Supernatural 8.02 “What’s Up, Tiger Mommy?” TV REVIEW(opens in new tab)
Writers: Andrew Dabb & Daniel Loflin
Director: John Showalter
THE ONE WHERE Kevin’s mum joins in the quest for the Tablet, and Castiel turns grizzly man in purgatory.
VERDICT Rejoice! Supernatural has got its flashback obsession under control, and rediscovered its mojo very early this season, a pleasant change to the slow starts of the past two years.
“What’s Up, Tiger Mommy?” ups the humour after last week’s pseudo-serious instalment, with a typical tough-nut Supernatural femme the source of many of this week’s laughs. Veteran Supernatural writers Dabb and Loflin keep the dialogue sharp, and very funny – choosing this week’s Best Line was an embarrassment of riches.
Story structure and pacing could have done with some work, the episode crawls until the climax at the auction of magical and alchemical esoterica, and the pre-title sequence is presented as unduly important given how inconsequential the creepy character featured in it is by the end of the episode.
The flashbacks to purgatory reveal a little more about Cas’ fate, and seem to hint that Dean left him behind, or wasn’t able to bring him back. Director Showalter attempts to inject these scenes with a bit more energy than really necessary, keeping the camera moving throughout and using constant extreme close-ups, which can get a little distracting – there’s enough drama coming from the dialogue.
All this is probably sounding a bit negative, but the problems are massively outweighed by the positives. After eight seasons you’d expect Supernatural to have lost its way, if anything this episode hopefully proves the show is just as good as it’s ever been.
DEAN’S WISECRACK OF THE WEEK
Beau : "I am the right-hand of a god, after all. Plutus, specifically."
Dean : "Is that even a planet anymore?"
SPECULATION Sam wields Mjölnir, the hammer of Thor. Could the Norse Gods be returning to Superntural soon? Also, kudos to the special effects department for the satisfying electric crackle when Sam takes out Beau.(opens in new tab) (opens in new tab) (opens in new tab)
CLASSIC ROCK WATCH The song playing while Kevin and his mother get their tattoos is The Devil's Chasing Me (opens in new tab) by Reverend Horton Heat.
DID YOU SPOT? N64 classic Super Mario 64 in the background of the pawnshot scene. Almost certainly doesn’t mean anything, we just really like the game.(opens in new tab)
CROWLEY ’S SMACKDOWN OF THE WEEK
De an : “Plan C tanked.”
Crowley : “Maybe you should try Plan D, for dumbass.”
DID YOU KNOW? Ty Olsson has starred in Supernatural before. He played vampire Eli, a member of Lenore’s nest in episode 2.03 “Bloodlust”. As far as we’re aware the two characters, though both vampires, aren't related.
TITLE-TATTLE The episode title references Woody Allen’s 1966 comedy What's Up, Tiger Lily ?, a redubbed, re-edited version of the Japanese film International Secret Police: Key of Keys .
SAM’S HANGDOG EXPRESSION OF THE WEEK(opens in new tab)
I RECOGNISE THAT VOICE! Lauren Tom (Linda Tran) voices Amy Wong on Futurama .
LMAO The moment where Sam and Dean interrupt Kevin’s idyllic reunion with his mum, with a holy water bath, is a masterclass in comic timing.
LORE Sam performs a reverse exorcism by saying the verse backwards. Makes sense. Kind of.
LORE 2 The writers have deliberately shied away from giving Crowley black or white demon eyes in the past, and now we know why – he’s got red ones! He transforms into red smoke too, not even Lillith did that.(opens in new tab) (opens in new tab)
REFERENCE Sam and Dean use the aliases “Neil and Sixx” referencing Vince Neil and Nikki Sixx of Mötley Crüe.
REFERENCE 2 Crowley calls Dean “squirrel”. With Sam “Moose” that makes the pair the new Rocky and Bullwinkle.
Castiel: "I’m perfectly sane. But then, 94 percent of psychotics think they’re perfectly sane, so I guess we’d have to ask ourselves what is sane."
Jordan Farley (@JordanFarley)
Supernatural Season Seven currently airs on Living in the UK. Season eight airs on The CW in the US.
Read previous Supernatural season 8 reviews. (opens in new tab)