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Rewatch S7: Party On, Garth (7x18)

And then, as is S7's wont, we go from very serious episode to funny episode...



...which I think is part of the problem with S7, because it doesn't KEEP the tension that it manages to build.

That being said, I'm one of those people who LIKES Garth. And I enjoyed this episode. But yeah, I think S7 loses that fine balance Supernatural was always able to strike between comedy and drama. It still has both, but they're no longer in balance.

I'm mostly ignoring the teaser death while I type this. I do like the drunk guy - Trevor - I think that actor does a good job. Playing drunk is hard. Those boys don't really look like brothers though... also, I always find it horribly heartbreaking when siblings die. Maybe because I have a lot of siblings...also, I'm watching Supernatural.

POISON! Haha, oh man, I had forgotten about Garth's theme song! Hahaha...

Garth: "Alright, Jenny G, your ganking days are over. You've been Garthed."
- I like how Garth makes the job fun.

I like that they made the ghost Japanese-Horror movie style.

Garth: "Yeah, I clocked out, put it to bed, problem solved. And I'm headed your way, so fire up that hot-tub...no, I heart you more!"
- I wonder who Garth is dating. It's someone he met in the past few months...who has twins.

Sam's driving. It's so rare...but that's a sign that he's alright, I guess.

Sam: "So Cas hasn't said anything?"
Dean: "[??] drool...by the way, how is your custard?"
Sam: "It's alright, it's getting better. Just wish it wasn't like the damn tape from the Ring. I mean, I feel like I'm okay 'cause I passed on the crazy."

- I see your Japanese horror movie reference, Sam. Unrelated: this episode always reminds me of my favourite convention moment, when at ComicCon in 2008, Jared misheard a fan when they asked a question about how "Asian Horror films" inspire Supernatural.

"No, you didn't, you heard what Cas said-"
"Let's-let's not, man."

- I think Sam feels guilty, and before anyone reminds me that it was Castiel's fault Sam was crazy to begin with, let me explain:
Sacrificing himself for humanity was Sam's redemption. (Whether or not Sam NEEDED redemption is another argument altogether). Sam was happy with the sacrifice because it meant that his slate was wiped clean - eternal torment was his to bare so that he could be forgiven for everything that he felt he needed to be forgiven for. When he was rescued, the possibility of going crazy was Sam's cross to bear - it was still his sacrifice for redemption. Castiel made the wall fall quicker, but Sam knew that it would fall SOMEDAY, so he doesn't really care that it fell sooner rather than later - Sam had already resigned himself back in S5 to eternal torment, his time away from it was a bonus vacation. The burden of consequence in stopping the apocalypse was supposed to be SAM'S responsibility. Now though, Sam feels as though Castiel has taken on SAM'S responsibility. Castiel is now suffering because of Sam's choices.

Now, you could argue that Castiel SHOULD suffer, that he SHOULD bear some of the responsibility, because it was Cas who let Sam out of the panic room. But we're talking about Sam's emotions here... since when have Winchester emotions been based on logic or reality? Sam cuts Dean off, because Dean was no doubt going to remind Sam that it was Cas' choice - but Sam KNOWS his feeling of guilt is illogical, so yeah "let's not."

Garth: "Hey Dean, it's Garth."
Dean: "Who? Who is this?"
Garth: "Garth. Garth Fitzgerald the Fourth. We worked together on that demon thing, you owe me one."
Dean: "Oh yeah, how're you doing, Garth?"
Garth: "I'm ready to cash in that chip, brah, there's something brewing in Junction City, Kansas."

- Firstly, I love that Garth has a name like he does.
- Secondly, I like how Dean doesn't even remember him...but then, when he does, he's sincere in his "how're you doing."

Coroner: "It must be terrible for your family, losing two brothers so fast."
*Sam and Garth exchange looks*
Garth: "Yeah, yeah, my aunt, she's really broken up about it."
[...] *coroner leaves*
Sam: "You didn't say they were brothers!"
Garth: "Dude, I just found out about the other corpse, and started working quick, I'm sucking up info as I go!"

- This whole exchange makes me think that Sam and Dean try to avoid cases involving brothers, or, cases where there is a possibility that the monster is specifically targeting brothers/siblings. The looks and Sam's annoyance at Garth not telling them seem far too significant to indicate anything else.

Dean: "Are you allergic to a suit?"
Garth: "No, I just look good in uniform"

- So, here's the thing with Garth (which is also, incidentally, part of the problem with The Big Bang Theory). We're supposed to laugh at him. It's supposed to be funny that he thinks he looks good in a uniform - it's supposed to be a ridiculous notion that makes him a ridiculous character. Hilarious. But, is there really anything funny about Garth having self-confidence? Garth thinks he looks good in a uniform - good for him! I think this is why I LIKE Garth - obviously he's not perfect. He can't take a hit like a Winchester and you do end up wondering "how are you still alive?" like Bobby did...but, he's not an idiot, he's self-confident, and he enjoys his job. He's a completely angst free Hunter - and I love meeting different types of Hunters. We've had LOTs of different "hunters" over the years - Gordon, Bela, Richie, Frank, Ash - everyone has a unique slant to hunting that differs from the Winchesters. Garth may just differ the most (except maybe Bela who chose profit over saving people.)

Garth: "Oh, I already scanned for EM...F...oh, I guess mine must be broken again."
- And some of Garth's apparent incompetency aren't even his fault...

Dean: "Uh, so, invisible ghost werewolf?"
Garth: "Why do you think I called for back-up."

- Now, having just said everything I've said - I don't think Garth is the type of hunter to go after the really strange stuff, like the Winchesters are. I think, and this might just be a given when hunting alone, that Garth really only takes on the simpler stuff. Now, obviously, he knows about crossroad demons and how to make a devil's trap out of blueberry vodka, but I think that's probably as complicated as he gets...and that probably he doesn't even do demon cases without backup.

Sam: "Hey, either of you ever hear of Thigh Slapper Ale?"
Garth: "Is that a stripper or a beverage?"
Dean: "Beverage for douchebags"
Sam: "Number one microbrew in the Pacific North West"
Garth: "But we're in Kansas"
Dean: "I rest my case."

- Hehehe, I just like this exchange because microbrews are very popular in Vancouver...well, in Canada in general. I just heard a joke about Toronto the other day that involved beers costing $14 there or something...anyway, yeah, this is hilarious if you actually live in a culture of beer snobs. :P

Garth: "Right, I'll can the uniform, go fed. See you at the Brewery in 40"
Dean: "He grows on you."

- Do you ever notice how Sam never wants to work with ANYONE?! Dean's always about repaying debts and being friendly, but Sam always takes issue with it on some level if it's anyone outside the Bobby. Soulless!Sam doesn't count in this by the way - he was willing to work with anyone... should have been our first clue that it wasn't Sam, really.

Oh yeah, I forgot the unbelievability of the kid getting giggling drunk off ONE sip of a screwdriver. I mean, that must have been a REALLY strong screw-driver, and that kid must absorb alcohol into her blood stream REALLY quickly.

USE YOUR WORDS LITTLE GIRL! well, not that she could have really gotten away.

Dean: "Afternoon delights? Really Garth? Don't you think this place is a little-"
Garth: "You want a nice hot-tub after a day at the office. It's the little things."

*Sam and Dean have a silent conversation about Garth behind his back*
- Oh brothers. Garth's right though - if your job comes with a fairly crappy life-style, you may as well take advantage of whatever luxuries you can afford yourself.

Garth isn't incompetant, as soon as Dean puts down the flask and the EMF meter goes crazy, Garth starts to put it together.

Dean: "Alright that's it. No microbrew is worth - what is it - 8 food magazine awards? Beers not food, it's whatever water is...hmf, Thigh-Slapper..." *takes sip* "Wow, that's actually awesome. Damn it, I'm not even mad anymore."
- So true. I remember the first time I had Creemore when I was a teenager instead of just drinking Molson, Lebatt, and Heinecken.
- That being said, I know the "whatever water is" comment is supposed to be like "Dean's an alcoholic" or something...but back in the day, beer/wine was safer to drink than water - so it actually WAS "whatever water is."

"Garth are you drunk?"
Garth: "Dude, I just drank a whole beer, of course I'm drunk."

- Again, this is like the episode of metabolizing alcohol quickly. :P That being said, when my brother was in high school, he was a skinny thing - and one time he actually did the calculations to determine how much alcohol he could safely drink. He determined that if he drank 8 beers, he would die of alcohol poisoning.

Garth: "Place is clean. My EMF is a nada. So's this one."
Dean: "Is that mine?"
Garth: "Yeah, borrowed it in case mine's broke."

- I like how Garth uses his preceived incompetance to his advantage. He knows there's something going on with the EMF around Dean, so he borrowed Dean's meter to see if it was the one that was broken.

Garth: "Or maybe you'll talk to 'Mr. Fizzles, I'm your friend! Yay!'"
- Okay, now most people either love or hate this segment...I'm middle of the road. It hits my embarrassment squick, but then, basically anyone doing anything sincerely hits my embarrassment squick. What I DO love about it though - besides the hilarious notion that Garth carries around a sock-puppet at all times - is what the director does with the camera angles. As soon as Mr. Fizzle's appears, Garth isn't barely seen again until the last shot when he looks over at Dean.

Garth *as Mr. Fizzles*: "Are you sure? Because Mr. Fizzles can sense when you're being a liar."
Dean: "Alright, that's enough, Mr. Fizzles."

- And I love this because the whole time, Dean is getting annoyed - not really because Garth is being ridiculous (though a bit of that), but mainly when he thinks Garth is being too harsh with the kid. Dean Winchester is always overprotective of children, and I do love him for it.

Dean: "To each his own. You are strictly on wine-coolers"
Garth: "Hey, I love those. Anything sweet. Haha! Woo!"

- Again, moments like these make me ask WHY we're expected to find something funny...and in this case, it's because wine-coolers aren't masculine. Though, I don't know what wine colours he's drinking, all the ones I used to drink when I was in school were always MORE alcoholic than beer. Really, if he wants to stay sober, they should have him drink budweiser. :P

Garth: "So what's with the [...] flask, eh? Lucky charm?"
Dean: "It's Bobby's"
Garth: "Really? 'Cause um, you think there's a possibility that Bobby's riding your wave?"

- The thing is, I think Garth is really the only one that can BROACH this topic. Sam and Dean, as we've seen, can't really talk about it, because they both don't necessarily want to upset the other person - plus, they both have a habit of dismissing it. They need an outside force to say "I think there's something funky going on too."

Dean: "We gave him a Hunter's wake."
- Um, you gave him a Hunter's funeral.... a wake is something else entirely, Dean.

Garth: "Yeah, I burned my cousin Brandon and he stayed stuck, and they got ghosts in India and they cremate everybody over there. It's just instinct, but maybe there is EMF around here, it just ain't the job."
- It does sound like Garth is from a family of hunters as well. I kind of like this backstory for him - because it answers the question of WHY Garth is so confident in his skills, even though he doesn't look like a typical hunter.

Sam: "I mean, can you even get drunk anymore? It's kind of like drinking a vitamin for you."
Dean: "Shut-up"

- I know a high-functioning alcoholic, and the answer is yes, they can always get drunk. :P

Sam: "So, he let that thing out of the box and it must have just followed him to the place with all the thingies!"
Dean: "Yes, yes! That's smart. Uh, I'm actually kind of drunk. Whatisgthis? Me likey. I miss these talks."

- I love drunk Winchesters.
- Also, I love Dean's "I miss these talks" - because I'm just picturing pre-series Winchesters getting plastered and then babbling drunken nonsense at each other until the wee hours of the morning, and then waking up the next day and probably not even remembering what they said, but having the feeling like they bonded and maybe feeling understood... basically, I'm picturing the Winchesters as "I love you, man!" drunks, and it is glorious.

Baxter: "What the hell!"
Dean: "Oh man, turn it off turn it off!"

- I love how Jensen plays this scene - Dean's suddenly such a teenager.

Anyone who watches anime knows the word "Shojo"..especially if you're a Naruto fan. It just means "monster" though, it's not a particular kind of monster.

"Garth! Where's Baxter?"
Garth: "Dude's a lot heavier than he looks, by the way."

- I love the idea that Garth carried Baxter all the way to the motel. It's still more believable than Becky dragging an unconscious Sam all the way out to a cabin, though!

You know, Jared is using that "this scene is funny" tic so often this season, he's starting to innoculate me to it.

Sam: "What's he talking about?"
Garth: "I'm concerned that Bobby might be haunting you. I brought it up to Dean and he shot me down."

- I think the other thing I like about Garth is the fact that he's not afraid of the Winchesters. He doesn't tiptoe around their possible issues - well, not anymore than you normally would when talking about a recently deceased loved one, anyway.

Sam: "I've already tried contacting Bobby. When that beer disappeared, I pulled out a talking board."
Dean: "Without me?"

- I love how Dean's first question is "without me?" rather than asking how it went (though, how it went should be apparent.)

Sam: "I figured why drag you in, when it was something I could put to bed myself."
Dean: "And?"
Sam: "And if he was there I would have told you."

- I know that first line is Sam's answer for when Garth is around - but I think it's part of his reasoning too. Sam and Dean were both morning, and Sam didn't want to give Dean hope for any length of time only to have it pulled away from him again. I think I've already established earlier in this rewatch post that giving and removing hope is really the ultimate torture, and Sam knows it.

Garth: "You want to tell me what you're hiding?"
Baxter: "I'm not hiding anything-"
Garth: "Tell me this, when was the least time you gave an employee three chances..."

- You know, maybe they should get Garth to work on the Leviathan issue. Because he's ACTUALLY SMART.

Garth: "Dean! Baxter has a secret-love child! The Shojo might come for him first."
Dean: "Whoa, slow down!"
Garth: "I'm trying to save lives here!"

- Hahaha... that is all.

Dude: "Whoa whoa what the hell!"
Garth: "COME WITH ME IF YOU WANT TO LIVE!"

- I also love this.

Dean: "Hey, are you good to drive?"
Sam: "Uh..."
Dean: "Well, get a ride, it's at the brewery."

- I do like how despite everything, the Winchesters don't drink and drive responsibly.

Oh, Jared was in Yale town.

This is some way to find out who your father is... Loki had it worse though, just to cross fandoms for a moment.

Dude: "You can see it? You're-"
Sam: "I'm skunked."

- I love drunk Sam

Dean: "Where is it?!"
Sam: "Swing right!"
*Dean swings*
Sam: "My right."

- Haha, bless. Sam is me.

I love how the sword still has the price tag on it.

Dean: "This moved. Bobby? Are you here? Come on, do something."
- For all Dean entertained the possibility before - I think this is the first time he truly though that it was possible, or hoped (possibly against hope) that it was.

Garth: "Are you sure you guys don't want to hang out? Grab some brunch, maybe some brews?"
Dean: "Tempting, but we better roll."

- See, Garth is so not afraid of the Winchesters that he wants to have brunch with them! He's adorable.

Garth *hugs Dean*: "Call me anytime"
Dean: "Yeah"
Garth: "And Sam?"
Sam: "Yeah"
Garth: "Come here :)"
Sam: "Uh, yeah, thanks Garth."

- HUGS! See, Garth is also openly affectionate...he's really a complete counter-point to the Winchesters. Meanwhile, Sam's thinking "but no one came back from the dead, why are we hugging?"

Sam: "You're right. He has grown on me."
- Awww...

Sam: "Alright, so, uh, let's talk about it."
Dean: "About what? Oh, the uh, talking board? It's fine, I get it, I guess."

- I love how Sam's like, "okay monster is dead, there are no witnesses standing around right now...time to talk about our feelings!"
- I also love how Dean's like "I GUESS I forgive you for doing something without me, co-dependent brother of mine."

Sam: "Dean, I know something happened, I just want you to be straight with me!"
Dean: "The blade was across the room and then it was in my hand...."

- I also love how as soon as Sam pokes at it, Dean's dam bursts and information flies everywhere... out of the two of them, Dean's usually the absolute worst at keeping secrets.

Sam: "You know what I think, Dean. I think regular people, they see ones they lost everywhere too."
Dean: "Yeah, friggin' ghosts!"
Sam: "Or they just miss them a lot..."

- Oh Sam, while usually I advocate rationality, I think you are taking it too far...

Sam: "...when that beer went poof, I went a little nuts."
Dean: "Yeah, why didn't you tell me?"
Sam: "Like I said, little nuts at the time."

- See, THIS would have been good to see. What does Sam mean "a little nuts"? Does he not believe that Bobby is a ghost because Sam's mind had been creating more Bobby-ghost evidence than there actually is? Had SAM been seeing Bobby even when Dean (and therefore Bobby) wasn't not around? Is Sam explaining away the weird things, because he's had to explain away hallucinations or Lucifer's opinions for months and months? Wouldn't it have been cool to have a storyline where Sam DID see Bobby, but sometimes Bobby was Lucifer and sometimes he wasn't - and we actually never knew if Bobby was a ghost or not, because we only ever saw him from Sam's POV and Sam was crazy?

Sam: "The shojo slammed a door from across the room. Maybe it was trying to grab the sword too."
Dean: "Right, right. I mean, if it was Bobby, he would let us know. I mean, who knows more about being a ghost than Bobby. Instant Swayze, right?"
Sam: "Exactly."

- And here the boys are actually overestimating Bobby. It took them an afternoon to learn how to be ghosts in 4x15, but they had a tutor - Bobby doesn't have a tutor.

Dean: "Okay, okay, so you're theory is that we're practically regular people about something once. Alright, well, want to grab some brunch and some brews?"
- And here we see what Garth is to the Winchesters - he's a REGULAR PERSON. When Dean says they're regular people, he immediately mimics something "regular" to prove it - and who he mimics is Garth. Garth is a hunter, yet, to Sam and Dean, he's also a "regular person"... Sam and Dean aren't socially isolated because they're hunters, they're socially isolated because their life experiences have caused them to feel so alienated by society that they're even alienated from their closest alienated group!

Bobby!

Dean: "There you are!"
- I will say that the smile Bobby gives Dean when he thinks he sees him is kind of heartbreaking - and it's very much a paternal smile.

Bobby: "I'm right here, you idjit! Balls!"
- And thus the Ghost!Bobby storyline begins...and I'm quite mixed feelings about it.

Aww, I was counting beds and I saw the cot, and I thought two people would have had to share the king! But, there was also a couch with pillows...so, they all slept separate. :P

So, as far as this episode goes - I enjoy it. In terms of my "what they should have done" rant though, which seems to be a theme of my S7 rewatch, sadly...well, I'd have to say that I'm not sure having a funny, seemingly inconsequential, episode after the important previous episode strikes the right balance - because there's no emotional follow-through (I may as well be watching Merlin!). The pressure to battle the leviathans was increased with Frank's death - the Winchesters SHOULD have been taking up the research end of things now that they didn't have the excuse of relying on Frank. Of course, that would have gotten put on the back-burning when Sam was institutionalized...but now that Sam's out, they SHOULD have been focusing on that again - rather than having an episode about repaying the favour to Garth.

So, maybe the problem is that this season is one episode too long. (Ironic, given that it actually IS one episode longer than usual.) Or maybe they just should have had the boys focusing on a Leviathans, and Garth calls them with a suspected Leviathan thing that turns out to be a shojo. Just, SOMETHING, it needed a slightly more heavier weight to be following Born-Again, I think.

DELETED SCENE

The 911 call - I kind of wish they had left this one in episode.
Garth: Yeah, Jo's pizza on main street?
...
Garth: You guys smell like my mom's trailer



Dean: We need to get this thing to someone who speaks this language.
Sam: Asian. Er, Ha! No, not Asian, Japanese
Dean: Japanese, right. We're going to need some coffee stat.





And there we go! Next up is Of Grave Importance. Unfortunately, I'm super tired tonight, and the new episode is tomorrow...so I probably won't be getting it done until Thursday or Friday...which doesn't bode well for my goal of finishing the rewatch before November! I guess I know what I'm doing on the weekend :P

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Comments

( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
borgmama1of5
Oct. 24th, 2012 03:55 am (UTC)
I've said it before, I was dreading Garth's character being used as a buffoon, and totally won over by his unassuming smarts. Which is why I had to write his backstory :)
hells_half_acre
Oct. 24th, 2012 03:57 am (UTC)
Indeed! I wasn't joking when I said they should recruit him to help them work out what the Leviathans are up to. He can put facts together so well! :)
missyjack
Oct. 24th, 2012 04:17 am (UTC)
I do love Garth, and they could've played him as you say as the "deluded dweeb" type chacrter, but what they do is make him the well-adjusted, happy versions of the Winchesters. It's a mbit emta in a way I think - breaking the bubble of SamandDean angst they and we are encapsulated in most of the time. And it works becasue he's not mocking them, but is an example of a different way of living. Maybe Garth was Sam's inspiration for trying a normal life!
hells_half_acre
Oct. 24th, 2012 04:21 am (UTC)
Exactly! I like the fact that they made him a competent hunter. It plays with your expectations, because they always set everything up as though it looks like he's going to be the buffoon, but then he's just...good at his job!
missyjack
Oct. 24th, 2012 04:28 am (UTC)
Yes! he's good at his job, and has worked out how to have a nice life. love the touch about the hot tub ebcasue you can bet dean would like that, but its like the boys can't let themselves enjoy life. I mean if you're ripping off credit cards, whats a few mroe $ for a nicer room?
hells_half_acre
Oct. 24th, 2012 04:36 am (UTC)
Dean enjoys his luxuries too - magic fingers! But yeah, I think somewhere along the way the Winchesters have forgotten that they're allowed to enjoy life. :P
missyjack
Oct. 24th, 2012 04:54 am (UTC)
i think the term "guilty pleasures" was made for Winchesters!
nanloo
Oct. 24th, 2012 06:34 pm (UTC)
Bela was not a hunter.

I believe in first impressions and Garth's first impression was in 'Weekend at Bobby's'
"Bobby: Willis, FBI. ... No, Garth, not me the FBI. The real FBI! How are you still alive?" LOL

Why do you keep bringing up the Leviathan problem? LOL

This to me, was the opposite of 'Slash Fiction', which was a great episode but ended with stupidness. 'Party on Garth', was a not so great episode, I liked the scenes with the restaurant worker, with a great ending.

But then season 7 traded in the stupidness that was Amy with the stupidness of Bobby's ghost.



hells_half_acre
Oct. 24th, 2012 06:38 pm (UTC)
Bela was not a hunter.

Yes, I know, that's why I had put hunter in quotation marks. I was using an extremely loose definition of the word.

But then season 7 traded in the stupidness that was Amy with the stupidness of Bobby's ghost.

Yeah, and I think both things could have been good ideas, but were executed poorly.
nanloo
Oct. 24th, 2012 06:51 pm (UTC)
Yep, the Amy thing just dragged on too long. Dean should have just told Sam what he did and that would have been that.
Bobby could have been a good ghost (like Casper), but then he became vengeful, possessed the poor maid and just soiled the goodness that was Bobby Singer.
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )