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Rewatch S5: The Real Ghostbusters (5x09)

Oh man, you guys...I am so busy these days. It's taking me forever to do anything. Usually by this time I'd have all my rewatch done and the season timeline posted - but I'm not even half-way through yet! 

So, let's get down to business...


I know this can be a divisive episode amongst fans - but personally, I like it.

So, we open with the boys rushing to someplace. (I've actually been there! It's in Stanley Park). The first clue that something is amiss is the fact that there are several black Impalas outside the hotel...

The boys drove all night to answer a text from Chuck. You know, I might not be an expert at romantic relationships - but I do fancy myself a pretty good friend, and man...Sam and Dean are good friends. 

Full disclosure: I really like Emily Perkins who plays Becky. I just think she's great at every character she does (ok ok, I've only seen her in two things...but it still counts!)

"Did you take my phone?"
"I just borrowed it...from your pant."

I love the discussion panels at the Convention: "Frightened little boy: the secret life of Dean" and "The homoerotic subtext of Supernatural" - this whole episode is so very meta and a shot-out to the fans - but I absolutely loved the "frightened little boy" thing, because I've read so many awesome metas on Dean's personality and the affects of early-child hood trauma. 

"If you don't like the books don't read them, Fritz!"
-I know some fans were all up in arms because the audience in the episode's convention were predominately male, whereas the REAL supernatural audience (or at least the vocal audience) is predominately female. And some people didn't understand why they weren't represented correctly. I have a few things to say to this:
  • 1)Do you REALLY want to be represented correctly? I have a feeling you'd be much more offended if you were. 
  • 2)Supernatural is a geeky BOOK series sold at COMIC BOOK STORES in the show. I don't mean to exclude the small number of women who frequent such establishments, but even they have to admit that the culture is predominately a male one. It's in fitting with the context of the Supernatural-universe to have the audience be predominately male.
  • 3)Even though the BOOK series fan base is different than the SHOW fan base - we get the actual SHOW fan base personified in Becky. I know some fans don't like Becky because they see her as representing everything "bad" about the Supernatural fandom (obsessive behaviour, writing incest porn, etc.), but of course Becky is going to have the "bad" stuff too, because she is an amalgamation of EVERY ASPECT of the actual fan base. She might be obsessed with Sam, have no concept of personal boundaries, and write incest (but, um, I'm sure you guys have all met or come across someone who seems unhealthy obsesses...Jensen was JUMPED at a Con once...and uh, I think missyjack  has some stats on her jounal about just how much wincest fic gets written every year)...but Becky is also the "good" stuff too. She's fiercely protective of the "books", she's a strong independent female (she goes after what she wants - even if it means stealing Chuck's phone), also, she's even more knowledgeable about the series than the writer is. 

Anyway, off my soapbox...

The actors who play Damien and Barnes are so good at the earnest bad-acting. They make me both cringe and crack up.

I love how we get this character Alex LARPING as Sam saying "EMF is going nuts" and then a few scenes later we get Sam stepping into the attic and saying "EMF is going nuts." 

You can tell on the rewatch that it's the ghost kids that are the bad guys, because the guy they are throwing around DROPS when the lady-ghost shows up.

"I don't think that guys a good enough actor to be acting"
-Sadly, I think this about some of the actors on other TV shows.

The whole visual of Becky blowing Sam a LICK, and then the camera panning out to see Chuck beside her saying "awesome" is just so well done and hilarious. I believe, if I remember correctly, that Becky's username on the internet was Samlicker.

And then we get the odd confrontation of Fake!Dean flashing a fake gun, and Fake!Sam saying "Dean, cool it!" and then real Dean DRAWING his real gun, and Sam stepping in front sayng "Dean!"...so good.

"I think the Dean and Sam story sucks! It is not fun. It is not entertaining. It's a river of crap that would send most people howling to the nuthouse! So you listen to me, they're pain is not for your amusement. I mean, do you think that they enjoy being treated like circus freaks?"
"I don't think they care, because they are fictional characters"
"Oh they care. They care a lot!"
"He ah...takes the story really seriously."
-Interesting point here - Dean lopes himself in as a freak right along with Sam. GROWTH!?! 

"Ja, how original. Supernatural bring in more creepy children. Sigh."
-I love how he actually says "sigh."

"Thank you for your very probing and rigorous questions"
-I can't help but think that this is sarcasm, and a direct call out to the fact that people don't tend to ask probing and rigorous questions at Conventions...but the actors wish they would instead of asking them to sing or the like.

"How do you feel about angels? Because let me tell you, they're not nearly as lame as you think!"
-I just like this line...I think it directly references the fact that Kripke was so anti-angel during the first 3 seasons.

The actress playing the LARPING ghost-lady works at a Hooters in Toledo. To me, this means that this episode must take place somewhere near Toledo, because I doubt she'd go very far afield to take this gig.

I like when Dean asked Damien and Barnes why they want to help, Damien tells him "Because that's what Sam and Dean would do" - just because it shows the positive influence of the "books", the idea that emulating the Winchesters, just a little, might actually make people into BETTER people...or some such mushy sappy stuff.

"I'm right here, sweetheart" 
-The more extreme feminists might be cringing here, but personally, I really like it when Dean calls girls sweetheart. (Well, in the right context). If I were the girl facing off with the ghosts, I'd be comforted by it anyway.

I also like when Dean steps into the room and just says "Run" all calm and cool.

"Supernatural makes digging graves seem so easy!"
-You guys are still digging faster than humanly possible!

And then we get Chuck's hero moment! Awesome! (If we enter the God-debate here for a second...I'm really not seeing it...but if I were to, then I think God is having a TON of fun LARPING as a prophet :)

"You know, maybe that guy was right. Maybe we should put these things on a bungee"
-I love Sam's thoughtful-frown-of-agreement. As I understand it, this bungee thing was a common joke on set.

"You're wrong, you know, about Supernatural. No offense, but I'm not sure you get what the story is about."
"Is that so?"
"[...] To be Sam and Dean, to wake up every morning and save the world, to have a brother who would die for you - well, who wouldn't want that?"
- I think this is as much a speech to those who watch the show who "don't get it" as it is to Dean. The show is about having a brother who would die for you...and saving the world...and the two not necessarily being mutually exclusive. On Dean's side of things though, I think we all need to be reminded from time to time about the GOOD parts of our lives. We get so caught up in what the problems are...you need to gain some perspective. I'm guilty of this myself. Try it next time you feel like everything in your life sucks - just start listing all the great things. Nice apartment, education, access to the internet, you have a comfy bed, you have a best friend...within no time, I often find myself thinking "seriously, what was I complaining about? Any problems I do have are fixable given time and will to change things."

On another note, I think Damien and Barnes being a gay couple is awesome for several reasons:
  • 1)They are NOT a stereotypical gay couple. 
  • 2)There are fans of Supernatural who are gay, bi, or whatever, and I think Damien and Barnes are a nice shout-out to they're existence.
  • 3)They met on a Supernatural chat-board. I know one thing that Jared says he likes about the conventions is the friendships that the fan base form at them - the fact that they bring people from all over the world together and WE end up meeting cool people and keeping in touch. He seems to get a real kick out of it, and I think this is a shout-out to that as well. That the conventions and the show aren't necessarily about the characters/actors/writers but about the community and the people that form around it and because of it. (Lord god, I'm mushy tonight...I apologize).

"Like a monkey on the sun, it was too hot to live"
-I've been using this phrase since this episode aired. Also, I love the violins they put behind this break-up scene.

"Chuck, if you really want to publish more books, I guess that's okay with us"
"Wow, really?"
"No, not really. We have guns and we'll find you."
-I LOVE openly-threatening-casual Sam!

And Ladies and Gentlemen, this marks the last time Dean is going to be happy and hopeful for a VERY LONG TIME.

"The way I look at it, it's really not jumping the shark if you never come down"
-I think this perfectly describes how Supernatural is able to get away with what they get away with ;)


The deleted scene is more of Chuck trying to keep the crowd entertained.  He apologizes to the Wiccan community. His hobbies are drinking, funny car racing, and macramé. No, he can't read your LiveJournal short-story, but he gets it, Sam and Dean really LOVE each other. He just doesn't need to see that.

"John isn't based on my father. My farther's more like Bobby, actually, except he's older, doesn't have a beard, and he's gay."


Well, that was fun...until next time....



( 21 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 30th, 2010 08:01 am (UTC)
I like Becky! Not love her or anything, but yeah, i thought it was a nice shout-out to the fans about how erm, obsessive we can be most of the times sometimes.

I do like that the fake brothers show Dean what exactly he had in his life, instead of allowing him to dwell on the numerous disadvantages of it. We get to see Dean getting it at the end of the show, and that smile is like a prize. :)
Sep. 30th, 2010 07:45 pm (UTC)
I agree. It's a nice little heartwarming episode before they start pulling us into a pit of despair :P
Sep. 30th, 2010 08:42 am (UTC)
This is one of my favorite SPN episodes in S5! :D (Actually, I love all the meta/Chuck episodes, so.) I've never been to any SPN con, but from my experience of anime and sci-fi/fantasy cons, the "obsessive" behavior they portrayed in the ep is still pretty much tame.

IIRC, some fans felt like they were being mocked by the show writers when this ep was first aired. I saw it more as gentle teasing, but then again, YMMV. *shrug*
Sep. 30th, 2010 07:54 pm (UTC)
I had to look up those abbreviations :P I am not as internet-savvy as some :P

I think in order to be mocked, you first have to feel ashamed or self-conscious about whatever aspect of you is being mocked. So, I think those fans that DID get offended, well, the fact that they are offended says more about how they perceive their own behaviour, rather than how the writers of the show perceive them.

For me, like you said, it was a gentle teasing...as you do with your friends, where you poke a little fun at their more eccentric behaviours and everyone has a good laugh at it.

And yeah, Becky - being intelligent and having at least a little self-respect is far from the worst of fangirlism :P
Sep. 30th, 2010 10:16 pm (UTC)
Whoops, sorry about the abbreviation thing; I normally don't write like that, I swear! It's just that I came in from lurking at the Television Without Pity forums before reading your entry, and people in that place use acronyms like there's no tomorrow, so. Heh. There you go. *sheepish smile*

I think those fans that DID get offended, well, the fact that they are offended says more about how they perceive their own behaviour, rather than how the writers of the show perceive them.
I totally agree with you here. :)

Oh Becky. She's easily one of the best secondary characters in SPN. I know, from how the direction of the show is going, that there's little chance that they'll bring her back in, but it still makes me sad. I hope they don't stop writing meta episodes just because Chuck is God is gone. The show needs more Becky! (And Damien and Barnes, but I can settle for just Becky.)
Sep. 30th, 2010 10:30 pm (UTC)
Haha, no worries. One of my sisters uses message-board acronyms a lot, so this will just help me understand her better ;)

I agree that it's probably not likely we'll see Becky again, but I also hope that we don't lost the meta episodes. They're so great, and I just love a show that's so willing to poke fun at itself.
Sep. 30th, 2010 02:00 pm (UTC)
Supernatural is a geeky BOOK series sold at COMIC BOOK STORES in the show.
which is what i said in my original review, back in the day... but why would people read my review? i like everything. and i beat dead horses, so most people don't read my thinky thoughts.

i like Becky too. =)

I like when Dean asked Damien and Barnes why they want to help, Damien tells him "Because that's what Sam and Dean would do" - just because it shows the positive influence of the "books", the idea that emulating the Winchesters, just a little, might actually make people into BETTER people...or some such mushy sappy stuff.
this too!

awesome review, as usual.
Sep. 30th, 2010 04:16 pm (UTC)
I read your thinky thoughts!! I also beat dead horses too, so I repeat things that I may have discussed with other people when the episode first aired :P
Sep. 30th, 2010 04:16 pm (UTC)
no wonder we're friends on LJ! thanks. *hugs you*
Sep. 30th, 2010 04:22 pm (UTC)
*hugs back*

I don't always comment on your thinky thoughts, but I do always read them. You are one of the few "review" posts that I can read without fear of being pulled down into a well of negativity :P
Sep. 30th, 2010 04:36 pm (UTC)
oh i hear you there. i start out all optimistic after each episode, and open the reviews on my flist... there's only a few that i can read all the way through without closing the tab because it suddenly took a negative turn. yeesh.

Sep. 30th, 2010 08:48 pm (UTC)
I love it when people are willing to actually say something positive, mind if I friend you to read your thinky thoughts?
Sep. 30th, 2010 08:58 pm (UTC)
sure! my thinky posts are public. =)

edit to add i love your icon. =)

Edited at 2010-09-30 08:59 pm (UTC)
Sep. 30th, 2010 02:42 pm (UTC)
"Chuck, if you really want to publish more books, I guess that's okay with us"
"Wow, really?"
"No, not really. We have guns and we'll find you."
-I LOVE openly-threatening-casual Sam!

THISTHISTHIS. And what I really like about this is the fact that its Sam who says it. Cos I think that if it had been Dean, Chuck wouldn't have actually taken him as seriously.
Sep. 30th, 2010 04:19 pm (UTC)
It's true - Sam has learned the trick of not overusing threats in order for them to be more effective. If Sam threatens you, you take it much more seriously.

Sep. 30th, 2010 03:45 pm (UTC)
LOL Becky was in She's The Man, my favorite movie of all time! >_< This episode brings out the urge to go to a convention and show off my obsession with it! One of the funny parts I liked in the episode was how the actress that was playing the ghost lady had a very loud and obnoxious ringtone... :)
Sep. 30th, 2010 04:20 pm (UTC)
Haha, I liked the ringtone too.

I may have even seen She's The Man...or maybe I didn't. In any case, yay for more Emily Perkins!
Sep. 30th, 2010 07:37 pm (UTC)
Great review. As usual I agree with most everything you said.

I loved Dean calling that girl sweetheart. That would be comforting to me. And I think it's nice that he does that. I mean when a man calls a perfect stranger sweetheart in a sleezy way then there's a problem, but calling friends, children, and people in need of comfort sweet names? I think that's fine.

When I first saw this episode it never occured to me that fans would get offended over thier 'portrayal'. I just thought of it as teasing...and I still do.
Sep. 30th, 2010 07:56 pm (UTC)
Thanks! You were much better at explaining the "sweetheart" thing than I was in the post - this is why I shouldn't type these things up at midnight. So, thanks for that!

And yeah, I think it was only the crazy fans that got offended...because they are already crazy, and probably part of them knows it.
Sep. 30th, 2010 08:26 pm (UTC)
I have to say, this is my favorite comedic episode and in my top 5 overall.

To me, the whole episode felt like a gentle tweak and affectionate acknowledgment of fandom. And Damien and Barnes giving Dean a little hope at the end? Pure love for that.

Alas, that it didn't last.
Sep. 30th, 2010 08:37 pm (UTC)
Yay! I'm glad so many of my flist liked it...it means I have a good flist ;)

But yeah, sadly, last cheery episode really...ah well...
( 21 comments — Leave a comment )


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