Hell's Half Acre (hells_half_acre) wrote,
Hell's Half Acre

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Quick Reaction: 8x21 The Great Escapist

Man, Edlund always brings the goods, doesn't he?

Just like last week, I was able to watch the show on the east-coast feed and PVR it... which means that I can actually watch it back when I type this. (And timeline as I go.) I'm also going to be eating dinner though, so most likely by the time I finish, it'll be just like I watched it on the west-coast feed like normal.

I should warn you that I'm also exhausted and most likely going to drink while I eat dinner - so...yeah... I'll probably be channeling some of our more run-down intrepid heroes....Therefore, you will actually get song lyrics this week, because I was singing this song anyway...

So the teaser! Man, I was confused for a second... though, what does annoy me is the fact that the windows were blown out and then suddenly they weren't - and I was sure that meant that Crowley was all in Kevin's head and he had just gone crazy. But no, Crowley had actually taken him, so it was just a weird continuity error.

But back to being confused... Kevin wakes up on Garth's boat and gets back to work...and the Winchesters stop by, and I kept waiting for some caption to pop up and say "a month ago" or something, but it never did. And then the Winchesters started acting just a LITTLE bit OTT and I realized that it was all a clever ploy somehow to get Kevin to reveal his secrets to friends rather than go for the straight-up torture.

You have to hand it to Jared and Jensen, they do a really good job playing Sam and Dean just SLIGHTLY wrong... especially Jared, who's whole stance and face seems off the whole time.

And Crowley sees it too -
"...that's the way DEAN speaks. Sam, he's... more basic, more sincere."
How much do I love the fact that Ben Edlund wrote this script? A hell of a lot... this episode is yet another feast of meta, more subtle than the French Mistake, but just as rich. And I love the fact that Ben is basically giving us fanfiction writing tips through Crowley.

Also, where the heck is Crowley that he can do this? Hell? It's cool that they got to reuse those Egyptian pillars, but do they have something to do with Crowley's dream-machine?! I'm SO CURIOUS.

"I was born to direct"

Title card and cut to the Winchesters...

Dean made Sam soup... Awwww.... and he asks if they need to do the whole "airplane thing with the spoon", and it's ADORABLE. But mostly I love the backstory it gives us - the fact that John would make them "kitchen sink stew" with "enough cayenne pepper to burn your lips off." The cayenne pepper thing reminds me of MY dad. Actually, right now I'm eating pasta with a whole bunch of cayenne pepper added to the sauce, because that's how I was raised to expect pasta to taste (like burning.)

Dean just wants to look after Sam, and Sam won't let him... frustrating for both of them. Poor Dean though, I feel bad for him, he must be going out of his mind with worry. Sam hasn't eaten for THREE DAYS. I forget what it is, but I think you can survive three days without water and three weeks without food... or something like that... mind you, I don't remember the source on that.

Email from Kevin with a video attachment... the "in case of death" video. But before we get to that, can I talk about the frustrating fact that they've gotten REALLY good at hiding dates from me. The email account just says "yesterday" and "today" for the time received... and Dean's phone is carefully framed so that I can't see a date or time on it. You evil bastards. That being said, it's a DIFFERENT Mythology Weekly email sitting in Sam's inbox (and it is Sam's inbox, as we see when Dean opens the email)...not only is it a different Mythology Weekly email from last week, but the subject is "This Month we focus on Inca mythology" - this MONTH...which to me means that it's most likely the start of a new month and the next four Mythology Weekly emails should all be Inca themed. :P

Anyway, poor Kevin thinks he's dead... and man, he REALLY gets into it. It's not the calm cool collected video of someone who is only making this "just in case", he really reacts to being dead.

"I'm sorry. I know it was my job, but I couldn't- I'm sorry."
-Way to break my heart Kevin Tran... and Dean's too. I really love Dean's reaction.

Garth is still missing... I'm wondering if something happened to him.

"We should have moved him here."
-Yeah, I was kind of wondering why you didn't.

CAS! Cas is eating at a Biggersons... does he REALLY think that's a good idea? Hahaha... he's acquired a taste for coffee. And, in keeping with our theme this latter part of the season, he seems lonely to me. Like, he's talking to the waitress and it's just seems like he wants to have a friend and it breaks my heart... even though he seems like a crazy person, because he's talking about watching humans learn how to make coffee back in the day.

And then a civilian actually sees him disappear! Haha, that doesn't happen very often... but the angels are after Cas.

Cut to Naomi.

ION! Oh man, I loved the name as soon as I heard it. I should have known it was too good to be true. He's a cutie too. Sigh.

But Cas is being brilliant, he's using the sameness of Biggerson to confuse the angels. It's kind of hilarious - and very Edlund.

Back to the Winchesters. Sam recognizes Metatrons signature... and Sam saw it at Stanford. In an humanities course - an OVERVIEW OF NATIVE AMERICAN ART. Guys, this is the second time in the series that Sam's talked about taking art courses... he took Art HIstory too, remember? I'm really starting to wonder if that easel in Sam and Jess' apartment actually belonged to Sam after all. I mean, yeah, we know he can't draw a police suspect sketch in a notebook, but maybe realism just isn't his forte. The paintings in his and Jess' apartment were more abstract. GUYS I'M KIND OF FREAKING OUT!

Sam is freaking out too! THEY MUST GO TO COLORADO!

"You're not- you're not really supposed to say Indians, it's not- we should go!"
-HAHAHA, I LOVE YOU, SAM! I love that you are basic and sincere and you are trying your best to be sensitive in your language.

Back to Cas. The angels have slaughtered the Santa Fe Biggersons... and Cas' compassion is what gets him trapped in the end. Poor Cas. He loves too much... or rather, he loves the right amount, and everyone else loves too little.

Off to Colorado... where you have a hotel that makes me wonder whether the building actually exists, or if it's all CGI. It kind of creeps me out, because it looks like a Residential School to me, and, yeah, Residential Schools creep me out. The sign looks like a knock off of the hotel up in Squamish though, next to The Chief (which is the name of a mountain.) I'm pretty sure the interior is the same place in Stanley Park that they used for the Supernatural Convention back in S5 though.

I love how the concierge never talks. There's a metaphor in there somewhere. I also love how freaked out he looks that there's actually people who want to stay at the hotel. And Sam starts hearing things....

Back to Cas! Naomi's arrived now, and she kills the woman that Cas was going to try to heal.

"We were supposed to be their shepherd's not their murders"
"Not always, angel."
-You know, I'm starting to think that it's not the religious wars on earth, but the religious wars in Heaven that we have to worry about.
-Also, Naomi calls Cas "angel"...which either is an indication that she herself is not one, or that she's trying to remind him of his place. I'm thinking the later, since all signs point to Naomi being a legit angel.

Anyway, Naomi brings up the whole slaughter of the firstborns in Egypt thing. There's nothing like a good sequence of plagues to get your point across, after all. Cas says that he wasn't there, and Naomi tells him that he was but that he doesn't remember it. And we find out that this isn't the first time that Naomi has "torn into" Cas' head and "washed it clean."

Naomi goes on a huge rant about how Castiel has always been the "spanner in the works" and that he's never done what he's told, "not completely"... and "you don't even die right, do you?"
- I think a lot of fans might get a little cheesed off at this, because it diminishes the whole "Cas rebelled for Dean" dynamic that a lot of fans love. But frankly, I LOVE this addition to Cas' backstory. The fact that he may have been made different. I kind of wonder if maybe Castiel is god's little experiment with angels and free will. Free will gets brought up later in this episode too. But I think what I love most about it is the fact that Naomi implies that the only reason they haven't killed Castiel is because he never stays dead! Cas' resurrections, which he sees as a punishment, might actually be a symptom of a larger issue with Cas... and I'm thinking that the resurrections might be more a punishment for the rest of the angels rather than Cas. I mean, the spanner might not enjoy being in the works, but I guarantee whoever wants that machine to work is even more pissed off about the situation, especially if the spanner keeps on throwing himself in there every time the machinist takes it out. :P

Back to Kevin! As soon as Kevin sent them for Pad Thai, I knew that he was on to the fact that they were fake.

I also love Crowley's kiss-ass film crew.

Back to Sam and Dean! You know, it's really creepy when you're the only guests in a HUGE motel. Didn't they like...film a movie about that once... I think it was called The Shining. :P

Sam is busy being delirious, yet delirious with an AMAZING memory. Apparently the guys HAVE been to the Grand Canyon, only they were around 4 and 8 respectively. They rode donkeys! I DEMAND ADORABLE WEECHESTERS ON DONKEYS FANART!! Dean's dockey was farty - Sam found that hilarious as a 4 year-old, and he finds it hilarious now. Dean must have blocked it out of his memory for a reason - it's never nice when your little brother laughs at your farty donkey.

"I'm going to follow the hotel manager, Dr. Scowly-Scowl. He's like a villain from Scooby Doo."
-Oh feverish delirious Sam, I kind of love you.

Dean goes to a museum, and Sam wanders the halls.

Sam's reaction to the lights is very similar to mine... but I don't have a fever to blame, I just really don't like bright lights.

Sam finds lots of books! And then goes back to the room and passes out...thankfully, he manages to dial, Dean first.

Back to Cas! Naomi's trying to get the angel tablet, and then Crowley shows up with an ANGEL GUN. And yeah, melting down an angel sword to make bullets? Kind of ingenious.

But before we get to that explanation, we jump back to Sam and Dean! SAM IS IN AN ICEBATH! It's like a whole bunch of fanfics come to life! He had a fever of 107 (I'm pretty sure that means your brain is boiling or something)...and Dean shoved him in an icebath until he came to! Oddly, UNDER THE WATER. I'm not sure that's safe first-aid, Dean...uh, just saying.

Anyway, Sam is connected to metatron somehow - the books are the stories, and it's off to find him! Just as soon as we get back from....

Jumping to Cas and Crowley (and Naomi) again. Crowley brags about his gun - and man, yeah, smart. But Naomi disappears before Crowley shoots her. And we find out that Ion is a double agent... sad. I liked him. He was cute... but yeah, double-agents don't live long. Also, Crowley shoots Cas in the stomach! Not good! Especially since it obviously damages his grace.

And here we find out the problem with your enemy knowing you TOO well. Crowley knows exactly where Cas put the tablet. The tablet breaks the spell Naomi had over Cas, so why would Cas stop touching the tablet? And...,yeah... Cas sliced himself open and put the tablet in his body cavity. And Crowley just rips it out... so gross.

Back to Sam and Dean...and Sam is still remembering their childhood... only this time, instead of a farty donkey, it's HEARTBREAK.

Dean used to read to Sam, so long ago that Dean doesn't even remember doing it. Classic Comic Illustrated - and the story of King Arthur and the Round Table. And Sam remembers looking at the picture of Sir Galahad, with light streaming all around him, and...

"I remember thinking, 'I could never go on a quest like that'...."
-and I love Dean's reaction here, because it's incongruous to what those stories are supposed to be for kids and he knows it. Kids are supposed to picture themselves in the hero - they're supposed to believe that they too could be that awesome.
"...because I'm not clean."
- And that there is the sound of my heart breaking... right along with Sam and Dean's... because the thought of little Sam somehow KNOWING that he was tainted, that he had an evil inside of him - even though it was forced inside of him against his will - oh man, that breaks my heart.

And it kills me how hard it still is for Sam to talk about the fact that he's not 100% human, that there's a part of him that's been tainted. GODDAMN IT JARED! YOUR ACTING IS BREAKING MY HEART!

"It doesn't matter anymore, because these trials - they're purifying me!"
- Sam has the same headcanon as I do!!! I really really hope he turns out to be right. Once we found out about the demon blood in S2, I started thinking that that's why Sam grew up to be so goddamn big and strong... bigger and stronger than Dean... because the YED basically said it was better than mother's milk or multivitamins or whatever it was. Sam had the least amount of psychic power out of all the special kids, but (save for Jake Talley) he had the most amount of physical stature and strength.

Book room!! And Metatron cocks a gun... I love how Dean puts out his hand to keep Sam behind him. I love all the subtle character things like that - they're always my favourite.

Sam can't hear a bloody thing because of the weird stuff going on in his head.

And yeah, Edlund knows how to write the best conversations, because Metatron doesn't know who the Winchesters are, and asks if they're working for Michael or Lucifer... obviously, he hasn't gotten to the Supernatural books in his reading list yet. "We're the friggin' Winchesters!"

Back to Cas and Ion! Seriously though, Ion is a cutie.

"We're not machines for them to program and reprogram - that wasn't what this was meant to be."
- And we return to free will, and the fact that Cas seems to be the only angel that can achieve it. And  Ion has a point too, without free will, nothing matters. I'd argue though, that Ion exercised free will by being a double-agent for Crowley... and that's a mistake that Cas has made too in the past, though to a lesser degree of intent.

Back to Crowley and Kevin... I love how the angel tablet is still coated in Cas' insides. Lovely.

I also love how Kevin knew it wasn't Sam and Dean because they were TOO POLITE and NICE! Hahaha, oh demons, you overcompensated. :P

Metatron didn't know that Raphael and Gabriel were dead. :( I guess he wasn't close with them though, seeing as how he's afraid of all the archangels.

Metatron is a secretary who knows state secrets.  I LOVE how Supernatural twists myths. This is AWESOME.

Metatron ran, much like Gabriel, and much like Gabriel, Sam and Dean are NOT IMPRESSED. I think the moral of Supernatural is that you aren't allowed to lay low and save yourself if you can help others. As someone who is very good at laying low and saving myself, I'm not sure I'm entirely comfortable with that moral. :P

Back to Ion and Cas. Ion explains that when you work for "intelligence", you can see all the dirt that the angels are covered in - Cas had the beautiful lie of being humanity's shepherd, and I'm guessing that whenever he saw something that stripped that lie away, he rebelled and then was "reset" to once again believe the lie. Ion didn't have the luxury of a lie. He knew what he was doing, but I guess wasn't strong enough to rebel - or at least, not rebel the RIGHT way. I think Ion is pretty suicidal at this point, really.

And Cas kills him... bullet pushed into the eye... ouch, yet strangely effective. I'm guessing eyes are a weak spot for angels.

Back to Metatron! He loves storytelling! It's a manifestation of free will. "When you create stories, you become gods of tiny intricate dimensions unto themselves. So many worlds!" - and MAN, I love this, because it's true... Chuck said it first, "I am a cruel and capricious god." And I think anyone who writes feels like the god of their own fictional universe...hell, if we go post-modern, then we can apply the same thing to non-fiction as well.

Sam has had ENOUGH though! He doesn't care about how awesome the act of storytelling is - he cares about the fact that people are suffering while Metatron READS. And Dean's pissed off because he realizes that Kevin is Metatron's prophet, but Metatron isn't looking out for him... and you know, I never really made that connection - the fact that Kevin was Metatron's prophet, since Metatron IS the word of God.

Back to Kevin and Crowley... I love badass Kevin with nothing to lose. He's brilliant! Even if he's only all talk because he's waiting for death.... but instead when Crowley attacks, Kevin goes ANGEL on him... seriously, I was really thinking that Kevin had at some point become possessed, but no, Metatron just arrives to protect his prophet from inside his prophet, I guess. :P

Dean and Metatron have a talk. The way Metatron reacts to the idea of closing hell makes me think that maybe closing hell ISN'T a good thing. "What will it take to do this, and what will the world be like after it's done?"

Kevin wakes up and the sneaky bugger has the second half of the demon tablet and knows the third trial now. "To Cure a Demon." - uh... what?

And Kevin meets Metatron, though we don't actually see the part where Metatron introduces himself - but regardless, I now want Kevin and Metatron to be BFFs.

Time for Winchesters to drive in the dark! Dean is just as confused as I am about the third trial. Sam is feeling better now that they know what the third trial is. Which is good, because he's gotta be well enough to do it, whatever it is.

And then SURPRISE CAS! Who is still bleeding out through his stomach, and lying in the middle of the road... well, that's one way to get the Winchester's attention.

Man, what an episode. So MUCH to digest - my favourite bits were Sam's memories from when the were kids, one was such a light-hearted fluffy story and the other one RIPPED MY HEART OUT. I also LOVE the deepening of Castiel's character story. Edlund remains my favourite writer on this show - I don't see that changing anytime soon. He's got such a mind for character, dialogue, and philosophical debate wrapped in plot... so brilliant.

Next week's promo is pretty indecipherable to me! I don't know what the heck is going on,[spoilers]besides the fact that it looks like Sam's going to try to cure Abbadon?! MAYBE AIM LOWER, SAM!

I hope you all enjoyed the episode as much as I did! Let us now discuss it in comments!!
Tags: quick reaction, season 8

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  • The 15th and Final Season

    I don't know how to embed media on here - but I just happened to check twitter right as Jared posted the video announcement.... The 15th Season is…

  • If Clothes Could Talk: Now Updated for S12

    Season 12 clothing is now listed and accounted for! Some of you may have noticed that I was working on it, because I forgot to turn off the RSS feed…

  • Heads-up: Thursday's SPN Quick Reaction

    Hey folks! I'm going to Emerald City Comic-Con again this year, so I'll be down in Seattle living in a hotel come Thursday. As such, my being able…