Just when we thought the Winchesters stood a chance at closing the gates of hell – and surviving it together – Supernatural went and threw us another curve ball. Sure, Dean was 100 percent behind his brother for the trials, and gave a truly heartwarming speech proving just how much he believed Sam could do it, but when Crowley enters the mix, all bets are off.
You see, now that Crowley knew what Sam and Dean were up to, and how close they were getting to closing the gates of hell, he had to take drastic measures before Sam could “cure” a demon thus completing the third trial. So what did he do? He appealed to the one thing we all know the Winchesters have a weakness for: saving people.
Crowley was using Carver Edlund’s books (great to see how many shout outs they’re getting this season!) to take a trip down Winchester memory lane and start killing every person Sam and Dean have saved every 12 hours until they give up and surrender. After Jimmy Collins from Season 1 Episode 2’s wendigo attack died suddenly, and another Season 1 veteran, Sarah Blake, bit the dust in a truly heartbreaking scene where I have never seen Sam and Dean look so completely helpless before, the Sam lost all faith that they can actually stop Crowley. But Dean hasn’t given up, and you can be sure as hell he’ll rally Sam to kick some a**.
And hey, sure enough, the promos for next week show Sam and Dean attempting to cure a demon after all… and that demon is Crowley himself! That’s what happens when you piss off the Winchesters. Sorry I'm not sorry.
Meanwhile, Cas was safely in the Men of Letters bunker healing after his angelic/demonic battles last week, and Dean wasn’t making it any easier for him. Even though Cas has wronged Dean in the past, he’s always been able to forgive his friend. He's always had a soft spot for his angel friend. This time, it wasn’t going to be so easy. Cas has continually betrayed Dean over and over again, and each time Dean forgives him, Cas just does it again. He never learns, or employs the same loyalty Dean has always shown him. Dean isn’t going to forgive him this time, and that makes Cas susceptible to Metatron’s plans.
After finally getting the whole story on what he’s missed while being a recluse, Metatron decided the way to fix Heaven and their angelic family was to lock everyone in a room and hash things out. A time out of sorts, but on a massive scale. That’s right, Metatron wants to use the angel tablet and close the gates of Heaven! While there isn’t any evil reasons behind his plans, I still don’t trust Metatron, and the way he so easily manipulated Cas into completing the first trial worried me. The first trial, by the way, was to kill a nephilim, the offspring of an angel and a human.
I was pleasantly surprised to see the folklore of nephilim come into play on Supernatural. For a show that focuses on the supernatural, and has had angels as big players since Season 4, it’s surprising it took so long for nephilim to show up. They are featured heavily in supernatural books and movies, with varying degrees of power and alliances with good/evil. Unfortunately, the ballad of the nephilim on Supernatural was brief: the only one on earth was killed by Cas to complete the first trial. So long, nephilim, sorry you never even had a name!
Also, Abbadon showed up again after Sam and Dean put her together to attempt to cure her before getting distracted by Crowley’s phone calls (coming from the number 666, nice touch). So she’s on the loose again, and seemed pretty pissed off at hearing how Crowley worked his way up from being a messenger to the kind of hell.
Shout-out to the hilarious convenience store worker: I would have been pretty pissed myself if I had to deal with a messy, destructive shopper like Cas. But come on, how could you not have pie?
The best quotes from “Clip Show:”
Dean: How you feeling?Sam: Honestly? My whole body hurts, I’m nauseous and like I’m starving at the same time, and everything smells like rotting meat.Dean: I’ve had that hangover. Jaeger, man.
Cas: I like this bunker. It’s orderly.Sam: Give us a few months. Dean wants to get a ping pong table.Cas: I’ve heard of that, it’s a game, right?
Sam: A half-drunk beer, some jerky, and three peanut butter cups?Dean: Well, yeah, we’re running a little low… I’ll go make a run.
Dean: If anybody else, I mean anybody, pulled that kind of crap I would stab them in the neck on principle. Why should I give him a free pass?Sam: Because it’s Cas.
Dean: Well, that was weird. With three exclamation points.
Dean, about Sam completing the trials: Father, over the past couple of months I have seen him do crap that I didn’t even think was possible. I’m sure he’s miserable and he’s hurting, but you know what? There’s not a doubt in my mind that he’s gonna cross that finish line. Not one.
Not a quote, but you could tell just how much Cas was trying to make it up to Dean on his run to get food and supplies. His cart consisted of jerky, toilet paper, even Busty Asian Beauties, aka Dean's favorite porn! But when he couldn't find pie, he knew no amount of porn would make Dean happy...
Cas: Where’s the pie?Sales clerk: I think we’re out.Cas: I don’t think you understand, I need pie!
Metatron: I should have picked a better-looking vessel.
Sam: How’d you get this number?Crowley: First things first: what are you wearing?Dean: Oh, okay, hanging up now. Hang it up.Crowley: Fine, this isn’t a social call.
Follow Sydney on Twitter: @SydneyBucksbaum
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It’s simultaneously encouraging and frustrating to see an actor you like constantly teetering on the verge of being a household name. Ben Foster, one of the stars of the upcoming action thriller Contraband, is one such talent. He’s found himself in several high profile films and otherwise blockbustery fare, but A-list status seems to elude him. Before you race off to see Contraband this weekend, refresh yourself with some of Foster’s best performances over the last few years.
X-Men 3: The Last Stand
Though reception to the third film in the X-Men franchise from fans was less than warm, Ben Foster turned in an excellent portrayal of one of the source material’s original characters. Foster brought a great deal of weight and pathos to the role of Warren Worthington III, a mutant blessed with (or cursed with depending on your outlook) with a pair of angelic wings sprouting from his back that grant him the ability to fly. It’s no surprise that his heroic moniker was Angel, later Archangel. My only complaint with his role in X-Men 3: The Last Stand is that he kicks the film off with such an emotional resonance and then is given little to do from that point forward. We need more Foster!
3:10 To Yuma
Major studios rarely touch the classic western genre these days; not that they no longer exist of course, by they are by no means as prevalent as they once were. The 2007 remake of 3:10 to Yuma stands as one of my favorite modern westerns. The film follows a downtrodden rancher, who agrees to escort a ruthless, recently-captured outlaw to his scheduled train ride to Yuma, which will deliver him to trial. Along the way, members of the outlaw’s gang do all they can to free their leader. The most frightening of these gang members is the sinister Charlie Prince. Foster plays Prince with an ice-cold disdain for all human life that would allow his character to feel equally at home in a horror film. It gives me goose bumps just recalling his heinous deeds in the film.
Another remake in which Foster found himself was last year’s The Mechanic. Originally a 1972 vehicle for Charles Bronson, the Bronson part in the remake being occupied by Jason Statham, The Mechanic is about a seasoned hit man who takes a young upstart killer under his wing. What was so impressive about The Mechanic was how adeptly Foster held his own against Statham in the action sequences. By now, Statham has become recognized for his action chops, but Foster was still largely a question mark going into The Mechanic. Foster not only proved his action movie mettle, but was also more emotionally compelling than Jan-Michael Vincent who had played his role in the original.
These days, it seems like some of the best science-fiction films that get released do so completely (forgive us) under the radar. Such was definitely the case with 2009’s Pandorum. The film centers on two members of a spaceship’s crew who come out of cryogenic sleep with no memory of their mission and no sign of any other crew. However, they are far from alone. I can’t recommend this film highly enough; it is a fantastic mix of thoughtful sci-fi and blisteringly entertaining action. Foster once again shows his leading man potential as one of the two unfortunate remaining crew members.
Don't get the wrong impression of Foster—he's taken on many a genre project, but he's not just gunning for a spot in major blockbusters. In 2009, Foster teamed with Oren Moverman (writer of I'm Not There) for Moverman's debut film, The Messenger. A solemn, introspective look at a forgotten occupation of war, that of the men and women employed to break news to the families of soldiers killed in action, The Messenger is easily Foster's best work to date. Paired with an animated Woody Harrelson, Foster pulls back on his usual crazy train antics to unleash a quiet, devastating performance.
30 Days of Night
Bookending this list with another comic book adaptation, Ben Foster appeared in 2007’s 30 Days of Night. The film takes place in an Alaskan town at the start of its “dark season;” a period during the winter wherein they experience, you guessed it, 30 days of night. This makes the town a perfect target for a sect of bloodthirsty vampires who are free to hunt the townspeople at will unabated by sunlight. Foster plays an eerie stranger whose mysterious arrival in the town serves as a herald of the gruesome, nightmarish events to come. His words, the foreboding scratches that eek from his lips, are enough to send chills down your spine in this arctic horror bloodbath.
Based on books by Besson (yes he writes books too) we meet Arthur (Freddie Highmore) a 10-year-old kid living on his grandparents’ farm. But there’s trouble: Arthur’s grandfather has mysteriously disappeared and now a real estate developer wants the land Arthur’s grandma (Mia Farrow) doesn’t have enough money to keep. Maybe the solution lies in his grandpa's treasure which is hidden somewhere on the "other side" in the land of the Minimoys. Who are the Minimoys you ask? Why they are creatures that live in Arthur’s backyard just a tenth of an inch tall--that’s who. The only hope is for Arthur to enter into this miniature world become a little pointy-earred wild-haired Minimoy find the treasure in the forbidden city and save the day. For this adventurous boy that’s no problem. Arthur and the Invisibles doesn’t lack star power that’s for sure. Along with sweet-faced high-spirited Highmore (taking a step down from Finding Neverland and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory in my opinion) and Farrow (who looks a little Minimoy-ish herself) we have the voices of: Madonna as the plucky Minimoy warrior princess; Jimmy Fallon as her younger klutzy brother; Robert De Niro as their father the king; Harvey Keitel as a kindly wizard; Snoop Dogg as a weird-looking miniature denizen who runs a dance club; and David Bowie as the evil ruler of the forbidden city. That’s some eclectic lineup--too bad they couldn’t all click. Poor Madonna--even her animated voice-over efforts can’t make the grade. We all know how creative French filmmaker Luc Besson can be. His offbeat sensibilities can be seen in his tense crime dramas La Femme Nikita and The Professional as well as his wildly imaginative sci-fi cult favorite The Fifth Element. But he’s been taking a break from making his own films producing and apparently writing children’s books instead. Arthur and the Invisibles is his first directorial effort since the 1999 movie The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc and while it definitely taps into Besson’s fanciful notions--which is probably even more evident in the novels--it doesn’t necessarily translate as well to the big screen. Invisibles’ animation is lush and there’s a lot to look at but it’s almost too busy while the tepid yet convoluted story drones on. Invisibles is definitely not adult-friendly.