54 comments posted · 7 followers · following 0

7 years ago @ Mark Watches - Mark Watches 'Supernat... · 0 replies · +4 points


The Darkness. And Death's death. Oookay.

If the universe were a metaphorical person (this being SPN, prolly a hetero white male), Sam just broke all his bones and Dean just gave him cancer.

Good job boys.

If the show is trying to make everyone dis-invest in the Winchester brotherly bond, also good job.

7 years ago @ Mark Watches - Mark Watches 'Supernat... · 1 reply · +3 points

It's possible from a production angle, the scripts way down the line would have to have been locked in by the time they heard the news.

FYI, I've read somewhere that January would probably mean they were filming ep 17, with pre-production for 18 & 19, meaning those scripts would need to be locked down. There wouldn't have been all that much time to throw out scripts to right the ship by the end of the season, unless they already had contingency plans.

That would explain, but not excuse, 10x21 onwards.

7 years ago @ Mark Watches - Mark Watches 'Supernat... · 2 replies · +19 points

You know what I miss most about the Kripke seasons? Aside from the coherent season-arcs and solid character work?

I miss the emotional gut-punch of the final scene of each penultimate episode.

1x21: Meg has Dad
2x21: Sam is DEAD
3x15: Dean is doomed and Bela is puppy chow. (OK, this one is not as gut-punchy, unless you were a huge Bela fan, but the season was truncated by the strike and 3x16 had enough gut-punchiness for twenty episodes.)
4x21: Epic brother fight
5x21: Can Dean let Sam go? (I found this gut-punchy because it was a culmination of 5 years of character development for both brothers as well as one final quiet moment to contemplate my emotional investment in them and their relationship.)

In other words, you felt the stakes for the characters. They were culminations of the entire season (or in 5x21, the series to date) in one final heart-wrenching scene (except 3x15, yes).

During the Sera Gamble years, the penultimate final scenes became plot-y.

6x21: Cas finds Dr. Visnyak (the dragon/purgatory expert – remember?)
7x22: Crowley meets with Dick (plot-y tension, not character tension)

During the Carver years, the final scenes are more character based, but no gut-punches (except the literal ones in this ep):

8x22: Will Dean & Sam close the gates of Hell?
9x22: Dean attacks Gadreel, while Sam and Cas are too late to stop him in slo-mo.
10x22: Dean beats down Cas, with no Sam in sight. This might have been gut-punchy in other ways besides literally if: 1) we hadn’t seen Dean & Cas estranged several times before and 2) if Cas’s powers had been consistently written, ever, but this season in particular. It’s bad for emotional stakes when you’re asking technical questions throughout what should be an epic, emotional fight.

You know what would have worked? (At least for me.)

Sam, Dean & Cas storming the Franken-castle together as a rescue mission for Charlie, with more time to show how formidable these cardboard cutouts from CW central casting were supposed to be. Plus, we could show Sam & Cas being increasingly freaked about Dean’s hyper-killiness. (There were so many nameless Frankenwienies that ramping up Dean’s violence would have been practically unavoidable.)

And then the final scene, where a bloody, but still-standing Charlie places herself bodily in front of Cyrus, telling them all that he was still innocent, that she witnessed his father’s coercion. There would have been NO ambiguity about what Dean believed at this point if Charlie’s the one saying it.

And then Dean still kills the kid by shooting through Charlie. Run credits.

Dean’s a good enough shot that he wouldn’t kill Charlie to make this happen, especially with Cas there. That single gunshot would have been utterly horrifying. It would have given the moral wrongness of the act its full due. It would have added an emotional weight to it as well.

This one gunshot would tell us everything we need to know about how far Dean has gone. We wouldn’t be asking irrelevant questions about Cas’ powers. And everyone would be on the same page about what’s at stake.

We wouldn’t have gone through the super-awkward character contortions to get to this point.

We wouldn’t have had to endure the super-clumsy dialogue like “The Dean I know wouldn’t do this…” That awkward line of dialogue wouldn’t have been necessary because we would *feel* it. (The rest of Cas’s speech was touching. It could have occurred earlier in the episode or maybe in the next. Given how little Dean and Cas interacted this season, Cas’s perfectly valid points did not pack the emotional wallop that a good closing scene should have for me.)

Everyone would still have agency.

And everything would still be utterly horrible, just in time for the finale.

And I, for one, would still care.


(Don’t even get me started on how symbolically fitting killing the kid through Charlie would be regarding the big multi-season question of What’s Wrong With Dean?)

7 years ago @ Mark Watches - Mark Watches 'Supernat... · 1 reply · +20 points

So, there are 767 characters listed on the Super-Wiki character page. No, it’s not 100% perfect. I took out duplicates and groupings. I added a couple of memorable characters that were missing. So that left me with 734 characters. And yes, I clicked on every single character link on that page. (Don’t go there if you are spoiler averse. There are names listed for characters in the next 2 eps.)

(Digression: OK, one thing this exercise in sublimation has done is make me remember how good some of the characters have been on this show. This quick review of past characters tipped my balance towards hope that the remaining writers can create something out of the ashes of this debacle. This is a purely personal reaction, so I totally understand if no one agrees with me.)

Of the 734 characters, there are 59 that originated in BuckLeming episodes. That’s an average of 3.7 original characters per episode. That’s within the norms for late season established writers.

However, when I give the characters weight++ – how often they recurred and their importance to their respective episodes, then we see another picture.

++A note on methodology: The character weighting is my opinion only, but I think I have a pretty good memory (when I get obsessive). Any character with agency or an arc within their episodes will get more weight than a character I’ve totally forgotten or who could be summed up as “the guy with the thing.” Characters also get additional half-points when they are mentioned or on the phone. I don't judge if the character is worthy or unworthy. I just judge how they function within their episode.

If you’re curious, the top 21 characters by weight (there was a tie for 20) are: Bobby, Cas, Crowley, John Winchester, Ruby, Kevin, Jody Mills, Rowena, Mary Winchester, Chuck Shurley, Metatron, Jo, Benny, Meg, Ellen, Charlie, Jess, Death, Garth, Abaddon & Gadreel.

I’ve attributed the full weight of each character to the writers of the episodes where they first appeared. This is a shortcut and flawed. I admit it. (For example, each reappearance of the Ghostfacers gets added to the total of a writer named Trey Callaway – the guy who wrote 1x17 and nothing else.)

OK, all that being said…

There’s a simple formula that illustrates BuckLeming’s bad net effect on the show: Total weight of the characters they originated minus the weight of the characters they’ve killed. (Sorry, but plotting and dialogue is beyond the purview of this survey.) BuckLeming are running the biggest deficit of the current batch of writers – 4 times higher than the next in line. The only current writers who are also running at a deficit are Robert Berens and Andrew Dabb. I will give Robert Berens a break, though, because he’s only written 6 scripts and IMO he did full justice to Cain’s death, so I’m sure things will even out for him eventually. On the other hand, Dabb killed Gabriel & Tessa, so yeah, deficit writing there, too.

If you’re curious, the only other writer whose deficit is larger than BuckLeming would be Sera Gamble. However, the only reason for her large deficit is that she wrote the episode that permanently killed Bobby and Bobby carried a lot of accumulated character weight. She did him justice in 7x10, though, as well as creating many memorable characters herself. The only way to make the weighting totally fair (if still opinion) is to reassign character weight per episode, instead of giving all of the recurring character weight to their originators. (BTW, going this granular would only make BuckLeming look worse. It would take away most of their points, which were generated by Naomi & Rowena.)

But even I’m not that obsessed/in denial. At the moment.

Another telling way to indicate character creation quality is to see how often other writers pick them up for their own episodes. So far, the only characters that originated in BuckLeming episodes that recurred in other writers’ episodes are: Jenny the cupcake baker (7x05), Naomi (8x07), Cuthbert Sinclair (9x16) and Rowena (10x03). Now of those, both Naomi and Rowena were in scenes that served as postscripts or stingers in their respective episodes. As such, I’m not really inclined to attribute any of the characters’ good points to BuckLeming.

In conclusion, if we disregard all BuckLeming episodes the series would be correspondingly, statistically better. Benny, Kevin, Abaddon and Charlie can all still be alive if we grant their BuckLeming episodes the same continuity as the one with Dean’s daughter.

Apologies for the obsessive angry maths.

7 years ago @ Mark Watches - Mark Watches 'Supernat... · 2 replies · +16 points

It’s been kind of difficult for me to follow along with the videos this summer. Season 10 is not available on DVD or Netflix streaming yet. I’ve made do, watching way after the fact with cobbled together reruns, etc., but since I don’t plan to watch this episode again, I figure I can go ahead and comment now. I don’t want to spend any time or money on this episode except the $0.99 for Mark’s video.

Up until this episode, I’ve *liked* season 10. Thanks to this episode, I don’t recall exactly why, but I really did.

When faced with the prospect of watching Mark’s disillusionment with this show, I opted for avoidance, denial and sublimation. (And maths! That’s how upsetting this was.)

So, in my refusal to emotionally engage in this episode or its conclusion, I’ve decided to turn my contempt towards the anti-honor that the show has done to Charlie by dropping her death into the episode of the writing team that is the *worst* at, well, EVERYTHING. The worst at plotting -- see this episode as an example. The worst at character motivations – see this ep too. (And also, has anyone ever figured out the motivation behind Claire’s pool-playing-squatter buddies who voluntarily attempted to beat up Dean, the guy they know has killed Claire’s 2nd dad, back in BuckLeming’s 10x10? I mean seriously.)

They are also the worst at character insight and creation. I have statistics. (What? Math is soothing if the data sample is large enough.)

BuckLeming have written a total of 16 episodes. Of those 16, 4 of them (that’s a full 25%) involve killing off someone else’s recurring beloved/fascinating character: 8x19 Benny (originated by Carver), 9x09 Kevin (Edlund), 9x21 Abaddon (Glass), and this one (Thompson). To me, this statistically demonstrates a paucity of imagination and insight into any and all character development resulting in their default drama generation choice always ending up in death.

But there’s more.

(cont. in reply)

7 years ago @ - Weekly Shenanigans · 1 reply · +10 points

Hi! Thanks for this space to talk about the season 10 finale! Ack! The story choices they made!

So, I’ve got a theory (obligatory bunnies! here) that they had been gearing up all season for this to be the end of the series.

Why? Because there was literal wheel-spinning at the end of the episode, when Baby got stuck in the mud.

My imaginary story meeting about the finale:

“Season 11? Season 11? They really renewed us?”


“Oookay. We’ll have to take out all the irreversible death scenes. And all of the good-bye scenes. And the come-full-circle scenes…”

“But that’s the whole script…”

“Well, we have to add in the scenes that set up next season, so let’s just scribble out a first draft and then take a second pass at it. If we have time. Let’s see, we’ll need Rowena to actually succeed in removing the curse, so throw some randomly pseudo-symbolic ingredients into the mix. Also, since she survives, we need to make her more vulnerable…”

“Well nothing says ‘vulnerability’ better than an immortal Polish boy-man.”

“Ooookay. We’ll need to see if that makes still makes sense after we haven’t been panic-writing at 3am, living on stale nachos and no sleep. Oooh! We should add nachos and taquitos in the episode somewhere!”


“What else, what else… Dean won’t have to kill Crowley or Cas anymore, so they can be helping Rowena with the spell.”

“Why would Crowley help…?”

“Because Cas asks nicely?”

“Okay. Why would Cas be helping in the first place?”

“Because Sam unleashed his laser puppy dog eyes! No one can withstand the power of his P-DEs.”

“Yeah, but now that Dean’s not killing either of them, he won’t have scenes with anybody except Sam and Death.”

“Well then let’s put him on a case! We can show his deterioration!”

“But we’ve already shown…”

“He’ll be worse. Jensen can handle it.”


“And next season…” *zones out* Then whispers hoarsely, “All I see is darkness and despair. Oh God. I’m so tired…”

“Darkness, got it!” *scribbles*

“Huh? Wha-- oh, yes. Darkness.”

7 years ago @ Mark Watches - Mark Watches 'Supernat... · 0 replies · +1 points

Whoops! It looks like TNT took the marathon off their schedule. My apologies for the erroneous information!

7 years ago @ Mark Watches - Mark Watches 'Supernat... · 2 replies · +3 points

For what it's worth, if you're in the US, TNT is running a 20+ hour SPN Season 10 marathon on May 19 & 20th of episodes 10x01 through 10x21. The CW will then rerun this week's episode (10x22) and then the season finale (10x23) on 5/20/15. You'd have to check your local listings for the time.

A word about TNT's broadcasts: they sometimes play with the timing to fit in their alotted commmercials. It's not noticeable when you watch it cold, but it is noticeable if you try to synch it up with Mark's videos.

7 years ago @ Mark Watches - Mark Watches \'Leverag... · 0 replies · +8 points

I agree with your Nate reasoning for Slytherin.

I prefer Hardison as Hufflepuff. I see him a guy who loves his family and happens to be a genius rather than a genius who happens to love his family.

But yeah, Parker could be almost anything. I edge her into Ravenclaw, though, because I can see her whole arc on the series so far as exploring the exciting new territory of interpersonal interaction.

7 years ago @ - The Black Market · 2 replies · +8 points

OK, last one for now: SPN S6 (complete), most of SPN S7 & S8, both Terminator movies, scattered Leverage S1, S2 and the beginning of S3, assorted Friday Night Lights S1 and Star Trek 2 and 4 movies

SPN Season 6:

SPN 7x01, 7x02, 7x03, 7x04, 7x05, & 7x06:

SPN 7x09, 7x10, & 7x11:

SPN 7x07, 7x08, & 7x12:

SPN 7x13 and Terminator (1st):

Terminator 2:

SPN 7x14, 7x15, & 7x16:

SPN 2x06, 7x17, & 7x18:

SPN 7x19, 7x20, & 7x21:

SPN 7x22 & 7x23 and Friday Night Lights 1x01:

SPN 8x01 & 8x02 and Friday Night Lights 1x02:

SPN 8x03 & 8x04 and Friday Night Lights 1x03 & 1x04:

SPN 8x05, 8x06, & 8x07 and Friday Night Lights 1x06 & 1x07:

Leverage 1x01 & 1x03 and Friday Night Lights 1x08:

SPN 8x08 & 8x09 and Leverage 1x05, 1x09, & 1x10:

Leverage 1x07 and Friday Night Lights 1x09 & 1x10:

SPN 8x10, 8x11, & 8x12 and ST2: Wrath of Khan:

Leverage 1x08 and Friday Night Lights 1x11 & 1x12:

SPN 8x13 & 8x14 and Leverage 1x12, 1x13, & 2x01:

SPN 8x17 and Leverage 2x02 & 2x03:

Leverage 2x04 & 2x07 and ST4: Voyage Home:

SPN 8x18 & 8x19 and Leverage 2x09, 2x11, & 2x12:

SPN 8x20, 8x21, & 8x22 and Leverage 2x14 & 2x15:

SPN 8x23 and Leverage 3x03 & 3x06:

OK. That's it for now. (Whew! I feel better.)