The Winchesters head to Prosperity, Ind., where there are an abundance of gory deaths to investigate; Dean's latest nightmare reveals everything he's feeling guilty about right now; and a pesky Leviathan is close to catching up with the brothers.
But the real big news comes in the forms of two Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel alums. Yes, James Marsters and Charisma Carpenter guest star as an unhappily married couple that takes a War of the Roses-type battle to a whole new level.
I was a big Buffy and Angel fan so it will come as no surprise my favorite part of this entertaining episode has to be the dysfunctional union of Don and Maggie Stark, played by Joss Whedon-verse royalty Marsters and Carpenter. They didn't disappoint either. Based on their shared scenes in "Shut Up, Dr. Phil," I'm now wishing those two would go off and find another project that requires them working together. It's a shame to waste all that potent chemistry.
Would love to have seen even more of the back-and-forth witchery that was going on between the two of them as they took out their marital frustrations on each other. Maggie was beyond angry Don cheated on her, which led her to cruelly eliminate those involved. Donald felt neglected. Some of the couple's revenge tactics:
-Blowing up of Don's bust outside the location of Maggie's big, important art show (Maggie)
-Causing all the paintings to melt which ruined said art show (Don)
-Messing with the cupcakes of Don's assistant, Jenny. Instead of a nice creamy filling, she bit into a little tiny heart. What a disgustingly bloody scene. Really difficult to watch. (Maggie)
-Decapitating that "evil bitch" Sue, Maggie's worshiping assistant/friend, after replacing one of her martini olives with an eyeball (Don)
My favorite scene of the entire hour, however, is when Sam and Dean have to resort to psychotherapy to battle the quarreling husband and wife. The brothers are clearly no match for these 800-year-old witches, so talking it out is the only weapon they have against these two. Dean starts and he actually makes some sense, in a dark and twisted sort of way. He says they haven't killed each other yet which has to mean they still value their marriage. Sam tries to drive home the fact that these two are forever bonded.
Apparently, part of the couple's therapy includes working together to cause Sam and Dean lots of pain. It allows them to discuss all their pertinent issues (going back to the Renaissance) as they fling Sam and Dean to-and-fro. Don even conjures up a swarm of bees to keep Dean occupied. (I couldn't help thinking about Season 1's "Bugs" at this point. I'm not going to lie. The swarm of bees in "Dr. Phil" was done on a smaller, much more manageable level. Thankfully.)
Don admits to Maggie cheating on her was a mistake. As they continue to make things painful for Sam and Dean, they reestablish their connection:
"He's right. I couldn't kill you. All I ever wanted is you, Mags. I've been crushing on you since forever. You're the woman I never want to grow old with." "I could never murder you either, Don. It's crazy but true."
There was so much heart in that one little exchange. I about melted when Don admitted he'd been crushing on Maggie forever. It's funny to even feel that way considering the death and destruction caused the entire episode. As for the witches, Sam and Dean didn't have what it takes to get rid of them. They get to live on in Prosperity, and hopefully now that they're marriage is on track, the murdering will cease.
It's great how Don showed up to Sam and Dean's hotel room only to find one of the Leviathans cornering the brothers. Don incapacitates the creature using some temporary spell. He suggests burying the thing. Then he finds the Romanian hex coins (present at all the deaths -- it's a witch-y thing) under the mattresses of Sam and Dean's beds, which is a little unwanted gift from his wife, who was ready to kill Sam and Dean. So, in essence, he just saved the brothers' lives twice.
Major kudos to Charisma Carpenter and James Marsters...since their characters weren't killed, I'm hoping they'll return to the Supernatural world some day. Pretty please?
Sam and Dean dysfunction
I'm thinking Sam and Dean may need couples therapy themselves. Sam is acting all healthy and his crumbled wall doesn't seem to be bothering him too much. Meanwhile, Dean's a complete, utter mess. He's having nightmares filled with Cas, Sam and Amy. I'm glad we're finally getting a sense that Dean's feeling guilty about not being able to save Cas. I still think Cas should have been mentioned in "Defending Your Life." So, at least we know the former angel of the Lord is on Dean's mind. We also know the killing Amy secret is weighing heavily on him.
While Sam's running and drinking Gatorade, Dean's drinking whiskey or whatever he can get his hands on at all times of the day. He even whips out a flask during the case. What is going on with him? During a case? Don't get me wrong, Dean's always resorted to alcohol. He did after hell. This is his usual way of dealing with the awfulness in his life. But drinking during a case? Sam calls him on it. He really wants to know what his brother's hiding and what's causing this destructive behavior.
Again, I get this Season 4 vibe when Dean wouldn't let Sam know just how awful it got in hell. Sam would ask about it. Dean would shut him down but quick. Dean's never been a caring and sharing kind of guy. But history also tells us we're headed for a monumental scene where Dean comes clean or is forced to defend his Amy actions. Wonder when that's going to happen?
Actually, Sam and Dean constantly do this to each other. They ask each other how they're doing. Then they lie and say they're fine. Or they don't answer at all. They keep asking until one day, everything just comes out at once. I just want this to happen sooner than later. Like I've said before, I want these two on the same page. From the looks of the next episode, they're going to be dealing with some major Leviathan interference. These two need to have each other's backs. They don't need to be distracted by their dysfunction.
Maggie and Don's Murder Mayhem
This show found new gory ways of killing people:
-The death by hair dryer was pretty tragic. It cut a little too close to home since I've found myself under hair salon dryers before (and will in the future). I don't think I'll ever think of those things the same way again. Poor Wendy. What a rotten and utterly hellish way to go.
-One guy got nail gunned to death. Another horrific way to go. Through the eyes was the worst part I think. Plus, he was asthmatic and was having issues breathing. It was all very uncomfortable.
-We didn't get to see it but we were told one guy was hot tubbed to death. Ouch.
-And of course there was the decapitation by tray. I kind of loved this death scene. OK, I think I've been watching this show for way too long.
-Dean calling sweaty runner Sam "Lance Armstrong" was hilarious. As was Sam reminding Dean every time that Lance was a biker not a runner.
-Donald Stark -- is this supposed to be a combo between Donald Trump and Tony Stark? If so, I approve. About the Stark part anyway. As for Maggie, I hope the writers named her after Maggie the Cat in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.
-Dean gets no pie again. He's all ready and then Sam ruins it with some stinky non-chilled chicken feet. He drops it right by Dean, which ruins his appetite. Is this going to be a season-long gag? I hope in the S7 finale Dean finally gets some pie.
-With Dean drinking before, during and after this case, how is Sam letting him drive the Impala? Just saying.
-Sam was Agent Sambora. I do so love the ongoing Bon Jovi references this show likes to throw at us every once in awhile.
-In every role since James Marsters played Spike, I've always missed his bleached blond look. In his role as Don Stark, I actually enjoyed the fact he looked nothing like Spike.
-I hope both James and Charisma land their own series sooner rather than later. They keep doing guest star shots. I would love to see them on a more regular basis.