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Quick Reaction: 6x11 Appointment in Samarra

I TOTALLY CALLED THIS CLIFFHANGER (just not officially)

On with the show (and yes, I have had wine)...

Oh man, will I even remember it?

So, it starts off with Dean at 230 Keefer St in Chinatown...at first, I thought Sam really had walked away and stayed away...but we'll get to that.

Dean goes to see an old doctor friend - and dude, I liked this guy. He was so cheery, and his assistant looked like a tattoo artist. Also, Dean looks nice unconscious, but I'm jumping ahead.

I liked how Dean gave the Doc a letter for Ben - this episode mentioned a lot of the loose emotional threads of the show - the fact that Dean hasn't had any closure with Ben (nor has he really had any closure with Lisa, but that's more her fault that his - since she basically told him to get lost and then never called him again). But, yeah, like I said, I got the feeling that Dean had stronger emotional ties with Ben than he did with Lisa - so it really bugged me that things with Ben were left the way they were. Anyway, wish I knew what was in that letter.

I also liked Dean's line about Sam: "This doesn't go my way, it won't matter to Sam" or words to that effect. It's pretty harsh for Dean to boldly state like that the fact that Sam (or at least soulless Sam) doesn't care one way or the other whether Dean lives or dies. Though, I'm not sure that's true - since Sam seems to save Dean and also seemed to want Dean around...

Anyway, next we have Dead!Dean calling Tessa to him - who was totally busy reaping Africans, how rude. Anyway, he asks her to get Death and she's like "NO!" but Death just shows up.

God I love Death. Seriously...I wish that guy was my dad. Is that weird? He's so goddamn cool. I like how smooth he is, and how Dean is genuinely completely terrified of him. Dean would totally be a Gryffindor is he was sorted in Harry Potter - I mean, it takes a lot of balls to summon someone who absolutely terrifies you and then try to order them to help you...or blackmail them, or whatever he was trying to do. I guess he thought he could barter for the ring, but Death was like "Dude, I'm NEARLY AS POWERFUL AS GOD, YOU IDIOT! And wasn't having any of it.

And we finally get mention of ADAM! Poor Adam...all the horrible destiny and none of the love.

I should mention that as soon as Death said "Sam or Adam" I said "Poor Adam" just as Dean said "Sam". Though, if you think of it, I can see Dean's logic - Michael would be more willing to protect Adam from Lucifer's wrath than he would be Sam - because Michael has got to be REALLY pissed at Sam as well - given how Sam pulled him into the pit. Poor Adam just said yes like a good boy and then got the shit end of the stick. Anyway, I'm just saying, if one of them has to be stuck in the cage, Adam would probably have a slightly easier time of it. Though, yeah...he'd probably much prefer to be back at Prom.

So, the deal - be death for 24 hours, then Death will get Sam's soul back.

Being slightly spoiled as I was, I knew that Sam would be going after Bobby - so I totally thought that Dean would fail the deal when he was sent to reap Bobby.

But, we'll get to that...

Dean goes back to Bobby's and we discover that Sam is still with Dean and didn't walk away forever - he is however, extremely against getting his soul back. He doesn't trust this so called "Wall" that Death can put up to keep him from being a vegetable - nice writing trick to keep Sam from being a vegetable by the way!

Anyway, Dean goes off to take the deal, and Sam goes off to summon Balthazar of all people. When Balthazar mentioned that he wanted Sam dead, I was a bit surprised - I totally don't remember that. Anyway, Balthazar tells Sam about a spell...what was in it for him, I don't know...did he say? I honestly can't remember.

ETA: Also! SASSY! I love Balthazar's "why don't you ask your boyfriend?" - I don't ship anyone on this show, but I absolutely love the name of the the Sam/Cas ship...so, yeah, whenever it's hinted at in the show, I can't help but say "SASSY!" all excitedly. Also, really, if I were going to ship...if Cas and Dean have a "more profound bond" and Cas is Sam's boyfriend...yeah, threesomes all the way. But again, I don't ship anyone...the name just brings me joy..

Sam needs the blood of his father, but his father need not be blood - I liked that.

Meanwhile, Dean is reaping. Tessa is his supervisor - though she calls him boss. I like Tessa's no nonsense approach to stuff. Anyway...first up is some dude robbing a convenience store, and hey ASIANS! Too bad they are in a stereotypical role! Ah well.

Dean has no problem reaping the dude that threatened to shoot a kid. then there's the dude who had a poor diet, and Dean can do this one fine too - because, you know, life choices. I love the Kansas line - so well played...and the fact that of course Kansas does the unofficial theme song for Supernatural has to be part of that joke.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Sam is hunting Bobby and Bobby might have been born at night, but it wasn't last night...I absolutely loved these scenes...I love how Killing-machine Sam couldn't quite get the best of Bobby, or at least, got HORRIBLY bloody while he was trying. I love the blood streaming down his head, and the axe cut to his leg...and I love the fact that Bobby rigged up an trap door to the basement in front of that closet that Dean trapped them in during the zombie invasion of 2010.

So, we discover that Dean won't reap a 12 year old girl with a heart decision - and I suppose I would have liked it if it wasn't the very FIRST morally ambiguous case that scuffered him.,..but you know, time constraints. It was interesting where they went with his refusal - that his actions have consequences, that you can't actually cheat death, that not everyone can be like the Winchesters...

The nurse died (and I figured something like that would happen when we saw her on the phone)...then Dean sees the boyfriend get in the car after drinking in the bar across from the hospital...

Thinking back on it, I like the fact that Dean took off the ring for a total stranger. Like I said, I was sure he was going to take off the ring to save Bobby...and that would have made it a decision between Bobby and Sam...but the fact that it was for a stranger, it was about what Dean was raised to do and Sam....basically, letting that dude run off the road would have been against Dean's nature, just as killing that 12 year old would have been. 

Now, of course, that being said, he still does kill the 12 year-old, but only to stop the string of unpredictable deaths he accidentally started by not killing her in the first place....and we all learn something important...but I'll get to that.

I wonder what the importance of the would-be dead guy seeing Dean disappear after the crash? Was it just a cool brief OPOV or was it something more?

Sam is scary without morals or emotions. Poor Bobby. I love Dean's last minute rescue.

They tie Sam up in the panic room while they figure out what to do...as is their wont. And Dean makes a good point - what is he supposed to do with soulless Sam? Tie him up everytime he tries to kill an innocent? The option of killing him isn't raised, but I have to think it's at least in the back of their minds. If Sam tried to kill Bobby, there's no trusting him...he just as dangerous as anything else out there, perhaps more so.

Then Death shows up in Bobby's kitchen. I love how he commands Dean to sit, just like their first meeting. My friend and her husband think he's eating White Spot fries because of the particular checkered paper they came in...

I also like how Death, like Dean, enjoys cheap food.

Dean has learnt a lesson: It's not easy being Death and actions have consequences...and we learn that the Winchesters themselves have GLOBAL consequences. They keep coming back and it throws off the whole world and Death has to mop up the mess.

Then Death goes and gets Sam's soul anyway...because he wants them to continue "digging"...at souls... Is Death also interested in purgatory? Or is he interested in the power of a soul? Or are the two one and the same? I'm thinking the two are one and the same...if souls are powerful and Purgatory is filled with souls that are neither the property of heaven or hell...then you've got an untapped resource there. But for who? What's Death's stake in it? I would think he'd be interested in keeping order, so is someone else interested in not keeping order and he wants the Winchesters to stop it? Or is it the other way around? 

And then we get the climatic scene - I love Dean's frantic run down to the panic room...and the fact that Death can hold Sam's soul in the palm of his hand.

I love Death telling Sam that he'll feel an itch, and not to scratch that itch....Sam is totally going to scratch that itch, as someone who grew up in the backwoods of Ontario...well, it's nearly impossible not to scratch an itch.

And Sam gets his soul back.

Fade to black.

I'm not surprised by the cliffhanger - I sort of saw that coming a mile off...these 7 weeks are going to be a LONG wait to see how Sam is with his soul back and his hell-damage behind a wall....oh man...is it January 28th yet?

I'm really looking forward to seeing Sam again....of course, there's no possible way that he'll still be the same as he was before Hell - wall or not. I'm interested to see how he's changed. I'm glad though, that he's out of the cage.

Ok, this drunken review wasn't as funny as the last one, but seriously...what more could I say? It was a great episode. Finely acted. And a ridiculously teasing cliffhanger. The next 7 weeks are going to be torturous - pun totally intended.

Until...January 28th? 

Comments

( 23 comments — Leave a comment )
raloria
Dec. 11th, 2010 08:53 am (UTC)
Enjoyed your review even without the levity of the last one. :P

Balthazar said he would enjoy screwing Dean over. So apparently he dislikes both the brothers. I guess because they wanted to kill him & not let him out of the angel fire trap.

So glad Sam got his soul back even though it was painful. Don't think I could've endured soulless Sam for much longer and certainly not for the whole season. I just hope they don't resume in Jan. like everything's back to normal. I want some reactions from Sam & Dean over this. I want a hug & some tears! Something.

This is gonna be a long break....
hells_half_acre
Dec. 11th, 2010 08:58 am (UTC)
I want a hug & some tears! Something.

Me too! Oh man...it definitely is going to be a long break...

Ok, yeah, makes sense that Balthazar is just pissed about the ring of holy fire. Still, wanting to kill them is a little harsh. But nice that he didn't ask for anything from Sam in return.

I'm really glad Sam has his soul back too. I missed him - and I'm sure he'll be a little different, but fundamentally he'll still be Sam.
franztastisch
Dec. 11th, 2010 12:50 pm (UTC)
I liked this. Death is awesome. And I really really like Tessa too.

And we get Sam Sam back! I hope he's at least half way OK, though probably only for a bit...
hells_half_acre
Dec. 11th, 2010 07:50 pm (UTC)
I think Sam will be ok, slowly degrading into not-ok...but, we'll see. I also think he's personality will be a LITTLE bit different. Whether he'll go the kicked-puppy route or the kind of blank-traumatized route though...the possibilities...

I love Death and Tessa is always a fun character because she's a truly neutral Supernatural character - neither good nor evil, just part of the natural order. Reapers are really the only creatures on Supernatural that are like that.
franztastisch
Dec. 12th, 2010 12:28 pm (UTC)
It liek they're going to give us Sam back, but only for a while. They're teasing us. :(

Yeah thats why I really like Tessa too! She just is.
dairygirl
Dec. 11th, 2010 02:10 pm (UTC)
Yes, it is quite the cliffhanger because like you, I think Sam will totally itch at the wall. I would itch at the wall. As for Balthazar, his comment about Sam owing him a favor--that seems ominous as well. I feel like a blockhead because what has this portion of the season been focused on: Sam's soul. And then Death tells Dean it's all about the souls (and he'll know it when it's time). The soul theme was more broad than just Sam especially with Balthazar collecting souls earlier in Season Six.

I cannot wait for the new episodes to start again and see how Sam acts and how the wall will likely break down. And of course, Hell's new head honcho (there has to be one, right?) and the whole Alpha creating armies and Grandad and Heaven's battle. And I'm enjoying the episode names.
hells_half_acre
Dec. 11th, 2010 07:55 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I noticed the soul-thread as soon as Balthazar said in 6x03 that souls were valuable..then when we found out that Crowley was looking for Purgatory...well, besides the thought that maybe he wasn't to rule it too (or control monsters), I had the thought that maybe it was about getting more souls and becoming more powerful...it'll be really interesting to see where they are going with this!

I'm with you on eagerly awaiting the new episodes! Sam is totally going to itch at that wall...and I'm interested to see how his time in hell manifests in his behaviour...and then as you say, the whole Granddad, Purgatory thing...oh man...
trystan830
Dec. 11th, 2010 04:30 pm (UTC)
cool review as usual.

also, look at as there's 6 "off weeks" and then new episodes... and it'll be here before you know it. =)
hells_half_acre
Dec. 11th, 2010 07:57 pm (UTC)
Thanks :)

Given how busy I am these days, I have a feeling the new episodes really WILL be here before I know it ;)
trystan830
Dec. 11th, 2010 08:13 pm (UTC)
welcome.

*nods*
baruchan
Dec. 11th, 2010 05:18 pm (UTC)
I love the actors they got for Death and Tessa. Everything about them is so otherwordly, but in vastly different ways. I think they were great casting choices, and I hope they return to do more future episodes.

if I were going to ship...if Cas and Dean have a "more profound bond" and Cas is Sam's boyfriend...yeah, threesomes all the way.

Forgive me for my moment of shallowness, but I'm not gonna lie: when Balthazar said that line, I yelled, "DEAN is Cas's boyfriend!" at the screen. Then I laughed at myself because I was never a shipper in any fandom until I discovered some great Dean/Castiel fics. That said, the best way to resolve love triangles is to have a threesome. Threesomes (and moresomes) solve everything. TRUFAX.

Also, I totally snerked when Balthazar called Lucifer "Lucy". :D

I'm not surprised by the cliffhanger - I sort of saw that coming a mile off...these 7 weeks are going to be a LONG wait to see how Sam is with his soul back and his hell-damage behind a wall....oh man...is it January 28th yet?

I'm glad they decided not to save bringing in Sam's soul until the season finale. I hope they don't gloss over the after-effects of his time in hell. Dean's been delivering the manpain since S4, so I guess it's Sam's turn now.

Speaking of hell: I know Dean still has post-hell issues, but even at the very beginning of S4, I thought he'd show more signs of PTSD than what was seen on screen. And now I'm wondering...did Cas put up a wall inside Dean's mind, too? And maybe the reason why Cas couldn't do the same for Sam is because a.) Sam's soul was in hell far longer than Dean had; b.) he was stuck in a cage with Michael and Lucifer; and c.) Death is much, much more powerful than Cas.

This episode has me asking a lot of questions that I bet are going to be answered in future episodes. Argh. Is it January 18th yet?
hells_half_acre
Dec. 11th, 2010 08:07 pm (UTC)
I think they were great casting choices, and I hope they return to do more future episodes.

AGREED!

Threesomes (and moresomes) solve everything. TRUFAX.

Unless the problem is that your bed is too small!

I'm glad they decided not to save bringing in Sam's soul until the season finale.

Yeah, I'm glad they didn't wait that long either! As much as soulless!Sam was hilarious, I wasn't sure how much longer I could go without Sammy!

I hope they don't gloss over the after-effects of his time in hell. Dean's been delivering the manpain since S4, so I guess it's Sam's turn now.

AGREED!

...did Cas put up a wall inside Dean's mind, too?

It's my personal fanon that he did do SOMETHING of the sort. Dean was in hell for a shorter time, and only had to deal with Alistair and mostly physical torture...it probably wasn't that hard to dampen those memories enough to make sure Dean could function. Cas' description of Sam being "mutilated" though seems to speak to Sam being in a much greater deal of pain and torture and a sorrier state. We also get Crowley mentioning that he can't even IMAGINE what's happening to Sam's soul in the cage and he "can imagine a lot"...so, you know, if the king of Hell can't even picture the horrors...I think fixing Sam is way above Cas' abilities.

And yeah, Death is much much more powerful than Cas, given that in the end Death will reap God.

claudiapriscus
Dec. 11th, 2010 06:42 pm (UTC)
The Impala has magic parking-spot powers. It's the only thing that explains it. That's the thought that stuck with me through the episode (well, that and Dean is a fine looking man, but that's every episode, so...).

I was a little bored with Dean-as-Death, because they didn't really do anything interesting with it. It's a well worn trope. Plus, I've seen Dead Like Me. It kind of handled every permutation of that possible, but darker and funnier, and so I'm kind of jaded, I suppose! But it was a solid episode, plot progression, etc, etc... though they still were throwing random wrenches into the works with the whole "how souls work thing". It's so inconsistent, but that's more of a fic writer's complaint than anything, because that inconsistency isn't hurting the story, just the ability to figure out the "rules".
hells_half_acre
Dec. 11th, 2010 08:10 pm (UTC)
I was a little bored with Dean-as-Death, because they didn't really do anything interesting with it.

I agree, they could have jazzed that section up a bit. But I also agree that we HAVE been spoiled by the fact that it's a well worn trope and we've seen several incarnations of it already in our lives.

For instance, as soon as the nurse died, I said "Oh, it's a Pushing Daisies deal."

I also agree about the inconsistent rules on the soul thing! On the one hand, yeah, it'd be nice to know how it works for fic...on the other hand, I guess we can do whatever the bloody hell we want with fic, because that approach seems to be canon now ;)

Forget Chuck, I think the Impala is God.
claudiapriscus
Dec. 11th, 2010 08:38 pm (UTC)
Have you seen DLM? If you haven't you should.

(Incidentally, both DLM and Pushing Daisies were by Bryan Fuller. I love that man.) But Dead Like Me took it further. I think that's what I was missing in the Supernatural episode. They're at their best when they're not restrained, when they just go all out. And Dead Like Me took that same concept and did that, so it wins in my brain. ;)

Check it out! Skip forward to the six minute mark:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tcz5TKQ-CI0&feature=related

The main character, George, went to the guy who was supposed to die and made up an outlandish story about being kidnapped as a sex-slave by his son, so he "missed his appointment". And...yeah, it set off a chain of events.
hells_half_acre
Dec. 11th, 2010 08:51 pm (UTC)
I haven't seen DLM. It's on the list though.

Nice clip!

claudiapriscus
Dec. 11th, 2010 09:11 pm (UTC)
I love all the souls stuffed into Roxie's meter maid car. That will never not crack me up.
marlowe78
Dec. 11th, 2010 07:31 pm (UTC)
Anyway, Balthazar tells Sam about a spell...what was in it for him, I don't know...did he say? I honestly can't remember.
He said "I like you to owe me something", or words to that effect

and hey ASIANS
Thought about you the second I spotted the Chinatown-setting. But yeah, I was at least hoping for a pretty Asian woman. Damn, no such thing :-(


Thinking back on it, I like the fact that Dean took off the ring for a total stranger.

Sooo with you. It's interesting, because he had no problems putting Sam over Adam, but he DID have problems with putting a stranger's life over Sam's soul.
I wonder about that, and like you I think it has to do with the life-lessons John taught them: strangers go before family, but family goes over everything after that. And Adam...isn't family, not for Dean, not like Sam is.

I fell in love all over again for that scene, because Dean didn't hesitate, didn't let anything else happen because of him. That he valued that one's life more than his, in a way selfish, desire to get Sam back.

The option of killing him isn't raised, but I have to think it's at least in the back of their minds.
Oh, I think it IS raised, subtly. When Dean looks at his ring, just before meeting Death in the kitchen? I'd say he's contemplating putting it on once more, solving the issue of soulless Sam once and for all.

I liked Death, and I think he has no hidden agenda. He only wants the order of things, and he wanted a little vacation, I guess. He's the end of all things, and what would he gain from scheming? He's gonna get everybody in the end, even angels.

Purgatory... if I remember correctly, Purgatory is the place souls go to be redeemed, go when there's still a chance to escape eternal Hell. So, these souls are in limbo, aren't they? Still could go up or down?

Anyway: it's all about the soul.

Until soon.
katsheswims
Dec. 11th, 2010 07:52 pm (UTC)
I agree with you aout Dean comtemplating killing Sam! I totally thought that too when I saw that short scene.

And I'm not sure about the redeeming qualities of Purgatory. It's possible, but it seems in the Supernatural verse that Purgatory is just the place where the souls of 'monsters' go. But I suppose it's possible they could be redeemed there somehow too?-we haven't been given enough information to tell.
hells_half_acre
Dec. 11th, 2010 08:23 pm (UTC)
I agree about Purgatory - so far in Supernatural it seems to just be the monster-afterlife...neither good nor bad, but filled with monster souls.

If souls are powerful though, it might just be about gaining access to those souls and becoming more powerful.
marlowe78
Dec. 11th, 2010 08:30 pm (UTC)
Well, I have this - maybe crazy - idea that you're not born evil, no matter what skin you wear. That someone like Madison wouldn't end in Hell, even though she killed as a werewolf, that the skinwalker would have a chance at redemtion. Either he'd get it, like in Lutheran belief, more-or-less automatically for true penitence or after going through purgatory, where the soul's deeds would be weighted and judged.

After all, not every monster chose to be a monster, it was simply born that way. And people like Lenore - be it only out of self-preservation or actual remorse - deserve more than hell.

Putting them in the same place as the truly evil ones, like shady vamp guy from "Twihard", doesn't seem fair and right.

I'm saying a soul should be judged by actions and intent, not by colour or shape of skin or the amount of hair on the body.

hells_half_acre
Dec. 11th, 2010 08:33 pm (UTC)
Well, we don't know what Purgatory is like. It could be heaven for them!

But, it could be a matter of redemption too...who knows. So far, I'm leaning more towards after-life for monsters (not HELL for monsters, just AFTERLIFE), but maybe there are rules upon rules and there are people who get exceptions.
hells_half_acre
Dec. 11th, 2010 08:22 pm (UTC)
I fell in love all over again for that scene, because Dean didn't hesitate, didn't let anything else happen because of him. That he valued that one's life more than his, in a way selfish, desire to get Sam back.

Yes THIS...I think it shows that at least on some level, Dean does recognize that this quest to get Sam's soul back is in large part a selfish quest...I'd also argue though, that it's also about doing what's best for Sam's soul (or, the REAL Sam)...but the thing is that the real Sam was also raised to put strangers lives ahead of his own...I mean, that's what got him stuck in the cage in the first place.

Oh, I think it IS raised, subtly. When Dean looks at his ring, just before meeting Death in the kitchen? I'd say he's contemplating putting it on once more, solving the issue of soulless Sam once and for all.

See, this is the downside to watching episodes while I'm tipsy :P I'll look out for that on the rewatch. I like the fact that it's implied but not spoken.

I liked Death, and I think he has no hidden agenda. He only wants the order of things, and he wanted a little vacation, I guess. He's the end of all things, and what would he gain from scheming? He's gonna get everybody in the end, even angels.

Yes, I think you are right. I think part of the lesson to Dean about the natural-order of things needing to be maintained is that he needs Dean and Sam to prevent whatever is about to mess with the natural order - whether it's what's behind the amassing monster armies, or whether it's whoever takes up Crowley's purgatory quest...or both.



( 23 comments — Leave a comment )

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