We're down to the penultimate episode. I've always wanted to use that word in a sentence. Guy Norman Bee directed this one. I like his style. He's the guy who gave us the beauty that is Frontierland, as well as 7.02 and 7.09 this season. He generally tweets during the airing of his episodes. He's been interviewed on Winchester Brothers Radio and been to at least one convention. He's pretty forthcoming about behind the scenes detail and he points out some of the subtle things added to sets that aren't easy to spot on a first watch. The Superwiki has links to the interviews and his tweets.
The episode was written by Andrew Dabb and Daniel Loflin. I was glad to see that they managed to write a decent episode. They have turned out some good episodes, Frontierland and Weekend at Bobby's, but they are also responsible for the ditching of the Samulet, Dean in red gym shorts, the introduction of poor old Adam, the death of Gabriel, the ruckus around The Girl Next Door, 7.08 The Becky Debacle, and thus the appropriately titled Unforgiven. It felt like they found a better balance this time with humor and moving the plot forward. The Dick joke was more subtle than usual and the boys were still speaking to each other at the end of the episode, always a plus in my book.
The art department and location scouts did another amazing job with some of the sets. I particularly liked the opening set in Dick Roman's Sucrocorp office. I like the high gloss look to all the furniture and the walls. We had more awesome art including a continuation of the dead tree theme. The carpet and lines in the walls fall in with a lot of brick, tile, and rock that have been used this season.
The kid's shirt even color coordinates with the room and the horizontal stripes work well. He looks like part of the set, which might be the point.
Dick's got Kevin and The Word. And Kevin's mom. Oh well, resistance was futile. Both the tree picture above and the abstract painting below seem to fit into a theme in this season's art to echo the splat of the goo in the season title card. I put a bunch of examples in an entry here.
We got this lovely mural with water, mountains, bare trees and hidden white rabbits. Why rabbits? Bottom of the food chain? Evidently Gloria doesn't have that special spark that will prevent her from becoming lunch.
While we're listening to Dick go on about this improved food additive, we see some of the results of its consumption. We're treated to this dude on his couch complete with flowers and pheasants which are hunted for food. Guy Bee said he tried to add bits of red into shots in keeping with the idea of blood from the episode title. Ok, we've seen the red, although we wish we hadn't.
This is Mott at the Hoople Gas n' Sip. Mr. Bee is responsible for this hidden play on the name of a band called Mott the Hoople. Who? Yeah, I'm clueless too.
This group of guys is interesting in that they don't seem to be eating. There is a lot of orange and a continuation of the use of color tiles. There is a cracked mirror on the wall and a ship's wheel. Mirrors, especially broken ones, show up in a couple of places in this episode.
We head off to Rufus's where the dead trees are actually greening up. I thought this place was thoroughly compromised as a secret location last week so I'm surprised the boys are still hanging out here. They've acquired a red car in the meantime. Evidently the car is actually in excellent condition and they dirtied it up for the show.
We find out that Bobby is still hanging around and is able to put two and two together quickly even though he's dead. Dean's realizing he's getting less bathroom privacy than anyone in a house with a 2-year-old.
We get the first of a couple of shots of Bobby in a mirror.
He's having trouble keeping his temper contained. You know what they say about breaking a mirror and bad luck. We're still going to be dealing with the effects of this in Season 14.
We get a shot of Dean in the mirror here.
Later we get one in the side mirror on the Car of the Week.
Eventually we get to see Bobby in another mirror that he's broken. Are the bad luck sentences served consecutively or concurrently? This is a great way to show that the housekeeper is possessed and that Bobby is skippering this meat boat, so to speak.
Back to Rufus's where Dean is responding to Bobby's reappearance in typical Dean fashion. It's 5:00 somewhere.
Bobby tells them to summon Crowley. They do and he comes to tell them to go to Hoople for the conveniently alive (undead?) Alpha Vamp. I liked the words burning in the table.
Hoople is a tiny town in northern North Dakota with 242 residents at the last census. The vamps were disappointed to be out of fava beans when it was their turn to be counted.
Dean's got a new custom-made leather jacket complete with a traditional Dean-style popped collar. Its awesomeness speaks for itself. That's good because I only know about as many synonyms for awesome as Dean does.
I hope the sign behind poor Sam is not prophetic, just stating past history. We'll have to check with Kevin.
I like that they are having a clearance on sunscreen just as summer is about to start. Maybe the Leviathans are going to repair the ozone layer. I thought they were going to cure cancer.
And here is Sam denying Dean pie yet again. Buck up, Dean. You're cute when you're high but you have work to do.
Same sale sign as last week but instead of red and blue angel and demon colors, we get green, yellow and red. Never a good SPN color combination.
Yeah, wait until those bananas sit in the hot car for a day or two. They're already pretty yellow.
They head off to the vamps' house which has a partial heavy rock exterior.
Inside, Bobby finds dead vamps and the boys go check it out. They're greeted by Dracula movie candles and if not dead trees in the art, then certainly isolated ones. There is a globe on the mantle here.
I can't tell if the middle vamp has dirty jeans or if there are flowers embroidered on them. Probably dirty. If you flip through caps of this scene, you can see the actors breathing.
The rug is red with flowers. The art is water and mountains.
Poor Bobby looks so out of place. We've had pink for victims but this is a bit over the top in a creepy way. Flowered bedspread.
Not really dressed in understated victim/bystander pink and she's covered in flowers. The fireplace front fits in with the splattered theme and it looks like the goo is running.
These caps show up later in the episode when Edgar arrives but I wanted to keep the pink from spreading.
The art is supposed to be cute and fluffy, I think, but also just a little off. Guy Bee said he wanted to call back to the blood bags in the Twihard episode.
Is that a guinea pig driving above the fireplace? Now you can see the floral carpet in the room too.
When Sam and Dean find Emily, Dean tries to be reassuring. Are you buying it? I don't think Sam is.
Awww, Dean's only had the jacket for 10 episode minutes and he already has to share it. Who made the 'child' tea? Where?
Another piece of art with stark trees on an island and a globe on the chest.
Bobby's not impressed. No one gave him any tea.
Then we're off to the health food store because apparantly man cannot live on bananas alone. Dean's pretty sure he can't live on this either.
Here's my favorite section of the episode. The guy's strategically placed on the Biggerson's ad wearing a Plucky's shirt.
This whole scene is carried by facial expressions.
I'd probably look that way if Dean put his arm around me...
Awesome donut-eating stoned cop. Dean boogies along with the song coming out of the car.
Then we head off to Missoula, Montana. Mountain shaped sign.
The boys have let veggies come between them. Why in the front seat? Trunk too full of weapons? Back seat full of ghost and kid? Habit probably keeps the road food in the front seat. Pass the radishes.
Then we get to this great motel and appropriately the boys are about to be buffaloed. An American slang meaning for buffalo is to outwit, confuse, deceive, or intimidate. The public is being buffaloed by Sucrocorp. Last week there was a deer head, now we have a bison. Bison were almost hunted to extinction in North America for food and sport.
Emily must have had some other clothes somewhere that she changed into but she's still in pink. A little touch of red there in the motel card.
The fireplace in this room has big rocks too. The bathroom floor is colored title and we've seen a lot of floors like that this season. Red chair.
The difference in how the actress portrayed the housekeeper before and after possession was good. She's wearing more typical victim pink. This room has a lot of mountain images. Mountains were used a lot in the sets early in the season and they appear to be gradually returning.
The Alpha Vamp likes pink. He and his guard vampires can be up and about during the day. I can't remember if that is common for SPN vampires.
They found another amazing house to shoot in. The yellowed windows have more of that black goo splatter feel to them. I suppose those could be trees behind the window but it's hard to tell. He's got this pinkish tie thing going on.
Cat statue on the mantle and some really cool chairs. The fireplace marble is the inverse of the title card.
I just like this shot with its symmetry and red light shades.
This is a cool shot too.
Our guys are stowed in a room by another red shirt.
The youngest victim is in red too.
Emily has just about the same expression as the alpha. The alpha's chair is appropriately throne-like.
Why did he keep Emily there to meet Edgar?
Edgar arrives and is all "my neighborhood is badder than yours" and "your mama".
Dean looking distressed. I wonder what the significance of the glove in the portrait is.
I really like it when we see Dean use his brain. The IV needle lock pick was good with bonus hidden weapon in the boot. Fortunately he's with Sam, the family lock picker, so they'll get out. Things go so much better when these guys work together.
Dean looking distressed. I wonder what the significance of Michael is. When the interviewer asked Guy Bee if it meant anything, he wasn't aware that it had any real meaning. He thought it just happened to fit the space. The decision to put it there came from the set designers. I'm sure it's there for a reason but I have no idea what it might be.
In case you haven't seen it before, it was also hanging on the wall in the Beautiful Room in Lucifer Rising. Zachariah, now there was a guy it was fun to hate.
I'm glad Sam held out for the kid. The "see you next season" was awesome. I'm ok with more Alpha Vamp next year. The boys know where you live.
Dean looking distressed. I wonder what the signifi...oh, nevermind. This whole Bobby thing isn't going anywhere good.
There were some cool shots at the end when Dick summons Crowley. This part was directed by whoever did the finale.
It's cool that seven seasons in, they're still finding new places to put Devil's Traps.
So which way is Crowley going to go? Will there have to be a deal? Who's going to sacrifice a bone? Will Meg and Cas be back? Will this be the end of the Leviathan storyline? What about Bobby? Where is THE CAR?! Will Sam ever get anything super cool to wear? What about Kevin, the loose end? Who is the righteous mortal? Will there be heaps of angst? Will I need tissues? Is it Friday yet?
All caps from Home of the Nutty and true_fellings