It’s a Good Day for Fandom – Jensen Ackles Soldier Boy Supersuit Reveal!

Today was a big day for fans of The Boys and Supernatural – and all fans of Jensen Ackles! After he teased that there would be a reveal of his new character Soldier Boy’s ‘supersuit’ today, just about everyone in the fandom was glued to their social media this morning. I had a dentist appointment, but I confess I kept my phone in my pocket on vibrate, knowing that if it started blowing up, I was missing the big reveal – it actually turned out to be a pretty good distraction for the dental work!

Shortly after I got home, the big reveal happened – and yes, my timeline exploded. And it felt SO GOOD! As a Supernatural fan for the past 15 years (and The Boys for two), I’ve really missed my timeline going nuts over some new information or new photos. There’s nothing that brings fandom together more than having something new to savor, and today was all about that. Fannish differences were put aside and everyone just squeed together over finally seeing Jensen suited up as Soldier Boy.

First we got one photo, with some backstory from articles in Variety and Entertainment Weekly. The suit was designed by Laura Jean “L.J.” Shannon and concept artist Greg Hopwood. Shannon called Soldier Boy the original bad-ass and said her goal was “to highlight a bygone era of overt masculinity and grit.” So they included “an all-American quality grounded in a military soldier’s practicality with a heavy dose of old school cowboy swagger.” Shannon also commented on the casting that they were counting on to do the suit and the character justice: “We knew that the actor had to have Steve McQueen looks and chops with a John Wayne attitude — luckily Jensen Ackles embodies all of that.”

Damn right he does!

LJ Supersuits, the suit designer, posted an additional close up on their Instagram and sent another wave of euphoria and excitement through the fandom, with this message:

“LJ Supersuits presents SOLDIER BOY. This suit was an incredible team effort that required hours and hours of research, planning, and detailed craftsmanship to get it right. We always start with the concept art, and Soldier Boy’s concept was created by @greghops, along with all of his hard surface sculpting. The concept then gets translated into a physical suit by our incredible team. We are so proud of how epic Soldier Boy is and couldn’t be more excited for @jensenackles to take on this character and The Boys Season 3!!  Suit sculpting by @cce_inc

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The Winchesters Look For ‘Salvation’ – Supernatural Rewatch

We’re almost at the end of Season 1 in our Supernatural rewatch from the start, which we began almost seven months ago when the series ended – and it has been a much more emotional experience than I expected it to be! So no surprise that we began watching ‘Salvation’ and I burst into tears when ‘Carry On Wayward Son’ started playing. Even after all these years, I’m never ready to hear that familiar song herald the end of a season of my favorite show, and now that the show is over, my tears were if anything even more free flowing. God, I love this show. I always will.

The episode opens in Blue Earth, Minnesota. Meg in a church lighting candles, telling the kindly priest she needs to talk, that she’s done some things. He tells her there’s forgiveness for everyone and she asks, ‘are you sure?’

Father: Salvation was created for sinners.

Meg: I’ve lied, stolen, lusted…. I slit a man’s throat and ripped his heart out through his chest.

She lets him see her black eyes, and he backs away in alarm.

Father: I know what you are. You can’t be here – this is hallowed ground!

Meg (laughing) Maybe that works in the minor leagues, but not with me.

He runs, into a secret room with an arsenal of guns, and we see that he’s a hunter. Meg breaks in, and easily catches the knife he throws at her, taunting him that he throws like a girl.

Father: What do you want?

Meg: The Winchesters.

Father: I’ll never tell you.

Meg (smirking): I know.

She slits his throat, and he gasps and gurgles and dies. I remember being so caught off guard by the graphic violence of that scene when I first saw it. Truly horrifying.

The show and the actors did such a good job making me care about Pastor Jim even in those few minutes we had with him, which helped us understand how John was going to feel when he found out.

In Manning, Colorado, John has weather reports taped to the wall, marked up, books strewn around, post it notes everywhere. He tells his sons, this is everything he knows, that he spent their whole lives searching for this demon, but there wasn’t a trace until a year ago, when he picked up its trail.

John: It came out of hibernation. It’s going after families just like us, on the night of the kid’s six month birthday.

Sam: I was six months old that night? It’s going after these kids like it came for me.

At that realization, Sam starts to feel even more responsible for all the tragedy that’s dogging him.

Sam: Mom’s death, Jessica, it was because of me…

Sam is distraught, and Dean rushes to reassure him.

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Introducing Jenny the Vampire – Supernatural Rewatch of Dead Man’s Blood

This was a good episode when I first saw it, but not an overly emotional one. That is all changed now, watching it post series finale – because this is the episode where we meet the vampire whose nest will take down Dean Winchester fifteen years later. It’s amazing to me that the show managed to do that – to have the same actress come back to portray a character we never thought of as at all important, all those years later, to do something so pivotal to the show’s eventual ending. It makes this episode hard to watch, knowing what will happen so many years later.

‘Dead Man’s Blood’ stands on its own as a well done episode, though, especially because it has all three Winchesters, something that feels like a treat now because we got precious little of that in other seasons. Its vampires are pretty memorably too, and not just because of what Jenny eventually does.

We open in Colorado. Daniel Elkins having a drink, well known to the bartender, who describes him as “a nice old man, just a nut.” He senses trouble coming as a group of people walk in the door, and Elkins stares. They talk about having “dinner plans” (because they’re vampires, get it?) and when the bartender turns to ask Elkins if he wants another, it’s just his glass still there on the bar.

Elkins gets to his cabin and hurries inside, scared, locking the door behind him – but the vampires are already there. He gets a gun from his safe, muttering ‘come on come on’, and frantically loads it as the vampires are breaking down the door and smashing windows. They knock him down before he can fire, and the female vampire picks up the gun, saying it wouldn’t do him much good.

Vampire lady: Boys, we’re eating in tonight…

Cut to a diner in small town America, Dean reading the newspaper and Sam on the computer, just another night with the Winchester brothers on the road, saving people, hunting things. Dean’s still trying to convince Sam to swing by where Sarah is and see her again.

Dean: Cool chick, man. Smoking. You two seemed pretty friendly.

Sam puts him off. Again.

Sam: We have alot of work to do, Dean, you know that.

He also has found that a Daniel Elkins was found mauled in his home in Colorado, and Dean pauses, saying he knows that name. He pulls out the journal and finds an entry on Elkins, and it’s a Colorado area code. So to Colorado they go.

They find the cabin, looking around by flashlight in the mess they vampires left behind.

Dean: Looks like the maid didn’t come today…

Sam: There’s salt over here.

Dean: Like protection against demons salt or oops I spilled the popcorn salt?

[This scene is included in some of the behind the scenes features on the Season 1 DVD which we watched as part of our rewatch – Jared and Jensen look like babies, but they’re already clearly having so much fun, joking with each other and with the crew, pelting the crew with snowballs and then running away. It seems like so long ago now, but I’m so grateful we have these little glimpses that we can hang onto forever.]

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Supernatural Rewatch – Something Wicked (And Heartbreaking)

This episode, number 18 in the show’s first season, takes place in Fitchburg Wisconsin, which is now familiar to me not because I’ve ever been there or am likely to ever go there, but because this is a pivotal – and painful – episode.

We start out with a child saying their prayers, the dad tucking the little girl in with an affectionate “goodnight, monkey puss.”  The little girl asks if her mommy is coming home and the dad says no, she’s at the hospital – with her sister. The dad leaves and turns out the light, and from the little girl’s perspective as she looks around her room, it’s like every time you’ve ever woken up at night in the dark and heard odd noises and your imagination has run away with you.

Sometimes this show does the scary and the horror so damn well, showing you just enough and not too much.

The wind howls, blowing at the window, lashing shadows of tree limbs against the glass as the little girl watches, frightened. She leaps out of bed and throws the curtains closed, but they’re transparent unfortunately. The tree branches almost look like hands as they creep along the glass…and then we see one branch actually IS a hand! It’s incredibly creepy and scary as it opens the latch on the window and the wind chimes in the bedroom rattle in the breeze. A shadow looms over the bed as the little girl hides under the covers. She screams, and the shadowy thing opens its gaping mouth…

Rock music plays as the Impala races down the road, and I remember in these early episodes, I’d just sit and grin every week when “the boys were back.”

Sam and Dean  disagreeing about their dad like they often do – John threw a wedge between them again and again just by being John and raising them differently.

Dean: Are you sure you got the coordinates right? Dad wouldn’t have sent us coordinates if it wasn’t important, Sammy. Maybe he’s gonna meet us there.

Sam: Yeah, because he’s been so easy to find.

Dean: You’re a real smartass – I’m sure there’s something there worth killing.

When Sam continues to protest, Dean insists that he’s making the decision.

Sam: Why?

Dean: Because I’m the oldest, that’s why!

He smirks, unseen by Sam, but we all can see that he’s well aware of what he’s doing and that it’s not really valid. As much as Dean knows he’s the older brother and puts stock in that, he always respected Sam’s intellect and skills. And Sam’s little smile shows he kinda knows that too.

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Happy Birthday Sam Winchester – We Miss You!

I wasn’t sure I’d do a happy birthday post for my favorite characters this year. Supernatural ended nearly six months ago, and that means the Winchesters haven’t been on my TV screen. But that doesn’t mean that they haven’t been in my heart, where I’m fairly sure Sam and Dean will live forever. So even though I can’t watch new episodes, in my heart Sam Winchester is having a birthday, and I want to celebrate!

Over the course of fifteen years, Sam became a beloved character to so many of us, thanks to Eric Kripke who created him and Jared Padalecki, who brought him to life. I was fascinated by Sam and Dean from almost the beginning, and over time, through good times and bad times, that fascination only grew. So here’s a post full of reasons of what I love about Sam Winchester, from the start to the finish (at least temporarily, because I’ll hang onto the hope that we’ll see the Winchesters again in time…)  Instead of not doing a post at all, I got entirely carried away and took a trip down memory lane, reminding me of all the reasons Sam is special to me.

One of the reasons Sam Winchester is so inspiring as a character is because he’s been through the kind of trauma and loss that would have most of us flat on our backs and unable to put one foot in front of the other. The first losses come when he’s just a baby – his mother, his home, and his father too – still there but no longer the same man or the same father to his young sons.

Twenty years later, Sam’s at school, with goals and aspirations, kicking ass on the LSATs and planning his future with Jessica. And disaster finds him again, Jessica burning on the ceiling just like his mother did.

The boys hit the road. So young and pretty, so many challenges yet to come.

We experience Sam’s empathy and his strength early on. We’ve followed him on quite a journey in just one year, from the boy who struck out on his own to the boy almost as bent on revenge as his father, and finally to this – the young man who understands that there are things more important than revenge, including his love for his family. Sam goes against his father in a completely different way here, with Sam and Dean on the same page about family and reconnected with each other.

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