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

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Rewatch S9: Rock and a Hard Place 9x08

I'm in desperate need of a Jody+Sam Bromance icon. Charlie will have to do for now, because I couldn't find one. Why don't icon communities use tags for characters?! It seems like the most logical thing, but nope.

Anyway, let's see what I actually wrote down for this rewatch....

Back at it... I really need to start doing more than one of these per week. You'd think being unemployed would give me more time for this stuff, but instead I am just the most procrastinating procrastinator who ever procrastinated.

Anyway, to the episode...

Rock and a Hard Place

So, this episode has become one of the more disliked episodes - mainly because of it's somewhat disrespectful attitude towards sex and chastity and such... so, maybe we'll discuss some of that, we'll see - we might not though, just as a warning. I'm not actually the best at discussing and/or recognising feminish issues. Mainly because I was one of those teenage girls who was pretty misogynistic for, well, all of my teenagerdom and into my 20s as well. Then I dated a girl instead of a guy and in order to fit in with her friends (who were all women's studies majors), I had to pretend that I wasn't a horrible person - and apparently I accidentally faked it until I made it. Anyway, this is all to say that I have less than a decade of experience when it comes to caring about these issues or recognizing their existence. So, if I don't talk about something, or I fail to recognize an issue, it's not because it isn't there - it's just that I've been brainwashed by the patriarchy.

So, now that we've had the "TMI about hells_half_acre" portion of the rewatch, let's ACTUALLY talk about the episode...

Girl gets kidnapped for the opener.

And then Sam is adorably sleeping next to his bowl of cereal. My mother has pictures of me doing that too, in basically the exact same position... and with a similar haircut.

Jared always makes this sucking in noise when he's acting as though he just woke up - do people actually make that noise when they just woke up? I guess it's just become one of Sam's ticks, but it always strikes me as a little odd.

Sam: "What about Crowley? Do you think he might be lying about the whole Metatron spell being irreversible thing?"
Dean: "What? Crowley? Lie?"
*Sam laughs*
*Dean smiles*

- Awww, is this like the last time that they share a laugh? Oh god, I'm making myself depressed already and we haven't even gotten to the depressing part of the season.
- I do love their sense of humour though. Also, I really wish Dean would have paid attention to this joke and remembered that Crowley DOES LIE.
- Also, I think this is sort of smart on the part of the writers, because it means that they don't have to decide right away whether the spell is reverisble or not. They can say it's not, so that we know that's not going to be the focus of the season or get fixed anytime soon, and then later on, they CAN reverse it and just say "Crowley was lying" and there you have it.

Dean: "You're sick."
Sam: "No, I'm not sick. I just, um... I feel like my battery can't recharge."

- Gadreel didn't even do anything too epic in the last episode. Maybe they should have switched this one and badboys, since then Gadreel would be coming off a resurrection+resurrection+healing spree. Also, they're talking about what they learned in 9x06 anyway, and 9x07 (great episode though it was) is a complete non-sequiter in terms of plot sequence.

Sheriff Mills!

I love how this episode has Jody bringing them a case. I love that they still call her Sheriff. I love that her and Sam are bros. I love everything about Jody Mills. I want her around forever and she is NEVER allowed to die. NEVER. Oh god... please please, I hope she never dies.


Sheriff: "This wackadoo stuff keeps coming, more I know, better armed I'll be."
- Yay! I love Sheriff Mills because she's intelligent.

Sam: "...maybe angels harvesting vessels, could be a Buddy Boyle type thing?"
Jody: "A-Angels? You're joking!"
Dean: "Don't get your pants on fire - they suck."

- I love Jody's face. "You have both confirmed my faith and negated it in one sentence."

Wardrobe asides:
1)Sam's wearing the blue jacket that he got when he was soulless. He doesn't wear it often. He mostly sticks to his brown soulless jacket.
2)I don't keep track of them, but Dean's been wearing more coloured t-shirts recently. It used to just be black Ts, constantly, but I've noticed more rich blues, red, greys. Usually to compliment whatever shirt he's wearing.

Bonnie: "Well, I'll be a squirrel in a skirt..."
- I just love Dean's face as HE'S like "I don't understand that reference."

Dean: "Well, you had me at 'clean slate'"
- Aww, it's kind of sad, because I think Dean actually does want a clean slate - or could do with one.

Still can't believe they used their real names on the purity pledge.

That girl's taser has an amazing battery life.

Sam: "Well, it's because every woman I've ever... had relations with... it hasn't... ended well."
- He is SELF-AWARE. Hahaha... poor Sam.

Dean: "Sex has always felt good, you know. I mean, really really good. But, you know, sometimes it just makes you feel bad. You're drunk, you shack up, then it's the whole morning thing - hey, that was fun, and then adios. Yeah, always the adios..."
- So, this is just the beginning part of Dean's sexy speech, but it is the only part that actually hints at the DISLIKED part of sex for him. And it's unquestionably one night stands - which fits with what we know of Dean. That despite his constant experience with one night stands, he's actually a long-term relationship kinda guy.

The sexy speech is pretty hilarious. I like it. I like how Sam gets so annoyed with him RIGHT AWAY... like, before Dean even gets to the climax, Sam is ANNOYED. He knows exactly what's coming... hehehe. I love it.

*Sam clears his throat*
Dean: "... but yeah, the whole thing was just a little too... sticky."

- I also LOVE this conclusion, because sex IS sticky and gross. Especially with boys. So gross. I mean, I love it - but it's gross. I could go into a whole other TMI rant here, but I'll spare you.

Bonnie: "Honour, she's my favourite."
- That should have been our first clue.

Dean: "So, everyone in the group, they dish to you?"
- So, the thing is, YES, Dean is being a bit sleazy here, but he IS actually working.

So, I guess one of the problems was that Dean in this episode sort of acts as though it's just an extra challenge to bed the chastity counselor... rather than respect that she's the chastity counselor and that she has chosen not to have sex ever.


And Sam! JODY AND SAM! BROS 4EVA! Someone draw me a cartoon! (ETA: or MAKE ME AN ICON!)

Sam: "It's taking virgins who break their chastity vow. So, dragons are off the list."
Jody: "I'm sor- Dragons? Those are a thing?"
Sam: "Yeah, too many things are things."

- Seriously, I LOVE THEM!
- Also, I just really love Sam's quote there. Too many things are things, indeed.

Suzie: "I can't stop thinking about my friends. I'm so scared for them. Will you pray with me Dean?"
Dean: "...Sure."

- So, the thing is - YES, Dean is being a sleeze here and the problem I mentioned earlier still exists. But I do like how despite being an atheist, Dean still just goes along with the prayer thing, and you can SEE him shelve the sex stuff when he realizes that it's not going to happen, because he's not about to jump an emotionally distraught woman.

Jody:"You know, for being born again today. You sure look like crap."
*Sam laughs*
Sam: "Wait a second. Did you get-"
Jody: "Born again?!"
Sam: "Yeah"
Jody: "Oh, Sam. I don't make promises I can't keep."
*Sam smiles*


Jody: "I just love church. I mean after... after Bobby, Crowley. I needed something that made sense to me. Comfort, I guess."
Sam: "I guess we're all looking for that."

- I still feel Jody should have also mentioned her murdered husband and zombie son... just, you know, those are actually two much bigger traumas than Bobby's death or Crowley trying to murder her.
- Sam used to pray too, for pretty much the same reasons. He needed the comfort of thinking that he could be saved. Jody probably wants the comfort of knowing she's not alone in the world, which she sort of proves with what she says next...

Jody: "Except those who got it. Come on, you and Dean, that's something special, don't you think?"
- See, for Jody, Sam having Dean around means that Sam doesn't need to search for comfort in religion. He's already not alone. As she sees it, Dean provides Sam's comfort.

So, firstly, what Pornstar, who obviously has issues with their career, KEEPS their DVDs that accessible? It'd be more believable if he had found an envolope with a cheque for residuals, or however the hell the porn industry works. Maybe they don't get residuals.

I guess another big problem with this episode is that once Dean finds out that Suzie was in the sex industry, immediately he feels that his chances of sleeping with her have suddenly improved and that it's back to game on.

That being said, he seems genuinely surprised when she starts flirting with him - up until then, he was honestly just being a fanboy, I think. So, I guess the other slightly unbelievable thing is that she'd suddenly break her chastity vow just because someone said nice things about her porn career? Seems a bit unbelieveable, since I doubt Dean has been the first one to compliment her in a mostly not disrespectful way.

Back to the girl trapped in the cellar. I haven't been talking about her, but this IS one of the episodes where they have time to rescue the hostages - even though they don't necessarily know it. I kind of like those episodes, though they're rare.

Also, starving to death is a horrible way to die. I mean, mostly everything is a horrible way to die, I suppose... but I wouldn't want to starve to death.

Jody: "Where are you going?"
Sam: "That thing is taking people who break their vows. Dean and Suzie? It's been over an hour."
Jody: "Right."

- I just love that Sam knows his brother.

The girl scraping her nails down the wall until they bleed is hella disturbing.

Dean: "Where are we?"
Neal: "Hell."

- Dean should have been like "Hmm, nope! It's not half that bad."

And Jody finds the answer.

Dean: "They took my phone. Luckily, I keep a spare."
- I love how no one questions the fact that Dean has a charged cellphone sewn into the lining of his jacket. Like - that's not typical behaviour. I'd be like, "Uh, hey, person I just slept with - what kind of life are you living?"

Jody: "Where are we going to get a virgin?"
Sam: "I'm a virgin!"
Jody: "I think we need the real mccoy here, Sam."

- Haha, I love Sam.

I love Tammy accusing Sam and Jody of being pagans. I also love Jody punching her in the face, and Sam looking at his syringe like "but I was going to take blood nicely!"

And Sam gets taken out...

And Jody backtalks the Roman God... she's definitely taken classes in Hunting from the Winchesters.

As I listen to the god's monologue here, it occurs to me that another thing that's wrong with this episode is that virginity is a social construct and this god's speech is nothing but a giant slut-shaming... but, since Supernatural is a supernatural universe, things like virginity actually exist in it, or at least, I don't mind that they do... and the god an be a total douchey slut-shamer, we aren't supposed to like her anyway.

So, Sam doesn't prevent Jody from being stabbed, but he does, I guess, throw off her trajectory so Jody just gets stabbed in the shoulder instead of the heart or liver, or whatever the heck the god was aiming for.

If the spike actually went in that deep, Jody would have a collapsed lung.

Vesta: "What the hell is wrong with you?"
Sam: "What?"
Vesta: "Your liver, it's- it's no good. Dear boy, you're all duct tape and safety pins inside. How are you alive?"

- I absolutely love that line. Say what you want about the rest of the episode, but I love that line about Sam being duct tape and safety pins inside, because he WOULD BE and that's a perfect way to describe it.
- The thing is that on the one hand, Sam probably shouldn't be surprised, because he was pretty run down from the trials and they weren't that long ago - on the other hand, the "how are you alive?" question is what throws him for a loop, I think... also, the idea that maybe the trials aren't something he can recover from.

Jody: "I'd tell you guys to stay out of trouble, but what's the point?"
- I love her.


Jody: "Don't get the door for me or anything."
- Hahahaha, oh I love her. Sorry, I know this isn't amazing commentary, but I am awash with affection.

Dean: "What's up?"
Sam: "What if there IS something wrong with me? Something really wrong."
Dean: "You're just crapped out, man, you need some rest."
Sam: "It's more than that. I mean, Vesta said I was practically dead inside."

- Sam must be freaking out really.

Dean: "It's probably the trials. Probably some sort of after effect. It's not like you're bouncing back from the friggin' flu here. I mean you were glowing with trial juice!"
- It's a sound reasoning. Sam WOULD be dead from the trials, after all. So the idea that he would live with a slow recover isn't far fetched.

Dean: "Well what else could it be?"
Sam: "Why does it have to be something else? Why does it ALWAYS have to be something else? We're always scraping to find some other explanation when maybe it's just me."
Dean: "Oh, come on, Sam."
Sam: "I'm a mess, Dean, and you know it. And sometimes I feel like maybe I'm never going to actually be alright!"
Dean: "You will, because whatever it is, we'll figure it out."
Sam: "Or this is... just the way I am."

- The thing is that Sam's attitude here is actually pretty healthy, in my completely uneducated opinion. Sam's right - up until now, they've always treated everything wrong with Sam as some temporary thing, something that could be FIXED. And they've never accepted anything as a permanent thing. And they've largely been rewarded for doing so, don't get me wrong - Sam's psychic stuff "went away" with YED, Sam's demon blood addiction was for the most part magically removed and we've never seen Sam struggle with it post-S5, Sam's hell-trauma was put behind a wall, and then "fixed" by Castiel in some seemingly permanent fashion that means Sam no longer has to worry about the more severe PTSD symptoms. Meanwhile, in the real world, I start having knee problems in high school and they never get better and the only promise I have is that if I look after them, they'll get worse slower than if I don't look after them.
- But, I think Sam trying to come to terms with the fact that he might be effected PERMANENTLY by something  is actually a healthy place to be. It's not a bad thing to accept the fact that your life might change due to an injury. It's actually a good thing!
- I don't know if it's a cultural thing - like, you read stories of climbers being in horrible accidents, and the articles about them are always like "a year later, he was climbing Everest again!" As if the goal after injury is not to have your life affected at all - but he was still climbing Everest with a prosthetic limb, he still had to take months to learn how to use that limb, his life is still different... and pretending it's not isn't doing him any favours, nor anyone else who might have been in a horrible accident and now feels bad because they're not climbing mountains again a year later. They haven't failed, maybe now they're a swimmer - or they've discovered the joys of gardening - you don't HAVE to keep climbing mountains as though you've never fallen off of one. Am I making any sense?

Dean: "I can't. I can't let you put this on yourself. Listen to me. It's not you, Sam."
- The thing is, although Sam is depressed about being permanently messed up, accepting it is STILL a healthy emotional place (provided it's true.) But Dean seems to take it as a "this is all my fault" type thing, as though Sam is thinking that he's to BLAME for being messed up, rather than that this is something that happened to him. I mean, it's not like he messed himself up on purpose. Dean's the one that can't accept permanent damage. I mean, yes, he knows it's not permanent, but there's no harm in Sam thinking it is. I mean, what's the worst that happens? Sam takes it easy? Isn't that what Dean WANTS?
- That being said, Dean knows it's not permanent, so this probably clouds his ability to deal with this in any sort of logical healthy way. He sees Sam depressed that his life might have to change - that he'll need to take more naps or something - that he'll continue to "pass out" and lose little chunks of time - and he just thinks "Sam is depressed for no reason, because all of this will one day be fixed, because that's the deal I made."

Gadreel: "I wouldn't do that, Dean."
- Then of course, there's this guy, who not only takes Sam's body autonomy away from him (with help from Dean), but also takes Dean's ability to make choices away from Dean (with help from holding Sam hostage from the inside.)

Sam: "What?"
Dean: "What?"
Sam: "What's not me?"
Dean: "Nothing. I just meant, if there's something wrong. It's not your fault. We'll deal with it. But you gotta have a little faith, Sammy.
- See, that's actually BETTER. "It's okay if this is permanent. We will figure out how to work with and/or around it."

There's something about the camera angle on Sam as he picks his bag and his jacket off the bed that I love. It's gorgeous. He's gorgeous. I'm attracted to the most bizarre things, but I love his face turned away, the lean of his body, the way his backpack and the fall of his hair make him seem vulnerable... and I totally mean that in an inappropriate sexy way, I'm not going to lie. I want to subjegate him to my will. Might as well end this controversial sex-episode with some inappropriate sexual predation.


This cut scene takes place after Sam leaves the motel room at the end of the episode. Jody is still in the parking lot, pulling away in her police truck.

Jody: "That's a look. Everything okay?"
Sam: "Dean's doing it again."
Jody: "What?"
Sam: "He's lying to me."
Jody: "About what?"
*Gadreel takes over*
Gadreel: "Nothing. We're fine, Sheriff. Everything's fine."

There are a couple of things I love about this scene, but I also understand why they cut it. First, what I love:
2)Sam already knowing that Dean is lying to him.
3)The scene reinforces just how trapped Sam is, because he literally is unable to ask his friends for help, even when he recognizes that he might need it. It illustrates just HOW MUCH of Sam's automy Gadreel has usurped.

The reason I think they cut it:
- There is no way in hell that Gadreel sold that. There is no way that Jody would look at that face, that abrupt change in demeaner, and think, "oh hey, everything is completely cool with Sam! Yay!" No, I think Jody would be crazy suspicious and she's not the type to let things go.

So, let me know your thoughts in comments, as always.
Tags: rewatch s9

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