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

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Rewatch S9: Road Trip (9x10)

I'm going to stop giving myself a hard time about being slow on these - you guys need time to read them too, after all. And really, the only one making me feel bad is myself, so screw it! I'm awesome.

This is another heavy episode and I don't have THAT much time today - but I'll do my best to get it posted, since tomorrow is going to be even busier. ETA: That only took me about 6 hours. Oh man... I usually don't like to post things at this time of day, because I live in a stupid time-zone, but I also don't want to wait until tomorrow to post it. So, here ya go...

Road Trip

Kevin's funeral is a sad affair.

I don't know where Dean burned Kevin, but he's back during the day (12:40pm) - which to me, indicates that he drove somewhere else to do it.

Also, everything becomes infinitely more depressing when you think of the process involved. Dean had to do everything all by himself - move Kevin from the floor, wrap him in cloth, drive him to the funeral site, build the pyre...

The thing about hunter funerals is that, I think to some, they look like they're non-funerals - that somehow just because there are no holymen, wakes, mourners, speeches, pallbearers, or gravestones, that they're something done without ritual - but they're not. They're just as laden with ritual as any funeral. They're done right away, but I think that Islam(?) also has their funerals as quickly as possible as part of their practices, I know there is at least one religion like that out there anyway, forgive me if I'm wrong about which it is.

Dean is still wearing the same clothes, so I fully believe that he just immediately went through the funeral process while Kevin was still warm. I mean, there's also the evidence of Kevin's sandwich still being on the table and his phone still being at almost full battery.

Dean breaks Kevin's phone, btw. I mean, there's no way it's going to survive being thrown like that.

The whole sequence is gorgeous in its heartbreaking-ness.

And I just spent 10 minutes talking about 30 seconds of the show. This is why these things take me so long.

Manager: "...label wants you to open with Baby Be My Baby, then you can roll right on into Baby Cakes, followed by the CLEAN version of Baby-Maker..."
- I love the over-the-top ridiculousness of this Justin Bieber joke. That plastic suit looks so uncomfortable.

Thaddeus: "...we all got booted out of the penthouse and I just figured - why be an angel when you can be a god?"
- And that's exactly what Metatron figured too. I think all angels must have this secret desire to be gods - I mean, as soon as they get a taste for power, that's usually the immediate place they go with it. "I'M A GOD NOW! WHAHA!"

Gadreel: "I was imprisoned and you tortured me."
Thaddeus: "I was a guard. I was doing my job."
Gadreel: "What you did to Abner, was that doing your job?"
Thaddeus: "Your boyfriend, no that - that was just fun."

- Thaddeus was obviously more sadistic when it came to Abner - probably, because it tortured both Abner and Gadreel at once. This, of course, gives us a nice clean murder for Gadreel, one he's actually happy to commit.
- I wonder what Abner did to end up in angel prison.
- I actually kind of wish that the "boyfriend" comment was from a more reliable source. Was that said as a homophobic dig in order to belittle Gadreel? Do angels even have genders, or was that comment not anti-gay, but belittling all the same, because to have romantic feelings is un-angelic? Were Abner and Gadreel actually in a relationship? Were they simply brothers-in-the-fox-hole, forming a platonic bond in order to stay sane? Can angels be sexual creatures? (We know Balthazar was, yes, but that was after he had faked his death and hidden among humans - my question is whether angels are sexual creatures with other angels when they are in heaven.)

Dean: "Cas - hey, look at you, all suited up and back in the game."
- Ugh, Dean's tone of voice hurts me here, because you can tell that he'd normally be delighted, that he knows this - that he's given this nice thing and he can't appreciate it because everything else is completely shit.

Also, yay! He didn't actually break that lamp, just the light bulb. Those are antique lamps!

Cas: "Dean, what happened? What's wrong?"
- Oh Cas...

Dean: "He said it was the only way and I believed him."
- And once again we see that if you lie about ONE thing then EVERYTHING YOU'VE EVER SAID gets called into question. Gadreel lied about his name. His name only and that was enough for Dean to freak the hell out and want Sam to eject him. Mind you, at that point, Gadreel was already slipping off and making Dean nervous - so it was a lie coupled with suspicious behaviour. But, I wonder how things may have been different if Dean had instead talked to Gadreel and simple said, "I know you aren't Ezekiel, so who are you and why did you lie?" Would Gadreel have told him? Or would Gadreel still freak out, kill Kevin, and leave with Sam? Metatron already had his hooks in him at that point, but I don't think Gadreel wanted to kill Kevin, and he may have, deep down, been looking for an excuse not to. I'm still of the opinion that if just ONE other person other than Metatron had known Gadreel's story and shown sympathy towards him, then Kevin's death could have been avoided.

Cas: "Dean, I'm sorry."
Dean: "Yeah, well sorry don't pay the bill... and it certainly won't bring Kevin back."

- Ugh, Dean, stop it. Also, sorry really doesn't pay the bills - I wish it did. I have a lot bills.

Cas: "Dean, if the angel possessing Sam isn't Ezekiel than who is it?"
Dean: "Dead man walking."
Cas: "What? You're going to destroy him?"
Dean: "Damn right."
Cas: "You kill an angel, it's vessel dies too."
Dean: "You think I don't know that? If I don't end Sam, then that halo burns him out and I... God, I was so damn stupid."

- So, at this point, Dean's realized that instead of saving Sam, Dean has killed Kevin. Sam is still going to die and Kevin has now died too. This, of course, is actually pretty similar consequence to what happened back in S6 when Dean played Death for a day - if you go against the natural order, more death follows.

Cas: "You were stupid for the right reasons."
Dean: "Yeah, like that matters."
Cas: "It does. Sometimes that's all that matters."

- Cas isn't wrong. Dean has made a horrible mistake, but he did it from a good place - meaning, of course, that despite the horrible consequences, Dean is fundamentally still a good person.
- At this point, finally, we reach a point in the series when all three of our main protagonists have done something stupid for the right reasons - Sam killed Lilith to stop the apocalypse and instead started it. Cas teamed up with Crowley in order to make sure the apocalypse STAYED stopped and instead unleashed unknown horror onto the world and broke Sam's head... and Dean saved his brother only for it to be at the cost of another family member and his brother's trust.

Cas: "Sam is strong. If he knew an angel was possessing him, he could fight. He could cast the angel out."
Dean: "Maybe, but as far as I know, he's in the dark - I don't know how we clue him in."
Cas: "Do you remember Alfie?"
Dean: "That kid angel? Yeah, why?"
Cas: "Before he died, he told me the demons were able to dig into his mind, access his coding - you might be able to do that here. You might be able to bypass the angel and talk directly to Sam..."

- So, a couple things - First, I love this idea that Sam is like... a really really coveted vessel. He's the Porsche of vessels (or whatever is the best these days)... but the catch to that is that he can eject the driver if he REALLY wants to. Which means that Sam is basically Kit... which I find hilarious, because Sam really was Kit in Changing Channels.
- Second, okay, sorry... but last episode they had that sigil that suppressed the being who was possessing someone so that you could talk to the vessel. It didn't work because Gadreel ALTERED the sigil, but why exactly can't they just use it gain without it being altered?! Or did Kevin not write any of that spell down for Dean. This is why we take notes, people!

Cas: "Kevin is dead!"
Crowley: "Oh, sorry to hear that."
Crowley: "I told him this was going to happen. I was the only person who tried to warn him. I told him to run."
Dean: "From what?"
Crowley: "You. How many times do I have to say this - people in your general vacinity don't have much in the way of a lifespan..."

- I think Crowley already knows Kevin is dead. Also, if Kevin isn't moving on to the afterlife (as we find out later), then it's quite possible that, given Crowley is a demon, Crowley can actually SEE Kevin. Or Kevin has wandered down to try to talk to him... and Crowley is basically just being his manipulating self by telling Kevin that Crowley was trying to look after him before, rather than trying to manipulate him.
- Regardless of what Crowley does or doesn't know about Kevin though - he is definitely just going for emotional manipulation here, as usual. (I'll discuss it more later.)

Crowley: "No, of course not, because if I'm Plan A, I'm sure you have a totally viable, much better, Plan B."
- That's what makes Crowley a pretty much unbeatable villain - he knows them too well. He knows that Dean would never try to deal with him unless he were completely desperate and out of options.

Crowley: "Looks like we need a tie-breaker. Go get Moose, Squirrel. Unless... unless of course you can't. That's why you're here isn't it? The poor giant baby's in trouble again, isn't he?"
- So, I don't think Crowley knew that Sam was possessed or that the reason Dean was coming to him was to save Sam... though, he may have, because when does Dean ever get desperate when Sam's NOT involved?
- Though, that does bring up a question that I haven't talked about until now - how is it that Crowley didn't know that Sam was possessed? Is it due to some change in nature on the angels' part now that they've fallen? Are they harder to spot? Castiel can identify a demon immediately and I had it in my head that angels could do the same with demons - but both Abaddon and Crowley completely failed to notice that Sam was possessed. More than that, the other angels seemingly couldn't tell that Castiel was HUMAN. Though, for some reason Thaddeus knew immediately that not only was the man in the green room an angel, but he was also Gadreel. So, there's an inconsistency here.Is it that angels can "hide" by letting their hosts control the bodies? Did the angel that attacked Castiel believe him to be hiding behind Jimmy?

Cas: "Well, I have a vehicle. It stopped a few miles from here inexplicably."
*dialogue out of order, because I want to cut to:*
Dean: "Yeah, it's out of gas."
- I love that Dean just knows. "Did you stop for gas?" "What?" "Okay, so, I'll get a gas can then."

Crowley: "Really? What are you, a pimp?
Cas: "I like it."

- It actually kind of thrills me that Castiel expresses a preference for something. That he LIKES the car. That he stole it for a reason.
- Personally, I think he likes it because it's the same colour as his trench coat.

Crowley: "Riddle me this, boy wonder. Why do you need the wheels?"
- So, Crowley doesn't know that the angels fell at this point?! INnnnnnnnnnnnteresting. That actually throws a wrench in my thought that he could be lying about the spell being irreversible - it's a tiny wrench that might not actually matter, but it's a wrench nonetheless.

I do like the little tussle for front seat. I like the fact that Dean doesn't give it to Cas either. Though, that's going to look really weird for anyone who sees them.

I also like the rap music and the hydraulics.. mainly, because it means that Castiel didn't bother turning off the CD/iPod/Tape/Whatever when he drove to the Bunker. Also, Cas is STILL driving this car in S10, so I'm guessing that he just kept it... which yeah, I also like the fact that Cas has a car now and it's an ostentatious caddy.

Metatron: "Strange seeing an old vessel, isn't it? Like looking in a fun-house mirror."
- I like how the bartender looks back over here, as though something him in knows that Gadreel just walked back in... I mean, we do find out that angels can leave fingerprints, little pieces of their grace - so there might actually be something resonating inside the bartender when Gadreel comes near.
- I kind of wish we knew the vessel's name.

Metatron: "...the tasks I gave you, any hiccups?"
Gadreel: "Killing Thaddeus was easy. He had it coming."

- So, interesting here is that Gadreel is only NOW returning the tablets to Metatron, even though he took them from Kevin BEFORE he killed Thaddeus. So, how did Metatron give Gadreel Thaddeus' name? Or was it after he gave him Kevin's and Gadreel was like "I don't want to!" and Metatron was like - tell you what, you kill Kevin... you then get to kill Thaddeus. And Gadreel was like, "Hmm... tempting... okay, I'm in!"

Metatron: "...but I flipped a switch upstairs and now that Kevin is gone, there will be no more prophets."
- Awww... but the prophets! Man, I just want them to bring Kevin back. Goddamn, I loved Kevin.

Metatron: "And what about Dean Winchester?"
Gadreel: "You never gave me his name, Metatron!"
Metatron: "Not one for seizing the initiative, are we? Gadreel, we are writing our own epic story here. In order to do that, sometimes you have to kill your darlings. It's not like you haven't done worse before...."

- Metatron has this weird verbal tick, where he asks questions like that - or rather makes statements like that. "Strange seeing an old vessel, isn't it?" "Not one for seizing the initiative, are we?" "Not a big reader, are you?" It makes him sound condescending, I think. I find it annoying, anyhow.
- Also, what did he expect?! He's specifically recruited an angel who WANTS TO BE GOOD. He's not going to murder anyone unless a)he has been personally wronged by them or b)he is convinced that it is for the greater good for some reason.
- I do like the phrase "kill your darlings" - not necessarily for the writing advice that it was, but just for that phrase... it's really well written. It's a good thing whathisface didn't kill THAT darling.
- Fourthly, HOLY CROW is Metatron ever a douchebag. He convinced Gadreel to join him with the promise that Gadreel would become GOOD would be seen as the GOOD angel that he truly was, and then he basically immediately tells Gadreel that since he's scum already, he should just continue to be scum without regret.

Gadreel: "How many more lives do I have to take?"
Metatron: "It's not your place to ask questions. It's your place to obey...."

- Ugh, I hate him. Poor Gadreel. I mean, it IS smart on Metatron's part to recruit an angel that has just been imprisoned and tortured for centuries upon centuries for DISOBEYING. Because, yeah, he's probably going to want to prove he can be obedient... but geez.

Why do the dogs always have to die?

Cecily: "Hot! I mean human Castiel, meh, but feathered Castiel *appreciative noise*"
Crowley: "Human Castiel?"
Cecily: "You heard what happened to him, right?"

- And now Crowley gets caught up, so he has all the manipulation power possible.

Cecily: "I tuned one of our satellites to pick up angel radio."
- It annoys me that angel radio is something that can be picked up - but then again, Ash did it in heaven and it didn't annoy me then. So, maybe it's not so bad. I guess I'm just still annoyed that it's actually called "angel radio" as that was seriously just the joke name that Dean gave it that one time. They could use ANY OTHER word "angel chatter" or "angelic frequencies" or just "angel communication" and I'd be happier.

Crowley: "What about hell?"
Cecily: "Ugh, no one is doing their job..."

- See, this is what I wanted to be Abaddon's undoing - the fact that she couldn't run hell properly. But then, maybe that would have been a worse storyling, feministically-speaking.

Crowley: "Nice to know someone's still loyal."
Cecily: "Uh huh!"
Crowley: "That is, of course, unless you're playing both sides?"
Cecily: "Wouldn't you?"

- So, it's interesting that Crowley LETS Cecily play both sides, just remarks on it... does he plan to use it to his advantage? Does he know that Abaddon will find out and kill Cecily, so he doesn't bother? I think the former, because Crowley operates on manipulation rather than fear/murder.

Abner: "Gadreel!"
Gadreel: "Abner..."
Abner: "I thought you were dead! What are you doing here?"
Gadreel: "I... what are YOU doing here?"

- So, yeah, this is why I'd really like it if we had more than a possible joke to work off of in knowing their relationship.
- Also, it's interesting that Gadreel can't recognize the angel (nor can Abner) until they see each other's faces. So, there's something about angels being able to recognize each other in vessel's bodies through the faces.

Abner: "Delilah, this is Daddy's best friend, can you say Hi?"
- So, here we just have 'best friend', but then, the dude is talking to his vessel's daughter and his vessel is married.

Abner: "Yeah, well I was a crappy angel. I was petulant. I deserted my post. I spent seven hundred years in Heaven's lock-up, I-... No, doesn't matter, we're a long way from Thadeus now."
- Again, I wonder what Abner did. What happened 700 years before this episode is set? That'd be... ~1313...
*quick internet search*
Hmm, Henry VII the Holy Roman Emperor died. Notburga, an Austrian saint died... that's about all religion affiliated.
Oh man, but check this out - that would have been REALLY cool.
War of the Egyptian Firstborn (1313 BCE)
The Talmud relates what happened when 600,000 Jewish heads of household began rounding up their lambs on the 10th of Nissan. The lamb was worshipped as a deity in ancient Egypt, so this caused quite a commotion. The firstborn of Egypt, who held the key social and religious positions in Egyptian society, confronted the Jews, and were told: "We are preparing an offering to G-d. In four days, at the stroke of midnight, G-d will pass through Egypt in order to execute the tenth and final plague; all firstborn will die, and the people of Israel nation will be freed."
The firstborn, having already witnessed the first nine plagues occur exactly as Moses had warned, approached Pharaoh and his generals and demanded that the Jews be freed immediately. When Pharaoh refused, the firstborn took up arms against Pharaoh's troops, killing many of them. This event is alluded to by the Psalmist, who sings: "[Offer thanks to G-d,] who smote the Egyptians with their first born” (Psalms 136:10)

Damn, if only Abner had said 3325 years... though, I read an article once about some people think there are a whole bunch of extra years that we counted but don't actually exist, but I think those are before 1313, so it's not enough to make this random number choice awesome instead of random.

Gadreel: "I killed him, Abner. I got our revenge."
Abner: "I wish you hadn't done that."
Gadreel: "But why? He tortured us. You most of all."
Abner: "I remember that. And I remember you were always there to put me back together."
Gadreel: "We were friends!"
Abner: "We ARE friends. And the fall, it's our second change. We can forget our old hates, who we were."

- Ugh, this hurts, because Abner's done it RIGHT. He's actually taken the clean slate that was offered and USED it as a clean slate. He's started over rather than trying to make up for the past. He's not out for revenge or retribution - he's just out to do better THIS time. And that's how Gadreel started out, I think - but then he was too afraid to tell Dean his real name... and when Metatron offered him retribution, well, it was too tempting an offer.
- Also, it hurts because Abner clearly wished Gadreel hadn't done that for GADREEL'S sake. "I don't want you to be a murder. I don't want prison to have made you a murderer."
- It seems that angels are sticking with asexuality, which is good, because we do get the "friends" label here, straight from the horses' mouths.
- It's interesting how Gadreel uses "we were friends" defensively, like maybe he shouldn't have put Abner back together after his torture sessions - it's just an odd tone of voice he takes.
- Jared is a great actor.
- Abner also correcting Gadreel and saying they ARE friends, drives home the point that Gadreel is about to murder a friend.

Gadreel: "And your vessel, is he happy?"
Abner: "He was an abusive ass..."

- I think Gadreel is trying to grasp at straws here - trying to find some way to justify this killing. Abner's not giving it to him though - not yet, but he will...

Abner: "...I'm not a wise man, Gadreel, but I know this - but I know this: The key to happiness? It's getting the one thing you want most and never letting it go."
Gadreel: "And what if there's a price?"
Abner: "There's always a price. But it's worth paying."

- And there you have it. Abner accidentally seals his own fate - because Gadreel's been convinced that what he wants most is what Metatron is offering and the price is Abner's death.
- Gadreel IS harder to sympathize with after this murder, I'm not going to lie. You kill your only friend, you're not going to come out looking like a good guy - especially if you do it BECAUSE you want to look like a good guy. Gadreel wants people to think he's good, he wants to be God's most trusted angel again.

It's interesting, because Gadreel seems to have slit Abner's throat as a method of death. Did he let the grace out? Did he kill the vessel and the part of Abner that was capable of life apart from grace, but let the grace go...somewhere? Is a tree going to grow in the living room? Also, it looks like Abner might be smiling in death - did he let Gadreel kill him?

Dean: "You kill my friend and you take my brother and you think I'm going to let that stand?"
Gadreel: "I allowed you to live."
Dean: "Mistake."

- Very true. Even Walt and Roy knew that.

I love Castiel punching Gadreel out.

Abaddon: "You helped Crowley"
Cecily: "Yeah, I'm kinda playing both sides until someone- until YOU win. Smart, right?"
Abaddon: "No... sort of the opposite."

- So, again, who is the smarter person here - the person who allows the double-agent to live, knowing they are a double-agent - or the person who kills the double-agent?

Cas: "Most of Sam's internal burns have healed. I should be able to fix the rest."
- So, right, Sam was burned from the inside-out, I had forgotten that fact. So gross. Also, I have no idea how burns work when they're not exposed to air.

Cas: "What's your name? I thought I knew every angel in Heaven, but I haven't seen you?"
- So, angels can only recognize angels by name when they are a)controlling the vessel, b)are looking at another angel's face, and c)are an angel the other angel has seen before either in vessel or in true form.
- Also, Castiel didn't know Muriel last episode, so he doesn't know EVERY angel in heaven.

Gadreel: "You want this to end? Go ahead, put a blade through your brother's heart. If it makes you feel better, I've got Sam locked away in a dream. As far as he knows, the two of you are working a case together. Something with ghouls and cheerleaders."
- Is Sam locked away because Gadreel is being kind, or because he knows that Sam is more than capable of ejecting him?
- Also, it's interesting that Gadreel has given Sam a very Dean-like case. It's the type of case that DEAN favours, though again, like most things Sam, we don't know Sam's favourite things - so maybe Sam favours cases with cheerleaders too, he's just more polite about it.

Dean: "Why are you doing this, huh? We fought together! I trusted you! I thought you were one of the good guys."
Gadreel: "I am doing what I have to do."
Dean: "Well so am I."
Crowley: "So am I."

- Here we have a three-ponged attack of "I did what I had to do", except in present tense. Every iteration of this phrase we've heard so far signifies a person doing something they should not do.
- It's slightly frustrating, because if Dean just went for emotional-torture rather than torture-torture, he could have probably won Gadreel back over... show sympathy instead of anger, try to understand instead of dismissing as evil... but, then, you can't blame him for the anger or the dismissal, not after what Gadreel's done so far.

Cas: "Hey"
Dean: "I can't watch that anymore."
Cas: "I understand. It's not Sam, but...it's still Sam."
Dean: "Pretty much, yeah. How are you doing?"
Cas: "You want to talk about ME? Now?"
Dean: "I want to talk about anything that's not a demon sticking needles into my brother's brain!"

- Ugh, Jensen kills me with the delivery of that last line.
- First though, I like that Cas goes to check on Dean - that he immediately understands. I guess I sort of get annoyed sometimes when Cas is treated as though he has no concept of human emotion (which, I'm sure is just a bad fanon thing), because it was quite clear from the beginning that Cas had TOO MUCH sympathy for humans and too much of a concept of human emotion for your typical angel... I don't think he always knows how to respond to that emotion, but I think he understands it.
- Also, I think Dean is asking about Cas, not just because it's a different topic, but because Dean is feeling helpless right now - he wants to take care of Sam, but can't at the moment. So what does he do? He takes care of someone else - how is Cas doing? Does he need to be taken care of?
- But yeah, watching your brother's body being tortured has gotta be the worst.

Dean: "Yeah, humour me, man. How you doing?"
Cas: "I'm- I'm okay."
Dean: "Good, good... so, what, you just change the batteries out, power back up? It's that easy?"
Cas: "It wasn't easy, but I didn't have a choice."
Dean: "Well, that's usually how it goes."

- See, the thing is, they DID have a choice - both of them. They just had a choice they didn't LIKE. It was still a choice though. Dean could have chosen to let Sam die... Kevin would live (or at least wouldn't be killed by Sam's body) and Dean could either continue fighting until he joined Sam in heaven, or he could have eventually found a way to resurrect him by some other means... or waited until some other means resurrected Sam, as happened last time Sam died and Dean couldn't save him... the fact that Dean didn't like those choices doesn't mean that they weren't there. The road he is on was not the inevitable outcome. Likewise, Castiel didn't have to steal a grace - he could have had Theo help him escape Malachi's basement, then he could have killed him and carried on hiding as a human - left the angel-war to the angels, moved on from trying to save heaven and make up for his past mistakes - He could have actually used the clean slate offered to him, like Abner used it. This season is a season full of people who make really crappy decisions and then justify them by ignoring the fact that they could have done things differently, but didn't want to.

Dean: "Cas- I'm sorry."
Cas: "About what?"
Dean: "Kicking you out of the bunker, not telling you about Sam..."
Cas: "You thought his life was at stake."
Dean: "Yeah, I got played."
Cas: "I thought I was saving Heaven. I got played too."
Dean: "So you think we're both a couple of dumbasses?"
Cas: "I prefer the word trusting. Less dumb. Less ass."

- Aww, friends. I do really like the fact that Dean makes the mistake this season... I mean, yes, they crammed a LOT of mistakes for Dean in this season, seemingly to make up for him always being "saint Dean" - that isn't saying of course that Dean hasn't made mistakes in the past - just that when they're made in the name of saving Sam, he tends to get away with them. I mean, technically, the Gadreel thing is the same and if we're going by fandom opinion, I think Dean DOES get away with it, because fandom tended to hate Sam more for being angry than they were mad at Dean for the mistake in the first place... which, is I think why Dean compounds his mistakes by going revenge-mad (just like S4 Sam) and getting the Mark. I don't think it's a coincidence that the writers basically gave Dean Sam's S4 storyline... but, now I'm kind of going on a rant that's going to sound anti-Dean to the Dean!girls even though I don't mean it like that. I just get a little pissed off about how Dean is always forgiven and Sam never is. It's bizarre, this fandom. But, yeah, I think it comes down to the show being primarily Dean's POV, we've got a quicker ticket to sympathy with him. We BELIEVE him more. We understand his motivations more. Dean says he didn't have a choice and we believe him - even though he DID, but saying he didn't makes him feel better about making the wrong one. Also, it's not like we liked his choices either, as the audience, it's not like we wouldn't have also caved and saved Sam... which is I guess why we forgive him - because we're not any stronger than him, nor any less of a dumbass.

Castiel: "Well, it's why I've never seen him. He's been imprisoned since the dawn of time. Gadreel was the sentry who allowed Lucifer into the Garden."
- So, the dawn of time was a really long time ago.
- How does the Garden fit in with the fish that Castiel was told not to step on?

Cas: "It's his fault. All of it! The corruption of man, demons, hell... God left because of him. The archangels- The apocalypse! If he hadn't been so weak, none of it would have happened! You RUINED THE UNIVERSE you damn son of a bitch!"
- So, this is interesting. Because, Castiel COMES to his anger, he doesn't start there. He starts from the stance of "This angel is infamous." And goes to the facts "He let Lucifer into the Garden" and then starts to extrapolate: "If he hadn't done that - then none of what followed would have happened... therefore, everything bad that has ever happened is his fault, because he ruined paradise." This is similar to the stance that some religious nut-jobs take when they blame everything bad in the world on Eve (which some misogynistic people actually do/did). They don't blame Lucifer, they blame those who Lucifer tricked. It's like hitting someone and then telling them the bruise is their own fault because they didn't duck. Only, of course, on a much larger scale... because Castiel seems to believe that God left because of the corruption of man, and that then the archangel's decisions, which they made after God left and while Gadreel was still in prison, were still also Gadreel's fault... as though the archangels didn't have minds of their own. It's ridiculous.
- Anyway, back to the Garden - I think it CAN work with the fish...although I love the theory that the Garden became Purgatory, where Eve ruled (that could actually still be the case)... but, the Garden also could have been Earth BEFORE the corruption of man. Adam and Eve (and Lilith, depending on what mythology you want to follow) could have just been the first humans with names, the first ones to be fully mutated into homo sapiens sapiens (we'll guess that neanderthals, though they sung beautifully, were not part of God's beloved mankind), or the first humans to have a concept of God.
- Cas REALLY hates the apocalypse.

Dean: "Cas! I get it - but you gotta chill."
- Cas smacking Dean's hand off him is pretty alarming and we don't even see it, we just hear the noise and see Dean retract quickly and hold up his hands. It's a nice little taste of the Cas that was... sometimes I really miss S4 Cas, who could be scary and menacing and who Dean sometimes feared.

So, the practical make-up FX are cool, but it kind of ruines the illusion of spikes in the brain when they move with Jared's skin. It's just a REALLY nitpicky thing, but if they were really deep enough in his skull to touch his brain, they would be stable.

Gadreel: "I've endured much worse than this Dean, so much worse."
- See, if Gadreel had just explained to Dean that he was tortured in angel-prison for being tricked by Lucifer, Dean would have been like "aww, that's rough buddy, well, you fix up Sam and then go find that bartender, and I'll lone you $100 or something to start over..." I mean, Dean hates angels, and he hates torture (unless he is performing it)... and Dean also hates Lucifer and also knows how easy it is for evil people to trick poor naive baby-angels, because Crowley tricked Cas that one time... I don't know, I guess I should stop beating this dead horse. What happens happens.

Cas: "It might work, but I can't possess a vessel without permission."
- I would have loved to see Castiel possess Sam. I mean, not in this situation, but some other time... I just want to see Jared play Castiel.

Crowley: "I save Sam, I leave here a free man. Do we have a deal?"
Dean: "Cas, burn off Sam's tattoo."
Cas: "Dean..."
Dean: "Do it. Do it."

- Ah Crowley, so good at picking the right moment to strike.
- Also, I do love that Cas knows exactly how many liberties Dean is taking on behalf of Sam, but he still does it, because well - it's Dean.
- Also, I hope Sam got that tattoo redone ASAP.

Crowley: "I keep my bargains. 'Sides, I don't want to be inside your brother anymore than I have to. I'm not one for sloppy seconds."
- So, yeah, I know at least one person who doesn't think possession is a metaphor for rape in this show - but COME ON! How can you not, when EVERY comment about possession is a sex reference?! (Don't actually answer that, if you read this, we'll just agree to disagree on this one.)

Dean: "When you find him. Say Poughkeepsie. It's our go word - it means drop everything and run."
- Bit hard to work into a sentence though?

Cas: "Dean if this doesn't work..."
Dean: "It'll work..."

- If it doesn't work, Cas would have to kill Sam, because Dean wouldn't be able to.

Sam: "It just doesn't make any sense! Why is this ghoul only chomping on dead cheerleaders?"
- Haha, it just occurred to me that the cheerleaders are dead - because ghouls (usually) only feast on the dead... so, Gadreel tried to give Sam a case that SOUNDS like a "Dean's Dream Case," but actually isn't - because we know that neither of the boys are into necrophilia (Ruby's second vessel excepted, since it at least had life as long as Ruby was inside it to operate the brain.)

Crowley: "Poughkeepsie."
Sam: "How do you know that word?"

- I do love how it does actually make Sam pause and ask questions, which, you know, is good enough in this scenario.

Crowley: "Fine, we'll do this the fun way."
*shoots Sam*

- That IS a pretty fun way.

Crowley: "I know how possession works, Sam. You've seen everything he's seen, even if you can't remember. So what I need you to do, Sam - I need you to remember!"
- I love this little addition to the possession lore - the fact that even angel vessel CAN know what they've done. Maybe not the details, but in general.

Sam: "Did I kill Kevin?"
Crowley: "No, you didn't. He did."

- Ugh, Sam's face breaks my heart.
- But Crowley IS kind here, because he makes sure that Sam is blaming the right person - that Gadreel murdered Kevin, that Sam was another victim, not a perpetrator.

Gadreel: "Was as chump. And now? I'm going to be the one that leads my kind back to Heaven, I'm going to be a hero. But you, demon - for all your chatter, you will always be a coward. You should be running."
*Crowley punches Gadreel*
*Gadreel starts beating the shit out of Crowley*
*Sam jumps into the fight to attack Gadreel*
Crowley: "Take control, Sam! Cast him out!"

- So, the thing is, Crowley DOESN'T run. He told Dean he would, but when push comes to shove, he actually doesn't. He doesn't leave Sam alone with Gadreel without trying to help the fight. Does he start the fight to invoke Sam's protective instincts and get him to come to Crowley's rescue and therefore start fighting? Does he do it to buy time in order to yell at Sam that he has to take control and cast Gadreel out? Does he do it to look nobler than he is? To invoke Sam's sympathies perhaps later down the line? Is he playing a short game or a long game? Is he working from a place of kindness or of manipulation?

Gadreel: "You sure you want me out? I might be the only thing keeping you together. I leave, you might die!"
Sam: "I said, get the hell out."

- Yeah, Gadreel, that line of defense isn't going to work on someone that was already perfectly happy to die before you showed up.

So, is the blue light the angel true form, or just how they travel? I think the blue light is just how angels travel, because it's definitely not the size of the Chrysler building. So, it's just the true form that burns out the eyes.

Also, we find out that Gadreel's first vessel, unlike Dean, can hear angels when they speak. It always makes me laugh that vessels like Jimmy and the bartender can listen to angel's true voices - but Dean, who is supposed to also be the Kit/Porsche of vessels, can't. It's like "Yeah, he's the top of the line - but um, the computer doesn't have voice recognition for some reason? I don't know man. It was some mistake at the factory, I guess?"

So, Sam's brain fluid would be leaking out at this point. We have to assume that Cas healed his brain/skull, but not his muscles, skin, for some reason.

Dean: "This don't make us square! I see you again-"
Crowley: "I'm dead, yes I know, I love you too."

- I love that line. It's a really weird relationship the Winchester have with Crowley now - have really ALWAYS had with Crowley - and I guess it echoes Crowley's namesake from Good Omens - where Crowley's just good enough to stay alive. He's shows sentimentality enough that we question his loyalties, that we wonder if he DOES love them a little bit, but then he'll turn around and USE them to his own devices. Crowley is always out for Crowley, I guess, but keeping the Winchesters around actually benefits that plan, because he CAN always use them. And the Winchesters keep Crowley around for the same reason - sometimes it's damn convenient to have the King of Hell in your trunk.

I like how Crowley sets himself up so that he can do the dramatic chair turn.

Crowley: "See, that's the thing about demons. They're only obedient to a point."
- I think that's just what I said about Crowley. Huh. Imagine that.

Crowley: "...you must have felt, all at sea. And then along came the brute. She's strong, and a knight, and immortal - at the moment. So, I'm not surprised that some of my more idiotic subjects bought her line..."
- We can see here that Crowley is ALREADY working on the plan to kill her. He's already confident that she's only immortal AT THE MOMENT. This is one thing I do wish were a little bit different about Crowley, in that I think it's entirely TOO easy for him to manipulate the Winchesters. He's far too confident about it. I'd love to see a storyline where he's forced to lose some of that confidence, where we actually see him struggle to get what he wants.
- Say what you want about them having a female villain and killing her and what that means for sexism/misogyny on this show, but I love the fact that they made her a "brute" rather than a cunning vixen. As much as I love the Natasha Romanoff's of the world, I really long for female villains/heroes that are just BRUTES. Because yes, cunning is great, but just because women are statistically weaker in upper body strength than men, doesn't mean that they can't be brutes on occasion, especially in sci-fi/fantasy universes.

Crowley: "See, that's your problem love. You think this is a fight."
Abaddon: "Haha, it's not?"
Crowley: "It's a campaign."

- THIS IS WHAT I WANTED TO BE HER UNDOING. But instead they had her pretty much win the campaign/fight, and then just be killed because Crowley got Dean hooked on power and revenge.

And Cas finally completely heals Sam's leaking brain.

Cas: "It'll take time to fully heal you. We'll have to do it in stages."
- I wonder if Sam was always heal-able in stages? Like, could Gadreel just not heal Sam RIGHT THEN. Could he not do it before the angels descended on that hospital and discovered the Winchesters and him, and so he said that he couldn't do it at all? If Cas HAD been an angel at the time, could Cas have said, "move him to the bunker - he'll be in a coma for a while, but I think I can eventually get him up and running." Or, was Gadreel honest in the beginning and possession was the only way to keep Sam's body alive long enough to BEGIN to heal him "in stages" - was Sam's body similar to Ruby's vessel, where Ruby's possession was the only thing that made it a living thing? (Though, obviously, in Sam's case, the soul was still inside the body when it was possessed.)

Dean: "Alright, let me hear it."
Sam: "What do you want me to say? I'm pissed. Okay. I'm pissed. You lied to me. Again."

- It kind of breaks my heart that Dean thinks this is something that Sam can just yell at him about. I think Sam's a bit too angry for words.

Dean: "I didn't have a choice."
Sam: "I was ready to die, Dean."
Dean: "I know. But I wouldn't let you, because that's not in me."

- Again, Dean DID have a choice, and he's not helping Sam's anger by claiming he didn't - because his other choice was "honouring Sam's decisions."

Sam: "So what, you decide to trick me? Into being possessed by some psycho angel?!"
Dean: "He saved your life."
Sam: "So, what? I was willing to die. And now... Kevin."
Dean: "No, that is not on you. Kevin's blood is on my hands, and that ain't never getting clean. I'll burn for that. I will. But I will find, Gadreel, and I will end that son of a bitch...."

- I mean, in fairness to Dean, he didn't KNOW Gadreel was a psycho, he was told by Cas that Ezekiel was a good soldier. So, Dean was also tricked, while he was tricking Sam. Really, Dean is Gadreel and Sam is mankind, and Gadreel is Lucifer.... though, not really, because Lucifer had malicious intent from the jump, and Gadreel didn't.... so, Metatron is Lucifer and Gadreel is still Gadreel but Dean is also Gadreel. This comparison is getting out of hand.
- Once again, we have Dean condemning himself to hell as a result of saving Sam. And I think Sam's reaction to Dean saying "I'll burn for that. I will." says that he's fully aware of this - and doesn't like it.
- I kind of wish that Dean HAD been the one to go after Gadreel instead of switching tracks pretty much immediately and going after Abaddon with Crowley. It would have made a bit more character sense, because Abaddon's done nothing to Dean. But I guess I'll get to that in the next episode.

Dean: "... but I'll do it alone."
Sam: "What's that supposed to mean?"
Dean: "Don't you see, Sam, I'm poison! People get close to me, they get killed - or worse!"

- Ah, so this was Crowley's game plan with reminding Dean that Crowley had warned Kevin to stay away from the Winchesters - that people around them get killed. This way, Dean's more likely to treat himself like a pariah, and if you're already treating yourself like a pariah, then it's easier to justify actually becoming one. (Just looked up Pariah to make sure that I was spelling it right, and now I'm kind of loathe to use it because it's from the caste system and yikes!)
- Again, I think the "or worse" and the gesture towards Sam is very significant. What's worse than death? Loss of body-autonomy? Would you rather be dead or controlled against your will?

Dean: "...you know, I tell myself that I help more people than I hurt. I tell myself that I'm doing it all for the right reasons, and I believe that. I can't- I won't drag anybody through the muck with me. Not anymore."
Sam: "Go. I'm not going to stop you."
Sam: "But don't go thinking that's the problem, because it's not."
Dean: "What's that supposed to mean?"
Sam: "Just go."

- So, Dean can no longer trust himself with the safety of his loved ones. So, he leaves.
- Sam lets him - not because he agrees, but because he is TRYING TO MAKE A POINT. Unfortunately, we come to the problem of Winchester communication. Usually, Sam needs words and Dean needs action. In this case, what Dean needs is for Sam to make him stay - both because it screws up Crowley's plans of isolating Dean and also it's the only way that Dean's going to understand that Sam DOESN'T think that Dean is poison. But, Sam's angry and hurt, and he wants to make a point, and he's going to make this point by showing Dean how brothers should respect each other's decisions. Sam is respecting Dean's decision to leave, and isn't going to force him to stay or even ask him to, if he wants to leave - and this way, Sam can say "See, it's easy to respect people's decisions" and the slightly more petty "see, I treat you better than you treat me!" Only, of course, it doesn't come across that way, it comes across as "yes, you are right. Leave. You're poison." And Sam tries to make that clear when he tells Dean not to think that's the reason that Sam is telling him that he can go, he can't get that message across, because his voice starts to crack and he doesn't have enough strength left to hold himself together for a conversation about exactly what he means. So, "just go" comes out as more of a command. And since Dean is already having a pity party, it's easy to interpret that as "Sam doesn't want me around."

A motel scene with Crowley and Cas watching TV - conceivably in Somerset, PA. while Dean tries to find out where Gadreel is. The show they are watching is about the plague and the death toll it caused in England. Crowley refers to it as the "good old days". Castiel gets annoyed and turns off the tv by snapping his fingers... well, he burns it out, actually.

Crowley: "Fine. Let's chat. You were human and now you're not."
Cas: "As were you."
Crowley: "I was more human adjacent. Whereas you, you went the whole way. Horrible, wasn't it?"
Cas: "Yes."
Crowley: "Right, who wants to be stupid, sticking, emotional pile of meat."
*awkward looks*
*Dean walks in*
Dean: "*stuff about tracking the car*... you kids alright?"
*awkward looks*

- So, yeah, VERY slashy scene, in my opinion - or, well, there's lots of interpretations. A)Pretending to not want to be human, while coveting being human. A human walks in. Things are awkward, because said human is a reminder that they kind of liked some aspects of being human. B)Not wanting to be human, but knowing they're both traveling around with a human. Human walks in. Things are awkward because they were just badmouthing humans. C)Not wanting to be human, but kind of wanting to be human - why? Because of the sexy human that just walked in that they can't have, because neither one of them is human and they happen to know that this particular human only has sexy-times with other humans. D)A variation on C, where Crowley is trying to catch Castiel out on his massive crush on Dean. E)A variation on D, where it's reversed.
- That all aside though, this lays the scene the idea that Crowley might have liked being human and is now lying about it. I DO think that Castiel likes humanity, but hates being human, and that he's honest here though - but that's just my interpretation of the character.
- Technically, Crowley's been human once too, not just human adjacent. He was a human before he went to hell the first time, whenever the hell that was - whether it was in the 1700s or before the Black Death hit England. Personally, I kind of wonder if Crowley's VESSEL is from Scotland and he's actually older - that his vessel was Fergus MacLeod, but he's not. I know he said his vessel was a literary agent, but whatever. It would explain the continuity errors.

And I'm done! That was like 7 hours of work. That's a full time job right there. No wonder I'm unemployed.

Anyway, see you tomorrow/tonight for 10x04's Quick Reaction! :)

As usual, let me know any thoughts in comments. Sorry if things get rambly and less edited towards the end, I'm a LITTLE bit sleepy because it's almost 2am. (I did 75% of this starting at 8pm - thank god they wore the same clothes for the whole episode, or else it would have taken me even longer.)
Tags: rewatch s9

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