Episode Title: "Season 7, Time for a Wedding!"
Writers: Andrew Dabb & Daniel Loflin
Director: Tim Andrew
Previously on "Supernatural":
Years ago, Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean Winchester (Jensen Ackles) discovered that the events of their lives were chronicled in a series of books by Chuck Shirley (Rob Benedict), a writer who was either God's prophet or somehow God himself. Foremost of Chuck's fans was Becky Rosen (Emily Perkins), a young woman obsessed with the "Supernatural" series and the writer of "Supernatural" fan fiction nicknamed "Wincest;" which is exactly what it sounds like (and no, I did not make that up). When the Winchesters finally discovered Chuck's novels and Becky's obsession with Sam, they were understandably taken aback.
More recently. the Winchesters had split up after Sam learned the truth about Dean's murder of Amy (Jewel Staite), a kitsune with whom Sam had spared due to their history together. However, the Winchester brothers reunited while investigating a series of deaths in Lily Dale, the most psychic small town in America. With their grudges seemingly put behind them, the Winchesters hit the road as a team once again.
In Las Vegas, Dean can't even properly properly flirt with the waitress at a strip club because he's worried that Sam has taken off into the desert to go camping alone. As he confides in the waitress, Dean gets a message from Sam to meet him at a wedding chapel four blocks away… and to wear a suit. Dean shows up in a suit and ready for action, but Sam has him put away his gun and come inside. Then Sam explains that he's in love and he's getting married… to Becky Rosen! Dean is certain that it's some kind of trick or that Becky isn't really herself, but he can't do anything when Sam takes off with his new bride to Delaware.
Days later, Sam and his new bride arrive in Pike Creek, Delaware and Becky is insistent that they stop and make reservations for her high school reunion. On the way out, they run into Guy (Leslie Odom Jr.), Becky's friend who seems alarmed to see Sam. As Guy hugs Becky, he passes off a vial of liquid to her and she remarks that she likes having a Wiccian as a friend. Dean arrives in town hours later and he quickly notices a newspaper headline about a lottery winner who was killed by a truck. Hours later, Sam and Becky sit down for dinner and he becomes confused about where he is and why he's there..
Before Sam can stop her, Becky forces him to take a drink from a cup laced with the liquid that Guy gave her. Moments later, Sam is once again devoted to her. The next day, a man at a baseball stadium is practicing with the pitching machine when a demon named Jackson (Mike Kovac) causes the machine to speed up and hit the batter fatally in the face. Shortly thereafter, Dean shows up at Becky's place with a wedding gift for Sam. He explains that the batter's murder is part of a pattern of mysterious deaths in town, only to realize that Sam and Becky are already investigating the case.
Dean flips out and once again insists that Becky is somehow manipulating his brother, but Sam dismisses his concerns and says that he doesn't need Dean anymore. Dean leaves in a huff and he calls Bobby to get back up. And since Bobby can't make it, he sends Garth (DJ Qualls); who seems a little small and awkward to be a hunter. Reluctantly, Dean takes Garth on as his temporary partner when they interview Craig Burrows (Evan Frayne), a man who was suddenly promoted to CEO of his company. Garth keeps spilling their theory that Craig used black magic to get the gig, but Dean nervously laughs him off. When Craig's wife, Marsha Burrows (Luisa Jojic) briefly barges in, Craig remarks that the CEO gig was her dream more than his and he wants to resign.
Garth and Dean chase after Marsha to find out about her supernatural deal, but she brushes them off. Luckily, Dean is able to save her when Jackson nearly drops a chandler on her. Finally Marsha tells them that she sold her soul for her husband's promotion. At Becky's cabin, Sam starts to come out of his spell too quickly, so Becky knocks him out and ties him to the bed. He then overhears as she speaks with Guy about getting a replacement for the love potion. Sam is angry, but he does warn Becky that Guy is likely behind the murders. Becky meets Guy at the reunion and he finally insists that she pay for Sam's love… with her soul, in return for 25 years of happiness with Sam.
Finally realizing that she's been dealing with a crossroads demon, Becky asks for a drink. Meanwhile, Garth and Dean figure out that Becky has Sam stashed at her cabin. But Becky gets there first and pours her heart out to Sam. When she ungags him, he tells her that she's better than this and she reconsiders drugging him. Later, Becky returns to the reunion and agrees to the deal with Guy. But before he can seal the deal, she traps him in a pentagram as Sam, Dean and Garth emerge. The Winchesters learn that Guy has made 15 deals for souls around town and that the murders were done by Jackson as a loophole to get the victims to pay up ten years early.
Jackson arrives and disrupts the pentagram, freeing Guy. As Jackson uses his powers to strangle Sam, Becky stabs and kills Jackson. But before Dean can settle his fight with Guy, Crowley (Mark Sheppard) appears. But he's not after the Winchesters. Instead, Crowley berates Guy for welching out on deals. He argues that if people can't trust Hell than they won't be selling their souls. Although the Winchesters are wary of Crowley, they agree to trade Guy to him in exchange for releasing the remaining victims from their deals. Crowley happily takes Guy to make an example out of him and they depart.
Some time later, Sam signs annulment papers and gets Becky to sign as well. Although he is still angry, Sam tells Becky that she isn't a loser and that the right guy will find her. Dean notices Garth and Becky taking an interest in each other and he remarks that it won't end well. Afterwards, the brothers say goodbye to Garth and he awkwardly hugs Dean. Sam and Dean also reconcile about what Sam said to him while under the love potion's influence. However, Dean seems less than happy to hear that Sam says that he doesn't need to hoover over him and that Dean can have some time to himself.
"Season 7, Time for a Wedding!" has to be one of the most amusing episode titles I've seen all year. Unfortunately, the episode itself doesn't quite live up to that level of humor.
Jared Padalecki is actually very amusing as a hopelessly in love Sam, but it was Emily Perkins who dragged down most of their scenes together. Bringing back Becky Rosen was a nice nod to continuity, but Perkins didn't have any chemistry with Padalecki at all. I'm sure that part of it was intentional, but it made their scenes together somewhat difficult to sit through. It's like Perkins is preloaded with awkwardness, which is only funny to a certain extent. Past a certain point, she was just annoying.
I had the same issue with DJ Qualls as Garth. Teaming up Dean with a super geeky hunter as his new partner should have been comedy gold. But aside from constantly stating the wrong thing while interviewing Craig and Marsha, Garth didn't really contribute anything to this story. Some of Dean's reactions to Garth's interview flubs were funny, but it felt like Jensen Ackles and Padalecki were carrying their respective guest stars when they shouldn't have had to.
Another issue with Becky is that she is basically a caricature of some rapid "Supernatural" fans; which worked better the first time we met her. Becky doesn't come off well as a character because she's essentially a walking plot device. This story may have been more effective if someone other than Becky had been used to rope Sam in.
However, there were still some neat moments throughout the episode. Crowley's appearance near the end was the best use of the character this season and he actually seemed menacing again. The premise behind Guy's plan was also interesting, as I did wonder why demons didn't just off their victims immediately after landing their souls. But Crowley's argument about Hell needing to live up to its deals had a point and was darkly hilarious too. Although how were prospective victims going to know the difference? It's not like there's a Yelp page for Hell!
Another intriguing moment came when Crowley mentioned that he's been keeping demons out of the Winchesters' way during their war with the Leviathans. The last time we saw Crowley, he was shot down while attempting to strike a deal with the Leviathan boss. Since that didn't go anywhere, Crowley seems to have decided that the Winchesters are his best bet to get rid of the Leviathans. It kind of makes me want to see another alliance between the Winchesters and Crowley. After that, the producers just need to bring back Castiel and season 7 will start looking up again.
This wasn't a bad episode, but it fell short of the bar it was reaching for. But if only two genre shows can survive on Friday nights, I'd rather "Supernatural" and "Fringe" live on as opposed to the horrible "Grimm" on NBC.
Crave Online Rating: 7 out of 10.