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Rewatch S11: Beyond the Mat (11x15)

Hello - I hope you all had a good weekend. I did, though it was fairly unproductive when it comes to exercising and living right... on the plus side, I got a lot of fic-writing done!

Anyway, rewatch!

Beyond the Mat

Ah, the wrestling episode. I'll probably try to speed this rewatch up by not talking much about the A plot of the episode - but instead just focusing on the Winchesters.

I love how the Winchesters drink coffee out of those little 1950s mugs. Like... guys, that's adorable. Hopefully they're making espresso, otherwise that's probably not going to feel like enough coffee by modern standards.

Dean: "Hey, you remember Top Notch Wrestling?"
Sam: "Yeah, those were those wrestling shows Dad took us to when we were kids."
Dean: "Right, I came across an obituary last night. Larry "the Hangman" Lee died last night"
Sam: "Oh no, wasn't he, uh-"
Dean: "He was Dad's favourite. Everytime that douche came out, Dad would be up on his feet. Those were one of the few times I ever saw Dad happy."

- So, I like this glimpse into their childhood, because it wasn't all abandoned cabins and seedy motels...sometimes they got to go to wrestling shows, where their Dad's favourite wrestler was a "douche."
- It's actually fairly interesting to me that Dean speaking about this as though he never thought of "The Hangman" as anything other than a douche - which is in contrast to some of the stuff we've seen before about Dean, where he tended to like a thing because his dad liked it. It's nice to know that Dean DID have his own preferences too and drew the line some places.

Sam: "Uh, don't you think our plates are a little full? I mean it's bad out there, Dean-"
Dean: "Yeah, Sam, you think I don't know that? We've done nothing but mainline lore for a week, we've got jack on another hand of God, or Amara, and we've got jack on how to save Cas-"
Sam: "If he wants to be saved."
Dean: "He does. Even if he doesn't know it yet."

- So, I'm not sure what the discourse in fandom was like around this issue, because I kind of stopped paying attention to what other fans were saying about the show sometime in S8 or S9 or so... BUT, part of me wonders how Sam's position here was interpreted. To me, I think Sam is trying to set Dean up for the possibility that they won't be able to save Cas until they defeat Lucifer- because if Cas truly said yes, then just getting him to fight back isn't going to work. Especially since Sam already TRIED that last episode, and Cas TOLD him that it was his decision to allow Lucifer to use his vessel.
- And I think Dean understands this, as much as he hates hearing about it - and his response admits to his knowledge of that fact. The idea that he might have to point out to Cas why this is a terrible idea before he's able to save him. And I think that hurts Dean quite a bit, because it's basically rubbing in the fact that Dean didn't realize that his BFF was in such a fucked-up headspace that he would even fathom that letting Lucifer free was a good idea... but then again, this is Cas, and his ideas are rarely good ones, even though he always has the best intentions.

So, sidenote: It occurs to me that Cas is in a vessel...why? Why let Lucifer use his vessel and REMAIN in it as well? Why not leave the vessel and find a new one? Now, of course, there's the moral dilemma - Cas has already accidentally killed one human while using their body, it makes sense that he might want to endanger a second. Then there's the bloodline dilemma - technically, Claire is the next best vessel to house Cas. And Castiel's bloodline must be a pretty important one, seeing as how Lucifer can occupy Jimmy's corpse without burning through it like he does all the others... and that brings us to our third possibility - Cas is staying in the vessel in order to continually heal it so that it will still be there when Lucifer moves on and Cas has need of Jimmy's body again.

Lucifer: "Yes. Remember - ABC - Always Be Closing - the sooner you little stormclouds find me another hand of God, the happier I'll be. You want me to be happy, don't you dollface?"
Female demon: "Of course, my lord."
Lucifer: "Good answer."

- I love the Brazil music playing in the background. Also, I love that female demon.

Crowley is still being forced into puppyplay... so creepy.

Cliff does a cameo as a wrestler! I'd forgotten.

And Dean's fanboying...

Dean: "Should I go say hi? I should go say hi. I'm gonna go say Hi."
Sam: "Uh, sure."
Dean: "Hi Sir, I saw you standing over here and I told my brother that I should go over and say Hi, so I came over and...Hi."

- Ah Dean, so adorable. Also, I'm sure Jensen has a lot of experience with these sorts of rambling fan speeches. This is why whenever I've been in Jensen's presence, I limit my speaking to "Hello!" and "Thank you!" Because like, what else am I going to say that's not going to be ridiculous?!?!!?

Dean: "You know, when I was 10, I got my first B&E, borrowing some family's payperview so that I could watch the cage match between you and the Tower of Power."
- Ah, little Dean factoid there. Did I stick that in the timeline...nope! It's in there now though, hopefully I remember to put it up on the Wiki the next time I'm updating that thing.

Sam: "It's just - you look great."
Reo: "Thanks."
Sam: "Sorry, wrong place. It's just - you were my first crush."
Reo: "You weren't one of those boys who had my poster above his bed, were you?"
Sam: "What? No. Are you still managing?"

- Awww, Sam's such a horrible liar. Or maybe not, because I doubt he was pinning her up on motel room ceilings, but I'm sure the activities that act is meant to IMPLY were the same.
- I also love how Sam's complete understanding that a funeral isn't the correct place to be fanboying/hitting on someone.

Dean: "You know, they're having a memorial show tonight. I know you're itching to get back, but uh-"
Sam: "We should go to it."
Dean: "Really?"
Sam: "Why not? We're all still going to be screwed tomorrow, right?"

- I like how Sam really just needed to get out of the Bunker to understand that he needed to get out of the Bunker.

Dean: "Reo? You dog."
Sam: "Oh shut-up, dude we met at the wake. She's nice."
Dean: "Did you tell her you used to have a poster of her over your bed when you were a kid?"

- Oh, I stand corrected, apparently Sam did have the dedication to wanking material to cart a poster with him to motels and pin it up. Well, you gotta find your pleasures where you can when you're a Winchester, I suppose.

Sam: "...they're only making $25 tonight."
Dean: "That's it? That hardly seems worth it. I mean, think about that, town after town putting your ass on the line for next to nothing? No money, no glory. Wow."
Sam: "You realize you just literally described our jobs."

- Hahaha, technically, professional entertainment wrestling is WAY safer than Sam and Dean's jobs.

Ack! Clothes, I completely forgot to screen cap this scene...

Father: "Beers cheap. Kid's entertained. Parenting!"
Sam: "Yeah... now that rings a bell."
Dean: "Do you want to try not to ruin one of the nicest things Dad ever did for us, please."

- So, there are two sides to everything, it's true. But I don't think this is actually a slight on John, because John did still take them...and it's not like it's a bad thing. The kid is, legitemately, entertained. Kid has fun, it's good memories of family time, and meanwhile the Dad gets to enjoy a beer with the show too. I don't think it's necessarily a slight on John's parenting techniques, because he could have NOT taken them at all and told them to shut-up and do what he said. Of course, defining something as "better than nothing" is also not the best.
- But seriously, think about it - I'm sure there were times when even Dean was dragging his feet about having to move towns again. What's a good way to motivate a kid like that to basically live on the road? Well, probably to allow him multiple shows to a form of entertainment that is ALSO constantly on the road. I think there's a reason why Dean and Sam, into adulthood, are willing to drive for miles to see a ballgame or a concert - because that's probably what John did to make moving around so much not seem so bad. "We can check out the wrestling here, and then next week, we can see them again in Wisconsin! yay!"

*Gunner gives his glove to the kid beside Dean rather than him*
Sam: "Maybe next time."
Dean: "It's alright, I'm not a child. It's fine."

- Haha, aww, Dean. You ARE a child.

It's fun to see Sam and Dean having a good time.

Also, damn guys and they're ability to pee anywhere. It drives me crazy on multiple levels...firstly, I want to be able to pee conveniently, secondly, ewww pee everywhere.

And fun times interrupted by suspicious murder.

Ah, and Dean's fun times in the ring. Hehehe. Cute.

Ah, female demon... I wish she was genuine and around more. Does she die in this episode or another one? She does play Crowley pretty well here.

Get your heels off the pool table, woman! And whomever put her up there, you're an idiot! Geezus. Way to destroy the felt.

Comparing scars with Gunner Lawless is fun. Also, Dean's leg is nasty. I wonder when the last time Cas healed him was. Apparently Dean lost the chuck of his leg "a couple years ago"...which could mean anything, I suppose.

I wonder how much ice-tea Dean and this guest actor drank during this scene.

Oh yeah, and Dean decides the best way to test them all for demonhood is to spike the shots...

Crowley escapes the Fall River throne room...

Sam: "Dude, you okay?"
Dean: "Mostly tequila, cut with holy water - I bought drinks for all the wrestlers and they were like, you gotta drink too..."

- Awww, Dean... he's probably still drunk.

Crowley gets his suit back. Yay!

I feel so bad for Harley. I mean, he's a little angry hothead, but he doesn't deserve to die.

Harley: "Look man, I've never been much for God or whatever - sort of just thought that when your curtain came down, that was it, night night. But if you're a demon then there's a hell, and if there's a hell there's a demon. And I'm not gviing up my shot at a belt I can win on my own."
- Harley's smart.

Also, severing his achilles tendon is pretty damn cruel.

I forgot Crowley had a picture of himself as a kid in the lock-up. Actual baby Fergus!

SIMMONS! That's the female demon's name.

Lucifer: "Can you blame them can you. I mean, maybe once you were the evilest evil that ever eviled, present company excluded, but now - you're nothing but Dean Winchester's number 1 fan."
- So, the thing that gets me about this is that, yes, Crowley's grown way too soft on the Winchesters, but on the other hand he's ALWAYS been soft of the Winchesters, because he's clever enough to know he can use them. Which brings me to my main point - Crowley has never been the evilest evil, that wasn't how he got the job - he actually got the job by being clever, lining up pawns that he could send into battle for him, and orchestrating as much as he could to ensure both his own survival and a power vacuum in hell that he could easily step into. The reason he's having so much trouble now isn't because he's "Dean Winchester's #1 Fan" though, that doesn't help, the actual reason is that Lucifer has returned and the power vacuum that Crowley stepped into now no longer exists. It's the same reason he had immediate trouble with Abaddon too. And just like with Lucifer (the first time) and Abaddon, his best bet is to line back up his pawns to battle Lucifer for him, recreate the power vacuum, and then step back into it and resume command for lack of any better option.

Of course, this is parelleled with the demon telling Sam and Dean they don't measure up either.

Demon: "it's my fault, you get your hopes up. You want an LA 10, but you settle for a Kansus 5. The name's-"
Sam: "We don't care."

- And that's how you respond to someone trying to belittle and insult you. :) (My strategy in grade school was to always reply with "thanks! That's what I was going for!")
- I also love Dean's look at being told he's a "Kansas 5" because it's pretty much like "bitch please, you and I both know I'm damn pretty."

Ah, yes, Simmons dies here, when she jumps in front of Lucifer to save him from Crowley. Sadness. I know she was a baddie, but she's so great!

And Dean gets Gunner's sob story.

Dean: "Okay, okay, you screwed up. Trust me, I've been there. But it is never too late to do the right thing."
Gunner: "You really believe that?"
Dean: "I have to."

- Awww... Dean, changing hearts and minds since 1979.

And Crowley's used his one-shot Hand of God.

I did wonder how it was that the Hand of God didn't kill Crowley. I guess there's no rules about demons touching God's things. You'd think it'd mean instant smiting for Crowley, or that the power would be too much for a demon to hold, since it burns through humans pretty quick - but nope. It makes for a good scene though!

Oh yeah, this is the episode where the demon uses the word "shim" and apparently that's a slur? I'm still unclear on that. It seemed to be acceptable in some circles and unacceptable in others.

*Demon about to kill Sam*
*Gunner stabs the demon*
Sam: "Thanks."

- Most awkward thanks ever

And Hell Hounds coming. I love the fact that they're back to being invisible and Sam and Dean can't hear them. Yay for following actual canon!

Sam: "You okay?"
Dean: "Not even a little bit. Lawless was a good guy. He didn't deserve to go out like that."
Sam: "He made a bad decision. We've been there."
Dean: "Yeah, you, me, now Cas."
Sam: "Dean, we'll get him back. We will, we just have to-"
Dean: "Keep grinding. No matter how much it hurts, no matter how bad it gets, we've gotta keep grinding."
Sam: "Right."
Dean: "And that's how we're going to win. And we're going to win. We're going to save Cas, we're going to ice the devil, and we're going to shank the Darkness and anyone who gets in our way - well God help them."
Sam: "Damn right."
Dean: "Damn right."

- I love that speech, though I wish 'grinding' didn't also have sexy meanings. Still... it's great, and it's nice that Dean's motivations are refreshed, even if they're refreshed in anger rather than true hope.
- I also like that Sam's realizing that although he has to prepare Dean for the idea that Cas doesn't want to be saved, he also knows that Dean needs to be reassured that they WILL save him... even if it's just to keep Dean's motivations up.

CUT SCENES

Scene 8.
The merch at the wrestling show. Apparently there's one stop in Saskatoon on the "world tour" - That's two Sask. references in 2 years, did Supernatural get a Canadian intern down at the writer's offices?

Scene 16
Sam and Dean sitting with little kid (Jason) while they try to figure out where his dad is after the show. Sam sees the cops come in and makes excuses to leave and see what's up.

Dean: "Hey, Jase, what's your thing? What are kids into these days?"
Jason: "Minecraft."
Dean: "Minecraft. Well what if I told you, that I could get you all the mine you could craft, and all it could cost you was that glove."
Jason: "No way."
Dean: "I'll give you twenty bucks"

- Aww, Dean, that's pretty pathetic.
- Also, never has Jason reminded me of one of my nephews more than when he says "Minecraft" - both the subject matter and his head shape and haircut are basically my nephew.

Scene 1115
Crowley complaining about Lucifer taking everything he had.
Crowley: "I change, I adapt, and he walks right into my trap. I smite him with the power of God almighty and he barely even notices. Now, I've no kingdom, no nothing. Where do I go? What do I do?"
Little boy *blinks*
Mother: "Come on, sweetie, leave the crazy man alone."

- Listen, I'm all for not having your kids talk to strangers in the park, but that's not actually good parenting displayed here - because she's basically teaching her kids to both assume any stranger who talks to him is mentally ill, and also that mental illness is something one should run away from, instead of being respectful, helpful, and civil.


And there we have it!

Ugh, I don't want to go to work tomorrow. Weekends are far too short. :(

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
supernutjapan
Jan. 23rd, 2017 02:06 pm (UTC)
So when did we find out that Cas was actually in a vessel? I forgot that bit. I thought he was just himself since he was resurrected the first time.

My son is into Minecraft too.:P
hells_half_acre
Jan. 23rd, 2017 04:49 pm (UTC)
Yeah, Jimmy is dead, but that's still Jimmy's body. That's what I meant by vessel. Cas is the only one in there, but it's still a human vessel, even if it's dead. Same with Ruby's vessel in S4.

Everybody loves Minecraft! :)
borgmama1of5
Jan. 23rd, 2017 08:25 pm (UTC)
I remember dreading this episode, expecting it to be out-of-character comedy--and being so impressed with how it was done! Dean's awkward fanboying came across as genuine, not mocking, and Harley and Gunner were real people whose deaths made me sad. I especially appreciated the grayness of Gunner's character--he did wrong and yet he was not an evil caricature, and he was redeemed at the end--but still went to a horrible fate.

It made me think a lot of early season episodes were the monsters weren't just evil--think of 'Metamorphisis' where the rugaru was able to stop himself and could have been allowed to live until the other hunter pushed him over the edge.

And this episode is the only time I have ever cheered for Crowley.
hells_half_acre
Jan. 24th, 2017 02:04 am (UTC)
Agreed agreed. It really is a nicely done sort of "old school" comedic episode, where it looks like it's going to be over-the-top, but it's actually fun AND grounded in a very harsh reality that makes you empathize with people you don't expect to and think about things from different angles.

Also, same about Crowley. ;)
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )