed to be Eve of Adam and Eve fame, or was she some other Eve who could be referred to as the “Mother of All?” I know I just asked that question, but I truly do not care about the answer. In fact, I never want to think about Eve again.

2. Samuel Campbell – This guy started out as a standard gruff dad type, then came back from the dead for some reason and started trying to bring Mary back to life for some reason. Samuel is just one more reason that season 6 needn’t have bothered.

1. Alastair – I mean, come on, his voice alone makes  watching him an ordeal. He sounds like a bad Marlon Brando impersonator with a cold. For all we know, he tortures his victims solely by reading to them out of the phone book. I know an hour of that’d be enough to drive me insane.

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The 20 Best Supernatural Episodes, pt 2: #10-1

10. “A Very Supernatural Christmas” (3×08)

A young Dean tries on the necklace Sam presumably shoplifted from the powerful-religious-items section of Claire’s.

You got chipper pagan gods in Christmas sweaters torturing the Winchesters. You got flashbacks to Sam and Dean’s subpar childhood Christmases. Most importantly, at long last, you got the origins of Dean’s mysterious necklace. (Spoiler alert: Sam gave it to him as a Christmas present. That’s it. I don’t think we’ll ever know why it has weird God-finding powers. Oh, well. Who cares. Everything to do with God in this universe is super boring anyway, am I right?) This also has a poor little baby Sam asking, “Is that why we never talk about Mom?” to which baby Dean replies, “Shut up! Don’t you ever talk about Mom! Ever!” before storming out the door. I thought Dean was overreacting in the pilot when he responded to Sam saying their mother was dead with, “Don’t you talk about her like that!” Now, however, I have to give him credit for at least not getting enraged at their mere mention of a mother. He’s really grown. Give him another ten years and maybe you’ll be allowed to point out that his dead mom is dead without getting punched in the face. All in all, this episode is great because it accomplishes the three main jobs of a good Supernatural episode: it’s scary, it’s heartbreaking, and it’s funny.

9. “Ghostfacers!” (3×13)

Ed and Harry introduce their pilot in a very Andrew Wellsian fashion.

This episode is set up as the self-produced and unsolicited pilot for a reality series starring amateur ghost hunters Harry Spangler (Travis Wester) and Ed Zeddmore (A.J. Buckley.) I always dig it when this show shakes it up, and focusing on two ancillary characters like the Ghostfacers while relegating Sam and Dean to supporting cast territory is about as shaken up as things can get. There’s a good amount of bumbling silliness, but shit also quickly gets real and I get choked up every time I watch this damn episode. To Corbett, King of the Impossible!

8. “Changing Channels” (5×08)

Allow me to ask the obvious question: why are they transporting four bouquets of flowers?

The Trickster is a great idea for a character because  he gives the show license to do ANYTHING.  This show can already get away with doing most stuff, but throw the Trickster in there and, hey, why wouldn’t Sam get trapped inside an ad for genital herpes medication? The first couple of Trickster episodes didn’t really make the most of him, but this episode, which shows Sam and Dean getting thrown into various TV programs, totally nails it.

7. “Season 7, Time for a Wedding!” (7×08)

Dean insists that Becky should have asked his permission before marrying Sam. Season 8 spoiler: Dean is Sam’s father. Season 9 spoiler: Sam is a girl.

Finally, the on-again, off-again Sam and Becky tie the knot, causing Samky shippers everywhere to squeal with delight while also nervously wondering, What will the show be about now that the central couple has gotten together? You guys, I am really funny. All deadpanning aside (hilarious though it may be), this episode features the triumphant return of Supernatural superfan Becky Rosen (Emily Perkins), who through nefarious means has made Sam fall in love with her. As my roommate pointed out, this is about 90% the result of magic and 10% the result of Sam being super agreeable. This episode also features noted greatest guy in the world Crowley (Mark A. Sheppard) harshly scolding a crossroads demon for fucking with his precious Winchesters. I may be paraphrasing here.

6. “Monster Movie” (season 4)

It sure was nice of Mr. Burns to invite the Winchesters to his place in PENNSYLVANIA.

This episode is in black and white and is all about classic monster movie villains killing residents of a small town in the spookiest-state-in-the-union Pennsylvania, making for the worst Oktoberfest ever. It’s wacky and quirky, but ultimately emotionally resonant, too, with a villain who kind of reminds me of Abed from Community. This episode also has Dean bizarrely insisting that he came back from Hell a virgin. I don’t get why he’d think that or why he’s so excited about it, but hey, if Dean wants to be pumped about losing his virginity for a second time I guess I’ll let him have this. He has so little, you guys. It’s pretty much just this and turducken sandwiches.

5. “Bad Day at Black Rock” (3×03)

Losing his shoe in a sewer grate transforms Sam into Charlie Brown. Does anyone else find this moment super relatable?

Look, I’m a simple man with simple needs. Sometimes I just want to see Sam win the lottery and find a gold watch, then trip and fall down and lose his shoe in a sewer grate. This episode is such a fun romp that it’s easy to forget that, oh yeah, Sam might die soon if they don’t sort all this out.

4. “What Is and Should Never Be” (2×20)

Dean rejoices in the fact that his mother is alive again,  then presumably yells at himself not to talk about her like that.

Alternate universe! Alternate universe! I love the main Supernatural universe, so I don’t know why I’m always so pumped when the show briefly lets me out of it. I guess I just want Xhibit to put some escapism in my escapism. This episode has Dean cast into a universe where he and Sam aren’t hunters and their mom never died. Since it’s a perfect world, their dad is still dead. Was that too harsh? I shouldn’t speak ill of the dead, I know. Even the fictional dead. John Winchester just makes me so mad! Hug your damn sons, John!

3. “The Monster at the End of This Book” (4×18)

I am forever grateful that we don’t live in a world where Sam looks like Fabio.

This episode marks a turning point in Supernatural‘s history: in it, the Winchesters discover they are the subjects of a series of novels entitled, yep, Supernatural. This could so easily have been a shark-jumping moment, but the hyper-meta plot is well-executed, entertaining, and actually makes perfect sense within the context of the elaborate season plot, so this show’s sharks are still firmly planted on the ground. This is Chuck Shurley’s (played by Rob Benedict) first episode, and thank God for that, am I right? What a cutie pie.

2. “Sex and Violence” (4×14)

Nick Munroe worms his way into Deans heart by exploiting his biggest fetish: blind faith. “Oh, the murderer is a siren like from Greek mythology? ‘Kay!”

You know how sometimes you watch a TV episode that has a twist ending, and then you go back and watch it again and given all the information the first half totally doesn’t make sense? Not the case here! This is one well-constructed episode that features Jim Parrack as Agent Nick Munroe, quite possibly my favorite single-episode Supernatural character, as well as the lovely Maite Schwartz who, based on this and her role in the Community episode “Early 21st Century Romanticism,” seems to be the constant target of adorable behavior by cute boys. And don’t worry, pervs of the world: this is not only a great episode, it’s also the one I watch when I need some Supernatural me-time. Y’all know what I’m talking about. Hey-o.

1. “After School Special” (4×13)

Cherish these times, Dean; soon you won’t be able to keep things away from Sam by holding them over your head.

Depicting an 18-year-old Dean (portrayed sexily by Brock Kelly) and a 14-year-old Sam (portrayed adorably by Colin Ford) this episode shows us a little more of the Winchesters’ unhappy childhood, as well as Dean teaching a gym class in knee-high socks and shorts. It also ends on one of the cutest/saddest reaction shots in all of Supernatural history. As an added bonus, the lovely Candace Accola guest stars.

I’m always interested in keeping my finger on the pulse of the Supernatural fan community, so please: what’s everyone’s favorite episode? I bet no one will respond to that. I mean, Supernatural‘s not exactly popular.

Screen caps from Home of the Nutty.

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The 20 Best Supernatural Episodes, part 1

So, I’ve been watching Supernatural kind of a lot lately and, frankly, it’s becoming kind of a problem. Things were bad enough when I could only watch old episodes once in a blue moon when they reran on TNT or I scraped together the thirty bucks to buy a season box set off Half.com. Then, seasons 1 through 6 showed up on Netflix instant. I have not left my apartment in months. I can no longer remember a time when I considered seasoning of foodstuffs to be salt’s primary function. When I heard that this week’s episode is about Sam going crazy and getting institutionalized, I felt a deep sense of anguish, as though I’d just heard terrible news about someone I deeply care for.

It has become clear to me that Supernatural is becoming an addiction, and I desperately need to take a break from it before it consumes me.

Instead of doing that, I spent the last week perfecting my list of the 20 best Supernatural episodes! Enjoy!

Screencaps are from Home of the Nutty, except where otherwise noted.

The 20 Best Supernatural Episodes, pt. 1: 20-11

20. “The French Mistake” (episode 6×15)

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Misha Collins does not understand what this angel assassin is talking about. That makes two of us, Misha.

Between soulless Sam, shiftless post-Apocalypse angels and a bizarre season villain who may or may not be Biblical first lady Eve, season six is a pretty rough watch. At least the uber-meta “French Mistake,” in which Sam and Dean are hurled into the real world, is here to ease the pain. Misha Collins’ performance as himself is unbelievably cute, and we get some nice insight into how intolerant  of diversity Dean his when he expresses his disgust for the names “Misha” and “Padalecki” as well as for the fact that Supernatural isn’t even filmed in America. At least Jensen Ackles is from Texas, right, Dean? As a bonus, there is a moment where Sam points out that in this world he and Dean aren’t brothers. Dean’s reaction to this is to smile to himself in a way that makes me suspect Supernatural fully supports the icky things its fans think about the Winchester’s relationship. Phew.

19. “The Real Ghostbusters” (5×09)

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Two Supernatural fans live the dream of carrying on a relationship with someone who also only wants to talk about Supernatural. Sigh.

Let’s take the meta-dial down a few notches. No, not all the way to zero. What are you, stupid? This episode about Sam and Dean attending a Supernatural fan convention at one point has a distraught Dean telling a couple of LARPing Supernatural fans that they shouldn’t want to be him because his life is horrible. I feel shamed every time I witness this speech. I’m so sorry, Dean! I don’t mean to add to your burdens by loving you! If you forgive me, please give me no sign. Thanks, man.

18. “Sam, Interrupted” (5×11)

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Dean gets out of this pickle the same way he’s certainly gotten out of countless others: by showing a girl his penis.

Who doesn’t like watching institutionalized Winchesters as they slowly allow their deepest fears to consume them and drive them mad? The answer to that question is me! I don’t like that! It hurts my heart! This episode is still real good though!

17. “Home” (1.09)

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Missouri has had enough of Dean’s bullshit. That makes one of us, Missouri.

This episode has the Winchesters heading back to their now-haunted childhood home and consequently experiencing lots of feelings. Hurray! They enlist the help of a psychic named Missouri (Loretta Devine) who dotes on Sam and seems to sort of hate Dean. As funny as it is to watch Missouri pick on Dean, I’m confused as to why she doesn’t understand that Dean is a perfect person. Well, she is friends with notorious Dean-under-appreciater John Winchester, so maybe that has something to do with it. Or maybe she heard some of the harshly anti-psychic thoughts in Dean’s head. What’s Dean’s problem with psychics, anyway? At least they don’t all have names like “Misha” and “Padalecki,” am I right?

16. “Folsom Prison Blues” (2.19)

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These two getting arrested has got to be like Christmas morning for these cons, right? Photo from Oxoniensis.

I love episodes where Dean gets to pretend to have a normal life or a few days. This episode does an extra cute variation of that, since we get to see just how much Dean would thrive in prison. Good for him! I would have bet money that he’s way too pretty to make it. Good for him, proving me wrong like that.

15. “Wishful Thinking” (4.08)

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Dean gets one wish and wastes it on a sandwich. It tastes good, but the turkey’s a little dry. Oh, God! The turkey’s a little dry! WHY??

This is a relatively lighthearted and funny episode about a wishing fountain that actually grants wishes. It also has an unattractive nerd pointing out to Sam and Dean that they are good-looking jerks and so obviously can’t understand where he’s coming from. Somebody needed to say it. Those boys don’t know how lucky they are.

14. “In My Time of Dying” (2.01)

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Look, I know this is a serious situation, but I’ll take bare Dean chest wherever I can get it.

This episode has it all: Daddy issues, Dean stripped down to but a single layer, Sam enduring uncalled-for mockery from his brother, a powerful supernatural being admitting that Dean is very cute. A great episode all around.

13. “Yellow Fever” (4.06)

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Yes, Dean’s scared of everything at this moment, but being afraid of a giant snake is just good common sense. They flout natural law by having no eyelids, legs or ears and yet still being successful predators! God does not want them to continue to exist, but they do it anyway! Perhaps the caption of a Supernatural screencap is not the best place for my thoughts on snakes. I just hate them so much.

Dean catches a ghost-caused disease that makes him terrified of everything, consequently making my heart melt every time I watch this episode. My favorite part is the conversation that clarifies that Sam didn’t catch the disease because it only affects bullies.

Sam: Basically, they were all dicks.

Dean: So you’re saying I’m a dick?

Sam: No, no, it’s not just that. All three victims used fear as a weapon. Now this disease is just returning the favor.

Dean: I don’t scare people.

Sam: Dean, all we do is scare people.

Dean: Okay, well, then you’re a dick, too.

Sam: Apparently I’m not.

12. “The Rapture” (4.20)

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Work those sexy hands, Jimmy. What is this show doing to me?

It took Supernatural awhile to figure out what they were doing with Castiel. He’s such an endearing character now that it’s easy to forget he started life as some boring jerk who was always talking about how rad God is and chiding Dean for not understanding the gravity of the situation. Ugggh. So, given his bleak beginnings, the first time I saw “The Rapture,” which is all about Jimmy, the man whose body Castiel took over, I cared a lot more about Jimmy than I ever had about Cas. This episode is a huge bummer since the whole thing is just watching the life of the nicest guy in the world fall apart through no fault of his own. Let this be a lesson to all of you! Christianity doesn’t pay! Also, I don’t usually fetishize hands, but goddamn do Misha Collins’ hands do it for me in the boiling water scene. They’re just so… handy. Mmm.

11. “The Curious Case of Dean Winchester” (5×07)

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“I like the cut of your jib.” This gambling leprechaun’s saying what we’re all thinking.

Now, I don’t usually condone episodes that cut down on the amount of time I get to spend looking at Jensen Ackles, but for this one I’ll make an exception. Dean loses fifty years of his life to a hunky Irish poker player who I initially (racistly) assumed was a leprechaun, but who upon closer inspection is merely a witch from Ireland. I am 3/16 Irish, so I get a free pass on stuff like this! Those are the rules! Consequently, Dean spends the majority of this episode as an old (but still rakishly handsome) man, played by Chad Everett, who does just about the finest Jensen Ackles impression I’ve ever seen.

Soon, my pretties, I’ll post episodes 10-1. While writing this, I noticed that my writing tends to be very Dean-centric. I will try to have more fair and balanced reporting in the future. In the meantime, I suggest we all rewatch “The Born-Again Identity,” if only for the long overdue Misha Collins ass shot.

Actually, on second thought:

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Double Top Ten List: The Ten Hottest Men/Women on TV (with special guest Lenny)

Me and Lenny of Lenny Tunes like to make lists of things. Sometimes we compare those lists, and then sometimes we go on to share those lists with you.  This is one such instance.

Lenny’s 10 Hottest Women on TV 

10. Sofia Vergara as  Gloria Delgado-Pritchett (Modern Family)

Sure, she has Sofia Vergara’s body, but this character is definitely not coasting on that. She’s smart, loving and sensitive. I would probably watch this show more often if it were just about Gloria.

9. Naya Rivera as Santana Lopez (Glee)

Santana probably deserves to be in the top 4, but everything related to Glee makes me feel a little bit disgusted. As shitty as her show is, Santana is just about the perfect woman.

8. Gillian Jacobs as Britta Perry (Community)

It took me a long time to come around on this one. Oh, the roller coaster Britta and I have been on! She wore me down and now I’m in love. Britta is a total spazz. Yes, I have to resort to ‘80s ski movie lingo to describe her. She’s a spazz and I am on board. Any woman who can mistake Robocop for Rowboatcop and then say, “She’s a bad rowboat. Sink her” has my heart.

7. Rashida Jones as Ann Perkins (Parks and Recreation)

Ann is a fucking badass. I’m jealous of how much Ann’s got it together, red streak in her hair aside. I went from liking her to loving her when she told Leslie to ask Ben about his penis. That right there is charm.

6. Christa Miller as Ellie Torres (Cougar Town)

Ellie is mean and scary and you’re never once supposed to think poorly of her. More TV shows need to have a character who is terrifying and cruel, but generally considered to be a perfectly fine lady. It’s charming.

5. Charlotte Arnold as Holly J. Sinclair (Degrassi: The Next Generation)

I love Holly J so much that I once made a Facebook group called “I Hate Holly J. No, wait. I find her charming and delightful.” I think Charlotte Arnold is one of the most beautiful women in the world and Holly J is smart and driven, with just the right amount of mean mixed in.

4. Busy Philipps as Laurie Keller (Cougar Town)

I love that Laurie knows exactly what she is. She’s completely confident even though she’ll be the first to admit that she’s not perfect. She’s unbelievably fun to watch and a very refreshing character to see.

3. Olivia Wilde as Thirteen Hadley (House)

After three seasons of making straight men and lesbians question our sexuality because Gregory House is just so fucking awesome, the show finally resolved this issue by adding in a character that is essentially House if he was an incredibly attractive bisexual girl. Dilemma deleted.

2. Courteney Cox as Jules Cobb (Cougar Town)

Jules cane be very mean and extremely needy, but those qualities only make her more charming and loveable. I feel like I fall in love with Jules with every scene. I’m frustrated with how hard it is to describe why she’s so great, but I guess her beauty leaves me dumbfounded.

1. Amy Poehler as Leslie Knope (Parks and Recreation)

“That was amazing. That was a flu ridden Michael Jordan at the ’97 NBA finals. That was Kirk Gibson hobbling up to the plate and hitting a homer off of Dennis Eckersly. That was…that was Leslie Knope.” The preceding quote from Ben Wyatt demonstrates that there’s really no sufficient way to describe Leslie Knope other than to say that she’s Leslie Knope. She’s in her own category.


Katie’s Hottest Men on TV

10. Adam Scott as Ben Wyatt (Parks and Recreation)

This tiny little hunk seemed like a tiny little jerk at first, but he’s gradually become one of the most endearing characters on a show full of extremely endearing characters. What’s hotter than a guy who gets so nervous in front of a camera that he starts rambling about how everyone has gay thoughts sometimes?  He’s at his hottest when he’s admiring Leslie which, these days, is pretty much all the time.

9. Glenn Howerton as Dennis Reynolds (It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia)

What’s better than a guy who looks like a male model? A guy who looks like a male model AND is a terrible, terrible person. And what’s better than a male model who’s a terrible person? A male model who’s a terrible person, is deeply insecure and pathetically reliant on his best friend. These are obviously turn-ons universal to all women, so I don’t know why I’m even wasting your time explaining.

8. Shawn Pyfrom as Andrew Van de Kamp (Desperate Housewives)

Andrew has the devious schemes of a Cruel Intentions character and the approachable good looks of a ’90s boy bandster. He’s been extra hunky ever since the show Quantum Leap‘d five years ahead since he now wears nice suits and isn’t rocking those gelled spikes in his hair.

7. Nick Offerman as Ron Swanson (Parks and Recreation)

When I first saw Ron Swanson, I thought I knew exactly how attracted to that character I was going to be: not very. It took him about ten seconds to win me over. His libertarian agenda, apathy towards his job and disgust towards most of society all somehow cancel out the fact that he looks like my dad’s fishing buddy crossed with the Lorax.

6. Matt Bomer as Neal Caffrey (White Collar)

Look at him. See that picture? That’s what he looks like. Maybe he has a cool personality. Who cares? THAT’S WHAT HE LOOKS LIKE.

5. Hugh Laurie as Dr. Gregory House (House)

The key to House’s sexiness is definitely his cruelty. True, if I met him, he would probably make me cry within the first thirty seconds, but since he’s trapped in the TV and I live out here, we never have to meet and I can continue loving him forever.

4. John Krasinski as Jim Halpert (The Office)

Jim’s just a great guy. I’ve always wanted to marry him and always will, Pam and Cici be damned. He’s awesome on many, many levels, but I’ve always particularly loved the pure joy he derives from stupid stuff like putting Dwight’s stapler in Jell-O or his wallet in the vending machine. Could anything be cuter than that?

3. Jesse Spencer as Dr. Robert Chase (House)

So pretty! So nice! So desperate for approval! He’s like a sexy, super-smart version of Theodore the Chipmunk, which, apparently, is what I’m into.

2. Joel McHale as Jeff Winger (Community)

We’ve come a long from the kind of ugly, poorly made up, lame wisecrack-making, sweatpants-clad Jeff Winger of Community’s pilot. Little by little, he has evolved into a sweet, heart-breaking, gorgeous, funny, gorgeous, complicated, beautiful, beautiful, beautiful man.

1. Ian Somerhalder as Damon Salvatore (The Vampire Diaries)

It helps that the actor playing him is physically perfect in every way, but Damian could be played by Oliver Platt and I would still get a major lady-boner every time he takes advantage of a girl or breaks someone’s spirit with his mind games. I mean, uh… I like his… abs.

The sexiest show on TV is apparently Parks and Recreation, which boasts a whopping four characters between our two lists. That may sound weird, but go watch the episode “Road Trip” (as of this posting it’s still available on Hulu) and then tell me it’s not a sexy show.

Runners-up are House and Cougar Town at three spots each (it should be noted that Cougar Town characters only appear on the lady list). Should none of these shows be able to fulfill their sexy duties, Community, which appeared twice (once on each list) will be asked to step in as the sexiest show on TV.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go watch The Vampire Diaries for… normal reasons.

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Top Ten List: The Best Emo Albums (with special guest Lenny)

My good friend and roommate Lenny of Lenny Tunes and I like making lists and thinking about pop culture. Sometimes we like to compare our pop culture lists. That’s what we’re doing today.

These are our lists of the top ten best emo albums of all time, because in our apartment it’s forever 2005! Put on your thick glasses, crack open a Red Bull and put that My So-Called Life DVD on pause; this requires your full attention.

Lenny’s List:

10. ¡Viva la Cobra! – Cobra Starship (2007)

Cobra Starship was formed when the bassist of Midtown decided it was his mission to teach hipsters to not take themselves so seriously and to tell emo kids to stop being pussies. This resulted in the album “While the City Sleeps, We Rule the Streets”, which was just okay. But, on the second try they struck gold. “¡Viva la Cobra! “ is possibly the most fun album ever made, with slick, catchy tunes and funny lyrics about dancing, sex and robots. It’s everything an emo album shouldn’t be, but Gabe Saporta still can’t quite hide the fact that he’s one of us. Also, for the record, Gabe Saporta’s signature was wearing purple jersey hoodies and then Justin Bieber stole it.

Best Track: “Guilty Pleasure”

9. Pretty. Odd. – Panic at the Disco (2008)

This album just sounds unbelievably good to the ear. It is a fucking pleasant sounding album. The lyrics are a perfect combination of whimsy and narcissism, like listening to a group of fairies talk about how incredibly interesting they are. It’s a lot like listening to a group of fairies talk about how incredibly interesting they are.

Best Track: “Pas de Cheval”

8. Weezer (Blue Album) – Weezer (1994)

This is just good old-fashioned emo—a catchy, quietly heartbreaking album about simultaneously longing for companionship and for an escape from the world.

Best Track: “Undone (The Sweater Song)”

7. Zombies! Aliens! Vampires! Dinosaurs! – Hellogoodbye (2006)

This is a sweet and cheery album about young love, featuring Hellogoodbye’s lone hit “Here (In Your Arms)”. Every song is so adorable you just want to pinch Hellogoodbye’s cheek.

Best Track: “Baby, It’s Fact”

6. Deja Etendu – Brand New (2003)

The guitar and bass on this album are absolutely superb and the lyrics speak to the worst part of me. The lyrics are a perfect combination of articulate, dickish and sad. I never realized until I listened to this album that articulate, dickish and sad is all I ever wanted from an album, but now I’ll never settle for less.

Best Track: “Okay I Believe You, But My Tommy Gun Don’t”

5. The Black Parade – My Chemical Romance (2006)

I’m not saying I’ve sat alone in my room, listening to this album all the way through and crying, but I’m also not saying that I haven’t done that. Gerard Way’s melodramatic lyrics might not work if it wasn’t for the way Ray Toro’s guitar riffs just sell each song, making every line just break your heart. I’m uncomfortable with how much emotion this album makes me feel. It’s an investment.

Best Track: “Disenchanted”

4. Nothing Feels Good – The Promise Ring (1997)

This is the polar opposite of the theatrics and sweet guitar solos of The Black Parade. Everything about this album is unassuming, but it’s also incredibly beautiful. Every track on this album captures something visceral. Listening to “Rasberry Rush” feels like going on a road trip with your best friend, “Red & Blue Jeans” feels like kissing someone you love.

Best Track: “Red & Blue Jeans”

3. From Under the Cork Tree – Fall Out Boy (2005)

This album marked Fall Out Boy’s transition from awkward, emotional kids in Chicago to influential rock stars who have Kanye West’s phone number in their contacts. That transition is very apparent in the content of the album, which combines songs about feeling inadequate around the prettiest girl in school with songs about influencing a generation of heartbroken kids. I think this album is so appealing to teens because it will be cynical and jaded in one moment, then effortlessly and swiftly switch into being wide-eyed and idealistic.

Best Track: “Of All the Gin Joints in All the World”

2. Take This to Your Grave – Fall Out Boy (2003)

From Under the Cork Tree contains the lyric, “We’re the kids you used to love, but then we grew old.” Well, this album is 100% the kids I used to love. It’s a catchy album about first love and heartbreak that feels like reading your best friend’s Livejournal as they pour their heart out. This album captures the most extreme emotions involved in first love, ranging from wide-eyed and sweet to absolutely, violently pissed off. It’s an awesome ride.

Best Track: “Tell That Mick He Just Made My List of Things To Do Today”

1.  Pinkerton – Weezer (1996)

I’m not sure what to say about this album that hasn’t already been said. It’s some perv talking about his feelings and it’s one of the most incredibly beautiful works of art ever created.

Best Track: “The Good Life”

Katie’s List:

10. Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys – My Chemical Romance (2010)

I waited a long, long time for the follow-up to The Black Parade, and I was ready to turn on the brothers Way and their colleagues in a heartbeat if it disappointed me. I’d already been burned once by a terrible follow-up to one of my favorite albums by one of my (then) favorite bands, and I still haven’t forgiven Gabe Saporta. Luckily, Gerard Way responded to the threat of my discontinued affection, and the result was a silly, campy, crazy fun quasi-concept album that I quickly fell in love with. It’s a little unclear, but I’m pretty sure it’s about vampires in an Old West-type setting running from the vampire hunters who want to kill them. The songs are connected by the narration of fictional vampire radio personality Dr. Death Defying. Sound lame? It is! But it’s a ton of fun, and it sounds like the auditory equivalent of a  comic book, which I’m sure is what Gerard was going for. The question that haunts me: Is Dr. Death Defying actually a vampire in the world of this album and are the updates he gives supposed to be factual news reports? Or is this supposed to be a 1950s-style radio serial like Little Orphan Annie or the Lone Ranger?

P.S.: I just looked at the Wikipedia for this album, and apparently Frank Iero’s alter ego name for this album is “Fun Ghoul.” Whaaat?

Best track: “Na Na Na (Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na)”

9.  The Black Parade – My Chemical Romance (2006)

Much like Danger Days, The Black Parade is probably a concept album, but who knows for sure? It seems to me like the main character dies in the first song, then spends the rest of the album traveling through the afterlife and talking to other people about the ways they died. It’s sometimes sad and sometimes that special brand of kind-of-morbid-but-mostly-just-silly that My Chemical Romance perfected, but it’s mostly full of inspiration anthems that make me want to pump my fist and go fight for something! I don’t know what! “Welcome to the Black Parade” and “Famous Last Words” are especially moving.

Best track: “Dead!”

8. Pretty. Odd. – Panic at the Disco (2008)

Oh, Panic at the Disco.  Our tryst was so brief but so memorable. Like most people, I only really liked one or two tracks off their debut, and the only song of theirs I’ve heard since 50% of the band quit a couple years ago was the one they did for the Jennifer’s Body soundtrack. But my Ross-and-Rachel, Sam-and-Diane, Gabrielle-and-Carlos on-again-off-again with PatD aside, my love for this album has been consistent since the first time I heard it. It’s retro and psychedelic and slightly pretentious in a way that just makes me love it more, like a purple paisley ascot.

Best track: “That Green Gentleman (Things Have Changed)”

7. Infinity on High – Fall Out Boy (2007)

Of all of Fall Out Boy’s albums, this one took the longest to grow on me. I bought it during my senior year of high school, then decided this album was pretty mediocre and deleted everything but the singles and “Don’t You Know Who I Think I Am?” Then, I slowly realized I missed every track I’d deleted and gradually bought them all back. I have now purchased this album 1.75 times. Not a bad business model, Fall Out Boy!I can’t tell you why this album pulls a one-man tortoise-and-hair on you. All I can do is tell you not to be a fool like me and rashly delete “I’ve Got All This Ringing In My Ears and None One My Fingers” just because you think it’ll never grow on you and you’re personally offended by the crappiness of that pun.

Best track: “”The Take Over, The Break’s Over””

6. Take This To Your Grave – Fall Out Boy (2003)

Of all of Fall Out Boy’s albums, I think this one features Pete’s wittiest, most pun-packed lyrics. It also features him thinking about strangulation. A lot. No judgements! It’s hard for me to tell the tracks on TTTYG apart because they all sound pretty much the same and are clearly about the same relationship/break-up, but damnit, that is not a drawback! This album is almost like one long, continuous song with different movements, much like a Beethoven symphony. Or concerto. Suite? I don’t know. I don’t really listen to classical. I do listen to Take This To Your Grave, though! The one song that does very much stand out in both style and content is the sweet, catchy and only slightly devious “Grand Theft Autumn/Where Is Your Boy?”

Best track: “”Tell That Mick He Just Made My List of Things To Do Today””

5. Your Favorite Weapon – Brand New (2001)

It’s not that I don’t like current Brand New, but their debut album was really something special. It’s all about being lame, being heartbroken, and wanting revenge on the people who break your heart because you’re lame but deciding instead to keep wallowing. All set to catchy pop-punk guitar licks! Good fun.

Best track: “Seventy Times Seven”

4.Folie à Deux – Fall Out Boy (2008)

The first time I listened to this album, I was a little disappointed. I definitely liked it, but I was pretty sure it was my least favorite Fall Out Boy album and probably would have put it towards the bottom of my top twenty list. I blame my extreme fondness for it now on the fact that it was created by an older, more grown-up Fall Out Boy and I am now an older, more grown-up Katie. It’s a little depressing that my youth is clearly slipping away from me, but at least I have the comfort of knowing that Fall Out Boy will always be one step ahead.

Best track: “Disloyal Order of Water Buffaloes”

3. The Ugly Organ – Cursive (2003)

Well, it’s been a pretty light-hearted pop-punk-fueled romp up to now, but the chuckles had to end sometime. This album is amazing, painful, sad, and cathartic with not a single smile to be had. It’s perfect listening for times when you feel bad and want to make yourself feel better by making yourself feel worse. Now please go curl up in the fetal position and listen to it as you silently cry yourself to sleep.

Best track: “A Gentleman Caller”

2. From Under the Cork Tree – Fall Out Boy (2005)

This is an entire album of perfectly polished, emotionally resonant pop-punk gems. You’ll be delighted! Then you’ll think about the real meanings of some of the lyrics and feel pretty sad. Emo!

Best track: “Sophomore Slump or Comeback of the Year”

1. Pinkerton – Weezer (1996)

This album is very, very, very, very good. I feel like elaborating too much will cheapen it, so all I’m going to say is go buy as many copies as you can find before Rivers Cuomo makes good on his threat to destroy the master tapes.

Best track: “The Good Life”

Riveting! Tune in next week for a different top-ten list!

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First post // Movie Review: Pom Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Story Ever Sold

Hi, everybody!

Today I’m starting a new chapter of my life by starting a new blog. What will you be able to find in this blog? Probably lots of stuff like reviews, recaps, lists, commentaries, rants, links, and essays about TV, movies, books, music, podcasts, websites, commercials, stand-up comedy special CD/DVD box sets, stories told in hieroglyphics within the tombs of ancient Egyptian  pharaohs, warnings to mankind written in strategically bent corn crops, and maybe some comic books, I haven’t decided yet.

Today I’m starting off with a quick review of Morgan Spurlock’s new documentary, Pom Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Story Ever Sold.

This is a documentary about advertising and product integration, specifically in the film industry. The majority of the movie is Spurlock attempting to get different companies to agree to sponsor his movie. As Jimmy Kimmel puts it in an interview that both promotes and appears in the movie, it’s like the Inception of documentaries.

Good stuff:

  • One of the executives at Pom Wonderful is a Jewish Elizabeth Taylor look-a-like who seems surprisingly sweet and funny. I may be in love her.
  • Morgan Spurlock thinks that the product Mane n’ Tail (a shampoo that can be used on human or equine hair) is really funny. Like, REALLY funny. I mean, I can see why a person would think this product is odd, but this guy giggles like a schoolgirl for minutes every time this product comes up. One of the last scenes of the movie is a full commercial for Mane n’ Tail that comes with a disclaimer that the company did not pay to be in the movie. Meaning that Morgan Spurlock is so invested in his Mane n’ Tail material that he will advertise for this company for free!
  • Brett Ratner perfectly sums up his entire career when he says something along the lines of “Artist integrity? Pfft.” I love a man who’s self-aware.
  • The high schoolers interviewed come off as very intelligent and eloquent. And this is a public high school, even!
Bad stuff:
  • The director of Hitchcock is very, very scary. He reminds me of the toothless hillbilly who rapes the main characters of Deliverance. If I look his name up the hillbillies win.
  • Morgan Spurlock is a little too personally offended that the Pom Wonderful execs want to tell him what their ad should be like. They are paying you $1 million to promote them.
  • Early in the movie Spurlock tells the Ban deodorant executives he’s going to suggest the people he interviews put on some deodorant. Later, he interviews the notoriously smelly Quentin Tarantino with a stick of Ban deodorant on the table in front of him. I was so sure that at some point he would suggest Tarantino put some on, but he just let that lie there.
Overall:
Go see it in the theater! Then buy the DVD when it comes out! Spurlock doesn’t see one penny from his sponsors until his movie makes a certain amount of money, and his children need wine! You should also see it because it’s an interesting, insightful and funny film that is so meta it may as well have been directed by Abed Nadir.
Trailer aside:
I think Troll Hunters looks like the best foreign language, either strongly pro- or strongly anti-religion, vaguely indie troll-based action/horror movie to come out since Das Schleppangel. For real though, whaaaaaaaaat? (Full disclosure: Das Schleppangel is not a real movie, but I did look up the German word for troll to create that fake title.)

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Filed under Movie reviews, Movie reviews - in theater, Movies