‘Supernatural’ Review: “What’s Up, Tiger Mommy?”
'Supernatural’ season 8 goes up for bid with its second episode of the season “What's Up, Tiger Mommy?,” as the boys rescue Kevin Tran's mother Linda, and wind up bidding against Crowley for the Word of God tablet in a supernatural auction run by Plutus, the God of Greed.
Last weeks’s ‘Supernatural’ premiere “We Need To Talk About Kevin” saw Sam and Dean reconnecting after Dean’s escape from Purgatory, and searching for the missing prophet Kevin (Osric Chau), who may hold the key to an important new tablet that will rid the world of demons permanently. So, what does the latest season 8 episode bring? Will the Winchesters finally be able to rid the world of Crowley’s demonic scum, once and for all?
Read on for your in-depth recap of everything you need to know about ‘Supernatural’ season 8 Episode 2, “What's Up, Tiger Mommy?”
In Chicago, an older man named “Mr. Billy” retrieves an item from his extremely old safety deposit box, a bizarre looking bone, before brutally killing the young bank attendant who’d let him into the vault. Elsewhere, the Winchesters enjoy lunch with an aggravated prophet Kevin, desperate to check in on his mother after what happened to his old girlfriend last week. Dean refuses, noting the mother to be obvious bait for Crowley and the demons, but reluctantly agrees to pay her a visit
The trio arrives in Neighbor, Michigan, seeing Kevin’s mother Linda safe and sound within her house, though the local mailman and gardener are clearly demons keeping guard. Sam and Dean manage to subdue them, but when Kevin greets his mother at the door, their neighbor Eunice is revealed to be a demon as well, and Dean has no choice but to stab her with Ruby’s knife.
The trio gets an incredulous Linda up to speed on everything to do with demons, Crowley and her prophet son, but rather than seek a safe-house she demands to go with them on their quest to retrieve the Word of God tablet. Dean and Sam relent, but only under the condition that both get tattoos like theirs, warding off any potential possession. Kevin writhes in pain as he receives his, but his mother takes it like a champ. There was probably a better way to say that.
Afterward, the foursome visits a locker in a Wyoming bus depot where Kevin claims to have hidden the tablet, but find it instead stuffed with diapers. The depot’s security head explains there had been a recent rash of break-ins revealed to be from a former employee, sending the boys to interrogate this “Clem” over at the local jail. Sam tries to coax the man to give up what he knows by arranging potential deals, while Dean flashes back to his Purgatory time interrogating a creature at knife-point to learn Castiel’s whereabouts. Dean flashes back and forth between the present and Purgatory interrogations, in each case brutally holding a knife to Clem and the creature’s throats, as the captives reveal the tablet’s location at a local pawn shop, and Castiel’s location at a nearby stream.
The foursome pull up to the pawn shop behind an expensive Ferrari, belonging to the young pawn shop owner Lyle. Lyle ignores Sam and Dean’s threats to do things the hard way, but quickly folds when Linda uses her intuition to deduce that the Ferrari hasn’t had its tax paid yet, and threatens to bring down her IRS brother.
The group next arrives at the apparent motel location of the tablet’s owner, only to be greeted by a well-dressed man already familiar with all of them. Introducing himself as Bo, the herald of Plutus the God of Greed, Bo invites the four to participate in an auction selling off the tablet. Given all the spell and safety protection the auction is likely to have, the group reluctantly agree, but quickly realize they’ll have precious little to offer up as collateral. Still, if they can get Kevin close enough to the tablet itself, he might simply be able to memorize the spell to banish demons from the Earth.
Arriving at the auction, Dean reluctantly disarms himself as the group looks over all the precious artifacts up for bid (like the hammer of Thor!). They quickly find the tablet safeguarded against their plan by a cover, a fact that Crowley appears to point out that they should have considered. Linda lands a haymaker against Crowley to protect her son, but is dissuaded from further action when Plutus himself arrives to begin the auction.
Before that happens, a young boy dressed as a hot dog fast food employee pulls Dean aside, introducing himself as the angel Samandriel, in an admittedly unfortunate choice of vessel. Samandriel identifies himself as a supporter of Castiel and one dedicated to protecting the word of God, as Dean recalls first finding Castiel by the stream in Purgatory. Dean explains the ordeal he went through to find the angel, but a sanity-restored Castiel explains that he deliberately fled and avoided Dean so as to protect him from the Leviathans and other creatures undoubtedly hunting them both. Dean explains that he and Benny have found a way out, uncertain how it will work for angels, but Dean refuses to leave without his angel pal.
Back in the present, the group does their best to pool their money, but quickly find themselves wildly outbid for any of the items present. Dean excuses himself to find the restroom, swiping a key from a guard to the main store room, but ultimately finding it a dead end too well guarded. After the man from the beginning of the episode uses his Frost Giant finger (and 5/8 of a virgin, eww) to buy Mjolnir, the hammer of Thor, the tablet is next placed up for bid. Crowley and Samandriel resort to increasingly ridiculous bids to win the item, including a topless Mona Lisa and the moon, before Plutus decides to sweeten the deal by including Kevin himself as part of the bid!
Desperate, Linda offers up her own soul for bid, shortly thereafter matched by a million souls from Crowley, though Plutus remains impressed enough with the woman’s sacrifice to award her the prize. Later, the Winchesters sit with Linda to comfort her on the impending loss of her soul, as Samandriel appears to commend her sacrifice, and offer the angels’ protection of Kevin.
After being left alone for a moment, Linda appears to Plutus ready to surrender her soul, until Dean notices a burn mark on her arm! It seems Bo decided to sell out his boss to Crowley, burning off Linda’s tattoo in her moment alone and allowing Crowley himself to possess her. After killing off Plutus and his henchman, Linda/Crowley flees with the tablet rather than fight the Winchesters for Kevin, and Dean chases after her.
Trapped with Mr. Billy and Mjolnir, Sam incredibly wields the hammer of Thor to take out Bo, but when its owner asks for it back, Sam smashes him too for killing the virgin used to pay for it. Elsewhere, Dean chases down Linda/Crowley, and prepares to stab her with Ruby’s Knife before Crowley exits in a puff of red smoke and returns to his original form. Tablet in hand, Crowley teases Kevin about the secrets in his catatonic mother’s head, including his true father, and warns the boy about staying with the Winchesters too long before departing.
Later, Kevin’s mother remains catatonic for the moment, having been through somewhat literal Hell, as the boy asks for a moment with his mother. Sam and Dean debate whether or not Dean would have killed the possessed Linda if it meant killing Crowley, something he wishes he’d gone through with. Noting how quiet it seems, the boys return to the room to find Kevin and his mother gone, having left a note explaining his need to get away from the destructive pair.
Kevin’s stinging words about people he doesn’t need ending up dead remind the man of another Purgatory memory, hanging onto a slipping Castiel’s hand as he cries out for help, and ultimately letting go. But to where?
"What's Up, Tiger Mommy?" definitely handled the various flashbacks with more grace than its predecessor, though it's worth noting that we didn't see any of Sam's boring relationship with Amelia. Certainly, the boys have suffered quite a setback in losing both the tablet and Kevin, though it does pose some intriguing questions for the people that tend to die around the Winchesters, and how Dean's time in Purgatory hardened him. Plus, however brief, how cool was it when Sam actually wielded the hammer of Thor! Let's hope they keep that one going forward!
Did you get your fill of spooky ‘Supernatural’ action? What did you think about the episode? Join us next week for an all-new episode recap of ‘Supernatural’ thriller “Heartache” on The CW!