I'm not even sure where to begin. For how little was actually revealed, it was a very heavy episode. I think this is one that I'll actually only be able to do justice to when I do my rewatch of the season next fall...
I suppose I'll start at the beginning...girl in the cafe was cute in that weird way, and everyone told her she was freaky looking. Now, although this was effective in getting her to kill herself, I don't think strangers (or even people she knew) would offer up secrets about HER. People are by nature self-obsessed. It would be far more likely that they'd tell her stuff like the bartender later told Dean...or like the old woman admitted.
Anyway, what I did love was their continued use of Big Gerson's. I love the fact that the Supernatural universe has it's own form of Denny's.
Now, we open with the Winchesters, and it's Dean on the phone to Bobby - complaining about Sam...now that he's back from Scotland and not a vampire, he's got time to call up his favorite surrogate father and whine a little. Bobby says he'll look into it though...maybe because Dean's his favorite (oh wait, we haven't gotten to that part yet.)
Dean's worried about being in the same car as Sam, and you can tell right away that he doesn't want to spend time with him anymore...and man, that says enough about their relationship at the moment right there. I like how Bobby tells Dean that Sam's his case right now so he better spend time with him. It's a good way to keep Dean focused. Bobby is good at that.
Sam tweaks them to the suicide case, and he's all enthusiastic about it, and Dean's like...yeah...sure...ok...*suspicious side glance*
And they go interview girly's sister and Sam RUTHLESSLY CUTS TO THE TRUTH! RUTHLESSLY! And Dean is all like "Dude..not cool, you are making a girl cry!" but he keeps it all in side, and instead gives Sam a suspicious look.
Oh man, and at some point there's that dentist scene - and yeah, ok, the perv totally had it coming...but I had to look away. My friend said it looked pretty fake, but I can't even stomach fake stuff most of the time, so yeah...looked away on that.
Anyway, I like Dean in the motel scenes...we get a phone call to Bobby...where Bobby hasn't found anything. I like the conversation where Dean says the worst case scenario is that Sam is Lucifer, and Bobby says that the worst case scenario is actually that Sam is just Sam...because that's not a monster they can kill, that just means his bother is f*cked up. (And I'm starting to wonder if this is the case...though, I think there has to be some Supernatural element to it).
Then we get a Cas scene - I love the ways Dean prays to Cas this season. You know, continuity or no, (and I'm totally retro-actively continuitizing the fifth season now and saying that they could have prayed to Cas then too...just because that's the way I roll), I'm getting a huge kick out of these praying scenes.
I think Cas pouring Dean a drink is saying a LOT...because although Cas is saying that he's not there to help Dean with Sam, he says this while SERVING Dean. There's a reason Jesus was always going around washing people's feet (contrary to popular belief, he wasn't a foot fetishist)...it's deliberately humbling yourself. It's Cas' apologizing and telling Dean that he's still Cas' friend and fellow Team Free Will comrade. Anyway, it was a REALLY nice subtle touch. I'm willing to bet that Castiel is totally going to come through at some point with this Sam issue...
In the meantime though, Dean still has to deal with Sam...and umm...like most things, it seems Dean's solution is GET DRUNK! Oh Dean...I did really like the exchange with the bartender, where she's says "I thought you were working" and Dean says "I'm working up to it." ...speaking as someone who hates their job, I can really sympathize.
But Dean says the magic words and invokes the Veritas. We get a very nice close-up of Jensen's mouth. I believe my thoughts were "Ooo...mustache whiskers! Wait, what was he saying?" Seriously show...way to be distracting with body parts.
I liked Dean walking past the woman who admitted to showing off her breasts for attention, and then walking back and staring at her breasts while she giggled. Say what you want about the Male Gaze, he totally just made her day...she paid good money for those boobs!
So, Dean calls Bobby to see if it works over the phone, and it DOES! We find out that:
1)Bobby likes Tori Spelling (I admit-I have also watched and enjoyed an episode or two of her reality show)
2)Bobby gets pedicures and there's one Vietnamese girl that really turns his crank.
3)Dean is Bobby's favorite (I'm SHOCKED ;) )
4)Sam's a better Hunter "these days" though
5)Bobby's first girlfriend turned out to be a ??? (Oh man, the possibilities!)
I like Bobby telling Dean that he's his favorite so matter of factly...not that I don't feel bad for Sam not being Bobby's favorite (Seriously, Sam is ONLY Dean's favorite, I think...I'm pretty sure John favoured Dean too, if only because he was obedient). But I liked Bobby admitting Dean was his favorite because:
A)Dean needs to hear stuff like that.
B)We've already gotten plenty of evidence of that, since Bobby and Dean have had WAY more relationship building moments than Bobby and Sam.
C)He said it so matter of factly that it was, I think, probably the most parental-type thing that Bobby has ever said. (And that sounds weird, since parents are never supposed to admit to having favorites...but we all know they secretly do...or at least "love you for different reasons")
Lisa calls Dean, and yeah...bad timing there. I really wish I had this episode downloaded already so that I could replay this scene, because it's SO heavy in psychological richness. Like any good woman, Lisa completely rips Dean apart by psychoanalyzing him. I actually really liked this, because it IS the truth. Lisa bluntly tells Dean that she basically only took him in because Sam was gone, that once Sam came back, she knew they were over - that Dean has a screwed up, unhealthy, relationship with his brother. The thing I liked most: DEAN AGREES.
There are a couple of fans out there (perhaps the same ones that like Twilight?) who really put the Sam and Dean's relationship on this pedestal...they commend what are basically symptoms of a severely unhealthy relationship as being signs of how GOOD the relationship is, how much love is there. And yeah, ok, there's love...but um..there's also co-dependent obsession and psychosis. It's like in China, it's considered romantic to stalk people and be creepy...that's great for the Chinese, but personally, if someone stalks and creeps me out, I am not going to date them. The Twilight books do a similar thing, where they basically venerate an abusive relationship as the romantic ideal. Now, the thing about Supernatural I like is that they've always either subtly (or not so subtly) implied that Dean and Sam do not actually have a healthy relationship - yet they've usually only said so in a joking manner...this is the first time they've really laid it out clear as day in a very serious manner...and had one of the brother's agree, instead of getting defensive about it.
I'm just saying that I really liked it.
I feel REALLY bad for Dean though, because things with Lisa shouldn't have ended like that...more importantly, things with BEN shouldn't have ended like that. If this is the only goodbye he gets...well, I just think that's a really shitty way to leave things. Someone needs to write me a future-fic coda where Ben tracks Dean down and they have a good talk or something.
Anyway, Dean goes to see Sam and tries out the whole truth thing...and Sam TOTALLY LIES TO HIM. Even before the episode aired, my friend predicted that Sam would be immune...so, she wins the slice of pie on that one. Dean buys it though, maybe at this point just because he wants to.
They go off to find the demi-God, and decide that it's gotta be the new reporter in town. So they break into the studios to get tapes as proof...and Sam stays up all night, sitting in the exact same position while Dean eat pizza, and has coffee, and generally goes about the process of living. Until finally they catch some odd eyes that are enough proof for them, then they go stalk the woman.
She lives in a glass house. How fitting.
She also likes cats.
She also has her own butchery.
Dean and Sam get knocked out...and they're always so pretty when they're unconscious.
They wake up tied to pipes, but luckily Sam has a knife up his sleeve and gets to work. But Veritas decides to torture Dean some more...Dean admits to wanting to kill Sam in his sleep because he was worried he was monster, but thankfully he's still deluding himself with believing Sam's earlier lies, so he says that he doesn't anymore, and he understands that Sam is just him now....repressing everything.
Oh, speaking of repressing...I love the fact that Lisa calls him on that too. Especially since it seems to come up in this VERY EPISODE.
Dean then says that he's alright with Sam being back, because he had told himself he wanted a family - but that's not him. He's better at slicing throats. He's "a killer not a father"...and man, YES. This is heartbreaking, but TRUE. Dean has known this for a very long time too...back in S2, he told Jo that there was still time for her to do something with her life, but that it was "too late for [him]." All Dean has known since he was 5 is killing...that's all he was raised for...Daddy's blunt little weapon, or whatever Dream!Dean taunted Dean with. Sam at least had a relatively sheltered childhood for his first 8 or 9 years, and then four years at university. Dean was raised for killing, and one year in suburbia isn't going to change that. Dean tried, but he never really was completely happy there. And yes, it's a horrible fate...and it's horrible that Dean is basically someone who will always be denied full happiness (unless he has a hunting family, but his own morals wouldn't allow him to do that to his kids). Actually, come to think of it, Dean knew back in S1 that this was his fate...Shifter!Dean told Sam so. That Dean was jealous that Sam got to go be normal, while Dean was still, and would always be, "a freak."
So, what was I saying? Oh yeah...so, Dean manages not to hurt Sam's feelings too much, and then Veritas turns to Sam....and Sam is immune. He pretends to be telling the truth, but she knows he's not and it FREAKS HER OUT! And it also freaks Dean out.
But Sammy is getting strangled again! And the fact that I take that as a sign of hope has got to be the oddest thing about being a fan of this show.
Dean saves him! Woo! But then holds him at knife point, because he is freaked out.
So, Sam's gives him the truth "God's honest"...and, I actually believe that it IS the truth this time. Sam knows something is wrong - he's a better hunter than he's ever been, because he has absolutely no capacity to feel anything deeply. He has only surface emotions. He doesn't have the type of emotions that make your guts twist or your heart seize or leap. Sam doesn't feel anything, and he thinks he needs help.
So, Dean puts down the knife and...
BEATS SAM UNTIL HE IS UNCONSCIOUS!
Can I just say...BEST ENDING EVER! I'm actually serious. At first I was like "what the f*ck! They can't end a show that way!" but then I realized it was brilliant, because I was sitting there with both a small feeling of resolution (they'd no longer be dancing around the issue of Sam's estrangement) and I was on the edge of my seat.
Also, I totally read Dean's last face as "Oh shit, now I've got to carry him out to the car" (Hahaha)
Actually, I read it as "Maybe Lisa was right about me repressing things"...because that was totally a repression-beating. Sam cost him Lisa and Ben. Sam watched him get turned (which ok, he let it happen because he knew Dean could handle it, but there are healthier ways to display the trust you have in your brother, Sam!) and also, Dean had just had really really shitty day.
Plus, it keeps up with the continuity of the show - Sam has never hit Dean without being hopped up on SOME form of goofballs, whereas Dean has hit Sam numerous times while completely sober (or as sober as Dean gets). Sam is totally the battered wife in their little emotionally incestuous pairing.
This episode continued the Dean POV, which we've really only had a break from in Weekend at Bobby's...but even then, we had Dean POV on the brief scenes with the Winchesters. Going forward from here, I'd love to eventually get a Sam POV episode.
For next time though, I'm mainly just interested to see if there's any fallout to Dean beating his brother unconscious.
Wow, that was a long one! REALLY cool episode, in my humble opinion.