Now, after the odd non-sequential Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid, we return to the story of Dean's complete loss of faith and hope in everything...
I like the added touch of the crumpled beer cans all over the room, as we pan in. It explains why are favorite workaholic insomniacs are actually both sleeping at the same time - also, it must really suck to not only wake up with a hangover, but also wake up to a gun pointed at your chest.
Dean's Pillow!Knife has been upgraded since S1 to a Pillow!Gun.
(Bizarre side note: I associate knife-violence with Canada, because of our more restrictive gun laws, I think we have a higher percentage of stabbings...I have absolutely no statistics to base this one. It's just a belief that I've had since I was a kid. So, I always thought that Dean's knife-under-the-pillow was very "Canadian" of him...I have a really weird brain sometimes.)
Roy and Walt...oh man, Dabb and Loflin were on a bit of a disney kick with this one, for some reason.
If you look closely, you can see that Jared actually has his feet hanging off the end of the bed - I think this is so that when he throws himself backwards after being shot, he doesn't conk his head on the headboard.
"We ain't the only Hunters after you."
-I really wish they would follow up this thread. Even in S6...because I'd LOVE to see what sort of information the rest of the Hunting community is getting about the Winchesters. Also, it'd be cool to have some Gorden-esque episodes again.
Sam is really beautiful when he's been shot. I mean...yeah...I just have a thing for "sleeping" pretty boys, I think.
"Killing Sam was right, but Dean-"
"He made us and we just snuffed his brother, you idiot. You want to spend the rest of your life knowing Dean Winchester's on your ass, because I sure don't. Shoot him."
-I LOVE this. As I was saying before, it'd be awesome to see more of what the greater Hunting community thinks of the Winchesters. Here are Hunters that Dean KNOWS and they FEAR HIM. Anyone who reads my reviews regularly know that I have a think for Winchesters As Legends...or rather seeing the slow progression of how they become basically urban legends/almost-mythological-beings themselves.
"Go ahead, Roy, do it! But I'm going to warn you, when I come back, I'm gonna be pissed."
-I love how he says "when" not "if." I also love that I think Roy knows he's digging his own grave here...that he's already dug it, by letting Walt shoot Sam. Now, that all being said, I would LOVE to see a follow up to this. I think I'll just have to rely on fanfic...but it'd be great even just if we saw Sam and Dean run into Roy and Walt in a bar somewhere...just to see them be absolutely terrified. Now, THAT being said...why didn't they salt and burn the bodies? I'm guessing because it was early morning and they wouldn't have been able to get the bodies out of the hotel room inconspicuously...though, they were able to shoot them without it drawing attention.
The fireworks scene always kills me...just breaks my heart into little tiny schmoopy pieces. It's schmoop done in the best way...because...guh. They love each other SO MUCH. Seriously, I'm not advocating wincest or anything (because gross), but I am not sure I love my siblings as much as the Winchesters love each other, and I love my siblings a lot.
Also, Colin Ford is awesome.
-Haha, ah Cas, don't ever change.
"Where am I?"
"Heaven? How'd I get to heaven?"
-I like how even Dean can't believe he's in heaven. These boys have such issues.
"Ok, how are we in heaven?"
"All that clean living, I guess"
"No, ok...you I get, sure, but me? Maybe you haven't noticed, but I've done a few things..."
-First off, I love Dean's line about "all that clean living" - really great delivery. Also, aww, Sam. Poor poor Sam.
"Dean, I was 11 years old. This was my first real Thanksgiving."
"What are you talking about? We had Thanksgiving every year!"
"We had a bucket of extra crispy and Dad passed out on the couch."
-I want to say a couple things about this:
1)Thanksgiving is a bigger deal in America than Canada. We never really celebrated Thanksgiving. My mum said that we could only afford turkey once a year, so we chose Christmas. This wasn't a big deal to us.
2)This sort of leads me to wonder about Dean...you know when you are young, and you just assume that your family is "normal" until you get to that age where you start doing stuff, like...I don't know, going to meals and whatnot at your friends' houses. And you slowly start to realize that other people's parents don't sleep in separate rooms...and other kids have no idea what a sauna is, nor that one uses it to bathe...? I mean, Dean would have had a vague memory and the abstract notion of what normal looked like. But, I think to him, maybe even just as a coping mechanism, Thanksgiving WAS a bucket of extra crispy, and everyone else was missing out. (Also side note: when I was a kid, a bucket of extra crispy would have been a huge treat, we hardly ever were allowed KFC). Anyway, I know it's kind of out there - but I just think that instead of planning his escape and missing "normal", Dean's method of coping was to embrace the differences and make the way they did things the tradition instead of following the tradition everyone else followed.
3)I think because Sam didn't ever know normal, even vaguely like Dean did..."normal" was an undiscovered country. It was a theme park, and Sam wanted to go on all the rides.
"What are you doing?"
"What's it look like?"
"Like you've lost your mind."
-I love Sam's face here.
"Sam, we are royally boned, so prayer? Last hope of a desperate man."
-Oh, the foreshadowing of the ultimate shattering of all hope.
I had a race track like that too, Dean!!! It was awesome!
"More trippy: Apparently you 'wuv hugz'"
-Ah hahaha. Beautiful. Also- Dean does wuv hugz! More hugz!!
Sam trying to get his mother's attention is heartbreaking.
"Dean, we should probably go...you know, look for the road"
"Just give me a minute, okay?"
"Sam! Please, just one minute"
-Ok, so, I know that this doesn't change the fact that Sam was a bit of an insensitive douche in his past (which we'll get to), but Dean has GOT to be noticing how much this memory of Dean's is ripping Sam apart. Hey look Sam, it's the mother you never knew, who would cut the crusts off my sandwiches, and be sweet and loving towards me. Remember this? No? You just remember endless streams of hotel rooms and eating diner food and Dad making you run drills? Well, let's stick around so you can see what you missed by indirectly being the cause of our mother's death!
"I remember this. Mom and Dad were fighting and he moved out for a couple of days."
"Dad always said they had the perfect marriage."
"It wasn't perfect until after she died."
-I absolutely LOVE these lines, just for the REALISM. No one has a perfect marriage...but your mind plays tricks on you. I visited an ex-lover once. We had been apart for so long, I had built this other story in my head about what had happened: They had chosen someone else over me - they were perfect, and I hadn't been what they wanted...etc. When I saw them, and hung out a bit, it didn't take long for the REAL memories to come crashing back - I hadn't wanted them either. They were so far from perfect for me, that if we had TRIED to have a long-term relationship, it would have failed within a month. I had conveniently forgotten everything about their personality that didn't mesh well with my own. Now, of course, this doesn't diminish the love I felt for them - but it changes my reaction to them "choosing someone else". What I'm trying to say is that if this person had died, instead of us moving to different cities and not keeping up the casual relationship we did have...I wouldn't have had the opportunity to visit and remind myself of the problems. Instead, my mind would have continued to build them up into this mythological perfect being.
Anyway, I just like the fact that the show acknowledges that Mary's death can still be tragic...but she doesn't have to be the Madonna. Though, of course, I'm sure tons of people read this scene and assumed it was all John's fault for being a complete ass or something...but it takes two to have a fight escalate to that degree.
"It's okay, Mom. Dad still loved you. I love you too. I'll never leave you."
-How many times do you think Dean had said these same words to Sam over the years?
"I just never realized how long you've been cleaning up Dad's messes."
-*sound of my heart breaking*
"You don't remember, do you? You ran away on my watch. I looked everywhere for you. I thought you were dead, and when Dad came home-"
-I actually like how Dean doesn't finish that sentence...as frustrating as it is. Because the protective part of me wants to say "what!? What did John do to you!?" then go out with a shotgun and shoot a fictional character. HOWEVER, I like that it's left open...because we know from Something Wicked, that Dean can take a LOOK and internalize it into the worst punishment ever. I don't think John hit him. I think there was a lot of yelling though. My mother used to yell at us until we contemplated jumping out of moving vehicles....so, yeah, I don't think it would have taken much from John to sear this memory into his head as one of his worst. Also, knowing what we know about John (and what I know about men in general...not to generalize and entire gender, of course), I have a feeling that John would have flipped out and verbally had his OWN reaction and only afterwards realize that Dean THOUGHT HIS BELOVED BROTHER WAS DEAD! I mean, you can't really top that punishment, can you? Dean's entire purpose in life is missing and possibly dead? You don't really have to yell at him too much. Whatever lesson there was to be learned, was probably learned.
I think it's really realistic that Sam just didn't think about what his actions were doing to his brother. I'm guessing he was probably somewhere around 15 or 16. I just...remembering back to that age, and even the best of us are self-centred assholes. Now, add into that a brother who basically makes himself small...that is to say, subservient and inconsequential...as people with low self-esteem tend to do...and it's quite easy to ignore their feelings, because THEY are ignoring their feelings. It circles back to the Thanksgiving thing, actually. Dean convinced himself that their Thanksgiving was good, because it's easy to do that then consider your own feelings important enough to acknowledge. People with low self-esteem place a greater importance on how everyone else in their life is feeling, or what everyone else in their life WANTS...so it's very easy for everyone else in their life to follow their example and use them like a doormat, without really even realizing they are doing it.
Now, of course, this does still mean that Sam was a bit of an insensitive douche when he was a teenager. I'm not denying that. Even if he didn't realize it at the time...he should have realized it a lot sooner than now that Flagstaff would have been a horrible experience for Dean. Much like he immediately realizes that the next memory they enter is a horrible memory for Dean...
As soon as they step out on to the road, and Sam lays eyes on that shack, he KNOWS what memory he is in...and he knows that Dean is not going to take it well.
"This is the night you ditched us for Stanford, isn't it? THis is your idea of heaven? Wow...this is one of the worst nights of my life."
-Jensen has great delivery for the last line...the humourless smile and laugh is so good.
"I'm not controlling this"
-We can debate until the cows come home about whether this is Zachariah's manipulations or if these are actually Sam's "greatest hits" in a random Dean-soul-crushing order...but the fact remains that Sam DOES have good memories with his brother. We just aren't seeing them.
"Your heaven is someone else's Thanksgiving. It's bailing on your family. What do you want me to say?"
"Man, I never got the crusts cut off my PB&J. I...I just don't look at family the same way you do."
-Now, I think some people in fandom were like "DEAN CUT THE CRUSTS OFF HIS PB&J, SAM IS AN UNGRATEFUL SOB!", but this reaction would be wrong. Dean being the ever caring loving parent to Sam who can do no wrong is FANON. I'm sure Dean did the best he could as Sam's ersatz parental figure...but the fact of the matter is that Dean was only 4 years older than Sam, and that isn't a lot.
My brother is 5 years older than me...he made me pizza-buns, and would break up fights...but taking the time to cut crusts off sandwiches, or doing the extra little things that a real parent would do, they were beyond him - as well they should have been. Just MAKING a sandwich was above the call of duty. Also, in our house, until my little sister came along, there was a standard rule that you ate what was in front of you and you were thankful for it. I hated crusts, but I always ate them. Then Susie comes along and suddenly there are these uneaten crusts everywhere, and my mum's cutting them off to begin with, and I'm like "what the fuck is this?!?" But I digress...
I think there's a fundamental difference between Sam's perception of family and Dean's. I think for Dean, family is what he had THEN. Family was peace, love, safety, and the most important thing in the world. Whereas for Sam, family was like a tumultuous love-affair. It was devotion, obedience, danger, and strife - it was all consuming and everything, and it could bring him joy with one hand and whack him in the face with the other. It was both everything good and everything bad in his life.
Ash! Best returning character entrance EVER!
"Like Disneyland, except without the antisemitism"
So, I was trying to decide if Sam and Dean had their own heavens, or if they were one of the cases that "shared"...because, well, the memories were all things that they experienced separately (except for Dean's first - but then, Sam was little Sam not big Sam...so, I was trying to analyze what Ash said to see if I could figure it out. Come on the ride with me:
First, he says, while looking at Sam, that they he and Dean were just in "your head" - which to makes sense, they were in Sam-heaven.
-But he groups them together when naming the different parts of heaven.
"A few people share, special cases."
"What do you mean 'special'?"
"Oh you know, like soul mates and..."
"Anyway, most people can't leave their own private Idahos"
-I think this means that they ARE in a shared heaven...because Cas told Dean all he had to do was go down the road to find Sam...and then all they had to do was follow the road and they'd eventually reach the Garden. The Road kept alternating between their two heavens. So, my theory is that all heavens are connected to the Garden. Eventually when traveling forward through your "greatest hits" you'll reach an entry to the Garden. In which case, because they didn't need special Enochian math to find each other, they were in fact in the same heaven. Once they travel outside of their heaven, they need Ash to use the power of mathematics to get them where they want to go.
So, yeah, they're soul-mates...awwww...emotional incest.
"That boy's heaven: Sweaty, confusing."
"This ain't the first time you've been here. I mean, you boys die more than anyone I have ever met."
"Ah yeah, you don't remember. Uch, Angels. Must have windexed your brain"
-I can't write it out like he says it, but I think the thing I love about Chad's delivery is the fact that he intersperses his speech with all these NOISES that convey meaning. He scoffs and such. Also, because his character is so over the top, he can deliver some lines (SOME) in an over the top manner, and it just works brilliantly.
And when Sam let's slip about Ellen and Jo, Ash just...man, Chad does a great job of really bringing across how much Ash cares for Ellen and Jo. How even though he's in heaven, and it might mean he gets to see them again, it doesn't change the fact that he's still going to mourn their deaths.
"If it makes you feel any better, we got Ash killed too."
"I'm cool with it!"
"He's cool with it."
-I think, "I'm cool with it" is my favorite Ash line ever - completely with devil horns, of course. I also love the way Dean repeats him.
I think it's really telling that Dean's idea of heaven is LIVING, or as he puts it REALITY. Just listen to the way he talks about it...he describes heaven as "lonely", because the people you are with aren't real. Reality, he describes as being "were the people are."....in case it wasn't clear that some things about Dean never change, Dean is still as much of a people person as he's always been. And by "people person" I mean that he NEEDS other people around him. He's like the type of person who can't NOT be in a relationship.
My friend doesn't like the fact that Pamela pushes Dean to say yes...she thinks it's a very "look out for number one" type of thing to say. I agree, but then, Pamela's always been a bit like that. Also, they needed SOMEONE to plant the idea in Dean's head that maybe saying yes wouldn't be the end of the world (pun intended)...and it sure as heck wasn't going to be Ash.
Mary is so friggin scary and creepy in this scene.
Let's watch her play into all of Dean's insecurities:
"I never loved you. You were my burden. I was shackled to you...[...] Then, finally, I was dead. One silver lining is that at least I was away from you. Everybody leaves you Dean, you notice? Mommy, Daddy, even Sam. Ever ask yourself why? Maybe it's not them. Maybe it's you."
-Now, this is great and creepy and mean and all...but personally, if I were Sam, I'd be yelling overtop of her, telling her she was full of shit and telling Dean not to listen. Words have power, Sam, you should try using them!"
Zachariah feeling up Mary is SO CREEPY. Ugh...mom molestations are never nice to watch.
"In heaven, I have 6 wings and 4 faces, one of which is a lion!"
-I love this line...it's the hand gesture at the word lion that really makes it.
"This is Heaven's Garden?"
"It's nice...ish, I guess"
"...[...] For some, it's God's throne room. For others, it's Eden. For you two, I believe it's the Cleveland Botanical Gardens..."
-Actually it's the Bloedel Conservatory in Vancouver! Yay! They have parrots! Sadly, it actually may shut down in the coming years. :(
Ok, that aside, I love the fact that the Winchester's "eden" is so very...ordinary, and well...working class. It's very in keeping with the characters.
"It's more than he's intervened in a long time. He's finished."
-I think the thing here is that God has given them the tools they need in order to win (Castiel, their lives, their eventual salvation), but Dean doesn't see it that way. He sees an uncaring God....
"Just another dead-beat Dad with a bunch of excuses, right? Well, I'm used to that. I'll muddle through."
-And you can see it here. Dean always argued with Sam that their Dad did what he had to do....yet, now he's taken Sam's side and is calling him a dead-beat with a bunch of excuses? This is a measure of where Dean's mind is right now. I think in both cases, John and God gave Dean and Sam the tools they needed to live their lives (as parents are supposed to do)...you can only call into question their methods...but you can't call into question the fact that they DO care. (and this coming from an atheist!)
"We'll find another way. We can still stop all this Dean"
"I don't know, we'll find it. You and me. We'll find it."
-I think Sam's always drawn strength from their partnership...or rather, from his big brother. As though anything is possible as long as he has Dean beside him. I think it's why he called Dean as soon as Lucifer told him about being a vessel. Sam NEEDS Dean...the problem is that right now, Dean can't see that. Dean doesn't draw strength from the partnership, he draws strength from the LOVE, and after seeing 3 versions of Sam abandoning him, he's not feeling it. (And seriously, think about it for a bit? If Sam found it depressing that Thanksgiving was a bucket of extra crispy and his Dad passed out...how do you think Dean was spending Thanksgiving while Sam was over at brace-face's house? Probably eating a bucket of extra crispy ALONE with a passed out/absent Dad.)
Anyway, I kind of like that none of the old insecurities from S1 have gone away. Dean still has his fear of abandonment, and it can still be used against him. Again, it's just realistic. It's not like Dean's had time for therapy (proper, non-hallucinated therapy) since S1.
So, the Amulet goes in the trash...and yeah, will we ever see it again? Not likely. This is why you should have throw things out (or tear up pictures) when you are upset.
Fare thee well, Amulet! (Though, in my personal fanon, Sam fished it out and keeps it safely tucked away somewhere.)
Oh man, that took FOREVER...seriously, I ate a whole pizza..my sister came home and then left again....bravo to anyone who has actually read all this.
Until next time...