Let’s all talk about Criss Angel is a Douchebag (S4 E12)

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    • journalbookbinder
        July 5, 2022 at 6:04 pm #14009

        This one, for a stand-alone, was very involved. Loved the use of older guest actors! Loved the twisty-turny story. I guess this was also (as usual) supposed to be an allegory for Sam and Dean? I’ll start with the end first. After Jay the magician ends up alone, Sam suddenly realizes that he has to go with Ruby’s way to defeat Lilith…though we see earlier that Sam tries to bring it up to Dean; that he’s hopeful that maybe he and Dean and “win” so there is a life after hunting and they don’t end up hunting in their 60’s like the magicians were trying to hang on to their professional past the point Sam thinks they should have retired. Ruby made Sam believe that he was the ONLY one who could stop Lucifer’s rising (and of course the only way would be her way).

        The older magicians are so interesting as characters. They have fully-formed personalities. The actors made me feel like these men truly did have a long history and were “like brothers” (allegory again). It was a puzzle to figure out the case when it became apparent that Jay was not the one responsible for creating his suddenly amazing skill.

        And again it is SAD. Jay ends up alone. One friend abandons him for killing the other friend that just went too far trying to get back the glory days…well, the magician who was killed had lived longer than that; all the way back to PT Barnum…but he found a friend in Jay and wanted them to stay together forever; wanted to give all three of them eternal life. But it seemed that someone else always had to die in their place when death threatened.

        I was a bit confused at the end…how Jay was able to stab himself and kill his friend??? It wasn’t Jay who was immortal. He declined immortality, yet he hurt himself in order to kill his friend. I must have missed something.

        All the little brotherly asides teasing Sam about liking magic were kinda fun. I must admit. Love seeing Sam make the face that he always makes when he’s just barely tolerating Dean. And the close call for Sam and Dean at the end was kind of fun; knowing they WOULD escape but it was close for both of them.

        I had forgotten the resolution of this one; the reveal that the friend was the one doing it all along. And it appeared he had died yet he was immortal (again, I need some explanation).

        But it was involved and interesting and very sad and sometimes funny and it had everything that makes Supernatural Supernatural.

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      • PigNaPoke
          July 5, 2022 at 6:04 pm #14623

          I like this episode a lot for the story of the three old friends. Like you said, JBB, VERY layered story and lots packed into one stand alone episode, but I thought they did a great job making it interesting and getting the audience to care for three old kooks in such short amount of time. No doubt MUCH of the reason for that are the three excellent veteran character actors in it! They REALLY bring these characters to life and giving them so much dimension.

          You can really “feel” their deep and long lasting friendship. I always LOVED the little bit here they send Dean to “Chief” for info. Such mischievous thing to do for the older guys. Also leaves you wondering how they found out about that club and if they maybe had send each other there as a joke before.

          I also enjoyed the clear fun the episode was poking at the overproduced Vegas-style illusionist shows. And the fake rock star mentalities of many of these showy magicians. I guess there is some type of magic act for everyone and none of it competes with REAL magic. All quite clever.

          I think the immortality is LINKED to the tarot deck magic. I assumed that Charly made sure the deck was ON Jay each night he performed a death defying trick and he planted the target card on the other magicians who got killed in exchange for Jay’s safety. And at the end when Charly explains it all Jay pickpocketed the deck from Charly leaving ONE card behind, so when he stabbed himself the immortality and target were switched.

          Interesting point you make about the possibly planned allegory here. I have a hard time seeing the parallels in this. I understood it more as a warning fable of “careful what you get yourself involved with and cannot control”. Of course, then we have Sam go off and do exactly the opposite at the end of the episode when he joins Ruby but I thought at was a clear sign of now deep she has her hooks in his brain already.

          I also understood the conversation between Sam and Dean about “getting old vs dying young” and Sam saying he wished there was a way to end it all and for them to win as another try of Sam to get Dean to see things his way. He wants Dean to agree that going with Ruby and powering Sam up is the only way to go forward if they want to kill Lilith. To me he is trying to get validation from Dean for his choices as well as not wanting to go after Lilith without Dean. NOT saying that clearly and giving up on the argument before it is a real exchange of opinions is yet another indication that Sam is really deep into going down his own path no matter what. It’s really unsettling to see Sam pull back from Dean and only provide half-truths when asked.

          I did enjoy this episode, even though it is very melancholy and sadly foreboding.

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      Let’s all talk about Criss Angel is a Douchebag (S4 E12)

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