The Super Sleepy Dispatch
Recap and Review: Supernatural 10:6 “Ask Jeeves”
By P.S. Griffin
The six episode of season 10, “Ask Jeeves” offers another meta episode of sorts. This time the Winchesters find themselves in the middle of a classic murder mystery in a fancy mansion with an assortment of weapons courtesy of the board game Clue. The episode is in honor of Supernatural getting it’s own tie-in game, Clue: Supernatural Collector’s Edition (http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B00PEF8OLS/ref=redir_mdp_mobile?pc_redir=T1).
I have never played Clue so apologies if I appear clueless!
There’s been a death at the Lacroix mansion in Connecticut. The Mistress has passed away and the Butler is telling the staff about preparations for the funeral of Bunny Lacroix. The two maids have to get the house ready for the funeral party. “In less than 24 hours, the Lacroix family will descend upon this estate for the funeral and the reading of the will, and it is our duty to make sure this manor is in tip-top shape.”
Colette is instructed to select an ensemble for Mrs. Lacroix to be laid out in for the funeral. Olivia is instructed to make sure the lavatories are spotless, a job that she doesnt want. Unfortunately Colette has seniority.
As Colette chooses a wardrobe for her deceased Mistress, she eyes the opulant jewels and unable to help herself, she puts on a fabulous pearl necklace.
Suddenly Colette hears noises which surprises her because she thought she was alone. When she exits the wardrobe to investigate she sees that the bedroom door is open. She turns around and is shocked to see her recently deceased Mistress standing in the room glaring sternly. Bunny reaches for her necklace with enough force to break the string. Pearls fly everywhere.
Colette backs away towards the landing abruptly, clearly fearful. She trips over the loose pearls and falls over the railing onto a glass topped table below.
The resounding crash brings the butler Phillip into the entryway in a hurry. Collette is quite dead. He looks up at Bunny and asks “What have you done?”
Yup! It’s just another Tuesday on Supernatural.
We are treated to another brief scene of Dean fussing over Baby. This time it’s neither car porn or Dean porn, however it is curious that Dean is so obsessed with keeping Baby spanking clean and well maintained. To me it smacks of Dean acting like Original!Dean. Remember how Sam called demonic Dean out on Baby’s deplorable condition in “Reichenbach”.
Dean stops fiddling with a screw the very second that Sam comes out of the hotel with two tiny cups of coffee. Dean is equally disgusted by the size of the cup (men don’t drink from cups that small) and the smell of the individual brew flavored by glazed donut flavoring. I am one hundred percent with Dean on this. I prefer my coffee plain and in a big cup.
Their outside car talk is all business today, without the recent plentiful sides of worry and angst. Sam who is currently down with Dean hunting laments that it’s quiet out there.
Luckily Dean found a message on one of Bobby’s phones. Apparently Bobby has been named a beneficiary in the will and last testament of a Bunny Lacroix. Dean notes that the Attorney indicated she’s an heiress. “Bobby’s presence or next of kin is being requested in New Canaan. I figured we’d qualify.”
Sam wants to know how Bobby knew a heiress. Dean replies, “Bobby had secrets, man. Like loving on Tori Spelling. If he knew Dean cheated on her…”
The Dean cheating on Tori comment is a bit weird if truthful since this is the arc of the recent season of her reality show True Tori. I can’t help but wonder if this is also a reference to Dean lying to Sam about being cured. All signs point to him deliberately keeping Sam in the dark that he’s really not so normal.
Bobby’s love for Tori is something that we and Dean learned in season six’s episode with Veritas, the Roman Goddess of Truth, “You Can’t Handle the Truth”. Later the information was used by Sam to prove his identity to Bobby in “Taxi Driver”. Holy Chuck you guys. Somebody besides Robbie Thompson has bothered to watch the show! Congratulations to Eric Charmelo and Nicole Snyder, the writers! Oh wait… they wrote “You Can’t Handle the Truth”… sigh.
Sam and Dean arrive at Bunny’s Mansion and ring the doorbell which plays Fur Elise by Beethoven. This is a common joke ring used in films featuring innocent folks pulling up to a sinister manse. However I cannot for the life of me remember another example of it. Can anyone help? It’s used to score a lot of classic vampire movies too, but again I cannot name any off of the top of my head.
Olivia answers the door excelling at playing the demure maid. However she seems to be too interested in Bobby Singer. She’s very sorry to hear that he’s passed and won’t be able to receive his bequest. The brothers are shown to the drawing room. They have just missed Bunny’s funeral.
The family has gathered in there to mourn. They consist of two sisters, a Smart Cougar and a Desperate Cougar; a playboy Harvard MBA, and a May-December marriage with the wife being the May and the husband the December.
This reject cast from a comedy of manners is completely lacking in said manners. They are all hoity-toity. high falutin, nouveau riches WASPs.
The Winchesters don’t really cotton to them. The Cougars adore the brothers saying that they should spend the night since the rooms sleep two or three. Smart Cougar is so enamored with Dean that she even slaps that mighty fine backside. He doesn’t seem to mind. Of course Sam is uncomfortable with the sister’s ribald complements.
The Butler is asked why Colette isn’t around. Phillip says she was so distraught by Bunny’s death that she ran off to clown college. Clown College Colette becomes a reoccurring alliterative joke throughout the episode.
We know that Colette is dead and wonder why Phillip is lying. The Butler may not have murdered Colette but now he’s an accessory after the fact. So the Butler sort of did something.
The Butler asks to speak to the brothers privately. He hands off the bequest and tells them that there’s no reason for them to stick around and be forced to mingle.
Dean is insulted and tells “Alfred” that they know how to use their shrimp fork (maybe). Philip ensures them that he thinks the opposite. The brothers are too good for the family. “Oh, Mr. Winchester. If you’re implying that I don’t think you’re good enough, it’s quite the contrary. You’re far too good. The Lacroix family is, well… How shall I say this politely?…money-grubbing leeches.”
Dean is surprised because he thought that they were all loaded. Phillip replies, “Loaded — yes. Rich — no. The recession hit every one of them, and I’m afraid if they knew what Bunny left you, those vultures would try to stake a claim. And since the attorney kindly agreed to a hand-off, you don’t have to be subjected to their scrutiny.”
Sam wants to know if Phillip knows how Bunny and Bobby knew each other. Phillip claims, “Not in the slightest.”
The Butler hands them an envelope. Dean opens the envelope to find a beautiful jeweled silver cross, apparently inlaid with rubies and diamonds. Rubies, and diamonds and silver… oh my! Dean thinks that if “Bunny was banging Bobby then maybe these rocks are real.” Charmelo and Snyder are huge fans of alliteration it seems.
The boys immediately go to a pawn shop to see what the bauble is worth. Dean is crestfallen to find that it’s faux and apparently worthless. Personally I doubt that Deano. Try Ebay.
The Pawn guy has figured out that the cross contains a key. This is intriguing enough to head back to the proverbial Murder Manse. Sam wonders what the key opens. Dean replies “There’s only one way to find out—Ask Jeeves.” Once the Winchesters return to the mansion the game of Clue references begin in earnest.
The murders also begin in earnest as well. The May-December marrieds are fighting. The older husband is accusing his pretty young wife of cheating. She denies it and looks up at the painting the late Bunny and her even later husband Lance. Apparently Lance was always accusing Bunny of sleeping around too. December replies, “Because she was. My sister was nothing but a two-bit hooker in Chanel!” May feigns shock at her husband’s callous disregard for his dead sister. She goes into the bathroom with an unsubtle door slam.
December glances at the portrait only to say “Good riddance to you both.” Then he hears a strange noise in the hall and goes outside to investigate. He sees the very dead Lance coming around the corner with an axe. His young wife walks outside just in time to see ghost Lance decapitate her husband with the axe.
Dean and Sam arrive at the mansion without noticing the old-fashioned police vehicle parked nearby. They are greeted by a now surly Phillip who makes an unkind comment about their clothes. And no, not that they’re wearing far too many layers. Phillip presumes that they left something behind. He tells them that he will “check the front closet for burlap.” Dean snarks “I got news for you, Mr. Belvedere; the jacket’s canvas.”
They come inside only to be told that they’re suspects in a murder investigation and must stay in the house until it’s solved.
This is straight out of a classic British period mystery and makes no sense nowadays, however it’s our clue that the Clue shenanigans are about to start.
The Winchesters return to the drawing room to find the family rudely squabbling. Smart Cougar and Harvard are fighting because the couger has accused May of murdering her husband. She thinks that May’s story about Lance the ghost axe murderer is ridiculous.
Meanwhile Dean and Sam have perked up over the talk of a ghost killer. They will have to investigate old school because they cannot get to their equipment in the car. Dean says that he will take a look around for cold spots and ectoplasm while Sam keeps his eye on “Mrs. Peacock and Colonel Mustard”, two obvious Clue character references. In the background the family is still arguing. Desperate Cougar waves at Sam.
Dean goes upstairs to a quirky and comedic soundtrack. He is highly suspicious of an empty suit of armor which looks to be just about his size. As he walks down the hall the armor looms behind him recalling his “former” status and pride at being a Knight of Hell. You’ve always been my dark knight Dean baby!
The fighting has stopped for the time being. Sam approaches Dash as he refreshes his drink. Sam is curious that no one seems upset to have lost two family members. Dash replies, “Well Sam, I’ll let you in on a little family secret. We don’t really like each other. Then again, what family does?” Sam says that his does “more or less”, but then again it is just Sam and his big brother a boy named Dean. (I cannot get those darn “Fan Fiction” songs out of my head.) Harvard assures him that he’s lucky, before making a tasteless joke about the murders.
It’s back to Dean roaming the upper floors with his new goofy theme song. He’s noticing all of the usual trappings of a grand haunted house including creepy portraits, stuffed game trophies, the taped outline of the dead husband’s body and head, and a book with a depiction of Bobby’s cross on its spine.
Dean pulls the book out to read it and finds that it’s the lever to open a secret passageway. He finds a doorway that Bobby’s key opens which takes him to the attic. He immediately picks up two Clue potential murder weapons, the rope and the lead pipe. Dean keeps the pipe, and turns on his maglite to survey the attic which is full off creepy cobwebs and macabre items including a corpse rolled up in a rug and fresh food and drink suggesting that someone lives there.
He hears a noise and turns to see a tearful Olivia who thanks him for rescuing her. She claims that Philip covered up Clown College Colette’s murder and locked her in the attic to keep her quiet. Olivia assures him that the Butler didn’t do it, nor was it Lance’s ghost. Olivia says that she saw Bunny kill Colette.
Dean returns to the drawing room to find Sam playing cards with the Cougers Goodness I nearly typed beavers! That’s the effect that these over the top characterizations are having on my psyche. Goodness indeed.
Dean tells him everything he’s learned including that the key unlocks a secret attic and the Butler is playing Renfield for the spooks. Renfield was the vampire’s human servant in Bram Stoker’s “Dracula”. They split up to find the Butler who didn’t do it but certainly knows something.
Sam heads upstairs and runs into the sex-crazed Desperate Cougar who has been licking her lips over him since they met. She hits on him hard whilst telling him that women get better with age like fine wine and cheese. She won’t take no for an answer, calls Sam coy and tells him she wants to see what a young buck like him can do to her in ten minutes. It’s pretty gross. Sam tells her that he’s right behind her which she finds titillating until she realize he’s slipped her grasp.
Dean is having better luck in the servants quarters. He’s still accompanied by his quirky musical theme. He soon finds both a wrench, another Clue weapon I suspect, and a rude Phillip. Dean is abrupt, “Cut the crap Wadsworth. What are you doing hiding dead maids in secret rooms?” Phillip tries to explain that he did it out of loyalty.
Meanwhile Sam is in the kitchen with his own tense theme music. He sees a knife block missing a knife and a trail of blood. He pulls out another knife for himself (another Clue weapon I suspect) and he follows the trail to find the butler dead in the pantry with a knife in his back. Sam texts Dean.
The text tells both Dean, and the Butler that the jig is up. What does the Butler do? He throws Dean across the room and sheds his skin leaving it for Dean to find. That’s what the Butler did. Dean realizes that they are dealing with a Shapeshifter. This is a great old school supernatural monster, although usually it’s presentation is much scarier (“Skin” and “Nightshifter”).
Dean joins Sam in the kitchen and remarks that they can rule out the Butler because he didn’t do it. They realize that the Shapeshifter could be anybody and they need silver to both test everyone and kill it.
Olivia enters the room sees the body and screams. She wants to know who killed Phillip. Sam answers, “We don’t know yet, okay? Now, listen. Calm down. I know you think he was working with ghosts but there’s something way worse going on here.” She seems to not believe that there’s anything worse than ghosts, “Worse than…What is going on?”
Dean says that they need her help. Yes they need the fancy silverware for protection. She shows them the chest and all three test as humans using the butter knives. I guess they’re also theoretically weapons but Olivia seems incredulous.
Then Dean and Sam split up to test everyone else. Sam scores some quality time with the Cougars. Desperate Cougar has been fishing online for a man “because the live ones won’t bite”. She gives Sam a pointed look with a little pout. Sam claims that he was playing hard to get. He joins them on the sofa with a butter knife up each sleeve and cuddles them both making sure to touch both of the women’s bare skin. He tells Smart Cougar to snuggle close, “Come on in, darling. Water’s warm.” The ladies are in heaven. Poor Sam looks like a fish out of water.
Dean has gone to the drawing room. He hears loud noises coming from the closet. He picks up a candlestick, another Clue weapon I suspect, and opens the door to discover May and Harvard in a passionate embrace. They insist that they didn’t kill her husband. Harvard says,“We may be guilty of cheating, but not murder.” Dean insists that they touch his butter knives. They do so tentatively but Harvard is confused. His fair lady May is happy that they passed the test.
Dean and the lovers head to the lounge where they find Sam entangled with the cougers. Dean comments to himself “And it’s all going to hell, right here, right now.” He smirks in amusement as Sam disengages himself from his two grabby man handlers, who have practically wet themselves over the discovery of his very long fingers. Sadly, the joke is that some folks think long fingers on a man are indicative that he has a long male member. Sam is obviously embarrassed.
Dean starts to fill Sam in on what he’s learned. Then they realize that they have all of the family in the sitting room, and all have tested human. The only one left to test is… Before they can finish the sentence they hear Olivia’s piercing scream.
Everyone rushes to the bathroom where Olivia is standing quite agitated. The police officer has been drowned in the toilet. Smart Couger comments,
“Drowned in a toilet? How filthy! What kind of monster would do such a thing?”
The family starts to argue again. Desperate Cougar starts to leave until Dean bodily stops her. She is excited at the thought of his manly hands all over her, until he curtly says that he trusts none of them which is why he was stopping her from leaving. Sam tells them to stop arguing. I guess that he’s had quite enough of them and their kinks.
Sam insists that they need to trust the Winchesters. Harvard disagrees, “Trust you? Uh, we don’t even know you. Look, buddy, I’m trying to be objective here, but we’ve had countless family functions before, and even though we wanted to kill one another, we never did.” Smart Cougar agrees. Harvard mans up and takes the detective’s gun to “arrest” the brothers.
Dean tells him, “You don’t want to do this. We are your best shot at making it out of here alive.” Sam adds “We’re not the bad guys….” Of course Harvard “(begs) to differ because they’re wearing flannel.” LOL! Does that make them flannel clad nightmares too? Obviously they don’t fight their way free because he’s a pheasant hunting WASP with a loaded gun. They’re locked in the office and told to sit tight until the police arrive.
Dean and Sam immediately spring to action. Dean who’s trying to open the door with a butter knife, notices that the silverware was made in Taiwan; in other words it’s stainless steel. Sam exclaims, “So that’s why no one sizzled? (The knives) are not even real silver?” Meanwhile Sam has noticed the drawing room drama on the security cameras. The killer has blossomed into a lovely young monster. I love a monster in a uniform. How I love to see them shoot! (Apologies to Gang of Four’s “I Love a Man in a Uniform”.)
The annoying Lacroix family has continued to argue in the sitting room. Mostly they’re insulting the Winchesters. Smart Cougar claims that she knew that the Winchesters “were trailer trash the moment they rolled up in that American-made.” Desperate Cougar, who would have been happening to bed either one if them, calls them “homosexuals”; as if that’s the only reason they turned her down. This prompts Smart Cougar to call them “homosexual murderers, like Leopold and Loeb” but hotter.
At this point Olivia enters the room, refuses to call the police and grabs the gun to grandstand. “You idiots couldn’t be more wrong—about everything. Don’t you know if it’s not the butler, it’s the maid?”
Back in the study, Dean and Sam are able to watch what is happening with the family through the monitors for the security system. They are still unable to get out despite having found a set of keys.
Olivia tells her family that she is Bunny’s beloved daughter who’s been locked in the attic for all of these years until Phillip let her out out of pity. Cue a cursory Flowers in the Attic reference, followed by her admission that she killed Colette by accident; she only wanted to scare her because she was stealing mother’s things.
Smart Cougar notes that they’re not thieves, so Olivia has no reason to want them dead.
Olivia replies that they’re worse. “Your greed, your disdain, your blatant disrespect for Mother… oh, you all had it coming!”
And apparently she killed Phillip for locking her up after she killed December. “Lucky for me, the cute, dumb one let me out.”
Seriously?! I hate when they refer to Dean as dumb. One’s level of intelligence has nothing to do with the highest level of education that one attains. To quote Sam from “Trial and Error”, Dean is a friggin’ genius, “I am smart, and so are you. You’re not a grunt, Dean. You’re a genius — when it comes to lore, to — you’re the best damn hunter I have ever seen — better than me, better than dad.” That’s high praise and the honest to Chuck truth.
Finally Sam has found something that the keys open, the gun safe. Sam arms up and shoots the door open. Sam heads to the drawing room while Dean goes for the gear in the car.
Alpha male Sam impresses the family as he moves through the room like a hero. Sigh. He commands them to stay put and they do. He follows Olivia to the kitchen where they exchange shots and then both take cover, allowing them to have a conversation.
Apparently Bunny had an affair with a Shapeshifter who killed Lance when he came to take Olivia. Bobby killed him and wanted to kill the baby however Bunny pleaded for her life. Bobby agreed but insisted that Bunny keep Olivia locked up for her own safety, as well as the safety of others. Bunny agreed. Nontheless she loved and cared for her daughter. She even got Bobby to agree to care for Olivia if Bunny died.
Despite the fact that Bobby allowed her to live, Olivia is not grateful to him, “Keeping me locked up my whole life? It would have been kinder to kill me.”
Sam tries to reason with her telling her that she doesn’t have to kill. “Being a monster is a choice.” Olivia tells him that “(the) choice was made for her a long time ago.”
This is a very pointed comment on how love and acceptance is important for a monster to chose not to be a killer. Olivia’s imprisonment and isolation drove her to kill once her mother was dead. She has no sympathy or gratitude to the man that decided how she had to live her life because he didn’t like what she was.
These themes have been included in the MotW episodes since season eight. For instance love and acceptance caused Benny Lafitte to stop living like a vampire. When he lost his relationships to Elizabeth and Fean he no longer felt able to resist the bloodlust and chose to die.
However, this episode took the lesson home to Sam. Unfortunately, he still seems clueless at this point even as he is worried about Dean.i wonder how does Dean feel after his two closest comrades chained him in a dungeon and tortured him until he changed into a facsimile of the human being he was? Will he struggle to keep his kills justified without the support and love of his extended family?
The blatant subtext extends to the revolting Lecroix family. Seeing them seemed to help Sam realize that he didnt have it so bad even though he complained about his brother in the past. He certainly doesn’t want Dean dead. Can he look past the demonic and still see his brother?
Finally Olivia realizes that Sam is talking and not shooting because he lacks silver bullets. She advances on him but is unable to shoot because Dean finally has returned from the car and he’s armed and dangerous.
Dean shoots Olivia dead and continues to shoot, emptying his gun into her corpse for far longer than required. It makes no sense and is highly reminiscent of any number of dark Dean and demon Dean kills after he was marked by Cain. Oh oh. Dean’s face is all stone cold killer. Sam’s face is scared and sad.
Everyone goes outside to wait for the police. Harvard has been on the phone with the lawyer. He’s learned that besides the key, the estate in its entirety was left to Olivia. Dean gives Harvard The key and says that it opens a door to a secret attic.
Harvard starts to apologize but Sam tells him not to sweat it. “I mean, you were just protecting your family and…there’s nothing wrong with that.” I think that this is more pointed dialogue. Sam is torturing your brother really protecting him? Whereas Dean was also trying to protect Sam by staying away, who is he protecting with his lies? The brothers wouldn’t be the Winchesters without endless sources for angst!
Harvard asks how the Lacroix family can repay them. Dean rather aggressively tells him to keep his mouth shut and forget that they were ever there. When Harvard protests because they’re heroes, Dean replies “Look pal, the fact that we pulled your bacon out of the fire is nobody’s business. Okay? Hey. I’m serious Izod. Put a pin in it. Or we’ll come back for your preppy ass.”
On the road again Sam broaches a touchy subject with Dean. He wants to know what happened back there. Dean doesn’t know what Sam is talking about. Sam clearly concerned sticks to his guns. “I mean… All those extra shots after the shifter was already dead. What was that?”
Dean shrugs and calls it target practice. Sam still presses him wanting to know if it was demon residue (Hell yes Sammy a whole helluva lot of demon residue) or Mark related. Dean says emphatically “No. No, none of that.” before Sam finishes talking.
Sam starts to talk again but Dean has an outburst because he’s tired of being questioned and doesn’t want to talk about this. “Oh, my God, Sam. It was my first kill since I’ve been back. You know, I got a little anxious. I wanted to make sure it was done right—plain and simple. It’s—why am I even explaining this to you?” He pointedly turns on the radio and the volume up to VERY LOUD, indicating that the conversation is over. It’s Bob Seger’s “Travelin’ Man”. It’s a bittersweet song with dire implications for Sam if he continues to insist that Dean fits into his old human shaped hole.
Up with the sun, gone with the wind
She always said I was lazy
Leavin’ my home, leavin’ my friends
Runnin’ when things get too crazy
Out to the road, out ‘neath the stars
Feelin’ the breeze, passin’ the cars
Women have come, women have gone
Everyone tryin’ to cage me
Some were so sweet, I barely got free
Others, they only enraged me
Sometimes at night, I see their faces
I feel the traces they’ve left on my soul
Those are the memories that make me a wealthy soul
Those are the memories that make me a wealthy soul
Travelin’ man, love when I can
Turn loose my hand ’cause I’m goin’
Travelin’ man, catch if you can
But sooner than later I’m goin’
Sometimes at night, I see their faces
I feel the traces they left on my soul
Those are the memories that made me a wealthy soul
Those are the memories that made me a wealthy soul
Additional Thoughts: The episode was another strong, charming meta episode; however, it followed “Fan Fiction” and two of these in a row, no matter how cute, seems to be a bit much for a HORROR show.
Of course there was plenty of subtext and some pretty clear canonical moments that demonstrate everything isn’t hunky dory in Winchester Land.
Aside from the alliterative humor the writers seem to have a lot of fun with the Clue clues. They also had a lot of fun with Dean’s propensity for pop culture references. Not only did Dean use the name of a different television butler every time he referenced Philip, he was disgruntled with Harvard‘s constant pop culture references, humorously saying “Who talks like that?”
I teased the writers earlier for maybe not watching the show, however, they clearly watched Adam Glass’ “Two and a Half Men” which introduced us to Bobby John and the way Shapeshifter babies are born.
The WASPS were really too over the top I thought. But hey I guess it was necessary to make them so awful, not only so Sam appreciates his family after decades of criticism; but also because these awful people were metaphorical monsters, especially in comparison to the gentile if sharp British counterparts that frequent the classic British who-dun-its. PBS fare they ain’t!