Stars: Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles, D.J. Qualls, Emily Perkins, Mark A. Sheppard, Leslie Odom Jr.
Andrew Dabb & Daniel Loflin, series created by Eric Kripke
Tim Andrew
The CW, Fridays @ 9 PM
Original Telecast:
November 4, 2011

This reviewer cannot pretend to be as much of a SUPERNATURAL fan as the character Becky Rosen (Emily Perkins), so the title of the episode doesn’t spring to mind, but “Season 7, Time for a Wedding!” feels as if it’s returning to familiar territory for this series, and not just because of its meta aspect.

For those who don’t remember Seasons 4 and 5, Rob Benedict played Chuck Shurley, aka Chuck the Prophet, who was writing the adventures of the Winchester brothers as SUPERNATURAL novels. Chuck was surprised to find that his stories were predicting the adventures of actual people – or perhaps he wasn’t that surprised, as Chuck’s disappearance at the end of Season 5 suggested that perhaps he was God. Somewhere along the line, the audience along with Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles) discovered that Chuck’s books had a following at the same time that the following found out that Sam and Dean were real people (real, that is, in the universe of the TV show that we’re watching).

If this all sounds insanely self-referential, it is. Of course, Season 6’s “The French Mistake” actually deposited Sam and Dean into the shoes of Padalecki and Ackles on the SUPERNATURAL set. After that, any assaults on the fourth wall are likely to seem comparatively minor. Still “Season 7, Time for a Wedding!” is on the nose enough to make us wonder why the characters – especially the detail-oriented Becky – don’t remember something like this happening before.

At any rate, while in Vegas, Dean is surprised, not to mention appalled, to find that Sam has re-encountered SUPERNATURAL book fan Becky, fallen in love over supper and married her. Becky, of course, has dosed Sam with magical Rohypnol, provided by Guy (Leslie Odom Jr.), a man she thinks is a friend but who turns out to be a crossroads demon. Worse, Guy is offering residents of Becky’s hometown deals for their souls, only to collect within a week, rather than the ten years specified by the deal. When Becky discovers she’s been had, she ultimately does the right thing and lets Sam know what’s going on.

Becky kills the Guy’s apprentice and Sam and Dean get the drop on the demon in time for Crowley (Mark A. Sheppard) to show up and scold Guy for his lack of integrity: “This isn’t Wall Street, this is Hell!” Crowley is rightly worried that if word gets out about how no one has time to enjoy their deals on Earth, the soul trade will go out of business. He also tells Sam and Dean he’s told his demons to keep out of their way while they hunt Leviathans.

It’s not that SUPERNATURAL shouldn’t or can’t tweak fandom. The episode set at a SUPERNATURAL book convention had some great moments, including a panel that has to be stretched past its breaking point and a finale in which a fan listed all the valid reasons Sam and Dean should stop feeling sorry for themselves and acknowledge that, in a way, their lives are kind of awesome.

There aren’t any such insights in “Season 7, Time for a Wedding!” If a show is going to send up its own fans and have one of its main characters in an artificially-induced romantic daze, it better be funny while doing it. Alas, “Wedding” skips just about every possibility for humor at its disposal. Apart from figuring out where to conveniently encounter Sam and knowing what a crossroad demon is, Becky could pretty much be any lonely young woman over-eager for a hot boyfriend, and the opportunities for Sam to act hopelessly smitten are simply ignored. Sam is under a spell – it wouldn’t ruin the character to let him be goofy here.

Ackles actually does wring some laughs by displaying every shade of exasperation known to humankind in Dean’s reactions to Sam’s condition. Odom is deft as the demon who outsmarts himself, and Sheppard is always welcome as   Crowley. (Jim Beaver’s Bobby might have helped elevate the episode as well, but that’s another conversation.)

There’s a sense of repetitiveness to this episode. We come away feeling less like it’s time for a wedding in Season 7 than that it’s time to restore the balance of comedy, horror and inventiveness that marks SUPERNATURAL at its best.


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Article Source: Assignment X
: TV Review – SUPERNATURAL – Season 7 – “The Mentalists”

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