Supernatural 8x18 Freaks and Geeks

Well, the only part of this episode that was great was the stuff just after the title card and was pretty much over after about two and a half minutes. The teaser could've been greatly improved if all the annoying ones had been killed, but it still would've been a little better if even one of them had been killed. But of course not because this is Supernatural and the people behind Supernatural don't actually have balls big enough to actually off a kid, so I'm resigned to this boring piece of shit that I can pretty much guess what happens right now.

Nope, you know what? I'm not so resigned - I ended up only watching about 20-25 minutes of this episode and then only the parts where Dean and Sam was both on screen together.

However, I will say this in the end since they didn't kill Krissy or one of her stupid stupid pals they could've at least balled up and allowed Krissy to actually kill that human piece of shit. Instead she was only allowed to click an empty gun at him and then the asswipe helpfully offed himself since our dainty dainty characters obviously couldn't sully themselves by killing someone. Why I mean, seriously, killing someone - why I just couldn't. Oh my, the vapors - the vapors - help me, kind sir, because even the mere thought gives me the vapors.

Remember when this show was kinda bad ass? Yeah, neither can I, though I have some really strong memories of it being such at some point in history.

I could say more, but honestly at this point I'm even tired of bitching about this show, so instead I think I'd rather talk about a wonderful new show I've recently discovered - that I think perhaps when the time comes (i.e. the end of the current season) will help me ultimately break away from Supernatural. I'm talking, of course, of the intensely wonderful (so far) Bates Motel.

Though I find that before I can jump to that I have to at least mention the following: Krissy being all "I don't care - I'll do what I want whatever - if they find out that's good." Holy crap! Sweetie, you are a dumbass. If you really are the cream of the next generation crop the SupernaturalVerse is most sincerely screwed horribly and without lube.

But I mean, really, you beheaded a guy on camera! And from what was on the video it wasn't obvious that the dude was a vampire. So what do you honestly think would've happened if the cops came a-knocking? Best case you would've found yourself locked away for mental health reasons because to the general public vampires don't exist and you beheading one on camera proves nothing when it's not obvious on the video that dude was a vampire. Or you and your little band of dumbasses would find yourselves on trial for his brutal murder, but what wouldn't happen is the masses cheering you on. Sure some kooks on the side, but the general public would be horrified because you guys freakin' beheaded a man on camera in what looked like from the camera's point of view pretty cold blood.

Bates Motel

Sooo, I watched and am pretty much loving this show, even though it does take more than a few liberties with the "source" material.

Anyway, in the first scene in the first episode Norman wakes up and realizes his father his dead - now I assumed Norma did it, perhaps because of movie bias - in the movies (after all) Norma screwed Norman in more ways than just the obvious one. Because when Norman wakes and stumbles through the house he finds things still cooking still happening but no one there supervising. He finally finds his dead dad and then goes back to search for his mom, who's in the shower - perhaps washing off evidence. However, you could also read that whole scene as though Norman killed his father and then blocked the memory, but for now I'm sticking with Norma having done it, because before Norman ever thought about going bad Norma was already there.

Of course, we don't know what life was like with husband number two (Sam). What we do know if that later in the episode after Norma and Norman move into their new home a very bad man rapes her and she kills him. Justified, in this case, though the town and the rapist best friend who's a cop (cop Guyliner from Ringer is what I'm calling him for now) might not see it that way. But it does lead one to wonder and speculate that perhaps in the beginning Norma wasn't as off the rails as one might've thought. Shit just kept happening and she kept being forced to react to it until she was forever changed and then passed it forward by forever changing Norman Bates.

However, the actress playing Norma is fantastic, because even before the scene where she kills on screen for the first time you can see where she's just not quite normal. She's just a little off, but it's all very vague, and you really only know it's a bad off because you know what comes later, right? But if you didn't know all that you wouldn't (I think) suspect that Norma is off in a bad way. And standing next to her almost (but again not quite) looking completely normal is Norman Bates. And I just love that. Seriously, if you didn't know what comes later you would almost honestly think these are just two normal people looking for a place to call home.

And that's even with Norma having killed someone in this episode and having Norman help her momentarily hide and then later dispose of the body, which I suppose also makes the guy playing Norman more than a little fantastic, because while you can sorta see the beginnings of mental issues here (with frankly both of them though Norma more so than Norman) I can't help but wonder if they can only be seen at this point because one knows this all ultimately ends very very badly. If you didn't know the ending would those little "ticks" we see be chalked up to something else entirely.

Bates Motel 1x02 Nice Town You Picked, Norma...

So, I don't understand me sometimes, because while this episode pretty much made Norma/Norman the least dangerous people in town, somehow this episode managed to pull me in and leave me with the idea that this is the show that will help me pull away from The Vampire Diaries and Supernatural unless those two start giving me reasons to stay, and right now both seem to be more interested in pushing me away, though admittedly this show will probably help more with breaking away from Supernatural than it will The Vampire Diaries because of the family drama aspect of the show. Yes, the family drama here is more twisted than Supernatural ever thought of being, but it's still family drama.

Oh, and it's not Dylan (Norma's oldest son and Norman's half-brother) that this episode revealed to be more dangerous than Norma/Norman. I mean, yes, looking at the three of them together you might (probably) assume Dylan would be the one voted most likely to serial kill. But Dylan's behavior made sense - I don't know if mommy tried to seduce him or not, but even if she didn't his behavior still makes sense. But certainly makes sense if there was something more twisted than a normal mommy/son relationship between them at some point, but again even without that it still works.

Actually, the way the shows sitting it up right now I think Dylan might prove to be the almost normal one in this family, which is actually a nice little twist, I think, though even he is a few degrees off normal.

Anyway, in show context Norma married Dylan's father when she was seventeen, and then at some point later she met Norman's father (Sam) left Dylan's father and took up with Norman's. And according to Dylan Norma favored Norman always. Basically he's a dick, but it makes sense that he's a dick, because momma basically left him for another man (or two really) - whether that means sexually or not is not revealed at this point, but it still works even if the answer is not sexually.

And apparently, while at some point Dylan clearly lived with Sam, Norma, and Norman he wasn't there when Sam died, because when Sam died Norma basically left town and may have been actively hiding from Dylan, expect it's also possible that she just up and left simply without bothering to inform him because clearly don't like each other. Okay, that's entirely too simplistic, because Dylan is clearly offended/upset by the fact that Norma didn't keep him in the loop. But what really brought Dylan back into their lives was that he lost his job and had nowhere else to go so he came home to mommy. The bigger thing is that yes on the surface he seems to hate her, but that's surface only. Clearly Dylan loves her almost as much as he hates her - sadly though I think she just doesn't give a damn about him at all. Or not sadly, I guess, because that means he might escape this puppy without going all mental.

Plus after thinking about it I think the character of Dylan may be necessary for more than female fan bait (and yes Dylan is clearly female fan bait - watch the show you'll see what I mean). On the surface this seems like a series about how Norman ends up the infamous Norman Bates, but then when you think about it many of the elements in this series seem to be more about telling Norma's story than telling Norman's. Which could be why this series is working for me even when some elements shouldn't (over-the-top bad guys - a before unknown brother for Norman), because in thinking about it those elements relate more to Norma than Norman. Obviously Norman is a part of Norma's story, but when you start thinking about it it seems this series may be telling the story of Norma more so than the story of Norman.

Of course, there's another and maybe more important reason for Dylan and that's because Dylan is practically the only one who can give an outside(r) prospective on Norma/Norman without needing a true outsider, because let's face it in real life a true outsider to this would be horrified and perhaps even reactive in a way that would change the way events are ultimately meant to play out. But more than that a true outsider would be unlikely to give any insight into the story/ultimate tragedy that is the story of Norma/Norman other than horror, and the story of Norma and Norman is more than horror. "All wicked things start from innocence." So that's where the character of Dylan comes in - Dylan is family and therefore not a true outsider - he's involved, but not to the point where he can't present an outsider point of view on Norma/Norman, because even if he is family he is still outside that relationship whether he wants to be or not, so he is a character poised to see more than the horror/tragedy of it.

Anyway, the bigger problem when it comes to things is the fact that according to this show in White Pine Bay you'd probably be safer in the Bates Motel even after Norman goes all psycho. And yet it kinda works in a meta way - nature vs nurture in this case I think shows trying to say both are bad, or to use words from the show - both suck. Though really at some points it can seem that Norman only ends up becoming a killer because he has to keep up with the rest of the town somehow.

So, now let's get into the over-the-top town badness. Last week Norman, when helping Norma hide bloodstains, found a homemade anime comic that events this week lead one to believe the events depicted could perhaps be based on real events. Four girls (I think it was four) from China was brought here and turned into sex slaves - one died and the kidnappers forced the other girls to bury her before then selling the other girls. Granted we don't yet know if that actually happened or was just somebodies twisted fantasy, but the locations in the comic are real places as revealed in this episode, and honestly all signs pretty much point to this is real this actually happened at some point - possibly still happening now.

But the town badness doesn't stop there - turns out this may in fact be a town of thugs. Bradley (the girl who may or may not be flirting with Norman - she has a boyfriend and may just be friendly) finds her father burned to the point of coma in a perfectly fine car early in the episode.

It's revealed that someone set the guys business on fire, but the guy got out, but is probably dead. Later in the episode the friendly cop (who Norma sorta bonded with last week in this weird sequence where the cops come to the motel late at night because apparently lights was on and they was curious - the cops partner is the aforementioned Cop Guyliner from Ringer) reveals that people in this town have more money than they should - he (the "good" cop) doesn't reveal why, nor does the episode reveal that, the "good" cop basically just says people in this town will get justice their own way AND they do because later in the episode there's a hanging body in town on fire, and that one is very dead.

And by the end of the episode Dylan seems to be on the fast track (through Bradley's brother; it's either that or this dude was having an epic gay love affair with his boss, because he's weirdly broken up about the dudes burning and coma for just a lowly employee, especially since he's crying in the middle of strip club) to whatever passes as the inside club of the town. But again even in this Dylan still manages to come across more like a normal person than the rest of his family. Though to be fair right now Norman comes across as mostly a normal (if overly invested in his mommy) kid. Certainly more normal than Norma at any rate, but not entirely normal I suppose he just looks normal standing next to Norma.

Anyway, yes, obviously this episode was very over-the-top (what with making the Bates Motel almost the safest place in town, but again even that works to explain why later Norman doesn't want to leave I suppose) but despite that something about this episode has now spoken to me and I am bonded with the show. And again I'm thinking it's the family drama and the fact that this is show is making the journey to being Norman Bates interesting, which even way back just based on the movies you knew (or at least could've guessed) that the journey to becoming Norman would be an interesting one. But who knew if the show could actually pull it off? And now I know - I think the show is perfectly capable of pulling it off.

Oh, and speaking of family drama - Dylan and Norman are revealed to have a very complicated relationship. At one point in the episode... Well, one of Norman's friends comes over to study (Emma, who has CF), and mommy gets invasive (and kinda offensive - the questions aren't really offensive, except for the last one, it's more the way they're asked) in the questioning, and Norman makes a sort of puppy face to Dylan who actually does step up and try (but fails) to distract mommy from her questions.

And that's where the first real hint of actual incest creeps in. After Norman and Emma head upstairs - Dylan wonders if Emma will take the breathing tube out of her nose when they (Norman and Emma) make out. It's not Norma's reaction that hints it, but the fact that Dylan knew to word it that way to get under her skin in the first place.

Of course, then later in the episode Dylan beats the crap out of Norman, because on Dylan's cell phone when Norma calls it says "The Whore" and Norman (of course) doesn't like that. But to Dylan's credit it's made clear that Dylan doesn't want to beat the ever loving fuck out of Norman, but Norman being an overly invested mommas-boy won't let it go.

Because of that later Norma finds Norman bruised and battered and resolves herself to kicking Dylan out, because no one is going to hurt her baby, except her, though I guess she doesn't think she's hurting him & and right now I don't even mean sexually but emotionally hurting him. But in the end she fails, because Dylan hints that (unlike the audience) he knows what happened to Sam and wonders (aloud) what would happen if he told people what their (Sam, Norma, and Norman) relationship was really like. Which makes me wonder, because considering how torn up Norman was over his death it doesn't really makes sense that for the guy to have been an abusive prick. So, perhaps Dylan was simply talking about the almost unnatural closeness of Norma and Norman.

It was after watching this episode that I had a somewhat weird thought and since I'm posting this in the entry with my Supernatural review it is entirely relevant:

I started thinking about how at this point Sam would probably be better served by not being on Supernatural and so (mostly after the show) I started thinking that maybe Sam got out and at least changed his last name, and then at some point after all that met and fell in love with Norma and then in the course of events had a son. Then poor Sam found himself murdered by his wife and/or son, which when you think about it would be almost as perfect an ending for any arc involving Sam getting out of hunting and finding his so called normal life that could ever be had by that arc.

So, I think (especially if I stop watching Supernatural at the end of this season) that'll be my canon. Sam finally gets out and changes his name only to have his new name end up as infamous among humans as Winchester is among non-humans. Seriously, think about it, in the context of Supernatural it even works, because what doesn't work is the idea that Sam Winchester could ever have or hope to have a normal life.

Plus that would give Norman crazy family issues from both sides giving his a rounded crazy and pushing him above Dylan in the crazy race, cause he already is ahead, and there needs to be a reason for that. Plus that would free the Dean/Cass show (i.e. Supernatural) from having to come up with some way around Sam every time the writers want to have just a Dean/Cass scene, or hell based on this week's episode a Dean/Anyone not Sam scene. You know like instead of just weirdly leaving Sam sitting in the car or actively telling Sam he can't come because basically he's just not as good to have at ones back as Cass (or Benny), or Sam just wondering off like a lost puppy.

So it's somewhat interesting (to me) as I'm fast losing interest in a couple of my long-time shows this new one comes along and pretty much grabs me out of the gate.