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Quick Reaction: 9x19 Alex Annie Alexis Ann

Woot!

Okay, let's just dive right in....

Firstly, i don't have a Jody icon (I know, horrible oversight on my part), so Charlie will have to stand in as a representative of her fellow awesome female recurring character.

This episode was really a Jody Mills episode. I mean, from start to finish, it was Jody Mills all the way with the boys as guest stars. And I am not complaining. I really love episodes and characters that make the Supernatural universe BROADER and RICHER.. and having fully formed complex characters that are heroes of their own story (and most importantly, continue to LIVE) is what makes that possible. I think it's part of the reason why I had suh a hard time with S7, when the show became too narrowly focused on Sam and Dean.

Anyway, Jody is awesome. I'm happy... but let's talk about this is something resembling chronological order - though, like usual, I've had copious amounts of wine and only watched the episode once about an hour or two ago, so things aren't going to be perfect and no quotes will be correct.

We begin with our mystery girl being hauled into the police station - why, we never find out. But she's hauled in and put in holding, but then the ONE cop on duty is called out to a B&E. He leaves, because the Sheriff will be back soon... and dude, I'm pretty sure you aren't supposed to make exceptions to these rules!! But, nevertheless, that leaves our mystery girl alone at the station, which means that the vamp looking for her can break in and threaten to drag her back whence she came... only, NOT SO FAST, because Jody comes in and beheads him!

When in doubt, behead. We figure that's Jody's motto, since she couldn't have known he was a vampire from behind.

Being the smart woman that she is, Jody calls the boys - who arrive to confirm that it's a vampire (who is now stashed in Jody's trunk - and THAT's going to get smelly fast.) Jody has healed nicely since that time she was stabbed in the shoulder - and I like the fact that she says that it only hurts when it rains, and we see that it is quite obviously raining. There's something... meaningful about it all, which I can't articulate right now because 1)I'm tipsy, and 2)I'm not very articulate to begin with, let's be honest.

We find out that Annie is a missing girl from 9 years ago, who before that was an orphan living with her grandma. We also find out that she's been going by the name Alex and that she's a "blood slave" who has Stockholm syndrome. She makes them as hunters immediately and won't give up any information... until they convince her that it's either she gives up her nest, or she resigns herself to the fact that she's not ever going to escape her "family."

What I LOVED about this scene was that as soon as Jody understand that Annie/Alex was not thankful because, as she saw it, Jody killed her brother - she reacts COMPASSIONATELY. Dean and Sam see it as a sign of her brainwashing/stockholm thing, but Jody knows that even if it IS messed up that doesn't diminish the fact that Alex is now in genuine mourning.

So, I kind of forget whether Alex gives them the information or not. But the Winchesters figure out what town she came from and they head off to find the nest, while Sheriff Mills stays behind. Sam tells her about deadman's blood before he goes, and they both tell her that she should probably clear out of the Sheriff station in case the vamp nest arrives for Alex before the Winchesters can kill them. The Sheriff decides to head up to her family's cabin.

Also, I love how in character having a family cabin is for the Sheriff...it reminded me of when she showed up at Rufus' cabin to make sandwiches for Bobby and how at home she seemed there.

Anyway... the boys head off to Nebraska to find the nest -

Oh, but meanwhile, the vampires are killing people trying to find Alex... they attack everyone who works at the bus station ticket office and kill them. Good job. We find out that their a "family" of boys run by a "mama" vamp, which is a nice change from the predominately patriarchal vampire nest that we've see on the show. I think the last female-run nest was Lenore's back in S2.

Right, back to the boys... the boys find the house the vampires are squatting in, and they find one brother outside by the woodchippper...good ol' woodchipper, always good for destroying bodies. I wonder if that's realistic? I've seen it so many times now, I feel like it might be. So gross. I'll stop thinking about it now.

They tie up and torture the vampire, who tells them all about his ungrateful runaway teenage human sister, who thinks she's so much better than them... they find out that Alex is a lure - sent out to find skeezy pedophiles and lechers and bring them back to the house to be killed. The way her brother tells it, Alex seemed to quite enjoy her roll... and man, personally, I think she's doing the rest of humanity a favour. Am I too harsh on pedophiles and whatever-the-word-is-for-people-who-like-underage-teenagers? Do I care? The answer is no. So, I really have no doubt that she did enjoy THOSE kills...

BUT... Alex also mentioned that she was their blood supply when they got back from unsuccessful hunts...which means that Alex's supply of skeevy-dudes weren't their only prey, I don't think... and that's probably part of where this operation starts to fall apart.

Meanwhile, Jody takes Alex up to her family's cabin and, as a result, Alex sees all the family pictures and such that Jody has up of her family...and asks questions. Jody doesn't necessarily answer them outright, besides responding to "how did they die?" with the answer "horribly" which is, IMHO, a really awesome heart-wrenching response. Also, Kim Rhodes is awesome, because she keeps her calm, but you can hear the threatening tears in her voice at just the MENTION of her family.

Anyway, Sam and Dean kill what's-his-dude... and then take off to try to find Jody, who isn't answering her phone.

And Jody can't find Alex for a minute, but then finds her asleep in her sons room...only, when she tries to cover her gently with a blanket, Alex wakes up and Jody tells her that she made her a sandwich...and it's all very domestic.

Can I just do an aside here -  the other thing I love about Jody in this episode is that as soon as Alex told them that she preferred the name Alex, Jody just started calling her Alex. Again, that just sets up from the beginning that Jody is a maternal figure that is a contrast to Alex's previous maternal figure. Jody LISTENS to Alex and respects her desires and feelings... but we'll get to that more later, I guess...

The boys finally get through to Jody and try to warn her that Alex might not be trust-worthy - uh, what else is new? But, they don't actually get the words out, and as their on the phone, a truck pulls up and the vamps are there! They come in through the bedroom window before Jody can get to it and defend Alex...and they drag Alex away... Jody runs out, but is knocked out by a vampire. Luckily, they flee instead of killing Jody.

The Winchesters arrive at dawn to find a slightly disoriented Jody. They argue that they might have to kill Alex too, if she's bloodthirsty in the psychotic way that her brother implied... Jody's super angry about that, but eventually agrees - perhaps just to shut-up the Winchesters. I liked this point too, because, although I think the Winchesters are a bit TOO quick to have human-collateral damage these days, I also like the fact that new hunters, like Jody, perhaps haven't necessarily learned that humans can also be monsters - not the way the Winchesters have. So, basically, as usual, I'm saying that I can see and understand both sides of this argument.

Meanwhile, Alex wakes up back home with mama vamp telling her that they have to move and she's made a mess of everything. Alex is apologetic and wonders why her mother hasn't killed her for all the trouble she's caused. Her mother swears that she'd never hurt Alex, but also implies that Alex is never ever going to escape the family - but when Alex confides in her that she couldn't take the murdering anymore, mama vamp decides that it's because Alex is a human. Her logic is that if she needs to turn Alex, and that she should have done it sooner, so that she won't have a moral conscious anymore... I'm PRETTY sure that's not how vampires work though, but hey, I WILL believe that the hunger just gets to be too much and the feeding feels so good, that they no longer CARE about their moral conscious.

They drive to Nebraska and get ready to raid the nest. Dean once again presses that killing the vampires is their priority, NOT saving Alex. Jody, again, agrees probably just to shut him up.

Then we made fun of the way that Jared "sneaks around" - because K's husband thinks it looks hilariously awkward. K and I just think it's really hard for a 6'5'' guy to try to be inconspicuous. :P

And sure enough, it IS hard, because when Sam and Dean get up to the second floor (leaving Sheriff Mills on the first), Sam gets a gun to his back, and Dean has to drop his weapon in order for Sam not to be shot - and that earns him a two by four to the noggin.

Meanwhile, Jody has heard something from the basement and goes to investigate...  she finds Alex, with blood on her mouth and weirdly bloodshot eyes.... and she apologizes, and she's obviously been turned. And that's when mama vamp attacks Jody.

So, Sam gets tied up upstairs, while Dean is left on the floor unconscious. The vamps know about the Winchesters - which, again, I think is awesome, because at this point Sam and Dean's reputation really SHOULD precede them. But, instead of killing them, they apparently need snacks for the road. Since they can't drink deadman's blood, apparently this means draining them until they're nearly dead? Or is it not deadman's blood if the man is still alive when they remove it, even if he dies from blood loss? I'm not sure how this mythological science works!

Anyway, they're draining Sam something fierce.

Jody is tied up in the basement, with mama vamp trying to get Alex to feed on her... but Alex doesn't want to, because Jody has actually only ever shown her kindness and respect. Also, Alex was against all the killing in the first place - she didn't WANT to be a vampire, she wanted to escape. So, yeah, killing the one person who tried to help her escape at their own personal peril is NOT appealing.

And while Mama vamp tries to degrade Jody so that Alex will lose her high opinion of her and feed, Jody puts it together and realizes why mama vamp changed Annie's name... it wasn't just Jody who liked looking after Alex because it helped fill the hole in her that losing her son (twice, I may add) left in her, Mama vamp has obviously lost someone named Alex and replaced her with Annie, even going so far as to change Annie's name to match.

Of course, no one likes to be called out on their weird psychological issues, so Jody gets a broken knee out of the deal - and OH GOD, that hurt to look at... as someone who has knee problems, that's like...the worst. The absolute worst. Knees don't heal right, in my opinion. You mess up your knees and you're basically screwed forever - at least in my experience. Everything that happens to my knees just add more things that are wrong with my knees. So, yeah, have fun going down stairs for the rest of your life Jody.

Anyway, Jody hits so many nerves that she eventually just starts getting punched in the face repeatedly, which is when Alex swoops in for the rescue, showing us that indeed is sticking with her original choice of trying to escape the vampire nest. She injects her mama with deadman's blood, unties Jody, and Jody's able to go over to the table to get her machete.

Meanwhile, upstairs, Dean is surprisingly not knocked out and beats the shit out of the vampires and rescues Sam - though he gets up close and personal with the death and demands the last vampire look at him when he deals the death blow. It's pretty awesome... but, you know, disturbing and obviously a symptom of the Mark of Cain. Sam has to remind Dean that Jody even exists after that, because Dean is so high off the kill.

They run downstairs to see Jody about to take out the mama vamp - and Jody, again, being super awesome, tells Alex not to watch... because Jody understand that monster or not, Alex saw the woman as a mother-figure for the past decade.

Then we take a little break... and we come back to Sam confronting Dean outside of Jody's cabin. Telling him that he's worried about how much he seemed to enjoy killing the vampire. Dean doesn't see a problem with his enjoyment, arguing that it's not a crime to enjoy your job. Sam is disturbed.

We find out that they've been able to administer the cure to Alex - yay! Dean tells Jody that "from personal experience, it'll be a rough few days." And I LOVE the fact that they referenced that one time Dean was a vampire. I just think it's a neat aspect to his character experience, because although Sam's the one that was always afraid of being a monster, Dean actually HAS been a monster - and it always kind of annoyed me that it never came up in any of the Benny episodes - but, I guess it just never really had a reason to.

Then Jody tells Sam and Dean that they weren't altogether wrong about her judgement being clouded when it came to Alex - that she can see now that for the past 4-6 years (depending which timeline you follow), she's basically just been trying to ignore her grief by filling her life with other things - dating, church, I even wonder if her helping the boys and getting into hunting a little was part of it too... but that she realizes that if she wants to move on in a healthy manner, she really does just have to acknowledge and accept the grief and allow herself to mourn.

Then Sam and Dean leave, while ignoring their own issues with the skill that comes out of years and years of practice, and Jody returns to the cabin to check on Alex.

Alex still has weird bloodshot eyes, and I do think that the make-up was a LITTLE incongruous with previous canon, but that's really my biggest criticism of this episode and it's a horribly minor nitpicky one, so whatever.

Jody continues to be awesome and tells Alex that it's up to Alex what she wants to do next, and Jody will help her in anyway that Alex wants her to help...and she also tells Alex that she knows that no one will ever understand what Alex is going through, and what it's like to lose the only family you have ever known all in a 48 hour period like that. Alex points out that JODY understands...and our episode ends. But I have to say that I love the fact that although Jody DOES know what it's like to lose your entire family in one night, she still doesn't assume she knows what it's like for ALEX. Just because their situations are slightly similar, doesn't mean they're the same.... and I love that Jody acknowledged that, and that it was Alex who declared that they were similar enough for Alex to feel comforted by Jody's level of understanding.

And man, can we get the Jody and Alex/Annie adventures now? I figure though, that Alex will probably want to try living a normal life - going to school, moving on, etc... but who better to help her with that then Jody? They can be a little domestic, but sometimes Jody will call home when a weird death gets reported and Alex will go get the guns ready, and she's gotten her driver's license, so she'll be the wheelman and back-up as Jody takes care of things... but "only back-up, Alex." Only does she really listen? No, because if Jody's not back in five-minutes, Alex grabs the shotgun and leaves the car - and swoops in to once again save the day. And Jody would ground her, because she had it under control, she swears, but she knows Alex has a date on Friday and she's been looking forward to it all week - so instead Jody just grumbles and tells her that she's in charge of dinner as punishment - but that's also fine with Alex, because all Jody knows how to make is sandwiches, and there's only so many days a week that you can eat sandwiches for dinner. Alex, meanwhile, having grown up as the only human in a family of vampires, has gotten quite good at preparing meals. Since everyone else in her family only drank blood, the kitchen basically belonged to Alex.... and... okay, yeah, I guess I'll stop now.

To sum up: Great episode. As I told both Kim Rhodes and Robert Berens on twitter, I really love stories that are about the other characters on Supernatural - they enrich the universe and make it seem more real, more like a living breathing thing.

Next week's episode is the spin-off backdoor pilot..., so, should be interesting, I've been the most spoiled for it - and while I'm sure it'll annoy some viewers, since it's not going to be Sam and Dean centred either - I'm interested to see what it'll be like. I figure with 23 episodes in the season, we've got plenty of time for Sam and Dean, and like I've said multiple times, I love it when the show expands the universe to include more characters that you can envision going on with lives that are just as interesting as Sam and Dean's. But, I'll talk bout that episode more next week after it airs, so I don't spoil it for any of you who aren't spoiled already.

As per usual, let me know your thoughts in comments, or if there was anything you desperately wanted me to talk about, or thought that I WOULD talk about, but I seem to have completely forgotten about or neglected to mention...

Comments

( 54 comments — Leave a comment )
borgmama1of5
Apr. 23rd, 2014 08:27 am (UTC)
Kim Rhodes did an awesome job with Jody!

Why couldn't the spinoff be about her?!?!
hells_half_acre
Apr. 23rd, 2014 09:06 am (UTC)
Why indeed.... well, I know why, but they're horrible reasons, so I'll just pretend I don't know them. :P

Yay Kim Rhodes!! I always have such a conundrum with the auxiliary characters in SPN, because I always want to see more of them, but the more we see of them, the more likely they are to die!
missyjack
Apr. 23rd, 2014 08:51 am (UTC)
Great ep! I love how we've seen Jody's character evolve over the years, and how they used that history for this episode about grief and family.

It says a lot about me that Dean's shower scene did nothing for me, but Dean getting turned on by killing? Gave me shivers in my lady parts!

But mainly i want to spend the weekend with Jody in ehr cabin while she makes me breakfast in bed!
hells_half_acre
Apr. 23rd, 2014 09:08 am (UTC)
It says a lot about me that Dean's shower scene did nothing for me, but Dean getting turned on by killing? Gave me shivers in my lady parts!

Same!

But mainly i want to spend the weekend with Jody in ehr cabin while she makes me breakfast in bed!

That was a pretty sweet cabin. ;)
claudiapriscus
Apr. 23rd, 2014 08:52 am (UTC)
Man, this episode actually sounds great. What a pity it isn't the spin off, because it sounds like it would be awesome.

Also, the vampire!Dean thing is something that drove me SO crazy in season 8, because the conversation kept kind of turning there, to the point that it seemed unnatural to not mention it.
hells_half_acre
Apr. 23rd, 2014 09:10 am (UTC)
The episode WAS great. If you're bored, you should give it a watch - it really is Jody centred, so it's not like you need to watch the rest of S9 to enjoy it or feel engaged.

Also, the vampire!Dean thing is something that drove me SO crazy in season 8, because the conversation kept kind of turning there, to the point that it seemed unnatural to not mention it.

Exactly! I mean, geez... it's kind of a pretty big character point to be briefly a vampire, but hey, what do I know. :P
kuhekabir
Apr. 23rd, 2014 08:56 am (UTC)
The only spin off I would be interested in is Men of Letters. This spin of put me to sleep just by reading the description.

I seriously hope they re-think THAT project. SIGH.
hells_half_acre
Apr. 23rd, 2014 09:14 am (UTC)
I'm reserving judgment until I watch the episode, but from what I've read so far, it's probably not going to be my cup of tea. I tend to not enjoy "crime family" centred things.

For the sake of all the actors involved, I hope it does well enough that they greenlight the project to at least give it one season to see if it has any footing. And you never know...
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raloria
Apr. 23rd, 2014 11:04 am (UTC)
Dean tells Jody that "from personal experience, it'll be a rough few days." And I LOVE the fact that they referenced that one time Dean was a vampire. I just think it's a neat aspect to his character experience, because although Sam's the one that was always afraid of being a monster, Dean actually HAS been a monster

I liked that this was brought up as well and it is pretty cool that Dean actually has been a monster, especially when show has stressed for so many years that he had to remain human. :P It's just cool that he's had that experience, so he can sort of relate to other vamps when it's called for. It is a shame they never brought that into play in S8. They should have brought the Alpha Vamp back then and involved Benny....*sigh*

I'm not very interested in the spinoff, but of course the boys are in next week's pilot so I'll definitely watch that. But I'm afraid the premise and the characters just feel like another version of The Originals....which I'm also not interested in, despite liking some of the characters from their time on TVD. So while I'd like the spinoff to do well, I'm not holding out much hope for it. To me SPN is about Sam & Dean and their adventures. I think it would've been better if the spinoff had involved characters we already know - like The Ghostfacers, or some MOL background, or your idea of Jody and Alex. I really hoped they would've used the hunter kids from S8's "Freaks And Geeks" with Krissy leading them.
hells_half_acre
Apr. 23rd, 2014 04:52 pm (UTC)
Yes. Completely agree on all points. I feel pretty much exactly the same as you do about the spin-off. Still, it'll be interesting to see the pilot.
thursdaysisters
Apr. 23rd, 2014 03:02 pm (UTC)
I really hope Jody Mills survives as a character in Bloodlines, like when some Buffy characters crossed over to Angel, she's sooooo cool.
hells_half_acre
Apr. 23rd, 2014 04:51 pm (UTC)
Yeah, that'd be really neat - sadly, I think the plan is to keep the shows completely separate and not overlap characters at all.
pushistyj_koshk
Apr. 23rd, 2014 10:00 pm (UTC)
I wouldn't call it great per se, but it was another decent episode - I don't mind seeing in again.

Because for me it was just an ok episode (although Winchesters actually talking is soooo nice, albeit Dean being a little passive aggressive near the end... or was it not the end? was it the middle? whatever), I'm going to comment on the little things. Like Sam's freakin' hair!!! It has been bugging me for so many episodes. At this point I don't have faith in it ever getting better. Jareeeed, have you been mean to you stylist? Would you consider apologising? OK, done venting :)

Also, Sam shouldn't have been feeling so lightheaded - it's not like he was nearly drained like in the ghoul episode (now THAT was scary). They (not the vampires, the...errm... medical personnel) take 470 ml of blood during blood donation. And I figure there was about 530-550 ml of blood in both those bottles combined. Sam's a big guy - there's no way he has much less than 5 litres of blood in his body. It shouldn't have hit him that hard. Maybe it's all those head traumas, bless his heart!

I did like Dean's "Look at me, bitch!" though :)

Edited at 2014-04-23 10:04 pm (UTC)
hells_half_acre
Apr. 23rd, 2014 10:17 pm (UTC)
You know, I never even really notice the hair... I'm probably too busy looking at the clothes. :P

It looked like way more than a standard blood donation to me - also, I think it depends on the speed in which the blood is drained, and they had both arms tapped, I think. But, hey, who knows...

My nitpicky small thing (other than the one I mentioned in the post) is that I'm actually kind of getting tired of them using "bitch" so much as Dean's go-to insult. I understand that part of the problem is that all the nongendered/male insults aren't allowed on network TV, but you're allowed to say "bitch" a certain number of times or something... but, ugh... I just wish we could get an "asshole" or something instead.

That being said though, I did like the way Dean killed that guy and forced him to look at him while he did it - it reminded me of Sam killing Gordon, but of course with a MUCH different mood on the part of Dean.
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shadowsong26
Apr. 24th, 2014 02:23 am (UTC)
I adore Jody. So freaking much. Her and Ellen, I wish they'd had a chance to meet.

I don't really have anything of substance to say about this episode--not because I didn't like it, because I did. It's just that it was very...I think satisfying is the word I want. Sort of like a gift, from the writers. Like, last week toyed with my emotions, next week is a detour into another story (which I may or may not like, but they've got a lot of Story this season and not a lot of progress on the main arcs has been made. IDK, maybe it just feels like that because this is the first season I've watched live), and then comes the last three episodes which, as always, will crush my soul one way or another. So, yeah. I could maybe work up Overthinky Comments like I usually try to, but...I just feel satisfied with this episode.

But, in general, I really love Jody. And I lovelovelove the way she interacts with Alex/Annie.

I think it's interesting, the point you made about Jody not knowing that humans can be monsters, too--which, you'd think, with a background in law enforcement, she'd be more aware than most novice hunters? But, then again, as she puts it, there isn't a lot of crime in her jurisdiction. Certainly not violent crime.

On a tangent, one of the things I love about Jody is how freaking amazing it is to have an active law enforcement officer who is also an active(ish) hunter. Sort of like Henrickson probably would have been if he'd lived.

You have a very good point about the Jody and Alex/Annie Adventures. There are actually a lot of side characters I'd love to see the Continuing Adventures of a little more, and these two are definitely among them. (Also, Krissy and her friends (though I may be a minority in this), the Men of Letters like someone mentioned before, or another historical thing like the Campbells at their peak or fleshing out some other backstory--demon politics, the last generation of hunters, etc--or...IDK.)

Though you also do have a point about how 'we have enough time for Sam and Dean, it's nice to see other stories.' I still think that the balance between Arc Plot and Everything Else has been off this season, and both the Heaven and Hell arc plots have kind of suffered for it, which is why I'm not super looking forward to taking an episode to introduce an entirely new show at this point, but maybe I'll like it. I guess I'll find out next week. I think I'd be more excited/interested if it had happened somewhere earlier in the season, when we weren't down to the last five episodes. Because what I have read about what's coming seems pretty cool.
percysowner
Apr. 24th, 2014 02:45 am (UTC)
Although I may not be wild about Krissy and friends, I could actually see them being folded into an ensemble with Jody and Alex. It will never happen, but I would find it more interesting than the proposed spinoff. But I'll watch Bloodlines and judge after I see it.
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hells_half_acre
Apr. 24th, 2014 04:19 am (UTC)
That's basically how I feel about the episode too - satisfied to the point where I wasn't sure what I was going to say about it. Obviously, I figured out something. :P

I never thought about how we got a second chance at a law-enforcement hunter with Jody, that's true. It was always a great disappointment to me that Henricksen died just when he was about to get awesome... so it's neat to see Jody filling that roll a little bit.

In terms of the pace of the Arc Plot and Everything Else, I was just talking about that with someone last week, I think. Was it you? About how I've been rewatching the earlier seasons along with Mark Oshiro over at Mark Watches, and I noticed that in the Kripke years, they seemed to be a lot better at making sure every episode had a LITTLE bit of a Arc Plot.

What I do wonder though is whether we felt that way at the time? I think there IS an aspect to watching live that makes it feel like everything is off balance, when it's not as off balance as we think. I had a similar sensation when I rewatched S8, I was suprised by how fast the plot seamed to progress on rewatch as compared to what I remembered.

That being said, I DO agree that the balance has been a little off this year - I was reading someone's comment on it earlier and they mentioned how the problem is that Sam and Dean aren't taking a more active roll in the angel plot, so Castiel is off on that plot, but we don't actually see him that much, and it feels kind of weird - and a slightly similar feeling to the beginning of S6, which is the other year that they made Misha a regular cast member and then didn't seem to use him as much as you should use a regular cast member... anyway, I remember a lot of people complaining in S6 that there was this whole angel civil war going on that we weren't seeing ANY of - now, obviously, that was done because Castiel was hiding things and they couldn't show the hand before the big reveal - this year, they don't really have that excuse. Personally, I find political things boring, which is why I'm not TOO upset that we aren't getting more angel faction fighting episodes... BUT, I do love exploring Cas' character and I'm interested in Gadreel... so it'd be nice if we could have more of them.

And now I'm just rambling so I'll stop - I had a point in there somewhere, and it's probably that I agree with you about the balance being off, but that I also agree with you that it might be because you/we are watching live.
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metallidean_grl
Apr. 24th, 2014 05:57 am (UTC)
I thought this was a good enough episode, but with 5 episodes left in the season, and one of those is dedicated to the spin-off, I would have hoped for something more related to the major arcs in the season instead of a one-shot. Like someone else said, I think this would have served a better purpose earlier in the season than on Episode 19.

I did enjoy the callbacks to earlier canon, i.e., dead man's blood, dean's recovery from being a vamp, Jody's family being killed-Berens used the show's history very well in this regard. I also liked the extra bit of vampire lore that we received about blood slave, etc. I also loved it that these vamps knew about Dean and Sam Winchester. It is about time that monsters out there are aware of these two. Now we just need for them to run in to some other hunters that haven't met before and hear the same thing. We the series started out, hunters seemed to know about John, now they know about Dean and Sam. These two really should be legends by now in the hunter and monster community.
metallidean_grl
Apr. 24th, 2014 05:57 am (UTC)

I was intrigued about your comment that Dean/Sam and monsters. The first two seasons all Sam ever lamented about was turning into a monster. He lamented it in later seasons, but not as much. And then he lamented that Dean would have to kill him if that ever happened. I mean, sometimes I got nauseated with the whole aspect, Sam was always so worried that he would become one, and never had the confidence in himself or Dean that they could stop that from ever happening. And then, BAM, Dean does become a monster (no thanks to soulless Sam, I might add), and while this monster, Dean is able to fight against every monster instinct that is now a part of him. He is able to hold on to his humanity long enough to wait for someone to kill him, or as we were lucky to find out, for Samuel to help turn him back. I had never thought about this comparison before, so now that you mentioned it, I do find it very interesting. Sam all worried about going dark side, but it never happening, and Dean going dark side but never completely succumbing to the powers of the dark side. And now, here we are again, Dean is sliding down that slippery slope to going to the dark side, or maybe becoming a monster, and I am worried for him. But yet, Dean had resisted it before as a vampire, he was able to hold on to his humanity long enough for him to be turned back, and I am hoping upon hope here that Dean, once again, will be able to hold onto his humanity and not allow the MoC to take complete hold over him. There has been a lot of talk on Tumblr and such about how Dean's kill of that vampire was totally BAMFed up because of his MoC, and he probably wouldn't have killed the way he did had he not had the Mark. I'm not sure though. Dean was killing because the vamp needed to be killed. I do think that the Mark gave him some extra strength to be able to overpower the vamp to killing him, and maybe he did enjoy it, but Dean has always enjoyed killing the monsters. When I watched that scene I couldn't help but think of him killing the vamp in Bloodlust with that chainsaw. He was relishing that one as well, and there was no Mark involved there. I think a part of him enjoying the kill could be hearkened back to how Dean feels about himself. Remember what he said in S6, I'm a killer, that's what I do best. Dean is feeling so low about himself that he is accentuating what he knows he is best at and what he feels is his only purpose - kill the monster. I mean, from his reaction to Sam after he killed the vamp and was untying him that he knows Sam wouldn't have saved him - Dean is still of the belief that Sam and he are business partners, not brothers, despite evidence to us of the contrary. Instead of Sam telling Dean that he thinks he enjoyed the kill too much, Sam should have said something about that comment (that Sam wouldn't have saved him). Sam needs to say something to Dean, and say it soon before Dean completely slides away. Sam had the perfect opportunity and it was wasted. I was frustrated with that ending. I wanted a more heartfelt DeanSam conversation, not an ending scene between Jody and Annie. But, I guess, since this was Jody's story, it was fitting - but, that doesn't mean I'm not exactly happy about it.

Overall, I did like the episode. Just wish it would have happened earlier, or that maybe we could have had a couple more myth arc related scenes, especially after last week's episode. This just felt like a little bit of a let down.
hells_half_acre
Apr. 24th, 2014 06:49 am (UTC)
To be honest, I didn't really realize that we were that close to the end of the season. I mean, I wrote the episode numbers, but I didn't really make the mental-connection. So, yeah, I can see your point about how this episode would have perhaps better fit a little earlier in the season, along with the spin-off pilot, and whatever happens in the last three episodes (which I've heard are going to be super intense) would perhaps benefit from being spread out over more than just three episodes.

That being said, I've kind of gotten used to SPN cramming all their mytharc into the first 2 episodes, the 2-3 episodes before christmas, and the last 3 episodes - so yeah, at this point, I just shrug and don't expect anything else, so I'm able to enjoy the MOTW episodes when their good (like this one) and not get too annoyed that they aren't mytharc episodes.

Now, to address the Dean-Monster thing... I agree with you that Dean's taken pleasure in his kills before, and that he ALWAYS has enjoyed that aspect of the job to some degree - but, taking THIS much pleasure has always been a sign that things are not good with him. It was concerning to Sam back in S2 when it was connected to Dean's issues with John's death, and it's concerning to Sam now when it's possibly MoC related or perhaps it's just emotional related again...

In terms of the comment made by Dean about how Sam wouldn't save him - I don't think Sam realizes that Dean actually believes that. I think Sam thinks that Dean is kind of... reminding Sam of what Sam said to hurt Sam, if that makes any sense. It probably doesn't make sense. But I don't know how to explain it...

How about, I just say that yes, I agree that Sam needs to explain better to Dean what he meant by that remark, because Dean is obviously still hurt by it and confused as to the EXTENT of what it means - because Sam WOULD, of course, save Dean from vampires. Sam at the end of this WAS suffering from sudden bloodloss when Dean said that comment - and moreover, he was suffering from sudden bloodloss while he knew that Jody was missing and also needed to be saved, so I'm not even sure if he really heard Dean, and Dean said it in such an offhand manner, that I'm not sure Sam thought he was serious.

I know you've been in need of a brotherly bond fixing scene since the mid season mark, so yeah, I can completely understand how disappointed you must be that you once again didn't get one. At this point, I think it's unlikely to happen before the finale - if even then. (Sorry to be cynical about it!)
(no subject) - metallidean_grl - Apr. 25th, 2014 03:26 am (UTC) - Expand
hells_half_acre
Apr. 24th, 2014 07:07 am (UTC)
There has been a lot of talk on Tumblr and such about how Dean's kill of that vampire was totally BAMFed up because of his MoC, and he probably wouldn't have killed the way he did had he not had the Mark. I'm not sure though. Dean was killing because the vamp needed to be killed.

Sorry, I just forgot to address this comment and I wanted to.

I think the talk isn't so much about him being a BAMF and killing the vampire, it's about him saying "look at me, bitch!" and NOT killing the vamp until the vamp looked him in the eye. Dean, ordinarily, might find pleasure in a kill, but he'd be efficient and cold about it... forcing the monster to look him in the eye while he's killed adds a level of SADISTIC pleasure to kill, rather than just the usual pleasure in a job well done.

That's my two cents anyway. Based on the fact that Sam doesn't talk to him about killing the vampire, he talks to him SPECIFICALLY about the line "look at me, bitch" because THAT was what Sam found concerning. Obviously, Sam wouldn't find the manner of death disturbing since he did the same himself to Gordon when that needed to be done.
(no subject) - metallidean_grl - Apr. 25th, 2014 03:34 am (UTC) - Expand
supernutjapan
Apr. 24th, 2014 01:37 pm (UTC)
I really should be working on that rewatch... but what the heck... this is a place of the most interesting conversations and there are several things I thought were important too - which I mentioned in my blog but will expand on here - the more I write, the more thoughts I get and my thoughts have traveled a bit since I wrote my post.

Anywho - When I first read your review, I noticed a few details were different from what I remembered and since the details were important for me, I'm going to mention them.(I'm just saying - we notice and find importance in different things sometimes aye?)

One was that it was actually Sam that first started calling Anne Alex after she denied that she was Anne. If Jody had been the first to address her, she may have been the first, but the interesting point there was that it was after Alex/Anne told them that the vampires were family that Sam started calling her Alex (despite a pause of hesitation before he does). They of all people understand family and loyalty. It is also interesting that Dean - without any hesitation before the word, calls Cody her brother as well.

I really really liked that talk between Alex and Dean and Sam. Dean with his, "you didn't think this through did you" and that tear falling from Alex's eye as well as Sam's "you feel loyal to them, you have feelings for them... we get it." and Alex refusing to tell them anything because of her fear of mama killing her. Dean and Sam actually just look through all the possible places that the vamps might be and find the house themselves aye?

But besides that, I do think that Jody felt the same way as the boys in calling Anne Alex and maybe even felt the importance even more because of her affinity to Alex as a person that "fills her hole." The scene with the photos and "How did they die?" "horribly" was an awesome scene too but Jody and Alex both in that scene in the bedroom were just awesome in trying and failing to hold in their grief while talking to each other (Jody with her wavery voice as she takes in the shock of finding Alex in her son's bed - Alex with her nonchalant "She was old" when Jody talks of her grandmother's death. You know she cares and just cannot show it, being a teenager AND brought up by vamps.

Sam has to remind Dean that Jody even exists after that, because Dean is so high off the kill.

This is one more scene I feel a bit differently about. It is true Sam reminds him of Jody but I felt a bit of importance in Dean's line before it. Maybe just because I tend to cater to Dean, but his little comment, "Yeah, I know you wouldn't have done the same for me" showing Dean is really hung up on that point, and then Sam, not realizing how important that little comment was - brushing him off and reminding him of Jody. I'm not saying he should have addressed it there, but obviously this should have been one of the things they should have been talking about at the end. Another interesting thing I noticed was the little shake of Dean's head after his kill as if he was waking up from it and then remembering Sam and rushing over to him. To me, that little shake is indication of his recovering from the kill-mode. I do not think that is the reason he forgot about Jody for the moment. Rather, it was the situation Sam was in and Dean's priority - to take care of Sam - it takes Sam reminding him to remember that there was someone else he had to worry about.

hells_half_acre
Apr. 24th, 2014 07:57 pm (UTC)
Oh cool, yes, that correction counts as "an important character point", so thanks for correcting me! It's good to know that the boys haven't completely lost their empathy and understanding. I guess my memory was clouded by later in the episode when they were trying to get Jody to understand that Alex might be a willing bloodthirsty murderer.

I'm not saying he should have addressed it there, but obviously this should have been one of the things they should have been talking about at the end. Another interesting thing I noticed was the little shake of Dean's head after his kill as if he was waking up from it and then remembering Sam and rushing over to him. To me, that little shake is indication of his recovering from the kill-mode. I do not think that is the reason he forgot about Jody for the moment.

I'm sure you've read my other comment on this, but I both agree and disagree with you.

1)I agree that perhaps Dean may have already been out of kill-mode and his current distraction was Sam, and taking care of him, and it was self-sacrificing Sam who wanted Dean to prioritize Jody over him and ignored Dean's comment in favour of reminding him that he should be trying to find Jody.

2)I'm not sure how to explain the part I disagree with. I completely failed in the other comment too. But, when Dean says "I know you wouldn't do the same for me", he says it in a tone of voice that, to me, begs NOT to be paid attention to. It's snarky and a little cutting, and Dean has been snarky and cutting to Sam a lot since their fight. I'm not saying that it's not an important thing for Sam to address, what I'm saying is that I don't think Sam REALIZES that Dean is SERIOUS.

Also, at the end of the episode, I think Sam WAS trying to talk about it. The previous times that Dean has killed in a disturbing fashion, it was because he had to talk about his feelings... as much as I'm sure Sam is wondering if it's the MoC, he's probably also wondering if Dean needs to talk about his feelings - when he brings up the sadism in their conversation, I think he's trying to give Dean an opening to say anything from "The MoC is messing me up" to "You hurt my feelings and I'm mad at you" - because Sam honestly doesn't know which one it is. YES, Sam knows that they're still not okay, he's still mad at Dean and he knows Dean is mad at him for being mad... but that doesn't necessarily mean that Sam knows whether IF or HOW that's affecting Dean or whether it's the MoC or something else entirely.

You have to remember that as outside observers, we know a lot more about Sam and Dean than Sam and Dean know about each other.
(no subject) - supernutjapan - Apr. 24th, 2014 11:08 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - hells_half_acre - Apr. 24th, 2014 11:14 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - supernutjapan - Apr. 24th, 2014 11:17 pm (UTC) - Expand
supernutjapan
Apr. 24th, 2014 01:38 pm (UTC)
Sorry this is soooo long!.....

I've read several comments by you and others regarding Dean and whether the way he killed the vamp was influenced by the Mark or not. I completely agree with you in believing that it was. People are comparing Dean here with Sam with Gordon, and with Dean in Bloodlust but having seen Bloodlust quite recently I'm pretty sure Dean was without feeling when he killed that vamp. and the cold manner he killed the vamp was more about the hole in his heart as well as the belief he had that monsters were black and white. Being cold in the kill and reveling in it are two different things. Sam killing Gordon with the cord - as you mentioned - was due to necessity. Sam definitely did not enjoy the kill as a form of domination as Dean did here.

The MoC theme of this episode (as I see it) is that Dean is turning into something evil - just as bloodthirsty as a vampire. As the tortured brother said of Alex, "You can't be so good at something without enjoying it."

On another note - I do like your little story about Alex and Jody ;)

Enjoyed your review as usual. Had a few laughs too. Thanks!
hells_half_acre
Apr. 24th, 2014 08:00 pm (UTC)
I've read several comments by you and others regarding Dean and whether the way he killed the vamp was influenced by the Mark or not. I completely agree with you in believing that it was. People are comparing Dean here with Sam with Gordon, and with Dean in Bloodlust but having seen Bloodlust quite recently I'm pretty sure Dean was without feeling when he killed that vamp. and the cold manner he killed the vamp was more about the hole in his heart as well as the belief he had that monsters were black and white. Being cold in the kill and reveling in it are two different things. Sam killing Gordon with the cord - as you mentioned - was due to necessity. Sam definitely did not enjoy the kill as a form of domination as Dean did here.

I completely agree.

The MoC theme of this episode (as I see it) is that Dean is turning into something evil - just as bloodthirsty as a vampire. As the tortured brother said of Alex, "You can't be so good at something without enjoying it."

Definitely. Very good catch on what is probably the most important line in the episode, at least when it comes to Dean's storyline.

On another note - I do like your little story about Alex and Jody ;)

Thanks!
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