caranfindel (caranfindel) wrote,

Initial reaction 13.09: "The Bad Place"

THEN: Patience the young psychic. Jack the young nephilim. Another really, really long "Then."

NOW: An artist is making out with his girlfriend while waiting for a visit from a potential buyer. Some of his paintings are awfully creepy. The buyer shows up and... oh! It's Jack! Not surprisingly, he's not interested in buying any art at all. He read an article about the artist and determined that he's a dreamwalker. And he wants the guy to walk him into a particular painting. A painting of... duh duh duh... AU Land! And it doesn't go well! The guy tries to end the "walk" but Jack forces him to continue, putting his hands on the artist's head to see the vision. It ends with the artist dead, his eyes burned out as if he'd witnessed an angel's true form. Huh!

Title card!

So, guys, we're doing something different this time. Normally I watch the new episode the night it comes out, and then I write my recap as I'm rewatching the next day. But today I'm writing my recap as I watch the episode for the first time. Everything's happening in real time. Anything that would normally be a snarky "I wonder if this will mean anything" will, this time, be a legitimate "I wonder if this will mean anything." And too much time will probably be spent on things that turn out to mean nothing. And now that I've got you all excited, let's begin!

Bunker. Dean leaves a message for Patience (you know, from the Then?) asking for her help looking for Jack. Even though he told her to get out of the life. So, you know, get out of it unless I need you in it, k thanks bye. Sam says he's heard from Cas (or should I say "Cas"), who is allegedly working a lead in Tucson. Jody calls (this time she calls Dean, not Sam, which saddens me) and reports on the artist with his eyes burned out, who turned out to be in Bismarck, North Dakota, and that a witness described someone who looks like Jack.

As always, the lighting at the map table is lovely.

Cut to Patience, getting lectured by her father for getting a C on a test. "You've got twice the mind I do," he says, and yes, she does, because she's a psychic, but I don't think that's what he means. She tells him about Dean's request for help, and says she's not having visions but I'm pretty sure that's a lie.

Lovely overhead shots of the road into Bismarck. Lovelier shots of the guys in big overcoats. Lord, I love a big coat. They're talking to the girlfriend, and commenting on the creepy art. She says he (okay, I guess I'll have to start calling him Derek, since we're still talking about him) considered his art reporting, not imagination. Actually, she calls it "reportage," but that's a stupid made-up word and I'm not going to use it. Just as she tells Sam that Derek was a dreamwalker, Dean finds the painting of AU Land.


I'm telling you. Overcoats. They're going to be the death of me.

Next we see Sam going through John's journal in the car, and then we get this really cool shot which includes someone with a halo pushing, and something that appears to be a giant bird who also has a halo, and smaller birds being forced away or maybe attacking, and it's all very very interesting. Is the guy with the halo Jack? Is the bird Lucifer? Or Cas? Or Jack's power? Or just a bird? Discuss.

Pretty cool that they found this very relevant graffiti out in the wild, isn't it?

Sam tries to talk about dreamwalking, but Dean cuts right to the chase. He thinks Jack is looking for Lucifer.

We've got to be prepared.

To kill him.

Look, this isn't an I-told-you-so, okay? I actually like the kid, I do. But we're in worst case scenario land here.

Sam's not convinced, and Dean agrees to talk to someone in Derek's tribe (okay, I didn't mention Derek is a Sioux, it's hard to determine what's important when I do this in real time), but Sam has hacked into his email (already?) and found he was emailing another dreamwalker - someone named Kaia - trying to help her control her power. Hey, who does that remind you of?

Cut to Kaia, half-hidden in a hoodie, lying her way through some kind of group therapy. We know she's anxious because she's tearing up a styrofoam cup and her nail polish is chipped. It's suggested that she tried to kill herself, more than once, but I think we're going to find out that's not true. Ah, it turns out she takes drugs to stay awake, because when she's asleep she goes to The Bad Place. Therapy ends and someone comes up to Kaia and says hi... it's Jack! Whose sweet little cinnamon roll smile has gotten creepy as fuck!

Dude. Tone it down. You're gonna scare Sam.

Jack tells her he's a cocaine addict (he's a bad liar) and a friend of Derek's (a slightly more believable lie), and he needs her help. He tells her he can "get you out of here," so apparently she's an inpatient or incarcerated, so she agrees to follow him. Right as this happens, we see the Impala pull up outside. Is Jack going to escape with Kaia before the Winchesters see him? I'm leaning towward yes.

Sam expositions that Kaia never knew her father, her mother died when she was 12, and she went to live with an aunt, who also died. Bad luck or... something else? She ended up wherever she is after ODing. Thanks, Sam.

Jack leads Kaia through the hall and uses his powers to knock out (or kill? surely not) the counselor from earlier. Apparently Jack has learned some control while he was away from the Winchesters. Good on you, Jack. I knew you had it in you. "Don't worry," he tells Kaia, "he's just sleeping. (oh, good.) You're not the only one with powers." Instead of freaking out, Kaia continues to follow Jack. Does this say good things or bad things about her self-preservation instinct?

Jack powers open a triple-locked door and brushes off Kaia's "who are you?" question, so she tells him she's not going to follow him. He's all, oh yes you will, and he grabs her arm and I don't know if he's going to use his powers on her because I am suddenly proven quite wrong about my earlier prediction, and the Winchesters burst through the door. Jack's surprised to see them, and even more surprised when Kaia kicks him and then punches him in the face and runs off.

Sam and Dean grab him and this happens:

She's getting away!

We're not letting you near her until you tell us what's going on.

I need her!

You need her like you needed Derek?

Yes! You don't... I'm doing this for you.

Oh, you killed Derek for us?

Derek's dead?

Oh, guys. The way Dean backs away when Jack says yes, the way Jack looks at Sam when he says "I'm doing this for you," it gives me life.

Not to mention Sam's hair and concerned face and the overcoats and the lighting...

Jack says left to try to get a grip on his powers. He wanted to prove he was good, that he could do one good thing. "So I did the thing you wanted the most. I experimented opening doors to other worlds. I could almost do it, I could get right to the edge, but I couldn't see. I could only feel around in the dark. I needed eyes, a seer. So I researched, how you taught me, and that's how I found Derek."

Guys. I don't know if he's lying. I don't know if he really has no idea he killed Derek. I might know by the end of the episode, but I don't know it right now, and it's... it's getting to me. Because I don't know if this innocent, open manner of his is still Just Jack, or if it's a sweet shiny veneer over Recently Turned Evil Jack. Oh, god, I'm afraid of what's to come. Because if he were playing up to them, he'd be doing exactly what he's doing now - looking to Sam for support, telling Dean what he wants to hear. Is he still that good or is he that good?

(Also, you know what would have been more interesting than Patience Turner's tragic origin story? Jack studying and experimenting.)

(Also also, there's a weird little mini dramatic zoon in this scene that I don't really care for.)

Jack explains that he could see what Derek saw, and he dreamwalked through AU Land, into a building and right up to Mary, who was in a hanging cage like the one we saw Lucifer in earlier. She's alive, but she's in danger. And it's easier to show them than tell them. He puts his hands on their faces and they get the glowy gold eyes and they see what he saw - Mary in the cage, being tortured.

No, I didn't screencap Mary. Why would I do that?

We focus on Dean's shock, as Sam and Jack go blurry and distant in the background, because once again, Dean's reaction is the only thing that's important. No, wait, I shouldn't jump to conclusions. I'm sure we'll get some reaction from Sam later.

Yes, I'm quite sure of it.

As of this point, they haven't really explained why Jack's flashback shows him apologizing to a living and fully-eyeballed Derek after releasing him from the vision. Is this a lie??? I can't stand it.

Cut to Kaia hitchiking. She gets picked up by a familiar-looking woman who gets out of the passenger seat and opens the rear door of the station wagon for her because it's "a little hinky." Don't get in this car, Kaia. I mean, it's bad enough that the driver has an angel blade next to him on the seat. Even if they weren't angels, don't go hitchhiking, and don't get into cars that the owners admit have "hinky" doors that prevent you from escaping. Just don't.

As Kaia moves to get in, the angel whacks her on the back of the head. Or stabs her? I don't know. More importantly, why doesn't she just do the sleepy-time angel touch? We'll never know. The car drives off with Kaia unconscious in the back seat.

Cut to Patience, either remembering her earlier vision of everyone getting stabbed, or having a new one. Well. I'm sure that will be relevant later.

Back to Kaia, waking up to find herself tied to a chair. The angels tell her they want Jack, and that they tracked him to Derek but he was "uncooperative." Oh, so they're the ones who killed him. Thank you baby Jesus. Jack's still good, y'all. (Well, as of 20:29 he's still good. I've got 20:32 to go.) They kindly fill us in on what happened while we weren't looking - that they tortured and killed Derek, found out where Jack was going, saw that the Winchesters were involved, and needed bait.

Nighttime in the Impala. Dean tells Sam that he was right about Mary (which he knows, he was there, he saw it) and that they should have been looking for her all along. Sam says yeah, maybe you'll trust me next time. No, he doesn't. He says "I was just hoping," and aw, Sammy. Take some credit. Jack, meanwhile, is appalled that both Sam and Dean thought he could have killed Derek. Sam says they didn't know, and they thought it might have been an accident (but no, I don't think they thought it might have been an accident) and Jack says "like the security guard" and Sam jumps on that and is all yes, exactly, that's exactly what we were thinking, yep, we surely were. A total accident, you got that right. Sam's trying to be kind, explaining that Jack was in a dark place when he left, and they were worried about him, and Dean jumps right in and says "we thought you were looking for you dad." You know. Lucifer. Did you forget Lucifer is your dad? Because Dean didn't. "Why would I look for him?" says Jack. "He's no one to me. You, Castiel, you're my family." AWWWWWWWW. "Yes we are," says Dean. Which makes my heart break into a million pieces, but also reminds me that most people who get accepted into the Winchester family end up dead, even if it's only temporary. But Jack doesn't know that, so he looks touched.

Suddenly Jack is hit by an ear-splitting screech, much like the sherrif's station the first time we met him. Angel radio told him the angels have Kaia.

Back to Patience, who is packing a bag and telling her dad that school won't suffer because she's only going to be gone a few days. A friend is going to be in danger, she says. Ooooh, so that was a new vision? Of Jody being killed? I don't like this, guys. And she still hasn't returned Dean's call. She confesses that her visions never stopped. I knew you were lying, girlfriend. She's convinced that if she doesn't go, people will die. I wonder why she couldn't just call them and tell them what she saw? Her father tells her "You go now, you choose that life, you don't come back." And this is an obvious throwback to what John Winchester told Sam, and we saw how well that worked. But also, it's phrased weirdly enough that it sounds like he could be simply predicting that she won't come back, not giving her an order. So that could have been done better. To no one's surprise, she leaves anyway, because otherwise, how is she going to make it to the spinoff?

(Also, Patience lived just outside of Atlanta, right? How long is it going to take her to get to Bismarck, North Dakota? Almost 23 hours, according to Google Maps. You know what would be a lot faster? A phone call.)

Back to Kaia in the abandoned warehouse. She tells the female angel that no one will come for her, because she doesn't matter to anyone, and the angel is all, of course they will, and then we'll kill them. "That so?" says Dean, walking in with an angel blade against the male angel's throat. Which begs the question... how much do angels care if other angels get killed? What's to stop her from saying "Oh, too bad buddy, guess this is your unlucky day" and slaying Dean, getting the glory and letting her partner be collateral damage?

Anyway. The Winchesters demand Kaia's release, and the female tells Jack that he should be among "your own kind," which kind of ignores his half human side. Jack denies his angel side, and when she requests that he come home with them, he says "I am home." But then the male angel head-butts Dean, who really should have seen that coming, consider how often he's done it to others. It looks like there's going to be a fight, but Jack hits the pause button and suspends the female angel, much to Kaia's amazement, then tosses her across the room. Because at least one non-human being remembers how to use some powers around here. Just saying. He then stops the other angels, who was about to stab Dean. Looks like Jack has fine-tuned his powers to the point where he can limit them to one being, while leaving another being in stabbing range unaffected. He forces the angel to stab himself - a nice trick - and then runs to release Kaia. The female angel escapes, Kaia gets an abbreviated version of the "monsters are real" speech, and they flee.

Kaia decides she doesn't want to join TFW 2.0, and Sam (who I just noticed is wearing the blue jacket he wore when he killed the Alpha vampire, yum) tells her they need her to help find their mom. I think I would have told her that she's in danger, since the angels will just use her as bait again. But whatever. (There's the mini dramatic zoom again. I don't like it.)

It's not like anybody's going to say no to this face, right?

Jack tells them Derek said there are "sacred sites" where the walls between worlds are thin, and it's easier to cross over. He was planning to take Kaia to the Wind Caves, without disclosing where the Wind Caves are. Kaia still declines (dammit girl, did you not see Sam's earnest face?) and calls her ability a curse, not a gift. The only place she can dreamwalk to is The Bad Place. Which seems convenient, since that's where they need to go. But she's terrified of The Bad Place, and shows them that when she gets hurt there, she wakes up here with scars, and she's not going back. And how do the brothers handle it? Sam: Okay, we'll find another way. Dean: (pulls out his gun) Get in the car. Hee! She pauses and he actually shoves the gun in her face and yells get in the damn car! Dude. That is not okay. "We're going to South Dakota," he tells Sam, so I guess he's already aware of the Wind Caves and where they are located.

I know, Sam!

So, Dean is completely off the rails. Which I normally love. But him threatening this poor frightened girl is a bit much. I mean, I guess it works? It's his mom. It's his guilt over not trying to rescue her. It's that horrifying vision. So. Okay. And I love that Sam just assumed Kaia would be willing to face her biggest fear, and face both emotional and physical peril, just to save a stranger's mom, because that's what he would do. Oh, Sam.

Another nice overhead shot. Inside the Impala, things are not so nice. Dean is angrily driving, and Sam is angrily passengering.


Sam asks what Dean's plan is, but not like, hey, what are we doing now, but more like, what awful thing is on your mind now? Dean says "We get Mom back, no matter what. Remember?" And the music warns us that whatever's coming, it ain't gonna be pretty. (Warns us or delights us? Discuss.) They're being followed by a familiar station wagon with a hinky back door. Uh oh!

Jack apologizes to Kaia, and tells her he also used to be afraid of his powers, but it doesn't have to be like that. She's angry that Jack uses Derek's name, and blames him for Derek's death. Jack asks for five seconds to show her what Derek showed him, because he saw places other than The Bad Place. He puts a hand on her head and gives her the glowy eyes and she's enchanted. "Our powers can be good," he tells her. "We can do good in this world." Yes you can, my precious little cinnamon roll.

Suddenly there are headlights coming right at them. Dean swerves out of the way as the hinky station wagon barrels toward them, narrowly missing a head-on collision. Dean turns down a road with a sign for what appears to be the Larsen Brother's Shipyard, now closed. Wait. Shipyard? Where they build ships? Aren't those places usually on the water? And aren't the guys still in the Dakotas? Which are landlocked?

Okay. Moving on.

They get to the shipyard (sigh) and Jack gets the angel radio headache again. Sam takes Jack and Kaia to hide on a boat, which is on the water (seriously, is there a canal or something?) while Dean gets ready to fight.

Mmmmm. Ready-to-fight Dean is awesome.

The angel gets out of the hinky station wagon and tells Dean they need Jack because Heaven is running out of angels (which answers the question of why she wouldn't let her partner be sacrificed for the cause, although I still think gaining Jack would be more important than losing one angel, but what do I know). Two more cars pull up, presumably full of angels, and Dean runs into the ship, where Sam is spray-painting a sigil. We get a cute bit where Jack tells Kaia "we're fine" just as Dean comes in and says "we're screwed." Hmmm. I wonder why Sam isn't making an angel-banishing sigil? Dean orders them up to a higher level as Sam continues to paint sigils.

There are six angels altogether, which doesn't seem unsurmountable, especially considering Jack's powers. It also doesn't seem like they needed three cars. Fossil fuels are an issue for everyone, guys, especially if you're going to continue driving those old cars.

(Sidebar: Is anyone else old enough to remember leaded gasoline? That's what the Impala needs. Does Dean have to use an additive or what?)

The angels halt at the first sigil as Sam suggests what I was thinking - a banishment. But Dean says that if they get in the ship, they're all dead. Um. Why? Dean asks if Jack can do anything, but he says they'll hit him with angel radio. I don't know, Jack. They're all out there, right now, not hitting you with angel radio. Maybe give it a shot? Outside, the head angel burns off Sam's sigil, which makes one wonder what's the point of an angel-banishing sigil.

Dean has decided that they're all going to die, then, and they'll go out with guns blazing. That's giving up pretty quickly, even for Dean "the world's ending so let's get drunk" Winchester. I mean, try Jack's powers. Try the angel banishing. He apologizes to Jack for getting him involved in this. I'm waiting for Sam to step in with a plan, because that's what Sam does, but it's time for another episode of Let Someone Else Do Sam's Job. Kaia says she can open a door to another world. Sam asks if she can take them to their mom, and that's not the first world I would have picked, Sammy. I would have picked a nice world, somewhere you can make a plan and get some supplies and all, before you harrow AU Land. But maybe everybody's too panicky to think, since the angels are methodically destroying every sigil Sam painted to keep them at bay.

Kaia takes a seat, Jack holds her head, things start glowing, and Kaia sees The Bad Place. But it's not AU Land. It has leaves, and trees, and it looks more like Purgatory. Oh god are they going to Purgatory please tell me they're going to Purgatory. Aw. No. Jack gets Kaia to scroll through other worlds and he finds AU Land. Just as the last sigil is burned off, Jack sees Mary in her cage, but the vision keeps going back to Kaia's Bad Place, flashing back and forth between that and AU Land. Then Kaia screams and the angels disintegrate and a portal opens and everyone is gone. But where did they go? AU Land or The Bad Place?

Cut to Jody's house? Oh no, no, no. Don't let anything bad be happening to Jody. (Wait, I just remembered. Jody is going to be okay, no matter what. Whew.) She's leaving a message for Sam, asking him to call her back. "I just need to know you're okay." Wait. What? Why is she worried about Sam? What does she know? (Also, how much do I love Jody worrying about Sam and calling him to make sure he's okay? SO MUCH.)

There's a knock on the door. It's Patience. I guess I was wrong about her going to Bismarck. She went to Sioux Falls, which is only 17.5 hours from Atlanta. Completely doable in an evening. "Jody, I had a vision. Something bad's coming." Jody is appropriately surprised. Maybe because she knows Patience was back in Atlanta earlier this evening. (Okay, maybe all of that happened yesterday evening. Let's pretend that's how it went.)

Back to the shipyard. Angels wings are burned into the walls, and the portal is still open. Then it's daylight, and we're somewhere else. Kaia is lying next to a road, which isn't in AU Land and doesn't seem to be in The Bad Place either. Mary is still in her cage. Jack is unconscious at her feet. He wakes up and looks at her, confused or amazed. And... ooooh, it's The Bad Place. Dean wakes up with an angel blade in his hand. Sam wakes up next to him. They're bewildered. They start walking, and the camera pulls back and up to reveal they are inside a giant footprint.

Oh, guys. This is a bad place indeed.

So. I guess going into this blind didn't change anything about the way I recap. There were good moments here, and there were off moments here. I'm not a huge fan of all of the alternate universes, because it makes the show sci fi instead of horror, so I hope they don't waste a lot of time in The Bad Place. (On the other hand, if The Bad Place is like Purgatory, maybe I want them to stay there for a least a couple of episodes.) And I'm not a fan of TFW 2.0 being splintered, just because it means we end up with a bit of Sam and Dean here, a bit of Jack there, a bit of Cas elsewhere, and I prefer my show to be Winchester-heavy, thank you very much. And I guess that's it until January! What are we going to do until then?

Let me know what you thought, and remember to keep the comments spoiler-free, thanks!
Tags: #supernatural, 13.09 the bad place, initial reaction, pretty, sam's hair, season 13, supernatural

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