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The Winchesters - Legend of a Mind & The Art of Dying - Double Review: "Keeping Up The Pace"

 

Combining the art of serialized storytelling and procedural outings is tough. Often shows get lost in their procedural writing and forget to develop their side stories. The Winchesters is working very well, introducing interesting monsters and B-plots while furthering the season's central mystery. Let's dive into episodes 5 & 6 and what they've provided.

Legend of a Mind
One of the better things about The Winchesters is that they have an all-around likable cast. The Mary-John anguish is a bit tedious at times, but the characters are approachable and relatable, each carrying their own burden and growing through it. So when they pulled a new one on us and introduced Ava's son, I knew we were in for a good ride. I understood that Ava was supposed to be older than the main group, but Demetria McKinney doesn't look like she could have a 20-year-old son. Color me surprised after I read that she was 43 years old. 

Ada's son, Tony, being a half-djinn took the story to a whole different direction. First, it created a good conflict for the episode, and second, it gave Ada great space to develop. The focus on Ada's struggle wasn't forced, it unfolded easily and gave us great insight into Ada's thoughts and the strength she found in herself to persevere. The way the episode was paced made it easy to relate to Ada and her fear. The sincerity and pain brought by Demetria made it even easier to relate. The Bus scene between Ada and Tony was simply beautiful, it wasn't overdone 

Meanwhile, the episode was great for the Mary-John angle of the overall story.  Mary's wish for a Hunter-free life is still a major motivation going into each episode of the show. The small scenes between John and Mary before the mind dive were just as important as the mind dive, they showed the simplicity and purity of their connection. How easy it is for them to be just them with each other. Meg and Drake maybe not be everyone's perfect choice for the roles of Mary and John but imo they are just killing it. Their chemistry and interaction are just so good. The amount of fragility the writers allow them to have this early into the show just broadens the characters. It was truly heartbreaking to see Mary's biggest fear, the moment she was pushed into the hunter life. A 5-year-old shouldn't go through that. But then again, as we see in the next episode, life as a Hunter puts you on a lot of revenge lists, and leaving Mary unprepared would've been an even bigger problem down the line. 

Other tidbits: 
- Carlos' right hook to send John to dreamland was executed perfectly. 
- I once again have to praise the CGI, that "Roach" looked terrifying. Excited to see them fight more of those. 
- The team got closer to Bridget Reagan's Roxanne and damn they need to stop teasing her arrival and allow her to wreak havoc on the leads. 

The Art of Dying
Episode 6 is so far my second favorite episode of the season. It showcased the many sides of the Hunter's life and worked on the issues our characters are bottling up. 
"I can't wait for the day, when the sight of a dead body shakes me up like that."
One line says so much. Mary's journey to "independence" is a rough one and the struggle is just palpable in each one of Mary's scenes. The writers focusing on the trauma Mary and other Hunters experienced during their time is a good stepping stone going forward. It was also the message the mother ship sent back in the day with its series finale. The Hunter life is a losing game and it is just a matter of time before you're the one losing. 

The introduction of Audrey Marie Anderson's Tracy was solid. The duality of her now "peaceful" life and all the secrets she buried made her character that much more interesting. But it was more important how her story impacted Mary.  Mary wants a clean cut from the hunter life but witnessing how Tracy's story is unfolding made her realize that it might not be possible. The legacy of a Hunter isn't only the kills they've executed and people they've saved but it also comes with the danger of retribution. The story about Tracy and her crew was strong and Anderson's retelling of it was emotional. 

The fallout between Mary and John was a good one. The emotional baggage they've carried had to eventually be unleashed and it was a good one. John telling Mary he won't wait for the day to throw her a hunter's funeral gave me goosebumps. I love when characters profess their love for each other before even being together or directly telling each other. The tone of Drake's voice was perfect at the moment as it carried the right amount of believability and emotion. Mary soon slapped us out of that moment, as she continued to confront John and his reckless behavior. The charge between the characters, their chemistry, the execution, it all just worked perfectly. Just as their follow-up scene towards the end of the episode.

Carlos developing a "little" crush on Anton in midst of all this chaos was refreshing and a good way of balancing out the episode. The way Carlos was smitten by Anton made me cackle. Jojo Fleites's execution was flawless and their interaction was cute. Seeing Carlos flabbergasted might be my favorite type of scene in The Winchesters.  I hope we'll see more of Anton and Carlos in the future. 

After some quiet time on Latika, the writers finally allowed us to understand more of her. Her pacifism might not hold on in the long run but the story behind it might be more impactful. Nika Khurshid's Latika talking to the possessed John and giving Mack peace was strong and resonated perfectly with the message the episode wanted to tell. The never-ending cycle of violence is a dangerous one and it traps you in a loop you might not be able to escape it. And while I don't think Latika is completely opposed to violence, I do think it was highlighted that it isn't her primary choice of action.  

Other Tidbits: 
- Was I the only one who thought Dean's voiceover didn't fit the episode at all?
- I've missed Ava in this episode, really thought she could've contributed to the overall episode with her levity. 

That's a wrap on my side. Next week The Winchesters' midseason finale is airing and it is a big one, as both Mary's and John's fathers are announced to appear. That should be fun. In the meantime, feel free to share your thoughts on the previous two episodes in the comment section below and stream The Winchesters on the CWApp. 

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