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Quick Reaction: 6x07 Family Matters

Supernatural is building a mystery...

And then solving it.

Man oh man, where to begin. Yet another test to see how much wine I can drink, how much an 18 block walk home can sober me up, and then how much I can remember after all that....

As I recall, we begin where we left off, almost...we don't get to see Dean struggle an unconscious Sam out to the car. We do get to see that Dean has tied Sam to a chair and prayed Cas down from heaven. I like the opening of Sam's blurry vision on Cas - and Cas saying "You're right, he does look terrible...you did this?" 

I like this whole scene really - from Cas trying to diagnose Sam "Has he been speaking in tongues? Have you been speaking in tongues?" to Sam's confusion as to why Cas is taking off his belt ("this will be unpleasant" - haha, not putting Sam at ease there, Cas)...to Cas basically torturing Sam to look for his soul.

I love the special effects on the "angel cavity search" - if you remember in The Third Man, when Cas stuck his arm in the boy, he glowed blue...Sam just glows red and you can see all the veins in his neck. Really well done.

We find out that Sam's soul is gone! Oh noes! It's too bad the preview last week totally ruined me for that surprise. (I'm still going to watch the preview for next week once I finish typing this up though.)

I like the next scene, that starts off with Dean and Cas talking about WHAT IT ALL MEANS...and I'm sitting there thinking "Is Sam still in the room? What did they do with Sam?" But he's still there, they're just talking about him like he's not...because as Dean asks, "is it even Sam?" and I agree with Cas - Dean poses an interesting philosophical question.

Is that Sam? It appears in Supernatural, the soul governs emotions, morality and gut instinct....how much of those things make up who someone is? If your loved one goes crazy and their personality is completely replaced, do you still love them? The body that is Sam Winchester still has memory, skill, and intellect, but it seems that's it.

And before anyone goes on about how Sam has totally been displaying emotion - think about how you can INTELLECTUALLY know what emotion you are SUPPOSED to be displaying at any given time, yet, you don't necessarily always HAVE that emotion. I think Sam's been very good at reading social cues, or using his skills at manipulation to assess what emotions are expected of him (or will best get him out of a situation) and then "displaying" those.

Anyway, before I get too off track, let's return to the show...

Sam's soul might still be in the cage with Lucifer and Michael...that's...not good. If souls are feelings....then that means souls can feel. So, Sam might be topside, but is his soul still being tortured? I'm very worried about Sam's soul right now.

Anyway, our intrepid Trio take a trip to Grandpa's house to search for clues. Grandpa meets Cas and insults him off the bat - not a way to win friends and influence people, Gramps!

We find out though that Castiel's true form is as big as the Chrysler building! Wow! I've never been there, but I hear good things about it's size...it must be very crowded in little Jimmy.

Oh wait! I've jumped ahead! How awesome was Dean's "Newman" line?!?! I don't even like Seinfeld, and I thought it was awesome.

Ok, back to the show - Castiel cavity searches Grandpa and we find out that Grandpa has his soul...which is so not fair, because when was the last time Grandpa saved all of humanity by sacrificing himself?

But I digress...Castiel has to go back to heaven, because the moon tells him so...and Dean tells him that he better "search the attic" for a solution to the Sam-soul problem, and Castiel says "of course, your problems always come first" - LOVE IT! Hahahaha, oh man, I love how out of everything that Castiel could have picked up from the Winchesters, he decided to go with extremely dry sarcasm.

Grandpa does let slip something interesting though: Sam scares him sometimes. I thought that was really cool - because this whole time we've focused on Dean not being able to trust anyone, but other people have problems too...and yeah, Grandfather's can also get scared by their amoral grandsons.

Anyway, Grandpa has a lead on the Alpha-vamp, and Dean wants in...but Grandpa doesn't trust Dean because he doesn't "know him" - dude, he traveled back in time and tried to save your daughter...you know him a LITTLE. But whatever...Dean promises to go back to being Daddy's little soldier and Grandpa says that he can come along.

This is why I think that even growing up, Dean knew how to play his father...because as soon as Dean gets outside, he tells Sam that he doesn't trust Grandpa (as well he shouldn't) and that he's going along to spy...

Anyway, he doesn't get to rummage through Grandpa's office because Christian finds him - insults Lisa, and then infers that he might kill Dean on the hunt. I liked Dean's response to that. Of course, we find out later that it's not really Christian and has never been...which might explain why I hate that dude so much.

They go after the Alpha and Dean is regulated to the perimeter with Gwen, who is none too pleased. They kill one vampire and then Dean takes off to see what the hell is happening...he discovers that Sam is carting the Alpha away instead of killing him....which Sam knows about, because Sam is right there looking around (and looking damn fine while doing so).

I liked the different camera angles on the drive back - we usually don't get to see them from the backseat, and it was cool.

Dean pulls over when Sam won't admit to the Alpha-vamps capture....I thought this scene was very neat. Sam explains that Samuel needs them for questioning, and that it was Sam's idea not to tell Dean, because Dean tends to shoot first. Dean asks why Gramps wants to talk to them and Sam doesn't even know...and Dean realizes that Sam has basically absolutely not gut instinct anymore for what is shady and what isn't.

There's a quote from Hamlet that I love: "There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so" - it appears in Supernatural's case, there is nothing either good or bad, but YOUR SOUL makes it so. Sam's lost his moral compass - which is a pretty huge thing for Sam to lose, given that when the show started he WAS the moral compass. (True, he went into grey areas more than Dean as the show progressed, but of everyone, Sam struggled with his morality the most).

Dean tells him that Sam's going to have to let Dean call all the shots until he gets his soul back, because Sam cannot be trusted to make the right decisions.....and man, the last five years of Sam carefully eking out his independence are undone just like that. It also might shed a little light on why Sam tied himself to Grandpa without question - intellectually, he must have noticed a problem but not been able to figure out what it was, but he may have decided it was better to have someone else make his decisions...since Dean was out of the picture (because, no doubt, Sam could remember wanting Dean to have a normal life), Sam trusted 'family.' Family who wouldn't realize how messed up he was, that is...because obviously he didn't stick around Bobby's that long.

Dean tells Sam that it's either do as Dean says, or go back to Grandpa, but he can't have both. (I knew Sam would chose Dean though)

Sam walks into Grandpa's office and tells him that Dean took off. Grandpa doesn't fall for it though. Luckily, Grandpa died in the early 70s and doesn't understand technology, so Sam just tracks him using the internet.

I like how Sam says "we'll go to plan B" and Dean says "there's a plan B?"...Dean might have to call the moral shots, but Sam still has the intellect.

We discover that Alpha-vamps are not hurt by electric chairs and they have VERY sharp fingernails.

Also, they like soulless boys.

Also, SOMEONE is looking for Purgatory (which is where all the monsters go when they die).

Also, GRANDPA IS CROWLEY'S BITCH! Oh man...I knew Crowley had to have a bigger end plan than just using the Apocalypse to become King of Hell and trying to keep Bobby's soul....apparently, he's also interested in real-estate...and we get our first glimpse at the "new ideas" that Crowley is trying to introduce in Hell.

Now, I'm a little fuzzy on why Crowley has Grandpa over a barrel, but I understand why he has Sam and Dean over one - do as he says, and Sam gets his soul back...don't do as he says, and we're stuck with Robo!Sam forever...

OH oh, and how awesome was it that Dean actually called him Robo!Sam?!?!! Guys guys, IT'S LIKE THEY READ OUR BLOGS (they totally do).

ETA: Oh! I forgot to talk about the end where Grandpa was like "well, you either let me do my thing, or you shoot your grandfather, and Sam PULLED A GUN! AWESOME. But you know what was awesome about it? How Dean just casually reached over and lowered Sam's gun. It sort of gives us an insight into how Sam's mind works without a soul...swear loyalty to Dean, shoot Grandpa if that's what he thinks Dean wants.

So...work with a demon, or stick to your morals?....Sammy says work with the demon and then stab him in the neck. Dean says *facepalm*

Man, remember when Supernatural had the formula where they'd hit us heavy for the first three episodes and then give us something hilarious? Yeah...not so much anymore, eh? I am not complaining. 

Comments

( 17 comments — Leave a comment )
claudiapriscus
Nov. 6th, 2010 07:27 am (UTC)
I know! They ask questions...and then they totally answer them! It's a very novel concept!

Also, I also loved robo-sam at the end. I was like, "Shady Grandpa, don't say "shoot" me to your soulless grandson. He might!"

And Cas! That was too fun. I like the way he feels the need to clarify. It's such a subtle thing in some ways, but builds the whole "not human" thing personally - because one minute he's getting frustrated because the mortals aren't seeing the (to him) blindingly obvious, and the next he's carefully spelling things out because if they didn't pick up on that other blindingly obvious thing, why would they pick up on this one?

Christian being a demon made so much sense in retrospect. But Grandpa Campbell isn't doing much to disprove the notion that the campbells' main talents are sucking and dying. ;)

I sure hope his 'other reasons' are something tragically sentimental. It's practically a family trait. Doing something stupid (and tragic!) out of love.
hells_half_acre
Nov. 6th, 2010 07:36 am (UTC)
Haha, yes, I love that about Cas too.

And I also agree with you! (as you said in your own reaction post, which I just read)...Grandpa needs to be doing this for a reason that will redeem him at least a LITTLE...like, maybe if it's for Deanna...

But yeah, at this point, a Hunter who can't tell that his nephew is a demon for X months is really only proving his suckitude. He's obviously no where near Bobby-league.
baruchan
Nov. 6th, 2010 01:09 pm (UTC)
I love this episode: it has continuity, the dialogue wasn't choppy, it had the nod to RoboSam, the Campbells weren't as grating as usual (I'm actually starting to like Gwen, which I didn't think was possible), and it revealed Crowley to be this season's Big Bad! Season 6 just keeps getting better and better for me, I hope the writers don't screw it up.

Cas was just precious in this episode. His true form is the size of the Chrysler building! (Reminds me of a tumblr post that's been going around the past few weeks, heh.) Worried looks directed up above! Sarcasm! Hee, I bet Dean wishes he didn't introduce snark and sarcasm to Cas back when he was teaching him how to be human.

man, the last five years of Sam carefully eking out his independence are undone just like that.
And this is what makes it all tragic, I think. All Sam ever wanted to be was to be free to be himself, to just be Sam, and Crowley just took that all away. I really, really hope he gets his soul back soon. D:
hells_half_acre
Nov. 6th, 2010 08:02 pm (UTC)
Gwen at least appeared to be a bit more moral than the other Campbell's in this episode - she apologized to Dean for her comment, she didn't rat on him when he spied, and she was outraged when she found out who they were working for...she now has potential for joining the awesome side, which is I think what we are responding to.

And hahaha, I hadn't seen that tumblr post! Hilarious...someone figured it out before they even mentioned it :)

I really hope Sam gets his soul back soon too :( I miss my Sammy.

Also, I like the fact that they're turning Crowley into the big bad...he's a very dynamic character. Because I hate him for what he's done, yet I can't help but admire his chess game.

It makes me wonder though - what would have happened to Sam's soul if they had burned Crowley's bones? Lost forever? Is he really their only hope?
baruchan
Nov. 7th, 2010 01:29 am (UTC)
I hate him for what he's done, yet I can't help but admire his chess game.

I think it's because Crowley is all but set up to be a Magnificent Bastard. (Well, provided that the writers don't screw it all up.)

It makes me wonder though - what would have happened to Sam's soul if they had burned Crowley's bones? Lost forever? Is he really their only hope?

Hmm. I'd like to think that all the souls Crowley owns would be reverted back to their original owners when he dies, but knowing Crowley, he'd have safeguards in place that would screw people over in the event of his death. In any case, I hope he isn't their only hope, but as it stands right now, he is. And it sucks.

I don't think the Winchesters have anyone sneaky enough to help them get Sam's soul back besides Castiel. Who's currently leading a faction in a heavenly civil war, and so would not have enough time to match wits with Crowley. Sheesh, the boys are really fucked here, aren't they?
hells_half_acre
Nov. 7th, 2010 01:39 am (UTC)
Sheesh, the boys are really fucked here, aren't they?

It really appears that way!

It's too bad Castiel is so busy - I'm sure if he could become leader of a united heaven, he could solve this problem for the Winchesters in no time. Personally, I don't think his faction is doing so well in the war though :(

And you are right, Crowley really is the Magnificent Bastard. I'm very interested to see where this goes.

I bet Dean's really pissed that he didn't burn the guys bones, even without the guarantee that it would fix anything...you have to wonder what is worse: having no hope, or having your only hope involve working for a demon.
trystan830
Nov. 6th, 2010 04:45 pm (UTC)
i just love your review. mine's a bit more rambly and not so much thinky, but yours is totally cool. =)
hells_half_acre
Nov. 6th, 2010 08:03 pm (UTC)
I like your reviews too! I think it's hilarious, because sometimes you say in one sentence, what it takes me two paragraphs to over-explain :P

trystan830
Nov. 7th, 2010 03:19 am (UTC)
aww, thanks!

really? i do a LOT of rambling.... heh.
hells_half_acre
Nov. 7th, 2010 03:25 am (UTC)
Not nearly as much as I do :P
trystan830
Nov. 7th, 2010 03:26 am (UTC)
i do a lot of typing as i'm watching. it's fun.
katsheswims
Nov. 6th, 2010 06:33 pm (UTC)
I loved your reaction, you hit all the points I thought of/liked/was intrigued by.

I never liked Christian, and during the 'looking for alpha vamp in the hallway' scene I was hoping he would die, and I even talked aloud and said snap his neck-and that's what happened! (I wonder if there was something in the filming style that led me on to believe that type of death was coming?) Though it turns out he was a demon...(We don't know for sure it was the whole time though, so I still don't like him). But anyway he's still dead because snapped neck=dead when the demon leaves his body.

I just love how Jared is playing 'RoboSam'. And I like that he's now completely loyal to Dean (or acting like it so far). Sam pulling the gun at the end was one of my favorite parts.

I'm thinking the only reason Granpa Sam would work for a demon is if Crowley has something on his wife or Mary. Mary was a ghost when she finally 'died for good' so does that count as goig to purgatory? We don't know yet. Maybe ghosts that move on freely will go where humans are supposed to, and maybe ghosts that are salt/burned are forced into purgatory?
hells_half_acre
Nov. 6th, 2010 08:10 pm (UTC)
(I wonder if there was something in the filming style that led me on to believe that type of death was coming?

There was! It's hard to explain, but they were using the "next victim" unsteady isolating close shot that always means that something bad is about to happen to the person.

I think we DO know that he was a demon the whole time, actually. Crowley confirms it. Poor real!Christian, we shall never know thee.

But yeah, I never liked Christian either. Now Gwen is the last of the Campbell cousins standing.

I think Jared is doing an amazing job this season, given that he's basically playing a brand new character who is trying to act like Sam but isn't quite getting it right.

I think it's just monsters that go to purgatory..because the AlphaVamp seemed to suggest that it's only humans that go to either heaven or hell - (demons were once human, just like ghosts)...so every other living thing gets sent to purgatory...

Though, who knows....I guess we'll have to wait and find out!
marlowe78
Nov. 9th, 2010 12:03 am (UTC)
It also might shed a little light on why Sam tied himself to Grandpa without question - intellectually, he must have noticed a problem but not been able to figure out what it was, but he may have decided it was better to have someone else make his decisions...since Dean was out of the picture (because, no doubt, Sam could remember wanting Dean to have a normal life), Sam trusted 'family.' Family who wouldn't realize how messed up he was, that is...because obviously he didn't stick around Bobby's that long.

Dude... are you in my head? Get out there! Or, well, bring cookies next time.

I just explained that long and longer to a friend on her journal, because she had problems understanding why Sam seemed to display emotions, even when he supposedly doesn't have any.

Freaky...

But I think the Bobby-part is more about the one ingredient Dean never put that much emphasis on when it came to family: blood.
Dean is blood, Samuel is blood. Ergo: follow, trust, work with.

Bobby isn't blood, Lisa isn't and it seems Ben neither. Ergo: play a bit with them, but in the end, choose blood. It's why Sam was so weirdly possessive when it came to Lisa, and so weirdly pleased that it wasn't working between the two. 'Love' has become completely foreign to Sam.

It sort of gives us an insight into how Sam's mind works without a soul...swear loyalty to Dean, shoot Grandpa if that's what he thinks Dean wants.

Yeah, could be. Seems a good reason, a nice reason, actually. But... I'm not sure. I think it was more that Sam had trusted that guy - had based his 'sanity' on the man who was "blood".
And blood betrayed him. And that... never happened. Dean never, not once let Sam down. John, obsessed that he was, probably neither. I mean, when he was THERE, he got them out wherever they were, right? So blood is to be trusted in Sam-land.

Now, blood betraying blood is unnatural in Sam's memories. It plain doesn't happen.
Christian was possessed, so not his fault. But Grandpa? He was human, healthy and relatively sane. And he worked with a DEMON!

Unnatural. Dangerous. Exterminate.

I like Sam-bot. He is easier to understand for me than the weird Sam from s4, or even Sam from s5. I just get his logic :-D
hells_half_acre
Nov. 9th, 2010 12:27 am (UTC)
Now, blood betraying blood is unnatural in Sam's memories. It plain doesn't happen. [...] Unnatural. Dangerous. Exterminate.

Very good point. I'm completely with you on this. Because even when Sam had his soul, he placed blood above all else - it was his argument to Adam to get him to co-operate, after all - "because we're blood."

So, somewhere in Sam's brain is a switch that says "Is this person related to me? If yes: Trust. If no: Do not trust." And Grandpa just messed with that switch.

And yes, I think it does explain why Sam was confused that Dean didn't immediately abandon Lisa for him, but now pleased that Dean and Lisa HAVE split.

I miss regular Sammy. Though, I must say that RoboSam has his moments...much like Dean, I still feel like Sam's missing from the show and it doesn't feel quite right without him (not to say that I'm not enjoying the hell out of the show of course. I'm just saying that everything feels out of whack.)

And yes...I AM in your head! Dun dun dun!! ;)
marlowe78
Nov. 9th, 2010 12:51 am (UTC)
I miss regular Sammy. Though, I must say that RoboSam has his moments...much like Dean, I still feel like Sam's missing from the show and it doesn't feel quite right without him


Oh God yes! I didn't want to imply that I like this Sam better. I just get him better and think he's amusing, but for his and most of all for Dean's sake - and for my poor heart - I want realSam back!


And yes...I AM in your head! Dun dun dun!! ;)


So? Where are the cookies? I'll take shortbread as well...
hells_half_acre
Nov. 9th, 2010 12:59 am (UTC)
but for his and most of all for Dean's sake - and for my poor heart - I want realSam back!

Me too!

So? Where are the cookies? I'll take shortbread as well...

I ate them! *laughs evilly*
( 17 comments — Leave a comment )