A souled vampire and a Sunnydale, CA princess walk into a conjuring shop…
This week we start off in a modest hair salon. I say modest because while it’s clearly not Super Cuts, there isn’t a mimosa in sight, so I’m seriously doubting Fredric Fekkai is lurking near the shampoo stations. As nondescript blonde #1 is getting her highlights touched up while chatting on her cell, her stylist (let’s call him Keith Urban) leads her to the state of the art Conair Hard Hat Pro Styler and leaves her to process with strict orders to holler if she needs anything. “Anything” like what? No one even gave this girl a complimentary bottle of water.
After a few seconds, nondescript blonde #1 starts smelling fried chicken… no wait, that’s the scent of the peroxide baking into her skull. She screams, she thrashes, she roasts like Sunday dinner, but, alas, no one hears her cries for help and no one smells the rancid stench of burning hair, melting flesh, Sweet ‘n’ Low and Nice ‘n’ Easy #87 Ultra Light Natural Blonde. Let’s have a moment of silence, because we’ve all been there, we’ve all had that moment in the salon where your hairdresser sees you and screams. This woman was lucky; she didn’t have to live through a bad hair day.
I’ve had Morrissey’s “Hairdresser on Fire” stuck in my head for hours.
Teaser done, title card shown, we are now in the hotel room watching Dean Winchester sleep. It’s not as pervy as it sounds; he’s over the covers and completely clothed in all of the standard issue Winchester uniform layers. Even less sexy, we get to peep into Dean’s subconscious and see what he’s dreaming about. It’s a lovely montage of Leviathan!Castiel trying, and failing, to walk on water, Sam in mid-nervous breakdown shooting off rounds at voices, and Dean sticking it to Amy Pond. This Amy Pond thing… I get it, I do. It’s weighing on Dean to keep his huge betrayal of a secret from Sam. On the other hand, I feel like of all the morally ambiguous things in Dean’s life, this latest torment is really low on the hand slap list.
Dean jerks awake and is bummed out to find that someone has stolen the glass of water he left by his bedside and replaced it with an empty beer bottle. No worries, Dean is always prepared, he finds that wayward water glass and fills it with whiskey. He just woke up, he’s parched, okay? Stop looking at him like that.
Meanwhile, Sam is coming in from his morning decathlon training. He looks downright normal as he pulls his iPod buds from his ears and sips at his Gatorade. On a personal note, I’m pretty grossed out by his flavor choice; everyone knows that red is the superior Gatorade flavor. Workout foul, Sam. Dean is very busy researching nondescript blonde #1’s death and the less than average death of a man that boiled alive in his hot tub. He’s also thoroughly disgusted by Sam dripping eau de sweaty dude and oozing peppy endorphins all over the room. Sam’s thoroughly annoyed that Dean’s a closed off drunkard. Sam goes off to shower, Dean debates his whiskey.
The brothers, decked out in their FBI best, separate to investigate. The best part of this is that apparently this week Sam’s alias is “Richie Sambora” (I’m wondering if that was a hair shout-out), yet the woman he’s interviewing does not even blink an eye when she calls him “Agent Sambora”. I’m sorry, if an Agent Sambora ever comes to question me, I’m not going to be able to stop my obnoxious snickering. In the interim, Dean has found a strange coin, it’s clearly not American, could be Sumerian, could be Canadian. More research needs to be done.
We interrupt this clue to bring you the next victim. I have to give Supernatural major props for this scene: floating murderous nail gun? The even better part, he gets literally nailed to the port-a-potty wall, then in a quirky twist the kill shot is not between the eyes, but through each eye. I loved it; I flinched with every shot and giggled madly at the viscous drips of blood/eyeball juice.
The Winchesters start sewing the victim thread together and come up with a common denominator: all three were working on a shopping center. Everyone knows that putting up a shopping center is always the root of evil. There’s a fourth player in this corporate bloodbath tennis match. Introducing the man who practically runs the town, Donald Stark.
Don Stark is a businessman. He has a bust in his honor, a perky nondescript blonde assistant that bakes him cupcakes, a stylish black globe in his study and he wears colors that make his indescribably blue eyes bluer. I mean that literally; I am not going to describe the shade of blue of his eyes. Describing James Marsters’ eye color is strictly forbidden by BtVS fandom law.
After some snooping and deductive reasoning, the Winchesters get Don to admit that he had a “thing” with nondescript blonde #1 and his wife has left him. Temporarily. Don is very adamant about this being temporary. They’re taking some time, they’re on a break. The brothers advise Don to kiss up to his wife STAT because Mrs. Stark may have taken all of her Banana Republic with her but she left behind some ritual looking knickknacks and that stuff is clanging their witch alarm.
They head out to investigate Maggie Stark. Sam plays a very unconvincing decoy while Dean snoops in the house. Jackpot, an altar. And what do we see at this alter? Pictures of all the victims with symbols drawn over their faces in oddly vibrant blood. Bonus, nondescript blonde assistant’s picture is there too, currently unmarked. Thank goodness the Winchesters still have time. Dean is still poking around when up drives Maggie Stark. Sam tries to stall her, but she’s not having it. Again, Sam Winchester proves to be the worst decoy ever, but his distraction gives Dean the heads up and he sneaks out unnoticed. Well, sorta, Maggie does notice immediately that her image-of-the-person-who-scorned-you memorabilia has been tampered with. This will not do. Maggie has a backup plan: another picture and a thumbtack to bleed herself with. Resourceful.
Sam and Dean burn rubber to get to blonde assistant’s place. Nondescript blonde assistant is none the wiser as she bakes rack after rack of cupcakes. I like her.
She’s admiring her Betty Crockering and takes a big bite of one of the cupcakes to reward herself. If this were Top Chef: Just Desserts the judges would be upset about the apparent overflow of raspberry filling, but this is Supernatural and we know better. Blonde assist has come across a surprise!beating heart in her cupcake. Also, she starts choking. Sam and Dean bust in just in time. Dean cradles the girl soothingly and in a highly unhelpful manner yells at Sam to find the Canadian coin. Sam finds it, shoots it and the assistant is all better. Once she’s recovered from chomping on a still beating heart, Sam and Dean tell her to get the hell out of Dodge and to stop skanking around with her boss. Nondescript blonde assistant reveals that she and Don Stark… never had a “thing”. Because he’s her boss she scoffs, only her boss. And he’s married! Then she says, “ew”. Clearly, she hasn’t really taken a good look at her boss. He has blue eyes. And cheekbones that are also forbidden from description.
Don takes a trip to Maggie’s gallery to make a go at being civil. He tells her to quit throwing her murderous temper tantrums, because while creative, they aren’t cute. Plus, he’s concerned about the FBI agents sniffing around. Maggie corrects him, “hunters, sweetheart, that’s what they are”. She knows her lore and is obviously not going down easily.
In the meantime, Bobby calls Dean and tells him how to handle Maggie. Somehow, Sam gets stuck with the vanquishing shopping list while Dean gets to sit in the hotel room in front of a whole banana cream pie. He’s about to take his first glorious bite when Sam comes in a drops overly large bag of raw, un-refrigerated chicken feet.
Back at the gallery, Maggie is practicing her charity gala speech. Everything is going well until Maggie’s bff/nondescript brunette assistant finds an eyeball in her martini and all the painting start to melt. Maggie is unamused. She rants and blames Don.
Wait… Don can make paintings melt? Yes! And he can also levitate serving platters and sever bff/assistant heads with them as well. I approve, nondescript brunette assistant was getting on my nerves.
Back in the Stark household it’s on now and someone’s gonna be throwing tiny figurines and hanging from chandeliers pretty soon. Enter the Winchesters, they chant the chant and throw a match in their braised chicken feet. Puff of smoke, hack of cough and… nothing. Maggie tsk-tsks the boys for their subpar preparation.
The Starks then, in a turn of events, turn on the Winchesters. Romanian spell casting ensues in unison, but in a fit of desperation Sam and Dean start breaking down the Starks’ relationship, telling them that it’s a true indicator of their love that they destroy anything and everything them, but don’t ever try to actually take the other one out. That as twisted as their relationship is there’s an inseparable bond.
Hmmm… that sounds a tad familiar, Messrs. Winchester.
Anyway, the Starks talk it out while flinging the Winchester brothers around the room. Through this we learn the Starks are old. Freaking old. Minimum Renaissance old. And they both had their “indiscretions”, but theirs is a forever love. Literally.
Then Spike and Cordelia made out. FINALLY. I’ve been waiting for that for over 10 years!
I forgot to mention that this entire time the Leviathan from episode 7.02 has been hunting the Winchesters down. He finds them in their hotel room and is about to end this thing, but suddenly he freezes as a light rushes through him. He collapses and there’s Don in the doorway. He tells them that they better figure out something to do with the body because this was just a freeze ray, not a death ray and it’ll wear off in a few days. Then he takes out the Canadian coins that Maggie had stashed under their mattresses. Double life save for Don, he’s a nice guy.
The boys pack the Leviathan into car and Sam tries to Donahue with Dean, but Dean is not having it and that’s that. These car side heart to hearts are not working out. I sense a bottle in Dean’s future and an elliptical machine in Sam’s.
The most important thing to remember about this episode is that the writers used “wonky” again. And this time it was pop culture appropriate.