“The Bad Seed” was directed by Supernatural’s own Jensen Ackles. This is Ackles’ fifth outing as director of a Supernatural episode. Writers Brad Buckner and Eugenie Ross-Leming previously worked with Ackles on his last two directing ventures—“Heartache” and “Soul Survivor.” In “The Bad Seed” we caught up with Castiel, Crowley, Rowena, and the hungry new character Amara.
“The Bad Seed” worked in a lot of ways: having Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean Winchester (Jensen Ackles) working together, dealing with the attack-dog spell cast on Castiel (Misha Collins), showing the continued hatred between Rowena (Ruth Connell) and Crowley (Mark Sheppard), and enhancing the mystery of Amara (Gracyn Shinyei) and the Darkness (Emily Swallow). “The Bad Seed” featured Amara as a Monster of the Week while Rowena provided comic relief with her attempt to win over the other witches. Though she does eat souls, it appears that Amara might have an interesting moral ambiguity. The Darkness seeks vengeance against God for what He has done to her, while her earthly manifestation understands that what He has created is impressive. At the same time, she wonders why God lets people suffer as He does. Maybe God is the villain after all. As we learn more about the Darkness in “The Bad Seed” we also learn that Sam and Dean never really change. They aren’t being entirely honest with each other, which is truly tiresome.
Making Mega Plans for the Future
Here’s something to get excited about—Rowena’s back! What will she do with her Superwitch powers? Create a Megacoven, of course. The Grand Coven doesn’t cut it for Rowena. Now that she has the Book of the Damned she needs a Megacoven. She has invited three witches to join her, but they don’t seem excited about it. When Rowena boasts about killing her son, the King of Hell, by way of an angel, one of the witches points out that Crowley just made a deal with a friend of hers. Before the Mean Girl witches can blow Rowena off, she does it first, casting a spell to turn them to dust. Now who’s the mean girl?
At the bunker, Dean is daydreaming about the meeting with his new soulmate The Darkness. His thoughts are interrupted by Sam’s neverending research reports. Sam and Dean have Castiel chained up to keep him from going full-on attack dog. Castiel is fighting it off with all his angel might, but the spell is digging deeper.
Crowley is on the lookout for his old mum, and his minions have finally located her. Matricide isn’t all that’s on Crowley’s mind. Amara, who is some form of the Darkness, is hanging with him in Hell. The demon nanny (Tasya Teles) is having her watch Hitler’s Nuremberg speeches. Uncle Crowley checks in on Amara. Amara wants Crowley to save her from God. Crowley asks how God locked her away, but she doesn’t want to talk about it. He tells her that since he’s a King he can protect her from God. Crowley may be exaggerating a bit, but he can sure sell it.
Rowena is still determined to be part of the cool witch crowd. While dining with two less dusty witches, Claudette (Courtney Richter) and Magda (Chantal Bui Viet), she brings up the megacoven idea. They don’t seem interested until Rowena tells them she has the Book of the Damned. She knows how to tempt those popular witches. Before they can begin a shopping montage in which the two mean girl witches try to modernize Rowena’s wardrobe, one of Crowley’s minions (Sergio Osuna) arrives to break up the party. Being the brainy witch, Rowena manages to get away. After being exiled for centuries, it takes more than a black-eyed demon to capture her.
Uh … a Little Help Here?
Sam, Dean, and Castiel are at the bunker, trying to figure out how they can find Rowena to force her to remove the attack-dog spell. Crowley isn’t responding to BFF Dean’s calls. They would also like to find Metatron to learn what the scribe knows about the Darkness. Sam searches for traffic violations involving a Continental Mark V, which Metatron had taken. Castiel is disappointed to learn the boys think his Lincoln was crappy. Castiel suggests they might look for Metatron in waffle places. The scribe does love his waffles. Just then Castiel is taken over by the spell and blacks out. He awakens a few minutes later, complaining about the voices from the angel radio in his head. The angels are also looking for both Castiel and the “perp” Metatron, which means the Winchesters don’t have much time. Sam finds a clue to Rowena’s presence, and they all head to Denver.
In Hell, Amara continues to study. Little Amara talks to The Darkness in the mirror. Amara is surprised about all that God has done since He locked her away. The Darkness reminds Amara that she has a purpose and that she will learn her true destiny as she gets older, telling her, “I am what you are becoming and we are mightier than God.” Crowley interrupts, asking Amara, in the patronizing voice he uses with her, if she’s learning anything. She replies, “ I think so,” and looks up at Crowley.
An angel (Lane Edwards) and a demon (Adam Hurtig) walk into a bar … Supernatural sets us up for some comic relief as two mid-level bureaucrats share the annoyances about Heaven and Hell. Alarms are going off, indicating that something really big is going on, but no announcements or executive orders are being shared with ordinary angels or demons (if any angel or demon can be called ordinary). Apparently Heaven’s been a “suck sandwich” since Hannah died, and life’s no better in Hell. They talk about how the whole Heaven vs. Hell thing is a setup, with guys like them being caught in the middle. But whatever is happening now could put them completely out of work if it takes over. The demon thinks that someone’s got to do something about it: “If management won’t, it’s up to the little guy.” The angel commiserates, “I hear ya.”
Sam and Dean question the witch Claudette whom the Denver police are holding. The witch tries to pretend she’s just regular folk.
Claudette: “You can’t do this. I have rights.”
Dean: “And I have a fake badge.”
The witch doesn’t want to leave the jail because she’s afraid of Crowley’s demons. They want the witch to scry Rowena so they can locate her. The Winchesters are very persuasive.
Crowley brings Amara some presents—a pink dress with blood on it and an Uncle Hoppity pop-up book. Amara isn’t crazy about the blood stain and she already has a book—Nanny has given her Dante’s Inferno in the original Italian. Amara has been learning and plans on doing things differently than God. When Crowley asks what her plans are, Amara says she’s hungry. Nanny brings her some treats, but what she really wants to snack on is Nanny’s soul. As Amara goes back to her studies, she says, “Thank you, Uncle Crowley.” So a
Sam and Dean find Rowena. She’s wearing a very un-Scottish blonde wig. It’s disturbing. She knocks down Dean, but before she casts a spell on him she gives a little villain prologue. This gives Sam enough time to stop her. Will villains never learn?
Castiel has been left alone in the bunker. Castiel is using the computer in to locate his crappy Lincoln, but finds a porn site instead. Is Fortune Nookie really one of Dean’s porn sites or could someone be trying to communicate? We know from Casa Erotica that it’s certainly Gabriel’s MO, but perhaps it’s a message from someone higher up … or it’s just porn. We never find out, because despite the message “You don’t really want to leave!” Castiel shuts the computer.
In Hell, Amara is snacking on souls, leaving their meatsuits to be disposed of. Amara thinks God screwed up the world, and wonders why people are bound to suffer and die. Crowley suggests that together they can shape things how they want, making it where everyone is evil. Amara is taken aback and asks him if he’d really be happy if everyone and everything were pure evil. After thinking on it a moment Crowley realizes that he likes gratification that comes from “watching a human reject the light and embrace depravity.” Amara smirks at him.
Amara: “Good, evil, Heaven, Hell, people … It all seems so unimportant.”
Crowley: “Well, I don’t know that I’d say that.”
Amara: “I don’t think you’re seeing the big picture.”
Crowley: “Meaning what exactly?”
Amara: “Guess what, Uncle Crowley? I’m hungry.”
The Winchesters take Rowena back to the bunker. She has the codex in her bag, but not the Book of the Damned. Dean tells Sam to go get Castiel and threatens Rowena. He tells her he has Crowley on speed dial, but Rowena calls his bluff. She looks into his burdened eyes and realizes something happened when the Mark of Cain was released: “What new hell has dean Winchester unleashed upon the world?” Castiel is gone. So much for fixing him.
Crowley has assigned the nannying to the demon who failed to kill Rowena earlier. Crowley tells him, “Amara clearly responds to you.” The Nanny demon replies, “She looks at me like she wants to eat me.” Crowley wants the Nanny demon to tell Amara they’re cutting down on her soul food. Yeah, we wouldn’t want to tell her either.
Going Along for the Ride
Sam and Dean take Rowena for a ride as try they track down Castiel through the GPS on his phone. Rowena is spilling the beans on Sam’s deal to kill Crowley if she removed the Mark of Cain from Dean’s arm. Is he concerned that Sam would try to kill his bestie Crowley? He claims his concerns arise out of Sam keeping secrets. But we think it’s really that he doesn’t want anyone messing with Crowley.
Sam and Dean identify the dark alley Castiel seems to be loitering in. Sam takes Rowena out of the car and they split up to look for him. Castiel is trying to kill a presumably innocent girl who happens to be walking down a dark alley by herself. Castiel grabs her and starts to strangle the girl, but Dean talks him down, for a second anyway. Castiel starts to beat Dean, but Rowena and Sam show up, and Rowena removes the spell. Rowena doesn’t wait to see if the boys would honor their agreement, and gets away.
Back at the bunker, Sam, Dean, and Castiel sit around the table enjoying some beers. Castiel is contrite for hitting Dean, but we remember a time not that long ago when the Mark-influenced Dean beat the bejesus out of his angel pal. Castiel offers to heal Dean’s eye, but Dean tells him, “It’s fine. Besides, I had it coming.” Look who’s feeling guilty now.
In Hell, Crowley finds the nanny dead, which he can’t be all that surprised about. He opens the door and Amara (Yasmeene Ball) is a teenager. She’s a growing girl and is still hungry. He tries to stall her, telling her he wants to talk. But like any teenager who doesn’t get her way, she gets angry, insisting, “I’m hungry!” Watch out, Crowley, or she may chomp on your smoky red soul. We’re guessing it doesn’t taste like chicken—probably more like haggis.
“The Bad Seed” was a fun episode of Supernatural. It focused on the the characters we like to watch like Crowley, Rowena, and Castiel, without anyone taking unbelievable actions that you know will get them in trouble down the line. The narrative moved at a pace that kept us engaged and did a good job resolving the attack dog spell with just the right amount of drama. The little that was revealed about Amara has only made her that much more intriguing. Right now she’s being nurtured by evil and we can only assume her nature is evil, but it feels as though there will be much more to her than that. “The Bad Seed” reinforced that Supernatural can make an episode interesting without relying on tension between the brothers to drive the story. We’re hoping to see more of that in Season 11.
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