Supernatural Review – “Thin Lizzie” S11E5

It’s no secret that the writers of Supernatural may have totally doomed themselves by bringing in a villain like The Darkness, with it being the biggest baddest of all bads and like nothing they’ve ever faced before. For one, how the hell do you top that next season? Not to mention, the writers seem to be floundering a little bit from episode to episode, almost as if they too are still unsure of exactly they’ve unleased upon the world. At least that was certainly the case with episode 5, “Thin Lizzie.” It started in one place, and then ended up all the way across the room from where it began and I don’t think the twist they intended quite paid off.

Pros:

Len: That guy ruled. He was funny and quirky, while also being the one and only element that brought depth to this episode. He was an unlikely hero, and even after losing his soul he made a great sacrifice in order to do the right thing. He was well written and well-acted, and I thank him for making this episode that much better.

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It wasn’t the owners of the bed and breakfast: I’m not saying I’m thrilled with the episode ending up being about Amara (and some sad soulless girl) but I sure I am relieved that I was wrong when I thought I had the whole plot figured out in the first five minutes. To elaborate, I was pretty sure that the murders in the Lizzie Borden Bed and Breakfast were either being committed by the son of the proprietor or by some ghoulie they summoned up in an attempt to increase business. To be fair, you know that sounds like a legit episode of Supernatural. Either way, it’s always nice to see that something was not as predictable as I thought.

Cons:

Amara: She sucks. I know that we are unaware of how powerful and awesome she may become, and with that I know that she may become an incredible foe. However, in this in between stage she’s just a poorly acted little brat who doesn’t succeed at being fearsome, evil or creepy.

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The completely missed opportunity with Lizzie Borden: WHY would you start an episode and make it seem like it was based on an infamous serial killer and then completely drop the idea 20 minutes in? And WHY would you then title said episode “Thin Lizzie” when in reality it will have nothing to do with her? On one hand, I’m glad they didn’t pursue the storyline out of fear they would “butcher” her history to meet their own needs. On the other hand, however, it just feels a lot more like they came up with an idea to base something on Lizzie, realized it wasn’t going to pan out, so they ditched it and went with an easy and not well thought out conclusion.

Predictions:

Time will keep on slipping, slipping, slipping…: As in I don’t think they are going to get to the point with Amara/The Darkness anytime soon. This season feels reminiscent of season 6, when they unleashed The Mother and had no idea what to do with her so they wasted time until she came and went with barely a spark. I’m sure The Darkness will be a bigger deal than that, but until they figure out that they’re doing I think we all need to sit tight and enjoy a lot of anticlimactic encounters.

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Random Musings and Questions Best Not Asked:

So what is this now about Sam’s never before mentioned serial killer fetish? You mean to tell me in eleven seasons and countless dark encounters it’s never once come up that Sammy has affection for serial killers?

Cas was binge watching The Wire. Ha! Nice shout out guys.

So when Sam and Dean were discussing who they debunked the haunting at the Bed and Breakfast did it really not seem appropriate to mention the creeper Dean saw outside taking old timey photos? How is that not noteworthy?

Sam finds a kid bound and gagged in a closet, in a house where clearly something nasty is afoot. So naturally he sets down his gun and leaves it behind himself, in someone else’s reach so it can be easily grabbed and used to hit him in the head. Is he new at this?

Where the hell is Crowley? Isn’t he Amara’s adoptive father or creepy uncle? Where the hell is he while she’s wandering around earth in her Bat Mitzvah dress sucking souls outside of haunted B&Bs and dive bars?

DID YOU GUYS SEE CONSTANTINE ON ARROW? THAT WAS SO FREAKING AMAZING!!


Hush gives “Thin Lizzie” a C for making a point, then missing said point and then not doing much else.

All images belong to The CW.

 

 

Supernatural Review – “The Bad Seed” S11E3

Last night’s episode of Supernatural…happened. It wasn’t necessarily a bad episode, but I don’t think I can quite say it was a good one either. Maybe it’ll make more sense once we break it down.

Pros:

Castiel is cured: Well that sure is a relief. Especially considering in the tenth season finale I had no idea the whole curse on Cas thing would stick around and become such a big deal. I’m glad it’s over with now for his sake, and for mine, because that issue had the makings to get really old, really fast.

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The Mega-Coven: This isn’t an actual pro, really, but watching Rowena say Mega-Coven and then be so crestfallen when everyone else thought it was a dumb name was funny and endearing. In an evil sort of way.

Rowena: I’ve got to hand it to her, she brings lively dialogue and drama to every scene she’s in. Of course she’s evil, and yet still not even that terrifying of a big bad but she adds layers to what she’s involved in and I think Supernatural benefits from her presence.

Ya know, we’re not so different after all: The best scene in last night’s episode was hands down the demon and angel sharing a drink. It was such a charming moment. The dialogue was well written and witty, and while the scene added comedic relief and a touch of lightheartedness the overall driving point landed hard. The Darkness is such a fearsome foe that the forces of heaven and hell are left terrified and confused, and maybe even considering a team up?

Cons:

Nothing really happened: Sam and Dean found Rowena, she lifted the curse on Cas and then escaped – episode over. I just don’t feel like there was any story development whatsoever in “The Bad Seed”. The Winchester’s are no closer to find Amara, even though Dean called Crowley’s cell – about an unrelated matter. Don’t be dumb guys, you know Crowley ran off with her. But hey, on the plus side it was at least mentioned that the hunters three will need Metatron’s insight on fighting the Darkness – because ya know, he’s been so helpful and not full of lies before.

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And Crowley is an idiot: Despite his best efforts, I’ve never thought Crowley was all that cunning in the first place. If he really thinks he has the upper hand with Amara he’s even dumber than I thought. She has no loyalty to him and it is so obvious! She liked her nanny more than Crowley and she still ate her! He has to know that no mere King of Hell can control something like the Darkness and there is no way she will ever follow his lead.

And Amara kind of sucks: Seriously though, fuck her. At this point she is a pretty piss poor big bad. I’m not afraid of her, even though the show is totally trying to do the creepy evil little girl thing with her (flashback to season three when we did that already with Lilith) and it’s not landing at all. I don’t believe anything about her, she doesn’t seem powerful, fearsome, compassionate or tragic. She honestly just seems like a dumb/confused little brat. And I’m so not into it.

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Predictions:

Stuff will happen: I’m sorry guys, I’m not trying to be shitty but last night’s episode really didn’t give me much to draw from. Amara will continue to grow up whilst eating souls, Rowena is on the loose and a steady secondary evil and that’s about it. Oh, and Sam, Dean and Castiel will track down Metatron so he can deceive them while they think he’s giving them a solid lead on how to stop the Darkness. Frankly I don’t want to have to think about that writer’s conundrum anymore than I have to so I’m just going to leave it at that.

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Hush Comics gives “The Bad Seed” a C for spending a whole lot of time doing nothing, devoting no time to good characters and for zero story development.

Supernatural Review – “Out of the Darkness, Into the Fire” S11E1

Guys! GUYS! Supernatural is back! Last night’s season premiere, “Out of the Darkness, Into the Fire” hit audiences hard with a few answers, even more questions and a healthy serving of fear.

Pros:

Supernatural is back!: It may not seem like a legitimate pro simply that this episode aired on television, but trust me, it is. It’s been a long summer and Supernatural is finally back. Count it.

And off to such a strong start!: Sometimes Supernatural season premieres move a little slower, mostly because of whatever amount of time was supposed to have passed since the finale. But not this time. The premiere picked up maybe 5-10 minutes from where we left off and kept a steady pace throughout. “Out of the Darkness, Into the Fire” is one of the best premieres I’ve seen from Supernatural because while it acknowledged the grief and turmoil between Sam and Dean considering all they’d just been through it wasted no time throwing them back into terrifying action and getting the audience ready for another hell of a season.

Supernatural -- "Out of the Darkness, Into the Fire" -- Image SN1102B_0221.jpg -- Pictured (L-R): Jensen Ackles as Dean, Jared Padalecki as Sam and Laci J. Mailey as Jenna Nickerson -- Photo: Diyah Pera/The CW -- © 2015 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
Supernatural — “Out of the Darkness, Into the Fire” — Image SN1102B_0221.jpg — Pictured (L-R): Jensen Ackles as Dean, Jared Padalecki as Sam and Laci J. Mailey as Jenna Nickerson — Photo: Diyah Pera/The CW — © 2015 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

The season long storyline seems like it’ll be really good: We were all left shocked and confused when season 10 came to a close – what is the Darkness? What happens when you kill Death? Did Cas just kill Crowley?! Where the hell is Rowena going and what is she up to? Not all of our questions were answered, but what was established in this first episode has the makings of an incredible season. I don’t understand the Darkness yet, as I’m not supposed to, but the havoc it wreaked so far makes it look like one of the scariest season long monsters we’ve ever seen. The idea of the Darkness infecting people and turning them into 28 Days Later-esque rage zombies is something completely new for the series, and the fact that the rage is a communicable disease makes it all the better.

And let’s not forget that Sam has already been infected which means a cure has to be coming soon. Sam is special, so he’ll probably be able to fight the transformation longer than other people, but either way the sense of urgency will add some great drama and conflict to his relationship with Dean.

Oh, and the Darkness has already taken a reincarnated form, in the shape of the newborn baby girl Amara that Sam and Dean were so determined to save.Supernatural11-2

Not to mention that Castiel is still under Rowena’s spell, which is likely trying to kill him from the inside out and the last we saw him his angel (dicks) brethren were putting a black bag over his head and taking him away to god knows what.

Holy strong season premiere, Batman!

The return of Lucifer?: I don’t know if this will really happen, but I sure am excited that it was at least mentioned. Lucifer and Michael are still trapped in the cage, and barely anyone acknowledges that anymore. Crowley is only in charge because Lucifer is absent and something tells me Satan himself will not be too happy what what the little old King of the Crossroads has done to his Kingdom.

 

Cons:

The Darkness, herself: Or at least the dialogue between her and Dean. It felt unnatural and oddly sexual in a way that didn’t work for me.Supernatural11-4

Predictions:

More angel bullshit (those guys are dicks): Man I hate those guys, but as long as there is no resolution in Heaven we can’t do away with the angels. Also Cas did pray to them for help so naturally he just invited them back into the plot in the worst possible way. Metatron (that ass) will be back since he ran off with the tablet, but I hope that doesn’t happen for awhile as I’m way more into what’s currently happening. Maybe, maybe God will show back up since the Darkness is free and then the angels will have to answer for all the shit they’ve pulled the last few years. And it will be awesome.

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Amara will be the most heartbreaking villain yet: Oh man, please don’t let them kill a baby. I mean, I know they won’t, Amara will probably grow at an accelerated rate if there is to be a showdown between her and the Winchester’s but still. I really don’t know where things are going to go with Amara, all I know is she has the same Mark of Cain that the adult Darkness had and that in the preview for next week’s episode Crowley said she eats souls. For now though she is just a newborn baby, and chances are her journey will be a sad one.

 

Hush Comics gives “Out of the Darkness, Into the Fire” an A+ for wasting no time getting a very well written story going and reminding the fans why we love this show so freaking much.

What I Learned Doing GisHWheS

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I’ve been a massive Supenatural fan for a little over a year now, but until last week I had never jumped into one of the fandom’s biggest projects. Misha Collins (Castiel) heads an international scavenger hunt for one week every year called “G.I.S.H.W.H.E.S.” or “The Greatest International Scavenger Hunt the World Has Ever Seen.” It’s one week out of the year where normalcy is thrown out the window and your comfort zone kind of takes a hike. It’s also the number one contributor to Misha’s (he made me wear a swim suit on a glacier. We’re on a first name basis at this point,) charity “Random Acts,” which strives to conquer the world one random act of kindness at a time. That’s really what GisHWheS (Misha has weird rules about how you’re supposed to spell this) is all about. Through the use of the weird and the kind, our team “Nerdfighters Who Eat Kale” made a lot of people smile last week.

The first day of the hunt, Misha let out an absolutely insane list of 200+ items each 15 member team was to attempt. There were crazy, what-the-hell-am-I-doing items, like climbing up to a glacier in your bathing suit (completed) or playing ping pong underwater with an egg for the ball (not completed. Kudos to those teams.) There were items that involved doing charity work like donating board games to a local shelter after throwing the game a going away party (completed). And there were inspiring items, like taking an elder to a place from their childhood and asking them to tell you a story about it (completed adorably.) Each item had a point value assigned to it which would be tallied up to win the grand prize: A trip to Costa Rica with Misha Collins. However, that really isn’t the point of the scavenger hunt and most teams don’t play to win. Our team just wanted to have fun and make an impact in our community and boy did we. Not only that, but GisHWheS impacted me on a personal level. Here’s what I learned during the crazy death-to-normalcy week I experienced the first week of August.

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It was freezing but worth it.

You are so much more capable than you think you are.

I have pretty bad depression, so sometimes just getting out of bed is a challenge. A week before the hunt I remember lying in bed thinking, “How am I going to pull this off? How am I going to keep motivated to do this crazy stuff? I’m going to let my team down. I should just pull out now.” But I didn’t and when the first day rolled around and our team sat down to deliberate the list, I felt scared, but invigorated. Every time I looked at an item I thought, “Well, I’m not doing that one. There’s no way,” but then I hunkered down and did it and it usually turned out better than I was expecting it to. If there’s one thing I learned from GisHWheS, it’s that if you have an idea, even a half assed idea, you can make something truly amazing.

Ask and you shall (usually) receive. 

Some of the items on the list seemed absolutely impossible. A few actually were. But others felt impossible because it meant I had to ask for favors from complete strangers. One of the items was to combine drive thrus and Jeopardy. We had to get someone at a drive thru to guess our order using Jeopardy-like questions. I used to work at a drive thru Starbucks. They’re incredibly busy, the customers are rude, and everything has to get done impossibly fast or you might end up with scalding hot coffee in your face (very nearly happened to a friend of mine. He ducked.) I was nervous about asking for a favor that could potentially cause someone to have a harder day at work. However, with the spirit of GisHWheS poking and prodding at me, I made a call to my old Starbucks location and asked the manager (who I didn’t know) if they could help us out.

The girl was absolutely ecstatic. She could not wait for us to come over, but that day was very busy for them due to an event happening just across the street so we decided to meet the next day at a less busy time. My teammate and co-captain Ashlee and I drove over after completing another item (let’s just say the world is a safer place for Unicorns because of us) and bellied up to the bar. I was dressed as Dean Winchester and when I drove up to the speaker, someone I used to worked with answered. I panicked. I couldn’t remember his name and didn’t think he’d want to do the item. Luckily, I make a damn good dude and he didn’t recognize me through the drive thru camera. Nervous, I opened my mouth and said, “We’re doing a scavenger hunt and-” there was a scuffle and the sound of someone being elbowed out of the way and then the manager we’d spoken to came on the line. “Hi! I’m ready! Go ahead!” Before we knew it, I had a grande iced caramel macchiato, she had a big tip and our team had another item in the bag.

Believe it or not, people are usually willing to help you out if you ask politely. It might take a little bit of searching around (we had to go to two separate locations for a different item to find what we needed) but ultimately, people want to help each other.

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Knight Lil’ Sebastian stays vigilant for cat attacks. Little does she know feline furr-iosity lurks behind her.

Being kind doesn’t have a point value.

While there were a few items that had me thinking, “That’s worth a ton of points. We have to do that,” for the most part, the points system came second to the work I was doing. One of the items was to do something kind for someone who had sacrificed something for you. It was only worth 21 points. It didn’t have to be a big thing. Buying them a box of chocolate or taking them out to dinner would have sufficed. But I didn’t want to do that. My mother has been there for me, cleaning up my messes, helping me get back on my feet my entire life. Being a therapist with a child who has depression is very hard for her, as it means she never really gets a break from her job. On top of that, she has to do your typical mom stuff: cleaning, cooking, watering the plants etc. I could have just bought her something nice and spent the rest of the day doing items with higher point values, but instead I decided to give her a little bit of a break.

My mother feels best when her home is clean, but it takes a lot of time and effort to do the whole house, so she rarely gets to enjoy it. I decided to give her that. The moment she left for work, I went to town, dragging the vacuum cleaner up and down the stairs, cleaning all the dishes, dusting and scrubbing every square inch of the house. After six hours of cleaning, I was dripping with sweat. Just before my mother got home, I changed clothes and started making dinner, a package of bath bombs and a new Betty White book (my mother’s idol) ready to give her when she got home. The item was only worth a handful of points, but the look on her face was better than I could have hoped for. She was ecstatic all night long.

Quality over quantity is what matters.

As a writer and someone who often feels like I haven’t produced enough work, it’s important to remember that it’s not the quantity of a portfolio that makes an artist but the quality of the work that has been made. There was a moment at the end of the hunt when I felt the need to run around to try to pull something together just for the points, just to add another item to the pile. I decided against it, though, because the item I had in mind couldn’t be done well in the time I had left. There were definitely items our team made that were last minute and they were great, but for the bigger items, we took care to make them as awesome as we could. We took time to produce quality work. Making a small amount of really awesome stuff is always a lot more fun, and a lot more rewarding, than making a lot of mediocre items just to have more.

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Adrian dressed as Russian Nesting Doll… in a nest… with a nest…

Don’t do the obvious. Push yourself to come up with something different.

There was one item that asked participants to make a video or image of what Supernatural Season 50 would look like. My immediate thought was to dress up as Castiel and stand in front of two tombstones, as Castiel is an angel and he’d outlive the brothers. However, I quickly realized that was too obvious a choice and decided to make a joke about Sam’s incredibly long hair, instead. I took time with it. I made my face look older and made both my friend and mine’s hair grey and set up the shot to make sure it was well composed. When we were finished, it looked great and was super funny.

Once the hunt was over and everyone was allowed to share their submissions, I was glad I hadn’t gone with my initial thought. There were tons of Castiel’s standing over graves. Had I gone for the obvious, it wouldn’t have stood out to the judges. Our submission would have just gotten lost in the sea of mourning angels. (Not that it’s a bad idea. Just a popular one.)

Never take the obvious route when you’re doing a project. The obvious isn’t interesting. Everyone is doing the obvious. Branch out. Think “Yeah, that’s the logical choice, but what could be funnier? What’s cooler than what everyone else is doing?” That’s where good art comes from.

BatRand showed Kim Kardashian how to break the internet.
BatRand showed Kim Kardashian how to break the internet.

When you don’t feel like making art, make art anyway.

Again, as someone with depression, it can be hard to continuously create. There were at least one or two days during the week when I didn’t have anything planned for that day and I felt terrible. I didn’t know what to make. I didn’t know what to do. I would look at the item list and feel incredibly overwhelmed. I felt resigned to not getting anything done one of those days, until I realized that not making art wasn’t going to make me feel better, either. Laying in bed and feeling sorry for myself wasn’t going to help me or my team. Instead, I got up and tried to find an item that I did feel I could do. I didn’t listen to the voice in my head telling me, “That’s too hard. You can’t do that.” I jumped onto the item, pushed through the ennui and did it anyway. And you know what? It turned out pretty damn good. Had I just sat there and not done anything, I’d had felt terrible and we’d have one less item done.

Give yourself time to be less productive.

On the opposite end of things, sometimes you just need a moment to yourself. It’s easy to get overwhelmed. Sometimes you just need curl up in bed with Netflix and a bowl of ice cream. Do that. We all need that. I needed that once last week and while I still made sure to get at least one item done, I decided it to be something I didn’t have to get out of my pajamas for if I didn’t want to. When you’re doing something as big as GisHWheS, it’s important to have one day where you don’t have to be super productive. You get one day off. Give it to yourself.

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This is not an example of being unproductive. She worked so hard on this. This shouldn’t be your day off item.

Have a plan even if it feels like you don’t need one.

Before I did GisHWheS, I figured we’d just get the list and go from there. I assumed things would fall into place and we’d communicate easily enough to get things done. Boy was I wrong. I’m incredibly grateful to Ashlee for being so damn organized last week. She put all of the items into a giant spreadsheet with columns for who was doing what, the description of the item and whether it had been completed or not. This made things incredibly easier when it came to completing items. It also made it easy to collaborate. Even if someone had called an item, it was easy to simply message them and ask if you could help out. Having a plan made things a lot less hectic and left more time for item creation and less time trying to figure out who was doing what.

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Part Jared Padalecki, part Moose, part Pegasus. We give you, the Padamoosasus!

We also had quite a few meetings before the hunt, one on the first day and an open GroupMe chat that continuously updated us on what was going on. This gave us a good way of figuring out how we wanted to operate and plan for when and where to meet up for multiple person items. Our Facebook group also made it super easy to get feedback and make sure we weren’t breaking any rules.

It might seem like a project is just something you do, but really the more you plan, the easier it is to get everything done. This is especially true when you have 15 people to worry about and several of those people live out of state. If it weren’t for the tons of planning and organizing we did, our team wouldn’t have gotten nearly as many items done.

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Conspiracy theorist party. Cecil invited Carlos, but I don’t think the scientist knew what he was getting into. No one was expecting Freddy Krueger to show up.

Doing strange things with weird people is the best way to live your life.

My teammates are some of the most wonderful people I have ever meet. There’s few individuals who would feed you cake blindfolded in a fancy restaurant with your hands behind your back, or hike up a rocky terrain to a icy glacier just to take a photo with you in their swim suits. Before this hunt, I didn’t think anyone would help make “Save the Unicorn” t-shirts and convince people to sign a fake petition with me, or spend three hours helping me construct a Campbells Tomato Soup Can cosplay. This week we did all of that weird shit and more and we had an absolute blast doing it. After a while, I got so used to doing strange things that it came as second nature. Now that I’m back in the “real world,” I don’t really know what to do with my life. My solution to this? Continue to do strange things. Always challenge normalcy and do it with the people you love.

If you’re looking to do something fun, something different, something you’ll remember until you’re old and grey, GisHWheS is the best way to spend your week. I learned a lot and had a ton of fun. No one normal ever made change in this world. Do something weird with your life. Death to normalcy!

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Jared Padalecki Rolls Out “Always Keep Fighting” Round Three

Inspired by the fan tribute he received at San Diego Comic Con and in celebration of his 33rd birthday, Jared Padalecki has released the third round of his “Always Keep Fighting” Represent t-shirt campaign. Proceeds from the shirt will go to a fund set up by Padalecki and his Supernatural co-star and best friend Jensen Ackles. The fund is designed to assist various causes that promote Mental Health Awareness. Past proceeds have gone to “To Write Love On Her Arms,” an organization that deals with depression, anxiety, addiction, and suicide.

“It’s been a struggle, but I’ve kept on fighting. My only birthday ask is that y’all Always Keep Fighting too,” Padalecki wrote on the Represent site. He has been passionate about this cause for several years, ever since he was diagnosed with depression during Season 3 of Supernatural (2007/2008). He started the campaign in back in March of this year and since then “Always Keep Fighting” has grown astronomically with thousands of shirts selling in just a few hours of each campaign.

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As both an avid fan of Supernatural and someone who has been struggling with depression for nearly half my life, the “Always Keep Fighting” campaign means a lot to me. When I see Sam and Dean hunting demons, suffering so many losses, and still having the ability to keep fighting every day, it makes me me feel like I can keep going, too. It’s taught me a lot about perseverance, but also how to lean on people for support; that love really does heal. Sam and Dean are strongest when they’re together and whenever they split apart, something terrible ends up happening: Sam allows Lucifer to possess him; Dean takes on the Mark of Cain; they need each other. I spent a lot of my life feeling alone and unable to get close to anyone. Ever since I’ve started watching Supernatural, I’ve felt like I can let people in. This fandom is truly a family and has taught me a lot.

Now that I’ve got a little extra cash, I fully intend on buying an “Always Keep Fighting” shirt to wear on my worse days and to remind me I might not be an actual hunter, but I can fight my own demons just as strongly. The shirt depicts Padalecki in his signature beanie sitting inside of a triangle, with moose antlers (a Supernatural inside joke) and the words “Always Keep Fighting.” Below that is a singular tea light candle, referencing the amazing tribute and its message that “…when your flame flickers and you fear it will go out, know not even the strongest wind lasts forever; and there are other lights to guide you even in the Darkness…And when your candle burns bright, you can ignite the hearts of others and hope will spread like wildfire. Always Keep Fighting, and you’ll never fight alone.”

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Padalecki and his two children wear the “Always Keep Fighting” shirt proudly.

The campaign has 10 days left as of news time. After that the shirt will be gone forever. It is available in multiple styles with sizes ranging from XS-5XL.

Sources: Represent and Padalecki’s Facebook Page.

Supernatural Fans Hold Up Candles for Touching Comic Con Moment

A touching moment graced the Supernatural panel at San Diego Comic Con this weekend, leaving fans and cast alike touched.

Several months ago, Padalecki started a campaign called “Always Keep Fighting” to benefit “To Write Love On Her Arms,” a charity which helps people struggling with depression, self harm, addiction and suicide. Jensen Ackles later joined the campaign and together they have sold over 70,000 t-shirts that read either “Always Keep Fighting” or “Moose and Squirrel Say Always Keep Fighting” through Represent.com. From there, fans started buying up the design left and right, even starting campaigns to help fans who couldn’t afford to buy one themselves. Soon there were “Always Keep Fighting” support groups and the hashtag #AlwaysKeepFighting was trending on social media.

First T-Shirt Campaign
First T-Shirt Campaign
Second T-Shirt Campaign
Second T-Shirt Campaign

This campaign came out of Padalecki’s own struggle with depression. “Maybe a lot of people don’t know this, but Season 3, we were shooting an episode, and I went back to my trailer to get changed and just kind of broke down,” Padalecki told Variety. “A doctor came to set and talked to me for about 30 minutes or 45 minutes and said: ‘Jared, I think you’re clinically depressed. I think I should write you a note and we can shut down production for five days and then we can take it from there.’ ”

“These characters that we play on ‘Supernatural,’ Sam and Dean, are always dealing with something greater than themselves, and I’ve sort of learned from the two of them that they get through it with each other, and with help and with support,” Padalecki said to Variety.

Earlier this year, Padalecki canceled his appearance at two conventions due to his need for time with his family. He was exhausted and needed the time off. Many fans believe this was at least partly due to a bout of depression Padalecki had been struggling with lately. He reached out to fans for support, asking them to write to him.

Not long after, thousands of tweets, messages, letters, and fan art came rolling in, all of them expressing how much the actor meant to his fans and how Supernatural had helped them through their own battles with mental illness. Days later, Padalecki thanked his fans and after several weeks of rest, seems to be doing well.

The Supernatural fandom decided to show Padalecki just a little more how much they cared. San Diego Comic Con was the first time Padalecki had been to a convention since his Twitter outreach and fans wanted to do something special. In the line for the panel, a group of fans were passing out little bags with electric candles and a note. The note revealed that once a cue was given, fans were to turn their candles on and hold them up in the air.

When the moment came, the candles switched on and at first the panelists were confused. Jensen Ackles noticed the lights and his fellow panelists turning to take selfies with them and stopped mid-sentence to figure out what they were. “What’s happening right now?!” he asked. “I think you’re supposed sing Freebird,” joked one of the moderators. It then became clear as fans began shouting, “ALWAYS KEEP FIGHTING!” Touched, the cast applauded them, several giving a standing ovation to their fans for the gesture.

Screen Shot 2015-07-13 at 12.07.09 AM
Candles in the crowd. Taken from Flicks And the City video.

“I’m holding the candle in my pocket right now, I can’t let go of it,” Padelecki tearfully told E! News. He felt incredibly humbled. “At first I didn’t know what it was. I thought people were holding up their iPhones or something. And then someone handed me the note explaining it and I found out what was really going on. It took everything in my power not to cry.”

“Everyone is given a candle that burns just for them,” The note said. “When your flame flickers and you fear it will go out, know not even the strongest wind lasts forever; and there are other lights to guide you even in the Darkness…And when your candle burns bright, you can ignite the hearts of others and hope will spread like wildfire…Always Keep Fighting, and you’ll never fight alone.”

“I thought there was like a rock band about to come out that I didn’t know about,” Ackles also told E! News. “I was like, ‘What is going on? What is happening right now?’ But it’s just this continuing thing. I’m astonished at the support that these fans give Jared and give us on the show, day in and day out.”

The cast’s relationship to their fans really is like a family. They catch each other when they fall. They collaborate with each other on projects like Misha Collins’ scavenger hunt G.I.S.H.W.H.E.S. and through his charity “Random Acts.” The cast goes above and beyond for their fans and this weekend just proved once again how far the fans will go for their favorite actors and the story that changed their lives.

jared with candle

“I am beyond moved. I feel so blessed, and grateful, and honored to be a part of the magical Supernatural Family,” Jared said later on Facebook next to a photo of him with one of the candles. “From the very bottom of my heart and my soul, thank you so much. I will never forget this day. I will never forget the love that I felt and still feel. And to everybody who held a light for me, please know that I hold my light for you. Though I happened to be the one sitting on stage, I am but one small light in a sea of thousands. TOGETHER we can and will make a difference!”

If you or someone you know needs help, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

See the full panel here: (candles from 33:00 to 35:11.)

Feature photo by Jared Padalecki.

Supernatural Review – “Brother’s Keeper” S10E23

Supernatural season 10 packed more drama into the second half of their season than ever before. This finale is left us all with a giant “screw you” of a cliffhanger, possibly the biggest one in the series. While the final moments were intense, the overall episode took a more familiar path than I was expecting. Everything was lined up for the events to happen, but the preceding episodes have all had such shocking moments, I was a little let down that the finale lacked that pop I was hoping for.

Pros:

Sam pleading Dean back to his humanity: Did you tear up? I did. There was something about Dean looking down at those pictures of him with his mom, and the look of defeat, despair, and acceptance on Sam’s face that was so moving. The brothers have had more than their share of heart to heart moments, but this one really got me. They’ve both had so much brushes with death (and they’ve both died a handful of times) but this one stood out because it wasn’t in the face of danger per se. This one hit deeper because Dean killing Sam was argued to the point of reason, not rage. There is a scary truth behind his arguments, that the Winchesters may in fact be the ones who are evil.

Supernatural - "Brother's Keeper"

Death: I love Death. I can’t imagine better casting or writing for the character. He is extremely fearsome, and almost completely neutral to human mortality. And yet, he has such affection for junk food. I always love when he pops up in episodes and I really hope he’s not actually dead. How do you kill death? More on that later.

Supernatural - "Brother's Keeper"

Rowena: If you are a Rowena hater you may be reading the wrong blog. She’s amazing! Of course I know she is exceptionally evil. She clearly demonstrated that when she killed Oscar; the only thing she’s ever loved. The reason she’s a pro is because of that decision though. Without even a second thought she stabbed Oscar in the neck, with tears in her eyes. Crowley thought he would get the best of her and she would be heartbroken, but instead her plan worked out perfectly. The spell worked, she is free, and Castiel and Crowley both seem pretty damn scared of her power now. I can’t wait to see what she does next season, hopefully she’ll stick around as a series regular.

Supernatural - "Brother's Keeper"

The Darkness: That was so freaking cool! Seriously, the way The Darkness came on screen as something tangible was downright bone chilling. I was in love with all of the angels falling to earth in the season eight finale, but I think this was actually more awe inspiring imagery. Dean and Sam were terrified, and frankly, so was I.

Cons:

Death’s Death: I didn’t like this one bit. First of all, Death has always been kind of an ally for the brothers. He’s helped them on more than one occasion and while he’s creepy he’s still been kind of a friend. Second, you can’t just kill death, at least not without some SERIOUS repercussions. They tried this once before; people weren’t dying in season five because the reapers were being kidnapped. It was a pretty big problem. Now they’ve created a world where no one can or will die? I have no idea how that is going to work out well. This is going to be a hard one for them to write themselves out of.

Prediction Grade Book:

Here are the predictions I made throughout the second half of the season. Let’s see which ones I was right about-

  • Rowena will remove The Mark, and unleash something WAY worse: Right
  • The Mark will cause a brother vs. brother battle: Right, although it wasn’t as epic as I thought it would be.
  • Crowley will die: Wrong
  • Rowena will become the Queen of Hell: Wrong
  • The season finale will be amazing: Right. It was!

Season 11 Predictions:

The Darkness: While I would love it if this was actually just going to be the band known for “I believe in a Thing Called Love” I doubt that such an evil force would end up being so hilarious. Right now I’m imagining this a lot like The First Evil from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. An evil that predates god is bound to be a terrifying thing like nothing anyone has seen before. Perhaps there will be an angels/Winchester team up to fight it, but I hope not. Other than Castiel, I’ve had it with the damn angels for now.

Crowley vs. Castiel: Don’t worry guys, Cas didn’t kill Crowley. If he did it would have played out in “Brother’s Keeper”. Something will come up. He will either be able to move or Castiel will fight off Rowena’s spell.

Supernatural - "Brother's Keeper"


 

Hush Comics gives “Brother’s Keeper” an A for being a solid finale, and tying up some loose ends while also revealing the next big chapter.

All images belong to The CW.