News Article

News Article

Television Tourniquet: 'Supernatural' Episode 5.17


Supernatural 5.17
99 Problems
Written By: Julie Siege
Directed By: Charles Beeson
Original Airdate: 8 April 2010

In This Episode...
The Winchester boys are racing away from a band of vicious, unseen demons when a band of mercenaries attack with fire hoses filled with holy water.  With their asses saved, Sam and Dean accompany the Sacrament Lutheran Militia back to their compound, built around a church.

They arrive in the middle of an informal wedding - the eighth that week. Everyone in the church is packing - including the priest.  No one knows who the Winchesters are - except for Leah.  The preacher’s daughter speaks to the angels, who tell her where demons will appear, and how they can fight them.  They also told her about the boys.

While on a routine demon hunt in an old farmhouse, a teenager, Dylan, is killed by a sneaky demon.  His mom blames Dean.  During Dylan’s funeral, Leah has another angel-message: Dylan will be reunited with his parents, and soon paradise will blanket the earth.  The only catch is that they have to live as the angels dictate: no sex, no booze, no drugs.  They must obey curfew, and cable and cell phone lines have been cut to avoid contamination from the outside world.

The angels tell Leah that they are not happy.  Some in the group are not obeying, and the sinners will prevent salvation for the rest of them.  Jane, Dylan’s grief-stricken mom, will do anything to see her son, including killing the town bartender when he refuses to give up the bottle.  When the angels start telling Leah who among them have sinned, Jane is all too eager to round them up.

Cas pops into town, drunk.  He tells Sam and Dean that Leah is not a prophet; she is the whore of Babylon, and she manipulates people into killing in the name of God.  Her goal is to corrupt as many souls as possible.  There is only one way to kill her.  She must be stabbed with a stake derived from a cypress tree from Babylon - luckily Cas just happens to have one.  But the stake must be driven by a messenger from god.

Leah’s father, the priest, is enlisted to do the deed.  They bust in on Leah just as she is convincing Jane to set the sinners alight.  But the priest simply cannot do it.  During the fight, Leah pins Dean, and laughs when he reaches for the stake, saying he is no messenger of god.  Jokes on her, because he kills her with it.

With another disaster averted, if only temporarily, the group licks their wounds at the motel.  Dean sneaks out and speeds off to Lisa’s house.  Apparently he shows up solely to tell her that when he pictures himself happy, it is with her and the kid.  He is making “arrangements” for her and Ben, because things are about to get “really, really bad” - isn’t that what they say every week?

Dig It or Bury It?
Ten minutes into this episode, my husband asked if this was a repeat.  It’s not, but there was an episode earlier this season that is very similar - a church group that forms their own militia.  In other words, been there, done that, rented the DVD.  It really felt like a pointless episode.  Things are going to get “really, really bad.”  I just don’t feel like this episode added anything to the overall story arc.  It was ridiculously predictable - the moment Leah revealed herself to be a prophet, I immediately knew she was a dirty liar.  The episode just felt so damn pointless.  It is actually hurting my brain trying to figure out why they even bothered making this episode.

Blood Brothers
Not much to report.  The battle in the farmhouse was pretty fun.  Not particularly bloody, but it was shot like a video game - very fast, with demons popping up out of hiding places and being blasted away.  It was atypical of the Supernatural style.

Sibling Rivalry
At some point during this episode, Dean just kind of gives up.  He has no will to move forward.  He has a defeated, “what’s the point?” attitude.  I felt like I missed a scene.  After all this time, what exactly made him give up?  The idea that he is a messenger of god?  The thought of living in a town without booze?  It was just totally random.

Spooky Humor
This week, with Dean becoming suddenly maudlin, the funniest line in the episode goes to Cas.  Sam calls him, and gets his voicemail.  You know that standard outgoing message that says “you have reached the voicemail box of...”?  Instead of saying his name, Cas says, “I don’t get it.  Why do I have to say my name?”  Beeeeeep!

Next week is the 100th episode of the series.  Undoubtedly, it will be heavily laden in Supernatural mythology.  Maybe things are about to finally get “really, really bad?”  The last few episodes have been very disappointing - you boys better bring it for the big 1-0-0.