Confession time: I used to have a crush on a certain young adult, girl-next-door-type actress. Yeah, I know. I know. I'm not going to tell you how old I was at the time, and I'm not going to tell you how long the crush lasted, but it's relevant to tonight's episode "Fallen Idol" that I had deep, personal feelings for a woman who I've never met (nor ever will meet, most likely). It wasn't just lust—I mean, I thought this was something special. Like, we had a connection. I would watch I Have A Rough Notion Of Your Accomplishments During A Previous Season and I would think, "That girl? That girl right there? I'm gonna marry that girl!" like that was an important thing to be thinking. Like it was all serious, I just hadn't had a chance to get a ring yet.
I got over it. (sniff) Being infatuated with celebrities is, at least in this point in the history of humanity, a pretty natural part of growing up. Like Paris Hilton said in "Idols," these days, instead of gods, we worship movie stars and rock stars and, hell, people who just happen to be famous because if they weren't famous, there wouldn't really be anything else for them to be. Spending thousands upon thousands of dollars to get the car James Dean died in (well, okay, a copy of the car) may not be quite as hardcore as sacrificing virgins, but it's still a kind of reaching out, of trying to put your life in touch, if only for the briefest of moments, with the ineffable. And if the ineffable decides to maybe crush in your skull, bleed you, and stick seeds in your belly, well, at least you died in the service of something greater than yourself, right?
There's not a whole lot of heavy stuff in "Idols," but it's another bright spot in what has been a terrific start to this season, and even without Cass around, this is the funniest episode we've had yet. We're finally back to the Monster of the Week story structure, a standalone story with enough nods to continuity that it manages to be satisfying both by itself and as part of the bigger picture. The mopiness that threatened to dog our heroes was, as promised last week, largely resolved. Sam and Dean having a serious talk is a staple of the series, and sometimes it can get a little repetitive, but I found this week's conversations impressively direct. We may not have seen the last of the Brothers Grim, but for now, at least, we've gotten back to basics, with at least enough of a nod to change that it doesn't seem like a cheat.
And man, talk about funny! Lincoln snarling, the sheriff who kept looking for logical answers no matter how improbably the deaths became, Sam and Dean visiting the wax museum ("Yeah, on how totally non-sucky wax museums are."), Sam getting assaulted by Ghandi, Paris Hilton… so much great stuff. The Winchester banter is back in full swing, too. All Wincest jokes aside, the brothers' relationship is the heart of the series. It's what kept me through some of the rough patches in season 1, and without it, even when everything else is running on all cylinders, it's not really Supernatural. This is Julie Siege's fourth script for the show, and looking over some of the over episodes she's done, she's definitely a name to watch for.
Speaking of Paris Hilton, well, she was fine, really. She said her lines, kicked Dean's ass (heh), and then got her head chopped off; violent death always seems to be most appropriate casting for her. (See also House Of Wax—which also features Jared Padalecki, in case you missed the joke tonight.) I take a few points off the episode for once again giving us a trickster god—the show can occasionally re-use it's threats, and while it was nice that the Leshii didn't turn out to be Loki again, I wouldn't have minded something with a more distinctive personality. Plus, the thematic focus was split, as the "idol" concept would've been stronger if we'd stuck with either historical figures or celebrities. Having both made Leshii's big speech at the end kind of weird, because you generally don't get people with unhealthy obsessions for dead political leaders.
Overall, though, this was great. Clever story, entertaining set-pieces, great dialog, and lots of blood. Like I said, seeing Sam and Dean figure things out once again may not have been a huge shocker, but character-wise, having them finally admit, yeah, killing Lilith brought about the Apocalypse but it was still killing Lilith, was great. Fears are banished, the show is once again settling into its grove, and I can't wait till next week.
-I may have missed it, but I don't think we got a single "bitch" this episode. And considering who was playing the main villain, that's something of a shock.
-One plot problem: whatever happened with Jim, the guy accused of the death in Little Bastard?
-How great was that season preview at the end?