Supernatural: What's Up, Tiger Mommy?
October 11, 2021 4:50 AM - Season 8, Episode 2 - Subscribe

After saving Kevin's mother from the demons who have her under surveillance, she, Sam, Dean, and Kevin go after the Word of God which is being auctioned off by Plutus, the god of greed.


Dean: What do we have to bid? What? We can't just show up there empty-handed.
Sam: Dean, all we have to our names is a few hacked gold cards.
Dean: All right. Well, then, we have to get creative.
Sam: Huh. Well... [looks speculatively at the Impala]
Dean: No. Say it, and I will kill you, your children, and your grandchildren.

Beau: Our next lot, the Word of God, capital "G" -- very old, very rare.
Crowley: $3 billion.
Dean & Sam: Whoa.
Samandriel: The "Mona Lisa".
Crowley: The *real* "Mona Lisa", where she's topless.
Samandriel: Vatican City.
Crowley: Alaska.
Beau: Palin and a bridge to nowhere? No, thanks.
Crowley: All right. The moon.
Dean: You're bidding the *moon*?
Crowley: Yeah. Claimed it for Hell. You think a man named Buzz gets to go into space without making a deal?

Sam: Mrs. Tran, your friend was possessed by a demon.
Kevin: Have you ever seen The Exorcist?
Linda: Is that what you've been doing all year -- watching television? Did you really have to kill her?
Dean: The demon would have warned Crowley where Kevin was if we didn't.
Linda: And Crowley is the one who kidnapped you?
Kevin: Yeah. He needs me to translate his stupid tablet so he could take over the universe or something.
Dean: Which is why we need to get it so we can slam the Gates of Hell forever with Crowley inside.
Sam: So that things like that don't ever happen again.
Linda: Prophet of the Lord, huh? It does have a nice ring to it.

Samandriel: I'm an angel.
Linda: Who works at Wiener Hut?
Samandriel: No. This is, uh -- it doesn't matter.

Sam: All right. So, how much we got for plan "B"?
Dean: Uh, well, we got our hacked credit cards, $2,000, and uh... a Costco membership.

Castiel: I'm perfectly sane. But, then, 94% of psychotics think they're perfectly sane, so I guess we'd have to ask ourselves, "What is sane?"


This is the first time Crowley calls Dean "Squirrel".

The auction takes place in room 101, an allusion to the torture room in George Orwell's 1984.

This is the first episode in which an exorcism is recited in reverse in order to prevent a demon from "smoking out".

Sam and Dean's FBI aliases, Neil and Sixx, refer to Nikki Sixx and Vince Neil, members of the rock band Mötley Crüe.

Episode title is based on the 1966 Woody Allen movie, What's up, Tiger Lily?

The year before this episode was made a book about Chinese child rearing practices, The Battle Cry of the Tiger Mother, brought the term "Tiger Mom" into common parlance. The term refers to a parenting style involving strict discipline, hyper-competitiveness, an insistence on the child being the best at everything, and a refusal to tolerate anything less than perfect performance. There was a lot of controversy over this approach.

Vili is a Norse god and brother of Odin/uncle to Thor. Vili and Odin, together with their other brother Vé, slew the frost giant Ymir. "Mr. Vili" retrieves Ymir's severed finger from the safe deposit box and trades it (along with the partial remains of a virgin) for the Hammer of Thor, Mjölnir. In Marvel comics lore, "No living being may lift the hammer unless they are worthy." Sam easily lifts Mjölnir and smites the henchman (Beau) along with Mr. Vili, proving he is worthy.

Mr. Vili is shown bidding 5/8th of a virgin for Mjölnir. We can assume he got the body pieces from the bank employee whom he killed.

After Beau's abrupt exit, Dean growls sarcastically, "Well, thank you, Mr. Peanut!" Mr. Peanut is the mascot and logo for the Planters peanuts company, since the early 1900s. He is a walking, talking peanut, sporting a signature top hat, monocle, and cane.
posted by orange swan (4 comments total)
Castiel grew a beard in purgatory, though Dean remained clean shaven.

Crowley trying to bid his soul was a bit bizarre. Demons don't have souls, and every supernatural being would know it, let alone a being like Plutus.

The scandalized look on Kevin's face when his mother says the warding tattoo won't be the first one she's gotten was very funny. Also, Linda Tran threatening to sic the tax department on the pawn shop owner for unpaid taxes on his car was damn slick. Good thing she insisted on coming along, as Sam and Dean wouldn't have gotten far at the auction with their Costco membership.

I was surprised to find when I was googling Lauren Tom that she was only in three episodes of Supernatural, of which this was the first (Linda Tran was played by Khaira Ledeyo in the brief glimpse we had of her last season). She's really memorable. She's 5'1", which surprised me, because she didn't look particularly small on screen. But then her character is never shown too close to Sam or Dean, perhaps as a deliberate choice, because it makes sense to play her up with the camera/staging in order to make her look formidable and someone to be reckoned with.

Lauren Tom has a VERY solid resumé and has been in a lot of iconic TV shows and movies. The Facts of Life, The Cosby Show, Friends, Grace Under Fire, The Joy Luck Club... the list goes on and on. She does a lot of voice work. Her Twitter account is mostly very professional and used to promote her work, but she does a lot of fundraising for charity and seems to be on very friendly terms with quite a number of well-known actors. Politically she is firmly on the right side of things, urging her followers to not only vote Democrat but to donate and volunteer during the election, and to get vaccinated, and speaking out about racism. So, she's another entry in the "seems to be decent so far as Google tells me" column of the Supernatural ledger.

I'll leave it to others better qualified than I to comment on the whole "Tiger Mommy" thing, but I will say I think it's distasteful.
posted by orange swan at 5:46 AM on October 11, 2021

Dean didn’t make a grab for the tablet when it was just there on the floor. Why? Why didn’t he try to do something to get it from Crowley?

What happened to Crowley’s meatsuit when Crowley was borrowing Kevin’s mom? Because we don’t normally see Crowley pop in and out of other people’s bodies, I pretty much forgot that the Crowley form wasn’t actually his.
posted by sardonyx at 10:41 AM on October 11, 2021 [1 favorite]

The author of that book, Amy Chua, is super gross [metafilter]. Far right political sentiments, power drunk, inappropriate relationships with her mentees including pressuring them to lie, possibly facilitated her husband's sexual predation, etc.

The Lauren Tom version of Linda Tran is a little bit more nuanced than the original Linda. Although oddly unperturbed after Sam murders her neighbour/ housekeeper/ ?. Tom in a few scenes, even in heels, barely comes up to Ackles' shoulder.

I thought Samandriel looked familiar. Tyler Johnston goes on to have parts in 'Shut Eye' and 'Letterkenny.' He's very... pretty.

Why wouldn't they keep Mjölnir around as part of their arsenal, other than that it'd be silly?
posted by porpoise at 11:15 AM on October 11, 2021

Buzz Aldrin claimed the Moon for Hell and there's a secret topless Mona Lisa and you can stuff a demon back in if you say the exorcism backwards and Thor's hammer is just like floating around and that is all fine, it's fine, everything's fine.

Making Crowley less formidable was the tradeoff for having him around more and that's the choice they went with, but the King of the Crossroads should not get that easily chumped at an auction (meaning no disrespect to Mrs. Tran, who chumped him fair and square.)

Just based off how Sam was while he was soulless, I feel like soulless Linda Tran would have been running the place in about twenty minutes and I’d have enjoyed every one of them. (Though, whatever else you can say about Soulless, he rather notoriously did not wish he was dead.)

The episode title always struck me as at best distasteful but the Woody Allen connection is...quite a combo.
posted by jameaterblues at 5:40 PM on October 11, 2021 [2 favorites]

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