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In about 20 minutes I've got to sign out of twitter and avoid my flist for fear of spoilers...so I figured I'd use the time to type up my thoughts on another S5 episode...

THE SONG REMAINS THE SAME

I love Cherry Pie...

So, I know from the art director's talk at the Convention, that Dean's burlesque club is actually the Beautiful Room redecorated. See, Dean does heaven better than heaven does heaven!

I love Dean's little muttered "'s awkward" when Anna appears. Ah Dean, don't give in to the sex shame in modern culture. There's nothing wrong with enjoying some beautiful ladies.

Dean finds out that Cas turned Anna in. I kind of like the fact that Cas still hasn't copped to anything he did under orders in S4. It's sort of...character fitting. Mind you, it DOES kind of annoy me that he's all up in Sam's case about starting the apocalypse, when Cas is the one that let him out of the panic room in the first place.

Dean wakes up from his dream with his clothes on, laying sideways on the bed, with his feet on the ground still. This works towards my theory that when Dean got back from hell, he didn't so much sleep as pass-out every once in a while.

Anna brings a knife to kill Sam with...really? Is she not an angel? Can't she like...smite? Or you know, snap his neck with a flick of her wrist?

Sidenote: I like how Cas says "against whom?" - awesome use of the language.

Anna's plan would work - I think that's the kicker...or at least, Cas actually does think it'll work. And here you get to see the human in Cas come out. He realizes that it's a sound plan, but it's one he doesn't like, so he refuses to acknowledge that she might have a point.

"If you want to stop the devil, this is how"
"The answer's still no, because Sam is my friend."
"You've changed"
"Maybe too late, but I have. I know we've been through much together, but come near Sam Winchester and I'll kill you."

-Awww...reveling in this touching moment aside, I wish we had seen the turning point in the Sam-Cas relationship...because in 5x06 they were at each other's throats, and in 5x10 they hardly interacted. I kind of wanted a Sam-Cas bonding moment. (Side note: I love how Sam/Cas shippers refer to it as Sassy - I don't support it, because I don't like slash in this fandom, but I enjoy the name immensely)

"So, the plan to kill me, would it actually stop Satan?"
"No, Sam, come on"
"Cas, what do you think? Does Anna have a point?"
"No, she's...ah...Glenn Close."

-Cas really isn't a very good liar. But the fact that Sam's obviously willing to sacrifice himself here...well, makes me sad for Swan Song...I guess I really should have seen that coming. Did I? Now I can't remember. Anyway, it's touching that Sam's brother and angel friend are basically not letting him sacrifice himself. Sammy was loved.

"So you're like a Delorean without enough plutonium?"
"I don't understand that reference"

-I love the way Misha delivers that line. Also, did Cas always use contractions? Or is this part of his decent into humanness?

"We oughtta stick around here, buy some stock in Microsoft."
"We might have to if Cas doesn't recover...is he alright?"

-Firstly, I love the fact that Dean says "ought", maybe people in the states use "ought" more, but I don't think we use it much up here (sorry about all the language geekery so far). Secondly, awww...again, we get genuine heartfelt concern for Cas from Sam here...and I can't help but feel that we really did miss some sort of pivotal Sam-Cas bonding moment."What do I look like Dr. Angel-Medicine Woman? He'll wake up. You know, he's tough for a little nerdy dude with wings"
-Firstly, BEST DESCRIPTION OF CAS EVER! I LOVE YOU DEAN! Secondly, "Dr. Angel-Medicine Woman" hahaha

"What exactly are we going to tell them?"
"The truth?"
"What? That her sons are Back From The Future to save her from an angel gone Terminator? I mean, come on! Those movies haven't even come out yet."

-Aw Dean, I love the way you speak in cultural references, even thought sometimes I have to look them up afterwards. It reminds me of an extended family member who basically used to only talk in Simpson's quotes.

Sam kills me in the scene where he first meets his parents. As much as Dean misses his mum, and has a posthumous fraught relationship with his Dad...he's mentally prepared for seeing them again. Sam is not. Sam NEVER knew his Mum. Never touched her, never spoke to her. The only time he ever saw her was in ghost form or in a YED-induced dream...and his relationship with his Dad was so fraught while his Dad was LIVING that he didn't even get any sort of goodbye.

I'm not sure it quite registered the first time I watched this that they were going after Anna with Cas's angel killing sword. I wonder where Cas keeps that thing, anyway? It always seems to drop down out of his sleeve. When the angels first started using them, I thought they were something that had to be conjured.

"Sorry, it's not that easy to kill an angel"
"No, but you can distract them"

-I love how Sam's angel-banishing sigil burns. I want to look at the one that Dean does in Point of No Return, because I want to make sure that Sam's burned because of the demon-blood...because I think that would be wicked cool. It's either that or it was special effects just improving their effects.

The close up of John after the fight has his face right next to the Chevrolet logo...nice.

"Shut-up all of you! Not another word or so help me I will turn this car around!"
-Hahaha...I never really understood that threat. Ok, turn it around. I guess it only works if you are going someplace you want to go. Anyway, if you notice in this scene, it's Mary and Dean that are talking back to John...Sam is all obedient.

"This is holy oil - it's sorta like a devil's trap for angels. Come on, I'll show you how it works..."
-This is interesting, I never noticed the first time through, but there is a whole moment between Mary and Sam that we never see here. Sam leads her out of the room, and we see Dean's conversation with John instead. I mean, we can assume that Sam just showed Mary how to light oil on fire...and that was it, but dudes, this is his mother who he never knew. I'm sure it was a very emotional experience for Sam.

"You all might have treated me like a fool, but I am not useless. I can draw a damn, whatever it is...a sigil"
-Matt Cohen is so much like JDM's John here.

The moment he slices his palm is very nicely done and symbolic and meaningful and all that stuff, but I couldn't help but think: "Your palm is a very inconvenient place to have a cut. You could have done it in a far more practical location." 

"How long have you known about this hunting stuff?"
"Pretty much forever. My dad raised me in it"
"You're serious? Who the hell does that to a kid?"
"Well for the record, Mary's parents did-"
"I don't care! What kind of irresponsible bastard let's a child anywhere near...you know, you could have been killed!"
"I uh, came kinda close"
"The number it must have done on your head! You're father was supposed to protect you."
"He was trying. He died trying. Believe me - I used to be mad at him. I mean, I used to...I used to hate the guy, but now I, I get it. He was just doing the best he could, and he was trying to keep it together in this impossible situation..[...] Truth is my dad died, before I got to tell him I understood why he did what he did and I forgive him for what it did to us, I do...and I just...I love him."


A couple of things I want to say about this:

1) It's really nice that Sam's finally able to make peace with his dad, at least in some way...John may never remember, but Sam can get closure from this.

2) And I can't help but think of it as foreshadowing now...as Sam putting things to rest, sort of, getting his emotional affairs in order, before he dies.

3) I know there was an interview with JDM at one point, where he was distressed that Supernatural was making John out to be a bad guy with these flashback episodes (and I guess the half-brother thing)...but the truth is, I really don't think they are. I think the show is actually very loving towards John, who, like anyone, is a complex character. Sam's right here - John only ever did the best he could. Whether or not one agrees with his decisions is moot. The point is, that everything John did, every decision he made, was made from the basis of love for his children. He didn't want to leave them unprotected, so he kept them with him while he hunted. He couldn't protect them all the time himself, so he taught them to protect themselves and each other. And I really think that, like any good father, he couldn't fathom life without Dean - so he sacrificed himself to save his son. I mean, the "take me instead!" line is cliche for a reason. Most parents would gladly trade their lives for their children's. I'm not saying he didn't make mistakes, I'm just saying that they weren't malicious...they were human error. My point is, that Young!John going off about how Old!John was a horrible father is actually proving that John was NOT a horrible person, because Young!John and Old!John ARE THE SAME PERSON. John obviously would have seen "the number" it was doing on his kids head's, but given the alternatives, decided that it was for the best. 

Plus, I always come back to my favorite quote: "We are all better people when we are loved" ...and Sam and Dean are both very good people.

Anyway, back to this episode ripping my heart out:

Dean kills me with the "I'm your son" speech, and the tomato-rice soup, and the Hey Jude for a lullaby (what a fitting lullaby for Dean).

And it kills me that the sole reason Mary refuses to believe him is because they're hunters, and she knows she would never raise her boys to be hunters.

How would you feel if your children came back in time and told you that they basically wish they were never born? Ugh, everyone is killing me in this episode. 

Then the fight breaks out, and Sam gets stabbed...and I love how his final act is to look to Dean, and Dean calls out "Sammy!" Awww...

Then Michael shows up and Matt Cohen just blows me away here. He really knocked this one out of the park.

I love the fact that Michael turns Anna to ash....it's so...biblical.

"Fix him"
"First, we talk, then I fix your darling little Sammy"

-Awww, darling little Sammy...that's totally how Dean still sees him.

Michael and Lucifer are like a 2 dimensional version of Sam and Dean. Michael is the Dean that people believe Dean to be, but not necessarily the Dean he is...if that makes sense? Everyone is always going on about Dean's obedience and being a good little soldier...and I'm not disputing that, but Dean has become his own man since John died...also, I'm not entirely convinced Dean was really THAT obedient when John was still alive...but I have nothing to base that on, it's just a feeling.

"She's going to walk right into that nursery"
"[...] You always knew that would play out one way or another."
-I think this is what it comes down to for Dean. Although this show tends to center around daddy-issues...I think it all comes down to this constant failure to save Mary. No matter how many people they save in their lives, Mary remains dead...and even when they travel back in time, they can't prevent her death. It's a constant exercise in futility to believe otherwise...and I think it's this underlying failure that really starts to get to Dean subconsciously.
-Now that being said, I think Michael's also referring to the fact that whether or not Mary dies, Sam will still be tainted...Sam will still end up in a psychic kid death match and end up being the vessel for Lucifer...and if Mary lived, they just wouldn't be prepared Hunters when it happened.

Alright, back to the future...

I love how when Cas passes out, Sam says "Whoa! You're okay!" - It's such a realistic thing to do. Here's a tip: If I ever start repeating to you that you are fine, and that everything's fine...start to worry that you might be grievously injured.

"Well, this is it"
"What?"
"Team Free Will: one ex-blood junkie, one drop-out with six bucks to his name, and Mr. Comatose over there."

-Love it! Also, upon further analysis, I think the fact that Dean never finished high school plays into his self-esteem issues. GED or no GED.

"They all say we'll say yes"
"I know, it's getting annoying"
"What if they're right?"
"They're not"
"I mean, why would we, either of us...but I've been week before...Michael got Dad to say yes."
"That was different, Anna was about to kill Mom"
"And if you could save Mom? What would you have said?"

-Again, as I said above...I really think the underlying issue to these boys, and Dean in particular, is that he's NEVER been able to save his mother. Everyone he saves, it's like he's trying to save her...only it's not possible. So, I think this is a very valid question on Sam's part, because probably he's hit the nail on the head.

That being said, I know Sam's been trying to be completely honest with Dean this season to build up the trust again...but dude! Learn when to keep your pessimistic thoughts to yourself!! I think Sam is far too used to Dean being the steady rock, and he doesn't realize that Dean's just as prone to weakness and...well...depression...as the next guy. Sometimes Dean needs a steady rock to lean on too, and Sam's all he has...

Ok, now, it's 7pm and I've gotta leave for my friend's place to watch 6x03...but I wanted to say that I knew when this episode aired, there was a lot of confusion about whether Anna was working for heaven or not (she wasn't) and about why it was Dean didn't say yes to Michael (because the Michael-Lucifer fight would destroy the planet) and whether or not there was free will (there is, the angels are wrong)...and I wanted to talk about these things in more depth, but yeah...out of time...so, yeah...if you have questions about that stuff...COMMENTS!

I'll have my reaction to 6x03 up later tonight! 

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Comments

( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
trystan830
Oct. 9th, 2010 04:23 am (UTC)
1) It's really nice that Sam's finally able to make peace with his dad, at least in some way...John may never remember, but Sam can get closure from this.
yes! this

i love your review, as usual!
hells_half_acre
Oct. 9th, 2010 07:00 am (UTC)
Thanks! Glad you liked it...and liked what I said about Sam and his dad. :)
trystan830
Oct. 9th, 2010 03:04 pm (UTC)
you're quite welcome. =)
claudiapriscus
Oct. 9th, 2010 05:08 am (UTC)
you got your answer on the sizzle-sigil tonight. Talk about timing ;)
hells_half_acre
Oct. 9th, 2010 07:01 am (UTC)
I did! Not the answer I wanted...but hey, you can't have everything.

It was cool timing though :)
franztastisch
Oct. 9th, 2010 11:21 am (UTC)
I love reading your reviews. And that's saying a lot as I tend not to like reading episode analysis.

Btw It reminds me of an extended family member who basically used to only talk in Simpson's quotes. This is basically now me and my sister interact. :P
hells_half_acre
Oct. 9th, 2010 07:56 pm (UTC)
Thanks! I tend not to like reading other people's reviews, because I only like analysis that has been structured into academic-essays (true meta)...yet, I don't have the time and patience to do that myself :P

Simpson's quotes FTW! ;)
sinesofinsanity.dreamwidth.org
Oct. 13th, 2010 02:23 am (UTC)
I actually found this episode kind of jarring because I'd justified the last time travel episodes as being all in Dean's head (in the case of In The Beginning it works because Dean has his jacket on in the "past" but not when he wakes up in the present). Nonetheless, it became one of my favourite episodes. Esp the "Team Free Will" comment at the end. Your entire analysis from the back to the future on was exactly my reaction.
hells_half_acre
Oct. 13th, 2010 02:31 am (UTC)
Oh hey...I hadn't noticed that about In The Beginning! Maybe Cas did some extra mojo that removed Dean's jacket before he woke up? Haha...more likely, just a continuity mistake.

I think The End works nicely as an episode that may well be entirely in Dean's head...but yeah, this one doesn't fit that bill. Of course, The End also works as an actual time-travel episode if you go on the theory that there are multiple possible futures and Zachariah just chose the worst of them (or the one that best suited his plans)...but that the past is unalterable.

You get into this crazy paradox with In The Beginning too...man, yeah...I'll just stop while I'm ahead :P
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )