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Rewatch S10: Soul Survivor 10x03

Two in one weekend! Woo! (though I'm posting this one on Monday)

I just listened to Hozier, so now I'm full of feelings that have no escape... so, hopefully this rewatch doesn't go weird.

Soul Survivor

Oh yeah, I forgot about the young priest blessing the blood for a very sketchy intimidating Doctor Sam, who doesn't have his sling on. Sexy.

Sam: For whatever it's worth, I got your blood type.
- Sam grabbed the O. I think when this episode came out we had a whole discussion on blood types, because John is something like AB or A or something, and we determined that Dean actually genetically can't be O unless he's not John's son, and so we figured that Sam just got O because it's the unversal donor, so, it's not technically Dean's blood-type but it's a blood-type that's compatible with Dean's bloodtype. Anyway, my apologies for not knowing the details of all this, but it really was something we solved on the first go-round.

Dean: "I know you want to fix me, but did it ever occur to you that I don't want to be fixed. Just let me go live my life, I won't bother you. What do you care?"
Sam: "What do I care?"
*look at each other*
*Sam starts ritual*

- And we see the pattern continue, where Dean doesn't necessarily want to kill Sam, he just wants to be free. Part of me kind of thinks it would be really cool to see what the world would be like with a demon!Winchester in it - because I fully believe Dean when he says that he won't bother Sam... Dean knows how to stay under hunter radar. He's successfully dodged Sam for months, and it was actually Crowley picking a non-local demon for Dean to kill that tripped Sam's radar. Dean, up until then, we can assume, was still occassionally killing people but keeping it on the downlow.

Dean: "You don't even know if this is going to work, do you? You know I've got a hell of a lot more running through me than just demon juice."
Sam: "Yeah, Mark of Cain, got it."

- Dean's playing a long game in this episode in my opinion. He knows that if Sam's not going to let him go because Dean WANTS him to, then Dean's best bet is to use Sam's desire to save him AGAINST him. He starts here, sowing the seed of doubt that this process is capable of curing him. Dean's not your typical demon, and he's using that to his advantage here.

Dean: "Sammy, you know I hate shots."
Sam: "I hate demons."

- I love love love that line and I can't even articulate why. I hate it when that happens. That line fills me with emotions that I can't actually express.

I love the effect they do where they echo Dean's voice deeper behind it, so he almost sounds like a growling dog. It's amazing.

But, my question is: Do you think Dean is faking it? Because this is where he starts to exhibit what looks like PAIN whenever Sam shoots him up, which isn't the reaction Crowley had and pretty much immediately starts to freak Sam out. My theory is that Dean does this on purpose, to try to get Sam to abandon the curing process for fear of killing Dean... but I could be wrong, certainly, if he is faking, then demon!Dean is a very good actor.

Back to Cas and Hannah...

Hannah: "How are you holding up?"
Cas: "Fine."
Hannah: "You say you're fine, but you don't look fine."
Cas: "That's what the humans do. They say they're fine and even if I don't look it, you say I look well, and that way we avoid talking about something we can do nothing about."

- I love this. It's such a nuanced form of language, what we do in these situations. I mean, you could look at on face value and believe that Cas is talking about avoiding problems, or not mentioning something out of politeness (like, you don't actually tell people they look like crap, usually, because it's rude.) But, what I think he's talking about are the conversations we have without having conversations. "We avoid talking about something we can do nothing about" - what he's talking about is the coded language of saying "fine" and meaning "we both know I am not fine, but there is nothing to be done, and we both know that we are both upset by that. So let us talk instead about other things that will bring happiness to this dark time."

Hannah: "I'm sorry. I'm just can't see how Sam Winchester can ask you to drive all this way to help with his brother knowing your condition."
...
Hannah: "He doesn't know about how badly your grace is fading, does he?"
Cas: "He knows some."

- Ah, and here we actually get the answer to our question in the premiere, which was "why wasn't Sam looking after Cas?" "Why is Cas all alone and dying some place else?" It's because Sam doesn't KNOW! He knows "some" probably that Cas' grace is fading... and Sam probably is thinking of the last time that Cas' grace faded back in S5 and Cas just eventually turned human-esque. He didn't DIE. So, basically, Sam doesn't know that Cas is dying. And Cas probably didn't want to tell him, given that Sam was already devastated by Dean's death and subsequent disappearance. Oh man, now I have all sorts of Sassy feels.

Here's a question that I can't remember: Did Cas ever explicitly tell the boys how he got his mojo back? He told Dean that he "did what he had to do" but that was it, wasn't it. Did they ever have a conversation about the fact that Cas was on a time limit? ... Okay, I just looked it up and Metatron tells them and the room full of Cas' followers, in 9x22, but still he phrases it as "have you told them about your stolen grace and how when it fades out, so will you?" I mean, it's pretty explicit, but... I do wonder if Sam had any idea of the time limit that Cas is actually on. I don't know, it's interesting to contemplate anyway...

Cas: "And Sam didn't have to ask... [...] if [the ritual] doesn't [work], then Dean will be gone, and the demon must be dealt with."
- Yikers, so, Cas is going to the Bunker to help Sam, because Cas KNOWS there's a chance that Dean is truly gone and he's trying to save Sam from having to kill his own brother... by, what? Cas killing what used to be his best friend instead? Ouch, my feelings. Also, I don't think that Dean CAN be killed by anything other than the First Blade wielded by someone with the Mark of Cain, so how a dying Castiel plans to "deal with" the demon, I have no idea.

Dean: "For all you know, you could be killing me."
Sam: "Or, you're just messing with me."

- See, Sam knows. ... or does he?! Man, I love this episode, because you really can't tell if Dean is just messing with him or not. If he is, he's brilliant at it.... so I kinda want to believe he is.

And Dean successfully baits Sam into a conversation...
Dean: "So, let me ask you, which one os us is really the monster? Huh?"
*flashback to Lester*

- So, yeah, I mean, it's a way to make Sam feel guilty, because of COURSE Sam is going to feel guilty about getting a guy to go to the crossroads, not stopping him in time from stupidly selling his soul, and then getting himself killed... but, in the grand scheme of things, and more objectively than Sam will think of himself, this hardly makes Sam a monster. But then, the Winchesters have really high standards for themselves, so it's enough to get under Sam's skin, which is exactly what Dean wants to do.
- BTW: I like how Jensen, when he does flashbacks, tends to put a different colour wash on them. This one especially, I like, because it's almost devoid of colour completely without being black and white.

Anyway, torture is still wrong.

Dean: "Who cares what you meant! That line that we thought was so clear between us and the things we hunted, ain't that clear, is it? Wow, you might actually be worse than me, I mean you took a guy at his lowest, used him and it cost him his life and his soul, nice work."
- Actually it just cost him his life. His soul, Crowley couldn't get because the deal was never fulfilled. So, yeah, Dean's definitely just trying to get under Sam's skin here by spinning things to be worse than they actually were. Also, they've come to terms with the grey fuzzy line between them and monsters YEARS ago, in my opinion... or maybe not, since that seems to be a theme of S11.

I do wonder about the speed in which Sam seems to be doing this ritual. It's supposed to be a needle every hour on the hour for eight hours or a day or something...I mean, I guess we don't really see the inbetween times - does Dean just yammer at him?

Also, I just hit pause on the screen, and I gotta say that the sling cinches in Sam's shirt in the mid-section and you can really see his nice shoulder to waist ratio. Mmm... men.

Dean: "Let me ask you this, Sammy, if this doesn't work, we both know what you got to me - you got the stomach for that, Sam?!"
- Again, CAN HE?! Not will he survive emotionally, but is it even physically possible?!

Now to Hell...

Minion: "I have an update on the angel Castiel. His grace seems to be fading, he's losing strength. If one were so inclined, this would be a proficious time for one to eliminate him."
Crowley: "One?"
Minion: "You, Sire."
Crowley: "Borrowed grace does have a puny shelf-life, Castiel should have read the warning label. Follow him, and keep me informed as to his decline."

- I like the smile the Minion gives - like "oh yeah, King is totally going to murder that angel Castiel who is always screwing everything up." Meanwhile, Crowley is like "damn it, I'm going to have to save Castiel, because Sam probably needs his help curing Dean or something..."

And Crowley is missing Dean... and little minion is trying to be Crowley's new wingman, so Crowley smotes him. Awww... it's too soon for a new boyfriend, especially one that's a sychophant.

And Hannah has gotten lost... probably on purpose, to keep Castiel away from the fight.

Hannah: "... Castiel, we stopped avoiding the obvious, you and I both know how to fix this, both you and the situation."
Cas: "I will not slit some angels throught and steal it's grace. Before you say it, we definitely are not going begging to Metatron."
Hannah: "How about helping your friend and sending the rogue angels back to Heaven? Your preference to die for your principles is very noble but it's meaningless."

- So, a couple of things here...
- 1)Very curious as to Castiel's use of the pronoun "it" for an angel, rather than "they" - in general, in English, you do not refer to human or human-like beings as "it". If you don't want to designate gender, you use "they". "It" is only used for inaninmate objects and animals (or if you want to be transphobic). So, the fact that Castiel refers to an angel as an "it" is very odd for me, as it immediately others him from the angels - it dehumanizes angels, and in turn, because Castiel used the term, makes Castiel seem like he is setting himself apart from the angels, because one would not dehumanize themselves.
- 2) Is Hannah actually advocating that Castiel kill another angel? Does she place his life as more important than other angels? And if so, why does she not volunteer? Or is she thinking they could kill too birds with one stone by killing a disobediant angel and buying Cas more time? That hardly seems like a moral thing to do, which places Hannah on the dubious morality train that I don't think the show actually wants her on - Hannah, I always thought, was supposed to be an angel reminiscent of Cas' early days, and is supposed to have a strong moral compass and be someone we can trust with the running of Heaven.
-3) Dying for your principles is never meaningless. It's true that if Cas dies, he doesn't get to help Sam or help restore Heaven, but if he dies he is also not MURDERING ANGELS IN ORDER TO STAY ALIVE. I mean, seriously, if I had to kill people to live, I don't think it'd be meaningless for me to say "uh, no, that's okay, I'll just die, thanks. My life doesn't matter more than other people's."

And just as I type that, I realize that this season both Cas and Dean have to kill to stay alive. Interesting character parallels that are never really explored! Cas doesn't have to kill as often, mind you, and he doesn't suffer from a personality change if he does or doesn't, but still.

Sam: "Cas, hey, are you still coming?"
- Awww, Sam so just needs Cas there. FEELINGS.

Sam: "Cas, it might be killing him."
Cas: "It might be."
...
Sam: "Cas, did you not hear what I just said. I could be killing my brother!"
Cas: "Sam, he's not your brother, at least not now. You have to be prepared for-"
Sam: "Killing my brother."
Cas: "I'll be there as soon as I can."

- Jared does such a good job with Sam's realization there. I really think that since Dean's death, Sam never thought beyond the next step. Dean's dead, summon Crowley to make him fix it. Crowley doesn't come and Dean's body disappears and Dean leaves a note - Crowley must have forced Dean to write that note. Dean appears to be a demon, find Crowley and tell him to get the demon out of Dean. Dean IS a demon, cure Dean. There's no multiple scenarios, there's no "hows" or "and then after that" - Sam just latched dog-like onto the next course of action, the one with the most hope, because that's the sort of person that Sam is, and he doesn't think about the worst-case scenarios.
- It's a bit of a contrast to Dean in S2, who was told the worst-case scenario off the bat was "you're going to have to kill Sammy, if you can't save him." Sam just has "I have to save Dean" running through his head without that other part to it... it's a small difference, but you can see the weight of that second part fall on Sam here and it's a surprise and a devastation.

Dean: "In fact your guilt ridden weight of the world bro has been MIA for quite sometime now, but I'm loving the new model, lean mean Dean."
Sam: "Right."

- So, we have demon!Dean defining Dean as guilt-ridden and suffering from having the weight of the world on his shoudlers. These are the things that demon!Dean is glad to be rid of, but like most things, they were just side-effects of being a good person.

Dean: "You notice that I tried to get away from you as much as possible. Away from your whining and complaining. I chose the King of Hell over you. Maybe I was just tied of babysitting you, or always trying to yank your lame ass out of the fire since... forever. Or maybe, maybe it's the fact that my mother would still be alive if it wasn't for you. It's your very existence sucked the life out of my life."
- And demon!Dean is bringing out the big guns here, trying to play on Sam's insecurities - that Dean never really loved him, that Dean resents him, that Dean only stays with him out of guilt and lingering orders from their father, etc.
- And then he brings up their mother - We've seen Sam blaming himself for Mary and Jessica's deaths since S1, but the truth of it is that it was Mary who sold Sam down the river - Sam was actually the innocent victim in this, not Mary. And yeah, you could make a case for Mary being manipulated into it by both Heaven and Hell, but the fact remains that Sam only exists because Heaven and Hell willed it and Mary made a deal with the YED that day. So, yes, if Sam didn't exist Mary would still be alive, but if Sam didn't exist, Dean wouldn't either... and neither would John, because he would have died back in 1972 on the night he purposed to Mary. And that's only IF the YED/Heaven&Hell allowed Mary to refuse the deal, which is doubtful.
- And actually, Mary would still be alive if she didn't go into the nursery that night. It's all MARY'S decisions, either active or passive that lead to Mary's death.
- But that all being said, I still think there's a part of Sam that sees it all as his own fault. And there's probably part of Sam that blames himself for talking away Dean's chance at a better life - I think it's the part of him that caused Soulless!Sam to not reconnect with Dean for a full year, and before and after that it's the part of Sam that insists that Dean leave him dead when he dies and find a normal life instead of resurrecting him somehow.

Sam: "This isn't my brother talking."
Dean: "You never had a brother. Just an excuse for not manning up, but guess what, I quit."
Sam: "No, no you don't. You don't get to quit in this family, this family is all we've ever had."
Dean: "Well then we got nothing."
Sam: "Would you say that to Dad?"
Dean: "Dad? Oh, there's a prize, there's a man who brainwashed us into waisting our lives fighting his losing battle."
*Sam gets syringe*
Dean: "Oh, oh, is this you manning up?"
Sam: "This is me, yanking your lame ass out of the fire."

- I love Sam's line here, because he takes what Dean said and turns it around, basically saying that his taunts won't work because the street goes both ways between the brothers. Sam might be the reason that Dean never got his normal life, but DEAN is the reason that Sam never got a normal life either. They CAN'T quit the family, it's true. They only know how to go around in circles, saving each other, because it's the only thing they've ever known.
- And, just a word in John's defense - what would have happened if John HADN'T raised them to fight? I'm guessing that the apocalypse would have been successful... so, demon!Dean can shit on John's lousy parenting skills all he wants, but not everything John did was a bad decision.

Back to Hell with Crowley...

And the minions are not pleased.

Minion: "You disappear, binge on blood, approach the edge of becoming human. Salt in the wound - you run off with your boy-toy Dean Winchester, and now he's running amok and you can't control him or the Kingdom. You've squandered our loyalty."
Crowley: "What will you do?"
Minion: "Not live in the hell you've made."
*minion lights self on fire*

- So, I'm not sure how Hell works. I'm pretty sure it's SUPPOSED to be a hell hole with very little rewards. I guess though, that Crowley has proven himself to be an unreliable ruler, and that's not good anywhere. Still, you'd think demons would be used to a little chaos.
- I do like the fact that the demon!Dean is really biting Crowley in the ass. The fact that he couldn't leash Dean has shown Crowley as weak. Really, I think Dean was supposed to be Crowley's comeback after Sam underminded his authority back in S8 by nearly turning him human. Using Dean successfully got rid of Abaddon, but then not being able to control Dean has underminded Crowley's authority once again... and I guess selling him out to Sam wasn't enough of a show of power.
- Now, that all being said, i love how this demon lighting himself on fire is actually the most interesting thing that's happened to Crowley since he got back from his "sabbatical" with Dean. We've seen Crowley be immensely bored of Hell and the running thereof, and he hates demons, it's kind of neat to see him actually be interested in it.

Cas: "Uh, Hannah, you know, this road we're on, it's dangerous."
Hannah: "Okay."
Cas: "We can't afford to lose our way."
Hannah: "I know that, I'm sorry about the map."
Cas: "No detours of any kind."
Hannah: "Castiel, if these are metaphors and you're attempting another human communication, it isn't working."
Cas: "I'm just trying to say, this mission is everything."
Hannah: "I know that."
Cas: "Getting to Dean and hunting these rogues - I'm, I'm not at full capacity, so I- WE need total focus."
Hannah: "Like a laser, got it."
Cas: "It's just, I've been around humans long enough to see how easily distractions occur."
Hannah: "Distractions..."
Cas: "Emotions, feelings, they're dangerous temptations."
Hannah: "How very bibilical, Castiel."
Cas: "I don't mean to be unkind."
Hannah: "You don't mean to be kind."
Cas: "I'm just trying to keep our priorities clear."

Hannah: "Not to worry then, I'm very clear on our priorities, and yours."
- Awkward conversation is awkward, but needs to happen. I can't fault Castiel there.
- Two things I love about this conversation the most is "You don't mean to be kind", because it's a great line, even though I don't agree with it. I think this IS Cas being kind. I suppose, Hannah would have thought it kinder if Cas never mentioned her feelings, confusing as they may be to her as we find out later they are vessel-influenced, but it would actually be crueler, I think, if Cas let her live in false hope.
- The other thing I love is Hannah's line "I'm very clear on our priorities and yours." Because she's totally calling him out on the fact that he's a hypocrite. He's telling her that feeling are a dangerous temptation and a distraction...and he's totally driving across the country because his boyfriends need his help. Seriously, if Cas' emotions weren't involved at all, who would he be prioritizing? The restoration of heaven or the Winchesters? Who would he have prioritized in S9, the defeat of Metatron and the restoration of Heaven, or Dean Winchester's life? What is one human life to the restoration of Heaven? Nothing. And yet, Cas chooses Dean. So, yeah, Cas is simultaneously faulting Hannah for letting her emotions set her priorities, while he's been doing it for YEARS. The only difference is that Hannah's feelings are unrequited... at least, to a degree. It becomes apparent in the rest of the season and S11 that Cas does hold a lot of affection for Hannah, just not enought to prioritize a relationship with her over anything else.
- Also, I mean, even if he was interested, I really do think the majority of Hannah's attraction to Castiel (at least the physical romantic part of it) is vessel based. I don't know what angels do with their time, but I see them as asexual creatures who don't reproduce.... so, I don't know how new angels come into existence, but I'm not sure it's from two angels getting it on... I mean, my headcanon is that angels are also agendered, despite the fact that they use gendered pronouns for each other and sometimes have gender-coded names (from a human perspective).

And Edina is at the gas station and beats the shit out of Castiel...

And back to Sam, who goes to Dean's room to either comfort or torture himself.

And the thing that gets me is that there's still pie in there and it's not even moldy - dude, that pie would have been there for MONTHS. My headcanon to explain this is that it's actually Sam's pie, and he's been going into Dean's room and eating pie and sobbing every few days. God, my headcanons are depressing.

Pictures!! And Dean's Theme! I love Dean's Theme!

Crowley to Castiel's rescue!

Oh, but first, back to Sam, and Dean's escaped!!

Oh, back to Cas and Hannah... Edina has left Castiel alive and is torturing Hannah.

Crowley: "Why can't you people just sit on clouds and play harps like you're supposed to."
- Crowley's got an interesting relationship with angels... and with Castiel, I guess.

Oh, cat and mouse game in the bunker! I love the way Jensen directed these scenes, btw. He uses a lot of symmetry and panning shots, and it's pretty gorgous.

Crowley gives Castiel Edina's grace.

Crowley: "As much as it pains me to say this, you're useless to me dead."
- What use is he alive?

Crowley: "Purely business. Since you're five miles away from the Winchester's clubhouse, I can only surmise that you're headed there - that Dean has become a handful. Having him as a demon is causing me nothing but grief, fix the problem."
Cas: "You realize, worse comes to worse, that means killing him."
Crowley: "I'm not sentimental."

- So, why not let Dean take out Sam and then worry about killing him after that? I do wonder at Crowley's motivations and whether he actually IS sentimental. We kind of get a taste of it in this season with the introduction of Rowena, because it's definitely sentimentality that keeps Crowley from killing her outright - and letting her into his court where she can sink her claws into him to some degree. So, yeah, I do think Crowley's sentimental here. He doesn't actually want Dean dead, or Sam, or possibly even Castiel. Maybe it's just a matter of keeping the enemies he knows and has built relationships with, rather than taking them out and who-knows taking their place... but well, I still think it's interesting.

I love love LOVE the frame of Dean silhouetted in red at the door to his room.

And we find out that Dean is human enough that devils traps can't hold him... so, the ritual IS working. Hahaha, he is unknownly ruining his own escape plan, because he's giving Sam hope. You know, once Sam catches him and dependent on Dean not killing him first.

That door wouldn't be built like that if it was actually from the 1920s/30s.

Seriously, I love this cat and mouse stuff.

And that hammer to the wall is BRUTAL - and he does it pointy-end out. And I have no idea how they co-ordinated that or if the hammer hitting the wall when Sam was in frame was vfx or if they weren't even in the same frame and were put together with vfx, but honestly, that's the coolest near miss, because it looks SO REAL and like Sam/Jared was legit a millisecond away from having his brain smashed with a hammer if he had been too slow. When Sam turns with the camera to see Dean, Dean is ALREADY IN MID STRIKE! It's amazingly well done, because there's no second break where Dean waits for Sam to see him before he raises the hammer to strike - nope, he was totally about to hit Sam from behind without Sam ever knowing he was there and Sam turns at the last possible second and ducks at the VERY last possible mili-second.

And the knife to the throat - honestly, this is some of their best choreography. It's brutal and amazing in a violent sexy way.

So, playing the scene over and over a bunch of times, I think there actually is a moment where Sam's eyes focus slightly BEHIND Dean rather than on him... and he takes the blade down because he KNOWS Castiel is there.

And Castiel administers the HUG OF DOOM! Or rather THE HUG OF SAVING.

I saw a cute fan theory after this scene that wondered if Dean's handprint scar was actually the result of a similar full body hug from Castiel, rather than a grab on the shoulder - because it's the right hand on the left shoulder, right? Or something like that. Anyway, it was cute, but unlikely, because Castiel's arms don't actually reach that far around Dean - also, I'm pretty sure it's canon that Cas was in trueform when he rescued Dean and didn't take Jimmy until Dean wanted to talk to him... or, perhaps not. I honestly can't remember what's canon now. It's in my timeline, whatever it is.

Sam: "... even after I gave him all that blood, he still said that he didn't want to be cured, that he he didn't want to be human."
Cas: "Well, I can see his point. Only humans can feel real joy, but also such profound pain, this is easier."

- Again, this just supports my headcanon that humans feel things ramped up to 11 in comparison to angels and demons... that angels and demons HAVE feelings, but they are quiet things. Humans SUFFER from their feelings - and I mean that about the good ones too. LIke, have you ever seen something so beautiful that you think it might kill you? We hyperbolize about that feeling all the time "It's so cute I'm going to die" etc... but seriously, you all know the actual feeling, right? Where for a moment, you're CONVINCED that you are actually going to perish on the spot, because something is so goddamn gorgous or you are so utterly happy that you can't imagine living through the emotion. That's what angels and demons miss out on... and they also miss out on the reverse, which I don't think I have to mention, because it's a more logical thing to think the physical pain of sadness might kill you, because it IS like a physical pain, so it makes sense for that to kill you. It doesn't make sense for joy to kill you, but yet, there have been moments where I'm like "this is the most beautiful moment and I am going to die now because of it."

Dean: "You look worried fellas"
*sprays with holy water*
Sam: "Welcome back, Dean."

- Uh, not to be a nitpicker, but YED didn't react to holywater either.
- But, hey, they cured him! Yay!

Sam: "Hey"
Cas: "How's he doing?"
Sam: "He's still a little out of it, but better, I think. I mean, I think this whole thing - the blood cure, the- all of it, really wrecked him, you know? On the plus side, he's hungry again, so I'm just going to go pick him up a big ol' bag of crap food and stuff it in his face myself. You mind keeping an eye?"

- I love the imagine of Sam joyously shoving burgers down Dean's throat. I think that's Sam's way of showing love - it's what he did when Dean got back from Purgatory too, and Dean did that cute "for me?" thing and smiled that sweet smile... and I'm sure it's like, a thing they have, and it's adorable.

Cas: "...Dean is no longer a demon... but the Mark of Cain that he still has and sooner or later, that's going to be an issue."
Sam: "You know, Cas, I'm beat, man. One battle at a time, you know? So, I'm just going to go grab my brother some cholesterol, and then I'm going to get drunk."

- And we still have Sam doing the thing where he only focuses on one thing at a time. I mean, and fairplay to him for it, because he SHOULD be able to revel in victories along the way... but the avoiding thinkinng of the consequences of things is, I think, what comes back to always bite the Winchesters in the ass. "I will solve this problem! Consequences be damned!" And then they're like "Oh shit...CONSEQUENCES ARE HORRIBLE."
- Not that the Mark of Cain is a consequence here, it's a problem they already had that continue to be a problem that they don't know how to solve, and Sam DOES work deligently away at it all season.

Pictures! It actually just occurs to me that this is the episode they filmed first, and these pictures actually come into play in the finale... so, this is a really nice set-up to that - the fact that Dean keeps a stack of family pictures in his room and both he and Sam take comfort in them.

And then he hides them under a book when Cas comes in, because manly men don't take comfort in family photos or something!

Cas: "You look terrible."
Dean: "You know, it wouldn't killl you to lie every now and again."
Cas: "No, it wouldn't kill me, it's just- you-"
Dean: "Forget it."

- I love how the first thing Cas does is screw up the communication that he JUST taught Hannah. It's adorable.

Dean: "Well, thank you for stepping in when you did. What did Sam say, he want a divorce?"
Cas: "I'm sure Sam knows that whatever you said, what you did, wasn't really you. It certainly wasn't ALL you."
Dean: "I tried to kill him, Cas."
Cas: "Dean, you two have been through so much- Look, your brothers. It'll take a lot more than trying to kill Sam with a hammer to make him want to walk away."
Dean: "You realize how screwed up our lives are that that even makes sense. I'm glad you're here, man."
Cas: "Hey, maybe you should take some time before you get back to work, allow yourself time to heal. The timing might be right. Heaven and Hell seem reasonably back in order. It's quiet out there."

- I wonder how scary the concept of a vacation is to Dean.
- I love this conversation though.
- Firstly, did Sam not talk to Dean about anything other than food? I can't believe that Dean would be worried that Sam wants a divorce. Sam LOVES YOU, DEAN! Geez. Ah well, he'll know soon enough when Sam gets back with the food and smiles at Dean like a dope while he eats it.
- Secondly, I love Cas' line about trying to kill Sam with the hammer... he just says it SO SINCERELY, because he means it sincerely, but it's ridiculous.
- Thirdly, I like the fact that Dean tells Cas that he's glad he's there. They're friends. I like people having friends. I mean, I know that Supernatural is about how you actually DO get to choose your family, and... well, I guess that's why I like the fact that Dean and Sam have effectively added Castiel as their weird angelic brother from another mother...or...uh, brother seemingly created by the Judeo-Christian God rather than birthed of the same human woman as they were. :P

And then we get the introduction of Rowena... who is our human antagonist this season, where the other antogonists are time and curses. I'd make fun of Supernatural for having concepts as antagonists, but I'm writing a novel where my only antagonist is racism, so I've got no ground to stand on.


Next rewatch is I don't know when - I think I have Wednesday off work, but that's also SPN night, so next rewatch probably won't be until next weekend.

Comments

( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
borgmama1of5
Nov. 9th, 2015 10:54 pm (UTC)
I LOVE your articulation of this:
Sam just latched dog-like onto the next course of action, the one with the most hope, because that's the sort of person that Sam is, and he doesn't think about the worst-case scenarios.

And this:
And we still have Sam doing the thing where he only focuses on one thing at a time. I mean, and fairplay to him for it, because he SHOULD be able to revel in victories along the way... but the avoiding thinkinng of the consequences of things is, I think, what comes back to always bite the Winchesters in the ass. "I will solve this problem! Consequences be damned!" And then they're like "Oh shit...CONSEQUENCES ARE HORRIBLE."

Because that, in a nutshell, describes Sam's--and Dean's--standard method of operating and you've gotten it so beautifully succinct!

Your whole gush over the Dean-bashing-Sam-with-hammer scene--I completely agree with everything you said, and also want to point out that Sam's lightning reflex with the blade is LEFT-HANDED! (I complimented Jared on that in his meet-and-greet last year.)

And a line that only makes sense on Supernatural:
It'll take a lot more than trying to kill Sam with a hammer to make him want to walk away." The horror and humor of that sentence is positively brilliant!

To repeat what I said last review, your analysis of the Cas scenes makes them much more palatable than just watching them and waiting to get back to the boys. Thanks for doing that!

hells_half_acre
Nov. 9th, 2015 11:11 pm (UTC)
I'm glad you enjoyed my articulations - I always find myself so clumsy with language, so it's nice to know you think I'm succinct. ;)

Oh man! I FORGOT IT WAS LEFT-HANDED! I love it even more! Man, also just doing that drop with a bad shoulder... seriously, amazing. I've never dislocated/broken my shoulder (in my memory at least), but I can only imagine that it's similar to tearing ligaments and sudden movements HURT, even when your arm is mostly immobilized.

I'm glad you gave Jared some love for it!

And thanks again about the Cas scenes. I find I need to work on that a bit with the Crowley scenes - Crowley's motivations and emotions are more opaque and harder to decipher, so sometimes I'm just not sure what to say about his scenes.
shadowsong26
Nov. 10th, 2015 12:40 am (UTC)
Hurray for two rewatches in one weekend!

Dean doesn't necessarily want to kill Sam, he just wants to be free.

Possibly, yeah. On the other hand, if Dean stayed a demon, he wouldn't have stayed off of Sam's radar forever, b/c even though the universe technically doesn't revolve around them anymore, it still kinda does. Something would've shoved them back together again--but it would have been interesting to see an alternative 'something,' yes.

Re: the pain from the shots, it might be Dean faking, or it might be that he's a different kind of demon than Crowley, and maybe the ritual has different effects on different classes of demons? ...and that is an interesting question that will never be answered, since there haven't been any chromatic demons since Azazel and there haven't been any white-eyed demons since Lilith...anyway, maybe it just affects Knights differently from standard/Crossroads demons or something, IDK. Or maybe he's faking it. I think both explanations are plausible.

Agreed with all your comments on Cas and Hannah's conversation.

Re: time limit, I think Cas and Dean have a conversation where Dean asks 'so how long do you have' or something? But I think Sam might be in another room doing something else, I don't remember exactly.

I don't think that Dean CAN be killed by anything other than the First Blade wielded by someone with the Mark of Cain, so how a dying Castiel plans to "deal with" the demon, I have no idea.

Honestly? My guess is what they did with Abaddon back in S8--Devil's Trap bullet + dismemberment/burying the pieces. Which is (at least for me) harder to contemplate doing to a friend than straight-up murder, because...well, it touches on something Cas says later in the season, 'you will endure forever, and I will endure forever, and I will know you to be evil/suffering. Forever.' And that's just awful, especially when you are the author of your immortal friend's eternal torment...

Also, they've come to terms with the grey fuzzy line between them and monsters YEARS ago, in my opinion...

I don't know that they've come to terms with it so much as acknowledged it and then chosen not to think about it--so, when something forces them to address it, all those not-quite-resolved Feelings resurface, but most of the time they can just avoid the thought? I mean, the line's still fuzzy, and they're aware of it, but...well, like Cas said earlier, the things that we don't talk about 'cause we can't do anything about it. Or something.

Agreed with your commentary about Sam's realization.

And about Mary and Sam's guilt/perceived guilt in her death.

And about Cas and Hannah's conversation...and Cas being a hyopcrite, and the nature of angelic attraction/emotion. I'm not sure about angelic reproduction, either--it makes sense that they can't, since they're functionally immortal and if they could, there would soon be too many for the universe to handle. But if they can't, that means every angelic death is a literal step closer to extinction, and puts mass angel slaughters into a different kind of perspective...

Maybe it's just a matter of keeping the enemies he knows and has built relationships with, rather than taking them out and who-knows taking their place...

That would make sense...also, maybe part of him is wondering just how far he needs to push them for them to actually follow through on their many threats to do him in? And, for all he claims he's the only person who fails to underestimate them, he does miscalculate where they're concerned sometimes, so he maybe thinks he can survive it if/when they finally do make good on their threats. But, in the meantime, the devil you know. Or something.

I love the imagine of Sam joyously shoving burgers down Dean's throat. I think that's Sam's way of showing love - it's what he did when Dean got back from Purgatory too, and Dean did that cute "for me?" thing and smiled that sweet smile... and I'm sure it's like, a thing they have, and it's adorable.

Yes! Agreed. This was adorable.

And agreed with your commentary about Dean and Cas's last scene.

But, yes! Now everything is set up for the season--and it is interesting, esp this particular ep, to view these conversations and know where they're leading long term...
hells_half_acre
Nov. 11th, 2015 02:02 am (UTC)
Possibly, yeah. On the other hand, if Dean stayed a demon, he wouldn't have stayed off of Sam's radar forever, b/c even though the universe technically doesn't revolve around them anymore, it still kinda does.

Well, that's only if you go by the fact that their main characters of the show (and therefore the center of the universe) - I was thinking more of them being secondary characters in someone else's universe, where they might not actually be shoved back together all that quickly. You're right, of course, that it would EVENTUALLY happen - mainly because I doubt Sam would ever give up, really.

and that is an interesting question that will never be answered, since there haven't been any chromatic demons since Azazel and there haven't been any white-eyed demons since Lilith...anyway, maybe it just affects Knights differently from standard/Crossroads demons or something, IDK. Or maybe he's faking it. I think both explanations are plausible.

I think so too. Also, I'd like to add that I kinda wish we'd revisit chromatic and white eyed demons. Now the only do the crossroads distinction.

Re: time limit, I think Cas and Dean have a conversation where Dean asks 'so how long do you have' or something? But I think Sam might be in another room doing something else, I don't remember exactly.

Oh yeah, that's in 9x22 - and Sam IS in the other room. That being said, I think if Dean knows something then Sam knows it... I could be wrong though.

Honestly? My guess is what they did with Abaddon back in S8--Devil's Trap bullet + dismemberment/burying the pieces. Which is (at least for me) harder to contemplate doing to a friend than straight-up murder

Oh man, yeah, that'd be horrible.I didn't even think of that scenario.

so, when something forces them to address it, all those not-quite-resolved Feelings resurface, but most of the time they can just avoid the thought? I mean, the line's still fuzzy, and they're aware of it, but...well, like Cas said earlier, the things that we don't talk about 'cause we can't do anything about it.

True. True. Good point.

And I agree with everything else you say!

I'm glad you liked the review. :)
metallidean_grl
Dec. 14th, 2015 04:47 am (UTC)
I also loved the exchange between Dean and Sam right before Sam gives him the first shot of blood. Dean hating shots and Sam really not giving a damn, because hating demons more trumps Dean hating shots. I loved it how Sam was ready to splash Dean with the holy water as Dean tries to scare Sam with his demon bravado. The whole sizzle of the holy water and Sam inserting the needle into Dean's arm. Epic. Totally loved it. I; however, do believe Dean was feeling the pain. Given how Crowley reacted to the blood, we all surmised that all demons show some kind of reaction to it. And it doesn't necessarily all need to be the same reaction. So, I do believe that that is real pain Dean is feeling. I was thinking about this a little and maybe how the demon reacts to the sanctified blood has something to do with their soul. Crowley all of a sudden became all weepy and wanted to be loved. This could go back to the abandonment issue he had with his mother and not feeling loved as a human, hence when he starts becoming human this manifests itself because that was the one thing that he had a hard time with in his human life. As for Dean, trying to fit this theory into him; I'm not quite sure how, but we all know that Dean feels all the loss, all the pain, he internalizes everything so much and he feels the guilt, the pain; so maybe him feeling the enormous pain with this blood is a manifestation of Dean and all the pain he continually feels as a human. That's kinda how I see it. The way Jensen portrayed this sequence, he had little moments where you saw the flash of pain on his face. The slight grimace, the tightening of his eyes. If her were faking it the manifestation of pain would have been more overt to make Sam feel more guilt instead of the little twinges in the face.

I don't recall Cas ever explicitly telling Dean or Sam how he got some mojo. Dean, for sure, never had an idea how much Cas was suffering, and maybe Sam did, a little, but he was so preoccupied with saving his brother it probably never fully dawned on him about how all of a sudden Cas was doing better. As for them killing Dean, I also wonder what they would have done had the blood purification not worked. Like you said, I also think the only thing that can kill him is the first blade, so had it not worked, it would have been interesting to see what they would have done.

The banter talk from Dean to try to get under Sam's skin was interesting. Using his mother, their life, John - all the points that Dean knows are vulnerable feelings for Sam. You are right, though, about Mary. If anyone really wants to blame anyone for Mary's death, it should be Mary. She is the one that started the whole snowball rolling; and yet, everyone seems to always give her a free pass. I hardly ever see anyone placing blame on Mary about the boys' life, etc. John watched his wife die by some supernatural means; and in his efforts to figure out "what" he must have stumbled upon some portion of the plans Azazel had in store for his boys. It's little things like that that really solidify my feelings that John found something out early on; hence his driven focus to get his boys trained and knowing how to fight the evil that he knew was coming his boys' ways. Anywho. Back to Sam-I do love how he knew that these were all ways Dean was trying to get under his skin and he wasn't going to debate him or let him get under his skin, because like you said, Dean is just as guilty as Sam with all the things that he said.

I do believe Crowley is sentimental. He has to save face. He has to be "Crowley-the King of Hell" and in order to be that he has to convince everyone that he is not sentimental. I mean, him just remembering his time with Dean shows that he is sentimental. As much as he won't admit it, he did enjoy his time spent with Dean, unfortunately, I'm not sure Dean saw it the same way.
metallidean_grl
Dec. 14th, 2015 04:47 am (UTC)

The cat and mouse game is pretty rad. I do love it how Jensen designed that out. One of the things he said in his M&G that year was that he pointed out that the bunker is probably layers deep of hallways, and as Dean and Sam were playing cat and mouse he needed to make sure that he showed each hallway differently in that the brothers were walking through a myriad of hallways and not just one or two. So, he had to make sure that each new look of hallway was perceived as them going through yet another hallway and not a regurgitation of the same thing. He said he spent a lot of time figuring it out and making sure that each one was dressed differently to give it that impression. You really do get that sense that they are indeed walking through a maze of hallways in this game.

The scene where Dean brings down the hammer on Sam. I totally agree, that is a radically awesome scene. The timing along had to be spot on. I do think they did that all in one take. I don't think there was any VFX involved with them doing that maneuver. It's just like a fighting sequence. You figure out all the movements and timing and you execute them, and boy did they execute them perfectly. I loved how Sam turned and ducked in the exact right moment, and his next movement was to bring up the knife to Dean's throat. So cool. I also think Sam dropped his hand because he saw Castiel come up behind Dean. if Cas had not shown up when he did, who knows what he would have done. AND, if Cas had not had a full power of grace I doubt he would have been able to overpower Dean the way that he did.

I do love what Castiel tells Sam to console him about the words that Dean told him while being cured. So true. Demons/Angels don't feel the range of emotions that humans do, so to not feel anything as he did as a demon, no wonder Dean wanted to stay that way. I'm sure he remembers the feelings he felt as a human, but he probably doesn't feel them himself. Of course he wanted to stay that way. But, like Cas said, we all feel the pain and sadness, but the that is what makes feeling the joy and happiness so sweet, because we have felt the opposite. How that is all delivered is very sweet and very human of Castiel, to console Sam that way.

I knew the second Dean was human again. Jensen was so spot on in his physical and facial movements that you could really detect the change. Jensen is indeed the master.

The pictures was such a nice touch. First Sam looks at them, then Dean and to have them replayed in the finale. Perfect and nice carry through. The fact that Dean keeps those pictures around just warms my heart. And the other fact I love is that the last picture they show of Dean and Sam at Bobby's kitchen table, that picture was taken right after Sam got his soul back. So, I find that touching that they would use a picture taken from that time. I have no idea if that was purposeful or not, but I did love that touch.

I really wish we would have had a scene between Dean and Sam right after Dean becomes human again. We all know how much Dean doesn't like chick-flick moments, so them talking about Sam wanting a divorce or not would have required expression emotional, "chick-flick" moments, so yea, I doubt that was brought up. I would bet because of the awkwardness they both would have felt they probably stayed superficial in what they talked about.

I do love the moment between Cas and Dean. It is poignant when Dean tells Cas he is glad he's there. Team Free Will, where else would Cas be, they are friends, they are brothers. Just a lovely moment and nice way to end.

All in all a really good episode, and surprising, especially given who the writers were. Loved this episode.
hells_half_acre
Dec. 17th, 2015 12:24 am (UTC)
He said he spent a lot of time figuring it out and making sure that each one was dressed differently to give it that impression. You really do get that sense that they are indeed walking through a maze of hallways in this game.

Yes, he did an amazing job!

But, like Cas said, we all feel the pain and sadness, but the that is what makes feeling the joy and happiness so sweet, because we have felt the opposite. How that is all delivered is very sweet and very human of Castiel, to console Sam that way.

Agreed!

And the other fact I love is that the last picture they show of Dean and Sam at Bobby's kitchen table, that picture was taken right after Sam got his soul back. So, I find that touching that they would use a picture taken from that time. I have no idea if that was purposeful or not, but I did love that touch.

I didn't even realize. That's super cool!!

I really wish we would have had a scene between Dean and Sam right after Dean becomes human again.

Me too, but as you say, they were probably both pretty emotionally wrought already and decided to keep it superficial.

All in all a really good episode, and surprising, especially given who the writers were. Loved this episode.

Indeed! This might be the only episode that i think they actually did a good job on... :P I don't know, I haven't consulted a list, so there might be others too... maybe they're slightly better with the mytharc stuff than they are with motws.
metallidean_grl
Dec. 17th, 2015 07:41 pm (UTC)
I wasn't aware you didn't know that last picture came right after Sam got his soul back. I thought it was more widely known.

This was the best episode these two writers have put together. S11 Ep 9, this years mid-season finale was their last writing episode, and while there were a few good points, I felt it dragged along a little too much and there were parts that definitely showed their flaws in writing style. (I still haven't read any reviews, so I have no idea how this one was received. I'm so behind. I hope to catch up soon.) I still don't know why Carver gives these two such important episodes. It frustrates me that such an important episode is left in their writing hands. Will they never get a clue?
hells_half_acre
Dec. 17th, 2015 12:19 am (UTC)
So, I do believe that that is real pain Dean is feeling. I was thinking about this a little and maybe how the demon reacts to the sanctified blood has something to do with their soul. Crowley all of a sudden became all weepy and wanted to be loved.

Interesting thought! You could have a point about how the emotional pain of Dean's life manifested itself into physical pain upon its return with each new injection of blood. We all know how much emotional pain can feel just the same as physical pain (it's coded right into our language "a punch to the gut", etc)

It's little things like that that really solidify my feelings that John found something out early on; hence his driven focus to get his boys trained and knowing how to fight the evil that he knew was coming his boys' ways.

Yeah, I mean, he consulted Missouri, who seemed powerful enough physically to know that there was something about Sam... and Mary was killed in Sam's nursery... it doesn't take a genius to put two and two together and realize that something might be after your kid!

I mean, him just remembering his time with Dean shows that he is sentimental. As much as he won't admit it, he did enjoy his time spent with Dean, unfortunately, I'm not sure Dean saw it the same way.

Agreed, and I think the main reason is that Crowley had to change Dean's personality in order to get him to spend time with Crowley - and for Crowley to enjoy it. Which, yeah, that's not going to endear you to someone. Demon!Dean knew he had been changed and knew that the Mark was because of being manipulated by Crowley, he may have enjoyed his freedom, but you can both enjoy something AND still be resentful of the way you got it. So, I think in any form, Dean is no friend to Crowley, nor fond of him, no matter how much time was spent together. I guess what I'm saying is that Dean enjoyed the freedom, but not the company. Crowley enjoyed the company, but not the aimless freedom.
metallidean_grl
Dec. 17th, 2015 07:36 pm (UTC)
We all know how much emotional pain can feel just the same as physical pain

Sometimes emotional pain can be worse. I have had my fair share of emotional pain, and I gotta say, sometimes I think I would rather have the physical pain. With physical pain at least it is outward, people notice you are in pain and you can receive sympathy and empathy from others. With emotional pain it is all internal, nobody really notices unless you say something, so the pain is lonely. You suffer alone, really alone, and depending upon your personality, or what caused that pain, that can be a hard thing to deal with. Hence, why so many people commit suicide because the pain is just too great and they can no longer suffer in silence. They just need the pain to be gone. Yep, during those times, physical pain does sound so much better.

Dean and Crowley were definitely NOT two peas in a pod. They were using each other, nothing more, nothing less. Although, I do still wonder about Crowley, despite his protestations.
hells_half_acre
Dec. 19th, 2015 07:34 pm (UTC)
Back when I suffered from anxiety more often, I didn't realize that it was anxiety - mainly, because I'm not very in touch with my emotions. So, all I COULD do was describe the physical feelings of it. Not surprisingly, I got a lot of sympathy and concern from my friends - I don't know if they would have given the same sympathy and concern if I had said "I'm feeling anxious today" or "I have anxiety." What I used to say instead was, "My heart hurts" and "My heart beat feels irregular" and I'd knuckle at my chest and probably look confused and a little concerned... and my friends would also look concerned and they'd ask if I need to nap (because I knew at that point that sleep helped) or they'd change plans so that we'd do something relaxing instead of taxing.

Anyway, this is all to say that there definitely is a huge gap between how we treat physical pain and how we treat emotional pain - when there really shouldn't be, because the two are one and the same. I didn't have the knowledge to frame my pain in emotional terms, but just because someone DOES, doesn't mean that they should be punished for that.
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