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Quick Reaction: 8x23 Sacrifice

Holy crow... okay...

So, no rewatch while I type this up this week, as I'm back to watching it at my friend's place while drinking copious amounts of wine and then walking home and trying to remember everything.

ETA: Oh man, I had this typed up nearly an hour ago, and then my internet went out... hopefully it stays around long enough for me to post...

Let's get started...

CARRY ON MY WAYWARD SON! - that's basically your warning to prepare to have your heart ripped out.

The teaser death is Jody, who is on a date with Crowley, but doesn't realize that it's Crowley because she's never met him before, nor does she know what to look for in a demon. And Crowley's turned on the charm, and man... I feel so bad for Jody. Though, on the other hand, I'm absolutely thrilled that we get to see her again, and also, that they bring up the fact that her husband and son kicked it. At first when Crowley brought up loss, I was worried that she'd talk about Bobby - and that would have annoyed me, because as much as Jody and Bobby had a flirty thing going on, it would have completely negated her tragic origin story. So, yeah...

Jody goes to the bathroom to psyche herself up (as we all do at times... my most memorable was the time I went to the bathroom and said sternly, "You should not do this!... You're going to do this.") And she finds a hex-bag in her purse - has Jody not been taught how to recognize hex-bags? I feel like this is where the Winchesters fall down with the people who fall in between the "real" world and the hunting world. They let them in enough to destroy their innocence, but not enough to actually protect themselves.

As Crowley activates the spell, the Winchesters call him and tell him they're going to take his deal. We don't actually get to see if Jody lives or not. Personally, I'm saying she does, just because I love her too much to believe otherwise - not to mention it destroys my Sam+Jody brotp.

Kevin digs up the demon tablet, which he had buried underneath a billboard with the devil on it. "I was delirious" - I still think that Dean has himself to blame with giving Kevin tubs full of pills and expecting him just to come out of that perfectly fine. But he makes up for some of his past mistakes by giving Kevin the key to the secret bunker (I really hope they have more than one key) and telling him to hang out there and be safe.

I knew that they weren't actually going to take the deal with the way that everyone was skirting around saying what exactly they were doing - not to mention that if they were taking the deal, there would be a heck of a lot more angsty build-up to the decision. Anyway, the deal is that they swap tablets, Sam gives up the trials, and Crowley stops killing people.

They meet Crowley at Bobby's junk yard.. which over the past 3 years has become overgrown. I guess that means that the city hasn't reclaimed it? It hasn't been auctioned off at some estate sale or anything.

Crowley has the contract, and Dean and Sam stage a fight for authenticity - I love it when they do that. And then Dean insists on reading it all over before they sign... and while he does so, he gets progressively closer to Crowley...almost homo-erotically close. And then, brilliantly, he slaps a pair of cuffs from their sex torture dungeon on Crowley. BAM. Crowley's the third task.

Which, we knew from the promo, but I still think it's brilliant. Crowley was so careful to keep anything hell-related away from the Winchesters, and yet he didn't remember that HE was hell related.

Meanwhile, Cas is still with Metatron. They're doing the second task, which is for Cas to get a cupid's bow. "No killing" - ugh, it breaks my heart that Cas is just so very tired of killing. They go to a bar where the bartender is supposed to be hit with cupid's arrow in the next 24 hours. Something about the way they framed the shot with the hitchhiker and the bartender made me think it was going to be a homosexual love-interest - or maybe that's just where my mind automatically leaps to, because I'm in fandom and basically read at least one slash fic every single day.

Anyway, Cas and Metatron go inside to stake out the place. Cas tries to be proactive and set the bartender up himself.. to hilarious results, as Cas asks him if he's into "Nurse dom/sub roleplay", but I absolutely love that the guy's answer is just "it's 10am." Not like, "that's gross" but "this isn't the time."

Of course, that's when Naomi and crew show up... oh yeah, I forgot the part where one of her operatives informed her that they had found Cas and he was with Metatron... now I'm thinking that maybe it was the hitchhiker? In any case, she shows up and takes Metatron, who tells Cas not to fight them and let's himself be taken.

Back to Sam and Dean, and they drive Crowley to an abandoned church. They set Crowley up with chains on the inside, and then go back out to the car to get supplies...where Sam realizes that he has to confess and doesn't know where to start, so Dean starts listing all of Sam's mistakes, like the supportive brother that he is. Oh Dean. I was laughing at this right along with you, because I didn't realize how much you were adding to a problem either...

But I love when Dean mentions what Sam did to some girl in their youth and Sam is like "that was YOU!" I know it's a sign of their not-so-good codependency  but I love the fact that Dean literally can't tell the difference between his own memories and Sam's.

Sam goes to confession... here, my recovering-catholic friend pointed out that confession doesn't work unless you have a priest to talk to, but then after the show was over, we realized that Sam and Dean aren't catholic (canon) and that protestants can talk directly to God. So, Sam just did his confession in a confession booth for ritual sake, I guess. Also, if the boys can bless water, that means that they're kind of priests in their own right anyway.

While Sam is confessing, Cas shows up to get Dean's help. Dean doesn't want to go, because he's in the middle of something... and he makes the mistake of saying that Sam needs a chaperon, while Sam is within hearing distance, and you can tell as soon as Dean knows Sam overheard him, that he didn't actually mean it - he was just trying to get Cas to understand that he wanted to be there to look after his brother because he loves him with the fire of a thousands suns... but of course, actually saying that would be too touchy-feely, so instead Dean has to go with the "ugh, I HAVE to look after my little brother because he's a dorkus" line. But Sam insists that he's got it all under control and that Dean should go with Cas...

So, Dean does... and I think I'm forgetting a bit, because I think Dean does wonder to Cas about why it is that Metatron suddenly wants to fix heaven, when he didn't care at all about it last week. Which is our first straight-forward hint that Metatron is not what he seems.

Dean and Cas find Kevin in the MOL Bunker and present him with the angel tablet. Kevin is reluctant to help them, because Dean told him he was free - or implied it anyway - but Cas falls back on physical intimidation to get Kevin to do what he's told. It DOES kind of annoy me that Kevin read the Leviathan tablet in a couple of hours, but apparently the other tablets require months of work... I mean, I understand why they need to do it from a storytelling POV, but still, it's an unexplained inconsistency, and therefore annoying.

Anyway, Dean and Cas go off to the bar, and have beers and wait for cupid to show up... and they talk about what closing heaven actually means for Cas. How it means that Cas might die, and that "this is it" - and it's kind of a stunning moment, as they sit shoulder to shoudler... and Cas takes a drink from his beer...not at all homo-erotically. Haha, okay, I'll stop.

But it's interesting to note, I think, that even with Dean's anger at Cas last week, and even though Cas didn't consult him with this Metatron plan, Dean still goes out to help him, he still sits with him and tries to make sure that Cas knows the consequences of what he's doing...

And then a delivery woman comes in and Dean realizes he's watching something that looks like the beginning of a lot of pornos that he's seen, and they realize that this is the moment...only for Dean to be shocked when it's not the delivery woman that's the love interest, it's the very male regular barstool warmer. Perfect.

They go confront the Cupid. Cas goes immediately to his weapon, but Dean slows him down and says that they talk first and get stabby later. And it kind of breaks my heart that Cas only knows how to immediately go for force, even though he's obviously tired of killing. Anyway, lucky for them the cupid has realized the turmoil in heaven even without having seen it first hand - because that kind of disorganization trickles down to the lowest levels... and she's willing to help.

I'm not sure if that meant that Cas had to cut off her hand or the skin or something...but um... yeah...is she still a cupid? Is she a handless person now? I hope she's okay.

Let's go back to Sam and Crowley. Sam is doing the ritual, and Crowley is talking at him. And man, both Mark Sheppard and Sam knocked it out of the park this episode. The trails effects on Sam are increasing, as everytime Sam goes to inject Crowley, his arms glow in a seemingly painful way. Sam keeps at it though, all through Crowley's taunts.

At one point, Crowley bites him - and man, I love Sam's reaction of horrified disappointment. "Biting!?!" like Crowley is some six year-old who should know better.

The bite was strategic though and Crowley used it to suck enough of Sam's blood out of him to make a general announcement to demon-kind to come rescue him, while Sam is out at the car, getting the first aid kit.

It works, but not the way Crowley intended, since it's a very pissed off Abaddon who shows up. I loved this whole scene. I loved it from the way Crowley legitimately thought that Abaddon was there to save him, to Abaddon making it clear that she was very much NOT there to save him, but rather to take her place as the rightful power in Hell. Poor Sam gets thrown into a wall and then out of a window while all this happens, of course - as though his health wasn't bad enough.

But he comes back in swinging and manages to dose Abaddon in an accelerate (holy oil?) and light her one fire - causing her to abandon her vessel. I'm kind of sad to see that vessel go, that actress was amazing.

Sam sets back up to finish curing Crowley, and Crowley starts to flip out...with this very convoluted monologue, which I'm told are a collection of quotes from shows that I don't watch - but it ends with Crowley declaring that he just wants to be loved, and Sam's response....

"What?"

Seriously, Jared needs an Oscar nomination for the delivery of that line ALONE. We actually went back and watched it 3 times because it was so perfect. The perfect tone, the perfect pitch, just PERFECTLY delivered. It was the awesomest thing ever.

Uh... let's jump to Naomi  (I realize I'm doing all these scenes out of order, please forgive me)...Naomi has Metatron in the chair. We hear about how she was tasked with "debriefing" him after God left, but that he fled before she could... and then she starts to work.

We then come back after she's been inside his noggin, and Metatron suddenly starts talking about revenge... and this is where your gut really starts to sink, because some of us (me) were suspicious before... and Metatron's word choice is still pretty ambiguous, rather than proving that he really is who Cas believes he is... so, yeah, suspicions only increase...

When Naomi arrives to try to tell Cas and Dean after they've successfully got the cupid's bow...well, the problem is that we've seen Naomi lie straight to Dean's face before, so can we really trust her when she says that Metatron lied? That he's trying to make all the angels fall from Heaven in revenge? Are Naomi's tears real or for show?

And I loved how Kevin was on the phone for all of this... it was really neat to see the conversation from a third-invisible-party perspective. We also get the feeling that Naomi IS telling the truth, just given that Kevin says he hasn't found anything about Nephilim or cupid's bows on the tablet yet...

Dean believes her. Cas doesn't. And who can blame him really, since Naomi has been messing with Cas' head on and off for millennia. Of course he's not going to trust her... and I think she must realize this. But, the big news that she drops is that if Sam completes the trials, he dies - because that's the final sacrifice.

Dean flips out and makes Cas take him back to Sam. Cas though, tells Dean that he doesn't believe Naomi and he's going to help Metatron, and he takes off as soon as he drops Dean off. Dean doesn't have time to argue, because he's got a brother to save...

And he really does need saving, as Sam is about to perform the last exorcism.

Cas goes to Heaven to find Metatron, only to discover Naomi slain - and Metatron straps Cas down and tells him the truth - it's not the trials, it's a spell - for revenge. To cast all the angels out of heaven, because they had ruined their paradise, because they had ruined METATRON'S paradise. The final ingredient for the spell is Castiel's grace...and then Metatron sends him to earth, tells him to live a mortal life and when he dies and comes to heaven, to tell him the story. Because Metatron doesn't care about heaven, or his brethren  he cares only about getting more stories.

Dean barges into the room and tells Sam to stop, because he's going to die if he completes the trials, and Sam responds the only way I expected him to - "So?"

Then Jared and Jensen prove that they have PhDs in Ripping People's Hearts Out.

Sam and Dean have a conversation long overdue, as Sam confesses that his confession was to ask forgiveness for all the times he's let Dean down. He tells Dean that Dean's better off without him, that Sam keeps messing up and driving Dean into the arms of angels or vampires, because apparently Supernatural creatures are more trustworthy than his own brother. Sam's heart is broken.

Dean is floored, because he just assumed Sam knew that he was the absolute centre of Dean's entire universe - that he was loved more than any other thing in God's creation... and yeah... they use different words, but this is basically what they are saying. Dean would rather have Sam than shut the gates of Hell. He'd rather have Sam than save the world.

Sam doesn't know how to stop the trials though - he's run down, his arms are glowing. Dean pulls him into a hug and tries to get him just to let go, to not want to do them anymore, to choose Dean.... and Sam does, but it might not be enough. He collapses, and Dean starts hauling him out to the car, and he calls for Cas - even using his full name - but Cas doesn't come...

And that's when the boards light up in the MOL Bunker, just as Kevin was about to flee.... that's when the stars start falling and Dean knows that Naomi was telling the truth, that the angels are falling to earth.  

So what does this mean for next season? We got angels trapped on earth? Are they mortal? Are they angels? Are they something in between? How about Cas? His grace has been cut out, but he hasn't been reborn like Amelia, he's still in his vessel. Is he mortal? I'm assuming he is...and yet, if Cas is mortal, that doesn't mean that the other angels are mortal, as they DIDN'T have their grace removed.

Is Sam okay? Is this something he can actually recover from?

Crowley is 95% cured, does this mean he's been neutralized? Abaddon is still out there... are we looking at a regime change due to a less-demony Crowley and Abaddon out for his blood and the role of Queen of Hell?

SO MANY QUESTIONS! SO MANY MONTHS TO WAIT!!

My friends and I were discussing the episode afterwards, and we had an interesting idea... because my friend's husband and I both were thinking along the lines of "the needs of the many..." and thinking that if we had been Sam, we probably would have sacrificed ourselves despite Dean's protests... and then I thought that Sam's soul would certainly go to heaven, and then I was thinking about what S9 would have been like if Sam HAD died. And we thought it would have been cool if one of the story lines was Sam finding all the people he knows in Heaven - Bobby, Rufus, Ash, Ellen, Jo... - and trying to take down Metatron from the inside. We thought that would be super cool. Even though I know that a lot of fans don't like it when Sam and Dean are separated, so they'll never do it.

As usual, tell me what I missed (I'm guessing a lot) and let me know what you want to discuss further in comments!!!

I'm expecting an explosion of feelings at the Asylum convention this weekend. 

Comments

( 42 comments — Leave a comment )
borgmama1of5
May. 16th, 2013 07:56 am (UTC)
Funny, I thought a cool story next season would be all the hunters in heaven teaming up to take out Metatron...

Oh, wow, you nailed it--this was the exact reverse of 'needs of the many vs needs of the one!' I did not catch that, but you are absolutely right...and yet Sam did the needs of the many in Swan Song, so maybe the Winchesters are allowed to choose differently this time?

This ending felt more like season 2's end, where there was a lot going to happen but the boys were both mostly okay in the very last moment, as opposed to finales where one of them is gone...And, frankly, I'm perfectly okay with that!
hells_half_acre
May. 17th, 2013 05:36 am (UTC)
Great minds think alike! :P

Oh, wow, you nailed it--this was the exact reverse of 'needs of the many vs needs of the one!' I did not catch that, but you are absolutely right...and yet Sam did the needs of the many in Swan Song, so maybe the Winchesters are allowed to choose differently this time?

I think after living a completely selfless life (save for the 3 years at Stanford), Sam is entitled to chose not to die for humanity - and Dean is entitled to not let him either. It IS a very interesting reversal of the Winchesters usual complete self-sacrifice, but I don't think that's a bad thing - I think it actually shows that they're in a healthier place emotionally than they've been before.

This ending felt more like season 2's end, where there was a lot going to happen but the boys were both mostly okay in the very last moment, as opposed to finales where one of them is gone...And, frankly, I'm perfectly okay with that!

Well spotted. I think you'r absolutely right. And I like the fact that the brothers are together for this ending. S4 was like that too, only Sam had just screwed up royally and Dean was pissed, so we had more to worry about with the brother-bond - whereas this time the boys are 100% okay with each other, having actually resolved some of their issues - so it's just Sam's health we have to worry about.
missyjack
May. 16th, 2013 08:26 am (UTC)
SO MANY FEELINGS! i thought it was a brilliant - very Carveresque episode for giving us lots of plot but really deep character moments - a bit like Point of No Return.

I thought the final scene with the falling angels was quite stunning.

The Sam/Crowley scene was some of the best acting on the show bar none. And the stunning writing helped too. I think its the best work i've ever scene Mark S do - and I think i've seen everything he's done!

And things are so open for next season - what are they going to do with Crowley, and what Kevin going to do? What about Cas - will he hunt out Sam and Dean or try and fix Heaven adn how would he even do that?

more importantly - how will we survive until September???
hells_half_acre
May. 17th, 2013 04:49 am (UTC)
Absolutely brilliant. The brother scene was phenomenal, and very reminiscent of Point of No Return, as you say.

Totally agree about the Sam/Crowley scenes being the best on the show bar none. They had great writing to work with, but the choices in line-delivery were AMAZING. Like I said, just the simple way that Sam says "what?" was to me the best delivery of a line that I have ever seen.

I have no idea how I'm going to survive until September. Every year, I always think "It'll be nice to have a little break - I'll get more stuff done" and every year they give me a finale that makes me be like "SCREW GETTING STUFF DONE. MOAR SHOW NAO!!!" and this finale really turned that feeling up to 11.
ramblin_rosie
May. 16th, 2013 08:35 am (UTC)
Yeah, I think it could be cool next season for part of the plot arc, at whatever point, to be Sam and Dean having to go to Heaven and get the band back together to stage a coup and take down Metatron. Where they would go with Season 10 from there, I have no clue, but it could be fun. I also wonder whether Sam completing the final trial will be part of that, with Cas or Crowley immediately killing Dean so he can follow Sam, or if Dean will have to go to confession to let *his* blood be what they use to finish curing Crowley without actually completing the trial.
And now that they have the angel tablet, will part of next season's arc be finding a way to *restore* the angels? (And if so, can we have Gabriel back?!)
Yes, so very many questions! And good night, the acting our boys did... Home Run Derby, I swear.
hells_half_acre
May. 17th, 2013 04:46 am (UTC)
I also wonder whether Sam completing the final trial will be part of that, with Cas or Crowley immediately killing Dean so he can follow Sam, or if Dean will have to go to confession to let *his* blood be what they use to finish curing Crowley without actually completing the trial.

Interesting!!

And now that they have the angel tablet, will part of next season's arc be finding a way to *restore* the angels? (And if so, can we have Gabriel back?!)

I'm with you on that one!!
ammluvGK
May. 16th, 2013 11:21 am (UTC)
I think the difference between Anna and Castiel in regards to their grace being pulled from them is what Metatron did after. They didn't seem to want Anna to remember she was an angel and so they gave her a new life to live, whereas Metatron wants Cas to remember so that when he comes to heaven he can tell him his story. Really not liking Metatron right now.

Been seeing a lot of things where people have been making comparisons between things from this season and Season 5 Episode 4 (The End). Mentions of Chuck/his books and the fact there are more than when we last saw him, Sam saying 'The end' and now Cas is Fallen, plus in the SPN universe it'll be 2014 soon.

I think they all did a fabulous job of tearing our hearts out. Mark with his 'I deserve to be loved' and 'forgiveness' speech. Jared and Jensen with their brother speech. And Misha with how he looked at the end when the angels were falling from the sky like comets (which I loved the Special Effects for).

Can't wait for next season. Keeping my fingers crossed though that Kevin translates the Angel tablet and they find a restoration spell or something to bring back Gabriel and Balthazar (and I kinda want Samandriel back too). Plus Dean and Sam need to get their butts up to heaven (again) in search of Metatron to make him pay and get Cas' grace back.

I'm so excited for the Asylum Con. Especially to see Mark and congratulate him on an amazing job, but also to give Misha a hug for playing his character so amazingly that just a second is all we need to know that something is different or wrong about him.
hells_half_acre
May. 17th, 2013 04:44 am (UTC)
They didn't seem to want Anna to remember she was an angel and so they gave her a new life to live, whereas Metatron wants Cas to remember so that when he comes to heaven he can tell him his story. Really not liking Metatron right now.

that's not quite correct, because Anna fell and was reborn, and actually they wanted to KILL her, because it's illegal for angels to fall and be reborn. So, maybe the difference is just the choice? Anna ripped her own grace out and fell, whereas Castiel got his stolen and then was "sent" to earth. I'm guessing since all the other angels were sent to earth against their will, they'll probably still be fully powered angels in hand-created meat-suits?

That's another little continuity thing that they might want to address - why angels come with meat-suits already. Surely not ALL the angels of heaven had gotten permission from their vessel-lines.

Been seeing a lot of things where people have been making comparisons between things from this season and Season 5 Episode 4 (The End).

Yeah, I'm of mixed feelings when it comes to the possible return of The End. The problem I mean, it'd be cool from a story-arc point of view, but I don't actually want them to do it. That's a future that they avoided by Dean getting back in touch with Sam. Plus, as much as I love Chuck, his time has passed - unless he actually came back as God, then I don't want to see him again. It would retroactively make for bad storytelling. In my opinion anyway.

I think they all did a fabulous job of tearing our hearts out. Mark with his 'I deserve to be loved' and 'forgiveness' speech. Jared and Jensen with their brother speech. And Misha with how he looked at the end when the angels were falling from the sky like comets (which I loved the Special Effects for).

Agree completely!

Can't wait for next season. Keeping my fingers crossed though that Kevin translates the Angel tablet and they find a restoration spell or something to bring back Gabriel and Balthazar (and I kinda want Samandriel back too). Plus Dean and Sam need to get their butts up to heaven (again) in search of Metatron to make him pay and get Cas' grace back.

Yes! I've love that so much. (Well, Balthazar not so much, but that's just because my personality doesn't mesh well with the character or the actor - I know other people love him.) I'd love it if Samandriel came back though, I know we didn't get to see much of him, but I loved him on sight - and the actor-kid did an amazing job. It'd be nice to see him not in immense pain and crying.

I'm so excited for the Asylum Con. Especially to see Mark and congratulate him on an amazing job, but also to give Misha a hug for playing his character so amazingly that just a second is all we need to know that something is different or wrong about him.

I hope you have fun! It's a shame Jared can't be there to, because yeah, both him and Mark really did an amazing job. Hopefully I'll be able to tell him so at VanCon.




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katsheswims
May. 16th, 2013 01:12 pm (UTC)
hells_half_acre
May. 17th, 2013 04:27 am (UTC)
I think something has gone wrong here.
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jeymien
May. 16th, 2013 02:23 pm (UTC)
It's so damn interesting, think of this:

He expelled them all from Heaven in the same way Lucifer was expelled. That means they all still have their powers. Except Castiel who had his grace stolen from him. Angels walking the Earth, all those Christians, believers in Angels... they have powers, they could rule the World...
and they are douche enough to try if they can't get back to their home.

I also believe Sam knew he was on his way to sacrifice. The trials were purifying him, but they were also killing him and he knew it. He knew he was a final sacrifice. I have absolutely no doubt about that. He was willing to die if it meant Hell being closed.

I'm so curious about the consequences of a cured demon Crowley. I think it's obvious he's cured, just not banished from the body and sent to heaven which I think is the last step that Sam didn't do.. and what's the consequences of Sam abandoning that last step..

Yep, I'd say Abbadon is now Queen of Hell, new big bad on that side... I'd make a bet she makes it a priority to figure out how to release Lucifer too. She seems the Lucifer believer type. Though who knows.

shayheyred
May. 17th, 2013 03:49 am (UTC)
I keep wondering if they'll ever tie up the loose end of Adam trapped with Lucifer.
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shayheyred
May. 17th, 2013 03:46 am (UTC)
I have always wanted to see Sam and Dean in heaven (alive or dead, either way) fighting the angels. I first got that idea season 5, when I fully expected Castiel to enlist them that way, and it developed during Season 6 -- before we knew what Cas was up to. So I can see the allure of the idea you propose, not to mention the chance to see all those (mostly female) characters the show's knocked off over the years!
hells_half_acre
May. 17th, 2013 04:24 am (UTC)
Yeah, it'd be great to see the some of the old guest actors.

I think the show will probably keep the storyline on earth like usual, though I'd love to be proven wrong... but the heaven idea is at least something that I hope fic-writers will play around with during the summer.
marlowe78
May. 17th, 2013 02:54 pm (UTC)
Hey there!
What a cool finale! Loved it.

And I too hope that Jodie comes out alive... I want more of her! She's such a good character.

They meet Crowley at Bobby's junk yard.. which over the past 3 years has become overgrown. I guess that means that the city hasn't reclaimed it? It hasn't been auctioned off at some estate sale or anything.

Well, since I just had some conversations like that: let's assume the junkyard's ownership isn't clearcut. For example, if there is a shared ownership, or there was when Bobby was alive, it might not be easy to find out who owns it now and if you don't know who owns it, you can't just bulldoze it. (at least not in Germany, we have some problems in our city here with some old ugly buildings that can't just be taken down though they should)
In my head-canon, the inheritance goes to Sam and Dean Winchester, and since they were dead, but then turned up again and now are kinda... who knows? well. I guess Sioux Falls doesn't know what to do with it. But it broke my heart a little :-(

I know it's a sign of their not-so-good codependency but I love the fact that Dean literally can't tell the difference between his own memories and Sam's.

Haha, me too! And that shot with Dean thinking it over because he's not sure if Sam is just blaming him (and I love that Sam actually MIGHT, as brothers would do) and in the end realizing that yes, he was the one, and yepp... worth it :-D

And man, both Mark Sheppard and Sam knocked it out of the park this episode.

Absolutely! Jared was amazing, and I totally got invested in his plight - not always happening with Sam and me ;-) .
And Mark, well... he's my absolute favourite villain, which MIGHT be because of his name, so he had a bonus before he even opened his mouth, but also because Mark Sheppard does evil, sneaky, underestimatable so damn well. Also, I agree with Jodie that he is, in a weird way, very attractive.


The final ingredient for the spell is Castiel's grace...and then Metatron sends him to earth, tells him to live a mortal life and when he dies and comes to heaven, to tell him the story. Because Metatron doesn't care about heaven, or his brethren he cares only about getting more stories.

Weirdly enough, I still like that sneaky bastard. Of course, his reasons are wrong - you shouldn't do things for revenge - but there is a good core inside it. He wants those angels OUT, and live for once. Like Ana, who chose that fate, they should go out and experience what they had been created to protect. It's not his reasons for doing that - metatron is doing it for revenge - but it might actually be a good thing for the angels. He's right, after all - their in-fighting destroyed what God had created for THEM, and THEY are to blame for that. Not every angel, but most of them. And even though Metatron was a bastard, he was so scarily gentle with Cas. I don't think he wanted to really harm him, probably had some compassion for him even.
And his love for stories, his actions, his desire for revenge make him very human, in my eyes.

Dean would rather have Sam than shut the gates of Hell. He'd rather have Sam than save the world.

If Sam had been alive when Jake stabbed him, there would never have been doubt. But maybe you had to see Dean, had to hear him yell "then let it end!" to really KNOW how hard Dean loves his brother.

and thinking that if we had been Sam, we probably would have sacrificed ourselves despite Dean's protests...

Hmmm... I hope I wouldn't. Because damn, if I had been Sam, I'd have done that (sacrificed myself for the good of the many) already, and it only ended in heartache and misery (no soul and all that) So I think I'd have chosen my brother this time. Glad the Show-Sammy did that too ;-) I'd not have been happy with the idea of Sam hunting in Heaven without Dean... ;-)



hells_half_acre
May. 17th, 2013 04:30 pm (UTC)
I'm not sure how it works in the states - or even in Canada for that matter - but I always thought that if there was no one to claim it, then it just went up for auction at an estate sale. Though, I guess that brings up the question of: who gets the money from the sale. So, yeah, there's probably tons of red tape.

Your headcanon is kind of sad, but I have to admit that I agree with it.

And even though Metatron was a bastard, he was so scarily gentle with Cas. I don't think he wanted to really harm him, probably had some compassion for him even.
And his love for stories, his actions, his desire for revenge make him very human, in my eyes.


Very true. I think that Metatron was right and he and Castiel DO have a lot in common - they're love of humanity and they're tendency to emulate it foremost. But whereas Cas is more likely to make mistakes while experiencing positive human-traits (protectiveness, love), Metatron is more likely to also display the negative human traits (revenge).

If Sam had been alive when Jake stabbed him, there would never have been doubt. But maybe you had to see Dean, had to hear him yell "then let it end!" to really KNOW how hard Dean loves his brother.

It's true. I often wish Sam could have seen that, because sometimes I get the feeling that he thought Dean sold his soul because of either a deathwish or out of strange loyalty to their dad (and the fact that their dad drilled "protect Sam" into Dean so hard that it messed him up.)

Hmmm... I hope I wouldn't. Because damn, if I had been Sam, I'd have done that (sacrificed myself for the good of the many) already, and it only ended in heartache and misery (no soul and all that) So I think I'd have chosen my brother this time. Glad the Show-Sammy did that too ;-) I'd not have been happy with the idea of Sam hunting in Heaven without Dean... ;-)

I suppose you have a point. And yeah, I recognize that I'm one of the very few fans who doesn't mind when the boys have separate stories.
(no subject) - marlowe78 - May. 17th, 2013 08:18 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - hells_half_acre - May. 17th, 2013 08:23 pm (UTC) - Expand
crownroyal_51
May. 17th, 2013 02:54 pm (UTC)
Is Naomi really dead? One of my friends brought up a good point (but it could just be a mistake on the show's part) -- you didn't see Naomi's black angel wings after she died which is something we've always seen when an angel dies on Earth and in heaven. Does this mean there's a possibility that she's just incapacitated and not dead?
hells_half_acre
May. 17th, 2013 04:15 pm (UTC)
That's a good question. Plus it looked like she was killed with her drill, but only angel blades can kill angels...

She did look pretty damn dead though.
(Deleted comment)
hells_half_acre
May. 18th, 2013 07:08 am (UTC)
I'm pretty sure that only Cas has been made human, otherwise instead of having a hoard of angry angels as the s9 villians we'd just have a lot of confused (if just as angry) newly-powerless almost-humans, which isn't a very supernatural sort of opponent.

Haha, very good point. In the excitement of the finale, I somehow did not have my logic-brain turned on. :P

(I was hoping Adam would come back as the villain, actually. Don't know how they'd have manged it, but it would've been awesome.)

I've thought of this idea as well. I'm not sure they'll ever do it though - I think the show has just decided to drop his storyline.

Someone somewhere made a point about the spell ingredients possibly having a common theme of love - the heart of a creature born of an angel and a human, the bow of a cupid and the grace of an angel who loves humans (maybe one in particular, if you're a Dean/Cas fan, or maybe just in general), that last being supported by Metatron saying that Castiel was the only one who could do it. Don't know if it's more than a coincidence, but something to think on?

That's really interesting! And yeah, I can totally see that connection. (I'm not a huge fan of dean/cas, though I'm more willing to read it post-purgatory than pre-purgatory, because I think the characters have progressed to a point where it's more believable... but anyway, destiel slash aside, I AM a fan of soul-deep platonic love. Not everything has to be about sex after all).

It would definitely be interesting to explore why Cas may have been the third ingredient... maybe they'll touch on that in S9. Misha's going to be a cast regular again, and I do hope they take full advantage of it.
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - hells_half_acre - May. 19th, 2013 08:08 am (UTC) - Expand
keiu_olari
Nov. 4th, 2013 01:14 pm (UTC)
Ugh, I'm so late it's not even funny, but I was rewatching some stuff from S8 while I wait for S9 to build a sufficient "watch in one sitting base" (save myself hair I would've otherwise ripped out screaming "what the hell is going on, what were the writers thinking?!"))))) and couldn't resist commenting.

Crowley ROCKED. I have high hopes he’ll be in S9, he’s one baddie I’ve always enjoyed – not as a Big Bad, mind you, but as exactly that wily, playing both sides, looking out for number one kinda guy, who’s just as likely to help you as he is to screw you over at a moment’s notice if it suits his agenda. Just because he's been sorta-kinda-maybe cured, doesn't mean that has to change, right?

ALL the awards for the Js, seriously, ALLLLLL the awards. Especially Jared. I mean, maybe I’m biased, but - “Biting?!” and “So?” God, that’s gold right there.

Feel kinda bad on behalf of Jody here, though. If we think back to how she was in previous appearances (badass and shooting zombies, running interference with an FBI agent and extraditing Rufus, investigating Leviathans at the hospital), and as she was shown now – a duped victim, and of a romantic scenario, no less… I guess I just can’t help but feel that what we saw of her personal side doesn’t really mash with what we previously knew of her, professionally. (Plus, I hope to god they didn’t kill her off, she’s the Show’s longest surviving female character!)))

…I realize this is from the previous ep, but are we ever going to deal with all those people the boys saved being killed by Crowley? Sarah’s death literally hurt. Sam was so devastated after Jess, I just don’t see him shaking this off, he had genuine feelings for Sarah (at least, as I recall).

Dean is floored, because he just assumed Sam knew that he was the absolute centre of Dean's entire universe - that he was loved more than any other thing in God's creation... and yeah... they use different words, but this is basically what they are saying. Dean would rather have Sam than shut the gates of Hell. He'd rather have Sam than save the world. Hmm… This is actually the part that I had mixed feelings about. I mean, no question, Jared and Jensen’s performance was awesome, they knocked this whole ep out of the park, emotions-wise, but once I gave myself some breathing room I started to think.

First off, Dean’s listing of Sam’s sins came out of the left field for me. Ruby, Lilith, Lucifer, soullessness… Are these not things that Sam has long since paid for? (and, in case of the soullessness – something that was never even remotely Sam’s fault to begin with, jesus). And to make matters worse, all this was said not under the influence of some supernatural fugly, not in the middle of a fight – no, to the best of my knowledge, Dean was stone-cold sober and in full possession of all his faculties. So, the way I see it, this could’ve been done with one of the two goals in mind:

(Wordy comment is wordy, so TBC)

hells_half_acre
Nov. 4th, 2013 06:38 pm (UTC)
playing both sides, looking out for number one kinda guy, who’s just as likely to help you as he is to screw you over at a moment’s notice if it suits his agenda. Just because he's been sorta-kinda-maybe cured, doesn't mean that has to change, right?

Personally, I think this will only INCREASE with the sorta-kinda-maybe cured thing.

ALL the awards for the Js, seriously, ALLLLLL the awards. Especially Jared. I mean, maybe I’m biased, but - “Biting?!” and “So?” God, that’s gold right there.

Jared's "what?" after Crowley's speech is still, I think, my favourite line of the entire season, if not the series. :P

I guess I just can’t help but feel that what we saw of her personal side doesn’t really mash with what we previously knew of her, professionally. (Plus, I hope to god they didn’t kill her off, she’s the Show’s longest surviving female character!)))

I think the actress confirmed that Jody wasn't dead, so no worries there. Also, while I do agree that it'd have been nice for Jody to be a little more kick-ass rather than having romance used against her - I was kind of thrilled that the writers didn't forget that she lost a husband and a son to the mini-zombie apocalypse.

…I realize this is from the previous ep, but are we ever going to deal with all those people the boys saved being killed by Crowley? Sarah’s death literally hurt. Sam was so devastated after Jess, I just don’t see him shaking this off, he had genuine feelings for Sarah (at least, as I recall).

I actually don't think that he'd thought of her in years. I mean, I think he thought she was great when they were together, but I think it had been a long long time since he thought of her, and he became such a different person in that time that she probably felt like someone else's memory.

That being said, her death WAS tragic and I think Sam was genuinely upset about it because she didn't deserve to go out that way just for having known him.

Sadly, I don't think the deaths will ever be addressed again.
keiu_olari
Nov. 4th, 2013 01:19 pm (UTC)
1. the writers were aiming to show that Dean is still – and most likely always will be – seriously messed up by his Hell experiences, with which he never really dealt. He cannot recognize the horrible parody of him being given the “choice” to get off the rack in Hell as something that was done to him, not by him, cannot reconcile that with him still being the victim. Add to that the massive emotional fuckedupedness of being in Hell, plus Dean historically never was a poster guy for dealing and expressing emotions in a healthy way. So, projecting, he cannot recognize when someone is a victim of a situation, and instead judges them as willing participants/accomplices. In a way, he uses his perpetual guilt and self-loathing as mechanisms saving him from having to work through shit (actually, I see a very interesting mix of “under-responsibility” and “over-responsibility” in Dean, if that makes sense – where he’s fully certain that pretty much everything is up to him to fix and his fault, but due to all of his coping mechanisms being effectively crippled, he cannot deal with the strain this very feeling brings, which leads to “I’m gonna watch Asian cartoon porn and act like the world is ending, because it is” attitudes). And all this, while quite logical (at least in my head, and the closest I’ve been to psychology is Oprah))))))))), leads me to a very disturbing realization – while Dean may say that stuff isn’t Sam’s fault and even believe it as he says it, in reality it’s merely him pushing the anger aside for a while; see, because he’s unable to let go and forgive himself, he doesn’t know how to let go and forgive Sam, he doesn’t believe in the idea of atonement, period. Which means that this listing of “Sam’s greatest hits” will resurface again when Dean’s feeling overwhelmed or let down by Sam.

2. the writers were trying to make a joke-y trampoline off which to bounce off the Conversation, in which case, what the heck were you thinking, writers, it was in the wrong place, at the wrong time, and wholly inappropriate, poking sticks and stones in the general vicinity of still very raw wounds.

Of course, it’s always possible that it was a joke, but Dean is still unable to forgive and forget, in which case… ohhh boy.

All this is basically to explain – at length, I admit and apologize – why, when I was away from the magic that is the Js selling the hell out of a scene, I couldn’t get 100% behind this being an awesome brotherly OTP moment. Nice as it was to actually hear that Dean will always put Sam first, I felt that the moment didn’t provide the closure it could’ve. Because after Dean's "helpful hints for a confession", what I needed to hear, and what I believe Sam needed to hear was that, yes, he’d fucked up plenty and made his fair share of mistakes, but he also worked relentlessly to fix them and did a lot of good; he SHOVED LUCIFER BACK INTO THE CAGE, he atoned. Instead, what he heard effectively was “I sacrifice for you as I would for no one else, which proves I love you”, which, IMO, is not at all the same as “I’m proud of you, you’re a good person, I respect you as an equal and I trust you”. Plus, not exactly healthy for either of them, because Sam then suffers the consequences should he ever fail to live up to the (extremely) high pedestal his brother had put him on as his personal "holy grail", and they both end up suffering from emotions running every which way between I love you / but you let me down / I forgive you / but I still can’t forget and/or trust you, and all that jazz.

This all being said, I still loved the ep. Because – talking! And actual emotions, and dare I say it, somewhere in the vicinity of dealing with their relationship. And I’m totally with you on how it’s such a promising development that they’ve actually taken a step back from the self-sacrificing. What happened in the finale can really be a foundation for them to heal further in S9, unless the writers decide to take the tried route of This Never Happened And Shall Never Be Mentioned Again(TM). Plus, Jared and Jensen totally have PhDs in Ripping People's Hearts Out. I’ll take it!
hells_half_acre
Nov. 4th, 2013 06:31 pm (UTC)
Of course, it’s always possible that it was a joke, but Dean is still unable to forgive and forget, in which case… ohhh boy.

See, right now (and it's true I haven't rewatched the episode yet) - I think there's a third or fourth choice here: Dean is listing all the things that he knows Sam blames HIMSELF for. Dean's own feelings aren't factoring into it - he's spent the last few years (Purgatory excluded) trying to convince Sam NOT to blame himself for his soullessness, so I just can't believe that he'd turn around and blame him for it next. And I know he did it under the influence of the Spectre, but that's because at one point, Dean DID blame Soulless!Sam for lying to him (hence the beating in You Can't Handle the Truth) - so the spectre carried that over to souled!Sam, even though Dean always treated souled!Sam like a separate person.

So, yeah, I think Dean is just saying, "These are all the things you've blamed yourself for in the past" and that his own feelings on the matter weren't actually factoring in.

As for the speech at the end, I think Dean telling Sam that "there wasn't anything he wouldn't put in front of him" wasn't so much of a neglect to tell him that he's atoned for his passed sins already - it was an attempt to respond to Sam's comment about Dean turning to angels/vampires because he was disappointed in Sam as a brother. Dean was saying that Sam never came second to Dean's other relationships, that they came second to Sam.

Now, that all being said, I don't disagree that this isn't necessarily the healthiest way to talk to Sam (but when has Dean ever talked to Sam in a healthy way?) Also, I'm of the opinion that the writers have backslid on the progress made in S5, when Dean was able to allow Sam to make his own decisions and let him go...now, mind you, the decision to take Lucifer into the cage was done because Sam was the one that let him out and he needed to fix that mistake. There's no reason that Sam has to sacrifice himself to close hell - he's not the one that opened it first. Again though, and my sister made this point without even seeing the latter half of S8: at some point the Winchesters inability to let each other die just becomes selfish. They put the entirety of humanity behind each other in order of importance.

What happened in the finale can really be a foundation for them to heal further in S9, unless the writers decide to take the tried route of This Never Happened And Shall Never Be Mentioned Again(TM)

I have a feeling they might be going this route with it. We'll see though. :P
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