Review: Supernatural – What’s Up Tiger Mommy?
By Noor Alnaqeeb (@nooralnaqeeb)
Warning: Supernatural. Season Eight: Episode Two Spoilers.
Quote of the week:
“Maybe you should try Plan D for Dumbass.”
Chicago, Illinois. If you ever see a man dressed in another era’s attire taking a human bone out of a safety deposit box – run. He’s about to ask you for a withdrawal, and no, not a financial one. A withdrawal of the internal organ kind. Cue the blood spatter across the screen and you’ve got yourself a Supernatural title sequence.
Meanwhile, over oily burgers and cheesy fries, Dean and a traumatized Kevin discuss the prophet’s desire to go home and check on his mom. Dean is definitely not for the idea, convinced that Crowley will have the place crawling with demons. After much deliberation and Dean’s previous experience with all things Mommy Dearest, he agrees to go.
Codename: Tiger Mommy. To their dismay, they find her surrounded by gardeners, supportive friends and members of the postal service. Which would be fine and dandy if they weren’t all demons. After a less than perfect holy-water-in-the-face reunion, Kevin tries to explain their situation, asking his mom if she’d ever seen the exorcist, as a point of reference. Mrs. Tran seems more concerned about her son spending all his time watching horror films in the past year that he had been missing. “What have you been doing all year? Watching television?” Turns out Tiger Mommy is even more hardcore than the Winchesters, insisting she come along on the suicide mission of retrieving the tablet. Trying to scare her out of it, Sam explains they’re going to need to get anti-possession tattoos. But the little woman with crazy courage is not fazed and is completely unflinching when getting her ink set. And voila, we have a new member of Operation Demonstruction.
Kevin explains that he left the Word of God in a locker at a train station. Only problem is, instead of a tablet with prophetic inscriptions, they find a diaper bag. Kind of hard to use diapers and baby wipes to eradicate demons off the face of the Earth. The tablet had been stolen, among other things from the lockers, so the only possible route forward – interview the thief. “Do you know where it–” Oh wait, Dean’s having a flashback of Purgatory.
We’re in Purgatory. Blood’s boiling, knife’s showing, Dean’s angry. Amidst an impromptu interrogation with a monster to find the whereabouts of Castiel, Dean resorts to intimidation and torture, and finally gets the information he needs. Not before the audience are taken back and forth between both realities. A hazed and scarred Dean shoves the real-world thief up against a wall in a chokehold demanding the whereabouts of the tablet. Someone might need to diagnose this poor Winchester with posttraumatic stress, but let’s carry on.
We’re back in the real world, at a pawnshop with an uncooperative shop attendant where the tablet might have been sold. In yet another demonstration of Mrs. Tran’s casual kickassery, she uses her knowledge in illegal Ferraris, finance and general fierceness to locate the tablet.
The wild goose chase had finally landed them somewhere after all. In front of the motel room of another peculiarly dressed man, who happens to already know everyone’s name. The Mr. Peanut lookalike named Bo invites Kevin to a no-powers, no-curses, and no-possession auction of a very exclusive item – the tablet. Supernatural auctioneers? More like right hand man of the god of greed, Plautus. “Pfft. That’s not even a planet anymore.” Oh, Dean.
Considering the Winchesters have nothing but the Impala to auction off (and Dean would kill anyone who tried to auction off the Impala), they seem more than stuck. Regardless, on they go through the metal detectors to the auction where their plan is for Kevin, as the Stanford hopeful he is, to memorize the tablet’s inscriptions. No pressure or anything, it’s just the fate of mankind riding on this thing. After Dean unloads an entire cavalry’s worth of artillery onto a table, they are allowed in and the bidding begins. Oops, problem. The inscriptions are covered with a blank plaque. Guess Plautus’ helpers are as imaginative as the Winchesters. Oh, and look – Crowley just walked in.
Fast-forwarding through an epic gift-wrapped slap from Tiger Mommy to Crowley, an entrance by a Sopranos-lookalike Plautus, and a run-in with Alfie, the angel dressed in a Weiner Hut uniform; we have ourselves an extremely bizarre auction. Alfie, the angel whose mission is to protect the Word of God, asks Dean where Castiel is. This prompts a flashback and we see Cas and Dean are reunited in Purgatory. A now-sane Castiel explains that the price placed on his head by Leviathans had forced him to run from Dean in order to protect him. A heartwarming “I’m not leaving without you” conversation later, we’re back at the auction. Let the games begin.
Sam, Dean, Kevin and Tiger Mommy suck their wallets dry scraping together credit cards, two thousand dollars and a Costco membership card. That, however, pales in comparison to the price of the first item starting at three tones of Dwarvan gold. Oops.
After the sale of Thor’s hammer, Mjolnir, the bidding for the tablet begins. Crowley and Alfie bid back and forth bidding “three million dollars,” “the Mona Lisa,” “Vatican City,” and my personal favorite, “the moon.” Unfortunately, the reservation price exceeds the worth of these items and Kevin Tran is added to the auction. Didn’t see that one coming. In order to match any of the bids and save her son, Tiger Mommy bids her soul and the tablet is theirs. That wasn’t much of a triumph. And, oh yeah, Houston, we have a demon infestation. Mrs. Tran, moments away from giving her soul to Plautus, is possessed by Crowley, assisted by Plautus’ right hand man. After Sam uses the wrath of Thor to strike down those against him and Dean having a one-on-one battle with Kevin’s mom, Crowley inevitably leaves with the tablet leaving Mrs. Tran soulful and alive.
So we’re back to square one. Crowley has the tablet and knows what it can do. Tiger Mommy is speechless and in a state of shock; and Kevin, after seeing Dean and Mrs. Tran showdown, bolts with his mother and Word of God reading abilities in hand. We’re left with the final image of Castiel in Purgatory calling Dean’s name while reaching out for help. Which begs the question: what really happened in Purgatory?
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars