Eating contests make me want to vomit. Anyway - dude dies. It's gross.
Sam: "Did you go to bed last night?"
Dean: "What? Uh, no. No, Rudy was on and then Unforgiven - and then I was just too jacked to sleep, so... research."
- I love Rudy.
Dean: "Yeah, and Metatron and the Mark of Cain and - crickets. I did find us a case though..."
- So, Dean is probably already feeling the urge to kill things. Though, I suppose the insomnia might also be brought on by just being upset about everything in his life ever.
- Also, he is drinking whiskey next to a box of Cornflakes. It's all rather sad.
Dean: "Great. Looks like it's a whore's bath for me - I'll be ready in five."
- My mom always used that expression (and had to take a lot of "whore's baths" since she was a single mother to four children and worked a 24/7 on call job.) So, yeah, I kind of have a love-hate relationship with the term. On the one hand, I think it's kind of a great expression, on the other hand, it's also pretty crass and not necessarily something you want associated with your mother.
- Sam's face seems to suggest that he shares my conflicted emotions about the phrase.
Sam: "Are you sure you're okay, Dean?"
Dean: "Yeah, why wouldn't I be?"
Sam: "'cause, I don't know - this isn't about what I said the other day, is it?"
Dean: "Oh, about how we're not supposed to be brothers? Don't flatter yourself. I don't break that easy."
Sam: "Good, because I was just being honest."
Dean: "Yeah, no, I got that loud and clear."
- For the record, "I was just being honest" is usually always a pretty shitty thing to say to someone... especially when you suspect that what you were honest about has hurt their feelings considerably. Now, it could possibly be that it's Sam's goal to hurt Dean's feelings considerably - but we'll get to that later...
I love this Sheriff. She's adorable and awesome.
And the sugar donuts are hilarious.
I also like Sam telling Dean he's got sugar all over his face - I mean, they might be fighting, but I still see that as a pretty brotherly thing to do. Even if it's pointless, because that sugar is EVERYWHERE.
Jim: "But don't call her that. She says it's reductive...."
- I love the accents in this episode. Especially the way this guy says "reductive".
- Also, gypsy being a word you shouldn't use always saddens me a little bit, because we never used it as something BAD - but, I guess 99% of the population of the world DO, so, yeah, that sucks.
Dean: "I don't mean to be rude, but how is it that Wayne McKnight is your type? I mean, you're married to a man that's barely a buck, wet."
Mala: "What can I say? Sometimes it's nice to feel a little give."
Dean: "Oh, yeah, I get that a little extra cushion for the-"
*Sam cuts him off with a look*
- I kind of like the fact that they have someone who is obviously equally attracted to vastly different body types - and I like that Dean immediately understands that she could find extra weight sexy, and that he doesn't think it's weird at all, when he realizes what she likes about it.
2nd Victim: "I gained weight! How is that even possible!"
- Um, you're working out? You are gaining muscle. It weighs more than fat. That's why you should go off your measurements rather than your weight. It will look for a time as though you aren't losing "weight" even though you are.
Sam: "Any idea what the vic weighed beforehand?"
Dean: "So, 180 - known fact, all women lie about their weight and age."
Sam: "Wait, you told that waitress the other day that you were 29."
- Oh, Dean. I love you.
Dean: "...One of us should go to the morgue, the other one should stay here and question the staff."
Sam: "I'll stay."
Dean: "Ain't gonna to happen."
Sam: "Why not?"
Dean: "Because you're weird around girls."
Sam: "What does that mean - weird?"
Dean: "You're awkward. Weird. Sam weird. Sorry man, I'm just BEING HONEST."
- Awww. It's hilarious that Sam is awkward around girls and that Dean calls it "Sam weird", but it's also sad, because Dean is throwing the "being honest" back at him to show him how much it hurts to hear, even for something as minor as this. (I'm pretty sure Sam's known since he was 13 that he's awkward around pretty girls.) This episode IS pretty much about the Winchesters purposefully trying to hurt each other's feelings, and the more they get their feelings hurt, the more they try to hurt the other person back - so it just escalates.
So, this episode is kind of uncomfortable to watch, because I sort of hate the cultural obsession with weight loss. I don't really want to talk about it... so, yeah, I guess I'm not going to. :P
The "Canyon Valley Wellness Spa" is a similar architectural style to the University where I did my BA.
My god, Sam's wearing a hideous plaid for this job interview. And this interview is absolutely FULL of second-hand embarrassment squick.
Alonso: "Hey, new guys, quit flirting with the trainer and keep scooping, ah?"
Sam: "My Ashtanga (sp?) Yoga class starts in 5 minutes."
Dean: "How the hell do you know anything about yoga?"
Sam: "You're not the only one whose ever dated someone bendy."
- So, firstly, someone on tumblr pointed out that Sam uses "someone" here, so if you favour queer!Sam interpretations, that's a little gift to you. I, however, think Sam's straight, but I still like the fact that he keeps his language gender neutral when he can.
- Secondly, part of me loves this line because it's a throwback to S3 and Dean's description of Lisa... but part of me hates the line for the same reason, because that was 7 years ago in the narrative, so it doesn't really make sense for that line to have stuck out in Sam's head - but then again, Dean could use the phrase "bendy" when he's off screen to describe other hook-ups or just in passing comments about yoga or what have you.
- Thirdly, when I first heard this line, I was thinking that it didn't make MUCH sense, because Sam's barely dated in the past 10 years. Actually, the only people we've seen him "date" are Jessica, Ruby, and Amelia. Ruby's out, because I doubt centuries-old demons are super into yoga... Amelia was more the work-/alco-holic type. Whereas, Jessica was pretty goddamn fit... so, my guess is that Jessica did yoga, and Sam just kept it to himself for the past 10 years, because when does he ever talk about Jessica without looking like he's three seconds away from bursting into tears? Which is yet another reason why he might say "someone" here instead of using the name that he can't say without looking like a kicked puppy. So, yes, that's my headcanon.
Cupping is so gross. SO GROSS. Ugh, I can't look. Don't do that to yourselves! RUN AWAY!
The Pishtaco is also gross.
And of course Dean eats the pudding... even though it is a gross colour. Man, I'm finding everything about this episode gross. It's like it's hitting all my gross-squicks - food contests, body horror, food the colour of baby poo. Huh. I wonder if that's why I'm not a huge fan of peanut butter. :P
Yoga Sam! He's not gross, yay!
Sam: "Go to downward dog. Hold for...five minutes."
Guy: "Five minutes! It's usually 30 seconds."
Sam: "Right, that's what I meant, 30 seconds."
- I just like the fact that Sam actually doesn't know anything about yoga, except for probably the downward dog position...
And Dean gets drugged... and Sam is awkward. And the Sheriff accidentally blows Sam's cover...
Sam: "Dean? What's wrong with you?"
Dean: "Need your help."
Sam: "Where are you? Dean!"
Dean: "Sweet potatas!"
- Hehehe... so, yes, hilarious - but also, I mean, no matter what Sam is TELLING Dean, his behaviour is still that of a devoted brother, and you can see it right here when Sam rightly goes into "Dean is in trouble!" mode as soon as he gets Dean's call.
Sam: "Dean! What the hell happened?!"
Dean: "I was drugged."
- The fact that Dean already knows says so much...
Sam: "Right, you stay here."
Dean: "Nah, I'm gonna come with you" *Dean tries to get up. Fails* "Go ahead man, I'll catch up!"
- Oh Dean, I love you.
And again, Sam goes full into protective mode when he immediately interrogates the cook. There's no trying to keep a low profile or not blow his cover - it's just about finding out what his brother consumed and whether or not he's going to be okay.
Dean: "These aren't supplements. They're roofies."
Sam: "How do you know what roofies look like?"
Dean: "How do you NOT know?! You think I want to end up in a hotel bathtub with my kidney carved out, in Chechnya?"
- So, Dean's explaination makes the reason for him knowing what roofies look like to be because he fell for one of those paranoid urban myths... BUT, if we ignore that part of the speech, I really like this exchange because it's the classic exchange of two people who have very different life experiences and don't necessarily even realize that they do.
- Dean sees knowing what roofies look like as a fundamental thing that everyone should know in order to protect themselves. Sam doesn't understand why that knowledge would be useful at all. What else do we know about Sam and Dean? Neither one of them would ever use roofies against other people. Out of the two of them, Dean makes the most reference to possibly doing drugs at one point in his life (even if he's never confirmed that he's done them, he still knows more about them in general than Sam does.) If he DID do drugs at one point in his life, he'd most likely want to know for sure what people were selling/giving him. On top of that, we also know that between the two of them Dean has always spend way more time hanging out in bars... and we also know that Dean is the one that always gets comments about how pretty he is.
- So, yeah, I like the exchange because Sam doesn't even understand why the knowledge would be useful, and Dean doesn't understand how anyone could get through life without it. And it's just a great example of how two people's lives can be very similar and at the same time vastly different and they might not even realize.
Sheriff: "I already lost 10 pounds!"
Sam: "In one day?"
- Yeah, that's not good. I lost 10 pounds in a week and people thought that wasn't good.
Sheriff: "My husband, Doug, left me last year, because he said I loved cookie dough milkshakes more than him."
Sam: "Sorry to hear that."
Dean: "Yeah, Doug's a dick, you deserve better."
Sheriff: "Yeah, but he was right. That was a dark time for me. Whoever said you eat your pain? Not me! I guzzled it! Heheh. Anyhoo, I guess I just wanted to feel pretty again..."
- Awww, poor Sheriff. But, I like this backstory a lot, and the way it's explained. On the surface, you can hear: Husband left her because she was fat. She agreed with him and felt bad about herself. She is now doing unhealthy things to try to be slim as a result. - but that's not actually what she's saying at all. What she's saying is that she was going through a bad time, she didn't actually love her husband and he realized that... and one of the symptoms of the depression she was in was that she ate a lot in order to try to feel happy. What she's saying is that her marriage fell apart and she realized that she had a problem with depression and that she's been working on getting better - and of COURSE it's affected her self-esteem in her appearance a little, so one of the ways in which she's trying to improve her life is to treat herself to a vacation at a wellness spa that has good reviews when it comes to helping people lose weight and live healthier lives.
I do like when the monsters of the week know what Hunters are and fear them.
So gross though.
Maritza: "I'm a pishtaco"
Dean: "A fishtaco?"
Maritza: "A PISHtaco. It means Peruvian Fat-Sucker."
- I do like the "Fishtaco" line.
Maritza: "Vampire's kill - we're just parasites!"
Dean: "Well when you put it that way..."
- So the thing is, there's different kinds of "parasites" those that are parasites and kill their hosts, and those beings that help their hosts, or at least, don't harm them. Pishtacos, it appears, could be either/or... and I think that's pretty neat.
And we find out about Alonso, and how he's Maritza's brother gone rogue... and once again we have a sibling parallel for the Winchesters, though, in this case, more of a foreshadowing than a parallel.
Larry really shouldn't have confronted a murderer alone.
Maritza: "I brought Alonso here from Peru, to show him a better way, a more civilized way - one where we were not monsters..."
- Awww, she's so SMART and her brother ruined everything.
Dean: "Well, until we figure out what side she's on. She stays put."
Maritza: "I am on your side."
Sam: "Okay, then how do we kill him?"
- Killing her husband is a good way to get her to lose sibling loyalty, apparently. Also, she's tied to a chair, so in the interests of self-preservation, it's better to be on her captor's side.
I like the sequence of them looking throuh the basement with the flashlights - it's very suspenseful and well done.
It's interesting though that Alonso doesn't think his sister would betray him.
Maritza: "What did you tell the Sheriff?"
Sam: "The usual - psycho-killer on the loose. They usually buy it."
Maritza: "I lost my whole family today."
Sam: "I'm so sorry, I-"
- It's a pretty good story in this case.
Dean: "Once this place clears out, we're going to make this a family affair."
Sam: "Wait, Dean, we're not going to kill Maritza."
Dean: "She's a monster."
Sam: "Yeah, who saved our asses."
Dean: "You said you wanted to keep things strictly business. Well, last I checked, we were in the business of killing monsters."
Sam: "I wanted to keep things strictly business between US, but I still have a heart. What if I had crossed paths with a hunter back when I was possessed by Gadreel - I could have ended up dead too. Would I have deserved that? Would I have deserved to die?"
- Okay, so this is interesting for a few reasons....
1) Dean obviously did misinterpret Sam's "strictly business" suggestion. Since he doesn't seem to know what he means. It seems, here, that Dean thought maybe Sam was trying to think of a way to eliminate the grey-areas of hunting, return everything to black-and-white, monsters=bad. Why Dean thinks that's what "strictly business" means is beyond me.
2)Sam's comparison between Maritza and him as a vessel possessed by Gadreel doesn't make any sense - though, I suppose you could argue that CANYON VALLEY was a vessel owned by Maritza, which Alonso "possessed" and thus brought Hunters down upon Maritza, who was a victim of Alonso's "possession." But, the thing that REALLY doesn't make sense about what Sam is saying is how often the Winchesters kill angels/demons without seemingly any care for their vessels. They USED to care, but they don't seem to anymore, except when it's one of those. Sam clearly implies that he could have been killed by a hunter while possessed and he wouldn't have deserved that, meaning that the hunter would have been wrong to kill him? But if he's saying that, then he's basically saying that he and Dean are constantly killing innocent people (which, they sort of our.) It's just kind of weird.
Dean: "So one way ticket to Peru?"
- So, it still annoys me that they imply that Dean and Sam kicked her out of the country. She did nothing wrong and she HAS been helping people, albeit perhaps not in perfectly healthy ways. BUT, I realize that Sam never actually confirmed Dean's question there, so my headcanon is that Sam was like "sure, that sounds like a great compromise, I'll go set it up with her" and then he went to her and was like "sell this place, take the money and open up a shop in another state under a different name, and keep your head down. If you talk to my brother, tell him you look forward to being back in Peru." :P
Dean: "Hey, about what you said the other day."
Sam: "I thought it didn't bother you?"
- So, the way Sam says this, in my opinion, indicates that he was TRYING to bother Dean. He wants Dean to be bothered by what he said, because that way they have to talk about it - they have to confront the issue and maybe actually fix things, rather than just moving on like nothing happened.
Okay, I'm going to break up this next conversation into sections, because there's a lot going on here...
Dean: "You know, Sam, I saved your hide back there. And I saved your hide at that church and the hospital. I may not think things all the way through, but what I do, I do because it's the right thing. I'd do it again."
Sam: "And that is the problem. You think you're my saviour, my brother, the hero. You swoop in and, even when you mess up, you think what you're doing is worth it because you've convinced yourself that you're doing more good than bad, but you're not...."
- Sam's not wrong. Neither is Dean. Dean did save Sam and he WOULD do it again and he DOES believe that it's the right thing, because he has been raised his entire life to put Sam's life above ALL ELSE. But, like I said, Sam's not wrong either, and that IS the problem with Dean...
- Dean will never correct his behaviour, because he doesn't see it as wrong. He doesn't understand that putting Sam's life above everything is not always the right thing to do. He sees keeping Sam alive as "good", why wouldn't he? John assigned him the task when he was 4, rewarded him when he did it well and punished him when he did it poorly. The ONLY two references we have to John punishing Dean as a child are in relation to times when Dean's care for Sam was considered inadequate by John. This grooming is only reinforced by the fact that Dean loves Sam more than anyone else in the entire world, so he doesn't see anything wrong with putting Sam's life above all else, because he doesn't want to live without him...
- I don't necessarily think Dean sees himself as Sam's saviour/hero - I could be wrong, but I think that's Sam projecting. I think Dean just doesn't know how to live any differently.
Sam: "...I mean, Kevin's dead, Crowley's in the wind, we're no closer to beating this angel thing. Please tell me what is the upside of me being alive?"
- Here, we get Sam's self-blame. Sam tends to see Dean as the brother that can do no wrong ("Saint Dean" as Hallucifer taunted) while Sam feels like a giant screw-up. It doesn't help that Dean is almost always immediately forgiven for his mistakes, while Sam's are continually thrown in his face. This season is actually the first time that Sam's held a grudge.
- All Sam can see is that if Dean would just let him die, things could be avoided - if he had stayed dead in Cold Oak, would the apocalypse have even happened?
- But Sam is measuring his worth in terms of what his life means to the WORLD rather than what his life means to his family. In Sam's case, Sam sees his life as HARMING the world... but if you think of people like you or me, our lives just don't MATTER to the world. Like, if I died tomorrow, the world wouldn't be sad or suffer because of it - but everyone who actually KNOWS me would, and that's where we draw meaning for our lives - or at least, those of us who aren't out there curing cancer or advancing the human race in other amazing ways.
Dean: "Are you kidding me? You and me fighting the good fight, together!"
- And that might be the point that Dean is trying to make here. That the upside to Sam being alive is that he's ALIVE. Dean can't fathom a world without Sam, even though he actually did live in one for a year - and that says a lot, because he KNOWS it's possible to live without Sam and he doesn't want to do it.
Sam: "Ugh...okay, just once be honest with me. You didn't save me for ME. You did it for you."
Dean: "What are you talking about?"
Sam: "I was ready to die. I was ready. I should have died. But you, you didn't want to be alone and that's what all this boils down to. You can't stand the thought of being alone. I'll give you this much, you are certainly willing to do the sacrificing, as long as you're not the one being hurt."
- But Sam's right too. Dean didn't save Sam because Sam wanted to live, he saved him because Dean can't live without him - and those are two very different things. It's the difference between being a roommate and a hostage. Sam's a hostage. He CAN'T leave. Sam just wants Dean to acknowledge that Dean went against Sam's will - that Sam wanted to leave and Dean wouldn't let him.
- The interesting thing is that back in S2/S3 when Dean made the deal to save Sam, Sam pretty much said the exact same thing - and Dean fully admitted that it was purely selfishness on his part. He admitted that bringing Sam back from the dead was about Dean not wanting to live without him, rather than about whether Sam would want his brother going to hell. And Dean doesn't necessarily deny it here either, though he does take major offense at the way Sam points out Dean's biggest insecurities/weaknesses right to his face like that.
- Sam's last sentence though is out of line - since the last time Dean saved Sam's life drastically (S3) Dean definitely WAS the one being hurt in the sacrifice.
Dean: "Alright, you want to be honest? If the situation were reversed and I was dying - you'd do the same thing."
Sam: "No, Dean, I wouldn't. Same circumstances, I wouldn't. I'm going to get to bed."
- So, this is up for debate. Because on the one hand, when Dean made the demon deal and went to hell, Sam DID try to make deals to bring him back - so, same circumstances in THAT case, he did the same thing. Back when Dean was dying in S1, Sam absolutely refused to let him die and took him to a weirdo faith healer. In Mystery Spot, when Dean was dead for 6 months, Sam turned into a killing machine willing to bleed a man dry to save Dean (though, arguably, he may have been bluffing at that point, but the killing machine remark still stands.)
- On the other hand, Sam is saying "same circumstances" - has Dean ever CHOSEN to die? (In S1's Faith, he was resigned to it, but obviously would have preferred not to be dying.) Dean wanted to do the trials and Sam's argument to him at the time for him doing them instead was that Dean was a touch too suicidal for Sam's liking - that Sam thought he'd have a better chance of surviving because he wanted to live - but, Dean obviously didn't know that the trials were a guaranteed death-sentence, neither did Sam, so while that comes CLOSE to Sam taking away Dean's right to choose his own death, it's not actually the same thing at all.
- Because what Sam's saying here is that, if the only way to save Dean was to do something to him that he knew Dean would never want him to do, then he wouldn't do it - now, whether that's just talk until Sam actually finds himself in the exact same circumstances, we'll never know, because my argument is that Sam doesn't find himself in the exact same circumstances (not even at the end of the season). But, there's still all the points that I made in my first bullet point above...when Dean IS in danger or dead, Sam tends to go crazy. (Except, of course, S8, when Sam actually retired when Dean died - but that was bizarrely OOC, in my opinion).
- Of course, what Dean hears in all this isn't that Sam thinks his life harms the world and that Sam would respect Dean's wishes - what he hears is "I don't love you as much as you love me."
And we end on another low-note - which, sadly, won't be the last of the season. But, this episode DID live up to it's name, and Sam and Dean DID basically use it to purge all the horrible things that they could say to each other from their systems... so, really, the only place to go from here is in a recovery direction, even if that recovery takes a meandering and slow path...
As usual, let me know your thoughts in comments! :)
I might try to do another one of these on Sunday or Monday, we'll see...