I didn't like the title of this episode when I first heard it, some weird mash-up of the Woody Allen movie "What's Up Tiger Lily?" and the Tiger Mommy new moniker for current Asian-American mothering techniques. But after seeing how Kevin's mother was depicted in this episode, now I like it. She was definitely a fierce tiger mommy, trading her soul for her son's life, getting a tattoo with him, socking the King of Hell. I thought it was great that Sam and Dean accepted her really quickly, because they recognize that fierce, unconditional love in themselves of course, so they respect and honor it. Hopefully it reminded them of what it means too, seeing it demonstrated over and over again in this one episode, kind of hard to miss.
I was watching this episode with my son, and it was a weird sort of little bonding experience where we discussed getting a tattoo together. Hah! I asked him if he wanted the anti-possession one and he said maybe, and showed me an idea he has for another symbol from Full-Metal Alchemist. Pretty funny, I'm glad we watch this show together.
How did you like this call back to season 4? I love it when they do that, either it's unintentional, or someone on the writing staff has a great memory for all the episodes, not sure which. But unfortunately we didn't get to see Dean's too this time :-( Hope he still has it after Purgatory, maybe he had to muck with it to let Benny climb aboard the Soul Train???? I think Sam ought to do a thorough inspection next episode, mmmkaythanks.
Overall, I really dug this tattoo parlor scene, showing that intense "I'll do anything for you" mom thing, Kevin giving in and following Dean and Sam's orders and best of all Sam and Dean clearly have a reminiscing, "remember back when we got OUR tattoos?" moment. Guess I have to go back and read all the great fic about that missing scene. See now there's a flashback I could get behind!
Dean's "hey I'm kinda impressed with Ms. Tran" smirky face just cracks me up here, along with Sammy's mild amusement. She was hilarious in this scene though.
Holy Moly! Just struck wordless here.
So between the red eyes and red smoke, I guess Crowley is a demon. Although, what demon has ever had red smoke? Isn't it always that grey-black? The crossroads demon that Dean exorcised had red eyes and black smoke. Alastair had white eyes and black smoke, YED had yellow eyes and black smoke. hmmm. So maybe Crowley is something besides just a demon, which would be a great twist. (Still not completely letting go of my Crowley is God also theory, but I'm hanging on by a mere thread now). But what did they mean that he had no soul? Isn't that what the demon smoke represents, everything human burned away? I'm confused now and those red eyes were different than the crossroads demon red eyes.
What is Sam going to do with PTSD!Dean? I don't think he's even noticed yet that Dean's having flashbacks, although he has noticed the more brutal way Dean has been acting. Dean's not all gone though, at least he didn't kill Kevin's mom. I don't blame Kevin for scramming out of there with her, Dean's a scary mofo right now. And Crowley's right the Winchesters do use people up. Not a peep about Sam's past year, but guess he didn't forget the demon exorcism if he could recite it backwards, seems strange for someone who was supposedly out of hunting for a whole year.
I'm glad that they had Dean find Cas so quickly, and that Cas is still somewhat crazy. He and Dean were definitely not on the same wavelength about anything from greeting, to one-sided hug, to what to do about getting out. I loved how predatory Benny looked in that scene, like he wanted to gobble Cas up. Interesting that Cas brought up that he was protecting Dean from Leviathan. That little bit at the very end of the episode I could see Dean making a choice to leave Cas behind to save himself and then forever beating himself up about it (and not ever telling Sam). If whatever keeps bringing Cas back over and over again wants him out of Purgatory, he'll be brought back, it's not all up to you Dean!
Overall a pretty satisfying episode that moved the season's plot along well. Crowley calling them squirrel and moose really was funny, and sitting behind them snarking in the auction was hilarious. I'm not really seeing him as the season Big Bad as advertised quite yet though. Kevin and his mom are a good addition and I hope when they're reintroduced she has her own supersoaker, a re-inked tattoo, and they've acquired a badass car.
Based on the spoilers for next week there's some good angsty arguing going on between Sam and Dean which should be tasty. And I hope with the Sam flashback there'll be some satisfying answers to my still unanswered Sam questions. At least we'll get to meet the dog. And watch Sam eat an apple. Oh and Jensen directed this one too, so that's always fun.