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by Jessy Krupa

21 Apr 2017


Dean and Sam interview the local stoner

“Next time you hear me say that our family is messed up, remind me that we could be psycho goat people”.—Dean Winchester, “The Memory Remains”

One of my favorite episodes of Supernatural is season one’s “Scarecrow”, in which the Winchesters discover that an entire small town conspires to offer up unsuspecting visitors as a sacrifice to an orchard-blessing pagan god. The episode stands as a good example of an excellent stand-alone episode, not only because of the interesting twist on the sometime-hypocrisy of “good, old-fashioned small-town values”, but also because of the uniqueness of its monster-of-the-week: an eerily tall, reaper-like creature masquerading as a Gothic scarecrow. Not to mention that it featured one of Dean’s (Jensen Ackles) best lines, “I hope your apple pie is freakin’ worth it!”

It may just be me, but this week’s episode seemed to have a lot in common with that season one classic. “The Memory Remains” was also set in a small town, and concerned the mysterious disappearances of various visitors and townspeople over a long period of time. Like “Scarecrow”, the culprit ended up being a pagan god who promised wealth and economic success to those who supported his taste for blood. Not to mention, Dean mostly played the same role: he befriended a local girl, enjoyed the food, and supplied the comic relief. However, one could easily argue that all horror movies and TV shows are comprised of old ideas, just as “Scarecrow” shared some similarities with the Jeepers Creepers series of movies. Still, there were enough differences in this episode to set it apart.

In “The Memory Remains”, the pagan god seemed to take the form of a man with a goat’s head. The locals have heard about this legendary “Black Bill”, but mostly believe him to be an ominous myth parents told their children to keep them out of the woods. After a local stoner (Daniel Doheny) reports that he saw his missing best friend (Antonio Maryiale) ripped apart by this beast, the Winchesters are sent in to investigate.

Want to see the difference between seasons one and 12? Back in season one, Dean just shared some awkward chemistry with a local girl. This time, it’s deliberately implied that he spent the night with a waitress (Aliesha Pearson) whose name is only mentioned once. While Dean still loves the local food (even after visiting a bloodied meat-butchering plant), he’s now grown overconfident in his ability to destroy a pagan god, thanks to the Colt in his coat.

In season one, there was no doubt as to the identity of the main villains; they were the first couple whom the Winchesters’ met in town. This time, we wondered if the creature’s helper was the town’s seemingly lax sheriff (Steve Boyle), before we discovered that it was actually his class-envying half-brother (Ryan McDonald), who was previously introduced in the episode in another role.

In what has become a common complaint among Dean fans, however, it was actually Sam (Jared Padalecki) who saved the day by shooting the monster(s) while his brother was incapacitated. (In “Scarecrow”, Sam also saves the day by untying his brother from a tree.) All in all, “The Memory Remains” is one of season twelve’s better stand-alone episodes, but it still doesn’t hold a candle to “Scarecrow”.

In other news, Mr. Ketch had been texting the Winchesters in Mick Davies’ name, before telling them the events of last week’s episode made the organization request his presence in London. What’s more, he says that he’ll be working with them from now on, before adding, “I’d much rather be working with your mother”, a line that has resonances beyond the brother’s knowledge.

While Sam and Dean were in Wisconsin, Ketch and his minions searched, photographed, and cataloged everything in the Winchesters’ bunker, including Dean’s dirty magazines and cassette tape collection. (Life isn’t so glamorous for every member of the British Men of Letters, I guess.) He orders them to plant (horribly oversized) listening devices throughout the place, but is compelled to steal a childhood photo of Dean with his mother. Is it because he’s suspicious of the fact that she hasn’t aged in more than 20 years, because he’s obsessively in love with her, or a little bit of both?

Dean also has left multiple voice-mails for Castiel (Misha Collins), but hasn’t received any response. Shouldn’t the Winchesters already know by now that when someone they know doesn’t answer their phone, it’s time to organize a rescue mission? Regardless, we’ll have to wait until the next episode to see what Cass has been up to, for in the next episode, he returns to help the Winchesters in their fight against Dagon (Ali Ahn).

by Jessy Krupa

3 Apr 2017


“Have you, like, never seen a horror movie? Two kids, dark road, creepy noise in the woods? We keep walking- and boom!”
—Hayden (Abby Ross) in “Ladies Drink Free”

This week’s episode of The CW’s Supernatural began in the same way that countless horror movies (and episodes of this show) have, with two teenagers taking a late night shortcut home through the darkened forest. One is a spoiled teenage girl, caught sneaking into a bar and texting with an unseen boyfriend, the other is her concerned brother (Jordan Burtchett), who ends up getting attacked and killed by a snarling, mask-wearing man. What would have been more surprising if it wasn’t for the episode’s title is that this strange creature only bites the girl before running away.

Naturally, the Winchesters visit her at the hospital in order to ask questions, but this time, they have a special guest.

by Jessy Krupa

28 Feb 2017

Playing with fire: Crowley (Mark Sheppard) gets schooled by
his mother Rowena (Ruth Connell).

Dean: So where does that leave us?
Mary: Same as always. Family.
—“Family Feud”

Many Supernatural devotees will tell you that the show isn’t just about “saving people, hunting things”, but rather the power of family. From the first episode onward, the show has introduced and explored many different kinds of familial bonds, from the unconditional love between the two Winchester brothers to the deeply dysfunctional relationship between God (Rob Benedict) and the ultimate prodigal son, Lucifer.

by Anthony Merino

17 Feb 2017


Last week, Peter Capaldi announced that he’ll be stepping down from of his role as the Doctor in the BBC series Doctor Who. Several sites have already started speculating on who should next fill the role. There are a few actors whom I’d love to see in the Tardis. The betting line published by Ladbrokes has only two actors given 10 to 1 odds, with Kris Marshall from Love Actually and Death at a Funeral in the top position at 3 to 1, followed by Olivia Colman, who played DS Ellie Miller in Broadchurch, a series created by Chris Chibnall, who’s replacing Steven Moffat as Doctor Who‘s showrunner for season 11.

Stephen Fry (33 to 1)

Fry is perhaps best known for his roles as Deitrich in V for Vendetta and Mycroft Holmes in both Sherlock Holmes (2009) and Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011). From being a key player in three of the Blackadder series, through his collaborations with Hugh Laurie (Jeeves and Wooster and A Bit of Fry and Laurie), and leading his own shows Absolute Power (2003-2005) and Kingdom (2007-2009), Fry’s become one of the most prolific comedic actors of his generation. It’s almost painful to watch him in his current role as Roland in The Great Indoors. The character wastes Fry’s great comedic talents. While he delivers the formulaic jokes well, it’s a bit like watching Usain Bolt walk a turtle.

The celebrity persona Fry has constructed over the last 30 years aligns with the Doctor. Fry has done a lot of work as himself; he’s cultivated an aura of being both extremely intelligent and empathetic. Also, there are times when the Doctor has to be a bit of a supercilious bastard. Some of the series best moments occur when the Doctor talks smack to his enemies.  Think of Matt Smith’s taunt of Bob the Angel in the episode “The Time of Angels”.

Oh, big, big mistake, really huge. Didn’t anyone ever tell you there’s one thing you never put in a trap, if you’re smart, if you value your continued existence, if you have any plans about seeing tomorrow, there’s one thing you never, ever put in a trap.

When asked “what is that”, he replies “me”.  Fry could deliver the line with a mix of chuckle and contempt that’d be perfect for the character.

Tilda Swinton (10 to 1)

Tall, sinuous, inhumanly beautiful: Swinton’s persona aligns very closely with the great David Bowie. Swinton could create a character with the same kind of extra-worldly quality as Tom Baker. In both her most recent role as “The Ancient One” in Doctor Strange and her break-out role the titular Orlando in Sally Potter’s Orlando, Swinton attacked the idea of gender rigidity. This would give the Doctor a fascinating edge. She could give the Doctor a “left of center” quality the character hasn’t displayed since Eccleston. Her name has come up on a few lists. It seems hard to imagine, however, that Swinton would accept the role unless she had considerable input. That input may push the series to a more edgy content.

Jack Davenport (40 to 1)

Davenport is perhaps best known for his portrayal of Steve Taylor in Moffat’s earlier series Coupling.  Those who’ve not seen the series may recognize Davenport as Norrington, a featured character in three of the Pirates of the Caribbean films. He also played Lancelot in

Kingsman: The Secret Service.  Few actors can deliver a rant as well as Davenport. His rant on throw cushions highlights his greatness:

Oh, padding! Now, that’s interesting, Jane. See, I like padding. If I was, say, an American football player, and all those big bastards running at me, I would say ‘give me some of that padding and be quick about it.’ If my job involved bouncing down jagged rocks I would say ‘in view of those jagged rocks down there, I’ll have some of that padding, thank you very much.’ But Susan, Sally, Jane, this is a sofa. It is designed by clever scientists in such a way as to shield the unprotected user from the risk of skin abrasions, serious head trauma, and, of course [ducks behind couch] Daleks. Trust me, girls, trust me on this one: you do not need padding to tackle upholstery. So please, once and for all, tell me why on Earth you would want me to sit on one of these?

Davenport may be a bit too tall and pretty to play the Doctor. On looks alone, Davenport would likely act as a kind of James Bond version of the Doctor, although few actors do exasperation and bewilderment as well as he.

Hermione Norris

If the producers decide to go with a female Doctor, Norris seems like an excellent choice. She embodies many of the qualities of each of the rebooted doctors. Like Capaldi, she’s an acclaimed BBC actor with several feature roles. She also had a guest role on the rebooted series (Lundvik in the episode “Kill the Moon”). Like Tennant and Smith, she’s unconventionally attractive, and gives Eccleston a run in the brooding department. Finally, like the four previous Doctors of the new series, she has a proven range of handling characters as diverse as the intensely badass, business-only Roz Myers in Mi5 (Spooks), and the goofy, silly sexpot sister, Beatrice Kingdom in Kingdom.

Amara Karan

Like Capaldi, Karan has appeared in the series already, as Rita in “The God Complex”, which incidentally was also the name of the character in her first featured role as the central love interest in Wes Anderson’s The Darjeeling Limited. As one of the players in the acclaimed HBO series The Night of, Karan may be breaking out already.

Oddly, Karan shares a similar appeal to that of Fry, in that neither need to act like they’re the smartest people in the room; in many rooms, they are. She could add the sexiness of River Song (Alex Kingston) with Smith’s exaggerated facial expressions.

Nicholas Hoult

Hoult’s been acting since he was seven. He may also bring the most Comic-Con cred to this group, as he’s played Hank McCoy/Beast in all three of The X-Men reboot movies, as well as Nux in Mad Max: Fury Road. Hoult also combines qualities of two previous Doctors: a face made to brood, like Eccleston, and the unconventional handsomeness of a slightly hunkier Tennant.

Louise Brealey

Currently, Brealey plays the (unrequited) love interest of Benedict Cumberbatch’s Sherlock Holmes in the BBC’s Sherlock, which would seem like an odd transition to playing the Doctor, except the character is as near Sherlock’s equal as any character in the series. Additionally, in Brealey’s other work, she demonstrates the chops to own the role.

One of the most underappreciated elements of playing the Doctor is great enunciation. There are times when the show’s writers appear to be the channeling the Marquis de’ Sade, by throwing at the lead actor long strings of technical words, which can easily dissolve into mumbles without a great command of the language. Brealey’s diction punches with the ferocity of a Tommy “Hit Man” Hearns’s jab.

Playing the Doctor has its advantages and disadvantages, and the actors have represent a mixed bag of experiences. None of the actors I’ve listed are anywhere near as obscure as Smith when he took on the role; Tennant had years of experience and was emerging with significant roles in several television series before being given the nod, and both Eccleston and Capaldi were highly acclaimed prior to taking on the iconic role. In other words, there’s really no telling where the series might go next.

by Jessy Krupa

15 Feb 2017


Dean's (Jensen Ackles) mechanical bull prowess is one of the many things he forgets.

“I don’t know. We kinda sound like heroes to me… And our best friend is an angel—Whaaat?!”
—Dean in Regarding Dean

A common complaint among Supernatural’s fans is that the show’s actors don’t get the recognition that they deserve. After all, shouldn’t actors who can effortlessly go from action scenes to comedy, then handle serious drama, and believably deal with this show’s often ridiculous plotlines, be celebrated somewhere other than the Teen Choice Awards? One could say that the show is ignored because of mass competition or media bias against its network, but one could also argue that, in recent years, Supernatural hasn’t given its actors enough material to really show off their talent.

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