After a very strong start to Season Seven, the last two episodes of Supernatural have started a downward slide in quality that I hope they can quickly reverse. In my humble opinion, Supernatural is almost always stronger when it’s focusing on the big stories each season. The done-in-one adventures too often can seem peripheral and, frankly, skippable, if they don’t really tie-in to the main story arc. And what we’ve had for the past two weeks have been two different examples of how to not keep viewers interested. Episode Four, “Defending Your Life,” does an admirable job trying to establish relevance by focusing on Dean’s (Jensen Ackles) overwhelming sense of guilt. However, the conceit used to address the issue just doesn’t work, no matter how guest-star Faran Tahir chews the scenery as Osiris. We already know that there are other pantheons of gods out there in the world of Supernatural, but we get no explanation or real exploration of Osiris’ motivations. He’s just hanging around in a dive bar, evesdropping on people as they unload their guilty sorrows on the bartender. Then he snatches them away, judges them, and begins a process of execution. Of course it’s not as straight-forward as that, with the accused actually judging themselves with Osiris then calling up spectral assassins who hunt down and kill the judged. Which is bad news for Dean. Tahir lights up the screen with a flamboyance that is refreshing, but there was just no other energy in the entire show. Not even the surprise appearance of Alana Tal as the ghost of Jo can liven things up. Ultimately, Dean avoids confessing to Sam (Jared Padalecki) that he’d murdered Amy (Jewel Staite) last episode, and Sam reveals that his time in Hell has burned away his guilt. He finally feels okay with his life. But it was a tedious, vaguely annoying way of getting us to that revelation. Last week’s episode, “Shut Up, Dr. Phil,” hearkens back to standard Monster-of-the-Week episodes that kept me from watching the show during its first season. And not only is it a throwaway monster hunt, but the concept of the feuding married couple who happen to be centuries-old witches isn’t funny. It could be, but it’s just not. If it weren’t for the stunt casting of Buffy and Angel alumni James Marsters and Charisma Carpenter as the witchy couple, there wouldn’t be a single reason to watch this one. And it’s still a stretch. Neither actor really brings anything special to the episode, and it really does seem like someone realized this script was weak and something had to be done to get eyes on the screen. And it’s not a bad idea. I was actually looking forward to seeing Spike and Cordy back together, but there’s just nothing here for them to work with. There’s not even some sort of subtle reference to their previous work – or if there is, it was toosubtle and I missed it. Marsters plays sleazy well-enough, I suppose, but Carpenter doesn’t even seem to be trying. The only real contribution this episode makes to the season overall, is Spike is able to magically zap the Cheesy Leviathan into a temporary coma, allowing the boys to truss him up, toss him in the trunk, and head for Bobby’s to see if they can figure out how to kill them. I’ve got my fingers crossed for the next episode. Especially after two 2.5 star episodes in a row. Supernatural 7.04 "Defending Your Life" & 7.05 "Shut Up Dr. Phil"2.5Overall ScoreShare this:TweetShare on TumblrLike this:Like Loading... Related Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYou must be logged in to post a comment.