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Rewatch S1: Ep 07 to Ep 08

Because I was at a Christmas party last night until 4am, I slept until 3pm today. This means that I'm going to be up until godknows when tonight. I am wide awake and it is already 3:30am. Fun times! What's the perfect thing to do when wide awake and bored out of your tree? Watch Supernatural!

No general comments to make on these episodes, besides: Yay Dean and Sam family angst! Prepare for me to over-analyze this to death.

 

Hookman

Dean and Sam spend 5 or 6 days hunting the Hookman (I actually forgot to keep track WHILE I watched the episode, so this is my guesstimate on memory.) This occurs somewhere between March 8th and March 22nd, 2006.

Rock salt bullets are new to Sam! That means they are a Winchester invention of the past two-to-four years. By Dean's comment of "You don't have to go to college to be a genius!" I'm willing to bet that it was Dean that came up with them.

Wow, they actually SMELL a spirit! I didn't remember this tidbit. Spirits smell like ozone apparently. I wonder if this has fallen out of Kripke-Mythology, or if it just doesn't bare mentioning anytime after this.

I like Dean's line in the frat house, when he is making fun of Sam for studying too much in school, and he says "What a geek.." and then says "...did you do your homework?" and Sam doesn't even blink and says "Yeah!" pulling the papers out all enthusiasticly. I had fanfic-visions of young Sam being delegated the job of researching on hunts with John and Dean...and John driving home how important it was to be thorough, and Dean and John doing the grunt work based on what Sammy finds out, which means their lives hinge on Sam's research...and none of them realizing that it was enforcing good study-habits which would eventually lead to Sam abandoning the family for college...

I love Innocent!Sam when he is talking to the police. Jared is so good at that - his voice all soft and his eyes all big, and ducking his head like an obedient little boy, even though he is 6'4''.

Ah, a mention of Avenging Angels...

Deleted Scene Goodness:

There was a bunch of deleted scenes for this one. An alternative opening with a different actor as the first victim. It wasn't very good. I can see why they redid it, though I feel bad for different-actor boy. Also, a scene where Lori finds a condom in her Dad's pocket while doing laundry.

There was also an extended version of the opening conversation between Dean and Sam. You get to find out why Dean called Sam Francis (Frances)...it was because Sam had been making those calls using the badge number of a female police officer named Frances...and he kept having to explain on the phone that Frances was also a boy's name. Then he got back to the table and complained to Dean about it. Then he complained about them not finding their Dad, and worried that he was injured or something, and Dean was like "chill out, Dude. He's probably fine" or something throwaway like that...and then they launch into the part of the conversation we hear in the actual episode.

Bugs

We get dates in this episode! Yay! Anyway, between the boys finding out about the case and them leaving town again, approximately 5 days pass...three of which they spend right in the thick of things, while the other two days are bookends (them finding out about the case, them saying goodbye to the family they save). They leave town on March 27th.

I love the camera shots right at the beginning. The reflection in the giant puddle of Sam lounging on the Impala with the red neon lights behind him....the whole skeezy biker-bar feel to the place, yet Sam is so un-worriedly lounging there. When Sam complains that credit-card scams and hustling pool not being honest, I love Dean's line of "It's what we were raised to do." It gives me visions of John teaching his boys to hustle, because it's probably easier for people to underestimate two young teenagers than it is for them to underestimate battle-hardened John, so the boys probably made a killing. Fic Ideas people! I've had like 3 tonight! I'm so happy! I have to write these suckers down...oh wait, I am.

Haha, Dean watches Oprah. I think everyone's been caught watching Oprah at least once. It's nothing to be ashamed of Dean!

So, we don't know where they ARE at the beginning of the episode, but we know they aren't in Oklahoma already. So, there's really no telling how long it takes them to drive there. We do know that buddy died on a Friday and the Winchesters arrive on the Tuesday. (For those reading who are not Canadian, "buddy" is an Canadian east-coast slang term for anyone you don't know the name of.)

Dean: "I'd take our family over normal any day" I love this whole speech he gives about manicured lawns...and you KNOW it's what Sam's probably wanted his whole life, but to Dean it's just foreign. I can sympathize, because I'd want to shoot myself too if I lived in a place like that...no offense to anyone who does. I think it all depends on your upbringing. I've lived in and visited various different countries, but it's amazing how out-of-place I feel in suburban-subdivisions...I don't even have to leave my own country to feel like I don't belong somewhere!

That saleswoman, Linda, is frickin' scary looking. She doesn't look too bad when she dies, but when they first meet her and her hair is all pulled back and she has that dark eyeliner on...really scary.

I love the little things in this show when the brothers are just acting like brothers would...like how Sam hits Dean as he's pulling the Impala into the garage. Another example of it in the episode is when they argue about whose going to go down in the hole. It's just so sibling-y...made me miss mine!

Hey, according to Sam, the boys have a police scanner. Makes sense, but jeez, how big is that car? Also, Dean wears his amulet in the shower. So sweet.

There are tons of family conversations in this episode. It's a treasure trove of Family Angst. I like how Sam always felt like the freak of the family because he wanted to be normal. I like how Dean always sees both sides when it comes to John and Sam arguing. Dean's like the middle-child of the family, I think....I know he's oldest, but the way they all relate to one another, if you looked at the Winchesters as 3 brothers, with John the oldest, Dean and then Sam...they really fit into the stereotypical roles. John can do whatever the heck he wants and he's friggin' bossy, Dean is mostly ignored, but tries his best to mediate arguments between the other two, and Sam is the spoiled youngest who can be crazy self-absorbed from time to time (or in Sam's case S1, mostly all the time).

I like how Dean does agree with Sam about being the 'normal freak,' when he says, "Yeah, you kinda were like the blonde chick in the Munsters." It's all kinds of ironic, that SAM is the most normal one of the family.

I think this is also an important episode because we see that Dean doesn't blame John for kicking Sammy out...that he may not have liked it, and you knew he resented Sam for leaving, but you also see that whatever Sam said to John during the argument also hurt Dean's feelings. I have a feeling that argument was probably hell on Dean, because most likely both John and Sam were insulting each other in such a way that they were both simultaneously insulting Dean by proxy. If that makes any sense? I'm not explaining myself very well on this, I don't think. But hopefully you get the gist.

I got another idea for a short fic when Dean was talking about John checking up on Sam in California. I know Dean was telling the truth, but it stuck me as a cool alternative to look at that scene like Dean was lying...like he was trying to get Sam to forgive their Dad, so he was telling him what he wanted to hear...and that maybe it was Dean who had checked up on Sam. Anyway, just a cool alternative, I thought. I do believe Dean though, because who knows how long John had known that Sam needed to be protected at all costs...it was probably why he was so hard on him, and Sam felt like he could do nothing right.

Another telling quote: When Sam is trying to get Matt to get his family out of the house, he tells him to make his Dad listen, and then Dean takes the phone and gives him a plausible lie to use, hangs up and mutters "'Make him listen'... what the hell were you thinking?" to Sam. I think this is a great character moment, because I think that's the crux of how the boys relate to their father. Sam and John are both crazy hard-headed and I think they both talk to each other with the mentality of "make him listen", whereas Dean is shrewder. I think Dean is better, at last when it comes to his family, at giving them information or telling them to do stuff in a way in which they WILL listen, but aren't MADE to...if you get what I'm saying. I think we've probably all been there...when two people are talking and things are slowly escalating into an argument, and you are sitting their listening and you KNOW that all the arguing could have been avoided if they had just chosen different words...if they had just approached the subject from a less threatening angle. Maybe I'm just reading too much into this because I've had to broker "discussions" between my Mum and my little sister so much...because it's not that they don't get along, it's just that they speak different languages and can't ever seem to "make" the other one listen.

Wow, props to anyone who reads all this. I am wordy and unnecessarily long-winded tonight.

Sadly, no DVD extras on Bugs..

 

Further note on accessories: mara_snh  gave me a great theory on the bracelets in the comment section of my previous post! Thanks! It has inspired yet another fic idea, I fully recommend anyone interested to go check out what she had to say (small spoiler for S4 Ep01, but it's negligible)
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Comments

( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
mara_snh
Dec. 15th, 2008 05:03 pm (UTC)
Hey, thanks for making me famous for 15 milliseconds :-)

Itsy-bitsy spoilers -- though jeez, people, if you haven't seen "A Very Supernatural Christmas" or "Playthings" yet, why are you even allowing yourselves to live? ;-)

I got another idea for a short fic when Dean was talking about John checking up on Sam in California. I know Dean was telling the truth, but it stuck me as a cool alternative to look at that scene like Dean was lying...like he was trying to get Sam to forgive their Dad, so he was telling him what he wanted to hear...and that maybe it was Dean who had checked up on Sam. Anyway, just a cool alternative, I thought. I do believe Dean though, because who knows how long John had known that Sam needed to be protected at all costs...it was probably why he was so hard on him, and Sam felt like he could do nothing right.

I thought from the very first time I saw this ep that Dean was lying, and that it was he (Dean), not their father who checked up on Sam periodically. It's his subtle hesitation that tipped me off. (Jensen is so good at conveying the most minute details of Dean's interior life.) This kind of thing seems in character for Big Brother Dean. I'm thinking of the flashback in "A Very Supernatural Christmas" in which young Dean lies to Sammy about their father having stopped in during Sam's nap to deliver Christmas on schedule. I think that's one of the ways in which he's interpreted "protect Sam" all his life. It's one of the first hints we get in the series that there's plenty of schmaltz under all that macho Marine Corps crap he puts out there most of the time. Hell, Sam even calls him on that in "Playthings" when he teases Dean about overcompensating for "looking the type" (gay) by being so butch. It's Dean's defense mechanism, just as the puppy-face schtick is Sam's.

Edited at 2008-12-15 05:06 pm (UTC)
hells_half_acre
Dec. 15th, 2008 08:23 pm (UTC)
Ah...so I wasn't the only one who had my doubts as to whether Dean was telling the truth. There totally was a hesitation, and you are right about there being a case for it in "A Very Supernatural Christmas."

I've just been thrown by Phantom Traveler, where buddy at the airline tells Sam that John went on and on about him...I mean, we all know that John loves Sam, and is sorry for kicking him out and such, but you can't deny that there's a distancing there...I won't go into detail, to avoid spoilers for S2...but I have a feeling that John may have just gone on about Sam in order to get on buddy's good-side - like, "hey, trust me, I have a son that's all respectable."

But yeah, I completely agree that lying to Sam about their Dad HAS fallen under the definition of "protect Sam" for Dean...or it's fallen under the definition of "keep the family together." In either case, you know that Dean would go to great lengths for either one, so he wouldn't think twice about lying.

I love schmaltzy Dean AND all that macho Marine Corps crap that he hides under! Like I said in my previous post: Very captivating character.
mara_snh
Dec. 16th, 2008 12:39 am (UTC)
Good catch on "Phantom Traveler." Note Dean's reaction. Swallowing it with a smile, but not blinking much, if I recall correctly. You can bet all his teeth had a tight hold on each other there.

Yes, he is a very captivating character. I'm grateful that he's in the hands of such a good actor. Just think how easily he could otherwise have become a cliché.

Edited at 2008-12-16 12:40 am (UTC)
hells_half_acre
Dec. 16th, 2008 01:34 am (UTC)
Agreed! Jensen is fantastic, and I know from interviews with him that he is very protective of Dean...that he'll bring things up with the writers if he thinks that his lines aren't true to the character. At this point I really can't picture anyone else playing him as effectively.
mara_snh
Dec. 16th, 2008 01:58 am (UTC)
Yes, I've seen (or was it read?) interviews with Kripke and others that Jensen is responsible for creating Dean as we know him, for perceiving all his potential for giving the Sam/Dean (and Sam/Dean/John) relationship the show's real tension and intrigue. That shouldn't be too surprising, of course; that's what actors are supposed to do, if they're allowed to, but can you honestly say most of them succeed as impressively as he has, even in top-notch productions?

I hope you've listened to Kripke's commentary on "What Is and What Should Never Be." He makes a point of mentioning Jensen's insightful contributions. They're subtle (that word again!) but I think that without them, the episode would have mostly fallen flat.
hells_half_acre
Dec. 16th, 2008 03:45 am (UTC)
I haven't listened to the commentary on "What Is and What Should Never Be" yet! I look forward to it!

Man, the show wouldn't even be half as good without the richness of Jensen's portrayal of Dean. Jensen's really done an impressive job. He gets all my respect for it. Though, I should also give respect to the producers, writers, and directors, for giving him the freedom to flesh Dean out like that.
mara_snh
Dec. 16th, 2008 03:39 pm (UTC)
Oh yes, as in all things, if the elements don't fall together, nothing works. Almost everything about this show works so beautifully that it's almost as if someone sold his soul to th...

Oh. Sorry.

;-)
frozen_delight
Jan. 26th, 2014 03:28 pm (UTC)
"Bugs". Gosh. It's a treasure trove of Family Angst. You're so right about that one. And I love your analysis of the Winchester family dynamics with Dean being the middle-child that's always trying to mediate between the other two.

I have a feeling that argument was probably hell on Dean, because most likely both John and Sam were insulting each other in such a way that they were both simultaneously insulting Dean by proxy.
That totally makes sense. Now I just need some good fanfic to show just that scene. It would be amazing, I think.
hells_half_acre
Jan. 26th, 2014 04:21 pm (UTC)
I think a lot of people have imagined that scene in fanfic... hell, I think even *I* did briefly in my fic "Of Bracelets"... so, yeah, I'm sure you could find some good ones!!
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