Alright boys and girls....here we go...
Two episodes, two different cut texts, two sets of lyrics that I pulled from the songs my iPod shuffled to on the walk home...
6x21 LET IT BLEED
I don't know what the title reference is, but I love it.
So, we open with HP Lovecraft - I must admit, I've never READ HP Lovecraft, but I've read ABOUT HP Lovecraft so much that I feel I have - (this is the same with Animal Farm, 1984, and Catch 22.)
Then we find out that Castiel didn't just stop in for a visit, he stopped in to steal a journal - Moisha(sp?) Campbell's journal...I'm guessing the first name comes from the maternal side. Luckily Bobby had copies! Bobby ALSO has a great line about how he's a paranoid bastard - ILU BOBBY!
And then demons attack Lisa and Ben! OH NOES!
Ben's call to Dean is heartbreakingly perfect. I love how Sam reacts without even hearing the other side of the conversation. And it's Crowley! Who has Dean's "ex-lady-friend and not-kid" - awww, Dean's family is so precious and f*cked up.
Crowley's really wanting Dean and Sam to sit out, isn't he. Man...
You know what's odd - the boys always pray to Cas, but they SUMMON Balthazar. I guess they figure Cas cares about them so he'll come, but maybe there's some rule that no one can ignore a direct summons. I was a little concerned about them using the hood of the car for the summing ritual, but then I realized that it wasn't the Impala, so no worries!
Which reminds me - I like how the majority of this episode took place in Bobby's scrapeyard. I mean...I liked that Dean and Sam actually stayed stationary while Bobby went out hunting for a change. Though, I do wonder where they got their demon-supply. Remember back in the day when demons were thin on the ground?
So, Bobby is off trying to find the information that Castiel is following. I liked his line about hot the huge Lovecraft dude must be "catnip for the ladies" and then his explosion when he says "NOTHING IS EVERY FRIENDLY!" Oh Bobby...you're wrong, one thing was VERY friendly.
So, cut back to Dean torturing - which, I mean, there was so much torturing this season, I really thought it was going to be a "thing"...but I suppose it's just a coincidence. Anyway, with their weird spontaneous supply of demons, Dean is going to town while fueled on coffee, whiskey, and "whatever else you've been taking." - I like this oblique reference to the pills Dean always seems to have on hand. I'm kind of proud of Sam for abstaining from that particular vice, but geez, it's kind of scary to think of someone as trained as Dean basically fueled by a drug cocktail (both over and under the counter).
Balthazar confronts Cas, and yeah...apparently taking in that many souls makes Cas a giant bomb that is either going to become all powerful or blow up and take out half the planet. Yikes.
Then Bobby sees the old dude from the 1930s and discovers that whatever came through the door that Lovecraft opened, entered his mother...and he has a picture! Yay! Only BOBBY KNOWS! And believe it or not, I had already forgotten about the "Then" and though "Oh man, it better not be Lisa, because that would make NO sense." All we see is "Eleanor 1935" on the back of the photograph.
Back at the ranch, Dean's manly boot smudges the devils trap and a demon gets loose and goes into choke-mode. Then Castiel shows up and saves the day! And it's like OLD TIMES!
Only...only it's not. And here we get into one of those delicious, but sticky, grey areas...because, guys, Castiel has a point. He has ALWAYS been there for Dean, and all he's asking for is a bit of faith...that Dean trust that Cas is doing this so that he can beat Raphael and save the day. And, yeah, I see his point. I mean, he's kind of stuck between a rock and a hard place. What the heck else is he supposed to do?
But he IS in the wrong here, no matter how you shake it, opening Purgatory is always a bad idea....and it flies right in the face of Dean's morals. So, of course Dean has to stand against him, even though it pains him terribly.
Bobby goes to a cabin in the woods and meets Prof. Visyak. Eleanor. Oh man, I'm was so excited to have her back - and have them have a scene together...and it was awesome. I love the whole thing, Bobby's lines about "You think you could have mentioned you were a monster when you were sleeping with me?" and "Not that I'm complaining, but you did lie about your age..." So awesome. I wanted her to survive and for them to live happily ever after hunting monsters together....but yeah, as soon as she said that he was "just a man" and that she could take care of herself, I knew it was over for her...and I don't mean that misogynistically people!
Meanwhile, Balthazar shows back up at the Winchesters and tells them that he's going to be their double agent, and that Crowley doesn't trust Castiel...and some funny line about marriage that I unfortunately can't read my own writting on (yes, so sue me, I took notes - I didn't trust myself to remember two full episodes...sadly, between being absorbed in the show and drinking, I took very poor notes.)
Anyway, they find out where Lisa and Ben are and Dean and Sam go in to kick ass and take names. Sam, unfortunately, gets knocked out and dragged into a room. I wish they had thrown him in with Lisa and Ben, because that would have been hilarious. I mean, personally, if I were an ex-girlfriend of Dean's that had been kidnapped by demons and then they threw Dean's unconscious brother into the room, I'd be like "Score! Only a matter of time now..." Plus, you know, it would have been nice for Ben to bond with Unconscious!UncleSam. Awww, family bonding, Winchester-style.
Of course, the way Dean DID make his entrance was awesome. I love how they hear the punches and someone hitting the floor - and then one demons goes out, and they hear more punches and a body hitting the floor...and then two demons go out, and then one demon comes flying back in while the last life flashes out of him. Awesome.
It's not awesome though, because Lisa is secretly a demon. Now...personally, if I was a crazy hunter and I decided to shack up with some woman and her kid, one of the first family excursions would be "Family Tattoos!" YAY! But apparently Dean did not think that far ahead...or behind...or whatever...
I did like how they teased us with the uncertainty of Ben's linage. Demon!Lisa saying that Ben was Dean's son, and you can see on Dean's face that he actually might want to believe her - or be terrified that she's telling the truth - and then her saying that Lisa doesn't actually know because she's a slut....I mean, yes, horribly insulting to Lisa, but also pretty cool.
It's a hell of an introduction to hunting for Ben though. Hey Ben, your mum is dying, grab this knife and this shotgun and cover your dad while he carries her out of the building - no time for you to go into shock SLAP IN THE FACE! FIRE THE GUN! DON'T MOURN THE DEAD OR THINK ABOUT WHAT YOU'VE DONE!
But they make it to the hospital and get Lisa all hooked up to machines...and Dean gives an apology worthy of the Tenth Doctor...but it's not enough to make it better. Cas shows up and Dean says that Lisa will be dead by midnight - and Cas apologizes too, but Dean's already made that decision. Still, Cas heals Lisa anyway, and then Dean asks for one last favour....
And yeah, MEMORY WIPE! Well, that's one way to "kill off" characters. It's heartbreakingly sad, and probably amoral - as Sam tries to point out - but DEAN WILL BREAK YOUR NOSE GODDAMMIT!
My friend Kathleen pointed out that if Dean REALLY wanted to protect them, he'd wipe them from his OWN memory - because if he doesn't care about them, they can't be used as leverage against him. She also pointed out that Dean really shouldn't be driving when he's an emotional crying mess...that's how accidents happen!
So, we leave Lisa and Ben with no memory of Dean....does this mean that Lisa can't remember the weekend that they spent together back in the 90s? Does this mean that Castiel also went to their house, got rid of her boyfriend's body, and stole all the pictures of Dean that had been taken during his year there? Does this mean that they're going to sit around and wonder "Why is that we moved to Michigan? Why is there spray paint on the underside of my welcome mat?"
Sigh, oh Dean...of all the shady things you've done...DON'T BREAK MY NOSE!
6x22 The Man Who Knew Too Much
CARRY ON MY WAYWARD SON.... or how to pick out a Supernatural fan in a room: play this song, watch for crying.
This episode starts off jarringly, with Sam on the run from the cops and no memory. My first thought was that something had gone wrong with the wall but instead of crumbling it had enveloped his ENTIRE MIND. My next thought was that this was suspiciously like the Bourne Identity.
Mainly, I thought of the Bourne Identity when Sam tells the bartender chick that he took out two cops on instinct. Then, while he's in the bar, he remembers coming across Doctor Visyak in an alley with Dean and Bobby...oh Doctor Visyak...I loved you. Also, I loved how Bobby loved you.
Sam's line about Dean being a "male model" was hilarious...also kind of funny that he remembered Bobby before he remembered Dean. But hey, when you are messed up by an angel, you're messed up by an angel.
So, I thought, ok, Castiel wiped Sam's memory and then left him on a park bench somewhere...but no, because as Sam and the bartender make their way to the Impala (and I love how Sam walks over to the passenger side), someone starts shooting at them...and when Sam looks to see who it is, it's SOULLESS!SAM....WHAT?!
But wait! IT'S ALL IN HIS HEAD!
I can only conclude that Sam is a fan of the Bourne Identity...and also Highlander.
Castiel destroyed Death's wall, and Sam is trapped inside his own noggin'....and they've got him in the panic room, this time warded to keep everything out and Sam safe, not to keep everything safe from Sam...and he's very well lit, and Dean's all concerned and won't leave him...and awww....
Bobby and Dean have a drink (and seriously, their poor livers).....and Sam smells whiskey in his dream. Dean shines a flashlight in his eyes, and suddenly Sam's night becomes day. So well done. I love Sam pulling over and saying "It was night and now it's day!" It reminded me of Mystery Spot, where he's like "Yesterday was Tuesday, and today is Tuesday too!!"....I wanted the bartender chick to say "That's how it normally works, Sam" rather than "It's been day this whole time." I think that would have been funnier - but hey, small writing critique in the grand scheme of things.
Also the bartender's hair changes subtly...did anyone else notice that? It suddenly had streaks of blond in it, and was more wavy...I think this makes sense when we find out what/who she is.
First though, Sam runs off into the woods with guns, and encounters Soulless!Sam and has his very own Superman 3 moment...you can really see the difference between the two characters in this one. Even just in the way they inflect their words. Man, as my friend pointed out, the last two season finales have really called on Jared to act his ass off....and this is just the first such scene.
After a running shoot-out in the woods, where is't corduroy soul!Sam vs. green-jacket soulless!Sam, soul!Sam wins! I should also say that I loved the black-gun vs. the white-gun thing. Very subtly done, show....you ARE a modern western after all.
Anyway, Sam's cute when he seizes.
So, bartender chick was someone that Soulless!Sam killed...which is why I like the fact that her appearance wasn't static. Have you ever tried remembering someone you only met briefly? Was her hair wavy, or straight, streaked, or not? Some of my own freckles still surprise me - has that always been there or is it melted chocolate?
Then we get to Castiel and Crowley, and Castiel has decided to cancel the deal - FLEE OR DIE...and all I could think of was "CAKE OR DEATH!" because I'm a crazy Eddie Izzard fan.
Balthazar shows up to betray Cas to Dean...and calls humans mud-fish while he does it. Nicely done, Balthazar.
Dean leaves a note for Sam, and reluctantly leaves his bedside. I couldn't help but think that maybe putting a loaded gun next to a possibly-mentally-ill dude might be a bad idea, but then, it was a very Winchester way to leave a not. I used to tape notes to my mum's tea-kettle, it makes sense that Winchesters would pin notes down with firearms next to sleeping people.
Finally, soul!Sam meets up with Hell!Sam...and guys, Hell!Sam is kind of pathetically cute....I mean, yeah, I know he is all burned and broken, but he's CUTE and burned and broken. He's also once again, very different from the Sam we know and love. He's VERY broken...but, at the same time, he's very understanding of soul!Sam.
Meanwhile, in beautifully creepy tiled room - AWWW BALTHAZAR! Why are you such a bad liar? You've gone and gotten yourself killed by Castiel. And also, AWWW...Castiel, I know you are between a rock and a hard place, but STOP KILLING YOUR FRIENDS!
Dean and Bobby creep up outside, and Dean doesn't know how to get passed that many angels... and Bobby says, "we'll ninja our way in" - and I LOVE HIM FOR THIS, because that was one of my favourite lines from Sam back in 3x16 No Rest For The Wicked. YAY! Also, I loved Dean's line of "until they hear your knee squeek" - because THAT WOULD BE ME! I have the worst knees, and you can actually hear them as I walk around and use them. I even once jokingly referred to myself as "the noisy knee ninja" for my inability to go anywhere silently no matter how hard I tried.
And then T-REX! No...DEMON CLOUD! AND THE IMPALA FLIPS!!! NOOOOOOOOOOOoooooooooooooooooooooo.............
Then Raphael shows up! And I'm not sure if my theory of ungendered angels was supported or not - probably not, because I can never be so lucky...but whatever.
Crowley's made a new deal with Raphael and they're going to open purgatory and Castiel has a choice - CAKE OR DEATH, ur, I mean FLEE OR DIE! So Castiel flees! And personally, I couldn't help but think "ok, Castiel gave up way too easily, that definitely was not the right blood mixture."
Raphael and Crowley try to open the door to Purgatory but it does not work - unsurprisingly...oh, and while they do that, Dean and Bobby ACTUALLY HAVE managed to ninja their way in! YAY! Only, Raphael is too much of a badass and catches the sword, and then Crowley throws them down the stairs...
But SAM IS ON THE WAY....with one HELL OF A HEADACHE!
Castiel shows up and guys, guys...HE ALREADY DID THE RITUAL AND SWALLOWED ALL THE MONSTER SOULS!
Crowley quickly exits Crowley-left. (another line I loved) and lives to fight another day...yay! But guys, Castiel has PLANS FOR HIM...and then...
CASTIEL EXPLODES RAPHAEL!
Oh man...well, I mean, turnabout is fair play, I suppose....but Castiel, you have proven that death-by-explosion is not always permanent.
Dean tries to placate Castiel - thank you, you were right, we were wrong...now please disarm the impossibly powerful yet possibly unstable device that you have become...and Castiel is like NO! I HAVE THE POWER!
But Sam arrives and STABS HIM....to NO EFFECT! Geez.....Cas, have a little consideration, Sam just did all that with one hell of a hangover, you could at least wince...but no....because......because...
CASTIEL HAS MADE HIMSELF A GOD!
Oh man...now, I'm an atheist who was born without the ability to believe in God, but umm...doesn't God hate it when people declare themselves the new Lord and ask people to ask for forgiveness or die? I mean, surely....Shirley....SOMEONE will have something to say about this? I really don't know if THIS is why God brought Castiel back in Swan Song.
So, one final critique: the ending two seconds were a LITTLE over-the-top and cheesy just in the way they were shot. It's my firm belief that finales should always end on a wide-shot, not a close up...and certainly not an EXTREME close up.
Finally, so...is Cas the new big bad for next season? It kind of makes sense if you think of it in terms of leveling-up (D&D nerds FTW) - the Winchesters went from fighting ghosts, to demons, to angels, and now "God"? Do we want them to kill Castiel? Do we want the real God to come and set things right? Do we want Castiel to die, or do we want him to repent? Do we want him to remain an angel, or be cast down?
Furthermore, what of Sam? He no longer has a wall and remembers everything. He's moving around, but is he functional? What are the psychological and physical repercussions of his memory-recovery? Will he be as tormented as Dean was in S4? Will the relationship with Dean suffer or will it continue to grow strong? Or will Cas still heal his mind as he promised?
How stable is Castiel's new power? Is he safe or is he indeed a "Chernobyl" waiting to happen?
Will the Winchester want to return Castiel to normal? How do you plot against "God"? Is Castiel omnipresent and omniscient like the Judeo-Christian God is supposed to be?
Oh man, whatever happens, I am nervous and excited....