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Quick Reaction: 10x13 Halt and Catch Fire

Hello!!

Okay, first off, I know I promised to post a rewatch this past week and then didn't deliver. I haven't had a good 4-6 hours stretch to work on one and I hate starting and then having to stop part way through. So, maybe this week?! It doesn't help that the last few episodes of S9 are depression-ville, so the drive to watch them again isn't that strong.

Anyway, THIS WEEK'S EPISODE...

Standard rules apply- drunk, not going to get things exact, etc. I like liking things so don't be a buzz kill.

I'm going to admit that I was super skeptical about this episode because of the shitty preview, but it ended up being pretty decent! Yay! Let's talk about it...

We begin at the beginning... uh, oh, guy and girl in truck! I thought SemperFi was the the Marine code, so I was confused, because the dude inside was no old enough to be a Marine. And then I was confused because I'm Canadian, so... when they were talking about being okay to drive, and then the girl seemed to blow out smoke, I was like "oh, they're just smoking pot..." but, then she was like "it's cold" and I was like "Ooooooooooooo... right, ghost, not pot."

I loved "Trini" as the SPN version of Siri... though, it sounds like it was just the SatNav/GPS rather than actual comprehensive Siri-thingy.

Also, I never understood people who blindly follow GPS. You hear about it all the time in the news - "Woman follows GPS into Lake", "Man drives into swamp" or whatever.... Seriously? Can you not see out your windows?!

I actually thought it was a really interesting twist that the spirit made Janet get out of the car first... I mean, that tells you right there that whatever is doing the killing still has some sort of moral compass, some sort of line it won't cross, and some sort of reasoning intelligence... because it wouldn't kill a bystander, just its intended (guilty) target.

Meanwhile, back at te ranch, Sam has been talking to Cas again! Yay friends!!! Cas has discovered Mississippi riverboats and gambling while trying to track down Cain to try to find out how to get rid of the Mark. Dean, however, rightfully points out that if Cain knew how to get rid of the Mark, he probably would have, since it was a curse for Cain too, and obviously something he wasn't super jazzed about having. Dean has a good point... so, "It ends at the source" might not be referring to Cain, but possibly Lucifer? Or, I saw one meta that thought that the "source" might refer to the throne of God. Either way, the plot thickens...

In the meantime, CASE!

So, Dean and Sam take off for Iowa, with Dean making a remark that they'll go visit the mid-west... but, uh, isn't Kansas considered the mid-west too? Or no? I am not American, so I actually am asking here. I thought Kansas was the mid-west.

Once they get there, they talk to Janet, and they find out that the dude's truck used to belong to his brother, who died in Afghanistan, so the Marine liscense plate actually makes sense... also, now I'm super sad for their parents because they just lost two sons, and man, that sucks. Anyway... apparently there's a Southern tradition of driving dead people's cars in order to honour them? Dean says it's in a a country song, but I am neither American nor a country music fan, so I have absolutely no idea. I did like Sam wondering if Dean would haunt him if he drove the Impala after Dean died... because Sam HAS driven the Impala each time Dean has died... though, both times (long-term times) Dean was trapped in one of the afterlives, so haunting wasn't an option. Dean even says that he would if Sam made it smell like taquitos... my friend pointed out that Sam DID make it smell like dog... and then I pointed out that the time before that he installed an iPod jack. But yeah, again, Dean didn't have the option of haunting, so who knows!

Anyway, they figure the truck is haunted so they go track it down and burn it. And then they just stand there watching it burn. Um, guys? Really? My friend was thinking it wasn't smart to stand there because of possible explosion... which led to me explaining that cars don't actually explode, that's a hollywood myth (they might burn quickly, but that's it)...I, on the other hand, was wondering why a)the scrap yard didn't have surveillance, b)no passerby saw a ton of fire and smoke and called the cops, and c)what fumes were Sam and Dean breathing in while they just stood there? I don't know about your car, but mine isn't exactly made out of clean-burning firewood.

Cut to our second victim, who is a soriority girl who is sleeping with her TA so doesn't have to worry about studying for the exam. Her roommate goes out and then her computer attacks!! "PrincessElsa8" messages her and tells her that she knows what she did last summer... or the equivalent... the Sorioriy girl deletes the conversation, but doesn't block the user... and then turns off her computer... then unplugs it, but doesn't pop out the battery.... and then she gets strangled by the computer cable.

So, obviously, it wasn't the truck. Back to square one.

I liked the fact that the cop they talked to mentioned that she had two teenagers at home. It's a really small thing, but it makes her a little more of a character... I don't know, it just stood out to me.

Oh! I also loved how the fake names they were using were Cobain and Grohl. Awesome! That's more my generation reference!

Which takes us to the next point where me and my friend had to pause to look up things on the internet and discuss stuff.. because Sam and Dean talk to the girl's roommate, and while she's trying to explain technology to Dean, she makes the comment, "right, GenX..." so, yeah, we had to pause and then look up generations, because WAS Dean GenX?! Turns out, yes. My friend is cusp Boomers/GenX and I'm cusp GenX/Millenials... which I already knew, because it basically means that I have the culture of GenX but the economic problems of Millenials (which yeah, 7 months unemployed, damn right I have the economic problems of Millenials.)

Anyhoo... Dean doesn't get her references, she doesn't get his... it's beautiful generation turnover, and also reminds me how long SPN has been on the air. Remember the myspace joke back in S2? Dean was out of touch then too.

So, it's investigate the laptop time. Sam tells Dean that nothing is ever deleted from the internet, "you did know that right?"... which is pretty great. I also like the fact that they HAVE made a distinction between Sam's skills and Dean's, because they're pretty evenly matched in intelligence, base-fighting skills, etc. But Sam is a little more tech-savvy than Dean, which is, I think, why Dean is always calling him a geek/nerd, even though Dean is the one who is actually the geek in the cultural-appreciation sense.

Anyway, off topic. Sam finds the texts and they try to figure out what 810 means.

Eventually, they think maybe an address and go to check it out. Turns out, it's not far from the sight of a hit and run death... COINCIDENCE?! I think not.

They find out that some red-head from the college has been leaving flowers. So, they figure it's friend of dead-girl.... and they go to try to track her down.

Meanwhile, red-head is freaking out because two of her friends have died and she doesn't think it's a coincidence seeing as how they killed a dude!

Surving guy is like "shut your mouth!" and she storms off in a huff... and then he is killed by sound. I don't really think you can explode your eyes with sound... also, I don't think those speakers can REALLY go up that high. Also, what the hell is he doing with speakers that big in a dorm room? What the heck? But whatever, he be dead.

Red-head ends up calling Sam and Dean back and telling them everything... apparently the kids were texting while driving, and hit the dude's car (accident) but then, instead of helping him, or even calling someone, they drove off. (so, purposeful hit and run = manslaughter). Also, Hozier! Woo! I really love that song... I know it's probably overplayed to death, but luckily I don't listen to the radio all that much, so I haven't had my fill yet.

Sam and Dean salt the room and then Sam runs off to try to figure out how it is that the ghost doesn't seem to be teathered to an object. Meanwhile, Dean and the girl talk about being haunted.

And I really liked this conversation. This episode was more like old-school SPN MOTW episodes, that really did a good job of still having an emotional tie-in to the main plot and furthering it by character-growth, even if they couldn't further it by plot-growth.

But yeah, Dean and the girl talk about being haunted, and not just haunted by an actual ghost, but haunted by regret... haunted by stuff that you can't get rid of just by salting and burning something... you have to actually DEAL with it and try to atone for your mistakes, find someway to put it behind you and move on... and in the girls' case, that might be coming clean. In Dean's case, it might mean accepting and dealing with the situation as it is... but we'll get to that.

Sam, meanwhile, figures out that the electric current that lit the dead dude on fire was connected to a wifi box.

"Is that a cell tower?" I said. "He's on your data-plan!"
"Does your data-plan come with ghost protection?..." my friend said in a ad-narrator voice.

So, basically, the ghost got into the "currents"... which was why he could jump onto the GPS, the car, the phones, the computer cord?, the wireless speakers? (FYI, I have never seen wireless floor speakers of that size... but then, I haven't been shopping for speakers in like 10 years, so what do I know... but it seems kinds of pointless?)

Anyway, turns out the widow already figured out what was happening, because she'd been talking to her dead husband online and lately he's just been increasingly about revenge...., and yeah, probably gloating over his wins every time she read that another college kid had died.

Back at the ranch, Dean and red-head are being chased by the ghost and Dean feels the need to destory HUNDREDS OF DOLLARS IN TECH! Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

They run to the basement where "reception is crappy" but even there, there's an abandoned phone... and the ghost is now made enough to manifest completely... so Dean texts Sam a 911 and Sam ends up putting the widow on FaceTime(tm) in order to talk her murderous husband out of killing and into crossing over. (BTW: I guess this means that the veil is fixed now and ghosts can return to heaven? How Kevin doing)

Leave it to Sam to once again find the "peaceful" solution.

Then, red-head goes to apologize to the widow, even though she's no longer being phyically haunted - because she wants to try to atone and move on for her part in dead-dude's death.

Dean, then announces, that he's going to choose "peace" too... that he finds peace in helping people, so that's what he's going to do - that's what he's going to focus on... and he's no longer going to actively try to get rid of the Mark. He says that he can't live anymore in the weird state of "maybe we can solve this problem", that it's driving him nuts... and that the best thing for him is to accept that it's not a problem they can solve and that he just has to live with it, try to deal with it, for as long as he possibly can... and if he's going to go out, then he's going to go out fighting.

Sam, of course, seems to see this as Dean losing hope - of Dean giving up... but I don't think it is. I think it's Dean agreeing with Sam's original idea - that maybe the power of overcoming the Mark lay somewhere in Dean, had to do with will power, and that was how Cain had stayed mellow for over 100 years.

The flip side of course, is that with the MoC, Dean is basically immortal (death=demonhood), so Dean not curing the MoC, means that eventually Sam's either going to have to cure Dean of demonhood again, or Sam's going to have to find a way to kill him... but since Dean's basically a Knight of Hell (or Cain-lite), I'm not sure Sam CAN kill him, even if he wanted to (which he obviously doesn't). So, is Sam facing a reality where his brother will outlive him and then possibly become a demon? And there will be no one left to save him?

Questions questions....

So, as usual, let me know what your thoughts are in comments.... or if there's anything major that I missed talking about that you desperately want to hear my opinion about...

Comments

( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
raloria
Feb. 11th, 2015 02:14 pm (UTC)
Also, I never understood people who blindly follow GPS. You hear about it all the time in the news - "Woman follows GPS into Lake", "Man drives into swamp" or whatever.... Seriously? Can you not see out your windows?!

Ha! I'm the same way. Why would you follow computer directions so blindly. "Oh, I'm driving into a house, but the GPS says to go this way!" :P

And yes, Kansas is in the Mid-West. ;)

I also wasn't too sure about this ep, but ended up liking it, despite all the problems I found with it (see my review). Can't wait for next week though. :)
hells_half_acre
Feb. 11th, 2015 10:57 pm (UTC)
Thanks for confirming the Kansas thing - I thought I was crazy for a moment there, because I had been so positive, but then they talked about the mid-west like they weren't already in it. :P

And yeah, the episode wasn't necessarily one of their strongest, but it was definitely better than how the preview made it look!
pushistyj_koshk
Feb. 11th, 2015 10:41 pm (UTC)
They used the verb "google" - awww! Considering they have their own search engine - whatever it's called.

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"Take Me to Church" by Hozier - double awww!

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I liked this episode. Though it was oldschoolish and I'm not a fan of your regular MOTW episodes.

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I never noticed it before - the prop samulet was not in fact on the Impala mirror.

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Croisookie!!!

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Re: so... when they were talking about being okay to drive, and then the girl seemed to blow out smoke, I was like "oh, they're just smoking pot..."

Have to say - they did not look inebriated like AT ALL.


Re: I actually thought it was a really interesting twist that the spirit made Janet get out of the car first... I mean, that tells you right there that whatever is doing the killing still has some sort of moral compass, some sort of line it won't cross, and some sort of reasoning intelligence...

Exactly! It was so nice of the ghost!


Re: Dean, however, rightfully points out that if Cain knew how to get rid of the Mark, he probably would have

BTW, I had no idea Cain also kept the Mark before they mentioned it in 10x11 (I think?). I just thought he transferred it to Dean permanently, getting rid of it himself.


Re: I am neither American nor a country music fan

BTW... technically Taylor Swift is country. Or she was - before her last album.


Re: Oh! I also loved how the fake names they were using were Cobain and Grohl. Awesome! That's more my generation reference!

I didn't catch that! Have to mention it to my husband - maybe then he'll appreciate SPN more :)


Re: I also like the fact that they HAVE made a distinction between Sam's skills and Dean's, because they're pretty evenly matched in intelligence, base-fighting skills, etc. But Sam is a little more tech-savvy than Dean

I loved it when in season 7 Frank Devereaux taught Dean how to tap into CCTV and then Dean was the tech savvy one :)


Re: Also, what the hell is he doing with speakers that big in a dorm room? What the heck?

As I understand, a frat or sorority house is not quite like a dorm...


Re: Also, Hozier! Woo! I really love that song... I know it's probably overplayed to death, but luckily I don't listen to the radio all that much, so I haven't had my fill yet.

Yay! I only found out it existed like a month or two ago. Slowpoke much?


Re: This episode was more like old-school SPN MOTW episodes, that really did a good job of still having an emotional tie-in to the main plot and furthering it by character-growth, even if they couldn't further it by plot-growth.

Yes! Exactly!


Re: Leave it to Sam to once again find the "peaceful" solution.

It looked too much like The Ghost Whisperer.


Re: So, is Sam facing a reality where his brother will outlive him and then possibly become a demon? And there will be no one left to save him?

Trust the writers to make a mess of things :( I don't want Sammy dead and alone in Heaven :*(

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All in all - as of now I like season 10 SO MUCH MORE than season 10. The writers are really outdoing themselves most every week.

P.S.: I have a question for you! Since you know so much about SPN wardrobe and probably accessories too.
hells_half_acre
Feb. 11th, 2015 11:03 pm (UTC)
I never noticed it before - the prop samulet was not in fact on the Impala mirror.

Yeah, that didn't stay up past the end of the Fan Fiction.

BTW, I had no idea Cain also kept the Mark before they mentioned it in 10x11 (I think?). I just thought he transferred it to Dean permanently, getting rid of it himself.

Yeah, no, he still had it - he just also gave it to Dean... and then he told Dean that eventually, he'd call Dean back to him so that Dean could kill him. So... yeah, it means that Cain probably doesn't know how to get rid of the MoC either, besides total-death (ie: being killed by the First Blade.)

BTW... technically Taylor Swift is country. Or she was - before her last album.

Yeah, I'd classify Taylor as Pop. Maybe her first few albums were more country? I have no idea - I only seem to like songs off her latest album.

I loved it when in season 7 Frank Devereaux taught Dean how to tap into CCTV and then Dean was the tech savvy one :)

Yeah, and Sam was all offended and knocked off base.

As I understand, a frat or sorority house is not quite like a dorm...

America is so weird.

Trust the writers to make a mess of things :( I don't want Sammy dead and alone in Heaven :*(

Me neither! The boys must always be together!

All in all - as of now I like season 10 SO MUCH MORE than season 10. The writers are really outdoing themselves most every week.

I'm assuming you mean "more than season 9" - and I agree.

P.S.: I have a question for you! Since you know so much about SPN wardrobe and probably accessories too.

Okay, ask away...
shadowsong26
Feb. 12th, 2015 02:15 am (UTC)
This episode was kind of ridiculous--and believe me when I mean that in a good way. For all the seriousness of the last moments, it was a super-lighthearted episode with a ludicrous death or two and it was happy-making.

One thing I'm really liking about this season in general, so far, is that the pacing is actually really good? Like, maybe it's because the Arc Plot is like a frillion times smaller than S9, so there's room to breathe and put in ridiculous MotW's with character moments bookending and/or scatered throughout the episode, without feeling like the Arc Plot isn't being developed enough. But, then again, next week is episode fourteen, which is around the time the plot kicks into high gear (usually) so we'll see if that holds up.

Anyway.

Yeah, I don't get the 'following GPS into water' either...

YAY SAM AND CAS ARE TALKING! \o/

so, "It ends at the source" might not be referring to Cain, but possibly Lucifer? Or, I saw one meta that thought that the "source" might refer to the throne of God. Either way, the plot thickens...

Oooh, interesting thought about the throne of God. I still vote Lucifer somehow--I think mostly because I want that thing about how vessels' brains at least passively record everything their angels do to be relevant for something other than causing the boys pain...

My guess is they stayed and watched the truck burn to make sure it actually finished burning...but, yeah, you'd think someone would notice the smoke and flame...

The speaker death cracked me up, it was so beautifully ridiculous.

I cringed a little bit when they started smashing the things, mostly because I'm super dependent on my laptop...also, this is going to be so much fun for the redhead to explain to her parents...I mean, assuming that she's in touch with them and they bought her the shiny gadgets...

I liked the ending for the ghost! Although, given the unkillable nature of his tether and the bit with the Tricia Helfer ghost in the Previously On, there's not much else they could've done. But it played out very nicely.

IDEK about ghosts/the Veil/Heaven now, but I'm guessing that, unless they specifically want to bring Kevin back for something (or even if they do), that subplot's been dropped/fixed offscreen.

Those are very sadly logical points about no longer fighting the MoC...

But, yes! Overall, this was a pleasingly ridiculous episode.
hells_half_acre
Feb. 12th, 2015 03:31 am (UTC)
I agree about the pacing of this season - it seems a lot more S2-ish or S4ish, which were both very well plotted seasons, imho.

I agree that it'd be nice if being former vessels were important - but I assumed they had set up those hints for Cas, rather than Dean.

Sadly, I also agree about Kevin's storyline most likely being dropped. :(
borgmama1of5
Feb. 12th, 2015 02:37 am (UTC)
I was disappointed in how Dean seemed to be written as a joke of himself, not knowing internet terms when he had a dating ap on his phone a few episodes ago, and having learned some tech stuff from Frank (RIP) Devereaux...

It was just an odd episode to me coming after such a great one last week. And why was Sam upset with Dean at the end, Dean was just doing what Sam's been telling him to do, suck it up and Dean can beat it...
hells_half_acre
Feb. 12th, 2015 03:29 am (UTC)
I agree with both points. I didn't mention theme in the review, because I tend to try to keep those positive - but yeah, both those things annoyed me too.
cappy712
Feb. 12th, 2015 07:15 am (UTC)
Accurate review....

I did have the question about the ghosts - however since he was a vengeful spirit - does that mean he goes to the same place a new or regular spirit would go?

Due to the fact that the ghost had killed 3 others I was kind of thinking that yeah he accepted the peace after the wife was talking to him and telling him not to go for the vengeance.

The fact that the angels are not back in heaven completely I was wondering if the ghosts were being allowed in now - so yeah questions.

On the matter of the mark - I had posted a question - What if when Dean died at the end of season 9 - Sam had a hunters funeral instead of bringing Dean back to the bunker - would he have been resurrected as the demon? Does the blade need to be present to bring the demon to the forefront? Just wondering how they would have worked the story line there.

Thank you for sharing.
hells_half_acre
Feb. 15th, 2015 08:40 am (UTC)
They never answer the question of "where do ghosts go" - it's the one answer we don't really get. I mean, Bobby was supposed to go to Heaven, but he never really killed anyone as a ghost, even though he was vengeful too. So, we don't know where those who do kill go.

And yeah, we don't know about ghosts getting into Heaven or not - I wish they'd answer that one, but I guess if they bring it up again, they'll have to mention Kevin, and so it'd be a pretty big deal rather than just a throwaway line.

Not sure about your other question. I think we're missing too much information to tackle it. Maybe you don't need the Blade, and Dean would have woken as a demon in self-defense. :P
nemo_forever
Feb. 15th, 2015 03:11 am (UTC)
I'm gonna do this on my phone so plz to excuse my terrible typing, etc.

Technically if the first boy was in college he is old enough to be a marine. 18 is join up age, 17 if you have guardian's consent.

I didn't like the line about going to the mid-west. I mean, the line itself was okay, but it confused me at first because my initial reaction was 'uhhhh Dean, Kansas is about as mid-west as you can get'. Then I thought maybe he was being sarcastic? But it seemed like it was a reference to something that wasn't there? Idk, maybe it was just an awkward line or Jensen just delivered it awkwardly. It would be out of character but everyone has their off days.

In a slightly related thing, idk if honouring your loved one by driving their vehicle is a southern thing or not and I have no idea what song they are talking about but it is a hugely lower class/fringe class type thing to do because vehicles are precious possessions and there is a whole culture that revolves around them so it's like you're spending time with your lost loved one when you are driving/fixing/hanging out in one. (I am one of these people and this little bit of dialogue gave me so many feelings.)

I really liked Dean throwing his own generation's cultural references back at the girl when she was getting such a 'tude about him being old. I also really liked that it was a book reference!

I also loved that they played Hozier! And The Avett Brothers at the beginning! Head Full of Doubt is such a great song and also sums the episode and the season arc up so nicely, I thought it was super well chosen.

I kind of hated the death by speakers thing but I don't remember too many gory deaths this season so far so I kinda liked it for that. "But whatever, he be dead." pretty much summed up my feelings on it too.

I liked your friend's ghost protection comment, it made me crack up when I read it.

The only thought I had when Dean said he was choosing peace was 'what a hippie thing to say. ...I bet Mary was a total hippie.' idk, it just struck me as funny.

I was not super impressed but I wasn't as disappointed as I thought I would be when I realised it was going to be a tech haunting and I did really like that they are still finding ways to make hauntings/vengeful spirits new and different.
hells_half_acre
Feb. 15th, 2015 08:46 am (UTC)
True, I guess he's old enough to be a Marine, but you'd think he'd be off in training or war or wherever... and I think he had a very unmilitary haircut, unless I'm remembering wrong.

I'm glad it wasn't just me who was super confused by that mid-west line. :P

I guess vehicles don't really last that long in Canada for them to become too special, unless they're a classic car or something that you keep in a garage for 9 months of the year. Or maybe it's a fringe class thing up here too, and i'm just not in that class! Most of the time, it's just like "well, Uncle Bill is dead, who wants to finish driving his car into the ground?" and someone will be like "*shrug* well, it has less miles than mine, and the body has slightly less rust, so I guess I'll take it." Only, you know, a lot less callus than that. :P

I bet Mary WAS a total hippie!! That'd be hilarious - and also make sense why they might need a cupid to get her and John together, military man that he was.

I was not super impressed but I wasn't as disappointed as I thought I would be when I realised it was going to be a tech haunting and I did really like that they are still finding ways to make hauntings/vengeful spirits new and different.

That's basically my feelings on it too!
gryphenn
Feb. 16th, 2015 06:00 pm (UTC)
The truck thing is a Country thing. The song is by Lee Brice - I Drive Your Truck. There's a utube video of it at.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=yCSMCgqlc-0

And Taylor has gone over to pop, but her first albums were VERY Country. She's been sidlling over to the Pop styles for a while.

And the go to the mid-west line had me mentally stumbling, thinking "wait, wait, aren't they already IN the mid-west? Did I miss something?"
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )

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