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Supernatural - Proverbs 17:3 & Golden Time - Review

3 Dec 2019

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This will be a double review for Supernatural of “Proverbs 17:3” written by Steve Yockey and directed by Richard Speight Jr and “Golden Time” written by Meredith Glynn and directed by John F Showalter. Both episodes continue the walk down memory lane as the show revisits two characters from its past. In the first, Lilith (Anna Grace Barlow) makes a very surprising return in a not especially satisfying episode. “Golden Time” felt like some real fan service as the show actually brings back a favorite character who was killed off – Eileen Leahy (Shoshannah Stern). It was doubly disappointing when Eileen was killed off because the actor is deaf and it’s always fantastic to see shows support storylines for actors with any disability. And it didn’t hurt that she was a pretty popular love interest for Sam (Jared Padalecki).

“Proverbs 17:3” begins with three friends on a camping trip: Ashley (who is really Lillith), Julie (Emma Cam), and a third, unnamed blond clone (Ivy Matheson). Two are just there as bait to lure Dean (Jensen Ackles) and Sam to Lillith. The tent scene was a little reminiscent of the opening of “Wendigo” but Richard Speight Jr is no David Nutter when it comes to direction and the show long ago ceased to take itself really seriously as a horror show.

Back at the bunker, Sam is packing for a hunt he’s found – and checking his unreturned texts to Cas (Misha Collins). Dean returns from a supply run with ghost-pepper jerky. It seems that this season is destined to see Ackles gain a few pounds as Dean seems to be eating in every single episode. Of course, Ackles is SO hilarious as Dean discovers just how hot ghost-peppers are that he’s clearly his own enemy here! Please show, feed Dean more! Sam is hilarious as Dean tries to hide just how hot the jerky is. The scene ends with the two deciding to head out on the case – after Dean pours half a bottle of water over his head and spits out the jerky!

We are treated to another nightmare from Sam as he dreams again that he’s been possessed by Lucifer. Dean walks up behind him and shots him through the head with the colt – another guest star from the past! This time, Samifer burns Dean alive. When Sam wakes up in the car, Dean wants to know about his nightmare, but Sam won’t share it.

When the two arrive in Black Forest, Colorado, we get yet another blast from the past – “Wendigo” again – as Dean tells Sam that they are going in as Fish and Wildlife. Dean even has their old ids with them as Hamil and Ford! And it’s even more hilarious – significant? – that the Star Wars Skywalker saga is also coming to an end this year. Sam calls it a “deep cut,” and Dean laughs over how young Sam looks in the picture while insisting that he looks just the same. It’s a pretty hilarious running gag in the show when everyone else keeps asking if that’s really him!

Interestingly, Sheriff Dignan (Rachel Hayward) doesn’t believe the story she told the press about the deaths being a mountain lion attack. She tells them they don’t get many big cats in the area, they get more bears, but if it’s a bear, it must be psychotic. She doesn’t want to say it’s a person, but then she says if it is a person, they’re a monster! Wow! How far has law enforcement come! Dean and Sam are both taken aback by her candor. I have to comment on the set here, which is perfect as Dignan is flanked at her desk by a life-sized stuffed mountain lion – wearing a sheriff’s hat – on one side and a bear on the other, not to mention the other trophies on the wall behind her!

The Sheriff is happy to share information and sends them to the hospital to see Ashley – who is traumatized over seeing her friends’ hearts ripped out. So, we all know we are dealing with werewolves. The episode doesn’t give us any hints that Ashley isn’t who she says she is, even giving us flashbacks to running through the woods and refusing to speak in front of the nurse (Andrew J Hampton). Dean sits on the bed beside her, and tells her that whatever she’s seen, they’ve seen worse. He then very quickly – too quickly to my mind – he gives her the monsters are real speech.

Ashley is even able to give them the name of the werewolf who threatened to kill her if she told and let her go – Andy May (Markian Tarasiuk). Sam points out that there wasn’t a full moon that night, and Dean suggests pureblood. Sam goes off to find an address, and Dean watches as Ashley seems to break down on her hospital bed.

Dean and Sam head to the cabin in the woods that we’ve seen so many times before. Andy’s brother Josh (Luke Camilleri) answers the door and is pretty unfriendly. Josh is clearly surprised to hear that Ashley got away. Andy is more friendly and even offers to help. Sam makes a final test by asking for them to write down a contact number – with a silver pen – and Josh dodges it by saying that they don’t have a phone. Dean is all for shooting them right away, but they’re interrupted by a call from Ashley.

It’s a pretty obvious parallel to Sam and Dean when we learn that Andy doesn’t want to hunt – people – and their father is dead. Josh is the one to take charge as the clearly older brother – and insists that they have to kill Ashley.

Ashley has turned up at their hotel and they tell her to take their room – they’ll get one next door. Sam pulls Dean aside and says that the case feels weird. It’s been too easy. Dean insists that easy is good. Ashley asks Dean to stay with her until she falls asleep – and he’s flattered, and Sam smirks a little behind him – Dean always did like the attention of a pretty girl! And another aside about the great set decoration. I know we’ve seen those carved wooden bear posts before, but they’re terrific as is the deer wallpaper!

Andy and Josh track Ashley to the hotel. Andy recognizes the Impala, but Josh assures him it’s fine. They’ll kill Ashley quick and quiet.

We get what seems to be a nice scene between Dean and Ashley. She asks him if he likes his job. He tells her he does. Even though there’s bad, it feels good to help people. He jokes Jimi Hendrix when she asks him if he ever wanted to be anything else. He tells her not really. She tells him that she just graduated college and has no idea what she’s going to do with her life. He tells her that she’s got plenty of time. She then goes on to say that it’s just all so random and muses it would be great if it was just all planned out for you. Dean doesn’t agree.

Sam wakes Dean up several hours later. Ashley is gone. So lots and lots of plot holes here. Why did it take Sam about four hours to go for food? Why take Ashley back to the cabin instead of killing her – and Dean – right there and eating both their hearts? And why not kill her right away there? And who leaves their abattoir that filthy? And why is all the blood fresh? Dried blood isn’t cherry red….

Dean insists that there’s no way he would have slept through Ashley being taken – and d’uh. Andy insists that “this isn’t them” and doesn’t want to kill Ashley. The two brothers simply run away when they hear Dean and Sam arrive – but then attack them when they try to leave. A fight ensues, and once again it would have been a good idea for Dean to have a bungee cord on his gun as he drops it. Luckily, it’s Andy that picks it up and he can’t shoot Sam. When it looks like Josh is about to kill Dean, Andy kills his brother!

The parallel here between the two sets of brothers is a little too heavy-handed for me. Sam tells Andy, who still holding the gun, that he doesn’t have to do this – presumably kill them too. It’s little brother talking to little brother. Andy monologues that Josh was a monster and he was never going to stop, and he’s a monster too. Josh then turns the gun on himself and just shooting himself with the silver bullet kills him. Dean says that he’s ok – and that that was weird. Ashley, who appears to be in shock, brushes off Dean’s comforting hand and jumps away from him, falling backwards onto a set of antlers and dying! Sam and Dean are both shocked – and Sam even looks puzzled.

And then Lillith finally reveals herself as she says “well, this is a bitch” and sits up with the horns still sticking out of her. She stands up and pushes them out of her, and Sam asks her what she is. She seems disappointed that he doesn’t remember her – and blanks her eyes to white for him so that he immediately does remember killing her.

Sam insists that she’s dead. She tells them that the “Boss” – God – brought her back from the Empty. The plan was for her to seduce Dean – but she realizes that that’s not happening. Sam assumes Chuck sent her to kill them, but she tells them that that’s not how “this story” goes, and we’re back in meta-territory. Lillith actually echoes my own thoughts that the plot was a bit too easy and stupid. Really? Is this how the writers are going to excuse their own laziness? The point was for Dean and Sam to see the two “mutts” – brothers – go all murder-suicide. Lillith finally reveals that she’s there for the magic gun – the Equalizer.

Dean tells her that if Chuck wants the gun, he can come and get it himself. I did kinda like Barlow’s sassy Lillith – who’s happy to do it the hard way. Lillith is impressed that Dean’s upgraded to an angel blade, but she easily blasts them, resulting in Sam unconscious. Dean promises to take her to the gun to save Sam. Lillith points out that she can’t kill Dean – Chuck won’t allow it – but if he’s lying, she’ll make him wish her were dead.

While unconscious, Sam has yet another dream of he and Dean fighting to the death. There’s a great stunt of Padalecki going through the railing in the bunker. Echoing the Andy’s comment earlier that “this isn’t them,” Sam tells a murderous Dean that “this isn’t you.” But it’s demon-Dean with the Mark of Cain back – and that Dean is determined to kill Sam and does.

In the Impala on the way back to the motel to get the gun, Dean asks Lillith why – even she said it was stupid. Lillith points out that she doesn’t want to be there. She died for what she wanted most – Lucifer out of the cage. And then Sam and Dean screwed it all up. Dean points out that that was just another one of God’s stories. Lillith points out that she can’t hurt Him, but she can hurt Dean. Sam wakes up and follows in the brothers’ truck.

Lillith jokes about suckering Dean with less than terrific dialogue from God, who she quips is not Shakespeare but more like a low-rent Dean Koontz. Is this the writers having another go at Kripke? Feels like it. Lillith also points out that God seems to have a pervy obsession with Dean. He’s also stuck on one ending – one brother killing the other. She suggests that the werewolf brothers’ death was simple foreshadowing.

Once at the motel, we get a fantastic close up of one of the bears. Dean then tells Lillith that he forgot. They didn’t bring the gun with them. Lillith then resort to beginning Lingchi – death by a thousand cuts. Sam arrives and shots her with a Devil’s Trap bullet – another upgrade! She appears to be trapped. Sam wants to know where Chuck is, but Lillith isn’t prepared to tell them anything. Sam reminds her that he’s killed her before, but she tells him that was because she let him – and she’s not feeling so generous now. She whites her eyes and is clearly in full possession of her power. She easily pops the bullet out of her forehead.

Sam and Dean make it half way to the Impala before she freezes them to the spot – ever play frozen tag when you were a kid? Totally reminded me of that! Anyway, she’s figured out that they didn’t take anything when they left the motel room, so the gun clearly wasn’t there. Following her logic, she decides that they’d never leave home without such a weapon in case they needed it, so it must be in the Impala. She easily finds it in the glove compartment – and then melts it down and disappears. One can only hope that they take the metal and at least make bullets from it.

Back at the bunker, Sam tries to call Cas to give him the heads up on Chuck. The two brothers share a drink. No beer in this episode. Dean is despondent that Chuck is back and they are stuck in his maze again. Sam wonders why Chuck doesn’t just kill them, and Dean tells him that Chuck only likes one kind of ending – one of them kills the other. Dean insists that it’s not happening. Sam finally tells Dean about his dreams and wonders if he’s seeing Chuck’s endings because of the wound they share. Sam wonders if he’s somehow in Chuck’s head. Dean is simply despondent that they aren’t free the way he thought. Do they run in the hamster wheel until they die or Chuck gets bored? Sam insists that they fight. But Dean doesn’t know how they are supposed to fight God.

“Golden Time” finally reveals what Cas has been doing. And just a quick aside that I really love using the Impala tail lights for the “Then” intro to the previously on montage. The opening scene is Jacinda (Alex Sturman) breaking into Rowena’s apartment and essentially destroying it as she looks for the “good stuff” – Rowena’s cache of magical items. Of course, Rowena was far from stupid and the apartment is booby-trapped, killing Jacinda – who I was not too sad to see go, not only because she trashed Rowena’s apartment but also because she was not the best guest star…

Back at the bunker, Sam is carrying on as usual, trying to find signs of God or Lillith and seeing something out of the corner of his eye. Dean has retreated to his bedroom where he is watching Scooby-Doo (of course) and eating all the cereal – there’s that eating theme again because if something is funny they should jam it into every. Single. Episode. I did like that his pajama pants had hotdogs all over them. I could see wardrobe out shopping and just randomly seeing these and thinking – “these would be perfect for Dean!”

Dean is bemused by the bad joke on the back of the cereal box. What’s round and bad tempered? A vicious circle. And of course that resonates with their entire lives – but neither seem to pick up on it. Sam hasn’t found anything and hasn’t had any more visions. Sam looks tired, but Dean seems to have given up for the moment. He’s not surprised that Sam hasn’t found anything and expects that God will find them when he’s ready.

Sam goes for a run – and yes it was lovely – and Eileen is finally able to manifest. She returns to the bunker with Sam – apparently, in the script it is clear that she couldn’t manifest in the bunker before because of the warding and Sam and Dean power it down when Sam returns from his run.

        Eileen tells them that she’s been in Hell the entire time because the hellhound that killed her dragged her there. You’d think it would have been easier for her to figure out being a ghost because she was a hunter, but she does know what happens to them. Eventually, she’ll go crazy, and she knows that Sam and Dean know angels, so she’s hoping they can get her in to Heaven. Dean pretty brutally tells her that souls from Hell can’t go to Heaven.

Dean is already thinking of alternatives and suggests a soul catcher to give Eileen her own private area – and why not try to do that for Kevin? Or put the two of them together? Maybe they’d go crazy more slowly if they were together? Anyway, Sam points out that it’s not an easy spell, and Dean tells Sam that he’s like Rowena’s protégé – a ginger junior! Sam decides to try, but it means going to Rowena’s. Dean doesn’t plan on going – it’s a milk run. Sam finally confronts Dean about seemingly giving up after finding out that God was back. They may not be able to do a lot, but this is something that they can do. And this matter. Dean simply tells him, “that’s why you’re going to kick it in the ass.” And we get a lovely shout out to Kim Manners. And here’s one shout out that they could do in every episode to please this fan. I’ve made no secret that director Kim Manners is the reason that I started watching the show in the first place, so loved this.

There’s a lovely scene between Sam and Eileen as Sam stops to gas up the Impala. It wasn’t long before we were reminded of just what great chemistry these two actors have. Sam shares with Eileen that he spent time in Hell too. And of course, so has Dean. So, if they’re souls have been in Hell, does that mean that they can’t go to Heaven either? And after all, Dean has been to Heaven since being in Hell…. Plot hole. Meanwhile, Sam tells Eileen that talking helps, and she says that she’s not ready yet. She’s impressed that Sam has continued to learn sign language, and he admits that after they met he got a bit “stuck.”

The first thing Sam and Eileen see as they enter the apartment is the dead witch. We see the mirror shimmer and that’s where the two witches in the obviously placed moving van are watching. It turns out that one is Jacinda’s mother (Keegan Connor Tracy) and the other her sister Emily (Jodelle Ferland). Both have been in the show before – Ferland way back in season one’s “Provenance” and Tracy in “Monster at the End of This Book!”

Eileen finally finds Rowena’s secret room, and Sam is overcome with emotion, especially after finding Rowena’s journals. Eileen sees that Sam misses her, and Sam admits that he killed her – but at her request and she saved the world doing it. Sam then asks her if she ever feels like she’s the punchline to some cosmic joke – which circles back to the joke on the cereal box. I had to wonder here if the writer had managed to see Joker before writing this… Sam explains that magic was how Rowena kept control – and then Sam finds the spell to make the spirit flesh! He thinks they can bring Eileen back!

As Sam backs the Impala’s trunk with the ingredients they need for the spell, the witches finally attack. Sam knows immediately what he’s dealing with and crawls around the car until he finds the hex bag tucked in the wheel well. Mother easily brushes Eileen away and takes Sam prisoner. Mother tells Sam that Rowena’s warding killed everyone but him, which means that Rowena clearly meant to leave all her possessions to Sam. Mother is planning on using the spell, which you can only use once, to bring back Jacinda. To keep Sam under control, they’ve made a voodoo doll of him, using his hair.

Emily is sent with Sam – and the doll – to pick up the ingredients that they need – and all the good stuff. Sam offers to cover up Jacinda – it’s clear that he’s being sensitive – but Emily wants to know if he thinks Jacinda is pretty. It quickly becomes clear that Emily doesn’t love her sister who made her life hell. Sam tries to exploit that and tells her about his older brother putting superglue in his toothpaste – oh Dean!!! But nothing Dean did can compare to what Jacinda did to Emily, and even Sam is taken aback.

Sam thinks that he’s found a way out. He tells Emily that Jacinda doesn’t have to come back – he’ll give her all Rowena’s books and she’ll be able to run away – so her mother wouldn’t kill her. But like most abuse victims, Emily doesn’t trust Sam and thinks he’s just lying and stabs the voodoo doll to punish him. Sam has no choice but to do as he’s told.

Dean shows up with mom at gun point with witch killing bullets. The confrontation quickly turns into a witch on human, ghost on ghost fight. I loved Eileen showing up to save Dean and the sassy smile she gives him! Do NOT kill her off again show! Dean shoots and kills Emily, which gets Mom off of Sam but on him. Meanwhile, Sam has a hex bag that he made while gathering stuff in Rowena’s secret chamber. Eileen is being defeated by Jacinda, and Dean saves her by burning Jacinda’s body. It’s a pretty good fight!

Back at the bunker, Sam prepares the bath/spell for Eileen and she gets in. It’s a pretty good effect as ghost-Eileen slips beneath the water. And as soon as Sam finishes, the real Eileen emerges from the water – naked! Sam – always the gentleman has his back turned, allowing her to cover up with a towel. This time when she reaches out, they are able to hold hands – and then hug. These two SO have to be end game! C’mon show!

Meanwhile, Cas has literally gone fishing and is going by the name Clarence – what a lovely shout out to Rachel Miner’s Ruby! And of course his favorite fishing story is “Sammy’s!” Cas notices that Andy (Sebastian Kroon) seems upset, and he tells Cas that he’s a volunteer firefighter and that they pulled a “drained” body from the lake. Cas is immediately concerned and interested.

Cas goes to see the Sheriff (Art Kitching) as FBI Agent Wortley. While waiting for the Sheriff, Cas meets Melly (Jennifer Spence) who’s there because her son Caleb (Sean Quan) is missing. When Cas finally gets into see the Sheriff, he blows off Melly as always complaining about something and being paranoid. The sheriff dismisses the body pulled from the lake as due to drugs, and when Cas wants to see the body, it’s already gone to Cheyanne where there’s an ME. Cas finally gets his back up and starts throwing his weight around as a “Special” Agent. The sheriff wants to talk to his supervisor. Cas has to take the chance that he’ll get back up…

I loved the shot of tangled phones – this is totally how Dean would do it, but it’s also a callback to Bobby – and then Garth – providing the same service for other hunters. Dean does pick up the “FBI” phone, and the Sheriff is appeased. Director Kaiser asks to speak to his Agent. Cas has to take the call now and isn’t happy about it! Dean immediately tells him that Sam’s been trying to call him. Cas says he knows and hasn’t checked the messages. Dean tells him that he doesn’t know if he cares or not, but God is back on the board. And then he tells him to check his messages and hangs up. Dean is neither angry nor happy to talk to Cas – he seems again, like he’s past caring – though telling Cas to check his messages may be an indication that he’s not that far gone… Cas fakes saying goodbye, and the Sheriff tells him he’ll get the files for him.

Cas gets all the files and pours over them. I loved that he used his Sammy’s fishing map to map out where the bodies were discovered. I also really liked that Cas is clearly a pretty competent hunter in this episode. The music in this scene even reminded me a little bit of The X-Files.

Melly follows Cas to the lake. She feels guilty about telling Caleb to get out for fresh air. She tells him about a mine that was shut down for toxic runoff. She refuses to tell him where it is, but offers to show him and Cas agrees.

Melly thanks Cas for helping on his vacation – his cover for being an FBI Agent renting a cabin on the lake. He tells her it’s not really a vacation, but that he had to “step away.” He tells her that he and his colleagues had a falling out with “management” (LOL!!!) and each other. As they get closer to the cave, Cas decides he needs to prepare Melly for what he thinks they are about to walk into and gives her the monsters are real speech. He tells her that he thinks the monster is a Djinn. And then they find Caleb at the side of the trail….

Caleb wasn’t just lost. He’d seen a monster dragging a dead body to the lake and tried to take a picture, but the monster chased him, he broke his phone and hurt his ankle. He was so scared that he was just hiding. And then the monster shows up – it’s the sheriff who is a Djinn. He shoots Cas. Cas then is clearly projecting when he rants that it’s always selfish little men in authority (oh! Snap! Rob Benedict is a bit shorter than the giants who star on this show!) who take what they want and who they want because their power will protect them. But here’s someone whose power won’t protect them from Cas – and Cas goes all Taxi Driver on the Sheriff – pretty much freaking Caleb and Melly out!

Cas dumps the Sheriff’s body in the lake and then returns to Melly and Caleb. He heals Caleb’s ankle, but he’s clearly having trouble doing it. Is he becoming ever weaker? Or is it because he just had to heal his own bullet wounds? Melly calls it a miracle and thinks he’s God. He tells her that he can’t explain – but he doesn’t tell her that he’s an angel. He tells her that he’s leaving because if he stays, nothing changes, and it’s time for him to get back in the game.

In the final scene, Dean and Sam catch up over beers – always a symbol of a more positive conversation. Dean teases Sam by asking him if he’s some kind of witch now. Dean is clearly a bit disgusted with himself for doing nothing while Sam was able to bring Eileen back from the dead. Sam then does even more by giving Dean a pep talk. He tells him that while they aren’t making the rules, they still have moves to make. Sam is adamant that Chuck didn’t want Sam to shoot him, but Dean still isn’t convinced that it’s not part of the plan. Dean tells him that he doesn’t know what’s God and what isn’t and that’s what’s driving him crazy. Sam is adamant though. They’re the guys who break the rules. They’ll find a way to defeat God. But Sam tells Dean that he can’t do it without him. He needs his brother. Dean doesn’t answer but just looks troubled.

The next episode is essentially filler before we get the fall finale, which will no doubt be a cliffhanger. I love that they brought Eileen back – and if it’s completely pointless and we never see her again OR they kill her off again, I will not be pleased. It was good to see Misha Collins actually get a meaty storyline for once, and good to see Cas ready to get back into the fight. Now we just need to see Dean back in the game – and that’s what the next episode is for. I’m still finding this season to be generally disappointing, but at least “Golden Time” did have a few golden moments. What did you think of the episodes? Are Sam and Eileen endgame for you? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!