A Week of Random: Random Monday - Meet Norman, On My Kindle & Supernatural

I have a confession. I’ve become an awful blogger. It’s been over a week since I finished a book and I’ve become habitually absent on Fridays because I usually work late and am mentally exhausted upon arriving home. But I will not quit! It’s just taking me a little more time to get adjusted to my new job where I don’t spend copious amounts of time on the internet, my new schedule and my new miles-long to-do list floating around in my head.

Because of this, I think we’re going to have an All Random Week here at Working for the Mandroid. Five days of posts that are just random links, pictures, thoughts and babble. If you have anything you’d like to contribute, send it our way at workingforthemandroid at gmail dot com. We love emails!

Meet the newest member of Mandroid’s crew. His name is Norman. We pay him in cookies.

 

I also haven’t done an In My Mailbox post in some time. While I’ve only acquired two hard copy books, I picked up a library book over the weekend and I have dozens upon dozens of books sitting on my Kindle impatiently waiting for me to get to them. Here’s a small selection:

From the Library


The Strange Affair of Spring Heeled Jack by Mark Hodder

I needed to go back and read the first book in the Burton & Swinburne series after I enjoyed

 

Purchased


Locke & Key Volume 4: Keys to the Kingdom by Joe Hill & Gabriel Rodriguez

I got this for Fernando’s birthday last month. It’s sitting on the living room table taunting me to read volume three.

 

From Netgalley

     

As I said, I’ve gotten a couple dozen books over the last few months. Here’s just a sampling:

Diva by Jillian Larkin

Crimson Rising by Nick James (if you can’t see my flouncing in excitement, you’re not looking very hard)

Shift by Kim Curran

Living Proof by Kira Peikoff

Thanks to all the various publishers for saying yes to my requests.

 

And finally Supernatural. If you haven’t seen the season seven finale from Friday, you might not want to read on further.

I’ve had a love-hate relationship with Supernatural this season. First they did something awesome – make Castiel into an ego-bloated “god” with too much power and a warped sense of morality – and literally blew it up to create a potentially interesting idea – monsters from before time that were immortal and shapeshifty – that disappeared by episode four. And then we traveled through the season visiting those immortal evil monsters with giant unhinging jaws, the Leviathan, every couple of episodes to just remind viewers that the writers hadn’t forgotten about them.

Season seven of Supernatural didn’t feel like Supernatural most of the time. Here’s where the giant spoilers come in.

First the writers killed off everyone. EVERY. ONE. Castiel – blew up into a giant cloud of oozing goo in the middle of a lake (at least supposedly). Bobby – shot in the head by the big bad. Side characters introduced to replace all the other people that were killed off – normally eaten or exploded within three episodes. They even took the Metallicar away! Yes, there were still the characters that popped in for an episode only to quietly exit at the end of the same episode in more-or-less the same condition (hello, Felicia Day!), but the world of Sam and Dean became claustrophobically small. And the writers had a hell of a time filling in the space when they only had these two guys running around the country, basically wasting time until the writers could get to the end of the season.

Sarah Gamble is not good at season-long plot arcs. She creates something with the potential to be massive, then forgets about it after the first few episodes, checks back in at midseason and then leaves it in the background until three or four episodes from the end. It happened in season six with Purgatory and it happened this season with the Leviathan. I bet I could go back through this season once it’s on DVD and the number of episodes primarily about the Leviathan probably fit on two hands. Sarah Gamble is not Erik Kripke, King of Five Season Plot Arcs.

My feelings exactlyBut that’s not to say it was all bad. The first two episodes, “Meet the New Boss” and “Hello, Cruel World”, made me incredibly happy for the most part. Then there were some episodes with gimmicky guest stars and other eps that squandered awesome plot potential. But then came “Slash Fiction”, the episode where there were two sets of Winchesters, one being humans of the monster hunting variety and the other monsters of the human hunting variety. It was a pretty awesome episode and felt very much like it would have fit into season two.

But then came a slew of crap episodes involving uber fan Becky, fake mediums, DJ Qualls, and deadly Turducken sandwiches. Ugh.

”Time After Time” got us Dean in a fedora. Win.

“The Slice Girls” gave us an illegitimate monster daughter for Dean. Lose.

Sam finally went crazy after the writers procrastinated for two-thirds of the season and it was pretty awesome. Then a ballerina nearly danced herself to death. Ugh.

But then! Then came the triumphant return of Castiel. Who didn’t realize he was Castiel. And ended the episode in a catatonic state being watched over by Demon Meg, so we could return to DJ Qualls and fight a monster while drunk.

At least he still knows how to make sandwiches...Ghost Bobby became Crazy Ghost Bobby in the matter of episodes instead of decades like most other ghosts, who are cognizant of their ghostliness. And finally, four episodes from the end, things started falling into place. Felicia Day came in as a Lisbeth Salander type hacker and was entertaining because Dean had to flirt with a dude vicariously through her. And then Castiel came back with the mentality of a five year old obsessed with board games and avoiding conflict. It sort of worked and didn’t all at the same time.

And, much like last season, the main big bad of the entire 22 episode story arc was dealt with in the last two episodes. Clean and nice and moving on to something completely different that made me point emphatically at the television and yell “THAT! I WANT MORE OF THAT!”. Purgatory. Dean stuck in Purgatory with all the monsters he’s killed and then some. Sarah Gamble is passing on the reigns to Jeremy Carver, who most recently reincarnated Being Human into an American version that doesn’t make me want to slit my wrists.

Carver wrote “A Very Supernatural Christmas”, “Mystery Spot”, “Death Takes a Holiday” and a little episode called “Changing Channels”. These are all very good things.

So while I was left mostly unimpressed with season seven, I’m incredibly excited for the potential of season eight. Moving to Wednesday nights with Jeremy Carver on board and starting off with the Winchesters separated between planes of existence, monsters on all sides, there is so much potential for an awesome season. A season so awesome that I bounce in my chair when I think of Supernatural. A season so awesome that it once again becomes my favorite show without any hesitation.

Until then I’ll keep rewatching “Changing Channels” and “Nightshifter” and hope that Kripke’s new show is even just half as awesome as his last.

THAT! I WANT MORE OF THAT!

And that’s all for Random Monday.