Supernatural 8.22 “Clip Show” REVIEW

Supernatural (opens in new tab) Season Eight Episode Twenty-Two “Clip Show” TV REVIEW

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Episode 8.22
Andrew Dabb
Director: Thomas J Wright

THE ONE WHERE The brothers inadvertently free Abaddon, Metatron convinces Castiel to start his own trials and Crowley tears apart the Winchester’s life work.

VERDICT For anyone in the dark about the premise of this week’s episode, a title like “Clip Show” invokes only one feeling: dread. Worse case scenario, it’s setting you up for disappointment. This “Clip Show” is anything but. In fact the clip show aspect is utterly inspired, with Crowley finally figuring out how to hit the Winchester’s where it hurts – by killing the people they’ve saved over the years one by one.

It’s a chillingly logical and powerfully demoralizing strategy. Why fight if it’s for nought? The moment where the camera cuts to reveal Carver Edlund’s Supernatural novel’s on Crowley’s lavish desk is equal parts devastating and giddying given the fan-pleasing I-can’t-believe-they-haven’t-done-that-yet tactic. Any smiles instantly dissipate, however, when the full horror of Crowley’s plan becomes agonisingly apparent – despite ample time to prepare the brother’s are powerless to save Sarah, out-smarted by Crowley as they likely will be again and again. The sequence where Sam and Dean desperately search for the hex bag with only Crowley’s vitriolic monologue to soundtrack it ranks as one of the most tense and upsetting of the year – a scene made all the worse by the fact Dean held the solution in his hand all along.

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Moments of occasional relief aside (Dean’s delight at discovering a dungeon in the Bat-Cave is priceless) this episode is one continuous kick in the crotch for Winchester Inc with nothing going their way, a familiar penultimate episode format. They even manage to lose Abaddon during one gleefully macabre sequence. The brothers may have saved the world countless times, but their fallibility is part of what makes their plight so gripping.

Castiel also has a rough old time this week, with Metatron turning up to convince him closing the gates of heaven is now a necessity. The pair have an instantly entertaining rapport and the notion that Castiel has to cut the heart out of an apparently innocent nephilim gives the wayward seraph a gripping moral quandary to overcome. What a shame then that they blow it in the final moments by making Jane into a generic nasty, an odd choice given we’ve seen Castiel tread murkier waters in the past. This blip aside, another corker for season gr8 and an episode which leaves the show in a very good position to dazzle during the season finale.

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SPECULATION Abaddon didn’t seem best-pleased to hear about the new King of Hell, maybe she’ll be gunning for Crowley, not the Winchester’s in this week’s final episode?

THIS IS THE END Speaking of which, what are your hopes and expectations for the season finale? Somehow I don’t think it’s going to have a happy ending…

“Dude, we got needles, we got thread. We’ve seen Young Frankenstein about a thousand times. We’re golden.”

SEPARATED AT BIRTH Anyone else get a, er, Frankenhooker vibe from Abaddon’s new look?

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BLAST FROM THE PAST The characters who reappear in this week’s episode are Tommy Collins (1.02 “Wendigo”), Sarah Blake (1.19 “Provenance”) and Jenny Klein (7.05 “Shut Up, Dr Phil”).

BLAST FROM THE PAST 2 Actor Donnelly Rhodes (Father Simon) has also appeared in Supernatural before, funnily enough in “Wendigo” where he played Shaw – a grown man attacked by the creature as a child.

BLAST FROM THE PAST 3 The third “Wendigo” reference calls back to Dean’s famous line “…saving people, hunting things. The family business.” Which Crowley recites word for word while on the phone to the Winchesters.

LMAO Castiel’s convenience store adventure (“dude”) had me doubled over. The naïve angel shtick is never going to get old.

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REFERENCE Now, you’re probably wondering why my droogs aren’t in there giving you the bum rush.” Crowley is either an Anthony Burgess, Stanley Kubrick or Malcolm McDowell fan. Our money is on the latter.

REFERENCE 2 The case marked “Weird!!!” by the Men of Letters is case 1138 – four numbers which will be instantly familiar to Star Wars fans for its place in Lucasfilm history.

INJOKE Both Busty Asian Beauties and Dean’s never-ending-quest for pie get humorous nods during Castiel’s convenience store trip.

INJOKE 2 We’ll kick it in the ass like we always do.” “Kick it in the ass” was a favourite phrase of late producer/director Kim Manners. The catchphrase has appeared in the show before – they were Ellen’s departing words to Dean in 5.10 “Abandon All Hope”, Charlie says it in 7.20 “The Girl With The Dungeons And Dragons Tattoo” and the tape Dean plays in the Impala on his way to confront Lucifer during 5.22 “Swan Song” is labelled “Kick It In The Ass!”

BEHIND THE SCENES Guest star Taylor Cole tweeted about her return to Supernatural over a month ago. You can’t get away from spoilers these days!

@ jonasericaltber stranger things have happened #sarahblake #supernatural… April 13, 2013

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Dean : “ Son of a bitch!”
Crowley : “Son of a witch, actually. My mommy taught me a few tricks.

Jordan Farley (opens in new tab)

Read all our Supernatural Season Eight reviews so far here. (opens in new tab)

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