Supernatural Review, Season 7, Episode 8: “Season Seven, Time for a Wedding!”
Written by Andrew Dabb & Daniel Loflin
Directed by Tim Andrew
Airs Fridays at 9pm (ET) on the CW
This week, on Supernatural: Sam gets married and Crowley pays a visit
Supernatural this week is a bit of an odd one. It’s not the laugh riot implied by its title, it’s not particularly spooky, gory, or surprising, and, in the end, it’s not that memorable. The one sentence recap above pretty much sums up what most fans will take away from this episode; not much happens, and what does doesn’t happen in an interesting way. Usually episodes featuring this much filler become frustrating, but for some reason this isn’t the case with “Season 7…”. Even its missed opportunities don’t prompt a strong reaction. Overall, it’s a diverting, light piece of entertainment that will probably only be remembered down the line as, “Oh yeah, that one where Sam got married”.
Watching this episode is a bit of an exercise in thwarted expectations, at least for those prone to mid-episode predictions. Early on it seems the episode is about to left turn into goofy comedy, but Andrew Dabb and Daniel Loflin step back from that. Then it threatens to become a study of a deeply sad and depressed woman’s pain, but that thread is dropped too. Yet later, it toys with being a buddy cop episode, pairing Dean with his wacky new Hunter sidekick, or afterwards, a straight-up, twisted Misery homage, but each time the episode refuses to commit to a narrative or tone. This doesn’t inspire annoyance, but rather indifference. Any of the above episodes would be more interesting than what ended up on screen.
That’s not to say that Dabb and Loflin get it all wrong. They wisely keep the love elixir plotline to a minimum, realizing that too much perky Becky would quickly become a bad thing if they weren’t going to go full-on screwball comedy. The bits we see of lovesick Sam are entertaining, and Jared Padalecki has some fun with these moments. It’s also nice that Sam is so level-headed through much of the episode. He may think he’s in love with Becky, but otherwise he’s the same ol’ Sam. Love potions are a pretty standard genre trapping, but they very rarely take this particular form- usually the original personality is lost under the weight of the potion and, rather than love, the potion inspires obsession. This is far more interesting and allows for a few Sam and Dean scenes that legitimately further the relationship, rather than ones that aren’t truthful to the characters’ current states.
There are two rather glaring missteps this week. The first is the omission of Bobby. Jim Beaver’s absence is very strongly felt. Even just his voice on the other end of the phone would have been an improvement. It would appear he’s back in a big way next week, but something as significant as Sam getting married warrants a reaction shot from the man who’s been a father to them for the past 6+ years. The second is the utter waste of DJ Qualls as Garth. The character has hardly any distinguishing characteristics or features and does nothing for most of his screen time. Why would Garth be someone Bobby would recommend? Something as simple as a stronger “rookie” feel to Garth would have been interesting, juxtaposing the Dean now with the 20-something who hit the road with Sam back in season 1. Instead, all we know of him is that he knows Bobby, he drinks milk, and he’s a hugger. It’s too bad- DJ Qualls is a fine actor who could have made a lot out of any number of different characters, had he been given one to play.
After complaining of Crowley’s overuse only a couple of episodes ago, crow is already on the menu. Mark Sheppard’s appearance at the end of the episode is a welcome surprise and one that tidily explains the brother’s ease of focus on the Leviathans while propelling the main arc back into focus. The episodes this season have broken down fairly tidily into two camps, Leviathan-focused and not. The Levianthan episodes have been by far the strongest, with the others achieving various levels of success. Hopefully Crowley’s scene indicates a return to that storyline, though it would seem the actual season-long arc will be Dean’s emotional journey. The closing scene at the Impala is a baby step down the path of recovery for Dean, but we’ll have to wait to see how many such steps it’ll take to get him to even ask for the emotional help he needs.
Next week’s Ben Edlund-penned episode, “How to Win Friends and Influence Monsters” promises a good ol’ monster hunt and plenty of time with Bobby, three very promising things (Edlund being the first). This episode’s lack of inspiration is not enough to bog down Supernatural’s recent upswing, though it is treading water a bit. Here’s hoping next week’s penultimate (to the hiatus, that is) episode kicks it into high gear.
What did you think of this week’s episode? Did you enjoy Crowley’s return? Has Becky seriously never read Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince? (It didn’t work for Merope- it wasn’t going to work for her) Post your thoughts in the comments section!
Follow me on Twitter @theteleverse to see what else I’m watching and to tell me your favorite love potion TV episode (I call “Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered”)