To the outside world, the Winchesters, who have saved the world a few times over at great personal sacrifice, are giant weapon-wielding psychopaths who fondle corpses when they're not mowing people down with machine guns. I’ve always found that dichotomy perversely entertaining, more than a little sad, and a brilliant foil to keep Sam and Dean from ever really winning anything. To Kevin Tran’s tigress of a mother (played by an unfortunately nip-tucked Lauren Tom), they’re wild men who haven’t been taught any manners, like greeting people by slashing them in the face with holy water is rude, and might have forgotten that even ordinary people will risk anything to save their loved ones, even offer up their own souls.
“What’s Up, Tiger Mommy?” is a ridiculous, goose-chase of an episode that was grounded by the gritty drama of Dean’s flashbacks to Purgatory that finally revealed Castiel’s whereabouts. After rescuing Kevin’s mother from her demon guards and reading her in on the whole “monster are real” deal, the motley crew of four set out to find the God rock that bares a recipe to shut the door to hell forever. The journey that felt like a “SNL” parody of a “Law & Order” investigation ended with an invitation to an exclusive auction emceed by Plutus, the god of riches, and his Willy Wonka-esque man-butler, Beau. With items up for grabs like Da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man and Mjolnir, Thor’s mighty hammer, it attracted the universe’s biggest players. My favorite being was a cherub-faced little angel named Alphie, ironically dressed as a Weiner Hut employee, and he was nothing short of a Castiel groupie.
Even Sam and Dean knew they simply couldn't win the tablet in a bidding war as the only thing of real value anyone had was the Impala, and Dean shut down that idea before it was even fully formed. “Say it and I will kill you, your children and your grandchildren,” he growled to Sam standing protectively in front of his baby. Considering Sam has already dispatched his own niece, I'm thinking he means it. The Scooby gang decided to wing it, hoping that Kevin could get a glimpse of the tablet before the auction, memorize the spell thus eliminating the need to purchase it or rob a bank. Thanks to Crowley and some pretty clever monsters, the boys quickly burned through Plans A through D.
I have to admit that I was tickled by the bidding of the auction. Our loveably naïve hunters managed to pool an impressive two grand and a Costco membership, while the otherworldly beings were flush with dwarf gold, virgin parts, rogue American states (even a greedy god didn’t want Sarah Palin’s Alaska) and souls by the thousand. It was a missed opportunity that Sam didn’t produce the God-tracking amulet that had been a fixture around Dean’s neck for five seasons as an item to trade in exchange for the tablet. They could have at least attempted to trade Ruby's demon-killing knife. I'm also fairly certain that Sammy's fabulous coif has some magical powers too.