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Rewatch S8: 8x08 Hunteri Heroici

Finally we get to the episode where I rant about Sam's storyline - this is your warning.
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Teaser Death - I've been to that bench! They actually painted it, I think? To make it look like wood. It's actually stone, because of the rain in Vancouver, a lot of things that are made of wood elsewhere are made of stone in Vancouver...otherwise they rot at alarming rates.

Dean: "What's going on in Tranland?"
- I think it's adorable that Dean calls it "Tranland"

Sam: "Well, Garth finally got them to his houseboat, but Kevin's having a really hard time reading his half of the tablet. So far just bits and pieces, nothing about boarding up hell."
Dean: "Garth has a safehouseBOAT?"
Sam: "Dude, I don't even ask questions anymore."
- I also like how Sam's learned just to not question Garth, because no matter how ridiculous they seem, his methods work.

Dean: "What's the word, Cas?"
Cas: "It's a shortened version of my name."
Dean: "Yes it is. I meant..."
- I'm with the school of thought that just believes that Cas has an extremely deadpan sense of humour, and does in fact know exactly what Dean means.

Dean: "Why'd you flip the switch?"
Cas: "Because it's a direct link to Heaven, and I don't want anything to do with that place, not anymore."
Dean: "So, what's next? Move to Vermont, open up a charming B&B?"
- I forget what/if this is a reference (to), but I still like it.

Cas: "No, I still want - I still need to help people, so I'm going to become a hunter!"
- Cas is still looking for penance, and I find it interesting that he corrects "want" to "need" - I think he wants to perform penance because he hasn't forgiven himself, but he doesn't necessarily NEED to... what he needs to do is forgive himself, but he's not capable of that without feeling like he's paid some sort of high price to achieve it. Ultimately, it's this inability to forgive himself without a grand gesture that gets him into even more trouble... much like Sam, really. Cas and Sam have a lot in common.

Cas: "Yeah, I could be your third wheel."
Dean: "You know that's not a good thing right?"
Cas: "Sure it is! A third wheel provides extra grip, greater stability!... "
- Speaking as someone whose healthiest relationship ever was technically a threesome, I have to agree with Cas on this one.

Cas: "...I even found a case [explains case]. Sounds like our kind of thing, right?"
Dean: "Right."
Cas: "Excellent" *knocks twice on the impala* "I'll see you there."
- I love how Cas is imitating Dean and Sam at various points throughout this episode. The "our kind of thing" right down to knocking twice on the impala before leaving and/or to punctuate his sentence.

Sam: "Any idea what happened, detective?"
Detective: "A lot of people are thinking drugs, Agent Nash, an assload of drugs."
- I love this detective. I think they had a little bit more fun this year writing their one-off cops. I also like the fact that she's a woman.

Dean: "Strike one, Sherlock"
-I just put that line in as a place holder - but really what I want to talk about is how this is the antithesis of Sherlock. Because Cas is going with all the minute details, but misses the human angle. What I love about it though is Cas' almost desperate attempts to get Dean's approval, and his failure to do so. Dean is always very very hard on amateur hunters, especially if he cares about them. Even though Cas is a high-powered angel, Dean isn't going to forget that Hunting is a tricky and dangerous business for those who don't know what they're doing.

Sam: "Sounds witchy."
Dean: "Yes it does. Guy was living a lie and it came back to bite him in the ticker - but nice job on that bladder infection"
*Sam goes into flashback*
- Okay, so here's where I start ranting. They completely missed a golden opportunity for Sam's storyline to ACTUALLY MAKE SENCE FOR HIS F*CKIN' CHARACTER. And when I first watched this episode, I seriously thought they were going to do something brilliant and it was a huge disappointment when they didn't. Because...

Sam goes into a flashback when Dean mentions "living a lie" and then having it come back to bite the guy. LIVING A LIE. Now, of course, the show equates this to Sam lying to himself that he was capable of having a normal life (I'm assuming), but what they should have done was have Sam's normal life be as much of a fantasy as Fred's cartoons. As in, Amelia shouldn't have existed at all. The OOCness would have made far more sense if Sam had actualy cracked and gone slightly insane.

I know, I know, how would you explain him suddenly becoming sane again? Well, it's Supernatural, Sam could just REIN IT IN! You don't need to explain it in terms of Schizophrenia or medically treated psychological illnesses - you could just explain it as a temporary setback that Sam had to work through... and it would have made sense. Now, of course, that wouldn't explain the very real Amelia and the shadowy figure in 8x01, but maybe it would - or maybe they shouldn't have had those anyway, because in the end, Don watching Sam drive away from the house in the middle of the night is creepy as hell and doesn't make any sense if we're meant to actually believe that Amelia is better off with him.

Anyway, let's talk about the actual flashback...

Sam: "Deep breath, it's going to be okay."
Amelia: "I know, it's just - this house, you, he's going to think we're moving too fast. Are we moving to fast?"
Sam: "We're making up for lost time."
- No, you are moving to fast.

Amelia: "...and whatever you do, don't use the words moist or irregardless."
Sam: "There goes my opener."
- I love that Sam actually has a sense of humour. He doesn't sass nearly as much as he used to, I don't think.
- I have an aunt who uses "irregardless" all the time. It drives me bonkers.

Amelia: "Sam found it [the house]. I've been so busy lately, he's had to move us in by himself pretty much."
- Again, this would be a perfect line if Amelia were imaginary. Sam could actually have found and bought a house ON HIS OWN, and the reasoning for why his hallucinated girl isn't around more often is because she works a lot.

Amelia's Father: "Aims said you went to Stanford?"
Sam: "Yeah"
Amelia's Father: "Good school. What do you do now?"
Sam: "I work at a motel in town."
Amelia's Father: "Ah, balancing the books?"
Sam: "No, maintenance, mostly."
Amelia's Father: "Well, that makes sense, because I gotta say, Sam - you look like a real fixer upper to me."
- Well, at least Sam's honest. But, dude, does this guy know about the current economy? I'm pretty sure a lot of Stanford grads would be happy with a maintenance job at this point. :P
- But, on a more serious note - we have a disapproving father-figure. I'll talk more about this later, but he could have easily also been part of Sam's imagination. Sam's own father was a disapproving father-figure.
- Also, rude much? Seriously, I would have socked this guy so hard. You don't walk into my house and disrespect me, I don't care if I'm sleeping with your daughter. "Obviously the parts of me your daughter likes don't need fixing..."

END FLASHBACK

Cas: "Let me handle this. I've done research. I can crack her."
*proceeds to do Columbo impression*
- I LOVE HIS COLUMBO IMPRESSION.

Cas: "What? I was being bad cop."
Dean: "You were being bad everything."
- Again, it's an interesting mirror in this episode - because Cas is trying to get Dean's approval in the present, while Sam is trying to get Amelia's father's approval in the past.

Dean: "Friggin' Surburbs, man."
Cas: "So she's not a witch."
Dean: "She's the best wife ever!"
Cas: "Then what killed her husband?"
Dean: "Who gives a-"
- Love the cut-away beep. Also, I love how Dean is suddenly saying "friggin' suburbs" like it's a good thing. Usually he hates the suburbs.
And then the dude jumps off the building downtown. When they're talking to the detective on the top of the building, in the first shot of her, you can see the Wall Centre in the background where the Supernatural convention takes place every year. Behind Sam's shoulder, on his single shot, you can see the stadium...which has a new roof that has these crazy crane type things bulit into it. It's quite insane looking. When they first built it, my sister's comment was "I feel like we should be worshipping it as our new god."
And for all Cas' missing of television he had never seen cartoons before.

Cas: "I understand. The bird represents God. The coyote is man, endlessly chasing the divine yet never able to catch him. It's- It's hilarious."
- I also like how Cas write meta for Coyote and Roadrunner. Again, he mirrors Dean earlier when he describes it as "hilarious." Though, I have to say that it's kind of heartbreaking in a way, because Cas spent all of S5 chasing the divine and was never able to catch him - so Cas is just as much man as man is.

Dean: "Cas, are you going to book a room or what?"
Cas: "No, I'll stay here."
Deam: "Oh okay, yeah, we'll have a slumber party, braid Sam's hair-*Sam smiles* Where are you going to sleep?"
- I love how Sam smiles at the hair joke... part of me wonders if he actually does want to have a sleep over and get his hair braided. :P Seriously though, Sam has this smile he does that's pure "I love my ridiculous brother" and I love seeing it whenever it appears.

Cas: "I don't sleep."
Dean: "Okay, well I need my four hours, so-"
Cas: "I'll watch over you."
Dean: "That's not going to happen."
- I love how this is sort of a clash of cultures more than Cas being unaware that humans find it creepy to be watched while they sleep. Cas is offering it like a gift - to be on guard while Dean's vulnerable.

But to the bank first!

Dean: "Hey, can you lift this?"
*Cas gives so much attitude as he does*
- Seriously, I love how Cas is like "don't ask stupid questions" only communicated purely through annoyed-face.

Dean: "X marks the spot. Whoever is doing this is playing by cartoon rules."
Cas: "Animation doesn't have rules."
Dean: "Sure it does. In Toon Town a pretty girl could make your heart leap out of your chest. Anvils fall from the sky, and if you draw a door or a black hole on the wall, you can stroll right through it."
- What I like about this is that Dean is essentially saying that there are ALWAYS rules - even in a world that has fantastical things in it that seem to defy the rules, those things have rules. I'm probably not explaining this well, but I've always found the rules of physics/science very comforting... it's why I hated things like Alice in Wonderland as a child, because it was too unpredictable and chaotic. The thought that ANYTHING could happen scared the hell out of me.

Cas: "Your father had beautiful handwriting."
Dean: "How are you feeling, Cas?"
Cas: "I'm fine."
- This is really first time that Cas has ever just "hung out." He's just sitting there, reading John's journal because he has nothing else to do while Dean searches around on the computer trying to figure out what's going on. It might seem like a weird transition - but I think when Cas makes his comment, Dean realizes that Cas is just... hanging out... he's not flitting off anywhere or even offering too. The only other times Cas hung out was when he was technically "crazy" and back in S5, when he was slowly becoming human, so hanging out isn't normal behaviour for him. Dean's not used to spending prolonged amounts of time with Cas while on earth unless there's something wrong with Cas. I think this says a lot about their friendship, really.

Dean: "It's just, I know that when I got puked out of purgatory, it took me a few weeks to find my sealegs."
Cas: "I'm fine."
Dean: "Don't get me wrong, I'm happy your back. I'm freakin' thrilled. It's just this whole mysterious resurrection thing - It always has one mother of a downside."
- I like the way Cas looks over at Dean and is slightly annoyed. It might be about the line of questioning, that he doesn't actually want to talk about - but I think it's also because one of those times that Dean is talking about, it was actually CAS that did the mysterious resurrecting. :P
- Also, I like how Dean is referencing the fact that he knew he was suffering from PTSD when he got back from Purgatory. He seems to have calmed down a lot in the past few episodes - really, since the the Garth episode, but especially since Cas has returned.

Cas: "So, what do you want me to do?"
Dean: "Maybe take a trip upstairs."
Cas: "To heaven?"
Dean: "Yeah, poke around, maybe see if the God squad can't tell us how you got out."
Cas: "No."
Dean: "Look man, I hate those flying ass-monkeys just as much as you do, but-"
Cas: "DEAN. I SAID NO."
Dean: "Talk to me."
- I think sometimes Dean forgets that Cas is one of "those flying ass-monkeys" too, and that Cas actually LOVES his siblings, even though they're all homicidal megalomaniacs.
- I also can't help but think of how much the relationship between Dean and Cas has changed since Cas was introduced. When Cas first arrived, Dean was terrified of him. I mean, he kept it under wraps, because this is Dean - but watch 4x01 and 4x02 and tell me that Dean isn't afraid. Especially contrast this episode with 4x02. Dean just made Cas angry at him, he just made him shout... but Cas is so far removed from the all-powerful being that threatened to throw Dean back into hell - now when he gets angry, it's about CAS being terrified, and Dean recognizes this and walks over to him and sits down and asks him to talk about why he's so upset. It's kind of insane. I mean, I know we've had 3 seasons between then and now to progress the characters, and that Cas' character changes at a rate higher than most characters on TV, because every single year he goes through another drastic life-change, but still.
- It's also interesting that Dean has recognized that he needs to get Cas to talk to him or bad things happen - it's been the theme of their relationship up until now. Cas holds secrets from Dean that Dean doesn't ask about, or doesn't allow Cas to talk about, or other people don't allow Cas to talk about, and then eventually these secrets come back to bite them all in the ass. I think the revelations in S6 really taught Dean that he needed to coax Cas into confiding in him more - to make sure Cas always came to him first. In S7, of course, it was hard for Dean to put this into practice because Cas was crazy - and then in purgatory, Dean went back to his old habit of not really letting Cas speak, assuming he knew what the problem was and reacting to that, rather than taking the time to figure out what was really going on. So, yeah, I think this is Dean attempting to do thing right this time and be patient and actually listen. (Why he can't do this with his brother, I don't know!)

Cas: "Dean, I... when I was...bad. I had all those things, the leviathans, writhing inside of me. I caused a lot of suffering on earth, but I devastated heaven. I vaporized thousands of my own kind. And I- I can't go back."
Dean: "Because if you do the angels will kill you?"
Cas: "Because if I see what Heaven's become, what I- What I made of it, I'm afraid I might kill myself."
Sam: "Hey, got something."
Cas: "Good. Excellent. What?"
- What I find interesting about this is that it didn't even occur to me that Sam and Dean have absolutely no idea what Cas did in heaven way back in 7x01. Well, they might have some idea - I think when Hester showed up, she yelled at him for it. I think Sam was in the room when that happened... but they don't really know the scale of it. So, Dean's assumption that Cas might have angels after him is a fair one, since he's mainly just hearing about what Cas did now.
- It's gotta be pretty terrifying for Dean to learn that his bestfriend might be suicidal and then not be able to talk about it because Sam comes back in the room. I love the look that Cas shoots Dean as soon as Sam comes back in.
- We also return to the fact that Cas is his own judge, jury, and executioner, pretty much all the time. Cas, I think, has the strongest moral code out of all the angels - and it's Cas who is insistent that he needs to do penance for his crimes. It's Cas who believes that maybe he deserves to die for his crimes. Back in S7, he called his resurrections punishments, because I think Cas does feel like he deserves to be dead, and the fact that he's not been allowed to die (the last few times anyway) is actually a punishment to him. It's probably why he had hoped to stay in Purgatory - he'd be "living", but not a life where he felt any joy, because Cas doesn't think he deserves happiness or any of the good things in life anymore.

Dean: "Alright. Let's gear up! It's wabbit season."
Cas: "I don't think you pronounced that correctly."
- So, we know that for all the cartoons Castiel just caught up on, Elmer Fudd was not among them.

Mrs. Tate: "Well, there's the cat."
Dean: "Cat?"
Mrs. Tate: "He talks sometimes - really hates that mouse."
Cas: "I'll interrogate the cat."
- I just like this part, and the fact that at this point, Cas is probably just looking for jobs that keep him out of Dean's way. :P

Dude: "Creepy right. A lot of these people, they just tune out and live in their own heads. It's like maybe the real world was just to much for them, and they just run and hide, you know?"
*SAM HAS FLASHBACK*
- Again, this would have been the perfect segway if Sam's Amelia storyline hadn't actually been real.
- But, in either case, it IS a statement about Sam's state of mind after Dean disappeared. The real world was too much for him (nervous/psychotic breakdown) and he ran (drove aimlessly) and hid (in a life that wasn't and had never been his.) And the fact that Sam's flashback is triggered by these words means that Sam is well aware of it - but again, he never actually tells Dean this. So, Dean is still with the rest of us thinking "why in the f*ck would Sam not look for me?" - That being said, it would have actually been OOC for Sam to talk about it - because Sam doesn't usually talk about whats wrong with him, and men in general don't usually talk about their problems - especially if they are mental-problems. Which is why, I think, it would have been a much better reveal if Dean or Cas or someone somehow discovered that Amelia and all that stuff was imaginary on some level. I can understand from the writing point of view that they already did the "Sam is crazy" storyline last season, and they didn't do it very well then either...but STILL, I'd have much preferred a second attempt at that storyline then the one we got.

Amelia: "Dad was in the army, so we moved around a lot when I was a kid. Having spaghetti and hotdogs the first night in a new house was kind of a tradition."
- Again, how is it that Sam finds a girl who is not only freshly grieving someone whose name starts with a "D", but also had a military-father and a childhood that involved moving all the time? Sam has basically met himself in female form, which is why Amelia would make a really good complete hallucination.

Sam: "My father was in the marines."
Amelia's father: "Jarhead, huh?"
Sam: "That's right. 2nd battalion, 1st marines, echo company."
Amelia's father: "Always thought they were a little puffed up, myself."
- Oh no you didn't.
- Couple of things I like: the fact that you can see Sam swallow down his rage at having his father criticized. For all Sam and Dean have had issues with their dad, they do not allow other people to criticize him. Secondly, I love how Sam recites his father's affliation all proud like. I just happened to listen to the pilot the other day, and I can't help but think of Dean's line "Same old ex-marine crap..." when John left them coordinates. I like how they can complain about their father's ex-marine crap, but deep down they're proud about it.

Amelia's father: "Aims tells me you never served."
Sam: "No."
Amelia's father: "See, I find that hard to believe, because I gotta say, Sam, you got the look."
Sam: "The look?"
Amelia's father: "The one a lot of guys get after they've been through the meatgrinder. The one that lets you know they've seen a lot of crap they can't forget. The second their feet hit solid ground they start running and they don't stop - not until they got something to hold onto."
Sam: "You think that's what I'm doing here? Just holding on?"
Amelia's father: "I think the two of you are holding on to each other, yeah, because I know she's scared after what happened to Don. I don't blame her for taking off, needing to run away and hide. I know why she did it. The question is, what are you running from, Sam?"
- So, for all Amelia's father is a jackass, he IS actually right about this.
- It's funny that Sam takes offense at the one remark that is true... which really just tells us right there that he finally hit a nerve. Sam must know that he's running - probably because he's got a chant going on in the back of his head reminding him that his brother is dead and Sam isn't doing anything about it.
- This is also the first GOOD reason that Amelia's father's given us for his distrust of Sam. If he can indeed tell that Sam has a similar haunted look to him as a war veteran, but he knows that Sam hasn't been in any official war - then he's gotta wonder about unofficial wars, and the only normal unofficial wars in the US are crime-related ones.

END FLASHBACK

Sam: "Dean, um, do you remember a guy named Fred Jones, I think he was a contact of Dad's, lived outside of Salt Lake?"
Dean: "Yeah, guy gave me my first beer, I don't even think I was double-digits."
Sam: "Right, me too! He was psychic, right?"
Dean: "Psycho-kinetic. Why?"
Sam: "He's in room 114."
- Another little tidbit about Dean and Sam's childhood. Hopefully he didn't give the boys their first beers on the same visit, because if Dean wasn't yet in double-digits, then Sam would have been five. So, we'll go with the assumption that they visited him more than once. ;)

Dean: "Cas, let's go."
Cas: "I've almost cracked him. Hey, I'm not through with you."
Cat: "Dumbass"
- Haha.

Sam: "Fred's got juice. I mean an average psycho-kinetic can move things with his mind, but a guy like Fred, you get him worked up enough, he can reshape reality."
- Again, this could have been the PERFECT MIRROR for Sam's Amelia storyline to not actually exist. Do you remember who else on this show used to be psychic? How about that time he was psycho-kinetic and moved a dresser with his mind? That's right - SAM. I know, I know, the powers went away with yellow-eyes and then the demon-blood...but I never liked the fact that they just dropped them like that. The other special kids could do AMAZING things without being on demon-blood. I'm of the firm belief that Sam's powers didn't go away, he just suppressed them because he was taught his whole life that being supernaturally-different was a crime punishable by death. But seriously, "a guy like [Sam], you get him worked up enough [like by killing his brother and sending him off the deep end due to recent mental-stress], he can reshape reality."

Then we get the cake exploding, and then...

Sam: "Fred's gone."
Dean [to Cas]: "Oh fan-friggin-tastic, way to take your eye off the ball-"
- Again, Cas can't do anything right. Poor Cas.
Mrs. Tate: "Charlies, she's wearing my diamonds."

Cas: "Wait! This is Mrs. Tate's bracelet. Where did you get it?"
- I just love how Cas actually listens to Mrs. Tate - and I like the addition of the little look the actress put in that let's us know how pleased she is by this. A lot of times people ignore things that dementia patients say, so I like the fact that Cas didn't.
Cas heals dude.

Dude: "How did you?"
Dean: "Guy eats his wheaties."
- I have to say, I like the fact that they had a realistic gut-shot on the show. Being shot in the stomach is a slow painful way to die... so it was good that the guy was still just lying there slowly dying. All too often on shows they have people die instantly from gunshots, and it makes guns seem like a much cleaner weapon then they are.

Dude: "...he said that Fred was a loose end, and that he was gonna kill him. And I like Fred, so I said that if he hurt the guy, I'd go to the cops and I didn't know that he had a gun."
- I also like the fact that the doctor's accomplise here actually DOES have some good qualities and he's not just a 2 dimensional villain. He steals, yes, but he also cares about the patients and doesn't want them to get hurt. He might have loose morals, but he still has morals.

Cas: "Do you think Mr. Jones knows what's happening?"
Dean: "I don't know, it seems to me the dude's living in a dreamworld."
*Sam pauses and has flashback*
- Again, perfect segway for Sam's flashbacks to ACTUALLY BE A DREAMWORLD.

Amelia's Father: "It won't last. You are living in a dreamworld."
Amelia: "I like it here. I like this house. I like Sam."
Amelia's Father: "Sam is a mess."
Amelia: "I'm a mess, but when I'm with Sam, I'm happy Dad, and I haven't been happy in a very long time. So please, let us be messes together, give us a chance."
- Again, it'd be nice if they SHOWED us WHY. WHY does Amelia like Sam? In what way is Sam a mess? How does this mess manifest itself? How is Amelia a mess? Why does Sam like her? Have we even seen Amelia be happy ONCE? Nope. She's happy for the two seconds after she makes fun of Sam for being a creepy guy, and that's about it. It's hardly enough to build a relationship off of - "I like making fun of this emotionally broken dude that I found in my kitchen one day" - oh yeah, I can feel the love.

Amelia's Father: "So is that your car outside? The Impala?"
Sam: "Yeah, it was my dad's."
Amelia's Father: "Guy had good taste, for a jarhead."
*Sam rubs his palm*
- Again! I love Jared for putting in the palm-rubbing, because that's a new idiosyncy for Sam for when he DOESN'T BELIEVE THINGS ARE REAL. Ugh...why did this storyline have to be real?

End Flashback

Dean finds hole in the wall at the bank... I love this effect. Apparently it was done practically, which I think is really cool.

Cas: "Do you feel that, Sam? The power?"
- Again, I'm a huge fan of powers!Sam, and the fact that Cas asks Sam this as if Sam SHOULD be able to feel the power delights me.

Sam: "Cas, uh, where are we?"
Cas: "Inside Mr. Jones' mind. You said you wanted to talk to him."
- I like the way Sam asks Cas where they are, it's the tone of voice of, "Cas, I love you buddy, but what the hell did you just do to me?"

Fred: "Who the hell are you?"
Sam: "Fred, Fred, it's me. I'm Sam. Sam Winchester."
Fred: "John's boy? The Scrawny one? It's only been three-four years since I've seen you-"
Sam: "More like twenty."
- That's gotta be a mindtrip for Fred. Also, I'm guessing that Fred probably last saw Sam when he was around the age of the last time we saw Colin Ford on this show - back in the Amy storyline (and again, what is it with girls named Amy and Amelia? There are more girl names out there guys...why didn't you go with Tracy or something?)

Fred: "You want to know what's the worst thing that can happen to a guy who's got a mind like I got? Losing it."
- Again, PERFECT MIRROR FOR IF SAM HAD ACTUALLY LOST HIS MIND. Ughhhhhhhhhhhhh wasted potential annoys me so much.

The villian gives us his monologue about how he's stealing from the children, not the seniors, punishing them for dropping their parents off and then only visiting twice a year "maybe."
Dean: "I don't care!"
- I'm with you, Dean. Plus, there's the fact that really, the boys are hear to stop Fred being exploited and bystanders from being killed, they don't actually care why it's happening.

Fred: "Cartoons when I was a kid, they always made me feel happy - safe."
Sam: "Something to hold on to."
- Again, cartoons made Fred feel safe as a child. Do you know what made Sam feel safe as a child? THE IDEA OF A NORMAL LIFE! Seriously, without Dean, I bet Sam felt very unsafe, and Sam always equated "normal life" with safety... it would make sense for Sam to create a normal life for himself when he feels unprotected (ie: without Dean), now the show had him do it practically and in reality, which works too, I guess - but I still think it's a symptom of a psychotic break.

Dean's cartoon fight is hilarious.

Sam: "Look, it can be nice living in a dreamworld, it can be great. I know that. And you can hide and you can pretend all the crap out there doesn't exist, but you can't do it forever, because eventually whatever it is you're running from - it'll find you. It'll come along and it'll punch you in the gut. And then- then you gotta wake up, because if you don't, then trying to keep that dream alive will destroy you. It'll destroy everything."
- Okay, even disregarding my desire to have Sam's Amelia-world be completely fictional, let's break this down. Sam's saying that eventually whatever you're running from will come back and punch you in the gut. What was that for Sam? Dean's return? That doesn't sound like a nice thing to say about your brother, Sam. It doesn't sound like Sam AT ALL, because we all know that Sam would do anything and give up anything as long as it means having Dean in his life. But having it be Dean doesn't make sense, because Sam had already left his "dream world" by the time Dean came back, so what's the punch to the gut that he's talking about here? Don's return? That was what Amelia was running from sure, but even she wasn't running from Don, she was running from her GRIEF for Don, so him being alive, while making things confusing for her and Sam, was actually a good thing for her. Seriously, even though it seems like their marriage sucked, I bet she still loved him and didn't want him to be dead. So, yeah, as lovely as this speech is by Sam, it doesn't actually mirror his storyline very well at all.
- But maybe Sam is talking about how when he did face up to the responsibilities that he had been avoiding (Kevin), he felt like shit for avoiding them. Still, it's not a very strong link, in my opinion, and it would have been way better if the next flashback we got was one where Sam's hallucination of a perfect life actually crumbled around him and he realized that he was bonkers.
- Of course, the speech is mostly about Cas listening in - and realizing that he can't avoid heaven forever and that he can't keep running from his mistakes and hiding with Dean and Sam. It's very touching to think that Cas considers Dean and Sam his "dreamworld" - and he's mentioned it before, back in S6, I believe, when he told them that much of the time, he'd rather be with them.

Dean: "Looks like someone turned off the boobtube."
Doctor Badguy: "Good. It means I can use this."
Fred: 'No! You are not going to hurt anyone again."
- Fred forcing the doctor to turn the gun on himself is pretty goddamn brutal - and I couldn't help but think back to Max Millar and how upset Sam was when Max committed suicide using telekinesis...and here they're just like, "well, that took care of him." Ah, how much things change in 10 years. :P

Sam: "Fred. You good."
Fred: "Now, I'm good. In a month, year? Nobody gets sharper with age. I'm going to lose control again and somebody's going to get hurt again. You gotta make it stop."
Cas: "There might be a way. The procedure will be painful and when it's over, I don't know how much of you will be left?"
Fred: "Well, what are you waiting for?"
- In one way it's kind of brutal, the fact that Fred is basically asking them to kill him so that he can't be used as a weapon - but on the other hand, with Cas' solution it's more six of one half-dozen of the other. Fred can either be senile and hurt people, or he can be senile and just senile. Either way, he's not really going to be himself anymore.

"Is he okay?"
Cas: "He's listening to Ode to Joy. He's happy."
- I love Ode to Joy. Back when I was 9, I could sing the first three verses in German.

Dean: "Cas, you get to ride shot-gun, you done good."
Cas: "Thanks, but I can't come- I uh-"
Naomi: "Hello Castiel, and no."
- Poor Cas. I love that transition though.

Naomi: "Bottom line, unless I ring my bell, you stay out of heaven, Castiel."
Cas: "Then what should I do?"
Naomi: "What do you want to do?"
- For all Naomi is manipulative, torturing, and slightly evil - I do think it's interesting that she asks Castiel what he WANTS to do here. She's taken away his free will, but also seems to want him to exercise it. I think it's about control. Castiel has proven himself to be a loose canon, and a dangerous one at that, so Naomi figures if she can control that - harness Castiel's free will to her own benefit somehow - then she'd fix everything.

Sam: "You what, Cas? Why can't you come with us?"
Cas: "I uh, I want to stay with Mr. Jones..."
Dean: "And then what are you going to do?"
Cas: "I'm not sure, but I know I can't run anymore"
*Sam goes into flashback*
- And this is the flashback where Sam should have realized he was running and then just watched as his hallucinated life deteriorated around him...but no...

Instead it's a unfunny embarrassing child story that they over-act laughing at and Amelia gets a call...

*Amelia's father opens the beer for Sam with the edge of his switchblade*
Sam: "My uh, my brother used to do that."
Amelia's Father: "Yeah? He a good guy?"
Sam: "Yeah, he was. The best. I uh, I lost him...and I ran."
Amelia's Father: "I'm sorry to hear about that."
- Again, Army father with Dean's mannerisms, SO coulda been a construct of Sam's mind. Instead, it's just Sam being honest about why he ran and admitting that Amelia's father was right about him.

Sam: "Amelia? Baby? You okay?"
Amelia: "It's Don. He's alive."
- So overdramatized. Also, sucks to be Sam.

CUT SCENE
Getting out of the car, going to a crime scene - Dean checking out a hole on the wall. Yeah, totally unneeded.

COMMENTARY
Writer Andrew Dabb and Producer Todd Aronauer (post-production)

Talk about the detailed decisions - sound of heart, how much of heart you should see, etc.

Origin of episode - cycle of writer-order. Serious mythology episode of 7, and 9 was going to be mid-season cliffhanger, so decided 8 should be something fun... also needed something that Castiel wouldn't be too powerful for. It needed to be something that Castiel would even have trouble wrapping his head around.

Talks about how they'd wanted to do cartoons somehow on the show for a while, but animation is too hard to work in with the production timeline.

Production had to start researching for this episode much earlier than usual trying to license the right footage, and talk to VFX about what they could do.

Jensen adlibbed the line "nice job on the bladder infection"

The reason Sam didn't open the wedding album was because they hadn't cast Don yet, so couldn't have any pictures of him.

Andrew Dabb talked about how it was hard with Jared's height to make the father intimidating, since Sam is still a foot and a half taller than him.

Oh hey, Amelia's father was in S1, Phantom Traveler... I didn't even recognize him, but now that they mention it, I do. Andrew talks about the difficulty of having such a long running show in Vancouver is that they run through certain types of actors that are available and have to re-use them. (I'm going to be cynical and say it's because they're casting too many white people - I'm sure there MUST be a fair number of asian actors in this city... you'd think, anyway, maybe I'm wrong.) Andrew says that at the end of the day, they want to cast the best actor, and if that means re-using someone, then it means re-using someone.

Andrew thinks the Colombo impression went over everyone's heads, because Columbo was last on the air forty years ago and that he should have had a line from Sam and Dean telling us that Cas was doing Columbo.
- I think he's wrong and that there was no need to dumb it down. If people don't get it, who cares? I have a pet-peeve about writers dumbing down their writing too much and treating the audience like idiots.

Jensen also improvised the line "Who gives a *beep*"
- The fact this is improvised and they loved it so much they kept it in and figured out they could beep out the swear word by doing the cut-to the suicide guy like that is just - brilliant. I mean, I'm not sure other actors can effect that much change with one improved line. Maybe I'm wrong though.

Dabb also explains that the suicide was tricky - that they thought about not having it be a suicide, but in the end just went with it.

Dabb: "Another thing about having Cas in the episode is that he can be as aware of the world as you want him to be at any given time."
- See, this attitude actually annoys me too, because I really wish they'd write Cas a little more consistently. After so many years, he can't still be THIS clueless about everything. Don't even get me started on S9 and how they seem to have completely forgotten that Cas lived for 3-6 months as a guy named Emmanuel who HAD A WIFE.

Dabb shares Castiel's opinion about what Coyote and Roadrunner are really about.

Dabb loves the annoyed look when Cas was asked to lift the anvil.

Todd talks about how the sound design really makes a big difference - to make heavy things sound heavy. Also talks about which cartoons to base the sound-effects on, because they're all different and some sounds are owned by specific studios. They had to avoid things that sounded like a specific cartoon or character.

Dabb talks about how Castiel's storyline is actually referencing what happened at the end of S6, and he thinks it's cool that they can build storylines over years... that this is something Castiel has been carrying with him for 3 years. (*cough*2.5*cough*)

Exposition scenes are the hardest to write - how to list a bunch of facts and still make it entertaining.

First episode Dabb ever wrote was Yellow Fever - which had a scene in nursing home and "was the first time we ever saw Dean's uncomfortableness around the elderly - um, so, again, continuity on this show - we never have any slip-ups in terms of continuity or facts- it's not true, we mess up all the time. But, it's 178 episodes, I mean come on!" (I can't help but be mean here and point out that if they didn't treat certain things so casually, like having Cas "be aware or as unaware as you want at any given time", then there'd be way less continuity slip-ups.)

Dabb tells us that Vancouver is the capital for talking-animal movies, so everyone knows how to make a talking-animal.
The spaghetti and hotdog dinner - both Dabb and Todd talk about how the hotgods were sliced down the middle rather than diced, and blame it on Canada. I'm going to go ahead and assume that production did it to make it look even more weird, because I would have diced them too.

Dabb also mentions that it's kind of crazy that Amelia can overhear her father laying into Sam and never does anything about it.

Dabb talks about how everyone on Supernatural is a giant mess and Sam and Dean are really tortured heroes. That Garth is the most functional character on the show "and he's also the dumbest". (I take offence on Garth's behalf to that.)

Dabb talks about how Castiel's power levels are hard to write and that the writers dig their own graves, case in point - Dabb giving Cas the ability to sense psychics. "There was probably a different way to do that." (Yeah, like the fact that Cas can easily track down any human he wants - he should have been able to zap them to Fred immediately from the nursing home - just while we're on the subject of continuity and Cas being so powerful that he's hard to write.)

Debate over what to do with Fred, because he's the victim not the villain. Singer came up with the idea of taking the power away from him at a high price.

Todd talks about sound design for jumps between present and heaven, and past, and such. (I have a feeling that Todd is heavily involved in post-production sound design).

Dabb thinks every episode should end with Ode to Joy, because it makes things feel better.


Just two more episodes and we'll finally be done with the Amelia storyline and I will be much less complainy, I promise. :P

Tags:

Comments

( 21 comments — Leave a comment )
borgmama1of5
Nov. 1st, 2013 11:04 pm (UTC)
I was convinced that Amelia was all in Sam's mind or she was part of a demon or angel plot to keep Sam Winchester out of hunting.

I vote we just pretend it was all an hallucination and ignore the parts that contradict that, just like the writers ignore canon that gets in the way of what they want to write...

(Sorry, just a wee bit snarky about Amelia...)
hells_half_acre
Nov. 1st, 2013 11:09 pm (UTC)
I second the motion.

(I am also a wee bit snarky about Amelia - I don't know if you've noticed. :P)
jennytork
Nov. 1st, 2013 11:29 pm (UTC)
I'm with you. I think if Sam actually HAD been hallucinating Amelia it would have made MUCH more sense.

Down to her name -- the whole thing with Amy was still ringing through Sam's head, so to name the perfect woman Amelia would have made perfect sense.

Me, personally? I'm of the opinion that they intended to make her imaginary and then someone had the bright idea to make her real. I think they should have gone with the imaginary -- it would have made more sense and been much more fun.

JMHO, your opinion may vary.
hells_half_acre
Nov. 1st, 2013 11:58 pm (UTC)
I'm of half a mind to agree with you. The other half of my mind is so cynical, I just believe they got it wrong from the very start. :P

In my mind, she will always be imaginary. Dean never actually saw her, after all. The only person who she, or anyone associated with her ever interact with is Sam.

She might even be an actual vet that he took a dog too - hence why he was able to look up her up on internet. But maybe the whole thing with him keeping the dog and having a second meeting with her was imaginary. I don't know, I just wish something about this storyline made sense.
ashkiryn
Nov. 2nd, 2013 12:25 am (UTC)
"Ughhhhhhhhhhhhh wasted potential annoys me so much." See, this is why season 6 annoys me so much. :P But anyway, I hate it in cases like this episode, when it seems like they're REALLY BUILDING IT UP, you know, to be something epic, what with all the talk of dreamworlds and psychic powers and Sam having a huge revelation or whatever, and then we get....nothing. That's what really blows.

Also, I'm still bitter and peeved about Daphne. Like, can we at least remember that she existed? Hello? Anyone? *sighs* At least in regards to 9x3, though, I never expected better from Buckner and Ross-Leming anyway. :/

And yeah, I agree that they really bungled the Amelia arc. And then, what ends up annoying me even more is that they don't have the decency or respect for her character at all, and just sort of let her peter out and write her off as fast as possible, just so they don't have to deal with her anymore, like they did with Anna, for example. Also, I'm really annoyed that we've never been given a satisfying explanation about Creepy Shadow Stalker Dude in episode 1. Grrrr. Anyway, if they had to give Sam a love interest in season 8, I'm still of the opinion that it should have been Risa. :P THAT would have been a cool bit of continuity.
hells_half_acre
Nov. 2nd, 2013 07:02 am (UTC)
Yeah, if this is how S6 felt to you, then I completely understand why you hate it more than S7. Though, S7 still takes the cake for me.

And I'm with you on Daphne. I mean, really. If they were just going to forget about her, why not make her someone else? Some random member of a church group that Cas was staying with or something.

Man, Risa would have been awesome as a love interest - mind you, if they had treated Risa like this, I would have been even more pissed, so maybe it's just as well that it was someone we'd never met before (and will never meet again.)
ashkiryn
Nov. 2nd, 2013 07:17 am (UTC)
Hahaha, yep. It's mostly the Campbells (Gwennnnnnnn) and Eve that make me twitch, plus the start of Gamble's apparent plans to get rid of the ensemble cast and reduce things to just the brothers, and so it just feels to me that characters were dying just for the sake of dying (see Rufus, for example), and it just...annoyed me. :/ But yeah, season 7 on the whole isn't that great either. ^^

Seriously. I know I've probably said this before, but you don't make a person the fucking WIFE of a major character, and then NEVER MENTION HER AGAIN. And really, a huge amount of my annoyance is just that---that her existence is not acknowledged. Uggggggggghhhhhh, never getting over it. :/

True. But I don't know, I think a part of why they just dropped Amelia is because of the negative fan reaction that she seemed to get right off the bat. I just can't help but think that if it had been Risa, people would have been excited over having an Endverse character, and would have been super-intrigued and would REALLY want to have devoured Sam's storyline, that it would have lessened the automatic backlash Love Interests tend to get, you know?
hells_half_acre
Nov. 2nd, 2013 07:26 am (UTC)
I don't know, I think that it comes down to the writing rather than the character - if they actually showed us some believable and interesting character interaction then I think that the audience would have liked Amelia more, even with her being a new character. And I think if they had substituted in Risa, but kept the same weak writing, Risa would have been just as hated - if not more so because of the wasted potential.

I don't think they got rid of Amelia because of the fans, I think they got rid of her because they realized that they didn't know what the hell they were doing with her in the first place.

But, that's just my opinion, who knows. :P

One thing I DO like about S8, which really kicks in during the latter half of the season and I'm sure I'll end up talking about it, is how good Carver and Co is at rebuilding the universe after Gamble's giant kill spree. I think they've done a really good job getting out of that corner that S6-7 painted them into. I sort of look at the first half of S8 as the stumbling blocks that got them there, where they still make some bad decisions as they feel their way over the mess of wet paint.
fannishliss
Nov. 2nd, 2013 01:09 am (UTC)
I actually like that the Amelia life never felt real to Sam. To me the first half of s8 has always made perfect sense -- Sam met a girl, both of them were grieving, the girl was a little desperate just like Sam, they kind of got along and so they gravitated together. It worked for me... and the ways in which it was uncomfortable and unsatisfying worked for me as well.

Maybe it's because I've seen people close to me blind themselves to the reality of the situation because they want to *be in a relationship* regardless of *with whom*. Sam and Amelia both fit into that category.

For me it makes sense that Sam would kind of latch on to Amelia, especially after he got to know her a little and found her to be someone pretty broken, like himself. She's a functioning alcoholic for one thing (something Sam has had a lifetime of knowing how to deal with) -- he has to fix her sink because she's clogged it with limes -- too out of it to realize that the sink doesn't have a disposal. !!! Living in a motel for months refusing to engage with the real world. Sam feels that he can kind of hope to make a connection with someone like this... and in fact it feels the most unreal to him when it is happiest.

The whole "Don goes away and comes back" scenario is hinky to me. It's kind of like the "who tagged Sgt Bates in Cabo" question. WHO is rigging things like this to lead the Winchesters this way and that. Hm, could it be the so-called Absent God?? We may never know for sure, which is a bit frustrating -- to include deus ex machina without ever revealing whether or not God actually did it.....

I do find it pretty annoying that they never reveal who was lurking in the shadows. Does anyone have any good ideas at all?

supernutjapan
Nov. 2nd, 2013 05:05 am (UTC)
I could totally go with that analysis of Sam and Amelia. It makes total sense.

With regard to the shadowy figure, I think it could be either an angel under Naomi, or a demon under Crowley. One or the other, or both, are keeping tabs on Sam so he doesn't go looking for the Angel tablet - or can trace him if he does.

When Sam leaves and goes to Dean, Naomi pulls Cas out so he can keep tabs on them.

Crowley and Naomi seemed to have some sort of deal with regard to the Winchesters, and I think this might be part of it.

I have some more comments about the epi - but I will include those later. :) Gotta go to work now.

hells_half_acre
Nov. 2nd, 2013 06:54 am (UTC)
Yeah, I don't think Cas got out that early - but yes, the Shadowy figure could easily be explained a different way than I think it was implied (because I think it was implied that it was just Don being creepy).
supernutjapan
Nov. 2nd, 2013 08:33 am (UTC)
Oh, I didn't mean that Cas was spying on Sam, but it could have been one of her minions. When Naomi found out that Dean was out, she got Cas out too to spy on Dean and get a lead on the Angel tablet. It's not that big of a stretch to add Sam to the equation. As you said, it sounds a lot better than a creepy Don... unless Don is a demon. :P
hells_half_acre
Nov. 2nd, 2013 07:00 am (UTC)
Yeah, I guess I'm going to sound like a hypocrite, because I just said above that I don't think writers should dumb things down for their audience - but I think they needed to show us MORE of why Amelia was broken.

I mean, the alcoholism was pretty subtle, you'd really only notice if you realized she was putting limes in her drinks, or if you counted the beer bottles in the scene rather than looking at the actors. I think they needed to commit to it more - maybe she was someone that Sam felt he had to look after a little, who knows, but they should have SHOWN us that.

Instead, it was like they were afraid to commit to it, so we didn't see how her brokenness manifested, or what happiness she enjoyed with Sam, seeing as how we never really saw them happy with each other either - unless they both got some sort of joy out of their horribly depressing pillow talk.

But whatever - I'll stop complaining about this dead horse thing now.

And as far as I know, it was just Don lurking in the shadows - or at least, that's what I felt they wanted us to assume anyway, seeing as how like most of the Amelia storyline it was just never addressed.
missyjack
Nov. 2nd, 2013 02:02 am (UTC)
two quick things - the B&B in Vermont is a ref to the Newhart show (Daryl, Daryl and Daryl!)

Also just interviewed Todd Aronaeur - much fascinating stuff on post-prod - inc some hurdles about this ep not mentioned in the commentary. Hopefully will post next week.
hells_half_acre
Nov. 2nd, 2013 06:55 am (UTC)
Ah! I thought it might be a reference to that (I loved that show), but then I couldn't remember if Newhart was in Vermont or Maine or someplace else.

Cool about your interview with Todd Aronaeur! I look forward to reading it. :)
supernutjapan
Nov. 2nd, 2013 07:54 am (UTC)
I'm between classes and the next one is coming late, so let's see if I can do this before I really need to start on that darn translation job...

Cas: "No, I still want - I still need to help people, so I'm going to become a hunter!"

I have always thought he was just making up an excuse to be with them because Naomi told him to, but I am sure that as you said it was partly about penance.

Regarding what might punch Sam in the gut, I think the reality Sam was running from was - as you said - his responsibilities; the family business.. Sam was feeling very worthless aye, after Dean left, and believed that it didn't have to be him. But when Dean came back, Dean showed disapointment in Sam for not carrying on and he had a vampire friend that Sam thought might replace him. The more I think about it, the fear that Dean would chose a vampire over him may have been the biggest shocker, that would bring him back to his "responsibilities" and stop him from trying to hold on to his dreamworld. As much as he wanted a normal life, he also needed to be most trusted by Dean. He couldn't have Dean trusting a vampire or even an angel over him. It all ties in to the ending.

"- Fred forcing the doctor to turn the gun on himself is pretty goddamn brutal - and I couldn't help but think back to Max Millar and how upset Sam was when Max committed suicide using telekinesis...and here they're just like, "well, that took care of him." Ah, how much things change in 10 years. :P"
(sorry the quote button doesn't work on this computer...)

There is a difference between Max and the doctor so I don't think it is really about Sam and Dean changing. Max has had a terrible childhood, and in a way Sam does not blame him for what he has done. Sam wants to help Max and figure out what the yellow eyed demon wants to do with them. Fred is just a bad man who would have killed them if he had not been stopped. You could argue I guess on the grounds of Sam's rule "we don't kill people," but if you think of how they were going to explain the situation to the police, I guess they had to deal with it themselves.




hells_half_acre
Nov. 2nd, 2013 09:51 am (UTC)
True, technically Max had only ever hurt people who had hurt him in some way (Sam's vision of him killing Dean excluded.) Whereas the Doctor didn't seem to mind the collateral damage, had already killed one security guard, and had tried to kill both his accomplice and Dean - so, very different circumstances.

Still, they did use to try to not kill humans before - like when they got Gordon arrested instead of killing him themselves.

As for Sam's gut-punch, you're probably right. It's probably the fact that by living in a dreamworld, when Sam LEFT the dreamworld, he found that things had gone to shit BECAUSE he had been living in a dreamworld...and that if he had just held it together and looked after things, maybe Dean wouldn't have had to turn to vampire instead of his brother - or maybe Dean would have told him about Benny sooner instead of just being angry at Sam all the time for "leaving him" for the dreamworld.
supernutjapan
Nov. 2nd, 2013 10:56 am (UTC)
Still, they did use to try to not kill humans before - like when they got Gordon arrested instead of killing him themselves.

Exactly - and the only way I can explain that is as I said in the previous post ...

You could argue I guess on the grounds of Sam's rule "we don't kill people," but if you think of how they were going to explain the situation to the police, I guess they had to deal with it themselves.

I like the way you explained that last bit about Sam's gut-punch.
hells_half_acre
Nov. 2nd, 2013 09:12 pm (UTC)
True, Gordon gave them an easy call to the police.
percysowner
Nov. 3rd, 2013 02:49 am (UTC)
Sam goes into a flashback when Dean mentions "living a lie" and then having it come back to bite the guy. LIVING A LIE. Now, of course, the show equates this to Sam lying to himself that he was capable of having a normal life (I'm assuming), but what they should have done was have Sam's normal life be as much of a fantasy as Fred's cartoons. As in, Amelia shouldn't have existed at all. The OOCness would have made far more sense if Sam had actualy cracked and gone slightly insane.

I always wished that Sam got better because he was in the same hospital Martin was in. They treated him, he got better and he left. When he found Dean he knew Dean well enough to know that the way Dean felt about Martin "Crazy Martin from the asylum?" would be how Dean would see him, never to be trusted again because Sam had a breakdown. It would have played nicely into Citizen Fang, where they could have revealed the Martin connection and have Sam say why he would rather Dean think he was a failure than having a breakdown. It would have explained his willingness to help Martin return to hunting, because Sam had managed to do that and stay sane. It would have played into the whole Amelia story. Heck Amelia Richardson could have been his psychiatrist and that would have given him a reason to run to save her when Dean sent the bogus text. I just wish Sam's flashbacks and Amelia had been given some substance.
hells_half_acre
Nov. 3rd, 2013 03:02 am (UTC)
Another great idea! Very good thinking.

I agree - they just needed SOMEWAY of giving those flashbacks more substance.
( 21 comments — Leave a comment )

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