Thursday, January 2, 2014

Supernatural Season 3 Recap- Bela Talbot Must Die

 Hoo boy, I have mixed feelings about season 9 so far. But it's not the first time I haven't been pleased with a season. I believe the show has a curse similar to the the so called curse of the classic Star Trek movies (or what I claimed that Elementary seemed to have going on early in season 1) as far as quality. Only, instead of it being "every even is good/odd is bad" it's more like "every season divisible by three has something very wrong with it that drags the season down". So let's start from the season that started the curse: season three.

I'm going to start adding the seasonal title cards...

  This is mostly from memory (with Wikipedia as a refresher), so if I forget something, I apologize. And also, there will be:


  So, when we last left The Winchester Boys, they defeated the Yellow Eyes (who this season, I believe, we learn his name was Azazel...), Dean had a year to live, and the boys and friends had hundreds of demons to send back to Hell. This would soon be a typical weekday for them. The first group they face? The personifications of The Seven Deadly Sins. Yep. In this fight, Sam meets a woman named Ruby, who kills three of the demons with just a magic knife. As for dying Dean, he tries to get out of his contract, but his Crossroads Demon tells him if he gets a refund on his soul, Sammy's gonna die and it sucks to be him.

 Anyway, Dean goes and visits an old flame of his, Lisa, and her son, Ben. I bring this up only for future seasons. And because Dean with Ben is adorable and writers please make the character a father! No taksies-backsies this time.  We learn that Ruby is a demon, but she wants to help Sam, and she even helps fix The Colt so they have bullets for it again.

 Now, we get to my big problem of the season. In this pretty hilarious episode (despite having one of the most cringe-inducing deaths ever), "Bad Day at Black Rock", the boys reclaim a lucky rabbit's foot that was in a curse box stolen from their Dad's storage unit. Since Sam touched it, he's now lucky beyond belief. However, Bobby informs them that they have to burn it and Sam can't loose it, because if he does, he'll get the worst luck ever and be dead within a week. Guess what happens? A thief called Bela Talbot steals the rabbit's foot. She specializes in stealing the occult and selling it to wealthy buyers. The boys get the foot back and dispatch of it after forcing her to catch/touch it, but not before she steals the scratch tickets Dean had Sam scratch off.

  I'm just going to state it here: I despised the character of Bela. Admittedly, I was fine with her character when I first saw her in "Black Rock". I thought she was a decent one-off. But then she kept coming back. And coming back. AND COMING BACK. I groaned every time the stock clip of her appeared in the "THEN" recap segments. I was so sick of her by her last appearance. Anyway, my biggest problem was that she always had to screw over The Winchesters with little comeuppance, even in the instances where the boys were trying to help her. I read somewhere that the higher ups wanted them to add two new female characters, which I'm fine with, I admit the show can do with some more female reoccurring characters, or at least to use them more. However, while they did okay with Ruby, they could've done so much better with how they handled Bela. I'll get more into this later, but, let's continue the recap.

  Along the way, the boys run into Gordon the hunter a couple times (who this season has a hunter buddy who is uber-religious), and he (Gordon) eventually gets turned into a vampire. He kills his hunter buddy and he's eventually killed by Sam. Sam also kills Dean's Crossroads Demon when she won't tell him who holds Dean's contract. The brothers also go back and forth about Dean dying. Plus, we learn that demons come from souls who've had their humanity stripped away in Hell. Ruby claims she remembers humanity, and tells Dean that he will most likely become a demon when he's dragged into the pit.

  There's also a Christmas special (thus far the only one). The boys go against Pagan Gods (yes, really), and they have a Christmas together, since it's more than likely Dean's last. We also see flashbacks to the Christmas Sam learned about the supernatural, and it's both heartwarming and heartbreaking as is the custom for these flashbacks. We see Dean really took care of Sam most of the time. So much so that Sam gave him the present he would've given their father, the amulet Dean's always worn (lovingly christened "The Samulet" by the fandom). And that Dean was "the loyal son", defending their dad and putting him on a pedestal.

  Anyway, at one point, Bobby is in a coma, so the boys decide to go into his dreams and save him by acquiring an African Dream Root. So who do the boys turn to? Any old, reliable acquaintances they may have in the hunter world? The demon lady that's helped them out so far? Of course not! They turned to FREAKING. BELA. Anyway, they go and save Bobby from the nightmare he's having about his deceased wife (who he had to kill when she got possessed by a demon). Dean later encounters his nightmare self, who pokes at Dean's insecurities and self-loathing, and brings up how Dean's terrified of dying and becoming a demon. And Sam defeats the antagonist of the week.

  And what does Bela do? She STEALS THE FREAKING COLT FROM THE BOYS WHILE THEY'RE OUT! Seriously! Why did they even trust her? Why didn't they keep the valuable magic kill gun McGuffin somewhere safer? Yes, it's later revealed she had reasons for this, but it's still frustrating! Once again she just had to screw them over!

  Also, it's revealed Sam had a thing for Bela in a dream... It's never really brought up before or again and felt kind of pointless. *sigh* I thought Sam had standards...

  The boys are now racing to save Dean's life and get Bela back for stealing The Colt. In another notable episode, "Mystery Spot", Sam gets stuck in an infinite time loop where he experiences the same Tuesday, like Groundhog Day. In that Tuesday, Dean dies repeatedly, in increasingly darkly funny ways. Turns out The Trickster's back, and he wants Sam to accept Dean's going to die. Even when he lets Sam out, he kills Dean the next day to prove his point. This is where the episode gets darker and sadder than the last Trickster episode, where Sam goes on a manhunt from The Trickster and becomes almost robotic in his hunting. Trickster fixes everything, and the boys go on.

 Last notable episode before the finale episodes is "Jus In Bello" (the namesake of a Supernatural convention, BTW). Once AGAIN, Bela screws the boys over and they get caught by the Javert to their Valjean, Henriksen, and are stuck in jail. However, demons are afoot, and the boys have to team up with Henrikson and the few remaining staff at the station. Henrikson eventually realizes what the boys do, and decides they aren't bad people. Aww! ^_^ Ruby also pops up, and tells them the demons are under the orders of a demon named Lilith, who wants Sam dead. She says they can use a spell to send away the demons if they sacrifice the virgin secretary. The boys refuse, and pull off the greatest thing ever.

 They let the demons in, and blast an exorcism over the PA system, effectively exorcising nearly ALL the demons.

  I. Freaking. Love this show.

  But, alas, long after Henrickson lets them go, saying they'll claim they died in an earlier helicopter crash, Lilith shows up and kills everyone. Aww... :(

  Anyway, when we get to the finale, the boys find out there's a man who has eternal life. Sam wants to use his studies to save Dean. But Dean decides to go talk to a hunter named Rufus and find Bela. The man who lives forever turns out to not work out, obviously. As for Bela, Dean discovers that Bela made a deal of her own as a little girl, to have her parents killed. It turns out that her father was abusive (its implied it was sexual). And her time was almost up. We later learn Lilith had struck another deal with her (since Lilith holds all the deals): if Bela stole The Colt for her and later killed Sam, she would free her from the deal. However, the boys FINALLY get the better of her, and skip town before she can off Sam. They call her, and she reveals Lilith holds Dean's deal, too. In theory, if the boys kill Lilith, Dean will live. So they leave her to her fate of being devoured by hellhounds. I'll discuss these character realizations later.

  So, with Dean having mere hours to live, the boys go to find Lilith. Ruby informs Sam where the demon is, and the boys steal her demon knife. (This will become their new demon-killing toy in later seasons). Lilith is currently possessing a little girl and terrorizing her family. The boys manage to sneak into the house, Ruby appearing and getting roped into helping. However, it turns out Lilith is no longer in the little girl. She's instead thrown Ruby out of her vessel and possessed it. Dean's time runs out, and the hellhounds tear him apart.


 Lilith also tries to kill Sam, but her powers don't work on him. She flees, and Sam is left with his brother's corpse, and Dean is trapped in Hell to be tortured. Good times!


  Overall, I wasn't as fond of this season. First of all, there was Bela. Like I said, I didn't like how the boys always grabbed the Idiot Ball every other time she showed up. I'll admit, her backstory was sad. But, to quote another Internet reviewer, Linkara:

 "There's a difference between having a sympathetic backstory and actually being sympathetic."

  That's the way I feel about Bela. If they had shared her backstory earlier, (or at least alluded to it more), or maybe given her more moments of being a decent person, I might've liked her better. The only time I can think of from experience where something like this (revealing a character's tragic backstory at the end around the time they die to garner sympathy from the audience) was handled better (at least to me) was in Harry Potter, with Snape. It just didn't do it for me. Though I will admit: it would be cool if, in a later season, Bela returned as a demon. Just to see how the boys would react to seeing someone they knew as a human in such a state. One they sort of had a hand in creating (I'll elaborate a bit more when I get to season 4's recap).

  Besides Bela, the season just seemed to not be as good as the season before (another problem with the curse). Part of this could be because it was shorter (most seasons clock in at about 20+ episodes. This was 16.) This could largely be in part due to the Writer's Strike happening during this season. (Huh, maybe a writer on strike is responsible for the 3rd Seasons Curse...) They had to move a few things to season four. Which we'll finally get to next time, where we meet a character much beloved to everyone...


You have no idea, Nine...

 Oh, and Happy (Belated) New Year, Readers...

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