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Quick Reaction: 6x01 Exile On Main St.

 
Alright! I'm home again!

Let's put this behind a cut for those in foreign lands (and who had to work)

Ok, I'm not going to remember the whole episode...but here goes:

I liked the different style of recap at the beginning. It was nice. I really liked the song choice for the Domestic!Dean montage - the Beautiful Loser lyric was awesome. 

Dudes! Dean and I have totally drank at the same bar!! For those of you in Vancouver (or interested in locations), Dean was drinking at The Blarney Stone in Gastown (the Jonesy Bar and Grill was a set sign). I was just there on Sunday to see some friends perform at a charity event. The pool tables were also set-decoration, and where Dean was sitting is usually the dance floor.

My sister thought that if he had really been drinking with that guy for a whole year, this topic of conversation would have come up before...but I think people who are skilled at not talking about themselves can get away with it for a very long time. I had a friend who used humour to deflect all personal questions whenever he was having a hard time of it...I could always tell when things were bad because he'd get to the point where he wouldn't even admit to having a mother (and he really loves his mother)...and no one would really notice that he wasn't sharing ANYTHING about himself. They just saw the humour and thought he was a great guy and that was all they needed to know about him.

So, what happens next...oh yeah...the whole walk-through-a-construction site. That was crazy. I loved Dean pretending to be cop on the phone and then lying to Lisa about it. Lisa's no dummy. Also, was anyone else kind of weirded out that Dean looked a lot like Jensen? I mean, the hair....I never realized the difference a hairstyle makes.

And when I saw the preview I KNEW that yellow-eyes was a dream...that was cool, and I wasn't surprised when it was confirmed. I WAS surprised that Sam gave Dean a shot of some weird milky liquid (oh man...must not think dirty thoughts, I'm not even THAT kind of fan). Which made the reunion something else! I liked the way they did it, with you seeing Sam all blurry and sideways and then righting the perspective along with Dean.

I loved the subtle difference with Sam. Jared played it so well, I thought. Like, he was still sort of Sam...still happy to see Dean (though, obviously he had seen him before)...but the really matter of fact way he's like "I'll save you the trouble" and cuts himself and drinks salty holy-water...and then is like "ugh, that's nasty." 

Then we finally get our "Sammy?" and a hug. And the hug looked much better than in BOTH promos, because Dean was hugging the daylights out of Sam, and Sam was like "I've been secretly checking up on you all year, but it's nice to touch you, and I'm happy that you are happy to see me. I miss you."...or at least, that's how *I* read that expression.

The reveal on how long Sam has been back is nice too. Almost a whole year. For timeline purposes...which I suppose I should start a tentative S6 timeline now (dudes, I am so behind in everything, I don't even have my final S5 timeline done yet)...anyway, for timeline purposes, if Sam falling into the pit was a year ago, then this episode takes place in May 2011. Let's see how long the props/art department remembers they're a half a year ahead than when they are filming.

Dean was suitably enraged though. I liked the exchange of Sam telling him that having a family was what Dean wanted, and Dean saying "I wanted my BROTHER" and talking about how he drank and had nightmares...

Ok, I'm saying this now: I don't like the Campbells. It's too...A Team or...something. It's too TEAMY. And I didn't trust them even before that bit at the end where they kidnapped that Djinn without Sam or Dean knowing. 

That being said, I liked that 3rd cousin's line about Dean having delicate features for a Hunter. Awww...

Ok, what else....I thought it was sort of telling that when Dean ran into the house, he called for Lisa once and Ben twice...I think Dean and Lisa make it work, but I think Dean really loves Ben.

Bobby's line talking about how if Dean is there, then something bad is happening was good. I kind of feel a bit cheated out of a Bobby-Sam reunion though. I would have liked to have seen that. But then I guess it would have been too much of a copy of Lazarus Rising...plus, maybe they'll do it in a flashback as some sort of reveal.

The conversation between Dean and Lisa was really nice too...because they totally talk very matter-of-factly about how their relationship was/is a wreck most of the time....but that Dean was good for Ben and that made Lisa happy enough. That being said, I think Lisa was kind of foolish to even hope that Dean staying with them was a permanent thing. If I were her, I would have definitely taken him in and enjoyed him while I could (all of him) but I wouldn't have set myself for an emotional fall like that - I would have let him in on the understanding that it was a temporary thing.

Them making fun of Dean was not cool. Though, I like how it ends up being ironic, when Sam uses the golf clubs as a weapon.

And we definitely get the set-up for Dean being the more emotional lead-by-the-heart brother when he goes off to try to rescue his friend even though it's already too late. I was a bit confused after this about how Sam saved him in time....but we get a nice view into Dean's psyche when in his dream Lisa plays the part of a mother (how very freudian of you Dean) and Ben plays the part of Sam. It's kind of a bit heartbreaking though, if you think about it - Dean's worst nightmare is his actual life (or at least his past).

What else...Sam turning down the Impala was a burn to Dean, I think. It's basically Sam saying "I don't need you, or anything you have to offer me." I did like the fact that Dean said "she should be hunting" - like he's forced the Impala into retirement against her will - like she was born a Hunter just like he and Sam were.

ETA: Ok, I just read the review on the A.V. Club, and they said that the car thing was showing how for the first time ever the brothers have separate identities that are independent of each other. Hmm...interesting...I think I like this interpretation better, because it's less "ooo, BURN!" and it's more "Are they no longer unhealthily co-dependent?!? WHAT HAPPENS NOW?!?!"

What else...the goodbye was awkward...Sam is just so emotionally vacant. It's really well done on Jared's part, but I think I mentioned that. It should be an interesting season....

Ok, odds and ends:
1. No Cas, but I did like Sam's line of "I've been calling, but he hasn't answered my prayers" - Haha, oh man, I wish I had a friend that I could PRAY to have them show up. That's such a funny way of communicating. "Castiel, please hear my prayers....is Tuesday okay for beers, or did you want to do it on Wednesday? Please send me a sign..."

2. Man, Bobby keeping Sam's return from Dean for almost a year...how often do you think Dean called Bobby? I mean, he was doing research on how to get Sam back right? He must have called Bobby at SOME point.

3. I really don't trust the Campbells...what the heck is going on there?

4. I wish there had been more Ben in the episode - I like that kid, and it would have been cool to see Dean interact with him more than just making him eggs.

5. Umm...I guess that's it...if there's anything you want to discuss that I've forgotten, let me know in the comments!

So far I'm interested to see where this all leads...

Comments

( 19 comments — Leave a comment )
claudiapriscus
Sep. 25th, 2010 06:56 am (UTC)
I don't know, I kind of disagreed with the AVclub on the car thing. It was cold. Turning it down would be one thing, but turning it down like that? Just compare to the last time they went their seperate ways and Dean offered him the car. It's not like they both don't know what it means.

I'm convinced there's Something Up With Sam (well, and all the rest of them.)

Having watched Fringe last night, I want to joke that they're all from some alternate universe.

This episode was very pilot-y though, so we'll have to see.

But on the whole, I enjoyed it. especially the beginning. Also, how is it possible that they can be so goddamn pretty?
hells_half_acre
Sep. 25th, 2010 07:01 am (UTC)
It is even more impossible when you see them in person - because they are even prettier! It's like "HOW DO YOU EXIST AND WHY ARE YOU RUINING ME FOR OTHER MEN!!!?!?!"

On a more serious note: Hmm...yeah, I'm torn on the car thing. I like the separate identities thing...but you are also right. The last time Dean offered Sam the car, Sam turned it down, but it was because Dean needed it and Sam was punishing himself. Also, Sam had that nice long stroke of her before he left...sigh...yeah, Something Up With Sam.

Also, it just occurred to me that they did the thing I didn't want them to do - they brought Sam back too fast...if he's been back almost the whole year, it kind of diminishes his sacrifice, doesn't it? Well, I guess he's all sort of messed up, so maybe not...but yeah, I'll keep my eye on that.

But yeah, they are setting up almost a whole new series...so, I'll wait until a couple episodes to weigh in on what the heck I think about it all.
claudiapriscus
Sep. 25th, 2010 07:09 am (UTC)
Plus, it was all so rushed, it's just so damn hard to tell.

With the way they've played it- the whole year jump thing- and the absolutely insane pace they took trying to set everything up, there's really no way of telling what is weird because of trying to squeeze as much plot-set up in to the episode as humanly possible, and what is weird because it's meant to be off.

I suppose it's meant to be that way for Dean as well, inside the story.

Samuel is not very much like I'd imagine him, based on "In the Beginning". Is it because he's had a year? Or is it because there's something sinister going on?

I joked about it earlier, but seriously, this episode kept putting me in mind of Fringe, in the sense of how that show plays the doppelgangers and shapeshifters. I don't know if it was the acting, or something more subtle like the music or the camera angles, but it just put me in mind of it. It was pinging the radar in the same way the alt-people and replacements do on Fringe. They're just...off.
hells_half_acre
Sep. 25th, 2010 07:16 am (UTC)
True actually, maybe they sort of shot it that way on purpose? Unlike the S1 pilot when we followed Sam through the story (except for the shots of Dean in the police station), in this one we ONLY followed Dean. The whole thing was completely Dean's point of view - and Dean was really thrown right into the thick of shock and confusion in this episode. Which is probably why we're having trouble knowing what to make of it all.

If they did that on purpose, it was brilliantly done...because the more I think about it, the more discombobulated I feel.

I think there's something sinister going on with Samuel.

And yes, I haven't watched much Fringe, but I agree that everyone felt "off".
claudiapriscus
Sep. 25th, 2010 07:24 am (UTC)
I want it to be brilliantly done. SO for now, I'm going to go with that;)

But yeah. And discombobulated is the EXACT way to describe it.
hells_half_acre
Sep. 25th, 2010 07:26 am (UTC)
Sometimes the strange words are the best words!

I vote for brilliantly done as well! ;)
borgmama1of5
Sep. 25th, 2010 07:08 am (UTC)
It was a satisfying premiere. But my heart hurts for how Dean is once again between a rock and a hard place. And Sam and Bobby not telling Dean is still so very wrong, how can they not get that? But Jensen played it note-perfect.

Sam at first saying he was trying to keep Dean out of it and then at the end saying, well, now you're back in, tough--All I can think (hope) is that Sam is so messed up from hell that he's forgotten his heart. And I hope he finds it soon.

Or I my heart may not survive a season's worth of Friday nights!
hells_half_acre
Sep. 25th, 2010 07:12 am (UTC)
Oh man...my heart hurts so much for Dean. I mean...the unimaginable grief and his brother was alive and his father-figure was keeping it from him...and yeah, now he's got this family and the possibility that he can't ever actually leave the hunting life...and man...Jensen really did play it great though.

You really have to appreciate BOTH boys' acting talent, because Jared played it great too. I feel like after a summer of wondering if Sam is Sam, we're STILL wondering if Sam is Sam. Because something has messed him up completely. I keep flashing back to The End (maybe because I just watched it the other day) when Dean says that they keep each other human...and I worry! I worry SO MUCH!
raloria
Sep. 25th, 2010 08:58 am (UTC)
Then we finally get our "Sammy?" and a hug. And the hug looked much better than in BOTH promos, because Dean was hugging the daylights out of Sam, and Sam was like "I've been secretly checking up on you all year, but it's nice to touch you, and I'm happy that you are happy to see me. I miss you."...or at least, that's how *I* read that expression.

That's the same way I felt about the hug. People saw the promos & thought Sam was too cold, but I disagree. You can see him smile, even in the episode. Naturally, he's not as emotional as Dean in that moment (Dean's gasp upon releasing from the hug was very telling), but seeing as he's been keeping an eye on his brother for a year, he looked happy enough for me.

I also loved the scene where Dean is upset at Sam and Bobby for keeping the secret of Sam from him. I thought it was perfectly acted by Jensen. Rightfully, they thought they were giving him a good life, but there's no denying that Dean actually suffered for a lot of that year without his brother.

I loved the episode and I'm really eager for next week's. The boys....and a baby!!!! *squee* :D
hells_half_acre
Sep. 25th, 2010 09:06 am (UTC)
I thought the whole opening was perfectly acted by Jensen too - because even then, you could see that Dean was suffering...he's lying there awake before the alarm - he's going through his day rather methodically - even when out to drinks with his friend, he's hardly cheerful or even all that present in the conversation.

So yeah, I agree - that scene with Bobby, Sam, and Dean was really well done - because they might have thought they were doing right by Dean, but they aren't Dean, so they don't really have any sort of knowledge of what's truly right for him.

I'm looking forward to next week's episode too! If only because it might be a little...calmer? I feel like there was so much information packed into this one that there was hardly room for us to spend time with our favorite characters. And yes...the idea of the boys and a baby is already putting a smile on my face... ;)
followingabdiel
Sep. 25th, 2010 01:44 pm (UTC)
Yeah, the hair-do totally got me, too! I was like, "Dean has a part in his hair! Where's the sticky-up gelled look that we all know and love?!"

And I definitely agree with you about Sam's emotional detachment. He's very...vacant. And I couldn't quite figure out what exactly was bothering me about him until you said it, and then I thought, "Yeah! That's what it was!"

Campbells are definitely shady. Couldn't tell you what any of their names were really, though one of the cousins was one of the actors that played on "Stargate:SG-1" for a couple of seasons, so I was pretty distracted by that--LOL!

Anyways, I enjoyed reading your reaction, and I'm definitely more excited about this season. Looking forward to next week!
claudiapriscus
Sep. 25th, 2010 06:46 pm (UTC)
He'll always be Jonas to me.

Though if they had to bring in some SG-1 alumn to play a long lost relative, why not Ben Browder? (shallow, shallow, shallow of me. But that'd be awesome, y/y?)
hells_half_acre
Sep. 25th, 2010 07:17 pm (UTC)
I think the SG-1 guy was named Christian? Other than that, I don't know. I'm hoping they won't be around for long. *crosses fingers* But maybe that's the plot this season - deal with evil relatives? Though, I think the plot should be "what the heck is up with Sammy?"

Also, I'm wondering how Sam and Samuel and the cousins all found each other in the first place.
mattheal
Sep. 25th, 2010 02:06 pm (UTC)
The whole thing left me uneasy and on edge. I completely agree that Jared was awesome in playing the subtle differences in Sam's character. I felt like it wasn't so much the words he was saying but the way he was acting. He came across as laid back and disconnected, which are two things Sam has never been, specially in regards to Dean.

The reunion hug was weird as well. Dean was really happy to have Sam back but Sam's face was, again, disconnected. But I think I'm gonna go with your interpretation cause it makes me feel better.

The Impala thing definitely left a bad taste in my mouth. Seriously Sam?? That was rude.
hells_half_acre
Sep. 25th, 2010 07:22 pm (UTC)
Well, maybe saying this will come back to bite me in the ass if we find out that Sam is evil or something: but I can be pretty emotionally vacant myself, so I honestly do think that Sam was happy to see Dean...it's just that once you start disconnecting emotions (as a defense mechanism) sometimes you accidentally disconnect too many.

So, yeah, my guess is that Sam got really messed up in hell and the way he dealt with it wasn't by torturing (like Dean did) but by basically becoming disconnected and vacant. So, his desire to have Dean on the road with him might be his subconscious saying "Sam, dude, we are really messed up...I think maybe our brother could help us out..."

But yeah...turning down the Impala is like turning down Dean's love.
mattheal
Sep. 25th, 2010 11:09 pm (UTC)
This is true, I was just trying to imagine what it must be like for Sam if he knew his brother was alive but couldn't go to him and then he started hunting with a group of people that, even though they were family, were still essentially strangers (and not really accepting people either)and then I went 'Oh Sam.' =(
trystan830
Sep. 25th, 2010 08:32 pm (UTC)
i enjoyed the episode alot. it's all in my post. hee.

while i don't trust the Campbells, i do like the idea of backup. but i like that kind of network thing.
hells_half_acre
Sep. 25th, 2010 08:47 pm (UTC)
Yes, I like how you always enjoy the episodes ;)

I don't like the idea of backup besides Bobby and Cas...but then, I've always been partial to chosen-families over blood-families. Also, having other people around interferes with the core relationship of the show, because we get less together-time. I know, Jensen and Jared are probably thrilled because they've always wanted more supporting cast members...but yeah, I don't like it.

But yeah, that's really just a minor thing...it's not like I'm all up in arms about it. Especially as I can already see that the Campbells are part of the overall monster-plot this season...so I'm interested in seeing how they are used, even if I don't actually like their presence.
trystan830
Sep. 25th, 2010 09:09 pm (UTC)
I can already see that the Campbells are part of the overall monster-plot this season
i can see this too.
( 19 comments — Leave a comment )

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