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Supernatural Round Table: "Mother's Little Helper"

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Misha Collins sat down in the director's chair for Supernatural Season 9 Episode 17.

How did he do? And is Dean handling the Mark of Cain/First Blade addiction? And just what is Abaddon's secret plan?

TV Fanatic Round Table participants Carissa Pavlica, Sean McKenna and Alice (from Winchester Family Business) have a lot to discuss with the latest Supernatural installment.

Hold onto your souls and join in on this week's Supernatural Round Table...

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What was your favorite scene?

Carissa: Clearly, it was the Meatloaf Massacre. I'm sure people will flame me for saying I've had thoughts in my head like that and it was great seeing what happens when you lose your soul. It was a hilarious byproduct of an unfortunate event.

Alice: I’ll have to go with the early Sam and Dean scene in the MOL bunker. Dean is in such a dark place right now, poorly hiding it and Sam is starting to realize something is wrong. He even calls Dean out on it but doesn’t push too much. That’s progress I guess. Dean is lying to his brother, and I like that Crowley later was the one able to pinpoint what was really happening. Dean pulling out the liquor bottle from his bag was a telling sign. Uh oh, he’s drinking again. Not good. 

Sean: That meatloaf scene really made me go “whoa.” I wouldn’t say I necessarily had a favorite though, but I liked Crowley popping in at the bar to chat with Dean. Crowley gets some great lines and Mark Sheppard delivers them perfectly. He’s like that annoying fly buzzing around Dean who just can’t get rid of him. But it’s great for us to watch.

Any thoughts on Misha Collins' directorial debut?

Carissa: He brought William Shatner and Orlando Jones to Twitter to tweet about Supernatural and the three of them going off on the show was my favorite part. At one point Misha tweeted, "We secretly switched Jensen's prop beer with Folger's Crystals. Let's see if he notices." That he had such a fantastic time filming it and it turned out well says it all for me.

Alice: I thought he did an amazing job. The were some unique elements and shots there that I’ve never seen on this show before.  He wasn’t afraid to try new things. I was especially taken by his shots of Abaddon’s lingering diabolical gaze as the car pulled away and the haunted look of the nun then and now after seeing the face of pure evil. I also liked the whole visual of the souls finding their owners, and the closing shot of the brothers at different tables working on research. They’re still apart, yet working together to fight the good fight. It said a lot. Well done! 

Sean: It definitely had a classic Supernatural feel. There were some cool shots like Alice said, but overall it was solid work at telling the story. I do wonder how he’d do directing himself!

Dean Working with a Drink
Dean's hard at work with a bottle of booze to help in "Mother's Little Helper."

Do you think Crowley has an ulterior motive besides using Dean to kill Abaddon?

Carissa: I'm sure he does, but I don't know what it is. I really don't think it would be in Crowley's best interests to do anything against the brothers because they have an odd symbiotic relationship. They need each other. 

Alice: Of course.  All you had to do is say “Crowley.”  He’s always been a big picture kind of guy and when he’s not scheming.  His bonding with Dean is eerily like Ruby with Sam in season four (I’m talking about pulling Dean out of his rut, not that other thing, even if Crowley had the clever mistress line.)  I’m dying to know what Crowley’s plan is for Dean, and I think I’m going to end up loving it.  But that’s only because I’m Crowley’s bitch.

Sean: Could Crowley possibly control Dean after Dean uses the Mark of Cain/First Blade too much? He obviously wants Abaddon gone, but of course, we all know its Crowley. He’s always got one extra plan in play, and I’m looking forward to seeing what it is.

Did you like the flashbacks of Henry Winchester, Abaddon taking over Josie?

Carissa: They weren't my favorite. Only because they were not Sam and Dean centric and I miss them when they're not the featured players. I like the idea of Men of Letters mythology on paper a lot more than I enjoy it playing out on screen.

Alice: Yes because I love Gil McKinney and the whole Men of Letters history thing, but I wasn’t thrilled with the whole Josie letting Abaddon take her because she loved Henry.  I mean, her actions ended up getting Henry killed!  It seemed too cliche and contrived.  I can think of 800 other reasons why that would happen, and it usually involves Abaddon jumping into her without the awkward dialogue.  It’s not like she needed permission. 

Sean: I liked seeing them and thought the demon nuns were creepy, but it was also kind of unnecessary way to put the flashbacks there. Certainly, I like getting more Men of Letters history, even Henry Winchester, so tying it into Sam’s story was kind of cool.

What do you think of Abaddon's plan to turn souls into a demon army?

Carissa: I don't really understand it, so I'll just say it's bad. Turning anything into an army against their will is bad. BAD. Just kill her with that old bone already.

Alice: It’s diabolical, it’s clever, but part of me was underwhelmed by it.  Souls again?  I did like that Sam instantly recognized everyone’s behavior as soulless since he could relate, but that’s the only part of the story that really grabbed me.  I do hope that it leads to something bigger or becomes an important part of the overall arc build up for the rest of the season, but it really didn’t grab me this time.

Sean: I think the concept is exciting, but I can’t really see the show actually brining to life this massive demon army. I can only assume that she will be on the brink of doing it when Sam and Dean swoop in try and stop her. But I wasn’t expecting it, that’s for sure. Hopefully, it has a decent payoff by the time we get to the season finale.

Sean McKenna is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.

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I'm terrified this whole 'soul' thing is going to end up like the Leviathan--we hear about them creating an evil army, but never actually see it pay off. I cringed when the nun called them 'factories'--I'm pretty sure the Leviathan said the exact same thing. Also, am I wrong or was there a continuity error in this episode? Didn't Abaddon say in "Clip Show" that she learned about Josie from the priest and decided to use Josie to sneak into the Men of Letters? Oh well. Not the biggest error this show has ever committed. And while I did cringe a little at Josie 'sacrificing' herself to save Henry, I did love that it gave Alaina Huffman a chance to demonstrate her range as an actor. I sometimes forget how good she is because Abaddon tends to be a little one-note. Aside from that, I loved the actress (actually, both actresses) who played Julia. I thought the 'modern' Julia was especially wonderful--one of the strongest guest stars in a long time.

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@ Samara

technically Henry was a priest for the episode- yaknow demons sometimes mispeak:-). Don't forget Azazel was creating an army for Sam to lead against humans so this army business is not new for demons. Crowley works from a corporate structure-that's what makes him new school. Souls- it's been about the taint on Dean's righteous soul, Sam's tainted blood, and the power of souls for many seasons. This episode reminded me of Clip Show as it brought back many past threads.

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