‘The Boys’ Universe Expands with ‘The Boys Presents: Diabolical’

As we all wait with great anticipation for Season 3 of The Boys (and for Supernatural fans especially, Jensen Ackles’ Soldier Boy) the universe of the series  expands even more in March with an 8 episode animated anthology series The Boys Presents: Diabolical. The episodes, which are animated shorts of 12 to 14 minutes, will all premiere on March 4 on Prime Video for easy bingeing.

Diabolical episodes will each have their own animation style, and are all set in the same universe as the original series, though showrunner Eric Kripke tweeted that “a couple are canon, the rest are just insane.”  It’s hard to fathom that they are MORE insane than the original, which has set the bar pretty high, but if anyone should know, it’s Mr. Kripke!

He added, “And you guys, trust me, they turned out so so good.”

I do trust him, which has led me down the road to ‘ruin’ for over fifteen years, that’s the problem! Which means, of course, I’m looking forward to these mini episodes of bonus material for the series. If we thought The Boys pushed the envelope with its live action, imagine what it can do with the limitless opportunity offered by animation! The teaser lives up to its name, starting out looking and sounding like a harmless Animaniacs episode and abruptly devolving into… well, I’ll let you watch it yourselves! (link at the end of the article).

The Boys universe will expand even more next year with Varsity, a new show that is set at a college for young adult superheroes that’s run by (who else?) Vought International. The show is described as R rated (which should surprise no one) and irreverent (again, no surprise) – it should be interesting to see who’s successful in moving up in the ranks toward being part of The Seven.

As for Diabolical, in addition to Kripke, Awkwafina, Garth Ennis, Eliot Glazer and Ilana Glazer, Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen, Simon Racioppa, Justin Roiland and Ben Bayouth, Andy Samberg, and Aisha Tyler are all involved with Diabolical. The Boys is based on The New York Times best-selling comic by Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson and was developed by executive producer and showrunner Eric Kripke.

The original series returns in June with a focus on original supe troop Payback, featuring the discovery of Soldier Boy.

Jensen Ackles recently described him as an old man with all those sensibilities and definitely not a good guy – but obviously the old man  looks like Jensen Ackles, so how confusing is that gonna be? I can’t wait!

Check out Diabolical now –

The Boys: Diabolical Teaser

— Lynn

You can read chapters by Jensen Ackles and

the rest of the Supernatural cast in Family

Don’t End With Blood and There’ll Be Peace

When You Are Done, links on the home page

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Walker Episode 2.07 asks “Where Do We Go From Here?”

Walker returned after a mini hiatus over the holidays last week, much to fans’ anticipation. Jared Padalaecki did an Instagram Live with Entertainment Weekly’s Sam Highfill in the morning, teasing what to expect later that evening, and he live tweeted the episode, which made the return extra exciting.

The fandom that has followed Padalecki from show to show, especially from Supernatural, is accustomed to some interaction (okay, yes, we’re a bit spoiled!) and Jared has kept up that tradition on Walker, sometimes jumping on Twitter to reply to random fan questions and generally wreaking wonderful havoc in the fandom. Some of the other Walker cast are also interactive, including Keegan Allen’s popular posts that are often right in line with what the fans themselves would request. The high degree of interaction has solidified the Walker fandom quickly, with its own fan wikis and content accounts – and, so far anyway, not too much in the way of fandom in-fighting. Fingers crossed it stays that way!

Padalecki and Sam Highfill having fun on EW IG live

So there was alot of anticipation about last week’s episode, and the episode moved just about every story line along – and delivered a cliffhanger ending too!

The titular question applies to just about everyone over the course of the episode, but the first iteration is for the brothers Walker. The episode starts out with the Walkers preparing a meal together, everyone joking around until Cordell accidentally knocks a bowl full of fresh rolls out of Liam’s hands. It shatters, an apt metaphor for the fragility of the brothers’ relationship right now.

Cordell snaps at him, Liam snaps back, and Augie and Stella want to know what the hell is going on. Liam decides to tell them about his suspicions about Dan Miller and how he made an ill advised false police report.

Stella: That’s not good.

Stella with the understatement. The brothers glare at each other.

Cordell: It’s a misdemeanor. Your uncle could be disbarred.

Liam: Thanks, Cordell, I know that.

gifs abordelimpala

Abilene says that’s enough as Liam storms out. She’s not exactly thrilled with either of her sons right now and I am, as always, loving her Mama Bear approach to trying to keep this volatile family of hers on a relatively even keel. It rarely works but I appreciate her efforts.

Walker goes to the office, watching as someone takes Micki’s name plate down and carts it off in a box, and ouch. It’s not clear at first, but apparently weeks have passed, and they haven’t been easy ones.

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Supernatural Gets Creepy (With Dolls!) in Season 2’s ‘Playthings’

Ah, Playthings. One of the creepiest episodes of Supernatural for me personally, because what is more creepy than an old mansion and a bunch of old incredibly terrifying DOLLS?? Add an equally terrifying little ghost girl and an old woman confined to an attic (plus some gruesome murders) and you’ve got an episode that gives me goosebumps every time. It’s also got some great brother moments between the Winchesters, so at least there’s some respite from the anxiety.

It’s next up on our Supernatural rewatch (it just turned 2022 as I’m typing this), so let’s revisit what made this episode so memorable – and so creepy!

We start out with the reminder that something evil might be brewing in poor Sam, the underlying theme of Season 2 that’s impacting both brothers, Sam terrified that he might hurt someone and Dean terrified that he won’t be able to protect Sam.

THEN

A reminder from Dean that “dad told me something”, Sam’s anguished question “Am I supposed to go darkside or something?” and Dean’s big brother determination to protect Sam no matter what. Then we’re back where we left off, Sam and Dean finding Ava’s discarded engagement ring in a pool of her fiance’s blood.

So very Supernatural.

NOW

The exterior location for this episode is every bit as creepy as the rest of it – an old mansion from the 1930s now the Pierpont Inn. As movers take out boxes of stuff, we learn that it has a rich history in the community, with generations getting engaged or married there, but it’s now up for sale. As the moving guy takes out the boxes, we pan to two little girls sitting at the top of the stairs on the landing watching – and not very happy about the move.

One of them is Tyler, daughter of the owner. The other is Maggie, her imaginary friend – who we already suspect is not exactly a trying-to-be-helpful Sully.

Tyler goes to play with her dollhouse that’s a replica of the Inn, and we pan over shelves full of creepy dolls, including a clown doll that would have given Sam Winchester nightmares (and possibly me also).

The whole episode is brilliantly shot, never fully lit and always looking just a little bit foggy, making the antique decor and dark wood just that much creepier. The creative camera angles add to the feeling that something is amiss here, sometimes looking up and sometimes down but rarely straight on.

Tyler puts a doll in the rocking chair, but when she looks again he’s not there – instead he’s at the bottom of the staircase, head askew.

Uh oh.

Just then, we hear her mother scream. At the foot of the stairs is the hapless moving man, twisted up, head askew just like the doll, in a pool of his own blood and a cracked doll next to him on the floor.

Well done, Supernatural. CREEPY as hell, but well done.

Cut to Sam and Dean looking for Ava, their motel room covered with maps and notes and a missing poster and looking a lot like John Winchester’s motel room might have.  Sam checks with Ellen, but she doesn’t have any leads either. Dean is worried about his brother.

Dean: Sorry, man.

Ellen does share information about the freak accidents that have been happening at the Pierpont Inn, though, and Sam wants to check it out. Dean is surprised. Sam wonders why.

Dean: Well yeah, it’s just, you know, not the patented Sam Winchester way, is it?

Sam: What way is that?

Dean: I just figured after Ava there’d be, you know, more angst and droopy music and staring out the rainy window…

Sam glares.

Dean: Yeah, I’ll shut up now.

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Sam Learns the Truth (and has a VERY Close Call) in Supernatural Season 2’s ‘Hunted’

This episode was written by Raelle Tucker, who I really wish had stuck around longer, and directed by Rachel Talalay, one of the first women to direct Supernatural. And they both did an amazing job! Also special shout out to the music cues that make the episode haunting and creepy, as much as its subject matter does.

The THEN reminds us that the Winchesters are still out there saving people, hunting things. That John Winchester knew the truth about Sammy and didn’t tell his sons. That he whispered something to Dean before he died and Dean lied about it. That Sam knows the demon said he has plans for Sam and other children like him. Like Max, like the ‘others’….

I love the huge mystery that the show was spooling out at the time, leaving me always feeling like I was on the edge of my seat desperately wanting to know what the hell was going on, and knowing that my boys were right at the center of it. It was so compelling, it’s no wonder I fell so hard for this show!

NOW…

The opening is a gut punch right away, a psychiatrist talking to his patient, a young man who’s hesitant to confide in the doctor about what he refers to as his ‘ability’.

Scott: When I touch something…I can electrocute it, if I want.

As if that isn’t chilling enough, he gives an example – the neighbor’s cat.

Scott: Its insides fried up like a hamburger.

The haunting sounds of ‘White Rabbit’ by Jefferson Airplane play in the background as Scott tells his disturbing tale, “One pill makes you larger and one pill makes you small…”

Scott knows the doc doesn’t believe him, and holds his hand out ominously.

Scott: Wanna shake on it?

I think I started screaming NOOOOO don’t do it the first time I saw this, as the doctor calmly asks why he wanted to kill the neighbor’s cat, but Scott says he didn’t – that “he” wants him to.

Doc: Who?

Scott: The yellow eyed man. He comes to me in my dreams… he has plans for me…

Everyone watching: OHMYGOD

I can’t even describe now, almost 15 years later, how chilling that reveal was. How just the words “yellow eyed man” struck fear into our hearts as viewers, because we knew Sam and Dean were in serious danger and we didn’t yet know just what it meant.

Scott leaves the doctor’s office and walks out into the dark, clouds of mist hanging over the deserted street as he rushes down a hill, hunched over, looking scared.

He looks around, calls out “Hello?” thinking someone’s following him, as the music grows louder and a train rushes overhead. We see the shadow of a man behind him in his car window as he finally gets there and then he’s stabbed, brutally. Blood spills out of his mouth as he dies and it’s brutal, graphic, so much more sinister because of the cinematography and the music and damn this show is so well done.

From that disturbing beginning, we’re back at the iconic fence with the Winchesters, Sam and Dean drinking beer next to the river.

Dean: Before Dad died, he told me something. Something about you.

Sam: What? Dean, what did he tell you?

Dean: He said that he wanted me to watch out for you, to take care of you…

Sam points out that their dad said that a million times, but Dean insists this time was different, increasingly agitated as he tries to confide in Sam this burden that he’s been carrying.

Dean: This time was different. He said that I had to save you…that nothing else mattered, and that if I couldn’t, I’d…

He falters, anguished, and Sam presses him, fully aware that this is bad, very bad.

Sam: You’d what, Dean?

Dean is looking at Sam almost begging him to make this all go away, and yet he pushes on, knows he has to come clean to Sam.

Dean: That I’d have to kill you. He said that I might have to kill you, Sammy.

Sam looks as anguished as Dean, the two of them facing off in this beautiful spot over this horrific reveal.

Sam: Kill me?! What the hell is that supposed to mean?

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It’s the Last Sunday of Conventions in 2021! SPNNash with Jared and Jensen

Time for Part 3 of our Nashcon coverage – the last Supernatural con of 2021!

We left off post Saturday Night Special and me falling asleep despite Kim having all the lights on as she stayed up far into the night editing the gorgeous photos that grace all these Nashville posts. Guess I was a little tired.

And then it was Sunday!

That meant the traditional J2 gold panel to kick off the day. Jared came out onstage wearing a rather striking shirt, and let us all know that it was a gift from Jensen. Apparently he couldn’t resist because it has moose and squirrel all over it.

Jensen (pointing) There’s the squirrel!

Jared (smiling): Right over my heart.

Awwww.

Jensen had to replay the gift giving because it more or less consisted of him gruffly announcing “got you somethin’” and then tossing the shirt across the room to Jared. Boys. Here’s my tweet of that little moment:

The Gifting Reenactment

A fan asked what has brought them joy recently and Jared talked about his baby girl Odette – who apparently dotes on her daddy.

Jared: Jensen warned me about baby girls…

Wrapped around their little fingers, it seems.

Seems Misha is not the only one who has A LOT of stuff from the Supernatural set. Jared said that he and Jensen share a storage unit full of stuff they brought back from Vancouver.

Jensen: I pretty much raided the props and costume department…

I am so intrigued!! Share, boys, share!

As always, the panel was entirely happy making because Jared and Jensen invariably just start having a great time being back together and cracking each other up.

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