In other news: Jared and Gen have had their second kid! Another boy! I'm eagerly awaiting hearing the name, because that's my favourite part of new baby news.
Anyway, we return to Supernatural S8....
In Nazi occupied Russia... the German is actually not bad! A lot better then you see in a lot of American movies/shows. I miss the German language a lot. I'm kind of embarrassed about how bad my German has gotten, but it's been 11 years since I lived there, and yeah... there's just not much call to use it in Canada.
Anyway, the show! I love this whole opening. It's so well done. This, of course, is an Edlund episode - and you all know how much I adore Edlund. So, yeah, the fact that he comes out the gate swinging is by no means a surprise to me.
We also get our first introduction to the bunker! The entire building's exterior is CGI. It's actually a bridge, which is why the building is seldom in camera besides that first shot. I know some people on the crew wanted them to just keep the bunker as being under a bridge - I think that would have been cool... but, I also think it's really really neat that they designed a whole circa 1920-1930 building. And it IS in keeping with that architecture.
Another reason I love the fact that this episode ties in the Nazis... I actually learned most about 1930s architecture by reading Albert Speer's books. He was Hitler's architect and I think one of the only top Nazi officials who accepted moral responsibility for his crimes, served his jail time, and re-evaluated his whole life, and was SUPER SORRY... though, I do think that he denies knowing exactly what was happening until his trial, so, there's still controversy and what have you. Anyway, I should really track down his books again. When I first found them, I only found them in German, so I spent most of my time just staring at his architectural drawings, because drawings are easy to read in any language.
And of course, the interior work on this set... the art department on this show is just amazing. It's all art-deco style, ie: built 1920s-1930s, understated, which makes me want to put it closer to the 1930s.
Sam: "The alarm call that ended the Men of Letters"
- It's still, I think, a plot hole that there is supposedly only one key, and it was for some reason in Normal, IL, at an initiation - even though there were seemingly people IN THE BUNKER at the time of Abaddon's attack. Had they just been left in there and the door is self-locking? That's a dangerous idea. Or were the Men of Letter's warned of the possible attack and the key was there because the "alarm" was that something was going to go down in Normal, IL, at Henry Winchesters' initiation?
Dean: "Sammy, I think we found a batcave."
- I still think this is perhaps the single most drastic mythology/plot-changing event to occur since S5, and it still astounds me that it happens in the "filler" episodes, rather than on a finale or a premiere. The Winchesters HAVE A BASE that is not a car!! This is not a drill!
To me, this was the last vestige of Kripke's showrunning washed away. Kripke did everything he could not to give the Winchesters a home besides the car - he burnt down the roadhouse, because he didn't like the thought of there being a "home base" - that all being said though, storytelling-wise, he couldn't avoid it, and eventually Bobby's house became a standing set, even though it was originally never meant to be one. The boys just kept going back to Bobby's, and Bobby's house became the place that just suddenly had what they needed - a panic room, a place to fix the car, lamb's blood, books. Gamble not only tried to stick with Kripke's original plan of having them homeless, she went a step further and stripped away the security of Bobby's place as well eventually, trying to take the Winchesters down to the base-bones of the show. S8 is very much about Carver building back up the world using the ideas that he likes, and getting rid of the ones that he doesn't. To me, giving the Winchesters a homebase, is the the boldest move Carver's taken. Gamble, I felt, was trying to do what she wanted with the show, but was also trying very hard not to fly in the face of what Kripke had built, or perhaps give the impression that Kripke wasn't as removed from the show as he was - to me, by introducing the Bunker, Carver was effectively saying, "I don't care what's been done in the past. I'm the showrunner now." (And that isn't to say that Carver doesn't care about Kripke and Gamble's work, just that he doesn't care to have it box him in unnecessarily.)
I wonder if I should make a clothing catalogue entry for Dean's dead-guy robe... I'm thinking yes.
I love the use of this song here, by the way - Get Thee Behind me Satan on the old record player. Love it. I used to listen to records down in the basement in the house I grew up in, and yeah, the Bunker being underground, the record playing just immediately put me back there and made me all nostalgic...and really sets the scene for the place being a place of comfort.
Sam: "I'm still trying to figure out how we even have water - or electricity!"
- I love this handwave. It's MAGIC! Same with how Sam ALREADY HAS THE INTERNET HOOKED UP.
Dean: "Listen little brother, let's not go all geek on this stuff, okay?"
Dean: "Yeah, don't get me wrong, this stuff is awesome, and it looks like they ran a really tight outfit here - but I'm just saying, don't think they knew some big secrets that you don't know."
*Dean plays with sword*
Sam: "Dean! They were a secret society!"
*Dean quickly tries to look like he wasn't playing with the sword.*
- As much as Dean kind of immediately moves in, I don't think he actually does immediately move in. What I'm saying is that he might be enjoying the water pressure and dead-guy robe, but I don't think he's actually entertaining the idea of making the Bunker "home" yet... he's trying to temper Sam's excitement, which is usually a sign of someone saying, "don't get attached." Though, I know what he's also saying here is that the Men of Letters don't deserve Sam's blind faith - that Sam should approach everything skeptically.
- So, yeah, I don't think Dean is necessarily thinking of the place as home, and I think it's partially because he still doesn't trust the Men of Letters. They're basically a "character" that he JUST met, and Dean doesn't trust easily - and he certainly doesn't trust anyone to tell him how to do his job. In Dean's opinion, he and Sam are the best at what they do, and they therefore know best, so, of course, Sam should be prepared for disappointment when the Men of Letters turn out not to know anything that could help them. If that makes any sense.
Dean: "Which means that they made crap up, and wore fezzes and sashes, and... swung around simitars! They probably didn't even sharpen- *Dean cuts finger* That's very sharp."
- I just love Jensen's comedic sensibilities here.
Sam: "Dean, look, I think we may have something here. Something that could help us help humanity. Henry certainly thought so. I mean, you know damn well we could use a break. What if we finally got one? You going to take off the dead guy robe?"
- I find this speech from Sam interesting, because... well, are they really in need of a break? They don't ACTUALLY have anything hanging over their heads at the moment. Okay, well, I guess that might not be true - they think there might be something up with Cas, but besides THAT there's not really anything. They have the POSSIBILITY of closing the gates of Hell, but the attempt to do that hasn't started. So really, all things considered, and Cas' weirdness aside, things are as good as they've been for a REALLY long time.
- Of course, that isn't to say that Sam and Dean don't deserve nice things - and I definitely agree that the Bunker is something that can help them help humanity. They lost a LOT of information when Bobby died, and they lost his brain - which was really the only place his library was catalogued, and the idea that they might have gained that information back and more is definitely a nice one.
- Sam's actually probably just referring to their lives in general actually. Because I just realized that I defined things as "good" because there is nothing actively making their lives bad at the moment... and that's actually a pretty shitty way to define something as "good." Like, "Hey, how's the new boyfriend?" "He's not beating me or anything."... um, good? See what I mean? :P
Yiddish! Grandpa Bass finds the book...
And this burning scene is CRAZY - and very well done. I also love the fact that although the Nazi kills the Jewish guy, it's as much on the Jewish guys terms as it can be.
*TWO WEEKS LATER*
- I love this time jump, because it's like they found the bunker, and it was now that Sam had something to take up his attention, Dean decided to leave him there and just take off - we don't even really know where he went. We know he stopped in and checked on Kevin and Garth, but I highly doubt he would have stayed there for two weeks - he probably just popped in and said hello for five minutes. So, where was he? Hunting? Just having some relaxing personal vacation? I just... find it amusing. Do the boys go on separate vacations often? Is this the first time in a while? (Dean's year in Purgatory notwithstanding). I mean, besides being separated by death, and the one episode separation in S5, this is the first time, I think, that we've seen Dean and Sam willingly spend time apart.
Sam: "So, how's Kevin going?"
Dean: "You know, he's okay, I guess. In his corner, hacking out his Davinci code..."
- I do wonder why it is that they didn't bring Kevin to the bunker... maybe just because they assumed he was safe with Garth - that Garth was checking in on him and making sure he ate and whatnot, and there was no need? I understand it, of course, from a production/writing POV, because they need a reason to not have to write Kevin into bunker scenes - you see the problem crop up a lot in the front end of S9 - because Osric is only a guest actor, and there's no sense paying him for episodes that don't really require his character (and thus preventing him from getting other rolls too.)
Dean: "Anything from Cas?"
Sam: "No, not a peep. You?"
Dean: "No, he's not answering."
- This is the first mention we get that it's not just a matter of Cas noting contacting them, it's also a matter of him not answering Dean's prayers for him either. Which, is kind of a huge deal when it comes to Cas, who basically ALWAYS answers Dean.
Also, I should mention, Dean is wearing the red plaid shirt of angst in this scene! And I mention it at this point, because this is the angstiest part of the scene.
Sam: "Not exactly hunters, not exactly fighting, but ah..."
Dean: "Rabbis. Rabbis? Really?"
- As many of you know, I have a personal headcanon that Dean spent some of his formative years in a Jewish community. Any episodes where Dean intersects with Judaism, I'm really happy. Here, I like the fact that Dean isn't dismissive of the rabbis. I mean, these were the boys who had a parental figure in Hunter/Pastor Jim, so religious men knowing about the Supernatural and being active in that world is nothing new to them.
Sam: "...he spontaneously combusted."
Dean: "So, this is a case."
Dean: "I just got back."
- See, to me, Dean's line here indicates that he just got back FROM A HUNT. Because really, if he had just been off on vacation for two weeks, he'd be all rested and relaxed and probably WANTING a hunt or something interesting to take his attention for a bit.
- That being said, I also see this line for what it is - an indication that the Bunker IS becoming home to Dean, because home is definitely that place that you never feel you get to spend quite enough time in... and it SUCKS when you get home and then have to leave again ten minutes later.
I like Sam's research outfit. I heard from somewhere... one of the wardrobe ladies? I don't know... that Jared picked it out himself. If so, that's adorable.
Girls: "He talked a lot. To us. To himself. To anyone who'd listen. He was always talking about this secret war that nobody knew was going on..."
- I also love this dialogue, because I find it amusing that the Rabbi could just talk about the truth and people would put it down to him being crazy - of course, the problem with that is that his own family did so too, which is just sad. :(
Girl#1: "It's sad isn't it, that old people have to go so crazy."
Girl#2: "I know, it is sad!"
*Aaron waves at Dean*
- I know a LOT of destiel shippers point to this scene as their evidence of Dean's shifting sexuality... and since I'm a fan of bisexual Dean REGARDLESS of Castiel's existence (Again, it's ALWAYS been my headcanon that Dean's actually bisexual, and this was the case even before S4)... I have to actually agree with them. Not so much about Dean's shifting sexuality, but his shifting priorities about sex. Early SPN Dean would have been hitting on these girls, rather than just sitting there annoyed at them. Even post Hell Dean made comments about what girls in a HIGH SCHOOL were "legal" - but here Dean is bored with the girls, finds them annoying, and can't even be bothered to stop his attention from wandering around the bar, where he spots Aaron. Now, I don't necessarily think Dean is interested in Aaron beyond noting his presence and realizing that it's the third time that he's seen him that day and that Aaron might be following him - but I'll get to that...
Aaron: "Uh, so, we... we didn't have a thing back there, did we..."
Dean: "Uh, sorry, we had a what not?"
Aaron: "I thought we had a thing back there at the quad, a little eye-magic moment... I saw you here, and I figured I'd wait until you were done with your meeting and then maybe we could uh-"
Dean: "Uh, okay, but no, no moment. It's a federal investigation."
Aaron: "Is that supposed to make you less interesting? I'm sorry man, I hope I didn't freak you out or anything."
Dean: "No, nah, no, not freaked out. It's just, uh, federal thing. Okay, Citizen, as you were."
Aaron: "You have a goodnight,"
Dean: "You, you have-" *bumps into table* "okay."
- So, firstly, I just have to say that this is HILARIOUS and ADORABLE.
- Secondly, we get into the question of WHY Dean reacts the way he does. We've seen Dean get hit on by dudes before, and he's never gotten so flustered. He's always stayed charming and told them no, and then walked away. Now, granted, at least two of the times I can think of, Dean was the one implying that they were hitting on him - and the only time that wasn't the case was with the vampire, and with The Chief. Now, of course, with The Chief, Dean got a little flustered and a lot disgusted, but I think that was more a kink aversion than a gay aversion. ANYWAY, my point is that this is the first time we actually see Dean get flustered with a guy, and I think it's because he really hadn't expected Aaron to hit on him. And this IS the first time that a male who is a GENUINE human and with seemingly no ill-intent has hit on Dean. Dean's used to being the one doing the flirting, and I think he gets a bit flustered when it's directed at him. Also, as much as Dean's a bisexual in my headcanon, he's not a practicing bisexual - as in, at least since picking Sam up from Stanford, Dean's never entertained the notion of being with a man. So, basically, what I'm saying is that Dean's smooth when he's in situations where he can see sexual-advances coming, like when he finds himself in bars or similar, but not so smooth when he's blind-sided.
- So, back to what I was talking about before - I don't think that Dean's attention wandered from the girls to Aaron because Dean was checking Aaron out as a potentional romantic partner - I think Dean really was just bored, and realized that Aaron might be following him. Hence, why he IS blindsided when Aaron hits on him. As much as it happens in fanfiction, Dean's either bisexual or he's heterosexual, but you just can't undo 30+ years of character and make him suddenly "turn gay"... it's not the way it works. You can meet that special same-sex person, and you can suddenly discover that you aren't as heterosexual as you thought you were...but being in one same-sex relationship doesn't negate 30 years of opposite-sex relationships. So, yeah, Dean wasn't interested in THOSE girls, because Dean is over thirty, briefly had (basically) a wife and a kid... and yeah, even before that, Dean was was never much for women with low-IQs, no matter what he said. I mean, just go back to Tall Tales. It's SAM that puts Dean with a bimbo. In Dean's version, she was a smart beautiful woman working on her post-grad. The girls bore Dean because they're boring, and Dean has lived enough life that he very very rarely bothers with meaningless sex anymore (and even when he did, they tended to still be smart girls.)
- I feel like I just talked my way into and out of my own points and nothing I just said made any sense.
Sam: "Which would explain why I have something stuck to my shoe."
Dean: "You're being followed? That's weird. I thought I was being followed earlier. Turned out to be a gay thing."
Dean: "Nothing. You need a hand?"
Dean flying into frame is kind of hilarious... as is his "oh my spleen!" comments in the background.
Sam: "What the hell is that?"
Aaron: "He's a golem. He's my golem."
- I just love the whole Sam-looking-up-at-monster thing... it's so rare!
Dean: "So, your saying that you and me, we didn't have a moment?"
Aaron: "No, man, I was tailing you."
Dean: "I told you I was being followed. He was my gay thing. It was really good. You really had me there. It was very smooth."
- I think Dean IS a little disappointed that Aaron didn't actually find him dreamy and want to tap that. :P
- Okay, though, in all seriousness, I love the plot-arc that Aaron goes through in this episode. He basically APPEARS as a pretty smooth motherfucker at the jump - he cons Dean, he has a Golem at his command, he walks around in a dashing wool coat... and then we see that facade cumble and break as we learn that Aaron doesn't actually know what the hell he's doing, that he's not the man his grandfather wanted him to be, that he's failing... and then by the end, he's swung back around to maybe not BEING the smooth, in control, guy that he originally appears as, but he's ON THE ROAD to becoming that guy. I just think that's really neat. Plus, man, I love his coat.
Golem: "Who are they to know the men of Juda?"
Dean: "It's okay. We're the GOOD guys."
Sam: "We're Hunters. Sam and Dean Winchester. We know about the Juda Initiative because our grandfather was a Man of Letters."
Golem: "Yes. The rabbis knew the Men of Letters."
- So, what's interesting, I think, with the Golem, is that things get a little better later when the Winchesters start treating him a little more like a person... though, they never fully commit to it, and I would have loved to have seen that. There seems to be a divide here between how sentient they think he is. It's interesting. Dean speaks to him like he's a child. Sam's a little better, but they still don't address any of their questions to him about what's going on, and in my opinion they really should. Now, of course, there IS a reason that Aaron doesn't either, and I'll get to that - and Sam and Dean are probably taking their cues from Aaron. Plus, at this point, they haven't necessarily realized yet that Aarons not as in control as he'd like them to believe.
Aaron: "...all the stories he told me as a kid - I thought it was make believe. So did my parents. You know, fantasies to help him cope with all the horrible stuff he had seen...."
- So, yeah, this is both brilliant and depressing. Also, I love the thing Sam's face does when Aaron says that he thought it was make-believe... I can't tell exactly WHAT Sam's thinking, but I still love the fact that you can tell the notion of thinking it was all make believe affected him. Maybe because he can't fathom not believing it? Maybe because he too, as a kid, thought it was make-believe until he was eight and learned the truth... or maybe because he's realizing that Aaron can't possibly be as in control as Sam thought, if he didn't even know any of it was real until his grandfather's death.
Golem: "This boy knows nothing, observes none of the mitzahs, labours on sabbath, dines on swine."
Aaron: "Everybody loves bacon!"
- So true.
Dean: "What is that a combination?"
Sam: "It's a call number. Library of Congress. Their filing system, they use in college library's - QL6, that's sciences. Birds, I'm guessing. Let's go."
- I love this. I know there was a lot of making fun of Sam for knowing a call number off the top of his head, but he actually just knew it was in the sciences... and well, you spend enough time in libraries, you start to know these things. I can probably tell you whether a book is Canadian history or European history by looking at it's call number in the system that the Canadian universities use. And since Sam already saw the bird book earlier, he just puts it together in his head right there. I just love his face.
- Also, Jared, one of these days you're going to have to learn how to pronounce Library correctly - I know today is not that day, but it's a little TOO adorable for your age to to not pronounce that first R at all. I just, picture, you know, once Supernatural ends, Jared will go back to school or something and he'll become some sort of genius professor that publishes great academic articles, and he'll do talks and there will be a whole room full of experts sitting there smiling and whispering "should we tell him?" "No, no, it's adorable, leave it." Um... ANYWAY... sorry, I just wrote my personal headcanon for Jared's future. I don't actually know what he plans to do with his life. I just know he'll be adorable at it.
Aaron: "Do you two just break in everywhere you want to go?"
Dean: "Our dad wanted us to have a solid career to fall back on, just in case this hunter thing didn't pan out."
-Snicker. Also, though, pretty cool that someone finally SAID something... I've been watching Mark's videos over at Mark Watches Supernatural, and I honestly forgot that it's kind of STRANGE to just break in everywhere you want to go.
Sam: "Help! Ne- Necromancer!"
- If I had a nickel for the number of times...
Dean: "Stay here. Crap."
Aaron *is shot*: "Ah!"
Dean: "Crap! Hey, Big guy! They're both going to die unless we get whoever cast the spell."
- I also love that Dean momentarily has a Golem. ;)
Thule dude: "Long live the Thule."
*Golem snaps his neck*
Dean: "Or not."
- I like that death. But, I also love how the Golem goes and captures him, then DRAGS him to Dean and SHOWS Dean that he has him, before killing him. It's kind of like a cat brining you a dead mouse, but more awesome, because it's like a cat bringing you a dead mouse because you asked it to, and not because it thinks you're a crappy hunter.
Sam: "So, Thule Society Necromancers aside. What's our contingency plan on that thing?"
- I just love this conversation between Dean and Sam, because it's so... just business. Just, the words don't matter, you know? It's the equivalent of them standing in the copy room at work talking about when to order the next batch of toner and whether they should switch to a new supplier company. Only, this is Sam and Dean, so the conversation is about necromancers and having a contingency plan in case a clay man goes crazy.
Aaron: "Oh my god, these guys are psychopaths."
- Love love love. I love outsider perspectives on the Winchesters, and this one is just perfectly captured.
Sam: "It describes the horrible experiments performed on the camps population. Magical experiments."
Golem: "More horrible than words."
Sam: "You were there, weren't you, at the camp."
Golem: "I was made in the ghetto at Libensk (sp?), to tear that hell down. I broke it's walls. It's men. The commandant burnt the place to ash around me."
Sam: "Okay, what does it mean, when you tell Aaron to take charge?"
- See, to me, these are questions they should have asked at the beginning. They should have treated the Golem more like he was a person with a history, rather than some thing that just happened to be there for some unknown reason. I think Sam sort of realizes their error when he realizes that the Golem was in the war - that he had a history before Aaron let him out of the box. Now, as I said before, I think the problem is they were taking their cue from Aaron, and Aaron was treating the Golem like he was something that didn't exist until Aaron opened the box.
Golem: "The boy would know if he could consult the pages."
*Aaron tells story about drifting in high school and smoking the pages*
Aaron: "Okay, alright, look, I'm sorry! Why can't you just tell me what I don't know!"
Golem: "It's not my place to guide the rabbi, to teach the teacher! It's not my place!"
- And here we get the reason why, for all I want them to, they can't really ask the Golem. The Golem isn't just a creature WITH a past, he's a creature FROM the past - he's got social protocols drilled into him that don't apply anymore. It's actually very reminiscent of what Sam and Dean just dealt with when it came to Henry - having this person from the 1950s thrust into their time, and him not understanding what that all meant. The Golem is supposed to receive instruction, not give it. What he hasn't necessarily grasped, or perhaps can't grasp, is the fact that Aaron ISN'T a rabbi, he ISN'T a teacher. Aaron NEEDS THOSE THINGS TOO.
- Also, again, going back to Aaron's arc - yes, this backstory is in part comedic... but we also learn that Aaron is basically a drifter. It's hinted here that he basically lost his way in high school and perhaps just never found it again. Aaron NEEDS a purpose, and I think that's why he ended up at the university, following his "crazy grandfather" with this Golem. He's in over his head, but he's still IN, which to me is the surest sign that this is something that might actually bring Aaron joy... that this could be just what he needs.
Jared is looking fantastic in this episode, and it's really distracting. :P
Sam: "...but if you don't burn the body within twelve hours, it reanimates again."
Dean: "Nazi bastards."
- Hehe, I just think they wanted to say "Nazi bastards" as much as possible in this episode.
Speaking of nazi bastards...You'd think after 60+ years, they'd have learned how to get rid of their accents. Though, they probably spend most of their time in German-speaking areas of the world.
Aaron: "So that's your plan? Taking out my golem?"
Sam: "It's not a plan."
Dean: "We would just feel better if we knew how, that's all."
Aaron: "What makes you think you have any right to make that decision?"
Dean: "Believe me, if we need the right, we will take it."
Aaron: "Look, he may be a pain in the ass, but he's my responsibility."
Sam: "Look, the golem was built to go to war. You're not trained for that. How're you going to take that on?"
Aaron: "I don't know."
- I love this whole conversation - let's break it down:
1) I love the miscommunication, because it kind of is one. Aaron thinks Sam and Dean are overstepping their bounds, talking about taking down his golem - when in reality, it's more than Sam and Dean NEED to know how to kill things. If they don't know, then it doesn't sit right with them - it makes them nervous. Just because they know how to kill something, doesn't mean that they're GOING to. We don't really realize that this is a constant need of theirs, because it's usually very easily met. They meet a human, they know how to kill humans... I'm sure Cas started making them way less Nervous when they figured out how angels died. Doesn't mean that they plan to kill Cas, it's just that they want to know they CAN.
2) Aaron asking Dean what makes him think he has the right for that decision, and Dean's response, are two different conversations. Aaron is telling Dean that Dean might be a Men of Letters, but he is not part of the Juda Initiative and therefore has no authority over the golem. Dean, meanwhile, isn't thinking about protocols and secret societies, he is thinking, "if that thing threatens the safety of me, my brother, or any innocent person, I am going to kill it - and no one can tell me NOT to kill something that is a danger to me."
3) We do get back to talking about the same thing though - because Aaron takes responsibility for the golem's actions, and Sam recognizes that, but also recognizes that Aaron might be biting off more than he can chew. Aaron's a civilian with a volatile super-soldier as a pet.
Eckhart: "Can we - could be put the nazi thing aside for the moment and talk about this like-"
Dean: "Nazi necromancer dicks? Pass."
- Hehehe... I do kind of love how exasperated the nazi-dude is with the whole nazi-thing. If you think about it, the Thule FUNDED the nazi-party, which means they existed beforehand. It's probably pretty annoying for them to be associated with something that was a flash-in-the-pan one-time name comparatively. That being said, they ARE nazi necromancer dicks, so might as well call it like you see it.
- I love how small Aaron is, and how he really is out of his element. I mean, I didn't mention it before, but I love that Dean's first instinct when the nazi's attack is to push Aaron behind him. It's as I said before, for all Aaron made a good entrance - he's no warrior. After the Winchesters successfully get rid of the Thule, I also like Dean asking Aaron if he's okay - and Aaron doesn't posture or act like OF COURSE he'd be okay, he's just like "yes, oh my god, that was intense!"
Sam: "So, what are do you say, Aaron, I mean, we've got a place we could keep him?"
Aaron: "No, Eckhart might be dead, but you heard him - the Thule are still out there, hidden, active. It's my grandfather - he left me something important, something only I can do. Looks like I'm the Juda Initiative now."
- Again, I think Aaron was looking for something to devote his life too. Yes, it might be a crazy purpose, but it gives Aaron drive and something to focus on.
- That being said, it would have been cool if they had deactivated the golem and stored him at the bunker - and then just had a golem on hand when they need it! Haha... but I like the idea of Aaron and his golem out there in the world.
This season is really, as I said before, about building the universe back up after it had been stripped down to it's bare-bones in S7. With these characters that Carver adds - these guest characters who are almost people who could have their own series, who you imagine are getting into adventures as soon as Sam and Dean drive away - it all adds richness to the universe again.
Sam: "I'm making a card entry for our copies of the Thule's red ledger for our collection."
Dean: "So what? Aaron's a JI and you're a Man of Letters now, is that it?"
*brings a drink, and checks out the room again as he does.*
- Now, I talked before about Dean GRADUALLY coming to think of the Men of Letters Bunker as "home" during this episode, and I think this is the final piece that falls into place. Because there's a way that Dean looks at Sam in this scene where you get the impression that Dean is realizing that Sam is HAPPY here. So, even though it'll take Sam longer than Dean to actually think of the Bunker as home, it's actually his comfort level that makes Dean decide to hang-up their homeless ways. Dean, I think, immediately recognizes that this could be a way for Sam to both be happy AND be a hunter, which has always been a struggle for Sam in the past. With the Men of Letters, Sam can be both an academic AND a hunter, he doesn't have to necessarily chose one over the other. But, like I said, I think Sam takes a while to reach the same conclusion - for the time being, in Sam's head, he thinks this Men of Letters thing is really cool and he wants to keep doing what they were doing, and he hasn't really analyzed it more than that... and we'll see that in a couple of episodes where Sam STILL talks about leaving once they close the gates of Hell.
Library guy looking annoyed at Sam while Sam weights for the lady to bring out the manuscript. Sam asks how long he can have the manuscript "out" and the Librarian tells him it's a hand written historical document - and then hands him gloves when he tries to take it and tells him "no love without the gloves." And it's cute and amusing, but yeah, not necessary.
Phil Sgriccia and BEN EDLUND! Yay Edlund!
Phil directed this episode. He fought to get no lights on the opening shot. Phil loves when Edlund does his words.
Edlund: It took us a long time before we got to Nazis on Supernatural.
Lewis Holtz (sp?) is one of SPN's painters, and this is his first job acting. (He plays the radioman in the German camp). He was actually in the German army. Apparently Lewis was so nervous that there are a number of outtakes. I think it's cute that they got German crew to act.
Phil describes the silicon glove hands that the actor playing the Golem used.
They shot the Germans in a real house - so the guns were REALLY noisy. The estate was in the middle of nowhere, so they didn't have to worry about freaking out the neighbours too much.
The golem was also the ghost in the ghostfacers - another Edlund/Sgriccia episode.
They describe the bunker location - the bridge is really noisy to film under. Phil describes what's real about the shot and what's not.
Edlund talks about writing the bunker. "A little like Bobby's - give them a homebase."
Phil talks about having to convince Serge to let them just use flashlights and bounce-cards, so the shot is actually the boys using the flashlights to light themselves.
They praise Jerry Wanek's work on the set.
What's behind the glass (behind the stairs) in the bunker? A labratory (that's the design anyway).
The record is from Phil's library, it's a real 1958 pressing, and he had it shipped. They had a Canadian version of the record, but it had a Canadian flag on it. (Man, maybe we DO put Canada flags on everything?)
The scounces on the columns in the library are actually from the 1930s, they're real glass and they're really expensive.
-So goddamn cool. I wish I could walk through that set so bad. I've seen it's plywood exterior though!
Hal Linden wanted to play with the props and rehearse with them as much as possible so that he was consistent and familiar with them. Edlund praises him for really bringing the right weight to the "horror movie moments."
They talk about the hiphop in the campus bar scene.
Edlund: "It's cool, because you go from 1944, to Ella Fitzgerald, to hiphop..."
Phil: "Do you see that orange cord on top of the fridge there?... I put it in to piss off the art department. Because they had it all neat and clean, and I was like 'no, no, these guys just moved in, they'd have a cable that went somewhere and... because they just put in this mini-fridge.'"
Phil: "You had it in the script - it was 'spotless, no dust.'... so I felt like when they start moving in, they make a mess, they make a little bit of a mess."
Edlund talks about the "somersault" in the script about establishing the Men of Letters, having a MOTW, but then still having it be backstory to the Men of Letters.
Phil: "I still don't understand why you wanted volleyball players."
Edlund: "The co-captains of the women's volleyball team just made sense to me."
They praise the guy playing Aaron... and Phil talks about how Jared and Jensen started messing with him right away, which is usually a sign that someone is good people.
Phil wants Edlund to explain the "gingerbread" line. Edlund had originally thought of Seth Green for the part, and Seth Green has red hair. Edlund kind of likes the "undone sweater threads" - "there's a deeper dimension in the fact that it makes no sense."
Phil praises Jensen's choices in the scene - making it more of a "romantic comedy kind of fluster." Edlund: "It just sort of suggests... this potential! Oh Aaron and Dean, they could come together. He's hard a rough life, he's a hard character to settle down with. Anyway..."
There's a great outtake with looking at Dean over the Golem's shoulder and you can only see Dean's eyeballs.
They talk about how hard it is to find someone taller than Jared and Jensen. John (Golem) is 6'11''.
Edlund: "There's so many times I've written in scripts 'This thing towers over Sam and Dean' and we're lucky if we get eye-contact." *laughs*
They talk about John's acting, and how funny he is, and how in Ghostfacers he didn't have a lot of acting required.
And that's John's regular voice. They didn't do anything to his voice. Sometime when he was younger, he had a lung deflated or something that changed his voice, and now that's just what he sounds like.
They talk about the spin-off quality of Aaron and his Golem, and how Adam (Aaron) is all over it already.
They talk about Sam knowing the call number - "It geeks him up a bit."
Edlund: "Blowguns and poison darts are very Doc Savage - very of a pulp 40s kind of vibe."
Edlund wanted the guy to be pulled THROUGH the shelf, but it didn't happen.
The bookcases were Aluminum so they just bent - so the bent bookcase is actually BECAUSE THE STUNT GUY IS BENDING IT WITH HIS FACE. Geeezzzzzz stunt guys.
Edlund: "This is always fun - to see the Winchesters from another viewpoint. I really love when Jared like warms him hands on the firesof the nazi necromancer-"
Phil *laughs*: "I told him - I said - we were making fun of the whole idea of these guys watching them do their work and all I said to Jared, I think, was 'It's a cold night, right?' And uh, he took it to be that. We had it out for a couple cuts, but either the editor or - and I said, no, let's put that in, because Aarons' saying they're insane."
Edlund: "...it's cold out, so you have to warm yourself by the burning nazis."
They make fun of John's voice more.
Edlund: "He must leave messages on all his friends answering machines..."
They talk about Aaron smoking the pages...
Edlund: "I feel that there's a 40% chance of that happening in any version of this story that goes down - that the boy would smoke the pages."
Then they discuss what vellumy means.
Phil: "I love how he gets all indignant there."
Edlund: "Imagine if that amount of person just came at you like that! No matter what he said - 'YOU'RE CHEATING AT MONOPOLY"
Phil tells us that John is around 300 pounds ... and then they talk again about how well they worked together.
Phil talks about how nice it was to see Aarons development through the episode - that he was a gambler and a know-nothing, and then he learns. Edlund praises Adam for bringing the character to life so well.
Edlund makes fun of the Golem leaking clay and the kind of physics they get to use on Supernatural.
They make fun of the amount of plaid on the show.
The Thule are a real group who actually did fund the nazi party to some degree, Edlund explains. There was another group called "The Lords of the Black Stone" and the "Vrill" - "It was like they were making villains of themselves. Like they intended to be the Darth Vader"
Phil talks about establishing shots of the guns that will be used in the future to get out of the bad situation. He likes the complex scenes of having multiple spoken and unspoken conversations going on at once. Edlund says that they need to be there or the scene's boring - it creates tension.
Jensen came up with the idea of grabbing the gun and just shooting through the coat. Wardrobe was like "wait what? what?" but Phil loved it.
Edlund: "And that's the weird thing about Supernatural is where - the moments where you generate that emotion can be really screwed up moments!.... but it is one of the emotional seats, the landing points of the episode - oh! Finally this giant thing doesn't disapprove of me anymore! I like that idea of somebody who thinks they failed in a lot of ways, being followed by a giant thing that just tells them they failed in a lot of ways."
The shift from beer to whiskey wasn't in the script - Phil explains that he needed something to shift it.
Phil: "The dialogue is there, but I needed something to make it feel like they were not Men of Letters. So it wasn't just Boys with Beers in the back of a car."
Edlund: "Someone went on a record run the week before [the Men of Letter's bunker/society] got smashed!" *laughs*
Phil: "We had to play those records like they're new, because they would have just been sitting there, with no dust.
DONE! That only took me THREE DAYS.
HAPPY CHRISTMAS EVE, EVERYBODY! :)