TV

Supernatural: Season 11, Episode 9 -"O Brother, Where Are Thou?"

Jessy Krupa

The waiting is the hardest part; the mid-season finale shows us a lot of talking before it finally gives us something to talk about.


Supernatural

Airtime: Wednesdays, 8pm
Cast: Jensen Ackles, Jared Padalecki, Mark A. Sheppard, Misha Collins
Subtitle: Season 11, Episode 9 -"O Brother, Where Are Thou?"
Network: CW
Air date: 2015-12-09
Amazon

It's hard to believe that we're already halfway through season 11 of Supernatural, partially because we're still stuck with so many questions and unresolved plot lines. It feels as if not much has happened this year, and in many ways, nothing really has!

This week's episode opened with the familiar sight of Amara (Emily Swallow) killing innocent people, this time devouring a circle of religious protesters in a park. Amara's older now, but she still loves wearing little black dresses and acting like a spoiled brat. Her most recent major malfunction is to blame God for everything, destroy souls, and then wonder why God won't talk to her. If this didn't make her annoying enough, she eventually tells Dean Winchester (Jensen Ackles) her plans for world domination, which include the two of them ruling “as one”. In case what she meant by that wasn't obvious enough, she then pulled him in for a passionate kiss. Dean's answer to all of this is try to stab her with the standard angel/demon knife, but it just crumbled apart in her presence.

One prevalent fan theory is that Amara's obsession with Dean and her powers of mind control will result in the two of them conceiving a child. While the prospect of a(nother) baby Darkness is intriguing, it's more likely that she'll meet the same fate as all of the Winchesters' love interests: death or disappearance. Considering that a newly organized army of angels is now firing attacks at her, it's only a matter of time.

Meanwhile, in one of Supernatural's silliest plot points, Sam (Jared Padalecki) has turned to Crowley (Mark Sheppard) and Rowena (Ruth Connell) for help in his ridiculous quest to talk to Lucifer (Mark Pellegrino). His visions of the cage and prayers to God have somehow convinced him that the only way to stop the Darkness is through the devil himself. Crowley's happy to guide him through a dimly lit corridor of Hell, and after a random spell from Rowena, The Cage appears.

When we last saw the Cage (back in season five), Lucifer, the Archangel Michael, and Sam's half-brother, Adam (Jake Abel), were all trapped inside, but for the purposes of this episode, only Lucifer’s shown. To make an extremely long conversation short, Lucifer tells Sam that he can defeat Amara, but only if he can use Sam as his vessel. When Sam refuses, symbols start glowing and he finds himself trapped inside the Cage with Lucifer, who tells him that he's been sending him visions in an effort to entrap him. That's a pretty shocking reveal, but can we believe it? Judging from the unsurprised look on Rowena's face during all of this, I doubt it.

Has anyone noticed how most of the CW's mid-season finales ended on a downbeat note this year? Someone died on Arrow, there were big break-ups on iZombie, and now Sam's crying in a cage in Hell. What a way to ring in the holidays! But Supernatural did leave us with a little gift: the sight of Crowley finding a Sam Winchester Funko Pop figurine underneath the Christmas tree. Other than that particular dream sequence, we'll have the return of Castiel (Misha Collins) to look forward to when the series comes back from the winter hiatus on January 20th, 2016.

6

So far J. J. Abrams and Rian Johnson resemble children at play, remaking the films they fell in love with. As an audience, however, we desire a fuller experience.

As recently as the lackluster episodes I-III of the Star Wars saga, the embossed gold logo followed by scrolling prologue text was cause for excitement. In the approach to the release of any of the then new prequel installments, the Twentieth Century Fox fanfare, followed by the Lucas Film logo, teased one's impulsive excitement at a glimpse into the next installment's narrative. Then sat in the movie theatre on the anticipated day of release, the sight and sound of the Twentieth Century Fox fanfare signalled the end of fevered anticipation. Whatever happened to those times? For some of us, is it a product of youth in which age now denies us the ability to lose ourselves within such adolescent pleasure? There's no answer to this question -- only the realisation that this sensation is missing and it has been since the summer of 2005. Star Wars is now a movie to tick off your to-watch list, no longer a spark in the dreary reality of the everyday. The magic has disappeared… Star Wars is spiritually dead.

Keep reading... Show less
6

This has been a remarkable year for shoegaze. If it were only for the re-raising of two central pillars of the initial scene it would still have been enough, but that wasn't even the half of it.

It hardly needs to be said that the last 12 months haven't been everyone's favorite, but it does deserve to be noted that 2017 has been a remarkable year for shoegaze. If it were only for the re-raising of two central pillars of the initial scene it would still have been enough, but that wasn't even the half of it. Other longtime dreamers either reappeared or kept up their recent hot streaks, and a number of relative newcomers established their place in what has become one of the more robust rock subgenre subcultures out there.

Keep reading... Show less
Theatre

​'The Ferryman': Ephemeral Ideas, Eternal Tragedies

The current cast of The Ferryman in London's West End. Photo by Johan Persson. (Courtesy of The Corner Shop)

Staggeringly multi-layered, dangerously fast-paced and rich in characterizations, dialogue and context, Jez Butterworth's new hit about a family during the time of Ireland's the Troubles leaves the audience breathless, sweaty and tearful, in a nightmarish, dry-heaving haze.

"Vanishing. It's a powerful word, that"

Northern Ireland, Rural Derry, 1981, nighttime. The local ringleader of the Irish Republican Army gun-toting comrades ambushes a priest and tells him that the body of one Seamus Carney has been recovered. It is said that the man had spent a full ten years rotting in a bog. The IRA gunslinger, Muldoon, orders the priest to arrange for the Carney family not to utter a word of what had happened to the wretched man.

Keep reading... Show less
10

Aaron Sorkin's real-life twister about Molly Bloom, an Olympic skier turned high-stakes poker wrangler, is scorchingly fun but never takes its heroine as seriously as the men.

Chances are, we will never see a heartwarming Aaron Sorkin movie about somebody with a learning disability or severe handicap they had to overcome. This is for the best. The most caffeinated major American screenwriter, Sorkin only seems to find his voice when inhabiting a frantically energetic persona whose thoughts outrun their ability to verbalize and emote them. The start of his latest movie, Molly's Game, is so resolutely Sorkin-esque that it's almost a self-parody. Only this time, like most of his better work, it's based on a true story.

Keep reading... Show less
7

There's something characteristically English about the Royal Society, whereby strangers gather under the aegis of some shared interest to read, study, and form friendships and in which they are implicitly agreed to exist insulated and apart from political differences.

There is an amusing detail in The Curious World of Samuel Pepys and John Evelyn that is emblematic of the kind of intellectual passions that animated the educated elite of late 17th-century England. We learn that Henry Oldenburg, the first secretary of the Royal Society, had for many years carried on a bitter dispute with Robert Hooke, one of the great polymaths of the era whose name still appears to students of physics and biology. Was the root of their quarrel a personality clash, was it over money or property, over love, ego, values? Something simple and recognizable? The precise source of their conflict was none of the above exactly but is nevertheless revealing of a specific early modern English context: They were in dispute, Margaret Willes writes, "over the development of the balance-spring regulator watch mechanism."

Keep reading... Show less
8
Pop Ten
Mixed Media
PM Picks

© 1999-2017 Popmatters.com. All rights reserved.
Popmatters is wholly independently owned and operated.

rating-image