Filed under: Recaps & Reviews
Was it the Mrs. Peacock with a knife in the kitchen or Colonel Mustard with a rope in the library? On this week's episode of Supernatural, it's a case of whodunit as he Winchesters try to find the killer before it's too late.
Just as Sam and Dean are ready to take a case and get back to work, they can't find anything suspicious. While digging through some old cell phones, Dean found one of Bobby's that has quite a few messages on it. Apparently Bobby is one of several beneficiaries to the recently deceased heiress, Bunny Lacroix. Not wanting to lose out on possible beer money, the boys head down to New Canaan, Connecticut. They arrive too late for the funeral of the heiress but in time of the family get together afterwards. To say the least, the Lacroix family doesn't like each other. Now that each of them may be receiving some money, they have all lined up to be there for the reading of her will. Not wanting to waste their time, the butler gives Sam and Dean their package immediately. Inside the package is a cross that hides a key but what does it open. While the two of them are gone, Stanton Lacroix gets into an argument with his absurdly young wife and makes fun of the painted image of his dead sister and brother-in-law. Just then, Stanton hears a strange noise coming from the hallway. Just as he is about to turn the corner, Stanton's dead brother-in-law appears, wielding an axe before using it to cut Stanton's head off. After the Winchesters return to the Lacroix home, they are greeted by Detective Howard who informs them that they are now suspects. No one saw what happened except for Olivia, the maid. The problem with her story is that she thinks it was the ghost of a dead relative. Now the Winchesters have a case.
As a fun diversion from the darker tone we are used to, Ask Jeeves was a clever play on the classic board game, Clue. For obvious reasons, the writing was the strongest element of the show this week. To be able to fit the comedic murder mystery into Supernatural's took some work but it was the small nods to the game every so often that made it funny. When Dean first found the hidden entrance to the attic, we expected something to jump out immediately but instead he had to choose between rope and a lead pipe. Surprisingly, the one mishap of the episode was in the direction of the scene with Dean's first kill since regaining his humanity. As Dean killed Olivia and continued to shoot her after she was dead, each shot got tighter and tighter on Dean's face. In that moment, it simply didn't work and looked cheesy compared to the rest of the episode. Rather than use that technique in that scene, it would have been better served if Dean was replaying that moment in his mind after talking with Sam during the closing car ride scene. This would have not only shown us that Dean was lying to Sam but that the thought of killing Olivia was a lot more enjoyable for Dean than it should have been.
While guest stars don't often make the impression that we may hope for, Gillian Vigman and Debra McCabe stole the show as Heddy and Beverly. Too often we have seen guest stars fumble through their lines and lack any semblance of chemistry with either Sam or Dean but these two pulled it off remarkably well. Vigman and McCabe's feisty humour and blatant flirting with Sam worked very well. Their delivery had a great rhythm and never went too far too feel overacted.
As much fun as Ask Jeeves was, it did have it drawbacks. Though the play on Clue worked extremely well, no one was guessing as much as Supernatural would have liked us to be. Before the halfway point in the episode, the ending was terribly predictable and the rest of the show felt like it dragged on. While this isn't a criticism of Ask Jeeves, Supernatural's season hasn't yet begun to take on a direction of its own. Besides Dean being turned from demon back to human, not a lot has happened and episodes like Ask Jeeves, though good, feel disconnected from any overarching plot that we should have a few hints into by now.
Besides the a few setbacks, Ask Jeeves had a lot going for it with clever writing, great guest stars and a fun tone. Hopefully next week's, Girls Girls Girls, will deliver the same level of quality while being more in line with this season's plot. Who knows, maybe we'll get to see Castiel for the first time in three episodes.