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Rewatch S12: Rock Never Dies (12x07)

Ended up with more time to myself this weekend than I thought I'd have, so we get another one of these!

Rock Never Dies

You can tell this guy at the beginning is a douchebag, because he doesn't even really care when Lucifer snaps his buddy's neck.

I just had a small freakout moment when I thought Dean was wearing MY brown plaid shirt (that I bought from the SPN set sale a handful of years back - It's Dean's S1 Plaid that he only ever wore in Skin) Anyway, it's in my mending pile, because I'm like the worst person for treating 'collectibles' the way they should be treated, so it currently has a small hole in the shoulder. So sue me, but Dean's shirts are comfortable (I'm wearing another one of his as I write this) and I like wearing them as PJs... and since I work from home, and sometimes wear PJs 24/7, that means they get a lot of use. ANYWAY, long story shirt, it's one of Dean's other plaid shirts that he's wearing in this episode. I'll figure out which one later.

Dean's playing Words with Friends with Mary - which Sam doesn't even know until this conversation. Then he asks Dean how Mary has been - which confirms what Sam later says in S13, when Mary does talk to them at this point, she talks to them through Dean not Sam.

So, my first rewrite here, would be to have at least ONE line about what VinceVincente!Lucifer returning means for Sam during this conversations with Crowley and Castiel - instead of it just being exposition and sassy jokes.

I love Dean's rant about LA (Jay Gruska later reveals in the commentary that this scene was added later. And I'm sure someone has already asked Jensen about how much of his LA rant was scripted - sadly, I can't remember if there's an answer to that - but I'd like to think that not much of it was. Haha.)

About 10 years ago, doing a vengeful spirit = last time they were in LA. I don't think I added that to timeline because it was too vague, but I kinda want to. Let's see, this was 2016 in SPN time-telling, so it'd have been 2006 - which would be S2. So, totally possible - OH... I just realized that he's probably talking about Hollywood Babylon! If they told time like normal people, then it'd be 2008, during S4, which is a little less believable as that season's timeline is pretty tight and doesn't leave much room for non-televised cases, except for a large gap of time between On the Head of a Pin and It's a Terrible Life, but my headcanon there is that Dean needed that recovery time, as angel healing wasn't done as often back then as it is now. Anyway, Hollywood Babylon makes sense and this is the show's method of telling time, so that's the one Dean's most likely referring too.

And Sam's listening to Vince Vincente, seemingly just because he likes the music. And this is actually the first time Sam's ever expressed a particular love of any sort of specific music. I mean, he had Jason Manns on his ipod in S4, but beyond that, this is the first thing Sam's chosen to listen just because he enjoys it. So, hair metal, or hard rock, rather than classic rock. I wonder if he also likes Def Leppard, old-school Bon Jovi (which he made fun of Dean for in S3, so maybe not?)...or... man, I forget the bands we used to listen to back in the late 80s/early 90s....Guns and Roses? Do they count as hair metal (according to my google search, they do!) Man, also Motley Crue and Twisted Sister... man, fanfic writers could go SO FAR with this if they actually took this to be an admission of love for the entire genre rather than this particular fictional artists' third album. (But really, canonically, all Sam has admitted to is Vince Vincente's third album and Jason Manns, so like most people, he obviously has a wide range of tastes.)

Lucifer is liking the worship.

Dean: "..yeah, maybe a third-tier agent"
Cas: "At least I don't look like a lumberjack."

- I think that's the first time that Castiel has ever a)directly insulted Dean, and b)made a judgement about looks. On the one hand, I think it's out of character, on the other hand, it's a nice way to imply that he's been spending way too much time with Crowley.

Hey, I know it was eons ago in show time, but in terms of having an emotional character thread, these Castiel/Crowley scenes would be slightly enriched if we were reminded that the last time they worked together Castiel double-crossed Crowley and they both accidentally let the leviathans into the world.

I had missed Dean peering into the pizza box and then looking disappointed to find it empty when they search the hotel room.

This episode has too much Lucifer stuff for my tastes. I just. don't. care. I mean, it sets up why his groupie is in the hospital, but we could have just had that, since the boys have to figure out why she carved his name in her chest anyway. It's just, repetitive. Either we see it and don't get the explanation, or we get the explanation and don't have to see it. Thems the rules.

This episode feels like it's 80% vamping, and I say that with a pained heart, because I usually really like Berens' stuff - but yeah, the style of this episode just doesn't do it for me. And I KNOW you want to use Rick Springfield since you have him, so I understand it's just me here and my villain problem. But yeah... ANYWAY...he does make up for it with some really great lines and character moments in the climax.

Crowley: "You little people wouldn't understand, but I've been a king. Having people look at you like you're everything, knowing that once they buy in, you can make them do anything, it's intoxicating."
...
Crowley: "Dear Mother says that once we catch Lucifer, she'll show, no sooner."
Dean: "Well, without Rowena, we're outgunned."
Crowley: "With her, we're outgunned."
- So, THIS is where they should have taken Crowley's story-arc this season. You have these two REALLY POWERFUL threads that just don't get explored, in favour of a really weak and stupid revenge plot that doesn't make sense for the character. 

So, rewrite: What does it mean for Crowley to wrest control of Hell back away from Lucifer. Banish him, but then find that doesn't end the problem - because if Lucifer came back twice in a 10 year period, the demons who follow him aren't likely to believe that Crowley's position as king is permanent, or worthy of being obeyed - and then you add in the fact that Crowley DOESN'T KNOW how to be King well, never actually sought the job, was just handed it (as we find out in Stuck in the Middle (with You) later on this season). ADDED on to the fact that Crowley has always LOATHED other demons and hell itself. How about, in the second half of the season, we get him barely holding on to his rule, and also struggling with the idea that he might not actually WANT it.
- And then there's Rowena - how does she fit into Crowley's struggles? His grasp on power, his decision to keep it or let it go? His decision on what to do next? How do BOTH of them deal with having met God, having helped stop the darkness? What does that do to their good-evil alignments? Give us them both deciding where their loyalties lie and what to do next.

I DO love that Cas' alias is Agent Beyonce. I know it's stupid, but it just makes me love him SO MUCH.

Crowley: "Enochian handcuffs - that's your move?"
Castiel: "They held ME."

- Kinky.
- Seriously though, was that a plot point at somepoint that I forgot or... OH, it was, when Castiel was cursed by Rowena. Damn. Because, like, yeah, kinky. ;)

Castiel: "I'll take Lucifer. He's my responsibility."
Sam: "No, he's not. He's all of our responsibility."

- Man, GIVE ME ALL THE SAM-CASTIEL INTERACTIONS. They have such an interesting dynamic to me, and they so rarely interact.

Castiel: "Then I'll buy you three minutes."
Crowley: "Make it four. What? I help."

- See, this is SO MUCH MORE INTERESTING. We've seen Crowley be forced into a saving ritual (S8), but we've never seen him actually move towards a redemption/save-his-own-'soul' decision.

Lucifer: "Being Lucifer, so much Judeo-Christian baggage, but Vince? He's famous. Everybody loves him."
- This IS actually a good lead in for what Lucifer does in the next episode. AND a good follow-up to last season, where Lucifer actually does address some of his daddy-issues. But if we treat Lucifer as someone who has become the symbol for all that is evil, but yet he wants to be loved - that's an interesting story right there. And it DOES fit into Lucifer's MO - because the whole thing with Lucifer is that he hated humans, because they're stupid and not powerful. God and the angels are the best, Lucifer in PARTICULAR is the best,  and humans suck - but if humans recognize that Lucifer is the best, then at least they know their place, and that's a worldview that Lucifer can get behind. It's when you try to tell Lucifer that humans are better than him, or at least equally as good as him, that he gets rebellious. The problem here is that humans aren't likely to worship Lucifer if they've been subjected to an anti-Lucifer campaign that's been going on for as long as there's been the Jewish religion (which is in it's 5th century, if we take the Jewish date for Creation as being the beginning of the religion.)

The other thing I like about this episode is how long Dean and Sam stay in those 'rock band' outfits.

Also, Sam using his strength and WINGSPAN to hold open the doors against LUCIFER'S strength, and succeeding long enough for all the humans to escape! Like, man, that's EPIC and Sam's such an awesome badass.

Lucifer: "Dear old dad, he finally apologizes for abandoning me, and then what's the very next thing he does - he abandons me!"
- And this is a fairly good parallel to Dean's abandonment issues with Mary, though she never needed to apologize and also doesn't know Dean has those issues. BUT...in terms of a parallel between parental figures leaving adult children because they have their OWN issues.

Luficer's speech as Vince Vincente is really good, and Rick Springfield does a great job.

Dean tosses the enochian handcuffs back into the trunk at the end of the episode - but I thought those had been a least partially destroyed by Lucifer? Maybe they hadn't really?

Sam: "Lucifer was bad enough when he had a plan, a motive, now he's just having fun.... we let him out. We're not winning, we're just losing slow."
- Sam's speech at the end here is really good too. And Jared does a good job of it. And he's right, when Lucifer had a plan, they could use that plan against him because they knew what he wanted - now, they can't be a step ahead of him, because not even Lucifer knows what the steps are.

Commentary with Rick Springfield and Jay Gruska

Jay talks about the origin of the song used in the episode, and how it was co-written between him and Berens (I happen to think they did a great job.)

Rick talks about getting the role and how he approached Lucifer. He's really intelligent about it and I think that's why he does such a good job (in my opinion.) I know some fans thought he'd have been better to study Mark Pellegrino the way Misha had and done a version of what MarkP does, but I actually like that he didn't - that he played it so much quieter. It ends up being more menacing.

Rick talks about how the cast and the crew being fabulous and how you tend to find that on shows that have gone a long time. Jay agrees. Rick talks about the chemistry of being friends on and off screen and how that really works.

Rick stayed in character during filming it sounds like, so he talks about Jared nad Jensen being funny, but it doesn't sound like he participated at all in shenanigans.

Rick talks about the director, Eduardo Sanchez, being great - and how he does the Blair Witch stuff and follows the rule of what you don't see is worse than what you do (my preference as well.)

Rick doesn't like table-reads, he just prefers to be on set and reacting against other actors etc.

Rick talks about the "devoted" fans, and how there's a certain time in people's lives where you can hook them like that - and it's amazing, but also can be scary. (I totally agree with the scary part - but he's not wrong with the time-frame - which is teenage to serious relationship/marriage/kids, then it closes.)

Jay talks about how Rick's decision on phrasing and musicality when he recorded the song were better than what Jay had even envisioned.

Rick talks about the VFX work in the episode and a little about how they did it.

Having run out of stuff to talk about with the episode midway through, they talk a little about the music industry. Haha.

Jay tells us that the agents assistant "Brigritta" is named after Bob Singer's assistant.

Rick tells us "the music industry is actually much more evil than it's portrayed in this episode - bigger jerks."

Rick does the accent that he used to have - a mix of australian/UK, because he used to live in London for a bit too.

Then they talk about clubs, and what Rick has been up to - they're REALLY running out of stuff to talk about that's episode related, so it's really about the music industry, and clubs, and Rick's life a little.

Let me know your thoughts if you have any!

This entry was originally posted at https://hells-half-acre.dreamwidth.org/548439.html.

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
borgmama1of5
Dec. 18th, 2017 02:18 pm (UTC)
Sam holding the doors open was my favorite part of the episode! And I think we got some Sam reaction to seeing Lucifer again from Jared in this ep...

Crowley giving himself up as a punching bag was an intriguing twist--what was his motivation? Was he wanting to help Cas and/or the boys? Was he trying to do his part to save the human race? Was he just wanting to do something to screw Lucifer? Also interesting to consider from things that happen later--did he have Luci's old vessel prepared at this point?

Way too much Lucifer and his entourage...and what was the deal with the tooth? The groupie had a missing tooth--which was found in Vincente's apartment by Cas--even before Vince had her carve herself--so he'd already been abusing her. But the point of that didn't make sense to me.

hells_half_acre
Dec. 18th, 2017 06:32 pm (UTC)
Yeah, Jared does his best! I still always want just a little more.

This is the thing about the Crowley plot - to me, his motivation in this episode makes WAY more sense if he's actually being self-sacrificial, rather than working on a stupid revenge plot. Because it's one thing to have the Winchesters go toe to toe with Lucifer and then fuck up their spell and imprison Lucifer and THEN confront him...it's another thing to go toe to toe with Lucifer himself. Crowley very well could have died INSTANTANEOUSLY in this episode, it's only because of this being a TV show and him being a series regular that he didn't (if that makes any sense). Crowley doesn't know he's a series regular, so he had no reason to make that decision - for all he knew, he was volunteering to die, which again, it out of character unless we see why it isn't.

Anyway, to answer your question, I think he must have had the trapped vessel already waiting - or else he would probably not bother helping yet. I think he'd have to have been working on it since the 12x01. If not before then.

And yes, the tooth! That's the thing - if you want to kill time in this episode, why don't you explain the tooth, rather than explaining the chest carving twice? Come on, Berens, you're usually better than this.

But, yeah, Sam's wingspan practically saves this episode, haha. :)
percysowner
Dec. 19th, 2017 12:11 am (UTC)
I actually found Rick Springfield's Lucifer to be more compelling, menacing and scary than Mark Pellegrino's. I wish they had kept him.
hells_half_acre
Dec. 19th, 2017 12:41 am (UTC)
Same. I think it was the fact that he allowed for more quiet moments - quiet evil is always more menacing than chatty evil.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )