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Quick Reaction: 9x07 Bad Boys

Oh man! What an episode. It brought all of the Dean emotion... ALL OF IT....

But let's actually talk about the episode, shall we. I took notes this evening to help me remember, because I watched the show on the east-coast feed and then took off to see Hawksley Workman's play The God That Comes for the third time - because I really like that play, you guys. So, tonight's LJ cut lyrics come from the play...

We start off this episode with boys playing hide and seek in the dark. Before you start making jokes about how they're just asking for horrible things to happen to them, I would like to point out that my absolute favourite game as a child was Hide and Seek in the Dark. Mind you, we only played it inside... and we'd also have to stop five-ten minutes before we expected Mum home, because she would flip out if she drove up to the house and all the lights were off and then she'd yell at us that people were going to think no one was home and break in and then kill us all or something. Uh...I've gotten off topic. I think my point is that Hide and Seek in the Dark is all fun and games until someone gets gored by a tractor.

That being said, the dude DID threaten to belt those boys, and I hardly think that was kosher.

Cut to the bunker! Where Sam accepts a call for D-Dog... and it's Sonny for Dean. Sam learns that the time Dean disappeared when he was 16 wasn't because he was lost on a hunt, it was because he was at a boys' home after getting caught stealing. And he was stealing because he lost their food money in a card game. John apparently knew where he was, but left Dean there to teach him a lesson about losing the money... so, this isn't exactly the level of neglect we get from most fics, where John just doesn't leave enough money - he technically did leave money and then it was Dean that lost it. BUT, it is John being pretty hard about the punishment for such a thing... which is a LITTLE hypocritical, because I'm pretty sure it was John who taught the boys to play cards/pool in order to make cash in the first place. Anyway, we'll get back to John's questionable parenting in a bit...

Let's talk instead about the fact that Dean and Sam didn't know what a damn Rugaru was until S4!!! Ugh, for an episode that was otherwise pretty perfect on the continuity, this thing was the one flaw. I really need to finish my secret-SPN-project, which I keep putting on hold because it's goddamn time consuming... but yeah, it's HOPEFULLY a piece of meta that will make sure writers don't make these sorts of mistakes when they're trying to write canon-accurate.

ANYWAY.... let's have more show and less of me complaining about minute details like a nerdy-nerd.

I liked Dean asking Sam if "Everyone is okay with them going to the Catskills" and Sam is like "I'm everyone." Haha, Dean, you are not being subtle.

They take off the catskills and arrive at the house - and Dean sees the old couch and has a flashback...

To sitting there in cuffs being told that his father left him to "rot in prison" for stealing. Ouch. And we learn that he was stealing bread and peanut butter...which of course immediately gains him the sympathies of Sonny, the guy in charge of the boys' home. The kid they have playing Dean is SO GOOD you guys!! I thought he did a marvelous job throughout this whole episode of being Dean through and through. Seriously, well done, kid.

We learn that Dean gave the cop a black-eye, and it could have possibly been Sonny that taught Dean how to unlock cuffs with a paperclip! We also see that Dean's arms are covered in bruises... Sonny asks him if his father left them, and Dean just flat out tells him that it was a werewolf, knowing that it'll be taken for sass rather than truth. This is a bit of continuity they got right! We know from S2 that Dean hadn't seen a werewolf since they were "kids" and more to that, we also know from S2 that Dean shot and killed something with a silver bullet when he was around 16, and that's when he "embraced the life" - now, of course, this episode isn't so much about him embracing the life as it is about him quietly resigning himself to it - but I think Dean actually enthusiastically resigned himself to it, and the story about enjoying the werewolf kill and thinking that his life was awesome was probably a good story to tell himself in order to feel happy. We all have things like that.

Meanwhile, at the boys home, they go investigating - and Sam finds Dean's former bed upstairs, judging by the protective symbols carved into the bed posts. I loved Sam peeling back the layers upon layers of tape to find his brother's name. I feel like there's a metaphor in there somewhere - and I just love that after all these years, Sam can still discover new things about his brother, still find new understanding... but I'm getting ahead of myself.

Sam overhears the head matron (I don't know what else to call her, and I work in historical residential schools so I'm using the term I'm most familiar with) and almost stabs her! But no, she's just praying because she knows that it's a ghost haunting them and she thinks it's some dude named Jake who wanted revenge on Howard... seems like a legit story to Sam...

But meanwhile, Dean's in the barn meeting adorable Timmy, who has a weak handshake that Dean takes time to correct... and an action figure that fights monsters... and yeah, nothing much happens there.

So, Sam and Dean burn the bones that they think are the culprit and then take off - stopping at a local diner first. The diner was filmed at the Tomahawk restaurant in North Van. They took down all the totems from the outside, but they left the insides just the same - only they took out the booths and just used the tables. Also, I know from the Location Tour at VanCon that the gave burning scene was actually filmed on the same day as the Tomahawk scenes and they just built a fake grave in the parking lot around the back. Fun stuff!!

Dean's there for a reason and it's apparently to reconnect with the waitress named Robin. Dean's embarrassed and upset when she seemingly fails to recognize him. But we learn that her mom used to give guitar lessons at the boys' home...does this mean that Dean might know basic guitar?! Please let that be a thing, even if he just knows the standard three chords. The waitress continues in the tradition and also teaches guitar at the boys' home to this day.

Dean leaves in a huff though, because she didn't remember him... and we get another flashback....

This time, Dean and Sonny are out for pancakes and Sonny is congratulating him on doing well in school and doing well on the wrestling team... and we really start to see the way Dean's intelligence and skills would have made him flower had he been able to have a stable childhood. Sonny also has questions about the symbols carved in the bedposts, and whether or not Dean is in some sort of gang - telling Dean of his own gang-past and how it wasn't really family, it was just trouble. Dean's not talking though, insisting that it's the family business and a secret.

Meanwhile, the matron is getting murdered in her very lovely claw-footed bathtub. Sonny calls Dean to come back, and Dean does.

Dean goes to talk to the kids and finds them bullying Timothy.

Sam accompanies Sonny to his office to go over their records, and on the way spots Dean's wrestling champion certificate... dated for April 1995, which fits in with Dean's age too! This makes it a year or two before After School Special, and 3.5 years after A Very Supernatural Christmas.

And then the two bully-boys are mowing the lawn and something gets caught in the blade.... and I spend the whole scene cringing. Well, first I yelled. "THEY'RE NOT ALLOWED TO KILL CHILDREN!" closely followed by "BUT I THINK THEY CAN MAIM THEM! OH NO!" and THEN like two minutes of cringing until I had to say, "Yeah, maiming, I was right." Guys, always unplug your lawnmower before touching the blades...and then only touch them with a stick...while surrounded by a salt circle. Anyway, we see that it's in fact Timmy affecting things to cause the deaths, but it's not Timmy himself, it's some mysterious grotesque figure attached to him.

So, Sam puts it together that it's Timmy... possibly ghost-possessed. Sam goes to the barn to try to find the kid and instead discovers a pictograph history left by the kid to explain his life, in what I called "the attic of the barn" when my friend walked in from the other room and asked what she had missed. I obviously do not spend a lot of time in barns.

We get another flashback of Dean, this time learning guitar with an also 16 year-old Robin. We learn that, like Sam, Dean doesn't actually want to go into the family business, but he's resigned himself to it and is enjoying it just because he knows it's his only choice. He'd rather be a rockstar, or, more seriously a mechanic...because cars are like puzzles, and when you finish fixing them, they go away and aren't your responsibility anymore. And MAN, isn't that a kick in the heart, because Dean is nothing if not completely crushed by responsibility 24/7 and probably has felt that way since he was 5 years old and trying to protect his infant brother.

We also get Dean's first kiss, which he denies is his first kiss... now, I'm not actually sure what the canon is on that. Let's see if I have any info in my unfinished SPN project...Nope, but that's not a definitive answer, since the project is unfinished. But man, I LOVE the kid acting this scene, I could totally see Jensen playing the scene exactly like the kid did... so, yeah, good job.

We've also now seen BOTH Sam and Dean's first kisses. Sam's, appropriately, with a monster, in a kiss that he initiates, and Dean's, also appropriately, with a guitar-playing diner-waitress with big dreams who happens to initiate the kiss herself.

In the present time, Dean of course has discovered Robin is there to give Timmy a guitar lesson and he tries to get her to leave, telling her that she has to trust him - and she fires back something about "why the hell would I trust YOU!" to which Dean replies. "You DO remember me!!" Hahahahaha, oh Dean, I love you.

And sure enough she does remember him...Dean had asked her to the dance, and then bailed right before it - leaving town in the dead of night just like always, or rather, what would become always.

But first! Timmy's backstory! Before Dean can get Robin out of the house, the ghost attacks!  Sam's put together the story from the pictographs - Timmy's mom pushing him out of a crashed car before it's engulfed in flames that end up killing her...Timmy fills us in on what happens next. (I have to admit that as cut as Timmy is, the actor doesn't quite get the level of emotion that I think the scene requires - but he's a cute little actor and is doing his best and I think he did a good job anyway!)

Apparently Timmy cried and pleaded for his mom, so she came back... and has been protecting him ever since.

Dean and Sam think the ghost is attached the action figure that Timmy has, so they burn it - but that's not the case...and now I'm sad that they burned the only gift that Timmy still had from his mother. :(

Instead, Dean tries to talk TImmy into letting his mother go...because it's either that or they kill the kid, I suppose. Dean tells Timmy that sometimes you have to do what's best for yourself, even if it hurts the ones you love. And it's an interesting tie-in to make to Dean's backstory, because on the one hand it sounds like Dean's telling us that he did what was best for himself and in the process hurt Robin, who he loved...but it could actually be the opposite of that - that Dean is telling us that he never did what was best for himself and only ever made sure not to hurt the people/person he loved the most, and maybe he should have chosen differently...not that I think Dean would ever entertain that idea, but you have to wonder...you have to wonder if Dean knows full well the potential that he gave up for his family. I think he does. I think he knows exactly what he's sacrificed and while I don't think he regrets it, I think he wishes that it could have been different.

Anyway, Timmy remembers Dean's lessons on confidence and he tells his mother to leave, and that he loves her.. and she turns beautiful again and then vanishes in a REALLY COOL VFX effect! Day saved.

Sonny is going to look after Timmy (assuming the state lets him keep him, considering there's been two deaths and one underage maiming on his property in the past week.) And Robin and Dean discuss their failure to escape the lives they swore at 16 that they didn't want...turns out that Robin LIKES running the diner. (Me and my friend found this storyline really amusing, because the Tomahawk is currently owned and run by the grandson of the original owner - it really is a family business!) And Dean, meanwhile, IS kind of a rockstar of hunting. :)

Sam and Dean go to get on the road, and Sam tells Dean that he had thought that staying at the boys home was the worst time of Dean's life, but he's realized now that it was the best.

And then, we get one more flashback to the night that John came for Dean...and it's horribly heartbreaking, and once again brilliantly acted by the young Dean. Dean's all dressed up for the dance, the first one he's ever gone to...only Sonny says. "about that" and we hear that John is outside waiting for Dean - and told Sonny to tell Dean that he "had a hunt" and that Dean would know what that meant. Dean immediately gets upset, because he DOES know what that means - it means John needs someone to look after Sam. Sonny offers that if Dean wants, he'll make a fuss and refuse to give Dean back, that Dean can stay with him... and Dean goes to the window and just looks at Sam in the backseat of the impala, playing with a pretty damn cool toy fighter-jet, and man... Dean smiles through his tears at seeing his little brother again, and he thanks Sonny for everything, but he has to go... and we know it's because of Sam, more than Dean's loyalty to his father...it's always because of Sam.

And Sam understands that too, now that he's seen all the pieces of the puzzle... and he THANKS Dean, because Dean could have just left him with John. Dean's response, of course, is "I don't know what you're talking about," because Dean will only tell you he loves you if he thinks he's about to lose you...and even then, it's only a 50/50 chance.

Man, that ending flashback kills me... it's a real mixed bag of emotions too, because it's great to see the love that Dean has for Sam so tangibly, so palpable... but at the same time, I can't help but think that a lot of kids/people in abusive homes won't leave for fear of leaving their beloved siblings/other-family behind to suffer the same as they did. Now, I'm not saying that John was horribly abusive, of course, but they WERE living a hard life that neither Sam nor Dean particularly wanted, and Dean stayed for Sam...stayed to keep Sam safe, because he believed it was the best way to do so... and he COULD have escaped. Granted, not for long, he was still, after all, the Michael Sword.

Anyway, really great episode.

So, let me know in comments what I missed, or anything you want to particularly talk about in more detail!

PS: If you're wondering why there were no rewatch posts last week, it's because I had to work all weekend. I'm behind on everything hobby-related now. So, rewatches MAY have to wait until December to start up again, we'll see. I might have to work this weekend too, and then I'm going down to the Seattle area for American Thanksgiving weekend.

Comments

( 24 comments — Leave a comment )
missyjack
Nov. 20th, 2013 08:26 am (UTC)
Great ep and I thought Kevin did an awesome job on making the deaths look very "horror movie".

Adam said on Twitter that it was Dean's first kiss, but that he just "hadn't had many". Note that After School Special took place about 2 years later, so he obviously kicked off from here on!

I was struck by the fact that Sam was wearing the same shirt from the end of Dark Side of the Moon, which i recognized because of the distinctive buttons. Also - loved seeing the amulet again.

The Rugaru thing - i am claiming the boys of had so much head trauma their memories come and go.... but i think your Project is much needed (although they couldve just looked up Rugaru on the Wiki!)
hells_half_acre
Nov. 20th, 2013 08:49 am (UTC)
Yes! I didn't talk about the direction - but it was great! Kevin really knows how to build up the suspense before the kill. I couldn't watch! Hahaha, it's only with horror movies where "I couldn't watch!" is a good thing. :P

Ah cool, so it was probably just that Dean didn't have much experience - we've all been there. Still, I think it's really neat that we get to see Sam and Dean's different first fumblings with romance.

And yes! It was the same shirt. I like that shirt.

I hope I eventually get my project finished too - it's doesn't have any information the Wiki doesn't have, but I'm trying to set it up more like an canon checklist type thing. SuperWiki Cliff's Notes. Like one of those pocket travel phrase books, but for SPN canon. :P But it involves me basically reading every transcript for 8.5 seasons, and yeah... obviously, it's been taking me a while. Doesn't help that I keep not working on it for months on end...
borgmama1of5
Nov. 20th, 2013 09:10 am (UTC)
...but I think Dean actually enthusiastically resigned himself to it, and the story about enjoying the werewolf kill and thinking that his life was awesome was probably a good story to tell himself in order to feel happy.

Interesting, this is the opposite of what I thought. I thought John had Dean kill his first werewolf after he went back with the family to make up for leaving Dean for 2 months. However, Dean did say the marks were from a werewolf, so the first kill could have just happened, and your idea that Dean overrode his time with Sonny with the excitement of the werewolf hunt in his own mind makes a lot of sense.

...dated for April 1995, which fits in with Dean's age too! This makes it a year or two before After School Special, and 3.5 years after A Very Supernatural Christmas

Fact from writer Adam Glass' episode tweets: they wrote/filmed that Dean was 14 but decided that the actor came across older so they changed the dialog in ADR. And that actually annoyed me, because I could see these events happening to a younger Dean--losing the food money, getting caught shoplifting, never having been kissed--they are all much more in line with a 14-yr-old Dean. Also, Sam being 10 would make more sense, an older Sam would never have stopped asking his dad about where Dean was!

So either they put the dates on after they decided to change the age, or it was a happy accident :)

...now I'm sad that they burned the only gift that Timmy still had from his mother

Me too, that wasn't fair, Timmy has to lose both his mom and his favorite toy :(

...sometimes you have to do what's best for yourself, even if it hurts the ones you love.

My mind went straight to the Zeke/Sam issue and Dean acknowledging that keeping Sam alive was for Dean's benefit.

...and she turns beautiful again and then vanishes in a REALLY COOL VFX effect!

The ghost mom actress posted that the pretty mom was actually a completely different actress because it was too much to get her out of the prosthetics!

Dean's response, of course, is "I don't know what you're talking about,"...

And here is where I wanted to smack Dean upside the head and say 'accept Sam's appreciation, you 'can't admit my feelings' idiot!

And of course the whole reason for having Sam openly express he gets what his brother sacrificed is to make it EVEN WORSE when he finds out about Zeke and goes ballistic on Dean....Aaaaahhh!

Nagging issue for me--so if Dean lost the food money and got arrested, that would have left Sam alone in a motel room. Amd Dean didn't go ballistic in trying to get back to Sammy? And how long was Sam alone until John showed up? And I know that tenacious 'we stay together' John Winchester is partly a fan invention, but still, it seems OOC for John to just leave Dean with a non-aware of monsters stranger. If I handwave that and Dean being 16 instead of 14, there is a lot of heavy backstory in this...seeing Dean who wasn't completely sold on 'the family busness' adds another authentic-feeling layer to Dean's psyche. I expect some good fanfic out of this...
hells_half_acre
Nov. 20th, 2013 09:35 am (UTC)
I thought John had Dean kill his first werewolf after he went back with the family to make up for leaving Dean for 2 months. However, Dean did say the marks were from a werewolf, so the first kill could have just happened, and your idea that Dean overrode his time with Sonny with the excitement of the werewolf hunt in his own mind makes a lot of sense.

Well, to be fair, you could be right and they could have hunted more than one werewolf in the year - and I say this because in After School Special, Sam writes about a werewolf hunt in his "what I did on my summer vacation" essay (I believe), which would put the werewolf in the summer and not before April. So, there could have been multiple werewolf hunts when they were teens. Maybe there was an odd outbreak of werewolves. :P

And that actually annoyed me, because I could see these events happening to a younger Dean--losing the food money, getting caught shoplifting, never having been kissed--they are all much more in line with a 14-yr-old Dean. Also, Sam being 10 would make more sense, an older Sam would never have stopped asking his dad about where Dean was!

Yeah, I saw that tweet too, and I agree to an extent (Sam definitely seemed more like 10 here, rather than 12). Mind you, the first-kiss at 16 doesn't seem that odd to me. Also, apparently Adam Glass also tweeted that it wasn't Dean's first kiss, it was just that he hadn't done it very many times? But I actually liked the fact that they had Dean be 16, mainly because I get kind of tired of 16 year-olds on TV looking like they're in their 20s (which the actors usually are), so it was nice to see a realistic 16 year-old.

I also have to admit that I didn't see the year on the wrestling certificate myself. I saw the "April" mention, and my friend saw the year, and I took her word for it. I'll download the episode on the weekend and double check everything as per usual. But since 16 is in the dialogue, it'll probably stay in 1995, regardless of what the certificate says...because dialog trumps props.

My mind went straight to the Zeke/Sam issue and Dean acknowledging that keeping Sam alive was for Dean's benefit.

Oooo...good point!!

Nagging issue for me--so if Dean lost the food money and got arrested, that would have left Sam alone in a motel room. Amd Dean didn't go ballistic in trying to get back to Sammy? And how long was Sam alone until John showed up?

Dean said, and we saw, that they actually got in touch with John right away and that John knew exactly where Dean was and that Sam was alone. John probably booked it back and got to Sam within a couple of hours.

it seems OOC for John to just leave Dean with a non-aware of monsters stranger.

I think at this point, John probably expected that Dean knew how to protect himself...which he did.

ladykorana
Nov. 20th, 2013 10:03 am (UTC)
I think young Sam was too young to believably be 12, though it makes a little more sense if he's originally supposed to be 10.

What I can't buy is him acting more like he's 6, than 12. Sam should have been reading, or at least looking worried about Dean, not playing obliviously and acting less mature than he did at age 8. Especially since he's known about hunting for years by this point. It just seemed really out of character for what we know of Sam's development.
hells_half_acre
Nov. 20th, 2013 10:17 am (UTC)
I agree that Sam was definitely acting more 10 than 12 - and yes, he seems less mature than he did at age 8, but then, at age 8 we saw him talk and interact with people. Sam COULD just seriously be bored out of his tree. It's too dark to read and John won't let him turn on a light - he's got this model fighter jet that he built at Bobby's though, because he wanted to show Dean what he made while Dean was missing... and now he just has to wait for Dean to come out to the car, and he wonders just what the real fighter jets would have looked like flying through the air...

And Dean doesn't question it, he just laughs, because it's Sammy... it's Sammy like the Sammy in Dean's brain, that is always younger and more innocent than Sam ever really is.
claudiapriscus
Nov. 20th, 2013 03:30 pm (UTC)
THat makes sense to me. Plus, 12 year olds are, I think, more childish than either we or they like to pretend. I used to babysit a 12 year old, like 40 hours a week in the summer, and while she was awesome and obviously on her way to becoming a young woman, she was also obsessed with transformers and absolutely adored this big complicated transformers toy she had. I mean, she was more furtive about it in public, but she was totally playing with the thing. And my sister lost my dad's treasured pocket knife (a gift from his uncle when he was a boy) when she was 12, because she was dressing up and pretending to have Indiana Jones-like adventures in the backyard. Not that she would admit that, which might have softened how much trouble she got in, hah.
hells_half_acre
Nov. 20th, 2013 06:18 pm (UTC)
Yeah, exactly. I have an 11 year-old nephew, and while he's a little teenager at times... I can also see him playing with a fighter-jet toy just as easily.

caranfindel
Nov. 20th, 2013 05:54 pm (UTC)
This bothered me too. And that John would have let Sam worry about Dean for two months (ranted about this in my own review of this ep).
hells_half_acre
Nov. 20th, 2013 06:27 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I was also concerned about the fact that Sam didn't seem to care that Dean was "lost on a hunt" when we know at age 8, Sam had no confidence in his family's ability to stay safe at all.

I can only assume that John and Bobby must have reassured him and reassured him ad infinitum until he believed them, and we just didn't see the days/weeks of Sam freaking out.

And yes, it may have been cruel for John to do that - but who knows, maybe John thought it was a better example for Sam that his 16 year-old brother was off hunting on his own, rather than telling him that he had been caught stealing and arrested. I know my mother was furious when I told my little sister about successfully stealing something, because she thought I was being a horrible example and my little sister would suddenly turn to a life of crime. Mind you, I had successfully gotten away with it. You'd think the whole "and then he got arrested" would dissuade Sam enough. But then again, probably Sam was already on John and Dean's cases for constantly breaking the law - so maybe it was more of a way to avoid a string of "I told you so"s!
marlowe78
Nov. 20th, 2013 07:15 pm (UTC)
Hey there.
Oh, that was a pretty, lovely episode. And ha, the rugaru had me perk up too, though I forgot that they weren't supposed to know them. Bad research, writers! That's really sloppy!

I was first a bit miffed at John. But then I remembered that Dean wasn't left in prison (which WOULD have been too harsh for anything!) for stealing, but for playing away his little brother's food-money! His own, too, but I'm sure John's lesson was about responsibility. He's the "learn hard but learn fast" kinda man, and it is not entirely unreasonable in his line of work.

The kid they have playing Dean is SO GOOD you guys!! I thought he did a marvelous job throughout this whole episode of being Dean through and through. Seriously, well done, kid

I'm kinda in love with that young Dean! He's perfect!


because cars are like puzzles, and when you finish fixing them, they go away and aren't your responsibility anymore

That kinda broke my heart.

We've also now seen BOTH Sam and Dean's first kisses. Sam's, appropriately, with a monster, in a kiss that he initiates, and Dean's, also appropriately, with a guitar-playing diner-waitress with big dreams who happens to initiate the kiss herself.

Hee. Well put. It speaks - if you really wanna go there - about their love-affairs as well, right? Sam, while he is always pictured as the one more insecure when it comes to women and a lot more little boy, seems to be the one who is more take-charge when it comes to the bedroom itself. I think Dean really doesn't mind letting the women take the wheel - and if you'd want to psychoanalyse him, it makes sense if you take what we get from his life. He lets her choose, gives her the reins and is happy with where it will go - let her be responsible for the way it will go.

Sam - as the one who wants to have more say in his life - wants more say in the bed either.

Well. You COULD do that and analyse the heck out of this show. You can also just enjoy it. But then again - isn't it cool that even in s9, the basics still apply and the characters still FIT into the mold they were cast in the first episode?

I think that's awesome!
...
marlowe78
Nov. 20th, 2013 07:15 pm (UTC)

I think he knows exactly what he's sacrificed and while I don't think he regrets it, I think he wishes that it could have been different.

Oh yes, I'm sure he knows. And it ... kinda makes a lot of sense that he's attached to Sam like Timmy's mom to Timmy. Cause it wasn't for his Dad he left after two months. It wasn't for the car. It was only and ever for Sam. He smiled through his tears when he saw Sam, he knew Sam was the only reason he left that night and not stay one more.
And being stuck to Sam like that even back then is the reason - in my opinion - that he can't let him go. He can't stop worrying and can't stop protecting him (even when it's not necessary any more, nor really) - because there is literally nothing else. Everything else was sacrificed for that one little boy.
You don't let go of something (someone) who is literally worth all your dreams, right?

And Dean, meanwhile, IS kind of a rockstar of hunting. :)

I loved that Robin told him that he rocks. He deserves to hear it now and again from people not family (or well... are not Sam.) and who aren't about to die horribly.

Aw man... John had the suckiest timing getting back (he said "I have a job", though, not "a hunt") and collecting his boy.

I re-checked right now, and when Dean was caught shoplifting, Sam had been alone! He said "you disappeared. When Dad came back, you were gone and he shipped me off to Bobby for a couple of months"

So Sam was alone? And had no clue where Dean was? They let him believe Dean was lost on a hunt for two months?

What had John done during the time? Hunting? Because he knew where Dean was. Maybe he got called? I dunno how he'd hear about it. Maybe he had to finish his hunt which got interrupted by his boy going to prison?
And maybe he kinda HAD to take Dean back that day for going back hunting - but also didn't even want to be lenient because his son wasn't supposed to enjoy his punishment.

And maybe Dean really embraced the life after that werewolf-hunt (rather: after being left in a correctional home for boys) because it's what he chose (kinda) and he might as well enjoy it.

Also, I think the hunting wasn't too bad. I think being the parent (more or less) for his little brother is what had him despair. Hunting is like fixing cars. You go in, you hunt, you save people, you leave. End of story. End of responsibility.

Hm... Very complex man, that Mr Winchester. And that includes all of the Winchesters ;-)


hells_half_acre
Nov. 20th, 2013 07:41 pm (UTC)
Yes, it does a lot to explain why Dean clings to Sam - Sam has been his whole world for a very long time.

Aw man... John had the suckiest timing getting back (he said "I have a job", though, not "a hunt") and collecting his boy.

Ooops. Well, same thing, really. I write these reviews after drinking a lot and only watching the show once. These things happen a LOT. :P

So Sam was alone? And had no clue where Dean was? They let him believe Dean was lost on a hunt for two months?

That seems to be a sticking point for a lot of people. From what I understood though, the police got in touch with John right away, so Sam wasn't alone in wherever they were staying for very long... and then he was with Bobby, who no doubt knew where Dean was and wasn't worried and could reassure Sam that it was all fine... and maybe John just went right back out hunting, and Sam assumed he was looking for Dean and actually had confidence that his dad would find him.

And then, I'm guessing, John just figured that Dean had been punished enough - and maybe Bobby had his own hunts to go on and needed John to take Sam off his hands for a bit, so John went to go get his live-in babysitter back.

And yeah, seeing as how the boys' home was supposed to be a punishment, I doubt John would be willing to let Dean go to the dance.

I think being the parent (more or less) for his little brother is what had him despair. Hunting is like fixing cars. You go in, you hunt, you save people, you leave. End of story. End of responsibility.

Good point.
supernutjapan
Nov. 20th, 2013 11:19 pm (UTC)
That's "Told me to tell you, you had a job" (So dad's really saying, you have a job to do - hunting; because they are hunting together now? but probably most of all taking care of Sammy; because that's always his job.)

I've just finished a rewatch of Salvation - and those words by Sam at the end thanking Dean are the same as what he said right before they went to try to kill Azazel in the house. I thought that was significant and kind of nice.


I have a 12 year old son, but he definitely does not fly planes around - I'll go with the idea that he just wanted to show Dean his model though.

Definitely the scary scenes were very scary - I couldn't watch either. I was covering my eyes the whole time (But they were very predictable. You could tell exactly what was going to happen from like... 2 minutes prior to it.)

I liked Dean asking Sam if "Everyone is okay with them going to the Catskills" and Sam is like "I'm everyone." Haha, Dean, you are not being subtle.


That was quite humorous - but..what on earth are you playing at Dean??!

The whole situation for this episode (Dean at the home and Dean wanting a normal life) did not seem very natural for me... but I guess I can get used to it. That's it I guess. I expect so much that it is hard to enjoy a simple ghost episode like this right off the bat. But rewatching it along with the others later will probably give me a better impression.

Here is something else that I thought was significantthough - Sam asks Dean why he knew that Timmy just had to ask his mom to leave and Dean says it was just "a hail mary." I think they put that conversation in there to remind us that Sam has only to ask Zeke to leave. (And maybe Dean was thinking of this as well)
hells_half_acre
Nov. 21st, 2013 12:48 am (UTC)
That's "Told me to tell you, you had a job" (So dad's really saying, you have a job to do - hunting; because they are hunting together now? but probably most of all taking care of Sammy; because that's always his job.)

Same difference. Again, I write these reactions after copious amounts of wine and having only seen the episode once (in this case, hours before), so a lot of lines get distilled down to their base meaning in my head.

But yes, if John said "YOU'VE got a job" than that's definitely telling Dean that he needs to watch out for Sam, and isn't allowed to have his own life.

I've just finished a rewatch of Salvation - and those words by Sam at the end thanking Dean are the same as what he said right before they went to try to kill Azazel in the house. I thought that was significant and kind of nice.

Interesting!

I have a 12 year old son, but he definitely does not fly planes around - I'll go with the idea that he just wanted to show Dean his model though.

Ah well, every 12 year-old is different. But yeah, personally, when I was around 12, I loved making models - so I'm going with the model-building as my headcanon. It's also probably something that Sam didn't get to do very often, because you kind of need to be in one place for a while to build a model that big.

Definitely the scary scenes were very scary - I couldn't watch either. I was covering my eyes the whole time (But they were very predictable. You could tell exactly what was going to happen from like... 2 minutes prior to it.)

Personally, I think knowing what is going to happen makes for better horror movies - because it's the expectation that makes your insides squirm. I'm not a fan of jump-scare twists.

I think they put that conversation in there to remind us that Sam has only to ask Zeke to leave. (And maybe Dean was thinking of this as well)

Interesting take! :)



supernutjapan
Nov. 21st, 2013 02:18 am (UTC)
I feel a lot of resentment toward John in everyone's comments. I just finished watching Season 1 so I've got to say that I don't think should be too hard on John. Do you remember what he said to Sam in Dead Man's Blood? How he had not wanted this life for either of the boys. But that he wanted them to be prepared so they could survive?
Then, in Salvation, he talks about wanting a home for Dean, school for Sam... *cry*

People are judging John here without hearing his side of the story - from some preconcieved notions that may not be accurate.

As a parent, I think it could be very possible that John felt responsible for how Dean had gambled away the money (as someone said, he is the one that taught them to live like that) as well as how Dean had felt it was necessary to steal to get food for his brother.

He could have been giving Dean a break for those two months so he could experience a normal life - sent Sam to Bobby's for Dean's sake. He's calling Dean back because he needs him and he says it the way he does because he knows Dean knows it is true. Dean was taking a break from his responsibilities. Now it was time to get back to them. I don't think Dean ever felt it was a permanent thing either.

John may not have been the best parent ever, but I can only see him as doing the best he could. And he loved his boys - both of them - and sacrificed his life for Dean in the end.

Edited at 2013-11-21 02:19 am (UTC)
hells_half_acre
Nov. 21st, 2013 02:57 am (UTC)
Yeah, that's another product of having the story told from Dean's POV. A lot of the time, especially as teenagers, we really only see and understand events by how they effect ourselves... rather than what it might be like for our parents, or teachers, or whoever we feel is currently "ruining our lives!!(tm)" So, this is very much a story without a voice from John.

The fact of the matter is that there is no doubt that John loved his sons with everything he had - and he always acted in what he believed were his sons best interests. He wanted them to be strong, smart, and know how to protect themselves. He knew, I think, early on, that Sam had been the target of whatever had killed Mary - and as a parent, if you're led to believe that your kid is under constant threat, that really changes everything - things like school dances aren't high on your priority list. Meanwhile, all your teenagers see is that you never let them have any fun, never let them be "normal".

I think it's very easy to vilify John, and I think that's something the fandom does, more than the writers, really... I think the writers actually do a fairly good job at showing just what a grey figure John Winchester was. After all, one of the main themes of Supernatural is that the road to hell is paved with good intentions. I think there's this tendency in fandom to say "I love this character, and therefore if anyone does anything to upset him, then that person must be evil/bad" when that's just not the case.
ramblin_rosie
Nov. 21st, 2013 03:37 am (UTC)
*polite cough* Might this gapfiller serve?
I'm not a parent, nor even that much of a John-girl, but I agree that it's frustrating to see people jump all over John without taking his POV into account.
supernutjapan
Nov. 21st, 2013 03:54 am (UTC)
Thanks for that. Sorry, I put this in before yours by accident ramblin_rosie so I deleted and put it here instead - I really appreciate the input.

The more I think about it, the more I think John was thinking about Dean's well-being all along.

I also think most people are forgetting what Sonny said about dad - and also how he knew (I don't know when Dean/dad told him but...) what their job was. When Sonny tells Dean that dad is waiting outside, he says, "You're old man is outside, and man he's really somethin'"

Now I guess you can take that to mean something negative, but I like to think that maybe Sonny and dad had a good talk, and although Sonny may have thought Dean deserved a normal life (just as Bobby did), he also was impressed with John and respected him.

There. Sorry. I think I'm finished now.

It's funny how writing comments like this makes me think of things I would not have thought otherwise. I may actually like this episode now... ;)

Edited at 2013-11-21 04:04 am (UTC)
hells_half_acre
Nov. 21st, 2013 04:10 am (UTC)
Yay!

It's sometimes really easy to assume that our first interpretation is the correct one...or to let the reactions of the majority of people determine how we interpret something too...

Which is why I always like chatting about the show in my blog every week, because inevitably the comments and ideas make me rethink my original ideas, or at least examine them more closely.
mymuseandi
Nov. 20th, 2013 11:40 pm (UTC)
Hi!! *waves* God, it's so good to actually have time to sit down and talk about Supernatural without any dramatic gifs in the way (Tumblr can be too much at times).

I think this is one of the top episodes of the season so far. I might be biased, because I like flashbacks and kidfics and more backstories, but yeah. *shrugs* And this season is actually a bit better on continuity than season 7 0r 8, i believe. I mean, there are still holes, but you can try to handwave them, sort of? And I love that.

Let's talk instead about the fact that Dean and Sam didn't know what a damn Rugaru was until S4!!!

Oh yes, this one is a glaring one. And you know you've watched a lot of Supernatural when you can immediately know that there's something wrong with that statement as soon as they said it! I couldn't remember the season, but I was muttering, "...yeah, but the Bobby episode happened, so..." I personally think that the writers, when deciding on their MOTW, should at least browse through Superwiki to see if the creature's been featured before, and when. It's pretty up to date, and accurate, and hey, you have free help from the fans, so use it!

To sitting there in cuffs being told that his father left him to "rot in prison" for stealing. Ouch.

I took this as a paraphrasing from the officer, who might be smarting from the fact that Dean had decked him a pretty shiny, er, shiner haha. I mean, John is still not being entirely fair, but honestly that 'rot in prison' phrase seems a little too mean even for him.

I knew when they burnt the corpse about halfway through the episode that it's not going to be over! And that it has something to do with the boy, since he's featured prominently. He was the common factor when the bullying occurred, and after that the scene with the boys with the lawnmower, which had me shouting DON'T PUT YOUR HAND THERE YOU IDIOT at the screen. Really, hadn't the youths of today ever learnt anything from horror movies? Those are your survival guides to life, I'd say.

And you know, when Sam walked up in the attic, or whatever it is, I cringed a little. I watched Sinister on tv this past weekend, and attics are currently my in my list of places to avoid after dark, along with empty cardboard boxes, because that's just freaky.

The ending of the hunt is a bit melancholic. How much can you actually hate a ghost if the ghost is of a parent protecting his/her child? And it's a mirror of the brothers' lives, a little. The ending just had my heart ache slightly.

The actor playing Timmy is not so polished, because the last scene could have been a tearjerker, but I think he pulled it off not too badly. And young Dean, oh! The cockiness. The vulnerability. The first kiss. The statement about fixing cars and letting them go, ugh. That cut scene to Sam in the Impala. It's interesting that they originally wanted Dean to be 14 instead of 16. The boy can pass off as 14, he doesn't look THAT old. Let's face it, you have 20-something-year-olds people playing 16-18-year-olds on Teen Wolf and some other shows. This guy can definitely play off as 14. Because 10-year-old Sam playing with the plane sounds cuter than 12-year-old Sam doing that, although yes, 12-year-olds can still act like 10, even younger, sometimes. Maybe that's Dean's memories of Sam in the car? What I'm trying to say is that maybe Dean remembered it that way, but it might not necessarily be what Sam was doing? You know how sometimes even though your younger sibling is an adult, all you can think of is the time when the 11-year-old version is standing on top of the table strumming an air guitar and singing his head off, complete with the head-banging. That's my currently-25-year-old brother by the way LOL

Congrats on getting a new job by the way! I see I have a lot to catch up on :)
hells_half_acre
Nov. 21st, 2013 12:43 am (UTC)
I personally think that the writers, when deciding on their MOTW, should at least browse through Superwiki to see if the creature's been featured before, and when. It's pretty up to date, and accurate, and hey, you have free help from the fans, so use it!

Agreed. I know Robbie Thompson uses the SuperWiki a lot, and I have to admit that his episodes do seem a lot tighter on continuity...so I think that's a selling point right there.

I took this as a paraphrasing from the officer, who might be smarting from the fact that Dean had decked him a pretty shiny, er, shiner haha. I mean, John is still not being entirely fair, but honestly that 'rot in prison' phrase seems a little too mean even for him.

Agreed.

The boy can pass off as 14, he doesn't look THAT old. Let's face it, you have 20-something-year-olds people playing 16-18-year-olds on Teen Wolf and some other shows.

See, personally I kind of like the fact that we had a 16 year-old LOOKING 16 year-old, as opposed to the "Teen Wolf" 16 year-old who looks and actually IS 20.

But I do agree that they could have easily kept Dean 14 and Sam 10 and it would have made just as much, if not more sense... but *shrug*, they decided to go with a more realistic age based on the actor, and that's fine.

Maybe that's Dean's memories of Sam in the car? What I'm trying to say is that maybe Dean remembered it that way, but it might not necessarily be what Sam was doing? You know how sometimes even though your younger sibling is an adult, all you can think of is the time when the 11-year-old version is standing on top of the table strumming an air guitar and singing his head off, complete with the head-banging. That's my currently-25-year-old brother by the way LOL

Yeah, this is kind of what I think happened too... we're all seeing this from Dean's memories, and Sam is ALWAYS younger than he is in Dean's memories, because he's Dean's little brother. I'm the same way with my little sister, especially when she was a teenager. Whenever I was away from her for any length of time, I'd remember her as being younger than she was - then when I actually saw her, I'd be like "whoa! When'd you grow up?"... in this case, Dean's probably remembering Sam as he pictured him during the 2 months that he wasn't actually SEEING him.

Congrats on getting a new job by the way! I see I have a lot to catch up on :)

Haha, don't congratulate me yet! It's still very much the old-job that I was trying to escape, and it's only for November.
pushistyj_koshk
Nov. 22nd, 2013 07:33 am (UTC)
Robin actually said "why the hell would I trust you again", so it was pretty obvious she did remember Dean.
hells_half_acre
Nov. 22nd, 2013 08:21 am (UTC)
Yes.
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